The fear of a mass exodus from Cuba. Unfounded?

It’s being widely reported that one of the biggest concerns for American officials is a mass exodus upon fidel castro’s death. And when “experts” talk about this mass exodus it’s only natural that they try to quantify it. As I mentioned today in Herald Watch, Pablo Bachelet quotes a conveniently anonymous source who warns of an attempted mass migration by up to 500,000 Cubans.

I have always been highly suspicious of the idea of a mass migration upon castro’s death.

It’s no secret that many Cubans want to come to the US. They build rafts, they hire smugglers, they apply for the visa lottery. But that’s because they can no longer tolerate the political and economic systems in Cuba. I don’t think I’m making a leap here by saying that they identify those failures with fidel castro. Leaving one’s country (an in many cases one’s family) is a major step that is not taken lightly. The death of castro may make those that are on the fence about leaving take a “wait and see approach”. The idea is that things can only get better after castro. Whether that’s true or not we can only guess but that’s what logic dictates.

Another thing to consider is that the reason we don’t have an uncontrolled mass influx of Cubans now, as we did in 90s is because the policies of both countries have changed. The US will send back Cubans interdicted at sea and the Cubans won’t allow rafters to openly pursue their plans and build their rafts etc. The Cuban-adjustment act has created an orderly migration of 20,000 – 25,000 Cubans a year. The US likes this because it creates stability. The castro regime likes it because they can literally control who leaves and who stays and also turn it into a money making venture. Everything from fees to apply for exit visas, to required physical exams (which are not free in Cuba’s “free” health care system) to bribes for government officials. The system is set up to capture as much cash from these would-be gusanos as possible.

When we have had the uncontrolled Cuban migration episodes in the past, it has been different. In 1980 for example Carter signaled the Cubans to come and castro allowed them to come. In the 90’s during Cuba’s special period, again castro again allowed them to come. Remember that immigration is a sort of escape valve on the pressure cooker that is Cuba. The most disgruntled and desperate are the ones that take desperate measures. Although Clinton did not signal for the Cubans to come, he didn’t signal for them not to come until the rafter crisis was underway.

The point is that a mass migration can only happen if the Cuban government allows it to happen. If fidel’s successors truly see an opportunity for a rapprochement they are going to be careful not to unleash such a wave. US officials are on record saying that such an act would be considered a hostile act.

A mass migration will only happen if Cubans sense that things are getting much worse after fidel is gone. As I said, I think most Cubans who are entertaining thoughts about leaving have at least a hope that any change can only be a positive one. If they are wrong and Raul or others turn out to be even more repressive and backward than fidel, then the Cuban government is going to have a lot more trouble on its hands than a potential migratory wave out of the island.

My point is that people who are using a fear of a mass Cuban migration as the basis for a foreign policy of status quo (allowing a succession rather than pushing for a transition) toward Cuba are probably making some faulty assumptions.

I think that immediately after fidel dies (right after the media spectacle of the state funeral) the president needs to make a declaration to world about the U.S. position on Cuba, essentially saying that the US is prepared to lower the embargo against Cuba, restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and lend substantial aid to Cuba once some simple basic criteria are met. This is not new, it’s essentially the current policy but the issue is timing and context. In other words the world currently (and wrongly) perceives the ball to be in the U.S.’s court. Such a statement at such a time will put the ball squarely in Cuba’s court.

On the eve of the change that so many Cubans have been waiting for it’s hard to envision that mass migration. The only mass migration I expect is of high ranking government officials that have blood on their hands and money in foreign banks. Like rats from a sinkiing ship they’ll be jumping. That’s one migratory wave we need to be prepared to return to Cuba.

69 thoughts on “The fear of a mass exodus from Cuba. Unfounded?”

  1. A mass migration will happen which the U.S. will be helpless to stop or Cuban authorities to control. It will encompass the entire Eastern seaboard of the United States. Not 500,000 but 5 million or more. The U.S. Coast Guard, well-schooled as it is in hunting down Cubans like animals on the high seas, will be overwhelmed and surrounded by their own quarry. Castro’s creator and enabler, the betrayer of the freedom fighters and guarantor of Communism in Cuba since the Kennedy-Khruschev Pact, will no longer be able to count on Castro to keep the natives in line and off their shores. They will come here in droves, unwilling to wait five, ten or twenty years for conditions to improve on the island. Five, ten or twenty years added unto 48. Let it be. It will be justice writ large. It may even cure this country of its penchant to meddle in the affairs of its neighbors; in our particular case, always to our detriment. So welcome, my dear countrymen, to the land of freedom.

  2. A disappointing post Manuel on so many levels.

    I composed several responses and deleted them. It sounds like you hate the US and sell the Cuban people short.

    I hope I am wrong.

    Its tough to have it both ways Manuel, to trash the US for meddling and in previous post whine about the US not surpport the Bay of Pigs.

    You sound like fidel Manuel, trashing the US but griping that the US won’t trade (or in your case help) Cuba.

    Hey maybe this gets me banned from this site, but I can’t believe anyone believes that:

    “It will be justice writ large. It may even cure this country of its penchant to meddle in the affairs of its neighbors; in our particular case, always to our detriment.”

    “The U.S. Coast Guard, well-schooled as it is in hunting down Cubans like animals on the high seas, will be overwhelmed and surrounded by their own quarry. Castro’s creator and enabler, the betrayer of the freedom fighters and guarantor of Communism in Cuba.”

    Viva Cuba Libra and farewell if necessary.

  3. JackW:

    I am a Cuban nationalist, which means that I put my country above any other, as I hope you do yours. I will not cede to Castro or to any despot the right to defend my country and my people. Castro is of all men the least nationalistic of all Cubans; he has no objection to imperialism so long as it is not U.S. imperialism. I denounce all foreign intrusions in my country, including those committed by the U.S. There can be no other honest position.

    I am sorry that you are unaware of the nefarious role that your country has played in the history of my country, and, in particular, its part in bringing Castro to power and maintaining him there for 48 years.

    The U.S. has been the guarantor of Communism in Cuba for 45 years of those 48 years. No other Communist country ever receive such a dispensation from the United States. Even after the fall of the USSR, the U.S. continues to observe this death sentence passed on my country. The U.S. has refused to “meddle” on behalf of freedom but has done its upmost for 45 years to uphold the claims of tyranny.

    As for the U.S. Coast Guard, it works in concert with its Cuban counterpart in hunting down, harrassing, threatening and, yes, drowning refugees on the high seas and battering them on land whose only crime is to avail themselves of U.S. law to claim asylum in this country. If you don’t like this shameful policy change it. But don’t pretend it doesn’t exist, much less ask me to pretend.

  4. Manuel,

    I wish you well. Congratulations. You have achieved your objective of alienating a non Cuban from the cause of a free Cuba.

    I did not realize it was my country’s fault that cowards like you did not have balls enough to fight for your own country without whining about having the USA bail your sorry asses out.

  5. I too have found it odd as have many others how the US has turned a blind eye to Cuba. The frustration level is high. Many things makes a Cuban wonder why. Why is it that we take out saddam and leave fidel alone? When fidel is only 90 miles away and actually had missiles pointed at us and would again. Why or how is it that we have an embargo against a country yet are the leading supplier of food and medicine? How is it that we can get away with having a military base on supposed enemy soil? I wish I had the answers. I do love America, but when ,and there will be a when, Cuba is free I have always wanted its sovereignty. That is not an evil to ask for unless one doesn’t want its sovereignty. I believe the frustration level is hitting a peak here as well. But we are not each other’s enemy. The enemy is fidel. But if the US is not willing to help then it should get out of the way. Does this mean I do not love America? It only means that I love Cuba more. That is not a crime that is national pride. The US is my home away from home. Cuba is my home and shall be again some day. Is it possible the US has caused part of the problem. Some may say yes and others no. That is each persons opinion and for the time that is still allowed in this country. We need to protect that.

  6. Jack,

    1100 Cuban young men had “the balls” to enlist in a brigade that was planned by the CIA and abandoned by the President.

    Some other Cubans had “the balls” to spend more than 20 years in prisons in Cuba (where those balls were often tortured) because the conspired against the regime.

    Some other Cubans had “the balls” to fight castro for 6 or 7 years in the escambray mountains of Cuba.

    Some Cubans had “the balls” and the brains to tell American intelligence services that the Russians were planning on putting nuclear missiles within range of Washington DC. But the people who heard their reports didn’t have the brains to realize it was true until it was too late.

    It appears that Mr. Kennedy was the one who didn’t have the balls because he did in fact agree with Kruschev that the US would never invade Cuba in exchange for the the removal of the missiles.

    There are some men with balls who are sitting in US jail right now because they cached weapons intended to be used against castro, since it’s now against American law to plan any sort of armed incursion into Cuba.

    Yes the US has been fidel’s protector for the better part of 50 years. Those are facts. If they offend your sensibilities, sorry.

  7. Jack,

    1100 Cuban young men had “the balls” to enlist in a brigade that was planned by the CIA and abandoned by the President.

    Some other Cubans had “the balls” to spend more than 20 years in prisons in Cuba (where those balls were often tortured) because the conspired against the regime.

    Some other Cubans had “the balls” to fight castro for 6 or 7 years in the escambray mountains of Cuba.

    Some Cubans had “the balls” and the brains to tell American intelligence services that the Russians were planning on putting nuclear missiles within range of Washington DC. But the people who heard their reports didn’t have the brains to realize it was true until it was too late.

    It appears that Mr. Kennedy was the one who didn’t have the balls because he did in fact agree with Kruschev that the US would never invade Cuba in exchange for the the removal of the missiles.

    There are some men with balls who are sitting in US jail right now because they cached weapons intended to be used against castro, since it’s now against American law to plan any sort of armed incursion into Cuba.

    Yes the US has been fidel’s protector for the better part of 50 years. Those are facts. If they offend your sensibilities, sorry.

  8. JackW:

    Henry has answered your objections and there is very little for me to add, except to say that if your support for our cause is based on your ignorance of my country’s history and yours, then it is better that you should be “alienated from the cause of a free Cuba,” since the last thing we need are misinformed dilettanti whose “convictions” are as easily shaken as yours.

  9. Dear Jack,

    I always like your posts and agree with you most of the time.

    While I feel grateful that I have grown up in this free and wonderful country…I do feel that the US position on Cuba has been an IMMORAL one from the moment it agreed to control all exile activities against the castros. There have been many brave Cuban Men who have tried to fight castro and have spent many years in American jails for their efforts. Where’s the morality in that? Cuba might have been freed of Castro if the US had done its part in 1961 or if Cubans Exiles had been allowed to do what needed to be done without American Interference. I know of someone who is in an American jail now because he tried to cache weapons to use against castro from the Bahamas.

    I’m sorry, my friend, but the truth is the truth.

    I hope that after you think about it, you too will see that the USA has not behaved in the best interests of Cuba, her people, nor have the interests of the American people been served by this immoral policy.

    I wish you well.

  10. Jack:

    I guess we “ball-less” Cubans can join the ranks of the “ball-less” Cambodian and Vietnamese, Koreans, Nicaraguan Contras, and Kurds – to name just a few – who were left behind to be slaughtered after the US promised military help. Do you think that US foreign policy has never left behind “expendable” humans to be killed in order to achieve a higher political purpose?

    I happen to be born here, even though I am rarely considered a “true” American by other non-Hispanic Americans. That’s fine because my blood, my heart, and my soul are Cuban. Nevertheless, I love my country and my freedom, but I refuse to close my eyes to the obvious flaws it has.

  11. Points well taken, and as always with much respect.

    I am still and will always be with the cause of a free Cuba. I just remember as a kid how it all went so badly.

    I cannot and will not defend everything the US has done regarding Cuba from the Platt Amendment to Herbert Matthews to Helms Burton.

    You see Manuel, I do know a little history.

    I did not see many Viet Nam era Cubans. I was there but I’ll take your word for it.

    I just find it hard pressed to determine what it is that Cubans want, a country (the US) to help or a country to leave Cubans alone?

    I will not accept America’s “role” in turning a country communist, any more than i can accept the US role in “saving” a post castro Cuba.

    Good God you sound like a bunch of liberals blaming someone else for anything bad.

    If Cubans are so pissed at the US then..leave..you do not even have to take a raft.

    But I have known and respected many very successful, patriotic Cuban Americans who embrace their adopted country yes with all its faults.

    And focus their blame on fidel, not the US.

    But I wish you all well.

  12. Fidel castro is 100% responsible for the Cuban tragedy and we thank the US every day for welcoming us to its shores. We understand that no country is perfect but that the US is as close at it gets. But the fact is that politicians do what is politically expedient. Kennedy chose plausible deniability over success of the mission. Clinton chose to do nothing about the BTTR shootdown.

    I don’t blame the US for Herbert Matthews I blame the NYT.

    The point of my post is that we have to vigilant that Bush doesn’t listen to these alarmists that are preaching about a mass exodus. I don’t see it coming.

  13. Fidel castro is 100% responsible for the Cuban tragedy and we thank the US every day for welcoming us to its shores. We understand that no country is perfect but that the US is as close at it gets. But the fact is that politicians do what is politically expedient. Kennedy chose plausible deniability over success of the mission. Clinton chose to do nothing about the BTTR shootdown.

    I don’t blame the US for Herbert Matthews I blame the NYT.

    The point of my post is that we have to vigilant that Bush doesn’t listen to these alarmists that are preaching about a mass exodus. I don’t see it coming.

  14. Oh and I have great respect for the coast guard but they HAVE been asked to conduct an unsavory mission. Prevent Cuban migrants from reaching US soil at all costs. You have seen I am sure the videos of men running through shallow water trying to get to the beach while law enforcement tries to push them back out into the water. Quite embarrassing for our great country. Or how about the bridge migrants that were sent back by a judge who claims that bridge pilings aren’t part of dry land.

  15. Oh and I have great respect for the coast guard but they HAVE been asked to conduct an unsavory mission. Prevent Cuban migrants from reaching US soil at all costs. You have seen I am sure the videos of men running through shallow water trying to get to the beach while law enforcement tries to push them back out into the water. Quite embarrassing for our great country. Or how about the bridge migrants that were sent back by a judge who claims that bridge pilings aren’t part of dry land.

  16. Henry and Manuel if you feel that the United States is such a horrible country then feel free to leave at any time.

    The responsibility for the situation of Cuba rests squarely on the shoulders of the Cuban people. It is THEIR country and the responsibility for running it and the form of government that they accept is up to THEM and not the U.S. government. If THEY dislike THEIR current form of government then it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to rise up and revolt to change to and no one else’s.

    So if you are of Cuban linage, dislike the situation in Cuba, and want someone to blame I suggest you start by looking in the mirror.

    After all you your cushy job, in a first world country, with the guarantee of living in peace and security while protected by the worlds largest superpower (which you claim does horrible things) is more important then taking proactive steps to free Cuba. You’d rather whine to U.S. politicians’ and attempt to trick the stupid gringo into doing your fighting for you.

  17. JackW:

    Your country is no substitute for my country. I want my country. But I can’t have it because your country took it upon itself to install and maintain a Communist regime there. And since you cannot or will not return my country to me, I have no choice but to accept this exchange which I did not make. Return to me my country and I will no longer need or want your hospitality.

  18. Henry,

    Thanks. And I do not believe there will be a mass exedus either, which Manuel seemed to take delight in as a kind of justice for past US actions.

    I also took exception to the treatment of the Coast Guard and the US Gov’t. It sounded a little shrill.

    I often thought that many Cuban Americans might return to Cuba and help rebuild.

    As a business person I always come after fidel from an econmoic point, don’t trash the US and whine about our lack of trade. Either you need us or not. The earlier criticism of meddling and yet not sending air cover in ’61 sounded very similar to the “untrained ear.”

    I would also like your and Manuel’s thoughts as to what kind of reprisals the party elite might get from free Cubans.

    Where an they go, Venezuela?

    Its not like 1959 and they can go to Miami.

    In any event. Many Thanks.

  19. Henry:

    They’ve done even worse. One group of Coast Guardsmen capsized a boat full of refugees and then refused to rescue those trapped under the boat because they claimed it would have endangered their [the Coast Guardsmen’s] lives.

  20. JackW:

    Exiles will not be the ones extracting justice from Castro’s henchmen because we don’t know the henchmen any more, since there have been several generations of henchmen since we left. It is the Cuban people on the island that know who their verdugos are and it is they who will meet out the justice.

  21. “Yes the US has been fidel’s protector for the better part of 50 years. Those are facts. If they offend your sensibilities, sorry”

    Can’t read what? That you claim that the U.S. is some how protecting the communist regeme in Cuba? Give me a break. The United States has given more to the Cuban exiles, both in terms of support and opposition to the Cuban government then any other country in the world. Even when it went against our own self interest to do so. So stop whining about our policies already.

  22. You obviously can’t fucking read so I’ll copy and paste for you:

    Fidel castro is 100% responsible for the Cuban tragedy and we thank the US every day for welcoming us to its shores. We understand that no country is perfect but that the US is as close at it gets. But the fact is that politicians do what is politically expedient. Kennedy chose plausible deniability over success of the mission. Clinton chose to do nothing about the BTTR shootdown.

    Que clase de come mierda eres.

  23. You obviously can’t fucking read so I’ll copy and paste for you:

    Fidel castro is 100% responsible for the Cuban tragedy and we thank the US every day for welcoming us to its shores. We understand that no country is perfect but that the US is as close at it gets. But the fact is that politicians do what is politically expedient. Kennedy chose plausible deniability over success of the mission. Clinton chose to do nothing about the BTTR shootdown.

    Que clase de come mierda eres.

  24. Oh and before you say it wasn’t in the US’ best interest for the bay of pigs to succeed don’t forget about the fucking Cuban missile crisis that almost caused a nuclear holocaust. Don’t forget about the fucking Cubans that tortured and interrogated American POWs in Vietnam. Don’t forget about the listening station the Russians had in Cuba during the cold war.

    Oh it was in the US best interests to get rid of fidel, it’s just that the US leaders haven’t had the political will to stand up to all the America hating international community that loves fidel and say enough is enough.

  25. Oh and before you say it wasn’t in the US’ best interest for the bay of pigs to succeed don’t forget about the fucking Cuban missile crisis that almost caused a nuclear holocaust. Don’t forget about the fucking Cubans that tortured and interrogated American POWs in Vietnam. Don’t forget about the listening station the Russians had in Cuba during the cold war.

    Oh it was in the US best interests to get rid of fidel, it’s just that the US leaders haven’t had the political will to stand up to all the America hating international community that loves fidel and say enough is enough.

  26. Manuel,

    You’re right. You should have your country back. The US took it from you, just like you said. I remember it well. JFK said lets put a bunch of commies down in Cuba and then they can try to nuke us and then we can bring the whole world close to World War III.

    You nailed it Manuel.

    You see in the 1950’s Eisenhower, a Conservative Republican, recruited Fidel, Raul, Che and Camilio.

    They got the idea for the uniforms from the US Boy Scouts. Those commies.

    And the Bay of Pigs. Thirteen hundred CIA trained Cubans couldn’t hold a beach for 3 days when 80 clowns castro had in ’56 took the whole friggin country, no air cover at all in 25 months.

    Yup. Another US screw up, you’re right Manuel, we gave your country to the commies. Forget about those middle class Cuban politicians who led the Revolution you told me about last week. It was all the US’ fault.

    And then the US invented “Operation Peter Pan” so we could sell more Peanut Butter in the US. its all the US’s fault.

    And the Coast Guard, they’re commies too right Manuel. They ram boats with women and children.
    Bad US military…

    Yeah, the Cuban Navy and the Coast Guard take target practice against them…yeah that’s it.

    And the US “created” Desi Arnaz so we would not take Cubans seriously and the commies could take the island.

    Jeez, I only thought Democrats played the “Don’t Blame Me” game.

    Here Manuel, it was just a joke…You can have your country back now.

    Your arguments for a free Cuba might work better Manuel…if people were not laughing at you.

    Oh Manuel, Bin Laden’s on the phone, he said you’re on a roll..thanks for blaming the US for 9/11 too….and wait this just in from Havana..

    …..Gracias, Manuel, keep up the great work…cough, cough….fidel.

  27. Jack,

    You can not deny that in March 1958 that Ike withdrew support of Batista by stopping arms sales to Cuba.

    Also if you read up you will know that from the late 50’s right through today the US state department has been filled with left-wingers and closet communists that have not exactly provided the best advice to US presidents.

    Think about all the proxy wars and conflicts we have fought against Cuba. In Nicaragua, El Salvador, Grenada.

    The waves of immigrants that castro has unleashed including Mariel which he peppered with common criminals and mentally ill people (in an attempt to discredit Cubans-Americans – which he was successful at e.g. scarface.

    To say that the US did not have a part in fidel coming to power and staying in power is naive and to say Cuba never posed a danger to the US is equally naive.

    If we almost had WWIII because of Cuba it’s because Kennnedy stooped the U2 flyovers and closed his eyes to what was happening in Cuba.

    If these things were not true we would have no Cuban adjustment act. Let’s be real for a second. The reason Cubans get special treatment from the US is because of US guilt in how it has handled Cuba.

    Unlike Iraq a prolonged occupation would not have been necessary. A well aimed cruise missile could have done the job at any time in the last 15 years but let’s say Castro gave clinton an opportunity to do just that after the BTTR shootdown.

  28. Jack,

    You can not deny that in March 1958 that Ike withdrew support of Batista by stopping arms sales to Cuba.

    Also if you read up you will know that from the late 50’s right through today the US state department has been filled with left-wingers and closet communists that have not exactly provided the best advice to US presidents.

    Think about all the proxy wars and conflicts we have fought against Cuba. In Nicaragua, El Salvador, Grenada.

    The waves of immigrants that castro has unleashed including Mariel which he peppered with common criminals and mentally ill people (in an attempt to discredit Cubans-Americans – which he was successful at e.g. scarface.

    To say that the US did not have a part in fidel coming to power and staying in power is naive and to say Cuba never posed a danger to the US is equally naive.

    If we almost had WWIII because of Cuba it’s because Kennnedy stooped the U2 flyovers and closed his eyes to what was happening in Cuba.

    If these things were not true we would have no Cuban adjustment act. Let’s be real for a second. The reason Cubans get special treatment from the US is because of US guilt in how it has handled Cuba.

    Unlike Iraq a prolonged occupation would not have been necessary. A well aimed cruise missile could have done the job at any time in the last 15 years but let’s say Castro gave clinton an opportunity to do just that after the BTTR shootdown.

  29. Well said Henry. Too often our love for America, which I have, blinds to the truth of strategic mistakes the US has made. The sad thing is that if the US would not interfere, Cuban Americans could take back Cuba. I also fear that many Cuban Americans would have a problem with taking back Guantanamo once Cuba is free. The agreement was not an agreement and there is no such think as a perpetual agreement as the parties which made the arrangement are no longer accountable but others must live with their mistakes and that is wrong. Once Cuba is free I would want friendly relations with the US, but not a pseudo possesion.

  30. Not only did Eisenhower declare an arms embargo on the Cuban government, but the CIA provided through American businessmen in Cuba the monies
    which the rebels used to bribe the commander of the Tren Blindado (Armoured Train) that
    was conveying all remaining armaments for the last
    battle in Santa Clara.

    The U.S. government also informed Batista that it would not recognize the winner of the Nov. 1958 Cuban presidential election.

    Having been denied the means to defend the Republic from the Communists or to provide for a democratic succession, Batista was left with no choice but to surrender the country to Castro. Batista fled the island and the Americans’ new protégé began his 48 year of reign of terror, under the protection of the United States. This protection continues to this day.

  31. Pototo:

    I also want friendly relations with the U.S. in the post-Castro era. But given our common history, this is a “friend” whose motives must always be suspect since historically it has not always had our best interests at heart (is that ever an understatement!).

    After Castro, the U.S. will get a chance to rectify historic wrongs, such as the theft of Guantánamo naval base “in perpetuity.” Based on its future policies as well as its past conduct the U.S. will be judged.

  32. Pototo:

    There can be no sovereignty until the U.S. decamps from Guantánamo. Then and only then will our War of Independence be concluded.

  33. Manuel,

    Hard to please you guys. If the US opposed Batista in ’58 that’s bad, If the US had what 638 (if you believe the book on it) attempts on Castro’s life that’s bad too. You do not like meddling but don’t like the withdrawing support during the Bay of Pigs.

    And 48 years of the “embargo”, if that’s not butting out of Cuban affairs what is?

    For the record, having worked with, lived with and worshiped with Cuban Americans I never witnessed special treatment by anyone toward them. Every single one of them more than earned thier stripes, thier places in American society. So I have to disagree with one of the above posters.

    Also I never said that Cuba does not pose a danger to the US. It did then, and it does now as well.

    Yes Manuel, my name is John, if that is germane to the argument. I just took the JackW from Redford’s movie “Havana”.

    I may have mentioned it here before.

    My disconnect is I’m slow to blame government Democrat or Republican for Cuba being Communist.

    Call me a stickler for personal responsibility. I thought that is why all who come here feels depending on government like Communism, ah what’s the word I’m looking for..sucks.

    I’ve seen personal responsibility in spades from the many emegres I’ve known and respected, in the businesses they have built to the families they have to the obstacles they have overcome.

    I exaggerated my arguments to illustrate a point, and apologize for that.

    Sometimes our patriotism outruns our emotions.

    But as Mr. Bush has said the future of Cuba belongs with the Cuban people, both there and here. I know the latter is not a popular opinion in the rest of the US.

    Sorry I cannot agree with you that the US took Cuba from you and the US must give Cuba back.

    Yes the US has made many mistakes in its relations with Cuba, I just do not believe facilitating castro and his thugs was one of them.

    We can help, and I’ve got a checkbook that (very modestly and to my wife’s chagrin) proves that.

    But let’s keep the eyes on the prize here of a free Cuba.

    I just get confused sometimes as to what you want your non-Cuban allies here to do.

    But I’m sure you’ll let us know.

    I still have to get my “fix” on the latest Cuba news.

    Respectfully,

    John

  34. John/Jack:

    The Bay of Pigs was not an instance of “meddling” according to the Rio Pact and numerous other covenants of the Organization of American States (OAS). It was the treaty obligation of all the American states to aid in the eradication of Communism in this Hemisphere. The United States and Nicaragua acted legally in lending assistance to the Cubans who landed at the Bay of Pigs. This is what that son of a Nazi didn’t understand — the Bay of Pigs was sanctioned by treaty and international law! Kennedy wanted “deniability” though there was nothing that needed to be denied. In order to retain that fictional “deniability” he sacrificed the men of the Brigade 2506 and Cuba’s best chance to regain its freedom. Later, Kennedy codified that betrayal in the Kennedy-Khrushchev Pact, which made the U.S. the guarantor of Communism in Cuba, one treaty, at least, which it hasn’t broken.

  35. Manuel,

    Right. I was tempted to put in my post how much I hated the lame phrase “plausable denialability”.

    As I mentioned before, I had to study both the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missle Crisis.

    In addition to the called off air support, a ship carrying ammunition also sat offshore.

    Some American pilots disobeyed orders and flew anyway.

    I was never a Kennedy fan either.

    I always remember Harry Truman’s quip when asked about JFKs Catholicism in the 1960 election.

    “Its not the Pope I’m worried about, its the Pop.

    And you are right about Kennedy being too cozy with the Nazis.

    It was one of the reason’s the elder Kennedy lost his job as Ambassador to Great Britian.

    An overrated President at best.

    Still not with you on the migration issue, but great work on the phone book.

    Any news on the group who stole weapons in Cuba?

    John.

  36. JackW.
    Although Manuel and Henry bring up a lot of good points, I want to make it clear that even with all the mistakes the US may have made, the Cuban people have had no better friend than the United States. We may be justfiably angry at the Kennedys and some US politicians and some US policy. At the same time, where would we be without the US? We must remember that some Americans died by our side at the Bay of Pigs and were executed by Fidel, just like some Cubans died fighting for America in Vietnam.
    I think we Cubans should recognize that WE put Castro in power. Many of us were duped by him.
    WE gave Batista the power to overthrow a president that was governing under the constitution of 1940. The United States has had a stable democracy since 1776. Sorry, I recognize that the US has made mistakes, and terrible ones, including not allowing us to fight for our freedom from these shores.
    But WE put Castro in power, not the US. Let’s be fair.

  37. Max is 100% correct, folks.

    And as Henry mentioned early on in the thread, let’s not forget about the Cubans who voluntarily served in the U.S. Armed Forces back in the Vietnam era. I happen to know many of them personally, thanks to my father.

  38. Jack/John,

    The head of the group who stole the weapons…Rodolfo Frometa has spent many years in both Cuban and American jails for trying to fight castro. This man has dedicated his life to getting rid of castro. He really does “walk the walk”.

    I think that’s part of the frustration. Cubans have always been among the most “Pro-American” group of immigrants who have set foot on this land. I have always believed in the ideals of the wise men who wrote the American Constitution.

    That is why when I see the inconsistencies and the down right betrayals committed by US politicians all the way from the Bay of Pigs, to the shoot down of the Brother’s to the Rescue, to the Elian fiasco…I get very frustrated and disgusted with American Politics not the American People.

    I think to myself…”For the Love of GOD. Don’t help us, but damn it! GET OUT OF THE WAY!!”

    I Love this Country and its People. But I Love Cuba too and just like you get mad when you think people attack the USA; I get even madder when I see how castro betrayed Cuba and those who continue to allow and assist in Cuba’s perpetual pain.

  39. Max,

    Thanks. I do not always agree with what is posted as we see here.

    But we can disagree keeping in mind the main objective of a free Cuba.

    castro duped many in Cuba and the US. I remember his coming to New York in April of ’59 and being treated like a rock star.

    I can’t accept an argument that says if the US US shores are innundated with refugees its payback for our failed policies.

    Likewise I cannot accept that the US took Cuba from anyone and the US has an obligation to give it back.

    And finally I do not accept that the US faciliated or enabled Communism in Cuba.

    The US risking nuclear war and giving up $7 Billion in confiscated assets?

    Mistakes yes, those opinions, respectfully no.

    Sorry.

  40. Max:

    The Cuban people, perhaps a majority of those living in 1959, bear moral responsibility for Castro’s crimes because they cheered him as he fed his bloodlust: “¡Paredón, paredón, paredón!” But they have had 48 years to expiate for their sins.

    Still, the Cuban people were the reactors, not the actors in this tragedy. It was the U.S. government that installed Castro in power and has maintained him there since 1959. The U.S. has paid no price for this historic crime but benefitted in many ways from it, particularly in acquiring “the most successful immigrants in the history of this nation of immigrants,” as George Gilder put it. Oh happy, blessèd land is this whose foulest deeds rebound to her favor!

  41. Manuel,

    I disagree, and I am Cuban, just like you. If we Cubans had not been duped by Fidel, we would not be in this position today. We need to own up to our mistakes and not blame others. I am proud of many Cuban accomplishments, but governing ourselves is not one of them. I agree that many US policies were failed and bad – to this day. But I disagree with you that the US is the reason Castro is in power. Keep in mind that I agree with almost all of your posts, but not this one. America is the sole bastion of freedom left in the world today and under attack from so many angles today. I love America dearly, just as much as I love Cuba. Lets honor those Americans that died with us fighting Castro.

  42. Jack and Manuel,

    The US may have had a role in “enabling” communism in Cuba, by shutting off aid to Batista and then by the bad decisions made at the Bay of Pigs, to top it all off the treaty made with the Soviets after the missile crisis guaranteeing the dictatorship would not be threatened from US shores. All this is true. HOWEVER, we Cubans made just as many, and probably more mistakes in allowing Castro to come to power in the first place! Even taking all that into account, WE (us Cubans) must realize that the US has been our ONLY friend during this long struggle, at least until after the fall of the Soviet Union when the Czechs came to our side. I do not want to condemn the US, when the actions of one president (JFK) is what allowed Fidel to STAY in power.

  43. Max:

    In a free Cuba, I would support erecting a statue to every American who died with us fighting against Castro. Let the upholders of American dignity, few as they were, receive the homage of the grateful Cuban nation. And may the frozen assets of the Republic of Cuba last long enough to pay the descendents of these heroes their $100 million per head court judgments.

  44. So which is it henry? Has the U.S. been Fidels “protector” for the last 50 or so years? Or is the U.S. as close to perfect as a country can get? Make up your mind already.

  45. Meh, this thread is likely already dead, and the callers kept me too busy to answer earlier.

    The way I see it, it wasn’t Khruschev we made the non-intervention promise with. Khruschev has been dead, and the Soviet Union has been gone for many, many years.

    The only thing I can see as terms about which the US would give a flip after the end of the Cold War would be the lives of political prisoners, and whether or not regime figures get immunity from prosecution.

    That is, provided all the weapons were removed from Cuba in 1962, and there was nothing left behind as an…..insurance policy.

    I can totally see the terms being that if America intervened in any way, castro could liquidate the prisons, and launch any “insurance policy” at an American city.

  46. The Kennedy Kruschev Pact probably could be said to have ended in 1991 with the fall of the soviet union. But 30 years had passed and many felt that without soviiet aid it was just a matter time before the castro regime too would fall. So what do think should have happened? An invasion? Hell if we can’t take down a guy like Saddam without half the world and half the country wigging out what do you think would happen if we invaded a country that that all of the America haters love? Political suicide. And you think Clinton was going to do it? Nobody was going to do it.

  47. The Kennedy Kruschev Pact probably could be said to have ended in 1991 with the fall of the soviet union. But 30 years had passed and many felt that without soviiet aid it was just a matter time before the castro regime too would fall. So what do think should have happened? An invasion? Hell if we can’t take down a guy like Saddam without half the world and half the country wigging out what do you think would happen if we invaded a country that that all of the America haters love? Political suicide. And you think Clinton was going to do it? Nobody was going to do it.

  48. The Kennedy-Khruschev Pact is still in effect. Under international law, the Russian Federation is the legal successor to the old Soviet Union. All treaty obligations contracted by the USSR, unless repudiated by Russia and the other signatory countries, are still considered binding on all parties. Neither the U.S. nor Russia has ever abrogated the Kennedy-Khruschev Pact. In fact, the U.S. still serves to this very day as guarantor of Communism in Cuba. It takes this obligation very seriously, even hiring Castroite double-agents such as Juan Pablo Roque to spy on exile organizations and transmitting that information to Castro. Roque infiltrated “Brothers to the Rescue” on the FBI’s dime and provided Castro with the information that resulted in the shooting down of their plane. Their blood, like that of countless other freedom-loving Cubans, is also on the hands of the United States.

  49. Manuel,
    Do you feel that “what is on the hands” of the United States represents the United States ideals as a whole? That is do you really feel the United States has a conscious policy of insuring communism in Cuba? I fully recognize there are some individuals that are communists in the US throughout the government. I condemn those individuals. I will not condemn the US as a whole, however.

  50. Manuel,

    Until the regime falls, and everything gets declassified, we won’t know for sure, but my money is on castro himself having some kind of gun to the US’s head to ensure American nonintervention in Cuba’s affairs.

    While castro has been locking up and keeping political prisoners for years on end, one will note the less frequent usage of the paredon. If he’s going to starve and beat librarians, why not shoot them—unless the lives of political prisoners have been castro’s bargaining chip?

    Why the games with fidel’s current state of health, if the terms of the treaty don’t die with him?

    Putin can trade with a free or castroite Cuba. I don’t think Russia would get that exercised over an exploding Cohiba or two, so I don’t think Russia’s in the picture here.

  51. There is a great deal of Cuban blood on the hands of the United States. But this country also helped to save 2 million Cuban lives. Credit for this goes to Lyndon Baines Johnson, who did more for the U.S. and Cubans than the whole tribe of Kennedys.

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