January 7, 1959, marks a milestone in U.S. diplomatic history. Never before had the State Department extended diplomatic recognition to a Latin American government as quickly as they bestowed this benediction on Fidel Castro’s that day. At the time, Castro himself had yet to enter Havana.
“Cuban mothers let me assure you that I will solve all Cuba’s problems without spilling a drop of blood,” Fidel Castro proclaimed into a phalanx of microphones upon entering Havana the following day. As the jubilant crowd erupted with joy, Castro continued. “Cuban mothers let me assure you that because of me you will never have to cry.”
The following day, just below San Juan Hill in eastern Cuba, a bulldozer rumbled to a start, clanked into position, and started pushing dirt into a huge pit with blood pooling at the bottom from the still-twitching bodies of more than a hundred men and boys who’d been machine-gunned without trial on the Castro brothers’ orders. The victims’ wives and mothers wept hysterically from a nearby road.
On that very day, the U.K. Observer ran the following headline: “Mr Castro’s bearded, youthful figure has become a symbol of Latin America’s rejection of brutality and lying. Every sign is that he will reject personal rule and violence.”
These two events perfectly symbolize the Castro/Cuba phenomenon, even half a century later. The Castro regime oppresses and kills while issuing a smokescreen of lies not merely devious but downright psychopathic. The worldwide media abandons all pretenses as “investigators” or “watchdogs” and adopts a role, not merely as sycophants, but as advertising agency.
On a visit to Cuba in 2001 for a “scholarly summit” with Fidel and Raul Castro, Robert Reynolds — who served as the CIA’s Caribbean desk’s specialist on the Cuban revolution in 1960 — clarified the U.S. diplomatic stance of the time: “Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” he boasted to his beaming hosts.
Reynolds’ colleague Robert Weicha, who served as CIA chief in Santiago, Cuba, in the late 1950s, concurred: “Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State were pro-Castro, except ambassador Earl T. Smith.”
Within days of recognizing Castro’s regime, the U.S. State Department sacked its Republican ambassador to Cuba, Earl Smith- that insufferable pest mentioned by Weicha. Smith’s unforgivable gaffe was repeatedly warning that supporting the Castro rebels while pulling the rug out from under Batista was not the shrewdest method of advancing U.S. interests, to say nothing of the interests of the Cuban people.
Months earlier, an alarmed Smith contacted Jim Noel, CIA station chief in Havana, with reports from his Cuban contacts about communist string-pullers within Castro’s movement, and about Che Guevara’s well-known communist ties and sympathies. (When arrested in Mexico City in 1956, Guevara was carrying in his pocket the business card of the local KGB agent, who also served as Raul Castro’s KGB handler since 1953.) But Noel could hardly mask his annoyance at the naysaying Republican alarmist:
“Don’t worry, Ambassador,” snapped the typically liberal CIA officer. “We’ve infiltrated Castro’s group in the Sierra. The Castros and Che Guevara have no affiliations with any Communists whatsoever.”
Republican Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart retired last month amidst much acclaim for his legislative services. “America’s Tea-Party Candidate,” Marco Rubio was among the acclaimers. In 1955, retiring Congressman Diaz-Balarts’ late father, Rafael, was serving as Senator in Cuba. One item on the floor that year was the amnesty and release from prison by Batista of two convicted terrorists who had served barely 17 months of their 15 year sentence, Fidel and Raul Castro by name.
“(Fidel Castro and his group) do not want peace,” declared the adamantly contrarian Mr. Diaz-Balart on the floor of the Cuban Senate that fateful day in May 1955. “They do not want democracy, or elections, or fraternity. Fidel Castro and his group seek only one thing: power, and total power at that. They want to destroy every vestige of law in Cuba, to institute the most cruel, most barbaric tyranny — a totalitarian regime, a corrupt and murderous regime that would be difficult to overthrow for at least twenty years. This is because Fidel Castro is nothing more than a psychopathic fascist…”
But Batista would not be dissuaded. The release and amnesty of the Castros passed.
Foiled in Cuba, Mr. Rafael Diaz-Balart brought this same message to U.S. authorities in January 1959–and was almost deported for his insolence. Our crackerjack CIA had Castro’s number, he was assured and scolded.