A campaign of interference in Cuba’s internal affairs is being undertaken by U.S. diplomats, politicians and anti-Cuba terrorists in the United States.
1. Oppose Imperialist Interference in Cuba and Violation of Diplomatic Norms
By Nick Lin
A campaign of interference in Cuba’s internal affairs is being undertaken by U.S. diplomats, politicians and anti-Cuba terrorists in the U.S. This is being done by inciting Cuban youth to take up counterrevolutionary activities, in flagrant violation of the rules governing diplomatic relations.
On November 30, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, through his official Twitter account, denounced the direct participation of the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Havana, Timothy Zúñiga-Brown, in inciting and assisting in illegal acts against public order and health standards in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, Carlos Fernández de Cossío, the Director General in charge of the U.S. at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex), pointed out “the serious violations of the functions as diplomat and head of mission” committed by Zúñiga-Brown.
Fernández explained that the U.S. diplomat went several times to the San Isidro neighbourhood in Old Havana, where his embassy knew about the development of a political and social provocation event, the so-called San Isidro Movement. Zúñiga-Brown also undertook “to personally transport and support those who were violating health standards for protection against the pandemic” which Minrex called “flagrant and defiant interference in the internal political affairs of Cuba and indisputable violations of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.” Cuba does not accept such behaviour, said Fernández, and it will not tolerate contempt of the law and regulations in violation of their obligations by the U.S. diplomat or his embassy.
Minrex is fully aware of U.S. involvement in financing, guiding and inciting groups and individuals in Cuba to challenge the authority of the government, both through peaceful and violent means, Fernández added. Cuba is also aware of U.S. manipulation of social networks to spread false information, incite hatred, divide the population, foment resentment and call for illegal activities, he stated.
In a statement on Twitter, President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez made clear the nation’s position regarding the latest political provocation financed by the United States government, saying, “Those who designed the San Isidro farce were in the wrong country; they got the history wrong; and the armed forces wrong. We do not tolerate interference, provocation or manipulation. Our people have all the courage and the moral authority needed to sustain a fight for the heart of Cuba.” He reiterated the statement issued by Carlos Fernández de Cossío, saying, “This will always be our response to any perverse plan against the Island.”
The so-called San Isidro Movement has been demanding that the government release rapper Denis Solís, sentenced to eight months imprisonment for contempt of the authorities when he acknowledged he maintains ties with people in Miami who finance violent acts against Cuba.
Enrique Ubieta Gómez, in an article published in Granma on December 2, gave further background on Denis Solís and other pro-imperialist “dissidents” that call themselves the “San Isidro Movement”:
“A uniformed police officer delivered a citation to Cuban citizen Denis Solís. Solís insulted him, using words I cannot repeat here, and threatened him. The police did not handcuff nor hit him, nor place his knee on Solís’s neck. There is a video, taken by the supposed victim, which proves this. Solís was detained for contempt. He had already previously received several administrative fines for disturbing the peace and two official warnings for harassing tourists. The crime of contempt is provided by law in Article 144.1 of the Penal Code. Solís accepted the charges and did not appeal. But before this, he yelled that Trump is his president and he became a ‘dissident.’ The San Isidro strikers demand his release. They then declared a hunger and water strike, but on the seventh day Otero Alcantara, the leader of the provocation, who has dishonoured the national flag in other episodes of this strange theatrical play, appeared in a video taken by his colleagues (to use the same term as the imperialist diplomat) impetuously blocking the functioning of the health authorities, rather than prostrate in his bed, as medical logic would indicate should be the case after a lack of food.”
Cuban media have shown that the “hunger strike” was for show, as the “dissidents” were seen having food and water brought to them. The so-called strike was broken up by Cuban authorities on November 30 as it violated health protocols in place to block transmission of COVID-19.
Ubieta Gómez explained that the “movement” is “not about freedom of speech, much less freedom of artistic expression, but rather of the creation of a political opposition clearly already sponsored by imperialism, about the restoration of a bourgeois democracy and the death of any trace of people’s democracy. Although perhaps many of those making these demands do not know it, the true purpose of all this is the restoration of a neo-colonial Cuba. So that no doubt remains, high officials of the Trump government have immediately rushed to defend their supporting actors. They (the Trump forces) know they are on the way out and they have to inflict as many knife wounds [as they can] as they go.”
Notably, Jake Sullivan, U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden’s national security adviser wrote on Twitter regarding the Cuban government’s opposition to U.S. interference through the “San Isidro Movement:” “We support the Cuban people in their struggle for liberty. The Cuban people must be allowed to exercise the universal right to freedom of expression.” This indicates that the overall policy of the U.S. to confound freedom of expression and violent acts against the public order will continue.
For its part, the Canadian government, which claims to uphold a rules-based international order, has been silent on the U.S. gross and flagrant violations of diplomatic relations with Cuba. This silence underscores its subservience to the U.S. which is unacceptable to Canadians.
The Canadian Network on Cuba and the Table de concertation de solidarité Québec-Cuba have called on Canadians and Quebeckers to denounce U.S. imperialist interference in Cuba and the attempts to target Cuban youth to foment counterrevolution. They especially denounce the genocidal U.S. blockade against Cuba and call on all peace- and justice-loving people to go all out and take part in the monthly pickets and other actions in Canada demanding that the U.S. end its interference in Cuba.
(With files from Prensa Latina, Granma and the CNC.)
2. U.S. Blockade Violates the Cuban People’s Human Rights
Statement by Quebec Organizations on International Human Rights Day
On the occasion of December 10, 2020, International Human Rights Day, organizations in Quebec are calling for condemnation of the United States’ flagrant and massive violation of the Cuban people’s human rights through its imposed economic, financial and commercial blockade. The U.S. embargo has been imposed since 1962 and has been rejected every year since then by most of the international community at the United Nations General Assembly.
Over the last 60 years, the United States has imposed an inhumane blockade on Cuba based on economic sanctions including financial controls, the suspension of aid and technical assistance, the freezing of the Cuban state’s financial assets, the imposition of a boycott on transactions of all kinds, along with sanctions on foreign companies involved in trade with Cuba.
Today, in the midst of a global crisis caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has tested the capacity of all states in guaranteeing the health of their citizens, Cuba has succeeded in controlling the pandemic thanks to its universal and free health care system, its preparedness in the fight against epidemics and natural disasters, and its development of the biotechnology industry.
During a virtual summit of the G20 countries at the end of March, UN Secretary General António Guterres and UN human rights experts expressed the need to lift economic sanctions against countries suffering from this scourge, to avoid a health crisis.
The United States has not responded to the call to relax the blockade against Cuba. To the contrary, the U.S. administration has tightened its sanctions by hitting at the Cuban economy overall, making it impossible to find commercial partners and carry out financial transactions. During the pandemic, this makes it all the more difficult to acquire sanitary equipment and food to adequately care for the Cuban people.
However, despite this illegal blockade, Cuba has been able to respond to the World Health Organization’s call, in the spirit of unity and solidarity, to intensify cooperation and collaboration at all levels in order to contain and control the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact. Upon request, Cuba has sent teams of doctors and support personnel from the Henry Reeve International Cuban Medical Brigade Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics to over 40 countries and territories. Since 2005, the brigade has carried out over 60 missions on four continents by providing the humanitarian expertise of 9,000 health professionals.
We, the signatories of this declaration, condemn attempts by the United States government to manipulate the human rights issue. In November alone, the U.S. Administration added $1 million for its projects of subversion and internal interference in Cuba. This same funding is being used to organize and encourage groups and individuals in different countries with diplomatic representation.
The signatories of this declaration will continue to maintain ties of friendship with Cuba through the strengthening of official relations which Cuba and Canada have maintained since 1945. It should be noted that Canada and Mexico were the only two countries in this hemisphere that did not break off relations with Cuba after the triumph of the 1959 revolution.
On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, NO TO THE BLOCKADE AGAINST CUBA!
(Translated from original French by TML. Photo: Table de concertation de solidarité Québec-Cuba, Adan, CNC)
3. False Analogies
By Yunier Javier Sifonte Díaz
There’s a small section amongst those who support the most foul elements of “dissidence” in Cuba that has, for days, been promoting certain astonishing arguments on social media.
It so happens that they’re comparing the assault on the Moncada Barracks, Radio Reloj, and the actions of the Revolutionary Directorate during the clandestine struggle to current calls to take over radio and television stations, vandalize shops or promote street violence. I’m not sure whether comparing those two scenarios is out of an absolute ignorance of history, ruthless opportunism, or a false naiveté. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter.
Faced with such a scenario, one could well speak of contexts, how each event was organized, who the protagonists in each of the actions were, and about practice based on ethics and honesty. This would all provide enough arguments to counter the nonsense. However, it would also be enough to just look at the aims.
What was the Generation of the Centenary after? What did it build when it came to power? What national project were they fighting against? Each answer points to it being a true struggle for freedom, for the dignity of the Homeland and for social inclusion, amongst a multitude of other achievements.
In our analysis, we also look at the consequences. How many young people died at the hands of those who carried out the repression after July 26, 1953? How many more were victims of torture? Who could ever forget the look of José Luis Tassende, the death of José Antonio, the brutality against Lidia and Clodomira, the youth of Humboldt 7, Frank’s life, Abel’s eyes? Seriously, are we going to make a comparison with such greatness?
Those who excuse their supporters and defend a notion of legitimacy that they have not earned, should also ask themselves where the tortured, the dead, the disappeared and those who have been judged outside the law are today. On what street has a corpse appeared?
The other recurring argument these days is even more bankrupt: if those who receive money from the United States to carry out political actions in Cuba are mercenaries, then so is Martí, because he raised funds abroad to finance the Necessary War. Are such statements a provocation or a “show of intelligence”?
It is better to go back to the questions: Is the delivery of lavish funds, through official channels and institutions linked to the United States Government – the last one being a million dollars for projects that promote changing the system – comparable to Martí’s work as an emigrant?
Does the Apostle’s perseverance, that austere life to give everything to a country, really amount to the same thing as them waiting patiently for their allowance to mount their show and respond to foreign interests? Is interference the same as solidarity? Are a people and a government the same thing?
How many have forgotten the patriotic clubs, the meetings with the cigar makers in Tampa and Key West, the speeches, the poor workers giving their every penny? Is the restless and patriotic Martí the same as the “activist” who tries to sell a country? Who could forget Mariana in Jamaica, Gómez and Maceo in Central America, Flor, María Cabrales, Bernarda Toro?
Are they “mercenaries” because they contributed from another country to a war that would bring freedom to their homeland? Is Máximo Gómez one – the man who faced hardships, the death of his family, disease and hunger abroad, but who did not stop collecting every peso for the Revolution?
He is the man who refused the help of a president to avoid “committing any action that does not seem to be worthy of my honest misery.” It is about the hero who had to sell his glasses, his revolver and his watch – his most precious belongings – to support his family, while raising funds to buy weapons.
And is María Cabrales also a mercenary? The woman who founded patriotic clubs in Jamaica and Costa Rica, the wife of the Titan [Antonio Maceo] who went from house to house to collect money and lay it at the Nation’s feet, who suffered exile, the death of the hero and family separation, but who never slunk into a corner.
The attempt to legitimize crime, double standards and servility based on comparisons such as those seen in recent days on social networks implies, above all else, the negation of a country and its people. To confront this, study and analysis, critical thinking and being alert to siren songs and false premises are necessary. The key today lies as well in sustaining that other dialogue with history and what it teaches us.
Yunier Javier Sifonte Díaz graduated in Journalism from the Central University “Marta Abreu” of Las Villas in 2016. Journalist from Telecubanacán. Collaborator of Cubadebate.
(Translated from original Spanish by TML Weekly.)