Monday, April 30, 2012
The Rhetoric on the Cuban Embargo is Loaded with Subterfuge
By Jerry Brewer
U.S. government and certain close allies' transparency on internal Cuban
political issues are by no means totally and currently possible. This at
a time when even Pope Benedict XVI's timing in visiting the oppressed
Cuban island seemed to coincide with the approach of the Sixth Summit of
the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia last month.
With the Summit's advertised central theme labeled "Connecting the
Americas," the 33 inter-American governments convened to discuss a
planned myriad of topics. One issue was to be the denial and continued
exclusion of Cuba from Organization of American States (OAS) sponsored
meetings, "including the previous five Summits of the Americas."
The "Connecting the Americas" bridge was apparently sabotaged in
majority unison against the U.S. and Canada, who continue to staunchly
oppose Cuba's participation in OAS activities, and continue to support
and maintain the U.S. embargo against Cuba.
In January 2004, then Illinois state senator Barack Obama echoed his
support for ending the US embargo against Cuba, while stating the
necessity that other countries "... provide sustenance for their people,
human rights for their people, [and] a basic structure of government for
their people that is stable and secure...."
As President Obama assimilated into public office, he was then privy to
U.S. and ally covert intelligence that undoubtedly became a thought
sobering game changer for him.
At the Cartagena Summit, and boldly facing the large number of Latin
American constituents, Obama stated that Cuban authorities have "shown
no interest in changing their relationship with the United States, nor
any willingness to respect the democratic and human rights of the Cuban
One clear case in point was the most recent arrests and detentions of
the "Ladies in White." In fact, over the last month, they as well as
their supporters have "repeatedly faced arbitrary arrest and physical
attacks as they staged protests in several towns in the region." The
recent detentions were near Santiago de Cuba, where the women were due
to "march silently and pray for the end of political imprisonment,"
according to Amnesty International.
After being confronted by police, officials and government supporters,
the women attempted to leave. "Police pushed them and pulled their hair
before forcing them into buses. They were driven a few kilometers away
where they were transferred to police cars and dropped near their
Regarding the Pope, he may not have been in a position to witness these
kinds of actions as he called for an end to the embargo. But the Pope
did urge Cuba to "make deeper changes."
Vocal leftist anti-U.S. leaders throughout Latin America have a history
of using the Summit of the Americas events to attempt to bring ridicule
and humiliation to the U.S. presidency and government. Venezuela's Hugo
Chavez leads the list fomenting street riots in Mar de Plata Argentina
at the 4th Summit in 2005. His venomous and expletive laced tirades
against the U.S. included the insulting of then President Vicente Fox of
Mexico and his good relationship with the U.S.
Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa stepped up this year to
boycott the Summit in protest of Cuba not being invited to attend, as
did Nicaragua's leftist leader Daniel Ortega. Correa, who has been
accused of complicity with FARC guerrillas as well as narcotraffickers,
recently announced his intentions to crack down on them. However, his
brother Fabricio Correa, who previously announced his preparations to
run against his brother, said in an interview that his brother's
performance "has been harmful to the country, and Ecuador is today prey
to corruption, loss of freedoms and democratic institutions, and an
increase in crime and drug trafficking."
What exactly is the rationale of a Latin America consensus in support of
Cuba regarding the embargo by the U.S.? Albeit with leftist boisterous
dictatorial intimidation, and generous gifts and offers of support and oil.
Cuba can in fact purchase medicine and food from the U.S. Cuba can buy
and sell from most countries other than the U.S. A case can be made
that cheaper goods could be purchased from those other countries. A
shortage of consumer goods in Cuba can be significantly attributed to
Castro's "priorities in military spending, support for his international
causes," and strong covert intelligence services in Mexico and Venezuela.
Cuba's state-dominated economy has been "unproductive, inefficient, and
riddled with mismanagement and corruption," political commentator Val
Prieto told CubanAmericanPundits.com in 2006. As well, a strong case is
made that Cuba's failed economy, and the intense suffering of the
oppressed Cuban people, is not the result of the U.S. embargo "but of a
failed economy dominated by Castro and his military elite for over 47
Castro's hatred for the U.S. has never waned. His support of terror and
revolutionary anti-U.S. groups throughout the world, as well as his
unwillingness to change those practices, is clearly demonstrated by his
closest allies today that include Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, and Russia.
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a
global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His
website is located at http://www.cjiausa.org/.