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Score at United Nations: Cuba 188 – U.S. 3

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The United States stands virtually alone in its crusade against Cuba, at the United Nations General Assembly and in western hemispheric forums. “Rather than isolating Cuba, the 52 year-long embargo has resulted in the isolation of the United States.”

 

Score at United Nations: Cuba 188 – U.S. 3

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

On Cuba, as with foreign policy in general, Barack Obama represents the continuity of U.S. imperial policy.”

For the 21st year in a row, the United Nationals General Assembly has nearly unanimously condemned the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, now in its 52nd year. The vote was 188 to 3, with only Israel and the tiny Pacific island of Palau siding with the United States. Two other mini-states in the Pacific, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, abstained from the vote. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez noted that President Obama came into office talking about a new beginning in relations Havana, but “the reality of the last four years has been characterized by a persistent tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade.” On Cuba, as with foreign policy in general, Barack Obama represents the continuity of U.S. imperial policy, from Eisenhower through George W. Bush. The First Black President is no different than his predecessors when it comes to Cuba, the island nation that refuses to buckle under to Washington.

The Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul, have not only born witness to U.S. decline in the hemisphere and the world, they have contributed mightily to the humbling of the Yankees. Not content simply to survive America’s unremitting hostility over the course of two and a half generations, Cuba has been an icon of resistance to U.S. imperialism around the world. The people’s of southern Africa owe Cuba a huge debt for helping defeat Washington’s allies, the racist South African military, in Angola, in 1988 – a watershed event that hastened the demise of the white regime.

Washington earned the hatred of vast sectors of Latin American society, while Cuba’s prestige continued to grow.”

The Cuban revolution’s impact on Latin America cannot be overstated. After the 1959 revolution, the United States pushed one country after another into military dictatorships, under which hundreds of thousands were massacred and disappeared. The U.S. and its fascist friends declared war, not just on the Left, but on Latin American civil society itself, in a crusade to prevent another Cuba from happening in the Americas. As a result, Washington earned the hatred of vast sectors of Latin American society, while Cuba’s prestige continued to grow. One by one, the U.S.-backed dictatorships collapsed, allowing Latin American politics to come alive, again. The people of South and Central America had shared the collective nightmare of rule by Washington’s fascist proxies. They also shared a determination to never again be dominated by the superpower to the North. Majorities in every Latin American country knew exactly what the Cubans meant when they spoke of the dangers of U.S. imperialism.

Earlier this year, at a summit meeting of hemispheric leaders, the United States found itself totally isolated on the question of Cuba. Even the president of Colombia, Washington’s closest ally in the region, declared there could not be another summit without Cuba’s presence. Rather than isolating Cuba, the 52 year-long embargo has resulted in the isolation of the United States, in the western hemisphere and at the United Nations General Assembly. Maybe that’s what the future will look like: the U.S., despite all its weapons, one day all alone except for pariah states like Israel, while the rest of the world gets on with the business of living.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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Comments

The Travel Channel and Cuba

A couple of weeks ago I was watching Anthony Bourdain visit Cuba on an episode of the Travel Channel and I was left with the impression that although Cuba is not perfect and some freedoms (internet access for example) are controlled, and there is some continued food rationing that by and large Cuba has benefited from the US embargo, to a great extent.

Because Cuba has learned self-sufficiency the hard way, something unfortunately we African Americans can't seem to learn.

The island has not been bombarded with US cultural pollution nor environmental pollution.  Education is free up to the Ph.D level and medicine is free.  The people are by and large happy and I did some research that showed that crime rates are incredibily low.

I had a former co-worker who once half-heartedly joked that the best way to undermine a foreign country was to introduce McDonalds (I might add Disneyland to his equation).  Given how hard France has fought to keep out certain elements of US culture and genetically engineered foods, and given the obesity rates and other issues that arise from the introduction of US culture and dietary habits in other countries there is more than a little truth to his sarcasm.

My word of caution to Cuba is be careful what you ask for.  Hopefully they can continue to strike a balance and harmony in terms of the needs of the population and societal stability if the embargo is lifted. 



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