Monday, May 9, 2016

Cuban-American Moderates

Why Are They Unelectable??
      Nelson Balido is one of America's most talented and most accomplished Cuban-Americans. He is head of Balido and Associates, Chairman of the Border Commerce and Security Council, newly appointed to the U. S. Department of Commerce, and highly respected for his work on the Homeland Security Council. I am a lifelong conservative Republican driven out of my political party by the right-wing extremism of the Bush dynasty and the Tea Party. As a great admirer of talented Cuban-Americans, I believe there are about two million of them -- such as Nelson Balido -- that I would readily support if they ran for President of the United States. But it seems that the only politicians in the Cuban-American community who can get elected are anti-Castro extremists -- such as would-be presidential hopefuls Cruz and Rubio or members of the U. S. Congress such as the Diaz-Balarts whose father was a key Minister in the Batista dictatorship before challenging Jorge Mas Canosa as the richest and most powerful anti-Castro zealot in Miami. Similarly, if you happen to be among the majority 2 million moderate Cuban-Americans, it seems you are not eligible for elective office in Miami and other South Florida cities. Even in the Trump-Clinton sweepstakes in 2016, the Republican Party didn't stand a chance with extremists like Cruz and Rubio but I believe a Cuban-American like Nelson Balido could have been elected President of the United States in November of 2016.
      Among his other accomplishments, Nelson Balido is a gifted and fair-minded correspondent for Fox News Latino. In that capacity he recently filed a report entitled: "As U. S., Cuba Normalize Relations, Time To Change Immigration Policies for Cubans." Most Americans, most Cuban-Americans and most of America's best friends around the world are embarrassed for the United States because its democracy does not appear to be strong enough to deal democratically with a Cuban policy dictated since the 1950s by Cuban-exile extremists and their self-serving sycophants such as the Bush dynasty. Thus, for decades now only Cuban-American extremists -- not democracy-loving moderates like Nelson Balido -- are candidates to get elected to national or major-city offices. But most Cuban-Americans agree with Nelson Balido, a brave supporter of President Obama's bold and history-making openings to Cuba. In his aforementioned Fox News Latina update, Mr. Balido made these points:
            "Currently the United States treats Cuban citizens like no other...The Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 was designed to give asylum to the 300,000 Cubans who fled the Cuban Revolution...The act is still used today...This law is accompanied by a minimum 20,000 visas handed out to Cubans each year through a lottery system as well as President Clinton's wet foot/dry foot policy, which continues to shelter Cubans who make it to the United States...The significant uptick in Cubans owes in part to Cuban concerns that U. S. immigration laws may soon change...For decades, U. S. policies have given Cubans a direct path to U. S. residency unavailable to any other nationality of immigrants...Many families benefited from this, including those of presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio, and this author...Currently, Cuban immigrants enjoy about $700 million each year in public benefits...It has been reported that some Cuba immigrants take advantage of government aid programs like food stamps and Medicare while frequently traveling back and forth to Cuba for commercial reasons...In essence, the U. S. taxpayer is subsidizing a jet-set Cuban lifestyle and not advancing the economic potential of American residents...Aren't there other legal immigrants who could legitimately use some of that public support?...While many Cubans arriving in the United States are honorable and law abiding, some are not...Some Cuban criminal organizations come to the U. S., unfortunately...U. S. law enforcement has no insight into the background of arriving Cuban immigrants and so are unable to deny entry to criminals under existing law...I agree with Obama...If the U. S. is going to treat Cuba like any other country, we should treat its citizens like any other immigrants." 
       Nelson Balido is shown here being interviewed on Texas Insider because he is a brilliant Cuban-American who agrees with President Obama's sane and decent Cuban policies, not those of Cuban-American elected officials -- Cruz, Rubio, the Diaz-Balarts, Menendez, Curbelo, etc. -- who don't seem to share Balido's concerns for America's democratic image, Cubans on the island being embargoed or worse, a closer vetting of Cuban immigrants like all other immigrants, etc. The first Cuban-American in the White House should be someone like Nelson Balido, but in the current money-crazed two-party political cycle, neither the honorable Cuban-American community nor the great American democracy appears capable of producing a national candidate with Mr. Balido's multitude of positive presidential credentials. Yet, there always seems to be billions of special-interest dollars ready to support extremists who openly carry "For-Sale" signs on their backs. Millions of Americans seeking to rid their democracy of bought-and-paid-for establishment rogues are even turning to Trump and Sanders as the lesser of the evils, even as a few billionaires and the establishment underpinning tries to discount all those individual voters. By way of contrast, the skilled Mr. Balido is the type Cuban-American that believes in democracy and decency...even when Cuba is concerned. I hereby nominate him for President in 2020. 2016 is already a Lost Cause.
              The BBC today used this Reuters photo to report that beginning today -- Monday, May 9th, 2016 -- the 4,000 Cubans that have been stranded in Panama for months will begin flying to Ciudad Juarez and once in that Mexican border city they will be home-free with "special non-vetting privileges," as the BBC said, starting the very moment any Cuban touches sacred United States soil.  
                The BBC used this EPA photo to show one of the 4,000 Cubans stuck in Panama for months before the unhappy Panamanian government arranged for flights to the Mexican-U.S. border starting today. Panama said the Cubans will have to pay "full price" for the flights but the BBC indicated that would be no problem because "apparently" the Cubans are very rich with many of them reportedly having already paid up to $17,000 to human traffickers to move them over air-and-land routes to the United States. 
        The airplane flights from Cuba to begin the land or air trek through or over five unhappy countries to get to the Mexican-U. S. border reflects how America's "special" laws benefiting and enticing Cubans angers all Latin America nation's whose citizens don't have such "privileges," with non-Cubans subject to detention and deportation, not financial-residency-citizenship rewards.
       Earlier this year 8,000 Cubans were stuck in Costa Rica for months before flights were arranged to get them to U.S.-Mexican border towns in Texas, as depicted by this map. The Costa Rican stalemate came about when Nicaragua blocked its land-route to Mexico, just as other nations have also tried to do.
         While the U. S. Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy that pertains only to Cubans greatly pleases human traffickers and the Cuban hardliners in Miami, Washington and New Jersey, it riles and punishes all of America's southern neighbors. It also, of course, punishes U. S. taxpayers and demeans the image of the U. S. and democracy in the region and around the world, highlighting acute discriminatory U. S. Cuban policies.

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