Biden’s Second ‘Democracy Summit’

28 Mar 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Atilio A. Boron 

History and the present show that an imperial republic like the United States needs vassals, not partners, especially in current times in which the empire is going through its irreversible decline.

Between March 28 and 30, the Second Summit on Democracy will take place in Washington DC. Wednesday, March 29, will be the day of the plenary meeting. The event is convened by the United States government through the State Department but, as usual, it will have some “associated governments” that will also summon the meeting and whose mission is to disguise that the Summit is entirely a Washington project. The goal is crystal clear: to recover ground in the dwindling international prestige of American democracy, heavily damaged by the increasing levels of popular dissatisfaction with the functioning of democracy (over fifty percent of the surveyed population), as revealed by a host of public opinion polls; and by the unprecedented incidents surrounding the storming of the Capitol, the seat of the U.S. Congress, in Washington on January 6, 2021.

As announced, the Summit for Democracy has ”five co-hosts:  the United States, Costa Rica, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, and Zambia and representatives of their governments will officially kick off the Summit, with each co-host leader hosting a live, fully virtual, thematic.” The day before, the Department of State will host a panel session, chaired by Secretary Antony Blinken, about the need for a “Just and Lasting Peace in Ukraine” featuring President Volodymyr Zelensky as its main speaker. Supposedly, Zelensky and Secretary Blinken will discuss, alongside Foreign Ministers from a regionally diverse group of countries, the steps to be taken to reach a ceasefire and a “lasting peace” in Ukraine, although all the policies promoted by the Biden Administration run exactly in the opposite direction. Apparently, gone are the days when the European, and partly American, press characterized Ukraine as the most corrupt country in Europe and Zelensky himself as a despotic and equally corrupt leader. In 2015, the British newspaper The Guardian described it as such. Almost a year after the start of the war in Ukraine other press reports said that “the war with Russia hasn’t changed that.”

Unfortunately, at the time of writing these lines, the complete list of the countries invited to the Summit was unknown. However, an indication may be offered by the fact that the day after the plenary session, dedicated to digital technologies for the advancement of democracies and the dangers of digital authoritarianism, the keynote speaker will be no other than the Minister of Digital Affairs of Taiwan, Audrey Tang. This is a frontal attack on China because the guests at the Summit are supposed to be representatives of independent countries, and Taiwan certainly is not. It is not even recognized as such by the US government itself, but the intention is clear: to promote Taiwanese separatism, harass China, and provoke it into having a military response that would then justify US aggression.

We Latin Americans know very well that if there is a government in the world that cannot give lessons on democracy, it is precisely the government of the United States. Since the beginning of the American imperial expansion the U.S., has been renowned for its permanent attacks against the establishment of any democratic government in the region.  When Cuba and Puerto Rico were leading a liberation struggle against Spanish oppression, during the so-called “Spanish-American” war, the United States captured Cuba in 1898 after the Treaty of Paris and spoiled the Cuban victory. If we make a list of coups sponsored or directly carried out by the United States in our countries, we would run the risk of turning this note into a voluminous essay. We are just going to mention a few cases. 

In Argentina, the bloody military coups of 1966 and 1976 were sponsored and protected by Washington. In Chile, the brutal coup and subsequent assassination of Salvador Allende, perpetrated on September 11, 1973, was directly orchestrated from Washington by President Richard Nixon himself and his National Security adviser, and later Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. The coup d’état that took place in Brazil in 1964, and which lasted until 1985, had the enthusiastic support of Washington, as did the 1973 military coup in Uruguay, which also lasted until 1985 when Washington realized that its undisguised support for the ferocious Latin American dictatorships was damaging its international image and that the time had come to bet on democracy, but taking due precautions. We should not forget that Washington prepared an armed confrontation that lasted ten years (1979-1989) against the Sandinista government and used all the means at its disposal to destabilize the government of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front in El Salvador, in recent years

The worn-out democratic rhetoric of the United States is not enough to disguise the wicked intentions of its new strategy based on the possibilities opened by the use of “soft power” and the new devices to put pressure on progressive or left-wing governments: from the World Bank and IMF “conditionalities” to the oligopolistic control of the media and the indoctrination of judges and prosecutors to put into practice “lawfare” ploys to eliminate undesirable leaders for the empire from the field of the electoral politics, such as Lula in Brazil, Correa in Ecuador, Cristina in Argentina, Lugo in Paraguay, Zelaya in Honduras, Evo in Bolivia and just a few months ago Pedro Castillo in Peru.

History and the present show that an imperial republic like the United States needs vassals, not partners, especially in current times in which the empire is going through its irreversible decline. At times like these, democracies, as an expression of popular sovereignty and self-determination of nations, could not be more dysfunctional for the empire. That is why the Summit for Democracy will be one more farce, a propaganda montage whose real objective is to consolidate a “new cold war” divide between the friends and allies of the United States, who will be considered as democratic, and the adversaries of Washington, demonized as perverse autocracies that will be necessary to fight against by all available means. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Cuba’s ties to Arab World: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (III)

21 Mar 22:27 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

Cuban President Miguel-Diaz Canel touches in an interview for Al Mayadeen on the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance, the confrontation of Western imperialism, and his visit to Algeria.

Cuba’s ties to Arab World: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (III)

During the third part of Al Mayadeen Media Network Chairman Ghassan Ben Jeddou’s interview with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the president discussed Algeria, the Palestinian cause, El Comandante, and former President Raul Castro in the context of Cuba, global liberation, and international revolution.

Diaz-Canel said that in this past year, Cuba endeavored on a journey across Western Asia and North Africa to restore direct relations with a group of Arab countries which, due to the years of the pandemic, were not strengthened given that the ties were mostly virtual.

The visit, the President explained, began in Algeria; a country which Cuba shares a deep-rooted connection with, given the relationship shared between leaders of the Algerian revolution and those of the Cuban revolution. Diaz-Canel highlighted that while he belongs to a generation “that grew up hearing about the Algerian revolution” and about “Fidel’s visits to Algeria,” it remained that the current Cuban leadership, unfortunately, until [my visit in November] we did not have the opportunity to visit Algeria.

Algeria’s President and Government, during the visit, proposed a wide variety of cooperation projects which Diaz-Canel noted were enthusiastically welcomed. The visit, the president explained offered the Cuban leadership the opportunity to learn Algeria’s history and culture and to gain a genuine understanding of the depth of the fraternal tie that connects the Cuban people to the Algerian people.

Algeria’s President and Government, during the visit, proposed a wide variety of cooperation projects which Diaz-Canel noted were enthusiastically welcomed. The visit, the president explained offered the Cuban leadership the opportunity to learn about Algeria’s history and culture and to gain a genuine understanding of the depth of the fraternal tie that connects the Cuban people to the Algerian people.

Diaz-Canel recounted what unites the two nations. He reminded that the Algerian-Cuban cooperation was born when Cuban doctors flew to Algeria, during the early years of the revolution, as part of the first Cuban UN health mission abroad.

The Palestinian cause in the heart of Cuba

When asked about Palestine, Diaz-Canel reaffirmed Cuba’s solidarity with the Palestinian cause. The Cuban President reiterated that Cuba “defends the right to establish a Palestinian state with the pre-1967 borders with East Al-Quds as its capital and guaranteeing Palestinian refugees, anywhere in the world, the right of return.”

Moreover, Diaz-Canel argued that Cuba has always defended the Palestinian cause in the face of injustice, violence, and forced displacement.

The topic prompted the President to tell a story from when he served as Minister of Higher Education and attended an international conference on higher education which was hosted by UNESCO. Diaz-Canel, at the time, advocated Palestine’s eligibility for membership in and recognition by UNESCO in an address he gave on behalf of the Cuban government. I wasn’t one of the first speakers at the time, but Cuba was the one who raised the issue of Palestine and demanded that it be recognized by UNESCO. Following this speech, and the speeches of others who supported the integration of Palestine as a member of UNESCO, a resolution was passed in favor of that demand. 

At the time, the US decided to withdraw its support of the organization and even went on to launch an attack campaign against UNESCO simply for allowing Palestine to become a legitimate member of the international organization.

The Cuban President also highlighted that he had recently received Palestinian leaders and discussed the deep-rooted relationship that ties the two people together.

Diaz-Canel highlighted that this has been Cuba’s approach toward all resistance movements across the globe. Especially, Diaz-Canel noted, movements such as Hezbollah in Lebanon whose leaders have defended Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty, and right to self-determination.

When asked about Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, the Cuban President confidently said “he is a leader who knew how to lead a movement that defends the causes of the Lebanese people.”

Fidel restored Cuba’s dignity

Fidel, leader of the Cuban Revolution, gave Cuba, Latin America, and the Caribbean region a legacy, said Diaz-Canel who expressed deep feelings of appreciation and nostalgia for the era of El Commandante. Diaz-Canel said, “I miss him, and I will always miss him, the Cuban people will always miss him too.” 

Fidel led the Cuban Revolution for the dignity of the Cuban people and for the dignity of Cuba, he was a true revolutionary who “defended the rights of people, and fought for social justice without giving in to destabilizing attempts and aggressive imperialist policy against Cuba amid the conditions of the unjust embargo.”

The Cuban President added, “I believe that every historical moment of the revolution has been a milestone of Fidel’s legacy in history.”

Diaz-Canel explained that he is committed to Fidel’s convictions and defends them with all honesty, both as a President and as an intellectual. The President said, “I study Fidel constantly, and in difficult and complicated moments my first question is always: what would Fidel have done in a moment like this?” Diaz-Canel revealed that he turned to Fidel’s writings, speeches, and reflections whenever he needed to find parallels between the challenges of the past and the challenges of today to see how Fidel solved previous challenges.

“We have a great commitment to his legacy, a great commitment to the continuity of the Cuban Revolution, and a great commitment to our people,” said Diaz-Canel.

The President said he is committed to walking in Fidel’s footsteps reaffirming that “Fidel is still present among us even though we always miss him.”

Raul Castro: the perfect second man

When asked by Raul Kobe Castro, Cuban President Diaz-Canel said “Raúl Kobe is authentic, deeply revolutionary and I have great admiration and appreciation for him.” Diaz-Canel explained that he perceived Raul as “the beloved army general Raúl Castro” whom he considered both a mentor and a father.

The Cuban President described Raul as someone who has “the ability to listen, and also gives his opinion in a timely manner, firmly, sincerely and faithfully about what he sees as wrong or not well applied.”

When asked about the role of Raul during the Cuban revolution, Diaz-Canel said “he’s always been the perfect second man.” Raul, according to the Cuban President, complied with Fidel’s directives and set an example to others as he “never looked forward to becoming the first man.”

Raul, he said, ran “the most efficient ministry” in the Cuban revolution, the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, “which is not the armed forces of any country, it is the armed forces of the Cuban people” born out of the Cuban revolution. These forces play a significant role not only in protecting the country but also in social and economic dynamics.

After Fidel’s passing away, Raul took over the leadership of Cuba “with tremendous cohesion, honesty, and fulfillment of the revolution and Fidel,” said Diaz-Canel.

Raul is a bold person, said the Cuban President, adding that he paved the way for necessary transformations based on his understanding of the challenges that face the country. 

In particular, Diaz-Canel said Raul is a great host, saying he has witnessed how Raul won the heart of any friendly foreign visitor arriving in Cuba, perhaps because people expect protocol-type dialogues with him. Instead, they find Raul welcoming and able to talk about the most complex issues on the international scene.

Commitment to the people of utmost importance

According to the Cuban President, the government is currently conducting dialogue with the people, and parliamentary candidates are meeting with the electorate ahead of the elections set for March 26. 
“For one to elect a president, one must first be elected by the people as a representative; it is highly up to what the people want – and whether or not they see in each and every one of us the characteristics they want in a representative […] it is all about the people’s assessment first and that of the National Assembly second,” Diaz-Canel underlined.

He explained that he devoted himself to the revolutionary process with paramount commitment, stressing that he felt the weight of the responsibility of the presidency on his shoulders, as “I will never allow myself to betray the Cuban Revolution or not be able to achieve the continuity of the Cuban revolution’s legacy… That idea haunts me every day and forces me to improve my performance. In fact, it challenges me to look deeper and perceive things critically, making me unsatisfied with the milestones we are reaching.

One cannot commit to the revolution if they do not have a prior commitment to the people, one cannot talk about continuity if one was not committed to the people, and one cannot talk about preserving Fidel and Raul’s legacy if one was not committed the people, the Cuban leader underlined.

“We have been through harsh times, and we had to face numerous ordeals, and many citizens still remind of that during the meetings we hold with them, for they say: ‘You did not catch a break’,” he said.

Touching on the “harsh times” in question, Diaz-Canel highlighted how Cuba was hit with various disasters over the years. “At first, there was the plane crash, then came the hurricane in Havana, the floods, the Hotel Saratoga explosion, the burning of the huge oil tanks, Trump’s 243 measures, the placement of Cuba on the States Sponsors of Terror list, and now hurricane Ian and a whole bundle of woes.”

The Cuban president underlined that the country went through difficult times and that it was vigorously looking for ways to get inflation under control and manage the lack of supply for the Cuban people. “We are as seeking to achieve energy stability in the national power grid and succeeding in implementing a wide array of measures that had been included in the socio-economic development strategy we had designed to enable the country to achieve the prosperity that the Cuban people deserve in the shortest time possible and despite all the conditions of the suffocating blockade.”

“I have many cases of dissatisfaction, and I criticized myself during the latest session of the National Assembly of People’s Power in December 2022. It was public self-criticism because I could not solve the problems that the country is facing, including complicated issues that are affecting the daily lives of citizens,” the Cuban leader said, highlighting that while he did not see himself as the reason behind these problems – as the situation has to do with far more than the government’s mistakes and shortcomings, for there is the embargo – he still feels dissatisfied with the fact that Havana cannot promote a set of measures to be more efficient and more effective when it comes to solving such problems.

Cuba’s resilience to help overcome the embargo

The Cuban leader said that while he is convinced that the blockade will not become any easier, he believes that “we have every ability not only to resist it but also to overcome it, for due to our talent, effort, intelligence, and action, we will advance the country’s development.”

Cuba’s first priority, Diaz-Canel told Bin Jeddou, will be defending the homeland and the revolution through the military, ideological, and economic resilience that the country strives to achieve. “By achieving this military, economic, and ideological resilience, we can continue to deepen the effectiveness of the revolution’s social achievements. The goal of the revolution was, above all, to achieve social achievements and to defend social justice.”

The priority is to confront with wisdom, talent, and intelligence the massive political and ideological sabotage campaign launched by the United States administration against Cuban society, directed mainly at the youth in order to create a rift and chasm between the youth and the revolution, the Cuban president underlined. “At the ideological level, we encourage – in fact, we do – the consolidation of the concept of people’s power, which guarantees the critical popular participation and the submission of proposals that can be submitted through the apparatuses of the popular authority that represents the people,” he added, noting that this was a key aspect in confronting foreign attempts at undermining the Cuban revolution. 

According to Diaz-Canel, Havana is obligated to defend the new Constitution adopted by the country a few years ago and to ensure that all the laws that support the articles of the new Constitution are passed.

Furthermore, the Cuban president touched on the socially effective programs that Cuba supports, which are part of the people’s aspirations, among which are a program aimed at empowering women, a program against discrimination in all its forms, especially racial discrimination, a program against cultural colonialism and everything broadcast by the platforms working on bringing back capitalism and neoliberalism while imposing imperialist ideals, and social programs in the areas whose residents live in vulnerable situations.

“Three basic pillars have been established in the administration of the Communist Party of Cuba and the government regarding work on these programs. Among these pillars are science and innovation, as well as scientific research. The second pillar is the digital transformation of Cuban society, which also means a change in mentality.”

The third pillar, according to Diaz-Canel, is communication, i.e., the means of communication in Cuba and how Cuba could produce its own content through using the truth, as well as creating the means for confronting the smear campaign waged by the imperialist forces benefitting from their monopoly on social media platforms and the internet.

Diaz-Canel thanks Al Mayadeen

At the conclusion of his interview, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel directed a message to Cuba, calling on the country to never give up its commitment to defending the sovereignty and independence of the various peoples all over the world, as well as their right to independence, self-determination, and their land. He called on his country to never give up the mentality of a better world being a possibility and that the Cuban people must enable this world through their struggle.

Furthermore, Diaz-Canel told the free media, also known as alternative media, to never stop defending the peoples’ truth, roots, and identity, stressing the need for the media to use its platforms to produce anti-imperialist content, as well as content that combats banality.

The Cuban president also specifically addressed Al Mayadeen and the head of its Spanish department, Al Mayadeen Espanol, Wafiqa Ibrahim, by expressing his gratitude for the network’s compassion toward Cuba and how it treats the Cuban cause as its own.

Diaz-Canel also thanked Al Mayadeen for the support it has given the Cuban people during trying times when it came out to tell the truth about Cuba when defending Cuba was of utmost importance and scarce to see.

“I would also like to thank you for your professionalism; this professionalism through which you did not only address the reality of Cuba and the world alone, but also the viewpoint of the entire Arab World, its values, culture, history, and causes. Today, at this time in particular, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to be in this exclusive interview. I think all of this has a lot to do with the fact that the Arab World and Cuba are two brotherly people. We are two brother nations, and we will always fight hasta la victoria siempre,” he underlined.

Finally, Diaz-Canel thanked Al Mayadeen for its documentary series Enigma, which told the tale of the Cuban revolution, saying it dealt with the Cuban revolution in a very adequate manner through the series.

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Havana and the world: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (II)

20 Mar 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President talks about Cuba’s stance on the war in Ukraine, and his country’s relationship with Russia, China, and other countries.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel

During the second part of Al Mayadeen Media Network Chairman Ghassan Ben Jeddou’s interview with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the president discusses Cuba’s assessment of current alliances, in addition to its position on the war in Ukraine.

The Cuban president discussed the solid relationship that consolidates his country with Russia, China, and Iran, as well as his country’s relationship with Latin American leaders, and what he aspires for in the Arab region. He also expressed his admiration for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his desire to visit Damascus this year.

The world that Cuba aspires to

During his interview with Al Mayadeen, Diaz-Canel said that “the assessment of alliances in today’s world must be on the current context, and on an analysis of the current situation,” noting that this is related to what happened in the world, as the world is going through a multidimensional crisis.

He stresses that the situation has also been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has plunged the world into a state of uncertainty.

Diaz-Canel added, “Instead of enforcing the language of cooperation and respect for one another, the world has resorted to imposing new sanctions and resolving conflicts using the language of war.” “This is not the world we want and I think it is not the world that the majority of people on Earth want.”

“Today,” the Cuban president said, “we need a world capable of globalizing solidarity, peace, and friendship, a world that has a system of relations that defends pluralism,” noting that “this world is being built in accordance with common values ​​based on peace, solidarity, friendship, and pluralism, which are capable of preserving, first and foremost, the human race.”

He added that this issue was former Cuban President Fidel Castro’s concern from an early age, and it was mentioned in many of his messages to the world on various international occasions, and that Cuba aims to resolve conflicts through dialogue, and for the world to become more democratic.

The Cuban president asserted to Al Mayadeen the need to change the “current global economic system, because it is based on exploitation and inequality, serves the rich at the expense of the majority of the world’s poor, and does not offer developing countries any alternatives, as it is subject to the interests of military-industrial complexes and great Western powers.”

If “we are able to achieve alliances that contribute to achieving pluralism, understanding, respect for others, and the struggle for peace… these alliances will then be valid and supportive.”

In the same context, he refers to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA), the alternative adopted by Latin America to confront the ALCA Free Trade Agreement, which represents an imperialist project.

One of the most important reasons for the success of these alliances is, according to Diaz-Canel, that they are based on cooperation, solidarity, and sincere stances, and not on concepts that prioritize money and the economy.

The president stressed that the Cuban revolution is based on sharing what it has with others, and that this is what the future of the world should be like.

Blame for Russia-Ukraine war lies with Washington

Regarding Cuba’s position on the Russian-Ukrainian war, Diaz-Canel stressed that this conflict has serious consequences for the world, not just the parties involved. 

The president accused Washington of using its power of influence through the media to spread Russophobia and disinformation on the origin of the conflict, labeling Russia as a culprit while concealing the real reasons behind the war. 

He stressed that “the culprit in this conflict is the United States itself, which resorts to wars to solve its problems and overcome its crises,” adding that “Washington puts the interests of the military-industrial complex at the forefront, as it needs the war to sell weapons and to solve the internal problems it suffers from.”

The Cuban president indicated that the US has always sought to encircle Russia by promoting NATO expansionism on its borders, which he says Russia is aware of. The countries that are accomplices in the war will lose the most, he added, as they began to suffer from food shortages and an energy crisis, while those directly involved in the conflict are losing human lives.

The biggest beneficiary of the war, he said, is the US administration, and there need to be initiatives at the international level that facilitate the process of dialogue between the concerned parties to put an end to the war.

Diaz-Canel reiterated his country’s disapproval of the continued use of the language of war and the imposition of sanctions against Russia instead of dialogue, as these measures do not solve crises, but rather exacerbate the state of war. He added that the way Western nations are dealing with the crisis may drag the world into a possible world war.

He further wondered how Europe, which was the theater of two previous world wars, and the theater for Fascism and Nazism, is incapable of extracting the necessary lessons from history to play an effective role in avoiding a third world war.

Read next: Al Mayadeen CEO decorated with Cuba medal of friendship

Cuba’s relationship with China 

Speaking about Cuban-Chinese relations, the president stressed that his country and China enjoy historical and friendly relations, based on common principles that bring the two countries together.

He added that his country shares convictions with China regarding a structured socialist path in both countries that takes into account the specificities of each; both countries also share strong relations at the levels of their governments, peoples, and parties (the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of Cuba).

Diaz-Canel praised the Chinese model of socialism and reform, and its establishment of a firm economic base, which transformed it into one of the world’s great powers. He added that China adopted a distinguished position in terms of cooperation and solidarity, as is the case in Cuba, referring in this context to the initiatives and proposals presented by Chinese President Xi Jinping to achieve more harmony on the global level.

The Cuban president said that during his visit to China at the end of last year, he felt assured by the clear Chinese desire to support Cuba out of its crisis. He pointed out that during the visit, decisions were taken regarding the development of bilateral relations.

He said that China is one of Cuba’s main economic partners and that it is directly involved with Cuban energy, transportation, and telecommunication projects, referring also to the wide exchange between the two countries in terms of education, culture, science, technologies, and innovation, calling China “a friend of Cuba.”

Cuba’s relationship with Russia

Regarding Cuban-Russian relations, Diaz-Canel affirmed the high level of political, economic, and commercial relations between Moscow and Havana.

He added that Russia is present in the most strategic sectors that were developed within the national plan for economic and social development in Cuba until 2030: the energy sector, transportation and communications, cybersecurity, the mineral sector, the industrial sector, and in food production.

“There is a whole range of projects under development jointly with Russia.”

Diaz-Canel discussed how Russia sent a plane to assist his country during the Covid-19 pandemic and placed it at the disposal of Havana to transport oxygen cylinders imported from various places in Latin America and the Caribbean. He added that while Cuba was in a crisis, Russia donated factories to help it produce oxygen, and many concentrators, as did China.

The Cuban president touched on his recent visit to Russia, pointing out that he saw that Russian President Vladimir Putin understood Cuba’s problems, and Moscow’s political and governmental will to help alleviate the problems his country suffers from. He added that since that visit, Cuba has constantly been updated with regard to the agreements with Moscow, especially concerning energy and food.

He stressed that China and Russia are friendly states, and that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have demonstrated the will to embody a true friendship with Cuba.

During the interview with Al Mayadeen, the Cuban president did not hide his admiration for his Russian counterpart, pointing out that Putin’s speeches are rich in historical references. He added that Putin is constantly referring to lessons from history in order to reaffirm what is happening today, and what needs to be done in the future.

He added that “I don’t think it was Putin who caused the conflict with Ukraine, they were about to impose a siege on the Russian Federation,” pointing out that the Russian president is defending Russia’s interests and security.

“Dialogue with the Russian president is not impossible, but rather possible, provided that it is linked to a sincere will and without the imposition of preconditions.”

Cuba’s relationship with Iran

Speaking about Cuban-Iranian relations, the Cuban president described Iran as Cuba’s sister nation. He said that the foundations of the relationship between the two countries are based on history and mutual respect, as well as the great resistance that the two people waged in the face of imperial blockades and sanctions.

According to the Cuban president, “the Cuban and Iranian people share an understanding of resistance, courage, heroism, dignity, and defiance to the plans of imperialist power.” 

He also expressed his appreciation for the Iranian leader, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, as a politician and as the leader of the Iranian Revolution, admiring his “tremendous capability for logical thinking and analysis,” also describing him as a wise leader.

The Cuban president indicated that the two countries are working on joint projects that serve the economic development of both, especially in the fields of energy and food. He pointed out that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi might visit his country, while also expressing his desire to visit Tehran this year.

Diaz-Canel stressed to Al Mayadeen that this year will witness a deepening of relations between the two countries, and the adoption of projects that are of mutual benefit. He specified both nations share mutual projects that include scientific research, technology, and energy.

The Cuban president expressed his admiration for Iran’s culture, civilization, and resistance against aggression, and said that the technological development that Iran has achieved despite the embargo and sanctions is very important, and multifaceted, pointing out that being familiar with Iran’s development can benefit Havana.

Read next: Al Mayadeen, Cuban TV discuss cooperation, exchange of expertise

Cuba’s relationship with Latin American leaders

Regarding Cuba’s relationship with Latin American leaders, the Cuban president said that his country has deep ties with four Latin American leaders.

Cuba and Venezuela 

Diaz-Canel pointed out that the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sowed hope in Venezuela, shining throughout Latin America, and that Venezuela has always been an important country and played a key role in Latin America, especially during Chavez’s leadership of the Bolivarian Revolution.

He added that many values ​​have come together in Chavez, as he was Bolivarian in thought par excellence, was well versed in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean, and was an exceptional defender of Simon Bolivar’s thought and of the pioneers of liberation in Latin America.

The Cuban president noted that “Chavez was able, as an exemplary leader, to understand the concerns and aspirations of the Venezuelan people,” adding that the friendship between former Cuban President Fidel Castro and Chavez, “was like a father-son relationship.”

In this context, he referred to the achievements made by the two countries during the Chavez and Fidel eras, especially with regard to the ALBA. 

He added that when Chavez was head of the Bolivarian Revolution, he was preparing cadres who were distinguished by their true commitment to the revolution’s path, to the Venezuelan people, and their loyalty to the revolution, referring in this context to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The Cuban president described Maduro as a brother to Cuba, and admired how he defended the Bolivarian Revolution against all destabilization attempts planned by the US government. He pointed out that “Maduro, with his efforts and persistence, was able to achieve civil-military unity, preserve the Bolivarian Revolution, and move it forward on the path of victory.”

Cuba and Colombia

Speaking about Colombia, the Cuban president said that there is now a government in Colombia that prioritizes dialogue with Venezuela, adding that Nicolas Maduro and Gustavo Petro have agreed on a whole set of measures that also aim to ensure peace in one of Latin America’s most important regions. 

Cuba and Brazil 

The Cuban president also described his Brazilian counterpart, Lula da Silva, as an exceptional leader, pointing to his prominent role in extracting Brazil from its economic crisis, which turned it into a reference for what can be achieved in the policy of social justice, adding that “Lula doesn’t suit US interests, so the administration worked to discredit him by fabricating legal cases against him.”

He added that Lula did not surrender and did not accept any conditions to be imposed on him, despite his imprisonment and the pressure exerted on him to subdue him. He complimented the Brazilian president, stressing that his new projects help develop programs and investments in the country.

Cuba and Nicaragua

The Cuban president also expressed his admiration for the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, noting that it was a success the United States could not bear, and against which it launched a fierce campaign of destabilization, backed by a fierce media campaign to discredit Nicaragua.

“Therefore, I believe that whenever we want to assess the situation in Nicaragua, we must start from where we proceed in our analysis of what the Sandinista revolution contributed to in the areas of economic and social development for the Nicaraguan people, and what the Sandinista revolution means in terms of building a state with national security, and remove everything related to imperialist distortion and tampering.”     

Cuba’s relationship with the Arab world

Regarding the island’s relationship with the Arab world, Diaz-Canel affirmed that Havana has good relations with Arab countries based on respect and mutual understanding of the historical and cultural specifics of each country.

He pointed out that there was space for cooperation, for the defense of common struggles, and coordination of efforts in international forums, adding that Cuba has always felt the solidarity and support of the Arab communities.

Diaz-Canel stressed that there is room to deepen the already strong ties on the economic and commercial level, as the historical foundations laid out for these relations are strong and Cuba looks to strengthen this relationship with the Arab world. 

The Cuban president expressed his admiration for Syria’s courage, steadfastness, and self-confidence in the face of an aggressive campaign aimed at destroying it, noting that Syria, after many years of the unjust war against it, remained a strong and united nation. 

In this context, he praised the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, “The Syrian president has shown sincerity to his people and has remained at the forefront without giving up… I have always seen a great deal of steadfastness and composure in him.”

Before concluding the interview with Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President renewed his support for Syria, saying that Havana will remain with the Syrian people, and condemned the ongoing Israeli aggression against it, as well as the sanctions imposed on the Syrian people.

The Cuban president expressed his desire to visit Damascus this year and admired the nation’s steadfastness and the solidity and dignity of the Syrian people.

Read next: Cuba Revolution, US embargo: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (I)

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Cuba Revolution, US embargo: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (I)

19 Mar, 2023 

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President touches on the Cuban Revolution, its challenges, and achievements, as well as US manipulations.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel

Al Mayadeen Media Network Chairman Ghassan Ben Jeddou conducted an exclusive interview with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, during which the latter discussed the Cuban Revolution and its challenges, international relations, the situation in Latin America, and the blockade imposed on Cuba.

In the first part of the interview, the Cuban President touched on the concepts on which the Cuban Revolution was based and Cuba’s position on the progressive, revolutionary, and resistance currents in the world, as well as the protests that the country witnessed in 2021 and Cuba’s policies toward the new generations.

The Moncada and the Revolution

Speaking about the pre-revolutionary period in the country, Diaz-Canel told Al Mayadeen that the 50s was a terrible decade for Cuba and the Cuban people, as it came after years of imperial domination of Cuba where the country had turned into an American colony.

He pointed out that whatever strategies were put in to camouflage this situation and its essence, the situation stemmed from the frustration of the struggle for Cuban independence in 1895.

He specified that at the last moment of the war for independence when Cuba had practically defeated Spain, the first imperialist war occurred, referring to the US interference in the Spanish-Cuban War, which was later called the Spanish-Cuban-American war.

Diaz-Canel continued that “far from achieving its real independence, Cuba became a colony of the United States government,” and since then, the country has been ruled by a number of submissive governments and agents of the empire, administrative corruption prevailed, and an oligarchy — that did not defend the interests of the country or the Cuban people, but rather was defending the interests of the United States — became more enrooted.

Back then, according to the Cuban President, the United States seized practically all of the country’s natural resources and started investing in Cuba. Thus, the Cuban people reached a very complicated situation where illiteracy increased and no one practically owned a home.

The situation back then was described by Fidel Castro in his self-defense document titled “History Will Absolve Me,” thus, the Moncada was the program that Castro developed for launching the Revolution, Diaz-Canel said.

Revolution achievements

The Cuban leader considered that in the case of Cuba in particular and the complex situation that it was living in, the Revolution was necessary with no other solution available, and therefore, it was very acceptable — a revolution that completes the true independence of Cuba.

Diaz-Canel explained that for this reason, the Revolution, which meant primarily making profound changes in Cuban society, was accepted by the majority of the Cuban people and was a completely dynamic and liberating process that gave Cuba true independence, sovereignty, and self-determination.

Thus, the revolutionary process began to advance along a set of social achievements, which gave the right to free education, free health, and sports for everyone, as well as the spread of world and Cuban culture, he indicated.

“It was a process of reaffirming the cultural values ​​on which the Cuban nation was built, throughout its years, basing all its actions on the law, that is, always defending what is just,” he added.

He pointed out that one of the basic concepts of the Revolution has always been achieving the greatest possible amount of social justice, taking into account culture in its broadest sense, and not referring only to artistic and literary creativity, but rather taking into account the values ​​that have formed in the Cuban nation over many years, and highlighting the best of those values ​​enjoyed by its people in the revolutionary process.

Likewise, Diaz-Canel asserted that the Revolution never deceived the people. In fact, the Revolution asked the people to read in order to believe and granted them the right to learn, he said.

All of this was linked to the thought of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro and his legacy and the continuity that General Raul Castro later attributed to the revolutionary process, Diaz-Canel added.

The Revolution renewing itself

The Cuban President said the Revolution was in a state of continuous boiling and was constantly transforming and changing, adapting to all the complex historical moments that it had to pass through.

According to Diaz-Canel, one must ask how this Revolution, which was born besieged and encircled since its inception, by the main imperialist power and the most powerful superpower in the world, could resist all the sieges, sanctions, aggressions, and currently the tightened siege and widespread media attacks that seek to discredit the Revolution and undermine its authority and model.

He said that when one thinks about the attitude the US adopted in its dealing with the Revolution that only wants the well-being of the Cuban people, there is only one answer for that: It did so out of hatred and malice because it was disturbed by the model of this Revolution.

The Cuban President stressed: “I believe that we are continuing the Revolution, and the Revolution will continue to advance despite the difficulties,” highlighting that “the majority of the Cuban people will continue to support this Revolution, and for that, we must continue in a state of revolution within the Revolution.”

On the other hand, the Cuban President explained that the world is witnessing a very difficult situation and is full of uncertainty. “We have just suffered from an epidemic that destroyed the models of neoliberalism,” he considered.

He said that despite the many years of neoliberalism and the promotion of a lot of propaganda that supports it – when a complex moment has come – the world found that neoliberalism is unable to solve all the problems of the epidemic with equality and inclusion of all people.

Diaz-Canel pointed out that health systems in the most advanced capitalist countries had collapsed, and a question was raised about how to explain the neoliberal world’s failure to provide alternatives to the majority.

“Since the world has just gone through a pandemic, I think we still cannot talk about the post-pandemic stage, as there are still more than 20 countries in the world that have not even been able to vaccinate 10% of their population, and we see that there is a lot of inequality,” the Cuban leader explained.

He noted that amid the pandemic, there was a very selfish attitude on the part of the oligarchy, and the rich became richer while the poor became poorer.

“This is why we see this inequality that arises in the capitalist societies themselves, and then this inequality leads to rebellion and leads above all to the rebellion of the youths, and the new generations as well,” he added.

Diaz-Canel stressed that regardless of the way it is implemented, the Revolution will continue to be an alternative and will remain an aspiration for the youth.

However, he underlined that it will inevitably be necessary to take into account the historical stages and to conduct a critical analysis of revolutionary experiences, not to see revolutions from an idealistic point of view, but from all their contradictions and the situations they overcame.

The Cuban President highlighted that in today’s world, there is a deep revolutionary feeling and an embrace of Marxist ideas, and one sees that there is much hope for these generations to build a better world.

He noted that he felt that because he had the opportunity to talk to many young people who visit Cuba from different parts of the world.

Diaz-Canel pointed out the need to preserve the environment as an indispensable condition for preserving the human race, pointing out that all these trials and deep reflections on the multidimensional crisis that the world is going through today give an answer that revolution is still an alternative.

Cuba and the revolutionary progressive currents

When asked about the new progressive left in Latin America and the world, the Cuban President said that in the region, there is a historical reference that indicates the need to delve deeper into these ideas and provides the basis for the continuity of these progressive leftist ideas.

Diaz-Canel believes that a huge part of the people of Latin America has embraced these ideas, noting that in recent years “we have witnessed stages that express this historical continuity in the independence experiences of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

He explained that the situation that the US, with its neoliberal practices, led the region to saw an increase in inequality in Latin America and subjected the population of most Latin American countries to a very complicated situation.

The Cuban President considered that it has become necessary for revolutionary experiences to take place, just as a decade passed in which a whole group of revolutionary experiences arose in response and as an alternative to this situation.

According to Diaz-Canel, the exemplary experience in this sense was the Venezuelan experience, where Hugo Chavez, who was a well-established Bolivarian and well-versed in Latin American history, carried out a Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.

He continued that, at that time, the experience of the Bolivarian Revolution coincided with the Nicaraguan Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, the Cultural Revolution in Bolivia, and the Citizenship Revolution in Ecuador, as well as the experience of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil and that of Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, among others.

Diaz-Canel noted that there was also a progressive president in Paraguay and Uruguay, which allowed the consolidation of a whole set of integration measures in Latin America and the Caribbean where millions of Latin Americans no longer suffered from hunger and were able to change their social status after all these progressive governments initiated measures of a social and economic nature in the interest of the majority.

However, the Cuban President pointed out that imperialism did not stand idly by and tried to undermine those movements that were an expression of those progressive and leftist ideas, pointing to the countless vicious, divisive acts that the US government, with the support of its huge media, applied to bury these experiences.

“We all know how they carried out a parliamentary coup in Paraguay, how they caused the impeachment of the President of Brazil, Dilma [Rousseff], and how they also prosecuted a group of Latin American leaders politically,” Diaz-Canel said.

“We are still witnessing judicial persecution against [former Argentine Vice President] Cristina Kirchner, and how they tried to carry out a coup under the auspices of the Organization of American States against the Bolivian experiment led by Evo Morales,” he noted.

But the Cuban leader indicated that Latin America is witnessing a cycle in which the defense of those leftist ideas and work to strengthen them began again.

He said that in the decade in which all the aforementioned experiences converged, an integration mechanism for Latin America was achieved, highlighting that through this mechanism of integration in less than ten years, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador were able to win the battle of eradicating illiteracy.

First illiteracy-free region in Latin America and the Caribbean

According to the Cuban President, this achievement holds much significance for Cuba, which declared itself the first illiteracy-free region in Latin America and the Caribbean, pointing out that it took more than 50 years with authentic and real complementary experiences in Latin America and with human, revolutionary, and progressive ideas, for other countries to realize what previously seemed like a figment of the imagination.

Diaz-Canel said that for many people in other parts of the world, this is still a dream and an out-of-the-reach matter.

He recalled that with this process of integration between Latin American countries, what was known as Operation Miracle was achieved, restoring sight to millions in Latin America who would not have had it in the circumstances that they were living in countries implementing neoliberal projects and programs.

The Cuban leader explained that Petro-Caribbean projects became consolidated on the basis of sharing energy resources in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Diaz-Canel also highlighted that other consultation mechanisms were established, such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), where for the first time, 33 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean sat down to discuss their problems together without the US presence or participation.

He also pointed out that Latin America and the Caribbean have now decided for themselves freely, on the basis of the concept of unity within diversity, to announce the document declaring Latin America and the Caribbean a region of peace.

This was specifically approved during the summit held by the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Havana, which also guarantees or proposes the full political will of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, according to Diaz-Canel.

He underlined that Cuba supports and respects these experiences, stressing that his country will continue to defend, understand, and respect everything that can be done in order to achieve a better world based on the most humane, revolutionary, liberating, and comprehensive stances.

The new generations

In the same context, the Cuban President pointed out that the new generations today that lead leftist courses have learned lessons from history, having analyzed the historical watersheds of the left in the world, thus understanding the need to unite while accounting for diversity, in order to establish a robust framework for the revolutionary struggle.

According to the Cuban President, valuable lessons have been drawn on why socialism has failed in Eastern Europe, and lessons have been drawn from revolutionary endeavors in the world.

He added that the claims and intentions of imperialism at this time have also been analyzed, confirming that it is not possible to talk about a new left or a renewed left or a left that gives continuity to historical milestones if this left is uncertain of its course, what it seeks, or its origin.

“We must bear in mind that imperialism today is developing a whole concept of world domination, and therefore it is ideologically based on an integrated program to restore the momentum of capitalism, neoliberalism, and cultural colonialism,” he said.

“The only means that imperialism employs to abolish identity and destroy nations, culture, and the roots and essence of our peoples is precisely through cultural penetration [ideological subversion] that lures people into skepticism and dismisses all their ideas as obsolete,” Diaz-Canel said.

“Understanding these attitudes is what unites us all to defend our essence, in a common defense of culture and identity, to avoid cultural colonialism and the domination of only one thought that prevails in the world, which is why it is also important to analyze the problems of the left, which, in itself, is lost in problems of neoliberal globalization,” he added.

The Cuban President added, “If we ask what has been globalized? Selfishness has been globalized; it is the language of war. Aggression has also been globalized, leaving social inequality in its wake. It is the imperialist logic, and in the face of this imperialist logic, the logic of the left, or progressive logic, must prevail.”

“In our case, we have a socialist logic, however, we never turn down criticism of our ideology, but I believe it is fundamental to eliminate human exploitation of man to have equality among all the inhabitants of the planet and to distribute wealth in a better manner,” Diaz-Canel said.

“It is very difficult to understand today that in this world of inequality, where so many are impoverished, millions and millions of dollars are being employed in war budgets or spent on armaments,” he said.

“How much more can the world do for the benefit of all its people if these funds are used for other purposes? How much more can be accomplished if there is more integration, if there is mutual respect, and if there are genuine decolonization programs and programs that actually create opportunities for all,” he wondered.

Challenges the Revolution faced

The Cuban President said, “When I was elected President of the Republic, I said that before anything else, we stand as the generation of continuity; [historical] continuity in the dialectical sense of the word, the kind that stands up for the essence of the Revolution that shall lead the Revolution to perfection as well.”

He further explained, “In other words, it was not a generation that wanted to maintain a rigid pace in the development of the Revolution, so in this concept of continuity, a set of values from the historical legacy of the Revolution is also adopted.”

Diaz-Canel believed that “among those values stands out the courage that Fidel and Raul engraved in us; courage that extends throughout our wars for independence and our decision to firmly defend sovereignty and independence and defend the right to self-determination of the Cuban people. In the same sense, the concept of broader communication with the people stands out.” According to Cuba’s leader, the aforementioned constitute elements that shall always distinguish the stance that “we, the revolutionary cadres and fighters, will take in our lives, especially in the most difficult moments.”

“We will always stand up against adversity, we will always stand up against the most difficult, most complex moments, with courage yet calmly because they are moments that we should consider deeply and analyze thoroughly. Such moments cannot be handled in an indecisive spontaneous, disorderly, or arrogant manner,” the Cuban President stressed. 

He went on to say that “such are moments in which you must study the reasons and contradictions that are inflicted on the facts, before anything else, followed by looking for the best solutions with the participation of everyone.”

He added, “I always say that none of us can know more than what we all, combined, know, and I believe that the Cuban people have proven throughout their history that they enjoy the talent, strong will, and valor…  that they are heroes who regard their dignity highly.”

Diaz-Canel pointed out that the Cuban people have been under siege for more than sixty years, and continued that his generation, which was born after the Revolution, is “a besieged generation since then. We have lived under siege, but this is something that we shared with our children and grandchildren.”

Furthermore, the Cuban President indicated that “the generations that were born after the Revolution are generations that lived their entire lives under the pressure of the blockade, under the aggression of the blockade, under the repercussions of the blockade, but still, the Revolution did not stop, and it stood in the face of the blockade and was able to develop its programs and projects, although the blockade stood out as the main obstacle in the face of achieving all the aforementioned.”

It goes without saying that “the blockade is a fait accompli that slows down our aspirations and the realization of our projects and dreams,” he tersely stated.

Diaz-Canel added that, starting from the second half of 2019, a very delicate situation prevails, whereby the Trump administration announces more than 243 measures against the Cuban Revolution, which intensified the blockade.

He continued, “Therefore, we are not talking here about the blockade imposed in the sixties or the seventies, nor about the blockade in the ‘delicate period (the nineties).’” 

“We are talking about a very intense siege that the world is still experiencing, and based on scrutiny and analysis that we conducted within the leadership of the Revolution at the time, we explained to the people, within a long notice, the problems that we will face,” he added.

The Cuban President stressed that “we have prepared our people in a way that makes it clear to them that we are stepping into a stage full of complications, in which we will face a shortage of food, medical supplies, fuel, spare parts, and foreign currency that enables us to obtain the necessary supplies for our basic productions, as well as providing food and solving the people’s basic problems.”

With Trump’s 243 measures, all sources of the country’s foreign financing were suddenly cut off, and at the same time, the United States initiated up-close monitoring at the level of finances and energy resources against the country with the US government making every effort to prevent, by all means, the entry of fuel into Cuba or that Cuba obtain credit or any sort of financing regardless of how scarce it may be, according to the Cuban President.

Diaz-Canel recalled how, in January 2020, Trump placed Cuba, just a few days before the end of his term as President, on the US list of “state sponsors of terrorism,” which is a made-up, fake list. The reason is that, according to the Cuban President, when a country is arbitrarily included in that list, all banks and financial institutions agencies start to sever ties with the relevant country, thus weakening most of the sources of foreign financing, which are already affected by Trump’s other measures. 

He explained how up to this very day, a lot of effort is required if any Cuban tries to conduct business dealings or settle certain payments, “because almost no bank wants to be involved in that ever since the sanctions were imposed.”

According to the Cuban President, Trump’s sanctions included activating  Chapter Three of the Helms-Burton Act, which imposes the internationalization of the blockade and punishing countries across the world, meaning that the “Great Empire” even imposes restrictions on the rest of the world [in their dealing with Cuba].

He further explained how the insistence on applying these sanctions over time, as pursued by Biden’s administration, without any change is causing a more severe shortage in supplies of medicines, fuel, and raw materials necessary for Cuba’s main production operations and electricity generation, not to mention hindering the rest of the production and service processes in the country.

Attempts to fail the Revolution

The Cuban President pointed out that alongside these intense problems, which have social repercussions, leading people to develop a sense of resentment and misunderstanding of the situation that started to occupy their lives, the Corona pandemic hit in March 2020.

Therefore, almost all the conditions for a perfect storm were in place, paving the way for a social explosion that the US government longed for in order to fail and put an end to the Cuban Revolution, he further explained, revealing that all this was accompanied by a large-scale US intel operation. 

Diaz-Canel stressed that Cuba has evidence and information which clearly show how they led an intense campaign aimed at discrediting the Cuban Revolution on social networks seeking to spread frustration and create estrangement and misunderstanding, knowing that the campaign was directed particularly at the youth category. 

“It must be noted that at the beginning of the pandemic which was indeed exacerbating in light of this whole situation, we still dispatched medical teams to countries with pandemic hotspots, as we learned a lot about the disease and were immediately able to develop a plan to combat it, which allowed us primarily by the end of 2020 to reduce the number of infected cases so as to curb a major outbreak,” he further detailed.

The Cuban leader pointed out that they decided to open the borders in 2020, and when they actually did, the Delta strain took over, and since they had not obtained their vaccines at the time, the result was a Delta-instigated pandemic that lasted for about a year. 

“All this happened amid the [dire] situation we were in,” he said.

Shedding light on the effect of US sanctions, Diaz-Canel went on to say, “We pursued our program to confront the pandemic, and when we decided to open new intensive care units that we were in dire need of, the United States government prevented companies that manufacture ventilators which are extremely necessary in intensive care rooms or units from selling them to Cuba. Thus, we came across an oxygen-supply crisis, because consumption was higher due to the high number of patients and because our factories faced major setbacks.”

During his interview for Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President stressed that the United States government pressured companies in Latin America not to sell us the medical oxygen that Cuba desperately needed and prevented the arrival of medications and vaccines as well.

He went on to say that amid this entire dire situation, they launched a hypocrisy, disinformation, and slander campaign under the title of “SOSCUBA” at the level of international networks.

US manipulation in the Cuban scene

The Cuban President assessed that all the aforementioned factors, coupled with the dire situation of the Cuban population, have conditioned the Cuban scene for cooptation. 

According to Diaz-Canel, Cuba tolerates criticism of the government and provides citizens with suitable mechanisms and platforms for doing so, but what happened in 2021 was something else. 

The protests were far from peaceful, and this became clear very soon. After the authorities began their investigations, they uncovered the underpinnings of these protests, revealing the monetary incentives for rioting and vandalizing. 

This was what happened on July 11, 2021, the Cuban President said, adding that some had gone out to protest oblivious of the underpinnings, while others were paid to riot and vandalize. “These were not peaceful protesters; they attacked shops and public security forces, trying to disrupt social stability. They were trying to destroy the most significant element of Cuban society that the Cuban citizens are largely fond of: tranquility and reassurance,” he added.

He pointed out that “these were unpleasant times, but lessons were learned, because here, unlike other places in the world, the security forces or the armed forces did not go down to the streets to crack down on the rioters. Instead, they were the revolutionary Cuban people who came out to defend the Revolution.”

“We were the first to arrive at one of the outposts from where the protests broke out, and we explained to the people the situation we were living in,” he said, stressing that “in one day, practically all the nodes of subversive protests were contained and eventually dissipated.”

He added that on the second day, in a neighborhood in Havana, another subversive stunt was pulled but it was short-lived.

“There was a whole scenario prepared by the ’empire’, which was to manufacture an inflated scene of social unrest that would serve as the necessary pretext for the United States to intervene by ‘providing humanitarian assistance’. And we have already seen how the United States ‘provided humanitarian assistance’ for other countries of the world,” the Cuban leader highlighted. 

“There are many examples in the Arab world and in Africa, when the United States came with its humanitarian aid in brackets, the conditions of the recipient people and governments deteriorated if anything. It was not humanitarian aid; it was effectively invasions, aggressions, and military interventions – that was the case in Libya and Iraq and other places, and we also have the dirty war that they waged against the Syrian people and nation,” he said.

“These events unfolded like a scenario whereby if Cuba calls on the population to defend the Revolution, then they would have called for a civil war,” Diaz-Canel said, explaining, “Never ever has anyone come out here with weapons to suppress anyone. Had the armed institutions intervened, it would have been possible to say that there was police and armed repression.”

“The second part of the scenario was that when people were to be tried before the law as any country in the world would do in cases of rioting, they would be advertised as political prisoners of the ‘regime’ as they like to portray us. No one has been arrested here, and no one has been subjected to judicial proceedings for simply protesting the situation in Cuba,” he said.

Diaz-Canel stressed that in Cuba, there has never been police repression, unlike the situation in the United States, adding that “they also tried to manipulate the situation, claiming that we were harsher with Blacks than with whites, when, in Cuba, we have programs contending all form of discrimination, especially racial discrimination.”

“It was all just manipulation and fake news; they broadcast these lies to discredit our achievements that are not subject to their purposes and objectives, he said, explaining that had there been supposedly a case of large-scale social unrest in Cuba, the United States would have capitalized on any chance to prove the failure of the Revolution.”

“Despite this, what did they do on social media? They posted pictures of a supposed demonstration that was actually a football festivity in Argentina, and they took pictures of the people demonstrating in support of the Revolution, claiming that they were against it. It was unbelievable: Gerardo Hernández, one of our iconic five heroes, was at a pro-Revolution demonstration, and they still presented it as anti-revolutionary,” he added.

“Does the truthful use such cheap tools to discredit an enemy? Only the US government does it, and it does it out of hatred and insolence,” Diaz-Canel said, stressing that this is the reality of the manipulated events. 

Evaluation and social transformation

“What happened next? We learned a lot, made our assessments, went to a debate, and the same palace halls we visited today were spaces for exchanging ideas with representatives of various sectors of Cuban society, including young people,’ the Cuban President highlighted.

“We have also gone on a process of social transformation in Cuban neighborhoods where inequalities have accumulated. We also have people and families in vulnerable situations, regardless of all the social actions of the Revolution, but this is the case because we have lived for years with many needs, even with a lot of deprivation as a result of the tightening of the blockade.”

According to Díaz-Canel, “All the proposals of the population are transmitted to their municipal councils, where citizens are represented on the grass-root level. Then the things that have been approved go back to those neighborhoods, and the residents of the neighborhoods participate in the transformation that they have themselves proposed, and they also exercise popular control we increasingly seek to improve our democracy, and here we have provided essential participation to our youth.”

“How does the story continue? I had to ask our scientists if the production of a Cuban vaccine would be sufficient to be sovereign in the fight against Covid, which was one of the catalysts for this whole situation. I did it in March 2021, and also in July, just three months later,” he said.

The Cuban President added, “A few weeks later, Cuban scientists had already obtained the first vaccine bulb, and then we had five vaccine candidates, today there are three vaccines with tremendous efficacy, so we started a huge vaccination campaign, after conducting clinical trials, emergency studies on vulnerable groups.”

He went on to say, “When we got the vaccines, we had achieved this amid all this crisis. Despite the pressure and the tight blockade, we achieved the highest vaccination rates in the world, and today, we rank second among countries that have provided the largest number of vaccine doses per patient, we are among twenty countries with more than 90% of the population fully vaccinated, and with the reinforcement, we were the first in the world to vaccinate children over the age of two.”

“What are the results? Today we have 0.67% deaths, knowing that the mortality ratio is the ratio of deaths to the number of COVID cases. The average mortality ratio in the world is 1.05%; in Latin America and the Caribbean, it is 1.45%.”

He stressed that Cuba had more competently handled the pandemic and had a more successful strategy in the face of the pandemic than the government of the United States and many developed countries in the world that adopted a neoliberal line. Cuba outperformed all these developed countries in a difficult position and under a tight blockade.

The Cuban president added, “Who was caring for the most vulnerable people in neighborhoods during the pandemic? They’re the young Cubans, no one else.”

Development of public policies

“We have never stopped [engaging in] dialogue with the Cuban youth, as we constantly engage with them and visit universities, and they participate in the basic tasks of the Revolution. We take part in discussions and conferences held by the youth and youth organizations, and the Cuban youth groups are represented in parliament by their peers,” Cuba’s President said in his interview for Al Mayadeen.

He further explained that young Cubans participate in temporary action groups that work on developing public policies, which later lead to the emergence of laws approved by the National Assembly.

“We are currently in an endeavor with the participation of young people, as we set a general policy for youth and childhood, which allows us to reach a law in which we provide more guarantees for the youth and children,” Diaz-Canel added.

He also pointed out that “the main issue is how to continue to work with our youth on the basis of the Revolution-founded values so that the generational difference between those who launched the Revolution and those who defend it today and the new generations does not turn into an ideological difference and a rift.”

The Cuban leader stressed that this matter is “a challenge ahead of us and herein lies its beauty, but I believe that we will achieve it because we are already doing it today and the majority of our youth are with the Revolution, regardless of whether they live today in a society whose capabilities are limited in a way that does not allow the full realization of the aspirations of their projects in life.”

He further told Al Mayadeen, “All of this has led me to wonder: How can a country living under such dire circumstances, in which chaos would have prevailed had the schemes plotted against it succeeded, defeat Covid? The country has now reached a post-pandemic stage, and we started to revitalize our economic and social life, and still, the measures meant to tighten the blockade are still in place.

According to the Cuban President, the Cuban people have developed the capacity for resistance, which is not only to resist and endure the blockade; rather, it is the resistance that prevailed in the past year and shall move forward, overcoming the current adversities by relying on the talent and efforts of the Cubans.

“This is how Covid was defeated. Armed with the notion of everyone works for everyone, we focused on saving the lives of Cuban men and women, and we achieved that,” Diaz-Canel emphasized.

He went on to say, “And just as we succeeded in the case of Covid, we will continue to succeed, and we will continue to make achievements with the participation of our youth.”

Private Dialogue | Miguel Diaz Canel Bermudas – President of the Republic of Cuba – Part One

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The Syrian Earthquake Has United the Arab World

Steven Sahiounie


Close to 9 million people in Syria have been affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, 65 seconds in duration on February 6, that Turkish President Erdogan has compared with the power released by atomic bombs. The hardest hit areas are Latakia, Aleppo, and Idlib.

The UN estimates that more than 4.2 million people have been affected in Aleppo province with 400,000 homeless, and 5,000 buildings declared unlivable. Aleppo has more than 1,600 dead and 10,000 injured.

The province of Idlib is a total population estimated at 3 million, but because there is no government or authority there, we can only guess how many have been affected.

UAE Aid plane landing in Aleppo International Airport

The UN says 5.5 million Syrians are without a home after the earthquake, with more than 7,400 buildings having been destroyed completely, or partially in Syria.

In Latakia, there are 820 dead, 142,000 homeless, and over 2,000 injured, with 102 buildings completely collapsed, and others condemned.

A total of 58 trucks have crossed from Turkey to north-west Syria through the Bab al Hawa crossing point over the past five days, carrying aid such as food, tents, and medicines. Those trucks are solely supplying Idlib, under the occupation of the armed group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Eleven trucks have gone through the newly opened border crossing of Bab al Salam today, carrying non-food items such as blankets, and mattresses.

Iraqi AAid plan landing in Damascus international Airport

Location matters in this quake

The map will show that Aleppo, Syria is just south of Gaziantep, Turkey which was the epicenter. Aleppo was heavily damaged in the earthquake, adding more misery to a city that was under the occupation of Al Qaeda terrorists in the eastern section until being liberated in December 2016.

Looking at a map, you see that Latakia is a 2 ½ hour drive west of Aleppo on the M4 highway. It seems like a long distance, but the power of the 7.8 magnitude brought the epicenter and Latakia together because they share the same fault line, which Aleppo does not.

Tunisian Aid plane landing in Aleppo International Airport

UN: no roadblocks to aid, no politics

Rula Amin, UN Refugee Agency Senior Communications Advisor, urged cooperation among nations to help Turkey and Syria. She said there should be no roadblocks to assistance for people in need. Referring to the UN and western aid coming almost exclusively to Idlib, and by-passing those in need in Latakia and Aleppo, she urged all to put politics aside, and focus on getting aid to those in need regardless of whether they are in the US-EU supported area in Idlib, or whether they live in Aleppo and Latakia under the Syrian administration from Damascus. Amin is no stranger to Syria. In March 2011, Amin was one of the very first international journalists in Deraa, covering what she had claimed was a ‘popular uprising’, and even interviewed the cleric who was the key player of the Obama-designed US-NATO attack on Syria for ‘regime change

.’ She did not go as far as to demand the lifting of all US-EU sanctions on Syria to send aid, but her meaning was clear. The sanctions prevent aid from arriving in Damascus. On February 9 the US Department of the Treasury issued General License 23, which allows for a humanitarian waiver of supplies to government-controlled areas in Syria, but must be received by an NGO and not the Syrian government. The 180-day waiver is far too short, as the need is enormous, and will people will need years to grapple with the damages.  Rebuilding homes and businesses may take a decade or more. Also, most governments abroad would be sending official aid to Syria through a government-to-government mechanism, and using an NGO is a tedious stipulation designed to discourage aid from being sent.

Who gave to Damascus?

On Tuesday, a plane landed from Saudi Arabia at the Aleppo International Airport, carrying 35 tons of humanitarian aid.  Aid to Damascus also arrived from: ChinaRussia, AlgeriaIraqIranUAE, BangladeshLibyaBelarusJordanCuba, Venezuela, Tunisia, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Cyprus, Hungary, India, and Sudan.

Jordanian Aid plane landing in Damascus international Airport

Italy sent two planeloads of aid to Beirut, Lebanon to be transported to Syria by land. This demonstrates the extreme fear that western allies of the US have of the sanctions. By sending the aid to Lebanon, which is not sanctioned, Italy feels more comfortable that the US Treasury will not issue massive penalties against them.

Who refused aid to Damascus?

The US, the EU, and all US allies such as Canada have sent nothing to Syria for the earthquake-ravaged zones of Latakia and Aleppo.  According to America, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the allies of the US, there is no place called Syria.  There is only a small, rural agricultural province called Idlib.  Syria is 10,000 years old, and Damascus and Aleppo both tie as the undisputed oldest inhabited cities on earth.  But the great minds in Washington, DC. only acknowledge the tiny area called Idlib.  The terrorist-controlled Idlib is suffering, and has innocent unarmed civilians in need of help; however, Latakia, and Aleppo are far bigger and have sustained more deaths, injuries, and structural damages than Idlib. The US and the west have used politics to judge who gets helped, and who is forgotten. The Syrian people will never forget this. The US and EU sanctions have made life unbearable in Syria before the earthquake of the century, and now when politics should be set aside for humanitarian needs, the US doggedly holds on to their dogmatic ideology to make sure the Syrian people know the full disdain of the American government. The Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates visited Damascus and met with President Assad after the quake, in an act of defiance of US-dictated policy.

Algerian aid plane in Aleppo International Airport

Where is Government controlled Syria?

The US-NATO attack on Syria beginning in March 2011 has resulted in three separate administrations in Syria.  The biggest territory, about 75%, is the central government in Damascus. Aleppo and Latakia are the two hardest hit by the earthquake which is under the Damascus administration.

The second administration is the province of Idlib, which is an olive-growing region between Latakia and Aleppo. There is no government there.  The 3 million persons there live under the occupation of an armed terrorist group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly called Jibhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda. The terrorists embedded themselves there in 2012, and until now are safe from attack because the US, EU, and UN all lobby for their protection, and aid. The US supports the Al Qaeda terrorists because they represent the US interests in Syria to be decided upon in a final political settlement in Syria under the auspices of the UN.

The third administration is the Kurdish self-proclaimed region of the northeast, where the US military is occupying the Syrian oil wells, and allowing the Kurds to sell the stolen oil in Iraq to cover their expenses. This area was not affected by the earthquake. This administration exists separate from Damascus only because of the US military illegal occupation

Where is Idlib?

Many of the residents of Idlib most affected by the earthquake have had to sleep outside among the olive groves, in freezing temperatures. The UN acknowledged the international response to Idlib has been a failure.

Raed al-Saleh, head of the White Helmets, an award-winning video troupe headquartered in Washington, DC. has denounced the UN as incompetent in their response to the needs in Idlib. The White Helmets work solely in Idlib and have international donors. Al-Saleh was angry after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Syrian President Assad had agreed to allow UN aid deliveries to the area through two border crossings from Turkey for three months. The White Helmets and the terrorists do not recognize the Syrian government.  Damascus had tried to send aid to Idlib, but the terrorists turned it back saying, “We don’t want help from the enemy.”  Previously the UN trucks of aid to Idlib were also stalled after the terrorists demanded a $1,000 fee for each of the 10 trucks.

Why are the borders controlled?

The Syrian government has controlled the border crossings of Syria for security reasons. Serena Shim, an American journalist from Detroit, witnessed and reported seeing a UN food truck carrying Al Qaeda terrorists, and their weapons, from Turkey into Syria near Idlib. She was murdered in Turkey just days after publishing her report.

The terrorists in Idlib are contained in a small area and have weapons including missiles which have frequently been directed at Latakia, and Kessab, a small Christian Armenia village just north of Latakia. The Syrian government wants to keep the weapons from flowing into Idlib while allowing UN, and other humanitarian aid to flow into the 3 million civilians who are held there as human shields.

Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

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Enigma: Episode 5, Cuba’s achievements of revolution, Castro’s passing

14 Feb, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al Mayadeen’s Enigma documentary on Cuba features a discussion of Cuban-US relations, Covid-19 vaccine production despite the blockade, Cubans’ reactions to the departure of Fidel Castro, and support for the Cuban revolution.

Enigma: The Cuban revolution

The fifth and final installment of the “Enigma” documentary series, aims to introduce Arab peoples to the Cuban Revolution, its origins, role, and the most important figures that led it.

The new episode discusses Cuba’s positive results in the final stages of Covid vaccine development, how the Cuban revolution was the torch for the unification of Latin America, the return of US-Cuban relations, and the truth behind the blockade on Cuba. It also discusses the Cuban people’s shock following the death of Fidel Castro, and the amount of popular support the revolution received. 

The Cuban Revolution sparked the unification of Latin America

After Cuba’s difficult 1990s, the revolutionary leadership revitalized national life again through a process called the “Battle of Ideas”, which aimed to revitalize programs aimed at benefiting the people such as art teachers, trainers, and social activists. Teacher preparation programs were strengthened and additional branches of higher education colleges were established in all regions to facilitate the process of obtaining university degrees. The revolutionary process was in fact changing in order to achieve greater social justice in a nation that, until that decade, had accumulated more than 40 years of resistance against the United States empire.

The golden years for the leftists in Latin America were the first decade of the twenty-first century. In Havana, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez signed the document launching the “Bolivarian Choice for the Peoples of Our American Continent” (ALBA). Integration increasingly began to take shape from the Rio Bravo to Patagonia.

Complementary economic and solidarity programs, projects, and mechanisms, such as Petro-Caribe, were also launched. Missions were launched that restored sight to millions of poor people on the continent; others eradicated illiteracy in entire population sectors. All of these are projects supported by Cuba with thousands of its teachers and doctors.

In 2006, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro’s sickness forced him to disappear from public eye a few months before he turned eighty. The Cuban leader gave up all his positions, and called himself a “soldier of ideas”; ideas that he never stopped sharing with his people through his constant reflections, which he used to publish in the national press, commenting on events and issues related to the public agenda and the challenges facing humanity.

In 2008, his brother, army chief Raul Castro, was elected president. Amendments were made to the immigration law, debts were negotiated with the Paris Forum, increased openness to foreign investment was approved, and new forms of managing the economy were approved through cooperatives and non-governmental workers, all of which improved life in Cuba in general.

US-Cuban relations… Was the blockade on Cuba lifted?

On December 17, 2014, Cuban President Raul Castro and his American counterpart Barack Obama, announced the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, after diplomatic ties had been severed for more than 60 years.

In parallel, with this process of restoring relations, an agreement was negotiated that allowed the return of three of the five Cuban prisoners who were still being held in US prisons, falsely accused of spying on the United States. Gerardo Hernández is one of those men unjustly sentenced to two life sentences, who, like his comrades, was imprisoned for 16 years for the “crime of combating [the] terrorism” that the US has been practicing against Cuba, unabated, for decades.

The five freedom fighters were arrested in 1998, while their real mission was to obtain information about the plans of the counter-revolutionary organizations based in Florida, which carried out documented terrorist acts against Cuba. Nevertheless, the five were subjected to an unfair kangaroo trial in the city of Miami, characterized by absolute hostility to Cuba.

Read more: Enigma’s First Episode: Colonization of Cuba, roots of revolution

Anti-Cuban sectors in Florida launched an intense disinformation campaign to pressure public opinion and the jury, which defense attorneys had repeatedly denounced. After the kangaroo trial, the judge rejected any mitigating excuse by the defense and adopted all the aggravating circumstances demanded by the Public Prosecution. As a result, harsh and unjust sentences were taken against them. Maximum sentences were applied in every case, even if the main charges were not proven. Thus, the five youth were sent to maximum security prisons in different states.

This news was widely covered in the media in Miami, but went largely unreported in the rest of the US.

As part of the process of restoring diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, embassies were opened in both countries in 2015. That year, President Obama traveled to Cuba, becoming the first American president to visit the island in nearly 90 years. In his speech at the “Grand Theater of Havana,” Obama acknowledged that the policy of isolation practiced by the United States towards Cuba had not succeeded.

During the four years of Donald Trump’s administration, there was a significant decline in relations between Cuba and the US. The hostile policy of this administration toward Cuba recorded unprecedented measures and actions, as it included banning cruise ship trips, suspending educational and academic trips between the two, and canceling all flights to all parts of the country, except flights to the capital, Havana, whose frequency was also reduced.

Read more: Enigma’s third episode: Socialism in Cuba and Washington’s schemes

Also, Washington’s embassy in Havana decreased its activity and the number of its employees to the minimum, and forced Cubans to travel to other countries to accomplish any consular paperwork. As for remittances, they were restricted to $1,000 every three months, and were banned from being sent through third countries by way of Western Union, which caused great hardship for Cubans.

The United States also took action against ships and shipping companies headed to Cuba. In 2019, 53 boats and 27 fuel-shipping companies were sanctioned. Designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism marked the climax of the Donald Trump administration’s efforts to prevent any improvement in bilateral relations.

Experts have counted more than 240 measures against Cuba taken by the Republican Trump administration, most of which were measures to tighten the blockade with the aim of strangling the country economically, undermining internal order, and creating a state of non-governance to overthrow the revolution.

Although Trump was followed by Democratic President Joe Biden, this did not lead to any change to the legacy left to him by his predecessor with regard to Cuba. Although he promised during his presidential campaign to adopt a different path in relations with the socialist country, the Cuban popular proverb stands: “The room is still the same.”

Goodbye Castro… after more than 630 failed assassination attempts

After extensive debate across the country, Cuba voted “yes” to its new amended constitution, which supports the continuation of the revolution and socialism in Cuba. After more than 150 years of struggle against the Spanish colonial empire in pursuit of freedom, independence, and sovereignty, they still struggle today against the neighboring empire: the United States. As Cuba’s national history has proven time and time again, its mystery lies in the unity of its people.

In 2018, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermúdez was elected president of the country at the age of 57. Raul Castro remained Secretary General of the Communist Party of Cuba until 2021, when Diaz-Canel was elected as the new Secretary General of the party.

Read more: Enigma – Episode 4: When everyone thought the Cuban Revolution ended

According to experts, during his lifetime, Fidel Castro saw more than 630 assassination attempts organized by the CIA, in collusion with the darkest forces among the counter-revolutionary forces, without any success.

Fidel lived 90 years, and in his last farewell in 2016, the vast majority of Cubans mourned him as the dearest and closest to their hearts.

Shocked by his death, Cubans all over the country gave their leader a last farewell look, and the caravan that transported his remains from Havana to Santiago de Cuba brought back memories of the caravan of freedom when Fidel, with his bearded men, crossed the same path, but in the opposite direction after they had conquered dictatorship. As the people bid him farewell, his words, which he said in January of 1959, came with force: “When I need strength, I will come to the East.”

Revolution will not be absent from the new generation of Cubans

In more than six decades, the Cubans built a socialist revolution at the gates of the most powerful empire that ever existed. Faced with this enormous challenge, the people decided with the revolutionary leadership to work on the continuity of social justice represented by the revolution.

On July 11, 2021, riots took place in many Cuban cities, and in several provinces. Subsequent trials have established that the calls and support for these riots were found to emanate from United States soil.

Read more: ENIGMA | Resistance: An integral part of Cuban culture

30 years ago, the riots of August 5, 1994, took place. Ever since then, nothing like them has happened. It is evident that the revolution’s opposition did not have any idea about the new generation of leaders’ ability to confront them, nor the extent of the support of the vast majority of the people for the revolution.

Anti-imperialist sentiments in Cuba are so closely linked to the struggles for sovereignty and national independence that the theories of the soft coup and fourth-generation wars cannot find the success they have in other contexts. 

Cuba produces Covid vaccine despite the blockade

Almost three years ago, in 2020, a deadly pandemic put all of humanity at stake. As a result, the world today is divided into superpowers that are able to produce their own vaccines and sell them at very high prices, and poorer countries, some of which could wait for a long time without ever receiving them. 

During the pandemic, the Caribbean country maintained, through its health system, an effective and equal response. The decisive act that changed the disastrous course of the disease in terms of its rapid spread was the early decision to develop special Cuban vaccines to protect the lives of the Cuban people.

Cuba was the first country in Latin America to produce its own vaccines in record time. This happened in the midst of a really difficult economic situation resulting from more than 60 years of blockade. The blockade was brutally tightened, especially in the midst of the pandemic, which indicates its criminal nature, making us wonder how a besieged country with very few resources could be able to contain the spread of the virus and create a vaccine.

At a time when the United States broke another world record for the number of people infected with Covid 19, as it recorded more than a million cases, the Cuban health authorities announced that the island will produce in April one million doses of vaccine (Soberana 01) and (Soberana 02). The country also planned to produce 100 million doses to meet the needs of its citizens as well as citizens of other countries.

With regard to vaccines, there is a very important geopolitical element. The world today consists of two parts: those who produce the vaccine and those who do not. Fortunately, Cuba is among the countries that produced them. Hence there is a second division between those who can buy it, even if they do not produce it, and those who are waiting to buy it.

Herein lies the major problem, that is, demand is much greater than supply, and the world’s need for anti-Covid vaccines far exceeds the production capacity of major international companies, which today devote themselves to producing vaccines.

As a result, Cuba had 5 vaccine candidates, 3 of which succeeded in reaching the production phase only months after the start of the epidemic. Until March 2022, two years after the detection of the first case of SARS-Cov-2 virus in Cuba, the islanders had been vaccinated with more than 35 million doses of the three Cuban vaccines (Soberana-2), (Soberana Plus) and (Abdala). 

Through a complete vaccination schedule, more than 9 million people have been vaccinated, which equals 89.3% of the Cuban population. Cuba was then crowned as the first country to vaccinate most of its children, starting at the age of two, using its own domestically-produced Covid vaccines.

Enigma – Episode 4: When everyone thought the Cuban Revolution ended

5 Feb 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Episode four of Al Mayadeen’s Enigma documentary series recounts an important period in the history of Cuba, starting with the dissolution of the USSR, up to the arrival of the remains of Che and his companions in Cuba.

Al Mayadeen broadcasted the fourth episode of its Enigma documentary series on Sunday, aimed at introducing the Arab and Islamic world to the Cuban Revolution, its origins and role, and the most important figures that were at its vanguard.

The new episode shed light on the post-Soviet period, the economic crisis that afflicted Cuba, and the boat crisis, which is one of the many immigration crises between Cuba and the United States that forced the US government to sit at the negotiating table with Cuba. The episode also mentioned Ernesto Che Guevara’s role and martyrdom.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union

On December 25, 1991, the hammer and sickle flag was lowered from the Kremlin building, and the old flag of the Tsars was raised. The Soviet Union ended, and the world in the form known until then turned into something completely different. The 90s were a very difficult period for Cuba.

Facing the hostile policy of the US since the victory of the Revolution, Cuba had to rely heavily on the contributions of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries in order to pursue development and be able to carry out the necessary transformations in each of the economic, financial, scientific, and technological fields. Cuba’s trade exchange with the Soviet Union reached 63% in the first 30 years of the Revolution up until 1989. However, things were about to change.

The critical period in Cuba began a year and five months before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The barter dealing agreement was abolished, and the preferential agreements under which Cuba used to participate in the CAME Council were terminated.

Cuba considered that the crisis had begun, and between 1990 and 1991, trade between the Island and the Soviet Union declined by 48%, as Russia plunged into the transition to capitalism, where the method of shock treatment was applied by the most strict neoliberal court.

Economic crisis in Cuba

The economic crisis in Cuba was so drastic, and its repercussions were evident in the overall economic status, as well as in the income of families. Accordingly, families had to invent the most bizarre ways to survive. The strategy used in this special phase was based on resistance. In the 1990s, for the first time in its history, at least since 1510, Cuba had to be completely self-reliant.

Fidel Castro had always been at the center of the economic policies that were implemented without neglecting other tasks that he held as Head of State and Government. Castro was always very clear, saying that certain concessions must be made for the country’s economy to survive. He also said that these concessions can never affect the basic principles of the Revolution and stressed that national sovereignty is never subject to negotiation.

Although the whole world changed, the US policy toward Cuba did not. In fact, it became more hostile against the Caribbean nation. The Helms-Burton Act of 1996, which was passed under the administration of William Clinton, tightened the blockade against Cuba and approved seizing assets of any company or individual, even from a third country that establishes any commercial relationship with a Cuban company built on US property previously nationalized in Cuba in the 60s.

Migration crises between Havana and Washington

Following the acute economic crisis that battered Cuba in the 1990s, the boat crisis of 1994 came as the tipping point. It was one of the many immigration crises between Cuba and the United States, which forced the US government to sit down at the negotiating table with Cuba. The crisis was another episode in a long battle in which Cuba sought to regulate immigration, while the United States sought to use it as leverage over the island.

One case that made the headlines in the late 1990s was that of Elian Gonzalez; a child whose mother illegally smuggled him from Cuba on a dinghy that saw all its passengers perish at sea, except for him.

Encouraged by the Cuban-American mafia in Florida, Gonzalez’s relatives in Miami refused to return the little boy to his father in Cuba, who was not aware that his mother was leaving with his son. The father demanded his son’s return and was supported by millions of Cubans who eventually succeeded in returning Elian Gonzalez home to his father.

The first semester of the 1990s was marked by a severe economic crisis and the deterioration of the Cuban standards of living after the collapse of the socialist states in Eastern Europe. In 1997, Ernesto Che Guevara’s remains returned to Cuba and were a turning point in consolidating the steadfastness and resilience of those who remained on the island to preserve the Revolution against all odds.

Guevara’s martyrdom

Che’s remains returned to Cuba, along with those of six of his comrades in Bolivia, nearly 30 years after his martyrdom on the night of July 12, 1997.

On July 17, a colossal memorial was erected in Santa Clara, where Che’s remains rested definitively.

With the advent of the new millennium, the liberating spirit of Che swept powerfully across the continent, leading Latin America, which once turned its back on Cuba when it decided to build a socialist system in the western hemisphere, with the exception of Mexico, to experience years of flourished progressive ideas in the world led by men and women who draw inspiration from the heroes of independence in the American continent.

Read more: Enigma: Al Mayadeen’s documentary on Cuba’s history, revolution

Enigma’s third episode: Socialism in Cuba and Washington’s schemes

January 30, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

The third episode of Enigma talks about post-revolution Cuba and highlights the measures taken by Havana in Cuba and the US role in inciting against the revolutionary government.


The third episode of Al Mayadeen‘s Enigma documentary series, aimed at shedding the light on the Cuban revolution and the impact it had on the world, highlighted the most prominent figures in the Cuban revolution and the circumstances that led to it altogether.

The third episode touched on what it was like in post-revolutionary Cuba and the measures taken by the revolutionary government in light of incitement by the United States against the government in Havana.

On January 8, 1959, through the road known as Malecón, Havana, officially the Avenida de Maceo, the freedom convoy led by leader Fidel Castro marched onto Havana. They had thwarted Fulgencio Batista’s US-backed dictatorship and came from the east, from the mountains of Sierra Maestra, from where they had begun 25 months prior to their final battle for victory and national integrity.

They were accompanied by popular support from the people of Cuba, and at the capital, the support of the Cuban people and their eagerness for change climaxed: they now had a new leader.

By that time, all main government strongholds that used to be controlled by the Batista regime had been under the control of the revolutionary authorities. Commander Ernesto “Che ” Guevara had taken over the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña, or the Fort of Saint Charles, and his comrade Camilo Cienfuegos over Camp Columbia, the stronghold of dictatorship in Havana. That is where Castro went that night, and he was surrounded by a sea of people chanting in support of him and celebrating the ousting of the US-backed dictator whose reign caused nothing but misery. Castro called for the unity of the Cuban people, unity for victory, and he also warned that as of that moment, everything could either be smooth sailing or be extremely difficult.

Since the beginning, the revolutionary government took impactful measures, with the people being thought of first when it came to policy-making. The economic, political, and social changes were implemented swiftly, with rents and electricity prices getting halved, medicine prices getting decreased, and civilians being allowed to go on the beach after they were denied such privileges by the dictator.

Despite the various policies taken by Castro’s government, the measure that had the most repercussions at the time was the first agrarian law passed in May 1959, which granted the right of ownership of land to those who cultivate it and worked on it. Cuba started changing course and began reimbursing the people for their work after they had been exploited at the hands of the US-backed regime. And with that, the United States began weaving its first plots against the revolutionary government.

US anti-revolutionary schemes

With the onset of the revolution, the United States signed a decree imposing the first ban on trade with Cuba. The decision was made to stop all exports to the island, except for food and medicine. A few months later, on January 3, 1961, diplomatic relations were severed, and a few days later, the decision was made to restrict the travel of American citizens to the island. The Eisenhower administration ushered in a new era and drew up the basics of Washington’s policy toward Cuba, which would go on to shape US-Cuban relations to this very day.

Many of the destabilizing elements between Cuba and the United States were policies taken during the 60s and are still in force to this day, and the Cuban people are bearing the brunt of the US anti-revolutionary rhetoric.

Another aspect that shaped Cuban-US relations was the countless operations carried out by the CIA to try and destabilize Cuba, such as Operation Peter Pan, which was orchestrated by the CIA, the US State Department, and the leadership of the Catholic Church in Miami.

All measures of change in the country were taking place in the face of violent confrontations, and in fact, the country was subject to a permanent terrorist threat, as sabotage, threats of invasion, and hijacking of planes and fishermen’s boats were commonplace. 

Not far from the Escambray Mountains in central Cuba, in the ancient province of Las Villas is the city of Trinidad, a World Heritage Site. Right in the heart of that region, some of the fiercest counter-revolutionary gangs operated between 1959 and 1965. It was a counter-revolutionary movement funded, armed, and run by the CIA.

The CIA wanted to take advantage of this situation in the Escambray region to carry out a sea and land landing of a military brigade and take control of a coastal outpost in Trinidad. US plans revealed that Washington would form a provisional government there and demand international recognition and military support to overthrow the revolutionary government.

In March 1961, Havana carried out Operation Cage, an operation aimed at counter-revolutionaries, trapping them before conducting an offensive against them. The offensive was called Operation Escambray Purge, and it saw more than 70,000 fighters from all over Cuba taking up arms in the face of the anti-revolutionaries.

On the dawn of April 15, 1961, eight American B-26 bombers carried out attacks against three Cuban airports; Santiago de Cuba, San Antonio de los Baños, and Ciudad Libertad. The bombing was an attempted false flag operation. The bombers flew in disguised with the emblem of the Cuban Air Force in order to make it look like an internal mutiny from the air force. However, the other goal behind the operation was destroying the humble revolutionary air force on the ground so that it would not possess the capacity for a confrontation during an invasion.

On that day, seven Cubans were killed and 50 others were wounded. One of those murdered by the United States wrote the name of Fidel Castro on the wall in his own blood before succumbing to his wound, embodying the decision to resist.

Cuba adopts socialism

From the heart of the Cuban capital of Havana and as a funeral was underway for those martyred during the bombing, commander Fidel Castro declared a general state of alert to face the imminent invasion. He also declared the socialist aspect of the Cuban revolution, turning Cuba into the first country to adopt socialism as a social and economic system in the Western Hemisphere.

A military campaign was orchestrated by the United States to topple the island nation’s socialist government, with Washington allocating some $13 million to form a brigade of 600 mercenaries who, according to the US dream that would stand the test of time as a dream, were supposed to completely eradicate the revolution within two days. Some of the mercenaries were sent to train in training camps set up in Guatemala and Panama.

The e 2506th Mercenary Brigade, financed by the Kennedy administration, landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961. However, the fierce and brilliant resistance of the Cuban Revolutionary Militia, personally led by Fidel Castro, thwarted this aggression in less than 72 hours. The time factor was important because the goal of the invaders was to control a coastal outpost, form a government, and seek recognition from the puppet governments of the corrupt OAS.

The mercenaries were only able to make it a couple of kilometers into Cuba from the shore before they were completely crushed by a resilient Cuba. 

The most dangerous event that both countries and indeed the entire world faced during the Cold War period was in October 1962. Humanity was on the brink of nuclear fallout. USSR intelligence confirmed what Cuba already knew: the American invasion of the island is imminent. The Soviet Union then suggested to the government and the leadership of the revolution that Moscow deploys defensive nuclear missiles on Cuban soil.

President Kennedy demanded that the Soviet nuclear missiles stationed in Cuba be handed back. To realize his goal, he imposed a naval blockade on the island. This prompted the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces to respond by putting all its units on combat alert, as a direct attack on Cuba seemed imminent.

Despite the unwavering position of the people of Cuba and its armed forces, who were all mobilized and prepared in the face of this threat, the Soviets decided unilaterally to take the missiles back from Cuba during negotiations that took place between Nikita Khrushchev and Kennedy without the involvement of the Cuban leadership.

Socialism unites

The proclamation of the socialist nature of the Cuban Revolution was a decisive step towards uniting all the revolutionary political forces: the 26th of July Movement, the Popular Socialist Party, and the Revolutionary Directorate of the 13 March Movement agreed to dissolve themselves independently and individually in order to later unite into a single party: the Communist Party of Cuba.

It was a Monday not like any other, as the streets of Cuba were unusually silent. The news of Che’s martyrdom has made it into every street, house, and heart of Cuban citizens. Children went to school, but they were silent. That is what a local newspaper said in Che Guevara’s obituary.

About half a million Cubans participated in the anti-colonial wars in Africa. Men and women from the Caribbean island supported Algeria, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde Island, and Ethiopia, in their wars to defend their sovereignty. The Cuban forces supported Angola in its struggle against the system of discrimination and apartheid as well.

In the long list of attacks against the Cuban people, 1976 stands out as one of the most blood-stained years since the revolution. Another terrorist act was organized by members of the Cuban-American mafia in Miami, and the CIA had a hand. The terrorists bombed a Cubana de Aviacion airliner while in the air, killing 73 people. Those who masterminded this terrorist attack were the Cuban terrorists Orlando Bosh and Luis Posada Carriles. They were later protected by the US government after the victims’ families demanded that they be prosecuted.

On September 18, 1980, the first Latin American man to make it to space, Cuban astronaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This event was the fruit of space cooperation between the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.

Ties between the USSR and Cuba were very warm despite being almost non-exist pre-revolution. They began to develop due to transformations undertaken by the country. From the start, these ties helped resist the US blockade imposed on the Caribbean island.

By 1974, Cuba had joined the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) on preferential terms. In practice, this meant that Cuba would be granted loans on soft terms and had incentive prices set for its products, as well as partaking in joint construction of industrial facilities while receiving effective assistance in the scientific sector.

The 90s brought upon the world an array of changes; the Berlin wall fell, Soviet republics were no more, the USSR collapsed, and with that CMEA was no more either. It was believed at the time that Cuba was isolated from its “eco-system”, from the system that allowed it to maintain its economic equilibrium. This political and economic isolation would have isolated or re-isolated Cuba at a time when the United States was escalating its hostilities against the island nation. However, Cuba was not to be isolated just yet due to the creative resistance of the Cuban people.

The people and their revolution were unwavering in the face of the challenges and hardship thrown in their direction. None of the public services that the revolution implemented for its people were abolished. None of them were privatized. Schools remained open and Cuba remained safe from the neoliberal policies that had taken the entire Latin American region by storm at the time. Those who were hoping that the Cuban revolution would falter and that its end was near were greatly disappointed. The Cuban Revolution survived, and it continues to live even after the death of most of its leaders.

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Enigma’s second episode: The 26th of July Movement

22 Jan 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen

Al Mayadeen sheds the light on Cuba under US hegemony up until the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro.

By Al Mayadeen English 

The second episode of Al Mayadeen‘s Enigma documentary series, aimed at shedding the light on the Cuban revolution and the impact it had on the world, highlighted the most prominent figures in the Cuban revolution and the circumstances that led to it altogether.

The episode that aired at 9 PM Al-Quds time talked about the time period that Cuba spent under US control and Washington’s exploitation of Cuba’s resources, as well as the foundation of the July 26 movement and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro’s emergence as a key figure in the revolution.

With the US Marines docking in Cuba in 1898, the Cubans’ war of liberation against the Spanish Empire ended. For centuries, the island was under the control of Spain, but now it was the United States that had the Caribbean nation under its control; the end of the War of Independence coincided with the rise of imperialism, throwing Cuba and the rest of the world into a new era.

In the aftermath of the war, on a farm located in the heart of Havana, the people warmly received with veneration Dominican Generalissimo Máximo Gómez, the man of the two wars. The general lived on this farm for the rest of his life.

This farm was also where Cuba established its demobilization offices for the liberation army, the men who left everything behind on the battlefield and handed over their weapons. In exchange, they received 75 pesos and went back to their civilian lives with nothing but their weariness, their torn-up military uniforms, and a semi-republic that was born with its hands tied.

On December 31, 1901, the Military Governor of Cuba, Leonard Wood, called for the holding of a general presidential election. Without any opposition, Tomás Estrada Palma was elected as Cuba’s first president while he still lived in the United States after he had been exiled by the Spanish colonialists.

The first president

Estrada Palma’s presidency wasn’t all smooth sailing, as two opposition factions grew under his rule: the moderates on one hand and the liberals on the other. The dispute between the two factions was heightened, and by 1906, the President demanded a military intervention by the United States.

On September 29 of that year, a US naval landing operation saw some 2,000 US Marines land in Cuba. Soon thereafter, Estrada Palma submitted his resignation before Congress and went to Matanzas by train, thus leaving Cuban history.

The US military intervention between 1898 and 1902 was the first, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Another one took place in 1906 when then-US President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Charles Magoon as occupation governor of Cuba, who was largely criticized for his tenure in the Caribbean nation.

Between 3,000 and 5,000 marines were going through the streets of Havana to guarantee the success of the US operation, though they would perform their duties in civilian clothing, never being seen donning their military attire.

The renowned red, white, and blue Cuban flag might have flown everywhere in the Island nation, but another red, white, and blue was exploiting Cuba’s resources, for Magoon was ravaging its natural resources for the benefit of the United States.

US exploitation of Cuba

Cuba became a cake that military generals and the political elite wanted a piece of for themselves, and all of that was going on under the watchful eyes of US diplomats that worked in Cuba.

The representative of the United States in Cuba was a strong man – not only because Washington treated Cuba as its trustee under the Platt Amendment, but also because the US was the largest importer of Cuban sugar, meaning that a hefty portion of the island nation’s economy was dependent on the United States.

In 1912, Cuban sugar replaced in the US markets the sugar that it had imported from Europe and the West Indies, among other nations. Moreover, American businessmen owned 34% out of the 160 sugar mills and plantations in Cuba in 1907.

As for the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, established under the pretext of guaranteeing Cuba’s independence, it was a thorn in the side of the people of Cuba, because it served as a reminder of the US hegemony over their country. At the beginning of the 1920s, Cuba, with all its deeper structures and institutions, was subject to the control of its northern neighbor. At the same time, corruption, bribery, and plundering of state coffers became customary, especially among the ranks of the political elite.

There was plenty of money to spend, as sugar prices rose due to World War One sending them soaring to 23 cents per pound, or $6.83 in today’s money, which was more than profitable for Cuba – or the US businessmen who owned much of the sugar businesses – at a time when the country was practically serving as a massive sugar plantation. By 1916, Cuba was the main source of sugar for the allies, but everything was about to change. Sugar prices plummeted, and the Cuban government was bankrupt.

It was getting harder and harder for the least fortunate, which prompted them to revolt against the ruling class. The demonstrations and protests gave rise to concerns in Washington, as it saw that the government in Havana was inept and incapable of confronting the crisis, which would influence the elections set for 1920. A new US ambassador was appointed, and Washington continued to interfere in the island’s internal affairs: Special Representative of the President, Enoch Crowder.

Coming aboard the USS Minnesota, Crowder arrived in Havana, and there he established his general barracks. From there, he served as more or less an advisor to the Cuban President, as he was puppeteering the President and giving him orders he had to follow. Alfredo Zayas y Alfonso, Cuba’s third President, was lenient, and rampant corruption ravaged his government.

In light of this status quo, young, forward-thinking personalities began to emerge, drawing inspiration from Jose Marti and the founding fathers who fought epics of liberation.

By the end of 1922, Cuban revolutionary youth Julio Antonio Mella founded the Federation of University Students (FEU) and co-founded the Communist Party of Cuba. He was the first student leader who became a prominent and prestigious national figure.

Mella was resented by the government, and he was arrested, but pressure from the Cuban people forced the president to release him. He later fled President Gerardo Machado’s repression in Cuba and lived in exile in Mexico. Machado sent his assassins after Mella, and the young revolutionary was assassinated at 25 years old after he was shot in the back on January 10, 1929.

Despite his numerous crimes, Machado, a dictator, was propped up regardless, with support from the United States, and in 1928, US President Calvin Coolidge went to Cuba on an official visit to attend the Summit of the Americas that was held in Cuba.

Although President Gerardo Machado had prepared the bright and new amphitheater for the University of Havana to receive the US President, the students protested against Coolidge’s visit, forcing him to stay out of the theater.

Popular resistance was one of Machado’s biggest enemies, as he instructed the police and the military to violently suppress any demonstration or protest by beating the protestors or using water cannons – or even live munition – against them. The island was bleeding, and after Mella’s assassination, poet and writer Rubén Martínez Villena led Cuba’s Communist Party.

It was Villena, despite having tuberculosis, who led the strike in 1933, and it was then that newspapers stopped publications, and restaurants, cafes, and pubs closed down for the first time in history. Everything was shuttered, and there were barely any people in the streets.

There was change, for the working class was unified, allowing them to discover a previously untapped strength that redirected the narrative in Cuba, which forced Machado to leave office and resort to exile.

Antonio Guiteras and La Joven Cuba

Antonio Guiteras was one of the key figures in the Cuban revolution, though he was not recognized by the Communist Party at the time despite being a true anti-imperialist nationalist socialist revolutionary.

The United States never recognized the government of Ramón Grau San Martín, otherwise known as the One Hundred Days Government, which lasted from September 4, 1933, until January 15, 1934, and it was set not to last for long since the beginning due to internal disputes between President Grau, Interior Minister Guiteras, and the Chief of the Armed Forces Fulgencio Batista, a violent and brutal man whose tenure saw the Cuban people wearing nothing but black in mourning of their loved ones throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

Under pressure from the new US ambassador to Havana, Jefferson Caffery, President Grau was forced to step down from office.

With the collapse of the One Hundred Days Government, it became clear that regardless of who was in power, the real leader of Cuba was Fulgencio Batista as commander of the armed forces.

Batista’s bloody rule over Cuba lasted because the dictator ruled with an iron fist, as he dispersed demonstrators using live bullets, suspended constitutional guarantees, and took no steps to hold legislative elections as corruption ravaged the Caribbean island.

Guiteras chose the path of rebellion and founded La Joven Cuba for that, but Batista’s forces persecuted him, so he chose to leave the country. While he was trying to escape the suppression, he was martyred, fighting until the last breath on May 8, 1953, on the banks of the Canímar River in the province of Matanzas.

The rise of Fidel Castro

The 1940s began with the winds of a new constitution. With the birth of the new constitution, a new president was elected, General Fulgencio Batista.

Even after the United States entered World War II, the Cuban government demonstrated its subordination by declaring war on Japan, and then on Germany and Italy. In the following years, two governments were formed, the first headed by Grau and the second by Carlos Prío Socarrás.

Both leaders exacerbated corruption and expanded the killers’ hold on the country, with students, unionists, and proletariat leaders getting killed left and right, the likes of Niceto Pérez and Jesús Menéndez.

The Cuban region of Birán was an investment hub for US businessmen, and there were stark differences between the wealthy American companies and the poor population of the region. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz watched his people suffer as a result of injustice in the life of the Cuban countryside, and this had, of course, an impact on his awareness and understanding of the meaning of justice.

However, as he declared many years later, Castro became a revolutionary when he was at the University of Havana after he became a law student in 1945 in the only university that was in Cuba at the time, making for a grand hub for leftist students who played a part in the revolutionary struggle.

Warry of the possibility that the Independence Party would win the 1952 elections, General Fulgencio Batista staged a military coup, through which he overthrew the constitutional government and abolished the 1940 constitution. The United States wasted no time recognizing the government that came as a result of the coup, consolidating its influence on the island.

Castro was among the first to condemn the military coup before an emergency court, accusing the putschists of violating the constitution.

January 1953 was the year that split the country’s history in two – it was the month when Cuba celebrated the 100th birthday of José Martí.

The poet was commemorated and honored with a march of torches that kicked off from the amphitheater of the University of Havana on January 27, 1953. The new generation was expressing its position. Fidel Castro and Abel Santamaría Cuadrado, serving as commander and second commander, respectively, were secretly preparing the resistance against the existing regime.

Later on in the year, the dawn of July 26 would radically change the history of Cuba, with Fidel Castro and his comrades going into the Moncada Barracks. There were 106 revolutionaries, six of whom were killed in action, while 55 others were brutally executed after the element of surprise failed them during their armed attack on the second-largest military fortress in Cuba. Those who managed to stay alive fled to the Sierra Maestra mountain range. This operation would go on to immortalize them and eventually lead to the toppling of the Batista regime. The 26th of July Movement would go on to change Cuba forever, making Batista the last US asset to hold public office in Cuba.

Castro and the Treaty of Mexico 

The revolutionaries formed a resistance movement in Mexico against Batista’s rule, taking decisive steps to unify their ranks. That is when the leader of the 26th of July Movement, Fidel Castro, and José Antonio Echeverría, the President of the Federation of University Students, signed what they called “the Treaty of Mexico”.

There was not a single arena in which the Cuban people resisted the US-backed dictatorship, as resistance spread throughout the entire island, with the Cuban people taking to the streets to bravely resist their oppressors. Many men risked everything to support the revolution, planting IEDs, raising funds for the revolutionary army, and raising awareness about the resistance movement through brochures and other forms of media. That is when the red and black flag of the 26th of July Movement started being seen all over Cuba.

Batista’s assassins, at the direction of their paranoid leader, killed key revolutionary figure Frank País in the streets of Santiago de Cuba. Not fearing the repercussions, the citizens of Santiago de Cuba held a funeral for the revolutionary who was born and raised in the city, marching against the regime and in support of the cause. Despite all the bloodshed and oppression, the United States did not once stop backing the government.

There were many ways that Washington supported the ruthless dictator, including advisory meetings with CIA agents and high-ranking officials, as well as senior US officials, not to mention indirect arms sales to the Batista regime using a lengthy trail. Washington would sell arms to Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle and Dominican dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina, who would, in turn, sell them to Batista.

In the summer of 1958, Batista waged a bloody offensive on Sierra Maestra using an army of 10,000 men with the aim of crushing the revolutionary army.

However, this bid failed, and about half a century into its struggle for freedom, Cuba managed to get rid of Batista. The ruthless dictator escaped from the country on December 31, 1958, and on the first day of 1959, the leader of the first Cuban revolution entered Santiago de Cuba as the nation’s leader.

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Cuba’s hero, American spy: Ana Belen Montes

13 Jan 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Rachel Hamdoun 

The recently freed Puerto Rican-American will be remembered as Castro’s “exceptional person” and Cuba’s “respect and admiration” for infiltrating the Pentagon to prevent the US from destroying Cuba.

Puerto Rican-American spy Ana Belen Montes

The US calls her the “Queen of Cuba,” but the intention to brand her as a notorious figure of evil nature is something Western-entrenched to be avoided in this article. To say her name, Ana Belen Montes, is for her to be remembered for saving Cuba and its people so many times that so many innocent deaths of Cubans were avoided.

She is not a queen, nor a terrorist as the Americans describe her. She is a hero who singlehandedly saved lives by giving Cuba information about possible attacks by the US at a time when the US was carrying out a colonial campaign against Central America, due to fear of communist presence in the region.

Sibling rivalries at the FBI

Ana Belen Montes was born in Nuremberg in what was then West Germany on February 28, 1957, on a US Army base where her father was stationed. After moving to the US, she received a Bachelor’s from the University of Virginia in International Affairs and was hired by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1985 before acquiring a Master’s degree in the same specialty from Johns Hopkins in 1988. 
With her intelligence and hard work, she excelled and constantly got promoted until she was finally hired by the Pentagon in 1992 as an analyst specializing in Cuban matters. That was the door for her to gain access to files and documents related to Cuba by the CIA, FBI, and the National Security Agency (NSA). Of her three siblings, two were employed with the FBI: her brother Tito served as an FBI special agent and her sister, Lucy, also worked as a Spanish-language FBI agent who would later do the exact opposite of what Ana set out to do. 
During her position, Montes traveled to Cuba in 1993 on a “fact-finding” mission to study the Cuban military for intelligence study paid for by the CIA. She would later go on to have many more of these trips. She planned to achieve her goal during the time of Fidel Castro as Cuba’s leader and revolutionary hero, alongside Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and during Bill Clinton’s time as US President. 

Communication between Montes and Cuban officials was done via numeric messages transmitted over shortwave radio with the use of codes, and with Montes’ access to files and sensitive information, she was able to memorize everything at work and type them out at home to facilitate communication.

The cheat sheet used by Montes for communication (FBI Archives)

On February 23, 1996, American Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll visited Cuba as part of an American campaign to gradually control the island. The Cuban Ministry of Defense warned the US not to allow the “Brothers to the Rescue” planes to fly over Cuba as planned. The “Brothers to the Rescue” refers to the group formed by five Cuban exiles who were an anti-Castro opposition established in 1991 and protected by the US due to common interests naturally.

However, the US decided to continue poking the bear and let two of the planes fly over Havana the next day, which were then shot down. It was found that Montes was the one who arranged Admiral Carroll’s travel to Cuba and when asked about it, she stated that she chose that specific date because it was a free date available on the Admiral’s schedule – with the help of the Wasp Network, known as La Red Avispa in Spanish.  
The “Brothers to the Rescue” was infiltrated by the Wasp Network, and five of the activists pertaining to the Network were caught by the US in 1998 and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage. They were caught with the help and treachery of Montes’ sister, Lucy, who was responsible for translating the wiretapped conversations. 

Snitch with a ‘gut feeling’ 

As a result of suspicion by a colleague in her department, she was subjected to two polygraphy tests, informally known as lie detector tests that check a suspect’s heart rate and respiration to determine if they committed a crime or not through lying. She passed both tests. Her colleague and DIA employee, Scott Carmichael, became a pest for the FBI after he built a whole file on Montes due to his ‘gut feeling’ and finally came through to lead agent Steve McCoy who opened the investigation against her. According to the Washington Post, FBI agents waited for her to leave town with her boyfriend to break into her apartment and came across the infamous Toshiba laptop. The hard drives containing all the sensitive information were confiscated, and the laptop was left as it was. 
In 1999, the NSA caught and deflected a Cuban communication message which revealed a top official associated with the DIA’s SAFE software system – indicating that the official was most likely an employee of the DIA. Not only so, but the official was discovered to have traveled to Guantanamo Bay back in 1996 and used a Toshiba laptop – Montes matched all the above. Montes was arrested in September 2001 at Bolling Airbase in Washington, D.C., and was convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage.
The moment she was captured, FBI agents had a nurse, oxygen tanks, and a wheelchair prepared, because they expected her to collapse and “be a wreck,” retired FBI special agent Pete Lapp said, as he added, “And I think she could have just carried both of us out on her back. She walked out that calm — I won’t say ‘proud’ — but with that kind of composure.”

She was sentenced to 25 years at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. At Carswell, she was placed in a special unit meant for offenders with mental and psychiatric problems, but it was never clarified as to why. During her trial 21 years ago, she stated that the US government’s policies against Cuba are very harsh, speaking out that she behaved according to her conscience rather than the law. She added, “I felt morally obligated to help the island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and our political system on it.”

She suffered inhumane imprisonment conditions in Carswell as she was not allowed to contact other inmates, receive external letters, read newspapers and magazines, or watch TV. Her basic and constitutional rights were violated at the prison.

Back home

In 2002, a year after her imprisonment, Fidel Castro was asked at the University of Informatic Sciences in Havana about her arrest by an American journalist. He responded by saying that a noble American who is against such an injustice and against a blockade of over 40 years, who was able to act in the manner that she did, is an exceptional person…. who “deserves respect and admiration.”

On January 7, a day before her release, Cuban-American Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, said, “[H]er treason against the US accomplished nothing for the Cuban people. On the contrary, by helping the criminal Castro regime, Montes strengthened the Cuban people’s worst enemy,” making it seem as if he is entitled to speak on behalf of the Cuban people who, according to him, prefer Cuba to remain silent while the US carries on its colonial endeavors. 
On January 8, Ana Belen Montes was released. Her lawyer, Linda Backiel, confirmed that she has reached her homeland Puerto Rico and relayed Montes’ letter to the public on her behalf.

“I am more than happy to touch Puerto Rican soil again. After two rather exhausting decades and faced with the need to earn a living again, I would like to dedicate myself to a quiet and private existence. Therefore, I will not participate in any media activities…. I encourage those who wish to focus on me to focus instead on important issues, such as the serious problems facing the Puerto Rican people or the US economic embargo against Cuba. February will mark the 61st anniversary of the economic embargo against Cuba, enacted by President John F. Kennedy and later tightened by the US Congress.” 

We contacted Ms. Backiel through email to find out more about Montes’ imprisonment conditions but have not received any comment yet. 

In a letter written by her sister Lucy and addressed to her in prison, she wrote, “You betrayed your family, you betrayed all your friends. Everyone who loves you was betrayed by you,” adding, “You betrayed your co-workers and your employer, and you betrayed your nation. You worked for an evil megalomaniac who shares or sells our secrets to our enemies.”

Her family has cut contact with her since her arrest and imprisonment over 20 years ago, given the fact that both her siblings and their spouses were all FBI agents. 

Ana Belen Montes should be a lesson to demonstrate how vulnerable and cowardly the US is, in the face of those who stand and fight against injustices toward innocent people through attacks, embargoes, and murders. Ana Belen Montes will be one for the books and a symbol of hope for the activist in everyone. 

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Operation Gladio: NATO’s Secret War for International Fascism

December 01, 2022


By Cynthia Chung

You may be asking the question what on earth is “international fascism” and how could NATO be in support of such a thing?! Well, the ugly truth is that what took over world policy in our post-WWII era was in fact a continuation of a fascist outlook for a new world order. Fascism, contrary to what we were told, had not in fact been defeated but was given a brand new face for its public endeavours and went underground for some of its more unsavoury methods. The now official recognition of NATO’s Gladio networks, effectively made up of secret armies in service to NATO including a prominent membership of Nazis, trained to commit acts of terrorism and assassinations against Western citizens and their democratic governments is now acknowledged by historians, yet much of the Western populace remain uninformed about this decades long horrifying abuse of power which was used to support a transition towards far right-wing governments.

The thought behind International Fascism in a post-WWII world, was that it would be an alliance that would allow a superior form of organisation that would build up a new European world entity which would function as a model for what would in turn be used on the world stage under a League of Nations mandate.

It is for this reason why so many fascists who had dishonestly referred to themselves as “national socialists” happened to also be promoters of pan-Europeanism and pan-Americanism, and supported the continuation of the British Empire, for these three spheres would function as the three leading regionalisations under a new system of empire under the League of Nations construct. Africa was openly discussed amongst these imperialists and fascists as the necessary slave labour camp to support Europe’s needs.

It is for this reason that individuals such as Oswald Mosley, a leading British fascist who supported both Mussolini’s and Hitler’s reign, began advocating for a “united Europe” as a defense against the supposed communist threat immediately after the Second World War. A “united Europe” reunited with “former” fascists who had now become supposed “defenders of freedom” against the evil totalitarianism of the Soviet Union. Mosley complained in his Europe: Faith and Plan (published in 1958) that this resistance from some European quarters to ally themselves with the fascists against this communist threat was putting the free world in danger. He encouraged Europeans to forget the past abuses that were committed by the fascists, since they were ultimately doing what they thought best for Europe, and that they were not wrong in their outlook but perhaps too hasty and impatient in their execution of such a vision.

With the end of the Second World War, there appeared an almost instantaneous agreement among the Western European nations the need to defend their sovereignty against the rise of Soviet communism. Ironically the solution to this was the idea of a ‘New World Order’[1] for Europe. The Fifth Column was sold as a communist one, and thus the need to work with ‘former’ Nazis and fascists was justified to secure the European civilization from the threatened invasion by the ‘Asiatic hordes.’ Of course, the common people were not notified of this decision to reunite with the fascists; that not even before the end of the Second World War, there were discussions of aligning with the fascists to secure what was to be the ‘New World Order’.

To ensure that Europe would stand strong, it seemed only logical that it should form a European unity, able to collectively use their resources and military in a coordinated defense against this looming “Asian threat”. It would be interesting, that many nations who treated the army of Hitler with seeming indifference up to the very moment of invasion, would now trumpet loudly the need to prepare for war on all fronts (economically, culturally, politically, militarily including paramilitary) against the Eastern barbarians, and Mosley had positioned himself at the forefront of this clarion call.

In his The World Alternative (1936) Mosley wrote: “We must return to the fundamental concept of a European Nation which animated the war generation of 1918.” In reference to the openly pro-fascist former British Prime Minister Lloyd George’s (1916-1922) War Cabinet. When the Axis began losing crucial battles in 1943, this only intensified Europeanism as the new order’s last line of defense that would be entrusted to the younger generation. On November 14th, 1944 Mussolini proposed in the Verona programme “a European Community, with a federation of all nations and the development of Africa’s natural resources.”[2]

Stephen Dorril writes in his book Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British fascism:[3]

The Eastern Front was transformed into the ‘European Front’ as Europe’s defence became a supra-national moral obligation. The Waffen SS assumed the role of Europe’s army and its struggle to hold back the Bolsheviks from overrunning the West invoked an embryonic Europeanism, which became a central myth of post-war Fascism. Neo-Fascist thinker Maurice Bardeche wrote that ‘the Defense of the West has remained in the memory, and this is still the chief meaning of fascist ideas’.”

Churchill would also support such a direction with the United Europe Movement.[4]

On October 1st, 1947 Mosley published The Alternative, where he writes “Chaos looms and the people of Europe seek the alternative…Our creed was brought to dust because the Fascist outlook in each land was too national, we had no sense of European union.” A year later he wrote in The European Situation: The Third Force, that a united Europe will “insure that Europeans shall never be slaves either of West or East; either of finance or of bolshevism. We shall neither be bought by Wall Street nor conquered by the Kremlin.” However, the road to Europe’s salvation would not end there, according to Mosley, there would also be the need to secure labour from Africa to serve the needs of Europeans.

In 1948, the FBI, who were oddly stationed in London, had forwarded to J. Edgar Hoover’s intelligence headquarters that Mosley was planning a Fascist International.[5] The U.S. counterintelligence corps (CIC) also wrote a report noting that Mosley viewed “the national socialist elements in West Germany as the most suitable partners at the organising of a fascist concentration movement in Europe…[Mosley] was continuing the tradition of a Fascist International which Hitler was forced to abandon. He has hit on a stratagem which gives him the air of a progressive spirit.” The Austrian neo-Nazi paper Alpenruf wrote Dec 31st, 1949 “the spiritual centre of a cleansed Fascism is today neither in Germany nor in Austria, but – strange though it may seem – in England.” In the Swedish Fascist paper Vaegen Framat, they “claimed the European underground movements were growing but needed to be brought together to preserve everything that had been valuable in the past. The war had weakened their position and co-operation was essential, even for racial policies. Nations were not strong enough to enforce the unity of Europe.” [6]

This was the new chosen direction towards a Fascist International and none of it would have been possible without Churchill’s announcement of the Iron Curtain, for it pushed the European countries into this very configuration and justified the need to partner with ‘former’ fascists. The fascists did not need to militarily win the war, for the Europeans had walked into the Fascist International out of their own accord.

From this standpoint, WWII was in fact never won, rather it has been continued in the form of a Cold War to this very day. During this over 76 year long Cold War, fascist cells grew and were dispersed globally, and have come only relatively recently to be acknowledged under the umbrella term Gladio due to newly declassified intelligence dossiers. Mosley would also be at the forefront of these post-WWII paramilitary fascist cells, along with Karl-Heinz Priester and the legendary Nazi Otto Skorzeny who was one of the primary masterminds behind the entire Gladio network.[7]

The Gladio network was beholden to NATO, and thus it should not be surprising that the position of NATO Commander and Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe was a position that was filled SOLELY by ‘former’ Nazis for 16 YEARS STRAIGHT, from 1967-1983.

Mosley had concluded in his eerie introduction to his book Europe: Faith and Plan in support of a Pan-Europe:[8]

In the light of all Europe’s recent history it is disingenuous nonsense to pretend that Germany is the only guilty party. It is more, it is a deliberate lie circulated for the vile purpose of perpetuating the division of Europe and for promoting the ultimate victory of communism. In the meantime it serves also the squalid purpose of those who snatch financial gain from the decay and collapse of a dying system, rather than make the effort to benefit both themselves and all Europe by honestly carrying the far greater rewards of constructive tasks in building the new system.

… In all nature the pangs of birth are severe, particularly in political nature. No fully grown man should be blamed for the pain or even the blood that accompanied his birthFor the long memory to linger on these things is to create a complex which can be disastrous to the whole psyche of Europe. That is precisely why we are continually invited to think about them.

Things were done in haste and passion which should now be forgotten. All who were drawn to the new movement of European dynamism and renaissance were people in too much of a hurry. It was a fault on the right side, for the results of the succeeding inertia are now plain to see. We felt that something must be done, and done quickly, to release the new and beneficent forces of science[9] and to wipe away unnecessary suffering from the face of humanity. We were impatient with the forces of inertia, reaction and anarchy which opposed the new European order of mind and will that we believed alone could do these things with the speed that was necessary.

…The catastrophe of this generation has destroyed the old landmarks of politics, and the modern mind should equally eliminate their memory. We have passed beyond Fascism and beyond many tenets of the old Democracy, because science has rendered them irrelevant in a world which confronts us with new facts. Not only are the facts of the post-war period new, but science is continually adding still newer facts.[10] Old policies have no relevance to the present, and old memories of bitterness should have no place in it either.

One great lesson alone we can all derive from the past. We owe to Europe self-restraint in moments of passion, and kindness at all times to our kindred. These evil things which have occurred are not only wrong, they do not pay. In the end they destroy those who commit them. The time-honoured standards of the European alone can endure. In the events of a great age, honour, truth and manly restraint are not only as necessary as in the past but more than ever essential. The great qualities in man should grow in proportion to the age, not diminish. Let us remember the past only long enough to learn this. Then let us forget [the past].

Europe needs a great act of oblivion, before a new birth.”

Operation Gladio: NATO’s Dagger

With the Second World War ‘won’, the world was very much under the impression that we were to take the phrase ‘Never Again’ to heart. Unfortunately, those in charge of forming Western policy and geopolitical strategy post-WWII could not have disagreed more.

Operation Unthinkable is a prime example of the sort of thinking that was ruminating within Britain and the United States post-Roosevelt. Operation Unthinkable was the name given to two related possible future war plans by the British Chiefs of Staff against the Soviet Union in 1945. The creation of the plans was ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in May 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff (Roosevelt passed away on April 12th, 1945). One plan assumed a surprise attack on the Soviet forces stationed in Germany to “impose the will of the Western Allies” on the Soviets. The second plan was a defensive scenario in which the British were to defend against a Soviet drive towards the North Sea and the Atlantic following the withdrawal of the American forces from the Continent.

Though the first plan of the operation would be shelved with the new government under Clement Attlee, this remained a predominantly governing mindset for British and American intelligence. However, contrary to what we are told today, the second plan of Operation Unthinkable was not shelved. It was in fact fully implemented under the initiation of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. This plan would continue through every other British Prime Minister’s term that followed afterward, without the knowledge of most members of the British government.

During the Second World War, preparations were made in the case of a possible German victory and ‘stay-behind’ guerilla warfare units were stationed throughout Europe. The model was the British Special Operations Executive, or SOE, a top-secret guerilla-commando force established in 1940. It was the brainchild of Winston Churchill and was called ‘Churchill’s secret army.’ This program would eventually be adopted into NATO. After the Allied victory, these ‘stay-behind’ units were not disbanded but rather were strengthened and expanded in almost every European country, with direct aid and encouragement from the United States.

Daniele Ganser, a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland published NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe in 2005, which is regarded as an authoritative overview of NATO’s Operation Gladio networks and functions. This chapter will reference extensively Ganser’s pioneering work on this crucial history of Western clandestine warfare that was waged on Western civilians and their democratically elected governments for several decades under the guise of Soviet terrorism.

Daniele Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[11]

The clandestine network, which after the revelations of the Italian Prime Minister [Andreotti] was researched by judges, parliamentarians, academics and investigative journalists across Europe, is now understood to have been code-named ‘Gladio’ (the sword) in Italy., while in other countries the network operated under different names including ‘Absalon’ in Denmark, ‘ROC’ in Norway, ‘SDRA8’ in Belgium. In each country, leading members of the executive, including Prime Ministers, Presidents, Interior Ministers and Defense Ministers, were involved in the conspiracy, while the ‘Allied Clandestine Committee’ (ACC), sometimes also euphemistically called the ‘Allied Co-ordination Committee’ and ‘Clandestine Planning Committee’ (CPC), less conspicuously at times also called ‘Coordination and Planning Committee’ of NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), coordinated the networks on the international level. The last confirmed secret meeting of ACC with representatives of European secret services took place on October 24, 1990 in Brussels.

…Leading officers of the secret network trained together with the U.S. Green Berets Special Forces in the United States of America and the British SAS Special Forces in England…In case of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe the secret Gladio soldiers under NATO command… [formed a] stay-behind network operating behind enemy lines.”

However, the expected Soviet invasion never occurred. And thus, these secret armies found another purpose. They were to be used against the people. The desire was that by staging false-flag operations that were blamed on communists, panic and revulsion would be invoked sending voters flocking to the welcoming arms to so-called ‘secure’ right-wing governments. Italy, which had the largest and most powerful communist party in Europe, would be first on the hit-list. The Communist Party of Italy, admired for leading the fight against Mussolini, was expected to win in Italy’s first post-war election in June 1946. This, of course, was considered intolerable under the Iron Curtain diktat.

Investigative journalist Christopher Simpson writes in his book Blowback, how a substantial part of the funding for the opposition to the Communist Party of Italy, which was the Christian Democratic Party, came from captured Nazi assets, largely held by the Americans. This intervention tipped the balance in favour of Italy’s Christian Democratic Party, which hid thousands of fascists in its ranks. The Christian Democratic Party would be the dominating party in Italy for five decades until it was dissolved in 1994.

In March 2001, General Giandelio Maletti, former head of Italian counterintelligence, suggested that next to the Gladio secret army, the Italian secret service and a group of Italian right-wing terrorists, the massacres which had discredited the Italian communists had also been supported by the White House in Washington and the CIA. At a trial of right-wing extremists accused of having been involved in the Piazza Fontana massacre, General Maletti testified:

The CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left, and, for this purpose, it may have made use of right-wing terrorism…The impression was that the Americans would do anything to stop Italy from sliding to the left… Italy has been dealt with as a sort of protectorate [of the United States]…[12]

In order to ensure that no further communist support were to arise in Italy, Operation Gladio, with direction and support from the CIA and MI6, led a campaign of brutal violence against Italians that stretched into the better part of two decades known as the ‘years of lead,’ the anni di piombo.

Daniele Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[13]

According to the findings of the Belgian parliamentary investigation into Gladio, a secret non-orthodox warfare even preceded the foundation of the alliance [NATO]. As of 1948, non-orthodox warfare was coordinated by the so-called ‘Clandestine Committee of the Western Union’ (CCWU).

…When in 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty was signed, CCWU [Clandestine Committee of the Western Union] was secretly integrated into the new international military apparatus and as of 1951 operated under the new label CPC [Clandestine Planning Committee]. At the time European NATO headquarters were in France and also the CPC was located in Paris. Like the CCWU before it the CPC was concerned with the planning, preparation and direction of non-orthodox warfare carried out by the stay-behind armies and Special Forces. Only officers with the highest NATO security clearance were allowed to enter CPC headquarters…under the guidance of CIA and MI6 experts the chiefs of the Western European Secret Services met at regular intervals during the year in order to coordinate measures of non-orthodox warfare in Western Europe.”

In 1959, an internal NATO briefing minute, dated June 1st, 1959, slipped into the hands of a British newspaper, which revealed that the task of the stay-behind units had been switched from confronting a Soviet invasion to confronting an “internal subversion”. The secret armies were henceforth to play a “determining role…not only on the general policy level of [domestic] warfare, but also on the politics of [domestic] emergency.”[14] What this meant was that a secret army of stay-behind units, under the direction of NATO, in absence of a Soviet threat, were to direct their actions to internal matters which would include espionage and acts of terrorism on the citizens of Europe with the support and cover of those nations’ police units. This would be used to further centralise control within right-wing governments who supported the NATO apparatus.

Operation Gladio, which used the tactic Strategy of Tension, functioned on three basic levels. The first was a guerilla war to be fought primarily on the streets, in order to draw loyalties away from the Soviet Union. The second level was the political front and would involve NATO-inspired conspiracies, which typically accused certain governments of being in secret partnership with the USSR, in order to evict democratically elected governments unfriendly to the NATO state apparatus and replace them with puppet regimes. The third level was the assassination (hard and soft) of figures who were deemed obstructive to NATO’s aims. Examples of Gladio assassinations include Italy’s former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978, Sweden’s Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986 (known as Sweden’s JFK), Turkey’s Prime Minister Adnan Menderes in 1961 along with two cabinet colleagues, and U.S. President Kennedy in 1963. As well as the soft assassination (character assassination) of UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson. These assassinations would typically be followed by a NATO/U.S. supported putsch. Attempted assassinations from Operation Gladio included President de Gaulle (more on this shortly) and Pope John Paul II.[15]

Yves Guerin-Serac: the Black Ops Grandmaster behind Operation Gladio

“He [Yves Guerin-Serac] was in thrall to his personal vision of a Christian-Fascist New World Order. He was also the intellectual mentor of Gladio terrorism. He wrote the basic training and propaganda manuals which can be fairly described as the Gladio order of battle.”

– Richard Cottrell, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart to Europe

Guerin-Serac was a war hero, agent provocateur, assassin, bomber, intelligence agent, Messianic Catholic, and the intellectual grandmaster behind the ‘Strategy of Tension’ essential to the success of Operation Gladio. Guerin-Serac published via Aginter Press the Gladio manual, including Our Political Activity in what can aptly be described as Gladio’s First Commandment:[16]

Our belief is that the first phase of political activity ought to be to create the conditions favouring the installation of chaos in all of the regime’s structuresIn our view the first move we should make is to destroy the structure of the democratic state under the cover of Communist and pro-Soviet activities…Moreover, we have people who have infiltrated these groups.

Guerin-Serac continues:[17]

Two forms of terrorism can provoke such a situation [breakdown of the state]: blind terrorism (committing massacres indiscriminately which cause a large number of victims), and selective terrorism (eliminate chosen persons)…

This destruction of the state must be carried out under the cover of ‘communist activities.’ After that, we must intervene at the heart of the military, the juridical power and the church, in order to influence popular opinion, suggest a solution, and clearly demonstrate the weakness of the present legal apparatus. Popular opinion must be polarized in such a way, that we are being presented as the only instrument capable of saving the nation.

Anarchic random violence was to be the solution to bring about such a state of instability thus allowing for a completely new system, a global authoritarian order. Yves Guerin-Serac, who was an open fascist, would not be the first to use false-flag tactics that were blamed on communists and used to justify more stringent police and military control from the state.

On the 27th of February 1933, Hermann Göring, Hitler’s second-in-command, shouted outside the burning of the Reichstag:

This is the beginning of the Communist revolution! We must not wait a minute. We will show no mercy. Every Communist official must be shot, where he is found. Every Communist deputy must this very day be strung up![18]

It is quite incredible that people never seem to grow tired of these sort of theatrics as part of the popular narrative of what we are told shapes our history, no matter how many times we have heard it played before. The line of obvious patsies is also something that seems to never grow tiring. In the case of the Reichstag fire, now widely acknowledged as a false-flag, it was some befuddled Dutch Jew that was instantly accused.

The day after the fire, six days before the scheduled general election, Hitler persuaded the elderly and confused President von Hindenburg (the icon of the First World War) that the crisis was of such profound gravity it could only be met by complete abolition of all personal liberties. The Reichstag Fire Law conferred by Hindenburg gave Hitler many of the instruments that he required for a total seizure of power. Within two weeks, parliamentary democracy was also reduced to the smoking embers of history. It would not be the only false-flag to be orchestrated by Hitler.

Richard Cottrell writes in Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe :[19]

SS units forced a small group of concentration camp victims ‘released’ from Buchenwald and disguised in Polish uniforms, to stage a false flag mock attack on the main radio tower in the Nazi controlled free state of Danzig. Citing provocation by the Poles, the German invasion of Poland followed.”

Guerin-Serac spent his life dedicated to a new Black Empire[20] which he dreamed would combine the universal divinity of the Roman church with the United States and Europe as successor to the Holy Roman Empire. This was Christian Fascism and Yves Guerin-Serac was its Crusader.[21] He belonged to several old gangs, including the first generation of ‘former’ Nazis and fascists. He also belonged to a veteran clan of French officers blooded in the Indochinese and Korean struggles and was a member of the elite troop of the 11ème Demi-Brigade Parachutiste du Choc, which worked with the SDECE (French intelligence agency). His connection to French Intelligence would be key in his becoming a founding member of the Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS), a French terrorist group, made up of disaffected French officers, based in Spain which fought against Algerian independence. Guerin-Serac would form an intricate paramilitary and terrorist network throughout Europe, as well as training facilities to service Operation Gladio, via the cover of Aginter Press.

Cottrell writes:[22]

Guerin-Serac arrived in Lisbon in 1966 with an inspirational blueprint for the next stage of the struggle against godless liberalism. He proposed…an organization that would act as nothing less than an international travel agency for terrorists. The principal funding was supplied by the CIA, according to the Pellegrino Commission established in 1995 by the Italian Senate to investigate the anni di piombo [years of lead]. Guido Salvini was the magistrate appointed to examine the 1969 bombing of the agricultural bank in Milan’s Piazza Fontana. He pinned the blame firmly on Guerin-Serac’s Aginter Press. Salvini told the senators that Aginter operatives were active in Italy from 1967 onwards, instructing local militant neo-fascist organisations in the use of explosives. From this nugget, the CIA is positively connected to the Gladio wave of terrorism sweeping Europe.”

Behind the plain business shopfront of Aginter Press lay an invisible network designed to shuttle terrorists around Europe, Latin America, and Africa providing false documents and passports for killers posing as reporters and photographers including Guerin-Serac.[23]

Cottrell continues:[24]

Aginter… was a Gladio finishing school, where recruits to the secret armies from all over Europe were trained in the arts of bomb making, assassination, psychological operations, destabilisation and counter-insurgency. Much of this was borrowed from the textbooks of the U.S. Army’s centre for covert warfare at Fort Bragg. Guest instructors from time to time included members of Britain’s SAS, the Green Berets …Guerin-Serac was blithely summoned to next door Spain to organise the death squads crushing resistance to the Franco regime. Aginter activities have been traced to all those countries where the Strategy of Tension operated at peak volume: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Germany and Belgium.”

Britain’s Betrayal of its Greek Brothers-in-Arms in Support of Fascism

Britain did not wait for the end of WWII before cooperating with Nazis. Under Mussolini’s direction, Italian troops attacked Greece during the Second World War in 1940 but were defeated by the massive resistance of the Greek population. Hitler, in turn, sent his German troops which conquered the country and placed it under the control of the Axis Powers in 1941. The Greeks once again organised a massive resistance operation and throughout the war the German army faced great difficulties keeping the country under control. As in Italy and France, Greece’s strongest resistance organisation to the fascist occupation was dominated by the communists. ELAS, the People’s Liberation Army, had been founded on the initiative of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) some months after the German invasion. EAM, the political wing of the People’s Liberation Army was also dominated by the Greek communists. Out of a population of seven million up to two million Greeks were members of the EAM party, while 50,000 were actively fighting in the ranks of the ELAS army.[25]

ELAS’s operations were supported by the British secret army SOE.[26] Many personal friendships developed between the Greek ELAS resistance fighters and the British SOE liaison officers. However, this was abruptly severed in March 1943 when Prime Minister Winston Churchill decided to halt all British support for ELAS, as he feared that Greece after the defeat of the Axis Powers could come under communist control. At that time, Greece was at the peak of fighting a war with the German Nazis.

In order to minimise the power of the Greek communists and socialists, London planned to reinstall the Greek conservative King George II, who had cooperated with the fascist dictator Ioannis Metaxas (Prime Minister of Greece from April 1936 – January 1941), to form a pro-fascist government. Metaxas had called for a fascist “new order” in Greece, argu1943,that the Great Depression proved the failure of democracy and that fascism was the solution.[27] This fascist solution occurred in alignment with the restoring of the Greek monarchy.[28] The crucial British Foreign Office directive of March 20th, 1943 stated “SOE should always veer in the direction of groups willing to support the King and Government, and furthermore impress on such groups as may be anti-monarchical the fact that the King and Government enjoy the fullest support of His Majesty’s Government [of Britain].”[29] King George II was less than popular among many Greeks after having cooperated with the fascist dictator Metaxas. Yet London pursued the conservative policy and in October 1943, the British Foreign Office even contemplated “a downright policy of attacking and weakening EAM by every means in our power.[30]

‘Former’ Nazi collaborators and right-wing special units such as the fascist X Bands, with British support started to hunt and kill ELAS fighters. However, these groups did not enjoy popular support and recruitment levels were only at around 600 men. Thus, Churchill decided to up the ante, and in late 1944 gave the order for a new Greek army unit, which came to be known variously as the Greek mountain Brigade, the Hellenic Raiding Force, or LOK, its Greek acronym Lochos Oreinon Katadromon.[31] As it was aimed against the communists and the socialists, the unit excluded “almost all men with views ranging from moderate conservative to left wing. Under British military supervision and at Churchill’s express order, the unit was filled with royalists and anti-republicans.”[32]

Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[33]

As ELAS fought against both the German Nazi occupiers and the British-sponsored Hellenic Raiding Force, Churchill feared a public relations disaster should it be revealed to the British public that London was secretly supporting the fascists against the Communists in Greece. In August 1944 he therefore instructed the BBC to eliminate ‘any credit of any kind’ to ELAS when reporting on the liberation of Greece. But only weeks later ELAS secured victory over the German occupiers and Hitler was forced to withdraw his soldiers also from Greece. Churchill immediately demanded that the resistance should disarm, an order which ELAS was willing to obey if it was equally applied to their only remaining enemy on the field, the British sponsored Hellenic Raiding Force.”

Britain refused to disband the secret right-wing army and thus large Greek demonstrations against Britain’s support for the fascist monarchy took place on December 3rd, 1944, a mere six weeks after Hitler’s forces had been defeated and pushed out of the country. A small group of 200-600 peaceful protestors, men, women and children, gathered at the Syntagma Square in Athens, the main square in front of the Greek parliament. A much larger group of 60,000 protestors were delayed by police blockades. British troops and police with machine guns were positioned on the rooftops.[34] Suddenly, and without warning, the peaceful demonstration was turned into a massacre as the command was given: “Shoot the bastards.” Shortly after the bloodbath, the main group of protestors arrived in the square. In a display of remarkable restraint, these 60,000 protestors held a peaceful demonstration against Britain’s support for the fascist monarchy, while among the dead bodies of their recently slain comrades.

In London, Churchill faced an angry House of Commons which demanded an explanation for the barbarity. While admitting that it had been a “shocking thing,” Churchill stressed that it was equally stupid to bring large numbers of unarmed children to a demonstration, while the city was full of armed men. The role of the secret right-wing army in the Syntagma massacre was never investigated.[35]

After the demonstration of force, the British reinstalled King George II and a succession of weak British puppet governments with right-wing leanings followed. A Greek resistance faction rearmed and took to the hills and in the fall of 1946 started a civil war against the British and the local right. An exhausted Britain asked in early 1947 for the United States’ support. Truman with his famous ‘Truman Doctrine’ in March 1947 was able to convince Congress to openly intervene in Greece. Greece was the first country to be invaded by the United States during the Cold War.[36] In the following decades, Washington put forward the argument used in Greece to justify its open or covert invasions of Korea, Guatemala, Iran, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Panama and several other countries.[37]

The United States secretly started Operation Torch and used chemical warfare to defeat the Greek resistance by dropping thousands of gallons of Napalm on Greece.[38] By late 1948, the Greek resistance which had defeated the Italian fascists, the German Nazis and the British troops, finally collapsed after years of heroic fighting. A hollowed out Greece joined NATO in 1952 and by that time “had been moulded into a supremely reliable ally-client of the United States. It was staunchly anti-Communist and well integrated into the NATO system.”[39]

Peter Murtagh writes in The Rape of Greece: The King, the Colonels and the Resistance:[40]

The [Hellenic] Raiding Force doubled as the Greek arm of the clandestine pan-European guerilla network set up in the 1950s by NATO and the CIA which was controlled from NATO headquarters in Brussels by the Allied Coordination Committee…The Greek branch of the network was…known as Operation Sheepskin.”

Is this what Kalergi was referring to as his “Crusade for Pan-Europe”; a “clandestine pan-European guerilla network” to ‘defend’ Europe?

Ganser writes:[41]

The Greek junta consolidated its power through a regime of imprisonment and torture…Communists, Socialists, artists, academics, journalists, students, politically active women, priests, including their friends and families were [horrifically] tortured…’We are all democrats here’ Inspector Basil Lambro, the chief of the secret police of Athens, was fond of stressing. ‘Everybody who comes here talks. You’re not spoiling our record.’ The sadist torturer made it clear to his victims: ‘We are the government, you are nothing. The government isn’t alone. Behind the government are the Americans.’ If in the mood Basil also offered his analysis of world politics: ‘The whole world is in two parts, the Russians and the Americans. We are the Americans. Be grateful we’ve only tortured you a little. In Russia, they’d kill you’.”

[For more on the British Gladio see Chapters 1, 2, 10 & 11 of my book ‘The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set’.]

The American Gladio Arm

The National Security Act of 1947, a Trojan horse, was a part of the new breed of legislation post-Roosevelt and led to the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), placing it under the direction of the National Security Council (NSC). Although it did not explicitly authorize the CIA to conduct covert operations, Section 102 was sufficiently vague to permit abuse. By December 1947, less than four months after the creation of the CIA, the perceived necessity to “stem the flow of communism” in Western Europe—particularly Italy—by overt and covert “psychological warfare” forced the issue and NSC 4-A[42] was born. NSC 4-A would be replaced by NSC 10/2[43] less than one year later, approved by President Truman on June 18th, 1948, creating the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). NSC 10/2 was the first presidential document which specified a mechanism to approve and manage covert operations, and also the first in which the term “covert operations” was defined.

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, the U.S. parliament investigated the CIA and the NSC via the Frank Church Senate Committee Hearings[44] and found that:

The national elections in Europe in 1948 had been a primary motivation in the establishment of the OPC…By channeling funds to centre parties and developing media assets, OPC attempted to influence the election results – with considerable success…These activities formed the basis for covert political action for the next twenty years. By 1952 approximately forty different covert action projects were under way in one central European country alone…Until 1950 OPC’s paramilitary activities (also referred to as preventive action) were limited to plans and preparations for stay-behind nets in the event of future war. Requested by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, these projected OPC operations focused, once again, on Western Europe and were designed to support NATO forces against Soviet attack.”[45]

George F. Kennan selected Frank Wisner as the first commander of the CIA covert action unit OPC. Wisner and other U.S. OPC officers “tended to be white Anglo-Saxon patricians from old families with old money…and they somewhat inherited traditional British attitudes toward the coloured races of the world.”[46] Wisner became the chief architect of the network of secret armies in Western Europe. From 1948-1950 the OPC was a renegade operation run by Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner. In 1950 the OPC was renamed the Directorate of Plans and continued under the direct commandership of Frank Wisner. George F. Kennan, OPC overseer at the time, would strongly support the passing of NSC 10/2 and CIA covert actions in Italy and beyond.

Ganser writes:[47]

“…next to the Pentagon the U.S. Special Forces were also directly involved in the secret war against the Communists in Western Europe, as together with the SAS they trained the members of the stay-behind network. After the U.S. wartime secret service OSS had been disbanded after the end of the war the U.S. Special Forces were reborn with headquarters at Fort Bragg, Virginia, in 1952. General McClure established a Psychological Warfare Centre in Fort Bragg and in the summer of 1952 the first Special Forces unit, somewhat misleadingly called the 10th Special Forces Group was organised according to the OSS experience during the Second World War, and directly inherited the latter’s mission to carry out, like the British SAS, sabotage missions and to recruit, equip and train guerillas in order to exploit the resistance potential in both Eastern and Western Europe.

…At all times the U.S. Special Forces were set up in Fort Bragg in 1952 the name of the CIA covert action branch changed from ‘OPC’ to ‘Directorate of Plans’ (DP), and Wisner was promoted Deputy Director of Plans. Together with CIA Director Allen Dulles he intensified U.S. covert action operations on a global scale. Dulles authorised CIA assassination attempts on Castro and Lumumba as well as the CIA’s LSD experiments with unwitting subjects…”

Edward Lansdale who was chief of the Saigon Military Mission and a protégé of General Lemnitzer; who wanted to send a submarine to the shore outside Havana where it would create an “inferno of light.” At the same time, according to Lansdale’s plan, Cuba-based agents would warn the religious natives of the second coming of Christ and the Savior’s distaste for Fidel Castro. The plan was called ‘Elimination by Illumination,’ but was ultimately shelved.[48] It would be funny if such plans stayed on paper, but these men were responsible for the torture and deaths of countless individuals for the plans that made it into reality.

As soon as General Lemnitzer became Army Chief of Staff in 1959, he installed Lansdale at a desk in Deputy Defense Secretary Gilpatric’s office in the Pentagon. Lansdale was put in charge of Operation Mongoose under direct patronage of Lemnitzer with the main object to eliminate Castro in direct defiance of federal law prohibiting political assassinations. Operation Mongoose was an extensive campaign of terrorist attacks against civilians and covert operations carried out by the CIA and was run out of JM/Wave in Miami. Lansdale would participate in many covert operations including raids and bombings in Cuba and other targets all over Latin America.

In March 1962, General Lemnitzer, not taking a hint as to what happened to Dulles, Bissell and Cabell, decided it would be a good idea to propose Operation Northwoods to President Kennedy for approval. Operation Northwoods was a proposed false-flag operation against American citizens, which called for CIA operatives to both stage and actually commit acts of terrorism against American military and civilian targets and subsequently blame the Cuban government in order to justify a war against Cuba. The plan was drafted by General Lemnitzer specifically and had a striking similarity with NATO’s Operation Gladio. The logic of Northwoods was the stripe of Gladio. The general staff inclined towards prefabricated violence because they believed benefits gained by the state count more than injustice against individuals. The only important criterion was reaching the objective and the objective was ultra right-wing government.

There was not a single item in the Northwoods manual that did not amount to a blatant act of treason, yet the U.S. military establishment dispatched Top Secret – Justification for U.S. military Intervention in Cuba straight to the desk of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, for onward transmission to President Kennedy. Needless to say, President Kennedy rejected the proposal and a few months later General Lemnitzer’s term was not renewed as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, having served from October 1st 1960 to September 30th 1962.

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Operation Northwoods memorandum March 13, 1962. Source:

However, NATO lost no time, and in November 1962 Lemnitzer was appointed commander of U.S. European Command and as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO, the latter to which he served from January 1st, 1963 to July 1st, 1969.

Lemnitzer was a perfect fit to oversee the cross-continental Gladio operations in Europe. He had been a prime motivating force in setting up the Special Forces Group in 1952 at Fort Bragg, where commandos were trained in the arts of guerilla insurgency in the events of a Soviet invasion of Europe. Before long the men who proudly wore distinctive green berets were cooperating discreetly with the armed forces of a string of European countries and participating in direct military operations some of them extremely sensitive and highly illegal if not downright treasonous.

One of these operations was the NATO/CIA coalition which had sponsored at least two attempts to assassinate President de Gaulle.[49] In response to this, de Gaulle had kicked NATO’s headquarters out of France, removed France from NATO and had given Lemnitzer a summary order to quit NATO. If President de Gaulle’s orders had been denied, he would have been prepared to go to war, and thus there was a bit of reshuffling, but essentially the game continued intact.

[For more on the American Gladio Arm see Chapters 4, 7, 8, 9 & 13 of my book ‘The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set’.]

De Gaulle vs. NATO

France is determined to regain on her whole territory the full exercise of her sovereignty.

– President of France Charles de Gaulle

It was thought by many of the pro-fascist imperialist persuasion that de Gaulle was ultimately going to play ball. That though he may have had his criticisms of fascism, he was at the end of the day an anti-communist and an imperialist and thus, it was inevitable that he would eventually ‘see the light’. This was something that the pro-fascists thought they could work with in the ‘restructuring’ of Europe amidst a Cold War.

Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies[50]:

On the initiative of the U.S. and the British Special Forces SAS, a secret army was set up in France under the cover name ‘Plan Bleu’ (Blue Plan) whose task was to secretly prevent the powerful PCF [Communist Party of France] from coming to power. The Blue Plan, in other words, aimed to prevent France from turning red…The SAS, specialised in secret warfare, contacted the newly created French secret service Direction Generale des Etudes et Recherche (DGER) and agreed with them to set up a secret army in northern France across the Channel in the Bretagne.”

One month after having ousted the communists from the government, the French socialists attacked the military right and the CIA and exposed the Plan Bleu secret army. On June 30th, 1947, French socialist Minister of the Interior Edouard Depreux exposed that a secret right-wing army had been erected in France behind the back of politicians with the task to destabilize the French government. “Towards the end of 1946 we got to know of the existence of a black resistance network, made up of resistance fighters of the extreme-right, Vichy collaborators and [pro] monarchists…They had a secret attack plan called ‘Plan Bleu’, which should have come into action towards the end of July, or on August 6 [1947].”[51]

Ganser continues[52]:

The secret war against the Communists did not end when Plan Bleu was exposed and closed down in 1947. Much to the contrary, French Socialist Prime Minister Paul Ramadier saw to it that his trusted chiefs within the military secret service were not removed by the scandal. When the storm had passed he ordered Henri Ribiere, Chief of SDECE, and Pierre Fourcand, deputy Director of the SDECE, in late 1947 to erect a new anti-Communist secret army under the code name ‘Rose des Vents’ (Rose of the Winds, i.e. Compass Rose), the star-shaped official symbol of the NATO. The code name was well chosen, for when NATO was created in 1949 with headquarters in Paris, the SDECE coordinated its anti-Communist secret war closely with the miliary alliance. The secret soldiers understood that within its maritime original context the compass rose is the card pattern below the compass needle according to which the course is set, and according to which corrections are undertaken if the ship is in danger of steering off course.”

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(left) NATO’s symbol, (right) ‘Rose des Vents (Rose of the Winds i.e. Compass Rose) name of a French anti-communist secret army established in 1947. NATO’s first headquarters was established in France in 1949.

However, there was one very large mistake that was made in establishing NATO’s base in France. De Gaulle was not going to play ball after all…

After the Second World War there was increasing pressure for European nations to commit to the NATO diktat. President of France Charles de Gaulle (1959-1969) disagreed with this orientation. One of the major points of this disagreement was over the force de frappe (nuclear striking force), which de Gaulle believed should be kept firmly outside of NATO’s control. He refused the prospect of France getting automatically dragged into a shooting war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. De Gaulle’s relentless pursuit of French nationalism and independence in foreign and military policies was clearly incompatible with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s charter. When de Gaulle began talk of delivering Algeria her independence, it was decided by former allies, and members of his own military and police that de Gaulle had to go.

On April 21st, 1961, a plot to overthrow President de Gaulle, organised by the OAS (Organisation Armée Secrète, the French terrorist group run by Yves Guerin-Serac) swung into action. On that day, four disaffected generals known as the ‘ultra group’ staged a coup in Algiers. The civil caucus in Washington, Pentagon and NATO headquarters in France were all implicated in the plot to eliminate the French president and secure Algeria for the West. The coup leader, air force general Maurice Challe, was formerly commander of NATO’s forces in Central Europe.

The first outlines of the coup were agreed in the summer of 1960, when the former governor of Algeria, Jacques Soustelle, had a secret tête-à-tête with Richard M. Bissell. Bissell, the CIA Deputy Director of Plans (formerly called the OPC), the covert operations wing of the CIA, and close associate of Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner. In the same year, Challe stage-managed his resignation from NATO. In January 1961 the main plotters assembled, the chief item on the agenda was to form the OAS as an alternative government that would replace de Gaulle’s government once he had been toppled. Key figures in Plan Bleu were all present.[53] Challe’s forces in Algeria were secretly funded using channels closely connected to the French Gladio.[54] On the eve of the coup, Bissell, had an undisclosed meeting with Challe in Algiers. Challe was told that if he could get the country under control inside 48 hours, then the U.S. government would formally recognise his regime.[55] The putsch ultimately failed.

Ganser writes:[56]

When NATO was founded in 1949, its headquarters, including the SHAPE [Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe], were built in France. France was thereafter particularly vulnerable to NATO and CIA secret warfare as de Gaulle lamented – for together with NATO also the secret Gladio command centre CPC [Clandestine Planning Committee] was located in Paris as the Italian document ‘The special forces of SIFAR [Italian intelligence] and Operation Gladio’ of June 1959 revealed. ‘On the level of NATO the following activities must be mentioned: 1. The activity of the CPC of Paris…attached to SHAPE.’”

What this meant was that the Gladio command centre, the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC) was located in Paris to directly coordinate with NATO’s headquarters. In other words, Gladio was working directly for the NATO command centre.

Ganser continues:

“Furthermore also the secret Gladio command centre ACC [ Allied Clandestine Committee] repeatedly met in Paris. It came as a massive shock to the White House in Washington when de Gaulle in February 1966 – due to a number of strategic and personnel motives that historians still struggle to explain – decided to challenge the United States head-on, and ordered NATO and the United States either to place their military bases in France under French control, or to dismantle them. The United States and NATO did not react to the ultimatum whereupon in a spectacular decision de Gaulle took France out of NATO’s military command on March 7, 1966 and expelled the entire NATO organisation together with its covert action agents from French territory. To the anger of Washington and the Pentagon the European headquarters of NATO had to move to Belgium. In Brussels, Mons and Casteau, new European NATO headquarters were being erected where they have remained until today. The Belgium parliamentary investigation into Gladio and secret warfare later confirmed that ‘in 1968 the Chair of CPC moved to Brussels.’ [in order to be with NATO] Research in Belgium furthermore revealed that the ACC secret warfare centre held a meeting with international participation in Brussels as late as October 23 and 24, 1990.

Belgium Gladio author Jan Willems drew attention to the sensitive fact that when de Gaulle withdrew the French army from the military-integrated command of NATO, some of the secret agreements between France and the United States were cancelled. ‘On this occasion it was revealed that secret protocols existed concerning the fight against Communist subversion, signed bilaterally by the United States and its NATO allies. De Gaulle denounced the protocols as an infringement of national sovereignty. Similar secret clauses were also revealed in other NATO states. In Italy Giuseppe de Lutiis revealed that when becoming a NATO member Italy in 1949 had signed not only the Atlantic Pact, but also secret protocols that provided for the creation of an unofficial organisation ‘charged with guaranteeing Italy’s internal alignment with the Western Block by any means, even if the electorate were to show a different inclination.’ And also in the initial NATO agreement in 1949 required that before a nation could join, it must have already established a national security authority to fight Communism through clandestine citizen cadres’.”

Not only was de Gaulle not going to go along with the secret armies of NATO, but he was going to actively intervene to ensure the sovereignty of Europe’s nations against the fascist imperialist end-goal of NATO and its secret Gladio arms. It was a full all-out-war in the underground world of intelligence and clandestine warfare, and de Gaulle was one of the very few that was fully equipped to play the game.

There would subsequently be over 30 assassination attempts on de Gaulle’s life during his presidency. After 43 years, in 2009, France would finally rejoin NATO, a decision made by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has had “an interesting record of winning elections with dramatic perfectly timed post-terror interventions…”[57] It should be noted that there has been a great deal of effort to either flatly deny or downplay France’s role in Gladio, and the involvement of NATO, however, these are demonstrably false. When Italy’s Operation Gladio was finally revealed to the world in the early 1990s (more on this shortly), there was a media frenzy inquiring into whether other governments within Europe were also implicated.

The French along with the British denied that their governments had any involvement in the Gladio networks. Italian Prime Minister Andreotti, not wanting to be the only boat sunk, mercilessly shattered the French cover-up when on November 10th, 1990 he declared that France also had taken part in the very recent meeting of the Gladio directing body ACC (Allied Clandestine Committee) in Belgium on October 23rd, 1990. It was only with Andreotti’s accusation that France changed its tune and acknowledged its role in Gladio, with French Defence Minister Jean Pierre Chevènement claiming that the French secret army was “completely passive…”[58]

In the Quiet of a Small Town

“Sex trafficking, industrial paedophilia, the reports of snuff movies made for political and financial blackmail, or just for profit, were all entangled in a black cobweb of spies, officially connived drug running, the secret paramilitary network, and the constant meddling of NATO’s high command in the internal affairs of the country.”

– Richard Cottrell, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe

Belgium is made up of a Flemish and French ethnic population. During WWII, many Flemings either openly or symbolically sided with the Germans, in hopes of Flemish nationhood – even within a Nazi commonwealth – doing away with Belgium altogether.

Richard Cottrell writes in Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe:[59]

A residue from wartime fraternisation with the Germans led to Nazi-style paganistic symbolism and mystical blood bonding ceremonies within the Belgian stay-behind network and elements of the national armed forces, which in any event inclined to the Right. This mystical streak was set for a chilling significance in shaping many of the perversion yet to be wrought on Belgium.”

Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[60]

According to Belgian Gladio author Jan Willems, the creation of WUCC [Western Union Clandestine Committee] in spring 1948 had been a direct consequence of a public speech by British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin held in London on January 22, 1948. In front of the British parliament Bevin had elaborated on his plan for a ‘Union Occidental’, an international organisation designed to counter what he perceived to be the Soviet threat in Europe…”

Ernest Bevin (Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs July 1945-March 1951) aided in the creation of NATO and was instrumental in the founding of the Information Research Department (IRD), a secret Cold War propaganda department of the British Foreign Office, specialised in pro-colonial, anti-communist, disinformation propaganda, including black propaganda.[61] His commitment to the West European security system, made him eager to sign the Treaty of Brussels in 1948. It drew Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg into an arrangement for collective security, opening the way for the formation of NATO in 1949.[62] Bevin also played a role in Parliament misinforming MPs and failing to extradite the Mufti of Jerusalem, while in French custody, who had been installed and funded by the British government in Palestine and had worked closely with the Nazis during the Second World War.[63]

Little Belgium soon after NATO’s move to Brussels, had the second most powerful and intrusive crime cartels in Western Europe. In a very short time, Europe’s cockpit was also its chief narcotics and illegal arms hub, with a sideline of sex trafficking. According to investigative journalist Richard Cottrell,[64] the CIA had recruited Belgian Nazis – mostly, but not exclusively, Flemish – as soon as the war ended, and selected them for high offices at state and provincial levels. Such ‘former’ Belgian Nazi figures were protected from justice and released from prison under the protection of the CIA. NATO’s machinations along with General Lemnitzer’s imported experts in counterinsurgency[65] were responsible for the formation of the Belgian Gladio operations; divided into SDRA-8 (French) and STC/Mob (Flemish) divisions.[66]

Cottrell writes:[67]

According to journalist Manuel Abramowitz – a leading investigator of the far Right in Belgium – neo-Nazis were egged on to infiltrate all the mechanisms of the state, with special attention reserved for the police and the army. By the 1980s, this level of penetration had become so deep – thanks to fascist fronts such as the neo-Nazi militia Westland New Post and its French speaking counterpart, Front de la Jeunesse – that Belgium’s military forces could be said to have fallen almost entirely under extremist control. Not once in the wake of the many false-flag operations over the coming decades, did convincing proof ever appear of a credible coordinated Left-wing subversive force operating on Belgian soil, while seditious organisations of the Far Right flourished openly.

Senator Hugo Coveliers chairman of the special investigating committee probing gangsterism and terrorism in Belgium (1988-1990) tracked the presence of incriminating materials to a special unit called the ‘judicial police’. Here is what Coveliers said on what became known as the ‘scandal of the X-Dossiers’:

Imagine, everywhere you hear that story about a blackmail dossier in which organisations of the extreme right are in the possession of pictures and videos on which a number of prominent people in and around Brussels have sex with young girls; minors it is said. The existence of this dossier has always been vehemently denied. Until it was proven that testimonies and videos of this affair indeed were in the possession of the police services.

The at first non-existing dossier turns out to exist. The videos without substance then turn out to be interesting enough after all to be handed over to the examining magistrate tasked with the investigation into the Gang of Nivelles [held responsible for some of the shop massacres]. But this person is subsequently afraid to testify about that! What do you think is going on here![68]

Cottrell, who is a former European Parliament MP and has conducted formal investigations ordered by the European Parliament, explores these avenues in greater detail in his book. He concludes that these sex-trafficking rings within Belgium, involving the abuse and murder of children, are encouraged among public officials for two reasons. The first is to produce incriminating blackmail making political retreat impossible. The second reason is that some of these activities that were recorded and retained in top secret files, were part of cultist initiation ceremonies.

Cottrell writes:[69]

It was alleged these involved paganistic neo-Nazi traits such as blood rituals, practised by elements within the state’s secret forces, as well as the orthodox military structure.”

In the context of this, NATO’s twitter scandal posting the Black Sun Nazi occult symbol[70] for international women’s day in 2022, might not have been a slip-up after all…

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  1. Among the plethora of books H.G. Wells wrote, was “The New World Order,” (1940). It appears that Wells was among the very first to pioneer the now infamous term. 
  2. Dorril, Stephen. (2006) Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British fascism. Viking, London, New York, pg. 560-561. 
  3. Ibid, pg. 561. 
  4. Chung, Cynthia. (2022) The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set: The Birth of International Fascism and Anglo-American Foreign Policy. See Chapter 2. 
  5. Dorril, Stephen. (2006) Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British fascism. Viking, London, New York, pg. 577. 
  6. Ibid, pg. 585. 
  7. For more on Otto Skorzeny see Chapters 6, 8 & 11 of my book “The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set.” 
  8. Dorril, Stephen. (2006) Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British fascism. Viking, London, New York, pg. 15-16 
  9. Mosley wrote to Wells to congratulate him on a speech supporting ‘Liberal Fascism’. Mosley included a copy of his book The Greater Britain, and wrote “I am afraid the word ‘Liberal’ has not much relation in my book, but it certainly is an attempt to create a scientific Fascism which is free from the excess and repressions of the Continent…like most prophets, you will probably have the unpleasant experience of recognising many of your own teachings of the past reproduced and reshaped by less capable hands.” From Stephen Dorril’s book ‘Blackshirt.’ 
  10. Refer to Chapter 1 of my book “The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set” for Mosley’s concept of a “scientific dictatorship” which was almost entirely influenced by H.G. Wells. 
  11. Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 1. 
  12. Willan, Philip. (March 26, 2001) Terrorists ‘helped by CIA’ to stop rise of left in Italy. The Guardian.
  13. Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 28 
  14. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. Richard Cottrell is a former European Parliament MP and investigative journalist. Cottrell has also conducted formal investigations commissioned by the European Parliament. 
  15. For more details around the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II see Richard Cottrell’s book Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe
  16. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 115-121. 
  17. Ibid 
  18. William L. Shirer. (1959) The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, pg. 192. 
  19. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, Nato’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
  20. Black Empire is in reference to a Fascist Empire. 
  21. Recall from Chapter 2 Kalergi’s Catholic Crusade for a Pan-Europe. 
  22. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
  23. Recall in Chapter 1, that Mosley and his son were working for a Spanish travel agency that was organising Otto Skorzeny’s travel itinerary, which was likely connected to Aginter Press. 
  24. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
  25. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 212. 
  26. Ibid, pg. 212. 
  27. Cliadakis, Harry. (January 1979). The Political and Diplomatic Background to the Metaxas Dictatorship, 1935-36. Journal of Contemporary History. 14 (1): pg. 117–138. 
  28. Ibid 
  29. Mackenzie, W.J.M. (May 2002) The Secret History of SOE Special Operations Executive 1940-1945. Little, Brown Group Limited, pg. 703. 
  30. Mackenzie, W.J.M. (May 2002) The Secret History of SOE Special Operations Executive 1940-1945. Little, Brown Group Limited, pg. 722-723. 
  31. Murtagh, Peter. (January 1994) The Rape of Greece: The King, the Colonels and the Resistance. Simon & Schuster Canada, pg. 29. 
  32. Ibid 
  33. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 213. 
  34. Ibid, pg. 213-215. 
  35. Ibid, pg. 213-215. 
  36. Ibid, pg. 213-215. 
  37. Ibid, pg. 215. 
  38. Ibid, pg. 215. 
  39. Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 36. 
  40. Murtagh, Peter. (January 1994) The Rape of Greece: The King, the Colonels and the Resistance. Simon & Schuster Canada, pg. 41. 
  41. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 219. 
  42. National Security Council. (Dec. 9, 1947) Memorandum from the Executive Secretary NSC 4
  43. National Security Council. (June 18, 1948) Directive on Office of Special Projects NSC 10/2
  44. For more on the Frank Church Senate Committee Hearings see Retrieved October, 2022. 
  45. The United States Senate. Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence activities. Book IV: Supplementary detailed staff reports on foreign and military intelligence, pg. 36. 
  46. Powers, Thomas. (January 1979) The man who kept the secrets: Richard helms and the CIA. Alfred A. Knopf, pg. 37. 
  47. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 57. 
  48. Kruger, Henrik. (1980) The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence & International Fascism. South End Press, pg. 143. 
  49. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
  50. Ibid, pg. 87. 
  51. Faligot, Roger; Pascal, Krop. (May 1985) La piscine: Les services secrets francais 1944-1984. Seuil, pg. 85. 
  52. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 90. 
  53. Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 149. 
  54. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
  55. Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 149. 
  56. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 98-99. 
  57. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
  58. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 17. 
  59. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
  60. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 128. 
  61. Burke, Jason (14 May 2022). Secret British ‘black propaganda’ campaign targeted cold war enemies. The Guardian. Retrieved October 14, 2022. 
  62. Baylis, John (1982). Britain and the Dunkirk Treaty: The Origins of NATO. Journal of Strategic Studies. 5 (2): pg. 236–47. 
  63. See Chapter 11 of my book ‘The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set.’ 
  64. Richard Cottrell is a former European Parliament MP and investigative journalist. Cottrell has also conducted formal investigations commissioned by the European Parliament. 
  65. See Chapter 8 of my book ‘The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set.’ 
  66. Richard Cottrell. (2015) Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe. Progressive Press. 
  67. Ibid. 
  68. Ibid. 
  69. Ibid. 
  70. Retrieved September 12, 2022. 

The Siege of West Asia



By Tim Anderson

The one redeeming feature of the US-EU siege of West Asia, one of the worst crimes of the 21st century, is that it is forcing a restructuring of international economic relations, away from a Washington-centred unipolar world.

With multiple failed or failing wars, Washington and its NATO partners and hangers-on have imposed a genocidal economic siege on a contiguous bloc of seven West Asian countries, between the Mediterranean and the Himalayas.

The physical blockades on Palestine and Yemen are joined by coercive measures on Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Amongst other things, this brutal regional siege has led to 90% of the Syrian population living in poverty  and the blockaded people of Yemen suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The aim in all cases has been ‘to starve and cause desperation’ amongst entire populations – as was said about Washington’s blockades on Cuba and on Iran. The explicit aim is imposing ‘deliberate harm’, in the hope of coercing political change. A key associated aim is to help the zionist colony keep stealing Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese land, and so destabilise and cripple the development of the entire region.

While much of this siege is imposed in the name of ‘democracy’, ‘human rights’ and ‘anti-terrorism’, none of the NATO allied states of the region – like the Saudis, the UAE and Qatar, who actually finance and arm mass sectarian terrorism – face ‘sanctions’.

The pretexts for this siege are buried in pseudo-legal inventions. The US Treasury’s OFAC database has lists of dozens of ‘sanctioned’ entities and individuals in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen. There are not many ‘sanctions’ against Afghanistan, after 20 years of US and NATO military occupation. However it is notorious that Washington has seized several billion dollars belonging to Afghanistan’s Central Bank, simply because the U.S. is dissatisfied with the current Afghan government. That is certainly a big factor in the looming mass starvation of millions of people in that unfortunate West Asian country.

So what are sanctions and when can they be justified? In international law two principles are said to limit a state’s retaliation against others: that the response should be ‘in proportion’ to an alleged action by the other; and that any reprisal only comes after attempts at negotiation.

But retaliation is unlawful when (1) the aim is to damage the economy of another nation, or there is (2) an attempt at political coercion or (3) the measures imposed also damage the rights of third parties. All these illegal elements are at work in Washington’s current regional siege. Such unilateral ‘sanctions’ are now termed ‘unilateral coercive measures’ (UCMs) and subject to special scrutiny at the United Nations.

For some time international agencies have reported on the catastrophic impact of this siege, for example in Syria and Yemen. Despite the theoretical ‘humanitarian’ exemptions in both US and European coercive measures, the U.S. strangle hold on finance means there is severe impact on essentials such as food, medicine and energy.

The W.H.O. has reported that unilateral US-EU ‘sanctions’ damage children’s cancer treatment in Syria. Medical studies have condemned Europe’s coercive ‘sanctions’ for their damage to COVID-19 prevention and treatment in Syria, while the UN rapporteur on the impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures, Ms Alena Douhan, has called for an end to Washington’s UCMs which inhibit the rebuilding of Syria’s civilian infrastructure, destroyed by the conflict. “The sanctions violate the human rights of the Syrian people, whose country has been destroyed by almost 10 years of ongoing conflict,” said Ms Douhan.

Washington’s anti-Syrian ‘Caesar Law’ was also condemned as it attempts to block third party support for the Syrian population. “I am concerned that sanctions imposed under the Caesar Act may exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in Syria, especially in the course of COVID-19 pandemic, and put the Syrian people at even greater risk of human rights violations,” she said.

Siege measures on north African countries have come under similar criticism. In 2015 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the impact of ‘sanctions’ on human rights, Idriss Jazairy, urged States which have imposed UCMs on Sudan to review their policies. “Sudan has been under unilateral coercive measures for two decades without any adaptation .. The signal given by compulsory measures is in contradiction with their proclaimed objectives” he said, referring to the financial restrictions imposed on all business transactions with Sudan.

In Yemen, the rational is a little different. The US-EU ‘Sanctions’ which sustain the humanitarian crisis are carried out with direct approval by the UN Security Council, under the misguided idea that an interim president from 2014 (Mansour Hadi, in exile in Saudi Arabia for the last seven years) is still the legitimate President of the country. The actual revolutionary government (the only successful revolution of the so-called Arab Spring) led by Ansarallah (disparagingly referred to as ‘Houthi rebels’) is under UNSC sanctions. So the siege on Yemen is authorised under international law, unlike the UCMs against Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Nevertheless, a UN body has said that the western powers and their Persian Gulf allies (especially the Saudis and the U.A.E.) waging war on Yemen should be held responsible for war crimes. That 2019 report detailed a range of war crimes over the previous five years, including airstrikes, indiscriminate shelling, snipers, landmines, as well as arbitrary killings and detention, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and impeding access to humanitarian aid.

This writer has previously argued that the UN Security Council has betrayed the people of Yemen, exacerbating ‘the world’s ‘worst humanitarian crisis’ by demonising and sanctioning the revolutionary government while backing a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) puppet.

UCM regimes, now so popular with the USA and the European Union, have been condemned by independent UN experts for violating international law and for impeding the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. While UCMs are “imposed mostly in the name of human rights, democracy and the rule of law”, Rapporteur Douhan concludes they actually “undermine those very principles, values and norms” while inflicting humanitarian damage.

The one redeeming feature of the US-EU siege of West Asia, one of the worst crimes of the 21st century, is that it is forcing a restructuring of international economic relations, away from a Washington-centred unipolar world. In future the BRICS bloc, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and allied groups will play a much greater role.

Maduro: We Are All Part of Axis of Resistance

June 21, 2022

By Staff,

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the ‘Axis of Resistance’ is not just confined to certain countries across the world, but it refers to all those fighting colonialism and hegemonic powers.

“The Axis of Resistance exists throughout the world; it exists in Africa, in Asia, in the Middle East, in Latin America and in the Caribbean. The Resistance also belongs to the people who are fighting against neoliberalism, racism and various forms of colonization, political, economic, cultural colonization and cyber colonization,” Maduro said in an exclusive interview with the official website of Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei that was published on Monday.

“All of us who fight against colonialism, all of us who fight to decolonize our minds and our people, are part of the Axis of Resistance that stands against the methods of the imperialists for imposing hegemony on the world,” he added.

Maduro: We Are All Part of Axis of Resistance

Lauding the deeds of the Axis of Resistance throughout the years, Maduro said, “The 21st century is our century. It is the century of the unity of the people. It is the century in which people will be liberated. It is the century of justice and truth. Empires are in decline, and people’s projects for well-being, development and greatness have just begun. This century is our century.”

Pointing to a recent meeting with Imam Khamenei and the His Eminence’s statement about the very close relationship between Iran and Venezuela, Maduro said, “Since Commander Hugo Chavez’s first visit in 2001, Iran and Venezuela have established exemplary political, diplomatic, moral, and spiritual ties.”

“During this current trip, I’ve witnessed how there is an exemplary relationship between us in terms of our increasing cooperation. We’ve had many successes. So Imam Khamenei is right when he states that the relationship between the two countries is quite unique and extraordinary,” he noted.

Asked about his latest assertion regarding the Zionist occupation regime’s conspiracies against Venezuela through Mossad, Maduro said, “Imperialism and Zionism are conspiring against the progressive, revolutionary processes taking place in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially the Bolivarian Revolution.”

The Venezuelan president stressed, “This is because we are a true alternative, an alternative of truth and justice, an alternative of freedom, an alternative of democracy, and an alternative for realizing projects that are fully humane in the Latin American region and the Caribbean Sea. In addition to this, Mossad’s conspiracies are due to our strong position of solidarity with the Palestinian people and our support of them for their regaining their historical rights and for the Palestinian Resistance. Our support of them is strong and unique, and we will continue supporting them in this manner.”

Asked about the role of Iran’s anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani and the Quds Force over the last 20 years in strengthening the relationship between Tehran and Caracas, Maduro said he met General Soleimani in March and April of 2019 when he came to Venezuela during the time of US’ cyberattacks against the country’s power plants.

“I really didn’t know. I didn’t know him. I didn’t know how amazing he was, but the discussion I had with him was very pleasant. We reviewed everything during our meeting and he immediately suggested we get help from Iranian experts. Two or three days later, Iranian experts came to repair electrical services in Venezuela,” he added.

In response to a question regarding a saying by Imam Khamenei that, “If Prophet Issa [Peace upon Him] were among us today, he wouldn’t miss a moment to fight the leaders of global oppression and arrogance,” Maduro said, “We’re believing Christians. We’re the type of Christians who take action while praying and thinking. And Christ came into this world to fight the Empires. He came to confront the Roman Empires. He risked his life. He sacrificed his life to fight the Roman Empire.”

The Venezuelan leader said, “If there’s one good thing I can say about Christianity, it is its anti-imperialist nature and its seeking of truth and justice against the oppressors. I have no doubt that if Christ were among us today, he would have been at the forefront of the battle against imperialism, colonialism and all forms of oppression.”

During the interview, Maduro pointed to several meetings he had had with Imam Khamenei over the years as well as the meeting between Chavez and the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

“I’ve always admired Imam Khamenei’s excellent memory. That he recalls the memories of those days is important. In the talks that I have had with him, he has recalled some of the conversations he had with Commander Chavez where Commander Chavez shared some of his memories about Cuba and Commander Fidel Castro. There was a time when a hurricane was heading straight toward Cuba. It was a Category 5 hurricane. A conversation took place between Fidel and Chavez. Fidel said, “Chavez! What you need to do right now is to pray. Pray for us!” Chavez started praying. That day passed and the hurricane changed its course. It didn’t cross over Cuba. Chavez called Fidel and said, “It’s a miracle!” Fidel replied, “Yes, it’s because God helps Chavez and Chavez’s friends.” In the last talk that I had with Imam Khamenei, he told me this story in a friendly, kind way in memory of Commander Chavez and Commander Fidel Castro,” he said.

“Holding a conversation with Imam Khamenei truly fills one with spirituality and wisdom. He likes the Venezuelan people. He likes the people’s ideals, and he always offers us great ideas and recommendations,” Maduro underlined.

World War 3 for dummies

June 18, 2022


By Gaius Baltar

Some knowledgeable people, apparently including the Pope, are beginning to suspect that there may be more going on in the world than just the war in the Ukraine. They say that World War 3 has already started and things will get worse from now on. This can be difficult to determine while we are participating in the unfolding events and do not have the benefit of the historical perspective. It is doubtful that people back in 1939 realized that they were looking at the start of a major worldwide conflict, although some may have suspected it.

The current global situation is in many ways like a giant jigsaw puzzle where the general public only sees a tiny part of the complete picture. Most don’t even realize that there may be more pieces and don’t even ask these simple questions: Why is all this happening and why is it happening now?

Things are more complicated than most people realize. What they see is the evil wizard Vladimir Saruman Putin invading innocent Ukraine with his orc army – for absolutely no reason. This is a simplistic view, to say the least because nothing happens without a reason. Let’s put things in perspective and see what is really going on – and why the world is going crazy before our eyes. Let’s see what World War 3 is all about.

The pressure cooker

The West (which we can define here as the US and the EU and a few more) has been maintaining pressure on the entire world for decades. This does not only apply to countries outside the West, but also to Western countries which strayed from the diktats of the West’s rulers. This pressure has been discussed widely and attributed to all kinds of motives, including neocolonialism, forced financial hegemony, and so forth. What is interesting, particularly during the last 20 years, is which countries have been pressured and what they do not have in common.

Among the pressured countries we find Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Libya, Syria, Serbia, Thailand, and Iran to mention a few. There have also been recent additions, including India and Hungary. In order to understand why they have been pressured, we need to find out what they have in common. That’s not easy since they are extremely different in most ways. There are democracies and non-democracies, conservative and communist governments, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist countries, and so on. Still, many of them are very clearly allied. One must ask why conservative and religious countries such as Russia or Iran would ally themselves with Godless communists in Cuba and Venezuela.

What all these countries have in common is their desire to run their own affairs; to be independent countries. This is unforgivable in the eyes of the West and must be tackled by any means necessary, including economic sanctions, color revolutions, and outright military aggression.

The West and its NATO military arm had surrounded Russia with hostile countries and military bases, armed and manipulated Ukraine to be used as a hammer against it, and employed sanctions and threats. The same thing was and is happening in Asia where China is being surrounded by all means available. The same applies to all the Independents mentioned above to some extent. In the past 10 years or so the pressure has increased massively on the Independents and it reached almost a fever pitch in the year before the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

During the year before the Ukraine war, the US sent its diplomats around the world to tune up the pressure. They were like a traveling circus or a rock band on a tour, but instead of entertainment, they delivered threats: buy this from us and do what we tell you or there will be consequences. The urgency was absolute and palpable, but then came the Ukraine war and the pressure went up to 11. During the first month of the war, the entire West’s diplomatic corps was fully engaged in threats against the ‘rest of the world’ to engineer the isolation of Russia. This didn’t work, which resulted in panic in political and diplomatic circles in the US and Europe.

All this pressure through the years, and all the fear and panic when it didn’t work, are clearly related to the events in the Ukraine. They are a part of the same ‘syndrome’ and have the same cause.

The debt dimension

There have been many explanations for what is going on and the most common is the fight between two possible futures; a multipolar world where there are several power centers in the world, and a unipolar world where the West governs the world. This is correct as far as it goes, but there is another reason which explains why this is happening now and all the urgency and panic in the West.

Recently the New Zealand tech guru Kim Dotcom tweeted a thread about the debt situation in the US. According to him all debt and unfunded liabilities of the US exceed the total value of the entire country, including the land. This situation is not unique to the US. Most countries in the West have debt that can only be paid back by selling the entire country and everything it contains. On top of that, most non-western countries are buried in dollar-denominated debt and are practically owned by the same financiers who own the West.

During the last few decades, the economy of the US and Europe has been falsified on a level that is difficult to believe. We in the West have been living far beyond our means and our currencies have been massively overvalued. We have been able to do this through two mechanisms:

  1. The first one is the reserve status of the dollar and the semi-reserve status of the euro which have enabled the West to export digital money and receive goods in return. This has created enormous financial power for the West and enabled it to function as a parasite on the world economy. We have been getting a lot of goods for free, to put it mildly.
  2. The second falsification mechanism is the increase in debt to a level where we have essentially pawned everything we own, including our houses and lands, to keep up our living standards. We own nothing now when the debt has been subtracted. The debt has long since become unserviceable – far beyond our ability to pay interests on – which explains why the interest rates in the West are in the neighborhood of zero. Any increase would make the debt unserviceable and we would all go formally bankrupt in a day.

On top of all this, the falsification has created artificially strong currencies in the West which has boosted their purchasing power for goods priced in non-western currencies. These mechanisms have also enabled the West to run bloated and dysfunctional service economies where inefficiencies are beyond belief. We have giant groups of people in our economies that not only create no value but destroy value systematically. What maintains the West’s standard of living now is a small minority of productive people, constant debt increase, and parasitism of the rest of the world.

The people who own all this debt actually own everything we think we own. We in the West own nothing at this point – we only think we do. But who are our real owners? We know more or less who they are because they meet every year at the World Economic Forum in Davos along with the western political elites who they also happen to own.

It is clear that our owners have been getting increasingly worried, and their worries have been increasing in sync with the increased pressure applied by the West on the rest of the world, particularly the Independents. During the last Davos meeting, the mood was bleak and panicked at the same time, much like the panic among the western political elites when the isolation of Russia failed.

What is about to happen

The panic of our owners and their politicians is understandable because we have come to the end of the line. We can no longer keep up our living standards by debt increase and parasitism. The debt is reaching beyond what we own as collateral and our currencies are about to become worthless. We will no longer be able to get free stuff from the rest of the world, or pay back our debt – let alone pay interest on it. The entire West is about to go bankrupt and our standard of living is about to go down by a massive percentage. This is what has our owners panicked and they see only two scenarios:

  1. In the first scenario most countries in the West, and everything and everyone within them, declare bankruptcy and erase the debt by diktat – which sovereign states are able to do. This will also erase the wealth and political power of our owners.
  2. In the second scenario, our owners take over the collateral during the bankruptcy. The collateral is us and everything we own.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which scenario was chosen. The plan for the second scenario is ready and being implemented as we speak. It is called ‘The Great Reset’ and was constructed by the people behind the World Economic Forum. This plan is not a secret and can be examined to a certain degree on the WEF website.

The Great Reset is a mechanism for the seizing of all debt collateral which includes your assets, the assets of your city or municipality, the assets of your state, and most corporate assets not already held by our owners.

This asset seizure mechanism has several components, but the most important are the following four:

  1. Abolishment of sovereignty: A sovereign (independent) country is a dangerous country because it can choose to default on its debt. The decrease in sovereignty has been a priority for our owners and various schemes have been attempted such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The most successful scheme is undoubtedly the European Union itself.
  2. The down-tuning of the economy: The western economy (and indeed the global economy) must be tuned down by a very significant percentage. This down-tuning is necessary because the western economy is massively falsified now and must be taken down to its real level – which may be as low as half of what it is now – or more. The slow takedown has also the purpose of avoiding a sudden crash that would cause massive social unrest which would be a threat to our owners. A controlled takedown is therefore preferable to an uncontrolled crash. This controlled takedown is already happening and has been going on for quite some time. Many examples can be mentioned of this takedown, including the EU and US energy policy which is designed to sabotage the western economy, and the obvious attempts at demand destruction during and after the epidemic, including the fairly bizarre logistical problems which suddenly came out of nowhere.
  3. Asset harvesting (you will own nothing and be ‘happy’): All assets that can be considered to be collateral to our private and collective/public debt will be taken over. This is a clearly stated aim of the Great Reset but it is less clear how this would be carried out. Total control of western governments (and indeed all governments) would seem to be necessary for this. That precondition is closer than one might think because most western governments seem to be beholden to Davos at this point. The process will be sold as necessary social restructuring because of an economic crisis and global warming and will result in a massive decrease in living standards for regular people, although not the elites.
  4. Oppression: A great many people will not like this and an uprising is a likely response, even if the takedown is done gradually. To prevent this from happening, a social control mechanism is being implemented which will erase personal freedom, the freedom of speech, and privacy. It will also create absolute dependence of the individual on the state. This must be done before the economic takedown can be completed or there will be a revolution. This mechanism is already being implemented enthusiastically in the West as anybody with eyes and ears can see.

Russia, China, and other Independents

How do Russia and China, and the war in Ukraine, factor into all of this? Why all the pressure from the West throughout the years and why all this panic now? Part of the reason for the pressure on the Independents, particularly Russia and China, is simply that they have resisted western hegemony. That is enough for getting on the West’s naughty list. But why the increased pressure in recent years?

The reason is that Russia and China cannot be subjugated through bankruptcy and their assets harvested. They do not have much debt in western currencies which means that the people who own the West through debt do not currently own Russia and China (like they own the West and the indebted ‘third world’) and cannot acquire them through debt. The only way to acquire them is through regime change. Their governments must be weakened by any means, including economic sanctions and military means if necessary -thus the use of Ukraine as a battering ram for Russia and Taiwan for China.

Subjugating Russia and China is an existential issue for our Davos owners because when they take the western economy down, everything else must go down too. If the western economy is taken down and a large economic block doesn’t participate in the downfall, it will be a disaster for the West. The new block will gain massive economic power, and possibly unipolar hegemony of sorts, while the West descends into a feudal Dark Age and irrelevance. Therefore the entire world must go down for the Great Reset to work. Russia and China must be subjugated by any means, as well as India and other stubborn nations.

This is what has fueled the situation we now find ourselves in and will fuel the continuation of World War 3. The western owner-elites are going to war to keep their wealth and power. Everyone who resists must be subjugated so they can follow the West into the planned Great Reset Dark Age.

The reason for the current panic among western elites is that the Ukraine project isn’t going as planned. Instead of Russia being bled on the battlefield, it is Ukraine and the West that bleed. Instead of the Russian economy crashing resulting in Putin’s replacement by a Davos-compatible leader, it is the West’s economy that is crashing. Instead of Russia being isolated, it is the West that is being increasingly isolated. Noting is working, and to top it all off, Europe has given the Russians the means and motive to destroy the European economy by partly shutting down its industry. Without Russian resources, there is no European industry, and without industry, there are no taxes for paying for unemployment benefits, pensions, all the refugees, and pretty much everything else which holds European societies together. The Russians now have the ability to engineer an uncontrolled crash in Europe which is not what Davos planned. An uncontrolled crash might see Davos’s heads roll, literally, and that is causing fear and panic in elite circles. The only solution for them is to move on with World War 3 and hope for the best.

What to do

The Great Reset of the world economy is the direct cause of World War 3 – assuming that is what is going on. What can be done about this? From inside the West, little can be done. The only way is to somehow remove Davos from the equation, but that is most likely not going to happen for two reasons: The first one is that the Davos great resetters are too entwined in the western economy and politics. Davos is like an octopus with its arms and suckers inside every country’s elite circles, media, and government. They are too entrenched to be easily removed. The second reason is that the western population is too brainwashed and ignorant. The level of their brainwashing is such that a large part of them actually want to become poor – although they use the word ‘green’ for ‘poor’ because it sounds better. There are, however, some indications that there may be divisions within western elites. Some of them, particularly within the US, may be resisting the primarily Europe-designed Great Reset – but whether this opposition is real or effective remains to be seen.

However, outside the West, there are certain measures that can be taken and must be taken. Some of those measures are drastic and some of them are being done as we speak. Among the measures are the following:

  1. The Independents, led by Russia, China, and India, must create a block to isolate themselves from the radioactive West. This isolation must not only be economic, but also political and social. Their economic systems must be divorced from the West and made autonomous. Their cultures and history must be defended against western influences and revisionism. This process appears to be underway.
  2. The Independents must immediately ban all western sponsored institutions and NGOs in their countries, regardless of whether they are sponsored by western states or individuals. Furthermore, they must ban all media receiving western sponsorship and strip every school and university of western sponsorship and influence.
  3. They must leave all international institutions up to and possibly including the United Nations because all international bodies are controlled by the West. They must then replace them with new institutions within their block.
  4. They must, at some point, declare the dollar and the euro currencies non grata. That means that they should declare default on all debts denominated in these currencies, but not other debts. This will most likely come at a later stage but is inevitable.

This will create a situation where the West will descend into darkness without pulling others down with it – if we manage to escape the nuclear fire.

US tested neuromodulators on socially vulnerable Ukrainians: Russia

16 Jun 2021

The Russian armed forces expose the atrocities of the US military biological programs in Ukraine and Cuba.

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The US administration acknowledged the financing of 46 Ukrainian biolabs

Igor Kirillov, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense of the Russian Armed Forces, revealed Thursday that employees of the laboratory in the village of Sorokovka in the Kharkov region tested highly active neuromodulators that caused irreversible damage to the central nervous system as part of the US military biological program in the region.

Sorokovka hosted a branch of the Merefa laboratory, built at the expense of the Pentagon, Kirillov said. In Merefa, laboratory staff performed experiments on patients from psychiatric clinics in Kharkov, he added.

“In accordance with the available information, highly active substances of neuromodulators were tested on socially vulnerable citizens of Ukraine, which caused, among other things, irreversible damage to the central nervous system. This is a clear violation of the norms of international treaties in the field of human rights,” Kirillov warned.

Experiments have been ongoing since 2011

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the laboratory in Sorokovka was listed as a company for the production of food additives, and with the start of the war in Ukraine, the equipment under the control of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was taken to the western regions of Ukraine.

Kirillov mentioned that experiments on mentally ill people in Ukraine have been ongoing since at least 2011, adding that one of the curators, US citizen Linda Oporto Alharoun, has repeatedly visited the laboratory near Kharkov.

He recalled that earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry had reported that employees of the biological laboratory in Merefa, built with US funding, had conducted experiments on patients of psychiatric clinics in Kharkov in the period from 2019 to 2021. One of the organizers of this illegal activity was US citizen Alharoun.

US confirmed link between Pentagon & biolabs in Ukraine

The Russian official pointed out that the US had confirmed the connection between Pentagon and biolabs in Ukraine.

Kirillov told a briefing that “on June 9, the Pentagon website published an official statement on US biological activities in the post-Soviet space. In it, the US administration acknowledged the fact of financing 46 Ukrainian biological laboratories and the connection of the US Department of Defense with the Ukrainian Science and Technology Center.”

He also noted that Russia has documents proving the connection between the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the US on biological laboratories.

Infectious diseases on the rise in Donbass due to biolabs

Kirillov underlined that infectious diseases have become more frequent in the Donbass region after Pentagon started funding Ukrainian biological programs in 2015.

“Infectious diseases have become more frequent among residents and military personnel of the LPR [Lugansk People’s Republic] and DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] after the start of funding of Ukrainian biological programs by the Pentagon in 2015,” he said.

He also noted during the briefing that the incidence of tularemia in the DPR increased by 9.5 times in 2016 when compared to 2007.

Biolabs in Ukraine caused dengue outbreaks in Cuba

In the same context, the Russian official revealed that biological laboratories in Ukraine cultivated dengue mosquitoes that caused artificial outbreaks in Cuba during the 1970s and 1980s.

Kirillov considered that the history of the outbreaks induced in Cuba in the 70s and 80s of the last century is completely silenced, especially the use of Aedes mosquitoes as biological weapons – the same ones that the US military cultivated in Ukraine.

Random Reflections on the Divine Imperium and its Southern Appurtenances

June 09, 2022


By Fred Reed

Great fun. The Organization of American States on June Sixth began its big meeting in LA, probably unnoticed by most of the US but a big deal hereabouts in Mexico. America dominates the OAS pretending it doesn’t, as it dominates SWIFT, NATO, and the IMF as means of controlling other nations. Considerable uproar exists in Latin America because various Latin countries, most notably Mexico, have refused to attend on grounds that the United States has excluded countries it doesn’t like, such as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. This is astonishing as it shows what may be a modicum of independence in the Latin South.

The White House says that it has excluded these countries because—brace yourself—of America’s almost erotic attachment to democracy, freedom, justice, democracy, human rights, and democracy, none of which the US conspicuously has. We must believe this, for is not Biden South America’s mommy? Which probably has something to do with transgender rights, though I prefer not to think about this.

I suggest that Biden actually excludes them because he cannot afford to allow anyone to speak who is not under American control. The Cuban president, unafraid of Washington, might speak thusly:

“Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of Latin America, you should begin this conference by admitting that you are all bootlickers, that you do not represent your populations who, as you all know, hate the Americans, but rather you toady to the Anglos who give you suitcases full of hundred-dollar bills, who flatter you with pretended respect while you do as they say.

“The Americans speak of human rights, prosperity, democracy, and dignity. As a Cuban, let me tell you about America’s love for human rights. Washington maintains, on our soil, against our wishes, a vast torture chamber at Guantanamo. Here prisoners are hung by their wrists from the ceiling, left in frigid cold, beaten, placed in agonizing positions for long hours, and subjected to that American specialty, waterboarding. In this water is poured down their throats to half drown them as they choke, beg, vomit, cough, scream. I do not know whether their sadists masturbate as they do this. You all know of these things, and yet you are here. You know that torture is American policy. You have seen the photo of the naked man lying on the floor in a pool of blood at Abu Ghraib? You should ask Mr. Biden—there he is among you, I am pointing to him—for a copy.

“My country has eleven million people who pose no threat to the Anglos. We barely have an army. We want to enjoy life, play music, make fiestas. For sixty years America—you know, the country that cares about human rights—has tried to starve us, prevent commerce with other nations, has blocked our access to medicines. Washington does the same to Venezuela, wanting control of its oil reserves. All of you, each a lameculos of the gueros, know this. You have seen how little dogs sniff the butts of big dogs? But I will say no more of this.

“Why do you, pretending to represent the people of Latin America, allow this? Some, perhaps most, because you have been bought. The whole world knows that Latin American politicos are for sale as much as mangos in a fruit stall. Others because you have seen what has happened to us, to Cuba and Venezuela and others around the world. If you do not obey the gringos—always calling it cooperation—they will destroy your economy starve your children and, if this doesn’t make you submit like the slaves you are, they can resort to bombing. You all know this. You know what has happened to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Serbia, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen. And you, of all continents, have had dictators imposed by America, which loves democracy more than life itself. I do not need to name them. I will say no more. You are what you are, and the world knows it. Thank you for your attention.”

How would Holy Joe respond to such a speech? He, and America, cannot afford to find out.

A major topic at the managed circus will be immigration. Americans become no end outraged because Mexico does not adequately prevent tens of thousands of Central Americans from entering the US. But why is it Mexico’s duty to protect America’s borders? Perhaps countries should solve their own problems. Americans’ notorious historical ignorance may flavor attitudes here. Mexico, like the rest of Latin America, like most of the world, has sore and angry memories of sacking and pillage by Europeans and Americans. Mexicans know of the—what is the word? Theft? Not good PR. Martially-encouraged immigration?—of half of the country in the Mexican-American War. I doubt that one gringo in five has heard of the war. But countries around the world do remember the horrors inflicted on them.

The problem of immigration could be solved easily enough given that the illegals come in search of work. For example, tattoo a small dot on the inside wrist of every illegal apprehended, meaning all those caught on the wrong side of the border, with fluorescent ink visible only under ultraviolet light. Such lights probably cost thirty dollars in stores supplying hobbyists. Impose and actually collect a heavy fine per illegal worker on employers found to be using them. Problem solved.

So why doesn’t America stop the migration? Because it doesn’t really want to. Shiny white conservative businessmen like the cheap labor. Ardent liberals (I suspect) favor immigration because it infuriates Trump’s voters, many of whom have to compete against the far lower wages of illegals. The Biden people on ideological grounds, and hope for votes, encourage immigration. Many people are simply expressing kindness, thinking that a desire to escape poverty deserves support from richer countries. Large numbers just aren’t interested. The Mexican secretary at the dentist’s seems perfectly since, so what is the problem? In a sentence, America doesn’t close the border because it doesn’t want to.

Things look different when one is actually involved. Years back a couple running a small construction company in the West visited us in Guadalajara. They said that without Mexican labor they would quickly become bankrupt. Blacks, they said, were terrible employees, quit unexpectedly, had hostile attitudes, did poor work. Whites didn’t want the jobs. That left Mexicans, who did want the work, did it well, and were happy with their wages. A friend with relatives in the citrus business made the same point. The growers were good Republicans, but if nobody picked their oranges, their kids would have to drop out of Princeton, and there goes the mortgage. Mexicans would do hard, long work under a blistering sun. Who else would?

Then there is the drug business. Americans think Mexico should do something about it. Why? Mexicans might say that if Americans are against the use of drugs, then they should stop using drugs. Why are American vices a Mexican problem? Mexicans point out that America provides the drug cartels with large amounts of military-grade weaponry, so why should Mexico not provide gringos with lots of dope? This would seem to profit both. A mutually beneficial symbiosis. But it’s probably Putin’s fault.

The drug trade exists because many tens of millions of Americans want drugs, while Washington does not want them to have drugs. It is thus a sort of civil war. State after state legalizes marijuana. High schools are afloat in drugs. Countless adults I know smoke dope or use coke, some of these being lawyers, investment guys, respectable grandparents, veterans of the Sixties. Opioids remain in demand among despairing populations, Doing a doob is like taking a drink during Prohibition, barely if at all disreputable. Cocaine? Snorting a line is common among respectable if slightly raffish guys. If you squeezed Capitol Hill through a strainer, you would get kilos of blow. A woman reporter I dated went to a party of the Hill where white powder was present and said, “Fred, that stuff was so damned good I’ll never go near it again.” These are probably people who make laws against drugs. With that much of a market, someone is going to serve it.

Let’s face it: Drugs are a large and stable part of the international economy, like oil or wheat, providing livings for millions from Colombia to Wall Street. Many grow the various weeds. Others process the crop, others smuggle the output into the US and elsewhere. Large numbers in DEA and the FBI pretend to chase the producers. Politicians like the bribes. Banks like the laundered money. Police departments get federal funds for anti-drug programs. Crooked doctors batten On the sale of opioids. Drugs are almost the only jobs available in ghettos and pay better than Mickey D´s. The rehab racket employs tens of thousands of therapists and others. What’s not to like?

If you put youthful DEA agent sin disguise at Harvard, Yale, the University of Virginia, or any other schools, they could fill Leavenworth several times over with use and sales of weed, Adderall, meth, acid, shrooms, and such. Art departments, I promise (having connections to that world) would be wiped out. Musicians are heavy on drugs, and always have been. Such arrests will never happen, though. A rule in the drug-enforcement industry, respected by government, is that you don’t discommode people with political connections.

American efforts in Mexico against the drug trade are silly and ineffective, as those involved well know, which is to say that they are a fraud. They seem mainly aimed at getting favorable media coverage. Consider El Chapo Guzman. He was an exemplary capitalist, running a highly successful international sales organization against intense interference by the government—a veritable icon of free enterprise, like Elon Musk. So, after immense expenditure he was caught and subjected to a made-for-media trial in New York. A great victory, see? Your government is protecting you. Net result? The next narcos in line step up, take over, and the beat goes on.

Nuff said. I will go down the road to the Brew House for a double Jim Beam and a German hot dog, as bratwurst is locally known.



MAY 17TH, 2022


On May 16, the Biden administration announced new measures to “increase support for the Cuban people.” They included easing travel restrictions and helping Cuban-Americans support and connect with their families. They mark a step forward but a baby step, given that most U.S. sanctions on Cuba remain in place. Also in place is a ridiculous Biden administration policy of trying to isolate Cuba, as well as Nicaragua and Venezuela, from the rest of the hemisphere by excluding them from the upcoming Summit of the Americas that will take place in June in Los Angeles.

This is the first time since its inaugural gathering in 1994 that the event, which is held every three years, will take place on U.S. soil. But rather than bringing the Western Hemisphere together, the Biden administration seems intent on pulling it apart by threatening to exclude three nations that are certainly part of the Americas.

For months, the Biden administration has been hinting that these governments would be excluded. So far, they have not been invited to any of the preparatory meetings and the Summit itself is now less than a month away. While former White House press secretary Jen Psaki and State Department spokesman Ned Price have repeated that “no decisions” have been made, Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols said in an interview on Colombian TV that countries that “do not respect democracy are not going to receive invitations.”

Biden’s plan to pick and choose which countries can attend the Summit has set off regional fireworks. Unlike in the past, when the U.S. had an easier time imposing its will on Latin America, nowadays there is a fierce sense of independence, especially with a resurgence of progressive governments. Another factor is China. While the U.S. still has a major economic presence, China has surpassed the U.S. as the number one trading partner, giving Latin American countries more freedom to defy the United States or at least stake out a middle ground between the two superpowers.

The hemispheric reaction to the exclusion of three regional states is a reflection of that independence, even among small Caribbean nations. In fact, the first words of defiance came from members of the 15-nation Caribbean Community, or Caricom, which threatened to boycott the Summit. Then came regional heavyweight, Mexican President Manuel López Obrador, who stunned and delighted people around the continent when he announced that, if all countries were not invited, he would not attend. The presidents of Bolivia and Honduras soon followed with similar statements.

The Biden administration has put itself in a bind. Either it backs down and issues the invitations, tossing red meat to right-wing U.S. politicians like Senator Marco Rubio for being “soft on communism,” or it stands firm and risks sinking the Summit and U.S. influence in the region.

Biden’s failure at regional diplomacy is all the more inexplicable given the lesson he should have learned as vice president when Barack Obama faced a similar dilemma.

That was 2015, when, after two decades of excluding Cuba from these Summits, the countries of the region put down their collective feet and demanded that Cuba be invited. Obama had to decide whether to skip the meeting and lose influence in Latin America, or go and contend with the domestic fallout. He decided to go.

Oabam a visit to CUba

Cristobal Marquez, owner of “Cristobal’s,” the restaurant where Michelle and Barak Obama had lunch during their visit to Cuba in 2016, shows the book made by White House photographer Pete Souza, in Havana, Cuba. Ramon Espinosa | AP

I remember that Summit vividly because I was among the bevy of journalists jostling to get a front seat when President Barack Obama would be forced to greet Cuba’s President Raúl Castro, who came into power after his brother Fidel Castro stepped down. The momentous handshake, the first contact between leaders of the two countries in decades, was the high point of the summit.

Obama was not only obligated to shake Castro’s hand, he also had to listen to a long history lesson. Raúl Castro’s speech was a no-holds-barred recounting of past U.S. attacks on Cuba—including the 1901 Platt Amendment that made Cuba a virtual U.S. protectorate, U.S. support for Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in the 1950s, the disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and the scandalous U.S. prison in Guantanamo. But Castro was also gracious to President Obama, saying he was not to blame for this legacy and calling him an “honest man” of humble origins.

The meeting marked a new era between the U.S. and Cuba, as the two nations began to normalize relations. It was a win-win, with more trade, more cultural exchanges, more resources for the Cuban people, and fewer Cubans migrating to the United States. The handshake led to an actual visit by Obama to Havana, a trip so memorable that it still brings big smiles to the faces of Cubans on the island.

Then came Donald Trump, who skipped the next Summit of the Americas and imposed draconian new sanctions that left the Cuban economy in tatters, especially once COVID hit and dried up the tourist industry.

Until recently, Biden has been following Trump’s slash-and-burn policies that have led to tremendous shortages and a new migration crisis, instead of reverting to Obama’s win-win policy of engagement. The May 16 measures to expand flights to Cuba and resume family reunifications are helpful, but not enough to mark a real change in policy—especially if Biden insists on making the Summit a “limited-invite only.”

Biden needs to move quickly. He should invite all the nations of the Americas to the Summit. He should shake the hands of every head of state and, more importantly, engage in serious discussions on burning hemispheric issues such as the brutal economic recession caused by the pandemic, climate change that is affecting food supplies, and the terrifying gun violence–all of which are fueling the migration crisis. Otherwise, Biden’s #RoadtotheSummit, which is the Summit’s Twitter handle, will only lead to a dead end.

Feature photo | President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden wave to reporters before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., May 17, 2022. Gemunu Amarasinghe | AP

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK. She is the author of ten books, including three books on Cuba—No Free Lunch: Food and Revolution in Cuba, The Greening of the Revolution, and Talking About Revolution. She is a member of the Steering Committee of ACERE (Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect).

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Boomerang Sanctions

March 12, 2022


by Ghassan Kadi,

Do Western sanctions have any chance of achieving their objectives? Perhaps we need to look back at history and see how the earliest recorded sanctions were implemented.

Before the age of electronic transfers and massive international trading and complex technology came into existence, warring factions enforced sanctions on each other by way of imposing sieges, and therefore cutting off food and water supplies to heavily fortified cities. Those cities had to ration out their supplies, and when they ran out, they often capitulated.

Much has changed since, but the only way for any sanction to work now is in the ability to deprive a nation from goods and services that are essential. But this is now easier said than done.

In today’s age of technology and all what comes with it, the world depends on a huge array of manufactured goods for its economy and the services that support that economy to run. Manufactured good are themselves made of parts often made in different countries and assembled together somewhere else. Many, if not most of those goods and parts, are made in China, and this is fact.

How do we know that the manufacturers of American/NATO military hardware do not use parts and components that are made in China and no longer made in the West? They can be as simple as special size or shape screw, but without it, the strategic weapon cannot be assembled. And if one of the suppliers of hardware to the Pentagon suddenly wakes up to the realization that it needs the part that is made in China to put together a strategic defence weapon, what will happen then? Alternative Western productions lines can be put to work, but these things take time, and time is precious commodity in the event of a military blitz.

But here is more. Even if in peacetime an American buys a T-shirt made in America from American grown cotton, the cotton crop is highly likely to have been fertilized with urea imported from China. As a matter of fact, China controls a huge sector of the global fertilizer market, and when one controls food and its production, no other leverage becomes comparable in magnitude. Having control of the food supply is tantamount to the ancient city sieges.

The dependence of the West on China therefore is alarming, and the examples mentioned above, have been selected to demonstrate that Western sanctions against China, if ever implemented, would boomerang and hit the West in the guts.

The whole world and particularly the West are reliant on and addicted to Chinese goods. All the way from T-shirts to iPhones, a huge percentage of global consumable goods are made in China.

China is therefore the ultimate example of where American sanctions would fail abysmally. As a matter of fact, if anything at all, a Chinese export sanction against America would bring the latter to its knees in a few weeks if not less.

What about Russia? Are American sanctions effective against Russia? Thus far, they haven’t been. Time will tell if new ones will, but Russia does not ‘need’ any American imports or franchises. Russia does not need either McDonald’s or Starbucks. It doesn’t need those fast-food chains that litter its streets. Honestly, what a manner to sanction Russia with? What is next, the Disney Channel?

It is America that needs Russian rocket engines and not the other way around. Fancy this, comparing rocket engines to hamburgers.

And with its ties with China, Russia has a huge export market of gas and petroleum crude, all the while Western EU slumps into cold nights or enormous power bills. In the last couple of days alone, the price of gas has nearly doubled.

What is pertinent here is going back to the basics and remembering that any talk of sanctions can only be effective if based on depriving an adversary from what its people 1) need and 2) want. Currently, there is no product, no commodity, no technology, absolutely nothing that is essential for the rest of the world, that the West exclusively produces and the rest of the world cannot.

The current Western sanctions on nations that refuse to follow the directives of the West do not carry any weight at all; or anything that comes close. Non-Western countries can survive without Tesla, Porsche and Ferrari cars. Earth will continue to spin without French perfumes and champaign.

With those facts known though unspoken, the USA continues to impose sanctions on other nations by utilizing the power of the Greenback, ie US Dollar of USD for short.

But this approach is foolish to say the least, and it is bound to backfire.

America is determined to keep the stature of the USD as the single reserve world currency. But to maintain this stature, America must make sure that the rest of the world needs to use the USD and that it has no other alternative. But when successive American administrations impose sanctions on other nations that prevent them from using the USD, they are effectively shooting their last and only remaining asset in the foot.

This is not a complex issue that requires a PhD in macro-economics to understand. It is very simple in fact. You cannot coerce people to do something by way of banning them from doing it. This is a simple logical contradiction that even children can understand.

This oxymoronic comedy of errors appears more ludicrous when we see that the USD is the only asset left that the USA can use to impose sanctions with. Do successive American administrations really believe that sanctioned and potentially sanctionable nations, are going to sit idle and starve themselves to death without taking pre-emptive measures to avert this?

If anything, sanctions over the years have taught even small and developing countries like Cuba, Syria and Iran to be self-reliant and innovative. Those countries have produced whole ‘armies’ of technicians who are able to manufacture spare parts even for old American cars. When you see photos of 1950’s Chevvies in Cuba, rest assured that there are hardly any original made-in-America parts left in them. If an American owns such an antique model and cannot find parts for it in the US, he/she may be able to find them in Cuba.

What makes the situation more farcical is that America knows well that China and Russia are intent to replace the USD as the single global reserve currency with China having a good chance to have it replaced by the Renminbi. It is also no secret that both Russia and China have been buying huge amounts of gold, and this is not to mention that they already have an alternative to the SWIFT system (СПФС or SPFS) of international banking transfers.

Back in the days of city sieges, the Athenians built their infamous horse, the original horse that coined the term ‘Trojan Horse’ and tricked the Trojans to take it into Troy. But in the West right now, there are no such strategists.

The current soaring fuel prices at service stations world-wide are not an outcome of the Russian action in Ukraine. They are the outcome of the sanctions.

These sanctions can only turn back and hurt the hand that created them. They are not arrows aimed at targets. They are boomerangs, but even boomerangs are meant to return to the hand that launched them when they miss the target. But Western sanctions are sharply-pointed boomerangs that can only hit back, and hit with vengeance, and the soaring fuel prices may just be only the beginning.


March 10, 2022


By Fred Reed

Everybody and his goat are talking about the Ukraine. Why not me? You might ask, But Fred, what do you know about it? To which I would respond, Look, this is journalism. You don’t need to know anything, just wing it, preferably using words you can spell. Admittedly this is more of a limitation than it used to be. Anyway, here goes:

Why did Russia invade the Ukraine? Contrary to American media, the invasion was not unprovoked. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, America has been pushing NATO, which is a US sepoy operation, ever closer to Russian borders in what, to anyone who took fifth-grade geography, is an obvious program of military encirclement. Of the five countries other than Russia littoral to the Black Sea, three, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria, are now in NATO. America has been moving toward bringing in the Ukraine and Georgia. After Georgia would have come Azerbaijan, putting American forces on the Caspian with access to Iran and Kazakhstan. This is calculated aggression over the long term, obvious to the—what? Ten percent? Fifteen percent?—of Americans who know what the Caucasus is.

Putin has said, over and over, that Russia could not allow hostile military forces on its border any more than the US would allow Chinese military bases in Mexico and China or missile forces in Cuba. Washington kept pushing. Russia said, no more. In short, America brought on the war.

Among people who follow such things, there are two ways of looking at the invasion. First, that Washington thought Putin was bluffing, and he wasn’t. Second, that America intentionally forced Russia to choose between allowing NATO into the Ukraine, a major success for Washington’s world empire; or fighting, also a success for Washington as it would cause the results it has caused.

From the latter understanding, America pulled off, at least at first glance, an astonishing geopolitical victory over Russia. Nordstream II blocked, crippling sanctions placed on Russia, many of its banks kicked out of SWIFT, economic integration of Europe and Asia slowed or reversed, Germany to spend 113 billion on rearming (largely meaning buying American costume-jewelry weaponry), Europe forced to buy expensive American LNG, and Europe made dependent on America for energy. All this in a few days without loss of a single American soldier. This presumably at least in part engineered by Virginia Newland who, though she looks like a fireplug with leprosy, seems effectively Machiavellian.

Next victim, China. Divide and conquer. Or at least that’s the theory. At the same time reinstate the JCPOA and use economic baubles to try to pry Iran away from Beijing.

Here we need some context. Everything Washington does internationally aims at maintaining America’s largely military near-hegemony over the world. This involves several elements:

First, military dominance. This includes the many hundreds of bases around the world, naval supremacy, and the huge military expenditure. Thy latter will be maintained at any cost to domestic needs, and apparently it is going to be increased.

Second, control of the world’s supply of energy. Washington is trying to starve Venezuela, with its vast reserves of petroleum, into submission. Submission means letting American-dominated oil majors exploit the country’s oil. Washington is doing the same with Iran and its enormous reserves. It has troops in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, has confiscated Syria’s oil lands, crushed Libya, and so on. Keeping the European vassals from buying more Russian gas through Nordstream II is part of this energy control and an important part.

Third, and crucial, keep Eurasia—note the “EU”—from coalescing into a vast continent-spanning trade zone, which is exactly what China contemplates in its BRI, Belt and Road initiative. This is too much subject for a few paragraphs, but some thoughts: China is a manufacturing juggernaut in explosive growth. Economic power is the basis of all power. China has the advantage of inner lines of communication: it can build rail, fiber optics, highway,s and pipelines in Asia, where America has little access. China has money because it has a for-profit economy, and America doesn’t. The pull of China’s gigantic market and manufactures was beginning to loosen America’s control of Europe. Eurasian integration had to be stopped.

Fourth, the dollar. Washington controls the dollar, the IMF, SWIFT, and in general the international financial system. It uses this control brutally as a weapon to impose sanctions, crippling the economies of such countries as Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and now Russia. Seeing this intimidates other countries. Washington may have gone too often to this well. Having made England, its chief bootlicker, confiscate Venezuela’s gold reserves, and now freezing Russia’s reserves, Washington has served notice that no country is secure from this treatment. Here I speculate freely, but this may prove America’s worst mistake since 1619 as it may greatly accelerate the search for other payment systems—CIPS from China, SPFS from Russia, and the upcoming digital yuan. Washington, methinks, is betting the farm.

So much for the world. Meanwhile, America seems to be sinking into irreversible decadence that muss eventually—I would say soon—affect its international position. As the world’s economic and, laggingly, technological center of gravity moves east to Asia, an internally collapsing America will be less able to maintain the empire. Consider:

Washington’s printing of money, equivalent to the debasing of the coinage characteristic of failing societies, has resulted in high inflation and a potentially catastrophic national debt. This will cause political perturbation as voters seek to find which of the two essentially identical parties will not behave like the other one. Unrest will grow. Trust abroad in the dollar will decrease.

America suffers from a massive and growing trade deficit, largely with China, about which nothing can be done, certainly not soon, because America no longer makes things it needs. Manufacturing cannot be brought back, excep perhaps in niche markets like semiconductors, because the US no longer has the necessary engineers and trained work force, and American labor costs more than Chinese, so reshoring would increase inflation. The importation of cheap Chinese products keeps inflation down,.

The heavy flow of national wealth into Wall Street and the military in addition to offshoring has led to real poverty in Appalachia, the Rust Belt, and the rural Deep South. This has produced some 100,000 opioid deaths annually in despairing populations. Simultaneously large and growing homeless aggregations appear in LA, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, St. Louis, on and on, estimated at 60,000 in LA and 50,000 in New York, making the subways dangerous. Bush world conditions presumably do not make for political stability, as neither does the governmental inattention to them.

Crime is out of control, not a sign of a healthy polity. Some 700 homicides annually in Chicago, 300 in Baltimore, and similar numbers elsewhere are now routine, almost all of the killers and killed being black. To countries like Japan and South Korea this must seem barbaric. The situation is not First World.

America’s racial problem is grave. The southern border is open, the southwestern states either majority Latino or soon to be. This is not as bad as it could be as the races seem to get along, but it imposes heavy economic and other costs. At the same time across the country cities have huge black ghettos with appalling semiliteracy, no prospects for the young, all of this apparently irremediable. Racial attacks on whites and Asians grow in number and so, almost everywhere, do racial killings, mostly by blacks. Governments at all levels fear blacks who they know will burn cities if provoked, which leads tax bases to flee from cities, making things worse.

This adds to potentially explosive resentment. There is a substantial White Nationalist movement, that wants no non-whites in America (a bit late for this), Republican Chambers of Commerce, that want more illegal Latinos for the cheap labor but won’t say so, and the high-tech sector, which wants more East Asian and Indian immigrants on which America, with a failing educational system, increasingly depends.

Overall, government is weak, unable to prevent crime, riots, and looting. Washington does not control, but is controlled, being a storefront operation for special interests. Elections do not change policy but only the division of the spoils. Presidents perform their three essential duties, protecting Wall Street, Israel, and the military budget, but not much else.

Schooling is being dumbed down in stark contrast with China. Excellence everywhere is discouraged in the name of equity. Native white talent dwindles in the elite schools, from high-end high schools through CalTech, as Asian majorities predominate. Measures of talent, such as SATs and Medcats, are dropped or downplayed. English grammar and arithmetic are dropped as racist. None of this seems likely to improve America’s future competitiveness.

Finally, the media are controlled. This allows Washington freedom of action abroad as enough of the public will believe anything they are told by television (The Russians are coming, the Chinese are coming, the Iranians are coming, the Guatemalans….) Internally censorship may keep the lid on, for now anyway, by keeping enough of the population from knowing what is going on. By preventing discussion of problems, or their mention, it assures that nothing will be done. I suspect this is having the effect of winding a spring.

Where is all of this leading?

Biden is playing as if this were 1960 and the US enjoyed rock solid military and economic superiority and the population were firmly behind him. This is the world he remembers, being an aging cold warrior. He seems to believe that he consequently can do what he pleases with no repercussions for America. This may be true, or true enough. Perhaps he believes that Russia will collapse in domestic rebellion or simply surrender to the US. It is not how I would bet.

But—and this is sheer speculation—it is not clear what would happen if Russia cut off gas and petroleum and wheat and such things as neon gas from Europe. The West is accustomed to bombing remote countries, not to going without. Would Russia collapse under privation before Europe decided it wanted to trade with Moscow after all?

If Biden and the hawks decide to play hardball with China, they may realize that America is an economic dependency of Beijing. If—again, very hypothetically—China cut off all trade with America, the US economy would die instantly. Almost everything on American shelves is made in China. An American public already very unhappy would explode, which it is on the point of doing for various reasons. Reflect on the Floyd riots. China would be hurt, but it has other markets and a nationalistic population more united than the American.

Them’s my thoughts, probably worth what you pay for them.

المواجهة الروسيّة لتهديدات الأمن القوميّ في أوكرانيا…

2022 الثلاثاء 1 آذار

 د. جمال زهران*

ستون عاماً (1962 – 2022)، بين واقعتين تكشفان عن محطات تاريخية لتغيير النظام العالمي، بالتفاصيل نفسها والبيئة المحيطة، واستهداف الأمن القومي للدول العظمى. ففي الأولى الشهيرة بأزمة خليج الخنازير وهي في الأصل الأزمة الكوبية، حيث تقع دولة كوبا في المربع الشرقي الجنوبي للولايات المتحدة، أيّ على بُعد أميال من الحدود الأميركية، قام الاتحاد السوفياتي الذي أكد وجوده كقطب دولي منافس للولايات المتحدة بعد تزعّمها لهذا النظام بعد زوال النظام القديم ورموزه العديدة. إلا أنّ أميركا رفضت الاعتراف بذلك، وأصرّت على انفرادها بالعالم والهيمنة عليه. في الوقت ذاته الذي سعى الاتحاد السوفياتي لكي يثبت لأميركا وجوده وتنافسه، وفي وقائع مثل الحرب الكورية، وفي دعم توليد الصين الشعبية، أو في تكوين حلف وارسو (الذراع العسكري)، أو تكوين منظمة الكوميكون (الذراع الاقتصادي) للكتلة الشرقية بزعامته. ثم جاءت حرب 1956 بالعدوان الثلاثي على مصر، لتخرج القوى الدولية القديمة (إنجلترا – فرنسا) من ساحة النظام الدولي، وبتأكيد الإنذار السوفياتي الشهير، حاول الاتحاد السوفياتي تأكيد وجوده منافساً للولايات المتحدة في إعادة تشكيل النظام الدولي. ومع ذلك أرادت الولايات المتحدة تقزيمه، والتعامل معه كقوة درجة ثانية/ تليه في الترتيب! فماذا فعل الاتحاد السوفياتي في هذا الشأن؟! وهو الذي أنتج الصاروخ العابر للقارات في منتصف الخمسينيات؟! لذلك كانت حصيلة التفكير السوفياتي، هي الذهاب إلى حزام الأمن القومي الأميركي وإعلان تهديدهم للأميركيين. فاستغلّ الاتحاد السوفياتي اندلاع الثورة الكوبية بزعامة كاسترو وإعلانه تبني الأيديولوجية الشيوعية، فسارع الاتحاد بدعمه وتأييده، بل وصل الأمر إلى نصب قواعد صواريخ تجاه الولايات المتحدة على الأراضي الكوبية. هنا شعرت الولايات المتحدة بالخطر المحدق بأمنها القومي وشعبها، وهدّدت وتوعّدت وطالبت بفكّ الصواريخ ورحيلها. وقامت الولايات المتحدة بمحاصرة كوبا التي تبدو كجزيرة في المحيط الأطلنطي، ومن كلّ جانب، عرف بحصار أميركا لخليج الخنازير الفاصل بين أميركا وكوبا، وهدّدت باستخدام القنبلة النووية، إن لم تتمّ إزالة الصواريخ السوفياتية!

فماذا كانت النتيجة؟! تركّزت في الحوار والتفاوض، حتى تمّ التوصل إلى اتفاق، بمقتضاه، تظلّ كوبا تحت الرعاية السوفياتية دون محاولة أميركا تغيير نظامها الاشتراكيّ، ويتم تفكيك الصواريخ وإعادة توجيهها في الجهة الأخرى بدلاً من توجيهها قبالة القلب الأميركي، مع تخفيض عددها. ولكن النتيجة الكبرى هي القبول الأميركي لتنافس دولي مع الاتحاد السوفياتي، أيّ رضوخاً أميركياً بالاعتراف الرسمي بالاتحاد السوفياتي، كقطب دولي منافس للولايات المتحدة، وأصبح النظام الدولي ثنائيّ القطبيّة رسمياً. وأصبحت سمة هذا النظام الجديد هو المنافسة والحرب الباردة والقبول بعدم المواجهة المباشرة وتفاديها، والقبول بفكرة «الوكلاء» في إدارة الأزمات الدولية، أو الإقليمية المعروفة بـ «By Proxy».

أما «أزمة أوكرانيا»، الحالية التي بدأت صامتة، حتى تفجّرت مع بدايات العام الحالي (2022)، فهي تتلخص في إعلان رئيس أوكرانيا (فولوديمير زيلينسكي)، عن إنتاج القنبلة النووية، وفقاً لإعلان مع الغرب يُعرف بـ «زيلينسكي»، يقضي بإعادة الوضعية النووية لأوكرانيا، والانضمام إلى حلف الناتو! وهي أزمة في الأصل، فجّرتها أميركا وبدعم أوروبا، بمساندة انقلاب الرئيس الحالي (الممثل المغمور) والذي قبل ممارسة الدور العميل للغرب، وألعوبة في أيديهم. وعلى الرغم من أنّ قرارات روسيا العظمى كانت حاسمة بضمّ جزيرة القرم فوراً إليها، ورفض تحدي الغرب وذلك عام 2014. واستمرت الأوضاع صامتة حتى تفجّرت مؤخراً بتصريحات الرئيس الأوكراني، وإعلان أميركا وأوروبا الدعم والمساندة له، وإصرارهم على تنفيذ الإعلان (باستعادة الوضعية النووية لأوكرانيا)، وضمّها إلى حلف الناتو، الأمر الذي يهدّد الأمن القومي الروسي مباشرة، مثلما حدث عندما نُصبت الصواريخ السوفياتية مباشرة وعلى مقربة من قلب أميركا في (61/1962).

فطالبت روسيا، بإلغاء إعلان (زيلينسكي)، ورفض استعادة إنتاج أوكرانيا للسلاح النووي، ورفض الانضمام إلى حلف الناتو، وبالتالي رفض الوجود العسكري الأوروبي في أوكرانيا، وعلى الحدود الروسية. وعندما شعرت وأدركت روسيا، استحالة التفاوض والوصول إلى حلّ سلمي، فكانت الخطوات المتسارعة بفصل إقليمي (لوغانسك – دونيتسك) عن أوكرانيا والاعتراف الروسي بهما، ثم التدخل العسكري لحمايتهما من العدوان الأوكراني مدعوماً من الغرب الأوروبي، والأميركي، وامتدّ التدخل حتى السيطرة الكاملة على جميع أراضي أوكرانيا وإسقاط العاصمة «كييف»، والأيام المقبلة ستكشف تفاصيل ما جرى ويجري.

إلا أنّ ما يجب الوقوف عنده هو: سعي أوروبا وأميركا لتقزيم روسيا وقبولها دولة عادية، إلا أنّ روسيا رفضت ذلك، وأكدت تشاركها ومنافستها بذاتها وبالتعاون مع الصين، في إدارة العالم ونظامه الدولي، مثلما حدث في أزمة خليج الخنازير في عام 1962. فالواضح أنّ روسيا كانت ولا تزال تدافع عن أمنها القومي، وعدم الاستهانة بها، وسعياً نحو استعادة المجد.

إنّ استهانة الغرب (أميركا وأوروبا) بالمنافسين الدوليين، والاستمرار في تهديد الأمن القومي لدول عظمى كروسيا والصين، مآله الفشل كما رأينا، وما يحدث في أوكرانيا هو فتح لفصل جديد في كتاب «نظام دولي جديد» متعدّد الأقطاب (أميركا وأوروبا + روسيا العظمى + الصين الكبرى).

ولنتابع ما يجري باهتمام، لانعكاساته الخطيرة على العالم، وعلى إقليمنا العربي على وجه الخصوص.


*أستاذ العلوم السياسية والعلاقات الدولية، والأمين العام المساعد للتجمع العالمي لدعم خيار المقاومة، ورئيس الجمعية العربية للعلوم السياسية.
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