When the Cuban revolutionaries seized power on the fateful day of 1 January, 1959, the political leaders of the United States were at first ambivalent towards the Castro leadership but following the nationalisation of foreign capital and major land reforms for the majority of the population, there was immense opposition to the Cuban revolution. The US government then started political, psychological, economic and military warfare against Cuba and was set on removing the leader – Fidel Castro.
As written in the book, ‘The Brothers’ by Stephen Kinzer, on March 17, 1960 less than four months after the revolutionaries had come to power, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Allen Dulles presented ‘A Program of Covert Action Against The Castro Regime’ to the US National Security Council. ‘It proposed a multi-stage operation to bring about the replacement of the Castro regime with one more devoted to the interests of the Cuban people and more acceptable to the US, in such a manner as to avoid any appearance of US intervention…. The CIA would build a covert network inside Cuba, saturate the island with anti-Castro propaganda, infiltrate small teams of guerilla fighters, use them to set off domestic uprising, and provide a ‘responsible, appealing, and unified’ new regime.’
This attempt to remove the Cuban leadership went through many different phases and there was confidence that the super power 90 miles north of Cuba could foil this revolution. This confidence came from their successes in removing other governments who they claimed were communists. In 1953, the United States government in alliance with oil conglomeratess had removed Dr Mohammad Mossadegh as prime minister of Iran. He had been an incorruptible leader who wanted to use the oil resources to transform the country to uplift the standard of living of the people. The next year in 1954, the CIA staged a revolt against President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala. His crime was that he wanted to push the large landowners to sell the uncultivated parts of their holdings to the government for distribution to destitute peasant families. This same United States government had in January 1961 allied with the Belgian colonialists to kill the prime minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba, who wanted self-determination for his country. It was this spirit of intervention that guided the US policies toward Cuba for 55 years.
Significantly, on Wednesday 17 December 2014, President Barack Obama announced his intention to normalise diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. In summary what I am trying to get across is that the recent counter-revolutionary efforts made in The Gambia will fail in the end because our president will be supported by Allah in his bid to protect our resources. The recent anti-terrorism protests staged by Gambians indicate without a doubt that President Jammeh has our full support. Long live The Gambia, long live the revolution.
Vision 2016 must not take back-seat
I was immensely happy with news that The Gambia has been named by the Food and Agriculture Organisation as one of the countries that has made rapid progress towards meeting Millennium Development Goals on food self-sufficiency. However, recent developments in respect to the terrorist attack on State House have knocked Vision 2016 off the news headlines. The Gambia cannot achieve true independence as a nation until and unless we are able to feed ourselves without having to rely on the importation of food. Therefore, despite the challenges facing the nation we must all do our best by contributing our modest mound to this collective national endeavour. This is not just about the president alone but all of us as a nation. It is high time we stopped the eye service.