22 January 2022 ~ 1 Comentario

Don’t fall into the trap again, President Díaz-Canel

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

A few days ago, Mr. Díaz-Canel, Dimitri Peskov, the Russian spokesman, candidly said, “We think about how to guarantee our own security.” He was referring to statements by Sergei Riabkov, Russian deputy foreign minister, in which he, mumbling, threatened the US with deploying troops and missiles in Cuba and Venezuela if NATO continued to besiege Russia or supply Ukraine with weapons.

Your job, Mr. President (and that of Mr. Maduro in Venezuela) is not to guarantee Russian security, but rather the well-being of Cubans (and Venezuelans). Something that is far beyond your possibilities, as long as they don’t change the productive system that this poor country suffers from, but, at least, it can save our compatriots the bitterness of another defeat and the anxiety of losing their lives uselessly.

For that same reason, in October 1962 the “Missile Crisis” broke out in Cuba. You were very young, and you don’t know how the events occurred. The USSR wanted to target the heart of the United States, but John F. Kennedy put his country on a war footing and prepared to fight if there was no other choice.

On that occasion, Fidel Castro sent him an encrypted telegram asking the Russian Premier to preventively bombard the United States with nuclear weapons. Nikita Khrushchev replied that he was a fool and dismissed his crazy initiative. Cuba would have remained a smoking, radioactive hole for half a century. It was an operatic ending for a raving madman.

I was living in Miami then, I was 19 years old, and I took several dozen young Cubans to the US Army with the promise that we would land in Cuba. “Tony” Varona, one of the leaders of the resistance, former Prime Minister of democratic Cuba, who had a son imprisoned in Cuba after landing at the Bay of Pigs,” upon returning from Washington, where he met with JFK advisers, told me that with certainty, and I repeated his words to the boys.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen. We would all have died. The Soviet colonels – there were 40,000 Russian soldiers in Cuba – had tactical nuclear weapons that they could use at will. They would have launched them against us, which would have generated an atomic war between the USSR and the US in a short time.

There was even an episode in which the direct confrontation between a landing of the United States army and the Soviet troops stationed in Cuba was not necessary to ignite the spark. Many years after the incident, it was learned that a Soviet submarine, equipped with a nuclear charge that would have shattered an aircraft carrier and its task force, a fact unknown to the Americans, broke through the US Navy’s blockade during the “October Crisis.”

The Americans launched depth charges to bring it to the surface. The submarine had lost contact with its base and its crew didn’t know if the war had already begun. According to the rules for launching an attack, all three commanding officers had to agree: the captain, the first mate, and the second mate. The captain and the first officer thought that the fighting had already begun, but the second mate, named Vasili Arkhipov, didn’t believe in that possibility and persuaded his two companions not to fight back. He was a hero nobody knew of.

In 1962 Marxism-Leninism was actually a vaguely credible option. Nikita claimed that in 10, 20 or 30 years the USSR would be on a par with the US. The Soviets had inaugurated the space age with the Sputnik and “the power of the Soviets plus electricity”, as Lenin wanted, was paying off, especially after the devastation of World War II. There were urban areas that grew at 10% per year.

But it was a matter of ignorance. It was enough to read the book entitled Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, written by Ludwig von Mises in 1922 (surely for Lenin, then in his heyday), on the failure of the price system under socialism, and how it would end up producing a monstrous distortion which would make economic calculation totally impossible. But in 1962 it wasn’t necessary to resort to reading or theoretical analysis. It was enough to compare the results of the two Germany to know, after a few years, what would happen in one system and the other.

In short, Mr. Díaz-Canel, Putin is playing with fire and he’s going to burn himself. The British have sold the Ukrainians hundreds and hundreds of state-of-the-art weapons that are fired from the shoulder at tanks and artillery pieces. Estonia is used to deliver Israel’s Spikes missiles against aviation to Kiev. To handle the war, the US has installed its headquarters in Albania, the most anti-Soviet of the ex-satellites. France, England and the US guarantee that Russia will not use nuclear warheads. NATO under Biden is working reasonably well. What are you going to get into that war for, President? It is a grave for Russia.

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