Pelosi seeks lifting of Blockade as Bush tools up for a little gunboat diplomacy

In an interview with CNN, Friday, US congresswoman and House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi said the US economic blockade of Cuba “has failed and should be lifted.” Pelosi has been advocated for a change of Washington’s policy towards Cuba for some time.

The over-45-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba has translated into over-89-million-dollar losses. The unilateral measure, which was reinforced by the George W. Bush administration in a failed attempt to topple the Cuban Revolution, has been overwhelmingly condemned by UN member nations over the past years.

The congresswoman’s recitation of her view coincided with a US Defence Department announcement that the U.S. Navy plans to re-establish its Fourth Fleet, disbanded in 1950, to oversee ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, said in a statement that the fleets reestablishment “…increases our emphasis in the region on employing naval forces to build confidence and trust among nations through collective maritime security efforts that focus on common threats and mutual interests''. Confidence and trust being, it appears, a euphemism for gunboat diplomacy.

Elsewhere in the Americas, Venezuelan Journalist Jose Vicente Rangel, has warned that funds are already flowing into the country to finance the campaigns of opposition governors and thousands have signed a petition opposing Bolivin secessionists .