Reprinted from Consortium News
The CIA's motto might well be: "Proudly overthrowing the Cuban government since 1959." Now what? Did you think that the United States had finally grown up and come to the realization that they could in fact share the same hemisphere as the people of Cuba, accepting Cuban society as unquestioningly as they do that of Canada?
The Washington Post (Feb. 18) reported: "In recent weeks, administration officials have made it clear Obama would travel to Cuba only if its government made additional concessions in the areas of human rights, Internet access and market liberalization."
Imagine if Cuba insisted that the United States make "concessions in the area of human rights"; this could mean the United States pledging to not repeat anything like the following:
--Invading Cuba in 1961 at the Bay of Pigs.
--Invading Grenada in 1983 and killing 84 Cubans, mainly construction workers.
--Blowing up a passenger plane full of Cubans in 1976. (In 1983, the city of Miami held a day in honor of Orlando Bosch, one of the two masterminds behind this awful act; the other perpetrator, Luis Posada, was given lifetime protection in the same city.)
--Giving Cuban exiles, for their use, the virus which causes African swine fever, forcing the Cuban government to slaughter 500,000 pigs.
--Infecting Cuban turkeys with a virus which produces the fatal Newcastle disease, resulting in the deaths of 8,000 turkeys.
--In 1981 an epidemic of dengue hemorrhagic fever swept the island, the first major epidemic of DHF ever in the Americas. The United States had long been experimenting with using dengue fever as a weapon. Cuba asked the United States for a pesticide to eradicate the mosquito involved but was not given it. Over 300,000 cases were reported in Cuba with 158 fatalities.
These are but three examples of decades-long CIA chemical and biological warfare (CBW) against Cuba. [See William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (2005), chapter 14]
We must keep in mind that food is a human right (although the United States has repeatedly denied this). [Ibid., p.264]
Washington maintained a blockade of goods and money entering Cuba that is still going strong, a blockade that President Clinton's National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, in 1997 called "the most pervasive sanctions ever imposed on a nation in the history of mankind." [White House press briefing, Nov. 14, 1997, US Newswire transcript]
--Attempted to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro on numerous occasions, not only in Cuba, but in Panama, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. [See Fabian Escalante, Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro (2006), Ocean Press (Australia)]
--In one scheme after another in recent years, Washington's Agency for International Development (AID) endeavored to cause dissension in Cuba and/or stir up rebellion, the ultimate goal being regime change.
In 1999 a Cuban lawsuit demanded $181.1 billion in U.S. compensation for death and injury suffered by Cuban citizens in four decades of "war" by Washington against Cuba. Cuba asked for $30 million in direct compensation for each of the 3,478 people it said were killed by U.S. actions and $15 million each for the 2,099 injured. It also asked for $10 million each for the people killed, and $5 million each for the injured, to repay Cuban society for the costs it has had to assume on their behalf.