To our South lies an island nation that has ancient and strong ties with America, but is currently treated as a dangerous enemy. Cuba is a land of twelve million people, beautiful beaches, lush forests and unlimited opportunity. U.S. embargoes have stifled its economic growth despite Cuba’s friendship reportedly strong friendship with the East. If you graze only on the main-stream media, you might think that Cuba is our enemy because of Russia, and Castro and communism. A deeper study on your part will reveal that we are their enemy because they did not appreciate U.S. hegemony and had the temerity to stand up for their own sovereignty. Cubans believed that their sugar belonged to them and that they should profit from it… Few know that we initially were on good terms with Castro, until we tried to overthrow him (several times). For a taste of our federal government’s thoughts on, and treatment of Cuba, here is an excerpt from an internal memo by Undersecretary of War, J.C. Breckenridge around 1897:
“…we must clean up the country (Cuba), even if this means using the methods Divine Providence used on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. We must destroy everything within our cannons’ range of fire. We must impose a harsh blockade so that hunger and its constant companion, disease, undermine the peaceful population and decimate the Cuban army… we must create conflicts for the independent government…. These difficulties must coincide with the unrest and violence among the aforementioned elements, to whom we must give our backing… our policy must always be to support the weaker against the stronger, until we have obtained the extermination of them both, in order to annex the Pearl of the Antilles.”
This quote will be a bitter pill for those whose eyes have been closed to the actions taken in their name around the world.
Given Cuba’s current pseudo-transition of power from brother to brother and America’s new administration, there has never been a better time to restore diplomatic relations and regain our old friend to the South. By reaching out to the Cuban people with a message of fraternity and free trade, the statist government there would quickly crumble. You can almost see Cuba’s beaches from our southern shores on a clear day, why would we not want to re-establish good relations with this very close neighbor?
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if we committed ourselves to meet this new/old friend as equals and engage in truly free-trade and dialogue? The only probable objectors will be the multi-national sugar corporations in America and possibly Russia. It is time for this old hatchet to be buried and for America to take a new step forward in Western Hemisphere relations.
Ken D. Berry