Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

The Cuban Crisis: Déjà Vu All over Again

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

The Cuban Crisis: Déjà Vu All over Again

Article excerpt

In April, 1961, fresh out of college and Army duty, I had started my first job as an AP correspondent in Austin when I was sent to Corpus Christi, Texas, to meet and interview a boatload of sun-baked Cuban revolutionaries picked up at sea by a freighter and disembarked at the seaport.

They were part of U.S.-trained freedom forces sent ashore in a mini D-Day invasion to retake the island and were either killed or captured or escaped out to sea in an unexpected debacle.

In sea-parched voices, the survivors castigated the U.S. for leaving them high and wet on the shores of Cuba's Bay of Pigs without the promised backup support while Fidel Castro's forces hammered them in a rout.

The planning had started with President Eisenhower and was passed on to incoming President John Kennedy and carried out by a bumbling Central Intelligence Agency.

The objective of the so-called Cuban freedom fighters, a 1,400-man invasion force trained by the CIA, was to go in and crush Castro's revolutionary army and return Cuba to a U.S. style democracy.

Castro knew in advance of the invasion and his army mopped up the beaches with the poorly trained insurgents. TTie U.S. air support got there late and also got lost and incoming President Kennedy cancelled a second wave.

The alternative became making Castro's Cuba a pariah country which impacted the island's population, depriving them of fundamental life's necessities unless their leaders changed its socialist/police state ways for a U.S. style democracy.

This was 55 years ago and the Castros, Fidel and Raul, still rule the island although Fidel, the original cuadillo, is now in retirement but supposedly still influencing the tenets that drove the original governance.

President Obama has taken the appropriate step in wanting to ameliorate relations with Cuba after decades of U.S. punitive policies and actions that have not worked.

It ain't going to be easy. The U.S. Cuba community and its supporters in Congress aren't about to let it happen even if the Castro brothers were to abdicate their control and announce they were going into the priesthood.

Castro's revolution settled in after incidents like the Cuban missile crisis involving Russia and sporadic encounters with Cuban exiles trying to upend the Communist regime which has endured.

In 1962 the U.S. imposed an economic boycott and severed all formal relations with the island nation making it a crime for U. …

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