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Posted April 25, 2007 by publisher in Cuban Americans

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By Amy Guthrie | Browardpalmbeach.com

Excerpt from Adios Fidel

South Floridians have been told for years — hell, decades — that the Castro regime is going to implode.

The countdown to Fidel’s demise began when thousands of Cubans sought refuge in South Florida after Castro seized control of the island in 1959. Many in the first waves were wealthy elites who had the education and finesse to make their plight heard in Washington.

Determined to get back the clout and grandeur they left behind, the early refugees set out on a series of mishaps, starting with 1961’s Bay of Pigs invasion flop and culminating in the frenzy over custody of young Elián González in 2000. In between, South Floridians lived through impromptu street protests, assassination plots, propaganda campaigns, paramilitary operations, and countless other bobbles.

By now, though, even a significant number of once-militant Cuban exiles are convinced that the hardline U.S. policy toward their home country as well as the constant anti-Castro clamor from Miami have contributed to keeping the bearded dictator in power.

“The embargo has actually helped Fidel Castro,” says Ramón Saul Sánchez, president of the Miami-based anti-Castro movement Democracia, referring to longstanding federal restrictions on trade and travel. “He can portray the David versus Goliath. The more we pull, the more he pulls.” Removing the embargo, Sánchez adds, “would take away everything that allows him to portray himself as a victim of U.S. imperialism.”

  1. Follow up post #1 added on April 25, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    For some reason, the original article had “fluff” all around the above text.

    I find this quote by Ramón Saul Sánchez to be VERY significant.

    Anyone else?

    So, if the Embargo has helped Castro, why has it been in place for 45+ years?

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  2. Follow up post #2 added on April 25, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Previous off-topic posts have been deleted.

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  3. Follow up post #3 added on April 26, 2007 by J. Perez

    Publisher, I honestly believe that one of the main reasons the embargo has been in place for 46 years is that “Goliath” can get over the fact that “David” has been able to stand up to him and continues to do so.

    Unfortunately, it is the people of Cuba that are paying the price for the stuborness and arrogance of both governments.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on April 26, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    Is this big news to you that Mr. Sanchez said the Embargo helped Castro?

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  5. Follow up post #5 added on April 26, 2007 by J. Perez

    Sorry for the mispelling, it should read CAN’T after “Goliath”

  6. Follow up post #6 added on April 28, 2007 by John R. Bomar

    Mr. Sanchez only states what has been most obvious to open minded observers of Cuba for the last few decades: that our fanatically driven embargo and travel restrictions have done more to cement Castro and the communists in power in Cuba than any other factor…. Castro becomes the Robin Hood and giant slayer, we become the goat (a really dumb one at that).  And most important, the embargo allows Castro to claim that all the ills of the communist system in Cuba would be corrected overnight were it not for the US restrictions.  How idiotic.  And how self-defeating. 

    One can only ascribe such unenlightened policy to the extreme rage of the Cuban expats who’s faculty of reason remains clouded by their fiery emotions.  Trying to “reason” with them, as many who have tried know, is like making dialogue with a hailstorm.

  7. Follow up post #7 added on April 30, 2007 by MiamiCuban

    I disagree with Ramon Sanchez’s comment that Castro likes to play it up as a victim of U.S. imperialism.  This is parroting the same talk heard on right-wing Cuban stations, which is nothing more than hot air because they’re stunned that Cuba has survived this long.  The fact that Castro lashes out at imperialism isn’t because he wants to play victim; he was doing that BEFORE the embargo. 

    While there is no doubt that the embargo has helped to cripple the economy, it was never able to accomplish what it was intended to do, and that was to bring Cuba to its knees.  But no one, not even Castro, claims all their ills are the result of the embargo.  He’s already admitted to making costly mistakes, so obviously he’s taking some of the blame himself.  However, the embargo HAS helped Cuba (inadvertently of course) in that creating hardship for the Cubans only made them more resourceful and determined to survive the embargo and all the other assaults against Cuba (i.e. terrorist and biological attacks, and negative propaganda).  The embargo’s intent was to crush the economy, but some higher power used it to force the Cubans to draw on resources they probably didn’t know they had.  Over time they grew stronger as they learned to do without the luxuries and other necessities….but now they’re a testament to how flexible and indomitable the human spirit is.  Now it’s up to Washington to accept the fact that there is nothing they can do to force Cubans to bend to their will.  They need to do away with sanctions and let the new generation of Cubans chart their own course WITHOUT intervention of any kind.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on April 30, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    One would think that is a sensible suggestion. What would Lincoln Diaz-Balart say against that?

    Something dumb most likely.

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