Friday, October 26, 2007

Why isn’t Cuba the 51st State?

Why isn’t Cuba the 51st State?
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Cuba is located ninety miles south of Key West, and lies at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and Central America. It is the largest island in the West Indies. And Cuba should be a state of the United States. Why isn’t it?

Let’s look at a little Cuban history:

“ Cuba was discovered by Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) in 1492. It was settled nine years later in 1511 by his son Diego Colon who founded the city of Santiago three years later. Its original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians, were wiped out by the Spaniards. Cuba remained under Spanish rule for the next four centuries. Except for a brief period of British occupation in the eighteenth century.

Cuba's independence came about when the United States won the Spanish American War in 1898 and granted Cuba independence in 1902 after four years of U.S. occupation. The Platt Amendment was the price the Cuban rebels paid to get a withdrawal of U.S. troops. This amendment, grafted into the Cuban constitution of 1902, guaranteed the right of the U.S. to intervene in Cuban affairs to protect U.S. interests on the island.

The result was the rise of a corrupt political culture, in Cuba, with two parties: Liberal and Conservative (which by the way wasn't conservative) who often had business holdings with American corporations. This process continued until the election of Machado in 1924. On September 4, 1933, Sergeant Fulgencio Batista led a revolt with student revolutionaries. Fulgencio Batista, a mulatto of modest background, would oversee and manipulate the Cuban political landscape for the next 26 years. Ramon Grau San Martin, a university professor, became provisional president, but refused to swear allegiance to the 1901 Constitution with the planks that contained recognition of the Platt Amendment as US warships circled the island. 127 days later his government is brought down by a Batista led coup. In 1934 the U.S. recognized that the Platt Amendment had been abolished. Between 1934 and 1940 Batista controlled the Cuban government through a series of puppet regimes. In 1940 a constitutional convention met in which all political forces in Cuban society were represented. After the new Cuban constitution was established in 1940. Batista was elected in 1940 as the constitutional president. The communist party made up part of the coalition that brought Batista to power. Batista described himself as a "progressive socialist." He used the communist party to take control of the labor unions.

In 1944, Batista is defeated in a fair election and Grau San Martin is elected President. In 1948 Grau's successor Carlos Prio Socarras is elected President. During the Autentico regime's rule political gangsterism swept through Cuba and shook Cuban society to its very core. According to the constitution of 1940 the University of Havana was an area in which civil and millitary police were not allowed. The result was that these political gangsters were able to murder with impunity and use the University as refuge from the authorities. These groups were used by the Autentico's to wipe out communist infiltration of the Unions. The situation worsened under Prio Socarras to the point that Fulgencio Batista was able to justify a coup de etat which took place on March 10, 1952. One of these political gangsters Fidel Castro would plan an ill-fated attack on the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953. Thanks to Batista's abrogation of the constitution and an economic downturn in the 1950's opposition to Batista begins to grow. Less than two years after the failed attack, Batista declares an amnesty in which the Castro brothers are released from prison. Castro leaves for Mexico to train and organize. He returns on the Granma and lands in Cuba. Taking up residence in the Sierra Maestra. Four months later the Directorio Revolucionario assaults the Presidential palace, but fails in assassinating Batista and are crushed. Leaving Castro's July 26 movement as the main opposition group. Nearly a year later a general strike fails. Towards the end of 1958 the United States under the Eisenhower Administration began an arms embargo on the Batista Regime, which is interpreted as U.S. support for Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries.

On January 1, 1959 Batista leaves Cuba and Castro takes over Cuba's government. During the next year and a half Fidel Castro consolidates power and seizes properties. Castro allies himself with the Soviet Union. In 1961 Cuban exiles trained and armed by the C.I.A. formed Brigade 2506, which landed at the "Playa de Giron" otherwise known as the Bay of Pigs. Due to leaks within the State Department the Cuban government had fore knowledge of the invasion. In addition, to preserve "plausible deniability", the Kennedy administration reneged on its pledge of air and naval support. Cuban exile troops were left on the beaches to get shot up and or imprisoned. A number of American pilots refused to abandon them and died in action. Due to this fiasco and the Kennedy administration's perceived, or actual indecisiveness, the USSR believed that it could place offensive missiles in Cuba. This would alter the strategic balance of power.

The result of these developments was the Cuban Missile Crisis and the resulting Kennedy-Khrushchev pact, which guaranteed Castro's rule until present day.


You can read this entire article at:

http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/histcuba.html

So, now that you have a little history of the “history” between the US and Cuba, I ask again why Cuba is not a state of the US, or, at the very least a territory of the US? Heck, we even have a military base on the island!

Cuba is an incredibly rich country… for people who have the know-how and the will to turn it into a capitalistic economy. The tourist trade alone would practically support the island.

As things with Cuba are today she is a pimple on an elephants rear. A constant irritant, but not much else. As a US territory, American companies would invest heavily in the island and, in no time, it would bloom into a paradise . (Not to mention those wonderful cigars would be available to us American cigar smokers!)

This week President Bush asked the Cuban government to ease their iron grip on their people. Bush even offered US assistance should Cuba decide to abandon it’s socialist ways and try democracy. Of course, this was a less than subtle message to the Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul, that no matter their plans after Fidel’s passing the US is not going to be satisfied if there are no significant openings of the Cuban economy and Cuban political life.

Senator Fred Thompson, Republican candidate for President, released the following statement regarding President Bush's speech on Cuba policy earlier:

"Our goal for Cuba is nothing less than the complete freedom of the Cuban people. All sanctions must remain in place as long as the current regime, or any 'transitional government,' refuses to hold free and fair elections, to release all political prisoners, to allow private enterprise to flourish, and denies the Cuban people their God-given freedoms. The United States must strengthen its ongoing efforts to build international support to isolate the Castro regime, and stand with the Cuban people. We also need to look at new ways to further weaken this regime, and hasten the democracy, freedom, and self-determination of the Cuban people."

Raul, understanding the US Democrat Party is, for all intents and purposes, socialist, as is Cuba’s government, and hoping for a US Democrat Party victory in the US elections next year, says he is willing to open talks with the US… if… the next Presidential Administration quote: “desists from their arrogance and decides to converse in a civilized manner”. Interpreted into "conservative" English that means Raul will only talk to the socialists in the US… the democrats.

Fidel’s end is in sight. I don’t put much stock in an uprising of the Cuban people upon Castro’s death. I feel it is more likely their spirit has been broken and their will to resist has been “smothered to death”. I expect it will take active intervention by the US to once again free Cuba from her chains and offer her safety as a part of the United States.

Longstreet

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2 comments:

Wha Wadna Fecht for Charlie said...

Can you see a time when there will be a 51st State? Surely it has to be Mexico.

Longstreet said...

Charlie: Please accept my most sincere apologies. When your post came in, I was up to my arse in alligators and was unable to drain the swamp...as was my original mission.

In any event, I set your comment aside, did not post it, because I intended to answer it. The simple truth is...I forgot about it! Anyway, it is up now, and I HAVE apologised!

To answer your question... yes, I believe there will be more states, a 51st, especially. No I don't think it will be Mexico. If I had to bet money on it, I'd bet on Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state.


Best regards, sir!

Longstreet