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Asunto:NoticiasdelCeHu 1182/03 - ARGENTINA DETERMINED TO HAVE CUBA IN MERCOSUR
Fecha:Domingo, 16 de Noviembre, 2003  12:03:50 (-0300)
Autor:Humboldt <humboldt @............ar>

Bebida de limón

NCeHu 1182/03

 

Argentina determined to have Cuba in Mercosur


Mercosur Press, Wednesday, 12 November 2003

   
Wednesday, 05 November


Argentina will pressure Mercosur partner Uruguay to drop its "intransigent" opposition to the idea of offering Cuba membership in the regional trade block, according to Argentine ambassador in Havana Raul Taleb.
Earlier in the day Argentine Foreign Affairs Secretary Rafael Bielsa confirmed that "we (Argentina and Brazil) put forward the Cuban proposal but there's a member who is in disagreement so we still have to work on the hypothesis".
Ambassador Taleb was more explicit and said that the Argentine government would work to "persuade Uruguay to rise to the circumstance", since integrating Cuba to Latinamerica "means acknowledging reality; the worst thing we could do is isolate Cuba".
Since taking office this year, Argentine and Brazilian presidents Nestor Kirchner and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have vigorously sponsored closer ties with Cuba. Mr. Kirchner in particular has made it a point to revert Argentina's chilly policy towards Fidel Castro, in spite of the fact that the Cuban leader is at odds with his Uruguayan counterpart, Jorge Batlle.
Last week Batlle said Cuba's lack of a democratic government made it "impossible" to contemplate any type of Mercosur membership for Havana.
Uruguay and Cuba broke off diplomatic relations after Mr. Castro called Mr. Batlle a "foolish clown" and "US boot-licker" for having sponsored a UN resolution condemning Cuba's human rights track record.
Mr. Bielsa has repeatedly stated he will do everything in his power to see Cuba integrated to the trade block in the first half of the coming year.
President Kirchner is scheduled to visit Cuba in 2004.
"Cuba is no threat to the United States or to any country in the world" and its integration into regional bodies could help counter the effects of the US embargo against the island said Ambassador Taleb, who anticipated the anachronistic embargo would "soon be lifted".
Actually this Tuesday the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for an end to the United States' 40-year-old economic embargo against Cuba.
The vote marks the 12th consecutive year that the Assembly has called for an end to the blockade. Only three nations voted against the motion, the US, Israel and the Marshall Islands with two countries abstaining.
"The blockade is a cruel and absurd policy that finds no support within or outside the United States," Cuban Foreign Minister Perez Roque said.
"The blockade is the main obstacle to Cuba's social and economic development and has caused losses to our country of over 72 billion US dollars", added Mr. Pérez Roque.
In a rare display of sincerity for an ambassador, Mr. Taleb went even further and stated that the leaders of "Argentina, Cuba, Brazil and Venezuela are as the four legs of a table on which it should be possible to discuss Latin America's problems on a continental basis (vis a vis the US)".

______________________

Marie-Christine LACOSTE, CNRS, Information Scientifique
Coordinadora de "RUMBOS"
Lista de Informacion Cientifica y Red de Investigadores
sobre y de America Latina - Ciencias Sociales y Humanas -
Idiomas de la Lista : Espanol, Frances, Ingles, Portugues

Maison de la Recherche, Université de Toulouse-le-Mirail
5, Allées Antonio Machado - 31058 Toulouse Cedex 9 (France)
Tél : (33) (0)5 61 50 43 08
e.mail :
lacoste@univ-tlse2.fr


Gentileza: Dr. Alejandro Schweitzer.