A Slap to the U.S.

A Slap to the U.S.



It seems like nobody wanted to miss this appointment, scheduled and advertised for months.

The Second Summit of the CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) just ended. Thirty-three nations represented, and thirty top leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean met in Cuba, with the notable exception of the U.S. and Canada.

The capital of the subcontinent these days is located 90 miles from Florida, but no one on the other side of the strait has been invited.
The streets of Havana showed a normality only sporadically broken by the coming and going of official delegations, and their motorised police and escort cars. The habaneros are accustomed to such visits and meetings. Disciplined without complaints, they stop, let the delegations passed looking at them with curiosity and go back to their usual occupation.

Channel 6 of the Cuban television showed the summit live, the highlights and events of this momentous meeting, while Telesur gives special coverage, retransmitted by the Educational Channel 2. Much of Cubans followed this political event with interest, beyond their everyday difficulties, knowing that the issues and implications of this continental meeting may have much to do with their foreseeable future.

Cuban society is undergoing a comprehensive reform process, in an attempt to modernize and readjust the revolutionary economic and social model, which fell in a crisis in the 1990s, with the fall of the so called Socialist Bloc. Revolutionary Cuba miraculously survived the catastrophic prophecies, but the costs were certainly high. The result was a dysfunctional society that was forced to split in two, and try to live with herself, to survive. Double coin, double speak and realities, double standard and behaviour, double economy … To which must be added without excuses or forgetfulness, the implacable old financial and economic blockade of the U.S., with its rigorous international implementation that last for 54.

Now the Cuban society looks in the mirror and makes an effort to adjust itself, with an organized and debated attempt, to continue the national project provided by the Revolution that marked, in its way, world history a first of January 1959.
However times and forecasts change, and if the Revolution makes its first attempts to adapt, with varying and conflicting results, its opponents did not even seem to think about changing, and definitely are anchored in sterile repetitions. And in this sense one only has to see that, with the arrival of the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez in 1996, something began to change in the depth of the subcontinent.

People tired of predatory neoliberalism were giving space and power to nationalist, leftist, popular forces in multiple countries in the hemisphere. And the balance of power decisively changed. Cuba therefore passed from its irremediable sentence to gradually reconnect with its allies and friends, to the horror of the U.S., to the current point in which the “excluded” from CELAC is precisely America itself. And that may be a key for the Cuban domestic reform process can develop in a favorable environment that privileges its independence and sovereignty, and that relations with its northern neighbour could end up as equals.

In the meantime is appropriate to recall that an Asian proverb says that revenge is a dish best served cold, and this seems to be what these days was staged in Havana. The U.S. government barely speaks, great “international” media, located in Cuba itself, look at events with shameful silence. The reality is that the CELAC meeting is very important and a real slap to American politics and diplomacy. The Secretary General of the UN, and to the very President of the OAS ( Organization of American States ) have not been able to resist the call, and what it would have meant not to participate.

The conclusion is simple: CELAC is clearly emerging as the future, and Cuba will be essential and natural part of that project, without conditions, while the OAS Summits of the Americas (convened by the U.S., excluding Cuba ) and the Ibero-American meetings (organized by Spain and Portugal) seem destined to be part of the past.
However, in this complex and globalized world truths tend to be quite relative. CELAC is a young, barely an embryo of integration, where traditional governments and contradictory projects live together, although they are definitely bound by a common interest and mutual benefit and cooperation, but they are also different when it comes to their relations with the U.S., their economic policies and their political and social approaches.

And if this wasn’t enough, to the list of dangers must be added the many border disputes (six of the nine cases currently pending before the International Court of Hague), that at this time various “international” media are suspiciously highlighting. Ahead of hypothetical events CELAC has declared the region as a “zone of peace” , which refers directly to the foreign military presence in the region (read U.S. and Britain in the Falkland Islands), to the peace negotiations in the Colombian conflict, but also to the political will to resolve any bilateral conflict by exclusively political and diplomatic means.

In addition to the agreed issues related to usual political statements, thanks to economic agreements, multilateral cooperation and other important agreements which have been reached, Latin American and Caribbean people can now sleep a little more comfortably, within the limits of their everyday concerns and difficulties, as their leaders these days have closed, and in Havana, the door to some models such as those of Syria, Libya, Egypt, Ukraine or the like. In this part of the world its seems that there is no room for these strategies, at least for the moment, or regardless of the costs, which would be a strong and sharp continental reaction, as this disparate and united group of countries have recently shown with  low profile “golpe” attempts in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and Paraguay.

Starting today this is the official policy throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. A clear notice to affected and bellicose mariners, one of several other important agreements, “cooked” in Havana in these cool sunny days.

Related Articles

Que las imágenes de la guerra hablen por sí mismas


Robert Fisk The Independent Detesto que me llamen reportero de guerra. En primer lugar, porque la palabra tiene el triste

The birth of the ‘de-Americanized’ world


This is it. China has had enough. The (diplomatic) gloves are off. It’s time to build a “de-Americanized” world. It’s

Ucrania vs. Rusia ante la Corte Internacional de Justicia


A solicitud de Ucrania, la Corte Internacional de Justicia (ICJ) celebró este 7 de marzo audiencias públicas en La Haya

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment