The “VII Summit of the Americas,” to be held April 10-11 in Panama City, Panama, is of particular interest since Latin American and Caribbean states firmly told the Organization of American States there would be no further summits where Cuba was excluded, forcing the U.S. to agree.
Although Cuba will attend, including Cuban President Raúl Castro, Prensa Latina reported, “Sources of the Cuban Foreign Ministry insisted over the last few days that attendance of their country to the Panama venue (April 10-11) is ‘dissociated’ from the projected final document titled Mandates for Action.” (April 4)
The OAS, which prepared the final document, also credentialled the four official parallel forums: social, youth, business and rectors of universities.
As projected by President Barack Obama in his Dec. 17 address, which opened discussions toward normalized diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, the official forums will showcase paid “human rights” agents.
“However, groupings such as the National Hostosian Independentist Movement of Puerto Rico, which works for the independence of that Caribbean island associated to the United States, and environmentalists, trade unionists and a wide variety of profiles did not receive OAS approval.
“The OAS gave credentials to figures from different Cuban and Venezuelan anti-government groupings financed by the United States and inserted by Washington and the OAS as part of the denominated civil society.
“There are about two dozen Cuban counterrevolutionaries (residents in Cuba and abroad and financed from abroad) authorized to participate in the social forum, and others are included in several U.S. nongovernmental organizations opposed to the Caribbean island.” (Prensa Latina, April 4)
While the diplomatic promoter of U.S. interests, the OAS and VII Summit get the headlines, Telesur reports a new, special U.S. force to be deployed to the Palmerola base in Honduras. The 250-person combat unit is “designed to intervene in critical situations.” Three thousand U.S. Marines are scheduled for September joint operations in Peru. (April 1)
The secretary general for the Union of South American Nations proposed that the summit should call for the removal of all U.S. bases from Latin America. Telesur reported March 31 that “[Secretary-General Ernesto] Samper believes the attention on Cuba-U.S. relations should not overshadow issues such as the U.S. base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and U.S. militarization of the region.” (tinyurl.com/llj65u8)
The OAS — headquartered in Washington, D.C. — was formed in 1948 to extend U.S. pro-capitalist Cold War hegemony over Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1962, the U.S. excluded Cuba’s revolutionary government, although maintaining Cuba as a member state.
Prensa Latina reported April 4: “Regarding the celebration of the summit, the Cuban President made it clear his country will not ever return to the OAS, considered by Havana as a ministry of colonies under the orders of the United States.” (tinyurl.com/kx9z2o5)
A “Summit of the Peoples” will adopt declarations against U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and the continuing U.S. blockade of Cuba, “among other topics affecting the underdeveloped America, like poverty and the rising power of the progressive forces.” Attending will be 2,000 social movement delegates, including Bolivian President Evo Morales and representatives from the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America. The attendees will be treated to a concert by Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez. (Prensa Latina, April 5)
U.S. radio collaboration looks at Summit
The National Network on Cuba and the Pan African radio network are collaborating in a weeklong series of online and over the air broadcasts discussing the Summit of the Americas. A resource page is under construction at NNOC.info. Additional programs are welcome. Source material is appreciated. Contact: [email protected]