Trump Insults Cuba, Offers US “Help” to Fix the World

by Fernando Ravsberg

HAVANA TIMES — US President Donald Trump spoke at the United Nations last week insulting the Cuban government and Granma newspaper – the Cuban Communist Party’s official newspaper – published this speech in full so that every Cuban could read it.

This wasn’t a slip-up on part of the state’s censorship apparatus but rather the opposite; it was one of their few acts of lucidity. The tone and content of this speech are so out of time and reality that it stirred wide rejection among Cubans.

Trump wasn’t even very original: “The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based,” he said almost copying George W. Bush word for word.

He even went one step further than his predecessor, “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” he said in front of representatives from across the globe.

Trump threatened with a war that will affect every one of us. A military face-off between two countries with nuclear weapons can only end in a radioactive cloud of incalculable proportions. We all lose no matter who wins.

In Afghanistan, a “new” strategy is being launched: “our security interests will dictate the duration and reach of military operations, (…) and not timelines established by politicians.” More troops for longer with more deaths.

When Trump talks about helping Latin America, memories about US intervention in the region come to mind.

Ever since Alexander the Great, every occupying force in Afghanistan has buried itself in long and bloody wars, before being kicked out. It’s a story like the one in Vietnam, thereby meaning the US will continue to fall into the same hole.

It continues using the same guise of the world’s lifesaver with Venezuela and he declared that “As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and everyone else have one goal: to help them win back their freedom, to recover their country and to restore its democracy.”

We already know what this US “help” translates to in Latin America. They have “helped” us many times with coup d’etats and invasions in Guatemala, Brazil, Grenada, Chile, Panama and the Dominican Republic, just to name a few cases.

They also “helped” us in the Southern Cone. They orchestrated Operation Condor, which helped dictators to capture, make disappear (murder) tens of thousands of people. In Uruguay, they “helped” us by sending experts in the “scientific” use of torture.

Going beyond what is happening in Venezuela, Latin American countries need to really think about what they want to do. Accepting US leadership in the hope of “finding solutions” to the Venezuela crisis would be like putting a pedophile in charge of educating a troubled child.

John Foster Dulles, President Eisenhower’s State Secretary said that the “US doesn’t have friends, only interests.” And this principle has been proven today when talking about democracy, the US condemned Venezuela but armed Saudi Arabia to the teeth.

Granma published the entire Trump speech to the UN.

In his UN speech, Trump criticized some countries for violating Human Rights and yet he spoke very favorably about his trip to Saudi Arabia, a country which treads all over political, civil and religious rights and sentences peaceful dissidents to death.

Riad punishes homosexuality and he treats women as if they were minors under the guardianship of their father or husband. The only “step forward” that it can show in the field of Human Rights is the recent authorization of women to go to soccer games in exceptional cases.

Obviously, publishing this speech in full was the best political propaganda the Cuban press could do, thereby ensuring that there isn’t the slightest doubt about the “ideology” and personal traits of the White House’s new resident.

If a nuclear war with Korea is avoided, there is still some bad news: Trump says that Cuba is one of these “rogue regimes” that he will fight against. The good news is that there are so many of these and some are so complex that he won’t have time, even with two terms as president, to be able to “help” all of us.

13 thoughts on “Trump Insults Cuba, Offers US “Help” to Fix the World

  • Havana Times is one of many forums for sharing information and perspectives on Cuba. As a resident of the U.S.A. I welcome the chance to learn the views of Cuban residents whether I agree or not because it helps to understand another country to get a broad spectrum of opinions and beliefs.

    As a lifelong rebel against injustice and unnecessary oppression, I admit I am an enthusiastic supporter of the goals and positive achievements of the Cuban revolution. As a pragmatic realist I want Cuba to do better. In the USA, “better” is sometimes a dangerous concept. Using it quickly reveals your political ideology and values. Born in a viciously segregated South in the 1940’s I quickly became a student of efforts to make life better, from ancient times to a hopeful future. Learning how difficult it can be, I had a few personal successes and too many failures. So when I talk with Americans about Cuba , immediately it becomes clear if they identify with the majority or a minority of Cubans. This bias is very Yankee. Often racist, but always filtered through the common illusion taught in American schools and media, that societies are best measured by their wealth and their rich and famous.

    Fernando Ravsberg comments on the U.S. billionaire president threatening once again to impose military righteousness on countries that dare to act independently. Imagine what good could have been done by the trillions spent on destruction in the hundreds of U.S. wars? Imagine if Cuba and so many other countries had not had to defend against U.S. efforts to destroy their achievements and revolutions?

    Another recent article “Waking up with Hurricane Irma” by Veronica Vega laments the difficulties of those most devastated getting help from the government because supplies were limited and prioritized. Yes the various agencies should do “better,” but there are harsh realities. When I hear such complaints, I try asking what do you suggest? What if you were in charge? As a community organizer for over 50 years, I know how difficult rebuilding, much less improving societies really is, even if there is no corruption much less malicious saboteurs. I wish other societies could learn from each other. For example Trump’s later boasts about how great his administration was in helping NJ and Texas were certainly exaggerations if not outright lies, but notice how Cuba’s neighbor Puerto Rico has been treated! Vast amounts of money were wasted and stolen and when Cuba offered some of its expertise, of course the offer was ignored.

    History has so much to teach us, if we are open to learning. I recommend a wonderful book on Cuba that I only wish I had read years ago, “The History of Havana” by Dick Cluster and Rafael Hernandez. Not yet translated, but I hope it will be available in Cuba soon.

  • Let me help you understand. I will use smaller words. I was responding to a reader comment. My original comment better reflects my issue with relevancy to Cuba.

  • I am American, and I have never seen or heard a speech by Fidel in my media. I don,t wonder why.

  • I thought you said this forum was about Cuba, but here you go cutting down Trump and North Korea. I’m confused.

  • Thank. you. I stand corrected.

  • The North Korean dictatorship is nuts and he has nuclear weapons. The US MUST worry about this situation.

  • This isn’t totally correct as Jimmy Carter was allowed to broadcast live to Cuba. Obama’s speech to a Latin American convention was also published verbatim as part of Castro’s reflections.

  • Ken, Obama’s speech was broadcast live on Cuban TV. The text itself was never published complete in the Cuban media, only certain paragraphs in the attacks on it that followed.

  • Yes. Havana times might want to consider at least crediting the photos they ‘borrow’ (am assuming no license fee is paid).

  • Inevitably, the publication of this speech will make some Cubans wonder why they haven’t seen previous presidential speeches. As far as I know these speeches are not typically published, with the important exception of Obama’s speech during his visit.
    While I think that some Cubans would like to see more choice in elections, they may not want to emulate a country and an election process that can produce a president like Trump.

  • Fernando captures the essence of trump’s speech and gives it the appropriate historical perspective.
    The rogue trump (who relies upon the support of the far right) standing there at the UN raging and blustering like a demented fool about ‘rogue regimes’ in his imaginary little binary world was indeed a disgusting and somewhat pathetic spectacle.

    It is worth noting that the black and white photo was taken by Juan Perez Terrero during the USA’s 1965 invasion of his country (Dominican Republic).
    The photo won a Pulitzer Prize.
    Sadly Snr. Perez Terrero passed away in Dec 2016 aged 83. RIP.

  • I don’t usually agree with your stance,Trump is a fool,albeit very dangerous.I wouldn’t worry too much about NK. They are not the threat that the US would like us to think,scare mongering to& war mongering as usual.NK can’t even feed it’s people.

  • Although most of what Fernando writes is true, some of it is the same old time-worn anti-US propaganda. North Korea is the real threat to peace but Trump’s rhetoric is adding fuel to the fire. Just the same, Trump is such an idiot, defending him is pointless.

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