The US is Trying to Provoke a Soft Coup in Cuba

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The US is Trying to Provoke a Soft Coup in Cuba

Rosa Miriam Elizalde

We are in the era of soft coups. Old-fashioned coups d’état and invasions get terrible press. The images of US troops invading the Dominican Republic in 1965 or marching through El Chorrillo in Panama in 1989, for example, produced resentment and anger. Over the years, US military interventions in Latin America have fallen into disrepute and gone out of style.

A soft coup, on the other hand, is when a group of people who are in the minority masquerades as the majority, creates controversies and confrontations, and wears down the majority until everyone gives in to... their immense pressure. Examples of this are visible in Honduras in 2009 and in Brazil in 2016, as well as in Bolivia in 2019, where a coup has been overturned by the announcement of the presidential election results in October 2020. Cuba and Venezuela have so far withstood the force of a soft coup, but the pressure is unrelenting.

Soft coups are more complex to understand than hard coups or interventions by the US Marines. This is because soft coups often feature information wars, in which archetypes of dictators and freedom fighters are used by the United States to define international relations. A remastered epic is also shaped by false speeches of heroism by the protagonists selected by the United States.

Cuba is no stranger to US pressure, with invasions, assassination attempts and a blockade shaping the life of Cubans. Over the years, there have been several attempts to conduct a soft coup against the Cuban Revolution. In November 2020, a small group of people who think they are freedom fighters barricaded themselves into a house in the San Isidro neighborhood in Old Havana. Legitimate issues got swept into what appeared to be another attempted soft coup: a dialogue between artists and cultural institutions, political opportunism, the pandemic, and a deepening economic crisis worsened by the new round of unilateral measures imposed by the outgoing Trump administration (which include blocked remittances, more financial sanctions, and persecution of oil tankers).

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