Cuba Maintains Silence About North Korean Ship / Ivan Garcia

cuba-barco-norcoreanoIf, from the island, a person wants to read about the rusty North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang, where the Cuban regime was caught with obsolete Russian weaponry, they must pay 4.50 CUC an hour — ten days of a worker’s wages — in one of the 118 Internet rooms opened on June 4.

They can also learn through a shortwave radio. But the daily worry about getting food and the indifference of many people to the comments from politicians, results in a soft landing for the-olive green autocrats.

The control is simple. It’s enough to silence the official media with regards to the news of the soap opera that occurred in the Panama Canal.

After Tuesday July 16, the Foreign Ministry issued a terse note, published in the State media, information about the cache of weapons on a North Korean ship, hidden behind a mountain of raw sugar, has been made invisible.

Cuban officials did not hold a press conference, explaining the reasons for the government to violate the arms embargo established by the UN on the impoverished Kim dynasty.

On July 26, contrary to what some Cubanologists expected, Raul Castro did not address the issue in his speech to mark the 60th anniversary of the assault on a military barracks in Santiago de Cuba.

The internal information policy, for now, is to bear up under international criticism without replying. Even the multinational television broadcaster, Telesur, created with Venezuelan capital generously donated by the late Hugo Chavez, has given little impact to the event.

The news in Cuba must be learned by reading between the lines. Expecting on August 5th that the UN will impose a penalty on the island, the ideological Taliban who control the media, preferred to highlight the military parade held in Pyongyang July 27, celebrating 60 years of the Panmunjom armistice. Among the delegations invited to the celebrations for the ’end of the Korean War’ (1950-1953) was one from the Cuban government, led by José Ramón Balaguer, the ousted Minister of Public Health and the current head of the department of foreign relations for the Communist Party Central Committee.

It is a coded message intended for world public opinion. The regime in Havana doesn’t regret smuggling weapons into the rogue state of North Korea. Two weeks before the incident, a North Korean military delegation, headed by General Kyok Sik Kim was on the island and was received by Raul Castro. “I visit to Cuba to meet with colleagues in the same trench, which our Cuban comrades are,” said Kyok.

Democratic nations should take note. The tepid and insufficient Cuban economic reforms apply only to maintain the status quo.

It’s purely cosmetic. Political oxygen facing the international gallery. A strategy to attract investment and capital from foreigners or moderate Cuban residents in Florida.

A lifesaver to perpetuate the regime. The changes are not driven by an urgent need to push for democracy. No. They are a mechanism to buy time, recapitalize and strengthen state finances and reinforce the regime’s institutions.

The Castro philosophy remains. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Therefore, news of North Korean ship and its weapons will never occupy the island headlines.

While the Castro brothers hold power, Cuba can change some things, but its anti-imperialist essence remains: America is the enemy.

Ivan Garcia

Photo: Search of one of the containers with weapons from Cuba, hidden under thousands of sacks of raw sugar on the North Korean vessel Chong Chon Gang, detained in the Panama Canal since July 10. Taken from EuropaPress.

6 August 2013