lunes, 3 de febrero de 2014

Mexicans accept Presidential visit to Cuba, novelist chides "shameful" summit

A telephone poll taken in Mexico by BCG-Excelsior found that most members of a sample population did not perceive President Enrique Peña Nieto's recent visit to Cuba as an act of support for a dictatorial regime. Cuba hosted the summit of Latin American and Caribbean heads of state and governments in Havana in late January, attended by almost all Latin American leaders. The poll, reported in the daily Excelsior on 3 February, revealed a measure of political realism among Mexicans. It showed that 51 per cent of respondents had a "bad or very bad" opinion of Cuba's ageing revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and 32 per cent "good or very good." Only 10 per cent of respondents thought however that Mexico should curb relations with Cuba over rights violations, while 32 per cent believed it should expand ties. The government of President Peña, who was elected in 2012, has moved to improve ties with Cuba, reversing the relative estrangement that occurred under his conservative predecessors Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. Mr Peña's centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) enjoyed good relations with Cuba from the 1960s to 2000 when it lost the presidency. Most respondents approved Peña Nieto's recent visit to Cuba for the CELAC summit, and 70 per cent said it did not signify backing the Cuban regime, Excelsior reported. Less satisfied however was the Peruvian novelist and prominent liberal Mario Vargas Llosa, who chided American leaders for going to Cuba, not omitting to describe Fidel Castro as a "prehistoric being." His remarks to the Chilean dialy El Mercurio were reported by most Hispanic media. The novelist said attending the summit was "a disgrace," and "groteseque, as the invitation's terms included defending democracy and they're going to a country with a 54-year dictatorship," Tabasco Hoy reported on 31 January. Attending the summit he said, "shows how little reality democracy has for many Latin American governments."