Journal Entry of a Cuban American
I am a Cuban American Woman. I was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1965 with my family when I was just five years old. Many Cubans migrated to the United States when Fidel Castro, a socialist dictator, came into power. The citizens of Cuba were given a small window of time to leave the country without confrontation. Although it seems like an obvious choice to most people today, I can imagine how difficult it must have been for them to make the decision to move from their homeland to a new and unfamiliar place.
Castro’s rebellion against the prior regime was supported by the United States. However, when he embraced communism he not only lost the support of the United States he became a target for regime overthrow. The infamous Bay of Pigs fiasco was a botched attempt by the United States to support a rebellion against Castro.
The situation was further complicated by Castro’s decision to develop a close relationship with the former Soviet Union. The Soviet’s provided substantial economic aid in return for the opportunity to place nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba. The resulting showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union culminated in a United States naval blockade of Cuba. Perhaps at no time in the history of the Cold War did the world stand closer to the brink of a nuclear Armageddon. Fortunately the Soviets withdrew their missiles and the United States ceased its blockade.
This legacy of confrontation between the United States and the Castro government still to this day influences United States policy. Because of the understandable resentment and animosity of Cuban refugees and their descendants in the United States, there remains a very influential electorate adamantly opposed to any accommodations of United States foreign policy to the Castro government. There is a growing sentiment among United States foreign policy makers that now may be the time to reach some...