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Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Leaflets in which the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, with suitcases and gold in his hands, escaped from Cuba in a sinking ship, were prepared and printed in 1962 by specialists in psychological warfare of the United States Army. Although they were not used in the end, because other experts considered them counterproductive at the time, they were part of the arsenal of propaganda resources planned to support the military invasion that the government of the North American nation included in the response options during the so-called Missile Crisis.
A few hours after the recent riots, which were undoubtedly orchestrated from abroad, a Twitter “user” posted that Raul Castro had fled to Venezuela, and the note went “viral”. It did not matter that the photo of the tweet was taken in 2015, when the then-Cuban President arrived in San José, Costa Rica, to attend a Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Its purpose was to contribute to fix the opinion matrix around a chaos originated by a “legitimate national uprising” against the Cuban government, due to the mismanagement of the pandemic and the lack of medicines, food and electricity.
If the media attack under which Cuba is living these days is unprecedented in its scope, due to the technological potential of the adversaries and their growing concerted actions from various geographical points, it is not strange either, because the country has always been in the trenches of a psychological war.
The example of the drawings that had Fidel as a target of disinformation appears in the book De la octavilla a la sicotecnología, by Emiliano Lima Mesa and Mercedes Cardoso, scholars of the psychological warfare procedures used by the United States in the preparation and development of armed conflicts.
Both researchers say that Cuba has suffered the largest and most prolonged psychological warfare ever carried out by the United States against any country. “It has involved both psychological and propaganda actions and has manifested itself in the economic blockade, support for mercenary gangs, biological warfare, military aggressions, sabotage and assassination attempts on the main leaders, to cite just a few examples,” they write.
In making specifics on the propagandistic level, they state that it has manifested itself in newspapers, books, posters, flyers, rumors and radio and television broadcasts to spread lies and slander against the Revolution.
The referenced book is indispensable to learn the details of the persistent and sinister behavior of the U.S. intelligence apparatus, whose purpose is subverting the social order in our country. Perhaps, in a new edition, in the chapter Against Cuba, the media misdeeds of the social networks in the Internet era should be included. The work was published in 2003 and, since then, the adversarial struggle against the Cuban Revolution has had the Internet as one of its main scenarios.
It is fair to recall that, in this same newspaper, colleague Raúl Antonio Capote wrote that as of 2007, the CIA considered it a matter of prime importance to guarantee access to the Internet in Cuba. The nefarious agency’s idea was to use the illegal networks created on the island at that time, for which they evaluated the possibility of connecting them to digital television, which would be the possible means of access to the network of networks.
The promoters of the program, Capote pointed out, ordered to put in Cuban territory ten BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) equipments. “One was given to a CIA agent in Havana to send daily, in a secure way, information on the capacity of MININT and Mincom to detect illegal satellite TV connection antennas. They also required information on movements of FAR troops in certain regions of the country, and characterization of leaders and cadres of the Revolution”.
In the route that led to the riots of last July 11, there are many other traces of U.S. intelligence agencies and entities created by them to act against Cuba. Thus, among the most recent are the events of San Isidro and the concentration of young people in front of the Ministry of Culture headquarters in Havana.
Both cases were portrayed as an internal issue, due, among other things, to new currents of thought and dissatisfaction of young intellectuals and artists unable to give free rein to their creative spirit. But when analyzing the causes, if the nonconformity to certain regulations and the superficiality with which some officials act is real, it is impossible to ignore that in the period 2008-2012 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored the non-governmental organization (NGO) Creative Associates, which set out to recruit young people belonging to what is identified as Cuban counterculture.
In January 2012, in one of the reports justifying the expenditures, the NGO cited several achievements of its work, including a network of more than 30 independent leaders in all Cuban provinces and the solid establishment of youth and countercultural groups.
Faced with the failure of the immediate objectives they intended with the recent unrest, USAID has responded with a call for more subversion projects in Cuba. The new sum amounts to $2 million dollars, and is being offered for democracy promotion activities. After all, for identical purposes, the agency, along with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), was a channeling mechanism for much of the $250 million that in the last two decades the U.S. government devoted to undermining socialism in Cuba.
By the way, Samantha Power, the new director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is a character to keep an eye on. A former U.S. ambassador in the Obama administration and an expert in diplomacy and climate change issues, she has also stood out for promoting her country’s active intervention in other nations for supposedly humanitarian reasons.
That position is confirmed in an article published by The New York Times, on April 15 of this year, when Lara Jakes exposed details of Samantha Power’s confirmation hearing in the Senate. On that occasion, writes the author, Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, asked the official, “Are you willing to admit that the interventions in Libya and Syria that you advocated were a mistake?”
“Power did not,” the journalist said, transcribing her words: “When these situations arise, it’s almost a question of lesser evils; the options are very difficult”.
Could the requests for humanitarian intervention for Cuba made by the same promoters of the vandalism riots be the result of coincidence; the same ones who, in desperation, want to make people believe that chaos reigns in the country?
By René González Sehwerert. Hero of the Republic of Cuba. One of the five young revolutionaries who infiltrated terrorist groups that from the cradle of the anti-Cuban mafia, Miami, organize with impunity their criminal attacks against Cuban territory. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. His cause enjoyed enormous international solidarity. He returned to Cuba in 2013.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
I am not going to deny to you that there is a clamor from many people -among whom I find myself- demanding solutions. Much less will I justify that someone lives like Carmelina while so many people sacrifice. The problem is that this is the norm all over the planet and nobody seems to care. It is enough for a people to make a revolution to overcome it and they are immediately hit by three plagues.
1- They beat it up, strangle it and attack it so that it cannot solve anything it set out to do.
2- They blame the government that has tried to do so for the shortcomings imposed by the strangler who assaults him.
3- As if that were not enough, they then attack the collective intelligence of the rest of the planet, magnifying everything bad that happens there, in the victimized space, as if the rest of the planet did not do worse every day, before the complicit silence of all.
I would like to read what Fernando Perez wrote. Maybe I have points of agreement with him, who is a person we all here -including the authorities- respect. It is obvious that we have to change many things. But has it not been a perversity to try to suffocate us for 62 years so that we change according to the convenience of those who imposed worse conditions on our parents, and today are imposing worse conditions today around the world? Is it not time to join the world clamor against this blockade that has been suffocating us for too long now, and whose only purpose is to make us surrender out of hunger and despair?
In the end, the dilemma boils down to this: Those who surrender and those who do not. I cannot judge the surrenderers.
Obviously, we have to defend ourselves from those who, in their surrender, also become our victimizers. Many victims have become victimizers throughout history. For example, the crimes of Zionism against Palestine. I am not aware whether or not there were police excesses during the riots that took place in the past days. It is likely that there were.
A peaceful, secure country, fighting calmly against all demons, was suddenly overwhelmed by a violence that is alien to it, imposed by interests that are also alien to it. You tell me that those young people, dressed in uniforms and shields, bats, helmets, etc, whom you describe as teenagers, waiting with a baton to stop the march -or the brown shirts?- break your soul.
I can understand you, but I can’t help wondering: What would they have made you believe if they were giants, with the same clothing and a baton, ready to break the souls of the demonstrators, as happens every day all over the planet? What would CNN in Spanish, or ABC, or El Comercio have told you? Ah, because the three plagues that you believe in are the three plagues that you believe in? Because, in addition to the three plagues I mentioned before, there is a fourth one: this assaulted, assaulted people, under a stranglehold that has tightened on a pandemic that has already tightened on the entire planet, is not even allowed to make a mistake.
Let’s take a look at the cost to the Cuban people of the upsurge of neo-fascism in the last four or five years:
-The brutal assault on the income of Cuba’s medical programs in Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia, denying us several billions in income and denying the elementary right to life to millions of Latin Americans, without anyone seeming to notice.
– The application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, substantially reducing the country’s possibilities of doing business with the rest of the world.
-The bestial aggression against the Cuban family, by breaking their right to send remittances, before the silence of those who claim to clamor for the human rights of Cubans.
– More than 200 measures against the economy and finances of the country, announced publicly before the indifference of the defenders of human rights in Cuba, by the president of the United States of America.
All this was before the arrival of a fifth plague: COVID-19, and its devastating impact on the main economic sector of the island: tourism. But a sixth plague remains: to take advantage of the COVID to tighten the siege, to hinder or prevent the entry of medical supplies.
Do you dare to calculate the impact on the Cuban people, both in terms of billions and human suffering? But when it seems that we already have enough, that we could not bear another blow, the peak of the pandemic infestation occurs and from among those who have been applauding each one of those strangulation measures, displaying unheard-of cynicism and hypocrisy, a perfidious blow to the heart of none other than the people who have faced the COVID in an exemplary manner under aggression: The perverse label of SOSCuba.
And over that people now hangs the seventh plague: a “humanitarian corridor”, at the hand of the most devastating and aggressive war machine in history. Don’t Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria ring a bell? It is against this backdrop, meticulously and perversely built for years around the Cuban people, that suddenly the trumpets sound, calling for the slitting of throats, now through the social networks and the increasingly perverted means of incommunication. Cousin coñoñooo! Only that the wall of Nicolás Guillén is not that of Jericho.
The revolutionaries have indeed taken to the streets, but not to “confront the masses”. They are the masses. After the attempted coup -which is what it was, an attempt- they have come out with flags, with hymns and with ideas.
With those ideas we will have to look for solutions, self-criticize where necessary, listen to each other, attend better to the clamors of the people, broaden the spaces for participation, be more inclusive, break the inertia, attract and not exclude, build a more effective and less formal democracy. Because the society we want to build is not conceived to coexist with such levels of violence. That, cousin, we leave it to those who attack us, strangle us, attack us and then, when we have to defend ourselves, they criticize us. Come on, cousin.
A hug. I love you.
Yudy Castro Morales | firstname.lastname@example.org
After the disturbances that took place last July 11 and 12, as part of a political and communicational operation encouraged and paid for by the U.S. government to discredit Cuba, lists of allegedly missing persons began to circulate on the Internet.
Are there, in fact, disappeared persons in the country? Are such lists real? What is the procedure for the detention of a suspect in Cuba? What legal limits govern the action of authorities?
In answering these questions, during an appearance July 20 on the Cuban television program Hacemos Cuba, Colonel Victor Alvarez Valle, second in command of the specialized corps of the Ministry of the Interior’s Criminal Investigation Directorate, stated categorically that there are no disappeared persons in Cuba, no one involved in processes underway related to the recent disorders, or in any other.
“Within the Revolution, we have as principles our people’s right to life, to freedom, the right to protection and security, which also characterize the action of our authorities,” the colonel said, noting, as well, that Cuba is a signatory of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
This position, he said, is also recognized in the Constitution approved by the majority of Cubans and, although in our legal system it is not specifically established as a crime, there are a number of statutes that cover and punish those who commit such acts, in the event that the occurrence of an enforced disappearance is proven.
Moreover, he added, “There is no secrecy in the processing of persons taken into custody at a Ministry facility, for any reason, for committing any crime.”
Regarding the procedure followed in detaining a citizen, José Luis Reyes Blanco, head of the Supervision Department of the Attorney General’s Directorate of Criminal Proceedings, explained, “The records of this process, the detention record that is signed by the person involved, information on the detainee and the presence of the Attorney General’s Office throughout the criminal process, from the beginning, contribute to controlling the investigation and allow us to ensure that in our country, since 1959, there have been no disappeared persons.”
Obviously, if events of this nature were taking place, the number of complaints submitted to the Attorney General’s Office, through its citizen attention channels, would be significant.
Reyes, on the contrary, reported that in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the office responded to more than 129,000 inquiries across the country; during the first semester of this year, the figure exceeded 49,000 and, for the period July 12-20, following the disturbances, 63 individuals have contacted the Attorney General’s Office, mostly through face-to-face channels.
“None of these complaints or claims were related to disappearances,” he reported, with most concerning arrests, that is, seeking specific information, which the interested parties received at the sites where the inquiry was made, Reyes stated.
At this time, he noted, the Attorney General’s Office is investigating five complaints related to the detention process, but there are no pending cases involving the location of a person. “The information is available and, more importantly, the family knows it,” he emphasized.
In this context, Colonel Alvarez Valle pointed out that when a person is taken to a police station, the first step is to register him or her in a log book, manually, and the arrest record is completed, so the person knows why he or she was taken into custody.
Next, he explained, the process continues and the first 24 hours may include the suspect’s first statement, and measures that can be imposed are determined, depending on the crime involved.
“In the first 24 hours, the family generally knows where the person is, since the Ministry additionally has a system of attention and information to the population, which is automated and links all stations, where all detentions are recorded.
“In the recent cases, all families know where their detainees are; they have gone to these sites, they have delivered belongings with personal hygiene products and individual medications; in other words, the information on the whereabouts of the person is established and auditable by supervisory bodies within the Attorney General’s Office,” he detailed.
He then referred to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to which Cuba is a party and, as such, was reviewed for compliance in 2017.
As applied in the country, Article 17, specifically, establishes, among other elements, that no one shall be detained secretly, and that, without prejudice to other international obligations of the state party regarding incarceration, each state party, in its legislation shall:
-Establish the conditions under which orders of arrest may be issued.
-Determine the authorities empowered to order incarceration.
-Ensure that any person incarcerated shall be held only in officially recognized and supervised locations established for this purpose.
-Guarantee that any person incarcerated shall be authorized to communicate with and be visited by his or her family, a lawyer or any other person of his or her choice, subject only to the conditions established by law, and in the case of a foreigner, communication with consular authorities is guaranteed, in accordance with applicable international law.
-Guarantee access by any competent authority or institution empowered by law to arrest citizens, if necessary with the prior authorization of a judicial body.
Reyes clarified that all persons detained during or following the July 11 events have access to a lawyer; although some have chosen not to avail themselves of legal services.
And to establish the absolute falsity of the aforementioned lists, at another moment during the television program, communication was established with one of the allegedly missing persons, who mentioned other colleagues at his workplace, as well, all in perfect condition and surprised to see their names circulating on the Internet.
The Ministry of the Interior criminal investigation expert reiterated that these lists have no credibility given the limited information they contain, and since it has been proven that many of those listed were never arrested or even interviewed by authorities.
Reyes added that some detained suspects have been released, after determining that they had no criminal participation in the events. Others are under precautionary house arrest, pending further investigation, and another group of defendants, in the pre-trial preparatory phase, are provisionally imprisoned.
TORTURE WILL NEVER BE A PRACTICE USED BY CUBAN AUTHORITIES
Another element that has been maliciously positioned on social networks involves allegations that individuals involved in the destabilizing events have been subjected to torture.
Regarding this issue, Colonel Alvarez Valle stated, “Just like forced disappearances, torture is not a practice in Cuba. The history of the Revolution demonstrates this; it is not and will not be a practice of the Ministry of the Interior’s combatants to use force against those being prosecuted,” adding that Cuba is a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
José Luis Reyes explained that, following the disturbances, the presence of attorneys in police stations was increased, since being aware of the detainees’ opinions is of interest, and the station provides a propitious opportunity to dialogue and note any concerns or complaints.
Participants in the Hacemos Cuba program also referred to complaints by a young man regarding alleged acts of violence committed against him, after being arrested during the disturbances, which have drawn attention on social networks.
Colonel Alvarez reported that, as a result of charges previously filed against him, this person was under house arrest, which involves restrictions he was obliged to comply with. July 11, he was in the street, at some distance from his home, in the midst of the disturbances, in violation of the provisions of his house arrest, of which he was fully informed.
Reyes added that the case of this young man is among the claims under consideration by the Attorney General’s staff, and that his father has visited the office. All the information he offered was recorded and the pertinent verifications and investigations will be carried out with total transparency.
Should any irregularity become evident, the Colonel stated, the circumstances in which the events occurred will be clarified and the corresponding measures adopted, on the disciplinary order, if the officer involved committed a mistake, or in criminal court if his conduct could indicate a violation of the law.
The facts and arguments presented made sufficiently clear that in Cuba there are no disappeared or tortured persons, and, if any irregularity occurs or has occurred in the work of the Ministry of the Interior or the Attorney General’s Office, it will be investigated, the findings will be made public and, if the law was violated, measures will be taken to ensure the restitution of legality.
BAJANTE | email@example.com
July 29, 2021
Cuban artists and intellectuals continue to express their support for the Revolution and reaffirm their rejection of continuous aggression against Cuba promoted, organized and financed by the United States government.
In his blog Segunda cita, the singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez, noted: “Regarding police excesses… I received some images of the demonstration in front of the Capitol moving toward the Malecón. It is a panoramic shot taken from a balcony of the Hotel Inglaterra. You can see police marching along the flanks of the demonstration, but there is no physical aggression on either side. I have the impression that much of what we have seen has been edited very precisely, to show what they wanted to highlight.”
Regarding the unconventional war that the nation is experiencing today, Camagüeyan poet Alejandro González Bermúdez, told Granma: “Social networks have become, in the case of Cuba, a manipulated and meticulously programmed platform to stimulate or discourage, as desired. The origin of this manipulation is obvious. At the same time, the Cuban government reiterates its commitment to dialogue, peace and consensus…”
Mercy Ruiz, winner of the National Award for Editing, expressed her “indignation with this new war for which Cubans must be prepared and defend the Revolution with all weapons, non-conventional and conventional,” and emphasized, “At this moment we must have firm convictions. The people must be systematically informed. This allows us to have weapons we need to fight. Young people need more historical education, to be aware of the background of relations between Cuba and the United States, so they understand that Homeland or Death is not a slogan, but a conscious, firm way of living.”
“The period we are living today in Cuba and beyond, is not one of slogans, but of convictions,” insisted Ulises Mora, founder of the Timbalaye rumba project. “These are moments in which we must together contribute to create solutions based on our experience and protect our conquests, in order to live together in an inclusive environment of broad social participation. We know and are fully aware of the consequences of the inhuman blockade imposed by the United States and its constant persecution. Despite this, we were able to develop vaccines against covid-19, making tangible the most evident form of the human essence. This is one more reason to reaffirm our conviction to defend Cuba from any corner of the world. No one has said that our revolutionary work is perfect, we all know that there is much to be done and to rectify, but only in an atmosphere of peace, fraternity and love among all Cubans will we advance, with and without a blockade. Cuba is the result of our struggle for independence, our hope for a better world, and the dignity of a people that will not give in to imperialist pressure, not even the most ruthless and inhuman of its aggressions.”
The first thing the Revolution did was to teach the people to read, so we could think. And thinking means reflecting on the world around us, as well as contributing to improving it through creative suggestions and constructive criticism, in order to correct mistakes. Long before social networks, Cubans were a very opinionated people. We have our own points of view about everything: sports, movies, medicine, politics…..
“Hot corners” are where baseball is discussed, plays and decisions challenged, which says as much about the exercise of expressing an opinion as attending a neighborhood government accountability assembly.
In these block meetings of residents in every Cuban community emit their evaluation of the human and the divine: from the hole in the middle of the street to the bread baked yesterday that did not weigh was what it was supposed to. These assemblies, mechanisms of democratic expression unparalleled in the world, have trained Cubans in the art of defending their judgments with arguments, valid or not, but expressed with civility and decency.
It is also the norm in matters of such broad interest as the debates on Constitutional questions, policy guidelines and other issues of significant social importance, in which the people have been summoned to establish consensus in a collective manner. Such was the debate on the draft Constitution, held from August 13 to November 15, 2018.
Aware that their assessment mattered and counted, our people understood that they were participating in establishing the legal, economic, political and social order that would govern society through a Magna Carta that would later be approved by 86.85% of the votes, with over 90% of eligible voters participating, that is, the majority of the population.
Defending an opinion is not alien to Cuban social praxis; but that was not what the July 11 disturbances were about.
Legitimate protest will never entail committing crimes, theft, violence, attacks, vandalism. There is no civility possible when one takes such action to create chaos, ignoring all social responsibility.
Those who smashed store windows and stole products, not even food, are vandals, in reality criminals. Those who assume such deplorable attitudes, those who think they are tough and attack the police, do not deserve respect.
Shaken by these events, to which we are not accustomed, we, good Cubans, who are the absolute majority, have already stated that, despite preferring to come to an understanding, will not allow anyone to violate our sacred public tranquility, a conquest and legacy of the Revolution.
There will be no room for such aggression, no chance that a handful of mercenaries can impose an agenda of lies and violence.
By Fabián Escalante. Division General (retd), former head of Cuban intelligence services. Author of several books on the intelligence services of the US against Cuba and has investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy from the Cuban viewpoint.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Undoubtedly, the social explosion that took place in our country on July 11 of this year surprised us all, and not for lack of evidence and indications. The social networks, in an Olympic marathon, spread to the four winds slogans, orientations, false news, doctored photos, etc., aimed at manipulating, confusing and deceiving national and international public opinion on the Cuban socio-political situation.
The objective was clear, to take advantage of the dramatic circumstances of hardships and needs produced by the asphyxia of the multilateral blockade decreed by the United States. To this was added circumstantial events, such as the exponential increase of the COVID-19 pandemic and the breakage of the main electricity factory (Guiteras, in Matanzas), which not only affected energy but also the water supply.
To this should be added the difficulties in the supply of food and medicines with the usual long queues, a “mafia” of “black market” born as a result of this, and the mistakes made in the late implementation of economic measures approved some years ago, including food production.
The subversive operation of coup-like magnitude, at least for what is publicly known, was not discovered and unmasked, nor -at least- was the population warned by all available means. A solitary and excellent documentary, The Dictatorship of the Algorithm, shown on Cuban TV, was the most outstanding alert of these weeks. It, however, since it was not conceived as a well-organized media campaign aimed at exploiting the information provided, did not achieve the psychological and political effects and influence on the social consciousness that was necessary and should have been projected, given the imminence of the aggression underway.
The Cuba -and the world- of today is different from that of yesterday, and even more different from that of the first years of the Revolution. These reasons that make it impossible to use the same methods of analysis or crisis management used before. There is a young, depoliticized sector of the population (due to our inefficient political and patriotic work) that does not understand the need to resist imperial policies and who wish to improve their living conditions and do not find an immediate solution to their expectations.
Days have passed since the events described above and, as it happens, many interpretations are coming to light, while the media campaigns in the United States and its allies continue to accuse Cuba of human rights violations and other atrocities, with the open intention of creating the conditions for a U.S. military intervention.
We, revolutionaries, have to meditate and draw lessons from what has happened. The United States and its fascist government is mainly responsible, but -and this is important-, we also have responsibilities for the errors committed. They demand a self-critical analysis, not only marginal references. It is necessary to deepen in the why of them, what were their causes and how we are going to solve them. That is what Fidel taught us and warned us in November 2005 when he stated in a speech at the University of Havana that only the Revolution could destroy itself.
The call to revolutionaries and communists has to be to go on the offensive, to the front line: fight against counterrevolutionary elements from within and without, fight against corruption, bureaucracy, idleness: fight against what is badly done, fight against disappointment and mistrust, against the lack or absence of administrative and political control, fight against “hollow, formal” orientations, in two words, generate ideas, defend concepts and conquests.
To fight against the enemy and bureaucracy would be the duty and responsibility of this historical moment. To use the political, social and mass organizations, supported by the duties and rights provided by our socialist Constitution, not to shy away from direct confrontation and not to be afraid to face conflicts, because as Fidel indicated on many occasions: the best way to defend oneself is to take the offensive.
The combat and confrontation of ideas is taking place today at the base of society, in the block, in the neighborhood, in the community. It is there where the Party and the social and mass organizations must and have to do battle, not to oppress, but to convince, to explain and, if necessary, to transfer to the leadership of the party and the government, the difficulties, misunderstandings and shortcomings.
Passivity makes us accomplices of the errors and negative tendencies that Fidel had already warned in his time.
The enemy campaigns carried out by social networks, by mercenaries of Cuban origin living in Florida, as well as by the media operations of the traditional bourgeois media, must be confronted without hesitation. It is necessary to denounce them, to alert our population, to disarticulate them from within, taking advantage of the enemy’s need to publicize their slogans, orientations and contact their internal promoters. Their activities can be prevented and neutralized, without unnecessary mobilizations, which could wear down and exhaust our forces in the perspective of a long struggle.
External solidarity, as has been called for, must be strengthened to its maximum expression, both in Miami and other North American cities where honest Cubans live, as well as in other cities of the world, where the Cuban attitude of solidarity is well known.
Once again, Fidel summons us to the battle of ideas, which consists in debate and not in imposition, in conviction, in listening and understanding arguments, and accepting those that are fair, because this does not imply concessions of principles, on the contrary, in any case, it reinforces our concept of Revolution, that which Fidel bequeathed to us.
“Trenches of ideas are worth more than trenches of stones”.
In around 40 cities in 28 countries, Cubans and people in solidarity with the Cuban cause marched this weekend, in the context of the world days of denunciation of the destabilizing actions promoted by the United States with the purpose of subverting the revolutionary process on the island and against Washington’s sanctions.
According to the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, in addition to caravans, actions and rallies, statements and videos were circulated on digital platforms, and two virtual events took place.
Among the Latin American countries where activities were reported are the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador and Uruguay, while in Europe, those carried out in France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain stand out.
After almost a month of walking, Cuban-Americans from the Bridges of Love project arrived this Sunday in Washington DC for a sit-in in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House, where they demanded the end of US sanctions against the Cuban people, reported Prensa Latina news agency.
The group, coordinated by professor Carlos Lazo, demands the opening of consular services at the embassy in Havana, the resumption of flights to all Cuban provinces from the United States, and the reestablishment of the family reunification plan, among other demands.
As confirmed by Carlos Lazo, through Facebook, during the trip they spoke with many Americans of different creeds and ideologies.
He also pointed out that during the journey there was no lack of threats, but “here we are, gentlemen”, said Lazo, who pointed out: “we do not respond to provocations”.
In addition to the rally in front of the executive mansion, other actions were carried out from east to west of the country, in support of the Bridges of Love effort and the just demand to eliminate the economic, commercial and financial siege that has weighed on the Cuban people for more than 60 years, according to the Latin American news agency.
A petition signed by more than 27,000 people will also be delivered, demanding that President Joe Biden fulfill his campaign promise to bring about a change in policy towards the largest of the Antilles.
Author: Web Editor
Digital | firstname.lastname@example.org
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
At the close of yesterday, July 24, a total of 60,467 patients were admitted for clinical epidemiological surveillance, 14,864 were suspected, 3,546 were under surveillance, and 42,147 were confirmed active.
For COVID-19, 56,424 samples were studied, resulting in 8853 positive samples. The country accumulates 6 million 208 thousand 857 samples taken and 332 thousand 968 positive.
Of the total number of cases (8853): 8787 were contacts of confirmed cases, 16 with the source of infection abroad and 50 without a source of infection. There were 6147 medical discharges, for a total of 288,414 in the country.
Of the 8853 cases diagnosed, 4747 were female and 4106 were male. The 8853 diagnosed cases belonged to the following age groups: 1632 under 20 years of age, 20 to 39 years 2609, 40 to 59 years 2983, 60 and over 1629.
Of the 8853 positive cases, 5.0% (441) were asymptomatic, for a total of 103,353 cases, representing 31.1% of those confirmed to date.
Distribution of cases by provinces: 8853 cases
Pinar del Río (149)
Villa Clara (383)
Sancti Spíritus (190)
Ciego de Avila (427)
Las Tunas (300)
Santiago de Cuba (735)
Of the 332,968 patients diagnosed with the disease, 42,147 remain hospitalized, 41,788 of them with stable clinical evolution. A total of 2351 patients died (80 during the day), two were evacuated, 54 were returned to their countries, 6147 were discharged during the day, and 288,414 patients have recovered. 359 confirmed patients are being treated in intensive care, including 153 critically ill and 206 seriously ill.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Some concepts are fundamental to understanding the new socio-political context we are living in and that we will most probably continue to see in the times to come. We talk a lot these days about cultural, communicational and media warfare. But what do these terms really mean?
THE CONTROL OF WILLS AND HEARTS
The concept of cultural war points to a very broad and complex phenomenon that is not limited to Cuban society. It is the global strategy of the centers of capitalist power aimed at the production of alienated subjectivities, functional to the logic of capital.
People are induced to embrace a way of thinking and feeling based on the cult of individualism, meritocracy, competition, consumption as a measure of status and welfare, the search for individual solutions to systemic crises, uncritical attitudes towards capitalism, indifference to the precarious situation of most of the world’s population and the deterioration of nature.
This way of perceiving the world and one’s place in it is presented as obvious, or natural and inevitable. Any opinion that does not fit in or that questions this perspective will be rejected, not because it will be criticized, but because it will be inconceivable.
I will share a testimony. In a foreign university where I was teaching, I conducted an exercise in a social psychology course. I asked the students, between 19 and 25 years old, to bring me information on any topic that caught their attention in the cultural and social life of the country. They could choose topics related to art, science, politics, sports, environment, among others. My surprise was that they all brought commercials about certain products: Coca-Cola, Levi’s Jeans, Lancôme, etc. The discussion revolved around which advertisements they found most interesting and best done.
The reduction of people’s world of interests to the realm of advertising and consumption, at a stage of life which, in theory, should be characterized precisely by the fullest development of the conception of the world, in a society, moreover, of great cultural richness and a very complex social fabric,. This occurs in the midst of a process of formation in the field of social sciences, indicating how the mechanisms of cultural domination can be effective in controlling the spectrum of human desires and motivations. Attitudes towards life are depoliticized and subjectivities are accommodated to the dynamics of the market, while countless fundamental questions remain outside of what the individual is even capable of seeing.
Baudrillard will point out what is even worse: the person lives the illusion of being free because they choose what to consume, when that choice is totally pre-designed, communicatively produced and destined to fulfill a very specific function within the system of capitalist production and accumulation.
The ultimate aim of the culture war is to induce the idea that there is no better alternative to capitalism as we know it. In this sense, various agents of socialization on a global and local scale play a key role, such as educational institutions, the cultural and entertainment industry, certain churches (we cannot generalize), for example, and all those social actors that fulfill the function of socializing values.
Within the culture war, communication is fundamental, and although it is not reduced to the media, because communication occurs through various channels, such as face-to-face communication. For example, media devices play a key role, which in recent times has gained prominence given the weight acquired by digital media and social networks. That is why we are talking about a war that is also communicational and that also has a media dimension.
Digital algorithms to keep people’s minds “connected” all the time in virtual platforms crowded with advertising and busy seeing how and what to buy, are brutally effective. For Naomi Klein today, people even advertise themselves, as if they were a brand, coupling and reducing themselves to the logic of the market, the function and content of many links.
More important than experiencing, meeting, knowing and sharing, is to exhibit oneself in the “market” of human relationships, reducing these to transactions of likes mediated by electronic devices, without questioning anything else that happens around, making the meaning of life revolve around these marketing dynamics of the self.
We have to understand that this communications system, which works as an alternative pedagogical path, to the extent that it forms certain motivations and values without being a school. It is one which responds to the interests of the market and not to the project of society we want to build. It will become increasingly present among the younger generations in Cuba, to the same extent that they have greater connectivity to the Internet. This is a problem that must be assumed and solved creatively.
LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE OPINION MATRIXES
However, the communications war may have more specific objectives than the naturalization of the cult of capitalism. It is also used to attack political systems that oppose the interests of the centers of capitalist power. In this case, matrices are fabricated to influence public opinion in one direction or another, to intervene in the course of certain political processes in a manner convenient to the interests of the United States or other powers, to overthrow governments, to deploy soft coups… Both forms of expression of the culture war complement each other, since the more alienated people are, the easier it is to manipulate states of opinion on specific political issues.
An opinion matrix is a partial representation of reality with an ideological imprint that responds to the interests of a certain power group and is manufactured with the intention of producing or maintaining hegemony and dominating public opinion on an issue. Opinion matrices try to create subjective conditions favorable to intervene or manage political processes. They are managed by taking into account the characteristics of the target audiences.
Let us look at an example. The opinion matrix that most strongly bombards the national media scenario is aimed at inducing hopelessness and resentment towards the Revolution and socialism. It cannot be understood without the existence of the blockade, they are a strategic pair. The blockade generates the objective conditions of shortages and frustrations which are then amplified through the discourse of hatred and boredom around the political system, in its dissimilar tonalities. The blockade produces the objective floor on which the matrices of opinion against the system are settled. This is not to say that the problems we face do not also have endogenous causes, which produce discontent that can be capitalized on.
What do the fundamental matrices of opinion that operate in our reality say? Cuban socialism failed, the government’s management and institutionality are overwhelmed (there is a crisis of governability) and the Cuban state has collapsed: there must be intervention in Cuba. These opinion matrixes try to create the ideal subjective conditions for a regime change.
In media content of various kinds from media with a counterrevolutionary agenda. The economic crisis Cuba is going through and its social impact is analyzed, the legacy of underdevelopment from before January 1959, the existence of the blockade, as well as the achievements made, are ignored. The endogenous causes of the problems are hyperbolized. Cuban society is uncritically and ahistorically equated with other societies. This is done in order to import liberal and/or anti-state narratives and forms of struggle. The category of class struggle is eliminated as a fundamental north to think about the future of the nation. At the same time the routes of analysis and proposals for solutions to the problems we are experiencing are de-ideologized.
A CHANGE OF EPOCH
The victory in this new scenario will be, in the first instance, to understand that the time is different and the mechanisms of domination we are facing are not the same. The virtual world has its own dynamics and laws of operation. It is not a matter of bringing the same narratives now to a virtual scenario. It is about completely transforming the methods of work, the forms of resistance and struggle.
In spite of considering that we must assume and defeat the communicational war that is being waged against us, our country has a strength in that sense that is not in the virtual territory. Although it may seem paradoxical: we can revitalize our organizations and institutions to transform the devices for participation and political debate at the grassroots. We need to promote effective spaces for meaningful dialogue about our reality, for coexistence in the midst of the life circumstances we are going through, for collaboration and for the collective search for solutions to the difficulties that arise.
Politicizing the analysis of Cuba’s future will make a difference: the greater the politicization, the lesser the manipulation of subjectivities through the devices used in this cultural war.
Articulate an educational-communicational strategy on a large scale, in extension and depth, to promote our perspectives and the right to build, in conditions of peace, our own, collective and sovereign path towards more prosperity, democracy and social justice.
The inventors of the narrative of popular indignation now want to build another one about a supposed spontaneous insurrection against the government, which justifies the defeat and propitiates foreign intervention in the island.
Author: Raúl Antonio Capote | email@example.com
July 24, 2021 00:07:34 AM
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
In February 2018, following indications from then U.S. President Donald Trump, the Internet Task Force for Subversion in Cuba was created, subordinated to the CIA.
It was a new step, considered essential, to dominate Cuban cyberspace and move to a higher stage in the strategy of subversion against the Cuban Revolution.
The propaganda crusade organized by the Task Force has been characterized by a coordinated use of all the instruments at its disposal to achieve, as a central objective, the demonization of the adversary and to justify its total destruction, as they have done in so many places in the world.
As part of the White House plan, which contemplated moving on to more severe actions against Cuba, after the “failure”, proclaimed by the ultra-right, of the policy followed by Barack Obama, the Trump administration applied more than 243 measures to “close” the blockade and suffocate the island.
It was a real shock therapy aimed at discouraging any resistance and breaking people’s faith in the future.
An important part of the plan was to start “heating up the streets”, as Gene Sharp’s manual indicates with absolute precision, with actions such as those that took place in the San Isidro neighborhood or the provocations in front of the Ministry of Culture and other institutions.
COVID-19 was a “marvelous opportunity” for the enemies of the Cuban people. Of course, they could not fail to take advantage of the pandemic and the suffering it could cause.
According to the calculations of the authors and sponsors, everything was ready: with the millions destined for subversion they paid mercenaries, cyber-sicarii and criminals, repeating the script of Iran and Bolivia in 2019.
During the last days of June, already under the administration of President Joe Biden – let’s remember that the policy of that country towards Cuba is only one -, the campaign of fear and demonization was strongly increased in the networks, the Internet Task Force synchronized the entire arsenal of media, sites and digital hitmen created or bought.
It was not, as they would have us believe, a Facebook group -a space created, as there are thousands on the island, where people share, meet friends, etc.- that promoted the events of July 11 in San Antonio de los Baños.
It was an action well-planned from the outside, with high technology, promoted by hundreds of fake accounts, bots and trolls, as has been denounced in recent days by our media. They acted taking advantage of the discontent caused by blackouts, shortages and fear of the increase of COVID-19 cases.
The defeat unleashed the hysteria of the promoters of the “protests”, the managers and ideologues. The mud machine kept going, like a puppet without strings, thrashing back and forth, howling death like a wounded beast.
The inventors of the narrative of popular indignation now want to build another one about a supposed spontaneous insurrection against the Government, justifying the defeat and propitiating foreign intervention in the Island.