Viewpoints in extremity.
It is very difficult to think or write about any of the issues which face Cuba
without having to confront one major difficulty.
Namely, where ever you look to find information about Cuba, that this will
result in your having to sort a lot of facts from political opinion.
The issues which face those who are concerned about Cuba tend to be clouded by
the continuing United States Government embargo upon goods being sent or
services being provided to the Island.
This very fact means that at one extreme one finds many anti-Castro
anti-communist groups who are CIA backed.
On the other end of the political spectrum there is a range of groups who
would end the embargo, or who would support the Cuban people.
Many of the people who support this political objective fear that they might
undermining their case by criticising the Cuban regime : they are either
unable or unwilling to do so.
While many of these organisations might or might not be communist bodies, they
are all viewed to be that way by the many CIA backed right wing anti-communist
Cubans who reside within the USA, & the organisations to which they belong.
As a result of having to deal with those who would take up the above political
positions, it is very difficult for any of us who would end the US embargo,
but are also critical of the Cuban government, to get any ideas about a
critical support of the Cuban people across to the wider world.
That is why I think that it is now about time that the whole Cuban issue needs
to be looked at again. This is particularly important to do right now,
especially in the light of recent speculation upon the health of Fidel
A little historical background information, starting with the story of William
After four visits to Cuba, which started in 1961, journalist William Worthy
was sent to jail for breaking the US embargo upon the country.
The great singer Songwriter Phil Ochs wrote ‘The Ballad of William Worthy’
as a political commentary upon what happened to him.
The chorus to this work goes:
‘William Worthy isn’t worthy to enter our door
Went down to Cuba, he’s not American anymore
But somehow it is strange to hear the State Department say
You are living in the free world, in the free world you must stay.’
The most telling line upon this song goes:
‘The whole world is off limits, visit Disneyland this year.’
You can pick up the full text to this work at:
Since the fall of Batista dictatorship at the end of 1958 a US embargo upon
the country has been in place.
Before the Batista Dictatorship came the dictatorship of General Menocal.
One must also remember that a US interest goes back a long way. It occupied
the country in 1899.
Previous to that Cuba has been a colony of Spain in which Slavery had
Pastors for peace.
Pastors for Peace has for years been defying the US embargo upon Cuba.
You can read about their work upon.
On 23-Jul-2003 PN carried this story:
Pastors for Peace take 80 tons of aid for Cuba over US/Mexico border in
defiance of US embargo.
On Friday, July 22nd, 2005 this was the headline upon the democracy-now
‘Pastors For Peace Caravan to Cuba Stopped at U.S.-Mexican Border’
Amongst the books which were on this shipment was the classic Antoine De
Saint-Expupry story The Little Prince.
This was a book which was penned while Antoine De Saint-Expupry was fleeing
from Nazi occupied France.
Another of the works which was impounded by the US customs was one which had
been written by that well know right wing anti-communist bigot Winston
There has also been a very long & difficult debate which has taken place
within the Library world over the last decade or so. This has been a very
destructive debate which centers on the so called independent libraries within
Cuba, which are championed by the right wing FRIENDS OF CUBAN
An organization which is rumored to be financed by the CIA.
On the other hand we have the Cuban Libraries
Solidarity Group, which helps champion the development of libraries within
What even else the embargo has produced, there are two facts which can not be
Despite the embargo the Cubans have a well run Library system, and there is a
high literacy rate within the country.
Cuban Anarchism & the Making of myths.
On of the most critical books about Cuba is by
Cuban Anarchism: The History of a Movement.
Translated and Introduction by Chaz Bufe.
See Sharp Press. Tuscan, Arizona.2002.
ISBN 1 884365 19 1
Within this book Fernndez describes the long history of Cuban Anarchist
activities, together with that of the country.
The author points out that it was not the Communists who were principally
responsible for the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship. It was the result
of years of Anarchist agitation, & trade union activism.
His description of Castro would seem to liken the man to that of Jo Stalin.
The Castro regime introduced so called ‘Revolutionary Tribunals’ (sic), and
Re-Introduced the Death penalty.
Many fine people were thrown into the jails, & the ‘castro dictatopship’
re-wrote the history of the country.
This is a book which everyone should read, as it gives a very different
history to that which most people have ever read about upon Cuba.
For more information upon the book see the Publishers website:
As an aside: – The myth of Che a revolutionary leader was also born at about
the same time as Castro came to power.
As a 2nd aside: – One of the more crazy things which the Castro regimes did
was cut down a lot of forests in order to plant more crops. This only resulted
in an ecological disaster, which must be having an effect upon weather patterns
within the region, & so to upon the global greenhouse effect.
Perhaps the most damming criticisms of the Cuban government are to be found
within its constitution.
All its citizens are to be conscripted, & there is no right to conscientious
For more information upon this see the WRI report :
Refusing to Bear Arms: A worldwide survey of conscription and conscientious
objection to military service.
What we can all do.
We should all be in support of the Cuban library system, & help to break the
US embargo, by getting more books upon Anarcho-Pacifism on to their library
We should campaign to introduce a legal right to conscientious objection
within the country.
We should encourage any moves to help reforest the island.
We should back the campaign to end the death penalty in Cuba.