Date: Tue, 18 Jun 1996 09:48:51 -0500
> S * IN ACTIV-L
> print 06055
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/* Written 10:34 AM Jun 12, 1996 by peg:jclancy in igc:reg.mexico */
Cuba and the World Trade Org'n
From Granma International News correspondents, 13 June 1996
Currently there is a lingering doubt about some of the WTO signatories' concerns for their trade future if they upset the US - the land that tailored the rules to its own advantage. 100 or more rushed in to sign the accords. Now they begin to realise what they have signed. However, 15 countries of the European Union, Canada and Mexico (partners with the US in NAFTA), and all nations of the Org'n of American States (OAS) - apart from the US, are pressing ahead with legal advice to ascertain the better way to approach the next move.
All disagree with the Bill's assumed US rights to legally attack - in US Courts - any country which trades with Cuba. There is no certainty that the US Courts would allow the claims. But those same Justices are appointed by politicians, and politicians are appointed by Trading Corporations.
Talks are continuing in Brussels by Cuban Foreign Affairs Deputy Isabel Allende with EU representatives. Cuba has not pressed for a time-limit on the talks, expressing their policy that, "We don't like having terms and ultimatums imposed on us. We do not impose them on anyone else." Canada is considering the possibility of reprisals against the US in the eventuality of the 'Bill' affecting its Cuban investments.
Other member countries to support the position taken by the EU are Bulgaria, Japan and Russia. Bulgaria stated, "In our view it is incorrect to give an extraterritorial dimension to a country's internal legislation.We are taking steps to reactivate relations with Cuba." World govt's are beginningn to talk of 'Trade Wars' developing over US intransigence on the Bill and the probable reprisals which are almost certain to happen. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, on his return from Washington, warned that such a 'war' could break out over the Bill's foreign Sections 3 and 4, the spirit of which would violate trans-Atlantic relations.
Mexico and Canada have announced a formal alliance to confront the Bill. The Canadian Trade Minister told a Council of the Americas Conference in Washington that this law, and the failure to include Chile in NAFTA are proof that the Free trade preached by the US is being eroded. The US response was to threaten both with a trade war- not an unusual bullying tactic from Washington.
US envoys to London, Brussels and Madrid failed in their mission to promote the Helms/Burton Act. Another setback for the US was the decision by the leaders of the six Central American countries, meeting with the Canadians in Ottawa, joined Canada's opposition to the Bill. Then the Foreign Ministers of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) expressed their concern also with the Bill.
Cuba, the minor actor, describes the effect of the Bill as a return to cold-war objectives and rhetoric. (That is not an unusual thought as most of the present US Admin was in full swing in that period. The Island was never a US possession. Earlier Presidents relied on the fact that Cuba would fall quietly into US hands some time in the future. In the same way that the US used any means including invasion to expropriate foreign lands and islands, Cuban slaves took it unto themselves to expropriate US military stolen expropriations of various ancestral Cuban lands to themselves.JC)