U.S. hand in recent assaults on Cuba, Venezuela
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs reporters about additional sanctions placed on Iran, at the White House, Jan. 10, 2019. | Evan Vucci/AP

Secretary of State Pompeo loudly condemns Iranian border guards who abused Afghans crossing into Iran. He castigates China’s supposed failings with the COVID-19 pandemic. He and President Trump rail against dictatorship they see in Venezuela. They protest Cuba’s “slave doctors” –  who actually “defend health care as a human right,” according to Cuba’s foreign minister. U.S. higher-ups are silent on other matters.

Trump critiqued the May 3-4 failed mini-invasion of Venezuela by saying that he “wouldn’t send a small, little group. No, no, no. It would be called an army. It would be called an invasion.” Otherwise, he and his aides said nothing.

Venezuela’s military and civilian militia rapidly finished off a small invading force made up mainly of Venezuelan Army deserters.  Their aim, according to a captured former U.S. Special Forces soldier accompanying them, was to seize President Nicolás Maduro and carry him, trophy-like, back to the United States.

Florida-based Silvercorp USA, headed by ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, had charge of invasion preparations. His company utilized U.S. Army veterans to train the dissident Venezuelans. The expedition had traveled by sea from Colombia to northern Venezuela.

Goudreau and Silvercorp USA had contracted with Venezuelan opposition figures to pay for the operation. The signing took place in an expensive condo in Miami. The money involved – $212.9 million – was guaranteed on the basis of Venezuelan oil resources stolen by the U.S. government. According to the company’s website, “Silvercorp USA was founded with one purpose in mind. We provide governments and corporations with realistic and timely solutions to irregular problems.”

President Maduro on May 4 declared that two of the Silvercorp invaders had been “members of the security team of the president of the United States.” One commentator has it that Goudreau “worked as security at Trump rallies” – one in Charlotte, NC, for example – and that “Silvercorp USA also apparently provided security for a Trump rally in Houston.”

The company’s website indicates that “Jordan [Goudreau] … has also planned and led international security teams for the president of the United States as well as the secretary of defense.”

In view of his apparent connection with a mercenary adventurer, it’s understandable why Trump and other officials are silent on the episode, and silent too in regard to the shooting attack of April 30 on Cuba’s Embassy in Washington.

Shooting an AK-47 automatic rifle, a Cuban émigré caused damage to the building and to a bronze statue of Cuban national hero José Martí. Apparently suffering from mental illness, the assailant indicated that if Ambassador José Ramón Cabañas had appeared, he would have killed him. No one was actually hurt.

Washington authorities detained the shooter, charging him with assault with intent to kill and possession of an unregistered firearm. They regard the incident as a hate crime. (More on hate appears below.)

Mara Tekach, chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, was alone among U.S. officials in commenting on the incident. She indicated that, “the U.S. Embassy condemns the shooting” and that “the United States takes its Vienna Convention responsibilities very seriously.”

The reference was to a multi-national agreement arranged by the United Nations in 1961 which converted customs of many years into norms for conducting foreign relations. One is about protecting envoys from hostile host governments. It refers to “the inviolability of mission premises.”

Cuba’s ambassador declared that “Neither State Department officials nor the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has issued even one formal public condemnation of the attack.” Instead, “the Secretary inveighed against the Cuban medical brigades that today are offering assistance in dozens of countries in the world.”

Hatred of the kind displayed by Pompeo has long characterized U.S. dealings with Cuba. The record includes the inflamed rhetoric of Cuban-American political leaders; U.S.-approved or -tolerated Cuban-American paramilitary conspiracies; impunity enjoyed by arch-conspirators like Luis Posada and Orlando Bosch; the use of germ warfare; and economic blockade with intent to cause suffering.

The Embassy attack shows that it’s a short step from hatred to terrorism. A recent historical survey provided by Cuba’s security services mentions: “83 attacks against Cuban embassies throughout the world and 29 attacks against Cuban diplomats with eight deaths as the result of terrorism encouraged, financed, or allowed by Washington.”

The upshot is that high U.S. authorities refused to comment on the Embassy attack and on the military attack on Venezuela. That’s no surprise, given the ingredients of nefarious connections, hatred, and terrorism.  And most certainly that which actually motivates U.S. actions against Cuban and Venezuela isn’t going to be mentioned.

Those two countries put people and people’s basic needs first. They exemplify an alternative to U.S. purposes. Those in charge in Washington, imperialists to the core, seek to preserve the profiteering, market-based political and economic system that dominates the world. Employing terrorism and military aggression, they stop at nothing.


CONTRIBUTOR

W. T. Whitney Jr.
W. T. Whitney Jr.

W.T. Whitney Jr. grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont and now lives in rural Maine. He practiced and taught pediatrics for 35 years and long ago joined the Cuba solidarity movement, working with Let Cuba Live of Maine, Pastors for Peace, and the Venceremos Brigade. He writes on Latin America and health issues for the People's World.

 

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