Black Woman Speaking at a podium

May 6, 2022 Gloria Verdieu

Presentation on behalf of the Socialist Unity Party and Women In Struggle at VII International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases in Guantanamo, Cuba, May 4.

Since the last international seminar in 2019, Cuba has achieved much – the implementation of a vaccination program that benefited not only the Cuban population, but those most in need of vaccines and health care around the world, by sending doctors and medicine abroad. 

In spite of a coup supported by the U.S. in 2009, and the subsequent support of dictators loyal to the U.S. government, the Honduran people were able to overcome the violence and terrorism and courageously build a movement capable of electing a socialist and anti-imperialist woman, Xiomara Castro. After becoming president, Castro immediately canceled the electric bills for 1 million people suffering from poverty created by the corruption of the former president. 

Other targets of U.S. imperialism like Bolivia and Venezuela have successfully maintained their sovereignty in spite of the illegal and devastating sanctions by the U.S. and its complicit imperialist allies in Europe, Canada, Australia and Israel.

Now, what have the U.S. rulers done in that time? Well, they continue to flounder in their attempts at containing the coronavirus due to their dependence on the market, rather than a more democratic and centralized approach in line with the international community. They contributed too little too late to combating the unequal access to vaccines suffered by developing countries, especially on the continent of Africa. 

The U.S. government is now aggravating the crisis by taking vital resources needed to combat a further spread of the virus for the purpose of sending $33 billion more to fund a proxy war in Ukraine, including arming Nazi military regiments there, and extending NATO’S hunger for oil profits and regime change – targeting Russia and China.

Regime change in Ukraine

Starting in 2004, the U.S. spent over $22.4 billion for regime change in Ukraine. Washington orchestrated and funded a coup in 2014 with billions of dollars in weapons, training and public relations from the National Endowment for Democracy. Much of that funding and training went to self-proclaimed fascist and white supremacist organizations, some of whom carry the symbols of Nazis they admire. They even celebrate the collaboration of those in Ukraine who supported Nazi genocide against Jewish people in World War II. 

As Obama sold out the people of Africa with the further implementation of AFRICOM, so has Ukrainian President Zelensky with his collaboration and promotion of Nazism – as when he recently introduced a member of the Azov Battalion to the Greek Parliament, and appointed self-proclaimed Nazis to political office, like the current governor of Odessa.

These are the same forces that have murdered and terrorised the people of Lugansk and Donetsk in the Donbass region for eight years, causing the deaths of 14,000 people. It was the Azov Battalion and similar forces, now an official part of the Ukrainian military, that were primarily responsible for those deaths and the increased genocide. It was only curbed when the Donbass people’s request for assistance to stop the humanitarian crisis was met by Russian military intervention. 

We believe that the people of Lugansk and Donetsk, who are rarely mentioned, even by so-called anti-imperialists in the anti-war movement, had every right to ask for assistance to save the lives of their children. And we believe that the greatest threat to humanity today is the continued expansion of NATO, willing to use nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, as the U.S. did when it bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 80,000 civilians in seconds, then tens of thousands more slowly and painfully. 

We believe that Russia has every right to defend itself in not allowing another NATO member state on its borders, especially one with a military led by Nazi regiments that could be put in possession of nuclear arms.

We hear much in the Pentagon’s propaganda machine – the Western corporate media – about the targeting of civilians by Russia. Much of this has been proven false, and even contradicted by Pentagon advisers. The media’s faith in the U.S. State Department information comes in spite of the knowledge that contradictory news is being suppressed in Ukraine. Three television stations were closed for not reporting coverage favorable to the Ukrainian government. 

Western media help fascists

Much information came out in Ukraine exposing the Azov Battalion when it took over hospitals, schools and apartment buildings in Mariupol. The U.S. media continued the narrative of attacks on civilian buildings and not Azov outposts. Doctored and mislabeled videos and photos were prevalent during the beginning of the Russian intervention, even showing Israeli bombings and Palestinian resistance as “evidence” of Russian brutality and Ukrainian resistance. 

This follows a long history of U.S. corporate media misinformation to push war – from the sinking of the Lusitania to the Gulf of Tonkin incident to “weapons of mass destruction.” The corporate media were also willing accomplices in the destruction of Libya and Syria, using blatant lies and unchecked information from the U.S. State Department.

The bombing by Nazi-led forces of the center of the city of Donetsk, killing over 20 civilians waiting at an ATM machine, was verified by various organizations in Donetsk, media outlets and independent journalists in the Donbass region. But you never saw that report because the TV reporters and news publications in Ukraine that report those types of stories have been closed down. Those who would have protested and reported this missile attack on civilians in Donetsk, like Alexander Matyushenko from the Levitsa association in Dnipropetrovsk (Dnipro), or the 37 journalists detained in early March, have been jailed. 

In Kiev, arrests began even earlier. On Feb. 27, brothers Mikhail Kononovich and Aleksandr Kononovich, leaders of the Ukrainian Communist Youth, members of the World Federation of Democratic Youth and ethnic Belarusians, were seized and imprisoned along with members of other organizations. 

As I speak, one of our Socialist Unity Party members is traveling in Russia and Donbass, gathering more information on the real situation.

NATO expansion, NATO wars

Since 1990, when the Soviet Union unilaterally disbanded the Warsaw Pact military alliance, NATO has expanded from 17 to 30 member states. In 1999, U.S.-led NATO began raining bombs on the people of Yugoslavia, bombing 10,000 homes and killing thousands of people, including three journalists at the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. 

Despite the end of the alleged threat from the Warsaw Pact, the belligerence continued with the unfathomable killing of 500,000 children in Iraq by the U.S. But this is just the tip of the iceberg of victims of U.S. and NATO wars, including the millions killed in Vietnam, Korea, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen. Now slavery exists in Libya, because of the war waged by the Obama administration and NATO – a reality that undoubtedly is destroying the lives of children. 

In Yemen, U.S. assistance to the war led by Saudi Arabia is causing the starvation of millions of children, according to United Nations estimates. Like Trump and Obama, the Biden administration continues the endless wars abroad and the racist wars by police and ICE against people in the U.S., including immigrants, already victimized by U.S. economic wars against their countries, targeted by drones and Border Patrol on the U.S. borders.

The latest U.S.-NATO proxy war, with the corporate media acting as its propaganda arm, carries the danger of igniting World War III, and will do nothing but exacerbate the domestic and international crises of global warming, critical lack of health care, food insecurity and starvation – crises most affecting children.

Capitalism an open wound

Capitalism in the U.S. is exposed like an open wound. Its proclivity towards war is unacceptable, and today we face an unprecedented challenge to stop a possible world war. 

We understand that the crisis of capitalism forces imperialist countries to desperately further siphon the surplus value created by working people and either steal or destroy the productive capacity of lesser capitalist powers like Russia. Russia’s GDP is smaller than that of South Korea, with an almost neocolonial economy dependent on the exchange of raw materials – not the export of capital – to survive. 

That’s an important distinction. It explains why Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe and other targets of U.S. imperialism would suffer most if the U.S.-led NATO forces are successful in this war – not to mention the threat of another NATO member state on the border of Russia, this time potentially with nuclear weapons controlled by a Nazi-led military.

Our historic mission right now is to expose how U.S. imperialism’s escalation of its proxy war in Ukraine exacerbates the crisis of workers and oppressed communities at home and worldwide.

We must highlight the fact that the U.S.-NATO proxy war in Ukraine is an extension of the war against us, so that our working class can understand the source and solution to their problem, and begin dismantling the most dangerous threat to humanity today – U.S. imperialism.


By US-Cuba Normalization Committee

Organizing Committee, International and Nationwide Conference for the Normalization of US-Cuba Relations.