Author Archives: Ramona Wadi

A glance at the Cuban missile crisis

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) plans for expansion play out on Russia’s borders, the question of sovereignty and defense could be recalled through the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962.

Cuba’s request for USSR protection from U.S. imperialist interventions was not unfounded. Only the year before, in April 1961, the U.S. had suffered a spectacular defeat at the Bay of Pigs, when the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-funded paramilitary operation to overthrow Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution was thwarted in less than 72 hours and 1,200 mercenaries were taken prisoner by the Cubans. Continue reading

Efforts at upholding oblivion over dictatorship crimes in Uruguay

The U.S.-backed Latin American dictatorships are still tarnishing their respective countries with the legacy of oblivion. Earlier last month, Uruguay’s “Relatives of the Disappeared” cautioned that President Luis Lacalle is “whitening the history of Juan Bordaberry’s dictatorship” by holding a meeting with the “Representatives of Political Prisoners” group who are claiming an infringement of liberty in terms of the prison sentences meted out to the dictatorship’s executioners. The meeting took place at the presidential residence. According to reports, Lacalle has not committed himself to upholding their concerns. Continue reading

Cubans will not forget U.S. treachery

Is the U.S. in a position to maintain the embargo upon the pretext of bringing democracy to Cuba with its record in destabilising secure states, even those upholding democracy?

Economic sanctions against Cuba were discussed in April 1960 by the U.S. government. If the U.S. found it impossible to counter the Cuban Revolution, a memorandum with the subject “The Decline and Fall of Castro” stated, economic hardships should be imposed on the island. “If such a policy as adopted, it should be the result of a positive decision which would call forth a line of action which, while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible, makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” Continue reading

Marti’s relevance to the Cuban revolution

Marti was an important prelude to Cuba’s ongoing tenacity to define its liberation according to revolutionary values, as opposed to colonial and imperial impositions.

On January 28, Cubans celebrated the 169th anniversary of Jose Marti’s birth—the Cuban poet and revolutionary upon whose values the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro was founded. In the aftermath of the attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953 when being interrogated by dictator Fulgencio Batista’s officers, Fidel described Marti as “the intellectual author of this revolution.” In 2010, Fidel had declared, “I can only bear witness to the way in which the heroic city [of Santiago de Cuba] fell in the hands of the Rebel Army on January 1st, 1959. Then, Marti’s ideas triumphed in our country!” Continue reading

Community’s response to Israel’s administrative detention should go beyond humanitarian grounds

The absence of a persistent strategy to counter Israel’s human rights violations and to hold the settler colonial state accountable is of detriment to the Palestinian people, who remain shackled to humanitarian agendas.

A seriously ill Palestinian teenage refugee boy, Amal Nakhleh, has brought Israel’s administrative detention system to the news headlines. Nakhleh, who is 17 years old and who suffers from a serious medical condition and who underwent an operation to remove a tumour from his ribcage prior to his detention by Israeli forces, has been held without charges in administrative detention since January 2021, and his latest extension was yet lengthened again this January until May 2022. Continue reading

The UN’s human rights failure

Will the UN assume responsibility for failing to protect civilians as governments waged war and plunder?

On the occasion of International Human Rights Day which was marked on December 10, the UN pledged to accelerate the implementation of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), without taking into consideration the various global inequalities which make generic implementation impossible. Continue reading

UNGA’s latest resolution illustrates the international community’s complicity with Israel’s colonial expansion

Yet another non-binding UN General Assembly has passed, granting Palestinians permanent sovereignty over their natural resources, even as Israel has absolute dominion over their territory. The draft resolution, titled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources,” is a perfect example of how the UN glosses over Israel’s colonial violence by refusing to take action, preferring to enact non-binding resolutions which do nothing to protect the Palestinian people’s political rights and their territory. Continue reading

Australia refuses to reveal additional proof of its role in Chile’s CIA-backed coup

Almost 50 years have passed since Pinochet took power, so what exactly is Australia afraid of?

The U.S. has declassified thousands of documents relating to its involvement in the ousting of Chile’s socialist President Salvador Allende and the installing of dictator Augusto Pinochet. Australia, on the other hand, continues to guard its classified documents on the pretext of security, drawing a discrepancy between its purported democratic principles and obstructing the public’s right to knowledge. As a country which welcomed Chileans fleeing the horrors of Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship, as well as harbouring Chilean agents—the most notable case being that of Adriana Rivas—Australia’s political and moral obligation should not be played down. Continue reading

State-backed violence against indigenous communities in Brazil contradicts plans for protection

It is only the indigenous communities who are clarifying the importance of their inclusion in political decision-making with regards to the environment.

The Indigenous Missionary Council’s (CIMI) annual report on violence against indigenous communities in Brazil in 2020 illustrates an expansion of human rights violations committed during Jair Bolsonaro’s second year of his presidency. Under the guise of the coronavirus pandemic, land exploitation continued while indigenous communities benefited from no state protection. Continue reading

Still no accountability from Israel over the 1956 massacre of Kafr Qasem

With Kafr Qasem, as well as with other massacres, Israel needs to set the record straight—it is a perpetrator, with intent, and with an entire political structure that has supported its ethnic cleansing for decades.

On the 65th anniversary of Israel’s brutal massacre on the village of Kafr Qasem, where 48 Palestinians were gunned down by border police, the colonial entity has still failed to formally acknowledge its responsibility for the killings. A bill presented at the Knesset by Arab Israeli MKs was once again voted down. The bill would have required educational instruction in Israeli schools about the massacre, as well as the publication of any classified documents. Continue reading

The prevalence of Chile’s right wing

Will the rewriting of Chile’s constitution be enough to veer the country’s trajectory away from the neoliberal experiment ushered in decades ago by the U.S.?

A year ago, Chileans voted to rewrite the dictatorship era constitution—the first step in building a more inclusive society since the democratic transition in the country which was plagued by vestiges of Augusto Pinochet’s legacy. In April this year, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera’s right-wing government suffered another loss as independent and opposition candidates gained the majority of seats to rewrite the constitution. This secured another victory away from the right-wing and the possibility that reforms would be blocked by the government’s candidates. Continue reading

The U.S. rejoining the UNHRC speaks volumes on human rights violations impunity

If, according to the U.S., Cuba does not deserve a seat at the UNHRC, what has the U.S. done to deserve it?

Much has been said about the Biden administration’s rejoining international institutions, after former U.S. President Donald Trump broke away from the standardised participation in international agreements and consensus. Notably, the international community singled out the U.S. under Trump for the so-called “deal of the century”, which veered away from the two-state paradigm that has steered international diplomacy on Palestine and Israel for decades. Continue reading

Violence against environmental activists escalates alongside political impunity

With nothing to hold governments or the UN accountable, protection remains elusive when juxtaposed against the reassurance of neoliberal profit.

For the second consecutive year, Latin America has been established to be the most dangerous region for environmental activists. According to a recent annual report by Global Witness titled “Last Life on Defence”, 227 environmental activists and indigenous leaders were killed in 2020, with three out of every four killings occurring in Latin America. Continue reading

Australia’s role in Chile confirmed in declassified documents

Proof of Australia’s involvement in Chile depicts the willing complicity in overthrowing a democratically-elected government to be replaced by a brutal dictatorship which tortured, killed and disappeared thousands of Chileans.

On the same day Chileans remembered the 48th anniversary of the U.S.-backed military coup which ousted President Salvador Allende, the National Security Archives (NSA) published heavily redacted documents which prove Australia’s involvement in the coup, at the formal request of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Continue reading

Pinochet’s Caravan of Death and its significance for Chilean memory

Chile’s September 11, in 1973, brought a brutal end to Salvador Allende’s socialist rule. In its wake, violence permeated Chilean society, through the U.S.-backed military coup which was to provide gruesome inspiration for the later regional systematic surveillance and elimination of socialists and communists known as Operation Condor, in which several Latin American countries were involved. Continue reading

Australia still favours profit over aboriginal heritage

In May last year, the giant mining company Rio Tinto made headline news after blasting the Aboriginal sacred site Jukaan Gorge in Pilbara, in its expansion of its iron ore mine. The Australian government’s official consent to the destruction was given to Rio Tinto in 2013 and despite historical evidence being uncovered a year later, including artefacts and links to ancestral heritage, no renegotiation was made, because the Aboriginal Heritage Act does not allow for reconsideration. Continue reading

Away from non-binding UNGA resolutions, the EU follows the U.S. narrative on Cuba

If the EU truly prized democracy, it would lobby for an end to the illegal blockade and U.S. interference.

Why does the U.S. illegal blockade on Cuba conveniently disappear from the EU’s narrative in the context of the protests against shortages in the country, and in which dissidents have been funded by the U.S.? Continue reading

Who will hold the U.S. accountable over Cuba?

An intentionally misinformative outreach is what the U.S. government is relying on to justify its punitive measures on Cuba

Anyone who believed the departure of former U.S. President Donald Trump would constitute a return to more effective diplomacy has been grievously mistaken. The Biden Administration is not even close to replicating the slightest approach towards Cuba which former U.S. President Barack Obama moved towards, following the release of the Cuban Five. On the contrary, not only has U.S. President Joe Biden not reversed Trump’s policies, but extended them to include further punitive measures. It is becoming clear that the U.S. was only biding its time to declare openly aggressive policies against Cuba. Continue reading

Biden’s policy on Cuba reveals itself

The assumption that military intervention would fix Cuba only illustrates how the interests of the Miami dissidents are aligned with those of the U.S.

As protests erupted in Cuba over shortages of basic necessities, the decades-long illegal U.S. blockade on Cuba was no longer a part of mainstream media narratives. In 2020, media focus was on the Cuban contribution to the fight against Covid19 and how, despite the blockade, Cuba had still managed its internationalist approach, while manufacturing its own vaccines. For a brief period, talk about lifting the illegal blockade on Cuba was also part of the international narrative, even as the medical brigades were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Continue reading

Rumsfeld’s legacy of torture in U.S. imperialist history

Accolades may continue to pour in for Rumsfeld, but history will continue to judge the ravages of U.S. imperialist violence.

Fellow U.S. war criminals have eulogized the former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld upon news of his death. “A faithful steward of our armed forces,” former U.S. President George W Bush declared. “A period that brought unprecedented challenges to our country and to our military also brought out the best qualities in Secretary Rumsfeld.” Tell that to the tortured, executed and displaced Iraqis tortured upon Rumsfeld’s orders, in line with the “War on Terror” agenda post September 11. Continue reading

The UN fails Cuba, again

The UN wants Cuba’s freedom to occur only on U.S. terms—through foreign intervention and against the will of the Cuban people. Continue reading

Biden is on the same page as Trump in maintaining an anti-Cuba stance

U.S. President Joe Biden has given every indication so far that its policies on Cuba will not veer away from those of the Trump administration. In March this year, U.S. officials told Reuters that Cuba is not a top foreign policy item for Biden. The statement was left open to interpretation until now, when the current U.S. administration decided to retain Cuba on the unilateral and defaming U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list. The conditions for removal are very much based on how much U.S. influence the listed country will allow – in other words, becoming a U.S. accomplice in foreign policy is a must. Continue reading

Chile’s new constitution spells a defeat for neoliberalism and the right wing

The Chilean right-wing government has been given yet another resounding rejection by the people, as the elections for a body to write the country’s new constitution has veered strongly towards independent and left-wing candidates. Only 38 candidates from the right-wing coalition “Vamos por Chile” were elected. The rest of the body is composed of 25 candidates from the centre-left coalition Lista del Apruebo, 27 candidates from the left-wing coalition Apruebo Dignidad, 48 independent candidates and 17 indigenous representatives. Continue reading

The United States’ extensive knowledge of the 1976 planned military coup in Argentina

While the released documents portray the U.S. as having knowledge of the coup as opposed to intervening overtly or covertly, the aftermath shows U.S. involvement was considerable.

Last March, on the 45th anniversary of Argentina’s descent into dictatorship, the National Security Archive posted a selection of declassified documents revealing the U.S. knowledge of the military coup in the country in 1976. A month before the government of Isabel Peron was toppled by the military, the U.S. had already informed the coup plotters that it would recognise the new government. Indications of a possible coup in Argentina had reached the U.S. as early as 1975. Continue reading