Thursday, March 10, 2022

March 10th: Cuba and Tibet's shared day of tragedy

We Remember

Tibetan national uprising crushed by Mao, Cuban democracy destroyed by Batista

Cubans and Tibetans share two things in common despite our profoundly different histories and religious traditions that bring us together in shared misery. March 10th is a tragic day for both nations. Although separated by seven years, March 10th is a day for somber reflection.

Both peoples suffered under tyranny since the early 1950s and seven decades later continue to struggle for freedom's restoration. China became a communist regime in 1949 and immediately began asserting territorial designs on Tibet. Communist China invaded and occupied Tibet in 1950


Cuba was a free and independent republic with a constitutional democracy until March 10, 1952 when Fulgencio Batista overthrew the democracy in a coup d'état against the last democratically elected president, Carlos Prio Socarras within days of free elections. This meant that Cuba's last free election was in 1950. Batista claimed that he carried out the coup to prevent an extreme dictatorship from taking over, but the irony is that the destruction of Cuban democracy by him created the conditions for Fidel Castro to take over seven years later.

Both Cubans and Tibetans looked to 1959 as an opportunity for democratic restoration and liberation. Instead tyranny entrenched itself. 

The Cuban nightmare began amidst the hope on January 1, 1959 that the departure of Fulgencio Batista into exile would mean a democratic restoration and an end to authoritarian tyranny instead it was the beginning of a new totalitarian communist tyranny headed by Fidel Castro. 

Cloaking itself in the legitimacy of nationalism and anti-Americanism it justified the systematic denial of human rights in the rhetoric of anti-imperialism and the “Yankee threat.”

Tibetan hopes that a national uprising that erupted in Lhasa on March 10, 1959 would drive the Chinese occupiers out of their homeland. Instead His Holiness the Dalai Lama had to flee to India to avoid imprisonment or assassination as the Chinese communists crushed the uprising.

The Castro regime claim of "anti-imperialism" proved hollow and history demonstrated that it was conditioned upon ideology. This was witnessed with the Castro regime’s support of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and later its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979

The same holds true for Tibet. Fidel Castro in his March 31, 2008 “reflection” titled “The Chinese Victory” denies that Tibet was ever independent justifying and defending the Chinese occupation of that small country. It is a shameful rewriting of history.

The Castro regime has continued this practice to the present day with Russia's repeated aggressions against its neighbors.

Vladimir Putin's attacks against Georgia in 2008Crimea in 2014 and the eight years long low intensity war in the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine, and the February 24, 2022, multipronged Russian invasion of Ukraine were all acts of aggression in violation of international law.

The Russian dictator's repeated aggressions were backed by Cuba in 20082014 and now in 2022. The Castro regime's foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez on Putin's latest invasion of Ukraine said that Russia “has the right to defend itself.

Both the Castro regime and the Chinese communists must be held accountable for their many crimes, their hypocrisy on the issue of imperialism, and the historical facts they have sought to disappear must be shared widely. 

At the same time, today, March 10th is an important day for Cubans to remember the destruction of Cuba's democracy by Fulgencio Batista, and the consequences of that coup against the democratic order that still impact Cuba today.

1 comment:

  1. Just imagine what Cuba in the late 20th century would have been like if Batista had not returned to power:
    - No Bay of Pigs invasion
    - No Moncada Barracks assault
    - No Operation Mongoose
    - Racial and socioeconomic equality of Cubans of all races
    - Guantanamo Bay Naval Base turned into a peace park for little children of different races
    - Fidel Castro would have been elected to the pre-1959 Cuban legislature

    Although Cuban Independence Day was still observed as a national holiday on May 20 throughout the Batista years, early-generation Cuban exiles who flourished, prospered, and served under Batista should think twice about celebrating Cuban Independence Day this coming May 20 because Batista, like the Castros, spit on the ideals of freedom and democracy that Jose Marti cherished. Also bear in mind that another one of the many reasons Fidel Castro called off plans for free elections in 18 months was because of the fear that Batista loyalists would return to power and undo whatever plans Fidel Castro had to promote free-of-charge schools and hospitals for rural Cubans.