Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Hope That They Don't Make Senators Like This Any More

I just received a book I had sent for that was written by Jules Dubois, the Chicago Tribune journalist who arranged for the Ed Sullivan interview with Fidel Castro. I wrote about it in an earlier blog posting. If you haven’t read it, see the August 30th entry. You can find the archives on the left side of the blog main page. The title of the Dubois book is Fidel Castro. I had hoped it would have provided some more background on the Ed Sullivan interview.     

Unfortunately, that episode is not mentioned anywhere in the text. However, I did come across another American who was interviewed in Havana on December 13, 1958, sixteen days before Batista fled, and Che Guevara marched into Havana.
Senator Alan J. Ellender, Democrat of Louisiana, came to Havana for a fact finding tour.

The American government had suspended arms shipments to Batista, hoping that would result in his voluntarily giving up power. The senator took exception to the policy of President Eisenhower. He said it was strange that Belgium, France, Italy and the UK continued to supply the Cuban army. He said, “Of course I don’t know much about it, but if a nation requires weapons to maintain internal security, I personally cannot understand why they cannot be shipped. But if there were a raging civil war going on, my answer to this question would be an emphatic no.” He explained that the army needed the weapons to stop “bandits burning the sugar plantations.” He said it would be terrible for Cuba to become embroiled in a civil war, since “Cuba is too prosperous and too wonderful a little island for such a thing to happen. I am hopeful that nothing will occur.”

I wonder what the senator was thinking had been happening for the past six years. He couldn’t possibly have thought the Cuban Revolution, which had been going on for years, was merely some bandits burning fields. And I wonder what his constituents were thinking when they elected him each term from 1937 to 1972 when he died prior to the election. Even after his death, ten percent of the electorate still voted for him! It makes me wonder about the sanity of voters of Louisiana. At least the state has the best cooking in the US. Ellender Gumbo is still on the menu of the U.S. Senate dining room.

I would have enjoyed some tonight, except that it would have exceeded my 400 calorie allotment that I limited to these days. Need to keep up energy to finish the third draft of the novel. I have finished about half the draft and hope to finish it sometime this coming week.

I learned this week that in November to December 1958 the rebels received substantial shipments of war surplus guns by air drop. Convairs and DC-3s flew from Puerto Rico and other nearby places with weapon shipments. In The Death of the White Rose, Pedro, the hero, runs guns in a sailboat. Because of the air drops, I had to write a rationale for the voyage. It all worked out, but took some time to clean up the details and make it all make sense. 
The population of registered blog readers has increased to fifty-one with seventy-three following on Twitter.  Thank you all for being there. There are others who have stopped by to read as there are over 4600 page views so far. Hopefully, the universe of blog readers will continue to expand. Be sure to click on the upper left of the main page to hear some wonderful Cuban music while you read the blog. Let me know if there is anything about this project that you would like to hear about.

I hope everyone has a very happy Halloween. Send pictures of your costumes!

No comments:

Post a Comment