Excuses in US Foreign Policy

Elio Delgado Legon

Havana street. Photo: Alejando Arce

HAVANA TIMES — Nobody should be surprised about the fact that today, the current US president is using an excuse so as to take US-Cuba relations back to what they were during the Cold War. There is no longer any doubt that all of the fuss created around the alleged sonic attacks on US diplomats, was part of a CIA plan, which the Cuban-American mafia had requested in order to reverse the advances made during the last stages of Barack Obama’s government.

They have created the perfect situation so that the current president of the Empire, who is completely oblivious to Cuban reality and to what a president of a country that wants to be a world leader should be, can take ridiculous measures, which have most likely been asked for by people in Miami, to reduce US-Cuba relations to the bare minimum.

Accusing Cuba of carrying out this attack, or of not having stopped those who did, doesn’t make any sense. Who would benefit from this situation? To be precise, those who have tried to stop relations improving between both countries at all costs, because they have made a great business out of the Cuba-US dispute and the counter-revolution.

If the aforementioned sonic attacks were true and not a CIA invention, both Cuban and US investigators would have been able to interview those affected and the doctors who diagnosed them. If the investigation hasn’t been allowed to move forward, it’s because of the US fear that the lies about these events will be discovered.

The latest news to surface is that agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully have taken charge of investigating this case. When they arrived at Jose Marti airport in Havana, both stated the same thing, one in English and the other in Spanish: “The truth is out there.” Therefore, we can agree that this is where they should be investigating and uncovering the truth.

The US holds every record in the art of excuse-making. In the 19th century, while Cubans were fighting for their independence from Spain, governments in the north did everything they could to stop Cuban revolutionaries from preparing expeditions to go and free their country. They tried to buy Cuba on more than one occasion from Spain, without success; but when the Cuban people had almost won the war, they fell back on the excuse of the explosion of the Maine battleship in Havana’s port to declare war on Spain, which was already exhausted and beaten. And they took over Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Phillipines in this way. A sound business deal, Trump would say today.

In the art of winning wars after others have put in the bloodshed, the Second World War came, where they intervened after the Soviet Union had put German armies in retreat, costing them 20 million fatalities. But the truth is, they didn’t intervene to overthrow Germany, which had already been defeated, but rather to stop the Soviet Union from gaining more ground and taking Berlin, which led to the city and country being divided.

In the art of pretexts, let’s remember the Golf of Tonkin incident, which was also fabricated, in order to kick off the cruel and bloody Vietnam War, where they had to leave defeated. More recently, we can mention the excuse, which had also been invented, to invade Iraq, and the Twin Towers attack, which could have been prevented and they didn’t so it would justify their invasion of Afghanistan.

More recently yet, with the aim to change the regime in Syria because it didn’t please them or Israel, they armed and supported terrorism in this country, even supplying chemical weapons, and they have tried to blame the Syrian government of these chemical attacks against their own people, a completely absurd idea, so as to have another excuse which would allow them to attack the Syrian army and also towns, where hundreds of civilians have perished.

I could have given many more examples, but I think that these are enough to illustrate that excuses throughout history have been a means for US foreign policy.

55 thoughts on “Excuses in US Foreign Policy

  • That depends how the Cubans will react after the Castro brothers are gone, Joseph. They may follow the examples of the Filipinos that ended the Marco dictatorship in 1985 or the Russian people’s response to an attempted coup by hardline Communists in 1989. That means massive protests on the streets, but you know your people better than I do.

  • Thanks, Joseph, I enjoyed conversing with you.

  • Vote for change and mobilize those of similar sentiments. If only Cubans could….who knows?

  • Regime change is the only answer. Sadly, I don’t see it on our lifetimes. What’s needed is too far from what Cubans can even dream.

  • I wish you good health Hans.

  • Although not mandatory, Joseph, we all need to be encouraged to engage in the democratic process. As a US citizen, I pay my taxes, attend jury duty when called upon, and above all exercise my right to vote to make choices for who can best work on our behalf that will impact the quality of my life. There are a few democracies that have mandatory voting such as Belgium and Australia. As stakeholders, people shouldn’t take their democracy and freedom too much for granted. As soon as they have the freedom to do so, Cuban citizens should be aware to make sure to avoid changing from one dictatorship to the other. I only live about a 45 minute flight away from Havana and, thus, wish to see the island before I kick the bucket due to my age and health concerns.

    In another board, you mentioned your father’s experience who almost escaped execution in the Batista dictatorship; thank you for sharing. My first family doctor as a young boy was Cuban who also escaped Batista in 1954. I was ten years old when the 1959 revolution took place but was first interested on Cuba during the missile crises in 1962 when I was in junior high. Thank the good Lord we had rational leaders in the US and the Soviet Union in that time to avoid an all out nuclear war. I remember those days vividly!

  • Fidel is dead now and the last of the Castro brothers may soon be on its way out. Diplomacy can be a slow and frustrating process, but that is a better alternative to war.

  • Free agency. People have the right, and arguably the obligation to vote, What one chooses to do is a mattera of-, and expression of-, self determination.
    “Full participation,” by definition, means 100%? Is this what you mean?

  • Nick. Of course I have no direct proof. But consider the circumstances in depth and its pretty hard to believe it a coincidence. …Just saying….

  • Obama held a hand to Cuba, open the embassy and weakened the embargo as much as he could. What did he get in return? An insulting Fidel Castro editorial claiming “We do nor want them, we do not need them” in respect to USA relationship, a deluge of critics from the official press, troops marching chanting “We will put a lead hat on Obama’s head! “, the complete rejection of the USA proposal to allow private farmers to sell coffee in USA, and the demand that to normalize relationships the trade embargo had to be completely lifted. Some ven said the USA had to compensate Cuba for economic loss caused by the trade embargo.

    If you hand out food to an animal and it bites you, you may or not kick it, but certainly you don’t keep feeding it.

  • In the last 60 years…When have the Cubans allowed to express their will by choosing among competing political parties? Until then, saying what the Cubans want or do not want is not based in real data.

  • Well, slap me silly! I agree with Nick!!!!!

  • Thank you.

  • Due to my strong familiarity of black history which I often share in African American discussion groups, I know a lot about Frederick Douglass and he was certainly not like you!

  • All of the anti Castro faction say Camilo was murdered.
    None of the pro Castro people agree.
    Only a very small percentage of the great many Cubans I have met believe Camilo to have been murdered.
    I have no claim to have any direct knowledge either way.
    On balance, I would just tend to go along with what the people who were around at the time tell me.
    But your assertion (I would assume with zero proof) is typical of one who holds your forthright viewpoints.
    Regarding your family, I can only say that I am glad your father made it.
    I feel sorry he never set foot back in his homeland.
    It’s a remarkable country.
    I am proud to say that for many years Cuba has been like a second home to me. I know many good people there and have many dear friends there.

  • You said it yourself. Vietnam is a REGIONAL economic and military power. You obviously know very little about Frederick Douglass.

  • Reality glasses and experience, Joseph. Each of us have a unique life script. I strongly believe that every American should have a live-in experience in a developing nation as a missionary or a Peace Corps Volunteer living among the common people for a few years (and I had both) and that gives us a valuable lesson in life; according to the main theme on this board, to help improve US foreign policy.

  • Vietnam is the second strongest regional power after China in that area of the world, and that nation defeated a leading world power in 1975 and even China soon afterward if there were another full scale war. For these reasons, Vietnam earned the respect from the US, and diplomatic relations have long been established. I don’t know the reason why you are hiding behind the picture of Frederick Douglass who would have totally disagreed with you if he were alive today. I have a strong hunch that you reflect the interests of the Miami Cuban establishment and even little Marco!

  • Vietnam? WORLD power? Hehehe!

  • Hans, I hope you are correct re trump being out of office before his term is up.
    The Liar-in Chief trump is due to visit us here in the UK next year. It has already been downgraded from a ‘State Visit’ to a ‘Working Visit’ with a hope that this might downgrade the size of the demonstrations. This would mean that we are saved the spectacle of The Queen having to meet and shake hands with this twisted liar.
    It seems that the current plan is for him to sneak into the country, have a meeting with the Prime Minister and then sneak back out again.
    If you are right and he gets booted out of the White House beforehand then we will be spared any kind of visit at all.
    This outcome would be very good for US-Cuba relations and very good for the world in general (although I guess President Putin would be thinking: oh no…all that hard work wasted).
    Sometimes I still can’t quite believe it that this absurd individual is actually the President of the USA. There have been some ridiculous individuals in that post previously, but surely there cannot ever be as totally unsuited to it as this trump guy.

  • People in the US and the PR are not fully utilizing the democratic process with very little voter participation. If they don’t use the tool of self determination, special interests will do it for them. When democracy is finally implemented in Cuba, its citizens need to be fully engaged in order to maintain it!

  • National pride and selfishness is a negative human behavior found in all cultures in and out of religion. Religious teaching is not part of Cuba’s public school curriculum, but religious services are tolerated as long as they stay out of politics. I heard that Christmas and Easter are national holidays in Cuba. This is a slow process, Joseph. Let’s hope for the best in Cuba’s future.

  • Fair enough Hans. But lets put on our reality glasses. Politics is the art of compromise. Get my drift?

  • National pride and selfishness full of hate and bigotry also exist in the US even by those who claim to be religious.

  • I know where I stand, Joseph, because I lived in a small African village near the border with Guinea for eight years in an undeveloped rural area, i. e., in a dirt made house with a zinc roof and wooden shutters, no running water with a latrine in the back. These people in that village were virtually rudderless with a lack of guidance from above and, therefore, found little or no way to improve their lives. My constant theme is that Cubans need to make their own decisions without interference from abroad, now that they are better educated and healthier due to good schools and basic medical care. The Cuban regime has outlived its usefulness and that’s why it is a major obstacle for the Cubans’ desire for a democratic, educated and productive Cuba that may become the envy in the Caribbean once the markets are open! Cubans are a hard working people with strong desire to utilize their own skills. Thus, I am very curious what will happen when the Castro brothers are gone. Because of my living experience, I have always been a strong advocate for the common people to achieve a strong middle class, the foundation of democracy, no matter where they live, including the US and the PR. BTW, I am of Eurasian descend, a product of Dutch colonialism in the former East Indies.

  • With the disposition of those like ED Legon, there will never be anything approaching normalized relations, no matter who is US president.

  • With the support of the Vatican, Nick, Obama made a good start to improve relations with the Cuban government, and this is just the beginning for the benefit of ordinary Cubans at home and abroad. Trump will soon be out of office before his term is over and hopefully have a competent president to succeed him. When Democrats recapture the House and Senate after the 2018 elections and then have a Democrat president in the WH in 2020, they can finally get rid of this silly trade embargo and restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba on an equal basis of mutual respect. By that time Raul Castro will retire or about to kick the bucket.

  • The US is not the only world power on this planet with only 5% of the world population! Don’t underestimate other world powers such as Russia, China and Vietnam (who defeated the US in 1975) as well as numerous nations throughout the developing world. Cuba also has strong support from the European Union and the African Union; Latin America should also have their own union bloc based on the European and African models without the US joining in. We all know that the OAS (Organization of American States) is run from Washington to maintain control over their southern neighbors; that should be abolished! These nations pull a lot of weight together, and they will stand by Cuba whenever it is confronted by a hostile neighbor. I am for change in Cuba to improve their standard of living, but that is up for the Cubans to decide, not the US! The Castro brothers are on their way out and that will give the Cuban residents to make necessary social and economic changes to improve their lives. You may be laughing but we should all shiver when Trump wants to play games with other world powers and then we will all be the losers.

  • Gospel teaching is not permitted in Cuba. National pride and selfishness are.

  • I have always had hope for a demorcratic, educated, productive Cuba. The only thing holding that back is the Cuban regime. Hans, you are so all over the board that I truly believe even you don’t know where you stand.

  • I think the key takeaway here is “current.”

  • PR is a democracy which facilitates self determination. Can’t say the same for Cuba.

  • The Cubans can conduct their own investigation without the Americans. Its their turf. Lame excuse because, I have to suppose, they are afraid of the truth being exposed.

  • Nick, the ones who hijacked and betrayed the Cuban revolution were the Castros and communist factions within. I believe that any last-chance embers for a true revolution were extinguished with the persecution and imprisonment of Huber Matos and murder of Camilo Cienfuegos.
    My father was a true revolutionary. Detained at the airport by Batista the last time he set foot in Cuba, he was set for summary execution at sunrise on suspicion of providing arms to the revolution. If it were not for the husband of a distant aunt, who was one of Batista’s colonel’s, he would not have lasted morning. My father was told to get on the next plane and never set foot in Cuba again. He never did.

  • The entire economic engine of Cuba generates the buying power of, say, Cleveland, Ohio. So, okay, I’ll agree that selling frozen chicken to Cuba will benefit someone. But should foreign policy decisions be shaped by the economic possibilities? Nope. In terms of international reputation, we have opened an embassy. It’s Cuba’s turn to show us some love. What did we get instead? Sonic attacks.

  • Surely there are are whole stack of businesses in the USA that would benifit from a better relationship with Cuba.
    What stops them doing so are US politicians.
    All US politicians are addicted to a powerful drug.
    A drug called ‘FLA electoral college votes’.
    This drug takes away all rationality.
    When Good President Obama had kicked the habit (he did not need FLA electoral college votes any more) he started to act like a rational man. The USA started to gain a lot of long lost respect in the eyes of the majority of the human race. Dumb boy trump is ripping up that rationality and losing that hard won respect.
    Cuba is not the only example. Iran, Paris Climate Agreement, UNESCO etc…..
    Not to mention his courting of the extreme right…….
    This debacle will play itself out.
    Meanwhile as this embarrassment carries on, some US nationalists will just keep on rocking on their porches mumbling some old world mantra about being exceptional.

  • To be clear, what I am suggesting is that the US has little incentive to establish anything more than cordial relations with Cuba. Cordial is positive if not only barely so. It is Cuba that benefits greatly from a better relation with the US, not the other way around.

  • Powerful friends? Hahaha! Shiver mi timbers!.

  • Jesus once said to love our enemies which is the best way to encourage a change of heart regarding the latter; national pride and selfishness are not part of Gospel teaching.

  • One thing is certain, Cuba has no intention to cave in to America’s interests at the expense of its sovereignty, The Cuban people on the island do not wish to return to the bad old days before 1959 when its northern neighbor bossed over them since 1898; therefore, the US initially needs to be nice to them and not be tempted to return to its bullying days. Remember, Cuba has powerful friends throughout the world!

  • Being the world’s leading power as it claims to be, the US should take the initiative to develop positive relations with every nation in the world even with governments they don’t agree with, short of going to war. America’s greatest weakness is its appalling diplomatic skills and it always looks to military solutions that will eventually bite them back! Cordial relations are a good beginning with any nation that will later improve on an equal basis on BOTH sides. Nevertheless, I distrust Trump’s intentions by working for special interests and continuously interfering in Cuba’s internal affairs.

  • Sadly true but it doesn’t answer my question. Cuba offers the US no compelling reason to make nice.

  • Considering the current political climate in Washington, particularly with the Trump Administration being in power and a Republican Congress, we’re stuck with being more nationalistic and selfish and not what one would define as a “good country” (goodcountry.org).

  • Sharing Obama’s vision, the US should have a lot more incentive to maintain lines of communication with the Cuban government. The Castros are not expected to live forever with one down and one to go! People come and go but the island of Cuba will always be there and hopefully to the road of democracy with a better educated and productive population.

  • With the Castros still in charge, the US has little incentive to “get along” with Cuba.

  • I am unable and unwilling to defend my current President. He has indeed provoked the lesser angels among us to rise up. That said, American exceptionalism is no accident of birth. It is rather the result of an independent spirit and a willingness to try and try again. Assad is absolutely capable of slaughtering his own people. Especially if he believes those people threaten his rule.

  • A-ha. Now the Syria part of what Elio writes would be something that I wouldn’t totally agree with. It seems extremely likely that Assad attacked Syrian civilians with various weaponry including chemical. There are other parts of his article that I would not agree with either.
    But I don’t really see any flaws in the Cuba related part of what he writes.
    Mr P, I would like to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly congratulate you on being ‘EXEPTIONAL’ due to the great fluke of birthplace.
    But make no mistake about it – your current commander-in-chief regards the USA as both exceptional and superior. Many of his supporters clearly regard themselves as superior due to nationality and in many cases due to race.
    Just like the example of Nazi Germany that you give.

  • Nick, the US not only hijacked Cuba’s independence but also Puerto Rico who was to be given self-rule by Spain without a fight! Historically Cubans and Puerto Ricans were or are short-shifted because of continuous American interference, e.g., the trade embargo (1961) and the Jones Act (1920) respectively. We all know about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in PR which was already driven into bankruptcy (via another Congressional act in 1995 that was signed by the corporate neoliberal Bill Clinton) by the loan sharks in Wall Street!

  • With Trump in charge, the US already lost its exceptionality in the world scene. Intimidating the world militarily is not the way to go and, thus, create more enemies. The sooner we get rid of this man, the better! We have to move on for a better relationship between the US and Cuba with mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty that ordinary Americans and Cubans can benefit.

  • See my comment to Nick above.

  • For example, Elio writes “…with the aim to change the regime in Syria because it didn’t please them or Israel, they [US] armed and supported terrorism in this country, even supplying chemical weapons, and they have tried to blame the Syrian government of these chemical attacks against their own people.” What a disgusting and unsubstantiated allegation. By the way, you seem to have confused your adjectives. The US is EXCEPTIONAL not superior. Nazi Germany claimed to be superior. That’s dangerous.

  • Would you care to be more specific Mr P?
    Surely you are not suggesting that the USA allowed Cuba to see it’s independence struggle through to it’s inevitable fruition?
    You cannot possibly be arguing with the fact that the USA jumped in at the last moment in order to take over control of Cuba from the Spanish?

    There is a lot of education that goes on around around the world that is slanted is there not?
    In actual fact I hear tell that kids in a certain corner of the world are taught to believe that they are growing up in a country that is indelibly superior to the overwhelming majority of the human race due to their inherent ‘freedoms’…..
    So much so that smaller nations actually enjoy being invaded by this indelibly superior power that these kids are so lucky to have been born into.
    In fact I would go so far as to say that you, yourself are tainted with this superiority complex. This is often made apparent by your overly strong nationalism.

    You do know what I mean don’t you?

  • agree but certainly not all which ones do you refer to.

  • Elio’s historic references are flawed. He has been poorly educated by the Castro dictatorship.

  • I would not agree with every single piece of this article but would definitely agree with most of it.
    Leaving aside the non Cuba related aspects of the article, I would have to agree with the following:
    It is a historical fact that the USA hijacked Cuba’s Independence War as it was nearing success. This meant that Cuba got rid of one imperialist power only to be speared by another.
    I would not go as far as to say that there is ‘no doubt’ that the CIA are responsible for these ‘sonic attacks’, but it does seem to be by far the most likely explanation.
    The fact that Cuba is blamed by dumb-boy trump for causing or not stopping these ‘attacks’ whilst those who are allegedly the victims cannot even be questioned by Cuban Investigators is very, very suspicious.
    If it is the case that Cuba is being blamed but not even allowed to properly investigate, then that smacks of some very dark and weird Orwellian double standard or reverse justice.
    It also gives us yet another example of blatant US Imperialism more than a century after it hijacked the Cuban fight for independence.

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