Friends Again: Cuban-American Relations and the Questions That Follow

jfk castro obama raul usa cuba peace talks us embassy

The 1950’s were a great time to be in Cuba — if you were a wealthy American. This was a time when Cuba’s ex-president turned dictator, Fulgencio Batista, an American government puppet, let the yanks build military bases wherever they wanted on his island while hosting Americans in Cuba’s many casinos, brothels, and 24/7 night clubs. To be an American in Cuba was like leaving the law behind you in Florida for the time being to get in touch with all the alcoholic perversions you thought about in bed at night with your wife sleeping beside you.

All that fun came to an end in 1959 when a 20-something-year-old militant named Fidel Castro and his right hand trigger-man Che Guevara beat all the odds — and heavily outnumbering military opposition — overthrowing Batista’s greedy rulers and installing themselves — a tiny team of young revolutionaries famous for inventing guerilla warfare — in the presidential palace, which is known today as the Museum of Revolution because of their victory. 

The first order of business on Castro’s docket: nationalize all of the US owned land of Cuba, which, by that time, was a lot. As one would imagine, the American government didn’t like any of this. Their lawless extension of American soil had been taken away from them in a heartbeat. So, in American fashion, they decided to try and kill Castro at every chance they had.

The most famous case of America’s attempts to overthrow Cuba was the Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961. This is where a CIA brigade — known as Brigade 2506 — led an army of American soldiers and anti-Castro Cuban exiles — mostly from Mexico — from Guatemala to Cuba’s Bay of Pigs, central Cuba, with instructions to invade and destroy Castro and his militants. This is one of America’s most embarrassing moments, as Castro was greatly outnumbered, but still hammered the opposing army and sent them packing within only 3 days.

A tactic used in the battle most effectively was to send one of Castro’s men to the frontlines to blast off a few rounds and run back to camp, at which point the Americans would waste thousands of rounds of ammunition shooting at nothing in the trees for hours. Basically the Cubans tired them out and wasted all of their ammunition without taking a hit. In the end Kennedy had publicly lost to an army of kids no bigger than a New York gang, and Cuba’s reputation and pride soared higher than a morning chemtrail. For the record, it was Dwight Eisenhower’s White House that made the invasion plan at the end of their term, Kennedy was informed it was already underway when he took office in 1960 and signed off on its continuance. Either way, it was a failure.

The next plan to overthrow Castro never came to fruition, though it is one of the most important and understated plans in American history to ever be released to the public; one that, once read, sheds glaring light on the inner workings of the deceptive American government’s covert operational planning and public manipulation. The name of this scheme was Operation Northwoods.

Northwoods was a proposal made by the joint chiefs of staff to JFK outlining a plan to fill a passenger jet from an airport in Florida full of CIA agents —  with fake passports and made up identities — then fly the plane to a military base halfway to Cuba, at which point it would land and the agents would go back to their regular lives. Another CIA drone plane painted to look exactly like the passenger jet would leave the military base — empty — and carry on the flight path of the original plane. When it got near to the Cuban coast a button would be pushed from the base and the drone plane would explode. The news stations in America — this all documented — would then be used to push the story of an American jet full of college students being shot down over Cuba by Cuban militants. Phony funerals would then be broadcasted across the country to sway the public’s emotions and trick them into supporting — and paying for — a Cuban invasion. JFK, humiliated by the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, declined the operation, but the records are still available today and are a rare, unredacted glimpse at how the American government uses false flag operations to get their countrymen fighting deadly wars for them.

That same year, 1962, saw the Cuban missile crisis. This is where Castro struck a deal with then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to let Cuba house a number of the USSR’s nuclear missiles. This, he thought, would keep the Americans off his back. What it really did was bring the cold war the closest it ever came to breaking into all out war. After the Americans created a blockade in the waters in front of Cuba to prevent anymore Soviet ships from reaching it, and amongst threats of nuclear attack from both sides, a deal was made between Khrushchev and Kennedy for the Soviets to dismantle all of their nukes and bring them home. In return, the Russians made the Americans publicly swear never to invade Cuba unless they were clearly provoked.

More recently — August 4th of this year — we published an article on how the American government — through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)has been sending Latin American’s down to Cuba since 2009, the beginning of the Obama administration, to covertly assemble a group of Cuban rebels dedicated to overthrowing their government. Their cover was that the young men were foreigners on vacation, at first. Then the plan developed into posing as health workers and stayed that way. They would travel to Cuba and set up health workshops to attract locals — in one case an HIV-prevention workshop which documents referred to as “the perfect excuse” — and subtly figure out who they could use to carry out their mission of creating a rebel army big enough to challenge the government — makes you wonder about how all these terror networks sprang up in the Middle East, huh? For their troubles — housing, food, travel, arrests, etc. — the Latin-Americans were paid $5.41 an hour.

So there’s a view into relations between Cuba and America, who still officially considers Cuba “a state sponsor of terrorism.” Even as near as this last summer the American government was funding missions to destroy Cuba’s government from the inside. This is what makes today’s headlines so interesting:

“President Barack Obama outlined some steps his administration will take to normalize full diplomatic relations with Cuba, the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades.” —CBC.

According to Obama, who has been meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro for many weeks, 50-years of isolating Cuba isn’t working, now he wants to be friends. This, according to reports, is because the pope wrote to the two leaders and told them to shake hands and make up. 

“To the Cuban people, America extends a hand of friendship.” —President Obama, Dec. 17, 2014.

As Obama addressed the nation in America, Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, addressed his people in Cuba, basically stating that all the things America had done to Cuba over the years — invasions, sanctions, spies, travel bans, coup d’etats — is now water under the bridge and it’s time to become friends again.

To show the public they meant their words, America released three Cubans from jail in Florida — one a convicted terrorist part of the 1996 Cuban 5 — letting them return to Cuba; while Cuba released Alan Gross — a USAID worker arrested for bringing surveillance equipment into the country to set up intelligence gathering stations in Cuba’s Jewish community — and another convicted American spy.

Also announced was the plan for America to open an American embassy in the heart of downtown Havana, and even though tourist travel is still banned, family visits will now be permitted to Cuba, as well as government and educational activities. 

While Americans used to only be able send a measly $500 every three months to family in Cuba, they can now send up to $2,000. 

“Licensed American travellers to Cuba will now be able to return to the U.S. with $400 in Cuban goods, including tobacco and alcohol products worth less than $100 combined. This means the long-standing ban on importing Cuban cigars is over, although there are still limits.”

Now, from the standpoint of someone who trusts Obama about as far as he can throw Michael Moore, I must question the intentions behind this news. Yes, peace and harmony are good things, but Obama, or any president for that matter, doesn’t just do things for the hell of it; or to be a nice guy. Presidents do things because they’re told to for strategic reasons. What could the American benefit be to this sudden, very public announcement? Where does the profit come into play? Surely lifting sanctions on Cuba will benefit their economy to some degree, but what is the US getting out of this? With so much on America’s plate, why Cuba? Why now? Could they be befriending Cuba, a gateway to America, before the battle with Russia begins? Is it an economic scheme of some sort? Why was the Vatican so interested in Cuba and America mending their relations? Why did America listen to the Pope? Only time will tell.

By Olan Thomas of

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