Lecturer at the Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV and Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée Universities and specialist in Cuba-US relations. His latest published work in French: Cuba. Les médias face au défi de l’impartialité Estrella, 2013; in English: Superpower Principles: U.S. Terrorism Against Cuba (Common Courage Press, 2006).
Washington continues its destabilizing moves against governments that are not its cup of tea, and, very often, a pattern emerges. Interviewed by the Algerian newspaper El Watan, the French researcher, Salim Lamrani, observes that recent violence in Venezuela leave a deep impression, already witnessed before.
Unprecedented in the history of international relations, the governments of four European countries - France, Spain, Italy and Portugal - have closed off their airspace this week to the Bolivian president’s airplane. Is this a case of strict compliance with international laws or further proof of the servility of European ’powers’ towards Washington? To better answer this simple question, French pundit Salim Lamrani sets out a list of 25 facts.
On the eve of the new presidential election scheduled in Venezuela on account of the recent death of President Hugo Chávez, who had just obtained a new presidential mandate, the French intellectual Salim Lamrani talks to Minister Ernesto Villegas. The current Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information analyses Hugo Chavez’s legacy and explains why he is confident that Nicolás Maduro will be victorious in the election and that the Bolivarian Revolution will keep going forward.
As one of the multiple reforms recently introduced by the Cuban Government that have gradually changed the face of the island, Salim Lamrani analyses Cuba’s liberalization of travel restrictions against the background of the decades-long economic war waged by the U.S., using migration as a tool of destabilization. If the current migratory trend is any indication, the travel reform is likely to see even more Cubans returning to their homeland than those choosing to remain abroad.
For three months, former Cuban "political prisoners" have been staging a sit-in outside ... the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Salim Lamrani analyzes this protest - to which the mainstream media have devoted very little coverage - in light of the Spanish promises that fueled the dreams and ambitions of these professional "dissenters".
The Western media and diplomatic circles deplored the suicide in prison of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who was portrayed as a victim of the "Cuban dictatorship". However, this human tragedy was grossly misrepresented: Zapata was never involved in politics. Once again, observes Salim Lamrani, Western propaganda distorts the facts and manipulates them to justify, post factum, Washington’s animosity towards Cuba.
It didn’t take long for Obama to disappoint Latin America with his vacuous promises of change. But mostly, he reneged on his spectacular announcement to overhaul Washington’s policy regarding Cuba, of which the most emblematic example is the recent U.S. vote at the UN Secretary General renewing the Cuba trade embargo that has been in effect since 1962. On this and many other aspects, Barack Obama has smoothed over George W. Bush’s baneful brashness only to revert to the classic imperial policy of his predecessors.
The Venezuelan National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) has set out to retrieve the transmission frequencies illegally held by certain media belonging to a group of powerful families in order to redistribute them. The oligarchs promptly denounced a “freedom of expression violation”, receiving the active support of their western counterparts through the latter’s own media. Unsurprisingly, Reporters Without Borders joined the chorus in its consistent role of faithful information watchdog on behalf of Washington’s interests.
A hidden camera report, which was given widespread coverage by western television networks, shows the Melia Cohíba Hotel management in Havana prohibiting internet acces to Cuban nationals and reserving it for the exclusive use of its customers. This report was exploited by Reporters Without Borders in their campaign against political censorship by the Castro regime. However, there is only one problem: this clearly concocted scene is contradicted by other documents quoted by the same pseudo-NGO.
With the advent of a new U.S. Administration and the appointment of a new director, one would have expected Reporters Without Borders to desist from their propaganda campaign against Venezuela and Cuba. But nothing of the sort. Salim Lamrani relates the latest episode of this never ending war.
Since early 2006, US officials have increased their verbal attacks against Venezuela. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared President Hugo Chavez to Hitler in an insult that is not an isolated action and which was made following Pat Robertson’s calls to assassinate the Venezuelan President. In the face of the left-oriented shift of Latin America’s politics, the Bush administration seems to be determined to block the re-election of the Bolivarian president. It looks like the design of the FTAA, the dream of the White House, will only be a reality over the ashes of a Bolivarian counter-model that they need to destroy.
During the World Social Forum of Caracas, Salim Lamrani used the Cuban example, which he has thoroughly studied, to show how the alternative media can act against the lies of US propaganda. That is possible to achieve by mobilizing the means necessary to carry out comparative research to place the facts in their context.
The silence kept by the «freedom-of-the-press» Reporters without border (RSF) organization about Sudanese journalist Sami al Hajj raises many questions on the impartiality of that association headed by Robert Menard. RSF, which is always willing to stigmatize- usually arbitrarily- those countries targeted by Washington such as Cuba, Venezuela and China, has fully ignored the torture suffered by Al Hajj, a journalist with Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV chain .
The United States’ obsession with Cuba never ends. Condoleezza Rice has just ordered the stiffening of the economic blockade against the island while, at the same time, the US chargé d’affaires in Havana makes efforts to create a pseudo-opposition at the service of the United States. The Bush Administration hopes that the embargo makes life so difficult for the Cuban people that they overthrow the government, which would allow Bush to put his men in power.
The Sakharov Prize, granted to personalities and organizations with an outstanding action in the defence of human rights, has become a tool for atlantist propaganda. The granting of the prize, by the European Parliament, ignores who defend human rights from imperialism and globalization, but it honours all those who oppose all regimes that do not pledge subservience to the United States, such as the Cuban government. Based on commonly accepted reports by Amnesty International, Salim Lamrani compares the results of the Sakharov Prize to the reality of human rights in Latin America.
The legislative elections held on December 4, 2005, confirmed the term granted by the Venezuelan people to the party of president Hugo Chávez. The authenticity of the elections was certified by a pluralist group of international observers, among them, a special representative from Voltaire Network. However, the US has threatened openly to overthrow the democratic regime and replace it with a lackey one. Five important personalities sent us the following call.
In his intervention during the round table on the rise of international terrorism, on the occasion of the Axis for Peace 2005 conference, Salim Lamrani took record of the US’s secret actions against Cuba. He shows, in an undisputable manner, that Washington – currently and for long time – practices international terrorism although it pretends to fight it.
On October 14-15, 2005, the city of Salamanca hosted the 15th Ibero-American Summit with the participation of all Latina American countries, Spain, Portugal and Andorra. This summit, organized several weeks ahead of the Summit of Mar del Plata, which represented a failure for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), showed Washington’s isolation in the region. The US double speech regarding the issues of terrorism, human rights and development projects has finally tired the most loyal mainstays of the Bush administration in the region.
By letting the poor and mainly black population of New Orleans that was affected by Hurricane Katrina die, the US administration showed the disastrous consequences of its racial and social elitism. To top it off, Washington turned down the precious help of Cuban doctors and took the opportunity to suspend the minimum wage in the region, so that Halliburton and its cronies can get richer thanks to the natural disaster. At the same time, Cuba’s antiterrorist fighters are illegally held in US prisons while notorious CIA-trained criminals, like Luis Posada Carriles, are welcomed with open arms in the United States.
French NGO Reporters without borders, dedicated to the defense of press freedom, is today at the center of a controversy. To some people, it is an efficient vector for freedom in the world, but to others – and we are among those – it has evolved into a transmission cable for the State Department, and it is instrumenting a cause to support the United States’ strategy. Salim Lamrani, researcher at the Sorbonne university, looks into the details of accusations and answers, before unveiling the extent of the deception.
The strong suspicions that have surrounded the dubious and partisan activities of Reporters without Boarders (RSF) were not unfounded. For many years, various critics have denounced the largely political actions of the Parisian entity, particularly with regards to Cuba and Venezuela, whose characteristic use of propaganda is obvious.
The positions of RSF against the governments of Havana and Caracas are found in perfect correlation with the political and media war that Washington carries (...)
The true responsibility for international terrorism