Cuban History Quotes

Quotes tagged as "cuban-history" (showing 1-30 of 149)
Fidel Castro
“The fact is, when men carry the same ideals in their hearts, nothing can isolate them - neither prison walls nor the sod of cemeteries. For single memory, a single spirit, a single idea, a single conscience, a single dignity will sustain them all.”
Fidel Castro, History Will Absolve Me

“Coat of Arms for Cuba since April 24, 1906. It was created by Miguel Teurbe Tolón and consists of a shield, crowned by a soft conical cap known as a Phrygian Cap, signifying freedom and the pursuit of liberty. The star in the middle of the cap denotes Cuba’s Independence. The same symbol is used on the seal of the United States Senate and the United States Department of the Army. The shield, supported by oak leaves on one side and laurel leaves on the other, is divided into three sections. At the top of the shield is the sun rising over Cuba, the key to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The diagonal blue and white stripes represent the Cuban flag, and the royal palm, with the Sierra Maestra Mountains looming in the background, represents the country’s abundance.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“The United States quietly began exporting food to Cuba in 2001, following the devastating hurricane Michelle. In 2000, President Clinton authorized the sale of certain humanitarian products and the United States is again the island's primary food supplier. Annual food sales to Cuba peaked at $710 million in 2008. The Latin American Working Group coordinates relief efforts with Cuba in times of need.
There has been a lengthy history binding the two countries, which should not be forgotten. American corporate abuses on the island nation is one of the overwhelming factors deterring Cuba from stabilizing affairs with the United States and the fact that Cuba’s government is a dictatorial, communistic régime stands in the way of the United States opening negotiations with them. Guantánamo Naval Base has been held for a long period of time, perhaps too long, and for questionable reasons, whereas Cuba has incarcerated people for political reasons, including some Americans, for far too long. Families have been divided and animosities have continued. Special interest groups, including a very vocal Cuban population in South Florida, continue to block the U.S. Government from initiating reasonable legislature regarding U.S. interests in Cuba, while many other countries carry on normal relations with the country.
What is happening now is a reversal and counterproductive. It would seem that now should be a good time for the U.S. and Cuba to become reasonably good neighbors again….”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“The Directorio Revolucionario (“DR”) existed during the mid-1950’s and it was a Cuban University students’ group in opposition to the dictator President Fulgencio Batista. It was one of the most active terrorist organizations in Havana. Although they were given orders not to attack the rank and file police officers, semantics became important, as their targets were no longer “assassinated,” but rather were “executed.” To them the term sounded more legally acceptable. However, regardless of how it is phrased, murder is murder!

At 3:20 on the afternoon of March 13, 1957, fifty attackers from the “DR”, led by Carlos Gutiérrez Menoyo, attacked the Presidential Palace. Menoyo had fought in the Sahara Desert against the German forces under General Rommel during World War II. By demonstrating great courage, Carlos had been decorated and given the rank of second lieutenant in the French army and was uniquely suited for this task. Now, with workers representing labor, and rebellious students from the university, they drove up to the entrance to the Presidential Palace in delivery van #7, marked “Fast Delivery S.A.” They also had two additional cars weighted down with bombs, rifles, and automatic weapons… (Read more in the Exciting Story of Cuba)”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“Batista was a rebellious non-commissioned officer in the 1933 Cuban Army and became the indisputable leader of the revolutionary faction within the military. Fulgencio Batista took over power during the bloody “Sergeants’ Revolt” and forced a military coup with the help of students and labor leaders, thus taking control of the government. He promoted himself to the rank of Colonel and summarily discharged the entire cadre of commissioned officers. Many officers fearing for their lives, barricaded themselves into the National Hotel.

The Hotel Nacional was the fanciest hotel in Cuba, but that didn’t stop Batista from shelling it, using the Cuban war ship, the SS Cuba. Those officers who were not killed outright were jailed and “pax Batistiana” began. Batista controlled the short-lived five man Presidency of Cuba, which was called “The Pentarchy of 1933.” This ruling body was followed by the Presidency of Ramón Grau San Martin, a professor of the University of Havana, who held the office for just over 100 days. Carlos Mendieta followed and stayed in power for 11 months, after which Batista set himself up as the strong man behind a continuing succession of puppet presidents. Although calling himself a “Progressive Socialist,” Batista was supported by the “Communist Party” which had been legalized in 1938. In time much of this changed!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“There is now a museum near Havana, commemorating the “Campaña Nacional de Alphabetization en Cuba” in La Ciudad Libertad or the “City of Liberty.” This museum is situated in Fulgencio Batista’s former office, in the western suburbs of Havana. The museum contains many thank-you letters that were sent to Fidel Castro with gratitude. These letters were also used by UNESCO to gauge the success of the 1961 literacy campaign. Many of these letters are now on display and can be seen along with photographs, taken around the island during that year. Additional materials including the records of all 100,000 volunteers are also proudly kept on file here.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“The City of Boston allowed us to dock at the dilapidated Mystic Wharves, right next to where the ships from the Havana Line used to tie up. Without knowing it, we were witnessing the end of an era. Steamship companies that connected Cuba with the United States were dwindling, as commercial aviation came into its own. The Havana Line was already gone, and the New York & Cuba Mail Steamship Company, commonly called the Ward Line, was a shipping company that operated from 1841 until 1954 and ran “Whoopee Cruises” during the prohibition years. Because of a number of accidents, including the fire on the SS Morro Castle off Asbury Park on September 8, 1934, the company was left hanging on by a thread. In the mid-1950’s it was still possible to buy a round trip passage from Miami to Havana for about $45.00, which was a bargain, even in those days.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Salty & Saucy Maine"

“The eldest son of Fidel Castro, Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart, a nuclear scientist better known as "Fidelito," who closely resembled his father was found dead in Havana on Thursday morning, February 1, 2018, after having taken his own life. Castro Díaz-Balart was born in 1949, when Fidel was married to Mirta Diaz-Balart. Being with his father when he triumphantly entered Havana during the Cuban Revolution, he was very popular among the people but resisted becoming involved in politics.
The 68-year-old son of Cuba’s revolutionary leader, had been suffering from depression for months according to State television in Cuba. It was reported that he had been receiving outpatient medical treatment following a hospital stay.
A nuclear physicist trained by the former Soviet Union, he had run Cuba's nuclear power program until a dispute with his father. At the time of his death, Castro Díaz-Balart was a scientific adviser for the Cuban Council of State and was vice president of Cuba’s Academy of Sciences. During the time his father was the President of Cuba "Fidelito" helped in the development of a nuclear power program in the Communist country.
He had three children, Mirta-María, Fidel Antonio and José Raúl with Natasha Smirnova his first wife whom he met in Russia. After divorcing Smirnova, he married María Victoria Barreiro from Cuba. He has three first cousins in the United States including U.S. Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart.”
Captain Hank Bracker, The Exciting Story of Cuba, Cuban History

“The major failing was that during the last years of the Batista régime, Cuba became extremely corrupt. Havana became America’s adult playground and tourists were bringing in the “Yankee Dollar.” Construction companies with the right connections were busy building new gambling casinos and hotels. Girly shows, prostitution and gaming became widespread and people in the service industry made a good income. Those people that were involved in politics or supported Batista’s rise in wealth were raking in money beyond their wildest imagination.
While the good times rolled, in the Sierra Maestra Mountains things were fermenting and the revolutionaries were gaining strength. Young people throughout the island were becoming actively involved. Older people, tired of the corruption and decadence, silently supported Fidel Castro. They may not have known what was in store for them, but they did know that Batista and his followers had hijacked their country, and they were willing to back the fresh wind blowing down from the mountains. As the revolution heated up, the Policía Nacional and Batista’s spy network headed by the Military Intelligence Service, Servicio de Inteligencia Militar, resorted to torture and executions. The newspapers always cited that the bodies found alongside remote roads, railroad tracks or ditches, were shot by unknown persons. The bombs that were heard exploding at night reminded people that these were not normal times.
Political enemies of the régime were rounded up and taken to police detention centers located around Havana. Special tribunals, Tribunales de Urgencia, were set up to deal with these prisoners. Since these jails were under the control of the local police, there was little or no accountability. Notorious police precincts such as the ones commanded by Captains Ventura and Carratalá prided themselves on the torturous pain they could inflict, using extremely imaginative methods. Most Cubans feared the police and it seemed that everyone knew of someone who had fallen into their clutches, many of whom were later found dead.”
Captain Hank Bracker, The Exciting Story of Cuba, Cuban History

“On February 17, 1898, Captain William T. Sampson, USN was the President of the Board of Inquiry, investigating the explosion that sank the USS Maine. On March 26, 1898, he was given command of the Navy’s North Atlantic Squadron, with the temporary rank of Rear Admiral. Aboard the flagship USS New York, he sailed to Havana from Key West where he bombarded the city for several days, resulting in minor damage to the city. As part of his duties, he sealed Havana harbor and supervised the blockade of Cuba.
At the time it was erroneously believed that the USS Maine was sunk by Spain. It was only recently that continuing investigation determined that the sinking was really caused by a bunker fire smoldering in the bituminous coal used for fuel. The fire heated the bulkhead separating the engine room from a magazine containing the powder bags used to fire the 10” guns. It was the resulting explosion, rather than Spanish mine that sank the USS Maine, killing 261 officers and crew out of the 355 men that manned the ship. It took over ten years before the USS Maine was refloated and towed out to sea, clearing the harbor. She was again sunk at a location, where she now rests 3,600 feet below the surface.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“Tomás Estrada Palma was a Cuban-born American citizen, who was a moderate and had worked with José Martí in New York. He became the leader of the Cuban Revolutionary Party after Marti’s death. On December 31, 1901, Tomás Estrada Palma was duly elected to become the first President of Cuba. Estrada Palma and the Cuban Congress assumed governance on May 20, 1902, which then became the official birthdate of the Cuban Republic.
In 1906, Estrada Palma appealed to the United States to intervene in the revolt that threatened his second term. As Secretary of War during the Roosevelt administration, William Howard Taft was sent to Cuba, after having been the first civilian Governor-General of the Philippines. For the short period of time from September 29, 1906, until October 13, 1906, Taft was the Provisional Governor of Cuba. During this time, 5,600 U.S. Army troops were sent to Cuba to reassert American authority, giving Taft the muscle to set up another provisional government. Later, on March 4, 1909, Taft was elected the 27th President of the United States.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“The Cuban Military includes the army, air and air defense forces, navy and various youth groups and reserve components. As a United Military Force it is called the “Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias – FAR” or “The Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces.”
“FAR” extends into the civilian sector controlling 60% of the economy. Because of the overlapping interests, it is difficult to separate the various military branches which have been and are still controlled by Raúl Castro. In his speeches he frequently has stressed the military as the people's partner in the operation of the country. The General Officer’s, have duties that extend beyond their responsibilities to the military.
Prior to the 1980’s, the Cuban military depended on the Soviet Union to support them and in return, Cuba supported the Soviet Union militarily in Africa, South America and the Middle East. Throughout the 1980’s, the amount of military equipment they received gave Cuba the most formidable military in Latin America. Because of corruption and drug trafficking by the Cuban army in 1989, a move was instituted by Raúl Castro to rout out the offenders, executing some and reassigning others to the Ministry of Interior, which became part of a much smaller army.
Presently Cuba has deepened its military training program with China. The Cuban military has been reduced to 39,000 troops however the Territorial Militia Troops, the Youth Labor Army, and the Naval Militia, now more defensive in nature, still retains the potential to make any enemy invasion costly.”
Captain Hank Bracker, The Exciting Story of Cuba, Cuban History

Hank Bracker
“The Castro rebellion had its start on July 26, 1953, with an attack on the Moncada Barracks, in Santiago de Cuba. The military success of this raid was limited, but other skirmishes followed, brought on primarily by young people and university students. A strategy of terror on the part of the Batista régime followed, but this brutal behavior backfired and led to the signing by forty-five organizations, in an open letter supporting the revolutionary July 26 Movement. From his encampment high in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, on the eastern end of the island, Fidel Castro and his rebel troops dug in and began a campaign that would eventually lead to Batista’s defeat.
For a time the United States continued to supply Batista with ships, planes, tanks and equipment. Napalm was used against the rebels and bodies filled the streets outside the Cuban capital. In March of 1958 the United States stopped the sales of arms to the Cuban government; however bodies continued to appear in increasing numbers until December 31, 1958. On December 11, 1958, the U.S. Ambassador Earl Smith informed Batista that the United States would no longer support his régime. Once again, Batista wore out his political welcome. On January 1, 1959, Batista fled Cuba by air, for the Dominican Republic. Repeating his performance of 1944, he again raided the Cuban treasury and absconded with about $300 million of personal wealth, and an estimated $700 million in art and cash. One hundred and eighty supporters accompanied him to Ciudad Trujillo. A week later on January 8, 1959, Castro and his army of revolutionaries rolled into Havana….”
Hank Bracker

“During World War I, German South-West Africa (now called Namibia) was invaded and administered by South African and British forces. Following the war, its administration was taken over by the Union of South Africa, and the territory was governed under a trusteeship granted in 1920 by the League of Nations. A request made by the Union of South Africa that they be able to incorporate the territory of South-West Africa into their sovereign boundaries was countered by the President-General of The African National Congress (ANC), Dr. AB Xuma, who on January 22, 1946, cabled the United Nations with his concerns regarding the absorption of South-West Africa into the Union of South Africa. As a result, the United Nations requested that the Union of South Africa place the territory of South-West Africa under a UN trusteeship, allowing international monitoring. The Union of South Africa rejected this request.
On August 26, 1966, having become the Republic of South Africa, it continued its jurisdiction over South-West Africa and refused to leave. As a result, a conflict began with the first clash occurring between the Republic of South Africa’s Police Force and the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia. This started what came to be known as the Border War. In 1971 the International Court of Justice, the primary judicial branch of the United Nations, based at the Peace Palace in the Hague, Netherlands, ruled that the Republic of South Africa’s jurisdiction over the Namibian Territory was illegal and that they should withdraw.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“Divorce was legalized in Maryland and Holland adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1701. On that same date the German Hohenzollern royal family was developed from former emperors, kings, princes who were descended of the Germanic kingdoms scattered throughout central Europe.

On April 9, 1865, in America, General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate States of America, ended the Civil War by surrendering to General Ulysses S. Grant, Commander of the United States Forces. It wasn’t even a week later, when on April 14th, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, while watching “Our American Cousin” at the Ford Theater. The following day, as Lincoln lay dying in Washington, D.C., Otto Von Bismarck, a conservative Prussian statesman was elevated to the rank of Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen in Europe.

During the second half of the 19th century as Bismarck ran German and dominated European history, Cuba fought for its independence from Spain. On April 25, 1898, at the start of the Industrial Revolution, the United States declared war against Spain. The century ended with turmoil in Europe, a free Cuba and the United States as the new world power!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“As Fidel Castro’s M–26–7 forces increased their attacks, the Cuban army was forced to withdraw into the larger towns for safety. This caused ever-increasing pressure on Batista. The United States government stopped supplying the Batista régime with weapons and ammunition. In 1958, in spite of an all-out attack and heavy aerial bombings upon Castro’s guerrilla forces, known as “Operation Verano,” the rebels continued advancing. At that time Batista’s Army had 10,000 soldiers surrounding the Sierra Maestra Mountains and Castro had 300 men under his command, many of them former Batista soldiers who joined the rebels after being appalled by the abuses that they were ordered to carry out. By closing off the major roads and rail lines, Castro put Batista’s forces at a severe disadvantage. On January 1, 1959, with his pockets stuffed with money and an airplane full of art, Presidente Fulgencio Batista flew the coop. Flying to the Dominican Republic before continuing to Portugal some months later, he left Anselmo Alliegro Mila to serve as Acting President. The next day he was relieved and Carlos Manuel Piedra, who had served as the senior member of the Supreme Court, was appointed Provisional President for a day. It was in accordance with the 1940 Cuban constitution, but his appointment was opposed by the new leader, Fidel Castro.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“General Mario Vargas Salinas, now retired from Bolivia’s Eighth Army Division, was one of the young army officers present at Guevara’s burial. It was his duty to accompany an old dump truck carrying the bodies of the six dead rebels, including that of “Che” Guevara, to the airstrip in Vallegrande, Bolivia. Knowing that the facts surrounding the burials were leaking out, he decided that after 28 years the world should know what had happened to “Che” Guevara’s body. At the time, Captain Vargas, who had also led the ambush in which Tamara “Tania” Bunke, Guevara’s lover, was shot dead, said that Guevara was buried early on the morning of October 11th, 1967, at the end of the town’s landing strip. After the gruesome facts became known, the Bolivian government ordered the army to find Guevara's remains for a proper burial.
General Gary Prado Salmón, retired, had been the commander of the unit that had captured Guevara. He confirmed General Vargas’ statement and added that the guerrilla fighters had been burned, before dumping their bodies into a mass grave, dug by a bulldozer, at the end of the Vallegrande airstrip. He explained that the body of “Che” Guevara had been buried in a separate gravesite under the runway. The morning after the burials, “Che” Guevara’s brother arrived in Vallegrande, hoping to see his brother’s remains. Upon asking, he was told by the police that it was too late. Talking to some of the army officers, he was told lies or perhaps just differing accounts of the burial, confusing matters even more. The few peasants that were involved and knew what had happened were mysteriously unavailable. Having reached a dead end, he left for Buenos Aires not knowing much more than when he arrived….”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“On the night of November 24, 1956, the Granma slipped her moorings with Castro’s guerrillas aboard, known as “los expedicionarios del yate Granma,” and left from Tuxpan, Veracruz, setting a course across the Yucatán Channel for southeastern Cuba. The 1,200-mile distance between Mexico and their landing point in southeastern Cuba was difficult and included 135 miles of open water and cross currents between Cape Catoche in Mexico and Cape San Antonio in Cuba. They had to stay far enough off the southern coast of Cuba to remain undetected. The overcrowded small vessel leaked, forcing everyone to take turns bailing water out of her, and at one point they lost a man overboard, which further delayed them. In all, the entire five-day trip ultimately lasted seven days. Their destination was a playa, beach, near Niquero in the Oriente Province, close to where José Martí landed 61 years prior, during the War of Independence. However, on December 2, 1956, when the Granma finally arrived at its destination, it smashed into a mangrove swamp crawling with fiddler crabs, near Los Colorados beach. They were well south of where they were supposed to meet up with 50 supporters. Having lost their element of surprise, they were left exposed and vulnerable.
After the revolution the Granma was moved to Havana and is now on display in a protected glass enclosure at the Granma Memorial, near the Museum of the Revolution. The official newspaper in Cuba is also called the Granma.
Note: Ships and boats as well as newspapers and other publications are italicized whereas memorials are not!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“The Communist Party of Cuba really had its start during the 1920’s, but not wanting to appear all too radical, the founders dropped the word “communist” and softened its name to the “Popular Socialist Party.” The more radical faction of the party eventually won out and again changed the name of their party to the more militant “Communist Revolutionary Union.” One of the primary founders and leaders of this Communist movement was our young man in Havana, “Julio Antonio Mella.” He never accepted things at face value and challenged authority whenever he felt that they were becoming abusive or self-serving. There was no doubting that he always stood out from the crowd. Not only was his influence felt among the students and faculty but he also had a reputation as an audacious ladies’ man. Being handsome, well-built, with a head of wavy brown hair and sensuous lips, he was known to have bedded many of his female followers. Some of these women said that he resembled a Grecian God. Athletically inclined, he worked out and also became a valued member of the university rowing team. The young lady that was with him when he was assassinated was Tina Modotti.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“Mario García Menocal was born on December 17, 1866, in the town of Jagüey, located southeast of Havana in the Matanzas Province of Cuba. As a young man, he was a partisan in Cuba's fight for independence and he later became a prominent conservative politician. Menocal was elected to the presidency of Cuba in 1912 and assumed the office in 1913. During his administration, he strongly supported business and corporations, as he had promised in his platform. While in office, Cuba also established its own currency, but the United States dollar continued to be the only paper money in circulation on the island until 1934.
During his second term as president of Cuba, the United States entered into World War I. During the war, due in part to his close ties to the United States and the escalating prices of sugar, Cuba experienced an economic resurgence. However, once the war ended, the sugar market plunged and the country slid into a severe recession.
While in office, García Menoca, a graduate of Cornell University, hosted the 1920 Delta Kappa Epsilon National Convention in Havana. When his presidency ended on May 20, 1921, Menocal unsuccessfully attempted to remain in politics. He died in Santiago de Cuba on September 7, 1941.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“After the war, in 1924 Gerardo Machado was elected to the Presidency. As a General during the Cuban War of Independence, he had a great deal of popular support. He was best known for rustling cattle from the Spanish Imperial Army to feed the poor. As the President of Cuba, he undertook many public projects, including the 777-mile construction of a highway, going almost the entire 782-mile length of Cuba. He developed the Capital in Havana and intended to modernize and industrialize the nation. His ambitions and admiration of fascist Benito Mussolini in Italy, caused him to overreach when he convened the legislature to extend his term in office for 6 years, without the benefit of an election. Not only had he overspent, but now he also alienated the Cuban public who denounced him as an authoritarian nationalist. Students, labor unions and intellectualists denounced him as a dictator. Due to a new worldview of Marxist thinking brought on by the Russian revolution, communism was becoming popular and gained a reasonably strong foothold in Cuba. Machado, intent on holding on to power, became more despotic. He created a secret police and resorted to torture and even assassination to control the Cuban people.
What started as a great idea ended in disaster for the Cuban people! World history shows this to be a common event. First someone like Machado or Hitler gets elected and in the end as the elected leader becomes a “despot” and takes over the country!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One"

“A high school dropout, Robert Vesco bilked and conned his way to riches. Two times Forbes magazine named Vesco as one of the 400 richest Americans. The articles simply stated that he was a thief. As a man continually on the run, he was constantly attempting to buy his way out of the many complicated predicaments he got himself into.
In 1970, Vesco made a successful bid to take over Investors Overseas Services (IOS), an offshore, Geneva-based mutual fund investment firm, worth $1.5 Billion. Employing 25,000 people and selling mutual funds throughout Europe, primarily in Germany, he thought of the company as his own private slush fund. Using the investors’ money as his own, he escalated his investment firm into a grand “Ponzi Scheme.” During this time he also made an undisclosed $200,000 contribution to Maurice Stans, Finance Chairman for President Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President, known as CREEP. To make matters worse, the media discovered that his contribution was being used to help finance the infamous Watergate burglary.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“During the mid-1930’s Jorge's father arrived in Camagüey, looking for work. Being single, he asked some of the locals where he could find a brothel with some “Fun Girls.” After getting explicit directions, he started walking along the winding streets of the city, but the maze proved more confusing than he had expected. So, instead of finding the brothel, he wound up staring at the gates of the cemetery. He was at the dead center of town!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“Investigations revealed that two Venezuelan nationals, Freddy Lugo and Hernán Ricardo Lozano, who had been employed by Luis Posada Carriles, planted the bombs that destroyed a Cuban airliner. The men admitted to the crime and confessed that they were acting under Luis Posada’s orders. During the ensuing investigation, explosives, weapons and a radio transmitter were discovered at Posada’s private detective agency, in Venezuela. Posada was arrested and jailed in Venezuela. Freddy Lugo and Hernán Ricardo Lozano were sentenced to 20-year prison terms.
It was later learned that Posada was overheard saying, “We are going to hit a Cuban airplane and Orlando has the details.” Posada was tried and while awaiting a verdict escaped from prison once again. Apparently a sizeable bribe was paid to his guards and other authorities making it possible to buy his way out dressed as a priest. Once out he fled from Venezuela to Panama and then to the United States. It was only after his return to the United States and he was assigned to Nicaragua, as a deputy to Félix Rodríguez that his CIA connection became apparent. Félix Rodríguez was the CIA Operative who helped capture “Che” Guevara in the Bolivian highlands.
After an investigation of Posada’s background by the press it became apparent that Posada was responsible for 41 bombings during the Contra conflict. By his own admission, he also planned numerous attacks against Cuba. In 1997, it was discovered that Posada was involved in a series of terrorist bombings in Cuba, with the intent of disrupting the country’s fledgling tourist industry.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“On August 12, 1933, Machado fled Cuba with ABC terrorists shooting at his airplane as it prepared to take off from the runway, leaving Cuba without any continuity of leadership. A smooth transfer of authority to the next administration became impossible in Havana.
American envoy, Sumner Welles stepped into the vacuum and encouraged Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada to accept the office of Provisional President of Cuba. Céspedes was a Cuban writer and politician, born in New York City, son of Carlos Manual de Céspedes del Castillo who was a hero of the Cuban War of Independence. Wearing a spotlessly clean, crisp white suit, Céspedes was installed as the Provisional President of Cuba, on what was his 62nd birthday.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“In 1960, the United States and the Soviet Union were locked into an idealistically-driven Cold War, pitting the Capitalistic West against the Communistic East. Cuba, unable to be self-sufficient, had to pick a side. With the United States putting economic pressure onto the relatively small country, Castro did the only thing his pride would allow. Voicing disdain for his neighbor to the north, Castro proclaimed that his ideological views paralleled those of the USSR. Meeting with the Soviet Premier Anastas Mikoyan, Castro agreed to provide the USSR with food and sugar, in return for a monetary infusion amounting to a $100 million loan, as well as industrial goods, crude oil and fertilizers. Castro’s first public admission that his revolution was socialistic was during his speech honoring the people killed in the air strikes of April 15, 1961, during the Bay of Pigs operation. The Cuban government then took over all the banks, except two Canadian ones.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“Many people believed that it was Julio Antonio Mella’s oversized ego that motivated him, but others said that he really was sincere and believed that he could bring about significant changes by his demands. There were also a number of female students known for being political radicals, who played an important part in shaping Julio’s life at that time. Rosario Guillauma (Charito) and Sarah Pascual were both close friends of Julio, as well as being fellow travelers.


The overt communist cell at the University of Havana continued to grow dramatically under his leadership and many of the university students became active members of the party. Although, during the time he was at the university he was linked to women radicals and was married to Oliva Zaldivar Freyre. However, following his marriage, it was Tina Modotti, a movie star, model, notorious spy and renowned photographer who became the love of his life!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“Marita Lorenz, born on August 18, 1939, in Bremen, Germany, was best known for her undercover work with the CIA. She was the daughter of Captain Heinrich Lorenz, master of the S/S Bremen IV, a German passenger ship, and her mother, an American actress, was related to Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Arriving in Havana on her father’s ship in 1959, she met Fidel who talked about improving the Cuban tourist business. It was obvious that he was taken by the beautiful 19-year-old brunette, and upon hearing that she was fluent in multiple languages, asked if she would translate some letters for him. She happily agreed and although continuing on to New York, she was persuaded to return to Havana to do the translations. When Castro arrived in her room, he revealed his true motives, which at the time repelled her. The next day when Castro reappeared things were vastly different.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

“Mardi Gras in Cuba was one of the most uninhibited festivals I have ever witnessed. Although I do not condone the criminal elements that existed behind the festive atmosphere, I dove into the sweeping pleasures without guilt. At my age, life was to be lived, and live it I did! Most of the people surrounding me, on the packed streets of Havana, came from the United States. It also seemed that half of the Miami Police Force was there for these unrestrained festivities.
Perhaps the excesses I witnessed are to be criticized, but it was all fun and well beyond my imagination. Everything was new and extremely exciting at the time. The many beautiful girls, who were said to have been exploited, certainly were as caught up in the euphoria as we were and enjoyed the moment every bit as much as we did. The decorated cars and beautiful floats with girls and guys waving, were followed by people dancing to the loud Latin beat. The jubilant parade wound its way along the coastal route to the Avenida Maceo, having started from the wide boulevard Calle G or Avenida de los Presidentes. Crowds of tourists and other revelers laughed and cheered. Smaller, but every bit as intense, were celebrations on other main streets such as Calle Neptuno. Everyone had a great time, and thanks to our officers, even our available time ashore was extended by an hour. I don’t think that it was abused by anyone, but the next day we were all tired and nursing hangovers.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Salty & Saucy Maine"

“Arguably, the Malecón is the most photographed street in Havana. It lies as a bulwark just across the horizon from the United States, which is only 90 treacherous miles away. It is approximately 5 miles long, following the northern coast of the city from east to west. This broad boulevard is ideal for the revelers partaking in parades and is the street used for Fiesta Mardi Gras, known in Cuba as Los Carnavales. It has also been used for “spontaneous demonstrations” against the United States. It runs from the entrance to Havana harbor at the Morro Castle, Castillo del Morro, alongside the Centro Habana neighborhood to the Vedado neighborhood, past the United States Embassy on the Calle Calzada. Since 1977, the renovated Embassy building has housed the United States Interests Section in Havana. The Malecón is also known as a street where both male and female prostitutes ply their trade. At the present time, most of the buildings that line this once magnificent coastal boulevard are in ruins, which doesn’t stop it from being a spectacular and popular esplanade for an evening walk by residents and tourists alike.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "The Exciting Story of Cuba"

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