Posts Tagged ‘cuban territory’

USAID: A Wolf In Humanitarian Clothing

November 17, 2014
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Propaganda and false premises mark the U.S. response to a “prisoner swap” with Cuba. In such a “deal,” Cuba would release a “wrongly imprisoned” USAID subcontractor in exchange for the freedom of three Cuban intelligence agents jailed as “terrorists” in the U.S.

The case of Alan Gross — the USAID subcontractor imprisoned in Cuba in 2011 for activities attempting to sabotage the Cuban Revolution — is sometimes juxtaposed, unfairly, with the case of the Cuban 5 — the Cuban intelligence agents unjustly imprisoned in the U.S. for their role in preventing terrorist attacks on Cuba.

The United States’ inability to overthrow Fidel Castro resulted in a series of violent terrorist attacks and attempts at sabotage. Among the worst of these attacks was the 1976 bombing of Cubana de Aviación Flight 455 — the work of former CIA agents Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles. As Miami-based counter-revolutionary forces increased their attacks against Cuba, the Cuban 5 — Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González — were sent to Miami to gather intelligence and monitor the activities of exiled Cubans involved in counter-revolutionary activities.

The information they gathered was relayed to the U.S. government by a long-time friend of Fidel, acclaimed author Gabriel García Márquez, on May 6, 1998. With typical belligerence, the U.S. government dispatched an FBI team to discuss the findings with the Cuban government, which led to the subsequent arrests of the Cuban 5.

“Diplomatic compromise” is the key phrase in the purported solution proposed in mainstream media: freeing Gross in return for securing the freedom of the three remaining prisoners.

Asked whether the Cuban government would be interested in a prisoner swap during an interview with Democracy Now in 2012, Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro, stated: “The Cuban government has expressed interest in finding a negotiated solution on humanitarian terms, and of course it is fully disposed to negotiate with the government of the United States. But it has not received any response.”

Media misrepresentation

The cases of Gross and the Cuban 5 are both misrepresented in U.S. mainstream media through language that diverts attention from the issues at stake — namely, the importance of acknowledging Gross as a USAID agent and the Cuban 5 as patriots defending their country from Miami-based terrorists.

Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison for implementing subversive projects aimed at destabilizing Cuba’s socialist government. The U.S. claims of unjust imprisonment are little more than a propaganda mechanism that serves to foster anti-Cuban sentiment to prolong the blockade on Cuba and seeks to undermine the fact that Gross violated Cuban law. As Josefina Vidal, the general director of U.S. relations within the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated, Gross’ actions constituted an attempt at “destabilizing Cuba’s constitutional order through the establishment of illegal, undercover communications systems, with non-commercial technology.”

The argument brought forth by U.S. officials was that Gross was tasked with providing the Jewish community in Cuba with satellite phones and computer equipment. However, Gross had filed reports for USAID, the agency created under the Kennedy administration which disguises imperialist intervention under a banner of humanitarian aid. On his last trip to Cuba, Gross brought with him a chip that would prevent electronic transmission tracking. According a 2012 investigative report by The Associated Press, such equipment is “provided most frequently to the Defense Department and the CIA, but also can be obtained by the State Department, which oversees USAID.”

USAID relies upon its humanitarian shield in order to detract attention away from the actual objectives of the organization, which schedules its programs according to the broader U.S. agenda. In the case of U.S. propaganda against Cuba, freedom and democracy are convenient terms that have laid the foundation for decades of oppression against Fidel’s revolution, including terrorist attacks, attempts to counter the revolution, the embargo, over 600 attempts to assassinate Fidel, and the enduring wound of the case of the Cuban 5.

In response to the controversy ignited by a 2014 AP report on the ZunZuneo program, launched shortly after Gross was imprisoned in Cuba, USAID stated that “discreet does not equal covert.” The language is reminiscent of U.S. attempts to mellow imperialist intervention in various countries through terminology that not only neutralizes sabotage, but attempts to portray it as a necessity in the name of alleged freedom.

U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake and Tom Udall, who met with Gross, as well as Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla this month, have reportedly been critical of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. However, the U.S. government’s decision to refuse any alternative solutions and insist upon Gross’ unconditional release may provide further insight into the imperialist tactics it uses against Cuba.

False premises

In 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stating, “Alan Gross is wrongly imprisoned. We are trying to work this out on a humanitarian basis. We are not going to trade as if it is a spy for a spy, which they are trying to allege.”

Three false premises stand out in the statement: “wrongly imprisoned;” “humanitarian basis;” and “a spy for a spy.”

The Cuban Revolution has, since its inception, declared its anti-imperialist stance. USAID, the agency that Gross was working for, has aimed to covertly create dissent in Cuba, in violation of Cuban law. To assert that he is “wrongfully imprisoned” despite evidence to the contrary illustrates the U.S. government’s efforts to hold on to Gross as a political weapon to maintain oppressive measures against the island nation.

Thus, the “humanitarian basis” as a straightforward claim is rendered obsolete. Imperialism and humanitarian concerns are incompatible, unless the humanitarian concerns are directly related to human rights abuses — abuses which the U.S. committed in excess against the Cuban population for its support of Fidel and the revolution.

Lastly, the rhetoric of releasing “a spy for a spy” is evidence of the manipulation of facts that shape U.S. propaganda. The USAID contractor is an “innocent victim” in propaganda rhetoric, albeit one abandoned by the imperialist scheme, thus serving to rebrand espionage in Cuba.

Different parameters

The Cuban 5 — “spies,” according to the United States’ hypocritical rhetoric — are victims of a decades-long imperialist plan to undermine the Cuban Revolution. Fernando González and René González are now back in Cuba, having served their unjust sentences in the U.S. The three remaining intelligence agents — Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino — remain incarcerated for serving their country in line with the revolution against imperialist violence.

Yet international support for the Cuban 5 continues to grow, highlighting the importance of internationalist support in a political case which has been determined by imperialist dictates.

While the U.S. attempts to reinforce subjugation through the continued incarceration of the remaining three Cuban patriots, as well as possibly using the case of Alan Gross as yet another reason to refuse to lift the embargo, the scenario reinforces the different parameters within which the U.S. and Cuba function.

The U.S. continues to instigate and utilize terror in various forms against resistance in its quest for further domination. Cuba, on the other hand, has demonstrated, through the revolution, its commitment to defending the island and its people, as part of the process that has ensured the continuation of Cuban internationalism — both in solidarity with the oppressed and in defiance of the imperial power so close to its shores.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Mint Press News editorial policy.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/usaid-a-wolf-in-humanitarian-clothing/198950/,

Cuba Ratifies Commitment to Fight Terror

June 15, 2013

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Geneva, June 14 (Prensa Latina) Cuba ratified today the commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and expressions, and proposed to adopt an international convention of general scale to face the scourge.

In her speech during a two-day conference here on the topic, Cuban delegate Lilianne Sanchez reaffirmed her country´s support to multilateral and bilateral cooperation to fight terrorism.

Sanchez said that Cuba is a signatory of 14 agreements on the matter and it has implemented internal legislative, administrative and institutional measures to complement prevention, detection and repression of all activities of this nature.

“The Cuban territory has never been used or will never be used to organize, fund or execute terrorist actions against any other country,” said Sanchez, who recalled that the Cuban people have been a victim of terrorism organized and funded from US territory, as a result of which 3,478 people have been killed and another 2,099 were maimed for life.

The Cuban delegate strongly criticized the US double standard by sheltering international terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles from justice and giving harsh sentences to anti-terrorist fighters Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez, internationally known as The Cuban Five.

She also rejected the illegitimacy of US listing Cuba as a sponsor of terrorism.

Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

June 2, 2013

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly rejects the political use of a sensitive issue such as international terrorism and demands an end to the unusual, embarrassing and shameful designation of Cuba by the State Department of the United States as a “State Sponsor of International Terrorism, “which offends the Cuban people, aims only to try to justify by any means the out-dated and cruel blockade against our country and discredit the U.S. government itself.

On May 30, the U.S. State Department repeated its unwonted accusation that Cuba is “a state sponsor of international terrorism.”

Once again, this shameful decision has been taken deliberately with no truthful basis, ignoring the wide consensus and explicit demand from many sectors of U.S. society and the international community for an end to this injustice.

The sole objective of this discredited anti-Cuba exercise is to try and justify the maintenance of the blockade, a failed policy condemned worldwide. It is also an attempt to please a steadily decreasing anti-Cuba group desperately propping up a policy which no longer has any basis and is not even in the national interest of the United States, the majority of its population and of Cuban émigrés resident in the country.

The United States government insists on maintaining this arbitrary and unilateral designation, in spite of the total collapse of the ridiculous accusations and feeble arguments which it has traditionally utilized in recent years as an excuse for it, such as the presence in Cuba of fugitives from U.S. justice, none of whom in fact have been accused of terrorism. It also alleges that Cuba has taken in Basque members of ETA, ignoring the fact that this was in response to a request from the governments involved. It also notes that members of the Colombian guerrilla movement are living in the country, an absurd accusation given that, since 2011, Cuba has been a sponsor of the peace process in Colombia.

Cuban territory has never been and never will be utilized to harbour terrorists of any origin, nor for the organization, financing or perpetration of acts of terrorism against any country in the world, including the United States. The Cuban government unequivocally rejects and condemns any act of terrorism, anywhere, under any circumstances and whatever the alleged motivation might be.

On the contrary, the United States government employs state terrorism as a weapon against countries which defy its interests, provoking deaths in civilian populations. It has used drone aircraft to perpetrate extra-judicial executions of alleged terrorists, including U.S. citizens, resulting in the death of hundreds of innocent civilians.

Historically, the United States has been the refuge of self-confessed terrorists and murderers of Cuban origin and, to this day, is harbouring Luis Posada Carriles, the mastermind of the first act of terrorism perpetrated on civil aviation in the Western Hemisphere, which provoked an explosion aboard a Cubana de Aviación aircraft off the coast of Barbados on October 6, 1976, and the death of its 73 passengers, including the national youth fencing team. While Posada is living in freedom and tranquility in Miami, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero y Fernando González remain unjustly incarcerated for fighting against terrorism in the United States, accused of crimes they did not commit.

For years, Cuba has suffered the consequences of acts of terrorism organized, financed and perpetrated from U.S. territory, with 3,478 persons killed and 2,099 left with disabilities. The Cuban government does not afford the government of the United States the least moral authority to judge it.

In 2002, the government of Cuba proposed to its U.S. counterpart the adoption of a bilateral agreement to confront terrorism, an offer which it reiterated in 2012, without having received any response.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly rejects the utilization for political ends of an issue as sensitive as international terrorism, and demands an end to this shameful designation, an offense to the Cuban people, the only objective of which is to attempt to justify the anachronistic and cruel blockade of Cuba, and which is to the discredit of the United States government itself.

Havana, May 30, 2013

Translated by GI


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