Or perhaps: ‘US Capitalist Pigs Stage Bay of Pigs Invasion 2.0’
And… depending on one’s point of view, with or without the aid of the Castro administration or the Communist Party? The larger question seems to be: is this the beginning of the end of the Revolution? The USian Lords of Capital see it so.
Even the Guardian sees the true purpose of Obama’s rapprochement with Cuba, diplomatically aided by Cubano Cardinal Jaime Ortega and Pope Frances, I’d add:
“Obama’s visit thinly masks the economic bonanza awaiting US companies eager to invest in the island only 90 miles from Florida – not least those headed by Cubans from that state, anxious to claim their share of a new economy after two generations in exile.
“Cuba is a highly symbolic country politically,” said John Paul Rathbone, the Latin America editor for the Financial Times. “Soon the original revolutionary generation will be dead. The change in US policy recognises this. And Obama’s trip to Havana will be a carnival of stage craft – hopefully a glorious one – that further encourages change, and perhaps even an early end to the embargo and a speedier transition to whatever-comes-next in Cuba.”
In a spate of irony, SOS Kerry was being chastised during his visit a week earlier, for not being muscular enough in condemning human rights in the island nation, nor meeting with ‘dissident groups’. It’s hard not to love Elliott Abrams’ featuring a graph on ‘arbitrary detentions having risen to a five-year high in January, and that “the Madrid-based Cuban Observatory on Human Rights said 1,474 people, including 512 women, were “arbitrarily” detained in January” (whatever that group is).
During a joint press conference in which the President called him out on the issue, Castro denied there were political prisoners there, but he said that the US should abandon Gitmo and end the decades-long financial blockade.
“We believe that civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights are indivisible, interdependent and universal. We cannot conceive a government does not defend and guarantee the right to health, education, social security, food and development, equal pay and the rights of children,” said President Raul Castro.
But even from the U.S. perspective, the human rights abuses occurring on Cuban soil are not being committed by the Cuban government but rather the U.S. government at their illegal detention center in Guantanamo Bay.”
It was at least a little bit fun that two days before the island sank into sea two more inches under the onslaught of Western Capital, VZ President Nicholas Maduro flew in to accept Cuba’s highest state honor in the form of the Order of Jose Marti medal from Raul Castro. Solidarity noted!
Telesur names ‘5 Ways the US Helps to Create ‘Dissidents’ in Cuba’ with brief descriptions and histories under each:
- USAID Meddles in Cuban Affairs (Alan Gross)
- Launching a “Social Media Network”
- Infiltrating Hip-Hop Movements
- Millions in Funding for “Civil Society” Groups
- Funding the Ladies in White Group
And those are just the current list; forget the last eighty years, starring the CIA, NED, and other Democracy Exporters in Cuba.
In the comment stream at this op-ed by Elaine Díaz, someone provided The List of current political prisoners locked up in Cuba; what constitutes a ‘political prisoner’ is often down to potential bias of a particular human rights organization, of course.
“Despite the thawing of diplomatic relations, the U.S. government continues to provide financial “assistance” to individuals and groups dedicated to “regime change” in Cuba.”
Yes, and isn’t regime change, at least partially from within’, what has turned the tide to favoring…Obama, et.al.’s sincere generosity to the Cubanos?
Let’s see who was there, just a partial list of what Alexander Fangmann at wsws.org provided of the ‘up to 1200’…now this doesn’t include elected officials, mind you, nor the Cabinet secretaries:
“Representing US business interests are Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, CEO of PayPal Daniel Schulman, CEO of FUBU Daymond John, and Brian Chesky, the president and founder of Airbnb. Also present will be Julie Hanna, the CEO of Kiva, an organization specializing in crowd-funded “micro-loans” and one of the partners in Cleber, an Alabama-based company that has received authorization to build a tractor manufacturing facility in Cuba.
The changes already made to open up relations between the US and Cuba have resulted in a large increase in economic activity. Regularly scheduled commercial airline service will resume later this year, with up to 110 flights per day. United Airlines recently announced that it would start offering service out of four US cities.
In the past week, US telecom company Verizon signed a deal that allows direct calls and roaming access for Verizon customers. Sprint concluded a similar deal in November of last year, while AT&T is currently negotiating with Cuba’s national telecom company, ETECSA.
Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that it will begin offering seven-day cruises departing from Miami starting in May that would allow “cultural, artistic, faith-based and humanitarian exchanges between American and Cuban citizens.”
Marriott and Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced on Saturday that they had signed deals to run three hotels in Cuba, making them the first companies to do so since 1959.
On Sunday, US-based Airbnb, a company which matches individuals who wish to rent out their homes or apartments to travelers, was given a Treasury Department license to expand their business in Cuba to all travelers, not just those from the US, which they had been doing for the past year.”
Fangman wonders if ‘regime change’ will have to occur before the embargo is lifted, or the plan is that the compliant dissidents and even the Commies will help to create a comprador class to sell out the many, many workers who will be needed increasingly to service the multitudes of tourists and bidness people.
“Granma, the organ of the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee, published an “official” biography of Obama, which would be more accurately characterized as a hagiography. Displaying an obvious reverence towards the American mythology of middle-class perseverance and success, and ignoring all the political connections which were employed to vault Obama into all the most important positions he has occupied…” (and then it gets more gaggable)
But no, the Imperium can’t handle that Brazil and China already have toeholds there, including Brazil’s having expanded the port at Mariel, which now can accommodate Chinese ships passing through the Panama Canal.
Obama’s Visit to Cuba: Dangers and Benefits to The Cuban Revolution
(the transcript if and when they put it up; ha! They finally have!) Early is cautiously optimistic, Alex Main… less so. His remark that ‘to the US, ‘free markets equal freedom’.
Can someone suggest that Sharmini get screened for asthma, bless her wonderful anti-capitalist heart?
John Wight calls Obama’s visit ‘Goodbye to ‘Viva la Revolución!’, which phrase was used liberally by O, and some were not amused hearing José Marti’s words pass his lips, I’ll add. “Liberty is the right of every man to be honest.” A scolding fail, considering Obama’s rule, and not that he would have quoted Marti in 1895: “Once the United States is in Cuba, who will drive it out?”
“Ever since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, led by Fidel Castro, swept the US puppet dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista from power, the island has stood as a beacon of dignity and independence to its many supporters across the world. However its struggle to remain so in the face of a decades-long US embargo has only allowed its socialist system to redistribute poverty rather than wealth. Despite this, no one can deny Cuba’s outstanding achievements in the realms of healthcare and education, both provided as a right to its citizens regardless of income unlike in the United States where both are a privilege of income.
Moreover, Cuba’s famed medical missions overseas prove that the internationalism enshrined in its socialist constitution informs an engagement with the world that has been and is a testament to human solidarity. Washington’s engagement with the world, meanwhile, has been informed by endless military interventions, conflicts and wars, responsible for the mammoth destruction of human life.
This is why Obama’s intention to broach the issues of democracy and human rights during his three-day visit reveals astounding impertinence, not to mention arrogance. The leader of a country that continues to occupy Cuban territory – in the shape of the despised Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and at home where it imprisons a full quarter of the entire world’s prison population, disproportionately comprising blacks and other minorities – is in no position to lecture anyone.”
He adds of the potential positives for Cubano citizens, notes the dramatic increase in numbers of tourists, and how it’s spiked hotel and other prices rapidly, and has already caused some class conflicts that might increasingly tear at the fabric of social cohesion among the citizenry. He uses this great imagery as cautionary:
“On another level, the thought of thousands of cigar chomping, Bermuda shorts wearing, and hamburger-eating Americans landing in Cuba and barking orders at waiters, taxi drivers, and hotel workers sends a chill sliding down the spine.
In what may well turn out to be a sad irony, this army of tourists could achieve what decades of botched invasions, sabotage, assassination attempts, and covert plots to topple the country’s government over the years failed to in producing its political transformation. As the economy grows so will the demand for political reform, thus exerting more and more pressure on the status quo.”
No one knows what ‘political reform’ will look like, Mr. Early in the TRRN interview notwithstanding.
If you can take any more for the sake of posterity, Bill Van Auken at wsws narrates the epic unintentional satire in Obama’s televised speech to Cubanos.
So: I’ll see you in C-U-B-A! I’ll be the breezy Isadora Duncan look-alike cruising around in a baby-blue vintage Pontiac, baby blue chiffon scarf blowin’ in the wind. Or a same-color Caddy, if that’s all that’s left that hasn’t been shipped ‘home’ by the Masters of Capital’ already.