Warplanes add to Cuba's fear of a US attack

Campaign News | Thursday, 13 May 2004

Bush measure seen as especially dangerous

May 12 - Cuba has stepped up military preparations, fearing an invasion by the United States "is closer than ever", Cuba's ambassador to Honduras Alberto Gonzalez said on May 12.

Cuban fears have been heightened by the threat of US warplanes flying close to Cuban airspace in an attemept to penetrate Cuba's jamming of US propaganda broadcasts aimed at the island.

"Our people are on high alert, our armed forces are on high alert, our revolution is on high alert," Gonzalez told reporters in the Honduran capital.

He said the Cuban people are poised to repel any attack from the United States.

Last Thursday, US President George Bush said he would try to overcome Cuban jamming of US government radio and television stations by flying military aircraft that can broadcast signals to the island. The move is part of a series of measures aimed at toughening America's policy on Cuba.

The decision to use the C-130 Air Force military planes to increment subversive broadcasts to Cuba severely raises the temperature of already heated bilateral relations.

Although all the new destabilizing measures are aggressive, use of a warplane is especially alarming due to the real risk of incidents on the maritime frontier between the two countries.

US invasion of Cuban radio-electronic space began in 1960 with 20-hour a day programming that was a virtual weapon, including messages to secret agents and saboteurs to carry out terrorist actions on the Island.

The situation escalated under Ronald Reagan, who initiated powerful transmissions by the misnomered Radio Marti; ill-named because Cubans are particularly offended by use of national hero Jose Marti?s name in such connection, as Marti repeatedly warned of the dangers to Cuba and Latin America from "the monster of the North."

George Bush Senior added to the insults with TV Marti broadcasts in Spanish, but the Cuban government has limited itself to technically impeding the signals and denouncing the invasion to international organizations and at world fora, particularly the International Telecommunications Union.

Despite the continuous ITU verdict in favor of Cuba, far from removing Radio and TV Marti, successive US administrations have budgeted new funds to modernize them.

The imminent threat posed by George W. Bush must be taken in the context of the two times in the last six months that he has tried to provoke a military confrontation with Cuba.

As warned in February by renowned German researcher and sociologist Hans Dieterich Steffan, one of those was the US government use of six fighter-bombers to transmit Radio Marti in order to provoke an air incident.

Steffan also reported that in 1989 a retired US admiral revealed many practice attacks on Cuba, including one when 80 fighter-bombers with live ammunition flew in attack formation to Cuba to test the efficiency of Cuban radar. Had Cuba fired a rocket or done something similar, they were to have attacked, he reported.

In this context, Cuban analysts have warned of the danger of C-130s flying in anti-Cuban actions, including the risk of a mechanical difficulty or other accident that could provoke an unforeseeable outcome.



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