Cuba on Wednesday denied entry to Organization of American States, OAS, head Luis Almagro, who was scheduled to accept an award from a dissident group in Havana.
The World Must Learn From Cuba
The socialist government also denied entry to former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Mariana Aylwin, the daughter of former Chilean President Patricio Aylwin. Calderon and Aylwin were travelling to the same event.
Mainstream media quickly painted Cuba’s decision to block their entry as another example of the country’s so-called “totalitarianism.” But shortly after they released these reports, Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned a statement clearing up these accusations.
“The plan, plotted on several trips between Washington and other capitals of the region, was to mount in Havana an open and serious provocation against the Cuban government, generate internal instability, and damage the international image of the country,” the statement reads.
“Upon learning of these plans and enforcing the laws that underpin the nation’s sovereignty, the Cuban government decided to deny foreign nationals associated with the events described above to the national territory.”
According to the statement, Cuba refused entry to Almagro for three main reasons:
First, because of his connections to illegal right-wing groups operating in Cuba that are trying to destabilize the nation. Latin American Network of Youths for Democracy, the group that was awarding him, is connected to the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy and the Inter-American Institute for Democracy, which frequently call for the overthrow of Cuba’s government.
Second, because of his attacks on progressive and leftist governments in Latin America and the Caribbean. Almagro has been a staunch advocate of regime change in Venezuela and is also closely connected with opposition activists like Henrique Capriles and Leopoldo Lopez. Almagro has also called for “regime change” against the administrations of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Bolivian President Evo Morales.
Third, because the Washington-led OAS has isolated and attacked Cuba since the 1959 revolution that brought the Communist Party of Cuba to power.
“They’re trying to sell to the Cubans ‘the values and principles of the inter-American system’ against the hard and undemocratic reality generated by the same system,” Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said in the statement.
“Over fifty years later and with the company of peoples and governments around the world, it is necessary to reiterate, as President Raul Castro assured, that Cuba will never return to the OAS.”
Calderon and Aylwin’s travel bans were issued for similar reasons.
Mariana Aylwin is seen as an ideological leader of the most conservative segment of Chile’s center-left ruling coalition. Aylwin was traveling to the island to receive a prize on behalf of her father, Chile’s first president after the end of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Calderon, from Mexico’s right-wing National Action Party, was president from 2006 to 2012 and oversaw the country’s war on drugs with the help of the United States.