Anti-Castroism & U.S. Politics

It Can Get You Rich Quickly
Meanwhile, Cuban tourism is booming!!
Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
       Tourism in Cuba is exploding since the December 17th announcement that the U. S. is trying to normalize relations with the island. This photo is used in promotional ads by The Pestana Group and Blowestravel.com to promote the plush Pestana hotel and beach resort at Cayo Coco. It is typical of what's happening on the island as travel agencies and resort builders seek to take advantage of a gorgeous island that finally, it seems, might cease to be embargoed by its superpower neighbor, the United States. Pestana Hotels & Resorts is a Portuguese company that is sharply increasing its investment in Cuba.
         The Miami Herald Monday -- March 9th -- used this Joe Raedle/Getty Images photo to illustrate a major article about the startling boom in Cuban tourism since President Obama announced plans to normalize relations with the island on December 17th. The article stated: "Foreign visitors are coming to Cuba in droves this winter. That comes on the heels of a record-setting year in 2014 when 3.003 million international visitors arrived in Cuba. And that's not counting hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans who travel to the island to visit family. Canada led the way with 182,101 visitors in January for a 15% increase but Germany with 15,832 and England with 14,526 visitors showed the largest percentage increases. Visitors arrivals for those countries were up 37.8 percent and 32.2 percent, respectively." The article written by Mimi Whitefield pointed out that travel agencies in Canada are suggesting that Canadians visit the island "before it is overrun by American travelers." It also stated: "A Chinese company, Beijing Enterprises Holdings, was in talks with the Cuban state company Palmares to form a joint venture to develop a resort complex with a five-star hotel and golf course in Bellomonte, east of Havana." Chinese, Portuguese, and Brazilian companies are among the most eager investors in Cuba as they perceive American companies will soon join the competition.
      This Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times photo shows the Mariel Port, which is 28 miles southwest of Havana and now much deeper and much more modern than other Caribbean ports, including the famed one in Havana. Mariel Port has been undergoing a huge billion-dollar upgrade mostly funded by Brazil. 
       This Carolyn Cole/Los AngelesTimes photo shows 34-year-old Yolexeis Abat Duanes. Like many other Cubans, Yolexeis now has a well-paying job at the refurbished deep-water Mariel Port, which is the hub for an ambitious Industrial Complex that is expected to provide many other well-paying jobs for Cubans.
       Later this month Jose Marti Airport in Havana will begin getting a major renovation. The work will be done by Odebrecht, the Brazilian Construction Conglomerate. Such projects reflect the long-overdue modernization of the island's infrastructure. Whether or not President Obama's dream of normalizing relations with Cuba materializes, his impetus has sparked interest from many other foreign investors. 
      This Flickr photo shows U. S. Senator Marco Rubio and his wife Jeanette, a former cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins, presumably arriving for a fund-raiser. The photo was used to illustrate a March 6-2015 article entitled "Marco Rubio Has A 'Big Money' Problem." The article -- an extremely long and well-documented and well-researched one -- was written by highly respected business journalist Leslie Larson and it appeared initially on the Business Insider website, one of the world's most viewed online sites. Despite the length of the article, I believe it is worthwhile for democracy-loving Americans to read and study every word of it. Ms. Larson dutifully reveals how the nexus of America's money-crazed political world with anti-Castro zealotry can get you very rich very fast...and if you happen to be from Miami it can also get you entrenched in the U. S. Senate and quickly establish you as a Presidential candidate!! Still in his 20s in Miami, Rubio had all of those things going for him. Then when he reached out and grabbed the obligatory coattails of the Bush dynasty, the Tea Party, and Fox News, he was off to the races on a fact-track from Miami to Washington. Rubio quickly, as Ms. Larson details, went from broke to rich in Miami with some, huh,  highly questionable use of credit cards and political donations. He quickly zipped all the way to the U. S. Senate with the obligatory reminder in his bio stating that his parents had escaped the tyranny of Castro's Cuba for the freedom of Miami. Of course, soon the Washington Post and the St. Petersburg Times had revealed that, huh, Rubio's parents had actually escaped the Batista tyranny in Cuba for the freedom {to get rich?} in Miami. But, hey, Rubio has never had to worry about little missteps with either money or facts because he surely can afford a powerful publicity staff, including CNN's "Cuban expert" Ana Navarro, to easily overwhelm both the U. S. media and the unwitting and mostly uninformed American citizens.
        This is Leslie Larson, the brilliant business journalist who wrote the March 6-2015 article "Marco Rubio Has A 'Big Money' Problem." Better than any article I've read, Ms. Larson explains how the business of American politics has evolved into a get-rich-quick scheme because of unlimited and often unaccounted-for campaign donations that, in effect, purchase the political acumen of politicians even before they get elected. The Founding Fathers envisioned politics as a Public Service contribution by decent people to their cherished democracy. It is perhaps merciful that they are not around to witness modern-day politics transforming into primarily a plethora of money-making enterprises. Such politicians are willing to beg for money and sell their souls to the highest bidders. And then, with their cherished PACS stuffed with cash, they can advance from one small location -- such as the Little Havana section of Miami -- all the way to the U. S. Congress and even the White House where they can then influence the lives of all Americans, not just the lives of people in, say, the Little Havana neighborhood from whence they came. Therefore...I suggest, if you are interested in democracy, that you google "Leslie Lawson, Business Insider, Marco Rubio Has A 'Big Money' Problem." If earlier you had studied Rubio's career from Miami-to-the-U. S. Senate-to-presidential contender and determined he was a one-trick pony -- "Anti-Castro"  -- I believe Ms. Lawson's penultimate article would convince you that Mr. Rubio actually has two ponies, the other one being "Big Money." He merely rode his little pony "Anti-Castro" from Miami to the U. S. Senate. Now he is riding his big pony "Big Money" on the short, well-greased journey from the U. S. Senate to the White House...he hopes!
       Marco Rubio, in essence, is a product of the Cuban Revolution that ousted the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship in 1959 and to this day says a lot more about the United States than it says about Cuba. It says that Marco Rubio is now a very, very rich young man from Miami and is willing to give up his lush seat in the U. S. Senate for a serious presidential bid. It also says precisely what the above photo shows. The photo was taken by Carolyn Cole for the Los Angeles Times and was featured in the LA Times outstanding gallery of photos by Ms. Cole entitled "Portraits of Cuba." The LA Times used this exact caption below this photo: "Men playing a game of dominoes on the side of the road in Havana. More than 50 years after the Cuban Revolution ended, some things have changed in the country, but due to the U. S. embargo, much remains the same." For over 50 years, Marco Rubio and other now rich and powerful Cuban-Americans have benefited greatly from using the incomparable power and resources of the United States to maintain such revengeful dictations to Cuba as the embargo, which was put in place in 1962 for what de-classified U. S. documents reveal was for the purpose of starving and depriving Cubans on the island for the purpose of inspiring them to rise up and overthrow Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro at age 88 is still there and un-thrown. But, yes, the Cuban people for all these years have been starved and deprived -- largely because of that anachronistic embargo as the LA Times photo and caption opined. And, yes, such punishments as the embargo have enormously enriched and empowered two generations of transplanted Cuban-Americans, such as Rubio the Presidential Contender. The fact that Americans are not supposed to react to such infringements on the basic fabric of the U. S. democracy reflects that other U.S.-Cuban fact: The Cuban Revolution says a lot more about the United States than it says about Cuba. One thing it says is that the last two generations of Americans have had neither the courage nor the patriotism to do anything about it.

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