Fidel says US would make a big mistake if it tried to invade
Campaign News | Friday, 23 December 2005
Reaction to increased hostility
Havana, Dec 22 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Fidel Castro said on Thursday that the US government would be mistaken if it tries to invade or destroy Cuba, since the country is militarily invulnerable.
Speaking at the meeting of the the National Assembly (Parliament), the Cuban Head of State referred to the announcements made by Condoleeza Rice regarding new anti-Cuban measures to be adopted in the New Year.
They are wrong, if someone expects to invade Cuba, they will end up in a huge cemetery for the invaders, he warned.
What can the Bush administration do?, he asked, facing the reality of a mass vote against the blockade to Cuba coming from 182 countries in the UN where only three nations joined the US.
Meanwhile, new information has appeared about the centres of torture the US government maintains in Guantanamo?s naval base and in European countries, he added.
"You can all realize we do not maltreat anyone but cure thousands of people", he said reporting that the number of nations interested in having the Cuban doctors assistance increases day by day.
The President attacked the US for its relationhip with organizations and representatives who practice terrorism against Cuba.
Havana's denunciations of these links have had a great impact, he said, and have forced Washington to act against some of the criminals, referring to the arrest in Miami of the outstanding terrorist Santiago Alvarez Fernandez-Magriña.
He also mentioned that the Bush administration has not yet said how the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, got into their territory.
Rice steps up anti-Cuba campaign
Washington 19 Dec: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on 19 December said that the US was going to step up its campaign to "hasten and ease a democratic transition" in Cuba and spoke of forcing change by further trying to deny Cuba money and supplying the Cuban people with more anti-castro propaganda.
Official US policy is to undermine any succession in Cuba from President Fidel Castro, 79, to his 74-year-old brother, Raul. It has been left unclear how it will bring that about, although the economic blocakde from the United States has been strengthened.
President Bush appointed the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba in late 2003 under the leadership of Rice's predecessor, Colin Powell, and received its first recommendations in May 2004.
In a statement after the meeting, Rice noted that the panel was formed "to explore ways the US can help hasten and ease a democratic transition in Cuba."
"Reconvening the commission at this time sends an important message to the people of Cuba, the current dictatorship and our friends and democratic allies," she said. That message is, she said: "After 46 years of cruel dictatorship, now is the time for change in Cuba."
Rice said the commission's effectiveness comes from integrating the administration's Cuba policy with all agencies of the federal government. By doing that, and implementing the first report's recommendations, she said:
"We have empowered Cuban civil society to better organize and advocate for democratic change; we have established measures that denied millions of dollars in revenue to the dictatorship; we are breaking the regime's information blockade on the Cuban people; and we have drawn greater attention to the dictatorship's deplorable treatment of the Cuban people."
Rice said she reconvened the commission to come up with more ways "to help Cubans hasten the day when they will be free from oppression and to develop a concise but flexible strategic plan that will help the Cuban people move rapidly toward free and fair democratic elections."
It will not be imposed on the Cuban people, Rice's statement said, "but rather is a promise we will keep with the Cuban people."
The main goal, she said, is "to marshal our resources and expertise and encourage our democratic allies to be ready to support Cuba when the inevitable opportunity for genuine change arises."
Rice said the commission's new report will be completed by May 2006, when it will report to the president its "updated recommendations to hasten democracy and an interagency strategic plan to assist a Cuban-led transition."
The anti-Castro rules in place have drawn some opposition from Cubans in the United States, especially restrictions on travel and sending money to Cuba. Many Cuban-Americans and Cuban residents of the United States are important sources of income for families still on the island.