The Guardian September 19, 2001

Viewpoint Radio Havana Cuba 13 September 2001
A call for reflection, restraint, responsibility

There is no joy here in Cuba at the events of Tuesday (September 11). No 
one is cheering or holding impromptu block parties to celebrate the most 
astonishing act of terrorism in history against what has been for Cuba an 
implacable enemy for 40 years.

There is, instead, a profound feeling of shock, revulsion and compassion 
and very real apprehension about the cries for vengeance that emanate from 
every corner of the White House and the US Congress.

The most powerful nation on earth has been put on a war footing and history 
has taught us all what to expect when Washington starts waving the cudgel 

The families of almost a million Japanese, four million Koreans, three 
million Vietnamese, and thousands of Iraqis and Yugoslavians can all attest 
to what occurs when the Oval Office scrambles its bombers.

It is hard to avoid the obvious accusation that an editorial such as this 
will be viewed as a cheap shot against a weakened United States, but there 
is an urgent need to respond to staggering and inconceivable statements 
from US politicians and people calling for the use of nuclear, biological 
and chemical weapons in an almost triumphal assertion that this is their 
first war of the 21st century.

The sabre rattling is deafening and very frightening to us all. US 
mainstream media is stirring the hatred by airing statements from people 
"on the street" calling for an immediate strike, an immediate all-out war 
against the "enemy". But who is the "enemy"?

The enemy are successive Washington administrations that have for more than 
five decades promoted terrorism on an enormous scale across the globe.

Administrations that have trained international military personnel in 
techniques of torture and terrorism in its meek-sounding School of the 

Administrations that have for 40 years permitted and supported terrorist 
attacks against its island neighbour whose only crime was to advocate a 
different socio-political system.

Administrations that introduced the world to nuclear holocaust, to carpet 
bombing, to horrendous use of phosphorous and napalm bombs.

Administrations that maintain an economic blockade that is directly 
responsible for the loss of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children's 

Administrations that support one of the most repressive, brutal and racist 
regimes on earth with massive flows of money and weapons to use against the 
Palestinian people.

Administrations that financed the Latin American dictatorships of the '80s 
and then later "apologised" for some of the unspeakable crimes they 
committed in the name of "democracy".

Tuesday was the anniversary of the US sponsored coup in Chile in which a 
legitimately elected government was brought down with extreme violence.

The man behind this event and the covert wars within Cambodia and 
Argentina, Henry Kissinger, is one of those that today clamour for a "tough 
and decisive" response to the attacks in New York and Washington, who 
clamours for a blind war against an invisible enemy.

Few doubt that Washington has just suffered the consequences of its actions 
across the globe.

Even if Osama Bin Laden is found to be responsible, the people of the US 
should know that he was previously trained and used by the CIA in its war 
against the former government of Afghanistan.

George W. Bush will seek to take the war to another part of the globe where 
more civilians can pay for the death of US civilians without their blood 
and disfigured bodies being shown on CNN.

No solution will be forthcoming in the destruction of those deemed 
responsible. The enemy will still be there because the enemy comes from 

The CIA supported Noriega, Marcos, Sukarno, the Shah, Idi Amin, Mobuto, the 
Contra, Pinochet, the Argentinian generals, d'Aubuison, Somoza, Batista, 
Stroessner et al  the list is long and represents the obliteration of 
hundreds of thousands of civilian lives. In Panama 2,000, in Nicaragua 
30,000, in El Salvador 75,000, in Guatemala over 150,000, in Indonesia 

The people of the US can surely no longer remain immune from the terrorism 
their governments provoke, promote and tolerate in their name. 
After the rage, the hatred, and the clamouring for vengeance have subsided, 
the time for reflection must come.

War should be declared on the real threats to humanity: AIDS, racism, neo-
colonialism, ruthless free market profiteering and Washington's "democracy" 
of domination.

That way the poverty and desperation that creates the kind of hatred of the 
US that leads to such unspeakable acts of terrorism will be avoided. The 
security and welfare of the United States clearly depends on social justice 
for all.

There must be a change in this US psyche of isolation and pre-eminence or 
we shall all be brought to the brink of disaster once more.

The people of Cuba indeed share in the pain and distress of their 
neighbours, but at the same time they are reminded of the fact that five of 
their own were recently found guilty in a Florida court for combating this 
very same kind of despicable terrorism that has so stupefied the world 
after its use against the US.

The chickens have come home to roost and there is no smugness or 
satisfaction in saying it  just very sincere anxiety for what may follow.

Back to index page