Another blunder in the anticuba media campaign

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A new serious and very dangerous falsehood, using FOX News and the University of Miami, has been included in the nowdesperate and more erratic than ever campaign by the US extreme right against Cuba.


“Cuban military operatives reportedly have been spotted in Syria, where sources believe they are advising President Bashar al-Assad’s soldiers and may be preparing to man Russian-made tanks to aid Damascus in fighting rebel forces backed by the U.S.”


Fox said this information came from two sources: the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) and a US official who requested anonymity and was later identified as "a senior official of the US military intelligence" without mentioning his name or position.


According to Fox, the source at the Miami Institute said that “an Arab (no specific country was mentioned) military officer at the Damascus airport reportedly witnessed two Russian planes arrive there with Cuban military personnel on board. When the officer questioned the Cubans, they told him they were there to assist Assad because they are experts at operating Russian tanks.”


The alleged US official –to whom Fox granted anonymity without giving a reason– was supposed to have “evidence” from “intelligence reports” that Cuban troops may have been training in Russia and may have arrived in Syria on Russian planes.


Then a letter sent to President Barack Obama by US Senator Charles Grassley began to occupy large spaces in the US corporate and international media. "Media reports indicate that hundreds of Cuban military are arriving in Syria to support Russia and Iran in their efforts to keep President Assad in the government of that country," wrote the Republican Senator in his message, in which he asked President Barack Obama to take action against the Cuban government.


Media reports proliferated worldwide magnifying the alleged Cuban military presence in Syria: "Cuba is involved in Syria helping Russia"; "Not for the first time the Cuban forces are doing Russia’s dirty work" and other texts like that toured the world.


It became obvious that this manipulation was part of the biggest campaign of the US extreme right which opposes the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States, a process that is just taking its first steps with the restoration of diplomatic links and the reopening of embassies.


 The ICCAS is an integral part of the operational structure of the US government engaged in destabilization and subversion in Cuba, an independent and sovereign nation, in open violation of the laws and regulations stipulated by international law and the United Nations Charter.


ICCAS is an entity that has been funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) the same that also sponsored the Cuba Transition Project (CTP) and made recommendations for reconstruction on the island "when the post-Castro transition begins." To that end, it studied the transitions that have taken place in Central and Eastern Europe, with the aim of drawing lessons "for the future of Cuba."


As has been known, the false news of the presence of Cuban troops in Syria which led to the campaign arose from a statement made on October 15 by the director of ICCAS, Jaime Suchlicki, who said he received a phone call from an Arab country (he could not identify), in which a mysterious character (also unidentified) assured him that the Cuban Minister for the Revolutionary Armed Forces, General Leopoldo Cintra Frias, was in Syria in command of some 300 special forces troops to offer land support, especially with tanks, to the raids of Russian aviation against the Islamic State (ISIS).


The rumor spread by Jaime Suchlicki about the presence of Cuban troops in Syria, was denied by the State Department and the White House as well as by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but was registered as another link in the US extreme right’s fierce offensive against the island.


October 24, 2015.


- Manuel E. Yepe -

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
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