Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Republicans Still Want Cuba

For Their Very Own!! 
Updated: Friday, July 22nd, 2016 
    Last night in Cleveland, Donald J. Trump officially accepted the nomination of the Republican Party to be President of the United States. No, the billionaire businessman is not qualified for that position but he is more qualified than the 16 Republican candidates he wiped out in the primary and, as a non-politician, he may be more qualified than his lone remaining challenger, the Democrat who happens to be a long-established, dynastic politician whose husband is a former and now very rich two-term President. Although African-Americans, Hispanics and women are strongly against Trump, he incredibly has a chance because he is not a "qualified" politician, something that many Americans are fed-up with. Mr. Trump is a politically in-correct politician. 
    Ted Cruz is the Cuban-American politician who most harbors the lofty twin goals of re-capturing Cuba as soon as he first captures America. He is a first-term U. S. Senator from Texas backed by the right-wing Tea Party and a host of right-wing billionaires. Donald Trump eliminated Cruz, whom Trump called "Lying Ted," in the Republican presidential primary but, incredibly, Trump allowed Cruz to make the most heralded speech at Wednesday's crucial third night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where Trump has been officially anointed the Republican presidential nominee. The AP photo above shows Cruz, an accomplished speaker who tries to hide his right-wing extremism, just before he was booed off the rostrum in Cleveland. The eager crowd supported Cruz's speech but kept assuming he would endorse Donald Trump. But he refused, even after he condescendingly stared down at delegates screaming for him to at least announce his support of the Republican candidate, Mr. Trump. As Cruz was booed off the stage, Tea Party zealot Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia whisked Cruz's wife Heidi to safety when an angry crowd closed in around her. Many interpret Cruz's speech as a prelude to his anticipated 2020 victory speech. He expects Trump to lose to Democrat Hillary Clinton this year, leaving him at the top of the Republican Party and primed to be President in 2020. That's not likely. Even Republican icons like the venerable Bob Dole consider Cruz "the most dangerous politician in America." But when it comes to Cuba, any Republican in the White House teamed with a Republican Congress would try to destroy Revolutionary Cuba, although Trump, the controversial billionaire businessman who is now the top Republican, supports President Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, as would Hillary Clinton. Trump's glaring inexperience as a politician is an asset because Americans have tired of bought-and-paid-for politicians.
Ted Cruz's anti-Trump speech in Cleveland Wednesday.
 Trump Vs. Cruz, internecine warfare.
      Peter King is a Republican giant in the U. S. Congress where he has represented New York since 1993. Typically outraged at Ted Cruz's pompous, self-eulogizing speech at the Republican National Convention, Mr. King angrily called Cruz "a liar and a fraud." He was talking about the Ted Cruz that plans to be the next Republican President of the United States. GOOD LUCK!!
      This week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland and next week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia will both reveal that the nadir of the U. S. democracy may be upon us. The best journalists in America today are the great Editorial Cartoonists. So, it's no surprise that David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times best sums up these next two political weeks in America, as you can see above. Donald Trump, a controversial billionaire businessman, is the Republican presidential nominee. Hillary Clinton, a controversial bought-and-paid-for establishment icon, is the Democratic nominee. A strong majority of Americans do not want either Trump or Clinton to be the next President of the United States starting in January, 2017. But U. S. voters are left in a bind. In a flawed, money-crazed two-party system, voters have two choices: {1} Vote for the lesser of two evils; or {2} do not vote at all. Many democracy-lovers believe that the U. S. Supreme Court in 2010 pounded the final nail in democracy's coffin when it legalized unlimited donations to political campaigns by individual and corporate billionaires, many with foreign-tinged aspects or relations. That's not what America's Founding Fathers in 1776 envisioned for their truly great democracy. And that's why David Horsey's political statement depicted above is so very accurate and...so very sad 
       This week in Cleveland the Republican National Convention crowned  controversial businessman Donald Trump and Tea Party darling Mike Pence, the Governor of Indiana, as its Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. More than 60% of Americans consider Mr. Trump unqualified to be President of the United States, but that's barely better than his bought-and-paid-for Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. The scenarios playing out this week in Cleveland and next week in Philadelphia affects the entire world because of America's superpower status as the unequaled economic and military power. And of all the nations in the world, perhaps little Cuba has the most at stake next to the United States itself. Before you casually dismiss that suggestion, at least Google major Cuban-Republican involvements from 1898 till today and, most particularly, from 1952 till...this very day.
     You should start with this Wikipedia photo. It shows the USS Maine warship in the upper-center entering Havana Harbor on January 25, 1898. Since 1776 the United States had coveted ownership of Cuba, once offering to trade Florida to Spain for the biggest and greatest Caribbean island. By 1898 America's two most powerful newspaper moguls -- William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer -- had two goals, ownership of Cuba and Teddy Roosevelt as their very own U. S. President. They knew imperialist Spain was too extended to defend Cuba in a war with the U. S., which is next door to Cuba. But they needed a pretext to start the war in which they would make sure that Teddy Roosevelt would get the most credit for winning. That's where the USS Maine came into play. It was a proud warship. The U. S. taxpayers had paid exactly $4,677,788.75 -- don't forget the 75 cents -- in 1890 for the USS Maine.
        There was, of course, no problem in searching for a pretext to declare war on Spain for the purpose of acquiring Cuba and making Teddy Roosevelt the U. S. President. On February 15, 1898 a massive explosion in Havana Harbor blew the USS Maine to smithereens. The officers, by chance, were on shore in Havana but 261 young sailors were killed. Later, one of the officers died merely from shock. Whether it was accidental or deliberate, the explosion in Havana Harbor gave Hearst and Pulitzer their pretext for the Spanish-American War. "REMEMBER THE MAINE!" was the battle-cry emblazoned in America's top newspapers although Spain was in no position to purposely provoke a war with the United States.
    
    The battle-cry "Remember the Maine" resonated across America in 1898 after the two most powerful newspaper publishers -- William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer -- repeatedly blared headlines about the "Spanish Murderers." They also had enough political pull to make sure that their dear friend Teddy Roosevelt was sent to Cuba to fight the easy war that would make him a successful presidential candidate. Hearst and Pulitzer also sent their top journalists to cover the war -- including Pulitzer's Stephen Crane who later wrote the classic Civil War novel "The Red Badge of Courage" in 1905. Hearst sent the great and expensive painter Frederic Remington to Cuba to lavishly portray the war. Crane and Remington were well-paid to fulfill their assignments, which were to glorify Teddy Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders" for their heroic and magnificent victory in the convenient Spanish-American War.
        Back in 1898 there were no radio, television or computer/Smart Phone coverage of the Spanish-American War. So, America's two richest and most powerful newspaper publishers -- Hearst and Pulitzer -- had propaganda field days. Thus their portrait of Teddy Roosevelt's Charge Up San Juan Hill would become the biggest image of the war. It helped Teddy become President of the United States. But first, The Treaty of Paris in which no Cuban was represented ended the war. It ceded Cuba from Spain to the United States. That and Teddy's later presidency were the two big things but the U. S. also paid defeated Spain $20 million to acquire the imperial rights to the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam. But make no mistake about the fact that gaining dominion over Cuba was the reason the United States fought the Spanish-American War.
          As the above graphic indelibly points out, the Spanish-American War in 1898 was purely designed to give the United States control of Cuba. Many believed that the world's greatest and most admired democracy would then create a democratic paradise in Cuba, the largest next-door island in the nearby Caribbean. Sadly, democracy never happened. The first prime benefactors of the Spanish-American War were the rich newspaper moguls Hearst and Pulitzer butfrom those days in 1898 till these days in 2016, America has viewed Cuba as a piggy-bank for rich Americans. And, after the theft of the plush Cuban port of Guantanamo Bay in 1903, America has also viewed Cuba as a plush but unneeded military base.
           The term "Yellow Journalism" got its origin because of the role Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst played in the Spanish-American War. The word "yellow" also defined the war in Cuba.
       Teddy Roosevelt, the most famed "Rough Rider" in the Spanish-American War, was President of the United States from 1901-1909. It ushered in a new era of money getting an iron grip on U. S. politics.
          Yet, 1952 was the year that America's right-wing fetish for Cuba reached its greedy zenith. This photo shows U. S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower joyfully hosting Cuba's brutal, thieving dictator Fulgencio Batista. Ike, World War II's supreme hero, was a good man. But in 1952 his Vice-President Richard Nixon, his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his CIA Director Allen Dulles were instrumental in teaming the U. S. democracy with the Mafia to support the vile Batista dictatorship in Cuba. By the 1970s when Nixon was President Americans would find out what a crook he was. And a couple of decades after that, Americans would learn that the Dulles brothers had private interests in the United Fruit Company, the most infamous U. S. business associated with the rape and robbery of helpless Latin American nations. Meanwhile, thanks to classified data and a lot of propaganda, Americans to this day have been proselytized not to blame Nixon, the Dulles brothers, Henry Kissinger, etc. for Latin American ventures that included America, beginning in 1953 and going deep into the 1970s, overthrowing democratically elected governments to install thieving and murderous but U.S.-friendly dictators, with the most notorious being in 1973 when the democratically elected Salvador Allende in Chile was killed in a coup that put the U.S.-friendly but thieving and extremely murderous Augusto Pinochet dictatorship in power for 17 bloody years.
       From an image standpoint, arguably the biggest mistake the United States has made was teaming with the Mafia to support the Batista dictatorship in Cuba beginning in 1952. If you disagree with that, you probably also think that the yearly 191-to-2 pro-Cuba & anti-U. S. vote in the United Nations makes the U. S. look good in the eyes of the world. The above image recaps the Mafia-fueled U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship in Cuba. That's the thuggish Batista in the upper-right. That's #1 Mafia kingpin Lucky Luciano in the upper-left. And that's #2 Mafia kingpin Meyer Lansky in the lower-middle. There are some democracy lovers who believe the U. S. could have found a better Cuban partner than...the notorious Mafia.
       During the 1952-1959 Batista dictatorship in Cuba, propagandized Americans were incessantly told that the island was the "Paradise of the Tropics" and indeed it was -- for the Batistianos, Mafiosi and Americans who were robbing Cuba blind. The three main enterprises were gambling, drugs and prostitution.
       But the peasants, not involved in the money-making schemes, were destitute in Batista's Cuba. They went hungry and they had zero help from the government in regards to health care, education or shelter.
      A peasant mother in Batista's Cuba. If they had been thrown a few crumbs, it is unlikely that this situation would have spawned a revolution. After all, a U.S.-backed dictatorship was deemed rock-solid.
      But this is the type photo that spawned the Cuban Revolution in Batista's U.S.-backed Cuba. Instead of at least throwing crumbs to the peasants, the Batista thugs routinely murdered dissidents. If you read the sign these brave women are heralding, it was the murders of children -- their hijos -- apparently as a warning to dissidents that led to these street marches, which in turn led to the Cuban Revolution.
This mother bravely blamed Batista for her son's murder.
     But the most famous childhood murder in Batista's Cuba was that of William Soler. The bodies of little Willie and three of his classmates were left in an abandoned warehouse. In the above photo in the center wearing the white jacket is Willie Soler's mother. Marches like this spurred the Cuban Revolution. Today in Revolutionary Cuba, the William Soler Children's Hospital is named for him and his very brave mother.
       The Cuban Revolution will always be synonymous with its leader, Fidel Castro. The victorious revolution shocked the world and cemented his legend, but his longevity -- which included his front-line defense at the Bay of Pigs in April of 1961 -- crowned his fame or, as his detractors say, his infamy. His revolution, against all odds, still rules Cuba and Fidel turns 90-years-old in a few days -- August 13th.
       Headlines like this greeted Americans on January 1, 1959. But beginning on that day, the "fleeing" Batistianos and Mafiosi resettled on U. S. soil with the full cooperation of the U. S. government. The plan was to recapture Cuba in short order. Many of the most visceral anti-Castro exiles -- Luis Posada Carriles, Jorge Mas Canosa, etc. -- were sent to the then-secretive Army of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia. They were trained there and in U.S.-friendly dictatorships -- such as Somoza's Nicaragua -- to attack Cuba, which they famously and unsuccessfully did, after a fierce bombing attack, at the Bay of Pigs in April of 1961. The Army of the Americas had already been set up at Fort Benning to secretly train soldiers and police from U.S.-friendly dictatorships who were then sent back to protect the dictators. Americans finally learned about the school when President Clinton held a news conference to apologize for it. And since the headline above on January 1, 1959, the Cuban narrative in the U. S. and the U. S. Cuban policy have largely or solely been dictated by two generations of the most visceral anti-Castro exiles and Cuban-Americans. 
     And that brings us right up to date with this Denver Post photo-montage. It shows New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during his cruel anti-Cuban tirade this week -- Tuesday, July 19th -- at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It's a reminder that the self-serving anti-Cuban zealots in Miami, New Jersey and Washington STILL WANT CUBA, which you'll recall is the title of this Cubaninsider essay.
       This week -- Wed.-July 20th -- Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz made major speeches at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. They are first-term Cuban-American U. S. Senators and renowned anti-revolutionary zealots. Although polls show that most Cuban-Americans support President Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, only anti-revolutionary Cuban-American zealots can get elected to Congress. Rubio and Cruz were prime presidential contenders because a huge contingent of right-wing and Israeli billionaires along with the right-wing Tea Party powerfully champion Rubio and Cruz. Donald Trump soundly trounced Rubio, Cruz, Christie and 13 other challengers for the Republican presidential nomination but Rubio and Cruz clearly have the financial backing, if not the qualifications, to purchase the White House in 2020 and beyond. Mr. Trump's personal decision to spotlight them last night in Cleveland is a decision he will regret. They will strive to trample Trump and all others politically.
In other words
        The bold New Era in U.S.-Cuba relations that President Obama created is more a fantasy than a reality. The fierce Cuban Cottage Industry in the U. S. remains a cornucopia of revenge, economic and political rewards for the counter-revolutionaries entrenched in the fabric of the U. S. democracy. It's been that way since 1959 and the U. S. does not seem strong enough to correct the luminescent situation that most Americans, most Cuban-Americans and almost all of America's worldwide friends badly want corrected.
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