By: Juan Palop
The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, criticized the United States on Wednesday for excluding his country from the Summit of the Americas and dismissed the appointment as a missed opportunity due to an outdated, discriminatory and interfering policy by Washington.
“Cuba changed, our America changed. But the empire did not change,” Díaz-Canel assured in a speech at the Palace of the Revolution (seat of government) about those excluded from this meeting in Los Angeles (USA), when that this Wednesday the heads of State and Government join.RELATED
In his opinion, the Summit of the Americas reissues the Monroe Doctrine – summed up in the phrase “America for the Americans” – and is a “show with a neo-colonial tint” from which a “substantive discussion” cannot be expected.
For this reason, he considered it a merit not to be at the meeting in Los Angeles: “We are honored to lead the list (of those excluded) together with Nicaragua and Venezuela.”
Díaz-Canel also attacked the White House’s argument for excluding Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela for not being democratic and stated that “the United States lacks the moral authority to speak of democracy,” when it does not promote it inside or outside the United States. its borders.
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He pointed out that Washington equates democracy and capitalism, when in his opinion they are “opposing concepts”, and assured that “democracy and the promotion of human rights do not seem to be the principles of its foreign policy”.
In his opinion, the meeting will not address “the most serious problems in Latin America and the Caribbean”, such as the causes of migration, economic development, inequality, racism, discrimination, technology transfer, but rather it is just a “publicity show” aimed at the “internal politics” of the USA.
On migration, he said that it is related to the underdevelopment caused by the economic system and neoliberalism and that the “repressive formulas” proposed by the United States “are not the answer” to its causes.
In the specific case of Cuban migration, which has grown significantly in recent months, he pointed out that the United States is applying the “perfect recipe” to promote irregular migration from his country by maintaining economic sanctions while It provides facilities to Cubans who arrive in its territory.
The Cuban president regretted that the United States wasted the opportunity to have made a “transcendental contribution” to the region. “It could have been in another way,” said Díaz-Canel, who pointed out that “humility”, “self-criticism”, “respect” and “solidarity” on the part of Washington were necessary for this.
He also took advantage of his speech to highlight the general “repudiation” that the exclusions of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua have caused in the region.
At this point, he thanked the “notable absences” of leaders who, in protest against Washington’s veto, have not attended the Summit of the Americas, such as that of the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Exclusions to civil society
Díaz-Canel denounced the exclusion of government representatives from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, but also highlighted that some members of pro-government civil society in Cuba have not been able to travel to the United States.
“They are not satisfied with saying who and how the Cuban government should be, now they intend to define who the representatives of civil society are,” criticized the president.
According to the Cuban authorities, 145 representatives of pro-government civil society were invited to the Summit of the Peoples, an alternative forum held in parallel in Los Angeles, but did not obtain a visa.
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“We regret not having a significant participation” in the People’s Summit, he added.
The Cuban government and some of these civil society representatives have individually accused the US consulate in Havana of having denied them visas for political reasons.
The diplomatic mission has indicated on Twitter that the non-migrant visas they requested have not been processed there since 2017 -as a result of health incidents that have not yet been clarified-, but in Guyana. He denied having denied visas.
For their part, at least three Cuban activists critical of the government have denounced in recent days that their country’s authorities have not allowed them to travel to the United States to participate in forums for civil society at the Summit of the Americas.
One of them, Saily González, explained to Efe that she applied, received an invitation from the Summit of the Americas and obtained a business visa to travel to Los Angeles at the US consulate in Havana. It was then that State security told her that they would not let her leave the country.
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