Carter Wants Serious Dialogue with Cuba

James Carter in Havana with Cardinal Jaime Ortega in March 2011.

HAVANA TIMES — Former US President Jimmy Carter said today that his country and Cuba could achieve a more “sincere” dialogue if, among other things, Washington takes the island off its annual list of state sponsors of terrorism, reported DPA news.

Carter spoke at the annual meeting of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Dialogue Center in Washington.

He noted that the role of Havana as “guarantor” of the upcoming peace process between the FARC guerillas and the Colombian government dismantles any argument about the need to continue to include the island on the blacklist of the US State Department.

Carter recalled that “the main reason” given by the administration for keeping Cuba on the blacklist is “because the FARC have offices in Cuba,” highlighted DPA.

“But the last time I was in Havana (April 2011), the ambassadors of Colombia and Spain told me to have them [the FARC] there offers an opportunity for dialogue,” he said and pointed specifically to the role of Cuba in the upcoming peace talks announced by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

The former Democratic president (1977-1981) stressed that improving relations between the US and Cuba “requires courage on both sides,” but warned that the economic embargo and other US sanctions are not helping to create a climate of trust, let alone, to advance the democratic interests of Washington on the island.

“All of us should continue to press the Cuban government to respect human rights and political openness, but the embargo undermines any credibility that my country has when calling for improvements in Cuba,” said Carter.

 


11 thoughts on “Carter Wants Serious Dialogue with Cuba

  • September 14, 2012 at 7:28 am
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    The embargo/blockade should be dropped unilaterally since at least some aspects of it contravene international law which take precedence over national. The extraterritorial sanctions clearly contravene trading laws and the denying of basic food and medicines to the cuban people contravenes the declaration of human rights. It is also arguable that restricting the rights of ordinary Americans to travel to Cuba also contravenes this.

    It is also undemocratic since one of the stipulations for lifting the embargo is that Cuba moves to a ‘market economy’. This is a blatent inteference in Cuban internal affairs.

  • September 11, 2012 at 7:51 am
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    If you care to read this article, (written by an American lawyer who is strongly opposed to the embargo) you will see the point of what Moses is saying: lifting the embargo involves a complex legal and legislative process. This is because the embargo was imposed and then modified through several pieces of legislation over the past 5 decades. All these separate laws will have to be altered. Whether one is for or against the embargo, lifting it is not a simple matter.

    “LIFTING THE CUBAN EMBARGO: THE NEW LABORS OF HERCULES?” by Matias F. Travieso-Diaz

    http://www.ascecuba.org/publications/proceedings/volume19/pdfs/traviesodiaz.pdf

    Of course, there is one relatively straight forward way to lift the embargo: the Cuban government can meet the conditions of stipulated in the embargo laws and hold free and democratic elections. The Castros have consistently refused that option for he past 53 years.

    Cuba could also do something to reduce the economic isolation the Revolution imposed on itself in the 1960’s when Cuba left the IMF and the World Bank.

    “How the IMF and World Bank could save Cuba’s economy – defying the US embargo”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2011/1118/How-the-IMF-and-World-Bank-could-save-Cuba-s-economy-defying-the-US-embargo

    On a side note, I have no idea why Lawrence is convinced I’m not Canadian, and frankly I couldn’t care less what his opinion is. It must be a way of dismissing and ignoring facts, arguments and people he disagrees with.

  • September 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm
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    Finally you have hit upon the perfect quotation to describe your comments.

    Pot meet kettle.

  • September 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm
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    The Moses Franchise doesn’t understand why “it appears that [I} seem to trust Wikipedia.

    Whoa, Wikipedia is a peer-reviewed source, beyond repute, except in the Moses Franchise world it seems.

    By all means, access the link the Moses Franchise supplies. It is highly informative. The Moses Franchise counts on you not accessing it.

    Now the Franchise is claiming, despite what it previously wrote before I called it out, “the lifting of the embargo without conditions is desired by a majority of Americans”, but now claiming “it is not lawful.”

    And ‘Philadelphia lawyer’ claptrap follows. Please, save us from the US litigation industry. The rest of the world views it for what it is – bizarre. It’s the only way Americans see they can achieve justice it seems. The rest of the world has better, less litigious, confrontational ways of achieving same.

  • September 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm
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    ‘Whoa, ‘Susan’ is getting into LGBT territory. Good on, but the Moses Franchise and the pseudo-Canadian ‘Griffin’ are hardly anybody’s “crush” from my perspective. They may be Susan’s, unless Susan is their avatar where it starts to get really tricky, into territory of fucking yourself. I leave it to your imagination.

    As for why “the editor keeps posting [my] comments where [I] consistently evade the article at hand and launch into personal attacks on Moses or Griffin, only one comment has been turned down to date, and one has been edited.

    I assume I can’t repeat them here but suffice it to say, they were emotional responses, in blunt Anglo-Saxon terms about what both are doing. I function in the world of logic, but sometimes I feel emotions need to be expressed.

    The Moses Franchise, and ‘Griffin’s obvious US government-serving agenda, despite his claiming to be Canadian, are an assault on our intelligence. Under the circumstances, emotions serve a purpose. Be aware.

  • September 9, 2012 at 8:59 am
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    As it appears that you seem to trust Wikipedia, I refer you to: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargo_against_Cuba)

    Hopefully this will explain to you why, despite as you say, the lifting of the embargo without conditions is desired by a majority of Americans, it is not lawful. You see, the Cuban Democracy Act (the embargo) was codified into law in 1992 with the stated purpose of maintaining sanctions on Cuba so long as the Cuban government continues to refuse to move toward “democratization and greater respect for human rights. This includes freedom of the press. In order to lift the embargo, Congress must abide by it own law enacted in 1992 and strengthened in 1996 and 1999.

  • September 9, 2012 at 7:41 am
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    I don’t know why the editor keeps posting Lawrence W.’s comments where he consistantly evades the article at hand and launches into his personal attacks on Moses or Griffin. It gets very boring for the rest of us who want to read discussion on the topics of the articles. I sometimes wonder if Lawrence doesn’t have a crush on Moses or Griffen or both, since he can’t seem to get them out of his head. Talk about a broken record!

  • September 9, 2012 at 7:07 am
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    ‘Griffin’ never tires of pumping out the same old lines. Is he challenged for new material or what? Anyone remember this? :

    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.”

    Adolf Hiter, Mein Kampf, 1925

  • September 9, 2012 at 6:56 am
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    You seem to have forgotten, conveniently, that polls show Americans DO support ending the embargo NOW, with no stipulation of change.

    From Wikipedia:

    “In 2009, U.S. polling indicates that the American public is currently in favor of ending the embargo, (51% end vs. to 36% continue.) A 2008 USA Today/Gallup Poll. indicates that despite overwhelmingly unfavorable opinions of Fidel Castro (83% unfavorable vs 5% favorable), Americans believe that diplomatic relations “should” be re-established with Cuba. (61% in favor, 31% opposed). In January 2012, an Angus Reid Public Opinion poll showed 57% of Americans called for ending the travel ban that prevents most Americans from visiting Cuba.

    But you added the stipulation that they would “if Cuba made progress toward a more democratic society and a free press.” Shame on you for the disinformation. It seems ‘Moses’ cannot be trusted.

  • September 7, 2012 at 9:42 am
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    Moses,

    I’m sure politicians of either party would be relieved to be able to lift the last components of the embargo. But, as you wrote, “if Cuba made progress toward a more democratic society and a free press” …that’s a big “If”. It’s not a choice I can imagine Raul Castro would ever take. They have already ruled out any political reform to go along with the limited economic reforms they’ve introduced. Sadly, it seems Cuba will be stuck with the embargo for a while yet. Perhaps after the brothers are gone, the next generation of leaders will be free to make that change? Let’s hope so, but I have my doubts.

    I have to disagree with your assessment of Jimmy Carter as “the most intellectual President ever”. Thomas Jefferson stands head and shoulders above the rest. Clinton & Wilson were very smart, although not necessarily “intellectuals”.

    Carter may be guileless towards Cuba, but he is also gullible when a dictator flatters his moral vanity and tells him what he wants to hear.

  • September 7, 2012 at 8:40 am
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    President Carter is likely the most intellectual President ever to hold that office. He is also viewed as one of the most ineffective. His views on Cuba are fair and without guile. Unfortunately, regime supporters who use his remarks to promote their cause often fail to report the whole of his position. He has never wavered in his support for democracy for the Cuban people. Even his remarks yesterday began with the admonition that it will take courage on BOTH sides. I have no doubt that Americans would support ending the embargo if Cuba made progress toward a more democratic society and a free press.

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