CELAC: A Fraudulent Summit
Posted by Diario Las Americas January 30, 2014
CARLOS SANCHEZ Berzaín / COLUMNIST
Fraud is the "pretense or deceit with appearance of truth" and that's what the Castro dictatorship chairing the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) just showed the world with this presidential summit in Havana. To verify this lie it is only necessary to compare the resolutions, statements and conclusions of the CELAC meeting and ending with the facts and reality.
The Declaration of Caracas on December 3, 2011 in which the CELAC is organized, establishes "common values and principles: respect for international law, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the prohibition of the use, and threat of use of strength, respect for self, respect for sovereignty, respect for territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of each country, the protection and promotion of all human rights and democracy." The declaration of Havana January 29, 2014 consists of 82 points, it repeats these principles and adds that "CELAC is based on ... the protection and promotion of all human rights, the rule of law nationally and internationally, encouraging citizen participation and democracy."
The Castro dictatorship which hosts the summit, does not respect the right to life, liberty, security of people, has established systems of servitude, jails with political prisoners, millions of exiles, and it does not recognize equality before the law. They proceeded on the same days of the Summit to arbitrary arrests, have prevented meetings, interfered with peoples’ privacy, wouldn’t allow people to have the right to move freely, and not allowing visiting Dignitaries to meet with Cuban citizens. Before, during, and after the Summit, the government of Cuba violated at least items 1 through 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Cuba is ruled by a dictatorial regime, by which Raul Castro boasted a comment to satirize the President of Chile, who had reminded him that the presidency of CELAC was for one year and no more than 50. No human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, rule of law is not exercised, there are no free elections, no division or independence of institutions, and all the power is concentrated in the dictator. Human rights are violated and at the same time they proclaim respect, there is no democracy and they invoke it. The essential elements of democracy established in the American Democratic Charter signed on September 11th, 2001 by all States invited by Cuba to attend the meeting in Havana are violated, and the Secretary General of the OAS is present, applauding.
The United Nations established in August 2004, in the "Report on the State of Law and Justice" that "the rule of law refers to a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to the laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently applicable, and which are consistent with international standards and human rights principles." This does not exist in Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, and the Secretary General of the UN is in Havana shaking the Dictator’s hand, without remembering these principles now proclaimed by those who ignored and violated them.
During the session of the CELAC, the dictatorship prevented the II Democratic Forum on International Relations and Human Rights convened in parallel to take place. The Director of the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) Gabriel Salvia of Argentina, one of the organizers of the forum, was arrested at the Havana airport and deported to El Salvador. The President of Argentina forgot her nationalism and said nothing about the abuse that was carried out towards her fellow citizen. Democratic presidents ignored these and other abuses, to only finish by declaring the region as "PEACEFUL". Perhaps they also ignore that Benito Juárez taught that "respect towards others rights is Peace."
When important visitors leave Cuba, left and forgotten are the political prisoners, as well as the beaten and those who are threatened; freedom of the press is vulnerable and could not interview any Cuban who calls for their liberty; also left and forgotten are poverty and inequality produced by the Castro dictatorship. Nothing has changed; it has only been a few days of more fraudulent declarations.
* Lawyer and political scientist. He is director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy