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  1. AlexInCT

    Rot in hell scumbag collectivist mass murdering douchnozzle. Hopefully all the people you murdered or made miserable for their lives, across the globe, get to take a shot at your evil ass.

    BTW, contrast the praise lavished on this monster by the usual cuntish media asswipes with how they talk about Trump so you can have perspective on what these media people are really about.

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  2. InsipiD

    Yeah coverage of this is already disgusting.  Cuba, like North Korea, has somehow morphed communism into a hereditary monarchy.  When Raul kicks it, he’ll be replaced with another Castro, too.  There needs to be another Cuban revolution for the people who realize that Castro and his minions took it from we to he.  They should resent it, they should be mad, and they should put an end to it.

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  3. Hal_10000 *

    You know … I don’t often give Donald Trump credit. But his statement today on Castro’s death was a dead on. Way better than the philosophical musings of Obama and light years better than the vile support given from Trudeau or Corbyn.

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  4. stogy

    Sorry, I will not mourn the rich murderous tyrant who lived to age 90 while so many died so young, crushed under his boots.

    I have no illusions about the nature of the communist revolution in Cuba  – I went there almost 20 years ago and saw it for myself.Wages were so low that even professionals were reduced to selling cigars (or their bodies) to tourists on the street just to feed themselves and their families. However, this could have all been avoided if US policy had been different and fairer.

    If the US companies, backed by the government, had not bought the sugar and fruit industries straight o build their own economy, and then reduced the local population to near indentured slavery following Cuba’s independence; then not unstintingly supported the Batista dictatorship while it brutally suppressed the local population (far worse than anything Castro managed) and at the same time enriching themselves, we might today be saying, “Who is this Castro fellow?”

    The revolution also could have been a lot shorter if the US had taken up Castro’s offer for a friendly relationship after the war. Instead Washington virtually pushed Cuba in the direction of the USSR. Castro maintained power and support by blaming the US for the poor state of the local economy over the past three decades. The reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba by Obama was, at long last, the right thing to do.

    So while I won’t be shedding tears for Castro, he was very much a child of bad US policy.  This is the takeaway I would er… be taking away from this, not that he was an evil bastard.

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  5. stogy

    had not bought the sugar and fruit industries straight o build their own economy

    Sorry, that should have been “straight from the Spanish”

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  6. Iconoclast

    Yeah, leave it to stogy to blame the suffering of the Cuban people on the US rather than Castro’s (and Che’s) brutal rule. Blame America First, that’s the ticket.

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  7. stogy

    Not at all. The problem isn’t the US. The problem is misuse of power and money to deprive people of their rights. All countries and a great many people are capable of that. My point was more that many of the problems that the Cuban people faced could have been a) prevented and/or b) shortened, if the US had adopted sensible and farsighted policies. Look at what else happened at the end of the Spanish-American war: 400,000 people dead in the Philippines fighting against an unnecessary US occupation. They were so happy and pro-US when the Spanish were kicked out. Stupid, stupid stupid self-defeating policies aimed at enriching those with money and power at the expense of those who have little or nothing.

    Anyway, glad to see people have learned better today. It’s not like anyone would advocate seizing another country’s oil as spoils of war or anything dumb like that.

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  8. InsipiD

    The memory deficiency here is that nobody else was avoiding Cuban trade.  With Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and the EU trading with Cuba, why would the US embargo even matter?

     

    Unless the real problem is the Castro regime and their policies.

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  9. richtaylor365

     My point was more that many of the problems that the Cuban people faced could have been a) prevented and/or b) shortened, if the US had adopted sensible and farsighted policies.

    So, Yeah, it is all America’s fault, damned imperialists. And glad to see that you are bringing up 100 year old history, what, so nothing about slavery or what we did to the Indians? I guess the global whiners blamed England for the world’s miseries the 500 hundred or so years before US became a nation, nothing ever changes.

     It’s not like anyone would advocate seizing another country’s oil as spoils of war or anything dumb like that.

    Yep, pretty stupid, kinda like implementing a policy of ignoring the obvious, going with dainty verbiage in describing Muslim Jihad as “man caused disasters”, or blaming America when ever a Muslim, in the name of Radical Islam, kills other Americans, shear lunacy.

     

     

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  10. stogy

    . Nothing I have said absolves Castro (or a terrorist for that matter) from the crimes they committed. The US however acted against its own self interest in both the cases above. As it has done fairly continuously since then. Not that the US has a monopoly on that.

    See unlike you, I expect the US to actually try to live up to its principles (smething I don’t expect from a tinpot dictator). The world and the US would be a better place for it.

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  11. Iconoclast

    Not at all.

    And then you turn right around and double down on your Blame America First policy.  Hilarious!

    See unlike you, I expect the US to actually try to live up to its principles (smething I don’t expect from a tinpot dictator).

    Spare us the phony sanctimony.  That we don’t “live up” to those principles to your personal liking is inconsequential.  We do the best we can with the knowledge we have, and if our leadership has some other agenda, they get voted out.

    Of course, people like you always know what’s best for peasants like us.  Such has always been the case.  Too bad we got so uppity and denied Her Royal Highness that to which she was so obviously entitled…..

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  12. CM

    How does the whole context behind how Castro came to be Cuban dictator not matter to the point where you guys are frothing at the mouth about it? Come on, neither of you are THAT deluded. Put the flag down for 10 seconds and stop being so ridiculous.

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  13. Iconoclast

    I, for one, am simply damned sick of left-wing Blame America First self-righteous sanctimony, and if my flag-waving gets your knickers in a twist, so much the better. Yeah, the USA has made its share of mistakes, so what? Can’t we celebrate the death of a blood-thirsty asshole without you lefties prancing in on your high horses, trying to rub our noses in history that happened before we were fucking born?

    Talk about being ridiculous……

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  14. CM

    I don’t see how mentioning the context (in response to an explanation which doesn’t involve that context) requires high horses, or rubbing anyone’s nose in anything. It is possible to acknowledge both how bad Castro was and also the circumstances which created that situation. They are not mutually exclusive.

    Otherwise it seems like you’re just using “left-wing Blame America First self-righteous sanctimony” as a way to avoid acknowledging reality.

    Enough with the over-reactions. Nobody here is saying it’s all America’s fault etc etc.

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  15. stogy

    I, for one, am simply damned sick of left-wing Blame America First self-righteous sanctimony,

    Hmm… how do you turn “America followed a policy that was against her own self-interest” and that her actions didn’t support her own stated values into “blame America first”?

    Spare us the phony sanctimony.  That we don’t “live up” to those principles to your personal liking is inconsequential. 

    Rich, Castro was bad dude, but not half as bad as the dude before him – whom the US strongly supported. If the US is not consistent in its rhetoric, then  it is nothing. And this is something I can tell you from personal experience – nothing more undermines support for the US abroad than the fact that it fails to live up to its principles. Torture did an unbelievable amount of damage to the US ability to assert its moral authority in other countries. Overthrowing democratically elected governments and propping up dictators means that as soon as you get regime change (which you inevitably do) the US finds its own interests undermined.

    Why shouldn’t countries aim to be better, and governments to do what they actually say they do? The US is supposed to be better, and provide an example to the world. It is in the interests of the US to be better. That’s the argument – not that the US is an evil big brother.

     

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  16. AlexInCT

    Hmm… how do you turn “America followed a policy that was against her own self-interest” and that her actions didn’t support her own stated values into “blame America first”?

    That sure as hell sounded as a contorted way of trying to pass off exactly the “Blame America first” bullshit as something decent. A lot of times, the right thing to do can and will be not in your interest, but that doesn’t make it the wrong thing. I suspect that what we have here is your leftist double standards failing you yet again.

    Sanctions, by their very nature involve you sacrificing to deny someone else you think have done wrong from profiting from any mutual exchange. Following your fucking logic that doing things that are not in your self interest make you the bad guy, boycotting Apartheid South Africa, would have been the wrong thing to do as well.

    I suspect you approved of boycotting South Africa, and expect you to contort yourself into an even bigger pretzel to make a distinction where non exists. You think it was wrong to boycott Cuba because you are a believer in communism and an apologist for the murderous shit done in its name.  Own it and stop dancing around it.

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  17. richtaylor365

    Spare us the phony sanctimony.  That we don’t “live up” to those principles to your personal liking is inconsequential.

    Rich, Castro was bad dude, but not half as bad as the dude before him – whom the US strongly supported.

    That was Icon, not me.

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  18. stogy

    Sanctions, by their very nature involve you sacrificing to deny someone else you think have done wrong from profiting from any mutual exchange. Following your fucking logic that doing things that are not in your self interest make you the bad guy, boycotting Apartheid South Africa, would have been the wrong thing to do as well.

    Interesting argument – I’m surprised ;)

    Well I suppose the difference would be that once it could be shown that general sanctions were not working, and they were hurting ordinary people rather than the leadership, that you would then try something else. In South Africa, they were clearly working; in Cuba after 50 or so years, and particularly after the end of the Cold War, they clearly weren’t.

    You think it was wrong to boycott Cuba because you are a believer in communism and an apologist for the murderous shit done in its name.  Own it and stop dancing around it.

    Er… I went there, and I was pretty appalled at what I saw. I said that.

    But I do remember going to the Museum of the Revolution in Havana and seeing the tank from which Castro directed the national defense during the Bay of Pigs invasion. It fit really nicely into the regime narrative of oppression and hostility by the US and was an essential part of keeping up morale/quashing dissent. A perfect example of an own goal from the US.

    I don’t get what’s so difficult to understand here. Definitely not a communist. I had myself checked.

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  19. Iconoclast

    Castro was bad dude, but not half as bad as the dude before him – whom the US strongly supported.

    Yeah, standard liberal Blame America First narrative — USA back a guy who’s worse than Castro, of course, why didn’t I think of that?

    Too bad it’s wrong.  There were no people desperately trying to leave Cuba in rafts under Batista, but there certainly were under Castro.  Cuba had a high standard of living under Batista.  Not so much with Castro.

    But sure, whatever you say goes…..

    Cuba before Castro

    How did Cubans live under Batista?  The standard of living of Cubans then was higher than that in any other Latin American nation.  Caloric consumption was as high as in any other Latin American nation in the western hemisphere except America and Canada, and it was much higher in protein than in most other Latin American nations.  Cuban infant mortality under Batista was lower than in France or Italy.  Batista set up mobile health units for rural areas.  He mandated compulsory industrial insurance for workers and enacted minimum-wage and eight-hour-workday laws. 

     

    I went there, and I was pretty appalled at what I saw. I said that.

    And then you proceeded to blame it on America instead of Castro:

    So while I won’t be shedding tears for Castro, he was very much a child of bad US policy.  This is the takeaway I would er… be taking away from this, not that he was an evil bastard.

    Poor Castro couldn’t help himself — he was just a product of US policy, not an evil bastard at all.

     

     

     

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  20. CM

    But I do remember going to the Museum of the Revolution in Havana and seeing the tank from which Castro directed the national defense during the Bay of Pigs invasion. It fit really nicely into the regime narrative of oppression and hostility by the US and was an essential part of keeping up morale/quashing dissent. A perfect example of an own goal from the US.

    Did you see the terrible wax works of Fidel and Che at the museum. Hilariously bad.

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  21. stogy

    John F. Kennedy (October 6, 1960):

    “Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years … and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state—destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror. Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista—hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend—at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.”

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  22. Hal_10000 *

    Obama has decided not to send anyone to the funeral.  Good decision. Although a part of me had hoped he’d send a delegation of Castro’s victims to spit on the grave.

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  23. stogy

    Batista set up mobile health units for rural areas.  He mandated compulsory industrial insurance for workers and enacted minimum-wage and eight-hour-workday laws. 

    He also tortured thousands of innocent people and hung hundreds of mangled bodies from lampposts. And life expectancy and access to education in rural areas was terrible.

    John F. Kennedy, after he became President, went on to say:

    I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime.

    But just because the US pursued policies that put Castro in power and then maintained policies that kept him there doesn’t absolve Castro from the crimes he committed. They just need to be seen in perspective

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  24. Iconoclast

    He also tortured thousands of innocent people and hung hundreds of mangled bodies from lampposts. And life expectancy and access to education in rural areas was terrible.

    Yeah, keep churning out that leftist propaganda…..

    John F. Kennedy, after he became President, went on to say…

    Yeah, well, Obama said that we could keep our doctors and health plans.  Bush said Hussein had WMD.   Clinton said he didn’t have sex with that woman.

    Just because a Prez sez something, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

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  25. stogy

    Seriously dude? You are being driven by a confirmation bias. The atrocities committed by the Batista regime are very much history. There are thousands if not tens of thousands of documents and accounts of just how nasty the Batista regime was.

    Here’s one from Lyman B. Kirkpatrick, former Executive Director of the CIA. This is Chapter 7 of his biography, written in 1968. He visited Cuba towards the end of the Batista’s rule, and noted the widespread use of torture and extra-judicial executions:

    I was skeptical, as my friends had known I would be. They had brought pictures to prove it. These photographs had been taken by a doctor of a woman who had come to him for treatment. She was a schoolteacher and had been arrested with one of her male students on suspicion of plotting against the government. They were taken by the police to a prison where they had been tortured. She had been severely beaten and he had been pounded into unconsciousness. They had been released because the teacher’s sister fortunately had friends in high enough positions in the government to open the prison doors. The doctor who treated the woman said he had never seen a human body more mistreated. He had taken the pictures, with her permission, because there were still some who did not believe or realize what was going on. The horrible wounds on the woman’s body were convincing, as were the reports of case after case of the sons of prominent Cuban families who had joined either the students’ organization or the July 26 movement and had been arrested and killed. 

    It was this type of atrocity that was costing Batista the last of his support among the people of Cuba. 

    http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/cuban-rebels/kirkpatrick.htm

    He goes on to document executions of Batista regime police, soldiers and political leaders after the revolution (something that severely undermined international support for Castro).

    Then there was Time Magazine from 1958:

    Cuba’s fanatic, poorly armed rebels last week tried to smash President Fulgencio Batista with the ultimate weapon of civilian revolutions: the general strike. But Batista, a tough, wilier strongman than such fallen dictators as Argentina’s Perón or Venezuela’s Pérez Jiménez, saw the blow coming, prepared well, warded it off with hardly a bruise.
    Fulgencio Batista got ready for the strike by offering immunity to anyone who killed a striker and by threatening to jail any employer who closed shop.

    Batista’s police continued their savage repression. In Cotorro they hanged captured rebels; along Havana’s Rancho Boyeros Road they broke into an apartment house, hauled out two suspects, a father and son, machine-gunned the older man in a nearby garage, then mowed down the hysterical son as he ran to his father.

    But even then, none of this excuses Castro for his own abuse of human rights. Castro threatened death to anyone that didn’t strike.

    But you found one positive assessment of the Batista government. That must mean that none of this happened.

    At the moment, you are doing exactly what the US did at the time – turn a blind eye to atrocities because Batista was “our” guy, and then ramping up the “human rights” rhetoric as soon as the country puts a communist regime like the Castro one in charge. This kind of behavior, where human rights is used as a big stick to hold over and beat down opposition, only to disappear when it becomes an inconvenience, actually undermines the principles and respect for human rights.

     

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  26. Iconoclast

    I can easily concede that Batista wasn’t a saint, but I still challenge the following claims:

    Castro was bad dude, but not half as bad as the dude before him….

    And:

    …..hung hundreds of mangled bodies from lampposts….

    You made pretty specific claims, now back them up.  Pointing out that Batista did bad stuff doesn’t prove he was MORE THAN TWICE as bad as Castro.  That’s just spin.

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  27. stogy

    Sure.

    Batista’s atrocities turned pretty much the whole country against him, and destroyed international support for his regime. This is something Castro never managed, thanks to US implacable opposition. I could argue that 20,000 dead and tortured in 7 years is worse, but what would be the point? Whether that is twice as bad or not is, of course, arguable. Victims don’t get to choose between dictators.

    Your views are rusted on. Everything is a binary: Castro=bad; therefore Batista must have been good. Everything was a paradise in Batista’s Cuba. If only that nasty Castro hadn’t come along and ruined it all…

    Again: this isn’t about the US being bad – it isn’t. My point was that, in supporting Batista followed decades of useless sanctions against Cuba, the US followed policies over 60+ years in Cuba that were a) against her own long-term interests, and b) demonstrably against the long-term interests of Cubans.

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  28. Iconoclast

    Your views are rusted on. Everything is a binary: Castro=bad; therefore Batista must have been good. Everything was a paradise in Batista’s Cuba. If only that nasty Castro hadn’t come along and ruined it all…

    I’m not sure why you’re having such trouble comprehending the following:

    I can easily concede that Batista wasn’t a saint…

    Pointing out that Batista did bad stuff doesn’t prove he was MORE THAN TWICE as bad as Castro.

    If anyone is being binary, it’s you.  Brutality aside, the standard of living for Cubans as a whole was still much better under Batista than it ever was under Castro.  That’s my point, and trying to caricature Batista as Satan incarnate doesn’t change the historical facts.

    The Batista Paradox

    Batista, is usually known to American readers as a caricature: “the US-backed dictator” overthrown by Castro, an “oppressive brutal tyrant” who could be removed only by violent revolution. But it is an open secret among competent historians that such simplistic characterizations of the man are a grotesque distortion, serving primarily as a cornerstone in furtherance of the Castro Revolutionary Myth.

    ………

    [B]y demonizing Batista into a brutal oppressor that had to be violently overthrown it becomes justifiable—even admirable—to have used guerrilla insurgency and terrorism to defeat him—and this transmutes Castro’s ragtag gang of thugs, criminals, misfits, and misguided young idealists into heroic figures. This also foists the illusion that there were only two actors in 50s Cuba: Batista and Castro. Third, they obscure the reality that under Batista’s regime Cubans were healthier, wealthier and freer than they have ever been under Castro’s tyranny.It is fitting that Batista be remembered as a dark figure, the man who dealt a fatal blow to the Old Republic of Cuba directly causing its collapse. But this doesn’t require denying the truth that this was a complex man who earlier accomplished much that was good for Cuba and Cubans, or the incontrovertible truth that his dictatorship was a far lesser evil than Castro’s with respect to Cuba’s economy or the standard of living and civil liberties of its citizens.

    Again: this isn’t about the US being bad – it isn’t.

    Yes, it is:

    My point was that, in supporting Batista followed decades of useless sanctions against Cuba, the US followed policies over 60+ years in Cuba that were a) against her own long-term interests, and b) demonstrably against the long-term interests of Cubans.

    Whether you care to see it or not, you’re saying that the suffering of the Cuban people is due to US policy, not Castro’s brutality.  You’re implying that Castro had no real choice in the matter –he was driven to do what he did because of US policy.  I’m simply saying bollocks to that — Castro was a bloodthirsty tyrant who inflicted bloodshed and brutality onto the Cuban people decades, while living lavishly himself, all the while serving as nothing more than a giant middle finger to the US.

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  29. stogy

    But it is an open secret among competent historians that such simplistic characterizations of the man are a grotesque distortion, serving primarily as a cornerstone in furtherance of the Castro Revolutionary Myth.

    That’s an interesting point, and not something that I had come across before. I did a lot of historical reading about Castro and the revolution around the time I visited Cuba – many of which were not at all pro-Castro, pointing out that in his executions of the Batista regime apparatchiks, he was betraying the principles and spirit of the revolution.

    But all of it also pointed to Batista as a fairly grotesque character. I would certainly being will to concede that this fits into a pro-revolutionary narrative. But I would need to see stronger evidence of this than a single blog post. Remember I posted personal testimony from a CIA officer who was in Cuba at the time.

    Whether you care to see it or not, you’re saying that the suffering of the Cuban people is due to US policy, not Castro’s brutality.  

    No, the primary reason for the suffering of the Cuban people under the Castro government belongs to Castro and his cronies. I did say that. The US bears some responsibility for not ever giving the Cuban people a chance to own and develop their own country (remember most of the plantations and national assets were transferred straight from the Spanish, leaving rural areas impoverished), for supporting Batista, and for pursuing policies that allowed Castro to cement his power.

    But thanks for this. I’ll look into it more.

    Remember that the Chinese Communist government was far worse in terms of the numbers that died and for brutal treatment of human rights advocates, but we have been trading with them since the mid-70s. Engagement has done a lot to change China, and it could have helped shorten Castro’s rule in Cuba too.

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  30. AlexInCT

    The perfect homage to Castro and communism:

    The breakdown of the jeep in the midst of adoring crowds chanting “Long live Fidel!” was symbolic of the dual nature of Castro’s Cuba. While his legacy inspires fierce adulation by many of the nation’s citizens, others continue to grumble about Cuba’s autocratic government, inefficient bureaucracy and stagnant economy.

    Can’t put it any better than that: communism sucks ballz.

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  31. richtaylor365

    Stogy, it appears that you still don’t get the distinction between ineffectual and detrimental.

    You can make the valid argument that a “soft power” approach (normalized trade, tourism, exposure to American ideals like free expression, democracy and an unshackled press) might have expedited Castro’s removal, but that would ignore certain facts consistent with the times, such as;

    The rapprochement with every oppressive regime on the planet

    Subverting legitimate governments in the entire region (Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Peru, Columbia), gun/drug running, training guerrillas, kidnapping, funding communist leaders, etc.

    A bellicose and belligerent Castro, who declared America his enemy, cozy ed up to the USSR, and parked Russian nuclear missiles aimed at us

    Given this climate you think it at all reasonable that the US would legitimize any this with normalized relations?

    And if we are going to play the “what might have been” game, how about this? Given the simple fact that Castro was forever dependent on  financial help from Russia (and later Venezuela) one can only wonder what would have happened if Obama had not normalized relations with Cuba at the exact moment when the drop in oil prices bankrupted Venezuela, thus drying up Cuba’s only life line.

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  32. stogy

    A bellicose and belligerent Castro, who declared America his enemy, cozy ed up to the USSR, and parked Russian nuclear missiles aimed at us

    Er… right, was that before or after the US sponsored an invasion of the country? hahaha. Unbelievable. You guys, it’s just USA=good, Castro=bad. Any attempt to show that US policy was poor must mean automatically that Castro=good. But that simply isn’t the case.

    Given this climate you think it at all reasonable that the US would legitimize any this with normalized relations?

    Er… wasn’t the US doing exactly the same thing throughout the entire period under the Monroe Doctrine? Subverting elections? Funding insurrections? Buying up votes and politicians? Undermining governments? Wasn’t Fort Benning known as “School of the Assassins” for decades? Hasn’t the US continued to protect former generals from across Latin America implicated in atrocities (e.g. the murder of American nuns in El Salvador, mass executions in Chile)?

    And how many plots were there to assassinate Castro over the years of his rule? It was hundreds from memory. The CIA and FBI were aware of plans to blow up a Cubana Air flight in 1976 but did nothing to stop it, and have blocked attempts at extradition of suspects for trial, despite credible evidence of involvement. Castro was clearly able to use US belligerence to prop up support, even after the end of subsidies after the end of the USSR. The situation worked well for US politicians too, as sounding tough on Cuba was important in getting electoral support from Cuban exiles and their descendants in Florida.

    And there is more recent stuff too: Hillary’s performance as SOS in Honduras in 2009 was shambolic, ignoring the fact that the government disappeared 130+ opposition figures right after supposedly “free and fair” elections, in which more than 50% of the population boycotted the polls.

    The Monroe doctrine has created deep suspicion of the US right across Latin America – a clear indication that following a policy of short-term strategic advantage that relies on undermining democratic institutions and supporting human rights abusers is ultimately a very poor one, and undermines US interests long-term.

    China was and still is doing that at home (Tiananmen Square anyone?) and all around the world (the have a lovely cosy relationship with the Sudanese government, which brought you Darfur), but the US is still trading with Beijing.*

    So the argument that the US should not have engaged with Castro because he was himself a human rights abuser is not a good one. Hardly a reason not to engage with Castro.

    *(and just by the way, I also argue that such “short-termism” is against Chinese long-term interests too. Governments should do the right thing – always).

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