The recent stuff about opening up Cuba, including some of the stupid thoughts by people who aspire to lead the United States, suggests a further look at the history of the Caribbean Cold War. By that we mean the fact that trying to work with Cuba's leadership is nothing new. As we recently wrote, President Kennedy initiated a secret dialogue with Fidel Castro back in 1963, and it was one of the decisions that got him murdered.
Is it not possible that Raul Castro’s (above) comments about continuing a socialist program, delivered in military uniform, were also meant for his local audience? And we wonder just how committed that audience might be. Certainly some of the recent candid comments from ordinary Cubans suggest they may be fed up with the Castro government. And they obviously don’t hate the U.S.
JFK was not sympathetic to the Castro regime. His concern was preventing a nuclear war, which, as he knew better than anyone, was close during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Most of the leadership of our military, and certainly the intelligence community, were in favor of attacking Cuba, which might have been the spark to set off an exchange that could have killed millions. That includes most of you who were living in South Florida at the time.
Last week's report elicited a reply that may put current events in perspective. We are told that in his private negotiations, JFK required certain stipulations before serious talks could begin. Castro had to pledge to break off relations with the Soviet Union and had to cease all efforts to spread communism in Latin America. The source for this info is Marie Fonzi. We don’t know how she knew this, but we know why should would know. Her late husband, Gaeton Fonzi, spent much of his last 40 years investigating the Kennedy assassination. It resulted in his book “The Last Investigation,” now considered a must-read for anyone interested in the subject.
It also resulted in Gaeton Fonzi acquiring a vast amount of information about U.S. intelligence relating to Cuba. Marie Fonzi was looking over his shoulder all the way, and since his death two years ago she has continued his work (although not on the government payroll as Gaeton Fonzi was for five years).
Her information suggests we not jump to conclusions about President Obama’s present overtures toward Cuba. The guess here — based on the announcement that talks have been underway for 18 months — is that there is more to the situation than anyone will announce. Who knows what private understandings might be behind recent events. We know that Fidel Castro back in 1963 got word to Washington not to take his belligerent speeches seriously. They were political, meant for home consumption.
As in much of our affairs — public and private — we don't know what we don't know. We don't know that maybe five years from now, the whole rotten Castro bunch will be gone, and replaced by another bunch that will steal — as in the good old days.