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Hanley (Doc) Harding

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Cuba and the U.S. in the New Millennium
by Hanley (Doc) Harding   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, January 10, 2005
Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2002

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It's time we stopped using Cuba as a handball...

CUBA AND THE U.S. IN THE NEW MILLENNIUMOn the commemoration of Cuba's independence, it is fitting that the United States reflect not only upon the current status of Cuban-U.S. relations, but also upon some of the factors which led us to this impasse. No matter what we think of Fidel Castro, I feel it is important to remember that he came to the United States to raise support for the overthrow of the Batista regime. At that time, all U.S. interests - the government, big business, and organized crime - turned a blind eye and a deaf ear in Castro's direction. There were only two places to which he could have turned for help. We rejected him and he ended up turning to the Communists. After the revelation that Cuba was to be turned into a bastion of communism, we reacted, but not very effectively for anyone concerned. The Cuban people were the ones who suffered - caught between the insulted machismo of the snubbed Castro and the intransigence of a U.S. embarrassingly skewered upon the results of a major political policy faux pas.That was then, but this is now - the new millennium. The generation which was young at the time of Castro's takeover is now aging, as is Castro. His age may reinforce his intractibility to a great degree, but that same aging may also be a factor in possible softening in certain areas of his generally inflexible posture toward this nation. Maybe it's time to abandon the rhetoric and saber-rattling of a bygone era and move toward doing something to help alleviate the decades of suffering of the Cubans who have languished in intolerable conditions. I say it's time to hold out an economic apple, let Castro take a bite and savor it for awhile. Then we can begin to talk seriously about those reforms which we not only desire to see, but which will be of genuine economic benefit to the Cuban people. Castro's Latin-American pride has for too long made him a rider on an inescapable political merry-go-round which American policy has perpetually energized. Every well-trained riot control officer can tell you that a problem crowd must not only be directed, it must have an outlet toward which it can move. We have given Castro no outlet but total surrender. He has understandably resisted our no-outlet policy. It's high time we gave him an outlet which he can adopt, with honor and dignity, as a decision of his own making, and not subserviently bending to the iron will of the American eagle.Since September 11th, we have been at war with an inflexible entity - religious zeal directed into murderous hatred. That war will be a long, hard-fought one. It is time that all Cubans be allowed to come in on the side of freedom. And I believe they will, if given half a chance - the chance they were denied, over forty years ago. Anyone who continues to promote blanket hatred against Cuba does not have the best interests of the Cuban people at heart. Forcing Cuba into the deprivations of a stone age is, by our own Constitutional definition, cruel and unusual punishment. Isn't that beneath us, as free Americans?c May 2002Hanley "Doc" Harding

[Author's Note] Since the posting of this article the European Union and Cuba have re-established diplomatic relations. Make no mistake about it... EU corporations are going to establish their presences in Cuba, and pay wages to their Cuban employees, and those Cuban employees will have some spending money to help perk-up the Cuban economy, and the U.S. will just sit by and watch as all this takes place in our own back yard.

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 2/5/2005
well said
Reviewed by David Arthur Walters 11/20/2004
You are correct, but the hard-liners will not budge. There is already a plan for regime change. Apparently the Miami terrorists with the help of the company might have just murdered the A.G. of Venezuela. No doubt Hugo and Fidel are commiserating on that deed as we speak. Betcha J. and other members of the family know the persons involved in that hit, maybe even financed them.
Reviewed by Rosemarie Skaine 11/16/2004
I agree with your position. I believe the Cuban people have suffered because of the U.S. outdated stands (although Congress seems to have moved ahead, but not the pres.). In my book, _The Cuban Family_, I address some of the ways the resourceful Cuban people have dealth with the challenge. In the 1990s, during their "Special Period," they were extremely adept at meeting the challenge of our denial. Isn't it against international law, to deny meds? We do this. I went to Cuba in 2002 to research my Cuban family book, and I saw a sophisticated people making do. Some people say Cuba is stuck in time, but I believe the U.S. is stuck in time. Good article, R
Reviewed by David Ray 6/23/2004
I agree in general that we should attempt to remedy our relations with Cuba. We cannot, however, condone Communist government, if for no other reason than the fact that this form of government by its own admission must expand to include all nations on the earth (see the Communist Manifesto). It is a very tricky issue to deal with. I don't forsee any improvements in relations happening under the current regime. That's just my opinion of course.
Reviewed by David Ray 11/11/2002
Good write, and you are right.

Reviewed by Lawrance Lux 9/29/2002
Well put and of immediate moment. Once We get the Terrorists out of the U.S., We don't want their movement to Cuba. I far more fear Al Quada in Havana than Bagdad. lgl
Reviewed by Lori Moore 5/26/2002
Blaming the U.S for Castro's embrace of communism is a bit simplistic.
Reviewed by Sonya Henderson 5/22/2002
Cuba, so close, yet so far away. An island paradise to some, but to the everyday citizen...S
Reviewed by Peter Benson 5/22/2002
Succintly put
Reviewed by Vicki Sullivan 5/22/2002
Strong, clear message-forward to Congress with lots of voter signatures!
Reviewed by Roger Nelson 5/22/2002
Good work Dockeroo!
I wholeheartedly agree!
Send this to Dubya!
Reviewed by Claywoman 5/21/2002
A great article Doc, and one so filled with truth! I think this should be sent to every American who has a puter, but how many would actually read it? Lets face it, we are turning into a country of Lemmings willing to follow the leaders over the cliff...

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