Defend Cuba against U.S. Aggression!

Statement issued by the Nova Scotia Cuba Association

(19 May 2004) -- The Nova Scotia Cuba Association (NSCUBA) expresses its resolute solidarity with and support for the Cuban people, the Cuban government and the Cuban Revolution as they defend themselves against the latest act of all-sided aggression launched by the U.S. government against the island. The latest measures of the George W. Bush administration are a deliberate assault on the well-being of the Cuban people, an undisguised provocation aimed at preparing the grounds and pretexts for a military attack and a flagrant violation of international law.

NSCUBA once again reaffirms the inalienable, inviolable and inextinguishable right of the people of Cuba -- and all other peoples -- to determine their future and their political, economic and social system on their own terms and without external interference from any source: a right enshrined in the United Nations Charter and numerous other international treaties, covenants and legal instruments.

At this critical moment, as Washington is brutally attempting to suppress the national resistance to its occupation of Iraq, the level of U.S. unrelenting aggression against Cuba has escalated. This latest escalation is occurring within the context of ongoing U.S. destabilization of Venezuela. It also occurs in the wake of Washington's sponsored, financed and organized coup in Haiti, which removed the constitutional and legitimate government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and where the U.S. backed thugs and former death squad members were given full rein to seize power.

These latest measures against Cuba, among other things, sanction a program of deliberate overt military intimidation, step up the economic war against the island, and channel additional tens of millions of dollars to the U.S. manufactured opposition groups on the island.

The flying of military aircraft on the edge of Cuban airspace and waters in order to broadcast into the island -- an act patently illegal under international law -- can only be described as a provocation of the highest order. It is very probable that the real mission -- despite public protestations otherwise -- will be to DELIBERATELY CROSS-OVER AND VIOLATE Cuban airspace with the objective of provoking a response from the Cuban military: a policy that has ample precedent given the history of the myriad U.S. violations of the airspace of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, China and the former USSR.

Any violation of Cuban airspace will not only be illegal but an act of war under international law. Indeed, Cuba would be well within its rights to force or shoot down these aircraft. This is what Washington wants to happen, then the entire propaganda apparatus would go into full gear to justify the unjustifiable, an attack on Cuba.

The severe limitations placed on remittances and family visits to Cuba are aimed at creating an economic crisis in order to precipitate a migratory flow to the United States, further stimulated by the murderous Cuban Adjustment Act that grants special privileges and rights to -- AND ONLY TO -- Cubans who choose to emigrate illegally and are able to make it to U.S. shores. In short, the measures are aimed at re-creating the 1994 rafters crisis, when at the height of the economic crisis that hit Cuba after the collapse of the USSR and the East Bloc and the tightening of U.S. pressures, thousands of Cubans took to the seas in order to reach Florida.

It is critical to bear in mind that Washington has informed the Cuban government that any uncontrolled migratory flow would be considered a threat to U.S. national security. The ramifications are obvious. Such a situation would be then become a pretext for U.S. military intervention.

Washington seeks to manufacture any pretext to "justify" the unjustifiable. The recent statements and actions of the Bush regime must not be seen in isolation or as merely "election year shenanigans." They are part and parcel of an orchestrated campaign designed to culminate in open military confrontation with Cuba. The campaign has steadily grown in tempo and includes the formation of the so-called Commission to Provide Assistance to a Free Cuba (chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell), which was charged with the task of expediting and hastening the end of the Cuban Revolution. The Commission's report formed the basis for the latest measures enacted by the U.S. government. However, the report was preceded by the unilateral suspension of the migratory negotiations; the fabrications that Cuba engages in and supports terrorism; the constant fallacious refrain that the island has biological weapons, despite the fact that this patent falsehood has been refuted time and time again; the assertion that Cuba is destabilizing Latin America; and the increasingly vociferous campaign about so-called human rights violations and increased financial aid, material support and political directives to the U.S. organized government opponents' groups.

All of these activities are the continuation of the de facto war waged against Cuba since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, which overthrew the US-backed police state of Fulgencio Batista. This unrelenting aggression, both military and economic, has encompassed an invasion, assassination plans, terrorist attacks against civilians and systematic economic sabotage: all directed toward the goal of restoring the neo-colonial domination over the island, which was exercised by Washington during the first half of the 20th century.

Given the present world situation, it is clear that the central immediate task that faces the solidarity movement and all peace and justice loving people is the defence of Cuba from attack by Washington. Of course, in the face of this threat the Cubans will, as they have always done, respond with the usual patient and calm approach to danger that has typified more than 45 years of the Revolution. Nevertheless let no one be deceived: as the Cuban people have shown through-out their history -- emphatically re-emphasized by the huge 1.2 million citizen march on Friday, May 14 -- they are ready and prepared to fight to defend their homeland and Revolution.

This is a very dangerous time for Cuba. No one can predict the future, but we can and must read the signs. We must be prepared to defend Cuba and above all support Cuba's right of self-defence. In the face of the massive orchestrated campaign of disinformation, distortions and outright falsehoods, all progressive-minded people -- particularly those in the Cuba solidarity movement -- must not vacillate in the face of nor conciliate with the concerted efforts to discredit and isolate the Cuban Revolution.

We, therefore:

1. DEMAND that the Canadian government live up to its obligations under the UN Charter, the OAS Charter, international law and its responsibilities as a member of the international community by denouncing and condemning the continuing U.S. aggression against Cuba.

2. DEMAND that the Canadian government cease its participation in the U.S. international campaign of discrediting the Cuban Revolution and its achievements in the socio-economic, cultural and political spheres, which under the guise of the "promotion of a human rights and 'Canadian values' agenda" facilitates Washington's program to destabilize Cuba.

3. CALL on all groups working in solidarity with Cuba to redouble their efforts to counter the disinformation campaign against the island and prepare a very serious and concerted program of actions against the very real threat of U.S. military aggression: including, among others, the organization of public forums, rallies, distribution of literature and petitions, pass resolutions at unions, municipal councils, etc.

4. CALL for a nation-wide day of solidarity with Cuba against U.S. threats for July 26 or some other historic date that can be agreed on by all groups in solidarity with Cuba.

HANDS OFF CUBA!
NO U.S. WAR OR ATTACK ON CUBA!




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