Elio Delgado Legón
HAVANA TIMES — My latest article published on HT was called “I can’t understand this world”, of course this was a rhetorical statement which I used as a pretext to talk about (a few of) the calamities that overwhelm our planet, the consequences of capitalist and colonial plundering over five centuries which doesn’t seem to have ended.
Even though there was a group of people who stand up for the indefensible and detractors of everything that represents progress for the general population and social justice who criticized my article, what recently happened at the 8th Summit of the Americas, when US Vice-President Mike Pence read a speech full of lies about Cuba and Venezuela and Cuban Ambassador Bruno Rodriguez gave him a forceful response, proves I was right and that everything I wrote in the abovementioned article was true.
In order to try and justify their destabilizing efforts in Venezuela and support for violence which has cost dozens of lives, some of whom were even burned alive, at the greatest display of savagery which hasn’t been seen since the war of aggression on Vietnam, Vice-President Pence accused the Venezuelan government of being a dictatorship and anti-democratic.
Clearly, the US vice-president has been misinformed or he was deliberately lying so as to confuse and deceive public opinion, as he talked about the shortages that the Venezuelan people are suffering, even saying that patients are dying in hospitals because of a lack of medicines.
However, the greatest shortages that these people are suffering have been provoked by the rightwingers who are carrying out US government orders to overthrow the country’s constitutional leaders who have been legitimately elected by their people.
Regarding medicine shortages, which could exist for the very same reason, they will never be greater than the shortages that existed during previous governments, when this large and wealthy country only provided medical care in cities to middle and upper class citizens, as the poor didn’t have the means to pay for healthcare and dentists, which now exist all over the country and are completely free, even the most complex surgeries. Noone told Mr. Pence that, or maybe he deliberately lied.
Mr. Pence’s lies about Cuba came to a head with the truth that our Ambassador Bruno Rodriguez told when he said:
“I reject these insulting references to Cuba and Venezuela and the humiliating attitude towards Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The US government’s moral vacuum can’t be and isn’t a reference for Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Over the past 100 years, they are the ones who are responsible for the most brutal violations of human rights and abuse of human dignity. All of the region’s undemocratic governments, without exception, have been imposed or received support from the US government, including the most brutal military dictatorships. Shameful events such as Operation Condor or the bloody coup in Chile are on the US governments’ conscience.
“Mr. Pence’s country has been the first and only one to use nuclear weapons against innocent civilians. The US is responsible for criminal wars and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of deaths, of massacres of civilians, including children, women and old people, who they call ‘collateral damage’.
“It is responsible for torturing and disappearing people, extrajudicial executions and kidnappings.
“If his government was interested in the Cuban people’s wellbeing, human rights and free choice, they could lift the blockade, collaborate with our international cooperation efforts instead of sabotaging it, and give funds for Cuban medical collaboration programs and literacy projects worldwide.
“We are a few hours away from the 57th anniversary of the US air strikes on Cuban airports, during which Cubans died defending our independence and sovereignty and the socialist nature of the Cuban Revolution was proclaimed during their memorial service, and it’s surprising that vice-president Pence comes here using the same language, after so many decades, that led governments at the time to carry out that abominable event.
“Events of the last few years prove that the US and Cuba can co-exist and have a productive, and maybe even a civilized, relationship.
“So, I hope he and the delegation that now sit on the bench he just left don’t expect Cuba to give in a millimeter on their principles, or give up on their efforts to build socialism.”
The only thing I can add to these truths which our ambassador shared is that our island has been suffering an economic, commercial and financial blockade for nearly 60 years and it provides more aid to develop other countries than Mr. Pence’s powerful country does, which does nothing but stand in their way.