Cuba and foreign interference. On the occasion of the massive popular protests in Cuba last July 11, several claims arose on the island and in exile seeking support or participation of foreign actors in the solution of the Cuban problem.
Historically, revolutions and struggles against non-democratic regimes have sought and obtained some kind of foreign support or action. Let us begin with the Castro "revolution" itself, which obtained an important donation of arms from the government of José Figueres of Costa Rica. In the declassified Kremlin archives there is information that it was the Soviet Union that actually made the contribution by taking out US weapons that were stored in Czechoslovakia and had them delivered to Costa Rica in a chartered cargo ship. Fidel Castro called those weapons "the salvation" of the guerrillas in the Sierra Maestra.
Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov (Lenin) received from the German government the money and means that enabled him to travel to Russia and initiate the Bolshevik Revolution with which he succeeded in overthrowing the czar and seizing power. Without that help, Lenin would never have triumphed. France's help was fundamental for George Washington to win the war against England and achieve the independence of the United States. The French provided him with cannons, gunpowder, weapons, supplies and naval support. Panamanians were able to recover their democracy thanks to the military invasion of the United States against the regime of Manuel Antonio Noriega.
There are all kinds of opinions and all are respectable, but above all, what oppressed peoples need, especially those under dictatorships, are solutions to the problem, wherever it may come from.
In the specific case of Cuba, there are past events such as the Platt Amendment and the decisive influence that U.S. ambassadors had on Cuban national policy, which generated an anti-Yankee sentiment. However, U.S. companies on the island were the ones that paid the best salaries and gave the best benefits to their employees. The United States had a special treatment for Cuba with the sugar quota and, perhaps the best expression of high consideration for Cuba took place after the Spanish-American War of 1898 when it granted Cuba its independence while the other 3 Spanish colonies given in exchange for peace: Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines remained as American protectorates.
Indeed, relations between the United States and Cuba have gone in both directions. But the indisputable fact, which is not opinion, is that Cubans have received special treatment in the United States. The Cuban Adjustment Act is a privilege that very few foreigners have had. For 30 years, any Cuban who managed to reach U.S. soil, even from a country other than Cuba, received immediate refuge. Cubans have had every opportunity to succeed here and have done so. For the overwhelming majority of Cubans, the United States has become the homeland we lost. It is also true that exiles have given their children and grandchildren born here an alternate homeland: Cuba. Most of these descendants call themselves "Cubans", speak Spanish and participate in many of the activities in favor of the island.
There is no doubt that the demand of many exiles for an armed action by the United States to get out of the Castro dictatorship has merit. In the first place because of the close historical relationship between the two peoples. Secondly, because although they helped us with the creation, organization and logistics of the Bay of Pigs action, they later betrayed them by making it fail when their political interests changed course. That is a serious debt that any U.S. government owes to the Cubans. And thirdly, it cannot be forgotten that it was precisely with the help of a superpower, the Soviet Union, that the Castro brothers managed to crush their first adversaries and establish the dictatorship that perpetuated them in power. If with the participation of a foreign power that provided them with arms, training and political and diplomatic backing, they were able to establish themselves in power and install their communist dictatorship, there can be no qualms or conscientious remorse to remove them from power with the help of another superpower.
One argument I have heard from those who oppose U.S. armed action is that "it is shameful" to ask young boys from Oklahoma or Kansas to go and shed their blood for us on the island. In this case that argument is not valid because conversely many Cubans have served in the armed forces of this country and have gone to fight in countless countries around the world for the United States. Their blood was spilled for the Americans and for the interests of this nation.
Historically, the United States has initiated armed actions in numerous countries for much less important reasons than it would have for doing so in Cuba. There is Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Syria, Kosovo, ... and the list would be almost endless. The reasons for doing so in Cuba are:
-The Castro regime gave its territory so that in the middle of the Cold War, the Soviets could install nuclear rockets aimed at the North and, even worse, Fidel Castro asked the Soviets to fire them as stated in Nikita Kruschev's Memoirs. That regime wanted to commit a nuclear hecatomb in the United States.
-The Castro regime lent its territory for drug trafficking to the United States. There is a sealed criminal indictment against Raúl Castro and other henchmen in the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Miami for that cause.
-The Castro regime gave its territory to operate, for many years, a Soviet electronic espionage base to listen to all communications from the eastern United States.
-The Castro regime has trained, armed and sent guerrilla forces to all Latin American countries with the exception of Mexico and has destabilized the democratic governments of the region using all possible means.
-The Castro regime has given safe haven to terrorists who have needed it. The terrorists of the Spanish ETA, the German Black September, the Palestinian PLO, the M-19, the FARC and the ELN of Colombia, the "Manuel Rodriguez" Movement of Chile, the Tupamaros of Uruguay, the Montoneros and the ERP of Argentina, and countless others have taken refuge there. Many fugitives from American justice have also found refuge in Cuba, such as Joanne Chesimard, murderer of a New Jersey highway patrolman.
Of course, the most desirable thing is that we achieve freedom for Cuba without the need for any foreign help or participation, but taking into account the military and repressive apparatus that the Castro dictatorship has to support itself, it is unlikely that it will voluntarily and peacefully abandon power. There is always the possibility that a military man will emerge who loves Cuba more than the communist ideology and take decisive action, but that alternative is unlikely.
The social explosion that occurred on July 11 is only a preamble to the fact that the chains of fear with which the regime kept the people under control have been broken. The country is bankrupt, indebted and without credit. Remittances have been reduced. Tourism is absent and will not return for a long time. Productive activities are paralyzed by the growing number of coronavirus cases. There is no way the regime can prevent the critical situation on the island from being alleviated. That means that the next social explosion will not be long in coming.
Cubans have discovered that there are many, very many who are willing to go out and protest. Under that premise, it is predictable that in the next wave of protests many more will come out and in more places than on July 11. And, when that happens, what will the regime do? It cannot stand idly by because even more would come out and occupy government buildings and even police stations. If that were the scenario, the solution would come in peace. But, if he orders his agents to fire and a bloodbath ensues, will there be anyone who will say no to the call for U.S. military action to stop the crimes? If such action is not taken, the regime will confirm that it has impunity even to massacre the people and the dictatorship will be assured of its reign for many years to come.
I am sure that for many Cubans on the island, a U.S. military action to "put an end" to this abusive and criminal regime would be a great satisfaction and a more than deserved punishment for those who have caused Cubans so much suffering.