Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES — I have just read a news item which has left me flabbergasted: US President Donald Trump believes that Cuba, “with everything we have given it”, has not made any “concessions” within the normalization of bilateral relations process, according to what his adviser Helen Aguirre Ferre said today in an exclusive interview with the Spanish news agency, EFE.
It seems that President Trump isn’t very well-informed. Reestablishing diplomatic ties isn’t a gift of any kind, it was the outcome of long negotiations, because it was something that benefitted both countries and it was illogical that two neighboring countries didn’t have diplomatic relations, which then president Barack Obama recognized. However, Cuba wasn’t the one to break off its diplomatic relations with the United States, it was the other way around, therefore, it was up to the US to patch up their mistake.
The bilateral agreements which have been signed since December 17, 2014, mainly benefit the US more than they do Cuba, therefore there haven’t been any gifts, and there have only been logical agreements between neighboring countries.
I ask myself, why does Cuba have to make concessions to the United States? If we look back over history, Cuba wasn’t the one to intervene in any war in the US, nor did it invade or occupy this country, nor did it impose an amendment to its constitution so as to receive economic and political advantages. It was the United States who did this to Cuba and who used blackmail to get this amendment approved by the Cuban Parliament, even when they didn’t agree with it.
Cuba has not taken by force and does not occupy any bit of US territory, but the US does have a naval base in Cuba, which goes against the Cuban people’s will and international law.
Cuba does not have an embargo on the United States, it’s the other way around. The United States has kept a trade, economic and financial blockade against Cuba in force for more than half a century, which is condemned year after year by all of the countries in the world at the UN. A blockade which violates all of the precepts of international law and even the US’ own Constitution.
Cuba has never attacked the United States; however, it has been attacked by military means with the 1961 mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs; with the organization and funding of armed groups within Cuba, which has taken hundreds of Cuban lives, including the murder of farmers and young literacy teachers.
The French ship La Coubre was blown up, on CIA orders, in Havana and dozens of Cubans died. A Cubana Airlines plane was sabotaged mid-flight, on CIA orders, and the 73 people aboard died. Cuban diplomats in other countries were murdered and bombs were planted in diplomatic headquarters in our country, on CIA orders.
Over 600 plans to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro were drawn up and organized by CIA staff.
The human and material losses that the Cuban people have suffered for over half a century, by different US governments, have been immense, and even though they have been assessed, there are some things which can’t be assessed, such as the human lives lost in the US’ attacks on Cuba.
I have pointed out the most famous attacks that I can remember, generally-speaking, because a complete list of these would not fit in the space of this article. So I ask again: Who does Cuba have to make concessions to? Why?