History has a long memory

Fidel Castro becomes the leader of Cuba as a r...

Fidel Castro becomes the leader of Cuba as a result of the Cuban Revolution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fidel Castro’s father was a Spanish soldier in Cuba during the Spanish-American War that saw the US defeat Spain and take possession of Cuba. From First Great Triumph, How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power by Warren Zimmermann:

“Ángel Casto, a subaltern in the Spanish Army, had been transferred to military duty from Spain to Cuba following the 1895 revolution. He hated the Americans for preventing his army from defeating the rebels; this hostility burned throughout his long life. No doubt he vented it in front of his son Fidel, born in 1926.”

Our turbulent relations with Iran date back at least to 1953 when the CIA under Eisenhower’s direction engineered the overthrow of democratically elected leader Mohammad Mosaddegh and the return to power of the Shah. The Iranian people have still not forgiven us for that.

Cuba after Castro

The flag of Cuba. Colors are from http://www.n...

The flag of Cuba. Colors are from http://www.nacion.cult.cu/fr/sobrebandera.htm Esperanto: La flago de Kubo فارسی: پرچم کوبا Français : Le drapeau de Cuba Kreyòl ayisyen : Drapo Kiba Italiano: La bandiera di Cuba Nederlands: De vlag van Cuba Русский: Флаг Кубы Slovenščina: Državna zastava Kube العربية: علم كوبا (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Castro brothers are gone from Cuba, will Cuba throw off communism and embrace capitalism? And if they do, will they at some future date want to become an US state? After all, the US and Cuba have a relationship going back to 1898 when we liberated Cuba from Spain. In the following years we ruled Cuba on and off for many years as Cuba is the country in the world that the US has invaded more often than any other. Cuba has embraced our national sport, baseball, and Cuban drivers drive American cars. Just think about the market there for new American cars once the embargo is lifted. The Cuban community in South Florida would love to see Cuba more closely connected to the US. There is one possible problem to overcome; what shall we do with the prison at Guantanamo?

Ernest Hemingway

Cover of "The Crook Factory"

Cover of The Crook Factory

In The Crook Factory, Dan Simmons put these words in Hemingway‘s mouth:

“‘So how would this confused mess in Cuba fit into your Mr. Hoover’s fear?’ said Hemingway. ‘People are motivated more by fear than any other emotion. Or at least that’s been my observation.'”

And that is how the GOP intends to win in November, by playing on people’s fears.

Please see Fear | Groups

The Crook Factory

American Author Ernest Hemingway aboard his Ya...

Image via Wikipedia

I have finally gotten around to reading The Crook Factory by Dan Simmons about Ernest Hemingway’s efforts in Cuba during WW2 to find Nazi spies and capture or destroy German U-boats. I had been looking forward to reading this book for a long time and it did not disappoint. For the Hemingway fan, this book brings him to life like no other biography that I have read. I have read almost all of Hemingway’s books and I feel a special connection to him since we were both born in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, probably in the same hospital.

In the Author’s Note at the back of the book, Simmons claims that 95% of the book is fact, not fiction. Interestingly, he notes that J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI had advance information about the imminent attack on Pearl Harbor, but did nothing about it because of interagency rivalries. Just like 9-11,  60 years later, the FBI had prior warning but did nothing. How little changes.

Please see Coincidences | Dan Simmons | Quality books | Song of Kali | Phases of Gravity | The Shining