4/1/05 Is Cuba Next? by Cuba Study Group
   

santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/13924/index.php

Address: 1755 Chanticleer Ave, Santa Cruz CA 95062

04 Jan 2005

A summary and analysis of the Bush administration plan for regime change in Cuba.

The new government will restore ownership of houses and plantations to former owners, create a major program to vaccinate Cuban children (the most vaccinated children in the world), establish capitalism, and, of course, privatize resources, health care, education, etc., etc, etc. We will establish. “a Transition Coordinator at the State Department to… continue regular transition planning and coordination with other U.S. Government agencies.”

Almost laughably, the plan includes teaching the Cubans how to hold free and fair elections.

The new government will have no place for current government officials and specifically advises that the “transition government… bars Fidel and Raul Castro from any role in a future government… targeting regime officials for U.S. visa denials… visa denial watch lists will be provided to other nations…”

Although the Commission isn’t candid about how the ultimate step to occupation is to be accomplished, it does acknowledge that “there will be resistance to the transition… will therefore require the presence of effective, professional Cuban security institutions (read US trained and equipped army) that are committed fully to supporting the democratic transition–Military modernization will also be important…”

If that doesn’t sound like déjà vu, nothing does. And, in case you think this was all a campaign tactic to win votes in Miami, consider that since November 2nd, rather than backing down, the administration has stepped up its rhetoric, its prosecution of travelers, and its roadblocks to trade. What countries do you think of when you worry about Bush’s tendency toward waging perpetual war? Iran, of course. Syria, maybe. North Korea? Could be. Add Cuba to the list.

Ridiculous, you say? We hope so. It would seem a foolish and senseless act of aggression. But the Bush administration has a plan for regime change in Cuba that just may include military action. Consider this.

In October of 2003, after two years of constantly increasing hostile rhetoric and economic aggression against Cuba, President Bush established the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. Its explicit mandate was to “identify additional means by which the United States can help the Cuban people bring about an expeditious end to the Castro dictatorship”.*

The Commission, co-chaired by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Housing Mel Martinez, presented a report to the President in March 2004 that, in the words of the report, “sought a more proactive, integrated, and disciplined approach to undermine the survival strategies of the Castro regime”. The commission included anti-Castro hardliners Otto Reich, Roger Noriega, Jose Cardenas, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida.

Their report defines “six inter-related tasks” that reflect a very familiar pattern of mounting aggression. Do these “tasks” sound familiar? Strangle the economy, intimidate the government by sending military flights over it’s borders, find manufactured evidence of weapons of mass destruction, promote dissidence, demonize the government and, finally, establish a toady government.

As any one following our affairs with Cuba knows, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) put the Commission’s first recommendation into effect last summer, shocking and angering Cuban Americans and effectively eliminating travel to Cuba by thousands of U.S. citizens. OFAC’s new regulations virtually eliminated all educational travel, curtailed family visits to once every three years, and redefined the Cuban family by limiting visits to parents, siblings and children.

While these measures got the press coverage, a second “task”, supported by an $18 million budget, has been implemented – the “deployment of the C-130 …for the transmission of Radio and Television Martí into Cuba” An outrageously provocative act of intimidation, this is a direct violation of the Nairobi Convention which gives each government the right to control telecommunications within its borders.

The EC-130 has the same configuration as the AC-130 which is one of the most terrifying weapons being used on Iraq. Cubans can never be sure that the EC-130 was not an AC- 130. This serious provocation could lead to military conflict.

Also hidden from the headlines is $36 million budgeted to promote dissidence. The report describes how youth, women and Afro-Cubans can be courted to turn against the existing government. For example, “grants of U.S. funds could provide the critical spark to activate more of the Afro Cuban community – in promoting change in Cuba.” A blatant statement of interference the governing of a sovereign nation.

In language far too reminiscent of Iraq, the fourth “task” is to “fund U.S. Embassy public diplomacy sections worldwide to disseminate information …about… the U.S. Government’s belief that Cuba has at least a limited offensive biological weapons research and development effort.”

Ironically, on September 17, 2004, this allegation was refuted by the administration itself.

More insidious plans and dollars support “efforts by NGOs in selected third countries to highlight human rights abuses in Cuba, as part of a broader effort to discourage tourist travel.” An example of this in action is Reporters Without Borders who protest travel to Cuba at French airports, funded by U.S. dollars through NED and USAID.

Those dollars also support “international diplomatic efforts to…challenge the Castro regime”. In more forthright terms, to demonize the Cuban government and, specifically, Fidel Castro.

The Report proposes that $5 million be set aside to: “Fund and promote international or third-country national conferences to disseminate information abroad about U.S. policies…” and to “deter foreign investment in Cuba in confiscated properties…”

And that is just the first 57 pages of the Report.

The next 365 pages describe the occupation of Cuba and the installation of a new government with ‘an active role for the Cuban American community.” The new government will restore ownership of houses and plantations to former owners, create a major program to vaccinate Cuban children (the most vaccinated children in the world), establish capitalism, and, of course, privatize resources, health care, education, etc., etc, etc. We will establish “a Transition Coordinator at the State Department to… continue regular transition planning and coordination with other U.S. Government agencies.”

Almost laughably, the plan includes teaching the Cubans how to hold free and fair elections.

The new government will have no place for current government officials and specifically advises that the “transition government…bars Fidel and Raul Castro from any role in a future government …targeting regime officials for U.S. visa denials…visa denial watch lists will be provided to other nations… “

Although the Commission isn‚t candid about how the ultimate step to occupation is to be accomplished, it does acknowledge that “there will be resistance to the transition… will therefore require the presence of effective, professional Cuban security institutions (read US trained and equipped army) that are committed fully to supporting the democratic transition…Military modernization will also be important…”

If that doesn’t sound like déjà vu, nothing does. And, in case you think this was all a campaign tactic to win votes in Miami, consider that since November 2nd, rather than backing down, the administration has stepped up its rhetoric, its prosecution of travelers, and its roadblocks to trade.

*direct quotes from the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba: Report to the President are in quotes.

  
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