Expert and not so expert opinions
Jimmy Carter, the good and George W. Bush, the bad
and the Kids, the innocent
Former President Jimmy Carter opened the doors to Cuba in March of 1977, saying that the Helsinki Agreements, signed by President Gerald Ford in August of 1975, required Americans to be able to travel to countries like Cuba, Cambodia, Vietnam and North Korea, if we wanted those living behind the Iron Curtain to enjoy similar human rights.
Perhaps the wall came down for those living behind the Iron Curtain, but it was re-erected between the United States and Cuba by the Bush Family.
Americans should not expect much improvement in the foreign relations between the United States and Cuba so long as a member of the Bush family is in the White House. They "sold out" to the right wing of the Cuban Americans long ago!
On this page we will present some of the top experts opinions about Cuba....some for an improved relations with Cuba and some against. A 2002, CNN poll released on the Wolf Blitzer show indicated that 86% of the American people favor an end to the Embargo or at least an improved relations with Cuba.
George W. Bush....said "nothing will change" regarding Cuba as he shoved $2 million from the right-wing of the Cuban Americans in his pocket on May 20, 2002, in Miami.
The United Nations....Has voted 11 years in a row, calling for an end to the Cuban Embargo. This years vote was 173-3, with only Israel and the Marshall Islands voting with us.
Jimmy Carter....Opened the doors for Americans to travel freely to Cuba in March of 1977, only weeks after taking office as President. Carter visited Cuba in May of 2002 and still wants normal trade and travel relations with Cuba. On December 31, 2002, Carter called the Cuban Embargo, the "stupidest" law ever passed in the United States.
Fidel Castro....In spite of the embargo against Cuba for more than 40 years....Cuba has survived. Invited Bill Clinton to come to Cuba and give him free time on TV and radio and access to all the Cuban media and the Cuban people. Clinton didn't go!
George H. W. Bush....The Cubans "increased their efforts to destabilize the governments of Latin America". I invited George H. W. Bush to come to Cuba to go bass fishing with Fidel Castro. Castro accepted.....the elder Bush refused the offer.
The elder Bush should probably be brought before the War Crimes Tribunal for his role in the bombing of a Cubana Airliner where 73 persons died in 1976. The first use of commercial airlines as a political target for terrorists groups. Two from the CIA were convicted for the crime but when they escaped jail in Venezuela with our help....guess who they ran to? Right....the elder Bush and pals.
Pentagon....Cuba is no threat to the United States or any of it's neighbors (May 1998).
Bill Clinton....The Helms / Burton Act was passed in part to keep President Clinton from opening the doors to free travel to Cuba. Former President Clinton believed in more people to people contact between Americans and Cubans.
John F. Kennedy....Announced the trade and travel embargo just moments after he sent his Press Secretary Pierre Salanger out to buy 1,000 Cuban Cigars (Petit Upmans).
Pope John Paul II....Cuba should open it's doors to the world and the world should open it's doors to Cuba. The Pope called the American embargo "deplorable".
Al Gore....Took the side of the Cuban Americans in the Elian Gonzales fiasco. Gore said Elian should not be sent home....some said Al Gore should have been sent to the woodshed.
Ralph Nader....Visited with Fidel Castro and wants the trade and travel embargo ended.
Nelson Mandela....Believed that Cuba did more to help the people of South Africa than any other nation.
Richard M. Nixon....As Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower, is the man given credit for planning the Bay of Pigs invasion, even though it actually took place about 3 months into the JFK administration, in April of 1961.
Jesse Helms....Co author with Dan Burton of the Helms / Burton Act, which just may be the most stupid law ever passed in Washington D.C. Jesse never had one good word to say about Cuba. I invited Helms to travel with me to Cuba....he refused!
Helms' name will forever live in infamy, together with that of Congressman Dan Burton, for his leading role in the 1996 Act which intensified and tightened the US blockade of Cuba that has become known as the Helms Burton Act. This law extends the blockade to third countries by threatening and penalizing any non-US company that trades with the island.
Colin Powell....The Secretary of State in the Bush administration said Fidel Castro has done a lot to help the Cuban people. "He's done some good things for his people".
Jesse Ventura....Became the third American Governor to visit Cuba and said the Cuban embargo is "stupid".
Dr. Wayne S. Smith....Many say that Smith is the USA top expert on Cuba and was our man in Havana when the travel embargo was announced. He says, the reasons given for the travel ban by the Reagan / Bush Administration were and "outright lie". The truth is in State Department cable #11853 that said the government of the United States had no such evidence as that used to ban travel to Cuba.
David MacMichaels....Agrees with Dr. Wayne S. Smith and adds the reasons given for the travel ban to Cuba are a "fraud". David MacMichaels was a CIA analyst who looked at all the evidence regarding the reasons for the travel ban.
Illeana Ros-Lehtinen....Republican House Member from the Miami area is opposed to any improvements in the US / Cuban foreign relations.
Governor George Ryan....Republican governor of Illinois....was the first American Governor to visit Cuba since 1959, and wound up going twice during his term. Wants embargo ended.
Tom Donahue.....President of the US Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber wants the embargo ended.
Governor John Hoeven....Governor John Hoeven, of North Dakota, became the second American Governor to visit Cuba in July and came home with an order for $2 million worth of North Dakota peas.
Tom DeLay....the new Majority Leader for the Republicans in the House of Representative, starting in 2003, wants the Cuban Embargo continued.
Jeb Bush....Was once a partner of the late Jorge Mas Canosa, probably recognized as the most vocal opponent to Cuba. Jeb rents the office space to the Cuban American National Foundation.
Diaz Balart....The Congressman from South Florida, nephew of Fidel Castro, who would like to be the next President of Cuba. His father was a member of the Batista Regime and his aunt was once married to Fidel Castro. Calls Fidel Castro "the Dictator" in just about every other sentence he speaks.
CANF....The Cuban American National Foundation, created by the elder Bush and the late Jorge Mas Canosa, coming out of the time when George H. W. Bush was the Director of the CIA when Cuban American terrorists groups were springing up. Jorge Mas Canosa may have been the most outspoken Cuban American of all times.
Ted Shackley.....The late Ted Shackley ran the CIA's Miami operation when it was credited with having the third largest navy in the Caribbean. It was a paramilitary operation designed to attack Fidel Castro and Cuba.
Tom Daschle....Senate minority leader. After meeting with Fidel Castro, seeks better relations with Cuba.
Robert Dorgan....Senate Democrat says legislation will continue to be introduced each year until the doors to Cuba are opened.
Dick Army....Second highest Republican in the House of Representative in 2002. Now retiring! The only reason I ever voted for the travel ban to Cuba was out of respect for my fellow congress people from Florida. Now that I am leaving the Congress I can tell the truth.
Dan Burton....An Indiana Congressman who gets 80% of his campaign pledges from South Florida. HMMMM! Co-author of the Helms / Burton Act.
Robert Torricelli....Democrat author of the Torricelli Act, that denied the sale of medicines and food to the Cuban people through foreign subsidiaries of U.S. Companies. Once in favor of better relations with Cuba until the bribe money started rolling in. Resigned in disgrace for accepting bribes in the fall of 2002.
USA Engage....A group of about 650 American businesses.....
"U.S. policy toward Cuba is outdated," remarked Frank Kittredge, Vice-Chairman of USA*ENGAGE. "The U.S. has the chance to encourage positive change in Cuba by promoting a policy of engagement and opening a dialogue with the Cuban people and the Government. It is time for Congress and the Administration to recognize that as a result of Pope John Paul II's historic visit changes are occurring in Cuba."
Farm Bureau....We want the Cuban market open to American farmers.
Texas House and Senate....Don't agree with President George W. Bush, of Texas. We want the doors opened to Cuba so Texas farmers and businessmen can do business in Cuba.
Florida Cuban American Congress woman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen....We all know her opinion. She left Cuba as a young lady and has chosen to not return.
European Union....Opposes the United States in just about every way regarding the Cuban Embargo.
Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien....Canada is one of the top trading partners with Cuba and Canadians are Number One in the number of foreign tourists traveling to Cuba. What more needs to be said....they are in opposition to American policies toward Cuba and have been for years.
Prime Minister of England Tony Blair....Tony Blair disagrees 100% with the United States on the Embargo on Cuba.
Harry Brown....Believes in free travel to Cuba and open borders.
Rush Limbaugh....Cuban cigars are the best tobacco in the world.
"Welcome back to Cuba"
Shame on Janet Reno for returning Elian, not to his father Miguel, but to CASTRO himself as a trophy
for the Clinton administration.
Philip Agee....Former CIA agent and author of "Inside the Company". Philip suggests that Americans returning from Cuba , "Give no information and pay no fines." Americans should not answer any incriminating questions posed by US Customs and Immigration officers or people from the Treasury Department OFAC. Not one American who has followed these procedures and instructions over the past 5 years has never heard from Uncle Sam again.
America's rich and famous.....
Jack Nicholson....Castro is a genius...we spoke about everything.
Saul Landau....Castro has brought greater equality in terms of wealth distribution than I guess any county in the world today.
Oliver Stone....Met with Fidel Castro twice in February 2002, regarding a documentary that Stone would like to make about the Caribbean Island.
Naomi Campbell....Castro is a source of inspiration to the world.
Chevy Chase....Socialism works. Cuba might prove that. I think it's conclusive that there have been areas where socialism has helped keep people at least stabilized at a certain level.
Harry Belafonte....Every day, more and more Americans are opposed to the war machine being driven by George W. Bush. "It would be very difficult to find a nation more committed to the culture of its people and the development of the culture than I have witnessed in Cuba.''
Dennis Hays....CANF....You have to remember that Fidel Castro is a cult leader, much along the same lines as Jim Jones or David Koresh. He's is a megalomaniac with messiah complex and people go and fall into his orbit. People turn into lovesick rock groupies when they get into his presence. That is the impact cult leaders have on people.
Steven Spielberg...."His dinner with Castro was the eight most important hours of my life."
David Horowitz....about Steven Spielberg. It just shows that Spielberg may be a talented filmmaker, but he hasn't got any moral brains.
Michael Medved....entertainment critic....Castro has acknowledged that he personally slept with over 1,000 women....it would be fairly common for Castro to go through four or five women in a day.
Gloria Estefan....People don't have a lot of information, and when they ask me about it, I tell them about the drama of exiles, the repression, the firing squads, the horror of communism.
New York Post....author said, "The most romantic, soulful and sexy country I've ever been to in my life."
Others....People like Jane Fonda, Ted Turner, Robert Redford, Kevin Kostner, Danny Glover, Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman, Ed Asner, Peter Weller, the late Jack Lemon, Woody Harrelson, Leonardo di Caprio, Frances McDormand, Naomi Campbell, Francis Ford Coppola, Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg, Joel Coen, Milton Berle, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Spike Lee, Danny De Vito, Mike Tyson, Danny Glover, Shirley McClaine, and others have expressed their opinions by traveling to Cuba.
Just any American who has visited Cuba might say this...."Although
I first went to Cuba with misgivings about how they would react to me being an
American, I found that we are the nationality most beloved to them. And although
it seemed at first that we are as mysterious to them as they are to us, I found
them anxious to smile and offer their good nature to a many times lost tourist.
Despite a 40 year embargo and political standoff that has cut our societies off
to one another, many Cubanos are tied to the US through family members living
here. In many ways, Americans who are fortunate enough to go there legally, are
the bond that ties them together. Time after time I was greeted with a strong
hug by strangers only after they learned that I was an American and then they
proceeded to invite me into their homes for coffee or a sweet. I spent many an
afternoon sharing stories and information and playing dominoes with young and
old alike. And, unlike many other poor, Caribbean countries (the average monthly
income in Cuba is $10), I was never pestered for money or in any other way made
to feel that their hospitality was anything other than genuine.
Tom Warner....I have been accused of using the internet to advocate travel to Cuba.
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