14ymedio, Yunior García Aguilera, Madrid, 1 November 2023 — Unpopular Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has called for “global action” to stop Israel. It is clear that the conflict in the Middle East is much more complex than sensational or biased headlines may show, but Cuba is far from being a neutral country in this story.
Cuba was the only country in Latin America that voted against the creation of a Jewish State, in 1947. Ramón Grau San Martín was governing at the time and his decision to oppose Resolution 181 responded to multiple reasons.
The Cuban intellectual Carlos Alberto Montaner met Dominique Lapierre, one of the authors of the famous book Oh, Jerusalem! When they talked about Grau’s decision, they referred to three fundamental reasons: the need to appear sovereign in the face of Washington’s dictates; the conviction that this would bring permanent instability in the region; and the corruption suffered by the Island, where many were willing to accept bribes from countries like Saudi Arabia.
Both political parties and civil society organizations, including the University Student Federation and the Cuban Workers Union, advocated for the recognition of Israel
However, Grau’s position did not enjoy great internal support. Both political parties and civil society organizations, including the University Student Federation and the Cuban Workers Union, advocated for the recognition of Israel. So, in 1949, the Jewish State was finally recognized and its admission as a full member of the United Nations followed a favorable vote.
Since 1959, the left wing of Zionism sympathized with Fidel Castro and his bearded men. They, for their part, decided to have a friendly relationship with Israel until the mid-1960s. Cuban socialists were fascinated with the kibbutzim, and Hebrew collectivists helped the Island in citrus production. But the submission of the young revolution to the interests of the USSR, as well as Arab pressures within the non-aligned movement, led Castro to break relations with Israel in 1973.
The decision had nothing to do with Zionist expansionism and everything to do with Cold War alliances. The closer Israel got to the United States, the more the Cuban regime became involved with the enemies of the Jewish state. Fidel Castro sent military advisors and instructors to Palestinian bases in Jordan to train the fedayeen. Cuba became the most belligerent non-Arab country against Israel at the UN, while it firmly supported the United States in its policy of sanctions against the Island. The Castro regime gave all its political and diplomatic support to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Yasir Arafat was greeted with cheers in Havana in 1974.
With Raúl Castro and his feint of a timid and fruitless opening, it seemed that the waters would calm down. The general wore a kippah during his visit to the Shalom synagogue in Havana in 2010. He was invited to light the first of the five candles on the fifth night of the Hannukah, the Festival of Light. He also spoke of the “fabulous history” of the Hebrew people and took the Torah to his home. But what really interested Raúl was Israeli investment in Cuba’s disastrous agriculture. If those people were capable of planting crops in the desert, what couldn’t they achieve in our tropical lands?
With Díaz-Canel, ten steps have been taken backwards and now the unmentionable plays at being the leader of the non-aligned
For pleasure. Fidel’s little brother did not read the Torah nor were our lands filled with milk and honey. With Díaz-Canel, ten steps have been taken backwards and now the unmentionable plays at being the leader of the non-aligned, assuming the strongest anti-Israel rhetoric and justifying the terrorist attacks by Hamas, a group with which he maintains fruitful relations.
With his usual dyslexia, Díaz-Canel has read in front of cameras an official statement for “global action” against Israel. Orphaned by his own ideas, he has once again cited Fidel Castro and his “philosophy of dispossession” as the fundamental cause of wars. And this is repeated by the same regime that unconditionally supports Putin’s Russia in its invasion of Ukraine!
The same dictatorship that stripped Cubans of their property, their rights and their freedoms, now talks about philosophy. The same regime that has taken our native soil from us, pushing us into a mass exodus, now speaks of dispossession. One has to have a very hard face to talk about peace when, in response to the most peaceful protesters, they threatened to call out the tanks and crushed our white roses with combat orders.
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.