Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hurting U. S. to Hurt Cuba

An Unending Pattern!
        Ron DeSantis is the latest in a long, long line of Florida members of the U. S. Congress who seem willing to hurt the United States of America in order to hurt Revolutionary Cuba. If that is not so, perhaps Rep. DeSantis might explain why he attached yet another anti-Cuba bill to a large defense bill that many of his colleagues -- as well as democracy-lovers such as Sarah Stephens -- believe will severely harm cooperative U. S. agreements with Cuba that help protect Americans from human trafficking, Florida criminals fleeing to Cuba, the threats from potential oil spills and other environmental issues, etc., etc.
         Ron DeSantis was born 37 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida. He is a veteran of the U. S. Navy who graduated from Yale University and from the Harvard Law School. He has represented Florida's 6th District in the U. S. Congress since 2013 and now he is seeking the Senate seat being vacated by his Miami friend Marco Rubio. Like the previous line of anti-Castro zealots elected to Congress from Florida, DeSantis made a beeline for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, apparently trained to recognize that Cuba is still a foreign country and being on that committee is a good way to hurt Cuba. The problem is, along with many other moral issues, hurting the U. S. in order to hurt Cuba seems not to bother anti-Cuba members of Congress from Florida. The majority of Cuban-Americans even in Miami support President Obama's sane and decent overtures to Cuba that will help...indeed are helping...many Americans. Of course, DeSantis seems to oppose anything that helps Cubans on the island even if it also helps millions of Americans and Cuban-Americans. DeSantis was livid when Obama opened long-closed doors by removing Cuba from the Sponsors of Terrorism list; Desantis raved against Obama's freeing Alan Gross from his Cuban prison because, apparently, it was a positive for Cuba; and DeSantis as a federally paid lawyer lauded the U. S. occupation of Guantanamo Bay, apparently because the theft belittles Cuba. As illustrated by the above photo of DeSantis using Fox News as an anti-Cuban propaganda machine, his political career -- first the House, soon the Senate, etc. -- is propelled by America's omnipotent right-wing media, the Bush dynasty, AIPAC, the Tea Party, etc. Of course, the mainstream U. S. media doesn't have the courage to hold anti-Cuba zealots from Florida accountable for their anti-Cuban tactics that are also anti-American.
However:
      Sarah Stephens -- the democracy-loving head of the Washington-based Center for Democracy in the Americas -- does have the courage to rebuke self-serving assaults on innocent Cubans and innocent Americans. In fact, that's one reason she created CDA. Each Friday on her CDA website, Ms. Stephens posts a "Cuba Central" segment that is each week's best summation of U.S.-Cuban relations. Her latest essay -- Friday, May 13th, 2016 -- led off by explaining in detail the latest gutlessness by Rep. Ron DeSantis regarding a little bill he slipped into a big bill for the purpose of hurting Cuba that Sarah Stephens points out also hurts Americans. Of course, the United States and democracy would be better served if the mainstream U. S. media had as much concern for America and for democracy as Sarah Stephens does.
      Like DeSantis, Corrine Brown was born in Jacksonville, Florida. And like DeSantis, she represents Florida in the U. S. Congress -- but quite differently, I might add. Congresswoman Brown has no revenge, economic or political motives to hurt Cubans on the island and certainly she is appalled at anti-Cuban laws easily rammed through the U. S. Congress that hurt Cubans, Cuban-Americans, and Americans. Congresswoman Corrine Brown strongly supports President Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba "to help the good people in Cuba as well as the good people in Florida and throughout America."
      Kathy Castor was born in Miami but she has bravely represented Tampa in the U. S. Congress since 2007. Facing taunts and threats in Florida all her political life, she has campaigned relentlessly to normalize relations with Cuba. Ms. Castor, you see, cares about Cubans on the island and she cares about her constituents in the Tampa area who "will surely benefit immensely if we normalize relations with Cuba."
Kathy Castor relentlessly promotes trade with Cuba.
         This photo shows Congresswoman Kathy Castor, on the left, in Cuba on a friendly mission sponsored by Sarah Stephens and her Center for Democracy in the Americas. That's Ms. Stephens on the right.
      This photo shows Congresswoman Kathy Castor getting ready to board a charter flight from Tampa to Cuba. On this visit she took along other members of Congress to urge them to support President Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. Since 1962, the pernicious U. S. embargo has prohibited commercial airplane flights to Cuba. But beginning in the fall, that anti-American and anti-democracy aspect of the embargo will end, thanks to the brave decency of Kathy Castor and others. 
         It seems the mainstream media in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave doesn't have the freedom or the bravery to provide Americans with Congresswoman Kathy Castor's views about Cuba.
     It is, I believe, no coincidence that Miami-born Kathy Castor has represented Tampa in the U. S. Congress since 2007. Although the majority of Cuban-Americans in Miami support President Obama's and Congresswoman Castor's attempts to normalize relations with Cuba, it appears that Miami only sends extreme anti-Castro zealots -- like the four depicted above -- to the U. S. Congress. Marco Rubio -- another anti-Castro zealot from Miami -- is giving up his Senate seat because of his failed presidential bid.
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