Summit of the Americas: Fear of Others’ Ideas and Little Faith in Their Own

In less than a month the Summit of the Americas will be held in Panama, on April 10-11. A good part of the world will focus its attention this time on Cuba and the United States, the two countries that have announced their intention to reestablish bilateral relations, ruptured more than 50 years ago.

Many hope that this summit will not be like so many others, but rather a milestone in history, embracing the essential discussion about the only non-democratic state in the hemisphere, a discussion that has been unreasonably postponed for more than half a century.

Before the imminent possibility of no control over all the variables of the meeting, the Cuban government is ever more nervous. One of the plays already seen backstage, is accusing the dissidents of wanting to “undermine” the  ALBA alternative summit and other absurdities of this style launched by their opinion agents on the Internet.

Anyone who knows how these mechanisms operate is aware that these opinion matrices are not injected for fun, but rather in pursuit of creating an adequate framework for other moves that can range from preventing some people from leaving Cuba to organizing acts of repudiation and their other usual activities in their actions in Panama.

Still fresh in our memories are the spectacles orchestrated by the Cuban embassies on Yoani Sanchez’s first tour, especially in Latin America. Also, more recently, in Guadalajara as a part of the cultural summit in which the sympathizers of the Cuban government grabbed the microphones, spit and offended those who, with much effort, were trying to speak in a civilized manner.

Why so afraid of words? Should America forever endure the rudeness of a government that believes itself superior, divine and unquestionable?

Why so afraid of words? Should America forever endure the rudeness of a government that believes itself superior, divine and unquestionable?

This time, in addition to the external shock troops, they will bring their own civil society. Civil because they will not be put in uniform, civil although they have cars with official plates, official budgets, official sites and, best of all, a discourse more official than that of the government itself.

But none of this matters if the hosts manage to create a decent and safe space for all voices to be heard. Hopefully, a little bit of political decency will surprise us. It’s high time.

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