Friday, December 30, 2016

Will Cuba Survive Trump?

Not Likely, Here's Why!!
      With just hours left in 2016, it has become clear that the American transition from President Obama to President-elect Trump will monumentally alter America's gigantic roles domestically and internationally. For the first time in its history, this transition is akin to switching from hot to cold, from sanity to insanity.
       President Obama invited President-elect Trump to the White House for a handshake and an exchange of decent words in an effort to facilitate the American tradition of a smooth democratic transition from one administration to another. But that gesture, this time, was doomed to fail. The final days of Mr. Obama's two-term presidency finds him, amazingly, leaving office with an approval rating above 50%, a rare occurrence. But the staged photo above could not conceal the power and resurgence of a right-wing minority that stridently opposes all of the positive things that the Obama administration has tried to achieve, and that includes the historic and brave efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. Even as President Obama's right-hand reached out to grasp President-elect Trump's left hand, Mr. Obama was fully aware that Trump's danger to the U. S. and the world relies on the still out-sized power of such entities as fringes of the Bush political machine and the sanctimoniously pompous Tea Party. Moreover, Trump's scary ties to the powerful leaders of two increasingly anti-Obama nuclear powers -- Russia and Israel -- is not lost on Obama nor should it be minimized by patriotic Americans. The Obama administration is convinced that Russia played a huge role in the election of Trump, which stunned the world, and indeed in the last two days of Dec.-2016 President Obama has leveled strong sanctions to punish Russia for that vile anti-democracy assault. Additionally, the right-wing leader of Israel -- fully aware he has dominance over the Republican U. S. Congress and the incoming Republican President -- has lost no opportunity to shame Mr. Obama and the Office he holds, with 2016 coming to an end as both Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu fume and brag loudly about the demise of Obama and the advent of Trump -- hot to cold and sanity to insanity.
        Within seconds after that White House handshake, Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump more honestly seemed to separate themselves, physically and otherwise, as much as possible. Since 1776, no U. S. President -- not even Nixon or the three Bush administrations -- have legitimately been accused of putting the interests of foreign nations ahead and above that of America itself. But already, the incoming Trump presidency is fearfully being accused of, in many instances, favoring Russia and Israel over the United States. And that is a fact that deeply concerns a frustrated Mr. Obama the most, and it is indeed a worthwhile concern.
       As for U.S.-Cuba relations, President-elect Trump has gone face-to-face with the elderly survivors of  Brigade 2506 in Miami and promised them that, starting Jan. 20-2017, he will be their Commander-in-Chief. Brigade 2506 is the unit that, backed by the CIA and tons of tax dollars, infamously attacked Cuba in April of 1961 only to magnanimously lose, handing Fidel Castro his strongest hand yet as the Revolutionary leader of Cuba. Along with Miami's fiercely anti-Castro contributions to the current U. S. Congress -- Rubio, the Diaz-Balarts, Curbelo and the entrenched-since-1989 Bush disciple Ros-Lehtinen -- the remnants of Brigade 2506, after all these decades, have now been freshly refurbished by Trump.
       By way of contrasting Trump's sell-out to Brigade 2506 and Congress regarding Cuba, President Obama's efforts to normalize relations with the island will...at the least...always embellish his legacy.
       In addition to using his Executive Powers to slash deeply into cruel and anti-American congressionally mandated assaults on eleven million totally innocent Cubans, President Obama became the first sitting U. S. President to visit the island since 1928. In March of this year in Cuba he told the Cuban people, "Cuba does not need to fear a threat from the United States." Of course, at the time he had no expectation that a Donald Trump would soon succeed him as President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States.
     This AP photo is being used this week to highlight the anticipated difference between an Obama presidency and a Trump presidency.  The photo shows the tailend of a Sun Airlines Boeing 737 sitting on the tarmac. Sun a few weeks ago was rejoicing after it received permission to start regular commercial flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul in the U. S. to the Cuban cities of Matanzas and Santa Clara. Sun planned to start those flights in March but yesterday requested permission to postpone till...at the earliest...December of 2017. Sun cited "barriers from the embargo" but left unsaid were President-elect Trump's vow to "reverse" all of President Obama's positives related to Cuba. That vow is causing many U. S. businesses, including those already engaged in Obama-sanctioned Cuban contracts, to rethink their Cuban engagements. After all, they understand what reverse means and Trump starting January 20th also will have Executive Powers as well as a Batistiano-dominated Congress that will rubber-stamp any negative anti-Cuban suggestion, making it "legal" just like such abominations as the embargo are "legal."
     Since 1961 till President Obama changed things in 2016, U. S. commercial airplane flights from the U. S. to Cuba had been banned. It was reaffirmed in 1962 by a U. S. embargo of Cuba that was designed to starve and deprive Cubans on the island to induce them to overthrow Castro after assassination attempts and the 1961 Bay of Pigs attack failed to accomplish that on behalf of the ousted Batistiano-Mafiosi leaders who had regrouped quickly on U. S. soil after the 1959 victory of the Cuban Revolution. But earlier this year JetBlue Airlines made an historic commercial flight to Santa Clara, Cuba. Since then, ten U. S. airlines have relished permission to fly to ten Cuban cities. On Dec. 1st of this month Delta Airlines made the first U.S.-to-Havana commercial flight since 1961. But now, with Trump about to replace Obama in the White House, all the U. S. airlines are beginning to cut-back on their scheduled flights to Cuba, citing both the impending Trump presidency and the endless Congress-mandated embargo that to this day prevents most everyday Americans from visiting Cuba although all other citizens of the world have the freedom to do so. But, since 1959, in order to hurt Cuba and appease the Batistianos, the great U. S. democracy has sacrificed freedoms and principles that, prior to eternally bracing the Batistianos, were so very dear to it.
      Earlier this month -- December of 2016 -- in Brussels the 28-nation European Union and Cuba signed an historic Agreement to begin normalizing relations, with all the European countries reacting collectively to the positive overtures taken by U. S. President Obama. That Agreement led to the above handshake between the EU leader Federica Mogherini and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. All the European nations and all the nations of the world support Obama's Cuban policy and oppose the looming threats to Cuba posed by incoming President Trump. But a rogue minority in the 535-member U. S. Congress teamed with a rogue Republican as Commander-in-Chief in the White House can do whatever they desire to sate the insatiable Cuban appetites of a handful of roguish Cuban-Americans. And Cuba understands that.
      This photo as much as anything that has gone before it reflects the extreme divide and daunting chasm between those who support Obama's decent Cuban policy and those who await what they expect will be Trump's indecent Cuban policy. This photo shows Samantha Power, the U. S. Representative to the United Nations, making a long detailed speech on October 26, 2016. That day the nations of the world voted 191-to-0 to express their profound opposition to America's Cuban policy, specifically the embargo that -- from 1962 till today -- has now been labeled the longest and cruelest economic embargo ever imposed by a powerful nation against a weak nation. The big headline out of that 191-to-0 vote that flashed around the world was the fact that Ms. Power abstained and refused to vote to support America's own Cuban policy. Then in the above speech the decent, bold and brilliant Ms. Power explained why she and her boss, President Obama, did not have the heart to support a Cuban policy that defied both logic and decency.
       And then last week Samantha Power at the United Nations abstained again, this time refusing to veto a 14-to-0 General Assembly vote that sharply opposed Israel for continuing to build settlements on occupied land that the world hopes one day will finally lead to a two-state solution to the age-old Israeli-Palestinian problem that, among other things, has so massively plagued the U. S. and its taxpayers. Always before, the U. S. veto in the UN has over-turned any votes to criticize Israel, a tiny country of 7 million people in which the U. S. -- and especially the Obama administration -- had made into one of the world's Top Four nuclear powers, made more powerful recently by another $38 billion package and the delivery to Israel of the first of 30 F-35 fighter planes that are certainly the most costly and supposedly the best ever built. Yet, Israel's right-wing leader and Trump's anti-American Tweets have unmercifully mocked and assailed both Ms. Power and Mr. Obama for strongly opposing the settlements that all previous U. S. presidents also opposed. But with a mighty nuclear arsenal and with far more influence in the U. S. Congress than American presidents, Israel can do whatever it chooses to do, especially with the support of Trump. 
      If you don't quite comprehend the difference between an Obama presidency and a Trump presidency, this photo should help. President-elect Trump has named Nikki Haley as the U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations to succeed Obama's Samantha Power, the antithesis to Haley, who has been the Governor of South Carolina since 2011. All the positive Samantha Power UN votes will be readily reversed by Nikki Haley.
       Nikki Haley is a product of the anti-Cuban Bush dynasty and she is also tightly tied to the anti-Cuban Tea Party and to the most vicious Cuban-American hardliners in Miami and in Congress. During the Republican presidential primary, Haley first supported anti-Castro zealot Senator Marco Rubio of Miami and when he was eliminated she strongly supported anti-Castro zealot Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. In the meantime, during the primary when she tried to put first Rubio and then Cruz in the White House, Haley repeatedly mocked Trump with countless vile and cruel denunciations. So, bent on putting foxes in his henhouse, Trump ends up appointing her his UN Ambassador, which she accepted apparently because of her own future White House ambitions. She has no diplomatic experience. The experienced Samantha Power, Obama's UN Representative, treated innocent Cubans on the island respectfully but Trump's UN Representative, Nikki Haley, will likely carry the Batistiano-Brigade 2506 banner in the UN. Did I mention...contrast? Obama to Trump; Power to Haley, etc. The contrasts will blow ill-winds toward Cuba.
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