[For nearly two centuries now the U.S. has dominated Latin America by fair means and foul:



It is difficult to keep track of the scores of times that we intervened in this or that Latin American nation to put in place leaders — often brutal ones such as Batista in Cuba — who did our bidding and brutalized their own peoples. Batista was driven out by Castro who, despite his violations of the rights of many thousands who fled the country — mainly to the U.S. where they influenced Florida’s and more widely Republican politics — did two incredibly positive things for the Cubans for which they hold him in esteem. He introduced 1) universal literacy and 2) universal medical care. Some Americans now go to Cuba for medical training and Cuba sends its medical teams out variously.

The experience of American interventions has left virtually all Latin American countries both suspicious of and resentful towards our political administrations which threaten their independence. Bush’s comments reported below fall on deaf ears not only in Cuba, but virtually all the rest of the Latin American nations. The one good thing to come out of the Iraq fiasco is that the Bush administration — and our military forces — have been tied up and tied down in the Middle East. Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) and Evo Morales (Bolivia) are but the tip of the iceberg of resistance to us down there. The former president of Mexico and no radical, Vincente Fox, publicly expressed his contempt for Bush’s arrogance on his recent visit here:


Brazil and Argentina, the two largest nations, have made it clear that they well remember the military juntas trained by our School of the Americas at Fort Benning in Georgia:


which ‘disappeared’ thousands of their citizens in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Democracy of various forms is operating in Latin America. Some may get it wrong and tip towards Cuba’s authoritarianism, but at least they are doing things on their own now. Ed Kent]


Bush to Warn Cuba on Plan for Transition
President Bush will warn Wednesday that the U.S. will not
accept a political transition in Cuba in which power
changes from one Castro brother to another.


“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

Be Sociable, Share!