Cuba Battles Trump & COVID-19

Which Peril Is Worse?!!
{September 11th, 2020}
      Since the 1950's neither the U. S. government nor the U. S. media has told the truth to the American people about the Cuban Revolution, the historic event that has forever changed both Cuba and the United States. Tony Perrottet, the world's most acclaimed World Travel Writer/historian, is one prime exception to that lack of integrity and courage in the U. S. media. As the world's best Travel Writer/historian, Mr. Perrottet has been enamored with repeatingly visiting Cuba and meticulously studying the enormous after effects of the Cuban Revolution. Unlike lesser skilled and courageous U. S. journalists and authors, Mr. Perrottet starts the mammoth lie perpetrated by the U. S. government and the U. S. media about the year 1952 WHEN THE U.S. GOVERNMENT TEAMED WITH THE TOP ECHELON OF THE MAFIA TO SUPPORT THE BRUTAL AND THIEVING BATISTA DICTATORSHIP. From the 1950's till September of 2020, Americans have been told that it was a proper thing for the U. S. democracy to align with and support the Mafia so rich U. S. businessmen could partake in the rape and robbery of the Caribbean's largest and most beautiful island nation, a mere 90 miles from the shores of Florida.
       And after the Cuban Revolution shocked the world and altered history on January 1, 1959 when it overthrew the Mafia-led BATISTA DICTATORSHIP, chasing the Mafiosi and Batistiano to their new sanctuary in nearby Miami.
      Since January of 1959 Little Havana in the heart of Miami has thrived economically and politically while spending every hour of every day for going on seven decades to RECAPTURE Cuba. Yet, it hasn't happened despite the fact that Little Havana, since Jan.-1959 till Sept.-2020, has been massively supported by the world's strongest and richest nation, the United States. Additionally, Little Havana has greatly benefited by the mammoth apathy of the mightily propagandized American people. And that is where a truly great, brave journalist/author such as Tony Perrottet becomes so important. Being the world's top Travel Writer, Tony's expertise has been in forums like the NY Times, Smithsonian Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, etc.
        The best of Tony Perrottet's six books is "Cuba Libre". And yes, in "Cuba Libre" Tony Perrottet accurately explained how the Cuban Revolution "CHANGED WORLD HISTORY" -- especially the history of the United States of America.
       While having the talent and courage to explain the Cuban Revolution to the world, especially to propagandized Americans, Tony Perrottet years has told the truth about how Cuba has so drastically changed the United States -- starting in 1898 with the Spanish-American War when the U. S. got domination of Cuba, since 1952 when the U. S. teamed with the Mafia to support the ruthless Batista dictatorship, and since 1959 when the Cuban Revolution chased the Batistiano and Mafiosi leaders from Havana to Little Havana. And now the great Tony Perrottet in September of 2020 has penned another incredible insightful article in the Wall Street Journal entitled "CUBA IS STAYING STRONG."
         The September-2020 article by Tony Perrottet is incredibly important because Americans simply have no idea has Cuba has survived as a sovereign nation for all these decades since 1959 -- especially considering that, in 2020, Cuba is the only nation in the world battling both the COVID-19 pandemic and a genocidal Blockade by the Trump administration to appease the Counter Revolutionary zealots in Little Havana and in the U. S. Congress. So, in September-2020 the Tony Perrottet article in the Wall Street Journal is very important...as is a classic article that Tony Perrottet earlier had published in the Smithsonian Magazine, which is reviewed below. 
     I'm a subscriber to Smithsonian Magazine and my favorite television channel is also Smithsonian -- because of its quintessentially historic and topical documentaries. Smithsonian Magazine is the source of a magnificent 15-page historic & topical report on the Cuban Revolution. It was brilliantly written and researched by Tony Perrottet, the renowned Australian-born and New York-based travel writer and historian depicted above. His essay includes historic photos and is also buttressed with updated photos by Joao Pina. To understand why modern Cuba punches far above its weight in the United States and around the world, you need to read this Smithsonian update.
    Tony Perrottet's Smithsonian article is entitled: "VIVA LA REVOLUTION." It's sub-titles include: "Journey Into Cuba's Rebel Heart," The long article begins with the writer and his photographer taking the arduous trip to visit the historic cabin hideaway used by Fidel Castro and Celia Sanchez from April-1958 till December-1958 as they devised the strategy that shocked the world by overthrowing the U.S.-and-Mafia-backed Batista dictatorship. This is Perrottet's first paragraph: "It's not hard to see why Fidel Castro's guerrilla headquarters during the Cuban revolutionary war was never found by the army. Even today, getting to the command post feels live a covert operation. Known as Comandancia La Plata, the remote hide-out was built in the spring of 1958 in the succulent rain- forest of the Sierra Maestra at Cuba's eastern tip, and it still lies at the end of steep, treacherous, unpaved roads. There are no road signs in the Sierra, so photographer Joao Pina and I had to stop our vehicle and ask for directions from passing campesinos on horseback while zigzagging between enormous potholes and wandering livestock. In the hamlet of Santo Domingo, we filled our paperwork in quadruplicate to secure access permits, before an official government guide ushered us into a creaky state-owned four-wheel drive vehicle. This proceeded to wheeze its way up into one of the Caribbean's last wilderness areas, with breathtaking views of rugged green peaks at every turn." Perrottet then added, "In any other country, the Comandancia would make an excellent eco-lodge, but in Cuba it remains one of the revolution's most intimate historical shrines."  
       This and the next five photos are courtesy of the excellent travel website jennyfaraway.com. This is a view of the Sierra Maestra Mountains where Fidel Castro's rebel hide-out was located. When people like Tony Perrottet venture there, they have to go deep and high into this rugged terrain, but in the 1950s it served the rebels well, especially in guerrilla fighting and protecting them from Batista's warplanes.
Signs point hearty hikers to the "Home of Fidel."
Just make sure you follow the right sign.
Then you are on a path to Fidel's old rebel cabin.
      This is an updated side-view of the famed rebel cabin. Notice the ladder and the long pole propping open a wooden window to let in a tropical breeze. There was also a trap-door near the bed that, if necessary, provided a quick exit to slide down a cliff into a rambling creek. The cabin's creation and design -- like most other key aspects of the revolution -- were orchestrated by Celia Sanchez. Americans are not supposed to know that but Tony Perrottet, in his Smithsonian article, was brave enough and astute enough to write: "Perched on a ledge above a gurgling stream, with large windows propped open by poles to let in a cooling breeze, it's a refuge that would suit a Cuban John Muir. The spacious two-room hut was designed by Fidel's resourceful secretary, rural organizer and lover, Celia Sanchez. Celia also thought it important for visitors to see the rebel leader well established and comfortable -- acting, in fact, as if the war were already won and he was president of Cuba. Celia even managed to get a cake to the hut packed in dry ice via mule train for Fidel's 32nd birthday." Perrottet's recognition of Celia Sanchez's definitive role parallels what all Cuban insiders have always known. For example, the highly respected photographer Roberto Salas, an intimate of both Fidel and Celia for decades, wrote in his seminal book, "Celia made all the decisions for Cuba, the big ones and the small ones." Because the Batistianos she chased to the U. S. have dictated the Cuban narrative in the U. S. since 1959, Americans are not supposed to know such facts. It would, you see, interfere with their portrayal of Fidel as the evil one and mess up their machismo, which holds that big, mean macho Fidel beat them but the petite doctor's daughter had nothing to do with it, NOTHING AT ALL.     
The bed where Fidel and Celia Sanchez slept in the cabin.
       Celia and Fidel were the only rebels allowed inside the cabin at La Plata. Celia -- before and after Fidel spent two years in a Batista prison and then another year in Miami, New York and Mexico before joining her rebel army -- was the prime recruiter of rebel fighters, supplies and weapons. She kept a strongbox with up to a million dollars in cash either in the cabin or stashed at strategic locations. Thus, when she and Fidel were away from the cabin it was guarded by selected rebels. She worried about Batista planes spotting and bombing campsites but was careful with campfires and she purchased five BARs, Browning Automatic Rifles, from her key Venezuelan contacts and they downed two bombers and dissuaded others from dipping into the mountain valleys and then trying to ascend back out. At night, the wooden window was closed so Celia and Fidel, both night-owls and insatiable readers, could study by candlelight, like the candle Celia is holding in this photo. Celia was the decision-maker, so it can be assumed that she is reading battle reports or the last-known positions of Batista soldiers. Fidel was probably reading a book. In the updated Smithsonian article, Tony Perrottet mentioned that Fidel in his idle time read books like Ernest Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls." For Celia, there was no idle time apart from the next battle.
       In his article for the October edition of Smithsonian Magazine, Perrottet goes into detail about why and how the Cuban Revolution did the impossible by beating the powerful Batista dictatorship that was backed by the strongest criminal organization in the world, the Mafia, and the strongest nation in the world, the United States. The brutality of Batista's forces included, as Perrottet pointed out, the gruesome murders of even "children." That meant that every Cuban not tied to Batista, the Mafia or the U. S. supported the rebels. Cuban women, never leading factors in other revolutions, were the leading factors in this one...starting with the street marches that, as Perrottet stated, demanded that the U. S. "STOP THE MURDERS" of their children. Everyday Cubans, the campesinos, supported those pleas and Perrottet wrote that even some rich Cubans did too: "One of those was the young law graduate Fidel Castro," Perrottet said. The updated Smithsonian article points out the incredibly excessive brutality of the Batista regime. Perrottet included a photo of 78-year-old Uvaldo Pena Mas who explained how, when he was a child, his father was murdered. The photo above shows Celia introducing Fidel to some of the campesinos risking their lives to help her. To prevent that, Batista increased the murders, using what Perrottet called "psychopaths" to carry them out. Perrottet correctly mentioned that Batista used his control of the state media to announce that Fidel Castro, the hero to all the peasants, was dead. Celia quite brilliantly used New York Times reporter Herbert L. Matthews to prove he was still alive so her recruiting would not suffer.
        In the Smithsonian article, Tony Perrottet wrote that the utter despair of the everyday Cubans manifested itself mostly in the courage and outrage of women like Celia Sanchez. Perrottet wrote:  "Delusion had already been tapped by Celia Sanchez, a fearless young activist for the 26th of July Movement who was at the top of  Batista's most-wanted list in the Oriente province. A brilliant organizer, Sanchez would soon become Fidel's closest confidante and effective second in command." Long before anyone thought Batista could be toppled, Celia risked her life every day recruiting rebels and supplies to fight the Batistianos, prompting Cuba's best historian, Pedro Alvarez Tabio, to write, "If Batista had managed to kill Celia Sanchez anytime between 1953 and 1957, there would have been no viable Cuban revolution and no revolution for Fidel and Che to join." Perrottet wrote, "Young farmhands swelled the rebel ranks as soldiers. Girls carried rebel missives folded into tiny squares and hidden (as Celia mischievously explained) in a place where no one can find it. The campesinos also risked the savage reprisals of Batista's soldiers who beat, raped or executed peasants they suspected of having rebel sympathies." Indeed, two of Celia's closest female friends were unmercifully tortured to death as was the young school-teacher Frank Pais and his teenage brother Jesus because Frank was a vital rebel recruiter and organizer. In the Smithsonian article, Tony Perrottet wrote, "Batista's rule was marked by blatant corruption and a savage level of political repressions." Much of that savagery was directed at Cuban children and women, as Perrottet pointed out. That milieu produced history's all-time greatest, most determined and most effective female revolutionary fighters. 
       Tony Perrottet in the Smithsonian Cuban Revolution update said that "80" rebels beat a much larger Batista army to win the first big battle against Batista -- May 28th, 1957 near the "drowsy coastal village of El Uvero." Perrottet also recounted how 250 rebels beat 10,000 much better armed Batista soldiers. And the two most fiercely effective rebel fighters were not macho men like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara; they were the two beautiful women shown above -- Haydee Santamaria and Celia Sanchez. The Perrottet article points out that Batista goons gouged out the eyes of Haydee's brother Abel and presented them to her. Other reliable sources, including Haydee, have said that Batista goons cut off the testicles of her fiance and rubbed them over her face and chest. Celia, the petite doctor's daughter, also got her unmatched inspiration from unspeakable brutality -- the rape-murder of a 10-year-old peasant girl named Maria Ochoa.
           The fact that the Cuban Revolution was largely a female enterprise is aptly documented by The Woman Project.Org. Thus, it is appropriate that Celia Sanchez, who died of cancer in 1980, is responsible for the two quotations that best define it, starting with the one depicted above: "We rebels...get far too much credit for winning the Revolution. Our enemies deserve most of the credit, for being greedy cowards and idiots." Incredibly, after she drove those "greedy cowards and idiots" off the island, they regrouped on U. S. soil and, with rare exceptions, have been allowed to dictate the Cuban narrative and America's Cuban policy ever since. In other words, Celia realized that if her enemies had merely thrown the peasants some crumbs and not so viciously brutalized them, her recruiting would not have been so successful. Then after the amazing triumph of her revolution, her second definitive quotation resonates to this very day: "The Batistianos will never regain control of Cuba as long as I live or as long as Fidel lives." In this last week of September, 2016, Fidel is 90-years-old but he still lives and the Batistianos have still not regained "control of Cuba" despite the support from the U. S. Congress, the U. S. Treasury, the U. S. military and the CIA.
Rebel leaders Haydee and Celia with new rebel Fidel.
              Above Celia and Haydee are showing Fidel some of the money that they had recruited to sustain their Revolutionary War against Batista. If Batista and his prime supporters -- the Mafia and the U. S. -- had not outraged Celia and Haydee, the Batistianos and the Mafiosi would likely still be in charge of Cuba.
         Fidel Castro has never failed -- from age 32 till age 90 -- to give "most of the credit for winning our necessary revolution to the female half of our population." He especially meant the two flanking him above -- Celia Sanchez on his right and Haydee Santamaria on his left. When the above photo was taken as revolutionary rule was re-shaping the island, this trio was listening after they had stopped off to ask Cubans what they most wanted from the revolution. The repetitive answer they received at such stops was: "Good and free educations, and good and free health care." From 1959 till today, in stark contrast to pre-revolutionary Cuba, those two items have been hallmarks of the Revolution -- come hell, hurricanes, the Bay of Pigs, the embargo, Cuban-exile/Batistiano control of America's Cuban policy, and the apathy and cowardice of two generations of Americans allowing a Cuban policy to usurp their democracy.
              This was Celia Sanchez's favorite photo of Fidel Castro. As she was dying of cancer, she asked Vilma Espin to bring it to her and it was with Celia the day she died of cancer -- January 11th, 1980.
            The doctor's daughter that engineered the Cuban Revolution's victory over the U.S.-backed Batistianos and Mafiosi had no problem with Fidel getting the lion's share of the credit. In fact, along with other aspects of her revolution, she made sure that Fidel got the upfront credit even as she, behind the scenes with his full support, called the shots -- literally. The reason Tony Perrottet's incisive article in the current edition of Smithsonian Magazine stands out is the fact that he had the research and the guts to tell truths about the revolution that has been rare in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave since 1959. Perrottet stressed the extreme "decadence" of the Batista fiends that turned Celia Sanchez into history's all-time greatest female revolutionary. And Perrottet even backed up Celia's famed quote about "our enemies" being more responsible for the rebel victory than the rebels themselves because her enemies concentrated too much on being "greedy cowards and idiots." Celia was extremely disappointed the Batistiano and Mafiosi leaders didn't hang around Havana to fight the oncoming rebels. Perrottet wrote: "Batista was escaping with his cronies on a private plane loaded with gold bullion." What Batista and his cronies left behind, according to Perrottet, was "a symbol of decadence, a seedy enclave." And the greed was matched by the cowardice. Perrottet wrote about "the spectacle of 20,000 soldiers submitting to a few hundred rebels," a spectacle that was "enough to make you burst out laughing," to quote the article. 
         The BBC says this was "The first photo ever taken of Fidel Castro and Celia Sanchez together." It was taken in February of 1957 shortly after Fidel had joined her revolution in the Sierra Maestra Mountains.
      The outstanding article by Tony Perrottet in the Oct. 3-2016 edition of Smithsonian Magazine recounted Fidel's and Celia's trek from Santiago de Cuba to Havana to take over Cuba in the first week of January, 1959. Perrottet wrote: "Fidel rode his tank to the doors of the brand-new Hilton Hotel and took the presidential suite for himself and Celia." Perrottet described the Cuban Revolution with these exact words: "The campaign that would, in a little over two years, bring down the Cuban government and reshape world politics." 
Personal Observation:
      If Celia Sanchez's revolution "RESHAPED WORLD POLITICS" how can the Batistiano dominance of the Cuban narrative in the U. S. still maintain that she is an historical nonentity and that they, the fleeing Batistianos, were and are the good guys, not the "greedy cowards and idiots" Celia Sanchez called them.
       Because the Batistianos for decades have dictated America's Cuban policy, everyday Americans are the only people in the world without the freedom to visit Cuba. Is that so Americans can continue to be lied to about the Revolution that Tony Perrottet in Smithsonian Magazine says "reshaped world politics?" President Obama has finally loosened the Batistiano grip on America's Cuban policy but most everyday Americans are still banned from visiting the nearby island. If they did so, they wouldn't find a single statue of the now 90-year-old Fidel Castro. But they would see some beautiful statues honoring Celia Sanchez, such as the one above. Should...uh...the strongest nation in the world have a democracy that would allow its citizens to judge Cuba...and Celia Sanchez...for themselves? Uh, just asking.


No comments:

cubaninsider: "The Country That Raped Me" (A True Story)

cubaninsider: "The Country That Raped Me" (A True Story) : Note : This particular essay on  Ana Margarita Martinez  was first ...