Monday, January 30, 2017

Cuba's Obama-Trump Saga

Leaves Cubans Re-targeted!!
      President Obama's Ambassador to the United Nations was Samatha Power, a skilled, democracy-loving diplomat. Like other key officials in Obama's administration -- such as Secretary of State John Kerry and top adviser Ben Rhodes -- Ms. Power was deeply embarrassed that America's Batistiano-fueled Cuban policy was opposed by all the nations of the world, especially including America's best democracy-loving friends. In her Oct. 26-2016 UN speech above, Ms. Power made a brilliant explanation as to why she, on behalf of America, could not vote to support the United States' own Cuban policy, specifically the U. S. economic embargo that, since 1962, has been the longest and cruelest embargo ever imposed by a powerful nation against a weak nation. THUS, now registering around the world in resounding unanimity is the 191-to-0 UN vote starkly condemning America's Cuban policy. YET, the Batistiano control of the U. S. Congress means that the universally denounced policy remains mostly intact despite Obama's two-term presidency that still has a vastly superior approval rating to Donald Trump's Republican regime that now takes over a Batistiano-slanted White House to align with what already was a Batistiano-controlled U. S. Congress.
        President Trump's Ambassador to the United Nations is Nikki Haley, who had been the Tea Party-powered Governor of South Carolina. The contrast between Ms. Haley and Samantha Power is equivalent to shutting off a bright light to create pitch darkness. Ms. Haley has zero diplomatic experience and, apparently, she is a massive supporter of America's Cuban policy that rightfully gets that 191-to-zero denunciation in the UN. During the presidential campaign Ms. Haley's first choice was Marco Rubio and, after his wipe-out in the Florida primary, her next choice was Ted Cruz. In campaigning for Rubio and Cruz, Ms. Haley lavished scorn on Donald Trump's candidacy, mocking and belittling him at every turn. Now, incredibly, she is Trump's Ambassador to the UN, replacing a truly brilliant diplomat, Samantha Power.
    The Democracy-loving head of the Washington-based Center for Democracy in the Americas, Sarah Stephens, has worked tirelessly the last ten years to promote sanity and decency regarding America's Cuban policy. Needless to say, she is dismayed that top Obama officials -- such as Power, Kerry, Rhodes, etc. -- have been replaced by their polar opposites -- such as Nikki Haley, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Top Strategist Steve Bannon, etc., in the Trump administration. On her Cuba Central Website January 27-2017 Ms. Stephens posted and denounced vehement anti-Cuban comments by the likes of Steve Mnuchin at his Senate hearing. But most of all, Ms. Stephens seemed to lament the stark contrast of a Nikki Haley replacing a Samantha Power as the U. S. UN Ambassador.
       Nikki Haley has made her first speech at the United Nations. She made headlines -- as noted above -- with the surly comment, "For those who don't have our backs, we're taking names." Her threat apparently was not aimed at BIG BOYS like Russia or China who don't have America's backs but at little perceived, make-believe threats like...Cuba. At least, that seems to be what the democracy-loving Sarah Stephens thinks.
      On her Jan. 27th Website, Sarah Stephens pointedly stressed the difference between Obama's Samantha Power and Trump's Nikki Haley at the United Nations. Ms. Stephens directed her readers to the complete video of Samantha Power's historic Cuban speech at the UN. Then Ms. Stephens contrasted that speech with Nikki Haley's Batistiano-loving comments made during her Senate confirmation hearing.
        This photo shows Nikki Haley answering softball questions during her Senate hearing that resulted in her easy confirmation as President Trump's Ambassador to the United Nations, a further indication that the nexus of a Republican-controlled U. S. Congress with a Republican White House is a lot more dangerous than having a decent, pragmatic Democrat like Barack Obama in the White House. Simple questions to Nikki Haley at her Senate confirmation hearings resulted in scary right-wing answers, scary for Cuba for sure but also for the United States and maybe the world. 
                 EXACT SENATE QUESTION: "Do you agree that after more than a half a century the U. S. embargo against Cuba has failed to achieve any of its principle objectives?"   
               EXACT NIKKI HALEY ANSWER: "We should be clear about a few things. The goals of the embargo was never to cause regime change, but rather to raise the cost of the Cuban government's bad behavior." 
               Note: That stupid, right-wing answer got this exact reply from the democracy-loving Sarah Stephens: "That's just wrong, as the BBC and a million other reputable sources confirm." In addition to those "million other reputable sources," a plethora of declassified U. S. documents plainly posted on the U. S. National Archives website supports Ms. Stephens, of course. A declassified U. S. document from 1962 clearly states that the purpose of the embargo was to bring about regime change in Cuba by creating hunger situations and other dire deprivations on the Cuban people to induce them to rise up and overthrow their Revolutionary government. 
                 EXACT SENATE QUESTION: "Do you agree that the U. S. should help support private entrepreneurs in Cuba while training or providing other assistance, so they can build a business, market their products and services, and compete with state-owned enterprises?" 
                EXACT NIKKI HALEY ANSWER: "Unfortunately, Cuba does not have private entrepreneurs and working independently is not a right but a privilege granted only to supporters of the regime." 
                Note: That stupid, right-wing answer got this exact reply from the democracy-loving Sarah Stephens: "That was a whopper, as the Voice of America and a vast historical record shows." Right-wing and other Batistiano sources in the United States feel perfectly safe in making such ridiculously self-serving statements decade after decade because, via intimidation or the apathy of American citizens, they have dictated the Cuban narrative in the United States almost since January of 1959 when the Cuban Revolution chased much of the leadership of the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship to U. S. soil. Also, incredibly, a handful of Batistianos aligned with the necessary handful of sycophants in the 535-member U. S. Congress have easily enacted whatever laws they desired to hurt Cuba and to enrich and empower themselves -- such as the Cuban Adjustment Act, Helms-Burton, the Torricelli Bill, etc. Thus, for decades and continuing to this day virtual pipelines of dollars flow from Washington to Miami to support the most visceral and even terroristic counter-revolutionary actions while also lavishly funding, decade after decade, vast counter-revolutionary propaganda machines such as the Miami-based Radio-TV Marti boondoggle. 
       But even in Miami most Cuban Americans, unlike Tea Party darlings such as Nikki Haley, want a sane, democratic, Obama-like approach to Cuba. The ABC television station in Miami, Channel 10, has a fair-minded reporter stationed in Cuba, much to the chagrin of the Batistianos and right-wingers who, for decades, have been able to buttress their lies about the Batista dictatorship and Revolutionary Cuba by maintaining a Congressionally mandated law that prohibits everyday Americans from visiting Cuba, a freedom that, all these decades, all other citizens of the world have enjoyed. That, perhaps, helps account for the 191-to-0 condemnation in the United Nations of America's Batistiano-driven Cuban policy. 
       The reporter in Cuba for Miami's ABC-Channel 10 is Hatzel Vela, who had been a fine reporter for the top television station in Washington, WTOP. Reporting back to Miami, Vila is quite remarkably unbiased.
       And now Hatzel Vela, a Nicaraguan native, is a fine reporter stationed in Cuba for Miami's ABC Channel 10. When the democracy-loving Sarah Stephens said there were "a million reputable sources" disputing Nikki Haley's grossly distorted statements about Cuba at her Senate hearing, one of those sources would be Hatzel Vela at Miami's ABC-TV station. On Jan. 27-2017 Mr. Vela's report from Cuba showed he had no problem finding newly successful entrepreneurs in Cuba, a fact that counter-revolutionaries in the U. S. deny as a means of supporting their Cuban embargo that the rest of the world considers the longest and cruelest economic embargo ever imposed by a powerful nation against a weak nation. Mr. Vela's report featured Ruben Valladares and his wife, two of the thousands of Obama-orchestrated Cuban entrepreneurs. Ruben and his wife started a printing business -- Adorgraf -- in their home and one element of it has grown into a $300,000-a-year business that now employs 37 other Cubans; now Adorgraf is looking to purchase a larger building to house their expanding  and profitable enterprise. But Ruben told Hatzel Vela that he does have one major complaint: Because Obama could not remove all the cruel elements of the Congress-mandated embargo, Ruben says he and his wife cannot purchase certain materials they need to expand their business even more than their ingenuity has already expanded it. Nikki Haley and her ilk, if they watched Hatzel Vela's report from Cuba, would probably have, at least, enjoyed that portion of the report.
    Despite decades of gross distortions by the likes of Nikki Haley and decades of counter-revolutionary Cuban laws easily dictated by a mere handful of miscreants in the 535-member U. S. Congress, there is no denying that America's Batistiano-directed Cuban policy has grossly harmed two generations of totally innocent Cubans in all 14 of its provinces. Cuba's mere survival as an independent nation has gained the island tons of strong international respect while America's Cuban policy has done more over an extended period than anything else to harm America's worldwide image. {What else in a diverse world could possibly attain a 191-to-0 UN vote other than America's Cuban policy?}. That belligerence has kept Cuba in a pugnacious defensive posture trying to protect its hard-earned sovereignty even as the richest and leading remnants of the Batista-Mafia dictatorship, supported by right-wing imperialists in the U. S. Congress and in Republican White Houses, lurk ominously just beyond the island's Caribbean waters.
        This map spotlights Wyoming, the least populated of America's 50 states. Nikki Haley's comments at her Senate hearing conjured up an analogy that reminded me of my fondness for Wyoming...its expansive beauty but also its brave pioneering of so many democratic principles, such as women's rights, as America was spreading westward after the vastness of Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase from France.
        My Nikki Haley-reminded Wyoming analogy precipitated thoughts of a distinct Cuban-related possibility. Let's say...some miscreants were booted out of Wyoming when they strongly disagreed with Wyoming becoming the first state that allowed women to vote and to hold public office. And then those fleeing miscreants re-settled elsewhere...say, Newark or Miami...and got elected to the U. S. Congress, perhaps by usurping or strong-arming the democratic process. Then...say...those miscreants wanted to pulverize Wyoming to sate their revenge, economic and political motives. In the 535-member Congress, it seems, they wouldn't need much help to execute their Wyoming scheme -- maybe just tapping on a few shoulders such as Jesse Helms and Dan Burton lookalikes and saying, "Hey, buddy, if you support my Wyoming bill I'll support your Bridge-to-Nowhere bill so you can reward your biggest donor back in your district." Of course, in such a scenario that Wyoming bill would unleash torrents of tax dollars to both pulverize Wyoming and to enrich the miscreants and...OH, YES!!...the Wyoming bill would include a provision prohibiting Americans from visiting the state so they couldn't judge it for themselves and thus would be forced to accept the miscreant's generally unchallenged narratives about nice Wyoming.
      Now as you contemplate my Cuban-Wyoming analogy, also contemplate the above very enlightening photo. It was taken by Agency France Press the day a very, very reluctant President Bill Clinton was obligated to sign the infamous Helms-Burton Act into law, a Batistiano bonanza that greatly increased the island of Cuba's status as a punching bag and piggy-bank for benefactors in a foreign superpower. Uh, yes...Nikki Haley's comments in the Senate and democracy-loving Sarah Stephens' reactions to those comments reminded me that my very beloved Wyoming could suffer Cuba's fate...uh, legally, of course!!

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