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The Cold War Is Over ... Well, Sort of

Posted on Jun 4, 2009
Flickr / hoyasmeg

The face of Che Guevara adorns the old Ministry of Industry building in Havana.

The Organization of American States lifted its 47-year suspension of Cuba on Wednesday, on the condition that Havana undergo democratic reforms in line with OAS principles. Cuba, however, has rejected re-entry, declaring, “Before returning to the OAS, the North and South Seas will join and a serpent will be born from an eagle’s egg.”

The New York Times:

After two days of intense negotiations, the Organization of American States agreed Wednesday to lift a cold war provision that suspended Cuba from the group but also accepted a list of conditions, backed by Washington, that Havana would have to meet before being allowed to return.

The compromise was a stunning about-face for the 34-nation group, which had been in what appeared to be an intractable stalemate that threatened to polarize the hemisphere.

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By psychonaut, June 8, 2009 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

As far as Cuba and the Latin American countries are concerned, I believe the USA is making the first steps to change its attitude and behavior towards the countries south of their border.

If you saw the video announced by the foreign minister of Honduras regarding the decision of June 3, 2009, you would have noticed that change.

The decision to bring back Cuba into the OAS was a consensus, i.e., a unanimous decision. The USA voted for it, too, although it was probably under pressure from the other OAS members to do so.

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By psychonaut, June 5, 2009 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

The cold war is still not over. There is much to do done in the American continent in order for the cold war to end.

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By psychonaut, June 5, 2009 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

Dear Xntrk,

After reflecting upon the matter, I have the feeling that after the decision of June 3, 2009 revoking the decision of January 31, 1962 to suspend Cuba’s membership in the OAS, Cuba has automatically become a member of the OAS. After all, suspension is not exclusion. At no time in history has Cuba cancelled its membership in the OAS. If it does not want to remain a member of the OAS, then it should cancel its membership.

It is true that the Latin American nations—including Cuba, of course—consider the USA to be their enemy. There is also good reason for this. I am not disputing this matter. That is, in my opinion, all the more reason to maintain the OAS. Dialogue with opponents does not do any harm. It may even do some good.

The OAS never excluded Cuba from OAS membership; Cuba never cancelled its membership in the OAS. Hence, ....



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By Xntrk, June 5, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interesting comments, but far off the mark. There have been at least 2 recent assassination plots involving the US in Latin America in the past year. Both Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales have been targeted by groups with close ties to the US and the CIA.

Why should Cuba sit down with the OAS, which is primarily funded by the United States? Cuba is a member of ALBA, and many other groups in both South America and the Caribbean. The Democratically elected officials from Latin America routinely visit Cuba and negotiate trade agreements and other regional issues.

The country in South America that is most isolated from its neighbors today is Columbia. Its incursions against its neighbors [Ecuador and Venezuela] have disrupted the growing Bolivarian Revolution. Its militarization and dependence on paramilitary groups trained and funded by the US is similar to the events in El Salvador and Nicaragua and Guatemala in the 1980s. Anyone believing that the US and the OAS have been transformed is probably indulging in some of the products of Columbia and Mexico. Perhaps they enjoy something a bit stronger than coffee, chocolate, or the local rum…

I am reading Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America. The most frightening thing about it is the description of what happens to countries that practice Low-Wage Capitalism. It is like reading our future in the history of Latin America.

No one should accuse either Fidel or Raul of stupidity. They may discuss concrete issues with the US, but that does not imply foolish belief in honeyed words. I doubt if they fall for the same old seductive words that enslaved their island for centuries.

If the US wants to do something to demonstrate both ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’, we should end the embargo. That would do much more for both Cuba and the US then platitudes about allowing Cuba to re-join the OAS. We should also free the Cuban Five before we accuse Cuba of locking up political prisoners. Discussing political prisoners without pardoning or releasing Leonard Peltier, the Angola Three, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and closing Guantanamo, simply accents our cynicism and double dealing to the rest of the world.

As a people living in a glass house, perhaps we should quit throwing stones at others; or dropping bombs…

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By psychonaut, June 4, 2009 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

Dear Commentators,

The opinion in the Jamaica Gleaner at URL:

expresses my opinion to this matter. I was glad to find a newspaper article in internet that reflects my view.



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By psychonaut, June 4, 2009 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

I feel misunderstood here by some of the comments. I am not denying the unethical behavior of the USA with regards to Latin America and—for that matter—the rest of the world. I am simply suggesting that one should enter into a dialogue with this nation—despite its misdeeds.

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By Folktruther, June 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Great post, PSmith, I intend to come back and go through it more thoroughly.  What it is essential to do is subvert the principled gulibility of US truthers like Psychonut. All governments lie, but with the 9/11-anthrax homicide, the US powerstate has gone off the deep end into basic dishonesty and irrationality in the mainstream truth consensus. It’s amnazing that the Obama administration can argue with a straight face that Cuba must adhere to Latin American Democracy, which the US has successfully destroyed so often. 

The American people do not understand the deep cynicism of the US powerstate and how deeply and intensely it has deceived and deluded the American people.  That is why Obama was cleverly selected by the ruling class, because he can talk and smile real good, to refurbish Bushite policies.  The general plan,however, is pretty much standard, to follow Bushite policies and proclaim the contrary of Hope n Change.

I don’t think American gullibility can last very long in economic crisis, but I may be an optimistic fool.

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By psychonaut, June 4, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

I believe the reaction of the Cuban government towards the OAS’ offer is inappropriate. Certainly, it is true that OAS in the past has been a destructive instrument of the USA directed against every other country on the American continent.

But today, this is not the case. Cuba commands a 2/3-majority regarding its readmission and, if it decides to accept the OAS’ offer of being readmitted, will surely have at least an absolute majority on other matters.

Latin American countries like Venezuela, Brazil and Nicaragua—as well as many others—have worked hard in order to obtain the revocation of the 1962 decision against Cuba.

At that time, it was the Kennedy administration which initiated that resolution. It gained the approval of right-wing generals who were at that time heads of state of the respective Latin American countries. These right-wing generals constituted the political allies of the USA. In other words, there was no such thing as “the world of freedom,” at least not in Latin America.

Nevertheless, the USA claimed it was fomenting “freedom and democracy” in the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it was not able to find appropriate allies in Latin America that could support the USA in achieving these alleged goals. Then, the USA chose the Latin American dictators of the right to be their allies and “overlooked” the fact that these governments were anything but democratic. The rule of law and respect for human rights meant nothing to these generals.

Indeed, the generals were pursuing policies totally remote from ensuring the rule of law and the respect for human rights.

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