Friday, September 4, 2009

Cuba for Dummies-Some Basic Facts

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

Diane Watson (D-CA)

This book is for you

Last week, Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA) gave a town hall in Los Angeles to her constituents. It was tightly controlled to weed out the opposition, and there was no video of the event. Thanks to KABC, however, there was an audio, which many of you have heard. I have already posted a blog on her talk, so I won't go into detail on that. Suffice to say that Diane Watson is a pea brain, which she proved when she started singing the praises of Fidel Castro. Of course, Watson is hardly the only one on the left who is enamored of Castro and his Cuba. There is a host of Hollywood types and university leftists who worship Castro as well as his junior dictator in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. So, without going into great details, let's review Cuba under Castro. I'll try to keep it basic for Ms Watson and you UC-Santa Cruz Community Studies majors.

Prior to Castro, Cuba was ruled by a cruel and corrupt dictator named Fulgencio Batista, who was a friend of the US and US business. In 1959, (New Years Eve 1958-1959)* revolutionaries led by Castro and Che Guevara succeeded in toppling Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic and eventually died in Spain.* In addition, several thousand Cubans, mostly the educated, businessmen and Batista supporters also fled to the US, where they established the huge Cuban community in Miami. To this day, they are a conservative force that opposes any reconciliation with Cuba as long as Castro is in power.

Though not known at the time of the revolution, Castro eventually revealed himself to be a communist and established a close relationship with the USSR. He later sent his army off to participate in so-called "wars of liberation" in places like Angola.

Immediately after taking power, he rounded up his enemies. It was Che Guevara-the darling of the radical left to this day- who was put in charge of the court trials and the executions. The "trials' were summary events that lasted about 5 minutes and which resulted in quick executions of hundreds of prisoners.

Of course, then followed the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis under President Kennedy.

Since then, Castro has remained in power and outlived all the US presidents who came after him. He has established and maintained a communist system that allows no dissent. Over the years, thousands of Cubans have risked their lives to escape that island on make-shift boats or rafts. Many have died in the process. If you ask how many people have risked their lives to sail to Cuba, I can't answer that except to say none that I know of.

In spite of the US embargo, European nations have chosen to do business with Cuba and maintain diplomatic and economic ties. Cuba also enjoys a wave of European tourism. What many won't talk about is that many of the male tourists who go to Cuba do so to enjoy the pleasures of under-age prostitutes, part of Castro's tourist industry.

Yet, in spite of all that, Castro is still revered by nit-wits like Diane Watson. Why? Because he is an enemy of the US, that's why. That he is a dictator does not matter. That he and Che Guevara executed hundreds of political opponents without real due process does not matter. The teenage sex trade in Cuba does not matter. The fact that Cuba has free health care represents their excuse for making Cuba their role model. The fact that most Cubans are struggling to have three meals a day does not matter.

If he is an enemy of the US, that's good enough for dummies Diane Watson.

* Hat tip to Carlos Etchevaria for correcting me on these two points regarding Batista. I should have pointed out that Batista fled Cuba on New Year's eve, to be more exact. I originally wrote that Batista died in the exile in the US. That was an error. For that, I am the dummy.


  1. "Prior to Castro, Cuba was ruled by a cruel and corrupt dictator named Fulgencio Batista, who was a friend of the US and US business. In 1959 revolutionaries led by Castro and Che Guevara succeeded in toppling Batista, who fled to the US where he lived out the remainder of his life in exile."

    You might want to get your facts right if you are going to talk about the Cuban Revolution and disparage a man who was an American ally....

    First of all Batista was the de-facto leader from 1933-40, during which time the Cuban constitution was created in 1940, wherein he stood for office and won.

    In 1944 the candidate from his party lost and he gave power over to his opposition, Ramon Grau San Martin. Whereupon, San Martin created a vindictive atmosphere in which former Batista supporters (including my grandfather, grandmother and father had to live in exile in NJ, Batista included in Daytona Beach)

    On March 10, 1952 there was a coup d etat in Cuba and Batista took power after having returned from exile and gaining support due to the corrupt nature of the government of Pres Carlos Prio Socarras (1948-52).

    For six and half years Batista led Cuba and notwithstanding they were in the midst of a civil war, high amazingly high economic indicators.

    He was NOT toppled in 1959, he departed Cuba on Dec 31, 1958, the US govt had not recognized the elections of '58 and his term would have expired anyway in Feb 59.

    You might want to read "The Fourth Floor" by Amb Earl T Smith to know what was happening in Cuba and how the State Dept supported Castro and there were indications he was a a communist due to his associations with Cienfuegos, Che Guevara,Raul Castro, etc

    Although Batista had property in Daytona Beach and even had US residency he was NOT allowed to travel to US and had to go first to Dominican Republic and then Portugal....he ended up in southern Spain, where he died on Aug 6, '73.

    As for being "cruel" this is typical left wing propoganda which has been used against leaders like Batista, Pinochet, Somoza, the Shah, etc.

    Why don't you talk about the number of people murdered by Fidel, by the Sandinistas, etc???

    The Castro brothers have been in power for 50 yrs and you want to run interference for them over Batista????

  2. Carlos,

    Thank you for correcting me on the fact that Batista died in Spain, not the US. For that, I am the dummy. My faulty memory told me he lived in Florida. I was wrong on that point. When I said Batista was toppled in 1959, I was referring to New Year's eve (1958-59).

    However, notwithstanding the fact that you as a Cuban surely know more about Cuban history than I, I stand by my statements when I described Batissta as a corrupt and cruel dictator. History is pretty unanimous on that point. Yes, prosperity was good in Cuba under his rule, but don't forget the influence of the Mafia in the casinos of Havana.

    Those of us who condemn Castro have to be intellectually honest when it comes to his predecessor. If not, we lose our own credibility.

    And if you think I was "running interference for Castro", as you put it, you must have stopped reading when you saw the part about Batista. Did I not mention the executions of hundreds in the aftermath of the revolution and role of Che Guevara in tose kangaroo court trials?