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Monday, July 05, 2004

Too many Cuba Librés...

"Hey, you big bully. What's the idea of hitting that little bully?" - Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx, in A Night at the Opera)
Once again Cuba is the pea under the mattress of the Republican Princess:
The U.S. government on Wednesday published in the Federal Register regulations that further tighten the embargo against Cuba, pleasing the powerful Florida-based Cuban-American lobby.

Acting on the recommendation of an interagency commission seeking ways to hasten the fall of Cuban President Fidel Castro's communist government, the Bush administration on May 6 announced measures that would make it harder to travel to the island and spend money there.
The U.S. has been trying for almost 45 years to bring down Castro's Cuba, with no success at all. The St. Petersberg Times exposes this latest move for what it is in a recent editorial:
That the administration would make this policy change in an election year to appease hard-liners in South Florida's Cuban exile community shows that the president places politics ahead of families. It is shameful, and it may well backfire on him politically.

How could anyone believe that separating families for years, keeping college students off Cuban soil and limiting care packages that Cuban-Americans can send to relatives on the island will "liberate" the Cuban people, as the State Department claims, when a 42-year-old trade embargo has failed to bring Castro to his knees?
The Republicans have always considered South America and Cuba to be "theirs," mostly because of prominent Republican ties to the United Fruit Company in the 1940's and 50's (among them: CIA head Allen Dulles served on its board of trustees, and Eisenhower's personal secretary was married to its head of public relations). The "success" the Eisenhower administration had in bringing down the government of Guatemala in 1954, in direct violation of the charter of the Organisation of American States (America's willful violation of treaties it has signed and ratified is not a new thing), led to the belief that the same thing could be done in Cuba, thus proving American (ie., Republican) superiority against the hated communists (American arrogance is nothing new, either) - especially in an election year.

How wrong they were. Castro's Cuba has survived everything the American superpower has thrown at it: the constant propaganda campaigns (Radio Swan, &c.), the termination of sugar purchases, the end of oil deliveries, the continuation of the arms embargo (in effect since mid-1958), and the Bay of Pigs invasion, all of which were planned (and implemented) by the Eisenhower Republicans.

Republicans to this day blame Kennedy solely for the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, ignoring the fact that it was Allen Dulles (still CIA chief after Kennedy was elected) who, believing that Cuba had no idea what was up (even though Castro knew it was coming months beforehand - the expat Cubans the CIA hired were very proud that they were to be the "liberators" of Cuba...and were quite loose-lipped about it in the Miami Cuban community), pressured Kennedy into not using air support for the invasion (which would have given the show away). The invasion failed spectacularly, leaving Castro with a major propaganda victory (the tiny socialist nation standing bravely in the face of the great American bully). Kennedy had the class to accept the responsibilty for the failure...a political lesson that the current U.S. administration (and the right-wing in general) has very obviously not learned.

So, rather than wait for Castro to pass on to that Great Red Square in the sky (he's 78, after all), the right-wing bullying of Cuba continues for the same sad reason it began in 1960: To win a few votes in an election year.