People say Cubans are hot-tempered but Machetera doesn’t believe it. Not when she sees the current Cuban foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, in action.
Following the recent U.N. vote, where the entire world (save the two countries totally on the U.S. dole – Israel and Palau – and not counting the other two abstentions, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands) condemned the United States of America again for its ongoing genocidal blockade against Cuba, and where the completely miscast U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice (Susan, Vermont is calling!) weighed in with a nasty speech against Cuba lifted lock stock and barrel from the rhetoric of the Bush administration, Rodriguez spoke to the Associated Press:
Rodriguez told AP he was “a little bit surprised” by the vehemence of Rice’s initial comments, saying he knew and respected her and held her in high esteem.
“She is an articulate person, a decent and well-meaning person, like president Obama,” he said. “And we respect both of them for that.”
This just proves that Machetera could never have been a diplomat.
Rodriguez’s speech was a splendid counterpoint to that given by Rice, exposing the hollowness behind every single point made by the U.S. in its own pitiful and isolated defense. But there is one point that Rice ought to have been especially embarrassed to make:
“…my delegation regrets that the delegation from Cuba continues to label inappropriately and incorrectly U.S. trade restrictions on Cuba as an act of genocide. Such an egregious misuse of the term diminishes the real suffering of victims of genocide elsewhere in the world.”
Wikipedia says: The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260. The Convention came into effect in January 1951. It defines genocide in legal terms, and is the culmination of years of campaigning by lawyer Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term by reference to the Simele massacre, the Holocaust, and the Armenian Genocide. All participating countries are advised to prevent and punish actions of genocide in war and in peacetime. The number of states that have ratified the convention is currently 140.
Article 2 of the Convention defines genocide as
- (a) Killing members of the group;
- (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Pay careful attention to (c). Cuba didn’t write that, nor did Machetera. It’s U.N. policy, going on 60 years now.
Now let’s return to the concrete examples provided by Mr. Rodriguez:
Alexis García Iribar was born in Cuba, in the province of Guantánamo. He suffered from a congenital cardiopathy known as persistent arterial duct. At the age of 6 and after successive deferrals and hemodynamic complications, he had to be submitted to an open-heart surgery on March 9, 2009, because the government of the United States prevents the US companies NUMED, AGA and Boston Scientific from selling to Cuba the ‘amplatzer’ and ‘embolization coil’ devices required to perform a catheterization that will spare children from this type of surgery. I could mention another 12 cases of children between the ages of 5 months and 13 years who have had to undergo a similar procedure in the course of the last one and a half years –two of them underwent surgery after last January 20.
Cuban children suffering from lymphoblastic leukemia whose bodies reject traditional medicines can not be treated with the American product “Elspar” (Erwinia L-asparaginase), created specially to treat intolerance. Consequently, the life expectancy of these children is reduced and their suffering increases. The U.S. government forbids Merck & Co. to supply this medication to Cuba.
And this from Cuba’s foreign ministry:
In 2008, because of additional costs coming from the obstacles to transactions with the United States, ALIMPORT suffered losses of 154.9 million dollars. With those resources and in the same American market, at those year’s average prices, Cuba could have bought 339,000 tons of wheat, or 615,000 tons of corn, or 126,760 tons of chicken for the tables of the more than 11 million Cubans included in the “Canasta Básica” (basic shopping-basket) programme.
Let’s also remember that quietly, Obama’s OFAC has continued the policies of his predecessor, busily hunting down and fining companies such as Lactalis USA, the dairy producer, for having the temerity to engage in electronic wire transfers to Cuba, when they knew full well that when it comes to Cuba, they were supposed to ask papi for permission first, and then haul their cash in a suitcase.
Lactalis paid OFAC $20,959.38 in February, of 2009, to settle the allegations uncovered by OFAC sleuths, that it had made “six unlicensed wire transfer payments in which Cuba or Cuban nationals had an interest.”
The embargo/blockade, whatever you want to call it, does meet the definition established by Article II (c).
Which brings us to the final point. Sigmund Freud postulated that denial was a defense mechanism (Wikipedia again), deployed when “a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may use:
- simple denial – deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether
- minimisation – admit the fact but deny its seriousness, or
- projection – admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility
It’s no secret that the former occupant of the White House had fallen off the wagon and was in serious need of an AA program. What is Rice and Obama’s excuse?