Cuba in the OAS?
By Atilio A. Boron
June 3, 2009
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
After a 47-year ban, the OAS sealed an agreement by acclamation yesterday to revoke a 1962 measure suspending Cuba from that body. The resolution was taken without conditions, although it lays down a procedure to be set in motion in the (unlikely) event that Havana decides to join the group. However, there are some facts to be taken into account here.
First: The resolution is a telltale sign of the great sociopolitical changes we’ve seen in Latin America and the Caribbean in the last few years, marked by the United States’ decreasing clout in the region. The vote to render the outrageous move under Kennedy null and void, is at once highly revealing of an ongoing shift that the White House has reluctantly accepted and a step to make amends, if belatedly and partially, for an obviously immoral policy which has long brought unbearable shame upon both the OAS and those governments who have voted for –or at least not against– Imperialism’s plans. Unable to defeat the Cuban Revolution by force of arms at the Bay of Pigs, the U.S. chose to put up a ‘cordon sanitaire’ to keep the island’s liberating influence from spreading across the continent. They never succeeded, by the way.
Second: That the U.S.’s hegemony became weaker is by no means an indication that they give up on using other means to get hold of the region’s resources and wealth or control our governments. It would be an inexcusable mistake to believe that Imperialism will lay down its arms and start to get along with our countries on an equal footing just because its political (and intellectual and moral) ability as a leader has gone into decline. Quite the opposite: in similar circumstances in the past its response was to reactivate the Fourth Fleet in order to achieve by force what they used to get from submissive or abetting governments. And Obama has given us no hint that he intends to change that policy.
Third: Neither Cuba nor any other country in Our America have anything to do in the OAS. As we have oftentimes pointed out, this institution became a landmark of a special period in our continent’s evolution: that of the U.S.’s absolute supremacy. But those days are gone, and there’s no going back. As our political consciousness developed, governments that still look up to the White House have no choice but to vote against the U.S. blockade on Cuba and the 1962 suspension in San Pedro Sula. The OAS has been brought to the limelight for its long record as a docile instrument of the Empire, since it condoned invasions, the assassination of political leaders and presidents (like the murder of Orlando Letelier in Washington), coups d’état and campaigns to destabilize democratic governments. The OAS turned a blind eye –and a deaf ear– to the atrocities of U.S.-sponsored ‘state terrorism’ and criminal policies like Plan Condor. When in May 2008 the Bolivian conflict blew up, the Latin American countries took care of things right away without the OAS getting involved at all. There was no need for it, nor will there ever be.
Fourth: What we do need is to make our various projects of Latin American and Caribbean integration stronger and more coherent, for instance, initiatives such as ALBA or UNASUR, basically different but based on our region’s contemporary situation. The OAS, however, is an inevitably and therefore useless, anachronistic, body in that it represents a world we only find in the delirious ravings of those who yearn for the Cold War era, and that’s why it can contribute nothing to deal with our current challenges. Now that the 1962 resolution has been done away with, the OAS should do mankind a very great service by dissolving.