Former Cuban President Fidel Castro had a few things to say about U.S. President Barack Obama's recent visit to his island nation, writing in the Communist-party newspaper Granma on Monday, "We don’t need the empire to give us anything."
The column, entitled "Brother Obama," takes aim at statements made by Obama during his historic visit to Cuba last week.
How refreshing. Thank you Fidel. I was afraid the Walmart and Coke families etc were coming to buy Cuba after all your good work saving it.
I saw what you say with my own eyes. Cuba needs nothing from the US.
Tell us more. Please tell us the story of when you came to New York to talk with President Eisenhower but he didn't show up at the airport. I have a friend who came to see you land and told us of a great adventure with you in Harlem. If the story he told was only half true it is still worth hearing it from you directly.
Good for Fidel. The revolution is indeed in great peril and he knows it. The Castros will both be gone soon, and it is unclear how well the next generation of revolutionary leadership will govern. Fidel knows his history as well as anyone, and he knows it's always the 2d generation that generally messes things up.
I hope Cuba endures as a leftist polity of some sort. But if they give the US even so much as a single corporate beachhead, this project will likely end badly for the Cuban people.
I hope something like that attitude goes across the island. It is probably a good thing that the embargo be lifted, but it is certainly not a good thing that Cuba should allow itself to be without very strong economic protections. This is not a gift.
Bravo to Fidel Castro for his lifetime of selfless revolutionary courage and action for the Cuban and other peoples! Imagine how Cuba could have advanced if there had not been a 50 year US embargo/blockade! There's over a trillion dollars in reparations due Cuba, lost over half a century of illegal embargo/blockade!
Prez Obama had much to say on his state visit, but much was a reflection of US imperialism, past and present, not a vision of equality and absolute sovereignty for the Cuban people into the future.
"I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas - I have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people" said Barack Obama - the image of a US hand of friendship is very welcome, although some US politicians reject any "hand of friendship"! Hopefully concrete positive actions - and absence of other negative actions will follow.
I only wish Obama's statements were true in all respects. One must give some credit at least for his actions, he didn't really have to do anything to begin to normalize relations with Cuba. The "last remnant of the Cold War" remains in the embargo still in effect and US control of Cuban territory at Guantanamo Bay - the Cold War also remains in other areas like attempted NATO hegemony in Ukraine.
Fidel Castro and Cuba have much to suspect from a new "relationship" with the US, our greedy corporations, aspects of our often shallow culture infecting Cubanos, and legal demands that will surely be made on Cuba for "return" of property repatriated to the Cuban people - all a potential dilution of the revolution! http://www.un.org/press/en/2014/ga11574.doc.htm
I'm not a big fan of Castroism or what passes for Socialism in Cuba...but...still...you gotta love Fidel.
As far of what Cuba needs from the United States, his brother Raul may disagree, at least in part. With the new commercial deep water ports at Mariel, and the development of the new "free trade zone" there, Raul and the councils might feel Cuba could benefit from the potential business relaxed tensions with the US might bring.
Once Capitalism gets a solid footing in Cuba, the gig is over. When that happens, 90% of the Cuban population have more now than they will ever have under the influence of Capitalism. Any and all "advancements" (including all forms of material possessions and wealth) will be limited to the top 10% ... and that may be optimistic.
What will happen to the far-advanced social benefits of medicine/health care, education and the arts that occurred under the Communist regime of Fidel Castro? I already know the answer and my heart aches.
Mark my words, in a few years after Capitalism has gained controlling influence, the vast majority of Cubans (those outside the Capitalist ruling class) will regret that normalized relations with the U.S. took place.
Note: I am not endorsing or condoning Fidel Castro's totalitarian Communist regime in Cuba. I am simply acknowledging the successes under the reign of Fidel Castro as they exist ... especially under the "odds" they were attained from the inhumane, and brutal opposition of the United States.
The list of countries is long that my country has invaded, overthrown elected governments or tried to overthrow, propped up with military and economic resources and pushed into bankruptcy with"loans" and sanctions. No other country in the history of the world can come close to this shameful record. Most of this all in my life time. I have come a long way in my thinking since that day a group of my brainwashed friends and I stood in front of our high school with a sign we had constructed which read "To Hell with Fidel" as streams of US warplanes flew overhead to stage out of Homestead AFB for the invasion of Cuba. Whether this was the "Cuban Missile Crises" or the Bay of Pigs invasion which caused the JFK assaination, I do not recall. I just remember that we were taught to hate Fidel Castro. Hate is a terrible thing to teach young kids is what I have learned over the years and partially from this memory. Hate has two sides and, always, many victims. Hate also has many perpetrators and many deniers. As Fidel Castro said in his "op-ed," Obama was 10 years old when Castro became the leader of Cuba. I was around 16. That's a big difference. I would never have made the statements that Obama made to the Cuban people. But then Obama made the same theme-like statements to the American people about the Bush Administration re: torture and the lies which started the illegal US invasion of Iraq. "Let's look forward, not back", he said. Let's deny our past with sweet words over the bodies that we bury with denials. Hate is a terrible emotion. Hate is cured with time and understanding. Hate is not cured with denial.
I never thought the USA would make overtures to Cuba to improve relationships until after Fidel's death. He is there to refute the lies, tell his country's version of history, and carry on the revolution. And given the fact the mighty corporations and mafioso still want revenge/retribution for the national takeover of "their" properties in Cuba, esp in Havana. A true overture would be to lift the embargo asap.
Obama did the right thing. His problem is the right wing morons who miss Bautista, the mafia, gambling and prostituition. The good old days when Cuba was free. You can bet the anti-Castro criminals will do everything possible to impoverish the people and exploit the resources. First they will find friends in Cuba, enrich them, create wedge issues and use intimidation to destroy the intellectuals and small businessmen. Propaganda will brainwash the gullible, destroy education, government services, the environment. Fifty years from now Cuba will be impoverished once again. The young girls will have work as prostitutes again, the police will brutalize good people, the mafia will run the casinos again and the next Fidel will be killed before he can get power. The Cuban people better be careful letting the fox into the henyard. The fox in America has turned into a monster and our vote has become meaningless joke. Good luck Cuba!
The Common Dreams editor needs a dictionary, writing that Castro "refutes" key point in President Obama's speech. The dictionary will show that "refute" means to "prove wrong." It's a conclusive judgment of truth. In fact, the only thing Castro did was "dispute" the Obama key point.
I sat there at Homestead waiting for orders to parachute in with the 101st. Airborne in the Spring of 1963 at 18 years of age. Newly arrived at station, my jump master assured me that we would be ok. Years later i realized that the reason we went back home was probably due to JFK and Bobby. Also, Curtis LeMay and McNamara didn't have a clue that the Cubans had battlefield Nukes, and were prepared to use them if we invaded... Known Unknowns??? The Military was insane then and still is, and Hillary is the worst. I would give anything to see Bill and W lead the next charge.
George, Ive thought about that, and here is what I came up with: Those Cubans that ended up in Florida were used too, by Alan Dulles' CIA. Neither side completely understood the Game being played, each in its own way thought they were right. The Game was bigger than the players, and now is a time for reconciliation. Think of the negotiations ending the situation in Northern Ireland as a model.