Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bush's Gettysburg (Part 2)

In his Wednesday speech, after the first paragraph praising the US State Department, President Bush begins the second paragraph with an accurate remark: "Few issues have challenged this department -- and our nation -- longer than the situation in Cuba." After this sentence, it's all downhill.

Bush begins his speech with an inaccurate premise: "Nearly half a century has passed since Cuba's regime ordered American diplomats to evacuate our embassy in Havana. This was the decisive break of our diplomatic relations with the island, a troubling signal for the future of the Cuban people, and the dawn of an unhappy era between our two countries." Bush's history is quite incomplete here in reference to the "decisive break".

Months before the "decisive break", US/Cuba relations were already bad with the US imposing an embargo on Cuba on October 19, 1960. It was on January 3, 1961 that the Cuban government sent a telegram to the US Embassy in Havana telling them that their personnel "should not exceed eleven persons." A recent Fidel Castro speech "contended that the U.S. embassy was a nest of spies and demanded that the staff be reduced from 87 to 11." Why eleven? Eleven was the same number of Cuban personnel working at the Cuban Embassy in Washington at the time.

According to the US State Department's website, it was the US that, "in response to Castro's provocations, broke diplomatic relations on January 3, 1961." Not Cuba. It should also be added that by March of 1960 (NINE months before the "decisive break"), the US government was already secretly planning for and training guerrilla forces to overthrow the Cuban government.

Someone needs a history lesson.

[Part 3]

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