Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 22:45:53 -0600 (CST)
From: "Workers World" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Cubans call Clinton's new policy "deceptive maneuver"
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
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
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
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
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
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
NO MONEY FOR INTERNATIONAL BANKS
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
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
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.
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