RAFAEL Correa, president of Ecuador, currently visiting Honduras, stated the day before the OAS meeting:
"I believe that the OAS has lost its raison d’être, maybe it never had a raison d’être."
The news, circulated by ANSA, adds that Correa
"prophesized ‘the demise’ of that organization given the many errors it has committed."
He affirmed "that the countries of the American continent, given their geographic conditions, cannot all be put ‘in the same basket.’ And for that reason Ecuador proposed some months back the creation of the Organization of Latin American States.
“It is not possible for the region’s problems to be discussed in Washington; let us construct something of our own, without countries alien to our culture, our values, and obviously including countries that were inexplicably separated from the inter-American system, and I am referring to the concrete case of Cuba… that was a tremendous shame and demonstrates the double standards that exist in international relations.”
On his arrival in Honduras, both President Zelaya and Correa stated that "The OAS must be reformed and reincorporate Cuba; if not, it will have to disappear."
Another cable from the DPA news agency affirms:
"Cuba’s reintegration in the Organization of American States (OAS) has moved from being an issue per se of the organization’s General Assembly in Honduran San Pedro Sula, to once again being turned into an excuse for a struggle of interests that goes much further than the limits of the Caribbean island and could (once again) call hemispheric relations into question."
The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, made that very clear on describing the hemispheric meeting that begins this Tuesday in Honduras in quasi military terms.
"It will be," he said, an ‘interesting battle’ in which if it is demonstrated that the OAS ‘continues being a ministry of the colonies’ that is not transformed in order ‘to subordinate itself to the will of the governments comprising it,’ it will be necessary to propose ‘leaving’ the organization and creating an alternative."
“Latin American countries are making Cuba the litmus test for the quality of the Obama administration's approach to Latin America," Julia E. Sweig, a Cuba scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Washington Post on the eve of the Honduran meeting.
In resisting the aggressions of the most powerful empire ever to have existed, our people fought for the other sister peoples of this continent. The OAS was an accomplice of all the crimes committed against Cuba.
At one moment or another, the totality of the countries of Latin America were victims of interventions and political and economic aggression. There is not one single one that can deny that.
It is ingenuous to believe that the good intentions of a president of the United States can justify the existence of that institution that opened the gates to the Trojan horse that backed the Summits Of The Americas, Neoliberalism, drug trafficking, military bases and economic crises.
Ignorance, underdevelopment, economic dependence, poverty, the forced return of those who emigrate in search of work, the brain drain, and even the sophisticated weapons of organized crime were the consequences of interventions and plundering proceeding from the North. Cuba, a little country, has demonstrated that it can resist the blockade and advance in many fields, and even cooperate with other countries.
Today’s speech by the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, at the OAS General Assembly, contains principles that could go down in history. He said admirable things of his own country. I will confine myself to what he stated on Cuba.
"…In the Assembly of the Organization of American States that begins today in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we must initiate the process of wise rectifications of old errors committed.
We, the Latin Americans who were recently here, a couple of weeks or months ago, had a grand summit within the Rio Group in Salvador de Bahía, Brazil. There we made a commitment. The commitment, which was taken down in writing and unanimously by all of Latin America, is that in this San Pedro assembly, by majority vote or consensus, that old and worn error committed in 1962 of expelling the Cuban people from this organization would have to be amended.”
"We must not go from this assembly, my dear dignitaries, without repealing the decree of that 8th meeting which sanctioned an entire people for having proclaimed socialist ideas and principles, principles now practiced in all parts of the world, including the United States and Europe (Applause). Today, principles of seeking different development alternatives are evident precisely in the change that there has been in the United States with the election of President Barack Obama…”
"We cannot go from this assembly without making amends for that error and that infamy because, on the basis of this Organization of American States resolution, in existence for more than four decades, an unjust and useless blockade has been maintained against this sister people of Cuba, precisely because none of its aims have been achieved, but what it has demonstrated is that here, a few kilometers from our country, on a little island, there is a people prepared to resist and to make sacrifices for their independence and sovereignty.”
"… not doing so would make us accomplices of a 1962 resolution to expel a state from the Organization of American States simple because it has other ideas, other thoughts, and proclaims principles of a different democracy. And we are not going to be accomplices of that.”
"…We cannot go from this assembly without repealing what was enacted in that epoch.”
An exceptional Honduran, called in our country – and one of our national heroes – José Cecilio del Valle, the sage Valle, stated on April 17, 1826, in his famous article ‘Sovereignty and Non-Intervention’ – we had just proclaimed our independence from the Spanish kingdom –
“The nations of the world are independent and sovereign. Whatever its territorial extension or number of inhabitants might have been, a nation must treat others with the same treatment that it desires to receive from these. A nation does not have the right to intervene in the internal affairs of another nation.”
With those words of Cecilio del Valle and the mention of Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Morazán, Martí, Sandino and Bolívar, he concluded his speech.
A few minutes later, at the press conference after the opening of the Assembly, he responded to questions and reiterated principles. Then he gave the floor to Daniel Ortega, who was the author of one of the most profound and well-argued papers at the OAS Assembly. At Zelaya’s invitation, Fernando Lugo, president of Paraguay, and Rigoberto Menchú also spoke, expressing themselves in terms similar to Zelaya and Daniel.
The Assembly has been debating for hours. As I am concluding this Reflection, almost at nightfall, there is still no news of the decision. It is known that Zelaya’s speech was influential. Chávez is talking with [Venezuelan Foreign Minister] Maduro and urging him to firmly maintain that no resolution can be admitted that conditions the repeal of the unjust sanction against Cuba.
Never has such rebellion been seen. Without any doubt, the battle is a hard one. Many countries are dependent on the index finger of one hand of the government of the United States pointing at the Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank or in any other direction for punishing rebelliousness. Having waged it is already a feat in itself on the part of the most rebellious. June 2, 2009 will be recalled by future generations.
Cuba is not an enemy of peace, nor reluctant to interchange or cooperation among countries of distinct political systems, but has been and always will be intransigent in the defense of its principles.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 2, 2009
Translated by Granma International