President Kennedy's Word on Cuba:

Speaking to the American public about the Cuban Missle Crisis on October 22, 1962, President Kennedy concluded with some words which are still relevant:

Finally, I want to say a few words to the captive people of Cuba to whom this speech is being directly carried by special radio facilities.

I speak to you as a friend, as one who knows of your deep attachment to your fatherland, as one who shares your aspirations for liberty and justice for all.

And I have watched and the American people have watched with deep sorrow how your nationalist revolution was betrayed and how your fatherland fell under foreign domination.

Now your leaders are no longer Cuban leaders inspired by Cuban ideals. They are puppets and agents of an international conspiracy which has turned Cuba against your friends and neighbors in the Americas...

But this country has no wish to cause you to suffer or to impose any system upon you. We know that your lives and land are being used as pawns by those who deny your freedom. Many times in the past the Cuban people have risen to throw out tyrants who destroyed their liberty.

And I have no doubt that most Cubans today look forward to the time when they will be truly free, free from foreign domination, free to choose their own leaders, free to select their own system, free to own their own land, free to speak and write and worship without fear or degradation.

And then shall Cuba be welcomed back to the society of free nations and to the associations of this hemisphere.

How much things have deteriorated that in the year 2006 Fidel Castro's closest ally is the American Democratic Party!
8.7.2006 9:56am
BossPup (mail):

How much things have deteriorated that in the year 2006 Fidel Castro's closest ally is the American Democratic Party!

This is just a stupid comment. Right now it seems pretty obvious that Hugo Chavez is Castro's closest compatriot, not the Democrats.

I get incredibly tired of the comments area always turning into some "Repukelicans vs. Demoncrats" pissing match. Not all subjects fall neatly into party lines and, even when they do, it is the issue that one should debate, not who holds it.
8.7.2006 11:20am
BobN (mail):
Only some of Kennedy's words remain relevant. Cuba hasn't had a patron in 20 years. Our economic embargo has caused, and continues to cause, quite a bit of suffering.

And I have no doubt that most Cubans today look forward to the time when they will be truly free, free from foreign domination, free to choose their own leaders, free to select their own system, free to own their own land, free to speak and write and worship without fear or degradation.

I have no doubt about that either. I'm just not sure that the Cuban people are going to be as anxious to adopt Western capitalism as Cuban exiles and the U.S. would like them to be.
8.7.2006 1:50pm
Houston Lawyer:
I believe that all individuals will adopt "Western capitalism" unless their government steps in and prevents them from doing so. Now it won't function well without strong property rights and the rule of law, both of which do not currently exist in Cuba.
8.7.2006 2:20pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
The American embargo is hardly the cause of Cuba's suffering, as the nation openly trades with the rest of the world. The cause for Cuba's suffering is Cuba's leadership itself, which stifles the initiative of its best and brightest.
8.7.2006 3:30pm
BobN (mail):

I did not suggest that Cuba's suffering is all at the hands of the U.S. Cuba's suffering has many causes, its government certainly the major one. My point was that almost 50 years after the Cuban Revolution, our policies that hinder family visits and family financial support do cause suffering (justified or not).

As for what "all individuals" will do, it's entirely possible that the Cuban people will choose a much more socialist economic structure than the U.S. would expect. If you were them, would you embrace "market solutions" like Russia did? I wouldn't. I'd want to go much, much more slowly.
8.7.2006 4:23pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
I would agree with you on that, BobN. I will go one step further, and say that history indicates the embargo has done nothing to criple the Castro regime, and may even have strengthened it.
8.7.2006 4:29pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
1. Kennedy sure had chutzpah to talk about puppets and agents, given that he initiated the Bay of Pigs invasion using puppets and angents trying to overthrow Castro.

2. Kennedy's policy of supposedly trying to free Cuba (though I have a feeling he would have been perfectly happy with another Batista) and imposing sanctions on the country in the meantime has sure worked well, hasn't it?
8.7.2006 5:35pm
tefta2 (mail):
Dilan, you said it. Tell those Kennedy left to die at the Bay of Pigs about his high-falooting language written by the same person who wrote the book for which he accepted a Pulitzer prize. The paeans to Clinton are bad enough, but Kennedy. Please. Have you no shame?
8.7.2006 7:47pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Dilan Esper - you idiot: It is common historical knowledge that Bay of Pigs was a leftover Eisenhower administration program, that Kennedy didn't have his ducks in line soon enough to put the brakes on. Then, when the expatriate Cuban invasion force needed support, Kennedy was not up-to-speed, and balked, Hence, the invasion was doomed to failure.

So now, I offer you the chance to counter, and redeem yourself from idiocy.
8.7.2006 10:16pm
gray (mail):
After the "get tough on communism" talk Kennedy used to get elected, he couldn't very well cancel a plan to overthrow a Communist regime so close to the USA, whatever his misgivings. Still Kennedy's adminstration was responsible for Operation Mongoose and Northwoods, so that suggests to me, the speech is not entirely on the up and up.

I agree generally with the idea that the embargo serves Castro more than it hurts him, but it still has a chilling effect on trade through US attempts to enforce it through foriegn subsidiaries etc. Still over a billion in food sold since Bush relaxed it is nothing to sneeze at.
8.8.2006 12:59am
Ramiro (mail) (www):
I'm currently studying US history form two american proffesors visiting my country, so the point I'm about to make is not entierly mine.

It seems to me americans don't see that 47 years ago a revolution took place in Cuba and many people agreed with it. It was a revolution that --horror!- was a socialist one and it had legitimacy at least in it's origin.

Nowadays, it's hard to think of cubans as a people that hates Fidel Castro, at least not as a hole, at least as I hear from people who actually was there.

So, it's probable that Fidel or "La RevoluciĆ³n" has some support between it's people. Not seeing this reality is at least naive. Generations of socialist education must have some effect on the people, and the very few reports we get from independent international journalists show a lot of people concerned about the health of Castro.

I think Kennedy's output is wrong now, it was wrong then also. What Kennedy was doing was defendin american foreing policy as stated in the National Security MEMO 68, written in Trumans days, the policy of containing the USSR, the fear of the USSR getting in America's back yard.

But US intervention in Latin America didn't start in the bay of pigs, it started in the beggining of the 20th century, it continued with Arbenz in 54, Cuba (1961?), Santo Domingo (1965), Brasil (1961-1963), Chile (1970-1973) Argentina (1976) and so on and so on... The goal was to prevent comunism in LA...

You think that that's good policy, and that's why so many people in LA --al least the educated people- has bad or so so feelings towards de US. If everybody want's a comunist government, why not? IT's our bad, we are the ones who will regret it.

LA suffered bloody dictatorships in those days, many of which were supported and funded whith US dollars. Is the US the main responsible? No. But it has some degree of it.

The US is not LA father, is not our mommy, and it's not the police of the world, that's a part the US want's to play and that's way many good people of the world, in 9/11 felt very sorry for the victims and sympathetic towards the american people, but at the same time, said that "they had it coming".

When the US accepts that the other countries can make their own mistakes and look for their own freedom --as America did in 1776, as Argentina did in 1810- I think that the world would be a better place and the US will be able to claim a moral highground and lead through example and not through bombs and intervention in others countries internal affairs.

Excuse my english, please, I think i have some mistakes there.
8.9.2006 8:53pm