Bay of Pigs Led
'Inexperienced Kennedy' to Make 'Misguided Decisions' …
The Fifth Summit of the Americas
certainly has Cuba's former dictator on his toes. As he points out, the event
has prompted this fourth edition of 'Reflections of Fidel' in just 24 hours. In
today's edition, Castro addresses who, in his opinion, is responsible for
taking U.S. policy toward his country in such an unfortunate direction. Castro
holds the U.S. military blameless. To U.S. politicians go all the blame. Beginning with President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon - who
were responsible for planning the Bay of Pigs invasion - which President John
F. Kennedy carried out. Castro writes of Kennedy:
inexperienced, Kennedy ordered the blockade - and the invasion of Giron Beach [the Bay of Pigs invasion], which was organized
by Eisenhower - and by Nixon, who knew less about war than the first. The
unexpected setback led Kennedy to take new and misguided decisions that
culminated in the Crisis of October [Cuban Missile Crisis], from which he
emerged gracefully but traumatized by the danger of a thermonuclear war - which
was very close, as French journalist Jean Daniel told me. 'He's a thinking
machine,' he said in praise of the president, who had deeply impressed
By Fidel Castro
Translated By Miguel Gutierrez
April 15, 2009
Cuba - Granma - Original Article (Spanish)
IT isn't known how many
people in the United States write to Obama or how many different issues they raise
with him. Obviously, he can't read all of the letters and deal with each case,
because even 24 hours of a day, 365 days a year wouldn't be enough. What is certain
is that his advisors, with the help of computers, electronic equipment and cell
phones, reply to every letter. Their contents are recorded and replies are made
out beforehand, based on the many declarations that the new president has made during
his campaign for the nomination and election.
In any event, these letters
have influence and weight in U.S. policy, because in this case, we aren’t
dealing with a corrupt, lying and ignorant politician like his predecessor, who
despised the social progress of the New Deal.
That is why my attention was
caught by a dispatch from Washington, published by the news agency DPA yesterday [April 14].
"A group of retired senior
military officers have urged President Barack Obama to support and sign pending
Congressional legislation to end the ban on travel to Cuba for all Americans,
arguing that the embargo of the island doesn't serve Washington’s political and
Twelve senior retired
officers, who include Barry McCaffrey, "drug tsar" during Bill
Clinton’s presidency, and Colin Powell’s former chief of staff Lawrence B.
in a letter made public in Washington today, "The embargo has inspired
a significant diplomatic movement against U.S. policy."
professionals, we understand that America's interests are best served when the
United States is able to attract the support of other nations to our cause,"
the officers insisted in the letter sent to Obama on Monday, the day that the
U.S. president announced the end of restrictions on travel and remittances for
Cuban Americans - but not for all of the country’s citizens, as the more
progressive sectors demand.
dispatch goes on: "For these officers, the Freedom to
Travel to Cuba Act, submitted to the House of Representatives by Democrat
Bill Delahunt, is an important first step toward lifting the embargo.
A type of policy, they add, "more
likely to bring change to Cuba" and change the global image of the United
"Around the world,
leaders are calling for a real policy shift that delivers on the hope you
inspired in your campaign," the officers maintain. "Cuba offers the
lowest-hanging fruit for such a shift and would be a move that would register
deeply in the minds of our partners and competitors around the world,"
The news, released along with
315 other published reports, may seem somewhat inconsequential. However, it addresses
the core problem that promoted four Reflections of Fidel related to the
Americas Summit in less than 24 hours - which begins in 48 hours.
In the United States, wars
are declared by politicians, but it is the military that must conduct them.
Cuban dictator Raul Castro has responded by saying Cuba is
willing to discuss anything and everything with the U.S. - as
long as talks come 'without precondition' in a spirit of equality.
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Young and inexperienced,
Kennedy ordered the blockade - and the invasion of Giron
Beach [the Bay of Pigs], which was organized by Eisenhower - and by Nixon,
who knew less about war than the first. The unexpected setback led Kennedy to take
new and misguided decisions that culminated in the Crisis of October [Cuban Missile Crisis],
from which he emerged gracefully but traumatized by the danger of a
thermonuclear war - which was very close, as French journalist Jean Daniel told
me. "He’s a thinking machine," he said in praise of the president,
who had deeply impressed him.
Later on, enthused about the
Green Berets, he sent them to Vietnam where the United States backed the
restoration of the French colonial empire. Another politician, Lyndon Johnson,
took that war to its consequential finale. In that inglorious adventure, more
than 50,000 soldiers lost their lives and the Union of the States squandered no
less than $500 billion as the value of the dollar in gold dropped twenty times
and millions of Vietnamese were killed, expanding solidarity with that poor
Third World nation. Military service [in the U.S.] had to be replaced by
professional soldiers as people avoided military training, which weakened the
Protected by his father, a
third politician, George W. Bush, carried out the genocidal war in Iraq which accelerated
the economic crisis, making it more acute and profound. Its cost in economic
figures amounts to trillions of dollars, a debt that will fall on the shoulders
of future generations of North Americans - in a world convulsed by and filled
Is this reason enough to confirm
that the embargo affects the security interests of the United States?
The officers who wrote the
letter are not appealing for the use of arms, but for the struggle of ideas - something
diametrically opposed to what the politicians have done.
SEE ALSO ON THIS:
Castro: Easing of Cuba Restrictions 'Positive', But Not Nearly Enough
El Espectador, Colombia:
Cuba in Obama's Sites
Merco Press, Uruguay:
Lula Vows Not to Embarrass Obama Over Cuba Embargo
El Universal, Venezuela:
Of Obama and Chavez: 'Unconditional' Meetings and 'Equal' Treatment
El Caribe, Dominican Republic:
Obama's Task at Summit of the Americas: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Castro and Chavez Split Over Obama
Around the World, Politicians Have Learned from Nixon
Tal Cual, Venezuela:
Crimes of Hugo Chavez Worse than Richard Nixon's
In general, members of the
North American military, who defend the economic, political and social system
of the United States, are very well paid and have privileges, but they don't
care for the theft of public funds, which would result in discredit and a total
lack of authority in terms of their military success.
They don't believe that Cuba constitutes
a threat to the security of the United States, as others have attempted to submit
to U.S. public opinion. It was the political leaders of that country who
converted the Guantánamo base into a refuge for counterrevolutionaries and
emigrants. Worse than that, they converted it into a torture center that has
become an infamous symbol of the most brutal negation of human rights.
The military is also well aware
that our country is a model for combating drug trafficking - and that our
country has never permitted terrorist actions from our territory against the people
of the United States.
As the Congressional Black
Caucus was able to confirm, including Cuba on the list of terrorist states is
the most dishonest act ever taken.
In addition to Senator Lugar,
Representative Delahunt, the Black Caucus and other influential members of
Congress, we thank those who wrote the letter to Obama.
We don't fear dialogue; there
is no need to invent enemies; we don't fear the debate of ideas; we believe in
our convictions and know how to defend them and our homeland.
With the amazing advances in
technology, war has become one of the most complex sciences. That is something
that the North American military understands. They know it's not a question of
order and command in the style of past wars. Today, the adversaries may never
see one another’s faces; they can find one another from thousands of miles away
- the most lethal weapons fly. The man just sits. Decisions are unemotional and
I've met several of these retired
men, who are dedicated to the study of military science and warfare. They express
no hatred or antipathy toward the little country that has fought and resisted such
a powerful neighbor.
There currently exists in the
United States, a World
Security Institute with which our country has contacts and conducts academic
exchanges. Fifteen years ago, there was the Center for
Defense Information. A CDI delegation first visited Cuba at the end of June,
1993. From that date to November 19, 2004, there have been nine such visits.
Up until 1999, the
delegations were for the most part comprised of retired military officers.
But during the October 1999
visit, the composition of the delegations began to change, reducing the military
presence. After the fifth visit, all delegations were led by eminent researcher
Blair, an expert on security policy who specializes in the command and
control of nuclear forces. He is a consulting professor at Yale and Princeton
Universities and has published countless books and hundreds of articles on the
This is how I came to know
officers who assumed important roles in the armed forces of the United States.
We didn’t always agree with their views, but they were always kind. We had
wide-ranging exchanges on historical events in which they had participated as
The visits continued in 2006,
but I had the accident in Santa Clara and later fell gravely ill. Among the twelve
retired officers who signed the letter to Obama was one who took part in those
I know that in the last
meeting that took place, they said frankly that there was no intention to
attack Cuba militarily; that there was a new political situation in the United
States that arose from the weakness of the administration due to its failure in
It was clear to those colleagues
who met with the U.S. delegation that they felt badly led and embarrassed by
what was happening, but no one could offer any guarantees on the political
adventurism of the president of the United States, which he maintained up to
the last day of his administration. That meeting took place at the beginning of
March 2007, fourteen months ago.
Bruce Blair must know much
more than I do about this thorny issue. I was always impressed by his valor and
I didn't want this
information to remain in the archives awaiting a time
when they would no longer interest anyone.
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by WORLDMEETS.US April 17, 4:09am]