This article should be read in full. The following are some highlights:
The United Nations General Assembly administered another parliamentary thrashing to Uncle Sam in November, insisting that Washington end its longstanding economic and political blockade of neighboring Cuba....
For the 14th year in a row, the UN overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on the U.S. to terminate over four decades of Cold War sanctions against Cuba, this time by a vote of 182-4, with one abstention and four countries not voting.
The four “no” votes were registered by the United States and Israel, of course, and two dependent island chains in the Pacific occupying a total of 247 square miles and a combined population of 76,000 people — Palau and the Marshall Islands....
According to a recent report in the Financial Times, Cuba recently has been added to Washington’s “secret watchlist of 25 countries in which instability could require U.S. intervention.” Indeed, the prestigious British newspaper revealed Oct. 31 that the Bush administration “recognizes that the [post-Castro] transition may not go peacefully and that the U.S. may have to launch a nation-building exercise.”
The last time Washington used armed force against Cuba was on April 15, 1961, when U.S. bombers attacked Cuban defenses in preparation for the CIA-organized Bay of Pigs landing. The invasion force arrived April 17 and was completely demolished in two days. Washington had expected the Cuban masses to welcome the invasion, just as it wrongly anticipated the Iraqi people would do four decades later.
The blockade is the most enduring of Uncle Sam’s subversion schemes. The cost to Cuba — a poor third-world country which emerged from some 500 years of colonialism and neocolonialism less than 50 years ago — has been “$82 billion and 15 years of sustainable development,” according to an article in October by Juan Diego Nusa Penalver of Agencia Cubana de Noticias.
In recent years, the Bush administration has once again tightened the blockade, curtailing by nearly 50% family travel back home by Cuban-Americans as well by non-Cuban U.S. residents in order to deprive Havana of the proceeds from tourism and visits. Last year, Washington imposed fines totaling $1.2 billion on 77 foreign companies, banks and non-government organizations for “trading with the enemy.” So far this year, the U.S. government has fined nearly 600 Americans for breaching the embargo in one way or another, almost double the number of last year....
Cuba has long been a target for regime change by the U.S. government. Soon after the 9/11 terror attacks against the Pentagon and World Trade Center, the White House began referring to Cuba as a “rogue state” and a possible target in the so-called “War on Terrorism.”
In May 2002, John R. Bolton, then an Under Secretary of State, alleged in a public speech to the Heritage Foundation that Cuba was producing biological weapons for use against the United States. The purpose of his disclosure was to exacerbate intense public fears of another attack, this time in the form of toxins so deadly that they constituted a weapon of mass destruction (WMD). This allegation made Cuba a legitimate target for a preemptive war according to the rules of engagement entertained by the neoconservative clique inhabiting the White House.
Bolton never produced evidence to substantiate his accusations because there wasn’t any. This was no “intelligence failure.” He simply lied. Within days of Bolton’s charge, Army Maj. Gen. Gary Speer, commander of U.S. military forces for Latin America and the Caribbean, checked his own intelligence service and publicly scoffed at the report. The State Department soon distanced itself from the allegations.
The entire project evidently was dropped when a department analyst charged that Bolton, his boss, purposely twisted the information he obtained about Cuba’s renowned biomedical research program to make it appear the program was a cover for creating biological weaponry on a mass scale. He said Bolton threatened him if he did not back up the allegation, but he refused and went public. Bush rewarded the unrepentant Bolton recently by promoting him to U.S. Ambassador to the UN, where he functions as the proverbial bull in a China shop....
According to the Oct. 28 issue of the Cuban newspaper Granma, “Caleb McCarry, the proconsul designated by the Bush administration to [bring about] the annexation of Cuba, belongs to a mafia of U.S. politicians and officials who provoked the kidnapping and outrageous eviction of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from Haiti [in a U.S.-backed coup in late April 2004]. . . . McCarry and his buddies developed their conspiracy with a political activist linked to the Duvaliers [the vicious former ruling family of Haiti] and a band of mercenaries and criminals, in a dirty operation handled by the most fanatical far-right sectors of the Republican Party.”
McCarry’s assignment is to “accelerate the demise” of socialism in Cuba, as soon as possible after the death of President Castro. According to the Financial Times article Oct. 31, “McCarry declined to comment on his work. . . except to say that it would be ‘thoughtful and respectful of the Cuban people and their wish to be free. The transition genie is out of the bottle,’ he said referring to opposition activities inside Cuba, and a ‘broad consensus’ was reached with the exiled community. ‘They are the ones to define a democratic future for Cuba.’”
The Financial Times also reported that “officials say the U.S. would not ‘accept’ a handover of power from Mr. Castro to his brother Raul, 74.” In fact it is unlikely the Bush administration will “accept” any transition in Cuba that does not result in the restoration of capitalism and the leadership of the far-right sector of the Cuban-American self-exiled community, backed by Washington’s money and armed might. The quid pro quo would be the restoration of the U.S. government as neocolonial hegemon over the Pearl of the Antilles.