"We have met the enemy and they are ours..." -- Oliver Hazard Perry
"I don't want a piece of you... I want the whole thing!" -- Bob Barker
Again an excerpt from Senator Menedez's statement;
“Today’s policy announcement is misguided and fails to understand the nature of the regime in Cuba that has exerted its authoritarian control over the Cuban people for 55 years. No one wishes that the reality in Cuba was more different than the Cuban people and Cuban-Americans that have fled the island in search of freedom. In November, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights & National Reconciliation (CCHR) documented 398 political arrests by the Castro regime. This brings the total number of political arrests during the first eleven months of this year to 8,410. This is a regime that imprisoned an American citizen for five years for distributing communications equipment on the island. Releasing political prisoners today in Cuba is meaningless if tomorrow these individuals can be arrested again and denied the right to peacefully pursue change in their own country.
“It is a fallacy that Cuba will reform just because the American President believes that if he extends his hand in peace that the Castro brothers suddenly will unclench their fists. A majority of democratic activists on the island, including many that I have met with, have been explicit that they want the U.S. to become open to Cuba only when there is reciprocal movement by the Castro government. They understand that the Castros will not accede to change in any other way."
Before the revolution Cuba was a de facto American colony. American companies owned most of the good farmland, mines, etc.
From Neocolony to State of Siege The History of US Policy Toward Cuba
In 1898, Cubans, waging their Second War of Independence, were close to driving out the colonists from Spain. The US government decided the fruit was ripe. Congress declared war against Spain, ostensibly to help free Cuba. In US history, this is known as the Spanish-American War; the United States emerged with four new ports-the Philippines and Guam in the Pacific and Puerto Rico and Cuba in the Atlantic.
But Cuban history calls it the US Intervention in Cuba's War of Independence. US troops occupied Cuba for four years. In exchange for removal of the occupation army, Cuba attached the Platt Amendment, a US law, to their Constitution, granting control of Cuba to the US government. Cuba converted from a colony of Spain to a neocolony of the United States. Among its dictates, the Platt Amendment provided that the United States could intervene militarily at any time and could maintain ports on the island. This amendment was abrogated in 1934 except for the US naval station at Guantanamo, which remains.
US-approved elections led to US-approved repression. US troops occupied Cuba again from 1906 until 1909 and periodically sent troops to help quell rebellion. In 1940 the Cuban people created a new Constitution, along with hopes for a peaceful transition to democracy.
Batista Dictatorship and Revolution
In 1952, a young lawyer was running for Congress in Cuba when General Fulgencio Batista returned from Florida to stage a coup financed and supported by the US government. Batista suspended the Constitution and canceled elections. That young man, Fidel Castro, was not allowed to win or lose an election. The Helms-Burton Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, specifies that neither Fidel nor Raul Castro will be allowed to run in a "free election" that would be certified by Washington. So it's easy to comprehend why US talk of "free elections" sounds hollow to Cuban ears. Besides, the United States does not have a record of supporting elections won by someone not stamped continued on page two with approval in Washington (note Guatemala in 1954 and Chile in 1973).
Under Batista, about 85 percent of Cuba's trade was with the US. Foreigners, mainly from the United States, owned 75 percent of arable land; 90 percent of services like water, electricity, and phones; and 40 percent of the sugar industry. Super exploitation and Batista's dictatorship incited the revolution, led by Fidel Castro, that finally triumphed on January 1,1959.
Cuba had an American puppet government that let the American companies get possession of the farmland, mines, and other resources so American ownership was illigitimate. From the Cuban perspective the revolution was mainly about getting back control of their resources so that they benefited the Cuban people instead of just leaving the country to make Americans rich. They were justified in annexing everything after the revolution won.
The blockade was not the only problem the US was causing for Cuba. There was also economic sabotage.
http://arcticbeacon.com/books/Willia...%282002%29.pdf (Do a page search on the word "Cuba" here.)
1) In August 1962, a British freighter under Soviet lease, having damaged its propeller on
a reef, crept into the harbor at San Juan, Puerto Rico for repairs. It was bound for a Soviet
port with 80,000 bags of Cuban sugar. The ship was put into dry dock and 14,135 sacks
of sugar were unloaded to a warehouse to facilitate the repairs. While in the warehouse,
the sugar was contaminated by CIA agents with a substance that was allegedly harmless
but unpalatable. When President Kennedy learned of the operation he was furious
because it had taken place in US territory and if discovered could provide the Soviet Union with a propaganda field day and set a terrible precedent for chemical sabotage in
the Cold War. He directed that the sugar not be returned to the Russians, although what
explanation was given to them is not publicly known.21 Similar undertakings were
apparently not canceled. A CIA official, who helped direct worldwide sabotage efforts
against Cuba, later revealed that "There was lots of sugar being sent out from Cuba, and
we were putting a lot of contaminants in it."22
limit reached-continued next post...
2) The same year, a Canadian agricultural technician working as an adviser to the Cuban
government was paid $5,000 by "an American military intelligence agent" to infect
Cuban turkeys with a virus which would produce the fatal Newcastle disease.
Subsequently, 8,000 turkeys died. The technician later claimed that although he had been
to the farm where the turkeys had died, he had not actually administered the virus, but
had instead pocketed the money, and that the turkeys had died from neglect and other
causes unrelated to the virus. This may have been a self-serving statement. The
Washington Post reported that "According to U.S. intelligence reports, the Cubans—and
some Americans—believe the turkeys died as the result of espionage."23
3) According to a participant in the project:
During 1969 and 1970, the CIA deployed futuristic weather modification technology to
ravage Cuba's sugar crop and undermine the economy. Planes from the China Lake Naval
Weapons Center in the California desert, where high tech was developed, overflew the
island, seeding rain clouds with crystals that precipitated torrential rains over nonagricultural
areas and left the cane fields arid (the downpours caused killer flash floods in
This said, it must be pointed out while it's not terribly surprising that the CIA would have
attempted such a thing, it's highly unlikely that it would have succeeded except through a
great stroke of luck; i.e., heavy rains occurring at just the right time.
4) In 1971, also according to participants, the CIA turned over to Cuban exiles a virus
which causes African swine fever. Six weeks later, an outbreak of the disease in Cuba
forced the slaughter of 500,000 pigs to prevent a nationwide animal epidemic. The
outbreak, the first ever in the Western hemisphere, was called the "most alarming event"
of the year by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.25
5) Ten years later, the target may well have been human beings, as an epidemic of dengue
hemorrhagic fever (DHF) swept across the island. Transmitted by blood-eating insects,
usually mosquitos, the disease produces severe flu-like symptoms and incapacitating
bone pain. Between May and October 1981, over 300,000 cases were reported in Cuba
with 158 fatalities, 101 of which were children under 15.26
limit reached-continued next post...
The Center for Disease Control later reported that the appearance in Cuba of this
particular strain of dengue, DEN-2 from Southeast Asia, had caused the first major
epidemic of DHF ever in the Americas.27 Castro announced that Cuba had asked the United States for a pesticide to help eradicate the fever-bearing mosquito, but had not
been given any.28
In 1956 and 1958, declassified documents have revealed, the US Army loosed swarms of
specially bred mosquitos in Georgia and Florida to see whether disease-carrying insects
could be weapons in a biological war. The mosquitos bred for the tests were of the Aedes
aegypti type, the precise carrier of dengue fever as well as other diseases.29
In 1967 it was reported by Science magazine that at the US government center in Fort
Detrick, Maryland, dengue fever was amongst those "diseases that are at least the objects
of considerable research and that appear to be among those regarded as potential BW
[biological warfare] agents."30 Then, in 1984, a Cuban exile on trial in New York on an
unrelated matter testified that in the latter part of 1980 a ship traveled from Florida to
a mission to carry some germs to introduce them in Cuba to be used against the Soviets
and against the Cuban economy, to begin what was called chemical war, which later on
produced results that were not what we had expected, because we thought that it was
going to be used against the Soviet forces, and it was used against our own people, and
with that we did not agree.31
It's not clear from the testimony whether the Cuban man thought that the germs would
somehow be able to confine their actions to only Russians, or whether he had been misled
by the people behind the operation.
6) On a clear day, October 21, 1996, a Cuban pilot flying over Matanzas province
observed a plane releasing a mist of some substance about seven times. It turned out to be
an American crop-duster plane operated by the US State Department, which had
permission to fly over Cuba on a trip to Colombia via Grand Cayman Island. Responding
to the Cuban pilot's report, the Cuban air controller asked the US pilot if he was having
any problem. The answer was "no". On December 18, Cuba observed the first signs of a
plague of Thrips palmi, a plant-eating insect never before detected in Cuba. It severely
damages practically all crops and is resistant to a number of pesticides. Cuba asked the
US for clarification of the October 21 incident. Seven weeks passed before the US replied
that the State Department pilot had emitted only smoke, in order to indicate his location
to the Cuban pilot.32 By this time, the Thrips palmi had spread rapidly, affecting corn,
beans, squash, cucumbers and other crops.
In response to a query, the Federal Aviation Administration stated that emitting smoke to
indicate location is "not an FAA practice" and that it knew of "no regulation calling for
In April 1997, Cuba presented a report to the United Nations which charged the US with
"biological aggression" and provided a detailed description of the 1996 incident and the
subsequent controversy.34 In August, signatories of the Biological Weapons Convention
convened in Geneva to consider Cuba's charges and Washington's response. In December, the committee reported that due to the "technical complexity" of the matter, it
had not proved possible to reach a definitive conclusion. There has not been any further
development on the issue since that time.35
The full extent of American chemical and biological warfare against Cuba will never be
known. Over the years, the Castro government has in fact blamed the United States for a
number of other plagues which afflicted various animals and crops.36 In 1977, newlyreleased
CIA documents disclosed that the Agency "maintained a clandestine anti-crop
warfare research program targeted during the 1960s at a number of countries throughout
The US military abroad—a deadly toxic legacy
It's not quite chemical or biological weaponry, but it's toxic, it sickens and it kills. It's
what thousands of American military installations in every corner of the world (hundreds
in Germany alone) have left behind: serious environmental damage. The pollution is
remarkably widespread, the record too extensive to offer more than a taste here,
such as this snippet from a lengthy piece in the Los Angeles Times:
U.S. military installations have polluted the drinking water of the Pacific island of Guam,
poured tons of toxic chemicals into Subic Bay in the Philippines, leaked carcinogens into
the water source of a German spa, spewed tons of sulfurous coal smoke into the skies of
Central Europe and pumped millions of gallons of raw sewage into the oceans.38
The military has done the same in the United States at countless installations.
limit reached-continued next post...
Here's some more stuff.
U.S. Aggression & Propaganda Against Cuba Why the unrelieved U.S. antagonism toward Cuba? by Michael Parenti
US and Cuba WBlum
A Meeting with Che Guevara | Global Research
Search | Global Research
Search | Global Research
Enter "Cuba", "Batista", "Che Guevara", etc in this search engine.
I'm not saying there's never been any fascism in post-revolutionary Cuba. I'm just saying the official American version of what's been happening is very incomplete and distorted.
I'd better post this too in case there's anybody who doesn't understand the big picture.
http://www.debatepolitics.com/archiv...perialism.html (American Imperialism)
Here's an updated version of that thread with restored dead links.
I've spoken to a lot of Cubans. From what I've heard the first wave of exiles were the Batista supporters. After the victory of the revolution it was announced that Cuba would be communist. This was a big surprise to a lot of the people who supported the revolution and fought in it. A lot of small business owners who supported the revolution were shocked to see their businesses expropriated in the name of the revolution after its success. They were the second wave of exiles.
I remember when this happened.
Mariel boatlift - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I was in Miami when the US invaded Granada in 1983. I met a Marielito who was happy about it. I recently asked a Cuban bartender here in Madrid where I live why he thought a Cuban would support a US invasion of a Latin American Country. He said the Marielitos were people who'd lost their land after the success of the revolution and were still angry about it and weren't really looking at the big picture.
There's a theory that Fidel didn't really want communism but he had to agree to it in order to get Soviet support. Soviet support is one of the reasons the US didn't simply take Cuba back according to some of the people I've spoken to.
I still haven't formed a firm opinion on what's been going on there as I'm always hearing new things. I know a lot of bad stuff does go one in Cuba.
I heard that people are afraid to invite foreign friends over for lunch or dinner in Cuba. It's illegal for Cubans to use their homes as restaurants to make extra money. Guests can be mistaken for customers and neighbors are quick to call the authorities when they know that foreigners are having a meal at a Cuban's home. It's not illegal to serve free meals to guests there but they fear being unjustly found guilty so they just don't take the risk.
I heard about some African medical students in Cuba who were overheard criticizing the Cuban government by some undercover police. The got deported the same day.
A Spanish woman who took a trip to Cuba told me she saw fallow farm land from the plane as she was flying over Cuba and wondered why they weren't using the land if there was a food shortage there. I later had the opportunity to talk to a Cuban who'd recently arrived about that. She said that they couldn't buy the needed fertilizer because of the embargo.
The US sabotages the Cuban economy without the public's knowing about it and then cries, "Look. The Cuban system doesn't work".
What is it, then, that I mean to say here—that the US govern-ment does not care a whit
about human life or human rights?
No, I mean to say that doing the right thing is not a principle of American foreign policy,
not an ideal or a goal of policy in and of itself. If it happens that doing the right thing
coincides with, or is irrelevant to, Washington's overriding international ambitions,
American officials have no problem walking the high moral ground. But this is rarely the
case. A study of the many US interventions— summarized numerically above, and
detailed in the "Interventions" chapter—shows clearly that the engine of American
foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, nor even simple
decency, but rather by the necessity to serve other masters, which can be broken down to
1) making the world open and hospitable for—in current terminology—globalization,
particularly American-based transnational corporations
2) enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have
contributed generously to members of Congress and residents of the White House.
3) preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an
alternative to the capitalist model
4) extending political, economic and military hegemony over as much of the globe as
possible, to prevent the rise of any regional power that might challenge American
supremacy, and to create a world order in America's image, as befits the world's