Castro at Venezuela Strategy Meeting

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Abril 16.— Cuban President Raul Castro arrived in Cumana, Venezuela on Thursday for a meeting of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA), called by President Hugo Chavez.

The date is to analyze the regional and global impact of the current international economic crisis and get ready for the Americas Summit to take place in Trinidad and Tobago over the weekend.

The ALBA is a regional integration effort that stresses social development, cooperation and mutually beneficial trade. The members of the body founded in 2004 are Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

The six nations are expected to seek out common positions for the Trinidad and Tobago meeting that starts Friday and will include leaders including US President Obama and all Latin American and Caribbean countries (34) except Cuba.

The exclusion of Cuba from gatherings like the Americas Summit is a point that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez promised to address head on. He has repeatedly stated the importance of Cuba and its contribution to the region and rejected US pressure to ostracize it for opting for a socialist system.

“I hope the president of the United States is going to listen” at the Americas Summit, Chavez was quoted as saying on Thursday. Chavez like Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have advised Obama that the key to a fresh start for the deteriorated US relations with Latin America is rapprochement with Cuba and ending the nearly half-century blockade on the island.

Lula and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said they will propose at the Americas Summit in Trinidad and Tobago that Cuba be included in future gatherings, said Lula’s international relations advisor Marco Aurelio Garcia.

Raul Castro has repeatedly stated that he is willing to dialogue on any and all subjects with the US on equal terms. The Caribbean island believes the ball is in the US court to mend relations since for decades Washington has been the aggressor.

The Americas Summit will coincidently take place on the anniversary of the April 17-19, 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion that tried to cut short the 1959 Cuban Revolution.

One thought on “Castro at Venezuela Strategy Meeting

  • My son and i are enroute to Trinidad , and i am on my laptop. My son is a journalist and we both hope that he will be able to have the ability to ask a few questions of Pres Obama concernong Cuba.

    As Circles Robinson, has so clearly stated here i also hope that Pres Obama, will listen while in attendance and that he will find a way to come to an agreement and end the old way of doing things /ie embargo.
    Moreover, as the optimist that i am, i know that Pres Obama, has his back up against the wall and perhaps he has even been relegated to the ROCK and HARD place. But In the end it will be a pleasure seeing how he minces words and wiggles out of any committment. It will also be a pleasure to see if he and Pres Chavez can mend thier fences. However, if it were me and Chavez, called me would be smack down time..LOL

    I also know that Fidel, has chosen his brother Raul. to do some of the negotiating, and in my opinion Raul, is much more of a hardliner however, i also believe (do not know) that he has placed the ball in Pres Obama’s court. to correct the evils of the past.
    For the first time in its history my country Cuba, has no dependence on neither the US the former USSR or even Spain. Cuba , is a fully dependent country and as Ignacio Ramonet, says in his book Fidel Castro, Cuba has begun a kind of second political life.

    I can only imagine the grins on Castros face, when he reminices about the many attempts to murder him and bring Cuba to its knees, and yet he never retaliated. This attitude and deportment only serves to make me prouder than before of the man who has survived heck and high water to keep Cuba, a sovereign nation and who sent troops to Africa, to help quell attempts to overthrow sovereign nations. There will never be anything wrong with being free from colonization (Puerto Rico)

    Having said this, i will admit that that was then, and this is now and it is time for a change. This is a new era, and the fact is that i am someone who has never been able to even visit, and i am hopeful that i will be able to do so sooner than later. It is time for Fidel castro, to put aside all fears and step out on the faith that he displayed in 1959, taking the “by any means necessay” approach to securing change for CUBA.
    There is a new mindset now, and although it is not perfect, it is the youth who are politically asute who have the willingness and desire to bring change..
    Case in point.. Here in the US last yr. people in america, from all walks of life, who came different races,spoke different, languages, were tall, short fat thin religious and agnostic came to vote for a ideal…And in the end the one thing that bound all of us together was..CHANGE HOPE and FAITH



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