What Cuba Says About America

Far More Than Americans Are Told
Photo courtesy: Doug Mills/New York Times.
        Friday, January 29th -- after Thursday's 7th Republican presidential debate -- the New York Times used the above photo to illustrate its major article by Frank Bruni. The article was entitled: "G.O.P Debate Stars the Ghost of Donald Trump." The first line was: "Donald Trump's Absence, of course, Was the Most Compelling Presence." It was also compelling, I think, that the debate, with the absence of poll-leader Trump, centered on Trump's two primary rivals -- Cuban-American, bought-and-paid-for Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Cuban-American, bought-and-paid-for Senator Marco Rubio from Florida. There are countless other moderate Cuban-Americans who are not bought-and-paid-for by the Tea Party and an array of anti-democracy billionaires, but in today's money-crazed political arena in the United States, if you are not bought-and-paid-for than you do not have the money to be a viable contender.
        The serious presidential bids of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio say a lot about a lot of things, namely the overwhelming influence of money on America's political landscape and the drastic decline of the money-crazed, pundit-driven U. S. media. For example, most Cuban-Americans -- along with most Americans and most people in the world -- agree with President Obama's plans to normalize relations with Cuba. But there is zero chance a moderate Cuban-American who feels that way can get elected to a national office in the United States of America.
        One of the most important developments in America in recent decades has been President Obama's bold, legacy-defining attempts to normalize relations with Cuba. In fact, in the annals of recent American history it could rank as the most important event, and not just in the eyes and minds of Cuban aficionados. Since 1952, U.S.-Cuban relations have persistently defined the image of America and its democracy perhaps more than any other single involvement or relationship. President Obama's Cuban policy contrasts sharply with the U. S. theft of Guantanamo Bay in 1903, the U. S. teaming with the Mafia to support the vile Batista regime in Cuba in 1952, the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 that resulted in the reconstitution of the Batista-Mafia dictatorship on U. S. soil, the U.S.-Cuban exile attack at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 that remains the closest the world has ever come to a nuclear holocaust, the Bush dynasty alignment with anti-Castro zealots that came to dictate a self-serving Cuban policy that benefits or sates the revengeful appetites of a few while harming everyone else, and control of the U. S. Congress by a handful of Bush-aligned Cuban-Americans that legalized a Cuban policy opposed by most American and most Cuban-Americans. Thus, Mr. Obama's "NEW CUBAN POLICY" has corrected or ameliorated some of the most flagrant anti-democratic Cuban policies of the past, but not all...NOT YET!!!
        The U. S. broadcast media is currently obsessed with the unending, money-crazed election process that will determine the next President of the United States beginning in January of 2017. In particular, the televised Republican debates have cast a paradoxical anomaly on the U.S.-Cuban conundrum. First off, two prime anti-Obama/anti-Castro, first-time, Cuban-American U. S. Senators -- Marco Rubio from Florida and Ted Cruz from Texas -- are serious Republican presidential candidates, along with former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a key component of the powerful Bush dynasty alliance with only the most zealous of the anti-Castro Cuban-American zealots. Secondly, the moderators of the televised Republican debates have consistently asked the candidates a plethora of questions -- ranging from the pertinent to the silly to the sublime. BUT NARY A QUESTION ABOUT CUBA. That reveals the incompetence, the cowardice, and the biased tenets of the U. S. media. Three prime Republicans seeking the presidency -- Rubio, Cruz, and Bush -- are all tightly tied to the Batistiano-directed congressional laws regarding Cuba that President Obama is trying so hard to correct...AND NOT ONE QUESTION TO THEM ABOUT CUBA? Such media cowardice and political chicanery proves yet again that Cuba says a lot more about the U. S. than it says about Cuba.
For example:
            Americans unfamiliar with Ann Louise Bardach are also unfamiliar with today's U.S.-Cuban relations, especially how they evolved over the past six decades. Not to know Ms. Bardach probably means you have formed your opinions about Cuba based on the narrative espoused only by the most extreme remnants of the overthrown Batista-Mafia dictatorship, which immediately reconstituted itself in January of 1959 on U. S. soil, mainly Miami, New Jersey, and then Washington. The best chronicler of all that is Ms. Bardach. As an investigative journalist, essayist, and author, she is nonpareil when it comes to Cuba. It is therefore safe to assume that if you have not read and comprehended her two seminal books -- "CUBA CONFIDENTIAL: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana" and "WITHOUT FIDEL" -- you don't have a clue how the island of Cuba is so intertwined with America's worldwide image. In 1976 Emilio Milian was the top Cuban-American newscaster in Miami. He voiced opposition to rampant Cuban-exile terrorists harming innocent Cubans, views that got him car-bombed. Jim DeFede, the top columnist at the Miami Herald at the time, wrote a famous column in which he excoriated Miami members of Congress -- especially the Havana-born Jeb Bush prodigy Ileana Ros-Lehtinen -- for so lavishly supporting and protecting Miami's most famed Cuban-American terrorists. Needless to say, DeFede knowingly put his job on the line when he wrote that article. With the exceptions of Milian and DeFede, few U. S. journalists have had the courage or integrity to write or speak truthfully about U.S.-Cuban relations. That's why Ann Louise Bardach is so important. And, unfortunately, that is why you will seldom, if ever, see true and unbiased experts like her discussing Cuban issues on network "news" programs in the U. S. while pro-Miami and pro-Bush propagandists such as Ana Navarro, Nicole Wallace, Jose Diaz-Balart, etc., verily saturate the American airways with their lucrative and  biased "expertise." But there are exceptions. In rare instances when the broadcast media in the U. S. tries to project fair and balanced Cuban coverage, you might read or hear the true expert opinions of someone like Julia E. Sweig, Sarah Stephens, Wayne S. Smith, Peter Kornbluh, or...Ann Louise Bardach.
In fact:
      Lo 'n behold, The World Post & The Huffington Post recently conducted a major Question & Answer session with Ann Louise Bardach, the greatest chronicler of U.S.-Cuban relations. And the article asked her some of the pertinent questions that the network anchors during the Republican debates don't have the guts or the integrity to ask. For example, Ms. Bardach was asked this very salient and extremely brave question: "It has been known, though rarely reported, that Jeb Bush helped free a Cuban terrorist accused of blowing up a passenger jet carrying 73 people. Should people still care that the 2016 Republican presidential hopeful did this?" Now study that question posed to Ms. Bardach and decide for yourself if it should be asked of Mr. Bush on the campaign trail or in the debates. In any case, Ms. Bardach answered it, as she is prone to do, without bias and with her facts in order. This was her exact reply:
                 "I think it needs to be discussed. He played a huge role. He saw to it that the Justice Department was overruled, that then-Attorney General Dick Thornburgh -- and I wrote about this in Without Fidel and other pieces -- that's a remarkable thing he was able to get his father {the President} to overrule the Attorney General. And I interviewed Dick Thornburgh. He was not happy about this. Very unhappy about it. He thought Orlando Bosch was big trouble and needed to get out of the country, and was a convicted terrorist. That was the opinion of the Attorney General and somehow that got overruled after a lot of back and forth between father and son. People forget that Jeb Bush was the Campaign Manager for Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at a very critical time at the peak of power in Miami. And that Ileana's mentor was not just former head of the Cuban American National Foundation Jorge Mas Canosa but also Enrique Ros, her father, was one of the 'militantes.' He believed passionately in 'la lucha' {the fight} against the Castros. This was at the top of their agenda -- free Orlando Bosch. And they did. And they couldn't have done it without the help of Jeb Bush."
          That Q & A session with Ann Louise Bardach was published Dec. 26-2015 in an article entitled: "Why The Cuba Trade Embargo Still Isn't Going Anywhere." You can go online to read it in its entirety. But no one in the mainstream American broadcast industry has the courage or integrity to ask someone like Ms. Bardach such a question, although Americans surely need to hear her expert, important answers. 
         This 1989 photo illustrates what Ms. Bardach discussed in the aforementioned Q & A session. It shows Jeb Bush forming a halo around the head of Havana-born Ileana Ros-Lehtinen after he, her Campaign Manager, had used the Bush dynasty to help get her elected to the U. S. Congress. It, of course, helped Jeb establish his political roots in Florida on his way to becoming a two-term Governor of Florida.
       Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has remained in the U. S. Congress since 1989 as a leading anti-Castro zealot. She has been followed on the Miami-to-Congress path by Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, the sons of former Batista Minister Rafael Diaz-Balart, as well as by Marco Rubio and Carlos Curbelo. Although numerous recent polls show that the majority of Cuban-Americans even in Miami support President Obama's efforts to normalize relations with the island, Miami's democracy seems only capable of sending Cuban hardliners to the U. S. Congress...and hopefully to the Presidency as Commander-in-Chief. The mainstream U. S. media, of course, wouldn't dare to mention such things, or dare not to promote whatever Ros-lehtinen, the Diaz-Balarts, Rubio, and Curbelo say about Cuba. Thus, for the most part, regular Americans, who have not had the freedom to visit Cuba, form their opinions of U.S.-Cuban relations almost exclusively based on what hardliners like Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen tell them to think.
     The Bush dynasty -- starting long, long ago with CIA operative, Vice President, and President George H. W. Bush -- is the prime reason only Cuban hardliners have forged the Cuban policy that President Obama is trying to mollify. This photo shows President George H. W. Bush handing out souvenir pens after signing anti-Castro legislation into law. On the left of this photo gleefully receiving souvenir pens are two Cuban-born top-tier hard-liners -- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Jorge Mas Canosa -- mentioned in Ann Louise Bardach's Q & A answer about the Jeb Bush question that mainstream U. S. journalists don't have the courage to ask. It was as President that George H. W. Bush, at the behest of his ambitious son Jeb in Florida, made Orlando Bosch a life-long and very renowned citizen of Miami as opposed to an imprisoned terrorist.
      As products of the Bush dynasty, the Tea Party, and bought-and-paid-for cash from billionaires, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are serious contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. That's a serious problem for America. Yet, the time is ripe for a non-extremist Cuban-American in the White House, one who cares more about 11 million everyday Cubans on the island than he or she cares about money and power.
And rough times for America.


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