Guest Analysis

Obama will visit a modest but safe country

Originally posted here.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

I imagine that a large number of people from the US are now extremely concerned about the safety of their President, Barack Obama, during the days that he will be in Cuba with his family.

It is ironic that the President has decided to be accompanied in his official trip to Cuba by the First Lady and their two teenage daughters, considering that it is a country that for over half a century has been described by the great US corporate media as a kind of ungovernable hell without democracy. A country against which the United States was forced –for these reasons– to impose a punishing embargo that has failed by not having achieved its purpose of deposing the communist regime, and therefore will have to be lifted.

The US government should have explained to its people that, when the Cuban Revolution came to power in 1959, the struggle that brought together the Cuban people against the corrupt dictatorship of Batista–a strong ally of Washington– was first and above all things a struggle for human rights and in favor of justice.

The US people should know that Cuba is one of the few countries where, since 1959, not a single prisoner has been tortured, nor a single extrajudicial execution has ever taken place. It is a country where, since 1959, police forces have never used tanks, shock shields, clubs or other forms of excessive violence against demonstrators.

Cuba is now an exceptional democracy in the hemisphere because it is the only country where, since 1959, there have been no paramilitary forces, death squads, extrajudicial killings, disappeared persons, tortured prisoners, or violence against the people.

In Cuba, since 1959 (with the exception of the US Naval Base in Guantanamo), no prisoner has ever been killed, tortured, taken to a foreign country to be tortured, raped locked up without trial, or simply “disappeared” in the style of the dictatorships sponsored by the US on the continent.

In Cuba, since 1959, only in the US Naval Base in Guantanamo there have been civilian and military leaders who allow the “breaking” of prisoners by using techniques of sensory depression, isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, fear generated by trained dogs, sexual or cultural humiliation, mock execution, threats of death or violence against the detainees or their loved ones, and other inhumane practices equivalent to physical torture.

In fact (and this is something that many people will probably hear for the first time because of global media control by the US) in Cuba there is not a single political prisoner, if by such we define persons imprisoned for expressing their own political ideas, opposed to the government.

Cuba has a firm commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. Cuba not only has signed and ratified all the international instruments on the matter but has also maintained a high level of cooperation with the international bodies for the promotion and protection of human rights in the world.

Cubans find particularly unfounded and insulting the media and diplomatic campaigns directed against their country based on alleged violations of human rights, because the strict respect for the integrity of each individual has been the guideline of the Cuban Revolution and a requirement that has accompanied and served the revolutionary cause since the years of the struggle against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista who was sustained by the United States.

While the forces of the tyranny –supported trained and mentored by US military– killed, tortured and committed abuses against detainees suspected of being revolutionaries, the revolutionaries strictly respected the integrity of each member of the government’s police and other armed forces who were their prisoners.

This behavior resulted in a marked willingness of the government forces to surrender when they were asked to do so by the revolutionary fighters, in sharp contrast with the invariable attitude of patriots to always resist until death.

Strict respect for the human rights of our enemies has probably been one of the most effective resources in the struggle of Cuban revolutionaries for independence, self-determination and social justice, both throughout history, as in the present. And we Cubans are proud of this.

The streets and neighborhoods of Cuba, as well as its fields in the countryside, are humble places, but safe.

Let the US president, his family, and his entourage be welcomed! Here, they will be respected and safe!

March 10, 2016


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