The US Government’s Attitude Towards Cuba

By Elio Delgado Legon

Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – I have been trying to find a word to describe the US governments’ attitude towards Cuba for a long time now, and I can’t put my finger on it.

What word would you use to talk about a person who sees their neighbor fall to the ground because they suffer a heart attack or another serious illness, and instead of calling the doctor to help them, they push and beat them so that the disease kills them, all because this neighbor doesn’t share their political ideas?

We could call it criminal behavior. Cuba’s neighbor in the North has been attacking the Cuban people for 60 years. It tries to beat them down by starving them and making them sick. They do this just because the Cuban people chose a political and economic system that isn’t to their liking.

Two Crucial Moments

I’m not going to get into all of the details of the criminal attacks the US has committed against Cuba because they are well-known. I will only talk about two key moments in our history, over the past 60 years.

The first moment was when the Soviet Union collapsed, and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) disappeared. All of Cuba’s trade had been with the COMECON. This because the US blockade and pressure stopped them from having trade relations with the rest of the world, especially Latin America, where countries had cut off all relations with Cuba. Mexico was the only exception. It never bent down to the demands of the US government and its ministry of colonies, the OAS.

When Cuba was left without its trade with the socialist countries in Eastern Europe and it had no other options because of the US blockade, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro told the Cuban people outright: “We are facing a double blockade and we need to get ready to spend a special period in times of peace.” He even warned about the possibility of an “option zero”, that absolutely nothing comes into the country. The Cuban people were willing to resist so as not to give into US Imperialism’s demands.

In the face of such a critical situation, the US government implemented different measures to tighten the blockade. It hoped that Cubans wouldn’t be able to resist and that they would give in, but they were wrong. We lived in hardship, without food, medicine, fuel… the entire country was almost paralyzed, but nobody gave in.

Cuba gradually rescued its relations and trade with the world. The US being the only exception, which completely isolated, continues to impose its genocidal policy against the Cuban people.

Then came Covid-19

The second moment I’ll talk about is now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has practically affected the whole world. Amidst this crisis when the WHO and other UN agencies have called for solidarity and collaboration to fight the pandemic, the US withdrew its financial contribution to the WHO. Additionally, it took more aggressive action against Cuba by implementing stricter measures, over the past 7 months.

Punishing a country that can’t buy medicines or the raw materials needed to manufacture them. The US is also trying to stop a single drop of fuel from reaching Cuba. They hope to bring it once again to a complete standstill. All of this in the hope that Cuba gives up and surrenders to the Empire’s appetite.

However, Cuba hasn’t thrown in the towel. On the contrary, it sent thousands of doctors, nurses and health technicians to dozens of countries that requested their collaboration to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 3800 health professionals belonging to the “Henry Reeve” international brigade of experts in natural disasters and epidemics, have fought on the pandemic’s frontline and have saved thousands of lives.

This is a noble attitude that governments and people receiving this aid have appreciated and been grateful for. Meanwhile, the US has been pressuring many governments not to accept Cuba’s aid. This is low and indescribable behavior. Being the richest and most powerful country in the world, it has not helped anyone. It hasn’t even been able to keep the pandemic in check in its own country.

Cuban scientists and the pandemic

Cuban scientists have developed different drugs to fight the pandemic. Furthermore, a vaccine is already in the third phase of clinical trials, the first one in the Americas that has made this much progress. Cuba has managed to keep the spread of pandemic under control. It also has a second vaccine that is in clinical trial.

Every attempt by the US to give the Cuban Revolution its coup d’grace, has run into a Cuban people who are determined to defend their conquests at any price.

The US government’s attitude and its attempt to cripple the Cuban people with desperation can have many names. But I’ll leave it up to you readers to decide which one you prefer.

Read more articles by Elio Delgado Legon.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.


21 thoughts on “The US Government’s Attitude Towards Cuba

  • October 28, 2020 at 1:30 am
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    One assumes that Elio had not read the report of Zuniga-Brown’s clear explanation of the US Government’s attitude towards Cuba. Or maybe that was because the Castro regime had censored it?

  • October 27, 2020 at 2:50 pm
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    I think the US should end the embargo and proceed with a blockade – that should make the author happy in his Newspeak. The system in Cuba is absurd – except for the nomenclatura, and that nomenclatura or blood suckers failed to change when Obama gave them an opening, they just increased the blood sucking. Semper Trumper & Free Cuba!

  • October 26, 2020 at 2:00 am
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    I like that one Mr MacD!
    And it also has a nice touch of pot calling the kettle black….

  • October 25, 2020 at 12:55 pm
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    I concur with Nick’s response! Verbose yes, but speechless?

  • October 24, 2020 at 5:47 pm
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    Wl’m Mastro boy or girl – which so ever you may be,…..
    Speechless I most surely ain’t.

  • October 24, 2020 at 2:42 pm
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    Mr Szarka,
    I believe U have left Nicky boy speechless, Right on.

  • October 24, 2020 at 2:22 pm
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    J.Szarka,
    I don’t seek to justify the actions of the Cuban Government over the past 60 years – there are very few Governments who are without fault over a six decade period. I am critical of much of what I have seen in Cuba over the two and a half decades that I have known the country. I was critical of much in Cuba when I lived there.
    But none of Cuba’s shortcomings, issues or defects justify the pitiful policies, vile actions or countless atrocities committed against Cuba and in the wider region by successive U S regimes over the same six decade period (and longer still).

    I do not take it for granted that I have been able to travel in this world and live and work in various places. I am luckier than many in this respect.
    The USA and Cuba are two of my favourite countries but, in my opinion, both are deeply flawed. In different ways.

    Much of the world subscribes to mutually accepted global standards when it comes to Human Rights. The USA and Cuba, these two countries that I like so much, both operate entirely outside of those accepted standards.

  • October 24, 2020 at 10:49 am
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    Nick,
    My apologies for your 1 example regarding USA wrongdoing at Guantanamo. Like I said in my previous note. ” Most”, not all, but most of the 100 plus inmates were criminals. Your long lone example still doesn’t justify human rights violations to the 10 million plus people by to Castro Gov. over a 60 yr. period. This is in fact what we were really talking about isn’t it? I assume you agree with all my other points since you didn’t chastise me.

  • October 23, 2020 at 7:40 pm
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    J Szarka,
    It would seem that that good ol’ US propaganda has got you mentally handcuffed.
    I have personally met a guy from my own country (England) who was captured by US forces, taken to Guantanamo, imprisoned and tortured. He has described the cases of those who never made it out of there.
    His treatment was entirely extra judicial, outside of any agreed international law, outside of US law and entirely contravened the Geneva Convention.
    He was never charged under any international law, never charged under US law and was eventually freed.
    One of his well paid US captors (bless his big heart and his humanitarian decency) actually went to England to meet this guy’s family and personally apologised for the cruel and entirely unlawful treatment.
    These facts entirely refute your narrow and incorrect opinion on this matter.
    If you choose to be an apologist for this particular pagina negra which is one amongst many in the book of grotesque crimes that the USA has committed in its ‘backyard’ then I would encourage you to examine your conscience and reflect.
    This compatriot of mine that I speak of has mental scars that he will take with him through the rest of his life.
    Don’t belittle these scars. Or if you do wish to belittle these scars, first you gotta go spend a stretch in a dirty little cage on the island of Cuba funded by US taxpayers then come tell me about it.

    And don’t presume criminality coz there is absolutely no evidence that this man that I’m talking about is a criminal as you have so lazily and casually suggested.

  • October 23, 2020 at 3:51 pm
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    Nick
    Most of your comments are those thought by someone with too much time on their hands. Given the choice, many Cubans would prefer to eat, sleep & live at “the Guantanamo Bay prison camp” rather than try to scratch a daily survival in their present Cuba. Even if I take your comments at face value (which I don’t). The human rights abuses carried on by the Cuban gov. are to 10 plus million people. Guantanamo Bay’s negatives are inflected to little more than 100, mostly deserving criminals. Lets compare apples to apples please.
    Ref: your quote by Nelson Mandela: Of course Mandela was a fine individual, but not everything that came out his mouth was the final word or true. The quote you attributed to him is an example of this.
    Ref: you calling the “USA is the oppressor and the aggressor” regarding Cuba. Look Nick, If I don’t have food to eat, nor a roof over my head nor a pot piss in, but YOU DO & you are willing to help me if I make some changes and attempt for once in 60 yrs. to be a decent human being, you can bet your ass I am going to do mostly anything you ask for a little help. Do you think I am stupid? Well that is exactly what the Cuban gov. is !!! They are not only incompetent, they are also stupid !!! Castro & company should be sentenced to Guantanamo Bay and given daily water boarding.
    I get frustrated when I hear someone blame Cuba’s condition on the USA. 90% of their problems is self inflicted. God bless America

  • October 23, 2020 at 1:15 pm
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    J. SZARKA, You make some valid points regarding Cuba.

    However the following comments show how much the constant drip drip drip of US propaganda appears to have done an impressive job on you:

    ‘The USA would provide all the help needed to improve the situation if the Gov. improved human rights conditions of ALL Cubans’
    (have you ever heard of the abuses at Guantanamo Bay prison camp? Arguably the worst human rights abuses carried out on La Perla del Caribe so far this century)

    The USA ‘……has certainly done more for the good of the world than any other country’
    (‘If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.’ – Nelson Mandela)

    I like Cuba and I like the USA but both are flawed.
    In terms of the difficult relationship between these two flawed countries it is abundantly clear that the USA is the oppressor and the aggressor.
    Abundantly clear.

    By the way, the reason why so much time and money Is spent on propaganda is because it so often works……

  • October 23, 2020 at 9:24 am
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    Elio has obviously never had to get up at 4 or 5 in the morning and walk an hour or more, for the right to stand in line for 3 to 5 hours to purchase toothpaste, soap, detergent, toilet paper or 1 piece of chicken, like the 98% of Cubans have to do daily to survive. Once at the front of the line they are told that we only have 1 or none of the items you came for. Oh well, I guess I will have to repeat this senerio tomorrow. For sure, Elio has never had to do this. This nonsense has nothing to do with the USA embargo. It is only the fault of the Cuban Gov. which puts countless road blocks and senseless rules in place making it impossible for a Cuban to grow any food on all the agriculture land. FACT, Cuba imports 60-80% of it’s food. The cure is so simple. All Cuba has to do is allow the people to have a free election and let the people vote. The USA would provide all the help needed to improve the situation if the Gov. improved human rights conditions of ALL Cubans. The USA does have many problems and faults of it’s own, but it has certainly done more for the good of the world than any other country. That’s why so many want to go there. I’ve noticed that all the rafts in the last 60 yrs. are going from Cuba to the USA. Haven’t yet heard of any going in the opposite direction, from the USA to Cuba. There is a reason for that Elio.
    When Obama was in Habana, He made a statement that, “the Cuban people have the government they want”. When and if they want a change, they will decide. I can only assume that they are not yet ready to change. The Cubans really liked that speech. As long as we continue sending money to family/friends in Cuba, we are only enabling them to prolong their agony and put up with this cruel inhuman government nonsense. Elio does not have to deal with any of this. Cuba needs another revolution, WHICH MAKES SOME SENSE.

  • October 22, 2020 at 1:58 pm
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    Cuba has many faults.
    But it is notable that certain contributors here seek to use Cuba’s faults in order to excuse the USA’s often grotesque policies toward Cuba and toward the wider region of the Americas.
    Rather than face the reality, rather than reflect upon the error of their ways, backers of these US policies always prefer to deflect.

  • October 21, 2020 at 6:54 pm
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    Elio has once again overblown the visibility and importance of US Cuban policy to Americans. I would venture to guess that less than 10% of Americans know anything about Cuba and their relationship to the US. I want to associate myself with Carlyle MacDuff’s earlier comment and emphasize his remarks about Cubans NOT choosing the government they have for at least the last 61 years. The whole “poor me” shtick is worn thin. Cuba can trade with the entire planet these days. Only those companies that also want to do business in the US are inclined to avoid doing business with the Castro dictatorship. The US embargo is not the problem. It’s Cuba’s moribund economy and feckless foreign trade practices. A reputation of imprisoning foreign businessman tends to put a chilling effect on new foreign trade and investments.

  • October 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm
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    TRUMP 2020 FREE CUBA !!

  • October 21, 2020 at 2:16 pm
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    It’s great to see more of Elio’s articles again.
    Elio’s articles are entirely one sided. He perpetuates this idea that all Cubans are, as one, in accordance with their government.
    To put it quite simply – this ain’t the case.

    Having said that, most Cubans do most definitely take their hard won independence very seriously.
    Elio is entirely accurate when he puts forward many truisms regarding corrupt US policy toward Cuba and toward the region as a whole.
    The USA effectively tortured, brutalised and bribed its way toward gaining the kow-towing adherence of its southern neighbours regarding the ostracising of Cuba.
    However, the previously oppressed nations eventually got to the point where they stood up and talked back to the oppressor and said that if Cuba ain’t invited to the table, there ain’t gonna be no table.
    The Cold War is over. It’s no longer acceptable for countries such as Russia and the USA to brutalise less powerful nations within their geographical spheres of influence.
    US regimes are now in a position where they have to weigh up the whole situation with a little bit more humility. Are FLA electoral college votes actually worth the type of twisted imperialism that Elio describes?
    Bolivia is a fine example. The USA were affronted by Evo Morales. They hated his popularity as a Socialist, as a Humanitarian, as an Environmentalist and most fundamentally as a Native American. He represents folks who were knocking around on the American continent way before the Europeans got there with their fundamentalist religion and their fundamentalist capitalism.
    The USA supported the corrupt Bolivian coup as they have supported countless other corrupt, pro-US coups in order to install pro-US puppet regimes.
    The Bolivian people have thankfully voted in their droves to support their own representatives rather than a minority of fellow Bolivians who would readily sell out their country for a shallow 30 pieces of bent, US-minted silver. Perhaps Covid has thwarted the traditional US election-fixing expertise and kept the handsomely paid perpetrators hunkered down back home in their gilded, virus free bunkers?
    Latin American countries are still in the process of getting the Catholic Spanish monkey off their backs. They are also in the process of getting the White Anglo Saxon Protestant northern Uber-monkey off their backs.
    I wish them all well in their unenviable endeavours………..

    Where the blessed Elio falls short is that he is a fundamentalist of a different stripe.
    But this does not in any way, shape or form excuse the historic and current squalid brutality and corruption of the USA south and east of the Rio Grande.

  • October 21, 2020 at 12:06 pm
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    You are wrong, dead wrong. USA is third largest Cuba food supplier. Check in Cuba trade.org and stop this nonsense.

  • October 21, 2020 at 11:38 am
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    Elio continues to spout nonsense from Cloud Cuckoo land.

    The revolution which he usually praises, he now likens to: “a neighbor falling to the ground because they suffer a heart attack or other serious illness” who can disagree with that diagnosis.

    Next Elio suggests that: “the Cuban people chose a political and economic system”. The people of Cuba have not been offered choice since the Castros achieved power – and the Constitution of Cuba written by Raul Castro, ensures that they have no choice, for it commences by declaring that Cuba is a one-party state – the Communist Party of Cuba.

    Then Elio promotes the falsehood that Cuba: “can’t buy medicines or the raw materials needed to manufacture them” The US embargo does not prevent such purchases, it is the choice of the Castro regime. Unavailability in Cuba reflects their priorities..

    That is followed by the customary nonsense suggesting that the Cuban regime is heroic in selling medical services to other countries, as if a form of international charity. The reality is that the provision of such services – both medical and educational, provides Cuba’s largest single source of revenue – even exceeding that of tourism. Hard times for others, actually increasing the Cuban revenues. No mention of those professionals having to endure compulsory classes on Marxism/Leninism in pursuit of propaganda wherever they go.

    Elio fails to mention that the professionals involved are paid a mere fraction of their earnings.
    As for the “different drugs to fight the pandemic”, where are they available? The claim that a vaccine is: “the first one that has made this much progress in the Americas”, time will tell whether Cuba actually manages to produce a vaccine that meets international testing standards – if it does, than the world will welcome it! But maybe it like the vaunted cures for cancer, will evaporate.

    The best news is that Elio having suggested that he was retiring his pen for health reasons, has returned to further entertain with his Alice in Wonderland views reflected in his looking glass.

    Better to be amused than cynical.

  • October 21, 2020 at 11:25 am
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    Ever consider having open free elections with other political parties being legal, free speech, access to the media without state communist control of every last word.
    Separation of powers.
    Probably not communist control of everything is all consuming for the robot Elio.

  • October 21, 2020 at 9:40 am
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    I’m American but this is uncalled for and should be stopped this needs to be brought fully to the American people in fact we need to raise some hell about this my business manager and partner in business the family is Cuban some of the most honest caring family I’ve ever met. signed J.B. Steele

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