Text > Havana, Cuba, April 19, 2007

Bussed in by the Cuban government from rural areas of Cuba, a group of schoolgirls face the Swiss Embassy in Havana, which also houses the offices of the United States Interests Section (USINT), a de facto embassy. Positioned at the northern end of José Martí Anti-Imperialism Plaza, this site is witness to an ongoing propaganda war between the governments of the U.S. and Cuba. The 138 flagpoles behind the girls were constructed high enough to obscure from the rest of the plaza an electronic billboard, which is set in the windows of the USINT offices. The Cuban government erected the flagpole monument in 2006, a few weeks after the U.S. began running messages about human rights, democracy, and the folly of Communism on the illuminated ticker.

The schoolgirls hold images of victims of the terrorist bombing of Cubana Flight 455 on October 6, 1976. Arranged by the Cuban government, their daylong protest occurred the same date the U.S. government released Luis Posada Carriles on bail for immigration violations. He was a key planner of the bombing, which killed all persons on board, including the mostly teenage members of the 1975 National Cuban Fencing Team. Posada is a Cuban-born Venezuelan who has been involved in numerous anti-Castro missions and is a former CIA operative.

Havana, Cuba, April 19, 2007
Photo caption text

Satellite, Issue 3, p. 22