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The history of the United States and Cuba has gone hand in hand for more than a century.
It was the Americans who helped Cubans become free from Spanish control and who enjoyed, for several decades, the island’s tangible and voluptuous prosperity. It was the Americans who accompanied Batista’s dictatorial development and who suffered directly the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, with the arrival of expropriations and assassinations. It was the Americans who encouraged an invasion of exiles with the purpose of rescuing Cuba’s freedom and who later abandoned the brave ones. The missile crisis, the Mariel exodus, the special period, the thaw; and so on, until today.
The fact that the uprising of Cubans on the island occupies so much space in the American press today is no coincidence. Without exaggeration, what is happening in Cuba is also domestic politics. A few conservative commentators may kick up a fuss, but when the United States worries about Cuba, it is not anxious about a foreign country, but about an extremity. It is not Afghanistan, Iraq or North Korea.
A few hundred miles from Miami, thousands march, in a gesture of immense courage, raising the American flag. Cubans know where their parents and grandparents went, where their cousins live and where their remittances come from. They know, in the end, what they want to be. That’s why they don’t shout democracy or equality. They shout, at the top of their lungs, freedom.
Cubans demand freedom because they have been prisoners of one of the bloodiest and cruelest tyrannies in modern history for more than sixty-two years. The Castros, under Fidel Castro, imposed a ruthless totalitarian regime on the island that has starved, killed and enslaved millions for more than six decades. The opportunity to emerge from such a regime, which also achieved almost total stability in the style of the Kim dynasty, is extraordinary. And today, Cubans, having lost their fear, have built that opportunity again. For the first time in almost thirty years.
The U.S. government cannot afford to miss the wave of Cuban protests and international attention. It is the perfect moment, when millions are beginning to recognize again the urgency of freedom for Cubans and the criminal nature of Castroism, to put an end to a dictatorship of so many years and that has done so much damage, not only to the United States, but to the entire region. Because it must be said clearly: the Castro regime represents a threat to hemispheric security. It did so during the last century, as a satellite of the Soviet Union. And it does so today, as the embryo of communist development in Latin America. Every time an American country is infected by the Castro virus, misery, murder and transnational crime follow.
Cubans will not be able to stand alone against tyranny. Cuba is ruled by a regime that is not afraid to persecute, imprison and kill innocents. And it turns out that it is not afraid of the international community either, which, cowardly, does not go beyond the unbearable and useless statements of rejection and condemnation. The time has come to talk about what Cubans really need: a full scale military intervention.
The White House has staged military interventions in much more remote countries and where there are less compromised interests. There have been unjustified, excessive and even condemnable military adventures. Cuba’s would be one of the few truly legitimate ones. Again: the history of Cuba and that of the United States have gone hand in hand for more than a century. Americans must see the Cuban cause as their own.
It is time to revisit the dramatic episode of the Bay of Pigs and liberate the Cuban people. Drawing inspiration from José Martí, the aims must be twofold: the fall of tyranny and the return of freedom to the island. No softening, concessions or promises. There is no room for hesitation. The opportunity is unique and must be seized. The message to the White House is clear; strike while the iron is hot!
Orlando Avendaño is the co-editor-in-chief of El American. He is a Venezuelan journalist and has studies in the History of Venezuela. He is the author of the book Days of submission // Orlando Avendaño es el co-editor en Jefe de El American. Es periodista venezolano y cuenta con estudios en Historia de Venezuela. Es autor del libro Días de sumisión.
When a country has intervention in another, isn’t that neoconservativism?