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What About Pentagon and CIA Aggression Against Cuba?

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | March 22, 2022

While the mainstream media and American statists remain transfixed on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it’s difficult not to notice their moral blindness with respect to the evil and hypocrisy of the Pentagon and the CIA, which have spent years ginning up this deadly and destructive crisis as part of their political gamesmanship against Russia.

After all, let’s face it: When it was the Pentagon and the CIA invading Iraq and Afghanistan, the reaction of the mainstream media and American statists was totally opposite to how they have responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. During those deadly and destructive invasions, there was hardly ever any sympathy for the victims and instead accolades, praise, and glorification of the invaders. Don’t forget the daily mantra that everyone was exhorted to recite, “Support the troops!”

But let’s leave Iraq and Afghanistan aside and let’s go back to the early 1960s, when the CIA and the Pentagon were doing everything they could, including committing fraud, to induce President Kennedy to invade Cuba, which is every bit as sovereign and independent as Ukraine. 

Let’s begin with a recent statement by U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price, who was expressing the official position of the Pentagon and the CIA. Price stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to violate “core principles,” including “the principle that each and every country has a sovereign right to determine its own foreign policy, has a sovereign right to determine for itself with whom it will choose to associate in terms of its alliances, its partnerships, and what orientation it wishes to direct its gaze.”

Price was referring to Ukraine’s “right” to join NATO, the corrupt bureaucratic dinosaur that should have gone out of existence at the ostensible end of the Cold War. Price’s statement confirms, of course, the point I have long been making — that the war in Ukraine is not about freedom, it’s about NATO.

Keep Price’s statement in mind as we go back to the height of the Cold War and see how the Pentagon and the CIA were hell-bent on doing to Cuba what Russia is now doing to Ukraine.

That’s what the CIA’s invasion of the Bay of Pigs in Cuba was all about — an effort to invade the island for the sake of ousting the Castro regime from power and replacing it with another corrupt and brutal U.S. puppet dictatorship, such as that of Fulgencio Batista, the brutal pro-U.S. dictatorial puppet that the Cuban revolution succeeded in ousting from power.

But that’s not all there is to the Bay of Pigs story. As I detail in my new book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, the Pentagon and the CIA were engaged in political gamesmanship against President Kennedy, who the CIA considered to be a neophyte president who could easily be manipulated into ordering an invasion of Cuba, one that would have been no different from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The CIA told Kennedy that its invasion would succeed without direct U.S. military air and ground support. It was a lie — a deliberate, knowing, intentional lie. The CIA was just playing and maneuvering what they considered was an easily manipulable president. The CIA figured that once the invasion began faltering, Kennedy would have no choice but to send in air support, followed by a full-scale military invasion of Cuba. The Pentagon played its part in the fraudulent scheme by falsely telling Kennedy that the invasion had a high chance of success, when, in fact, the Pentagon knew otherwise. 

In other words, the Pentagon and the CIA, who are both pontificating in righteous tones about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, were manipulating a U.S. president into doing to Cuba precisely what Russia is now doing to Ukraine.

Kennedy refused to fall for the scheme and the CIA’s invasion went down to ignominious defeat at the hands of the communists, which is one big reason why the Pentagon and the CIA still maintain their brutal economic embargo against the Cuban people to this day. They’ve never forgotten or forgiven their defeat at the hands of the Cuban Reds.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of the story. After the CIA’s fraudulent fiasco at the Bay of Pigs, the Pentagon began exhorting Kennedy to undertake a full-scale military invasion of Cuba — yes, the same type of military invasion that Russia has undertaken against Ukraine. 

This was when the Pentagon presented Kennedy with one of the most infamous plans in U.S. history, one based on falsehoods and fraud. It was called Operation Northwoods. The Pentagon succeeded in keeping it secret from the American people for some 30 years. It was uncovered in the 1990s by the Assassination Records Review Board, the entity that was charged with securing the release of JFK-assassination related records from the military, the CIA, the Secret Service, and the FBI, which had succeeded in encasing the assassination in “national security” rubric.

Operation Northwoods called for real terrorist attacks against American citizens, in which Americans would die. The attacks (and murders) would be carried out by Pentagon agents secretly posing as Cuban communists. The president would then use those attacks as a pretext for invading Cuba — an invasion no different from what Russia is now doing to Ukraine.

To his everlasting credit, and to the ire and rage of the military establishment, Kennedy rejected Operation Northwoods.

His relationship with the military did not improve when he walked out of a meeting in which the military was endorsing a plan to initiate a surprise full-scale nuclear attack on Russia, similar to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but with carpet bombing using nuclear bombs. That was when JFK stated in disgust as he left the meeting, “And we call ourselves the human race.’’

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Pentagon was doing everything it could to pressure Kennedy into ordering a full-scale bombing and military invasion of Cuba to retaliate for Cuba’s installation of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. The Pentagon and the CIA took the position that Cuba didn’t have the “right” to do that.

Let’s revisit State Department spokesman Ned Price’s pontifical words with respect to Ukraine: “the principle that each and every country has a sovereign right to determine its own foreign policy, has a sovereign right to determine for itself with whom it will choose to associate in terms of its alliances, its partnerships, and what orientation it wishes to direct its gaze.”

Whoops! Well, except for Cuba! To Kennedy’s everlasting credit, he refused to succumb to the Pentagon’s pressure to invade Cuba. In fact, by this time he held the military-intelligence establishment in deep disdain, and, of course, the feeling was mutual. To the rage of the Pentagon and the CIA, Kennedy struck a deal with Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev in which he vowed that there would be no more U.S. invasions of Cuba by either the Pentagon or the CIA. 

Adding insult to injury, in a secret codicil to the agreement, Kennedy promised to remove the Pentagon’s nuclear missiles in Turkey that were aimed at the Soviet Union. Yes, you read that right: The Pentagon and the CIA claimed that Cuba had no “right” to install nuclear missiles in Cuba while maintaining that the Pentagon and the CIA had the “right” to install nuclear missiles in Turkey aimed at the Soviet Union.

That’s one reason why the Pentagon and the CIA knew that Russia would invade Ukraine when NATO threatened to absorb Ukraine. The absorption would enable the Pentagon and the CIA to install their nuclear missiles on Russia’s border. The Pentagon and the CIA knew that Russia’s reaction to that possibility would be no different from the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s reaction to the installation of Russian nuclear missiles in Cuba.

Needless to say, neither the Pentagon nor the CIA has ever apologized for their Cold War machinations against both Kennedy and Cuba. That, of course, is not surprising. The reaction of their Operation Mockingbird assets in the mainstream press is also not surprising.

What is disappointing, however, is how so many Americans refuse to acknowledge, criticize, and condemn this manifest evil and rank hypocrisy within their own country. As I point out in my book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, that’s because all too many Americans, unfortunately, have come to view the national-security establishment as their god.

March 22, 2022 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment

Russia & China may be ready to challenge America’s ‘Monroe Doctrine’

By Paul Robinson | RT | February 1, 2022

For 200 years, the Monroe Doctrine – asserting a US sphere of influence over Latin America – has been a cornerstone of American policy. But as Russia and China assert their opposition to the US-led world order, American dominance in the region is beginning to look a little shaky.

As the “Russian invasion” scare enters its fourth month, and Russian tanks still fail to roll into Kiev, the parameters of Moscow’s likely response to the West’s rejection of its security demands are becoming a little clearer. Frustrated with what it sees as decades of Western contempt for its concerns, Moscow has demanded that the US offer it security guarantees, including a promise not to expand NATO further to the east. As has become clear through America’s negative response this week, the US has no intention of doing as Russia desires. The issue is now how the Kremlin will react.

Despite hysterical headlines in the Western media about a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has categorically ruled this option out. “Our nation has likewise repeatedly stated that we have no intention to attack anyone. We consider the very thought that our people may go to war against each other unacceptable,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexei Zaitsev this week.

This is not surprising. Russian officials and security experts have repeatedly made clear that Ukraine is a secondary issue and that their primary concern is a much broader one – the general nature of the international system and of the security architecture in Europe. The idea that failure to achieve agreement on the latter would lead to the invasion of the former was never very logical. Instead of targeting Ukraine, Russia’s response to the current diplomatic impasse is much more likely to be directed at the party deemed by Moscow to be most responsible for the problem, namely the US.

And what better way to do this than to challenge America in its own back yard? Since President James Monroe declared his famous “doctrine” in 1832 – according to which any foreign interference in the politics of the Americas is deemed a hostile act against Washington – the US has fiercely asserted its primacy in both North and South America.

Nowhere has this been clearer than in successive US administrations’ efforts to depose the government of Cuba, as well as the imposition of sanctions on that country for over 60 years. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Washington made it clear that it was willing even to risk nuclear war to prevent potentially hostile weaponry being deployed close to its borders. Meanwhile, elsewhere it has used other methods to undermine or overthrow Latin American governments deemed insufficiently friendly. These include supporting coups and insurgencies, such as aiding the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

But Washington’s ability to bend Latin America to its will appears somewhat weakened. Support for regime change in Bolivia and Honduras has backfired, with members of the deposed governments having returned to power. Meanwhile, China is expanding its Belt and Road Initiative into South America, with seven countries having signed up to join and negotiations under way with Nicaragua to add an eighth. The US is no longer the only player in town.

Russia has now stepped into the mix. In the past few weeks, President Vladimir Putin has held telephone conversations with the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, all countries with whom Washington has very poor relations. According to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, agreement was reached with all three “to deepen our strategic partnership, with no exceptions, including military and military-technical.”

Asked if this meant deploying Russian troops to those countries, Lavrov’s deputy Sergey Ryabkov failed to rule it in, but failed to rule it out also. “The president of Russia has spoken multiple times on the subject of what the measures could be, for example involving the Russian Navy, if things are set on the course of provoking Russia, and further increasing the military pressure on us by the US,” he said.

A much-discussed extreme option would involve going back to 1962 and placing missiles in Cuba or Venezuela. Given that Russia now has missiles with hypersonic capabilities, this would give it the capacity to strike the US in a matter of minutes, rendering any defense impossible.

It seems unlikely, though, that the Russian government would take such a provocative step unless the US first did something similar in Ukraine or elsewhere close to the Russian border. Even the option mentioned by Ryabkov of some Russian naval deployment to the region is far from certain. “We can’t deploy anything” to Cuba, said former president Dmitry Medvedev this week, arguing that it would harm that country’s prospects of improving its relations with the US and “would provoke tension in the world.”

Still, the threat of such action now dangles in the air. So, too, does the possibility of lesser options, such as additional arms sales as well as economic assistance to enable the Cubans and others to resist American sanctions. For now, we will have to wait and see exactly what “military and military-technical” measures Moscow has in mind. But it is likely that whatever it is will not be to the Americans’ liking. Nor will Russia’s more general support of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

Reacting to talk of Russian military deployments in the Americas, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has promised that the Americans would respond “decisively.” This is somewhat ironic, since Sullivan and his peers in the US government seem to deny Russia the right to respond to American deployments close to its borders. But that is by the by. In reality, it’s hard to see what Washington could actually do, short of starting a catastrophic war. Efforts to overthrow the Cuban and Venezuelan government having failed, and economic ties having been almost fully broken, its leverage against those countries is weak.

Washington now has to face the reality that while it remains the foremost power in the world, it can no longer be fully confident of its hegemony even close to home. Its decline is a very gradual process. Nothing very dramatic will likely result from Russia’s latest announcement. It is also possible that Moscow would have decided to cooperate more deeply with Cuba and others even in the absence of current East-West tensions. But had relations been good, one can imagine that the Kremlin might have been inclined not to challenge the US in its own neighborhood.

As it is, the news highlights the fact that pressuring Russia is not a cost-free option from Washington’s point of view and may well rebound to its disadvantage. That’s something that the authorities in the White House could do well to consider.

Paul Robinson is a professor at the University of Ottawa. He writes about Russian and Soviet history, military history and military ethics, and is author of the Irrussianality blog.

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ready for Another Game of Russian Roulette?

By H. Bruce FRANKLIN | CounterPunch | January 19, 2022

As the U.S. moves nuclear forces closer and closer to the border of Russia, and as our corporate media bang their war drums louder and louder, does anyone remember the Cuban missile crisis?

In June of 1961, just three months after the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba was defeated,  the United States began the deployment of fifteen Jupiter nuclear missiles to Turkey, which shared a border with the Soviet Union. Each missile, armed with a W49 1.4 megaton thermonuclear warhead, was equivalent to 175 Hiroshima bombs. With their fifteen-hundred-mile range, the missiles were capable of annihilating Moscow, Leningrad, and every major city and base in the Russian heartland. Each missile could incinerate Moscow in just sixteen minutes from launch, thus wildly raising the possibility of thermonuclear war caused by technological accident, human error, miscommunication, or preemptive attack.

We didn’t hear about the Jupiter missiles and of course we didn’t hear anything about Operation Mongoose, the top-secret plan launched on November 1, 1961, to overthrow the government of Cuba through a systematic campaign of sabotage, coastal raids, assassinations, subversion leading to CIA-sponsored guerrilla warfare, and an eventual invasion by the U.S. military. The armed raids and sabotage succeeded in killing many Cubans and damaging the economy, which was hit much harder by the economic embargo announced in February. However, the assassination plots were foiled, and all attempts to develop an internal opposition failed. Many of the CIA agents and Cuban exiles who infiltrated the island by sea and air were captured, and quite a few of them talked, even on Cuban radio, about the plans for a new U.S. invasion, which was planned for October. Cuba requested military help from the Soviet Union, which by July was sending troops, air defense missiles, battlefield nuclear weapons, and medium-range ballistic missiles equivalent to the U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey.

At 7 p.m. eastern time on Monday, October 22, 1962, John F. Kennedy delivered the most terrifying presidential message of my lifetime. Declaring that the Soviet Union had created a “clear and present danger” by placing in Cuba “large, long-range, and clearly offensive weapons of sudden mass destruction” “capable of striking Washington, D.C.,” he announced that U.S. ships would immediatly impose a “strict quarantine,” a transparent euphemism for a blockade, on the island. Knowing that the American people knew nothing about the recent and ongoing U.S. deployment of the Jupiter ballistic missiles capable of striking all the cities of the Russian heartland, he stated, “Nuclear weapons are so destructive and ballistic missiles are so swift that any . . . change in their deployment may well be regarded as a definite threat to peace.” And knowing the American people knew nothing about Operation Mongoose and its previously planned invasion of Cuba in October, the president stated over and over again that these Soviet missiles were “offensive threats” with no defensive purpose. Here was his most frightening sentence: “We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the costs of worldwide nuclear war in which the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth—but neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must be faced.”

On Friday Jane wrote a long letter to her family:

Oct. 26, 1962

Dear Family,

Marie, your letter from the east helped rouse me from a state of paralysis in which I have been suspended since Kennedy’s speech on Monday… Bo, I am glad your orders so far are not changed… I had figured Bill must be in the blockade…

Thursday night Bruce was one of three faculty who spoke on this crisis. Dr. Leppert, a nuclear physicist (he watched the effects of nuclear blasts in Nevada) and Dr. Holman of the medical school were the two other speakers.  There was a large audience.  The discussion afterwards was intelligent and constructive.  But part of the time there I felt like crying because all their hope and desire for reason is, in effect upon those in power, like the vaguest ripple of a breeze.  When we once sent a telegram urging no resumption of nuclear testing, we received in return a very brisk, official pamphlet on how to prepare for a nuclear attack…

Tuesday in the middle of the night Karen appeared at our bed and said through tears, “I’ve been having a nightmare about an atomic bomb.”  We had been being careful about our words around them, but the radio had been on constantly…  Tuesday I had periods of wishing I weren’t pregnant, but I keep telling myself that instead of bringing one more person into the shadow of nuclear war, I’ll be bringing one more person up to hate hate, respect respect, and love love.

Until I recently read her letter, I had forgotten my talk. According to the Stanford Daily, I had explained how Kennedy’s blockade of Cuba violated international law and asked the audience to judge it on “pragmatic, ideological, and ethical” grounds. That all sounds embarrassingly tame and bookish. Jane obviously would have done better.

The recipients of Jane’s letter included her sister Marie and her husband Bo Sims, a Marine lieutenant colonel stationed at the Pentagon, and her sister Bobbie and her husband Bill Morgan, the captain of a destroyer.  Back in 1956, Bill has cut our wedding cake with his ceremonial Navy sword. Although he and I rarely agreed about anything—except the Gulf of Tonkin incidents of 1964—I always figured that he was probably a good, albeit gung-ho, naval officer, fair to his crew and responsible about his duty. Only in 2017 did I discover that the destroyer under Bill’s command was the USS Cony, one of the U.S. warships searching the Cuban coast for surviving invaders the Bay of Pigs the year before.  The day after Jane was writing her letter, Bill was indeed carrying out his orders professionally and efficiently. On October 27, the Cony discovered and then tracked for four hours the Soviet diesel-electric submarine B-59 out in the North Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles from Cuba.

The Cony was one of eight destroyers and an aircraft carrier hunting for Soviet submarines that might be heading for Cuba. They were under orders to force any such sub to surface by bombarding it with “signaling depth charges,” designed to cause explosions powerful enough to rock the sub, while also pounding it with ultra-high-amplitude sound waves from the destroyer’s sonar dome.

Meanwhile, the B-59’s last orders from Moscow were not to cross Kennedy’s “quarantine line” — 500 miles from Cuba–but to hold its position in the Sargasso Sea. After that, it received no communication from the Soviet Union for several days. It had been monitoring Miami radio stations that were broadcasting the increasingly ominous news. When the sub-hunting fleet of U.S. ships and planes arrived, the submarine was forced to run deep, making it lose all communication with the outside world, and to run silent, relying on battery power. The batteries were close to depleted, the air conditioning had broken down, and water, food, and oxygen were running low when the Cony began its hours of bombardment with the depth charges and high-amplitude sonar blasts. Other destroyers joined in an ongoing barrage of hand grenades and depth charges.

The Soviet officers were unaware of the existence of “signaling depth charges,” and international law has no provision allowing one warship to bombard another with small explosives unless they are in a state of war. Since the B-59 was hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic, not within the blockade area and not heading toward Cuba, its crew and officers logically deduced that war had started. If so, it was their duty to attack. The officers knew that with one weapon on board, they could destroy the entire sub-hunting fleet of destroyers and the aircraft carrier that had been pursuing them—along with themselves.

Neither Bill Morgan nor anyone else in the U.S. Navy or government was aware that the B-59 was armed with a T-5 nuclear torpedo, approximately equivalent in explosive force to the Hiroshima bomb. If the sub fired its T-5, it would plunge the world into nuclear holocaust.

One nuclear weapon fired from any of the American or Russian subs still prowling the oceans would do the same today, decades after the end of the Cold War. Hardly anyone in America then or now is aware of the command-and-control protocol on nuclear-armed submarines. In order to deter an opponent’s “decapitating” first strike, which would wipe out all the nation’s leaders with the authority to launch a nuclear retaliation, the three top officers of a nuclear-armed sub have the authority and ability to launch a nuclear attack under certain circumstances. On October 27, 1962, the Soviet command-and-control protocol for launching nuclear torpedoes was even riskier: only the sub’s captain and its political officer had to agree.

On the B-59, Captain Valentin Savitsky and his political officer realized that it was now or never. Their choice was either to surface—which was equivalent to surrender while they, perhaps alone, had the ability to launch a significant counterattack—or to fire their nuclear torpedo. They decided to attack and readied to aim for the aircraft carrier at the core of the submarine-hunting fleet.

Only one man stood in the way of a nuclear Armageddon, and he was on board the B-59 by chance. He was Vasili Arkhipov, the commander of the four-submarine Soviet flotilla, who vetoed the attack, leaving Captain Savitsky with no alternative but to surface.

“This week’s events have brought home,” Jane had written in her letter a day earlier, how few people have any say “about nuclear war before it may be brought down upon their heads by the handful of people who decide man’s fate.” Even that handful of people in the White House and Pentagon didn’t know about those nuclear torpedoes. And that handful of people in the Kremlin didn’t know that the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff had been itching for an excuse to launch a full-scale thermonuclear attack on the Soviet Union and that now, led by the “mad”—President Kennedy’s word—ravings of my ex-boss Curtis LeMay, these dogs of war were demanding to be let off their leashes.

The Missile Crisis ended with the USSR removing all “offensive” weapons from Cuba in return for a public U.S. commitment not to invade Cuba and a secret agreement to remove the Jupiter missiles from Turkey within several months. Years after the Jupiter missiles were withdrawn, we were told that they were “obsolete,” a term still used in almost all accounts of the crisis. But if the Jupiter missiles in Turkey were obsolete, then so were the equivalent Soviet missiles in Cuba. In reality, the problem with both deployments was not obsolescence but reckless brinkmanship, initiated by the United States. Fortunately, Moscow and Washington ended up mutually recognizing that neither was willing to live with a gun that close to its head.

What may have looked to the public like a Soviet capitulation turned out to be a successful, desperate, and potentially fatal gamble by the Soviet Union. They won a tit-for-tat removal of the land-based missiles within sixteen minutes of incinerating either Moscow or Washington, with a bonus of stopping the imminent invasion of Cuba and possibly future invasions as well, all without having to commit to the future defense of Cuba.

Behind the scenes, Kennedy now had to deal with the shrieking hawks, furious at the president both for missing the golden opportunity to annihilate the Soviet Union and for an ignominious surrender of America’s exceptional right to invade Cuba and to station nuclear weapons wherever it pleased.

Alarmed by how close we had come to nuclear apocalypse, Kennedy and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev set up a telephone hot line to enable direct communication, developed a personal relationship to ease tensions, and succeeded in August 1963 in banning nuclear testing in the atmosphere, under water, or in space. The president inspired many of us with an eloquent June 1963 American University commencement address about the world’s crucial need for an enduring peace. He even urged “every thoughtful citizen” who desired peace to “begin by looking inward—by examining his own attitude toward peace, toward the Soviet Union,” which he extolled for its heroic World War II sacrifices. But then of course he went on to claim: “The Communist drive to impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension today.”  Since today Russia is as capitalist as Saudi Arabia, Australia, and United States, what is “the primary cause of world tension today?”

President Kennedy’s final remarks began with this statement: “The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war.”  So it must have been Vietnam that started a war with the United States.

January 22, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Russian roulette: as croupier at this particular casino table, I invite you to place your bets

By Gilbert Doctorow | January 14, 2022

The Russia-US-NATO-OSCE meetings this week have come and gone.  The Russian verdict was succinctly delivered by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Ryabkov, who explained even before the OSCE session was over that the talks have come to “a dead end” and it was unlikely the Russians will participate in any follow-on talks.

This opens the question to what comes next.

Official Washington feels certain that what comes next is a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which could come in the next few weeks and thereby fall within the timetable for such an operation suggested by State Department officials when they met with NATO allies ahead of Biden’s December 7 virtual summit with Putin. The logic put out then was that January-February would be very suitable for a land invasion given that the frozen ground would well support tank movements.  One might add to that argument on timing, one further argument that was not adduced:  in midwinter it is questionable how long the Russians would want to keep 100,000 soldiers camped in field conditions near the border; such stasis in these severe conditions is not conducive to maintaining morale.

In what I would call a rare show of failing confidence in the predictive powers of the Biden Administration, U.S. media admit to uncertainty over Russia’s next moves. However, they cleverly present this by pointing to the uncertainty of the analysts and commentators on the Russian side.

A featured article in The New York Times a couple of days ago by their Moscow correspondent Anton Troianovsky says it all in the title: Putin’s Next Move on Ukraine Is a Mystery. Just the Way He Likes It”

Indeed, all the best known Russian experts appear to be stymied, none more so than the ubiquitous Fyodor Lukyanov, host of the weekly television show “International Overview” and long time research director of the Valdai Discussion Club, where his peers in the front ranks of American international affairs specialists have gotten to know him.  Lukyanov has in recent days humbly admitted he hasn’t a clue to what comes next.  Another leading figure in the Russian foreign affairs think tank community, Andrei Kortunov, director of the Russian International Affairs Council, has shown in recent interviews that he is no better informed about what is going on in the Kremlin and what comes next.

Western experts are also shown by our media to be clueless. Today’s Financial Times article “Russia writes off security talks…” ends with a quote from Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace: “Nobody knows Putin’s next move. And we’ll all find out at the same time.”

By definition, ‘experts’ cannot declare they know nothing and be taken seriously. This reminds me of the saying of my boss for five years at ITT Europe in the 1980s, Georges Tsygalnitzky. Each time we sat down to prepare the annual Business Plan he told us that if we calculated the sales forecasts badly, we could be up to 100% off, but if we failed to deliver a Plan we would be “infinitely wrong.” The same rules apply to government defense planning.

No right-thinking person likes the idea of a major war coming to the middle of Europe, as the Ukrainians consider themselves to be.  The United States has still more reason to worry about a looming war between Russia and Ukraine, because the outcome of total rout for the Kiev military forces equates to a bloody nose for Washington: its acknowledged 2.5 billion dollar investment in arming and training the Ukrainian military will have been in vain, and the loss would rival the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan in terms of American global prestige. The Biden administration would enter the midterm electoral period reeling from its losses in international relations.

Without wishing the Biden administration ill, I believe their scenario of a Russian invasion is wrong-headed and unimaginative. It fails to come to terms with the Russians’ imperatives on altering the security architecture in Europe as drivers of their current policies, not settling scores with Ukraine, or bringing them back to a common homeland, as Blinken & Company repeat ad nauseam.

So what comes next?  In successive articles on this website, I have set out several scenarios, or algorithms. My most recent prognosis in yesterday’s piece was that Putin’s Plan B would likely be purely “military-technical” in the sense of roll-out of medium range nuclear capable missiles in Kaliningrad and Belarus, to place all of Europe under threat of attack with ultra-short warning times, such as Moscow finds unacceptable coming from U.S.-NATO encirclement of its territory.

At the same time, Moscow might announce the stationing off of the American East and West Coasts of its submarines and frigates carrying hypersonic missiles and the Poseidon deep sea nuclear capable drone, all to the same purpose, namely putting a pistol to the head of the U.S. leadership. And now there is even talk of Russia building military installations in Venezuela, likely to host Russian strategic bombers capable of swift attack on the Continental United States without having to fly half the world. And a Cuban delegation is reportedly in Moscow, no doubt talking about posssible installation of missiles there. This is all very reminiscent of the goings-on in 1962.

One reader of this essay has written in, saying that news of Russian submarines posted off the coast of New York and Los Angeles could sink the S&P. Yes, indeed, and this financial damage is an aspect of policy that the Russians have taken into account. The sensitivity of Wall Street to bad news was mentioned specifically by Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov earlier in the week in Q&A. The American middle classes may be indifferent to foreign affairs generally but they are very attentive and politically active when the value of their 401k pension fund is hit. It is not for nothing that wealth fund managers in the City of London, board members of leading U.S. banks and insurance companies are readers of my essays as reposted on my LinkedIn account.

I imagine that Russia’s Plan B could begin implementation in the next couple of weeks and would be given three or four weeks to take effect on Western public consciousness.  If the United States and NATO still resisted coming to terms over changes to the Alliance that satisfy Russian demands, then I envision a Plan C which would indeed be kinetic warfare, but quite different from the invasion that figures in U.S. public statements and approaches to its allies.

Without putting a single soldier on the ground in Ukraine or contemplating direct overthrow of its regime and occupation, Russia could by “military-technical means,” such as missile and air attacks destroy the Ukraine’s command and control structure as well as “neutralize” the most radical nationalist militias and other hostile units now threatening Donbas. The destruction of Ukraine’s military infrastructure would by itself put an end to Washington’s plans for extensive war games there later in the year.  We may assume that Russian forces will remain massed at the border till such operations are completed.

The clean-up of Ukraine, ending its potential to threaten Russian national security, would be a very strong signal to all of Europe to back off in practice even if no formal treaties are signed with Russia at present.

In an exchange with a close colleague in Washington this morning, we agreed a bet on whether my prediction holds. And in this casino of international politics, I invite readers to place their own bets on what comes next.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cuba Says ‘Mysterious Syndrome’ is Not Scientifically Plausible

teleSUR | September 13, 2021

A technical report was released Monday by a multidisciplinary research team created by the Cuban Academy of Sciences (ACC) on the “unidentified health incidents” reported in Havana in which some U.S. employees complained of various symptoms when they were stationed in Havana. Similar symptoms apparently appeared in some Canadian citizens and, later, in U.S. employees in other countries.

The report debunks a narrative it calls “mystery syndrome,” which assumes that the cause of these incidents are attacks with some unidentified energy weapon. Its authors reveal that the narrative is based on the following – unverified – claims:

1) A novel syndrome with shared core symptoms and signs is present in the affected employees;

2) It is possible to detect in these employees brain damage originating during their stay in Havana;

3) A directed energy source exists that could affect people’s brains from great distances after crossing the physical barriers of homes or hotel rooms;

4) A weapon capable of generating such a physical agent is achievable and identified;

5) Evidence of an attack was discovered;

6): The available evidence rules out alternative medical explanations.

The report critically examines the plausibility of these claims and the evidence on which they are based, concluding that the “mystery syndrome” narrative is not scientifically acceptable in any of its components and has only survived because of a biased use of science.

Although the report lacks some information, it provides plausible interpretations that fit the available facts better than the “mystery syndrome” narrative, based on published reports in the United States and Canada and field studies in Havana.

The text details the arguments for these interpretations, which are that:

Possibly some U.S. employees while stationed in Havana felt ill due to a heterogeneous collection of medical conditions, some pre-existing before going to Cuba and others acquired due to simple or well-known causes.

Many diseases prevalent in the general population can explain most of the symptoms. Thus, there is no novel syndrome (something evident in the official U.S. reports). Only a minority of people have detectable brain dysfunction, most due to experiences prior to their stay in Havana and others due to well-known medical conditions.

No known form of energy can selectively cause brain damage (with spatial precision similar to a laser beam) under the conditions described for the alleged Havana incidents.

The laws of physics governing sound, ultrasound, infrasound or radio frequency waves (including microwaves) do not permit this. These forms of energy could not have damaged brains without being felt or heard by others, without disturbing electronic devices in the case of microwaves, or without producing other injuries (such as ruptured eardrums or skin burns).

The report assures that at no time was anything of the sort reported. Although there are weapons that use sound or microwaves they are large in size and there is no possibility that this type of weapon would not go unnoticed (or leave a trace) if it had been deployed in Havana. Neither the Cuban Police, nor the F.B.I., nor the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, have discovered evidence of “attacks” on diplomats in Havana despite intensive investigations.

Finally, psychogenic and toxic explanations for many symptoms in some cases were rejected by adequate research. Specifically, all the conditions for the psychogenic spread of distress were present in this episode, including probably an inadequate initial medical response, early official U.S. government endorsement of an “attack” theory, and sensationalist media coverage, among others.

The experts stand ready to revise its conclusions if new evidence emerges, inviting efforts to refute its interpretations in a climate of open scientific collaboration. However, it firmly rejects as “established truth” a narrative built on flimsy foundations and flawed scientific practice. An example is the idea that there was an “attack,” which is accepted as “established truth without critical thinking.”

Some scientific articles – and most of the news read – accept as an axiom that there were attacks in Havana, so they take it as an idea on which to build theories. However, after four years, no evidence of attacks has surfaced, making it time to rethink the narrative, the report’s authors hold.

September 14, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Cuba and Color Revolution: A Cautionary Tale of the Next Phase of Forever-War

By Joaquin Flores | Strategic Culture Foundation | July 14, 2021

If one believes that the protests in Cuba can be explained within the rubric of 20th century economic systems, and then believes they can go on to extract some great truths about socialism vs. capitalism, then they are misinformed. No, this is about technocracy, color revolution, and forever-war.

The events in Cuba were caused by the staged economic collapse directed by the IMF under the advisement of the World Economic Forum, under the pretext of supply-line stoppages and economic closures to combat Covid-19. The socio-economic strife that such an imposed crisis is known to provoke, is then weaponised to destabilize ‘regimes’ so as to further the hegemonic agenda of the (admittedly divided) oligarchy ruling the global west. We saw this before in 2008 with the crash and crisis, and how this was weaponised to create a destabilization process known as the Arab Spring.

The planners involved are long-term planners, having transcended the quarter-driven constraints of the old market system. The new technocracy emerging is simply able to use Friedmanesque manipulations to keep the system afloat until the law of value is entirely transcended through automation. That was the crypto-Marxian understanding of economics promoted by Maynard Keynes.

Just as Cuba positioned itself away from socialism and towards further integration into global markets, the IMF moved openly to wind down the global market system and move towards a new type of totalitarian order which some critics have likened to communism.

Cubans are protesting against the mask-mandates and the lockdowns which have harmed people’s way of life. They are protesting the way that the government has effectively privileged those with dollar accounts who can buy from state-sanctioned dollar stores. Hence, those without families abroad sending dollars are negatively affected the most. This strikes against the whole narrative of Cuba and its gusano diaspora. Cuba produces its own vaccine, one that is not an experimental mRNA vaccine. The US would like very much to force a concession onto Cuba that it accept the mRNA vaccine. Perhaps the Cuban population of 11 million is just too high.

The fake news talking points that Cubans are protesting a lack of vaccines is a lie. We knew that trans-Atlantic talking points were a part of the Color scheme last year in Belarus when we were told that protestors rose up to oppose Lukashenko’s lackadaisical approach to the plandemic. Lukashenko in turn revealed that he refused an IMF offer of $980 million to play the lockdown deathmatch.

This is a Color Revolution

Anyone like Tom Fowdy for RT who writes that it is premature to say that the clear signs of a Color Revolution aren’t there, probably only says so because they don’t really know what those signs are.

They probably approach that question in terms of on-location forensics: identifying that a particular protest leader is actually an employee of the state department or Soros NGO in some fashion.

Yet for those who understand what the signs are, the signs of a Color Revolution are certainly there. But to understand this requires a long and broad view of the interplay between staged economic crises and the predictable turmoil they create in certain countries.

Because turmoil and protests are all but predictable even to OXFAM, once the FAO food index price surpasses about 210 (by 2012 ratios). Then, it becomes a question of which countries global lending institutions deem worthy of borrowing to subsidize against the newly inflated food price, or which countries the food production companies view in a lenient fashion.

As OXFAM wrote in 2012: “While concerns about high food prices are foremost about the spread of hunger and poverty, high food prices are also strongly correlated with political instability and have historically been a catalyst for mass protest in countries where legitimacy is already faltering. Research performed by the New England Institute for Science and Society has identified “a global food price threshold for unrest;”

Since 2007, food riots have broken out in more than 60 countries and have occurred with heightened frequency during periods of record-breaking food prices such as in 2008, when food riots erupted from Europe to the South Pacific. The FAO food price index crossed the 210 threshold, for the first time, in February 2008.”

Do we need to mention again that global economic crises are staged? Surely, there are structural problems broadly speaking, in the entire Neo-Keynesean system built in some large part from the ideas of Milton Friedman. So it should be clarified that while the timing of these economic crises are planned, they are also bound to happen. But when precisely they happen, and the point of them, would probably shock and confuse, then demoralize anyone who had a naïve understanding of global politics. You see, the point of planned economic crises is the upwards redistribution of wealth. Every firm except a handful of ‘zaibatsu’ style state-picked winners must absorb their own losses. This is corporatism 101.

Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) American economist and statistician who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

Each market crisis is structurally predetermined as these bubbles which define them, grow to a certain point. But it is a decision that is made to ‘pop the bubble’ at a particularly more fortuitous time as opposed to some other time – granted that it would need to be popped sooner or later. So these are both features of the structure, but also planned.

Understanding Color Revolutions requires an understanding of this phenomenon. In 2008, the massive bail-outs to banks using currency debasement, led to a geopolitical strategy on the part of the US deep state to buy up and corner the markets on perishable goods, especially those markets and firms which directed their energies towards Turkey, the Arab world, and Iran. This led to strife across the Maghreb region, Egypt, Syria, an increase of problems in occupied Iraq, and a boon to the Green movement in Iran.

The Crisis in Cuba

Further destabilization in Cuba will be a huge part in a coming global destabilization, and so it must be opposed. This is the case, even contemplating the reasonable grievances of the actual protesters, which in turn are not the same as the Sorosian demands placed in the mouths of anonymous protestors by the globalist media.

An inflation crisis has hit Cuba because of the staged political response to Covid, meant precisely to cause inflationary crises globally. The tourism industry has taken the biggest hit. Food and similar perishables are unaffordable for many without access to dollar accounts. There are state-picked favourites in the private sector (as is the case everywhere) as well as Communist Party bureaucrats who seem unaffected by the very same conditions that the protesters accuse them of bringing about. This much seems reasonable: in looking at who to blame for a problem, look to those who are making out.

The themes affecting Cuba are isolation and sovereignty, versus integration and dependence. Ever since the collapse of the USSR, which Cuba relied on for massive subsidies, Cuba has had both up and down periods as it struggles to balance between these two questions. Cuba is an island nation with just 11 million people, and so there can be no real sovereignty without the heavy price of isolation, nor can there be any integration into the globalist system without becoming a dependent state.

It’s a very tough predicament, because the Ideological State Apparatus of Cuba is its own variant of Marxism-Leninism, and this means that no matter how actually integrated and dependent Cuba is or is becoming, it must use the pages of Granma to pencil polemics declaring that Cuba is more sovereign and stable than ever before. Conversely, each undeniable period of crisis must be blamed on the very same socio-economic systems of global governance which Cuba relies upon in part for its own legitimacy.

The July 13th Edition of Granma, Official Organ of the CC of the CP of Cuba

The problem then is when people really believe this state propaganda, or when people are forced to openly proclaim a public truth they know personally to be a lie. Because instead of the public understanding that Cuba has lost much of its sovereignty in its process of dollarizing so much of its economy, (and that the machinations of foreign actors, the IMF, the planned and staged collapse of the global speculative economy that Cuba is integrated in, is a large part of Cuba’s present woes) blame is laid by the public directly at the feet of a nominally sovereign state’s ruling government.

Quite the predicament. Because the government cannot really tell the truth, it must take the blame. Or do as it has done (and done so with no shame for provoking incredulity), and claim that the entire protest is a foreign provocation.

The Cuban government and its sinecure functionaries must always declare that any grassroots grievances expressed en masse are always at its core the work of foreign ‘imperialist’ intelligence operations bent on a destabilization strategy.

Yet such accusations of foreign plots are more likely to be true than not.

Another problem, and this is something where the Cuban government needs to make a fix, is the issue of dollar accounts.

Those with dollar accounts are tremendously less affected by the perishable goods inflation crisis in Cuba. But those deposits are only possible by having loved ones who have left Cuba for the US. So those who have ‘betrayed’ the revolution are the ones able to help those in Cuba. Those in Cuba living better off are not those who have been loyal to the socialism project of Cuba excepting a small layer of bureaucrats and professional snitches, but instead are the relatives of those gusanos in Florida and the rest of the US who have moved on to greener pastures.

What sort of message does that send? This greatly weakens the legitimacy of the government, because those common-folk who defend the Cuban system are left feeling like fools. When this layer joins a protest movement, the government’s days are numbered.

Cuba – Between a Rock and a Hard-Spot

Color Revolution schemes cannot work unless there are real-existing grievances shared among large segments of the population.

And yet going further, those real-existing grievances today, (while they compound longer standing ones which the Cuban government must account for), are directly caused by the IMF’s decision to bring global capitalism to a grinding halt for some period of time.

It is very difficult for a nominally sovereign government to tell a Thatcherite story of ‘TINA’ – there is no alternative. Cuba lacks alternatives except going either the path of the Khmer Rouge, or the path of laissez-faire. It has chosen some middle-path.

This really touches on a very big problem Cuba faces: its civilizational decision to place its legitimacy at the hands of international organizations related to global governance. Cuba strives to show its own citizens, and perhaps secondarily the US, that the rest of the world and especially the UN’s alphabet soup of agencies and organizations, recognize any number of successes that Cuba promotes having accomplished. To wit, at least within the rubric of those accounting systems, Cuba makes a decent case.

So a problem arises when this very same system of global governance, under the pretext of fighting Covid-19, instructs various countries to commit ritual seppuku at the altar of world health in order to preserve this status and these relationships to global trade and global governance.

And how? The western hemisphere is controlled almost entirely by the IMF and global banking systems. Cuba exists in some netherworld of ‘helpful harm’, if not through the US due to sanctions, then through the same banks in their Trans-Atlantic incarnations by way of Europe.

Since we understand that the WHO is effectively controlled by allies of the World Economic Forum like Bill Gates, which in turn is the think-tank of the IMF; and since the IMF includes in its bylaws and requirements that countries in a time of a declared global pandemic by the WHO must take the proscribed measures to combat this, then we understand what we have seen as a global phenomenon.

It’s been only a handful of leaders, several in Africa, in Haiti, and Belarus, that have openly bucked these provisions. And of these, all have been since eliminated except for Lukashenko in Belarus who no doubt enjoys some security provisions from the Russian Federation.

The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) explains that in 2019, “The top exports of Cuba are Rolled Tobacco ($287M), Raw Sugar ($211M), Nickel Mattes ($134M), Hard Liquor ($97.3M), and Zinc Ore ($78.4M), exporting mostly to China ($461M), Spain ($127M), Netherlands ($65.5M), Germany ($64.7M), and Cyprus ($48.9M).

The top imports of Cuba are Poultry Meat ($286M), Wheat ($181M), Soybean Meal ($167M), Corn ($146M), and Concentrated Milk ($136M), importing mostly from Spain ($1.01B), China ($790M), Italy ($327M), Canada ($285M), and Russia ($285M).”

Hence Cuba was placed in a pincer move. It lost massively from the global plandemic and the restriction of supply lines, the tightened access to imports, the loss of tourism. The compliance of other countries to the IMF’s mandated economic implosion reduced demand for Cuba’s exports and damaged tourism as well.

But in order to maintain its own relationship with the IMF and also following the global narrative of the Socialist International (2nd International), (an EU driven social-democratic association of governments and political parties), it went along with the ‘solidarity’ driven component of woke politics seen in the ‘do-your-part’ masking and lockdowns.

But those harmed by the lockdowns were ordinary Cubans, not government officials or those with dollar accounts. And so the reaction we see today is a predictable one.

Conclusion

There can be no doubt: Cuba’s present crisis is not the direct result of its own economic mismanagement, but rather the staged demolition of finance, global trade, and supply lines using the Covid pandemic as a pretext. However, a number of social and political decisions by Cuban leaders have no doubt compounded the impact of the crisis and emboldened protesters.

What citizens in first world countries have seen as a ‘stock market rebound’ predicated by ‘too-big-too-fail’ type bailouts (socialism for the rich), are only possible so long as those moneys are held on the books but not really spent – hence the lockdowns. At least not spent in such a way as would this liquidity naturally circulate in the economy. For such velocity of moneys based on such extreme debasement of the currency, would lead to the largest inflationary crisis in the history of man on earth.

In raw-materials producing countries like Cuba, that has meant a tripled hardship. The aim of the centers of finance capital has been to do something like the Arab Spring, only more so.

At the same time, the Cuban government’s defensive and accusatory posture is poor optics and bad politics. It needs to better engage the protestors and validate some part of their grievances. Pointing the finger at Uncle Sam is tone deaf and only serves to satisfy a single demographic in Cuba.

Today, we are seeing only the start of a fresh wave of global destabilization efforts, never-ending wars. But now governments have prepared the civilian populations for these wars under the pretext of never-ending lockdowns due to a mystery illness. The right to protest, strikes, and the basic social contact needed to organize these can be revoked by instantaneous mandate as some new variant of Covid will always invariably be discovered. This is the biggest threat humanity faces since the Second World War, but in addition to destabilization campaigns, is the backdrop of a class-war gambit of the oligarchy against everyday people. Cuba needs to be understood in this light, and while it needs a better approach to managing the Covid narrative and hearing its people, foreign meddling in its affairs needs to be opposed.

July 16, 2021 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment

Western media use images of PRO-government rally, protest in Miami to illustrate Cuban unrest as Havana warns of ‘soft coup’

The Guardian and a number of other Western news agencies used erroneously captioned photos of a pro-government protest in Havana, Cuba, presenting it as an opposition rally instead.
© TheGuardian.com / screenshot
RT | July 14, 2021

Several Western news outlets have used an erroneously captioned photo showing a pro-government rally in Cuba, deeming it an opposition protest, while CNN opted for an image of a Miami demonstration instead, raising eyebrows.

Captured by Associated Press photographer Eliana Aponte during a demonstration in support of the government in the Cuban capital on Sunday, the photo has made the rounds in the Western corporate press as unrest grips the Caribbean nation. However, multiple outlets have incorrectly described the image as an “anti-government protest,” including the GuardianFox News, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Washington Times and Voice of America. The latter outlet, the US-government funded VOA, committed the error on two separate occasions.

GrayZone journalist Ben Norton and Alan MacLeod of MintPress News were among the first to note the error, sharing screenshots of several examples. MacLeod suggested the outlets may have simply “copied and pasted” the AP’s original photo caption, replicating the error across multiple agencies.

Both journalists pointed out the red-and-black flags hoisted by demonstrators in the photo, which read “26 Julio,” a reference to Fidel Castro’s 26th of July movement. The organization played a major role in the Cuban Revolution and later formed into a political party, with the two-colored flag becoming a common symbol of support for Cuba’s communist government.

Of the six news outlets cited above, only the Guardian had issued a correction at the time of writing, stating that it amended its story because the “original agency caption on the image… incorrectly described them as anti-government protesters. They were actually supporters of the government.”

The AP image is not the only photo to be misrepresented in Western media coverage. On its Instagram page, CNN also strongly implied that another photo showed Cuban protesters, with its caption reading, in part, “Thousands of Cubans protested a lack of food and medicine.” The image in question was taken by an AFP photographer, and a search through the agency’s photo gallery shows the rally was actually held in Miami, Florida. CNN appears to have omitted the first portion of the AFP caption, which made clear the protest was based in the US.

The photo mix-ups in corporate media have been compounded by a wave of false and misleading posts by observers online, with many users sharing photos of gatherings in Egypt, Spain and Argentina while claiming they depict unrest in Cuba – some racking up thousands of shares.

The anti-state protests kicked off in earnest on Sunday, seeing large crowds of demonstrators take to the streets in Havana and elsewhere to demand urgent action on food, medicine and power shortages. The government, however, claims the rallies are fueled by hostile foreign powers, namely Washington, and involve only a small number of ‘counter-revolutionaries’. President Miguel Diaz-Canal said US sanctions were to blame, arguing that Washington’s “policy of economic suffocation” aimed to “provoke social unrest” in Cuba.

Diaz-Canal also alleged that a “campaign against the Cuban revolution” had kicked off on social media platforms, saying they are “drawing on the problems and shortages we are living.” According to internet monitoring firm NetBlocks, Cuba’s state-run web provider ETECSA has moved to restrict access to certain sites and apps since the bout of unrest erupted on Sunday.

The head of the Cuban Communist Party’s ideological department, Rogelio Polanco Fuentes, also claimed that the country is experiencing an attempt at a “color revolution” or a “soft coup,” drawing a comparison to a failed US-backed uprising in Venezuela back in 2019.

Washington, for its part, has offered rhetorical backing to the protesters, with State Department spokesman Ned Price telling reporters on Tuesday that the government is looking at ways to “support the Cuban people,” though he did not elaborate.

Havana has so far offered few details on the number of arrests made or injuries sustained during the protests, though the Cuban Interior Ministry confirmed that the first death occurred during an anti-government action on Monday. Opposition groups, meanwhile, have alleged that a spate of arrests has targeted protesters, journalists and other activists.

July 14, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Mexican President Says Protests in Cuba Manipulated From Outside

Sputnik – July 12, 2021

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday that US-funded organizations were behind the recent protests in Cuba.

On Sunday, Cuba witnessed its largest protests since 1994, fueled by anger over shortages of basic goods. Thousands of people demanded free elections and the resolution of social issues. According to local media, protests and gatherings took place in eight Cuban cities, including Havana. In response, government and Communist Party supporters held their own marches following President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s calls to take to the streets and repel provocations.

“I see that there is meddling. For example, yesterday I saw a social media post from a group called Article 19, which is an association of journalists in Mexico funded by the US government, the US embassy … They condemned President Diaz-Canel’s call for confrontation …,” Lopez Obrador told reporters.

The Mexican president expressed solidarity with the people of Cuba and said the only way out of this crisis was through dialogue, without the use of force, confrontation and violence.

“Mexico has always been in solidarity with Cuba and with all the peoples of the world, if the Cuban government deems it necessary and its people demand it, the Mexican government could help with medicines, vaccines, supplies and food, without the interventionist political manipulation … because health and food are fundamental human rights,” Lopez Obrador added.

The president further noted that the US economic embargo of Cuba should be brought to an end.

“If you want to help Cuba, the first thing that would have to be done is to lift the blockade of Cuba, as required by most of the countries of the world. It would be a true humanitarian gesture, no country in the world can be fenced off, blocked. This is worse than the violation of human rights,” Lopez Obrador stressed.

Bolivian President Luis Arce echoed his Mexican counterpart’s sentiment, saying that Cuba’s domestic affairs must be handled internally.

US restrictions on trade with Cuba date back to the island nation’s communist revolution in the late 1950s and involve at least half a dozen different US laws. Former President Barack Obama took steps to normalize bilateral relations, but many of those steps were reversed by the Trump administration.

Current President Joe Biden has promised that he would return Obama’s policy on Cuba but has yet to reverse his predecessor’s steps.

On June 23, the United States voted against a UN General Assembly resolution condemning the embargo on Cuba, which was adopted by the overwhelming majority of 184 other nations.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 5 Comments

Biden Is on the Same Page As Trump in Maintaining an Anti-Cuba Stance

By Ramona Wadi | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 30, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden has given every indication so far that U.S. policies on Cuba will not veer away from those of the Trump Administration. In March this year, U.S. officials told Reuters that Cuba is not a top foreign policy item for Biden. The statement was left open to interpretation until now, when the current U.S. administration decided to retain Cuba on the unilateral and defaming U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list. The conditions for removal are very much based on how much U.S. influence the listed country will allow – in other words, becoming a U.S. accomplice in foreign policy is a must.

This week, a note signed by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was published, which stated, “I hereby determine and certify to the Congress that the following countries are not cooperating fully with United States anti-terrorism efforts.” Cuba was listed, along with Iran, Syria, Venezuela and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs unequivocally rejected Blinken’s stance: “This is a totally unfounded and political accusation that tries to justify aggression against Cuba, including the inhumane economic, commercial and financial blockades which our people have suffered.”

Cuba has been a victim of U.S. terrorism and invasions since the triumph of the Cuban revolution. Recently on social media, the Central Intelligence Agency drew attention to a commemorative coin which was created to mark an anticipated victory at the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961, which ended in failure 72 hours later. The CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba spouted the same rhetoric that is being used by the current administration to justify its oppression of Cuba. Only the U.S. can determine what freedom means for Cuba, in imperialist rhetoric, and the Biden administration is not letting go of the narrative that has suited the U.S. so well.

In case the U.S. needs a reminder, Cuba raised its responsibilities against all forms of terrorism in the new national constitution adopted in 2019. Article 16 (1) of Chapter II of the constitution states that Cuba “rejects and condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in particular state terrorism.”

At an international level, Cuba signed the Code of Conduct Towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism in 2018. It has also declared itself committed to implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

The issue is not Cuba’s commitment to fighting terrorism, but the U.S. inability to accept an independent, socialist sovereign state that has resisted against interference, despite all odds against it. When in 1998, Cuba’s State Security had notified the U.S. of terror activities against the island being planned by dissidents in Miami, the FBI made no move against the planned terror and proceeded to arrest the Cuban Five instead. Likewise, the U.S. never targeted the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) – a powerful lobby group involved in many attempted assassinations of Fidel Castro. Neither did the U.S. take action against well-known terrorists Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, both trained by the CIA.

It is more pertinent to ask why a powerful country that has sponsored so much global terror remains unchallenged in its designations of countries allegedly funding terrorism. The Biden Administration is prioritising Cuba in its foreign policy, but going about it in a backhanded manner. By maintaining Trump’s designation, Biden is taking an active part in attempting to diplomatically isolate Cuba, apart from upholding the ramifications of the illegal U.S. blockade on the island.

Rather than assume that the diplomatic rhetoric about “reviewing” Trump’s designation indicates a possible change in U.S. relations with Cuba, it might be better to hold the Biden Administration accountable to its actions. After all, Biden was voted in as an alternative to Trump. How well is that working in terms of U.S. foreign policy?

May 30, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 3 Comments

Why the Embargo Against Cuba?

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | April 23, 2021

Now that Cuban president Raul Castro has resigned the presidency of Cuba, will the U.S. government lift its six-decades-long economic embargo against Cuba?

Don’t count it. Squeezing the life out of the Cuban people as a way to get regime change has become such a normalized way of life for the United States that it is unlikely that this cruel and brutal policy will be ended anytime soon.

Back in the day, the embargo was justified as part of the Cold War against “godless communism” and, specifically, the international communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Moscow, Russia and that supposedly threatened to envelope the United States and the rest of the world. (Yes, that Russia, the one we are being called upon, once again, to treat as our official enemy.) The Pentagon and the CIA steadfastly maintained that the “national security” of the United States was gravely threatened by a communist outpost only 90 miles away from American shores.

But when the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly came to an end in 1989, the embargo just kept gong and going. And even though former communist dictator Fidel Castro is now dead and his brother Raul is now out of the presidency, there is no push within the federal government to finally bring an end to this cruel and brutal program.

What’s up with that? The U.S. government doesn’t have an embargo against communist Vietnam, whose northern half killed some 58,000 American men. Why have an embargo against a country that has never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so?

I suspect that part of the reason is that the CIA has never been able to get over the humiliation of having been defeated when its ragtag army of Cuban exiles invaded Cuba in 1961 in a futile attempt to secure regime change on the island. In fact, my hunch is that the CIA and the Pentagon have never been able to get over the fact that their entire regime-change operations against Cuba, including sabotage, terrorism, and assassination, as well as the embargo, failed to oust the communist regime and replace it with a U.S.-installed regime, one that would, once again, do the bidding of the U.S. government.

In the ultimate analysis, it’s all about empire and control. During the Spanish-American War in 1898, the U.S. came to the defense of Cuba in its war for independence from the Spanish Empire. Once Spain was defeated, however, the U.S. government double-crossed the Cubans and refused to permit them their independence. Instead, the fledgling U.S. Empire simply replaced the Spanish Empire.

The U.S. Empire then proceeded to control Cuba for the next 60 years through a succession of pro-U.S. dictators who agreed to do the bidding of the U.S. government. They were what are sometimes referred to as “puppets”—dancing to the strings of U.S. control. That’s in fact how the U.S. government got its imperial outpost in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. government’s puppet regime in Havana gave that portion of Cuba to the United States.

One of the U.S. puppets was Fulgencio Batista, a corrupt pro-U.S. tyrant who was ousted by the Cuban revolution in 1959. One of his programs was to have his government goons go out into the Cuban countryside and kidnap young girls — minors. They would then bring them back to Havana, where they would be handed over to the Mafia-controlled casinos, which were giving Batista a cut of the action. The girls would be handed over to the high-rollers in the casinos as sexual favors.

U.S. officials loved Batista and were hoping that he would remain in power. It was not to be. The person who instigated the revolution was a woman named Celia Sanchez, who had a young girlfriend who was kidnapped by Batista’s goons and then raped as a sexual favor in the Mafia’s casinos.

What the Pentagon and the CIA want today is to resume control over Cuba with another pro-U.S. dictator who will do their bidding, just like before the Cuban revolution. That’s what the embargo is all about. That’s why they continue to target the Cuban people with death and economic privation. They want to resume control over Cuba, and they want it bad.

There is something else to keep in mind about the U.S. government’s relationship with Cuba for the last 60 years: It has always been the U.S. government that has been the aggressor. It is the U.S. government that has targeted the Cuban people with death and economic privation with its embargo. It has been the U.S. government that has engaged in sabotage and terrorism against the Cuban people. It is the U.S. government that has repeatedly tried to murder Cuban officials, even in partnership with the Mafia, one of the biggest criminal organizations in the world.

Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to point out that the U.S. government’s embargo against Cuba has always been a direct attack on the natural, God-given rights of freedom of travel and economic liberty of the American people. After all, let’s not forget that Americans are the ones who are arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated for traveling to Cuba and spending money there without the official consent of their Washington overlords.

If the American people wished to begin restoring a sense of morality to the U.S. government and a small bit of economic freedom to their lives, a good place to begin would be by bringing about an end to the six-decades-old embargo against Cuba. It’s an evil and destructive Cold War dinosaur that deserves extinction.

April 24, 2021 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

Just Leave the Commies Alone

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | March 25, 2021

I’m not sure what good it did for the Cold War to end, given that the U.S. government has done everything it could since then to gin up hostilities, tension, and conflict with the communist and former communist world.

When Russia expressed a desire to have friendly relations at the start of the Trump administration, the Pentagon and the CIA went ballistic over that “attack” on their financial well-being. That’s when the big brouhaha over Trump supposedly being a covert Russian agent got launched, which played a major role in derailing his presidency.

Don’t forget also how NATO, under U.S. orders, began gobbling up former Warsaw Pact countries with the ultimate aim of absorbing Ukraine, which would have put U.S. nuclear missiles on Russia’s border and also would have put Crimea under the control of the U.S. military-intelligence establishment.

When China expressed a desire to have friendly relations with the U.S., President Trump launched his vicious trade war against the country, with the aim of preventing China from becoming more prosperous and more powerful. That’s what empires have done throughout history — launch preemptive strikes against rising nations, which are viewed as “adversaries,” “rivals,” “opponents,” “enemies,”or some other such imperialist nonsense.

And then there is North Korea, where the U.S. government intervened in the 1950s as part of its much-vaunted Cold War racket, in which the Pentagon and the CIA convinced Americans that the Reds were coming to get us. If the U.S. didn’t sacrifice tens of thousands of American men in the Korean civil war, U.S. officials maintained, it wouldn’t be long before the commies were running America’s public schools and our Interstate Highway System.

Today, the mainstream media is announcing that North Korea is “challenging” the Biden administration with the firing of what appear to be ballistic missiles. Question: Why aren’t the military exercises that the Pentagon conducts with South Korea considered to be “challenging” North Korea? Isn’t it possible that North Korea is simply responding to the “challenge” that the U.S. is posing to North Korea with its provocative military exercises?

Moreover, what about those cruel and brutal sanctions that U.S. officials continue to enforce against North Korea? They continue to target the North Korean people with death and economic impoverishment. Why aren’t those economic sanctions considered to be “challenging” North Korea? After all, given that their aim is to bring death to innocent people in the hope of achieving a political goal, how are they different from acts of terrorism?

It is the U.S. government — and specifically the U.S. national-security establishment — that is at the heart of the never-ending crisis in Korea, just as it is at the heart of the crises with China and Russia. The U.S. national-security establishment has never wanted to let go of its Cold War communist enemies, which enabled the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA to wallow in ever-increasing budgets, powers, and influence.

Crisis is the name of the game in the national-security state racket. The more crises, the better. If the communists won’t fit the Bill, there is always the war on terrorism … or Muslims … or Syria … or Venezuela … or whatever.

There is one reason for North Korea possessing nuclear weapons — to deter U.S. attacks on North Korea or, in the event the Korean War resumes, to defend against U.S. attacks on North Korea. Why should anyone be surprised when a Third World country wants to acquire nuclear weapons to defend itself from the Pentagon and the CIA and their policy of violent regime change?

Just ask the Iraqi people about that. They never attacked the United States. Nonetheless, the Pentagon attacked them, viciously, killing, torturing, and destroying hundreds of thousands of innocent people. It was nothing less than a “war of aggression,” a type of war declared a war crime by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.

There is something important to note about the U.S. war on Iraq: That Third World country didn’t have nuclear weapons. U.S. officials had nothing to fear from Iraq defending itself against the U.S. war of aggression.

Or ask the Cubans, another Cold War boogieman that U.S. officials claimed for 45 years posed a grave threat to “national security.” That was how the CIA justified its state-sponsored murder schemes against Cuban officials. It’s also how they justified an economic embargo aimed at killing innocent Cuban people as a way to achieve regime change on the island. It’s also what the Pentagon used as a justification to present its fraudulent Operation Northwoods plan to President Kennedy in the hopes that he would use it as an excuse to invade Cuba.

When Cuba brought in Soviet nuclear missiles, Kennedy agreed that there would be no invasion of the island in return for a Soviet withdrawal of the missiles. How could North Korea and every other Third World nation not see that?

It’s probably worth mentioning that although the Cold War ended decades ago, the U.S. government continues to target the Cuban populace with its vicious and brutal economic embargo. Hey, don’t forget: those Cuban Reds are only 90 miles away from American shores!

There is something else to note about U.S. troops in Korea. The war they are fighting is illegal under our form of government, given that Congress has never declared war on North Korea, as our Constitution requires. Don’t the troops take an oath to support and defend the Constitution?

The only thing that surprises me in this entire national-security state racket is that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA aren’t stirring up trouble in Vietnam. Hey, those dominoes could still start falling any day now!

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Human Rights Watch denounces Cuba for human rights violations

By Lucas Leiroz | February 9, 2021

Denunciations of human rights violations against Cuba have become routine in the West. For decades, governments, NGOs and activists have denounced the Cuban government for various attitudes of abuse of universal rights, but the sources of such reports and evidence of crimes remain weak and vague. Once again, the NGO Human Rights Watch issued a report warning of an alleged “abusive” situation with regard to human rights on the island – and again the evidence is weak and reveals an ideologized action.

Every year, Human Rights Watch releases its global reports, covering all regions of the planet and warning against alleged human rights violations worldwide. In its 2021 edition, published on January 13, in the topic dedicated to Cuba, several crimes were reported, including alleged arbitrary arrests on the island, lack of freedom of expression, presence of political prisoners in Cuban penitentiaries, travel restrictions and several others acts that are presented to international society as frequent and structural in Cuba.

There are explanations for Human Rights Watch’s frontal opposition to Cuba, which are little publicized in the international media. In the past, the Cuban government has accused the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) of funding more than 20 organizations to promote complaints and defamations against the Latin country, including HRW. NED’s ties to the CIA prompted the Cuban government to veto agents from organizations linked to the NED into the country. In fact, regardless of whether or not there is a plot against the island organized by the NED and the CIA, it is clear that HRW’s annual reports are focused on denouncing and criticizing emerging countries, especially non-aligned nations, anticipating coercive measures taken by the US and other Western powers. This led Havana to endorse the narrative that HRW creates justifications for subsequent coercive measures with its allegations of human rights violations.

The central problem for the credibility of HRW reports is the authenticity of the organization’s sources. The reports are based on data provided by anti-government activists who are ideologically committed to the end of communism and the triumph of American interests on the island. To this end, such activists, who work inside and outside Cuba, adulterate, exaggerate or even create data that does not correspond to the reality of the country, as has been reported several times by Havana. The speech of anonymous activists follows a model predefined by American agencies interested in the fall of the Cuban government. This speech is disseminated by human rights NGOs and finally justifies coercive measures by the American government. For this reason, Havana sees HRW as a threat to its national security and this will not change, even if Washington strengthens its sanctions further, as there is a central ideological incompatibility between these countries that cannot be overcome with mere coercive maneuvers.

Exaggeration is certainly the greatest weapon of these agents. Surely, there are human rights violations in Cuba – just as there are in any nation. There is no country that has been successful in completely abolishing acts contrary to human rights. Many nations may have officially abolished such practices, but they certainly still exist unofficially and, equally, deserve investigation and criticisms. However, this persecution against “human rights violators” is generally applied when the charged state is an emerging nation geopolitically opposed to Washington, like Cuba. In this way, NGOs like HRW observe cases of violation and exaggerate them, claiming that there is a state policy to confront universal rights, when, in fact, they are only marginal practices that exist in any country.

Just as mistakes are exaggerated, merits are ignored. Cuba has some of the best social indicators on the American continent, being a global reference in education and with some of the most qualified medical professionals in the world. Havana is responsible for several humanitarian missions sending doctors and equipment to nations in need of medical care, including not only poor countries, but developed states in emergencies, such as Italy during the pandemic. Furthermore, Cuba seems to be advanced in many agendas exalted in the West. For example, women occupy 51% of the deputies in the National Assembly and are 62% of the country’s scientists – which are remarkably high numbers by Western standards. These indices show that, with or without structural disrespect, there is undeniable progress in terms of human rights, and this cannot be ignored.

However, Havana is right to think that HRW’s reports are not by chance. What we should expect for the future is the resurgence of a focus of tensions between Washington and Havana. Trump, in his last days in government, reversed a process of rapprochement between the countries when he considered Cuba again as a terrorist financing nation – a totally unreasonable accusation and without any material evidence, which Trump certainly did not believe, but made this decision as a strategic maneuver to harm Biden and transfer power to his successor with more international tensions. Biden promised to review Trump’s policy against Cuba but gave no details of exactly what points he will reform. However, a peaceful policy for Havana was never expected from the new American president. Biden’s reforms are likely to occur, more likely, to facilitate the flow of migration and to include “humanitarian” issues in relations, shifting the focus of tensions from a security and defense perspective to one of respect for human rights and democracy.

In practice, this means that Biden must try to harm Cubans even more by imposing international sanctions in order to force Havana to comply with humanitarian standards that are already respected but whose compliance will never be recognized by NGOs committed to the American government.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

February 9, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment