August 09, 2006

"The sovereignty of Cuba must be respected"

To sign the statement below, already signed by over 16,000 individuals and over 200 organizations, go here

"As a result of the communication of Fidel Castro on his state of health and the provisional delegation of his responsibilities, high ranking U.S officials have formulated more explicit statements about the immediate future of Cuba. The Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez said that 'the moment has arrived for a true transition towards a true democracy' and the White House spokesman Tony Snow said that his government is 'ready and eager to provide humanitarian, economic and other aid to the people of Cuba', as was recently reiterated by President Bush.

"Already the 'Commission for Assistance to a free Cuba', presided over by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, pointed out in a report issued in June 'the urgency of working today to ensure that the Castro regime's succession strategy does not succeed' and President Bush indicated that this document 'demonstrates that we are actively working for change in Cuba, not simply waiting for change'. The Department of State has emphasized that the plan includes measures that will remain secret 'for reasons of national security' and to assure its 'effective implementation'.

"It is not difficult to imagine the character of such measures and the 'announced assistance' if one considers the militarization of the foreign policy of the present American administration and its performance in Iraq.

"In front of this increasing threat against the integrity of a nation, and the peace and the security of Latin America and the world, we the signatories listed below demand that the government of the United States respect the sovereignty of Cuba. We must prevent a new aggression at all cost."


Avloomat said...

the only thing that i object about communism is its belief that god is non existent and that religion is a drug. i have no quarrel with atheists, just stating a fact.

Cuba is a symbol of defiance.

Fidel Castro is no angel but i greatly admire his courage.

Al S. E. said...

Iwan, there has been full freedom of religion in Cuba since the early 1990s. Below are excerpts from an Associated Press story dated August 7:

HAVANA—Cubans are publicly praying to the African gods of Santeria, the saints of Roman Catholicism and the God of Protestant faiths in appeals for the health of ailing leader Fidel Castro and peace on the island.

Profoundly spiritual, many Cubans never put aside religious beliefs, even during three decades when the Communist government was officially atheist and religious believers of all kinds were viewed with suspicion.

Now many Cubans are turning to their faiths for comfort and hope with government leaders warning of foreign invasion, calls from abroad for democratic change and no sight of their ailing leader for nearly a week.

"All those who have something to do with the spiritual life should ask for the health of people, in this case of the Comandante Fidel Castro," said Alfredo Trujillo Pena, a babalawo, or priest of Santeria, a faith blending African and Roman Catholic traditions.

Invoking Cuba's patron saint, the Virgin of Caridad, Roman Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega called on parishioners yesterday to pray for Castro's health, peace on the island and fraternity among all Cubans, both here and abroad.

"We pray for the fatherland, for Cuba, and those who are leading it," Ortega said after Sunday mass. "In this way it is putting the future in the hands of the Lord."

Cuba's Bishops Conference in recent days issued a statement calling on the island's Catholics to pray for Castro's recovery and ask God to "illuminate" his brother, Defence Minister Raul Castro, during his provisional leadership of the nation.

"Above all, our plea is that nothing breaks the concord among Cubans, nor disturbs the peace among us," the cardinal said, adding that the church "would never accept in the least bit any foreign intervention."

Castro was also mentioned in prayers at Cuba's Protestant churches.

"As followers of Jesus of Nazareth, we will maintain our personal and community prayers for the rapid re-establishment of our president's health," the Rev. Raul Suarez, a Baptist minister and parliament deputy, said in a communiqué.

Relations between church and state improved greatly in the early 1990s, when Cuba dropped all references to atheism from its constitution and allowed religious believers of all faiths to join the Communist party for the first time.

Immoral Majority said...

Call me paranoid, but I am hesitant to sign petitions or use my real name in criticisms of Bush's policies. Certainly right now nothing bad would happen to me, but what if there's another terrorist attack, and people again start giving Bush whatever powers he wants?

I have no doubt that if the Bush administration had the power to, on a large scale, make their critics dissapear, they would certainly do it. I fear we are not much more than one or two terrorist attacks away from that.

Unfortunately, I think it's very unlikely that anything will keep the US out of Cuba once Castro is gone. What I hope for is a leader like Chavez in Vennezuela, who realizes that his survival depends almost entirely on winning the public relations war in the US. Certainly the US will attempt to villify any leader that doesn't put US economic and strategic interests ahead of that of his own people. What determines if the US is able to remove that leader is whether or not domestic US popular opinion buys into the propaganda.

Al S. E. said...

I.M., I find what you say about domestic US opinion of Chavez interesting, because I was under the opposite impression from up here. My impression was that although Chavez may have created some kind of good feeling about himself among some segments of the US working class and the liberal intelligentsia, the rest of society, and even the rest of the groups I mentioned, consider Chavez a "dictator," and would not be overly concerned if Bush decided to remove him in a non-violent way – perhaps through massive increases in his already massive funding of the opposition.

In other words, would I be wrong in thinking that at least 90 percent of Americans are of the opinion that the US political system is the ideal political system, to which everyone in the world should aspire, and that therefore anyone who is in conflict with that system must surely be wrong?