In History, Politics on January 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm

For Presidential candidate Ron Paul, the Cold War is over–and the United States should recognize it.

But for his three competitors in the GOP Presidential debate in Tampa, Florida, on January 23, 2012, it’s still raging.

Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul

Moderator Brian Williams:  “….There was a lot of talk in the last presidential campaign about that 3:00 a.m. phone call. Let’s say ….it is to say that Fidel Castro has died. And there are credible people in the Pentagon who predict upwards of half a million Cubans may take that as a cue to come to the United States. What do you do?”

Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum played to the huge–and politically influential–Cuban community in Florida, and especially Miami.

All three pledged to continue the dcades-old policy of refusing to trade with Cuba or open diplomatic relations while it held to a nominally Communist government.

And all three are draft-dodging “chickenhawks” eager to prove how “tough” they are at the risk of other men’s lives.

Former Speaker of the House Gingrich promised: “A Gingrich presidency will not tolerate four more years of this dictatorship.”

Former Massachusetts Governor Romney declared that he would “work very aggressively with the new leadership in Cuba to try and move them towards a more open degree than they have had in the past.”

And former U.S. Senator Santorum insisted “the sanctions have to stay in place, because we need to have a very solid offer to come forward and help the Cuban people.”

Finally, it was the turn of Texas Congressman Ron Paul to respond:

“No, I would do pretty much the opposite. I don’t like the isolationism of not talking to people. I was drafted in 1962 at the height of the Cold War when the missiles were in Cuba. And the Cold War’s over.

“And I think we propped up Castro for 40-some years because we put on these sanctions, and this–only used us as a scapegoat. He could always say, anything wrong, it’s the United States’ fault.

“But I think it’s time…to quit this isolation business of not talking to people. We talked to the Soviets. We talk to the Chinese. And we opened up trade, and we’re not killing each other now.

“We fought with the Vietnamese for a long time. We finally gave up, started talking to them, now we trade with them. I don’t know why…the Cuban people should be so intimidating.

“I don’t know where you get this assumption that all of a sudden all the Cubans would come up here. I would probably think they were going to celebrate and they’re going to have a lot more freedom if we would only open up our doors and say, we want to talk to you, and trade with you, and come visit….

“I think we’re living in the dark ages when we can’t even talk to the Cuban people. I think it’s not 1962 anymore.  And we don’t have to use force and intimidation and overthrow of a–in governments. I just don’t think that’s going to work.”

Paul’s answer reveals–and leaves out–a great deal.

It reveals an awareness that:

  • We’ve learned to live, talk and trade with our once-sworn enemies in China and Russia.
  • We’ve learned to live, talk and trade with our former battlefield enemies in Vietnam.
  • We can do the same with the Cubans–who are far weaker than the Russians and Chinese.
  • To avoid war, a great power like the United States must maintain diplomatic relations with its enemies.
  • Fidel Castro has been able to blame United States sanctions for the continuing poverty of his island–instead of a failed  economic system: communism.

But Paul’s answer does not reveal:

  • Before Castro’s takeover in 1959, Cuba had been a playground for wealthy American businessmen–and Mafiosi.
  • Castro quickly nationalized Cuban businesses–especially the sugar-producing ones.
  • Gangsters who had been heavily involved in running casinos were arrested, imprisoned or unofficially deported to the United States.
  • The Mob–eager to reclaim its casino investments–agreed to help the CIA assassinate Castro.
  • Among the conspirators were such powerful mobsters as Santos Trafficante, Carlos Marcello, Johnny Roselli and Sam Giancana.

  • On April 17, 1961, the U.S. Navy landed 1,700 Cuban exiles onshore at the Cuban Bay of Pigs.
  • Long forewarned of the coming invasion, Castro sent in his forces to decimate the invaders.
  • President John F. Kennedy–wanting the attack to seem the work of Cuban exiles–refused to commit U.S. Marines or Air Force bombers to the invasion.
  • Kennedy took responsibility for the failure.  But he blamed Castro for not allowing himself to be overthrown.
  • The CIA–and the Mafia–continued to plot the death of Castro and the overthrow of his regime.
  • In the end, it was not Fidel Castro who died at the hands of an assassin, but John F. Kennedy.

We will more fully explore the embarrassing results of this poisonous mixture in the next posting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: