Home Up Cuban Memories


Cuba.  For as long as I can remember (I would say, since my early childhood in Spain) I have been a critic of the US embargo to Cuba.  It only hurts the Cuban people and it did little to debunk Fidel.   The USA also led the opposition against Generalísimo Franco, and manipulated the UN boycott to Spain that ensued.   Yet, Franco –not loved by all, but admired by many millions of Spaniards - remained pretty much in power until he died of old age (actually it was Parkinson’s disease that ended his life).   Dictator Franco was not a Saint, but he was neither the monster portrayed in America (especially by those exiled Spaniards -who running for their lives left Spain in a rush).  Franco was actually a very religious person, and gave amnesty to all after the war.  During the war it was pandemonium, but there were culprits on both sides of the fratricidal conflict.  Fidel is not a Saint, but do not demonize him too much either, because if he were the Devil, you would have to admit that he would not have the staying power he has proven to have.  Do not try to convince me that it is only terror that keeps him in power, because I will not buy it.

 Most of Europe rebuilt quickly after World War II, with a lot of American help (the Marshall Plan).  Even the enemy, Germany, benefited from the American plan.  Ironically –and mostly due to the American obsession with dictator General Franco- Spain was kept in isolation until 1958 (Spain is a country that in 1939 had ended a fratricidal Civil War, and had decided to remain neutral during World War II, as Switzerland did with lesser reasons).  I suffered because of the American boycott to Spain.  My parents suffered. Many of my relatives had to leave for Latin America.  My neighbors suffered. All Spaniards suffered needlessly in those days, due in great part to a lousy American policy.  Our Cuba policy -at the end we will have to admit- has been also an American foreign policy imbroglio of major proportions. A misguided policy (oriented towards pleasing hardcore exiles) that has negatively affected the island’s inhabitants, the American corporations, and has been mostly detrimental to Cuban-Americans (who are now dying of old age in Miami without being able to see their relatives in Cuba, or return to their loved land).  

Given the fact that there are so many Cuban-Americans in Florida, I need to be very explicit on this issue.  Courageous on my side, I must add, since I have never agreed with the aging American policy of ostracizing the economy of Cuba.  Policy that we have implemented simply because we could not come to terms with their non-chosen leader on that island, dictator Fidel Castro.

Understanding and compassion should be extended to the people of Cuba. 


There are in Florida tens of thousands of Americans who were born in Cuba.


The window of opportunity in Cuba is quickly closing.  The enduring power of Fidel Castro has been under-estimated.


 The Cuba-born Americans are getting old.  Many have already died.


 In ten years from now few descendants of these Cuban-Americans would feel comfortable going to an island where they can not relate much with anybody anymore.


Many Cuban Americans speak already a broken Spanish, and pretty soon their children might not be able to speak a congruent Spanish at all.


 Unless -of course- that this relationship with Cuba makes their Spanish language a professional asset, worth for them to master and shine.


Pictures on this page have been published on issues of National Geographic (one of my favorite magazines, to which I have been subscribed for 30 years).

You need to remember that many descendants of those Spaniards who left for America (in the 1930's and until the 1970's) are NOT returning back to Spain.

 This despite their parent's roots are there.  My four children included.  Spain was their parent's country, but they just do not feel like it is their country.

 They might not feel comfortable in a land where the accent, the folklore, or even the jokes do not have the same meaning.

I promoted several trips of my children to Spain, so they would meet with relatives and establish bonds.

If you are Cuban, let me recommend you do the same. Do not be an obstruction, please?

If you ask me, I would have said, that these statements on Cuba are sensible and smart, and that they should bring me good votes and supporters.

  Unfortunately, I am afraid the opposite might be the case.  But, what I said  is the truth from my heart.  So be it!! 

 I am at peace with myself, and I really hope many of you out there will come around and have consensus with me, and with many other modern thinkers.  We need you!

 Please, do not be a retrograde, people's lives are at stake here!

 Let your obsession with Castro go, and support a change in relations with that beautiful tropical island, where the people have already suffered a huge share of misery.

  Fidel is just an old guy, who -if nothing else- age will take care of him pretty soon.

Be open minded, and forgive!



You could help that island's economy and offer hope to millions of fellow Cubans who are despairing with all types of penuries upon them.


At the same time you would be helping your brothers and relatives on the island, you will be finding markets to our American products.


At the same time -I redundantly say- you would have a chance to go back to your country of birth, and enjoy placid memories.


Your American children would have an opportunity to see their relatives over there, and strengthen their bonding before it is too late.


We all could rip tremendous benefits from having such a compassionate look toward the nation of Cuba. And downplay the importance of Castro's regime.


  Regime which -ironically- would be more unsustainable in a more free-trade oriented relation with Cuba.

I say to those who believe that my statements make good sense : Please help spread my message of understanding, and -please- help my campaign.  It is not just Cuba, it is a cornucopia of other Latin American economic issues.

Thanks!   Juan Xuna.

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