Chronicle of a War Foretold

By Ricardo Alarcon De Qquesada

07/09/06 "
Information Clearing House" -- -- On May 20, 2004, US President George W Bush disclosed with great fanfare his plan to annex Cuba. The massive 450-page creation elicited a wave of criticism from around the world.

Above all, it is the Cuban people who are threatened with extermination and the obliteration of their country. Cuba, according to the sinister plan, would simply disappear, it would cease to exist. Let’s take a quick look at what would happen if that Bush plan was ever to be applied:

--Return all properties to former owners. Millions of people would be evicted from their homes in less than one year, under the supervision and control of the United States through its Commission for the Return of Confiscated Properties.

--All sectors of the economy would be privatized, including education and healthcare services, all cooperatives would be disbanded and former landholdings would be returned to past owners; social security and assistance would be eliminated, including pensions and retirement benefits. A special program would be organized for retirees and senior citizens to labor in public works projects as long as their health status allowed it. The most rigorous neoliberal guidelines would be applied. The US government would be in charge of the implementation of all these measures through a Permanent Committee for Economic Reconstruction.

--As the implementation of the plan would be met by the tenacious resistance of the Cuban people ("It would not be easy," Bush acknowledges in his Plan), top priority would be accorded to massive and generalized repression: against all members of the Cuban Communist Party, all members of social and mass organizations and other "government sympathizers", according to the document, which also emphasizes (would it be necessary?) that the list of the victims of their repression would be long. The US government would take direct charge of this repressive body "organized by the State Department."

--The overseeing of this program would be performed by a US government official appointed by President Bush under the pompous title of "Cuba Transition Coordinator", a sort of administrator or Governor General for the island, similar to what existed over a century ago under General Leonard Wood. The official would have the same responsibilities -even the same title- that Mr. Brenner had in invaded and destroyed Iraq. But in Cuba’s case, the difference would be that the Coordinator has already been appointed, a fellow called Caleb McCarry, who has already toured some European countries in search of shameful complicity. His much trumpeted appointment was presided over by Bush himself, as testimony that the president’s plan against the island and its citizens is serious business, not something that will only remain on paper.

--The Bush Plan also included specific measures against Cuban Americans, whose ties with their relatives on the island have been severely restricted. They were deprived of a general license to visit them and the discriminatory restriction of traveling to Cuba only once every three years was imposed, and that only when granted a special permit to do so. It also cruelly makes an arbitrary definition of family that can be visited, which excludes uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

To reach this goal, the US government will step up its actions to put and end to the Cuban Revolution, following three main procedures: a more rigorous blockade against the Island, the increase of financing and material support for internal mercenary groups and an ever growing disinformation and slander campaign.

Anybody should know that the commitment to overthrow the government of another country, to seek a political, economic and social regime change, and submit that country to a foreign power, is a scandalous breach of international law, only conceivable in people with a fascist mentality.

The aggressive and illegal nature of the Bush plan is so obvious, so outrageously delirious, that it received criticism even from some of the organizations and individuals that oppose the Cuban Revolution and are defenders of US policies and interests. That was the case of some members of the so-called Inter-American Dialogue --which includes well known enemies of Cuba— that issued a public letter opposing the plan because they saw it as a declaration of war and violence. There were those who called it "terrifying" and "the most dangerous in the relations between the United States and Latin America in the last 50 years."

Bush succeeded in doing what many US politicians dream of: uniting the political spectrum from left to right. But this unity was critical of him and his wicked plan.

But Bush had something in his favor. The same famous media that attended his announcement in May, 2004, and echoed his publicity show, kept a disciplined silence during the rest of the year and after. Something that was "the most dangerous" in a half century, simply disappeared from the attention of the "press." The issue simply ceased to exist. And that’s how it was for a year and a half until December of 2005.

Then, without giving specifics, and when they had all forgotten the matter, it was announced in Washington that a new report on Cuba was going to be issued in May, 2006.

The speculation grew. There were even some rightwing politicians and academics who had criticized the Bush plan as too soft, and who imagined a possibility of a hardening.

May 20, 2006 arrived and the media began to ask questions. But nothing happened that day nor in the following weeks. The official spokespersons replied with evasive answers to the journalists questions. Until once again, one and all, forgot about the issue.

Then in the third week of June, in an unusual and silent manner, the report appeared on the State Department website dated June 20, 2006. But, apparently nobody saw it. A week went by and the spokespersons and press remained in total silence, until some media in Miami and certain news agencies "discovered" what they called a "draft." Curiously the finding took place not at any time but precisely when the four-day July 4th holiday weekend began. This allowed for the news to be buried amidst the fireworks, patriotic rhetoric and special sales at shopping centers that usually accompany the commemoration of Independence Day.

The published text does not differ a millimeter from the original Bush plan. Just the opposite. It begins by ratifying it and welcoming the supposed successes of its application. On top of that "solid foundation" it announces "additional measures" to "accelerate" the end of the Cuban Revolution.

These measures deserve a thorough analysis and I propose doing so at a later date.

However, there is one thing that calls for an energetic and urgent denouncement. It is something absolutely bizarre.

Before listing the "additional measures" the public ones, the report says there are other contents in an appendix that remain secret for "national security reasons" and to assure their "effective implementation."

After all that has already been said –tens of millions more dollars for their mercenaries, new economic restrictions and illegal actions against international trade and the sovereignty of Cuba and other nations, additional punishment for Cubans and citizens of other countries--, and having made public more than two years ago its plan that goes into the smallest detail on their intent to re-colonize Cuba, after all that, at this stage what more could they have that warrants being kept hidden as top secret? What are they hiding for reasons of "national security and effective implementation?"

More terrorist attacks? New assassination attempts against Fidel Castro? A military aggression? Knowing Bush and his associates, anything is possible.

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