Maggie Alarcón

Archive for the ‘OAS/OEA’ Category

Venezuela “almagrada”

In OAS/OEA, Politics, Venezuela on April 28, 2017 at 10:51 am

almagro

Por Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada

 

Según el Diccionario de la Lengua Española el vocablo “almagrar” equivale a “infamar” y en tiempos remotos aludía “entre rufianes y valentones” a “herir o lastimar de suerte que corra sangre.”

Es obvio que el actual Secretario General de la OEA, cabecilla de una institución de tan ingrata memoria en la historia continental, parece convencido de que es posible regresar al pasado y revivir los fueros perdidos. Guarda extraño apego al ya desusado sentido de su nombre. En su delirante empeño lo acompaña una banda de caínes dispuestos a hacer lo que ordene el Imperio que inventó la OEA y la ha empleado siempre como herramienta favorita. Un Imperio que, para colmo, está ahora en manos de la más descocada arrogancia.

Se valen de la colosal maquinaria para engañar y denigrar que se hace llamar “medios de comunicación” aunque no son otra cosa que instrumentos para mantener la dominación sobre nuestros pueblos.

Es así como silencian los desmanes que contra el pueblo cometen día y noche sus pandillas tarifadas al tiempo que calumnian y promueven el odio contra el gobierno del Presidente Nicolás Maduro, el obrero que fue elegido democráticamente por los venezolanos.

Hace más de medio siglo intentaron hacer lo mismo contra Cuba y fracasaron estrepitosamente.

Ahora serán derrotados otra vez. No podrán contra el noble pueblo de Bolívar y Chávez que resiste y lucha para salvar la obra revolucionaria que dio a millones, por primera vez, educación, salud, vivienda y empleo y rescató para siempre la dignidad nacional.

Pero ese pueblo sufre una agresión criminal que lo hiere y hace sangrar. Cruzarnos de brazos sería indecente. No vivimos en el Medioevo. América Latina y el Caribe tienen que rebelarse contra la infamia. Es la hora de “desalmagrar.”

Tomado de Por Esto!

“How long Great Pumpkin, how long?!” – Linus Van Pelt

In Alan Gross, Blockade, CAFE, Cuba/US, Cuban 5, Miami/Cuba, OAS/OEA, Politics, US on August 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Margarita Alarcón Perea

I remember a trip we took to Trinidad and Tobago when I was 9 years old when my mom gave me as a traveling companion my first copy of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery. At the time I of course didn’t fully comprehend the philosophical intensity of the “children’s” story but in time I grew to adore the book and give it as many readings as I could and still can.

The other great author I discovered later that same year was JD Salinger. I recall wondering in the cellar of the Cuban Mission to the United Nations, then located on 68th Street between Madison and 5th avenue in NYC, when I stumbled upon a red book with yellow lettering on the cover, The Catcher in the Rye. I was taken by the simplistic art work and I soon found myself head first in the book reading till I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Again, I was too young to fully comprehend what Salinger was talking about and again it is another book and author that has been my close companion.

Then came Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald and the entire “Lost Generation ” so eloquently qualified by Gertrude Stein. So much did I find a passion in the writers of the 1920’s and 1930’s that while at Havana University, I requested the English department allow me to introduce John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men into the 4th year curriculum.

Like most children I was not an alien to the lighter side of reading, and I too enjoyed the comics. Not all mind you. There was one in particular that grew on me to such an extent I am still identified by many when those who know me see any one of the characters. Of all the American authors there is one that has stayed with me in a lighter but no less intense philosophical nature, Charles M Schultz.  Back then it was the smiling and grinning while turning the pages. As I grew older and began to learn more through reading and life, re-reading Peanuts began to have a different  much more educational meaning. It was like “getting” Schultz all over again each time I read.

The media in the US has forgotten to read or at the very least to reproduce now and again sentences that should be read and re-read. For four years now, ever since becoming President of the United States, President Barack Obama has been receiving a message from President Raul Castro of Cuba: let’s sit down and talk. “We are willing to speak to the US on equal ground…”, “No topic is off the table…”, “Everything is up for negotiation…”, have been some of the phrases he has used ever since he first made the statement publicly to the press in Caracas in 2009 right before President Obama was off to his first trip abroad as president and reached Trinidad and Tobago for the OAS summit. At the moment Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was about to land in Santo Domingo, President Raul Castro was saying “we are willing to talk to the US on equal terms and everything is up for negotiation.”  The statement was so direct and new, when approached in the Dominican Republic by the press, Mrs. Clinton not only was aware in the air of what had happened, she had a comment: “this is very interesting, we will have to look into it.”  Raul said  it again this July 26th.  On my count he has said it publicly four times since 09. And the response from State or the White House? Nothing.

In the famous words of Charles M. Schultz : How long Great Pumpkin, how long?!

La Jornada Supports Asylum for Assange

In CELAC, Ecuador, Human Rights/Derechos Humanos, Julian Assange, OAS/OEA, Politics, Press, Rafael Correa, US, Wikileaks on June 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm

 

Press in front of the Embassy of Ecuador in the UK

 

 

By Tom Hayden

MEXICO CITY – The leading Mexican paper La Jornada is strongly supporting asylum for Julian Assange in Ecuador, in a sign of Latin American sentiment against his extradition to Sweden or the United States. The conflict is portrayed as one between the Old World and new democratic norms embraced by much of the world. “Ecuador will require the solidarity of honorable governments and societies like ours, which benefitted from the work of Assange and his team, and have obtained by way of their “leaks,” an invaluable tool for public scrutiny and social control of the authorities and world powers” a June 20 editorial declared.

Whatever response the Rafael Correa government gives Assange, the existence of a political refugee in contemporary Europe, the legal fury being directed against him by the authorities of two Old World countries, England and Sweden, and the silence of the Western powers in regard to this situation, demonstrates the hypocrisy and moral and political bankruptcy of governments that repeatedly claim to be champions of freedom, transparency, legality and respect for human rights”, the editorial went on.

“In this connection, it is worth mentioning that yesterday, while Assange was seeking political asylum at the Ecuador Embassy to avoid being extradited to Swedish territory, representatives of these powers attended the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, where there was confirmation of their inability to come up with proposals for resolving the social and economic devastation that confronts their populations, particularly in European countries.”

¡Me llevo el guante, el bate y la pelota!

In Blockade, CELAC, Cuba, Cuban Embargo, History, OAS/OEA, Politics, US on March 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm


Margarita Alarcón Perea

La OEA es una organización que data en sus orígenes desde antes de la creación de las Naciones Unidas poco después del fin de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Cuba es miembro fundador de ambas organizaciones multinacionales.

El objetivo fundamental de la ONU es el de salvaguardar a la humanidad de volver a hallarse en la situación propiciada con las dos guerras mundiales del pasado siglo. El objetivo de la OEA era el de aunar a las naciones de las Américas en una misma organización donde las naciones de la región podían discutir y llegar a acuerdos de colaboración dirigidos al avance de la seguridad y el desarrollo de la región.

Luego del triunfo de la revolución cubana en 1959, varias naciones miembro de la OEA apoyaron una propuesta presentada por los Estados Unidos de Norte América donde Cuba quedaba excluida de dicha organización. Bueno quizás no tanto así. Muchos de los votos fueron realmente abstenciones hechas por aquellas naciones que no querían poner en peligro su relación con los EEUU. Estas naciones fueron: Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, y Ecuador. México votó en contra de la exclusión de Cuba.

Cincuenta años más tarde, la OEA se encuentra en un aislamiento peligroso. En primer lugar debido a algo que hicieran los Estados Unidos de Norte América hace un poco más de 20 años cuando tomó partido con el Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña en el tema de la disputa con Argentina sobre las Islas Malvinas. Las Malvinas por cierto le pertenecen a la nación latino americana y el Reino Unido al otro lado del mundo pretende retener supremacía sobre ese territorio. Claro esto es comprensible ya que los británicos tienen esa mala costumbre de apoderarse de lo que no le pertenece y no soltar jamás. Los EEUU rompieron el protocolo hemisférico al tomar partido en contra de una nación de la región a la cual pertenece. Eran los años de la era de Reagan y pasaron tantas cosas durante ese tiempo que no vale la pena detenerme en esto ahora.

Hoy las cosas son distintas. Cuba ha sobrevivido bastante bien sin pertenecer a la OEA. El TLC ha demostrado que a pesar de los EEUU y Canadá simplemente no funciona para nadie, y mucho menos para las mujeres en Tijuana y los empleados de las decenas de fábricas que van cerrando en los EEUU. En el año 1994 en Miami (donde si no), los EEUU convocaron a todas las naciones de las Américas para que participaran en la primera Cumbre de las Américas donde pretendían presentar para su aprobación el plan económico para la región entera. ALCA. Acuerdo de Libre Comercio para las Américas nunca fue aprobado y de hecho aun está en el tintero, tanto que cuando se busca las siglas en ingles cuesta trabajo hallar el termino en Google. La falta de consenso ha sido tal que en las subsiguientes cumbres el ALCA sigue siendo solo siglas en el aire que no acaban de aterrizar en algo concreto. Otro dato de interés es que las cumbres de las Américas no ocurren de manera continua regular o periódica digamos que anualmente o bienal o quinquenal. Tienden a ser algo impredecible, algo que en materia de asuntos de estado no ofrece mucha seguridad.

Por cierto que Cuba nunca ha sido invitado a participar en ninguna de estas Cumbres erráticas de las Américas.

En el año 2004 el President Hugo Chávez propuso la creación de una nueva organización regional en respuesta tanto a las Cumbres de las Américas, la OEA y sobre todo al ALCA. Así nació el ALBA, la Alternativa Bolivariana para las Américas. Para aquellos interesados en los juegos de palabras fíjense en lo ingenioso del nombre, las siglas advierten el camino nuevo.
Cuba es miembro cofundador del ALBA.

Desde sus inicios la alternativa económica, cultural y social para América Latina contó con solo dos miembros iníciales. Ya para el año 2006 el Estado Pluri Nacional de Bolivia se sumó y hoy ya cuenta con nueve miembros. Otro dato de interés es que se reúne de manera estable y tiene como objetivo fundamental la unión del continente entero. Este año ya ha visto la celebración de la XI Reunión Cumbre de Jefes de Estado del Alba celebrada en Caracas Venezuela. Durante dicho encuentro, el Presidente de Ecuador, Rafael Correa planteó que Ecuador no participaría ni en la Cumbre de las Américas ni en las reuniones de la OEA hasta tanto a Cuba no se le diera participación en ambos encuentros. Nicaragua y Bolivia le secundaron la propuesta al momento. Ya para hoy la moción del Presidente de Ecuador cuenta con el consenso de las nueve naciones pertenecientes al ALBA.

En el mes de abril del año en curso, Cartagena de Indias en Colombia será sede de la 6ta Cumbre de las Américas.

En un intento de último minuto por impedir que su país vaya a quedar en ridículo, el presidente de Colombia estuvo en Cuba hace poco con la esperanza de encontrar un consenso donde Cuba pudiera comprender que a pesar de que hay una mayoría a favor de la presencia de la isla en el encuentro, hubo lamentablemente un “veto” contra la presencia de Cuba en la reunión. Le doy al lector tres oportunidades para que adivine…

¡Correcto! El gobierno de los Estados Unidos no quiere que Cuba participe, sea miembro o tan siquiera vaya como invitada sin voz ni voto a lo al parecer consideran una fiesta particular y privada.

La pregunta es ¿por qué?

¿Los Derechos humanos, el Socialismo, la educación y salud universales? ¿Petróleo? ¿La antigua Unión Soviética?, ¿La música salsa? ¿Otro Ricky Ricardo?

It´s my party

In Blockade, CELAC, Cuba, Cuba/US, Cuban Americans, Cuban Embargo, History, Miami/Cuba, OAS/OEA, Politics, US on March 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

Margarita Alarcón Perea

The OAS is an organization that dates back to way before the United Nations was created shortly after the end of World War II. Cuba is a founding member of both multinational bodies of work.

The objective of the UN is to safe guard the world from ever finding itself in situations like those created during the two world wars of the past century. The objective of the OAS was to unite the countries of the Americas in one body where nations belonging to the region could discuss and reach collaborative objectives aimed at furthering both development and security in the region.

After the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, numerous member nations of the OAS backed a proposal made by the government of the United States whereby Cuba was voted out of the organization. Well, not quite. Most of the votes were actually abstentions made by those nations who didn’t wish to put their relationship with the US in any kind of peril. Those nations were: Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, and Ecuador. México voted against Cuba’s exclusion.

Fifty years later, the OAS finds itself a bit alienated. First of all, because of something the United States did a little over 25 years ago when it sided with The United Kingdom over the Faulkland Island dispute between Argentina to whom the islands rightfully belong and the UK way over on the other side of the world who pertains to retain ownership of the territory. Understandable given that the Brits have this nasty habit of taking what isn’t really theirs. The US broke hemispheric protocol by siding against the Americas on this issue. It was the Reagan era and so much more was yet to come that I really shouldn’t dwell on this point.

Today things are different. Cuba has survived rather well without belonging to the OAS. NAFTA has proven that in spite of US and Canadian insistence it simply doesn’t work for anyone, least of all the women in Tijuana and the ever increasing factory shutdowns in the US. In 1994 in Miami (where else?!), the US convened all the nations of the Americas to partake in the First Summit of the Americas where it proposed a new economic plan for the region. FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas) was never approved by the region; that´s why most of the readers have probably never heard the acronym, I am familiar with the Spanish translation ALCA and had to Google the English original. Subsequently other Summits have taken place and FTAA is still an unfamiliar term that simply doesn’t cut the mustard. Even more interesting is the fact that these summits don’t take place in a continuous and constant fashion like say on a yearly or biennial basis or even like the Olympics every four years. They have a rather unpredictable schedule which doesn’t offer much security when dealing with matters of state.
Incidentally, Cuba has never been invited to any one of these Erratic Summits of the Americas.

In 2004 President Hugo Chavez proposed the creation of a new hemispheric body in response to the Summits of the Americas, the OAS and the insistence of the US in favor of finally reaching consensus in favor of FTAA. ALBA was born. ALBA, Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. For those interested in linguistic word play, “alba” also means ¨day break¨ in Spanish which makes for the ideal acronym.

Cuba is a co-founder of the ALBA.

At its onset, the Latin American economic, social and cultural alternative had only a few members, but it is growing in numbers at a constant rhythm. It also gathers on a constant basis and has among its main objective to unite the continent. This year has already seen the celebration of the XI Summit of Presidents of the Alba Nations in Caracas, Venezuela. During the Alba Summit President Rafael Correa of Ecuador suggested that if Cuba was once again excluded from partaking in the Summit of the Americas or the OAS, Ecuador would boycott those summits from which Cuba were to be excluded from. Nicaragua and Bolivia followed suit backing this proposal.

In the month of April of this year, Cartagena de Indias in Colombia will be hosting the 6th Summit of the Americas.

The President of Colombia in a desperate intent to not have his country look foolish during next month’s event was down here trying to find a consensus whereby Cuba would understand that although most member states desired the island nation to join them during these meetings, unfortunately there had been a “veto” vote against Cuba´s participation. I´ll give the reader three guess….

Correct! The government of the United States doesn’t want Cuba to be a participant, or a member or even a guest at what they consider to be their party.

But the real question is why?

Human rights? Socialism? The former Soviet Union? Universal health care and education? Oil? Salsa bands? Another Ricky Ricardo?

What “The Sun” shines on Cuba

In CELAC, Cuba, Cuba/US, Latin America, OAS/OEA, Politics, US on February 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

From the Financial Times February 14, 2012

by John Paul Rathbone

February is the month of balmy summer days in Latin America, although the season of beach holidays hasn’t stopped a delicious diplomatic storm from brewing.

At the heart of the thundery electrostatic is the perennial problem. Will Cuba attend the “Summit of the Americas” this April?

This is more than recondite politics. It is drama. If Cuba does attend, then the world will enjoy the unique spectacle of a US President sharing the same podium as one of the Castro brothers.

If it doesn’t, well that would be because Cuba again does not meet the democratic requirements of the Organisation of American States.

The stakes – if you can call them that – are growing.

Ecuador – junior member of the Venezuela and Cuba- sponsored regional grouping, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (or ALBA, which recently brought the world these words of support and respect for the Bashar Al-Assad regime in Syria) – has said Cuba should be allowed to attend. Furthermore, if Cuba isn’t invited, then ALBA should boycott the Summit, where 34 heads of state are otherwise supposed to attend.

That would hold out the prospect of a similar fiasco to the 2005 Summit, when a protest rally, partly organised by the Argentine hosts, saw Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez round on a trade deal that was subsequently approved by 29 other countries.

This time round, a similar boycott would produce collateral damage for the Summit’s hardworking but embarrassed Colombian hosts. More importantly, it would be a snub for the US. Why?

Because the OAS is the sole regional forum where the US still has a voice, and a walkout by Ecuador, Venezuela et al would show that even this forum no longer counts. A case of “adios” to the gringos.

There is all sorts of fun to be had wondering how, or if, this thorny issue might be resolved.

One possibility: Cuba does attend, but walks into a firestorm of criticism about human rights and lack of elections. (Forget it: the Castros haven’t remained in power for 50 years for nothing.)

Another possibility: Raul Castro turns up on the beach at Cartagena for his April holiday anyway, and sidles into the meeting. (Unlikely.)

A third: Cuba attends as just an observer, like Spain and Portugal, which would annoy both Havana and Washington in equal measure, but might give everyone else a laugh.

The problem with this meaningless membership debate, diverting as it might be, is that it masks the real question, and hijacks the real issue. Indeed, it is a diversion.

The real issue the region should be talking about is regional integration – which indeed is the Summit’s main theme. And the real question is why Cuba doesn’t meet the OAS guidelines? (The answer is not just because the US wishes it so: when Cuba was invited to enter negotiations with the OAS in 2009, Havana said it didn’t want to.)

Still, the best defence against criticism is often attack. Indeed, looking at it all from London, the affair is somewhat reminiscent of News International staff’s protests about the heavy-handedness of the police investigation into its Sun newspaper about possible phone-hacking. The Sun’s protest may be valid but is really just a smokescreen for the bigger question: why is there an investigation in the first place?