by John F. McManus
Press coverage of President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba avoided any mention of the fact that Fidel Castro and his companions were helped to take control of the island nation by the U.S. government and elements of the American mass media. Had not pro-communist personnel in Washington and elsewhere assisted in the takeover, Cuba would not have become a bastion of communism only 90 miles from portions of Florida. And while many thousands of Cubans succeeded in fleeing their native land for Southern Florida, untold numbers didn’t make it in waves of rickety boats and rafts.
Castro didn’t just become a communist after he took control of the island nation. As far back as April 1948, Fidel participated in a communist-led uprising in Bogota, Colombia, that left thousands dead or wounded and a huge portion of the city in ashes. Arrested for murder, Fidel boasted, “I did a good day’s work today; I killed a priest.” Incarcerated for a time, he won release and then led a band of his followers into Cuba in July 1956 where he was arrested, tried, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Given amnesty by the government of Fulgencio Batista, he went to Mexico where he studied guerilla warfare under communist Alberto Bayo. Back into Cuba in early 1958, the bearded revolutionary seized control of the nation on January 1, 1959.
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