Why Cuba is a Serious Threat to the US.
By Leon Kunstenaar
A lot of well meaning people think that the US embargo on Cuba is an irrelevant vestige of the Cold War that no longer makes sense today; that it needlessly inflicts suffering on the Cuban people and does nothing to promote US interests.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Cuba is a serious threat to the US, it is crucial for the US to do everything it can to inflict as much suffering as possible on the Cuban people and to promote the overthrow of the Castro government.
This is why: Cuba has stepped outside of the role the US has determined to be the proper one for the countries of Latin America. In another age the role would be called that of the colony. While the word is no longer used, it is the substance of what our prosperity requires.
This means that the countries of Central and South America must be large scale exporters of low cost industrial and agricultural commodities such as oil, minerals, sugar, coffee, fruit, and low cost manufactured goods. The colonial models also calls for these enterprises to be managed (with some local ownership) by local elites but mainly owned and financed for the benefit of US global corporations.
Central to the model is the requirement of low cost labor and that that means, in a nutshell, poverty for most of the local populations and the constant suppression of labor and populist political activity. The resources of the country must be developed and used for the benefit of global investors; not for that of the local population. Local elites will prosper as long as they do their job as they have been doing so well in, for example, Columbia where as of the first half of 2002, 98 union organizers have been assassinated.
To make this model palatable to most American these countries must have the outward trappings of democracy. They must be led by people called "presidents" and must come to power in procedures called "elections". More or less. Sometimes, things go wrong ; some popular will sneaks through and the wrong people, people who want to control foreign exploitation, come to power either through elections or revolution. Matters are usually set right by the overwhelming economic and military power of the US. The history is well documented.
The glaring exception is Cuba, in spite of 40 years of US subversion and economic (and once military) assault Cuba has maintained a different model and Castro has survived. Cuba is a tremendous threat to the US, not because of any economic or military force which is non existent compared to that of the US but because in Cuba, in spite of the poverty and lack of democracy, Cuba's resources are for use by Cubans. Even more horrible, all Cubans get free medical care and all Cuban children get to go to school. These facts, visible to all the victims of the destitution and slaughter wrought by US financed and armed governments continue to be a tremendous embarrassment to the US. The US has to work that much harder at maintaining death-squad governments in the rest of Latin America to offset the few things that Cuba has done for itself.
This is why the US must do its utmost to bring down the Cuban government. The standard method is to inflict a great deal of suffering on the population with the message (a lie) that they can end the suffering if they overthrow their government. Thus the economic embargo. The system of inflicting suffering to achieve political goals is very popular these days. It is called terrorism.
We can get most Americans' consent with this policy by maintaining a continual criticism of Cuba's lack of democracy. The beauty of this system is that if Castro is forced to allow any political democracy, he would soon be faced by an opposition with the resources of the US government thereby committing political and probably biological suicide. This leads him to repress more which in turn adds credibility to the criticism. It seems to me that the CIA is really on the ball!
In spite of the estimated half billion dollars of yearly trade and thousands of additional US jobs that would result from ending the embargo the with Cuba, it is important to took at the bigger picture. A non-exploiting relationship with a Latin American county would seta precedent that could undermine one of the main foundations of US wealth. This is why it is important to continue the embargo.
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