Cuba is Not an Enemy of the USA

Elio Delgado Legon

Havana Bay. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — To claim that Cuba is an enemy of the United States would be humorous if the statement didn’t have such tragic and shameful consequences. How could a small country, without offensive weapons of any kind represent a threat to the most powerful empire on the face of the earth today?

The people of the United States and Cuba have always maintained relationships of friendship, as befits two good neighbors. US citizens who, despite the prohibitions in effect in their country, still travel to Cuba and can attest to this.

If we look at historical facts, we could say the opposite has been the case: it is the United States which has acted as Cuba’s enemy for many years.

To avoid going too far back in history and making this post excessively long, we could begin by mentioning the support the US government offered Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship, which it furnished with military aid and the weapons with which more than 20 thousand Cubans were murdered.

Immediately after the triumph of the revolution in 1959 and the proclamation of the Agrarian Reform, the US government threatened Cuba with reducing its sugar quota, banning investments on the island and eliminating all economic aid if US properties were nationalized.

Logically, an Agrarian Reform law that outlaws the latifundio system entailed the nationalization of vast expanses of land owned by US companies, lands that were bought at very low prices following the conclusion of the war of independence which cast off Spain’s colonial yoke.

Fruit and vegetable vendor. Photo: Juan Suarez

In 1960, the US oil companies Texaco, Esso, Standard Oil and Shell ceased supplying Cuba with oil as part of a measure aimed at paralyzing the country economically. When Cuba found another supplier in the former Soviet Union, the same companies refused to process the oil in the refineries in the country, and the government had no choice but to nationalize them and to prevent the country’s collapse.

Other measures taken against Cuba that same year included the reduction of the sugar quota by 700 thousand tons and the shut-down of the nickel plant, which was also owned by a US company, measures aimed at depriving Cuba of the limited income it secured through the export of the metal.

That same year, the US State Department told citizens to abstain from traveling to Cuba. Washington banned the export of numerous products to the island and announced that, the following year, the country would cease buying sugar from Cuba altogether.

In January 1961, the United States broke all diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba. All the while, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was organizing armed groups that operated in the country’s central provinces, with the aim of overthrowing the revolutionary government, and, in Nicaragua, trained a brigade whose objective was to land in Cuba, occupy part of the country’s territory, set up a provisional government (which had already been assembled) and request the intervention of the Organization of American States (OAS), or the United States, which were practically the same thing.

The invasion was neutralized by the Cuban people in less than 72 hours: the US warships near Cuban coasts, ready to intervene, couldn’t satisfy their yearnings and had to withdraw. The armed bands fell one by one, but not without claiming the lives of many Cuban combatants before their final defeat.

Havana train station. Photo: Juan Suarez

Since then, the United States has approved a total of 12 laws which constitute the framework of what Washington euphemistically refers to as the “embargo”, a policy which is actually much more than that, a harsh blockade whose provisions, such as the Helms-Burton Act, are applicable to every corner of the globe and affect all countries that maintain trade with Cuba.

In all of this, I don’t see anything that suggests Cuba is an enemy of the United States, just the opposite. However, from the triumph of the revolution, the US applied the Trade with the Enemy Law of 1917 that prohibit trade with countries considered enemies.

On numerous occasions, the Cuban government has declared its willingness to hold talks with the United States on an equal footing and to discuss all issues behind the two countries’ differences, but the US government has failed to offer a reply.

Every year, the US administration extends the application of the Trade with the Enemy Law one more year. I cannot help but ask myself: who is whose enemy here? Cuba hasn’t organized armies or armed groups aimed at changing the United States’ political system. Cuba does not forbid its citizens from traveling to the United States. Nor does it train mercenaries to place bombs at US hotels, nor promote actions designed to destabilize the country’s order.

In view of all this and many other facts that cannot be developed in the short space of a single post, I cannot but conclude, as many honest US citizens who continue to visit our country do, that Cuba is not an enemy of the United States.

76 thoughts on “Cuba is Not an Enemy of the USA

  • Despite the drooling, adult pampers and stoma bag, Fidel remains a force to be reckoned with in Cuba. If nothing else, he retains a veto over any and all decisions made by lil’ bro’. The US is no enemy of Cuba. Of the Castros yes, but Cuba no.

  • Oh but I have read the Leftist perspective. As you just now demonstrated, the Left ignores facts and rewrites history.

    The facts clearly contradict the Leftist myth about Cuba’s intervention in Angola. I presented a summary of what really happened, and referenced my arguments to an authoritative and full footnoted history of the Cuban intervention.

    But you don’t like the facts, so you attack the author.

  • I never read or listen to Rush Limbaugh and the observation that Marxism is fuelled by envy is not original to Limbaugh.

    What you say about the current economic trends, a shrinking middle class, is true. But that is a relatively short term trend. Over the last 100 years it’s been going the other way and will do so again. The opportunity for entrepreneurs to build new fortunes still exists and does happen.

  • If the Cubans were to send a plane over Florida, and it refused direction from U.S. Air Force planes, it would be shot down just as the BTR planes were when they refused instructions. .

  • Hello ????
    Fidel retired some six years ago and looks like he’s drooling .
    Can you just blame Raul from now on for all the ills of Cuba including the secret deal he has with Obama to continue the U.S. War on Cuba. so he can retain power in the face of an implacable enemy ?

  • Regarding South Africa, what do you mean by the term “anti-Communist” using a capital “C” ?
    Do you mean they opposed Communist Parties which the capital “C” implies and which in opposing a Stalinist form would be good thing or did you really mean to use anti-communist meaning opposing a democratic economic form ..
    The Cubans went to Angola to defend it from an invasion from racist South Africa..
    They did so successfully .
    They did the right thing IMO and the wrong thing IYO.
    The book IS from a right wing perspective .
    You’d have to understand the left perspective to understand that and reading and understanding the left is just not your thing

  • It is impossible to love both capitalism and democracy.
    You don’t know that communism is based on direct democracy by the workers from the bottom up and is the antithesis of top-down totalitarian capitalism.?
    Capitalism is the epitome of totalitarianism and if you don’t believe me go and give your CEO a piece of your mind about how he’s doing his job. . You’ll find out quite shortly who is the dictator .
    I will have to apologize to you .and the State Department and for the same reason.
    You’re too ignorant of what democracy is, what totalitarianism is, what the basics of communism and socialism are for any rational State Department person to have employed you. .
    Seriously and please explain how capitalism is democratic in its operation.
    I’m willing to listen to anything rational .

    Secondly , what do YOU call a system where the workers run the means of production in a democratic fashion from the bottom up ?
    And then what do YOU call the Soviet. Chinese , Cuban systems?
    I think once you define these things as YOU understand them we can agree on the terms at least.

  • You are SO wrong about “social mobility” in the U.S . The middle class is being eliminated . The current generation is the first in what will be a 20 year line of people who will live considerably below the standards of their parents.
    Google up trends in wealth distribution in the U.Sj and you’ll get a flood of FACTUAL info that puts the lie to your claim .
    That phrase you used about envy and resentment of the rich is the class war argument used by the rich to describe what the poor do after decades of class warfare by the wealthy in the working people and poor.
    It is one of Rush Limbaugh pet phrases against the poor .
    He only make 50 million a year so you know he’s objective..
    It’s nice to know where you get your thinking from .
    Not surprising but nicely confirming of a strong suspicion.

  • Thanks for that lengthy, detailed and effective response .
    What a breath of fresh air!i

  • very good comments, thanks

  • Congradulatons, Elio! By your defense of the Revolution you’ve stirred up more reactions from the reactionaries than I can remember here at HT. Moreover, the discussion has veared off course into such esoteric fields as Cuba’s foreign policy in the 1960’s and 1970’s, JFK conspiracy theories, Imperialism’s machinations against a variety of democratically elected governments in Asia, Africa and Latin America, Russian anarchists vs leftists, state- vs democratic-socialism, etc. etc. Looks like you really opened up an, err, can of worms!

  • John wrote, “were Cuban planes to fly over Florida without permission from the U.S. government they would be shot down and especially if they were dropping anti-Bush or anti-Obama leaflets or calling for democratic elections in the U.S.”

    You can’t seriously believe that? First of all, the Cuban’s don’t need airplanes to drop anti-American pamphlets on the country. They have plenty of friends and allies in the US media and on US campuses already doing that on a regular basis. And nobody stops them. I’m positive you must have handed out anti-Bush pamphlets at some time, am I right?

    Secondly, if the US authorities considered a plane from Cuba flying over US territory was worrisome, then they would intercept & escort the plane down without shooting at it. The USAF has the means to determine if the Cuban plane had hostile intent (ie. was arming a weapon system), or not.

    Seriously John, the psychological projection of your marxist paranoia is showing again. Get a grip!

  • Again John, it’s important to understand the timeline of events. When the WSFL began their guerilla war against Ethiopia, the USSR was backing Somalia and the USA was backing Ethiopia.

    Then a coup by the communist Derg party in Ethiopia pushed the US out of that country and invited the USSR in. At this point the USSR was supporting both Somalia and Ethiopia.

    It was then that Somalia invaded Ethiopia (Ogaden region). This event forced the USSR to reconsider who was their best bet in the region. They went with Ethiopia and cut off their support for Somalia.

    For two years, the Somalis fought against Ethiopia with assistance from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt & Yemen. Cuba and other Socialist bloc countries sent military assistance to Ethiopia. The US was not involved during that time. This was during the period immediately after the Vietnam War and Jimmy Carter was not going to get the US involved in another Third World quagmire.

    Only when the Somali army was routed and Ethiopia appeared ready to invade Somalia did the US & France notice the impending disaster and step in to defend Somalia, without firing a single shot. It’s amazing how a couple of US aircraft carriers (and one French) steaming off the coast of Somalia can focus the mind.

    So to summarize:

    1. The Communsit coup in Somalia, backed by the USSR, brought Siad Barre to power.

    2. The Communist coup in Ethiopia, backed by the USSR, brought Mengistu and his genocidal Marxist regime to power.

    3. The USSR backed Somalia invaded USSR backed Ethiopia.

    4. The USSR dumped their erstwhile allies in Somalia.

    5. Communist Cuba sent 10,000 troops to help Communist USSR and Communist Ethiopia fight Communist Somalia.

    6. When Somalia faced invasion from the Communist Ethiopian-Cuban army backed by the USSR, the USA finally steps in and stops the war.

    Yet somehow this USSR instigated, armed and funded slaughter, carried out with the lethal intervention of the Cuban military, is all the fault of the imperialist capitalist USA?

    You tell me who is detached from reality.

  • Of course the oil was important for developing the Angolan economy, and of course their enemies would target it, so of course they would protect it.

    The absurd part of the Cabinda fields anecdote was that the CIA was supporting commandos who were targeting the Cabinda oil facilities which were operated by US based Gulf Oil and protected by Cuban soldiers.

    Cuban troops protecting a US oil corporation from attacks by the CIA? That’s the very definition of absurdity! Evelyn Waugh could write a more ridiculous scenario.

    Yes, South Africa was anti-Communist. That’s the whole point! When the Communist Cuban government sent their army to install and prop up the Communist MPLA who were armed by the Communist USSR, it only stands to reason that the anti-Communist government in Pretoria would be alarmed.

    Facts and events matter. If you don’t know the facts and the sequence of events then you don’t know what happened.

    The official story from Havana, that Angola was a peaceful socialist republic happily building socialism for all their people when suddenly out of the blue, the racist South Africans invaded for no reason other than to oppress the Angolan people, and that Cuba then on the spot decided to suddenly send 40,000 troops to Angola without any prior planning is patently false and contradicted by a wealth of evidence to the contrary.

    Understanding the actual timeline is very important to understanding the sequence of events. Without a doubt, there was a small contingent of Cuban troops in Angola prior to the SADF invasion. Their presence alarmed the South Africans. The SADF invasion in turn prompted Cuba to send in a much larger force to support the MPLA. That operation in turn prompted South Africa to send reinforcements to their army. All the while the USSR was pouring $billions worth of military hardware into Angola and the CIA were funnelling weapons & cash to UNITA.

    George presents an accurate history of the Angolan conflict based on facts, figures, dates and timelines. His account is critical of Portugal, South Africa, the US, Cuba and the USSR, and especially critical of the leaders of the various Angolan rebel groups. He described Jonas Savimba as “quite probably insane”. He also praises the humanitarian works Cuba carried out during their involvement in Angola, including vaccinations, medical clinics, education and infrastructure development.

    Yet you dismiss it all because it does not fit your preferred pro-revolutionary bias. You identify his allegedly “right wing” word usage. That’s really just another way of ignoring evidence which contradicts your strong political biases. I suggest you put aside your suspicions & biases and read the book in it’s entirety.

    Get to know the facts and events.

    By the way, the last chapter, “The Sting in the Tail” is a fascinating account of the General Ochao Affair which was one of the consequences of Cuba’s Angolan adventure. Not to be missed!

  • “In July 1977, the Somali Army invaded Ogaden, with the goal of defending their allies, the WSLF.”
    What this says is that Somalia invaded the Ogaden which is Ethiopean territory to support a REBEL group in Ethiopia.
    This is exactly the sort of thing that you accuse the Cubans of doing around the world yet here you are REPRINTING proof that it is not the Cubans who were exporting revolution but the U.S. and Saudi- backed Somalis .
    It was the Cubans who were defending a sovereign nation from an invasion from another country and one backed by the U.S and Saudi Arabia.
    The Cubans were doing the moral thing and the U.S was doing an immoral and internationally illegal thing .
    But don’t let that reality stop you from defending the perpetrators and attacking the victims.

  • What I believe-if you’ll stop putting words in my mouth is that were Cuban planes to fly over Florida without permission from the U.S. government they would be shot down and especially if they were dropping anti-Bush or anti-Obama leaflets or calling for democratic elections in the U.S. ( where the rich select all the national candidates) .
    It’s a matter of sovereignty over national territory.
    You did not answer my question as to where the BTR planes are taking off from.
    Wouldn’t be from Opa Locka would it?

  • The “sanctions” were, as stated by the U.S. government specifically intended to make life for the average Cuban so miserable that they would overthrow their socialist revolution.
    If you do not know that FACT , you’re wasting my time and that of every other serious and knowledgeable reader.
    Small (c) communism is based on a society which is run from the bottom by the workers .
    It is entirely democratic as opposed to capitalism which IS run by the boss or the CEO and which is totalitarian.
    You don’t even know what communism is .
    You conflate it with Stalinist Communist Party rule without realizing that Stalin ism is top down totalitarianism and communism is bottom-up ( majority rule) democracy..
    I get the feeling I’m wasting my time .

  • I cannot believe that you actually think that the reason for the South African invasion was in response to Cuban support for the MPLA.
    SA was anti-communist and needed no other reason .
    George’s Angola was immediately- and throughout the pieces I scanned -replete with terms, word usage and other use of language that was decidedly and pointedly anti-revolutionary.
    I have been a student of the media for well over 40 years, read both the left ( ZNET, TomDispatch etc ) and also listen to Rush Limbaugh and follow the corporate media .
    I know exactly how words are used and George was definitely writing with a right wing slant.
    The Cuban defense of the Cabinda oil fields makes all the sense in the world since Angola’s national wealth was centered in the oil fields there .
    They had deals much like the Cubans did with hotel owners where they had foreigners extract the oil for a percentage: an economic necessity in an underdeveloped country,even one with a socialist society. .
    Hardly absurd .

  • I mentioned that Cuba still has troops in Angola because the official party line from Havana is that they do not. It’s a bit of an embarrassment to Fidel that he sent so many Cuban soldiers to their deaths in Angola (again, the official casualty lists remain a state secret), all to install a massively corrupt dictatorship in Africa.

  • You can’t seriously think that USAID or the CIA or whatever pay Moses or me to write comments here? You have a massive case of projection there, buddy. Paying agents to troll blogs is what the Cuban regime does.

    And are you implying that “the oligarchy” owns Havana Times? Now that is going to come as a terrible shock to Circles Robinson!

    Or a big laugh.

  • The US still has much great social and economic mobility. The top elite in Cuba has remained in the hands of a few close-knit families, the Castro’s at the centre of it, of course.

    In the US, the wealthy can lose their money and the poor can become wealthy. It has happened thousands of times.

    For examples: Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google was the child of Russian immigrants who fled persecution in the USSR. Steve Job’s father was a carpenter. Bill Clinton grew up in a decidedly white trash lifestyle in Arkansas.

    Of course, discussions of income inequality is all the rage in political talk these days, but it is a false measure, motivated by envy and resentment but uninformed of economics. The true measure is the standard of living, and the poor in America are significantly better off today that they were 50 years ago. Relative to the extremely wealthy, they are still poor, but so what? Relative to the poor of 1963, the poor today live at lower middle-class standards.

    Meanwhile in Cuba, the poor get poorer in real terms. In all measures, the standard of living in Cuba is falling: lower educations outcomes, falling healthcare quality, crappier food, crumbling infrastructure and collapsing housing.

    Who owns what wealth remains in Cuba? If ownership is defined by the having the power to possess, control, use, buy and sell a property, then the ultimate owners of all of Cuba are the Castros. That is the ultimate in the inequality of the distribution of wealth.

  • If the regime continues in the same dictatorial / Stalinist way it is very likely that even after the Castro brothers die that sanctions will remain in place. They are not aimed at persons, they are aimed at the system.
    It is however very unlikely that after Fidel dies the system will not change rapidly.
    Raul Castro and its military clan are in the starting blocks for a Russia style “money grab”.
    “Feral capitalism” is already at the head of Cuba: state capitalism. Ministers walk around with Rolex watches and live oligarch lifestyles. Raul Castro’s granddaughter walks around in New York with a Rolex and Chanel. Fidel’s son plays golf and sits in designer suits in the best restaurants. Fidel Castro used to import wines, ham, dogs, … for his private pleasure from Europe. Now he imports special food and food supplements he believes in.

    Classic communism is the opposite of democracy. there is no democracy of any kind in Cuba.

  • Czolgosz cited Emma Goldstein and Bukahrin as his mentors. So that makes him a left-anarchist. Oswald considered himself a Communist. The Soviet Union called itself Communist, as did Mao, Lenin, Stalin etc. So don’t try to play the “no true Scotsman” argument. You just look ridiculous.

    Malcolm X was killed by members of his own group, the NOI when he became a true Muslim and rejected the cultish beliefs of that organization.

    So yes indeed, you can find hundreds of political assassinations carried out by Leftists, Rightists, religious fanatics and the just plain crazy. You have presented no data to support your claim these assassinations are overwhelmingly performed by rightists.

  • The 400 Cuban troops were augmented by thousands of MPAL fighters. The CIA sent new weapons to Zaire to be handed on to FAPLA. Zaire kept the new weapons and gave their old used weapons to FAPLA. Although the CIA did indeed support FAPLA, and later, UNITA, they got far less funding than the MPAL got from Cuba and the USSR. Unlike Cuba, the US provided no troops to do the fighting. The USSR provided far more money & weapons than the US did. There were hundreds of senior Soviet officers commanding the MPLA army, as well as weapons specialists and pilots.

    That’s how the Angolan-Cuba forces were able to defeat first FAPLA, and then fight the SADF & UNITA to a standstill.

    The MPLA was never the legitimate government of Angola. They were one rebel/ethnic/political factions who took power by force, with the support of foreign aid from Cuba & the USSR. The MPLA still rules today under the corrupt dictator Jose Dos Santos. Angola is not a democracy.

    Therefore, the Cuba intervention was in support of the expansion of the Soviet sphere of influence in southern Africa. If the Cubans had truly been in favour of Angolan independence and sovereignty, they would have supported the coalition government endorsed by the UN in 1975, which was to include the MPLA, FAPLA and UNITA. Instead, Cuba backed the MPLA who seized power by taking Luanda and declaring themselves the sole government.

    By the way, the MPLA was founded by the Portuguese Communist Party in the 1950’s. The Portuguese Communist Party was backed by the USSR. The antecedents of that conflict go way back.

    Cuba armed and trained South African guerillas in the fight against the regime. That’s what pushed the South Africans to invade Angola: Cuban military intervention directed against them.

    The US used diplomacy and eventually sanctions to pressure the regime to enter into negotiations with the ANC and other black parties to bring and end to apartheid.

  • Che pushed for the Internationalism, which Fidel initially supported to a limited degree. But Che did indeed have weapons, soldiers and money from Fidel for his ill-fated mission to Congo. By the late 1960’s. Castro cut back on his support for foreign adventures.

    I answered your comment about the Cuban intervention in Ethiopia below, please read that.

  • If you read the whole of George’s book, you will see that it is not at all “anti-Cuban”. He takes a balanced and honest point of view, crediting Cuba for the quality of their officers, the courage of their soldiers and humanitarian service provided by tens of thousands of Cuban doctors, teachers and engineers. Most Angolan citizens still view the Cubans positively for this. There are also many Cuban-Angolan families to have resulted from the friendships which arise in these cases.

    George also points out how Cuba was not Russia’s servant in the intervention and often Fidel would clash with the Russians and even sometimes take an initiatives that caught the Russians by surprise. George most defiantly does not take South Africa’s side, but he does explain how the apartheid regime was motivated by an apocalyptic world view that they were the last bastion against Communism.

    The over-all theme of George’s history is that Angola was a battlefield in the Cold War, that small steps by one side propelled responses by the other side, which provoked further escalation. Round and round. But make no mistake, the Cuban’s sent a small force to Angola BEFORE the South African army invaded. In response to the SADF invasion, Cuba then sent a much larger force. In response to that, the Russians sent lots more weapons. In response to that, the US sent more weapons to UNITA. Round and round they went until hundreds of thousands of Angolans were dead.

    Finally, I am by no means an unrestrianed supporter of capitalism and U.S. foreign policy. I have written here many comments critical of various aspects of both. I do however insist on being historically accurate.

    While many people praise the Cuban intervention for repelling the South African invasion, it is important to be aware that the SADF invaded in response to the Cuban support for one faction of the Angolan Civil War, the MPLA. The other factions, UNITA and FAPLA, represented other rival Angolan ethnic groups who have subsequently suffered brutal repressions, mass killings and ethnic cleansing by the victorious MPLA.

    One of the oddest events in the whole Angolan War surrounds the Cabinda oil fields. These facilities were a vital cash source for the Angolan government and were therefore targeted by CIA trained commandos from South Africa. A Cuban battalion protected these oil fields which continued to be operated by the US corporation, Gulf Oil ! If any single incident portrays the absurd contradictions of the Cold War, this is it.

  • You have no measure of the amount of “time” I devote to commenting here at HT. You may count comments or even words, but you can not determine time. You certainly can not infer from this that I am paid to comment, which I am not. It could well be that the US State Dept. reflects MY views. I am a middle-class, middle-of-the-road American. Most Americans share my views about freedom, democracy, human rights and foreign policy so it is no surprise the government I helped elect would reflect those views. You NEVER refute my Cuban facts. You can’t. For example, it is a FACT that Cuba is in a demographic spiral downward. Less people each year, Fewer productive age workers. Women, on the average, having fewer than one child. Older Cubans getting older, costing more to sustain. These are FACTS. Yes, I love capitalism. I love democracy. By inference, I hate communism and totalitarianism. These are indeed my constraints. Yes, I know more about Cuba than you do. Your opinions, while still your opinions, have less to do with Cuban reality and more to do with the Cuba that exists in your imagination.

  • Czolgosz was an anarchist -that means he did not believe in organized government but in direct democracy .
    Does that make him a leftist ?

    Oswald was not a serious political thinker .I’m a communist and I would not recognize Oswald as one given the stuff I read about him.
    He loved the Soviet Union which makes him anti-communist since they were a state -run-from-the-top operation and not communist in any sense of the philosophy.
    Jack Ruby who shot him WAS in with the mob .
    MLK was shot by a right wing racist
    Malcolm X shot while FBI sat in audience not moving.
    Patrice Lumumba and a whole host of other leftist leaders were assassinated by U.S. paid killers.
    Operation Phoenix was a right-wing U.S assassination program in Viet Nam.
    This all from memory.
    I won’t waste time looking up the list. but I know you can Google assassinations by the U.S. government and get a long list that proves my case.
    The right traditionally is both heavily armed and prone to use those arms to kill their opponents . The left traditionally has not held power nor had the guns to kill with the abandon of the right wing regimes .
    If you want to cite the ” Black Book Of Communism ” and claim that Mao killed every person who died while he ruled as political assassinations and cite that as proof that leftists kill more than rightists , again you’re not being serious. .
    Mao, Lenin, Stalin , Fidel .. none of them practice communism . They merely headed the Communist Party in their respective countries.
    If you choose to cite the number of right wingers killed during REVOLUTIONS then you’re not being serious here.

  • Wow! 400 Cuban troops were able to defeat the U.S. backed FNLA ?
    The Cubans still have troops in Angola ?
    No kidding ?
    Do or do not the Angolans have the right to have military trainers and advisers of their choice ?
    The U.S has 1000 military outposts in over 100 countries.
    You need some perspective; some sense of proportion .
    The fact remains that Angola exists as a country independent from U.S. force because the Cubans made it possible.
    The fact remains that all Cuban aid to Angola was for morally correct reasons: to defend against U.S. imperialism and neo-colonialism.
    Cuba is not a hyper-power although it is influential in world affairs all out of proportion to its wealth and military power.but it is the U.S and the forces of enforced capitalism that are the problem for poor African countries and not Cuba.
    Nelson Mandela said that Cuba , alone in the world came to the aid of South African blacks .
    It was the U.S that supported the racist white South Africans .

  • About the Cuban intervention in Ethiopia: again, you are spouting pure fantasy. The reality was much more complicated and quite nasty.

    The Soviet Union supported the government of Somalia following the coup led by Mohamed Siad Barre in 1969. The Russians began arming and training Somalia’s armed forces, with help from the Egyptians.

    In 1974, a coup by the Communist Derg party in Ethiopia toppled US backed Haile Selassie. Seeing the chaos in Ethiopia, the Ogaden based Western Somali Liberation Front, funded and armed by the Somali government with Soviet supplied weapons, began a series of guerilla attacks in the Ogaden region. By 1977, Mengistu Haile Mariam consolidated power as the leader of the Derg and president of Ethiopia. Mengistu then launched the Ethiopian Red Terror in which an estimated 500,000 Ethiopians were murdered by the Communist Derg forces. The Russians now recognized the Ethiopian government of Mengistu as the True Communists in the region and offered to secretly support them too. In April 1977, Ethiopia kicked the last US military advisors out.

    In July 1977, the Somali Army invaded Ogaden, with the goal of defending their allies, the WSLF. The Soviets were now backing both sides in the Ethio-Somali war. The Cubans, at the Soviet’s request, soon sent some 15,000 soldiers to help Ethiopia. This was a startling reversal as well, because the Cubans had been supporting the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front fight for independence from Ethiopia. By July 1978, the Somali army was in a rout with the Ethiopian-Cuban alliance racing toward the border of Somalia. It was only then, when the US realized the Soviets were about to control the entire Horn of Africa that the US & France became involved and offered support to the Somali gov’t of Said barre.

    In their wars against Somalia and Eritrea, the Ethiopian army and their Cuba allies were accused of using napalm. All sides have been accused of extensive atrocities and war crimes.

    As in their Angolan intervention, the Cuban intervention in Ethiopia was not the selfless act of Internationalism that Havana claims it was. Fidel used Cuban soldiers as cannon folder for the Soviets in their Cold War with the US. Again, it was the local Africa people who paid the highest price.

  • Griffin,
    I did a quick read of George’s book and did read much of the intro and the conclusions along with searching the book for references to the long-time U.S. aid to UNITA .
    There was a ntable anti Cuban tone to the book and a serious omitting of the U.S. involvement.
    That said, George confirmed that Cuba went into Angola in force because of the 1975 South African invasion .

    Maybe you have to be African or an Afro-American with some sort of understanding of the double edged sword of capitalism and racism that the invading South Africans represented to see that the Cuban intervention was not only desirable but morally correct.

    As a supporter of capitalism and U.S. foreign policy and by association a supporter of the racism inherent in these two institutions , it must be hard for you to see that the clear moral choice the Cubans made was the right thing for humanity. .
    I’ll dig a little deeper into George’s book today and will try to see your perspective from his writing.

  • If I get you right you say that it is all right for a dictatorship to use extra-judicial killings to stop peaceful protests.
    I disagree.
    Note that Brothers to the Rescue will probably start flying more and more as the exodus continues.

  • Point out a sungle item in “Operation Carlotta” which was not true.
    You can say it was pure propaganda but absent any specific examples of what was not true in Marquez’s account from you , your accusations are groundless and can be dismissed.
    I will read George’s account of the Cuban military aid to Angola and thank you for the reference .
    I assume that the charges that Cuba armed and trained guerillas in the Congo, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia Somalia , Eritrea, Algeria, Namibia and Guinea are documented in George’s book but given that in the case of Ethiopia, the Cubans aided the government there and not the invading Somalis and that it was Che Guevara who went to the Congo and not the Cuban government , I get the feeling that all of the other cases cited in your post are not what you make them out to be.
    If you believe that Cuba was out to spread revolution where none existed , you might want to remember a quote from Fidel himself who said ( paraphrased) that it is impossible to foment revolution where the people are not ready for it and conversely it is impossible to stop a revolution once the population is ready for it.
    Unlike Che , he did not/ does not believe in the sort of adventures that Che undertook because he saw them as quixotic; worthy, moral but ineffective in the long run.
    No, Cuba always came to the aid of leftist governments under attack from the imperialists, the neo-colonialists and only where they were invited in.
    They also left when the inviting government asked unlike a certain hyper-power .

  • You spend an inordinate time at this website responding to the point that you certainly seem like someone who is paid to do so .
    Your posts are always replete with the exact negative terminology as regards Cuba’s revolution as I hear from the U.S. State Department .
    Since the State Department is well known to always misrepresent the aims of its foreign policy as spreading democracy while actually supporting totalitarianism, your posts by falling into precise step with those fairy tales points you out as either tied to them or completely taken in by their lies.
    You must have noted by now that I post constant refutations of the “facts” in your posts and cite my sources.
    You are always invited to do the same but I think you know that your sources are not often valid and don’t want to risk the exposure as someone quite disingenuous .
    It doesn’t matter if you actually know more about Cuba than do I because you are constrained by your love of capitalism and oligarchy from telling the truth about the US/Cuba relationship and I have no such constraints .

  • John, you are forgetting that Lee Harvey Oswald was a fanatical Communist. He was also a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. And he had nothing to do with the mafia.

    I would like to see some data to back up your assertion that political assassinations are overwhelmingly performed by forces on the Right.

    President McKinley was shot by Leon Czolgosz, a leftist anarchist. Robert F Kennedy, shot by Sirhan-Sirhan, a Palestinian Marxist.

    In Cuba, there were numerous political assassinations carried out by Leftists against figures of the Batista dictatorship. In Colombia, FARC has carried out hundreds of political assassinations. How about the Bolsheviks? We could carry on around the world and through history, but you should get the point by now: there is no overwhelming bias to the left or right among political assassins.

  • Your account of the Cuban intervention in Angola is a fantasy. Sorry to have to tell you this: Gabby Marquez’s book is pure Castro propaganda.

    The first Cuba soldiers entered Angola in 1966, (yes, 10 years earlier than the official story says) when a group of Cuban commandos lead a battalion of Angolan MPLA guerrillas into Angola territory from the Cuban training base in Congo. This band of fighters, dubbed the Camilo Cienfuegos Column, spent more time attacking other rival Angolan rebels, such as the Chinese backed FNLA, than they did taking on the Portuguese colonial army.

    When the Portuguese Carnation Revolution occurred in 1975, they quickly left Angola. The MPLA, together with their Cuba “advisors”, now numbering some 400 Cuban troops, rushed to take control of the capital. The UN and the OAU had called for elections, but they were never held. Instead, the Cuban backed MPLA turned to fight for control against the FNLA, now backed by the US.

    With Cuban help, the MPLA seized power and defeated the US backed FNLA. But the MPLA were never elected to office. IN response to the Marxist MPLA grabbing power in Angola, the South African army invaded southern Angola. They did this to deny the MPLA and Cubans from setting up SWAPO guerilla camps close to the border with Namibia. The SADF teamed up with another Angolan rebel army, UNITA, to fight against the MPLA & Cuban forces. Initially, the SADF had the Angolans in a rout. It was at this point, facing a collapse of his mission to Angola, that Fidel lunched Operation Carlotta. Cuban eventually sent some 40,000 to 60,000 troops to Angola, which the Russians armed with over $2 billion in weapons.

    This was the sequence of events that shaped the Cuban intervention in Angola. There were several Angolan rebel groups fighting for independence from Portugal. These groups were defined along ethnic lines, as much as ideology. The Cubans and Soviets backed the more reliably Marxist MPLA. The FNLA switched from the Chinese to US backers. UNITA, for a while aligned with the MPLA, switched to support from South Africa and the US. Thus, Angola became a Cold War battlefield. Each of the antagonists had their local Angolan proxies. And it was the Angolan people who suffered from it all.

    You will have to read Edward George’s excellent history of the conflict to find out how it really ended and why. Hint: Gabby Marquez lied about that too.

    PS: Did you know, there are still a couple hundred Cuba troops in Angola? A team of Cuban Special Forces serve as the palace guard for the corrupt Angolan dictator José Eduardo dos Santos, while a company of Cuban commandos guard the valuable Cabinda oil fields.

  • Marquez is Fidel’s buddy. His account of the Cuban mission to Angola is pure propaganda. If you would like to read something factual about Cuba in Angola, I strongly recommend,

    “The Cuban Intervention in Angola 1965-1991” by Edward George.

    George presents a detailed, balanced and footnoted account of the whole thing, including several parts he noted were omitted from Marquez’s official piece.

    In addition to fuelling a civil war in Angola, Cuba armed and trained guerillas in the Congo, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Algeria, Namibia and Guinea.

  • I post because I can, and certainly not because anyone pays me. As far quality is concerned, I didn’t get the memo naming you HT quality control.

  • Political assassinations are overwhelmingly performed by forces on the right.
    IMO Kennedy was probably killed by U.S. gangsters who lost out really big in post-revolutionary Cuba.
    JFK’s half-hearted Bay of Pigs invasion effort and the lack of a follow up and successful invasion was probably what angered the mob sufficiently to kill him.
    Lyndon Johnson ( Mr Gulf of Tonkin Lie) was infinitely more hawkish and the better choice for someone who would invade Cuba.
    It seems Vietnam was more important in the 100-year old U.S. global war on socialism than was Cuba

  • In the meantime, the BTR planes have stopped flying , haven’t they ?
    Where are their planes based ?

  • When both Castros are no longer in power and the U.S hostilities continue against Cuba because the Cuban people refuse to reinstate feral capitalism , you’re going to look very silly .
    Were Fidel or Raul to have reinstated capitalism but continued to rule in a dictatorial manner, they’d be greeted as heroes on Wall St and therefore in Washington.
    The 100 year old U.S foreign policy has never been against dictators but against democracy and especially economic democracy ( classic socialism and communism ) .
    You need to understand this.

  • “………. Fidel & the Cuban revolution were justified in seeing the US as an enemy of the Cuban people. There are numerous examples of US aggression against Cuba to support that view, from support to Batista to the Bay of Pigs invasion.

    Thank you for that momentary lapse into reality .

    You should also note that hostile U.S. actions against Cuba began long before it became necessary for Cuba to seek help for its revolution from the Soviets .
    It has been the over 100 year U.S.foreign policy to prevent the rise of democratic economies and 1960 Cuba was certainly no exception to this policy and from the earliest days of revolutionary economic reforms.

    Such land reforms also got democratically elected Jacobo Arbenz overthrown by the CIA in Guatemala in 1954 so it was nothing new that the U.S would be extremely hostile to the same democratization of the economy in any other country that attempted it.

  • Cuba exporting violence to Africa ?
    That’s a lie that you choose to repeat.
    I invite you and all who believe this lie to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ” Operation Carlotta ” which details Cuban aid to Angola in its entirety to see the lie.

  • Good points Vic but don’t forget that there are posters lurking at HT as well who will say the most ridiculous things to denigrate the Cuban revolution because they are paid to do so.
    The oligarchy has rigid control of the media -they should, they own it and the State Department and USAID and the other 16 intelligence services have unlimited money to spend on planted journalists, planted stories in the foreign press and they certainly have enough money to pay low paid posters like Moses Patterson.
    ( They can’t be paying him much for the low quality stuff he puts out )

  • Anecdotal, unprovable and truly bullshit propaganda .
    In the U.S the top 400 richest people have more money than the bottom 40% of the population:;some 120,000,000 people.
    You’d have us believe that the inequity in the distribution of wealth in Cuba is somehow equal to that of the U.S. ?

  • I’ll just cover one untruth in your post since I don’t have the inclination or time to go over every single error of fact you posted..
    The Cubans sent troops to both Angola and Ethiopia .
    In both cases they were asked in by the governments in power at the time .
    In both cases they left after accomplishing their tasks and as requested by those governments.
    In the case of Angola, the U.s was financing a terrorist group that was fighting the elected government after losing in the elections.
    At the time the Cubans were asked in , Angola was being invaded by the then racist and U.S. allied South Africans and the Cubans (unaided and without consultation with the Soviets) came in and roundly defeated the South Africans and saved the country.
    Ethiopia was being invaded across the Ogaden by the Somalis who were financed by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and they too called for help from the Cubans .
    In this case as well, the Cubans drove out the invading forces and left when they were requested to do so.
    They were not spreading revolution . They were protecting countries which were being invaded by the U.S. and its proxies
    You know this history as well as I do but you’re paid to lie and do so constantly if poorly since anyone knowledgeable with history knows that
    you’re not telling the truth.
    Those who’d like to read about the Cuban aid to Angola can look up Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ” Operation Carlotta” on the web and read the actual history.
    When you do so , note the difference between the facts in Marquez’s version and what Moses Patterson claims.
    Don’t take my word or Moses’ word on anything . Read it for yourself .
    Once you do this you’ll know who is telling the truth .

  • and shooting down unarmed planes over international waters are not “appropriate measures” under international law.

    The sentence you post does not support the Cuban act of extra-judicial killing in any way.

    from your source:

    “The resolution noted that the shooting down of the two planes, which were part of the Brothers to the Rescue organisation run by Cuban exiles, was a violation of the principle that no weapons were to be used against civil aircraft in flight and that, when intercepting such aircraft, the lives of those on board not should be jeopardised.”

  • Moses,
    You forgot to mention that the reason you have to send remittances to your folks in Cuba is because the U.S. has been waging an economic war on the people of Cuba f for over 50 years designed SPECIFICALLY to make their daily life so miserable that they would overthrow their own revolution.
    You are in the unenviable position of supporting U.S. foreign policy that necessitates your sending money to help mitigate the effects of that policy you support.

  • No, it didn’t. Basically it found both parties to blame; Cuba for the use of excessive force (but within its rights to do so), and the US for allowing the use of civilian planes outside of the ICAO rules. Read the relevant parts of the resolution:

    “Condolences were expressed to the families of the four persons who died as a result of the interception, which was condemned by the Council. All the parties were called to respect international civil aviation laws and procedure, while at the same time reaffirming the right of states to use appropriate measures against aircraft being used for purposes contrary to that of the Chicago Convention.”

  • Don’t underestimate the wealth in Cuba. While it is nowhere near Bill Gates, Oprah, or even your average Wall Street arbitrager, there are still those in Cuba who drive Porsches, wear Rolexes, fly internationally in the front of the plane and drink better whiskey than I do. Remember the blowup that surrounded Raul’s granddaughter photographed in New York with her Gucci handbag? Heck, I am friends with one of Pablo Milanes daughters. She vacations in Cancun twice a year in a beautiful ocean-view condo. If her place is not opulent, I could not tell you what is.

  • My family lives in Guantanamo, one of the poorest provinces. Believe me, if funding a business would relieve my wife and I of our obligations, we would have done it. As it is, Guantanamo does not have the local economy or tourism to sustain private businesses like exist in Havana. Besides, both of my in-laws are engineers and like their jobs. My sister-in-law is a teacher and loves it. My wife’s grandfather is retired. I just have to suck it up and send the money. The difference between the remittances being sent to Cuba and the rest of the world is that only in Cuba does a household with two engineers, a teacher and a retired lawyer, all college graduates, earn less than $100 a month.

  • Once again, your reply reflects the ad hominem defect, not to mention a gratuitious stereotyping all supporters of the Revolution. If you hope to effectively support your family in Cuba, have you given them the resources–the capital–to start their own businesses, whether a casa particular, a paladar, a small manufacturing enterprise, or such enterprises as building contractor, or other service provider? What’s the old cliche? “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Much of the Third World–whether socialist or capitalist–is dependent on remittances. Why not Cuba, too?

  • Replying to your points, the priviledges which the ruling elite in Cuba lives on can hardly compare with that of the 1% (and their 5% to 8% hangers-on) which the ruling elite lives on here. From what I’ve seen, at most, the Cuban ruling elite lives a comfortable middle-class life; true, this is far from the conditions of most Cubans, but more reminiscent of the differences which seperated the upper- and middle-middle classes from the working class in the U.S.A. ’til the 1960’s and 1970’s (but especially, during the Post War Period, 1945 through late 1970’s). Ricardo Alarcon, who recently retired as chair of People’s Power, drove around (and still drives around?) in a ratty 1980’s Lada. One of those who was in the mountains with Fidel lives next door to one of my friends. Even though he is a higher Party official, his home compares to modest middle class standards (and not the later “McMantions”) of the Post War Period. Hence, your assertion that Cuba’s ruling class lives in opulence is misleading.
    What property was siezed at the beginning of the Revolution was that of the large latidundia, many of whom decampted. Was this any different from the Tories who decampted from New England and the Middle Atlantic Colonies to Nova Scotia during the American Revolution? At that time the Continental Congress and the local legislatures siezed the properties of the Tories. Those members of the landed class who remained in Cuba were compensated–but on the level of their stated, pre-Revolutionary, tax assessments. Since they had often paid off the tax authorities under Batista, Prio, etc., these properties were often grossly undervalued; hence, they were not happy–and many left soon thereafter, expecting to return within a year or two when they expected the C.I.A. to have crushed the Revolution. Those whe really did remain, continued to enjoy their (residential) property, as evinced, in one picturesque case, by the estate on that traffic circle in Miramar, where the two elderly heirs continued to live, their mansion crumbling about them, until their death in the 1990’s or early 2000’s. (much like the Miramar mansion of “Don Alcides Montes de Orca” in Leonardo Padura’s La neblina del ayer/Havana Fever.
    OTOH, the siezing of small businesses in 1968 was an error and late ast he rectification is, it is now in the process of being rectified. At the time, those in charge of the Revolution felt that, in order to survive, they had to follow the Soviet model. As Eric Cartmen would say: “Mistakes have been made!”
    Concerning your second question, do you have any specifics on Raul and other Party officials ruling out any and all political reform? Besides the Revolution’s historic generation passing from the scene shortly, I don’t think any political reforms have been ruled. The post-Revolutionary generations now taking their place are open to reforms. What they will not abide, however, is the Revolution’s subversion by a golpe de estado, as happened in Honduras (or before that, in so many other Latin American nations, like Chile, Santo Domingo,
    Guatemala, etc.)
    Finally, I am well aware that Sweden is now governed by a Center-Right coalition (as exemplified by their disgraceful treatment of Julian Assange); however, the Swedes would never tolerate the reactionary policies of the Right and Far Right of the U.S.A. Their Right can really be described more as centerist, roughly equivalent to our recent Republican Governor here in the People’s Republic of Vermont. Jim Douglas was elected for two terms because the center-left vote was split between the Vermont Progressive Party (left) and the Democratic Party (center-right). The political philosophy of Douglas was roughly that of the now non-existant center-left Republicans like Nelson Rockefeller. Eventually, I suspect that the progressives will be back in power in Sweden. BTW, since today is the 50th Anniversary of Kennedy’s assasination, I wonder who was behind the assasination of Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme? Wouldn’t be surprised if it were some of the same folks who were behind Kennedy’s assassination, too.

  • There is a very interesting discussion of possible Cuban involvement in the JFK assassination at the online magazine Salon (not a place normally considered a right-wing conspiracy site)

    “Why’d Oswald Do it?”

    The German documentary film Rendezvous with Death lays out the theory that Cuban intelligence was behind the assassination. So why didn’t the US government do anything about it? Because, in addition to political concerns, LBJ feared that if the American public learned the truth, they would have demanded war with Cuba and LBJ was worried that would lead to nuclear war with the USSR.

    Veteran US official Alexander Haig told the filmmaker that Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B Johnson, believed Cuba was to blame and feared a pronounced swing to the right if the truth were known that would keep the Democrats out of power for a long time.

    Mr Haig – a US military adviser at the time and later a secretary of state – told the filmmakers Johnson said: “We must simply not allow the American people to believe Fidel Castro could have killed our president.”

    “He [Johnson] was convinced Castro killed Kennedy and he took it to his grave.


  • The UN and the International Civil Aviation agencies agreed these were civilian planes.
    They also agree they were shot down over international waters.
    They also agree they were unarmed.
    these planes posed no threat whatsoever to the Cuban regime.
    The people on the planes had no intention to crash in to any Cuban landmarks. They had no weapons to shoot at anyone in Cuba.

  • How does being anti Castro make one pro imperialism? Indeed I find that a strange statement as during the 60s and 70s the Castros were fully invested in exporting violence throughout the Americas and Africa. You don’t seem to have a problem with that. Ignorance my fine feathered Communist friend is ignoring or white washing the failure of the Castro regime. The question you should be asking is why that fine outstanding gentleman, Mr Castro, wont allow Havana Times to be read in Cuba….hummm?

  • I find the Castro dictatorship repulsive. So it should come as no surprise that my view of Castro policies would largely be negative. That said, my comments, while negative, are based on facts, both empirical and anecdotal. Unlike most Castro sycophants who comment here on HT and have the luxury of supporting the regime from a their comfortable barcaloungers, I have extensive personal experience in Cuba and a fairly large Cuban family for whom I continue to support financially. This support is not because they are lazy or uneducated. It is because the Castro system forced upon them does not pay them a living wage. So you see, while you have the luxury of flirting with imaginings of a socialists utopia that has never existed, I am fully invested in the disastrous Cuban reality caused by Castro’s failed policies.

  • Kinda like Therealcuba ?

  • 1962 J. Edgar Hoover was head of the FBI. He was completely trustworthy and transparent. He also had somewhat of a soft spot for Communists and Cuba. Right? Think Griffin. If there was any credibility to this Cuban terrorist plot, don’t you think it would be included in the litany of “Castro regime” crimes that get paraded out constantly in this country ? And why, if they were inclined to engage in such behavior, would the Cubans make a single attempt and then give up ?

  • Nope, they weren’t. Read the ** international conventions regarding international flights and you will REALIZE that the BTR planes were NOT in compliance and as such NOT protected by the international rules, or any rule for that matter.

    Is easy to realize the stupidity of you argument once you remove your political glasses and think about the 9/11 attack for a second. ALL planes used where UNARMED CIVILIAN PLANES in conformity with the ALL rules pertaining air transportation hijacked by a bunch of terrorist scum. At the moment such plane exits the course sets by ATC and refuse to correct the course, they become an IMMEDIATE THREAT to the country and as such ANY government in that situation is in its rights of shut it down by any means available.

    I would hate been the one making such decision, but had the decision been done in time (the order WAS issued, just too late), it would have saved LOT of people on 9/11.

    And that decision is a *lot* harder than the one made in the case of BTR. After all, a commercial plane is full of innocent people, including women, elderly and children, while BTR planes only had a small crew and all their members were considered enemies (and most likely terrorist elements) by the Cuban government, willfully engaging in a premeditated provocation.

    Now put yourself back in their place and answer truthfully: if a small plane full of known Al-Quaeda operatives where to try the same stunt in New York, what do you think would be an appropriate response from US government?

  • The Bothers to the rescue planes were civilian in any sense of the word.
    They w<ere unarmed civilian models.
    They w<ere shot down over international waters.
    An act of extra-judicial killing ordered by the Castro brothers.

  • Sort of. The link was to illustrate the “deathbed confession” part and that was a cheek in tongue comment, but it is true that most of the so called “experts” more or less agree in giving better odds to the rogue CIA / Cuban exile / mob link hypothesis.

    Also, you can’t deny the entertainment value of such
    sites. Sometimes you have to stand in awe to the extent people go to to back their own delusions. My favorite in this case would be the pickled brain in the cigar jar (google jfk+pickled brain)

    In a more serious note, I’m skeptic of most conspiracy theories because is ** damn hard to keep secrets when a handful of people are involved. Not that it matter in this case with at least two alleged deathbed confessions, but with the amount of crazies in the loose chasing rainbows, stronger evidence is required.

  • Operation Northwoods was proposed but Kennedy refused it.

    “Kennedy personally rejected the Northwoods proposal, and it would now be the Joint Chiefs’ turn to incur his displeasure. A JCS/Pentagon document (Ed Lansdale memo) dated 16 March 1962 titled MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT, 16 MARCH 1962 reads: “General Lemnitzer commented that the military had contingency plans for U.S. intervention. Also it had plans for creating plausible pretexts to use force, with the pretext either attacks on U.S. aircraft or a Cuban action in Latin America for which we could retaliate. The President said bluntly that we were not discussing the use of military force, that General Lemnitzer might find the U.S so engaged in Berlin or elsewhere that he couldn’t use the contemplated 4 divisions in Cuba.”[19] The proposal was sent for approval to the Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, but was not implemented.(Some fifty years later when asked about the plot by journalist David Talbot, Robert McNamara drew a blank. “I have absolutely zero recollection of it. But I sure as hell would have rejected it,” McNamara said, adding, “I really can’t believe that anyone was proposing such provocative acts in Miami. How stupid!”[20])

    Following presentation of the Northwoods plan, Kennedy removed Lemnitzer as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,”

    I’m surprised you didn’t know that. Did you know that two Cuba agents, Elsa Montero and Jose Gomez Abad, were arrested for their involvement in the plot?

  • Is that link supposed to be ironic? Rense is a hothouse forum of the most ridiculous conspiracy theories and paranoid delusions.

  • I regularly engage in dialog with those commenters interested in responding in kind. I find ac & Grady quite willing to discuss our differences of opinions in informative and respectful manner. What I have also found is a certain sub-set of commenters who resort to slogans, personal insults and accusations that I must be working for the CIA.

    So in the spirit of the former, I will debate two of your points above.

    You wrote, “One principle of the Revolution which will never be betrayed, however, is that of social and economic justice.”

    They already did that: the ruling elite live in privilege and wealth while the average Cuban is getting poorer. And more to the point, in seizing the private property of Cuban citizens, the Revolution violated economic justice of the Cuban people right from the beginning of the revolution.

    Secondly, you foresee the Cuban system evolving toward Scandinavian social democratic system. I wish that were so! Alas, given that Raul Castro and other high Party officials have specifically ruled out any political reforms, I don’t see how that can happen. As far as the Cuban regime is concerned, all political parties other than the Communist Party are banned. You cannot have a Scandinavian social democracy without free multiparty elections. By the way, did you know that the current gov’t of Sweden is a coalition of centre-right parties? The Socialists are out of power, for now.

    I hope and pray for the day in which neither the USA nor Cuba view each other as enemies. One day Cuba will be a free, independent and democratic nation.

  • That plot to bomb Grand Central Station, Griffen, was revealed in declassified docs to be an Operation Northwoods propaganda maneuver. Surprised you didn’t. know that.

  • I second Vic’s praise. If you look back at the posts of Griffin, Moses, Cubaqus and HumbertoCaprio over the past several years, they are always negative; they never really wish to engage in dialogue, but to build up their pillars of negative b.s. ever higher. Cuba is changing, and will continue to change, no thanks to their efforts, but to those in Cuba, within the Party and without, who are in the process of modifying the Revolution’s social contract. One principle of the Revolution which will never be betrayed, however, is that of social and economic justice. Experience has demonstrated that this can best be achieved through a mixed economy. It has been a long time, but Cuba is abandoning the Soviet model. I suspect the end result won’t be the Chinese, or Viet Namese model, either, but some hybrid of that, plus Scandinavian and Northern European social democracy. Could be wrong, but that’s my guess (hope?). The trouble with the nay-sayers in the HT comment section, however, is that they really don’t offer any workable alternatives. Imperialism and Multi-National Corporatism is only gutting the U.S. working-class and middle-classes, as we desperately jump from one false hope (, real estate, credit, etc.) to another to replace the good jobs which once characterized the American economic model.

  • Just as the government of the USA saw Fidel Castro & the Cuban revolution as an enemy, so in turn did the revolutionary Cuban government act as an enemy of the USA:

    For example:

    “If the nuclear missiles had remained we would have used them against the very heart of America, including New York City … We will march the path of victory even if it costs millions of atomic victims … We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm.” – Che Guevara, London Daily Worker, November 1962.

    On Nov. 17, 1962, the FBI cracked a terrorist plot by Cuba’s “Foreign Liberation Department” (headed by Che Guevara), to bomb Manhattan’s Grand Central Station and other locations, including the retail store Macy’s, with 500 kilos of TNT. This terrorist plot was planned to take place on “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, and the biggest shopping day of the year.

    There have been dozens of other operations carried out by the Cuban intelligence services against the US. Whether these acts are seen as offensive in nature or merely “playing forward defence”, they are the actions of an enemy.

    There is a well known anecdote from the time Fidel’s insurrection against Batista. One day, as Fidel himself wrote, he witnessed a warplane of the Cuban airforce dropping bombs on a village suspected of supporting the rebels. Fidel noted that the plane and the bombs had been provided by the US government. He is reported to have sworn then and there that his ultimate enemy is the US government and that it will be his destiny in life to bring the war to the hated Yanquis.

    One can reasonably argue that Fidel & the Cuban revolution were justified in seeing the US as an enemy of the Cuban people. There are numerous examples of US aggression against Cuba to support that view, from support to Batista to the Bay of Pigs invasion. However, in taking a position of enmity with the US government, the Cuban government has in turn confirmed itself as an enemy of the US.

  • BTW, the Brothers at Rescue planes where only civilian in the loosest definition of the word (thats it, in the sense that they were not military aircrafts), but thats irrelevant in the discussion. What defines a civilian plane is the behavior as defined by the ICAO and the codes of international flight that they ignored.

    For starters, ANY civilian plane is forbidden to flight over Havana city under normal conditions so ALL their flights where illegal and a potential threat to Cuban citizens, so there was no reason for the Cuban authorities to allow it. Yes, shutting them down was overkill, but they were properly warned, yet they persisted in their course and thus the action was justified.

    Just think about 9/11 and the kind of damage that civilian planes can cause and how many lives could have been saved if after detecting the change in course and the refusal to correct it the US would have forced them to land by any means possible.

  • Thank you, Walter, for your eloquent and thoughtful remarks. I adopt your insightful comments, but would add that the anti-Castro, anti-socialist, pro-US imperialism “commentators” are actually good examples of the ignorance, bias and American exceptionalism that has poisoned relations between the Cuban and American people.

  • LOL, you look cute in your tinfoil hat, Yes, the Cuban government had reasons to be hostile against the US, but Kennedy was a relatively cautious man and if they killed him, his successor most likely would be more aggressive and that would be against their own interests.

    Besides, if either Russia or Cuba had a hand in his assassination, they would have covered their tracks instead of using an unstable element like Lee Oswald with known ties to the Soviet Union and supposedly a Castro sympathizer. And you can say whatever you want about the KGB or the G2, but they were VERY good at their job and there is no way they would blundered in such half-assed way.

    In any case, there are many “theories” about JFK assassination, but most experts give more credence to the rogue-cia+anti-castro+mob hypothesis (as much as conspiracy theories go), with deathbed confessions and all

    Remember that the anti-castro had a settle to score with the botched invasion of Bay of Pigs and there is somewhat shaky (literally!) evidence that put some of them directly in the scene, including gems of the caliber of Orlando Bosh

    It really doesn’t matter, the whole thing will be declassified in three years from now and if there was a cover-up or additional evidence we will know. Until then, buying any pet theory based on feelings and opinion is an exercise of futility,.

  • The Cuban people indeed aren’t the enemy of the USA. The Castro regime is.
    It was the Castro regime that wanted to get – and keep and control – nuclear weapons aimed at the USA. It was Fidel Castro that urged a first strike on the USA.
    It was Fidel Castro that opposed the removal of nuclear weapons in 1962.
    It was Fidel Castro that asked for nuclear weapons again in 1981.
    Clearly the Castros are enemies of the USA and its people.

  • Discussion? Those readers who may be new to and these Comment sections, be warned. In spite of the title, you will seldom find any “discussions” here. The first two posters frequently and consistently express their views that anything that isn’t explicitly anti-Castro is simply commie propaganda. I have often tried to comment productively on the more positively motivated articles. These have run from strong support for the Cuban revolutionary process to angry and critical pieces by Cubans with a personal bone to pick. Whatever their politics or personal motivations, these efforts have mostly seemed honestly motivated and I respect their efforts even when I have questions or disagree.

    But the anti’s, anti Castro, anti socialist, anti anyone criticizing the U.S. or alleging imperialism, these folks seem to live in their own dissociated reality. They tend, as the first comments here show, to be absolutist and righteous in their arguments. They have their facts and almost never concede any possible error, distortion or bias. A clue to their lack of discussion, is that they seldom employ logical or well researched arguments. Absolutes and anecdotes are favored and inconvenient facts or possibilities are dismissed or ignored.

    Let me be clear about my perspective or bias. I am vehemently against violence, especially the unnecessary kind. I have watched racism and imperial actions on the part of my country (U.S.A.) for over 70 years. There are many things unhealthy in all countries and systems, but I look for primary causes and relative outcomes. It is overwhelmingly clear to me that U.S. economic, military and political policies toward Cuba and the rest of the lands South of us have been far more violent and unjustified than the reverse. It is also clear that Cuba with its own imperfections, is a far better influence on lives and futures of the people of those countries than anything the US empire has done or even wishes to do.

    Lastly there are many good people in all these countries that would live in peace and work toward harmony and well-being for all, but that still endangers the super rich and super powerful in all our countries. So I say Thank You to the brave Cubans who have tried and are still tring to work for the common good, not just the US dollar.

  • Why do all the pro Castro writers always equate Cuba with the Castro oligarchy? They are two separate and distinct things! The Castro family has owned Cuba for the past 54+ years! They are the “government”, they are responsible for all things!

  • It is ironic that Elio would publish this article this week of all weeks as Americans and many around the world remember the hope and promise of a life brought to an untimely end with the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. Of the many conspiracy theories that continue to swirl around the plot to assassinate JFK, most of the more credible ones involve Fidel as a protagonist. While Cuba has not dared to directly militarily confront the US since their capitulation during the Soviet missile crisis, they have sent troops into Latin American and African countries with the hope to foment a socialist revolution directly threatening the interests of our allies. Finally, Cuban has unceasingly engaged in espionage against the US and our interests. It is debatable that the Castros have genuinely sought to pursue normal relations with the US. While their public rhetoric has claimed as much, their repeated actions point to another agenda. How else do you explain the release of prisoners during the Mariel boatlift which was taking place at a time when then US President Caster was poised to take very positive steps to improve relations. Again, with President Clinton, the Castros, who had ignored previous flights, chose to shoot down a Brothers to the Rescue CIVILIAN airplane, killing the four Americans on board. This nearly triggered a military response but for the restraint of the Clinton administration. That it only resulted in passage of the Helms-Burton act is evidence of this restraint. Finally, as a newly sworn-in President Obama worked to make good on his promise to close Guantanamo and improve relations, the Castros yet again acted against the interests of better relations and arrested Alan Gross. Mr. Gross had travelled to Cuba at least four times prior to this fateful trip and acted in the same way under Cuban surveillance but unmolested. Why did this trip trigger an arrest but for the Castros desire to scuttle negotiations with the Obama administration. It seems clear that the enemy is not Cuba but the Castros.

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