Friday, November 03, 2006


Cuba Va! is no Jingle

Cuban state TV runs a spot reminding people how much has the country lost after 45 years of US sanctions and restrictions, followed by the question, have you stopped to think, otherwise, how much has been done in spite of the blockade?

Terrorist actions and the effects of the blockade have taken a toll of over 3,000 lives. There was no need for human or material losses, but Washington wanted to make the Cuban Revolution pay for being outspoken and serve as example of defiance before Latin American countries and the rest of the Third World.

Now for the 14th consecutive year, a resolution will be voted at the UN General Assembly demanding the US to stop the blockade, or embargo, as they call it to downsize its reach and effects.

In 2005, a total of 182 nations voted for stopping the blockade. This year it is expected to go over that number. How many votes are needed to make the US comply with the opinion of the international community?

The US considers issues related to Cuba as domestic policy. That line of thinking includes 600-odd attempts on the life of Fidel Castro, terrorist acts against hotels and tourist resorts, the blowing up of a civil airplane with 73 persons on board, bombing of several Cuban embassies in Europe and Latin America, shooting of Cuban officials and the most recent plan Bush to annex and run the island in a so-called Post-Castro era.

Ten US administrations have gone by since the triumph of the Revolution in Cuba and still, Washington has learned no lessons from the outcome of events. Using a policy of force and bullying against the island has only made Cubans outsmart their aggressor and defend even more steadfastly the social advantages given them by the government they chose of their own free will.

Three thousand lives, many more wounded and $86 billion dollars in material damages later, Cubans have a lot to show for themselves: outstanding world-level indicators in health, education, life expectancy, attention to the disabled, the elderly and children.

Through international cooperation, Cuba has managed to expand literacy campaigns in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Over 30 thousand doctors work abroad saving millions of lives and now engages with Venezuela in one of the most humane projects ever accomplished: helping hundreds of thousands of Latin American and Caribbean people recover their eyesight.

The Cuban economy has also thrived under pressure. A biotech and pharmaceutical industry has gained international recognition, trade is flourishing in spite of having to pay more than is usual for other developing countries due to the blockade, without financial support as is the case of US agricultural exports to Cuba.

After President Fidel Castro took ill last July and had to undergo intestinal surgery, once again they mistook the consequences. Three months after leading responsibilities were passed on to Raul Castro, first vicepresident and Minister of Defense, Cubans go about their lives as usual.

The situation is calm, conventions like the World Sports for All Congress are taking place, the Havana International Trade Fair and the International Ballet Festival, as usual, attract thousands of visitors these days.

Members of the US intelligence community, Pentagon gurus, the most famous think-tanks and prestigious experts have denounced the futility of the blockade policy and the need to change course, but on both sides there is wide skepticism that change would come under this administration, which has been kidnapped by the Miami mafia.

Thus, the club will once again precede the carrot in US policy and make Cubans even stronger.
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