by the El Reportero’s wire services
Latin American experts agreed today to consider as a favorable element for the political atmosphere in the region a plan of proposals presented by scholars to improve Cuba-US relations.
The initiative, to be presented tomorrow in the 31st Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, identified some 20 areas in which experts from the two countries suggest to start bilateral rapprochement.
According to Argentinian Andres Serbin, president of the Regional Coordinating Organization of Economic and Social Research, a significant aspect of the project is that joint proposals were made by experts from both countries.
In remarks to Prensa Latina, Serbin said this was possible because they created necessary bridges make concrete proposals in terms to improve the relations.
This creates conditions so that much of what has is being done in the hemisphere in terms of changing conditions will continue deepening by improving relations between the two countries.
According to Serbin, the process must be followed by a multilateral support of the atmosphere and the bilateral topic so that other countries in the hemisphere put pressure, so that this situation that is like a dinosaur from the past can disappear.
Serbin admits, though, that in the US political system the negotiations become extremely complex. However, the panorama is positive, taking into account some measures taken by the US administration of President Barack Obama without consulting Congress, and they are positive for the relations between the two countries.
Former Cuban diplomat Carlos Alzugaray said the improvement of relations is unavoidable in the wake of the failure of the current US policy that tries to separate the two societies.
We, the US and Cuban experts have chosen very concrete topics and we have reached agreement in all of them.
If there is understanding among scholars, some of them former diplomats, there can be an understanding between the two governments, said Alzugaray.
Obama has all the conditions to take a step to improve the links: he won the elections, he does not have to go to a re-election and he showed that Florida can be won without extreme positions, said Alzugaray.
Also Latin America and the Caribbean are demanding a change and the US government cannot afford to continue ignoring Latin America in a topic like this, he said.
Ex-dictator’s overturned conviction leads to large protests in Guatemala
Thousands marched in this capital on Friday to protest the Guatemalan Constitutional Court’s overturning of former dictator Efrain Ríos Montt’s conviction for genocide and crimes against humanity. Survivors and families of the victims of military repression led the procession.
Ríos Montt was sentenced two weeks ago to 80 years in prison for the deaths of 1,771 Ixil Indians between March 1982 and August 1983 as part of a counter-insurgency campaign.
The three CC judges who voted Monday to void the erstwhile strongman’s conviction “defend impunity and attack the constitution by annulling a verdict that adhered to the law,” Pedro Tul, a resident of one of the targeted Ixil communities, told Efe.
The protesters – who numbered around 6,000, according to organizers -marched pass the offices of Guatemala’s powerful business association, whose directors publicly called for Ríos Montt’s conviction to be thrown out.
The protest concluded with a sit-in at the CC.