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Posted June 12, 2004 by publisher in Cuba-Canada Trade

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By Murray Dobbin | [url=http://www.rabble.ca]http://www.rabble.ca[/url]

Would Bush actually invade Cuba or is he just playing tough guy to ensure he scoops Florida in the November election?

Prime Minister Paul Martin chatted with George W. Bush at the G8 meeting this week and apparently talked about the same old topic — American bullying on the trade front — with predictable results. What he should have added to the list was the U.S. plan for military action against Cuba.

What plan, you ask? Good question. And it is one that Martin and his policy advisors and foreign affairs analysts ought to be asking themselves right now. Given the unending foreign policy catastrophe of Iraq, rational thinking would suggest that such a question need not even be posed. But rational thinking in the White House is an oxymoron. These people are not humbled or chastened by defeat — they seem emboldened by it.

While Martin can put his hands over his eyes on Iraq and hope it goes away because his predecessor made the key decision, he won’t be able to do so with Cuba.

And he has a further problem. While he is desperate to please the U.S., and is under unrelenting pressure from the Bay Street’s Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) to do whatever the U.S. asks, Martin is sitting on a long-standing Canadian policy regarding Cuba, a policy that differs dramatically from that of the U.S. Indeed, our Cuba policy is the single most dramatic expression of Canadian foreign policy independence. Will Paul Martin simply jettison this policy to please George W. Bush and CCCE president, Tom d’Aquino?

Would Bush actually invade Cuba or is he just playing tough guy to ensure he scoops Florida in the November election? What seems inconceivable is tragically quite possible given recent moves by Bush and his cabal of “regime-changers.” They have already implemented moves that are clearly in violation of international law and transparently designed to provoke Cuba into an action that can be spun to justify an attack.

Bush has implemented a whole series of provocative actions on the advice of a Commission on Free Cuba. One of the most provocative initiatives, among many, is Bush’s decision for an immediate deployment of the C-130 “Commando Solo” airborne platform, in coordination with the Office of Cuba Broadcasting for weekly airborne radio and TV transmissions into Cuba. In the medium term, the U.S. is to establish a “dedicated airborne platform for full-time transmission of Radio and TV MartÝ into Cuba.”

If Paul Martin is serious about his promise to establish Canada’s place in international affairs, a good start would be a phone call to Bush expressing concern about his deliberately provocative moves. If he does not, here is the scenario that Martin may face sooner rather than later. According to Halifax-based Cuba scholar and author Isaac Saney the plan for a broadcasting platform is an “act patently illegal under international law, violating various treaties constituting a deliberate provocation aimed at creating the pretext for a military strike.” Cuba would be perfectly within its rights to shoot down any of these planes if they violate Cuban air space, as such a violation is an act of war in international law. That, of course, is exactly what the Bushites want.

What has Cuba done to bring on this renewed threat of U.S. military action? Nothing but having the misfortune of being the key issue for a powerful minority of Cuban exiles in Florida. That Bush caters to these thugs and terrorists is just one more piece of evidence that he does not really care that much about terrorism unless it serves his predetermined foreign policy objectives. If you doubt this, then you missed the TV broadcast of a speech given by Bush in Florida on May 20, 2002. On the platform behind Bush as one of his invited guests was none other than Cuban exile Sixto Reinaldo Aquit Manrique a convicted terrorist and unrepentant advocate for violent regime change.

Perhaps the other reason George W. wants to end the Communist regime is that it has embarrassed the U.S. for so many years regarding its incredible achievements in human development even in the face of one of history’s most ruthless embargoes. Cuba nearly matches the U.S. on a whole range of UN human development indexes; it sometimes surpasses it. While the U.S. has trouble graduating 85 per cent of its youth from high school, Cuba comes in at 99 per cent. Its student/teacher ratio is 12/one, less than half that of the U.S. Despite doing literally everything the U.S.-dominated World Bank says developing countries should not do, the Bank felt obliged to laud Cuba: “Cuba has done a great job on education and health,[surpassing all other poor countries]” says Bank president James Wolfensohn.

Whatever the diagnosis of Bush and America’s anti-Cuba pathology, Canada has proudly avoided contracting it. If Paul Martin is still prime minister after the election, he needs to let Bush know that Canada does not support regime change in Cuba. And he needs to do it before U.S. troops are mobilized, not after.

Murray Dobbin is author of Paul Martin: CEO for Canada?

  1. Follow up post #1 added on June 12, 2004 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Great story about Canada-US relations with regards to Cuban affairs.



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  2. Follow up post #2 added on June 12, 2004 by curt9954

    If the U.S ever attacked Cuba without provocation, I would rejoice everytime an American got killed.


  3. Follow up post #3 added on June 14, 2004 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    The Havana Journal is an online newspaper and offers its visitors the opportnity to post their comments.

    Of course the Havana Journal does not and cannot agree with nor endorse the views of its readers.

    However, we do support and welcome the freedom of all visitors to post any relevant comments they wish to express.



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  4. Follow up post #4 added on June 14, 2004 by MJD

    Fidel Castro flapping his gums at his neighbor to the north does not justify an unprovoked Military attack. There is no way to ratioalize the insanity of the prospect. Attack, destroy, and encarcarate in order to liberate? What kind of monsters has this administration become?


  5. Follow up post #5 added on June 14, 2004 by MJD

    Fidel Castro flapping his gums at his neighbor to the north does not justify an unprovoked Military attack. There is no way to ratioalize the insanity of the prospect. Attack, destroy, and encarcarate in order to liberate? What kind of monsters has this administration become?


  6. Follow up post #6 added on June 15, 2004 by Cubana

    There appear to be a few facts missing from the above article:

    Fact: Fidel Castro came to power through the barrel of a gun (i.e. regime change). He did not and never has submitted to the democratic will of the electorate through free elections. If the electorate of the US want to rid themseves of Bush they can do so.

    Fact: In Cuba last year 75 peaceful democrats, independent journalists and librarians were rounded up, subjected to sham trials and sentenced to up to 28 years imprisonment for exercising their human rights to independent thought.

    Fact: Having a high literacy rate and good health service and also being a democratic country are not mutually exclusive (viz Canada).

    Fact: Cuba can buy as much food and medicine from the US as it wants/can afford. Hardly a “ruthless” embargo. The reason Cuba’ economy is in such a poor state is because it is centrally controlled by the government with hardly any private enterprise allowed!


  7. Follow up post #7 added on August 30, 2004 by kabajo Nsubuga

    The u.s. will be defeated mightly by the great forces of the people anywhere in the world.
    Iraq,Vietnam, Somalia e.t.c.
    Yes Castro used the gun to gain power and control over Cuba, but did you ask yourself how The United states of America became independent of “great Britain”?
    The fact is there is no way cuba would have been where it is today had it remained under the despotic leadership of Batista.
    American foreign policy helped create Fidel Castro and the communists in Cuba shall remain afloat as long as American imperialism keeps its pinpricks on cuba.
    God bless Cuba and all the Cubans that died in Africa for the Africans, when all the western society was conjuring up a deadly mix of colonialism,imperialism,Apartheid and facism.
    We shall never forget your sacrifices, the cubans have more doctors working in Africa today than any other nation on earth.
    Communist China is a way much greater threat to u.s. interets than Cuba but the Americans would not risk the economic consequences that would entail.
    As for Canada i think they have done way better than you would think of a western in helping Cuba, although no one will say it in public.


  8. Follow up post #8 added on December 09, 2004 by Cubano X

    I would rejoice also.  The U.S. claims to be a representative democracy, but let us look at the 2000 elections.  It seems like the Supreme Court doe not care about the will of the U.S. people.  And, neither does Bush… who single-handedly murdered over 100,000 Iraqi civilians to de-install a U.S.-BACKED DICTATOR.  Everytime the U.S. sticks its nose in other nations’ affairs… problems follow.  I am glad that Socialism (of the Latino kind) has come to Latin America (the FIRST AMERICA!).  The U.S. has aonly a matter of time before they collapse economically.  Even Rome had to fall.


  9. Follow up post #9 added on December 09, 2004 by wellNgood

    Let’ remember that the U.S. is NOT “America”!  There are dozens of other nations who are ALSO “American”.  I’m so tired of their arrogance and greed.


  10. Follow up post #10 added on December 10, 2004 by Alex

    I am a cuban who left Cuba in 1980 at age 4
    the U.S. Has gone to far under the current Bush dictatorship
    the Sanction on Cuba was a Product of the cold war and mainly has to do with trade.

    Cuba has the potential to hurt the US Economy Becuase it would be a great Port City The U.S. Along with many others wish to have some pawn in palce to control the island to its benefit but they have not achieved this.

    By having the Upperhand the U.S. Controls the Foriegn Policy making of many smaller countries which it does trade with. therefore alot of countries would not trade with cuba just to gain the favor of the U.S. and reap the benefits of open trade with the biggest strongest military power in the world.

    If Cuba becomes Free by american means then the island becomes a rape victim once more. first it was raped and whored away by batista whom wanted cuba to be a tropical las vegas and promoted the enslaving of its countries people by big business. Castro freed Cuba from that greedy tyrant.

    after the cold war ended with russias fall cuba’ game paln changed and it took all the trade it could possibly handle
    recently in 2003 it started to become selective of its trade deals and is now strengthening in power.

    do not be surprised if by 2010 we have a new equal balance of power with china, russia, cuba, spain, brazil and venezuela as trade allies and the U.S. on the other end of the scale. Communist Socialist countries think as a group not as separate individuals so its easier to get the people to work long hours and slave away to protect thier land.

    communist countries have always been able to run thier economic engines on the sweat blood and will of the people and with very little effort they make a difference and come out winners. dont be surprised to see castro’ cuba take a stand within the next 2 years against U.S. Policy makers and illeterate lobbyist.


  11. Follow up post #11 added on December 10, 2004 by Alex

    I am a cuban who left Cuba in 1980 at age 4
    the U.S. Has gone to far under the current Bush dictatorship
    the Sanction on Cuba was a Product of the cold war and mainly has to do with trade.

    Cuba has the potential to hurt the US Economy Becuase it would be a great Port City The U.S. Along with many others wish to have some pawn in palce to control the island to its benefit but they have not achieved this.

    By having the Upperhand the U.S. Controls the Foriegn Policy making of many smaller countries which it does trade with. therefore alot of countries would not trade with cuba just to gain the favor of the U.S. and reap the benefits of open trade with the biggest strongest military power in the world.

    If Cuba becomes Free by american means then the island becomes a rape victim once more. first it was raped and whored away by batista whom wanted cuba to be a tropical las vegas and promoted the enslaving of its countries people by big business. Castro freed Cuba from that greedy tyrant.

    after the cold war ended with russias fall cuba’ game paln changed and it took all the trade it could possibly handle
    recently in 2003 it started to become selective of its trade deals and is now strengthening in power.

    do not be surprised if by 2010 we have a new equal balance of power with china, russia, cuba, spain, brazil and venezuela as trade allies and the U.S. on the other end of the scale. Communist Socialist countries think as a group not as separate individuals so its easier to get the people to work long hours and slave away to protect thier land.

    communist countries have always been able to run thier economic engines on the sweat blood and will of the people and with very little effort they make a difference and come out winners. dont be surprised to see castro’ cuba take a stand within the next 2 years against U.S. Policy makers and illeterate lobbyist.


  12. Follow up post #12 added on December 10, 2004 by Michael

    The prospect of violence between Cuba / USA is mere speculation. The fact that Fidel Castro has been able to remain in power and has withstood economic pressure from the Embargo doesn’t mean anything at this point. What matters is the Cuban people secretly wish and pray that his reign of terror will simply end. Let’ just hope it happens peacefully. 


  13. Follow up post #13 added on December 11, 2004 by Alex

    if and when Fidel Castro Dies the Cuban people will be satisfied with whoever is names succesor the truth of the matter is many cubans that came to the U.S. arent educated enough to know that the government in cuba is not fidel castros doing.

    and if thats is so then jimmy carter doesnt know what he is talking about becuase he sees clearly that the U.S wants to dominate Cuba and remove Fidel Castro. But castro doesnt want to give up cuba to a country that will exploit them.

    there will be no peacefull end to this cuba is like having an empty lot in lower manhattan. priceless and worth fighting for.


  14. Follow up post #14 added on April 07, 2005 by jallen with 2 total posts

      The prospect of an attack by the United Utates of Amerika is plausible considering the direct and subverse actions of the CIA.  Every US presidential administration since Eisenhower has undermined progress by implementing isolation of the Cuban government.  But something that the US should recognize is how Cuba’ form is the shadow of its former self.  Castro’ Marxist-Leninist policies have been transformed since the fall of the USSR whose purpose was to serve as an ally of the bold ideology.  Since then Cuba has suffered from the vacuum left by the collapse of its greatest economic partner, and because the US demands of other countries not trade with el jefe- this controversy will continue.  Shame too, I’d love to visit Havana.


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