There was also a digital Bay of Pigs in Cuba

There was also a digital Bay of Pigs in Cuba
Fecha de publicación: 
18 April 2024
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These days we celebrate the 63rd anniversary of the first great defeat of the U.S. imperialism in Latin America, when in less than 72 hours the mercenary Brigade organized, equipped and trained by the CIA was defeated in the Bay of Pigs. The plan included a propaganda and disinformation campaign featuring Radio Swan, which offered tactical support to the mercenaries and misrepresented what was actually happening.

Years later, there was also a digital Bay of Pigs, where the Yankees took the brunt of it. On July 8, 2014, the U.S. State Department announced that the United States was officially ending one of the most ineffective and widely criticized programs of the last decade, aimed at undermining the Cuban government: the broadcast of the misnamed TV Martí from an aircraft.

In a news article published in the magazine Foreign Policy, it was recognized that since its launch the program was affected by a simple problem: every day that the plane flew its transmission signal was blocked, which meant that Cubans could not watch the any TV program. This way, the defeat in the technological field of Yankee imperialism was admitted.

Broadcastings began on March 27, 1990 on VHF television channel 13 from an aerostat located at a height of 10,000 feet above sea level. A few minutes later, the signal was blocked. On November 20, 1997, a new escalation of the enemy occurred when they began their broadcasting in the UHF band and once again the signal penetration was prevented in a few minutes. They changed the channel on several occasions with the aim of surprising us, but it was all in vain.

A new type of television broadcasting occurred on May 20, 2003, and then from August 21, 2004, when a military aircraft of the EC-130J type —belonging to the Solo Command of a Psychological Warfare Unit of the U.S. Armed Forces— was used. Once a week for four and a half hours and starting in August 2006 they were held daily. Once again, Cuban technicians stopped the penetration of the television signal coming from a transmitter installed on the airplanes.

In July 2005, Hurricane Dennis disappeared the captive balloon and starting in August 2006, transmissions were made using a twin-engine Gulfstream G-1 rented from an airline company.

Almost two months before TV Martí signal was put on the ether, the technical conditions were already created to confront this aggression. The Cuban response was strong thanks to the expertise of engineers and technicians who designed, developed, built and fine-tuned the equipment to achieve effective interference.

On April 3, 1990, at a press conference offered by the Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, on anti-Cuban television, attended by 246 journalists from all over the world, including 53 representatives of 22 American mass media, several correspondents were interested in knowing whether the tele-aggression could become a military matter, and the probability that the U.S. would carry out a surgical military aerial operation against the towers that were producing interference to TV Martí. Fidel's response was as follows:

“When an adventure like this begins, when acts that violate international law are carried out, when aggression against a sovereign country occurs, as has happened in this case, anything can happen. Even when we see the absurdity of all this, we have sometimes thought that perhaps the United States is looking for some pretexts to carry out a military confrontation against Cuba […].

[…] We are not in a position to confirm what the true intentions of the United States are, but, in any case, that does not intimidate us. It will not be easy for the United States to subdue Cuba. It will not be easy to impose on our people, by force, something that is against the will of our country, and it will not be easy to carry out military adventures against our homeland […].

[…] We would try, in that case, for the “surgeon” to come out in the worst possible position, to pay the price for that; because doing surgery is not that easy, holding a tiger with your hand is not that easy. I know they have technology and they have many things, but we have others, above all, of a moral nature; especially, that we are not afraid of them and, above all, because we are willing to face the fight on any terrain. Do not believe that you can play us that way, doing surgical operations, because we can also do surgical operations in one field or another.

[…] Let me tell you that any aggression against Cuba can turn into a more serious problem, much more complicated. It can turn into a war. So carrying out operations of this type against our country, no one knows the aftermath. We are not going to sit back and do nothing, because we have imagination and we will know how to respond blow by blow, where we must strike and the timing to do that. There is no doubt about that. So I hope they take good advice before they start wanting to make technological fanfare here. Maybe they come with their invisible planes, and we can do other invisible things too. And now let them interpret what they want […]”.

[…] We have been patient. We have waited five years and we do not see on the United States’ side any true intention to solve the problem, but rather the will to create new problems and new conflicts. That is the reality we have with this, for a television, moreover, that cannot be watched. But we have even calculated that it can be watched someday. I don't know what technical means can be invented to force it to be watched. We have also calculated the different responses to each scenario.

[…] I say it's nonsense. In reality, the United States had no need to engage in this inglorious action. I still do not see the logic in incurring this violation of international law. Certainly, in this case we are not only defending Cuba's right. There are dozens of countries, many countries, the vast majority of the world, that do not agree with this, and they do not agree because no country easily accepts the idea of a great power coming and from a satellite, from a balloon, from a zeppelin, from an airplane, from a ship, from any place imposes television broadcasts.

[…] In this case, we are not only defending the rights of Cuba: this is David's war against Goliath, once again; an electronic war now between David and Goliath, in which David is actually proving to have much more intelligence than Goliath. I can explain why Goliath, that biblical character, was defeated: because he was ignorant […]”.

Remembering what happened on the sands of Bay of Pigs in April 1961 and the ideas stated by Fidel that April 3, 1990, strengthens us, in the effort to safeguard the security and sovereignty of the country, particularly in the technological and communications field. And it makes us think about how to use, today, not only radio broadcasting channels, but also the Internet and digital social networks for these purposes.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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