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Raúl Castro Avoids the Ibero-American Summit in Cadiz. By Yoani Sánchez.
  
18-11-2012

web/folder.asp?folderID=215

Raul Castro Avoids the Ibero-American Summit in Cadiz
By Yoani Sanchez
Translating Cuba
November 17, 2012
 

Cadiz. Source itelf.net

People visiting Havana for the first time agree on the similarities of this city with Cadiz. The cultural similarities and certain visual resemblances tie the Cuban capital to its Andalusian first cousin. The presence of the sea, some of the architectural style, and the open behavior of its people, complete the embrace.

But not even this closeness has moved Raul Castro to participate in the XXII Ibero-American summit that began November 16 in this Spanish town. The Cuban leader preferred to send his Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez.

Raul Castro travels little and when he does he prefers politically like-minded countries. Venezuela, Russia, China and Vietnam are among his few destinations since he assumed the office of the presidency in February 2008. His absence in Cadiz was expected, as he has never gone to any Ibero-American summits in other countries. Perhaps he prefers to avoid possible critiques of the state of Human Rights on the Island.

But the General is just one among many absent from this meeting. His counterpart Hugo Chavez also will not attend, nor will the Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who has offered the excuse of health problems. The recent earthquake in Guatemala has prevented the trip of Otto Perez-Molina, while the Paraguayan Federico Franco has excluded himself given his strained relations with his Latin American neighbors. So many empty chairs has robbed some of the luster from an event that for several years now has captured less and less interest in the region.

Leaders at the Cadiz Summit. Raul Castro is not in the picture. Source: The Summit’s website.

The main theme of this Ibero-American Summit deals with the world economic situation and ways to cope. Cuba has not escaped the red ink. A year is ending in which Raul Castro’s reforms have failed to boost the productivity of the country as was hoped. Not even the relaxations in the rules governing self-employment have resulted in an improvement over Cubans’ deteriorating standard of living.

To top it off, hurricane Sandy damaged more than 137,000 homes — wholly or partially — in the east of the Island. Thousands of homeless and a delicate epidemiological situation, complete the picture.

Nor has foreign investment taken off on the island, although the large number of guests at the last International Fair of Havana (FIHAV) might make one think otherwise. The international crisis and businesses’ lack of confidence in the Cuban “opening,” are among the reasons for the slowness with which that sector is moving. Everywhere we look we see the country’s urgent need for fresh, new and convertible capital.

The Carromero Case

Beyond Raul Castro’s absence at the Cadiz Summit, the most conspicuous issue that touches the Cuban side seems to be that of the Spaniard Angel Carromero. Detained in Cuba since July 22, this young leader of the Popular Party’s New Generations, was driving the car that killed regime opponents Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero. A court has convicted Carromero of “involuntary manslaughter,” though Payá’s family is still demanding an independent investigation.

The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, said on Friday that Havana will consider a “formal request” from Madrid asking for the return of Angel Carromero. “The Government has put forward a formal request. The Cuban government has promised that it will consider it,” Garcia Margallo said in an interview with Cadena Ser, in response to a question about whether he had discussed the issue with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, who arrived in Cadiz on Thursday.

And Human Rights?

Last week the Cuban opposition experienced days of vertigo from an escalation of arrests. On Wednesday, November 7, the independent attorney Yaremis Flores, 29, was arrested outside her home in Havana. Dozens of opponents gathered peacefully outside several police stations to demand her release.

State Security responded with a heavy hand, leading more than thirty of these dissidents to the dungeons. Among them were several former prisoners of the Black Spring of 2003 and the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize winner, journalist Guillermo Fariñas.

Antonio Rodiles, who at age 40 is the director of a political-cultural project called Estado de SATS (State of SATS), remains behind bars.

And all this happened a few days after the foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) in Brussels discussed the possibility of promoting a new relationship with Cuba.

Relations between the EU and the government of Havana are currently limited by the so-called Common Position, adopted by the EU in 1996 at the initiative of the Spanish government of José María Aznar.  The Common Position conditions any progress in relations on improvements in the situation of human rights on the Island.

With respect to this, García-Margallo said that “necessary and sufficient conditions” do not exist to modify the Europe’s Common Position with regards to the largest of the Antilles, however he allowed as how, within this Common Position, “there is room for a flexible interpretation” that allows “reaching an agreement of cooperation with Cuba.”

__________________

25-11-2014A Thorn in the Side of the Venezuelan Dictatorship. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
24-11-2014Street vendors are the last card in a clandestine business deck whose purpose is pure survival. by Lilianne Ruiz.
24-11-2014Leaving Cuba: From Dreams to Reality. By Veronica Vega. HT.
24-11-2014The Iran-Cuba-Venezuela Nexus. By Mary Anastasia O'Grady. WSJ.
24-11-2014Where There's Smoke. By Fernando Damaso.
23-11-2014Fees for Americans a sore spot in Cuba travel. By Paul Guzzo.
22-11-2014Is Cuba Shilling for North Korea in the Congo? By Capitol Hill Cubans.
21-11-2014Cuba refuses to tear down its wall. By Maria C. Werlau. MH.
20-11-2014A New Anniversary, 495 years since the founding of Havana. By Fernando Dámaso.
20-11-2014New York Times wrong to lobby for lifting Cuba embargo. By Guillermo I. Martinez.
19-11-2014Raul Castro's Migratory Reform Falters. By Eliecer Ávila.
19-11-2014Who is really blockading us? By Jeovany Jimenez Vega.
19-11-2014Venezuela's 'Cartel of the Frogs'. Everybody has become a suspect in Venezuela today it has spread to the own ranks of the ruling party PSUV. By TalCual. LAHT.
18-11-2014Miguel Rodríguez Torres, Where Art Thou? By TalCual. LAHT.
18-11-2014Venezuela's Controversial External Debt. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
17-11-2014Are Czechs giving up on moral responsibility? By Carl Gershman. WP.
17-11-2014From the common position to common sense. By Martin Guevara.
17-11-2014The New York Times' Brain Drain (Contradiction) on Immigration. By Capitol Hill Cubans.
16-11-2014Create or die. By Carlos Alberto Montaner.
15-11-2014No Ceiling for the Exchange Rate in Venezuela? By VenEconomy. LAHT.
15-11-2014Maduro's Government is Alone, Weak and Without Resources. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
14-11-2014Cubas Juan Triana: Economist or State Official? By Erasmo Calzadilla. HT.
14-11-2014With No Embargo, What Would Castro Do? The Blindspot of Sympathizers and Free-Trade Dogmatists. By José Azel.
13-11-2014Why Cuba is More Recalcitrant Than North Korea. By Capitol Hill Cubans. 
13-11-2014Venezuela Naked at the UN. By TalCual. LAHT.
12-11-2014Why communism collapsed 25 years ago. By Carlos Alberto Montaner.
12-11-2014Speaking of Skin Colors in Cuba. By Warhol P. Havana Times.
12-11-2014Cuba's Retired Population Struggles With Economic Reforms. By David Strug.
12-11-2014The New York Times Cuban Adventures in Misinformation. By Capitol Hill Cubans.
10-11-2014Cubas Slave Trade in Doctors. By Mary Anastasia OGrady. WSJ.
09-11-2014The Totalitarian Temptation. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
09-11-2014Time for Cubans and Cuban Americans to stop being crabby. By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.
06-11-2014This Blind Cuban Dissident Tells the New York Times What They Have Wrong on Cuba. By Mike Gonzalez.
04-11-2014Remembering Missing Cuban Journalist on International Day to End Impunity. By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.
03-11-2014The New York Times Rests our Case. By Capitol Hill Cubans.
02-11-2014Sensitive Issues. By Ángel Santiesteban.
02-11-2014On normalizing relations with Cuba, freedom first. By George A. McNenney.
31-10-2014The Castro regime is using its doctors in fight for Ebola for political purposes - and at a hefty markup, critics say. Deutsche Welle.
30-10-2014Antonio Rodiles: We Must Accept Nothing Less Than Fundamental Freedoms.
30-10-2014Cuban Wave Arrives by Land. by Miriam Jordan and Arian Campo-Flores. WSJ.
29-10-2014Cuba as the End Times Approach. By Erasmo Calzadilla. HT.
28-10-2014An Unfamiliar Cuba in the "Era of Changes". By Miriam Celaya.
26-10-2014Venezuela's Criminal Gangs: Warriors of Cultural Revolution. By Maria Werlau.
26-10-2014Cuba hasn't earned embargo's end. Miami Herald Editorial.
26-10-2014Desperate and Shameless: The New York Times Latest Cuba Editorial. By Capitol Hill Cubans. 
25-10-2014Venezuela Pays for Expropriation Mistakes. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
24-10-2014Foreign Policy: Cuba Leads Diplomatic Offensive to Protect North Koreas Dictator.
23-10-2014The NY Times is wrong about the Cuba embargo again. By Silvio Canto, JR.
23-10-2014Implications of Ending the Cuban Embargo. By Jaime Suchlicki.
21-10-2014Misguided Opinions. By Fernando Dámaso.




 
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