Since Artful Living critical sat under for a lengthy chat with Jesse Ventura 4 years ago, he’s made headlines for filing and winning a defamation suit versus the author and publisher of American Sniper, the publication in i beg your pardon the late chris Kyle asserted he’d decked the Body during a bar fight because that saying marine SEALS “deserve to lose a few.” His Internet display featuring good conspiracies, Off The Grid, is walk strong. He still no fly commercially come protest what he considers illegal searches by airport defense personnel. And as us learned once we met through him most recently, the oft-quoted, always-outspoken Ventura has actually lots come say around the thawing that U.S.-Cuba relations.

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Let’s talk around Mexico.

Mexico is one adventure. I gained out that office, ns taught in ~ Harvard in ’04, and when i was done at Harvard, i felt i was young enough and also financial form at my period that the home window of opportunity for adventure to be closing.

Had you spent a the majority of time in Mexico before that?

No. I vacationed over there twice ideal after I acquired out that office and the year ns left Harvard. And it to be the year after Harvard that I uncovered my home down there. And that to be why i went down there. I rented a car and put, like, 1,800 kilometers on the in around 10 days. I constantly wanted come retire to the ocean, and also at first I wanted Hawaii. And also then the Baja came up, and also I discovered the Baja more attractive because, No. 1, it’s far less expensive than Hawaii, and, No. 2, it provides you dual option, which i’m happy for.

Double option?

I have the right to drive there, which is what ns do. So when I end flying, it had actually no bearing ~ above going come Mexico, due to the fact that I’d been driving it 6 years anyway. I’ve thrust the Baja four or 5 times, up and also down the whole length the it.

And just how off the grid space you?

I’m method off the grid. Ns an hour indigenous pavement and also an hour native electricity. My residence is solar. The sun generates my power — the sunlight of which I worship today. Ns follow the teachings that George Carlin. He to be an atheist who worshipped the sun. The said, I worship the sun, due to the fact that the sun brings me whatever I need. It brings me heat, it grows my food, it bring me light. And you know what it does many of all? (I’m paraphrasing him.) Every morning it come up, and I can see it. That provides it an excellent credibility, the it exists.

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You went down as component of a medical —

It was a medical and farming trade trip.

What made you think then the the routine was benign sufficient that we should have actually diplomatic relations with Cuba? since they never ever did anything to us. What has Cuba ever done to us? however we have practiced terror — and also I use the human being “terrorism” — versus them because that decades.

I obtained thrown off Fox News because that saying that. I said, “Why is anyone in the United states so astounded that the terrorists would strike us as soon as we’ve to be practicing terror for 50 years?” and the guy at Fox gained all indignant with me and said, “Well, how deserve to you say the — offer me an example of the U.S. Practicing terrorism.”

I said, “Cuba. We’ve shed their cane fields, we’ve attempted to destroy their economy, we’ve blown up ships in their harbor, we’ve attempted to assassinate their president on lot of occasions. Those are not plot of terrorism? If they were done to us, we’d speak to it terrorism.”

And space you familiar with this character Orlando Bosch? Familiarize yourself with him. Because he blew up a Cuban jetliner v 73 chaste civilians onboard, and George shrub Sr. Pardoned him. He walked free. Is that no terrorism — blowing increase a plane? seems to me we should recognize that’s an act of terrorism, and also he did it long prior to 9/11 occurred.

Let me pat devil’s advocate. I review some of your interviews, and you did no seem to identify that Castro, or at the very least his regime, has actually tortured prisoners. So have actually we, for this reason we’re no better. Yes, Castro make a mistake. Or at least that’s what castle tell united state — that he torture people. Yet let’s mental something: Castro led a revolution. And unless you’re go in his shoes, if yes anyone who commits treason during a revolution, you deserve to be sure that’s the death penalty. You’re talking around a case where loyalty is that the utmost.

Who space we to point a finger at torture after Abu Ghraib, ~ Guantanamo? We also keep our tortured persons best in Cuba. And also what right perform we have to have a base in Cuba?

We have a treaty v —

All right, Hugo Chávez — he had actually lots of money. Just how would we feel if he bought increase 500 acres in the Palm Springs desert and also moved his army into there? would we permit it? Hell no. For this reason where execute we get off having actually bases in all these foreign countries when we would never allow another armed forces to have actually a base in our country? who made united state the policeman the the world?

GTMO must be close up door immediately. In fact, Obama took away one of the things I would have done if I became president, i beg your pardon is opened up relationships with Cuba. However I would take it one step further: I’d personally call Fidel and tell him, within one year, you’ll gain GTMO back. It’s your country, it’s your land. Ns don’t provide a damn about some contract of 100 years back or 200 years back or every little thing it was.

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What was it about Fidel that so impression you when you met him?

He looked me eye to eye. He had actually the most distinct handshake. He type of winds up through it and also thrusts the down. I median it was really unique. And he looked me in the eye and he said, “You room a man of an excellent courage.”

And ns looked at him and called that Mr. President — because he does have elections; it’s just that he is the just candidate. And also I said, “Well, Mr. President, how can you say that — you don’t understand me.” and also he said, “Because girlfriend defied your president to come here.” and also I sort of laughed and said, “You’ll discover I defy many everything.” and also he started laughing.

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It wasn’t clear how much time you spent with him. One hour. It was in this location where us were having meetings, in a next room. And also I was debriefed through the CIA once I returned.

Interesting side story. As soon as 9/11 happened, I called the very same CIA guy who was my connection . I asked him what had happened and also what I needed to know. A year later, I had a opportunity to talk v him again, and also he stated to me, “I found it very interesting the you were the only governor the end of all 50 that bothered to speak to me ~ 9/11 to find out what ns knew.”

And i said, “Well, ns the only governor that would have the knowledge to call you. I’m a former Navy SEAL, and also I know the first thing you do is call your knowledge contacts to find out what you have to know. It is trained right into us.”