A picture has been going around Facebook with a quote by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro where it appears he predicted the conditions under which the U.S. embargo would come to an end. In 1973 he spoke the following words:
“The United States will come to talk to us when you have a black president and the world has a Latin American pope.”
– Fidel Castro speaking to the international press in 1973
The original appeared in Spanish:
“Estados Unidos vendrá a dialogar con nosotros cuando tenga un Presidente negro y haya en el mundo un Papa latinoamericano”.[i]
The quote appears to be a piece of wisdom uttered by Castro decades ago about the international political conditions necessary to bring about the end of the embargo. A lot of people are sharing this image as though it were true. They are however wrong just as Castro was in his prediction. What we have is coincidence not prophesy.
For Castro to be correct the embargo must be ending because of the Black president and Latin American Pope. This unfortunately is not the case. The quote implies that the embargo ends due to the anti-bourgeois position of the president and the Pope. Both President Obama and Pope Francis have declared their support for capitalism over socialism.
The impending end of the embargo is not the product of international progressive forces that have come to the realization that it won’t cause Cuba to abandon socialism. It has come about as a result of negotiations between current leader Raul Castro and the imperialists. Both sides engaged in discussions about ending the embargo, reportedly with the assistance of Pope Francis. I believe the grounds on which the embargo has ended are not good ones. Cuba has no reason to negotiate as they have done nothing wrong they are a victim of U.S. imperialism. For them to be taking place Cuba must be giving up something very important. The imperialists don’t cease subversive activities out of the goodness of their hearts.
It seems almost certain that the embargo has ended with some kind of serious capitulation by Cuba. Laws are currently being changed that would allow Americans to send more money to relatives. Other measures include allowing U.S. banks to set up shop in the country. Allowing foreign imperialist capital to begin making headway into a country is a sure way to have it subverted. But we shall leave this discussion for another day.
The point here is that there should be no celebration that the embargo has been lifted in an altruistic way in which Fidel predicted. In truth it has been ended in a way that has placed what remains of the Cuban Revolution in jeopardy. The end of the embargo has been purchased, not dismantled out of justice for the Cuban people for the suffering it has caused.
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