Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

Aug. 25, 1999

HAVANA'S BLACK LIST ADDS CANADA By Juan Carlos Recio Martinez, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - It is now Canada's turn.

When the U.S.S.R. supported the Cuban autocracy and used the island as their strategic base, the leadershio had a better opinion of the Soviet Union. Once that reality changed, the backyard comrades placed that country on Cuba's black list.

Nicaragua had its golden era, with sandinism; Silvio Rodriguez even composed a "guaracha" praising the country. But since Chamorro came and later Arnoldo Aleman, that country was added to the list. There are other countries on it such as Costa Rica which never stopped denouncing Cuba's human rights violations. And there are others where the communist experiments came and went - or are in the process of doing so - with more pain than glory.

Some countries seem to get on and off the list depending on how the diplomatic scandals go. Such is the case, for example, with Spain. Even Mexico was recently involved in some ambivalence when words pronounced by our president "were misinterpreted" but later clarified to show he would never want to get involved in the internal affairs of such a close friend.

All of this sibylline behavior is part of a constant maneuver to distract our gaze from the internal crisis this nation labors through. This is the case for the Catholic Church which, like it or not, has always been on the black list. A few years ago we saw a confrontation with the public in a denunciation written by our bishops on the internal situation of the country: "Love hopes for everything." Then Castro's visit to the vatican and, later on, the Holy See's visit of Cuba seemed to restore a sense of normality in the tight Church-State relations.

So, it is now Canada's turn. After their premier came to Havana for the inauguration of the Jose Marti airport's new terminal, the local press didn't tire of singing the praises of that country's loyal support of this island's economy as well as its opposition to the United States' policies toward Cuba.

But after Canada reconsidered its policy towards Cuba, in particular with Ottawa pointing out how the commitments towards democracy were not being carried out and how repeated violations of human rights took place. Then the language here changed drastically. In this change of "tone" to our government and official press' outbursts, others have been involved, not just the Canadian government. The exile community has received its share of insults since supposedly it has lined itself with those seeking to slander the Cuban people.

How long will these diplomatic "noises" last? I don't think anybody knows. One thing is sure: Many other countries will be added to the black list. All they have to do is to "get involved in Cuban internal affairs" with such a theme as the violation of human rights, notwithstanding the fact that our country has co-signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, supposedly respecting them.

Juan Carlos Recio Martinez, Cuba Free Press.

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