Vidal Targets THE Embargo

She Might Win!! 
       The U. S. economic embargo against Cuba...which the island calls a blockade...has been in effect since 1962. Cuba has had no problem convincing the rest of the world that it constitutes "genocide" and that it is "history's all-time longest and cruelest blockade ever imposed by a strong nation against a weak one." Each October the United Nations highlights that generally accepted fact with a stunning 191-to-2 vote supporting Cuba's position on the embargo/blockade. The problem with such near-unanimity-of-opinion is two-fold: {1} The U. S. is the strongest nation in the history of the world and it has a veto in the UN as well as, if it chooses, over world opinion; and {2} Since the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship was overthrown by the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the U. S. government and a coerced or apathetic U. S. citizenry have allowed Batistiano-Mafiosi remnants to dictate America's Cuban policy via control of Miami's and Washington's Cuban-related politics. Since 1952, when the U. S. teamed with the Mafia to support the vile Batista dictatorship in Cuba, Americans have been successfully propagandized or intimidated to keep them from even complaining about the damage such a Cuban policy has on America's democratic reputation.
       As this poster indicates, America's Cuban policy -- such as teaming with the Mafia in 1952 to ransack Cuba till the Revolution intervened in 1959 and then allowing the revengeful Batistianos to regroup and thrive on U. S. soil -- has not only served to demean the U. S. but it has also garnered considerable support for the Castro regime both on the island and on the international scale. That is what makes posters like this resonate as pugnacious little Cuba is depicted as being the quintessential David vs. Goliath by merely surviving decades of such things as...assassination attempts, unpunished terrorist acts, the military attack at the Bay of Pigs, and, of course, the embargo that Cuba successfully portrays as "the genocidal longest and cruelest blockade ever imposed by a really strong nation against a weak one."  
        And that brings us around to this very effective poster that was plastered around Havana this week -- late October of 2016. The lady shown in the upper-left at the microphone is Josefina Vidal, Cuba's brilliant Minister in charge of relations with the United States. The poster promoted an anti-blockade speech Vidal delivered at the University of Havana on October 17th, a prelude to next week's next UN vote on the blockade. Vidal is deeply respected in Cuba, Washington and around the world, and the University of Havana is brimming with well-educated students who strongly resent how their parents, grandparents,and now their siblings and themselves have been and are being unmercifully punished by the blockade.
    Havana students awaiting the arrival of Josefina Vidal.
Vidal did not disappoint those students. 
She arrived wearing an anti-blockade T-shirt!!
      Sitting on an elevated stage and utilizing a microphone and loudspeakers, Vidal unleashed a blistering assault "on the genocidal heartbreak the blockade has caused your parents all their lives and now is seeking to do the same thing to you...and to your children." Notice the attentive reaction of the Cuban students.
     Vidal, surrounded by a sea of young, well-educated Cubans who agree with her, spent an intense session in the open-air, tropical heat beseeching the students to "never forget who your prime enemies are. They are the ones behind the blockade and other uncivil acts against Cubans on the island while enriching and empowering the worst Cubans off the island to afford them unchecked and unlimited means to assault you as they seek revenge for the revolution and to enrich and empower themselves in America. If you are displeased with government officials like me on the island, you can let us know and then you can judge our reaction. But the time has come to do more to fight the anti-Cuban forces off the island...forces such as the blockade, the occupation of rightful Cuban territory at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. tax-funded programs designed to recapture this island to, as they tell the American people, to bring you democracy...such as when they brought your forebears the Mafia in the 1950s. Only a few of the revolutionaries are still around, the ones who kicked the Mafia back to the U. S. and, despite the blockade, provide you free and good educations, free and good health care, and protect you, I believe, better than Americans are protected on their streets or in their homes or cars. But we are more survivalists than perfectionists. If there is to be democracy or socialism or whatever in your lives, you are the ones who should decide that, not the anti-Cubans in Miami and Washington. We have gained much working with the decency of President Obama in the past two years, but there is still Miami and still Congress beyond his control, and he has only days left as President. The blockade-runners are still powerful as they hide behind a superpower. You young dear Cubans are sooooo strong. You just have to be a bit stronger considering the strength of those who are trying to literally starve you with the blockade." 
      Vidal's impassioned assault on the embargo not only stressed the harm it brings to the older students but also to "your siblings in lower grades below college level. They are also made to suffer each day by cruel elements in a foreign country." The U. S. media is not in the business of presenting Cuba's side of issues such as the embargo, but 51 minutes and 27 seconds of Vidal's speech at the University of Havana was and is available online at powerful venues such as HuffPost/TheWorldPost. In that video Vidal speaks Spanish but she was just as emphatic when she later answered questions in English concerning the embargo.
      Vidal's main theme to the University of Havana students emphasized that Cuba's revolutionary government, in "stark contrast to the Batista years of the 1950s and the intent of Cuba's enemies in Miami and Washington during these crucial modern times" provides "all its people free educations and health care and street safety." And that salient point seemed to resonate the strongest with University of Havana students such as Rosalie Contreras who told "REUTERS" that, "We have world opinion behind us and we must not allow the blockade to do to the children beneath us what it has done to us and our parents. Josefina is fighting just for us and for them, not against us and them while basking in a Miami mansion."
      This is Josefina Vidal modestly dressed in her modest Havana office. She is the indefatigable leader of Cuba's David vs. Goliath struggle against the island's prime enemies in Miami and in the United States Congress. She may lose that struggle but she is both skilled and determined enough to amazingly make it a contestable battle in which she believes her side is supported by what she calls "world opinion and by what would be justice for past and current Cubans who have fought so hard for independence and for sovereignty."
       As a world-class and nonpareil Cuban Minister, Josefina Vidal has already achieved milestones that a handful of ultra-powerful Cuban-Americans deemed impossible -- such as getting Cuba removed from the Batistiano-dictated Sponsors of Terrorism list; opening embassies in Havana and Washington for the first time since 1961; loosening a Miami-dictated rule that made everyday Americans the only people in the world without the freedom to visit Cuba; getting a friendly U. S. president in 2016 to be the first sitting president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge arrived on a warship in 1928; having U. S. cruise ships visit Cuba for the first time in over five decades; having U. S. commercial flights land in Cuba for the first time in over five decades; etc. But Vidal has three more impossible tasks testing her diplomatic skills: {1Ending what she calls the "blockade;" {2} ending what continues as a string of U.S. tax-funded regime-change programs; and {3} getting Guantanamo Bay returned to what she calls its rightful owner, "Cuba." The odds are about a million-to-one against her regarding this unfinished business but she faced similar odds on several things she has already achieved. Thus, being underestimated works to her own advantage. 
And you know what
      There are four firmly entrenched Cuban-American members of Congress from Miami. Polls show that most Cuban-Americans even in Miami's Little Havana district favor normalizing relations with Cuba but...alas...it seems only anti-Castro zealots and scions of zealous anti-Castro families can get elected to Congress from Miami, which still occupies fertile U. S. soil. Another irony related to U.S.-Cuban relations is that a staunch pro-Cuban lady in Cuba, Vidal, seems more concerned about the demeaning image America's Cuban policy casts on America and democracy than do the Cuban-Americans in Congress. Now chew on that for a moment and, of course -- being in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave -- you're perfectly free to disagree, at least verbally, with such ironies and assumptions.



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