Time for Truer Cuban Revolutionary History

A More Unbiased Critique Is Needed
           Any unbiased and competent historian could easily reach the conclusion that the two young Cubans above -- Frank Pais on the left and Celia Sanchez on the right -- were/are the two most important figures in the historic, ongoing Cuban Revolution.
           The more biased and less competent historians will, undoubtedly, continue to project and dissect the myth that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were/are the most important figures of the Cuban Revolution. The fact that they are wrong seems not to factor into the equation but I believe it should, especially at this propitious time.
           Fidel Castro has passed his 86th birthday and heads into the fall of 2012 barely clinging to life. Quite mindful of history and his legacy, and somewhat of an authority on the Cuban Revolution, he has long maintained to intimates that Celia Sanchez was/is the most important figure in the Cuban Revolutionary hierarchy. It is also known that he would not disagree with the notion that Frank Pais also should rate with her in the Top Two spots. When discussing that topic recently, he lamented, "It has been said that the winners of revolutionary conflicts get to write its history. But it's clear now that the losers, the ones who fled the Cuban Revolution to a permanent superpower sanctuary, have mostly written the history of the Cuban Revolution. That is why, to many in the Western World, the two people most responsible for its success, Celia and Frank, are rarely even mentioned."  Okay. An old man who would know and who probably realizes that he has nothing more to gain or lose from his legendary spot in the historical perspective is most likely correct -- about the losers, this time, writing the history and about Celia Sanchez and Frank Pais being the Top Two in importance when it comes to the Cuban Revolution. Let's examine his reasoning and start at the beginning -- where Fidel and most historians believe the Cuban Revolution started.
         On July 26, 1953 a band of about 130 rebels, organized and led by Fidel Castro, attacked the Moncada Army Barracks on the edge of Santiago de Cuba, the island's second biggest city located on its eastern end. All of the rebels were either killed or captured. That day young Frank Pais led a successful diversionary attack in the nearby city of Bayamo.
        Fidel Castro [shown above being interrogated] was among those  captured after the ill-fated Moncada attack. He was shortly sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Only two things prevented him from suffering the fate -- torture and execution -- of most rebel prisoners in Batista's Cuba and they were (1) Fidel was the hero and hope of the vast majority of Cubans; and (2) journalists as famed as Herbert L. Mathews of the New York Times kept a close watch on the most notable young rebel prisoner.  But for all intents and purposes, in the summer of 1953, Fidel Castro, except for his stoic reputation, became a non-factor in the fledgling anti-Batista revolution, at least for the next very vital three years. And in any case, no one believed any revolution would ever be a serious threat to the powerful Batista dictatorship that was supported by the world's strongest criminal organization, the Mafia, and by the world's strongest nation, the nearby United States. All three entities wanted to cling to their ownership of the island because, for the greedy few, it was indeed a goldmine.
         But a handsome young school-teacher named Frank Pais [above] picked up the mantle dropped by Fidel. At the time, in the summer of 1953, Frank was 18-years-old (he would not turn 19 until December 7th). With incredible courage Frank ventured from city to city, from farmhouse to farmhouse, creating and recruiting anti-Batista cells. As his successes mounted ever so slowly, Batista put powerful forces, including the infamous and murderous Masferrer Tigers, on Frank's audacious trail. Anyone -- male or female, adult or child -- remotely tied to Frank were rounded up, tortured [to reveal information], and then gruesomely executed.
        In June of 1957 Frank's 17-year-old brother Josue Pais was captured, tortured, and executed. Then his body [above] was left on a street in Santiago de Cuba as a warning to Frank. But Frank worked harder than ever and by now he had urban and rural anti-Batista cells throughout the island, especially in the eastern region far from Havana. Batista increased the soldiers and police assigned to track down Frank. And a huge bounty was put on his head. The bounty led to Frank being betrayed. He was captured at what he thought was a safe-house.  He was tortured to reveal information about his operation and to divulge other rebel names. Frank gave them not one iota of information nor did he beg for his life, angering his captors.
         Frank Pais was then taken to a public street in Santiago de Cuba and murdered, execution-style, on July 30, 1957. Note the cocked pistol [in the above photo] that was placed near Frank's right hand. It was put there to give the impression that Frank died in a shoot-out. Of course, he had been disarmed back at the safe-house where he was captured. Frank -- who was born on December 7, 1934 -- was 22-years-old.
        The Frank Pais funeral cortege [abovefilled the streets of Santiago de Cuba in defiance of the brutal Batista dictatorship. 
       Frank Pais was laid to rest with the July 26 banner [commemorating the Moncada attack as the start of the revolution) across his chest. That day, July 26-1953, when Fidel led the ill-fated Moncada attack, the teenage Frank Pais at that moment was leading a successful diversionary attack in Bayamo, another nearby Cuban city. 
       Above is the tomb in Santiago de Cuba where Frank Pais and his younger brother Josue are buried. At the time of his death, Frank Pais was considered more vital to the revolution than even Fidel Castro because Frank was responsible for the recruitment and organization of the rebels and supplies that awaited Fidel and Che when they entered the fight in the Sierra after their journey from Mexico. 
         So that's why young Frank Pais ranks #2 in the pantheon of Cuban Revolutionary heroes, topped only by a heroine named Celia Sanchez. [Fidel and Che, I believe, round out the Top 8 along with Vilma Espin, Haydee Santamaria, Camilo Cienfuegos, and Raul Castro] So, you ask, what makes Celia Sanchez more important than Fidel Castro and more important even than Frank Pais? First off, from 1953 till Frank's death in July of 1957 Celia was every bit as brave and every bit as successful as Frank in recruiting rebels, supplies, and money that formed the foundation for the incredibly successful revolution. Cuba's top historian, Pedro Alvarez Tabio, has recounted the startling bravery of Celia in carrying out those endeavors. Yes, Batista put the feared Masferrer Tigers on Celia's trail and Tabio as well as fellow rebels have detailed instances when she had to shoot her way to safety. And, of course, Batista put a huge bounty on her head. But they never captured her and no one ever betrayed her. 
     Thus, the great historian Pedro Alvarez Tabio [above] rendered the decisive quote regarding why Celia Sanchez rates above Frank Pais and Fidel Castro on the pantheon of the most important Cuban revolutionaries. Tabio stated: "If Batista had managed to kill Celia Sanchez anytime between 1953 and 1957 there would have been no viable Cuban Revolution, and no revolution for Fidel and Che to join." That expert and definitive quotation reminds me of Fidel's recent comment about, in the rare case of the Cuban Revolution, the losers, not the winners, writing its history. He meant the Batista and Mafia exiles from the island who maintained the support of the United States, the world's only superpower and, in regards to Cuba, remain the primary chroniclers of Cuban history, which, in fact, is not exactly the way the Batistianos and the Mafiosos envisioned it and tried there best to construct it. But, you know, the next best thing, I reckon, is to write it...and that they have done, conveniently leaving out or diminishing the roles played by the young school-teacher Frank Pais and the young doctor's daughter Celia Sanchez. Demonizing and vilifying macho men was easier in the reconstruction of history as opposed to admitting that a very young school-teacher and a 99-pound doctor's daughter were the prime reasons they lost.
        Roberto Salas [above], the great photographer, wrote in his book "The Pictorial History of the Cuban Revolution": "Celia Sanchez made all the decisions for Cuba, the big ones and the small ones. When she died of cancer in 1980, we all knew no one could ever replace her." Considering that the highly respected Salas has known Fidel Castro intimately from the 1950s till today, his quote must be tough for the reconstructors of Cuban history to deal with. So, I guess they pretend there is no Roberto Salas, and no such quotation related to the revolution's most formidable icon.
       Marta Rojas [above] was a young reporter who befriended Fidel after the Moncada attack both while he was on trial and in prison and then years later, in December of 1959, she introduced Fidel for his first television address to the nation. She is internationally renowned as a historian, journalist, and author [published by Random House, etc.] When Linda Pressly of the BBC contacted me because she was doing a documentary on Celia Sanchez, I told her via email and phone calls that on her research trip to Cuba she had to talk with Marta Rojas because Marta knows more about Celia Sanchez, Fidel Castro, and the Cuban Revolution than anyone on the planet. In a 2005 email, Marta told me: "Since Celia died of cancer in 1980 Fidel has ruled Cuba only as he precisely perceives Celia would want him to rule it." Considering that the deeply admired Marta Rojas is the world authority on the Cuban Revolution, I imagine the reconstructors of Cuban history pretend there is no Marta Rojas and no such quotation relevant to a female guerrilla fighter her enemies would prefer to forget. 
         That's the young Marta Rojas above, in December of 1959, introducing Fidel Castro for his first television address to the nation. 
        The photo above is the first one ever taken of Fidel Castro and Celia Sanchez together. It was at daybreak on February 3, 1957. He is examining a telescopic rifle that she had just given him. A couple of months earlier she had saved his life when a Batista army ambushed the 82 men debarking from the leaking yacht that had transported them from Mexico to rendezvous with Celia's rebel unit at a pre-arranged beach the old yacht didn't quite reach. All but 17 of the 82 men were killed before Celia's rebels could race to the thicket-plagued beach and beat off the Batista soldiers. In other words, before the names "Fidel" and "Che" would become two of history's most famous names, someone had to save their lives under dire conditions at a lonely, briar-infested beach in southeastern Cuba. That someone also had an historic name. It was Celia.
          Before Fidel Castro ever reached the Sierra Maestro war zone, and before Che Guevara ever set foot on the island of Cuba, Celia Sanchez and her dearest friend Haydee Santamaria were do-or-die guerrilla fighters. In the above photo, Celia on the right and Haydee on the left are taking a cautious break after leading a successful attack on a unit of  Batista soldiers in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra, an attack that netted the rebels two jeeps plus rifles and ammunition.
         With their rifles at the ready, the two female warriors are awaiting the counter-attack after Celia made the decision not to retreat higher into the mountains. About five minutes after this photo was taken [as revealed years later by Haydee Santamaria], the point-man outfitted with binoculars scrambled up to inform Celia: "They have now been reinforced by forty more men who have two jeeps with Gatlings on tripods. They are using two-man machete and saw teams to clear the path for the jeeps. They'll be in rifle range of us in 45 minutes. Do we move higher or do we stand and fight?"
         Without hesitation, Celia replied, "We stand and fight. I can use two more jeeps and two more Gatlings."
            The grainy photo above shows Celia Sanchez and Fidel Castro celebrating the decisive victory of the Revolutionary War -- the ten-day Battle of Jigue in July of 1958. It marked the turning point in the war, when they knew Batista would lose and they would win. The losing Batista commander was Major Jose Quevedo. He and his surviving men were captured. Celia and Fidel gave them cigarettes, food, drinks, and had the wounded soldiers cared for. Quevedo thought he and his men would all be shot because Batista's forces quickly killed all their prisoners. Celia and Fidel told Quevedo's forces to "go home" as soon as they were well enough to travel. History records that Quevedo and his men were so taken aback that they stayed and fought the rest of the war with and for Celia and Fidel. 
          Terrance Cannon's book "Revolutionary Cuba" tells the detailed story of the Battle of Jigue, beginning on Page 92 with these words: "The Battle of Jigue, which lasted for ten days in mid-July (1958), was probably the most important and certainly one of the the most interesting, revealing the complex nature of the war. During it, letters were exchanged, troops on opposite sides shared their food, and a commander changed his allegiance." 
         Cannon then revealed how the out-manned rebels out-fought and out-smarted the superior Batista army and then, after it surrendered, consoled it with "water, food, and cigarettes." Cannon concluded that chapter with this sentence: "Major Quevedo, who remained at the Rebel Army headquarters, deeply influenced by what he had experienced and by his discussions with Fidel, joined the revolutionary forces and convinced several other military units to surrender or defect to the rebel side."
           Terrence Cannon [above] is considered one of the more perceptive authors when it comes to Revolutionary Cuba. He believes the four main reasons the rebels won are: (1) The extreme thievery and brutality of the Batista dictatorship inspired a do-or-die rebellion; (2) the Batistianos wanted to live long enough to spend their loot off the island and recapture the island later, thus they were not the best fighters; (3) Fidel fully utilized the 50% of the island's population, the female portion, that the Batistianos most brutalized and disrespected, and (4) as illustrated by the Battle of Jigue, being less brutal and much nicer, even to enemy soldiers, induced many of Batista's men to defect to the rebel side, shifting the balance of power.  
        Indeed, the Federation of Cuban Women, beginning in January of 1959, became a powerful force on the island and remains so till this day. 
         Women today are the leading professionals on the island of Cuba, in stark contrast to how they were treated in Cuba prior to the revolution.
        The three women depicted above were more important than any three men in the Cuban Revolution and in Revolutionary Cuba. That's Celia Sanchez in the middle flanked on her right by Vilma Espin and on her left by Haydee Santamaria. They were guerrilla fighters during the war and prime decision-makers after their victory.
     And Celia Sanchez rates as the greatest female revolutionary of all-time and edges out Frank Pais and Fidel Castro as the most important figure in the Cuban Revolution. After she led the fight to kick the Batista-Mafia dictatorship off the island, she also provided the grit to keep them off. In April of 1959, and at least three later times, Celia Sanchez proclaimed: "The Batistianos will never regain control of Cuba as long as I live or as long as Fidel lives." No one, with the possible exception of Fidel Castro, believed her then. But they believe her now.
       Celia died of cancer on January 11, 1980 at age 59. So, what will happen to Cuba when the now 86-year-old and very unwell Fidel Castro dies? I don't know. I wish I did. I learned to believe Celia Sanchez's proclamation and I admire its audacity and its prescience as the centerpiece of her remarkable and, yes, incomparable career. But in that proclamation, as in the other phases of her being, she never promised anything beyond her life and Fidel's life. But this I do believe...................
       After Fidel dies, Celia Sanchez disciples -- like the young woman above guarding the Cuban coastline -- will have to rise to the forefront and remain ever vigil. Since 1492, when Columbus discovered it, Cuba has been coveted by one imperialist power after another as well as international criminal organizations supported by powerful countries. Minus Celia Sanchez and, soon, minus Fidel Castro, the odds clearly favor the outsiders. I believe Celia Sanchez understood that reality. 
        To this day, Cubans on the island sit around and discuss the life of Celia Sanchez, as the group above is doing in front of her native home in the town of Media Luna. But to this day, Americans are not supposed to know who she was or what she did although who she was and what she did massively affected America's history and still significantly colors America's image. And all that, I believe, is why a very old and frail man in Cuba recently lamented that, in regards to the Cuban Revolution, the losers, not the winners, have primarily registered its history.
         The above photo was taken by Rosa C. Baez and sent to her Facebook friends on August 30, 2012. The two Cuban girls are enjoying a sunny day in Havana. It's a typical scene that the two million-plus tourists this year have regularly seen in Cuba. Unlike the Havana of the 1950s, and unlike many cities around the world today, the two girls above need not fear crime either in the sunlight or the moonlight in Havana. Some positive offshoots of the Cuban Revolution are reflected in Rosa's photo and, along with any truthful negatives, the Western media has an obligation, I believe, to also present the positives. The smiles, contentment, and beauty apparent in this photo are typical of Havana. The two carefree teenagers above are positives. And, lest we forget, so were the contributions of..................
      Celia Sanchez, the Cuban Revolution's greatest guerrilla fighter and the most important defender of Cuban children in Batista's Cuba and in Revolutionary Cuba.
      The photo above is courtesy of Tracey Eaton and was posted today [Aug. 31-2012] on his superb Along the Malecon Blog, which remains easily the best day-to-day chronicler of what is happening in Cuba and about Cuba. This photo depicts a typical daily happening on the island; the girl is jumping off a pier at Puerto Esperanza, which is north of Vinales.             


Batista's Cuba Still Hurts U. S. Image

A Little Girl Shows Us How Much
     The above photo [taken by Michael Stravato for the New York Times] highlighted the longest article in the New York Times on August 25, 2012. The article, written by Julia Preston, was entitled "Young and Alone, Facing Court and Deportation." The caption beneath the above photo reads: "Liliana Munoz, 6, was alone when Border Patrol officers caught her as she was being smuggled across the Rio Grande. Now facing deportation, she's also alone in Immigration Court without a lawyer." 
        Liliana's parents, who lived illegally in the Atlanta area, were so desperate to get their awesomely beautiful little girl out of crime-ridden Mexico they somehow arranged for her to cross the Rio Grande river with strangers, ending up in the custody of the Border Patrol. The final straw for the parents came when they learned of "a bloody spree of shootouts and kidnappings by drug traffickers close to Liliana's home in Tamaulipas in northeast Mexico." Liliana was sent to a federal detention center for minors in the U. S. border town of Brownsville. After a month there she was sent to a school for first graders but she was more advanced than her classmates. "I already knew how to add," she told the NY Times reporter. On June 4th Liliana was taken to Immigration Court, all alone. Her mother had arrived in Brownsville but she was too fearful of her illegal status to accompany her daughter. And Liliana was not provided a lawyer. "I had to speak by myself," she told Julia Preston. Preston added, "She gave the judge her name and age. But she did not understand that she had crossed an international boundary, or that she was now in the United States, or what the United States is exactly. She did not know she had done anything wrong." 
        Of course, Liliana had not done anything wrong. Maybe her parents had. Maybe those drug cartels had. Maybe Mexico had. Maybe the United States had. Maybe that Immigration Court in Brownsville had. But not Liliana! Yet, the judge postponed his decision in her case. And in most cases similar to Liliana's, according to the New York Times, the decision is deportation. 
       The saga of Liliana Munoz, the gorgeous little Mexican girl, illustrates the incredible claw-hold the U. S. support of the Batista dictatorship in Cuba way back in the 1950s still has on the U. S. democracy. An ironclad U. S. law, known as Wet Foot, Dry Foot taken from a Dr. Seuss children's book, allows any Cuban who reaches U. S. soil to remain in the U. S. totally free.  
       But if you are from Haiti or Mexico or any country in the entire world other than Cuba, America's Wet Foot, Dry Foot law does not apply to you, including little Liliana Munoz of Mexico. It is one of many U. S. laws, written and unwritten, that favor Cubans as opposed to all others. 
        Wet Foot, Dry Foot reveals why the Cuban Revolution says a lot more about the United States than it says about Cuba. It says, for starters, that the U. S. democracy should not support foreign dictatorships, like Batista's in Cuba in the 1950s. And it says, if such a dictatorship is overthrown by a popular revolt, the leadership of that dictatorship should not be allowed to flee, with incredible amounts of money, so it can reconstitute itself even more powerfully on nearby U. S. soil, such as Southern Florida. That has only happened once in U. S. history, in 1959. And it explains, in the year 2012, why, say, a 30-year-old Cuban man is home free if he touches U. S. soil and why, say, a little six-year-old Mexican girl, like Liliana Munoz, is not. But, perhaps, one day the U. S. might get around to at least providing beautiful little six-year-old Mexican (or Haitian) girls a lawyer or some other assistance when they are grilled, without realizing they have done something wrong, in Immigration Courts. Of course, after over a half-century of proselytizing Americans about Cuban issues, justifying Wet Foot, Dry Foot is not necessary. Neither, apparently, is it necessary to justify abusing a little six-year-old non-Cuban girl in a U. S. courtroom.


Cuba: America's Unending Political Shame

When A Few Control A Democracy
    The Center for Democracy in the Americas is easily the best website for anyone interested in the U. S. democracy and how it relates to the rest of the Americas.
      Sarah Stephens [above] knows more about U. S. - Cuban past history and current relations than any American residing on this planet. She commands the "Cuba Central" segment on "The Center for Democracy in the Americas" website. Thus, it was not surprising that her lead essay on Friday, August 17-2012 provided the best perspective on this week's biggest story -- Mitt Romney naming Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential selection on the Republican ticket.
     Because the fascinating Cuban Revolution [1953 till today] says more about the U. S. than it says about Cuba, Romney's choice of Ryan reflects majestically on the issue of that little island coloring Superpower politics like a blanket, and like an indigenous aberration.
     Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin thrust him into the hallowed halls of the U. S. Congress. In his decade+ as a powerful Congressman, Paul Ryan, like most decent people on this earth, adamantly opposed the U. S. embargo of Cuba, an ancient and cruel relic in place since 1962 and one that has severely harmed the innocent people on the island of Cuba as well as the worldwide reputation of the U. S. democracy. But in order to run for the national office of Vice President, Paul Ryan was forced to display what has become an essential characteristic necessary for a candidate desiring to run for any of the highest offices in America -- namely, cowardice. Thus, without hesitation as he campaigned for the Vice Presidency, Ryan quickly did his 360-degree flip-flop -- dramatically informing top Cuban-exile radicals from Miami, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers, of his sudden conversion into a stringent supporter of the embargo as well as all of their other vindictive anti-Cuban agendas! 
      Now Maybe Paul Ryan is indeed the man that could show the U. S. how to recover from its economic doldrums and get on the pathway toward PROSPERITY again. But if he is a gushing coward when it comes to Cuba, who is crazy enough to believe him when it comes to the economy? If he sells out his Cuban position to a handful of Cuban-exile extremists, will he not sell out his economic packages to a few special interest billionaires?

     Paul Ryan personifies one cancerous fact that has permeated the U. S. democracy since January of 1959 when the U. S. - backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship in Cuba was overthrown and then quickly reconstituted itself on U. S. soil, namely Miami: "Mr. Jorge Mas Canosa, Mr. Rafael Diaz-Balart, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen...if I promise to support every single one of your anti-Cuban edicts, may I run for Vice President or President of the United States, please?"
      So that's my image of Vice Presidential contender Paul Ryan, which is: He has to totally flip-flop his Cuban views to conform to those of Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart [shown above, left to right] merely to be a contender for Vice President in the United States of America. (As a democracy-loving lifetime Conservative Republican, perhaps someone on the Republican National Committee could change my mind, but I rather seriously doubt it.)
      So I will return to the wisdom of Sarah Stephens [above] because she is America's best and most unbiased expert on U. S. - Cuban issues. Here are the exact words Ms. Stephens used on August 17-2012 to begin her "Cuban Central" essay on "The Center for Democracy in the Americas" website:
               "Rep. Paul Ryan flip-flopped on Cuba. Before voting to support the embargo in 2007, he opposed sanctions and spoke passionately against them. Now, the Romney campaign and its supporters in Florida have gone to great lengths to reassure their conservative Cuban American base that Ryan isn't the Cuba contrarian now that he appeared to be less than a decade ago. That's the end of the story, but not the moral of the story. First, let's be clear. Romney's position on Cuba, and U. S. foreign policy toward Cuba should he be elected president, was never in doubt. On January 30, 2012, Governor Romney told a campaign rally in Florida: 'If I'm fortunate enough to become the next president, it is my expectation that Fidel Castro will finally be taken off this planet. We have to be prepared, in the next president's first or second term, it is time to strike for freedom in Cuba.' This tough rhetoric was buttressed by a ten-step white paper...taking other strong measures to toughen an already tough policy. This all-in commitment won Mr. Romney the support of Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart last year, and it is unthinkable that the addition of any vice presidential running mate would have caused him to dilute a position which started with the assassination of Fidel Castro." In her long essay, Sarah Stephens went on to write: "Mr. Ryan also told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in 2002, that Cuban-Americans 'have their reasons for supporting the embargo and they're very passionate about their reasons. I just don't agree with them and never have.'" Never have? Well, at least not until Romney reminded him how vital those 29 electoral votes in Florida are. Paul Ryan, of course is neither the first nor will he be the last to execute a cowardly flip-flop when it comes to Cuba. For example............................
      When Mike Huckabee [above] was Governor of Arkansas from 1996 till 2007 he was one of America's most prominent politicians vehemently denouncing the U. S. embargo against Cuba. But in 2008 he was a leading Republican candidate for President. That's when, of course, his cowardice rose prominently to the forefront!
       The above headline records the exact Central Standard Time minute when Governor Huckabee, eyeing a presidential bid, did his 360-degree flip-flop on Cuba to appease the handful of rich and powerful anti-Castro exiles who dictate America's Cuban policy, which dictates that a serious national politician is not allowed an objective viewpoint when it comes to Cuba.
         Of course,  the guitar-playing Huckabee -- like a lot of failed right-wing politicians -- now has his lucrative one-hour program on the Fox Cable News Network. As such, he has also landed a key speaking slot at the Republican National Convention.
       Yes, Mike Huckabee, why don't you "Do the Right Thing" for a change and apologize for your cowardly flip-flop on Cuba. Would that be asking too much?
        But, of course, the list of right-wing politicians [like those above] will continue to grow and grow, believing they have found a gold-mine of self-serving, cowardly treasures when it comes to exploiting the Cuban issue in a U. S. democracy increasingly ruled by the special interests of a greedy and vindictive few. 
       The point is...the U. S. embargo of Cuba, in effect since 1962 to the shame and embarrassment of America's best friends all around the world, shames democracy in the United States most of all. Paul Ryan's flip-flop illustrates that fact. This week the front-page cover article in USA Today pointed out that 90 million Americans who are eligible to vote will not vote in the 2012 presidential election. That reflects the fact that, since 1959, the last two generations of Americans are not too concerned with their democracy. If they were, they would react to anti-democratic principles, such as the U. S. embargo against Cuba that appeases a few vindictive benefactors while harming many millions of innocent people. 
        By the same token, I believe the U. S. democracy can once again be strong enough to let its citizens understand the history of exceedingly important historic events such as Cubana Flight 455. That's the actual airplane above...just before...it was blown out of the sky...by terrorists.
        The little Cuban girl above...was just being told...her father and brother would not be coming back...on Cubana Flight 455. Yes, little Cuban girls cry real tears too. And so should real Americans when their democracy is attacked. And make no mistake...it is being attacked when Americans are not supposed to know about such things as Cubana Flight 455  or that...little Cuban girls cry real tears too.
A closing thought: According to the hourly Google stats, this Cubaninsider blog gets a lot of hits, about 40% from outside the U. S. In one hour today I noticed that 14 hits came from Kiribati. Kiribati? After a google search I learned that Kiribati is an island nation and a part of the Pacific Ocean Gilbert Islands chain that includes such famed World War II battle sites as Tarawa. In 1979 Kiribati got its independence from England. Now, with a population of 100,000, Kiribati is a UN member and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations; it is also a member of key financial groups IMF and the World Bank. In other words, little Kiribati is a sovereign nation no longer under the grip of an imperialist power. 
Kiribati spawns this thought: Little Cuba [the largest island in the Caribbean] is also a sovereign nation that, like Kiribati, was for decades, even centuries, under the yoke of imperialist powers. That finally gave birth to the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s, altering that historic situation. However, since 1959 -- for the self-serving purposes of a few Cuban exiles and their sycophants -- Cuba remains under the yoke of the world superpower, the neighboring United States. Therefore, Cuba is ostracized and infused with diaspora on behalf of two generations of the most vindictive and self-serving exiles from the U. S. - backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship on a hapless island. In this treatment of Cuba, the U. S. government shamefully implies that the ruthless Batista-Mafia rule resembled Mother Teresa and that is a blatant lie. Thus, unlike Kiribati, Cuba is not permitted to benefit from such world-wide organizations as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, etc., and, in fact, the U. S. severely punishes U. S. or international banks that -- heavens forbid! -- do business with Cuba. The fact that the U. S., the world leader in fighting and harboring terrorism, permits Cuba to be a victim of terrorism and then harbors the terrorists, further illustrates the fascinating anomaly that so severely contradicts the democratic principles of the United States of America. The unwitting uniqueness of Cuba, and its nefarious, odiferous impact on the U. S. democracy, is thus mind-boggling. Little Cuba remains, for all these decades, a shining example of how far the U. S. democracy has indefensibly veered from the splendid and incomparable form of government that my favorite Founding Father [James Madison] envisioned. 
Final Note: I have never made a penny on this blog nor will I ever. It is merely a labor of love...a love for the U. S. democracy and a love for eleven million innocent people on the island of Cuba.

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