Cuban-American Advantages

That All Others Do Not Have
Tuesday, December 2,  2014
       Ernesto Londono is a very important and influential man. He was born in Bogota, Colombia, but emerged quickly as an excellent reporter for the Dallas Morning News. He had extensive overseas work in places like Baghdad and Cairo for the Washington Post where he also excelled as a Pentagon correspondent. He is now on the Editorial Board of the New York Times, America's most important and most influential newspaper. Ernesto Londono is the man behind six...yes, six!...very important, very influential, and very recent Editorials in the New York Times that urged President Barack Obama to do all in his power to ease the decades-long sanctions against Cuba that harm everyone except a few ultra-rich and ultra-powerful Cuban-Americans and their parasitic sycophants. Mr. Londono spent this past week in Cuba where he gave CNN's top international correspondent Christiane Amanpour a long interview that was aired beginning on Thursday, November 27th. Londono reminded Amanpour that even the younger generation of Cuban-Americans in Miami favor ending the "failed" Cuban policy that exists for going on six decades merely to sate the revenge, economic, and political appetites of the first generation of Cubans that fled the overthrow of the vile U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship way, way back on January 1, 1959.
       Ernesto Longono is a very smart, democracy-loving man. As a key member of the Editorial Board at the New York Times, he believes it is time...in fact, way past time...for the U. S. democracy to reflect a sane and democratic policy towards Cuba, not one that makes laws in the U. S. Congress that favor and enrich only Cuban exiles at the expense of everyone else, angering every nation in the Caribbean and Latin America as well as all of America's best friends around the entire world, as reflected by the yearly UN vote.
        This was the front page of The Times of Havana English-language newspaper on the first day of January, 1959. It announced that Dictator Fulgencio Batista, as well as all of the top Batistiano and Mafia leaders, had fled Havana in their cash-filled...even gold-filled...ships, boats, and airplanes -- presumably to hook back up with many millions of dollars they had already sent ahead to bank accounts in Switzerland, Miami, Union City, etc. January 1, 1959, was a long, long time ago. Unfortunately, the remnants of that long-ago "Batista Flees" headline fled mostly to Miami and Union City with tentacles that soon encapsulated Washington with entrenched members of the U. S. Congress as well as legions of lobbyists. Thus, for going on six decades now the U. S. has been saddled with a bevy of laws -- Wet Foot/Dry Foot, Torricelli Bill, Helms-Burton Act, Radio-TV Marti, etc. -- that greatly favor and enrich Cuban-exiles at the expense of everyone else in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the world. An extremely smart and brave journalist and Editorialist like Ernesto Londono clearly understands how undemocratic and harmful the archaic American Cuban policy is to the image of America and to democracy. However, there are many Cuban-American journalists who disagree. Take, for example...Alicia Menendez and Jose Diaz-Balart. 
      This photo is courtesy of Stian Roenning and it was used to highlight an article in the Miami New Times on November 25, 2014. The article was entitled "Alicia Menendez: Fusion's Breakout Star." Alicia is the beautiful and talented 31-year-old daughter of U. S. Senator Robert Menendez. Fusion is the very influential media outlet that has a huge audience, especially among young adults. It is based in Doral, Florida -- a suburb of Miami. Alicia grew up rich and privileged in Union City, New Jersey. In the article, she says she loves living in Doral because it reminds her of Union City. It should. Doral-Miami and Union City were the two prime areas that leaders of the overthrown Batista dictatorship in Cuba flocked to in the early hours of January, 1959. Contrary to what Americans have been told about that flight, many of the Batista leaders did not flee to the U. S. "with only the clothes on their backs." Any diligent study of the Cuban Revolution will reveal magazine and newspaper articles from the 1950s that reported such things as, "The top 21 leaders of the Batista dictatorship in Cuba each have numbered Swiss bank accounts in excess of $1 million." Such acute revelations also indicated that the Batistianos and their Mafia co-dictators had also "practically filled the vaults of Mafia-affiliated banks in the Mafia havens of Miami and Union City." Also, famed journalists such as Herbert L. Mathews and Carlos Franqui -- both of whom were intimately involved in the Cuban Revolution before and after January 1, 1959 -- routinely suggested that one reason the Batista-Mafia leaders did not stay in Havana to fight Castro's advancing rebels in the early hours of New Year's Day in 1959 was their desire to quickly hook back up with all that money in the Swiss, Miami, and Union City banks. For sure, those two American cities were over-whelmed by the sudden influx of Cubans as a whole and especially by the few who had all that money awaiting them from the halcyon days of fleecing the island of Cuba from 1952 till 1959. It was an opportune time for the Cubans to flock to the U. S. because, by the 1960s, the sacrosanct U. S. democracy was more and more becoming susceptible to being purchased by rich people with special interests -- such as rich Cubans with a burning desire to recapture Cuba from the Castro regime. Of course, that quest has not being realized in the past 55 years despite the backing of the U. S. government and the U. S. treasury, the strongest and richest entities in the history of the world. While all that Cuban wealth in the hands of a few in Miami and Union City has not been able to purchase all presidential administrations since the 1960s, it has been able to easily obtain solid alignments with the Bush dynasty as well as the U. S. Congress. But also dramatically significant is the fact that the first generation of Cuban exiles who exited the Batista dictatorship have had the wherewithal, meaning money, to afford the second generation of post-Batista exiles advantages far exceeding that of their American peers. Alicia Menendez personifies that fact. She is Harvard-educated and, unlike many Americans, she didn't have to worry about such little tidbits as repaying student loans once she graduated. Also, right-wing news organizations -- especially Bill O'Reilly at Fox -- immediately began gifting Alicia with reams of airtime, as did less right-wing powers such as the Huffington Post. Then along came Fusion and its prized 9:00 P. M. anchor chair. To her credit, Alicia Menendez has taken full advantage of advantages available to her because she grew up very privileged in Union City where her father was a rich and politically powerful Cuban-American. Also, Cubans benefit mightily from U. S. laws that only benefit Cubans as opposed to Americans or anyone else. For example, only Cuban immigrants are home free in the U. S. merely by touching U. S. soil...you know, the sensational Wet Foot/Dry Foot rule. Recently it was revealed that the U. S. government, which must unceasingly cater to rich and powerful Cuban exiles, has an expensive tax-paid program designed to entice Cubans working as doctors in foreign countries to defect to the U. S., supposedly with a nice bonus and an easy path to benefits and citizenship. Recently it was revealed that the U. S. government, unceasingly catering to rich and powerful Cuban exiles, had an expensive program that recruited Spanish-speaking young people in Latin American countries to go to Cuba to stir up dissent against the Cuban government. And so forth and so on, endlessly and unceasingly since 1959! Despite all those anti-democracy U. S. offshoots, Fidel Castro at age 88 is still alive and, at age 55, so is his Cuban Revolution. Another salient product of the U.S.-Cuban conundrum is Alicia Menendez taking full advantage of all the advantages being a Cuban-American entails.
      The Cuban Revolution says more about the U. S. than Cuba.
       Allowing the overthrown Batista-Mafia dictatorship in Cuba to reconstitute itself stronger than ever on U. S. soil says more about the U. S. than it says about Cuba.
       This iconic photo shows three of the most powerful members of the Batista dictatorship at the height of their power. On the left is Rodolfo Masferrer. In the center is Rafael Diaz-Balart. On the right is Rolando Masferrer. All three, of course, fled the Cuban Revolution to create paramilitary units in South Florida designed to quickly regain control of Cuba. The Wikipedia and other informative accounts confirm that Rafael Diaz-Balart's "La Rosa Blanco" {"The White Rose"} was the first of many unchecked anti-Castro paramilitary groups formed in South Florida in January of 1959.
       Rafael Diaz-Balart emerged in South Florida as one of the richest and most powerful Cuban exiles {exceeded in wealth and power only by the Bush-ordained Jorge Mas Canosa}. As with Canosa and other omnipotent Cuban exiles, Rafael Diaz-Balart's children were extremely well educated and privileged. Rafael's four sons included two anti-Castro zealots from Miami elected to the U. S. Congress, Lincoln and Mario; another of Rafael's sons, Rafael Jr., is a very wealthy investment banker. And yet another of Rafael's sons, Jose Diaz-Balart, is America's most influential television anchor, a cherished position that Alicia Menendez and others can only aspire to. This attests to the unique advantages that the second generational offspring of elite Cuban exiles from the Cuban Revolution have over their American peers.
{Note: Admittedly, talent melded with opportunity helps}
      Jose Diaz-Balart, on the left above, is far more powerful that the other three sons of Rafael Diaz-Balart, who was a key Minister in the Batista dictatorship back in the 1950s. That's saying a lot considering that Rafael Jr. is a rich investment banker and both Lincoln and Mario were elected to the U. S. Congress from Miami. Jose was born in 1960 in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida city that actually has far more Cuban-American mansions than Miami has or Havana ever had. In the 1980s Jose emerged as the top news anchor at WTVJ-TV in Miami. Since then for years he has been the top anchor at Telemundo, the most powerful Spanish network in America. Since June of 2014 he has been a key anchor at NBC, the most viewed news organization in America. Speaking in Spanish on one powerful network and speaking in English on another powerful one, Jose Diaz-Balart is easily America's most powerful media superstar.
     Politically powerful Americans, like President Barack Obama above, can often just ignore anti-Castro zealots such as U. S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart from Miami. But neither President Obama nor anyone else can ignore Jose Diaz-Balart, the most powerful media superstar in America. Like Alicia Menendez and many, many others, Jose Diaz-Balart has taken full advantage of the many unique advantages bestowed upon him for merely being a Cuban-American in the United States of America.
     In 2016 or soon thereafter Marco Rubio or some other very privileged second generational Cuban-American may be elected President of the United States. When that happens some pundit...not me, of course!...will make the claim that the Batistianos have captured the United States before they re-captured Cuba. Of course, with a tad of punditry, I remain a bit amused that Mr. Rubio made it all the way to the U. S. Senate with his obligatory bio claiming his parents escaped the Castro tyranny in Cuba for the freedom of Miami. Considering the entrenched aspects of PAC-dominated U. S. politics, real facts really don't matter. But Senator Rubio has been gently reminded that his parents escaped the Batista tyranny in Cuba for the freedom of Miami long before Castro chased the Batistianos off the island...all the way to Miami, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, and Union City. However, truth be known, I'll probably vote for Mr. Rubio in 2016 because I've been greatly influenced by watching Alicia Menendez on Fusion and Jose Diaz-Balart on Telemundo and NBC. Of course, in America's two-party democracy these days, it is often a question of voting for the lesser of two evils.
Thus, Mr. Rubio still has a shot at my 2016 vote.

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