Sunday, January 24, 2016


And Get Rich Quick!!
     USAID is the acronym for United States Agency for International Development. It has been known to use tax dollars to help needy people around the world. But when it comes to Cuba, USAID, it seems, plunges head-first into CIA territory, which has been known to have participated in...uh, let's say...regime-change schemes in more than a few countries -- from the Congo to Chile, and that's just dipping into the countries that start with a "C." The fact that the results produced fiendish U.S.-friendly dictators -- Mobutu and Pinochet, to just mention the "C's" -- has never seemed to bother the American people, whom the Founding Fathers expected to be fierce defenders of their democracy, such as the ferocity the Greatest Generation in World War II exhibited. And since 1898 when the USS Maine blew up in Havana Harbor to become the pretext for the Spanish-American War, or since 1903 when the U. S. extracted Guantanamo Bay from Cuba, or since 1952 when the U. S. teamed with the Mafia to support the Batista dictatorship in Cuba, or since 1976 when Cubana Flight 455 was blown out of the sky by a terrorist bomb, or since USAID departed from its main course, which is helping needy people in foreign nations, to not-so-clandestinely fund regime-change operations in one particular country, Cuba, the two post-World War II generations of Americans have either been too timid or too ignorant to care, even one iota, about such things as a 191-to-2 UN vote denouncing America's Cuban policy mandated by a dysfunctional, Batistiano-infiltrated U. S. Congress and now, it seems, exacerbated by today's USAID.
     Tracey Eaton knows Cuba like the back of his hand. He spent years on the island as the Havana-based correspondent for the Dallas Morning News. He is now a journalism professor at Flagler College in Florida. His articles about Cuba are carried in high-profile forums such as USA Today, Huffington Post,, etc. He regularly revisits the island to obtain video interviews with everyday Cubans, dissident Cubans, and pro-revolutionary Cubans. You can see dozens of those interviews on Tracey's websites or on venues such as YouTube. As one of America's best and fairest Cuban experts, he is also America's very best investigative reporter when it comes to U.S.-Cuban relations. Expertly using the Freedom of Information act, a still-viable democratic tool, Tracey regularly reveals exact details on a myriad of tax-dollars devoted to countless regime-change programs that otherwise are never reported by a cowered U. S. media and which force Cuba to remain in a defensive mode to protect what it considers its sovereignty and its culture. On January 22-2016 a Tracey Eaton article revealed yet another open solicitation by USAID to make some more people rich if they hold up their hand and explain how they can oppose Cuba's revolutionary government. He wrote: "USAID announced a $6 million grant to anyone chosen to make political changes in Cuba. Grant amounts will range from $5,000,000 to $2 million. The application deadline is Feb. 25. The agency says that grant recipients will be going to Cuba at their own risk and may not hold USAID responsible for what might happen to them."
     The saga of Alan Gross is well known to Americans, except they have gotten a mostly pro-U.S./anti-Cuba spin that grossly sanitized it with the usual tilt against Cuba. His imprisonment in Cuba, his hunger strike, etc., will forever remain a microcosm of U.S.-Cuban relations in the post-Cold War period. Among the minimized truths, once he was freed, is the fact that he successfully sued the U. S. government -- TAXPAYERS! -- for his well-paid but dangerous anti-Cuban venture on the island.
         If you Google Wikipedia, it's first lines about Alan Gross are: "Alan Phillip Gross is a United States government contractor employed by the United States Agency for International Development {USAID}. In December 2009 he was arrested in Cuba while working on a program fueled under the 1996 Helms-Burton Act." The Helms-Burton Act -- like the Torricelli Bill, etc. -- was easily rammed through the U. S. Congress by the most ardent anti-Castro zealots in Miami aligned with Congressional acolytes like the infamous Jesse Helms, Dan Burton, Robert Torricelli, etc. From those days to this day, Helms-Burton, Torricelli, etc., have funneled vast sums of tax dollars from Washington to Miami to fund anti-Cuban programs and enrich just about anybody that concocts any program...such as the money-soaking Radio-TV Marti enterprise or the Wet Foot/Dry Foot boondoggle that dates back to 1966's Cuban Adjustment Act...that even remotely claims a desire to help eliminate or overthrow Cuba's revolutionary government. So, long before USAID got on the anti-Cuban bandwagon, tepid American taxpayers were and are being drained of tax dollars flowing freely and endlessly in pipelines from the U. S. Congress in Washington to anti-Castro zealots in Miami. The very day -- Jan. 22-2016 -- Tracey Eaton exposed yet another USAID multi-million-dollar package, there were updated news reports about a money-saving scheme in Flint, Michigan, that was grossly poisoning the water for its mostly black citizens. And on Jan. 22-2016 there was a news report about a school in Detroit where teachers and local officials said students could not learn because their classrooms were "unsafe" due to falling plaster from the ceilings and dangerous mold discolorations that scared them. In Flint, in Detroit, and elsewhere around America -- and the world, for that matter -- ARE THERE BETTER PLACES FOR USAID TO SPEND ITS TAX DOLLARS THAN ON COUNTLESS REGIME-CHANGE PROGRAMS AIMED AT CUBA OR ON ENRICHING ANTI-CASTRO ZEALOTS IN MIAMI OR "CONTRACTORS" LIKE ALAN GROSS?? And, as with Alan Gross, when such "contractors" sue the U. S. government for putting them in harms way, guess who pays the multi-million-dollar lawsuits? I believe the answer is...we very stupid or cowardly taxpayers.
      Sarah Stephens is an American treasure as the founder and director of the Washington-based Center for Democracy in the Americas. As the world-class expert on U.S.-Cuban relations, her Cuba Central segment of the CDA website each Friday is America's best update on that week's latest U.S.-Cuban developments. In her Cuba Central report this past Friday, Ms. Stephens started off with Tracey Eaton's latest USAID solicitation for more anti-Cuban contractors although, of course, reminding them that...while they would get rich...USAID "would not be responsible" if and when they got arrested in Cuba, which has a reputation for being on the alert for such get-rich-quick Americans. Ms. Stephens pointed out that much of that USAID money is designed to provoke or entice dissidents on the island to make headlines by, for example, getting arrested while being photographed or videotaped. She thanked Mr. Eaton for his continuing revelations and she wrote: "I think it's worth pointing out that many of those arrested for political reasons are taking part in programs funded by the U. S. government or U.S. government-financed organizations."
         28-year-old Cristina Escobar is Cuba's most popular television news anchor and journalist and, as indicated by the above photo, her cogent, precise, and unabashed opinions about U.S.-Cuban relations are sought-after by regional and international news outlets, including last summer in Washington when she made headlines while covering the last Vidal-Jacobson diplomatic session. Either in Spanish or English, Cristina is the leader on the island of the twenty-something generation that is determined "to have more of a say in post-Castro Cuba than Miami Cubans or the U. S. Congress will ever have." Cristina, in Spanish or English, will readily tell you all about "the Cubans who have died fighting for sovereignty against Spanish and American imperialists, and my generation of Cubans now on the island who are willing to do the same."
       On his frequent trips to Cuba, Tracey Eaton has gotten video-taped interviews with many of the most vehement anti-Castro dissidents all across the island. But he is fair enough to present both sides of the two-sided menagerie. The above image is taken from Eaton's interview with Cristina Escobar. A 15 minute, 22-second version in Spanish is posted on YouTube as is a 3 minute, 29 second segment that includes the English translation. You'll hear Escobar's opinions on items uppermost on her mind, such as Cuban sovereignty and American regime-change programs. Based on his interview with Cristina, Eaton wrote an informative article widely published last week entitled: "Cuba's Fate Up To Cubans, Not Americans." 
         Not to know Cristina Escobar in 2016 is to not know why the Batistianos and the Mafiosi have not regained total control of Cuba, especially considering the fact that, since 1959, the recapture-Cuba forces have been backed by a nearby nation that happens to be the strongest and richest nation in the history of the world. A rebel named Celia Sanchez was the main reason the Batista-Mafia rulers in Cuba were booted off the island on New Year's Day in 1959. A diplomat named Josefina Vidal is the main reason the Miami/Congress-based Cuban-Americans have been held at bay in recent years. Cristina Escobar -- a rebel who prefers diplomacy, like Vidal, but is willing to fight, like Sanchez -- is a third-generation Cuban who direly believes her island should be a sovereign nation, not one dominated by an imperialist power and not one that "forever must defend itself against regime-change schemes concocted by money-crazed rogues." In the Eaton-produced video, she says, "I don't want {Obama, the U. S., Miamito bring me democracy." She means, if and when it comes, she wants Cubans on the island to do it. And she means what she says. Cast in the mold of the fighting rebel, Sanchez, and the diplomat, Vidal, Cristina Escobar -- unlike most of the U. S. media and most Americans -- is not afraid of extremists in Miami and Congress. And that's why Cuba, in 2016, might continue to shock the world by remaining a sovereign nation for a few more least.
Celia Sanchez: Cuba's pivotal fighter.
Josefina Vidal: Cuba's pivotal diplomat.
Cristina Escobar: Cuba's pivotal anchor.

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