Source: Democracy Now
Transcript by JSC
(37:14 – 40:24)
But we have to ask: why did the US decide to normalize relations with Cuba? The way it is presented here it was a historic act of magnanimity by the Obama administration as he himself put it and commentators echoed, we have tried for 50 years to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba, the methods we used didn’t work so we’ll try another method.
Reality, we tried for 50 years to bring terror, violence and destruction to Cuba, not just the terrorist war but the crushing embargo. When the Russians disappeared from the scene, instead of – the pretense was that it was because of the Russians – when they disappeared from the scene how did we react under Clinton? By making the embargo harsher! Clinton outflanked George H W Bush from the right during the electoral campaign in harshness against Cuba … that’s how we tried to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba.
Why the change? Because the United States was being driven out of the hemisphere. Take a look at the hemispheric meetings which are a symbol of … Latin America used to be just the backyard, they do what you tell ‘em. If they don’t do it we throw em out put in someone else. No more, not in the last 10 or 20 years.
The hemispheric meeting in Cartagena, Colombia must have been in 2012 when the US was isolated – US and Canada were completely isolated from the rest of the hemisphere on two issues.
One was admission of Cuba into hemispheric systems the second was the drug war which Latin America essentially the victims of the drug war – the demand is here actually even the supply of weapons to Mexico is largely here. But they are the ones who suffer from it.
They want to change it, they want to move in various ways towards decriminalization and other measures. US opposed, Canada opposed.
It was pretty clear at that time that at the next hemispheric meeting which was going to be in Panama if the US still maintained its position on these two issues, the hemisphere would just go along without the United States.
There already are hemispheric institutions like CELAC, UNASUR for South America, which exclude the United States and it would just move in that direction. So Obama bowed to the pressure of reality and agreed to make, to accept the demand, the overwhelming demand to move slowly towards the normalization of relations.