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Defamation strategy against Cuba during coronavirus

Slander and unfounded accusations, especially towards Cuba’s international medical cooperation, are part of the growing hostility shown by the US government towards the Caribbean island.

 

Deisy Francis Mexidor

 

A week after the terrorist attack on the Cuban Embassy in Washington on 30 April, the seriousness of this incident is being ignored by the US administration.

Meanwhile, the White House uses social networks such as Twitter as platforms to defame and hamper the solidarity of this Caribbean nation, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Prensa Latina held an exclusive interview with Johana Tablada, the Deputy Director for the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the United States, to discuss this situation and other pressing issues.

After the terrorist attack on the Cuban Embassy in the United States and at time when the island is making great effort to achieve encouraging results and go down a hopeful path in the fight against Covid-19, an increase in hostile rhetoric is seen from the official accounts of the United States government. What is the cause of this?

The apparently irrational increase in hostile discourse to almost unprecedented levels is due to several factors of a bilateral nature with regard to US domestic and electoral politics, and also a multilateral one.

Johana Tablada. Photo Ministry of Cuba/ Prensa Latina

On the bilateral side, the contempt and historical interests of the United States’ dominance over Cuba come together on the one hand, and on the other hand, the specific stamp of one of the most irresponsible foreign policy teams in the US government cannot be underestimated.

The Trump administration announced its policy towards Cuba months ago, under deception and convenience, to a group of reactionary individuals who respond to the minority that finances and at the same time profits from the round-trip business that is the industry of hatred towards Cuba.

How does this defamation strategy work?

Moderate sums of money and votes are contributed to the campaigns, and in return, millions of dollars are obtained and then distributed among the same clients who promote the bills and policies to try to overthrow the Cuban government and replace it with one that responds to the interests of the United States and to extremist sectors of emigration.

In terms of internal politics, it is also important to denigrate Cuba because Florida is a key state in terms of winning the presidential elections.

Senator Marco Rubio and other politicians financed by sectors that get rich from the deterioration of relations with Cuba have led Trump to believe that Cuban emigration mostly favours the hard-line approach.

The truth is that the vast majority favour a closer relationship with their country of origin and their family, as demonstrated by the almost 600,000 Cubans who would travel to Cuba each year before the pandemic.

On the other hand, there is also a lot of interest in denigrating public health and Cuba’s international cooperation because healthcare is a high-priority issue and a serious problem up for debate on the electoral agenda this year.

What is the purpose of the slander?

In this context, it is very important for the Trump campaign team and its highest officials that Americans never learn about the results that Cuba has achieved in terms of protecting its population in the field of scientific research and biotechnology, and much less about the possibility of helping other countries.

It is important that they do not know that even under blockade, Cuba has shown what can be achieved when human beings are put before money.

The whole fabrication of the lie that doctors are forced to flee to other countries in a business that they compare to human trafficking has to do with this need to hide the truth, which includes minimising the fact that 48 million Americans are either underinsured or have no health insurance at all.

The catastrophic and painfully high numbers of deaths in the United States from Covid-19 only expose what many in the country have been calling attention to for years.

What do you think is the reason for the silence on the part of the United States government regarding the armed aggression against the Cuban diplomatic headquarters?

It would be necessary to ask members of the government itself.  They barely and reluctantly responded, and only after criticism from our minister, but it is certainly evident that they want to silence this awful incident, which is infuriating and dangerous if not surprising.

The history of terrorist attacks has long been concealed, both against Cuban diplomatic personnel in the United States and those organised in the United States against Cuba and Cubans in our country and other parts of the world.

The most notorious case remains the Barbados crime whose perpetrators died peacefully in Miami, an event which is unknown to most Americans.

The same goes for the dozen explosions that took place in Cuba in the 1990s, with explosives brought into the country by mercenaries, and with the true history of the Cuban Five and the murder on 11 September 1980 of Félix García, a Cuban diplomat in New York. In all cases, the attacks come from far-right terrorist groups based in the United States.

On this occasion, as our Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez has stated, the Cuban government awaits the corresponding investigation by the US authorities into the motive behind this aggression.

As both the minister and the Cuban ambassador to the United States, José Ramón Cabañas, have emphasised, there does not seem to be much will to cooperate with Cuba.

Despite defamatory campaigns from Washington towards Cuba’s medical missions, authorities from the Ministry of Health reported a few days ago that Cuba had received 51 requests for collaboration to help tackle Covid-19 in different parts of the world. What comment would you like to make about this?

The sustained and well-funded campaign against Cuba’s medical collaboration has failed miserably.

Except for two or three countries, the pressure and threats from the United States were not well received by the vast majority of nations that have maintained and continue to maintain cooperation and collaboration programmes with Cuba. In fact, the number of requests has actually increased.

The urgency of the pandemic has only shown more clearly the solidarity and value of the noble and professional work undertaken by the Cuban medical brigades. The US campaign under the current conditions exposes itself as opportunistic, barbaric and inhumane.

That truth is, although Cuba has managed to help many countries, it is not possible for the country to respond to the number of requests it has received. (PL)

Next week: The US underestimates the Cuban people.

(Translated by Lucy Daghorn – Email: lucy.daghorn@gmail.com) – Photos: Pixabay

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