27 November 2007

Cuban War Games

With the concept that preparing for war is a way of avoiding it, Cuba is immersed in military exercise ‘Moncada 2007’ directed towards gearing up and perfecting the country’s defence mechanism. Regular troops, territorial militias and a part of the population together with tanks, planes and helicopters (recently participated) in the five-day manoeuvres in the western and central regions of the island.

This war simulation will be further carried out in the western region which is still recovering from the passing of the tropical storm, Noel, which left one dead and damages of almost $ 500 million, according to official sources. Analysts consider that the military manoeuvres are a message to the United States government to abstain from launching an invasion to overthrow the Socialist government of Cuba.

The government considers that the military exercises tweak the cohesion and actions of the diverse units to confront any enemy. The authorities claim that Moncada 2007 is an opportunity to exhibit new combat technologies and to check the state of the reserve forces, the militias, transportation, services, material resources and economic organisations. The concept of the manoeuvres was ‘war of all the people’ to face any external aggression against Cuba, the authorities said. Cuba faces an ever-growing hostility on the part of its political and ideological enemy, the United States, 150 km north of the island.

In 1961, Cuba repelled an invasion blessed by the CIA at Bay of Pigs. Since then, the Cubans never rule out the danger of another military attack from the United States that increased in 1980 with the coming to power of President Ronald Reagan. In 1980, Cuba came up with a large-scale military manoeuvre, Bastion, which improved on the concept of national defence, linking together the armed forces and society. Bastion-1980 was followed by ones in 1983, 1986 and 2004, which had as its principal theme the country moving into a war time situation and actions to confront a military blockade, systematic wearing down and invasion by the enemy.

In Bastion-2004, the largest manoeuvre realised in the island for 20 years, almost four million people participated apart from 1,200 military order and command centres, according to official data. Those followed the announcement of the Bush plan to intensify hostility against Cuba and which contemplated an armed aggression, according to the island authorities. In October President Bush spoke of trying to “liberate” the island and asked Cuban officials to rise up against Fidel Castro who was convalescing from an intestinal operation. The interim head of state, Raul Castro, first vice-president and defence minister, considered Bush’s words as an ‘invocation’ to violence. Raul Castro has reiterated that if the United States invaded Cuba it would find a ‘terrible nest of wasps’ which would increase troop casualties which the American public opinion would reject.
Abridged. Original report by Xinhua. Published on November 23, 2007 in Argenpress Link:

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