Anti-Cuban offensive routed in Dublin as Caleb McCarthy beats a hasty retreat
by Simon McGuinness
April 30, 2007
Caleb McCarry's low key address to the students of Politics at University College Dublin on 30 April 2007 was greeted by a lively band of demonstrators who responded to an emergency call to action by Free the Miami Five and other long time friends of Cuba.
Having assessed the strength of the assembled crowd of protestors, the meeting was delayed in starting whilst college authorities called in the Irish police to provide protection to McCarry. After the police had swept another classroom - presumably for IEDs - the protestors were advised they would be told where the new room was if they agreed to hold a peaceful protest.
No such undertaking was given as some students had already managed to find out and communicate the alternate location. In any event, the protestors were from many different political persuasions and few, if any, were willing to contemplate any negotiations with the handmaidens of imperialism.
The protestors hastily gathered up their banners from all around the previous room and hot-footed off down the corridor to the new room, the entrance to which was lined with 8 Irish police officers (quite possibly the entire police deployment within a 3 mile radius of the campus) and the head of college security who visually scanned them for evidence of dangerous weaponry as they entered.
Approximately 35 people squeezed into the non-descript alternate classroom where the chalk board still proclaimed the finer points of Euclidian geometry. About 6 students appeared interested to hear what Mr McCarry had to say, although only two (both, interestingly enough, with heavy Germanic accents) expressed any support for hearing his thoughts.
Placards were posted next to the speakers podium and facing the US Embassy officials which read "Caleb McCarry Coordinates three key US Government policies: -The Illegal Blockade of Cuba, - The Secret Terrorist War against Cuba, - The Global Propaganda against Cuba .. Why is UCD hosting him?"
Placards elsewhere in the room depicted the victims of Cuban 455 either side of a panel which read "The USA is Harbouring Terrorists - Luis Posada Carriles - VICTIMS DEMAND JUSTICE"
In all about 8 people spoke to denounce the US policy against Cuba. Caleb McCarry, when he eventually began to exercise his rhetorical abilities spoke a total of three words "I'm", "Caleb" and "McCarry" - in that order. After that, when agreement to allow the speaker to continue was not forthcoming, the chair adjourned the meeting to a secret venue which she said would be open only to students of the faculty.
This secret venue turned out to be the service road at the rear of the building where Caleb McCarry and his consular officials were whisked away without saying anything more surrounded by the banner wielding protestors.
Declan McKenna of Cuba Support Group took extensive video footage of the meeting, at one point approaching to within 1m of the speaker on the podium for a close up of his bored expression and extensive facial hair. Mr McCarry, conscious perhaps of his unphotogenic features, asked McKenna to desist in photographing him. McKenna agreed to desist but only after he (McCarry) agreed to desisted from attacking Cuba.
As he left the meeting, I approached McCarry and said "Excuse me, can I give you a leaflet?". He said "Yes" and took a copy of Rosalind Lord from Los Angelus' beautiful full colour leaflet "Can you be Imprisoned in the USA for Opposing Terrorism? Yes - if you Oppose Terrorism in Miami" from my outstretched hand. This leaflet explains the case of the Miami Five and will feature again in his in tray when it appears as two-page advertisement in a forthcoming issue of The Nation magazine devoted to Cuba. I was wearing a t-shirt with a photograph of Posada Carriles on the front and the bold text "Stop Harbouring Terrorists - Extradite Posada".
On the basis of this meeting, I would think that Caleb McCarry will think twice about addressing a public meeting in Ireland again.