Some Inconvenient Truths about the Alliance for Progress

By Manuel Valdés Cruz on August 20, 2019

Che Guevara denounced the Alliance for Progress at the Inter-American Economic Conference in Uruguay. Photo: La Vanguardia

In the arsenal of accusations against Cuba, our main “culprit,” the United States, in the last 60 years has used as much slander as it has been able to manufacture.

The government of that nation, with the purpose of fracturing the current system of international relations, is developing a policy of ignorance, in some cases, and supplanting in others the basic principles reflected in the Charter of the United Nations, has turned slander against the Greater Antilles into State policy.

Its detachment from the fulfillment of international commitments and the right to self-determination of peoples, as well as the imposition of concepts that represent an order in its policy of war against all peoples of the world, is becoming more and more evident.

One of the most important fronts of the attack has been the Cuban collaboration in the spheres of health and education, to the point of accusing the Island of having 20,000 soldiers deployed in Venezuela, in a blatant inversion of reality, because it is well known that the 20,000 collaborators in the brotherly South American country are indeed health workers.

Saving lives, it seems, is not in the standards of what it means to collaborate for the White House, perhaps because its reference points stayed with what the United States did in Latin America after the defeat of Bay of Pigs.

Then, John F. Kennedy was the promoter of the famous Alliance for Progress program, which consisted of sending to Latin America “advisors” in different aspects of the economy and social development, supposedly to support these weaker economies and not to repeat the example of Cuba.

The U.S. interest was to combine the Alliance for Progress, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Peace Corps to deploy them throughout Latin America in opposition to the Cuban Revolution.

In practice, the work of the “progressive missionaries” consisted in carrying out an important research all the different resources of the countries involved in the plan. The information gathered was then was to be given to the large transnationals, especially in the extractive industry of natural resources, such as oil.

From there it would a strategy would be developed  to suck the wealth of the peoples of Latin America through puppet governments, who preferred to sell the welfare of their people instead of  failing their “friends in the North”.

Along with the Alliance for Progress, a military program called LASO (Latin American Security Operation) arrived in our countries, designed in Washington within the framework of the doctrine of “national security”, as an executor of the counterinsurgency that would contribute to the torture, disappearance and death of thousands of revolutionaries throughout the continent throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

In countries such as Uruguay, the Office of Public Security (OPS), a division of the International Development Agency (USAID), trained in the use of “modern” methods of torture and repression to security forces, where “advisors” such as the infamous Dan Mitrione, a master of torture who assisted in police training in several Latin American countries.

We all know the end of the story: our region paid in blood for US “aid” and was relegated for a long time to the interests of the surrendering oligarchies.

In spite of this discouraging panorama, the truth always comes to light and the solidarity that our country has tried to offer to those who have needed it does not come from the interest of enrichment but from the desire to work for a better world.

As President Díaz-Canel said in his July 13 speech at the National Assembly of People’s Power, there are currently 33,000 health professionals in 85 nations. In addition, Cuba trains young people from 133 nations as professionals and has established trade links of complementarity and self-sustainability within the framework of what the United Nations has called South-South cooperation.

Even though the evidence shows the opposite, imperialism resorts to defaming Cuban medical collaboration, allocating, through the USAID – the same agency of Dan Mitrione and company – substantial resources for the development of subversive actions against Cuba.

It is imperative not to return to those times when, under the precepts of aid, we submitted ourselves to the guidelines of our “good neighbor” to the north. Solidarity has no price and neither does Latin America.

Source: Granma, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau