The Cuban government completed a week of military defense exercises geared toward twarthing a potential attack from the United States. The past week
saw Cuban Military practicing drills such as firing rockets, practicing drills such as putting on gas masks with civilians. The Cuban Government
stated that their week long exercise was a success and that they are ready for any attack from the U.S.
The events were named the Strategic Bastion 2004 Exercise
Thousands of Cubans took to the streets, taking their prearranged places under the doctrine of "The Peoples' War," in which every citizen, young
and old, participates in the defense of the country.
Children were sent to schools early Sunday to practice duck-and-cover drills. Civilians performed shooting exercises in makeshift ranges as well as
conducted first aid drills and putting on gas masks. Factory workers ran for underground shelter during evacuation drills.
Work groups gathered to discuss how to guarantee food, water and health care for the population in the event of an attack, as well as to plan
evacuations, arrange security for personal property and set up a system for getting information to civilians.
State media reported that a total of four million Cubans participated throughout the week in the exercise, which began Monday and was the biggest of
its kind on the island in 18 years. International news organizations were not given official access.
Cubans from defense organizations that include much of the general population participated as well as defense forces of the Interior Ministry, which
oversees internal security.
Defense Minister Raul Castro, who oversaw the operation, toured several sites to motivate participants.
"There are Cubans of every color, making up a precious rainbow, but all have the same language, purpose, ideal: that unity is our most powerful
weapon," Castro told civilians in Havana, according to Sunday's edition of Juventud Rebelde, the Communist Party's youth newspaper.
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I can understand Fidel Castro's paranoia, since many American Cuban dissidents support the Bush Administration, and a few have been appointed to the
Administration, but practicing a full blown military exercise with the sole enemy being the United States seems a little delusional to me. At this
stage of the game, you would think the United States has bigger and more pressing problems than a old dictator near his end.
[edit on 12-19-2004 by worldwatcher]