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Nikita Khrushchev later gloated in his memoirs:
We ended up getting exactly what we’d wanted all along — security for Fidel Castro’s regime and American missiles removed from Turkey. Until today the U.S. has complied with its promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro. After Kennedy’s death, his successor Lyndon Johnson assured us that he would keep the promise not to invade Cuba (emphasis added).
Former President Nixon remarked about the Bay of Pigs and Missile Crisis: ”Kennedy pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory, then gave the Soviets squatters rights in our backyard.”
Barry Goldwater observed in 1964: ”We locked Castro’s communism into Latin America and threw away the key to its removal. I would help Cuban exiles openly. I’d give them the guns and ammunition to blast Castro out of his island stronghold now defended with Soviet arms.”
In his memoirs, the Butcher of Budapest (Khrushchev) further twisted the knife and snickered yet again: “It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba — for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable.”
So, the threat that so rattled the Knights of Camelot and inspired such cinematic and literary epics of drama and derring-do by their court scribes and cinematographers, was pure fiction. The threat came, not from the Soviets, but from the Stalinist regime hailed to the high heavens by the Congressional Black Caucus and befriended by Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern (who said, “Fidel Castro is very shy and sensitive, a man I regard as a friend”). The regime was also preparing for a windfall of U.S. dollars, courtesy of the U.S. Congress. (More on that shortly.)
Considering the U.S. nuclear superiority over the Soviets at the time of the so-called Missile Crisis — the U.S. had five thousand nuclear warheads while the Soviets had three hundred of them — it’s hard to imagine President Nixon, much less Reagan, quaking in front of Khrushchev’s transparent ruse like JFK.
The Crisis “resolution” bestowed a new status upon Castro. Let’s call it MAP, or “mutually assured protection,” assured by the two most powerful countries on earth at the time, including the one whose president, JFK, had recently declared freedom “indivisible” and worthy of undeterred defense: “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
JFK’s missile crisis “solution” also pledged that he would immediately pull the rug out from under Cuba’s in-house freedom fighters. Raul Castro himself admitted that at the time of the Missile Crisis, his troops and their Soviet advisors were up against 179 different “bands of bandits,” the term he used to label the thousands of Cuban anti-Communist rebels, then battling savagely and virtually alone in Cuba’s countryside, with small arms shipments from their compatriots in south Florida as their only lifeline.
Kennedy’s deal with Khrushchev cut this lifeline. The Cuban freedom-fighters working from south Florida were suddenly rounded up for violating U.S. neutrality laws. The Coast Guard in Florida got 12 new boats and seven new planes to make sure Castro and his Soviet patrons remained utterly unmolested as they transported Stalinism 90 miles from U.S. shores.
This ferocious guerrilla war might as well have taken place on the planet Pluto for all the mainstream media cared to report about it. To get an idea of the odds faced by those betrayed rural rebels, the desperation of their battle, and the damage they wrought, you might revisit Tony Montana during the last 15 minutes of “Scarface.”
Most of these thousands of fighters died as Tony Montana died. Surrender wasn’t an option. When their bullets ran out, their lives ran out.
To learn more about the events recounted above, check out the books Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant and Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him by Humberto Fontova.
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