A History Lesson for Ron Paul

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Ron Paul, in an exasperated tone during the Iowa debates, said: “All these trade sanctions!…This is why we still don’t have a trade relationship with Cuba.”

Ground Control to candidate Paul: according to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. has transacted almost $4 billion in trade with Cuba over the past decade. Up until two years ago the U.S. served as Stalinist Cuba’s biggest food supplier and fifth biggest import partner. We’ve fallen a few notches recently, but we’re still in the top half. Furthermore, the U.S. has been Castro-controlled Cuba’s biggest donor of humanitarian aid, including medicine and medical supplies, for decades.

Ground Control to candidate Paul: For over a decade, the so-called U.S. embargo has merely stipulated that Castro’s Stalinist regime pay cash up front through a third–party bank for all U.S. agricultural products; no Ex-Im (U.S. taxpayer) financing of such sales. (You’d really, really think a libertarian would approve of this.) Enacted by the Bush team in 2001, this cash-up-front policy has kept the U.S. taxpayer among the few in the world not screwed and tattooed by Fidel Castro. Here are a few other items candidate Paul might keep in mind before any campaign stops (especially in Florida):

Per-capita-wise, Cuba qualifies as the world’s biggest debtor nation with a foreign debt of close to $50 billion, a credit–rating nudging Somalia’s, and an uninterrupted record of defaults. Standard & Poor’s refuses even to rate Cuba, viewing the economic figures released by the regime apparatchiks as utterly bogus.

Ron Paul in an exasperated tone during the Iowa debates also said: “It’s about time we start talking to Cuba!”

Ground Control to candidate Paul: In fact “we” (the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency) started engaging with Fidel Castro before he was even in “office.” To wit:

“Me and my staff were all Fidelistas” (Robert Reynolds, the CIA’s “Caribbean Desk’s specialist on the Cuban Revolution” from 1957-1960).

“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except [Republican] ambassador Earl Smith” (CIA operative in Santiago Cuba, Robert Weicha).

Their advice was taken, and January 7, 1959 thus marks a milestone in U.S. diplomatic history. Never before had “we” (the U.S. State Department) extended diplomatic recognition to a Latin American government as quickly as we bestowed this benediction on Fidel Castro’s that day.

Nothing so frantically fast had been bestowed upon “U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista seven years earlier. Batista had in fact been punished by a U.S. arms embargo and heavy diplomatic pressure to resign for a year. Batista was subsequently denied exile in the U.S. and not even allowed to set foot in the country that “backed” him.

In fact, during Castro’s first 16 months in power, “we” (the U.S. State Department) made over 10 back-channel diplomatic attempts to ascertain the cause of Castro’s tantrums and further “engage” him. Argentine President Arturo Frondizi was the conduit for many of these and recounts their utter futility in his memoirs.

The result of all of this Cuban engagement? Here’s a brief list.

Result: In July 1960, Castro’s KGB-trained security forces stormed into 5,911 U.S.-owned businesses in Cuba and stole them all at Soviet gunpoint – $2 billion were heisted from outraged U.S. businessmen and stockholders. Not that all Americans surrendered their legal and hard-earned property peacefully. Among some who resisted were Bobby Fuller, whose family farm would contribute to a Soviet-style Kolkhoze, and Howard Anderson, whose profitable Jeep dealership was coveted by Castro’s henchmen. Both U.S. citizens were murdered by Castro and Che’s firing squads.

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  • matt

    Boycott Israel! Starve the Jewish parasite!

    • Omar

      Boycott "Palestine", Cuba and Iran. Starve the Red-Green parasites.

  • Ryan G.

    You people who are bashing Paul for being fringe, or weird, or a dork, or whatever new little name you have for him–you people are the problem. Folks who open their mouths and shoot off some opinion without any rigorous arguments are the type of lazy bandwagoners that kill our political process. Don’t hate Paul supporters just because we are interested in our countrys future and actualy have a strict ideology about how to approach the problems this country faces. As for this ridiculous article, if you–whoever you are who wrote this–think that a CIA, “humanitarian relief” oreinted relationship with Cuba is the type of relationship Ron Paul stands for then it is you who are orbiting the planet. I don’t think it’s too far fetched to say that maybe Castro shouldn’t have to deal through private banks with a us federal government thar screams embargo but trades bandaid’s for drugs. It’s also a bit ridiculous that out of all of Paul’s foreign policy positions, you pick CUBA to focus on. Just forget about ending all the other wars and bombings we’ve got going on huh? I think you and your readers might do well to be reminded that this “dork” of a candidate not only wants to bring home the troops from the countries we bomb but the ones we’ve got stationed in friendly countries too so they can spend their money here at home. Oh and this “fringe” candidate gets more money from military personnel than all other candidates…combined.

  • Alex

    Humberta Fontova is a nasty neocon-Trotskyiest. Per him, when Lenin-Trotsky let 3-4 kulaks go (while killing the remaining millions) – they really didn't have sanctions against kulaks….

  • Michael

    How do you even have a job? Completely miss the point, Humberto.

  • LindaRivera

    "U.S. citizen Alan Gross has just been sentenced to 15 years in Castro’s dungeons for the crime of distributing computer equipment in Cuba."

    Will Obama and Clinton demand the release of Alan Gross unjustly imprisoned for 15 years or will they remain silent?

    Silence is consent.

  • http://acourtsjester.blogspot.com Michael Johnson

    Aid is not trade the writer of this article is a fool.

  • SteveMT

    Humberto, You are selective in your history lessons. You forgot about the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by our CIA…one of the many attempted and failed overthrows of Castro. Ron Paul is the solution to the military-industrial complex.

    A quote about you from Wikipedia. I would say that this is a very good description of you.

    "His writing features a blend of quotations, hyperbole, mild profanity, ad hominems, sarcasm and humor; often culminating in editorial critiques of the political left."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humberto_Fontova

    • mah29001

      Israel bad, totalitarian government of Cuba is good. That's the hypocrisy from you PaulBots.

    • Omar

      And you are simply another Marxist apologist for Communist totalitarianism. There has been no attempt to overthrow the Castro regime on the part of the U.S. government since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Also, the Castro regime tried to incinerate New York City a month after the Missile Crisis by detonating explosives at Manhattan landmarks. Get your facts straight.

  • jewdog

    I'm outraged that the Republicans have members who support that ignorant wacko, Ron Paul, or Rand Paul. They are a throwback to the days when Republicans took an isolationist view of the spread of fascism before WWII. Both of them have simplistic ideas – like their gold panacea – that appeal to those most susceptible to demagoguery.
    Fontova, by stating some simple facts about Cuba, unmasks Ron Paul's foolishness and inhumanity.

  • Brutus

    @Jewdog

    Why so antisemitic? You give welfare to Israel to enslave her to US policies? I say free Israel and support her if attacked. Stop treating Israel like a red headed step child and let her be free. Besides, the constitution gives no authority to dole out foreign welfare to any nation.

  • zsqpwxxeh

    Haven't seen a Ron Paul Swarm on FPM for a long time. If you're scanning the combox to get a glimpse into the RP mindset, keep in mind a few things:

    1. Snowballs have a greater chance in hell than Ron Paul has to win the GOP nomination;
    2. Libertarians and Anti-Israelites are not Conservatives, though we may agree on many (mainly economic) issues;
    3. There are a lot (i.e. a high percentage) of kooks, cranks, and assorted conspiracy nuts among Paul supporters;
    4. You hear from them, and not the more level-headed Paulbots, when they swarm.

    Have a great day!

    • Patrick

      Right, all kooks. We love freedom and the Constitution and bemoan futile, illegal wars, the abuse of freedom and power, and the waste of trillions of dollars in American funds and capital but we're just a bunch of 'conspiracy nuts'!??!??!?
      What's funny about your first point is most people would probably rather vote for a snowball over the current swill of politicians running for President these days.

  • Jackie Hazelton

    The best thing about articles like this are the well informed comments after the nonsense spewed by the author. Sadly, I don't think the author was just trying to get hits. I think he actually believes this.

    I spoke to some of my family today who are so incredibly wrapped up in gov't propaganda that they believe anything that is told to them by their party. It doesn't matter which party, because they are both two sides of the same coin.

    The great thing about Ron Paul supporters is that they can reason and think. They can see the flaws in an article like this.

    Go Ron Paul! The country has hope if you can educate people and if your supporters can spread truth and reality. To the commenters here: nicely done.

  • http://www.hfontova.com Humberto

    Most of you Ronbots are college kids. So here's the deal:

    When classes start in a couple weeks, ask your English prof to explain the difference between "free-trade" and "a trade relationship."

    Then ask your Political Science prof for the definition of "remittances" and to explain the workings of the "U.S. Export-Import Bank."

    Then implore your History profs to assign the following books for his classes:
    http://www.hfontova.com/che.html

    and
    http://www.hfontova.com/fidel.html

    These books have been published internationally and within them you will find everything in this article fully documented to the satisfaction of the legal departments of the biggest publishers on earth.

    Peace & Love

  • http://home.comcast.net/~enjolras/site/?/home/ Underzog

    Ron Paul also has an antisemitic, ex CIA agent as his advisor in the Middle East. That might have contributed to Dr. Paul's view that Iran getting the nuclear bomb was a swell thing.

    Incidentally, not only did ex CIA agent, Ron Paul advisor, Philip Giraldi, write an antisemitic screed that was featured in the antisemitic blog, "Veterans Today," but the ex CIA agent identified in a photo a person he said was David Horowitz when that person was not David Horowitz: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/08/former-cia-agen

    Some spook this guy was /sarc

    Ron Paul 1488
    The Final Solution for America the two eights stand for the two eigth letters of the alphabet as in "Heil Hitler." The number 14 stands for those fourteen words that every white supremacist knows: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

  • P

    "Trade relationship" Humberto. Do you know what a relationship is? Yeah, it typically involves two parties interacting with each other. Stop focusing on EXPORTS and try to include IMPORTS. So how much have we "transacted" in import trade over the past 10 years?

  • Matthew

    This is the best they have…lol I guess I can go buy a ticket to Cuba head down for the weekend and buy some Cubans to bring back home, right?!!?!?

  • Phil

    Say no to the Khazar run war-state of Israel. Say no to apartheid and genocide.

    • Omar

      Phil, quit supporting the real genocidal apartheid regime in Sudan, whose government behaves worse than South Africa's former apartheid regime. Israel is a tolerant, democratic state, while Sudan is run by genocidal Islamists. Fact-check.

  • Chux91

    It's time for the author and all these defense hawks to suck it up and get used to the fact that CUTS are coming to defense. Of course all they see is Islamic & Communist Boogy men behind every corner but to ask "grandma" to shoulder all the cuts to entitlements while defense spending continues at these or even higher levels is beyond outrageous. It will be REVOLUTIONARY!! Ron Paul is right about talking to Cuba. And he's right about engaging Iran in talks and trade. If we keep listening to these defense (chicken) hawks, they'll either blow us up in another war or two or they'll drive the country into bankruptcy. Don't believe their lies!! Press your reps in Congress to cut this unsustainable defense spending. WWII has been over for almost 70 years and it's time Europe, Japan and Korea paid for their own defense as well as it's time for America to quit this insane spending and bring ALL the troops home. Better to do it now then to be forced to do it because we're bankrupt as a country. And tell the author we'd be better off engaging Cuba in talks and trade too – Castro be dammed.

    • Omar

      Really. Complete trade (no limited sanctions at all) with Castro's Cuba would only benefit the Communist regime and oppress the people living there.

  • Nathan

    Oh man!! A whole, whopping $6bil over the span of 10 years!!! When's the last time you bought something that said MADE IN CUBA? You're a tool

    • Omar

      No, Nathan. You are a tool of the Castro dictatorship in Cuba. Quit repeating leftist lies and propaganda and learn from facts.

  • mah29001

    Ron Paul bots are hypocrites: Whine about how Israel gets all the money, but then state countries that are actually national security threats like Cuba and Iran should be traded with like allies?

  • Corellian

    Looks like the Ron Paul zealots have latched onto Front Page Mag now. They're swarming over conservative sites all over the net like locusts. They over ran The Tree of Liberty for one example. They're foreign policy aspirations are even further to the left than comrade Obama's. And you know that can't be good.

    RP supporters are paranoid "Zionist" conspiracy nuts (Jew blamers), delusional 9-11 conspiracy nuts, and foolhardy hard core isolationists. Their platform is synonymous with the platform of the left in many ways, only with some minor alterations. Core left wing ideology reveals itself eventually in their rantings though. You know, evil American imperialism and Jewish obstinance concerning the disputed territories is responsible for all ill feelings in the world. (Sure man.. sure)

    RP's only saving grace is his constitutionally oriented financial ideas. Eliminating the FED. And that's about it. ~ Relegate RP to the Treasury Department. And keep him away from foreign policy decisions.

  • http://www.ronpaulforums.com Calvin

    I am registering Republican just to vote for Ron Paul as soon as I turn 18.

    - Ron Paul was endorsed for president by Ronald Reagan in 1988. Reagan made special note to Paul's commitment to a strong national defense.

    - Ron Paul was the only candidate at the previous debate to have served in the military. He volunteered for Vietnam while Mitt Romney obtained a draft deferment. Interestingly, Romney was a vehement supporter of the Vietnam debacle. Look it up!

    - Ron Paul refuses to receive the benefits available to him as a Congressman, including healthcare and pensions.

    - Ron Paul was spot-on about the economy, and predicted the housing bubble way back in 2003. Check it out for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLm7Sw402xE

    • Omar

      Actually, no. Ronald Reagan supported his vice president, George H.W. Bush, for president in 1988. Quit writing revisionist history.

  • AL__

    The ron paul's brown shirts are the cockroaches of the internet

  • Nicolas

    Fontova is no closer to understanding FREE trade than the Castro brothers are. As fond as Cuban exiles are of authoritarian rule — in the United States — it is by no means clear that the end of communism on the island will lead to liberty rather than to a new brand of repression.

  • mrbean

    Ron Paul is a patriot like Sarah Palin, and Micelle bachman will be marginilized as a nutcase by liberals and anti intellectual neo-cons, It is also because he's an honest politician and american patriot who supports freedom, liberty, ending illegal wars, cutting down on unnecessary spending and following the Constitution.

  • Steeloak

    I love it when the Ron Paul Robots swam FPM, they are almost as crazy as the Soros roaches that appear whenever Obama gets a well deserved roasting here. Both groups swarm through in a large herd, learning nothing and leaving a wide swath of trash and debris in their wake. We regulars who have spit in the eye of these morons wear our negative ratings with pride.
    Humberto has written many articles here about Cuba and posesses that rare quality lacking among most journalists – the ability to see reality for what it is and tell the truth, no matter how unpopular that truth may be.

  • Ageofreason

    Apparently a lot of people fail to understand that as a Stalinist state, because it is a Stalinist state, Cuba is incapable of creating wealth. Its citizens are slaves. As a Canadian, I face no restrictions on travel to Cuba, and went on my own fact-finding mission, not to the tourist haven (and trap) of Varadero, but to Havana. What I found was appalling. The Cubans never once asked if I were Canadian, but if I were American, because so many Americans go to Cuba. The Cubans do not stamp passports, so all Americans have to do is fly to Canada, and then hop a flight to Cuba. Many, many Americans do just that. Beggars are everywhere in Havana. Almost every tourist buys illegal cigars from Cubans who I am certain are well-known to, and perhaps run by the secret police. Groups of unemployed men hang out on the streets. The buildings are run-down. (more)

  • Ageofreason

    The homes built in the 50s by the affluent middle class are crumbing, inhabited by a permanent underclass of miserable, un-, or under-employed individuals, the middle class fled or shot dead. The best-dressed people are the military and police. Their weapons are new and hi-tech. Propaganda slogans are omnipresent. Images of the murdering thug Che, the putz, Guava are all over for the gullible tourists. The money made from sucker tourists feeds the military, cops and secret police. Even the money is a rip-off: one currency for tourists, and another for Cubans. The national museum of the revolution is a joke, and you will discover in the cemetery that the Cuban regime cares more about the dead than they do about the living as long as they can use the dead to prop up their corruption and lies. One more thing. The regime uses the so-called "embargo" as the excuse for Cuban poverty. Not everyone buys the lie, but some do. One Cuban said it all to me in just four words, despair on his face, "Cuba is a jail."

  • Pathena

    Humberto Fontova knows a great deal about Cuba. I think he is a Cuban who escaped to the U.S. In any case, Cuba is a Communist tyranny. Why do some of its citizens try to escape even in rickety boats? No, its citizens cannot remove the Communist tyrants – note that the citizens of the Soviet Union who suffered greatly under Stalin could not remove him from power. Communism is terrible.

  • Jesse Beaupre

    This editorialist is another pathetic dog licking the boots of his corrupted masters.
    America, this is your only hope : RON PAUL 2012 !

  • matt

    Israel receives over $3 billion annually in U.S. military and economic aid (Congressional Budget Office).

  • Foolster41

    So, Isreal should be cut off simply because they receive $3 bil a year annualy? So, all countries that we give > $3 bil should be cut off then? Or is it that exact amount?

    Of course, in fact your answer doesn't really answer mcrobbin's post. If you have a reasoned explination for why Isreal is a "parasite" and should be cut off, then you should say so. Otherwise if you have no reason then you are an anti-semite.

  • karl

    We have a budget crises, dummy. We can't afford to give ANYONE $3 Bil a year.