Daylife/Getty Images used by permission
Unprecedented Latin American opposition to sanctions on communist Cuba put more pressure on President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas on Sunday and threatened to further weaken U.S. influence in the region…
For the first time, conservative U.S-allied nations like Colombia are throwing their weight behind the traditional demand of leftist governments that Cuba be in the next meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS)…
“The isolation, the embargo, the indifference, looking the other way, have been ineffective,” summit host and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said of the Cuba issue…A major U.S. ally in the region who has relied on Washington for financial and military help to fight guerrillas and drug traffickers, Santos has become vocal over Cuba despite his strong ideological differences with Havana…
Havana was kicked out of the OAS a few years after Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, and has been excluded from its summits due to opposition from the United States and Canada. Latin Americans also oppose Washington’s trade embargo on the island.
“There will be no final declaration of the summit because the United States vetoed the articles about Cuba, a veto that Canada joined,” said Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman. “In consequence, there was no consensus…”
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa boycotted the meeting over Cuba, and fellow leftist Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua also stayed at home. The leftist ALBA bloc of nations – including Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and some Caribbean nations – said they will not attend future summits without Cuba’s presence.
“It’s not a favor anyone would be doing to Cuba. It’s a right they’ve had taken away from them,” Ortega said from Managua. “At this meeting in Cartagena, I think it’s time for the U.S. government, all President Obama’s advisors, to listen to all the Latin American nations.”
Though there were widespread hopes for a rapprochement with Cuba under Obama when he took office, Washington has done little beyond ease some travel restrictions…blah, blah, blah.
“Sometimes I feel as if in some of these discussions, or at least the press reports, we’re caught in a time warp, going back to the 1950s and gunboat diplomacy and Yankees and the Cold War, and this and that and the other,” the 50-year-old Obama said…
Than why is he dedicated to maintaining every one of those Cold War leftovers?
Regional economic powerhouse Brazil has led criticism at the summit of U.S. and other rich nations’ expansionist monetary policy that is sending a flood of funds into developing nations, forcing up local currencies and hurting competitiveness.
She called it a “monetary tsunami” that Latin American nations had the right to defend themselves from.
Once again, the hypocrisy of American policies turns loose a flock of chickens coming home to roost.
On the world stage, this weekend, Obama can share the wealth of backwardness a bit with Harper’s personal drive to replace Britain as the 51st state of American foreign policy with Canada. That’s no surprise.
But, Barack Obama’s pleas for understanding are a sham. He’s not countered backwards Cold War foreign policy with practices that differed a jot from chickenhawks like Reagan and Bush One, Clinton and Bush the Lesser. The speeches may have been different. But, practice, implementation offered no change in Iraq and Afghanistan, Central and South America, Asia and Europe.
For Democrats, challenging the Republican Party on American foreign policy is like challenging the NRA on citizens’ right to be safe from murdered by our avalanche of guns. It requires backbone, courageous men and women the Democrats just don’t have in significant numbers.