[FoRK] Latin Americans Back Cuba, Venezuela on Terror
Victor B. Stan
victor_b_stan at yahoo.ca
Sat Nov 20 20:59:01 PST 2004
Strength and victory to all animals who "break their heads against the bars
of their prison".
Latin Americans Back Cuba, Venezuela on Terror
Sat Nov 20, 2004 07:24 PM ET
By Alistair Bell
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Used to hearing U.S. calls for support
against Middle Eastern terrorism, Latin American leaders on Saturday added
their own warning by condemning lesser-known terrorist acts against
anti-American governments in the region.
Cuba and Venezuela won the backing of their neighbors, many of whom have
swung to the left in recent years, to censure terrorism in all its forms,
not just attacks aimed at the United States.
It was a rare diplomatic victory for Cuba, which persuaded an Ibero-American
summit in Costa Rica to denounce the pardon of four dissidents who tried to
assassinate President Fidel Castro in 2000.
Panama's outgoing President Mireya Moscoso released the four, jailed for
their involvement in a failed bomb plot at a summit in Panama, just before
leaving office in August.
Havana broke diplomatic relations with Panama in anger at the pardon and
accused the United States of double standards in its war against terror for
allowing three of the plotters to fly to Miami.
"We observe with deep concern the recent freeing of four known terrorists of
Cuban origin," the leaders from Latin American countries plus Spain and
Portugal said in a statement.
Panama's new President Martin Torrijos has criticized the pardon, and Cuba
and Panama restored consular relations at the summit on Friday, in a step
toward renewing full ties.
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque represented his country at the
gathering instead of Castro, who has rarely traveled to summits in recent
VENEZUELA CAR BOMB
The leaders also condemned Thursday's killing of Venezuelan prosecutor
Danilo Anderson, who was probing a 2002 coup against President Hugo Chavez.
Anderson was killed by a car bomb, and Venezuela blamed radical opponents it
said were training in the United States.
"The heads of state and government expressed a radical condemnation of the
terrorist attack suffered by the special prosecutor in Venezuela," Spanish
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told journalists.
Spain took a turn to the left with the election this year of Zapatero, who
pulled Spanish troops out of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and focused
foreign policy back on traditional areas like European integration and Latin
The prime minister called for political reform in Cuba.
"It is obvious that Cuba needs to make changes, but it is a country that is
there, a member of the Ibero-American community," he said.
Since 2002, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay have all chosen leftist
leaders who challenge the U.S. idea of Latin America as its "backyard."
Even Nicaragua's opposition Sandinistas, who fought U.S.-backed rebels in
the 1980s, have regained strength with victories at local elections this
Two hundred years ago, Rousseau wrote with withering contempt about his
civilized countrymen who have lost the very concept of freedom and "do
nothing but boast incessantly of the peace and repose they enjoy in their
chains.... But when I see the others sacrifice pleasures, repose, wealth,
power, and life itself for the preservation of this sole good which is so
disdained by those who have lost it; when I see animals born free and
despising captivity break their heads against the bars of their prison; when
I see multitudes of entirely naked savages scorn European voluptuousness and
endure hunger, fire, the sword, and death to preserve only their
independence, I feel that it does not behoove slaves to reason about
- Victor B. Stan
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