USA: New Cuba Policies for Old Aims

Fernando Ravsberg*

Antony Blinken, Asistant Secretary of State.
Antony Blinken, Deputy US Secretary of State.  Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken has just stated in an interview that “the embargo had good intentions. It reflected the fact that, at the time, the Cuban government denied its citizens basic rights and represented a security threat through its alliance with the USSR. But it was not efficacious in terms of achieving its objectives. The logical thing to do is to try something different. We believe that establishing relations is the best way of reaching the objectives that those who supported the embargo had.”

To say that the economic embargo had “good intentions” is a fallacy to anyone who knows that it sought to bring about hunger, poverty and despair among the Cuban people and push it to rebel against its government, as declassified US State Department documents from the time reveal.

To openly acknowledge that these new relations aim to “reach the objectives that those who supported the embargo had” is rather arrogant, for it reveals that the outcome they foresee, a change in government, is an inevitable consequence of this new tactic. It is incredible that, following Barack Obama’s acknowledgement that the economic embargo was defeated, they should continue to underestimate Cuba.

(*) Visit the website of Fernando Ravsberg.

29 thoughts on “USA: New Cuba Policies for Old Aims

  • Mr. Consent, I believe you are misinformed. I guess, according to you, no one connected to the Batistianos and Mafiosi in Cuba ever saw Miami, before or after 1952 and 1959, uh?

  • Not totally true. A lot of Batista’s henchmen went to the US which refused to extradite them back, one of the issues that soured the relationship between the two countries. Many were later recruited into the Bay of Pigs fiasco including one of the worst torturers who was to get control of security in Cuba once the invasion had taken place. But I don’t know anything about the piano.

  • You ask: “Have I ever read in detail how Poder Popular operates?” My question for you is, have you ever steped outside and into the real world? John, I experienced your fantasy if poder popular.

    I don’t know why you expect Cuba to go back a “very democratic methods”, as you put it, which it’s never had. What leads you to believe this. Certainly not history.

    You really need to get out into the real world John. Open your eyes to the reality and nog the fantasy that’s written down by the Cuban Coomunist Party

  • I do have to keep quoting the Oxford English Dictionary to you Mr. Goodrich!
    Cat’s paw:
    a person who is used by another typically to carry out an unpleasant or dangerous task.
    But I respect your desire to learn! Better yet, why not buy your own dictionary?

  • Why do you insist that the only alternative for Cuba to the Castro family regime dictatorship is some form of US control. You seem to have an ignorance of other alternatives.
    My preference for Cuba is a free multi-party system based on the Westminster model. As a free country capitalism would form the economic base as it does for all the economically successful countries.
    I understand Mr. Goodrich that my statements will make you metaphorically and perhaps literally, froth at the mouth, but you asked!
    Don’t bother with the usual tirade, take it as read!

  • We don’t have to read your fantasy tracts. We have seen in reality how Poder Power operates in reality. It’s a fraudulent rubber stamp system which has allowed a small clique centred around the Castro family to maintain an iron grip on power for 56 years.

  • Is that a joke? It’s hard to tell, as your knowledge of Cuban history is so scant.

    Batista flew to Dominican Republic, with an estimated $400 million, not in a piano or suitcase as most of it was already transferred out of the country. Trujillo took a cut from Batista and then sent him on his way to Portugal. Batista never visited the US which refused him entry.

  • Batista and his henchmen fled to The Dominican Republic and later went to live in fascist Portugal. The US would not let him into the country and he wouldn’t have come anyways. There were many people who wanted him dead. He was a very unpopular figure. Besides, at the time Tampa was the hot spot for Cubans. …the piano stayed behind

  • Have you ever read in detail how Poder Popular operates ?
    You can make your misinformed claims and be read and believed by some people but it is my guess that neither do they know how Cuba’s autochthonous electoral system operates.
    I totally agree that the PCC and the top leadership have de-democratized PP by leading in that top -down Leninist fashion we all recognize as totalitarian .
    Cuba will have the opportunity to go back to the very democratic methods upon which PP centers once and if the Congress calls off the existential ( go read about Lester Mallory ) imperial hostilities against the people of Cuba.
    I KNOW that the GOC is totalitarian in a great many aspects but , bad as it might be perceived as being by some, the people of Cuba overwhelmingly and plainly have decided they will support (if grudgingly) their government and their revolution as long as they are under attack by the Empire.

  • I thought Batista flew into Miami with a grand piano stuffed with whatever was in the National Treasury at takeoff time .
    No? Yes ?

  • ….how about one where the Cuban people actually have vote, instead of the sham that exists today where candidates are preselected and only get to rubber stamp what already been decided by Castro and the central committee.

  • Ahhh Rich, still at it I see. I remember you from the comments section of the Miami Herald.

    Once and for all, Batista never came to the US, there are no Batista supports here, there is no mafia to speak of, and no one has said Posada is a “good guy.

    The Cuban people have been suffering under the heals of a dictator for over 55 years. You should be more concerned with that instead of your little personal vendetta for what happened to you in the past.

  • Fernando Ravsberg is not confused, Moses. He has the integrity and courage to point out that the origin of the embargo in 1962 was designed to starve and deprive Cubans on the island to induce them to rise up against Fidel Castro. Despite your propaganda, that fact is proven by declassified U. S. documents from 1962, when Castro was 34 years old. He turns 89 in a few days, on August 13th. Self-serving anti-Castro zealots in the U. S. to this very day support the embargo for the reason it was instituted in 1962. To deny that is to assume fair-minded people like Mr. Ravsberg are lying or misinformed, which is a ridiculous premise similar to everything else pro-embargo dinosaurs advocate. To rail against Castro as the “bad guy” and assume Americans should consider the terrorists who blew up Cubana Flight 455 as the “good guys” is a “fallacy,” as Mr. Ravsberg has also pointed out. As with all my comments, these are not in defense of Fidel Castro. They are in defense of the U. S. democracy that I believe America’s Batistiano-Mafiosi Cuban policy has grossly harmed since the 1950s. In my humble opinion, advocates who seek a continuation of such things as the embargo for another six decades or so think a lot more of themselves than they think about democracy.

  • As to the actual reason for the embargo you need read just this excerpt from the Wikipedia piece on Lester Mallory
    ,the information in it can also be found widely across the internet .
    “As Deputy Assistant Secretary, he wrote an internal memo on April 6, 1960 [13] to initiate the United States embargo against Cuba. Mallory proposed denying money and supplies to Cuba, decreasing their wages, and bringing about hunger and desperation. Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted the embargo.[14>..”
    SO …any talk about human rights as a reason for the embargo is straight-out propaganda and a euphemism for starving out the Cuban people i.e. bullshit.
    Any talk about lack of democratic rights in Cuba as a reason for the embargo is straight-out propaganda and again a euphemistic attempt at justifying forcing free-enterprise capitalism down Cuba’s throat as the USA has done in scores of countries over the past 100 years .
    ( references: “Killing Hope” website and book , “Rogue State”
    website and book………do note -the 29-page introduction to “Killing Hope ” [available for free at the website] will explain U.S. foreign policy very well for both experts and beginners.)

  • And…what is your definition of “cats paws” (sic).
    I am not familiar with that expression.

  • Righto!,
    Then the U.S. can bring in their President Trump to show the Cubans how a real country should be run.
    And… for the record what sort of electoral system would you prefer and what sort of economic system would your prefer for Cuba.?
    I know you don’t like what they have now but what sort of forms would you prefer ?
    And…are they democratic at their base ?

  • If Wynken Blynken didn’t say something like what he said , first, he never would have risen to the political heights he has and second, he would be ex-State Department so-and-so .
    Little to do about not much but everyday diplomat-ese that is more or less nice-sounding, open lying and hypocrisy .

  • Many years back I had the pleasure of a late night conversation with Cuba’s former Head of Section, Dr. Fernando Remirez de Estenoz, we had met for the first time that afternoon at a luncheon held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and he asked me to come back that night and chat with him which I gladly did. The conversation at first involved one of the state’s top economist, Dr. L Scott, and afterwards with just the Ambassador and I present we held a long conversation about Cuba-US relations, etc.And now, looking at what the Undersecretary said, I recall vividly my answer to the Ambassador’s question: Pepe, what is the United States’ policy in your eyes towards Cuba?” My reply was very simple, and stands to this day: “Excellency, the United States has no permanent friends only permanent interests” Thus the idiotic Blockade. I have always known that our morality is pathetic and we are hypocrites. We demand from other nations and yet, who are we? What are we? How could the country allow people like Ventura, Masferrer the Diaz-Balarts and all of those that were executioners under Batista come into the country? How? How can we say that the “deal with Iran” is a bad deal and yet, we continue to kiss the ass of the Saudi royal family? How? this is all bull_____!!

  • Dani,

    The embargo was imposed by Eisenhower in retaliation for the seizure of US owned property in Cuba. This coincided with a growing consensus in Washington that Fidel was leading Cuba into the Soviet camp. That was at the height of the Cold War, so that factor was involved too. And human rights abuses by Communist states were then, as now, offered as evidence of the evil of Marxism-Leninism. Over time, as Cuban exiles gained in political clout, their concerns about human rights in Cuba became more important in the set of motivations supporting the embargo. The collapse of the USSR eliminated the Cold War concerns, but Cuba has still acted in a belligerent manner toward the US, so there is still a hostile relationship between the two countries, even as Obama tries to soften that tone.

    Is the USA uneven in their concern for human rights? Of course. When the abuser is an ally, they look the other way. When the abuser is an enemy, the US condemns them for it. In this way, the US attitude toward human rights is not that different from that of the Castro regime: condemn it in an enemy, ignore it at home. Well, except that at home, Americans do have better human rights protections than Cubans do in Cuba.

    Personally, I advocate for a world in which human rights of everyone are respected. I find this a very lonely position, even here at HT, where defenders of the Cuban Revolution ignore or minimize the systematic abuse of human rights by the Castro regime. Pointing out that Richard Nixon eulogized Franco does not make Cuba’s abuse of human rights any less objectionable. But it does help you ignore it, eh?

    Ike was nobody’s fool, and his VP, Richard Nixon, for all his faults, was a shrewd judge of character. They saw through Castro’s phoney pose as a liberal land reformer. But there were Americans in the State Department and evening the CIA who believed Castro when he promised to hold free & democratic elections. Many Cubans believed Fidel too: he was that good at lying.

    As Fidel’s former brother-in-law once said of him, “Fidel is not a communist. Fidel is simply for himself. If he had gained power twenty years earlier, he would have worn a swastika. Two centuries ago, he would have crowned himself emperor.”

  • Thanks bjmack for your response. I agree with you too about politics still getting in the way of progress. For those that simply can’t let go of old animosities, I can only suggest that no concrete judgements are possible about the future of enhanced freedoms in Cuba until the embargo and Helms-Burton have both been struck down. It’s a bit of a ‘chicken-or-the-egg’ dilemma, and it always has been, but I would rather see things move forward in a world where the US government is not dictating their terms of engagement with the Cuban government, at the expense of the Cuban people. As Moses high-lighted, prosperity by its very nature can certainly open the door to change in Cuba…whether implemented willingly by the Cuban government in transition, or leveraged by the Cuban people out of protest. But increasing the average Cuban’s standard of living is paramount to freeing the potential of the entire nation, including that of the government. To truly release the full potential of Cuba as an unbridled sovereign nation, Cuba must be free from outside interference.

  • You’re right. Eisenhower was concerned about M-26 when Fidel was still in the Sierra, quoting the bible.

  • I don’t know where people like Antony Blinken get the idea that the embargo was because “the Cuban government denied its citizens basic rights”. Allow me to add to the mountain of evidence to the contrary with this quote from President Richard Nixon on the death of General Franco. “General Franco was a loyal friend to the United States [….] after a tragic and bloody civil war, he brought Spain back economic recovery. He unified a divided nation through a policy of firmness and fairness toward those who had fought against him.” Where is the democracy/human rights in this eulogy. This is about a leader who executed 150,000 mostly innocent civilians and someone who even sent soldiers to fight against the allies in the second world war. And this isn’t just the opinion of one individual – the US was also one of the few countries to attend his funeral.

    Looking forward to hearing the pathetic excuses from the usual lot.

  • Terry, as much as i agree with you politics is still playing a role in making these decisions. NJ and Florida, as you and most on this board know are huge electoral
    college states with voters from Cuba/expat’s who make a difference. the older generation are dying but still many, whether we agree or not, will never visit cuba or accept embargo end until fidel dies. I’ve heard this time and time again and since i’m not cuban i respect this but think it’s wrong. not a fan at all with the powers in cuba but we all must face reality and again this is the crux of the issue.

  • Sounds noble except in the real world, Castro tyranny has no interest in promoting or nurturing prosperity for the Cuban people. A prosperous Cuba would lead to revolution. The ‘carrot’ hopefully is intended to demonstrate to the Cuban people that a better way is possible in Cuba. I agree with you that the embargo should however be removed. But only after there is freedom of the press and freedom of speech and assembly. The embargo should be lifted immediately after free and open elections have been scheduled. Under these conditions, there really will be a “new found freedom ” for Cuba.

  • The word freedom can never be applied to Cuba until the Castro family regime (not just Raul and Fidel) and the Communist Party of Cuba their cats paws are gone – and gone for good!

  • I have been impressed by Obama’s willingness to continue to work the deal given the grief he gets from all sides. Only Raul Castro seems appreciative.

  • What thin skin, of course one would expect “good intentions” from a Government spokeman. The errors of the revolutions also where we’ll intended. What matters is the change, not the whining. Get over it. These historical griviences is what keeps things from moving forward all over the world.

  • The carrot promotes the potential for freedom in Cuba…while the stick has undoubtedly always played a major role in promoting hunger, poverty, and despair amongst Cuban people. The latter sounds more like tyranny to me. Remove the embargo, lead with the carrot, and let the Cuban government make their adjustments to promote and nurture prosperity for the Cuban people based on CUBA’S new found freedom as a proud nation.

  • Fernando continues to confuse Cuba with the Castros. While it may be true that Obama underestimates the Castros resolve to stay in power against the hoped for onslaught of American tourists and investment, the US does not underestimate CUBANS desire for freedom. Obama has declared that 54 years of the stick has failed to promote regime change. His logic is to give carrot a chance to work.

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