Number 3
                 February 2, 2019

Important Developments in Latin America
and the Caribbean

Hands Off Venezuela!
U.S. Seizure of Venezuela's Bank Accounts Denounced 
Socialist Dystopia
- Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Moros -

USA vs. Venezuela at the Security Council
- Arantxa Tirado and Silvina Romano -
No Sanctions! No Coup! No War!
- Eduardo Correa Senior and James Patrick Jordan -

Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution
Presentation by H.E. Josefina Vidal, Ambassador to Canada
of the Republic of Cuba

Homage to José Martí on the 166th Anniversary of His Birth
Our America -- José Martí

In This Issue

Venezuela Rejects Unilateral U.S. Measures

This supplement publishes material relevant to the ongoing battle to fulfill and protect the striving of the peoples of Our America to foster friendly and cooperative relations among countries -- regardless of the differences in political, economic and social systems or levels of development -- and to practice tolerance and coexist in peace as good neighbours. Above all else the governments of the United States and Canada, among others, must be called on to recognize the inalienable right of every state to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system as an essential condition to ensure peaceful coexistence.

In light of the meeting convoked by Canada in Ottawa on February 4 of the Lima Group, which is striving to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro Moros in Venezuela, for the information of readers, TML Weekly is providing a number of pertinent articles, including one titled, "Hands Off Venezuela! No Sanctions! No Coup! No War!" by Eduardo Correa Senior, Professor of Human Rights at the Autonomous University of Mexico City and James Patrick Jordan, National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice. The article discusses the militarization of Latin America and the Caribbean by the United States and its appeasers and the scenarios being prepared for military intervention.

Another item is the speech delivered by H.E. Josefina Vidal, Ambassador to Canada of the Republic of Cuba, on the occasion of a reception given at the Embassy of Cuba in Ottawa, on January 30, 2019. The reception was held as part of celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. 

January 28 this year also marked the 166th anniversary of the birth of the apostle of the Cuban Revolution, José Martí. On this occasion and because of its relevance to the struggle going on today, TML Weekly is publishing Martí's famous discourse titled "Our America."

Haut de


Hands Off Venezuela!

U.S. Seizure of Venezuela's
Bank Accounts Denounced

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on January 29 rejected unilateral measures by the United States to take control of the bank accounts that are in the name of the Central Bank of Venezuela and the Venezuelan Government, as part of the coup d'état that it is executing against that nation.

The Venezuelan government described this action in a statement as the "blatant theft of a sovereign nations’ resources destined for the welfare of its people, revealing another edge of the coup plan activated directly from the White House, in order to overthrow the President, Nicolás Maduro, and to seize the financial and natural resources of the People of Venezuela."

"Abusive actions such as these should alert the international community to the legal uncertainty of the U.S. financial system, in which the rules of the game are violated by the government itself, without due process mechanisms or minimum guarantees for capital and international investments," the statement said. It continued:

"This act of piracy by the Trump Administration joins the growing list of mistakes made by its bizarre government in relation to its international obligations in commercial, environmental, nuclear and now financial matters, a behaviour that seriously undermines its commitment to reorder international geopolitics on a whim and by force.

"The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, will evaluate and take the corresponding legal measures to face this new aggression and this unconcealed imperial obsession to take control over the oil, mineral and financial resources of Venezuela. The Venezuelan people will remain firm in defence of its Constitution, which is the main guarantee of its democracy, its sovereignty and its freedom," the statement concluded.

"Full Oil Sovereignty"

The previous day, the U.S. State Department applied new unilateral sanctions to Venezuela, targeting Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of the state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

The People's Power Minister of Oil Manuel Quevedo called this "shameless robbery" of the resources of the people of Venezuela. Following a meeting with Vice-Ministers and the executive committee of PDVSA, Quevedo stressed that they will act to protect the resources of the nation, as well as the partners and suppliers of the company in the United States so that these sanctions have the least possible impact on the oil market.

"Citgo is a company with Venezuelan capital that we have defended. We cannot allow the Venezuelan oil to be stolen, we cannot allow the opposition to use the resources for conspiratorial purposes," Quevedo said.

"We are evaluating all the options, among them the declaration of force majeure with the North American market. We have the full will to maintain the operation with the companies that have our supply contracts, but at the same time we want to protect our input suppliers, materials, which have contracts with PDVSA and that may be affected," he said.

He pointed out that under these conditions, PDVSA cannot fulfill some commitments with that market and that is why it seeks to impact the oil market as little as possible.

Quevedo indicated that Citgo is operational and as long as it is, PDVSA will not allow its resources to be stolen for conspiratorial purposes against the Republic. "We have already taken the first steps," Quevedo said. Henceforth, "a ship that leaves a Venezuelan port loaded with our resources must be paid before leaving the port."

Haut de

Socialist Dystopia

The many Bolivarian Missions, pioneered during the tenure of the late Hugo Chávez, which affirm in practical ways the Venezuelan people's human rights.

The following article appeared in Spanish as an opinion piece in the Mexican daily newspaper La Jornada on January 19, 2019. An English translation was posted on the website of the Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.


They fight with a socialism that does not exist. They fight against an anti-utopia that does not belong to anyone. They imagine a world without family, without order, without a market, without freedom. The right-wing liberals of the world invented a ghost, they hung the sign of "socialism" on it and now they are seeing it everywhere, especially and all the time, in Venezuela. But enough of this.

Because that socialism against which they fight is not the one which we, the inclusive democracies create, full of people who live in the 21st century. Our socialism is distinctive, popular and deeply Latin American. As we said clearly during the Assembly of the United Nations last September: ours is an autonomous project of democratic revolution, of social claims, it is a model and a path of its own that is based on our own history and our culture.

And of course, our democracy is different because it was founded neither by nor for the elites, as were the liberal democracies of Europe and the United States. We rebel against that model and that is why we proposed, 20 years ago, a democracy we can call our own, based on the sovereign heart of the Venezuelan people.

The truth is that, at the end of the twentieth century, when in Latin America we left the period of dictatorships promoted by the United States, they tried, with the idea of "liberal democracy," to wrap us up a gift package -- like a Trojan horse -- with all the values of their own conception of "modernity." But we want to tell you that here in Latin America we also have an identity and values, and that we want to involve our own values in our democracy, before foreign ones. Not only those of the individual and capital. Also those of solidarity and community. For us, the Homeland is the other one.

We learned the lesson, because it happened to us for centuries. Instead of enriching our own culture with things from the outside, the Latin American elites with their liberal fads have constantly tried to re-found Europe in the heart of America. Destroying as they did so, again, all that seemed different. Elites for whom the other beings, the Indian and the black, we were monkeys rather than human.

We fervently believe in our Latin American democracy, because in Venezuela we believe in and we fulfill three essential and necessary fundamentals: First, because we carry out systematic, routine and peaceful elections. During the past 20 years we have held 25 elections, all of them endorsed by national and international institutions and political actors. Some of which we have won overwhelmingly, others we have lost.

Second, because the citizens in Venezuela, through mechanisms of direct democracy, fundamentally connected with neighborhood organizations and political parties, have access to and control over public resources. And third, because in Venezuela it is the people who rule, not the elites.

Before me Chávez governed, a soldier descended from blacks and Indians who became the father of the nation. Today, Venezuela is governed -- for six years -- by a modest trade unionist and bus driver. In Venezuela it is the people who govern themselves, because it was their Constituent Assembly that conceived and drafted their own constitution.

We are not and we do not want to be a model of democracy. We are, instead, the democracy that the people defined and they defend, the one they are forging in a daily effort against the lies and the false positives. An imperfect democracy that works day by day to be for everyone and more just.

People celebrate with their President Nicolás Maduro on Venezuela's achievement of 2.4 million homes built for working-class Venezuelans as part of the government's Great Housing Mission, December 2018.

(Edited slightly for style by TML.)

Haut de


USA vs. Venezuela at the Security Council

At the request of the United States (U.S.), Venezuela was included in an extraordinary way on the agenda of the UN Security Council that took place on Saturday, January 26, in New York. Under the argument of a supposed "humanitarian crisis" in Venezuela, which "prevents the Venezuelan people from accessing water and food," the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, supported the inclusion of the topic in Article 54 of the Organization of American States (OAS), justifying it in the regional destabilization that this situation entailed.[1] The argument was refuted, initially, by the Russian representative, Vassily Nebenzia, who considered that Venezuela "is not a threat to peace and security. [What is are] the actions of the U.S., which are a threat to Venezuela."

Nebenzia denounced that the inclusion of this point violated Article 2.4 of the Charter of the United Nations, concerning the prohibition of the use of force against the territorial integrity or public independence of any State. The permanent[2] and non-permanent[3] members of the Security Council voted to include Venezuela in the agenda. The result was nine votes in favour, four against and two abstentions, which gave rise to the debate on the situation in the country.

Venezuela at the UN Security Council

For the first time in history, Venezuela was a protagonist of the Security Council. The session was attended by 30 countries, the 15 permanent and non-permanent members and 15 states that requested to participate, among them the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (BRV). Although there was no final vote, since no resolution was presented, the positions were divided among a majority of countries, 19 in favour of dialogue and negotiation,[4] (20 if we include the BRV); and 17 countries that favoured interference.[5]

The positions in favour of interference appealed to the "exodus" of Venezuelans, their regional destabilization, the lack of legitimacy of the Maduro government due to their non-recognition of the electoral process of May 2018, the Venezuelan government's alleged repression of the political opposition and the people, as well as their support for a "democratic transition." The representatives of Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina stood out for their aggressiveness. Chile spoke of "opening a humanitarian channel" and Peru called for UN action on the basis of Article 34 of the Charter. The countries of the European Union (EU) members of the Security Council, the United Kingdom and France, supported, together with Germany, Belgium and Poland, the ultimatum agreed to by several EU countries to give eight days to the Government of Nicolás Maduro to convene "free" elections.

The countries that held to the position of respect for international law pointed to the dangerous precedent of recognizing anyone who declares themself president of a country on behalf of the international community, emphasizing the necessity for a solution to the conflict based on dialogue and the search for a peaceful agreement. Russia, which stood out, together with Cuba and Bolivia, for making one of the clearest defences of the lawfulness of Venezuela's stand, also denounced the destabilization of Latin America and the Caribbean that U.S. interference implied. Statements by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton about the delivery of the Venezuelan Government's assets to the parallel government of Juan Guaidó were labelled ironically by Nebenzia as a "Bolshevik declaration," for assuming the expropriation of Venezuela's assets. He also denounced the use of "preventive diplomacy" that dates back to justifications (preventive defence) used by the U.S. in advance of invading Afghanistan. In his intervention the Bolivian representative, Sacha Llorenti, pointed to the three axes of the destabilization of Venezuela by the U.S.: its interest in oil, geopolitical control and as a warning to countries that do not align with its policies.

The Siege of Venezuela Tightens

The U.S. public-private sector has been applying various tactics to put an end to Chavismo for years. After the failed coup attempt against President Hugo Chávez in April 2002, in recent times it has opted for the implosion of Chavismo through economic strangulation by way of sanctions and a de facto financial blockade[6] that, together with the deployment of an economic war, explains to a large extent the problems that Venezuela currently faces. It is a multifaceted strategy in which different actors participate,[7] which involves discrediting the Venezuelan government in world media and the growing ignorance of Venezuelan law, given the impossibility that its allies on the ground, an opposition divided and discredited among the Venezuelan population itself, can defeat Chavismo by the electoral route.

The last chapter in this playbook has been to endorse a parallel government headed by Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly in contempt. But surely it will not be the last. Before the recent inauguration of Nicolás Maduro, the pressure intensified, including in September 2018 the possibility of the Venezuelan president being charged at the International Criminal Court by several countries, and the twisting of International Law to make it fit with the imposition of a parallel institutionality without legal support. Despite their repeated references to Article 233 of the Constitution of the BRV to justify the assumption of Guaidó, they hide that the "abandonment of power" of President Maduro -- which the National Assembly in contempt declared in 2017 -- is not grounded in fact. The announcement of the transfer of the assets of the Venezuelan government to the parallel government of Guaidó is another step in the escalation. Yet another is the negotiation by the U.S. with the Maduro government to establish a chargé d'affaires, after the departure of U.S. diplomats from the country,[8] while recognizing a parallel chargé d'affaires.[9]

Tension in Crescendo

In this context of extreme tension, in which both parties play the "all or nothing" in each step, we must be aware of the use that can be made of the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), adopted in 2005 and used by the UN Security Council as legal cover to intervene in Libya in March 2011 through resolution 1973. The U.S. and its allies are betting on the opening of a "humanitarian corridor" that will serve as an entrance to the military for supposedly humanitarian tasks that would ultimately control the country and, especially, its oil resources, which would be shared among U.S. companies that currently find themselves excluded, like ExxonMobil. Its European partners and a whole host of contractor companies of different ranks would participate in the appropriation, similar to what happened with Iraq. The statements of John Bolton, Marco Rubio and other U.S. officials in this regard, and the announcement of the freezing of payments and assets of PDVSA, show the central interest in Venezuelan crude oil.

Another important point is the provocations that can trigger the spark in the streets that the opposition still has not been able to light. These provocations may include some type of attack against the figure of Guaidó that serves the interests of those pulling his strings, who will have no problem sacrificing their puppet for the achievement of major objectives valued in billions of dollars. In this sense, it is symptomatic that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has quickly granted precautionary measures for the protection of Guaidó and his family[10] when during the coup d'état against President Chávez in 2002 it refused to grant such measures to the legitimate president of the country.

Role of the Security Council

Venezuela is the expression of today's geopolitical struggle, but it will not be the last. The extraordinary meeting on Venezuela at the Security Council has shown, however, that if the U.S. wants to undertake greater military actions against Venezuela it must do so in the face of the opposition of a majority of the international community. On Saturday, January 26, what was portrayed was the decline of a Western world, represented by the U.S. and EU countries, which no longer respect even the very rules they created after the Second World War to avoid future conflagrations. The emergence of a new hegemony led by the Russian Federation, China and other countries not aligned with U.S. interests that are betting on a new world order which is more representative than the current one also became evident. At the moment, this alternative pole is winning the battle in multilateral institutions and making it harder for the U.S. to get any type of resolution approved within the framework of the UN, either in the Security Council (where two trading partners and allies of Venezuela have the right to veto, China and Russia) or in the General Assembly, to endorse the use of force against Venezuela. We will see how long the U.S. takes to ignore them in order to impose its pre-designed script for bringing "democracy and freedom" to Venezuela.


1. -in-the-meeting-of-the-council-of-security-of-the-onu-about-of-venezuela /

2. China, the United States, France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom.

3. Germany, Belgium, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland, Dominican Republic and South Africa.

4. South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Russian Federation, China, Indonesia, Cote d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Cuba, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Bolivia, Suriname, Mexico, Barbados, Uruguay, Dominica, El Salvador, and Antigua and Barbuda.

5. U.S., UK. Peru, France, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Colombia, Canada, Paraguay, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama.






(Centro Estratégico Latinoamericano de Geopolítica (CELAG), translated from the original Spanish by TML.)

Haut de


No Sanctions! No Coup! No War!

Rally in support of the Bolivarian Republic and its President Nicolás Maduro, January 23, 2019.

The Threat Is Real ...

The trumpets of regime change have sounded, and the drums of a possible war are beating against Venezuelan democracy. Provocations hitherto unimagined threaten to plunge the whole region into chaos and strike a serious blow against popular democracy around the world. Venezuela's foreign instigated coup attempt began with a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence to the pretender, Juan Guaidó, giving the green light to a would-be "president" who has no legitimacy. The prospect of direct foreign intervention, including the military kind, is no longer just an option "on the table." It is looming so largely that we must stop asking if the unthinkable is possible. Instead we must stop the unthinkable.

We must stop this coup. We must stop this war.

The whole world has been shocked by the words on the yellow tablet displayed "inadvertently" during a White House briefing by John Bolton. The jaundiced man scribbled these words on his jaundiced papers: "Afghanistan -> Welcome the Talks," followed underneath by, "5,000 troops to Colombia." Was this an unbelievable security breach? Or was this intentional. Either way, it was a barely veiled threat that anyone knowing the context of the times will see as a threat against the people of Venezuela. There is no other explanation. And it is no mistake that the possible end to the war in Afghanistan is coupled with talk of troops to South America. The Alliance for Global Justice produced an article on January 23, 2019 that noted,

"Certainly, there is a long-standing connection between the Colombian military and the war in Afghanistan. Colombia has sent advisors, trainers, and special operations troops to Afghanistan, and there is a history of U.S. troop transfers between the two countries. In fact, the application in Afghanistan of lessons learned from decades of protracted war in Colombia is an oft-mentioned theme among military officials. Regarding Syria, Venezuelan expert on unconventional warfare, Jorgé Negrón Valera wrote in October 2018 that, 'A hypothesis of a direct conflict cannot be discarded. But all indications are that the first thing on the Pentagon's table will be Syria.' But as we enter 2019, the situation has changed. Should U.S. troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan and Syria, they could be well-suited for redeployment in a Colombia-based conflict with Venezuela."

Since the new year, alleged eyewitness reports, including photos, have circulated rumouring the presence of U.S. Army helicopters and unusually large troop deployments to Panamá along the Colombian border. At the same time Bolton is flashing his notes at the media pool, General Mark Stammer, the head of U.S. Army South, is in Bogotá to discuss border issues. Right now, the Colombian military has its largest concentrations of troops in the coca growing areas of south Colombia, and along the border with Venezuela. Both areas were visited by former Southcom commander Admiral Kurt Tidd twice last year, in February and November. One of the first acts of the new commander, Admiral Craig S. Faller, was to visit Colombia, also in November, two days after the change of command. Likewise, the new Colombian President Iván Duque visited the Southcom headquarters in Doral, Florida last July. In Admiral Faller's ceremony to take charge of Southcom, he remarked, "As I see it, the Western Hemisphere is our neighbourhood. Good neighbours all benefit from a strong neighbourhood watch and in our neighbourhood, security and stability can't be taken for granted."

While we still cannot say with certainty that there will be a foreign military intervention, we are seeing movements and plans happening that could presage this ominous development. If there was ever a time to take a stand and say No sanctions! No coup! No war! Hands off Venezuela! – that time is now.

What Would a Military Intervention Look like?

Military detachments across Venezuela reaffirmed their loyalty to the legitimate government of Venezuela headed by President Maduro, and the Bolivarian Revolution, January 24, 2019.

What would a foreign military intervention look like? There are several different scenarios, from outright invasion to the sealing of Venezuela's borders to surgical strikes and logistical support for on-the-ground coup plotters. We must be prepared for all eventualities.

The very threats of military action are themselves a form of intervention. From Trump's repetitive mantra that "all options are on the table" to John Bolton flashing his yellow note pad, they are designed to intimidate the legitimately elected government of Venezuela and all supporters of the Bolivarian movement. At the very least, we are seeing classic psyops in action.

Before examining the various possibilities, we should address the assertion that military intervention is unlikely because we have not witnessed the kinds of build-up seen before the wars against Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel Octavio Perez, retired from the U.S. Army, now serves as a military analyst for several news outlets including CNN, NBC, Telemundo, and Univision. He explains,

"The president said the good thing is that Venezuela is so near. Many journalist friends were saying to me, Where are the aircraft carriers? Where is the American navy? It's that less than seven hours [away] there is a military base called Fort Bragg, North Carolina where there is the 82nd [Division] of paratroopers and for the moment he [Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] knows that it is a question of eight hours, more than 1,200 paratroopers on the way to Venezuela. It's not that they are going to land in Caracas, they can land in Maracay, they can land on the border with Colombia, establish a containment area for the 'Free Republic' of Venezuela and bring Godoy [Guaidó], and from there establish this human channel for Guaidó. And here is where the militaries would enter, not for an invasion of the country, but in order to establish this 'humanitarian corridor'"

Proponents of regime change have tried different methods so far unsuccessfully to overthrow Venezuela's elected government. These have included organized demonstrations with the intention of generating a great political destabilization, economic sabotage via sanctions, and the infiltration of the Venezuelan military with collaborators. Another open tactic has been to cause food and medicine shortages, accompanying this with a very intense propaganda campaign that Venezuela is not a viable nation. Earlier this year there was a meeting of Senators of almost all South American countries, called by the Colombian Senate, to take measures against the government of Nicolás Maduro. They included the passage of national laws to prevent monetary or commercial exchange with that nation.

These tactics have caused massive social displacement over the last two years, propitiating the exodus of significant segments of the population as refugees. In other words, the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis is a crisis produced from outside. And today it serves as justification for an eventual "humanitarian" intervention. This has been a most useful argument for many of the invasions and wars in the world today.

The Most Dangerous Bases: in Colombia

Wars can be defined when they start, but not when they end, and always leave deep wounds difficult to cure. An aggression from Colombia will always be considered a betrayal by Venezuelans, even by those who today call for the overthrow of Maduro. Military action would most likely emanate from Colombian military bases where the U.S. has a presence, where the most direct and virulent attacks might take place in a very short time. Perhaps the most dangerous base is the Forward Operating Location (FOL) base in Colombian Guajira between the capital city of Rioacha and the railway line that connects the coal mine in Cerrajón and Bahia Portete. FOLs do not have a direct U.S. military physical presence, but they function like aircraft carriers on the mainland. They remain hidden in the environment with a large airstrip and all the necessary instruments installed to produce a surprise attack of great magnitude. Gasoline is stored underground, and there are communication systems, radars and the arsenal necessary to achieve such an attack, without having to return to a possible alternate base, hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. In this case the airstrip is on the road that connects Rioacha with Maicao, right on the Venezuelan border. This road is flat for most of its trajectory. In one strategic place, it is extended to 8 lanes by a little over 3000 meters. Less than 500 meters from that track you only see a Wayú indigenous ranchería. No one seems to inhabit it. Under these constructions there is a military complex that keeps the arsenal, instruments and gasoline necessary to produce a bombardment of the Maracaibo Gulf, the most important oil producing area in Venezuela. That base is a little over a minute in low flight from an F-16 or an F-18 Gulf of Maracaibo.

A little further to the south west of this place is the naval base of Cartagena with capacity to receive dozens of B-54 aircraft, capable of transporting in a matter of hours all the arsenal that is required to sustain a bombardment. Added to this airport is the port of the naval base, which has already been measured in multiple "joint" military trials with the Colombian Navy, to identify the support capacity of several aircraft carriers, submarines and hundreds of ships of different depths. Further south, following the path of the Magdalena River, between the Central Cordillera and the Eastern Cordillera, there is the Palanquero air base, between La Dorada and Puerto Salgar. It is the most important air base in Colombia. There is a track and some hangars with capacity to hold hundreds of F-16s, F-18s and several B-52s simultaneously. That base is a low flight, in 13 minutes, from the Gulf of Maracaibo. There is no mountain that prevents visibility or forces the elevation of an average height of aircraft for military action of this type. A little further south, almost in the same canyon that is formed between the two mountain ranges, is the most important infantry base in Colombia, capable of holding several thousand soldiers and with space to mobilize hundreds of helicopters for the transport of troops and military supplies. This base is called Tolemaida and is on the outskirts of the town identified as Melgar. There are four more military bases, already with a U.S. presence, which are: Bahía Málaga -- with an airfield of more than 3000 meters -- to the north of the only commercial port in Colombia on the Pacific, which is Buenaventura; the military base of Tres Esquinas, in the department of Caquetá and with an airstrip of more than 3000 meters as well, from where the bombing might proceed on strategic points of Caracas, including the Miraflores Palace; and the military base of Larandia, further south, in the middle of the Amazon jungle.

Is NATO Part of the Strategy?

At the end of the government of Juan Manuel Santos, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, he signed an agreement to make Colombia part of NATO. This means that all air bases are made available to the military needs of the North Atlantic Organization. By placing this country in the framework of this treaty, the pincer on Venezuela closes. Furthermore, with Venezuela's possible military backing by Russia, should an invasion be launched, and given the belligerent attitude of NATO toward the Russian nation, it is easily imaginable that a military engagement could be perceived as a threat to NATO, and might unfold in the same way as so many of the proxy hot wars that characterized the Cold War period. Adding fuel to this speculation is the ultimatum by NATO partners Britain, France, Germany, and Spain, demanding that the already legitimately elected Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, call yet new elections.

Brazil is also mobilizing a good part of its army towards the border with Venezuela under the excuse of the control of refugees that are arriving from the Bolivarian country. The military and space base of Alcántara has been carrying out, since the end of 2017, joint military operations with Peru, Colombia and the United States. The strategy of a large-scale invasion is already designed and ready. It could be an invasion done with many armies: those of Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, even NATO. The presence of the United States's army may well be a "small" one.

Full-Scale Invasion Not the Only Possibility

A direct, full-scale, belligerent military intervention by foreign powers is not the only scenario possible. One scenario could be similar to what we have seen in various conflicts including Syria, Libya, and Iraq-between-the-wars. This would be some combination of so-called "surgical strikes" on specific targets, mainly to aid on-the-ground coup actors, or via limited engagements to enforce No-Fly Zones. 

However, there are other options that may be much more suitable for this hemisphere. There is the model we saw in the overthrow of the elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti. Coup plotters were funded, trained, and directed by the U.S. government and its agents, but acted "independently." They were then backed up with interventions in the name of humanitarian aid, augmented later by "humanitarian responses" to disasters. A central factor was the establishment of an international troop presence from the UN, which, despite its active repression of popular movements, was justified as a "peacekeeping" intervention.

The first order of such a military intervention would be focused on containment. Do U.S. activities to spread its border militarization model, and to develop international rapid military deployment efforts, have anything to do with the coup attempt in Venezuela?

The U.S. military is the expert when it comes to temporary, mobile military bases constructed ostensibly to bring humanitarian aid, deal with natural crises, and combat the so-called Drug War. What they truly are, are exercises in rapid deployment and large-scale population control. Amazonlog in Brazil in 2017 was the largest international military exercise ever, anywhere. It involved troops from the United States, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru. A major component of the exercises was to coordinate the securing and operation of international borders by the military. The U.S. already has access to military bases in all these countries, with new bases being planned for Brazil and Peru, as well as Argentina.

One could say that militarized borders and temporary bases surrounding Venezuela but not within its borders does not actually constitute a direct military intervention. They are wrong. First, these borders and bases would be coordinating with both military, paramilitary agents, and other coup participants. The hoped-for ability not only to absorb refugees, but contain Venezuela at its borders, would be important components for a successful coup.

The coup in Haiti in 2004 was carried out by paramilitary leaders who were financed and trained at a camp in the Domincan Republic run by the U.S.-government, funded by the International Republican Institute. The coup was a success, despite President Aristide's immense popularity. The crisis of violence and refugees was used to justify multinational military occupation. During that time, Lavalas, the largest political party in Haiti, was outlawed and not allowed to participate in elections.

We see elements of the Haiti model being applied to Venezuela. We see economic sabotage, foreign-funded and trained opposition, and Colombia being used, as was the Dominican Republic, as a base for paramilitary training and operations. One could easily imagine the use of temporary bases, concentrations of Colombian, Brazilian and Peruvian troops on Colombia's borders used to contain refugees, despite whatever bloodbath the right might be perpetrating. And that bloodbath, that economic, social, and political chaos could have the world calling for, and some respected international body providing, an alleged "peacekeeping mission," that is, troops of occupations backing up a new coup government.

But unlike in Haiti, which did not have its own military before the coup, Bolivarian Venezuela and its people are armed and organized, they have powerful allies, and the situation in Colombia is unstable and still could undermine plans for intervention.

Stopping the Threat of War

The bottom line is really this: none of us can see the future. We simply do not know what will happen. But we do know how to make things happen, and how to stop things. We need to grow an international peace movement calling for an end to sanctions, an end to the coup, and NO WAR ON VENEZUELA!

Let us close with observations from Colombian analyst Douglas Hernandez. Hernandez is the founder of the website and a contributor both the U.S. Air Force's Air and Space Power Journal and the Brazilian military magazine Segurança & Defesa. Writing for Colombia Reports [on September 27, 2018],  he notes:

"Modern warfare is multidimensional, and doesn't necessarily involve the deployment of ships, tanks and planes, in order to subdue the adversary to your will. Perhaps, given that the succession of political, diplomatic, economic or psychological operations has failed to bring down the Venezuelan 'regime,' direct methods will now be tried, using military force."

Hernandez goes on to reveal indications that the crisis in Venezuela could be on the verge of turning around -- and that this is something her enemies would loathe to let happen, an international embarrassment to them. He goes on,

"Confidence is recovering to the point that several thousand Venezuelans abroad have asked their government for help to return to their country, and in this context the 'Return Home Plan' has been activated to arrange their return and grant them some facilities for their social and economic readjustment.

"At the time of writing and in less than a month, 3,364 Venezuelans have returned to Venezuela. This being so, this is the only case in which people who had left a socialist country, return to 'a dictatorship' on their own free will.

"The measures Venezuela has taken are unorthodox, divergent, and tend to grant it economic sovereignty. Now with the Petro issue, the only crypto currency backed by a State, and backed by oil reserves and gold reserves with which Venezuela is going to conduct its international business, the country has an opportunity to return to the path of prosperity.


"With its wealth, which could be converted into welfare for its population, and under a different ideological, political and economic model, Venezuela could become a "bad example" for the rest of the world, and people could want to imitate its model.

"[...] So, a wave of attacks and accusations has been unleashed to justify military intervention and remove the chavistas from power. This is where the problem lies, in my opinion.

"It seems to me that a war between Colombia and Venezuela can be avoided if society as a whole rejects it on the basis of a more holistic knowledge of the situation."

Will there be an invasion, an occupation, a hot war against Venezuela? We don't know. But the way to stop it is to speak up, stand up -- stop it from happening before it ever starts. We, the international society, must wholly reject it.

Eduardo Correa Senior is Professor of Human Rights at the Autonomous University of Mexico City. James Patrick Jordan is National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice

(Alliance for Global Justice, January 29, 2019)

Haut de


Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution

Presentation by H.E. Josefina Vidal, Ambassador to Canada of the Republic of Cuba

Delivered at the Cuban Embassy, January 30, 2019.


The Honourable Alaina Lockhart, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie,

Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas, Michael Grant,

The Honourable Senator Peter Boehm,

Distinguished senators, members of Parliament, representatives of the Canadian Government, ambassadors, high commissioners and colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps,

Fellow Cubans who live and work in Canada, [translated Spanish: who always carry Cuba and its people in their hearts,]

Dear friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to those who have sent their messages of condolences and solidarity over the victims of and damages caused by the tornado that hit Havana last Sunday. I'm confident that Cuba will bounce back from this as well.

It is a great honour for us to have you all this evening at the Embassy of Cuba. We deeply appreciate that you have so courageously braved today's particularly cold weather to celebrate Cuba's National Day with us.

For my people, this celebration has a special meaning, as we are commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution; a Revolution that, as the leader of Cuba's Communist Party Raúl Castro recently said, remains young, because, as in its origins, young people are its main protagonists.

The path travelled thus far has not been an easy one, but quite the opposite, as Fidel Castro predicted upon his arrival in Havana on January 8, 1959, when he warned that everything might be more difficult in the future.

Back then, we not only had to remove the foundations of the Cuban society and radically transform the country's political and economic system; but we also had to face all types of aggressions and threats, both internal and external, some of which continue to this day, such as the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, and the campaigns to denigrate the Revolution and its leaders.

Despite this adverse context, the Cuban people has made significant progress in its efforts to build a society that is increasingly just, inclusive, caring, free and democratic.

Now we can proudly say that Cuba has achieved all possible social justice in the midst of adverse domestic and foreign circumstances; it has offered its selfless solidarity to other countries in need; and it has contributed decisively to peace and stability in our region and in the world, thereby gaining international recognition.

Today, Cuba can show major achievements in health care, education, social security, sports, culture, public safety, which indicators are similar to and sometimes higher than those of developed countries. This is possible thanks to the will of the Cuban State and to the fact that more than half of the nation's budget is allocated to health and education sectors.

Cuba has conquered rights not only for its own people; it has also made a valuable contribution to the advancement of human rights of other peoples. The 407,000 Cuban collaborators, mainly doctors and nurses, who over the last 55 years have offered their assistance in 164 countries; and the 56,000 foreign students from 137 countries who have studied in Cuba, most of them medicine, are a living testimony of this.

Although modest, the Cuban economy grows every year as the modernization of our economic and social model moves on, with the resolute decision to achieve a more efficient economy and improve the standard of living of the population.

2018 witnessed the election of our new president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, with the successful transfer of the main State and government's duties and responsibilities to the new generations of Cubans.

Another event of paramount importance was the approval by the Cuban Parliament last December of the revised draft of the new Constitution, following a broad popular consultation, which resulted in nearly 800,000 proposals, leading to changes in 60 per cent of the articles of the original project. These figures show the genuine democratic character of the constitutional reform process -- in which all Cubans had the opportunity to participate and make their contribution to the most important decisions for the life of the nation -- which will lead to a referendum on February 24.

On the international stage, Cuba has continued to play a key role in the defence of peace and stability in our region and worldwide, based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, the right to self-determination, non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of the States, which are enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

Cuba's foreign policy has also been guided by the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by all Heads of State and Government of the region, in Havana in 2014.

This Proclamation expresses our commitment to foster friendly and cooperative relations among countries -- regardless of the differences in our political, economic and social systems or levels of development -- and to practice tolerance and coexist in peace as good neighbours. It also recognizes the inalienable right of every State to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system as an essential condition to ensure peaceful coexistence.

At present circumstances, these principles achieve significant relevance as aggressive and interference actions intensify in our region, seeking to provoke a regime change in Venezuela and Nicaragua, and when the U.S. government seems to be taking the course of confrontation with Cuba, presenting our peaceful and solidary country as a threat to the region, which it is not.

With regards to our bilateral relations with Canada, there are some facts that I would like to highlight today. One hundred and fifteen years ago, in the city of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Cuba opened its first Consulate in this vast country. In 2020, we will celebrate 75 years of uninterrupted diplomatic relations, which have stood the proof of time since they were first established in 1945.

This is just an expression of the long-standing positive relations between Cuba and Canada, which are strengthened through people to people exchanges, and also through political, trade, economic and cultural relations.

Youth from the Grand Orchestre Grande Rivière from Gatineau play the
Cuban and Canadian national anthems to open the event.

Cuban residents of Ottawa.

Respresentatives of local solidarity organizations.

Our relationship is a good example and a model of the links that can exist between two countries with different political, social and economic systems at different stages of development.

In fact, Cuba's relations with Canada and its provinces are a priority for Cuba and it is our goal to further promote them.

In 2018, Cuba-Canada bilateral political consultations were held, which have allowed us to continue working together on issues of mutual interest to strengthen our relations; to hold constructive discussions on how to address and face common challenges; and to exchange views on bilateral and international matters, on which we have different opinions and approaches, in a frank and respectful way.

We have maintained high-level government exchanges, for example, the visits to Ottawa of Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca; Minister of Tourism, Manuel Marrero; and Vice President of the Central Bank of Cuba, Arnaldo Alayón, who headed a banking and financial delegation.

In addition, inter-parliamentary exchanges continued with the visit to Ottawa of the President of the Cuba-Canada Friendship Group at the Cuban Parliament, Ms. Gladys Bejerano.

We particularly appreciate Canada's vote at the UN General Assembly in favour of the Cuban draft resolution demanding the end of the U.S. blockade against our country. The blockade is nowadays the main obstacle to the development in all its potential of the Cuban economy, and, because of its extraterritorial nature, it constitutes a major stumbling block to Cuba's efforts to increase economic, commercial and financial relations with the rest of the world.

Speaking about our political dialogue, I would like to refer briefly to the health problems that have been reported by Canadian diplomatic personnel in Havana.

Cuba understands the obligations of the government of Canada to protect its diplomatic personnel posted anywhere in the world and to try to find answers to the health symptoms reported in Cuba, however, it considers that Canada's decision made public today by Global Affairs Canada is incomprehensible.

Cutting Canada's staff at its Embassy in Cuba and adjusting the mission's programs are actions that do not help find answers to the health symptoms reported by Canadian diplomats, and which will have an impact on the relations.

This decision contrasts with the level, status and presence of Canadian diplomatic staff in other world capitals where they do not enjoy as much safety, tranquillity, good health environment, and hospitality as in Cuba.

Since the Canadian Embassy reported the first case, Cuba has offered to cooperate and has worked together with numerous entities in the Canadian government; it has requested information and has provided all evidence available; and has put at their disposal the best Cuban experts in the most diverse fields.

During the exchanges that had been held, it has become clear that there is no evidence that might reveal any brain damage, or that may explain the varied symptoms reported, or that may indicate that these symptoms had occurred due to the stay of the affected diplomats in Cuba.

Despite Canada's government decision, Cuba remains committed to keeping the good state of bilateral relations and strengthening the links with a country with which we keep strong bonds of friendship and cooperation.

In the economic domain, Cuba has remained Canada's largest export market in Central America and the Caribbean, and Canada continues to be Cuba's fourth trading partner, with total goods trade amounting to close to one billion dollars in 2018, which represents an increase of about 25 per cent, as compared to 2017.

Canada is also a key foreign investor in Cuba ranking second, owing to the number of business it has set up in Cuba. But we want to see more Canadian companies investing in Cuba, and a major step in this direction is my government's recent decision to begin the negotiation of a bilateral agreement on reciprocal promotion and protection of investments.

Canadians have continued to show their interest in doing business with Cuba. Last November, more than 70 companies and officials from Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada attended the Havana International Trade Fair. Joining us today are some senior executives and representatives of companies and entities, which have been working with Cuba for many years, like Sherritt International, National Bank of Canada, EDC, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Canada Cuba, CCC, Terracam, Transat, Air Canada, Air Canada Vacations, l'Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec, among others.

Cuba has always been a welcoming and safe destination for tourists, particularly during the harsh Canadian winter months. In 2018, for instance, more than 1 million Canadians visited our island, for the eighth consecutive year.

Canada is also one of the main providers of development assistance to Cuba in priority sectors, such as food security, economic modernization, and sustainable development.

[Translated French: At the same time, Cuba welcomes the strengthening of relations with the province of Quebec, which has played an important role in promoting business, mutually beneficial cooperation and cultural exchanges. The opening of the Quebec office at the Canadian Embassy in Havana and the creation of a Quebec-Cuba working group are examples of how ties with other provinces of this great country can be developed.

However, there is still a huge and unexplored potential for strengthening and expanding bilateral relations in a wide range of areas, taking advantage of new opportunities in Cuba for investment and trade in priority sectors such as tourism and renewable sources of energy, agriculture, agribusiness and biotechnology.

In the future, it will be essential for Cuba to build an efficient economy that meets the country's development needs and the growing needs of the population. And in this area, Canada can play an important role.]

Cuba is looking forward to see Canada becoming a key player in the development of the island's economy in the coming years, for which conditions exist, given the stability in our bilateral relations, the potentials of the Canadian market and the business opportunities that Cuba offers today.

To sum up, there is a huge potential to continue building together a relationship that is beneficial for both countries and peoples, to which our Embassy is totally committed.

On behalf of our staff and on my own behalf, I would like to thank officials from Global Affairs Canada (including Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Development) and other Canadian ministries, like Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Infrastructure Canada, the government of Quebec and other Canadian entities, who are joining us today, for their continuing support to ensure the effective performance of our duties.

The road ahead of us is complex and we are fully aware of the challenges we face domestically, mainly in order to successfully bring to fruition the modernization of our economy. We are also mindful of and ready to deal with the external threats facing Cuba again, coming from those who, despite their repeated defeats, fail to understand that there is no way to break down a generous, brave and solidary people, that has fought for almost 100 years to achieve total independence and sovereignty, and that has stood strong and emerged victorious to continue to be free.

As Cuban President Díaz-Canel said last December, "2019 will be a year of challenges, struggles and victories, we will move forward and overcome, and we will go for more."

[Translated Spanish: Cubans who are with us tonight and all of our friends, we will continue fighting, we will resist and we will win in our efforts to continue building an increasingly fair, inclusive, democratic and prosperous country.]

Thank you very much.

Merci beaucoup.

Muchas gracias.

(Translations of original French and Spanish by TML. Photos: TML, Cuban Embassy)

Haut de


Homage to José Martí on the 166th Anniversary of His Birth

Our America -- José Martí

Published in El Partido Liberal (Mexico City), January 20, 1891.


January 28 (1853 - 2019)
The pompous villager thinks his hometown is the whole world. As long as he can stay on as mayor, humiliate the rival who stole his sweetheart, and watch his nest egg grow in its strongbox, he believes the universe is in good order. He knows nothing of the giants in seven-league boots who can crush him underfoot, the battling comets in the heavens which devour the worlds that lie sleeping in their paths. Whatever is left in América of such drowsy provincialism must awaken. These are not times for lying comfortably in bed. Like Juan de Castellanos'[1] men, we must have no other pillow but our weapons -- weapons of the mind, which vanquish all others. Fortifications built of ideas are more valuable than those built of stone.

No armored prow can smash through a cloud of ideas. A vital idea brandished before the world at the right moment like the mystic banner of Judgment Day can stop a fleet of battleships. Nations that remain strangers must rush to know one another, like soldiers about to go into battle together. Those who once shook their fists at each other like jealous brothers quarreling over who has the bigger house or who owns a plot of land must now grip each other so tightly that their two hands become one. Those who took land from a conquered brother -- a brother punished far in excess of any crime -- and who, under protection of a criminal tradition, smeared their swords in the same blood that flows through their own veins must now return their brother's land if they don't want to be known as a nation of plunderers. A man of honour does not collect a debt of honour in money, at so much per slap. We can no longer be a village of leaves fluttering in the air, crowned in flowers, creaking and buzzing under the caress of capricious sunlight or thrashed and felled by tempests. The trees must line up to block the giant in his seven-league boots. The hour to muster and march in unison is upon us and our ranks must be as compact as the veins of silver in the depths of the Andes.

Only runts -- so stunted they have no faith in their own nation -- will fail to find the courage. Lacking courage themselves, they'll deny that other men do have it. Their spindly arms, with clinking bracelets and polished fingernails, shaped by Madrid or Paris, cannot reach the lofty tree, and so they say the tree is unreachable. We must load up the ships with these termites that gnaw away at the core of the patria that nurtured them. If they're Parisians or Madrileños, then let them stroll the Prado by lamplight or take an ice at Tortoni's. These carpenter's sons, ashamed that their father was a carpenter! These men born in América, ashamed of the mother who raised them because she wears an Indian tunic! These scoundrels who disown their sick mother and leave her alone in her sickbed! Who is more truly a man? One who stays with his mother to nurse her through her illness? Or one who curses the bosom that bore him, forces her to work somewhere out of sight, and lives off her sustenance in corrupted lands, sporting a worm for a necktie and a sign that says "traitor" on the back of his paper jacket? These sons of our América, which must save herself through her Indians and is on the rise; these deserters, who ask to take up arms with the forces of North America, which drowns its Indians in blood and is on the wane! These delicate creatures who are men but don't want to do men's work! Did Washington, the founder of their nation, go off to live in England when he saw the English marching against his land? But these incredible creatures drag their honour across foreign soil like the incroyables of the French Revolution who danced, primped, and dragged out their Rs.

For what other patria can a man take greater pride in than our long-suffering republics of América? -- built by the bloody arms of a hundred apostles, amid mute masses of Indians, to the sound of battle between the book and the monk's candlestick. Never before have such advanced and unified nations been created so rapidly from elements so disparate. The haughty man imagines that because he wields a quick pen and coins vivid phrases the earth was made to be his pedestal; he accuses his native republic of hopeless incapacity because its virgin jungles don't offer him scope for parading about the world like a bigwig, driving Persian ponies and spilling champagne as he goes. The incapacity lies not in the nascent country, which demands forms appropriate to itself and a grandeur that is useful to it, but in those who wish to govern unique populaces, singularly and violently composed, by laws inherited from four centuries of free practice in the United States and nineteen centuries of monarchy in France.[2] A Llanero's bolting colt can't be stopped in its tracks by one of Alexander Hamilton's laws. The sluggish blood of the Indian race can't be quickened with a phrase from Sieyès.[3] He who would govern well must attend closely to the place being governed. In América, a good governor isn't one who knows how to govern a German or a Frenchman. It is, rather, one who knows what elements his own country is made up of, and how best to marshal them so as to achieve, by means and institutions arising from the country itself, that desirable state in which every man knows himself and exercises his talents, and all enjoy the abundance that Nature, for the good of all, has bestowed on the land they make fruitful by their labour and defend with their lives. The government must arise from the country. The government's spirit must be the spirit of the country. The government's form must be in harmony with the country's natural constitution. The government is no more than the equilibrium among the country's natural elements.

The natural man has triumphed over the imported book in América; natural men have triumphed over an artificial intelligentsia. The native mestizo has triumphed over the exotic criollo. The battle is not between civilization and barbarity[4] but between false erudition and nature. The natural man is good and will follow and reward a superior intelligence as long as that intelligence doesn't use his submission against him or offend him by ignoring him, which the natural man finds unforgivable. He is prepared to use force to regain the respect of anyone who has wounded his sensibilities or harmed his interests. The tyrants of América have come to power by taking up the cause of these scorned natural elements, and have fallen as soon as they betrayed them. The republics have cured the former tyrannies of their inability to know the true elements of the country, derive the form of government from them, and govern along with them. Governor, in a new nation, means Creator.

In nations composed of educated and uneducated elements, the uneducated will govern by their habit of attacking and resolving all doubts with their fists, as long as the educated haven't learned the art of governing. The uneducated masses are lazy and timid in matters of the intellect and want to be well-governed, but if a government injures them they shake it off and govern themselves. How can our governors emerge from our universities when there isn't a university in América that teaches the most basic element of the art of governing: the analysis of all that is unique to the peoples of América? Our young men go out into the world wearing Yankee- or French-colored glasses, and aspire to govern by guesswork over a country about which they know nothing. Men who are unacquainted with the rudiments of politics should be barred from a career in politics. The top academic prizes shouldn't go to the finest ode, but to the best study of the political factors in the country where the student lives. In the newspapers, the lecture halls, and the academies, the study of the country's real factors must advance. Knowing those factors, without blinkers or circumlocution, will suffice. Anyone who deliberately or unknowingly sets aside a part of the truth will ultimately fail because of that missing truth, which expands, under such neglect, to bring down whatever was built without it. Solving a problem in full knowledge of its elements is easier than solving it without knowing them. The natural man, strong and indignant, comes and overthrows an authority accumulated from books because that authority isn't administered in keeping with the manifest needs of the country. To know is to solve. To know the country and govern it in accordance with that knowledge is the only way to free it from tyranny. The European university must yield to the American university. The history of América from the Incas to the present must be taught in its smallest detail, even if the Greek Archons go untaught. Our own Greece is preferable to the Greece that is not ours: we need it more. Statesmen who arise from the nation must replace statesmen who are alien to it. Let the world be grafted onto our republics, but we must be the trunk. And all the vanquished pedants can hold their tongues: there is no patria a man can take greater pride in than our long-suffering American republics.

Our feet upon a rosary, our faces white-skinned, and our bodies a motley of Indian and criollo, we boldly entered the community of nations. Bearing the Virgin's standard, we went forth to conquer our liberty. A priest,[5] a few lieutenants and a woman[6] built a republic in Mexico upon the shoulders of the Indians. A Spanish cleric,[7] under cover of his priestly cape, taught French liberty to a handful of magnificent students who chose a Spanish general to lead Central America against Spain. Still accustomed to monarchy, but with the sun blazing in their chests, the Venezuelans to the north and the Argentines to the south set out to build nations. When the two heroes clashed[8] and the continent was about to erupt, one of them, not the lesser of the two, turned back. But heroism is less glorious in peacetime than in war, and thus rarer; it's easier for a man to die with honour than to think in an orderly way. Exalted and unanimous sentiments are more readily governed than the divergent, arrogant, ambitious, and foreign ideas that emerge when the battle is over. Confronted with the population's cat-like wariness and the sheer weight of reality, the same powers once swept up in the epic struggle began to undermine the governing edifice, which had raised the standard of lands sustained by wise governance in the continual practice of reason and freedom above the crude and singular regions of our mestizo América, in lands where bare legs alternate with Parisian dress-coats. The hierarchical character of the colonies resisted the democratic organization of the republic. The capital city, in its elegant cravat, left the countryside, in its horsehide boots, waiting at the door. The redeemers born from books didn't understand that a revolution that triumphed when the soul of the land was unleashed by a savior's voice had to govern with the soul of the land, and not against or without it. For all these reasons, América began enduring and still endures the weary task of reconciling the discordant and hostile elements inherited from its perverse, despotic colonizer with the imported forms and ideas that have, in their lack of local reality, delayed the advent of a logical form of government. Deformed by three centuries of a rule that denied men the right to exercise their reason, and overlooking or refusing to listen to the ignorant masses that helped it redeem itself, the continent entered into new kind of government based on reason -- which should have meant the reason of all directed towards things of concern to all, and not the university-schooled reason of the few imposed upon the rustic reason of others. The problem with independence was not the change in form, but the change in spirit.

Common cause had to be made with the oppressed, in order to consolidate a system that opposed the interests and governmental habits of the oppressor. But the tiger frightened away by the flash of gunfire will creep back in the night to find his prey. He will die with flames shooting from his eyes, his claws unsheathed, but now his step is inaudible for he comes on velvet paws, and when the prey awakens, the tiger is upon him. The colony lived on in the republic. But our América is saving itself from its gravest failings -- the arrogance of the capital cities, the blind triumph of the scorned campesinos, the excessive importation of foreign ideas and formulas, the wicked and impolitic disdain for the native race -- through the superior virtue, authenticated by necessary bloodshed, of the republic that struggles against the colony. The tiger lurks behind every tree, crouches in every corner. He will die, his claws unsheathed, flames shooting from his eyes.

"These countries will save themselves," as the Argentine Rivadivia,[9] who erred on the side of urbanity during uncouth times, once proclaimed. A machete won't fit in a silken scabbard, nor can the lanzón be repudiated in a nation won by the lanzón,[10] for the nation will go into a rage and stand at the doorway of Iturbide's Congress demanding that "the white man become emperor."[11] These countries will save themselves. Through the serene harmony of nature, the genius of moderation seems to be prevailing on the continent of light. Under the influence of the critical reading which, in Europe, has replaced the blundering ideas about phalansteries[12] that the previous generation was steeped in, the real man is being born to América in these very real times.

What a sight we were, with an athlete's chest, a dandy's hands, and a child's forehead. We were a veritable fancy dress ball, wearing British trousers, a Parisian waistcoat, and a North American overcoat, topped with a Spanish bullfighter's montera. The Indian circled us mutely and went to the mountaintop to christen his children. The black man, spied upon from above, sang his heart's music in the night, alone and unknown, between waves and wild beasts. The campesinos, men of the land, creators, rose up in blind indignation against the disdainful city, their own creation. We wore military epaulets and judges' robes in countries that came into the world wearing rope sandals and Indian headbands. The wise course would have been to unite -- with the charity in our hearts and our founders' audacity -- the Indian headband and the judicial robe, to disentrammel the Indian, make a place for the able black, and tailor liberty to the bodies of those who rose up and triumphed in its name. What we had were the judge, the general, the man of letters, and the cleric. Our angelic youth, as if struggling to escape the grasping tentacles of an octopus, cast their minds into the heavens and fell back in sterile glory, crowned in clouds. The natural people, driven by instinct, blind with triumph, overwhelmed their gilded rulers. No Yankee or European book could furnish the key to the Hispano-American enigma. So people tried hatred instead, and each year our countries amounted to less and less. Weary now of useless hatred and the struggle of book against sword, reason against the monk's candlestick, city against countryside, and the quarreling urban castes' impossible empire against the tempestuous or inert natural nation, we begin, almost without realizing it, to try love. The nations arise and salute one another. "What are we?" they ask, and begin telling each other what they are. When a problem arises in Cojimar, the solution is no longer sought in Danzig. The frock-coats are still French but the thinking is starting to be American. The young men of América are rolling up their sleeves and plunging their hands into the dough to make it rise with the leavening of their sweat. They understand that there is too much imitation, that salvation lies in creating. Create is the password of this generation. Make wine from plantains. It may be sour, but it is our wine! It is finally understood that a country's form of government must adapt to the country's natural elements, that unless absolute ideas are expressed in relative forms, an error of form will cause them to collapse; that liberty, in order to be viable, must be sincere and complete, that if the republic does not open its arms to all and include all in its progress, it dies. The tiger that lurks inside us attacks through the rents in our social fabric, and the tiger that lurks outside us does, too. The general holds the cavalry to the pace of the infantry; if he leaves the infantry too far behind, the enemy will surround the cavalry. Politics is strategy. Nations must continually criticize themselves -- for criticism is health -- but with a single heart and a single mind. Go down amidst the unfortunate and raise them up in your arms! Let the heart's fires thaw all that is frozen and motionless in América, and let the country's natural blood surge and throb through its veins! Standing tall, and with the joy of those who work in their eyes, the new men of América salute each other from one country to the next. Natural statesmen are emerging from the direct study of nature. They read in order to apply what they read, not copy it. Economists study problems at their origins. Orators speak in measured tones. Dramatists put native characters onstage. Academies debate practical subjects. Poetry snips off its wild, Zorilla-esque locks and leaves its red waistcoat hanging from the tree of past glories.[13] Prose, polished and gleaming, is replete with ideas. The governors of Indian republics learn Indian languages.[14]

América is saving herself from all her dangers. Over some republics the octopus sleeps still. Others, by the law of equilibrium, run with mad, sublime speed to the sea, to recover the lost centuries. Others, forgetting that Juárez[15] traveled in a coach drawn by mules, hitch their coaches to the wind and take soap bubbles as their coachmen -- as the poison of luxury, liberty's enemy, corrupts the frivolous and opens the door to foreigners. The virile character of other nations is being refined by the epic spirit of a threatened independence. And others, in rapacious wars against their neighbours, nurture an unruly soldier caste that may one day devour them. But our América may also face another danger, which does not come from within it, but from the differing origins, methods, and interests of the continent's two factions. The hour is near when she will be approached by an enterprising and forceful nation that will demand intimate relations with her, though it does not know her and disdains her. And virile nations, self-made by the rifle and the law, love other virile nations, and only those. The hour of unbridled passion and ambition from which North America may escape by the ascendency of the purest elements in its blood -- or into which its vengeful and sordid masses, its tradition of conquest, and the self-interest of a cunning leader could plunge it -- is not yet so near, even to the most apprehensive eye, that there is no time left for it to be confronted and averted by the manifestation of a discreet and unswerving pride. Its dignity as a republic, in the eyes of the watchful nations of the Universe, places a brake upon North America that our América must not remove by puerile provocation, ostentatious arrogance, or patricidal discord. Therefore the urgent duty of our América is to show herself as she is, united in soul and intent, fast overcoming the crushing weight of her past, and stained only with the fertilizing blood shed by hands that do battle against ruins, or by veins opened by our former masters. The disdain of the formidable neighbour who does not know her is the greatest danger that faces our América. It is urgent -- for the day of the visit draws close -- that her neighbour come to know her, and quickly, so he will not disdain her. Out of ignorance, he may begin to covet her. But when he knows her, he will remove his hands from her in respect. One must have faith in the best in man, and distrust the worst. One must give the best every opportunity to reveal itself and prevail over the worst. For if not, the worst will prevail. Nations should have one special pillory for those who incite them to futile hatreds, and another for those who do not tell them the truth until it is too late.

There is no racial hatred because there are no races. Low, weak minds working in dim light, have cobbled together and kept in circulation the library-shelf races that the honest traveler and cordial observer search for in vain within the justice of Nature, where triumphant love and turbulent appetite demonstrate again and again the universal identity of mankind. The soul, equal and eternal, emanates from bodies that are diverse in form and color. Anyone who promotes and disseminates opposition or hatred among races is committing a sin against humanity. But within the jumble of peoples that lives in close proximity to our peoples, certain peculiar and dynamic characteristics are condensed -- ideas and habits of expansion, acquisition, vanity, and greed -- that could, in a period of internal disorder or precipitation of the nation's cumulative character, cease to be latent national preoccupations and become a serious threat to the neighbouring, isolated and weak lands that the strong country declares to be perishable and inferior. To think is to serve. We must not, out of a villager's antipathy, impute some lethal and congenital wickedness to the continent's light-skinned nation simply because it does not speak our language or share our view of what home life should be or resemble us in its political failings, which are different from ours, or because it does not think highly of quick-tempered, swarthy men, or look with charity, from its still uncertain eminence, upon those less favoured by history who, in heroic stages are ascending the path that all republics travel. But neither should we seek to conceal the obvious facts of the problem which can, for the peace of the centuries, be resolved by timely study and the urgent, wordless union of the continental soul. For the hymn of unanimity is already ringing forth. The present generation bears industrious América along the road sanctioned by our sublime forefathers. From the Río Bravo[16] to the Straits of Magellan, the Great Cemi,[17] riding high astride a condor, has scattered the seeds of the new América across the romantic nations of the continent and the suffering islands of the sea!


1. Juan de Castellanos (1522-1607): Spanish poet and chronicler of the conquest of New Granada (now Colombia) in which he took part.

2. Four centuries: Curiously, Martí exaggerates the period of "free practice" in the United States by locating the nation's origins at the moment of Columbus's discovery of the Americas in 1492, rather than with the first European settlements on the east coast of North America in the early 1600s (less than three centuries before 1891 when this manifesto is written). He also exaggerates the duration of the French monarchy, which began not at the death of Christ but with the establishment of the Kingdom of the Franks in 486, fourteen centuries earlier and not nineteen, as he states. Perhaps the temporal exaggerations are intended to parody the exaggerated authority conceded to U.S. and French ideas against which Martí protests.

3. Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (1748-1836): Clergyman, author of the manifesto What is the Third Estate?(1789), and leading figure in the French Revolution, who went on to become one of the central instigators of Napoleon's 1799 coup d'état.

4. Civilization and barbarity: Allusion to a key 1845 work by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento titled Facundo o civilización y barbarie en las pampas argentinas. In it, Sarmiento, Argentina's president from 1868 to 1874, used a regional caudillo or strongman, Juan Facundo Quiroga, as an example of barbaric forms of government sprung up in the areas beyond the civilization of the capital cities.

5. A priest: Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1778-1850), who launched Mexico's war of independence from Spain in 1810.

6. A woman: Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez (1773-1829), also known as la corregidora because she was the wife of Miguel Domínguez, corregidor or chief magistrate of the northern Mexican town of Guanajuato. She worked with Miguel Hidalgo (See Note 5) to organize and promote Mexico's independence insurgency.

7. Spanish cleric: José María Castillo (1785-1848), who promoted Central American unity, as well as education and equality in Guatemala.

8. Two heroes clashed: General José de San Martín (1778-1850), leader of the revolution against Spanish colonial rule in the Southern Cone, and General Simón Bolívar (1783-1830) who led the revolution in the upper regions of the South American continent. The clash occurred at the famous Guayaquil interview (1822), after which San Martín ceded command of all his forces to Bolívar and left for France, never to return.

9. Bernardino Rivadivia (1780-1845): Argentine politician who defended the Spanish colony against English invaders and subsequently fought Spain for its independence. Elected as the first president of the United Provinces of Río de la Plata in 1826, he was forced to resign by the caudillo Juan Facundo Quiroga (see Note 4 above), and went into exile in Spain.

10. Lanzón: a short, thick spear with a large metal grip used by campesinos to protect their fields.

11. Iturbide's Congress: Agustín de Iturbide (1783-1824) was a general who initially fought with Spain against Mexico's independence movement, then later joined forces with insurgent general Guerrero to assure Mexico's independence. However, instead of the liberal state envisioned by the insurgents, Iturbide ushered in a conservative one. When his soldiers proclaimed him emperor, the newly independent Mexican Congress, angry but cowed, ratified the proclamation (1822). A revolution soon broke out against him and in 1823 he was forced to abdicate.

12. Phalansteries: The French socialist philosopher Charles Fourier (1772-1837) designed a structure called a phalanstery, intended to house self-contained utopian communities of 500-2,000 inhabitants. Few of them were ever built.

13. Zorilla-esque locks red waistcoat: José Zorilla (1817-93) was a Spanish romantic poet. The waistcoat is the famous gilet rouge worn by French romantic poet Theophile Gautier (1811-1872) to the opening performance of Victor Hugo's romantic play Hernani in 1830. By snipping off the wild locks and abandoning the red waistcoat, Latin American poetry leaves Romanticism behind.

14. Learn Indian languages: Perhaps a tacit reference to Benito Juárez (1806-1872), Mexico's president from 1858 to 1872, who was of Zapotec Indian origins. Juárez's first language was Zapotec; he did not learn Spanish until he went to school.

15. Benito Juárez (1806-1872): See Note 14 above.

16. Rio Bravo: Known as the Rio Grande in the United States, and as the Rio Bravo del norte in Spanish, this river marks a long stretch of the southern border of the United States and northern border of Mexico, before it flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

17. Cemi: A deity or ancestral spirit worshiped by the Taino, an Indigenous people of the Caribbean. The cemi (or zemi) was often represented as a tricornered clay object, which was believed to house the spirit.

(Revised translation for the Centro de Estudios Martianos.)

Haut de



Website:   Email: