Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 43

Thread: Cuba (merged thread)

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Cuba (merged thread)

    2 August New York Times - U.S. Says It Is Prepared for Transition in Cuba by Anthony DePalma.

    After waiting nearly half a century for Fidel Castro to relinquish power, Washington is warily monitoring the provisional transition in Havana, confident it has plans in place to assist pro-democracy groups in Cuba and to head off any mass exodus from the island...

    The White House made it clear yesterday that it did not see Mr. Castro’s brother Raúl, 75, to whom he handed off much of his power, as very likely to improve conditions on the island or relations with the United States. There were no plans to negotiate with him...

    A plan announced by the State Department two weeks ago provides $80 million over two years to help with a post-Castro transition. The United States would also send special monitors and advisers to Cuba in the weeks after a full transition began...
    2 August Washington Post - For Castro, a First Step In Calculated Transition by Karen DeYoung and Manuel Roig-Franzia.

    Cuban leader Fidel Castro's appointment of his younger brother, Raul, to take over temporarily as president and head of the Communist Party marks the beginning of a long-planned transition designed to maintain iron-fisted control of the island after Fidel Castro's eventual death, administration and intelligence officials said yesterday.

    "This is their transition plan out for a test drive, a dress rehearsal," one intelligence official said of the surprise announcement Monday night that the Cuban leader had undergone surgery for intestinal bleeding and had relinquished "provisional" power to his brother...
    1 August Voice of America - White House Says It Will Not Reach Out to Raul Castro by Paula Wolfson.

    White House Spokesman Tony Snow says President Bush has long hoped that one day Cuba will be free and democratic. But he says that will not happen with Raul Castro in charge.

    "Raul Castro's attempt to impose himself on the Cuban people is much the same as what his brother did, so no, there are no plans to reach out," he said.

    During a session with reporters, Snow downplayed prospects for any change in relations between Washington and Havana. He said Fidel Castro is a dictator who is now temporarily handing power to his brother, the nation's prison keeper.

    Snow refused to speculate on the health of the ailing Cuban leader, who has long been a major political irritant to the United States. But he did say there is no reason to believe he is dead...

  2. #2
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Castro's Cuba: Quo Vadis?

    Castro's Cuba: Quo Vadis? by Dr. Francisco Wong-Diaz. US Army Strategic Studies Institute monograph, 29 December 2006

    The United States, particularly the Army, has a long history of involvement with Cuba. It has included, among others, the Spanish-American War of 1898, military interventions in 1906 and 1912, the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion, the 1962 Missile Crisis, counterinsurgency, and low intensity warfare in Latin America and Africa against Cuban supported guerrilla movements. After almost 5 decades of authoritarian one-man rule, Fidel Castro remains firmly in power. On July 31, his brother, Raul Castro, assumed provisional presidential power after an official announcement that Fidel was ill and would undergo surgery. What would be the strategic and political implications attendant to Castro’s eventual demise or incapacitation? The author suggests some possible transition or succession scenarios and examines the consequences that might follow and the role that the United States might be called to play.

  3. #3
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Stafford, VA
    Posts
    262

    Default Foreign Affairs article

    There is a very good article in last Foreign Affairs about the failure of US foreign policy in Cuba, and the way ahead. It makes a comparison between failed US efforts at de-Baathification in Iraq, and any similar attempt at de-Fidelista purges that the US may wish to see post-Fidel. If this were to happen in Cuba, you would essentially be eliminating the entire white-collar work force of the country. It also points out the extraordinary influence ex-pats or ex-pat communities can have on the US government. While Ahmed Chalabi springs to mind, he fails in comparison with the influence the 1.5 million cuban ex-pat community has on federal policy.

  4. #4
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Strickland View Post
    There is a very good article in last Foreign Affairs about the failure of US foreign policy in Cuba, and the way ahead....
    Here's the link: Fidel's Final Victory, Foreign Affairs, Jan-Feb 07
    ...Even as Cuba-watchers speculate about how much longer the ailing Fidel will survive, the post-Fidel transition is already well under way. Power has been successfully transferred to a new set of leaders, whose priority is to preserve the system while permitting only very gradual reform. Cubans have not revolted, and their national identity remains tied to the defense of the homeland against U.S. attacks on its sovereignty. As the post-Fidel regime responds to pent-up demands for more democratic participation and economic opportunity, Cuba will undoubtedly change -- but the pace and nature of that change will be mostly imperceptible to the naked American eye....

  5. #5
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Hiding from the Dreaded Burrito Gang
    Posts
    3,096

    Default One little, two little, three little Indicators...

    US Homeland Security tests response to possible mass exodus from Cuba
    from those wonderfully unbiased folks at AFP
    Mar 07 3:42 PM US/Eastern

    An exodus from Cuba combined with a virus outbreak put US authorities on full alert Wednesday in a simulation meant to tested the response to a mass migration from the communist-run island.

    As part of the Homeland Security exercise off Florida, Coast Guard units took to the seas and military planes flew overhead as fictitious Cubans tried to reach US shores.

    The maneuver aimed to test the response to a migration crisis similar to the one in which 125,000 Cubans landed on US shores in the so-called Mariel boatlift in 1980.

    Some US officials have speculated there could be a massive migration from Cuba when ailing President Fidel Castro, 80, dies, but officers involved in the exercise declined to discuss that specific scenario.

    "I'm not going to get into that," said US Coast Guard (USCG) Rear-Admiral David Kunkel. "This is driven because we have to be prepared," he said at a news conference launching the two-day exercise.

    "While this exercise focuses on massive migrations from Cuba ... it could be any Caribbean nation," he said. "However, Cuba is something for which we have to be prepared."

    In Wednesday's simulation, 2,000 fictitious Cubans took to the seas in a bid to reach the US Coast, and thousands more people left from Florida to pick up friends and relatives from the Caribbean island.

    After about 100 Cubans made it to shore, officials found that a contagious virus had spread among the migrants.

    More than 300 officials from some 50 agencies participated in the exercise, which officials said was particularly relevant in south Florida.

    In the 1970s, more than 50,000 Haitians fleeing the dictatorship of Francois Duvalier and later his son Jean Claude Duvalier headed to the United States.

    In 1980, Castro opened the Cuban port of Mariel, allowing anyone who wanted to leave the country by boat to do so. Over five months, 125,000 people had left the island, some on fragile rafts, others picked up by relatives living in Florida.

    A similar migration involving 36,000 Cubans again took place 14 years later, once more placing a huge strain on Miami and other parts of south Florida as authorities tried to cope with the humanitarian crisis.

    On August 1, then Florida governor Jeb Bush, a brother of the US president, asked authorities to ready for another such exodus. He made the request one day after Castro announced he had undergone surgery and provisionally handed power to his younger brother Raul.

    Kunkel said that at the first sign such a movement could take place, he would seek assistance from the Miami-based military Southern Command.

    The aim, he said would be to intercept 95 percent of the migrants and return them to the country they left.

    Kunkel insisted there would be no repeat of the Mariel crisis.

    "Now we have a plan," he said.

    He said that the focus would be to return the migrants to their home countries, but did not rule out using the Guantanamo Bay US military enclave in Cuba to house some of them. In the 1980s and 1990s, the navy base had housed thousands of Cuban and Haitian would-be migrants.


    Recent media reports indicated the Pentagon was planning to build facilities on the base to house migrants interdicted at sea.

  6. #6
    Council Member pcmfr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    62

    Default

    We could stem a lot of the upheaval during the eventual regime change if we dropped economic sanctions that have long outlived their usefulness. The best way to establish future stability in Cuba is to begin pumping US trade and investment dollars into the economy now.

  7. #7
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Cuba’s Revolution Now Under Two Masters

    27 July NY Times - Cuba’s Revolution Now Under Two Masters by James McKinley Jr.

    For the first time, Raúl Castro, the acting president, gave the traditional revolutionary speech during Cuba’s most important national holiday on Thursday, deepening the widespread feeling that his brother Fidel has slipped into semi-retirement and is unlikely to return. Yet Cuba continues to live in a kind of limbo, with neither brother fully in control of the one-party Socialist state...

    Since the Communist Party has yet to officially replace Fidel Castro as the head of state, his presence in the wings and his towering history here continue to exert a strong influence in Cuban politics. That has made it difficult for Raúl Castro to shake up the island’s centralized Soviet-style economy, experts on Cuban politics said, though Raúl’s public remarks on Thursday made it clear he would like to.

    He scolded the nation for having to import food when it possessed an abundance of rich land and vowed to increase agricultural production. He also said Cuba was seeking ways to secure more foreign investment, without abandoning Socialism...
    27 July Washington Post - Cuba's Call for Economic Detente by Manuel Roig-Franzia.

    As one of history's longest-serving political understudies, Raúl Castro often struggled to persuade his all-powerful brother Fidel Castro to open Cuba's moribund economy to more foreign investment.

    But Thursday, with Fidel Castro still hidden from public view after intestinal surgery last July and his prospects of returning to power uncertain, the younger brother asserted his desire to push Cuba in a new direction. Speaking at a ceremony commemorating the start of the 54th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, Raúl Castro declared that Cuba is considering opening itself further to foreign investment, allowing business partners to provide this financially strapped nation with "capital, technology or markets."

    The younger Castro's remarks, coupled with his unusual admission that the Cuban government needs to pay its vast cadres of state-employed workers more to cover basic needs, amounted to the clearest indication yet of how he might lead this island nation. Castro, who was named interim president last July 31, vowed to partner only with "serious entrepreneurs, upon well-defined legal bases."...
    27 July Miami Herald - Raúl Again Offers 'Olive Branch' to U.S. by Frances Robles.

    In Raúl Castro's most important speech since he replaced ailing brother Fidel, the interim Cuban leader Thursday bluntly admitted during the island's July 26 celebrations that Cuba faces myriad problems and little hope of quick fixes.

    Castro, 76, told the tens of thousands convened in the eastern city of Camagüey that while salaries and food production are too low, inefficiency and prices are way too high. He added that Cuba's days of inefficiency, graft and dependence on foreign imports must come to an end.

    Castro, also for the third time, called for a dialogue with Washington and made only passing mention of Fidel -- whose absence at the ceremony marking the 54th anniversary of the start of the Cuban Revolution reinforced the belief that Fidel will not return to active rule after his emergency surgery for intestinal bleeding last July...
    Wikipedia:

    Fidel Castro

    Raul Castro

  8. #8
    Council Member Dominique R. Poirier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    137

    Default Will Cuba chose the way of enlightened despotism?

    In a culturally planned economy, capital goods and services are allocated by bureaucratic decision. Over a period of time, prices established by administrative fiat lose their relationship to costs. So long as the system is run as a policy state, the pricing system becomes a means of extorting resources from the population.
    However, as soon as terror eases, prices turn into subsidies and are transferred in a method of gaining public support for the communist party. In the end, everything, from food to housing is subsidized without any criterion for efficiency and hence turns into an obstacle to a rising standard of living.

    France has consistently engaged into similar methods during the last thirty years, though in the case of this country the communist origins of this way of doing things have systematically been denied. Bureaucratic decisions upon what ought to be relevant to private economy truly exist and the whole economic system is truly run as a policy state, but the subtlety lies in the fact that bureaucrats and officials directly intervening in private economy are not officials, though in many cases they have been indoctrinated and trained in one or several of the four state schools and universities which use to train the ruling elite since decades. Instead those "unofficials officials" act as said-to-be private entrepreneurs and businessmen and other investors and “business angels” who carefully follow official and unofficial state directives touching on nearly everything, from goods and services prices, to wages per profession and specialties, to fashion, to design, to private banking, to insurance, health industry and many other things.

    Instead of an open and officially claimed communist economic policy, this system works as one might describe as a conspiracy since it has no official existence; but the visible effects on private economy and the collective behavior of the society are exactly similar to those usually affecting communist and socialist rulled economies and they are likely to lead to depression and unemployment, as it happens in Cuba, for the reasons I explained in the first paragraph of this comment.

    At this point, and since the existence of a communist ruled economy is denied, then the system belongs to another category known as enlightened despotism.
    Enlightened despotism, when it is not practiced by a visible king or dictator but by a collectivity or a secret council of “wise men” is said to be ruled by synarchy.
    This is what also happens in Iran today where the Mullahs truly rule the country from behind the political stage; and in Russia where the ruler is publicly visible and truly influential though he has been put in place by a council of wise men; and in some other countries such as China, though there the system is slightly different and seems to undergo a positive evolutionary phase.

    This way of governing is more easily tolerated by other states as long as it is not officially named communism and as long as leaders who practice it fiercely deny it so.
    Is Cuba going to adopt such system in the future is a likely hypothesis, in my own opinion, since it constitutes a more suitable, not to say obvious, way to attract foreign investments and to gain a foot, through private investments, in truly democratic countries.

  9. #9
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    SSI, 30 Jul 07: Security Requirements for Post-Transition Cuba
    This monograph serves multiple purposes, the most important of which is to contribute to the thought process of dealing with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias of Cuba (FAR). Change is inevitable in Cuba. Both Fidel Castro and his brother Raul are aging. Their passing will trigger either a succession or a transition. With that change, Cuba’s security requirements will change as well. This monograph analyzes security requirements that the new Cuba will face and proposes what missions and structure the Cuban security forces might have after a transition. The overall long-range U.S. goal is a stable, democratic Cuba which is integrated into the global market economy. The U.S. Government Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba says that if a Cuban government asks for assistance, the United States could be made available “in preparing the Cuban military forces to adjust to an appropriate role in a democracy.”

    The Cuban military will have to change with the times, altering its focus from the territorial defense of Cuba and internal security to missions that are consonant with modern circum-Caribbean militaries: control of air- and sea-space against transnational criminals. The military will need a new structure for these missions, less focused on insurgency in defense of the island and more focused on a common operating picture and integration with the efforts of Cuba’s neighbors.

    This monograph proposes a way ahead in preparing Cuban forces for the future, integrating them into the Western Hemisphere community of militaries, and ensuring their support for democracy, subordination to elected officials, and respect for human rights. It also suggests constructive engagement of the Cuban military with the international community. This change is inevitable, and can be relatively painless or long and difficult. Both the Cuban military and the international community have to decide which way they want it to be....
    Full 39 page paper at the link.

  10. #10
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default A Post Castro Cuba?

    Not my AO aside from living in Florida for a few years. I wonder what the future brings for Cuba itself and the US policy toward Cuba



    Top Story Fidel Castro: Still a hero for many

    BUENOS AIRES — While the 81-year-old Fidel Castro announced Tuesday he would not seek reelection as Cuba's president — officially ending nearly five decades in power — the Cuban leader remains a hero for a political class that in many cases came of age during the tumultuous years of Cold War intrigue.

    Even if few defend the totalitarian, old-line communist bent of his government — and many criticize him as a dictator — Castro still wins praise around the region for championing social justice and national pride and sovereignty.

    Many of South America's heads of state started their political careers as activists denouncing military dictatorships intent on stamping out Cuba-style communism in the hemisphere.

  11. #11
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    Interesting list of candidates beyond Raul

    Raul Castro not the only possible successor

    BY PABLO BACHELET
    pbachelet@MiamiHerald.com


    Fidel Castro stepping down after nearly 50 years Cuban leader Fidel Castro has long referred to his brother Raúl as his designated successor and ''temporarily'' ceded power to the defense minister when he got sick in 2006. But there are others considered possible candidates to succeed Castro:

    RAUL CASTRO, 76

    Fidel Castro's younger brother and most likely heir is widely seen as a hard-liner and master organizer who forged Cuba's military first into one of the world's best fighting machines and later into the island's main economic engine.

    Cuba's long-serving defense minister again showed his leadership when the ailing Castro ''temporarily'' ceded power to him in July 2006, successfully steering the nation through the potentially risky hand-over and adopting a handful of changes designed to ease the island's many economic woes.

  12. #12
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    3,195

    Default

    BBC has some coverage on this as well. Here is a link to a summation of Raul and other contenders.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  13. #13
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    38

    Default USAWC professor: Junk the Cuba embargo

    Hey Folks, we did some Q&A with Army War College research professor COL Alex Crowther, who argues in the latest SSI op-ed that we should nix the embargo on Cuba. May be of interest to some:

    http://bellum.stanfordreview.org/?p=250

    Tristan

  14. #14
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default That should've been done 40 years ago.

    All we've done since then is keep the 'Revolution' humming...

  15. #15
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default Failed policy

    Wholeheartedly agree, all we accomplished with our embargo was keeping Castro in power (until his health failed) and facilitated increased Soviet influence in the region, not to mention fueling the fire of radical left rhetoric throughout Latin America that continues to plague the region to this day.

    The best way to subvert communism is to engage their populace economically and socially. Communism cannot survive in an open society where it is exposed to the truth. If we engaged Cuba economically, the people would have been exposed to another America, one that benefited their country and livlihoods; on the other hand, it is easy for the Cuban people to hate America and develop a sense of nationalistic pride when our nation takes offensive action (embargo) against the people.

    Unfortunately our policy towards Cuba was hijacked by a few thousand reactionary Cubans in Florida who found they had influence over our ultra right politicians at the time. These are the folks who conveniently seemed to have forgoten that Bastista was ousted from power for a reason, and that a populist insurgency is more democratic than an election where there is only one candidate (Bastita). We didn't put Castro in power, but we sure as heck kept him there.

    While on one can tell, I suspect that if we stayed engaged with Cuba, Castro would have seen us as a grave threat and would have barred us from working in Cuba, and the results of ths bar would devastate the economy, thus making Castro the bad guy, not us, then we could support the uprising that follows. All speculation of course, but the revolution I imagined would have been a dream come true for Special Forces. Instead we get dealt the manufactured revolution and the resulting failure with the tragic Bay of Pigs episode.

  16. #16
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK
    Posts
    1,065

    Default The only way to see

    our Cuba policy as rational is to accept the truth of Tip O'Neill's comment that, "All politics is local." Our policy was driven by the perception that the Miami Cuban-American community was implacably opposed to an opening to Cuba.

    Over a decade ago, while teaching at Leavenworth, I had a Cuban-American student in my Latin American elective. Bright young officer, he was in no way blinded by the then prevailing view of the Cuban-American National Foundation. In this way, he foreshadowed the changes we see in Cuban-American attitudes today.

    Final note: Well said, Alex! Hooah!

    Cheers

    JohnT

  17. #17
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    38

  18. #18
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default Castro is dead, now what?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cu...-idUSKBN13L044

    Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro dies aged 90

    As much as I despise communism and cruelty it has inflicted upon mankind, I grudgingly respected Castro's ability to stand up against the world. I believe it was Nixon that said Castro was a leader of men and a force to be reckoned with. I'm sure the pundits will do what pundits do for the next few weeks, but I don't think anyone will have a clue on what way Cuba will go until at least 6 months passes.

  19. #19
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,153

    Default

    Bill,

    I doubt what we think will actually affect what happens in Cuba. They can neither access the Web; I am unsure whether they can watch US or other TV.

    There have been some bizarre Tweets from political figures here. One of the better retorts was Castro was such a revolutionary his brother succeeded him. Almost like that other "workers paradise" DPRK or North Korea.

    The death of a leader, or ex-leader as Castro was, in a communist regime can have an impact, but will Cuba follow that path?
    davidbfpo

  20. #20
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default

    You're right Fidel's death will mean little in the short run, because he stepped down from power in 2006, giving Raul amble time to establish his power base. However, Raul said he is stepping down in 2018, and who follows is a bit of a mystery. Even if it is a reformist, the Cuban military still pretty much controls the Cuban economy. There is always the possibility for a Cuban Spring, and the security forces may not protect the government, but for that to happen I suspect they would have to see an opportunity for themselves and their families in the new Cuba.

    Interesting article that came out prior to Fidel's passing, where Raul commented on Trump winning the election.

    http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/...trol-10150.php

    Cuba's Raul Castro Reacts to Trump Election Victory

    The 85-year-old Cuban leader has called out his military to show Trump, 70, and the world that Cuba can defend itself if the U.S. naively plans any kind of illegal military entry.

    It's Cuba's first such exercise in three years.

    As the military exercises wind down, at least 26 U.S.-based corporations have applied to President Barack Obama's administration for the maximum number of Individual business licenses to operate in Cuba.
    The article explains the U.S. deal with Cuba in a fair amount detail, and Trump stated he wanted to redo the deal. Redoing the deal is not necessarily killing it, but one thing he wants is for all the political prisoners to be released. That seems fair enough, and maybe Raul will have more leeway to do that now that Fidel is out of the picture.

    Raul did undo some Fidel Castro's communist mandates, and may undo now more. It is a waiting game to some extent, but one can always hope this is an opportunity for a better tomorrow for the people of Cuba.

Similar Threads

  1. Refugees, Migrants and helping (Merged Thread)
    By Jedburgh in forum NGO & Humanitarian
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 04-14-2019, 06:21 PM
  2. Bin Laden: after Abbottabad (merged thread)
    By SWJ Blog in forum Global Issues & Threats
    Replies: 149
    Last Post: 11-01-2017, 08:08 PM
  3. Colombia, FARC & insurgency (merged thread)
    By Wildcat in forum Americas
    Replies: 174
    Last Post: 02-09-2017, 03:49 PM
  4. The David Kilcullen Collection (merged thread)
    By Fabius Maximus in forum Doctrine & TTPs
    Replies: 451
    Last Post: 03-31-2016, 03:23 PM
  5. Gaza, Israel & Rockets (merged thread)
    By AdamG in forum Middle East
    Replies: 95
    Last Post: 08-29-2014, 03:12 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •