Monday, December 29, 2008

Still Chumps After All These Years

I know I made a promise to myself to not let issues of a political nature fire me up during this honeymoon period when we have a President-Elect and an outgoing President huffing his last gasps. Time to take a break and consider things I actually have some control over should I choose to exercise that control. And I did that for almost 2 months until this morning. I was busy with the mundane efforts homeowners all go through. Cleaning up the garage, building stuff for the garage, and generally just enjoying quality time with my garage. And then I heard the dreaded four letter word "Cuba" on NPR coming out of the mini ghetto blaster I have set up down there.

Those quality moments of puttering in the garage were instantly ruined. For some reason I have allowed a sore to fester over Cuba and our continued stupidity regarding that country. SO if this comes off as a rant, well, so be it. It won't change anything, but it might just get Cuba back into perspective again for me.

I personally do not care for Cubans any more or any less than I care for any other group from outside our borders. I have no soft spot for them. But I do have that sore festering. It's been festering since oh, I guess about 1972 or so. The year may be wrong but it makes my point. In the fear filled years of the Cold War peak during the 1960s, the embargo of Cuba may have made some kind of sense to someone somewhere. But by the time the 1970s came, our grudge began to look more like that of a sore loser than of a country making any kind of real political or diplomatic point. And now 46 years after we instituted it, the Embargo has evolved into just plain stupid pigheadedness. The threat of Communism is over for it would seem the foreseeable future. Free market economies won the war. Even China seems to have morphed itself into some kind of odd version of what we have. Any threat Cuba may fling our way is now nonexistent.

So why do we insist on continuing to snub Cuba? In a word, or maybe two words, Fidel Castro. It is not because he is a commie. It is not because he buddied up to the USSR. It's because we blew it every time we tried to overthrow him. Instead of blaming ourselves for our inept efforts, we heaped more blame on him. Castro made chumps out of us. In front of the whole World. And we still hold the grudge.

It is my opinion that the Embargo has had the opposite effect of what we had intended. Instead of weakening Castro inside his own country, it bolstered him and helped to support his allegations against the US. If ever there was a perfect example of US Diplomacy badly conceived and then poorly carried out, it is the Embargo of Cuba. Without us they survived and it is obvious they can continue to for as long as they need to.

I understand that now it is more of an internal political issue. We don't want to piss off the voting children of the Cuban exiles who beat feet after Batista was overthrown. They need to get over it. As do all of us. The time to normalize relations is now. Let's lose the Embargo. It never worked as intended and the time for it to be dropped is way past due. But Fidel will probably have to be dead and buried before it happens. Damn, we are stupid somtimes.


BBC said...

Hum, how can I put this?

And then I heard the dreaded four letter word "Cuba" on NPR coming out of the mini ghetto blaster I have set up down there.

I snuggest that the next time you go in the garage that you take a hammer to the radio for starters, I seldom turn one on.

Cuba has never been a problem to me, and even if they had nuked us it's only because we were asking for it.

America is not special just because we were brainwashed into believing that. It's just been an experiment in a new form of government and the founding fathers knew that.

Small planet and we are one, nationalism is bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Love BBC ... my kind of totally off the wall guy who's more often on the money than not. Take no prisoners ... shoot the fukers.

Will the O-man change Washington's long standing hyperventilating anti-Cuba and pro-Israel policies that clearly are not in our country's interest? Sure he will. Right.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

BBC: Cuba has never been a problem to me, and even if they had nuked us it's only because we were asking for it.

Asking for it. Right.

Crum, I agree with your overall point about the embargo against Cuba. It has not worked, if in fact the goal was to overthrow Castro's regime. Neither did any of the other half-assed schemes to get rid of the communists.

Canada, as you probably know, has no embargo against Cuba. Many Canadians travel to Cuba in the winter, including a number of my relatives. I have decided not to go, though, as long as Fidel or Raul are still living. I do hold them responsible for many reprehensible things in their country, so I guess you could call it my own personal embargo. But I have no problem with any country that wants to trade with Cuba, or any individual who wishes to take a vacation there.

Just a passing point: if the USA ceased to be pro-Israel, the rest of the Middle East would find something else to complain about, and use to justify terrorism against the West.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

You were right----it was a silly rant, but you feel better getting itg all out right? (lol). I agree our policy towards cuba is pretty inane. but then maybe the insane blockade is keeping all the Cubans in Cujba, and not Florida??

Randal Graves said...

mrmacrum, I think you are the communist. God Bless America and such.

That said, pinko, you're right, but that's been the history of American diplomacy, my dick is bigger than yours, I'm right, me, me, me. And dictators are cool as long as they're OUR dictators.

PipeTobacco said...

Mr. MaCrum:

Thank you for the very sensible post! I too have agreed with you from about 72 or so that our embargo of Cuba is silly and petty. Politically, it is done ONLY for the reason you suggest, the children of Cubans who fled.

If/when relations are normalized again, I look forward to the return of Cuban cigars! While I travel enough to Canada to sample them a few times a year, having normal access here will be wonderful.


Tom Harper said...

Those Cuban exiles in Florida are the single most powerful interest group in the country. They make the NRA look like a group of helpless wimps.

No presidential candidate wants to jeopardize Florida's electoral votes, and there are just enough of those wealthy rightwing Cuban exiles (and their children and grandchildren) to intimidate every politician. Those exiles were perfectly happy living under Castro's predecessor, Batista, who was just as brutal and ruthless as Castro. But he was a rightwing dictator who protected the wealthy and kept the poor and minorities in their place. These Cuban exiles will just never get over the fact that their personal fiefdom was taken away from them by that rabble-rousing commie.

I hope Obama will show some intelligence in this matter.

BBC said...

So many have great hope in Obama and expect so much from him, hey, he isn't god. Bush opened such a can of worms that he has little power to fix any of it.

I just hope that history is kind to him being as I like the man and think that he means well.

BBC said...


That reminds me that I should buy another 500 rounds for personal protection and hunting if I have to resort to that.

I'm a pacifist like Jesus was, but the fucking idiot should have had weapons to protect himself.

Anonymous said...

Indeed we all should wish O-man well. That said, when it comes to Israel/Cuba the tectonic forces that govern Washington don't give much hope for "change". But then who ever thought Nixon-China?

The two state solution for Jews 'n Palestinians is a fraud and disaster all in one. Will O-man advocate a One State solution? Never.

Maybe Cuba is doable after Castro dies. Maybe.

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