Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy’s attempt to overthrow President Fidel Castro’s Communist government in Cuba failed miserably, and it is hard to believe that Castro and his brother Raul still rule that island nation after a half century!
Kennedy’s inept and unfortunate attempt at a covert overthrow of Castro through an invasion of Cuban exiles has led to a political effect on America that still exists: the fact that Cuban Americans, as a voting bloc, have voted consistently Republican, and are vehemently conservative in their views on all major issues domestically, due to their anger over Kennedy’s failure. Cuban Americans are the only Hispanic group to vote Republican, and particularly in Florida, it has had a dramatic effect on state politics!
The embargo against diplomatic relations, trade, and general contact has continued for 50 years, but has had no effect on what goes on in that island nation. President Obama has authorized new rules promoting academic and “People to People” educational and cultural travel to Cuba as a first step toward establishment of what is seen as likely diplomatic recognition in a second Obama term, if that occurs.
Since the embargo and diplomatic isolationism has not worked, with the rest of Latin America and Canada dealing normally with Cuba, it is time for action on this matter, maybe with the President courageously dealing with it before the 2012 Presidential election, although it would add an extra burden to Obama’s battle for re-election, so maybe it will have to wait till 2013.
But certainly, if we can deal with other dictatorships that we find to be anathema, we can deal with Castro and not see it as a victory for him and his brother, but rather facing reality and trying to influence what happens on the island, and taking away the image of Uncle Sam as a nation that is out to destroy the lives of average Cubans!