22 January 2007


The Post Fidel US strategy is apparently not shaping up quite as the US had hoped.

It has been my belief that once Castro dies and Castro II formally takes the reigns, there would be an international US lead effort to refuse to accept a royal succession and call for democratic changes on the island.

BUT as we learn today from this article from The Mercury News, some democracies around the globe are balking at chance of helping another nation join the club.

Spain with its vast investments in Cuba, is reluctant to side with the US and use its influence within the EU to call for change in Cuba:

With Havana seemingly on the edge of change, Rice hoped the European Union would issue a statement urging Cuba to adopt democratic reforms. As the leader on Latin American affairs within the EU, Madrid had the clout to make such a declaration happen, diplomats familiar with the outreach say.

The Spaniards declined.

Why? World leaders are scared to anger Havana! So they are waiting on the sidelines.

We are not without friends in the European Union, however:

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the three Baltic states are pushing for a EU pronouncement, the diplomats say.

Hungary's ambassador to Washington, Andras Simonyi, said Europe is "edging" towards a common position on Cuba, which he said is a "special case" because of its
history and its "present situation."

"Hungary has a clear view that we have been through a democratic change and, of course, we would like to see as many countries as possible" take a democratic path.

The two newest members to the EU, Bulgaria and Romania will also be expected to join in any democratization efforts for Cuba , since they too suffered through totalitarian communist tyrannies.

In our hemisphere, things are more complicated. Other than Costa Rica, all other countries that are already aligned to Havana are keeping quiet. Canada is viewed as a possible negotiator between Washington and Havana. Brazil, whose president, Lula, is a Castro groupie has recently shocked me with statements indicating its offer to possibly help in a transition towards democracy in Cuba.

In Latin America, most big democracies like Argentina and Brazil have long held that they cannot interfere in the internal affairs of another country. Mexico's new conservative President Felipe Calderon has said he will seek to promote democracy in the region, but so far has not mentioned Cuba.


It’s baffling how the World’s most successful democracies, which of course have all signed every Human Rights treaty known to man, don’t comment on the lack of freedom in Cuba and remain silently and conspicuously neutral out of fear.

The only time they use human rights and Cuba in the same sentence is when they are whining about the imprisoned terrorists at Guantanamo.

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality”


Mambi_Watch said...

Hi Gusano, love your posts. They're well researched.

Yet, I think you can still look harder to answer some of the questions that baffle you.

One of the reoccuring questions that I see arise constantly is about why the US doesn't do MORE concerning Cuba. In my opinion, behind this question is an assumption that needs to be questioned.

What justifies the US to act unilaterally towards Cuba?

One false answer is that the US is the defender of human rights around the globe. This is false (even more so today) because the US has been condemned by many international organizations for committing violations of international law. The US cannot preach when is doesn't practice.

The reality is that the US has no justification to act unilaterally towards Cuba.

And, this is where the stalemate at the EU comes in.

The EU in 1996 adopted a "Common Position" towards Cuba. It basically said that a democratic transition in Cuba would come in the form of "constructive dialogue". Not sanctions. That idea is still relevant today, and the stalemate is over this position. You accurately identify the main players in the EU stalemate, but do not give credit to the many other countries that are committed to "constructive dialogue".

Anyway, it is clear that many in the EU want a multilateral approach to Cuba, which would include the US. But, the US refuses. The US, in this case, has chosen to violate a basic principle of international standards: unilateral action against another nation.

You premise that the EU is acting out of fear is inaccurate. They want to commit to bringing change in Cuba, but not break with international standards, of which the US constantly violates.

El Gusano said...

Gee Mambi, thanks for the "compliment".

We’ve got little common ground here.

The US can do whatever it wants. It if wasn’t for the US there would be no International Organizations, No EU, No UN. And if this was being written at all, it would be in German or Russian.

Everybody in the world should be thankful that the US isn’t as bad as advertised or everybody would be drinking coke and eating McDonald’s….oh never mind!

I do have to agree with the article’s premise that the Western Europeans are afraid of pissing Havana off. It’s about $$$$$.(€€€€€’s) Spain can’t afford to stick its neck out; they are too heavily invested in Cuba. It would be naive to think that they are any more or less ultraistic than we are. Please!

Sure I’d love for the US to do the right thing for the right reasons and all that ….

But Uncle Sam is getting ready to do an end around and the ball (Cuba) is on their side of the field…………..

Did you see the Herald today?…everybody wants a piece of the pie!

It’s going to be interesting.

Maybe we’ll laugh about it someday while sipping on a mojito…I’ll buy.

Mambi_Watch said...

I think your premise is contradictory.

The US, if we give them credit for the UN(which they oppose on many occasions), has not right to defy the laws that originate from that very organization. You're just saying that the US can go ahead and violate their treaties.

Well, this takes us back to where we were BEFORE the UN.

I think the "right thing" to do would be to respect the UN Charter and other conventions, while at the same time advocate for a free Cuba.

That's actually possible, believe it or not.

El Gusano said...

No, I think they should just thank the US for allowing them to attend meetings and engage in what do you call it "constructive dialogue". It gives them something to do since they have absolutely no power or say in anything.

Mambi_Watch said...

I think you're making a huge error in assuming that the US should be given some kind of higher respect for paving the way for international organizations. And, EU history is not UN history.

The the US events that created the UN have been quite forgotten by the current administration, they violate many of the original principles.

The UN Charter specifies that ALL nations shall recieve "equitable" treatment and sovereignty. This nullifies the premise that the US should be given MORE justifications than other nations.

Asking for "thanks" is a bit arrogant, it assumes that some nations deserve unequal staus among others.

This violates the basic principles of many international treaties.

El Gusano said...

the US allows the UN to exist as a counterbalance to the US's omnipotence. that's just reality.

the EU is a economic entity, they have positions like you and me. whopee!

i know youre an idealistic person and thers millions more like you in the US. that is the real check on the US's omnipotence.

i hate to sound so cynical, mambi..but you live and get that way..lol

Mambi_Watch said...

As a counter-balance? I doubt that. The UN is not like a branch of the US government, in no way. You're implying the US is deliberately against itself (somehow it feels guilty).

Another assumption is that the US believes it is emperial, but likes other nations to curb its actions.

That doesn't fly. The US goes against the UN many times.

Rather, it seems that the US uses the UN's legitimacy to justify some actions (like the Iraq war) to the international body. Yet, ignores it (when the UN votes to condemn Israel or the embargo)when the UN differs.

Its a convenient medium for the US it seems. And, many nations see this. So, why would other nations want to "give thanks" to the US? Because it funds an organization that it doesn't take seriously?

I don't think so. The US needs to review the UN Charter.

You're right about it being idealism. But, don't you also feel that we should make attempts to follow the rules at times. Especially when many feel it is appropriate?

El Gusano said...

"Its a convenient medium for the US it seems". absolutely, just a covinience, a farse. its a meaningless organization. Its a shame.

El Gusano said...

it is so hard to take the UN seriously after Rwanda, Darfur and its lack of action about AIDS in Africa. its very dissapointing.That poor George Clooney is blue in the face from screaming at them to do something.
my interest is cuba, but think about the loss of life in darfur, north korea, rwanda. it makes you want to puke when cuban issues pail in comparison.

Mambi_Watch said...

Then why did you say its a "counter-balance to US omnipotence"?

If its a "meaningless organization" then how is it supposed to be a counter-balance to anything? Your argument is baffling.

The UN only gets its power throught the cooperation of nations, based on the the outlined principles that unite those members. To say the UN sucks, is to say that international cooperation sucks.

Yet, there are specific reasons why certain nations don't see eye to eye. (Lack of cooperation, in my opinion has led to those world failures you mentioned)

It's really not that complicated.

In the case of the EU and the US, concerning Cuba, both parties aren't seeing eye to eye. This only means that both sides need to be pragmatic and find compromise. The sooner the better.

El Gusano said...

the un is a powerless anti-american debating society. useless. it exists because its harmless. they dont accomplish anything other than critisize the US and Israel, hell thats why we have a free press. it exists as a pleasure to the US, which uses it when convinient. the day the us stops funding it , it goes away. the US can act unilaterally if it serves its national interests. if the US doesn't want to deal with an illegitimate dictator it doesnt have to.

neither the US' approach to castro or the EU will ever worl because fidel never wanted change.he doesn't care about cubans.

now how about them dolphins?