Cuba in the Peephole

Today (7/11/21) we are witnessing that Cuban people have taken to the streets to protest the harsh conditions they are living under. And there is no denial that living conditions in Cuba are harsh. But the cause of the harsh conditions in its essence has nothing to do with failures of the Cuban government, but with the genocidal Blockade that the most powerful nation in the history of the world has placed on the Cuban people.
In April 6, 1960, Deputy Assistant Secretary Lester Mallory wrote an internal memo that led to the initiation of  the United States embargo against Cuba. Mallory proposed denying money and supplies to Cuba, decreasing their wages, and bringing about hunger and desperation. Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted the embargo. 

In a secret memorandum, declassified in 1991, Mallory wrote on April 6, 1960: “Most Cubans support Castro…There is no effective political opposition. The only possible way to make the government lose domestic support is by provoking disappointment and discouragement through economic dissatisfaction and hardships. Every possible means should be immediately used to weaken the economic life denying Cuba funds and supplies to reduce nominal and real salaries with the objective of provoking hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the government.”
As we see from Mr. Mallory’s memo this is the strategy that has been utilized for 60 years to destabilize Cuba and make it susceptible to foreign intervention. For many years, the United States government had been working tirelessly trying to provoke an insurrection in Cuba. From terrorist acts like blowing up an airplane by US connected operatives to the infiltration of groups fighting against the Blockade. All guided with the purpose of creating the conditions for regime change.
The fight against the Blockade is not a fight in support of the Cuban government. It is a fight to preserve Cuba’s National Sovereignty. I am a Cuban exile, I once for several years in the late 1990’s  served in the Board of Directors of the Cuban-American Committee for Democracy (CCD) and as its treasurer for a couple of years.  The CCD was led for several years by Bay of Pigs veteran Alfredo Duran, who also was head of Florida’s Democratic Party from 1976 to 1980. And even though the CCD was an opposition organization to the Cuban Government among its organizational tenets was the fight to preserve Cuba’s National Sovereignty. So, we were actively working against any possibility of U.S. military involvement in Cuba and rather encourage dialogue with the Cuban government. We were not in favor of the government, but we were very much against Cuban blood being spilled because many Cubans residing in the USA just wanted to return to Cuba to gain back their mansions and class privileges.
Cuba, needs assistance, for 29 years the United Nations have been holding votes on the embargo. This year the vote was 184-2. This overwhelming worldwide support for the Cuban nation is a black eye for the United States that is being seen as the Goliath in the two nations relationship. The latest scheme of the USA regime change approach is to provide what is known in counterintelligence circles as a Soft Coup. That is infiltrate organizations that are fighting against the blockade to sow chaos and confusion within them, consequently, attaining splits inside of those organizations especially those with aspirations to become mass organizations.
And let us be clear, that many of those items that the Cuban people are complaining about their lack-of are real complaints. That’s one of the reasons that many Cuban-Americans have been mobilizing all throughout the United States to demand an end to the blockade because how harshly is affecting Cuban families. Most Cubans supporting the caravans “Bridges of Love” are not sympathizers of the Cuban government but love their families and see themselves having to sacrifice to help their families survive the Blockade. These caravans are led by Seattle’s Carlos Lazo, a high school teacher, and Jesus Medina “El Proteston” a podcaster from Miami. These two have joined forces and neither of them have a history of previous involvement in Cuban matters. But they are not alone, and there are many more also doing a yeo-man job motivated by their love for Cuban families. Dr. Manuel Tejeda that put together in three months a Facebook group of 100,000 people against the Blockade; Felix Sharpe-Caballero, a Cuban-American from Detroit, Michigan, that has put together a fine group of people interested in alleviating food insecurity inside of Cuba, and many leaders of groups and pages in Facebook like Barbaro Silva. Plus, many American citizens that have been doing much work to support Cuba. People like Medea Benjamin from Codepink, Peter Seidman from Hands Off Venezuela and Cuba, Lisa Valanti, the National President of the U.S. – Cuba Sister Cities Association, inc. and many others that are too many to list. Cuban families are not alone in the fight for dignity.
To conclude, I have high hopes that President Biden will follow former President Barack Obama’s trend of thought and fulfill his campaign promise to do away with Trump’s added sanctions to Cuba and return to Obama’s gradual rebuilding of the ties between the two nations. In the meantime, Cuban-Americans in the diaspora will continue fighting against the Blockade and to help their families in the besieged island.
Lorenzo Canizares