Miguel Díaz-Canel y Joe Biden

Cuba and the Ninth Summit of the Americas

MIAMI, United States. — The Ninth Summit of the Americas will be in Los Angeles starting on the 6th, but the 8th is when the leaders will arrive. AMLO has been unleashed and transformed into the Patron Saint of dictatorships: Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. He has threatened not to go to the California meeting if the three dictatorships are not invited. (Since ‘Andrés López’ seems vulgar to him, he uses them all, to the despair of his American neighbors: Andrés Manuel López Obrador).

We must remind him that the first letter, from Clinton in 1994, clearly stated that “these are meetings of democratically elected Heads of State.” Or, at least, belonging to the OAS, and in none of the three cases have they remained within the organization.

In the Fifth, in Trinidad and Tobago, they harassed the inexperienced President Barack Obama with the issue of the embargo on Cuba. He believed that the end of the embargo was a popular cry. He was April 2009. He had started his first term on January 20th. In 2014, relations between the two countries had resumed. But at the Seventh Summit, in Varela’s Panama, in 2015, Raúl Castro had appeared and they finalized the details for an Obama visit to Havana.

The visit took place in March 2016. Very close to the end of his mandate. Obama gave a sensational speech in which he said many things that Cubans longed to hear. Raúl Castro almost accused him of trying to overthrow him and of having “hidden intentions.” From that moment Obama, however, became an idol of Cubans on the island, but someone very confused and naive in exile.

That dichotomy is still observed today. Cubans on the island love Joe Biden, but outside of Cuba, in large numbers, they love Donald Trump. Cubans on the island associate the Democrats with a period of hope and relief from economic misery, and they don’t care if the ultimate goal is to overthrow the tyranny. Simultaneously, Cubans outside the Island abhor any concession to the Díaz-Canel government, without stopping to think that it will lead to the end of the dictatorship.

the first summit

I remember the First Summit of the Americas. It was in 1994. I was invited by Luis Lauredo, then ambassador to the OAS for the government of Bill Clinton. There was the purpose of dealing with regional issues within that institution. Cuba was a “regional issue”, and Ambassador Lauredo, with a reputation for being very competent, had the mission of monitoring the movements of what was already called “Socialism of the 21st Century”.

His role went very well with something I heard him say to a person who knew the intricacies of the Democratic Party in relation to Cuba. In the eighties, Bill Clinton had lost the governorship of Arkansas for compromising his government with the arrival of 125,000 Cubans through the port of Mariel. After the three minutes assigned to Cuba in the command transmission, the only comment Bill Clinton made was: “I don’t want to be surprised again. I hope the CIA knows what is happening on that Island.”

germ warfare

I knew it. “The Cubans” were preparing a complicated plan to make the US services believe that they already had bacteriological warfare ready to face a hypothetical invasion. It was the poor man’s atomic bomb. Fidel, placed at the center of the universe by his own personality, could not believe that the least attractive thing for Bill Clinton was to land the Marines in Cuba.

I thought that this inexperienced “gringuito”, who had gotten fewer votes than Michael Dukakis, and who was in the Oval Office thanks to the unexpected candidacy of Ross Perot, could not resist the old hypothesis of the “ripe fruit”, a kind of conspiracy theory from the 19th century, by which Cuba’s destiny was to be part of the American nation. Something that Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States (1801-1809), could believe in, but not Bill Clinton, the first president of the USA, after 1945, who had not participated in World War II, and had not even touched the Cold War.

I came from a trip to the chancelleries of Eastern Europe, including Russia. They all saw – some more and others less – an opportunity to liquidate Cuban Stalinism, but they invariably asked me: “To what extent is the United States willing to commit itself?”

I took advantage of the visit to Miami to confirm what I already sensed: the United States did not want to take advantage of the manifest weakness of the Cuban government in those hazardous years to hasten the end of Castro’s nonsense. The thesis of Republicans and Democrats was that the Island did not present a danger to the United States, and it was much more beneficial to see the bulls from the sidelines than to rush to liquidate them. After all, the regime was completely “rotten”, and had no capacity (they believed) to do harm.

“And time passed and an eagle flew over the sea”, (Martí dixit).

We are in the Ninth Summit. There are already two Latin American dictatorships under Cuba’s orders: Venezuela and Nicaragua. Collectivist Marxism has disappeared from the face of the earth. In China in 1976, after Mao’s death, an accelerated return to private ownership began. But the most important event occurred in the USSR. After its implosion, in 1991, privatization towards “crony capitalism” began. Very soon it drifted towards the elites close to Putin, the so-called “oligarchs”.

In those years, Fidel Castro designed a hybrid compromise between Marxism and tyrannies: the State Military Capitalism. The CME did not leave investors’ hands or imaginations free. Either they conformed to the previous development plans drawn up by the military, or they achieved nothing, thereby amputating the most productive feature of the free economy.

OPINION ARTICLE
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