Washington’s current foreign policy toward Cuba, following a script of more than six decades of aggression, is part of the reactionary global projection of a desperate government writes Francisco Arias Fernández. This article first appeared in Granma, the daily paper of the Communist Party of Cuba.
Washington’s current foreign policy toward Cuba – featuring the vile imperial obsession of destroying the Revolution, following a script of more than six decades of aggressions and failures – is part of the reactionary global projection of a government that the U.S. press itself describes as desperate and inept, with a cornered, defensive leader, prone to self-destructive behavior.
The administration has not disguised its fury and hatred of Cuba since President-elect Donald Trump’s first performance in Miami, alongside henchmen of the Batista dictatorship, bankers, and mercenary veterans of the invasion at Playa Girón and the Cuban American National Foundation, gangsters and other notorious terrorists close to anti-Cuban Congressmen from Florida and New Jersey, as well as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. A far-right leadership that quickly identified with the dying Miami mafia and charted a horrifying road map to harass Cuba, which it announced that very day.
“…Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba. I am announcing today a new policy, just as I promised during the campaign, and I will be signing that contract right at that table in just a moment,” he stated, and later reading the horrendous text’s title, said, “So this says, strengthening the policy of the United States toward Cuba. And I can add, strengthening a lot. So this is very important, and you watch what’s going to happen.”
What happened was that the U.S. government shamelessly told the world that it was reviving the Monroe Doctrine in its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, treating our countries not as equals, but as inferior or marginal, and even as imminent targets of military aggression to remove elected governments, with threats, ultimatums, genocidal blockades, sanctions, coups, and plunder.
For Cuba, he implemented an interventionist, criminal script of maximum intensity, linked to his anti-Venezuela strategy and neoliberal restoration on the continent, betting on the infamous State Department Memorandum of April 6, 1960, which sets forth the plan to force the Cuban people to surrender with “hunger and desperation”. Hence the almost weekly actions to qualitatively intensify and escalate the blockade, a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of human rights, according to the United Nation’s 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide .
The plan included activation of the Helms-Burton Act to the letter, with a markedly extraterritorial impact; persecution and application of non-conventional measures to prevent shipping companies from delivering fuel to Cuba; the banning of tourist travel to the island by U.S. citizens and cruise ships; suspension of flights from the U.S. to the interior of the country; unprecedented pressure to end Cuban medical missions in several countries; organized brain drain; denial and non-extension of licenses for U.S. companies to operate in Cuba; prohibitions and restrictions on remittances; and whatever macabre actions might occur to the Miami mafia and its partners in the White House.
In a mixture of economic, political-diplomatic, ideological subversion; enlisting of mercenaries; media aggression and various types of unconventional warfare, the administration has set the stage for the business of war against Cuba, from which anti-Cuban Congressmen of yesterday and today make a living, as well as a handful of chameleon millionaires linked to or leading mafias and terrorist organisations, who unscrupulously take advantage of the new times of McCarthyism and Trump, Pence and Pompeo’s fascism, to make millions of dollars at the cost of more blockade, hatred and restrictions in an attempt to destroy the Revolution from within.
But Trump’s leap year against Cuba has gone far beyond the traditional, in keeping with his self-centered, nonsensical personality and an advisory team that has gone from bad to worse, with the kind of people who enter and leave amid intrigues, scandals and legal proceedings, who throughout the first half of 2020 have promoted everything from vandalism to terrorism against the island.
The year began with a crude media manoeuvre to make people believe that a climate of insecurity and violence prevailed in Cuba. The desecration of busts of Cuba’s national hero, José Martí, directed and publicised from Miami by annexationists and mercenaries, received immediate coverage by several “alternative” media outlets, at the service of those who insist on orchestrating slander campaigns to defame the country.
In April, Cuba denounced the terrorist attack with an assault rifle on the country’s embassy in Washington, leaving more than 30 bullet holes in the building’s façade, and demanded from the U.S. government a prompt, thorough investigation, full prosecution of the assailant, and security measures to guarantee the safety of diplomatic missions in its territory, as is stipulated in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Washington’s response has been more hostility, more blockade, and more subversion, deaf to the demands of the international community to set aside political differences and eliminate unilateral coercive measures, which violate international law and the UN Charter, and limit the capacity of states to effectively combat the new coronavirus pandemic.
On May 8, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla denounced the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for adding another $2 million to fund attacks on Cuba’s international medical brigades. Barely a month later, Marco Rubio and other Republican Senators presented a bill to “punish” countries that sign agreements with the Cuban government to receive this support.
Instead of wasting money on aggression against international cooperation and denying peoples much-needed health care, the U.S. government should focus on containing COVID-19 and saving the lives of its own citizens, Rodriguez insisted in a tweet.
The U.S. attack targets the foundations, roots, paradigms, values, principles, memory, conquests and history of the Cuban Revolution. The cultural war that is being waged against us – through all possible channels and with great intensity on social media – affects all sectors of society, but with a special focus on those vital to economic development, health, defense, security and internal order.
These are only the most visible subversive programs and draconian measures. Between 1997 and 2018, the USAID Cuba Program approved some 900 projects and activities of a broad subversive and counterrevolutionary nature, according to an article by researcher Manuel Hevia Frasquieri.
In the last five years alone, the number of programs has risen to more than 500, reflecting exponential growth, the result of the enormous subversive offensive to which our country is subjected by recent U.S. administrations. Obviously, these projects are not undertaken openly in Cuba. USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), funded by millions of tax dollars, are using alternative, covert channels to circumvent the response of Cuban authorities. As of June last year, the Trump administration had allocated more than $22 million for such purposes, according to the Cuba Money Project’s website.
On July 3, in an election speech in which Trump labelled as “new fascists” those protesting and questioning racism, riding high on his ability to lie shamelessly and seeking applause from his fanatic followers, proclaimed, “We will tell the truth as it is, without apology: The United States of America is the most just and exceptional country that has ever existed on Earth,” without mentioning the 130,000 citizens killed by COVID-19, the questioning of his nonexistent leadership, social tensions, an unstoppable economic crisis and protests against the racist murders of his police.
This speech, delivered at an event attended by 7,000 supporters without masks or social distancing, on a day when 60,000 new COVID-19 infections were reported, reaching a total of 2,795,163, was a mockery, first of all, of the U.S. people, who are afraid and unprotected in the current situation. It was an offence to the victims of U.S. extermination in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, as well as for those who resist and die as a result of blockades, sanctions and covert wars; and an insult to the thousands of Black, Latino and American Indian citizens deprived of their rights, their land and lives.
Ultra-conservative groups and the so-called religious right, however, were praised and their attacks on others encouraged, since they are now his main support, he claims, as he falls behind Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the polls.
Subversion to an extreme degree has reached the U.S. election campaign itself and this speech confirms it. No critic of the tycoon escapes his insults, as has become standard practice since the previous campaign. In this latest tirade, he launched attacks on everyone: schools, teachers, students, journalists, publishers, newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations, businesses and entrepreneurs, human rights activists, organisations opposing racial discrimination, who he included in the catch-all category of new left wing fascism that “wants to overthrow the American Revolution”.
Francisco Arias Fernández