Monday, October 26, 2009

Obama's message, via Madrid

A Sunday story in Madrid’s El Pais relies on “diplomatic sources” to reconstruct an October 13 conversation between Prime Minister Zapatero and President Obama. With Spanish foreign minister Miguel Moratinos about to visit Cuba, the paper reports that Obama asked Spain to carry a message to the Cuban government: reform at your own pace, but this is the time to start, and as you do more, so will we.

Cuban Colada translates part of the El Pais article, and an Administration official confirmed to Reuters that the President “suggested that Moratinos urge the Castro regime to take steps to reform and improve human rights.”

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Children's hour at WH! Pres.Zapatero should have been put in his place by Pres.Obama. US does not need intermediaries to deal with any country in the world. It sounds like M.Vincent is being a little fanciful in his "reporting".

Vecino de NF

Anonymous said...

Meantime while Rome burns ...

The Miami Herald published this interview/article with Rober Pastor. (see http://www.miamiherald.com/news/issues_ideas/v-fullstory/story/1297878.html)

It appears very instructive for those who are interested in Cuba-USA relations.

Vecino de NF

Anonymous said...

here's a plan, end the embargo and the hostility, renounce the commission for assistance to a free cuba; and then let cuba reform at its own pace. tell me one country in history that had the incentive or desire to institute major reform with a boot to the neck.

leftside said...

Zapatero should have been put in his place?? What place is that? And Cuba uses intermediaries because it does not have diplomatic relations - plus Spin is (slightly) more trusted in Havana.

So it appears the prisoner release might have been aimed at Washington after all. But I think it was also a way of saying that Washington has done very little up to this point and the onus remains on Obama. For Obama to apparently say that it is hard for him to go any further in normalizing relations unless Cuba starts reforms NOW probably reflects the realities of Washington politics. But it must be viewed as a joke in Havana. Still, with the releases, Cuba seems intent on acting with some seriousness.

Anonymous said...

Leftside,

Did you read the Rober Pastor interview?

As far as intermediaries, the USA has charge de affaire in Havana, and their undersecretary for hemispheric affairs just spent a week in Havana negotiating face to face with teh Cuban government. So this looks like Pres. Zapatero trying to inflate his role (he's having real political problems in Spain btw), and the WH enabling him to do so. Agree that this article describes a WH that is a joke!

Vecino de NF

Anonymous said...

"tell me one country in history that had the incentive or desire to institute major reform with a boot to the neck."

How about SOUTH AFRICA and the SOVIET UNION? As in "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall!"

Anonymous said...

On Planet Anon 1:36, South Africa reformed after being showered with rose petals.

Anonymous said...

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