Two recent developments implicitly have endorsed my strong suggestion for the U.S. to rescind its designation of Cuba as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” and to seek reconciliation with Cuba.
Over the last week the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, has announced that this October his government will enter into new negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) seeking to end their long civil war.
Santos said that holding such talks is well worth the risk of failure because an end to the conflict would not only would end bloodletting, but also bring a “peace dividend” of up to 2% additional economic growth a year to the country’s economy.
The initial negotiations will take place in Norway and then move to Havana, Cuba. The President said that support for such negotiations by Venezuela and Cuba has been crucial in helping the two sides to reach agreement on conducting the negotiations.
Cuba’s role in this positive development for Colombia and the whole western hemisphere shows the absurdity of the U.S. designation of Cuba as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” on the ground, in part, that some members of the FARC have been living in Cuba.
Former President Carter Calls for Improved U.S.- Cuba Relations
On September 6th, former President Jimmy Carter said the next U.S. president should act forcefully to improve relations with Cuba. He also called for Cuba to be removed from the U.S. State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.
9 thoughts on “Positive Developments for Improved U.S.-Cuba Relations”
Comment: Details of Cuba’s Assistance to Colombia-FARC Negotiations # 313A–9/8/12
On September 4th Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Relations released a statement on the recently-announced peace talks between Colombia’s government and the FARC.
It stated that Cuba “has a historical commitment to peace in Colombia and efforts to put an end to [her] . . . political, social and military conflicts.” To that end, the Cuban Government “has made constructive efforts to . . . search for a negotiated solution, always responding to a request from the parties involved and without the slightest influence in their respective positions.”
The statement continued. For over a year, at the express request of the Government of Colombia and the FARC, “the Cuban government supported the . . . exploratory talks leading to a peace process,” and as a “guarantor” Cuba participated in these talks.
“The Cuban government will continue to . . . [provide its] good offices in favor of this effort, to the extent that the Government of Colombia and the FARC . . . so request.”
Statement of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations, Granma (Sept. 4, 2012), http://www.granma.cu/espanol/noticias/4sep-Declaracion%20del.html?utm_source=September+7th+SS+list+&utm_campaign=Sept+7+Blast+Sarah%27s+List+&utm_medium=email
Comment: Skepticism about Colombia-FARC Negotiations # 313B—–9/17/12
Mary Anastasia O’Grady, the conservative Wall Street Journal’s columnist on Latin America, has expressed here skepticism about the likelihood that the upcoming negotiations between the Government of Colombia and the FARC will produce a lasting peace.
O’Grady, Colombia Gambles on Talks With the FARC, W.S.J. (Sept. 17, 2012), http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444023704577651450332875764.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_BelowLEFTSecond#printMode
Comment: Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez Aided Colombia and the FARC’s Agreeing to Negotiate an End to the Colombian Civil War # 313C–10/14/12
A journalist has reported that earlier this year Colombian President Santos went to Havana, Cuba for secret talks with leaders of the FARC (Colombian rebel group) and that Santos also met separately with Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, who assisted the two sides in agreeing to engage in substantive negotiations to end the internal conflict in Colombia.
Beaumont, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez played role in Colombia’s peace talks with Farc, Observer (Oct. 13, 2012), http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/13/fidel-castro-hugo-chavez-colombia-farc-talks?INTCMP=SRCH.