The relationship between Cuba and the United States must be analyzed on the following clear basis: in todayâ€™s world, relations between the various nations are not governed by right but by might. Terrorist violence has been the main engine of the relationship between the two countries.
In the history of international affairs, Cuba has been the country which has suffered from the longest terror campaign, orchestrated by the greatest world power. There is no other possible comparison, and this axiom would be known by all if there were even the slightest attachment to the facts.
Since 1959 the Cuban population has lived under a permanent state of siege which has conditioned its way of life. The range of methods used is impressive: direct military invasion, biological attacks, terrorist warfare, sabotage of infrastructures, assassination campaigns, economic strangulation, propagandist war and constant political and diplomatic aggression.
Far from belonging to the Cold War framework, the doctrine, which consists of imposing on the Cuban Revolution conditions intended to lead it to its complete annihilation, is still in force. In May 2004, the Bush administration increased the economic sanctions, which seriously affect the health of the most vulnerable: women, children and elderly people. In the name of an anti-revolutionary and obscurantist hostility Washington is determined to starve a whole population, by drawing upon a fallacious concept of “democracy”.
It would be proper to wonder whether financing paramilitary attacks against the Cubans, as the U.S. government has been doing for more than forty-five years, has the aim of setting up the rule of law. Would it be possible “to restore democracy” by practising terrorism? Does conducting a propaganda campaign consisting of the darkest deceptions about Cubaâ€™s problems and displaying an obvious scorn towards the truth and international opinion, have so noble a goal?
The war against terrorism, as carried out by Washington, has a variable geometry. Indeed, it is carried out only against the groups that do not serve U.S. hegemonic interests. The case of five Cuban political prisoners shows this without any possible ambiguity. Risking their existence, Gerardo HernÃ¡ndez Nordelo, RamÃ³n LabaÃ±ino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero RodrÃguez, Fernando GonzÃ¡lez Llort and RenÃ© GonzÃ¡lez Sehweret infiltrated the extremist clans of the Cuban exiles in Florida, people responsible for several hundreds of attacks against the Cuban population. Supported by irrefutable evidence, the Cuban government then informed the FBI of the criminal activities of the Miami fanatics. In response, the Five were condemned to four life sentences, plus 77 years of loss of liberty.
Several internationally renowned authors, Ricardo AlarcÃ³n, William Blum, Noam Chomsky, Piero Gleijeses, Nadine Gordimer, Saul Landau, Gianni MinÃ , Michael Parenti, James Petras, Michael Steven Smith, Ignacio Ramonet, Jitendra Sharma, Wayne S. Smith, Leonard Weinglass and Howard Zinn, whose dedication to all progressive and just causes across the entire world is known to all, agreed to take part in this collective work as soon as they became aware of it. The sixteen texts try to throw light on the complex Cuban question and the roots and objectives of American foreign policy since the end of the 18th century. Terrorism is a plague especially when practised by the major world power, which also allows itself to condemn to life sentences heroic self-effacing people who risked their lives to forestall atrocities like those committed on September 11, 2001 against innocent civilians.
The aim of this work is to show the truth to the American people and the international community and to reveal the cruelties committed by Washington against Cuba. In the past, Americans have always shown that they are able to support generous causes providing they escape the powerful disinformation and indoctrination machine created by the Information multinationals. The ambition of this modest project is to offer to the public the historical tools necessary to formulate a judgment on one of the most anachronistic and cruel aspects of U.S. foreign policy.
Asserting the right of the Cuban people to control their destiny and live in liberty and peace, is more than a praiseworthy action, it is a pressing and urgent obligation. Fighting for the release of the Five is more than a noble act, it is a necessary and basic duty.
Salim Lamrani is the editor of the book Superpower Principles, available from Common Courage Press