Re-Targeting Cuba: US Renews Effort to Squash Cuba

Source:  Counterpunch
March 20 2019

Re-Targeting Cuba.jpegPhotograph Source Detail of 1591 map of Florida and Cuba
User: SEWilco • Public domain

Embarked upon overthrowing Venezuela’s socialist government, the U.S. government now renews efforts to squash Cuba. The U.S. record of implacable hostility features terror attacks, military invasion, germ warfare, internal subversion, and almost 60 years of U.S. economic blockade. Devoid of natural resources ready for U.S. plunder, Cuba offends by having defended socialism and national independence. Now Title III of the U.S. 1996 Helms Burton Act joins an arsenal of weapons employed in what Cubans regard as genocidal aggression.

Inflicting suffering and destabilization

Helms Burton is complex but centers on tightening the economic blockade; preparing for a transition government; and by means of Title III, inflicting suffering and destabilization.  The latter is taking place now in Venezuela, by other means.

Title III opens the door for the former owners and the heirs of properties nationalized by Cuba’s revolutionary government to bring actions in U.S. courts to gain compensation for what they lost. Persons or companies presently occupying such properties, or profiting from them, and who are located in third countries, would be required by the courts to pay off the aggrieved parties. These live in exile, mainly in the United States. The courts would lack enforcement capabilities.

In 1966, when the law was introduced, the European Union and other critics insisted that the U.S. government delay implementation of Title III. It did so and for the next 23 years, at six month intervals, the United States did announce one six-month delay after another. But a new era dawned on January 16 when the State Department declared that this time suspended implementation would end at 45 days. Something was up.

On March 4 the State Department indicated that in 30 more days Title III would be applied to the foreign and Cuban “traffickers” in nationalized properties. Also Title III would, as of March 19, be extended to 200 Cuban enterprises controlled by Cuban security forces or state agencies, many of them connected with Cuba’s tourist industry. The U.S. government in November, 2017 had already put those facilities off limits to U.S. tourists.

Violation of Cuban sovereignty

As of early April, international investors, aid agencies, and business-persons active or looking to be active in Cuba will be facing vast uncertainties. The former owners of nationalized properties may be suing them in U.S. courts. Concerned about a slippery slope of U.S. disfavor, they may cease involvement with Cuba.  And what with unsettling news, foreign lenders may shy away from possibly risky loans for projects in Cuba.

RelatedCuban Ambassador to Jamaica: The US will keep on failing … civilized and respectful coexistence shall prevail

Title III promises what Cubans call “extraterritorial” effects. It further universalizes application of the U.S. blockade which, potentially involving all countries, violates their sovereignty.

But in a Machiavelliantwist, the State Department will apparently wield the “trafficking” charge selectively. Cuban analyst Reinaldo Taladrid Herrero explains:“The road to Havana passes through Caracas.” Specifically, “They are going to exempt all businesses of countries allied with the United States, above all Canada and the European countries …. Implementation will be centered on adversary countries like Russia, China, and Venezuela.” Others share his views.

Violation of International Law

Title III violates international law, according to Russia; Cuba solidarity groups have protested. A few business-oriented U.S. groups oppose Title III out of concern that future U.S. commercial ventures in Cuba would be vulnerable.

Cuba’s government argues that nationalization was and is legal according to international norms and court decisions in the United States.  Cuba has sought satisfaction from the United States for deaths and destruction due to U.S. assaults. Negotiations taking place briefly during the Obama era looked at balancing Cuba’s claims with U.S demands stemming from nationalization.

Title III means major trouble for Cuba. The government there is presently mounting an effort to bolster the nation’s economy. Foreign investors will asume a major role in the project. They would provide $2.5 billion annually toward building or refurbishing Cuban institutions, companies, and infrastructure. But any good will on their part may well evaporate once threats loom as to court actions in the United States.

Food imports

The availability to the Cuban people of food, health care, schools, building supplies, medicines, and transportation rests on loans and export income from abroad and on income from joint ventures with foreign entities. By 2014 Cuba needed $2.5 billion annually in direct foreign investment. The fact that food imports alone currently require an annual outlay of $2 billion suggests that current requirements are greater.

Title III contains the seeds for havoc in the event that Cuba’s government is no more and the United States takes charge. According to Cuba’s Granma newspaper, Cubans “would be forced to return, reimburse or pay U.S. claimants for the house in which they live, the area on which their communities are built, the arable land where they cultivate produce, the school where their children are educated, the hospital or polyclinic where they receive medical assistance.”

Political terrorism

Cuban Journalist Lázaro Barredo, formerly editor of Granma,summarizes“Helms Burton literally has no precedents in the legal history of the United States. [It] constitutes an attack on sovereignty within the international community [and] represents political terrorism.” Helms Burton would “extend U.S. jurisdiction to other countries in an extraterritorial manner with the perverse intention of frightening, scaring, blackmailing, or dissuading persons interested in investing in Cuba.” We see a decision “to repossess the island, annex it, and move it toward total subordination to the United States.”

This report closes with a condemnation of the generalized cruelty and cynicism that is rooted in the strategic thinking of U.S. power brokers.For example, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, presiding at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on March 7, heard testimony from “Cynthia Arnson of the US-funded Wilson Center.” She “agreed with Rubio that ‘widespread unrest’ is useful, but cautioned that … ‘starving people don’t get out in the streets.’” In other words, a little starving is OK, but not too much.

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More articles by:W. T. WHITNEY

W.T. Whitney Jr. is a retired pediatrician and political journalist living in Maine.

 

The Helms-Burton is not applicable in Cuba

Source: Granma
May 17 2019

by: Yudy Castro Morales | internet@granma.cu

the helms burton is not applicable to cubaPhoto: José Manuel Correa

“The Helms-Burton Act is not applicable in Cuba; in the first place, because it is a law of the United States and therefore its jurisdiction, its range of action, is the United States. No sovereign country that respects itself would allow the extraterritorial application of a U.S. law in its territory. In addition, in our case, Cuba has a law approved in 1996 that declares the Helms-Burton Act null and void.”

Carlos Fernández de Cossío 2.jpgThis is how Carlos Fernández de Cossío, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ general director for the United States, explained the situation, which is worth repeating for those with doubts about this famous law’s lack of validity. This legal creation, meant to strangle the Cuban economy, is well-known precisely because of its extraterritoriality, and its disrespect for international law.

A violation to Cuba’s sovereignty

The Helms-Burton Act is, above all, a violation to Cuba’s sovereignty, which purports to compensate potential claimants of U.S. properties nationalized in Cuba after the triumph of the Revolution. This barely exceeds the category of a pretext, although it is probably the argument that has caused the most turmoil, since it implies potential damage to third parties. This has been enough to intimidate those who can be intimidated and creating uncertainty.The essential nature of the law, as several experts have noted, lies in its colonizing spirit, in its expansionist hunger in the most faithful imperial style.

This “legislative instrument” denies, in terms of sovereignty, everything that Cuba has conquered for its people, enshrined in its Constitution with the majority support of the people.Cuba’s Magna Carta, which we Cubans approved, of our own free will, states in its first article, “Cuba is a socialist state of law and social justice, democratic, independent, and sovereign, organized with all and for the good of all as a unitary and indivisible republic, founded on work, dignity, humanism, and the morality of its citizens for the enjoyment of freedom, equity, equality, solidarity, wellbeing, and individual and collective prosperity.”And the sovereignty which this law is intended to violate “resides intransferably in the people, from whom all state power emanates.” Thus the Helms-Burton has no legitimacy, nor do such international relations, which are to be based, according to the Constitution, “on the exercise of sovereignty and anti-imperialist, internationalist principles, to serve the interests of the people.”

No negotiation under coercion

Article 16 reaffirms that “economic, diplomatic, and political relations with any other state can never be negotiated under aggression, threat, or coercion,” and reiterated is the aspiration for “an honorable, true, and valid peace for all states, based on respect for independence and sovereignty of the peoples and their right to self-determination, expressed in the right to freely chose their political, economic, social, and cultural system, as an essential condition to ensure peaceful coexistence among nations.”

Likewise established is the commitment “to strictly abide by the principles and norms of international law, in particular equality of rights; territorial integrity; the independence of states; no use or threat to use force in international relations; international cooperation for mutual, equitable benefit; the peaceful resolution of conflicts on the basis of equality, respect and other principles proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.”

Cubans are governed by our own laws

The Helms-Burton obviously advocates the contrary, but Cubans are governed by our own laws.

The Constitution also “condemns imperialism, fascism, colonialism, neocolonialism, and other forms of domination, in any of their expressions.” Is not any attempt to implement the Helms-Burton meant to impose subjugation?

Also ruled out are “direct or indirect intervention in the internal or external affairs of any state, and therefore, armed aggression, any form of economic or political coercion, unilateral blockades that violate international law, or any type of interference or threat to the integrity of states.”

We already know, based on our 60 years of experience, that the unilateral blockade is one of the keys to our northern neighbor’s foreign policy. In fact, the Helms-Burton codifies in law this policy and extends its impact internationally.

A mockery of international norms

Cuba’s Constitution insists on maintaining and fostering “friendly relations with countries which, having a different political, social and economic regime, respect our sovereignty, observe the norms of coexistence among states, and adopt a reciprocal attitude with our country, in accordance with the principles of international law. “But what is the Helms-Burton Law if not a mockery of international norms, of every elementary principle of coexistence among nations?The Magna Carta indicates that the Cuban state will, “promote multilateralism and multipolarity in international relations, as alternatives to domination and political, financial, and military hegemony or any other manifestation that threatens the peace, independence or sovereignty of peoples.”In other words: Cuba rejects each and every one of the postulates put forward by the Helms-Burton Act.

The implementation of its Title III

The Helms-Burton purports to establish the blockade as perpetual. The implementation of its Title III, suspended through May 2, reinforces and tightens the blockade. A new measure set up for failure, at a time when Cuba is precisely focused on attracting foreign investment, and diversifying, broadening its markets, not cutting them off.

In fact, the Constitution establishes this with great clarity: “The state promotes and provides guarantees for foreign investment, as an element important to the country’s economic development, on the foundation of protection and rational use of natural and human resources, as well respect for national sovereignty and independence.”

miguel diaz canel 20.jpgThese guarantees, as noted by the President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, on his official Twitter account, are established in Foreign Investment Law 118, and Law 80 on the Reaffirmation of Cuban Dignity and Sovereignty, despite the aggressive escalation and uncertainty that the illegal Helms-Burton Law causes.

And speaking of guarantees, Cuba’s Constitution explicitly reiterates that the socialist property of the entire people includes “lands not owned by individuals or cooperatives, the subsoil, mineral deposits, mines, forests, waters, beaches, means of communication, and both living and non-living resources within the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.”

Also included are “other assets such as infrastructure of general interest, the principal industries, and economic and social installations, as well as others of a strategic importance to the country’s social and economic development.”

“These assets are nontransferable and their ownership can only be altered in exceptional cases, with the approval of the Council of Ministers, provided that they are to be destined for the economic and social development of the country and do not affect the political, economic, and social foundations of the state.”Have you thought about whether your children’s school was one of the properties that someone could claim; or the hospital you go to, the bank, the stadium, the market…?Probably not, because we rarely waste time on such nonsense.The Helms-Burton Act is disconcerting. No doubt. Nonetheless, as emphasized by the Constitutional principles that govern the country’s entire legal system, “Cuba repudiates and considers illegal and null any treaty, concessions or pact agreed upon under conditions of inequality, or that ignore or diminish our sovereignty or territorial integrity.”

Put our hearts to the issues that concern the people

Source: Granma
May 10 2019

Author: Granma | internet@granma.cu

miguel diaz canel may 2019

Photo: Estudios Revolución

President Miguel Díaz-Canel called for waging war on bureaucracy, against delays in administrative decisions at all levels, and any manifestation of insensitivity to problems that affect the population unnecessarily, during the final meeting concluding the Council of Ministers’ visit to the eastern province of Granma.

Of the 33 actions agreed upon during his first visit in June of 2018, 17 had been completed and work on 16 is moving forward; while solutions to several others are not advancing at the pace projected, including public works in Yara, the restoration of heritage homes in Manzanillo, and corrective work on this coastal city’s aqueduct.

“We cannot advance if we are slow in making decisions. What must be decided centrally, let it be centralized, but quickly. If the answer is no, report this right away, and if it is yes, even faster,” the President stated.He insisted on the importance of further strengthening state enterprises with new productive linkages and the application of scientific knowledge generated in the region.On the issue of housing subsidies, Díaz-Canel called for putting some heart to the subject, granting it the priority it deserves, given its impact on the population, especially the most humble, with the most urgent needs, to whom the Revolution is committed, noting that the program “has not gone well in any part of the country.”

The President said that cadres and managers must include in their work plans regular visits to those awarded subsidies, to expedite solutions and check that resources allocated by the state are used as established.

Cuba: For Peace and Against War

Source:  Granma
May 3 2019

The International Solidarity Conference for World Peace and Against War, held May 2 in the Cuban capital, was a great embrace shared by brothers and sisters from around the world

by: Bertha Mojena Milián | internet@granma.cu

rising up against imperialism 1.jpg

Photo: Dunia Álvarez

The International Solidarity Conference for World Peace and Against War, held May 2 in the Cuban capital, was a great embrace shared by brothers and sisters from around the world. Approved was a Declaration of international solidarity and for world peace, in which the Helms-Burton Act was condemned; and demanded were an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government on Cuba for 60 years and the return of territory illegally occupied by the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo.

The declaration calls on the international solidarity movement to denounce the illegal nature of new sanctions levied on Cuba that violate the United Nations Charter and international law, and reiterated support for the struggles of peoples around the world for sovereignty and self-determination.

“Let us rise up against imperialist barbarism, for peace and a world without exploitation,” the document concludes.

“No matter how dark the path, the response of the Cuban people will be to resist and victory will always be ours,” reiterated the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Fernando González Llort, who announced the “Hemispheric fernando gonzalez.jpgAnti-Imperialist Encounter of Solidarity, for democracy, and against neoliberalism,” to be held in Havana November 1-3.The call states, “Without neglecting or moving away from the specific agendas of multiple struggles, to which our organizations and movements are articulated, we are aware that it will not be possible to face the enemies of our peoples in isolation, dispersed.”

Thus, the call invites “the continent’s networks and platforms; popular movements of campesinos; women and feminists; trade unionists and excluded workers; environmentalists; youth and students; religious, indigenous, ethnic, regional, and LGTBI movements… all sectors committed to the struggle to stop the advance of the neoliberal right, to construct and defend a common emancipatory project.”

The International Solidarity Conference for World Peace and Against War began with a tribute to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, received with a prolonged ovation. In thanking the more than 1,400 participants from more than 103 organizations in 57 countries, the general secretary of the Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC) and Party Political Bureau member, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, reported that this May Day, more than six million Cubans marched across the island, demonstrating the people’s support for the Revolution, our ability to fight, and the conviction that we will always achieve victory.

The trade union leader observed that this type of gathering provides an opportunity to share experiences on social battles in many regions, disseminate ideas, and construct the consensus needed to confront the neoliberal offensive, and the escalation of U.S. attacks on the independence and self-determination of peoples.

He noted that Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are being targeted directly by imperialism, given the determination of their peoples and governments to resist domination, despite efforts to discredit progressive government that have produced benefits for the people and made social gains.

Guilarte reaffirmed solidarity and support for the Bolivarian Revolution and its constitutional President; for Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, unjustly imprisoned in Brazil; and for all workers around the world struggling against capitalist exploitation.

Adan Chavez

Adan Chavez

A special guest attending the conference was Venezuela’s ambassador in Cuba, Adán Chávez, who thanked participants for the numerous committed and courageous demonstrations of support for the Bolivarian Revolution around the world, recalling that the attacks on his country began as soon as eternal

Comandante Hugo Chávez was elected President the first time, but that the region’s peoples have decided to be free, and any victories of the empire and its allies are circumstantial, insisting, “The attacks will continue, and we will continue defeating them.”

The Venezuelan diplomat also pointed out that Venezuela will not be a U.S. colony ever again, just like the Cuban people, the Nicaraguan, all those who fight for just causes, for their rights, because left political projects are moving forward, adding “The peoples are in the street, fighting, more and more united”.

gail walker.jpg

Gail Walker

For her part, Gail Walker, daughter of the beloved friend of Cuba, Reverend Lucius Walker, said that it was an honor to be one of the many people from the United States who have come to express their solidarity with Cuba.

She noted that among those from the United States, marching with Cuba this May Day, were many visiting the island for the first time, and from a variety of sectors, including education and health, workers, community groups, and women. We are all here to express the continuity of our solidarity, she said, as progressive forces from different states, “united in love and solidarity.

lula da silva 3c.jpg

Lula da Silva

“Likewise, the president of the World Peace Council, Socorro Gómez, thanked those present for their support in the campaign to free former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, especially Army General Raúl Castro in his capacity as First Secretary of the Party Central Committee, and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. “Their solidarity reaches deep into the hearts of the Brazilian people and is an incentive to free Lula and continue fighting for democracy in Brazil,” she reaffirmed.

On behalf of the International Democratic Women’s Federation (FDIM), its president Lorena Peña said, “It is time to take the offensive in resistance to interventionist imperialism, and overcome the media war and the dangerous actions of imperialism.” The fight must be constant, without making concessions to the opponents, she emphasized.

Caribbean Heroes Park Inaugurated in Cuba

Sources: radioreloj.cu & minrex.gob.cu

April 26 2019

.- The monument to the heroes of the Caribbean reflects the dedication of the martyrs who fought for a free and sovereign Caribbean, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Rogelio Sierra said.

caribbean heroes park inauguratedDuring the inauguration of the Caribbean Heroes Park in Havana, with the presence of First Vice-President Salvador Valdes Mesa, Sierra added its coherence and interests identify the unity of our region.

The diplomat recalled that January 1, but of different centuries, is a symbolic date for the Caribbean because it marks the triumph of the Haitian Anti-slave Revolution and the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel.

The President of the National Assembly of People´s Power, Esteban Lazo; Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla, and the First Secretary of the party in Havana, Jose Antonio Torres Iribar attended the inauguration of the Caribbean Heroes Park.

Members of the Caribbean and Latin American diplomatic corps accredited in Cuba, ministers, representatives of national agencies and institutions closely linked to the Caribbean, members of the Caribbean Association of Cuba and the Chair of Caribbean Studies at the University of Havana also participated, as well as a large representation of students from the 14 member states of the Caribbean Community.

During the ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rogelio Sierra Díaz, referred to the importance of the event, and highlighted the historic bonds of solidarity, brotherhood and gratitude that unite Cuba and the Caribbean. The Vice Chancellor highlighted “today we inaugurate a work that symbolizes the courage and commitment of those who made the independence and sovereignty of our peoples possible”.

The Ambassador of Grenada, Hon. Ms. Theresa Clair Clarice Charles, Dean of the Caribbean diplomatic corps, underscored the current relevance of CARICOM-Cuba relations, while thanking the Cuban government and people for their solidarity and cooperation throughout more than 40 years of exchanges. In her words, she said “we are grateful that Cuba has designed and built this monument, it is an imperishable symbol of our historical relations.”

Dr. Eduardo Torres Cuevas, President of the Academy of Cuban History and Director of the José Martí National Library, explained to the audience the symbolism of the sculptural work dedicated to the Caribbean heroes and said “this monument depicts unity. By building this park we are crowning a symbol that reflects all the intensity and capacity of our peoples. ”

As part of the ceremony Mr. Ellsworth John, Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,  and Mr. Rogelio Sierra Díaz, the Cuban Vice-Chancellor, laid a wreath before the monument that pays tribute to the Caribbean heroes.

Cuba established diplomatic relations with the first four Caribbean countries on December 8, 1972. Since then, relations have been positive and have deepened from historical ties, based on the principles of solidarity, brotherhood and gratitude.

The Park of the Caribbean heroes pays tribute to personalities symbolizing the solidarity and bravery of the Caribbean peoples in their struggles against colonialism and for independence.

Schools: The life and soul of the Revolution

Source:  Granma
April 26 2019

by: Vivian Bustamante Molina | internet@granma.cu

schools the life of the revolution 1.jpgPhoto: Endrys Correa Vaillant

miguel diaz sept 2018cEducation is defended with commitment, soul, creativity, and by example, and with these convictions educators will march on May Day, said Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, during a National Seminar to prepare for the coming academic year, yesterday. The first session was devoted to analyzing the Ministry of Education’s (MINED) work in 2018.

This concept, he said, was reaffirmed by young leaders from Manicaragua and Cienfuegos, who reported impressive results in their schools, emphasizing the importance of personal example and dedication.

During his comments, Diaz-Canel established a collective reflection, seasoned with remembrances of his student days and those spent in leading the Ministry of Higher Education, noting the continued relevance of foundational precepts of Cuban education, jose ramon fernandez.jpgcherished by teachers and professors over the years, including Fidel Castro and José Ramón Fernández, who we all recall affectionately, as a revolutionary and pedagogue, he said.

The main task at hand, he pointed out, is the improvement of teaching, with experimental projects underway in a several institutions, the results of which will be generalized.

He noted that despite the difficult times, a new special education school was recently inaugurated in Santiago de Cuba, with another to open soon in Villa Clara, examples of what a Revolution can do.

The work of teachers and professors merits more recognition

He emphasized that the work of teachers and professors merits more recognition.

Teresa Amarelle Boué, Party Political Bureau member and secretary general of the Federation of Cuban Women, honored Ena Elsa Velázquez, Minister of Education, with the Ana Betancourt Order, for her career as an educator and government leader. Distinctions were also awarded to pedagogical schools and provincial education directorates with the best results in 2018.

The meeting was also attended by Roberto Morales Ojeda, Political Bureau member of the Party and vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, and Olga Lidia Tapia, member of the Central Committee Secretariat, and other leaders.

The Cuban Revolution will confront the aggressive U.S. escalation, and prevail

Source:  Granma

April 18 2019

by Granma | internet@granma.cu

Revolutionary Government Declaration

Today, April 17, is the anniversary of the launching of the United State’s 1961 military invasion at Playa Girón. (Bay of Pigs)

bay of pigs us defeated

Bay of Pigs:  First military defeat of imperialism in America

The Cuban people’s resolute response in defense of the Revolution and socialism, within only 72 hours, produced the first military defeat of imperialism in America.

 

Strangely, the date was chosen by the current U.S. government to announce new aggressive measures against Cuba and to reinforce their implementation of the Monroe Doctrine.

The Revolutionary Government rejects, in the strongest terms possible, the decision to now allow action to be taken in U.S. courts against Cuban and foreign entities, and to aggravate impediments to entering the United States faced by leaders and families of companies that legitimately invest in Cuba, in properties that were nationalized. These are actions established in the Helms-Burton Ac,t which was denounced long ago by the international community, and which the Cuban nation has repudiated since its promulgation and implementation in 1996, with the fundamental goal of imposing colonial tutelage on our country.

Limits on remittances

We repudiate, as well, the decision to reinstate limits on remittances that Cuban residents in the U.S. send to their families and friends, to further restrict travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba, and impose additional financial sanctions.

We strongly denounce references that attacks against U.S. diplomats have occurred in Cuba.

They attempt to justify their actions, as is customary, with lies and coercion.

Army General Raúl Castro stated this past April 10: “Cuba is blamed for all evils, using lies in the worst style of Hitler’s propaganda.”

The U.S. government resorts to slander, to cover up and justify the obvious failure of its sinister coup maneuver, designating in Washington an impostor “President” for Venezuela,

They lie shamelessly

They accuse Cuba of being responsible for the strength and determination shown by the Bolivarian Chavista government, the country’s people, and the civic-military union defending their nation’s sovereignty. They lie shamelessly, alleging that Cuba has thousands of military and security troops in Venezuela, wielding influence, and determining what happens in this sister country.

They have the cynicism to blame Cuba for the economic and social situation Venezuela is facing after years of brutal economic sanctions, conceived and implemented by the United States and their allies, precisely to economically asphyxiate the country and cause suffering within the population.

Pressuring governments in other countries

Washington goes so far as to pressure governments in other countries to attempt to persuade Cuba to withdraw this unlikely supposed military and security aid, and even to stop lending support and solidarity to Venezuela.

The current U.S. government is well-known, within the country itself and internationally, for its unscrupulous use of lies as a tool in domestic and foreign policy. This is an old habit among imperialism’s practices.

Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

The images are still fresh of President George W. Bush, with the support of current National Security John Bolton, indecently lying about supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a lie that served as the pretext to invade this Middle Eastern country.

Recorded in history, as well, are the bombing of the Maine anchored in Havana, and the self-inflicted Gulf of Tonkin incident, episodes that served as pretexts to unleash brutal wars in Cuba and Vietnam.

We cannot forget that the United States used fake insignia painted on the planes that carried out bombings here as a prelude to the Playa Girón invasion, to hide the fact that they were U.S. aircraft.

It should be clear that the U.S. slanders are based on an absolute, deliberate lie. Their intelligence agencies have more than enough evidence, surely more than any other state, to know that Cuba has no troops in Venezuela, and does not participate in military or security operations, even though it is the sovereign right of independent countries to determine how they cooperate in the area of defense, which is not a U.S. prerogative to question.

Those making this accusation have more than 250,000 soldiers and 800 military bases abroad, some of them in our hemisphere.

This government also knows, as Cuba has repeatedly stated publicly, that the more than 20,000 Cuban collaborators, more than 60% women, are undertaking in this South American country the same work currently being done by another 11,000 professionals from our country in 83 nations; contributing to the provision of social basic services, fundamentally in healthcare, which has been recognized by the international community.

It should also be absolutely clear that our firm solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is Cuba’s right as a sovereign state, and also a duty that is part of our tradition and among the irrevocable principles of the Cuban Revolution’s foreign policy.

No threat of reprisal against Cuba, no ultimatum or pressure on the part of the current U.S. government will dissuade the Cuban nation’s internationalist vocation, despite the devastating human and economic damage caused by the genocidal blockade to our people.

Thuggish threats and ultimatums have been used in the past

It is worth remembering that thuggish threats and ultimatums have been used in the past, when Cuba’s internationalists supported liberation movements in Africa, while the United States supported the opprobrious apartheid regime. Cuba was expected to renounce its solidarity commitments with the peoples of Africa in exchange for a promise of forgiveness, as if the Revolution needed to be pardoned by imperialism.

At that time, Cuba rejected the pressure, as we reject it today, with the greatest disdain.

Army General Raúl Castro recalled this past April 10, “Over 60 years, facing aggression and threats, Cubans have shown the iron will to resist and overcome the most difficult circumstances. Despite its immense power, imperialism does not possess the capacity to break the dignity of a united people, proud of its history and of the freedom conquered with so much sacrifice.”

The Caribbean as a Zone of Peace

The Cuban government calls on all members of the international community and U.S. citizens to put an end this irrational escalation and the hostile, aggressive policy of the Donald Trump government. Member states of the United Nations rightly demand, year after year almost unanimously, an end to this economic war. The peoples and governments of our region must ensure that the principles of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace prevail, for the benefit of all.

miguel diaz sept 2018c.jpgThe President of the Councils of State and Ministers Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez declared this past April 13, “Cuba continues to have confidence in its strengths, its dignity, and also in the strength and dignity of other sovereign, independent nations. But Cuba also continues to believe in the people of the United States, the homeland of Lincoln, who are ashamed of those who act beyond the boundaries of universal law, in the name of the entire nation.”

Once again, Cuba repudiates the lies and the threats, and reiterates that its sovereignty, independence, and commitment to the cause of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, are not negotiable.

Two days before the commemoration of the 58th anniversary of the victory at Playa Girón, a historic site within our national territory, where mercenary forces backed by imperialism bit the dust of defeat, the Cuban Revolution reiterates its resolute determination to confront the aggressive escalation of the United States, and prevail.

Havana, April 17, 2019.