Worlddesk

June 5, 2009
OAS lifts ban on Cuba after compromise with U.S.

The Organization of American States has voted to rescind the ban on Cuba’s membership. Photo: OAS

The Organization of American States has voted to rescind the ban on Cuba’s membership in the largely U.S.-financed, Washington-based assemblage, but don’t stop the presses (or click the send button) on that one. Nothing has happened — not quite, not yet.

The decision was a perfect compromise at the end of an OAS meeting in San Pedro Sula, Honduras this week. The definition of a perfect compromise? Neither side is particularly happy.

Thirty-three of the 34 members of the OAS want to bring Cuba in from the political wilderness and have diplomatic relations with Cuba. But the United States pays for 60 percent of the OAS budget, and OAS headquarters is an august building about a block and a half from the White House. Attention must be paid.

Opponents of the Cuban government in Washington immediately called for a re-examination of providing $47 million toward the OAS budget for the next fiscal year.

The compromise vote to end the Cuba ban came after the United States managed to get a little codicil added to the declaration, in diplomatic speak:

The participation of Cuba in the OAS will be the result of a process of dialogue to be initiated at the request of the Government of Cuba and in compliance with the practices, goals and principles of the OAS.

Apparently, Cuba can only rejoin the OAS if it meets democratic and human rights guidelines, part of the OAS charter. In any case, Cuba hailed the OAS decision as historic, but said it isn’t interested in rejoining, for now.

Nevertheless, the reaction from Havana was triumphant. This was the online headline of Granma, the official organ of the Cuban Communist Party:

Fidel and the Cuban people have been absolved by history

The case is left in President Obama’s very full court. U.S. policy, despite some changes in recent months, is pretty much where it was before George W. Bush took office. Opponents of Cuba in Congress will make lots of noise if the Obama administration moves quickly to end the 47-year U.S. trade embargo on Cuba.

Here’s what William Leogrande, Dean of the American University School of Public Affairs, said, quoted by the Miami Herald:

It was a ”perfect compromise” — with both the United States and its ”antagonists,” chiefly the leftist governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua — declaring victory.

[...] if the United States had failed to accept a compromise it would have left “with a resolution that made no mention of any underlying principles and with the creation of deep animosity toward the U.S.’”

- Peter Eisner

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Comments

6 comments

#6

[...] World Focus - link to original article [...]

#5

no cant do… without central and south america, united states is NOTHING… usa needs to colonize, steal, impound and police things around the world… too bad all american countries are learning history and repealing the USA from their lands and their affairs… yankees go home, and take your dollars with you… free puerto rico, get out of cuba, get out of panama… noone colonizes you, leave america alone

#4

[...] World Focus, BBC (here), (and here),  and El País.   OAS member nations have voted to list the suspension [...]

#3

Any movement to unify is a good move. OAS is good. OUS is better (Organization of Universe States). Seriouly, the USA actions against Cuba are not justified. We are just bad losers after the Bay of Pigs. We do not care about humanity, we care about our pride. Example, read posts #1 & #2. Those who care about the people do not make mistakes like Cuba, Iraq and Vietnam.

#2

Defund the OAS

Introduced by U.S. Reps. Connie Mack (R-FL) and Albio Sires (D-NJ):

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

A BILL

unless the President certifies that Cuba has satisfied certain conditions, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:

(1) Cuba is currently excluded from participation in the Inter-American system, as adopted by Resolution VI during the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 1962.

(2) According to section 105 of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–114), ”[t]he President should instruct the United States Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose ending the suspension of the Government of Cuba from the Organization until the President determines under section 203(c)(3) that a democratically elected government in Cuba is in power.”

(3) The Inter-American Democratic Charter states that ”the peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it.”

(4) According to the most recent Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, citizens in Cuba do not have the right to change their government, and the regime retaliated against those individuals who sought peaceful political change.

(5) The Report continues that hundreds of political prisoners are currently being held, including ”peaceful activists, journalists, union organizers, and opposition figures. . .” and that ”mistreatment of political prisoners and detainees was widespread[and] [b]eatings were not uncommon.”

(6) The Report further indicates that elections in Cuba are ”neither free nor fair.”

SEC. 2. CERTIFICATION REGARDING CUBA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE OAS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—If the Government of Cuba is allowed full membership or participation in the Organization of American States (OAS), for each fiscal year beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act until the President transmits to Congress a certification that the requirements described in subsection (b) have been satisfied, the Secretary of State shall, with respect to each such fiscal year, withhold assessed and voluntary contributions to the Organization of American States.

(b) CERTIFICATION.—The certification referred to in subsection (a) is a certification made by the President to Congress that there is a government in Cuba that—

(1) has legalized all political activity and political parties;
(2) has released all political prisoners;
(3) has dissolved the present Department of State Security in the Cuban Ministry of the Interior;
(4) has made public commitments to organizing free and fair elections for a new government;
(5) has complied with the Inter-American Democratic Charter;
(6) has ceased any interference with Radio Marti or Television Marti broadcasts;
(7) has made public commitments to and is making demonstrable progress in—

(A) establishing an independent judiciary;
(B) respecting internationally recognized human rights and basic freedoms as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and
(C) allowing the establishment of independent trade unions, and allowing the establishment of independent social, economic, and political associations;

(8) does not include Fidel Castro or Raul Castro;
(9) has given adequate assurances that it will allow the speedy and efficient distribution of assistance to the Cuban people; and
(10) has complied with other applicable provisions of section

#1

The OAS is going from being a social club, to being a house of ill repute

The OAS foreign ministers meeting in Honduras have decided to reverse a 1962 resolution that expelled the Castro regime.

The OAS has always been worthless.

It is a social club where parasites like Evo Morales and drunk child molesters like Daniel Ortega, gather every so often to insult the United States and praise the Castro brothers, in exchange for money from Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

The worst part is that the United States pays about 60% of the OAS’ budget, since most other countries are always behind on their dues.

If the Castro brothers join the OAS, it will go from being a social club to a brothel.

As Sen. Bob Menendez suggested, lets close it and use the money for something more useful.

Peter Eisner is an editorial consultant with Worldfocus and a 30-year veteran of international news. He has been an editor and foreign correspondent at The Washington Post, Newsday and The Associated Press. He co-authored “The Italian Letter,” which details fraudulent intelligence leading up to the Iraq War. He was founder and president of Newscom, an international online news service, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

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