The Bush administration’s “Commission for Assistance to a Free
Cuba,” co-chaired by our secretaries of State and Commerce, presented
a lengthy and
comprehensive report to the president last week, detailing the steps which
the US government and other “vital actors” will be taking to bring
Cuba back into the family of overt US colonies, which now include some of the
Pacific Islands, Puerto Rico, Kabul, and the Green Zone in Baghdad.
The administration was roundly criticized for not having such a plan for Iraq
after its conquests there. Some even claimed it was the reason for the failure
of the occupation. One of the purposes of this plan may be to forestall such
criticism in Cuba’s case.
Nevertheless this plan is much the same as the one for Iraq (which was not
publicly articulated beforehand.) By privatizing what used to be done publicly,
it will bring Cuba into the modern, civilized world by creating a capitalist
utopia where private entrepreneurs from the “international community”
(mostly US corporations) and the “Cuban community abroad” (mostly
US citizens), unencumbered by societal restraint, will unleash their full creative
powers to save the long-suffering Cuban people from continuing poverty and tyranny
-- while incidentally benefiting themselves.
The recommendation for Cuba destabilization activities going on now is to continue
or increase everything, especially the radio-TV projects illegally being forced
on Cubans by the US, denying hard currency to Cuba by tightening the blockade,
i.e., fining foreign banks which deal in Cuba transactions, punishing and rewarding
foreign governments which increase or decrease Cuba trade, and tightening travel
restrictions and increasing punishment for violating them, the cost of which
already triples what we spend trying to trace "terrorist" funds.
The funding for this will be a new US slush fund of $80 million increased by
$20 million per year, plus all the dirty destabilization money (unknown multimillions
per year) now being funneled through AID, NED, the so-called NGO's in Florida,
and the US Interests Section in Havana.
Under the plan, in the future all Cuban communication, electric power, transport,
mining, industry, agriculture, medical, and other productive enterprise will
be privatized and the vital actors (the US and its entrepreneurs) will build
and create for Cuba a water and sanitation system, a health care system, an
education system, a transportation system, a communication system, a shelter
system (homes for everyone), a food security system (a chicken in every pot),
all presumably similar to what we are doing for or to the Iraqi people. Much
more, in fact, than we are willing to do for the people of New Orleans.
Our generosity to the Cubans is conditioned however on their acceptance of
a new political economy which is similar to our own. There's very little said
in the plan about what already exists in Cuba, and nothing about the effects
of our blockade and terrorism against Cubans. It’s as if the institutions,
infrastructure and protective capabilities which have been created in 45 years
of independence are so insignificant they're not worth mentioning.
Not surprisingly, this plan is rife with the usual code words this administration
uses to manipulate public opinion, such as “democracy” (commercial
oligarchy), “freedom” (of the big fish to eat the little ones),
“dissenters” (the few hundred Cubans, US paid mercenaries, on the
island). The plan is also full of statements about what changes the Cuban people
want (with no supporting evidence), but says little about any role for them
in pursuing their supposed desires. Indeed, they are treated overall as the
objects of a transformation to be carried out by others. They are seen as helpless
and ignorant, in desperate need of education and training in the complexities
of modern consumer society. Somewhat similar in tone but much more intense than
the 19th century French idea of “noblesse oblige” (the noble obligation)
or the English idea of “the white man’s burden.” (Kipling)
The plan is to rebuild the Cuban nation from the bottom up, from scratch to
an eventual capitalist neo-colony similar to those which now exist in Central
America and the Caribbean. Nothing is said, however, about how we get from present
reality to “scratch.” The first six months are said to be crucial.
This is when the Cuban Transition Government (CTG) will be set up. Clearly this
means a puppet government such as were created for Afghanistan and Iraq. The
nation building will be done on request of these puppets. Funding will consist
of an imposed IMF structural adjustment loan, other international bank loans,
international investment, especially by the “Cuban community abroad,”
and direct US taxpayer help where deemed appropriate.
Much concern is expressed in the plan about Fidel Castro’s “strategy”
for succession. Cuba has a constitution, but no mention of it is made in the
plan. Nor, seemingly, is one to be written for them, as was done in Afghanistan
and Iraq. Apparently constitutions are no longer considered necessary. The plan
says that Castro’s strategy is that his brother becomes president when
he leaves office, which the plan’s vital actors (US and its entrepreneurs)
will not allow to happen.
The Cuban Constitution was developed at local and provincial levels in the
early 1970s, and was approved by 97 percent of eligible Cuban voters in 1976.
Following the “rectification” period in the late 1980s, it was substantially
amended in 1992 by the same process and a more than two-thirds vote in the National
Assembly as required. In 2002, in response to the “Varela Project,”
it was reaffirmed by a vote of over 8 million Cubans, 95 percent of the adult
This constitution establishes a nonpartisan participatory/representative electoral
system, which is not similar to ours, but in some respects is more accountable
and democratic. At the local and provincial levels there must be two or more
candidates for each office, at the national level it’s a parliamentary
type system where any candidate for the 619, five-year National Assembly seats
must receive at least 50 percent of the vote to win office. The executive (called
the Council of State, analogous to our president and cabinet) consists of 24
elected (every five years) members of the Assembly headed by a president and
vice president, which presently are the duly elected Castro brothers.
The constitution provides that if the president is unable to continue or leaves
for any reason, the vice president will take his place until the National Assembly
elects a new president. The Assembly and the Castro brothers have frequently
said the succession will occur per the constitution. The only way it could be
stopped or changed is by a US military intervention. Thus, this plan is in effect,
as Cuba's Assembly President Richard Alarcon has stated, a declaration of war.
It’s a combination of unsupported, vague generalities, gross exaggeration,
insults, hypocrisy and outright falsehoods. It’s a tunnel-visioned ultimatum
which acknowledges no possibility that there may be other views and perspectives
about Cuba. It eliminates the likelihood of public discussion of such in the
US before our superior military power is introduced to settle the matter. It
bears no relation to the reality of Cuba or the century and half struggle of
its people for autonomy. It’s another blast in the relentless Cuba propaganda
campaign which our government has been conducting for years.
Many Americans are becoming aware of how unreliable our media are and how we
are being manipulated through them by our government. After all, for most of
us, everything we know about foreign countries comes from the media. In the
past, by exercising our constitutional right to travel to other countries at
peace with us, we were able to see and learn the truth ourselves or from reports
by honest people. In the case of Cuba, however, the effects of the false propaganda
are multiplied exponentially by prohibiting travel there. Our government knows
that if we were able to learn the reality of Cuba, its entire re-colonization
effort would quickly disappear in ridicule.
The plan in its larger context.
It’s unusual to publicly issue beforehand a plan for the subjugation
of a sovereign nation. The last historical example which comes to mind is the
1924 publication of Adolph Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” which outlined
his proposed steps in the upcoming takeover of Germany by the Nazi Party. Unfortunately,
no one in Europe paid much attention to it. Americans should ask themselves
why our government is issuing a plan like this at this time.
Clearly, pander is an important factor. The South Florida business community,
which consists of people with all kinds of ancestry, including American, Latin,
Cuban, tends to see Cuba as its competitor in the main industry, tourism. It
funds most of our national and Florida anti-Cuba politicians and receives from
them in return a brutal blockade, a vicious anti-Cuba policy, and even more
taxpayer money in return.
Many of these people see the present administration as their last chance to
retake power in Cuba. At this point the overbuilt South Florida real estate
market is looking like a lead balloon and things are getting a little “iffy”
in the construction, mortgage, banking, tourism, stock markets and other areas.
Moreover, significant oil deposits have been located off the North coast of
Cuba which the present Cuban government, if left in power, will develop to benefit
only the Cubans on the island. As suggested in the plan, business conferences
are being held frequently in Miami to plan the rapid takeover of Cuba. They
are already arguing among themselves about the spoils. The image is one of a
pack of salivating hounds looking across the Florida Straits to an island with
significant resources and 11 million workers/consumers waiting to be exploited.
The plan alleges that Cuba and Venezuela are “intermeddling” in
other Latin countries’ internal affairs, which is something the US would
never do. No Latin country has complained of such and no evidence has ever been
produced to support such a charge. It’s true that Cuba sends physicians,
nurses and teachers to help poor people in Latin America, the Caribbean and
Africa, but only on request of their governments. The truth is that after a
century of US corporate exploitation, some countries in South America are becoming
independent nations. The Cuban Revolution stands as a shining example that such
can be done.
The plan says it was written and assembled by over 100 experts from various
government agencies, but the CIA is not among these. There are plenty of reasons
to believe that the CIA, at least the agents who know something about Cuba,
agree with previous onsite Pentagon investigations of Cuban military installations
that Cuba constitutes no risk to our national security. Nevertheless part of
the plan is being kept secret on national security grounds.
We know now that our government has been at least allowing anti-Cuba terrorist
groups like Alpha 66 to conduct weekly arms training sessions in and near the
Everglades National Park and elsewhere. In recent months, local authorities
in Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles have happened upon large arms caches which
are intended for another Cuba invasion. The weapons include rocket launchers,
bazookas, Uzis, all kinds of grenades and machine guns. The possessors have
been charged locally but it’s very unlikely they'll ever be tried publicly.
In the Los Angeles case, the defense of the Alpha 66 member with over 1,500
war weapons in his home is that they were provided by our government.
There are several possible scenarios which could be used to publicly justify
another military intervention in Cuba. One of the most unfounded, pernicious,
dangerous aspects of the US propaganda campaign is the assertion that the Cuban
Revolution has been the work of one man ("the tyrant") and the people
on the island are desperate to return to corporate rule. Three years ago a poll
indicated that 25 percent of Miamians of Cuban ancestry want to return to Cuba
when the leadership there changes. Many of these, especially the younger ones,
do not fit in with our commercial culture and are not doing well in Miami, the
poorest big city in the US per capita.
Thus, there's a distinct possibility of a boat exodus from South Florida to
Cuba when the Cuban leadership changes, possibly tens or hundreds of thousands
of people. In the Clinton years Washington, Florida and Miami had contingency
plans to prevent this by using the Coast Guard and various agencies. This is
nowhere mentioned in the plan but it can be inferred that such contingency plans
no longer exist or will not be used. Most of these boat people will be law abiding,
but some of them will be US citizens who could cause trouble in Cuba and seek
US government intervention for help.
Americans would be wise, in their own self-interest, to try to reign in this
administration before it further executes this plan. Any intervention in Cuba
will lead to a brutal war and a long, harsh and bloody occupation/insurgency,
which will end only when the Americans withdraw completely.
Tom Crumpacker is a member of the Miami Coalition to End
the US Embargo of Cuba.
Washington Threatening Cuba and Venezuela, Says Hugo
Havana, July 12 (ACN) Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said that his country
will keep boosting bilateral cooperation with Cuba, as he responded to the latest
anti-Cuba report approved by George Bush and promoted by the so-called "Commission
for Assistance to Free Cuba".
During a speech at the graduation of high schools students in Venezuela, Chavez
described the latest US anti-Cuba measures as a threat against both Cuba and
Venezuela, PL news reports.
"It is precisely now that Venezuela will further support the Cuban people
and their revolution. There will be no empire, no matter how powerful, capable
of discouraging us from keeping our strategic alliance with Cuba, we feel ourselves
increasingly encouraged to keep with that alliance every single day.",
said the Venezuelan President in his message to Washington.
Hugo Chavez accused the Bush administration of being without morals, practicing
genocide and disregarding the most elementary human rights.
He suggested Washington should read the work of numerous analysts, who have
recommended that the United States should begin strategic withdrawal operations
if they want to save their own system.
Read from Looking Glass News
political humor of the day