Fidel does not love us!


"Fidel Castro responded Monday to President Barack Obama's historic trip to Cuba with a long, bristling letter recounting the history of U.S. aggression against Cuba, writing that "we don't need the empire to give us any presents."

The 1,500-word letter in state media titled "Brother Obama" was Castro's first response to the president's three-day visit last week, in which the American president said he had come to bury the two countries' history of Cold War hostility. Obama did not meet with the 89-year-old Fidel Castro on the trip but met several times with his 84-year-old brother Raul Castro, the current Cuban president.

Obama's visit was intended to build irreversible momentum behind his opening with Cuba and to convince the Cuban people and the Cuban government that a half-century of U.S. attempts to overthrow the Communist government had ended, allowing Cuban to reform its economy and political system without the threat of U.S. interference."  CBSnews


Well, well, not everyone in Cuba likes Obama or the US.  Perhaps they should stew in their own broth for another fifty years.  pl

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93 Responses to Fidel does not love us!

  1. Walrus says:

    With respect Col. Lang, I think you are being a little uncharitable. What did Cuba ever do to the Unitled States? Do you want them to invite the Russians back for a rerun of the missile crisis?

  2. 505th PIR says:

    Fidel is raging against the dying of the light…and the fact that his people have a desire to move on beyond his conceptions/aspirations for them…

  3. turcopolier says:

    Well, my fellow Mayflower descendant, the cigar rolling, cane chopping bastards invited the Soviets to install IRBMs that covered all of eastern America and then I and my brethren chased people like Che all over Latin America as they tried to install Stalinist dictatorships everywhere. That is enough for me. you should have been there. pl

  4. ked says:

    Agreed, though I think it’s more like whimpering.
    And making himself (& his bro, & the hangers-on, and what he stands/stood-for) increasingly less relevant to the people’s future.

  5. Outrage Beyond says:

    In cases like this, I recommend reading the actual text, to see what Fidel actually said, rather than the spin from the corporate media.
    While some people might take issue with the tone, in reading the letter, I didn’t find anything that was objectively false.
    I also found it interesting that Fidel touched on the South African nuclear weapons program, and stated that Reagan and Israel helped. While the Israeli participation is well-known, I wasn’t aware of US participation. So that might be worth further study.
    Most piquant in that section, Fidel asks if Obama knew about this participation. A point of connection with this query can be found in a recollection of one of the first questions Obama was asked at one of his earliest press conferences: if he know of any country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. The reporter, Helen Thomas, was of course referring to Israel. Obama replied that he “didn’t want to speculate.”
    What a chickenshit answer.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    Anybody who expect a thaw until the old revolutionaries have died off is being unduly optimistic. That’s the way it was with the Soviet Union and I expect the same with Cuba.

  7. A Pols says:

    Not to be polemical, but for the Cubans: “Paranoia runs deep; into your mind/life it will creep”. And then “Greeks bearing gifts” etc. For them, American money, tourists, and business may spell co optation and assimilation, hence they may have real and legitimate fears that their autonomy, threadbare though it may be, will be lost once the doors are open.
    They probably should be apprehensive about where this will all lead.
    It probably won’t take too long for them to become another dependency, then long corporate memory starts to push for return of property. hmmm.

  8. Norbert M. Salamon says:

    With great respect, Colonel, vassals did not have anything to say when the BOSS hath spoken in the 50-s, this applied both to Cuba with respect to Russian Missiles, as it applied to Turkey with respect to USA’s Missiles on Russian Border.
    Perhaps. today some vassals do not show enough respect to the BOSS at least in the Borg’s opinion – notwithstanding the EU’s slave like behavior regarding Russian sanctions.

  9. cynic says:

    Does Cuba matter any more? Why not ignore them, or just dump all your criminals and socialists there and refuse to let them out of Great Guantanamo?
    What is likely to happen when the Castros die?

  10. J says:

    Once ‘inside’ Cuba, we can begin to dismantle Castro piece by piece. In a hundred years they will ask ‘Castro who?’.

  11. bth says:

    One can assume that the next US presidential visit to Cuba will be for a state funeral. While the Castro brothers dictate their lengthy letters, the Cuban population is hauling ass to Mexico and across the US border seeking asylum in the thousands. Any Cuban watching current US/Cuban relations unfold must know that the change is probably measured now in months and not years.

  12. BraveNewWorld says:

    Gee, you try to kill a guy a few times and all this hostility comes boiling out of no where.

  13. robt willmann says:

    This appears to be the letter to president Obama from Fidel Castro–
    A documentary called “Looking for Fidel” was made from interviews of Fidel and others in 2003 by Oliver Stone, and one of the most telling things said in the film was Castro’s statement in response to questions from Stone: “I am not a theoretician of revolutions. I am an activist. I am not a man who only elaborates ideas and theories, but a man who does things and executes ideas.” There it is. That is the source of the support and the opposition to him.
    The many attempts to kill Castro became quite a publicized item. A book and film on the subject claim around 638 attempts. Castro says in the Stone documentary that is has been 734. Whatever the number, it apparently was quite a few. At the time of the Cuban revolution, Santo Trafficante, a significant leader in the Italian-American Mafia, was jailed in Cuba. Castro subsequently let him go. Some have theorized that as a result of his being released, Trafficante became an informant for Castro, and then whenever the U.S. government through the CIA got in bed with the Mafia to try to kill Castro, Trafficante let Castro know what was coming. Whatever the machinations were, Castro certainly had no illusions about the situation and kept an eye on survival.
    Stone also interviewed Castro in 2009 for another documentary called “Castro in Winter”, but I have not seen it.

  14. optimax says:

    Fidel’s days are numbered. The Cuban people want more than he or his regime can give them. The people welcomed Obama and that is what counts in the end.
    How can they resist a friendlier America:

  15. doug says:

    I’ve always thought of communism as so unworkable long term that contained, but without the US opposition to blame, they would have died on the vine much earlier. But we also had to confront communism. As unstable as it was, as long as it was expanding it had a tremendous base of support and many clueless eggheads believing in its scientific man myth. Communism, like any force that unites peoples on a fervent goal, can produce expansion and empire. Indeed, it was necessary for its survival. But, it suffered the afflictions of empire and the resultant decay more quickly than capitalist structures. Of course, capitalism, particularly the financialization part of it, has it’s own issues.
    The economist F. Hayek was particularly insightful over half a century ago. Highly recommend “The Fatal Conceit”

  16. Amir says:

    If USA and USSR can get over their enmity (sort of although at this point in time there is a “reset” in the opposite direction), why would a client state be treated more harshly?
    As a side note; I agree with you that it is difficult to compare Che with Pinochet as the latter had actual power while the former, as an underdog, had the luxury of not having to use the iron fist to begin with. Maybe if his revolution had won, it would have devoured its children too, like the French, Russian, Chinese, …
    In that sense, maybe USA is unique although I am not well placed to comment on this as I have a very superficial knowledge of it’s history. More than a century after independence, Civil War can not be considered as a devouring of children, I presume.

  17. Amir says:

    You mean, will Mexicans forget Emiliano Zapata or French the Joan d’Arc?

  18. turcopolier says:

    I find it amusing that so many of you are still entranced by the romance of Cuban revolutionary communism. Perhaps this has something to do with your deep hostility to the United States. Buy a few more Guevara T-shirts as an investment. pl

  19. V Roux says:

    The Cuban revolutionary slogan most feared by the current regime “yo quiero x-box.”

  20. Medicine Man says:

    Eh, the world is going to move on without Fidel. If he wants to spend his time nursing old grudges, that is his privilege, but his country is far better off husbanding better relations with the USA.

  21. Sil says:

    Obama had to start the process now because the VP and expected next President of Cuba is seen by US as *NOT* a revolutionary. Start the long talks, like with Iran, then the NGO forces will slide in and “do their thing”. These things are already talked about in LA press. Fidel is talking to the Cuban people and the world reminding how relations have been last 50 years. He never misses a good opportunity to keep details fresh in the minds of the people.

  22. Thirdeye says:

    According to the British journalist John Wilson Hudson, who was detained along with Trafficante, he was visited by Jack Ruby. Ruby had previously told Robert McKeown, a gun runner that he was acquainted with, that he was going to Cuba to arrange for freedom for some friends.
    I’d read of the double agent theory as well, only centered on Johnny Roselli.

  23. The death of the Castro brothers IMO will prompt a FP crisis in the U.S.A. Why? The Borg and IC are unable to contemplate that these brothers will die. Np plans or analysis yet to my knowledge but again IMO the President’s Cuban efforts not planned by the Borg or IC!

  24. Thirdeye says:

    It being that he’s 89 years old and retired for health reasons, you may be right.

  25. Charlie Wilson says:

    No one loves us! Even dirty little Izzie hates us, and we have given her mother’s milk. Hope is on the way though what with Donald and Melania soon to ascend the throne; we won’t give a good sh*t whether any one likes us or not. Eff ’em!!!

  26. turcopolier says:

    Yes. He is a sorehead. pl

  27. turcopolier says:

    So, you think the Soviets forced those IRBMs on the Cubans? How naïve. pl

  28. Fred says:

    I think he means the way Southerners are supposed to forget R.E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis and great, great grandfathers and grandmothers, etc.

  29. LeaNder says:

    OB, did you read the version/translation below? Or is there a Spanish original text? A different translation?
    The whole text is pretty challenging, but I guess that’s one of the hardest passages to grasp. Seriously, what is he trying to tell us?
    Nitwit question, but I am always pleased, if someone helps me out: What could a former Cuban ambassador involved in events in Angola, could tell Fidel about US-Israel support to South Africa concerning the creation of the atom bomb? And why, in spite of the fact that he is called a friend of the academic, does Fidel need to track him down for him for a closer interview by “the esteemed academic” on matters, I suppose.
    “Regarding the episode in South Africa I must point out another experience. I was really interested in learning more about how the South Africans had acquired nuclear weapons. I only had very precise information that there were no more than 10 or 12 bombs.A reliable source was the professor and researcher Piero Gleijeses, who had written the text ‘Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976’, an excellent piece. I knew he was the most reliable source (on Cuban involvement in anti-Colonialist movements in Africa?) on what had happened and I told him so; he responded that he had not spoken more about the matter as in the text he had responded to questions from compañero Jorge Risquet, who had been Cuban ambassador and collaborator in Angola, a very good friend of his. I located Risquet; already undertaking other important tasks he was finishing a course which would last several weeks longer. That task coincided with a fairly recent visit by Piero to our country; I had warned him that Risquet was getting on and his health was not great. A few days later what I had feared occurred. Risquet deteriorated and died. When Piero arrived there was nothing to do except make promises(?promises by whom?), but I had already received information related to the weapons and the assistance that racist South Africa had received from Reagan and Israel.”
    Ok, now I look into this. Maybe it helps:
    Obama’s speech, that seems to have triggered this?

  30. LeaNder says:

    this fits as response, cynic.
    What about still present Guantanamericans?

  31. turcopolier says:

    Charlie Wilson
    I hope you understood that I could hardly care less about being liked. pl

  32. don says:

    I find it amusing that a few of you are still entranced by the romance of the Cold War and just can’t let go of hating Cuba.

  33. turcopolier says:

    I don’t hate Cuba, China or North Korea. I hate communism, and New Jersey. pl

  34. cynic says:

    I suppose the real Americans could go home. The tortured middle easterners, after their propaganda value to the Castros has been extracted, could probably help cut sugar cane.

  35. robt willmann says:

    J, Fred, Amir,
    There is of course a sense in all people and all creatures on the earth for “freedom” in its numerous expressions, and I think that it creates the ongoing appeal of some revolutionaries who have moved against oppressive central governments or oligarchies or both, even when what follows is not very good either.
    In San Antonio, Texas I would often go to Mexican bakeries and restaurants there. In a fair number of the restaurants, pictures of two men would be on the wall: Emiliano Zapata and Francisco “Pancho” Villa. In one large restaurant on the west side, there is also a fascinating old poster that recruited people from the U.S. to help fight in the Mexican Revolution. I need to go to the restaurant again to refresh my memory, but the poster asked especially for people with certain listed skills, and said that they would be paid in gold!
    In a few instances, in places with older owners, you would see a picture of a U.S. president. And who was that? John F. Kennedy.

  36. Old Microbiologist says:

    I don’t know a lot about this subject but I always thought it bizarre that we tried a forced regime change aka Bay of Pigs, over 600 assassination attempts, and almost went to nuclear war over the USSR trying to base nuclear missiles exactly as we have done in Europe. Personally, I think Castro was on the right side of things in this case. Yes, they could have been better off accepting US dominance as a colony like Puerto Rico, or perhaps far worse, depending on your perspective of what that means to you. There are plenty of examples of failed countries which, either by hook or by crook, aligned themselves with the US. Of course there are opposite examples of the fate of countries which defied US hegemony. Cuba, Venezuela, and now Brazil are examples of hybrid warfare by the US being conducted using the Color revolution playbook. Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Columbia, and Bolivia are next in line for US aggression. Our policies in Central and South America, similar to the ME, have been disastrous. I certainly understand Castro’s distrust of the US, and in particular anything coming from a well known liar like Obama. We tend to think that because we change political parties every 4 or 8 years that past sins are automatically negated with the next regime in Washington. But, people living outside the US who have been on the receiving end are not so willing to forgive and forget just because the next set of liars are in power.

  37. rjj says:

    Bad idea to menace a chihuahua – they overreact.

  38. turcopolier says:

    Who are the “real Americans” in your parable? pl

  39. Old Microbiologist says:

    No offense to anyone but I actually find it ironic that people who spend the majority of their lives living in the US military (myself included), which is in my experience, the most successful form of communism to ever have existed, hate communism. I realized that hanging out with some Russian sergeants in East Berlin in the early 70’s, that we were essentially the same and that in nearly every way the US. Military was more communist than the Soviet Union. It only made me even more cynical than before.

  40. turcopolier says:

    I AM offended. The collectivist life necessary to a military force is nothing like the imposition of Marxism-Leninism on a country. pl

  41. rjj says:

    ideology is just a container – the poison is fanaticism.

  42. turcopolier says:

    No. No. No. Marxism-Leninism is a poison. Jihadi sects in their interpretations of the roots of Islamic law are poison. The belief in American Exceptionalism is poison. Revisionist Zionism is poison. Ideas matter. Fanaticism just makes them even more deadly than they would have been without it. pl

  43. ked says:

    The US has a history with Cuba predating the 26th de Julio Movement. My view is that Castro was as much (or more!) Caudillo than Commie, that Communism was the ideology d’jour for his generation of patriot-activists (as well as a basis for indoctrinating not-so-educated peasants), & that US gov, corporate & criminal support for strongman / dictators (like Machado & Batista) was a powerful motivator for his generation of educated, home-grown radicals. Spanish-Cuban class & racial social status, resistance to modernity, impoverished peasantry… all fuel for the fire. Let’s not overlook that Fidel was not unhappy to see the charismatic Che head to S America.
    While the youth of Cuba may not know or care much about their history at the moment, history is none-the-less seeped into Cuba’s culture, even strangled as it has been for a half century. It reminds us that ideology is tempered (on occasion, even trumped) by history, culture & character(s). It reminds me of Falkner’s observation about the South and history.

  44. turcopolier says:

    The US did not do much to support Batista in his war against Castro’s mini-army of guerrillas. the main reason for that was that the US IC did not think he was a communist or necessarily an enemy of the US. It was only he had succeeded that he began to reveal his allegiance to Marxism-Leninism and an affinity for the USSR. pl

  45. Babak Makkinejad says:

    And no Juarez?
    Sad to hear that.

  46. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Batista just gave up; he packed and left Cuba for US. That is how the guerrillas won; by default.

  47. turcopolier says:

    Yes, Eisenhower thought he was a jerk and it was made clear that the US would not do much for him. pl

  48. cynic says:

    The real Americans in my opinion are the guards and staff at Guantanamo. It’s difficult to believe that the country which boasts a nuclear powered navy really needs to retain a coaling station in Cuba, even for eavesdropping purposes. Supposing that after 600 or so attempts, the CIA finally managed to give the Castros stomach bugs, what interest could there seriously be in the rumbles they might detect? Why not just leave the Cubans to rust and rot?
    Someone else who does not love ‘you’, to more effect; or anyone else but the Israelis as long as they keep the money coming, is Mrs. Clinton. She is far more dangerous to the USA and the rest of the world than the Castros have been since their heyday.
    Following the revelation that amongst the technically secret information in her emails was a gem about potential political upheaval in the rather unimportant place called Sudan, has come the disclosure that she promoted the chaos in Syria to help the Israelis, because they were sensitive about possibly losing their middle eastern nuclear monopoly.
    That’s rather a lot of other people’s money and blood to have squandered. If she ever got out of an American jail for her other crimes, she and her lawyers should have a date with the International War Crimes Court in the Hague.

  49. Jaques Tata says:

    What, no mention of Luis Posada Carriles: the CIA asset responsible for the bombing of Cubana Airlines flight 455, which killed 73 civilians? Fidel really should appreciate that we only did it out of love for the Cuban people.

  50. C Webb says:

    He has his own imdb page…..
    Started his acting career way back in 1946.

  51. Bill Herschel says:

    I think the pertinent question today is whether Putin has a right to be perplexed and annoyed at being surrounded by nukes a spitting distance away and having one regime change operation after another aimed either directly at him or just beside him.
    When you witness a country spending $500 billion a year on its armed forces and attempting to impose its ideas on every other nation on earth, can you be excused for acting?
    The question is, Who’s got he moxie? This interview should worry the world dominators (my apologies that it is taken from Andrei Raevsky’s blog, but there is a link to the Russian original for the Russophones].
    Maybe the most pertinent question is, Would $300 billion be enough?

  52. Croesus says:

    thx for the laugh
    I once told someone who accused me of dangerous thoughts that I wished harm to no one, with the possible exception of William F Buckley.
    I’ve since changed my mind on Buckley.

  53. turcopolier says:

    Jacques Tata The assumption that this guy bombed that airplane for the United States is pretty far fetched. pl

  54. Juarez was from an earlier generation. Villa and Zapata fought in the Revolution of 1910.

  55. turcopolier says:

    There was actually an arms embargo declared by the US in 1958. That pretty well finished Batista off. pl

  56. ked says:

    While we didn’t go big time in supporting Batista militarily (& yes, we did withhold F-80s and forced / allowed him to get his small arms from Trujillo, Somoza & private US sources like Interarms), we did little to influence his behavior. Given our history of direct intervention in Cuban affairs and the role of US business interests there, maybe we should’ve made it known we weren’t in the game anymore. Woulda thunk a disaffected member of the elite would defeat Batista with a rabble of peasants in such a short time?
    As to the conviction he came to Communism late or had always hidden it there is & was then debate…
    I can understand that our IC was not paying close / accurate attention to what was known (or believed) about Castro… oversight & mistaken analysis happens. And Castro was an intelligent & crafty player, to put it mildly. My Mom’s Cuban friends in Havana at the time told her he was Communist, before and during the revolution. {maybe their pov isn’t to be trusted – “the other guy’s a Commie!” was often argued in hopes of triggering US action to prop up Old Orders}
    Nobody liked Batista, but the Mafia… he was a greedy cold-blooded killer, like them. Fidel’s quote from Willman’s above post is indeed telling, “I am… a man who does things…” Perhaps Communism was to him just another tool to achieve his personal goal… to make Cuba independent fused with his drive to become a hero like Marti. Maybe he was a romantic after all.

  57. ked says:

    No… Cubans hated & feared Batista… even the upper class who would normally support a reliable despot. He was owned by the Mafia. His security service tortured people in the basements of their mansions – in the nicest neighborhoods. His field army wouldn’t fight & die for him. You can call that default if you want.

  58. turcopolier says:

    Thanks for telling us, belatedly, that you have a dog in this fight. Cuba was a minor matter for the US in 1958. It never looks that way from the POV of the locals. The Soviet Union was where all US eyes were focused. Eisenhower did think he was a jerk, a jumped up little thug who had gotten lucky. We didn’t pay enough attention? Sure… but the world is a big place. When Eisenhower found out what Castro really was he started trying to get rid of him. pl

  59. Medicine Man says:

    OMB: I’m not really talking about the past. Moving forward it is clearly best for Cuba if they thaw their relations with The States. I think it is quite possible to improve relations from their current frigid state while avoiding becoming a vassal.

  60. Fred says:

    I first visited Peru it was only a few years after the Shining Path had strung up the dogs in Lima to announce “The Revolution” headed by Professor Abigail Guzmán. Now I sadly learn from OMB (above) that Peru is “next in line for US Aggression”. Just what we would want from Peru that we couldn’t buy with dollars God only knows.

  61. Fred says:

    “It’s difficult to believe that the country which boasts a nuclear powered navy really needs to retain a coaling station in Cuba,…”
    It’s difficult to believe we need Puerto Rico either, especially since the fine politicians there haven’t figured out how to balance a budget in over a decade and expect the rest of the Republic to reward them for that egregious mismanagement with a bail out.

  62. bth says:

    It will be interesting to see the collapse of Venezuela in full bloom this year as oil prices are not rebounding and the government is hopeless. And then where will the Castro brothers get their oil? Iran perhaps, or not? The Castro brothers had a great run to be sure, but there is only so many years you can get out of 1958 chevys.

  63. ked says:

    thanks for your concise summation of how it looked from the top down at the time.
    I was 5yrs old & Dad was USAF mission. I really don’t think I have a dog in it so much as a perspective borne of life-long curiosity about what went down and why. The posting had minor impact on the family’s subsequent life. After 2 wars, it wasn’t much of a deal to Dad. Mom found it interesting ’cause the entertainers & Mafioso were the same gang she’d known of in NYC growing up. Meanwhile, living just outside DC when JFK was killed, w/ Oswald’s Cuban angle, added another dimension. Funny how little things in a big place can resonate through life & times. the backgrounds of correspondents and quality of discourse on SST is makes this a neat place to share.

  64. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I was not defending Batista, only observing that he gave up.
    I am sure what you have written about him is correct. And over time, it seems, European-Americans left Cuba but African-Americans and other mixed races remained in Cuba.
    I think like many other leaders, such as Reza Shah, Nasser, Qaddafi, Mao, Mubarak, to name a few, he also had his positive role to play in the history of his country.
    Had he had remained in office for no more than a decade, I imagine he would have been a hero to all of Latin Americans by now. But like Mubarak, he stayed on and on and on…
    And his rigid insistence on opposing “small production” – a Leninist Principle – surely contributed a lot to the pervasive poverty of that island over the decades.
    I wonder which one was worse, the agri-business model of the capitalist that caused high food prices through the displacement of food crops by cash crops, or the inefficient and corrupt government-controlled collective farms.
    Did he ever nationalize his family’s plantation?
    Probably not. A real Galician.

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I know that.
    Juarez did more for Mexico than anyone since.
    Yet he is forgotten.

  66. turcopolier says:

    What is “USAF mission?” pl

  67. J says:

    It appears that an American Conglomerate called walleyworld won a tax war with the ‘let’s tax our way out of our fiscal quagmire’ Puerto Rico politicians. A fed judge said ‘no no mr bill’ to the PR taxistasas. US enterprise reigns, or is it Chinese? Always wondered why they moved their world purchasing hub to Beijing back in the 90s, but given their global perspective, it makes fiscal sense.

  68. LeaNder says:

    ked, I have no “dog in the fight” either.
    But never mind, I grew up across the big ocean, South America and it’s history, especially its post WWII history is a bit of my own life too.
    I have to admit that while Castro’s letter may be somewhat “incommuncado” to a world that changed it did trigger a lot of memories. Just as, secret romantic that I am, Che Guevara did. I simply was too bookish to follow his path. But yes, I would never buy or bought a Che skirt. I am not an advertising column after all. The very reason I don’t buy aggressively visible brands.
    Concerning your “corporate & criminal support for strongman / dictators (like Machado & Batista)”
    While reading your comments, I realized that up to this day, I boycott Bananas of specific corporations and their respective corporate descendants. Which made me look up recent history. Random pick:
    Does that make me an ideologue? Maybe? …
    Back to incommunicado. How’s the War on Drugs doing? How much was spent on it since the times of Nixon?
    Castro’s letter reminded me of my interest and my discovery of some people like e.g. W.E.B du Bois and the larger Pan-African solidarity movement. … and without doubt McCarthy … the larger American trauma surrounding a series of assassinations …
    … all that starting with Kennedy’s assassination which triggered a huge ceremony in my school then, and thus is part of my own history over here. Never mind, how young I was. … I was also embarrassed. I did not even realize who the man was. But had flue. In other words found it hard to stop tears. … Now the ceremony itself, and it was huge, in hindsight is interesting.
    Concerning Che, obviously Pat only could have fought his descendants, but I assume that once Che choose the path of war, he knew he could die. …
    What’s the exact difference between the guerillas then, and the “non-state-actors” we face now? Put another way, what triggered the rise of religion as ideological force to the extend we face it today?

  69. turcopolier says:

    “obviously Pat only could have fought his descendants” What on earth are you talking about in this phrase and indeed in the whole rant? You had a schoolgirl crush on Guevara? So what? pl

  70. Fred says:

    “European-Americans left Cuba but African-Americans and other mixed races remained in Cuba.”
    Do you mean Cuban’s of African decent as opposed to African Americans?

  71. ked says:

    My Dad was the Deputy Chief of Mission for the USAF to the Cuban gov, out of the US Embassy in Havana… spent a lot of time at Campo Columbia airfield, not so much at Guantanamo. I suppose I can dig up his DD-214.

  72. LeaNder says:

    No crush, Pat, ever.
    Approaching the topic, if you allow: Concerning Kennedy, I was way too young to understand the huge ceremony his assassination triggered over here. I was a kid then.
    Crushes on someone, beyond interest in people, that’s a question I have never really clarified for myself, I have to admit. Monade?
    At the time of the Kennedy ceremony, in my then place and school, I had this classmate, who was a brilliant draftsman (not technical, but drawing using a pencil). I don’t think I ever had a crush on him, other then recognizing his talent. But he also always had a cat in his drawings hidden somewhere. I had no idea why I didn’t like cats, but I made me find out by asking my mother. Which helped in the end. I do love them now. 😉

  73. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I meant to remind everyone that Cubans are also Americans; just like Chileans or Bolivians.

  74. Imagine says:

    There is evidence the President is bound by a top secret verbal treaty such that he is not permitted to talk about Israeli nuclear weapons. This apparently dates to Nixon. I can’t guess what hold Israel might have over America that would continue to enforce this, but certainly two weeks after Israel build their first nukes, they successfully invaded Egypt. I speculate that the code for this treaty is “our special relationship”. The lawmakers have apparently also made it a felony for anyone with a clearance to discuss Israeli nuclear weapons publicly, which, if accurate, has a definite chilling effect on free speech necessary for America’s security. I find it sad that even the President is bound. Israel has won the last couple of rounds, and now effectively controls America more than I feel comfortable with.

  75. turcopolier says:

    OK. No crush. The Kennedy funeral was normal for a dead president whether in or out of office. Since the office holder is both head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces the dead’un (colloquial)is given a military funeral by the military. the murder and the spectacle of the young widow with her children only heightened emotions at the time. I was in Alaska at the time and watched the funeral on TV. I had been in the man’s inaugural parade. pl

  76. Fred says:

    That’s true and yet entirely misunderstood as most think US citizens when the term “American” is used.

  77. Babak Makkinejad says:

    My sense of it has been that there is resentment against that usage – applying the name of a continent to citizens of USA exclusively – in Latin America.

  78. LeaNder says:

    Pat, I am not talking about the funeral, but what it triggered over here. The hole school was given an extra day off after a huge ceremony commemorating Kennedy’s assassination. I was way too young to recall anything but the flu.
    Maybe, it happend because of his famous: Ich bin ein Berliner? Although, there was this other teacher that taught us all the American traditionals, he was a refugee from Russian camps. Somehow made it out and managed to return home, he told us. Sometimes he told us stories about the camp. Strictly in that part of Germany the French were in charge.
    I have no idea. But I also found out that Kennedy’s dead got hardly any attention in the highschool I wound up later. But that school was also somewhat traumatic for me.
    Thus: anti-American, no, I do not think so, but curious about people and events that shaped my own limited world, no doubt.
    What caught my attention more recently concerning the US in 1968 are the superdelegates:

  79. WILL says:

    Had read somewhere that the CIA and United Fruit Company overthrow of land-reforming Guatemalan president Guzman ( had a lot to do with the radicalization of Che. Don’t know about Fidel. But it just seemed that progress by snout counting (democratic means) was not going to work, that it had to be revolution. Then in further hindsight, factor in the overthrow of Allende.
    Inequality, whether in land, wealth, or power is the mother of revolutions. Professor Pareto observed in Italy that 20% of the population owned 80% of the wealth. Then he discovered it was pretty much the same or even more lopsided in most countries. The rule applies to capitalist countries, communist countries (where the elite control things), democratic, or fascist- it’s all the same.
    In the U.S. it has become more lopsided with 1% controlling 99% of the resources. A further wrinkle is that most of the 1% are Jewish Americans. Kind of like the overseas Chinese in some Asian countries. In the U.S., hasn’t that skewed our Mideast & North Africa foreign and military policy so that it is not an America-First policy but an Israel First policy? It is not academic because haven’t a million civilians died, 5K of them American troops, and trillions of dollars wasted?
    On communism, I spend a year of my life in combat fighting it on the DMZ in Vietnam. On second thought and from what I read, the North’s motivation was national unification and not spreading communism, and we are buddies with them now. I’ve noticed that in some of the blogs regarding the battles, they are called PVA (People’s Vietnam Army) instead of NVA. That shows some reconciliation.
    On second and third thought, wouldn’t we had been better off not overthrowing the Communist Afghan government by weaponizing the Wahabbi and Deobandi fundamentalists? At least back then weren’t there widespread girl’s schools and some hint of coming modernity?
    Our ideals are the best in the world, but sometimes the practice of them falls short. I often wonder how different the U.S. would be today if Sherman’s plan of 40 acres and a mule for freed slaves had not been scuttled. But then there is Pareto, even with land reform, don’t the oligarchs eventually make a comeback and the lopsidedness & inequality comes back?
    Don’t have answers, just questions. I have to agree with the Col. that the Cuban missiles were placed at the instigation of Fidel and would go further to say that he even wanted them fired at one point. The Castro brothers are octagenarians plus and will be gone soon. There won’t be too many tears shed for them in the United States.

  80. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think a number of his step-siblings are still alive; they are over 100 years old now.

  81. LeaNder says:

    “would go further to say that he even wanted them fired at one point”
    the narrative on Che’s Wikipedia bio somehow puts the blame on Che. On the other hand their is what on first sight looks like a quote by Che from the most best sold, I guess, bio. The intrinsics behind quotation marks. Thankfully whoever quoted it was as precise to also link to the documents #cum’ first impressions … Or was it a collective effort? … troubles with airplanes???
    I enormously enjoyed your comment. Bobs and Wills? How frequent is Will in the US?
    We do have these wealth statistics over here too by now. Or someone simply was inspired by the 1 % debate in the US. Quite possibly we may be the worst in all in Europe. The tiny bit of news I caught at least suggested it. But then it was about Germany only, if I recall correctly. Thus it didn’t have a comparative perspective.

  82. LeaNder says:

    sorry, there may have been a mental shortcut, a bit rash?, and in hindsight I am not sure if I–mentally–connected strictly unconnected matters, in my response.
    Did I simply connect to other matters that left traces. I cannot check yet, what I wrote. But yes, quotation marks and their implications are a longer and more interesting obsession of mine. What is the statistical percentage of matters we read and matters we cite in dedication to one author that shaped our perception? Put another way was helpful? Or … 😉

  83. Thomas says:

    Miss Meanders,
    If what you have said here over the years is true, then you were thirteen at the time. Too young for understanding?
    You have also shared that you were schooled in the Darkh Art of Public Relations. In those recent conversations, you had a mini-meltdown when a cherished belief was challenged. It was enlightening because the Ditzy Deutsch Dame game face fell and the mask of a Mata Hari Hasbari was revealed. Now the suspicion isn’t new and not really that important, but when newcomers here wanted a Plankholder like you to walk one, I stood up for you so a measure of accountability lies with me.
    So getting to the point, you rudely interrupted the Happy Easter thread with a tale of beheadings. Colonel Lang asked you for proof and you have not answered. Please do so.
    Colonel Lang, my apology for going off topic.

  84. LeaNder says:

    you are right 13, I guess, Thomas. Diving into the scene it felt a lot younger.
    Look, I am sorry, that I drifted off in this context, deeper then I should have sunken into time and space. Something took over. I guess I know why. But that’s a topic for a analyst …
    “Darkh Art of Public Relations. … Ditzy Deutsch Dame game face fell and the mask of a Mata Hari Hasbari was revealed”
    love it. 😉 Funny. Ganny Mata.
    But I take the hint. For my own self-explorations I’ll resort to a diary. … “Plankholder”, trollism, tag teams? I guess, I am not sure I can judge that.
    Beheadings: Will look for the link/photo that was on my mind, when responding. It left an imprint …
    “I stood up for you so a measure of accountability lies with me.”
    Please, don’t. Not worth it. Seriously. Babbling devours time and attention. Beyond creating clutter. I can always simply read. 😉

  85. different clue says:

    I guess the way we will know that the Cubans are finally “over it” is if/when it becomes legal there to have posters and T-shirts bearing this image. (Click little image in upper right to embiggen).

  86. different clue says:

    If Walleyworld means WalMart, then since they get the vast bulk of their goods from China (except for food perhaps), then it makes sense to have their global purchasing hub right on the spot where their global mass-crap production facilities are.
    And I have read that WalMart has extensive grocery sections now . . . including current or prospective Organic Food sections priced for the rest of us. But they will source that Organic Food from China mainly. “Would you like some organic melamine in your organic tofu?”

  87. Thomas says:

    “I stood up for you so a measure of accountability lies with me.”
    “Please, don’t. Not worth it. Seriously. Babbling devours time and attention. Beyond creating clutter. I can always simply read. ;)”
    It is the nature of my soul.

  88. different clue says:

    I thought I remember reading that he had a personal grudge against America in particular from his law school and early lawyering days. And he seized on Communism as a way to upset and offend America more than anything else would have. So perhaps he was driven by spitred and hatred most of all.

  89. optimax says:

    different clue
    This is my favorite National Lampoon covers-
    They ended publication in 1998 and America hasn’t been the same since.
    I think it was stupid of Obama to have his picture taken with Che’s face on the wall behind him. He might have thought it was hip.

  90. rjj says:

    looking at the issues of NL. had forgotten how good it was. with people like that running the show we really should be in better shape. wonder where it all went wrong.
    more retrospection — along with grim prospects:
    no Nicaraguans. only former clients. why is that?

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