Monday, November 23, 2015

Argentina Election Hurts Cuba

Victory for Wall Street Billionaires
       Mauricio Machi was elected President of Argentina yesterday. It's a major victory for rich Argentinians, for Wall Street billionaires in the U. S., and for anti-Castro zealots in Miami. The major losers are Argentina's poor majority and the island of Cuba. Repercussions will resonate loudly throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.
       Sunday's election of Mauricio Macri as Argentina's next President might epitomize a vanishing breed of Cuban-friendly leftist leaders in Latin America.
       The loser, 53% to 47%, in Sunday's Argentine election was Daniel Scioli. He was Argentina's Vice President from 2003 till 2007 and then the powerful Governor of Buenos Aires Province since 2007. Significantly, he was President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner's hand-picked choice to succeed her as the next President of Argentina.
Photo courtesy: AP/Natacha Pisarenko
       This was the photo used today by The Guardian above the headline that reads: "As Argentina's Queen Cristina Says Farewell, Her Enemies Wait In The Wings." The 62-year-old Cristina Fernandez Kirchner leaves office on December 10th after eight years as President. Her late husband Nestor Kirchner had been President the previous four years. Cristina's "enemies waiting in the wings" include rich Argentinians, Wall Street billionaires, and Miami right-wingers who will now rule Argentina and quite possibly signal a conservative or right-wing shift throughout Latin America. Cristina had hoped her many social programs benefiting poor people would allow her hand-picked successor, Daniel Scioli, to succeed her. It just wasn't to be. Mauricio Machi, her U.S.-backed opponent, won and, like Cristina, Cuba lost.
       Cristina Fernandez idolizes Cuba's revolutionary icon Fidel Castro, whom she credits with expediting democratic elections in Latin America that replaced foreign-backed dictators. Cristina, as shown above, has always been a welcome guest in the Havana home of the now 89-year-old Fidel Castro and his wife Dalia Soto del Valle. Cristina has said, "Fidel did the impossible and changed the face of Latin America. Argentina and other nations believed foreign-backed dictators would forever rape and rob us at win, with our natural resources being stolen. Fidel's Cuban victory in 1959 against the U.S.-supported Batista-Mafia dictatorship was impossible, till he did it. His longevity has also been impossible, but he still lives...and so will his long legacy."
        Throughout her two-terms as President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez has made sure to "gain sustenance from visits with Fidel, when mostly we discussed the plight of poor people and the greed of the rich." With the demise of the 12-year reign of the socially-minded Peronist Party in Argentina, it will be interesting to see if the upcoming rule of the Macri-Wall Street presidency in Argentina will care as much for Argentina's poor people as Cristina Fernandez has for the last twelve years. 
           As of today, there are three two-term female Presidents of key Latin American nations: Cristina Fernandez of Argentina, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, and Vilma Rousseff of Brazil. Like Cristina, who leaves office on December 10th, Michelle and Vilma are sadly close to waving good-bye to their tenures. Like Cristina...Michelle and Vilma are dear friends, admirers, and home-visitors of Cuba's Fidel Castro. In recent months, these three women, or associates very close to them, have complained about such things as "Wall Street money from New York meshing with wealthy conservatives in our countries now threaten to turn Latin America away from democracy back to the foreign-domination that prevailed deep into the 1970s." 
     This photo still sends shivers down the spines of some democratically elected Latin American leaders. It shows U. S. President George W. Bush welcoming Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado to the White House. In 2002 Bush had anti-Castro zealots Otto Reich and Roger Noriega as key Latin American advisers when a Venezuelan coup briefly overthrew the Presidency of Cuba's prime friend at the time, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. To this day, Venezuela's government ties Maria Corina Machado and the Bush presidency to that coup.
     This chilling photo was taken on April 12, 2002. It shows U.S.-friendly businessman Pedro Carmona swearing himself in as President of Venezuela after the military coup that had ousted President Hugo Chavez, who was then naked and tied to a chair in a cell. When this photo was taken there were well-known celebrations at the White House in Washington as well as in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, according to the Miami Herald and other media sources. President Pedro Carmona read the names of a list of supporters and among the names was that of Maria Corina Machado, alleged  close friend of President George W. Bush.
      However, the coup lasted only 47 hours. A counter-coup led by peasant-loving Lina Ron restored Hugo Chavez to power on April 13, 2002. Wearing a baseball cap and wielding a blow-horn, Lina stormed through Caracas on the back of a pickup truck and shouted: "Washington, Miami, hear this! Return my President to power within 24 hours or I will lead a scorched-earth assault from Caracas to Miami and Washington!" Network television sent images around the world as millions of Venezuelans began following Lina in the streets of Caracas. The supporters of the original coup caved in to Lina's threat. Her President, Hugo Chavez, was returned to power and he accepted a kiss from Lina. Later, Chavez was asked, "Did that little lady scare all of those mighty people that bad and that quick?" Chavez famously replied, "Lina even scares the hell out of me!" After being quickly reinstalled by Lina Ron on April 13, 2002, Hugo Chavez remained Venezuela's Cuban-loving President until he died of cancer in 2013. Lina Ron died of a heart attack at age 51 in 2011.
Her "scorched earth" warning was heeded in 2002.
Maria Corina Machado with President George W. Bush.
Bottom-left signature above supporting President Carmona on April 12, 2002.
Venezuela's continuing powerhouse dissidents.
       Nicolas Maduro has been Venezuela's President since April 19, 2013. Born 52 years ago in Caracas, Maduro was Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor. His reign is tenuous because of dire economic problems exacerbated by low gas prices but he primarily blames U.S.-backed dissidents for most of Venezuela's ills. He recently said, "The rich elite, backed as always by Washington and Miami, want Venezuela's resources that they will share with rich foreigners. We have been down that path before. We are not alone. Venezuela, Nicaragua, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina are all similarly targeted. If we are to survive, we must all fight together as one force."
        Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently is known to have taken his survival message to Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow.
        Nicaraguan President Danny Ortega, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and Bolivian President Evo Morales are Cuba's three most powerful friends in Latin America...along with the three female Presidents -- Cristina Fernandez of Argentina, Vilma Rousseff of Brazil, and Michelle Bachelet of Chile. But Cristina Fernandez will be replaced next month by a newly elected U.S.-friendly President in Argentina.
By the Way:
       Congratulations to Lydia Ko, the most amazing athlete on the planet. Yesterday in Naples, Florida, she won this trophy as the top female golfer in the world. She was born 18 years ago...on April 24, 1997...in Seoul, South Korea, and is now a New Zealander. Lydia Ko took over as the top women's golfer last year at age 17. There are more famous athletes, but only one Lydia Ko. {Ko photos: Getty Images}
      In Naples Lydia Ko won another $1 million for being the top women's golfer for a second straight year. That's a million dollars in cash she is holding before her mom Tina put it in a bank. She has over $7.5 million in golf earnings already but that will be minuscule compared to the endorsement money that will be showered on her. 
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