Paulo Nogueira Batista, an executive director representing Brazil and a group of eight Latin American countries in the International Monetary Fund, stressed during a world tourism conference held a week ago in the Brazilian city of Florianopolis that “U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration should work to bringing Cuba back into international bodies such as the IMF”.
His appeal is anything but exceptional. In fact, it adds to the chorus of many in the United States and other countries against an economic blockade that year after year the international community condemns almost with one voice in the United Nations General Assembly, as well as to the widespread criticism leveled at the U.S. anti-Cuban policy, as with the variety of statements made in the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad in favor of restoring Cuba’s right to join the Organization of American States, even if the host nation is known to be opposed to the idea. It all reveals a lack of consistency with the promise of change that helped the new U.S. president win the election: to the voters, it means a high number of social rights denied to them despite their country’s wealth, whereas to the elite who truly hold the power these are merely necessary corrections to prevent the collapse of a seriously endangered imperial order. However, that the superpower has managed to get away with the manifest crime against humanity that its 50-year-long blockade of the small neighboring island throws into relief the wickedness and absurdity of the world order imposed on our planet and proves that it extends beyond economic issues to leave a deep mark on the political leanings of plenty of people and social groups. Obviously, many strong forces are currently in motion in the United States to lift the blockade, end the travel ban and reestablish official relations with Cuba, but it’s also undeniable that the effects of half a century of malicious slander compel most of those who fight to get things back to normal between both countries to justify their efforts to correct this wrong by arguing that the Cuban revolution has successfully overcome every aggressive wile so far and therefore other, more subtle ones are needed. I believe those who claim that all people in the world have the inalienable right to a revolution and that the Cubans have been forced to exercise such right under constant, unjustifiable pressure from its nearest neighbor – the greatest military and economic power on Earth – are still a minority in the United States. Small wonder, then, that zealous defenders of the U.S.’s worst terrorist acts against Cuba are now challenging the blockade, including Cuban-Americans who made a living from the attacks on the island using the considerable financial aid earmarked by Washington for overthrowing the Revolution and are now saying that violence must be replaced by ideological influence without giving up the ultimate purpose. This idea of trying to undermine the Cuban Revolution from the inside is not only typical of the new political currents up north or the Cuban counterrevolutionaries at their service. It’s common knowledge that almost every northern nation whose government has long advised world capitalism’s leading superpower to lift the blockade on Cuba is as fearful of the former’s example as they are of the latter’s. Yet, the Cuban Revolution, whose people and leaders have been so determined to and capable of fighting the hardest battles for their identity and rights, would not be worthy of its name if it shied away from the challenge of engaging the enemy in the battlefield of ideological confrontation. Funded by the U.S., anti-Cuban propaganda coined the argument that Cuba took advantage of the blockade to explain its mistakes or flaws while shamelessly trying to isolate, starve and discourage the Cubans from their efforts to carry on with a beautiful revolutionary project that they will never give up until they make it come true. --Edited by Walter Lippmann.