[News] How U.S. Interference in Cuba Creates a False Picture of Its Society

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Wed Oct 27 20:39:04 EDT 2021

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*How U.S. Interference in Cuba Creates a False Picture of Its Society* 

*By Manolo De Los Santos and Vijay Prashad*

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) appears to be obsessed with Cuba. Every 
few days he takes to social media 
or makes remarks 
to the press about his desire to overthrow the Cuban Revolution. In 
recent months, Rubio has played a key role in drumming up support for 
anti-government protests in Cuba. On September 23, 2021, for instance, 
Rubio tweeted 
“The brave people of Cuba lost their fear of protesting against the 
dictatorship that represses them. Holguín raises its voice against 
tyranny.” Rubio included an article 
about the Cuban town of Holguín in his tweet, where “a group of Cuban 
citizens” are planning to hold a “march against violence” on November 
20. This article appeared in Diario de Cuba, a news site based in Miami, 
Florida, which received 
substantial funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) from 
2016 to 2019, an independent nonprofit that is largely funded 
by “the U.S. Congress.”

A quick study of the Diario de Cuba website reveals that it regularly 
news relating to Marco Rubio’s views against the Cuban government. 
According to the Diario de Cuba article shared by Rubio on the November 
20 march, the initiative has been promoted by a group called 
that proposes to carry out such peaceful demonstrations 
throughout Cuba. Rubio has extended his support for the march and on 
September 29 tweeted 
about a request by the citizens of Guantánamo seeking similar permission 
to hold a march on November 20. In his tweet, he shared an article from 
the news site CiberCuba, which is operated from Florida and Spain. There 
are several 
other news sites reporting on Cuba that are funded by the United States 
government and by foundations like the Open Society and NED, including 
ADN Cuba, Cubanos por el Mundo, Cubita NOW, CubaNet, El Estornudo, 
Periodismo de Barrio, Tremenda Nota, El Toque, and YucaByte.

A wide range of these U.S. government-funded websites and politicians 
such as Rubio have been leading the propaganda to support more protests 
in Cuba. On October 5, the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden 
also provided support to this agenda. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of 
State for Western Hemisphere Brian Nichols tweeted 
“The fight for a free press and free expression continues in Cuba.” 
Meanwhile, during an event hosted 
by Georgetown Americas Institute, Juan Gonzalez, the senior director for 
the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, criticized the 
Cuban government for arresting 
artists and protesters. “[W]hen you put artists in jail for singing and 
for demanding freedom, there’s something wrong with you,” he said 

*November 15*

On October 9, the U.S. Embassy in Havana issued a statement 
that criticized the Cuban government’s decision “to hold military 
exercises throughout the country on November 18 and 19, ending on 
November 20 with National Defense Day,” calling it “a blatant attempt to 
intimidate Cubans.” The Cuban government holds this regular exercise to 
prepare its 11 million citizens for multiple scenarios that range from a 
possible U.S. invasion to natural disasters. Normally military 
personnel, the civil defense forces, and members of the general 
population participate.

To counter this announcement, Archipiélago announced on its Facebook 
page that the march would now be moved 
to November 15 (from November 20), the day Cuban authorities are 
expected to open 
its border to tourism. Meanwhile, several U.S. government officials and 
U.S. elected officials gave their support to what is now being called 
the 15N March.

The first wave of support came from the U.S. elected officials—most of 
them children of Cuban exiles—who have publicly committed themselves to 
overthrowing the Cuban Revolution. On October 10, Florida Congresswoman 
María Elvira Salazar gave her support for the 15N March. The Biden 
administration, she told 
the host of a news program on a Miami television channel, must provide 
Cuban protesters with clandestine internet access. Two days later, on 
October 12, Senator Rubio criticized 
the Cuban government for censoring news about the march, while on 
October 15 Florida Congressman Carlos Giménez, the child of Cuban 
parents who were landowners before 1959, also tweeted 
in support of the march. Giménez included an article 
from the Hill in his tweet that referred to 15N as a “civil liberties 
protest.” Florida’s other senator, Rick Scott, joined Rubio in tweeting 
that the U.S. government “can’t sit on the sidelines during this fight 
for freedom in Cuba.” Scott has introduced 
a bill in the Senate to increase economic sanctions on Cuba. Meanwhile, 
the Cuban government denied 
permission to Archipiélago to hold the march on November 15.

Soon after, on October 16, the U.S. State Department published a 
that condemned the Cuban government’s decision to “deny permission for 
peaceful protests.” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price tweeted 
on October 16 about the U.S. support for “peaceful assembly” by the 
Cuban people, which was retweeted 
by the U.S. Embassy in Havana on the same day. On October 17, Nichols 
also tweeted 
about the Cuban denial for the 15N protest. This was retweeted by the 
U.S. Embassy in Havana and by Bradley Freden, interim U.S. permanent 
representative to the Organization of American States.

On October 20, Nichols shared 
a Human Rights Watch report 
on the July protests in Cuba to once more criticize the government for 
preventing peaceful marches. Two days later, on October 22, Gonzalez 
that the U.S. would have to take action if Cuba does not allow the 15N 
protest to take place.

The atmosphere is charged. The U.S. government and right-wing Cubans who 
are in the U.S. Congress have tried to define the terrain for events in 
mid-November in Cuba. They will ramp up pressure to overthrow the 

*Arrange an Accident*

In April 2021, the National Security Archive declassified 
the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency top-secret documents about Cuba. 
These documents showed that in July 1960, the U.S. government planned to 
assassinate Raúl Castro by paying a Cubana Airlines pilot to crash his 
plane. High-level CIA officials who were part of the agency at the time 
(former CIA Deputy Director of Plans Tracy Barnes, former CIA head of 
the Western Hemisphere Division J.C. King and a former CIA officer in 
Cuba William J. Murray) worked with the Cuban pilot (José Raul Martínez) 
to ensure a “fatal accident” that would lead to the death of Raúl 
Castro. The pilot, however, never found the “opportunity” to carry out 
such an accident.

The attempt on Raúl Castro’s life is one of many projects by the U.S. 
government to overthrow the Cuban Revolution, including 638 
attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro and the invasion 
at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.

Reading the CIA documents from 1960 onward, most of which are available 
in the CIA reading room 
shows how cliched—and yet dangerous—the attempts to overthrow the Cuban 
Revolution by the U.S. government have been. The buildup to 15N bears 
all the marks of this history, one ghoulish plot both cooked up in and 
executed by Washington and Miami.

/*Manolo De Los Santos* is a researcher and a political activist. For 10 
years, he worked in the organization of solidarity and education 
programs to challenge the United States’ regime of illegal sanctions and 
blockades. Based out of Cuba for many years, Manolo has worked toward 
building international networks of people’s movements and organizations. 
In 2018, he became the founding director of the People’s Forum 
in New York City, a movement incubator for working-class communities to 
build unity across historic lines of division at home and abroad. He 
also collaborates as a researcher with Tricontinental: Institute for 
Social Research 
and is a Globetrotter/Peoples Dispatch fellow. He is a co-editor of/ 
Comrade of the Revolution, /available from 1804 Books 
and LeftWord Books 

/*Vijay Prashad* is an Indian historian, editor and journalist. He is a 
writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter 
He is the chief editor of LeftWord Books 
and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research 
He is a senior non-resident fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial 
Renmin University of China. He has written more than 20 books, 
including/ The Darker Nations 
/and/ The Poorer Nations 
His latest book is/ Washington Bullets 
with an introduction by Evo Morales Ayma./
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