Toronto: Relations between the
United States and Cuba have not flourished over five decades
because of conditions imposed on Cuba by Washington in
exchange for a change in its policy, experts gathered here
The issue was the center of discussions on the second day
of a congress of the Latin American Studies Association, LASA
2010, in session in Toronto,attended by over 2,700 experts
from three continents.
It was addressed in four panels, including "Cuban Foreign
Policy under Raul Castro" and "The USA-Cuba Dialogue: Lessons
from the Past, and Prospects for Talks between Obama and
In the latter, participants referred to personal
experiences and documents classified as secret over the years.
Peter R Kornbluh, an expert of the US National Security
Archive, said that declassified documents show that over these
years Washington was mistaken in its policy towards Cuba as it
failed to recognize and accept the Cuban position, mainly by
failing to grasp the benefits of a normalization of relations
for the two countries.
Robert A Pastor, a professor of the American University
and former national security adviser under the James Carter
Administration, said that the presidency of Barack Obama has
not drawn any lesson from the past.
"The Obama Administration had a unique opportunity in the
first six months in government to open links with Cuba, and
the dialogue would have been successful, but they lost it," he