In Miami, a muted response to historic change in Cuba policy

The Washington Post‘s Joel Achenbach reports from south Florida, Obama’s opening to Cuba has provoked little outrage in what was once a bastion of anti-Castroism.

“The biggest change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in half a century, an historic rapprochement — the end of the Cold War! — has not yet incited organized outrage at the level where people start pouring onto Calle Ocho. Something has changed here over the years — and the decades.”

via In Miami, a mixed and muted response to historic change in Cuba policy – The Washington Post.


  1. Vanessa says:

    Hello Photon

    My latin isn’t what it used to be but there is an appealing sort of symmetry in your argument. However, I have a few questions for you.

    1. If after Oct 1962 the Cubans felt that they could no longer rely on the USSR for defence (and they no longer had the missiles to defend themselves) why would they engage in the one activity which would be guaranteed to provoke an invasion form the USA?

    2. How could the Cubans have known what was in LBJ’s mind? They had no way of knowing how he would respond to the assassination of JFK. And if LBJ had no stomach for more confrontation in Cuba why would he then take on both communist super-powers, the USSR and China in Vietnam?

    3. Why on earth would the CIA protect communist Cuba from revelations over the assassination? Wouldn’t this give them a rolled-gold opportunity to retaliate against their enemy?

    4. If Oswald was too unstable to be an agent wouldn’t that make him too unreliable to be an assassin? How could he be relied upon to carry out the job in the first place and then keep quiet about it afterwards?

    5. Given what we now know about JFK and William Atwood’s mission for co-existence with Cuba why would Castro get rid of the very President who was prepared to deal with him?

    Thanks for your answers 🙂

    • Photon says:

      Your assumption that JFK was willing to deal with Castro is nothing but wishful thinking. At the time that JFK was assassinated another plan to assassinate Castro was in the works, including a meeting with potential operatives in Paris on the day of JFK’s shooting.
      It wouldn’t provoke an invasion if there was no firm proof of involvement . Obviously LBJ believed that there was a Cuban element behind the assassination or he would not have mentioned it to Cronkite during his final interview. It would be hard to push an invasion of a coontry that responded to assassination attempts against its leader by striking at the leaders responsible for those attempts. Oswald had no firm ties to Cuba, at least on the surface.

      • Vanessa says:

        Hi Photon

        The only ‘wishful thinking’ on my part is that you might occasionally agree that I am right. 🙂

        Are you saying JFK did not seek co-existence with Cuba? Please see the quote and link below.

        “On the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the eve of the broadcast of a new documentary film on Kennedy and Castro, the National Security Archive today posted an audio tape of the President and his national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, discussing the possibility of a secret meeting in Havana with Castro. The tape, dated only seventeen days before Kennedy was shot in Dallas, records a briefing from Bundy on Castro’s invitation to a U.S. official at the United Nations, William Attwood, to come to Havana for secret talks on improving relations with Washington. The tape captures President Kennedy’s approval if official U.S. involvement could be plausibly denied.

        The possibility of a meeting in Havana evolved from a shift in the President’s thinking on the possibility of what declassified White House records called “an accommodation with Castro” in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Proposals from Bundy’s office in the spring of 1963 called for pursuing “the sweet approach…enticing Castro over to us,” as a potentially more successful policy than CIA covert efforts to overthrow his regime. Top Secret White House memos record Kennedy’s position that “we should start thinking along more flexible lines” and that “the president, himself, is very interested in [the prospect for negotiations].” Castro, too, appeared interested. In a May 1963 ABC News special on Cuba, Castro told correspondent Lisa Howard that he considered a rapprochement with Washington “possible if the United States government wishes it. In that case,” he said, “we would be agreed to seek and find a basis” for improved relations.”

        LBJ refers to an ‘international conspiracy’ that doesn’t necessarily mean Cuba. It could mean the USSR – hence his reference to 40 million dead Americans in his discussions with Justice Warren. Only the USSR had the capacity to inflict the sort of casualties that LBJ was talking about.

        In any case, the point in relation to LBJ was whether the Cubans could have known how he would react to JFK’s assassination. Given the parlous state of US/Cuban affairs couldn’t it be assumed that the US would use any Cuban link to the assassination to justify an invasion?

        Apologies, but weren’t you just saying that Oswald did have some ties to Cuba and that maybe that is why the CIA won’t reveal the contents of its files? I still don’t understand the logic of that btw.

        As you know, the issue of whether the Kennedys’ approved of any plots to assassinate Castro is still under debate.

      • David Regan says:

        JFK’s rapprochement efforts with Castro were in fact documented and known by the CIA:

  2. Photon says:

    Res Ipsa loquitur- at least at the level of Presidential intelligence.
    We may never know what that is based on, but there has to be something on Oswald’s association with Cuba either in general or specifically related to his visit to the Cuban embassy in Mexico City that has lead to the completely anomalous progression of U.S.-Cuban relations. We have better relations with a country that we were at war with for decades and where 50,000 servicemen died than we do with Cuba. Cuba has been a non-factor in our foreign relationships for 15 years, yet our policy did not change.
    Oswald was too erratic to be an agent, either domestically or for a foreign power. But he could be the ideal assassin for a country that needed plausible deniability, or even a country that never formally directed him to do anything but lived in mortal peril of invasion or decapitation while aware of active attempts to remove its leadership. In 1962 Fidel urged the Soviets to strike even if that lead to the annihilation of Cuba. The Soviet betrayal in Oct 1962 made it obvious to Fidel that the U.S.S.R. could never be relied upon to rescue Cuba in the event that JFK violated his pledge to Khrushchev not to invade. It is highly logical that the Cuban leadership considered the Revolution to be in danger as long as JFK was alive. I think that this is what LBJ was referring too in his final interview with Conkite. Obviously LBJ had no stomach for another round of confrontation in the Caribbean , particularly after learning that JFK was running “a Murder,Inc. in the Caribbean “.
    I doubt that there was any firm evidence for a Cuban author of the assassination of JFK using Oswald, but it would explain why the CIA has not released everything that they know. In my opinion it is much more likely that Oswald was presented a target of opportunity and acted on it and the benefit to Castro was simply serendipity.

    • ..”there has to be something on Oswald’s association with Cuba either in general or specifically related to his visit to the Cuban embassy in Mexico City that has lead to the completely anomalous progression of U.S.-Cuban relations.”~Photon

      You are dealing out suppositions here without knowing the facts. In fact the person that visited the Cuban embassy in Mexico City, was not Oswald at all, but an impostor. There are photos of a larger older heavyset man that was photographed at the embassy. There are other impostors who called the embassy by phone, and analysis shows these were not Oswald either.
      Oswald was being set up as a Patsy for months before the assassination. There were many reported Oswald pretenders in Dallas, even while the real Oswald was still in Russia.
      . . . . .
      “The CIA advised that on October 1, 1963, an extremely sensitive source had reported that an individual identified himself as Lee Oswald, who contacted the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City inquiring as to any messages. Special Agents of this Bureau, who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Texas, have observed photographs of the individual referred to above, and have listened to a recording of his voice. These special agents are of the opinion that the above-referred-to individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald.”
      The paragraph shown above comes from an FBI memo sent to both the White House and the Secret Service on November 23, 1963, the day after President Kennedy’s assassination. It was a follow-up to a phone call at 10:01 AM, in which Director Hoover informed Lyndon Johnson of the same fact. Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of Kennedy held in police custody in Dallas, had been impersonated in phone calls to the Soviet Embassy in Mexio City.
      The fact that Oswald was impersonated less than two months prior to the Dallas shooting was obviously important news.”

    • Vanessa says:

      Good Morning Photon

      So you are saying the reason that the US govt has put Cuba in the deep freeze for the last 50 years is because that even though it has no firm evidence it is convinced that Cuba was behind the assassination in some way.

      I could just as easily say that the reason that the US has put Cuba in the deep freeze for the last 50 years is because successive Presidents (and politicians) don’t want to end up with their brains blown out on a public street in front of their wives by their own government, just as JFK did.

      Let’s face it, Cuba is a gnat compared to the military, economic and political power of the USA. If the USA really believed that the Cubans had killed their President then they have a massive range of options to persuade the world that this happened and then to exact some sort of appropriate justice on the perpetrators.

  3. Photon says:

    Actually, I thought that they would never agree to this until Fidel passed away, suggesting to me that his death is imminent -he hasn’t been seen in public for about a year. There are no conditions different now than have been present for the last 2-3 years.
    I suspect that the release of further CIA records in relation to the JFK Assassination will never happen until you see regime change in Cuba. There is a reason why Presidents of both political parties never moved toward establishment of embassy level ties with the Castro government despite periods of detente.That reason has nothing to do with the politics of the Cuban government, nor the opinions of the South Florida exile community, nor any recent action of the Cuban or U.S. governments.

  4. Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

    First, they don´t have realized it yet. Second, those who have realized it, are now too old for taking the streets. Third, Cuban people in South Florida is so accustomed to anti-Castroism as great show, that when things turn serious they don´t care. Now the hot issue is the spouse of the head of the Wasp Network, Gerardo Hernandez, who appeared in TV carrying a child.

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