Skip to comments.Cuba Blasts Mexico Over U.N. Aid Summit
Posted on 03/24/2002 11:14:39 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
HAVANA, Cuba (Reuters) - Cuba accused Mexico on Sunday of selling out Cuban President Fidel Castro to the United States at last week's U.N. aid summit in Mexico, as a diplomatic spat over the country's marginalization at the event heated up.
Castro abandoned the summit in Mexico's northern city of Monterrey Thursday, shortly before President Bush arrived. Senior Cuban officials later charged that Castro, Latin America's symbol of rebellion against Washington, was asked by the summit host to make himself scarce.
Mexico has been a close ally of Castro's government since he took power in 1959. But relations have been strained in recent years as Mexico has moved closer economically and politically to the United States, which imposed an economic embargo on the communist-run island 40 years ago.
"The United States put a price on the Monterrey Summit, and the Mexican government accepted the deal. The money of exchange was Fidel," said a front-page editorial Sunday in Cuba's state-run Juventud Rebelde newspaper.
Local analysts believe Castro writes or reviews all editorials published by Cuba's official media.
Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox, the summit host, have denied pressuring Castro to leave.
"I know of no pressure placed on anybody. Fidel Castro can do what he wants to do," Bush said at a joint summit news conference with Fox.
Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon, who remained in Castro's place at Monterrey and was denied entry to some events where Bush participated, disagreed.
Mexican officials "with great authority, transmitted the message and specifically asked us, given they could not prevent Fidel from coming, that he leave immediately after lunch," Alarcon said.
"It is painful that this happened in Mexico, because if there was at least one thing you could say about the country in the past, it was that it had an independent foreign policy," Sunday's editorial said of the incident.
The 75-year-old Castro and Fox, a former Coca-Cola executive and advocate of democracy and closer regional ties with the United States, had managed until now to avoid an all-out diplomatic dispute despite their ideological differences.
Castro said he was not offended when Fox met with dissidents during a brief visit to the Caribbean island in February.
Later in the month, when a group of Cubans rammed a bus into Mexico's Havana embassy in a failed attempt to leave the country, Castro and Fox worked together to end the incident quickly.
As Sunday's attack on the Mexican government showed, keeping Castro on the sidelines of a U.N. meeting on Third World development, his favored topic, proved too much for Havana.
"The Monterrey Summit will go down in the annals of this century as a place that obeyed the world's policeman, a master that has disdain for Mexicans, that condemns them to death on the border or assigns them the dirtiest work -- in domestic life and foreign policy, as we are seeing," the editorial said.
The five-day U.N. development conference, attended by more than 50 heads of state in the final two days, ended late Friday with rich and poor nations saying they had struck a bargain to fight world poverty.
Castro ridiculed the efforts of the world's wealthy nations to fight poverty during his speech Thursday, saying "the existing world economic order constitutes a system of plundering and exploitation like no other in history."
Castro, Chávez Decry Inequalities, Condemn IMF [Excerpt] MONTERREY, Mexico-- Presidents Hugo Chávez, of Venezuela, and Fidel Castro, of Cuba, urged the international community Thursday to straighten out the path of the global economy and harshly criticized multilateral financial organizations in speeches addressing more than 50 heads of state and government gathered in this northern Mexican city.
"The current world order constitutes a system of plunder and exploitation like never before in history. The people believe less and less in declarations and promises. The prestige of the international financial institutions has fallen below zero," said Castro.
The heads of state and government are meeting Thursday and Friday, the last two days of the five-day International Conference on Financing for Development, convened by the United Nations.
Also in attendance are executives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank World Trade Organisation, and leaders of pro-development non-governmental organizations (NGOs), with many of the latter supporting the arguments of Castro and Chávez.
The world is living "a true genocide" and one cannot blame "this strategy on the poor countries. They are not the ones who conquered and pillaged entire continents over the centuries, nor did they establish colonialism, implant slavery, or create modern- day imperialism," said the Cuban leader in a speech that won enthusiastic applause from NGO delegates at the conference. [End Excerpt]
Cuba Insists Bush Behind Hasty Castro Summit Exit [Excerpt] MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) - Cuba accused President Bush on Friday of threatening to boycott this week's U.N. aid summit in Mexico unless Cuban President Fidel Castro was made to leave, but Bush insisted he didn't pressure anybody.
Castro abandoned the summit meeting in Mexico's northern city of Monterrey on Thursday, shortly before Bush arrived, and a senior Cuban official said the communist leader was asked by Mexican officials to make himself scarce.
"We received very senior people from the Mexican government before the conference who indicated they had been subjected to U.S. government pressure, specifically threats from President Bush that he would not come to Monterrey if Fidel Castro came," said Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's national assembly.
Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox, the summit host, both denied the allegations but the dispute threatened to end a recent easing in U.S.-Cuban tensions and hit Cuba's long-standing friendship with Mexico.
Asked at a joint news conference with Fox whether he would have felt uncomfortable meeting Castro, Bush responded that what made him uncomfortable about the Cuban leader was "the way he treats his people."
"I know of no pressure placed on anybody. Fidel Castro can do what he wants to do," he said. [End Excerpt]
Carter to visit Cuba; he'll be 1st ex-president there since '59 [Excerpt] VISION FOR ISLAND -
''As you probably would remember, when I was president, I departed from my predecessors and unfortunately my successors, in lifting all travel restraints on American citizens to go to Cuba almost immediately when I was president within a few weeks,'' Carter said.
``And I also established interests sections, which is one step short of full diplomatic relationships between Havana and Washington. And those interest sections with staffs representing our countries have never been closed.
``So I think the best way to bring about democratic changes in Cuba is obviously to have maximum commerce and trade and visitation by Americans and others who know freedom and to let the Cuban people know the advantages of freedom. That's the best way to bring about change and not to punish the Cuban people themselves by imposing an embargo on them, which makes Castro seem to be a hero because he is defending his own people against the abuse of Americans.'' [End Excerpt]
Fidel Castro & Hugo Chavez
Some people are never happy. You'd think calling in Castro's police to take out the 21 asylum seekers was proof enough of Mexico's affections for Castro.
The writting is on the wall.
It seems there's more to that than meets the eye.
Havana embassy incident should not cow Mexico****But there are hopeful signs that Fox and Castañeda will not be cowed into shelving their pro-democracy foreign policy. Perhaps, Castañeda's initial statements that the crisis had been instigated by U.S.-financed Radio Martí and radical Miami exile groups was a defensive move -- granted, somewhat cynical -- to avoid picking a fight with Cuba on an issue in which Cuba had a clear advantage to affect events on the ground. ****
MEXICAN MINISTER SHUFFLES TO THE RIGHT- Some quotes: "He's also taken a different a different tack on Mexico's relations with Cuba. A long time Cuban ally, Mexico has traditionally abstained from votes to censure Cuba's human rights record. But while Mexico abstained from the vote last April, during the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Castaneda blasted Cuba's record on human rights. He drew praise from some - and ire from old friends in Havana. Castaneda eventually met with Helms, a one time critic, to iron out issues raised by Mexican abstention. For the last seven, eight years, his democratic credentials are indisputable. He was one of the first leftist intellectuals who began to call Cuba what it is, said Oppenheimer, best speech I've heard from any foreign minister on Cuba but I would like him to follow through on that."- The Latino Reporter Story by David Cisneros (June 21, 2001)
Mexico official fired over rights policy e-mail - Cuba****A Mexican official was fired from his job for failing to stress President Vicente Fox's commitment to human rights in Cuba in an e-mail exchange with a Miami businessman who had written to complain about Mexico's handling of the Feb. 27 occupation of the Mexican Embassy in Havana, Mexican officials said Wednesday. ****
Castro, Latin America's symbol of a seven-hour spitting contest.
Fidel y sus bozos Chavez y Mugabe. Los Tres Amigos.
Let them broadcast Radio Farti out of the bowels of Yucca Mountain.
At the first station break dump in fifty tons of spent fuel rods on them.
All your cigar, are belong to us.
How many terrorists did HE train?
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