Could the U.S. have befriended Cuba right after the Revolution?

I think you have your timeline backwards. Nixon had anti-communist credentials before anybody had heard of McCarthy. Nixon had achieved national prominence in 1948, when he was able to prove that Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy. McCarthy didn’t jump on the anti-communist bandwagon until the Wheeling speech of 1950, and he burned himself out four years later through his wild accusations. But if anything, McCarthy was riding on the coattails of people like Nixon, not the other way around.

Maybe, but what does that have to do either with the fact that the deterioration of Cuban-American relations was due to Castro’s nationalization of American businesses (of which, as you pointed out, we had a lot of in Cuba), or more generally, that Castro is a nasty guy?

Again, off-topic but what I am saying is this. Nixon and HUAC made McCarthy’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations plausibly respectable. Until he was ultimately discredited, McCarthy spewed fear of the world and Democrats and anchored the idea of the Cold War in the public mind which made Nixon as a hard-liner on communism an attractive candidate. It was more of a synchronicity.

IMO, the first case is not a specific of the second.

I remember seeing the Che Guevara movie, and the scenes where the rebels landed in Cuba, from Nicaragua. The rebels were ambushed by a Batistas army group, and largely slaughtered. Was Batista too gentle?

I didn’t necessarily intend it to be (although, of course, taking somebody’s property without their permission or compensation isn’t generally considered to be a nice thing to do.) I meant that Castro is the bad guy both in the specific sense that his nationalization of American property pretty much guaranteed that the US and Castro’s Cuba wouldn’t be allies, and in the general sense that Castro is just a bad person.

No, far from that. It was a combination of things. Batista was unpopular, especially in the countryside, army morale was low, the revolutionaries used propaganda to good effect, and the US, which had in the past supported Batista, turned against the regime, and wouldn’t sell him weapons or supplies.

N.B.: He almost certainly wasn’t.

I think the US was exceptionally stupid and has a history of that kind of stupidity in supporting dictators and denouncing social democratic movements as Communist so that it handed them to the Soviets. Castro has always played more on Jose Marti, the great Cuban liberator from Spain and Cuba in general has never forgotten that the US then first supported the liberation movement and then fought against it to back a series of corrupt dictators making it their Mafia-controlled playground.

Castro would have been too Socialistic for much American liking (there is also that Cubans are Hispanic-Black mix and knew how well that went down at the time across the water in Florida), but he and others could have made good propaganda for the US as supporting liberty and democracy even if of a different variety from their own, instead of being seen to support any dictator who’d make life easy for US business interests no matter what they did to their people. It always backfires eventually. CIA involvement in destroying Allende’s Chilean democracy for Pinochet’s barbarous dictatorship was yet another reminder of whose side the US has not been on.

Castro would never have been an ally of the U.S. He really hated the U.S. and blamed it for much of the problems in Cuba. He looked at Batista as the U.S. puppet and had no desire to be under the U.S. thumb.

The current Communist Party of Cuba was a merger of Castro’s organization, the old Communist party, and another radical left wing group. Castro’s people took all the top spots in this organizaion and ran the Politburo. This newly formed Communist Party of Cuba was actually quite inactive for almost a decade. There were no meetings of the Central Committee, or any congresses.

Castro is no democrat. His main belief is in action and struggle, and he never had much tolerance for decent. To Castro, his military victory was enough of a mandate to govern. He immediately not only nationalized American firms, but also killed dozens of people who also fought against the Batista regime.

There was no chance of any positive U.S.-Cuban relations and no chance for a democratic Cuba after the 1958 revolution.

He almost certainly was, as the segment of your very link about the Venona intercepts makes clear.

Naughty, naughty. Trying to goad me into breaking my pledge?

My idealization of Castro was well covered/rebutted in the thread noted in the OP. You will find there a complete statement of my thoughts on the subject.

Now, where were we?

This is just the kind of inflammatory nonsense I believe. Of course, *I *won’t talk about it here.:cool:

Again, back to the OP.:slight_smile:

In spite of all, IMO, Castro would have allowed himself to be accepted as a neighbor if the US had been willing. That would have required a complete reversal of our foreign policy with regard to emerging nations and was a no-starter for us.

Funny, the KGB thought he was. Codename ALES.

(The Sword and the Shield, The Mitrokhin Archive and the secret history of the KGB, Vasili Mitrokhin. A book written by the KGB’s archivist, who defected, with notes)

Can you provide a better cite contradicting this?

Like I said, “almost certainly wasn’t.”

It’ll never be settled, I suppose. From An Incomplete Education, by Judy Jones and William Wilson, p. 52: “The upshot: To this day, nobody quite believes that Hiss was entirely innocent. On the other hand, they’re sure Nixon wasn’t.”

Well, Lowenthal was one of Hiss’s lawyers. It’s not “almost certainly wasn’t.” It’s “almost certainly was, but Lowenthal wouldn’t admit he was wrong.”

Correction, the rebels came from Mexico, not Nicaragua.

A boat designed for 12 carried 82 people on the trip to Cuba in 1956. When they landed they were immediately attacked by Cuban troops, and all but 14 were killed or captured. The 14 remaining took to the mountains, and two years later had overthrown Batista’s government.

Close to two million Cubans, almost 20% of Cuba’s population has come to the US since 1959 most of them to Florida, so I don’t think consideration of race relations played any role at all in support for or against Castro.

[emphasis mine]

Anyone actually interested in what US policy toward emerging nations has been for the past 100 years or so should findthis informative.

One example from over 100 cited.

That many?! Cite?! I know Florida isn’t that much larger than Cuba in land area, and there aren’t that many Cubans visible outside metropolitan Miami (and Tampa – but our Cuban community dates from the 1890s).

I think 2 million might be an overestimation, but according to this Pew study 913,000 Cuban Americans are foreign born.

From wikipedia:

"US Census and ACS

In the most recent census in 2000 there were 1,241,685 Cuban Americans, both native and foreign born and represented 3.5% of all Hispanics in the US. About 85% of Cuban Americans identify themselves as being White, mostly Spanish, which is the highest proportion of all other major Hispanic groups. In Florida, Cuban Americans have cultural ties with the state’s large Spanish American or European Spanish community. In the 2007 ACS, there were 1,611,478 Americans with national origins in Cuba. 983,147 were born abroad in Cuba, 628,331 were U.S born and of the 1.6 million, 415,212 were not a U.S citizen.[23]"

Keep in mind that’s just the ones living the US in 2000.