2011-04-23: Never do I cease to be amazed at the number of highly vocal ‘experts’ who pontificate about the small Caribbean island state of Cuba … which has a population of approximately 11 million people, with about 2.5 million of those living in the capital city of Havana … and not once have these ‘experts’ set foot on this beautiful island. What a pity !
A certain fascination with the 1959 Cuban Revolution and its Leaders … and a large dose of curiosity about the countryside and its people … were the principal drivers behind an extensive Family Tour in April 2007 … before Fidel Castro departed the scene. At the time, he was seriously ill.
Straight away, therefore, let me clarify that I do not consider the Tourist Resort of Varadero to be an accurate representation of everyday life and living in Cuba. And I mean that in the worst possible way ! Similarly, the illegally occupied U.S. Military Base at Guantánamo Bay must be excluded as a valid island experience … the annexation of the bay area remains, to this day, an international act of piracy – see the 1901 Platt Amendment and later Treaties with Cuba procured by the threat or use of force.
Getting back to those ‘experts’ … sometimes, they might be rabid, Older Generation Cuban Exiles now living in Miami (USA) … the privileged island classes of the 1950’s … who either left hurriedly or were booted out after the success of the Castro Revolution. At other times, the ‘experts’ might be Criminal Ex-Members of Dictator Fulgencio Batista’s Military and Police Forces who are still working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. For some unknown reason, however, both groups continue to hold the United States Political System – at Florida State and Federal Levels – by the balls ! Sad, but true !!
In its early days, Castro’s Revolutionary Government abolished racial discrimination, reduced rents and the cost of electricity, nationalized American and British commercial firms, and permanently ‘evicted’ the American Mafia. The new government, however, was far from being firmly rooted, confident and stable … but all of that changed, utterly, after events in April 1961 …
On Saturday last, 16 April 2011 … I attended a day long ‘Girón 50’ Symposium and Victory Celebration, which was held in Liberty Hall, Dublin. This special occasion commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Victory at the Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochinos) … scene of the ill-fated 1961 U.S. Inspired, Financed and Resourced Counter-Revolutionary Invasion of Cuba.
The route taken by the 1961 U.S. Invasion Force was elaborate and circuitous …
Playa Girón was one of the landing points in the 1961 U.S. Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochinos) Invasion …
2011 Dublin ‘Girón 50’ Victory Symposium – Liberty Hall
We, the participants in the ‘Girón 50’ Conference commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Victory at the Bay of Pigs:
1. Express our firm solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and Its People in their struggle for the defence of their independence, sovereignty and right to build a social and political system of their own choice, with no outside interference.
2. Salute the process of comprehensive and popular debate in Cuban Society which led to the set of guidelines to be discussed and approved during the next few days by the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, which is aimed at renewing and updating its economic policy in accordance with the current domestic, regional and international situation.
3. Condemn the illegal and criminal U.S. Economic, Financial and Trade Blockade, which Cuba has suffered for over five decades and which continues to be a flagrant violation of the right of an entire nation to self-determination and the main obstacle to Cuba’s development.
4. Call on the European Union (E.U.) to unconditionally rescind the 1996 E.U. Common Position 96/697/CFSP on Cuba, and to seriously engage in a process of normalization of relations with the island, based on mutual respect and non-interference in their internal affairs.
5. Condemn the ongoing U.S. Sponsored Subversion and Terrorist Actions aimed at overthrowing the Cuban Revolution, and U.S. Double Standards in its War on Terror … once again illustrated by the recent acquittal of Luis Posada Carilles, self-confessed instigator of the Bombing of Cubana Airlines Flight CU-455, which killed all 73 people on board, as it travelled from Venezuela to Cuba, via Barbados, on 6 October 1976.
6. Extend our support for the International Campaign of Freedom & Exoneration for the Miami Five – Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, René González and Fernando González – the Five Cubans illegally and unjustly imprisoned in the U.S. for fighting terrorism … and join the growing international call on President Obama, including that of Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, to release them immediately.
7. Call on the Irish Government to continue the development of Bilateral Relations with Cuba, and Ireland’s support for the lifting of the U.S. Blockade and the rescinding of the E.U. Common Position on Cuba.
8. Commit ourselves to undertake the relevant Solidarity Actions in support of Cuba.
Liberty Hall, Dublin.
16 April 2011.
AS WE approach Easter Sunday, 2011 … let us remember the Miami Five who have been unjustly incarcerated for much too long …
AND … after the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, many countries in Central & South America, Iraq and Afghanistan … let us ponder, at length, on the question of when, if ever, the United States of America will learn to join the International Community of Nations … as an equal !