Bastion 2004 exercise begins today
ON December 2, coinciding with the 48th anniversary of the Granma
expeditionaries and the Day of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the country
was informed of the Bastion 2004 Strategic Exercise, which begins today
throughout the country and continues until Sunday, December 19.
This initial stage of the exercise basically includes defense councils at
all levels, the leadership structures of state central administration bodies
and enterprises and agencies that would continue functioning during a period
of war, the command bodies of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the
Ministry of the Interior, and certain regular troop units.
Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces
Cuba put US on notice with Monday's massive war games
Adalberto Roque - (AFP/File) HAVANA (AFP) - Cuba's armed forces are gearing
up for their biggest military exercises in almost 20 years, with hundreds of
thousands of troops and millions of civilians expected to take part,
officials here said.
General Leonardo Andollo told reporters on Sunday that MiG-29 jets,
anti-aircraft batteries were to be deployed during the weeklong exercises
meant to be a warning to Washington that Cuba would vigorously defend itself
against US aggression.
The mass war games start Monday and are due to run through to December 19.
Senior military and Communist government officials here warned that the
administration of US President George W. Bush should take note of the
island's war footing.
"The determination of the US administration to destroy the (Cuban)
revolution however they can, including militarily, determines the necessity
of conducting these exercises," Andollo, the deputy chief of Cuba's Armed
Revolutionary Forces (FAR), said.
His comments come days after President Fidel Castro's brother, Raul, warned
Washington should closely observe Cuba's military prowess and civil defenses
during the manoeuvres. Raul Castro is the head of the Caribbean island's
Operation "Bastion 2004" will involve about 100,000 soldiers, sailors and
air force personnel as well as some 400,000 reservists.
Air force MiG-29s, anti-aircraft units and elite troops will also support
the operation, billed as Cuba's biggest military exercises since 1986.
Officials said the exercises would also involve several million civilians
who will participate in two days of civil defense exercises, including a
simulated aerial assault.
Raul Castro said last week the exercises had been planned in part so
Washington "does not commit the errors it committed in Vietnam and that it
is now committing in Iraq.
"So that they (Washington) do not underestimate our people, who are united
and more powerful than those in Iraq," he added.
The Communist-run island sits some 90 miles (145 kilometers) off the coast
Defense exercise in the face
of U.S. hostility
BY REYNOLD RASSI—Granma daily staff writer—
IN the early months of the revolutionary triumph in 1959, U.S. imperialism
initiated its aggressive attacks and threats of invading Cuba, with the
result that the island was obliged to prepare for the defense of its
territory and achievements.
Like this one, thousands of snipers countrywide are to participate in
Bastion 2004, ready to confront the enemy if it dares to attack us.That
incipient preparation, when Cuba did not have the military experience or the
forces it has today, was what enabled the country to defeat in around 72
hours the mercenary troops who invaded the country at Playa Girón (Bay of
Pigs) in April, 1961, in spite of the military power and support they
received from the U.S. government and the CIA.
For more than 40 years, different U.S. administrations have maintained and
increased their constant political, ideological and economic aggression
against the Cuban Revolution as well as threats of direct military
intervention. For that reason the country has paid maximum attention to its
Since George W. Bush assumed power in 2000, and especially after the
lamentable events of September 11, 2001, U.S. foreign policy has been
characterized by heightened aggression and arrogance, a neofascist extreme
right-wing ideology, the use of force and military intervention (Yugoslavia,
Afghanistan and Iraq are examples of this), and by total disregard for
peoples, their sovereignty, norms and international institutions. To that,
can be added its plans to impose a new world order under its domination.
Bush’s close ties with the U.S. anti-Cuban mafia have led to an increase in
hostile measures against the Revolution, a redoubling of his lies and tall
stories in order to create internationally favorable subjective conditions
for a military attack on Cuba, which has become a real possibility since his
reelection this past November.
WHY BASTION ?
“We will never cease preparations for the defense of the country,” President
Fidel Castro has stated, which is why from December 13 to 19, the Bastion
2004 Strategic Exercise is to be carried out throughout the country in
response to the reality of the international situation and the U.S.
government’s constant threats against Cuba.
In the early 1980’s, in the face of the aggressive policies of the then
president, Ronald Reagan’s, a new Cuban military doctrine was established
based on the concept of a war of all the people, which summarizes the
historic experience of the accumulated struggle of several generations of
Cubans and is based on the deployment of a territorial defensive system as
the means to support the military power, as well as the most varied use of
all the forces, means and resources of the society and.
That resulted in the emergence of the Territorial Troop Militia (MTT) and
the development of diverse forms of defense training, among them, the
Bastion Strategic Exercise, first carried out in 1980, then in 1983 (in
which several million people participated) and subsequently in 1986.
Through all these years, the Bastion exercises and other maneuvers have
facilitated a consistently tighter cohesion between the leadership and
command bodies, the training and combat readiness of the regular troops and
reserves, and the people.
That has been complemented by the outfitting of the theater of military
operations and changes introduced to improve technique, armaments and their
conversion into most effective means.
In addition to the regular troops of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and
their reserves, Territorial Militia Troops, Production and Defense Brigades,
sectors and units from the Ministry of the Interior, as well as other
defense structures, the central state administration agencies, economic
entities and social and mass organizations are all involved in Bastion 2004.