“On [Jimmy Carter’s] watch, Fidel Castro was on the march in Africa and fueling potent Marxist revolutionary groups throughout Central America. El Salvador and Honduras were under siege. Grenada actually went Communist in 1979. Nicaragua was taken over by Marxist thugs in the same year.”–Allan H. Ryskind, Human Events Editor-at-Large.
The world without a strong America is a scary place. I learned that watching the Crimea crisis unfold from Cuba.
The domestic opponents of American strength need to understand something: Weakness does not make us any less of a political piñata; weakness gives our enemies confidence to go on the attack.
Every day in the eight-page Communist Party paper (the only one widely available in Cuba), there would be an article about Russia’s ongoing triumphs over the U.S.-backed Ukrainian “fascists.” This was always surrounded by other articles bragging about Cuba’s growing influence over the Latin American elite–especially El Salvador, Brazil, and Chile, as well as defending the Marxist regime in Venezuela–and South Western Africa.
My trip to Cuba came not long after Senator Marco Rubio (R) scolded Senator Tom Harkin (D) on the Senate floor over his praise of the Castro regime and denounced the regime’s assistance to the Venezuelan government in repressing the protests ongoing in that country. That glimmer of old-fashioned American strength would come to mind every time the situation in Venezuela came up in the Communist press. However, the foreign affairs event that disturbed me most was the rigged election in El Salvador. The New York Times reported in 1985 that, as a leader of the Castro-created FMLN, Salvador Sanchez Ceren (AKA Leonel Gonzalez) “defended the rebel killing of four United States marines” and “said American officials were legitimate targets.”
A quick look at the personalities that rule Latin America shows a troubling trend:
- Chile: President Michelle Bachelet worked with the Cuban-controlled Communist terror groups MIR and FPMR who targeted both dictatorship and anti-dictatorship figures. While she was living in exile in East Germany, she would even make foreign trips on behalf of these groups–such as a mysterious trip she made to Vietnam in 1977. In the 1990s–after the Pinochet government–these groups would launch attacks on American Missionaries and at one point the U.S. Embassy.
- Brazil: President Dilma Roussef was a member of the Castro-backed Communist VAR-Palmares which at one point kidnapped the U.S. Ambassador.
- Guatemala: (Until recently) Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz was giving legal cover to armed groups that have been taking over private property. Her chief intellectual influence is her father, who was a member of the Castro-backed FAR, a group that in 1968 assassinated U.S. Ambassador John Gordon Mein.
I could go on and on sighting examples, but the point is that the enemy is on the move. It is scary enough watching it from the United States, but watching it from the belly of the beast really drives home how much trouble we are in.