People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 43

November 02, 2008


End This Inhuman Blockade On Cuba

The national committee for solidarity with CUBA has written to the general secretary, United Nations, on October 27, 2008 the following letter

WE, the undersigned writers, artists and intellectuals, condemn the continuing blockade of Cuba and demand that the USA be forced to end it. For fifty years now, Washington's economic, commercial and financial blockade remains in force, as the most blatant expression of a cruel and inhuman policy, lacking any kind of legitimacy or legality, whose aim has been the reversal of the Cuban revolution by all possible means, including bringing about starvation and despair among the Cuban population.

On the basis of its officially-declared and covert aims, of its scope and of the means and actions in pursuit of these, the US blockade on Cuba amounts to genocide, within the meaning of the
Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (9th December 1948), and to an act of economic war, according to the definition established at the 1909 London Naval Conference.

As confirmed by 16 consecutive resolutions of the UN General Assembly, this policy conflicts with the aims and principles of the UN Charter, with the principles of international law governing relations between sovereign states, and with the principles of freedom of international trade and navigation enshrined in various international instruments.

The aggressively extraterritorial nature of this policy, especially under the administration of president George W Bush, is also increasingly damaging the sovereignty of third nations and the legitimate interests of organisations and individuals under their jurisdiction.

In the interval since the passing of General Assembly Resolution 62/3, on October 30, 2007, the main elements of the blockade on Cuba have been maintained or intensified, as reflected in heavier economic sanctions and sterner persecution of business activity and international financial operations (including those involved in settling Cuba's dues to the UN's international agencies), as well as misappropriation of Cuban trade marks, and increased pressures on and reprisals against those who trade with Cuba or form links with Cuba for the purposes of cultural or artistic exchange. Washington has also moved on to a more open and dangerous stage in the organisation and execution of subversive operations, through official channels and otherwise, as envisaged in president Bush's plan for re colonising Cuba and it subsequent updating on July 10, 2006.

On October 24, 2007, just days after the General Assembly passed the latest resolution calling on America to lift its economic, commercial and financial blockade on Cuba, the US president made a speech clearly indicating the approach Washington's policy on Cuba would reflect during the last phase of the Bush administration, in open contempt of the wishes of the international community.

He painted an absurdly inaccurate picture of conditions in Cuba, in an attempt to vilify the country and create a pretext for retaining his increasingly denigrated policy, and said "The operative word in our future dealings with Cuba is not stability. The operative word is freedom.” He revealed the decision to resort even to force if necessary, to undermine the resistance of the Cuban people and re-colonise the country or (which amounts to the same thing) bring about a "change of regime", in line with the aggressive, hegemonic doctrine of the White House's present tenants.

In a state of interventionist fever and as a clear indication of frustration at what he considers scant international support for his illegal policy, Mr Bush launched a further call for accomplices in applying his strategy of hostility and aggression towards the Cuban people.

Intensification of the current US administration's anti-Cuba political and media campaign, which goes beyond any of its predecessors, was also confirmed by president Bush's anti-Cuba speech from the White House on May 21, 2008.

Events in the context of this strategy included a further tour of various European capitals, from April 7-16 this year, by deputy assistant secretary of state Kirsten Madison, and the proconsul for the virtual re colonisation of Cuba, Caleb McCarry.

These spokespersons of Washington's anti-Cuba strategy focussed their efforts on preventing the lifting of the EU sanctions, unjustly imposed in 2003, as well as on discouraging high-level visits from Europe to Cuba, and seeking to impose endorsement of America's anti-Cuba policy in the EU-US dialogue.

In attempting to destroy the constitutional order established and supported by the Cuban people - a core aim of the economic, commercial and financial blockade - Washington has pulled out all the stops in its efforts to recruit, organise and bankroll persons born in Cuba to act as paid servants of America's policy of hostility and aggression towards the Cuban nation. Cuba has submitted evidence, including conclusive proof, of these allegations, which the US authorities have been unable to refute.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been one of the mechanisms used for channeling money to meet the payroll of US mercenaries in Cuba - operations in which the US Interests Office in Cuba (Havana) has been directly involved.

On May 14, 2008, USAID called a meeting at its Washington offices for the purpose of distributing an extra $45m that had been allocated by the Bush administration to the undeclared war on the Cuban people.

The meeting was chaired by USAID Latin America chief José Cardenas, a former executive of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) - an organisation set up under the auspices of the Reagan administration and involved in organising and financing various terrorist operations against Cuba. The meeting approved additional federal funds for identifying other NGOs in third countries, with a view to engaging their services in the campaign against Cuba.

Highlighting the substantial expansion of USAID's anti-Cuba programme, the chairman reported that the budget had been increased from $13m in 2007 to $45m in the financial year 2008 - a reflection of the priority attached by the Bush administration to reversing the Cuban people's revolution. Washington is now cynically using its diplomats in Havana to pass on money received from known terrorist organisations based on US soil to subversive groups in Cuba, as has been recently denounced by the government of the Republic of Cuba.

Moreover, we appeal to you to ensure the release of the Five Cubans, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzales and Rene Gonzales who have been responsible for exposing terrorists who had conducted the bombing of a Cuban passenger aircraft and other acts of terror in different countries. Their activity resulted in saving many innocent lives.

In view of the above, and with knowledge that the Bush administration is preparing to intensify the blockade and continue its intervention through illegal means in the internal affairs of Cuba, we appeal to you to ensure that this year the General Assembly resolution be accompanied by genuine pressure on the USA to stop acting as an outlaw and abandon its policy against the genuine interests of the Cuban people and those of the world as a whole.

1. M A Baby (minister of Education, Kerala)

2. Dr Prabhat Patnaik (economist, advisor to the government of Kerala)

3.Professor Chandrabali Singh(writer and literary critic)

4.Ajeet Caur (eminent writer)

5. Vivan Sundaram(eminent artist)

6.Arpana Caur(eminent artist)

7.Professor Asghar Wajahat( eminent novelist, playwright)

8.Asad Zaidi(eminent poet)

9.Vishnu Nagar(eminent poet)

10. Manglesh Dabral(eminent poet)

11. Sangita Singh( eminent poet)

12. Pankaj Singh( eminent poet)

13. Dr Chanchal Chauhan(eminent poet and general secretary of Progressive Writers’ Association)

14. Siddarth Tagore(editor and gallerist)

15. Atul Sinha (eminent sculptor)

16. Vijendra Sharma(eminent artist)

17. Mohan Singh ( eminent artist)

18. K Vikram Singh (eminent filmmaker and critic)

19. Manjira Dutta (eminent filmmaker)

20. Pramod Ganapatye (eminent artist)

21. Suneet Chopra (eminent art critic and writer)

22. K Ashok Rao (chairperson, NCOA)

23. Dr Sonia Sirohi Gupta (eminent writer and professor)

24. D K Agarwal (eminent lawyer and general secretary of AILU

25. P K Biju ( president, Students Federation of India)

26. Ritabrata Banerjee ( general secretary, Students Federation of India)

27. Sreeramakrishnan( president, Democratic Youth Federation of India)

28. Tapas Sinha ( general secretary, Democratic Youth Federation of India)

29. Ashok Vajpeyi (eminent poet and chairman, Lalit Kala Akademy)

30. Hannan Mollah ( member of parliament)

31. AVijayaraghavan( member of parliament and convenor, National Committee for Solidarity with Cuba)