"Klotz" As In "Blood"

A Testament to the Insidious Impact of Florida Sunshine on Brain Matter

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Other Shoe

Filed under: What A Wonderful World — Steve @ 8:48 am

You can’t live in south Florida very long without hearing at least something about the “wet foot/dry foot” policy, regulating the way immigrants from Cuba are handled by the US government. Roughly speaking, it means that immigrants interdicted before setting foot on American land can be sent back to hell Cuba, while those who make it get to live in hell Miami. Note the bias shifting perspectives about which is what.

The policy makes nobody very happy. disty.jpgMany Cuban Americans wonder why the US would return ANY would-be Castro escapee, likening their flight to freedom to WWII era refugees from Hitler’s Germany. And many others are embittered by the special sanctuary privileges Cubans enjoy when (e.g.) Mexican workers are rounded up and run out after 15 years of residence, or Haitians are routinely declared illegals and denied entry.

Lose-Lose. It’s your government hard at work, helping you. And here’s the bill.

In a nasty little ironic twist, a third shoe has been dropped into the mix:

Cubans are migrating to the United States in the greatest numbers in over a decade, and for most of them the new way to get north is first to head west — to Mexico — in a convoluted route that avoids the United States Coast Guard.

[U]nlike Mexicans, Central Americans and others heading to the southwestern border of the United States, the Cubans do not have to sneak across. They just walk right up to United States authorities at the border, benefiting from lax Mexican enforcement and relying on Washington’s “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which gives them the ability to become permanent residents if they can reach United States soil.

Some American officials are calling this new approach — Cubans’ strolling up to border stations and seeking political asylum — dusty foot. — NY Times

“Dusty Foot!” Sounds like a country western singer, or a fungus infection, yes? (Taste-wise, is there really a distinction?)

Smugglers Entrepreneurial Mexicans have already capitalized on the immigrant law enigma. They’re coaching other Mexicans on how to speak Spanish with a Cuban accent, and concocting cover stories for them to use during interviews with American border agents. If a Mexican national can convince an agent that he’s Cuban, he walks right in.

There are a zillion ethnic jokes and insults lurking behind the scenes here — the scenario of Mexicans trying to pass for Cubans presents irresistible temptation for each to insult the other — and I invite your contributions. Meanwhile, just contemplate how the insane American wet foot/dry foot and now dusty foot policy has managed to piss off yet another entire neighboring nation, and marvel at the wisdom of our leaders.

PS Actually, there is a Dusty Foot out there. Wow. The power of teh internets.

110 Responses to “The Other Shoe”

  1. Don Funnybone Says:

    For a mexican to imitate a cuban, first thing he needs to learn is to walk upright.

  2. Elian Gonzales Says:

    All they need to do is mention Janet Reno’s name. Gets ’em right in the door. Getting out is the hard part.

  3. Wire Palladin Says:

    Imitate a Cuban? Easy. Shout at everybody, wear too much gold, and claim back home you were a doctor. Works in Miami!

  4. Ray Ed Gneck Says:

    Ain’t no difference. Keep ’em all out. We got enough already, and you guys in Miami got too many. Maybe you didn’t notice.

  5. Dave Says:

    Convoluted route? Geez, thats like a 6000 mile loop! If some poor cuban can run that distance we really should let him or her in and immediately recruit them for special operations missions! As to the Hitler reference it’s truly ironic. In the 1940s a whole shipload of jews were sent back by from Havana to Germany to their most certain death. Every country on this planet has sent back refugees to horrific situations without any remorse. Why is anyone surprised?

  6. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    It wasn’t the Cubans who sent the Jewish refugees on the St. Louis back to Europe and an uncertain future in countries soon to be overrun by Hitler. It was FDR. He refused to allow the ship to dock in the U.S.; in fact, he turned it away when it tried. Knowing that its Jewish passengers would use Cuba as a conduit to enter the U.S., FDR ordered the Cuban government not to accept them either. FDR was then running for his 3rd term and he did not want to antagonize the xenophobes and Jew-haters, which at that time constituted a sizable percentage (perhaps a majority) of both parties.

    Prior to the St. Louis, Cuba had admitted more refugees from fascism than had any other country in the Western Hemisphere, a total of more than 300,000. CUBA WITH A POPULATION OF LESS THAN 5 MILLION ADMITTED IN RAW NUMBERS MORE REFUGEES DURING THE 1930s THAN DID THE U.S. WITH A POPULATION OF 170 MILLION. Most of these refugees were Spaniards fleeing Fascism or Communism during the Spanish Civil War, but the total also included 8000 Jewish refugees from Naziism.

  7. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    There goes Tellechea rewriting history to soothe his fascist soul. FDR had nothing to do with what happened to the St Louis in Cuba. There was a scam run by the immigration czar, Manuel Benitez, that cleaned out whatever little resources the desperate refugees had. After they stole what they could, they sent the ship to hell.

    FDR, caving in to isolationists and anti-immigration forces in the US, didn’t intervene even when the St Louis approached Florida. He came up small.

    If Tellechea can point me to evidence that FDR was behind the atrocious Cuban conduct in this international scandal, I’ll read it. Otherwise it’s just some little apologist ducking responsibility for unforgivable and in this case racist behavior, which the Cubans are pretty good at.

  8. Wire Pallladin Says:

    I thought the St Louis set out for Cuba as its opriginal destination, not the US. It was only after Cuba refused to let it land that it headed for Florida, where it was also refused. That story in #6 is just wrong. Typical Castro type distortion.

  9. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Your stupidity, Bang-Bang, is a shining beacon to Wire Paladin (the 2 extra “Ls” which you use in your moniker are unnecessary).

    I don’t think that anyone with any knowledge of Cuban history would dispute the fact that FDR had the final say in this matter, not the Cubans. If he had told President Laredo Bru or Colonel Batista to let the Jews in, they would have done that. If he had told them not to let them, they would have done that.

    He certainly could have taken the humanitarian course by ordering the Cubans to admit the Jews, which would have opened the door of the U.S. to them without offending too much the xenophobes, Jew-haters and isolationists. But he did not. Not only that he actually turned the Jews away himself when the St. Louis moored off the coast of Florida. Yeah, Bang Bang, FDR “came up small.” He did nada to aid the Jews either before Kristalnacht or afterwards.

    What strikes me as funny is that Bang-Bang and his ilk will be the first to say that before the Revolution Cuban presidents were puppets of the U.S. who did its bidding. In the case of the St. Louis, however, they contend that Cuba was a superpower and the Cuban president not only independent of the U.S. but the equal of the U.S. president.

    Finally, why did the Jews sail to Cuba in the first place?

    Because no European country would admit them. This was before they had been invaded by Germany.

    If you are going to blame Cuba (the most innocent party in this affaire), spread the blame around.

    Blame Canada, for example, which also refused the Jews, and, after the outbreak of war, confined all Germans (including Jews!) in internment camps for the duration.

    And while you are passing out the blame, don’t forget the Jewish owners of The New York Times, which didn’t even report on the Holocaust until the concentration camps were liberated.

    And don’t forget Fidel Castro.

    Before 1959, there were 30,000 Cuban Jews in Cuba. Castro did to them exactly what Hitler had done to them: he stripped them of their liberty and their property (as he did to all other Cubans). For Cuban Jews, however, it was the second such displacement in 20 years. Today there are less than 100 Jews in Cuba. Even Hitler did not make Germany a “Jewish-free territory” to the extent that Castro did Cuba.

    Does anybody care to condemn Castro for it? Or for sponsoring the “Zionism Is Racism” Resolution at the United Nations in 1975? Or for allowing the PLO to have training Camps in Cuba? Or for lending military assistance to the Arab states in the Yom Kippur War?

  10. Wire Palladin Says:

    Only one extra l, Manuel. Bad typist.

    Look — the fact that the Cubans piled on to screw the jews doesn’t excuse them or anybody else. Those Jews and the captain of the St Louis anticipated a safe haven when they arrived, but got fucked over instead. (Just as later on the Cubans expected air cover from JFK, and got fucked over, too. People get fucked over all the time. It’s how the world runs.) Stop making excuses for inexcusable behavior. In the incident we’re talking about, the Cubans fucked a boatload of Jews. Period.

  11. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    If you are going to blame Cuba (the most innocent party in this affaire), spread the blame around. — Tellechea

    That’s the first sensible thing you ever said, Tellechea. There’s plenty to spread around, and a whole lot for Cuba. You mean the president of the United States ordered the Cuban immigrant director to cook up a scam to cheat the St Louis’s passengers before the they were cut adrift?

    Find me evidence that FDR ordered them out of port and I’ll believe you. Otherwise, I consider this just another apologist’s lies from the losers corner trying to make his side look a little worse.

    My people — not Jews — have been fucked over and over, even by themselves. Nobody ever stands up and takes responsiblity, let alone apologize. Cubans like you are just as bad.

  12. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Yes, there are Cubans like you who enjoy fucking their people “over and over again” as you are doing right now.

    Ok, you don’t believe that Roosevelt ordered the St. Louis out of a Cuban port. Do you believe that he did not allow them into an American port?

    In fact, while the St. Louis was circling Cuba, Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Coast Guard to trail it lest it try to make for land in the U.S.

    The Jews on the St. Louis were not interested in settling in Cuba. They just wanted to stay their till their U.S. immigration quota numbers came up. Their admission posed no kind of problem for Cuba. Thousands of other Jews had used Cuba as a conduit to the U.S. before and after them. The reason that these particular Jews were not able to do so was because of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. Roosevelt and Morgenthau, the Jewish Secretary of the Treasury, both agreed that its was more important for Roosevelt to win a third term than it was to save a boatload of Jews. The American Jewish Relief Committee even offered President Laredo Bru a $125,000 bribe (later hiked to $500,000) to let the Jewish refugees land in Cuba. He refused. The Cuban president had his orders from Roosevelt and had to obey.

  13. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Wire Paladin:

    Actually, paladin has only one “L” not 2.

    Cuba saved more Jews from the Holocaust than any nation in the Western Hemisphere.

    My country has every reason to feel proud of its generosity to these immigrants, especially when you consider that Cubans (and Americans, for that matter) did not know the full extent of the persecution of the Jews in Germany because the U.S. government and (media) purposefully concealed it so that it would have to do nothing about it.

    I am sure that if Laredo Bru had known what Roosevelt knew, he would have disobeyed Roosevelt’s orders and admitted the Jews even if that meant another landing of the Marines in Cuba.

  14. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    I’m not a Cuban, Tellechea, and I’m not fucking over any either. No, I don’t believe that Roosevelt intervened the way you say he did. I believe the corrupt Cuban government wanted to extort more money to line its own pockets that the passengers and their friends in the States could produce. That simple, and that’s what the research states…..you have something else besides your own bed time stories? Show me. Your account is a typical sneaky self-serving revision practiced by apologists for tyranny the world over from time immemorial.

    Save it for the kids and the true believers, Tellechea. I’m not buying.

  15. Wire Palladin Says:

    Palladin is my name, dickwad. Don’t tell me how to spell it.

    Here’s your statement: “Cuba saved more Jews from the Holocaust than any nation in the Western Hemisphere.”

    I think maybe there were 25,000 Jews, tops, in Cuba at any one time; 15,000 in the early 50s. More than that passed through New York every year leading up to WWII, despite the quotas. This is from the Holocaust Museum:

    By September 1939, approximately 282,000 Jews had left Germany and 117,000 from annexed Austria. Of these, some 95,000 emigrated to the United States, 60,000 to Palestine, 40,000 to Great Britain, and about 75,000 to Central and South America, with the largest numbers entering Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Bolivia. More than 18,000 Jews from the German Reich were also able to find refuge in Shanghai, in Japanese-occupied China.

    I don’t know what joy you derive from making up self-aggrandizing facts and figures, but to those of us who know something about this, it smacks of anti-Semitism or just plain ignorance. Next will you deny the holocaust?

  16. Hose B Says:

    Hey! What about the Jewbans?

  17. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Palladin (or whatever):

    If “Palladin” is your real name, you come from a long line of mispellers. In English, at least, it’s paladin. But so be it. You can call yourself whatever you want so long as it’s not fair.

    I see that the only way you have of winning an argument is with non-sequitors such as “next you will deny the Holocaust.” Idiot.

    Let’s see: Cuba in 1939 had a population of not quite 5,000,000. If it saved a total of 25,000 (or 15,000 or 8,000) Jews then it saved more Jews proportionally than you claim were saved by the United States with a population of 170,000,000. Cuba admmited one Jew per 200 of its inhabitants. For the U.S. to have done as much as Cuba did, it would have to have admitted 850,000 Jews. In fact, it admitted only 95,000.

    In addition to the Jews, Cuba admitted 300,000 refugees from Spain’s Civil War between 1931-1940 These refugees, of course, were escaping from both Communism and Fascism.

    In fact, on second consideration, I should have said that Cuba was the world’s most generous haven for refugees in the pre-war years.

  18. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    I have given you the facts. Now you can believe whatever you want. The fate of the Jews is of no interest to you. All that matters to you is bashing Cubans. Ditto for Pal[l]idin.

  19. Wire Palladin Says:

    That’s what you mean when you write “Cuba saved more Jews from the Holocaust than any nation in the Western Hemisphere.” More Jews proportionately? So the 4 Latin American nations named that actually sheltered more (many remain) count for less?

    That’s hilariously moronic. I rest my case. Go away.

  20. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    In raw numbers, Cuba sheltered more refugees than the 4 cited South American nations put together. Cuba is not mentioned on that list because bigots like yourself by continually harping on the tragedy of the St. Louis have obscured Cuba’s role in saving Jewish lives. The man most American Jews regarded as their idol was personally responsible for the fate of the passengers of the St. Louis.

    Here’s what the U.S. Jewish Holocaust Museum has to say on the subject:

    Sailing so close to Florida that they could see the lights of Miami, passengers on the St. Louis cabled President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for refuge. Roosevelt never answered the cable. The State Department and the White House had already decided not to let them enter the United States. A State Department telegram sent to a passenger stated that the passengers must “await their turns on the waiting list and then qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States.” Quotas set out in the 1924 Immigration Act strictly limited the number of immigrants who could be admitted to the United States each year. In 1939, the annual combined German-Austrian immigration quota was 27,370 and was quickly filled. In fact, there was a waiting list of at least several years. Visas could have been granted to the passengers only by denying them to the thousands of German Jews who had already applied for them. President Roosevelt could have issued an executive order to admit additional refugees, but chose not to do so for a variety of political reasons.

  21. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    Oh, look, Palladin’s a bigot, too. He doesn’t agree with Blowhard Tellechea. That’s why Cuba isn’t on the list. Bigots. Like Palladin. That proves it.

    Look how Tellechea can go find some research about FDR refusing to intervene in one matter, but he can’t find anything about FDR intervening in Cuban affairs. He just won’t accept the obvious: that Cuba’s filthy government extorted Jewish money from desperate refugees and sent them back to Europe for extermination.

    There’s no heroes in this story Tellechea. By twisting the facts and telling bedtime stores you just make it worse.

    I’m done this with til you produce some proof.

  22. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    No one “extorted Jewish money” from the refugees. President Laredo Bru in fact refused $500,000 from the U.S. Jewish Relief Commitee to admit the Jews. Why? Because Roosevelt would not allow him to admit them. Perhaps if their American sponsors had agreed to donate that half-million to FDR’s electoral campaign, FDR might have relented.

    Is the Holocaust Museum telling a “bedtime story” also? Their “story” certainly makes Roosevelt look a lot worse than mine does.

    Stop using euphemisms. Roosevelt didn’t just “refuse to intervene.” It was he who sent the St. Louis passengers back to Europe.

  23. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    You can keep saying “Roosevelt would not allow him” all you please Tellechea, but you can’t cite an authority to prove it. You’re full of shit. You’re telling tales.

    As for nobody extorting money from refugees, here’s a cut from the same source you cited about FDR refusing to take the cable:

    In Cuba in early 1939, Decree 55 had passed which drew a distinction between refugees and tourists. The Decree stated that each refugee needed a visa and was required to pay a $500 bond to guarantee that they would not become wards of Cuba. But the Decree also said that tourists were still welcome and did not need visas. The director of immigration in Cuba, Manuel Benitez, realized that Decree 55 did not define a tourist nor a refugee. He decided that he would take advantage of this loophole and make money my selling landing permits which would allow refugees to land in Cuba by calling them tourists. He sold these permits to anyone who would pay $150. Though only allowing someone to land as a tourist, these permits looked authentic, even were individually signed by Benitez, and generally were made to look like visas. Some people bought a large group of these for $150 each and then resold them to desperate refugees for much more. Benitez himself had made a small fortune in selling these permits as well as receiving money from the cruise line. Hapag had realized the advantage of being able to offer a package deal to their passengers, a permit and passage on their ship.

    The President of Cuba, Frederico Laredo Bru, and his cabinet did not like Benitez making a great deal of money – that he was unwilling to share – on the loophole in Decree 55. Also, Cuba’s economy had begun to stagnate and many blamed the incoming refugees for taking jobs that otherwise would have been held by Cubans.

    On May 5, Decree 937 was passed which closed the loophole. Without knowing it, almost every passenger on the S.S. St. Louis had purchased a landing permit for an inflated rate but by the time of sailing, had already been nullified by Decree 937.

    There’s your god damn cursed extortion Tellechea, right where you got the other quote. You’re a fraud and a liar and a sneak.

  24. Steve Says:

    All done guys? Safe to come out?

  25. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Months before the St. Louis sailed for Cuba, President Laredo Bru signed a decree requiring every immigrant to post a $500 bond to guarantee that they would not become wards of the state during a time of depression. Perfectly reasonable. The U.S. required immigrants to have sponsors who agreed to assume financial responsibility for them for 7 years before it would allow them into the country. Since few Jews had relatives in Cuba, the (refundable) bond was the only means to accommodate them.

    Most of the passengers on the St. Louis chose, instead, to attempt to enter the country as tourists for a fee of $150. Thousands of Jews had done so before them. Benítez had actually saved refugees millions by passing them through immigration as tourists. Clearly, however, they were not tourists and this ruse would eventually be discovered.

    Decree 937 closed that loophole. Still, all the passengers on the St. Louis would have been admitted on posting bond. The Jewish Relief Committee offered to do so for the 1000 who could not (26 individuals who posted bond themselves were admitted immediately).

    The total bond for the 1000 immigrants was $500,000. American Jews offered $125,000 instead. Eventually, though, they agreed to the stipulated sum, but by then it was too late. Roosevelt had already decided that the passengers should not be admitted to Cuba and had communicated that fact to President Laredo Bru, who consequently declined the $500,000. If this had been a “bribe,” it would not have been declined. But Laredo Bru could not accept it even if it had been a bribe because Roosevelt forbid him to (accept the Jews, that is).

    The Jewish passengers of the St. Louis then cabled Roosevelt begging him to intercede on their behalf and he didn’t even answer them. He wanted nothing to do with these Jews whose admission could have cost him his re-election in the isolationist xenophobic climate of the times.

    Benítez, incidentally, should be declared a “Righteous Gentile” because he saved the lives of thousands of Jews and tried his best to have the St. Louis passengers admitted as tourists to Cuba. Did he personally profit from his exertions as his detractors claim? Well, so did Oskar Schindler.

    Your “god damn cursed extortion” is a fiction and the only “fraud, liar and sneak” here is you.

  26. Steve Says:

    Still going, I see.

    Manny: I checked Lulu’s source (Holocaust Museum) and that account differs from yours. Both Wire Palladin and Lulu asked for some kind of source to compare your account with the ones they cite on-line. I’m open — what can you share with us? Where’s the authority, the 3rd party confirmation, for your account of what the Holocaust Museum clearly presents as extortion and exploitation, particularly by Benitez?

    I agree with you that the one who comes out looking worst in this is FDR, but frankly, I always thought that, and this sordid little tale, no matter whose version is accurate, doesn’t change my opinion.

  27. Rick Says:

    Wow. That request for proof sort of stopped things dead in its tracks, didn’t it, Steve?

    This whole thread is vintage Tellechea. Make up “facts,” wrap them in articulate language, and throw them out there for people to disprove. Hell, the guy went around masquerading as a 90-year-old Cuban immigrant for years until someone finally produced a late ’90’s newspaper interview of Manny by Liz Balmeseda who said he was in his late 30’s at the time of the interview.

    And people fall for it every time. Which really doesn’t surprise me as much as the fact that he is provided a forum for his crap here on this blog. Your BS Meter is usually a lot better, Steve.

    BTW, George Bush is a drug addict and is cheating on Laura. Don’t believe me?

    Prove it.


  28. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Ah, still the spurned blogger! Remember when I was, to quote your words, “the beloved Manuel A. Tellechea, Stuck on the Palmetto’s favorite?” Now that I’ve turned my back on SotP you just can’t stand it. Yes, Rick, you will never see Sitemeter numbers like those again. Get over it, buddy. Move on (no pun intended).

    For the millionth time: As to the telephone interview to which you refer, I never said that I was in my 30s to Liz Balmeseda or anybody else. She assumed that I was 38 because I state in the prologue to my translation of José Martí’s Versos sencillos/Simple Verses, which she was reviewing, that I was 38 at the time the translation was completed. Of course, there is no reason to assume that the translation was published immediately upon my completing it. I could just as well have finished the translation in Cuba 50 years ago and published it here in 1997.

    It doesn’t matter whether I’m 50 or 100. What matters, at least to you, is that you will never be the writer I am at 50 or 100.

    But why pick on me? There are millions of better writers than you. Steve, for one.

  29. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Thank God that you will never bite the goose that lays the golden eggs, or something to that effect.

  30. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    “George Bush is a drug addict and is cheating on Laura. Don’t believe me? Prove it.” — Rick

    I thought all that had already been proved.

  31. Rollo Nickels Says:

    I resemble that remark. I call Bullshit, remember? You’re the asshole who shovels it out. I love ya anyway.

  32. Steve Says:

    Now, now Rick — Manny is at the very least entertaining, and while his take on certain topics differs diametrically from mine (and plenty of others), I enjoy his presentation. Almost as much as I enjoy the head-butting with (e.g.) Lulu, Palladin, Pierre, and others whose buttons he pushes.

    Right, guys?

    Besides, when it comes to pure BS around here, nobody tops Rufus Leeking M.D. Except Rollo Nickels. Or maybe even me.

  33. Kent Standit Says:

    I didn’t learn anything from this exchange, but the insults were amusing. Happens quite a but around here.

    Manuel A.T.: Klotz is more likely to lay the goose that bites the golden eggs that the other way ’round.

  34. Rick Says:

    Manny Tellechea:It doesn’t matter whether I’m 50 or 100.

    It does when you tell everyone you’re the latter. It’s called being a liar. Look it up, T.


  35. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    It should not matter to you. But you are obsessed about my age. It’s called being an ass.

  36. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    P.S.: And, no, you don’t have to look that up.

  37. Steve Says:

    Sorry Rollo…..I think I mixed you up with B.F.D. Hard to tell the inmates apart without reading the wrist bracelets.

  38. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Is anybody here too stupid to realize that in 1939 Cuba could have made no decision in respect to the St. Louis without consulting the U.S., and that if the U.S. objected to any decision the Cubans made, the U.S. position would have prevailed in the end? Well, Roosevelt did object. He didn’t want the refugees in the U.S. and admitting them to Cuba would have amounted to the same thing. Shall I also prove to you that the earth is not flat or that Rick is a narcissist? Some things should be obvious.

  39. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    The Roosevelt administration even chastised the St. Louis passengers for using a circuitous route to get around the U.S. quota system and “elbow their way” to the front of the immigrant line! To Roosevelt they were “cheaters” who were unwilling to wait for their number to come up in Europe as their world crashed around them and they were led like sheep to slaughter by the Nazis.

  40. Wire Palladin Says:

    Can’t say if “anybody here is too stupid” to accept Castro Tellechea’s account. I do see that 3 of us, me included, keep asking C.T. to prove it, not keep saying it over and over. I see the horseshit. Where’s the beef?

    For what it’s worth, here’s an account by a scholar who says the exact opposite.

  41. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Wire Pal[l]adin:

    Very poor show.

    You are citing the Carter Institute as a source? As a source for what? Jimmy Carter’s anti-Semitism?

    The author of the article on the Saint Louis concludes:

    “The Roosevelt Administration had done all it could.”


    How about admitting the passengers of the St. Louis to the United States?

    It could have done that.

  42. Wire Palladin Says:

    Disparage the scholarship all you please, Castro Tellechea. Where’s YOURS to back up YOUR position?

    Like I said before, this whole issue is news to me. That chapter gave me some background, presented an argument, and offered evidence. You show me how it’s wrong other than by belittling Carter (who had nothing to do with it, I’ll believe it. But you don’t.

    Who’s your buddy “Rick”? Maybe he’s right about you, C.T.

  43. girlsnap Says:

    The real question is: Are you wearing a dress in that picture?

  44. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Wire Pal[l]adin:

    My scholarship, Pal[l]adin, obviously flies above your limited radar.

    Jimmy Carter is now the world’s preeminent anti-Semite. Ask the Jews (if you know any). Nothing that his Carter Center disseminates about Israel or the Jews can be believed.

    Rosen’s book seeks to exculpate FDR of all blame for the Holocaust. Of course he blames the Cubans; he blames everybody except Roosevelt, then as now the idol of liberal Jews.

    You and Rick could be great friend; you both hate Cubans and don’t know a whit about us.

  45. Payot Says:

    Mr Tallechea:

    As a Jew I’m upset about some of Jimmy Carter’s recent remarks, written and printed, about Israel and the Palestinians, but calling him the ‘world’s preeminent anti-Semite’ is just ignorant. The scholarship in the book referenced is quite good. As a student of Jewish history, I’m satisfied as to its overall accuracy, as are most others of my acquaintance.

    He doesn’t ‘blame the Cubans,’ he locates responsibility on the president and a handful of corrupt officials. There is a big difference, just as there is today.

    As for FDR and the St Louis, he erred, and certainly realized it soon afterwards. Cuba’s conduct in the affair was only marginally worse, in my judgment, although one must remember how widespread anti-Jewish sentiment was at the time. Too, clearly the Nazis had a hand in stirring the pot of hatred.

    The details of the St Louis incident can be found in many accounts, including on the site of the Holocaust Museum: http://www.ushmm.org. There is plenty of blame to go around.

  46. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Mr. Payot:

    Well-known and credible Jews have called Jimmy Carter much worse than “the world’s preeminent anti-Semite.” You know that.

    As a student of Jewish history, you must also know that prior to World War II Cuba saved the lives of thousands of Jews by granting them asylum when the U.S. would not because of its quota system.

    Yet the only time that Cuba is referenced in respect to the Jews fleeing Hitler’s persecution is when the “St. Louis” incident is held against my country.

    Well, my country happens to be blameless in this matter. The regional hagemon called the shots and Cuba obeyed. It would no doubt have been more noble to disobey Roosevelt’s orders. Unfortunately, Cuba was not in a position to do that in 1939.

    I’m glad that you realize that FDR “erred” in respect to the St. Louis. That’s more than Rosen does. His book is an apologia for Roosevelt. Or didn’t you notice?

  47. Rick Says:

    Heh. You got nuthin’, Manny.



  48. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    If this were a battlefield, I would be standing alone. The powerful and irrefutable evidence I have presented is of no use to you because you lack the logic to process it and the historical background to understand it. These I cannot supply, nor if I could would they suffice to overcome your ingrained animus towards Cubans which makes it impossible for you to judge us fairly.

  49. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    Still going on, Tellechea? Other than your own hot air, what ‘irrefutable evidence’ have you shown us? I see whole bunches from other people — some of them actually know what they’re talking about. You should try that yourself. Maybe you wouldn’t look so goddam stupid.

  50. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Bang Bang:

    The only facts in this entire debate have been supplied by me. Sadly, Bang Bang, my presence anywhere, although I don’t intend it, does tend to make other people look stupid. You, of course, don’t need my help.

  51. Wire Palladin Says:

    “The only facts in this entire debate have been supplied by me.” Castro Tellechea

    Had I been aware that CT was as delusional and, well, stuffed with shit as he obviously is, I wouldn’t have bothered to enter the discussion. However,in fairness, by following through to some of the research cited (none of it, not a scrap, provided by Castro T) I do come away with some insights about this SS St Louis affair I didn’t have before.

    Also, as Payot points out, singling out Cuba for bad behavior doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because the whole world was acting crazy at the time. Castro Tellechea doesn’t seem to appreciate Peyot’s point, all he wants to do is whine about how Cuba never gets credited for the good it does, just blamed for bad.

  52. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Wire Pa[l]adin:

    The problem is that you keep quitting this discussion in a huff and then, after you have managed to convince yourself yet again that all is not lost, you return to bury yourself even deeper in syllogisms and non sequiturs.

    I will accept no blame whatever for my country in this matter, and the more it is unfairly blamed, the more strenuously will I argue its innocence.

  53. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    An article in Time Magazine dated June 12, 1939 states that on May 5 Cuban President Fedérico Laredo Bru sighed a decree “requir[ing] specific permission of the [U.S.] Departments of State, Labor and the Treasury” for the St. Louis passengers (or any others) to land in Cuba whose ultimate destination was the United States. No such permission having been granted to the passengers of the St. Louis, the ship was turned away turned away as per Roosevelt’s orders.

    Time Magazine fails to mention that the passengers of the St. Louis had cabled President Roosevelt begging for asylum and that he refused even to answer their cable. No such cable was ever sent to President Laredo Bru because the St. Louis passengers knew, even if all of you don’t, that Roosevelt would determine their fate, not a Cuban president.

    The Time article also mentions that Cuba had received 5000 Jewish refugee in Havana over the last year and that there were a total of 25,000 Jews there already.

    It also reports that “in a half-dozen harbors in the Western Hemisphere … the St. Louis drama was being repeated.” At Veracruz, Mexico, German Jews on the Ondre were turned back, and at Buenos Aires, Argentina the Jewish refugeees on the Caporte, the Monte Olivia and the Mendoza were sent back to Germany.

    Of course, none of these ships is a byword for indifference to the plight of Jews escaping the Holocaust. Just the St. Louis. And it is the innocent Cuban people who are blamed, not Roosevelt or the leaders of any country.

    And as a final insult to the Cuban people when lists are compiled of countries that helped to rescue Jews, Cuba is always left out (see above) though proportionally it it did more than any other country on earth to save them.

  54. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    What about the U.S. Congress? What did it do to save the passengers on the St. Louis?

    Congress, controlled in both chambers by the Democrats, killed in committee the Wagner-Rogers Bill (1939) which would have saved the St. Louis passengers and an additional 20,000 Jewish orphans from extermination. This was the same Congress that repeatedly refused to pass an Anti-Lynching law.

    Know your own country’s history before you presume to criticize mine.

  55. Payot Says:

    The Time Magazine article referred to is here: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,762382-1,00.html

    I encourage everybody interested in this exchange to read it, not only for its specific content, but also to appreciate exactly how Mr. Tallechea has distorted its contents through omissions, selective quotes, and, perhaps most disturbingly, fabrication.

    Mr Tallechea writes “An article in Time Magazine dated June 12, 1939 states that on May 5 Cuban President Fed‚rico Laredo Bru sighed a decree ‘requir[ing] specific permission of the [U.S.] Departments of State, Labor and the Treasury’ for the St. Louis passengers (or any others) to land in Cuba whose ultimate destination was the United States.”

    Note that he places brackets around “U.S.” This is because the Time article makes no mention whatsoever of the US in this context. The exact unedited quote: “…and on May 5, nine days before the St. Louis sailed, hard-faced President Federico Laredo Bru had decreed that Cuba required specific permission of the Departments of State, Labor and the Treasury.” Given the context, why would those be American rather than components of the Cuban government?

    Mr Tallechea writes “The Time article also mentions that Cuba had received 5000 Jewish refugee in Havana over the last year and that there were a total of 25,000 Jews there already.” In fact, the article makes no mention of the 25,000 number at all. It is a highly inflated estimate: most research points to a maximum of 15,000 Jews living in Cuba at any one time.

    In his comment, Mr Tellechea does NOT include this passage from the same article:

    “The rumors whispered of a longstanding dispute between the Hamburg-American Line and the Cuban Government, of a growth of Cuban anti-Semitism due to the landing of 5,000 refugees in Havana during the past year.”

    I find these kinds of distortions quite disturbing on several levels. As a Jew and a student of Jewish history, I am familiar with many incidents where tyrants, racists, and their apologists in the media and academia distort the facts of science and history to serve their purpose and gain favor with the population. Jews are one of the persecuted groups that have been victims of this behavior for centuries.

    I do not fault today’s Cubans (or Cuban Americans) for the conduct of a handful of their government officials almost 70 years ago, any more than I fault today’s Germans for their Nazi past. But I do fault those who would today deny the repugnant actions of those who came before us, and seek to whitewash their morally deficient conduct to suit their own ends, whatever they are.

    I also note that throughout this sometimes heated exchange, which clearly involves parties who have locked horns previously, Mr Tellechea has steadfastly refused to provide sources for his statements, preferring instead to simply repeat himself. (Perhaps his abuse of this Time article explains why.) This is a well-known technique by tyrants the world over. While most of the world has seen the damage such conduct creates, I fear Mr. Tellechea has been left behind.

    On final note: as Mr. Tellechea properly points out, Roosevelt and the US government behaved very badly in this affair, as did most other nations at the time. There are many reasons offered, none morally acceptable in my opinion. Still, poor conduct by one entity or government does nothing to justify another’s. That lesson remains true today.

  56. Wire Palladin Says:

    Peyot: you have this exactly right. Thank you. Castro Tellechia cherry-picks what he likes, ignores what he doesn’t, and makes up the rest. Then he bangs on his chest about what a hero he is. It is intellectually dishonest and morally despicable.

    And for what? To make the actions of a 70 year old long-gone corrupt government look better than those of the United States? Everybody reviewing this matter can agree that the whole world acted terribly, singly and jointly.

    Tellechia: you’re a fraud, exposed for all to see.

    Thank you, Peyot.

  57. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Mr. Payot:

    It is you who have distorted and maliciously misrepresented the content of the Time article in order to calumniate me personally and the Cuban people in general, which you may deny is your intent but which the thrust of your argument clearly betrays as your sole objective.

    “Omissions” and “selective” quotations” because I did not quote the entire article or those passages that you wished me quote? As for “fabrications,” it is you who have misconstrued by the muted light of your ignorance or malice every quoted passage in the Time article, to wit:

    “President Fedérico Laredo Bru had decreed that Cuba required specific permission of the Departments of State, Labor and the Treasury” to admit the refugees.

    Why would President Laredo Bru require the “specific permission” of his own Departments of State, Labor and Treasury to admit the refugees? He is, after all, the president of Cuba, and, as in the U.S. and every other country, it is the cabinet secretaries who must obtain the president’s permission before acting in his name, not the other way around. Clearly, Laredo Bru’s Decree requires that Cuba obtain the “specific permission” of the U.S. Departments of State, Labor and Treasury before admitting the St. Louis refugees whose ultimate destination is the United States. That permission, given the outcome, was obviously not granted.

    “The Time article also mentions that Cuba had received 5000 Jewish refugee in Havana over the last year and that there were a total of 25,000 Jews there already.”

    This is exactly true. The Time article does in fact mention the 25,000 figure as the total number of Jews in Cuba in 1939. Read it again. And why, Payot, are you so personally invested in the “15,000” figure? Why does it seem to upset you that Cubans saved 10,000 more Jews than you had creditted them with? Here your animus against Cubans is most transparent.

    “The rumors [are] whispered of a longstanding dispute between the Hamburg-American Line and the Cuban Government, of a growth of Cuban anti-Semitism due to the landing of 5,000 refugees in Havana during the past year.”

    I do not credit unsubstantiated “rumors” (“whispered” or not) or conclusions which are not based on evidence. On what basis does Time conclude that there has been a “growth of anti-Semitism in Cuba?” It does not say. For a country with a population of less than 5 million to have accepted 25,000 Jewish refugees would indicate that Cuba was in fact remarkably free of anti-Semitism and generous beyond its means.

  58. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Wire Pal[l]idin:

    Your champion, Payot, is a paper tiger. You had better look for another as you seem unable to defend your own positions.

  59. Hose B Says:

    Interesting dispute.

    Manuel is correct that the article states there were 25,000 Jews in Havana. First page. I bet Payot missed it, as did I, because it isn’t in the same place as the 5,000 figure. Sloppy.

    Manuel asks, “Why would President Laredo Bru require the “specific permission” of his own Departments of State, Labor and Treasury to admit the refugees?” I can think of two reasons. First, to cover his own ass and say his hands arer tied. That’s what government people do all the time. Second, to wring more money out of the passengers, implying there were additional departments to be paid off besides the immigration bureau.

    I disagree 100% that the article references the US departments. But even if it does, simply because the “hard faced” Cuban president claimed he needed those permissions, what makes anybody think it’s true? Why would the Cuban president need American approval on an immigration matter?

    As for anti-semitism in Cuba, that’s unsurprising and pretty well documented. To put it bluntly, most countries hated Jews and treated them like second class citizens (or worse). The Cuban Nazi party and a former Cuban president (Grau San Martin) had just sponsored a huge rally protesting the ship’s arrival, and the influential Rivero family owned newspapers that both backed Franco in Spain and condemned Jewish “control” of European power and money. Old shit.

    I’d be interested in seeing evidence of US departments issuing those orders that Bru claimed he had to follow. Especially if, as the Time article goes on to say, Bru finally offered to let the passengers land at the Isle of Pines if they paid him enough. The whole thing sounds like horseshit to me, as does most of what comes out of the Cuban government. Especially today.

  60. Sean Says:

    The whole thrust of the Nurenberg trials was that “just following orders” is an insufficient justification for commiting immoral acts. If the excuse offered above that President Bru is innocent of evil because all he was doing was following orders — presumably from the United States — then I fear he comes out the worse, not exonerated.

    When it comes to handling the woes of European Jews, my people (the Irish) behaved no better than anybody else in this episode. At one time or another we are all guilty of something, lads, and in this sordid affair we share the shame. Manuel A Tellechea seems unable to own up to it, which sadly reflects on his grasp of the lesson.

  61. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Your argument is forced: presidents do not require permission of department heads to act in immigration matters. And President Laredo Bru signed the Decree before the St. Louis sailed. Clearly, he was not “covering his ass” by signing it. He was simply following Washington’s instructions, which is what Cuban presidents did in 1939.

    “Why would the Cuban president need American approval on an immigration matter?” Do you realize how inane that questions is and on how many levels? Let’s start with the fact that the ultimate destination of the St. Louis passengers was the United States. Or how about the fact that FDR was running for a third term at a time when the isolationists, xenophobes, and, frankly put, Jew-haters were in their apogee in the U.S., and his administration was loathe to challenge the racist quota system lest it lose the election? Finally, I doubt that the U.S. would have been willing to let a Cuban president dictate to it its immigration policy then, which is in fact what Laredo Bru would have done if he had admitted the St. Louis passengers against the objections of the U.S. Why would the U.S., which followed the St. Louis in American waters with Coast Guard ships and Navy airplanes to make sure it wouldn’t try to moor in Miami (which is precisely what its captain intended to do), have allowed the ship to discharge its passengers in Havana, which already has 25,000 Jews waiting to enter the U.S.? It wouldn’t and didn’t.

    Laredo Bru wanted to let the passengers land at the Isle of Pines, but couldn’t, since even that was unacceptable to the Americans. If Laredo Bru were interested in soliciting bribes, he would have taken the $500,000 which the Jewish Relief Committee offered him. He didn’t. The half-million ended up being paid to European governments to accept the St. Louis passengers on their return to Europe.

    Finally, there was no Cuban Nazi Party nor even an equivalent of the German-American Bund, which had millions of adherents in the U.S. in the 30s. The Rivero family, owners of Cuba’s oldest newspaper, El Diario de la Marina (1831-1959), did not editorialize against the admission of the St. Louis passengers. Its owner was an anti-Communist but not a “Fascist.” Rivero did support General Franco in Spain’s Civil War, who was not a “Fascist” either and kept Spain out of World War II. Franco also offered asylum to 60,000 Jews under Spain’s own “Law of Return” (1924) which guaranteed Spanish citizenship to all Sephardim expelled in 1492 (Franco himself was a descendent of Christianized Jews). Franco also forbade German troops to cross Spain in order to attack the English at Gibralter. Sweden, which was supposed to be “neutral” in the war, did allow the German army to cross its territory in order to invade other European countries.

    Former President Grau, who represented the opposition to the Laredo Bru government, did not lead a demonstration against the admission of the Jews from the St. Louis. That, too, is another canard, as I’ve demonstrated on my own blog.

  62. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    The Archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland ordered all church bells to be rung in Ireland when the news of Hitler’s death was announced over German Radio. Hitler, after all, was a Catholic leader and enemy of perfidious Albion. The Archbishop later regretted it — not because Hitler was Hitler but because Hitler was a suicide.

  63. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    P.S.: Sean, if Cuban President Laredo Bru was guilty of following Roosevelt’s orders, then whose orders was Roosevelt following? Hitler’s?


  64. Payot Says:

    Mr Tellechia: If you don’t want your scholarship challenged, provide your sources. Don’t leave it to others.

    The Time article does in fact mention 25,000: I missed it, even though I used software to find it. I have my doubts anyway, as other sources I’ve consulted suggest otherwise. For ex, this is from the Holocaust Museum:

    More than money, corruption, and internal power plays were at work in Cuba. The country was economically depressed, and many Cubans resented the relatively large number of refugees already in Cuba, including 2,500 Jews, who were perceived as competitors for scarce jobs.

    The Time article reports, but does not provide evidence of anti-Semitism in Cuba at the time. The article I reference here does a better job, and links from the site will provide additional background. However, as Sean correctly points out, Jews were widely reviled throughout the world, victimized by media, academicians, and politicians alike.

    Otherwise, I stand by my conclusions, and certainly deny Mr Tellechea’s accusation about my attitude regarding hatred of Cubans. In fact, I state specifically above: “I do not fault today’s Cubans (or Cuban Americans) for the conduct of a handful of their government officials almost 70 years ago, any more than I fault today’s Germans for their Nazi past.” Again, this is Mr Tellechea’s corruption of facts and ad hominem deception.

  65. Wire Palladin Says:

    Interesting site from Payot. Following up on that 25,000 number in the Time article, here’s a link from the site which tracks Jewish emigration between 1933-1940: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/media_nm.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005139&MediaId=467

    If I read it correctly, 2,900 went to Cuba. I guess the other 22,100 arrived earlier. Or later. Yeah.

    I wonder why Castro Tellechea denies the existence of a Cuban Nazi party. Guess I’ll do some research on that in my spare time.

  66. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    I have provided the only sources here relating specifically to Cuba, which you and the rest have attempted to use to your benefit without success.

    The figure reported by Time Magazine, which you all conveniently managed to miss, was 25,000 Jews in Cuba in 1939, not 2500 or 2900. Also Time reports that Cuba had received 5000 Jewish refugees the previous year (1938).

    “More than money, corruption, and internal power plays were at work in Cuba. Yes, that is correct. Roosevelt’s machinations were “at work in Cuba” and these trumped “money, corruption and internal power plays.” Show yourselves to have one whit of intelligence and acknowledge it. And, having done so, leave the Cubans alone, because your argument is with Roosevelt.

  67. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    A “Nazi Party” in Cuba!

    Would you like to provide figures on how many “Aryans” there were in Cuba in 1939?

    I bet the Jews themselves would have passed as “Aryans” in the eyes of most Cubans!

  68. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    It’s hilarious watching Tellechea invent whole histories, and when called out on it like here when people demanded he cite his sources, hearing him whine about how everybody hates the Cubans.

    Go ahead and read through this and see if it’s any more than that. I don’t see one shit-sucking word about hating Cubans. In fact, I see the opposite.

    So far he hasn’t got anything but his own version of matters to prove Roosevelt gave the order. He runs against several articles, including some by the Holocaust Museum that Payot procided. He makes it sound like the only country in the world that wasn’t anti-Semitic was Cuba — that’s credible, yeah? Then again, he says Franco wasn’t a Fascist, too.

    Nobody said FDR comes out a hero

    Let’s see it Tellechea. Find us the scholarly document that unconditionally proves FDR and/or the US government laid down the law about Cuba’s allowing those Jews to land. And then give us a real answer about the point Sean made regarding “just following orders,” because your wisecrack about FDR and Hitler make no sense.

    Anybody want to bet he actually does this? If so, I have some swampland for sale.

  69. Hose B Says:

    “Former President Grau, who represented the opposition to the Laredo Bru government, did not lead a demonstration against the admission of the Jews from the St. Louis. That, too, is another canard, as I’ve demonstrated on my own blog.” — Manuel, comment 61

    Manuel, you don’t demonstrate anything. You simply state it. Whereas the Holocaust Museum site contains the research of scholars, historians, and witnesses from around the world. And you contradict their findings.

    Using your own logic, which leads you to label anybody who disagrees with your positions as a Cuban-hater, that makes you an anti-Semite. Which I don’t believe. But that’s your own logic.

    As for Franco, having had numerous friends and relatives killed by this madman and his barbaric troops, reading your comment that he’s “not a fascist,” now I know how my Cuban relatives feel when they hear Che Guevara praised. What kind of insane revisionism are you practicing?

    And why?

  70. Alex Says:

    Just two quick notes:

    1. The Secretaries of Labor and State whose approval were required were indeed the Cuban ones, not the US (at least according to this study (PDF: http://www1.yadvashem.org/education/conference2006/Kersell,%20Nancy.pdf)

    “The owners of the “St.Louis,” the Hamburg-America Line, kneweven before the shipsailed that its passengers might have trouble disembarking in Cuba. But the passengers, who held landing certificates issued by the Cuban Director-General of Immigration, did not know that eight days before the ship sailed, Cuban President Federico Laredo Bru had issued a decree invalidating all landing certificates. Entry to Cuba required written authorization from Cuba’s Secretaries of State and Labor and the posting of a $500 bond. (The bond was waived for U.S. tourists.)”

    I don’t know why President Laredo Bru would say that he needed the approval of his own Secretaries, but it may have been just an easy excuse. Laredo Bru was really Batista’s figurehead anyway.

    I may note as well that one of the pillars of Castro’s regime’s propaganda is the idea that previous Cuban governments were beholden to US interests -“the puppet governments of the pseudo Republic” is the official denomination. I find interesting to see Tellechea corroborating this.

    2. There was indeed a Cuban Nazi Party. In defense of Batista, he was quick to outlaw it as soon as the US did (1940). I don’t know if there’s much information available on teh web, and most of what I saw in a quick 5 minute search is related to the St. Louis. They were aligned with other fascist and falangist groups, most notably “La Falange Cubana”

    Here (also pdf) is a quote from the American Jewish Yearbook:

    “With the legalization of the Communist Party on September 13, 1938, after it had been proscribed for thirteen years, the Cuban Government took the first step towards liberalizing the regime. On October 20, two other parties, the Right Wing of the “Joven Cuba” and the National Fascist Party, received legal standing. About the same time, the Cuban Nazi Party was given legal recognition, but only after it had complied with the Government request that it delete from its program clauses advocating racial discrimination. It soon became evident that many of these parties exploited their newly-won freedom of action to turn against the very Government which made their existence possible. The Government’s action also had deplorable effects on the Jewish situation. Before long, the various fascist groups embarked upon a violent anti-Jewish campaign and flooded the country with proclamations calling upon the people to rise against, and boycott, the Jews. The victory of General Franco in Spain strengthened the position of the influential but reactionary Spanish nationalists, and with them, of the entire reactionary front in Cuba. Their help was solicited by the Cuban National Fascists, headed by ex-President Grau San Martin, to create a common front against the Jews. At a meeting of the Fascist Party in Havana on May 8, 1939, which was attended by 40,000 persons, and the proceedings of which were broadcast over a national radio hook-up, Primitivo Rodriguez, executive member, openly incited the people to fight the Jews until the last one is driven out of the country. These developments caused deep depression among the Jewish population, especially in view of the fact that the National Fascists constituted the strongest single opposition party.”

  71. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    I have not used the term “Cuban-hater” in this discussion, though many here do hate Cubans besides Rick.

    Your logic fails me (or, rather, it has failed you). If I had labelled you a “Cuban-hater” (which I did not), why would that signify that I am an “anti-Semite?” If I were an “anti-Semite,” I would be cheering what Roosevelt did, not blaming him for it.

    You say you “had numerous friends and relatives killed by this madman [Franco] and his barbaric troops.” Your grandparents? Great-grandparents, perhaps? It was 70 years ago. But “friends?” People you knew as friends personally? Then you must be approaching 100. Maybe I should start mistering you.

    It was a civil war, Hose. People died. On both sides.
    The Stalinist Spanish Republic executed 7000 priests and nuns in 1936. In fact, the pope beatified yesterday 498 martyrs for the faith murdered by your heroes, the Spanish Stalinists (including on Cuban monk).

    No, Franco was not a Fascist. There was a Fascist Party in Spain and Franco did not belong to it. As I’ve already stated, Spain remained neutral in World War II at Franco’s insistence. He would not let the Nazis station troops on Spanish soil. He refused to allow the Germans even to cross Spanish territory in order to attack British-held Gibralter (which Hitler even promised to turn over to Spain, but Franco refused). And, finally, Franco is responsible for saving 60,000 Jewish lives. The Jews do not dispute this, but you, of course, will.

    By the way Cuba received 300,000 immigrants from Spain’s Civil War, from both sides. It was easier for them to immigrate to Cuba because most had relatives there unlike the Jews, whose relatives were in the U.S. In fact, it is likely that Cuba saved many of your friends and relatives who survived the Civil War.

  72. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Part of the answer to Hose applies to you as well, so read it too.

    You want a “smoking gun” that would make you believe the obvious — that Roosevelt didn’t want the Jews from the St. Louis in the U.S. or Cuba. You already believe that FDR didn’t want them in America. So why is it so hard for you to understand that he didn’t want them in Cuba either, that, in fact, FDR regarded 25,000 Jews waiting in Cuba to enter the U.S. as quite enough?

    Cuba was not the only country in the world that wasn’t anti-Semitic. I never said that. But, contrary to what the world believes because of those as yourself who perpetuate misinformation about the St. Louis, Cuba was not anti-Semitic country either.

    The myth is that it was.

    The truth is otherwise.

  73. Hose B Says:

    Manuel: No, not my friends. Friends of the family, some of whose beloved possessions are now in my custody.

    True, you did not use the term “Cuban haters.” And you completely missed my point with my analogy. Completely. But you say there are some in this discussion who hate Cubans. I don’t see anything here to confirm that — Peyot, for example, expressly addresses that issue twice — so may I assume you know the identity of these commenters? Also, do you include me among them?

  74. Sean Says:

    Manuel: I could tell you far worse stories about the Irish priesthood than that one, some of which are actually true. But what has this to do with what it is we’re bantering about?

    The plain fact, as I stated, is that to simply follow orders in the commission of evil is as morally reprehensible as committing evil on one’s own. If your Cuban president did naught but obey the evil bidding of his American counterpart, a pox on them both, not a pox on neither.

    So your defense of the former is no defense at all. Quite the counter: if true, it’s a confirmation.

  75. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    I knew that eventually you would appear at these proceedings and that it would not be to defend the honor of the Cuban people. And I am not surprised either that you are seeking to place the blame on Batista, who was not president at the time but was running for president (to which office he was democratically elected in 1940) in a coalition which included the Communist Party. Batista was also a supporter of the Republicans (i.e. Stalinists) in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and a protege of Roosevelt’s. So what you are saying, in effect, is that a left-winger with progressive sympathies that anticipated Roosevelt’s alliance with Stalin, was actually the one responsible for refusing permission for the passengers of the St. Louis to land in Cuba. The Communists’ boy. The Spanish Republicans’ boy. And, most importantly, Roosevelt’s boy. So Roosevelt’s boy in Cuba did Roosevelt’s bidding, you are claiming? How amazing!

    “I don’t know why President Laredo Bru would say that he needed the approval of his own Secretaries” to admit the Jews, you say. I don’t know either, and I don’t believe it. But he needed Batista’s approval and Batista needed Roosevelt’s. So, any way you look at it, the blame returns to Roosevelt. Always.

    Cuban presidents were “puppets” in the sense that they could not dictate America’s immigration policy, only the xenophobes in the U.S. Congress could (some things never change). The fact is that there were already 25,000 Jews in Cuba in 1939 waiting to enter the U.S. during an election year. Roosevelt did not want his “Jewish problem” to grow anymore. So he vetoed the admission of the passengers of the St. Louis.

    It appears that the Israeli groups which you quote are loathe to criticize Roosevelt (“the Jews’ best friend” is apparently still that) but are actually blaming Francisco Franco (!) for the plight of the St. Louis passengers. Incredible. Nothing that you quote from the Jewish Yearbook is to be believed. Even you know enough Cuban history to refute it and I am shocked that you would quote it. Former President Grau was “the head of the National Fascists?” Joven Cuba (founded by Guiteras) was also a Fascist front? Tell me that you know better, even if the authors of the Jewish Yearbook don’t.

  76. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    Well. Seems like Alex found a smoking gun, Telechea, but it ain’t the one in your slippery fact-dodging claw, is it.

  77. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Let’s see. Pope Pius XII paid a ransom in gold to save all of Rome’s Jews and kept 4000 Jewish escapees in his papal palace. That is, his own house. Yet Israelis regard him as a “deputy” of the Nazis and even defame (rather than honor) him at Yad Vasham.

    Cuba saved 25,000 Jews from the Holocaust, more proportionate to its population than any other country (more in raw numbers than Canada). But because Cubans were not allowed to provide asylum to the passengers on the St. Louis they were all Fascists or anti-Semites or both.

    It seems that certain Israelis have actually created a “Black Legend” about Cuba in retribution for the St. Louis.

  78. Alex Says:

    Easy on the firebreathing Manuelito. The assertion about Grau surprised me as well. But he did have ties to La Falange Cubana (he pretty much had connections with all parties and fractions he came across in his long live of a politician) so maybe that’s where it comes from.

    As for Batista, Laredo Bru, etc… I’d make a distinction between defending THEIR honor or lack of it, and “the honor of the Cuban people” as you put it. The Cuban people didn’t deserve their government then and doesn’t deserve it now.

  79. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    “The Cuban people didn’t deserve their [Batista/Laredo Bru] government then and doesn’t deserve it now.”

    So you are one of those who believe that Batista is still alive (or frozen or cloned) and ready to take over gain at any moment with the help of the Miami mafia?

    What was it that the Cuban people “didn’t deserve” in 1939? The Constitution of 1940? Democracy? The Rule of Law? The highest standard of living in Latin America?

    This is not a question of Batista’s honor, Laredo Bru’s honor, or Grau’s honor (all far more honorable men than Roosevelt, certainly). It is the honor of Cuba that concerns me (I don’t know what concerns you). I am sick and tired of seeing the St. Louis used as an excuse to depict pre-Castro Cubans as “anti-Semites” and “Fascists,” or Cuba herself as one of the responsible parties for the Holocaust. This is a canard. A Cuban patriot would refute it. One who hates his country would not.

    So where do you place yourself, Alex?

  80. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    It is a well-known fact that Alex of Stuck on the Palmetto and I will never allow each other to have the last word. Expect to have this thread grow to hundreds or thousands of comments and eventually consume your entire blog. I thought you should be warned in case you wanted to start a new blog in order to escape “The Endless Thread.”

  81. Alex Says:

    I meant they didn’t deserve the government they had then jut like they don’t deserve the one they have now.

    I don’t think any of the accounts of the St. Louis (at least the ones discussed here) say that Cubans as a people were anti-semite. If anything, they say that of the government officials, but I think the decision was more economic than anything else, i.e: the bribe wasn’t big enough.

    There were anti-semite feelings among a big part of the Cuban population at the time, which doesn’t negate the fact that Cuba accepted a large number of Jewish immigrants. So did the US, at a time where one of its more popular heroes was Lindbergh who was publicly anti-semite and pro-Nazi. I just see it as part of the phobias and contradictions of the era. It’s true also that the social thinking and currents in Cuba in the 40s were more liberal and more socially conscious than many countries.

    You can have the last word here (because historically I will. Jeje).

  82. Steve Says:

    Manny: thanks for the warning. Fact is, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every comment in this blog, even while I’m still amazed that it started as a commentary on wet foot/dry foot/dusty foot, and an invitation for people to do some good-natured ethnic ribbing.

    BTW — I agree with virtually everybody who commented here that whatever the story regarding the St Louis, it is NOT a condemnation of anybody other than the parties directly involved: FDR, the Cuban ministers, President Bru. Your leap to the conclusion that people use this incident to claim that Cuba was anti-Semitic, or responsible for the holocaust, etc., isn’t borne out by THIS exchange. The “honor of Cuba” isn’t at issue here…..and frankly I doubt that “the honor of (nation name here)” makes a whole lot sense, except as a way of demagoguing the population.

  83. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    It is the source that you yourself cited which confirmed my worst fears about the ugly implications visa-a-vis Cuba of this unfortunate affaire. Thanks to FDR’s rejection of the St. Louis (not Cuba’s) Jews apparently think, if the Jewish Yearbook is representative of their thinking, that Cuba was dominated in the 1930s by Fascists, Nazis and anti-Semites. I’m sure you laughed about that; but I am not laughing. What a monstrous canard, and, yes, what unspeakable ingratitude!

    You obviously joined this thread late. President Laredo Bru was offered $500,000 ($10 million in today’s dollars) by the Jewish Relief Committee to admit the Jews. He turned it down. The Americans did not allow him to admit them. Or, rather, one American, Frankin Delano Roosevelt.

  84. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    One sets a little ball in motion and never knows whither it will go or what it will pick up along the way.

    A nation’s honor should be as dear to every citizen as his own honor is. It is the collective honor of all its citizens that constitutes the honor of a nation.

  85. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    So let’s have a recap. Tellechea goes on and on with his undocumented bullshit about FDR, even altering a quote from a source to make himself look right, and then, when he gets confronted by a solid source that refutes his unverified version, dismissed that source as unreliable.

    Fraud, liar, intellectual cheat. Somebody save this whole exchange for posterity.

    And even when people go out of their way to separate actions by a corrupt government about 70 years ago from the citizens stuck with it, thin-skinned Tellechea takes it personally and accuses everybody of “hating Cubans.”

    More intellectual dishonesty.

    Tellechea, there are lots of people around who dislike Cubans. I’m not one of them and I tell them to their faces they’re a pack of bigots. But when they tell me why they feel like they do, they describe a stereotype that sound a whole lot like you. Makes me think, how about you?

  86. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Wow, you are quick to re-write history; I send you away several times with your tail between your legs and you return to claim a “moral victory” when you could not win a tactical one. Alright, you can be as “morally great” as you imagine, even as “morally great” as your blameless hero Roosevelt; that still doesn’t change the fact that Cubans saved 25,000 Jews from the Holocaust and would have saved 900 more if Roosevelt had not stopped them. That fact has been documented over and over here. Your own animus towards Cubans has also been documented here as has that of others.

    Don’t concern yourself about this thread being lost; I have posted it on my own blog and henceforth any googler will have both sides of the story of the St. Louis, for the first time. That, above all, is what irks you: the peace of the echo-chamber has been broken.

  87. Bang Bang Lulu Says:

    “….that still doesn’t change the fact that Cubans saved 25,000 Jews from the Holocaust and would have saved 900 more if Roosevelt had not stopped them. That fact has been documented over and over here.”

    Classic Tellechea. This is exactly, precisely, what has NOT been documented, in fact, its opposite has been. What a cowardly lying little fraud you are, and a disgrace to long-suffering Cubans the world over.

    Reprint this on your blog, too, midget.

  88. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Re-read the Time Magazine article, and don’t miss the “25,000” figure which everybody else seemed to miss and even accused me of making up, except that, as everybody later had to acknowledge, it was the right figure as cited by Time. Don’t worry, I’ll save all your inanities for posterity and for my own amusement.

  89. Wire Palladin Says:

    I think the 25,000 figure is correct. I found this:

    A large number of Jews immigrated to Cuba from 1910 until 1920, including Sephardic Jews from Turkey. Many of these Jews came from Eastern Europe and used Cuba as a stopover en route to the United States, which had a strict quota system at that time. Many decided to stay since there was little anti-Semitism in Cuba, as well as good weather. Many of the new immigrants from Europe prospered in Cuban’s garment industry. By 1924, there were 24,000 Jews living in Cuba. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Cuba.html

    Of course, it stretches it somewhat to say “Cuba saved 25,000 from the Holocaust,” as a good number of those 25,000 in 1924 were there for reasons other than fleeing oppression.

    I also think that’s the only fact Tellechea got right. His attempt to blame FDR for Cuba’s decision (manipulating the Time magazine quote, as Lulu pointed out) is both sneaky and fraudulent, as Alex demonstrated. As Sean pointed out, it’s not even a worthwhile move in terms of morality. He’s wrong about the anti-semitic rally. His only comeback is to challenge the research, but supplies none of his own to support himself. He’s wrong about the Cuban Nazi party, too.

    In fact, he’s wrong most of the time, and hilariously blind to how bad he makes himself look by not accepting evidence placed before his face, but continuing to posture as though nothing he doesn’t want to hear or learn exists.

    Happy Halloween!

  90. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Finally, you are coming to your senses, which, inevitably, means that you are coming over to my position, whether you like it or not.

    I believe I mentioned either here or on my blog (where I have copied this thread) that Cuba also helped to save Jewish refugees from the Tsarist and Ottoman empires. Many Jews, who were turned away at Ellis Island for medical and other reasons, opted to go to Cuba rather than back to Europe. Most were able to correct whatever irregularities barred them from entry into the U.S. but many did opt to remain in Cuba. [One of these immigrants, from Syria, was Fidel Castro’s maternal grandfather]. These Sephardim had no familial ties to Jews of Germany who followed them 10-30 years later.

    So, yes, Cuba, as I’ve maintained, has always been a haven for Jews. Does it surprise you? I don’t wonder from the publicity given to the St. Louis, the ship that Roosevelt turned away from the U.S. (no historian, by the way, disputes that fact) and also turned away from Cuba (which you dispute, as if one wasn’t the natural and inevitable consequence of the other).

    No “evidence has been placed before my face” here to substantiate a mythical Cuban Nazi Party (what could be more ridiculous!) or an anti-Semitic rally of 40,000 Cubans (or one percent of the island’s population, comparable to 3 million Americans!).

    The one fact which is irrefutable consists of 25,000 Jews which Cubans saved from persecution in Europe, most of whom would have died there except for the intervention of my people, who have been reviled and calumniated for being good Samaritans. From those 25,000 Jews many times that number now live who directly owe their lives to that much-maligned Caribbean island which played such an honorable role in one of mankind’s darkest hours.

    I have spoken.

    Carry on with your vilification of the noble Cuban people.

  91. Steve Says:

    Manny: What I wrote above (#82) about a “nation’s honor” is that I don’t think there is any such thing. It’s an abstract concept, a fictional construction, at the very best a metaphor. Individuals and even families may have honor (or not), but the concept becomes vacuous when ascribed to entities such as nations or races or sports teams, where it’s commonly deployed.

    Who, and what comment in this thread, is “villifying” the Cuban people?

  92. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Do not compound two different comments. My comment to you about a nation’s honor (which is one of the central beliefs of my life) has nothing to do with the vilification of the Cuban people on this thread, which I do not impute to you. After all, this started out as a post on the “Wet Foot/Dry Foot” policy and metamorphosed into a “serves you right” attack on the Cuban people vis-a-vis the St. Louis. That was never your intention and I do not hold you responsible for it. Neither will I go over this thread again simply to highlight the anti-Cuban vitriol it contains. As I’ve already pointed out, its usefulness lies in the fact that now a googler will now actually find the counter-argument to those who blame Cubans for the tragedy of the St. Louis, and that at least is a good thing.

  93. Steve Says:

    No, I wasn’t relating the two comments. The one about a nation’s honor is ontological, pure philosophy. Ideas can’t have color, run fast, or buy tickets to the opera, and nations can’t have honor, read books, or think about Mozart. In the spirit of Gilbert Ryle’s discussion of category errors.

    The thread is in fact one that pops up on Google now: I found that out trying to mine data on some of the stats and facts that were brought up.

    I never take anything personally on this blog. It’s all fun, even when nasty and distasteful. And I always appreciate your input, even when I disagree.

  94. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    To me a nation is a living organism and its honor is (or should be) the concern of all her children. Nothing “philosophical” about that.

    I also enjoy my time on your blog (usually). You have “types” here that can’t be found anywhere else and conduct affairs in a fair manner, which is more than I say of most bloggers in my acquaintance.

  95. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Paul Tibbets, the pilot who dropped the A-bomb, is dead. He was “following orders” like Laredo Bru. Except that Tibbets is a “hero” for following Truman’s orders and Laredo Bru is a “villain” for following Roosevelt’s. Obviously, the virtue of “following orders” or not following them is in the eye of the beholder.

  96. Alex Says:

    Paul Tibbets is hardly a hero. I don’t see statues, holidays named after him, memorials. Regardless, the main difference is that Tibbets was a soldier following orders of his commander in chief, Laredo Bru was following orders from the president of a different country.

    I keep finding interesting that you defend the honor of a puppet president that basically abdicated the sovereignity of Cuba.

  97. Sean Says:

    Manuel: A wrong conclusion from a flimsy premise at a moment in time during war. Add to what Alex says. I would point you instead to the “Visas for Life” diplomats and lesser officials who disobeyed their nations’ policies and assisted the emigrants.

    As you know, many there are who argue that as horrible as the bombs on Japan were, they shortened the war and saved lives.

    Have we really determined that the Cuban puppet was dancing on strings pulled by his American counterpart? I see nothing here, at any speed, that confirms this, and the state of the world at the time suggests to me that all nations were comfortable in their hatred, needing no prompting from without.

  98. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    If President Laredo Bru were the only Cuban blamed for the tragedy of the St. Louis, I would feel it to be a great injustice and would point out that Cuba, at that time in history, at least, and in matters pertaining to U.S. interests, was obliged to do as the regional hagemon wanted. I don’t think you would disagree with that, either. Do not blame Laredo Bru because he was a “puppet.” Blame Cuba’s “Good Neighbor” who pulled the strings. Remember that when Grau was sworn in as president in 1933, 29 U.S. warships were off the coast of Cuba ready to land the Marines because Grau was perceived by Washington as a “Communist” for refusing to swear allegiance to the Platt Amendment. Now, incredibly, Grau is referred to in the article that you quoted as the head of the “National Fascists.” These tendentious distortions of Cuban history make everything else questionable.

    But it goes far beyond Laredo Bru. The Cuban nation and the Cuban people are singled out always as an exceptional case of indifference to the plight of the Jews at this crucial moment. The St. Louis is always cited as proof of this; rarely is any mention made of the fact that Cuba provided a haven to 25,000 Jews, more proportionally than any other country, more in raw numbers than that vast barren British commonwealth known as Canada, which actually interned its Jews as “enemy aliens” for the duration of the war.

    Nobody on this thread knew of the 25,000 Jews saved by Cuba until I mentioned it and then all denied it. Of course, they had never been told differently.

    As a Cuban and one, I suppose, who feels some pride in that fact, you should not be indifferent to these canards and fight them as I do.

  99. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Have you been asleep? Different time zones, perhaps? It has already been established that Cuba saved 25,000 Jews. It would have saved the St. Louis’s 900 if Roosevelt had not prevented it. 900 Jews waiting in Cuba to enter the U.S. would have been as great a political liability in an election year, from Roosevelt’s perspective, as admitting the 900 into the U.S directly. That’s why he didn’t allow either.

    Tibbets will be buried with full military honors, with the president in attendance and representatives from all the Allied countries. (Although presumably not the Japanese ambassador). He is a hero for one thing — following orders. No man has ever killed so many people in such a short span of time in all human history. Yet you feel no compunction about portraying Laredo Bru as a war criminal (although there was no war at the time) while refusing to condemn Tibbets as such and even making excuses for his conduct.

    By the way, how many Jews did Ireland save prior to the Holocaust?

  100. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Well, there we are, Steve. 100 comments. It is, as I said, the Endless Thread, which will overwhelm and consume your blog and maybe mine too (from inattendance). I suppose I could stop.

  101. Sean Says:

    I suppose it might have passed me by somehow, Manuel, but I just did not see anywhere here, or anywhere else for that matter, the definitive black-and-white statement that FDR was the puppeteer you claim he was. I do note, on the contrary, numerous demands that you provide the proof of your claim. Perhaps you confuse the two? Demand for proof with proof? If so, lad, you yourself might be 100 proof. I’ll drink to that.

    Nor anywhere do I call Laredo Bru a war criminal. Not here either.

    Ireland was no refuge for the persecuted Jews of Europe, and it’s a liar who would tell you different. Our contempt for the British blinded us to common sense and decency. But where is the link between 25,000 Jews in Cuba in 1924 (#89 above), when Hitler was in prison, and Cuba saving them? Seems they were there for other reasons as well, does it not?

    Tibbets, whose name I didn’t know until today, needs no excuses from the likes of me. Just another soldier doing his nation’s work of slaughtering the citizens and soldiers of another’s.

  102. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    The Time article which I cited states that in 1938 Cuba had given asylum to 5,000 Jewish refugees. It had done so, likewise, in 1936 and 1937. Of course, any Jew that settled in Cuba before or after 1933 was saved from being a victim of the Holocaust.

    As for the Republic of Ireland, I understand that it even allowed German planes to refuel on Irish territory on the way to and from bombing Britain. I am surprised that Britain didn’t invade Ireland. For once, at least, the British would have been justified.

  103. Sean Says:

    Here we go again, lads. The Time article affirms the 5,000. Where do you find the second and third sets of 5,000,in ’36 and ’37? And 3 x 5 = 15, not 25.

    And again with the hare-brained reasoning: Mr and Mrs Goldberg left Germany in 1901 and accidentally wound up in Iceland, does it follow that Iceland saved them from the holocaust? Because sure that follows if you want your argument to stand.

    Ireland was “officially neutral” in WWII although behind the scenes we assisted the allies. A case of wanting it both ways making none the happier for it.

  104. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:


    Because there were 25,000 Jews in Cuba in 1924 (as another source confirms) does not mean that all or even most of those 25,000 were still there in 1939. Their object, of course, was to immigrate to the U.S. and rejoin relatives there.

    The 25,000 Jews that Time reports were in Cuba in 1939 included not only the 5,000 that it mentions arrived in 1938 but also those that arrived, in comparable numbers, since the Nazi takeover in 1933. As the repression worsened in Germany, more Jews immigrated to Cuba and elsewhere, perhaps even to Iceland.

    And, yes, any Jew that immigrated to Cuba or any other country before the Nazi takeover was saved from the Eurpean Holocaust. Isn’t that obvious? Or must I prove even the obvious to you?

  105. Darven Mazel Says:

    I agree with virtually everybody who commented here that whatever the story regarding the St Louis, it is not a condemnation of anybody other than the parties directly involved: FDR, the Cuban ministers, President Bru. Your leap to the conclusion that people use this incident to claim that Cuba was anti-Semitic, or responsible for the holocaust, etc., isn’t borne out by THIS exchange.

  106. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    “[N]ot until I read (or reread) some of Roosevelt’s most despicable statements about Jews, extensively documented in a series of on-line commentaries by Rafael Medoff, founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, did the depths of Roosevelt’s loathing for Jews, and refusal to lift a finger (which, unlike his legs, was not paralyzed) to rescue them, fully penetrate. As far back as 1920, when FDR was the Democratic party candidate for vice president, he had proposed that “the greater part of the foreign population of the City of New York” should be “distributed to different localities upstate” so as to feel pressure to “conform to the manners and customs and requirements of their new home.” As a member of the Harvard board of directors he supported a Jewish admissions quota.

    “In 1941 he told his Cabinet that too many Jews were federal employees in Oregon. One of his grandsons recalled that the protagonists in FDR’s jokes “were always Lower East Side Jews with heavy accents.” At a wartime White House luncheon with Prime Minister Churchill, he suggested “the best way to settle the Jewish question” was “to spread the Jews thin all over the world.” Indeed, enlightened Hyde Park residents surely would not object to adding “four or five Jewish families.” At the 1945 Yalta conference, FDR indicated to Stalin that as a concession to the king of Saudi Arabia he would “give him the six million Jews in the United States.”

    “Tragically, Roosevelt’s embedded anti-Semitism was not confined to jokes. It was displayed in the refusal of the American government in 1939 to admit the desperate refugees on board the S.S. St. Louis, who were returned to Germany – or to even fill the quotas that authorized the limited admission of Germans. It was revealed in American government suppression of information about the mass murder of European Jews. The White House opposed a resolution to create the War Refugee Board and delayed its establishment for fourteen months. Orders to bomb railroad tracks leading to the extermination camps were never given, although Nazi facilities merely five miles away were destroyed. And special American missions were launched to rescue art treasures – and performing Lipizzaner horses.

    “Roosevelt’s anti-Semitism did not cause the Holocaust. But his indifference to the annihilation of European Jewry contributed to its horrific consequences. “The Roosevelts” attempts to airbrush FDR’s dismal failure. Watching it, I was reminded of the power of boyhood myths and the durability of sanitized history. It reaffirmed my decision never to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, where a dark empty room would more accurately display American silence about the fate of Jews that Franklin D. Roosevelt personified. And I understood, more deeply than ever before, why two generations of American Jews were lulled by FDR’s soothing reassurances into believing that their desperate yearning for acceptance was fulfilled.”


  107. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    “Roosevelt made another particularly maleficent, if bizarre, statement revealing his visceral antisemitism during the seminal February, 1945 Yalta Conference between the American President, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The President was scheduled to meet with Arabia’s despot King Ibn Saud immediately after the Conference. Alluding to this upcoming meeting with the Arabian despot, Stalin asked Roosevelt what concessions the President might make to Ibn Saud regarding Middle Eastern issues. As per two independent sources of archival documentary evidence (i.e., the minutes preserved in the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York, and the papers of then Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius,

    “The President [Roosevelt] replied that there was only one concession he thought he might offer and that was to give him the six million Jews in the United States. {February 10, 1945].”


  108. Manuel A. Tellechea Says:

    Eleanor Roosevelt talks about her husband and the Holocaust
    By Edward Bernard Glick

    April 19 will mark the 70th anniversary of the uprising of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. That date always reminds me of 1958 when Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, told me about her husband and the Holocaust.

    We were both NGO (Non-governmental Organization) representatives to the United Nations and to the US Mission to the United Nations. She represented the American Association for the United Nations and I represented the American Jewish Congress.

    Because she was the most distinguished member, she also chaired the NGO umbrella group. During one of our luncheons, around the time of the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, we discussed the Holocaust. When my turn came to pose a question, I asked her why her husband — whom Jews revered then as much as they lionize President Barack Obama now — never ordered Allied pilots to bomb the railroad tracks leading to and from the Nazi death camps. I speculated that had he done so, he would have slowed the slaughter.

    I wasn’t sure that Mrs. Roosevelt would reply to an implied criticism of her husband, but she did, and here is what she said:

    “I constantly raised the matter with the President, as did British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, both in his cables from London and when he was our guest at the White House.

    “My husband’s answer was always the same: ‘Later.” He would always give us the same lecture: ‘Winning the war comes first, of course, and bombing those railroad tracks are not a top air force priority. But the war is not the only thing on my mind. I also have to deal with domestic affairs. To get things done, I must have the support of the committee chairmen in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    “‘Most of these men are Southerners and many of them are anti-Semites. They do not like Jews and have made it clear that they don’t want any more of them let into this country. That’s the reason I haven’t pushed for the admission of larger numbers of Jews.

    “The only Jewish member of Congress who is fighting me is Brooklyn’s Representative Emanuel Celler. Representative Sol Bloom, who is Jewish and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, goes along with me on this.

    “‘But I promise you, Eleanor, I promise you, Winston, that when the House and Senate pass the legislation that I want and need, and the war is closer to a victorious end, I shall order the bombing of those railway tracks. You have my word on it.”

    As Mrs. Roosevelt spoke, two memories entered my mind. The first was what FDR told a prominent Jewish Democrat who urged him to ease the restrictions on Jews trying to flee Europe:

    “The Jews in America should know that they are tolerated here, but not more than that. American issues come first.”

    My second memory was of a memo that Treasury officials, in an effort to counter the endemic anti-Semitism of the State Department, wrote in 1943. Entitled “The Acquiescence of this Government in the Murder of the Jews,” it said that “Unless remedial steps of a drastic nature are taken, and taken immediately, no effective action will be taken by this government to prevent the complete extermination of the Jews in German controlled Europe, and that this Government will have to share for all time responsibility for this extermination.”

    Mrs. Roosevelt concluded her explanation of FDR’s behavior with: “Ever since I learned of Hitler’s systematic murder of the Jews, I pressed my husband to bomb the railroad tracks. So, too, did Mr. Churchill. But we were not successful.

    “Sadly, he died in 1945 as the war was ending and his ‘later’ never came.”


  109. Stan Garde Says:

    Manuel — You’re back from the dead! And still beating dead horses, I see. Sadly, you’re probably on your own here: the blog’s proprietor has moved on to worse things and hasn’t appeared in years. I keep an eye out, though, and bother him in his new venue. I suspect, too, he prowls around here in the background, as now and then spammers are deleted. Right Klotz? You watching?

  110. Wire Palladin Says:

    OMG — this stupid shit again? No coincidence that Tellechea returns zombie-like from the grave right before Halloween to corrupt history once more. Hilarious he cites AmericanThinker as authoritative. That alone trashes his credibility. Not that he had any.

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