Cuba, also known as the Republic of Cuba, is a country that consists of the island of Cuba (the largest of the Greater Antilles), the Isle of Youth and adjacent small islands. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean at the confluence of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Cuba is south of the eastern United States and the Bahamas, west of the Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti and east of Mexico. The Cayman Islands and Jamaica are to the south.
- If an apple, severed by the tempest from its native tree, cannot choose but fall to the ground, Cuba, forcibly disjoined from its unnatural connexion with Spain, and incapable of self-support, can only gravitate towards the North American Union.
- John Quincy Adams, Letter to Hugh Nelson (28 April 1823) included in Message from the President of the United States in Reference to the Island of Cuba (1852); paraphrased by several other American political commentators
- If Cuba and Puerto Rico are two wings of the same bird—why aren’t those two wings flying? Because Cuba and Puerto Rico are not talking. That’s why neither Cuba nor Puerto Rico is able to fly. Why? Because Puerto Rico is one wing of a bird that has two wings—and the other wing is Cuba—and those two wings don't belong to the same bird anymore.
- Giannina Braschi, "United States of Banana", 2011.
- Warfare is a means and not an end. Warfare is a tool of revolutionaries. The important thing is the revolution. The important thing is the revolutionary cause, revolutionary ideas, revolutionary objectives, revolutionary sentiments, revolutionary virtues!
- This country … abounds in that Cuba is a heaven in the spiritual sense of the word, and we prefer to die in heaven than serve in hell.
- Fidel Castro, speech at the First World Congress on Literacy (2 February 2005) paraphrasing John Milton's Paradise Lost; reprinted in Granma
- Cuba is ninety miles across the Florida Straits and was increasingly integrated in the American market for a hundred years. Then Castro severed economic and commercial ties completely and shifted the entire economy toward the Soviet Union. That was insane. Then he tried to forge cultural ties with the Soviet Union and force Cubans to learn Russian. It was a crazy project and it ruined the country.
- It is with regret that I have again to announce a continuance of the disturbed condition of the island of Cuba. No advance toward the pacification of the discontented part of the population has been made. While the insurrection has gained no advantages and exhibits no more of the elements of power or of the prospects of ultimate success than were exhibited a year ago, Spain, on the other hand, has not succeeded in its repression, and the parties stand apparently in the same relative attitude which they have occupied for a long time past. This contest has lasted now for more than four years. Were its scene at a distance from our neighborhood, we might be indifferent to its result, although humanity could not be unmoved by many of its incidents wherever they might occur. It is, however, at our door. I can not doubt that the continued maintenance of slavery in Cuba is among the strongest inducements to the continuance of this strife. A terrible wrong is the natural cause of a terrible evil.
- The existence of African slavery in Cuba is a principal cause of the lamentable condition of the island.
- The people of Cuba would be best served by a genuine democracy, where people are free to choose their leaders.
- Kennedy would have ordered nuclear retaliation on Cuba — and perhaps the Soviet Union — if nuclear weapons had been fired at United States forces.
- Robert McNamara, U.S. secretary of defense under President John F. Kennedy, according to The New York Times; On the Brink of Nuclear War, Awake! magazine, May 22, 1992.
- We are coming, Cuba, coming; we are bound to set you free! We are coming from the mountains, from the plains and inland sea! We are coming with the wrath of God to make the Spaniards flee! We are coming, Cuba, coming; coming now
- Pérez, Louis A. The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1998. Print.
- A majority of Americans actually thought that little Elián González, after his mother died trying to get him to the United States, should be sent back to slavery and brainwashing in Cuba with his father, who, of course, did not gain custody of Elián. The boy, as the Cubans have frankly admitted, is the property, like all Cuban children, of the state.
- A few moments ago, the body was treated to a report from the senator from Iowa about his recent trip to Cuba. Sounded like he had a wonderful trip visiting, what he described as, a real paradise. He bragged about a number of things that he learned on his trip to Cuba that I'd like to address briefly. He bragged about their health care system, medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant mortality rate may be even lower than ours. I wonder if the senator, however, was informed, number one, that the infant mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government. And, by the way, totalitarian communist regimes don't have the best history of accurately reporting things. I wonder if he was informed that before Castro, Cuba, by the way, was 13th in the whole world in infant mortality. I wonder if the government officials who hosted him informed him that in Cuba there are instances reported, including by defectors, that if a child only lives a few hours after birth, they're not counted as a person who ever lived and therefore don't count against the mortality rate.
- She maybe is Puerto Rican or the same thing as Cuban. I mean, they are all very hot. They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it.
- I've been to fifteen formerly communist countries, plus Cuba, which is still communist. Vietnam is the only one with good cuisine. I can't recall enjoying a single quality meal in Europe's former Communist bloc. Marxism bulldozed restaurants along with everything else, and chefs in post-Communist Europe haven't had much time to master their craft. Cuba's food is still mostly terrible, though a handful of restaurants are privately owned and offer tolerable fare. The biggest problem there is a chronic shortage of quality ingredients. Yet Vietnam, still nominally communist, somehow has outstanding food everywhere, even on the street. It must be some combination of the ingredients, the cooks, and the cuisine itself.
- I could only imagine how a Cuban would feel if he found himself whisked here from Havana with a ration card in his pocket and his state-imposed maximum wage of twenty dollars a month in his wallet. The only 'mall' I saw anywhere in Cuba was a dismal space, located inside a concrete box that looked like a parking garage and offering only the most meager selection of wares. I've been to better malls in Iraq.
- The American flag was raised over Cuba this weekend for the first time in 54 years at the official reopening of the US Embassy in Havana. Three of the Marines who lowered the flag as young men in 1961 ran it up the flagpole as old men. Diplomatic relations between our two nations have been officially restored. This is controversial in the United States, to say the least, but look: Cuba is not Iran, and it is not Syria. It certainly isn’t the Islamic State’s psychopathic 'caliphate' in Raqqa. Nothing bad is going to happen to the United States because we’re talking to Cuba again. Cuba is no longer hostile to the United States in any way that could conceivably harm us. The Castro regime is hostile to ordinary Cubans, though, no doubt about it. It still runs the island as a jailhouse state with by far the worst human rights record in the Western Hemisphere. Dissidents are routinely arrested and thrown into prison. Those who are eventually sent home live under constant total surveillance. The government stakes out their homes with intelligence agents and even video cameras. Poverty is enforced by law. The vast majority of citizens are not permitted to earn more than twenty dollars a month unless they work in the tourist sector and get tips from foreigners. They’ll go to prison if they catch and eat a lobster. All lobsters are strictly reserved for government-owned restaurants that cater to foreigners. Private Internet access is illegal.
- Cubans will either revolt against the government and bring it down or they won’t. Having diplomatic relations with Tunisia didn’t prevent people from overthrowing the crooked Ben Ali a couple of years ago. Nor did diplomatic relations with South Korea and Taiwan in the early years of the Cold War prevent those countries from transitioning to democracy from military rule. I visited Cuba in 2013. The economic reforms President Raul Castro has implemented are so marginal that they’re barely even detectable. Cuba is not communist-in-name-only like China and Vietnam. It’s still startlingly old-school. Economic activity scarcely exists. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, there’s almost nothing to buy. Cubans still live mostly on ration cards. There are no boutique shopping districts, no chain stores, no corporate billboards along the highways and certainly no big-box stores like Target. Billboards consist entirely of hysterical state propaganda. All newspapers (which is to say, both of them) are owned and controlled by the government. Dialogue doesn’t exist in that country. The state lectures and hectors while everyone else shuts up and listens. Much of the propaganda is cartoonishly anti-American, but let me tell you: ordinary people hardly ever talk smack about the United States. I didn’t hear a single complaint about we dreaded Yankee imperialists from a single person.
- Cubans make it abundantly clear that they admire what we have and would like it for themselves. Their attitudes are remarkably mature, and their knowledge of the United States and its political system is surprisingly un-distorted considering the fact that they've lived in a global media blackout and been served nothing but lies from their own government for more than a half-century. Let's just say that they're a lot more friendly and neighborly than Fidel Castro. I can't be sure about this, but I'd wager they're more pro-American than anyone else in the hemisphere. They're certainly more pro-American than Mexicans and they’re probably more pro-American than Canadians. They aren't more pro-American despite living under a communist regime. They're more pro-American because they live under a communist regime. Don't be surprised. We saw this in Europe. To this day, formerly communist Europe is vastly more pro-American than western Europe. The only exception is Serbia, partly because the United States went to war against Serbia twice during the genocidal Milosevic era, but mostly because Serbians feel a cultural and political kinship with Russia.
- Cuba is not a Caribbean version of Serbia. It’s more like a Caribbean version of Poland that hasn’t yet managed to free itself. If it had a land border with the United States, the regime almost certainly would have collapsed a long time ago. Practically every Cuban on earth would now be living in Florida. The regime should thank God, Marx and Engels that nature provided it with a permanent Berlin Wall in the form of the sea. So we have an embassy in Havana again, but all is not normal. The embargo is still firmly in place. The White House and the State Department can restore diplomatic relations on their own, but Congress decides whether or not to lift sanctions. And Congress is not in the mood. The Cuban government, for its part, insists that diplomatic relations will not be fully normalized until after the embargo is history, which is fair enough, actually. Nations with which we have truly normal relations—Canada, Chile, India, Japan and so on—are not being sanctioned by the American government. It goes without saying that the embargo hasn’t led to democracy in Cuba, though that was not its original purpose. Congress imposed it when Fidel Castro stole millions of dollars in American property after he seized power from Fulgencio Batista. The embargo was partly a punishment, but it was also a way to future-proof American assets from a thieving gangster regime. The embargo stuck around after the end of the Cold War, though, because it theoretically gave the United States a bit of leverage to bring Cuba’s political system in line with the norms in our hemisphere. It didn’t work. So maybe it is time to just scrap it. The government is spectacularly unlikely to steal American property again. Raul Castro’s second priority after keeping himself and his party in power is enriching the island. But let’s not kid ourselves. Lifting the embargo won’t lead to democracy either. It would help the Cuban economy, and it would give Americans another nearby tourist option, but it would not bring about a regime-change any more than trading with Vietnam and China have led to regime-change in those countries. Lifting the embargo would, however, dissolve whatever leverage Washington might otherwise have in the future. It would be a little like a surrender on our part. But surrender to what? Should we do it?