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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

5th Summit of the Americas, Obama and Cuba

Posted March 08, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

The fifth Summit of the Americas will be held at the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago in the city called Port of Spain from April 17 to 19, 2009.

President Obama is expected to attend and the event will give him the opportunity to address the leaders of Latin America directly while offering his vision on US Latin America relations to the world.

The theme of the Fifth Summit of the Americas is “Securing Our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability”. The Port of Spain summit will focus on developing feasible solutions to the challenges facing the Hemisphere and delivering tangible and measurable outcomes for all citizens.

The progress made at the previous four Summits of the Americas and the two Special Summits provide a solid basis for developing a focused, integrated and results oriented Inter-American Agenda that encourages the effective engagement of civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples, afro-descendants, women, youth and regional institutions in the Summit Process. The Summit Concept Paper offers a more thorough description.

Institutions comprising the Joint Summit Working Group

Organization of American States (OAS)
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
World Bank (WB)
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
Andean Development Corporation (CAF)
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
International Labor Organization (ILO)
Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA)

Main objective of the Summits of the Americas

A commitment to hemispheric integration and collective responsibility designed utilizing a process to address the problems and challenges that the Americas face in order to jointly seek solutions that will improve the quality of life of the citizens of the Americas along with their security and economic well being.

History of the Summits of the Americas

The first Summit was held in Miami in 1994 and started by then President Bill Clinton. The Summits of the Americas brings together thirty four democratically elected leaders of the Western Hemisphere to exchange ideas and opinions on the main political, economic, social and security challenges facing the Hemisphere and to develop strategies and solutions to collectively address them. Cuba is not a member.

Member States

Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Bolivia
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Grenada
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Jamaica
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent & Grenadines
Suriname
Trinidad & Tobago
United States
Uruguay
Venezuela

For more information

National Secretariat for the Fifth Summit of the Americas 2009 and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2009
Office of the Prime Minister
12 - 14th Floor, Tower C
International Financial Centre
No. 1A Wrightson Road
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tel: 1-(868)-623-7912 and 623-0457 and 627-8225

Fax: 1-(868)-627-4011

This information bulletin on the Summit of the Americas provides detailed logistical information.

How this Summit may relate to US Cuba relations

This line from the Obama will use spring summit to bring Cuba in from the cold article from the Guardian.co.uk website, says it all.

“There is a strong likelihood that Obama will announce policy changes prior to the summit,” said Daniel Erikson, director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue. “Loosening travel restrictions would be the easy thing to do and defuse tensions at the summit.”

I just returned from a Washington DC event on Cuba that educated attendees about the current state of US Cuba relations and the two bills in Congress that, if passed, will lift all travel restrictions on all Americans who wish to travel to Cuba.

Easing the travel restrictions would be an easy win/win for President Obama. The vast majority of Americans support ending the travel ban and the United Nations annually votes overwhelmingly to send a message to the US that the world is against the US Cuba Embargo. Loosening restrictions on Americans would be a positive message to attendees at this Summit.

Who knows maybe there will even be some backroom deals between the US and Cuba. President Lula of Brazil (a Summit member state) will meet with President Obama in Washington on March 14 and I’m sure the Summit and Cuba will be discussed.

Member Comments

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On March 08, 2009, Miguel Gonzalez wrote:

GOOD ALL THE WAY AROUND. ALWAYS THE GATEWAY TO THE AMERICAS,MY DINKY BELOVED ISLAND.

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On March 09, 2009, abh wrote:

Si se puede!
Yes we can!
Cheesy, but so needed wink

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On March 09, 2009, texasfree wrote:

Standby, great news is already being created.

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On March 10, 2009, abh wrote:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/942512.html

Looks like the spending bill will now get the support of Florida Senators Martinez and Nelson.

This article in the Herald states that “letters from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has assured the lawmakers who helped block the bill last week that few of the provisions will actually change U.S.-Cuba policy.”

However,

“Apparently left intact in the bill, which expires in September, is the defunding of enforcement of rules that prevent Cuban-Americans from visiting relatives in Cuba more than once every three years. Such travel would still be illegal, but Treasury wouldn’t be allowed to spend money to enforce the rule.”

This is very good news.  And, contrary to the language that Martinez and Nelson are using, I think it is the beginning of the end of the embargo.

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On March 10, 2009, publisher wrote:

But they put up a big fight.

I hope Obama can see this for what it is, a big fight to keep the status quo. I hope he applies his ideology of “change” to this old school, old boy network mentality.

What Obama does between now and this Summit will be very telling as to his views on the Embargo.

If he is caving into Martinez then Obama doesn’t have the guts I thought he did.

If there is one thing in Washington that should be changed (after the Iraq war policy) is the Cuba policy.

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On March 10, 2009, abh wrote:

Hopefully Martinez and Nelson just needed an excuse to vote for it.  I don’t even know if Martinez will be voting for it; I assume Nelson will.
I hear you, but I do believe that Obama will work to slowly dismantle the embargo; I just don’t think it will be as soon as we’d like.

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On March 10, 2009, abh wrote:

Check this article out, I think the positive spin might slightly alter your perception of the spirit of the changes in the bill.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/03/10/national/w162422D40.DTL&tsp=1

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On March 12, 2009, Miguel Gonzalez wrote:

DAMN ! SOME CLEAR THINKING ! AFTER 50 YEars

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On March 16, 2009, candid wrote:

Looks like Obama and Michelle will take this country by storm - hope there is a calm afte the storm

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On March 19, 2009, Anton wrote:

This has gone on far too long. Even when I tried booking a trip on Expedia.ca, they had no listings for hotels/tours/flights to Cuba. That’s pretty sad for a company that’s supposed to be serving Canadians. Needless to say, I booked my trip through someone else. The US has too much influence over too many countries, just as they do over Cuba.

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On March 19, 2009, Larry Daley wrote:

Bunk

then Raul will welch on all loans, will keep the dissidents in jail, and have Ramirito shoot some of his rivals, and may then kill Ramirito and find a new executioner


what an idiocy

Larry Daley

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On March 19, 2009, Lucien Lenoire wrote:

Larry Daley,
All what loans?  I don’t think the USA and/or the Miami mafia have loaned ANY money to Cuba since the embargo started. 
The dissidents, all 75 of them, are in jail being fed 3 squares a day, and being forced to work for them, for trying to overthrow the gov’t of Cuba by force and violence.  Try that in the fortress of freedom and democracy, the USA.  See how many years you would get for that.  Who are Raul’s rivals?  Who is Ramirito?  You did sign your diatribe correctly, though.  However, you spelled IDIOT incorrectly.  Your Miami mafia left Cuba voluntarily, and the Cubans have done very well in spite of the embargo, and your influence (influenza, or the flu in Spanish) has been declining as you age.  Not a case of age improving you.
Lucien Lenoire

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On March 19, 2009, mytravelphotoblog wrote:

Sounds like the beginning of the end for Cuba!

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On March 19, 2009, L J Cordle wrote:

Who has benefited from current U.S. policy regarding trade, travel, the embargo, etc?  Anyone other than recent Cuban refugees who are granted significant assistance from the U.S. government?  When the silliness ends, Cuban immigrants will likely share the treatment currently given to immigrants from Haiti and other Latin American countries.  That is unfortunate.  The rest of us may finally be able to visit Cuba.  Florida should realize a “boom” as trade and tourism grows.  It is going to be interesting and exhilarating.  Most current opponents and hard liners in the U.S. will see the errors of their thinking and be silent.  Too bad regarding losers of the revolution.  Get used to it.  The same happened to losers of the Spanish Civil War, etc, etc.  When you fight and lose there are consequences.  When you run and do not fight, there are also consequences.  L.J. Cordle

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On March 19, 2009, Larry Daley wrote:

As Castro remarked after the Bay of Pigs “those who live on illustions, will die of disappointment” 


Do you have any idea how hard Cubans fought against Castro, how many went to jail, and how many died in battle and from execution? 


Do you really believe that there are only 75 dissidents, when it is a jailable offense called desacato to “insult” the Castro governmen, and do you believe Cuban prisoners get “three squares at day.”

Cuba owes so much money to abroad that it is ridiculous
to expect trade to be significant.  The Castros just welched on payments to Canadian Mining company Sherritt for running the mines that Castro confiscated a debt of over $100,000,000. As to building up Florida the Cuban exiles have already done much of that ...

Wake up and smell the coffee

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On March 19, 2009, Larry Daley wrote:

I knew the name Lucien Lenoire was familiar(see below) and one can be certain he probably should not be considered a source of good business advice:

see:

http://www.solidnet.org/cgi-bin/lpr?parties/0350=greece,_communist_party_of_greece/583kke2sep05.doc

02.09.2005, Letter To The US Attorney General
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From: Communist Party of Greece, Friday, September 02, 2005
http://www.kke.gr , mailto:cpg@int.kke.gr


Welcome comrade xe xe

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On March 19, 2009, publisher wrote:

Okay, break time.

Stay on topic. This article and comments are about the upcoming Summit of the Americas.

I ask that comments do not get personal. I’ll allow #16. If Mr. Lenoire would like to comment, I will allow it but let’s stay on topic.

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On March 20, 2009, Lucien Lenoire wrote:

Larry Daley seems to think I am a member or supporter of the Communist Party of GREECE!!!!!!  There are a number of problems with this idea.
1.  I have NEVER even visited Greece.  I would like to but not for any political reasons.
2.  I am not a member of any party that could be described as Stalinist.  I do defend the right of people to belong to whatever party they choose.
3.  The Communist Party of Cuba is NOT a Stalinist party.
Communist Party of Greece, sir you are an IDIOT.
And yes, I have signed appeals to free the five heroes framed up by the US gov’t.  That gov’t has a long history of framing up working class militants.  Joe Hill, the Rosenbergs, Mumia abu Jamal, Leonard Peltier, the 18 leaders of the Temsters Union in Minneapolis and literally hundreds more.
Sorry about being so far off topic, but Larry Daleys ultra right rantings got to me.
Lucien Lenoire

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On March 20, 2009, publisher wrote:

Okay. Thanks for addressing that.

Now, back to the Summit of the Americas comments.

Thank you.

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On March 21, 2009, Lucien Lenoire wrote:

I do not think the US ruling class has altered their attitude towards revolutionary Cuba one bit since the hero of liberalism and social democracy, JFK, tried to overthrow the Cuban gov’t using mercenaries at the Bay of Pigs, then during the October Crisis when he brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in 1962.  Kennedy was able to frighten Krushchev enough that Krushchev, who had learned poplitics at Stalin’s knee, withdrew the missiles without even consulting the Cubans.  The Soviet Union continued aid and trade with Cuba to their mutual benefit, Soviet oil for Cuban sugar until 1989, when the crisis of stalinism reached the point of the stalinists no longer claiming to be communists, at least in what is now called Russia.  However, Obama and his advisers have not changed their hostility towards Cuba.  To US imperialism, Cuba is a bad example for Latin America, and for the rest of the world for that matter.  For those who want to change the world, Cuba is a great example.  As Fidel Castro said many years ago, there will be a successful revolution in the USA before there is a successful counter-revolution in Cuba,  The USA was born out of the first successful anti-colonial revolution since the fall of Rome, so citizens of that republic have some history.  The Batistianos could not defeat the Rebel Army in the late 1950s; If they go to Cuba, they will stay——6 feet under.

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On March 21, 2009, Larry Daley wrote:

Lucien:

Following your thoughts, with which I disagree strongly, strangely enough one readily reaches the same conclusion:

trade with Cuba under present circumstances carries no advantage to the U.S.

My view is that until Cuba becomes pluralistic and democratic there will be no mutually advantageous trade relationship with the U.S.

take care and be well

Larry Daley )Garcia-I~niguez Enamorado Ramirez)
Professor Emeritus
Biochemistry and Biophysics of Plant Germplasm

and in another long ago life

“El ingles”
formerly of Column 1, Company 6 July 26th movement
(and that was a really bad mistake (;>) see manuscript in progress “Narrations of War in Cuba”

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On March 21, 2009, publisher wrote:

We are too far off topic now.

In the future, please restrict comments that address information in the original article.

Thank you.

Comments closed.