Raul Castro

Trump Reversal Of Cuban Policy Of Obama A Massive Blunder And Sign Of Total Hypocrisy!

Donald Trump is continuing his mission of destroying the Obama legacy in every way possible.

So now, in Miami, and to appease Marco Rubio and the Diaz Balarts (one of whom is a Congressman), he has reversed Barack Obama’s policy of ending the embargo on Cuba, which failed for 57 years.

So now it will be more difficult for Americans to travel to Cuba, and business dealings designed to open up Cuban society after six decades of isolation will be curbed.

Ironically, this massive blunder and sign of total hypocrisy comes after the death of Fidel Castro, and the planned retirement of Raul Castro early in 2018.

This is precisely the time to work to open up Cuba, but the effect will be more Russian and Chinese intervention in economic terms in the island nation.

And to think we almost went to war in 1962 over Russian intervention in Cuba, and now we are promoting it by our narrow minded, outdated policy toward the Cuban regime.

Having isolated them for nearly six decades did NOT make Cuba a democracy, and doing that now will not help to democratize Cuba as much as interaction and influence.

We have people who condemn Cuba’s government because of violation of human rights, and in that, we all concur, BUT somehow, we have dealings and business with many nations that systematically violate human rights, including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines, and innumerable others.

But an island 90 miles from the Florida Keys is too full of sin, apparently, that we spite ourselves, and deny Cuban Americans free access to their relatives and heritage in their home nation, all because of extremist right wing Cubans in America who have no concern about human rights, but only about their desire to take back property confiscated at the time of the Cuban Revolution.

Yes, that is an outrage, but after six decades, and looking at victims of despotic governments elsewhere, the only reason for such intransigence by our government toward Cuba is because of the political significance of Florida in the Congress and in Presidential elections.

Why, for instance, do we say nothing about violations of human rights on a much wider scale, and instead embrace such a brutal government as Saudi Arabia, from where the September 11 hijackers came from?

How does Cuba affect national security, when Russia and Saudi Arabia and China in particular do so, and yet we treat them as nations we are willing to work with?

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.

Presidents And Difficult Diplomacy: TR, FDR, Truman, JFK, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Obama

Presidents have to deal with recalcitrant nations in diplomacy, including nations that are our adversaries.

The key is to promote agreements, with the ability to verify and hold nations accountable, under international agreement. It is not an issue of trust, as many nations see other nations as rivals, but rather the ability to come to agreements with the understanding that violations can lead to a confrontational situation if they are not kept.

Presidents have regularly taken bold steps in diplomacy with other nations, whereby they suffered from strong criticism as being naive and weak, but history tells us they actually demonstrated courage and principle, that international agreements could be upheld if both sides wish to avoid military confrontation.

So we have President Theodore Roosevelt negotiating agreements with a newly ambitious Japan after the Russo-Japanese War.

So we have President Franklin D. Roosevelt deciding to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union after 16 years of non recognition.

So we have President Harry Truman deciding to recognize Israel, and in so doing, alienating Arab nations in the Middle East.

So we have President John F. Kennedy agreeing to the Nuclear Best Ban Treaty in 1963 with the Soviet Union, and it is still in effect today. This came after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which many believed the result would not be obeyed by the Soviet Union, but they did precisely what was required under the settlement.

So we have President Richard Nixon, who made arms limitation agreements (SALT I) with the Soviet Union, and opened the door to contacts with the People’s Republic of China, both moves that are now hailed, although criticized at the time.

SO we have President Jimmy Carter accomplishing something no one would have believed, an agreement between Israel and Egypt, and mutual recognition, in what became known as the Camp David Accords. Additionally, Carter decided to recognize the Communist government in China as being China, rather than Taiwan.

So we have President Ronald Reagan, after calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire”, negotiate arms agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev.

So we have President Bill Clinton bringing about peace between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, an event that seemed impossible of achievement, known as the Good Friday Agreements of 1998. He also established diplomatic relations with Vietnam, a generation after the end of the divisive war in Vietnam was lost.

So now we have President Barack Obama negotiating an agreement to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons, with five other nations engaged in the process, and to prevent war, while guaranteeing the security of Israel and Arab nations. Like all the others, it is a gamble, as no one can be sure of Iran’s ultimate actions, but it has worked out in all of the other cases. He also has established diplomatic relations with the government of Fidel and Raul Castro in Cuba.

And yet, nothing is a panacea, as Russia and China still present a challenge, but progress was made to avoid war, and that is happening again now, with the understanding that if the agreement is broken, war is always an ultimate alternative!

Presidents And Dictatorships: Double Standard Of Critics Of Obama Change Of Cuban Policy

Presidents of the United States deal with reality, not what they might wish was so.

America has had diplomatic relations with all sorts of terrible people who govern the world’s nations over time.

Latin American dictatorships, including those of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba; Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic; the Duvalier dynasty, father and son, in Haiti; Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua; and military dictatorships in all of the South American nations at different times, have been accepted by American Presidents.

Our Presidents have dealt with Asian dictatorships, including China beginning with Richard Nixon; and with Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, South Korea for decades, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the former Soviet Republics, now independent, but almost all of them dictatorships.

We have dealt with the Arab nations of the Middle East and with Iran under the Shah, despite their harsh dictatorships.

We have had dealings with African dictatorships of all stripes, including South Africa under Apartheid; and the brutal governments of much of the continent.

Somehow, Cuba has been seen differently, when the governments of many of the world’s nations has been far worse in their oppression than Fidel and Raul Castro.

This is not saying that Fidel and Raul Castro cannot, rightfully, be condemned for their human rights violations, but if human rights was the guide, we would not have any diplomatic relations or trade with 80 percent of the world!

When Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and the two Presidents Bush have embraced, and even endorsed, dictators, it was always seen as no big deal, but when Barack Obama opens up to Cuba after 54 years, it is perceived as a crime of massive proportions, while we willingly accepted the previous harsh dictatorship in Cuba of Batista and his henchmen!

Hypocrisy anyone?

Republican Split On Obama’s Cuban Initiative Will Cause Turmoil In GOP Presidential Race

President Barack Obama’s decision to change policy toward Cuba is already stirring up controversy in the Republican Party Presidential race.

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona went along on the trip to Cuba to bring back Alan Gross and an American spy in exchange for three Cuban spies, and he has long believed that the 54 year old policy of isolation of Cuba has been wrong, and needed to be revisited.

But Flake is not running for President, so he is a rare standout for his views on Cuba in the Republican Party, although his actions and words insure a tough race for reelection, when he comes up in 2018.

But the big news is that Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a full fledged Presidential aspirant, has taken the same stand, just as his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, took on Cuba for many years, making him a pariah in the Republican Party.

Rand Paul has come under bitter attack by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, two rivals of his for the nomination, and both Cuban Americans. And others in Republican leadership have also joined in the attack, including Jeb Bush.

The question is whether Rand Paul has forfeited any chance to be the GOP Presidential nominee by his decision to back Barack Obama on this initiative.

It will, most certainly, stir up the race, and make future attitudes and policies toward Cuba a key issue in the Republican Presidential primaries, as it is likely that the critics of Obama’s changed policy will promise to restore the isolationist policy that has been in existence for a half century, were any of them to become President.

Ironically, though, by 2017, we will be nearing the end of the Castro brothers in power, as Raul Castro has said he will retire in 2018, when he is 87, and Fidel Castro is 92. So the end is near for this two brother dominance of the future of Cuba!

Obama Supported By Chambers Of Commerce, Catholic Church, Public Opinion Polls, And Many Others, On Cuban Policy

President Obama has taken a gigantic step in changing Cuban policy, and his initiative will overcome the opposition of Cuban American Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, along with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and many other Republicans and some Democrats, other than Menendez.

This Cuban initiative was promoted by Canada’s Conservative government; Pope Francis; Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona; and many other rational people who knew that the policy against Fidel and Raul Castro, beginning under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and lasting through what is now eleven Presidencies, was having no real effect on the Cuban government, and harming its citizens. The Chambers of Commerce and the Catholic Church in America have also endorsed the change in policy. And, interestingly, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has also backed the Obama policy as rational and reasonable, which it most certainly is! And public opinion polls show about 60 percent support a change in Cuban policy.

Yes, the Castros have been horrific on human rights, but we have have relations with many oppressive governments, which are more than half the nations in the world. These have included Communist governments, as in China and Vietnam, for instance; but also numerous right wing dictatorships in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East over the decades.

If we can deal with Vietnam, where 58,000 Americans died, then we can deal with Cuba a half century after the Cuban Missile Crisis!

Either we accept that fact, that it is time to change a Cuban policy which has never worked, or we need to cut off relations with most of the nations in the world, and live in isolation, and our own “dream world” of reality!

Historic Action Of Barack Obama On Changing Isolation Policy Toward Cuba!

When history is recorded on the Obama Presidency, the President’s move to end the isolation of Cuba, a failed policy for 54 years, will be high on the list of accomplishments!

The decision under Dwight D. Eisenhower to start an embargo on Cuba on January 17, 1961, was an historic mistake that has failed to bring down the regime of Fidel and Raul Castro.

Who would have thought that, through thick and thin, and even without Soviet support for the past 20 years, that the Castro brothers would have the continuation of the longest personal dictatorship in modern times, surviving through eleven Presidencies?

It is not an issue of endorsing the harsh dictatorship of Fidel and Raul Castro, as that, rightfully, has been, and continues to be, something worth condemning.

But if we were to decide not to deal with governments that are oppressive, then we would not have diplomatic relations with much of the world, and certainly not with China and Vietnam, but Richard Nixon opened up to China; Jimmy Carter established diplomatic ties to China; and Bill Clinton established diplomatic ties with Vietnam, a scant generation after 58,000 Americans died in the disastrous Vietnam War!

The Castro Brothers, in their mid to high 80s are on the way out, and Raul has said he will retire in 2018, and there is no obvious family heir, so the opportunity to influence the future of the island is likely by America having diplomatic relations with Cuba, and promoting trade, travel and opening up to American influence.

The Congress should lift the embargo, but even if they do not, short term, the failed policy is on its way out, and a majority of Americans support opening up to Cuba.

Barack Obama has been a profile in courage on this, and Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Robert Menendez, and House members Ileana Ros Lehtinen, and Mario Diaz Balart, and other Cuban American politicians are living in the past, with their narrow minded views on their homeland to go into the dustbin of history! The older generation in Florida and elsewhere may still be bitterly opposed to change, but the younger generation supports opening up to Cuba, which will have a massive short range and long range effect on that nation!

The Political Ticket For President With Julian Castro As Vice Presidential Running Mate In 2016!

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, in his third term as Mayor of the seventh largest city, made quite an impression at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, when he gave a speech that reminded many of Barack Obama’s speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

An attractive, charismatic politician of Mexican American heritage, with his identical twin Joaquin Castro a member of the House of Representatives, the San Antonio Mayor gained an image as someone to watch, and he will be only 42 in 2016.

With the Hispanic-Latino population and vote multiplying, and with Texas seen as a battleground in the future, and even possibly in 2016, Julian Castro is the ideal Vice Presidential running mate, whether for Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley, Elizabeth Warren, Mark Warner, or really ANY other Democratic Presidential nominee!

Castro has run the seventh largest city with distinction, and now is being nominated to be Barack Obama’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary, moving him to Washington and the center of national politics.

Castro is articulate, knowledgeable, and puts Texas and Georgia and North Carolina into play for 2016, along with improving the odds of Virginia and Florida remaining Democratic.

His youth (42) at the time of the election is an excellent balance for Hillary (69) or Joe (74), as it offers the experience and seasoning of either Hillary or Joe, while adding the largest Southern state to the game of Democratic party advancement. His urban experiences also are a major plus.

Castro’s only negatives are his last name, which Republicans will probably utilize to leave the impression that he is related to Cuban leaders Fidel and Raul Castro. Also, the anti immigrant policy of right wingers will use the fact that Castro is Mexican American as a racist attack on all Hispanics and Latinos, which will be to their detriment, as immigration will become an issue that will harm the Republican Party, as rightfully it should!

Overall, a great move to have Castro head the HUD Department and be available as the BEST running mate for Vice President for ANY Democratic Presidential nominee, insuring a massive win for the Democrats for the White House in 2016!

The Barack Obama–Raul Castro Handshake: Much Ado Over Nothing!

While at the Nelson Mandela commemoration in South Africa, Barack Obama had an opportunity to meet dozens of world leaders, some of them from democracies, and some from dictatorships.

Unfortunately, dictatorships are much more common historically and in contemporary times, than are democracies.

Richard Nixon went to China and met Mao Tse Tung.

Dwight D. Eisenhower met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David, and John F. Kennedy met Khrushchev in Vienna.

Ronald Reagan met Afghan freedom fighters, who later became involved in promoting terrorism, including September 11.

John McCain met Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, and shook his hand.

Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein of Iraq as a emissary from Ronald Reagan.

Also, many Presidents have bowed to royal leaders, including George W. Bush with the King of Saudi Arabia, and many Presidents with the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England.

Never was such a big deal made of these handshakes or discussions, and even summits, until suddenly, Barack Obama became President!

When he met Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, it was the worst crime of the century to the right wing whackos!

Now, Obama shook the hand of Raul Castro, who has made it clear that he is leaving power in 2018, when he will be 87, and his brother Fidel Castro, will be 92, if either is still alive.

There will be a successor government in Cuba within a few years, and there is always the chance that Cuba could undergo change and reform, and in fact, already has developed capitalism and private property, as China, for instance, has done.

Has our government, under Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, refused to deal with “evil” governments? NO in the modern era, and we are talking with Iran and North Korea at times, so why not Cuba?

After 55 years, has the embargo on Cuba changed anything in that island nation? NO, as it unites the government with its population, who are the true victims of the American blockade!

Do we blockade trade and contact with other nations of much greater importance? The answer is NO, but apparently, we must cater to three million Cuban Americans, and their leadership in the Republican Party, when it benefits no one, and is a failed policy!

It is time for rapprochement with Cuba, so that we can have an effect on its future. This is the time to start such development of relations, and forget the lobbying of right wing groups and Marco Rubio, who have no interest in planning for the future without a Castro in power!

60th Anniversary Of Castro Revolution In Cuba: What Is The Future?

60 years ago on this day, Fidel Castro led a failed attempt to seize an army barracks, which is marked as the beginning of his revolutionary uprising against Fulgencio Batista, leading after five and a half years of struggle to his seizure of power in Havana on January 1, 1959.

Fidel Castro gave up power due to medical problems in 2006, after 47 plus years of leadership, but his brother Raul succeeded him, and the Castro dynasty is still in power in Cuba after 54 and a half years, and Fidel Castro will be 87 years of age nest month, and is reported in good health.

Fidel Castro, as evil a man as he is, will go down as the most significant Latin American government leader of the past century of history, with only Juan Peron of Argentina a weak second behind him.

The effect of Cuba on the international scene has been massive, considering the fact that Cuba never made a dent in world affairs before Castro, and we nearly had nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union 51 years ago, a year and a half after a failed American attempt to use Cuban exiles to overthrow him in the Bay of Pigs fiasco!

And our domestic politics has been profoundly affected by the loyalty of the few million Cuban Americans to the Republican Party, making them a distinct Hispanic group in their political behavior, particularly in Florida!

We have also seen three Cuban US Senators–Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Ted Cruz of Texas–who have a great impact in the US Senate, as well as a few in the House of Representatives. Menendez is the lone Cuban Democrat who has made it to a prominent position, Chairman of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The question is what will happen when Fidel and Raul Castro leave the scene, at least officially in 2018, according to the plans of Raul Castro to retire. How will Cuba evolve, and how will the United States react to change in Cuba? Will democracy develop in Cuba or come about by a new revolution, or will the Castro influence and Communism persist in Cuba?

This island, just 90 miles from the Florida Keys, will become the center of world politics again very soon, and what happens there will affect America domestically and in foreign affairs for the long term future, just as it has for the past six decades!

The Castro brothers have managed to survive in power through the terms of 11 Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama! It is an amazing story just by that reality!