Kerry Speaks Out on Cuba at OAS

Oldtimers. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES —If the government of Raul Castro does not undertake “a broader” political reform agenda Cuba is in danger of falling behind in the advances of this century, said US secretary of state, John Kerry in Washington on Monday, reported dpa news.

Kerry spoke just over a week after President Obama hinted that change should occur in the US policy regarding Cuba.

“If no more changes occur soon, it is clear that the twenty-first century will, unfortunately, leave the Cubans behind,” Kerry said at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), in his first major speech on Latin America since taking over as head of U.S. diplomacy earlier this year.

In a region like the Americas that has made much progress in democracy Cuba remains the “exception,” he noted.

Kerry stressed that Washington welcomes some of the recent changes introduced by the government in Havana, such as the removal of restrictions on travel or to create small businesses.

But such reforms “should not blind us to the reality of authoritative daily life for ordinary Cubans,” he said .

“In a hemisphere where citizens everywhere have the right to choose their leaders, Cubans are the only ones who do not. In a hemisphere where people can criticize their leaders without fear of being arrested or suffer violence, Cubans still can’t do so.

“We look forward to the day, and hopefully soon, when the Cuban government assumes a political agenda of broader reform that allows its citizens to freely determine their own future,” said Kerry. He asked for support from the region to demand these changes.

“We hope to show unity for this aspiration because in each country, including the United States, every day that we did not press for personal liberties and representative government, we risk taking a step backward, something none of us can accept,” he said.

28 thoughts on “Kerry Speaks Out on Cuba at OAS

  • November 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the tip, I searched for and found a Youtube video of the performance. Very interesting stuff. I’m sure you have read Leonardo Padura’s “Adios Hemingway” ? It’s a fun story, but not much new insight into Hemingway .

  • November 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Rummel’s figures include the people who were executed as well as those who died while escaping from Cuba over the subsequent years. He does not evaluate the executions as to whether or not the victims were innocent civilians or card carrying Batistianos with blood on their hands. Rummel’s focus is on what he called “Democide”, the killing of citizens by a government. His catalog of State murder includes all perpetrators and he takes no sides, neither a pro-Left nor Pro-Right, neither pro-capitialist nor pro-marxist.

    Amnesty International also called for Canadian authorities to arrest Bush when he visited Vancouver in 2011. Fortunately, our government was not so stupid as to engage in such a silly stunt.

  • November 25, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Since Chavez and especially under Maduro Venzuela has suffered a setback in its democracy. Elections are indeed no longer free and fair with a regime that controls all the media and represses the legitimate opposition even with armed gangs.
    Maduro, trained in Cuba, is a Castro-wannabee.

  • November 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    If you want there to be an alternative for Cubans to what currently exists in cuba, it is not a good idea to fight against the choices made by Venezuelan voters a few miles to the south.

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