Bay Of Pigs Fiasco

Giant Historical Figure Fidel Castro Dies, A Transformative Figure, With Great Negative Impact On The World!

Fidel Castro of Cuba, the most significant figure in Latin America in the 20th Century, and one of the most vicious dictators of modern times, passed away at age 90 on Friday.

He left behind a legacy of a brutal dictatorship, which while making some improvements in health care and education, took away any semblance of civil liberties and civil rights, and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered dissidents in great numbers over more than a half century of rule.

Castro was the longest lasting leader of modern times, with only Queen Elizabeth II of England having come to office about seven years before Castro took over the capital of Cuba, Havana, on New Years Day 1959.

Who would have thought that someone who came to power on the island of Cuba, which had been a playground for wealthy Americans, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, at a time when this author was in high school, would last in power for a half century, and then be replaced by his younger brother, Raul Castro, a decade ago, and still rules?

Castro became the dire enemy of the Unites States, and Cuban exiles fleeing to Florida in 1959-1960 and again in 1980 (the Mariel Boat Lift) and constant escapes since then, have affected the history and politics of Florida and the Republican Party, with Cuban Americans flocking to support of the party after John F. Kennedy failed in his attempt to remove Castro from power in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in April 1961. This made Cuban Americans the one Hispanic group that would refuse to support the Democratic Party, as many Cuban Americans saw JFK as a Communist for failing to succeed to remove Castro. This led to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War years, as Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s leader, formed an alliance with Castro, who had declared himself a Communist, and installed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world closer to the danger of a nuclear war than any other event in history before or since. Only with the cool headed leadership of JFK was nuclear war averted.

Castro was a maniacal figure, who also abused the rights of gays and lesbians in Cuba, and initiated aggression overseas by supporting national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, and the people of Cuba suffered economically under his five decade rule. Few more influential and significant dictators have existed, and those he is often compared with–including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini–only lasted 25, 12 and 21 years compared to his 47 plus years.

The question is how Cuba will evolve now, with brother Raul Castro, age 85, having said he will leave power in February 2018, only 14 months away, and also how Donald Trump will react to the death of Fidel Castro, after Barack Obama had begun new relations with Cuba in 2015.

April A Particularly Historic Month In America’s Past

The month of April is a particularly historic month in America’s past in so many ways, with 20 significant events listed below.

April 2, 1917—President Woodrow Wilson asks the Congress for a declaration of war against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks.

April 4, 1968—The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

April 6, 1917—Congress votes for entrance into World War I against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks.

April 9, 1865—General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, marking the official end of the Civil War.

April 12, 1861—The Civil War begins, with the South Carolina attack on the federal military fort, Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

April 12, 1945—President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia, and Harry Truman becomes President.

April 13, 1743—President Thomas Jefferson is born in Virginia.

April 14, 1865—President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC, dying the next morning at 722 AM

April 17, 1961—A failed attempt to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro failed, coming to be known as the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and helped to lead to the later Cuban Missile Crisis, the greatest challenge faced by President John F. Kennedy.

April 18, 1775—The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, inspiring the first armed uprising against British oppression, occurred.

April 18, 1906—The highly destructive San Francisco Earthquake occurred, destroying much of the city, and killing 4,000 people.

April 19, 1775—The American Revolution began, with the Battle of Lexington and Concord outside Boston, Massachusetts.

April 19, 1993—The Waco, Texas tragedy of the death of 82 people in the Branch Davidian religious compound, consumed by fire, after an intervention by armored vehicles and federal agents occurred, inspiring conspiracy theories which led to the event below.

April 19, 1995—The worst domestic terrorist act in American history occurred, when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building, killing 168 people and wounding about a thousand others.

April 20, 1914—The Ludlow Massacre of miners by company hired National Guardsmen, killing 19 people, occurred in Colorado over a desire for recognition of the United Mine Workers for the coal miners.

April 20, 1999—The Columbine Massacre in Littleton, Colorado, led to the worst mass shooting of students and teachers in public schools until the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.

April 21, 1836— The Battle of San Jacinto near Houston, Texas, led to the victory of Texans led by Sam Houston over the Mexican army of General Santa Anna, leading to Texas Independence.

April 22, 1994—President Richard Nixon dies at the age of 81.

April 24, 1800—The national library of America, the Library of Congress, is established in Washington, DC.

April 30, 1789—George Washington is inaugurated as the first American President at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan.

51st Anniversary Of Bay Of Pigs Fiasco: Time To Open Up To Cuba

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the Bay of Pigs fiasco under President John F. Kennedy, the failure to overthrow Fidel Castro and Communism in Cuba.

Often thought to be possibly the worst action of the Kennedy Presidency, it simply emboldened Fidel Castro, and it led to the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, leading to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union.

Had it not been for cooler heads on both sides, including President Kennedy’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, the world as we knew it might have come to an end in a disastrous nuclear war.

In the years since, negotiations went on with the Soviet Union until its downfall in December 1991, and relations with China, the largest Communist power, ensued, and despite many problems and issues between China and the US, we are now marking 40 years of contact with that nation.

But our involvement with Fidel Castro, and now his brother Raul Castro, has been very minimal, and an embargo on trade has failed to overwhelm Cuba, even after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Instead, for political reasons, the influence of Cuban Americans in the Republican Party, and particularly in Florida, has led to the refusal to deal with Castro, which all other nations do, and has made us look ridiculous.

Dealing with an evil government which denies human rights to its citizens is not a good thing, but yet we deal with many governments diplomatically, who do just that, deny basic human rights to its people.

If we were to deal only with governments that guarantee equality and human rights, we would be isolated from contact with much of the world, as sadly, much of the membership of the United Nations is governed by abhorrent leadership.

The point is that Cuba will sometime soon see a change of government, as with Fidel Castro reaching 86 this summer, and Raul Castro in his early 80s, we could have a dramatic effect on the future of that island nation if we began diplomatic ties and stopped the ridiculous, ineffective embargo that has gone on now for more than half a century.

It is time that we decided that we are not going to allow the Cuban American community of South Florida, which is indeed becoming more diverse, in any case, simply by the changing attitudes of the younger generation, to dominate the issue of the future of Cuban relations.

And as part of that, we need to have people willing to stand up to the dominant, older, right wing forces in the Cuban community, who are not interested in democracy in Cuba’s future, but only in establishing a right wing government that favors the wealthy who were forced out of Cuba in 1959-1960, and want to influence the future of that nation through their family connections, but have poisoned politics in Florida and the nation by their intransigence on the Cuba issue all these years.

And therefore, it is time for the Miami Marlins to stop pandering to those in the community who have called for the firing of manager Oscar Guillen because he had the “nerve” to speak his mind about Fidel Castro. IF we do not promote freedom of speech, how are we any different than what has gone on in Cuba for the past half century? And although the author thinks Fidel Castro is reprehensible, that does not mean that Oscar Guillen’s job should be based on denial of his right to his personal views, whether you and I agree with such views!

Hopefully, in a second term, Barack Obama will be able to move forward on the issue of opening up to Cuba, as a plan for the future of our relations with that island nation, soon to change simply on the basis of time passing and leadership leaving the scene!