The Lies, Fears and Stupidity
of the Empire
daily, 8 January 2004
[Introduction by Jon Hillson, Los Angeles: The
following editorial appeared in the Cuban daily Granma newspaper
on January 8th, with the English translation published a day later
in Granma International.
It responds to
a recent flurry of charges made by the White House and U.S. officials
and circulated in the kept media as part of anti-Cuba public relations
efforts on the eve of President Bushs trip to an upcoming
Latin American summit in Monterrey. There, among other topics, he
will lecture the regions presidents on the "Cuban danger."
On January 10, the Los Angeles Times reflected the themes of this
propaganda, as well as a New York Times editorial condemning Cuba,
among other countries, for "sexual tourism," and an Associated
Press slander on Havanas supposed repression of the use of
campaign, which recycles old lies in new packages, expresses the
failure of every presidential administration since Eisenhower to
dislodge Cubas revolutionary regime, whose example becomes
more potent in the context of deepening, socially explosive conditions
in Latin America, and the incapacity of its governments to bring
fundamental relief to the vast majority of its peoples.
The big business
press plays a vital role in the character assassination of the Cuban
revolution and its leaders, as it has for the 45 years of its existence,
indeed in its coverage of the revolutionary war prior to its victory.
The U.S. media, with a straight face, reported on the approaching
defeat of the Rebel Army days before it triumphed.
Today, its "inside
dope" on Cuba should be treated with similar disdain. Go to
the source for the facts; accept no substitutes.]
The conduct of certain U.S. government officials
induces pity. A plague of liars who rarely say anything serious
or close to the truth can be appreciated in the highest echelons
According to reports released less than 48 hours
ago on cables emanating from diverse press agencies in Washington,
"Mr. Roger Noriega, U.S. assistant secretary of State for Western
Hemisphere Affairs, has criticized Cuba for supporting destabilizing
elements within several democratic countries in America." "He
made it clear that his and other neighboring countries would be
closely following the behavior of Cuban leader Fidel Castro in his
"He indicated that the United States has its own information:
'for example, concerning Cuban involvement in support of individuals
in various countries aimed at destabilizing democratic governments.'"
"'It is clear that Fidel Castro's actions
have caught the attention of Latin America leaders,'
Noriega affirmed, describing them as "increasingly
provocative" to the inter-American community to which the United
States has responded with express support for those countries allegedly
affected by these actions, such as Bolivia."
One of the cables went on to say that according
to Noriega, Castro is 'stirring up the waters'... 'fomenting discord
and discontent in a conscious and destructive manner' and making
democratically elected governments vulnerable."
This Mr. Noriega, a cynical and mediocre character,
was one of the principal drafters and the central promoter of the
Helms-Burton Act against Cuba. He is a close friend of the Cuban-American
terrorist mafia in Miami. He assumed the post of assistant secretary
when the Senate opposed the appointment of bandit Otto Reich, whose
history of terrorism in the dirty war in Nicaragua is well known.
Noriega's statement, formulated almost immediately
after an announcement by a State Department spokesperson that migratory
talks were to be suspended, alleging as an excuse Cuba's non-acceptance
of absurd and unacceptable demands, demonstrates that this is a
pre-arranged and provocative action, the veiled purposes of which
are related to the November elections, in which the supporters of
the current administration are seeking to guarantee its success
even at the expense of provoking any kind of conflict.
It can be demonstrated that Noriega's statements
are, as usual, shameless lies.
From where has he got the idea that Cuba has
adopted a provocative position aimed at destabilizing Latin America?
With the exception of the contemptible whiner who governs Uruguay,
a an abject lackey of the United States, and the "breath of
fresh air," as Mr. Bush so poetically describes the man who
governs El Salvador - where Posada Carriles - fulfilling orders
from Miami - organized acts of terrorism against hotels in Cuba
and hatched the plot to assassinate the Cuban president, the government
of our country maintains normal and respectful diplomatic relations
with the rest of the states in our region. None of them have made
complaints or uttered a single word concerning destabilizing plans
on the part of Cuba in relation to their governments.
Our relations with diverse Latin American and
Caribbean political currents are absolutely legal, normal and public.
Countless events, sponsored by centers and institutions of a political,
social, educational, cultural, scientific, or economic nature amongst
others, take place every year on this island in the presence of
both the national and international press.
What does destabilizing mean? Sending thousands
of doctors to cooperate with governments in the care of the poorest
and most needy people? Have we destabilized Guatemala, Honduras,
Haiti, Belize, Paraguay and various other countries in the Caribbean
and Central or South America? Does it mean sending 15,000 Cuban
doctors to 64 countries throughout the world where millions of people
are being cared for and tens of thousands of lives saved? Since
when did the promotion of literacy campaigns using new, modern and
increasingly efficient methods signify destabilizing democratic
regimes in any part of the world? How can granting scholarships
to more than 12,000 young people from the Third World to study in
our universities be described as a subversive action? Is it not
rather stupid to describe the actions of thousands of sports instructors
who are promoting the most wholesome activities, contributing to
reducing crime and drug taking, and bringing health to millions
of young people as "subversive"? Since when did promoting
education and culture destabilize governments? When Hurricane Mitch
hit Central America, didn't we offer 3,000 doctors to save as many
lives each year as the numbers lost as a result of the hurricane
and, at the same time, all the scholarships necessary to train young
people so that they can undertake the duties of those doctors in
the future? Could anyone in their right mind swear that that constituted
an effort to destabilize Central American democracy, when we did
not even have diplomatic relations with certain countries at that
Why ignore the fact that Cuba gave emergency
aid, without exception, every time a disaster occurred, both in
Latin America and in the rest of the world? Why not recall the huge
Peruvian earthquake of 1970 that cost more than 50,000 lives, when
the Cuban people sent 100,000 donations of blood, built hospitals
and provided doctors? Why not also recall when the Uruguayan people
were victim to a severe epidemic of meningococcus meningitis, Cuba
- the only country with the adequate vaccine available - sent millions
of doses to protect the lives of Uruguayan children, even when their
government - fully aware of their existence - did not want to acquire
it precisely because it was Cuban?
And these are not the only cases. When El Salvador
- a refuge for terrorists and center of operations from which gross
crimes are committed against our country - was struck down with
a severe epidemic of dengue fever, the Cuban authorities did not
hesitate to send human resources and materials that proved to be
a decisive factor in eradicating the epidemic, even though that
government was a bitter enemy of Cuba. A similar spirit of cooperation
was demonstrated there when a devastating earthquake hit that sister
nation shortly afterward.
And why is this unspeakably vile slander appearing
now? It has both an explanation and precedents. In his cynical January
6 statement, Mr. Noriega made particular reference to Venezuela,
pointing to that country as being associated with Cuba in terms
of the destabilizing project on account of our support in public
health, education, culture, sports and social work programs and
other activities being undertaken by the Bolivarian process to benefit
the Venezuelan population in areas where the country has a certain
degree of experience that it has placed at the service of Third
World countries. We have granted thousands of scholarships to young
Venezuelans to study medicine, sports, social work, technical training
and as many forms of technical cooperation that are requested from
For the Cuban people, President Chávez
embodies the Bolivarian ideas and spirit of the independence, unity
and patriotism of the peoples of Latin America, whose ethnic origin,
culture, religion and language have much more in common than any
other group of countries in the world.
They have the right and the duty to unite not
only for economic reasons but also for their own survival. Cuba
supports that right with all its might.
Mr. Noriega's insolent and threatening lecture
on January 6 has its precedent in a statement made two weeks previously
(December 19) by Mr. Otto Reich, extraordinary ambassador for Latin
America. It was reported in a cable that stated: "Otto Reich
acknowledged today that the continent 'is not in a good situation'
and highlighted Venezuela as the nation confronting the 'gravest'
crisis," going on to confirm that: 'unless the two sides calm
down, there could be a problem.' He added that the United States
'is exceedingly concerned at the constant reports of the presence
of Cuban agents in Venezuela.'"
The cable continues: "He affirmed that 'according
to many people in Venezuela,' they have received information that
there are hundreds, if not thousands of persons of Cuban military
age and appearance in Venezuela.
"'Chávez has the force of arms and
is also the constitutional president,' but 'all the surveys that
we have seen indicate that two-thirds of the population are opposed
to Chávez and also have the force of the Constitution and
"He added that, according to his sources,
'there are more than three million, possible up to four million,
valid signatures' to effect the referendum against Hugo Chávez.
"'The entire inter-American community has
the responsibility of accompanying the Venezuelan people in this
challenge in favor of democracy and against possible tricks on the
part of anyone trying to avert Venezuelan laws being fulfilled,'
"Reich stated that the United States 'is
closely following what is happening in Venezuela along with all
its friends in the hemisphere.'" The persons of military age
and appearance were the Cuban doctors, 52.4% of them women.
It is totally obvious that the most extremist
group within the U.S. government has realized that the regime of
exploitation and merciless plunder imposed on the peoples of Latin
America has become unsustainable and intolerable.
If the United States has its own information
on Cuba's involvement in supporting individuals in various countries
proposing to destabilize democratic governments, why doesn't it
say so concretely? Why does it not point to where, when and how
those actions have taken place, the countries concerned, and what
Cuba did in Bolivia that led to the social explosion that occurred
there? Who is stirring the waters? Who is responsible for one by
one the peoples of this region turning into rivers as a consequence
of the immense and insuperable external debt, incessant plunder,
poverty, unemployment, hunger, the public health and educational
disaster and International Monetary Fund impositions? Why doesn't
that fool Noriega even mention the FTAA; in other words the annexation
that they are trying to impose on the Latin American and Caribbean
peoples? Who imposed neoliberal globalization? Who obliged the enforced
privatization of the resources and assets of the defenseless peoples
of this continent? Who sells arms instead of study materials? Who
sent young Latin Americans to die like cannon fodder in the Iraqi
deserts? What need does Cuba have to stir up the waters, if those
rivers are already swollen and are threatening to sweep away all
the corruption and injustice committed throughout the centuries?
New and gross lies: "... 'some sources'
report 'a picture of disturbances with Cuban participation'... 'it
is very clear that (Castro) is more and more active in the region.'"
Of course, Mr. Noriega, things are changing.
Fewer and fewer people believe in your habitual tall stories, more
and more the peoples are losing their capacity for tolerance. They
are inviting the Cuban president to the investiture of new governments
and other activities. He was able to attend those of Brazil, Ecuador,
Argentina and Paraguay. With regret he was unable to be present
for other changes of government and important events because in
Cuba we are obliged to work very hard, and moreover journeys abroad
are costly and complex, due to the plots that you, your government
and your terrorist mafia draw up to assassinate him. We understand
that you must all feel frustrated at so many fruitless attempts.
It is very clear that (Castro) is more and more active in the region,
you affirm, and that this has provoked great concern among Latin
Why do you not say who these leaders are, why
are you taking it upon yourself to speak for them, why do you try
to present them as jealous and cowardly? With almost everyone whom
our president meets, apart from the exceptions already mentioned
- with whom it is a case of indifference - there have never been
hostile looks or shocked faces.
The treatment is respectful in spite of, in fewer
and fewer cases, the existence of profound ideological differences.
As is well known, the peoples of the countries that he visits enthusiastically
display their affection and admiration for the president of the
Council of State of Cuba. It is not in vain that the Cuban people
and their leaders have stood up to very difficult tests and have
never yielded to arbitrariness, aggression and threats from the
greatest power ever to have existed.
The anger and hatred emanating from Mr. Noriega's
deliberately lying words is comprehensible, because he knows that,
alive or dead, his memory will follow him like a phantom, after
his gross lies born of a shocking mediocrity, and the habitual threats
of killers that you, Mr. Noriega, spewed out against him: "It
should be made very clear to Fidel Castro that his actions have
caught the attention of Latin America leaders and that his actions
to destabilize Latin America are increasingly provoking the inter-American
community, including the United States. Those who persist in destabilizing
democratically elected governments by intervening in the internal
affairs of other governments are playing with fire." What does
playing with fire mean?
You do not have the mettle to intimidate any
Cuban patriot. You speak thus without committing a drop of your
own blood, but that of the young soldiers and officers of the U.S.
You have assured us that both your country and
neighboring nations are closely following the behavior of the Cuban
leader in his recent adventures in his final days, and that he feels
somewhat nostalgic for the time when he had an important role in
the Americas. You are lying. If you believed that, you would not
be so alarmed at his alleged destabilizing plan.
It is also appropriate to ask: Has Mr. Bush already
given the order to extra-judicially eliminate the Cuban president?
In assembling such pronouncements, Mr. Noriega
not only attacked and threatened Cuba, but also attempted to scold
the Argentine president, Néstor Kirchner, a man who without
any doubt exudes dignity, and attempted to order him to immediately
take on the payment of $21 billion of his external debt; furious
with Foreign Minister Biers, he states his dismay at Bielsa failing
to meet with U.S. paid agents when he traveled to Havana. How far
imperial arrogance reaches!
Neither did he refrain from intervening in Venezuela's
internal affairs. He accused President Chávez of being Cuba's
accomplice in attempts to destabilize Latin America. He exhorted
him to respect the rules in effect for a possible recall referendum
of his mandate. He not only took on the role of the National Electoral
Council, but also certified the quantity of signatures collected
against the president, giving strong backing to the authors of the
military coup on April 11, 2002 and the following oil coup of December
We are perfectly well aware of the ideas of Mr.
Noriega and others of his sort consistent with murdering Cuban doctors
in Venezuela with the complicity of Colombian paramilitaries in
order to teach them a lesson and force them to withdraw their cooperation
in the marvelous health plans being instigated by the Bolivarian
government within the Barrio Adentro program, through which more
than 12.5 million poor Venezuelans are receiving medical attention.
We have affirmed that for every doctor, teaching
or sports collaborator who falls, many more are prepared to take
their place. Full responsibility will fall on the United States.
Those who believe that the Cuban people can be
intimidated any time are defeated before they start!