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Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 22:45:53 -0600 (CST)
From: "Workers World" <ww@wwpublish.com>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Cubans call Clinton's new policy "deceptive maneuver"
Article: 52847
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.26709.19990124181606@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Jan. 28, 1999 issue of Workers World newspaper

Cubans call Clinton's new policy "deceptive maneurering"

By Teresa Gutierrez, in Workers World,
28 January 1999

On Jan. 4, the White House announced it was ready to ease restrictions in its policy towards Cuba by allowing more people and more money into Cuba. The Clinton administration would not, however, yield to calls for a fundamental review of U.S. policy toward the island, specifically the 37-year-long economic and political blockade of Cuba.

The U.S. would now allow some people in Cuba to receive more dollars from the U.S., allow Cubans to buy more U.S. food and medicine and permit more direct flights between the two countries.

The White House said it would also renew direct mail service from the U.S. to Cuba, and would let a U.S. major- league baseball team and the Cuban national baseball team play against each other, possibly in March.

The Cuban government immediately described these measures as "a deceptive maneuver" intended to divert worldwide opposition to the blockade. Indeed, the United Nations General Assembly--whose countries represent billions of people around the world--has voted overwhelmingly for seven years against the U.S. blockade.

The UN disapproval of the blockade has been joined by countless nations in every part of the globe, by dozens of mainstream organizations, hundreds more progressive groups and many a prominent leader and organization.

Nevertheless, for over 37 years the White House, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, has maintained a vicious and hostile policy towards the Cuban Revolution. Either through the attempt to economically strangle Cuba or by direct counterrevolutionary terror, the U.S. has done everything in its power to try to overthrow the revolution.

But it has never succeeded.

Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon said the ruling allowing private U.S. organizations to send money to Cuba "seeks to convert U.S. institutions into tools for bribery to buy people's opinions." Even an Associated Press dispatch called the new money transfers "a counterrevolutionary tool."


U.S. imperialism's strategy in the recent period has been appropriately described as a "two-track approach." Track one is an attempt to sabotage the revolution from the outside, with external measures such as tightening the blockade with the Helms-Burton law in 1995. Track two aims to overturn the revolution from within, by penetrating inside the country.

With the new easing of restrictions, the Clinton administration aims to funnel money and people into Cuba not to help the Cuban masses, as it claims, but to seek out and sustain those in and out of Cuba who would collaborate with imperialism.

Up to now, the U.S. has allowed Cuban Americans to send only $1,200 to their relatives in Cuba. The new rule would allow anyone here to send $1,200 to anyone in Cuba except senior Communist Party officials. Religious groups, human rights groups and others may send even larger sums of money.

Two exhibition games may be allowed between the Baltimore Orioles--whose owner Peter Angelos is a major financial contributor to the Democratic Party--and the Cuban national baseball team.

Clinton administration officials said Jan. 5 that the measures were being carried out to "increase educational, religious and humanitarian contacts" and "expand the space" in which the Cuban people can "breathe more freely."

The one thing the U.S. government can do to help the Cuban people breathe more freely is to respect Cuba's right to self-determination and lift the 37-year-old blockade. But there are no signs the Clinton administration will do this.

Washington has insisted the gifts cannot be sent and the baseball games cannot take place if any money goes to the Cuban government.


Yet it is the Cuban government that has guaranteed that the country's hard-earned currency goes to meet the needs of the people. This is the lasting heritage of the Cuban Revolution: a socialist state that administers a planned economy.

All goods and services are distributed in a fair and equitable manner so that no Cuban goes hungry while others gorge. Unlike what happens in capitalist countries, not a single person in Cuba is thrown out of their home on the whim of a greedy landlord.

Three years ago, Washington was discussing a similar change in restrictions. Then it was suddenly halted. Why? The New York Times put it this way: "Reforms ... were halted when Cuba shot down Cuban American pilots for an anti-Castro group."

What really happened, though, was that the Cuban Air Force defended Cuban air space from what might have been a military attack. If the Times had printed the truth, it would have written, "Reforms were halted when Cuba defended itself from continued terrorism promoted, nurtured and sponsored by U.S. imperialism."

Millions of dollars from both the U.S. government and private coffers have gone to support terrorist activity against Cuba. Two years ago several bombs went off in Cuban hotels, putting the lives of many innocent Cubans and tourists in jeopardy. That is the other side of the U.S. strategy that Cuba must deal with.

(Copyright Workers World Service: Permission to reprint granted if source is cited. For more information contact Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011; via e-mail: ww@workers.org. For subscription info send message to: info@workers.org. Web: http://www.workers.org)