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The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Op-Ed: Activist Unveils the Truth Behind America’s Cuba Policy

Where has our country gone wrong?
Pictured: Albert A. Fox Jr.
Torch Photo / Kyler Fox

Albert A. Fox Jr. is an advocate for lifting the U.S. embargo with Cuba and has faced harassment, false arrests and fabricated FBI investigations due to his stance. Fox identifies himself as a capitalist. He has a conservative view on philosophy, a moderate view on economics and a liberal view on social issues. Despite his activism, Fox does not support the Cuban government, nor does he oppose it. That is for the Cuban people to decide. 

He also happens to be my grandfather.

Throughout my youth, I was never able to fully grasp what ‘Pop’ did. I knew he traveled to Cuba regularly, but my knowledge of the island 90 miles off the coast of Florida never extended past a small Cuban-made wooden car he gifted me at a young age. That was until I joined him on one of his ventures. The Cuban people treated me with nothing but respect, going as far as to welcome me into a game of stickball on the streets of Havana. Not once was I uncomfortable or feared for my safety.

Today, I am proud to say that I share the same view as him, having educated myself on the matter. The average American citizen only knows what the media wants them to, which has led to years of mistreatment being swept under the rug. This begs the question:

How can one learn of our country’s wrongdoings?

Even a cursory study of U.S./Cuba relations reveals an astonishing amount of ‘accurate’ information regarding the propaganda and falsehoods spread regarding the Bay of Pigs saga, the Cuban missile crisis, the Mariel Boatlift, the Elian Gonzalez kidnapping and the Havana Syndrome,” Fox said.

The Gonzalez kidnapping Fox speaks of was a controversial country-wide phenomenon in 2000. Gonzalez was found floating in an inner tube off the coast of Florida following the death of his mother and others in an attempt to reach the United States from Cuba. After months of legal battles and diplomatic negotiations, federal authorities seized the six-year-old Gonzalez in a relative’s home and returned him to his father in Cuba. 

“The Elian Gonzalez saga demonstrated the strident and unreasonable attitudes of the self-appointed Cuban-American leadership, not to be confused with Cuban-Americans in general,” Fox continued. “The United States must deal with the Cuban government as it is, not how the United States wants it to be.”  

If an American citizen were to research the issue, flaws in our government’s logic become glaring. 

“From 1902 to 1959, Cuba was nothing more than a colony of the United States. We controlled everything on the island,” he said.

And control they did. 

The primary telephone company in Cuba at the time? AT&T. The main supplier of fuel? The old Esso company, now Exxon and Texaco. Who controlled all agricultural products in Cuba? The United Fruit Company, headquartered in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  

See what I’m getting at?

Among the hypocrisy is a denial of an American’s right to travel where they please. Fox referenced Dennis Rodman, the famous basketball hall-of-famer, who has developed a relationship with supreme leader Kim Jong Un through countless trips to North Korea. 

“Cuba is the only country Dennis Rodman can’t visit,” he said.

While Congress is stuck arguing over TikTok, our relationship with Cuba continues to be covered up as the Cuban people are strangled by the United States’ denial of food and medication. 

“If Cuba had gold reserves, we’d find a way to solve this problem,” Fox said. 

“American citizens can help by not believing the propaganda perpetuated by the ‘Batista fascist Cuban types’ in Miami and American politicians in Congress, whose sole motivation is political money and votes from the rich ‘Batista types.’”

If the average American were to take one look at the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, they may be frightened by Cuba solely based on their inclusion. There is not an ounce of evidence that suggests Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. 

In fact, it is quite the contrary. 

“A 2000 Pentagon report states Cuba is in no way a threat to the national security of the United States. The present policy is a relic of the Cold War and inconsistent with American values and interests,” Fox said. 

“The embargo today denies American and Cuban-American citizens the ability to interact with the Cuban people. It further denies American companies the ability to compete in the Cuban market of 11.5 million consumers.”

By listening to individuals like my grandfather, who have amassed far more knowledge on the issue than those who are paid to discuss it, one can begin to truly understand the disservice we invoke on both Cubans and Americans alike. 

“The American people need to understand the greatness of America is grossly diminished by the imposition of an immoral policy that states: “make the Cuban people suffer by denying them food and medicine and they will rise up and overthrow the Government of Cuba.’”

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About the Contributor
Kyler Fox
Kyler Fox, Managing Editor
  Kyler is a senior journalism student in his second year with The Torch serving as Managing Editor. Outside of The Torch, he is a contributor for A Daly Dose of Hoops and Last Word on Sport. When Kyler isn’t writing, you can find him catching up on the latest buzz surrounding the industry, playing basketball with his friends or checking out the latest sneaker drops. Kyler can be reached at [email protected].
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    Humberto P CapiroApr 12, 2024 at 12:03 pm

    The Cuban Americans have voted for their leaders in Congress and got them elected! Duh!