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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.”

__________________

01-10-2014Racism Among Us. By Mario Hechevarria Driggs. Cubalog.eu.
01-10-2014Risky business in Cuba. By Peter Foster.
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27-09-2014A Communal State Moves Forward in Venezuela. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
25-09-2014Dengue: A State Secret. By Gladys Linares.
24-09-2014Island in the Storm. By Yoani Sanchez.
23-09-2014Does Being Able to Pay with Either Currency Resolve the Problem? by Yoani Sanchez.
22-09-2014Misreporting (and Deceiving) on Cubas Private Restaurants. Capitol Hill Cubans.
21-09-2014Black, What for? FREEDOM FOR SONIA Y RAMÓN ALEJANDRO…!!! By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.
21-09-2014Venezuela doesnt deserve a seat on the U.N Security Council. Washington Post Editorial.
20-09-2014The Lessons of Lope de Vega. By Yoani Sanchez.
20-09-2014Venezuela: Probably the World's worst managed economy. The price of the revolution's survival seems to be the slow death of Venezuela. The Economist.
18-09-2014The Venezuelan Government's Tactic of Evading the Issue. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
18-09-2014As migrants flee eastern Cuba, a town mourns those lost at sea. Reuters.
17-09-2014Miami Airport: The New Haven for Cuban Migrants. By Wilfredo Cancio Isla.
17-09-2014Raising risk of default in Venezuela. Standard and Poor's Rating Services cuts Venezuela's foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings. LAHT.
15-09-2014Rebuilding Cubans as Individuals. By Alejandro Armengol.
15-09-2014Solidarity or Propaganda? By Fernando Damaso.
15-09-2014Absurdities of the Week. By Fernando Damaso.
13-09-2014Twenty years after Cuban raft exodus, they keep coming. By David Adams.
13-09-2014Obama's Cuba Problem. By José R. Cárdenas.
12-09-2014Castro Versus Castro. By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.
09-09-2014Accessories and Sandwiches. By Regina Coyula.
09-09-2014All Exiles Are Possible. By Luis Felipe Rojas.
09-09-2014Why Cuba's Intelligence Targets American Universities. By William Tucker.
04-09-2014Cuban Spy Case Still a Mystery. By Miguel Fernández Diaz.
04-09-2014Brazil extends contracts for 11,500 Cuban doctors, which will help to mitigate the scaling-back of the sale of professional services to Venezuela. The Economist.
04-09-2014The Problem With Regurgitating Castro's "Statistics". By Capitol Hill Cubans.
03-09-2014Fidel and Raul, My Brothers. Juanita, the Rebel Sister. By Francis Sanchez.
03-09-2014The First Independent Newspaper in Cuba. By Tania Diaz Castro.
03-09-2014Venezuela's ravaged economy. The damage wrought by President Nicolás Maduro is so great that there will be no recovery without broad social consensus including from the opposition. El País Editorial.
03-09-2014Who is Filling the University Classrooms? By Yoani Sanchez.
02-09-2014Young Cuban rafter who played Star-Spangled Banner on boat is now a mom and teacher in Hialeah. By Nora Gámez Torres.
02-09-2014Market-style reforms widen racial divide in Cuba. Reuters.
01-09-2014A Continued Coup against Venezuela's Regional Powers. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
01-09-2014Measuring Misery around the World. Venezuela holds the ignominious top spot. By Stev H. Hanke. Cato Institute.
31-08-2014To Rigola I Shall Not Return. By Rebeca Monzo.
31-08-2014Catholic archbishop in Cuba, the Apostolic nuncio, criticizes government. By Nora Gamoz Torres.
28-08-2014The Transition That is About Not to Come. By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.
28-08-2014The EU is engaged in a discussion that will yield no change in human rights conditions on the island. The U.S. would be wise not to follow the EUs lead. By Joel Brito.
27-08-2014A Thief Who Steals from a Thief. By Miriam Celaya.
26-08-2014Official Press: Triumphalism, Blacklisting and Censorship. By Yoani Sanchez.
24-08-2014Where is Ángel Santiesteban? A political prisoner cannot just disappear. CDV.org demands proof that he is alive and well. By Eva Belfrage.
23-08-2014Venezuelan Government Goes for More Censorship, Barbarism. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
23-08-2014Unexpected Happiness in Venezuela. By Caridad. HT.
22-08-2014Historical Lessons from Engaging Totalitarians: Tourism. Normally, travel broadens the mind but what about visiting a totalitarian state? By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.
22-08-2014Cuba struggles to attract investors despite reforms. By Marc Frank.
22-08-2014Venezuela's shipments of crude oil and fuel to its allies have fallen to a five-year low as a weak economy hits its ability to uphold accords. Shipments to Cuba and Nicaragua, however have held strong. By Marianna Parraga and Brian Ellsworth.
21-08-2014VenEconomy: ... And Everything Will Remain the Same in Venezuela. LAHT.
20-08-2014Historical Lessons from Engaging Totalitarians. Business and High Technology. By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.




 
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