Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cuba: Surviving or Thriving?

Well, A Bit of Both!!
      Two weeks ago in the first week of October-2016 the powerful Hurricane Matthew pounded eastern Cuba and left much of Baracoa, an historic coastal city of 85,000, in rubble although excellent preparedness orchestrated by the Cuban government helped prevent deaths. The Cuban government as usual got high marks from numerous unbiased sources for protecting its citizens, but not in the U. S. media and certainly not nearby Miami where many, as usual, blamed 90-year-old Fidel Castro.
      Yesterday -- Oct. 19-2016 -- the Miami Herald used the above graphic to illustrate an article still attacking Cuba regarding Hurricane Matthew. The headline: "Rebuilding Efforts Underway in Eastern Cuba But U. S. Hurricane Aid Rebuffed." The article pointed out that schools were back in session and efforts were continuing to clear roads, restore electricity and communications, and Cubana de Aviacion will resume flights to Baracoa today -- October 20th. The article mentioned that Cuba is receiving help from countries like Venezuela and Japan and added this sentence: "But despite offers from U. S. charities to send food and other relief, shipments from the United States has been rebuffed. thus far." The implication was that the Cuban government has "rebuffed" help from the U. S., especially Miami, because it is not interested in helping its people. That is a bald-faced lie, one that reflects far more badly on the U. S. than on Cuba. Cuba trusts aid from countries like Venezuela, Japan, etc. -- none of which have ever mauled Cuba with military, terrorism, assassination, congressional or embargo attacks. If the U. S., especially Miami, could say the same thing, it is presumed Cuba would readily accept help from the U. S., even Miami's Little Havana area.
      This photo is courtesy of Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket/Getty Images and it was used yesterday -- Oct. 19-2016 -- to illustrate a major NPR article written by Carrie Kahn. The title of the article is: "Amid A Struggling Economy, Cuba Real Estate Is Booming." The boom is particularly occurring in the area of Havana, shown above, fronted by the famed Malecon seawall. Ms. Kahn wrote: "About 100 miles off the tip of Florida, it's boom time. The real estate market in Havana, Cuba, is roaring. Apartments are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Add a Caribbean sea view or a prized spot in a pre-revolution exclusive neighborhood and the price can be a million dollars. Cubans are on a wild ride. Five years ago, President Raul Castro began letting homeowners buy and sell property. But its only in the last year and a half, with warmer relations between the U. S. and Cuba, that the rush on real estate really started. The U. S. trade embargo prohibits Americans from buying property on the island and Cuban law allows only residents to purchase homes. But that hasn't stopped foreigners from finding loopholes and fueling the frenzy." In Revolutionary Cuba, Cubans are provided excellent free educations and health care as well as guarantees of food and shelter. Many own their own modest homes or apartments. This NPR article references modest places -- because of "location, location, location" -- being priced at upwards of $250,000 in "roaring" Havana. 
     No one knows more than Peter Kornbluh when it comes to U.S.-Cuban relations. Moreover, unlike the mainstream media in the U. S., he has both the guts and the integrity to tell the truth about a subject that reflects mightily on America's international image. Peter is the highly respected Cuban expert at the Washington-based U. S. National Security Archive. In a long, major article yesterday -- Oct. 19-2016 -- Mr. Kornbluh provides the best up-to-date summary of President Obama's drastic influence on U.S.-Cuban relations. The article is entitled: "Normalization of Relations With Cuba Is All But Irreversible Now." 
     Peter Kornbluh's must-read article yesterday included these words: "With just under 100 days remaining in office, President Obama has launched a final offensive to assure that his administration's effort to normalize relations with Cuba will outlast his presidency and be recorded as one of the most dramatic breakthroughs in the annals of U. S. foreign policy." Americans, propagandized derogatorily about Cuba every day since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, should study that topical sentence from America's top Cuban expert. His article includes sub-topics such as "An Irreversible Policy Shift" and "We Will Not Pursue Regime-Change in Cuba, Obama Declared." Mr. Kornbluh's explanations of those titles are the best explanations U. S. citizens will get. He also explains that Republicans in Miami and in the U. S. Congress will continue to doggedly try to block and/or overturn each and every Obama advancement in U.S.-Cuban relations. And Mr. Kornbluh worries...as all democracy-loving Americans should worry...that another Bush-like Republican will one-day capture the White House. Mr. Kornbluh, as this lifelong Republican understands, believes that Republicans in charge of Congress are enemies of Cuba and democracy while also believing that Republicans in the White House would be the same. In his insightful article, Mr. Kornbluh wrote, "Donald Trump is one such enemy." Even Republicans who cringe the severest about the prospects of another Clinton presidency should agree with his conclusion while also hoping that the U. S. democracy can soon return to having major presidential candidates with at least favorable, not grossly unfavorable, personal ratings. Kornbluh's comments yesterday about Trump referenced the Republican's cowardly, undemocratic promise back in September in Miami to "reverse" Obama's Cuban overtures.
      Since the 1950s US-Cuba Relations have been predicated in the United States by how much revenge, money and political power that an unsavory few could exact at the expense of the majority and democracy. With unparalleled boldness and intelligence, President Obama has finally sliced markedly into that derogatory reflection on America. As Peter Kornbluh, America's top Cuban expert said in his major article yesterday, Mr. Obama's efforts have already produced "one of the most dramatic breakthroughs in the annals of U. S. foreign policy." And hopefully, the people Mr. Kornbluh called "the enemies" of Obama and democracy will never be able to "erase" the corrections Mr. Obama has made in US-Cuba Relations.  

Mr. Obama has reasons to applaud himself.
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