Dr. Charles McKelvey:” The Western oligarchic minority that plunders the planet has been able to construct a façade of democracy”

Publié le par Mohsen Abdelmoumen

Dr. Charles McKelvey : « Le Venezuela est une menace pour le système  néocolonial mondial ». - Algérie Résistance II

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is really going on in Cuba?

Charles McKelvey: What is going on in Cuba follows the script of what Cuban analysts have called an “unconventional war,” which is a multifaceted campaign that intends to bring about the fall of the government.  The targeted governments are those that seek a sovereign road toward true independence, that reject the economically dependent and politically subordinate role that their nations have been assigned by the neocolonial world-system.  In the case of Latin America, the unconventional war broke out in 2015, and the target nations have included Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua.  The strategies of the unconventional war include an economic and financial blockade, which intends to create hardship; and an ideological campaign through the social media and mainstream media, with the intention of confusing the people, thus creating division in the targeted nation, and establishing justifications for U.S. intervention in the view of the people of the United States.  It is assumed that the ultimate goal of the strategy is to create chaos, political destabilization and ungovernability, or the appearance of same, thus establishing a pretext for a direct military occupation.  However, with respect to Latin America, direct military intervention has not occurred in the current war, at least so far.  It may be that the war has not achieved the level of destabilization anticipated; and/or there is concern in the U.S. political establishment that the people of the United States would reject military intervention in the region.

In the particular case of Cuba, there has been since 2019 an intensification of the decades-long economic blockade, illustrated by the 243 new measures imposed by the Trump administration, and not rescinded by Biden.  These measures focus on blocking Cuban financial transactions with companies in third countries, enabling the U.S. government to threaten banks and companies of third nations with fines and sanctions if they trade with Cuba.  The Cuban government has found that, during the last two years, some of their purchases of food, petroleum, raw materials for their pharmaceutical industries, and medicines could not be delivered because of the lack of financial services to finalize the transactions.  And it has found that some producers and shippers have canceled previous arrangements; and that some previous providers have indicated that they can no longer continue with the arrangements.

These financial restrictions of the past two years, combined with the effect of the pandemic on the economy, have created shortages, which have accumulated.  In recent months, there have been long lines for products in retail stores; and some items are not available.  There is not desperation or hunger; it is a situation to which one can adjust.  But the situation has produced a level of dissatisfaction among the people. 

The social media campaign has tried to exploit the dissatisfaction among the people.  It focuses on the difficulties, seeking to present an image of the government as unable to manage the economy.  The difficulties are real, so the media campaign affects some.  Moreover, these developments have coincided with important changes in the Cuban economic model, involving an increase in both prices and wages, which adds to the uncertainty that some feel.  Obviously, those who are more attentive to political and economic developments are in a stronger position to understand the changes that they are experiencing, and thus they are less vulnerable to the media campaign.

On July 11, paid operatives in Cuba put into place a plan of organizing protests of the government in what appears to have been five localities, three in Havana.  These evolved into collective acts of vandalism and violence, in which dozens of people participated.

In response to these events, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel went to the site of one of the disturbances to converse with the protestors.  His presence prevented this particular protest from evolving to vandalism and violence; and his presence also stimulated the arrival of dozens of people committed to the revolution, so that, in effect, the revolutionaries had taken back control of the streets.

That same day, Díaz-Canel appeared on national television to explain these events to the people.  He concluded his intervention by calling upon the revolutionaries, led by the communists, to retake control of the streets.  The people forcefully responded to the call, and the revolutionaries put the affair to an end, not with the force of arms, but by the force of numbers.  The containment of the disturbances was aided by police, who applied a minimal amount of force to arrest those who were engaging in vandalism and violence.

Since Monday, July 12, Cuba has returned to tranquility and normalcy.  The people have been going to work and to the retail stores.  On Monday and Tuesday, one could see a higher number of police cars and other extra security measures, but by the end of the week even this extra vigilance subsided.  The week was marked by a high number of Cuban television news reports and news programs devoted to the events, including detailed explanation by Cuban leaders.  Numerous organizations of civil society organized events and issued declarations of support for the revolution and the government.  On Saturday, July 17 events of support of the revolution were held the principal plazas of all the capitals of the fourteen provinces; the counterrevolutionaries were nowhere to be seen.

The during the week following July 11, the international social media was full of an extraordinary number of distortions and fake news with respect to events in Cuba.  Images of supposed protests of the government on July 11 were actually demonstrations in other countries or previous demonstrations in Cuba calling for an end of the blockade.  There was even the claim that Raúl Castro had left the island, using an image of Raúl disembarking from a plane during an official state visit he of the low moral character of the enemies of the revolution made when he was head of state.  As these examples of fake news were discovered and analyzed by Cuban journalists, they were presented daily on Cuban television news during the week.  So that Cubans were becoming more fully aware.

In one of your articles, you mentioned a disinformation campaign targeting the Cuban government. Who is behind this manipulation?

According to Cuban news analysts, the principal agency has been USAID, which is part of the U.S. Department of State.  USAID generally operates out of U.S. embassies, but in the case of Cuba, it appears to be operating from Miami.

There is talk of the involvement of the Cuban mafia based in Florida in this unrest. What do you think?

The unconventional war serves the interests of the most conservative sector in the United States, including the Cuban-American mafia in Florida.  Trump openly met with representatives of that infamous group.  Inasmuch as Biden has not fulfilled his campaign promise to reevaluate the new sanctions imposed by Trump on Cuba, one suspects the influence of the Cuban-American mafia on the Biden administration.  However, Cuban news reporting has focused on a new generation of Cuban-American political operatives who use social media and who are on the payroll of USAID.

Sources mention the involvement of certain agencies linked to the CIA in these troubles. What is the role of the CIA in the recent events in Cuba?

Cuban news analysts make no mention of the CIA in relation to these events.

What about the Biden administration’s new roadmap to destabilize all of Latin America?

I think the Biden administration is carrying forward the unconventional war in Latin America, launched during the last two years of the Obama administration and intensified by Trump, which has targeted the four above-mentioned vanguard nations.  The purpose of the war is to break the process of Latin American integration and union, which was initiated by Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro as the best road for the Latin American nations in defense of their sovereignty. 

It may appear that Obama’s gesture to normalize relations with Cuba was inconsistent with the unconventional war, but Obama’s project in relation to Cuba was imperialist.  The Obama administration recognized the advanced character of the socialist revolution in Cuba, which implied a special strategy, involving the seduction of Cuba alongside the intimidation and destruction of socialist projects in Venezuela and Nicaragua.  Of course, this special consideration for Cuba was abandoned by Trump, and the attack on Cuba was intensified.

There is a strain of imperialist thought that maintains that U.S. imperialist objectives should be especially carried forward with respect to Latin America, since the region is geographically adjacent, and it is the original terrain of the U.S. imperialist project; and since the United States no longer has the economic capacity to dominate the entire world.  Perhaps the Biden administration, at least at the present time, is oriented toward the intensification of the imperialist project in Latin America as the best strategy for defending U.S. imperialist interests in the context of the present global panorama.

Why did the US administration and its agencies choose this timing to try to destabilize Cuba?

Cuba is particularly vulnerable at this time, as a result of the cumulative effects of the intensification of the blockade during the last two years, the effect of the pandemic on its tourist industry and its economy in general, and the need to divert resources to confront the pandemic.  As Díaz-Canel said to the people, “They have decided it is now or never.”

What exactly is the role of the mainstream media linked to big capital in this vast campaign of destabilization of Cuba, Venezuela and all left-wing governments in Latin America?

The mainstream media routinely reproduces false assumptions about socialism that have been disseminated in U.S. political culture during the course of the twentieth century, especially since the launching of the Cold War following World War II.  Including: representative democracy is the only possible form of democracy; socialist governments are inherently tyrannical and inevitably violate political and civil rights; and socialist economies do not work.  In addition, the mainstream media gives regular space to conservative voices from Latin America; and it frequently spreads distortions and false information being disseminated in the social media. 

My country Algeria is the target of a destabilization campaign. Don’t you think that it is more than necessary to have a world anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist front?

Yes, a world anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist front is more necessary than ever, and in my view, the development of such a front is most advanced in Latin America.  However, in my view, to be the most effective, such a front has to include leftist organizations formed by the people of the United States.  And in order for this to happen, the left in the USA has to reinvent itself.  It has to formulate issues in ways that unify the people, rather than provoke divisions; and it has to be more respectful toward the religious and traditional views of common folk.  Moreover, it has to break from the ethnocentric isolation of U.S. political culture, in order to develop a greater understanding of global dynamics and of the movements and leaders of the Third World.  A more just, democratic, and sustainable world can only by developed by all of the peoples and movements working in cooperation and solidarity.

In your opinion, in order to thwart these imperialist and neo-colonialist destabilization campaigns, is it not necessary to win the battle of information? In this struggle, don’t alternative media have a great role to play?

Yes, it is necessary to win what Fidel called the “battle of ideas,” and the alternative media have a central role to play in this struggle.  In my view, the alternative media has to focus on popular education, on the fostering of historical and political consciousness among the people, and on the formulation of arguments that persuade.

The Cuban president has called on the people to resist this destabilization campaign. In your opinion, in the face of the ferocious neoliberal and imperialist offensive, does the world not need new leaders who carry the banner of the oppressed peoples?

The colonized peoples have forged anti-colonial revolutions for more than two centuries, beginning with the revolution led by Toussaint in Haiti.  I think of these revolutions as constituting a single Third World revolution of national liberation.  In this long revolutionary process, new leaders have always been emerging, leaders with high levels of moral commitment and exceptional understanding, formed by the particular struggles and conditions in their nations.  In the case of Cuba, exceptional leaders existed long before Fidel, and Fidel himself was formed by that historic struggle.  I believe that in these moments, Miguel Díaz-Canel is demonstrating that he possesses the necessary qualities of high moral commitment, a well-developed understanding of the factors that have shaped the current reality, and an intuitive sense of what needs to be done.

Why do you think the United States and the arrogant West keep giving lessons to the whole world about « democracy », « human rights », « freedom of expression », when this West is ruled by an oligarchic minority that plunders the wealth of the whole planet?

The Western oligarchic minority that plunders the planet has been able to construct a façade of democracy, thus obscuring their true role and their amoral character.  Intellectuals and leaders of the world have to expose that façade of democracy, as an important component of forging a world anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist front.

Final Comment.

I invite your readers to visit my twice-weekly Substack column, “Knowledge, ideology, and real socialism in our times,” which can be found at https://charlesmckelvey.substack.com

Commentaries of particular relevance the themes here addressed include:

“From colonialism to neocolonialism: Beyond the false ‘human rights’ frame of the representative democracies,” June 15, 2021


“Neocolonialism and Cuba:  The structures of a neocolonial republic,” June 18, 2021


“Cuba and the neocolonial world-system:  An unseen, noble quest for sovereignty,” June 22, 2021


“Political and civil rights in Cuba: The politicization of the issue of human rights,” June 24, 2021


“The US unconventional war against Cuba: The revolutionary people quickly retake the streets of Cuba,” July 16, 2021


Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen

Who is Dr. Charles McKelvey?

Charles McKelvey is Professor Emeritus at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, USA, and member of the Advisory Council of the Honorary Section of Political Science from the South at the Faculty of Philosophy and History of the University of Havana, Havana, Cuba.

He obtained a B.A. in Religious Studies from Pennsylvania State University in 1969, an M.A. in Inner City Studies from Northeastern Illinois University in 1972, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Fordham University in 1979. At Penn State, he encountered the student anti-war movement and the black power movement among black students. Charles McKelvey studied the work of Marx and various currents of Marxist thought, especially in the period of 1979 to 1990. He dedicated himself to the process of sustained encounter with the social movements: the Jesse Jackson Rainbow Coalition from 1988-90; the popular movement in Honduras from 1990 to 1998; and the Cuban revolutionary project from 1993 to the present.

Fulbright Scholar, he gone to Honduras, Central America, from August 1994 to June, 1995,

to conduct research on the problem of underdevelopment in Honduras and on the work of the Christian Commission for Development. In 1996, Dr. McKelvey founded the Center for Development Studies and served as Director until 2001. The Center for Development Studies was a non-profit organization whom the objectives included increasing understanding of Central America and the Caribbean by conducting programs that integrate academic work and travel experiences. It conducted programs in Cuba from 1997 to 2001, developed in cooperation with the Latin American Faculty of the Social Sciences (FLACSO-Cuba). College professors, graduate students and professionals from ten nations participated in its programs. Charles McKelvey conducted 11 educational programs in Cuba from 1996 to 2010. He formed Global Learning in 2011, a sole-member limited liability company dedicated to international education and the promotion of academic events in Cuba.

Having traveled extensively to Cuba since 1993, he has many contacts and relations in the Cuban sectors of higher education, culture, and tourism and is very familiar with the workings of the Cuban system.  An informed and passionate defender of the Cuban revolutionary project, he lives most of the year in Havana.

His book: The Evolution and Significance of the Cuban Revolution (2018) interprets the Cuban revolutionary movement from 1868 to 1959 as a continuous process that sought political independence and social and economic transformation of colonial and neocolonial structures. Cuba is a symbol of hope for the Third World. He wrote too:  The African American Movement: From Pan Africanism to the Rainbow Coalition and Beyond Ethnocentrism: A Reconstruction of Marx’s Concept of Science, as well as many articles.


Published in https://www.algeriepatriotique.com/2021/07/29/interview-dr-charles-mckelvey-la-minorite-oligarchique-occidentale-a-reussi-a-construire-une-facade-de-democratie/

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