The Wasted Bolivian Summit and the Words of Raul Castro / Juan Juan Almeida

Bolivian President Evo Morales and Raul Castro

With much of the world caught up in the unharmonious rivalry of football’s World Cup, which ended last Sunday in Brazil, few people were paying attention to the conclusion of the funereal G77+China summit.

It was attended by a couple of serious figures, a group of spermatzoon zombies and a broad spectrum of political antiques who, given their actions, did not seem to be living in an era in which theoretical debates, respect for inequality and discord dominate.

This event — a theatrical fantasy based on an esoteric work of fiction — ended on June 15 in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It was yet another portrayal of lunacy, one in which uncreative delegates gave insipid speeches full of florid mumbo-jumbo.

They amounted to monologues that sounded good but convinced no one. Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General himself, spoke of human rights before a cynical troupe of representatives from countries – Zimbabwe, Syria, Equatorial Guinea, Cuba and Venezuela – accused of violating them. And the there was China, which arrived at the summit without bothering to conceal its true intentions: commercial expansion and strategic positioning in the Americas.

I suggest that analysts start paying attention to this particular issue and stop ignoring Asia’s current imperial-minded superpower, which has invested more than one-hundred million dollars in the region over the last eight years.

There were pleasant but disturbing words from the gruff, obstinate and colorful Evo Morales, president of the summit and of Bolivia — the poorest and most backward country in the South America — whose speeches were sprinkled with his customary and dangerously foolhardy statements. Instead of requesting more support for his nation, he proposed the elimination of the UN Security Council as a means of creating a “new world order.”

A dictatorial government must appear above reproach and project an exemplary image, at least according to books that try to explain how power and social harmony in totalitarian systems are achieved principally through fear. But it can intimidate the lackluster, incoherent, arrogant and rigid.

General Raul Castro, with marked but unconvincing overacting and macho bravado, eschewed the customary meddling policies of Cuba’s revolutionary government. Projecting instead a posture of economic prowess and crocodile charisma, he publicly and shamelessly denounced what he called “illegal, covert and subversive actions, used to destabilize countries.” The Cuban president added, “At the present time state sovereignty is being transgressed and principles of international law are being blatantly violated.”

Has the General/President been drinking again or does he think  that saying one thing while doing another is not lying but rather just a way to maintain a tradition that has been passed down?

In short, the sea.* I don’t know if it was luck or misfortune but, because attention was focused on goals, news of a summit attended by presidents, heads-of-state and over 100 representatives from various countries was not reported until the end of some newscasts. It is evidence that we live at a crucial time marked by a complete leadership vacuum. Worrisome.

*Translator’s note: “en fin, el mar.” Final line of a stanza from the well-known poem “Tengo”  (“I Have”) by 20th century Cuban poet Nicolas Guillen.

16 June 2014