"Tracer rounds glowed red against the Caribbean Sea as gunfire pattered the water and struck a floating metal target simulating a boat. Mortar shells exploded with thundering force, sending up puffs of smoke."
No, it's not Operation Liberate Cuba, not yet anyways. It's part of the routine training at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base for the 1,200 soldiers stationed there guarding the several hundred suspected al-Quaeda and Taliban members. The funny thing about these exercises is that even the soldiers on the base admit there's almost no chance of terrorists trying to break in and rescue their buddies, even less chance that a prisoner would try to escape. So why play war games on the tiny island?
If you guessed that this is a new, sophisticated way for the US to further humiliate Castro and the Cubans, you win. The US already occupies the island under an antiquated 1903 lease treaty which the Cuban government doesn't acknowledge. Since 9/11 they've taken it up two notches--first by building the illegal prison center on Cuban territory, and then by holding military exercises in order to train for a non-existent threat.
It's all part of the new propaganda attacks and posturing against the Castro regime, and while Cuba may be safe during this election year, (maybe), if Bush gets re-elected, Cuba would logically be one of the next victims of "American liberation."
Just in the last few months the Bush regime has expelled a Cuban diplomat from Washington, criticized Venezuala and Hugo Chavez for associating with Castro, and continued making plans for "bringing democracy" to Cuba. Part of the effort involves using words like "refugee crisis" and "famine" to describe Cuba after Castro dies, which may be soon. These words paint a picture for the public, and make it easier for them to understand "American intervention." Cuba may be in need of humanitarian aid if Castro dies or loses power, and there's a civil conflict there, but the whole world is cautious right now about any moves America might make in a foreign country, especially if that country has been an enemy for four decades.
There's a senate race in Florida for Bob Graham's vacated seat between two Cuban-Americans and one other guy. The other guy is calling for the invasion of Cuba to get Castro, and I imagine the two Cuban-Americans in the race are not exactly pro-Castro.
The more I think about the "Miami model" used at the FTAA protests, the more it seems like this was a message both to Castro and to Cuban-Americans. To Castro it said: "Make no mistake, Bush is one tough mother____. Not only is he cracking down on non-aligned nations, he's cracking the heads of Americans who dare oppose him." To Cuban-Americans this same message may be impressive and inspiring. They finally see a man stronger than Fidel, capable of slaying Fidel with a single blow and one hand tied behind his back. This is simplistic, but I'm only guessing at the ideas behind the tremendous show of force in Miami.
Take all this together and it does not bode well for Cuba, whether Castro's around or not. In a Bush second term, Cubans stand to suffer as much as any other small country, perhaps as punishment for past transgressions, in other words, score-settling. South Florida will become more of a right-wing fiefdom, a seperate city-state, dedicated to acquiring the ancestral homeland. Bush will claim that Cuba rightfully belongs to Florida, that it floated away in violation of UN sanctions. Anything will do.
The inevitable confrontation between Bush and Castro promises to be a real slugfest. A battle between two revolutionaries. On the one hand, Castro and his unique brand of Communism which never really worked out. On the other, Bush and his cutting-edge social-Darwinism that actually predates fascism. If Castro is the last living symbol of Communism's failures, Bush is the resurrector of all those imperial dynasties, all those czars and emperors that crumbled shortly after August 1914.
Yes, Bush is pre-Nazi.
So that's my new "connect the dots" theory in regard to Cuba, and it all hinges on whether or not Bush gets re-elected.
Guantanamo Bay military exercises:
The Cuban Five is an interesting thing I heard about the other night when I saw Noam Chomsky on tv. They infiltrated an anti-Castro terror cell in south Florida and gave the information to the FBI who investigated and then decided to arrest the men who infiltrated the group. It happened around 9/11 though, so not that much of a surprise.