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EU CAVES TO WASHINGTON'S ANTI-CUBA PRESSURE (english)
by Workers World
Email: boston (nospam) workers.org
01 Jul 2003
Modified: 02 Jul 2003
EU CAVES TO WASHINGTON'S ANTI-CUBA PRESSURE
By Gloria La Riva
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the July 3, 2003
issue of Workers World newspaper
EU CAVES TO WASHINGTON'S ANTI-CUBA PRESSURE
By Gloria La Riva
More than 1 million Cuban people marched on the Spanish and Italian
embassies in Havana on June 12, protesting their imposition of sanctions against the island through the European Union.
The mass demonstration divided in two to culminate in joint rallies at
both embassies, led by Cuban President Fidel Castro and First Vice
President Raul Castro.
Only days before, on June 5, the 15-member European Union (EU) had
adopted new economic and political measures against Cuba. The EU's move is supposedly meant to protest the conviction of 75 Cubans in early April as foreign agents of the U.S. working to destabilize the socialist country.
Many observers see the EU's move as a surrender to U.S. domination in
one more geopolitical sphere: first Iraq, now Cuba. The June 5 EU
declaration continues a growing anti-Cuba trend begun in imperialist
Europe in the mid-1990s.
WHAT ABOUT GUANTANAMO?
Cuba denounced the EU for hypocrisy in not uttering a word against the
Pentagon's brutal detention of Muslims, Arabs and Afghanis on Guantanamo naval base, which the U.S. occupies over Cuba's objections. The more than 600 prisoners at Guantanamo are being held without charges and are deprived of all rights.
Despite massive demonstrations by the peoples of Europe and the world,
the European Union uttered not a word of condemnation of the U.S.
bombing of Iraq or of the current occupation of the country and
exploitation of its wealth.
With the March 1996 passage of the Helms-Burton law, the U.S. government tried to expand its now 44-year-old blockade by demanding that other countries break economic ties with Cuba or be penalized.
It has applied intense pressure on Cuba's European and Latin American
trading partners. Two governments in particular--Spain and Italy--have
been servile to U.S. imperialism in recent years, against not only Cuba but Yugoslavia and Iraq. However, huge sections of Spanish and Italian public opinion disagree. The largest demonstrations against the Iraq war were held in these two countries. On Feb. 15, 2003, more than 4 million people took to the streets in Spain--10 percent of the entire population.
Although Spain is one of Cuba's biggest trading partners, Prime Minister José María Aznar has led a virulent anti-Cuba sanctions campaign within the EU.
He now proposes that the "Common Position on Cuba," adopted by the EU on Nov. 13, 1996, be tightened against Cuba in the continuing EU talks. The Common Position is incorporated as Point Four in the current June 5 EU statement.
Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reprinted a Spanish newspaper
article from 1996 that commented on the significance of that change:
"In Brussels tomorrow," wrote El Pais, "the Spanish government will
propose to its partners in the European Union that they implement a
strategy of economic harassment of Fidel Castro's regime."
The measures planned by Aznar, it said, "envisage a complete break in
Spanish Cuba policy." Aznar, a conservative, had become prime minister
in March of that year.
Italy's government, headed by the scandal-ridden administration of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has taken unilateral steps to cut off the equivalent in euros of $46 million earmarked for economic trade and development.
These include eliminating $20 million to improve irrigation in Granma
and Havana provinces. Cuba has been suffering a severe drought for
several years that shows no signs of relief, according to
Millions more would have gone to support senior centers.
Another threat to Cuba by the Euro pean Union is its pledge--embodied in the June 5 statement--to invite Cuban counter-revolutionaries into the EU's respective embassies in Havana, thus supporting the overthrow of the government under the guise of "promoting democracy in Cuba."
Diplomatic officials at the Spanish Cultural Center--"Casa de España"--in Old Havana have already been doing this. Cuba hosts a program of
cultural cooperation with certain countries, allowing the guest country a place to display and share its national culture. But Spain has defied the purpose of the cultural exchange and frequently used the center to invite Cuban right-wingers to its gatherings to organize against the socialist government.
On June 14, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the
Casa de España would revert to Cuban supervision: "In a just tribute to one of the greatest Spanish poets and dramatists, brutally sent to the firing squad by fascism in 1936, the institution is to become the
Federico García Lorca Cultural Center. From now on, under Cuban
administration, the center will be totally dedicated to promoting the
finest values of Spanish culture in our country."
A large billboard of the famed Picasso anti-fascist mural, "Guernica,"
in memory of the victims of fascism in the Spanish Civil War, was
recently raised in front of the Spanish Embassy in defiance of Aznar's
alliance with Bush.
Meanwhile, on May 20, the U.S. step ped up television and radio
interference with Cuba's airwaves. It also allowed José Basulto, the
notorious Miami-based anti-Cuban terrorist, to fly a plane with
rudimentary television broadcast equipment to a point where it
interfered with Cuba's television stations.
On June 12, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell made an outrageous and unsub stantiated claim: that Cuba has actively promoted trafficking of children in prostitution for the promotion of tourism. It was clearly designed for mass media consumption, like the phony charts alleging Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction that he had presented to the UN to justify the U.S. invasion and war.
In this annual State Department report on human trafficking, Powell put Cuba in "Tier 3," the most serious level.
The human trafficking report is one more political weapon wielded
against independent and sovereign countries that the U.S. ruling class
deems a threat to its aim of domination.
If Washington were really worried about trafficking, it would abolish
the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, the single greatest enticement to human
smuggling from Cuba to the U.S.
This reporter has made many visits to Cuba. Any visitor can see that
children are regarded as the greatest treasure of the revolution. Not
only do children no longer have to shine shoes or clean windshields or
beg in the streets, they have a future assured to them by the socialist gains of Cuban society.
The barrage of lies and false charges leveled against Cuba are meant to confuse and disorient the people of the world, especially in the United States. More than ever, a working-class analysis and clarity are needed to strengthen the people's movements in defense of Cuba.
- END -
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by Pat Kincaid
laughter (nospam) aol.com (unverified)
02 Jul 2003
Always good to hear the Stalinist viewpoint.