Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cuba & the U.S. (11 of 11): Why Cuba will probably not improve its relations with the U.S. too much; references

If you prefer, you can read the whole Cuba report as a PDF by clicking here.

Summary: Efficient dictators always make sure they have an enemy to distract their subjects.

Having said all this, I don’t think Cuba under the Castros will ever normalize relations with the U.S. For dictators such as Hitler, Stalin, and Fidel, there is an advantage to having their subjects paranoid about foreigners. The foreigners serve as the focus of hatred and fear, distracting the dictator’s subjects from the causes and effects of unbearable conditions at home. If the subjects had too much time to think about their situation, they might just decide to rebel against the dictator.

Statism—in fact and in principle—is nothing more than gang rule. A dictatorship is a gang devoted to looting the effort of the productive citizens of its own country. When a statist ruler exhausts his own country’s economy, he attacks his neighbors. It is his only means of postponing internal collapse and prolonging his rule. A country that violates the rights of its own citizens, will not respect the rights of its neighbors. Those who do not recognize individual rights, will not recognize the rights of nations: a nation is only a number of individuals.

Statism needs war; a free country does not. (Ayn Rand, “The Roots of War”)

To the Castro brothers, the United States has been a godsend: an enemy who is nearby, powerful, and yet exceptionally unlikely to invade the country, unless it suffers a massive attack first. Fidel and Raul Castro may try to get more money via trade or aid, but they will never welcome the U.S. as a friend.


Suggested Readings by Ayn Rand and Objectivist Scholars

Rand, Ayn. “The Cuban Crisis,” “How to Demoralize a Nation,” and “The Munich of World War III?” The Ayn Rand Column. 1991.

Rand, Ayn. “The Roots of War.” The Objectivist, June 1966; reprinted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (Signet, 1986).

Schwartz, Peter. The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America. 2004.


Sources Consulted

Aside from the speeches referred to in the text, see:

CIA World Factbook for Cuba: (accessed 4/27/09)

“Organization of American States” in Wikipedia.

Parmet, Herbert S. "Kennedy, John Fitzgerald"; ; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000. Access Date: Wed May 21 08:43:15 EDT 2008

Paterson, Thomas G. "Cuban Missile Crisis"; ;
The Oxford Companion to United States History, Paul Boyer, ed., 2001. Access Date: Wed May 21 08:41:58 EDT 2008

U.S. State Department, Background Report on Cuba: (dated 8/08, accessed 4/27/09)


Scholarly Sources Recommended by the Above

Blight, James, et alCuba on the Brink. 1993.

Chang, Laurence, and Peter Kornbluth, eds. The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. 1992.

Fursenko, Aleksandr, and Timothy Naftali. One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964. 1997.

Gleijeses, Piero. “Ships in the Night: The CIA, the White House, and the Bay of Pigs.” Journal of Latin American Studies 27 (Feb. 1995): 1-42.

Nathan, James, ed. The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited. 1992.

Paterson, Thomas G. Contesting Castro: The United States and the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution. 1994.

White, Mark J. Missiles in Cuba: Khrushchev, Castro, and the 1962 Crisis. 1997. 

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