Handshakes with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, steps to alter Cuba policy, positive enthusiasm for a Leftist regime in El Salvador, and a generally apologetic tone for past U.S. misbehavior in Latin America has done little to calm the anti-American rage of the vanguard of Latin America’s Bolivarian leaders.
Ready to shred constitutional guarantees, trample individual liberties, and manipulate political systems to perpetuate power, the Bolivarian cabal argues that democratic governance must not be an issue between the U.S. and the rest of Latin America.
The latest stratagem is to permit totalitarian Cuba’s return, if it so desires, to the Organization of American States (OAS) without conditions. [Cuba was suspended in 1962 at the height of the Cold War.]
In Honduras for the annual meeting of the OAS, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton balked at giving Cuba a free pass. She linked the “fundamental values of the OAS and the Inter-American Democratic Charter to Cuba’s return” and called for a “process that would address the fundamental questions about democracy and human rights.”
Waiting in Honduras were a chorus of Bolivarian leaders, such as President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras who demanded “a correction for the day of infamy in 1962 [the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis] when the OAS suspended Cuba’s membership. Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega lashed out at the OAS, calling it “an instrument of domination by the U.S.”
Fidel Castro then reached out to his leftist allies, writing:
Never has such rebellion been seen. Without any doubt, the battle is a hard one. Many countries are dependent on the index finger of one hand of the government of the United States pointing at the Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter American Development Bank, or in any other direction for punishing rebelliousness. Having waged it is already a feat in itself on the part of the most rebellious. June 2, 2009 will be recalled by future generations.
On June 3, the OAS reached out to Fidel and voted to revoke Cuba’s suspension, apparently without conditions, delivering to the Obama Administration and anyone interested in democracy in the Americas a serious and sobering rebuff.