Cuba with a Little “Help” from the USA

Fernando Ravsberg

5-eeuu-cuba-cartoon
The relationship between Cubans and the US have well-defined objectives on both sides.

HAVANA TIMES — “Napoleon was to them, an Italian man, who organized the fight without the US; and people are more than sure, that he wouldn’t have lost Waterloo with the US’ help” (1), says an upbeat song from Rio de la Plata, which I used to listen to when I was young.

And it really seems like history isn’t the US politicians’ strong point. Every time they meddle with a country, they leave an apocalypse behind, however, like the good sorcerer apprentices they are, they continue to try and have influence across the entire world.

Their most recent interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria should be enough proof of this. In these countries, violence, its ungovernable nature and mass emigration have become a lot worse after having received “the US’ help.”

This isn’t anything new. In 1954, they were involved in the Coup d’Etat against the government in Iran at the time to impose a dictator, the Shah, and they made an activist leader out of an imam who had never participated in politics before and who 30 years later would lead the first Islamic revolution.

Obama recognized the fact that the US doesn’t have the capacity to impose change on Cuba. The US’ new policy seems to promote change from the inside. Photo: Raquel Perez Diaz
Obama recognized the fact that the US doesn’t have the capacity to impose change on Cuba. The US’ new policy seems to promote change from the inside. Photo: Raquel Perez Diaz

They’ve been trying to create an opposition in Cuba for over half a century, which would operate with the US help. Even though it seems deranged, they wanted to win over Cubans with the embargo which would sink them into “hunger”, “misery” and “despair”.

They have made many attempts to influence the course of this island by many different means, from organizing a military invasion, trying to assassinate its leaders, giving supplies to armed groups, financing dissidents, creating a TV channel, a radio station and even internet networks just for Cubans.

With these kinds of policies, the US has fed the siege mentality at home and internationally the “David vs. Goliath” rivalry. Standing up to the US was a key element in making the Revolution a flag bearer of national sovereignty.

When in Havana last March, Obama recognized the fact that this strategy had failed and promised to leave the fate of our country in Cuban hands. That day, I saw so people crying with happiness in front of their TV screens, many of them believed that this was the end of a long feud.

However, Washington’s “new” strategy continues the old script of “promoting regime change”. It appears to be the same show but with a different set of faces, where dissidents receive secondary roles while self-employed workers and Cuban youth take the leads.

They are offering scholarships to young Cubans to go and study in the US. They are doing this outside the official channels of student exchange programs, which stirs up a lot of people’s suspicions, which is to be expected given Washington’s long history in Cuba.

This mistrust increased when the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor announced that it would hand over 6 million USD this year to programs that “promote democratic change” in Cuba and these include “academic exchanges or study grants”.

Obama recognized the fact that the US doesn’t have the capacity to impose change on Cuba. The US’ new policy seems to promote change from the inside. Photo: Raquel Perez Diaz
It’s hard to believe that Cuban students can be influenced so much that it just takes a few weeks studying with “the US” to be converted into anti-Castro leaders. Photo: Raquel Perez Diaz

It’s hard to believe that these young people will be converted against the Cuban government after just being in the US for a couple of weeks. The growing number of young people already emigrating is much more harmful to the country, which is bleeding to death right now and nobody in the government media says anything about it.

The people over at the La Joven Cuba website believe that in order to attract new generations, the government should end “revolutionary alienating programs, revolutionary stagnation, revolutionary “guidance”, as well as wiping out truly revolutionary initiatives and getting rid of its leaders.(2)

With these study grants in the US, Cuba is going back to the time of “political unrest.” Youth protests are being held across the entire country, the press is filled with articles and videos, the country is preparing itself for an ideological war and extremists are licking their lips.

Washington is returning to the battleground where Havana already has vast experience and where it acts as a judoka, using the force of the opposition to make it crumble. Since 1959, US operations have only served to consolidate the Revolution.

They don’t seem to understand that the bilateral conflict goes way before the time of Fidel Castro, it has the bitter taste of the mambises who didn’t let them set foot in Santiago, of the constitutional ammendment that allowed the US to invade Cuba on more than one occasion and an economic blockade that has lasted for half a century.

Here, any political attempt that has “US’ help” is condemned to failure, which is something that they should have learned after 50 years of promoting “leaders”, both violent and pacific to seek “regime change”.

“The US” is confident that self-emloyed workers will be the “gravediggers” of Cuban socialism. It seems like they haven’t seen what has happened in China or Vietnam. Photo: Raquel Perez Diaz
“The US” is confident that self-emloyed workers will be the “gravediggers” of Cuban socialism. It seems like they haven’t seen what has happened in China or Vietnam. Photo: Raquel Perez Diaz

What’s more, today the US’ blunder is better positioning extremist political factions and their strategy to return and live with a siege mentality, silencing any space for public debate to raise the old flag of unanimity and single thought.

“The United States has neither the capacity, nor the intention to impose change on Cuba. What changes come will depend upon the Cuban people. We will not impose our political or economic system on you.  We recognize that every country, every people, must chart its own course and shape its own model.”

In these four phrases, spoken by Obama in Havana, the best strategy that Washington could come up with comes into play to promote change in Cuba because, even today, many Cubans would prefer to lose the Battle of Waterloo before they win it thanks to “US’ help.”


20 thoughts on “Cuba with a Little “Help” from the USA

  • November 12, 2016 at 3:37 pm
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    You are so wrong on so many points. WWII…Pearl Harbor. Holocaust and Palestine…false equivalency. Mentioning Hitler….just stupid.

  • November 12, 2016 at 10:47 am
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    It seems that your ideology is the same as US gov’t and it is Anti-NON-US rhetoric. And US is the number 1 and everyone must follow. I suggest you to see from other’s perspective. What if you weren’t American living in the US and a Chilean living in Ecuador reading Havana Times? Or something different than your usual perspective. Have you read the article in HT that many people cried in front of TV when Obama announced the US gov’t would not interfere anymore? Why do you think those Cuban people cried? Because many tensions around the world is coming from US or US allies. For Americans, government would tell you they are doing for human rights or any other self-righteous reasons, but on the other hand, they fight and destroy and put American/European corporations in. Repeat. Controlling media is done easily, and many Americans and people in Western countries are pretty much brainwashed to believe what government says. Even though your ideology come from truly improving Cuban people’s lives, if you were not to question what your government says, then how would you know they are not lying to you after so many corruptions and problems have arose? Have you ever thought why and what Hitler was fighting for? Winner always write histories. And our well known histories are quite biased. I am not justifying holocaust, but the same things are happening Palestine by US aided Israel. Have you ever questioned that before why US gov’t spending so much money into Israel? And why isn’t John Kerry going to Israel and preaching about Human Rights like Obama and Kerry did in Cuba??? Or talking to anti-Castro group to form what they can?? That’s not a peaceful thing. If you want to look into deeper and be very informed citizen of USA, you can also look into exactly why US got in WW2, And even deeper, you can also do research about Balfour Declaration was issued, and who was involved, and why they wanted it. And on top of it you can also do research about infamous world bankers, and IMF. Yes, this is Havana TImes and it’s about Cuba. But why Cuban condition is where it is, is also connected with many issues. I believe in law of attraction: Cause and Effect, if US wants peace and harmony around the world, war and violence are not the answer. Enjoy your meaningful HT commentator job, meaningfulness is much more satisfying and enriching than making paper money. Have a good day, it’s beautiful outside.

  • November 11, 2016 at 8:38 am
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    You are at the wrong blog my friend. Your anti-US rhetoric, however well-intentioned, is misplaced at HavanaTimes. As far as HT as a stable job, the hours are fine, but the salary sucks. (No offense Circles, hehehe)

  • November 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm
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    I did not acknowledge anything as you seemed. But I see in your response that you have ignored anything inconvenient to your ideology of your country. US has built US army bases in Japan, even though Okinawa is one of locations US is trying to build new location of their base to replace old one by destroying the habitats of well over 5000 kinds of marine creatures including coral reef. If you think they spent their tax $ for the sake of Japanese or Germans, think again. The fact of American fighting in wars and spending $ to (your word “rebuild”) make their American corporations in the country to make money off afterward, Just like Vietnam because factory country for American corporation after Vietnam war. As you can see, many of Middle East countries where US has been provoking radicals to take out the regimes past decades (just like what US has been trying to Cuba) ended up in the worst conditions than before wars. At the same time, citizens of the country complain that there are more deaths and unstable conditions of living than while Gadaffi was in control while they are eating Kentucky Fried Chicken as part of so-called liberty as American would say. African also lost out the opportunity of Gadaffi trying to build water system throughout Africa to enrich Africa out of poverty. But of course, there are too many Western riches didn’t want Africa to be better than current status when they try to control those country under poverty and trade for their benefit. Different form of enslavement. Not only in African but in Asia, South Asia, Latin America, they are treated the same by West. At the end of the day, it is all about 1%ers are just enriching themselves instead with all the power that they have, while average Americans believe their country is fighting for justice and world without super dictators and communism around the globe. Just because they are brainwashed enough to believe that they are living in a liberty even though there were increasing oligarchy issue, corruption of authorities and politicians, and decreasing numbers of middle class, and increasing number of low income household. I hope your ideology of Hillary Clinton being clean non-war criminal has served well. Because deleted emails from her private email server indicates otherwise. And many congress broadcasting and newspapers from the past show whatever she said during her election campaign was completely opposite of what she had said. And as much as I dislike Trump for your country, and prefer Jill Stein to see a possibility of a real change from the corrupted political system and diminished democracy that average Americans still believe they have freedom, Trump’s victory shows how fed up Americans are, at least half of voting Americans are. So, you might take this Havanatimes commentary as your stable job, and preach everyone of your ideology and not accepting or respecting other’s opinions of belief including Cuban government, but if America is such a successful country, why US government is not helping bankrupted cities like Detroit and others? There are some cities lacking basic necessity like running water in USA. And how about the country of US stop going around other part of the world preaching Human Rights while US itself has too many issues like average of police killing civilian reached highest record in 2015 amounts to close to 1300 people, which is at least a few people a day whether they were innocent or not. Check the record of other countries how many people are killed by police and you will see how dangerous your country is. But I can tell you, considering that, Cuba is safe country as you many know already. Have a good day, Mr. Patterson. Sometimes it’s good to sit back and breathe some fresh air and chill out than hard pressing your ideology. Let Cuba be Cuba. 🙂

  • November 10, 2016 at 3:59 am
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    I use my real name, Informed Consent. Use yours and point out my “nonsense” or I will have to consider your input to be bullying or, uh, nonsensical.

  • November 7, 2016 at 9:45 am
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    Hillary wanting to invade Syria is meaningless. President Obama did not take her advice. Air strikes which violate the territorial integrity of Syria do not qualify as an invasion when taken in the context of the reality of the situation on the ground in Syria. Syria has no territorial integrity. No border control. I have never heard anything about a Hirohito surrender letter to Stalin. Source please. You seem to acknowledge that the US did support Japan after the war. On this we can agree.

  • November 7, 2016 at 9:36 am
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    The US greatly helped to REBUILD Germany and Japan. The word rebuild should answer your ridiculous question.

  • November 7, 2016 at 9:28 am
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    To deny the pivotal role that US forces played in ending the second World War on the western front is ignorant. You write, “Granted, they did plough a lot of money into the country for political reasons.” WTF does the reason behind the fact that US taxpayers money rebuilt Germany have to do with anything? It is still a fact. As bad as you choose to paint the situation in Mexico, you can be sure that it’s worse in the more progressive Latin American countries, especially Venezuela. Finally, you have helped to make my original point. It is NOT true, that everywhere that the US has intervened has failed.

  • November 7, 2016 at 7:27 am
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    You’ve been watching too many American films. Germany was defeated by a coalition of many nations, not just the US and their post-war development wasn’t just up to them. The US were partly to blame for the splitting up of Germany and Europe in the cold war and the build up of Nato forces in that country. Granted, they did plough a lot of money into the country for political reasons. Mexico and Colombia are corrupt, violent, drugs based states who’s government doesn’t even have control of the whole area of the country. And human rights … These are hardly the success story you try and make out. Japan is the exception and here I would agree that for once the US pursued intelligent and progressive policies that did work.

  • November 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm
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    Keep dreaming. A little research can prove that how much Hillary wanted to remove Assad from Syria and it’s been recorded in numerous ways. On top of that, Hillary has said opposite of things in past years comparing to what she has said during her campaign. Whether what to believe is up to you. But there are proves. It’s not far dig of a research. Also, Syrian government has not invited US, UK or France to fight ISIS in Syrian soil or from air. There are also numerous recording how Hillary wanted to create ISIS to control Middle East countries under US power to have their ways, or their affiliate corporations or their affiliated world riches individuals and countries to have their way altogether. If any countries comes to US or anywhere start bombing them without any agreement from US gov’t, wouldn’t that be invading US or at least called for Terroris m? That’s what’s been happening in Syria from US, UK, and France and their affiliated western countries that support ISIS and train them. As far as Syrian gov’t states, they only invited Russia to work with them to remove ISIS. As for Japan, Emperor Hirohito sent a letter of surrender to Stalin during WW2, that was 10 days before Hiroshima Bombing Day, 13 days before Nagasaki Bombing day. Stalin wasn’t interested in Japanese Surrender. At the same time, US didn’t like the idea that Soviet Union was the choice of Japan to surrender while they were trying to make a Japan part of their colony or whatever they were thinking of. That was the main reason why US drop the nuclear war. It wasn’t about to end the war. It was all about to show off that the US had a massive weapon to let Soviet know that they are going to hold the power of the world. If US spent millions of tax payers money to rebuild Japan, then it’s their responsibility after bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons. Just because winners of wars writes histories doesn’t mean you get the absolute truth from the winners. Have a good day, Moses.

  • November 5, 2016 at 3:41 pm
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    You really did not read or understand his comments did you? After WWII the US invested untold wealth into rebuilding these countries wich allowed them to reach towards their full potential.

  • November 5, 2016 at 3:37 pm
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    Are you still spewing your nonsense? You di know it’s almost 2017 right? …..how’s that burger barge of yours coming along?

  • November 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm
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    Let us all get behind the Cuban people because they deserve so much better!

  • November 5, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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    You may wish to recast your comments after doing a little reading on the millions of US taxpayers dollars spent in post-WWII Germany and Japan. The US has not invaded Syria and Hillary Clinton did not create ISIS.

  • November 5, 2016 at 12:17 pm
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    I was born in Cuba, my parent still hate Cuba for stealing their family business, of course I understand that. The country they love no longer exists. I feel the same way about the country I now claim as my own. After 911 and the Patriot Act, I started to feel different about the USA. I have hope Trump can turn things around but know the system is rigged to keep the shadow gov in power.

  • November 5, 2016 at 12:15 pm
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    Batista died in 1973. Pro-Batistiano Cuban-American? Sir, you are not long for this world, senescent..,

  • November 5, 2016 at 10:52 am
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    …..So Germany and Japan were nothing until the Americans arrived??? What nonsense.

  • November 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm
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    Japan and Germany’s success is nothing to do with US help. It’s in the blood of those people to improve their situation, just like Japanese were stoic during 2011 Tsunami, the whole country work together which I doubt any of North Americans can easily. You are right, US has not intervenes Syria, US has invaded Syria without Syrian leader’s permission and screaming that “Assad must go”, or interfering ISIS to be bombed by Russian army. I am not sure who is really misinformed here just because you have been the one of longest commentators. Dig a little, newspapers, TV news they all used to broadcast straightforward with Hillary suggesting creating current ISIS or invasions or other leaders of countries to be murdered several years ago. But now, none of main media mention about it or better the pretend that they have severe memory loss. How intriguing this phenomena is.

  • November 4, 2016 at 12:42 pm
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    Starve them out has always been and always will be a cruel failing policy. Just like the “no-fly” zones enforced by US aircraft.

  • November 4, 2016 at 10:12 am
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    Fernando is a smart guy but on certain subjects, through no fault of his own, he is badly misinformed. The US batting average in nation-building is better than Fernando suggests. Post WWII Germany and Japan turned out not so bad. Our closest allies in Latin America, Mexico and Colombia are doing pretty well. Pre-US Afghanistan and Iraq, appeared politically stable on the surface but were long-suffering regimes crushed by brutal dictatorships behind the scenes. The US has not “intervened” in Syria. That’s the problem. US regime change strategy in Cuba has always been and continues to be based on the proposition that individual freedoms and real democracy are the best medicine for what ails Cuba. I am not sure from what I have read from Fernando, that he agrees with this. On this final point, however, I can heartily agree with Fernando: young Cubans are leaving Cuba in record numbers.

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