[Marxism] Cuba's Granma replies to the Wall Street Journal

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue May 31 11:00:41 MDT 2005

Today's edition of the daily Granma newspaper features a reply
to a May 25th Wall Street Journal editorial which saluted the
gathering of about 100 Cubans opposed to the Revolution which 
met in Havana May 20th. The event received massive publicity 
in the foreign media and was virtually ignored on the island.  

The WSJ called on the Organization of American States to try 
to isolate the island diplomatically. Granma's editorial is 
followed by the Wall Street Journal editorial. I've added an
additional and another WSJ editorial attack on Cuba published
two days prior, addressed to Europe in hopes of securing help
from the EU against Cuba. Nothing new there, because the EU
regimes have been meddling in Cuban affairs for some years.

Fidel Castro devoted much of his July 26th speech two years
ago in Santiago to a sharp rejection of European meddling.

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

A CubaNews translation by Ana Portela.
Edited by Walter Lippmann from the Spanish:

May 31, 2005

About The Wall Street Journal editorial against Cuba
Request of an institution without any moral authority.

The newspaper of the great financial world of the United States, The Wall
Street Journal, called for the Organization of American States (OAS), last
Saturday, to offer more support to those Washington calls Cuban

The newspaper claims that the lack of support for democracy in Cuba “is one
of the reasons that the government of the United States has decided to push
the OAS to do more to promote democracy in the region”.

To understand the seriousness of the demand, it is worthwhile to briefly
remember the way in which island was separated from that shoot-off of
Washington policy in the area. 

It was on October of 1961 that the White House decided to pass judgement on
Cuba in the OAS. It was a curious attitude because seven months before it
had launched the invasion at Playa Giron.

To understand fully what occurred behind the scenes, they granted a credit
of 99 million dollars to the President of Peru, Manuel Prado Ugarte who was
visiting the U.S. capital at the time.

Later, the Peruvian ambassador in Washington presented a request to the
Secretary General of the OAS to call for a meeting of foreign ministers 
"as soon as possible".

On January 3, 1962, just before the meeting, the White House announced a
project to grant 15 million dollars to the governments of Costa Rica,
Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador for coffee production. 

A Costa Rican newspaper, ADELANTE, considered it a bribe on the eve of
judging Cuba, since they were giving stability to a product with prices
precisely damaged by the great importers of the United States.

On January 22 of that same year, The New York Times revealed that the U.S.
State Secretary, Dean Rusk, had warned his Latin American colleagues that
financial aid depended on the support given to the sanctions against Havana.

This was front page news in an article entitled “Rusk links aid to Latin
countries to actions regarding Cuba” with a byline of Juan de Onis.

During the third day of the sessions in the Uruguayan resort of Punta del
Este, seven countries, not counting Cuba, questioned the legality of the
objectives Washington was trying to achieve.

After a four hour-long meeting, the representatives of Argentina, Mexico,
Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Haiti declared that “applying diplomatic
sanctions was politically and legally unacceptable and valueless.

They suggested that "the Bogota Charter did not contemplate the exclusion of
a member State, that it was the responsibility of the OAS Council or a
Special Commission to solve the problem, forewarning that a reform of the
Bogota Charter requires another Special Inter-American Conference".

On January 30, seven days into the VIII OAS Foreign Minister’s Consultative
Meeting, a resolution was put to the vote calling for "the exclusion of the
present Government of Cuba from participating in the Inter-American system"
with 14 in favor, the minimum required.

This result was held up at the time by someone who delayed his sellout, the
Haitian Chancellor.

Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador abstained and the one
vote against was Cuba.

In an analysis of these events, the Canadian newspaper, the Montreal Star,
pointed out that among the 14 countries voting against Havana "there are
seven that do not have a democratically elected government", a situation, it
added "that damaged the prestige of the United States".

Now, 43 years later, The Wall Street Journal dares to request an institution
without the least moral authority, such as the OAS, to help bring democracy
to the island.

Expressing itself in this impudent way, the newspaper of US big business
uses the same rotten measures it had used to separate Cuba from that


May 25, 2005
REVIEW & OUTLOOK [editorial]
May 25, 2005; Page A12

History was made in Cuba last Friday as scores of dissidents from all over
the country met in Havana to further their work for a democratic Cuba. At
one point the 150 delegates to the democracy assembly chanted "freedom,"
knowing full well how Fidel Castro, aka El Maximo Lider, usually responds to

The assembly was only the most recent example of the growing cry among
Cubans for their own Velvet Revolution. Only 10 days ago, in the province of
Holguín, Cuban human-rights activists reported that the locals came to the
aid of dissidents being beaten by police. "The town of Antilla poured out by
the hundreds in protest to the abuse and they took us to the hospital,"
according to one of the victims cited by the well- connected Cuban exile
group Directorio. One witness reported that the protesters outnumbered the
Castro loyalists.

We relate these stories to point out the great opportunity for the
Organization of American States to stand up for the rights of the Cuban
people. For decades most of the 34 member states have been more concerned
with spitting in Uncle Sam's eye than with ending Cuban repression. Things
improved slightly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. But since Venezuelan
strongman Hugo Chávez started buying OAS votes with Venezuelan oil, and
threatening member states with support for subversives within their
countries, the OAS has rarely lifted its voice on matters relating to Fidel.

The lack of support for Cuban democracy is one reason the Bush
Administration has decided to prod the OAS to do more to promote democracy
in the region. Another reason is the creeping authoritarianism of Senor
Chávez, who stole a recall referendum right from under the nose of OAS
observers last August. OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza
acknowledged the Venezuela problem last month when he took up his new post
saying, "The elected governments that do not govern democratically should be
held accountable by the OAS."

Toward that end, the Bush Administration is proposing a democracy committee
within the OAS that would hold elected governments to democratic standards.
One idea would give civil society groups -- such as Venezuela's electoral
watchdog Súmate, which is under heavy assault from Chávez -- greater access
to the OAS permanent council to present grievances.

The OAS could also do far more to support Cuban democrats. Last weekend
passed in Havana without incident -- except for the expulsion of a number of
European observers, including a few journalists. But as the brave Cubans
return to their cities and villages, they risk such traditional Fidelista
retribution as neighborhood repudiation squads, arrest and even torture. Any
hope of creating space for political dissent in Cuba or Venezuela lies as
much with international pressure as with internal activism.

As recently as the 1980s a democratic wave began to sweep through Latin
American after decades of dictatorships of both the left and right. The
trend reversed in recent years and will continue to worsen without U.S.
leadership and help from Latin democrats. With democracy now moving even in
the Middle East, the Western Hemisphere shouldn't be left behind.

May 23, 2005
REVIEW & OUTLOOK [editorial]

Castro to Europe: Drop Dead
May 23, 2005

In 2003, after the Cuban regime jailed 75 dissidents and executed three
"hijackers" who had tried to flee the country, the European Union froze
high-level contacts to Cuba and invited dissidents to ambassadorial
functions. Only a few months ago, though, Spain's Socialist Prime Minister
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero successfully lobbied the EU to drop its rather
soft diplomatic sanctions against the island.

Only a month before the EU is to review its approach to Cuba, its
appeasement policy has borne bitter fruit. Over the last few days, several
European parliamentarians and journalists were detained and expelled from
Cuba. Their crimes? They had tried to monitor an unprecedented meeting of
Cuban dissidents. Among the expelled were Spanish lawmakers, demonstrating
once more how self-defeating appeasement really is.

Some of those expellees had once themselves lived under Communism, which is
probably why they have a much clearer understanding of the true nature of
the Cuban regime than so many of their fellow Europeans.

Arnold Vaatz, a German Christian Democrat who had been sentenced to forced
labor under the East German regime, criticized the "romanticism of Cuba" in
Europe. He said that dissidents told him that "the degree of terror and the
degree of the regime's arbitrariness has increased month after month."

Jacek Protasiewicz and Boguslaw Sonik, Polish members of the European
Parliament who were denied entry to Cuba, criticized the lifting of the
sanctions. "Fidel Castro's regime does not liberalize its internal policy
toward human rights activists, and nor does it open itself for honest
contacts with the EU," they wrote in a letter to EU foreign policy chief
Javier Solana.

The fact that the meeting was allowed to take place at all should not be
seen as a sign of progress. Castro himself hinted that the government would
have an "energetic" response for assembly members, the AP reported.

The about 200 dissidents who were chanting "Freedom, freedom" and "Down with
Fidel Castro" at a meeting Friday therefore live at great risks. It was the
first general meeting of the Assembly to Promote Civil Society, a
U.S.-backed umbrella organization of Cuban dissidents. In a video message
played to the meeting, U.S. President George Bush praised the dissidents for
their courage. "We will not rest. We will keep the pressure on until the
Cuban people enjoy the same freedom in Havana that they have in America," he

Europe's response, on the other hand, was revealing for its moral ambiguity.
With regard to the expulsions, Amadeu Tardio, spokesman for the European
Commission, said Friday: "This is not acceptable ... As such incidents occur
even the best friends of Cuba would find it difficult to maintain their
position." Mr. Tardio, like so many in Europe, seems to confuse the country
with the regime. Europe must decide whether it wants to be best friends with
Cuba or with Castro. It can't be both.
	URL for this article:

More information about the Marxism mailing list