[News] Reflections on Anti-Cuban Terror
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 9 12:22:19 EDT 2013
*Reflections on Anti-Cuban Terror *
by W. T. Whitney Jr.
Bombs set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15
killed three and wounded over 200 people. The metropolitan area became
a virtual war zone. Officials at every level let loose with
doomsday-style retaliatory proclamations. For some, however, the clamor
served to resurrect memories of U.S. terrorism -- against Cuba for
instance -- reminding them that U.S. anti-terrorist verbiage was full of
Almost one year before the Marathon bombings, on April 27, 2012, the
office of a tourist agency in Coral Gables, Florida that promotes
charter flights and legal travel to Cuba was firebombed and destroyed.
A local blogger said of owner Vivian Mannerud: "Too bad she was not
inside the office."
pointed out recently that, "to this day, not one elected official -- and
in particular, James Cason, mayor of Coral Gables -- has ever come out
to denounce this act of terrorism." There are still no suspects and few
signs of ongoing investigation. The Boston and Florida situations are
very different, and perhaps the lack of deaths and injuries in the
Florida case account for some of the muted response there. But in the
past, even when Cuba and its supporters were beset with chaos and
calamity reminiscent of the Boston experience, impunity prevailed.
Orlando Bosch <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orlando_Bosch> and Luis
Posada <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Posada_Carriles> engineered
the murderous downing of a fully loaded Cuban airliner at sea in 1976.
Posada also arranged for hotel bombings in Cuba in 1997. They found
safe haven in Florida.
The U.S. government
itself is a purveyor of terrorism. Its wars, drones, economic
sanctions, puppet insurgencies, torture regimens, and prison abuses
terrorize peoples throughout the world. The United States exports spies
and informants and supports the militarized police forces and national
armies of puppet governments. Terror fostered by the United States
aggravates hostilities and swells enemy ranks. Vicious cycles ensue and
conflicts expand. Openings then multiply for the U.S. government to
claim victimization and to rationalize its own terror attacks.
Cuba, however, stands apart from this deadly interchange seen elsewhere.
Terror strikes in only one direction -- against Cuba. Cuban sources
indicate that U.S.-based terrorists have killed almost 3,500 people over
50 years, either Cubans or friends of Cuba. By contrast, U.S. military
and intelligence officials now and then reiterate that Cuba represents
no military or economic threat to the United States.
Yet the U.S. government maintains Cuba on its list of state sponsors of
terrorism. Apologists point to Basque separatists welcomed in Cuba and
to sanctuary given leftist Colombian guerrillas. But Spain asked that
Cuba take in the Basques, and Colombia embraced Cuba's offer to host
government negotiations with the guerrillas. So, political refuge
provided for Assata Shakur
has long been cited. Having escaped from a U.S. prison, the black
liberation combatant moved to Cuba.
The United States recently simultaneously announced that Cuba will
remain on its list of terror-sponsoring states and that, conveniently
enough, Assata Shakur was being placed on the FBI's ten "most wanted
terrorist" list, as well as that the bounty for her capture and return
to the United States was raised to $2 million. Many legal observers,
however, remain highly critical of the prosecution and trial in 1977
through which she was convicted of murdering a New Jersey policeman.
Considering that Cuba is quite blameless, refusing to engage in
tit-for-tat, one may ask: Why have terror attacks against Cuba continued?
One answer is that the U.S. government, as minder of an empire, is
serious about its duty to counter revolutionary and anti-imperialist
movements from their earliest stirrings to their takings of power and
beyond. U.S. governments have been dealing with Cuban revolutionaries
for almost 150 years. In reaction to anti-annexationist, anti-racist
independence struggles led by Jose Marti and Antonio Maceo, the United
States ended up invading Cuba. U.S. troops helped beat down an
Afro-Cuban uprising in 1912. Then in the early 1930s came Cuban student
and labor mobilizations, anti-imperialist in nature -- harbingers of a
socialist revolution that took charge in 1959. Special treatment for
Cuba may stem, in part, from enmity to an anti-imperialism that never quits.
Cuban anti-imperialism is not all U.S. power brokers have to worry
about. Despite bashings, Cuba poses the threat of a good example. The
socialist state has ensured long life expectancy, low infant mortality,
ready access to high quality education, jobs, adequate nutrition and
housing, and inculcation of ethical, communitarian values and cultural
heritages. Cubans even weather natural disasters in exemplary fashion.
Cuba's adventures in international solidarity add insult to injury.
Beleaguered Cuba contested apartheid in southern Africa
cares for the sick and injured throughout the world
educates young people from all over
And annoyingly Cuba defends itself against terror in targeted,
non-violent ways. Cuban volunteers moved to Florida to monitor
U.S.-based terrorists so that Cuba could prepare against attacks and
maybe prevent them. For their pains, the Cuban Five
<http://www.thecuban5.org/>, as they are known, were subjected to a
biased trial and long, cruel sentences. A worldwide movement is
demanding that U.S. President Obama release them.
Because the Five targeted violent private organizations operating from
bases in Florida, their activities and their trial highlighted the
general role of proxy warriors. Use of proxies frees central
authorities from having publically to take responsibility for
state-sponsored terror campaigns. In effect, the Five helped elucidate
similarities among a variety of non-state perpetrators, specifically
between private paramilitary groups in Florida and autonomous terrorist
groups and individuals elsewhere, even those at war with the United
States. That bit of political education may have earned the Cuban Five
a good part of their wildly excessive penalties.
W. T. Whitney Jr., a retired pediatrician, is a Cuba solidarity activist
and member of Veterans for Peace. He writes on Latin American issues.
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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