JFK was probably the first American President to realize that Fidel Castro was a very difficult man to frighten; he was courage personified, added to that was a fine mind, an enormous doze of charisma and the absolute conviction that his cause was just. Kennedy knew after the Bay of Pigs invasion that he would either have to bomb the island back to the Stone Age; make some kind of deal or; create a “Mexican Stand Off” The hawks advising him knew that the bombing was not an option no matter how much they wished it was; the deal with a communist regime was likewise a non starter and, they therefore settled for the 3rd. solution. They wrongly assumed that a tiny 3rd. world country would be unable to survive the hostility and power of the worlds mightiest super power, the rest as they say is history, history created in no small part by the man who was to become one of the century’s greatest icons, a beacon of hope to millions and a hate figure to those who felt threatened by his communist revolution, Fidel Castro.
At his trial in 19 53 for the attack on the Moncada Barracks which saw him go to prison Fidel said “Condemn me. It does not matter. history will absolve me” fast forward 50 years and the new president of America Barak Obama is putting in place measures which should have been put in place by Kennedy and every other American president since, like Vietnam, the ingredient that none of us foresaw was the speed of developing communications. Vietnam was lost because the world was watching it on TV and Cuba was also in the public eye making it more and more difficult for the Americans to justify their aggression against their tiny Cuban neighbours. As Ali said to the visibly tiring Foreman in the “rumble in the jungle” “George you’re in the wrong place to get tired” So it was with successive presidents who found themselves facing the wrong man to get tired against, none of them wanted to be the one to say “uncle” for fear of being branded soft on communism, Obama’s stance is made to look all the more courageous when you consider the posturing of past incumbents.
It’s no secret that I am a huge admirer of Fidel and the Cuban revolution, their achievements in education health and housing are the stuff of legend; particularly as the USA stood over them snarling. I wonder what is going through Castro’s mind now; no one can seriously doubt that he has triumphed and so has Cuba, they have better infant mortality rates as well as better literacy and numeracy rates than their mighty neighbour; Fidel will as usual play this cleverly; this is where he wants to be heading and he will play the ageing diplomatic statesman to the manner born. He knows that the key to Cuba’s future is co-operation with America and he also knows that Obama knows that America’s position on Cuba at a time when they are dealing with China, Russia and even North Korea is becoming more and more untenable and also making America look like a foolish bully.
No USA president has ever been a match for him and Obama will be all to aware of that; he will make the right noises and make progress gradually, this will still take time and it’s only the beginning but it’s a hugely significant start. The American Senators who met Castro described a friendly, fit, healthy man whose mind was as sharp as ever despite his age, He must be overjoyed at seeing this turn of events, he is back at centre stage again and even his enemies must be wondering what they are up against. If he meets Obama the fly on the wall in Castro’s office will have the most envied position in the political world for that meeting.
If I were Fidel I would be tempted to say to Obama; “welcome Mr. President as you can see we are still standing and still maintaining our revolution, what has happened to America? It looks like Capitalism collapsed before Cuba did” he won’t of course; he is a lot smarter than me; a lot smarter than a lot of folk in fact. If only he were 20 years younger.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
"REPORTS OF MY DEATH ARE AN EXAGERATION" - (EL COMMANDANTE FIDEL) - (AFTER MARK TWAIN)
Posted by Cllr Terry Kelly at Thursday, April 09, 2009
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"It’s no secret that I am a huge admirer of Fidel"
You mean, you like locking up political opponents and torturing them, and enjoy the sight of people risking their lives to paddle across the sea so desperate are they to reach, er, America?
(David Duff) 09/04/09
This response is staggeringly simplistic, there are people all over the world who risk danger to gain access to other countries, the Chinese who died at Morecambe bay were illegal immigrants, 30 or so died when their raft sank off Italy a couple of years ago, dead bodies are regularly discovered in lorries at places like Dover, there are approx. 12 million illegal immigrants in America.
Cuba is a very poor country thanks to the American embargo; there are mainly 2 types who try to reach America, those who think that they are going to live in a place like ‘Southfork’ and those who know a bit better but are prepared to take the risk of survival among the underclass on the street.
Perhaps you believe that they can’t wait to get to the country which has more people in jail than any other in the world, where there are 100,000 homeless in L.A. alone, where 20,000 people sleep rough in New York City and there is much more, America by the way sends them back, unless they are top class baseball players and therefore valuable.
"Perhaps you believe that they can’t wait to get to the country which has more people in jail ... [etc, etc]"
Er, yes I do believe it, Councillor, because it happens. Are you indicating that it does not? And if we can agree that it does happen, isn't it time you took a fresh look at your hero?
(David Duff) 11:16
I think I explained why are you not following this?
I can feel your pain David you threw in your lot with the mighty American thoroughbred against a tiny weak opponent and here we are 50 years later and the thoroughbred is limping and wheezing with it’s banks and financial institutions crippled; it’s jails holding the most prisoners of any country in the world, countless thousands homeless and thousands of no go areas where you can be shot for the price of a burger, The Florida Cubans are famous for the last activity.
Meanwhile Cuba and Fidel march on educating, feeding, housing and providing health care for all it's people
You really are up against it trying to condemn Cuba.
I'm not condemning Cuba, Councillor, the whole wretched place is of no interest to me and they, under their glorious leader, can go on shooting, torturing and imprisoning their own people for as long as they like.
Nor can I be bothered to say much about the USA except to point to the astonishing fact, well astonishing given *your* perception of the place, that zillions of people all over the world would risk death for a chance to live there.
Has Fidel carried out his 1959 manifesto commitment to provide free swimming pools?
I hear Fidels on his last legs, I wonder if they'll stuff him to put on public display like the other dictators you love so. The cult of the Dictator eh Tel, cower the people by fear.
If Cubans are as you say shooting, torturing and imprisoning their own people why is America admitting they were wrong and now showing a willingness to deal with them?
This will be the 3 Rd. time I have tried to explain this to you but, “Zillions” of people all over the world would risk death for a chance to live in many, many places, is that difficult for you to grasp?
I doubt if free swimming pools would be a great priority on a small island with a climate like Cuba’s.
I can’t think of any country that doesn’t have statues of people who are seen as heroes by some and total rascals by others, think about Britain to start with.
It must be hellish for you goons to see the carnage that capitalism has caused, the people losing homes, jobs, savings etc. while Fidel is still standing, still defiant, unconquerable, a truly great man.
If Cubans are as you say shooting, torturing and imprisoning their own people why is America admitting they were wrong and now showing a willingness to deal with them?But according to the likes of you, Councillor, America always supports murderous South American regimes!
Weak; irrelevant and evasive, typical of how all your arguments end.
“not with a bang but with a whimper” - T.S. Elliot.
Leaving aside the fact that castro and Che between them murdered thousands of their countrymen and ruined what was once a relatively prosperous economy, there is the often-overlooked episode of locking up homosexuals in harsh labour camps:
Face it, Castro is an evil dictator, and your support for him puts you on a par with loons who supported Apartheid.
I get the distinct impression that you are smarting at Fidel’s success, I feel your pain, America hasn’t lost such an uneven fight since they lost to Vietnam, despite using huge bombs and wholesale torture which they have preserved to this day.
The world’s greatest super power gubbed on two occasions by two tiny 3rd. world countries no wonder you hide your identity.
Fidel and Che fought a brutal revolutionary battle to free Cuba from the grip of fascist American controlled politicians and gangsters, they are deservedly recognised as heroes and; it was a privilege to witness to their triumph.
"Fidel and Che fought a brutal revolutionary battle to free Cuba from the grip of fascist American controlled politicians and gangsters, they are deservedly recognised as heroes and; it was a privilege to witness to their triumph."
At least get the basic facts of your own hagiography correct. Castro launched a non-partisan, democratic revolution to overthrow the corrupt dictator Batista, and was applauded by almost all Cubans and the United States at the time.
His increasing dictatorial tendencies caused resentment among Cubans, culminating in the Bay of Pigs invasion, and it was only at that point that he declared himself a socialist/communist as a means of legitamising his rule and gaining support from foreign allies.
Then and only then - some time after he took power - did he launch a civil war against all who were opposed to his mad vision of collective agriculture and communist utopia.
You seem to be so blinkered by your hatred of the United States that you regard any country that "stands up" to it as deserving of praise, even where said nations are in reality despicable dictatorships. A similar phenomenon was observed at the turn of the century, when many Americans and Europeans admired the Boers for "standing up" to the British Empire, and turned a blind eye to the fact that they were less than honorable themselves.
There must be a whole lot of hagiographers out there who don’t agree with your version of events.
Cuba under the American puppet Batista was one of the most corrupt places in the world. It was run by American gangsters and crooked American politicians. It was a place where every perversion known to man could be indulged in and that is the way America wanted it kept.
The revolution was welcomed by the poor and marginalised and bitterly opposed by those who prospered under Batista, millions of them still carry the anti Castro torch in America; mainly in Miami.
“The Bay of Pigs” was nothing to do with Cubans who were still in Cuba it was a CIA/American backed invasion designed to overthrow a regime which they saw as dangerous. You get near one truth though; America could have made friends with Castro and chose not to; which drove him in to the arms of Moscow.
I do not hate the United States I have high hopes for them but, I support Cuba and it’s fight against them entirely; at least Obama is showing the courage to do something about his country's embarrassment over their ridiculous history of bullying Cuba.
America over past decades has behaved disgracefully in many parts of the world and they continue to do so, they lecture others about democracy while Bush steals a presidency and talk about America’s honour while financing brutal right wing insurgencies and carrying out wholesale torture of prisoners who languish in jail for 7 years without charge or trial. One of us is wearing blinkers all right.
"The revolution was welcomed by the poor and marginalised and bitterly opposed by those who prospered under Batista, millions of them still carry the anti Castro torch in America; mainly in Miami."
I don't doubt that, but a far greater proportion of the Cuban Miamian community are made up of ordinary people who fled the socialist utopia for the (relative) capitalism of the United States. And incidentally they're mostly enthusiastic Republicans. Also, I'm bemused as to what Cuba has "won" exactly. On absolutely every measure you could choose, the average American is better off than the average Cuban, despite the fact that before Castro came to power, the average wage of an agricultural labourer in Cuba was roughly equivalent to that of a labourer in the US Mid-West. Evan corrupt, venal and incompetent capitalist regimes like Batista's are better than Socialist dictators.
Keep deluding yourself, Tel.
“the Cuban Miamian community are made up of ordinary people”
Absolute crap; you've been reading too many "captain America" mags. they were mainly Batista/American collaborators who knew what happens to people like that after a successful revolution, enthusiastic republicans? You don’t say, really!
“Cuba has "won"”
Firstly; they ‘won’ the revolution; then the ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion then they set about employing, feeding, and sheltering all the people, then they produced better mortality rates than the USA. Then better literacy rates better numeracy rates then a medical system which is one of the best in the world.
But most of all they ‘won’ because they, Fidel & Cuba are still standing despite the attempts by the mightiest nation in history to destroy them for 50 years, thank you for asking.
During this time America gave us champions of democracy and freedom like Kennedy, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, Reagan and the Bushes. Bringing us to today where the Capitalist home of the brave is on it’s knees, 18,000 sleeping rough in New York, 80,000 homeless in L.A. itself and the highest number of people in prison of any country in the world, have you been living in a cave? I’ll keep deluding myself then.
"They were mainly Batista/American collaborators who knew what happens to people like that after a successful revolution"
Ha ha you let the cat out of the bag there, Tel - keep working for that People's Republic of Scotland! I shudder to think what you would do to the good people of Bearsden and Blackhall!
I didn’t let anything out of the bag I just told the truth, revolutions tend to have bloody aftermaths whoever wins, the good guys won in France and it was bloody and the bad guys won in Spain and that too was bloody, anyway I’ve got an aunt who lives in Bearsden.
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