HAVANA TIMES, June 2 — Socialism has no chance of becoming an economically viable system, assert many from the United States, though this makes it difficult to understand why they put so much effort and resources into boycotting the Cuban economy.
Now they’ve begun a campaign to put pressure on the Spanish oil company Repsol. Some members of congress are proposing that if the company extracts crude in Cuban waters, it should be sanctioned by prohibiting the company from undertaking work in the US.
The more subtle detractors put on the ecological vest, arguing of the dangers posed to the environment by the extraction of oil in Cuban waters. They raise the fears of an accident that could end up a catastrophe.
They act as if they don’t know that the spill already produced was from the American side. In fact, the other countries of the region are the ones that should fear the weak control that Washington exercises over oil companies.
It seems they are attempting to block Cuban economic development by any means possible. Their own embargo against the island forced Cuba to manufacture a special platform in which less than 10 percent of its parts are American.
It cost huge amounts and has taken more time to prepare, but soon Respol will be entering the waters of the Caribbean. It seems evident that if so much was invested in the platform, it’s because Cuba and its partners are quite sure of what they’ll find.
This information is interesting for those who maintain that the embargo doesn’t affect Cuba, and I say Cuba because that restriction not only impacts the economy, it also injures the general population, the same people that say they defend communism.
More of the same
Cuban public health authorities recently accused Washington of continuing to place obstacles in the way of Abbot Laboratories to keep it from selling them Sevofluran, an inhalation agent that is the best general anesthesia for children.
Not long ago, a less diplomatic action by the White House was noted in its policy toward Cuba. It seems that this reached the point of their freezing four million dollars sent by the United Nation’s World Fund for the fight against AIDS and tuberculosis on the island.
Clearly the US is not alone in this whole effort, other democratic nations support it. It’s to the stage that politicians from those countries accept American diplomats writing their speeches against Havana.
Wikileaks returned to the attack by revealing a secret cable from the US embassy in Costa Rica where it reported to the State Department that it gave deputies from that country the points that had to appear in its condemnations of the island.
In their own defense, the American diplomats argued that they guided the Central Americans so that they would demand the democratization of Cuba, respect for human rights and also so that they would praise the work of some dissident journalists and the Ladies in White.
The six politicians deny having received those instructions, yet they are unable to explain how it was possible that — two days before the debate — the US embassy knew who was going to speak and what points they would include in their criticism of Havana.
The argument that the embargo is a bilateral issue between Cuba and the US flounders so much that not even the best speaker can save it. But amid all the sticks there are also some interesting carrots.
New openings, new contradictions
Important sectors for the island are beginning to open up, like the authorization of Western Union to exchange remittance dollars for pesos with the Cuban government, and its slight relaxation of its policy on travel by Americans to Cuba.
After Alan Gross’s capture we said that his release would bring gifts for Cuba. US diplomats in Havana have denied any negotiation yet they don’t explain the reasons for concessions by the White House.
Be it for whatever reason, what’s certain is that American policies have never been so contradictory. Some exiles seem to have grown impatient and are beginning to look to other homes in the search for more coherent adoptive parents.
They have now created a group in Facebook where they propose their intent to become a colony of Spain. Without being absolutist, I think this is the first case of re-colonization in the world; what’s more, it’s being requested by those who were colonized, something completely original.
These advocates say that sooner or later Cuba will have to make decisions about its future, and they’re proposing the reincorporation of Cuba to Spain as an autonomous community, with all the rights and guarantees.
The idea of being members of the European Union is attractive though I doubt that others will support them. They have before them the arduous task of convincing many of my neighbors who, revolutionary or not, are proud to be Cuban.
Besides, I would also make a tactical delay by waiting for the end of the economic crisis that is bleeding Spain dry. They wouldn’t want to return to the native mother’s arms and wind up worse off, like those of Catalonia Square, beaten with clubs for demanding work or a roof.
An authorized translation by Havana Times (from the Spanish original) published by BBC Mundo.