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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Finally you have hit upon the perfect quotation to describe your comments.

    Pot meet kettle.

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