Monday, December 12, 2005

Cuba Documents Case Against US


Rickey Singh

Sunday, December 11, 2005

"NO US citizen has ever been killed or injured, no facility, large or small, in that vast and rich territory has suffered the slightest material damage as a consequence of any action originated from Cuba..."

With that opening stance begins a chronicle of reported cases of terrorism and other acts of aggression directed at Cuba from the United States of America, as documented in a just-released book, Cuba, the Untold History. Chockful of details and photographs, including victims of the bombing by CIA-linked Cuban emigres of a Cubana aircraft in October 1976 that wasted the lives of all 73 passengers and crew members on board, the book was officially released in the Caribbean last week to coincide with the second Caricom-Cuba Summit in three years on Friday in Barbados.

In the section titled, in bold headline, Terrorism in Barbados, of this latest official publication in the fierce propaganda war between the USA and Cuba - dating back to March 1960 - there is a most interesting quotation:

"The CIA taught us everything - how to use explosives to kill, to make bombs. they trained us in acts of sabotage."It is attributed to Luis Posado Carriles in an interview with The New York Times published on July 12, 1998.

Posada has been identified as one of the masterminds of the Cubana bombing tragedy off Barbados in 1976. He is currently in protective custody in Texas on the strange charge of "illegal entry" into the USA, and not for terrorist activities.

There continues to be growing demands from Cuba, Caricom and Venezuela (of which he is a naturalised citizen), as one of the perpetrators of that horrific Cubana disaster.

Cuba, the Untold History, would most likely be countered by disinformation agencies and organs within the USA, including the network of anti-Castro organisations of the Cuban exile community.

The publication concludes with the following publishers note: "The terrorist activities covered in this book are only a sample of what the Cuban people have suffered for over four decades. During this period, 3478 people have died as a result of these activities, while a further 2099 have been injured or disabled. Damage to the Cuban economy is calculated to be US$121 billion..."

Caricom leaders, who were presented with copies of the book and also visited the monument dedicated by Barbados to the 73 victims of the Cubana bombing tragedy, included Prime Minister P J Patterson.

He was making his final appearance at such a summit ahead of demiting office next year as leader of the People's National Party and head of government.

President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana was also part of the wreath-laying ceremony in memory of the 53 Cubans, 11 Guyanese and five North Korean victims of the Cubana bombing tragedy. At the time of writing, the official Communique on the one-day summit was not ready for release. But it was expected to include a firm reaffirmation of Caricom's solidarity and friendship with the government and people of Cuba.

For, in the face of the unprecedented punitive, inhumane 43-year-old trade, economic and financial embargo by the world's sole superpower against that small Caribbean nation, Cuba has never wavered in sharing its limited resources to assist nations in our subregion of the Third World, ever since the dawn of its revolution.

President Castro is fully aware that while he could depend on Caricom's unswerving support for an end to the US blockade against Cuba, this grouping of 15 countries, including currently inactive Haiti, are also quite mindful, and realistically so, of maintaining good relations with any administration in Washington - without compromising their integrity and sovereignty.

In last Wednesday's Observer, I had reported on the spread of Cuba's programme of assistance to Caricom states over the past 32 years since diplomatic relations were established with the Cuban government.

But characteristic of the guiding leadership perspective of the legendary 79-year-old Castro, Cuba prefers to speak, officially, more about its gratitude to Caricom for its commendable role in helping to bring it out of the United States-influenced diplomatic isolation, than its various packages of aid.

It was in marking the 30th anniversary of Caricom's diplomatic initiative of December 8, 1972, that resulted in the first Cuba-Caricom Summit in Havana three years ago. Continuation of the process climaxed last Friday in Barbados as another milestone in friendship consolidation between Caricom and Cuba.

In 2005, as it has been for some 42 years, Cuba's seat in the Organisation of American States (OAS) remains vacant. Its government has determined that its return would be dependent on the termination of the economic, trade and financial embargo imposed by the USA which had initially led the campaign for its expulsion from that hemispheric body.
To the deep disappointment of successive US administrations, Cuba has broken the back of the diplomatic isolation to which it had been subjected for many years in this hemisphere.

This achievement came in the face of enormous pressures from Washington against hemispheric nations, including a startling unilateral geograhical redefinition by Washington of the Caribbean under Ronald Reagan's presidency to exclude Cuba from what in reality constitutes the Greater Caribbean.

Today George W Bush's administration continues to strongly resist Cuba's involvement in the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the realisation of which remains problematic with emerging schisms that include influential states like Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina.

Cuba, the Untold History marks a new chapter in a most disturbing, painful war involving two very unequal combatants in this hemisphere.
It is more than high time to bring closure to this war and all countries committed to peace, security and orderly development in this hemisphere should help to achieve it. This is a massive challenge, further complicated by the escalating tension in US-Venezuela relations.

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