After negotiations that were both intense and tense, diplomats attending the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, could not reach accord on the readmission of Cuba, expelled from that continental forum in 1962, through U.S. government engineering. The situation is absurd and tragicomical, given that the island's authorities have expressed, with complete clarity, their determination not to rejoin the organization.
As stated yesterday by host president, Manuel Zelaya, and his peers from Nicaragua and Paraguay, Daniel Ortega and Fernando Lugo, respectively, all the debate and negotiations revolve around the need to repair a monstrous, historical injustice and to proclaim the errors and shame, not of Cuba, but of the OAS, itself, for having been, throughout most of its history, an instrument of neoclassical control by Washington and the rest of the hemisphere.
Apparently, however, this sad state of affairs is not over: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, present at the meeting, continued to cling to the absurd and anachronistic, traditional position of her country that, to be accepted again in the pan-American organization, the Cuban government would have to undertake changes aimed at establishing a formal, parliamentary democracy - an out-of-place demand, not only because of the principles of nonintervention and respect for the sovereignty and self-determination of nations, but because of Cuba’s announced refusal to rejoin the OAS.
The fact is that the U.S. position, even with the contradictory course of action taken by Washington toward Havana, (The novelty of the moment in that bilateral arena is the resumption of talks about migration, suspended years ago by the administration of George W. Bush.) prevents a resolution to resolve the 1962 expulsion and reflects the inability of the organization to correct the injustices committed within itself, nearly half a century ago.
The most important key to this failure lies in the coexistence, in the same forum, of U.S. hegemonic power and the nations of Latin American, which throughout their history, have been victims of all types of aggression, pressure, blackmail and impositions of the superpower. In that sort of relationship, the clash of interests is inevitable and will continue to be, as far as exerting the sovereignty of our countries, because the much-touted common hemispheric interests simply do not and cannot exist.
The relationships between Washington and the rest of the nations of the hemisphere have numerous and robust avenues of communication. The meeting in San Pedro Sula, makes clear, nevertheless, the need to develop a deliberative political body, specifically for Latin America and the Caribbean, similar to the African Union, which adheres more closely to a principle of equality among its members. In a forum of this nature, Cuba, regardless of its political system, would have, of course, an assured place.