Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Myths And Facts About Cuba-US Relations / 14ymedio, Regina Coyula
Posted on March 7, 2016

14ymedio, Regina Coyula, Havana, 5 March 2016 — The analysis of
relations between Cuba and the United States, during almost sixty years
of single-party government on one side and 11 presidents alternating in
a two-party government on the other, is a magnet for political
scientists and historians from different latitudes, but with a special
emphasis, for obvious reasons, for Cubans and Americans. Last week, a
text appeared on Cubadebate – a Cuban government run site – the
objective of which was to dismantle myths about these controversial

Starting with the introduction, the author, the academic Elier Ramirez
Cañedo, announces that, despite the well-studied historical parenthesis,
there are underlying mistaken ideas (myths) about the performance of the
parties, and he immediately goes on to warn that “the historical
distortion is a form of attack against the Cuban project, within a
broader strategy of cultural war against socialism in Cuba.”

Despite emphasizing this quote, I do not intend to focus on the
perceived cultural war, and much less on Cuban socialism. I will try to
put aside my emotional and historic proximity to the events, to disagree
with the author’s arguments.

Before engaging in an analysis of demystification, I cannot ignore a
statement that is not true: “The United States blocked any possibility
of the existence of a national bourgeoisie in Cuba.” Geographical
proximity favors, with a growing presence from the colonial era and
above all taking advantage of the economic crisis in the second decade
of the last century, American capital’s engagement with a good part of
the Cuban economy, which until that moment had been essentially Spanish.
But the United States not only failed in its effort to block the
existence of a native bourgeoisie, but, by 1959, this same bourgeoisie
possessed the majority of the national wealth, including banking.

Moreover, the introductory text states, “The US government did
everything possible to prevent a bourgeois nationalist government led by
the orthodox party from taking the reins of the country.” In reality, it
did not have to do anything to prevent it, because what did away with
the future of this party and so with the constitutional future of the
country, was not a maneuver by the CIA – nor even a maneuver by Batista
– but a badly calculated shot by Eduardo Chibas, who very likely could
have been elected president of the Republic in 1952.

Myth 1: “The root of the conflict was in the alliance of the Revolution
with the Soviet Union, because the Eisenhower administration was willing
to reach an understanding with the democratic nationalist project in Cuba.”

To claim the analysis of the conflict derived from the Revolutionary
triumph of 1959 as a consequence of the unconfessed desire or manifesto
of the United States to seize Cuba, starting in the late eighteenth
century, responds to a vision that passes its entire optics through the
sieve of a very punctilious anti-imperialism. With the difficulty of
accessing texts of philosophical, historical and political thinkers with
a more ecumenical approach, the Cuban reader has a Manichean perspective
of bilateral relations with the United States, born of American
dissatisfaction at not being able to decide the destiny of Cuba.

National sovereignty is a pillar of this approach, putting forward
examples from the time of proconsuls and invasions. But this pillar is
undermined in the last 60 years, and not specifically because of the
interference of our neighbor to the north. No analysts among those who
surgically tease apart the intentions and reach of American influence
have interested themselves in doing the same with the Soviet influence,
it seems, a task for future historiography, especially given that we are
now living in a kind of second season with Russia and Putinism.

In the context of the Cold War, the US government would have been very
naïve if it had not observed with growing concern how things were
developing, barely 90 miles to the south. From the conciliatory and
humanist discourse of 1959, the language of the leader and voice of the
Revolution was changing his tone. But not only the speeches became more
aggressive and anti-Yankee.

To the agrarian nationalizations without compensation of 1959, was added
the fact that in the autumn of the same year the Soviet ambassador in
Mexico came to Havana with two main principals: the reestablishment of
diplomatic relations and the visit of Anastas Mikoyan, First Vice
President of the USSR and Khrushchev’s right hand man; a trip that took
place in February of 1960 and, in an unprecedented event, lasted nine days.

From this trip stemmed agreements for more than 100 million dollars.
America’s concern was not free, the terms of the agreement by which Cuba
would sell the USSR 300,000 metric tons of sugar were remarkably
advantageous – more so than the sugar agreement with the United States
before 1959.

It would be interesting to see – if the Soviet documents were
declassified – how Operation Mongoose, under the direction of the CIA
and the Department of State, found its counterpart in the KGB and
Gremlin. And how plans were developed to increase our country’s
influence through collaborative programs, technical assistance, trade
and cultural exchanges as the first step to then arming and training a
regular army and intelligence organs – the spearhead against its enemy –
which conferred on Cuba the highest priority in the foreign policy of
the USSR. Every power according to its interests.

These new best friends could not be looked on with indifference. In
fact, the relationship is considered a precursor of the Soviet influence
in the so-called Western Hemisphere. However, the analysis of Cuban
historians should also focus on how the opportunity was lost to achieve
a true independence and sovereignty as a nation and a republic for the
first time; there are no records of the revolutionary government seeking
alternatives in the Latin American context, for instance, to establish
political, commercial and financial relations that would have allowed it
to step outside the epicenter of the bipolar conflict.

Source: Myths And Facts About Cuba-US Relations / 14ymedio, Regina
Coyula | Translating Cuba –

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