That same old song Intensified Blockade & Gunboat Diplomacy

The case of Steve Marshall the English travel agent based in Tenerife is, Granma reports, back in the headlines. A story in the Spanish daily Público notes the consequences on Marshall’s business of the US’s criminal blockade on commerce with Cuba.

In March ’07 a report compiled by the San Francisco Bay Area Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) noted that an increasing number of private businesses, such as banks, mortgage companies, car dealerships, health insurers, landlords, and employers, check the names of customers or applicants against a U.S. Treasury Department terrorist list.

The LCCR report notes that terrorist lists compiled by executive agencies, without judicial determinations, are proliferating despite Supreme Court cases concerning government loyalty lists of the McCarthy era. In one case Justice Black recorded that, “…basic law…wisely withheld authority for resort to executive investigations, condemnations and blacklists as a substitute for…trial and conviction in accordance with procedural safeguards of the Bill of Rights.” Apparently no longer.

The report concludes that “watchlist screening penalizes not just those who are actually on the lists, but many other people whose only ‘offense’ is to share a name” noting also that the administered laws apply across the economy not simply to particular industries or transactions, thus lending ample threat to civil rights.

"Uh, Oh, here we go again," gunboat diplomacy

Elsewhere in the media the website Floating Steel is asking the simply question; is the new US Fourth Fleet gunboat diplomacy? Citing Fidel’s article on the issue, which highlights the US interventionist record in the Americas and laments the vast expense of re-establishing the 4th fleet at a time when the “problems of food prices, energy, unequal trade, an economic recession…” should be “consuming the time and energy of the leaders”.

Frank Mora, of the National War College, is reported as saying that "(t)he United States' obsession with Venezuela, Cuba and other things indicates they (the US) are going to use more military force, going to use that instrument more often," .

Mora who shares an opposing view claims that "this is not about the United States trying to use this military instrument to invade or coerce any country, but to actually work together with other countries…” citing, by way of example, the presence of the amphibious assault ship, USS Boxer, which is “ currently working its way down the Pacific coast of Central America and South America with doctors, dentists and engineers to work on community health care and construction projects”.

None, it appears, have noticed that Cuba carries out exactly the same activates internationally, and on a far bigger scale without resorting to armed escorts to facilitate the exercise.