The US and Its Glass House

It sinks its claws into Latin America and the Caribbean, destroying its peoples, either through the seizure of power by servile oligarchies representing its interests (any resemblance to Chile, Brazil or the self-proclaimed Lima Group, is not purely coincidental); the destabilization of legitimately and democratically elected governments, such as Venezuela or Nicaragua; or its genocidal economic war against the Cuban Revolution.

The Trump administration’s concern for the properties of those who lived in Cuba before 1959 is fanciful. Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and all its letter are just a pretext to end the Cuban model, humanist par excellence, which remains stuck like a thorn in the empire’s side, and has prevented it from continuing with what it started 174 years ago, in 1845.

In that year, Mexico lost half of its territory, after Texas fell into U.S.. hands in 1836 following the unequal battle led by General Sam Houston. Fulfilling the ambitions of the eleventh President of the United States, James K. Polk (1845-1849), who had dreamed of that appropriation ever since coming to power, the area officially became part of the United States. The Texas bourgeoisie applauded the annexation, because it favored its cotton plantations, worked by African slaves.

Rafael Escalante states on digital daily La Izquierdada Diario, that “It was then that the expansionist intentions of the American Union were revealed with greater force, and they set their sights on other Mexican territories.” In June 1846, the United States began another unequal war that ended in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), with the dispossession of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and part of Colorado and Wyoming. Already the U.S. had its sights set on making Mexico, and later Latin America, into its backyard.

The total sum of those areas, including Texas, which today is the second largest State in the United States, is almost two million square kilometers. That is more than Mexico’s land area today, which stands at 1,959,248 km2, according to the publication México mi país.

According to our colleague Alexis Schlachter, who specializes in geography and geopolitics, author of the book Geografía sorprendente and host of Cuban television program La otra geografía, California is the State with the largest number of inhabitants in the United States (34,501,130), the third largest in size, and produces the largest amount and variety of agricultural products in the country. Most people are unaware that the famous Disneyland and Hollywood stand on former Mexican territories.

Our colleague points out that Nevada has important copper, oil, lead, gold and silver deposits; that Utah is home to the largest open-pit copper mine in the world; and that Colorado, part of which was Mexican, is visited annually by an average of 14 million tourists, representing $5.6 billion dollars in revenue. Meanwhile, Arizona has extensive mineral wealth, as well as livestock and citrus groves; New Mexico collects almost $2 billion in tourism; and Wyoming is the leading producer of dairy products and wool in the U..S., especially in the south western part of the State, snatched from Mexico.

With regard to the outdated and illegal Helms-Burton Act, what would happen if Mexico reclaimed those territories from the United States? The question came from Russia Today columnist John Ackerman, but would they have an answer? Or would they respond with the same xenophobia and aggressiveness as President Trump does against immigrants, women, children and workers, ignoring history on shouting from the rooftops that there are those who have “taken advantage of” the United States, and talking about establishing “fair trade” relations with his country.

The United States, in its glass house, seeks to sue Cuba through the Helms-Burton, as a flagrant violation of international law and an unacceptable attack on the self-determination of the peoples of the world.

Oscar Sánchez Serra writes for Granma where this essay first appeared.