June 15, 2007

Fred! vs the Commies

I find it very interesting that one of Fred's strategies so far has been to talk about the subjects that other candidates shy away from, including Israel and communism in Latin America, most notably in castro's Cuba.  Fred takes on castro again, in this piece, which puts castro AND hugo chavez into some historical perspective:

We're coming up on the 45th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis and I think it's worth talking about. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy faced down the USSR, risking total war, and forced the Soviets to remove ballistic weapons from Cuba. Missiles located less than a hundred miles from America were aimed at the US.

A lot of people, I think, have forgotten. Most schools don't even teach about it in any real detail. Judging by the indifference that many people have to the nuclear arming of Iran, I think it's a lesson almost entirely lost -- except among Cuban-Americans.

Over the years, they've never stopped watching "el Comandante" -- or warning us about him. At the same time, they've been criticized by people who say that Castro is really no threat. Current events in South America, though, have proven that we should have been listening to our Cuban-Americans friends.

Last week, when Hugo Chavez officially killed press freedoms, even a big part of Venezuela's far left seemed to realize that they’d created a monster. Unfortunately, it may be too late. He's already packed Venezuela's high court, legislature and military with his loyalists. Right now, he's operating without any check or balance.

During his rise, Venezuelans say that Chavez spent hours a day on the phone with Castro. Additionally, Castro sent thousands of his Communist apparatchiks to help transition Venezuela from a free country to a totalitarian state.

Without Cuban “help,” Venezuela wouldn’t be in the terrible mess it is today. Castro, after all, has been at this since the 1960's and he's given Chavez the benefit of his experience.

There's one big difference between Venezuela today and Cuba then, however. Castro needed Soviet aid to push his so-called "revolution." Chavez does not. One of his first moves was to bolster the Cuban dictatorship with oil subsidies -- a hundred thousand barrels a day to the tune of two billion dollars a year. One of the main factors preventing Cuba's transition towards democracy is Venezuelan oil wealth. On June 26, that wealth could increase significantly, as Chavez says he’ll nationalize the petroleum industry on that date.

Interesting, no? And most people probably don't remember the backdrop to the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Just the outcome.  Sad really.  Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it, right?

h/t Marc Masferrer at Babalu

Posted by caltechgirl at June 15, 2007 11:05 AM | TrackBack