The Last Gasps Of US Empire
Above: The U.S. contingent of the 14th May Day Brigade.
Note: The following is the statement by the U.S. contingent of the 14 th May Day Brigade at the International Meeting of Solidarity at the Convention Center in Havana City, Cuba on May 2, 2019 .
Beloved people of Cuba, we bring you heartfelt greetings, in spite of residing inside the belly of the beast that is The Empire; United States Imperialism. It is humbling for us, the U.S. delegation of the 14 th May Day International Brigade in Solidarity with Cuba, to be invited to address the people of Cuba after what has been a little more than one week since leaders of The Empire declared the intent to intensify their enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine. This intensification in relation to Cuba, through tightened restrictions of trade and travel also means a violation of our human rights; of our rights to travel freely in the world to promote international cooperation. We must reject these violations on the basis that it means punishment for both the beloved people of Cuba and for ourselves.
We must be clear, that this declaration by the US government is not a testament to its strength and superiority. It is a consequence of an empire approaching its final breath.
These are acts of desperation by a system that Dr. Martin Luther King referred to as a demonic suction tube, with a quest to consume the diminishing sources of power and wealth. The Empire’s position in the world is being challenged economically and politically. During the last 60 years of the Unites States policy to continue its inhumane, multifaceted, and protracted war against Cuba and the continued occupation of Cuba’s territory in Guantanamo, we inside the belly have experienced a counterpart repression of our resistance; The resistance by the working class against the exploitation of our labor, by Indigenous American peoples and U.S. African descendants against white supremacy and police terror; by the LGBTQ people and allies against gender and sexual violence and more.
As those residing inside the belly of what is the central enemy of Cuba’s right to self- determination, we realize this makes what we say here this morning to be of a particular significance. We want to make it clear that while we live inside The Empire, as workers, as settler colonized people, as refugees and migrants, we also live inside it as human beings with interests diametrically opposed to it; we are not of it.
These last gasps of The Empire depend on maintaining our alienation, exploitation, oppression and genocide; while constantly inducing us with an ideological delusion that keeps us divided, individualistic and unable to build an alternative society.
A surface historical comparison between the U.S. and Cuba alone over the last 60 years reveals the eminent demise of The Empire and its desperate respiration.
Several years after Cuba celebrated its first military defeat of U.S. Imperialism with the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion, The Empire’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (The FBI), began implementing the historic Counter Intelligence Program, code named COINTELPRO to level a scourge of infiltrations, assassinations, and political imprisonments against our American Indian Movement, Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, and many others. It continues today with the FBI’s new designation of Black Identity Extremists, a preposterous justification to target Black activists. Furthermore the government has passed legislation, the Blue Lives Matter bill which makes an assault on a police officer a federal hate crime, while those same officers are allowed to murder with impunity.
We would be remiss if we did not pause here to express gratitude to Cuba for your unconditional support in those struggles. We are proud to say the legacy of those struggle lives on through numerous organizations and resistance movements active today.
As the CIA initiated its operation to manufacture an internal opposition against Cuba during the late 1970s into the 1980s, those of us inside of The Empire were subjected to a so-called “War on Drugs” which exploded into “mass incarceration” and continues to have a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown people. One well known and revolutionary response to this has been prisoner uprisings and strikes leading to activists inside and outside of prison creating the prison abolitionist movement.
The criminal and immoral blockade against Cuba has been updated through the current provocations of the Trump administration to implement Title III of the Helms-Burton Act. On another hand from the 1990s up to 2003 the U.S. has twice invaded Iraq using its domestic working class as cannon fodder but also counter-intuitively ending the willingness of that class to consent anymore to its imperialist wars. However U.S. militarization of the world is trying to adapt through its U.S. Command Centers around the world, such as AFRICOM in Africa that insists on its hegemony through using the militaries of others countries as proxies.
We are clear that the orchestrated attempted coup in Venezuela a few days ago and the continued bellicose threats by the Trump administration against that sovereign nation are in part to shackle Venezuela as a component of their plan to get at Cuba. We are proud to report that activists in Washington DC are holding down the Venezuelan Embassy in defense of the Bolivarian revolution.
While locked in steps with our Cuban compañeros, insisting until victory, for the freedom of “Los Cincos”(The Cuban 5), neo-liberal pursuits of The Empire had to contend with the resistance of indigenous peoples within the U.S. border as thousands went to Standing Rock, North Dakota in solidarity with native peoples to demand the rights to their land and water. Their Ethnic family outside of U.S. borders, referred to as Latino immigrants have heightened the contradictions of the so-called Free Trade agreements by challenging the borders of settler colonialism.
As a result of the increasing fracturing of The Empire’s economic sustainability and the demand for a livable wage, the United States has seen the organized resistance of teachers, hotel workers, and various other unions.
As The Empire takes its last gasp, these movements must continue to coalesce in a protracted and strategic way in order to create radical and fundamental transformation.
This transformation will be tied to the obliteration of the Cuban blockade and pave a way forward for unprecedented unification and collaboration between Cuba and the people of the United States. Cuba sets an example for ways to solve what we face in the U.S.
As those residing and repressed inside the belly of The Empire, we stand in unconditional solidarity as those respecting the right of self-determination of all peoples of the world. We resist capitalism, white supremacy, imperialism, neo-colonialism; settler colonialism, Zionism, patriarchy, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, islamophobia and all the assaults on spiritual and religious freedom, anti-Semitism, ableism and institutionalized racism. We understand that none of us can be free until we are all free.
Viva la Revolución Cubanos!