Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Canada Must Support Cuba's Right to Self-Determination


-Statement by the Nova Scotia Cuba Association, May 24, 2008 -

The Nova Scotia Cuba Association (NSCUBA) is outraged at the May 21, 2008 statement made by Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Released on the same date as the odiously misnamed "Day of Solidarity with the Cuban People," organized and sponsored by the Bush regime, this statement is an open endorsement of the U.S. campaign of destabilization against the sovereign and legitimate government of Cuba.

This act has nothing to do with genuine solidarity with the Cuban people, but all to do with Washington's goal of re-converting Cuba into a neocolony under U.S. control and tutelage. The Bush regime wishes to turn back the wheel of history to before 1959.

Since the overthrow of the US-backed police state of Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban people, by means of the Cuban Revolution, embarked on the path that established their national project of independence, social justice and dignity. In the almost fifty years since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the Cuban people have resisted all attempts to return them to vassals of the U.S. Empire.

Bernier has thrown the weight of the Canadian state behind the Bush scheme to reestablish U.S. domination of Cuba. The Minister of Foreign Affairs stated: "Canada engages Cuban society through our diplomatic presence which is aimed at helping to lay the groundwork for a Cuba that upholds freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law... It is our hope that recent shifts will open the way for the Cuban people to pursue a process of political and economic reform."

Bernier is blatantly parroting the disinformation that is spread about the Cuban political system. Is Bernier announcing that the Canadian Embassy is to become an extension of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana by augmenting and engaging in Washington's organized and sponsored subversive activities?

With overwhelming evidence, the Cuban government has exposed the direct links and payments by the U.S. Interests Section to the so-called "dissidents". It is important to underscore that it is not only Washington who has been exposed as a funder and organizer of mercenary activity in Cuba.

Canada has not been a disinterested party, an innocent bystander. Canada's shameful hand has also been revealed. In 1963, at the request of Washington, the Pearson government used the Canadian Embassy in Havana as an instrument of espionage. This activity continued into the 1970s.

During the 2003 trials of the 75-individuals, who were justly arrested at the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it was revealed that their activities were externally financed. According to the extensive documentation in the book "The Dissidents", a number of contacts maintained by the U.S. Interests Section with its surrogates in Cuba depended on the anti-Cuba exile communities in Montreal and Toronto. Ottawa has now converted this clandestine policy into open collusion and collaboration.

The open alignment of the Canadian state with criminal policy of the U.S. is deeply disturbing and alarming. This stance of the Canadian state is a flagrant violation of Cuba's right to self-determination.

It is an unconscionable interference in the internal affairs of Cuba. NSCUBA resolutely reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of Cuba - and all other peoples - to determine their future and their political, economic and social system without external interference: a right enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-Operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

Washington has waged an unceasing assault against Cuba, both military and economic, against the Cuban people: organizing an armed invasion, assassinations, terrorist attacks against civilians, systematic economic sabotage and an economic embargo - in reality an economic blockade - that has persisted for more than 45 years.

The underlying goal of U.S. policy is to restore the neo-colonial domination of the island, which was exercised during the first half of the twentieth century. In short, the U.S.endeavours to extinguish the right of the Cuban nation to self-determination and to control its own destiny.

In the midst of the de facto war waged against it by the United States, this small poor country has made very significant advances in human development and dignity.

Indeed, Cuba is a society with one of the highest indices of social justice in the world. Cuba has and continues to make admirable strides in the social and economic spheres in what are recognized in international law as fundamental and inviolable human rights such as, among others, healthcare, education and social security.

It is a country with impressive social indicators that - despite the severe economic crisis of the 1990s - compare very favourably with the developed countries.

If Minister Bernier is truly interested in assisting the Cuban people then he would insist on the end of U.S. aggression - which includes sponsoring and giving safe haven to anti-Cuba terrorists - and the economic war being waged against the island. NSCUBA calls on the Canadian government to immediately retract and repudiate Minister Bernier's statement and to respect international law.

Canada's relations with Cuba should be based on mutual respect and equality, not on outmoded colonialist ideas and practices. NSCUBA expresses its resolute solidarity with the Cuban people, the Cuban government and the Cuban Revolution as they defend themselves against the unrelenting and all-sided aggression from the United States.

NSCUBA is confident that Canadians, who have traveled to Cuba in their hundreds of thousands and have witnessed Cuban reality for themselves, will reject all schemes whose aim is to aid and facilitate Washington’s goal of eliminating Cuba's example of independence, justice and human dignity.

For more information contact Isaac Saney. Tel: (902)449-4967.

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