Remind me: Why am I supposed to hate Cuba?

We’ve always been told that Castro and his Cuba are to be hated, if not feared. But I seem to have forgotten why. Oh yeah, they were going to let the Russians point their missiles at us. But that was 45 years ago. What have they done to me lately?

I really intend this as a GQ but fully expect it would end up in GD, so I’m just going to start it off here.

They’re godless communists for god’s sake. (But worse than that, far worse - Michael Moore seems to like and respect them.)

They jail dissidents.

(We won’t get into what the USA does in the little corner of Cuba that it rents.)

Nothing, really, meaning the people of Cuba.

In fairness, Castro’s a nasty dictator who’s murdered a lot of people, imprisons peaceful dissidents and homosexuals, and doesn’t respect basic civil rights and freedoms. You can’t even move from one house to another without state permission, because the state (meaning Fidel Castro) owns all the houses. You can’t switch jobs without permission, at least not officially. Charismatic though he is, he’s an evil man who brooks no dissent and lives the sweet life while his people are poor, and he keeps his people prisoner on the island - none can leave without his permission. He’s nothing more than a tyrant and a slavemaster. He’s deserving of scorn, and I wish there was a hell he could roast in.

The people of Cuba, on the other hand, certainly are just like people anywhere else and deserve a lot better.

Just take the government’s word for it! In fact, if the gov finds out you’ve visited, you’ll be heavily fined.

Castro is an evil dictator, unlike the lovely folks who run China, our beloved trade partner. Or the folks who run any number of other countries you are allowed to visit. (Although you really wouldn’t want to.)

However, the bloody neo-Fascists who ran other countries to the South have mostly lost power. Those Argentine generals who had dissidents tortured, drugged & pushed out of airplanes over the ocean were on our side–because they were fighting the Commies. (Or anyone even slightly to the Left.)

DUH! In the Western Hemisphere, who else is there to hate?! Canada?!

Ya gotta take what ya can get.

I fill my hate quota with the NY Yankees. No need to pick on the Cubans.

Well, the Reich wingers love to hate Hugo Chavez, too. Emails like the one in this Snopes article have been making the rounds lately.

Ignoring the snide comments, RickJay’s comment is right on the money.

No both Castro’s and the Chinese are evil governments. It’s not either or.

Actually, RickJay’s comments don’t tell us why we are supposed to hate Cuba above all the other governments that have equal(and worse) governments. At last count, how many governments are we now boycotting to this extent?


Can we hate North Korea, too?

Anyway, perhaps the OP can supply a cite that we are instructed to “hate Cuba”?

I’m Canadian, my government isn’t boycotting them, so I’ve nothing to explain there. And if you want to know why the United States is boycotting Cuba… well, come on, everyone knows the political dynamics there. As Dave Barry put it, Miami is the only American city with its own foreign policy.

The OP asked about Cuba, not about the various other nasty dictatorships in the world. I provided an honest appraisal of what the government of Cuba is about. If you’d like a rundown of why the governments of Sudan, Syria and North Korea are run by assholes, start the appropriate thread.

Maybe so, but the comparison with the Chinese seems to be saying that as long as we’re friendly with the Chinese we should be equally friendly with Castro. My counterpoint is that screw that let’s be as tough with the Chinese as we are with Castro. Or at least acknowledge that that’s the way it should be.

Who told you to “hate Cuba”? Did George Bush tell you to do that?

Or is the real question, “Why do we embargo Cuba, when there are countries that are worse that we aren’t embargoing–like China?”

If that’s the question, the answer is simple. We started the embargo in 1962 when Castro confiscated the Cuban properties of United States citizens. And
there was that whole Cuban missile crisis thing, which didn’t make Castro any friends here, that’s when Kennedy imposed the travel restrictions to Cuba.

And the embargo continued throughout the Cold War. So why weren’t the restrictions lifted when the Soviet Union collapsed? They should have been and almost certainly would have been, except for the problem that Castro was still alive and running things. In Vietnam, China, and other communist regimes that threatened us, the dictators that we fought were now dead. In the case of the Soviet Union, the country itself didn’t exist anymore. If Ho Chi Minh were still ruling unified Vietnam as a communist state, we wouldn’t have normal relations with Vietnam, it would be politically impossible.

And of course, this goes double for Cuba due to the Cuban exiles. Cuban exiles are geographically concentrated in the state of Florida, they mostly all hate Castro. And since Florida is a swing state that votes either Republican or Democrat, losing the key voting block of Cuban exiles would lose the state for the party that proposed reproachment. So neither major party has any incentive to change the policy.

Sure, the policy should have been removed at the time of the fall of the Berlin wall. Except Clinton didn’t do it because he was fighting the Republicans and didn’t want to give them another issue to attack him over. And George Bush wasn’t going to do it. And Castro has been sick for years, everyone has hoped that he’d simply die and the political equation would be changed. Except he’s hung on as dictator for 48 years. And there you have it. Once Castro dies for real then we can normalize relations with Cuba.

And anyone who wants a quick rundown on the embargo could do worse than read this article:

The original question did not ask why Castro’s government should be hate above all others, only why it should be so. RickJay’s post answers that very well. The question you want answer is why the US does not treat other equally evil governments the same way it deals with Cuba, I have no idea, but they should.

It’s odd, but fairly predictable that we would embargo Cuba for forty years because it didn’t work. We generally continue our foreign policy efforts longest when they don’t work.

Perhaps we are just really stupid.

Sadly, given history as an example, if anyone actually convinces our Government that sanctions are not working, we will probably invade. That won’t work either, of course.


I don’t take issue with most of your post, but I’m not sure this is right. Nixon went to China and met with Mao in the 1972. That was a strategic move to further deepen the rift that had developed between the USSR and China, not because Mao had instituted significant reforms (although the Cultural Revolution was at least over by then). Economic reforms didn’t get kick started until after Mao’s death in 1976. Perhaps if Castro had decided to follow China down a different path history would’ve played out differently.