US: Same objective, different strategy for Cuba

fidel y nixon 5raul y obama 2

Obama’s actions prior to his visit

By Néstor García Iturbe
February 20, 2016


 This translated version, without subheads, appeared on

Obama’s visit to Cuba in context

Many of those “well versed in the material” are saying that in our remaining days before the Nobel Peace Prize winner arrives in Cuba surely the U.S. government will make some gestures toward our country that will “sweeten” the environment so that when the welcoming takes place, the climate will be favorable for the visit.

I don’t imagine that the reception will be along the lines of the film “Welcome Mr. Marshall” with a long row of people, from the airport to the place where he is going to stay, all holding little U.S. flags, and musical groups playing the Marines’ Hymn as the motorcade passes by. (1)  That’s all well and good, but not too much of it!

It looks like the U.S. government has also done some thinking about gestures it must make for “sweetening the welcome.”

USAID targets Cuba again – offers $500,000 to $2 million to special Cuban organizations 

usaid 1.jpgOn February 18, USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development), whose activities have nothing to do with international development but instead with political subversion and meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, adjusted its guidelines for organizations interested in providing Cuba with “humanitarian assistance to political prisoners and their families, and also to persons and groups that have been politically marginalized.” The deadline for submitting proposals has been extended from February 15 to February 29.

For any one of these projects, these organizations may ask for something between $500,000 and $2 million. As is obvious, the amount is hardly trivial, especially if the proposed project costs $2 million.

Avoid detection

USAID cautions that any organization whose proposal is approved must not send U.S. citizens to Cuba for carrying out the project, because they would be easier to detect.

Very well: if USAID does fear that people who do come may be discovered and does make good on this warning, then it’s because by the nature of the project it’s totally illegal and contrary to established laws in Cuba. That’s why this type of project instead of “sweetening the atmosphere,” adds the bitter taste of interference in the internal affairs of our country — and all of this just a few days before Obama arrives in Havana.

Some of those interested in this kind of activity, but who don’t have any interest in residing in Cuban prisons, have brought questions to USAID concerning this project of the U.S. government.

USAID explains

The explanations offered by USAID are these:

  • This program operates under the jurisdiction and legal authority of the United States. (In no way does it rest upon acceptance by the Cuban government.)
  • The program is secret and exceptions to this will be considered on an individual basis. However, at this time USAID is not soliciting any exception for this program. This is said in accordance with the DATA Act and the OMB M-15-12 memorandum having to do with U.S. governmental spending. (2) (3)
  • This program prioritizes humanitarian assistance to political prisoners and politically marginalized individuals and the families of both. We cannot offer any recommendations as to necessary methods through which the assistance referred to here may reach the targeted groups.

US Interference in Cuba is alive and well

We infer from all this that:

  • Actions of the U.S. government for interfering in our internal affairs are alive and well.
  • For the sake of “paying their agents in Cuba,” funds are removed from the money U.S. taxpayers hand over to keep their government functioning.
  • The U.S. government assumes “political prisoners” and politically marginalized persons exist in Cuba and, in its judgment, has to help out in their struggle against the Cuban revolution.

Obama’s role

Surely Obama, when he comes to Cuba, will have a meeting with the “politically marginalized” to assure them that their salaries are protected and that they must continue carrying out activities they are directed toward. In any case, if they go to prison, they’ll be converted into “political prisoners,” and will keep on receiving their salaries, and from that moment on, with a ten percent increase for being in prison.

Translator’s notes:

  1. “Welcome Mr. Marshall” is a 1953 Spanish film telling of a small Spanish town preparing to host U.S. diplomats and hoping to benefit from the Marshall Plan, initiated in 1948 for all of Western Europe.
  2. The DATA Act, mandating data transparency, became U.S. law on May 9, 2014.
  3. This May 8, 2015, memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget calls for “Making Federal Spending Data Accessible, Searchable, and Reliable.”

Translated by Tom Whitney

2 thoughts on “US: Same objective, different strategy for Cuba

  1. The phrase “US government intervention in Cuba is alive and well” is apt for a few reasons. First, it is apt because it accurately captures what the US government has never ceased doing in revolutionary Cuba, namely, its relentless attempts to create chaos, sabotage and mayhem in Cuba to discredit and eventually overthrow the revolutionary government.

    The latter has been the tireless efforts of the US government and its agents since the triumph of the peoples’ revolution against the corrupt and tyrannical US backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista on January 1st 1959. Second, the phrase is also apt because it correctly describes the current activities of the US government headed by the first black president, Mr. Obama in supporting “dissident groups”, “political prisoners” and “politically marginalized” groups through the USAID. In other words, the US government is currently paying these groups to create the social, economic and political conditions for what the US empire has an infamous track record of doing,namely, of trying to effect “regime change”against the sovereign government of Cuba. Needless to say, the US government and its empire have always had a strong political distaste for being unable to control the domestic and foreign policy agenda of revolutionary Cuba.

    Perhaps instead of funding the cited groups in Cuba presumably to promote “democracy” and “freedom” there, the US government would be better advised to use the tax dollars of the American people to fund “the dissidents” like Angela Davis, Norm Chomsky, the Angola 3, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Danny Glovers, Cornel West among many more, “political prisoners” like Mumia Abul Jaber (in prison for about 33 years for killing a white police which the evidence sharply contradicts), the Angola 3(the last of whom, Albert Woodfox was released from prison after 43 years of solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit) and many more, the “politically marginalized” for which there are many such as poor people of all races particularly African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, women, undocumented immigrants and LGTB people.

    These groups are marginalized in America and they would do very well with funding from the “USAID” to become more vibrant participants in American political life. “Freedom” and “democracy” in America would be significantly enhanced by such funding for these dissidents, political prisoners and politically marginalized groups many of whom are being denied their right to vote by reactionary Republican legislatures all across the USA.

    There is no need to fund these political groups in Cuba or elsewhere to promote “democracy” and “liberty” since the US would do well with some “democracy” and “liberty” for these groups in the US for which there are a lot more.

    Cuba and Cubans should be left to sought out their own internal affairs on their own time, in their own way ,in keeping with their own national interest and without the interference of the US or any other foreign powers in its own affairs. That is the meaning of the S word Sovereignty!!

    Within the foregoing context it is pertinent to ask the following questions:

    (1)Whose interests (those of the US government and the US ruling classes OR those of poor and working Americans) are being served when millions of tax dollars of the hardworking American people are used to finance groups of people in foreign countries like Cuba with the explicit political objectives to destabilize foreign governments that the US government dislikes?

    (2)How is financing the political opponents of the Cuban government and revolution going to improve the “normalization” of relations between the US and Cuban government?

    (3)Is the US government funding of these political groups within Cuba, being done deliberately with the objective to stall the normalization of relations given that the US government knows full well that the sovereign government of Cuba will not accept its interference in its domestic affairs?

    (4)Will the US government propaganda machine and that of the right-wing governments and agencies regionally and globally exploit any stalling of the “normalization” of US-Cuba relations to blame the Cuban government’s defense of its sovereign opposition to foreign interference for such stalling?

    Thirdly, the phrase is also relevant because as long as the Cuban revolutionary leaders do not betray their people and their unapologetic internationalist commitments of solidarity with and support for liberation movements and freedom fighters in all parts of the globe i.e. as long as the Cuban revolution remains anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and socialist in its essential characteristics, the imperial government of the US will always be actively trying to destroy its leaders and its political, economic, social and cultural institutions that have prevented imperialism from overthrowing the revolution.

    So whether it is President Obama or any other president in the White House or whoever is the head of the CIA or at the NSA or whoever is in charge of any US government agency, the strategic mission of the US empire is to actively destroy Cuba’s courageous example to other peoples and its revolutionary gains in education, health, sports, housing and other areas for its own people despite the onerous economic and political costs that US imperialism has imposed on the revolution.

    Consequently, US imperialism’s interference will always be “alive and well” in sabotaging and discrediting the Cuban revolution. Indeed, it is fair to say that counterrevolution whether in Cuba or Bolivia or Venezuela or Ecuador or wherever is precisely what imperialism has in store for any people who liberate themselves from imperialist domination.

    Conversely, destroying capitalism, imperialism and other oppressive systems is the strategic mission of revolutionaries and revolutions everywhere. In other words, imperialism and revolution are dialectically opposed to each other’s logic, purpose, objectives and principles and as such they are and will forever be locked in battles for supremacy and power throughout the world. So on the one hand, imperialism will always seek to exploit people, steal their resources through wars, bribery of corrupt government officials and power plays that some call trade pacts like NAFTA and TPP and others while revolutions such as Cuba’s seek to end imperialist exploitation of people, establish sovereign control over national resources, end imperial wars and promote mutual cooperation and benefits in trade between nations. However, above all else revolutions unlike imperialism build institutions such as community organizations, labor unions, peoples’ armed forces, women,students and children groups at the grassroots level to empower the people not only to resolve their day to day problems but also to defend their gains against the overthrown reactionary classes. The latter is precisely why imperialism hates and will always hate revolutions like that of Cuba’s.

    That’s precisely why the objective of the US empire towards the Cuban revolution has not changed though changes in the political and social balance of forces in the Caribbean, Latin America and the world towards the Cuban revolution have forced the imperial empire to change the strategy to achieve their longstanding objective of “regime change” in Cuba. The latter is perhaps a more disguised way of saying that the US empire still seeks to destroy the revolution after nearly 60 years of trying.

    However, now, the empire is trying to accomplish their objective through more ” diplomacy”, ” normalized relations” and funding “dissidents” and the “politically marginalized” groups in Cuba to achieve their coveted goal of trying to destroy the revolution.

    The incontrovertible fact is that imperialism and revolution like imperialists and revolutionaries are political class enemies and as such each seeks to dislodge the other from state power by any means necessary and by any means feasible. That is precisely why the US government and its apologists as well as its political slaves inside and outside of Cuba have been trying to effect “regime change” in Cuba for the life of the revolution. Indeed, that is also why, imperialist agents like the CIA will be in Cuba for as long as the revolution does not betray its people or does not implode due to any combination of the political and economic sabotages within and potential errors that maybe made by the leadership of the revolution in response to the provocations of the US empire.

    Clearly, the Cuban revolutionaries are battle tested and experienced fighters having fought the multiple intrigues, sabotages and assassination attempts of the US empire for nearly sixty years.

    However, it is equally a fact that, the enemy of the revolution in Cuba and elsewhere is very savvy, very experienced and above all else has enormous resources to pay its agents, bribe wavering officials, create economic and political disruptions and foment other problems with the goal of toppling the revolution.

    Thus political vigilance, continued organization and mobilization of all segments of the courageous Cuban people coupled with the ongoing political education and expose of the plans of the empire are the best responses to the determination of the US empire to try and effect “regime change” even as the empire seeks to “normalize relations” with the gleeful smiles of President Obama!

    “Fools die for want of wisdom” Bob Marley

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