The Cuban Dissidents

Still Hiding Behind U. S. Skirts
      For many years, Fernando Ravsberg has been recognized by unbiased observers as the bravest and best journalist when it comes to telling the unvarnished and un-sanitized truth about Cuba and its relations with its northern neighbor, America. Ravsberg knows more about the Cubans on the island and in Miami than anyone else. Moreover, he has the courage and integrity to present that knowledge fairly, separating him from the mainstream media in the U. S. that -- propelled by such forceful combinations as incompetence, greed, and intimidation -- shy away from honesty when the topic is...the island of Cuba.
        Fernando Ravsberg's primary outlet is his popular blog -- Cartas Desde Cuba {Letters From Cuba}. His letters are often republished by fair-minded, un-intimidated sources such as the BBC, Havana Times.org, etc. His latest Letter, published internationally on Feb. 4-2016, is entitled: "Uncle Sam's Cuban Cousins" and is must-reading for anyone interested in getting a true understanding of U.S.-Cuban interactions, something not available from the mainstream U. S. media. Ravberg this week wrote: "Cuba's opposition seems tragically destined to cling to the skirts of the United States in the hopes the latter's strength will legitimate them in the eyes of their compatriots. It is a poor strategy that has earned them isolation at home, something even Washington has acknowledged. First they dreamed of an invasion by the marines, then with a blockade that would bring their compatriots to their knees through hunger, later they tried terrorist bombings and, finally, they put together a peaceful opposition, financed by Washington with US $20,000,000 a year." 
         Fernando Ravsberg is one of the few notable journalists in the world to have the sheer guts and basic integrity to write such a fair and accurate update on U. S.-Cuban relations. With the above words and throughout this week's letter, Ravsberg goes back to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and its most significant development -- chasing the leaders of the Batista-Mafia dictatorship to U. S. soil where they restructured their dictatorship and, while hiding behind "the skirts" of the world's richest and strongest nation, tried to recapture the island -- with the Bay of Pigs attack in 1961; the embargo in 1962 that was designed to create such hunger that Cubans on the island would rise up and overthrow their revolutionary government; terrorist bombings such as the downing of the child-laden Cubana Flight 455 that was hailed in the Miami media as "the biggest blow yet against Castro!;" and, more recently, devising "a peaceful opposition" designed to use an unending stream of tax dollars to enrich and empower a selected group of Cuban-American anti-Castro extremists. Considering that the mainstream U. S. media doesn't have the courage or integrity to point out such facts, perhaps you should Google Ravsberg's "Uncle Sam's Cuban Cousins" article. After all, it's YOUR tax dollars and YOUR democracy that a few Cuban-Americans, through two generations now, continue to diminish by continuing to, with the timid and unpatriotic acquiescence of Americans, "hide behind the skirts" of OUR great democracy in the U. S.
       Fernando Ravsberg this week used the above montage to point out that Uncle Sam's Cuban Cousins were left out of the recent U.S.-Cuban diplomacy -- led by Cuba's Josefina Vidal and America's Roberta Jacobson -- that has corrected many of the anti-American and anti-democracy aspects of America's Cuban policy that, since 1959, has been dictated by exiles from the Batista-Mafia dictatorship "hiding behind the skirts of the United States." Fernando Ravsberg is smart enough, decent enough, and brave enough to believe that six decades is long enough for Americans to allow such an affront to democracy to persist.
        Fernando Ravsberg also used the above photo to make a point about anti-Castro Cuban dissidents, pointing out that there actually aren't many of them either on the island or in the U. S. but that they SURE ARE well-funded and well-publicized!! This photo shows James Cason huddling with Cuban dissidents in Coral Gables, the wealthy suburb of Miami where Cason has been Mayor since 2011. He "earned" that job by being President George W. Bush's anti-Castro head of the U. S. Interests Section in Havana. The pompous and buffoonish Cason spent his time and a lot of tax dollars huddling with real and/or created dissidents in Cuba. He also shamefully used a lot of tax dollars on such things as putting up a huge electronic bulletin board across the 7-story Interests Section building in Havana to defame Castro and to demean the Cuban people by, for example, teasing them about the latest exploits of their baseball stars in the U. S. Major Leagues. Such tactics, once the sane and decent Obama replaced the Bush dynasty in the White House, got Cason elected Mayor of Coral Gables and, supposedly, Bush-aligned buffoons like him are poised to benefit anew if and when the next Republican becomes President and begins dismantling Obama's achievements. Ravsberg's aforementioned Letter stressed that well-funded and well-publicized dissidents, both in Miami and on the island, are self-serving but very loud minorities in both countries.
        Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the U. S. democracy has, in many ways, resembled a Banana Republic similar to the one in Cuba from 1952 till the leadership was chased back to South Florida. The increasingly intimidated and incompetent U. S. media is largely responsible. Americans are not supposed to get their news about Cuba or U.S.-Cuban relations from unbiased experts like Fernando Ravsberg or Sarah Stephens {founder of the Washington-based Center for Democracy in the Americas}. Instead, Americans are supposed to get their Cuban information from people like...Jose Diaz-Balart. Jose was born 55 years ago in Fort Lauderdale, Florida...after his father Rafael, a key Minister in the Batista-Mafia dictatorship, fled the Cuban Revolution for good. Based in Miami, Jose now anchors two hours of "news" each day on MSNBC. NOW DON'T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO WHAT FERNANDO, SARAH, AND OTHER UNBIASED EXPERTS SAY ABOUT CUBA, BECAUSE JOSE WILL TELL YOU PRECISELY WHAT TO THINK.
         Jose Diaz-Balart has two brothers -- Mario Diaz-Balart {on the left} and Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Mario was born in Fort Lauderdale 54 years ago and Lincoln was born in Havana 61 years ago. Both...or at least one...have been in the U. S. Congress since 1993 from Miami. Like their father, the Batista Minister Rafael, Mario and Lincoln are anti-Castro zealots. Thanks to the fact that Rafael became one of the richest and most powerful Cuban exiles in Miami, and thanks to the fact that Miami sends only anti-Castro zealots -- Ros-Lehtinen, the Diaz-Balarts, Curbelo, Rubio -- to the U. S. Congress {and soon, maybe, to the White House} -- the Diaz-Balarts are able to craft binding U. S. laws related to Cuba and their brother Jose can then tell you all about how necessary such laws are because...you know...Fidel Castro is a villain and...you know...all the people he chased off the island in 1959 were...you know...sweet Mother Teresa-types.
        Alan Gomez is the top journalist on Cuban and Latin American issues for America's top newspaper, USA Today. Like Jose Diaz-Balart at MSNBC, Gomez's top qualification for that position is this: He is a Cuban-American from Miami with a big family-related gripe against Fidel Castro. He is very typical of the fact that the mainstream media in the U. S. is, it seems, not allowed to hire a Cuba-American who doesn't have a huge gripe against Fidel Castro. Such biased cowardice hurts America and democracy because there are few, if any, topics that shed as much international negativity on the U. S. as the Cuban topic.
Yet, lo 'n behold:
     Did you read this week's huge article by Alan Gomez in USA Today on February 4th, 2016? If not, you should dial it up online. It is entitled: "Anti-Cuba Dark Days Are Thing Of The Past." The first three paragraphs BY ALAN GOMEZ are just as startling. What follows are those exact words written from Miami:
                   "There used to be a time in this city when being too supportive of the Castro brothers could get you killed.
                 "Throughout the 1960s, bombings of businesses and people who dealt with Cuba were a surprisingly frequent occurrence. Anti-Castro operatives used a terrifying variety of attacks against travel agencies that sold trips to Cuba, shipping companies that exported to the island and anybody who wanted to open the doors to the communist island.
                "Even speaking out against the violence was a dangerous endeavor. In 1976, Cuban-American radio host Emilio Milian, who dared to call the bombers terrorists, had his legs torn off by a car bomb outside his Miami radio station."  
           Yes!!! Alan Gomez wrote those words listed above to start his long column in USA Today on February 4th, 2016. In this forum, I have longed for the day when an anti-Castro Cuban-American in Miami would admit that decent Cuban-Americans in Miami like Emilio Milian, whom I have written about often, were right and the ones dictating to the U. S. Congress and to the U. S. media WERE {AND ARE} WRONG.
         The top Republican presidential contenders -- at least once they eliminate Mr. Trump -- are Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The two first-term and totally unsuccessful U. S. Senators are anti-Castro zealots, typical of the only type Cuban-Americans who appear eligible to attain national office among a host of capable Cuban-Americans. Their prominence on the national stage -- in addition to being Cuban-Americans, Tea Party darlings, and former Bush-dynasty stalwarts -- is based on two factors: {1} The mainstream U. S. media, especially television, has neither the guts nor the integrity to tell the truth about them; and {2} of all the aspirants for the White House, Cruz and Rubio have by far the biggest "FOR SALE" signs attached to them, a dangerous situation considering the vast array of Cuban, Jewish, and right-wing billionaires who have already bought-and-paid for whatever they might do as President and Commander-in-Chief.
      Many Cuban-Americans who know Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz best don't like them. For example, Manny Roman {above} is the Miami-Dade County Republican Vice-Chairman right in Rubio's own backyard. But Roman thinks Rubio has sold out to billionaires not interested in the citizens of Miami. So, Roman is now the co-Chairman of Ted Cruz's Miami-Dade County campaign. Both Donald Trump and Cruz are out-polling Rubio in his home area. Both Cruz and Rubio are considered bought-and-paid-for; Cruz is the smarter of the two and the best debater but Rubio is the slicker and more charismatic politician, and the most dangerous considering who he has sold-out to and what journalist Ken Silverstein calls "the most corrupt" presidential contender, maybe ever. Both hooked on to the Bush dynasty and the Tea Party to get their trip to the U. S. Senate, which has bored both men because they hit Washington aiming for the White House. The Bush dynasty, still a power in Republican circles, now despises both Rubio and Cruz -- Rubio for double-crossing his mentor Jeb Bush. As for the extremist Cruz, the Bush dynasty and almost every established Republican literally hates Cruz, with George W. Bush, his former boss in Texas, saying openly, "I can't stand the guy." And Manny Roman, a top Miami Republican, can't stand his neighbor Rubio. Neither will misinformed Americans if he gets elected President. Voters, therefore, need to know the truth.
         The Miami-based Jorge Ramos is by far the most influential Latino journalist or broadcaster in the United States of America. And guess what? Jorge has the guts and the integrity to tell you how dangerous a Ted Cruz or a Marco Rubio presidency would be. Therefore, you should get to know Jorge Ramos.
           In Spanish on Univision, in English on Fusion, or in regular appearances on all the top television networks in America, Jorge Ramos is often introduced as "The Walter Cronkite of Spanish Broadcasting."
       In fact, Time Magazine has named Jorge Ramos as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the United States. In addition to his ubiquitous status on network television, Jorge is equally prolific in print in forums such as La Opinion, America's largest Spanish-language newspaper. This week the largest headline in La Opinion was for a scathing article written by Jorge Ramos in which he expressed his fear that either Cruz or Rubio -- as opposed to some qualified moderate Cuban-American -- might ascend to the presidency. Jorge wrote: "There is no greater disloyalty than the children of immigrants forgetting their roots. Ted Cruz, the first Latino to win the Iowa caucuses!! Why aren't we celebrating?" Living in the ritzy Coconut Grove area of Miami, and working out of Miami, Jorge Ramos knows all about..."children of immigrants" because he is one, having been born 57 years ago in Mexico City. He got his Masters degree at the University of Miami. Jorge undoubtedly has seen posters in his Miami neighborhood with such rebukes to Miami's own presidential candidate Rubio as: "BOYCOTT ISRAEL, NOT CUBA!" Although you would never know it from the biased and intimidated mainstream U. S. media, Cuban-Americans that know Cruz and Rubio best are quite aware they have sold out to right-wing billionaires, not to the Cuban-Americans and Americans even in their own neighborhoods. JORGE RAMOS WOULD LOVE TO SEE A LATINO OF CUBAN OR MEXICAN DESCENT MAKE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE. But NOT Rubio or Cruz. That's because, unlike the mainstream U. S. media, Jorge Ramos is not afraid to tell the truth. IN OTHER WORDS, PERHAPS IT'S TIME YOU GOT YOUR CUBAN NEWS FROM JORGE RAMOS, NOT JOSE DIAZ-BALART!! 
         Colonel Mario Mendez Mayedo, a very important and fast-rising Cuban, spent four days this week -- Monday through Thursday -- in Miami. Uh, no he didn't defect. At the request of the U. S. government, Colonel Mendez was in Miami at the head of a Cuban delegation to discuss ways the U. S. and Cuba can work together for their mutual benefits, especially in areas of migration. For many decades, both America and Cuba have been hurt by the 1966 Cuba Adjustment Act that was and is one of the countless laws easily rammed through the U. S. Congress designed to harm Cuba while also enriching and empowering selected Cuban-Americans and their easily acquired sycophants. The result of that particular 1966 law was something known as the infamous Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy designed to entice and reward Cubans who defect to the U. S. Such Cubans the moment their toes touch U. S. soil are home free with instant financial benefits. Even Marco Rubio questions the law because, he says, many Cubans thusly get on the U. S. payroll and then return to Cuba and still collect their monthly paychecks. But the grossly discriminatory law discriminates against all non-Cubans and grossly rewards and encourages human trafficking. For a couple of months now, fearing that Obama might stop Wet Foot/Dry Foot {which, of course, is not going to happen}, 8,000 Cubans have been stuck at the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border because fed-up Nicaragua stopped their trek to the U.S.-Mexico border where they would be home-free merely by saying they are Cuban while all non-Cubans would be detained and closely vetted, with most, including worthy children, being deported. This week a second plane-load of 184 Cubans, most of them able to purchase costly tickets, took airplane flights past Nicaragua so they and their well-paid coyotes could continue on their way to the U. S. border. Yet, 8,000 more remain in fed-up Costa Rica. THANKS, Wet Foot/Dry Foot!! That and a myriad of other U. S. laws designed to hurt Cuba and enrich defectors MAKE THE U. S. DEMOCRACY RESEMBLE A BANANA REPUBLIC. Yet, who cares? Well, this week in Miami, Colonel Mendez cared.
       This political cartoon this week mocked the 8,000 Cubans now being airlifted by airplanes, like sling-shots, over Nicaragua so they can instantaneously hurt Cuba and also benefit from Wet Foot/Dry Foot.
And by the way:
     Meet Felito Cruz. Jorge Ramos said that was Cruz's real Spanish name when he was born 45 years ago in Calgary, Canada. Of course, by the time he moved to Texas, got rich as a rather ruthless class-action lawyer, then helped put George W. Bush in the White House for eight years, and then eyed the Senate as a quick stepping-stone to the White House himself, he had jettisoned his first name from Felito to Ted, assuming Americans wouldn't know about the switch. I didn't, till Jorge Ramos, one of America's 17.4 million Latinos, mentioned it.

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