The United States, Revisionism and Cuba: Is there justification for hating Dr. Fidel Castro?
What is with the vociferously Christian,
pro-Europocentric neo-conservative American right and Dr. Fidel Castro? After more than 40 years of unnecessary
strife, piously Yankee commoners in the U.S of A still cling to a hate for Cuba’s
leader so passionate, that many wish him a quick and sudden death in their
daily prayers. An innocent observer
could be forgiven for assuming that such potent avarice by so many for a single
person could be justified on the basis of something concrete. Yet when queried, the standard anti-Castroite
finds it difficult to present any actual reasons for their opposition to the
Cuban government aside from the party line generated by the American think
tanks devoted to manipulating the American mindset towards a nation that told America
to kiss its collective Brown ass.
This is another of those “peculiar
conflicts” that has gone on for centuries in the Americas. After the “Christ-Bringer” C. Columbo spied
the coastline of La Isla and claimed it for Spain in
the name of Jehovah, Europe never left. What came to be
known as Cuba has merely passed hands from one European imperialist to another
once one nation had enough political or military muscle to bogart it from another
American US president, John Adams,
expressed what was to be the US's
attitude towards Cuba until the end of the 19th century. He alleged that the island was a
standard extension of the North American land mass and that its proximity
necessitates its determined annexation.
Under the holy trinity of Manifest Destiny, the European version of
Christianity and plain-old White racism, obtaining Cuba and
any and all means has been a priority to the Yanquis. After a war of imperialist domination under
the auspices of democracy, it became apparent that Cuba
would serve as the de-facto model of U.S.
style imperialism in Latin America along with Puerto Rico and the Philippine islands in Asia. The U.S.
government can continue to sing the praises of its anti-colonialist pro-democracy
folklore and beliefs despite having made most of the world by the middle of the
20th century an American dependency, but its own documented history
betrays its national mythologies.
The U.S. habitually
interceded in Cuban affairs, occupying Cuba in
1906 up to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion sponsored by the CIA. American power has always
fought to maintain direct control over Cuba and
all of the Americas. As President William Taft thought
out loud, “The day is not far distant when three Stars and Stripes at three
equidistant points will mark our territory; one at the North Pole, another at
the Panama Canal, and the third at the South Pole. The whole hemisphere will be ours
in fact as, by virtue of our superiority of race, it already is ours morally.”
Does any of this sound Familiar? Democracy was never part of the
equation. True American hero General
Smedley D. Butler, a commander in numerous U.S. interventions in South America
and the man who exposed a plot by American businessmen (most notably Prescott Bush,
the Decider’s grandfather) to violently overturn the American government inscribed
in his autobiographical book “War is a Racket” in 1935:
“I spent 33 years and four months in active
service as a member of our country's most agile military force - the Marine
Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to
major-general. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class
muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I
was a racketeer for capitalism... thus I helped make Mexico
and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and
Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank to collect revenues in...
I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912.
I brought light to the Dominican
American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras
`right' for American fruit companies in 1903.”
While there is much chatter about
elections, dictatorship, communism and democracy in regards to the U.S.
hostility towards the Cuban system, in reality many Americans and the former
Cuban upper-classes in Miami are really making an argument in support of a return to the
undisputed American autocracy of Cuba. I strongly doubt that many within the Joe
American anti-Castro rank and file are aware of this dimension to their
politics, but the U.S. based multinationals are keenly aware of he advantages
of a return to American domination over the island. In the good old, bad old days of American
imperialism in Cuba, companies like United Fruit and the Na Costa Nostra virtually ran
the country for the U.S government. The U.S.
appointed Army General F. Batista who proved to be not a figurative but a
literal dictator who imposed a state of feudalism for the Indigenous campesinos
and Apartheid for the Africans brought to the island via the European slave
trade. Americans treated Cuba as a
playground for their amusement. And the
Cuban people were merely props.
when one looks at contemporary film focused on Cuba
before or during the revolution such as Andy Garcia’s "The Lost City",
Africans and Indians are merely backdrops to the European and Meztiso
protagonists in the story. The Black
folks sing, dance and entertain with Vodun, nothing more. Not even a line of dialog, just smiley faces
happy to serve their masters.
Anti-Castro apologists in the U.S. and Miami deny any of this
as valid reasoning to recognise the right of Cuban political sovereignty. They are drunk with the promise of American
power and simply cannot wean themselves from the teat of American
Exceptionalism. The perverse pride
involved as well as the illusion of personal power secured vicariously through
the decisive application of Pax Americana Uber Alles is not unlike that of the
populations of 1930’s Italy, Germany and Spain. Swept up in powerful waves of nationalist fear
and fervour, many find it too compelling not to want to be associated with the
power structure. And life is very hard
for those who decide to do otherwise.
What a lot of this breaks down to is the
classic African slave argument, “My slave master is better than your slave
master.” While American citizens are steadily
losing their civil and constitutional rights piece by piece and the country is
in the hands of an administration that thumbs its nose at the Congress, the
American people and the entire world if one dares say the obvious, the death
wish for Castro crowd shows itself to be not just spiteful, but painfully
ignorant of the slippery slope America is on in regards to a real dictatorship.
It must be said that life under a closed
society is not bad for everyone. Only
the targeted and marginalised who are used as a social barometer to define the
necessary “us” versus “them” divisions such societies need to function find it
a struggle. The “valids” have no major issues
at all except the usual desire to rise higher within the pecking order. Many of those among the anti-Castro Miami
Cuban expat community who still feel a significant emotive loss of property and
social status in the “old” Cuba did not suffer from the racism Africans lived
under before the revolution. Their
children were allowed to go to school while the Indian children were not permitted
to be seen in downtown Havana unless they were in costume.
They were not the half-free/half-slaves entertaining the tourists and
Cuban upper-classes because that was all they could do other than live and die
in the fields. As one Castilian Cuban
told me, things were much better before Castro because, “Then, everybody knew
their place.” Dr. Castro is disliked
because for one thing, he allowed too many of the dark and the rabble to sit at
the table. And for this, Americans and
his own countrymen wish him death.
Is the Cuban system perfect? No. Is
the American way any better for that matter? Absolutely not. At least the Cuban people are under no
illusions as to their circumstances unlike most Americans and few in Cuba
directly blame Dr. Castro. They
understand that the illegal economic embargo imposed by the United States is directed towards them, the Cuban people, not the
Presidente. They understand that the
problem of U.S. – Cuban relations is a problem of the United States, not Cuba. The U.S.
wants a return to the old system client-state arrangement; the Cuban people
wish to preserve their way of life independently as a sovereign nation with
respectful relation with their neighbour.
As with most situations surrounding
American imperial-colonialism overseas, the mainstream U.S.
public is unaware of the dissent within Cuba
towards many government policies.
However Americans are only aware of the pro-USA factions, not the
political organisations that still support the Cuban system, the revolution and
the Presidente but differ on how the government should function. This level of democracy is never reported in
the American media, yet it exists and thrives in the Cuban system. What people are escaping by risking their
lives in shabby rafts in hope of reaching an American beach is poverty, not Cuba. America
is why Cuba is poor, not the Cuban government.
Dr. Castro did not enact the embargo, the U.S. did
and with extreme malice.
This is not including the assassination
attempts on Dr. Castro, the sabotage of Cuban agriculture and economic
stability and subversive attempts to destabilise the Cuban government through
anti-Castro propaganda such as Radio Marti and political factions like Brothers
to the Rescue that actively work to destabilise a foreign government. All activities recognised and codified under
international law as prohibited behaviour between sovereign states.
The intense attitudes Americans hold for
Dr. Castro are ill-founded, ill-advised and indicative of the xenophobic
undercurrent that provides the basis for American socio-political hegemony at
home and abroad. The United States works
with dictatorial regimes every day such as Pakistan (Which harbours radical Islamic
terrorists), Saudi Arabia (which raises terrorists and is the home base of one
the Bush family’s closest business partners) and Equatorial Guinea (run by an
admitted despot) yet the American public can live with this as long the
paternalistic spin-doctors keeping saying that its for the national good
despite empirical evidence to the contrary.
To my certain knowledge Cuba has not
dropped denatured uranium or white phosphorous on unarmed defenceless citizens. Nor has the Cuban government admitted direct
responsibility for more than 500,000 deaths of Iraqi children due to economic sanctions
designed to usurp the Iraqi government and gleefully confessed to this evil on
their national television media.
Does Dr. Castro deserve this animosity? No.
History will indeed absolve him and define him as one of the most important
world leaders of the last century if only for one thing, he made it possible
for Cuba, after 500 years of imperial-colonialist domination to do it their
way. That has shown itself to be more of
a pragmatic democracy than America
has ever practised or would ever dare to.
America would never put the common people first.
- The Angryindian