Cuba: US narrative paving way for military incursion

cuba protest american flag

Threat for imperialist intervention in Cuba is increasing. A Havana, July 22, 2021 datelined AP report said:

Cuba criticized the US and President Joe Biden on Wednesday for a series of statements by senior officials, accusing the US government of seeking to justify a military intervention.

The report said:

Johana Tablada, deputy director for US affairs at Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said US officials are painting a false picture of the situation in Cuba, which is struggling with severe economic problems amid a surge in coronavirus infections.

“There is a Walt Disney narrative of a bad government and people fighting for their freedom — stereotypes that scare anyone who has never set foot in Cuba, because of their arrogance and disregard for the truth,” Tablada said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“They are very interested in fabricating an alternative reality because the riots of July 11 weren’t enough to justify the war that is being waged on us,” she added.

Tablada said that while there are no current US military movements aimed at Cuba, there are signs of extreme aggressiveness, such as those that led to an interventions in Libya and Iraq.

“We are at a time when discourse has deteriorated to unprecedented levels,” she said. “From the Biden government in regards to Cuba, we have seen parading several times a day, every day since July 11, senior United States officials saying things that are not true” about Cuba.

The AP report said:

A petition on the platform created by a citizen in Belgium asking for the US government to invade Cuba has been signed by almost 500,000 people, and some Florida politicians have raised such an action as a possibility.

The White House has said a working group has been told to review the US policy blocking Cuban Americans from sending money to Cuba but to ensure that the Cuban government does not serve as intermediary in the flow of cash. Washington says it is also considering increasing the staff at its embassy in Havana to facilitate the participation of civil society.

Vandalism Loot

According to other media reports, a recent protest in Cuba ended in acts of vandalism, destruction of patrol cars, stone throwing at hospitals and looting while groups of government supporters also took to the streets, including tens of thousands on Saturday. Cuban officials insist that US sanctions imposed by the Trump administration are responsible for Cuba’s shortages of food, medicine and fuel.

US Expected to Take Steps soon in Aftermath of Cuba Protests

A Washington, July 20, 2021 datelined exclusive report by Reuters said:

The US is expected to soon announce initial steps as part of the Biden administration’s review of Cuba policy and in response to Havana’s crackdown on the biggest street protests in decades, State Department officials said on Monday.

The senior officials’ comments further signaled that US president Joe Biden was not ready to soften the US approach after his predecessor, Donald Trump, rolled back a historic Obama-era détente with Havana, and that the latest Cuban unrest would have a significant impact on any policy moves.

Biden said last week he was not prepared to loosen restrictions for now on remittances, or payments that Americans can make to their families on the island.

The official declined to elaborate but suggested it would take time to develop such a mechanism, saying: “I would not anticipate a short-term loosening.”

The Cuban government has blamed the protests mostly on U.S.-financed “counter-revolutionaries” exploiting economic hardship caused by U.S. sanctions.

The report said:

The unrest appears to have injected a new sense of urgency in the Cuba policy review, which began shortly after Biden took office in January but until now had not been treated as a top agenda item while the administration dealt with the economic recovery and coronavirus pandemic at home and challenges such as China, Russia and Iran abroad.

“There will definitely be policy implications as a result of the events over the course of the last week. … I’d expect in fairly short order there will be a senior U.S. government communication as to initial steps,” one official said while declining to provide specifics.

Cuba, the official said, is now a “top priority.”

Under consideration as part of the review – even before the protests occurred – is whether to lift the U.S. designation of Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” a label Trump gave to Havana just days before leaving office.

But the State Department official said there was no timeline for a decision on the issue.

Also figuring into the over-arching Cuba policy review is Cuba’s continued support for Venezuela’s Socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, whose government is also under sanction by the US, the State Department official said. Maduro has retained power with the support not only of his military and Cuban allies but of Russia, China and Iran.

Biden, a Democrat, had vowed during his presidential campaign to ease some of the sanctions on Cuba tightened by Trump, a Republican.

But analysts say the protests have complicated Biden’s political leeway to do so, especially after he made a poorer-than-expected showing with voters in south Florida’s anti-communist Cuban-American community, which backed Trump’s tough policies toward Havana and Caracas and helped him win the battleground state.

Many analysts say Biden may have to tread carefully on Cuba policy ahead of the 2022 congressional elections.


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