Canada Must Uphold the Right of Self-Determination!
– 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)