the presidents of the United States, and those who aspire to that
office, I only met one who, for ethical-religious reasons, was not
an accomplice to the brutal terrorism against Cuba: James
Carter. That assumes, of course, another President who forbade
that United States officials should be used to assassinate Cuban
leaders. That was the case of Gerald Ford who replaced Nixon
after the Watergate scandal. Given his irregular manner of
ascending to the office, one might characterize him as a symbolic
It is to the
illustrious President Eisenhower, not in the least opposed to
anti-Cuban terrorism but rather its initiator, that we owe thanks
for at least providing a definition of the industrial-military
complex which today, with its insatiable and incurable voracity,
makes up the motor that is driving the human species to its
current crisis. More than three billion years have gone by since
planet Earth saw the first forms of life springing up.
One day, Che
[Guevara] and I went to play golf. He had been a caddie once to
earn some money in his spare time; I, on the other hand, knew
absolutely nothing about this expensive sport. The United States
government had already decreed the suspension and the
redistribution of Cuba’s sugar quota, after the Revolution had
passed the Agrarian Reform Law. The golf game was a photo
opportunity. The real purpose was to make fun of Eisenhower.
In the United
States, you can have a minimum of votes and still become
President. That is what happened to Bush. Having a majority of
electoral votes and losing the Presidency is what happened to
Gore. For that reason, the State of Florida is the prize everyone
aspires to, because of the presidential votes it provides. In the
case of Bush, an electoral fraud was also needed; for this, the
first Cuban emigrants, who were the Batista supporters and the
bourgeois, were best masters.
Clinton is not
excluded from all of this, neither is the Democratic Party’s
candidate. The Helms-Burton Act was passed with his support, with
a ready-made excuse: the downing of Brothers to the Rescue
planes, those which on more than one occasion had flown over the
city of Havana and which had violated Cuban territory dozens of
times. The order to fend off flights over the Capital had been
given to the Cuban Air Force just weeks earlier.
I must tell you
that, close to that episode, Congressman Bill Richardson had
arrived on a visit to Cuba on January 19, 1996. As usual, he
brought with him petitions asking that several
counter-revolutionaries be released from prison. We explained to
him that we were by now tired of receiving such petitions, and I
talked to him about what was happening with the Brothers to the
Rescue flights. I also talked to him about the unfulfilled
promises regarding the blockade. Richardson returned a few days
later, on the 10th of February, and very earnestly told me, to the
best of my recollection, the following: "That will not be
happening again; the President has ordered those flights to be
In those days,
I believed that orders issued by the President of the United
States would be carried out. The planes were brought down on
February 24, some days after the reply. The New Yorker
Magazine supplies details about that meeting with Richardson.
Clinton gave the order to suspend those flights, but nobody paid
any attention to it. It was an election year, and he took
advantage of that excuse to invite the Foundation leaders over and
to sign that criminal Act, with the approval of all.
migratory crisis of 1994, we learned that Carter wanted to do
something to find a solution. Clinton didn't accept it and he
called Salinas de Gortari, the President of Mexico. Cuba had been
the last nation to recognize his electoral victory. He had
contacted him on his inauguration as the new President of Mexico.
informed me by phone of Clinton’s decision to find a satisfactory
solution, and in turn he was asked for his cooperation in this
effort. That was how an agreement was reached in principle. That
agreement with Clinton included the idea of putting an end to the
economic blockade. The only witness we could count on was
Salinas. Clinton had thus left out Carter. Cuba was not able to
decide who the mediator would be. Salinas relates this episode
accurately. Anyone with an interest can read about it in his
really kind when we informally crossed paths at a UN meeting
attended by many heads of state. Moreover, he was friendly, as
well as intelligent, in demanding adherence to the law in the case
of the kidnapped boy, when he was rescued by special federal
agents sent from Washington.
are now immersed in the Florida adventure: Hillary, the Clinton
successor; Obama, the popular African American candidate and
several of the other 16 who, up until the present, have proposed
their candidacy in both parties, with the exception of Republican
Congressman Ronald Ernest Paul and the former Democratic Senator
from Alaska, Maurice Robert Gravel, and the other three Democrats
Dennis Kucinich, Christopher Dodd and Bill Richardson.
I don’t know
what Carter said during his race to the White House. Whatever his
position was, I was right when I guessed that his election could
avoid a holocaust for the people of Panama, and that is just what
I said to Torrijos. He established the U.S. Interests Section in
Cuba and promoted an agreement about jurisdictional maritime
limits. The circumstances surrounding his term prevented him from
taking things any further and, in my opinion he embarked on
several imperial adventures.
Today, talk is
about the seemingly invincible ticket that might be created with
Hillary for President and Obama for Vice President. Both of them
feel the sacred duty of demanding “a democratic government in
Cuba”. They are not making politics: they are playing a game of
cards on a Sunday afternoon.
declares that this would be essential, unless Gore decides to
run. I don’t think he will do so; better than anyone, he knows
about the kind of catastrophe that awaits humanity if it continues
along its current course. When he was a candidate, he of course
committed the error of yearning for “a democratic Cuba”.
Enough of tales
and nostalgia. This is written simply to increase the conscience
of the Cuban people.
Fidel Castro Ruz
August 27, 2007.