11 Apr Quote of the Day
In honor of Ozzie Guillen, the manager of the Miami Marlins, who was forced to apologize today to Miami’s Cuban-American community for saying that he admired Fidel Castro’s ability to avoid being assassinated by the U.S. for five decades, who said the following?
I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.
President John F. Kennedy, 24 October 1963.
Bonus Kennedy quote from three years earlier:
Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years… and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state – destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror. Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista – hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend – at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.