[La Prensa, Honduras]



Granma, Cuba

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:


"Young and 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 him."


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 security aims.


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. Wilkerson, wrote in a letter made public in Washington today, "The embargo has inspired a significant diplomatic movement against U.S. policy."


"As military 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.


The DPA 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 States.


"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," they add.


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.



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 nation.


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 with risk.


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.



Granma, Cuba: 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

Gazeta, Russia: Castro and Chavez Split Over Obama

Semana, Colombia: 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 calculated beforehand.



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 Bruce 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 subject.



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 soldiers.


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 meetings.


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 Iraq.


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 transparency.


I didn't want this information to remain in the archives awaiting a time when they would no longer interest anyone.






























[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US April 17, 4:09am]