by Helen Yaffe, 28 February 2011.
The spontaneous demonstration which broke out on Saturday night in Nueva Gerona, capital of Cuba’s Island of Youth, was not the anti-regime uprising for which the US government, bourgeois media, and the internal opposition hopelessly craves. Instead it was a celebration of the revolutionary commitment shown by local resident Carlos Serpa Maceira, as neighbours welcomed him back into the arms of his people.
On the evening of Saturday 26 February, Cuban television broadcast the programme ‘Pawns of Imperialism’ detailing close links between the internal counterrevolution, the right-wing exile community and the government of the United States. Evidence of these links was provided by two Cuban state agents who had infiltrated the ranks of the so-called ‘dissident’ movement. The first was Moisés Rodriguez, who spent 20 years inside the counter-revolution, working closely with the US Interest Section (USIS) in Havana. The second was Carlos Serpa, who spent ten years posing as an ‘independent journalist’ for Radio Martí and numerous blogs and websites. As President of the Union of Free Journalists in Cuba, an organisation without members, Serpa worked closely with the Ladies in White (relatives of US-paid mercenaries imprisoned in Cuba in 2003), accompanying their processions through Havana.
Carlos Manuel Serpa with the then head of the US Interest Section Michael Parmly. Photo: Ismael Francisco
It was the revelation that Serpa had all this time been acting in defence of the socialist Revolution which led people in Nueva Gerona to pour onto the streets outside his home singing revolutionary songs and carrying him on their shoulders. Serpa told the crowds: ‘In every moment I held the example of Commandante Fidel Castro, of Raul and of the Revolution’. He demanded the release of the Cuban Five, five men imprisoned in US goals for uncovering macabre plots against the Cuban people being hatched by terrorist groups in Miami.
In Pawns of Imperialism, Rodriguez explains that he received instructions directly from functionaries of the USIS, who even sent him to the US to meet infamous terrorist Luis Posada Carriles - currently on trial in Miami, not for terrorism but concerning his immigration status. Rodriguez was informed of plans to destabilise Cuba. Both agents had evidence that the Ladies in White receive payment for their activities from another known terrorist Santiago Alvarez, a subordinate of Carriles. They described the Ladies in White as part of the US strategy to destroy the Cuban Revolution and explained how the USIS staffs the counterrevolution in Cuba.
The documentary relays a conversation between a radio station presenter and Laura Pollen, leader of the Ladies in White. The presenter plays Pollen a recording of Roberto Micheletti, then dictator of Honduras following the military coup in June 2009, declaring his support for her group which he hopes ‘will achieve their objectives as we have achieved ours here’. Pollen says she is delighted that Micheletti supports the struggle for democracy, peace and happiness in Cuba, as background images show the brutal repression by the coup regime of the Honduran people. At another moment, Pollen is shown speaking to the US media via mobile phone from the head of a Ladies in White parade, decrying harassment from Cuban security agents, while the camera scans around to show not a single Cuban official in that area.
Finally, Serpa demonstrates how easy it is to launch a media campaign against Cuba. He rings Radio Marti and tells them that he was arrested and detained by Cuban police who confiscated his camera and memory stick. This is clearly a made-up story. However, one hour and a half later the ‘news’ is broadcast on Radio Marti with no attempt to verify the claim. The lie becomes fact.
In broadcasting this documentary the Cuban government has yet again shown evidence that imperialist plans to destroy the socialist revolution continue. It has also shown its patient and intelligent strategy towards the counterrevolution. Aware of the opposition’s resources and its plots, the government maintains direct communication with the Cuban people so that they are capable of knowing their enemies and defending their revolution.