Cuba

Country in the Caribbean
Slavery in Cuba is a principal cause of the lamentable condition of the island. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
Today, Cuba is still governed by the Castros and the Communist Party that came to power half a century ago. Neither the American, nor Cuban people are well served. ~ Barack H. Obama II

Cuba, also known as the Republic of Cuba, is a country that consists of the island of Cuba (the largest of the Greater Antilles), the Isle of Youth and adjacent small islands. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean at the confluence of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Cuba is south of the eastern United States and the Bahamas, west of the Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti and east of Mexico. The Cayman Islands and Jamaica are to the south.

QuotesEdit

  • If an apple, severed by the tempest from its native tree, cannot choose but fall to the ground, Cuba, forcibly disjoined from its unnatural connexion with Spain, and incapable of self-support, can only gravitate towards the North American Union.
    • John Quincy Adams, Letter to Hugh Nelson (28 April 1823) included in Message from the President of the United States in Reference to the Island of Cuba (1852); paraphrased by several other American political commentators
  • Warfare is a means and not an end. Warfare is a tool of revolutionaries. The important thing is the revolution. The important thing is the revolutionary cause, revolutionary ideas, revolutionary objectives, revolutionary sentiments, revolutionary virtues!
  • This country … abounds in that Cuba is a heaven in the spiritual sense of the word, and we prefer to die in heaven than serve in hell.
    • Fidel Castro, speech at the First World Congress on Literacy (2 February 2005) paraphrasing John Milton's Paradise Lost; reprinted in Granma
  • If we're leaving our fate to sociopathic buffoons, we're finished... you don't see that when the U.S. imposes sanctions, murders, devastating sanctions, that's the only country that can do that, but everyone has to follow... Now Cuba has been suffering from it from the moment where it gained independence, but it's astonishing that they survived but they stayed resilient and one of the most ironic elements of today's virus crisis, is that Cuba is helping Europe. I mean this is so shocking, that you don't know how to describe it. That Germany can't help Greece, but Cuba can help the European countries. If you stop to think about what that means, all words fail, just as when you see thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean, fleeing from a region that has been devastated... and being sent to the deaths in the Mediterranean, you don't know what words to use... The Crisis, the civilizational crisis of the West at this point is devastating... it does bring up childhood memories of listening to Hitler raving on the radio to raucous crowds... it makes you wonder if this species is even viable.
  • It is with regret that I have again to announce a continuance of the disturbed condition of the island of Cuba. No advance toward the pacification of the discontented part of the population has been made. While the insurrection has gained no advantages and exhibits no more of the elements of power or of the prospects of ultimate success than were exhibited a year ago, Spain, on the other hand, has not succeeded in its repression, and the parties stand apparently in the same relative attitude which they have occupied for a long time past. This contest has lasted now for more than four years. Were its scene at a distance from our neighborhood, we might be indifferent to its result, although humanity could not be unmoved by many of its incidents wherever they might occur. It is, however, at our door. I can not doubt that the continued maintenance of slavery in Cuba is among the strongest inducements to the continuance of this strife. A terrible wrong is the natural cause of a terrible evil.
  • The victory of the Cuban Revolution will be a tangible demonstration before all the Americas that peoples are capable of rising up, that they can rise up by themselves right under the very fangs of the monster.
  • Douglas was a radical expansionist. Both parts of the Democratic Party in 1860 called for the annexation of Cuba. And there were 100,000 slaves in Cuba, and Cuba was the place that slaves were still being brought from Africa and then resold in the United States. So under a Douglas presidency, we would have taken over the rest of Mexico and Central America whenever we had the resources and the appetite to take to do so.
  • Kennedy would have ordered nuclear retaliation on Cuba — and perhaps the Soviet Union — if nuclear weapons had been fired at United States forces.
    • Robert McNamara, U.S. secretary of defense under President John F. Kennedy, according to The New York Times; On the Brink of Nuclear War, Awake! magazine, May 22, 1992.
  • Today, Cuba is still governed by the Castros and the Communist Party that came to power half a century ago. Neither the American, nor Cuban people are well served... It was a Cuban, Carlos Finlay, who discovered that mosquitoes carry yellow fever; his work helped Walter Reed fight it. Cuba has sent hundreds of health care workers to Africa to fight Ebola... I'm under no illusion about the continued barriers to freedom that remain for ordinary Cubans.
  • We are coming, Cuba, coming; we are bound to set you free! We are coming from the mountains, from the plains and inland sea! We are coming with the wrath of God to make the Spaniards flee! We are coming, Cuba, coming; coming now
    • Louis A. Pérez., as quoted in The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1998. Print.
  • A few moments ago, the body was treated to a report from the senator from Iowa about his recent trip to Cuba. Sounded like he had a wonderful trip visiting, what he described as, a real paradise. He bragged about a number of things that he learned on his trip to Cuba that I'd like to address briefly. He bragged about their health care system, medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant mortality rate may be even lower than ours. I wonder if the senator, however, was informed, number one, that the infant mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government. And, by the way, totalitarian communist regimes don't have the best history of accurately reporting things. I wonder if he was informed that before Castro, Cuba, by the way, was 13th in the whole world in infant mortality. I wonder if the government officials who hosted him informed him that in Cuba there are instances reported, including by defectors, that if a child only lives a few hours after birth, they're not counted as a person who ever lived and therefore don't count against the mortality rate.

Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, USA (Ret) U.S. Cuba Policy: Ending 50 Years of Failure, Prepared Testimony to the Committee on Finance United States Senate (11 December 2007)Edit

(Full text)

  • For almost half a century, U.S. policy with respect to Cuba has failed—miserably...Like the city planners in Marseilles, France, the Cubans are not driving people from their homes by renovating living quarters and putting them out of the financial reach of their previous occupants, they are renovating them and then bringing back in their original occupants. As a result, the city center is not simply beautiful, it is full of life and vitality, children and families...
    Yet, while we have significant relations on almost every level with Communist countries 10,000 miles away such as China and Vietnam, we have almost no relations with the 11 million souls on an island 90 miles off our southern coast where all this dynamism is beginning to show.
  • Because of our failed Cuba policy, we miss valuable opportunities to share Cuba’s rapidly growing store of knowledge and expertise in, for example, how to deliver high quality healthcare to deeply impoverished areas. Moreover, we are missing opportunities to explore mutual interests in vaccine development, to share in Cuba’s extraordinary wealth of experience in combating hurricanes and the floods that often accompany them, to explore together Cuba’s continental shelf for fossil fuels, and to sell our agricultural products in a more cost-effective and profitable way to an island population that needs these products and would benefit greatly from the shortened transits and thus reduced expenses.
  • A rapprochement with Cuba would create the same opening in Latin America that a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian situation would create in the Middle East. I am not sufficiently naïve to believe that either development would meet all regional challenges or solve all problems, but both would be a dramatic and effective start. Both would give America a decisive leg-up on regaining some of the prestige and power we have squandered in the past seven years.
  • Military power is the least likely instrument of national power to be successful if you decide to use it. A corollary truth with great relevance to Cuba is that sanctions, embargoes, closing embassies and withdrawing ambassadors, the silent treatment, branding other countries as evil and advocating and supporting regime change—all of these methods, even if actually backed by strong military power and the threat to use it, rarely work and, even when they appear to do so, the results they produce are usually negative and even when they are positive, are almost never long-lasting.
  • Let's examine just two of the extremely negative impacts of our almost half-century of failure vis-à-vis Cuba:*The U.S. has reconciled with the Communist governments in China and Vietnam. We support dictators throughout Central Asia under the strategic mantra of "contact and influence is better than isolation". We talked to the Communist Soviet Union for the duration of the Cold War. But we cannot bring ourselves to deal with Havana and have maintained that failed policy for almost half a century. It is simply absurd to continue to do so.
  • The export of revolution at the behest of the Soviets has been transformed into the export of healthcare at the behest of the Cuban people. When I visited Cuba this past March, this was one of the areas of Cuban activity on which I focused—the delivery of first-class healthcare to impoverished people in Cuba, in Venezuela and elsewhere in South and Central America, and increasingly in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • One of the most dramatic moments for me occurred when I visited one of Cuba's hospitals in Havana and plowed through a waiting room of people from all over the world—poor people who had come to this Cuban hospital largely to have eye surgery of some sort, many to have cataracts removed so their blindness or near-blindness would be eliminated. Speaking to some of them was, again, heartwarming. They all said that they were there because of Cuba's outreach. Again, this is powerful public diplomacy.
  • We could learn much from how the Cubans deliver healthcare particularly applicable to our rural areas and our inner cities where impoverished people predominate. And in the process, the contact would benefit Cubans. They would be able to study what is strong and robust about the U.S. healthcare system—the high technology components, for example—and at the same time learn that freedom and democracy are pretty good items too.

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