Thursday, July 14, 2016

Unending Congressional Hypocrisy

Fuels Vast Cuban Industry 
Benefits A Few, Harms Everyone Else
"4 Lawmakers Move To Block U. S. Flights To Cuba" 
      That was the glaring headline in the Miami Herald yesterday. Since January of 1959, the self-serving minority that insists on dictating America's Cuban policy has always found it easy to align with their necessary sycophants in the U. S. Congress or in Republican presidential administrations.  That's what the above headline represents. As a significant part of President Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, ten major U. S. cities and 8 major U. S. airlines have been approved to schedule the historic first commercial air service to Havana in over half-a-century. Additionally, six other airlines have been approved to fly to nine other Cuban cities. The flights could start as early as September. But, like every positive gesture regarding Cuba from the Kennedy presidency to Obama's, a powerful handful of Cuban-Americans with their easily acquired congressional or Republican acolytes...please notice I didn't say conspirators...are anxious to block the commercial flights to Cuba. The "4" referenced by the Miami Herald:
         ***John Katko of New York.
          ***Michael McCaul of Texas.
         ***Henry Cuellar of Texas.
        ***Richard Hudson of North Carolina
         Of the Miami Herald's quartet, John M. Katko was named as the leader of the congressional bunch bent on stopping the commercial flights to Cuba. He alleges "safety" as his prime reason and, incredibly, he supported that liminal ragout excuse by stressing that Cuba was "only recently" removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Such statements are made, I believe, in the belief that Americans are too stupid or too intimidated to judge such things for themselves. Yes, President Obama recently removed Cuba from that list because it was the right thing to do and because the vast majority of people in the U. S. and worldwide didn't believe Cuba belonged on the list and was on it just to whet the appetites of the anti-Castro zealots, many of whom took advantage of the listing to sue unrepresented Cuba for whatever they wanted to sue it for in Miami courtrooms. As far as I know, Mr. Katko is not overly concerned about unquestioned U. S. commercial flights to China, Vietnam, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc. Of course, none of those countries ever teamed with the Mafia to support a thieving, brutal, and cowardly dictatorship that was overthrown by the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and has, amazingly, been a sovereign nation since then with a 191-to-2 yearly vote in the UN denouncing the U. S. Cuban policy. Also, I assume Congressman Katko conveniently dis-remembers when a civilian Cuban airplane was blown into the ocean.
But the families of Cubana Flight 455 victims still remember.
Cubana Flight 455 was bombed by terrorists Oct. 8, 1976.
                For many years Mary Murray has been the excellent Caribbean and Latin American reporter for NBC News. Unlike most of the U. S. media, she has reported very fairly even on Cuban issues. One of her NBC News reports still online is entitled "Cubans Seek Justice for Alleged Airplane Bomber." She was, of course, referencing Luis Posada Carriles who to this very day is a heralded citizen of Miami, Florida.
           This photo is used courtesy of the aforementioned NBC report by Mary Murray. It shows Carlos Cremata holding a photo of his father and mother when he was a little cowboy in Revolutionary Cuba. On Oct. 6-1976 his father was in the cockpit of Cubana Flight 455 along with pilot Wilfredo Perez and co-pilot Miguel Espinosa. The passengers included two dozen teenage Cuban athletes as well as some small children of their coaches. The heart-wrenching report by Mary Murray featured Carlos Cremata as a microcosm of the pain that still lingers from the terrorist bombing of historic Cubana Flight 455.
       When the nations of the world vote 191-to-2 each year against the U. S. embargo of Cuba, it is perhaps time for both the U. S. media and the U. S. people to have the courage, the compassion, and the competence to admit that the U.S.-Cuban conundrum is a two-sided, not one-sided, story. In other words...that UN vote should be factored into the equation...along with Batista, the Mafia, paramilitary units in Florida, the Bay of Pigs, Cubana Flight 455, the embargo, punishing everyday Cubans, etc.!!
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