The Campaign against US-Cuba Relations

Havana mural. Photo: Harlan Crowder

HAVANA TIMES — A group of businessmen, intellectuals, politicians and Cuban dissidents published Thursday a full-page open letter/advertisement in The Washington Post against any rapprochement between the US and Cuba, reported dpa.

The 58 signatories ask the United States Congress, with a Republican majority, to oppose the “unilateral concessions” that the Obama administration has offered the island. The open letter was run as a paid advertisement titled “The New Cuba Policy: Breakthrough or Bailout?”.

The letter was drafted by the Center for a Free Cuba ( and criticizes, among other things, removing Cuba from the list of terrorist states because “it will reward the Castro regime for trying to smuggle 240 tons of heavy weapons to North Korea; training and equipping of the repressive forces of Venezuela; offering Putin’s Russia a listening post in Cuba and sheltering dozens of fugitive terrorists and criminals, including Assata Shakur, on the list of ten most wanted terrorists by the FBI. ”

The hardliners also oppose lifting the trade embargo on the island as well as increasing US travelers to Cuba.

Among the signatories are several former assistant secretaries of state for Latin America, as Elliot Abrams, Otto Reich and Roger Noriega and former ambassadors in Latin America and Cuba.

Also signing the document are Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, of Cuban origin, and opposition figures Antonio Rodiles and Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez.

“We urge Congress to oppose unilateral concessions to rescue the failed and oppressive Castro regime,” the letter concludes.

The US and Cuba announced on December 17, 2014, they would resume diplomatic ties after more than half a century of conflict. The news has divided the Cuban exile community in Miami.

On Wednesday, Assistant US Secretary of State for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson, met with several exile groups opposed to the administration’s approach to explain the new policy, but several people declined to attend.

Last month, another group of influential personalities from politics and the US economy sent a letter to President Barack Obama in the opposite direction: to encourage him to work with Congress to change and update legislation regarding Cuba.

20 thoughts on “The Campaign against US-Cuba Relations

  • A system based on simple “majority rules” amounts to the tyranny of the mob. True democracy can only exist in a republic, in which every human being has fundamental rights and freedoms which cannot be violated by the majority. These rights and freedoms are defined and protected by a constitution, which is the fundamental law of the land.

  • You did not provide that instance.
    My comments are factual to the point that you must evade answering my questions to avoid embarrassing yourself publicly .
    It is instructive that you refer to my criticisms of totalitarian thinking on your part as “silly griping” .all the while being careful to omit your thinking on free-enterprise capitalism, religion and the oligarchic government you espouse ; all of which are totalitarian and all of which you follow and support.
    You are a waste of my time and the Earth’s oxygen.

  • The 54 year-old U.S. embargo was specifically aimed at the entire population of Cuba.
    Under Secretary of State Lester Mallory said it would take the massive deprivation caused by a general embargo to cause the Cuban people to rise up and overthrow the revolution.
    At the same time ,those who put the embargo in place KNEW that the elite and people like the Castro brothers would not suffer as would the general population and if they did not know this they would certainly claim that the murderous Castros would eat while the people starved.
    So, again, you’re talking nonsense.

  • I talk to my Cuban family at least once a week. They know the difference.

  • not really, just ask the majority of Cubans. Policies against the government of Cuba are aimed against Cubans. Ask those who lost loved ones form the Bay of Pigs invasion, the sabotage campaign of the 1960’s, the policies that accommodates terrorist in Miami and Union City, ask those who lost loved ones in the Cubana Airline bombing, and finally ask Cubans about the US embargo.

  • Yes I can. And it is no more trite than you incessant comments regarding US invasions, utopian socialism and my personal favorite, your silly griping about male-led family structures.

  • You cannot provide an instance in which anyone has sung “‘praises to the Castro tyranny” (which is also a terribly trite expression)

  • Majority rule is the democratic way .
    You all vote on a given issue and the majority rules.

  • Well said Milton,
    When I saw Idiot Abrams and George Schultz’s names on that list, I totally discounted the remainder of the signatories..
    Too bad Batista is dead or they’d have had his name on there too.

  • Anti-CASTRO not anti-Cuban. There is a difference.

  • Had you grown up experiencing the reality of the represion we felt on a daily basis you would not be so quick to dismiss it! The ever present knowledge that you had to be careful about everything you said. You never knew
    who was listening. Sometimes it was your very “friends” who could cause mischief.

    How sad knowing that an entire society was indoctrinated to spy on itself .

  • Abrams, Noriega, and Reich have an atrocious history with Latin America. Miami politicians have long advocated an anti-Cuban policy. The fact that some little known “opposition” funded and fostered by anti-Cuban groups in the USA join them demonstrates their lack of judgement and understanding of US-Cuba history. No wonder they have no support among the Cuban people.

  • Don’t be cute. Of course Cubans know who their CDR representative is. That does not negate the role of the CDR, which includes keeping a file on your neighbors.

  • To the best of my knowledge, members of the CDR are known to their neighbours. Spies and “spooks” generally do not reveal their activities to their neighbours.

  • Now for the claim by the signatories of the letter:

    “Removing Cuba from the list of terrorist states will reward the Castro regime for trying to smuggle 240 tons of heavy weapons to North Korea; training and equipping of the repressive forces of Venezuela; offering Putin’s Russia a listening post in Cuba and sheltering dozens of fugitive terrorists and criminals, including Assata Shakur, on the list of ten most wanted terrorists by the FBI. ”
    Shipping arms to North Korea, training the Venezuelan security forces, and offering Russia a listening post are not acts of terrorism. (True, Cuba has diplomatic relations with Iran and Syria, both of whom have ties with the Shiite Arab terrorist group Hezbollah, but that fact should not be a reason to list a country as a terror sponsor.) The report that Russia was reopening the Lourdes SIGINT facility in Cuba turned out to be false, and there have been no signs that Russia is returning to Lourdes. As Kerry has said, the review to take Cuba off the terror list will be based on facts.

  • Diverse opinion is the democratic way. The warming of relations will move forward under Obama. Then we will see if new relationship can continue.

  • Are you kidding? Do you know what the primary function of the CDR is? Cuban is saturated, neighborhood by neighborhood, with “spooks”. The US intelligence infrastructure is child’s play by comparison. Electronic surveillance is benign and harmless for 99% of the US population. So what if they trap cellphone calls? But imagine if one of my neighbors kept a file on who comes to my house and what electronic goods I purchase. And yes, obviously you are not Cuban because living under the conditions that Cubans have been forced to live under for the last 56 years is absolutely tyrannical. I can scream “Obama sucks!” until my lungs give out and the worst crime I have committed is disturbing the peace. I pay the ticket, ya! If a Cuban screams “Chupame Fidel!”, he (or she) will end up in jail and certainly beaten. Why? Because there is a law in Cuba called “Disrespecting Fidel and Raul”. WTF? I welcome your disagreement but don’t stoop to lying or ignoring reality just to be contrarian.

  • Yet more nonsense and propaganda. Unlike the US, Cuba is not saturated with a plethora of ‘Spooks’.
    To refer to Castro’s reign as tyranny is somewhat rich when the US brainwashed inhabitants are under Orwellian dictatorship.

  • There is racism in Cuba today. During the 406 years of Spanish occupation, Spaniards wiped out the 1-2 million strong Native population in the first 100 years and then brought millions of Africans as beasts of burden. The Spanish thus installed a culture of utter racism, which in turn, spawned a creole culture with many of the components of “Mother” culture intact, such as racism. Chinese were brought in the 1850’s as indentured servants, and they too suffer from racism to this very day.

    When the US took over as the colonial overlord in 1898, the first thing they did was to take the guns from the Black, Mulatto and Chinese Cubans, who had fought against the Spanish in the Cuban Revolutionary Army. The White Cubans instead were offered a post in the “new” Cuban Army with the same rank they held before. Cuban Mulattoes and Chinese were allowed to join the police, though, because they only carried revolvers, and Black Cubans no guns at all. Racism continued to be the norm in our country under the US boot.

    Through the first half of the 20th Century, wave after wave of Spaniards and other Europeans, such as Ashkenazim Jews, came to Cuba seeking refuge from all the turmoil in their countries. They re-injected and imposed their racist attitudes in the home and in the workplace until the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Only then did the laws and the enforcement of the laws began to change, and discriminated Cubans were allowed in the universities and training schools, army, government jobs, etc…
    But Cuba was a racist hell for 464 years and you can’t wipe that in 55 years; old attitudes die hard and specially in the conservative countryside amongst the Guajiro population. In addition, many White Cuban officials, executives, managers, etc… hold openly racist views, which they neither acknowledge as being racist, nor that such views result in an unfair situation at work and at home, and in a lot of damage to the country in general.

  • For commenters here at HT who sing praises to Castro tyranny, this post highlights yet another example of the freedom of expression and, more fundamentally, the democratic process at work. Both sides of the US/Cuba debate are actively expressing their views in the US national media. Both sides do so without fear of being jailed and beaten by proponents of the opposing view. In the end, a compromise between the two positions will likely be reached. In Cuba, no such debate is allowed. Opposition views are met with police harassment and worse. Can you imagine Granma, the Castro-owned State newspaper, running a full-page advertisement opposing the Castro position? Of course not? There is no freedom in Cuba.

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