By Carlos Lazo
Professor, creator of the Dream Factory project.
March 15, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
This essay was originally posted to Facebook by its author.
Sisters and brothers who live in Cuba: we do not hate them. In fact, the vast majority of us Cubans who live in other countries love the Cubans who live in our land deeply. I often receive messages from compatriots on the island who ask me why the resentment of those who left against those who stayed is so strong. This question is supported, in part, by what they see on the Internet. Much of what is published on social networks is saturated with resentment and cruelty towards our people. But this is not the case. We Cubans who live abroad love and do not forget the family, friends and neighbors who live in our land. This relationship transcends ideologies.
But I understand why so many ask me the same question. There is a small part of the Cuban community abroad that exacerbates hatred and promotes punitive measures against our people. This group of brothers and sisters seeks to increase the pain of the Cuban family inside and outside of Cuba. Although reduced in number, they are complicit in the cruel restrictions implemented by the United States government that penalize Cubans here and there.
They devised and supported the cancellation of trips by U.S. airlines to airports in the interior of the island. They publicly advocated the prohibition of remittances from third countries to Cuba. They express it loudly; not only do they oppose the family contacts between the two shores, but they demand that the son who emigrated, stop helping the old mother who stayed on the Island. Some even speak of a naval blockade and even an invasion. Given this reality, it is logical that many Cubans inside Cuba have the perception that their compatriots outside Cuba want the holocaust of the Cuban people.
Right now, confronted with the global pandemic that the planet is suffering, several of those people have publicly expressed their desire for the coronavirus to wipe out the land of their birth. It is painful to see how they say it in public, on the social networks, jubilant and mocking in the face of the misfortune of others. Taking the containment of the virus as a justification, voices are heard that even advocate the total cancellation of flights between Cuba and the United States. Ironically, nations such as Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and others have already reported dozens of cases of the epidemic. However, nobody is asking for the closure of flights to those countries, but they are demanding the liquidation of trips between Miami and Havana! They have not been able to completely sever the ties between the Cuban family here and there and are now manipulating the fear of the epidemic to achieve their goals.
Compatriots of Cuba, for every brother who is confused or sick with a grudge, there are thousands of us who believe in love. We love the adopted country that one day received us with open arms, but we also love the motherland that gave us life. Instead of punitive measures that intensify suffering, we advocate cooperation between our nations. We do not want walls that separate us but bridges that unite us.
As for us; we are not a pack of wolves. As a people, we have a common destiny and a duty: to help each other in misfortune. But even if hatred were to rob us of our tenderness and turn us into a pack, we would still do anything to save our cubs, which are the Cuban children for whom we are responsible.
And if, in the worst case, an epidemic of oblivion were to strike us, if we were all to end up demoralized – those here and those there – orphans of humanity and transformed into wolves, even then, an ancestral instinct of homeland and love would rise up from our hearts to remind us of the unforgettable: that we are members of the same pack!
July 31, 2015
In Miami today, Hillary Clinton forcefully expressed her support for normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba and formally called on Congress to lift the Cuba embargo. Hillary emphasized that she believes we need to increase American influence in Cuba, not reduce it — a strong contrast with Republican candidates who are stuck in the past, trying to return to the same failed Cold War-era isolationism that has only strengthened the Castro regime.
To those Republicans, her message was clear: “They have it backwards: Engagement is not a gift to the Castros – it’s a threat to the Castros. An American embassy in Havana isn’t a concession – it’s a beacon. Lifting the embargo doesn’t set back the advance of freedom – it advances freedom where it is most desperately needed.”
A full transcript of the remarks is included below:
“Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. I want to thank Dr. Frank Mora, director of the Kimberly Latin American and Caribbean Center and a professor here at FIU, and before that served with distinction at the Department of Defense. I want to recognize former Congressman Joe Garcia. Thank you Joe for being here – a long time friend and an exemplary educator. The President of Miami-Dade College, Eduardo Padrón and the President of FIU, Mark Rosenberg – I thank you all for being here. And for me it’s a delight to be here at Florida International University. You can feel the energy here. It’s a place where people of all backgrounds and walks of life work hard, do their part, and get ahead. That’s the promise of America that has drawn generations of immigrants to our shores, and it’s a reality right here at FIU.
“Today, as Frank said, I want to talk with you about a subject that has stirred passionate debate in this city and beyond for decades, but is now entering a crucial new phase. America’s approach to Cuba is at a crossroads, and the upcoming presidential election will determine whether we chart a new path forward or turn back to the old ways of the past. We must decide between engagement and embargo, between embracing fresh thinking and returning to Cold War deadlock. And the choices we make will have lasting consequences not just for more than 11 million Cubans, but also for American leadership across our hemisphere and around the world.
“I know that for many in this room and throughout the Cuban-American community, this debate is not an intellectual exercise – it is deeply personal.
“I teared up as Frank was talking about his mother—not able to mourn with her family, say goodbye to her brother. I’m so privileged to have a sister-in-law who is Cuban-American, who came to this country, like so many others as a child and has chartered her way with a spirit of determination and success.
“I think about all those who were sent as children to live with strangers during the Peter Pan airlift, for families who arrived here during the Mariel boatlift with only the clothes on their backs, for sons and daughters who could not bury their parents back home, for all who have suffered and waited and longed for change to come to the land, “where palm trees grow.” And, yes, for a rising generation eager to build a new and better future.
“Many of you have your own stories and memories that shape your feelings about the way forward. Like Miriam Leiva, one of the founders of the Ladies in White, who is with us today – brave Cuban women who have defied the Castro regime and demanded dignity and reform. We are honored to have her here today and I’d like to ask her, please raise your hand. Thank you.
“I wish every Cuban back in Cuba could spend a day walking around Miami and see what you have built here, how you have turned this city into a dynamic global city. How you have succeeded as entrepreneurs and civic leaders. It would not take them long to start demanding similar opportunities and achieving similar success back in Cuba.
“I understand the skepticism in this community about any policy of engagement toward Cuba. As many of you know, I’ve been skeptical too. But you’ve been promised progress for fifty years. And we can’t wait any longer for a failed policy to bear fruit. We have to seize this moment. We have to now support change on an island where it is desperately needed.
“I did not come to this position lightly. I well remember what happened to previous attempts at engagement. In the 1990s, Castro responded to quiet diplomacy by shooting down the unarmed Brothers to the Rescue plane out of the sky. And with their deaths in mind, I supported the Helms-Burton Act to tighten the embargo.
“Twenty years later, the regime’s human rights abuses continue: imprisoning dissidents, cracking down on free expression and the Internet, beating and harassing the courageous Ladies in White, refusing a credible investigation into the death of Oswaldo Paya. Anyone who thinks we can trust this regime hasn’t learned the lessons of history.
“But as Secretary of State, it became clear to me that our policy of isolating Cuba was strengthening the Castros’ grip on power rather than weakening it – and harming our broader efforts to restore American leadership across the hemisphere. The Castros were able to blame all of the island’s woes on the U.S. embargo, distracting from the regime’s failures and delaying their day of reckoning with the Cuban people. We were unintentionally helping the regime keep Cuba a closed and controlled society rather than working to open it up to positive outside influences the way we did so effectively with the old Soviet bloc and elsewhere.
“So in 2009, we tried something new. The Obama administration made it easier for Cuban Americans to visit and send money to family on the island. No one expected miracles, but it was a first step toward exposing the Cuban people to new ideas, values, and perspectives.
“I remember seeing a CNN report that summer about a Cuban father living and working in the United States who hadn’t seen his baby boy back home for a year-and-a-half because of travel restrictions. Our reforms made it possible for that father and son finally to reunite. It was just one story, just one family, but it felt like the start of something important.
“In 2011, we further loosened restrictions on cash remittances sent back to Cuba and we opened the way for more Americans – clergy, students and teachers, community leaders – to visit and engage directly with the Cuban people. They brought with them new hope and support for struggling families, aspiring entrepreneurs, and brave civil society activists. Small businesses started opening. Cell phones proliferated. Slowly, Cubans were getting a taste of a different future.
“I then became convinced that building stronger ties between Cubans and Americans could be the best way to promote political and economic change on the island. So by the end of my term as Secretary, I recommended to the President that we end the failed embargo and double down on a strategy of engagement that would strip the Castro regime of its excuses and force it to grapple with the demands and aspirations of the Cuban people. Instead of keeping change out, as it has for decades, the regime would have to figure out how to adapt to a rapidly transforming society.
“What’s more, it would open exciting new business opportunities for American companies, farmers, and entrepreneurs – especially for the Cuban-American community. That’s my definition of a win-win.
“Now I know some critics of this approach point to other countries that remain authoritarian despite decades of diplomatic and economic engagement. And yes it’s true that political change will not come quickly or easily to Cuba. But look around the world at many of the countries that have made the transition from autocracy to democracy – from Eastern Europe to East Asia to Latin America. Engagement is not a silver bullet, but again and again we see that it is more likely to hasten change, not hold it back.
“The future for Cuba is not foreordained. But there is good reason to believe that once it gets going, this dynamic will be especially powerful on an island just 90 miles from the largest economy in the world. Just 90 miles away from one and a half million Cuban-Americans whose success provides a compelling advertisement for the benefits of democracy and an open society.
“So I have supported President Obama and Secretary Kerry as they’ve advanced this strategy. They’ve taken historic steps forward – re-establishing diplomatic relations, reopening our embassy in Havana, expanding opportunities further for travel and commerce, calling on Congress to finally drop the embargo.
“That last step about the embargo is crucial, because without dropping it, this progress could falter.
“We have arrived at a decisive moment. The Cuban people have waited long enough for progress to come. Even many Republicans on Capitol Hill are starting to recognize the urgency of moving forward. It’s time for their leaders to either get on board or get out of the way. The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all. We should replace it with a smarter approach that empowers Cuban businesses, Cuban civil society, and the Cuban-American community to spur progress and keep pressure on the regime.
“Today I am calling on Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell to step up and answer the pleas of the Cuban people. By large majorities, they want a closer relationship with America.
“They want to buy our goods, read our books, surf our web, and learn from our people. They want to bring their country into the 21st century. That is the road toward democracy and dignity and we should walk it together.
“We can’t go back to a failed policy that limits Cuban-Americans’ ability to travel and support family and friends. We can’t block American businesses that could help free enterprise take root in Cuban soil – or stop American religious groups and academics and activists from establishing contacts and partnerships on the ground.
“If we go backward, no one will benefit more than the hardliners in Havana. In fact, there may be no stronger argument for engagement than the fact that Cuba’s hardliners are so opposed to it. They don’t want strong connections with the United States. They don’t want Cuban-Americans traveling to the island. They don’t want American students and clergy and NGO activists interacting with the Cuban people. That is the last thing they want. So that’s precisely why we need to do it.
“Unfortunately, most of the Republican candidates for President would play right into the hard-liners’ hands. They would reverse the progress we have made and cut the Cuban people off from direct contact with the Cuban-American community and the free-market capitalism and democracy that you embody. That would be a strategic error for the United States and a tragedy for the millions of Cubans who yearn for closer ties.
“They have it backwards: Engagement is not a gift to the Castros – it’s a threat to the Castros. An American embassy in Havana isn’t a concession – it’s a beacon. Lifting the embargo doesn’t set back the advance of freedom – it advances freedom where it is most desperately needed.
“Fundamentally, most Republican candidates still view Cuba – and Latin America more broadly – through an outdated Cold War lens. Instead of opportunities to be seized, they see only threats to be feared. They refuse to learn the lessons of the past or pay attention to what’s worked and what hasn’t. For them, ideology trumps evidence. And so they remain incapable of moving us forward.
“As President, I would increase American influence in Cuba, rather than reduce it. I would work with Congress to lift the embargo and I would also pursue additional steps.
“First, we should help more Americans go to Cuba. If Congress won’t act to do this, I would use executive authority to make it easier for more Americans to visit the island to support private business and engage with the Cuban people.
“Second, I would use our new presence and connections to more effectively support human rights and civil society in Cuba. I believe that as our influence expands among the Cuban people, our diplomacy can help carve out political space on the island in a way we never could before.
“We will follow the lead of Pope Francis, who will carry a powerful message of empowerment when he visits Cuba in September. I would direct U.S. diplomats to make it a priority to build relationships with more Cubans, especially those starting businesses and pushing boundaries. Advocates for women’s rights and workers’ rights. Environmental activists. Artists. Bloggers. The more relationships we build, the better.
“We should be under no illusions that the regime will end its repressive ways any time soon, as its continued use of short-term detentions demonstrates. So we have to redouble our efforts to stand up for the rights of reformers and political prisoners, including maintaining sanctions on specific human-rights violators. We should maintain restrictions on the flow of arms to the regime – and work to restrict access to the tools of repression while expanding access to tools of dissent and free expression.
“We should make it clear, as I did as Secretary of State, that the “freedom to connect” is a basic human right, and therefore do more to extend that freedom to more and more Cubans – particularly young people.
“Third, and this is directly related, we should focus on expanding communications and commercial links to and among the Cuban people. Just five percent of Cubans have access to the open Internet today. We want more American companies pursuing joint ventures to build networks that will open the free flow of information – and empower everyday Cubans to make their voices heard. We want Cubans to have access to more phones, more computers, more satellite televisions. We want more American airplanes and ferries and cargo ships arriving every day. I’m told that Airbnb is already getting started. Companies like Google and Twitter are exploring opportunities as well.
“It will be essential that American and international companies entering the Cuban market act responsibly, hold themselves to high standards, use their influence to push for reforms. I would convene and connect U.S. business leaders from many fields to advance this strategy, and I will look to the Cuban-American community to continue leading the way. No one is better positioned to bring expertise, resources, and vision to this effort – and no one understands better how transformative this can be.
“We will also keep pressing for a just settlement on expropriated property. And we will let Raul explain to his people why he wants to prevent American investment in bicycle repair shops, in restaurants, in barbershops, and Internet cafes. Let him try to put up barriers to American technology and innovation that his people crave.
“Finally, we need to use our leadership across the Americas to mobilize more support for Cubans and their aspirations. Just as the United States needed a new approach to Cuba, the region does as well.
“Latin American countries and leaders have run out of excuses for not standing up for the fundamental freedoms of the Cuban people. No more brushing things under the rug. No more apologizing. It is time for them to step up. Not insignificantly, new regional cooperation on Cuba will also open other opportunities for the United States across Latin America.
“For years, our unpopular policy towards Cuba held back our influence and leadership. Frankly, it was an albatross around our necks. We were isolated in our opposition to opening up the island. Summit meetings were consumed by the same old debates. Regional spoilers like Venezuela took advantage of the disagreements to advance their own agendas and undermine the United States. Now we have the chance for a fresh start in the Americas.
“Strategically, this is a big deal. Too often, we look east, we look west, but we don’t look south. And no region in the world is more important to our long-term prosperity and security than Latin America. And no region in the world is better positioned to emerge as a new force for global peace and progress.
“Many Republicans seem to think of Latin America still as a land of crime and coups rather than a place where free markets and free people are thriving. They’ve got it wrong. Latin America is now home to vibrant democracies, expanding middle classes, abundant energy supplies, and a combined GDP of more than $4 trillion.
“Our economies, communities, and even our families are deeply entwined. And I see our increasing interdependence as a comparative advantage to be embraced. The United States needs to build on what I call the “power of proximity.” It’s not just geography – it’s common values, common culture, common heritage. It’s shared interests that could power a new era of partnership and prosperity. Closer ties across Latin America will help our economy at home and strengthen our hand around the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific. There is enormous potential for cooperation on clean energy and combatting climate change.
“And much work to be done together to take on the persistent challenges in our hemisphere, from crime to drugs to poverty, and to stand in defense of our shared values against regimes like that in Venezuela. So the United States needs to lead in the Latin America. And if we don’t, make no mistake, others will. China is eager to extend its influence. Strong, principled American leadership is the only answer. That was my approach as Secretary of State and will be my priority as President.
“Now it is often said that every election is about the future. But this time, I feel it even more powerfully. Americans have worked so hard to climb out of the hole we found ourselves in with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression in 2008. Families took second jobs and second shifts. They found a way to make it work. And now, thankfully, our economy is growing again.
“Slowly but surely we also repaired America’s tarnished reputation. We strengthened old alliances and started new partnerships. We got back to the time-tested values that made our country a beacon of hope and opportunity and freedom for the entire world. We learned to lead in new ways for a complex and changing age. And America is safer and stronger as a result.
“We cannot afford to let out-of-touch, out-of-date partisan ideas and candidates rip away all the progress we’ve made. We can’t go back to cowboy diplomacy and reckless war-mongering. We can’t go back to a go-it-alone foreign policy that views American boots on the ground as a first choice rather than as a last resort. We have paid too high a price in lives, power, and prestige to make those same mistakes again. Instead we need a foreign policy for the future with creative, confident leadership that harnesses all of America’s strength, smarts, and values. I believe the future holds far more opportunities than threats if we shape global events rather than reacting to them and being shaped by them. That is what I will do as President, starting right here in our own hemisphere.
“I’m running to build an America for tomorrow, not yesterday. For the struggling, the striving, and the successful. For the young entrepreneur in Little Havana who dreams of expanding to Old Havana. For the grandmother who never lost hope of seeing freedom come to the homeland she left so long ago. For the families who are separated. For all those who have built new lives in a new land. I’m running for everyone who’s ever been knocked down, but refused to be knocked out. I am running for you and I want to work with you to be your partner to build the kind of future that will once again not only make Cuban-Americas successful here in our country, but give Cubans in Cuba the same chance to live up to their own potential.
Thank you all very, very much.”
For Immediate Release, July 31, 2015
PAID FOR BY HILLARY FOR AMERICA
Contributions or gifts to Hillary for America are not tax deductible.
Hillary for America, PO Box 5256, New York
A delegation composed of more than 50 Americans and called by the organization Code Pink, conducted an intense program of visits to communities in order to talk with the Cuban people.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
A delegation composed of more than 50 Americans and convened by the organization Code Pink, carried out an intense program of visits to the communities with the purpose of talking with the Cuban people.
One of the founders of the solidarity group, Medea Benjamin, said at the headquarters of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) that she felt pain for the setback in bilateral relations between the United States and the island. She felt the same because of the actions of Donald Trump’s administration, mainly the intensification of the unjust blockade and the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.
“We are facing an economic war and it is being practiced against countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran, and others, which are not to the liking of the White House. This is a form of pressure from the Trump administration to change governments. That president must obey international laws and respect the sovereignty of the people,” warned the peace activist.
She called the foreign policy implemented by the current presidency in Washington dirty: “This is an election year. They (the right-wing) want to take over the majority of Florida’s votes. This is why they are taking measures that have nothing to do with the well-being of Cubans,” she said, mentioning the names of Congress members Marco Rubio and Mario Rafael Diaz Balart as the most sinister characters in this type of political game.
She said she was part of the group that occupied Venezuela’s diplomatic headquarters in the United States to save it from the representatives appointed by self-proclaimed President Juan Guaidó. “We stayed several weeks living inside the embassy, fighting against very aggressive people, mainly right-wing Venezuelans living in the U.S. We have been taken to jail, we have been threatened, but we remain firm in proclaiming that our government cannot recognize a president who has not been elected by the people. It cannot give a facility to people who have no real power to carry out consular procedures. Nor do they have the right to decide for the Venezuelan people and elect a president of their own choosing,” said Medea Benjamin.
Also, in the last few weeks, members of the Code Pink group have visited Bolivia, because it hurts them to see what is happening in that country, after a coup d’état carried out by fascists, who privatize resources and sell the people’s goods. “We must defend Evo Morales, because he has been the first indigenous president, a symbol not only for Bolivia, but for worthy people all over the world, including the United States,” said the human rights defender.
She stressed that the main task of the Code Pink group on this issue is to report on events and show evidence of the White House’s involvement in overthrowing legitimate Latin American governments. The organization was born on November 17, 2002, and works to end wars and occupations by the U.S. government, to challenge global militarism, and to redirect resources to finance arms and military supplies to health, education and employment programs.
With her came Ann Wright, a retired and ex-colonel and diplomat. She had been against the war in Iraq in 2001 and other wars sponsored by her country. Today she is a peace activist and speaks out against the foreign policy of the U.S. government.
She believes that the relationship with Cuba has changed for the worse, and said she is very concerned about the decisions of the Trump administration. “We’ve talked to many people in the communities and members of non-governmental organizations, also with the accountants about the impact of the sanctions on their lives. We feel a sense of sadness and ask the people of Cuba to forgive us for what our government is once again doing.”
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
On March 12, 1996, the Congress of the United States of America approved one of the most regressive and draconian imperialist foreign policy initiatives, ironically named the Solidarity Act of Freedom and Democracy for Cuba (LIBERTAD), known as the Helms-Burton Act.
Before the triumph of Cuban guerrilla weapons over the armed forces of Fulgencio Batista’s tyranny, which had been imposed by Washington on Cuba, the United States exercised absolute control. The economy of the island was ultimately subordinated to the interests of U.S. companies involved in relations with the Cuban authorities and entities.
After the victory of the revolution in January 1959, the situation changed completely. Cubans became masters of their country and their economy. Nevertheless, Cuba could not conduct its normal foreign trade relations with the US because US hostility became present in economic relations.
However, before the 1990s, the blockade on trade with Cuba had not been legally established although it started working through so-called “executive orders”.
It was President Kennedy who officially initiated the blockade, euphemistically called the “embargo”, in 1962. He did this on the basis of [U.S. national] self-interest in response to the nationalization of US assets ordered by Cuba following the revolution’s coming to power.
Happily for Cuba, that moment arrived just at the moment when Moscow was in a position to become Cuba’s main trading partner in the New World. There were special incentives from its ideological affinity and a certain economic complementarity that the political alliance would bring about.
It is rightly said that the community’s approach and world public opinion have very little influence on the policy of the United States of America. This perception was fully confirmed by history during the second half of the 20th century.
Every year, Cubans, many Latin Americans and not a few Americans, humiliated by the shame of the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade that their country, the richest and most militarily powerful in the world, has been exercising against this small island. Cuba is a giant in terms of dignity,
The sole justification of Washington’s fear is that the example of Cuba’s successful resistance to unjust abuse will encourage other peoples and governments of the continent to defend their sovereignty, which cannot be renounced.
Once again this year, the most representative body of the international community debated and approved almost unanimously, in a plenary session of its General Assembly, the resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba”.
A few minutes after the conclusion of this most recent session of the UN General Assembly, the whole of Cuba celebrated, as it does every year, “the new victory against imperialism” with as much joy as if it were the first time that it did so as an expression of its condemnation of the unjust blockade imposed on the Caribbean country.
This was the umpteenth time in as many consecutive years that the United Nations General Assembly approved the same resolution. It calls for the suspension of the longest blockade in human history. It has already caused the island more than $100 billion in losses. It could have served to bring Cuba out of underdevelopment through its own efforts, according to the original projects of the triumphant revolution in January 1959.
The Helms-Burton Act was not the only piece of explicitly anti-Cuban legislation circulating in Congress at the time. On February 9, 1995, Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) introduced a bill with a diametrically opposed text, the Cuba Free Trade Act. It was aimed at eliminating the blockade and establishing a dialogue with Cuba. In doing so, Rangel sought to draft an agreement on the disposition of expropriated U.S. assets in Cuba.
Congress did not approve that law, opting for a hard-line stance against Cuba and avoiding constructive policies that would transform it.
December 27, 2019
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The ruling class of the United States has been advocating possession of Cuba since the end of the eighteenth century, that is to say, since [well] before the island’s first wars of independence. Two precepts conditioned North America’s foreign policy towards the United States. Cuba: the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny and Ripe Fruit Syndrome.
In June 1783, the second president of the United States, John Adams, said that the island of Cuba was a natural extension of the continent and that its annexation was absolutely necessary for the existence of the United States. Adams held that Cuba’s independent, sovereign existence would never be permitted, and much less would Adams support the struggle of its people to obtain it. The best thing was for Cuba to continue in Spain’s possession until it could be assimilated by the US.
“Manifest Destiny” was the idea developed then as a doctrine attributing to the United States the special mission of bringing its system of economic, social and political organization throughout the Americas. all the way down from the North. Subsequently, it would be extended to the entire Western hemisphere.
Expansion to the West was completed at the end of the 19th century. Its population was annihilated and the Mexicans lost almost half of their territory (Texas, New Mexico and California).
In 1823, President James Monroe pronounced the doctrine of “America. for the Americans” [the Monroe Doctrine”], which said that any interference by any European power in the emerging Latin American republics, would be considered an unfriendly act by Washington, against the United States. He, therefore, proclaimed the right to protect the region. The apparent paternalism toward the rest of the hemisphere would soon be turned into obvious expansionism.
A few years earlier, John Quincy Adams, then-Secretary of State in the Monroe administration and subsequently his successor in the Presidency, wrote: “…if an apple, knocked down from its tree by the storm, cannot but fall to the ground, Cuba, separated by the the strength of its abnormal connection with Spain and unable to sustain itself by itself, it can only gravitate, towards North America, which cannot, because of the the same natural law, reject it from its lap.”
This principle – known as that of the “ripe fruit” – did not prevent the United States from trying buy Cuba from Spain. An offer of $100 million to that effect was rejected by the Iberian crown.
In the 1880s, U.S. capital was already solidly involved in Cuba, especially in the sugar industry. as a result of its interest in converting the Caribbean islands into sugar economies.
In US popular memory, the roots were still alive in the United States, and so many ordinary citizens of that country. had sympathy for Cuba. This fact overlapped a tense preparation in the US for a direct military intervention during Cuba’s independence war against Spain.
However, in 1895, shortly before falling in combat, Cuban revolutionary José Martí wrote that, in his fight against Spain, Cuba tried to “prevent, with its independence, the expansion of the United States through the Antilles and fell with that much greater force. on the lands of our America. All that I have done so far has been meant for this,” Martí emphasized.
On December 24, 1897, US Under Secretary of War J.C. Breckenridge wrote in a memorandum:
“This (Cuban) population is made up of whites, blacks, Asians, and people who result from the mixing of these races. The inhabitants are generally indolent and apathetic…. While these people have only a vague notion of good and evil, they tend to seek pleasure, not through work but through violence. It’s obvious that the immediate annexation of these disturbing and numerous elements to our federation would constitute madness, so, before proceeding to it, we must clean up the country. We must destroy everything within reach of our cannon fire. We must impose a strict blockade so that hunger and its perennial companion, diseases undermine the peaceful population and decimate its army. The allied army must be constantly engaged in reconnaissance and vanguard actions so that the Cuban army is irreparably caught between two fronts.
“When that time comes, we must create conflicts so that the independent government will have to face these difficulties. That, in turn, must coincide with the unrest and violence among the aforementioned elements, whom we must support. To sum up, our policy must always be to support the weakest against the strongest, until we have managed to exterminate both of them, in order to annex the Pearl of the Antilles.”
September 30, 2019. This article can be reproduced.
That optimism was not clouded when, also on the morning of the 26th, I knew that a part of me – the writer – had entered the blacklist with which the President of the United States intends to drown us and force us to be a neo-colony – or perhaps one more star of the flag – of his country.
by Pedro de la Hoz | email@example.com
July 27, 2019 01:07:40
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The morning of July 26th confirmed my optimism. To see and feel the people from Granma province [granmenses], in the name of many and in my name, honoring the legacy of the heroes of the Moncada; I could feel, in plain sight and with the heart ahead, the line of continuity between the revolutionary historical generation and the current one; knowing that poetry goes beyond words to settle in the most endearing place of collective memory. This happened when our President referred to the words of Miguel Barnet and Roberto Fernández Retamar, made me think about how much I can, can, deliver to be really better.
That optimism was not clouded when, also on the morning of the 26th, I knew that a part of me – the writer – had entered the blacklist with which the President of the United States intends to drown us and force us to be a neo-colony – or perhaps one more star on the flag – of his country.
As an author, I have signed contracts and published with the Captain San Luis publishing house. Now it turns out that this publisher, together with Verde Olivo [Olive Green, the magazine of Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces] and two more hotels, were added to the list of Cuban entities with which US citizens are prohibited from having financial transactions.
In the case of n publisher, the ban indicates that there is no possibility that a similar American institution negotiates with it the publication of any work in its catalog, nor that a distributor or bookstore in that territory acquires or markets books published in Cuba from the houses mentioned, nor that a US citizen – not the very few who come to the Island in the midst of so many delusional restrictions, but those who visit the book fairs in the world and come up with them at a Cuban kiosk or another country to buy a volume from Captain San Luis and Verde Olivo – is suspected of having acquired publications from entities newly included i\on the Index.
I use this last term because it is obvious the kinship of the measure with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum et Derogatorum (commonly named by the first word) of the Holy Inquisition, in force from 1612 to 1819.
My editor, Julio Cubría, described the situation quite clearly: «The government of President Donald Trump has just included the publishing houses Captain San Luis and Verde Olivo in the list of entities restricted to the people of the United States. By simple presidential decree, the children of that country will not be able to read The Black Doll, by José Martí; nor discover The Night of the Rainbows, with Olga Marta Pérez, nor rescue with Enrique Pérez Díaz to Agatha in Danger. Their adults may not reveal the legend of the National Hotel of Cuba, written by Pedro de la Hoz and Luis Báez; nor to know the stories of the Capitolio, narrated by Ciro Bianchi and, of course, they will not be allowed in any way to know the true history of the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Why the Cuban Revolution?, let alone the monstrosity of the biological war against Cuba, nor what did Fidel find to the triumph of the Revolution? What a great fear of Cuban culture. In spite of laws and blockades, our publishing house will continue as up to now exalt the truth ».
Behind the fight against Captain San Luis and Verde Olivo, the White House uses a pretext: both editorials are attached, respectively, to the Ministries of the Interior and the Revolutionary Armed Forces. Witch hunters don’t give a damn if published books deal with history, be they fiction, or testimonial accounts of general interest.
Looking at things well, however, it occurs to me that such a ban is associated with the cultural needs of the current occupant of the Oval Office. His response to the journalist Megyn Kelly was public and notorious when inquiring about his literary tastes: “I read passages, summaries, chapters, but I don’t have time to read.”
The last straw is that they are given by the author. His titles? How to get rich and think like a multi-illionaire. It would be enough to compare themes and contents with the books of the publishers Capitán San Luis and Verde Olivo, to coincide with what a writer expressed in the Mexican magazine Letras Libres – nothing to see or by any means with a thought close to the left – about the character : “Trump’s lack of culture will go down in the history of the country as a loss”.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
There has been an intense and extensive media campaign that involved a group of U.S. officials accredited as diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana with strange acoustic attacks. Their origin and actors could not be identified, and then Washington decided to reduce the staff of its representation in Cuba. This had a big impact on consular, political and tourist relations between the two countries.
Washington’s rhetorical indictment didn’t identify presumed culprits or evidence of the supposed crimes, nor the sources for the speculative comments that were always anonymous. This peculiarity later served to justify the fact that the main victims could not be met with, given that they were agents of the U.S. intelligence services, and therefore unable by the nature of their functions, to contribute to the inquiries with testimonies related to their secret work at the Embassy.
The Cuban authorities, from the beginning, took on themselves the task of clarifying the facts. Cuba contributed to the U.S. investigative work. This included including supporting the work in Cuba of an ad hoc FBI delegation that traveled especially for that purpose. Then the U.S. government decided to drastically reduce the personnel in its mission in Havana. That aroused distrust with respect to the cooperation offered by the Cuban side.
Faced with the evident impossibility of discovering the origin and identifying the culprits, the idea that it could have been yet another malicious action against Cuba by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) gained discreet strength.
But recently, coinciding with the entry into the arena of the ultra-reactionary and shadowy diplomat and politician John Bolton, as Trump’s National Security Advisor, with the prediction that he will soon become the power behind the throne in the White House, the press began to resurrect the issue of sonic attacks, increasing the number and scope of journalistic work on the subject.
A striking report by Jon Lee Anderson in The New Yorker served as a prelude to the resumption of the “acoustic attacks” campaign.
Almost simultaneously, Ottawa’s Globe and Mail reported that Canadian diplomats whose families, by a decision of their government, had to leave the embassy in Havana because of alleged sonic events they were publicly protesting, claiming that Global Affairs, Canada’s foreign ministry, had turned its back on them.
Canadian diplomats complained that, unlike the U.S. State Department, Global Affairs had said very little about the matter in public. It also did not seem to be making their case a priority without which it was difficult for them to get specialized medical attention.
“We didn’t expect to be abandoned, or more precisely, sacrificed. That’s how we feel now,” a spokesperson for the group told the Globe and Mail. Several of those affected believe that Ottawa has said little in public because it wants to maintain friendly relations with Cuba, the newspaper wrote.
Adam Austen, speaking Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, barely said that “we will continue to do everything we can to provide advice and support to those affected,” provoking opinions such as, “Canadian diplomats affected by the unidentified disease in Cuba feel abandoned. They feel that the Canadian government is covering something up, or is indifferent to a problem that someone in Washington is interested in magnifying.
Headlines such as “Canadian diplomats affected by strange ailments in Cuba feel abandoned” proliferated in those countries where information is decisively influenced by U.S. consortia.
It should be noted that investigations have been hindered from the outset by mysterious circumstances. First, because the U.S. side did not allow accredited experts of any nationality clinical access to those affected, nor to U.S. military doctors who could see them within a period of time close to the events, arguing that the patients were personnel working in intelligence tasks, thus obliged to respect strict rules of secrecy by the nature of their tasks.
I still think that the search for an intellectual author of the attacks between enemy persons or governments of the United States ignores the possibility that it may have been authorities of the American intelligence community. They may have been trying out some clandestine program or secret weapon, which for some reason fell into the hands of opportunists such as Senator Rubio with the unscrupulous help provided by Bolton.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
CNN journalist Jim Acosta is in the news because he had an incident with U.S. President Donald Trump during a press conference at the White House. Acosta first asked about President Donald Trump’s description of the caravan of Central American immigrants seeking to enter the United States as an “invasion”. Acosta accused Trump of demonizing them and in the exchange, a White House intern tried to remove the microphone but that time Acosta resisted and asked a second question about “the Russian investigation.”
As a result, Jim Acosta was expelled from the press conference and his White House credential was withdrawn. This has generated thousands of news dispatches. What none of those reports has remembered is that, when Jim Acosta was in Havana, “embedded” in the delegation headed by then-U.S. President Barack Obama who visited the island, he had another tense dialogue. That one was with Cuban leader Raul Castro, but no one tried to take his microphone or put him out of the room:
Jim Acosta: “Why do you have Cuban political prisoners and why don’t you release them?”
Raul Castro: “Give me the list of political prisoners now to release them. Or give me a list of names if there are political prisoners. And if there are those political prisoners, before nightfall they are going to be released.
Needless to say, Acosta did not turn in any lists, but no one expelled him from Cuba because of it.
CNN’s concern, and that of the American press in general, for political prisoners and liberties, and also its hostility toward Donald Trump, is a little selective. During his visit to Israel, which coincided with the numerous and harassed demonstrations by Palestinians in support of their prisoners in Israeli jails, nothing was asked of the Israeli President or said in those media about political prisoners in Israel.
As for the “invasion” of Central American emigrants, mainly Hondurans, neither Acosta nor CNN, nor any U.S. media has alluded to the responsibility of the United States for the state of poverty, social crisis and violence faced by the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras), who have been devastated by decades of dirty war and neoliberalism encouraged by Washington.
Particularly in the case of Honduras, when it began a path to address social needs, integrating into the education and health programs of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) was impacted in 2009 by the military coup that began the U.S. counteroffensive in Latin America aiming to re-establish its hegemony in the region. That was led by Barack Obama’s White House, who by the way has been the U.S. president who has deported more immigrants than any other in history.
In Honduras, 15 journalists were murdered after that coup supported by the United States.There is even a video in which the murder of an informant is ordered, after the uncomfortable question to a powerful businessman linked to the coup plotters (see 10:25 minutes of the documentary The Deadliest Place in the World for a Journalist: which has been on the Internet since October 2011), but neither Democrats nor Republicans demonstrated on the matter, much less CNN nor any US corporate media. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=633&v=dvg1JcvC3KM
One thing that Trump, Jim Acosta, Barack Obama, CNN and all the “free press” agree on is that the United States, unlike Cuba, is a country with democracy and freedom of expression, but more and more common things happen there in the countries classified as “banana republics,” a term coined in his volume of stories Cabbages and Kings by the American writer O. Henry to refer to Honduras, something that is the result of repeated military interventions and economic looting, along with the export of violence, armed gangs and corruption, as well as the export of violence, armed gangs and corruption.
But what is happening in Trump’s United States, with scandals over the president’s relations with prostitutes, dismissals of officials for spurious motives, and even brothel owners who win elections even after death, surpasses novels like The Autumn of the Patriarch or the Resource of the Method. Of course, these are conclusions too deep to be told by Jim Acosta or CNN, and, if they were to be addressed, it would be to say that it is the exceptional result of the management of an irresponsible madman, never of a system where he sends the money and thanks to which a tycoon who runs a country as if it were his company was able to become President.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Cuban community residing in South Florida, in the United States, mainly in Miami Dade County, is returning to the state of great anxiety and fear. These are traditionally imposed by the Cuban-American extreme right and its sponsors from the American terrorist extreme right.
Numerous and widely-publicized visits by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been made to the homes and workplaces of Cuban émigrés in Miami. Those visited have been, for many years, activists for the improvement of relations between the peoples and governments of the United States and Cuba. Now they have reason to be alarmed.
The local media and even the U.S. national media speculate about the reasons for this intimidating campaign by the federal government’s main counterintelligence agency. On September 12, the FBI published an article in the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, stating that the reason for such warning visits was “to send to the Cuban government the message that the FBI is looking for and watching Cuban spies who might be infiltrating the United States.
Andrés Gómez, director of the Areitodigital website, based in Miami, has written that this FBI campaign is for political reasons. “In the first place, it’s because a decisive mid-tern election is about to be held on November 6. Control of both houses of Congress is at stake, as well as the future of the Trump Administration and the Cuban-American extreme right in Washington.
In Gómez’s opinion, “since the Cuban-American extreme right was unable to obtain the changes in U.S. policy towards Cuba that they wanted, the FBI could be giving them these FBI visits in order to partially satisfy them in today’s political environment. In this way, the fantasy of Cuban spies under every pebble and on every grain of sand of our long and famous beaches is once again being imposed on the social and political environment of our community.”
The director of Areitodigital believes that it could also be to warning against the electoral triumph in the mid-term elections on November 6 of candidates more in tune with the new policy toward Cuba laid out in Miami by President Barack Obama in December 2014.
But, according to Gómez, “we are no longer in Florida then, with a demonized Cuba as an evil and perverse enemy. To the horror of the Cuban-American extreme-right in Miami and its political and ideological allies in the rest of the country, and to the resentment of some FBI special agents who are visiting innocent citizens who maintain irreproachable social behavior-even though they defend their right to travel to their native country, and condemn the blockade against Cuba and everything that impedes the development of the Island and the possibilities of the Cuban people to advance and live in peace.”
In the national political environment, and in Florida in particular, there is a close electoral contest for governor between the progressive African American Democrat Andrew Gillum and the racist and reactionary Republican Ron DeSantis. It is feared that African American voters and progressives who do not normally participate in elections will be motivated to go to the polls to give electoral triumph to the most liberal and progressive candidates. That’s what might be motivating the FBI’s current intimidation campaign, notes Andres Gomez.
The official statement issued by the FBI says that “in the course of performing our duties, the FBI -on a regular and open basis- interacts with members of our communities to enhance the mutual trust necessary to combat potential criminal activities and possible threats to our population.
With respect to that, Gómez says “the FBI leadership should appeal to the mutual trust necessary to combat criminal activities, such as the immediate arrest and judicial prosecution of all terrorists of Cuban origin who live freely and with impunity in Miami under the protection of the FBI itself. They have attempted and killed many innocent people over many years, in a campaign of state terrorism sponsored by successive U.S. governments. They targeted the Cuban people and those of us who live in the United States and whom we have supported a more reasonable policy between both peoples and governments, such as the one initiated by President Barack Obama.”
It would have been good for Gomez to point out that the objective of all fifteen presidents of the United States since the triumph of the Cuban revolution, including Obama, has been to liquidate the example of effective independence and socialism that is Cuba. Of them all, Trump’s government is the one that contributes the least to those perverse imperialist ends, because he exposes it so brazenly.
September 10, 2018
Cuban journalist. First Vice-President of UPEC and Vice-President of FELAP. She is a Doctor in Communication Sciences and author or co-author of the books “Antes de que se me olvide“, “Jineteros en La Habana”, “Clic Internet” and “Chávez Nuestro”, among others. He has been awarded the “Juan Gualberto Gómez” National Journalism Prize on several occasions. Founder of Cubadebate and its Editor-in-Chief until January 2017. On twitter: @elizalderosa
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The new digital platforms favor the emergence of groups of individuals organized like a claque, ready to unconditionally applaud the one who pays. Anyone who isn’t in a blockaded country like Cuba can create content, invest in it for specific groups to see and even rent or buy virtual applause to generate “likes” on Facebook or “followers” on Twitter.
This is the business model of these technology platforms, thanks to which, for example, in the first quarter of 2018 Facebook had a turnover of $11.79 billion, almost four billion more (49 percent) than a year ago. Of that total, about 98.5 percent comes from advertising.
Such a thing happens every day and it is difficult to generate a perception of popularity on networks without hundreds of thousands of followers. These are usually achieved by registering artificial identities that promote messages of support, and the favor is not free. There are hundreds of companies that offer this service without any complexes. Simply enter “buy followers” in any search engine to find them. And it is not expensive: the price of a thousand followers is between 15 and 20 dollars. Getting ten thousand more people to follow us costs less than $120.
“Troll farms” – editors responsible for spreading false information on the Internet – have been used by politicians, entertainment stars, American spies, Donald Trump’s campaign team, Macri’s campaign team, the British military, Israeli propaganda organizations and many others who have made these huge profits from the platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg possible and placed it among the ten largest companies in the world, according to its value on the stock exchange.
The numbers are impressive and not just for the profits: a study published in March 2017 by the universities of South Carolina and Indiana estimated that, within Twitter, the proportion of “troll farms” that use automated applications to replicate messages (known as bots) was between 9 percent and 15 percent of their total users. The number of automatically-controlled fake profiles is between 30 million and 48 million.
Not out of moral compulsion, but to tune in to Washington’s anti-Russian and anti-Iranian discourse, Facebook has been willing to shut down some “troll farms” and escape, even momentarily, from the wave of criticism that has fallen on it for buying and selling data without the consent of its more than 2.4 billion users. This is how hits decided to eliminate hundreds of accounts with “inauthentic behavior” on Tuesday, according to a press release
We eliminated 652 pages, groups and accounts for coordinated “non-authentic behavior” that originated in Iran and were targeted to people across multiple Internet services in the Middle East, Latin America, the United Kingdom and the United States.
But while Facebook eliminates foreign-generated fake accounts, allegedly of Russian or Iranian origin, it tolerates the U.S. government’s “troll farms” without any crisis of conscience. Before any of us had heard of this machinery of fake accounts, fake news and Cambridge Analytica – the London-based company that intervened in more than 200 elections by manipulating the users of Facebook – the Pentagon was already publicly boasting that it was using the blue thumb network as propaganda bait for its operations.
Defense One magazine reported in November 2016 that Michael Lumpkin, former director of the Global Engagement Center (GEC, Pentagon propaganda department), described how the Center used Facebook data to maximize the effectiveness of its operations:
“Using Facebook ads I can get an audience, choose Country X, a specific age group between 13 and 34, filter people who like Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi or any other group… and I can shoot and hit them directly with messages,” Lumpkin said. He stressed that with the right data, effective message targeting can be done with only pennies per click.
Yesterday, the Miami New Times, a weekly newspaper in Florida, released a document proving that a US government-funded broadcasting organization is creating fake Facebook accounts in disinformation operations. These are directed against a country, Cuba, that has not done the slightest damage to the United States and that cannot access the Facebook ad manager because of the US blockade laws.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) will spend more than $23 million in fiscal year 2019 on its Office of Broadcasting to Cuba (OCB), which controls Radio and TV Martí, and its projects include no less than a troll farm.
According to the budget requested of Congress for 2019, OCB will use the money in fake Facebook accounts of the kind that it perfectly classifies as “non-authentic behavior” to promote regime change on the island.
Considering the disaster of inefficiency, waste and corruption that has accompanied Radio Martí and TV Martí in 33 years of existence at a cost of more than $800 million at the expense of the US taxpayer, the former head of the US Interests Office in Havana, Vicki Huddleston, echoed on Twitter the news of the digital propaganda project against the island, to which she added a phrase of contempt: “Same-old-same-old!!”.).
Will Facebook close the US government’s “non-authentic behavior” accounts, starting with those of Radio and TV Martí? To be or not to be, that’s the question, right, Zuckerberg?
(Taken from Cubaperiodistas)