So Republicans think Cuba does not deserve normal relations with our country.
Remember Vietnam? That fight (1960 – 1975) was to prevent communism from dominoing through Southeast Asia and eventually the world. Over 47,500 young American lives were wasted in that ‘crusade’.
The United States re-established diplomatic relations with Vietnam (still a self-declared communist republic) and reopened the U.S. Embassy there in 1995. The U. S. is one of Vietnam’s five major trade partners, there is no tourism restriction imposed by U. S. or Vietnamese law on U. S. citizens (over 400,000 a year). Oh, and no ‘domino effect’ ensued as a result of Vietnamese re-unification.
Now let’s look at Cuba. Beginning at the end of the Spanish-American War (1898) the United States held sway over Cuban autonomy and economics until Castro took power in 1959. The
U. S. first endorsed Castro but then reversed when he declared Cuba a Communist Republic. In reality, the only ones affected by this take over were organized crime and financiers who owned Cuba’s tourist infrastructure.
None the less, President Eisenhower authorized the training and arming of Cuban expats living in Florida for an invasion to topple the Castro regime. In 1961, the Kennedy administration oversaw this invasion, but did not logistically support the incursion which crumbled and withered in 3 days. In this conflict U. S. military combat deaths incurred was 5.
A year later in 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis loomed its ugly head and Kennedy set the U. S. military in motion to block Russian missile deliveries to the island. No actual combat ensued, however, 1 reconnaissance flight pilot was shot down and died in the crash.
The Cuban system has survived all U. S. imposed sanctions and most of my 67+ years on this planet. All other nations have long since lifted what sanctions they had imposed and trade with Cuba readily. Cuba’s tourist trade is doing well with Canadians and Europeans. Cuba’s literacy rate is 99% and its doctors are considered to be among the best in the world by the World Health Organization. Cuban doctors were some of the first international medical teams to go to Africa to help contain the Ebola outbreak.
Both countries are still socialist, both have not fomented the ‘communist domino effect’, both are not empowering international terrorism, both do not harbor any desire to become a ‘nuclear nation’, both do not seek to illegally grow their nation by seizing land of other nations or ignore claims of other nations to lands near said nation.
The only difference here is the number of U. S. military lives lost so Vietnam could remain socialist and become a U. S. trade partner with full diplomatic affiliation.
With Cuba the U. S. only incurred total combat deaths of 6 military personnel. Republicans seem to think Cuba is some great menace. If that were the case, how come we only lost 6 in combat? After all, Vietnam was going to ‘domino’ the world with socialism and we threw away over 47,000 lives to prevent it. Do Republicans think we are 46,995+ lives short of Cuba being worth normalization of relations? Perhaps that’s why they want our military to stay in the Middle East, the U. S. body count isn’t high enough yet to warrant it.
Cuba is no more a threat to the United States than Vietnam was. Republicans get over it, if Cuban cigars and rum are a threat, I’ll live with the danger.
Editorial by, J. C. Weeks