Monday, 31 January 2011

Julian Assange - the Cuba link

by Patrick Ulysses, written for RATB.
31 January 2011

The publication of thousands of classified documents by WikiLeaks has exposed the back-handed, unethical and downright illegal methods that typifies modern bourgeouis politics. Although the ruling class media in Britain focused on leaks that ‘embarrassed’ ‘western governments’, such as politicians ‘real’ opinions of each other, the leaks have shown the world significant truths that would have been buried behind bureaucracy and lies.

WikiLeaks has been involved in the publication of material documenting extrajudicial killings in Kenya, a report of toxic waste-dumping in Côte d'Ivoire, Church of Scientology manuals, Guantanamo Bay torture camps procedures, the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike video, and material involving large banks such as Kaupthing and Julius Baer, among others. The leaks represent an important step forward, in that the power of information is no longer the sole property of the ruling class and their governments.

The reaction by the big players in international politics was not to be unexpected. Slander, accusations of terrorism and even death threats from leading US politicians lead to the trumped-up charges facing WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. These charges aim to corrupt the image of Assange and once, tried he will likely face extradition to the US. Assange is accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with two Swedish women, one of whom is Anna Ardin, without using a condom. He is currently under bail and the extradition order from Sweden is unusual precisely because it is not for his arrest but for his 'questioning'. Although the charges may appear as a weak attempt to incite Assange, the fact that Ardin is the political secretary of the Christian Socialists of Sweden, however, reveals a more sinister element.

Anna Ardin is a notorious counter-revolutionary who was deported from Cuba due to her subversive actions. She has ties to US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups. She published her anti-Castro diatribes in the Swedish-language publication Revista de Asignaturas Cubanas put out by Misceláneas de Cuba. In Cuba she interacted with the anti-Castro group Las damas de blanco (the Ladies in White). This group receives US government funds and the convicted anti-communist terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is a friend and supporter. Wikipedia quotes Hebe de Bonafini, president of the Argentine Madres de Plaza de Mayo as saying that 'the so-called Ladies in White defend the terrorism of the United States.'

Despite Julian Assange’s questionable intentions when setting up WikiLeaks (see video) it is clear that WikiLeaks role as a whistleblower is a vital tool in the fight against imperialism. Already WikiLeaks has released cables showing the US’s attempts to discredit Cuba; one example being the lie that Michael Moore’s film Sicko was ‘banned’ in Cuba.

These exposed lies are only the tip of the iceberg however in a country that has seen a 50-year war of terrorism, assassination attempts, insurgencies and media manipulation waged on it by the US. Julian Assange’s arrest by way of a US-funded anti-Cuban, is one of many attacks that those combating the juggernaut that is US and British imperialism will have to face. Yet the growing anti-capitalist movements, from the student/austerity protests in Europe to the recent forced exile of Tunisian ex-president Ben Ali, are portents of working-class struggle inspired by Cuba’s principled and socialist example.