CUBA NEWSLETTER #3,
April 25, 2017.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a CULTURE OF PEACE and Justice.
(#1 Feb. 4, 2011; #2 Oct. 21, 2012).
Contents of #3, SUPPORT TODAY, HISTORY OF US CRIMES
Support for Cuba Today
Pastors for Peace 2017
Disarm/Global Health Partners
HISTORY OF US CRIMES AGAINST CUBA, (reverse chron. by pub. date 2016-2013)
William Blum, US Crimes Against Cuba. 2016
Hayden, Listen, Yankee! 2015
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, US Terrorist Saboteurs Arrested in Cuba. 2014
LeoGrande and Kornbluh, Back Channel to Cuba. 2014
Leogrande, USAID to Cuba. 2014
The Nation’s Trip to Cuba, Exchange Programs. 2014
Lamrani, US Economic War Against Cuba. 2013
Free the Cuban 5. 2013
Chomsky’s Recommended Books on Cuba
SUPPORT FOR CUBA 2015-, US BULLYING ENDING THANKS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA AND MANY GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS
ANNOUNCEMENT APRIL 25, 2017
CHEERS TO PASTOR FOR PEACE, STEADFAST FRIEND TO CUBA, AND ACPJ
Pastors for Peace “Friendshipment Caravan” April 29, 2017
January: Cuba freed 53 political prisoners as part of its deal to reopen diplomatic relations with the United States.
July: The two countries officially restored full diplomatic relations in July 2015 more than 50 years after severing them. Although the US embargo remains officially in place, Obama loosened regulations to allow more commercial relations.
Disarm/Global Health Partners (Ed Asner), like PforP, continues its support of Cuba. www.disarm.org
“Again, U.N. Vote Raps Cuba Embargo.” NADG (Oct. 28, 2015). US of B, United States of Bullies. “The General Assembly voted 191-2 to condemn the commercial, economic and financial embargo against Cuba.” Who joined USofB? Israel. This is the 24th year of UN General Assembly condemnation and USofB’s vote against. However, Pres. Obama said the vote “didn’t reflect ‘the spirit of engagement’ between Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.
But “Trump Shifts on Cuba, Says He Would Reverse Obama’s Deal.” CNN Headline News (Nov. 14, 2016). Because Obama ended the embargo by executive order that did not require congressional action, Trump has the power to overturn it.
November 26: Castro died. NWADG page-one screamer headline Nov. 27: “Castro’s Death Met with Rejoicing.” Where? In Miami. I look forward to a book on the prejudiced, hugely one-side reporting of Castro by US mainstream media during the embargo, even though trade with Cuba would benefit the US.
December: Disarm/Global Health Partners’ Year End Report from Asner. It accelerated its medical aid shipments and collaborations between doctors and medical facilities in the two countries, in 2016 delivering “five medical shipments worth $1,676,189” (letter from Asner). During its 22 years of sending medicines and medical supplies to Cuba, according to him Disarm raised $131 million.
US TERRORISTIC LAWLESSNESS AGAINST CUBA
Contents in reverse chronology by publication date
William Blum, The Anti-Empire Report
WHAT HAS THE
NOT TRIED TO OVERTHROW THE CUBAN
SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT? US
TWO ESAYS BY WILLIAM BLUM
William Blum. “The Anti-Empire Report #144.” March 11th, 2016.
CIA motto: “Proudly overthrowing the Cuban government since 1959.”
Now what? Did you think that the United States had finally grown up and come to the realization that they could in fact share the same hemisphere as the people of Cuba, accepting Cuban society as unquestioningly as they do that of Canada? The Washington Post (February 18) reported: “In recent weeks, administration officials have made it clear Obama would travel to Cuba only if its government made additional concessions in the areas of human rights, Internet access and market liberalization.”
Imagine if Cuba insisted that the United States make “concessions in the area of human rights”; this could mean the United States pledging to not repeat anything like the following:
Invading Cuba in 1961 at the Bay of Pigs.
Invading Grenada in 1983 and killing 84 Cubans, mainly construction workers.
Blowing up a passenger plane full of Cubans in 1976. (In 1983, the city of Miami held a day in honor of Orlando Bosch, one of the two masterminds behind this awful act; the other perpetrator, Luis Posada, was given lifetime protection in the same city.)
Giving Cuban exiles, for their use, the virus which causes African swine fever, forcing the Cuban government to slaughter 500,000 pigs.
Infecting Cuban turkeys with a virus which produces the fatal Newcastle disease, resulting in the deaths of 8,000 turkeys.
In 1981 an epidemic of dengue hemorrhagic fever swept the island, the first major epidemic of DHF ever in the Americas. The United States had long been experimenting with using dengue fever as a weapon. Cuba asked the United States for a pesticide to eradicate the mosquito involved but were not given it. Over 300,000 cases were reported in Cuba with 158 fatalities.
These are but three examples of decades-long CIA chemical and biological warfare (CBW) against Cuba. We must keep in mind that food is a human right (although the United States has repeatedly denied this.
Washington maintained a blockade of goods and money entering Cuba that is still going strong, a blockade that President Clinton’s National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, in 1997 called “the most pervasive sanctions ever imposed on a nation in the history of mankind”.
Attempted to assassinate Cuban president Fidel Castro on numerous occasions, not only in Cuba, but in Panama, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
In one scheme after another in recent years, Washington’s Agency for International Development (AID) endeavored to cause dissension in Cuba and/or stir up rebellion, the ultimate goal being regime change.
In 1999 a Cuban lawsuit demanded $181.1 billion in US compensation for death and injury suffered by Cuban citizens in four decades “war” by Washington against Cuba. Cuba asked for $30 million in direct compensation for each of the 3,478 people it said were killed by US actions and $15 million each for the 2,099 injured. It also asked for $10 million each for the people killed, and $5 million each for the injured, to repay Cuban society for the costs it has had to assume on their behalf.
Needless to say, the United States has not paid a penny of this.
One of the most common Yankee criticisms of the state of human rights in Cuba has been the arrest of dissidents (although the great majority are quickly released). But many thousands of anti-war and other protesters have been arrested in the United States in recent years, as in every period in American history. During the Occupy Movement, which began in 2011, more than 7,000 people were arrested in about the first year, many were beaten by police and mistreated while in custody, their street displays and libraries smashed to pieces. ; the Occupy movement continued until 2014; thus, the figure of 7,000 is an understatement.)
Moreover, it must be kept in mind that whatever restrictions on civil liberties there may be in Cuba exist within a particular context: The most powerful nation in the history of the world is just 90 miles away and is sworn – vehemently and repeatedly sworn – to overthrowing the Cuban government. If the United States was simply and sincerely concerned with making Cuba a less restrictive society, Washington’s policy would be clear cut:
Call off the wolves – the CIA wolves, the AID wolves, the doctor-stealer wolves, the baseball-player-stealer wolves.
Publicly and sincerely (if American leaders still remember what this word means) renounce their use of CBW and assassinations. And apologize.
Cease the unceasing hypocritical propaganda – about elections, for example. (Yes, it’s true that Cuban elections never feature a Donald Trump or a Hillary Clinton, nor ten billion dollars, nor 24 hours of campaign ads, but is that any reason to write them off?)
Pay compensation – a lot of it.
Sine qua non – end the God-awful blockade.
Throughout the period of the Cuban revolution, 1959 to the present, Latin America has witnessed a terrible parade of human rights violations – systematic, routine torture; legions of “disappeared” people; government-supported death squads picking off selected individuals; massacres en masse of peasants, students and other groups. The worst perpetrators of these acts during this period have been the military and associated paramilitary squads of El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Haiti and Honduras. However, not even Cuba’s worst enemies have made serious charges against the Havana government for any of such violations; and if one further considers education and health care, “both of which,” said President Bill Clinton, “work better [in Cuba] than most other countries” , and both of which are guaranteed by the United Nations “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and the “European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”, then it would appear that during the more-than-half century of its revolution, Cuba has enjoyed one of the very best human-rights records in all of Latin America.
But never good enough for American leaders to ever touch upon in any way; the Bill Clinton quote being a rare exception indeed. It’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a country whose police force murders its own innocent civilians on almost a daily basis. But Cuba needs to do it. Maybe they can civilize the Americans a bit, or at least remind them that for more than a century they have been the leading torturers of the world.
“Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy”, updated March 4, 2016.
New York Times, February 28, 2016
Mark Weisbrot, “Top Ten Ways You Can Tell Which Side The United States Government is On With Regard to the Military Coup in Honduras”, Common Dreams, December 16, 2009
Roger Morris, former member of the National Security Council, Partners in Power (1996), p.415. For a comprehensive look at Hillary Clinton, see the new book by Diane Johnstone, Queen of Chaos.
National Review online, May 1, 2007
Fortune magazine, July 9, 2007
Patrick J. Buchanan, “Will the Oligarchs Kill Trump?”, Creators.com, March 08, 2016
William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (2005), chapter 14
White House press briefing, November 14, 1997, US Newswire transcript
Fabian Escalante, Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro (2006), Ocean Press (Australia)
Huffington Post, May 3, 2012
Miami Herald, October 17, 1997, p.22A
Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to williamblum.org is provided.
William Blum is an author, historian, and U.S. foreign policy critic. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II; Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower; America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy; Freeing the World to Death
Essays on the American Empire
William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh. Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana. U of
N. Carolina P, 2014.
Challenging the conventional wisdom of perpetual hostility between the United States and Cuba--beyond invasions, covert operations, assassination plots using poison pens and exploding seashells, and a grinding economic embargo--this fascinating book chronicles a surprising, untold history of bilateral efforts toward rapprochement and reconciliation. Since 1959, conflict and aggression have dominated the story of U.S.-Cuban relations. Now, William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh present a new and increasingly more relevant account. From John F. Kennedy's offering of an olive branch to Fidel Castro after the missile crisis, to Henry Kissinger's top secret quest for normalization, to Barack Obama's promise of a "new approach," LeoGrande and Kornbluh reveal a fifty-year record of dialogue and negotiations, both open and furtive, indicating a path toward better relations in the future.
LeoGrande and Kornbluh have uncovered hundreds of formerly secret U.S. documents and conducted interviews with dozens of negotiators, intermediaries, and policy makers, including Fidel Castro and Jimmy arter. The authors describe how, despite the political clamor surrounding any hint of better relations with
serious negotiations have been conducted by every presidential administration
since Eisenhower's through secret, back-channel diplomacy. Concluding with ten
lessons for Havana
negotiators, the book offers an important perspective on current political
debates, at a time when leaders of both nations have publicly declared the
urgency of moving beyond the legacy of hostility. U.S.
Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive in
, is the author of The Pinochet File: A Declassified
Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability, among other books. Washington,
Twitter’ Program Is the Same Old Policy of Regime Change” Cuba
Such covert operations are not sanitized by running them through USAID and wrapping them in the rhetoric of “democracy promotion.”
April 23, 2014 | This article appeared in the May 12, 2014 edition of The Nation. [The title in my no. of May 12 is “’Cuba Twitter’ Scandal.’” --Dick]
In defiant defense of ZunZuneo, the Agency for International Development’s secret text messaging program in Cuba, USAID spokesman Matt Herrick declared the agency “proud” of its Twitter clone, which, at its height, reached more than 60,000 Cuban cellphone users. The aim of the program, according to Herrick, “was to create a platform for Cubans to speak freely among themselves, period.” US officials at first denied that it had any political intent or sent out any political messages. But AP, which broke the story, decisively refuted those claims by publishing the political tweets and interviewing a subcontractor who wrote them.
Administration officials nevertheless remained unapologetic. In a Senate hearing, USAID administrator Rajiv Shah insisted the program was not covert, merely “discreet,” and that it was just trying to “enable open communications” among Cubans. Shah’s defense was echoed by the usual suspects on Capitol Hill, with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen arguing that USAID was simply promoting “God-given values like freedom, justice or liberty.” The
Posteditorial page jumped
on the bandwagon, declaring that there was nothing wrong with “undermining a
But fomenting unrest in a country by trying to secretly manipulate its domestic politics violates US treaty obligations under international law. The charter of the Organization of American States declares, “No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State,” a prohibition that is not limited to the use of force. The UN Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States repeats the OAS language and recognizes “the sovereign and inalienable right of a State freely to determine its own political, economic, cultural and social systems.” And it imposes on all states the duty “to refrain from any action or attempt in whatever form or under whatever pretext to destabilize or to undermine the stability of another State.”
International law has never prevented
Washington from covert intervention,
especially in Latin America. But because
destabilizing other governments violates US treaty obligations, these
operations were conducted secretly by the CIA during most of the Cold War.
ZunZuneo and USAID’s other “democracy promotion” schemes in Cuba remind Latin Americans that still does
not fully respect their sovereignty. Washington
When Barack Obama took office, hopes ran high in the region that he would break the deadlock in US-Cuban relations. At the Fifth Summit of the
in April 2009, he pledged a “new beginning” with . But when the Sixth Summit
convened in April 2012, Cuba US
policy was essentially unchanged, and Obama faced a solid phalanx of Latin
American leaders tired of ’s
intransigence. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos—a close US ally—and
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff declared that they would skip the next
summit if Washington
was not invited. Cuba
To his credit, Obama has restored people-to-people connections between the
States and . Educational, cultural and
family travel is flourishing. But he has made little headway on state-to-state
relations, nor has he reined in the foreign policy bureaucracy, which tries to
exploit any relaxation of state control in Cuba to undermine its government.
ZunZuneo is a perfect, albeit inept, example. When Raúl Castro legalized the
sale of cellphones, USAID used that opening to build a social media platform it
hoped would mobilize “smart mobs” reminiscent of Egypt’s Tahrir Square uprising
and Iran’s “Green Revolution.” Cuba
Covert operations designed to bring about regime change in
are the direct descendants of the CIA’s political operations of yesteryear.
They are not sanitized by running them through USAID, calling them “discreet”
and wrapping them in the rhetoric of democracy. Three sitting presidents in
Latin America—Rousseff in Brazil, Michelle Bachelet in Chile and José Mujica in
Uruguay—suffered personally at the hands of military dictatorships that US
covert operations helped install a generation ago. Policy-makers in Cuba Washington would rather not dwell on the deadly
consequences those operations had for thousands of Latin Americans, but Latin America has not forgotten.
Washington’s relationship with the region is deteriorating, corroded by a policy toward Cuba that symbolizes a bygone era of US hegemony—a policy that no other country in the hemisphere supports. If Obama wants to build the “equal partnership” he originally promised, he cannot continue to ignore
[What Pres. Obama should do. –D]
Last November, talking to supporters in
Miami about , Obama said, “We have to be creative. And we have to be thoughtful.
And we have to continue to update our policies.” He could start by replacing
USAID programs targeting Cuba with aboveboard initiatives to support authentic educational and cultural
exchanges—exchanges without the hidden hand of government manipulation or a
hidden agenda of regime change. Cuba
Read Next: Tom Hayden on normalizing US relations with Cuba
April 23, 2014 | This article appeared in the May 12, 2014 edition of The Nation.
The Economic War Against Cuba:
A Historical and Legal Perspective on the U.S. Blockade
It is impossible to fully understand
today without also understanding the economic sanctions levied against it by
For over fifty years, these sanctions have been upheld by every presidential
administration, and at times intensified by individual presidents and acts of
Congress. They are a key part of the United States
government’s ongoing campaign to undermine the Cuban Revolution, and stand in
egregious violation of international law. Most importantly, the sanctions are
cruelly designed for their harmful impact on the Cuban people. U.S.
In this concise and sober account, Salim Lamrani explains everything you need to know about
economic sanctions against :
their origins, their provisions, how they contravene international law, and how
they affect the lives of Cubans. He examines the Cuba government’s own official
documents to expose what is hiding in plain sight: an indefensible, vicious,
and wasteful blockade that has been roundly condemned by citizens around the
Salim Lamrani is a treasury of powerful factual information.
Lamrani brings forth valuable insight, much needed information, and honest judgment while exposing the economic aggression perpetrated by
U.S. leaders against the people of . Cuba
Professor Lamrani’s brilliant study provides the most comprehensive and systematic exposition and critique of
extraterritorial application of sanctions against —it documents the human cost
and the criminal intent. Cuba
An excellent summary of the American economic sanctions against Cuba, the manner in which they have been imposed for more than a half century and the harm they cause the Cuban people.
Tue Aug 6, 2013 6:30 pm (PDT) . Posted by:
The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5
For more information on the Cuban 5 go to:
CHOMSKY’S RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON CUBA
The following is a book list on Cuba made from the references in Noam Chomsky's books.
Newsletter Index: http://omnicenter.org/dick-bennetts-peace-justice-and-ecology-newsletters/dicks-newsletter-index/
Contents Cuba Newsletter #1
Introduction by Dick
Spadoni’s Failed Sanctions
William Blum’s Empire Report on
Two Books on Pentagon Plans to Attack Again
Jon Elliston and James Bamford
Contents Cuba Newsletter #2 END THE BULLYING
and the World: UN General Assembly 1959- Cuba
Bolender, Cuban Victims of US Terror 1960s to Present
Cuban Five 1998 to Present
Cuban Five Month, Stone’s South of the Border
Cindy Sheehan for Cuban 5