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Sat Jul 17, 2021, 07:09 PM

The US Blockade on Cuba Must End


For sixty years, the United States has aimed to strangle Cuba’s economy and inflict misery on the Cuban people. Blockades are methods of war — and it’s time for the war on Cuba to end.

Richard Nixon, then Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice president, met with Cuba’s Fidel Castro on April 19, 1959, in Washington, DC.

"They always blame the United States,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said on the Senate floor this week. “The embargo, the first thing they blame, it’s the embargo. ‘The embargo is causing all this.’”

Not long after the UN General Assembly voted for the twenty-ninth straight year to condemn the six-decade-long US embargo on Cuba — a 184-2 vote that pitted only the US and Israeli governments against the rest of the entire world — the country has erupted in massive protests over widespread food and medicine shortages. A chorus of voices, ranging from Bernie Sanders and other congressional progressives to former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, have blamed the conditions on the long-standing US policy, and called for it to be finally lifted.

. . .

The Undeclared War
The US blockade on Cuba has been a key part of Washington’s long-standing war on the country, launched shortly after Fidel Castro led a revolution overthrowing the country’s US-backed military dictatorship in 1959.

Things didn’t start out entirely hostile. The Eisenhower administration publicly took a cagey wait-and-see attitude toward the new government. Meeting with Castro for three and a half hours, then–vice president Richard Nixon advised him, according to a post-meeting memo, “that it was the responsibility of a leader not always to follow public opinion but to help to direct it in proper channels, not to give the people what they think they want at a time of emotional stress but to make them want what they ought to have.” With a tinge of regret, Nixon recounted that Castro’s “primary concern was with developing programs for economic progress.”

By September that year, as Castro restricted private ownership of agricultural land and prepared to nationalize foreign-owned industry, the US ambassador to the country expressed “our serious concern at the treatment being given American private interests in Cuba.” The next month, president Dwight Eisenhower approved a program backing anti-Castro elements — including Cuban exiles launching raids on the country and, later, US-supplied sabotage and bombing campaigns — in the hopes that it would topple Castro and make him appear to have caused his own undoing.

. . .

This was no small thing. A blockade — distinct from an embargo, by including imports and trying to coerce third-party countries — is a method of war that, under international law, is meant to only take place during armed conflict. It’s not for nothing that legal scholars have argued that the blockade of Cuba is a serious violation of international law, not least for the fact that it’s aimed explicitly at forcing a change in government. Even the US government’s own legal advisors determined in 1962 that it “could be regarded by Cuba and other Soviet bloc nations as an act of war.”

Just as Nixon would respond to the 1973 election of a socialist government in Chile by ordering the CIA to “make the economy scream,” US policymakers openly hoped impoverishing and starving the Cuban people would lead them to overthrow Castro. “Every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba,” one State Department official wrote in 1960, in order “to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” Eisenhower said it more plainly: “If they (the Cuban people) are hungry, they will throw Castro out.”


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Reply The US Blockade on Cuba Must End (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jul 17 OP
Budi Jul 17 #1
Judi Lynn Jul 19 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jul 17, 2021, 07:20 PM

1. Sure thing Jacobin!!

Expected nothing less from ya.

"If they (the Cuban people) are hungry, they will throw Castro out.”

No, sorry (& Jacobin knows it) that happens in a Democracy. Which Cuba is not.

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Response to Budi (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 01:23 AM

2. Had you taken time to comprehend, you would have realized Jacobin was quoting Eisenhower. Yikes.

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