Bomb Cuba, and a story to compare Cuba

uncle sam

There’s now call to bomb Cuba – a suggestion from the land of inequality, the Empire.

Francis Suarez, Mayor of Miami, has called for US military intervention in Cuba.

The mayor has cited many examples – from Panama to Kosovo. Mr. Suarez claims – all US attacks went smoothly. An act to feel proud by imperialists!

The logic behind this interventionist proposal was explained by the mayor. Suarez told Fox News during a Tuesday interview: Cuba is a threat to the US because Cuba is “exporting communism throughout the hemisphere and throughout the world, and has been doing it for decades”. Moreover, according to the mayor, Cuba “is a supporter of terror”. This “exported goods” is, the mayor thinks, threat to US national security.

The elected public leader suggested the US take out the Cuban government by some means similar to the 1990 arrest of Manuel Noriega, then Panamian leader and US ally in Panama.

The mayor, in a separate Fox interview on Tuesday said: both political parties in the US could get behind airstrikes.

He cited examples from both the Republican and Democratic Parties: Republican government took out Noriega; Democratic governments took out bin Laden and made airstrikes in Kosovo.

He suggested military intervention in Cuba should be on the table.

He argued against any efforts to relax the embargo, which keeps other countries from sending aid to Cuba.

He claimed: The embargo against Cuba is not “cruel.”

The idea – destroy a people’s, Cubans’, way of life by making military intervention – and the brain producing the idea needs no explanation other than a single-word note: Interventionist. The idea ignores a fact, and admits a fact – Cuba is a threat to the US. The first fact: Cuba doesn’t have any of the capacities – economic, military, propaganda, diplomatic – to hurt US security. The other fact: The Empire is fundamentally, at the core, weak; and the state of weakness is so widespread that the idea of a more equitable and humane society is a threat to it. This weakness within and the idea of a humane society that spreads among people, that stirs people into political struggles is an existentialist threat to all exploitative societies, the Empire is no exception. So, the slogan by a leader through an election process, whatever its character – bourgeois or proletarian – may be, “Bomb Cuba, intervene in Cuba”.

But the condition of Cuba has to be ascertained before someone denounces the island-country.

A Bloomberg report on condition of hunger in India – “Hunger crisis forces even middle-class Indians to line up for rations” – on July 14, 2021 cites a lady dwelling in a Delhi bastee, slum, and said:

“Chanchal Devi’s three children haven’t tasted milk for almost a year.

“The staple was among items the 35-year-old and her husband could no longer afford after they both first lost work when India’s capital New Delhi went into lockdown in March last year. Their distress deepened after this April due to a surge in Covid-19 infections. They’re now borrowing money to buy food and must watch their school-aged kids eat less, often going to bed on empty stomachs.

“‘I can’t sleep at nights,’ said Chanchal from her home in Lal Gumbad Basti, a neighborhood of migrant workers about 20 minutes away from the nation’s parliament. ‘I’m so tired of worrying about arranging the next meal.’”

The report by one of the leading US media outlets presents a wider picture:

“Families like Chanchal’s — two wage earners with some savings, living in rented accommodation — are among legions of Indians who saw their economic toehold ripped away in lockdowns over the last 12 months. More than 15 million Indians lost their jobs in May alone at the height of a devastating wave that overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums, according to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy.

“All of that is leading to an increase in hunger, particularly in urban areas, in a nation that already accounts for nearly a third of the world’s malnourished people. While few statistics are available, migrants and workers at food distribution centers in major Indian cities say they can’t remember seeing lines this long of people yearning for something to eat.

“‘This desperation for food and the long lines for rations in families with two wage earners is unprecedented,” said Aditi Dwivedi, who works with migrant communities in the capital at Satark Nagrik Sangathan, a group that works on transparency and accountability in government that has advocated for more food aid for the needy.

“As India’s economy shrunk by 7.3% last year, the daily average wage for about 230 million Indians — enough to make the world’s fifth-largest nation — dropped below the 375-rupee ($5) threshold, according to a study by the Azim Premji University in Bangalore. ‘An alarming 90% of respondents” reported “that their households had suffered a reduction in food intake as a result of the lockdown,’ the study said.

“The number of people living in households with daily incomes below $5 level spiked from 298.6 million, at the start of the outbreak in March 2020 to 529 million at the end of October, the study said.

“‘If last year was harrowing, it’s tough to get a true sense of the extent of the crisis this year,’ said Amit Basole, director of the Centre for Sustainable Employment at Azim Premji University and co-author of the State of Working India report. ‘This year, people have depleted savings and are paying back debt. We don’t expect anyone to be back to Jan-Feb 2020 levels of income this calendar year.’”

The report cites another Delhi resident, who is not rich:

“In southeast Delhi, 45-year-old Naresh Kumar had to line up outside his local food distribution shop at 5 a.m. nearly every day in June to ensure he got there before supplies ran out. And at least he was eligible: more than 100 million people remain outside the government’s public distribution system because coverage is calculated on outdated census data, according to a study last year by economists Reetika Khera, Meghana Mungikar and Jean Dreze.

“‘On days when they had food, rations got over before my turn arrived,’ said Kumar, who is still struggling to find work after both he and his wife lost their jobs last year. ‘On other days, they said they had nothing to distribute.’”

Is it a story from Havana, the capital city of Cuba, the capitalists curse continuously?

According to the Bloomberg report, the Indian government has initiated program to provide kilograms of rice, wheat and coarse grains at subsidized rates to the poorest each month; and that’s with at least 1.5 trillion rupees ($20 billion).

Now, the world-media audience knows the level, extent and efficiency of the Indian government’s pandemic response and vaccination rollout that need no elaboration.

The US media outlet’s India-hunger-report added:

“State governments have also struggled to deliver food to the poor. [….]

“Abhinandita Mathur, a spokeswoman for the Delhi government, said on July 7 that food rations were being replenished after stocks ran out in June, leaving many families stranded.”

The hunger-situation exists further south, as the report said:

“In Mumbai, Swaraj Shetty co-founded the Khaana Chahiye, or Want Food collective, last April to distribute meals and dry rations. What was expected to be a short-term effort by a group of citizens widened to respond to increasing distress calls for food through its ‘Report Hunger’ initiative from beyond Mumbai and as far off as cities like Pune and Bangalore, she said.

“‘Last year it was mostly migrant workers, but this year we’ve been seeing people from the middle-class line up for help,’ Shetty said. India’s middle class, defined as those with incomes between $10 and $20 per day, shrunk by 32 million during the 2020 recession amid the pandemic, according to Pew Research Center. [Emphasis added.]

“Sujata Sawant, 44, has also seen demand grow at a community kitchen she started in April. After initially feeding 300 people with the help of local women, her group now gives meals to more than 1,300 people every day.

“‘We can’t cater to so many who need it,’ she said. ‘The numbers are increasing daily. The costs are prohibitive.’”

The report tells story of another Indian citizen – Saliqa Begum, 32:

“She left Delhi last year to escape hunger after losing her job as domestic helper, only to return several months later to find food for her three children.

“[…] Saliqa has no land to cultivate in her village in the eastern state of Bihar. In Delhi, she has watched anxiously as prices of pulses, oil and spices continue to rise.”

The lady from the poor segment of the Indian society, according to the report, throws question:

“‘What more do we want from our government? They can at least ensure we have some food?’ Saliqa said. ‘If there is a third wave of the virus now, how will we manage?’”

Obviously, there’re many indicators in the areas of economy, politics and history to have a comparison between India and Cuba. If the area of politics is kept aside temporarily as the two are diametrically opposite to each other, the economy can be compared: capitals within each of the countries since the two countries began respective journey under Nehru and Fidel, capital and technology in-flow, infrastructure including length of railway, roads and highways, power plants and power lines, factories and mines, agricultural produce, labor – skilled and unskilled, imports and exports, literacy rate, health care and education infrastructure, scientists and technological human resource, poverty and wealth levels, availability of potable and irrigation water, and some more. Then, after having appropriate process to have a comparative picture, a few international political factors including an ever-present threat of imperialist invasion, an about 60-year long economic blockade, continuous imperialist subversive acts and propaganda should be considered.

For making the comparison a bit more wide, the pandemic-situation in both the economies is also to be taken into consideration.

Then, consider today’s “protest” – who organized this, who financed, who organized the propaganda. Cuba has a long history of experiencing imperialist subversion. A few of those are recoded, and a few of those records are available as those have been declassified. If someone likes to forget assassination attempts/plots against Fidel considering that Fidel is no more on this earth, the attempts to assassinate Raul can’t be ignored. None expects and cherishes any assassination or attempt to assassinate any political leader and any citizen of any country. How many similar attempts were there that Fidel and Raul faced? The political leadership there in Cuba had to work within such a hostile environment. Shouldn’t those, the subversions and the assassination attempts, be considered while considering performance of the political system there?

The National Security Archive in the US released a number of CIA documents that expose the way to assassinate Raul Castro. This shows the extent of involvement in subverting Cuba, the revolution there.

So, now, the “protest”, the “dissenting” voice and the call to bomb Cuba are not new as there was the Bay of Pigs invasion years back. The demands what are being raised should be considered in this context, which will help understand that it’s not a failure of the political system there in Cuba; it’s sustaining with the political system that imperialism can no more tolerate.

If political indicators including mode and level of participation of people in political process in Cuba are ignored temporarily, and if an attempt for an easy comparison is to be made, then, compare Cuba’s political system with the way the Troika dictated state including economic affairs in Greece, the state of political “stability” and functioning of a nuclear armed South Asian country that went to the brink of bankruptcy only to be bailed out by China, the factional fight of the ruling classes in Thailand that was once propagated as one of the “Emerging Tigers of Asia”, a King’s indulgence and living in Germany leaving own country while reigning the country, the rise of the Nazis in European countries considered much “advanced than Cuba, the political scuffles and fist-fighting in bourgeois parliaments including at least one in Europe. In comparison to these, Cuba is “bad” – is it? So, the need to bomb – intervene/subvert it? Really, an imperialist logic! It’s logic of the wolf hunting for victims – market, people to be exploited, geopolitical domination.

The developments highlight resilience of the island-country’s political system. Compare the political systems in Cuba and the Empire. The Capitol, putting it softly, incident in the Empire – more than enough to expose the hollowness of the political system, the rise of the ultra-rightist gangs and their armed activities, the spread of hate-, or, to put it appropriately, apartheid-politics and crime activities connected to it, the legislative attempts in states to disenfranchise a vast number of citizens, the gerrymandering, the filibustering, the lobby arrangement, actually trade deals with politics, are a few of many characteristics of the politics that is practiced in the Empire claiming to be democracy, and are totally absent in Cuba characterized by the imperialists as “autocratic”, “dictatorship” – the Miami-band loves to overthrow. Today’s “protest” in Havana is to be considered with this background.

The urgent tasks to help the Cuban people in practical way include:

Demand withdrawal of all forms of embargo/sanction/restrictions.

Ship, as a show of concern that the interventionists are expressing, and as a show of solidarity by people, as much as items of daily life.

Expose and oppose all attempts of imperialist subversion/intervention, and propaganda.

Learn from Cuba, from imperialist interference in Cuba, and spread these lessons among people in countries, especially those facing similar incidents or facing circumstances that may lead to imperialist intervention/subversion.

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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