Brutal political & economic measures against Cuba
Brutal political and economic measures against our country and against Cubans resident in the United States
Yesterday, 6th May, the United States government announced new measures to make its policy against Cuba even more aggressive and hostile.
In the morning, President Bush restated his hatred of and his aggressive attitude towards our people, repeating his usual cynical attacks and describing this escalation of interventionist measures, when he gave advance notice of them in a brief commentary to a few members of the media. He went as far as to announce brazenly that the aim of these measures was to “hasten the day that Cuba is a free country”.
Later, in the afternoon, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs Mr. Roger Noriega, one of the authors of the Helms-Burton Act and the Miami terrorist mob’s representative in the United States government, made an announcement in Washington in which he gave details of a report given to the U.S. president by the ”Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba”, placing particular emphasis on the new economic and political measures the Bush administration is preparing to impose on Cuba.
No report could contain more lies, bitterness, frustration and interference in the internal affairs of another country than are contained in the six chapters and more than 450 pages of the so-called Report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba.
Among the strategic measures for achieving the overthrow of the Cuban government the document lists: increasing support to internal counterrevolutionary elements, stepping up international campaigns against Cuba, intensifying subversive and misinformation activities against our country, adopting new measures to affect the Cuban economy and as they put it, “to undermine the regime’s succession strategy”.
The most significant measures in the first chapter, which is entirely devoted to the new methods to be employed in their attempt to destroy the Revolution, include the following:
1. To make $59 million available over the next two years to pay for actions aimed at destroying the Revolution. Among other things, this money will be used for:
a) creating an international fund to develop, “civil society” in Cuba, which will engage “volunteers” from third countries to travel to our country and provide assistance to the mercenaries working for the United States in Cuba. In practice, this means organizing a messenger corps to supply financial and logistic support to the counterrevolution.
b) working with the OAS, to establish, “a scholarship program” to allow counterrevolutionaries chosen by them to study in universities in the United States and in Latin America. This, in essence, is a plan for training cadres for the counterrevolution in Cuba.
c) financing programs to support what they call “democracy –building efforts by youth, women and Afro-Cubans”. This is a strange aim, coming from the country of the Ku Klux Klan and discrimination of all types.
d) allocating $18 million for the misnamed TV and Radio Marti broadcastings from a
C-130 COMMANDO SOLO airborne platform to be used exclusively for that purpose.
e) maintaining and increasing public campaigns against Cuba in third countries on the subject of alleged human rights violations in Cuba, the “espionage committed against other countries” the “subversion of democratically elected governments” in Latin America and other acts defined as a threat to U.S. interests; promote international or third-country national conferences to “disseminate information” about US policies on “transition” planning efforts related to Cuba. This is another $5 million to finance the mendacious international campaigns that attempt to damage Cuba’s prestige.
2. Limiting those who receive remittances of money and packages to the immediate family of Cubans resident in the United States. Immediate family is defined exclusively as grandparents, grandchildren, parents, siblings, spouses and children. This means that, from now on, Cubans living in the United States will be the only immigrants prevented from sending economic aid to an aged aunt or other close family member.
3. Forbidding Cubans living in the United States from sending remittances and packages to their families if these are “government officials or members of the Communist party”. For example, a 70 year old mother will have to give up her political right to receive a remittance.
4. Reducing the number of visits to Cuba by Cubans living in the United States from the one visit per year they are allowed today to one visit every three years; establishing, henceforth, the additional restriction of having to apply for a specific licence for each trip instead of the general licence needed today; giving permission to travel to Cuba only to immediate family members. To this end, the United States government has decreed that from now on the definition of family will be “grandparents, grandchildren, parents, siblings, spouses and children”. This means that, henceforth, a cousin, an aunt or any other close relative will not, according to President Bush, be a member of the family. This also means that Cubans who have recently arrived in the United States will only be able to travel to Cuba three years after having emigrated. Whereas the Cuban government is making it easier and easier for émigrés to visit this country, the United States government is placing more and more obstacles in their way. Who are they afraid of?
5. Reducing from $164 to $50 per day the amount of money that Cubans living in the United States can spend to cover expenses when visiting Cuba; a new, arbitrary discriminatory measure imposed on the Cuban community in the United States.
6. Directing the U.S. law enforcement authorities to conduct “sting operations” against anyone who carries money to the relatives of Cubans living in the United States. They even offer rewards to those who inform on illegal family remittances.
7. Stepping up the restrictions on licences for educational trips and academic exchanges by US citizens and institutions with regulations that are more stringent than those currently in effect. Remember that the licences for the so-called “people to people exchanges” have already been eliminated by the Bush administration.
8. Making a rigorous analysis to assess whether implementing Title III of the Helms -Burton Act would run contrary to U.S. interests or if implementing it would expedite the fall of the Cuban Revolution. In practice, it holds out the possibility of bringing third-county businesspeople before U.S. courts if they invest in Cuba, a provision that has not been applied to date.
9. Aggressively pursuing the same Act’s Title IV sanctions. These forbid giving foreign nationals who invest in Cuba visas for travel to the United States; additional personnel and resources will be devoted to enforcing this provision of the Helms-Burton Act.
10. Neutralizing Cuban companies working in the export sector. To do this, they will establish a Cuban Asset Targeting Group devoted to investigating Cuban companies and foreign companies which trade with Cuba.
11. Stepping up efforts to involve third-country governments in campaigns against the Cuban Revolution.
12. Supporting action in third countries to discourage tourist travel to Cuba.
13. Continuing to deny visas to Cuban officials who have to travel to the United States.
14. Establishing a Transition Coordinator for Cuba at the State Department which will be in charge of checking if all these measures are being applied.
The other five chapters insolently set forth the measures that the United States government will implement in our country once they have made their dream of overthrowing the Cuban Revolution come true. We shall not stop to analyse them at this point. We shall just give one example: one of the proposed measures is “for the immediate immunization of all children under five who have not been already immunized for the major childhood diseases”. Our people can draw their own conclusions. This is a plan to annex Cuba and to return to the misconceived republic of the Platt Amendment.
The cruelty and hatred which inspire this new aggression against our country are beyond belief. What they are doing is using every possible means to exacerbate the difficult conditions which the criminal U.S. blockade already imposes on us. It is a flagrant violation of the human rights of 11 million Cubans whom they are trying to bring to their knees through hunger and disease, simply for the crime of wanting to be free and independent and because we will not submit to imperial orders.
The measures announced yesterday are also a violation of the rights of Cuban-born citizens living in the United States. From now on, new, draconian restrictions are to be imposed on their rights to travel and to send economic aid to their relatives in Cuba.
All of these measures, and U.S. policy as a whole, openly ignore the real interests of the American people, of the overwhelming majority of Cubans living in the United States, of a majority of the members of the U.S. Congress and of broad sectors in that country who want normal relations with Cuba.
The assignment of tens of millions of dollars to promote mercenary activity in Cuba, the violation of international law to carry subversive broadcasts against another country from an airplane, plus the scandalous and internationally criticized installation of a loathsome concentration camp in the territory occupied by force in Cuba all constitute unprecedented acts of provocation which destroy the norms and principles of international law, and which will have to be discussed in the broadest range of international fora, including the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.
The devious, cynical, cruel nature of the current administration is revealed clearly by the fact that it adopted these measures against our people at a juncture when the price of food and its transportation cost have almost doubled on the world market — the price of sugar barely covers its production cost and the price of fuel has gone up steadily to reach the outrageous price of almost $40 per barrel. They are also trying to deliver the heaviest blow possible to tourism which has once again entered a period of strong growth.
It makes one laugh to hear promises for the future vaccination of children in a country where preventative medicine and vaccination have attained one of the highest levels in the world, as it does to hear this announcement from a country where tens of millions of men, women and children have no medical care and where more children die for every 1000 live births than in Cuba. The Führer is driven mad by the reality of the enormous human capital created by our people, by its ability to send tens of thousands of doctors to the most remote places in the Third World —which is greater than the ability of all of the advanced countries put together— by its progress in the education, health and culture systems which will shortly put Cuba in the first place among all the countries on earth .
The solid support given to the Revolution by almost the whole population makes it invulnerable to Mr. Bush’s putrid ideology. They want to wipe off Cuba’s example. The fraudulently elected President’s insane and repugnant programs for transition in Cuba are directed to that end.
This is the way they want to destroy all that a heroic people has built with incredible love. Cuba may be wiped off the map but no threat or insane action by Mr. Bush can discourage it. His cruel and cowardly measures will doubtlessly impose some degree of sacrifice on our people but they will not for one second slow down the march towards the humane and social goals it has set itself and no one will be helpless. Cuba will never return to the horrible, wretched, inhuman condition of a U.S. colony.
As our Commander in Chief said to more than one million Cubans on May 1st. ”If Cuba defends itself, if it arrests and punishes mercenaries in order that no one should think they are invulnerable to punishment, then they launch massive campaigns against our country. They want to prevent her from defending herself, and this country, without violating the standards it has always observed in its struggles, will defend itself with the law, and it will defend itself with weapons, whenever this is necessary, down to the last drop of blood”. (Applause and shouts)
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban Revolutionary Government.
Published in Granma newspaper on May 7, 2004