Fidel Castro fooled the world after the revolution of 1959 when he, at first appearing to be a benevolent liberator of the Cuban population, declared himself a Marxist-Leninist and allied himself with the Soviet Union. Since that time, Cuba has remained a communist regime and the United States has maintained an embargo on the island and severed diplomatic contact. Cubans that were exiled from the island during that time, established a thriving community in Miami and have achieved great things in the political, artistic and literary fields in the United States (Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, Andy Garcia). Families ripped from their homeland created a new adopted home and thrived. But Castro’s deception has never been forgotten by many exiles and it has dictated the approach of the United States government towards the island to the present day–to remove Fidel Castro.
The Cuban Democracy Act is the key piece to the removal of Castro and his communist regime in addition to 617 attempts by the Central Intelligence Agency to kill Castro as well as the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 by the U.S. to overthrow his government. Even though the embargo has starved the island and placed pressure on the regime, they continue to find legitimate and illegal ways to survive by doing business with the rest of the world. The Cuban population has been beaten into submission with no access to information and severe food rationing laws. The exile community, who has long held the belief that the population will rise up against the Castro regime with the continued human rights abuses, has underestimated the passage of time and its effects on the population. For all the sabre rattling by Cuban-American legislators such as Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers in Congress and promises by Presidential candidates at election time, the Castro regime still stays in power and the population still starves.
The embargo has lost its effectiveness and Cuban immigrants to the U.S. have found other ways to feed their families on the island. After a year and a day of residency, they can return to the island with sacks of food and clothing totaling 50 lbs a person (gusanos) and can send money through various couriers established in Miami that travel to and from the island on commercial flights. Still not one person in Miami can drop the grudge against Fidel Castro and refuses to talk about ending the embargo. Simply mentioning the issue to any Cuban person, young or old will enrage them and get them to talk about horror stories from the island–and cry. Cuban American-legislators and Presidential candidates prey on these feelings at election time, visiting older Cubans and gain their vote through tough talk. Then after the elections, the talk fades away.
It is time to let go of the grudge and inspect new strategies in dealing with the communist regime on the island. Time to use new tactics and stop the simple and one-dimensional arguments of the past stating how bad the regime is, how Castro is the devil and telling individual horrible accounts of torture and sorrow. South America has become predominantly socialist with governments in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia. The regime finds new allies everyday and only grows stronger and more rich while the population starves and fades.