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Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and a former Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (iWN file photo)
Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and a former Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (iWN file photo)
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By *Jomo Sanga Thomas

(“Plain Talk” March 22, 2024)

The world is an increasingly dangerous place, and the United States is at the centre of much of the mischief we witness each day. Many will not recognise the US’s sinister hand because it has a formidable propaganda machine that prettifies its nastiness, smears others, and portrays them as evil objects deserving of hate.

At this juncture, we would do well to remember the wise words of the black liberation struggle giants Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King. Malcolm warned that if we are not careful, the media will make us hate our friends and love our enemies. King defiantly defined the rulers in Washington as the greatest purveyors of violence in the entire world. Both of these comments were made over 50 years ago, and they ring truer now than ever before.

Especially after the triumph of the Russian Revolution led by VI Lenin, Russia has always been propagandised as the dangerous bear. China, viewed with suspicion in the West after the Moa Zse Tung-led revolution of 1949, but more so since its roaring economy propelled it from mass poverty to become the major economic rival of the United States, is marketed by its enemies as the lethal tiger. Cuba, skilfully led by Fidel and Raul Castro after its 1959 transformative revolution right under the nose of the mightiest empire ever assembled, is often parodied as the failing defiant ant.

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The dialectic of social development is that counterrevolution is the twin of revolution. The people are constantly struggling to make a better life. The counterrevolutionaries remain intent on preventing, retarding and eventually overthrowing all progressive revolutionary processes. It is the law of social development in which classes constantly contend for dominance and control.

For 73 years, the Russian Revolution in the Soviet Union was a significant rival of the United States. In 1991, however, the Soviet Union collapsed due to economic weakness, internal pressures, ideological bankruptcy, and external subversion. The Soviet Union was massive, covering one-sixth of the earth’s surface. After the collapse, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan all broke away to become independent states.

Many of these states joined the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO), a threatening military alliance of Western states. Formed in 1949, NATO’s primary purpose was to pressure and subdue the Soviet Union. In 1991, as part of the agreement to break down the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev got a commitment that NATO would not move further east. Western leaders did not honour this agreement.  Pressures on Russia continued as American political and military planners concluded that when a man is down, let’s keep him down. They resolved to ensure that Russia would never recover from the 1991 collapse and dismemberment.

Russia, especially since Putin’s emergence as president, has been fighting a life-and-death battle against Western encirclement and strangulation. Everything we see and hear of Russia today must be viewed through this prism. Only with this understanding of history will we better appreciate our world and why there is increasingly strident talk of nuclear war. The situation is dire, and we would be foolish to sleepwalk through this grave period in world history.

Further context: In 1971, Henry Kissinger, the war hawk and political swamp monster, brokered a deal with Mao’s China. The diplomatic breakthrough divided the world’s progressive movement. Major tension developed between Russia and China. China grew closer to the West and benefitted from Western investments, especially after Deng Xiao Ping became the premier in 1981.

In the following decades, 50% of the world’s foreign direct investment poured into China, which became the world’s manufacturing workhorse. Tens of millions of Chinese were lifted out of poverty. China’s economic growth was rapid. It now boasts one of the largest foreign exchange reserves in the world. It is a major creditor and investor in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

As a result of its impressive economic muscle, the governing class in the United States is now mortally afraid that China has and will be the dominant political and economic power by the second half of the 21st century. America’s power is receding, but Washington is no paper tiger. America is still a formidable player in world affairs. Its political, military, economic and cultural heft cannot be denied.

However, with the emergence of the BRICS and the economic formation that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, the world is becoming increasingly multipolar. The United States’ unipolar dominance, which it maintained after the collapse and reversals of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc socialist countries, has all but disappeared.

This explains the US’s attempts to destroy any major peace initiatives anywhere in the world. It explains the CIA military takeover in 2014 in Ukraine and the provocations about NATO membership that led to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Few people know that following the Russian Revolution, V.I. Lenin, the revolutionary leader, chopped off what is now western Ukraine from Russia and made it part of Ukraine. The Western media rarely reported that the central government in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, was waging a war against the Russian-speaking citizens of eastern Ukraine and banned the use of the Russian language. The provocations against Russia were intense and numerous.

The US and its Western allies egged on Ukraine because they goaded Russia to invade. The US was afraid that economic cooperation between Russia and Europe would end aggressive war gestures. Russia and Germany spent billions constructing the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline, which was to supply Germany and most of Europe with reliable and cheaper gas. The war between Russia and Ukraine erupted, and just as President Biden suggested, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was destroyed.

Prospects for peace, good neighbourliness and economic cooperation have been set back. NATO and Russia are sabre-rattling. NATO admits to having troops in Ukraine, and Putin, after his re-elections, vowed to protect Russia at all costs.

US leaders say they are prepared to fight three major wars at once. Front and centre are war threats against Russia and China. Yet they find time to continue their policy of strangulation against the proud, defiant Caribbean people of Cuba. Through their 64-year-old blockage, they are starving the Cuban people into submission. Fidel taught Cubans the art of sacrifice. While we ramp up solidarity and support, Plain Talk bets on the Cuban People to survive and rebuild their economy.

*Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and a former senator and Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

One reply on “The bear, the tiger and defiant Cuba”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    Cuba has been so impoverished by the Castro revolution and its regressive descent to communism that it now has no money to buy foreign goods or export local products even if there were no blockade, a trade sanction easily subverted were Cuba as wealthy and developed as it was before the revolution — there are dozens of other countries it could do business with other than America — a destructive social m, political and economic event that saw the flight of hundreds of thousands of Cuba’s best and brightest people to America where they have prospered beyond imagination.

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