Friday, December 12, 2014

The High Cost of Hurting Cuba

Anti-Cuban Maliciousness Sprinkled Far and Wide
Updated: Monday, December 15th, 2014
      This week a great lady -- Dilma Rousseff, the President of Brazil -- broke down and cried at a very public event in the capital city of Brasilia. {Photo courtesy: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty}. Americans should take particular note of those tears because, for one thing, U. S. tax dollars and tax-paid expertise recently went from Washington to Miami to Brazil in a failed and antithetical effort to help her two prime opponents prevent her from being re-elected as President of Brazil. Miami and Washington -- meaning a few Cuban-Americans -- oppose Dilma Rousseff because she happens to be Cuba's dearest and most important friend. Such opposition to all three of Latin America's female Presidents -- in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina -- reflect terribly on Miami, Washington, and America although American tax-payers who fund it don't care enough to voice a dissenting opinion against anything designed to hurt Cuba. But the feisty Dilma Rousseff used that foreign interference as a campaign tool on her way to her second term as the leader of Brazil, the Latin American superpower. However, her re-election had nothing to do with those tears this week. They concerned the fact that Brazil's National Truth Commission delivered to her a 2,000-page report on what the Associated Press article from Brazil called "the killings, disappearances and torture committed by government agents during the country's 1964-1985 military dictatorships." Dilma, as a young lady in 1970, fought against that brutal U.S.-backed dictatorship, but she was captured. The AP article yesterday stated: "Rousseff...rarely speaks about the abuses she suffered in detention, where she was bound and hung upside down, pummeled in the face and given electric shocks." So, the tears Dilma Rousseff, the re-elected President of Brazil, shed this week were understandable although they were surprising. The AP stated: "Rousseff, known for her steely demeanor, broke down during her speech at the report's launch-ceremony in the capital, Brasilia." With typical stoicism, she kept her composure in the first part of her speech: "Brazil deserves the truth. The new generations deserve the truth. And most of all, those who deserve the truth are those who lost family members, friends, companions and continue to suffer as if they died again each and everyday..." This was the point where the great lady lost her composure and began to cry. After reclaiming her emotions, she continued: "We, who believe in the truth, hope that this report contributes to make it so that ghosts from a sad and painful past are no longer able to find shelter." She was then given a huge and very emotional standing ovation. Americans and Brits, most especially, should also applaud her.
      When President Rousseff said, "Brazil deserves the truth," she meant it. She has also criticized the U. S. for routinely classifying {keeping secretor redacting {hidingdata that the American people deserve to know. The Senate report about U. S. torture techniques shocked Americans this past week but look at a typical page above and note that so much is redacted {blacked out} that the information on the page is almost unintelligible. Dilma Rousseff, when she was the top aide to her presidential predecessor Lula da Silva, was once upset when U. S. President George W. Bush put anti-Castro zealots Otto Reich and Roger Noriega in charge of Latin American affairs. She commented, "The reason the Bush family has become a political dynasty in America is because America's political heavyweights can hide whatever anti-democratic deeds they commit, such as criminal acts against other nations. Americans deserve better, to know more."
     Photos are worth a thousand words, at least. This EPA/Kevin Dietsch photo shows that President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, on her last visit to the White House, was not too pleased with U. S. President Barack Obama. The public relations release described the session as "pleasant, cordial, and enlightening." This photo was more accurate. In private President Rousseff had scolded President Obama "for not keeping your campaign promise to ease the cruel sanctions against Cuba. Also, it shames you and America that floods of money from Washington and Miami try to defeat or diminish democratically elected leaders like me, Michelle Bachelet, and Cristina Fernandez." After this session, the next time President Rousseff was invited to the White House she made headlines by declining. Like the powerful female Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, President Rousseff was quite angry that the U. S. had spied on her private emails and phone calls. Merkel still accepted an invitation to visit the White House, but Dilma very sternly refused a return visit. 
      Yet, even after being scolded by President Rousseff in private, President Obama needed to kiss up, or down, to her. After all, her Brazil is by far the richest and most powerful country in Latin America. Of course, the U. S. is by far the richest and most powerful country in the history of the world. Yet, as President Rousseff let President Obama know, "It is incredible, as powerful as the U. S. is, it has a sharply declining influence in Latin America. That is partly because of a Cuban policy that all of Latin America sharply opposes. It is also because the U. S. tries not to own up to its brutal imperialist past in our Latin America."
            Back in June, 2014, U. S. Vice President Joe Biden visited the Brazilian capital, Brasilia. To prove that the U. S. is embarrassed by its imperialist past, Mr. Biden made it a point to give President Rousseff forty previously classified U. S. documents related to the U.S.-backed Brazilian dictatorship that the U. S. had not only supported but had instructed that dictatorship on torture techniques -- torture techniques that were used on a young Dilma Rousseff back in the 1970s. In the second week of this month -- December, 2014 -- a tearful President Rousseff made international headlines by releasing a 2,000-page report on the brutality of that Brazilian dictatorship. Those U. S. documents undoubtedly helped Brazil compile the brutal evidence it made known this past week. The very same week that mammoth Brazilian report was released, the U. S. Senate made international headlines by releasing a scathing report on CIA torture at prisons such as the infamous one the U. S. maintains, unjustly President Rousseff believes, on Cuban soil at Guantanamo Bay. President Rousseff has said, "If the U. S. has to have a prison that Amnesty International calls the 'Gulag of our time,' it should at least be on U. S. soil, not occupied Cuban soil." Such comments are why President Obama and Vice President Biden do not like President Dilma Rousseff. But they must tolerate her. After all, she survived torture administered by that U.S.-backed dictatorship and she has been elected, and now re-elected, President of Brazil, the Latin American superpower.
       Dilma Rousseff turned 67-years-old on December 14th. As the re-elected President of Brazil, she is on friendly terms with all democratically elected world leaders, except possibly President Obama. She communicates privately with many of them. Here, for example, is the gist of a letter she recently wrote to Bulgaria's new Prime Minister Boyko Borisov: "On behalf of the Brazilian people and the government of Brazil, I congratulate you on the occasion of taking your office as Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria. I keep good memories of our meetings during my visit to Sofia and your visit to Brazil on the occasion of taking up my post in 2011." Dilma apparently does not have such "good memories" of her White House visit.
       The fact that Americans and Brits know practically nothing about Latin American history shames their democracies today on the eve of a new year, 2015. Therefore, as an American or Brit you probably do not know a single person who remotely understands the photo-combo above. On the left is a color photo of Dilma Roussett as she is today, Latin America's most important leader as the democratically elected President of Brazil. On the right, the black-and-white photo shows a young Dilma Rousseff the very day she was sentenced to prison in 1970 by the brutal military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 till 1985. The young Dilma, inspired by the Cuban Revolution that, incredibly, had overthrown a brutal U.S.-backed dictatorship in Cuba in 1959, tried to do the same thing in Brazil in 1970. She failed and for the next three years was unmercifully tortured. But the Dilma Rousseff depicted on the right above is now the Dilma Rousseff depicted on the left above -- the re-elected President of Brazil, the Latin American superpower.
          In particular, Americans and Brits should study this photo {Courtesy: Agencia Estado/Corbis}. It shows a very sad Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff crying this week in her capital city, Brasilia. Her memories of being unmercifully tortured back in the 1970s by a U.S./UK-backed military dictatorship spawned those tears on December 11th, 2014. The 2,000-page report on the brutality of that dictatorship refreshed those memories. That report included this finding as revealed to the world by the Associated Press, Reuters, and the other leading international news agencies: "A share of the blame went to the United States and the UK, which were found to have trained Brazilian interrogators in torture techniques." Please take note that many of those "torture techniques" were used on a young, beautiful Dilma Rousseff. And if you do take time to take note of those revelations, Americans and Brits might begin to understand why today Dilma Rousseff is President of Brazil and why she strongly supports the sovereignty of Revolutionary Cuba against the revengeful remnants of the overthrown-but-retrenched-in-the-U.S. Batista dictatorship.
Dilma Rousseff, standing tall above, was born into a well-to-do Brazilian family.
Dilma and her siblings were pampered children.
But Dilma, even at a very young age, worried about Brazil's poor children.
As a teenager, Dilma dedicated her life to helping poor people in her beloved Brazil.
She became a guerrilla fighter against Brazil's U.S./UK-backed dictatorship.
 Those dictators made her Prisoner #3023 and tortured her unmercifully.
       But Dilma Rousseff survived to become the democratically elected and now re-elected President of Brazil, which is by far the most important Latin American nation. Beyond doubt, her efforts -- and the efforts of many who died trying to do what she did -- finally, in the 1980s, began to usher in the waves of democracy that engulfed Latin America. The U. S. and the UK tried mightily to hold back those waves. 
      Today President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil deeply admires the now 88-year-old Fidel Castro, Cuba's revolutionary icon who inspired her own rebel-to-democracy political career. The world's two most famed democracies -- the U. S. and the UK -- supported the brutal Brazilian dictatorship that tortured Dilma and brutalized Brazil from 1964 till 1985. But today the citizens of the U. S. and the UK are taught to resent President Rousseff's affection for Fidel Castro while they are also taught to ignore how incredibly affectionate the U. S. and UK were to the Brazilian dictators that so powerfully tortured Dilma Rousseff.
      On the cusp of 2015, Fidel Castro at age 88 is still alive in Cuba and one of his greatest admirers, Dilma Rousseff, is the re-elected President of Brazil. Considering how much treasure the U. S. and the UK have used in decades-long efforts to eliminate him, and allegedly in trying to block her re-election last fall and her ongoing pro-Cuban efforts, citizens in the U. S. and UK should, perhaps, at least be allowed to comprehend the backgrounds, or history, that predicate the modern nexus between Castro and Rousseff.
      This photo this week (Dec. 11, 2014} shows the Brazilian Truth Commission presenting President Dilma Roussett the 2,000-word report on the brutality of the U.S./UK-backed dictatorship that she already knew all about from first-hand torture back in the 1970s. Citizens of the U. S. and the UK, perhaps, should read that newly published report as a means of strengthening their democracies heading into the new year of 2015.
       America's National Security Archive website is the best place to go to study U.S./UK involvements in Caribbean and Latin American history. Typically, the details of the 2,000-page Brazilian report that brought tears to President Rousseff's knowing eyes this week are already posted in totality on America's National Security Archive by its brilliant Latin American expert Peter Kornbluh. If you go online to read that report, you will see at the outset this salient point written by Mr. Kornbluh: "In contrast to the U. S. Senate report on torture released this week -- Dec. 8th -- which redacted even the pseudonyms of CIA personnel who engaged in torture, the Brazilian report actually identifies over 375 perpetrators of human rights crimes by name. The Brazilian report also sheds significant light on Brazil's role in the cross-border regional repression known as Operation Condor in Chile, and support for the Pinochet regime, as well as identifies Argentine citizens captured and killed in Brazil as part of a Condor collaboration between the military regimes." That quotation by Peter Kornbluh on America's informative National Security Archive should, but probably won't, resonate with Americans and Brits. The incredibly murderous 17-year reign of the Pinochet dictatorship began in 1973 after the Nixon-Kissinger administration ordered the CIA to overthrow the democratically elected presidency of Salvador Allende, who happened to be Fidel Castro's dear friend. After the death of Allende, the Pinochet-directed terror known to history as Condor ricocheted around the world, mostly unabated and unreported except later by such venues as ambient Hollywood movies!
       Yes, the 1975 mostly fictional movie "3 Days of the Condor" -- starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway -- revealed more truth about the murderous connections between the CIA and the Pinochet death squads than most Americans and Brits have ever gotten from their so-called mainstream media outlets. Note that the above poster promoting the movie used the line "be careful who you trust." Well, in the movie the character played by Robert Redford trusted his CIA bosses, at least until he...uh...learned not to.
The beautiful, innocent American Ronni Moffitt was one of the many victims of Condor.
        Ronnie Moffitt died in 1976 when this car was blown up within sound of the White House in Washington. The perpetrators were a part of Pinochet's infamous Condor operation. Any Google study of Ronnie Moffitt's murder will reveal that the CIA director at the time, and future Vice President and President, steered the FBI investigation away from the U.S.-backed Chilean dictator Pinochet. Also, any Googling of the Ronnie Moffitt murder will reveal that Pinochet's Condor operators were, typically, often Cuban exiles that had been trained in sabotage,  such as bombings, in the secretive Army of the Americas program at Fort Benning, Georgia. Within days of the car-bombing that killed Ronnie Moffitt, the civilian Cubana Flight 455 was blown out of the sky, killing all five of its crewmen and all 73 of its passengers.
        All 78 of the innocent souls murdered aboard Cubana Flight 455 on Oct. 6-1976, within days of the car-bombing that murdered Ronnie Moffitt in Washington, are to this day being mourned by family, friends, and companions. You may recall that President Rousseff of Brazil did not start crying during her speech Thursday until she got to the point in which she mentioned the "family, friends and companions" that still today mourn the many victims murdered by the U.S./UK-backed Brazilian dictatorship that tortured her so unmercifully in her own beloved country of Brazil. The above montage depicting the victims of Cubana Flight 455 still resonates throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, but not in the U. S. and the UK.
      The black and white photo above shows Henry Kissinger, on behalf of the American people, congratulating the murderous Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet who had replaced, for 17 brutal years, the dead, democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende. On the Washington-based National Security Archive website this week, Peter Kornbluh poignantly mentioned that the newly released Brazilian report on its murderous dictatorship revealed the actual names of those found, all these years later, responsible for the crimes. By contrast, Kornbluh pointed out that, typically, the recently released CIA torture findings of the U. S. Senate DID NOT MENTION actual names of those responsible for the tortures. Typically, when Americans read about Wall Street bankers paying, say, $10 billion in fines for crimes that earned them hundreds of billions of dollars, they surely never read about any of those billionaires being charged with crimes. Such routine immunity for elites, as Peter Kornbluh often reveals, do not pertain to everyday Americans, such as a mother caught stealing bread and beans to feed her hungry children.
       Peter Kornbluh routinely publishes on his easily accessed National Security Archive website such de-classified documents as this one related to the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 on October 6, 1976 -- a seminal event that occurred within days of the car-bombing that killed Ronnie Moffitt. The problem is, by the time such material is de-classified, a new generation of American citizens is not interested in such unsavory history although learning from such things would greatly enhance their modern democracy.
       This photo shows British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a friendly chat with the brutal Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. It should have been an unfriendly chat. Like Spain and Portugal, in particular, the U. S. and Britain, most particularly, have a lot of apologizing to do for their past greedy installation and/or support of fiends like Pinochet so already rich Americans and Brits could get richer at the expense of the indigenous and overwhelmed people in those countries, such as Cuba, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. 
         Today these three very worthy females are the democratically elected Presidents of arguably the three most important nations in Latin America, left to right: Cristina Fernandez of Argentina, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil. These three women all strongly support Cuba and all three lived in brutal U.S./UK-backed dictatorships, which still evoke unhappy memories. In a better world, all the nations of the Caribbean and Latin America would and should have democratically elected female Presidents -- and that includes Josefina Vidal in Cuba and Elizabeth Warren in the United States. History proves that men, by and large, are too greedy and too power-hungry. Women, perhaps because they naturally birth and nurture babies, are far more inclined to care for and respect the masses of people.
That's why great investigative journalists such as Peter Kornbluh should be treasured.
          Thanks to my intense study of what Peter Kornbluh posts on the National Security Archive, I feel I can make sound judgments about ruthless U.S.-and/or-UK-backed dictators such as Batista in Cuba, Pinochet in Chile, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Somoza in Nicaragua, Mobutu in the Congo, etc, etc. Like Mr. Kornbluh, I am a democracy-lover who believes one should learn from history and not ignore or hide it.
           Because of Peter Kornbluh, I know why this great lady -- President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil -- cried this week in her capital city of Brasilia. I believe I have read every de-classified document Peter Kronbluh has posted on the National Security Archive related to Fidel Castro's Cuba and Dilma Rousseff's Brazil. Therefore, I understand why, today, she is a bit fonder of Fidel Castro and Cuba than she is of Barack Obama and America. Moreover, because of her life experiences, I believe she has a right to her opinions.
      I did not like seeing the photos and videos of Dilma Rousseff crying this week because I am also well aware that my government's past and vile involvement in her nation helped produce those tears on Thursday, December 11th, 2014. I am also aware that America's installment and/or support of vile dictators throughout Latin America from the 1950s into the 1980s created, paradoxically, a positive backlash that has resulted in the democratic elections of President Rousseff in Brazil, President Bachelet in Chile, President Fernandez in Argentina, etc. But those decades of supporting malicious dictators should have other positive ramifications in the United States and in the UK -- such as holding elite people such as politicians as well as CIA and MI6 operatives accountable for their wrong-doings. Further, biased and revengeful Cuban-Americans hiding behind the skirts of the U. S. government should be held accountable for assaulting the island as well as taunting democratically elected pro-Cuban Latin American leaders. 
       Yes, this essay was entitled "The High Cost of Hurting Cuba." That cost since the 1950s has been, and continues to be, paid in buckets of money, blood, shame, and tears. The tears shed this week by President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil is merely a topical and typical example of U. S. and UK democracies gone awry.
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