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Castro refutes Bush’s charges against Cuba

It is hard to imagine what limits there are to the aggressiveness and hypocrisy of the U.S. rulers when they face a threat to their domination of their “backyard.” There is a long history of open and covert U.S. intervention in Latin America to defend the interests of U.S. big business there, including collusion with dictatorships that murdered tens of thousands of people in the 1970s and 1980s.

However, the U.S. rulers remain completely shameless in citing “humanitarian” and “democratic” principles to justify their attacks on Latin American governments that resist them. Cuba, as the only Latin America country in the region that has achieved real independence and has successfully stood up to U.S. pressures for nearly a half century, is the prime target of such campaigns.

The flood of poison against Cuba reached a new height on June 14, when the U.S. State Department issued a paper accusing the government of Fidel Castro of promoting “sex tourism” and even child prostitution. The outrage was compounded on July 16, when President Bush played up the charge in a campaign speech in Florida, obviously aimed at whipping up the Cuban counterrevolutionary community in the state.

Reading an open letter to Bush at the June 21 Anti-Imperialist Forum, Fidel responded as follows to the State Department document: “No country in the world has given as much physical and moral protection, as much health and education to its children as Cuba has. You should know that a higher proportion of children die in their first year of life in the United States than in Cuba. One hundred percent of children and adolescents in our country, including those afflicted by some kind of physical or mental disability, attend the appropriate schools and study.”

Although for 45 years, the rulers of the United States have done everything in their power to impoverish Cuba, Fidel said, class sizes are one-third smaller in Cuba than they are in the United States, where the decay of education, especially for poor children, is notorious.

The Cuban leader cited the evidence of Cuba’s genuine concern for the welfare of the world’s peoples, in contrast with the hypocritical pretenses of the White House: “You are trying to strangle our economy and are threatening war against a country that has shown itself capable of having 20,000 doctors currently offering their services in 64 countries of the Third World. Your administration, in spite of possessing the resources of the richest power on earth, has not sent a single doctor to the most distant corners of these countries, as Cuba does.”

Instead of showing any real concern for exploited people and in particular children, the U.S. rulers were the prop of a system that condemns tens of millions to misery and the most brutal forms of exploitation: “On your conscience, and on those of the leaders of the world’s richest states, lies the genocide which is implicit in the death, every year, of more than 10 million children and tens of millions more people who could be saved.

These deaths are the result of a vast assortment of pillage and robbery practiced against Third World countries through the unjust and no longer sustainable world economic order that the rich countries have imposed to the detriment of 80 percent of this planet’s population.”

The Cuban president pointed out that the U.S. government’s hypocritical attacks on Cuba were an attempt to prepare an armed assault to destroy the Cuban revolution: “The worst thing about your ridiculous, clumsy anti-Cuban policy is that you and your closest advisors have brazenly proclaimed your goal of forcibly imposing what you call ‘political transition’ on Cuba if I die in office, a transition which you do not, of course, hesitate to confess you will try to hasten as much as possible. You are very well aware of what that means in the language of the mob.

”However, perhaps the most shameful thing you did was to announce that the first hours will be decisive, since the idea is to go to any lengths, under any circumstances, to prevent a new political and administrative leadership from taking charge of our country. This you would do completely ignoring the Cuban Constitution, the powers of the National Assembly and of our Party’s leadership and the powers that the Constitution and the highest institutions of the people have bestowed—as it is the case all over the world—on those on those whose responsibility it is to assume this task immediately.

“Since this you can only do by sending troops to occupy key positions in the country, you are announcing your intention of launching a military intervention of our homeland.”

Facing this threat, Fidel declared the defiance of the Cuban revolutionary regime, reminding Bush that the U.S. rulers in the past broke their teeth on the resistance of the Cuban fighters:

“You should know that your march against Cuba will be anything but easy. Our people will stand up to your economic measures, whatever they may be. Forty-five years of heroic struggle against the blockade and economic war, against threats, aggressions, plots to assassinate its leaders, sabotage and terrorism have not weakened but rather strengthened the Revolution. ... Forty-three years ago the treacherous invasion by the Bay of Pigs was routed in less than 66 hours of relentless combat, against the estimates of brilliant experts.”

Fidel concluded his open letter: “You will not win glory with military action against Cuba. Our people will never give up its independence nor will it ever give up its political, social, and economic ideals.” Bush’s electioneering exploitation of the State Department paper in Florida on July 16 came shortly before the anniversary of the Cuban revolution on July 26. It provoked Fidel to a more personal response, his speech to the Cuban people in the massive celebrations, in which he analyzed the possible effects of the U.S. president’s admitted 20 years of alcoholism.

Fidel’s July 26 speech concluded with a reiteration of the facts: “What would Mr. Bush call the tens of millions of tourists who visit the United States every year where casinos, gambling dens, areas of male and female prostitution, and many other activities related to pornography and sex abound, none of which exist in Cuba and all of which are alien to the revolutionary culture of our people?…

“None of the aforementioned activities take place in Cuba. However, in the fevered and fundamentalist mind of the all-powerful gentleman in the White House and in those of his most intimate advisors, Cuba must now be ‘saved’ not only from ‘tyranny,’ Cuban children must now be ‘saved from sexual exploitation and trafficking in persons,’ ‘the world must be freed from this dreadful problem which takes place 90 miles away from the United States.’

“Has no one told him that in Cuba before the triumph of the revolution in 1959 about 100,000 women were directly or indirectly involved in prostitution for reasons of poverty, discrimination, and lack of work and that the revolution educated these women and found them jobs, and outlawed the so-called ‘tolerance zones’ which existed in the pseudo-republic and the neo-colony installed by the United States?”

Bush’s sanctimoniousness, paradoxically, may have gained him some points with the counterrevolutionary exiles, who include many former vice lords, as well as mass murderers and torturers, but its general effect can only be to remind the world of the crimes and the hypocrisy of the system of which he is a representative. His cynicism was a dark backdrop to the message the Cuban revolution has for the world, expressed in Fidel’s concluding slogans: “Long live truth!” “Long live human dignity!”

The article above first appeared in the August 2004 issue of Socialist Action newspaper, and was written by the editors of SA.

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