Bad Beginning of Collateral Events at Panama Summit

Panama, Apr 9 (Prensa Latina) – There was a bad beginning of the collateral events at the 8th Summit of the Americas, when the Cuban and Venezuelan delegations withdrew from the hall after denouncing the presence of “terrorists and mercenaries” at the Forum of Civil Society.

“The Cuban delegation will not share the same room with mercenaries and terrorists. Once again, we demand that they be expelled from the event because they do not represent the dignified Cuban people,” says a communiqué from Cuba’s civil society.

Organizational problems, according to Panamanian sources, caused that part of the Cuban delegation, which applied for accreditation on time and was admitted, did not receive their credentials.

Ruben Castillo, from the Panamanian Human Rights Network, the main organizer of the event, told Prensa Latina that people duly accredited were attending the forum and he did not know what they were demanding, but the embassies had their own guests.

Documentary evidence presented by Civil Society shows that people photographed with self-confessed terrorist, like Luis Posada Carriles, were accredited at the continental forum.

They also noted that the man who ordered the assassination of Ernesto Che Guevara, US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent Felix Rodriguez Mendigutia, is in Panama.

A few hours later, the Cuban-born terrorist organized a provocation in front of the Cuban Embassy that was rejected by supporters of the Cuban Revolution, according to witnesses. Among the agitators was Jose Luis Garcia (Antunez), the Cuban “human rights advocate” who appeared in a photo with Mendigutia.

The terrorist and a group of Cuban counterrevolutionaries gathered by the bust of Cuban National Hero Jose Marti, at the Belisario Porras Park, in Panama City, a few meters from the Cuban Embassy, where a few minutes before the university rectors had paid tribute to Marti.

Over the past month, Cuban websites have charged that there was a plot against the good development of the Panama Summit, and in news conferences and statements, Panamanian government officials justified the invitations sent to those who Cuba’s civil society has accused of mercenaries, in the name of democracy and freedom of speech.

Inequality in the selection of the continental stockholders who are attending this meeting is the most severe criticism of the meeting’s organizers, although it is said that it is a strategy by sectors of US extreme right wing.

The Cuban Worker’s Confederation (CTC), which groups three million members in 17 trade unions, and Puerto Rico’s Hostosiano National Independent Movement denounced the rejection of their participation in the continental meeting.

Magaly Castillo, of the Citizen’s Alliance Pro-Justice, and Forum Coordinator Ruben Castillo, told a press conference recently that those interested in participating in the meeting registered and the Organization of American States analyzed if they met the established parameters, which they did not explain.

After the Cuban delegation’s protest on Wednesday, Ruben Castillo was upset in front of reporters due to what he described as a bad attitude, but over the past few weeks, even Panamanian media warned against what they considered a maneuver.

“Another key element to understand the labyrinth surrounding the Summit is the interfering role of the White House, which will try to use an ‘advance party” from the Venezuelan and Cuban right wing to make ineffective noise,” the newspaper La Estrella de Panama published at the time.

Cuban bloggers also warned about what they called a “conspiracy against Cuba, Venezuela and the other countries of ALBA” (Bolivarian Alternative of the Peoples of the Americas) and to create provocations, which have already started.

On Wednesday, in another park in Panama City, Venezuelan opponents held a demonstration that was rejected by Panamanians who support the Bolivarian Government.

The sessions on debate committees will continue on Thursday and there will be more confrontations, including Venezuela and the US decree against that country.

Panamanians Warn Government against Foreign Subversive Acts

Havana (ACN) – Following strong denunciations by the Cuban delegation at the forums parallel to the Summit of the Americas in Panama about the presence there of paid-mercenaries and terrorists, local union and social organizations urged the Panamanian government to refuse the use of their country as a platform for regime change policy against the constitutional governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

In statements to PL news agency, the general secretary of Panama Workers´ Confedertion, Aflredo Graell said that if the Cuban counterrevolution and the Venezuelan opposition undertakeviolent acts and demonstrations, Panamanian social organizations will use their right to protest and face those attempts.

The union leader recalled that in 2000, Luis Posada Carriles and another three terrorists attempt to plant a bomb in the University of Panama. And now some of those who embraced Posada Carriles in Miami are now here trying to commit terrorist acts.

Graell denounced themanipulation of the Civil Society Forum by the Organization of American States, the international rightist grops and the CIA, as he noted that historic organizations like Cuba´s Workers Confederation and others were excluded from the event.

In an open letter addressed to Panamanian foreign minister Isabel de Saint Malo, members of 15 unions, student and solidarity organizations expressed deep concern about meetings and protests called by the Venezuelan oppositon and the so-called Cuban dissidents.

For this reason, we respectfully ask the national government to take the pertinent measures, or else the Panamanian people´s organizations will make them respect our country as we hold them all accountable for any regrettable situation that may take place, the letter reads.