CP General Secretary to the Independent: ‘Come clean on Cuba’

Communist Party General Secretary writes to editor of the Independent over misreporting of the facts around Cuba and America.

Dear Editor,

Why is the Independent’s reporting of Cuba so uncharacteristically unbalanced, inaccurate and hostile?

In all the paper’s coverage of the US-Cuba ‘truce’ (December 18), no mention is made of the history of violent terrorist attacks on Cuban offices, hotels and airliners by US-backed, US-based Cuban exiles. While the case of the ‘Miami Five’ is highlighted, nowhere is it reported that these Cuban government agents were in the US ‘spying’ on these terrorist organisations – and reported their findings to the US authorities.

As for the claim that attempts by US presidents Ford and Carter to ‘normalise’ relations were ‘disrupted when Castro sent Cuban troops to support repressive Marxist regimes in Angola and Ethiopia’ …

Firstly, almost all the pressure to normalise relations between the US and Cuba over the past half a century came from the Cuban side, backed by the vast majority of the world’s countries which consistently voted at the UN against the US economic embargo.

Secondly, Cuba’s military involvement in Ethiopia was mainly to repel an invasion by the repressive regime in Somalia in 1977-78. After that, as US State Department papers confirm, Cuban troops were largely confined to barracks and Castro refused to join the Ethiopian regime’s war in Eritrea.

Thirdly, Cuba’s military intervention in Angola was to support the MPLA, the liberation movement which fought Portuguese imperialism and which – as elections eventually confirmed – enjoyed the overwhelming support of the Angolan people. Specifically, Cuban forces helped defend Angolan sovereignty against the US and South African-backed UNITA movement.

In particular, Cuba’s spectacular military defeat of the apartheid regime’s armed forces at the Battle of Cuito Cuanvale in 1987 opened the way for SWAPO’s liberation of Namibia.

US presidents may have been miffed by such actions, but freedom-loving people around the world celebrated the selfless heroism of Cuban troops.

Finally, the extraordinary claim is made that the US invasion of Grenada was ‘partly motivated by the construction of a military airstrip in Grenada by Cuban engineers’.

Cubans were helping to build Point Salines (now Maurice Bishop) international airport according to Canadian specifications and with British finance. While US President Reagan claimed that the airstrip was being constructed to receive Soviet military aircraft, this was denied at the time by the Grenadan and Cuban governments.

It’s disappointing to see this same unsubstantiated, discredited and paranoid nonsense being recycled as fact many years later by the Independent.

Yours Sincerely,
Robert Griffiths
General Secretary
Communist Party of Britain

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