Congress: Cuba to Share Critical U.S. Intel With Iranian Spies 4

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, is welcomed by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Iran’s foreign minister begun a Latin American tour in Cuba, declaring Iran and Cuba united by their histories of resisting what he called U.S. atrocities. Zarif also plans to visit Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, is welcomed by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Iran’s foreign minister begun a Latin American tour in Cuba, declaring Iran and Cuba united by their histories of resisting what he called U.S. atrocities. Zarif also plans to visit Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Intel sharing with Cuba endangers America, lawmakers warn

BY: Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon 

Obama administration efforts to bolster the sharing of critical intelligence data with Cuba is likely to benefit Iran, which has been quietly bolstering its foothold in the country with the communist government’s approval, according to conversations with members of Congress and other sources familiar with the matter.

A little noticed Obama administration directive on Cuba, released Oct. 14, instructed the U.S. director of national intelligence to assist and cooperate with Cuba’s intelligence services.

The directive has raised red flags on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers are concerned that Cuba will pass along critical U.S. intelligence to the Iranians, who have made moves in recent years to extend their influence in the communist country and other Latin American countries hostile to the United States.

Iran’s interest in Cuba was on fully display earlier this year when Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, went on a goodwill tour throughout Latin America that included stops in Cuba and Venezuela, among others.

The goal of this visit, sources told the Washington Free Beacon, was to solidify Iran’s growing terrorist network in the region and ensure the Islamic Republic maintains its presence along America’s doorstep.

“The Castro regime has shown no inclination to end its anti-American activities, including espionage,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R., Fla.) told the Free Beacon. “The Castro regime in August and September 2016 deepened ties with Iran through high level visits, and there are reports that Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah has established a base in Cuba.”

“The director of national intelligence, General James R. Clapper, testified in February 2016 that the Castro dictatorship remained an espionage threat at the level of Iran, behind only China and Russia,” Diaz-Balart added. “Under these circumstances, President Obama’s directive to encourage intelligence sharing with the Castro regime is reckless, dangerous, and contrary to U.S. national security interests.”

Iran has been interested in Latin America for years, but now has the resources to pursue a footprint in the region as a result of the cash windfall provided by last summer’s comprehensive nuclear agreement.

Hezbollah, the terror organization funded and directed by Iran, has had assets in the region for some time.

Feature continues here:  Cuba’s Dangerous Liaisons

 

 

 

 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is welcomed by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, in Havana, Cuba / AP

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Obama Invites Top Communist Military-Intelligence Officials to Inspect Vital U.S. Defense Facilities 3

ObamaBy Humberto Fontova, Townhall

In 2001 a group of Castroite spies in south Florida known as the Wasp Network were convicted of charges ranging from espionage to conspiracy to commit murder (of U.S. citizens.) They were sentenced to terms ranging from 15 years to two life sentences. According to the FBI’s affidavit, the charges against these KGB-trained Communist spies included:

  • Compiling the names, home addresses, and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers and that of hundreds of officers stationed at Boca Chica Naval Station in Key West.
  • Infiltrating the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command.

This past April, on Obama’s orders, some of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers gave an in-depth tour of the Southern Command’s most vital facilities to some of Cuba’s top Military and Intelligence officials—probably to some of the very ones who earlier got this vital information from their WASP charges via “encrypted software, high-frequency radio transmissions and coded electronic phone messages,” as the FBI affidavit showed.

Cuba’s KGB-founded and mentored spy agency carefully trains their people to stifle guffaws, and even snickers—to maintain a poker-face through even the most hilarious provocations. Little did they dream how valuable such training would prove during the Obama administration.

Sorry, but Peter Sellers, the Marx Brothers, Maxwell Smart and Austin Powers are all somehow absent from this fascinating story. It’s all true. Here’s “just the facts ma’am” from The Miami Herald.

Oh, and never mind the convicted Cuban spies, some of whom helped murder four U.S. citizens. They’re all living like celebrities in Cuba now after Obama gifted them back to Castro in December 2014, upon commencing his smoochfest with the terror-sponsoring drug-runner who came closest to nuking the U.S.

It gets better:

Coincidently (perhaps) the vital U.S. defense facilities that Obama invited the eager Communist drug-runners to carefully inspect serve as the U.S. Defense Department’s “command center on the war on drugs.”

Coincidently, (perhaps) on top of serving as a base for terrorist group Hezbollah and probably laundering funds for Al-Qaeda as late as two years ago, the Castro-Family-Crime-Syndicate also help facilitate much of world’s cocaine smuggling. The dots are not overly difficult to connect. Let’s have a look:

*The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) attributes half the world’s cocaine supply to the Colombian Terror group FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.)

*The FARC itself gives credit where credit is due, attributing their rollicking success to the Castro regime:

Feature continues here:  Fontova

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: President Obama Posed In Front of The Ministry of the Interior, From Where All Repression in Cuba is Orchestrated 2

President Obama Enjoys a Photo Op in front the Ministry of the Interior (MININT)

President Obama Enjoys a Photo Op in front the Ministry of the Interior (MININT)

Obama’s Photo Op With Che Guevara Wasn’t The Worst Thing About The Picture

By Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire

After President Obama posed for a picture in Cuba in front of a giant mural honoring the murderous Che Guevara, outrage erupted in the Twittersphere.

But it’s worse than that.

As Ethan Epstein of The Weekly Standard points out, the mural in the Plaza de la Revolucion is painted on the wall of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, which runs the National Revolutionary Police, Cuba’s version of the secret police. Britannica.com writes, “The Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT), which was modeled on the Soviet KGB, rivaled the East German Stasi for effectiveness and ruthlessness.”

Former Cuban Interior Minister Abelardo Colomé Ibarra has been described by the Miami Herald as “one of the island’s most powerful and feared figures.” As Yoani Sanchez, the publisher of 14ymedio, an independent newspaper in Cuba, wrote in The Huffington Post, “How can a citizen protect himself from a State that has the police, the courts, the rapid response brigades, the mass media, the capacity to defame and lie, the power to socially lynch him and turn him into someone defeated and apologetic?” Sanchez has written that she has been kidnaped and beaten by plainclothes State Security agents.

Human Rights Watch offered a report on the Cuban government’s repression. It stated:

The Interior Ministry has principal responsibility for monitoring the Cuban population for signs of dissent. Reportedly, the ministry employs two central offices for this purpose: the General Directorate of Counter-Intelligence (sic) and the General Directorate of Internal Order. The former supervises ……

Feature Continues Here:  How to Crush a Dissent’s Hope With One Photo

 

N.J. Lawmakers Urge No Funding for Cuban Relations Until Chesimard is Returned to U.S. 2

Assata Shakur, the former Joanne Chesimard, escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba. (Photo: Associated Press)

Assata Shakur, the former Joanne Chesimard, escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba. (Photo: Associated Press)

By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, The Star-Ledger

WASHINGTON — Congress should not approve any money for restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba until convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard is returned to the U.S., three New Jersey Republican federal lawmakers said today.

U.S. Reps. Scott Garrett (R-5th Dist.), Leonard Lance (R-7th Dist.) and Tom MacArthur (R-3rd Dist.) made the request in a letter today to fellow Republican Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that approves spending on foreign operations, and the panel’s ranking member, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).

“Any attempt by the Obama administration to normalize relations with Cuba must include the extradition of Joanne Chesimard back to New Jersey so that she can face justice and serve out her sentence,” the lawmakers wrote. “Until Cuba accepts this condition, we request all funds directed toward normalization be withheld.

Today’s letter is the latest attempt by the New Jersey congressional delegation to make Chesimard’s return a condition of resuming diplomatic relations with Cuba. U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).told Secretary of State John Kerry in a letter last month that Chesimard and other fugitives must be extradited before Cuba is removed from a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

In January, members of the state’s congressional delegation called on President Obama to make Chesimard’s extradition “an immediate priority,”

Chesimard escaped prison and fled to Cuba after being sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1973 murder of Trooper Werner Foerster during a gunfight. Chesimard and other members of the Black Liberation Army had been stopped by State Police on the New Jersey Turnpike. In 2013, she became the first woman on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists.

The calls for Chesimard’s extradition have grown louder since Obama in December announced a “new approach” to Cuba, which has been under a U.S. embargo for a half-century, and said he would easing economic restrictions and move toward re-establishing diplomatic relations with the communist regime.

Article continues here:  NJ Lawmakers

 

Cuba, US Are Warily, Slowly Improving Relations 1

“Things are changing but they should have changed years ago,” says Darien Garcia Arco, 26, with his girlfriend, Lisandra. (Hannah Berkeley Cohen for The Globe)

“Things are changing but they should have changed years ago,” says Darien Garcia Arco, 26, with his girlfriend, Lisandra. (Hannah Berkeley Cohen for The Globe)

Bryan Bender, Boston Globe, bender@globe.com

HAVANA — The imposing, seven-story structure with darkened windows sits just across from the Malecon, or sea wall, central Havana’s communal hangout. It is unadorned, flying no flags, offering few signs that germinating inside are seeds of a better relationship between official enemies.

The United States cut off relations and imposed a trade embargo with communist Cuba more than half a century ago. But at the so-called US Interests Section in Havana, 50 US diplomats and 300 locally hired Cubans are quietly working on a range of common challenges.

The two governments are cooperating to combat human trafficking, improve airline security, and conduct search and rescue operations. They are working on joint efforts to improve public health and guard against environmental degradation. And “working-level” discussions are under way to do more, officials say.

The Drug Enforcement Agency could soon be sending agents to work with Cuban counterparts to track South American cartels, and the United States has proposed reestablishing direct mail delivery between the countries.

The behind-the-scenes work continues despite the recent controversy over a covert US effort to provide Cubans access to a Twitter-like social network.

Another thorny disagreement is over the fate of Alan Gross, a US State Department contractor who has been jailed in Cuba for four years, accused of being a spy. Cuban officials insist they want something in return; namely, three Cubans convicted in the United States on charges that they were intelligence agents.

“There is a big over-arching political cleft. But we are doing a number of things that have been politically blessed by both sides,” said a senior US diplomat who works at the diplomatic post.

The diplomat — who requested anonymity to speak, in compliance with State Department rules — expressed frustration that interaction between the two governments at higher levels is still officially prohibited.

The Obama administration, under pressure from politically powerful Cuban-Americans in South Florida and their supporters in Congress, insists that relations can be restored only when Cubans win “fundamental human rights and the ability to freely determine their own political future.”

Cuba’s leaders, meanwhile, decry continuing US efforts to destabilize their one-party system.

But a recent visit to this island just 90 miles from Florida, and interviews with Cuban and American officials, revealed a slow but unmistakable thaw on both sides of the Florida Straits. They are realistic about the snail’s pace of change, while describing pent-up demand for better economic opportunities.

Nowhere is that more evident than at the US Interests Section, housed in the former US Embassy that was completed just before the Cuban Revolution in 1959, when Fidel Castro, along with his brother Raul, took power.

Read more here:  Cuba, US Are Warily, Slowly Improving Relations

September 12th: Castro Apologists to Mark 15th Anniversary of Wasp Network’s Destruction 1

Activists Call Demonstration for the Cuban Five in Washington D.C.

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 19 (ACN) Activists in the United States will stage a vigil in front of the White House September 12, marking the 15th anniversary of the imprisonment of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters in US jails, to urge President Barack Obama to release the heroes and allow them to return home.

The activists will stage their action bearing posters and banners with slogans reading “Its Enough,” “End the Injustice,” “Freedom of the Cuban Five Now,” as part of a monthly initiative to put pressure on the US President to use his constitutional power and free Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez who, along Rene Gonzalez, already in Cuba, were arrested in 1998 after they monitored US-based terrorist organizations.

The call to the action was published by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, members of which, along other friends of Cuba, will visit Capitol Hill to continue meeting with US legislators, they originally met with in June and ask them to support the campaign for the release of the Cuban heroes.

As part of actions, Canadian author Stephen Kimber is expected to speak in seven rallies that will take place in eastern United States about his most recent book on the Cuban Five. Kimber will be joined by US philosopher and political analyst Noam Chomsky in Boston, Massachusetts, and by lawyer Martin Garbus, who is part of the defense team for the Cuban Five.

Experts have agreed that the sentences given to the five Cubans were irrational as Gerardo Hernandez was sentenced to two life terms plus 15 years, Ramon Labanino was given 30 years, Antonio Guerrero 21 years plus 10 months and a five-year probation, and Fernando Gonzalez was sentenced to 17 years plus nine months.

Rene Gonzalez met 85 percent of his original 15-year prison sentence in 2011 and he managed to have his parole conditions modified in order to stay in Cuba, by renouncing his American citizenship.

The International Committee for the Freedom of the Five has repeatedly called for increasing actions in favor of the anti-terrorist Cubans by stressing that there is no point in waiting for them to be released from prison after meeting their sentences, because one of them, Gerardo Hernandez has no date on the calendar.

A UN panel questioned, in 2005, the illegal and arbitrary arrest of the Cuban Five and concluded that analysis by suggesting the immediate solution to the case; however, the US administration has done nothing in that respect.

Damaged by a Victory: Maduro’s Thin Margin Imperils the Chavista Movement 2

Washington Times Commentary by Jose R. Cardenas

The shocking, razor-thin result in Sunday’s presidential election in Venezuela demonstrates that the future of the late President Hugo Chavez’s movement is anything but certain and that the country could be heading into another period of political crises not seen since 2002, when Chavez was briefly ousted from power. The larger-than-life Chavez, who died of cancer last month, had anointed Vice President Nicolas Maduro as his successor, and the conventional wisdom was that the sympathy vote, massive social spending, and lopsided electoral playing field would guarantee an easy victory for Chavismo.

It was not to be. Challenger Henrique Capriles, who lost the last election to Chavez by 11 percentage points, nearly pulled off an epic upset before falling just short with 49.1 percent of the vote to Mr. Maduro’s 50.7 percent. Mr. Capriles has rejected the official tally and demanded a recount of the paper receipts of each Venezuelan vote. “We are not going to recognize the result,” he said, “until every vote is counted, one by one.” He also directed fire at the hapless Mr. Maduro, who tried to smear Mr. Capriles during the campaign with homophobic slurs and other insults. To Mr. Maduro, he said, “The big loser today is you, you and what you represent.”

Indeed, it is difficult to imagine a more disastrous scenario for the former union leader and bus driver. All eyes were on him during the campaign to gauge whether he had the political heft to fill Chavez’s shoes. Instead, it is clear that his lackluster performance, his incendiary charge that the United States gave Chavez cancer and his head-scratching claim that Chavez came to visit him as a little bird convinced fewer and fewer Venezuelans that he was up to the job.

Now, the damaged Mr. Maduro must not only lead an unwieldy coalition, but he must do so at the same time he attempts to deal with the fallout from the ticking economic time bomb that Chavez has bequeathed his country. Among the threats are soaring inflation, a bloated public sector, a crippled private one, electrical blackouts, shortages of basic goods and one of the highest homicide rates in the world.

Moreover, in addition to contending with a reinvigorated opposition, Mr. Maduro has already been put on notice by officials within his own movement that his actions will be closely watched. Diosdado Cabello, the powerful head of the National Assembly and long seen as a Maduro rival within Chavismo, said of the election: “These results require deep self-criticism. Let’s turn over every stone to find our faults, but we cannot put the fatherland or the legacy of our commander [Chavez] in danger.”

Mr. Maduro has already rejected any notion of a recount, evidently concluding that it’s much more dangerous to the continuation of Chavismo than tackling Venezuela’s myriad challenges dogged with questions about his legitimacy. In fact, it is likely that Mr. Maduro will instead seek a rapprochement with the United States, trying to find the legitimacy in Washington that Venezuelan voters denied him this past weekend. The Obama administration, which has sought to reduce the U.S. visibility during the election, should have none of it. Not only did Mr. Maduro use the campaign to accuse the United States of giving Chavez cancer, he also expelled additional personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas and charged that former U.S. officials were attempting to assassinate either him or Mr. Capriles (depending on the day).

He is someone the United States can neither trust, nor do business with. In fact, the administration has already gotten off on the right foot by endorsing Mr. Capriles’ demand for a recount. According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, an audit of the vote count “appears an important, prudent and necessary step to ensure that all Venezuelans have confidence in these results.”

What happens in Venezuela matters to the United States, because of its prodigious oil and gas reserves, its relationship with Iran, and because it sits astride active drug-transit lanes leading to U.S. borders. Certainly, American interests are best served by having a friendlier government in Caracas. Since this does not appear to be the case, however, Washington should exert newfound leverage against a weakened Chavez successor to make sure U.S. interests are defended.

Jose R. Cardenas is the former acting assistant administrator for Latin America at the U.S. Agency for International Development in the George W. Bush administration and is an associate with Vision Americas.

Easing of Restraints in Cuba Renews Debate on U.S. Embargo 1

By DAMIEN CAVE, New York Times

HAVANA — “If I could just get a lift,” said Francisco López, imagining the addition of a hydraulic elevator as he stood by a rusted Russian sedan in his mechanic’s workshop here. All he needed was an investment from his brother in Miami or from a Cuban friend there who already sneaks in brake pads and other parts for him. The problem: Washington’s 50-year-old trade embargo, which prohibits even the most basic business dealings across the 90 miles separating Cuba from the United States. Indeed, every time Mr. López’s friend in Florida accepts payment for a car part destined for Cuba, he puts himself at risk of a fine of up to $65,000.

With Cuba cautiously introducing free-market changes that have legalized hundreds of thousands of small private businesses over the past two years, new economic bonds between Cuba and the United States have formed, creating new challenges, new possibilities — and a more complicated debate over the embargo. The longstanding logic has been that broad sanctions are necessary to suffocate the totalitarian government of Fidel and Raúl Castro. Now, especially for many Cubans who had previously stayed on the sidelines in the battle over Cuba policy, a new argument against the embargo is gaining currency — that the tentative move toward capitalism by the Cuban government could be sped up with more assistance from Americans.

Even as defenders of the embargo warn against providing the Cuban government with “economic lifelines,” some Cubans and exiles are advocating a fresh approach. The Obama administration already showed an openness to engagement with Cuba in 2009 by removing restrictions on travel and remittances for Cuban Americans. But with Fidel Castro, 86, retired and President Raúl Castro, 81, leading a bureaucracy that is divided on the pace and scope of change, many have begun urging President Obama to go further and update American policy by putting a priority on assistance for Cubans seeking more economic independence from the government.

“Maintaining this embargo, maintaining this hostility, all it does is strengthen and embolden the hard-liners,” said Carlos Saladrigas, a Cuban exile and co-chairman of the Cuba Study Group in Washington, which advocates engagement with Cuba. “What we should be doing is helping the reformers.”

Story continues:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/world/americas/changes-in-cuba-create-support-for-easing-embargo.html?pagewanted=all

U.S.-Cuba Relations May Warm in 2nd Obama Term, Analysts Say 3

By Juan O. Tamayo, Miami Herald

MIAMI — MIAMI-The doors to warmer U.S.-Cuba relations will remain open following President Barack Obama’s election to another four-year term, but just how open will likely depend on how Havana handles the case of jailed U.S. subcontractor Alan Gross, analysts say.

Many Cubans on the island feared that a victory by Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who was backed by the GOP Cuban-Americans in the U.S. Congress, would lead to a toughening of Washington’s sanctions on the communist-ruled country. But the win by Obama, who declared shortly after his first election in 2008 that he wanted a “new start” to the long-hostile bilateral relations, will keep the doors open to measured expansions in travel, remittances, cultural and academic exchanges and perhaps even trade, analysts said.

“I expect continuity of the gradual opening since 2009,” said Mario Gonzalez-Corzo, a Cuba-born economist at Lehman College in New York City. No major changes in the laws governing U.S. sanctions on Cuba, such as the trade embargo, are likely to be approved by the next Congress, where all but one of the Cuban-American lawmakers who are highly critical of the Raul Castro government retained their seats. Voters re-elected Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., powerful chair of the House foreign affairs committee, as well as Reps. Mario Diaz Balart, R-Fla., and Albio Sires, D-N.J. They rejected Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., the target of several investigations, in favor of Joe Garcia, a Democrat who favors better links to Cuba. In the Senate, where a single member can stall virtually any vote, Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey was re-elected to his second term and Ted Cruz of Texas, a 41-year-old conservative Republican and Cuban-American favored by the tea party, was elected to his first.

But Obama has the presidential power to expand or shrink relations by changing regulations. Since 2009 he has lifted virtually all restrictions on Cuban Americans who travel or send cash remittances to the island and allowed others to visit the island on educational tours known as “people-to-people” travel. About 400,000 U.S. residents visited the island last year and remittances from the U.S. were estimated at $2 billion a year – both providing powerful support for an island economy all but stagnant and facing tough market reforms. The travelers often delivered consumer goods later sold on the grey market.

“If Obama did nothing else to help the Cubans, he turned the informal economy in a country where the average salary is $20 a month into a powerful engine,” said a foreigner who lives in Havana and did not wish to be further identified. Dissidents and independent activists who attended a function at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana on Tuesday night favored Obama in a straw poll 64-19, according to reports by foreign journalists at the event. But the Cuban government has shown no such preference for Obama, saying before the U.S. vote Tuesday that whoever won would continue the U.S. “empire’s” campaign to destroy the Castro Revolution. “Let us hope that he (Obama) understands that Cuba is not his back yard, that he respects the sovereignty and freedom of the Cuban people,” noted the Twitter account of Yohandry Fontana, believed to be a Cuban intelligence front.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/11/07/2758671/us-cuba-relations-may-warm-in.html#storylink=cpy

Castro Apologist Reaches Out to Obama 1

The Real Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis

By Arturo Lopez-Levy, October 31, 2012

“When I saw the rockets being fired at Mario’s house, I swore to myself that the Americans would pay dearly for what they are doing. When this war is over a much wider and bigger war will begin for me: The war that I am going to wage against them. I know that this is my real destiny.”

Fidel Castro wrote these words in 1958, the decisive year of his guerrilla war against Dictator Fulgencio Batista. Mario was a peasant from Cuba’s Sierra Maestra mountain range whose house was bombarded by the regime’s U.S.-equipped air force. Although Fidel Castro had expressed an adolescent admiration for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by 1958, he was acutely aware that a clash with Washington was probable if not inevitable. In Latin America, Washington’s support for dictators such as Batista was the norm, not the exception. No matter how terrible they were to their people, dictators were considered a safeguard against communist penetration in the hemisphere. Following this logic, not only communism, but most types of nationalism were considered anathema to Ike Eisenhower’s Washington.

In January 1959, the revolutionary army entered Havana and Fidel Castro became the most popular Cuban leader in history. The Cuban state took control of the main sectors of the economy after several nationalizations of foreign companies, including big American ones. The government mobilized workers, peasants, and a significant segment of the middle classes to launch campaigns against illiteracy and extreme poverty, and for land reform. By early 1960, Fidel Castro and his closest allies—especially his brother Raul and Commander Che Guevara—were already in contact with the USSR. In September, at the General Assembly of the United Nations, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev went to the Hotel Theresa in Harlem to meet Fidel Castro. Khrushchev declared to the press that he didn’t know whether Castro was communist, but he himself was a “Fidelista.”

Feature continues here:  http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_real_lessons_of_the_cuban_missile_crisis