October 15, 2021

What Would JFK Have Done?

john-f-kennedyMy stepmom rushed into the kitchen to find me hiding under the table. “Why are you under there?” she asked. I don’t remember my exact answer, but she put it together quickly enough, considering the news on our black and white television; nuclear missiles were in Cuba, aimed at my home, and I was afraid…very afraid.

I do remember her response, however. She laughed slightly, but her face then took on a face of concern, almost crying. She pulled me from under the table, hugged me, and assured a 5-year-old everything was alright. President Kennedy was taking care of it, life would go on.

Dot was right. The Russians, and “President” (many in the media still mistakenly use the term) Castro, backed down. The missiles disappeared, and an economic embargo began against the Communist nation 90 miles off our shores.

Fast forward to 2014. President Obama says it is time to, paraphrased, put and “end to colonization and communism” by starting the process to end the embargo that has quarantined Fidel and Raul and Soviet-style tyranny for more than half a century.

First, we never colonized Cuba (maybe if President Kennedy had of given air support during the Bay of Pigs, we could have liberated them, but that is another story). Our only “colonization” has been in the support of tyranny – including that from the U.S. press.

castro and krushchevAccording to Humberto Fontova, Fidel himself admitted in 1959 when he pinned an award on a reporter with the New York Times, Cuba’s revolution “never would have succeeded” without the Time’s coverage. In his book “The Longest Romance, the mainstream media and Fidel Castro,” Fontova points out the Cuban dictator – not “president” – murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans during his first six.

He then terrorized a five-year-old boy – and the world – taking us to the brink of nuclear Armageddon.

As to President Obama’s comment of the ending of “communism?” The gulags still exist, the deprivation, the torture – there is still no freedom of expression, no freedom of the press (unless you support such evil). “Human rights” is a cruel joke, and there is still no toilet paper to clean up what the dictator and brother Raul continue to force on the residents of an otherwise beautiful island nation.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce may ink out some sugar, cigars, and tourism in this temple of money changers – but there is little to nothing for Cubans, or Americans. Eventually, taxpayers will simply send more money to this temple of horror.

Nor did Barack Obama, announcing this “historic” change of U.S. policy hours after Congress left Washington for Christmas break, get any assurances positive changes would take place in Cuba. Instead, a hostage was freed after five years for simply trying to get internet service for Jewish natives – in return for three convicted spies.

You will find little mainstream reporting these spies were convicted of providing information to their Cuban masters – information that led to the death of Cuban Americans who flew small aircraft only to look for escapees or to drop flowers over the sea in remembrance of so many of their brothers and sisters who died in trying to escape the hell Cuba has remained since the revolution.

Obama is not much of a trader. This is certainly no better than his decision (again without input of Congress or the American people) to trade five Taliban leaders, described as “generals” by many, for one American deserter.

Many Americans and Cubans disagree; Obama is a trader… but they would say the term is only a misprint of the word, in both meaning and spirit.

I think back to the face of my stepmother that evening in October. Like her, I find myself with both a stifled laugh over the absurdity of it all – and a tear of concern – only now for the destruction to the hopes of the Cuban people and our vanishing American values.


Mike Chambers