Haitians have repeatedly
witnessed how Washington carries out “regime change” in the past
two decades. In the lead-up and aftermath of the 1991 and 2004
coups, we saw how the U.S. concocted organizations like the
Democratic Convergence and Group of 184 through the National
Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA). U.S. subversion has succeeded twice in Haiti, but
it has failed miserably dozens of times in our neighbor Cuba.
Let’s look at the most recent destabilization campaign they are
cooking up for our Cuban brothers and sisters.
The U.S. government has been
trying to snuff out the Cuban revolution for over 50 years.
Through multiple attacks by the CIA, it has tried everything,
but the Cuban revolution continues on its socialist path, benefitting not only the Cuban people but other peoples of the
world – with doctors, soldiers, and technicians – thanks to
Cuba’s revolutionary internationalism.
Now, the U.S. is trying to take
advantage of popular struggles, like those in the Arab world,
against the very governments which it used to support. These
struggles are often led by the large, educated young generation
of 15 to 30-year-olds. Using this model, the U.S. wants to
prepare Cuba’s youth for a counter-revolution. By working
through a Cuban-American organization called “Roots of Hope”
– "Raíces de Esperanza" in Spanish – U.S. officials dream
of organizing a "Cuban spring."
Roots of Hope was
launched in 2003 by a group of idealistic young Cuban-Americans.
Their website says: "We are a network of more than 3,000
students and young professionals across the U.S. and abroad
focused on empowering Cuban youth. We seek to inspire young
people to care about Cuba, think outside the box and proactively
support our young counterparts on the island through innovative
means. In 2003, we were founded by college students as an
association between the Georgetown and Harvard Cuban American
student groups. Today, we encompass a dynamic and diverse group
of young servant leaders throughout the U.S. with students at
more than 55 universities and young professionals in Boston, New
York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. We hope
to make a positive impact on Cuba."
One of the main projects of
Roots of Hope is to send cellphones to Cuban youth to “help
them connect with each other.” It has also established a
fund to promote travel to Cuba by young Cuban-Americans.
According to its leaders, the
organization is apolitical, with members having very different
views on U.S. policy toward Cuba. Since its founding in 2003,
Roots of Hope has sponsored academic forums at Harvard,
Georgetown, Princeton, Duke and the University of Pennsylvania,
through a network of over 2,000 students, young professionals
and graduates, representing more than 87 schools and 28
They define their mission as "empowering
youth to become authors of their own future."
Their vision: "A day when Cuban youth
are empowered with the necessary skills and opportunities to
make a successful future for themselves and their families in
Cuba. A day when youth on the island can freely participate in
open exchanges about their ideas, hopes, dreams, and realities.
A day when Cuban youth can freely say, think, feel, or do what
they want and not what they're told – without repression. When
Cuban youth in and outside of the island can be reunited."
Is this what is called
apolitical? Isn’t the political message loud, clear and
One of the founders of Roots
of Hope is Felice Gorordo. He is a White House employee in
the White House Fellows program. As the White House’s website
“Founded in 1964, the White House
Fellows program is one of America's most prestigious programs
for leadership and public service. White House Fellowships offer
exceptional young men and women first-hand experience working at
the highest levels of the federal government.”
Gorordo works in the Office of
Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs at the White
House. He also worked with the George W. Bush administration’s
Cuba Transition Coordinator, Caleb McCarry, who was responsible
for defending U.S. interests in Cuba and promoting the Cuban
Another founding member of
Roots of Hope is Tony Jimenez. He said the group is
nonpartisan, that the organization works hard to stay above the
political fray regarding Cuba.
However, Roots of Hope
is an organization of the reactionary right, supported by the
Cuban Democratic Directorate, and the Cuban American
Legislators, two virulently anti-Cuban-Revolution
organizations based in Florida.
So here we have an organization
which purports to not support or endorse any political group or
candidate, and to be apolitical. Is it due to this complete lie
that many young people in the United States have innocently
joined it, unaware of the truth? This organization, which claims
to work for the unity of young Cubans, creating a link between
young people in Cuba and the United States, is a rising force
which the enemies of the Cuban revolution have concocted to
destabilize Cuba. Its real role is to assist the struggle of
U.S. imperialism against Cuba. They aim to, as their website
says to “use new media to promote positive social change in
the U.S. and Cuba.” Of course, Roots of Hope did not
choose other ways to help young Cubans, like, say, Pastors for
Peace, which brought busloads of medicine and medical equipment.
Instead, Roots of Hope sends Cuba cellular telephones so
it can try to corrupt young people with counter-revolutionary
text messages and voice mails.
How can this organization,
which claims to be apolitical, be linked to and working in
solidarity with the infamous “Ladies in White” (Las Damas de
Blanco) and support the arch-reactionary blogger Yoani Sánchez.
Who’s fooling whom?
In fact, the work of Roots
of Hope is not much different from that done by the
accomplished international terrorist Orlando Bosch Avila and his
criminal organization, of which the terrorist Luis Posada
Carriles is an influential member. On their site, Roots of
Hope even sends a solidarity message to the Ladies in
White, employed by the CIA: "You sent a strong message of
support to those who struggle for human rights and nonviolent
change in Cuba. With this momentum, together let’s take the next
steps to make an impact on the island and empower those who
hunger for change in Cuba!"
And who funds Roots of Hope?
In addition to the U.S. government, Roots of Hope is
sponsored by Bacardi Rum, Liberty Power, Hispanic Magazine,
Navarro Discount Pharmacy, and a host of other
On Sep. 21, a Haïti Liberté
reporter attended a fundraising activity organized at the Chelsea Art
Museum in Manhattan for Roots of Hope and another
organization called "100 Cameras." At the event, one of
the organizers clearly stated that, in Cuba, people are already
wearing Roots of Hope T-shirts, and they are clear about
the organization’s counter-revolutionary goal.
Roots of Hope also
attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
which took place on Sep. 23 in Orlando, Florida. During this
conference, Roots of Hope was part of a panel entitled "Paralyzed
by communism: Freedom of expression in Cuba."
The organization "100
Cameras" is no different that its sister, Roots of Hope,
and this explains why the two groups closely work and fundraise
together. We need not speculate, we need only visit the "100
Cameras" website to understand their mission and purpose.
Here is what Francine Angela Bullock, their Public Relations
Director, writes there:
"Why Cuba? ... The island
remains the world’s longest lasting socialist government. And
right now, Cubans face limited possibilities restricted by their
own government. And these limitations tend to create a climate
of fear that discourages creativity, innovation, and
entrepreneurship... We knew that during this time of significant
political change between Cuba and other parts of the world, we
could provide the opportunity to see Cuba through the eyes of a
child... Without any political agenda. It would be the
children’s raw perspective that would raise awareness and funds!
We knew that if 100cameras had the opportunity to empower these
children, then we could empower the grassroots efforts for
positive social change within their communities. And ultimately,
even the entire island... And we asked ourselves instead, “Why
NOT Cuba?” Besides, a project like this has never been
successfully done before within Cuba... Help us empower the
Cuban youth through the voice of photography."
In short, these two
organizations – Roots of Hope and 100 Cameras –
are trying to use technology to promote social conflicts,
especially in Cuba, since they failed to do so by acts of
terrorism and above all by the economic blockade. Imperialism is
coopting the techniques pioneered by the popular uprisings
against their client regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.
For sure, the U.S. government
will continue its efforts to destabilize the Cuban socialist
system, even though their attempts to destroy the Cuban
Revolution have always failed. Now they are working at the base,
going to young people, even children, in an effort to corrupt
them to create a new generation of men and women who can become
imperialism’s agents and try to return Cuba to being the U.S.’s
Fortunately, the Cuban people are organized, conscious, and
alert. Let us Haitians continue to show our solidarity with the
Cuban people, the same way Cuba has always provided solidarity