U.S. actions toward Cuba demonstrate the post-truth diplomacy of Pompeo
Bradley Blankenship

Editor's note: Bradley Blankenship is a Prague-based American journalist, political analyst and freelance reporter. The article reflects the author's opinions, not necessarily the views of CGTN.

On Cuba's Independence Day this Wednesday, which commemorates when Cuba gained semi-independence from the United States in 1902 under the foundation of the Republic of Cuba, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave an off-handed statement to "salute" the Cuban people. His remarks in this statement and his agency's actions toward Cuba in the past week have been fundamentally at odds with the reality of the Cuban revolutions' achievements for humanity both at home and abroad.

"Today, Cubans celebrate their independence, yet the struggle for freedom continues. The dictatorial Castro regime has trampled the rights of the Cuban people. I salute the brave Cubans who continue the fight for democracy and prosperity. The United States stands with you," Pompeo tweeted.

The secretary's tweet is filled with the imperial chauvinism that the Cuban people unequivocally denied on January 1, 1959 when dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown in the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro. What was ushered in thereafter was one of the most ambitious and far-sweeping campaigns to abolish poverty and better the lives of people in history, and certainly the most ambitious in the Western hemisphere.

The Cuban Revolution has undeniably created widespread prosperity when compared to the pre-revolution days when illiteracy was rampant, doctors were scarce, and homelessness and malnutrition were endemic.

In 1959, 23.6 percent of the Cuban population – especially those outside of the major cities – couldn't read or write, according to a study by UNESCO. Now that figure is down to nearly zero, about eight points higher than the regional average according to the World Bank. Cuba has the highest number of physicians per 1,000 people in the world. There is virtually no homelessness or malnutrition in Cuba anymore, and the small country's progress in biotechnology is astounding given its relative lack of resources.

It is also undeniable that Cuba now has created more political openings and space for freedom of expression as art, culture, and education are cherished by Cuban society and the post-revolution state. What democracy and prosperity is Secretary Pompeo talking about then?

It is the political program of the Batista regime which the U.S. believes is freedom for the Cuban people – a regime where true national economic autonomy is impossible and expressing progressive ideas leads to brutal state-sanctioned violence. In total, it is estimated that tens of thousands of people were murdered by the far-right Cuban secret police, nearly the entire population was kept in poverty for the betterment of American capital, and true political discourse was censored.

To Pompeo – a far-right, former defense contractor darling and Koch brother aficionado, turned CIA head and disinformation diplomat – words are only political tools that have little truth-meaning. There is no actual substance to his "salute" for a prosperous and democratic Cuba, and nothing can better demonstrate this than a series of developments last week.

Pompeo accused Cuba of using medical workers to benefit from the novel coronavirus crisis. /Reuters

Pompeo accused Cuba of using medical workers to benefit from the novel coronavirus crisis. /Reuters

Last week, the U.S. added Cuba to the list of countries that "do not fully cooperate with the U.S. counter-terrorism efforts." The U.S. is apparently also mulling returning Cuba to its list of active "state sponsors of terrorism," according to an exclusive Reuters report later that week.

According to a senior Trump administration official, there is a "convincing case" for the Caribbean country to be placed back on this virtual blacklist for its principled support for the democratically elected government of Venezuela and for giving refuge to leaders of Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN).

These actions also follow Havana's statement that same week denouncing "the complicit and suspicious silence" of the United States after an armed attack against the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. on April 30.

The United States is no stranger to hypocrisy, and its accusations of being a "state sponsor of terror" are dubious and very clearly politically motivated. Cuba has never supported terrorism and has continually done the exact opposite.

Cuba has sent more than 1,500 health experts to 25 COVID-19 affected countries around the world – at the request of those governments – and an estimated 29,000 professionals from Cuba have joined with 64 countries to provide assistance.

Cuba's Henry Reeve Contingent, with its 26 brigades around the world, has so far treated 26,000 patients infected with COVID-19. These brigades have directly saved the lives of 976 people so far during the global pandemic, according to government reports.

For their efforts, Cuban medical brigades are being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. More than 25 European organizations supported a proposal to award the brave doctors with the award on Wednesday, noting their assistance for the first time in Europe. Trump officials have encouraged countries to deny Cuban doctors, saying that they are exploited by their government and merely propaganda tools – but no one believes this.

Terms like democracy, prosperity, and even terrorism have little meaning when it comes to U.S. diplomats and this trajectory has spiraled downward even more so under the leadership of Mike Pompeo. The rest of the world knows the real truth about Cuba and all that it's been able to achieve at home and abroad despite a nearly six-decade-long economic warfare embargoes imposed by the United States.

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