Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Obama Is Very Slow To Reform U.S. Relations With Cuba


The newly elected president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, was inaugurated Monday and immediately re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba. The El Salvadorean people should be very proud of him. "It is an event that means that El Salvador should be on a par with the times and overcome its historic debt with Cuba… a step that should have been made a long time ago. At no time should we have cut off relations with Cuba," said Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez. But as a puppet of the reactionary-- and Mafia-connected-- American regimes, El Salvador had no choice, not that it's native grown reactionaries wanted one, but to break off relations. Many of the puppet regimes in Latin America followed suit and, of course, the U.S. orchestrated kicking Cuba out of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962, something almost every Latin American country is now deeply ashamed of.

At the same time El Salvador and Cuba were re-establishing diplomatic relations, Cuba and the Obama administration were taking tiny baby steps towards the same ultimate goal.
Cuba has agreed to restart talks with the United States on immigration and has signaled its willingness to cooperate on issues including terrorism, drug trafficking and even mail service, a sign that the island's communist government is warming to President Obama's call for a new relationship after decades of tension, U.S. officials said Sunday.

The breakthrough was announced as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton began a three-day trip to Latin America, where she is expected to face pressure to take further steps to ease the U.S. policy of isolating Cuba.

So while President Obama flew off to meet with the brutal, fascist medieval-- or, to be less kind, primitive-- Saudis, who had just beheaded and crucified an accused rapist, Secretary of State Clinton was in Honduras pleading for patience from the rest of the hemisphere so that Obama can stretch out a reform Cuban policy agenda meant to mollify completely implacable right-wing refugees and their offspring who still have influence, now waning, in Floridian politics.

In truth, it is a disgrace for the U.S. to continue allowing its foreign policy towards Cuba to be dictated by a gaggle of wealthy, irrational revanchistas (and fascists). On top of that, the rest of the hemisphere is determined to wipe out the blight on their honor and ask Cuba to rejoin the regional organization. The U.S. is still demanding that Cuba bend to its will, Obama's policy, essentially no different from Bush's.
Honduran President Manuel Zelaya told leaders at the annual two-day summit that the decision to expel Cuba-- following the revolution which turned the country into a one-party communist state-- was "a day that will live in infamy."

He said it was "time to correct that mistake," or the 34 members of the group would be "colluding with that mindset of yesterday."

His view was echoed by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who said the expulsion of Cuba had been "imposed by tyrants."

"As long as that sanction is not lifted, we continue to be accomplices of the sanction, therefore we lose dignity, we lose sovereignty," said Mr Ortega, accusing the US of using the organization as "an instrument of domination."

But Mrs Clinton told a meeting with Caribbean leaders that while the US looked forward to Cuba rejoining the group, "membership in the OAS must come with responsibilities."

"It's not about reliving the past. It's about the future and being true to the founding principles of this organization," she said.

"I'm confident we can come up with a common way forward." ... But the US has repeatedly said that Cuba must introduce democratic reform and release political prisoners before it can be re-admitted to OAS and before the decades-long embargo on it can be lifted.

The BBC's Michael Voss in Havana says Cuba's former leader, Fidel Castro, has called the US preconditions "humiliating and arrogant," while the current leadership has also shown no signs that it intends to meet Washington's demands.

The U.S. has no veto power over readmitting Cuba and should be outvoted. A two-thirds majority is needed to invite Cuba back in. The U.S. is now the only country in the Hemisphere without diplomatic relations with Cuba. And there are no countries-- anywhere in the world-- that pay the slightest attention to the barbaric and shameful U.S. embargo against Cuba. This is from Reese Erlich's book, Dateline Havana:
The U.S. embargo-- far from being a well-crafted, thoughtful effort to put pressure of an unfriendly government-- is a mishmash of ad hoc measures thrown together of the course of almost 50 years. It's the most stringent embargo imposed by the United States on any country in the world. U.S. citizens are free to travel to Iran, Syria, Vietnam, China, and even North Korea-- but not Cuba.

No other country observes the embargo. Every year since 1992, the UN General Assembly votes by overwhelming majority to condemn it. In 2007 the vote was 184-4 against the United States. The only countries voting with the United States were Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands. Despite its UN vote, Israel ignores the U.S. embargo and actively trades with Cuba.

The corrupt spawn of Cuban gangsters, Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, two extremely corrupt right-wing Cuban-American congressmen, whose father was in charge of torture in the Batista dictatorship the Cuba people overthrew, along with the third Republican Cuban-American member of Congress, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, have insisted on the maintenance of this dysfunctional policy. Obama should have ended it on January 21.

UPDATE: Cuba Libre! And Screw The Diaz-Balart Gangsters

They were polite enough to wait for Hilary Clinton to fly off to Cairo and to put some face saving language into the resolution, but today the OAS unanimously ended its 47 year old suspension of Cuban membership. But not everyone is happy. Another Cuban-American neo-fascist Senate candidate, Marco Rubio, was grousing on Twitter today:



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