“Fidel Castro has strong ideas of liberty, democracy, social justice, the need to restore the Constitution….but it amounts to a new deal for Cuba, radical, democratic and therefore anti-Communist.” (Herbert Matthews, New York Times, February 1957.)
“Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died on Friday. He was 90.” (The New York Times, Nov. 26, 2017)
In fact, the highlighted section of the New York Times headline from 2017 is every bit as BOGUS as the headline from 1957.
Oh…I know…I know….that bit about “Fidel Castro defying 11 U.S. Presidents!” is hardly a New York Times exclusive. Indeed, the meme appears in practically every media mention of Fidel Castro. As a media chant it’s as obligatory as “Cuba’s free and fabulous healthcare!” –and the claim is every bit as facetious and idiotic.
Let’s have a brief (but fully-documented) look at this history of “defiance,” shall we.
`”Without U.S. help Fidel Castro would never have gotten into power,” flatly stated former U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Earl T. Smith during congressional testimony in 1960. He refers to the U.S. State Department and CIA’s role in aiding the Castro rebels, also to the U.S. arms embargo on Batista, also to the official U.S. order that Batista vacate Cuba. Ambassador Smith knew something about these events because he had personally delivered the messages to Batista.
“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except (Republican) ambassador Earl Smith.” (CIA operative in Santiago Cuba 1957’59, Robert Weicha.)
Castro’s “defiance” of the U.S. at the time also involved his group’s pocketing a check for $5,000 from the CIA operative in Santiago, Robert Weicha. “Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” boasted Robert Reynolds, the CIA’s “Caribbean Desk’s “specialist on the Cuban Revolution” from 1957-1960.
After Batista fled and Castro grabbed power, the U.S. abruptly changed diplomatic modes alright: never in history had the U.S. accorded diplomatic recognition to a Latin American regime as quickly as we recognized Castro’s. The U.S. gave Castro’s regime its official benediction more rapidly than it had recognized Batista’s in 1952, and quickly lavished it with $200 million in subsidies.
Then In August of 1959 the liberal U.S. ambassador to Cuba, Philip Bonsal, alerted Castro to a conspiracy against his regime by Cubans. Thanks in part to ambassador Bonsal’s solicitude for a regime then insulting his nation as “a vulture preying on humanity” and poised to steal $2 billion from U.S. stockholders, the anti-Castro plot was foiled, hundreds of the anti-Communist Cuban plotters imprisoned, and the regime that three years later came closest to vaporizing many of America’s biggest cities (including Bonsal’s home) with nuclear missiles, survived.
“We ended up getting exactly what we’d wanted all along,” writes Nikita Khrushchev about their bulldog bargaining. “Security for Fidel Castro’s regime and American missiles removed from Turkey. Until today the U.S. has complied with her promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro (emphasis added). After Kennedy’s death, his successor Lyndon Johnson assured us that he would keep the promise not to invade Cuba.” Henry Kissinger, as Gerald Ford’s secretary of state, renewed the pledge.
After the missile crisis “resolution,” Castro’s “defiance” of the United States took the form of the U.S. Coast Guard and even the British Navy (when some intrepid exile freedom-fighters moved their operation to the Bahamas) shielding him from exile attacks.
So, far from “defying” a superpower, Castro hid behind the skirts of two superpowers, plus the British Empire.
The (few) people on earth actually in the know about the history of U.S.-Cuba relations mostly laugh at the media/academic idiocies on this topic. Take “former” KGB Colonel Nikolai Leonov who served as Raul Castro’s case-officer starting in 1954:
“The so-called re-establishment of relations (between the U.S. and Cuba in 2015) is really no big deal. These relations were already in place.” (Nikolai Leonov)
Above: Raul Castro and his old KGB-handler Nikolai Leonov, yukking it up while reminisicing about the monkeys they made of the CIA in Cuba and the idiocies the mainstream media habitually spreads about U.S. Cuba relations. (idiocies THEY planted with the media.)
“In 1958 with Cuba under a “U.S.-backed dictator,” with the U.S. “controlling Cuba’s economy,” etc. the staff of the U.S. embassy in Cuba numbered 87, including Cuban employees.
In 2014 with supposedly no diplomatic relations with Cuba the U.S. the staff of the U.S. Interest Section in Havana numbers 351 including Cuban employees. In fact, for well over a decade the U.S. had twice as many diplomatic personnel in Havana as Canada and Mexico combined. In the Twilight Zone occupied by the U.S. media this was termed “diplomatic isolation.”
“Humberto Fontova’s book teaches us truths about Castro’s island that are very discomfiting for many intellectuals.” (Ana Botella, Spain’s former First Lady while giving a book reading in Madrid, upon “Fidel; HFT” release in Spain)
“Humberto Fontova is a gifted polemicist who pulls no punches. A great service for liberty, justice and truth.” (The Weekly Standard on Fidel; Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant.)
“Humberto Fontova has performed a great service for freedom and human decency. Every American should read this book.” (David Horowitz on Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant.)
“In his latest book my American warrior blood-brother Humberto Fontova once again performs the ultimate we the people duty of spotlighting cockroaches for a better America!” (Ted Nugent)