Is Cuba tortured enough?

“Bring terrors of the earth to Cuba!” was the order given by John F. Kennedy to his administration in 1962 after the embarrassing defeat in the Bay of Pigs adventure. And he certainly was obeyed. Cuba became the most terror stricken country probably in all history. CIA got to exhibit every aspect of its creativity and cruelty.

A number of agricultural facilities and industries were blown up, among them an oil refinery where 500 people were killed. Cuban embassies around the world were bombed, as well as a passenger airliner killing 73 people. Dengue fever was implanted (contained only thanks to Cuba’s well functioning health care system), on top of that an African swine flu forcing the slaughter of every pig on the island.

Sugar cargoes destined to the Soviet Union were tampered with to make the sugar inedible. (Once though, CIA succeeded with a blunder making Kennedy furious. A Soviet vessel carrying sugar had suffered machine breakdown and was forced to enter a port in Puerto Rico, where CIA routinely destroyed the sugar. Presumptuous as it is, CIA overlooked that Puerto Rico is US territory, thus giving the Russians the opportunity of a formal protest against USA.)

All this was on top of numerous attempts to murder Fidel Castro, in which every fanciful method imaginable was tried. Fidel had to change quarters each night for years (thus fathering a number of new Castros). When assassination was no longer a suitable tactic CIA worked on other ideas, such as doping Fidel’s cigars with substances intended to make his hair and beard fall off. It was all like a Grimm fairy-tale in real life.

Unimaginable irony: In 1982 Cuba was put on the US terrorist list, the same year Saddam Hussein was taken off the list!

Two of the more notorious CIA terrorists were identified as Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, guilty of the airliner bombing among other horrible things. Since the plane had taken off from Caracas it became a legal issue for Venezuela (this was long before Hugo Chávez, of course) and they demanded the two terrorists after they had been captured. Not surprisingly Bosch and Posada Carriles “succeeded” to escape from custody in Caracas and find shelter in USA. There they enjoyed their comfortable existence when George W. Bush declared his famous pretext for the war of aggression against Afghanistan: “those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves”.

Now President Obama intends to loosen the hard grip USA has held on Cuba for more than 50 years. Reactionaries in his country find this an all too benevolent action and are expected to prevent any attempts in Congress to abolish the embargo. Our reactionaries in Sweden, such as they appear in “our NYT” – Dagens Nyheter – reluctantly accept Obama’s first step towards normalization of the Cuban relations.

Although DN in an op-ed finds Obama’s initiative “reasonable”, the rest of the article dwells on formalist arguments on why the Cuban government still is “grotesque and disgusting”. This is in itself grotesque enough to come back to in a forthcoming postcard.

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