Cuban Ambassador Rejects US Effort to "Promote the Business of Dissidence"

José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez is the head of Cuban diplomacy in the United States. (Screen Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 May 2018 — The head of Cuban diplomacy in the United States, José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez, has sent a letter to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which the newspaper published this Sunday, in which he warns that “renewed American efforts to promote the business of dissent in Cuba will not have the slightest success.”

The letter was written as a reaction to an editorial in the WSJ titled Cuba gets a Castro Convertible after the inauguration of Miguel Díaz-Canel as the new Cuban president. In it, the diplomat protests against the country’s “corporate press” for showing itself historically against the freedom of Cuba, first with regards to Spanish power in the 19th century, and then “praising the corrupt local politicians who supported the invasion, first militarily and then economically, of American companies during the first half of the 20th century” and then “relentlessly demonizing the Cuban Revolution since 1959.”

The official expresses surprise over “the sordidness of the language used by the editorial board” when referring to Cuba. “It’s the typical exercise for those who have no arguments,” he says. Cabañas Rodríguez recalls that “there is still a financial, economic and commercial embargo imposed on Cuba with the intention of starving the population, but the blockade of information has decreased: Americans travel en masse to Cuba and 75% say they support a better relationship with our country.”

In the letter, the diplomat mentions the names of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, José Martí, Antonio Maceo, Julio Antonio Mella, Ernesto Guevara and Fidel Castro, whom he describes as pro-independence, and insists that history will remember them, as opposed to the annexationists.

“To keep a part of the audience you still have, before criticizing Cuba again, or any other country in Latin America or the Caribbean, for that matter, start by looking in the mirror,” ends Cabañas Rodríguez.

In its editorial on April 22, The Wall Street Journal stated that the change in the Cuban presidency was in name only, with regards to the freedom of the people. The newspaper pointed out the loyalty of Miguel Díaz-Canel to the Communist Party of Cuba, of which Raúl Castro remains the general secretary. “If Mr. Díaz-Canel wants to keep his job and his privileges, human rights will not be on his agenda,” said the editorial.

After listing some of the most important posts that are still filled by the historical leaders of the Revolution, the newspaper compared Diaz-Canel with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez who, from the beginning, were willing to present themselves with a friendly face to the world to capture investments.

“Now the Havana crime family has run out of other people’s money, their biggest sources of income are the doctors and nurses who live in poverty while Cuba ‘rents’ them to countries around the world. But even this multi-million dollar human trafficking is not enough to support the broken Cuban economy,” criticized the editorial.

Noting that Trump’s new policies toward Cuba are not as effective as the lack of investor confidence, the WSJ noted that economic freedom for Cubans had not arrived and, therefore, poverty continued, something that would not change while the Castros continue in power.

In addition, the text ended with a compliment to the Ladies in White, something the diplomat cetainly did not like, which is reflected in his rejection of what he calls the promotion of the business of dissidence.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.