No. 64November 15, 2021
Today, Cuba opens its borders to foreign travellers and students return to classes within conditions in which all measures are being taken to ensure that everyone is safe from the nefarious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ninety per cent of the Cuban population is expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of November, with over 94 per cent already having at least one dose, which is one of the highest rates in the world. This has all been accomplished on the basis of self-reliance, with Cuban-made vaccines, and is an achievement of the Cuban people and their government. Social solidarity in Cuba is among the highest in the world because the government works for the people and with the people and is comprised of the people themselves, not elites who claim to be their representatives but serve Big Pharma and other narrow private interests.
We wish the Cuban people well as they move into post-pandemic life, just as we wish the peoples of the entire world well who are still suffering the effects of COVID-19 due to the lack of vaccines and all that they require to protect their people.
What is worrisome in the case of Cuba is the efforts being made by the U.S. administration to launch a so-called colour revolution in that country to overthrow their government and install agents who will permit Cuba’s annexation by the United States. Worrisome also are the countries, such as Canada, that appease the U.S. as it violates international law when it comes to interference in Cuba’s sovereign affairs, by remaining silent or suggesting that CIA activities are in defence of human rights, democracy and prosperity. It is unconscionable that now the counterrevolutionary activities of the CIA — which include targeted assassinations of political opponents, disinformation campaigns, renditions to torture and black ops of all kinds — can be presented as being carried out in defence of the people of Cuba.
On November 1, testimony about the U.S. plans was made public by a reputable Cuban doctor working for the state security agency on the Cuban TV program Razones de Cuba. The following day, President Miguel Díaz-Canel highlighted that testimony, which proved the subversive purposes of the promoters of an illegal march in Cuba called for today. The testimony included irrefutable audio and video evidence.
“The truth always sounds louder in the voice of dignified men,” Díaz-Canel wrote on his Twitter account.
The President also tweeted an article containing new evidence of the destabilization attempts promoted in Cuba by extreme right sectors in the United States.
In his testimony, the doctor explained the links between terrorist organizations and their representatives based in the United States, with the promoters of the planned march that was declared unconstitutional and illegal by the Cuban government.
In light of the revelations, the demonstration’s promoter, Yunior García Aguilera, has declared he will march all by himself if need be. However, it is known that counterrevolutionary forces in the pay of the CIA and other organizations working for the overthrow of the Cuban government continue to plan provocations against Cuban embassies abroad, that they are often violent and always very uncouth. In Canada, known activists in the Cuba solidarity movement have received threats of all kinds and accusations that they are agents of the Cuban government.
Canada’s silence condones such actions, claiming they are political opposition when they are clearly not. This is a serious failing on the part of Canada, which risks losing all credibility that it opposes hate-mongering, extremism and violence. The kinds of confrontations the counterrevolutionary forces are trying to engineer with activists in support of Cuba and its right to self-determination to generate insecurity and destabilization and then blame it on the solidarity movement or government of Cuba itself are unacceptable. They must not be permitted to pass without consequences to those inciting such confrontations.
Should the self-styled “March for Change” proceed in Cuba today with its aim to create a climate of ungovernability — the very day Cuba reopens its borders — it is sure to fail.
Renewal Update calls on Canadians and Quebeckers to make sure it does.
– Isaac Saney, Spokesperson, Canadian Network on Cuba –
On November 15, a series of U.S. orchestrated and financed provocations are planned against Cuba with the explicit aim of subverting the island’s constitutional order, so as to create a pretext for the intensification of the U.S. economic war and justify possible military intervention. The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) denounces Washington’s campaign of destabilization and subversion against the sovereign government of Cuba. These efforts to bring about so-called “regime change” are a flagrant, blatant, and unconscionable violation of the right of self-determination of the people of Cuba.
The CNC re-affirms the inalienable right of all peoples and countries to determine their future and their political, economic, and social system without external interference. This right is enshrined in, inter alia, the United Nations Charter, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-Operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
The U.S. government openly funnels millions upon millions of dollars to so-called opposition figures with the sole aim of destabilizing and undermining Cuban society. These figures openly fraternize and collaborate with U.S. officials, choosing to cavort and cooperate with a regime that sets as its explicit goal the asphyxiation of the Cuban people, the extinguishing of Cuba’s independence and the overturning of the immense social achievements of the Cuban Revolution.
Washington’s frenzied efforts to organize the overthrow of the Cuban Revolution has nothing to do with genuine solidarity with the Cuban people or democracy, but all to do with negating and extinguishing Cuba’s independence and turning back the wheel of history by reasserting U.S. control and tutelage over that proud and heroic island nation.
It is no coincidence that the planned November 15 provocations occur on the exact day Cuba reopens its tourist industry, a key to its recovery from the economic crisis that has gripped the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuba’s reopening is due to the island nation’s Ministry of Health bringing the corona virus under control through immense dedication and effort. At the heart of this successful battle is a mass inoculation campaign using the Cuban-developed vaccines — Soberana 02, Soberana Plus and Abdala.
Cuba’s successful vaccines are a direct challenge to the West’s monopoly over this vital medical technology, especially as these vaccines continue receiving international recognition. As part of Washington’s unabated war, the November 15 provocations may be designed not only to sabotage Cuba’s economy but also to divert attention from its success in creating effective vaccines that Havana is prepared to make available to the world.
In Canada, this relentless U.S. destabilization campaign has been aided and abetted by a malicious and scurrilous anti-Cuba disinformation campaign of the Canadian so-called “mainstream media,” especially the CBC. Abandoning all pretence to journalistic objectivity, standards and ethics, the CBC is engaged in outright deception based on spurious and misleading sources, and the promotion of blatant falsehoods about Cuba. It has seemingly become an unapologetic extension of the propaganda arm of the U.S. State Department, ostensibly placing itself at the behest of U.S. counterrevolutionary and anti-Cuba agencies and forces.
If the CBC is truly interested in the human rights and well-being of the people of Cuba, then it should unequivocally and unambiguously expose the U.S. economic war and aggressions against Cuba. Instead, it seems determined to bring about a rupture in Canada-Cuba relations, so that Ottawa unabashedly mirrors Washington.
Canadians reject this shameful and naked alignment with the criminal U.S. war against Cuba. Thousands of Canadian citizens and residents have declared that Cuba is not alone by signing parliamentary petitions condemning Washington’s economic war and campaign of subversion, and calling on the government of Canada to take concrete and meaningful steps in opposing the U.S. war on Cuba.
It bears underscoring that on June 23, for the 29th consecutive time, the global community overwhelmingly stood with Cuba, voting 184 to 2 in the United Nations General Assembly, resoundingly repudiating the U.S. economic war against Cuba as a flagrant violation of international law.
Since the early 1960s, the Government of the United States has imposed on Cuba the longest lasting regime of sanctions in history. It is not an exaggeration to describe Washington’s policy as an economic war against the people of Cuba. U.S. economic sanctions — an economic blockade — constitute the principal obstacle to Cuba’s social and economic development; the cost to the heroic island-nation has been and is immense: more than $130 billion.
Under U.S. President Donald Trump, the economic war against Cuba reached unprecedented levels with 243 distinct and vindictive measures targeted against the island nation. The administration of President Joseph Biden has continued this unrelenting economic war against Cuba.
Cuba is under siege. The goal is to starve the Cuban people into submission by suffocating the economy for the purpose of generating shortages and hardships that would lead to Washington’s longed-for massive social unrest that would then serve as a pretext to intervene in Cuba.
This was unambiguously articulated by Lester D. Mallory, Vice Secretary of State, and an architect of U.S. Cuba policy. He wrote in a now-declassified U.S. State Department April 6, 1960, memorandum:
“The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba … denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”
These latest attempts of destabilization are the continuation of this war against Cuba. The aim is to reimpose U.S. domination, hegemony and tutelage.
In the face of these provocations, Cuba has the right under international law to defend itself against the aggressions and machinations of an external power and their acolytes.
What is it that Washington seeks to destroy? What is the society that the U.S. government is so zealously committed to undermining? It is a society where universal education and health care, housing, food and access to culture are fundamental human rights, and the state — within its limited resources — does its utmost to transform these aspirations into reality. Indeed, in Cuba there are no homeless children roaming the streets eking out an existence in a dog-eat-dog society.
The annual United Nations Human Development Report (HDR) repeatedly confirms the advances and progress of Cuba. Moreover, Cuba ranks first in terms of the relationship between economic means and capacity for human development. Thus, in the effective use of resources for human benefit, Cuba outperforms the much richer countries of the so-called “developed world.”
It is internationalist Cuba which has selflessly dispatched tens of thousands of medical personnel to dozens of countries across the world to fight disease, be it Ebola or COVID-19.
This is the society that Cubans are defending. Whatever the flaws and shortcomings, whatever the errors and miss-steps, it is up to the people of Cuba and the people of Cuba alone — not any foreign power or their surrogates — to determine Cuba’s political, social and economic arrangements.
The CNC expresses its resolute solidarity with and support for the Cuban people and their Revolution as they defend themselves against the latest act of all-sided aggression launched by the U.S. government.
We call on the Canadian government to live up to its obligations under the UN Charter, other international legal treaties, and its responsibilities as a member of the international community by denouncing and condemning the continuing U.S. aggression against Cuba.
Millions of Canadians have travelled to Cuba and come away with a profound respect and admiration for the people of Cuba. Irrespective of their political or ideological positions, Canadians stand for the building of genuine friendship with the island nation: relations based on mutual respect, equality, and recognition of Cuba’s right to self-determination and sovereignty
The Canadian Network on Cuba is confident that the Cuban people will overcome any challenges posed by U.S. imperialism as they continue marching on the path of independence, sovereignty, social justice, self-determination, and human dignity.
(November 10, 2021)
Two vibrant meetings were held in support of Cuba, in Ottawa and Montreal, as the Cuban government is taking all-sided measures to reopen the country on November 15.
Close to 40 people participated in the meeting in Ottawa on November 8. The special guest speaker was Giuvel Orozco Ortega, Counsellor-Deputy Head of Mission of the Cuban Embassy in Canada. The meeting was sponsored by Ottawa Cuba Connections, Association d’Amitié Outaouais-Cuba and ALBA Social Movements Ottawa. The well-attended meeting in itself was an expression of the love and support the Canadian and Quebec people have for Cuba and of their concerns whenever the Cuban people are subjected to renewed and relentless threats and attacks by U.S. imperialism and its agents.
Guivel explained that as of November 15, life in Cuba will enter a new normality. The economy will be reopened, an important part of it being tourism, elementary school children will be going back to their classes, and the safety of the Cuban people and foreigners in Cuba will be ensured. Close to 75 per cent of the Cuban population has already been vaccinated. Children as young as two years of age are being vaccinated with the totally Cuban-developed Soberana vaccines, and plans are underway to begin using the Abdala vaccine as well for young children. The government, President Miguel Diaz-Canel and the scientific community have been hard at work to protect the Cuban population and to bring the Cuban economy and social life back to normal, he said.
He pointed out that agents of counterrevolution, in coordination with the U.S., have announced that they will undertake actions to destabilize Cuba on November 15. He said that an impression is created that some people in Cuba simply want to express their opinions in opposition to the Cuban government and that the Cuban government is denying them their right to speak and to demonstrate, thus “oppressing the Cuban people.” An article in the Constitution is invoked to defend their freedom of assembly and to demonstrate, but, as Giuvel pointed out, the Constitution also has conditions to this, one of them being that these actions cannot put the safety of the people at risk, which is exactly what happened in the violent street actions of July 11 of this year. In this, the overall aim of those forces committed to regime change in Cuba is to try to isolate Cuba, incite violence and condone social disorder and create a situation whereby the U.S. will call for military intervention in Cuba.
He said that he expects the fiercest campaign against Cuba in this respect will be launched abroad, because on November 15 the Cuban people will be going about their daily lives. He said that one of the best ways to support Cuba at this time is to travel to Cuba in the upcoming tourist season starting in November, and to let everyone know that it is safe to go to Cuba. The necessity to oppose the use of “human rights” by the Canadian government to slander Cuba, which dishonours and threatens the friendly relations Canada and Quebec have always had with Cuba, was also raised in the discussion.
The Montreal meeting was held on November 11, organized by the Table de concertation de solidarité Québec-Cuba. The meeting featured Giuvel Orozco Ortega, Counsellor-Deputy Head of Mission of the Cuban Embassy in Canada, as well as Mara Bilbao Díaz, Consul General of Cuba in Montreal. A lively exchange was held with them on the important changes underway in Cuba to reopen the economy. Nearly 70 people attended, both in-person and virtually, and French and English translation were provided.
Giuvel presented a picture of the aggressive and provocative activities of the United States against Cuba since the beginning of the Cuban revolution, with the imposition of the blockade from the very beginning. It was stepped up with the adoption in 1992 of the Torricelli Act under the George Bush administration, and the Helms-Burton Act in 1996 under Bill Clinton, which brought restrictions on tourism, travel and trade, including extraterritorial measures imposed on trade and the banking system. The aim was to tighten the blockade and the constraints on the Cuban people in all directions in the hope it would force them to give in and abandon their sovereign nation-building project. He explained how these measures were intensified, despite the pandemic, under the Trump administration and now under the Biden administration. Giuvel highlighted Cuba’s constant and courageous efforts through the maximum mobilization of the Cuban people, and the immense effort of organizations, personalities, governments and peoples throughout the world to denounce the criminal blockade of the United States against Cuba and demand that it be lifted.
He spoke of how the anti-Cuban activities of Miami and the U.S. government have taken since June – when once again an overwhelming majority of members of the UN General Assembly voted in favour of a resolution demanding the U.S. end its economic blockade on Cuba – the form of a war via social networks. With the collaboration of other international powers including Spain, they have attempted to create a false opposition movement called SOS Cuba. This has nothing to do with the demands of the Cuban people, but everything to do with the ultimate and desperate concentrated efforts of the United States to break Cuba and its people, he said.
Cuba, in this post-pandemic period, is reopening its doors to tourism, returning its children to school, and completing the full vaccination of its people so as to be able to focus on the affirmation of its right to be, on the well-being of the people and its future, and there is no room, said Giuvel, to allow the counterrevolution to organize on Cuban soil.
Mara Bilbao Díaz, speaking of the current situation, said that it has required a lot of effort from Cubans. Today, Cuba shows important indicators of improvement in COVID patients, thanks to its scientists, doctors, nurses and its people.
However, the constant attempts, stepped up in recent months, to destabilize the country and harm the social peace of the Caribbean nation, seek to spoil the reopening of Cuba, scheduled for November 15.
Mara stressed that the central axis of this operation, which is organized from the United States, with the intervention of high-ranking officials, members of Congress and anti-Cuban senators, is an attempt to destabilize the country in order to provoke conflicts. As of November 10, she said, there are already 29 declarations of U.S. government officials and influential personalities of this country that have been issued to exert pressure on different governments to join these actions against Cuba.
Cuba’s foreign minister said on November 10, in a meeting with foreign diplomats accredited in Cuba, that “we will not under any circumstances allow the persistent aggression of the United States government and its intense and constant attempts, intensified over the last six to eight months, to generate conditions of internal destabilization, to alter the tranquility and security of citizens, to harm the social peace that characterizes the Cuban people, our nation.”
Mara added that Cuba’s foreign minister called for the solidarity of the international community, the community of nations that make up the General Assembly of the United Nations, the most universal, democratic and representative body of that organization. He also expressed thanks for the solidarity of Cuba’s friends around the world — the solidarity groups, the many political forces, civil society organizations in all regions and areas of the planet and Cubans residing in different countries, especially in the United States.
Following the presentation, several participants praised the Cuban government’s post-pandemic plan and other initiatives of the government and people to move forward. They also emphasized the importance of the activities organized in Quebec and Canada in solidarity with Cuba. Examples included, the monthly pickets and caravans, the sending of medical and other supplies, the petition to the Canadian government against the U.S. war on Cuba, and the letters sent to the members of the Quebec National Assembly by La Table de concertation de solidarité Québec-Cuba urging them to consult with La Table in the event of a motion being put forward or discussion held concerning Cuba.
Aileen Carmenaty Sanchez, 3rd Secretary-Press Attaché at the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa, with responsibility for solidarity, beautifully performed two songs accompanying herself on the guitar to close the meeting.
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