Cuba 191, the United States, 2. That’s called a diplomatic thrashing. One hundred and ninety-one countries voted at the United Nations in favor of a resolution introduced by Cuba against the economic, commercial and financial restrictions imposed by the U.S. upon the Castro brothers’ government since 1961. Only two nations voted against: the United States and Israel.
That has been happening for a long time now. What’s new this year is that the Obama administration is celebrating the outcome secretly, although the law and common sense force U.S. diplomacy to reject the resolution. The president himself had urged Congress to repeal the embargo.
In any case, the United States really did not defend itself. After all, these U.N. resolutions are not binding. They are mere propaganda within an organization so discredited that it elected Venezuela and Ecuador to the committee that oversees human rights observance, effectively assigning the fox to watch over the chicken coop.
What’s interesting is the way the Castro brothers manage to divert attention from the heart of the issue — the persistence of a Stalinist dictatorship derived from the Soviet model eradicated from the West a quarter of a century ago — and refocus it on a fabricated perception: an impoverished island besieged by the greatest power on earth. David against Goliath.
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It has about 12,000 people engaged in the task of promoting the causes selected by Fidel Castro and inherited and continued by his brother, Raúl.
How does it do it? To understand this, you need to know that that small island, unproductive and mistreated, needy and beggarly, which pays nothing to nobody because its squanders its resources, has a very powerful foreign projection learned from the KGB: It has about 12,000 people engaged in the task of promoting the causes selected by Fidel Castro and inherited and continued by his brother, Raúl.
What are those causes? Basically, the denunciation of the United States and the wicked and exploitative capitalism. Everything that opposes that common enemy is welcome — the ayatollahs’ Iran, Gadhafi’s Libya in the past, Putin’s Russia today, “21st-Century socialism.” Everything and anything.
The General Directorate of Intelligence, with 1,500 well-trained officers disseminated worldwide, leads the effort. Each of them seduces, recruits or handles a dozen local contacts. The members of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) is another arm of the intelligence machine present in all countries and all international organizations.
The 119 Cuban embassies in 140 sites, with 21 consulates general, are all controlled by security. All of these serve the intelligence function. The academic, literary or artistic institutions that have contacts abroad and travel overseas or host travelers. Any piece will fit in the puzzle: a concert by Silvio Rodríguez, a conference in Panama. Whatever.
Bottom line: Thousands of people directly or indirectly linked to the political life and communications of most of the world’s nations, most especially to those of the major countries in the West, which end up responding to the dictates from Havana.
Of course, I’m not including counterintelligence apparatus, forged in the image of the East German Stasi. Its staff amounts to 0.5 percent of the population, about 60,000 persons devoted to infiltrating and controlling the “enemy groups” inside the island, which include not only the democrats asking for freedom but also Masons, Christian churches, suspicious groups like the LGTB, or the “self-employed entrepreneurs.”
As soon as the word goes out about the upcoming U.N. vote on the embargo, that huge mechanism moves to achieve its objective.
Washington, which has lost the reflexes it had during the Cold War, does not know how to fight against that enemy. Or it can’t or won’t. In Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift describes how, after a shipwreck in Lilliput, captain Lemuel Gulliver is tied down and captured by a legion of 6-inch-tall dwarfs. That’s what’s happening to the United States. It is not David against Goliath. It is Gulliver against 12,000 very efficient dwarfs.