The member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, accused the U.S. Government of being directly involved and of having serious responsibility in the incidents that occurred in our country on July 11th.
The member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, accused the U.S. government of being directly involved and of bearing serious responsibility for the incidents that took place in our country on July 11.
During a press conference, convened this Tuesday, the Cuban Foreign Minister presented evidence of this statement and warned that northern nation that it will be responsible for the consequences if it persists in the policy of strangulation against our country, and that its irresponsible conduct can have serious consequences that damage the interest of both countries.
Rodríguez Parrilla denounced that the controversial hashtag #SOSCuba did not emerge in the Greater of the Antilles, but was launched last June, in New York, to try to hinder the pronouncement of the United Nations General Assembly against the blockade. He specified that this operation utilizes millions of dollars in resources, and technological laboratories and platforms with funds from the U.S. Government.
He stressed that, in its inception, the scope of this hashtag was insignificant, “the campaign was disarticulated when it was crushed by an international clamor, by the predominance in networks of the world will to proclaim the lifting of the blockade”.
He explained that the call to protest at the United Nations and the launching of the campaign were made by the US company ProActivo Miami Incorporations, which coincidentally received the certificate of validity to receive state funds from the Florida Department of State on June 15, 2021.
For this reason, the head of Cuban diplomacy accused the Republican Government of Florida of financing these destabilizing actions, and presented the journalists in attendance with a copy of this certification.
He added that this instrumental company works through the coordination of a group of companies, with high technology that mobilizes, finances and technologically sustains a limited but influential group in Florida and in the virtual world, as well as a handful of media that controls the flow of data, always with manipulative nuances.
Rodriguez Parrilla explained that they accomplish this through numerous illegalities, violating the codes of the very U.S. platforms that host them, and managing the narrative to deceive the naïve who do not have the capacity to validate that information. “They take advantage of naivety and youth, of the emotional empathy with which people access networks,” he stressed.
He asserted that that small group of media, which was articulated in a significant way during the Donald Trump’s campaign in Florida, receives federal and state funds and manages the discourse on digital networks against our country, encourages violence, disorder and subversion.
He stressed that among the main operators of this campaign is adn Cuba, a project created by the U.S. Government and financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for the communicational war against Cuba.
“The company Proactive Miami Incorporation itself, lists among its partners Yaima Pardo, the head of information of adn Cuba, and Norge Rodriguez, who is a political operative linked to that media,” he said, adding that neither of them are representatives of our people, but have participated in violent actions of siege against our embassy at the United Nations and in Washington, and were also among the agitators against the baseball team during the pre-Olympics in Florida.
“The link between the funds and the operations of the U.S. Government and these operators is undeniable,” said our Foreign Minister.
TACTICS TO VIRALIZE THE #SOSCUBA HASHTAG.
According to the information provided by Rodriguez Parrilla, as of June 5, that media laboratory launched a campaign on Twitter called Humanitarian Intervention in Cuba and Humanitarian Channel Cuba.
“Those who ask for it should be warned that it not only violates the laws, but that asking for a humanitarian intervention in Cuba is asking for a U.S. military intervention,” clarified the Minister.
He highlighted that as these tags lost space, on June 9 #SOSCuba was taken up again because it is a tag widely used during the COVID-19 pandemic for humanitarian and solidarity purposes, but which is now used to manipulate people, using it as a Red Cross banner, when it is really a warlike tag against Cuba.
He denounced that this label was moved from a dozen accounts, but with high technological capacity, automated, inorganic, robotic, with computers. Rodríguez Parrilla showed the press the leading accounts that moved that tag, which was joined by #SOSMatanzas and #CubaDuele. He also denounced that the operators used troll farms, which are users that coordinate a number of fake accounts and that disseminate automated messages on Twitter, which involves this large number of fake accounts launching tweets through bots at a speed that can only happen on an automated basis.
“Some of these bots used in this campaign are state-of-the-art, they are expensive and they are undetectable, unless you conscientiously probe through the platforms’ auditing systems that regulate the environment on the networks,” he clarified.
“It is a political operation. It is an aggression by the U.S. government, which today does not need missiles, nor marines, and which has an enormous capacity for non-conventional warfare actions,” he stressed.
#SOSCUBA VIOLATES TWITTER RULES
Rodríguez Parrilla showed a measurement carried out on July 8 and 9 that revealed that the most prolific users of the hashtags #CanalHumanitarioCuba, #SOSCuba and #SOSMatanzas operate all three tags and are also coordinated by the directors of ProActivo Miami.
He explained that on July 9 they deployed coordinated actions to inauthentically increase the volume of #SOSCuba, and achieved 16 times the number of the #SOSCuba tag, which does not happen in digital networks, unless there are deliberate and high-tech designed operations.
He stressed that the fact that this tag has been positioned in the networks is the result of an inorganic action from the U.S. territory, with the support of trolls, digital media, activists and automated systems to convert a message into a global trend, which is a violation of Twitter company rules.
That platform sanctions, suspends and interrupts legitimate accounts of Cuban users by applying a capricious interpretation of that regulation; however, when the manipulation of the tweets with #SOSCuba took place, it did not intervene, said the island’s Foreign Minister.
He specified that a single account, located in Spain, managed from the U.S., posted more than a thousand tweets on July 10 and 11, at a rate of five retweets per second. He added that it also organized the harassment of influencers, a tactic that was denounced by Cuban users on Twitter.
He reported that, at the same time, dozens of users who engaged in normal activity did so without knowing that they were being manipulated by U.S. companies participating in the information war against Cuba.
He explained that these ten users were asked to change in their account profiles the geolocation from where they were acting, to indicate that they were acting from Cuba, to deceive the Internet community, to create the fantasy that there was a social explosion in Cuba when in reality this was only happening from the very expensive servers of U.S. companies that protect, for political purposes, these digital operations.
He said that Twitter never activated its anti-spam systems, despite the complaints it received, nor has it blocked a single one of these accounts to date.
He categorically affirmed that the users who participated in this campaign were located in the U.S., and called on Twitter to disprove or confirm this. He asked the platform to act to prevent this, in compliance with its own policy.
“Twitter’s geolocation tools were manipulated to falsely indicate that 60% of the users were in Cuba,” he detailed in the denunciation of the Foreign Minister of the Greater Antilles.
“The US government’s and these companies’ tolerance of the anti-Cuba campaign is inadmissible, and I urge them to take measures to stop it,” he said.
Likewise, he denounced that there was a manipulation of images, not only in social networks, but also in some television stations that used images from Egypt and Argentina, during their national soccer team’s arrival, or from the Caracas airport, as if they were taking place in Cuba on July 11, creating so-called Fake News.
As part of the manipulation, some media have used images of Cubans, who went out to the streets to show their support to the Revolution, as if they were protesters. In this photo, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo can be seen behind the flag. Photo: Screenshot
THERE WAS NO SOCIAL OUTBURST IN CUBA
Rodríguez Parrilla affirmed that in Cuba there was no social outburst, that on Sunday July 11 there were disturbances, disruptions on a very limited scale, taking advantage of the current conditions, but that those disturbances were generated by the development of a political-communicational operation even at the price of violence.
“These facts are to be condemned, and are being rejected by all our people,” he exposed.
He added that the disorder was caused by the presence of criminal elements, and that they have tried to manipulate the people by making them believe that there are pseudo-movements, with the purpose of forming a political opposition.
He stressed that the events of last Sunday were the result of the combination of several elements, among them: the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of Cubans, the shortages caused by the economic difficulties, and the economic problems faced by our nation due to the tightening of the blockade, which has repercussions on our health system, electric service, food and medicines, shortages and prices.
“The United States dedicates hundreds of millions of dollars to interfere in Cuba, at the cost of generating disorder and instability to fracture the social order and the tranquility of the citizenry. It uses sophisticated tools to try to take advantage of the harsh social conditions that the pandemic has generated on the planet. It is a design with political purposes that imperialism has been developing for a long time”, reiterated the member of the Political Bureau of the Party.
He recalled that during the presentation of the resolution against the blockade at the UN, on June 23, the use of lies and manipulation by the United States was warned. In that speech it was pointed out that some dream of provoking social chaos, violence and death in Cuba, already used in several countries. He added that, since that day, calls for violence and the assassination of the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, were registered.
Rodríguez Parrilla stated that today we are debating the sovereign right of a people to exercise self-determination without foreign interference, the alternative between ensuring peace and tranquility, stability and security against the usurper, a power that is attempting to determine our destinies.
“The international peace of all the States of the planet is threatened, and the constitutional order of our country is undermined,” he denounced.
During his speech, he explained that since Monday, U.S. spokespersons have made distorted statements towards our country, including U.S. President Joseph Biden, who should listen to his own citizens who are speaking out against the blockade and against the imposition of not being able to travel to Cuba.
“It requires a lot of cynicism to ask the Cuban State to listen to its people, when the policies against the island are intensifying and the Cuban economy is being strangled with unilateral policies”, he pointed out.
He stressed that if Biden had any interest and wanted, in some way, to alleviate the difficulties suffered by the Cuban people, he could take executive action, and with his mere signature modify, without a legislative vote, fundamental aspects of the blockade. He could urge Congress to lift the blockade. He could suspend the application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act. It could take measures in relation to the difficulties imposed on Cuba to acquire medical supplies to fight against COVID-19.
“However, what has occurred is an increase in political and media aggression, an increase in disinformation communication operations financed by federal and covert funds. The conduct of the United States is in violation of international law and constitutes a threat to the enjoyment of human rights”, he remarked.
WE WILL APPLY OUR LAWS AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
The Cuban Foreign Minister acknowledged that our people, in the exercise of their sovereignty, together with the Government, will make use of the application of our laws and international law.
Of course, there are difficulties in our country, he stressed, and the US has opportunistically taken advantage of the pandemic for aggression.
“Our Revolution, within international law and the Constitution, will exercise its right to defend the legal order that in free referendum has been given,” he said.
He reiterated that we have lived through worse times, and that we will know how to face the current one. “We are devoted to solve the problems of our economy, we have international support”, he said.
In addition, he added that we are working to face the difficulties: the COVID-19 pandemic and the blockade, both of which suffocate and kill.
“We will continue to work through our victorious resistance. We will defend our right to free and sovereign self-determination; and we will not rest until we emerge from the pandemic situation and the aggravated impacts on our economy,” he insisted.
He also stressed that we will defend to the utmost our right to peace, our national consensus. We will defend the Revolution and our people. With absolute loyalty to the memory of Fidel we will defend the truth, our people and the Revolution.
“We count on the overwhelming consensus of our people,” he expressed.
EXCHANGE WITH THE PRESS
In the Foreign Minister’s exchange with the press, the first question was aimed at knowing if there is any solution package to the people’s dissatisfactions. He was also asked if the information interruption is a defensive measure.
Rodríguez Parrilla explained that the economic circumstances are complex and the Cuban government has worked hard in spite of this. The country has evenly distributed the weight of the difficulties it is going through.
He added that Cuba will never renounce defending itself against any aggression at any level, but we will respond appropriately, on the basis of consensus.
We will always act in accordance with our laws, the truth and in consultation with our people, and in the coming days we will intensify exchanges with our citizens.
Another question from the press referred to whether the Cuban government has had communication with the Biden administration about what has happened on the island. Mention was made of the movement in social networks of a campaign about boats coming to Cuba.
Rodríguez Parrilla replied that there is communication. Both embassies work under very difficult conditions and there is communication at the diplomatic level.
Regarding the second question he revealed: “I hope that the U.S. government is respectful of international law and does not repeat the tragic experiences of the past”.
He added that Cuba is a sovereign state and our people will act with determination. “We expect the United States to adopt the necessary measures. It would be surprising if the United States, in its impunity, encourages irregular and discriminatory emigration,” he said.
To the question of whether the Cuban government contemplates diplomatic retaliation against the U.S. government, the Politburo member commented that Cuba’s conduct is totally in line with international law.
“We are interested in respectful relations based on international norms and in the national interest of both countries. Therefore, there is always an attitude of respect and constructive disposition to dialogue from the Cuban side,” he said.
If there is any honest concern left in the current U.S. government with respect to Cuba, then there are very powerful reasons to change that policy that harms Cubans inside and outside the country, and that harms American interests.
To the question of whether the rights of Cubans are being violated, according to the images circulating about the control of the riots, the Chancellor answered that he has seen worse scenes of police violence in Europe, in different conditions.
He recalled the aggressions experienced by the press in the United States during the demonstrations in Washington.
It is true that violent events have taken place, but it is not in Cuba where there has been a repression like what has occurred in some European countries, he said, and stressed, once again, that “we will apply our laws in accordance with what is required”.
To a question related to the differences between the Republican and Democratic administrations, the Chancellor responded that there is a big difference in the platform that led Biden to the electoral triumph. “There exists an inertial effect of politics,” he clarified.
Translation by Internationalist 360°