Wednesday, November 16, 2016
The U.S.-Cuban Malaise
Where Vigilance Reigns
The pragmatic zealot who sent me the above graphic insists that after President Obama told Vice President Biden to "shut up!" following Biden's statement about the "police forces," Mr. Obama didn't cup his hands over his face till Biden disobeyed the POTUS order and followed up with a second statement, the one that actually caused POTUS -- President of the United States -- to close his eyes and noncommittally hide his face: "Barack, with Republican Trump in the White House and Republicans in charge of both chambers of Congress, do you think your prized Cuban legacy will get blown up when the Republicans nuke Cuba?"
Please understand, Dear Cubaninsider reader, that I can't vouch for that follow-up statement or for the presidential reaction, but also note that I didn't totally dismiss it...such is the U.S.-Cuban malaise.
But I can vouch for this:
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Trudeau arrived in Havana yesterday -- Nov. 15, 2016. The photo at Jose Marti Airport is courtesy of Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press. Prime Minister Trudeau met quickly with Cuba's 85-year-old President Raul Castro yesterday and he will speak at the University of Havana today, Nov. 16th. He also said he hoped to be able to visit 90-year-old Fidel Castro "presuming that Fidel's health is well enough." Mr. Trudeau also said, "Canadians can be pleased that they have played a positive role in Cuba through the years." Over 1.3 million Canadians visited Cuba in 2015 and the number of Canadian tourists increased in 2016 due to the U. S. efforts to normalize relations with the island.
Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the father of Canada's current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, famously visited Cuba in January of 1976. This photo from the Canadian Press archives shows Fidel Castro greeting Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau warmly on the day that Pierre Trudeau became the first Western leader to visit Fidel Castro's Cuba. The two men remained dear friends after this historic handshake.
When Pierre Trudeau died in 2000, Fidel Castro attended the funeral in Canada. This photo shows Fidel consoling Justin Trudeau at his father's funeral on Oct. 3, 2000. This week Justin Trudeau, as Canada's current Prime Minister, hopes to visit the 90-year-old Fidel at his Havana home if he gets permission.
All foreign leaders seeking to visit Fidel Castro -- such as French President Francois Hollande -- must await the final decision that will always be made by Fidel's fiercely devoted wife Dalia Soto del Valle.
Dalia Soto del Valle has been married to Fidel Castro since 1980 and she is the mother of his last five sons, all of whom are extremely devoted to their parents. Dalia, from the colonial city of Trinidad, had been a close friend of Cuba's greatest revolutionary heroine Celia Sanchez, Fidel's all-time closest soulmate. As Celia was dying of cancer at age 59 in 1980, she asked Dalia to marry Fidel and "take the best care of him, knowing he will need the best care." There is no doubt that Dalia has fulfilled both of those requests.
And by the way:
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