Cuba Beware: A Trojan Horse

May Target Havana!!!
      This image of a Trojan Horse is courtesy of Void Magazine/voidlive.com based in Jacksonville, Florida. According to historical and mythological legends, in 1194 BC the Greeks had fruitlessly tried for a decade to capture the city of Troy during the Trojan War. The Greeks finally devised a stratagem: They built a huge wooden horse and put it on wheels. They made a faint at the fortified city walls, and then retreated, purposely leaving the horse behind. The soldiers defending Troy were intrigued and rolled the horse through the opened gates. Inside the horse, hidden in its belly and neck, the Greeks had planted 32 of their best soldiers, who exited the mammoth wooden horse and created havoc that included reopening the gates so the returning Greek army could enter. In that manner, very famously, the Greeks captured the city of Troy. A "Trojan Horse" has metaphorically come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to foolishly allow a hostile force into its well-fortified bastion, such as a fort or a supposedly impenetrable city. In this digital age, a malicious computer program that salaciously tricks users into clicking onto a fake ad or email and thus allows thieves to access the computer is called "a Trojan Horse." Is Havana, like Troy, susceptible to a Trojan Horse because of improved U. S. relations? It's a theory well worth pondering.
         Not for a second am I suggesting that President Obama's Herculean efforts to normalize relations with Cuba involve a Trojan Horse strategy. But, there is no doubt that counter-revolutionaries in Miami and Washington, and a handful of well-heeled dissidents on the island, are well aware that having greater and less transparent access to the island, a byproduct of Obama's welcoming-hand approach to Cuba, is providing them a Trojan Horse-type opportunity after six decades of being unable to crack the Castro veneer. Luckily for Cuba, the island's most important American expert knows all about Trojan Horses.
        Josefina Vidal is Cuba's Minster of North American Affairs and her decision-making authority is stronger than even that title would indicate. She was Cuba's prime negotiator over the course of the past 25 months, enabling President Obama to use his executive power to bring some sanity to U.S.-Cuban relations despite the self-serving hostility of a Batistiano-loving U. S. Congress. Among other things, Vidal knows all about Trojan Horses. She doesn't want Havana to be equated in history or mythology with Troy. She is, however, aware that some powerful Americans and Cuban-Americans are as anxious to capture Havana in 2015 as the Greeks were to capture Troy in 1194 BC. With that in mind, the last two things that Vidal conceded prior to the re-opening of embassies in Washington and Havana for the first time since 1961 were: {1} very reluctantly she agreed to allow U. S. minsters to leave their embassy in Havana and travel freely around the island; and {2} very reluctantly she agreed to allow U. S. ministers to bring un-inspected diplomatic pouches into Cuba. Remember, Vidal for over a decade has been Cuba's primary monitor of the unending regime-change programs, lavishly created and funded in Miami and Washington. She is aware that the reopened U. S. embassy in Havana can be like the Trojan Horse was in Troy. As much as Vidal desires normal relations with the U. S., as epitomized by the reopened embassies, she is fully capable of "battening down the hatches," which to her means "sacrificing U. S. relations altogether in favor of a defensive posture that relies on much more friendly foreign support, especially when it comes to trade."
         Josefina Vidal is hoping that ultra rich and powerful Cuban-Americans like Carlos Gutierrez are not equating improved U.S.-Cuban relations with the Trojan Horse that spelled doomed for Troy centuries ago. But you had better believe that Vidal is well aware of a startling about-face Gutierrez has made regarding Cuba. He was born in Havana in 1953. His father was a wealthy owner of a pineapple plantation in Batista's Cuba. After the Cuban Revolution overthrew Batista in January of 1959, Gutierrez's father fled to Miami when Carlos was six-years-old. As an adult, Carlos became CEO and Chairman of one of America's best-known companies, Kellogg. Gutierrez also was Vice-Chairman of Citigroup, the far-flung financial giant.
        From 2005 till 2009 Gutierrez was Secretary of Commerce in the George W. Bush administration. That Bush presidency, as far as Vidal and others were concerned, turned Cuban policy over to viciously anti-Castro zealots/militants such as Otto Reich, Roger Noriega, and...Carlos Gutierrez. All of Latin America still cringes over the Bush presidency, especially Reich and Noriega, celebrating the brief coup that overthrew Venezuela's Cuban-friendly President Hugo Chavez. Vidal also palpably remembers how Gutierrez handled the U. S. reaction to two back-to-back hurricanes that devastated the island, destroying over 240,000 homes. Many countries sincerely offered aid. So did the U. S., insincerely. Gutierrez held a news conference saying x-number of U. S. tax dollars would help Cuba's recovery. It was a ruse that still irritates Vidal. He said the financial aid would not go to the government, meaning as far as Vidal was concerned it was merely an additional way to fund dissidents. Gutierrez held more news conferences, pompously raising the amount of tax dollars the U. S. was ready to provide Cuba. Gutierrez, Vidal still believes, was making fun of Cuba during a time when the people on the island were suffering from the brutal hurricanes. Vidal does not trust any American closely aligned with the Bush dynasty, economically or politically.
      Carlos Gutierrez is now 61-years-old and an extremely rich man. His power and influence resides mostly in his huge bank accounts but also in a plethora of enterprises such as the Albright Stone Bridge Group. Back on July 20th he was a very ubiquitous visitor to Havana where he attended the flag-raising at the new U. S. embassy. The photograph above was taken in front of the embassy during a long interview with Gutierrez conducted by NBC's top political correspondent Andrea Mitchell. In that interview, which you may want to dial up online, Gutierrez lavishly advocated friendly relations with Cuba. WOW! He even lavished praise on Cuban President Raul Castro, pointing out how many new entrepreneurs he was seeing on his return to Cuba. His lavish praise has been analyzed by Josefina Vidal. Is Carlos Gutierrez's about-face akin to the Trojan Horse stratagem that the Greeks used so successfully against Troy? MaybeMaybe not?
        This photo of Josefina Vidal was taken this week as she was being interviewed by Reuters, the London-based international news agency that covers Cuba like a blanket. Thanks to Reuters, we know that Ms. Vidal knows what a Trojan Horse is. That means Cuba may remain a sovereign country a while longer.

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