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Saturday, October 07, 2006


"The most prolonged act of genocide in history"

In an article on CounterPunch, Ricardo Alarcon, the President of the National Assembly of Cuba, describes the origins of the nearly 50-year-old U.S. economic blockade of Cuba. In the spirit of "you can always learn something new," I learned that U.S. plans to cause unemployment, hunger, and "desperation" among the Cuban people began long before Cuba had re-established relationships with the Soviet Union and proclaimed the socialist character of the revolution. Indeed, they started talking about cutting the Cuban sugar quota at a time when many of the estates where sugar was grown and the factories in which it was processed were still U.S.-owned!

Alarcon notes that the attempt to "bring about hunger and desperation" among the Cuban people fits the definition of genocide under the Geneva Convention; the definition is not limited, as you might have thought, to only the widespread murder of a population. He also notes that the majority of Cubans alive today have spent their entire lives under the blockade. In a typical year, that blockade is estimated to deprive the Cuban people of $4 billion of income. Imagine what good could be accomplished with that money, both in Cuba and in other countries where Cuban doctors bring health care to those who might never before have seen a doctor. One thing for sure -- it wouldn't be to fill the pockets of Halliburton shareholders or American politicians and billionaires, nor to purchase more weapons with which to kill more people in countries like Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

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