Sugarcoated realities fading
(Taken from Cubadebate)
I was surprised today as I listened
to the speech delivered by Jose Miguel Insulza in
Cartagena. I thought that the person who was
speaking on behalf of the OAS would at least demand
some respect for the sovereignty of the peoples of
this hemisphere which were for years colonized and
cruelly exploited by colonial powers.
Why didn’t he say a single word
about the Malvinas Islands, or demand respect for
the sovereign rights of the sister nation of
The Cartagena Summit went through
episodes that will not be easily forgotten. It is
true that its celebration required a huge effort.
Despite the several hours that have elapsed since
its inaugural session, we have no idea of what
happened during the lunch sponsored by Santos, with
which he attempted to make up for the colossal
amount of energy used up by the participants in that
Those who may find this
entertaining, will very seldom in their lives have
the opportunity to watch the faces of more than
thirty political leaders in front of the TV cameras
since they got out of their cars until the moment
when, after the heroic and final effort involved in
walking down a long carpeted corridor, they climbed
up 10 or 12 steps to the stage where the host,
smiling and happy, waited to greet them. It didn’t
matter whether they were young or of age, or whether
they had flat feet, knee surgery or difficulties in
one or both legs. They were forced to continue to
the top. Rich or poor, they were compelled to
observe the protocol.
Curiously enough, Obama was the only
one who took advantage of the route to get some
exercise. As he was walking all by himself, it was
easier for him to do so: he adopted a sporting
attitude and jogged up the steps.
The women attending the Summit
either as companions or as Heads of State were the
ones who did it best. Once again they proved that
the world would be a far better place if they took
care of political affairs. Perhaps there would be
fewer wars, although no one can be sure of that.
Some might say that, for obvious
political reasons, Obama was the figure who made the
worst impression on me. However, this was not the
case. I noticed he was pensive and at times quite
absent. It was as if he were sleeping with open
eyes. No one knows how much rest he had before
arriving in Cartagena, which generals he spoke with,
what problems were on his mind; whether he was
thinking about Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea
or Iran. Quite certainly, of course, he was thinking
about the elections, Tea Party moves and Mitt
Romney’s sinister plans. At the very last minute,
shortly before the Summit, he decided that the tax
contributions of the richest should equal at least
30% of their income, as it was before the Bush Jr.
administration. This, of course, would allow him to
portray a clearer image of his sense of justice as
opposed to the Republican right.
But the real problem is this: the
enormous debt accumulated by the federal government,
which exceeds 15 trillion dollars and demands no
less than 5 trillion dollars in resources. The tax
to be imposed on the richest will contribute around
50 billion dollars over a period of ten years, while
the need for funds will increase to 5 trillions.
Therefore, he will be receiving one dollar for every
100 that are needed. An eighth grader could do these
We should remember very well what
Dilma Rousseff demanded relations ‘on equal terms’
with Brazil and the rest of Latin America.
"The Euro-zone has responded to the
economic crisis with a monetary expansion, thus
provoking a ‘tsunami’ that has led to an
appreciation of the Brazilian currency and has
damaged the competitiveness of the national
industry", she stated.
Those realities do not escape Dilma
Rousseff, a capable and intelligent woman who knows
how to address them with authority and dignity.
Obama, who is accustomed to having
the last word, knows that the Brazilian economy is
emerging with impressive strength and that, in
conjunction with others like those of Venezuela,
Argentina, China, Russia, South Africa and others
from Latin America and the world, will trace the
future of the world’s development.
The biggest problem of all is to
preserve peace in the face of an increasing danger
of war that, given the destructive power of modern
weapons, would push humanity to the edge of an abyss.
I realize that the meetings in
Cartagena are taking a long time and the sugarcoated
realities are fading away. Nothing was said about
the guayabera shirts presented to Obama as a gift.
Somebody will have to compensate the Cartagena
designer Edgar Gómez.
Fidel Castro Ruz