The whole 'Cuban conflict' thing is sour grapes, right?

This’ll probably turn into a GD but I’m looking for the root cause, and as far as I’m concerned the root cause should be a GQ. Not that you need my permission, but feel free to move if need be. As prologue I neither agree or disagree; I’m just trying to find out why I can’t legally smoke a Romeo and Juliet.


Soviet Russia wanted missles in Cuba, the US said no, and we won. Then - in defense of the people of Cuba who were dealing with a revolution - we did the whole Bay of Pigs deal to rid the Carib of Communism. After we got our collective asses kicked in the Bay of Pigs we decided Cuban cigars were bad and evil and that dealing with the Cuban government was godless, communistic, and inhumane, and the only reason we hold up this pretense today is the political power of Dade County politicians. And sour grapes.

Is that wrong? Right? Why or why not?

Well, the Root Cause is that the Soviet Union were the Bad Guys, and when it came time to choose up sides, Castro decided to play on the Bad Guys’ team.

And the Powers That Be have never forgiven him for it.

That’s all it is.

I was wondering something very similar myself.

Curious, why is it “illegal” for a US Citizen to be a tourist in Cuba…a little different but along the same lines.

Why has this been allowed to continue when we allow US Citizens to visit other countries with similar political regimes?

General Bullmoose is concerned that if you visit Cuba, you will return brainwashed, join a fifth column, and overthrow the U.S.A.

Actually your timeline is wrong. The failed Bay of Pigs was in April of 1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis was in October of 1962, so if there is any sour grapes, it would be the Cubans who had 'em last.

There is a bit of a chronology problem in the OP.

Batista was a standard, corrupt, authoritarian disctator with U.S. support.

As the people of Cuba demanded more freedom, some people in the U.S. (including the government) tended to agree.

Castro emerged as the primary leader of the revolution and received a little bit of support from the U.S.

Once Castro was in power, he instituted a number of “reforms” that basically took the country completely into the Marxist camp. (Castro was a true believer in Marxism–much more than, say, Kruschev). This would have irritated the U.S. in and of itself, but Castro then earned himself a lot of bad press by holding public “trials” of the overthrown government and landowners in atheltic stadiums, often followed by summary executions. In going Marxist, he also nationalized a lot of industry that had strong economic ties to U.S. interests.
(He had never hid his Marxist beliefs and the support he had garnered from the U.S. had been the result of policy decisions involving realpolitik and a belief in the U.S. that Batista had to go, but when he actually instituted Marxist policies, he became the bad guy.)

At that point we placed embargoes on Cuban goods.

Since we did not like the “new” (as we claimed) Castro, the U.S. supported a number of Cuban exiles in launching a counter-revolution at the Bay of Pigs. (The understanding was that the show trials should have turned the stomachs of the Cuban citizenry who would be glad to get rid of Castro.)

The actual invasion was bungled; the number of people who actually wanted to get rid of Castro was seriously overestimated; the Cubans perceived the invasion as a joint effort by the (justifiably overthrown) land owners and the (obviously imperialistic) Yankees to overturn all their hard work at getting rid of Batista and Castro’s support was solidified.

Once the U.S. was firmly established as an enemy, Castro openly turned for help to the U.S.S.R. who saw that island as a good offset to the missiles that the U.S. maintained in Turkey, and they moved a number of them in to “protect” Castro from further invasion.

We objected, strenuously, and after some brinkmanship, the Soviets pulled a number of their missiles out of Cuba. (We chose not to acknowledge that some missiles stayed behind so as not to provoke further confrontation and the Soviets did not make an issue of announcing some missiles remained so that they could claim that they had never had that many missiles there to begin with.)

Over the next couple of decades, the U.S. treated Cuba as nothing more than a Soviet colony. (It was certainly a Soviet client state.) During that period, a large number of Cuban exiles established themselves as a political force in Southern Florida and the U.S. has catered to nearly all their whims in terms of “punishing” Castro ever since.

Nail on the head. Although I might characterize “sour grapes” as “intertia.”

So what can be done to lift these restrictions? Would letter-writing do anything? What must be done to reopen Cuba? If Jimmy Carter isn’t enough to help, what is?

Castro has to die. I think when he does, you’re going to see the embargo lifted.

Here are some links with information on the embargo and what you can do:
Global Exchange Cuba Campaign
Oxfam Cuba Program Cuba Committee for Democracy
The Center for International Policy’s Cuba Project
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
American Friends Service Committee Cuba Program
U.S. Cuba Security Cooperation
More links from Cuba Solidarity/Project InfoMed

If the things that I’ve read on certain sites can be believed, then its not so much that you’re going to Cuba, its that you’re spending US dollars there. From what I gather, if you hop a plane to Mexico, and then to Cuba, they ain’t gonna do a whole lot to you when you get back to the States. (Do a google search on “world sex guide” and “cuban prostitution” and you’ll find lots of information for Americans wishing to travel to Cuba. I make no vouches for its accuracy, however.)

Please excuse the rhetorical question, but, why/how do Cuban-Americans wield political influence so disproportionate to their relative population size? $, of course, is the obvious answer, but there’s got to be more than that going on here.

Because they are concentrated in FL, which is an important state for the presidential and congressional electoral process. With enough people there to swing an important state, they get attention.

There are signs that they Cuban population in South FL is becoming less monolithic and this may affect the situation.

What signs are those? I sure don’t see them when I go down into Miami.

From what I see, the political clout of the Cuban population is in great part due to the fact that there are many Cuban-Americans who are extremely interested and engaged in politics. In comparison to other minority groups, Cubans have embraced the political system and become heavily involved in it at all levels. This is not typical of most other minority groups, thus you have a very vocal minority. Or if you live in Miami, majority.

Comparisons are odious but So.Fla Cuban political power has often reminded me of the evangelical power in the Republican Party:

A (relatively) small cadre that is extremely active in party meetings at all levels, well financed, and who are always a large percentage of the party primary vote. Because of this activity, the time and $$ they throw in tends to make them the king makers in party primarys, which in turn make them influential. (That it is happening in a top 10 population state helps as well).

re the OP, Supporting the Embargo is probably litmus test no. 1
for thier support

From what I’m heard, the younger generation in Miami is more interested in going to a los Van Van concert than maintaining the embargo.

Its all about politics, man. end of rant

Heard almost the same - except you go through Canada, and aren’t allowed to spend any money there. (If you do, and they catch you, there will be some questions that need answering)

Did you catch the 25th Anniversary interview last night? Barbara Walters interviewed Fidel Castro.

Cuba was a Soviet client state, but even the USSR wasn’t happy about it.