Cuba Foreign Policy Lee Camp

The Real Reason the US Is Against the Entire World on Cuba

What is the point of the embargo on Cuba? What are we hoping to achieve? To punish a dead Fidel Castro for his sins? Maybe to punish a dead Che Guevara for his sins? Perhaps punish Cuban cigar makers for being so damned good?
Photo by Juan Luis Ozaez on Unsplash

By Lee Camp / Behind The Headlines

The entire world just voted to end the 60-year blockade against Cuba…except for two countries. Can you guess which ones? (Luxembourg was neither of them.)

I take you back to September 1961. The U.S. was a younger, naive nation. We drove around with children in our laps because the seatbelt law was still years away. And the top song of the day was Barry Mann’s “Who put the bomp into bomp bah bomp bah bomp?” (Turns out it was Henry Kissinger. He was a childlike 73 years old back then, and he was actually into “bomping” before he was into bombing.)

In 1961 the United States began a massive embargo against the island country of Cuba. This was just a few months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, in which the U.S. tried to retake Cuba from the communist revolutionaries who had wrested it away from the American-backed capitalist oligarchs. President Kennedy was told by the Joint Chiefs and the CIA that sending a small group of poorly armed men into Cuba would bring down the entire country, no problem.

But it became clear that the pathetic Bay of Pigs plan was actually cooked up by our military intelligence community to force JFK to invade Cuba once the invaders were captured.

However, JFK didn’t take the bait, refused to invade, and afterwards famously said he wanted to, “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” And we saw how that ended for him. Which is why I, on the other hand, am a huge fan of the CIA. I have their posters, their action figures, all their greatest hits (Salvador Allende, Patrice Lumumba, Olof Palme, Sonny Bono).

Anyway, the economic war went into effect in Cuba in the 1960s and at the same time, our CIA was trying to kill the leader of that country – Fidel Castro. In fact, he survived 638 assassination attempts, including poisoned scuba suits and exploding cigars. The CIA was watching way too much Wile E. Coyote. (Thank god they weren’t watching Pepe Le Pew, or they would’ve been sexually assaulting Castro. Although maybe then they would’ve successfully whacked him off.)

Point being, how do you think we, the United States, would’ve responded if another country tried to murder our president over 600 times? I think we all know the U.S. government would’ve made drug cartel hit jobs look like a meditation retreat where they sing songs and only eat sunshine. Yet Cuba has kept their cool. Their people have gone about their lives and created a successful country. And still, to this day, the U.S. empire continues eagerly attempting to crush them.

JFK is gone, the Soviet Union is gone, Fidel Castro is gone – the CIA took him out a few years ago with natural causes – and yet, the battle against Cuba continues. Just this month, there was another vote at the United Nations about ending the economic war. And the entire world voted 185 to 2 against the blockade of Cuba – the US and Israel were the only two bitter, irrational, belligerent countries voting against ending it. (Bolsonaro’s Brazil and Zelensky’s Ukraine abstained from the vote.)

This begs the question, what is the point of the embargo on Cuba? What are we hoping to achieve? To punish a dead Fidel Castro for his sins? Maybe to punish a dead Che Guevara for his sins? Perhaps punish Cuban cigar makers for being so damned good? (I had an American cigar last week – tasted like sucking the tailpipe of a burned-out Chevy Impala filled with dead squirrels.)

Actually, the U.S. government once admitted what our real goals are. As covered in Multipolarista, an internal memo from the State Department in 1960 said the Cuba embargo was meant “…to bring about hunger, desperation, and overthrow the government.” So our stated goal was to bring about hunger and desperation in the innocent Cuban people. And in fact, that is still the U.S. government’s intended goal with economic sanctions around the world. Just a few years ago, then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admitted it onstage at an event when talking about our sanctions on North Korea. He said, “They have had over 100 North Korean fishing boats that have drifted into Japanese waters. Two-thirds of the people on those boats have died. …They’re being sent out in the winter time to fish because there’s food shortages. And they’re being sent out to fish with inadequate fuel to get back. So we’re getting a lot of evidence that these sanctions are really starting to hurt.”

He proudly said we’re winning against North Korea because the U.S. is starving poor fishermen to death. What kind of a psychopath would say such a – you know what, don’t answer that.

So who does our economic war on Cuba impact the most? The International Labor Organization told the U.N., “The direct and indirect effects of the embargo on the Cuban economy and people affect not only the enterprises, but even more their workers and the population in general. The International Labor Organization is particularly concerned about the impacts on children, workers and the elderly.”

Children and the elderly – you know, the people I view as the real enemies. Those damn Cuban three year-olds. (If I had a nickel for every time one of them attacked me in a car park, or hurled dirty, filthy lies at my grandma, I’d be a rich man.)

So while the U.S. is busy shipping death, disease, and starvation around the world – some in Afghanistan, some in Venezuela, some in North Korea – Cuba has been busy exporting their OWN horrible products around the world, like… doctors.

Yes, as reported by Aljazeera, “Cuba has a history of sending medical teams to nations in crisis. …According to the Pan American Health Organization, between 2005 and 2017, the unit helped 3.5 million people in 21 countries affected by disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and epidemics, including the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. … Over the past 50 years, it is estimated that between 135,000 and 400,000 Cuban doctors have been sent abroad.”

So while the U.S. empire’s biggest exports are oil (which is killing our future) and weapons (which are killing our present), Cuba’s biggest export is free medical care. Hm, who do you think is on the right side of this? The people giving out drone bombs and starvation, or the people givin’ out monoclonal antibodies used to treat Ebola?

Keep in mind the number of sanctions against Jeffrey Epstein’s island when he was alive? Zero. Number of U.S. sanctions against Saudi Arabia after they committed a genocide in Yemen and murdered a Washington Post journalist? Zero. But we are still trying to crush Cuba after 60 years.

The truth is the real reason the U.S. despises Cuba is because of what Noam Chomsky called “the threat of the good example.” They are a socialist country that, despite our economic assault for six decades, has done quite well. According to the World Bank and others, Cuba has the highest literacy rate in the world – at 100%. Comparatively, the U.S. rate is 79%.

Cuba has one doctor for every 150 patients, which is the best ratio of any developed country. By comparison, for every 1000 patients in the U.K., there are 2.8 doctors. As the LA Times reported, “…the Cuban people receive free healthcare, education, housing and pensions — along with employment security. Cuba has virtually no drug trafficking, homelessness, illiteracy or malnutrition.”

This is not to say that everything in Cuba is perfect; it’s not. But the good aspects are scary to the American capitalist ruling class. For those of you who are American, imagine living a life where you never for one minute fear you’ll end up homeless or unable to pay for healthcare or drowning in student loan debt or sitting next to Andrea Mitchell on a long flight. Such a utopia is tough to even dream about. (Delta puts Andrea Mitchell next to you if you don’t pay for the upgrade.)

Plus, Cubans have a lower infant mortality rate and longer life expectancy than Americans. All of these are the real reasons that Washington has kept its boot on Cuba’s throat for 60 years.

A UN commission reported, “…the numerous United States sanctions constitute the most severe and prolonged system of unilateral coercive measures ever applied against any country…”

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Lee Camp
Lee Camp

Lee Camp is the host of the hit comedy news show “Redacted Tonight.” His new book “Bullet Points and Punch Lines” is available at and his stand-up comedy special can be streamed for free at


  1. Totally in agreement with this post. JFK was actually hoping to reopen relations with Cuba. I read an account where it claimed that Castro was in tears when he learned of JFK’s assassination. Nay-sayers claim that JFK and RFK supported the assassination plots against Fidel but the truth is that they were organized by the CIA and the Kennedys had ordered them to stop before the assassination, and had sent a French diplomat as an envoy to open up the channels of communication — get Oglesby’s book, The Yankee-Cowboy War.

    U.S. policy against Cuba also has been pushed by right-wing elites Cuban exiles in Florida who fled when Castro took control. Note, their Senator Marco Rubio. Also, on the side opposing Castro were the members of organized crime who were deported or imprisoned by Castro. Jack Ruby was in contact with mob members there after Castro took power and visited there several times in 1959. Some believe he met with Santo Trafficante (See the book Contract on America), the New Orleans mob leader who is believed to have collaborated with the CIA in the assassination of JFK, supplying hit men.

    So, the same criminals who hated Castro have infiltrated their views into U.S. Foreign Policy that continues to the present.

    Why do you think Biden’s State Department is supporting this?

    1. I think the United States hates anything that is different; anything it cannot control.
      We drove them to Communism. Hell, we drove all of them to Communism.
      When they came to the United States for help, they were told to eat dirt.
      So they went to Russia.
      We said, well, you can’t do that. And started “containment” wars. We weren’t supposed to win. Just keep it from coming beyond a certain point.

  2. Our leaders are so pathologically sick. They want to kill Assange because he reported on the use of drills, yeah the kind you put holes in wood with, used on six year old children as a torture method. That was OUR military he was reporting on. WTF! It’s hard not to be so angry that you want an armed rebellion to take those fuckers out of commission. I keep thinking I want to move to another country because this isn’t my country anymore and I hope it nose dives hard. Maybe then people of this nation will wake up and see the ugly decay and actually get their asses off their couches and into the street. One can on hope. In the meantime, I will hold my signs on a street corner, for what it’s worth.

  3. The U.S. is trying to do what it has always done: knock out the leaders of countries whose political systems it doesn’t agree with (Argentina, Indonesia, Guatemala, the Congo, Chile, Iran, Afganistan, Iraq . . . )
    Has it brought peace? No, only chaos and death.

  4. as if exiled Cuban Florida voters mean nothing??? aren’t they the main reason for the continuing US economic war against Cuba???

  5. Totally agree, and now they are going after communist/socialist China because they are now surpassing us in everything. The capitalist are terrified of how successful they are. Take a trip to China and you will be amazed.

  6. I wish the article was more informative. What are the excuses the US is now using? “Threat of a good example” seems to be one plausible motivation but there must at least be some specific set of “justifications” and excuses that get dragged out in an attempt to support US policy. What influence does the Cuban exile population in the US have?

    1. The thing about US justifications is, they are all lies. All the time, day and night, churned out everywhere by the “media” to lead the sheeple into that Great American Goodnight. Why would we need to hear them?

  7. Thank you for this article, Lee.
    It is wonderful to find someone that shares my opinion.
    Castro had a program whereby he covered all expenses for someone to get a medical degree. All expenses.
    You just had to promise you would stay and practice medicine in Cuba for five years after you graduated.
    Anything different than the United States we destroy.
    We have raised a generation of rude, mannerless children.
    And we are teaching countries the same behavior.
    We have sanctions against China. Why? Because China is not recognizing Hong Kong’s autonomy.
    Well, hum.
    They signed an agreement with the UK and China. After so many years, China and all countries would recognize Hong Kong’s autonomy. .
    BUT. Hong Kong had to write a “security law”.
    Everytime China reminded Hong Kong they needed to write a security law, Hong Kong thumbed their nose at China.
    Then they had protests and riots. Not sure why except the United States seems to be teaching these college kids to be crazy and selfish.
    And then they defaced a national symbol.
    The president walked in and took over Hing Kong without firing one shot.
    All Hong Kong had to do was write a security law. That’s all they had to do.
    They signed an agreement to do so.
    If they had fulfilled their part of the agreement, they would still be free.
    We should have been helping them write a security agreement rather than teaching them to thumb their noses at China.
    Does Hong Kong think China gave Hong Kong autonomy because China was afraid of Hong Kong?
    China is way more magnanimous than the United States. .

  8. This piece by Lee Camp is edifying of course from an American perspective, as this does amend the “real” intents for what they jokingly truly are. The tragic reality from within Cuba is the following one since I have gone there about 15 times recently ( I ‘m Québécois and planes fly continuously every day back and forth from Montréal) and that reality is the following: according to the intent of the USA’s magnates in your descriptive article, the sanctions…are finally, yes, indeed, effectively working because Trump hardened them to their zenith after Obama had given some loosening and Biden…well he fakes all he touches. People that are amongst the poorest in Cuba are presently underfed…I see it along the roads when I bicycle from city to city for weeks on end. But read here, that they are not “starving” at the strict sense of the word but their malingre state, their “consomption” as we say in French, indicates they are underfed and hungry at times intensely but more to the fact that young children are impeded in their physical development…not developing as tall and as fast physically. Yes a lot of doctors have graduated and are very competent in Cuba, that is unquestionable and their travels abroad is admirable to say the least, but there is no medication anywhere outside big centres in Cuba, empty hospital shelves, and evidently, of course, little very up to date medical and dental equipment -formal equipment that- the one we see is aged and unmaintained for lack of parts (same for airplanes when one flies from Havana to Santiago- it s a gamble to stay alive after such landing and old worn out planes claudicate…throughout clouds and winds). This is a mind-boggling material condition in 2022, of course, I m not talking about Miramar (opulent suburb of Havana) where you do get the best conditions and treatments and grocery stores have all shelves very filled up when you got US cash sent from Miami and the “family” working abroad. Also, in the last 2 years I ve seen disaster strike (first trip 1997) , as I ‘d say reports acknowledge that 100 thousand youngsters were so efficiently enticed and convinced to find cornucopia or La Corne d’Abondance of North America the Glorious in evading, that they began walking from Nicaragua off their one-way plane ticket …up to the Rio Bravo banks in Mexico, swimming accross, losing immediately upon capture by US police or border guards for 3 years “the right to return to the Patria”, moreover obliged to defame their country verbally and in writing to get the immediate special treatment offered to Cubans ‘courageously” or “genuinely” emigrating…And then begins the wait after the one-day in jail after the Rio Bravo bravade…and their wilfully choosing which one of the cities or areas to go “live” the American Dream… And quagmire begins then, that is the wait on the city corner at dawn to go work far away long 12 hour shifts passed dusk, 5- 6 days a week with some luck (somewhat illegally) at 15 dollars an hour for that one day, but that same job-begging routine returns after a few hours sleep for “some” changing-work-conditions task, day after day. Nothing free anymore. They eventually begin realizing after 3-4 months that the 500 dollar tiny room is maybe a deal, but that there is little left to send for money to “home”, no real hope for a better material existence in the short run, little hoping not to fall ill too many times during the fairy-tale White winter when snow-frost-ice storms- but splendid anyway this horrible beauty in white- shows up for many months…Then, one by one, these adventurous young males (mostly, some of these really not-so young) realize they can t really pay back the 5000 US dollars borrowed from the generous foreigner they had promised to repay within one year or the 2500 US dollars borrowed from “friends” to pay the PASSEUR or crooked Mexican profiteer that enabled them not to be returned to Cuba, but made it possible to cross the Mexican Styx where the three-headed dogs did await at the Entrance of Hell…La Patria totalmente Muerte remains their unadmirable country, and the ‘past life” of easy communist life lingers within them. But, eventually, what I have recently found, is that it appears better TO THEM NOW to be much better in Cuba than in compassionate-less America-version 2022. Too late to amend your declaration and return to family and friends because in the USA do you really have many friends when you are poor, with no car, no house, no family close, no spare money, no clothing of decent quality? I m just asking, but I know the answer. Louis Armstrong’s song “Solitude” or “Can you spare a dime” ? Some Cubans could always dream of crossing or sliding to the freezing Canadian side of the dream…but over here the Cuban refugee-closed absolutely the border therefore little probability there. One governmental mistake in a ill-advised moment destroyed all admiration for their own country: it was when, very recently, in August 2022, the black market exchange rate for the mighty US dollar decreed that is was suddenly no more 20 Cuban pesos to the dollar but 150 pesos, it meant RUIN for everyone, the new sudden rate: all salaries and all savings melted at one-sixth of the lifetime value and effort put into accumulating these. The sudden impression became for the tourist I am and will remain -perhaps- some more time…not sure- that there was no longer a single authentic Patriot in Cuba. But, truly, the love of one ‘s nation accomplishments in education and health under Fidel remain undestroyable feats…as the Cubans are capable of discernment. They understand world politics under RULE-BASED decrees dictated in all directions: and amongst the very young ones quite many are ready to throw the towel, but most mature Cubans continue, inexplicably, to love the country of their birth, with an inner rage for the opportunists in power everywhere in the world or who own businesses inland with the help of Miami influential thundering families so to speak “à la Rubio”. But it does not mean Cubans would cheer US soldiers arriving on their soil Mañana. Far from that: it would be to insult them and make them feel like Haïtians, 63 years after the Barbudos’s affront. Haïti..that island in the mist on the other side of the Santiago shore… It s a shame that in 2023 famine will reach widely Africa, poor Asia, Yemen already, Latin America mostly and probably too with such inflation, and it s a shame that the US sanctions will have finally “worked” as American minds had planned them to strike-a little late but in effect-. In Hommage to Lee Lockwell’s Castro’s Cuba, there will always remain the historical reality of this success of a group of 3 determined men and minds namely Cienfuegos, Che Guevara and Castro who did the unthinkable: defying Eisenhower-Nixon behind Batista or -Kennedy-Johnson-etc… Only Barack Obama -and it s the only positive thing I find in the 8 year presidency of this big talker-little doer (Quelle faconde chez cet homme décevant!) made Cuba’s life a little better for some years. I admire Cuba’s accomplishment aside Mandela, and I have only contempt for my own Double-minded-Nation which is still not doing enough to help Cuba while it throws our reputation in ruins for the glory of a linguistic inner quarrel and conflict lighted up by Porochenko-Zelensky and all the Back Mist nationalistic tribes in so many variants in today s hot spot Ukraine that the Poles and the Baltic people are stirring up in incendiary style to psychological exhaustion and optical illusions for the fools we are. Sanctions eventually work, but to whose benefit? Not for the millions of dispossessed and refugees everywhere on Earth.

  9. The only bit I really disagreed with was ‘Fidel Castro is gone – the CIA took him out a few years ago with natural causes’ I think you made that up. Do let me know if it was just for effect 🙂 
    Or if you have proof !

  10. Sharp, witty, and enlightening writing, thanks Lee Camp. The Exceptional Nation has heaven’s mandate to destroy any one as we see fit. No one must challenge us, all must obey immediately. We have the most influential mass media, the best religious support, overwhelming cultural forces, devastating financial weapons and the compliance of the population to be Exceptional so that the rest of the world is lesser, inferior, subservient. MAGA!!

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