Cuba in the White House Frenzy

By Jesús Arboleya on Nov 1, 2018

According to media outlets, a senior White House official, who declined to be named, said that John Bolton, national security adviser to President Donald Trump, was ready to denounce the role of Cuban intelligence services in support of the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

The source states that the conclusion of the White House is that Maduro remains in power thanks to the Cuban support. It seems that the intention is to return to the old rhetoric that Cuba “is the source” of the problems facing the United States in the region.

It is a maneuver that seems inserted in an attempt to significantly reduce Cuba’s support in the United Nations’ vote against the blockade. It is also part of the campaign to include Cuba in the campaign being waged against Venezuela.

There is nothing new in the script. Perhaps the most striking development here is the U.S.’s inability to achieve its goals. Even most of the right-wing governments now in power in Latin America have so far tried to maintain their relations with Cuba and not have them affected. The same has happened with Europe, where there is a sustained improvement in relations based on new agreements signed with the European Union.

[The United Nations General Assembly’s vote on Thursday, Nov. 1, on the Cuban-sponsored resolution on the “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” was 189-2 with no abstentions. The U.S. and Israel voted “no” and Moldova and Ukraine did not vote.]

The reason can be found in the possible impact of both policies in the internal politics of the countries that promote them. While the Venezuelan case has been functionally neutralized by dividing the local progressive forces, solidarity with Cuba constitutes a unifying factor of the leftist forces in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has the support of broad popular sectors and even of a part of the national bourgeoisies, who perceive relations with Cuba as a demonstration of independence from the United States.

Aware of this reality, the Obama administration policy was aimed at differentiating the treatment of both countries, while attempting to weaken Cuba’s support for Venezuela, which had to be rejected on several occasions by the Cuban government.

But the Donald Trump policy does not traverse these subtleties and the composition of the current National Security Council, headed by John Bolton, has much to do with it.

When Bolton was appointed to this position, it was obvious that the dams that could control the debauchery of the current U.S. president had been broken and that the foreign policy of the United States had fallen into the hands not only of the most aggressive sectors of the country, but of the least scrupulous.

Considered a “war hawk,” Bolton has been linked to the promotion of the indiscriminate use of force as a support for U.S. policy in the world. Iraq, Libya, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela have been targets of his crusades.

When there have been no convincing reasons to justify his positions, Bolton has been one of its most fruitful inventors. To mention just a few, his handiwork is seen in the construction of the myth of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which justified the U.S. invasion of that country. He was also one of the main proponents of the U.S. rejection of the nuclear pact with Iran, and one of the promoters of the cancellation of agreements on nuclear proliferation with Russia.

He has been accused by his own colleagues of attempting to adulterate intelligence reports in order to attain his goals. Moreover, one of the arguments used against his confirmation as ambassador to the UN in 2005 was that he had lied in his statements to Congress.

In 2002, while serving as Undersecretary of State for the Bush administration, Bolton accused Cuba of having the capacity, and the possible intention, of producing and using biological weapons. It in fact was the same excuse that had been used for the invasion of Iraq. Although this was denied by several intelligence sources in the country and by former president Jimmy Carter during a visit he made to Cuba, his actions made clear this person’s intentions and what a dangerous player he was.

The moment he took over the position in the Trump government, Bolton eliminated those who did not share his criteria and in their place put people loyal to his extreme right-wing ideology. Among them, he named Mauricio Claver-Carone,an anti-Cuba lobbyist, to deal with his Latin America policy. Claver-Carone is easily distinguishable among those “high-ranking functionaries who’d rather not be identified.”

Cuba is no stranger to the frenzy that distinguishes American politics in all its aspects. Especially in an electoral context where anything goes to encourage one’s followers. The lies are part of the official discourse and impunity is given by the alienation of a sector of society encouraged by very primitive feelings.

It was predicted by someone as conspicuously non anti-imperialist as Zbigniew Brzezinski, who said: “Most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant. That is an unhealthy condition in a country in which foreign policy has to be endorsed by the people if it is to be pursued. And it makes it much more difficult for any president to pursue an intelligent policy that does justice to the complexity of the world.”

Donald Trump is a product of this alienation and also its manipulator par excellence. In his contempt for the American people and the exploitation of their divisions lies his strength. To this point, it has worked for him.

Source: Progreso Weekly