On 30 November, the Cuban foreign ministry released a press statement concerning a recent US-backed provocation, of which the following is a paraphrase:
On 28 November comrade Carlos Fernández de Cossío, representing Cuba’s ministry of foreign affairs, summoned United States Chargé d’Affaires Timothy Zúñiga-Brown in order to make it plain that Cuba does not allow the United States or any other state to interfere in the internal affairs of the country, adding that this statement should also be conveyed to the US state department.
Not only had the diplomat personally visited the Havana suburb of San Isidro, a location which the US embassy well knew to be the site of an ongoing political and social provocation, but he had also laid on transport and support for people there who were irresponsibly violating sanitary regulations put in place to protect the public from the Covid-19 pandemic.
These activities constituted serious violations of his functions as a diplomat and, as head of mission, were a flagrant and defiant interference in the internal political affairs of Cuba and incontestable violations of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations.
Fernández de Cossío stressed that the Cuban government “is fully aware of the involvement of the government of the United States in financing, guiding and inciting groups and individuals in Cuba to challenge the authority of the government, both through peaceful means and violent ones”. In particular, he noted the USA’s persistent but fruitless efforts to hijack “the most representative sectors of art, culture and the intelligentsia in the country”.
He emphasised that Cuba is also aware of the powerful machinery that from the United States manages, manipulates and harasses on social networks, with unmatched technological and financial support, in order to spread false information, incite hatred, divide the population, promote resentment and support illegality.
It will be no surprise to readers to learn that the Guardian newspaper depicts the ‘San Isidro movement’ as a put-upon social movement standing up for freedom and democracy against a vicious communist tyranny.
“Cuban authorities have broken up a protest by a group of dissident artists, academics, journalists and activists, evicting them from their headquarters where they had declared a hunger strike against curbs on civil liberties. Authorities said they had to intervene late on Thursday because of violations of hygiene protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But the group said this was an ‘absurd’ pretext for ending a protest that had shone a spotlight on rights abuses in the one-party state.”
Terrific. So now the best way to fight for civil liberties is to burn our covid facemasks?