[El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua]



Granma, Cuba

Fidel Castro Suggests that Obama Listen to the Kennedys


Since President Obama entered office, former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has been mounting a campaign to have Washington's decades-old embargo and other restrictions on the island lifted. In this edition of 'Reflections of Fidel' from Havana's government run Granma, Castro speaks admiringly of John F. Kennedy, describing his assassination and 'the strange way it was carried out' as 'extremely sad,' and he lauds Kathleen Kennedy's campaign to have the ban on travel to Cuba lifted for all Americans - not just Cuban Americans.


By Fidel Castro


Translated By Miguel Gutierrez


April 24, 2009


Cuba - Granma - Original Article (Spanish)

I confess that I often meditate on the dramatic story of John F. Kennedy. I was lived through the period when Kennedy was the greatest and most dangerous adversary of the Revolution. It was something that wasn't part of his calculations. He saw himself as the representative of a new generation of Americans confronting the old, dirty politics of men in the mold of Nixon, who Kennedy defeated with a blizzard of political talent.


His history as a combatant in the Pacific and his agile pen spoke well of him. He was committed by his predecessors to the Bay of Pigs adventure because he trusted too much, as he had no doubts about their experience and professional skills. This was a bitter and unexpected failure, barely three months after his inauguration. Although he was at the point of attacking the island with that nation's powerful and sophisticated weapons, he didn't at the time do what Nixon would have done: deploy fighter-bombers and send in the Marines. Rivers of blood would have run in our homeland, where hundreds of thousands of fighters were ready to die. He exercised self-control and spoke an immortal phrase that is not easy to forget: "Victory has many fathers, defeat is an orphan."


His life continued dramatically, like a shadow that accompanied at every moment. Wounded pride won out and once again, he was coerced into the idea of invading. This brought about the October Crisis [Cuban Missile Crisis] and the greatest risk of a thermonuclear war that the world has known to date. He emerged the winner after that test thanks to the mistakes of his principal adversary. He wanted to talk seriously with Cuba and decided to do just that. He sent Jean Daniel to talk to me and return to Washington. Daniel was fulfilling that mission when news arrived of the assassination of President Kennedy. His death and the strange way it was planned and carried out was extremely sad.


Later, I met some of his close relatives who visited Cuba. I never commented on the disagreeable aspects of his policy against our country, nor did I allude to his intent to deprive me of my life. I met his son as an adult, who was very young when his father was president of the United States. We conversed like we were friends. He too died, in a sad and tragic accident. Kennedy’s brother Robert was also assassinated, thus multiplying the drama that surrounds this family.


So many years later, a piece of information has emerged about a very impressive gesture.


In these times, when the long and unjust blockade against Cuba is so talked about, I read a piece of news in La Jornada of Mexico: "In late 1963, the then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy sought to repeal the ban on travel to Cuba, and that now his daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, has stated that President Barack Obama should take that into account and support legislative initiatives [the Free Travel To Cuba Act] to allow free passage to the island for all U.S. citizens.


Read the recently released Robert F. Kennedy

documents at the National Security Archive.



"In official documents declassified by the National Security Archive, it was recorded that on December 12, 1963, less than a month after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy sent a communiqué to Secretary of State Dean Rusk urging that regulations prohibiting travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba should be withdrawn …


"Robert Kennedy argued that the ban was a violation of American freedoms. According to the document, he affirmed that the existing restrictions on travel are inconsistent with traditional views of American liberty.



"… That position didn't win the debate inside the Lyndon B. Johnson government, and the State Department believed that lifting the restrictions would be perceived as a weakening of a Cuba policy that was part of a joint effort of the United States and other American republics to isolate Cuba."



Gazeta, Russia: Castro and Chavez Split Over Obama

El Mundo, Colombia: Obama: A Man Who Takes His Promises Seriously

La Razon, Bolivia: President Morales Suspects U.S. Behind Attempt on His Life

Granma, Cuba: Castro: Easing of Cuba Restrictions 'Positive', But Not Nearly Enough

Granma, Cuba: Bay of Pigs Led 'Inexperienced Kennedy' to Make 'Misguided Decisions' …

El Espectador, Colombia: Cuba in Obama's Sights

Merco Press, Uruguay: Lula Vows Not to Embarrass Obama Over Cuba Embargo


"In an opinion piece by Kathleen Kennedy published today in the Washington Post, the daughter of Robert Kennedy expressed the wish that her father’s position be adopted by the government of Barack Obama, and that this should be the position advocated by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., as the Obama government considers its next step with Cuba, which should go beyond allowing Cuban Americans to travel freely to the island and address the rights of all U.S. citizens, few of which are free to go there.


"Kathleen Kennedy writes that, as Obama learned at the [America's] Summit last weekend, Latin American leaders have adopted a coordinated message on Cuba: this is the time to normalize relations with Havana. … As he continued trying to isolate Cuba, they essentially told Obama that Washington has only succeeded in isolating itself.



"Thus, the niece of a president who tried to invade and overthrow the revolutionary government of Cuba and impose a blockade, now joins the growing chorus in favor of reversing these policies established half a century ago."


An honorable article from Kathleen Kennedy!

Fidel Castro Ruz

April 24, 2009












































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US April 28, 3:09am]