Is the Sovereignty of the Cuban People Negotiable?

By Pedro Campos

The barber.

HAVANA TIMES — I want to revisit an issue I’ve dealt with in a number of my articles dealing with Cuban reality: popular sovereignty.

The island’s military regime adopts a reproachable stance that tramples on the sovereignty of the Cuban people by sitting at the negotiations table with the United States to debate human rights and democracy issues on the island. Such a debate should be freely and horizontally discussed by the people of Cuba and the results of this debate should be approved through a free, democratic and popular referendum.

However, those who wield power in the country, a country marked by glorious struggles for freedom, refuse to debate with the traditional opposition and the democratic Left. Debating these issues with the “enemy” is ok, doing so with the Cuban people isn’t – this appears to be the government’s slogan.

The attitude assumed by opposition groups in Cuba and abroad, who support maintaining the blockade-embargo and oppose Obama’s rapprochement with Cuba (because, according to them, the policy of blockade and pressure will make Cuba respect human rights and democracy, in the erroneous belief that the Castro government will be stifled by such measures), is equally reproachable and in violation of the sovereignty of Cubans.

This attitude recalls the philosophy behind the Reconcentration of Spanish general Valeriano Weyler, violent measures that were fiercely rejected by the people and Congress of the United States, to such an extent that some historians believe it was one of the main reasons behind the solidarity movement that led to the United States’ participation in the Spanish-Cuban war of 1898.

The Carlos III Havana shopping center.

What these two options at either end of Cuba’s political spectrum have in common is the fact they flagrantly encroach upon Cuba’s national sovereignty. The two make the rights of the Cuban people depend on the stances and actions of a foreign government, and one which has intervened in the affairs of the country more than once. They both want to negotiate with the sovereignty of the Cuban people.

Don’t they know that the sovereignty of the Cuban people is not negotiable?

Two wars of independence weren’t fought in the 19th century and two bloody revolutions were carried out in the 20th (the revolutions of 1930 and 1959) just so we could end up negotiating our sovereignty with the United States. I want to make clear that I am not among those who deny the contributions made to Cuba by the people of the United States, which, to be sure, have not been fairly treated in our prejudiced history, characterized by both anti-imperialism and anti-Americanism.

Ultimately, I don’t know which of the two positions is more dependent on the empire, which of the two is more deeply connected to the Platt Amendment.


If those in government aspire to discuss these issues with the United States and not with the Cuban people, they evidently seek to remain in power and bring about a romance between State monopoly capitalism, dressed up as socialism, and US capitalism. This would pretty much guarantee the virtual economic and geopolitical annexation of Cuba by the great northern neighbor, by the same people who dish out so much anti-imperialist rhetoric in their speeches.

If for certain historical reasons those who came to govern this country were those that, from the US Congress, want to entrust the empire with the task of changing the situation in Cuba and make human rights and democracy effective on the island, then what appears to be guaranteed is the real annexation of the country by the United States.

The Toke Toke private restaurant on Infanta and 25th Streets.

The irony would be that “irreconcilable enemies” who are always asking for each other’s heads, both within the Cuban government and US Congress, in their own style and manner and on the basis of their own particular interests, would be acting like two mules working in tandem to haul Cuba down the same annexationist path.

In short, we are surrounded, and not precisely by water.

That is why it is so important to break out of this situation, and it seems that the only way to do this is for the nation to make headway towards democratization, in a process that will allow citizens to decide for themselves, together, about the most important issues, such that neither the group of military officers that seeks all answers to our current problems in an alliance with US capitalism, nor the groups of Cuban-Americans and their allies on the island, who want to entrust Cuba’s future to the United States, can continue to hold our fate in their hands.

32 thoughts on “Is the Sovereignty of the Cuban People Negotiable?

  • July 15, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Time for you to move to Cuba where you will be free from all the impositions that the USA imposes upon you.
    You asked me a question about where I get my information and I responded.
    You in response say that “You passion against Cuba is beyond someone who is committed to positive change.” How you could reach such a conclusion from my response is frankly beyond me.
    I love Cuba as a country and have a deep admiration for its people who for 56 years have displayed courage and fortitude under a despotic regime.
    Do not make the mistake of the innocent Nidal and confuse the Castro family regime operating with the Communist Party of Cuba as a tool with the people of Cuba.
    If and only if, you care for the people of Cuba, then support the concept of freedom for them. Support Cuba, not the regime for they are not synonymous.
    If on the other hand you seek dictatorship and “Socialismo” apply at the newly opened Cuban Embassy in the US for permanent residence status and then citizenship. Don’t waste any more of your life in a country which you despise and constantly denigrate – just accept that you made a mistake in moving there and that the US similarly made a mistake in accepting you.

  • July 14, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I need to freshen up my history when it comes to this subject . Correct me if I’m wrong , I believe Russians where already in Iran , at least in the World War 2 . And they were asked to leave which they did .
    This argument american or the Russians is being played all over the place , the latest I hared is that the Americans use off the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima was to stop the Russians from moving in the north of Japan , and prevent Japan from been split between the communist and capitalist.
    If and maybe , happened to be something that no one can guess on , all what we can go by are examples of history between the Russians and the American .
    American history was all about profiteering ,rich natural resources is all what the US was looking for , strategically placed for there interest .
    Russians on the other hand, had an ideological point of view , they were trying to impose on everybody else ,
    In a strange way I would say it’s draw , humanity could have been better without either of them .
    What I have been studying and going over is the point of view that suggests the following , idea that communist and the capitalist where living by are more or less the creation of the same forces , after all both systems where influence by free missionaries.
    Which is a long complicated story for a different day ,
    Simple answer to your questions is No
    Meddling in other countries business always ended up disastrously .
    That’s better off if we leave others to solve their own problems , and help only if we were asked to do so .

  • July 14, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Ah yes, …the Rothschilds run the world. Got it. I was wondering when the Jew hate was going to pop up.

    PS: Israel didn’t invade your country. There has never, in the long history of the world, been a country called Palestine. Your people never thought to make a country there until after the modern State of Israel was founded. Even then, you rejected the country offered to you by the UN in 1947.

  • July 14, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Nidal, the Shah was a ruthless bastard, no argument about that. But how do you think Iran would have faired had the country fallen to the Russians instead of to the Americans? During Mosaddegh’s era, there were Soviet troops in northern Iran and KGB spies throughout the country. Iran was a pawn in the Cold War, fought over by two great powers. If not the CIA and the Shah, Iran would have gone the way of Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of that country. Take your pick. And yet, as bad as the Shah was, life in Iran is far worse now under the Ayatollahs.

  • July 14, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Walmart wants to have their cheap crap made in Cuba to sell in the US. The Castro regime is eager to sell the slave labour of the Cuban workers to the US & European corporations.

    That’s one heck of a way to run a Revolution, Raul.

  • July 14, 2015 at 7:02 am

    You passion against Cuba is beyond someone who is committed to positive change ,
    Yes they do have low income , at the same time they have free medicines free education ,and a peace and security , you can’t have your pie and eat it I wish we have some of the stuff they have .
    United States is nothing more than a rat race , so you think you own your own house , don’t pay the tax and see what happen ? see how long before they put you in the street ?
    So what good is it if you make a whole lot of money in which most of it will go over to the banks , doctors and lawyers, and you end up in the same hole in the end of the year ,you may end up deeper every year .
    Human dignity and the quality of life with matters , if there providing that I don’t really care what kind of government rule over the country .

  • July 13, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Your ramblings make response difficult, but it is self evident that you are getting your information from the Internet and YouTube.
    I get my information about Cuba in Cuba where I live for most of the year with my Cuban wife. I am related to well over 60 Cubans, I do the shopping conversing daily with Cubans having various occupations. My wife holds a responsible position in education. I have friends in various positions and professions including medicine, veterinary science, teaching and music.
    For long periods I am unable to contribute to these columns because I Cuba we are unable to access the Internet. Our home is in a city a considerable distance away from Havana and where there are no hotels or casa particulars, but a few paladars.
    You should understand Nidal that the average working Cuban receives considerably less than $1 per day. Many are unable to afford a bicycle. A 200 gm loaf of bread costs the equivalent of 20 cents (5 Pesos). The old age pension is $8 – per month.
    Having read this I hope you now understand the sources of my information and accept the veracity of it!

  • July 13, 2015 at 5:30 pm


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