America and its hypocritical foreign policy on Cuba and Saudi Arabia


S Ramachandaran Sundarajan

On Monday, the 21 march 2016, the American President landed in Cuba, 88 years after a former American President Calvin Coolidge visited Cuba in 1928. Rains invited him. He was roaming around Havana Old town with his family just like any other traveler would do in any other foreign country.

The next morning, on Tuesday 22 march 2016, American President Obama was addressing an audience at Old Havana.

At the same date, around 8:30 a.m., local time in Brussels in Belgium, another sort of rain poured down on unsuspecting innocent people.

Bombs, RDX, smoke and deaths, rained. It was reported that as a water pipeline was burst in the blast, water with blood flooded the Airport floors.

Going back in time, the story of Cuba has been that of economic and social sanctions by US from the year 1960 after the Batista regime was deposed by the Cuban Revolution. It has been a revenge for overthrowing the Batista government by Fidel Castro led revolution.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the embargo costs the U.S. economy $1.2 billion per year in lost sales and exports, while the Cuban government estimates that the embargo costs the island itself $685 million annually.

The UN General Assembly has, since 1992, passed resolutions every year condemning the embargo and declaring it to be in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

Travelling in space and time, in 1932 “the Arab Saudi Kingdom” was formed. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. By 1976, Saudi Arabia had become the largest oil producer in the world.

In 1980s, Saudi Arabia spent $25 billion in support of Saddam Hussein in the Iran–Iraq War.  Osama bin Laden was a Saudi national, until stripped of his nationality in 1994. 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in  9/11  attacks on New York were Saudi nationals.

In order to protect the house of Khalifa, the monarchs of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain by sending military troops to quell the uprising of Bahraini people in 2011.

Saudi Arabia is openly supporting the anti- Syrian government forces that includes al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front and Salafi coalition. ISIS is ‘separately’ fighting Syrian government.

Saudi Arabia practices Wahhabism. Wahhabism has been accused of being “a source of global terrorism”, inspiring the ideology of the Islamic State. Within Saudi Arabia, the Wahhabi ulama maintained their hold on religious law courts, presided over Islamic universities, and public school system which gave students “a heavy dose of religious instruction.

Wahhabism attained “preeminent position of strength in the global expression of Islam.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women from driving. Royal decrees are the other main source of law; Capital and  physical punishments imposed by Saudi courts includes  beheading, stoning to-death, amputation, crucifixion and lashing.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch condemn both the Saudi criminal justice system and its severe punishments. There are no formal trials in Saudi Arabia and courts observe few formalities.

In spite of these ‘human rights’ record, absence of democracy and authoritarian rule, Saudi Arabia is the most favoured country not only by US but also many western countries. The lifeline provider for ISIS is Saudi Arabia overtly and covertly and any right thinking person would say that economic blockade of that country- in stead of Cuba- would improve ‘human rights record and democracy’ and further choke the funding of ISIS.

On the contrary, US and US-led western country fervently supported the country.

On the contrary, Cuba has been under economic and social sanctions by US from the year 1960.

Now, after 50 years of blockade led by US, Cuba is a stable, secular, progressive country giving the basic and good education, Health care not only to people of Cuba but also to the people of the world wherever the medical assistance is required.

Historically, Cuba has made significant contributions to world health since the 19th century. Today, Cuba has universal health care and Primary care is available throughout the island and infant and maternal mortality rates compare favourably with those in developed nations.

According to the World Health Organisation, Cuba is “known the world over for its ability to train excellent doctors and nurses who can then go out to help other countries in need”.

As of September 2014 there are around 50,000 Cuban-trained health care workers aiding 66 nations. Cuban physicians have played a leading role in combating the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa .

According to the UN, the life expectancy in Cuba is 78.3 years and ahead of the United States. Infant mortality in Cuba declined from 32 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 1957, to 5.13 per 1,000 live births now.
In 2015, it became the first country to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, a milestone hailed by the World Health Organization as “one of the greatest public health achievements possible”.

This is the tale of two countries and how they are being treated by US and other western countries. One in spite of suffering economic blockade rising internally and internationally and ‘exporting’ Healthcare to more than 40 countries and another one today came to the level of destruction of the wealth and well-being of whole universe in spite of abundance of wealth.

A tiny country of 1 billion plus population versus mighty US. One representing world hegemony, war, disaster and another which made the US to knock at its doors and seek friendship.

The author is a lawyer and has also done diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication. Views expressed here are the author’s own and doesn’t subscribe to them


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