Thursday, 1 April 2010

Dissidents or Traitors?

by Atilio A. Boron
Translation by: Machetera

The 'free press' in Europe and the Americas – the one that lied shamelessly about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or described the putschist regime of Micheletti in Honduras as 'interim' – has redoubled its ferocious campaign against Cuba. As a result, it’s important to distinguish between the true reason for it, and the pretext. The first, which establishes the global framework for this campaign, is the imperial counter-offensive launched near the end of the Bush administration, and whose most resounding example was the reactivation and mobilization of the Fourth Fleet. Contrary to the predictions of certain gullible people, this policy, dictated by the military-industrial complex, was not merely continued but reinforced by the recent treaty signed by Obama and Colombia’s President Uribe, through which the United States is to be granted the use of at least seven military bases in Colombian territory, diplomatic immunity for all U.S. personnel affected by these operations, license to bring in or remove any kind of cargo without authorities in the host country being able to register what’s coming in or going out, and the right of U.S. expeditionary forces to enter or leave Colombia using any kind of i.d. card whatsoever attesting to their identity.

As if all that were not enough, Washington’s policy of recognizing the 'legality and legitimacy' of the coup d’etat government in Honduras and the subsequent fraudulent elections is yet one more example of the perverse continuity that links policies implemented by the White House, regardless of the skin color of its principal occupant. And in this general imperial counter-offensive, the attack and destabilization of Cuba plays an extremely important role.

These are the true, underlying reasons. But the pretext for this renewed attack was the fatal outcome of the hunger strike of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, now reinforced by an identical action initiated by another 'dissident,' Guillermo Fariñas Hernández and one which will no doubt be followed by those of other participants and accomplices of this aggression. As is well known, Zapata Tamayo was (and continues being) presented by these 'media of mass deception' – as Noam Chomsky adequately described them – as a 'political dissident' when in reality he was an ordinary prisoner who’d been recruited by the enemies of the Cuban revolution, and unscrupulously used as a mere tool of their subversive projects. The case of Fariñas Hernández is not the same, but even so, it holds certain similarities and deepens an argument that must be viewed with complete seriousness.

It’s important to remember that there’s a long history to these attacks. They began at the very triumph of the revolution but, as official and formal policy of the United States government, they began on March 17, 1960, when the National Security Council approved a 'Covert Action Program' against Cuba, proposed by the then CIA Director, Allen Dulles. Partially declassified in 1991, this program identified four main courses of action, with the first two being 'opposition building' and the launching of a 'powerful propaganda offensive' in order to strengthen and make credible that opposition. It couldn’t be clearer.

After the resounding failure of these plans, George W. Bush created a special commission within the State Department itself, in order to promote 'regime change' in Cuba, a euphemism to avoid the phrase 'promote counter-revolution.' Cuba has the dubious privilege of being the only country in the world for which the State Department has designed a project of this sort, thus confirming the unhealthy Yankee obsession with annexing the island, and on the other hand, confirming that José Martí was right when he warned our people about the dangers of U.S. expansionism. The first report from this commission, published in 2004, had 458 pages and explained in the most minute detail everything that should be done to introduce a liberal democracy, respect human rights and establish a market economy in Cuba. To carry out the plan, $59 million dollars a year was budgeted (in addition to the money set aside for undercover action) of which, according to the proposal, $36 million was earmarked for the fomenting and financing of 'dissident' activities. In summary, what the press presents as a noble and patriotic internal dissidence seems rather to be the methodical application of the imperial project designed to complete the old dream of the U.S. rightwing: a definitive takeover of Cuba...

...Read more at Machetera