Cuba is ready to resist a US invasion, says Raul

Campaign News | Tuesday, 7 December 2004

Massive military drills designed to deter an attack

HAVANA Dec 7 - Cuba's Defense Minister Raul Castro warned the United States on Tuesday not to repeat its mistakes in Vietnam and Iraq by invading Cuba because its population is ready to resist.

Raul said civilian-military exercises to be held across the country from December 13 to 19 will be a show of preparedness so that Washington does not underestimate Cuba's defense capability.

"The Americans should watch closely, so that they do not commit the mistakes they made in Vietnam and are now making in Iraq, where they are bogged down," Raul said.

Bastion 2004 is the latest annual mass drill involving troop exercises with civilian involvement based on a guerrilla strategy designed to resist an invasion force. This year's operation is more extensive than last year's.

"We are holding Bastion 2004 so they observe well and do not underestimate our people who are more united and therefore much stronger than the Iraqis. That is the reason," Raul said.

Cuba has accused the Bush regime of planning to invade Cuba.

There is also a fear that Bush is toying with the idea of a surgical strike to either remove Fidel or destroy Cuba's world leading biotech industry using the false pretext that it is a potential bioweapons threat to the US.

After he came to power in a 1959 revolution, Fidel was the target of assassination plots by the Central Intelligence Agency. In April 1961, an invasion force of CIA-trained anti-Castro exiles was routed at the Bay of Pigs.

Civilian defense preparedness in Cuba dates from the Bay of Pigs landing. The threat of US invasion subsided in 1962 after the Soviet Union withdrew missiles it had deployed in Cuba, in exchange for a commitment not to invade the island.

But now Cuba has no Soviet ally and tensions have increased under the Bush regime, which has stepped up efforts to squeeze Cuba financially by restricting visits to the island, curbing cash remittances and aggressively applying blockade lawto third country companies.

In addition, more money has been allocated to financing internal subversion in the island. The Us is blatantly trying to finance the creation of an opposition within the island in order to create a movement that it can then champion much in the way it has recently been seen to do in the Ukraine.

Cuba's reply has been to apply laws that it it passed in the 1990s that make it illegal for citizens to accept money or gifts from the US in order to finance political opposition activities and to call on the people to unite behind the government.

The Cuban government has repeatedly warned the population of the danger of being next in line for a US invasion after Iraq.

The activities of the Bush regime in being so close to elements in the Miami establishment that call for just such a solution has made the supposition highly credible.

Raul said Cuba was seeking to deter a confrontation.

"For us, avoiding the war is equal to winning the war," he said. "To win by deterring war, we have to shed a lot of sweat, which is better than rivers of blood."

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