Friday, January 02, 2015

Cuba Bashing

Cuba Bashing

by Stephen Lendman

It's longstanding. Long ago it wore thin. It continues. Even from supportive embargo-lifting media.

In October, New York Times editors expressed support for lifting it. Calling it "senseless." Wanting diplomatic relations established. After over half a century without them.

At the same time, outrageously calling Cuba an "authoritarian government that harasses and detains dissidents. (M)any fear speaking openly and demanding greater rights."

After Obama's outreach, Times editors called Cuba "a repressive police state." Polar opposite hard truths. Its government insists it has no political prisoners.

Individuals convicted of crimes are incarcerated. Including accepting money from other nations for subversion against Cuban interests.

Much comes from America. The 1992 Cuban Democracy Act encourages anti-government groups, saying:

"(T)he United States Government may provide assistance, through appropriate nongovernmental organizations, for the support of individuals and organizations to promote nonviolent democratic change in Cuba."

The 1996 Cuban Liberty. and Democratic Solidarity Act says "the President [of the United States] is authorized to furnish assistance and provide other support for individuals and independent nongovernmental organizations to support democracy-building efforts for Cuba."

In other words, efforts to oust its government. Install a pro-Western stooge one. Return Cuba to its bad old days. 

Plunder it for profit. Exploit its people. Longstanding US policy. Unchanged under Obama. Tactics alone shifted.

Washington subsidizes opposition groups and individuals. Used for anti-government activities.

Illegal in Cuba for subversion. In America. All other nations. None permit efforts aimed toward outsing their governments. 

In America, it's called sedition or treason. Subject to harsh punishment. Former US Havana Interests Section head Wayne Smith once said Washington openly declared its objective "to overthrow the government of Cuba…"

Including by funding dissidents. Smith called them de facto…agents paid by a foreign power to overthrow their own government."

None tolerate this type activity. For sure not America. A New Year's day Washington Post editorial bashed Cuba. Accusing it irresponsibly of "crack(ing) down on free speech."

Saying Obama's outreach provided no "protections for Cuba's pro-democracy activists. (T)he Castro regime (is) free to continue stifling dissent…"

"…Cubans who seek basic freedoms continue to be arrested, harassed and silenced…If (Obama's) support for the Cuban people and American values is supposed to be the point of (his outreach), then it is off to a very poor start."

Wall Street Journal editors support ending Cuba's embargo. At the same time endorsing efforts to "undermine (its) regime."

Adding "no US officials have to dignify Castro's regime by sitting down at the negotiation table" with its officials."

"The whole point is to continue to oppose Castro's government while allowing succor for Cuba's people."

Outrageously calling its government a "dictatorship." A "police state bar(ring) private ownership and limits and monitors private communication."

US major media reporting on Cuba is polar opposite hard truths. Americans are consistently lied to. Managed news misinformation substitutes for hard truths.

In 2007, the late Gore Vidal visited Cuba. Calling it "successful for the people who live in it." Saying he breathed freely for the first time.

"It was so rare to see a contented people, he said. "Everything they're doing (is) very good." 

"There is no sullenness among the people which you get with great masses that don't quite know what their government is."  

"We've seen all the bad side of Cuba because we're fed nothing else by the media."

"Castro has been generally benign. The bloodcurdling stories that we've been told by our government" are totally false.

Cuba considers people its greatest resource. What a "brilliant notion," said Vidal. "All we've got is people, so we'll train them."

To become doctors. Teachers. Assume other responsible positions. Benefitting Cuban society.

"(H)ow stupid the United States is," said Vidal. "Why don’t we do this? We have thousands of people out there with no training who are just as bright as the Cubans."

In 2008, then Project Censored director/current Media Freedom Foundation president Peter Phillips visited Cuba.

He wrote about it. Saying "Cuba supports press freedom."

"During (his) five days in Havana, (he) met with dozens of journalists, communication studies faculty and students, union representatives and politicians." 

"The underlying theme of (his) visit was to determine the state of media freedom in Cuba and to build a better understanding between media democracy activists in the US and those in Cuba."

He toured Havana's two main radio stations - Radio Rebelde and Radio Havana. They have Internet access to multiple news sources, said Phillips.

Over 90 Cuban municipalities have locally run radio stations. "(J)ournalists report local news from every province."

Phillips was interviewed on air, he said. In each station he visited. About US media consolidation and censorship.

Discussed news and information reporting in Cuba with journalists. "Of the dozens (he) interviewed, all said they have complete freedom to write or broadcast any stories they choose."

Polar opposite how Washington and US media portray things. How America's media deceive their readers and viewers. Burying hard truths. Featuring Big Lies.

Cuban society is different. It's open, free and fair. Shaming how America is governed.

"…Cuban journalists strongly value freedom of the press, and there was no evidence of overt restriction or government control," said Phillips.

Then National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon said Cuba permits CNN, AP and Chicago Tribune offices in country.

Washington doesn't respond in kind. Prohibiting Cuban journalists from working in America.

Hostile US policies persist. It remains to be seen what follows Obama's outreach. Cubans are justifiably wary for good reason. After over half a century of anti-Cuban policies.

In 2010, Michel Chossudovsky visited Cuba. Had "extensive and detailed discussions" with Fidel Castro in Havana. Covering major geopolitical issues.

Castro stressed the "Battle of Ideas." The only way to change the course of world history for the better, he said.

To prevent the unthinkable. Potential life-ending nuclear war. A topic never discussed openly in America.

US political leaders say nothing. Media scoundrels are silent. The most important issue of our time is ignored.

Castro prioritizes it. "Against a barrage of media disinformation, (his) resolve is to spread the (Battle of Ideas) far and wide, to inform world public opinion…"

To help prevent what potentially "threatens the future of humanity." If America wages nuclear war as an " 'instrument of peace'…there is no turning back," said Chossudovsky.

"(H)uman society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of self-destruction."

In an October 2010 address, Castro warned of nuclear war's dangers, saying:

"There would be 'collateral damage,' as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people." 

"The conventional war would be lost by the US and the nuclear war is no alternative for anyone. On the other hand, nuclear war would inevitably become global."

“I think nobody on Earth wishes the human species to disappear.  And that is the reason why I am of the opinion that what should disappear are not just nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons. We must provide a guarantee for peace to all peoples without distinction."

"In a nuclear war the collateral damage would be the life of humankind. Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!"

The only way to preserve life on earth, Castro maintains. He discussed many other vital issues. Including harmful Western policies.

At the time, he worried about possible nuclear war on Iran. Today, US anti-Russian hostility rages. 

The threat of nuclear war remains. No one "wishes the human species to disappear," said Castro. Why he opposes all weapons.

Nuclear and conventional. To "guarantee…peace to all peoples without distinction…Natural resources should be distributed."

"We need many things, and when you put them all together and you ask yourself the following question: will human beings be capable of understanding that and overcome all those difficulties?" 

"You realize that only enthusiasm can truly lead a person to say that he or she will confront and easily resolve a problem of such proportions."

"War is a crime and there is no need for any new law to describe it as such, because since Nuremberg, war has already been considered a crime, the biggest crime against humanity and peace, and the most horrible of all crimes."

"The capitalist system and the market economy that suffocate human life, are not going to disappear overnight, but imperialism based on force, nuclear weapons and conventional weapons with modern technology, has to disappear if we want humanity to survive."

Why don't US political leaders speak this way? Why don't its major media? Open candid discussion about today's most vital issues.

Affecting everyone everywhere. Humanity's survival. Perhaps impossible if wars persist. 

Continued ecological plunder. Policies destructive of human life and welfare. What's more important than preserving them? 

Why don't Western leaders address these issues responsibly like Castro? Imagine the difference if they did. 

Imagine an end to destructive wars. Imagine peace, equity and justice. If that's not worth working for, what is? 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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