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Archive for the ‘Cuba’ Category

Dumb Choices: Why Hillary should not be president

Posted by Charles II on October 2, 2014

I had five minutes to read Hillary Clinton’s book, Hard Choices, so I skimmed 10 pages on Latin America. Although I knew where she stood on Honduras, reading her explanation about that and the ongoing Cuban embargo made me realize how much contempt she has for Latin America.

I’m not a fan of Fidel Castro. Read Havana Nocturne (T.J. English) and see if it doesn’t raise questions in your mind about his character. I do recognize that he has done some good things, both in ending extreme poverty in Cuba and in terms of opposing apartheid and elevating world health. But I recognize that he’s done it through undemocratic means. That’s Realpolitik: understanding why leaders can be bad people yet popular, or at least more popular than the alternative.

But the embargo against Cuba–which was just extended for a year–is not just a “relic of the Cold War.” It is a flagrantly and increasingly illegal act, condemned by the entire world. Not even the U.K., not even Japan, not even Poland stands with us (Israel does). But Hillary Clinton goes along with the US line that we have to continue to isolate ourselves in order to force the Cuban government to democratize.

Even though it hasn’t worked for 52 years.

Even though the only people really hurt by it are the Cuban people.

And, according to Hillary, any Latin American country that sees the embargo not as a quaint “relic”, one that we can keep around out of fondness for the death and misery it causes, but as U.S. bullying (not to mention arrogance and stupidity) must be a commie creep like that Chaaavez fellow.

That is not leadership, Madame Secretary. That is contempt for Latin America and for the intelligence of your readers.

And then there’s Honduras. And Nicaragua. And Venezuela. And Brazil (!) All of whom are/were run by “strongmen.” Manuel Zelaya of Honduras is even the “caricature of a strongman.”

No, Madame Secretary. You’re a caricature of American arrogance and blindness. And your justification for your actions during the Honduran coup is transparently dishonest. You tell us that Oscar Arias (correctly) told you that a military coup against a democratically-elected leader could have a “domino effect” throughout a region that had been plagued by coups and dictatorship. You were most entertained by this “novel interpretation” (if I recall your phrase correctly) of the domino theory.

FFFFFFF. If this is the sort of contempt for Latin America that you display in public, what you must feel in your heart!

No more fake Democrats, please.

Posted in Brazil, Chavez, Cuba, Honduras, impunity, Latin America, Venezuela | 6 Comments »

Another war prevented accidentally by electing a Democrat

Posted by Charles II on October 1, 2014

As much as I criticize Barack Obama for his overuse of military force, I am pretty sure it would be a lot worse if John McCain or Mitt Romney were in charge. Here’s a bit of history that should scare us all:

Washington, DC, October 1, 2014 — Secretary of State Henry Kissinger ordered a series of secret contingency plans that included airstrikes and mining of Cuban harbors in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s decision to send Cuban forces into Angola in late 1975, according to declassified documents made public today for the first time. “If we decide to use military power it must succeed. There should be no halfway measures,” Kissinger instructed General George Brown of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during a high-level meeting of national security officials on March 24, 1976, that included then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “I think we are going to have to smash Castro,” Kissinger told President Ford. “We probably can’t do it before the [1976 presidential] elections.” “I agree,” the president responded.

The story of Kissinger’s Cuban contingency planning was published today in a new book, “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana,” co-authored by American University professor William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh, who directs the National Security Archive’s Cuba Documentation Project.

The Cubans, you may recall, were in Angola to resist the brutal South African invasion of that country, an invasion intended to squelch any resistance to apartheid.

Our leaders are insane. Especially, most especially, the Republicans. Ironic that both Kissinger and Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe next year we can award it to Vladimir Putin.

Posted in abuse of power, Africa, Cuba, Richard Nixon | 6 Comments »

GOP Cuba hypocrisy

Posted by Charles II on August 29, 2012


AL FOX: You know, there could be no better example of the tragedy of the issue of United States-Cuba relations than the position that Paul Ryan now takes. It’s simply about money and pandering. That’s it. An aside, also Mitt Romney, when he was the governor of Massachusetts, supported diplomatic relations with Cuba. And the issue is that you have a handful of people in Miami that are driven by vengeance and hatred. The policy of the United States towards Cuba has absolutely nothing to do with Fidel Castro, human rights violation, political prisoners. It has everything to do with vengeance and hatred and cheap political money. And the minute that Ryan was tapped for this position to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, a lot of us said, “Well, we’ve lost Ryan.” And, to be fair, that happens about as often in the Democratic Party, as well.

AL FOX: I mean, many people think that the Democratic Party is better in—or more progressive view on U.S.-Cuba politics. That’s the perception. The reality is not. You only have to look at the head of the Democratic Party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, congresswoman from South Florida. Her position on Cuba is now exactly like Paul Ryan’s position.

AL FOX: … What the state senator [Anitere Flores] doesn’t tell you is how personal this is for so many there. Mario Diaz-Balart, the congressman, and his brother, a former congressman, they’re Fidel Castro’s nephews. They never tell you that. These congressmember’s, they are Fidel Castro’s nephews. They never tell you that. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s father was a major in the Batista army. They never tell you that. Gloria Estefan’s father—very famous singer—her father was chief of security for Fulgencio Batista. What’s the point? For them, it’s hatred and vengeance. It’s like the Hatfields and the McCoys. It’s personal for them.

AL FOX: …And Marco Rubio, some of the things he said, I mean, they’re just outright lies. I mean, he is a creation of the media. Ted Cruz said his father was brutally beaten and tortured in a Cuban jail. The implication was that it was in a Castro jail, OK? Well, Ted Cruz’s father came to the United States in 1957, and I’m trying to—I think he was 17 or 18 years old…. if his father came here in 1957 as a 17-, 18-year-old student to attend the University of Texas, when was he brutally tortured in the Cuban jails? When was it? When he was 12 or 13 or 14? And was he fighting with Fidel against Batista when he was 12, 13? They make great stories. But the thing is the same way it is with Marco Rubio’s family, OK?

Posted in Cuba, Republicans acting badly | Comments Off on GOP Cuba hypocrisy

From Hell’s Heart, The Bush Department Of State Spits At Cuba

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 11, 2009

The latest news on Cuba is the release of a 2007 report written by Bush State Department officials that accuses the Castro régime of, among other things, poisoning the pets of US diplomats assigned to Cuba with the alleged “apparent goal” being “to instigate dissension within USINT ranks”.

Funnily enough, I would think that such treatment, far from instigating dissension, would put the US’ diplomatic/spy ranks into Circle The Wagons Mode. To me it sounds suspiciously like the bogus “they broke Elian’s bed!” and “they broke the bedroom doors!” stories from 2000.

I wonder if this story is being released as some sort of pushback on the part of outgoing or burrowed-in Bush DoSers against Obama’s and the current Congress’ plans to try and put US-Cuban relations on something resembling a sane footing?

Posted in Bush, Cuba, WTF? | Comments Off on From Hell’s Heart, The Bush Department Of State Spits At Cuba

Obama Partially Lifting Cuba Travel Ban

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 4, 2009

He’s allowing family travel, which is the most he can do right now. It’s up to Congress to remove the ban in its entirety, and Richard Lugar’s putting forth a bill to do just that.

Looks like sanity may be coming to Cuban-American relations. (h/t John Campanelli.)

Posted in 111th Congress, Cuba, doing the right thing, President Obama | Comments Off on Obama Partially Lifting Cuba Travel Ban

Havana Nocturne, by T.J. English

Posted by Charles II on November 25, 2008

This is a tremendously important book for understanding American foreign policy and its failures. Most of the book deals with the subversion of the Cuban government by the American Mafia under the leadership of Meyer Lansky (Suchowljanski) and Charles “Lucky” Luciano in the aftermath of WW II. It shows how deeply “gangsterismo,” a reliance on– or perhaps a romantic attachment to–extralegal methods came to permeate Cuban society, including the revolutionary movement of Fidel Castro. And it illustrates how the American government played both sides of the fence, providing military aid to both the government of Fulgencio Batista and to Fidel Castro. Perhaps most important, it has application to the narcostates the US government has helped to come into existence in Mexico and Colombia.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cuba, wrong way to go about it | 3 Comments »

Sunday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 24, 2008


— The Nation’s Nancy Cleeland: No, it’s not your imagination. The decades-long decline in the financial status of anyone not already at the top of the income heap (a decline that was seriously interrupted during the Clinton years, but started up again once Bush took over) has accelerated in the last year. No wonder that the British middle class does much better than ours. (Oh, and the rich are getting vastly richer while we lose ground.)

Dday describes Howard Dean’s most excellent takedown of serial liar John McCain.

Robert Parry: “In 1976, when George H.W. Bush was CIA director, the U.S. government tolerated right-wing terrorist cells inside the United States and mostly looked the other way when these killers topped even Palestinian terrorists in spilling blood, including a lethal car bombing in Washington, D.C., according to newly obtained internal government documents.” Why? Because the masterminds were U.S.-based right-wing Cuban exiles with whom Bush’s CIA was working, that’s why.

Posted in Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, capitalism as cancer, Cuba, economy, income inequality, John McCain, liars, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans, terrorism | 1 Comment »

I Hope The Folks At Salon and The Nation Have Good Guard Dogs

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 15, 2008

They’re going to need them:

Anti-Castro Cuban exiles who have been linked to bombings and assassinations are living free in Miami. Does the U.S. government have a double standard when it comes to terror?

It sure does.

Posted in colonial wars, corruption, Cuba, terrorism, WTF? | 1 Comment »

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