Targeting Cuba in Pakistan

Dr. Shireen M. Mazari

Sometimes events and issues that arise, may seem purely coincidental, but on closer scrutiny actually have a definitive pattern and purpose. And so it has been with the issue of Pakistani students being sent to Cuba for medical degrees – all paid for by the Cuban government. This arrangement, a major boon for the average Pakistani seeking quality medical education, came about after Cuba extended extensive assistance in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake. That exposed the Pakistani nation to the dedication and commitment of the Cuban people to other developing nations. Not only did Cuba send assistance, but a team of doctors stayed with the earthquake-hit people along with a minister for seven months. It was not simply of sending over excess supplies through huge excess delivery capacity but a people-to-people commitment that compelled the Cubans, with their limited resources to extend assistance to Pakistan.

The fact of the matter is that since Castro’s revolution in Cuba, when the country finally rid itself of the US imperialist hold that had been established through the notorious Platt Amendment appended on to the Cuban Constitution, Cuba has used its resources to help other oppressed and poor nations worldwide, with no conditions of race or religion. So we saw Cuba help the Angolans in their nationalist struggle against colonialism and we saw Cubans coming to Pakistan in its moment of need in 2005, and presently the Cubans are in Haiti helping the calamity-stricken people. Unlike superpower America, they have no agenda such as exploiting the poverty of the locals and kidnapping Haitian children out for adoption by Americans – just to put things in the proper perspective.

After the earthquake, the Cubans offered 1000 scholarships in the medical field for low-income Pakistanis and this gesture opened a potential gateway to success for these families – after all, none of them could afford medical education abroad in the normal course and few could afford it even in Pakistan. But since that time, periodically, a hue and cry is created about these students, despite the fact that issues raised have been settled. So is this a mere coincidence or is there a pattern to this periodic targeting of a nation that has truly reached out to the Pakistani masses?

After all, who would target Cuba and seek to destroy its relations with Pakistan? The answer requires little contemplation. The US has been trying to undermine the Castro regime since the success of the Revolution. It has continued to hold on to a piece of Cuban territory, Guantanamo Bay, effectively illegally, and has sought to unsuccessful military interventions in that country. Since 1959, it has continued to impose a financial and trade blockade of the Island nation, despite successive UN General Assembly resolutions demanded an end to this economic warfare against a member of the United Nations. These resolutions have been almost unanimous with the majority of the international comity of nations on one side, and the US, Israel and Marshall Islands on the other.

Nothing is too petty for the US when it comes to Cuba, especially when it concerns a state like Pakistan that the US feels should be solely within its sphere of influence and loyal to its agendas. Pakistan is having to pay a hefty price for this alliance with the US, and the Cuban issue is simply one small part of the larger game plan. But if 1000 doctors a year come from Cuba, undoubtedly they will offer the Pakistani nation a window on Cuba and how it not only manages to survive despite US efforts to economically strangulate it – thereby pointing a path to treat for Pakistan also – but also continues to interact with nations across the globe. Furthermore, doctors have an extensive reach within the community so the US knows the implications. Of course, there is also the contrast with the US directly in terms of the pitfalls Pakistani students have to face in seeking education in the US – not only in terms of visas but also in terms of financial costs and, post-9/11, harassment while in the US. Nor, heavens forbid, does the US offer anything to low-income families in terms of technical education in their country! All their visitor programmes are for the elite and their offspring’s!

Nor is it just Cuba. Any country disliked by the US, that offers anything truly meaningful to the people of Pakistan, sees direct and indirect, covert and overt impediments – all of which have a US imprint if one has studied the way the US thinks and works! Presently, Iranian efforts of assistance to Pakistan in the crucial sector of energy are also being undermined. Pakistan has effectively been pressured into shelving the – at least that is what it seems, given how the pipeline has been completed from the Iranian side and action is still awaited from the Pakistanis. Then there is the issue of electricity. Iran is already supplying certain border areas in Pakistan with this valuable facility. But it has also offered Pakistan 1000 MW, and according to Iranian sources this could be doubled to 2000 MW, on to the national grid. Why Pakistan is not responding positively to this offer when it has a severe power shortage, is anybody’s guess but given how we are not insane or irrational, one can assume there is some source of external pressure.

In the Cuban case, it is not merely random criticism of the scholarships that has arisen yet again, for the third year. Initially, the propaganda – for that is what it is effectively – centred on how there was no provision for the religious needs of the Pakistani students. This was absurd because the Cuban government did an extensive study of these needs including dietary habits and actually made the effort to cater to these needs, despite their own very diverse religio-cultural roots.

The other issue that continues to be raised periodically relates to campus conditions. Of course, Cuba is not the US or Europe in terms of resources and cannot offer campuses that cater to the rich. Yet, Cuba has so far hosted more than 43,545 medical students from more than 100 countries and has graduated over 100,000 doctors. Students from no other country have made an issue of these facilities.

Perhaps, the most consistent point on which the Cuban medical scholarships were and are targeted is on the fallacy that the Cuban degree was not recognised anywhere else. But this issue too is not grounded in reality because the Cuban medical programme is recognised internationally, including by WHO. As for the assertion that the Pakistanis will only get a paramedic degree, this is also factually incorrect. Clearly, the idea of the detractors of the Pakistan-Cuban cooperation is to spread as a big a lie as possible so that it takes time to refute it. This is a basic premise of propaganda as taught by the US – the use of the ‘big lie’!

The fact is that the PMDC, in June 2008, had informed the Pakistani media that it had recognised the Cuban medical curriculum and that all the doctors returning from Cuba would be treated, without discrimination, as any normal foreign degree holders and would have to sit in the NEB examination to be recognised for registration. The informed in Pakistan have examined and are satisfied on the issue, but the ignorant are easy prey for the propagandists. This is similar to what the Pakistani professionals returning from the Soviet Union were subjected to in the days of bipolarity.

That Cuba is a victim of similar propaganda, and from the same source, is evident. But it is unfortunate that ill-informed Pakistanis are falling prey to this. After all, Cuba does not have to do this for us. If we continue to cry foul, they can simply end the scholarships and who will be the losers then?

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Israel, US and Haiti quake

On January 23, 2010 – Russian online daily Pravda claimed that Russian Northern Fleet indicates that the earthquake that devastated Haiti was clearly the result of US Navy weapon test meant for Islamic Iran. Venezuelan president Hugo Chevez has blamed Obama’s Zionist administration for using the disaster to occupy Haiti. Washington has dispatched 11,000 US soldiers to the country while blocking the humanitarian aid reaching the country. It’s feared that 200,000 people including 21 Canadian have died as the result of the eartquake.

Avraham Zuroff writing in Israeli daily Arutz Sheva had reported that Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure’s Geographic Institute will carry-out a test in the southern Negev Desert in order to stimulate an earthquake on behalf of US Defence Department. according to the daily: “Israel will create a controlled explosion of 80 tons of explosive material which will stimulate the intensity of a tremor after an earthquake on magnitude 3. Natural earthquakes of similar intensity occur in the Middle East region about once a week without the public feeling them”.

Israel which has sent a team of doctors to Haition – is using it a PR campaign against the Arabs and Muslims. Islamophobe Alan Dershowitz, a senior member of Israel Hasbara (propaganda) Committee wrote in Zionist think tank, Huffington Post: “While Israel dig deeply into its treasury (which has sucked US$3,000 billion from US taxpayers since 1970s) and manpower to send medical assistance a quarter of the way around the world, Arab and Muslim nations are generally missing in action when it comes to relief efforts”. However, the IRIN Global (the UN Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affiars) smacks the face of Zionist Jew liar. On January 17, 2010 – IRIN reported that aid to Haiti is pouring from UAE, Jordan, Islamic Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Indonesia, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon and Islamic Relief (UK). Furthermore, American investigating journalist, Stephen Lendman, has claimed that 220 Israeli doctors and soldiers on the humanitarian mission in Haiti are involved in human organ stealing and harvesting body parts. Haitian prime minister Jean-Max Bellerive in his interview with CNN’s Zionist poodle, Christiane Amanpour has confirmed this: “There is organ tafficking for children and other persons also because they need all types of organs”. Last year  Sweden’s newspaper Aftonbladet had reported that “Israeli troops stole and then sold the organs of Palestinians who died in custody in early 1990s”.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez believe that the US tested HAARP ( a US military program) to create the Haitian earthquake. The publicity stunt to cover-up the real cause of the earthquake is modeled on Israel Hasbara Committe propaganda lies. Professor Michel Chossudovsky wrote on January 21, 2010: “The Haiti relief disaster scenario had been envisaged at the headquarters of US southern command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami one day prior to the earthquake. In the past, mant analyst believed that Indonesian Tsunami was also a result of a similar test by Russia.

The Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean is a daughter of Haiti. Haiti-born Canadian radio host, Jafrikayiti (Jean Saint-Vil), has apealed Michaelle Jean to demand that French president Nicolas Sarkozy (son of Jewish mother) must return US$40 billion to Haiti government – which French government had ransomed at gun point from the Republic of Haiti from 1825 and 1947.

“A Jew is entitled to extract the liver from a goy if he needs it, for the life of a Jew is more valuable than the life of a goy. Likewise, the life of a goy is more valuable than the life of an animal,” – Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzberg. ~ (Rehmat’s World)

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Did mining and oil drilling trigger the Haiti earthquake?

Did mining and oil drilling behind UN/US guns trigger the Haiti earthquake?

Did the mining of Haiti’s riches since 2004 GW Bush regime change cause the earthquake? Listen to Ezili Dantò on mining Haiti’s riches and concern for environmental degradation by the foreign companies. (Read the transcript with reference links.)

“The idea that human activity can cause seismic activity is widely accepted in the scientific community …the connection between oil production and earthquakes dates back to at least the 1920s, when geologists in South Texas noted faulting near the Goose Creek oil field…A 1967 human-triggered earthquake in western India linked to the Koyna Dam registered a 7.0 earthquake.”

open salon | Since the earthquake, I’ve had occasion to ponder, like many others, about what may have caused this heretofore-unknown natural disaster in Haiti? Was it a natural occurrence or man-made? Port-au-Prince, Haiti has not had an earthquake in 239 years. Why now? The nation of Haiti is only 206 years old, so Haitians in Port-au-Prince have no experience with earthquakes whatsoever. Did not know that for an earthquake you run away from the house. So, when the trembling started they did the worst possible thing – ran into their houses as they are used to, for protection, with hurricanes. The houses all collapsed on them.

The devastation is heartwrenching. 200,000 dead in the capital alone, devastation in the South also, in Leogane, Les Cayes, Jacmel. In Port Au Prince everything collapse, 400,000 to be relocated, millions homeless, untold numbers with amputated limbs, hundreds of thousands right now dying without access to water, food, shelter and medical treatment.

Since the 2004 Bush regime change, Ezili’s HLLN has been concerned about the digging up of Haiti without any regards to environmental degradation.

In an April 29, 2009 interview with Chris Scott of CKUT (90.3 FM) in Montreal, entitled Haiti’s Riches: Interview with Ezili Dantò on Mining in Haiti, I expressed concerned that under the UN occupation which made the Haitian goverment a puppet government, Haitian lives and welfare were not priorities just corporate exploitation of Haiti’s resources and cheap labor. Haiti’s emergency civil preparedness agency was destroyed during the Bush regime change and never rebuilt.  We’ve had severe hurricanes in 2004, 2005 and then the four back-to-back hurricanes of 2008. The people’s living conditions has not improved in the 6-years the U.S., France and Canada have controlled Haiti through the U.N. proxy occupation. In fact, with clorox hunger, food riots, no monie to send children to school, high food and fuel prices, no development, things, had gotten much worse since the coup against President Aristide. The people were simply slowly dying as UN Special Envoy Bill Clinton waxed on about the “good business climate” in Haiti prior to the earthquake. They died and there was no rebuilding of the institutions the Bush coup d’etat had helped destroy. But there were 9,000 UN troops in Haiti doing what?

In the Mining Haiti’s Riches interview, I recount how there were areas in Haiti hidden behind UN guns, fenced off where Haitians knew nothing about what these soldiers were doing.

Then the earthquake hit. What remains is unimaginable. The rescue and recovery process was and is inhumane. The relief from pain and hunger is still not in place. And, as I think about the process of rebuilding, I started checking whether digging for gold, iridium, copper, uranium, coal, marble, diamonds, oil and gas could trigger an earthquake. And the answer I found sent chills up my spine. Made me sick to my stomach. Can this really be?

From what I’ve read, drilling deep into the earth, digging and mining may trigger earthquakes.

And, drilling either for fossil fuels or renewable energy exploration may cause earthquakes. Both geophysicists and oilmen agree that natural-gas drilling trigger earthquakes. One oilman stated that “there is not the slightest doubt” that gas production caused the temblors.”

A New York Times report confirmed drilling for oil sets off earthquakes and detailed how a drilling project near San Francisco and a similar project in Basel, Switzerland were shut down over concerns they triggered damaging earthquakes. Both diggings involved fracturing hard rock more than two miles deep.

large earthquakes tend to originate at great depths, breaking rock that far down carries more serious risk, seismologists say. Seismologists have long known that human activities can trigger quakes, but they say the science is not developed enough to say for certain what will or will not set off a major temblor. (Geothermal energy and Quake Threat Leads Swiss to Close Geothermal Project.)

Haitians have been under occupation by the US through the proxy UN mission since the 2004 Bush regime change/coup d’etat.

Before the earthquake, Rene Preval, the president of Haiti answered to Washington not the people of Haiti. I’ve written extensively about this and that information is readily available. The mining in Haiti and the digging up of Haiti was going on without any oversight.

Since the earthquake hit, it’s been clear that the power-brokers who control the US military, the free marketeers, are exploiting this Haiti earthquake shock, when the Haitian people are hurt, in pain, disorientated and horrifically more defenseless than usual, to impose their privatization and further entrench their corporate domination in Haiti. (Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again.)

I know some folks are saying there are sophisticated equipment ( HAARP and Tesla) that are used to deliberately set off weather anomalies such as earthquakes, but I’m wondering whether the drilling, possibly for oil and gas in Haiti behind the UN guns – offshore at the Gulf of La Gonave and at the Island of La Gonave and around the bay of Port-au-Prince fairly near the epicenter of the earthquake – exacerbated the fault line in Haiti, causing the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake as an unattended consequence? (Can there possibly be an earthquake in Port-au-Prince? ; Haiti sits on two seismic fault lines and a major disaster was expected ; At Fault: Does Drilling Cause Earthquakes? See also, the map showing where the oil sites of Haiti are located.)

Scientists Ginette and Daniel Mathurin say that Haiti is filled with hydrocarbons and that they have identified 20 oil sites in Haiti. Five of them are considered of great importance by specialists and politicians. There’s oil in Haiti’s Central Plateau, including the region of Thomonde, the plain of the cul-de-sac and the bay of Port-au-Prince, they say. In fact, Daniel Mathurin says that “the oil reserves of Haiti are more important than those of Venezuela. An olympic pool compared to a glass of water that is the comparison to illustrate the importance of Haitian oil compared with those of Venezuela,” he explains…The specialists contend that the government of Jean Claude Duvalier had verified the existence of a major oil field in the Bay of Port-au-Prince shortly before his downfall.

And if, as the oilman said, there’s not the “slightest doubt natural-gas drilling causes earthquakes” and there was drilling in addition to the mining of gold, copper, coal, uranium and iridium, stealthy going on behind the UN guns, then the question becomes, which of the coup detat countries – US, France, Canada – using the UN proxy occupation to drill for oil, gas and to dig for gold, iridium, marble, granite, et al, helped cause the earthquake?”

Was that the reason for the US delay in getting to the survivors? Read more of this post

Peacekeeping or War-making?

Murray Dobbin | Watching the response of the Canadian government to the catastrophe in Haiti I am sure I am not the only person to see this as a powerful counterpoint to our grotesque participation in the occupation of Afghanistan. How do Canadians feel, for example, when they hear of an RCMP officer killed as a peacekeeper versus a soldier killed in Afghanistan? Sadness for both, of course – both were doing jobs they were told to do. But the death of the soldier in Afghanistan is much more complicated. For me, the death is doubly tragic because that soldier is there illegally, the killing he is engaged in (both civilians and the Taliban) is done for no purpose the government can explain, and the mission itself is almost universally recognized as ill-conceived and doomed to fail – no matter how its goals are defined. Nothing good will come from all those lives lost, mangled or ruined by serious injury.

While the RCMP’s role in Haiti can never be seen to be completely pure and altruistic, given Canada’s shameful role in ousting Haiti’s president, by most accounts Haiti had become less violent. And the Haitian people generally welcomed the development, such as it was, and the peace. At least our mission there, tainted as it was, allows for honourable deaths of soldiers and police if and when such occur.

In Afghanistan, ultimately, no such honour is possible. We send our soldiers, most of them young, to a place that does not want them, where they know that progress is either temporary or non-existent, where they are propping up a terminally corrupt Afghan government and are complicit in the geo-political objectives of the US in securing oil and gas supplies. A death here is tragic because it is we, as Canadians, who are sending soldiers to die for nothing. Worse, to die for an ignoble cause. Read more of this post

US Using 4 Airports to Support Haiti Relief or to …???

Al-Manar | The United States is now operating at four airports to ferry aid and relief supplies to quake-devastated Haiti, a senior US military commander said Thursday.

In addition to the Caribbean nation’s main port of entry, Port-au-Prince airport, US forces were also now at work at airports in the coastal city of Jacmel.

They were also operating in the neighboring Dominican Republic at San Isidro and Barahona, US Southern Command chief General Douglas Fraser said.

Around 11,000 US military personnel are currently controlling the operations both on the ground and offshore aboard US Navy and Coast Guard vessels, and another 4,000 US troops are expected to arrive in the coming days.

The Americans’ controlling of the aid operations has raised tensions with some countries. Bolivia and Venezuela have criticized its heavy presence and France earlier expressed annoyance after aid planes were delayed from landing.

French Secretary of State for Cooperation Alain Joyandet called on the United Nations to clarify the US role in Haiti, saying the priority was “helping Haiti, not occupying Haiti.”

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) has complained that five of its planes carrying a total of 85 tons of medical and relief supplies have been diverted from Port-au-Prince to the Dominican Republic since January 14, although one of its planes was allowed to land this week.

On Thursday, the Haitian president said that “Haiti is not under guardianship” of other countries as they help nurse and feed the victims of last week’s huge quake.

Also, Haiti’s Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told RTL radio in Port-au-Prince: “The Americans are here at our request, they are here purely to help us with our humanitarian and security needs.”

However, many commentators see in that US is not welcomed in Haiti. They confirm that US seeks to re-occupy Haiti. The U.S. occupied Haiti until 1934.

American troops returned in 1994, and now, the US Marines are back in Haiti for the same mission but under a different title: to support Haiti relief.

Phyllis Bennis said in Huffington post that “the reality is, on the ground, U.S. military forces take charge, as the United Nations is pushed aside.” Read more of this post

Hugo Chavez blasts US role in Haiti

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez continued to blast the United States role in Haiti alleging it of taking advantage of last week’s earthquake to occupy the island nation.

The socialist leader made the statement in Caracas while inaugurating a new cable car system in the capital city after making similar comments as recently as Monday.

“Cuba has more doctors in Haiti than the United States. You see the Marines with machine guns and rifles and actually firing them. They are firing at the looters. I don’t know how many they’ve killed at this point, but they go in there with a license to kill whoever they want, wherever they want and however they want. It is terrible of the empire.”

The US military is spearheading the huge ongoing international relief effort in the devastated Caribbean country and has around 12,000 personnel on the ground or on ships offshore

Haitians beginning to lose hope, and patience

With a gaggle of small children, Louis Saurel’s family huddles under a plastic tarp near the wall that borders St Pierre plaza in the Haitian capital. As with most public places in the city, the small park has been converted into an improvised camp for thousands of people taking refuge from the destruction of their neighbourhoods by Tuesday’s quake.

After almost one week, they feel abandoned to their fate. “We have lost everything. I have no money, nothing,” he said. “We can’t return home because the houses are destroyed, and the ones that haven’t collapsed are crumbling. We are facing chaos.” Next to him sat Jeanty Edrice, who until Tuesday was a neighbour in the Rue Panamericaine, and whose house is completely destroyed.

“We have nothing left, only the family. We have no choice but to live in the park for the time being,” she sighed. Both were aware that their precarious situation could be a prolonged one. There is growing concern that food and water are becoming scarce, most commerce has shut down, and the little bit of money they have is running out.

On top of that, the stream of new refugees continues unabated. Their numbers have spilled out of the park and onto the sidewalks. There were only two portable toilets in the entire zone, clearly insufficient for the growing population. The stench is omnipresent, and the unsanitary conditions carry a heightened risk of epidemic.

On a nearby street, two thin hoses provide the only running water in the area, and adult men and women line up to bathe as best they can, naked and together. There is no room for modesty under these conditions. “Nobody has come to see us, not the local authorities nor the international agencies,” said Jean Robert Casimir, who has been living on the streets with his family of 12 since Wednesday, all in a tent designed for two people.

Casimir keeps a small radio glued to his ear, anxiously awaiting any news that might alleviate the situation in the chaotic camp. He said the overwhelming sense of desperation was worrisome, because it could soon break out into violence. “If it continues like this, it will become violent. Soon, we will lose faith, very soon, and that will be the end for us,” he said.

Sourel also said that the refugees were reaching the limits of their patience, and that violence could erupt “very soon. Not within months, but days,” he warned. All hope rests on the arrival of promised international aid, which until now is but an illusion for the refugees in the park. For Casimir, the situation seems suspiciously familiar.

“We haven’t much hope, we’ve been through this before,” he said. “After (last year’s) cyclones, we waited and waited, and they told us that the aid was coming, that it was on its way, and we never saw any of it. With this earthquake, we fear the same thing will happen.”(BRecorder)

‘Tens of thousands’ feared killed in Haiti quake

Witnesses reported that many buildings had collapsed in the quake-AFP

Haitian President Rene Preval has said estimates of the death toll in the devastating earthquake in capital Port-au-Prince could easily be in the tens of thousands, while other officials said more than 100,000 may have perished.

“Up to now I’ve heard 50,000, I’ve heard 30,000. Let’s say, it’s too early to give a number,” Preval told broadcaster CNN, conceding that any sort of official estimate was extremely difficult. “I am still trying to understand myself the magnitude of the event.”

The Caribbean nation of nine million is the poorest country in the Americas with an annual per-capita income of $560. It ranks 146th out of 177 countries on the UNDP Human Development Index More than half the population lives on less than $1 a day and 78 per cent on less than $2. There is a high infant mortality rate and the prevalence of HIV among those between ages 15 and 49 is 2.2 per cent Haiti's infrastructure is close to total collapse and severe deforestation has left only two per cent of forest cover About 9,000 UN police and troops are stationed in the country to maintain order

Earlier, he had told The Miami Herald that thousands may have been killed in the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rocked the country on Tuesday afternoon, and issued an appeal for world assistance. The damage was centred in and around the capital Port-au-Prince, home to about 1.9 million people.

Figures for the number of dead remain murky as the government tries to assess the damage.

Speaking on CNN, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive has said he believed “well over 100,000” died, based on the number of buildings that have collapsed. The Haitian ambassador to the US, Raymond Joseph, estimated 100,000 people dead or missing.

The Haitian ambassador to the Organization of American States Wednesday said he refused to accept estimates by other Haitian officials that 100,000 people may have died in the Haitian earthquake.

“I want to be optimistic,” Duly Brutus said at a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) briefing about the Haitian crisis. “I refuse to accept that we have more than 30,000 dead.

Addressing the emerging photos of long lines of dead bodies in the streets of Haiti, PAHO deputy director Jon Andrus pleaded that there not be a rush to bury the dead too quickly before they are identified and families can be contacted.

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