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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.”

__________________

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18-08-2015Did The Kerry Visit To Cuba Matter? By Elliott Abrams.
17-08-2015Beyond the Flag. By Fernando Dámaso.
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12-08-2015Some new immigrants from Cuba need a second look. By Fabiola Santiago. (+videos)
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09-08-2015Cuba and LGBT Rights. By Ernesto Antunez.
08-08-2015A Fruitless Complaint against Cuban State Security Agents. By Luis Rondón Paz. HT.
06-08-2015Time Has No Value in Cuba. By Kabir Vega Castellanos. HT.
04-08-2015Two Accursed Words. By Fernando Dámaso.
04-08-2015Is the Big Bad Wolf Finally Coming to Venezuela? By VenEconomy. LAHT.
04-08-2015Castro: Now Censoring Cubans in Washington DC’s Department of State. By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo and translated by Alex Higson.
04-08-2015Obama Charm Drive Targets Venezuela After Iran, Cuba. By Nicole Gaouette.
04-08-2015Interview with Ángel Santiesteban after his conditional release – Cuba 2015: "Most of our people pretend".
03-08-2015BREAKING: State Department Manipulated Cuba Human Trafficking Report. Capitol Hill Cubans.
02-08-2015ALARMING: Cuban waters and reservoirs contaminated by lead and other heavy metals. By Ernesto Pérez Chang. Cubanet.
01-08-2015Examination of the Latest Ministry of Public Health Crusade. By Jeovany Jimenez Vega.
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30-07-2015A warning on doing business in Cuba. By Timothy Belevetz and Ronald Oleynik, Holland & Knight law firm.
29-07-2015Obama Leaves Dictators Free to Flourish. By Roger Boyes.
28-07-2015Lower profile but thorny dialogues with the Venezuelan government and FARC, who appear to regard the Obama administration as a potential source of easy favors. Washington Post Editorial.
26-07-2015As Odebrechts Corruption Probe Widens, So Should Some Politicians Shame. Capitol Hill Cubans.
26-07-2015Writing about the Cowards. By Reinaldo Escobar.
25-07-2015Fake change in Cuba: totalitarian regime maintains travel Controls. By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.
24-07-2015It's Time for Plowing in Venezuela. By VenEconomy. LAHT.
23-07-2015Slain Dissidents Daughter Demands Answers. By Travis LaCouter.
23-07-2015Payá Was An Example Of Dedication And Persistence. 14ymedio. 
21-07-2015U.S. diplomats in Cuba would do well to focus on human rights. Washington Post Editorial.
21-07-2015Exiles Fear Impact of U.S.-Cuba Normalization on Benefits for Cuban Migrants. U.S. Could Deport 35,000 Cubans to the Island. LAHT/EFE.
20-07-2015The high price of diplomatic relations with the Castro regime. By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.
20-07-2015Obama rewarding oppression in Cuba. By Marion Smith. Video CNN: US set to open embassy in Havana after 54 years.
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09-07-2015About the Wave of Violence in Venezuela. By VenEconomy. LAHT. 
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07-07-2015The Broody Serpents Egg. By Ángel Santiesteban from prison in Havana.
07-07-2015Stop Hiding Details of Cuba Embassy Deal. By Capitol Hill Cubans. 
06-07-2015An Urgent Call for Independent Journalism in Cuba. By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.
05-07-2015Cuba, the Pearl of the Caribbean. By Martín Guevara.  
05-07-2015Why Don't Things Work in Cuba? By Kaned Garrido. Somos más.





GUILLERMO MILAN REYES. EDITOR Y REDACTOR DE ESTA PÁGINA WEB: "CUBA DEMOCRACIA Y VIDA. ORG"

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RESUMEN EN ESPAÑOL DE LA ENTREVISTA HECHA A GUILLERMO MILÁN POR EL PERIÓDICO SUECO " TIDNINGEN ÅNGERMANLAND"
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