Monday, July 17, 2006

Cuba: Sovereignty Matters

Two random Havana photos off the wires in recent days....

A second of two fine Bahamanian editorials (not usually a bastion of radical thinking) strongly condemning the Cuban Plan for Transition report approved by President Bush last week. It is interesting that regional countries, (even those of the right) supposedly the target of Castro-Chavez 'meddling,' are constantly more supporive of Cuba and Venezuela than even Democrats in the US are. For instance, they have the nerve to declare that the Revolution represents the majority in Cuba and works in their interests.

The Bahama Journal - 17th July editorial
We recently suggested that today we see a United States that will not rest in its efforts to destabilize that nation’s –namely Cuba- political system. In this regard, information reaching us suggests a US Cabinet-led panel has recommended tightening an embargo against Cuba and boosting opposition financing. The legend is being broadcast that Cuba is somehow teamed with Venezuela in a bid to thwart regional democracy.

We are also indicated that we were learning that the draft by the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, presented to President George W. Bush last Wednesday at a National Security Council meeting, says "there are clear signs the (Cuban) regime is using money provided by the (Hugo) Chavez government in Venezuela to reactivate its networks in the hemisphere to subvert democratic governments."

As we noted, quite frankly, we believe none of this. What we do believe is that the United States is still embarked on a project designed to subvert Fidel Castro, his regime and all that they represent and signify in the world.

This is a pity.

And now, there is more information suggesting that chaos looms.

Laura Wides-Munoz suggests that a "presidential commission's report on U.S. plans to promote democracy in Cuba has earned applause from Cuban exiles, particularly for an $80 million commitment to bolster civil society and independent media. But while many expressed broad support for the commission's message, some were wary of how, and if, the promised funds will be spent".

As noted previously, the recommendations, released this week by the Presidential Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, would target money to help nongovernmental groups create change in Cuba. It was issued as Fidel Castro's government tries to maintain status quo."

Here the problems and bickering predictably arise, "It would be very harmful if they said that money will come and then people didn't get it," said Orlando Gutierrez, the National Secretary of the Miami-based Cuban Democratic Directorate, which seeks to provide humanitarian aid to the pro-democracy movement on the island."

We are also learning that "some dissidents on the island have expressed concern that the money will only bolster the Cuban government's allegations that the opposition is on the U.S. government's payrolls. Communist officials accused 75 opponents captured in 2003 of being on U.S. payrolls, an allegation dissidents and Washington deny."

We are also learning that "the report also recommends Interpol receive the names of Cuban officers who in 1996 shot down two private planes flying over international waters in search of Cuban rafters."

It might also be of interest to note that "during a discussion with students at Florida International University on Wednesday, Jose Basulto, the lone survivor of the 1996 attack and a member of the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion, recalled how CIA agents selected and trained him and others for the failed attack, and how at the last minute President Kennedy chose not to send in air support."

This exile veteran, "Basulto said he didn't want to see the history of false promises repeated. He also expressed concern that the $80 million could be used by the U.S. government to cultivate leaders inside and outside the island who might not represent the interests of the majority".

Our question in this regard, is this: might it not be the turth that the Cuban people in Cuba do represent the "interests of the majority" as they have from 1959?

And might it not be true that the interests of the majority and the interests of the Cuban Revolution are in a state of congruence?

And might this fact more so than any other fact explain the longevity of the Cuban Revolution as it has been molded and shaped by Fidel Castro and others who were privileged to work, serve and lead?

We are inclined to agree with Cuban officials who say that "a US proposal aimed at ensuring a transition to US-style democracy on the communist-run island after President Fidel Castro is gone is a sinister plan for regime change".

We are also inclined to agree with those same Cuban officials when they say that "this is a true threat of aggression." More specifically, we are inclined to agree with Cuban parliament speaker Ricardo Alarcon when he talks about the plans ‘sinister pretenses’.

An angry Alarcon explains, "We have the right to think the worst," he said of the classified section. "We have the right to think about an attempt to assassinate Fidel, or a war."

In time, we will know more.

But as of this moment, our conclusion is that the United States should step back from this latest provocation and allow Cuba to be Cuba that is as a free and truly sovereign space in the Americas.


Blogger jsb said...

"Ever since Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and the guerillas descended from the Sierra Maestra mountains and ousted Batista, a myth was born in the psyche of the American left, and its fascination with Cuba has not let up. The myth, essentially, revolves around the ideal of the rugged, passionate revolutionary who confronts the evil empire and wins by dint of his passion for the people. The myth can be said to persist through a series of pop cultural artifacts, t-shirts, tattoos, and films, such as "The Motorcycle Diaries" and Woody Allen's brilliant "Bananas."

Though the seeds of the myth were planted in good soil, a strange fruit has since grown in Cuba. As we find ourselves now in the year 2006, it is painfully clear to see that support for Castro – and the perpetuation of his myth as a freedom fighter and champion of social welfare – has done nothing but damage to the the American left."

10:23 AM  
Blogger Mark D. Glesne said...

Sums it up quite nicely J.

3:54 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

Also, see this image recently revealed in Cuba:

7:24 AM  
Blogger jsb said...

Dr. Molina's letter to La Nacion must've pissed off the dear leader during his visit to Mercosur:

I encourage casual readers of this blog to read the letter to see how Castro punishes those who don't tow the line.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Mark D. Glesne said...


These articles you post should have a "Press 2 for English" option.

Haha!! Too bad I never took Spanish.

5:24 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

Mark, then you might not understand this either, but it's awesome. There's a video posted on YouTube of Castro in Argentina. The reporter simply asks one question of Dr. Molina, who's being prevented from even visiting her son and grandchildren in Argentina. The dictator (Matt's hero) is clearly mad.

More here:
(scroll down to the story in English about Molina with pictures)

5:55 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

Mark, the translate function of google (go to advanced options) is quite good...

Regarding the supposed damage done to the American left for backing Castro, you are putting the chicken in front of the egg. One can easily ask why regional governments and parties of all stripes back Cuba's right to self-determination without "damage" (or back Venezuela's now certain rise to the UN Security Counci). Democracy can be a bitch, as were learning in the Middle East too...

Look, America has the weakest socialist movement in all the world. There are a dozen reasons why, but it is no accident and not because a very few of us happen to strongly believe Castro has showed a way to solve Americas greatest problems (and admittedly create others).

Fewer on the left probably back Castro than those on the right backed the apartheid project, or Hitler or the Klu Klux Klan. More probably believe in racial seperation than socialism, yet the right has not been "damaged."

Castro damages the left the same reason Hillary Clinton or Michael Moore supposedly does - because the discourse is dominated by right-wingers and pansy-ass liberals - afraid to stick up for them and peak truth to power. If Americans could get decent information on Cuba, let alone go there, then I would be worried if the Revolution remained as unpopular. But as it is, socailist hating is as natural and American as Apple Pie.

Regarding Mrs. Molina, this is a perfect example of the same game Miami exiles have been playing for years. Pick one supposed injustice that wouldn't even make page 27 if it were an American denied their right to visit a family member in Cuba (as happens every day), and blow it all out of context and proportion. Mrs. Molina is one a a few thousand people in Cuba whom the State regulates their travel. For Mrs. Molina, it is for intelligence reasons. As a former high-level Government worker, she was deemed to have state secrets that could be comprimised given her anti-Revolutionary behaviour (starting an 'independent doctors' association with your and my taxpayer money). Her son, who cries to the Argentinian press, could easily visit her. But seeing his mother is not the point. The point is a winning issue with which to needle Castro and tantalize folks like you.

Castro did get a bit angry in his exchange, ignoring his handler's apparent tries to get him to walk away. This is likely because he knew exactly who this "cubano" journalst was heckling him with indignificant questions (imagine Bush answering a question on the fate of the Miami Cubans protesting last week to be able to see their dying family members, or the Scottish scientist denied entry to Cuba a couple days ago - officially for State security reasons... he had been followed by US agents last time he was in Havana apaprently, who did not deem him anti-Castro enough to be allowed another visit).

Anyhow, read this "journalist's" bio, which claims he left Cuba for Panama, became a journalist at the state-run (CIA agent Manuel Noriega's) media, then was ferried to the US by a mysterious CANF (CIA/terrorist group) program. Without a journalism background and speaking no English he lands a plum job with Miami's most extreme media outlet. He becomes known for his intelligence-related coups, outing supposed Cuban spies in the US (BS), publishing supposedly embarressing videos of Raul Castro (innocent), mysteriously making his way into press events where he had no pass in Panama (after 2 men are caught with bazookas offshore trying to kill Fidel)... A little more research finds Cao saying how lucky he is to be where he's at because he has "no university degree." Yet the official bio on Telemundo 51 (his employer's) website says he's got a bachelor's degree in arts and sciences....

It is not at all unreasonable for Fidel to know of this man and to wonder how did he get all this access?? It is not at all unreasonable to assume this man - Juan Manuel Cao - has been helped by something. It is therefore not at all unreasonable to be upset at the man's presence 5 feet away from him and label him a mercenary. If this was just some Latin journalist that would be different, but not after learning what I did about Cao.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Mark D. Glesne said...

Translate function? Interesting!


9:55 AM  
Blogger jsb said...

"imagine Bush answering a question on the fate of the Miami Cubans protesting last week "

The Bush administration answers questions from a free media In Cuba, Fidel runs the media, it is government run. A system you support. Imagine Fidel having to answer tough questions in his own country from a free media. It'll never happen, not until he finally dies of natural causes, a failed dictator.

Why won't you revolutionaries allow someone other than Raul to succeed Castro? What are you afraid of? Afraid of a free media perhaps? Afraid of small businesses perhaps?

I'm so glad I'll be able, God willing, to see the look on your face soon when you see communism fall in Cuba and all of the crimes of the regime exposed to the light of day.

7:08 AM  
Blogger jsb said...

Also, you're readers may want to note:

According to the World Bank's 2006 World Development Indicators, only 13 of every 1,000 Cubans have access to the Internet, compared with 267 of every 1,000 people in Chile, and 59 of every 1,000 people in Haiti. Regarding what Cubans can read on the Web, Reporters Without Borders, the Paris-based advocacy group, says Cuba's Internet censorship is worse than China's.

8:07 AM  
Blogger jsb said...

But thankfully, Castro is dying.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Mark D. Glesne said...


Your faithful readers (myself included) are curious to know what you're thinking these days.

Your boy is slipping...

10:03 AM  

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