The Cuban leader was in Chile for a few days, for the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union. Since assuming the highest office in the nation in 2008, questions have surrounded Raul Castro’s few trips abroad. This time the controversy ranged from cheering people to critics demanding the General be put on trial. Despite such an attack, the younger brother of the Commander-in-Chief was handed the presidency of this regional organization. Many believe that CELAC will lose prestige by having as its visible head, for a year, a president who was not democratically elected at the ballot box. However, it is also true that this position will force him to demonstrate a more respectful spirit towards Human Rights.
Undoubtedly, the country chairing CELAC will be watched more closely during this year. What appears to be a political victory of the Raul regime, could become an element of great pressure on his management. The economic and migratory relaxations that have occurred in recent years on the Island will be evaluated with more severity at a time when Cuba leads the Latin American and Caribbean bloc. The Cuban government’s non-ratification of the United Nations Covenants on Civil, Political and Economic Rights will now appear unforgivable. All eyes from the continent will be focused on our country. There is no honor but that it brings a cost in responsibility, no merit without commitment from he who receives it. Perhaps in the last five years of his mandate Raul Castro will behave like the reformer he so often claims to be. Now, with the presence of his brother fading and that of Hugo Chavez also losing ground, he will be taking his first steps alone.
29 January 2013