MADURO AND DÍAZ-CANEL IN MEXICO
By John M. Ackerman
The successful meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) on Saturday marks a definitive step toward true Latin American integration, fully autonomous and independent from Washington. The active participation of the presidents of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, was particularly symbolic, since both leaders are constantly slandered and threatened by both the U.S. government and the Organization of American States (OAS), headed by the indecent facilitator of coups d’état, Luis Almagro.
The principle of universal inclusion of the countries of the region, without ideological preferences or phobias, is one of the elements that most distinguishes this new convergent space of sovereignty. Pluralism and internal democracy in decision-making, without subordination to any internal actor and much less to any foreign government, also enhances this multilateral organization headed by Mexico with great vision during 2020 and 2021.
The most outstanding intervention in the Saturday meeting was undoubtedly that of Maduro. Conciliatory but forceful, the Venezuelan president proposed replacing the Monroe Doctrine, based on the principle of “America for the Americans”, with the Bolivarian Doctrine, which proclaims the union and autonomy of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. Maduro proposed the full institutionalization of CELAC through the establishment of a strong executive secretariat, based in Mexico, in order to replace the OAS as the main multilateral organization in the region.
President Díaz-Canel’s intervention also sparked interest due to his strongly denouncing the economic strangulation and political moves directed against the island. It should be remembered that the OAS mortgaged its fate in January 1962, when, under pressure from Washington, it expelled Cuba on strictly ideological grounds. Cuba was declared incompatible with the inter-American system due to its commitment to Marxism-Leninism and its close ties with the Soviet Union following the failed CIA-orchestrated invasion of the Bay of Pigs in 1961.
So the active presence this Saturday of both Cuba and Venezuela, which today is experiencing an economic war and a neo-imperial onslaught similar to the one Cuba had to endure in 1961, implies a historical shift. We haven’t had such an exciting moment in inter-American relations since the creation of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) in 2008, an alliance that today is weakened by the sabotage of the current governments of Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay.
Even though no formal representative of the U.S. government participated in the Celac meeting, it did have a faithful spokesman in the figure of Uruguayan president Luis Lacalle, who reproduced word for word Washington’s charges against Cuba and Venezuela. Fortunately, these provocations did not achieve their goal of thwarting the talks, and the meeting progressed smoothly.
The hypocrisy of those who criticize the domestic policies of Cuba or Venezuela, but remain complicitly silent in cases of serious violations of democracy and human rights by the neoliberal governments of Colombia and Brazil, for example, is frankly laughable. No Latin American country has a perfect democracy, nor does it have the moral authority to cast the first stone. It is better to abide by the wise historical principles of the Estrada Doctrine of Mexican diplomacy, of non-intervention and full respect for the sovereignty of peoples.
Instead of destroying each other for ideological reasons, we should build common solutions to shared problems. For example, the excellent proposals presented by the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena, in favor of a coordinated regional strategy against the pandemic and in favor of economic reactivation, were very welcome.
Source: La Jornada, Monday, September 20, 2021