Why the US War on Cuba?

Amidst all the pontificating by President Biden, the Pentagon, and the CIA about Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, a question naturally arises: Why the U.S. aggression against Cuba? 

Oh, sure, one can argue that a brutally enforced economic embargo by the most powerful regime in history against one of the smallest, most impoverished nations in the world isn’t aggression, but you’d have a hard time convincing the Cuban people of that. Ever since the U.S. embargo was imposed on Cuba more than sixty years ago, the Cuban people have suffered severe economic privation because of it. 

Yes, I know, Cuba’s socialist economic system has also been a factor in the impoverishment of Cuba. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the U.S. embargo hasn’t also been a major factor in their impoverishment. The fact is that for more than six decades, the Cuban people have been squeezed between an evil vise, with one side of the vise being socialism and the other side of the vise being the U.S. economic embargo, which, ironically, are both based on the same principle: government control over people’s economic activity. 

Make no mistake about it: the purpose of the U.S. embargo is to kill Cuban citizens by depriving them of items essential for survival. Absent killing them, the goal is to make them as poor as possible. The idea is that if Cubans are dying or suffering extreme poverty, they will rise up, oust their ruling regime, and replace it with a pro-U.S. dictatorship, one that would be absorbed into the U.S. Empire and do the bidding of the Pentagon and the CIA.

The big question — the question that every single American should be asking — is: Why? What have the Cuban government and the Cuban people ever done to the United States to warrant this brutal U.S. aggression? 

The answer is: Nothing. Neither the Cuban regime nor the Cuban people has ever done anything to the United States to warrant this brutal U.S. aggression. 

That raises a secondary question: Why haven’t the American people, in an exercise of conscience, risen up against their own government and demanded an immediate end to this brutal U.S. aggression? After all, there has been a mass uprising against Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Why not a mass uprising against the U.S. government’s aggression against Cuba?

As I point out in my new book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, the answer lies in the fact that the conversion of the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II, along with the virulent anti-Russia, anti-communist crusade that came with the conversion, ended up stultifying the consciences of the American people.That’s why many Americans are able to easily recognize, confront, and oppose evil within foreign regimes but find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to identify, confront, and oppose evil within their own regime. 

In my new book, I point to the story of the White Rose, a group of Christian college students in Nazi Germany. They rose up against their own government at the height of World War II by publishing pamphlets that identified, confronted, and opposed the evil within their own government. Most other Germans were unable to do that. Today, virtually every American easily identifies the evil of the Nazi regime and identifies with the members of the White Rose. The problem, however, is that like most Germans, they are unable to identify, confront, and oppose evil within their own government. 

The sixty-year silence against the evil of the U.S. embargo against Cuba provides a perfect example of this phenomenon. After all, we all condemn terrorism because it is based on targeting innocent people as a way to achieve a political goal. Yet, that is precisely what the U.S. embargo against Cuba does. Why can so many Americans see the evil in terrorism but not the evil in the embargo?

Moreover, there is more than just the embargo. In the 1960s, the CIA made repeated assassination attempts against Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Where was the legal or moral justification for those assassination attempts? Neither Castro nor anyone else in the Cuban government had ever attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. 

The CIA claimed that it had the legal and moral authority to murder Castro because he was a communist, one that was establishing friendly relations with Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union. Really? Where does that authority come from? It’s certainly not a power granted to the CIA or any other part of the federal government in the Constitution. Moreover, since when is it morally justified to murder someone because of his political or economic beliefs? Does this mean that American citizens have the legal and moral right to murder communists too? And why should establishing friendly relations with Russia, which President Kennedy was also doing at the time of his assassination, legally or morally justify Castro’s assassination?

The fact is that the CIA’s repeated attempts to murder Castro were evil to the core. Why can’t so many Americans, including people in the mainstream press who often poke fun at those assassination attempts, see that? They easily see the evil when they learn of assassinations by foreign regimes. Why not their own regime? The answer is: stultified consciences. 

There were also the repeated acts of terrorism within Cuba by the CIA. Americans easily identify and condemn acts of terrorism when they are committed by foreigners. Why not acts of terrorism by their own regime? The answer is: stultified consciences. 

Finally, there is something else important to note about the evil of the U.S. embargo against Cuba: It is a direct destruction of the fundamental, natural, God-given rights of the American people to travel wherever they want, spend their money however they want, and trade with and associate with anyone they want. Thus, in supporting (or remaining silent about) the U.S. embargo on Cuba, Americans have, at the same time, supported the destruction of their own liberty at the hands of their own government.

As I write in my new book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, if we are to get America back on the right road — the road to liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world — a necessary prerequisite is an elevated sense of conscience among the American people, one in which Americans are able and willing to identify, confront, and oppose the evil within their own government. When that day comes, the evil U.S. embargo against the Cuban people will finally be brought to an end.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.