Cuba was the only Latin American country not invited to attend the recent Summit of the Americas in Quebec. The criterion for attendance was that the representatives hale from “democratic” nations. As Cuba’s aging communist president Fidel Castro railed against his tiny island nation’s exclusion from the summit, perhaps few gave much thought as to how Cuba’s denial of an invitation to attend may fall right into the strategy of another rapidly growing trading bloc—the European Union.
One of the prime catalysts for the drive to form a free trade zone between North and South America is the threat posed to U.S. markets by increasingly aggressive penetration of Latin America trade by the EU. Cuba thus has a strategic part to play in this process. The reason is that, following along hard on the heels of trade, the EU is subliminally worming its way into the religious, political, defense and security systems of those countries with which it deals. This includes such penetration of Latin America via the EU’s Mercosur trade agreements with much of Central and South America and Mexico.
Cuba is, for all intents and purposes, a stepping-stone to the U.S., just as Cyprus is to the Middle East. The EU is courting both these island nations, in their separate hemispheres, for very similar purposes. The purposes have to do with a wider agenda than trade.
Following Pope John Paul’s visit to Cuba as the 20th century waned, relations between Cuba and the Vatican have continued to warm. As communist Cuba struggles economically without the benefit of the financial support that it formerly enjoyed from its old mentor, Russia, the EU, increasingly revealing its fascist origins, becomes more of an attractive alternative than does any prospect of linkage with Cuba’s giant northern neighbor. By driving Cuba into isolation from any association with the Americas free-trade zone, the U.S. is simply pushing Cuba into the waiting paws of the Eurobeast.
Watch for increasing initiatives from the EU to woo Cuba into the EU camp as Castro gradually loses his grip on that nation in his waning years. These will present, to that rising phoenix of the old Roman Empire, the prospect of plucking its ripest plum in Latin America from right on the doorstep of a United States increasingly revealing the signs of its decline.