At the end of 1958/early 1959, after overthrowing Batista a leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro implemented far-reaching reforms by nationalizing factories and plantations in an attempt to end U.S. economic dominance on the island. U.S.-owned refineries in Cuba refused to process the oil, so Castro expropriated the refineries. The United States retaliated by cutting Cuba’s import quota on sugar. This began a decades-long contentious relationship between the two countries.  

In May 1959, Castro signed the First Agrarian Reform Law, which limited the size of land holdings and forbade foreign property ownership. The intent was to develop a class of independent farmers. In reality, this program led to state land control with the farmers becoming mere government employees. By the end of 1959, Castro’s revolution had become radical, with purges of military leaders and the suppression of any media critical of Castro’s policies.

Castro’s government also began to establish relations with the Soviet Union. The USSR sent more than 100 Spanish-speaking advisers to help organize Cuba’s defense committee. In February 1960, Cuba signed a trade agreement to buy oil from the Soviet Union and established diplomatic relations.

The year 1961 proved to be pivotal in Castro’s relationship with the United States. On January 3, 1961, outgoing president Dwight Eisenhower broke off diplomatic relations with the Cuban government, because he considered Castro a rebel.

On April 16, Castro formally declared Cuba a socialist state. On May 1, he announced an end to democratic elections in Cuba and denounced American imperialism. Then at year’s end, Castro declared himself a Marxist-Leninist and announced the Cuban government was adopting communist economic and political policies. On February 7, 1962, the United States imposed a full economic embargo on Cuba, a policy that continues to this day, forty years later.

In October 1962, Castro’s increasing reliance on Soviet aid brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Wanting to deter another U.S. invasion of Cuba, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev conceived an idea of placing nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of Florida. President J. F. Kennedy responded by demanding the removal of the missiles with orders for the U.S. Navy to search any vessels headed for the island.

Hundreds of thousands of Cubans had fled Castro’s rule before and thereafter, many settling in the USA. Castro also loaded ships with Cuban prison inmates, mental patients and other social undesirables. In all, nearly 120,000 Cubans left their homeland in 1980 to find sanctuary in the United States, the disabled, the sick, the old, in the Mariel Bay emigration. Perhaps he was doing them a favor, removing them from their homes. Yet he paid no compensation.

Without cheap oil imports and an eager Soviet market for Cuban sugar and a few other goods, Cuban unemployment and inflation grew. The contraction of the Cuban economy resulted in 85 percent of its markets disappearing.  Cuba sent 60,000 brigadistas, (still there), and thousands of Cuban doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil imports.

About six weeks ago, the Panamanian authorities seized a vessel in its canal, thinking the cargo was drugs. The law-enforcement officers searching the cargo of 100,000 tons of sugar, originally a donation to the People of North Korea, found in two other large rooms a variety of military equipment: 12 engines for MIG-21 fighter planes, 5 mobile missile launchers, labeled as “obsolete arms” being sent for repair.  A third room waits to be opened, but is awaiting the arrival of a UN team of inspectors. This incident confirms why I believe in the’oldest terrorist.’ And there are his accusations regarding  the intent of genocide by the Americans against Arab people.

While he may not be involved in the day-to-day affairs of running Cuba, Castro wields enormous political power at home and abroad. He continues to meet with radical foreign leaders, during their visits to Cuba. This is why I believe the United States will not lift the embargo.  There is no denying Castro and his brother will eventually pass away; and it would refuse Castro the satisfaction that he has ‘prevailed’ at expropriation.

At this time Cuban-American travel is being promoted, and the issue is sensitive as many Cuban Families are involved.     (726 words 03/09/2013).RameshSujanani) )Google Search, Other Misc. Media


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