The most recent events in the region confirm that the U.S. government and reactionary oligarchies are responsible for the dangerous political and social upheaval and instability in Latin America and the Caribbean.
As the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, foresaw January 1, 2019: “Those who have illusions about the restoration of imperialist rule in our region should understand that Latin America and the Caribbean have changed and so has the world (…) The region resembles a prairie in times of drought. A spark could generate an uncontrollable fire that would harm the national interests of all.”
President Donald Trump proclaims the validity of the Monroe Doctrine and appeals to McCarthyism to maintain imperialist domination of the region’s natural resources, impede the exercise of national sovereignty, and aspirations of regional integration and cooperation; in an attempt to re-establish its unipolar hegemony on a world and hemispheric scale; eliminate progressive, revolutionary and alternative models to savage capitalism; reverse political and social conquests and impose neoliberal models, regardless of international law, the rules of the game of representative democracy, the environment, and the welfare of peoples.
On Monday, December 2, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threateningly accused Cuba and Venezuela of taking advantage of and helping to expand agitation in countries of the region. He distorts and manipulates reality and ignores, as a principal cause of regional instability, constant U.S. intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The legitimate protests and massive popular mobilizations taking place on the continent, particularly in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil, are caused by poverty and growing inequality in the distribution of wealth; the certainty that neoliberal formulas aggravate the exclusionary and unsustainable situation of social vulnerability; absent or inadequate health care, education and social security; attacks on human dignity; unemployment and the restriction of labor rights; privatization, higher prices, cutbacks in public services, and increased citizen insecurity.
Revealed is the crisis of a political system; the lack of real democracy; the extent to which traditional conservative parties are discredited; rejection of the historical corruption typical of military dictatorships and right-wing governments; limited popular support for official authorities; lack of confidence in institutions and the judicial system.
The people are also protesting brutal police repression, the militarization of the police under the pretext of protecting critical infrastructure, the exemption of repressors from criminal responsibility; the use of war weapons and riot police that cause deaths and serious injuries, including hundreds of young people with irreparable eye injuries caused by pellets guns; the outlawing of demonstrations; rapes, beatings and violence against those arrested, including minors; and the murder of social leaders, former guerrillas and journalists.
The United States defends and supports repression against demonstrators using the pretext of safeguarding the so-called “democratic order.” The duplicitous silence of some governments, institutions and figures, who are actively critical of the left, is a disgrace. The complicity of the corporate media is shameful.
People rightly ask where is democracy and the rule of law; what are institutions supposedly dedicated to the protection of human rights doing; where is the much touted independent judicial system?
Let us revisit some facts. In March of 2015, President Barack Obama signed a preposterous executive order declaring the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, economy and foreign policy” of the great power.
In November of 2015, a costly electoral defeat of the left in Argentina occurs.
The neoliberal offensive take a decisive step in August 2016, with the parliamentary-judicial coup in Brazil against President Dilma Rousseff, the criminalization and imprisonment of Workers Party leaders, and later of former President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva himself, with the early participation of the U.S. Department of Justice, through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, to install a dependent government, willing to reverse important social conquests through neoliberal policies, make nefarious changes to the development model, allow the destruction of state enterprises and devastating privatization, permit the cut-rate sale of the country’s resources and infrastructure to U.S. transnational corporations.
At the end of 2017, Hondurans protest the outcome of elections and face terrible repression.
In January 2018, the United States disrupts the signing of an agreement between the Venezuelan government and the Washington-run opposition. A month later, the Secretary of State proclaims the validity of the Monroe Doctrine and calls for a military coup against the Bolivarian Chavista Revolution.
In March 2018, the atrocious assassination of Brazilian councilwoman Marielle Franco takes place, causing a wave of indignation in the country and around the world, and raising unanswered questions about the suspicious role of powerful groups. In April, Lula is imprisoned through spurious legal maneuvers. Copious evidence emerges of U.S. intervention in Brazilian elections through specialized companies that use “big data” and polimetric technologies to individually manipulate the will of voters, like those wielded by ultra-reactionary Steve Bannon and the Israeli right wing.
In this period, judicial proceedings against former Presidents Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Rafael Correa are launched. In April 2018, an attempt is made to destabilize Nicaragua through external interference and the application of unilateral coercive measures.
On August 4, 2018, an assassination attempt against President Nicolás Maduro Moros occurs. In January 2019, the self-proclamation of an unknown, the corrupt Juan Guaidó (as President of Venezuela), is organized in Washington. In March 2019, President Trump renews the executive order labeling Venezuela a threat. On April 30, an attempted military coup in Caracas fails miserably, and the United States, vindictively, escalates its unconventional war against the South American nation, that resists tenaciously and heroically with its people’s civic-military union.
Throughout this period, the U.S. government has implemented savage anti-immigrant policies, and adopted aggressive, hateful measures to fuel fear and division within the electorate. An attempt is made to erect a xenophobic wall on the border with Mexico. This country and Central American nations are threatened with terrible tariffs and sanctions if they do not stop those fleeing poverty and insecurity, and the U.S. increases deportations. Thousands of children are cruelly separated from their parents, 69,000 minors detained and attempts made to deport the children of immigrants born and raised in U.S. territory.
Showing shameless subordination to the United States, the far-right Brazilian government of Jair Bolsonaro resorts to lies, a xenophobic, racist, misogynist and homophobic discourse, combined with delirious projections about social and political phenomena such as climate change, Indigenous populations, fires in the Amazon, and emigration, which have generated the repudiation of many leaders and organizations. His administration is dismantling social programs that allowed Workers Party governments to notably reduce levels of poverty and social exclusion in Brazil.
Since May 2019, tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets against cuts in education, pension reforms, discriminatory policies and gender-based violence.
The Brazilian government has intervened in the internal affairs of neighboring countries, including Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, and has taken hostile positions against Cuba, in violation of international law. As reported in the Brazilian press, in April 2019, the Foreign Ministry instructed 15 of its embassies to coordinate with U.S. embassies to urge receptive governments to condemn Cuba in international forums.
For the first time since 1992, this year Brazil — accompanied only by the United States and Israel — voted against the United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba, which the United States is now tightening, and for an end to the extraterritorial application of its laws against third states.
At the same time, the Colombian government abstained in the vote on the resolution it has supported since 1992, at a time when the genocidal U.S. blockade of Cuba and its extraterritorial scope is intensifying. To justify this reprehensible decision, the country’s authorities resorted to disgraceful, politically motivated manipulation of Cuba’s altruistic, devoted, modest, unobjectionable contribution to peace in Colombia, for which our country is universally recognized. The broad, critical debate that the process generated in this nation is well known, one which Cuba, despite everything, will continue to support in its efforts to achieve peace.
U.S. slanders, attributing to Cuba supposed responsibility for the organization of popular mobilizations against neoliberalism in South America, constitute an incredible pretext, to justify and tighten the blockade and hostile policies directed against our people. Likewise, it is useless to attempt to hide the failure of the capitalist system; to protect failing, repressive governments; to cover up parliamentary, judicial and police coups; and to revive the specter of socialism to intimidate people. In doing so, the U.S. also seeks to justify repression and the criminalization of social protest.
Cuba is only responsible for the example set by our heroic people in defending our sovereignty, in resisting the most brutal and systematic aggression, in the invariable practice of solidarity and cooperation with sister nations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
It bothers imperialism that Cuba has demonstrated that another world is possible and that an alternative model to neoliberalism can be built, based on solidarity, cooperation, dignity, fair distribution of income, equal access to professional advancement, citizen safety and protection, and the full liberation of human beings.
The Cuban Revolution also provides evidence that a firmly united people, owner of its country and its institutions, in constant, profound democracy, can resist victoriously and advance in its development, despite aggression and the longest blockade in history.
The coup in Bolivia, orchestrated by the United States, using the OAS and the local oligarchy as tools, demonstrates the aggressiveness of the imperialist escalation. Cuba reiterates its condemnation of the coup, of the brutal repression unleashed, and expresses its solidarity with compañero Evo Morales Ayma and the Bolivian people.
While the U.S. government continues its unconventional war to attempt to overthrow the legitimately constituted government of President Nicolas Maduro Moros and invoke the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), Cuba reaffirms our unwavering intention to maintain cooperation with the Venezuelan government and people.
To the Sandinista government and people of Nicaragua, led by President Daniel Ortega, who face destabilization attempts and unilateral coercive measures, we reiterate our solidarity.
The legitimate government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, and its Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, deserve international solidarity and already have that of the Cuban people, at a time when this island nation is a victim of external interference that has provoked violence and is intended to undermine the electoral process.
In this complex scenario, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico confronts neoliberalism, and defends the principles of non-intervention and respect for sovereignty, while the election of Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández as President and Vice President in Argentina expresses the unequivocal rejection by that nation of the neoliberal formulas that impoverished it, indebted it, and seriously hurt its people. The liberation of Lula is a victory of the people, and Cuba reiterates its call for a worldwide mobilization to demand his full freedom, recognition of his innocence, and restitution of his political rights.
The corruption that characterizes the behavior of the current U.S. government is obvious. Its impact on the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean has cost lives, suffering, instability and economic damage.
Given the dramatic situation that the region and the world are facing, Cuba reaffirms the principles of sovereignty, non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states, and the right of all peoples to freely choose and construct their own political system, in an environment of peace, stability and justice, without threats, aggression or unilateral coercive measures; and calls for adherence to the postulates of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.
Cuba will continue to work toward the integration of Our America, which includes making every effort to ensure that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), soon to be chaired by Mexico, continues to promote the common interests of our nations by strengthening unity within diversity.
Cuba responds to the relentless onslaught of the most reactionary forces in the hemisphere with the unwavering resistance of our people, and the will to defend the unity of our nation, its social conquests, sovereignty and independence, and socialism, at whatever cost necessary. We do so with optimism and unwavering confidence in the victory bequeathed to us by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, with the guidance of our Party’s First Secretary, Army General Raúl Castro, and the leadership of President Miguel Díaz-Canel.
Havana, December 3, 2019