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News > Cuba

Cadal, the US-Funded NGO Seeking to Overthrow Cuba's Revolution

  • Cadal, the Argentinean NGO obsessed with Cuba and financed with contributions from the U.S federal government. What really motivates them?

    Cadal, the Argentinean NGO obsessed with Cuba and financed with contributions from the U.S federal government. What really motivates them? | Photo: Twitter/@LuisAngelPuebl3

Published 8 November 2021

Cadal is a foundation obsessed with Cuba and the fall of its socialist model. Its activism is aimed at empowering the so-called 15-N march, yet it is not an anti-Castro NGO based in Miami, nor is it one that emerged in Spain, the country where the largest number of events will be held on Monday, November 15, against the government of the island.

It operates from 1350 Basabilvaso Street, in Buenos Aires, one block away from Plaza Retiro and is a civil organization created on May 6, 2003 during the presidency of the Argentine Eduardo Duhalde that grew thanks to considerable economic contributions from the United States. Its funds, declared by the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (Cadal) itself, have been paid by the State Department, the NED, the Atlas Network, the Cuban Democratic Directorate and other NGOs with a unidirectional vision of the world: one that opens its eyes only to see what happens in countries that do not submit to Washington's policies.

Throughout its almost 19 years of existence, its obstinate anti-Cuban preaching has hardly changed. In 2012 - when Página12 published the first article on this foundation - it had published sixteen books. Nine of them had been written about Cuba. In 2021 it has organized twenty-two virtual events, of which fifteen were about Cuba. On January 21, they started with one entitled: Is Celac a regional organization created to endorse authoritarianism? Cadal answered itself: "That is to say, a democracy like Costa Rica, Chile and Uruguay is as good as an autocracy like Venezuela's and a one-party dictatorship like Cuba's."


Cuba Rejects US Interference In Its Internal Affairs

They continued to ask questions on February 16 at a second conference: "How long will the criminalization of freedom of association, expression and assembly in Cuba continue?" "How long will fundamental rights be considered crimes in Cuba?"

On April 7 they convened the forum "Cuba, a country without freedom of expression." In the following months they continued with "Experiences and challenges of data collection in Cuba"; "Diasporas in Latin America: Cuba and Venezuela"; "The democratic left and human rights in Cuba." They also held an event with the topic being "Pandemic in closed societies. The cases of North Korea, Cuba and Equatorial Guinea," among others.

On the island, Cadal was denounced in its public media system. The government of Miguel Diaz Canel knows that there is a plan underway to destabilize it on 15-N in which this NGO and several others from abroad play a key role. The foundation has new authorities and the well-known economic backing obtained basically from the U.S.

The plan is to repeat and amplify the effects of the July 11 marches in several Cuban cities, with Havana as the epicenter. These protests will be accompanied by different acts in almost fifty cities in 23 countries. A small number of states if compared to the number of nations that pronounce themselves every year against the U.S. blockade at the UN. In 2021 there were 184 votes in favor of Cuba, two against (United States and Israel) and three abstentions (Colombia, Brazil and Ukraine). International solidarity with Cuba is inversely proportional to the 15-N call.

Cadal, which according to the records of the General Inspection of Justice (IGJ) changed its authorities on April 23 of this year in a virtual assembly, has become almost monothematic. Cuba, and to a lesser extent Venezuela and Nicaragua, are the permanent objects of study of this civil association. Its dependence on the U.S. does not allow one to find too many documents or articles of its staff with critical comments on the repression against the Black Lives Matter movement, the human rights violations committed in its streets or the unbreathable racism of its police forces.

"And it is not the only NGO that receives money and instructions from the US and conspires from #Argentina against #Cuba. But they do not calculate that all their hatred is insignificant against the gigantic love of this people for ours."

Only two articles on the murder of the young black man George Floyd are visible on its website. One of them is by its president, Sybil Rhodes. The crime committed by the Minneapolis police was a dominant theme of world politics in 2020, marking the beginning of mobilizations across the U.S. and in cities such as Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Toronto and Sydney. On April 11 of this year and again in Minneapolis, 20-year-old Daunte Wright was murdered. It was not by asphyxiation as with Floyd, but by a police bullet. He was also a young African American. There were protests again and repression in response.

Rhodes, Cadal's highest authority, is an American citizen with a PhD in Political Science from Stanford University who lives in Argentina. She is accompanied by journalist and Director of the Senate Human Rights Observatory, Norma Morandini, as Vice President. The Board of Directors is completed by consultant Carlos Fara, lawyer Bernabé García Hamilton and engineer José Montaldo.

Cadal also has an executive committee. It is headed by Gabriel Constancio Salvia, one of its founders in 2003. He likes to define himself as an itinerant journalist and international human rights activist. He is the highest profile member, an activist who traveled to Cuba in 2014 and was denied entry when he tried to boycott the Celac summit with a parallel forum. His preaching against Cuba coincides with attacks against the human rights movement in our country. On March 24, 2020 he asked himself: "How much of a defender of Human Rights are the Argentinean organizations."

Such double standard behavior is very common in the foundation. It does not usually deal with Jair Bolsonaro's health policy in Brazil that caused 609,060 deaths until today, nor with the complaints against the president for crimes against humanity. The last one was less than a month ago before the International Criminal Court (ICC), made by the Austrian NGO AllRise. It is the fourth that the far-right politician has accumulated for environmental crimes. The multiple human rights violations of his militarized regime would not be included in this note.

The list of deaths provoked by the security or parapolice forces of model countries for Cadal (United States, Chile and Colombia) does not have much space in his denunciations. The massacres of the Colombian state began in 1928 with the so-called Massacre of the Banana Plantations. The event was portrayed by Gabriel García Márquez in One Hundred Years of Solitude. A strike by the workers of the United Fruit Company of the United States was put down by the army. The number of victims was never known. The story is circular. Today the murders of social leaders number in the hundreds. The government of Iván Duque is as complicit as it is ineffective in stopping them.

Cadal, an entity that claims to be in favor of Latin American development, says it is financed by "private foundations, public agencies and embassies of democratic countries. We also receive contributions from companies and individuals." Its list of contributors includes the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), which operates within the U.S. State Department.

In addition, it is funded by the Atlas Network, which has enormous resources and was chaired until 2017 on a global scale by an Argentinean, Alejandro Chafuen, a character with an extensive trajectory in the U.S. economic world. In Argentina he left his mark in the liquidation of the financial company Coimpro and was condemned in 2005 by the National Chamber of Appeals in Federal Administrative Litigation. Other supporters of Cadal are the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) created by the OAS in 1962; the Cuban Democratic Directorate, one of the main organizations of the Cuban exile community; the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an initiative of Ronald Reagan's administration that was born in 1983, and the ineffable Ford Foundation.

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