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Greg Wagner
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Now you know that I don't believe in the "Castro did it" theory, but I'm curious about something. Let's assume for a minute that he did. And LBJ was spooked about the potential for nuclear war if that info got out to the public- so he orchestrated the cover-up. Fine.

If it happened that way, then why all the secrecy still today? Are they now simply covering-up the fact that they covered it up? Surely no threat of a nuclear war as a result of this knowledge has existed for a long time. So, why not come clean and end all the mistrust and all the crap: "My fellow Americans, Castro did it and we just couldn't risk a nuclear war over it. So we buried it at the time. Sorry, but it was for the good of the Nation." Done deal. If Castro did it, then a nuclear exchange would have been a very possible result of our seeking retribution against Fidel at any time during the Cold War. But those days are long gone. So, my question is: Why would it be such a big darn secret in 2005?

Cuba would still today provide economic (tourism mostly) benefit to many U.S. companies, so if Castro did it, why didn't his regime end 5 minutes after the Berlin Wall came down? I mean, the American government has not exactly shied away from war and conflict and from invading sovereign nations when it has (presumably) served our national interest. We've done it in the Caribbean, we've done it in SE Asia, we've done it in the Middle East. Heck Tim, you could probably spit on Fidel and hit him from your front porch down there in beautiful Key West- so why, after the threat of nuclear war had long since passed, did we not send the Marines to kick-in the door and execute the bastard who violently (can you murder gently?) murdered our president on the streets of an American city? Give the people of (Cuba) their freedom as George W Bush is so fond of saying! It's right on our doorstep. Heck, if there was a bridge, Tim could drive there on his lunch hour. So, what gives? If the guy murdered our president, and there has not been any real deterrent that I can think of in quite some time, why is Castro not in shackles and an orange jumpsuit picking up my empty beer bottles in the hot sun as I stroll along some beach in Cuba at a Marriott Resort Hotel ogling beautiful women with cinnamon tans wearing, as James would say, nothing but a thong and a smile? Or better yet, why isn't his head mounted on the wall in the Oval Office?

Now please, don't misunderstand this as an attack on the "Castro did it" theory. Just because I don't believe in it, does not mean that I would start a thread simply to attack it, unless forced to do so in the context of defending myself or my thoughts. But when I consider this theory, this is one of the questions that I have. Without a doubt, there are members who know more about this theory than I do. I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts.

:)

Edited by Greg Wagner
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That's a good question Greg.

Let me put a different spin on it. Let's say that Anti-Castro Cuban exiles were an instrumental force behind the assassination - possibly even participating in the events which took place in Dealey Plaza that day in November.

I have a few Cuban friends - some right off the boat. The situation in Cuba today is deplorable - and has been, arguably, since before 1959. So where's Orlando Bosch today - GHWB pardoned and a US Citizen? Where are all the leaders that were willing to lay down their lives to free Cuba and return home? Once El Commandante falls down again and can't get up, many Cubans fear the result - Raul, the butcher, now unrestrained. What's it take to beach a boat there these days and get in close enough to toss a few grenades?

"Cuban Americans only vote Republican." I was told this emphatically. Why?

Stone said that Bush stole the election with the help of anti-Castro Cuban-Americans in Florida,

"When (Vice President Al) Gore lost, or rather, when they stole the elections from him, I sensed that something dirty was going to happen, but the harm has already been done and its extent is very significant," said Stone.

"Now, I am praying that something of that sort does not occur once again. George Bush will go down in history as one of the great baddies."

A reporter asked: "What kind of power does the anti-Castro lobby in the United States have?"

"To start with, anti-Castro groups were vital in implementing the dirty business of the butterfly ballots ensuring Bush's victory at the 2000 elections," said Stone. "The right wing is the same everywhere, in Cuba or Viet Nam. It is like an octopus, snatching everything with its tentacles. They

control the Internet, radio and TV stations, and newspapers.

But above all, they are perfectly organized. Right wingers master the art of negative publicity and are capable of destroying the image of anyone they consider to be their enemy. They annihilate anything opposed to their interests, utilizing mass emailing, articles, and reports. In the United States, censorship is the order of the day. It is really sad to think that Florida may end up deciding the November elections once again, and that the extreme-right wing, including anti-Castro groups, may manipulate the results for a second time.

These people are blinded by patriotic fanaticism and are ready to invade any country, and shoot down planes if necessary."

Okay - if that's so, then why is Castro's heart still beating? What'd Bush do for you lately?

Cuban Americans voting Republican represent the minority inside the Hispanic minority majority. Does this 'tradition' go back to Kennedy - failing with his secret reproachment talks? Can't believe he had a plan? So now you never vote Democratic, and have to lean extreme right - did it ever get you anywhere? Kennedy was eliminated - what did Johnson ever do for you? Nixon? I'm sure GHWBush helped, but I'm not talking about money, power and oil drilling rights, I'm talking about political reform, the end of tyranny and the abolition of what is tantamount to an Orwellian nightmare and the freedom of your people. Where's the dream?

It's almost like the CIA penetrated the G2 and the Cuban Exile community and successfully brainwashed them. Status Quo is fine, as long as you can sport an illegally, yet easily obtained, Cuban cigar at big brass functions. Plenty of Banana Republics to supply sugar and rum.

Madness.

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There would be no war in the middle east today and no chance of Social Security being dismantled if little Elian Gonzalez had been left alone with his auntie.

When the Janet Reno squad busted in to take that little boy back to Cuba,

that is the exact moment when the Democrats lost their majority in Florida.

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To Shanet:

Well, at least you concede that Bush did indeed carry Florida!

I suggest the United States should now bring democracy to the people of Cuba, a pledge Castro made to the Cuban people in the mid fifties then violated after the Eisenhower Administration handed Cuba over to him when it ceased aid to Batista and ordered Batista out of the country.

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Tim

By "bring Democracy to Cuba" I assume you mean an invasion by U.S. troops?

I think some members would like to see you lead the first wave onto the beach...

:surfing

Edited by Shanet Clark
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In my younger days, perhaps . . .

While you should know that I believe US attempts to assassinate Castro were ill-advised, illegal and immoral, there is no question that Castro introduced a regime that was far more oppressive and violative of citizens' rights than that of Fulgencio Batista, as despicable as his corrupt regime was. Nixon gave Kennedy the right advice after the BOP. Rather than engaging in the silly Operation Mongoose sabotage missions and continued efforts to murder Castro, we should have simply sent in the troops in 1961. Had we done so then, there would have been no Kennedy assassination. It is my understanding, however, that the Kennedys were in fact planning to liberate Cuba prior to the 1964 election.

I hope and pray that our neighbor only ninety miles from where I live may soon live in freedom, redeeming the pledge President Kennedy made to the leaders of the Cuban freedom fighters in December of 1962.

Getting back to your original post, however, I agree with you that when Elian was removed from his relatives' home by US soldiers carrying weapons, Al Gore lost the state of Florida and the 2000 election.

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Two doctrines collide here, the Monroe Doctrine says we should secure Caribbean islands against foreign empires in the Western Hemisphere (the comintern in cuba).

However, the Cold War's nuclear weapons made

MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION the doctrine dictating prudence with Cuba in 1961. Invading Cuba could easily have led to a nuclear exchange, so the risks outweighed the benefits, which is why Kennedy "choked" on the Bay of Pigs...

For a Madison boy, you are over on the right!

:surfing

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Now you know that I don't believe in the "Castro did it" theory, but I'm curious about something. Let's assume for a minute that he did. And LBJ was spooked about the potential for nuclear war if that info got out to the public- so he orchestrated the cover-up. Fine.

If it happened that way, then why all the secrecy still today? Are they now simply covering-up the fact that they covered it up? Surely no threat of a nuclear war as a result of this knowledge has existed for a long time. So, why not come clean and end all the mistrust and all the crap: "My fellow Americans, Castro did it and we just couldn't risk a nuclear war over it. So we buried it at the time. Sorry, but it was for the good of the Nation." If Castro did it, then a nuclear exchange would have been a very possible result of our seeking retribution against Fidel at any time during the Cold War. But those days are long gone. So, my question is: Why would it be such a big darn secret in 2005?

Cuba would still today provide economic (tourism mostly) benefit to many U.S. companies, so if Castro did it, why didn't his regime end 5 minutes after the Berlin Wall came down? I mean, the American government has not exactly shied away from war and conflict and from invading sovereign nations when it has (presumably) served our national interest. We've done it in the Caribbean, we've done it in SE Asia, we've done it in the Middle East. Heck Tim, you could probably spit on Fidel and hit him from your front porch down there in beautiful Key West- so why, after the threat of nuclear war had long since passed, did we not send the Marines to kick-in the door and execute the bastard who violently (can you murder gently?) murdered our president on the streets of an American city? Give the people of (Cuba) their freedom as George W Bush is so fond of saying! It's right on our doorstep. Heck, if there was a bridge, Tim could drive there on his lunch hour. So, what gives? If the guy murdered our president, and there has not been any real deterrent that I can think of in quite some time, why is Castro not in shackles and an orange jumpsuit picking up my empty beer bottles in the hot sun as I stroll along some beach in Cuba at a Marriott Resort Hotel ogling beautiful women with cinnamon tans wearing, as James would say, nothing but a thong and a smile? Or better yet, why isn't his head mounted on the wall in the Oval Office?

Now please, don't misunderstand this as an attack on the "Castro did it" theory. Just because I don't believe in it, does not mean that I would start a thread simply to attack it, unless forced to do so in the context of defending myself or my thoughts. But when I consider this theory, this is one of the questions that I have. Without a doubt, there are members who know more about this theory than I do. I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts. 

  :cheers

Tim-

I am particularly interested in your take on the above. Heck, George W didn't even include them in his "Axis of Evil." One would think that if Castro had actually been behind the assassination as you suggest, the U.S. government now with no discernable deterrent, would most certainly have something to say about that. After all, wqe are talking about some glorified banna Republic blowing our president's head off for all the world to see, are we not? Certainly we've invaded sovereign nations before, killing at will, effecting "regime change" (that's a hilarious term!), setting up more acceptable governments- all for much less than murdering our commander in chief. Yet, we don't bat an eyelash at The Big Cigar?

Help me out here, Tim (or anyone). Why are we not vacationing on the shores of Cuba, eyeballing topless beauties on white sand beaches while drinking way too much rum and buying cheap trinkets and tee shirts at the shops near half a dozen docked luxury cruise liners overflowing with tourists wanting to gamble and spend money?

I find it hard to believe that our government would just say, "Listen, let's just forgive and forget." Am I just missing something obvious here? It's just not making sense to me. Anybody?

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Shanet wrote:

For a Madison boy, you are over on the right!

You got that right, buddy. When I was attending the UW, some friends and mine deduced from its editorial content that the official, subsidized campus newspaper "The Daily Cardinal" was apropriately named, so we started an alternative paper, "The Badger Herald" that still survives and is, IMO, better as a paper than "The Daily Cardinal" (although I understand its politics are now "moderate). However, I do admit that I voted for campus radical Paul Soglin when he ran for mayor of Madison. Despite his left-wing politics, he was a very good mayor.

For those of you interested in the campus politics of that period, I recomend a book by David Marranis on the anti-ROTC UW agitation in October of 1967. He compares it to what was going on in Vietnam at the same time. (Forget the name of the book.) Marranis is a very good writer (his father was editor of the Democrat newspaper in Madison) who also wrote a highly acclaimed bok on Bil Clinton.

But re my "right wing" stance, let me tell you that on Cold War isues, I was probably no more to the right than John F. and Robert F. Kennedy.

In 1951 JFK made a speech on the House floor condemning the Truman administration for giving away China to the Communists. And Robert was critical of the give-aways that the Roosevelts made to the Communists at Yalta. Right-wing Republicans were making the same criticism. And I am sure you know of the friendship between the Kennedy's and Wisconsin's most famous Senator, Joseph R. McCarthy.

JFK clearly made mistakes on Cuba, but his heart was in the right place. In December of 1957, he listened to his family friend Earl E. T. Smith and knew it would be a disaster if Batista was replaced with Castro. I am convinced that if Kennedy had been president in 1957-1961 we would not have handed Cuba over to Castro, as we did.

I am also convinced that if Kennedy had not been assassinated, Castro would have beenhistory prior to the 1964 election.

One of JFK's biggest mistakes, IMO, was the coup in Vietnam. He listened to advisors such as Averel Harriman (who may very well have been a Communist spy) and Henry Cabot Lodge, rather than his brother Bobby, who vigorously objected to the coup.

As you know, the coup led to a period of political instability in Vietnam that seriously hurt the South Vietnamese position in the mid 1960s.

But, IMO, despite the huge mistake he made in authorizing the coup against Diem, Kennedy would never have abandoned Vietnam to the Communists but, with Bobbys guidance, Vietnam probably would have gone far differently than it did. In "Triangle of Death" there is an interesting perspective on the famous NSM 263. JFK had no intention of withdrawing from Vietnam. (I'll post about this later in a separate thread).

IMO, Kennedy was as hard-line a Cold Warrior as they came.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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One of JFK's biggest mistakes, IMO, was the coup in Vietnam. He listened to advisors such as Averel Harriman (who may very well have been a Communist spy) and Henry Cabot Lodge, rather than his brother Bobby, who vigorously objected to the coup.

As you know, the coup led to a period of political instability in Vietnam that seriously hurt the South Vietnamese position in the mid 1960s.

But, IMO, despite the huge mistake he made in authorizing the coup against Diem, Kennedy would never have abandoned Vietnam to the Communists but, with Bobbys guidance, Vietnam probably would have gone far differently than it did.

now tim,

averell harriman had an internationalist and often eccentric foreign policy,

but you are the first and only I have read to call him a soviet.

His links to the Union bank and the Dillon Read Sullivan Cromwell nexus

would point more to a rightist stance for the former Moscow ambassador

Averell Harriman....

Hard core cold war hawks who fronted the containment effort cannot be called

Marxist sympathizers outside of your paradigm, so sorry, Tim, must call you on it.

shanet

Edited by Shanet Clark
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Greg, you asked that I respond to your post here, and I will. It raises a very good question.

I do not believe that anyone in our government KNOWS that Castro did it (in part because that avenue of investigation was quickly squelched by both the FBI and the CIA). LBJ did not WANT to find evidence of foreign complicity for fear it would lead to a war and the death of millions of innocent people.

I believe that the weight of the evidence that does exist suggests that Castro killed Kennedy because Kennedy (or at least the CIA) was trying to kill Castro. Given the extent of the evidence available, I do not believe evidence exists to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt.

(If Castro did indeed do it, a full investigation may very well have been able to establish that but then LBJ would have been under tremenduous pressure to take out Fidel--and remember the public, and perhaps even LBJ himself, was not at that time aware that in fact it was our government that had first started to kill Fidel. This was exactly the scenario that LBJ feared. And I put it to you Forum members who loved JFK--would it have been worth the death of millions of innocent people to avenge his death? I don't think JFK would have wanted that as the legacy of his assassination.)

Since we in the Forum are trying to examine the issues and determine who killed John F. Kennedy, it is appropriate for me to suggest that the strongest evidence suggests Castro. Given the state of the evidence, however, I believe it would be highly inappropriate for the POTUS, whoever it is, to publicly accuse Castro of that action. It may be, and this is speculation on my part, one of the reasons our government remains so unwilling to negotiate with Cuba is suspicion or belief on the part of POTUS that Castro killed one of his predecessors.

The other point that I would make is that (without having to decide the extent of JFK or RFK's knowledge) IMO the plots to kill Castro may very well have been criminal--even if authorized by POTUS. If, indeed, Castro killed Kennedy it was a desperate action on his part to save his own life, and while we would never condone his action, perhaps we could agree that under the circumstances it was at least understandable. So if our government should say, hey, we know Castro killed Kennedy, all it does is draw attention to the fact that members of our government, perhaps even including the POTUS, had engaged in a conspiracy to commit murder.

Just as Richard Nixon had no right as president to authorize burglaries (a point established by the Watergate crisis--even the POTUS is not above the law) by the same token JFK had no right to authorize a political murder. And, of course, if the POTUS had no such authority, neither did Dulles, Bissell and crew--assuming they did so without presidential authorization.

RFK probably encouraged and supported efforts to kill Castro himself. But if, and it is a big if, he did not, then, in my opinion after his May 7, 1963 meeting with Houston and Edwards he probably should have directed the appropriate prosecuting attorneys in DC or Virginia to draft conspiracy to commit murder indictments against the CIA personnel involved.

So, you see, IMO, the evidence pointing to Castro is insufficient for the government to publicly accuse him of doing it. And if our government has such evidence in secret someplace, it still would not want to go forward with it because Castro's actions were precipitated by, IMO, criminal actions of members of the U.S. executive branch.

Hope this makes sense. My view on it anyway.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Greg, you asked that I respond to your post here, and I will.  It raises a very good question.

I do not believe that anyone in our government KNOWS that Castro did it (in part because that avenue of investigation was quickly squelched by both the FBI and the CIA).  LBJ did not WANT to find evidence of foreign complicity for fear it would lead to a war and the death of millions of innocent people.

I believe that the weight of the evidence that does exist suggests that Castro killed Kennedy because Kennedy (or at least the CIA) was trying to kill Castro.  Given the extent of the evidence available, I do not believe evidence exists to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt.

(If Castro did indeed do it, a full investigation may very well have been able to establish that but then LBJ would have been under tremenduous pressure to take out Fidel--and remember the public, and perhaps even LBJ himself, was not at that time aware that in fact it was our government that had first started to kill Fidel.   This was exactly the scenario that LBJ feared.  And I put it to you Forum members who loved JFK--would it have been worth the death of millions of innocent people to avenge his death?  I don't think JFK would have wanted that as the legacy of his assassination.)

Since we in the Forum are trying to examine the issues and determine who killed John F. Kennedy, it is appropriate for me to suggest that the strongest evidence suggests Castro.  Given the state of the evidence, however, I believe it would be highly inappropriate for the POTUS, whoever it is, to publicly accuse Castro of that action.  It may be, and this is speculation on my part, one of the reasons our government remains so unwilling to negotiate with Cuba is suspicion or belief on the part of POTUS that Castro killed one of his predecessors.

The other point that I would make is that (without having to decide the extent of JFK or RFK's knowledge) IMO the plots to kill Castro may very well have been criminal--even if authorized by POTUS.  If, indeed, Castro killed Kennedy it was a desperate action on his part to save his own life, and while we would never condone his action, perhaps we could agree that under the circumstances it was at least understandable.  So if our government should say, hey, we know Castro killed Kennedy, all it does is draw attention to the fact that members of our government, perhaps even including the POTUS, had engaged in a conspiracy to commit murder.

Just as Richard Nixon had no right as president to authorize burglaries (a point established by the Watergate crisis--even the POTUS is not above the law) by the same token JFK had no right to authorize a political murder.  And, of course, if the POTUS had no such authority, neither did Dulles, Bissell and crew--assuming they did so without presidential authorization.

RFK probably encouraged and supported efforts to kill Castro himself.  But if, and it is a big if, he did not, then, in my opinion after his May 7, 1963 meeting with Houston and Edwards he probably should have directed the appropriate prosecuting attorneys in DC or Virginia to draft conspiracy to commit murder indictments against the CIA personnel involved.

So, you see, IMO, the evidence pointing to Castro is insufficient for the government to publicly accuse him of doing it.  And if our government has such evidence in secret someplace, it still would not want to go forward with it because Castro's actions were precipitated by, IMO, criminal actions of members of the U.S. executive branch.

Hope this makes sense.  My view on it anyway.

Hi Tim-

I suppose that is a possibility.

But the CIA/Kennedy attempts on Castro's life were long ago accepted as fact by virtually all historians and interested parties, were they not? So, there doesn't really appear to be a risk of "exposing" these plots. It seems to me that that boat sailed long ago.

Perhaps, if your theory is correct, the U.S. government never obtained any hard evidence that Castro did it beacuse there was never a proper investigation. I'll concede that. But hard evidence or not, I believe it is beyond question (in my mind, anyway) that they know exactly who "did it." Whether it was LBJ, Castro, CIA, Pentagon, Elvis, Brittany Spears, or Krushchev- they know.

I guess Tim, what you are saying in a nutshell is that since there may be no "hard" evidence, and since we'd have to dredge-up our own unsavory plans to whack The Cigar, why drag it out into the light of day? To what end? I suppose that is a plausible explanation. But when weighed against the magnitude of the act of murdering the president of the United States, I'm just not convinced it holds up. And with all due respect to president Bush, I'm not so sure that "hard" evidence has always been required before a president takes action if he believes the cause is just.

For some reason, they are STILL witholding mountains of evidence, controlling what the media reports about this case, and effectively supressing the truth about these events. Why?

Don't know what else to say about this one. Perhaps we will never know for sure.

What is POTUS?

Edited by Greg Wagner
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