"Cuba, What's That?"

"Well, uh, sir, it's...a country!"
        On Wednesday -- February 10th, 2016 -- the BBC used the above Reuters photo to illustrate a story about Cuba. The BBC and Reuters are two of the world's greatest media organizations. Because they are headquartered in the UK, they have the freedom to report freely on important Cuban stories, something the U. S. media -- especially cable "news" -- has neither the guts nor the integrity to do, unless it uncovers an anti-Cuban story. This photo updated a long-standing and important event in the annals of U.S.-Cuban relations. It shows some of the 113 Cuban migrants getting off an airplane in the Mexican town of Nuevo Laredo, right across the border from Laredo, Texas. The plane supposedly carried the most vulnerable 113 Cuban migrants -- pregnant women and sick children -- who have been stranded along with 8,000 others since mid-November in Costa Rica because Nicaragua closed its border to stop the influx of Cubans taking the long air and land route to the Mexican border, where they instantly obtain legal residence with financial benefits the moment their front foot touches U. S. soil. That extremely discriminatory U. S. law dates back to 1966 and is called Wet Foot/Dry Foot. It only favors Cuban migrants. Naturally, all other would-be migrants throughout Latin American strongly resent it, as indicated by the turmoil caused by a new wave of Cubans who fear President Obama's historic overtures to Cuba will put an end to Wet Foot/Dry Foot, which will not happen because the Cuban-American extremists dictate that and many other laws in the U. S. Congress favorable to them but injurious and discriminatory against everyone else. These Cuban migrants reportedly paid huge fees to human traffickers and others to get on this migratory route. At Laredo or any other border crossing, any non-Cuban, including pregnant mothers and children, trying to get to the U. S. would be instantly detained and very likely deported back to their country. So, the coverage of what's happening in Laredo today and on the Costa Rican-Nicaraguan border since mid-November is a big story, but one the U. S. media tries real hard to avoid, leaving it up to great international media outlets, such as the BBC and Reuters, to inform Americans who, although propagandized about Cuba every day since 1959, only get biased coverage of all U.S.-Cuban relations in these 50 United States of America.
       This photo is courtesy of AP/Esteban Felix. It shows a Cuban wearing a U.S.-flag T-shirt. He is one of about 8,000 Cubans still stuck since mid-November in Costa Rica because Nicaragua closed its border to block the overland passage of Cubans flocking to the U.S.-Mexican border to take advantage of the U. S. Wet Foot/Dry Foot law, one of many that entices and favors Cubans while discriminating against all other would-be migrants, a fact highlighted by this young man. 
         The U. S. broadcast media has been obsessed for over a year with the 2015-2016 presidential campaigns that still have many months to drag on...and on...because it's a billion-dollar industry that continually enriches television stations, ad agencies, consultants, politicians, pundits, etc. -- and the sheer economics of these transgressions is far more important than electing a new President. Two prime Republican presidential candidates are the two first-term Cuban-American U. S. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Easily proselytized Americans are not supposed to connect these two facts: {1} Two controversial Cuban-Americans are prime Republican presidential contenders in 2016; and {2} they very powerfully oppose President Obama's ongoing and historic efforts to normalize relations with Cuba.
          There have been 8 highly hyped Republican debates with television news journalists asking the questions. They have not had the courage or the integrity to ask a single question about Cuba DESPITE THE TWO AFOREMENTIONED VISCERAL POINTS. Here, for example, is a question those self-proclaimed TV journalists should have the guts and decency to ask:
              Q: "Mr. Rubio, Mr. Cruz...you are two first-term U. S. Senators who seem to be bored with the Senate because -- as products of the Bush dynasty, the Tea Party, and simply being Cuban-Americans -- both of you hit the Senate mainly running for President. Mr. Rubio, you and also Mr. Cruz rarely show up in the Senate...except to oppose everything President Obama tries to do and shut down the government if you don't get your way...and shamefully blocking such things as Roberta Jacobson's badly needed appointment as Ambassador to Mexico because she once was involved with Cuban diplomacy. Although the entire world, as indicated by the UN vote, and even Mr. Rubio's backyard in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood strongly favor ending the U. S. embargo of Cuba, both of you very strongly defy not only the President, the Pope, the world, and even Cuban-Americans who...after six decades...desire, for America's sake as well as 11 million innocent Cubans, an end to the embargo of Cuba. So first, Mr. Rubio, and then Mr. Cruz, will you explain to the American people watching this debate how you can justify the continuation of a Cold War approach to Cuba, dating back to 1962, that the rest of the world, including most Cuban-Americans, heartily disagree with. Mr. Rubio, you have stated that you didn't care if '99% of Americans' wanted the embargo to end, you would make sure, if elected President, that it continues. So, Mr. Rubio, explain your justification and then Mr. Cruz you can do the same."
         The point is: The gutlessness of the mainstream U. S. media in regards to Cuban issues harms the image of the United States far more than it harms Cuba, which, in fact, gains international sympathy for being subjected to it. Along the way, it greatly insults and harms democracy and Americans. What follows are examples: 
Example #One:
Example #Two:
Example #Three:
         The United States of America is the richest nation in the history of the world...by far. And in the United States of America...one out of every five children has hunger problems. The gutless U. S. media largely ignores that inexcusable abomination...just as it ignores -- decade after decade -- the unending streams of tax dollars devoted to anti-Cuban schemes and to enriching and empowering a select group of Cuban-Americans. Some...at least some...of those Cuban-related tax dollars, perhaps, COULD FIGHT CHILDHOOD HUNGER IN AMERICA. Consider, for example, the following excruciating facts in February of 2016:
        USAID is just one aspect of the U. S. government that continually uses tax dollars to hopefully bring about a regime-change in Cuba. Investigative journalist Tracey Eaton regularly, on his Along the Malecon blog, uses the Freedom of Information Act to re-publish, word-for-word, USAID and other solicitations offering millions of tax dollars to those who want to partake in anti-Cuban operations, the last such solicitation pointing out that it would not be responsible if such highly paid individuals were caught in Cuba, apparently referencing the fact that the jailed Alan Gross, after returning to his Maryland home, successfully sued unwitting taxpayers for millions of dollars because he was indeed caught in Cuba. But...as Mr. Eaton points out and hundreds of other mainstream journalists are aware of...such incredible streams of tax dollars regularly flow in steady pipelines out of Washington, propelled by whatever a few Cuban-American extremists want from the always cooperative U. S. Congress. AGAIN, THE POINT IS THIS: Perhaps some...at least some...of those tax dollars designed to hurt Cuba and to enrich a few Cuban-Americans should go to fighting childhood hunger in America. OR TO OTHER WORTHY CAUSES, such as:
     The startling and incredible amount of tax dollars the U. S. continues to use to bring about regime-change in Cuba reminds me of...Jean Casarez. Why, you ask? Ms. Casarez is an excellent investigative reporter for CNN. A few days ago she had a report about Spain Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. The school is so dilapidated that the students and their teachers are simply too afraid to learn or to teach. They are scared of...plaster falling from the ceilings, rats that might bite, ugly black and creeping mold, etc. The very day that I watched that report by Jean Casarez on CNN, I read about two more reports about how much money, tax dollars, the U. S. government is spending right now and planning to spend the rest of this year on over-throwing the elderly Castro brothers in Cuba where Raul is almost 85 and Fidel is almost 90. Jean Casarez's update on Spain Elementary-Middle School is just one of the millions of better reasons for U. S. tax dollars than continuing to shower millions upon millions of them on a regime-change in Cuba, although the primary reason in 2016 apparently is merely to continue the pipelines of cash to enrich selected people using Cuba as an excuse, an exceedingly poor excuse despite the endless propaganda that goes along with it. Meanwhile, what about more decent priorities...like dilapidated schoolrooms in the United States?
        Jean Casarez on her CNN report showed this girl's bathroom at Spain Elementary-Middle School, including the filth and mold and a stall without a door. At one point, while interviewing a concerned teacher, Jean said, "I have been in this building only about 40 minutes and now I'm hoarse. I wasn't hoarse when I came in." The teacher commiserated with Jean who, herself, was more worried about the children.
Jean Casarez with others concerned about conditions at the school.
         In addition to CNN's far-reach as an international network, Jean Casarez was so concerned about Spain Elementary-Middle School that she filed photos like this one on her Twitter page showing her stand-up outside the school. AGAIN, FOR WHAT'S IT'S WORTH, I ASK THIS QUESTION: Could U. S. tax dollars be better spent on upgrading projects like Spain Elementary-Middle School as opposed to continuing to shower, decade after decade, endless streams of tax dollars on already rich people who claim they can help the U. S. government bring about regime-change in Cuba even while President Obama is trying desperately to use this final year of his two terms in the White House to normalize relations with Cuba?? However, the American people since the 1950s haven't cared enough to weigh-in on a Cuban policy that shames both democracy and the United States of America. And that's why, in 2016, a handful of self-serving extremists in the U. S. Congress can continue to use Cuba to enrich and empower a selected few instead of, for example, using some tax dollars to make a classroom safe for its precious students.
       Television station WXYZ in Detroit also told its viewers about the "deplorable conditions" inside Spain Elementary-Middle School. Should such things in the United States of America be a priority for tax dollars at least remotely on a par with the endless stream of tax dollars continuing to fund senseless and unworkable regime-change programs in Cuba? Proselytized Americans are not supposed to ask that question, not since 1959 anyway. But in 2016, the year Fidel Castro turns 90-years-old, perhaps Americans should rise up out of their hiding places and at least say something, even if it's only, "I think maybe, uh, we should start using, uh, some of our tax money that is showered on anti-Castro zealots to, uh, kinda fix up some things that, uh, you know, need fixing." Even such a timid but intelligent sentence like that would be appreciated by millions of America's democracy-lovers...and the kids at Spain Elementary-Middle School.
          There are currently three Cuban-Americans in the U. S. Senate: Presidential candidate Ted Cruz from Texas; the powerfully entrenched Robert Menendez from New Jersey; and presidential candidate Marco Rubio from Miami, Florida. The United States of America, I believe, would be a better democracy if the U. S. media had the guts to ask these three Senators this question: "IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT ALL THREE OF YOU POWERFULLY SUPPORT THE STEADY STREAM OF HARD-EARNED TAX-DOLLARS THAT FLOW TO NUMEROUS ANTI-CUBAN AND PRO-CUBAN EXILE PROJECTS, DO YOU THINK THAT SOME OF THOSE TAX-DOLLARS SHOULD POSSIBLY BE DIVERTED TO FIGHTING CHILDHOOD HUNGER IN AMERICA?" I repeat: The day the U. S. media has the guts to ask such a question will be the very day the USA becomes better.
"Cuba, what's that?"
"Uh, sir, it's, uh...a country."
"See! See, sir! It's right there...in the Caribbean Sea!!"
{Note: It's been there a long time, before and after 1959}


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