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Vets for Peace
Lt. ehren Watada
Sharat g. Lin
Dorothy Ray Healey, Activist
Beyond Same-Sex Marriage
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Planning for a ReColonization of Cuba
T he Bush administration’s Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, cochaired by U.S. Secretaries of State and Commerce, presented a report to the president in early July, 2006. This “Report to the President” (www.cafc.org) is a lengthy and comprehensive plan, detailing the steps that the U.S. government and other “vital actors” will take to bring Cuba back into the family of U.S. colonies, which now include some of the Pacific Islands, Puerto Rico, Kabul, and the Green Zone in Baghdad.
This plan is much the same as the one for Iraq (which was not publicly articulated beforehand). By privatizing what used to be done publicly, it will bring Cuba into the modern, civilized world by creating a capitalist “utopia.” Private entrepreneurs from the “international community” (mostly U.S. corporations) and the “Cuban community abroad” (mostly U.S. citizens), unencumbered by societal restraint, will save the “longsuffering” Cuban people from continuing poverty and tyranny while, incidentally, benefiting themselves.
The recommendation for the Cuban destabilization activities going on now is to continue or increase everything, especially the radioTV projects illegally being forced on Cubans by U.S. airplanes, tightening the blockade—i.e., fining foreign banks that deal in Cuba transactions, punishing and rewarding foreign governments that increase or decrease Cuba trade, and tightening and increasing punishment for travel restrictions—the cost of which already triples what we spend trying to trace Al Qaeda funds.
The funding for all this will be a new U.S. slush fund of $80 million, increased by $20 million per year, plus all the dirty destabili zation money (unknown multimillions per year) now being funneled through AID, NED, the socalled NGOs in Florida and the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
Under the plan, in the future all Cuban communication, electric power, transport, mining, industry, agriculture, medical, and other productive enterprise will be privatized and the vital actors (the U.S. and its entrepreneurs) will build and create for Cuba a water and sanitation system, a healthcare system, an education system, a transportation system, a communication system, a shelter system (homes for everyone), a food security system (a chicken in every pot), all presumably similar to what we are doing for or to the Iraqi people. Much more than we are willing to do for the people of New Orleans.
Our“ generosity” to the Cubans is conditioned, however, on their acceptance of a new political economy, which is similar to our own. There’s very little said about what already exists in Cuba and nothing about the effects of our blockade and terrorism against Cubans. It’s as if the institutions, infrastructure, and protective capabilities that have been created in 45 years of independence are so insignificant they’re not worth mentioning.
Not surprisingly, this plan is rife with the usual code words the Administration uses to manipulate public opinion, such as “democracy” (commercial oligarchy), “freedom” (of the big fish to eat the little ones), “dissenters” (most ly a few hundred U.S. paid mercenaries). The plan is also full of statements about what changes the Cuban people want (with no supporting evidence), but says little about any role for them in pursuing their supposed desires. Indeed, they are treated overall as the objects of a transformation to be carried out by others. They are seen as helpless and ignorant, in need of education and training in the complexities of modern consumer society.
The plan is to rebuild the Cuban nation from scratch to an eventual capitalist neocolony similar to those that now exist in Central America and the Caribbean. Nothing is said, however, about how we get from present reality to “scratch.” The first six months are said to be crucial. This is when the Cuban Transition Government (CTG) will be set up. Clearly this means a puppet government, such as was created for Afghanistan and Iraq. Funding will consist of an imposed IMF structural adjustment loan, other international bank loans, international investment, especially by the “Cuban community abroad,” and direct U.S. taxpayer help where deemed appropriate.
M uch concern is expressed in the plan about Fidel Castro’s “strategy” for succession. Cuba has a constitution, but no mention of it is made in the plan. Nor, seemingly, is one to be written for them, as was done in Afghanistan and Iraq. The plan says that Castro’s strategy is that his brother becomes president when he leaves office, which the plan’s vital actors will not allow to happen.
This Constitution establishes a nonpartisan participatory/representative electoral system, which is not similar to ours, but in some respects is more accountable and democratic. At the local and provincial levels there must be two or more candidates for each office. At the national level it’s a parliamentary type system where any candidate for the 619, 5year National Assembly seats must receive at least 50 percent of the vote to win office. The executive (called the Council of State, analogous to our president and cabinet) consists of 24 members of the Assembly headed by a president and vice president, which presently are the duly elected Castro brothers.
The Constitution provides that if the president is unable to continue or leaves for any reason, the vice president will take over until the National Assembly elects a new president. The Assembly and the Castro brothers have frequently said the succession will occur per the Constitution. The only way it could be stopped or changed is by outside military intervention. Thus, the U.S. plan is, in effect, as Cuba’s Assembly President Richard Alarcon has stated, a declaration of war. It’s a combination of unsupported generalities, gross exaggeration, insults, hypocrisy, and outright falsehoods. It’s an ultimatum, which acknowledges no possibility that there may be other views and perspectives about Cuba.
It’s unusual to publicly issue beforehand a plan for the subjugation of a sovereign nation. Americans should ask themselves why our government is issuing a plan like this at this time. Clearly, pander is an important factor. The South Florida business community, which consists of people with all kinds of ancestry, including European, Latin, and Cuban, tends to see Cuba as its competitor in its main industry, tourism. It funds most of our national and Florida antiCuba politicians and receives from them in return a brutal blockade, a vicious antiCuba policy, and more taxpayer money in return.
Many of these people see the present Administration as their last chance to retake power in Cuba. At this point the overbuilt South Florida real estate market is looking like a lead balloon and things are getting a little “iffy” in the construction, mortgage, banking, tourism, stock markets, and other areas. As suggested in the plan, business conferences are being held frequently in Miami to plan the takeover of Cuba and they are already arguing among themselves about the spoils.
The plan alleges that Cuba and Venezuela are “intermeddling” in other Latin countries’ internal affairs (which is something the U.S. would never do?). No Latin country has complained of such Cuban actions and no evidence has been produced to support such a charge. It’s true that Cuba sends physicians, nurses, and teachers to help poor people in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa, but only on request of their governments. The truth is that after a century of U.S. corporate exploitation, some countries in South America are becoming independent nations. The Cuban Revolution stands as a shining example that such can be done.
The plan was written and assembled by over 100 experts from various government agencies, but the CIA is not among these. There are plenty of good reasons to believe that the CIA, at least the agents who know something about Cuba, agree with previous Pentagon investigations of Cuban military installations that Cuba constitutes no risk to our national security. Nevertheless part of the plan is being kept secret on national security grounds.
There are several possible scenarios that could be used to publicly justify another military intervention in Cuba. One of the most unfounded and dangerous aspects of the U.S. propaganda campaign is the assertion that the Cuban Revolution has been the work of one man (“the tyrant”) and the people on the island are desperate to return to corporate rule.
Several years ago a poll indicated that 25 percent of Miamians of Cuban ancestry want to return to Cuba when the leadership changed. Thus, there’s a distinct possibility of a boat exodus from South Florida to Cuba, possibly tens or hundreds of thousands of people. In the Clinton years, Washington, Florida, and Miami had contingency plans to prevent this by using the Coast Guard and various agencies. This is nowhere mentioned in the plan, but it can be inferred that such contingency plans no longer exist or will not be used.
Any intervention in Cuba will lead to a brutal war and a harsh, and bloody occupation/insurgency, which will end only when the U.S. withdraws completely.
Tom Crumpacker is a member of the Miami Coalition to End the U.S. Embargo of Cuba.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.