Sunday, April 29, 2012

Washington On Its Own Against Cuba

April 25, 2012

Washington on its own against Cuba

Livia Rodríguez Delis

The government of the United States is finding itself increasingly alone in its efforts to isolate Cuba, hoping to overthrow the Revolution and eliminate all vestiges of the model of democracy and solidarity it represents to the rest of the world.

Washington has been left without arguments with which to incriminate the country and justify its criminal policies, above all the more than 50-year old blockade, which causes direct damage to the Cuban people to the tune of 975 million dollars, estimated in current, much depreciated, dollars.

Rejection of the U.S. policy toward Cuba continues to grow inside the U.S. itself. Recently the U.S. Conference of Bishops sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba and an end to travel restrictions.

In the letter, signed by Bishop Richard E. Pates, from Des Moines, Iowa, President of the religious organizations Justice and International Peace Committee, emphasized that U.S. businesses could benefit given the opportunity to develop trade with Cuba.

Similar opinions were expressed in the U.S. Senate. In statements to the press, Democrat Jeff Bingaman described U.S. policy toward Cuba as out of sync, considering the relations Cuba maintains with other Latin American countries.

The Chairman of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee said that the policy is not based on national interests and emphasized that this must change.

Bingaman, whose committee addresses international trade issues, made these statements while describing the recently concluded Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Columbia as a failure, noting U.S. isolation.

He called on President Obama, and his Republican rival in the upcoming November elections, to take a position in favor of the normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba, as opposed to the position promoted by the most reactionary sectors of the Cuban-American community.

This approach has been criticized as well by the Council of Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) which has decried the subordination of U.S. foreign policy to the interests of the anti-Cuban right wing in South Florida.

The non-governmental organization, founded in 1975, referred to proposals made by Cuban President Raúl Castro to establish mutually respectful dialogue between the two countries based on equality, stating that the U.S. government has clung to an "irrational and imprudent policy" which has been clearly mistaken.

The group additionally mentions the United Nations opposition to the U.S. blockade of Cuba and asserts that the U.S. is clearly losing not only prestige, given its insistence on maintaining the policy, but also trading opportunities.

The international community continues to express its condemnation of the blockade, even more vociferously recently given its extra-territorial nature which punishes any country, organization or business which establishes ties with the country.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Left Front candidate in recent French elections, commented that the U.S. government systematically violates UN resolutions with respect to this attack on the Cuban people while the well-known lawyer from Luxembourg, Gastón Vogel, described the blockade as a crime which must be denounced by the international community.

The U.S. government has attempted to reassure world opinion stating that positive changes in its policy toward Cuba have been introduced, but the reality is that these have been paltry and do not change the basic nature of the blockade which is meant to force the Cuban people to surrender.

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