Donald Trump’s Ignorance about Cuba

Elio Delgado Legon

Donald Trump in Miami when he began his hardliner policy against Cuba. Photo: AP

HAVANA TIMES — The current president of the United States, Donald Trump, has given crystal clear displays of his obsession to reverse everything his predecessor Barack Obama did, in all fields: military, political, economic and scientific.

In his own country, he has done everything he can to dismantle the healthcare system for vulnerable people, which favored several million US citizens who lacked health insurance and was called Obama Care. He has also taken drastic measures to prevent immigrants from entering the country and he is obsessed with building an uncrossable wall on the US southern border to stop Latin Americans from entering.

Internationally, he has withdrawn the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, he has ordered that the Free Trade Agreement be renegotiated with Mexico and Canada, he has left the Iran Nuclear Deal, as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In addition to all of this, he has approved an increase in the state budget on the military which was already very high, which forebodes new attacks and new tensions, as well as those that already exist with North Korea.

When it comes to relations with Cuba, he has shown complete ignorance about the country’s situation, its political system and its history. When the Revolution’s Comandante en Jefe, Fidel Castro Ruz passed away, Mr. President of the Empire wrote, among other things, the following words:

“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.” 

First of all, these are words that lack all courtesy and respect, but they also reveal his ignorance. The only thing he is doing is repeating what the most hardcore enemies of the Revolution say, those who still haven’t been able to get over the defeat they suffered at the hands of the Cuban people at the Bay of Pigs, so many years ago.

How can he label a leader like Fidel “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people” when Fidel was hailed by the Cuban people wherever he went and he was loved by millions of people, not just in Cuba but all over the world. A man who was bid farewell by the whole nation when he passed away, with an outpouring of grief and rivers of tears, as well as their promise to continue his work and be loyal to his memory and his legacy.

“Unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights” was what existed in Cuba before 1959, a situation that the Revolution radically changed and which continues to exist in many third world countries, without the most powerful country in the world lifting a finger to do anything to help and change this situation.

Mr. Trump still hasn’t figured out yet that fundamental human rights are respected more here in Cuba than they are in his own country, where the police kill people just because the color of their skin is black, where those who aren’t white, blonde, of Anglosaxon origin, are considered second or third class citizens. Not by the US people, who are also a victim, but by the authorities, which make them worse than any of the dictatorships Latin America has ever had, who were backed by the United States government.

Mr. Trump talks about firing squads as something very serious, as if the death penalty didn’t exist in his own country. In Cuba, nobody has been shot without due process with every legal guarantee, and those who were shot after the Revolution triumphed were torturers, murderers, war criminals who couldn’t cover up their crimes, as they had the plaintiffs standing right in front of them. Even so, many of those who should have been shot only received prison sentences, because of a lack of evidence, or they escaped Cuba and were taken in by the United States and they now form part of this group that Trump says supported him in his presidential campaign.

I have only mentioned one paragraph from the diatribes that Imperialism’s President has written, the same man who couldn’t think of anything else to do but throw out rolls of toilet paper when the Puerto Rican people had been hit by a mighty hurricane, as a symbol of the only aid this suffering people were going to receive. This in a country which was converted into a US colony in 1898 and has been denied its right to freedom ever since. That is real brutal oppression. In Cuba, we enjoy full freedom and if you doubt this, come and see it with your own eyes like Barack Obama did.

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.



30 thoughts on “Donald Trump’s Ignorance about Cuba

  • As a Scotsman who has grown up admiring and respecting Fidel Castro and the people of his homeland who have stood with him in the face of constant US aggression I would like to thank you for your essay and wish you and your fellow Cuban citizens every happiness and contentment in carrying on the caring society that was founded on your revolutionary endeavours. Hasta la siempre victoria!

    Reply
    • As a Cuban whose family was left with little choice but to emigrate from the Castro betrayal of true revolution and downfall of everything Cuba I would like to point out that you are misinformed, misguided, and intellectually/morally inept. Que venga la victoria!

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    • Thank you Brother Mick C. It seems as if they wanted Fidel to be a continuation of Batista who overthrew the Government, gut Fidel’s was a REVOLUTION! Something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT- A REAL CHANGE IN THE LIVES OF HIS PEOPLE!

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  • ED: First off, I agree that Trump is an embarrassment not just to the US and the world, but to humankind. Having said that, I have to laugh in pity at your “support” for Fidel. Yes, he was a ruthless killer, dictator, and megalomaniac. People in Cuba “adored” him because they had no choice; for so long that some – like you – actually believe the propaganda. You know nothing else. Say things to yourself long enough and you will soon start to believe them, no matter how ludicrous…and eventually you start writing ludicrous commentary.

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    • Joseph, the American and French revolutions had bloody starts in 1776 and 1789 respectively but on the long run they resulted into democracies, though not perfect, for the next two hundred years, both well celebrated in 1976 and 1989 respectively. Castro with his 1959 revolution missed a historical opportunity to give his people the chance to control their own destinies. That is the saddest part and people are getting tired with him at the top for too long! I like the way that was done in Zimbabwe; fed up with Mugabe being an ineffective president for 37 years, the military made a brilliant move to depose him peacefully without bloodshed and the Zimbabweans were delighted for a chance to choose their new president! After Communism (which never worked in the first place), there will be a new revolution to give birth for a true democracy, and the 1959 Revolution will all be forgotten except for a few diehards!

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      • From your lips to God Hans.

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      • Brother Hans, would you call that which exists in the USA, – DEMOCRACY ?” For, if DEMOCRACY means that the candidate who gains the majority of votes cast by the Electorate, why isn’t Hilary Clinton the First Female President of the USA, having won 8 million more votes than Donald Trump? And you have the GALL, the BARE-FACE, the GUTS to be criticizing Cuba? A person can only control his/her destiny if they are educated and have access to proper medical attention and proper housing – THREE BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS. Cuba is a sovereign country and does not need to follow the Electoral Process of any other country. The People choose their candidate and vote for them. The candidate represents the people and reports to them frequently. If he/ she fails to report, he/she can be replaced. Isn’t this true Democracy instead of the Western Methodology of voting for a representative who does not return to ask what you need and whom you see after his/her four year term is expired when he comes and ask that you vote for him again? PLEASE to tell me which one of these two systems represent the word DEMOCRACY?

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        • Brother Kennedy, the dictionary defines DEMOCRACY as rule by, for and of the people. I don’t see neither of them in present day Cuba because the whole show is run by one man, Fidel and then Raul. It is true that Fidel and his party increased the literacy and life span of the Cuban population, but isn’t it tiresome for a man to be on the top for almost six decades? People want change of leadership without being told what to do by the Communist Party, Trump’s America or any country in the world. Therefore, Cuba needs to retain its sovereignty and only the Cubans themselves can make their own decisions to improve their lives! Term limits of politicians and free elections involving two or more parties are part of the democratic process and these are sadly lacking in Cuba. Have you ever lived in Cuba under Fidel’s autocratic rule? I don’t think you would have enjoyed the experience yourself. What we see in the United States is the abuse of democracy manipulated by special interests and the low participation of voters (55%), and that was how we have Trump, a wannabe dictator helped by his friend Putin. Only in a democracy can I criticize this incompetent president without the fear of being harassed or arrested by his government. Try that in Cuba under Castro rule. Several of the brave writers for the Havana Times have already been harassed, arrested and jailed several times. Trump may not last long next year when more voters participate in the November 2018 election (most of them registered Democrats) and throw the president out of the WH, which will only be possible in a democracy. BTW, Hillary won the popular vote by four million votes, not eight, another reason why the electoral college needs to be done away with. Also, please don’t confuse Cuba with the Communist Party, it is actually the latter abusing the former!

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        • The one in the US.

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          • Really…..you R Blind

          • It’s all relative. Compared to Cuba? The US hands down.

          • “hands down”….duh….when is the USArms going to put “guns down”?

    • Brother Joseph Marti, Western Democracy has produced DONALD TRUMP after Hilary Clinton obtained 8 million more votes than him. You speak about dictatorship? Who gave Donald authority to fly war planes near to the border of North Korea? Who gave Donald Trump authority to implement a nuclear war with North Korea? Did the people in the USA vote for that? On his own, he can implement a world war and we will all have to suffer because of his rancid actions? You and the likes of you, oft times refer to Fidel as a brutal dictator but never refer to the atrocities committed by Batista who had his people illiterate and impoverished.

      Fidel took those seven million, seven hundred thousand people whom Batista had illiterate (could not read nor write) and educated them, transforming those almost 8 million people into doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists, engineers and whatever profession they chose and you have the brass face to call him a ruthless killer and megalomaniac? Do you really know the meaning of the word MEGALOMANIAC? Fidel was a brilliant Lawyer whose practice could have made him a billionaire. He sacrificed his career to fight Batista the dictator who was the puppet of the Cuban Oligarchs and the USA to liberate his people who were second class citizens in the land of their birth. What would you call Batista Brother Joseph Marti? Do not reply with your hatred of all dictators, for I have never heard you condemn Batista as yet.! Tell me how you can rate Fidel Castro a dictator who has educated his people to Batista whom he overthrew and who had his Cuban people illiterate? “There is none so blind as those who fail to see?”

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      • Many countries have much better socialized health care and educational sectors than Cuba, and they did not need firing squads, political assassinations & mass immigrant exodus to impose them nor a police state to keep it.

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  • Fidel and The People were always one, and that is what shook the imperialists to their boots. They are still trying to understand, and it’s driving them goofy, to say the least.

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    • Those who voice they are “one” do so largely because of the alternative’s consequences.
      Question: How many of these “ones” have tragically lost their lives in unimaginably horrifying ways attempting to flee this political paradise crossing the Florida straits on essentially nothing more than innertubes and plywood?

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      • Millions upon millions do NOT agree with you. Your understanding appears to be tainted by counter-revolutionaries and fake news. Cuba is free. Cuba is a shining light to millions everywhere. Not perfect, but ever moving forward, and that with the support of the People.

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        • While the entire world has actually been moving forward during the last 60 years, Cuba is a time warp.
          How is Cuba free?

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          • The Pace is slow but sure and could have been faster were it not for the strangulation of the economic blockade!

      • Brother Joseph Marti, How many of those who risked their lives, upon landing on the land where milk and honey supposedly flows, became so disillusioned that they wanted to return home immediately? But you see, it would be bad propaganda were they to return home pronto! How many of them are worst off than when they were in Cuba, having no access to free medical attention and cannot afford the medical insurance costs with the wages they receive? How many of them can afford to send their children to university in the USA to accomplish their dreams?

        Why is it so many of them, upon becoming pensionable, want to return home to Cuba? Is Donald Trump going to prevent them from receiving their hard earned pension? You attempt to paint the USA as the land of milk and honey, does not hold water to those who have been there or have relatives who lived there. What about the Crime brother Marti?

        What about the Astronomically high house rent? What about the three and four jobs they have to work at, in order to make ends meet? What happens to the children when their parents are out working all day and night? What about the many beggars on the streets in the so-called richest country in the world? There should be no poverty there at all!

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  • Donald Trump isn’t being ignorant about Cuba for three reasons. First, his statement on Fidel Castro’s death was better b/c Obama’s mention of “condolences to Castro’s family” in his Fidel Castro death statement was hypocritical as it gave some Cuban Americans the impression that the first black president of the US was sorry for the death of a ruthless tyrant (Trump’s former GOP presidential rival Ted Cruz, as much as he recognizes that Fidel Castro was a brutal dictator, also knows that Batista was dictatorial too). Second, we may be sorry for enacting the Platt Amendment on the false grounds that Cubans were unprepared for self-government (which is why FDR repealed it in 1934), but we shouldn’t take blame for Castro’s rise to power because Batista cancelled presidential elections in Cuba that were planned for 1952 after he illegally took power in a coup just because he was falling behind Roberto Agramonte and Carlos Hevia in the polls. Third, his Cuba policy is a balanced, middle-ground approach that, in the Daily Signal’s words, “allows America to continue interaction with Cuba on diplomatic and national security issues, as well as limited economic interaction, but prevents American dollars from going towards GAESA, the Cuban military’s holding-company which controls large parts of the tourism, retail, and overall economy” and “still allows American businesses and interests to interact in appropriate ways with Cuba while not so blatantly casting aside our commitment to human rights in the island as under President Obama’s Cuba policy” (http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/20/trump-rubio-better-deal-for-cuba-reaffirms-americas-commitment-to-liberty/); in other words, Trump, like Obama, will do everything he can to use still-intact blockade exceptions to help every Cuban family to grow enough food to have a dignified, decent dinner.

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    • Respectfully point out that there is an embargo, not a blockade. Big difference.

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    • The fact that the USA has zero commitment to human rights in Cuba is exemplified by the Geneva Convention-busting atrocities committed in the occupied part of Guantanamo Bay.
      Linking trump with adjectives such as ‘decent’ and ‘dignified’ is clearly ridiculous due to his continuous promotion of fascism.
      trump was a failed businessman (has it not been statistically proven that if he had merely deposited all the cash his pappy gave him in a bank, he would be richer than he is now?)
      And he is an abject failure as a President.
      President Obama acted in the appropriate statesmanlike manner by giving his condolences to the Castro family upon Fidel’s death.
      He also acted in a statesmanlike manner by pursuing peaceful relations with traditional adversaries.
      Whereas trump, by contrast, is leading the USA toward being a very powerful rogue state (temporarily) in the eyes of the world at large.
      Either way one looks at it, Elio is correct to highlight trump’s ignorance regarding Cuba.
      In fact one might say that trump is a paragon of ignorance.

      Reply
  • Elio writes “In Cuba, we enjoy full freedom”. Not even close to being true.

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  • I have met a lot of Cubans in Florida, Joseph, and have known them since I attended junior high in the sixties. Cuban Americans are the most successful segment in the Hispanic population with the highest per capita income! They achieved their goals through hard work and getting a good education, and you are one of them, Joseph. When Cuba is free from dictatorship, you can use your skills to help your family and friends still living on that beautiful island!

    Reply
  • Elio, in the US it comes down to politics and Trump won so to the victor belongs the spoils. Florida was certainly lost due to the dislike for Hilary Clinton and of course those Cuban’s who vote and despise the military regime that still controls the island. Electoral college is how a presidential candidate needs to win the US election.

    Reply
  • Cuba continues to be an Island prison for a population who yearns for fundamental freedoms and human rights. Mr Delgado Leon is obviously a communist, a supporter of the tyrannical system that keeps him and others propped up, while others below him struggle for basic human freedoms and essential goods…like toilet paper!
    Castro was a filthy, brutal murdering dictator and I look forward to the day when I can go to Cuba and spit on his grave for all of the suffering he’s caused millions of people, and for the thousands murdered by his oppressive regime. I laugh when Mr Delgado Leon talks about how much Castro was loved by the Cuban people…lol! The people “loved” him because they were told to love him or else they would end up cutting sugarcane in a work camp or prison.
    President a Trump, for all his personal faults, has the leadership clarity needed to hopefully bring real change in Cuba.
    Cuba needs real change and freedom, not the phony paradise painted by Mr Delgado Leon, an avowed communist.
    Viva Cuba libre!

    Reply
  • The truth, Elio, is that Trump doesn’t give a damn about Cuba. He has turned the U.S.Cuban policy over to Marco Rubio. The Cuban “Mafia” – absent Trump – will have to run Rubio for President in 2020. The Republicans need Florida and Rubio needs money to achieve Mafia and Republican objectives. Receiving $3,303,355 from the NRA while “praying for all the victims, their families, and our first responders in the [Las Vegas] shooting” (NYTimes) exposes Rubio’s duplicity.
    I just returned from Cuba. We effectively have no Embassy. Cubans cannot go to the U.S. – writers, musicians, fiances, family members who want to see their relatives (my friend e.g. who is a grandmother and whose daughter and granddaughter are in Florida.). Oh yes, they can travel to Mexico and apply for a visa there.
    But why hurt the Cuban people? Ask Rubio. Trump prefers to watch TV up to 8 hours a day (NYTimes et al).

    Reply
  • Let me point out that my family fought for the true revolution to rid Batista. Cuba deserved better, but ended up worse in the long run by the Betrayal.
    There are many well educated Cubans. You, Brother Clarke, are most certainly not among them.

    Reply
  • “Full freedom”…..are you serious……..

    Reply

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