NNOC Statement on Bush's "International Day of Solidarity with Cuba"
Bush's "International Day of Solidarity with Cuba":
Cynical Manuever that Masks the Administration's Complicity with anti-Cuba Terrorism Made in the US
May 21, 2008
Reprinted from National Network on Cuba
President George Bush today celebrates "International Day of Solidarity with Cuba."
There are millions of people around the world who have stood in solidarity with the people of Cuba for the past nearly fifty years. Bush has never been one of them. Under his administration, we have witnessed the greatest level of hostility from the US towards Cuba since the 1980s. We have witnessed the ratcheting up of the unilateral US economic embargo of Cuba. And we have witnessed unprecedented attempts by the US to create an "opposition" on the island.
In the past few days it has been made known to the world that the United States Department of State has utilized the services of Michael Parmly, Chief of the US Interests Section in Havana, to funnel money from known terrorist financier and convicted and presently imprisoned criminal Santiago Alvarez to one of these "dissident" groups, which are themselves a creation of the US government. The United States already uses millions of tax dollars annually to prop up this "opposition" – considered to be mercenaries in Cuba – as well as to sustain a base of support amongst right-wing Cuban exile elements in south Florida. Now the Bush Administration takes the added step of agreeing to facilitate transfer of funds from a man known for his support of terrorist acts against Cuba for many years.
Santiago Alvarez is best known for his ongoing support of Luis Posada Carriles, a man wanted in Venezuela for his participation in the mid- air bombing of a Cuban commercial jet plane in 1976, which resulted in the deaths of 73 people, including 24 members of the Cuban fencing team. Alvarez later assisted Posada Carriles in illegally entering the United States. Thanks to the Bush Administration, Posada was freed from detention in 2007 and is presently a free man in Miami, where he recently was feted at a highly publicized event by the leaders of right wing Cuban exile terrorist organizations located in south Florida.
If all of this were not enough, the Bush Administration has done everything in its power to keep in prison five Cubans who came to south Florida in order to monitor the activities of people like Santiago Alvarez in order to detect and prevent acts of terror against Cuba. Two years ago the Bush Justice Department took the highly unusual step of direct intervention in the proceedings of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, the Court reversed its previous decision calling for a new trial for the Cuban Five.
The Bush Administration came to power in 2000 with the active support of right wing Cuban exiles in south Florida. In return Bush promised them that he would succeed in overthrowing the government of Cuba. The Cuban people and the Cuban government are very aware of the real threat that exists while Bush remains in office.
We have no need for the Bush Administration's cynical "Day of Solidarity with Cuba" as we, like others, have stood in solidarity with the Cuban people and the Cuban Revolution for many years.
We call on the Bush Administration to:
- Cease all support of the tiny "opposition" groups created by the US government in Cuba
- Release any and all information to the public regarding it's relationship with Santiago Alvarez and how the US Interests Section came to be a conduit of terrorist funds from Alvarez to entities in Cuba that carry out the US policy of regime change within the island.
- Free the "Cuban Five" prisoners
- Immediately extradite Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela so that he can stand trial for murder and other high crimes.
National Network on Cuba
May 21, 2008