Cuba Targeted at Democratic Convention

Dawn Gable*

Outside the Charlotte, North Carolina Arena Hosting the Democractic National Convention. Photo: wikipedia.or

HAVANA TIMES — This week the Democratic Party convenes to rubber stamp a pre-written platform. A quick text search of the document’s 40 pages reveals that the United States government is still obsessed with the tiny island of Cuba.

It is the only American nation that gets its very own paragraph and more. Only four other countries get such attention: Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China.

Meanwhile the document praises the vibrant democracy of Mexico, which was recently rocked by fraudulent elections and is suffering uncontrollable violence, and the peaceful transfer of power in Paraguay where a non-military coup recently unseated the left-leaning President Lugo.

No mention of the coup in Honduras, but rather a slap in the face to Venezuela, where the US at least tacitly supported a coup a decade ago. The Democrats claim that Venezuelan citizens are not enjoying the rights they deserve. Apparently the rights of Colombians, where two journalists and 29 labor activists have been murdered so far this year, are not important to the Democratic Party.

Nor do the Democrats seem to see the hypocrisy in calling for universal rights for citizens of other countries while denying its own citizens the right of free movement.

Even the extremely limited “purposeful travel” provisions put in place by Obama have been thwarted. The President has allowed himself to be bullied by Rep. Rubio and almost none of the travel service providers that were licensed last year have received a renewal.

But none of this should be surprising since Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, represents Miami-Dade County and receives maximum donations through various channels from the Cuban American Democracy PAC, the super right-wing political action committee that representing the interests of the elderly hard-line Cuban exiles, distributing nearly $1 million in campaign contributions each election.

But make no mistake; the Republicans are even more obsessed, and a little senile, when it comes to Cuba (and “Narco-terrorist” Venezuela). They aim to stop all travel and engagement with Cuba.

In the four paragraphs the Republican Party platform dedicates to the Hemisphere, these are the only two nations even mentioned: except for one sentence of praise for the Colombians and Mexicans for the great job they are doing fighting drug trafficking!

Below are excerpts from both platforms for comparison


In the Americas, we see vibrant democracies in countries from Mexico to Brazil and Costa Rica to Chile. We have also seen historic peaceful transfers of power in places like El Salvador and Uruguay. Yet despite the region’s democratic progress, stark inequalities in political and economic power endure. We will continue to press for more transparent and accountable governance. And we will promote greater freedom in Cuba and Venezuela until all their citizens enjoy the universal rights they deserve.

Under President Obama, we have undertaken the most significant efforts in decades to engage the Cuban people. We have focused on the importance of the family ties between Cuban Americans and their relatives still living under oppression. Because of steps the President has taken, it is now possible for Cuban Americans to visit and support their families in Cuba, and to send remittances that reduce the Cuban people’s dependence on the Cuban state.

We have taken additional steps to bolster Cuban civil society, expanding purposeful exchanges that bolster independent religious groups on the island and enhancing the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people. Going forward we will continue to support the Cuban people’s desire to freely determine their own future.


The current Administration has turned its back on Latin America, with predictable results. Rather than supporting our democratic allies in the region, the President has prioritized engagement with our enemies in the region. Venezuela represents an increasing threat to U.S. security, a threat which has grown much worse on the current President’s watch.

In the last three years, Venezuela has become a Narco-terrorist state, turning it into an Iranian outpost in the Western hemisphere. The current regime issues Venezuelan passports or visas to thousands of Middle Eastern terrorists offering safe haven to Hezbollah trainers, operatives, recruiters and fundraisers.

Alternatively, we will stand with the true democracies of the region against both Marxist subversion and the drug lords, helping them to become prosperous alternatives to the collapsing model of Venezuela and Cuba.

We affirm our friendship with the People of Cuba and look toward their reunion with the rest of our hemispheric family. The anachronistic regime in Havana which rules them is a mummified relic of the age of totalitarianism, a state-sponsor of terrorism.

We reject any dynastic succession of power within the Castro family and affirm the principles codified in U.S. law as conditions for the lifting of trade, travel, and financial sanctions: the legalization of political parties, an independent media, and free and fair internationally-supervised elections.

We renew our commitment to Cuba’s courageous pro-democracy movement as the protagonists of Cuba’s inevitable liberation and democratic future. We call for a dedicated platform for the transmission of Radio and TV Marti and for the promotion of Internet access and circumvention technology as tools to strengthen the pro-democracy movement.

We support the work of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba and affirm the principles of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, recognizing the rights of Cubans fleeing Communism.

The war on drugs and the war on terror have become a single enterprise. We salute our allies in this fight, especially the people of Mexico and Colombia.

(*) HT contributing writer Dawn Gable is in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention.


30 thoughts on “Cuba Targeted at Democratic Convention

  • September 9, 2012 at 7:58 am

    During my last visit to Havana in January, a building collapsed killing 4 young people. One the those 4 young people was a delightful teenage girl who lived next door to my casa particular. I held her grieving mother in my arms for nearly an hour until she fell asleep the night of the collapse. If my rants appear “hoary” it is because I lost my voice grieving over the avoidable loss of a young life. “Lawrence W” chooses to call me names and deflect my comments by comparing the wealth of problems in the US to what we are talking about in Cuba. What he does not do is deny that the comments made about Cuba are true. If “Griffin” writes something that is untrue or if I write something that cannot be verified, I invite “Lawrence W” to enlighten us. But to simply call the truth as presented propaganda as a way to defend your support of the regime is childish.

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Welcome to Lawrence’s leftist Bizarro World, where historical fact is propaganda and propaganda is fact. No wonder he cannot see the difference between affluent consumers lining up to by the latest gadget and underfed Cubans lining up to by their meager rations before the limited supply is sold out. It is touching to hear him describe the scarce Cuban diet as “healthy”. What was the Holomodor then, Stalin’s Fat Farm Weight Loss Camp?

    I’ve been to Cuba but not the resorts in Varadero where the tourists are presented with a Potemkin village of the Revolution. I travelled on my own around Havana & Matanzas. I plan to return soon to visit Santiago and the eastern end of the island. When I travel I keep my eyes and my mind open.

    The embargo is a double-ended sword. The US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba, which has had harmful economic effect on the country. At the other end, the Cyban government imposed an embargo on the Cuban people banning free speech, free travel, free economy and human rights. This internal embargo has inflicted far more harm on the Cuban people. I wish for a day when both embargoes are lifted.

  • September 8, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I trust others will see the hypocrisy of ‘Griffin’, who complains of me not staying on topic, dumping boilerplate Zionist propaganda on us that has nothing to do with Cuba. Well, almost nothing. As I recall Israel was the only country in the last UN vote condemning the US embargo, that voted against it, except the US of course.

    ‘Griffin’ writes, “The notion that Florida Jewish money controls the anti-Castro policy of the US is ridiculous.” Well yes, but who wrote that it did? Time to bear down and read more carefully ‘Griffin’. Your obsessive posting is taking on toll on your reading faculties.

    ‘Griffin’ doubts the US is maintaining the embargo “out of fear the American voters will be inspired by the Cuban Revolution”. Then why is it? ‘Griffin’ and his ilk claim it has no or minimal effect on Cubans except to offer a convenient excuse to the government for answering citizens’ complaints. ‘Griffin’, why do YOU think the US is maintaining its insane 50-year embargo?

    Oh, and ‘Griffin’, you don’t have to travel to Havana to see crumbling buildings – Detroit, presumably, is much closer to you – or long lines for consumer goods – go to any Canadian Tire store (‘Griffin’ claims he’s Canadian, like me) on a Saturday to see long lines of consumers queuing for affordable consumer goods on the opening day of its weekly sale. Or for that matter, on the first day of a new Apple Computer gewgaw.

    Capitalism has inspired as many long lineups it seems, many times out of greed, not necessity. I personally prefer the latter.

    Oh, and beef-soy mixes are much more healthy for you than the traditional one-pounder on the barby that has contributed to the increase in morbidly obese people in your country, wherever that is. Presumably eating well and Cuba’s superior health care system, is what has kept the populace so healthy.

    ‘Griffin’ should really travel to Cuba to see for himself rather than just parroting ‘Moses’ hoary old rants about crumbling buildings in Havana.

  • September 8, 2012 at 3:58 am

    ‘John’, I think you will agree, we are not here to discuss Israel and Palestine. I’m sure you are aware that what I wrote is in agreement with the Cuban government and I’m confident, also with Havana Times writers. But then, I am also in agreement with the entire world, save the occupier country, Israel, the Jewish Diaspora, and the governments who are in thrall of Jewish money.

    Al Jazeera’s comment on the undemocratic ramming through of the Jerusalem resolution at the Democratic Convention, despite sizable voiced opposition, was that it showed US citizens are getting fed up with their government being controlled by powerful interest groups like the Jewish lobby.

    Listening to the news this morning, hearing that my government, Canada, has broken ties with Iran, I can only agree with Iran’s response – that the Canadian government is extremist and severely under the influence of the Zionist regime”.

    Keeping to topic, Cuba, this is a disease of capitalism – undue influence by powerful interest groups that negate the democracy that the US hypocritically claims Cuba does not have.

    Your analysis of US election results sounds plausible. It is also a pointed example of the extremely Machiavellian, cynical mechanisms that are in place in the US. Who in their right mind would want to live under a system like this? It makes getting up in the morning and feeling good about the day extremely difficult. It’s not just me that feels like that here. The Canadian government has just made it even more difficult.

  • September 8, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Technically, it is possible to win without Florida’s 29 EC votes but neither party is willing to write it off. That means both will campaign hard in Florida. They won’t risk alienating the Cuban-American vote. after the election, if he wins, Obama might move to relax the embargo further. Romney won’t.

  • September 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    i made a mistale above. i wrote…….but i do not favor romney because i am starry eyed. i meant to write obama. obama is better than the other one.

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