Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Vidal-Rubio Bandwagons

It Comes Down to These Two
Updated: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
        Josefina Vidal boldly embodies both the mystique and the longevity of Revolutionary Cuba. If it survives the next Republican administration in the United States, it will be strictly because of this brilliant, pugnacious lady. Meanwhile Vidal will try to expand Cuba's sovereignty, and its statue on the world stage, in the closing months of the friendly two-term Obama administration that has, with its diplomatic overtures to Vidal, introduced her to the U. S. public although, since 2002, she has very quietly been in charge of sustaining Revolutionary Cuba against the supposedly fatal dictates of a handful of Miami-produced Cuban-American members of the dysfunctional, right-wing U. S. Congress. She has been so adamantly successful since 2002, playing the role of David vs. Goliath, that it is now obvious that, if the Miami-based Batistianos are finally able to re-capture Cuba, they will first have to capture the United States, which will come to fruition in 2016, Vidal believes, when Republicans return to the White House after already having captured the right-wing U. S. Congress. Capturing the White House will allow the new Republican Commander-in-Chief to re-capture Cuba with the connivance of an already bought-and-paid-for U. S. Congress. In the coming months Cable Television Networks in the U. S. will saturate the airways with Pundits and Polls as they vacillate back-and-forth about why Clinton or Bush or whomever will win the presidential sweepstakes.  An endless array of obnoxious Pundits and Polls will tease the U. S. voters while mostly raking in bundles of cash from self-promoting or negative political ads. But forget the Pundits and the Polls. Josefina Vidal has already decided that Marco Rubio -- the anti-Cuban Cuban-American neophyte zealot from Miami -- will emerge as the Presidential victor in the money-crazed race to the White House. Pundits and Polls merely, and cheaply, fill air space on 24-hour cable "news" programs. Vidal's task is to defend Cuba and, if she errs in judging the political nuances in the United States, her Cuba could cease to exist. So, for Cuba's sake, she has to be 100% right, and since 2002 she has been. I'll review her fixation on Rubio shortly, but first Vidal is gearing up for another Havana-to-Washington flight where she will represent Cuba this Thursday in Round Four of her diplomatic sessions with Roberta Jacobson.
        Jacobson is a skilled American diplomat but she has a key disadvantage in her head-to-head sessions with Vidal. Vidal is a decision-maker in Cuba where no one, including the elderly Castro brothers and the upcoming post-Castro President Miguel Diaz-Canel, questions her regarding the island's most important life-and-death issue -- its relations with the nearby United States. Jacobson, on the other hand, is restricted or confined to expressing only decisions already mandated by her two bosses -- President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. The best U. S. journalists, such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning Karen DeYoung at the Washington Post, have concluded that Vidal "over-matches" U. S. diplomats in face-to-face meetings. In recent weeks Vidal has acquired concessions from the U. S. that no one thought possible -- such as getting the Cuba 5 returned to Cuba although a Miami court had powerfully sentenced them to up to life-plus-15-years in U. S. federal prisons. Also, keeping Cuba on the U. S. list as a "State Sponsor of Terrorism" has been extremely rewarding to the Miami Cubans -- revengefully, economically, and politically. Yet, Vidal -- against all odds -- has gotten Cuba removed from that diabolical list and her stunning efforts in that regard becomes official on May 29th, with the Miami members of the U. S. Congress admitting they cannot prevent that removal. In the 4th Vidal-Jacobson diplomacy Thursday in Washington, Jacobson will remind Vidal that the U. S. is eager to have embassies in Havana and Washington with these stipulations: U. S. diplomats must be allowed to bring un-searched containers to Cuba and U. S. diplomats must be allowed to travel freely around the island. Vidal, who also wants those two embassies, will reluctantly agree, but with a caveat: "You well know, Roberta, that we are not at all pleased with how the U. S. Interests Section personnel in Havana have been used to bring 'un-searched' containers into Cuba and how U. S. Interests Section personnel have funded, trained, encouraged, and created dissidents on our island. You wouldn't allow a foreign country to do that in Washington. We won't allow a foreign country to do that in Havana. Some in the U. S. believe the upcoming U. S. embassy in Havana will enhance the U. S. creation of dissidents in Cuba. But I will monitor that closely, although I am willing to give it a try. It will then be up to the United States to decide if America wants to spawn confrontations once the embassies are up and running."
              Thursday's 4th diplomatic debate in Washington pitting Cuba's Josefina Vidal against America's Roberta Jacobson will likely have historic implications -- paving the way for President Obama's desired U. S. embassy in Havana after endless decades of diplomatic estrangements between the David-vs.-Goliath adversaries. Yet, with a Republican presidency likely to replace Mr. Obama in little more than a year's time, the short-lived embassies in Havana and Washington can be expected to become battlegrounds.
        Study these images from a previous Vidal-Jacobson debate. It shows Vidal talking and Jacobson listening with a look of incredulity on her countenance. Those images will be replicated Thursday in Washington when Vidal makes a statement similar to this to Jacobson: "Roberta, I too want a U. S. embassy in Havana for the first time since forever. But please don't think it will afford the U. S. more of an opportunity to bring un-searched containers into Cuba and for U. S. diplomats to fan out over the island creating dissidents. Yes, we will respect international diplomatic protocol but the U.S.-Cuba deal is unique. I just hope you understand that a U. S. embassy in Havana will not be allowed to foment an upheaval or overthrow of our government or infringe on our sovereignty." As Jacobson listens to such words from Vidal Thursday, the biggest test of Jacobson's incredulity will come later. That's when Vidal says something similar to this: "You know, Roberta, that I am pleased that the U. S. has returned the Cuba 5 to Cuba and that the U. S. has removed Cuba from the Sponsors of Terrorism list, effective May 29th. But please understand another line in the sand that is important to me. I want the U. S. to begin serious discussions with me about the return to Cuba of the 45 square acres of Cuban soil that the U. S. stole in 1903. I know you know that I am speaking of Guantanamo Bay. We want it returned, and the whole world beyond Miami and the U. S. Congress agrees with us. Such discussions do not have to conclude prior to the opening of the U. S. embassy in Cuba. But such discussions must begin in earnest now or I will be willing to oppose a U. S. embassy in Cuba or, if it opens, to close it if I feel serious discussions about the return of Cuba's Guantanamo Bay to its rightful owner have really ended."
         Josefina Vidal is a smart, tough cookie. If you dismiss the idea of her getting Guantanamo Bay back, you probably also dismissed her getting the Cuba 5 back...or getting Cuba removed from the U. S. Sponsors of Terrorism list...or getting a Cuban embassy in Washington within spitting distance of a U. S. Congress that abhors Vidal's Cuba!! Vidal is astute enough to know that the entire Western World outside of Miami and Congress support Cuba on Guantanamo Bay because the entire world abhors the imperialist ramifications of Spanish and American occupation of Cuba, finally ended by the Cuban Revolution. Vidal is also astute enough to know that even patriotic Americans who oppose Cuba have grown very tired of anti-Americanisms revolving around such anti-democratic U. S. tactics as...the theft of Guantanamo Bay and, especially, the installation by the Bush dynasty of the horrid American prison at Guantanamo Bay.
    Highly respected journalist Nick Miroff is the Latin American expert at the Washington Post. He penned an article this week entitled "Why The U. S. Base At Cuba's Guantanamo Bay Is Probably Doomed." The article, of course, infuriated the Cuban-Americans in Miami and in the U. S. Congress, along with their entrenched sycophants such as war-mongering Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, both of whom would chose to go to war before suffering the effrontery of giving Guantanamo Bay back to its rightful owner, Cuba. Miroff wrote, "There is no other place in the world where the U. S. military forcefully occupies foreign land on an open-ended basis against the wishes of its host nation." Of course, Cuba is also the only place in the world in which the United States teamed with the Mafia to support a vile dictatorship, which quickly, and some think permanently, reconstituted itself on United States soil when it was overthrown 56 years ago.
      Admiral James Stavridis was born 60 years ago in West Palm Beach, Florida. He knows what an international black-eye Guantanamo Bay and its Bush-installed prison presents to the image of the U. S. and democracy. Stavridis from 2006 till 2009 was in charge of the U. S. Southern Command, which put him in charge of Guantanamo Bay. He is also a former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and is now the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He told Nick Miroff this week: "Guantanamo Bay is a strategic and highly useful U. S. asset. It's hard to think of another place with the contributions of a deep-water port and decent airstrip and a lot of land. But I don't think its irreplaceable." He does think that the U. S. should either return Guantanamo Bay to Cuba or at least negotiate fairly to lease it, as opposed to simply stealing it as an imperialist prize. After gaining control of Cuba in the easy 1898 victory in the Spanish-American War, the U. S. stole Guantanamo Bay officially in 1903. Dictating the terms, it gave Cuba $2,000 a year to keep the base in perpetuity. In 1934 a slightly kinder U. S. upped the yearly payment to $4,000. Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 Cuba has refused to cash the yearly checks, which have piled up in a desk drawer in an office used by Fidel Castro. Decent, intelligent, and informed people like Admiral James Stavridis agree with Josefina Vidal about who rightfully should have control of Guantanamo Bay. Most Americans, however, are supposed to bow to a few Miami Cuban-Americans and their sycophants in Congress like McCain and Graham. 
             When Francois Hollande, the President of France, was visiting Cuba last week, this photo shows him being congratulated for inaugurating the plush "French Alliance Headquarters" in Havana.
        Meanwhile, Barack Obama, the President of the United States, is forced by a few right-wingers in the U. S. Congress to enforce the U. S. embargo against Cuba that he and the rest of the world so strongly oppose. Of course, the American people are supposed to be too stupid, too scared, or too unpatriotic to be embarrassed or ashamed about this fact as dramatically depicted by this embarrassing graphic.
          Hey, Americans! We and our children have suffered and been embarrassed for over 50 years by a cruel, failed Cuban policy. So let's be sure to keep it in place for another half-century or more so our grandchildren and their children can suffer.
      When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Cuba back in April, he was astute enough to seek out Josefina Vidal as a top priority. In this photo, that is Governor Cuomo making a comment to Vidal that solicits a laugh from her Chief Deputy, Gustavo Machin. But the most important thing Governor Cuomo said to Vidal was: "I am excited about the dramatic changes taking place in Cuba and I know you are the architect, the engineer, of those changes. Selfishly, I want you to know that I hope a drastic increase in trade, in commerce, between Cuba and New York will be a part of the changes you are engineering on this island." And guess how the very diplomatic Vidal replied to the Governor: "Thank you, sir. Your state and New York City are the world leaders in commerce. Cuban and New York airports and water-ports, in the years to come, should be mutual partners, not competitors or enemies. And, sir, I suggest on your visit that you meet Miguel Diaz-Canel. He will be the next President of Cuba and I want you to observe how easy he is to deal with."
So, Governor Cuomo made it a point to meet Miguel Diaz-Canel.
        In fact, as this Reuters photo indicates, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had a long discussion with Miguel Diaz-Canel, the future leader of Cuba, about future commerce between Cuba and New York.
         But most of all, on his April trip to Cuba,  Governor Cuomo displayed great respect and admiration for Josefina Vidal, whom he correctly identified as "the architect, the engineer" of the "dramatic changes" now taking place on the island of Cuba. Those changes, if they are left in the skilled and caring hands of Josefina Vidal, will benefit the vast majority of Cubans and Americans. Yet, she is still David having to take on Goliath. For six decades a handful of Cuban exiles aligned with a handful of American sycophants have dictated America's Cuban policy to solely benefit their self-serving revenge, economic, and political motives. That has eased, somewhat, in recent months solely because of a decent Democratic President named Barack Obama. But the U. S. Congress is dominated by anti-Cuban Republican right-wingers and, Vidal believes, anti-Cuban Republican right-wingers will soon replace Obama in the White House.
         After being scooped up first by the Bush dynasty, then by the Tea Party, and then by four right-wing billionaires, Marco Rubio made it all the way from Miami's Little Havana neighborhood to the U. S. Senate with his bio claiming his parents escaped the Castro tyranny in Cuba for the lush freedom of Miami. Of course, in the foggy haze of U. S. politics it really doesn't matter that, actually, his parents escaped the Batista tyranny in Cuba for the lush freedom of Miami. Proselytized Americans are simply supposed to laugh at such Rubio gaffes and flip-flops. Study the photo above and you will see that even entrenched dinosaurs in the U. S. Senate also laugh at Rubio's gaffes and flip-flops, most of which are determined by whatever poll he's studied that morning. According to Josefina Vidal, perhaps the world's best expert and prognosticator on U. S. politics, Americans and those entrenched dinosaurs in the U. S. Senate will still be laughing in 2016 when Rubio is elected President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States. Tuesday, when I continue this essay, I will explain why Josefina Vidal is not laughing at or with Mr. Rubio.
Continued Tuesday, May 19th!!!
        Paul Krugman was born 62-years-ago in Albany, New York. Today he is the top columnist at the New York Times. In the U. S., the world's most important democracy, voters are gearing up to elect a new President in 2016. Before they do so, I believe, they all should read Mr. Krugman's column on Monday, May 18th, 2015. It was entitled: "The Iraq War, Based On Lies, Was More Than A Mistake." Mr. Krugman clearly fears that one of two Republicans -- Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio -- will be elected President of the United States and that neither of them recognizes the mistakes of the Iraq War, which has cost trillions of U. S. tax dollars and ongoing buckets of blood. American voters, in addition to reading Mr. Krugman's article, should also fear the exact same thing he fears. Mr. Krugman wrote: "It turns out there is something to be said for having the brother of a failed President {and that brother's political protege} make their own runs for the White House. Thanks to Jeb Bush, we may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago." Krugman's column this week follows countless soundbites on American newscasts of first Jeb Bush and then Marco Rubio making totally embarrassing comments about the Iraq War, namely their support of George W. Bush's decisions.
     Mr. Krugman wrote: "But many influential people...would prefer that we not have that discussion. There is a palpable sense right now of the political and media elite drawing a line under the subject. Yes, the narrative goes, we now know that invading Iraq was a terrible mistake, and it's about time that everyone admits it. Now let's move on. Well, let's not -- because that's a false narrative. The fraudulence of the case for war was actually obvious even at the time. Some of the warmongers believed that deploying shock and awe in Iraq would enhance American power and influence around the world. Yes, it was a mistake. But...it was worse than a mistake, it was a crime." I am a lifelong conservative Republican, but I am not a right-wing, war-mongering Republican. Therefore, I share Mr. Krugman's fears about the ongoing presidential bids of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. In the U. S. in the last few days every major national newscast has showed video of first Bush and then Rubio "fumbling and stumbling" over a simple question: If they had been President, would they have done anything differently in Iraq from President George W. Bush? The answers by Bush and Rubio alarmed not only serious potential voters in 2016 but also their highly paid armies of publicists, who quickly began saturating the airways rolling back the Bush and Rubio comments.
       It is highly likely that either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio will be elected Commander in Chief and President of the United States in 2016. The only viable Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, will be worn down, and justifiably so, by her and her husband's insatiable accumulation of money in the past decade, verily tons of it from Wall Street and unsavory foreigners. A Republican, including the two tarnished ones, will merely need well over a billion dollars to beat her. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, renowned flip-floppers supported by an array of right-wing billionaires eager to purchase the White House, will each have PACs brimming with over a billion political dollars, thanks in part to incredible anti-democracy rulings by the Supreme Court in 2010 that allows virtual unlimited donations from billionaire companies and individuals, a tragedy that eliminates the importance of individual votes from everyday Americans, effectively diminishing democracy. In that milieu, we have another Bush and now Rubio.
         Either Rubio or Bush will collect Florida's truck-load of electoral votes, the truck-load that put George W. Bush in the White House in 2000 although the Democrat, Al Gore, got more nationwide votes. Jeb Bush is a political force for two reasons: His last name and his incredible ties to the most extremists anti-Castro zealots in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. Jeb secured his credentials in Florida by being the Campaign Manager of Havana-born, anti-Castro zealot Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has been in the U. S. Congress since 1989 courtesy of the Bush dynasty. Jeb didn't stop there using the Bush machine to ingratiate himself with the anti-Castro Cubans in Miami. He, for example, encouraged his father, President George H. W. Bush, to pardon Orlando Bosch, considered one of the two most infamous CIA-connected, Cuban exile terrorists {Cubana Flight 455, etc.}. Of course, in his two terms as Governor of Florida, Jeb used his connections to his brother, President George W. Bush, to further ingratiate himself to his political and economic base -- Little Havana in Miami. Along the way, Jeb's major political protege, even beyond Ros-Lehtinen and others, was Marco Rubio. So now, in May of 2015, Jeb and Marco are vying against each other for the Republican nod on the money-crazed path to the White House. Marco is likely to win because Bush, like Hillary Clinton, will be tripped up by his last name and by his incredible sources of money.
     Every political journalist in Washington is abundantly aware that these two veteran Republican Senators -- John McCain and Mitch McConnell -- literally begged Marco Rubio not to run for President. They maintained that,  at age 41, he had plenty of time to be President but in 2016 it's 62-year-old Jeb Bush's turn. And they told Rubio that, if he surrendered his entrenched Senate seat, the Republican party would have to spend millions of dollars and still might not be able to retain it. But the brash Rubio believes he can win the Presidency even with those directly expressed reservations from the Republican establishment, represented by McCain and McConnell. And guess who agrees with Rubio? Cuba's highly respected American expert Josefina Vidal!! She expects a Rubio presidency.
       This AP photo of this innocent-looking house in Tallahassee, Florida's capital city, was used to illustrate a scathing article about Marco Rubio by Marc Caputo, perhaps the most respected political journalist in the United States. The article was entitled: "Marco Rubio's House of Horrors." If you Google that article, you might cringe. Caputo revealed how the house, co-owned by Rubio and his controversial friend David Rivera, demonstrates an endless litany of "lingering questions about Rubio's personal finances." Long before Rubio reached the U. S. Senate and his Political Action Committee became overflowing with cash, he had some problems with such things as credit cards and...real estate, like this house. Rubio and his close friend David Rivera got their political careers underway in Tallahassee's State House and I'll let you Google Caputo's article to discover why this Rubio-Rivera house might become "Rubio's House of Horrors." If you plan a presidential vote, you should study Caputo's article.
          This is Marco Rubio with his best friend, David Rivera. Caputo, in the aforementioned article, described Rivera as a "scandal-plagued former Congressman under investigation in a federal finance probe."
     The Havana-born Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has been entrenched in the U. S. Congress from Miami since 1989 when Jeb Bush was her Campaign Manager. She is an even more anti-Castro zealot than the other three Miami members of Congress, including Marco Rubio and even Mario Diaz-Balart. Ros-Lehtinen and Rubio, of course, are very tight and Rubio once worked for her. Yet, in the Rubio-Bush rivalry to capture the Republican presidential bid, Ros-Lehtinen favors Jeb over Rubio. So does the Miami-based CNN pundit Ana Navarro who has been a ubiquitous promoter for all of Miami's Republican politicos -- including Bush, Ros-Lehtinen, and Rubio. So, if Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, the epitome of a Havana-born, Miami-based anti-Castro zealot, favors Bush over fellow Cuban-American Rubio, one might think it portends bad news for Rubio. It does, but only to an extent. The self-serving economic and political ties of  Jeb Bush and the Bush dynasty to the Cuban hardliners in Maimi has been so propagandized in the U. S. that Jeb Bush doesn't think it will cost him a vote in his bid for the White House. But if Ros-Lehtinen favors Bush over Rubio, it is further concrete affirmation of the incredible decades-long Bush-Batistiano connections. In fact, if I had to choose between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio as the proverbial lesser of two evils, I would choose Rubio over a continuation of the Bush dynasty.
          The Tea Party, the right-wing organization that teamed with the Bush dynasty to send Rubio from Miami to Washington, has also soured a bit on their young flip-flopper. His flip-flopping on immigration issues alarmed Tea Party crowds, including the ones portrayed in this photo. Of course, Rubio flip-flopped back to the Tea Party position, but many of them remain concerned about his flip-flopping yet again!! 
         Study this photo of Marco Rubio making a speech on Foreign Relations. He is prominently on the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. Cuba is a foreign country. And Rubio is the Chairman of the Senate's Committee on Western Hemisphere Affairs. Cuba is in the Western Hemisphere. His Foreign Relations speeches, like this one, are written by top aides and Rubio merely reads their words off a teleprompter. But extemporaneously Rubio is not skilled as a choreographer of ideas. When introduced as the Republican Party's rising Superstar, Rubio nervously and puerility turned from the teleprompter to reach for a glass of water. When announcing his presidential bid at the Cuban-exile Freedom Tower in Miami, he appeared quite nervous reading the TelePrompTer. When asked on network television this past Sunday about Bush's venture in Iraq, he fumbled and stumbled his reply more than you would expect from a ten-year-old would-be Presidential candidate. In his first-term as a U. S. Senator from Miami, except for threatening to "shut down" the government and "blocking" any and all positive overtures President Bush is planning for Cuba, Rubio has done little except use the U. S. Senate as a platform for his Presidential aspirations, or his aberrations as the case may be.  But, the ego-obsessed Marco Rubio is Josefina Vidal's pick to be the next Commander-in-Chief and President of the United States, and her prescient views on American politics are not only uncanny but vital to the survival of Revolutionary Cuba.
        Revolutionary Cuba depends on Josefina Vidal to properly assess the threats to the island from Miami, Union City, and Washington. Many believe that if she ever makes a major error in such judgments, the hard-earned and hard-maintained revolutionary rule of Cuba will be replaced in short order by Cuban-exile zealots in Union City and Miami who control the U. S. Congress when it comes to America's vicious anti-Cuban policy. A Rubio or Bush Presidency in 2016 will, many believe, pound the final nail in the coffin of Revolutionary Cuba. This week Josefina Vidal will be in Washington to represent Revolutionary Cuba in the ongoing diplomatic discussions with her American counterpart, Roberta Jacobson. Josefina Vidal believes that Marco Rubio will be the next President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States. She also believes that Rubio considers Cuba to be a bigger threat to the United States than ISIS, Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea combined. Thus, in addition to her ongoing diplomatic efforts to normalize relations with the United States while Barack Obama is still President, Josefina Vidal is already preparing for 2016 when she expects Rubio to replace Obama in the White House. Incredibly, playing David vs. Goliath, Josefina Vidal has sustained Revolutionary Cuba even as right-wing Republicans took over the U. S. Congress. Most likely, if Rubio {or Bush} captures the White House in 2016 it will doom Revolutionary Cuba. Josefina Vidal has long believed "the Batistianos will need to capture the United States before they re-capture Cuba." In 2016 she believes the Batistianos will capture the United States. Re-capturing Cuba will likely follow. However, that doesn't mean she will relinquish her magical David-vs.-Goliath persona. 
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