A Crucified Cuba — Still Lives!
Martha Stephens’ eyewitness report from the real Cuba.
Successful revolutions are the everlasting bane of the colonizer. Control the narrative and image becomes reality. This kind of reality: Freedom is Slavery.
Did you know that Colonialism ethnically cleansed the First Peoples of Cuba? Land was found sticking up from the sea circa 1492. Did the Spanish make plans for a thanksgiving dinner or did they brutally subjugate and enslave the locals? Empires prefer the latter. They may miss pockets of resistance during clean up operations but it’s not from want of trying. Native Peoples either become victims of genocide or they are gathered and placed in camps like Gaza, more geographically appropriate: Guantanamo.
Caption for the cartoon and the bulleted text below are at Boundless.com:
- The end of the 1800s was known as the ‘Age of Imperialism,’ a time when the United States and other major world powers rapidly expanded their territorial possessions.
- American Imperialism is partly based on American exceptionalism, the idea that the United States is different from other countries because of its specific world mission to spread liberty and democracy.
- One of the most notable instances of American Imperialism was the Annexation of Hawaii in 1898, in which the United States gained the control and possession of all ports, buildings, harbors, military equipment, and public property that had belonged to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands.
1959: heads rolled at “Concerned Citizens for Answering the Question Who Lost Cuba” when Fidel and Che pushed back against occupation. Empires do not like being embarrassed by nightmarish headlines: “Inhabitants of a 1,000 mile-long island expel American Empire.”
A large faction in the British Mandate for Palestine expelled 700,000 Palestinians in 1948, all but pockets of resistance remained. Possession is 9 points of the law, so the remaining Palestinians obtained citizenship by default. But of those 3/4 of a million refugees? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has a reply: they retain the right to return. Syrian refugees retain that right.
When the British Empire imploded, their imperial “Mandate for Palestine” disappeared.
Dr. Laurence G. Wolf, no small voice for humanity, was my mentor from 1965 to 1969 at the University of Cincinnati: formative years. I last talked to him in a service of two local Unitarian churches a summer or two ago. Wolf introduced me to the geography of the Middle East.
Lisa Chieco brought up Thailand the other day. It’s the only South-East Asian country not colonized by the British or the French. The British left their tongue in India. Indian literature suffers profoundly from imposition of English over many generations.
Foreign policy wisdom does not spring from imperial ambition. Lisa and I were among many of you who may have read this far. We earned a collective memory of the day before the disaster of 2003. A catastrophe (Nakba) for Iraq.
Saddam did not gas his own people, he gassed the Kurds. Lines were not drawn in the sand, they were drawn with a straight-edge, but not at random. They used the strategy divide and conquer, i.e. let the Sunnis and Shias fight each other and we save bullets and we save time. Kurdistan is already inhabited by the Kurds but modern-day boundaries place them among foreign peoples in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.