Cuba and The Laboratories of Cognitive Warfare

By Geraldina Colotti on February 13, 2024.

with strength Cuba, we will live, we will overcome

Analyzing from a historical perspective the stubborn intention of imperialism to take over Cuba, this book by Ernesto Limia Diaz – Patria y cultura en revolución, published in Italy by Pgreco Publishing House and on sale since February 15 – offers keys to reflect even beyond the topic addressed. The introduction by Abel Prieto, Cuban writer and politician of international stature, allows us to realize, from the very first lines, that this is an incisive and argued work: aligned, but devoid of rhetoric.

“Subversion and the development of communications – writes Limia – feed and sustain the most formidable ideological battle the country has ever had to face. It cannot be won with sectarianism or slogans. We need boldness and the articulation of all the arsenal forged by the Revolution in its universities and schools”: whatever the latitude, because the purpose is to unite “all our leftist allies who take Cuba as a personal matter”.

These are words that recall those of José Martí, the Apostle of Cuban independence and one of the greatest writers of the Hispanic world, born on January 28, 1853 and died fighting on May 19, 1895: “He who rises today with Cuba rises for all times”.

Moreover, the reference to Martí is constant in the volume, starting with Prieto’s introduction, entitled “The greatest war waged against us”. In this way, in effect, Martí defined the attacks that use “thought” as the main weapon and that -he added- “must be defeated with thought”.

A mode of warfare “designed for decades in the laboratories of the empire”, says Prieto.

Limia, Cuban historian and essayist, specialist in Information Analysis, re-examines the conceptual bases of these techniques, in relation to the development of productive forces. Thanks to the spread of social networks, the ruling classes are now launching a broader and more generalized offensive to overthrow concepts and symbols.

They thus create a short-circuit even in the popular sectors, as seen in the so-called San Isidro Artists Movement, created from outside but embedded in the existing difficulties, analyzed in the volume.

In 65 years, says Limia, Cuba’s adversaries “have not taken a day off to sow confusion and lies. The United States has invested multimillion-dollar funds to create a platform between traditional media and new forms of communication.”

To verify this, however, it is necessary to trace the many masks, organizations, newspapers, think tanks or power centers in which these strategies have been and continue to be embodied.

Names that bounce from one country to another, even from one continent to another, through the revolving doors of economic, political, media and military power. Important books have been written about this in Cuba, Venezuela and other Latin American countries, to which Limia’s volume is added.

However, the works are almost always underestimated in sophisticated Europe, or branded as “conspiracy theories”: even in Italy, where conspiracy theories often supplant the complexity of historical analysis, relegating revolutionary attempts to damnatio memoriae.

“The wisdom of Europe and the prosperity of the United States are two enemies of freedom of thought in America,” wrote Simon Rodriguez, Venezuelan philosopher and politician (1769-1854), teacher of the Liberator Simon Bolivar (1783-1830).

Two hundred years after the Monroe Doctrine, based on the claim of being a chosen nation destined to expand from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts and impose its hegemony on the world, the United States confirmed Bolivar’s prophecy, written in 1829: “The United States seems destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of freedom.”

Limia evokes the “moral barrier” raised by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, president of the Republic in Arms, founded in 1869 during Cuba’s first war of independence against the Spanish empire, who indignantly withdrew the ambassador from Washington: seventy years after the proclamation of The Monroe Doctrine.

However, it was Martí, organizer of the 1895 war, who faced the greatest challenge. Limia writes in this regard: “Financial capital emerged from the world economic crisis of 1873, and in the reconfiguration of the spheres of influence, colonial expansion was reactivated, militarism generated a war industry that needed wars to sustain itself and imperialism emerged. The Apostle anticipated all the revolutionary thinkers of his time. His American Scenes, with which he made known the greatness of the United States as a nation, led him to study society and discover its corrosive germ: ‘From this pecuniary aristocracy a political aristocracy was born, and it dominates the newspapers, wins the elections, and is accustomed to govern in assemblies,’ he warned.”

The deep bond that unites the people with their leaders and the system of ideas that shapes their consciousness is rooted in the history of pride, hopes and redemption finally achieved by the Cuban revolution on January 1, 1959. The mercenaries of yesterday and today, driven by ambition for money, “do not know how far independence, equality, socialism and the visceral rejection of abuses have penetrated the political culture of Cubans, the oligarchies and imperialism”.

A concept repeated, on January 1 of this year, by Miguel Díaz-Canel, Cuba’s first president born after the revolution, who appeared alongside historic leader Raúl Castro, signifying the continuity of those ideals.

“It is time to rectify again. Rectification is a process inherent to the Revolution,” Díaz-Canel said, referring again, without pretense, to the difficulties faced by the island.

According to official data, in 2023, the economy grew less than 2% when 3% was expected, inflation reached 30%, salaries presented purchasing power problems, there was a 4% decrease in employment, there were “deep distortions” in the management plans. Data that were thoroughly discussed during the last National Assembly of People’s Power – the Cuban Parliament.

There are moments – the president said – when there is a kind of perfect storm, in which the desire to overcome the adverse situation, the correlation between economic variables, the commitment to preserve social achievements and the very limited and sometimes null availability of foreign currency come together, and it is not easy to produce a comprehensive solution.

At the origin, however, remains the insatiable ferocity of the blockade, which pushes the US to even include Cuba in the list of “sponsors of terrorism”, when, as Limia demonstrates, the island is the victim of a tenacious and multifaceted attack, which tries to defeat the revolution by any means.

An aspect highlighted by some Democratic senators from Massachusetts who, in a letter to Biden, called for the revocation of the unilateral coercive measure.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – Buenos Aires