The role of ALBA in "redefining" Cuba
Cuba was expelled from the OAS in 1962 because, "the affinity of such government with the Communist bloc breaks the unity and solidarity of the hemisphere," in the words of the resolution itself. Now, the island chairs the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), an organization with 33 countries and 550 million inhabitants. This is a victory of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) in the process of redefinition of the Cuban revolution.
by Juan Manuel Karg
When, in January, the 2nd Summit of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States)finished, the news was an example of a political moment of our continent: Cuba, the small island always scorned by the powers of time, will preside over a continental body which brings together 33 nations - all except the United States and Canada.
Raul Castro getting the pro tempore presidency means a victory, not only for Cuba, but also the group of countries that are part of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America). And especially - this must be said quite clearly - Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, whose governments have favored a political and ideological brotherhood with the anti-imperialist island.
What does the presidency of CELAC in the hands of Cuba mean?
Firstly, it means a deep historical claim of the role of the Revolution. Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962 because, according to the resolution: the "membership of any member of the Organization of American States to Marxism-Leninism is incompatible with the inter-American system and the affinity of such government with the Communist bloc breaks the unity and solidarity of the hemisphere. "
Thereafter began a "witch hunt" against the island, but with direct political consequences in other spheres. The economic, commercial and financial blockade established by the U.S. was - and is - the spearhead, but we must also speak of the permanent virulent attacks against Cuba and its government by multimedia of (mis)information with U.S. and European capital (CNN, El Pais in Spain, Miami Herald, among others).
Who could imagine that this small island, constantly flogged and buffeted by the political, economic, commercial, financial power and even the media, would obtain the presidency of a body that brings together a global population of some 550 million people whose land mass extends over 20 million square kilometers ? Who in their right mind would have said, during the neoliberal squandering in the 90s in our continent, that this island would have such a worthy role in the agreement of the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, two decades later?
We should mention, no doubt, the role of ALBA and its governments in this "redefinition" of Cuba. First, Venezuela and Bolivia and later Ecuador had - and have - a starring role in the reality show of the island, away from any media manipulation. How do they do that? With daily cooperation in education, through "Yes I Can," which already has made six million people literate in 28 countries, and with permanent help with health and humanitarian missions, Cuba has already reached four continents - and has special relevance in Venezuela (Mission Barrio Adentro) and Bolivia (Operation Miracle).
With the advantage of the presidency pro tempore of CELAC, Cuba closes a cycle in our continent: one that began with the "No to the FTAA" in Mar del Plata 2005, those who built UNASUR and CELAC itself. Undoubtedly, the goal has been the advancement of our peoples ever since. We are better off, of course.
But there is also "another face": coups in Honduras and Paraguay (2009), the formation of the Pacific Alliance - with the most reactionary governments included and the increase of U.S. military bases in our territory. In this scenario, the dispute between the sides does not die and does not end with birth - to paraphrase Gramsci - the news that this island will chair a worthy organization like CELAC is of enormous importance.
The fact is that, as José Martí said - who was remembered for the 160th anniversary of his birth - rare like the mountains, are men who can observe from them, and feel as if they are the soul of the nation or humanity. " And Fidel and Hugo Chávez, when they planned to create ALBA in 2004 certainly did not imagine where this deep humanitarian creative act would lead to - with its soul in the nation and the Great Fatherland - which today is one of the main drivers behind the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
Translated from the Portuguese version by: