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Vol. 75/No. 19      May 16, 2011

Cuban TV series exposes
U.S. attacks on revolution
(feature article)
Cuba’s Reasons
, a documentary series recently broadcast on Cuban television, sheds light on Washington’s ongoing efforts to organize counterrevolutionary activity on the island. The series describes how the U.S. government today is conducting its 50-year campaign to undermine the Cuban Revolution.

Through interviews with four Cuban revolutionaries who spent as many as 27 years working undercover within “dissident” circles, the first three episodes show the close ties between counterrevolutionary groups in Cuba and the U.S. government through its Interests Section in Havana. The groups are shown to be politically isolated in Cuba and utterly dependent on the imperialists’ patronage.

Moisés Rodríguez and Carlos Serpa, the subjects of the series opener The Empire’s Pawns, describe how, as agents of Cuban State Security, they became involved in U.S.-sponsored projects to establish so-called human rights organizations in Cuba as fronts for U.S.-directed counterrevolutionary activity. The documentary describes how money flowed to these groups from U.S. government agencies and Cuban American groups based in the United States with close ties to Washington.

Rodríguez became a notable counterrevolutionary during his assignment from 1980-2007 and was even flown to Miami where he met with leading U.S.-backed anti-Cuba mercenaries. Among them was Luis Posada Carriles, who in a July 1998 New York Times interview bragged about organizing a string of Cuban hotel bombings in 1997. He is also wanted in Cuba and Venezuela for masterminding the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 that killed all 73 passengers.

Serpa describes his rise to prominence in the “dissident” milieu in Cuba. He became director of the Union of Free Journalists of Cuba and the principal leader of several other groups through his willingness to concoct fictional stories designed to tarnish Cuba’s image. Street footage illustrates how widely he was despised by the people of Cuba. As the foremost representative of pro-U.S. journalists on the island, he was well-placed to document the activities and links to the U.S. government of small groups like Ladies in White, as well as the “independent journalists” and “independent librarians.”

Rodríguez and Serpa both explain how all the “dissidents” they worked with were motivated above all by money and the possibility of emigrating to the United States.

Serpa demonstrates the absolute lack of any pretense of minimal journalistic standards on the part of Radio Martí, a U.S. government station that broadcasts in Cuba and South Florida. During the documentary, he places a call to the station and fabricates a story of his arrest and mistreatment at the hands of Cuban authorities. Within minutes his tale is being broadcast as news.

Truths and Principles documents the lengths to which U.S. diplomatic personnel and Washington’s secret agents go to smuggle sophisticated communications equipment into Cuba to advance their counterrevolutionary activity. Dalexis González Madruga, a graduate student in telecommunications engineering at the José Antonio Echeverría University, relates how he was contacted by U.S. agents to install a covert network capable of transmitting directly to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. Viewers witness the actual delivery of the equipment disguised as surfing gear by a supposed U.S. tourist.

The documentary was released in March, around the same time that Alan Gross, a contractor for the U.S. State Department, was sentenced by a Cuban court to 15 years in prison. Gross was convicted of smuggling high-tech satellite equipment into the country, for which he was paid $500,000.

In the episode Well-Paid Lies Frank Carlos Vázquez, a Cuban painter, exposes the cynical use of artistic and cultural exchanges by Washington to fish for individuals it can buy off to promote counterrevolutionary propaganda on the island. One of the aspects of recent White House policy has been to expand such exchanges under the pretext of promoting “democracy,” while a nearly 50-year economic and financial embargo designed to maximize economic hardship on the island continues unabated.

Vázquez details efforts by U.S. diplomatic personnel to lure Cuban artists and intellectuals with material incentives to project a negative image of the revolution in their works. He recounts an Interests Section-organized trip to Chicago he was part of for this very purpose.  
U.S. Cyber Command targets Cuba
Cyberwar opens with a discussion of the establishment of the U.S. Cyber Command in May 2010 to focus resources on boosting Washington’s ability to conduct cyber attacks, such as knocking out crucial industrial or transportation networks.

The episode, however, focuses on the imperialists’ growing use of the Internet to further their propaganda campaign of lies and slander against the revolution.

Cuba is forced to use very expensive and slow satellite connections due to the U.S. economic embargo on the island, which blocks Cuba from using existing infrastructure available to other nations. At the same time, the U.S. Treasury Department announced in March that it would begin to allow the export of Internet-based communications and social networking services to Cuba, with the goal of undermining the government.

The documentary describes the use of these services, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as the promotion of “independent bloggers” to defame Cuba. The episode demonstrates how a small handful of these bloggers are given artificial prominence and rewarded handsomely by big-business media and other organizations through cash prizes for “human rights” journalism. In one scene, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pays tribute to well-known counterrevolutionary blogger Yoani Sánchez.

“All the actions of the independent bloggers have a unique pattern,” explains a Cuban government press release, “the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.”

Cyberwar ends by showing how thousands of tech-savvy Cubans, many of them young people, are entering this battlefield of ideas to defend the socialist revolution in Cuba.

The four documentaries—The Empire’s Pawns, Truths and Principles, Well-Paid Lies, and Cyberwar—can be watched on with English subtitles.
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