US-Cuba Relations: Which is it to be? "Normalization" or Civilized Coexistance???

What has constituted as “normal” in nearly 200 years of Cuba-U.S. relations has been the presumption of U.S. entitlement to impose its will on Cuba.(read this historical analysis by Louis A Perez, Jr.)


Cuba Platt Amendment.jpg
Encouraging the child. "That's right, my boy! Go ahead! But remember, I'll always keep a father's eye on you!" (Puck February 27, 1901)



Or consider this recent example (Dec 14, 2015):

US position:

Obama says may visit Cuba in 2016 if citizens enjoy more freedoms. Dec 14, 2015
(read whole story here)

Cuban position:

"​We do not demand that things we do not like about the United States be changed in order for us to speak with or visit the country. Countries may have differing opinions about what happens in the other, but that can not be usd as leverage to achieve certain changes," she stressed. Vidal concluded that “even with the differences that exist between our countries, better links will only bring benefits to both countries and their peoples. We really believe that a model of civilized coexistence is the best contribution that we can leave the present and future generations of Cuba, the U.S. and the entire region.” Josefina Vidal, general director of Cuba's U.S. Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs​ and Cuba's lead negotiator with the U.S. from the end of this Dec. 17, 2015 interview

Conclusion of the Luis Perez article: "Today Cubans face a new challenge: to defend the historic project of self-determination and national sovereignty under circumstances of normal relations, in which the Americans have presumed the condition of “normal” as the environment in which to effect change in Cuba. In other words, Cuba engages the United States defending historic claims to national sovereignty and self-determination while the United States renews relations with Cuba determined to “bring about change in the regime.” These two versions of “normal relations” will be difficult to reconcile, and indeed raise the specter of the continuation of the adversarial tensions of the last 50 years, only now in a different form and as a new phase. In fact, there are no usable models for “normal relations.” What has constituted “normal” in nearly 200 years of Cuba-U.S. relations has been the presumption of U.S. entitlement to impose its will on Cuba. The historic model of “normal relations” casts the United States as the arbiter of Cuban destiny— always in the name of what “best serves” the interests of the Cuban people. In tone and tenor, in hubris and chutzpah, in the breezy way that self-righteous certainty professes selfless moral purpose— “the people of Cuba would be best served”— the American purpose reenacts its history. Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme…"

IFCO/Pastors for Peace supports the Cuban people (and all people) in their right to national sovereignty and self-determination. We will continue to organize and educate our citizens towards the goal of Civilized Coexistence among all the peoples of the world. We believe that this better way is possible.