By Angélica Paredes López – Radio Rebelde, March 27, 2018
Even though its alleged purpose is to seek solutions to the problems shared by all the Latin American nations, the truth is the United States has used those events to try hard to impose its opinion and subordinate the nations of Latin America to its interests.
The first summit of Americas event, carried out in Miami city in late 1994, should have helped to implement what was then known as FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas).
Cuba was then resisting the most intense hardships from the Special period (economic crisis) and it was not invited to that summit in spite of the fact that the summit was an independent mechanism of the Organization of American States (OAS) from which Cuba had been expelled by the then decision of the White House since 1962. The United States government used its political pressures and all kind of manipulations to keep that exception ever since.
The second summit was carried out in Santiago de Chile from April 18th through the 19th in 1998; it took place with the typical quietness from those who were trying to achieve tighter and also unequal economic bonds to keep their regional domination.
The third event was then carried out in Quebec from April 20th through the 22nd in Canada and the presence of the Venezuelan Commander Hugo Chávez who was a new kind of president in Venezuela as he changed the previous established order. Hugo Chávez Frías used to question the premeditated absence of Cuba, including the true objectives and intentions of the FTAA proposal.
The fourth summit was carried out from November 4th through 5th in 2005 in the Argentinian Mar del Plaza city where the United States of America and its allied Canada put pressure for the approval of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. However, that summit was quite different. It had as its themes the principles of liberties, justice, safety, social protection by promoting more and much better uses, fighting the inequalities, poverty, hunger, exclusion, access to the health services, the basic education with quality, eradicate the children’s labor, as well as giving opportunities to the minorities, native peoples, Afro descendants, disable people, young and elderly people, among other common preoccupations in that continent.
On the other hand, if Miami wanted to reactive the FTAA agreement, the IV Summit of Americas event carried out in Mar del Plata city in Argentina was its official burial, along with the undisputable role played by Hugo Chávez and the then host president, Néstor Kirchner, whose nation had barely started to escape from the bankruptcy that had been left by the previous neoliberal turbulence.
The Summit of Americas event began to be announced for Puerto España, Trinidad and Tobago. The fifth event of those dates that was carried out from April 17th through 19th in 2009, once again gathered the 34 nations. However, Cuba was excluded again.
In Cartagena de Indias in Colombia was carried out the sixth Americas summit in 2012,along with the absence of the head of states, Rafael Correa from Ecuador, Daniel Ortega from Nicaragua and Hugo Chávez from Venezuela.
“We will not attend to that Americas Summit without Cuba.” The then Ecuadorian head of state had pointed out.
In Cartagena de Indias was proven that there was a growing abyss between our Latin America of the hero José Martí and the restless and brutal north northern nation that despise us. It was there where there was a related uprising from Latin America and the Caribbean that demanded the exclusion of Cuba from those hemispheric events.
The new trend in Cartagena was that part of the governments, along with their natural differences and different approaches, demanded an alternative social model that prioritized the solidarity and complementary nature against the competition focused on selfishness. They requested the harmony with nature and not the sacking of the natural resources and not the frenetic consumerism. Moreover, they asked to secure the cultural diversity and not for imposition of values and life styles different to the regional nations, including the consolidation of peace and the rejection of wars and militarization.
After the big expectations in the region, the VII Summit of Americas event, which gathered 35 nations from the hemisphere for the first time, was carried out in the Panamanian capital city in the month of April in 2015. The collective demand of the Latin American and Caribbean nations took Cuba for its first time to that hemispheric meeting that started in Miami city in 1994, along with a neoliberal nature. However, that meeting experienced big political and social transformations in the last events.
The Cuban President, Raúl Castro, began talking in that event, along with the dignity of any Cuban patriot.
From April 13 th through the 14th, the VIII Summit of Americas event will be carried out in Lima, the attempts for the exclusions against the Venezuelan nation recalled the absence of Cuba of the first events of those hemispheric events until its incorporation in the seventh meeting that was carried out in Panama.
In the middle of complex regional scenery, it is necessary to recall that the return of Cuba was not an U.S. concession, on the contrary, it was the collective demand of the Latin American and Caribbean nations which refused to keep attending those events without the presence of one of their members.
The presence of Cuba at the VII Summit of Americas in Panama was also a sign about the then period of time in the region and the denial of a main group of nations about continuing being ruled by the United States.
Translated by: JC Caballero