Monday, October 29, 2007

Latin America and its New Kings

Successions, Not Transitions
October 24, 2007

I’m sorry for friends who are disappointed awaiting transitions but Cuba is a neo-monarchy, with all its repartitions of small kingdoms, ducats, earldoms, etc. The thing is that over there they are called Ministry of the Interior, Minister of State Security, etc. He who entitles and he who removes, he who awards and confiscates is and always has been Fidel. See the case of the once disgraced and then reinstated Ramiro Valdéz, who was once Fidel’s Beria. According to international investigations his personal fortune is worth millions. Now he controls the kingdom of communications.

Those same investigations reveal that Raúl, Fidel and their progenies have properties in Spain, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Italy, just in case they have to leave in a hurry. Cuba has the highest incidence of suicides in the hemisphere, and according to a recent interior poll only 4 per cent of the population blames “the embargo” for the conditions in Cuba.

Fidel has sucked dry even the soul of the Cuban people. What was once one of the most beautiful capitals in the world is now in ruins. “Havana: The New Art of Making Ruins”, a recent German made documentary, reveals not only the impossible to repair decay of its architecture but also how that same destruction has developed at par with the destruction of the soul and hopes of Havana’s population; at the same rhythm and in more than a symbolic manner with the decay of the decrepit body of its Nero.

Those braggadocio and machista pronouncements about Cuban sovereignty, as representative also of the defense of the sovereignty of peoples that once inspired the so-called “Third World” ended there, as speeches which now echo empty in the Plaza of the Revolution. That sovereignty which Martí and Maceo dreamt is not now the sovereignty of the people but now resides in the direct succession of a family member.

Not even as a final act is he capable of returning sovereignty back to the people, not even as a paternalistic act of generosity. Now, instead of freeing his vassals, King Fidel has sold them to another king, Chávez, with the rationalization that the defense of the sovereignty of Cuba is a “ridiculous adhesion to sterile sovereign-ism.” In other words, the same thing the kings of Europe used to do when they traded and negotiated whole countries since sovereignty resided in them, as given by divine right, and not in the people.

Raúl, on his part, pretends to and asks for direct negotiations with President Bush before negotiating with the Cuban people. That is monarchy. In the meanwhile, the U.S. is already offering Cuba a counter offer to the annexationist offer of Chavez. Bush has gone directly over the heads of Fidel and Raúl and has made an offer to the lesser kings. Before you come under Chávez’ command, Bush is saying to the military in Cuba, look at how open doors up north offer more than what more of the same is offered by the one with the Bolívar complex.

The world is reorganizing itself rapidly into new alliances. When could we have imagined that Latin America would be courted by three pursuers? On the north, is courted by the U.S., on the west by China and now from the east by the newly introduced Iran.

But in this world one thing still remains constant, “The Business of America is business.” This quote, attributed to Calvin Coolidge, and often used in pejorative manner is the best statement of what is in essence, and always has been, the foreign policy of the U.S. But those who quote it in pejorative terms, especially in Latin America, demonstrate ignorance and a lack of understanding of the thinking and ethos of North Americans, and when they do it speaks more of their own prejudices than of an objective understanding of the American way.

The business of America has always been business. But for negotiations between countries to occur they must be sovereign. He who kept himself in power using the defense of sovereignty as the greatest bulwark of defense and self-justification, now redefines it as like any commercial product offered to the best buyer, "the new, all-improved sovereignty". The Cuban people must reclaim their sovereignty before it’s too late. Fidel has already redefined it and once more not in Cuba’s favor.


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