"The Kennedy family, in particular the assassinated President, John F. Kennedy, were representative of a new generation of Americans confronting the old and dirty politics of men in the mold of Nixon...The Kennedy family's (role) in Barack Obama's electoral victory should not be overlooked. Without that moral, political and financial support, the dirty saga of the Bush and Nixon clans would be continuing."
That was a portion of an editorial last week in Stalinist Cuba's version of Nazi Germany's Der Sturmer regarding the passing of Senator Kennedy . But no one familiar with Cuban history should doubt the editorials' sincerity. Fidel and Raul Castro, after all, owe much to the Kennedy family. And very early in the game, Castro got Nixon's number as shrewdly as Nixon had gotten Castro's.
"We'd better hope Kennedy wins this election," Fidel Castro confided to a subaltern in 1960. "If Nixon wins our revolution won't last."
"Nixon was determined that the invasion succeed," recalls Marine Colonel Robert Cushman, Eisenhower's senior military aide in 1960. "Nixon was the White house action officer for the anti-Castro project, the main booster."
"Do whatever is necessary in Cuba," Eisenhower counseled JFK when handing over the reins. "We simply cannot allow that regime to go on. Help the Cubans to the utmost."
Well..we all know the rest of the story.
"Kennedy pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory,” Nixon wrote about the Bay of Pigs and Missile Crisis. "Then gave the Soviets squatters rights in our backyard."
“We ended up getting exactly what we'd wanted all along,"snickered Nikita Khrushchev in his memoirs, confirming Nixon. "Security for Fidel Castro’s regime and American missiles removed from Turkey. Until today the U.S. has complied with her 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."
"We locked Castro's communism into Latin America and threw away the key to its removal," growled Lyndon Johnson's opponent in 1964, Barry Goldwater. "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."
Then the Butcher of Budapest 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, were pure hooey.
So the feats of courage, coolness and resolve that inspired Camelot apologist Arthur Schlesinger to hyperventilate that: “the whole world saw... American leadership unsurpassed in the responsible management of power... a combination of toughness, nerve and wisdom, so brilliantly controlled, so matchlessly calibrated that it dazzled the world!" It was in fact the craven succumbing by America's Best and Brightest to a schoolyard bully issued by a shoe-banging Ukranian peasant.
Not that Kennedy was above a swindle himself — but these he aimed against his own countrymen and at the expense of his country's national security. To wit:
"The Republicans have allowed a communist dictatorship to flourish eight jet minutes from our borders," accused Kennedy right before his famous debate with Richard Nixon during the 1960 presidential campaign. "We must support anti-Castro fighters. So far these freedom fighters have received no help from our government."
Two weeks before that crucial debate in October of 1960, JFK had been briefed by the CIA (on Eisenhower's orders) about Cuban invasion plans (what would later be known as the Bay of Pigs invasion). So JFK knew perfectly well the Republican administration was helping Cuban freedom fighters. But since the plans were secret, he knew perfectly well Nixon couldn't rebut.
Which is to say, to blindside his Republican opponent Kennedy relied on that opponent's patriotism. Let's face it, Republicans are at a woeful disadvantage here. Nixon bit his tongue. He could easily have stomped Kennedy on it. But to some candidates national security (and those Cuban freedom-fighters' lives) outweighed debating points.
Castro/Che groupies all love to gasp: “Oh Gosh! Gees Whiz! Isn't it exciting how Castro has defied ten U.S. Presidents!..Oh he is just so dreamy!” And if you think I exaggerate here's some fully documented quotes:
"Fidel let's the gun drop to the ground, slaps his thigh and stands erect. He is like a mighty penis coming to life!" -- activist Abbie Hoffman
“You are the first and greatest hero to appear in the world since the second world war! It's as if the ghost of Cortez had appeared in our century riding Zapata's white horse!" -- novelist Norman Mailer
"One of the most charming men I've ever met!....Castro is personally overpowering. It's much more than charisma. Castro remains one of the few truly electric personalities in a world where his peers seem dull!" -- Former Robert Kennedy press Secretary and Democratic campaign operative, Frank Mankiewics
“As Fidel spoke I could feel a peculiar sensation in his presence. I's as if I am meeting with a new force of nature! Here is a man so filled with energy he is almost a different species! Power radiates from him!" --- Filmmaker Saul Landau
Well, as usual, when it comes to media and scholarly depictions of anything relating to Castro/Cuba, the truth is not just different-- but the total opposite of what you get in the mainstream media and college textbooks.
In fact, after Camelot's “combination of toughness, nerve and wisdom, so brilliantly controlled, so matchlessly calibrated that it dazzled the world!" the “ plucky” Castro's "defiance" of the U.S. took the form of the U.S. Coast Guard and even the British navy (when some intrepid exile freedom fighters moved their operation to the Bahamas) shielding him from exile attacks. Far from "defying" a superpower, Castro hid behind the skirts of two
superpowers, plus the British Empire.
And at least in this case, as evidenced by the recent editorial, we cannot accuse the Castro brothers of ingratitude.