Tue, 4 Feb 1997 18:11:30 -0500


From: "Miles Z. Archer" <>
Subject: Cuba, Si

Regarding the 2/2/97 posting: Cuba-US relations by:
Ryan Stanley <>
Department of History
Harvard University

I absolutely agree with the anomaly which Cuba represents in American
Foreign policy. There really can only be two explanations for
Cuba's continued outlaw status.

The first is that since economics drives U.S. foreign policy, one can
only assume that the Cuban import/export market is deemed irrelevant to
the U.S.'s GNP. The second, is the apparent disproportionate influence
of the U.S. Cuban exile population.

Of all of my personal disappointments with Clinton, as a 60's cultivated
leader, Cuba heads the list. Despite the two factors mentioned above, I
find it hard to believe that Clinton's conscience can support continuing
the embargo and refusing to normalize relations with Cuba. It really is
like he was two different people - then and now. (By the way, the other
issues that tops this particular list is Clinton's opposition to medical
marijuana use -- too bad he didn't inhale!).


From: "Richard C. Crepeau" <>
Subject: Re: Did we ever leave the 60s?

The Cuban issue indeed must be vexing to anyone who comes from it from
outside the U.S. and outside the experiences of the Sixties or indeed from
outside an American historical context.

Cuba has a long, by American standards, association with the United
States. The U.S. was instrumental in the removal of Spanish rule, and
replaced it with a protectorate status from Washington. Cuba was under
virtual U.S. control in terms of economy and foreign policy from the turn
of the century on. One of the more interesting connections outside of
government and commerce was the emergence of organized crime as a force
in the Cuban tourist industry-hotels, casinos, prostitution, general
tourism. Havana became the winter playground for America's rich, including
many of the beautiful people of Hollywood and other facets of
showbusiness. Through it all it became a de facto American province.
Therefore when it all changed under Castro it came as a major shock.

Added to that historical connection, and layered by the post-Revolutionary
relationship, along with the fact that it was perceived as the first
Communist government in the Western Hemisphere and therefore a violation
of the Monroe Doctrine, not to mention Teddy Roosevelt's corollary to the
Doctrine, and that it was only ninety miles from U.S. soil, the arrival of
large numbers of Cubans into the United States made Cuba a particularly
sticky political problem for any U.S. politician who could not afford to
be seen as anti-communist nor as pro-Castro the the Cold War atmosphere.
So the emotional baggage here coupled with the historical baggage to
create a burden of enormous size.

All of these factors together make it still a very difficult issue for any
American politician. What we really need to get us out from under this is
either the death of Castro, or a Richard Nixxon to call a press conference
and announce that he will be making an official state visit to Cuba. How
about this as a statesmanlike role for Newt?

I hope this will be helpful to Mr. Stanley as he contemplates this strange
and wonderful country.

Dick Crepeau
History Department
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816-1350-