ALBA AND IDEOLOGICAL DIPLOMACY
The Cuban regime may be going through a rough patch politically, financially, agriculturally and in human rights, but its ideological influence clearly continues to be widespread among other Latin American countries. Acknowledging said influence, however, doesn’t mean accepting Cuba’s disastrous regime as beneficial or even normal.
For years, Colombia felt the influence of the Castro brothers’ regime through the vicious actions of the guerrilla. Most recently our country found itself caught in the diplomatic crossfire between the Castro-sympathizing Alba nations, wanting to impose Cuba’s presence at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, and others who oppose it, like the United States. Alba countries said they would not attend if Cuba was not invited.
After efforts by Colombia’s Foreign Relations Minister, Maria Angela Holguin, proved fruitless, President Santos took it upon himself to visit Cuba and meet with President Raul Castro. Santos subsequently explained why Cuba cannot attend the Summit and even President Raul Castro backed off saying he doesn’t want to create more turmoil for Colombia. In this sense Santos’ visit was, for now, the solution to a problem that could have taken a turn for the unmanageable. The question remains: what will be done with Cuba in future summits?
We feel an analysis is lacking. One that considers the possibility of allowing Cuba to attend and listen to talks about democracy and human rights, so that they see how the rest of the world does it. Meanwhile Colombia has a huge opportunity to put on an amazing event and hopefully show U.S. President Barack Obama the importance of Latin America to his country and how it may even be the solution to the crises faced by the world’s superpowers.