Saturday, October 25, 2014

Embargo 2014

Embargo 2014 / Rafael Leon Rodriguez
Posted on October 24, 2014

The present year, 2014, started and in the last trimester Cuba began to
pack its bags. And it is something that has been repeated since the last
century to the point of exhaustion; as if year after year at the end, it
sneaks out the window to return, stealthily, by the back door. Plans,
promises, programs, guidelines; anyone would say: "More of the same with
the same people."

But it seems that finally something has started to move, mainly in the
economic and social sectors. Self-employment, taxes, workers contracted
to private domestic companies; use of the land by farmers leasing it
under usufruct; recovery of some rights to buy and sell, to travel
abroad and return. Political prisoners freed between deportation and
parole. New laws addressing foreign investment and work.

All a package of reforms from the authoritarian government, to maintain
the governments authoritarian power, with the intention of consolidating
state capitalism and guaranteeing a peaceful dynastic succession.

Logically, national and international observers have different
viewpoints on these matters. From those who claim they are only cosmetic
changes, to those who argue the opposite. It's clear that the
authorities still haven't addressed what they owe the peaceful political
opposition and the world community with regards to the ratification and
implementation of the United Nations' International Covenants on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Civil and Political Rights.

Eityher way, there is a new synergy, with its actions, contradictions
and surprises. Who would have thought, for example, that the newspaper
Granma, the organ of the Communist Party, would publish an article from
the New York Times almost entirely for domestic readers, as happened on
14 October of this year.

It is as if suddenly the maximum historical leadership of the country
would turn to independent journalism. And the topic of the American
embargo on Cuba is news again this month at the United Nations.

In addition, the next Summit of the Americas in Panama, to which Cuba is
invited for the first time, brings an unique opportunity for the Cuban
government to face that of the United States in a framework propitious
for the initiation of conversations.

The current instability in Venezuela, the electoral swings in Brazil,
the systemic Cuban economic crisis and the phenomena of international
terrorism, seem to have forced the Island's authorities top take
seriously the need for a constructive dialogue with our closest neighbors.

One of the significant aspects of these possible meetings and perhaps an
element that has conspired against their prior realization is that, over
the past 55 years, eleven eleven presidents and their respective
administrations have passed through the White House and Cuba the leaders
have remained the same, each with their respective histories.

However, only through negotiations can conflicts be peacefully resolved.
The embargo on Cuba, which has served to victimize the regime, is
senseless and has fallen on the most vulnerable sectors of the people
and should be negotiated.

It is, without a doubt, another violation of Cubans' human rights and an
obstacle to our just aspirations for freedom, justice and peace in

19 October 2014

Source: Embargo 2014 / Rafael Leon Rodriguez / Rafael León Rodríguez |
Translating Cuba -

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