[News] Venezuela Withdraws from OAS Civil Society Forum in Solidarity with Cuba

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Fri Apr 10 17:18:39 EDT 2015


  Venezuela Withdraws from OAS Civil Society Forum in Solidarity with Cuba

By Rachael Boothroyd

*http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11326*

Caracas, April 9th 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com 
<http://venezuelanalysis.com>) Caracas has joined Havana in withdrawing 
its delegation to the Civil Society Forum at the 7th Summit of the 
Americas this week, after Cuban delegates broke the news that at least 
20 counter-revolutionary Cuban “mercenaries” had also been invited to 
participate in the event.

Among the highly controversial figures set to participate in the forum 
are the radical anti-Cuban government dissidents, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, 
Elizardo Sánchez and Rosa María Payá, as well as members of the Cuban 
exile community. All are known to have financial ties to U.S. funding 
agencies such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and have a 
history of trying to subvert the Cuban government. Ex-CIA agent, Félix 
Rodríguez Mendigutía 
<http://www.cubadebate.cu/noticias/2015/04/08/piden-expulsion-del-asesino-del-che-de-panama-declaracion-de-la-oclae/>, 
better known for his role in the assassination of Argentinian 
revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, is also participating in the summit.

Although Mendigutía did not fire the bullet which murdered the Argentine 
revolutionary guerrilla, he is documented to have identified Guevara and 
chosen the weapon used to kill him. The former CIA agent arrived in 
Panama earlier this week, where Cubans have been staging a protest 
against his participation.

“The representatives of true civil society have left because we aren’t 
going to share a space with representatives from a supposed civil 
society, which is not our own and which is paid for… We can’t share the 
same space. There can’t be mercenaries posing as representatives of 
civil society. It’s impermissible,” explained Cuban legislator Luis Morlote.

“They pride themselves on their friendship with terrorists,” he added.

The Venezuelan delegation withdrew almost immediately after, citing 
solidarity with Cuba and its rejection to the nature of the other 
participants.

The forum, which was set to begin on Wednesday, was temporarily delayed 
by the protest but eventually got underway without the presence of the 
Cuban or Venezuelan delegations. Nonetheless, the Cuban delegation has 
confirmed that it will participate in the upcoming discussion groups 
over the next few days, despite the fact that more than twenty of its 
representatives had failed to receive their official passes for the summit.

“We don’t understand why, if we are in a list of accepted delegates to 
the forum, they still haven’t given us the credentials that will allow 
us to participate,” stated representative of the Union of Cuban 
Journalists, Yoerky Sanchez.

Cuban writer, Abel Prieto, is another figure who has so far been denied 
the official credentials to participate in the forum, despite having 
been accepted.

He also echoed the sentiment of other delegates that many of the 
dissidents at the forum had ties to Cuban terrorists currently being 
protected in the U.S, such as ex-CIA agent, Luis Posada Carriles, who 
carried out a terrorist attack against a Cuban plane in 1976 killing 73 
people.

“How can we hope to have a serious, transparent, dignified and civilised 
conversation in the Americas, if those who protect those terrorists are 
registered to participate at the forums at the summit?” he asked.

According to reports, the withdrawal of the two delegations comes after 
an affray between anti-government and pro-government supporters earlier 
on this week and the temporary detention of a number of Cuban dissidents 
by Panamanian immigration authorities on arriving at Tocumen airport 
over the weekend.

According to Tweets by Rosa María Payá, Panamanian authorities had 
expected the subversives to cause a disturbance.

It is the first time that Cuba is participating in the OAS summit, which 
has traditionally excluded the Caribbean country due to pressure from 
the White House.

Venezuela has been a constant ally to Cuba and has consistently argued 
that the country should be included in international organisations such 
as the OAS and the United Nations, from which it has been excluded since 
the U.S. began its economic blockade of the island.

-- 
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