By Max Lesnik
March 01, 2022
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
We can learn from history and thus avoid repeating past mistakes by seeking to replicate the successes only.
The crisis between Russia and Ukraine that has led to an open war between these neighboring countries, with the invasion of the territory of the latter by the former, leading to a very serious situation that could lead to a disastrous nuclear catastrophe for all mankind.
How was the so-called “October Crisis”, which almost led to a nuclear holocaust between the United States and the now defunct Soviet Union, resolved in 1962?
Diplomacy and not arms resolved the dangerous conflict that almost turned the “Cold War” into a “Hot War” that would have turned the world into a planetary cemetery at that time.
Cuba, already harassed by the United States since the triumph of its Revolution, was threatened by the “Colossus of the North” with invasion of its territory in Imperial response to the courageous attitude of the small Caribbean island that dared to defend its independence and sovereignty at whatever price was necessary.
It was then that another world power, the Soviet Union, rival of the United States in the so-called “Cold War”, in an attitude of solidarity and with the acquiescence of the revolutionary government, installed rocket batteries with atomic capacity on Cuban soil in order to respond militarily to the United States, in the event of an American invasion of the rebellious Cuba.
The world was on the brink of atomic war. But dialogue and diplomacy prevailed. An exchange of messages and letters ensued between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ￼ and U.S. President John F. Kennedy, a dialogue that led to an honorable agreement between the conflicting parties .
The Soviets would withdraw the rockets which, according to Kennedy, because they were only a few miles from U.S. territory, threatened the security of his country. A solid and convincing argument.
In addition, Cuba would not be part of the so-called “Warsaw Pact”, a military alliance of the communist nations of Europe, equivalent to NATO, which unites militarily the United States with the nations of Western Europe.
In reciprocity, the United States would withdraw the atomic rockets they had in Turkey, which, because of their proximity to the territory of the Soviet Union, threatened the security of that nation. A solid argument that also convinces.
And most importantly. The United States accepted the commitment not to attack Cuba militarily. No invasion.
The so-called “Kennedy-Khrushchev Pact” saved the world from a nuclear holocaust.
In the current political-military crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the parties in conflict should seek a compromise to resolve their differences diplomatically, as was done during the October Crisis of 1962.
The Russians withdraw from Ukrainian territory and undertake not to invade neighboring Ukraine in the future. For its part, Ukraine renounces to be part of NATO and commits itself that in its territory, so close to Russia, atomic weapons that threaten Russian security will never be deployed. A solid argument that convinces.
This time Putin is in the role of Kennedy and Biden in that of Nikita Khrushchev.
I believe that Putin understands and would accept this commitment to world peace.
Will President Biden understand it as President Kennedy understood it then?
To be or not to be. That is the question!
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Watching the events of the last few weeks in Cuba, it is easy to see the degree of frustration that must be gripping the U.S. power circles. They jumped, belly-first and with enthusiasm, into the waterless pool in which they found the intensive deployment against the island of all the weapons of unconventional warfare. During the last two years these included: economic, media and psychological warfare, terrorism, cyberwarfare, diplomatic pressure….
Those who for more than a decade have woven and financed in Cuba a dense network of media aimed at the most diverse sectors of society, collaborators in foreign correspondents, agents of change in the world, together with other forms of articulation, journalism and academia, leadership training courses, so-called thinking events in the United States, Latin America and Europe…, along with other forms of articulation, have had to see, I imagine not without sadness, how the current U.S. administration has thrown overboard all their patient work.
Juan Gonzalez, advisor for the Western Hemisphere of the National Security Council, and Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, violated, in their constant references to Cuba, what Niccolo Machiavelli suggested in the Prince: Never confuse desire with reality. The result is plain to see: the public exposure of U.S. interference in Cuba, the disarticulation of a good part of its internal subversion machinery and the discrediting before the Cuban people of those who have participated in it.
If one reviews the cable from the then-U.S. Interests Section in Havana, dated April 15, 2009, where its chief, Jonathan Farrar, described the failure of the traditional counterrevolution and suggests working with new actors such as bloggers, rappers and young visual artists, it is not difficult to understand how much the empire has lost in November 2021 in Cuba: at least 12 years of work!
But it is not triumphalism that should guide the work of Cuban revolutionaries after this 21st century Bay of Pigs. Washington lacks the humility to self-criticize its failures. Biden, even though he belongs to the same party, is not Kennedy, who had the courage to say to the mercenaries exchanged for compotes, when receiving them in a Miami stadium: “Victory has many fathers, defeat is an orphan”. Kennedy even attempted a secret rapprochement with Cuba that many believe is part of what cost him his life. And after the imperialist defeat at Playa Giron came the arch-terrorist Mongoose Plan, led at pencil point by the president’s brother, Robert Kennedy. Sobering, both Kennedy’s, John and Robert, were executed, not by the communism they fought so hard against, but by “lone assassins”, whose strings lead to the establishment they tried so hard to reform.
This time the decisive thing, again, has not been what our enemies have done, but what we have done. The key has been in the return to the people as the key factor, not only in processes such as the intervention of reality through the transformation of neighborhoods where numerous problems have accumulated. The key has been timely information about the war being waged against us, its characteristics and modes of operation. The latter -a missing element in our communicational work in previous years- assuming that a people capable of organizing itself in arms to defend its Revolution cannot be massively taught the weapons of the new war. We also underestimated the importance of broadly and deeply preparing all sectors of society for the not-so-new digital scenario, not only as critical receivers but, above all, as active participants.
It has been demonstrated, in recent months, that the media, state institutions, political and mass organizations, and the educational system weave a web that makes us invincible, if we are able to adapt it to the new circumstances and connect it with everyone who can be an ally in the anti-imperialist struggle, inside and outside our borders.
It’s a situation in which disinformation intoxication, through the growing use of digital social networks, serious economic shortages, shortages and consequent inflation, are joined by serious economic shortages, shortages and consequent inflation. It is necessary -in addition to the essential measures to stimulate the growth of the supply of goods and services, in addition to the successful control of the pandemic and the fact that blackouts are becoming less frequent, as is already happening, [to strengthen] ideological activity and, in particular, communications, as compañero Díaz-Canel has insisted, must be perceived by all revolutionaries as fundamental issues.
There are, to illustrate it, the material prosperity of Yugoslavia and Libya, razed to the ground with bombs after demonizing their governments, or more recently, the coups in countries like Bolivia and Nicaragua, with high economic performance indexes. Others believe that if we give institutional political space to the counterrevolution (multi-partyism it is called), the United States would begin to forgive us, but Antony Blinken’s response to the most recent multiparty elections in Venezuela should shake them out of their illusions: “it was not a free election”, he said, and, therefore, they will continue to support Juan Guaidó, who was indeed freely elected… by the Trump administration.
Not to rest in the battle for the truth, [we must] face decisively in confronting inequality where the disadvantages for the most humble have accumulated very significantly. [We must] create and enhance new economic, social, legal and cultural instruments against any inequality and discrimination, to intensely involve the people, and especially the youth, in the new and old fights. [That] has been the Fidelista response of the revolutionary leadership to the challenges of the present. And it has done so by listening to many, accepting criticism and speaking modestly, while working with intensity and transparency.
As the recently-deceased essayist, Juan Valdes Paz said in one of his last public appearances, the Cuban nation “does not have a solution vis-à-vis the US as we conceive it: independent, sovereign, self-determining”. But neither does Latin America and the world: independence, sovereignty and self-determination are obscene words in the empire’s dictionary.
The tribute paid by Washington and its allies to the last Human Rights Day was the announcement of the extradition of Julian Assange, to settle accounts with him for revealing, not State secrets, but war crimes and strategies of imperialist domination such as those exposed in the aforementioned cable, dated April 15, 2009.
It is the world upside down, where a Prometheus of our time must be tied to the rock so that the eagle devourer of entrails avenges, with exemplary punishment, the offense of exposing the Olympus of the dollar in its unspeakable crimes. Meanwhile, cardboard characters, in the tableau of dollars and technology paid by Wall Street, are applauded as heroes.
This is how the enthusiastic handlers of the N15 face their frustrations when there is no sovereignty to stop them. What would await the people of Cuba if they ever had the opportunity to impose on us what they understand by justice?
The social leaders shot and tortured en masse in our lands of America would be a colorful brushstroke for the hate-filled vengeance and bloodbath that the “military intervention” so often demanded from Miami in the last year would [actually] mean.
In the second season of the already old -and increasingly less outdated- Cuban series En silencio ha tenido que ser [It Had to Be in Silence], there is a scene in which the State Security agent, now a CIA prisoner, responds to a CIA psychologist, sent on a softening mission, with the advice she herself had given him during a training session when he and she were apparently on the same side: “Excessive enthusiasm is a difficulty when it comes to facing frustrations”.
Hopefully, the empire will listen to its psychologists, and at sometime [come to] understand that only new frustrations await it here, if it continues to rely on advisors like Juan Gonzalez, Antony Blinken and the Miami haters.
In the meantime, the signs are going in the opposite direction, so only the broadest culture and the most intense work can be our vaccines against an empire that, in its decadence, and worried about losing its hegemony at the global level, wants to gain a foothold in a territory it considers its backyard.