If You Knew Cuba...

 ...like the BBC knows Cuba!!
But first: 
         The first two photos of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Cuba yesterday -- Nov. 16, 2016 -- are courtesy of Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press as are the quotes. This image shows Mr. Trudeau answering questions from University of Havana students, many of them about threats posed by the election of Donald Trump as the next President. Cubans are always nervous about Republicans in the White House especially now that both chambers of the U. S. Congress are also Republican-controlled. Mr. Trudeau tried to reassure the student questioners. He said, "The UN has just voted 191-to-0 without even the U. S. supporting its own embargo and with polls even in Miami showing that most Cuban-Americans are against the U. S. Cuban policy maintained by Congress. I think it will be hard for even Miami Republicans, a Republican in the White House, and a Republican Congress to go against the will of the whole world, the will of most Americans and most Cuban-Americans and so forth. But we will have to wait and see, because we, other nations, have felt that way for a while." Asked point-blank if Trump's election along with a Republican Congress would cause him and "other world leaders" to lessen their support of Cuba, Mr. Trudeau replied: "No. For me, election results in the United States will not change the strong relationship that is a friendship and a partnership between Canada and Cuba. In fact, the power of a few in the United States to hurt Cubans, I think, gains Cuba considerable international support that Cuba deserves."  
       This photo shows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warmly hugging Cuba's 85-year-old President Raul Castro right after the Q & A with the students ended. Mr. Trudeau met with three of Fidel Castro's sons and he had requested permission to visit Fidel in his home as many other world leaders have done recently. But Mr. Trudeau was told that Fidel's wife Dalia had decided that the 90-year-old Fidel's health "at this time would not allow the visitation, much to Fidel's and his whole family's regret." Pierre Trudeau, Justin's father, was Fidel's dear friend beginning when he was Prime Minister of Canada in the 1970s.
Pierre Trudeau & Fidel in 1976. 
       In fact, a 3-day visit by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to see Fidel resulted in this book-- "Three Nights in Havana." Mr. Trudeau had been the first Western leader to visit Fidel's Cuba, and it was widely criticized.
       When Pierre Trudeau died in 2000, Fidel was a pallbearer at the funeral in Montreal. This photo shows Fidel consoling Justin Trudeau at that funeral. But yesterday in Havana, Fidel at age 90 apparently was not well enough -- as judged by his wife Dalia -- for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit Fidel, who had appeared well a couple of weeks ago when the Dutch President was permitted a rather long visit. 
          Meanwhile, the U. S. media yesterday while the Canadian leader was paying a friendly visit to Cuba was typically spending time providing Americans with only the Batistiano or Little Havana side of the Cuban equation. The above photo shows U. S. Senator Marco Rubio yesterday huddling with the well-known Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas. It was used to illustrate a major anti-Cuban diatribe written by Elizabeth Llorente for Fox News Latino. Rubio is one of four anti-Castro zealots from Miami who were re-elected to the United States Congress this month even though polls show most Cuban-Americans in Miami favor normalizing relations with Cuba, but such sanity never shows up in Miami elections. Rubio's new 6-year term in the U. S. Senate will be, of course, halted again-and-again by his frequent absences to solicit billionaire donations and campaign for the 2020 presidential sweepstakes...reminiscent of what his first 6-year term was like. In fact, Rubio had by far the lowest voting record of any Senator during his first term because he wasn't there much, although he was surely a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and he wasn't about to miss a vote in which he could hurt one particular foreign nation, Cuba, in the guise of hurting the Castros but, of course, really hurting everyday Cubans on the island with such atrocities as the embargo, a cruel farce that actually boosts the worldwide image of the Castros while also getting a 191-to-0 worldwide denunciation at the United Nations. Rubio's 2016 Republican presidential bid is mostly remembered for his begging billionaires for money and getting wiped out twice -- once by Chris Christie in a debate and later when Donald Trump annihilated him in a primary race in his own state of Florida. After that, Rubio quit the race and vowed loudly he would not seek re-election to the Senate. Yeah, right! Being Cuban-American in Miami, he can retain his Senate seat for four more decades if he chooses. Also, by having the reputation for allegedly being for-sale he'll again have plenty of money for his 2020 presidential bid. When he arrived in the Senate six years ago, his bio heralded the fact that his parents escaped the tyranny of Castro in Cuba for the freedom of Miami till it was pointed out that his parents left Batista's Cuba long before anyone even believed Castro was a threat to overturn a ruthless U.S.-backed and Mafia-backed dictatorship, one that didn't hang around Havana to fight the charging rebels, not with getaway planes and ships already looked with loot that included heavy gold bullion.  
        Americans should get to know this man. His name is Will Grant. He is a journalist for the BBC and his home-base is now Havana, Cuba. He carved his journalistic skills while stationed in places like Mexico City, Caracas, London, and Miami. The island of Cuba, especially since the 1898 Spanish-American War and most particularly since the 1959 triumph of the Cuban Revolution, has occupied a significance on the world stage far out of proportion to its size, population or wealth. In fact -- because of its sheer beauty, its strategic location, and its being the largest island in the Caribbean -- Cuba has been special since 1492, the year it was discovered by Christopher Columbus who proclaimed it, "The most beautiful sight these eyes have yet seen." Those are some of the reasons that the BBC -- the world's biggest and best news organization -- has one of its top reporters stationed in Havana. {The BBC reaches almost half-a-billion people and, with additional funding from the UK government, will soon broadcast or print in forty different languages}. Also, the BBC has positioned the brilliant Will Grant in Havana because Cuba's significance has been elevated in the Americas and around the world because of the significant overtures by outgoing two-term U. S. President Barack Obama to normalize relations with the island, relations severely at odds for the past six decades by both Cold War and Hot War differences. But the Democrat Obama's remarkable peace overtures to Cuba may well end in January when Republican Donald Trump becomes the next U. S. President and joins a Republican dominance of both chambers of the U. S. Congress. In recent decades, Republicans in the White House and the Congress have been hell-bent on destroying Revolutionary Cuba while being unmindful of the significant collateral damage it continually does to America's and democracy's worldwide images. Last month at the United Nations the world voted 191-to-0 to emphatically denounce the U. S. embargo and other imperialistic designs on the island {such as the occupation since 1903 of Cuba's plush Guantanamo Bay}. There is probably no topic in the entire world that could garner total adverse unanimity in the UN except The U. S. Cuban policy. And now the U. S. government itself in Oct.-2016 no longer had the heart to support it, leaving the world mystified as to why the U. S. government can't correct its most flagrant and continuous abomination. Thus, the imminent presidential transition from the Democrat Obama to the Republican Trump is vastly important regarding Cuba because, since the 1950s, there has been no issue over such a long duration as America's Cuban policy to shower shame upon both the U. S. and democracy, shame that is of no apparent concern to a relative handful of right-wing extremists enmeshed in the bowels of Congress {and sometimes the White House} who can defy the world with their self-serving Cuban piggy-bank and punching-bag, a veritable unceasing anti-democracy bonanza.  
        And that brings us back around to Will Grant, the BBC journalist stationed in Cuba who has the freedom and integrity to report fairly on both Cuba and U.S.-Cuban relations. Considering what it means to Cuba's survival and the U. S. image around the world, a key question now is: "What Does A Trump Presidency Mean for U.S.-Cuba Relations?" AND HEY!! That just happens to be the exact title of a major BBC article written by Will Grant this week. Americans should go online and read it, not because they care about Cubans on the island but because they should care about democracy and the United States. In addition to the aforementioned very pertinent title, the article fairly addresses such sub-titles as: "Many Wonder If the Newly Opened Diplomatic Ties Between the U. S. and Cuba Will Hold," and "Mr. Trump's Comments On Cuba Have Been Conflicting." Will Grant's BBC articles provide the best reporting on very important U.S.-Cuban issues.
      Will Grant's BBC article this week includes the Reuters photo above to illustrate its fair-minded report on the sub-topic entitled "Mr. Trump's Comments on Cuba Have Been Conflicting." The photo shows Mr. Trump, on the eve of the November 8th presidential election, huddling with prospective voters in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. Will Grant points out that, before capitulating in Little Havana, Trump had said President Obama's peaceful overtures to Cuba were "fine" and that "50 years is too long" for such things as the embargo. But in Little Havana Mr. Trump turned about-face {two-faced, actually} with promises to quickly reverse all of President Obama's peaceful Cuban overtures, promises that would mean ending such things as the embassies in Havana and Washington that Obama reopened for the first time since 1961. In fact, some people in both Big Havana and Little Havana now believe that Trump, influenced by four newly re-elected very visceral Republican Cuban-American members of Congress from Little Havana, will end up trying to provoke Cuba into a pretext for a military solution to the decades-old quest of right-wingers in Miami and Washington bent on regaining control of Cuba. That belief has been exacerbated by reports that Trump is about to include several extremists anti-Castro zealots from the George W. Bush administration, the scariest of which are rumors that President-elect Trump might even name John Bolton as Secretary of State or some other powerful position. The U. S. media will not question such things because the topic relates to Cuba, but great journalists like Will Grant and venues like the BBC will discuss such issues, and that's why real journalism should trump...pardon the verb...both scared journalism and pure propaganda.
       America's democracy-lovers and businessmen are strong supporters of normalizing relations with Cuba, and James Williams is a prominent member of both those categories. He is the President of the Washington-based Engage Cuba advocacy group. While it is verboten for the mainstream U. S. media to mention the sane viewpoints of people like Mr. Williams, Will Grant at the BBC has the freedom to do so. Mr. Williams was quoted liberally by Mr. Grant in the aforementioned article. He is not too bent-out-of-shape about the Republican Trump corralling the White House or even Republicans dominating both chambers of Congress. He believes the democracy-loving sanity bravely unleashed by President Obama will be hard to turn back. James Williams told Will Grant that his advocacy positions came out of the long election cycle, which finally culminated on November 8th, in better shape than ever before. He said, "We're actually in a much stronger position than we were a few days ago. The pro-engagement forces picked up four Senators and over 10 pro-engagement members in the House of Representatives." While I don't question the tabulations by Mr. Williams, I've never known sanity, decency or democracy to take the moral high ground when it came to Washington's Cuban conduct -- especially since 1898 when the USS Maine blew up in Havana Harbor to provide the pretext for the Spanish-American War and particularly since the U. S., admired worldwide for its democracy, teamed with the Mafia in 1952 to support the brutal, thieving Batista dictatorship in Cuba.
       James Williams pointed out that "63 percent of the Cuban-Americans even in Miami favor normalizing relations with Cuba." Which begs a very sane but also very brave question: Why is it that only anti-Castro Cuban-American zealots -- like the easily {November 8th} re-elected Rubio, Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart, and Curbelo -- are members of the Congress from Miami? IF democracy-lovers like Sarah Stephens at the Washington-based Center for Democracy in the Americas; Peter Kornbluh at the Washington-based U. S. National Archives; James Williams at Washington-based Engage Cuba and 300 million more democracy-loving Americans combined to insist that the U. S. government normalize relations with Cuba, the four newly elected Cuban-American members of Congress from Miami along with Cuban-American U. S. Senators Bob Menendez from New Jersey and Ted Cruz from Texas can probably use the Trump presidency to reverse the Obama-fueled sanity regarding Cuba. That will be almost assured if Trump, as rumored, appoints Bush-era zealots to key positions, such as Secretary of State or Defense. So, I disagree with James Williams when he says that the Obama-generated positive momentum regarding Cuba was enhanced by the November 8th elections. Trump signing Executive Orders can overturn those signed by Obama; the U. S. Congress is Republican; and Trump is likely to recycle Bush-era anti-Cuban extremists.
Trump's Secretary of State?? 
Wow!! Really?

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 ...