Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our friends in Latin America

It’s not a new phenomenon, of course, but it’s still galling to see democratically-elected leaders who should know better travelling to Havana to effectively pay homage to those lovable Castro brothers and their repressive regime.

Take Michelle Bachelet.

The otherwise very sensible Chilean president is due in Havana next month for a much-anticipated visit that will include talks with Raul Castro and other senior Cuban officials, as well as a possible meeting with Fidel Castro … assuming the old dictator is well enough to receive visitors.

But it seems Ms Bachelet will decline an invitation to meet with a small group of dissidents and former political prisoners, with officials arguing that such a meeting would not be appropriate during an official presidential visit.

In other words, nothing will be done during the visit that in any way upsets the Castro brothers.

Given Ms Bachelet’s experiences under the Pinochet dictatorship and her long-held commitment to democratic values in Latin America, the decision to travel to Cuba is of concern, and her decision to snub the dissidents is well, disappointing, to say the least.

Still, it merely confirms that when it comes to the Castro regime, most Latin American leaders will continue to bend over backwards to please Havana.


Blogger Agustin Farinas said...

why are you so surprised that Michelle Bachelet goes to Cuba wants to meet F. Castro, and that she refuses to meet with dissidents?
Check out where M. Bachelet spent he exile and that would give you a clue about Ms. Bachelet.
She actually spent it in East Germany, that paragon of democracy and human rights, of course. During her exile from the Pinochet regime, she could have chosen France, Spain, Italy, West Germany, Belgium, Holland, England or even the USA, any other place where democracy existed. But where did she decide to go? Well to East Germany! That should give you a clue about her true self.

8:35 am  

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