The Bush family's close ties to the Nazis at the beginning of the 20th century, their shady business dealings and the origins of their family wealth have already been written about. This clan was always considered part of the elite in the United States due to its wealth, influence, privileged membership in the secret society known as the “Skull and Bones” and its lack of scruples.
However, information and certain clues indicate strong financial links between the Bush family and Cuba roughly 40 years before the triumph of the revolution in 1959.
Cuba had become a paradise for U.S. investment with the help of puppet government officials who pocketed public funds and received high commissions for selling our sovereignty. In the 1920s, a group of transnational companies took ownership of numerous properties.
The Seeds of Resentment
It is in this climate that George Herbert Walker, maternal great-grandfather of George W. Bush and member of the wealthy family led by Prescott Bush, became the director of seven Cuba-based companies. They were dedicated to the manufacture and production of sugar, rum and railways that served the domestic infrastructure. In 1942, Walker unified The Cuba Company, The Cuban Railroad, Cuban Dominican Sugar, Barahona Sugar, Cuba Distilling, Sugar Estates of the East and Atlantic Fruit and Sugar to form the West Indies Sugar Company, which was nationalized by the Cuban Revolutionary government in 1960.
In the 1940s, the family business flourished and the Bushes forged a close relationship with another powerful family. The Dulleses, who acted as lawyers for the Bush family, successfully kept the ties between the Bushes and the Nazis out of the press and helped them to avoid a Senate investigation into this matter. The two families shared a common interest in Cuba: business and financial investment.
The Dulles family (which includes Allen Welsh, former director of the CIA, and John Foster, former U.S. Secretary of State) was interested in the United Fruit Company, which possessed 120,000 hectares of land for sugar cultivation. The clan also had other business connections in our country that implicated them in the preparations for Fulgencio Batista’s coup d’état. The Dulles family had substantial links to the companies interested in Cuban nickel and in the business that instituted the Sullivan and Cromwell legal practice in Cuba for the purpose of managing Wall Street finances.
In 1953, George H. Walker passed away. His son of the same name, the uncle of George H.W. Bush, took control of the aforementioned seven companies. This is proven by various sources, including the American author Kevin Phillips, who revealed facts about the Bush family in his 2004 book titled "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush."
Also in 1953, George H.W. Bush became involved in the petroleum industry and founded the company Zapata Oil in Houston, Texas. He also created the subsidiary Zapata Offshore.
From the late 1950s until the early 1970s, Zapata Offshore focused its business in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Central American coast. The U.S. government began to auction off mineral rights in these areas in 1954 and Zapata Offshore participated in the process. In 1958, the company signed a contract to exploit oil deposits throughout 40 miles of Cuban territory to the north of Isabela de Sagua, in the Las Villas province. This practice ended with the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.
Nevertheless, with the possibility to continue business and investment in Cuba eliminated, George H.W. Bush continued as president of Zapata Offshore until 1966. At that time, the company gained even more power. Between 1956 and 1963, Zapata Offshore had already acquired four petroleum platforms: Scorpion, Vinegaroon, Sidewinder and Nola III. In addition, the company was installed in the Persian Gulf and had a contract with Kuwait.
In 1964, in the midst of his business’s boom, Bush began his quest for an important government position. He ran for the Senate and lost. However, he resumed attempts to win a seat in Congress in 1966. In order to do so, he apparently sold the business to his friend Robert Gow (a fellow member of the “Skull and Bones” and son of one of the board members at the United Fruit Company) to avoid what U.S. law calls a “conflict of interest.” This refers to a businessman attempting to gain a government position when that power will strengthen his business.
There are subsequent records of the business ties of George W. Bush and his brother Jeb Bush with Robert Gow, as their companies worked together. Because they were later renamed, the rest of the story is unclear. Also notable is Zapata’s purchase of United Fruit stocks in 1969, after which point the latter company became known as United Brands.
The historical trail of Zapata Offshore and its owner, George Bush, is somewhat shrouded in mystery because both were connected to the CIA as demonstrated in declassified U.S. Secret Service documents. Also, the destruction of Zapata’s documents began after 1960 in what was believed to be a protection measure for George Bush at the beginning of his political career. The company’s records disappeared completely between 1981 and 1983, when Bush was sworn in as Vice President of the United States.
Nevertheless, his son George W. Bush, having already started a career in business management, began to take part in several companies similarly linked to petroleum.
Through the West Indies Sugar and Zapata companies, it is likely that the Bush family has maintained some “right” of reclamation, even though they lost their investments when the Revolution undertook the nationalization process. Remember that many companies have continued to claim these rights up to the present, hoping to recuperate properties or high compensation under the complicity of U.S. laws and its government.
Simple Arithmetic: A Nearly 50-Year-Old Family Vendetta
It is thus apparent that the more than 12 years with a Bush in the highest executive seat in the United States (4 years of George H.W. Bush and 8 of George W. Bush) allowed this resentment to transform into vengeance. To the 12 years of presidential power, add the year in which the former was the director of the CIA (1976-77) and his subsequent eight years as vice-president of the United States (1981-89), without counting the time that Bushes have spent holding other government offices including that of senator, governor, representative, etc.
Since the revolution triumphed in 1959, grandfather Prescott Bush and the two George Bushes (father and son) have instigated, participated in or made decisions with the aim of destroying the revolution: military invasions, assassination attempts, espionage, support for external counterrevolutionaries and internal mercenaries, pursuit of our assets and undertaking all possible measures to worsen the embargo.
The Bushes, the Dulleses, and others interested in a quick end to the revolution because of lost business interests in Cuba had a direct role in the Bay of Pigs. Since long before April 1961, George H. W. Bush, along with CIA agent Félix Rodríguez and others, participated in the recruitment of Cuban exiles to participate in the invasion.
Fletcher Prouty, a former CIA officer, confirmed in his 1973 book, "The Secret Team," that two of the boats used in the disembarkation at the Bay of Pigs – the Barbara J. and the Houston – were named and painted by the agent Bush at the naval base in Elizabeth City, North Carolina before being sent to Cuba. His company, Zapata Offshore, was utilized as a façade. This unmediated interest in reclaiming Cuba was also demonstrated by the investigative committee Kennedy prescribed which considered whether the decision mechanisms in the U.S. executive had been compromised.
Three years after the Bay of Pigs, the aging Prescott Bush instigated a new invasion of Cuba during his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1964.
The rest of the story is better known. In the 1980s, George H. W. Bush, accompanying Ronald Reagan, put an end to the flexibility that Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter had granted to the trade embargo with Cuba. In 1992, during the last year of his administration, Bush attempted to give the revolution the coup de grâce after socialism had disappeared from Eastern Europe. George W. Bush, Jr. carried the embargo to its most extreme limit and demanded the return of properties nationalized in 1959; it was dubbed “Plan Bush” for a reason.
Does the Obama administration know this story? While the Bushes are certainly not the only ones responsible for the irrational and inhumane policies toward Cuba, must Obama inherit and take on the Bush family agenda as his own?
Barack Obama does not have to do it. It would make him an accomplice as well. If Obama is still interested in changing the established power-structure and maintaining his hard-earned image of honesty and altruism, he should not follow in the footsteps of the Bushes or their petrol-military clan, especially those of Jeb in Florida – treasurer of an impossible family dream: to reclaim what was won in the revolution.