While hyperventilating pundits wet their pants commenting on the “historic!” meeting and handshake between President Barack Obama and Cuban dictator Raul Castro in Panama City during the Summit of the America’s this week-end, one veteran “diplomat” just laughs.
"The so-called re-establishment of relations (between the U.S. and Cuba) is really no big deal," laughs Nikolai Leonov. “These relations were already in place."
Leonov is described today as a Russian “history professor.” But all during the Cold War Lt. Col. Nikolai Leonov worked as the KGB’s main agent in Latin America. In brief, he knows what he’s talking, and laughing, about.
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, in the rain for a memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013. The handshake between the leaders of the two Cold War enemies came during a ceremony that's focused on Mandela's legacy of reconciliation. (AP Photo)
Leonov was Raul Castro’s case officer starting in 1953 and Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s starting in 1956. Look at those dates closely because here’s what our crackerjack CIA was saying in late 1958:
“Don’t worry. We’ve infiltrated Castro’s guerrilla group in the Sierra Mountains. The Castro brothers and Ernesto “Che” Guevara have no affiliations with any Communists," Havana CIA station chief Jim Noel, 1958.
“But wait!” as the famous infomercial says. “There’s more!”
“Fidel Castro is not only not a communist –he’s a strong anti-Communist fighter. He’s ready to help us in the hemisphere’s anti-communist fight and we should share our intelligence with him," CIA Cuba “expert” Frank Bender, April, 1959.
Can you blame Leonov for laughing?
His more recent guffaws, however, erupt from observing the hilarious disconnect (as usual) between what the U.S. mainstream media has been telling Americans regarding the “blockade” and “diplomatic isolation” against Cuba by the wicked Yankees and the facts. Because in fact:
In executive order after executive order starting in 2009, President Obama abolished President George W. Bush’s travel and remittance restrictions to Castro’s terror-sponsoring fiefdom and opened the pipeline to a point where the cash-flow from the U.S. to Cuba is estimated at $4 billion annually. While a proud Soviet satrapy Cuba received $3-5 billion annually from the Soviets. In brief, almost every year since Obama took office more cash has been flowing from the U.S. to Cuba than used to flow there from the Soviets at the height of their Cuba-sponsorship.
Why shouldn’t Raul Castro shake his hand?
But wait—there’s still more!
In 1957, when Cuba was a “playground for U.S. tourists” as we’re constantly told by the media, 263,000 people visited Cuba from the U.S. For the past several years, during a U.S. “embargo” of Cuba by the U.S., according to the media, an estimated 600,000 people have been visiting Cuba annually from the U.S.
So under Obama over twice as many people are visiting Cuba from the U.S. as in the 1950s. These people are a fraction of a wave of 3 million tourists annually to Cuba. Their travel dollars (along with those other billions in Euros, Loonies, etc.) land almost exclusive in the pockets of the Cuban military and Castro family, who own everything related to Cuba’s tourist industry.
So again, why shouldn't the ruling patriarch of the family that literally owns Cuba shake Obama’s hand? And why shouldn’t Col. Leonov laugh?
But wait--there’s yet more!
In 1958 with Cuba under a “U.S.-backed dictator,” with the U.S. “controlling Cuba’s economy,” (according to the media, though in fact, U.S. companies employed 7 percent of Cuba’s workforce) the staff of the U.S. embassy in Cuba numbered 87, including Cuban employees.
For over the past decade with supposedly no diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, according to the media, the staff of the “U.S. Interest Section” (embassy by any other name) in Havana numbered 351, including Cuban employees. So during Obama’s entire term the U.S. has maintained more diplomatic personnel in Cuba than do Canada and Mexico combined.
In brief, for many years now the U.S. embargo has been mostly a joke—and the joke’s been mostly on customers of the mainstream media, most of which enjoy Havana bureaus courtesy of “accreditation” by the Stalinist regime. Thus they react very promptly to any command from their KGB-trained masters—especially to “roll over!” and “fetch!”
More than one “No!--Bad-boy!” and you’re outta there. Just as Spanish reporter Vicente Botin.
Your humble servant was recently forced to patiently explain the above items to Fox News’ John Stossell, who totally freaked at my facts.
Alas, the Castros aren’t content with that measly $4 billion annually courtesy of Obama’s executive orders. Cuba’s classification as a “terror-sponsoring nation,” by the U.S. State Department, alongside Iran, Sudan and Syria, cuts off the Castro family fiefdom (and world's biggest deadbeat nation) from access to credit from U.S. banks and many international lending institutions. Never mind that this has been enormously beneficial for the U.S. taxpayer, who ultimately foots the bill for many big-bank bailouts.
On top of helping train and fund practically every terror group from the Weathermen to Puerto Rico’s Macheteros, from Argentina’s Montoneros, to Colombia’s FARC, from the Black Panthers to the IRA and from the PLO to AL Fatah—on top of all this Castro’s Cuba qualifies as the world’s biggest debtor nation, per capita-wise.
The Castro brothers have gleefully stiffed taxpayers from the European Union to Canada, from Mexico to South Africa—in brief, the taxpayers of virtually every nation whose government granted trade credits to these kleptocrats. Standard & Poor’s refuses to even rate Cuba, regarding the economic figures put out by its communist propaganda apparatchiks as utterly bogus.
The above explains the Castro brother’s powerful itch for that terror-sponsor classification to-- poof!—vanish with another one of Obama’s executive orders, something that appears very likely and very imminent, despite the following items:
"Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees," Fidel Castro, University of Tehran, May 10, 2001.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran and Cuba can play a significant role in international organizations through cooperation…We need to further boost unity to make the big powers understand that the era of bullying has come to an end,” Iranian President Hassan Rhouhani, Oct. 13, 2013.
"Our position today is for defending Iran’s access to the nuclear energy...," Cuban ambassador to Iran, Vladimir Andres Gonzalez Quesada, May 4, 2014.
The Iranians, some fear, might be using their long-time and cozy Cuban connection for more than a platform for anti-Yankee bombast. Iranian scientists, some academics suspect, could be using Cuba’s colony of Venezuela as their clandestine site for enriching Uranium, away from the prying eyes of those pesky international inspectors.
On top of these hints that the Castros are less than totally-committed to John Lennon’s prescription for the world, three of the Stalinist regime’s top military officials are currently under a U.S. federal indictment for wantonly murdering three defenseless U.S. citizens in international airspace.
Again, don’t look anywhere within the mainstream media for the infuriating details.
On top of all the above, last month Colombian authorities found 99 missile heads, 100 tons of gunpowder, 2.6 million detonators, and over 3,000 artillery shells hidden in a ship bound from Red China to Cuba. “Hidden” is the money word here because these items were not only missing from the ship’s register, but were hidden under sacks of grain.
Given that Cuba is not (directly) involved in any land wars right now and is already crammed to the gills with Soviet arms, many speculate that this military contraband was ultimately headed for Colombia’s FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia,) the oldest, largest and most murderous terrorist group in the Western hemisphere. "Thanks to Fidel Castro" boasted late FARC commander Tiro-Fijo in a 2002 interview, "we are now a powerful army, not a hit and run band." The FARC’s murder toll far surpasses that of Islamic State and includes 13 Americans, 3 of them missionaries-- again topping ISIS’ toll in this category of murders.
A few years ago a report from Colombia’s military intelligence obtained by the Colombian newspaper, El Espectador, revealed that the FARC still maintained a major office in Havana.
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