Cuba – US Relations: A Trip to the Unknown

Mercedes Gonzalez Amade

cuba-usaHAVANA TIMES — I’ve been feeling strange and even confused for months, as though I were undertaking a journey to the unknown.

I grew up believing the story one couldn’t trust the United States, that there was nothing of any value there, that everything that came from up north was a lie.

It’s not that I like to cling to things, much less see “enemies” everywhere. But it’s hard to change one’s way of thinking entirely overnight.

You also can’t expect to make friends in a single day. You first need to get to know a person, and something deeper comes later.

However, we’ve quickly gone from hating to being friends with the Empira. They’re no longer “so bad.”

I recall the days back in school when we used to sing offensive things about the US president in office. There were many options to choose from. We could say they didn’t bathe or insult their mothers.

To mend one’s ways is a wise thing, some might say, and it’s true. We’re all entitled to do this, and, if those who make the decisions have already taken the first steps, then I welcome these new relations. I hope the changes will be positive for many split-up families, such as mine.

The US embassy in Havana is already a fact. Politics is often hard to understand, particularly because those involved in politics are human beings, and who does not make mistakes?

Now, we just have to wait for the blockade to be lifted and for all restrictions on trade with the world to be lifted, for families to be reunited and overcome their distances and resentment. Then, everything will be normal again.

My father and one of my sisters live there, but, for my son, they are like ghosts. He’s only seen them in photos and knows about them through letters. I’m getting on in years and I would like for him to meet them. We have to set our differences aside to be a little bit happier.

I imagine we all stand to win from these changes, not just the country, but people also. I am confident I will soon hear from my father and, though he is old and ill, I will be able to have the relationship I lost because of…life’s turns.

Mercedes González

Mercedes González Amade: I'm 38 years old and physically challenged. I struggle daily in this life be it on crutches or in a wheelchair. I have a 12-year-old son who is my main inspiration and for who I have fought tooth and nail. I hold a position in the governmental institution that serves the handicapped in my part of the capital. In the afternoons I practice tennis well away from where I live. My intention with Havana Times is to help spread the desire to live and to do so with dignity, especially to persons with physical and motor difficulties.



14 thoughts on “Cuba – US Relations: A Trip to the Unknown

  • Cuban ignorance about the US embargo never ceases to amaze me. Like a few members of my wife’s family in and around Guantanamo, Mercedes echoes the belief that the US embargo has somehow prevented the “world” from trading with Cuba. Not true. The US embargo prohibits US COMPANIES from trading with the Castros. French, Ecuadoran, Icelandic and whoever else is free to do business with the Castros at their own risk. Likewise, the embargo does not keep her family in the US from visiting Cuba. This is the most ridiculous but oft-repeated myth many Cubans believe. Family reunification has never been prohibited. During the Bush administration, there were limits to the frequency of visits Cuban-American could make to the island and even these restrictions were never enforced. The Castros have done a great job brain-washing many Cubans to blame most of what is wrong with their lives on the US embargo.

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    • What “amazes” you, Moses, is, I believe, anything that mitigates against the justification of the self-serving Batistiano control of America’s Cuban policy. The embargo, which shames the U. S. democracy in the eyes of the world (does that “amaze” you too?), was designed in 1962 to “hurt” Castro much like the 1976 bombing of Cubana Flight 455 was “The biggest blow yet against Castro.” You mention Cubans on the island, like Mercedes Gonzales, being “ignorant.” In your brilliant and fair-minded assessment, is that an indictment of people like her for believing that the embargo, Cubana Flight 455, etc., etc., hurts everyday Cubans a lot more than they hurt Castro, whose primary threat at age 89 is, not surprisingly, his health. It “amazes” me that pro-Batistiano propagandists, because they hold most of the military-economic-political aces in the deck, actually believe that everyone else is supposed to believe their extraordinary defense of the indefensible — starting with the unconscionable U.S.-support of the Batista-Mafia dictatorship in Cuba in 1952. That tragic anti-democratic mistake was compounded in 1959 with the successful reconstitution of the Batistianos on U. S. soil, an abomination that expanded in the 1980s with Batistiano control and dictation of the U. S. Congress when it came — and comes — to setting America’s policy regarding Cuba. Cubans on the island, not Cubans hiding behind the skirts of the world superpower while they hurl grenades across the Florida Straits, are the people who should determine the fate of their nation. Does it “amaze” you, Moses, that the rest of the world agrees with that assessment…or am I misreading the yearly vote in the United Nations? I, too, read this article, Moses. Unlike you, I do not think Mercedes is “ignorant” just because she disagrees with you, and agrees with the rest of the world, regarding the embargo.

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  • I share your amazement regarding the extreme beliefs held by the several dozen “pro-Batistiano” activists still alive. Your attempts to conflate my anti-CASTRO position with support of the dictatorship that preceded the current Cuban disaster is beneath response. I’m not sensing a huge amount of embarassment on the part of my government as a result of the annual UN vote. Mass shootings, Donald Trump, and the Kardashians are far worse blemishes on the national reputation. Even if the “world” did agree with Mercedes about the what the US embargo did and did not prohibit (which of course they don’t), it would not change the facts. Speaking of facts, you should spend more time addressing the facts and identifying why you disagree with me than you spend labeling and attacking me. Just a suggestion.

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    • Rich loves to use the big nasty rhetorical trick of throwing in Batista, the mafia, UFOs and anything else to distract from the realities of Cuba. But living in the “belly of the beast” as I do, (even more so as I live in Miami) I think I would be aware of any Batista sympathizer ar “activists”. I know of no such group. …..Maybe I should start a Batista club. I’ll hold meetings in my daughters tree house out back. That should make a Rich happy.

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    • 192-to-2, with only Israel — massively dependent on the U. S. for billions in economic and military aid — of all the nations in the entire world, supporting the U. S. embargo of Cuba. Moses, to state that it doesn’t “embarrass” the U. S. government is another way of saying that, since 1959, the Batistianos have relished the privilege of propagandizing the Cuban issues in the United States, not unlike the rulers of Banana Republics pull off. 192-to-2, no problem! The 192 are stupid and the 2 are brilliant! Right, Moses?

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      • Who are these Bastistianos you speak of? I have never met one, have you? If Americans are embarrassed by the annual UN vote, how would we know? Do other countries purchase fewer iPhone 6s? Are Americans shunned at international platform diving competitions? Did it affect opening day receipts of the new Star Wars movie abroad? Or is this just something people like you say because you can’t say anything more substantial?

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  • Point well taken. Even the most virulent 70+ year-old, anti-CASTRO grump after half a bottle of Havana Club Reserva in the Versailles Cafe in Little Havana wouldn’t utter his preference for the Batista regime. That person does not exist anymore.

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  • I wonder how long Mercedes would be free to walk around if she sang songs about Castro not taking a bath or about his mother…

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  • Moses Patterson: “The US embargo prohibits US COMPANIES from trading with the Castros. French, Ecuadoran, Icelandic and whoever else is free to do business with the Castros at their own risk.”

    This means that whenever companies doing business with Cuba are sold to a US company, the business with Cuba has to stop. This was the case in Denmark recently when the Danish company CLC-bio was bought by US company Qiagen: http://www.cubavenner.dk/nyheder/usas-blokade-mod-cuba-den-danske-forbindelse
    Cuba’s National Centre for Genetical Medicine could no longer get the necessary software updates for equipment bought from the Danish company.
    A similar thing happened when the Danish electronics company Radiometer was sold to US company Donahy.

    Another absurd example of the USA interfering with trade between two EU companies: A Danish importer of Cuban cigars from a German company lost the 26,000 $ that he transferred to Germany through a Danish bank: http://www.b.dk/nationalt/dansk-politimand-fanget-i-amerikansk-terrornet

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    • These are valid examples but less than a drop in the bucket when you consider the entire world of possibilities available. The Castros should stop whining. The reality is that Socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried. The US embargo has simply been a convenient excuse for the Castros.

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  • Moses, Moses, Moses, Any US banks discovered doing business with or for Cuba were heavily fined, The intention was to cripple Cuba and its Revolution. Stop those lies Moses, Stop Them! YOU KNOW THE TRUTH! America wanted to completely destroy the Cuban Revolution at all cost. Mind you, the UN Charter says that every country has the sovereign right to chart its own economic development, but America the world’s most famous bully, believes that it is her Divine destiny to erase the Socialist Doctrine from the face of the earth, so that the exploitative, degrading, inhumane, oppressive, capitalist system could keep the working class peoples of the world subjugated and enslaved. They waged war in Korea, in Vietnam, in Cuba, in Haiti, in China, in Latin America and all over the globe trying to suppress the peoples of the world who wanted to liberate themselves from slavery-like conditions. Prior to 1884,1886 when there were no official CIA, the oligarchs armed thugs and sent them to third world countries to assassinate progressive minded union leaders; leaders of countries who believed that the natural resources of the country should not be plundered by the multinationals, but, instead, be used in the interest of and the development of that country and its people were butchered by these thugs from America. After the thugs were legalized and turned into the Central Intelligence Agency, the butchering and the assassinations continued. Why is America so afraid of Socialism? Why is America offending the principles of the United Nations Charter? Why is America hell bent on subjugating the working class peoples of the world? Cuba has shown that a resilient people can stand up to the bully of the world and defy it. The people of Vietnam has demonstrated that napalm bombs cannot deter a people who want to enjoy their God given right to be free. The people of North Korea has justified their claim to follow the charter of the United Nations by standing up to the bully and has asserted their right to adopt the Socialist path to development. The Peoples Republic of China resisted the embargo placed on them after their Triumphant 1949 Revolution. Just imagine, Mainland China was excluded from the UNITED NATIONS and little Formosa now Taiwan forced into the UN by America. Just imagine, a little island in the UN representing millions of inhabitants on the mainland while the mainland was isolated and kept out of the Family of Nations because it was Socialist? The people of Chile elected by ballots a Socialist President ALLENDE, who was ousted by the CIA which installed a butcher by the name of Pinochet and, despite all the brutal murders and the disappearances of those who supported Allende, America issued not a word of protest not a word of condemnation..The people of Iran in their 1979 Revolution, rid themselves of the Shah who was installed by America to suppress his people so that the multinationals of America could reap huge profits from the Iranian oilfields. Anywhere in the world where the people overthrow America’s puppet, America declares war on them. Israel which is not a signatory to the NPT( Non Proliferation Treaty) possess nuclear weapons but this is OK with America. On the other hand, Iran, which is a signatory to the NPT cannot develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Over 100 attempts, orchestrated by the CIA were made on the life of Fidel Castro who forsook his life of privilege to fight in the interest of the poor and downtrodden of Cuba. The poor must be kept poor and those who try to liberate them must be assassinated by the bully of the world. By the subjugator of the working class. Want to be the friend and ally of America, just hold your people in bondage and in total ignorance and you will be the greatest leader in the world. Fight for the disadvantaged of the wolrd and you be labelled Internationally as a Dictator? Why can’t the great Capitalist America exist side by side with Socialism? Why go against the United Nations Charter which it signed after World War 2?

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    • Dude, I don’t know where you studied history but I’d ask for my money back! And if it’s Youtube you use to learn about the world, I’d suggest you pick up a book of two.

      As an example ….the CIA was created in 1947 from the WWII organization known as the OSS, which itself was created in mid 1942 There was no such organization before that.

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    • You had me when you defended North Korea. …..

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  • Wow Rich, now you’re just shamelessly making up history and populating your function with hyperbole.

    Question: can you reference one, just ONE, comment on this site by Moses, or anyone else, that even suggests they would want Batista back in power, were he not dead these many decades? Why do you reduce the Castro problem into a zero sum game? In your mind it’s either Castro or Batista.

    You’ve been at this for years. I remember you trying to sell this crap on the pages of miamiherald.com years ago. No ones buying it a Rich!

    Reply

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