Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 27, 2024

Censored: The Raytheon Diné Facility and Cuba Food Deal

Israel has kept up attacks on Rafah despite a ruling by the top United Nations court on Friday ordering it to stop.

Censored: The Raytheon Diné Facility and Cuba Food Deal 

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News, May 27, 2024

Today: A horrific genocide in Rafah refugee camp. Babies and children sleeping in their tents were burned alive. This genocide would not be possible without the US bombs and missiles, sent by Biden and his appointees, and manufactured by U.S. corporations, including Raytheon Missiles.

While searching for other articles today, I found the censored article, and e-mails, that buried the truth about the Raytheon Missiles factory located on the Navajo Nation, while I was a staff reporter at Indian Country Today in 2006.

At the time, Indian Country Today editors went to Cuba and were personally involved in a deal to sell food products to Cuba. The food was grown on the Navajo Nation's commercial farm, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, where the Raytheon Dine' Facility is located and manufactures missile parts, south of Farmington, New Mexico.

Indian Country Today didn't want the world to know any of this. Cuba, no doubt, would have been hesitant to buy potatoes and beans grown on the same land where Raytheon was producing missile parts. Cuba would likely have been hesitant to become involved with any government doing business with Raytheon Missiles.

Further, the article that I wrote --  buried and disappeared -- pointed out that the Navajo farm, NAPI, used genetically-modified seeds at the time, manufactured by Syngenta and Monsanto.

The editor at Indian Country Today forbid me to even research the Raytheon factory on the Navajo farm. A few weeks after my article on the Cuba food deal was censored, I was fired, and created Censored News.

Today, important articles about this plan have been scrubbed from the web, and do not exist, even in the Internet Archive. Eventually, the Navajo Cuban food deal fell through.

Today, the Navajo government is silent about Raytheon producing missiles on the Navajo Nation, missiles used for war crimes and genocide.

It is a reminder that this genocide in Palestine can not exist without the censorship and manipulation of the media, the overt actions of governments and the hidden contracts of their enablers, including the universities who have brought in police to beat and brutalize students with tear gas and rubber bullets who speak out against genocide.

Missiles, police and the cover of darkness -- In September of 2023 Raytheon Co. Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona, announced it was awarded a $276 million change to an existing contract to produce more 155 mm projectiles. Raytheon Missiles is located on the University of Arizona's Tech Park in Tucson and involves students in the development of weapons. The University of Arizona in Tucson brought in police twice who brutalized students holding space for Palestine and speaking out against genocide. Law enforcement from Tucson Police, Pima County Sheriff's Department and Arizona State, came in the cover of darkness twice and shot students with tear gas and rubber bullets.

One of our Censored News readers wrote about the missiles produced on the Navajo Nation farm, seven miles south of Farmington.

"Do you know what they make up there? Look up the Excalibur Missile. It's actually a 155 mm howitzer projectile."

My e-mail to Indian Country Today editor in August of 2006 objected to the censorship: 
"Last week my article, on the Navajo farm contract with Cuba, was censored: Navajos and Cuba negotiate trade."

Here is a portion of the article that I wrote that was censored by Indian Country Today in 2006:

By Brenda Norrell (August 2006) -- The general manager of Navajo Agricultural Products Industries -- a member of the first trade delegation to Cuba since Fidel Castro temporarily stepped down -- signed a letter of intent to sell food products to Cuba.

"We are honored that our products will help feed the Cuban people,” said NAPI General manager Tsosie Lewis, who oversees the Navajos’ 68,000-acre commercial farm located in the Four Corners area near Farmington, N.M.

Navajo President Joe Shirley, Jr., praised Tsosie Lewis for entering into the agreement, and described it as a trade agreement between two sovereign nations.

“We are a sovereign nation and we need to do everything we can to get back on our feet,” Shirley said, expressing appreciation for the new source of trade.

During the New Mexico Agriculture Trade Mission to Cuba in August, NAPI signed a letter of intent with Alimport, Cuba’s state food purchasing agency, to sell yellow corn, wheat, apples, onions, pinto beans and other farm products.

If finalized, the cash-only trade agreement could bring millions of dollars to the Navajo Nation, due to exceptions to the US trade embargo of Cuba.

Under provisions of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) of 2000, Alimport is allowed to negotiate the purchase of agriculture products directly from U.S. suppliers on a cash-only basis paid in advance by Cuba.

Since passage of the act in 2000, 35 states have entered into agreements to sell American products to Cuba, resulting in incoming revenues of about $1.8 billion

U.S. Representative Tom Udall, D-N.M., spearheading the New Mexico delegation, said it was the highest-level U.S. delegation to visit Cuba since Fidel Castro temporarily turned power over to his younger brother Raul.

Udall said the delegation did not meet with Fidel or Raul Castro. Fidel, 80, ruled Cuba for 48 years and temporarily handed over the reins of power to his brother after undergoing emergency surgery to stop intestinal bleeding on July 31.

While the binational trade agreement has not yet been approved by the Navajo Nation Council, Shirley pointed out that NAPI is already selling millions of tons of beans to Mexico.

“There are grandmas and grampas over there. They have to eat,” Shirley said of Cuba. “There’s nothing illegal about dealing with Cuba as far as selling food items.”

“I think that is the most important thing that is happening with this agreement. Of course, it has already happened with the country of Mexico and now with the country of Cuba. The recognition of the Navajo Nation as a nation, a nation within a nation, that’s just the way it should be.”

NAPI said it purchases genetic hybrid corn seed.

“We purchase our seed from Pioneer Seed Company, Syngenta Inc., and Monsanto, companies producing the best quality genetic hybrid corn seed on the market today,” NAPI said.

Upon returning from Cuba, Udall said, "We are very pleased to return home with a letter of intent between NAPI and Alimport providing for the purchase of yellow corn, wheat, apples, onions, pinto beans and other New Mexico grown products.”

"Cuba is a market of 11.5 million people who need to eat like the rest of us, and Cuba has paid over $1.8 billion to purchase American food products since the passage of the TSRA,” Udall said.

Shirley said this is not the first international agreement Navajos have signed. In November 2005, the Navajo Nation became a member of OCCAM – the Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication – a United Nations non-governmental organization to help indigenous nations around the world develops a wireless telecommunications network like the one that exists on Navajoland.

The Navajo Nation agreed to help six Brazilian Indigenous nations develop a wireless network for which Brazil will pay the Navajo Nation $25 million, he said.

NAPI was created as a result of a Congressional law. During the 1960s, Congress authorized the construction of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP), enacted by Public Law (87-483), to provide a water delivery system from the Navajo Dam reservoir to 110,630 acres of irrigable land. The statute includes an annual diversion right of 508,000-acre feet of water to cultivate these acres.

The Navajo Tribal Council (later renamed the Navajo Nation Council) created NAPI on April 16, 1970. 

Raytheon said later, in 2017, that parts for 12 missile programs are stored and generated at the factory on the Navajo Nation.

"Raytheon Diné stores and generates parts for 12 missile programs such as the Tomahawk cruise missile, Javelin weapon system, and Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile."

New at Censored News:

Native American Tribes are Partnered with Corporations Responsible for War Crimes in Palestine

Copyright Censored News. No portion may be used without written permission for any purpose.

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