OAS votes for Cuba’s reinstatement in the teeth of US opposition
Declaration of the Revolutionary Government
In an act of unusual historic significance, the OAS has just formally buried the shameful resolution which excluded Cuba from the Inter-American System in 1962.
That decision was despicable and illegal, contrary to the declared aims and principles of the OAS Constitution. It was, at the same time, consistent with the trajectory of this organisation; with the motive for which was created, promoted and defended by the United States. It was consistent with its role as an instrument of US hegemony in the hemisphere and with Washington’s capacity to impose its will on Latin America at the historic moment in which the Cuban Revolution triumphed.
Today, Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing another reality. The decision adopted at the 39th session of the OAS General is the fruit of the will of governments more committed to their peoples, with the region’s real problems and with a sense of independence that, unfortunately, did not prevail in 1962. Cuba acknowledges the merit of the governments that have undertaken to formally erase that resolution, referred to in that meeting as “an unburied corpse”.
The decision to rescind Resolution 6 of the 8th OAS Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs constitutes an unquestioned disrespect for the US policy on Cuba followed since 1959. It pursues the aim of repairing a historic injustice and is a vindication for the Cuban people and peoples of the Americas.
Despite the last-minute consensus achieved, that decision was adopted against Washington’s will and in the face of intensive moves and pressure exerted by governments in the region. In that way, it dealt imperialism a defeat using its very own instrument.
Cuba welcomes with satisfaction this expression of sovereignty and civic-mindedness, while thanking those governments which, with a spirit of solidarity, independence and justice, have defended Cuba’s right to return to the organisation. It also understands the desire to free the OAS from a stigma that has remained as a symbol of the organisation’s servility.
However, Cuba once again confirms that it will not return to the OAS.
Since the triumph of the Revolution, the Organisation of American States has played an active role in Washington’s policy of hostility against Cuba. It made the economic blockade official, ruled on the embargo of weapons and strategic products, and stipulated member countries’ obligatory breaking off of diplomatic relations with our revolutionary state. Despite the exclusion in place, over the years it even tried to keep Cuba under its authority and to subject it to its own jurisdiction and that of its specialised agencies. This is an organisation with a role and a trajectory that Cuba repudiates.
The Cuban people were able to resist the aggressions and the blockade, overcome the diplomatic, political, and economic isolation, and face, on their own, without yielding, the persistent aggressiveness of the most powerful empire known to the planet.
Today our country enjoys diplomatic relations with all the countries of the hemisphere apart from the United States. It is developing broad links of friendship and cooperation with the majority of them.
Moreover, Cuba has won its full independence and is marching unstoppably toward a society that is more just, equitable, and full of solidarity every day.
It has done so with supreme heroism and sacrifice, and with the solidarity of the peoples of the Americas. It shares values that are contrary to those of neoliberal and egotistical capitalism promoted by the OAS, and feels that it has the right and the authority to say ‘no’ to the idea of joining a body in which the United States still exercises oppressive control. The peoples and governments of the region will understand this just position.
Today it can be understood more clearly than in 1962 that it is the OAS that is incompatible with the most pressing desires of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, that it is incapable of representing their values, interests and genuine yearning for democracy; it is the OAS that has been unable to solve the problems of inequality, disparities in wealth, corruption, foreign intervention, and the predatory actions of transnational capital. It is the OAS that has remained silent in the face of the most horrendous crimes, communes with the interests of imperialism, and conspires against and subverts governments genuinely and legitimately constituted with demonstrable popular support.
The speeches and declarations of San Pedro Sula have been more than eloquent. Well-founded criticisms of the organisation’s anachronism, given its divorce from continental realities and its disgraceful record, cannot be ignored.
The demands to end, once and for all, the criminal US blockade of Cuba reflect the growing and unstoppable sentiment of an entire hemisphere. The spirit of independence represented there by the many that spoke is the one with which Cuba identifies.
Aspirations for the integration and coordination of Latin America and the Caribbean are increasingly manifest. Cuba is actively participating in, and proposes continuing to do so, the representative regional mechanisms of what José Martí called “Our America”, from the Rio Grande to Patagonia, including all of the Caribbean islands.
Strengthening, expanding and harmonising those bodies and groups is the path chosen by Cuba; not the outlandish illusion of returning to an organisation that does not allow reform and that has been condemned by history.
The response of the people of Cuba to the ignominious 8th Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OAS was the Second Declaration of Havana, approved in a mass assembly on 4 February 1962 by more than 1 million Cubans in the Plaza de la Revolución.
The declaration textually affirmed:
“Great as was the epic of Latin American independence, heroic as was that struggle, today’s generation of Latin Americans is called upon to engage in an epic which is even greater and more decisive for humanity. For that struggle was for liberation from Spanish colonial power, from a decadent Spain invaded by Napoleon’s armies. Today the call for struggle is for liberation from the most powerful imperial metropolis in the world, from the most important force in the imperialist world and to render humanity an even greater service than that rendered by our predecessors.
“… For this great humanity has said, ‘Enough!’ and has begun to march. And its march of giants will not be halted until they conquer real independence, for which they have died in vain more than once.”
We will be loyal to these ideas, which have made it possible for our people to maintain Cuba free, sovereign and independent.
Havana, 8 June 2009