Cuba opposes US-led invasion of Haiti
By Francesca Davidson
SYDNEY — "I am convinced that the United States' plans to invade Haiti are directly related to the possibility of intervention in Cuba," Marcellino Fajardo, the Cuban Consul General on August 19.
Recent unrest in Cuba following the hijacking of sea vessels by Cubans attempting to migrate to the US and the death of a police officer who tried to stop them, has focuses the international spotlight on Cuba.
Fajardo explained that the economic blockade of Cuba, spearheaded by the US, has led to extreme hardships; there are daily blackouts, food and medicine shortages and public transport has all but disappeared. As a result an increasing number of Cubans are seeking to migrate to the US.
US policy has made it nearly impossible for Cubans to legally immigrate; it rejects 95% of Cuban's applications, encouraging illegal migration instead. This situation led to the attempted hijackings.
Fajardo pointed out that these incidents do not reflect widespread disillusionment with the government. He pointed to rallies of 600,000 in Havana and over 200,000 in the central Cuban town of Camaguey, in commemoration of the police officer as proof of this.
The barrage of US propaganda transmitted through the Florida-based Radio Marti has recently escalated with calls encouraging the hijackings and inciting Cubans to rise up against their government. Fajardo said that although the economic blockade and propaganda campaigns have long been US policy, the recent intensification of this strategy together with the plans to invade Haiti has the Cuban government greatly concerned.
Cuba has called for peaceful negotiation to find a solution for Haiti. Fajardo said that a US-established "democracy" in Haiti would allow it even greater influence in the region and would put even more pressure on Cuba, just 77 kilometres away from Miami.
With its illegal Guantanamo naval base on Cuba, the US would be in a perfect position to intervene in Cuba on the grounds of "instability", Fajardo said.
"If this should occur, I can tell you, Cubans, regardless of their ideologies and politics, would stand together to defend our sovereignty against the United States' attempt to reclaim us as one of their semi-colonies."