Cuba’s Strength In the Face of Aggressions

Elio Delgado Legon

Don’t be mistaken: the Cuban people, young and old, are united in defense of their revolution, as was clearly demonstrated this past May 1st.
Don’t be mistaken: the Cuban people, young and old, are united in defense of their revolution, as was clearly demonstrated this past May 1st.

HAVANA TIMES — In one of my previous articles published by Havana Times, I wrote that, as I saw it, Cuba was not an enemy of the United States. Cuba could not be this – it has never attacked any country or waged wars against anyone. On the contrary, it has sought to develop a policy of friendship towards all peoples of the world and comes to the aid of anyone who asks for help – even the people of the United States.

The government of the United States, on the other hand, doing everything in its power to keep the revolution from succeeding, supporting Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship with advisors and weapons, openly declared itself an enemy of Cuba’s revolutionary government on the very 1st of January of 1959.

I won’t enumerate the acts of aggression against Cuba perpetrated by the United States – these are well-known. It is a sad story of terrorist actions organized by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), actions whose mere mention is enough to anger one, ranging from the organization of armed terrorist bands in the country, through the Bay of Pigs invasion, the bombing of the La Coubre steamer and a Cuban commercial airliner with 73 people on board, to the introduction of plagues that have killed crops, animals and people.

In all cases, Cuba has come out victorious and stronger, even though these acts of aggression have meant the death or mutilation of thousands of Cubans and many steps back in plans to develop the country. No US administration, however, has learned the lesson, and all have insisted on overthrowing the revolution in order to establish a regime that will suit their hegemonic interests in Latin America more adequately.

The United States’ economic, commercial and financial blockade remains unshakably in place and has become a means of persecuting Cuban transactions anywhere in the world. Faced with the evident failure of this policy, condemned at the United Nations almost unanimously, the United States now attempts to influence Cuban youth, hoping that, in the mid or long term, this sector of the population will bring pressures to bear on the country and steer it towards capitalism.

With the pretext of helping people communicate with one another, they have stolen the personal information of thousands of young people who have mobile phone lines and illegally created a kind of Cuban Twitter, in order to send subversive messages to people (without their previous consent) in the hopes of mobilizing them against the revolution. They have finally become convinced, see, that the counterrevolutionary movement they have supported for years is totally discredited and hasn’t secured any support from the masses.

The US leadership doesn’t realize that Cuba isn’t just any old country, that Cuba experienced a revolution that united the people around their leaders and that young people in Cuba are no longer illiterate and know the difference between truth and lies. No one in our country wants to go back to the underdeveloped capitalism that existed before 1959, when infant mortality rates were at 60 for every thousand live births and life expectancy was only 59 years.

It’s true some young people emigrate to developed countries in search of financial improvement, but they are not the majority. The majority chooses to stay in their country and help it move forward, confident the future will be better, in spite of all the obstacles placed in our way.

That is the great strength the revolution evinces in the face of all aggression – past, present and future. Don’t be mistaken: the Cuban people, young and old, are united in defense of their revolution, as was clearly demonstrated this past May 1st. History has demonstrated that the people, united, will never be defeated.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.


102 thoughts on “Cuba’s Strength In the Face of Aggressions

  • May 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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    Anarchists are anti-Stalinist.
    Castro is a Stalinist.
    You can not be a true anarchist and condone anything the Castro regime has done.
    The concentration of power in to the hands of a Stalinist oligarchy as happened in Cuba is revolting to any true anarchist.

  • May 18, 2014 at 1:07 am
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    The links you requested:
    – Cuba has child malnutrition (5%) as the links posted previously show
    http://www.childinfo.org/files/nutrition/DI%20Profile%20-%20Cuba.pdf
    – Cuba has nearly 11 million people living in poverty 95% of the population)
    average salary of a Cuban is under $1 a day. 500 pesos Cubanos is $20.
    Lots of people get only half.
    “This
    limited range of products on their shopping lists is a reflection of
    the overall low level of income in hard currency, which barely covers
    basic needs,” he told IPS.
    Although health care and education are
    free, and utility rates are extremely low, a survey conducted in Havana
    at the start of the decade found that a family of four would require
    seven times the average salary to meet all of their basic needs.”
    http://www.ipsnews.net/2006/06/cuba-us-new-squeeze-on-family-remittances/
    – Cuba produces 20% of the food it needs and 80% is imported
    “In
    Cuba, which imports 80 percent of its food, iron-deficiency anaemia is
    the commonest nutritional disorder: recent studies by the Institute of
    Nutrition and Food Hygiene show that anemia prevalence in the eastern
    region is 56.7 percent among children under 2 and 20.1 percent in
    children aged 2–5.
    http://www.wfp.org/content/support-national-plan-prevention-and-control-anaemia-five-eastern-provinces-cuba
    – The billboard lies as Cuba has homeless children sleeping in the streets. Cuba has a whopping 500,000 houses shortage.
    Cuba home woes endure despite real-estate reform, MiamiHerald.com –
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/21/4071288/cuba-home-woes-endure-despite.html
    Let me know if you have any further questions.

  • May 17, 2014 at 7:38 am
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    Hahaha! That’s rich! The son of a prominent African-American civil rights worker who has never voted for anyone who didn’t have a (D) behind their name and who has campaigned, knocked on doors and voted twice for the first African-American Nobel Prize winning President and you call me a “real Karl Rove”. Not even close.

  • May 17, 2014 at 7:33 am
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    Obama has reduced the number of military personnel on foreign soil by half when compared to the number when he first took office. You have the luxury of criticizing the drone policies of this President by virtue of the freedoms in part being protected by these same drones. It is easy to call Obama a murderer until you have met a militant jihadist with a machete. That is reality.

  • May 17, 2014 at 7:13 am
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    Electoral candidates for the main parties in the US are selected by SECRET ballot in primaries, not in public meetings runs by some pro-regime organization. Independent candidates can get freely on the ballot. Not in Cuba.
    People like Ross Perrot got a national movement going against the status quo.
    Independents gets elected to all kind of positions in the US.
    In Cuba no opposition member and no independent can get on the ballot.
    It is in fact in Cuba where you can’t get on the ballot unless you support the status quo of the dictatorship.
    I don’t idealize neither the US or the Cuban system. I look at the facts, unlike you.
    How can one be selected being anti-Castro in a meeting where “chivatos” (“informers”) of the CDR run the show (at a local level). How can one get on a national ballot in Cuba if all candidates have to be proposed by organizations the regime controls?
    Cuba is the true “Stalinist” oligarchy.

  • May 16, 2014 at 11:58 am
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    ” The rest of us will have to live with, you know, facts and reality.”
    Really.?
    This has to mean you’re completely changing the way you’ve lived up until now .

  • May 16, 2014 at 11:55 am
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    Your statistics are meaningless given the extensive use of drones and Special Forces teams in the new way the Empire is fighting challenges to Imperial aims.
    Obama has many more outposts in many more countries than did Bush and is just reducing the numbers in the two major wars .
    Do try to keep up with reality.
    I credit Obama with being a bigger imperialist than his predecessor which should make you happy .
    I’m just not as keen on mass murderers as you are I guess.

  • May 16, 2014 at 11:49 am
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    You neglected to cite your sources .
    As expected.

  • May 16, 2014 at 11:47 am
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    Kennedy was the president who deepened U.S. Involvement into what was French Indo-China ( Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia ) .
    He COULD have pulled us out at the time but he was a Cold Warrior and an imperialist and didn’t .
    Your hagiography is somewhat premature.
    I’m glad to know that your medical education qualifies you to analyze the thinking and actions of Fidel Castro .
    You’re a real Karl Rove.

  • May 16, 2014 at 11:41 am
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    That you deem yourself equal to the task of lecturing a long-time anarchist on what democracy is , is the height of conceit.
    The USA is an oligarchy, plain and simple.
    It is NOT a democracy and surely not even the representative democracy that the republic was supposed to be.
    There is absolutely no need of political parties in any election and , in fact , political parties corrupt democracies as can plainly be seen in the U.S. where the hierarchical structures of the party have produced the standard scenario well understood by anarchists, self-preservation, corruption and totalitarianism .
    .
    The Labour Party supports capitalism and all that flows from it including imperial support .
    The Labour Party in England has a name that indicates its practices as well as the Communist Party or the Democratic Party. It is as pro-labor as the CP is pro-communist and the Democratic Party is pro-democracy.
    They are less than meaningless terms. They are Orwellian twistings of the words to mean precisely the opposite.
    ALL governments, long enough in power become self-preserving, corrupt and totalitarian. The evidence is all around you if you’d care to look.
    All else in your little excursion into democracy dreamland are just the details of how the fraud is maintained.
    Your stuff reads like high-school level civics books being so detached from the reality of things and so full of the wishful thinking that things were as these texts read.
    They most certainly do not reflect reality.

  • May 16, 2014 at 11:21 am
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    Every candidate for national office in the U.S. government is vetted first by the very wealthy who will finance any successful candidates campaign .
    Those selections are then forwarded to each candidates respective party for rubber stamping.
    No party can afford to refuse the necessary financial support offered by these legal bribers and so the very wealthy are the ones who select everyone the U.S. electorate gets to vote for.
    Just as in Cuba, the only people nominated regardless of party are those who support the status quo.
    In the U.S. your freedom of speech is guaranteed BUT if the corporate media will not allow your (leftist) views to be presented in an effective manner, that freedom of speech is severely limited .
    They broadcast what they have to say, the poor and the left opposition can only talk to those immediately around them .
    Cuba is NOT capitalist since there is no individual accumulation of wealth through exploiting others allowed in Cuba…… as yet.
    I’d say you have an idealized view of what the U.S. government is and how it operates that in very few ways reflects the reality of the oligarchy that it is..

  • May 15, 2014 at 11:38 am
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    Hating tyranny and oppression is no vice. The US embargo is intended to bring about regime change through non-military action. Sanctions which cause no sacrifice would not make sense, would they? Your comments are aimed at defending and apologizing for the Castro dictatorship. To that end, you are aptly named a ‘Castro apologist”. I agree with the implication in your last sentence. Using only the embargo as the vehicle to bring about regime change seems pointless. I agree with my President that the US should consider new strategies in addition to the current one to hasten the arrival of freedom and democracy in Cuba.

  • May 15, 2014 at 8:34 am
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    thanks for proving my point that the only politically-motivation in this regard lies with Elizardo. If you’re so concerned about political prisoners, go talk to those in GITMO

  • May 15, 2014 at 8:30 am
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    hold on to your hate, it seems that’s all you have. the embargo was put in place, and remains in place, solely to make things so bad for the Cuban people that they would overthrow their own govt. do you want a specific govt quote admitting to that? but keep ignoring any fact that contradicts your fantasy, keep up with the name calling, and keep up with your position of hurting the cuban people. it’s worked so well for the past 50 years, hasn’t it?

  • May 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm
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    Few dissident arrests, if any, are labeled as anything other than “common” crimes. Keep in mind the Castros can arrest you for what is called “pre-criminal behavior”. WTF?According to the Castros, there are no political prisoners in Cuba and no arrests are politically-motivated. But let’s say Elizardo’s numbers are too high by 50%. Are you then saying that 450 political arrests are acceptable? Really?

  • May 14, 2014 at 11:31 am
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    Castro apologists like you, in step with the regime, are now counting on younger Cubans to disassociate with their grandparents fervent opposition to the Castro regime and seek to compromise with the same despots who stole their grandparents property, tortured their uncles and caused generations of hardship for millions of Cubans. The reality that even the most open-minded Cubans will be able to spit on the graves of their forebears in order to unilaterally engage Castro tyranny in sufficient numbers to change political policy is unlikely in the next few years. Especially when one considers the overall shift in Washington to a more conservative and not a more liberal Congress including the election of another Cuban-American from West Virginia. Alex Mooney, on record for his support of the US embargo is likely to win in November and represents a non-Cuban but very anti-communist, anti-Castro district. If your best hope for reconciliation between the US and Cuba is contingent upon the growing forgetfulness of younger Cubans as to why the embargo was initially put in place, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I am betting that Raul steps down in 2018 or before and that the Castro curse will be lifted in Cuba long before the political will to lift the embargo unilaterally gains footing in the US.

  • May 14, 2014 at 10:41 am
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    You are correct on one small point, about the original political support for the US embargo on Cuba. It was imposed in response to the confiscation of US owned property in Cuba. In time, the Castro regime began to confiscate Cuban owned corporations too. As more Cuban’s fled the country as the true communist character of Castor’s revolution was revealed, their property was also seized.

    In time, the new Cuban exiles in the US gained political clout and they added their support to the embargo and Washington’s anti-Castro policies.

    However, the extent of the changing attitudes toward the Castro regime among Cuban-Americans has been exaggerated. The event which will provide an opening for significant change in US policy toward Cuba will be the eventual (and perhaps soon) passing of the two Castro brothers. Until they are gone, nothing much will change. After they are gone, there is a chance.

  • May 14, 2014 at 9:23 am
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    Democracy means the rule of the majority with respect for the minority.
    Democracy in the US leads to an elected group of people that are in office at the will of the people.
    Cuba is not democracy. It has no freedom of speech and all “candidates” in the elections are carefully vetted and approved by the dictatorship.
    An UN rapporteur once stated the obvious: due to the control the regime has over the “selection” of candidates the “election” can be dispensed with as it can’t change the outcome.
    Without freedom of speech and the possibility for all to present oneself for a free,, fair and secret ballot – not the case in Cuba – there can not be any democracy.
    As far as capitalism in Cuba: Cuba under Castro has always been a state capitalist country.

  • May 14, 2014 at 8:24 am
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    The cuban community in Miami in the 1950s, the ones who were politically active, were predominately anti-Batista. The undisputed facts, which you seem not to realize, is that upon Castro’s victory the United States government imposed the embargo, the travel restrictions and the terrorism upon the revolution without the input or influence of the exiles. The exiles supported the strategy but had no decision in the policy making. The historical documentary evidence is readily available and extensive, that shows that the early exile community had no influence, the US govt strategy of regime change was developed within government circles. The Cuban government’s relationship with those who left the country in the past 20 years is one of engagement, why the heck would they want to engage with the extreme right that wants nothing but regime change (would the US have sat down with Bin Laden to reflect a new US policy???) — it is the right wing hardliners that is uncompromising. But even that side is softening, re Fanjul et al. The new Cuban-American community will drive normalization, not your side.

  • May 14, 2014 at 7:30 am
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    Your assertion that “…money will determine the outcome in any multi-party elections under a capitalist economy.” is demonstrably false. In the UK, the Labour Party has been elected to form the government several times, even when outspent by the Conservative Party which had the backing of big business. Numerous similar examples from liberal democracies around the world contradict your statement.

    Your bias against multi-party elections reveals your totalitarian mentality, no matter what you choose call yourself. That you cannot accept the existence and participation of multiple points of view is the very definition of totalitarianism.

    There are several different forms of democratic government.

    The system of government practiced in the United States of America is not simply “democracy”. It is officially a Republic, (meaning the rule of law, as opposed to the rule of kings), of which periodic democratic elections are held to elect representatives. Democracy is a feature of the US system, but it is an insufficiently term to use to define the whole system. The US Constitution is the ultimate law of the land and no transitory democratic majority in Congress nor the executive branch has the power to overrule the Constitution. That’s what is meant by the Rule of Law.

    My country Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy, featuring the regular election of a representative and responsible government. One interesting difference between Canada & the US is that there is no fixed regular election date in Canada, only that an election must be held within five years of the last election. The government of Canada can face a vote of non-confidence at any time, triggering an election. If the government fails to pass an annual budget, a new election must be held.

    Imagine if the US Congress was obliged to pass an actual budget each year or else the Senators, congressmen and the executive branch would have to go face the voters. That might cure the dysfunction in Washington, which hasn’t passed a budget since 2009.

    Switzerland practices a form of government which has been called the most direct democracy in the world. Legislation can be challenged by citizens and put to the direct vote of the electorate. The executive branch is formed by a committee which has sharply limited executive powers.

    Each form of democratic government has its own advantages and disadvantages. To design a political system based only upon a negative criticism of one particular form, without due consideration of the inherent flaws of the proposed system, is to invite tyranny.

    You can read an interesting look at the topic as it relates to Cuba:

    POSSIBLE ELECTORAL SYSTEMS IN A DEMOCRATIC CUBA

    “In order to create an electoral system that meets the international standards of a democratic society that embraces competitive elections, plurality, representation, accountability, transparency, and stability, the new Cuban political, social and economic structure must allow other ideologies to compete with social- ism. The Constitution’s irrevocability of socialism clause and the legitimization of the one-party state to allow for free and fair elections that embrace pluralism and the people’s will must be amended. The Cuban government must also remove its repressive policies against those who dissent from its current government, and must constitutionalize and codify the rights and freedoms to speak freely and assemble. Such a move will ensure and encourage the creation of a robust and pluralistic civil society that will better represent the people’s will. The government must also respect and follow the rule of law. No political party, ideology, group of people or individual should place themselves above the law. Doing so will allow the electoral system to produce free, fair and competitive elections.”

    http://www.ascecuba.org/publications/proceedings/volume23/pdfs/buigas.pdf

  • May 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm
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    I will take the word of a Cuban dissident over the predictable propaganda of a Castro regime apologist. There are other groups monitoring human rights abuses in Cuba and their numbers are similar.

    The Castro regime police routinely charge dissidents with phony criminal charges.

  • May 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm
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    Wrong again, the Cuba community in Miami was a viable and politically influential force to be reckoned with in the 1950s, well before the Castro revolution. Should the Castros concede to reason and begin a good faith dialogue with the extreme right anticastristas in south Florida, Washington would have no choice but to reflect this in a new Cuban policy. But you know as well as I do that the Castros have no interest in compromise and this outcome has a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming a reality.

  • May 13, 2014 at 10:57 am
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    and here is the specific proof that the US policy is based solely on making things so bad for the Cubans, to starve them to death, so that they would rise up against their own government —

    Proof that the punishment came early when Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
    Inter-American Affairs Lester D. Mallory, who on April 6, 1960, wrote: “The
    majority of Cubans support Castro. The only foreseeable means of alienating
    internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic
    dissatisfaction and hardship.”

    The Kennedy administration
    reaffirmed the sights were on the citizens a few months later. “The
    Cuban people (are) responsible for the regime,” Undersecretary of State Douglas
    Dillon proclaimed, and the president agreed that it was Washington’s duty to
    cause “rising discomfort among hungry Cubans.” A CIA officer explained the continued economic
    sabotage that took place in the 1970s “We
    wanted to keep bread out of the stores so the people would go hungry. We wanted
    to keep rationing in effect and keep leather out, so people got only one pair
    of shoes every 18 months.”

  • May 13, 2014 at 10:52 am
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    yes and that agency is run by Elizardo Sanchez, a well known and long standing dissident, who has never released any more detailed information other than an arbitrary number. He consistently includes what would be considered criminal arrests in his totals, as he considers all arrests in Cuba to have a political motivation. His is an organization with no credibility.

  • May 13, 2014 at 10:46 am
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    well said, the embargo, the travel restrictions, the attempts at isolation and the terrorism were all implemented against Cuba long before the exiles had any political or financial influence. The Cuban community that helps drive the continuation of regime-change policy is just the face of America’s long standing strategy against Cuba.

  • May 13, 2014 at 10:31 am
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    Democracy literally means “rule of the people.”
    In modern terms this means majority rule . If 51% of a group votes a certain way, democracy demands that is how the elected should act.
    Democracy in a republic like the U.S and Cuba amounts to an elected group carrying out the wishes of the electorate .
    If you actually believe that the POUSA and the Congress carry out the wishes of the electorate and not the wishes of the very rich who finance every successful campaign for national office, you’re sadly mistaken.
    Likewise in Cuba, the people elect representatives
    who then go on to support the policies of the Cuban Communist Party and the ossified bureaucracy that is the government .
    In neither case is there democracy .
    Your dream for Cuba of multi-party elections combined with a MIXED economy is a plan for sliding right back into neo-liberal capitalism and a still totalitarian electoral system since money will determine the outcome in any multi-party elections under a capitalist economy.
    Being a little capitalist is like being a little pregnant.
    Except that capitalism most often gives birth to monsters.

  • May 12, 2014 at 10:16 am
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    Evidently your living in a cave without human contact for so long is the reason you don’t know that the (Cuban) “general state of economic misery” is,for the most part, caused by the 54 year economic and terrorist war being waged upon the island’s economy by the United States.
    It was set up back in 1960 SPECIFICALLY to make life so miserable for all the Cuban people that they would voluntarily reject their revolution.
    Just saying…..you might want to look into this.

  • May 12, 2014 at 10:09 am
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    Ummmmm……..the anti-Cuban policies followed by the government were never put in place to make the ex-Cubans happy .
    The U.S. has a 100 year-old policy of crushing socialist or socialist-style movements around the world.
    It is this policy that is being followed nd which would be followed regardless of how the expatriate Cuban community felt.
    As it happens, and this should come as no surprise to anyone ,, the policies of the U.S. government coincide with those of the Cuban expatriate community: a return to ( totalitarian immiserating) capitalism and to the corrupt form of bourgeois capitalist electoral politics that supports only capitalism .
    The Cubans and the expatriate Cubans could totally reconcile and the U.S. embargo would still stay in place .
    It is fear of democratic forms that drives U.S. foreign policy and not so much the shrinking electoral power of the Florida Cubans.
    IMO

  • May 12, 2014 at 8:27 am
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    My comments on the history of the Cuban Missile Crises are supported by the factual evidence of the events, drawn from the histories, memoirs, minutes and recollections of the people involved.

    Facts are not opinions. Opinions are not facts. You seem to be confused on that point.

    You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

  • May 12, 2014 at 7:10 am
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    John, there is no war being waged on Cuba. The Us could take Cuba easily if a real war was going on. It is all just the mindless repetition of propaganda. the US is the 5th trading partner of Cuba, was in 2008 the largest food supplier of Cuba and is the largest source of remittances to Cuba. All thosde facts expose the war rhetoric.
    Cuba has a Stalinist economy and Stalinist system. It is a very ineffective state capitalist system that ca hardly work worse. A change to a mixed system for the economy and a democratic system for politics would benefit all Cubans.
    The embargo works for all the reasons you deny. It doesn’t “work” denying Cubans food or medicines: they can be freely imported if paid. It does not work as”genocide” as it is the remittances emanating from the USA keep most of Cuban families alive.
    I works in denying the regime access to mass markets in the US so that it can set up a “maquiladora” country where the people are exploited for the benefit of the elite and that is why it has a reason to remain in place.

    The trade sanctions protect US exporters against unpaid bills. The protect Cubans against eternally continued exploitation.
    I would strongly advise you to take a course in economics. That is the only sarcasm in my post.
    That will tell you, by mere analysis of the facts, that the Cuban economic isn’t just “doomed” to fail but that it has effective failed since the beginning resulting in rationing and scarcity at home and an utter dependence on foreign subsidies.
    Democratic socialism can work (see Scandinavia), totalitarian Stalin-ism has never worked.
    History has thought us that. The two states that still cling to it (to a more or lesser extent): Cuba and North Korea show that. The more a nation clings to this outdated and totally discredited system the worse the people suffer. North Korea is the best example;

  • May 12, 2014 at 6:45 am
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    WW2 was a struggle between two dictatorships and one democratic block. The Molotov – Von Ribentrop pact started WW2. Stalin secured Hitler’s back in exchange for territory and thousands of Polish intellectuals were killed in Katyn.

    The Soviet Union lost 60 million people to communism.

    The “West” yo refer to was Hitler someone the “West” (Europe, USA, ..) fought. You are very disingenuous here.

    As far as your other comments go:

    – Cuba has child malnutrition (5%) as the links posted previously show

    – Cuba has nearly 11 million people living in poverty 95% of the population)

    – Cuba produces 20% f the food it needs and 80% is imported

    – The billboard lies as Cuba has homeless children sleeping in the streets. Cuba has a whopping 500,000 houses shortage.

    Now stop trying to change the subject with propaganda lies.

    As far as “who loves their children”: Castro was ready to sacrifice a of the Cuban children when he demanded a “first strike” from Khrushchev. It even shocked the Soviet leadership as Khrushchev’s son later testified.

  • May 11, 2014 at 4:55 pm
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    Never saw so many responses on this site as Elio Delgado Legon evokes so many diverse responses. What a great web site. Would it not be great to have these
    opposing Cuban Expatriates and Cuban’s who remained sit down for a weekend and figure how to get this insanity repaired and show the world how great these
    people, from all sides, are?

  • May 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm
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    And that’s your personal opinion. Well done.

  • May 11, 2014 at 10:45 am
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    Disneyworld was opened in 1971, well after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Fidel Castro’s ego is legendary. To say he is NOT an egomaniac is ridiculous. Who WOULDN’T trade their childhood home for an entire country! Finally, if the best you got is that Fidel knew that Kennedy did not want to do anything that would lead to WWIII, then you are correct. I hope all US Presidents are just as reluctant to use military force.

  • May 11, 2014 at 10:38 am
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    President Obama has reduced the number of American boots on the ground on foreign soil by half during his Presidency. Still you are not happy and willing to give him credit?

  • May 11, 2014 at 10:23 am
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    And… where would those 11 million Cubans be settled ?
    There is a matter of immigration quotas and natural limits on absorbing such numbers .
    Your point is somewhat a given in that ANY population in any country under economic siege as Cuba has been for half a century would be in distress and looking to get out .
    Try this: Call off your war on the people of Cuba, give that economy an opportunity to rise or fall on its own and THEN send the U.S. Navy in to take all who wish to leave.
    Of course, to be fair and humane , you’d also have to take the millions of Haitians, Dominicans, Jamaicans and others in Latin America who live in worse poverty than any Cubans do .
    Note; Cuba is NOT a socialist country, society or paradise .
    It may never be a ” paradise” because the U.S. war on the economy was put in place to make sure its economy would be anything as good as it could be .
    It is only the idiot right that refers to Cuba sneeringly as a “socialist paradise ” which makes them both ignorant and hypocritical in that Cuba is NOT socialist but only has some socialist aspects to its economy and because all you right-wingers know that your 54-year war prevents even normalcy never mind economic progress or a utopia in Cuba’s society.

  • May 11, 2014 at 10:10 am
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    You entirely omitted mention of the 54 year war the U.S. has been waging on the Cuban economy in your response .
    This deliberate omission tosses out your claim to be open minded and certainly testifies to your lack of objectivity .
    To claim that all of Cuba’s problems are of internal origin is just colossally and stupendously propagandistic and hardly worth responding to.
    I simply cannot believe you actually believe what you are saying because it is so far from obvious reality .
    Do you really think that the U.S. State Department which is behind the embargo thinks that Cuba’s semi -socialist economy will not burgeon once the embargo is lifted ?
    RIGHT!…….You know more than they do..
    They’ve only been working on this plan for some 54 years but YOU know better than they do with their millions of contacts and points of information that it is only internal Cuban policies that are causing the tough economic conditions in Cuba .
    My question : If the embargo is not working and the Cuban economy is doomed to fail because of internal problems , why don’t they call it off and prove the bullshit claim that socialism cannot work ?
    After all, YOU know it is strictly internal policies that are the entire cause of the economic distress inside Cuba.
    It has absolutely nothing to do with a U.S. foreign policy that has been in effect for close to 100 years .
    Do you detect a note of sarcasm in my post ?

  • May 11, 2014 at 9:54 am
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    I reject your post as untrue.
    No sourcing for that “900 arrests” story likely means it came from an unreliable right-wing/counter revolutionary source which you are justifiably embarrassed to cite.
    I welcome being proved wrong
    Could you oblige me ?

  • May 11, 2014 at 9:49 am
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    Given the fact that Barack Obama who is now running about 5 wars and has doubled the number of Special Forces deployments from the Bush years to include 70% of the countries of the world was awarded the Nobel Peace prize, I would think that any MORAL person truly devoted to peace would reject that prize as less than meaningless.

  • May 11, 2014 at 9:44 am
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    The Soviets lost some 50 million of THEIR people to Western aggression from the capitalist states over a twenty five year period in which they were invaded three times.
    THAT’S why the Soviets were reluctant to engage in a further war.
    As I have stated before, IMO , Fidel knew that the U.S. would never accept an exchange in which Miami or other cities were obliterated and Havana taken out on the other side.
    His was a bluff that worked because Fidel was a scholar on U.S. foreign policy objectives and limitations .
    Not at all a madman .
    As for caring about Cuban children:
    1.
    Cuba is the only country in Latin America that has NO childhood malnutrition.
    2.
    The U.S. has some 50 million people living in poverty , a huge percentage of which are children of single parents who suffer from what is euphemistically called ” food insecurity”
    3.
    The world today produces some 117% of the food necessary to feed the entire planet .
    Yet millions of children die EVERY year of starvation and disease because in the capitalist world in which they live, they don’t make the $2.00 a day it takes to buy that food.
    4.
    A billboard in Cuba reads:
    “In the world today millions of children sleep in the streets.
    NOT ONE IS CUBAN.”
    Do please tell me again who loves their children and who kills them off by the millions ?
    .

  • May 11, 2014 at 9:32 am
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    You really should read Fidel’s writings on the Cuban Missile Crisis so that you don’t spout the nonsensical bullshit you do.
    Absent a study of the thinking on both sides of this issue, you can’t accurately post on it as evidenced by your post above.
    Fidel knew that the U.S. would never want to go to nuclear war and have Miami or Disneyworld obliterated and the island of Cuba laid to waste .
    Oh the people of the U.S. wouldn’t care a rat’s ass about the Cubans who were incinerated but losing Disney World or Miami would be an entirely unacceptable swap. to them .
    It’s one thing to the American people if you kill 3 million Vietnamese with napalm and more bombs than were dropped in WWII because they don’t feel it personally but to have that hell visited on a U.S. city …..no way
    I’m only half joking here .
    Fidel KNEW the U.S. would make a deal rather than get nuked and like “crazy” George W. Bush , Reagan and Kim Jung-il , leaders who played at crazy, the opponents don’t dare think about finding out just how crazy these people really are and back off.
    You have got to get over the notion that the Castros are devils incarnate because you’re often wandering off the logical and historically factual track when you start that mental frothing at the mouth when you speak of them.
    Fidel was never an egomaniac -such people don’t give up their childhood homes for the poor – and he certainly was, and even in his present state is ,far saner and an infinitely more moral person than you.
    IMO
    I’ll go through the books of Fidel’s speeches and get back to you with Fidel’s quotes on the matter later as time and opportunity permit.

  • May 11, 2014 at 8:58 am
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    Cognoscenti means those that are knowledgeable about a given subject in this case socialism and communism .
    I used the word to differentiate between those in the know about deep philosophical concepts and those who don’t;
    those who know what communism is and those who think it is what most Communist Party-run societies are.
    It is a necessary tack for the many ignorant of the facts. .
    I really appreciate your stating that the aim of U.S. foreign policy is indeed the prevention of democratic systems and not the establishment of them as the leading tenet of a very long-term U.S. foreign policy history.
    You MUST know that most people on the anti-revolutionary side, on the side of U.S. government policies do not recognize the centrality of the anti-democratic nature of imperial foreign policy and that you will be in rare company with both a counter-revolutionary attitude and one that simultaneously recognizes the anti-democratic nature of U.S. foreign policy .
    This will appear to be a sell-out on your part by the hard right.
    Good luck!

  • May 11, 2014 at 8:56 am
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    Ok, to believe something contradicted by all available evidence isn’t simply another valid personal opinion. It’s delusional.

    Thank you for making the nature of your position clear.

  • May 11, 2014 at 8:45 am
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    I have had one post pulled for going at someone in a too personal way . The deletion was entirely justified under the rules of the forum which Circles certainly stretches in many cases to allow some deep feelings to be expressed in what are often less than civil tones.
    But then we are discussing the morality of life and death decisions and feelings will always run high on both sides because of the moral issues involved .
    How many of your posts have been pulled that you feel your comment was warranted. ?
    I have never gotten the feeling that my posts would be pulled if only because I USUALLY try to counter unsubstantiated bullshit with verifiable fact and intersperse those pertinent facts with my also usual criticisms, moral judgments and sarcasm .
    You can certainly render criticisms, moral judgment calls and sarcasm more readily acceptable when they are wrapped in serious historical fact pertinent to an article or previous post .
    The fact that my belief system is very iconoclastic and somewhat alien to many, draws heat from many and certainly makes my posts controversial yet , as said, I have had just one post yanked and that was for good reason that was politely explained to me.
    IMO HT is a VERY open marketplace of ideas.
    It is exemplary of what freedom of speech is all about .
    Appreciate it for the rarity that it is in this world owned by the corporate media where the common man is banned.
    .

  • May 11, 2014 at 8:29 am
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    You did not cite a source for that 900 arrest figure.
    I can guess why.
    Secondly, if you do not believe that 99% of those in the CAPITALIST developing world who suffer from starvation, lack of health care , lack of potable water a safe place to raise their family would move to Cuba in a New York minute if they had the chance EVEN were they forbidden to ever speak ill about the government, then you’re just being mulishly stupid .
    If you actually believe that a mother with a sick, starving or terminally ill baby would stay in a place because she could complain when and how she wanted, you’re an even bigger fool.
    But then, you want the Cuban people to suffer for daring to defy your bosses’ imperial designs so I would not put baby-killing beyond the scope of things you consider acceptable .
    Happy Mother’s Day.

  • May 11, 2014 at 6:34 am
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    Do note that – under disqus rules – it is the editor of Havana Times that decides which comments make it to the forum and which don’t. That may explain a lot.

  • May 11, 2014 at 6:33 am
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    A speech is no dinner. A speech is no cure.
    That is why Cubans – after thousands of hours of Castro speeches – are hungry and without medicines.
    Free speech doesn’t feed or cure directly, it allows for those that can and want to change the need for food and medicines to replace the leaders that can’t.
    That is why the Castro regime fears free speech.

  • May 11, 2014 at 6:27 am
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    I am very aware of the problems Cubans have to travel.
    The high costs of travel documents in Cuba and the fact that Cubans are amongst those needing visas for more countries than any other nation.
    The reasons for that are very simple: the regime wants to get as much cash as possible from those traveling and all nations being afraid that Cubans will stay and not return. Both of those are the direct consequence of the actions of the regime.
    In a perverse way the “wet foot dry foot” is a way to bypass those restrictions for Cubans; they get to Mexico – the new less dangerous route – and cross in to the US without fear – actually with a desire – to get caught by US border patrol as “dry foot”.
    What is the real problem is that – after the 20% of Cubans that have already left – lots more Cubans want to leave the desperate situation in Cuba.That desperate situation has been created by the Cuban regime that has controlled and politicized every aspect – education, work, housing, .. – of Cuban life.
    Today lots of Cubans leave for Europe – see the “ley de los abuelos” – and other destinations. These countries don’t have “wet / dry foot” laws, but most don’t return Cubans because of the repressive system.
    You are, John, desperately stuck in dogmatically inspired dualist thinking. You desperately want to forget about the Cuban reality as it doesn’t suit your agenda.
    Thnaks to the sopurces I have access to and my open mind I am a lot better informed and more able to address the facts than you are.

  • May 11, 2014 at 6:26 am
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    It’s something called…personal opinion. Personal opinions don’t necessarily need to be supported by factual evidence. My opinion is formulated on the premise that Fidel had done a very good job of convincing the US administration that he was a total nut-case and capable of anything. He had been nurturing that bravado for some time as a bluff to confuse the US administration and stave off invasion…his so called “scare tactic” that I eluded to earlier. Nobody within the US administration could be absolutely sure that there weren’t already live nukes in Cuba aimed at the US during the crisis. At that time, Kennedy’s military advisers were telling him that none were yet operational, but still, some doubts must have naturally lingered and plagued Kennedy with his decision making process. With a perceived nut-case in Cuba potentially having access to live nukes……well, I hope you now get my drift. In the years following the crisis, it has been reported that there were indeed live nukes in Cuba at the time. Doubts whether Fidel would have been able to launch them against the US are immaterial when we’re talking about the potential of nuclear annihilation. Dismissing that potential would be absolutely foolhardy. And Kennedy was no fool.

    You can still disagree with my personal opinion if you wish. That’s fine. But I will continue to assert that Fidel’s manic “crazy-man” theatrics and threats directed towards the US did indirectly play a significant role in Kennedy’s thought process and crisis resolving negotiations with Khrushchev.

  • May 11, 2014 at 5:48 am
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    There is only one type of democracy. By referring to that as “bourgeois democracy” you show yourself to be a dogmatic communist.
    Compared to Cuba the US is a haven of democracy. Your criticism of the US, an imperfect democracy at worst, is completely invalidated by your support of the Cuban dictatorship.
    Your false claims abour the trade sanctions have been exposed. What you want to claim are “facts” are in fact the mindless parroting of Cuban propaganda.
    If – as you claim – you support the aims of the Cuban revolution then you should support the retuen to a multi-party democracy as the 1940 constitution of Cuba that the revolution wanted to restore had mandated. That is what Frank PAis died for.
    As an anarchist you should completely teject and condemn the Castro Stalinist dictatorship as it is the antithesis of anarchism. Cuba today has a worse ologarchy tha it ever had.
    I support the true aims of the revolution: a socially just republic based on multiparty democracy and respect of human rights with a mixed economic system.
    The Cuban people, in independent polls, have stated they have lost all faith in the stalinist system. Time for change. A change freely decided in open, free and fair multi^party elections.

  • May 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm
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    Terry, you did not use the word “letter”, but you did write “That got the attention of everyone at the time though, didn’t it?” in direct response to Moses’ comment about the letter. If you were not referring to the letter, then what were you referring to? Please be specific.

    Anyway, whether you admit it or not is immaterial. Your basic argument, that it was Castro’s hysterical behaviour which motivated Kennedy to step down, is not supported by any evidence anywhere. (If you have any such evidence, please produce it.) Of the three official accounts: neither the Soviet nor the American, nor even the Cuban official accounts of the Cuban Missile Crises mention Castro’s crazy man act as being in any way influential on Kennedy. The Americans figured out very quickly that the Soviet’s were calling the shots and that Castro was an impotent clown beating his chest. We also have a number of un-official histories of those tense days, and yet again, none of them support your argument.

    More recently, newly released minutes from Washington & Moscow reveal a more nuanced picture of the tense negotiations, but Castro’s role was elevated in one key element only: his letter to Khrushchev pleading for nuclear war which convinced the Russian leader, not Kennedy who knew nothing about the letter, to back down.

    So what are you actually talking about? Do you continue to insist Castro’s crazy man act scared Kennedy? If so, where is your evidence to support that interpretation? (hint: there is none).

  • May 9, 2014 at 10:50 pm
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    You’ve written a whole lot about nothing. Again, I reiterate, where did I write anything about the letter? I didn’t…so don’t try to tell me that I did. You’ve taken what I wrote out of context…even Moses didn’t mention the letter in his original post. Kennedy didn’t know about the letter either, so the letter has never played any part in my assertions. Kennedy was only aware of Fidel’s manic theatrics and threats directed towards the US in front of the cameras. That is what I’ve always been referring to, and have done so in numerous other posts. End of story. Or do you now want to make up some more nonsense about what I “clearly did write” to further embarrass yourself?

  • May 9, 2014 at 9:50 pm
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    You opinion is not “fact” but it’s more probable, because it accepts your assumptions and leads to your preferred interpretation. Ok, Terry, you go with that.

    The rest of us will have to live with, you know, facts and reality.

  • May 9, 2014 at 9:26 pm
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    As we eventually discovered, there were already 85 short range tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba during the crises. The US did not know this. The Russian ships were bringing intermediate range missiles to Cuba. But at no time did Castro have control of the launch pads for the missiles. He was trying to, but the Russians kept him at bay.

  • May 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm
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    thanks

  • May 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm
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    You say the US could have invaded Cuba and flattened the island. On a good day…yes, certainly. But during the Cuban missile crisis, nobody in the American administration could be absolutelhy sure that there weren’t already live nukes in Cuba aimed at the US, and with Fidel’s finger on the button.

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm
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    In the letter he wrote to Khrushchev, Castro declared he was willing to sacrifice Cuba in a nuclear war. That’s what scared the living shit out of the Soviet leader and made him realize it was far too dangerous to put nuclear weapons in Cuba.

    The existence of the letter was only revealed by Sergei Khrushchev many years later. As a young missile command officer, Sergei was with his father at the Kremlin during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nikita wanted somebody he trusted to explain any technical issues about nuclear missiles that might come up during the crisis.

    Sergei insists it was Castro’s fanaticism which made Khrushchev order the Soviet navy ships to turn around, and not Kennedy’s tough stance. The Russians didn’t think Kennedy was all that tough.

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm
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    You did not first mention the letter, probably because like much else about Cuban history you were ignorant of it. But once exposed for a fool, you started dancing around. Let’s pause now now and look at the conversation as it developed:

    Moses wrote,
    “Did he forget that Fidel begged Khrushchev to drop a nuclear bomb on the US? Oh yea, that.”

    To which you directly responded,
    “That got the attention of everyone at the time though, didn’t it? And Fidel’s scare tactic accomplished it’s goal…it forced the US to stand-down their potential invasion of his country out of fear that it might actually happen. Mission accomplished, and Cuba is still free of America’s tyranny today.”

    You see that, Terry? You did indeed refer to the letter and you claimed Castro wrote it to scare Kennedy into submission.

    You are wrong about why Castro wrote the letter.
    You are wrong to claim that Kennedy knew about the letter.
    You are wrong to say that Kennedy backed down because of Castro’s bluff.
    And you are wrong to try to deny you wrote what you clearly did write.

    It’s ok Terry, you can admit you goofed, that you were unaware of certain historical facts. Or not, your call.

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm
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    Kennedy was in no way intimidated by Castro’s bluff. The US military could have invaded and flattened the island if they had decided to do so. The only thing which deterred the US, from a military point of view, was the Soviet Union. The humiliating lesson taught to Fidel Castro during the Missile Crisis was that he is irrelevant. He hated that and never forgave either Khrushchev or Kennedy for the insult.

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm
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    The more balanced accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis which have been published in the last few years advance the argument that Kennedy was much less resolute than the popular US view at the time. Both Kennedy and Khrushchev blinked. They both gave concessions to the other side and they both agreed to allow the other to save face. To their credit, as you say.

    The truly frightening revelation to come out is that the world was much closer to nuclear war than was known even then. On both sides, there were military advisors in the Kremlin and the Pentagon who argued for a pre-emptive strike. Add to that the realization in Moscow that they were in danger of losing control of their missile bases in Cuba to the bearded madman.

    In the aftermath, Khrushchev lost the allegiance of the Politburo and was forced into retirement in 1964. Castro was furious at the Soviets for humiliating him when they excluded him from negotiations with the Americans.

    And we all know what happened to Kennedy, assassinated by a fanatical admirer of Fidel Castro who had been a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm
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    Kennedy feared Fidel because Fidel had convinced him by way of his manic theatrics that he might indeed be crazy and capable of anything. But I’m submitting that Fidel’s “act” was just that…all an act to confuse and indirectly motivate Kennedy to seek a negociated end to the crisis for the benefit of the US, the Soviet Union, and Cuba combined. It’s not “fact”…but it is more highly probable. Fidel had no other card to play other than to put the fear of God into the American administration to help avert the American invasion of Cuba. To that end, he was entirely successful.

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm
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    That is one point on which we agree: the wet foot/dry foot policy is wrong. The US should open their doors to all Cuban refugees. In fact, the US Navy ought to sail up to the edge of Cuban territorial waters and announce they will take any and all Cubans wanting to leave Castro’s socialist paradise.

    The island would be empty by the end of the week.

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm
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    You misunderstood my comment. I do not dispute that the US didn’t have a strong preference whether the government of Cuba was democratic or an authoritarian dictatorship, so long as US economic interests were not threatened and so long as the Communists did not gain power.

    During the late 1950’s, the US government was worried whether the M26 movement and it’s leader, Fidel Castro were Communists. Some of their advisors said he was, others said he was not. Even after Fidel and the rebels seized power in Havana, Washington was still undecided whether the Revolution was going to “go Communist”. Over the course of events in 1959, it eventually became clear to even the most gullible doubters that, yes indeed, Fidel was “going Commie”.

    PS: It’s funny where you wrote, ” Cognoscenti will know…” Given that “cognoscenti” means “those how know”, what you wrote is “Those who know will know…”

    LOL! Redundant much?

  • May 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm
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    In other words, you are just guessing that Fidel was ‘pretending’ to want Khrushchev to start WWIII? You have no documented proof that he didn’t really mean it. Wow, do you have your head so far up the Castro rump that you are not willing to believe that he really was (is) the egomaniacal madman he must have been to promote such an idea? Instead, you think he was just gambling that the two most fearsome powers that mankind has ever known would fold at the notion of mutually assured destruction? This explains a lot about what you have written.

  • May 9, 2014 at 12:02 pm
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    There were more than 900 arrests of political dissidents in April. For a country the size of Cuba, that is significant. No one should be asked to trade their liberty for food. To give the Castros a free pass on extending basic human rights because Cubans have better access to health and education services, is ridiculous.

  • May 9, 2014 at 11:56 am
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    If Fidel has never admitted that he was “acting” as you have incorrectly suggested, then how do you know this to be a fact? Why do you believe Kennedy “feared” Castro? On what basis do you arrive at this? The historical record shows both the Soviets and the US to have thankfully backed away from the brink of WWIII because of the realization that BOTH sides would suffer terrible loss of life. Hence the MAD or Mutually Assured Destruction tag given to the foreign policy of the era. Unbiased historical experts agree on this. Where is your proof otherwise?

  • May 9, 2014 at 11:47 am
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    Where have I changed well-known historical facts? You mention the letter again…I’ve never made any mention of the letter presented to Khrushchev by Fidel. I’m merely suggesting that what many preceive to be fact regarding Fidel’s motivations at the time, are still being mislead to believe that Fidel was a crazy madman. I submit that he was crazy…yes, crazy like a fox. His theatrics years ago still continue to fool those who are not capable of considering a more probable explanation for his behavior at that time.

  • May 9, 2014 at 10:42 am
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    The U.S. government did not give a rat’s ass if the 1958 Fidel were a (small “c”) democrat .
    Back in the 50s and 60s the U.S. was only concerned with preventing the rise of socialism and preventing other social democratic forms such as unions and human rights groups from working effectively.
    You will most certainly NOT do this but anyone else who wants an objective look at what the consistent U.S. foreign policy was throughout the 20th century can go to the ‘Killing Hope ” website (or the book) and read the list of some 54 interventions made by the U.S. .
    In none of these is the establishment of a democratic system the desired result.
    Cognoscenti will know that both communism and socialism are based on a strictly democratic operation and it is this bottom-up philosophy ( democracy) that the ( rabid capitalist) .0001% who own the U.S. government have feared for the past century .
    It is this fear of democracy that has long determined U.S. foreign policy and not the love of democracy.
    Those in the know will also recognize that classic communism and socialism have never been practiced as such.
    The Communist Parties of the world cannot be considered communist nor can any of the so-called socialist systems be considered socialist since they all operate from the top down and not from the bottom up .
    That said, bourgeois, multiparty democratic systems that so many call for in Cuba are rarely democratic in practice because of inevitable oligarchic infiltration and corruption in any capitalist society where money is power.
    IMO

  • May 9, 2014 at 10:24 am
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    Have you ever tried to eat free speech for dinner?
    Have you ever eaten a speech on health to cure your disease ?
    Were you born completely literate because your mother breast fed you after eating a free speech ?
    There are billions of people in the poor capitalist countries of the world who would gladly trade their freedom of speech to be guaranteed enough food, medicine, education , a safe place to live and the other necessities of life.
    This would include the 10-15 million who annually die of starvation and curable disease in the capitalist countries of the world.
    How many people in Cuba are in prison for just saying something anti-government and how does that compare with say, China, North Korea, Myannmar, Saudi Arabia , Russia ?
    You need to get a sense of proportion .

  • May 9, 2014 at 10:13 am
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    You obviously are unaware of the difficulty Cubans have when applying for emigration at the U.S. Interests Section and unaware of the Cuban Adjustment Act’s ” Wet foot-dry foot ” clause and unaware of the entire U.S. plan to immiserate the Cuban population so as to cause a counter-revolution.
    Why would anyone choose to waste their time with you ?
    Try to get out and read more .

  • May 9, 2014 at 10:05 am
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    If you support democracy, you cannot support bourgeois democracies such as the U.S. government because they are oligarchic and NOT democratic .
    If you support capitalism as I would think you do, you support the most vicious form of totalitarianism there is.
    Were you truly supportive of human rights and the welfare of the Cuban people you would be opposing U.S. intentions instead of supporting them.
    Secondly, if the U.S. State Department, the ex-Cubans in Florida and all the rightwing strategists and talking heads in the U.S. corporate media say the embargo is working and needs to be not only maintained but strengthened , it means that, in their expert opinions, the embargo is having its desired effect of making life miserable for most of the Cuban people.
    I present these facts to give you something to think about and how your posts are contradicted by your self-professed deep-seated beliefs .
    Lastly , as an anarchist, it is my deep seated belief that all governments long enough in power become self-preserving, corrupt and totalitarian.
    I do not support the present Cuban government but do support the revolution’s aims which that totalitarian government is trying to maintain in the face of U.S. aggression .
    Once the U.S. ends its multi-faceted war on the people of Cuba , you will not hear a more vociferous critic of the Cuban system’s lack of democracy than me .
    BUT.. until the terrorist U.S. ends its war on all the people of Cuba, I will support that relatively benign dictatorship .
    I can well understand your desire to return to trying to reform the Batistas in a bourgeois democracy because that worked so well in the past (NOT!) and return to feral capitalism because THAT worked so well for all Cubans but unfortunately for you, the Cuban people seem intent on keeping their revolution and continuing to reject that which they know does not work.

  • May 9, 2014 at 8:50 am
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    Cuba armed, trained and directed guerillas attempting to overthrow several countries, including but not limited to Dominican Republic, Grenada, Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Angola, & etc. These covert operations were run through Castro’s “America Department”.

    Just one example of how this support from Cuba was carried out:

    “Cuba had provided some training and arms to the FSLN in the early 1960s. Until late 1977, however, Cuban support consisted mainly of propaganda and safehaven.

    In 1977 and early 1978, a high-ranking America Department official, Armando Ulises Estrada,(9) made numerous secret trips to facilitate the uprising by working to unify the three major factions of the FSLN. Stepped-up Cuban support to the Sandinistas was conditional on effective unity. During the XI World Youth Festival in Havana in late July 1978, the Cubans announced that the unification of the three factions had been achieved and urged Latin American radicals present at the meeting to demonstrate solidarity with the FSLN by staging operations in their own countries.

    At the same time, Estrada concentrated on building a supply network for channeling arms and other supplies to guerrilla forces. In preparation for the first FSLN offensive in the fall 1978, arms were flown from Cuba to Panama, transshipped to Costa Rica on smaller planes, and supplied to Nicaraguan guerrillas based in northern Costa Rica. To monitor and assist the flow, the America Department established a secret operations center in San Jose. By the end of 1978, Cuban advisers were dispatched to northern Costa Rica to train and equip the FSLN forces with arms which began to arrive direct from Cuba. FSLN guerrillas trained in Cuba, however, continued to return to Nicaragua via Panama.

    In early 1979, Cuba helped organize, arm, and transport an “internationalist brigade” to fight alongside FSLN guerrillas. Members were drawn from several Central and South American extremist groups, many of them experienced in terrorist activities. Castro also dispatched Cuban military specialist to the field to help coordinate the war efforts.

    When the insurgents’ final offensive was launched in mid-1979, Cuban military advisers from the Department of Special Operations, a special military unit, were with FSLN columns and maintained direct radio communications to Havana.

    The operations center run by the America Department in San Jose was the focal point for coordination of Cuba’s support. After the triumph of the anti-Somoza forces in July 1979, the chief of the center, Julian Lopez Diaz, became Cuban Ambassador to Nicaragua. One of this America Department assistants in San Jose, Andres Barahona, was redocumented as a Nicaraguan citizen and became a top official of the Nicaraguan intelligence service.”

    You can read more here:
    http://cuban-exile.com/doc_201-225/doc0224.html

    So while one can be highly critical of US foreign policy in Latin America, take a position in support of Marxist revolution throughout Latin America, and one can even defend Castro’s direct support for these groups, it is absurd and pointless to simply deny the well documented history of Cuban support for a large number of Leftist groups in Latin America.

  • May 9, 2014 at 8:45 am
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    Castro asked the Soviet head of state to start a nuclear war. He will NEVER win the Nobel Peace prize, that’s for sure.

  • May 9, 2014 at 8:35 am
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    Hey genius, you are mistaken yet again. Kennedy did not know of Castro’s request in the letter to the Soviet president at that time. His reaction had nothing to do with Castro. In fact, by Castro’s own words we know that what he wanted was not a part of the discussion. He felt disrespected. Your anti-US does not give you permission to change well-known historical fact.

  • May 9, 2014 at 7:33 am
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    The comments section is maintained by Disqus. As a user, you can sort the order of comments you prefer by clicking on the label in the upper left corner at the top of the comments section. The order of comments has nothing to do with the political orientation of the comments.

  • May 9, 2014 at 2:41 am
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    About Elio’s confidence:

    How many articles like this one would have seen published in Russia, Poland, East Germany, Hungry, Albania, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Lithuania just 20 years ago…. Just to see the ideology collapsing without a single shot and the authors realizing that everything they were talking about was a lie.

    The communist society has proven to be a weak society. From democracy to communist: wars, weapons, death and the army in power. From communist to democracy, not a single bullet.

    Wait that a honest President in Cuba stand in front of its people and say: You Can Talk.

  • May 9, 2014 at 2:38 am
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    About Elio’s life snapshot:

    In terms of the “government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life” That government has failed to give its people a better life, but it doesn’t stop
    there, that government has not intention of giving to its people the most
    important thing, the freedom of speech.

  • May 9, 2014 at 2:37 am
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    Why is that the Havana Times editors always alter the order in which the comments
    are made. Those comments in favor of the communist ideology are always at the
    top rather than the most recent one?

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:17 am
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    I believe you’re the one who is wrong by jumping to conclusions.

    1. Where did I write that Kennedy was aware of the “Armageddon letter” that Castro had sent to Khrushchev? I don’t believe I wrote anything about the letter. I mentioned Fidel’s academy award performance in front of the cameras.

    2. Where did I write that Fidel was involved in the negotiations between the US and the USSR?

    3. Yes, I’m well aware of what Fidel has written on the subject. But for him to admit that he was merely “acting” at that time of crisis would be entirely discrediting to his reputation. A good magician never discloses his secrets.

  • May 9, 2014 at 12:48 am
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    That’s almost comical…it’s AMERICA that has held Cuba hostage for over 5 decades. And the fact that Castro had a bunker is immaterial. So did many many Americans at the time. That’s hardly a valid reason to believe that he was willing to sacrifice Cuba.

  • May 9, 2014 at 12:38 am
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    Your point only holds water if you actually believe what Fidel was selling at that time. Kennedy bought it ~ hook, line, and sinker and cut the deal with Khrushchev to end the crisis. The invasion of Cuba was averted, due in large part to Fidel’s academy award performance. Fidel didn’t have any other hand to play except a bluff.

  • May 8, 2014 at 8:51 pm
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    1959 was a long time ago. Let the hate of US go. The revolution can talk up health care and education, but those things can be accomplished without need to subject the people to a general state of economic misery.

  • May 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm
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    Check the historical record. Castro had a bunker for his inner circle and was willing to sacrifice Cuba. His performance was not seen as “crazy” but as selfish. He has confirmed that selfishness by holding the Cuban people hostage for 55 years.

  • May 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm
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    If you call starting WWIII and the annihilation of the Cuban people a scare tactic, you should be medicated. The historical record is well-documented that Khrushchev “stood down” and not Kennedy. The Soviets turned their ships around thus averting a confrontation. To his credit and not shame, his actions likely saved mankind.

  • May 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm
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    The spell check in my iPhone is overzealous. Thanks for the “toe” correction. Now you should check your facts: Cuban output is falling every year. Cuba imports more food and exports fewer products. Outbound immigration is the highest it has ever been. The population is aging. Cuban reserves are at the lowest they have been since 1959. Cuban nursemaid, Venezuela, is not likely to sustain the same level of subsidy to Cuba and there is no new savior on the horizon. And it goes on. If this ain’t sinking, what else do you call it?

  • May 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm
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    My comment about Kennedy’s “steely eyed gaze” was intended sarcastically. Khrushchev, a veteran of Stalingrad, was a very tough character. He took the measure of Kennedy when they met in Vienna and came away convinced he could push the American around.

    You are factually wrong on three significant points.

    1. Kennedy was completely unaware of the “Armageddon letter” Castro had sent to Khrushchev.

    2. Fidel was not involved in the negotiations between the US & the USSR. In fact, it was a point of humiliation for Castro that the Russians cut a deal with the US without discussing it with him.

    3. Fidel wan’t acting. He was really ready to start a nuclear war. He has admitted to it since, if you care to actually read Fidel’s own writing on the topic.

    Yes Kennedy blinked, but the most important concession the US offered to the Russians was the removal of the US nuclear missiles from Turkey. That was Khrushchev’s goal when he put missiles in CUba and he got what he wanted. The US promise not to invade Cuba was a face-saving touch for Castro. He didn’t appreciate the gesture.

    You would do well to read some history of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and not just make up nonsense like that.

  • May 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm
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    Not only did Fidel ask for a “first strike” offering all Cubans as “sacrifice”, he was livid when the SU removed the missiles and took them beyond his control. The Soviet leadership – as Khrushchev’s son testified – thought he was mad. The Russians loved their children too to paraphrase Sting. Fidel seemed to care less about the Cuban children.

  • May 8, 2014 at 2:32 pm
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    John, you are the one “towing the propaganda line” here.
    Cuba indeed is sinking. The regime was “kept afloat” by consuming the expropriated wealth, Soviet Subsidies and Chavez / Maduro subsidies.
    If conditions in Cuba weren’t as bad the regime would have to try and stop Cubans leaving. Remember the law on “illegal exit” is still on the books in Cuba.

    Over 20% of the population has left the island since Castro seized power. that should tell you something. the fact that lots of people risked – and lost – their lives to do so should also make you take notice.
    Mariel – the exodus – and the balsero crisis showed the reality: Cubans want out because they can see no real change for the better for the people. Don’t blame the US for not accepting the 70%+ part of the population in Cuba that has lost confidence in the regime. Blame the Castro regime that has created this disastrous situation.

  • May 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm
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    So we are talking about an “embargo” now. The word “blockade” is off the table. Nice. That was my point and you just conceded that.
    My “enemies” of the revolution are the Castro regime and their apologists. They are indeed the worst enemies of debate as they don’t allow freedom of speech in Cuba.
    I am not the one denying the “obvious facts”, John. You are. Lots of sources both from the island and foreign experts have confirmed that by the US was the fifth trading partner and largest food supplier of Cuba. These sources also confirm that any reduction in trade was a conscious decision by the Castro regime. I can post lots of links to varied sources.
    The “propaganda drumbeat” is emanating from people like you. I post facts confirmed by lots of sources both outside and within Cuba. Sources the “pied piper” that is in charge of your “propaganda drumbeat” would love to silence. The 900+ arrests last month in Cuba of those “annoying” the regime with facts confirm that.
    I am very confident in my pro-democracy and pro human rights position and of the facts that I have access to and post. It is therefore that I continue to support the continued trade of food, medicines, medical equipment, building materials, … and the free flow of remittances to Cuba as they help the Cuban people. That is also why I oppose those changes to the sanctions that benefit only the regime to turn Cuba in to a “maquiladora” country for the benefit of the Castro elite and foreign investors (see Mariel).
    The “well informed” here know that what I post are facts and what you posts is no more than “parrot style” propaganda.
    All you are concerned with is the survival of the regime, John. you do not have the best interest of the Cuban people at heart. I do.

  • May 8, 2014 at 11:07 am
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    Keep in mind that Fidel’s commitment to the cause of World Socialism did not stop him from building a Soviet-designed nuclear bomb-proof bunker just large enough and containing supplies sufficient to ensure the safety and survival of his family and a handful of close confidantes. His willingness to sacrifice the Cuban people for what we now know would be a failed cause is despicable.

  • May 8, 2014 at 11:02 am
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    ….Kennedy’s “steely eyed gaze”. Kennedy was scared shit-less. And so he should have been, just like everyone else at the time. But Fidel’s well orchestrated acting performance, especially in front of the cameras, helped to accomplish his goal…America was forced to stand-down their invasion of Cuba out of fear that “crazy” Fidel might actually be influencing Khrushchev. Kennedy blinked, offering up a number of consolations to Khrushchev to help turn his ships around…the most noteable consolation being an agreement to never threaten invasion of Cuba again. Khrushchev blinked too, thanks to Fidel’s “performance”. Nothing wrong with that as everyone breathed a massive sigh of relief…including Fidel Castro too, no doubt.

  • May 8, 2014 at 10:26 am
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    The expression is to “toe” (adhere to; stay close to , put one’s toe up to the line of limitations the line and not to “tow” ( pull, tug, haul) the (official) line.
    Cuba is not sinking. It is holding its own and will survive the U.S. 54 year attempt to crush its revolution.
    The reason more Cubans don’t leave is because like all countries , Cuba has a quota set by the U.S.
    Of course they could swim or float to Florida for very little money and no required paperwork as all Cubans are invited to do when they are rejected for emigration by the U.S. Interests Section after they have applied legally.
    Not many take this route and you should ask yourself every time you talk about leaving Cuba just how many Haitians and Dominicans would take to flimsy rafts for a chance at getting free admission to the U.S. .
    It would be one hell of a lot more people than try the “balsero” route from Cuba and you can take THAT to the bank. .
    Were conditions so horrific in Cuba, the U.S., as the richest and freest country in the world , should certainly just open its doors and ports to all Cubans and even establish an airlift to operate until no more of these brutally oppressed and suffering Cubans want to leave.
    Of course the second and unwanted option would be to stop the economic war on Cuba and the resulting burgeoning economy would end the desire for Cubans to emigrate .
    It’s why you a-holes are so afraid of the embargo ending and piss and moan every time one of the ever more numerous editorials or articles calls for an end to the embargo.
    Fidel may have wanted to drop the bomb but the GOUSA is the only government in the world to use nuclear weapons on civilian populations and is still developing and refining them today .
    Cuba has never invaded any other country, overthrown any other government or tried or subverted another government .
    Some reading for you:
    “Uncle Sam: Top Menace To Peace on/and Earth ” Paul Street
    This is reading you need to do to gain some realistic perspectives.

    .

  • May 8, 2014 at 10:09 am
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    That got the attention of everyone at the time though, didn’t it? And Fidel’s scare tactic accomplished it’s goal…it forced the US to stand-down their potential invasion of his country out of fear that it might actually happen. Mission accomplished, and Cuba is still free of America’s tyranny today.

  • May 8, 2014 at 10:07 am
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    Were the embargo not very effective , the GOUSA would have dropped it long ago.
    You enemies of the revolution are your own worst enemies in the debate .
    By stupidly denying the obvious fact that Cuba’s problems are created by the embargo, you have a credibility problem with the majority of the Cuban people and the GOUSA who all agree that the embargo is working well.
    The constant propaganda drumbeat emanating from people like you, the corporate U.S. media and the government about hard economic conditions in Cuba is a weapon that the embargo hands you and you and the others use those hard conditions to try to prove that Cuba’s systems are failures.
    Were you confident of your position -which you cannot be in the face of facts- you would call for an end to the embargo so that Cuba will fail of its own faults and thus prove your allegations that Cuba’s systems CANNOT work.
    Neither you , nor the GOUSA nor the Florida ex-Cubans are calling for anything other than intensification of the embargo so that it COULD succeed in bringing about such harsh conditions that the Cuban people would openly revolt.
    You don’t really believe a word you are saying and neither do the well-informed among us.

  • May 8, 2014 at 9:48 am
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    Not “a” nuclear bomb; many nuclear bombs. Fidel sent a letter to Khrushchev demanding that the Soviet Union start a full-scale nuclear war against the USA which would include a massive first strike. Castro declared that he was willing to accept the likelihood that the Cuban island would be annihilated, but that he was willing to make that sacrifice for the cause of World Socialism. When the Russian leader realized his Cuban client was a madman, he decided it was time to order the Russian Navy to stop it’s attempt to reach Cuba. It was Castro’s megalomania which convinced Khrushchev to blink, not Kennedy’s “steely eyed gaze”.

  • May 8, 2014 at 9:39 am
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    Walter, you comment is nothing but a straw man. I am well known here at HT as an outspoken critic of the Castro regime. However, I have never denied or minimized the history of US aggression against the Castro regime, nor the exploitative hegemony the US practiced on Cuba from Independence up to the revolution.

    Elio’s absurd claim that the Cuban people are 100% united in support of the revolution, and by extension, support the Castro regime today, is pure totalitarian propaganda.

    If the Cuban people were so united in support of the regime, why were there over 900 political arrests last month in Cuba?

    There are some factual errors in Elio’s propaganda piece. The US withdrew support for Batista in 1958, banning further weapons deliveries to the Cuban government. By that point, the US government was growing embarrassed of the Cuban dictatorship and hoped the rebel army in the mountains was as democratic as it’s charismatic leader, Fidel Castro had proclaimed to the New York Times reporter, Herbert Matthews.

    Contrary to Elio’s assertion, the US government did not “openly declared itself an enemy of Cuba’s revolutionary government on the very 1st of January of 1959.” In fact, the US government was among the first to recognize the new government on January 7th, 1959.

    Secretary of State John Foster Dulles counseled President Dwight D. Eisenhower to recognize the Urrutia government, since it seemed to be “free from Communist taint” and interested in “friendly relations with the United States.” Dulles and other U.S. officials may have viewed recognition of the new Cuban government as a way to forestall the ascension to power of more radical elements in the Cuban revolution. The eventual, and inevitable break with Cuba came gradually over the next several months as Castro removed more liberal politicians and replaced them with known or suspected Communists. The final break came when Castro seized US assets in Cuba.

  • May 8, 2014 at 8:08 am
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    Walter, the Cuban revolution wasn’t communist. Even Che Guevara admitted that. The people you call “haters of the Cuban revolution” are most often those that support the original goals of the anti-Batista revolution: the restoration of the democratic constitution of 1940. Those are also the people that reject the coup of Castro and the communists that frustrated the achievement of these goals of the revolution by replacing the Batista dictatorship with the Castro dictatorship.

    Due to the unpaid – 7 billion – as compensation for the expropriations of goods owned by US individuals and companies and because of the human rights abuses the US has imposed certain trade sanctions on Cuba and fines those that operate in the US and trade with Cuba in a manner that contravenes the sanctions. All companies that want to avoid sanctions just can stop trading with or in the US. Their choice.

    As far as vital supplies go: the US has rescinded all sanctions on the sale of food, medicines, medical equipment, … in short on all vital supplies. experts and the Cuban regime itself have stated that any decrease in trade between the US and Cuba since 2008 is the result of decisions made by the Cuban regime for political reasons and for lack of funds.

    People like you just act as if the Castro regime did not oppress the Cuban people and deny the facts. Rather than refuting them all you seem to be able to do is launch in the same old propaganda excuses.
    It is the Castro regime that is the oppressor of the Cuban people, not the US.

  • May 8, 2014 at 5:23 am
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    To the reader new to these Comments section, the haters of the Cunan revolution are consistent in thst they deny the parts of reality that are inconvenient for them. They minimize or deny the US role in the oppressions before 1959 and never condem the US aggressions since. They lie about the blockade by pointing out the exceptions the US allowes and omit mention of the huge fines foreign businesses have paid and how this has limited and vastly increased the cost of importing vital supplies. They avoid criticizing the many terrorist acts the US authorities have instigated and supported by neither acknowledging them, much less condemning them. From their presentation of US Cuban relations, you could assume they think it is both normal and OK for big brother from the North to dominate. Do your own research, and you will quickly find that Cuba lad the way in becoming successfully independent of US domination in Latin America and the Caribbean. Even the most right wing and distorted histories admit the long US military economic and political domination of the region.

    Sadly, the haters are reduced to the level of those who argue oppressions were benign because they were good for and even enjoyed by the oppressed.

  • May 8, 2014 at 3:12 am
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    I can not but wonder why some people insist on calling the trade sanctions a “blockade”. There are no US ships in front of Cuba’s harbors or planes in the air denying access and exit.
    In Fact: the US is the 5th trading partner of Cuba (2008) and one of its largest food suppliers. Shipping lines operate from US ports to Cuban ports. Planes fly from a dozen or so US airports to Cuban airports. Billions of dollars in remittances flow to the island. No “blockade” at all.

  • May 7, 2014 at 10:23 pm
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    I grudgingly respect Elio because despite how ridiculous his posts are, especially this one, he is always consistent. He tows the Castro propaganda line completely. Sure, it’s total bullshit but he deserves credit for staying at his post while the Castro ‘Titanic’ continues to sink. He is hilarious when he says “The majority chooses to stay in their country and help it move forward…” when referring to Cuban youth. He manages to say it is a good thing that 51% or more of Cuban youth don’t leave. Pssst! Elio, the only reason more youth don’t leave is because they can’t afford to. If Fidel announced he would pay for everyone who wants to leave Cuba, the line of departing young people would break the bank. Still, Elio is right. Less than half of all young people in Cuba are leaving…for now. Oh wait, one more thing…that whole peace and love thing he said about Cuba. Did he forget that Fidel begged Khrushchev to drop a nuclear bomb on the US? Oh yea, that.

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