The Landing of the ship Gran Ma and the river of power flowing from Sierra Maestra (Why the United States has failed to starve Cuba’s Revolution)


By Thomas Pearce

Why did the Cuban Revolution happen? Was it because Fidel Castro was a communist? No. Was it because he was a blood thirsty murderer? No the reason is quite clear and historically recorded by the New York Times, Life Magazine, the Washington Post and most American media of the day, that is before the Cuban people turned to the Soviet Union for support.

Castro is 85 years old and has survived an ongoing onslaught of hatred and aggression from 11 US presidents. I am counting Obama because he has done nothing to lift the blockade.

The US government would have you believe that the reason there is a blockade and the reason the CIA has tried to kill Fidel at least 10 times is because he is a communist and allowed the Soviet Union to place Nuclear missiles in Cuba (which have been removed), and because he is a dictator. So let us get the record straight and recognize that the US is doing the same hatchet job on the fledgling indigenous socialist movements of Latin America in Bolivia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Argentina. Focusing in on ELECTED leaders of countries where no violent revolution has taken place the corporate masters have decided to make Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales the new Fidel and the new Che. SO before we head down this road? I urge you to watch two documentaries, the first is the film Fidel, and the second Oliver Stone’s new documentary about the Bolivarian movement “South of the Border” that looks at the movement Hugo Chavez and others have built that has now led Brazil to be completely free of the IMF and have a budget surplus. Why is this happening?

I won’t go all the way back but a certain Fulgencio Batista who would go on to become the fascist US backed dictator of Cuba started his 7 year rise to power when he participated and led a bloody coup in 1933 after several presidents came and left he assumed the reigns of power in 1940. From then on Cuba was an American puppet regime. Batista allowed the United Fruit Company of America, Texaco, The Cuban Electric Company, the Cuban Telephone company, and most of Cuba’s land and resources to be stolen.

He turned most of Cuba over to the American and Italian mafia to made into a brothel and casino where all the cash left in suitcases to the USA.  How dare they want to stop all that fun!


In walks a young idealistic man, college student who joins a protest movement to end the rape of Cuba named Fidel Castro. Now remember Batista was unpopular with Cubans in the US at that time for thousands of people killed, disappeared, and tortured. Cuba was living in poverty save for the handful of wealthy that ran the joint.

In 1952 Castro was a candidate for office when Batista who didn’t like the way elections were going had another coup and became dictator again. At this time Castro was jailed for protesting. The Cuban people did not like this and reacted by raising hell. The reaction, the people organized to overthrow the dictator! What would you do?

So then Castro and about 150 others made an attempt to seize Moncada Barracks on July 26th. They were caught on the way, 61 of them only 6 survived the torture and execution. Castro was spared death by an Afro Cuban prison guard who watched out for him. He was tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison, public opinion had him released and exiled to Mexico after 2 years.

During protests over Batista’s fascist tactics it is rumored over 20,000 people were killed.

SO being the patriotic Cubans they were? They planned a return to Cuba from Mexico. On a dark night in 1956 the ship Gran Ma landed carrying 82 committed patriots intent on installing Democracy and social justice in Cuba. Only 12 of the original 82 survived to see the revolution. They knew the odds were stacked against them. Watching generation after generation of Cubans live without health care, education, or land to grow food from was not an option. They were quickly ambushed upon arriving but Che , Fidel, Raul (Fidel’s brother), and others made their way into the Sierra Maestra. It would be there that the strength of the Batista Army would be broken. Jose Marti had said long ago that if you controlled the Sierra Maestra you controlled Cuba.

From here, they began to open medical clinics for the poor, to operate schools, and even a radio station. They were not professed communists. They were freedom fighters. Just like Ho Chi Minh and many others though, they were faced with a daunting challenge. The United States government decided they were communists whether they were aligned with communist Russia or not. Within a couple of years the Eisenhower administration intent on resupplying a puppet dictator the US could control, had already hatched a plan to support a group of mercenaries some Cuban from Miami but many murderers from other parts of Latin America.

Jose Marti the father of the Cuban independence movement had also foretold, if we ever get the Spanish out of Cuba we will then have to fight to push out the US. So the plan hatched by the CIA and Eisenhower was to unfold in April of 1961 three months into the Kennedy administration. Kennedy allowed the CIA trainers to support and airplanes paid for by the US dropped bombs with Cuban flags painted on them. Luckily Kennedy did not authorize the use of regular US armed forces. The naked attack was a bold failure. For this reason, the Cuban people believed in the revolution and they believed in independence. It is for that reason Castro is popular to this day.

Now often today in the American media Castro’s relationship with Russia and the Cuban missile crisis is cited as the excuse for the blockade. The fact is that the blockade was put in place in 1960 before the Bay of Pigs and before the Cuban missile crisis. The embargo was put on Cuba because Castro like Chavez today announced the nationalization of Cuba’s land, oil refineries, telephone companies, and electric. All of which were formerly controlled by US corporations. We just couldn’t have the Cuban people rise out of poverty. That was a crime that would be unforgivable. And it has. The United States has strangled Cuba ever since. The final insult, the American base at Guantanamo which soils Cuban sovereignty even to this day is a constant reminder to the Cuban people they are in a state of siege.

What do you do when in a state of siege? You gain allies that can balance the equation. So after all the naked aggression of the US Castro announced the Cuban Revolution to be communist and aligned himself with Moscow. Just as Ho Chi Minh did in Vietnam.

So here we are today and the US still has this embargo against Cuba. Because Cuba is a communist country? No. If that were the case we would have an embargo against China, Vietnam, and others. The reason is because Cubans decided they would not be the next Puerto Rico. Absorbed into the US, land and identity stolen. All sovereignty gone! Cuba did not want to be another Haiti where US marines could come and stand over the president as he signed his resignation papers as Bush forced Aristide out of the country in his time in office. The Cuban revolution was not going to die a slow death of attrition like so many others had.

The results? The Cuban people live on average longer than Americans, Every Cuban child gets an education and college if they like. Cuba is now truly independent. Castro lingers on the constant reminder that a handful of determined revolutionaries can beat a mechanized super power at it’s own game. But it does not stop there. The majority of volunteer doctors in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake are Cuban.

More importantly while the US is out banging the middle east to shreds the indigenous people of Latina America have woken up from their slumber and elected Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia and forced all US military bases out of those countries. All of this has happened under the direct consultation of Fidel an 85 year old man and his brother Raul. Pretty amazing.  The dream shared by Simon Bolivar, Ernesto Che Guevara, and Fidel Castro of a unified South American Nation is coming together Che died in the mountains of Bolivia a martyr but like every martyr, they usually have more power in death than life.

The results are even more astounding, 300,000 Cuban, soldiers doctors, and educators went to Angola, Namibia, Congo (then Zaire) to assist in the spreading of anti –imperialism and one of the turning points of the death of Apartheid in South Africa was the regular South African army’s blistering defeat in the final battle for the independence of Angola. Nelson Mandela credits Castro to this day for these contributions to African revolutions. So who is that crazy old man with a beard? Why is he hanging onto the revolution?

How do you have free and fair elections while the biggest super power in the world is occupying your land? Yet the Cubans do have elections. People who advocate going back to the bad old days aren’t allowed to participate. Guess what? In the US we don’t allow to traitors run for office either and being a traitor is a crime punishable by death. How do you feel free while there is an economic blockade of your country and there have been at least 10 verified attempts to assassinate your president? Let’s face it Fidel is Cuba’s George Washington. Never has one small country affected history and improved more people’s lives.

Does Cuba have its’ warts? Sure look at Guantanamo? Look at their strangled economy. Che was returned to Cuba and buried in recent years as millions cried and the US verified that the CIA hunted him down like a dog a murdered him in Bolivia. Bolivia, a nation of indigenous people with their first democratically elected indigenous president.

So what is the big threat Cuba presents? I think it is this. Our government is scared to death that Americans will see that a poor country like Cuba feeds, provides education and healthcare, and housing for all of its’ people and it makes rich people scared to death that eventually that virus of socialism will spread to the US and spoil a whole lot of golf. I think Fidel in many ways, warts and all, is the man of the last century.

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