Lunes, 25 de Marzo de 2019
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The alliance between Spanish colonialism and the Castroist leadership

Bruno Rodríguez, Raúl Castro's Foreign Minister, along with the President of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, in Madrid. (PL)

An article appearing in the Spanish newspaper El País, entitled "España no puede perder Cuba dos veces" ("Spain cannot lose Cuba twice"), analyzes the machinations of the latest Spanish Governments' policies towards Cuba, and observes that "Rajoy's government seems determined to make up for lost time with Havana."

The article, written on the occasion of a recent visit by Raúl Castro's Foreign Minister to Madrid, applauds and foments the ideas of the old Spanish colonial empire, which saw Cuba as the most precious jewel in its Crown, endorsing taking advantage of the economic weakness in which the Island has been submerged – by Castroism, in the name of socialism – and retaking control over "the ever faithful Island of Cuba," now in a neocolonial fashion, through massive joint investments in Cuban military and State enterprises.

This new Spanish colonialism, in its penchant for reconquest, does not seem to realize, or to care about, the Castro Government's notorious reneging on its debts, or the fact that its investments could serve to prop up one of the most undemocratic and corrupt governments in the history of the Americas.

The Spain that brought us slavery, Valeriano Weyler's "reconcentration" policy, and then spent more than a century attempting to infect us with its hatred of the US, due to the help it gave Cuba in its struggle for independence, has a lot of experience investing in companies of the Castroist state, and sharing in the abusive, joint exploitation of underpaid workers on the Island.

In politics there are no coincidences, and the visceral hatred of Fidel and Raúl Castro towards the US seems to find its roots precisely in an identification by both with a father figure. This rejection clearly stemmed all the way back to the Sierra Maestra, when the first of the two brothers swore to Celia Sánchez that his great war would be against the United States. The younger brother, meanwhile, in his so-called "Antiaircraft Operation," kidnapped dozens of US workers and soldiers, and took them hostage, as human shields, to his area of ​​operations so that Batista would suspend his bombing.

As is known, Ángel Castro, the father of the two, came to Cuba with the troops of Valeriano Weyler and, according to different versions, fought on the Júcaro-Morón military line, and later against the troops of General Antonio Maceo. Following Spain's defeat, Ángel Castro returned to the Peninsula, but came back to the island shortly afterwards in search of fortune, bought a property, and, changing the fences on land owned by the United Fruit Co., and exploiting countrymen and Haitians, ended up as a wealthy landowner.

A passage from one of the many biographies of the caudillo recounts how, in 1958, with Fidel Castro still in the Sierra Maestra, at a family gathering including Ramón Castro, the eldest of the brothers, and his aunt Juana Castro, in Lugo, she said to him: "As rich as they are, I don't know what your brothers are doing, getting into that revolution business... Fidel is mad!" To which Ramon replied: "Auntie, you don't know what you're saying. Cuba is in our hands." And that's just how it happened.

Once in power, well known were Fidel Castro's close ties to the Government of Francisco Franco, and special relationship with one of the key figures in Franco's regime: Manuel Fraga Iribarne, President of the Xunta de Galicia, who visited Cuba several times.

On July 28, 1992, Fidel Castro visited the Galician town of Láncara, where his father was born, accompanied by Fraga, whose father had also emigrated to Cuba. There Fidel was dubbed an "Adopted Son," and boasted that his "Spanish blood had given him a bold, adventurous and audacious spirit." To dispel any doubts about his family identity and his "anti-imperialism," he added: "The neighbors to the North [USA] suffer and turn yellow when there is any event in which Cuba participates."

Yes, we already know that he identified himself with Cuba, the Revolution and "his" socialism.

Even today, groups on the Spanish "left" who admire Castroism's anti-American attitudes as "anti-imperialist" forget this historical background, and fail to perceive the colonial and neocolonial nature of Spain's policies toward Cuba; between their nationalism and neo-Stalinism, they end up identifying with the Cuban rulers.

The Spanish libertarians and anarchists who contributed so much to our wars of independence, and later, during the first part of the 20th century, helped to develop free forms of labor for wage earners, to stand up to employers; and who welcomed a thousand Cubans to fight alongside them in defense of the Spanish Republic, should realize that the new Spanish colonialism does not care about everyday, working-class Cubans, but rather saving an exploitive government controlled by the children of a Spaniard who loathed the USA.

In the midst of so much neo-colonial Ibero-Castroist euphoria, it would be good to remind the columnist for El País, Gabriela Cañas, that his headline is all wrong. Spain can not lose Cuba for a second time, today or tomorrow, for the simple reason that Cuba does not belong to it, and never will, and the Castros are one thing, and Cuba is quite another. This kind of patronizing and colonial language is offensive to the Cuban nation, as it ignores Cuba's struggles for independence, and reminds us how Spain opted to surrender to the US and ignore Cuban independence.

His article does not conceal the Spanish Government's interest in taking advantage of the impasse created by the change of administration in the United States, and the uncertainty about policy shifts under Trump. The analyst believes that an eventual return by the US to its policy of isolation, that embraced before Obama, would open the doors to rapprochement with Spain after the change in the Common Position encouraged by the Government of Aznar in Europe; reconciliation, not with the people of Cuba, but rather with the Castro clan's "business portfolio," especially in the lucrative tourism business, controlled mostly by the Cuban military. 

The neocolonial nature of the article published in El País is reminiscent of the old dispute between the US and Spain over control of the Caribbean and Central America in the 19th century, which ended with US intervention in the Cuban war for independence from Spain, and the disastrous defeat of the Spanish Navy.

It is striking that this article coincided with the Cuban Foreign Minister's visit to Madrid, who bore an invitation from Raúl Castro to the King of Spain to visit Cuba, just a few days after a group of retired US officials reminded President Trump of the strategic importance of continuing the country's policy of conciliation with the Government of Raúl Castro.

To dissipate any doubts about the colonial-Castro collusion, the newspaper Granma, regarding the visit by Bruno Rodríguez to Madrid, stated: "Spain continues to promote and solidify its hotel investments in Cuba. It has recently approved the cancellation of almost 2 billion euros of Cuban debt, and is considering how to allocate 275 million euros that, rather than being forgiven, are to be invested in projects of common interest to both parties."