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Cuba and Bolivia: Talking to Ariana Campero

The island suffers a media war with destabilising aims similar to the one faced by Bolivia before, during and after the 2019 coup d’état.

 

Carmen Esquivel

 

There are several similarities. The first is the coordinated use of the media and social networks as an instrument of destabilisation and as a “soft coup”.

This was explained in an interview with Prensa Latina by the former ambassador of the South American nation in this country, Ariana Campero.

Through the media they create a distorted image of reality, they demonise leaders, and they use algorithms to promote counter-revolutionary media whose information directly attacks socialist and progressive governments. This happened in Bolivia.

A graduate of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), Ariana Campero was appointed in 2015 as head of health and at the age of 28 became the youngest minister in Evo Morales’ government.

In conversation with the press, she recalled how before the coup d’état of 10 November 2019 took place in her country, there were countless bots, trolls, fake accounts that lied and insulted the president, creating discontentment among the youth and the people towards their leader.

For example, they invented an alleged kidnapping, rape and disappearance of two university students who were travelling to La Paz to take part in anti-government demonstrations. This story was reported in the media.

However, when the two young women later appeared and announced that they were fine, this news was no longer reported.

“Here in Cuba they invent fake news about the government, they invent events of repressive state or party violence. That is to say, they create a picture in the collective imagination in order to generate unrest with the government and then strike a final blow with some events in the streets”, she said, referring to the recent riots in the Caribbean nation.

Who do you think is behind the violence in Cuba?

The United States through the CIA and the Cuban mafia in Florida. I cannot rule out the possibility that other right-wing bodies or governments in the region may be involved.

The Bolivian case is an example of a macabre Plan Condor 2 type plan, where the participation of Mauricio Macri of Argentina and Lenín Moreno of Ecuador has been demonstrated, and we are investigating Sebastián Piñera, Jair Bolsonaro and Iván Duque. It is not unreasonable to think that they would act in this way with Cuba.

Following the events of 11 July, US President Joe Biden said that Cuba is a “failed state”. What do you think of this statement?

It is the greatest show of cynicism. This hypocrisy is common in US foreign policy. The Biden administration keeps intact the 243 measures implemented by Donald Trump against Cuba and despite the blockade, the Caribbean country registers a low death rate for Covid-19 when compared to the statistics in the world and the Americas region.

I ask myself, which is the failed state if in the United States there are more than 600,000 deaths from Covid-19 and it has been the epicentre of the pandemic for many months? Are its allies such as Brazil and Ecuador not examples of a failed state, or rather a failed system?

Neoliberalism has shown itself to be a system incapable of guaranteeing social assistance to its inhabitants; I am talking about health, education, public safety.

As someone who studied in Cuba, could you tell us how the blockade affects the population?

The blockade has an impact on all aspects of the lives of the Cuban people. I am talking about the healthcare area, since several pharmaceutical industries and laboratories do not want to do business with Cuba because they fear the sanctions imposed by the United States, so there is a lack of important medicines such as oncology medications, among many others.

There is also a shortage of raw goods required by Cuban industry to supply domestic demand. They want to undermine the health of the people from all sides.

In recent times there has been a campaign by the United States to discredit Cuban medical cooperation. What do you think of the work of brigades like the Henry Reeve Brigade?

I feel eternal gratitude for these medical brigades that have brought health to so many poor people in the world, that helped to stop a disease that could become a pandemic like Ebola, that operated on more than 700,000 compatriots in Bolivia with the Miracle Mission. They have attended to the population in places stricken by poverty and disasters, as they did in Haiti, they were in places where no other doctor wanted to go.

I believe that this attack on medical collaboration is intended to offend the most beautiful, visionary and recognised works of the Cuban Revolution: humanism, solidarity and altruism. (PL)

(Translated by Lizzie Dolan) – Photos: Pixabay

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