Thursday, December 24, 2009

Darts and Royal Palms

Whether or not it is a state policy, an improvisation threw over the table at the last minute or it is something deeply calculated and a consequence of a long road from the Cuban Revolution beginnings, the selectivity of our foreign policy is, more than questionable, embarrassing.Darts and Royal Palms

For years I watched in Cuban National Television our Commander in Chief, as he prefers being by his people, drawing the guidelines of our foreign policy in long speeches ornate with numbers, quotes and florid phrases. My questions of the time was whether those arguments were over the spirit of the moment, or they were just a solid piece of argument intelligently backed in strong and immovable principles of the Cuban Revolution.

It is just funny, because I remember Castro setting out crystal-clear arguments about this and that, and a few years later I could find myself listening him in opposite ways about the same topic. For instance, could you remember how many times Castro change his political compass about China?

In the 60’s, China was a monster at which we have to fight. The seventies came and a period of peace in heaven closed Castro’s relationship with the Chinese. Then, some strange incidents happened between China and Viet Nam, and we found ourselves in the brink of break our relations with the red flag of the orient.

Today, China is the bride to complement and flatter. And even the western media is quoting China as a reference to Cuba’s future. I have the same memories about Christmas. In 1969, Christmas was over. We were creating a new era in the world where Christianity didn’t have any place. Then, in 1998, Pope John Paul II visited Cuba, and Castro opened the door to Christmas.

Cuba’s policy is a mercenary tool in our leaders’ hands, and our diplomats abroad are only a well oil piece of machinery rolling over principles never established, and changeable as the wind is blowing East, South or West. I rather let North out of this business.

Bringing this up in today’s news, Cuba reprimanded a few western diplomats located in Havana as result of their deploy in the surroundings of the protest held by the “Ladies in White” in Havana, the latest December 10, International Human Rights Day. A journey full of outrage and abuse against a few women armed only with flowers.

According to the news, the Minister of Foreign Affairs called to Diana Melrose and Claude Robert Ellnert, British and German ambassadors in Cuba, and also to Jonathan D. Farrar, Chief of US Interests Section in Havana, and reprimanded them for their presence in the premises of the protest held in the International Human Rights Day.

The point here is not what it is worldwide normal or standard, or even what it is a completely legal activity of any diplomat in any democratic country, because Cuba is not a normal and democratic country, and its policy doesn’t endorse what a normal country worldwide endorse. But there is something more.

As you can say, Cuban authorities were hostile with those countries because some of their representatives in Havana were in the premises of the protest, but the second secretary of the Canadian Embassy, Mr Marc-Antoine Dumas, was well-noticed in the same premises, and mostly along Neptuno Street, and nobody disturbed him and his chief in charge.

Thumb up, Mr Dumas, at least we can congratulate Harper’s government by held such a moment of honour not commonly held in the past.

In the other hand, a question is raised. Why did Cuban authorities admonish US, UK and Germany diplomats and didn’t call Mr. Dumas?

If the principles are the same, the guidelines are well established and Cuba’s policy is coherent, how is possible those principles can be hold against some diplomats and not against others?

We all agree Politicians are mercenaries when they come to principles, and there is nothing different with Cuban politicians. The only difference is the colour dressed in their opinions. Canada was let out of the list because Canada is the most important economic key that Cuba is holding safety in their hands in this moment, if any.

So, there are no principles. It is just a darts game in which you have to hit the proper note in the proper moment. And like our Royal Palm trees scattered throughout our territory, Cuba sees each of them separately, with its own agenda, its own colour and its own interchangeable principle.

Yesterday were the Russians, today are the Chinese or Venezuelan, and tomorrow could be the North Pole. There are too many palm trees in this world and all of them are different. So, let’s change our dress, folks, and dance a new rhythm.