Organized and financed from Washington
Cuba foils plot against revolution
By Gloria La Riva
The Cuban government has arrested and tried 75
people on charges involving treason and collaboration with a
foreign power. Prosecutors produced evidence that the 75 were
paid agents of the United States, working under direction of
the CIA and its representatives in the U.S. diplomatic mission
After four days of proceedings, the trials ended on April 7
The defendants have been characterized in the U.S.
capitalist media as independent journalists and dissidents
oppressed by the Cuban government simply for speaking the truth
and wanting a peaceful oppositional role in Cuban society.
But the evidence presented showed that their objectives and
deeds were far more ominous, aiming for a counter-revolution
that would undo the social achievements of the Cuban
Revolution. Even more damning is their direct link to the U.S.
government, particularly the chief of the U.S. Interests
Section in Havana, James Cason.
Since his appointment as top U.S. diplomat in Havana last
year, Cason has brazenly called for the disparate reactionary
forces on the island to unite with their right-wing
counterparts in Miami to "bring democracy and freedom to
In Iraq, thousands have just died in a war waged by the U.S.
supposedly for democracy and freedom. The survivors now face
the looting and occupation of their country. Around the world,
the promise by any U.S. representative to bring "democracy and
freedom" is seen as a serious threat.
With imperialism's knives now being sharpened against Syria,
Iran, North Korea and others, Cuba, too, is alert to plots
against it being shaped in Washington.
Added to U.S. attempts at internal subversion is a recent
spate of violent hijackings in Cuba--seven in seven months.
Many Cubans feel there is a coordinated effort by Washington to
set off a crisis and create a pretext to cancel the 1995
immigration agreement between the U.S. and Cuba.
Cuban foreign minister responds
James Cason became chief of the U.S. Interests Section last
fall. He has spent much of his time rallying tiny groups of
right-wingers on the island.
What he didn't expect was that some of the Cuban
counter-revolutionaries whose cause he championed were actually
Cuban double agents, men and women who infiltrated the
right-wing groups in defense of their country. Their
intelligence work struck a blow at U.S. designs and provided
much of the evidence at the trial.
On April 9, two days after the trials ended, Cuban Foreign
Minister Felipe Pérez Roque held a press conference with
dozens of Cuban and foreign journalists. Citing the evidence
presented in the trials, he gave a blow-by-blow account of
criminal acts carried out by the defendants and described their
ties with the U.S.
Cason organized and attended a series of meetings in Havana
with some of the counter-revolutionaries, beginning on Feb. 24
of this year.
Cuban President Fidel Castro spoke out on March 6 about
Cason's actions, saying Cuba would "calmly take all the time
needed to decide on its course of action regarding this bizarre
official. Perhaps the numerous U.S. intelligence agents working
at the Interests Section could explain to him that Cuba can
easily do without this office, a breeding ground for
counter-revolutionaries and a command post for the most
offensive subversive actions against our country."
On March 18 and 19, the 75 Cubans were arrested and charged
with violations of Cuban law, among them Article 91 of the
Cuban Penal Code, Law 62 of 1987, which prohibits anyone from
carrying out "an action in the interest of a foreign state with
the purpose of harming the independence of the Cuban state or
the integrity of its territory."
Law 88, described by Pérez as an antidote to the U.S.
Helms-Burton law of 1996, prohibits someone who "gathers,
reproduces, disseminates subversive material from the
government of the United States of America, its agencies,
representative bodies ... to support the objectives of the
Helms-Burton Act, the blockade and the war."
Conceived and financed by Washington
The trial revealed that virtually all of the actions
undertaken by the right-wingers were thought up, financed and
organized by Washington. One such anti-Cuba campaign is the
so-called Varela Project, lauded by U.S. officials as providing
alternative "freedoms" to Cuba, like a market economy. It
reportedly collected 11,000 signatures of supporters, and its
supposed founder, Osvaldo Payá, has toured Europe and
the U.S., receiving numerous awards for his "courage." Groups
like the International Republican Institute have funneled large
amounts of money to the counter-revolutionaries as
But the real architect resides elsewhere. Pérez read
a series of letters from a Carlos Alberto Montaner, who wrote
from Spain to Osvaldo Alfonso Valdés of Todos Unidos,
one of the counter-revolutionary groups. Valdés was one
of those tried and convicted. Montaner has long been identified
as working for the CIA.
A March 22, 2001, letter says, "Dear Osvaldo, a friend you
know has been kind enough to get these 30,000 pesetas to you.
Very soon you will receive a call from some high-level Spanish
friends to talk about the Varela Project. I recommended five
names to found this new idea: Payá, Alfonso, Arcos,
Raúl Rivero and Tania Quintero."
The money was provided, the project and name created, and
the people to head it were hand picked by the CIA. Cuba's
overwhelming response to the Varela Project was a referendum
organized last July in which 99.7 percent of the population
signed on to declare Cuba's socialist system "irrevocable."
Twelve Cuban double agents--including Odilia Collazo,
Néstor Baguer and Manual David Orrio--revealed their
true identities at the trial. Accounts of each agent were
reported in Granma, the daily newspaper.
For 11 years, Orrio pretended to be one of the "independent"
journalists, writing on themes selected by the U.S. Interests
Section. Orrio said, "I could have said no (to the mission),
but I thought of the outrageous manner in which the Yankees
have tried to asphyxiate us, and then I thought of my son
Miguel, from whom I took the pseudonym. I said to myself,
'Let's get on with it,' but I never imagined we would come so
The big-money media reports a wave of condemnation, ranging
from the ultra-right in Washington and Miami to the liberal
U.S. establishment, for the recent actions Cuba has taken in
But Cuba's overriding priority is its sovereignty and
self-defense. The real freedoms that the revolution has
guaranteed to the 11 million Cubans--free education and health
care, the right to a job, and control over their own land and
resources--would be crushed if the counter-revolution were to
In Pérez Roque's words, "After more than 40 years of
an ironclad economic, financial and commercial blockade, of
aggressions, terrorist acts, more than 600 assassination
attempts on the life of the Cuban President--on top of all
that, our people have had to contend with the obsession of U.S.
governments to fabricate an opposition in Cuba.
"One plan after another has foundered against the unity of
our people, against the moral authority of the Cuban
Revolution, against the unquestionable fact that the
overwhelming majority of the Cuban people support and defend
To read Perez Roque's complete transcript, see: www.granma.cu.
Reprinted from the April 24, 2003, issue of
Workers World newspaper
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