I would not be a popular person in Florida -- I have always felt that this obsession we have with this small little island is ludicrous. Russia starts the cold war, a nonviolent confrontation that nearly bankrupts our country. They invaded most of eastern Europe, Afghanistan, and other parts of Asia. They help start and finance nearly every nasty little revolutionary war since the WWII, and they still are beating their own people senseless anytime some group wants to stop being Russian. But we send them money to bail them out -- we establish trade with them -- we have diplomatic relations with them. China helps instigate the Korean war, and drags it out far longer than one would have liked. They've shown that they'll sell anyone with enough money nearly any weapon they're interested in buying. Need I mention Teanimen square? But great men cower in fear at the mere mention of reprimanding China, and maybe tightening trade with them. Viet Nam kicked our butt, now we have our business over there making them money, and the country as a whole is on the cover of People Magazine. What has Cuba done to us? Kicked out the American businesses that were exploiting Cubans. Been perfectly happy with Fidel Castro? Told our country to stop meddling in it's affairs?
That's probably the big one right there, we've been trying to run the place ever since the mid 1800's when we tried to buy the entire island from Spain. When they wouldn't sell, we start the Spanish-American war, which frees Cuba to put in whatever puppet government we decide is best for them. Big American companies go down there and take over sugar fields, paying Cuban masters to work the less fortunate ones in the sugar fields. Then, with the country deeply stratified economically, Castro comes in with 80 men, and a year later he's in control. Out go the big American conglomerates who along with wealthy estate owners held 86% of the farmland in Cuba (by contrast, the government controls only 70%). Following closely on the heels of the ousted Americans are the wealthy Cubans (who aren't terribly welcome by their less well off neighbors). And ever since then, that group has been raising Cain, trying to starve Castro out. It's been 40 years and is still hasn't worked.
I hear people saying that can't understand why anyone would want to live in Cuba -- There are almost 11 million people living there, most of whom seem perfectly happy to be there. You don't hear reports of distraught Cubans going into the mountains with enough weaponry to start their own war. No Cubans parking explosive laden delivery trucks in front of buildings filled with women and children. No Cuban schoolkids gunning each other down (and since CNN has been down there for the past 3 years, I think we would have heard if something had happened). They are quite poor down there, even though the sugar crop is usually quite good, their cigars are praised worldwide, and at one time they boasted the most coveted vacation spots on this side of the planet. 95% off all adults in Cuba can read -- can we say the same? I think the real reason they don't like Cuba is that they aren't in charge of it anymore. What do you think?
Now we have the latest wrinkle, little Elian. His mother kidnaps him (his parents had joint custody, and she left the country without telling his father -- that's kidnapping there and here), puts him in a life threatening position (she died, he almost did), and his fathers relatives are trying to say that Juan is an unfit parent. They keep Elian away from his father for 5 months, and now have the audacity to complain because Juan won't let them come in to see him. They demand to know why Juan isn't parading his son around for the camera like they did for the past 5 months. Hello? Am I the only one who thinks the entire Miami clan should be set adrift on a tiny raft in the middle of the Atlantic? They say Elian has signed a request for political asylum -- HE'S ONLY 6 YEARS OLD!!!!! My daughter is 5 1/2 -- her biggest worry last weekend was whether she could watch the PowerPuff girls when she stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's this week. She had to call us when we got home to tell us she missed us, but that she was OK. How many times did Elian want to call his Dad and tell him he missed him? Maybe that's why the Miami gang had to keep him so busy all the time. Now they say Elian's dad is 'brainwashing' him into wanting to return to a communist regime. As opposed to the mess they have in Miami they were trying to brainwash him into, I guess. They defy the government, make veiled threats, and then act shocked that the government would come into their home and force them to obey the law!! The whole group should be rotting in a federal penitentiary awaiting extradition back to Cuba. I hope Juan takes his wife, and his 2 lovely children back to Cuba, where Elian can return to playing in his old neighbor hood with his old school friends, and that they all live a quiet happy life. I hope somebody finds an excuse to put at least some of the Miami clan in jail where they belong (especially that Maryeli---- whatever). And maybe, things can begin to change between us and our neighbor to the south.
Cubans have stayed communist all these years because of two things, a beloved leader, Castro, and a common enemy -- Us. Maybe, with a correct and speedy resolution to this mess, the Cuban people will see that we aren't their enemy, just those ones who left when the going got to hard for them.
An after thought -- Is it just me, or has Fox News lost all objectivity on this subject? The network, who in it's advertising accused the other news networks of being biased, has been so blatantly pro-Miami faction, it is destroying their credibility. At least with me anyway.