March in Venezuela against “Cuban Interference”

By Sergio Valdivieso (Café Fuerte)

Caracas from the January 23rd hilltop neighborhood.  Photo: Caridad
Caracas from the January 23rd hilltop neighborhood. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — The escalating political crisis and violence in Venezuela is increasingly pointing towards the Cuban collaboration in the South American country. At stake is the fate of the Cubans there after more than a decade of missions ranging from humanitarian contributions to involvement in the country’s intelligence strategies and social control.

Venezuelan opposition Congresswoman Maria Corina Machado headed the call for a new national march on Sunday March 16, with the peculiarity that the mobilization is directed against the “Cuban interference” in the Armed Forces of Venezuela and in the country’s life public life.

“Against Cuban repression and for Venezuelan dignity. This Sunday #16M ¡everyone in the street!” wrote Machado in her active Twitter account after a meeting with the press .

The nationwide demonstration plans to take to the streets to repudiate the actions of government forces throughout Venezuela.

Humiliating Interference

“The brutal repression orders come from Havana ( … ) there is a humiliating Cuban military interference,” said the legislator, one of the leaders with the greatest ability to rally opposition forces.

In her call for the march, Machado noted that on Wednesday the repression reached an unprecedented level in the history of Venezuela.

“Not even under the worst dictatorships of the twentieth century did we see what occurred Wednesday in cities across Venezuela,” she said.

Official figures given by Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz on Thursday at a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva confirmed 28 dead and 365 injured as a result of protests that have shaken the country since February 12. There are also over a thousand arrested.

The call for a march against the Cuban presence comes at a crucial time of the convulsive Venezuelan panorama.

Caracas by night.  Photo: Caridad
Caracas by night. Photo: Caridad

Official Rampage

President Maduro considers replacing members of the National Guard by the Army and impose a curfew amid the unstoppable wave of protests that threatens to paralyze the country. The ruling party looks set to impose desperate measures and that can be a trigger of worse events with an unpredictable ending.

But it is significant that now, in the midst of the protests, the Cuban collaboration is identified as a target of attack and mobilization. This step is significant and can bring on a series of events; it is the result of an accumulation of complaints, disagreements and stubbornness from opposition sectors, which at this point include half the country or perhaps even more.

It is no accident that the “march against the Cubans” occurs when the siege begins to close around Maduro’s options to solve the crisis. And also when the White House and US Congress are poised to seek stronger measures to deal with the debacle of Chavista policies.

For weeks the burning of Cuban flags has taken place during the opposition demonstrations in response to interference from the island’s personnel in Venezuela.

Havana's Capitolio buiding and surroundings.  Photo: Juan Suarez
Havana’s Capitolio buiding and surroundings. Photo: Juan Suarez

Havana Closely Watching Caracas

In Cuba, the Venezuelan situation is no small thing for the government of Raul Castro. Despite recent statements of unwavering solidarity from Chancellor Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, the Castro leadership knows the Maduro card is fading and strange maneuvers are not the answer.

More than the readings on the falling of the Cuban flag in the recent welcoming to the island’s delegation, it was symptomatic that Raul Castro’s stay in Caracas was only a few hours and reduced to the official memorial ceremonies for Chavez on March 5th.

The times of the internationalist mobilizations to Angola and Ethiopia are part of the history of the twentieth century and the Cuban government will not move any piece that can smear its diplomatic repositioning and plans to attract foreign investment to stimulate its shaky economy. Neither it is clear whether the prolongation of the crisis in Venezuela could disrupt the daily supply of 100,000 barrels of oil that rescues the survival of the island.

For all that, the demonstrations on March 16 will be an important thermometer on what lies ahead for Cuba and the Cuban collaborators in a land that had seemed like home. Venezuelans have reason to be tired of a solidarity that a long time ago became impertinence and extortion.


25 thoughts on “March in Venezuela against “Cuban Interference”

  • March 18, 2014 at 9:37 am
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    This obvious US inspired propaganda piece does not deserve too much of our time. I just checked the author’s blog and his poplitical aims are clear. Distortion of facts, innuendo “Venezuelans have reason to be tired of a solidarity that a long time ago became impertinence and extortion” and even the choice of contrasting photos all make clear the goals of this piece.

  • March 18, 2014 at 7:37 am
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    This is all nonsense as are most of the comments. After the attempted coup against Chavez, it was obvious that the top echelons of the army and security departments couldn’t be trusted (nor the USA). He did the most obvious thing and that is build a new security service and a people’s militia. Again the most obvious choice to help would be Cuba. That doesn’t mean that Cuba controls the country or the government. The UK helped set up the army in Saudi Arabia, that doesn’t make it a British Colony.

  • March 17, 2014 at 4:08 pm
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    dude, you really make no sense. go back to MINT and tell them your English isn’t up to snuff

  • March 17, 2014 at 9:21 am
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    It might be good were you to understand what communism actually is before you post.
    Cuba is neither communist nor socialist but is rather a state-run economy with extensive socialist-style social programs .
    Since the Cuban systems -economic and government are not run democratically from the bottom up, they cannot be called communist or socialist .
    Cuba is a Leninist (elite- ( cadre) led) country .
    No country in Latin America or the Caribbean follows Cuba’s model.
    They are implementing socialist-style programs , grass roots democracy organizations and other poverty-alleviating programs impossible under neo-liberal capitalism which is predicated upon cutting social programs and subsidizing big business .and none have state-controlled economies as does Cuba.
    You are dreaming if you believe that the movement leftward in Latin America is a temporary thing.
    It has been going on for well over 50 years and up until recently , the U.S. has been able to militarily or economically intervene and reverse those movements .
    Those days are over.
    Latin America will continue its move toward a more democratic society because the U.S. has become a paper tiger in the area and can no longer prevent the free and fair elections that are bringing leftist ( democratic) governments into power .
    Anytime the people of a poor country are given the choice to better themselves , they will do it and the free and fair elections now seen are producing leftists governments
    In the past, leaders for democratic movements in these countries would be “disappeared ” imprisoned, or tortured and these movements quashed with a lot of aid from the U.S government.
    Again, for the most part, those days are over .
    I do not how you can say Cuba’s economy is a failure since it was and is Cuba’s uniquely Cuban economic system that has enabled the revolution to survive 54 years of economic war from the United States .
    NO other economy could have survived the over one trillion dollars the U.S. actions have cost the Cuban society and especially no capitalist economy.where the hardships are not spread across the entire population .
    Once the U.S. war on the people of Cuba ends in the near future, Cuba will become a model for all other developing poor countries in the world.

  • March 17, 2014 at 8:58 am
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    I will repeat this as needed.
    The information as presented in this article and all of the Western media is simply not to be believed.
    To get an objective view of the happenings in Venezuela, it is necessary to get the views that oppose the U.S. and Venezuelan corporate media .
    Such views are available at Venezuelananalysis and ZNet every day.
    It is also very important to remember the U.S. Latin American foreign policy that overthrew so many democratically elected governments .
    The tactics now being used in the streets are exactly the same as those used in Chile during the U.S. overthrow of that government.
    Read today’s ( Monday 17th ) featured story at ZNet on the demonstrations in Venezuela and learn just how the news from Venezuela is being twisted by the Western corporate media .
    Most interesting is the ratio of casualties between government forces and demonstrators and how that ratio compares to other fatality ratios in other countries.

  • March 17, 2014 at 7:32 am
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    Since Hugo Chavez was elected, the US though the USAID, National Endownment for Democracy, Office for Transitions Initiative have trained students and “civic” leader (guarimberos) from Venezuela. Since then 2002, 2006 (studnets) and the most recent subversion which thanks be to god is dying since poeple are sick and tired of these pampered middle class kids. Doctors for example in Brazil are paid more than in Cuba, and less than 5% defect. Compared to 40 per cent of Puerto Rican doctors……

  • March 16, 2014 at 2:06 pm
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    Please explain to us this 100 million you speak of. Also I’m sure you are well aware that Cuba sends it’s indentured servants abroad (doctors…really more like glorified nurses) as a way to get hard dollars for the state. ..come now rodrigvm, you do know that outside of Cuba the rest of the world has access to new and information. ….go back to MINT. You have a lot to learn yet.

  • March 16, 2014 at 8:57 am
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    Have noticed not many Afro Venezolanos participating? Guess why? In Latin America money bleaches, less mestizos and mullatoes in the middle classes. That is why in New York when supporters of the revolution were in front of the Venezuelan Embassy Venezuelans screamed all sort of racist epithets to the multiracial crowd supporting los Chavistas. You need to watch something else besides Globovision.

  • March 16, 2014 at 8:54 am
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    In 1989 the government of Carlos Andres Perez in response to protests to his neo liberal measures (contrary to his political promises in the elections) sent the army to repress and the event did not last this log, 3,000 were killed. I guess this is what the right and the US wants in order to intervene, fortunately this is not Ukraine and Maduro is not Putin.

  • March 16, 2014 at 8:51 am
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    But you accept the USA investing $100 million dollars in supporting these institutions of the “sociedad civil,” the Cubans provide doctors, healing not training for guarimberos (interesting workshop that must have been…) look at the 2013 US budget…..$5 million more….

  • March 16, 2014 at 8:15 am
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    Good insight. The old Cuba socialist model was not sustainable. It is coming to an end as no one will fund it. Castro already knows that and has started reform of the errors of the revolution to get on a more sustainable path. If he succeeds the current power structure stays on even after Castro passes. If they fail, the current leadership falls. Failure has it’s consequences.

  • March 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm
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    Maduro will fall. Cuba’s plan B is for a radical leftist coup to seize power. They have it all lined up and ready to go. More chaos is the necessary next step.

  • March 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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    rodrigvm is deliberately trying to turn this discussion into a racist argument. It’s a cheap and obvious stunt. Don’t ignore it: call him out on it.

  • March 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm
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    Oh, stop trying to change this into an argument over race. This is about a radical clique selling out Venezuela to the Cuban imperialists. Raul is willing to fight to the last Venezuelan to keep that oil flowing. History will not absolve those who betrayed their patria.

  • March 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm
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    I am afraid you misunderstand. I mean that the UNIFORMS of these soldiers are “all-black” and unmarked.

  • March 15, 2014 at 7:22 pm
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    Are you connected???? We love the Cuban people but we won’t accept ANY government to take our human rights and freedoms. I am sorry, sooner than later your dreams will crush. We DO have Cubans in all our territory and Institutions, I personally got my National ID from one. What do you think about that?

  • March 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm
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    What in Sam hill are you talking about?

  • March 15, 2014 at 6:55 pm
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    Well that’s a non sequitur! …Regardless, haven’t you seen the images of the protesters coming out of Venezuela? They appear to be from all races….kinda puts a crinkle in your theory eh.

  • March 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm
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    This is propaganda of the worst kind, those black soldiers (fascists were tweeting/saying we don’t have people so black in Venezuela! well you do…locos…

  • March 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm
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    If it wasn’t so ludicrous it would be funny, the hysteria of the privileged is leading to paranoia, don’t they know there are blacks in Venezuela??? Maybe not in their lily white neighborhoods…

  • March 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm
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    I just can laugh about the irrationality of the wealthy light skin “opposition” who has said that there are Cuban troops in their tweets because they seem so black!!!! Venezuela is an Afro-caribbean nation but the wealthy live in their gated communities disconnected from the reality of their own country. This rage of the privileged is dying a slow death.

  • March 15, 2014 at 11:48 am
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    Cuba is already preparing for the end of economic support. Maduro will fall. Most likely replaced with another left leaning regime. Maduro fails not because he is a socialist, but because he is not a competent leader. Venezuela is a rich nation. It could afford a socialist hammock, just not the level of corruption and foreign policy projection it has been underwriting. The Castro’s are done in Venezuela.

  • March 15, 2014 at 9:48 am
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    After years of raving and ranting against the US “empire” Cuba is now exposed as an imperialist nation itself. A nation to tries to control other countries through controlling their leaders.
    Chavez, Maduro, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, … are good students of the Castro regime and try to run their countries in to Castro-Stalinist style with the usual abysmal economic results. On the other side of the spectrum of democratic market oriented socialist leaders in South America you have Lula and its disciple Rousseff and the Kirchners. The others are “in between”.
    Lots of countries are split right in the middle as the elections in El Salvador show.
    The Castro system is outdated and frozen in time. The “true red” disciples in Venezuela have been using Venezuela’s cash to spread and maintain communist systems. Their greed of power drove Venezuela to the edge of bankruptcy. The Cuban leaders have a lot to answer for in Venezuela, a country they ruthlessly exploited for their own survival. Their current total reliance on Venezuela may become their downfall. The resources of the country are overstretched in support of Castro-communism in Latin America. This may become the “domino theory in reverse”: if Maduro falls other more extreme leaders of the left may fall one by one as they – as Cuba – will fall back on unsubsidized real economies.
    Latin American leaders should remember this simple lesson about Cuba: Cuba never was able to create the needed wealth – in its economic theory sense of the word – to pay for the needs of the people. It is as such a proven non-working system that can only survive with foreign subsidies. Castro’s Cuba never was the “generous nation of international solidarity” the regime claimed it is. Under Castro Cuba has been the “leeching” of other nations resources (Soviet Union, Venezuela, …) and its own people whose basic freedoms in therefore needs to deny.

  • March 15, 2014 at 7:46 am
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    Even my Venezuelan friends who seem most sympathetic to Maduro and his hobbled version of Chavismo seem to resent the heavy hand Cubans are playing in assisting Maduro in controlling the opposition. What began years ago as a mutually beneficial relationship seems to have devolved into one that advantages Cuba more than it favors Venezuela. The first time a Cuban crowd-suppression operative dressed in his all-black unmarked military garb kills a Venezuelan protester and then escapes prosecution will mark a turning point from which Cuban-Venezuelan relations will not recover.

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