cuba
Photograph: Yander Zamora / EFE

Assassinate Fidel and Raul, and subvert Cuba are now well-known facts related to the Empire. The Empire is ceaselessly engaged with this task since Revolution in Cuba; and the Empire considers the assassination attempts and acts of subversion as essential for its existence.

Recent disturbance in Havana and some other places in Cuba have again brought this issue to forefront.

Julián Macías Tovar, a renowned Spanish analyst, “has broken down the intense campaign articulated on digital social networks against the Cuban Revolution in recent days. It was launched from abroad and has had as its reference the Argentine Agustín Antonneti, a political operator of the right who has participated in several operations against the processes of the left in Latin America.” (“Investigation confirms perverse social media operation against Cuba launched from abroad”, Cuba Debate, July 12, 2021)

The operation, said the Cuba Debate report, “made intensive use of robots, algorithms and accounts that had just been created for the occasion, in order to create a chorus of the messages issued by the referents of the manipulative campaign.”

The first account, according to the report, “used the HT #SOSCuba related to the COVID situation in” Cuba. The account, once located in Spain, “posted more than a thousand tweets on both July 10 and 11, with an automation of 5 retweets per second.”

Julián Macías Tovar points out that Agustín Antonetti is “part of the right-wing Fundación Libertad”; and “has been an active participant in the hoaxes and bots campaigns on social networks against the processes of the left in Latin America, among them against that of the Bolivian Evo Morales and the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as previous investigations revealed, based on the sanction that Facebook applied to numerous accounts for political operations on the networks.”

Tovar further pointed out: Campaigns were made for artists to participate with a tweet with HT #SOSCuba, which planned to relate coronavirus related deaths and the issue of lack of medical resources. For this purpose, a tweet was launched that received more than 1,100 responses; and almost all of the responses came from newly created accounts, or accounts that were no more than one year old. More than 1,500 accounts of which participated in the operation with the hashtag #SOSCuba were created between July 10 and 11. On July 11, with hundreds of thousands of tweets and the participation of many artist accounts, the label became a worldwide trend. In several countries, the same trend was found. All these were united by an account named Yusnaby Pérez, pseudonym of a television reporter, with thousands of retweets.

The analyst found another characteristic, which is, according to the analyst, the most noticeable: The repetition of exact tweets. This means “the existence of automated patterns with hundreds of thousands of tweets and a similar number of followed and followers, by the automated system gain of followers.”

Another elements of the operation, according to the analyst, “is the massive use of registration accounts, with matrices very common in other international campaigns such as the Bolivian coup, or the active presence of vocalists from the Latin American right such as Tertsch, Cabal and Tuto Quiroga.”

Tovar cites “the use of manipulated images or events in other countries and the articulation of the operation of networks with various right-wing media on the continent.”

This style of operation is also found, more or less, in other countries targeted by imperialist interference operation.

The analyst identified three phases of the interference campaign in Cuba: Phase 1 – launch a campaign denouncing “collapse of the health system” and “deaths”, and request for “help through false and automated accounts that massively mentioned artists from all over the world”; Phase 2 – “publish in the media that dozens of artists joined a campaign to ask for a humanitarian corridor in Cuba”; and, Phase 3 – demonstrations with a few persons, but the demonstration-event would have “a HT being a world TT with maximum repercussion” that would help that “grow and with a final campaign by a part of those who coordinated the campaign to request a military invasion of the United States.”

This pattern, broadly, is found in cases of interference in countries including Iraq, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, and in Hong Kong. A legal justification for such interference is also made with the so-called Right to Protect (R2P) claim, which now-a-days is being sold as a doctrine. In countries, elements posing as “rights” activists or “progressives” or “civil society” are mobilized to add tone of “humanitarian assistance/aid” behind such design for interference. Mobilizing a few artists under intervention plan is not unusual. In case of Cuba, this trick, now well-exposed, was followed.

Imperialist plan don’t rely on reality. Rather, it creates a picture of reality according to its wish that conforms to its motive – intervene, demolish. A stock taking of situation proves this. Anyone can compare the pre- and post-intervention situation in Iraq, Libya, Syria – the stories are now well-known to the audience of international media. Even, the pandemic-situations in Cuba and in other countries including countries in the southern and western Europe, in Asia, and in the Latin America can be compared. The mainstream media plays here with (1) hiding and (2) manipulating of facts. Not a single report could be found that presents a comparative picture of the pandemic situation in Italy, Spain, France, UK, Germany, Brazil, India, and similar group of countries and Cuba. The comparison should not be limited within death figures per thousand; rather, along with this there should be data on health infrastructure, budget/allocation of fund for health care and similar pertinent aspects of life. Actually, it’s, the gap in presenting info to audience, the MSM’s/imperialist media’s role in facilitating/paving way for imperialist intervention.

Imperialism’s subversive activities to foil the Cuban Revolution are as old as the revolution’s victory march. The Empire’s shameful experience with its attempted Bay of Pigs invasion has not restrained it from carrying on subversive activities against Cuba.

The Empire’s psychological and unconventional warfare, and political propaganda to incite the Cuban people against the revolutionary leadership is a regular function. These include the US State Department’s Cuba Internet Task Force, president Eisenhower’s Program of Covert Action, president Reagan’s Presidential Commission on Broadcasting to Cuba, President George W. Bush’s the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, Cuba Fund for a Democratic Future, Global Internet Freedom Task Force, USAID financed ZunZuneo initiative, Piramideo, First Cuba Internet Freedom Conference, Operation Surf, Radio Cuba Libre and Radio Martí, TV Martí. There were attempts to send illegal communication devices and software into Cuba, and organize conferences to mobilize “independent” journalists, digital innovators and activists, organize mass demonstrations by “smart mobs” to destabilize/change political system in Cuba. A number of activities were organized with interesting names like create public access to internet facilities, “distribution of information and facilitate pro-democracy activities”, “Greater access to these types of equipment”, “How the internet can unfreeze an island frozen in time”, free flow of information. These activities were for organizing messaging network with thousands of citizens receiving, initially, “non-controversial content” like news on soccer, music, weather reports, and, then, political content. Organizations like Heritage Foundation and Google Ideas, and Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) are there. The OCB oversees Radio and TV Martí, Piramideo, etc. Piramideo is an SMS-based social network for sending a massive message to members of a “pyramid” at the cost of a single SMS with the objective to prepare a platform for subversion. Organizations, industry representatives and efforts are there to find out ways to use social media and technologies to promote their brand of democracy, and plan subversive activities against the Revolution in Cuba. (Iramsy Peraza Forte and Sergio Alejandro Gomez, “Internet wars: U.S. plans to overthrow the Cuban Revolution with new technologies”, Granma, February 8, 2018)

During the recent “demonstration” similar suggestion was also made by a section in the US.

A news report from the US said: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, two Miami GOP House lawmakers and a federal communications official called on the Biden administration to instantly green light a special type of high-altitude communications system and other technology that would evade the Cuba government’s measures. The call came after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) met the White House to make the same request. Any decision to offer connectivity to Cubans is part of an interagency discussion, said Julie Chung, acting assistant secretary for the State Department’s bureau of Western Hemisphere affairs. Chung said the Biden administration is discussing it with the private sector, as it is “something that we’re very interested in promoting and advocating for.” The U.S. should “be looking at how we can expand access to the internet, consider satellite feeds of the internet so people in the island can communicate with each other,” Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Cuban American, said in an interview with MSNBC. He has repeated it in several interviews this week and been in touch with the Biden administration on next steps for Cuba, he said. Rubio on Wednesday urged Biden to “immediately authorize and allocate funding to provide emergency connectivity to the internet for Cuba through balloon-supplied internet coverage.” He noted that it can be deployed in relatively short notice. The specific technology mentioned during the DeSantis press conference was a joint project, called Loon, between Google and a South Dakota company named Raven, which developed giant high-altitude air balloons that broadcast a type of wireless system that can be accessed by smartphones on the ground. Loon was scrapped but Raven still has the technology, which was briefly used in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017 and in Kenya, according to Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr, who spoke at the press conference with DeSantis and Republican Reps. María Elvira Salazar and Carlos Giménez. Carr said he discussed Raven the most because it is a proven technology, but other means of extending the internet to the island exist and should be considered. He said, the Biden administration would need to approve the deployment of the technology because it would require the involvement of the FCC, Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration. He said the balloons could be deployed about 20 miles off Cuba in international waters — that is, 70 miles south of Key West — but he couldn’t give a time frame or a cost. The cost of the project is unclear, but Salazar said that’s not a concern because the Cuban-American community in the United States would fund the effort with private money if needed. “The Biden administration needs to give the green light and we’re going to take care of it,” she said. (Politico, “Biden slow-walks Cuba action”, July 15, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/15/biden-cuba-internet-access-499793)

The extent of the plan, and a part of subversion attempts are clear from the report cited above.

The report does another job: Strength of the political system in Cuba – to subvert a “failed” system in a geographically and economically small country, an Empire’s so much plan, effort, resource and mechanism are needed; and these are going on/being mobilized for decades by so many brilliant minds! Is the system there in Cuba a failure? Do the Empire’s acts prove it?

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka, Bangladesh.


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