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Hezbollah in South Florida?
January 14, 2008 3:19 PM   Subscribe

The coddled "terrorists" of South Florida. Examining our governments double standard with regard to providing a safe haven for terrorists. Alpha 66 continues to carry out attacks.
posted by skjønn (33 comments total)

 
I can actually feel some measure of understanding for thses guys, just like I can understand the motivations behind some Islamic terrorists. I lived in Dade County for two years and almost all my friends and co-workers were either Cubano exiles or their children and they all had plenty of righteous rage against Fidel Castro. Dosen't mean I condone these fuckers or anything, but I know that the anger supporting them is real.
posted by jonmc at 3:24 PM on January 14, 2008


It also hurts our nation's credibility when we declare a War on Terrorism that isn't really a War on All Terrorism, but a War on Only The Kinds of Terrorism That We Deem Against Our National Interest.
posted by jonp72 at 3:31 PM on January 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wish I had a "jon" username so it could be 3 in a row here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:34 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


No, Alpha 66 still have a hard-on for Fulgencio Batista, the mob-run casinos, and the days when they were on top--economically, religiously, and socially. All their talk of freedom is just a front to get their hands back in the till.

(NOT FIDELIST. The conservative Cubans just piss me off.)
posted by John of Michigan at 3:40 PM on January 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey, I'm not a "jon," but am I close enough?
posted by John of Michigan at 3:41 PM on January 14, 2008


jonp72: I agree, just spitballing is all.
posted by jonmc at 3:41 PM on January 14, 2008


It's never been terrorism where the US government condones it.
posted by pompomtom at 3:43 PM on January 14, 2008


John Of Michigan: I agree with you that as bad as Fidel is, Batista was worse, which is what allowed him to rise to power. I'm just saying that my Cubano friends ahd plenty of good reasons to hate Fidel (and these were not rich exiles, these were working people).
posted by jonmc at 3:43 PM on January 14, 2008


I reckon freedom = having your hand in the till.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:44 PM on January 14, 2008


flapjax at midnite: No, the working class Cuban cat in the 1950s most certainly did not have his hand in the till.

While I can't think of the author now, a really good read is the book Cuba, which details what daily life was like for the campesinos and the city dwellers. Also, you may wish to google Cuba for Beginners, by Rias. That's as Fidelist as you can get, so YMMV.
posted by John of Michigan at 3:46 PM on January 14, 2008


Man, I can't believe that this unreconstructed leftist is writing this, but I'm not 100% sure that life under Batista was worse than life under Fidel. There was crushing poverty and the ever-present scourge of religion, but, if you stayed away from politics and paid your daily bribes and went hungry every now and then, well, you'd live.

Life under Castro has the double whammy of hunger and the ever-present scourge of (not really) socialism, but there's still the possibility of being arrested, tortured, imprisoned, etc. for a real or imagined political crime.

Not that I'd like to live under either regime, of course.

When Fidel finally shuffles off to Buffalo, and Raul takes his place, it'll be interesting to see what happens. I hope the Cubans can find a middle path between the gangsters on the right and the kommisars on the left.

(Sorry for rambling. I have a soft spot in my heart for Cuba. I lived in Gitmo as a kid. Dad was naval intelligence/DIA liaison. Man, that was a paradise for a seven-year-old.)
posted by John of Michigan at 3:51 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hope the Cubans can find a middle path between the gangsters on the right and the kommisars on the left.

Me too. And I sincerely doubt that most of my friends will go back to Cuba, either. They're too thoroughly Americanized. (and just so you know, I don't know all these people because I was on some kind of mission for La Causa, I just happened to be living in Kendall, and if you live and work there, most of the people you wind up keeping company with will be Cubans.)
posted by jonmc at 3:55 PM on January 14, 2008


If you had just STFU it woulda happened, flapjax. This is why Paul Atreides didn't like the futuresight.
posted by BeerFilter at 4:00 PM on January 14, 2008


I have the same trouble sympathising with the Batistas that I have sympathising with the Dalai Lama; the lesser of two evils is still a piece of shit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:01 PM on January 14, 2008


It also hurts our nation's credibility when we ...

That boat has saaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiled a long time ago.
posted by signal at 4:01 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


flapjax at midnite: No, the working class Cuban cat in the 1950s most certainly did not have his hand in the till.

Actually, John of Michigan, I had a feeling that my comment might be easily misinterpreted. To clarify, it was meant as sarcasm, and aimed at the type of "freedom fighter" who is actually looking to get his own hand in the till, as opposed to folks who are literally fighting or agitating for freedom (basic human rights). It was in no way meant to imply that everyone against the Castro regime (or the Batista regime before that) is or was just trying to enrich themselves. The sarcasm was directly inspired by your own comment regarding Alpha 66: "All their talk of freedom is just a front to get their hands back in the till."
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:05 PM on January 14, 2008


Sorry about that BeerFilter...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:07 PM on January 14, 2008


Fuckers like the people in the Salon article already tried to bring their guns to Cuba and start an insurrection. It was called "The Bay of Pigs" and it ended hilariously.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:33 PM on January 14, 2008


"Our cells in Cuba" were responsible, said Nazario Sargen, secretary general of Alpha 66. "All the violence that's happening in Cuba has something to do with our contacts."

Awww... I remember when Al Queda was just breaking their eye-teeth. No one took them seriously, either. This organization has the makings of something great and horrible.
posted by Balisong at 4:51 PM on January 14, 2008


No, Curley, it ended tragically. Cubans died.
posted by zaelic at 4:52 PM on January 14, 2008


This post is being deliberately obtuse. Its only terrorism when they're not doing what we tell them to. These people are clearly freedom fighters.

Wait, what do you mean blowback? What's that?
posted by mullingitover at 5:02 PM on January 14, 2008


No, Curley, it ended tragically. Cubans died.

Swing and a miss!
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:12 PM on January 14, 2008


So the way to train for terrorist attacks on targets in the states is to do it in south florida and recruit a few cubans?
posted by Mitheral at 5:25 PM on January 14, 2008


There were some Cuban refugees in my then in-law family soon after Batista. They stayed with a cousin's family. It was a couple and, I think, two ten-or-twelve-year old kids.

They were disgusting. When they changed their clothes, they just dropped the old ones on the floor. After eating, dishes were left on the table. They cleaned nothing.

Well, to be fair, all those little things were done by their $8 a month maid in Cuba. It never occurred to them that REAL people picked up their clothes and washed them. Cousin's wife was pretty steamed (I remember mention of how the kid rolled off his tighty whitey into a sweaty sausage that had to be picked apart like a knot)

But at least Cuban daddy didn't try to use her for recreational sex, like in the old country.

Mercifully, they were gone after a few weeks.

So all those hard-working Cubans who hate Castro--now you know WHY they hate him so much. He is the reason they have to work. (and do laundry)(and cook)(and the sex thing)
posted by hexatron at 5:27 PM on January 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


So all those hard-working Cubans who hate Castro--now you know WHY they hate him so much. He is the reason they have to work

Yeah, every anti-Castro Cuban in miami is just a bitter ex-aristocrat. That's sophisticated analysis. Try not to assume your experience is everyone's.
posted by jonmc at 6:27 PM on January 14, 2008


"Sonia Flew" is an interesting, nuanced play about the two regimes and Operation Peter Pan -- where the US encouraged (and Castro turned a blind eye toward) the flight of 14,000 Cuban children away from their parents to the States. Florida Senator Mel Martinez is a Peter Pan child. Tori Amos wrote a song about it.
posted by msalt at 6:51 PM on January 14, 2008


Those people weren't aristocrats. I think they had a store.

Everyone had a maid
Do you think the maids had maids?
posted by hexatron at 6:52 PM on January 14, 2008


Yeah, every anti-Castro Cuban in miami is just a bitter ex-aristocrat. That's sophisticated analysis.

It's at least as sophisticated as "I, like, worked with some Cubans in Florida and shit. And they, like, totally hated Castro. And that has to be valid 'cause, like, it was their opinion, man! No judgements!"
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:02 PM on January 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Do you think the maids had maids?

Ah, after that it's maids all the way down.
posted by msalt at 7:02 PM on January 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Everybody ought to have a maid.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:00 PM on January 14, 2008


It's at least as sophisticated as "I, like, worked with some Cubans in Florida and shit. And they, like, totally hated Castro. And that has to be valid 'cause, like, it was their opinion, man! No judgements!"

Yes, I'm sure you're thoughts are very sophisticated, being as you're so well informed.
posted by Snyder at 10:39 PM on January 14, 2008


Snyder - Mayor Curley is a friend of Castro. It's Mayor Peace Love and Unity that is an enemy of Castro.

Some of us in the developed world look upon the continued embargo of Cuba as somewhat childish. You couldn't even keep up an embargo with Iraq as long as you have against Cuba for heaven's sake. Both Barrack Obama and (ahem) Ron Paul have stated that they will lift the utterly pointless embargo should they become president so here is hoping that maybe someone pulls the right lever come election time.

We are trying to move on into the 21st century here and it'd be splendid if countries*1 didn't keep trying to ruin the economies of other countries*2 because they have some bizarre distaste for bad sartorial sense, beards and/or Communism. You'd think Castro was worse than Saddam the way the US has behaved these past 46 years. Just to put that in perspective, that's the age JFK died at after spending countless lives and dollars trying to whack the hairy guerilla in Cuba's midst.

It was a fucking waste of time then and it's doubly so nowadays. Open trade with Cuba would probably have a far greater effect then tentatively supporting some whacked out exiles, half of whom have probably never even stepped on Cuban soil (except in their crazy wetsuit & night vision goggle dreams).

It makes me nucking futs watching the way the US tries to fuck around with everyone in their back yard. How's about letting people make their own decisions for a change? Don't even get me started on Haiti or the Dominican Republic.

*mutters*


*1the US
*2Cuba
posted by longbaugh at 3:32 AM on January 15, 2008


Here we have the Liberal Media, so terrified of the right wing that they a) put a notice of their source at the top, and b) put the word terrorists in scare quotes.

And the worst part is that Salon may well be the *most* liberal of the formal news outlets. The story has been out for years now, none of the major news agencies picked it up. There were a few mealy mouthed wire stories, though none used the dread "T" word, when one of the Cuban terrorists first came to the US, and all of them were careful to paint the Cuban "freedom fighters" as near saints.

I don't hate much, but I hate the traditional media in the USA. They aren't just incompetent, they're active helpers when it comes to screwing over America.
posted by sotonohito at 11:50 AM on January 15, 2008


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