Saturday, March 21, 2015

Summit of the Americas - Fear of Others’ Ideas and Little Faith in Their Own

Summit of the Americas: Fear of Others' Ideas and Little Faith in Their Own
ELIECER AVILA, La Habana | Marzo 19, 2015

In less than a month the Summit of the Americas will be held in Panama,
on April 10-11. A good part of the world will focus its attention this
time on Cuba and the United States, the two countries that have
announced their intention to reestablish bilateral relations, ruptured
more than 50 years ago.

Many hope that this summit will not be like so many others, but rather a
milestone in history, embracing the essential discussion about the only
non-democratic state in the hemisphere, a discussion that has been
unreasonably postponed for more than half a century.

Before the imminent possibility of no control over all the variables of
the meeting, the Cuban government is ever more nervous. One of the plays
already seen backstage, is accusing the dissidents of wanting to
"undermine" the ALBA alternative summit and other absurdities of this
style launched by their opinion agents on the Internet.

Anyone who knows how these mechanisms operate is aware that these
opinion matrices are not injected for fun, but rather in pursuit of
creating an adequate framework for other moves that can range from
preventing some people from leaving Cuba to organizing acts of
repudiation and their other usual activities in their actions in Panama.

Still fresh in our memories are the spectacles orchestrated by the Cuban
embassies on Yoani Sanchez's first tour, especially in Latin America.
Also, more recently, in Guadalajara as a part of the cultural summit in
which the sympathizers of the Cuban government grabbed the microphones,
spit and offended those who, with much effort, were trying to speak in a
civilized manner.

Why so afraid of words? Should America forever endure the rudeness of a
government that believes itself superior, divine and unquestionable?
This time, in addition to the external shock troops, they will bring
their own civil society. Civil because they will not be put in uniform,
civil although they have cars with official plates, official budgets,
official sites and, best of all, a discourse more official than that of
the government itself.

But none of this matters if the hosts manage to create a decent and safe
space for all voices to be heard. Hopefully, a little bit of political
decency will surprise us. It's high time.

Source: Summit of the Americas: Fear of Others' Ideas and Little Faith
in Their Own -

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