My fellow boomers are likely to sympathize with me on this one. No I did not take the best of notes on my trip. I have a bad memory and it is now 3 months later. I need you to cut me a little slack.
So I knew some of the following facts before but what struck me while I was there in Cuba in September was the things I am going to talk about happened while we have been alive and in a land that is only 90 miles away from us! My story that follows comes mostly from our Cuba guide who has nothing to do with the government. He lives in Cuba now and always has.
US Embargo on Cuba
The US Embargo was put into place by the Kennedy Administration in 1962 – I was 14 years old. It doesn’t really count as history to me.
The Cuban Revolution happened in 1959. From 1952 until the Revolution took place, Battista had apparently welcomed the American mafia who built
Impressive Casinos and several families became very wealthy doing so. Yet at the time, 40% of Cubans had no running water. This was the 1950’s.
Some of the current Miami Cubans fled the country then and were not happy that they were stripped of the wealth they had accumulated through their Casino and mafia connections. I believe this is likely true.
Yes the Cuban people have suffered from the embargo. It has clearly kept this country in a bit of a stand still state. It did not lead them coming over to the democratic side of the world. It has lead to them evolving into an interesting socialistic state. Remember this – Cubans are not and have not ever been under traditional communist rule. They were befriended by the Russians no question for many years. However since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there ties with and the support they got from them economically stopped around then. The Cuban economy tanked instantly.