Cuba View comments     
1959 BBC timeline ( cached )
       Popular Cuban Revolution led by Castro overthrows Batista, a dictatorship which had been supported by the US to the tune of $16 million US in military aid per year.           
1960 Guardian Article ( cached )
       US begins trade embargo on Cuba which has continued till today. The UN has condemned these unilateral sanctions against Cuba every year for the past 10 years, sanctions which have included both food and medicine.           
1959-Today Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       US carries out 40 years of terrorism against Cuba, including hundreds of assassination attempts on Fidel Castro, the introduction of swine fever in '71, the dengue fever in '81, and the bombing of tourist hotels in '97.           
1961 CIA Internal Probe ( cached )
       US fails in an attempt to invade Cuba using 1500 exiled Cubans in what becomes known as the Bay of Pigs.           
2001 ABC News Article ( cached )
       Operation Northwood declassified - detailing CIAs plans to commit terrorist attacks in the US and blame them on Cuba, in order to create public support for a war against Cuba. These plans included the sinking of boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in US cities. Thinking is summarised by the following quote: 'casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation'.           
Today Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Amazingly, despite the sanctions and terrorism inflicted by the US, Cuba has managed to survive. The WHO's representative in Cuba in 1980 stated that 'there is no question that Cuba has the best health statistics in Latin America', and in 1990 a UNICEF report on the 'State of the World's Children' stated (with regards to infant mortality rates) that 'Cuba is the only (Latin American) country on a par with developed nations'.           
HDI report 2003 ( cached )
       Cuba ranks 52nd out of 175 countries on the 2003 Human Development Index (which ranks according to life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income). Of its closest neighbours, Haiti ranks 150th, the Dominican Republic 94th, Grenada 93rd and Jamaica 78th.           
Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 
       Cuba's great health care system is not limited to its own borders - in 1991, Cuba had more doctors working abroad in oppressed countries than did the WHO.           
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Guyana View comments     
1953 NY Times article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Guyana elects its first native-born Prime Minister, Cheddi Jagan, an admirer of the works of Karl Marx.           
1953 BBC timeline ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Four months later, Churchill sends in troops, suspends British Guyana's Constitution and orders its Government dissolved (being too leftist for Churchill's tastes).           
1957 NY Times article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Dr. Jagan and his wife are freed from jail after the British restore constitutional government, and Jagan is re-elected in 1957 and 1961.           
Oct 1961 NY Times article ( cached )
       Jagan travels to the White House, seeking financial aid and offering assurances that Guyana would not become a Soviet base.           
NY Times article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Following Jagan's departure, Kennedy meets in secret with his top national security officers. Still-classified documents depict in unusual detail a direct order from the President to unseat Dr. Jagan, say Government officials familiar with the secret papers. Though many Presidents have ordered the CIA to undermine foreign leaders, they say, the Jagan papers are a rare smoking gun: a clear written record, without veiled words or plausible denials, of a President's command to depose a Prime Minister.           
1962-1963 NY Times article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Agitation from the CIA grows - riots, propaganda, union action, a fire in the center of town, shipping and airline blockades.           
Oct 1963 NY Times article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 
       The British, at the suggestion of the Kennedy Administration, delay their colony's scheduled independence and change its electoral system. The electorate now have to vote for parties instead of people, and a still popular but politically weakened Dr. Jagan falls from power. The British then grant independence to the new republic of Guyana.           
Declassified documents ( cached )
       Declassified documents show the correspondence between the US and Britain, in order to avoid the re-election of Jagan.

In a August 1961 Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the UK: '... we do believe that Jagan and his American wife are very far to the left indeed and that his accession to power in British Guiana would be a most troublesome setback in this Hemisphere. Would you be willing to have this looked into urgently to see whether there is anything which you or we can do to forestall such an eventuality?'

In reply: 'now the choice before us in situations like this is either to allow the normal process of democracy and progress towards self-government to go ahead and do our best to win the confidence of the elected leaders, and to wean them away from any dangerous tendencies, or else to revert to what we call "Crown Colony rule." It is practical politics to take the latter course only when it is quite clear that a territory is heading for disaster. We have done this once already in British Guiana-in 1953. But since the restoration of the democratic process in 1957, the elected government has behaved reasonably well and we have had no grounds which would justify a second attempt to put the clock back.' (Jagan is re-elected shortly thereafter).

By February 1962 however, the US Dept of State writes: 'I must tell you now that I have reached the conclusion that it is not possible for us to put up with an independent British Guiana under Jagan .... These considerations, I believe, make it mandatory that we concert on remedial steps.'

Interestingly, in February 1962, the President's Special Assistant (Schlesinger) writes: ' Jagan is not a Communist ... Jagan is infinitely preferable to Burnham.', however other officials differ on just how 'communist' he is.

The correspondence then proceeds to address the fundamental question - 'Can we topple Jagan while maintaining at least a facade of democratic institutions.' and 'Can the PPP be defeated in new elections without obvious interference?' with concerns that ' it is unproven that CIA knows how to manipulate an election in British Guiana without a backfire'.

In 1963 the conclusion is reached: 'The President (Kennedy) said he agreed with the analysis of all the difficulties, but that these still paled in comparison with the prospect of the establishment of a Communist regime in Latin America. Mr. Sandys said he thought the best solution was that of a Burnham-D'Aguiar government to which the UK would grant independence.'
NY Times article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       For the following 20 years the country is governed by Forbes Burnham - "as the British described him, an opportunist, racist and demagogue intent only on personal power," to quote from "A Thousand Days." He holds power through force and fraud until his death in 1985, running up a foreign debt of over $2 billion during this time (over 5x Guyana's GDP).           
Article ( cached )
       During Burnham's rule, elections are viewed in Guyana and abroad as fraudulent. Human rights and civil liberties are suppressed, and two major political assassinations occur: The Jesuit priest and journalist Bernard Darke in July 1979, and the distinguished historian and Working People's Alliance (WPA) party leader Walter Rodney in June 1980. Agents of President Burnham are widely believed to have been responsible for both deaths.           
1992 BBC timeline ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The first completely free parliamentary elections since independence (in 1966) result in Cheddi Jagan becoming re-elected.           
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Dominican Republic View comments     
1930-1961 BBC timeline ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Trujillo rules the country in a brutal dictatorship, featuring the massacre in 1937 of 19,000-20,000 Haitians living in areas of the Dominican Republic adjacent to Haiti, until he is finally assassinated in 1961.           
1962 BBC timeline ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Juan Bosch, a leftist reformer, is elected president in the first democratic elections for nearly four decades, defeating Joaquin Balaguer (Trujillo's heir).           
Article ( cached )
       While no radical, Bosch is true to his beliefs. He calls for land reform, nationalisation of some businesses and an ambitious public works project. As a principled liberal, he is also serious about civil liberties. Communists in the Dominican Republic are not to be prosecuted unless they break the law.           
1963 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Bosch is deposed in a military coup and replaced by a three-man junta. The US does nothing to stop the coup and if anything encourages it.           
1964 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 
       Over 20,000 US troops invade the Dominican Republic to crush a popular revolt aimed at returning Bosch to power. Thousands of Dominicans are killed (as the NY Times admits at the time) 'fighting and dying for social justice and constitutionalism.'           
1966 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       The troops only leave after supervising elections in which they ensure Trujillo's vice-president Balaguer wins.           
Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Since then, the Dominican Republic has sailed on choppy seas of fraudulent elections, corruption, and economic uncertainty.           
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