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Beyond the OAS

Vindication of Cuba

by Nidia Diaz

The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) has revoked without conditions the sanction of Cuba’s expulsion from that body imposed by the U.S. government 47 years ago in the disastrous Punta del Este Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers. This is not only a resounding victory for the steadfast resistance of the Cuban people over almost half a century, but also evidence of the extent and fortitude of changes that have taken place in Latin America and the Caribbean, transforming the political map of this former “backyard” of U.S. imperialism, while demonstrating the decadence and irremediable loss of political influence and possibilities of pressure and coercion that have characterized Washington’s relations with the countries of the region to date.

The results of the OAS Assembly in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and the way in which events developed and led to that historic resolution also exposed how the U.S. presence in any forum bringing together the Latin American and Caribbean nations turns into an obstacle and an element of coercion and threats, in the not-at-all-changed proposition of utilizing them to back and justify the empire’s invariably egotistic interests.

The need for the Latin American and Ca ribbean countries to have their own ambit for deliberation, integration and the defense of their shared interests is becoming more evident with every passing day – and reached its maximum expression in San Pedro Sula – while, without any doubt, the administration in power in the United States will continue maintaining the OAS and contributing 60% of its budget, for as long as it is needed as an instrument of domination.

The brilliant speech made by Honduran President Manuel Zelaya during the closing session can be considered an anthological piece that crystallized, in direct and clear language, the will of the Latin American and Caribbean peoples for real sovereignty and to win their second independence. Zelaya referred to the very founding constitution of the OAS in order to clearly state the unalienable right of any nation to embrace the political regime that it freely adopts without interference of any kind, thus evidencing the fallacy of those attempting to impose just one kind of democracy and just one kind of society on our peoples; and he paid respectful and admiring tribute to the people of Cuba, the Cuban Revolution and its leader, Fidel Castro for the example of resistance and dignity given to America and to the world, without which this outcome could not have been possible.

Although the U.S. government and its media corporations are trying to negate or conceal it, the resolution on Cuba adopted in this General Assembly paradoxically highlights the manifest contradictions between th e OAS charter – the founding and basic document of that organization – and other statements and agreements that it has adopted in the ensuing years under yanki pressure and with the complicity of puppet governments and military dictatorships, such as the oft-mentioned Inter-American Democratic Charter of 2001, whose exclusive and prescriptive content in fact negates the very founding document it purports to recognize.

In this way, the recently arrived Obama administration has received an unforgettable lesson on what the unity, firmness and dignity of the Latin American and Caribbean nations can do, when they include governments that have decided to represent and defend the peoples’ most genuine interests. In particular those that are part of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), which played such an outstanding role in that Assembly and in the whole process that led to its results, merit a special mention.

After almost 50 years, and contrary to the intentions of the imperial regime and its sustained policy of blockade, aggression, sabotage and terrorism throughout all that period, it has been precisely the Cuban Revolution that has propitiated, with this San Pedro Sula vindication, the confirmation that a new stage is opening up for the Latin American and Caribbean nations, one which Washington is unable to prevent in the midst of its acute moral, economic and social crisis.

The words contained in the Second Declaration of Havana, approved by the people of C uba in the Plaza de la Revolución as long ago as February 4, 1962, in response to the infamous OAS sanction in Punta del Este, were premonitory.

The Cuban Revolution has reached this moment resolute and upstanding, without making one single concession and attached to the defense of its principles, in the face of all the acts of aggression and adversities, following the historic course bequeathed by the national heroes of a nation that has always had to confront the most powerful interests that sought to absorb and destroy it.

As President Zelaya noted, the great merit of this just vindication belongs to the heroic Cuban people and the leadership of Fidel Castro, who has headed this struggle with decisiveness and audacity, with intelligence and wisdom, and also to all those in any part of the Americas who have died in pursuit of the Second Independence that is now visible and is calling us to continue defending it.

The way opened in San Pedro Sula obviously goes beyond the OAS.

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