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AT THE end of October, new White House national security adviser John Bolton made a keynote speech setting out the panorama of US policy thinking towards Cuba and Latin America.
The speech was an extraordinary attack on progressive governments in the region, with a focus on his so-called “troika of tyranny” — Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Bolton blamed these three countries for causing “immense” human suffering and regional instability and fostering “communism” in the region. He called the leaders of those countries “clowns” and said the United States “looks forward to watching” their governments fall.
Bolton delivered the speech to an audience of hard-right Cuban and Venezuelan expats at the Freedom Tower in Miami, the hotbed of anti-Cuba politics in the US. These are the very people who spend their days looking forward to the day when they can return to their countries to reclaim their property, houses, factories and land, which they believe have been taken from them by the leftist revolutionaries.
These are the same people who have launched invasions, terrorist attacks and subversion, all aimed at undermining popular progressive governments. Latin America is littered with their murders, crimes and coups, that have left the continent impoverished and at the mercy of US-led corporate interests.
While Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are in the firing line today, every country across the region continues to bear the scars of US-fostered aggression — from the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile to the contra war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the mass murder by the generals in Brazil and the continuing massacre of trade unionists in Colombia. The list goes on and on.
Harking back to President George W Bush’s “axis of evil,” Bolton’s attacks on the three nations reflect an increasing aggression toward progressive governments that Trump has delivered during recent international speeches to the United Nations and other international forums.
Bolton took the time to make it clear that the US was pleased by the election of “like-minded leaders” such as Ivan Duque in Colombia and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. He failed, of course, to acknowledge the election of progressive candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (often referred to as AMLO) as president of Mexico.
AMLO will be inaugurated on December 1, the very day of the Latin America Conference, where a number of sessions will be dedicated to learning about and celebrating his presidency. There will also be a Fiesta Mexicana at Bolivar Hall open to all from 6.45pm with some very special guests.
The Latin America Conference has become the biggest event of its type in the UK and is now in its 14th year. It provides us with understanding and the framework for our solidarity with Cuba and the continent as a whole. Right now, with Trump in office and John Bolton in the driving seat, our solidarity with the region is more critical than ever.
We need to reflect on developments and work out the best approach to providing real solidarity to the peoples of Latin America in their struggles to defend their national sovereignty, resist the aggression emanating from Washington and Miami and support progressive governments and movements in their desire to build a better and fairer world for their citizens.
Rob Miller is Director of Cuba Solidarity Campaign.
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