Monday, July 14, 2008

Odds and ends

  • The Beijing Olympics will be the last where baseball is played, and the focus of international competition will shift to the World Baseball Classic (which returns next year). Sports Illustrated looks at the impact on Cuban baseball.

  • The U.S. national team defeats Cuba, 4-1, to win a tournament in the Netherlands. LA Times story here.

  • In Encuentro, an article summarizes comments by Carlos Alberto Montaner at a Madrid forum: change could come to Cuba in the near term because “all the factors that make up today’s reality – Fidel and Raul Castro, the communist party, the dissidents, the people, and outside actors such as the United States and Hugo Chavez – have realized that they can’t achieve their goals and, in small or large measure, want a change.”


Mambi_Watch said...

Insulza, in the case of Cuba, is right. The OAS must show that it is willing to accept Cuba into the organization and confident that the whole region can come together.

A policy alternative to the US, in this case, would be to eliminate the embargo towards Cuba (which does not conform to the rules of the OAS charter) and integrate itself with the nations of the OAS in accepting Cuba, in exchange for internal political reforms and freeing political prisoners, in accordance with the OAS charter.

theCardinal said...

The OAS is worthless as it is - just look at how useless it proved to be during the mess broke out between Colombia and Ecuador. Now we expect it to enforce a promise from Cuba to release all political prisoners and make internal reforms? That is just plain stupid to think Cuba will promise or fulfill those promises.

leftside said...

The OAS proved "worthless" with Colombia vs Ecuador because of US meddling. When they found a venue where the US was not around, everyone found common ground (except for Colombia, of course, who found itself isolated). The OAS dilemma vis-a-vis Cuba is the same: unpopular and interventionist US demands that have no sway outside US borders are holding up progress.

Mambi, are you including those who received foreign assistance or worked for foreign actors in your characterization of "political prisoners?" As far as political reforms go, Cuba will decide this on its own without any care about the OAS. The embargo never had anything to do with "democracy," so increasing attempts to tie the two now (like Obama is doing) is a non-starter with Cuba.

Anonymous said...


you are only jealous.. you wish you could work there. If they are so worthless, they have more voice than you... Thus, you must be real worthless if they are worthless.


While I do see the rationale behind allowing Cuba to join the OAS - I believe it would serious dilute the mission of the organization and transform it into a laughing stock.

Here's why - when looking at the group's stated goals, here's what we see:

1)To strengthen the peace and security of the continent.

I don't know how this can be achieved when police states are permitted to join - specifically the idea to "strengthen peace."

2)To promote and consolidate representative democracy, with due respect for the principle of nonintervention.

How do you promote representative democracy by including member states with no such history in recent years. We're still waiting on a real vote in Cuba, despite all of Fidel's promises to hold a vote withing six months of seizing power.

3)To promote, by cooperative action, their economic, social, and cultural development.

Since the Cuban government itself does not permit economic or social development of its citizens by way of its very own laws and regulations, this is obviously laughable as well.

4)To eradicate extreme poverty, which constitutes an obstacle to the full democratic development of the peoples of the hemisphere.

Again, we're talking about a government that promotes a system of poverty.

5) Strengthening democracy

Again, we're talking about Cuba here.

6) Defending human rights:

So, the OAS proposes allowing the nation with one of the worst human rights records in the hemisphere to join?

The ultimate problem is simply that the OAS is an organization with noble goals, and to include brutal dictatorships among its ranks simply means that its own member states don't take their own stated goals seriously. In that sense, it would seem that the OAS reps are a rubber stamp body with nary a care as to the concerns and welfare OF THE PEOPLE. This is what we're supposed to be getting at here, folks. These groups are supposed to represent the welfare of region's PEOPLE - not the political aspirations of its representatives.