October 26th 2009 at 19:00 · Clasificados en Sin Evasión
After a brief note published on page 2 of the Saturday, October 17th, 2009 edition of Granma, announcing the “beginning” of the official visit to Cuba of the Spanish Kingdom’s Foreign Minister, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the official press surrounded the event with absolute silence until the following Tuesday, when it once again referred to it, to ensure that “relations between Cuba and Spain have a positive development”.
As reported in the foreign media, the Spanish foreign minister said he found “a commitment to reform” and to “improve the economic situation in Cuba” by Raúl Castro, though not clarifying the nature of these reforms or proposals through which one could trace the critical economic situation on the Island. Time frames have been mentioned far less, in either case. All in an abstract, cryptic and ambiguous language that may be interpreted in any way or none. Moratinos and his companions once again ignored both the opposition and sectors of independent civil society, because -he said- his visit to Cuba “had basically an official overtone”.
The juggling acts that Mr. Moratinos has been performing to throw in the towel at the Cuban government against the EU are well known, but -at least inside Cuba- it has never been clear why there has been so much effort. We can only scarcely speculate about which commitments the current Spanish government has with the Cuban dictatorship, how significant are the interests they defend here, what obscure reason we should assume that, by coddling the Castros, could bring any results and what does it expect from its concessions, from its efforts, from so many grace periods. Obviously, the minister’s visit didn’t just seek, among other things, to negotiate the Cuban government’s huge debt to Spanish businessmen, but also to ask Cuba to show some small token to the other EU countries to demonstrate the good intentions of the Antillean autocrats, hence the release of Nelson Aguiar Ramírez, a victim of the repression of the Black Spring, when 75 independent journalists were arrested, and the authorization to leave Cuba for dissidents Onelio Lázaro Angulo and Elsa Morejón, wife of Oscar Elias Biscet, also an imprisoned dissident; a mere cosmetic gesture, as to not leave Moratinos out in his underwear, basically to meet the demands of the opposing Popular Party. At this rate, who knows how many visits from the complacent minister would be necessary to release all political prisoners in this island.
From my own point of view -and I apologize for such a shocking display of ignorance on my part- Mr. Moratinos’ undertaking in Cuba is the consecration of failure in using diplomacy with dictators, which is doubly contradictory, since he is the representative of a nation that also suffered in the flesh through decades of a military dictatorship and was able to move on, gradually and peacefully, into a democracy. The Spanish Foreign Minister seems to be turning a deaf ear to the demands of large sectors of the independent Cuban civil society and blind eyes to the reality that the Island is suffering. The Island’s lack of freedom and disrespect for the most basic human rights, essentially evidenced by the large number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience that are painfully just surviving in the regime’s prisons, are sufficiently grave evils that demand, once and for all, that so many hypocritical caresses be turned aside.
And if, this time, the efforts of Mr. Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Spain have had superior intentions and results, may he forgive me: take into account that, in such an instance, my error could be derived from the mysterious enigma and the official silence that his performance is always surrounded with in around these parts.