Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gingrich spews the same old Cold War rhetoric on Cuba; Ron Paul gets it right

La Guerra Fría ya terminó. Creo que hemos realzado a Castro por más de 40 años, le impusimos estas sanciones, y esto sólo ha servido para convertirnos en su excusa. El ahora puede atribuir la culpa de todo lo malo a Estados Unidos. Creo que llegó la hora de poner fin a este negocio del aislamiento -- Ron Paul, Jan. 23, 2012 (translation below)

During last night's debate between the Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum all tried to out tough-guy each other on Cuba. It proved little more than that they're utterly steamed and stewed to the core in Cold War ideology.

I didn't watch the debate live, but I've read several Spanish language accounts of it today, which summarize the Cuban affairs discussion as follows:

Romney was asked how he would react if he received a call as president, informing him of the death of Fidel Castro. He said that the first thing he would do is "thank heaven that Castro had been returned to his Creator." That kind of pep talk will of course be popular with hundreds of thousands of voters of Cuban origin, especially in Florida (where the debate was held in anticipation of the state's January 31 primary). But is it supposed to be a statement of a reasoned, diplomatic approach towards a nation which lies just 100 miles south of Miami, and with which sooner or later the United States must deal responsibly?

When it was his turn Gingrich responded that Castro would "not be returning to his Creator, because he's going to the other place." He said that if he's elected president, U.S. policy would be "to aggressively seek the overthrow of the Cuban government by any means possible, by the use of covert methods, and by fostering internal dissent. A Gingrich presidency would not tolerate four more years of this dictatorship." Covert assistance to Cuban dissidents presumably would not exclude weapons or military aid.

Does Newt -- a 68 year old Ph.D. in history -- remember nothing of the disastrous U.S.-led Bay of Pigs invasion 51 years ago? Launched in April 1961 in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro's new (new then, anyway) government, the operation was approved by John F. Kennedy just 90 days after he was sworn in as president. Cuban armed forces, trained and equipped by Eastern Bloc nations, crushed the CIA-tutored rag-tag invaders (recent Cuban exiles, for the most part) in just 72 hours. It was an utter rout and a major political embarrassment for Kennedy, as well as a military fiasco for the U.S forces which had participated (albeit surreptitiously) from the sidelines. And Gingrich wants to return to another such "covert operation" to liberate the island from a disagreeable government which has outlasted 10 American presidents? How about another Cuban Missile Crisis?

Rick Santorum delivered up similar hard-liner themes, without any perspective on how to improve U.S.-Cuba relations, which have been in the toilet for more than five decades.

Only Ron Paul broke ranks on Cuba last night, because he's not on Republican auto-pilot mode. No wonder he's so popular with many voters who are young enough to be his grandchildren. Here's what Paul said on Cuba, translated from the Spanish above:

"The Cold War is over. We've actually boosted Castro for more than 40 years with the economic sanctions against him, and we've made ourselves into his excuse (for retaining power). He can lay full responsibility for everything gone wrong in Cuba on the United States. I think that the time has come to end this business of isolating (Cuba)."

I could not possibly agree more with Dr. Paul. That's why I vigorously support the end of the disastrously failed 52 year old U.S. Embargo of Cuba: http://mexicogulfreporter-supplement.blogspot.com/2011/11/us-embargo-of-cuba.html.

Note: A woman named Judy Gross sits in Washington D.C. these days, desperate for the return of her husband Alan, who has been confined in a Havana jail cell since December 2009. Alan Gross has barely begun a 15 year sentence in Cuba for state security crimes, of which he was convicted in March 2011. The hard line talk from the hawkish Republicans can hardly be of encouragement to her. If they have their way, her husband may never see the United States again. Read here to learn about the Gross case, and what the U.S. government doesn't tell you about its continuing efforts to quietly topple the Castro regime using "private contractors": http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/11/judy-gross-asks-president-obama-to.html.

Update Jan. 25: A response by Fidel Castro himself was perhaps predictable. In his periodic column entitled Reflections, published today in the official government newspaper Granma, Dr. Castro referred to the Republican primary field as the "biggest competition of idiots I've ever seen." I think I'll leave it just there.

Alan Gross exposed: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2012/02/alan-gross-us-agent-who-knew-what-he.html.
U.S. shows revolting double standard on Cuba: http://mexicogulfreporter-supplement.blogspot.com/2011/11/us-shows-revolting-double-standard-in.html.

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