"The United States claims that it
is shocked by Cuban human rights violations, overlooking the fact that the
worst such violations are in Guantanamo; that valid charges against Cuba do not
begin to compare with regular practices among Washington's Latin
American clients and that Cuba has been under severe, unremitting U.S.
Attack since its independence." Noam Chomsky (4/30/2014) Because We Say So, Pg 172
Chomsky on Terrorizing Cuba: Tom Dispatch (8/14/2011)
US Blockade of Cuba Is Pure Punishment for Cuban and American People
Double Standards on Cuba (1/2010)
Court will not review the Cuban Five Case (6/2009)
text is courtesy of the Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba, P.O.Box 330161, West Hartford, CT
Fifty Years of the Cuban Revolution: 1959-2009
Now, more than ever, it is time
to end the U.S. embargo of
to lift the travel ban
to restore normal diplomatic
Cuba fought two wars of independence (1868-78 and 1895-98) to
free itself from Spanish colonial rule. In 1898, after the battleship
“Maine” exploded in Havana harbor, the U.S. militarily intervened and
Spain was quickly defeated and the United States became the new
In 1901 provisions known as the Platt Amendment were
incorporated into the Cuban Constitution, thereby making Cuba
essentially a protectorate of the United States. In 1902 Cuba was
declared a republic and the U.S. withdrew its forces except for the
base at Guantanamo Bay, which it leased “in perpetuity.”
The U.S. army returned to Cuba in 1906, 1912, and again in
1933 to “establish order.” Meanwhile U.S. corporations gained near
total control of the Cuban economy, especially the sugar industry.
Colonel Fulgenio Batista first came to power in 1933 through a
military coup. Later he was elected to the presidency for four years
(1940-44), went into exile, and returned in 1952 to stage another coup
and establish a brutal dictatorship.
On July 26, 1953, Fidel Castro and 125 other opponents of the
dictatorship attacked the Moncada barracks in Santiago. They were
defeated. Castro was tried and convicted but released from prison in
In 1956 Castro and 81 other revolutionaries including Ernesto
“Che” Guevara sailed from Mexico to Cuba to begin the war of
liberation. Aided by the July 26th movement in the cities,
revolutionary forces gained strength throughout 1957 and 1958.
Batista was forced to flee on New Year’s Eve 1958. Castro arrived
in Havana on January 8, 1959 and proclaimed the triumph of the
Five Decades of Hostility
As the new revolutionary government began to take steps to
address the needs of the Cuban people, it faced a series of hostile
acts on the part of the United States, the imperial power to the
north. In January 1961 the Eisenhower administration broke
diplomatic relations. Three months later, President Kennedy
backed the unsuccessful invasion of Cuba by counter-revolutionary
exiles at the Bay of Pigs.
In 1962 the United States imposed the embargo on trade with
Cuba, which is still in effect today.
In the 1960’s the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency carried out
numerous plans to destabilize the Cuban economy under the code name
“Operation Mongoose.” These included at least eight attempts to
assassinate Fidel Castro between 1960 and 1965.
When the Soviet Union placed missiles in Cuba in 1962, the
United States brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in the
On October 6, 1976, a Cuban airline flight from Barbados to
Jamaica was brought down in a terrorist attack, killing 73
people. Anti-Castro Cubans linked to the CIA were
implicated. Two of the perpetrators, Orlando Bosch and Luis
Posada Carriles, continue to live with impunity in Maimi, Florida.
Restrictions on trade with and travel to Cuba were tightened
with the Torricelli Act (1992) and the Helms Burton Act
(1996). The latter imposes sanctions on companies from
other countries that conduct business with Cuba. It also
authorizes the U.S. government to channel funds to “democratic and
human rights groups” and explicitly states that the U.S. desires to
promote “regime change” in Cuba.
Accomplishments of the Revolution
In spite of the impediments placed in its way by its powerful
neighbor to the north, revolutionary Cuba is proud of the
accomplishments of the past 50 years.
In 1961 a literacy campaign was launched. Within a year
virtually every adult in the country learned to read and write. As the
decades progressed the level of education of the entire population was
raised in stages, first to the sixth grade level, then ninth
grade. Today, through television, university- level courses are
available to everyone.
In spite of the fact that most doctors in 1959 left Cuba, the
country rebuilt its medical system. In 2001 the World Health
Organization reported that there was one doctor for every 183
inhabitants. Primary care physicians live in the communities they serve
and emphasize preventive medicine. As a result Cuba has among the
lowest rates of infant mortality in the world. In addition, Cuban
doctors serve in dozens of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin
America, and Cuba trains thousands of students from these countries at
the Latin American School of Medicine.
Cuban troops helped defend newly independent Angola when it
was invaded by South Africa in 1975. They played a major role in
the decisive defeat of the apartheid regime at the battle of Cuito
Cuanavale in 1988, which rapidly led to independence for Namibia and
the freeing of Nelson Mandela in 1990.
Heavily dependent upon trade with the Soviet bloc, the Cuban
economy was devastated by the collapse of the Soviet Union in
1991. Nevertheless, Cuba emerged from the “special period” of the
1990s with a stronger, more diverse economy.
Free the Cuba Five!
In September 1998 the FBI arrested five Cubans living in
Miami, Florida. In 2001 they were convicted on trumped up charges of
conspiracy to commit espionage against the United States, and in one
case conspiracy to commit murder. In fact, the five were gathering
information on the activities of violent, counter-revolutionary groups
of Cuban exiles who operate with impunity on U.S. soil.
These five men—Gerardo Hernández, René González,
Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino, Fernando González—have been
held in U.S. prisons ever since. Their conviction is on appeal to
the United States Supreme Court on the grounds of prosecutorial
misconduct, admission of illegally obtained evidence, and the
impossibility of receiving a fair trial in Miami, a city where right
wing Cubans hold sway and easily intimidate jurors.
An international campaign to win release of the Five has
received widespread support. In addition, there have been international
protests against the fact that Olga Salanueva Arango, wife of Gonzalez,
and Adriana Perez O’Connor, wife of Gerardo , have been denied
permission by the U.S. government to visit their husbands in prison.
To learn more about the case and join this campaign, visit www.freethefive.org.
Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba
The Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba was founded in 1993.
Our goal is to work for an end to the U.S. government’s 50-year policy
of hostility toward and isolation of Cuba and to promote greater
understanding and awareness of Cuba among people in the United States.
We are affiliated with the National Network on Cuba (www.cubasolidarity.com).
We also support Pastors for Peace, an organization that delivers
humanitarian aid to Cuba in defiance of the U.S. embargo (www.ifconews.com).
We have sponsored delegations of students and youth to Cuba
through the U.S.-Cuba youth exchange, and talks by Cubans visiting the
United States. We have videos on the role of women in Cuba, the
Cuban health care system, the case of the Cuba Five, and other
Cuba-related topics available to show to churches, community
organizations and campus groups. (For more information, call Alex
Koskinas at 860-930-5615.)
Ten U.S. presidents from Eisenhower through G.W. Bush, have
pursued a failed policy of attempting to undermine and overthrow the
Cuban revolution. Join us in writing to President Obama and the
Connecticut congressional delegation to demand a real change: an
end to the embargo, lifting the ban on travel to Cuba by U.S.
residents, and the restoration of normal diplomatic relations.
Above all the U.S. must respect the right of the Cuban people to
determine their own future, free of outside interference!
To keep up-to-date on the activities of the coalition and news
from Cuba, send a message to
Travel To Cuba
You, as a free American, were not permitted to travel to Cuba.
Could this be the reason ?
Here's an eye-opening letter to the editor of The Economist,
Jan 22, 2009 issue:
"SIR – Michael Moore’s claim that Cuba has a better
health-care system than the United States is not as “ridiculous” as you
think (“Health screen”, January 10th). The United States was ranked
37th in the latest report on health care from the World Health
Organization, whereas Cuba ranked 39th. I suspect there is little
difference between being placed 37th and 39th. However, when
productivity is factored in Cuba’s health-care system does indeed seem
to be more effective than America’s. America spends 15% of GDP on
health care (which works out at $6,700 per person in 2006 dollars)
while Cuba spends 8% ($360 per person). Most businesses would consider
themselves better than their competitors if they delivered an
equivalent product or service at one-twentieth the cost.
Kenneth McLeod, Chair, Department of bioengineering,
Binghamton University" http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12970732
(From an email 2/8/2009)
Revolutionary Doctors, How Venezuela and Cuba are Changing the World's Conception of Health Care: St eve Brouwer
Back Channel to Cuba, the Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington
and Havana, William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh
Race to Revolution, The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow: Gerald
Ways to Kill Castro (Documentary Film) on-line.
of War, Latin American and U.S. Aggression from the Cuban
Revolution through the Clinton Years
SUPPORT EVERYTHINGCUBA.COM see the movie Cuba's Love Suicide, shot on location in Havana, Cuba
available at www.EveryThingCuba.com,
Amazon.com and anywhere a person dares to speak for Cuba.
The Sharing Society: Edward Lamb. Eyewitness to an
assassination attempt on Castro.
See this Wikipedia entry.