Correcting the historical record: The Clintons and the Castro brothers

By John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Correcting the historical record: The Clintons and The Castro brothers
Clinton and Kerry: No friends of Cuban democracy activists

Hillary Clinton is going to Florida International University tomorrow to make a foreign policy speech in which she will apparently call for the end of the embargo on the Castro dictatorship. What is surprising is that this is news because back in June 2014 in her book Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton wrote that she had been urging President Obama to end the embargo on Cuba. Unfortunately, when advocates of normalized relations in 2015 claim that the sanctions policy has been in place for 55 years and that diplomatic relations have been nonexistent overlook some key facts that get in the way of their narrative.

First, Jimmy Carter in 1977 negotiated with the Castro regime the opening of Interests Sections in their respective countries that for all intensive purposes have functioned as embassies until April 20, 2015.

Secondly, Bill Clinton in 1994 initiated regular contacts between the U.S. and Cuban military that included joint military exercises at the Guantanamo Naval base. ( Despite his rhetoric George W. Bush continued the practice during his presidency.) Despite this improvement of relations the 1990s saw some of those brutal massacres of Cubans that are rightly remembered such as the July 13, 1994 “13 de Marzo” tugboat massacre and the February 24, 1996 Brothers to the Rescue shoot down. The shoot down involved two planes blown to bits over international airspace by Cuban MiGs killing three American citizens and a Cuban resident who were engaged in the search and rescue of Cuban rafters. Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban spies freed by Obama on December 17, 2014, was serving a life sentence for conspiracy to commit murder for his role in these killings.  Jose Basulto, one of the survivors, who escaped in a third plane accuses the Clinton administration of complicity in the killings.

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