The Tax-Dollar Pipeline to Cuban Exiles

Invented by the Bush Dynasty But it Still Churns
This very expensive anti-Castro-propaganda airplane flies around Cuba every day!!
Fidel Castro knows all about it.
Perhaps U. S. taxpayers should too.
   Jeffrey Kofman {above} is the top investigative reporter for ABC-TV. His Twitter @JeffreyKofman account describes him as: "ABC News Correspondent based in London and roaming the world." One of his roams took him to Miami where his award-winning report entitled "Newscast to Nowhere" on June 11, 2003, should have been read by every tax-paying American. If you missed it, you can google it at "ABC-TV's Newscast to Nowhere" and then read it as you weep about the Bush-designed bundles of dollars that have flowed since the 1980s to the Bush-aligned Cuban exile zealots. The opening words of Kofman's report are: "It's the newscast to nowhere, courtesy of the U. S. taxpayers. Fifty-five reporters, editors and producers -- all U. S. government employers -- work seven days a week in a television newsroom in Miami. Each day they earnestly assemble, record and broadcast 4 1/2 hours of news and information programming in Spanish. And no one sees it. The intended audience is the people of Cuba." Kofman described a microcosm of a flawed Cuban policy.

        Jeffrey Kofman was merely informing the American people of the "hundreds of millions" of dollars flowing from the U. S. Treasury to the infamous anti-Castro propaganda operation in Miami known as Radio-TV Marti. Many tenacious journalists have repeatedly pointed out that the broadcasts are easily blocked by the Cuban government and, even if they got through to the island, they would be ignored or laughed at as poorly produced, utterly biased anti-Cuban propaganda...like profligacy yielding to self-ordained piety.
      Radio Marti went on the air in 1983 when the Reagan-Bush administration anointed Jorge Mas Canosa as the leader of the most vehement anti-Castro exiles. TV Marti was added in 1990 during the Bush administration. Not surprisingly, the Miami Herald began writing about "self-made Cuban exiles on the way to becoming multi-millionaires!" Did "self-made" include money from Batista's Cuba and Bush's Washington?
         With friends like CIA Director-then-Vice President-and-then-President George H. W. Bush, the wonder is that many more Cuban exiles didn't become "multi-millionaires" or billionaires. Self-made, of course!
         When the Bush dynasty went on to include two-term President George W. Bush and two-term Florida governor Jeb Bush, the Washington-to-Miami pipeline of tax dollars continued and even expanded!
     Marie Cocco is surely one of America's all-time best and most respected nationally syndicated columnists. One of her most famous columns was entitled "Take It Anyway." Perhaps you should google it and read it as you weep. Ms. Cocco explained that President George W. Bush called Cuban exiles in Miami to advise them of another pipeline of tax dollars headed their way. Perhaps because they were still dissecting the previous bundle, they told the President to hold off...that they didn't need or want the tax dollars right then. President Bush, according to Marie Cocco, replied, "Take it anyway." It gave Ms. Cocco her headline for the column but although it was nationally syndicated and otherwise garnered considerable exposure it didn't impact with the U. S. taxpayers. After all, Americans have been programmed since 1959 not to question any absurdity when it comes to Cuba. "Take it anyway." WHY NOT? It wasn't money from the Bush fortune; it was just money from the taxpayers that, possibly, could have been pipe-lined to more deserving and more worthy causes -- like, food stamps. {Marie Cocco's column is syndicated two times each week by the Washington Post Writers Group; her email is mariecocco@washpost.com. If you care where your tax dollars go, you might want to grasp her columns}
Now back to that airplane {aboveflying uselessly around Cuba each day gobbling up YOUR tax dollars!
         On July 28th, 2013, Foreign Policy Magazine and the major www.foreignpolicy.com Website used the above airplane-Castro photo to lead into a huge article by John Hudson pointing out the incredible waste of tax dollars on counter-productive programs merely to appease the most visceral Cuban-exile hardliners such as Havana-born U. S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and U. S. Senator Robert Menendez. Sunday's encapsulating John Hudson article begins with these words: "It's difficult to find a more wasteful government program. For the last six years, the U. S. government has spent more than $24 million to fly a plane around Cuba and beam American-sponsored TV programming to the island's inhabitants. But every day the plane flies, the government in Havana jams its broadcast signal. Few, if any, Cubans can see the programs. The {TV Marti} program is run by the U. S. Broadcasting Board of Governors and for the last two years it has asked Congress to scrap the program citing its exorbitant expense and dubious cost-effectiveness. 'The signal is heavily jammed by the Cuban government, significantly limiting this platform's reach and impact on the island,' reads the administration's fiscal year 2014 budget request. But each year hard-line anti-Castro members of Congress have rejected the recommendation and renewed funding the program." 
      Sunday's perceptive John Hudson article specifically mentioned Havana-born Representative Ros-Lehtinen {safely entrenched in the U. S. Congress from Miami since 1989 when Jeb Bush was her Campaign Manager} and Senator Menendez {safely entrenched in the U. S. Senate from Union City, NJ} -- both anti-Castro zealots -- as the "staunchest supporters" of the expensive-but-useless airplane-flying-around-Cuba debacle, with Senator Marco Rubio -- yet another U. S. Senator, Bush-anointed anti-Castro prodigy from Miami -- backing them up. In other words, instead of recusing themselves when it comes to Cuban decisions in which they may be biased or otherwise conflicted, since their many ordainments from the Bush dynasty only a handful of the most visceral anti-Castro Cuban exiles have been allowed to make the self-serving U. S. decisions/laws regarding Cuba. The non-conflicted majority is left out of the process.
Here are details of that very expensive Marti airplane.
It uselessly gobbles up your tax dollars daily!
Just to appease revenge and economic motives of Cuban exiles!!
      John Hudson's Sunday article quoted Arizona's U. S. Senator Jeff Flake {aboveas saying: "It's hard to believe we are still wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on beaming a jammed signal." But Senator Flake, a Republican, well knows that nothing is hard to believe when it comes to a U. S. Cuban policy controlled by a handful of only the most zealous anti-Castro Cuban exiles. Presumably, if Senator Flake and others like him had a serious conflict of interest on a given issue they would...uh...recuse themselves from voting or participating in decisions relating to such issues. But such sensible governmental rules have not applied to Cuban exiles still chafing over the ouster {Havana to Miami and then Washington} of the Batista/Mafia dictatorship in Cuba way, way back in 1959. It appears Senator Flake and all other non-benefactors agree with that assessment but since 1959 the majority in the U. S. democracy have been excluded when it comes to the plethora of lucrative, revengeful policies that epitomize America's Cuban quagmire. 
    And with a citizenry not too concerned with either its democracy or how its tax dollars are spent, the American policy regarding Cuba will continue to be dictated by a few revengeful anti-Castro Cuban-Americans born in or descended from...Havana! Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the U. S. democracy, when it comes to Cuba, has pretended that the world "recuse" does not exist. But it should!
recuse: verb -- to excuse oneself  because of a conflict of interest or lack of impartiality.
That used to be a rule in the U. S. Congress...till it got over-ruled by Cuban-exile sycophants!


Week-end Photos of Fidel Castro at Home

These photos were taken Saturday, July 27th, 2013.
This one shows Fidel Castro in his home discussing photos with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
       This photo shows Fidel checking out a book that President Maduro gave him. Fidel is standing but note that he appears to be gripping Maduro's right arm for support. He appears to be very tired and weak.
This photo shows Fidel admiring a painting that President Maduro had given him.
In this photo Fidel is reading the newspaper as President Maduro watches and listens.
Fidel Castro turns 87-years-old on August 13th.
      This photo -- taken by Marco Ugarte for the Associated Press on Saturday, July 27th, 2013 -- shows pro-Castro Mexicans protesting at the U. S. embassy in Mexico City as they celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Moncada attack against the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship in Cuba. Presumably, poor Latin Americans will remember Fidel Castro for decades to come when his legacy might prompt even more protests.
This REUTERS/Desmond Boyland photo captures the Cuban sunset on July 28th, 2013.


Fidel Castro's 35-Minute Audio Interview in 1959

      In 1959, shortly after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Clark Galloway conducted the above 35-minute audio interview with Fidel Castro for U.S. News & World Report. Galloway's grand-daughter recently discovered the audio tape. It makes for an incredibly insightful peek into Fidel's thinking at that crucial time, revealing his anti-Communists views, his desire for friendly trade with the U. S., his acceptance of the U. S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, his extreme hatred of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, etc. You can hear excerpts from that interview but the complete transcript in English and Spanish is even more titillating. 
The audio excerpts and the complete transcript can be accessed at:
{Or just google: "Fidel Castro talks about Cuban Revolution in Lost Interview}
       Clark Galloway's grand-daughter Laura found the audio tape in a box marked "Galloway/Castro." The exquisitely fascinating 35-minute interview captured Fidel Castro expressing his feelings and plans just days after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959. Galloway had a distinguished career as a Colonel in the U. S. Army and then he became a Latin American expert as a star journalist for the Associated Press and U. S. News & World Report. The tape was the first time Laura had ever heard her grand-dad's voice. He died at age 63 on January 1, 1961. He solicited from Fidel such comments as: "If this revolution falls, what we will have here in Cuba is a hell. Hell itself!" But the young rebel's comments expressing his expectations of a friendly relationship with the United States, I believe, highlighted the long interview, which preceded a cascade of assassination attempts, terrorist attacks, and the April-1961 military assault at the Bay of Pigs -- all of which soon sharply and permanently altered Fidel's U. S. thoughts.


An Emotional Day for Fidel Castro

The 26th of July was a very meaningful day in Cuba.
         And Friday, July 26th, 2013 was an exceedingly emotional day for Fidel Castro. It's the 60th anniversary of the audacious attack on the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The ill-fated operation was easily defeated by the much stronger forces of dictator Fulgencio Batista but the effort and the date resulted in the name Fidel attached to his revolution that over-threw the Batista regime five-and-one-half years later. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the attack, at least eight Presidents of Latin American and Caribbean countries visited Havana to reminisce with Fidel.
     An old warrior named Jose Mujica particularly made Moncada's 60th anniversary very emotional for Fidel. The 78-year-old Mujica has been the democratically elected President of Uruguay since 2010. As a rebel and as a politician -- not unlike current democratically elected Presidents in Brazil, Panama, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, etc. -- Mujica's inspiration was spawned by the Cuban Revolution. With Fidel Castro his idol, Mujica joined the Tupamaros movement in 1960 to try to overthrow a foreign-backed military dictatorship in Uruguay. He was captured four times, once after being shot six times. He had served 14 years in a military prison when he was released in 1985 when Uruguay got a constitutional democracy. Jose's political career then took off thanks to his insatiable support of poor people. Today President Mujica gets a salary of $12,000 a month but he has famously always given at least 90% of his income to the poorest people in Uruguay. He and his wife Lucia...she, too, was a guerrilla fighter who still worships Fidel Castro...own an austere little farm on the outskirts of Montevideo where they raise and sell flowers, an income they also give away to poor people. Their only vehicle is a 15-year-old Volkswagen Beetle. He famously proclaims: "All elected officials should be poor like me, not rich parasites."
In Havana President Jose Mujica of Uruguay this week toasted the Cuban people.
And President Mujica placed flowers at the Jose Marti Memorial.
But President Mujica made it known that his trip was primarily to visit his idol, Fidel Castro.
       President Mujica said he was "delighted to find my dearest friend in such good health after all he has endured." He said, "I found an elderly man who continues to be brilliant, always a promoter of ideas that benefit poor people." He revealed that he and Fidel discussed "wide-ranging topics, everything." President Mujica congratulated Fidel on the 60th anniversary of the Moncada attack and wished him "a happy 87th birthday." As they parted, he said, "I am the elected President of Uruguay because of you and you should know there will be others like me. Poor people needed you and they surely need people like me that you inspired."
       Lucia Topolansky, the wife of Jose Mujica and the First Lady of Uruguay, accompanied her husband on the trip to Cuba and also met her idol Fidel Castro. Lucia, like Mujica, was a guerrilla fighter inspired by the Cuban Revolution back in the 1960s and 1970s. And like Mujica, she still shuns opulence and gives almost all of her worldly possessions to poor people. "That's how we honor Fidel in Uruguay," she said proudly.
Fidel Castro turns 87-years-old in a few days, on August 13th.
Unabashedly and unapologetically he has defied more odds than perhaps any other historic figure.
The perception that he championed poor people has inspired others.
Including...Jose Mujica and Lucia Topolansky.
And Speaking of July 26th.......
      Celia Sanchez, Fidel's all-time most important ally, would be proud he is still around to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Moncada attack. It was Celia Sanchez who proclaimed way back in 1959: "The Batistianos will never regain control of Cuba as long as I live or as long as Fidel lives." She died of cancer at age 59 on January 11, 1980. But...he still lives. And therefore, against all odds, so does her proclamation.
Celia Sanchez kept the revolution alive the two years Fidel was imprisoned after the Moncada attack.
      And beginning in December of 1956 when he joined her fight in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, Fidel was smart enough to let Celia Sanchez be the prime decision-maker for the rest of the revolutionary war and then in Revolutionary Cuba. That's why renowned Cuban historian Pedro Alvarez Tabio was correct when he concluded: "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." And Cuban photographer/author Roberto Salas was correct when he concluded: "Celia 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." 
Fidel Castro agrees with both conclusions.


The True Faces of Cuba

Contrast Sharply With Fictional Portrayals of the Island
{A Pictorial Essay refurbished on July 23rd, 2013}
        It has always amazed me how little Americans know about Cuba, especially the Americans who have heard and read so much about the island south of Florida that dominates the Caribbean. Most of what Americans hear and read about Cuba is scripted by two generations of self-serving Cuban exiles booted off the island, with reason, by the Cuban Revolution way back in 1959. Those of us who have been to Cuba and studied non-exile images of it have observed and discovered a fascinating island quite different from what we are supposed to know about it. I reckon that is why the vast and lucrative American cottage industry created by a handful of two generations of exiles dictate that Cuba is the one destination in the world that Americans cannot freely visit. Routinely accepting what we are told about Cuba is not conducive to supporting our democracy because Cuba is not what a few self-indulgent exiles or dissidents say it is. Cuba is what everyday Cubans on the island say it is. With that in mind, here is a reflection of the Cuba I saw...what I consider the true images of an island often hidden behind a veil of secrecy and deceit.
I have visited everyday Cubans from Pinar del Rio in the West to Santiago de Cuba in the East.
Ernest Hemingway's favorite bar, La Bodeguita del Medio, still serves the best mojitos.
Cubans love outdoor murals.
Santiago de Cuba, the former capital and second largest city, remains a Spanish and Caribbean gem.
The edge of Santiago de Cuba on the southeastern end of the island.
Cuban musicians are ubiquitous from one end of the island to the other.
Cuban beaches, like Cayo Largo, are among the world's most pristine.
This tiny, beautiful bird -- the Tody -- is found only on the island of Cuba.
Everyday Cubans are perhaps the happiest people you'll ever meet.
Cuban girls relax on the wall that fronts Havana's famed Malecon Boulevard. 
Cuba devotes an amazing amount of resources to such things as ballet schools.
Calm, turquoise waters near Varadero, Cayo Coco, and Cayo Largo are breathtaking.
A young Cuban woman dives into the ocean.
Havana's famed Hotel Nacional has been refurbished.
Cuban girls enjoying ice cream in Florida, Cuba {correct} after a long bike ride.
The south-central colonial coastal city of Trinidad was my favorite historical spot.
This tree separates the city of Trinidad from the ocean.
Paladars, the restaurants in homes, serve the best food in Cuba.
The World Bank says that Cuba's literacy rate is a world-class 98.6%.
All Cubans are guaranteed free shelter on the island, often in pre-revolutionary mansions.
A poster inside a school in Bayamo proclaims free educations, free health care, etc., for all children.
Cuban schoolchildren posing with their two teachers for a photo.
Even young schoolchildren in Cuba are veterans when it comes to posing for tourist photos.
Cubans young and old love to relax in spirited dominoes competitions.
A Cuban lady sweeps her stoop near a "Long Live the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution" sign.
Cuban children ride a carousel free in the seaside town of Gibara.
A Ramon Espinoso/AP photo shows a Cuban mother watching her little girl yawn at the start of a school day.
Tourists enjoy one of Cuba's beaches.
A Cuban man in Gibara just paid a truck vendor 15 pesos for a large jar of beer.
Cuban schoolgirls walk past murals honoring 19th century independence fighters against Spain.
A Cuban mother fawning over her two daughters on the way to a wedding.
Cubans following a hearse on the way to a funeral.
Even during pre-game warm-ups Cubans cheer wildly for their favorite baseball teams.
A view of the Caribbean Sea from Santiago de Cuba's old Morro Fortress built in the 1600s.
In the 1950s the U. S. trained and armed Cuban soldiers to support the Batista/Mafia dictatorship.
But the Cuban Revolution on Jan. 1-1959 booted the Batistianos and the Mafiosos off the island.
Since 1959 the exiled Batistianos and Mafiosos have yearned to feast on the island again!
The Cuban Godfathers of the 1950s are gone but they have spawned two generations of rich, eager exiles.
Ros-Lehtinen/Rubio/Menendez now lead the Cuban government within the U. S. government.
Cuban-Americans who dictate America's Cuban policy make super-heroes out of Cuban dissidents.
....today's views and opinions of Cuba can best be honed and shaped by actually visiting the island.
But that's why Americans are restricted from doing so.
For decades lies and deceptions about Cuba have translated to wealth and power for an undeserving few.
And punishing innocent Cubans is a part of the equation.

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