Cuba's Next Leader

The Impending Transition!
     Most unbiased observers who desire to know what is happening in Cuba rely on respected sources, especially Carlos Alzugaray, as opposed to pro-Cuban or anti-Cuban propaganda. Carlos was born in 1943 in Havana and he has degrees from the University of Havana as well as a respected Japanese university. He is acclaimed as a diplomat, educator and professor...and he has lectured at universities in the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and throughout Latin America. The George W. Bush administration once barred Carlos from speaking in the U. S. but that was simply because the Bush dynasty does not want Americans to know the truth about Cuba lest it depart from its anti-Cuban propaganda.
     But while most of the mainstream U. S. media is either too intimidated or incompetent to tell the truth about Cuba, there remain some brave, veteran U. S. journalists -- such as NBC's Andrea Mitchell as you can see above -- that actually want to tell the truth about Cuba. And, for example, Andrea Mitchell was seeking the truth when she interviewed Carlos Alzugaray in front of Havana's famed Malecon seawall, as this graphic shows.
       Amazingly, there is a major news outlet in Miami that not only reports profusely about Cuba BUT ACTUALLY TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT CUBA!! It's ABC Channel 10 Local News. It's bravery and integrity are astounding.
         Heck, ABC Channel 10 in Miami even covered the Nov. 25th-2016 death of Fidel Castro both accurately and fairly.
        Miami's ABC Channel 10 is the only news operation in South Florida that has a full-time bureau in Cuba and it is headed by an excellent and fair-minded journalist named Hatzel Vela, shown above reporting from Santa Clara.
      And that returns us to Carlos Alzugaray. This week Hatzel Vela's first report from Cuba for Channel 10 in Miami featured Dr. Alzugaray's insightful and astute observations on topical Cuban issues. Less than a year from now -- when Raul Castro steps down in February of 2018 -- Cuba will have its first non-Castro and non-revolutionary leader since 1959. Leading up to that significant development, the major changes in Cuba made possible by the bravery and intelligence of former U. S. President Barack Obama, even if current President Trump erases much of them, will greet Cuba's next President, 56-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel. Carlos Alzugaray told Hatzel Vela this week: "There is an expansion of the private sector, and there is nothing the Cuban government can do to stop that from happening." In fact, Dr. Alzugaray believes that Diaz-Canel will readily advance such entrepreneurial opportunities in Cuba. He said, "He is a guy who is modern, goes around with a tablet taking notes, carries out a good conversation and he reads a lot." Under Diaz-Canel, Dr. Alzugaray said, "Cuba will look east, to China and Vietnam." 
      Shown above on the far right meeting with a high-level Vietnamese delegation, Miguel Diaz-Canel has also met with and been wined-and-dined by the #1 top leaders in China and Russia. Anticipating continuous U. S. roadblocks being put up by the Cuban hardliners working with the U. S. Congress and President Trump, Diaz-Canel is primed to depend on close associations with proven allies but it appears he wants Cuba's government to more closely resemble that of Vietnam. Like all U. S. presidents since North and South Vietnam were fused into one nation under Communist rule after its victory in the bloody Vietnam War, Diaz-Canel is duly impressed with Vietnam's economic recovery. Even President George W. Bush went to Hanoi to lavishly praise Vietnam's post-war economic and, I presume, political success.
Miguel Diaz-Canel and Chinese President Zi Jinping.
Diaz-Canel and Xi Jinping at a high-level conference.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Diaz-Canel and Putin at a high-level conference.
        Miguel Diaz-Canel welcomes close ties to China and Russia but, truth be known, his political mind-set is more in line with Vietnam than with China, Russia or any other nation. As shown in this photo, Vietnam's powerful Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is a particularly close friend of Cuba's next leader, Miguel Diaz-Canel. As Cuba reshapes its economy, Diaz-Canel wants it to most resemble Vietnam's, which means a dose of capitalism to enhance the recent entrepreneurial advances Cuba began because of the Obama-orchestrated detente with Raul Castro. Reportedly, Diaz-Canel once told Thi Kim, "Cuba's main enemy since the 1950s has been the Bush dynasty in America." To which Thi Kim reportedly replied, "That's interesting. Since our victorious war the United States has become one of our top five trade partners and the last Bush president came here to congratulate us." 
         It was on November 17, 2006 that President George W. Bush arrived in Hanoi to salute Vietnam and its President Nguyen Minh Triet, with a golden image of Ho Chi Minh looming over Bush's right shoulder. On the heels of the bloody Vietnam War, which reunited North and South Vietnam under Communist rule, the United States has become a major trade partner with Vietnam while, since 1962, the United States has imposed a massive and stifling economic boycott against Cuba. The difference in the Vietnam War and Cuba's Revolutionary War, both of which the U. S. lost, is -- as Miguel Diaz-Canel understands it -- the overthrown Batista dictatorship in Cuba uniquely, quickly, and permanently regrouped on U. S. soil and soon -- with the massive help of the Bush dynasty -- stretched its tentacles to Congress and Republican White Houses to amazingly dictate most U. S. laws related to Cuba, including the embargo. At least, according to a quote Miguel Diaz-Canel's friend Thi Kim made in the Vietnamese media, that's U.S.-Cuban history according to Miguel Diaz-Canel, Cuba's next leader.
          Not only does the highly respected Carlos Alzugaray have high expectations for Miguel Diaz-Canel, but so does his mentor Raul Castro and most of the everyday Cubans on the island.
          Born in Santa Clara, Cuba on April 20th, 1960, Miguel is a highly trained engineer who climbed political ladders in Cuba as he rode his motorcycle, with tablet in hand, to visit and talk with everyday Cubans, truly showing a genuine interest in their welfare. He also remains a huge Beatles' fan, reflecting British and American influence as he grew up in the 1960s and 1970s.
         Raul will turn 86-years-old on June 3rd and he is tired. In 2016 both of his brothers -- 91-year-old Ramon and 90-year-old Fidel -- died. Raul relished being head of Cuba's military since 1959 but he reluctantly took over as Cuba's President soon after Fidel's near fatal intestinal illness in July of 2006. 
         Raul likes...almost insists...being surrounded by family members for dinner each evening at 6:00 PM. He also wants a Chinese or Vietnamese-style economy for Cuba but neither he nor Fidel wanted a dynastic succession, although two of Raul's four children -- Deborah and Alejandro -- are very politically minded. One of Raul's favorite grandchildren is shown in the middle in the above photo but he is his grandpa's bodyguard and has been trained to be a businessman, not a politician. 
         So, as things now stand as fast-changing Cuba enters March of 2017, Miguel Diaz-Canel -- a non-revolutionary and a non-Castro -- will be Cuba's next leader by this time next year. 


Buzzards Targeting Cuba

Flying From Foreign Lands!
{Updated: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017}
       The Buzzard above is shown flying over Vinales Valley in Cuba. It apparently was on its way to join an expected feast in Havana. Such easy flights across the Florida Straits of foreign vultures reflect the vulnerability of the very pugnacious island.
And hey!! Here's another one.
       Once they land in Cuba, these buzzards are planning to feast on their prey, the Cuban Revolution. The Washington Post -- on the last weekend in February of 2017 -- had a major editorial delineating the latest assault on the Caribbean island since the Janunary 1-1959 revolution ousted the vile Batista-Mafia dictatorship, only to have the Batistiano-Mafiosi leaders flee on their getaway boats, ships and planes. In places like Miami and Newark, they hooked back up with their tons of loot, which in turn purchased tons of influence in Congress and with all Republican administrations. The Washington Post editorial this weekend was entitled: "A BRAVE ACT IN CUBA DESERVES AMERICAN SUPPORT." The Washington Post was a highly respected liberal giant prior to its purchase by multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos and since then it has emerged as a propaganda rag advocating Bezos' extreme views. The Post's aforementioned editorial "supported" the feasts of foreign buzzards in Cuba.
Now the Washington Post's PROPAGANDA-in-CHIEF.
      This photo was taken back in October of 2016 in Washington, D. C. and it shows Rosa Maria Paya and Luis Almagro signing anti-Cuban documents on very friendly U. S. soil. Miss Paya is the daughter of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya who died in a car wreck in 2012. Mr. Almagro is a Uruguayan who is Secretary-General of the Organization of American States {OAS}. Cuba considers Almagro and the OAS to be a powerful Washington-directed anti-Cuban tool and Cuba considers Paya to be a powerful Miami-directed counter-revolutionary. Last week she arranged for Almagro and other well-known anti-Cuban operatives -- including former Bush-aligned Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Chilean Mariana Aylwin and former Czech ambassador to the U. S. Martin Palous -- to attend a heralded counter-revolutionary session. Cuba denied entry to the island to Paya's chosen associates, a decision that angered the legions of foreign counter-revolutionaries as well as sycophants such as Jeff Bezos' Washington Post propaganda rag. In addition to suggesting that other Americans "SUPPORT" the counter-revolutionaries, the multi-multi-multi billionaire Jeff Bezos and his newly purchased propaganda toy cowardly and viciously attacked democracy-loving U. S. Senator Patrick Leahy for leading a friendly bipartisan group of Congressmen to Cuba last week.
      This photo shows Senator Patrick Leahy talking civilly to Cuban President Raul Castro whose retirement in less than a year will mark the first time since 1959 that a "Castro" has not been the leader of Cuba. Mr. Leahy and millions of other democracy-loving Americans -- as well as a 191-to-0 unanimity in the United Nations -- deplore a failed U. S. Cuban policy that has mightily harmed totally innocent Cubans on the island for over half-a-century. Meanwhile, the revengeful and self-serving counter-revolutionaries are always willing to promote cruel Congressional laws and even bloody acts...other people's blood...to bring the Cuban Revolution to its knees. {And for what purpose...to reinstall the Batistianos, the Mafiosi and greedy U. S. businessmen?}.
        Revolutionary heroine Celia Sanchez -- as the prime recruiter of rebels and supplies -- was the main reason the Batistianos were defeated on January 1, 1959. Her roles as a guerrilla fighter and leader were also nonpareil, as was her decision-making in Revolutionary Cuba. In April of 1959 -- a mere three months after removing her guerrilla uniform -- she took #1 rebel hero Fidel Castro to the U. S. on a 12-day visit trying to make peace with the Eisenhower administration. When that effort was rebuffed by Vice President Nixon and the Dulles brothers -- CIA Director Allen and Secretary of State John -- Celia returned to Cuba and laid down a proclamation: "The Batistianos will never regain control of Cuba as long as I live or as long as Fidel lives." She died of cancer at age 59 on Jan. 11, 1980. Fidel died of old age at 90 on Nov. 25, 2016. So, her proclamation has stood the test of time, and then some.
       Cast in the mold of Celia Sanchez, Josefina Vidal is today Cuba's determined Minister of North American Affairs and the primary defender of Revolutionary Cuba against buzzards flying from foreign countries to feast on the island. Vidal powerfully defended Cuba's rationale for denying entry to the island last week for the counter-revolutionaries to celebrate, plan and feast there. She said: "I don't want anyone to shoot Cuba in the foot and I don't want Cuba to shoot itself in the foot." Of course, Jeff Bezos and other anti-Cuban propagandists will claim that...HEY!!...if China or Russia or Iran wanted to hold highly financed and publicized anti-American sessions in the United States, the U. S. wouldn't object so why should Cuba? Well, Mr. Bezos, study Vidal's astute quotation and you will understand why Cuba objected.
       While Celia Sanchez predicated the success of the Cuban Revolution and Josefina Vidal is now its primary defender, Jennifer Bello Martinez is the leader of the island's pivotal twentysomething generation equally determined to do "whatever must be done to maintain the Cuban sovereignty that so many great Cubans were willing to fight and die for." Jennifer is head of Cuba's Federation of University Students {FEU}. The FEU was formed over nine decades ago and has fiercely supported every effort to obtain and to maintain Cuban independence, including the Cuban Revolution and Revolutionary Cuba.
        Wearing a "I am Fidel" T-shirt, Jennifer Bello Martinez issued this fiery warning to would-be counter-revolutionaries: "Backed by billionaires and a superpower, you foreign devils may one day recapture Cuba but just know that ours will not be the only blood that will be shed by your cowardly attack."  
Jennifer organizes FEU demonstrations like this.
      As a journalist and as a Cuban, the increasingly influential Cristina Escobar is also determined that twentysomethings like her and Jennifer Bello Martinez chart the upcoming course for post-Castro Cuba. As a University of Havana student and FEU member, Cristina wrote her thesis predicting 7 years ago the impact that President Barack Obama's presidency would have on the island, and her uncanny accuracy was stunning. Cristina and Jennifer are also abundantly aware that Batista thugs murdered Jose Echeverria and many other FEU members before Batista actually closed the University of Havana.
       At age 28, Cristina Escobar is a brilliant broadcast journalist on Cuban and regional television in Spanish or English. In the above video during a Tracey Eaton interview in Havana, she said, "Cuban journalists have more freedom to tell the truth about the U. S. than U. S. journalists have to tell the truth about Cuba." She also sternly said, "I don't want the U. S. to bring me democracy. That is a project for Cubans on the island." As an expert on U.S.-Cuban history, Cristina Escobar remembers what Jeff Bezos and other American counter-revolutionaries like to forget, which is the fact that in 1952 the U. S. brought Cuba the Batistianos, the Mafiosi and greedy U. S. businessmen who feasted like greedy buzzards on Cuba. The image above is taken from YouTube where you can see and hear pertinent Cristina Escobar comments.
     Now as she ponders the Trump presidency and the fate of a post-Fidel Cuba, Cristina Escobar agrees wholeheartedly with...Celia, Josefina and Jennifer. She says, "Cuba's fate should be up to Cubans on the island, not Cubans in Miami and in the U. S. Congress. It will be that way or the fight-to-the death sacrifices on Cuban soil of Cubans like Jose Marti and Antonio Maceo will have all been in vain." Cristina Escobar's journalism career took her to California in 2014 and to Washington in 2016 where she made history and headlines asking six pertinent questions at a White House news conference hosted by President Obama's chief spokesman Josh Earnest. But she always returns to her beloved Cuba. If Josefina Vidal, Jennifer Bello Martinez or Cristina Escobar ever defect to Miami, it would mean Cuba had lost and the counter-revolutionaries had won. But such defections won't happen, and therein lies the major problem for the wealthy counter-revolutionaries.
Marti & Maceo died on Cuban battlefields.
    A blistering February 24th editorial in Jeff Bezos' Washington Post strongly "supported" a FEAST OF THE foreign BUZZARDS on the island of Cuba. Note that the vulture has his knife, fork and kerchief all ready as he savors the island, which he considers a tasty morsel. But it's been that way everyday since January of 1959 and the buzzards are still awaiting their feast.
 But foreign buzzards keep trying to land in Cuba!


Cuba's +- Week

One PlusOne Minus!!
{Updated: Saturday, February 25th, 2016}
       In this next-to-last week in February of 2017, Cuba got some good press, even in the United States. The photo above shows a bipartisan delegation from the U. S. Congress meeting in Havana with Cuban President Raul Castro. Speaking to Castro is Democratic Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont with the white-haired Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi right behind Leahy awaiting his turn. The Congressmen spent four days this week in Cuba and concluded that Cuba is trying to preserve its detente with the United States begun by former U. S. President Obama, but it remains a precarious process.
        In the hopes that President Donald Trump will not scuttle Obama's peaceful overtures to Cuba, the bipartisan group of United States Congressmen this week witnessed the above signing in which Senator Thad Cochran's state of Mississippi and two of its major ports agreed to future commerce with Cuba.
Meanwhile, as represented by this quartet of Miami counter-revolutionaries, any advances in trying to normalize relations with Cuba are always met with highly publicized heightened efforts to reverse them.
The next five photos are courtesy of Reuters.
       Cuba is being lambasted this week for not allowing Luis Almagro to fly to the island to participate in an anti-Cuba rally organized by Cuban dissidents on the island in conjunction with anti-Cuba elements off the island, namely the Latin American Network of Youth for Democracy. In addition to Almagro, Cuba denied entry to former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and to Mariana Aylwin, the daughter of former Chilean President Patricio Aylwin. But it's the Almagro denial that most rankles Cuba's enemies in the Western World. He is the head of the Organization of American States {OAS}. Cuba's Foreign Ministry released a formal statement explaining in detail its decision to deny Almagro, Calderon, and Aylwin to participate in Havana in what it considered a "a foreign-funded-and-organized regime-change spectacle." Cuba's official statement said: "The plan, plotted on several trips between Washington and other capitals of the region, was to mount in Havana an open and serious provocation against the Cuban government..." Cuba also detailed how it has tied Almagro, Calderon, and Aylwin to "several Bush-era regime-change schemes." Cuba has maintained since its 1959 revolution ousted the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship that the OAS has been a tool of U. S. regime-change right-wingers, and Cuba has vowed "never" to have anything to do with it.
       While getting bad press this week related to the OAS, Mexico and Chile, Cuba is also concerned with what's happening elsewhere in Latin American, such as with its friend President Rafael Correa of Ecuador. The 53-year-old Correa has been elected President of Ecuador three times since 2007 and in those ten years he has been Cuba's ally and has been credited with helping the poorest Ecuadorians. His education includes a degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He is not eligible to run in the current presidential election in Ecuador and he believes the man he is supporting is being unfairly maligned "from abroad" by elements who do not like his "two toxic friendships -- with Cuba and with my own poorest people." Thus, Cuba and America both have much more than a passing interest in who succeeds President Correa.
      Sixty-one-year-old banker Guillermo Lasso is strongly backed by business interests and, presumably, by the United States in the tense presidential election in Ecuador. But he would not be Cuba's top choice.
       President Correa as well as Cuba would like to see Lenin Moreno elected as the next President of Ecuador. Moreno has been a paraplegic since he was shot in the back in 1998. Like Rafael Correa, Lenin Moreno believes his friendly views on Cuba and poor people have created "well-funded opponents." 
        Recent polls showed that 51-year-old lawyer Cynthia Viteri had made sharp gains in the race to become Ecuador's next President and she indeed amassed enough votes to cause a run-off election.
       Reuters announced last night that leftist Lenin Moreno, on the left, got 39.3 percent of the votes, barely missing the 40% threshold, and banker Guillermo Lasso, on the right, got 28.1 percent. Thus, the run-off election between these two men will be held on April 3rd to determine Ecuador's next President.
       Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa once thought the Obama administration was friendly turf. U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is shown here warmly embracing and even kissing President Correa.
A friendly Clinton and Correa news conference.
       BUT THEN, an unhappy President Correa got to see some of Secretary Clinton's secretive emails exposed by Wikileaks. From that point on President Correa reached the conclusion that any Cuba-friendly government in Latin America was being targeted by Washington -- his in Ecuador, Dilma Rousseff's in Brazil, Cristina Kirchner's in Argentina, Danny Ortega's in Nicaragua, Evo Morales' in Bolivia, etc. By the time the two-photo montage depicted above was made, President Correa and Secretary Clinton were, to put it mildly, not on kissing terms as he moped and she was busy blaming Wikileaks for leaking her emails. 
       Since being educated by the Hillary Clinton emails, President Rafael Correa in Ecuador has turned away from the U. S. and toward China, as indicated by the photo above. From Cuba to Ecuador and all the Cuba-friendly stops in between, China is displaying an eagerness to capitalize on either real or perceived Latin American distrust of the United States. China, according to Correa, exudes friendship to Latin America's "minority poor" while the U. S. is interested in "alliances with Latin America's minority elite, with America's perennial target, Cuba, always just caught in the middle." And that's why Cuba for sure and both the U. S. and China most likely will be keeping a close eye on April 3rd's presidential election in Ecuador.
The population of Ecuador is 15.7 million South Americans.
And by the way:
       This is the most painful and shameful photo that flashed across America Friday, February 24th, 2017. It was featured in USA Today and many other newspapers. It was taken by Mike McCleary of the Bismarck Tribune. It shows an elderly, handcuffed Indian woman being forcefully led away by four strong policeman. For a year this Indian woman and many like her have been protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline that will enrich rich Americans and Canadians but SHE sincerely believes it will harm the environment and illegally soil and desecrate her sacred fatherland. The photo is a reminder that the American government has never lived up to a treaty with Indians and seldom has the U. S. government even shown compassion for the most native of Native Americans. But I would like to say...I have compassion and respect for this old Indian woman. She, like many others of her race, is a genuine American heroine.
{NOTE: I am a democracy-loving conservative Republican.
 {Unfortunately, it's a democracy not immune to thugs.
{The thugs are the decision-makers, not the policemen.}



Hardliners Challenged!!
{Updated: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017}
       A United States Senator named Thad Cochran arrived in Cuba this past Sunday -- Feb. 19-2017 -- and, after his four days on the island, what he tells President Donald Trump may well predicate America's Cuban policy for decades to come. After one month as U. S. President, Donald Trump has yet to keep his promise to anti-Cuban hardliners about reversing all of former President Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. The reason Trump has yet to target, assault or nuke the vulnerable island so far is...Thad Cochran. He is now 79-years-old. A staunchly conservative Republican, Thad Cochran was elected to the U. S. Congress from Mississippi in 1978. Despite his advanced age, he is a congressional giant who, among other things, currently chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. More significantly right now, Thad Cochran is an omnipotent supporter of Trump and, as such, his influence has so far kept President Trump from allowing Congressional hardliners like Rubio, Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart to dictate his Cuban policy, something all previous Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan have routinely granted.   
         In 1965 Thad Cochran graduated from the University of Mississippi Law School when that state and that university were embroiled in desperately trying to block the then-nascent Civil Rights movement. To this day in 2017 Thad Cochran is still very proud of the Confederate flag and his Southern heritage, as the above photo attests. But in the U. S. Senate since 1978, Thad Cochran has emerged as a brilliant proponent of Democracy and America. As such, he is ashamed that a current vote in the United Nations reveals an international 191-to-0 condemnation of America's Batistiano-driven Cuban policy, meaning that not a single one of America's best foreign friends support it. But primarily, in this pivotal year of 2017, Thad Cochran is ashamed that the American policy towards Cuba "so drastically" harms not only America's international reputation but also directly harms Americans "financially and democratically" by denying them trade opportunities with Cuba and by making Americans the only people in the world without the freedom to visit Cuba, apparently so Cuban hardliners in Congress can dictate the Cuban narrative in the United States. So...Senator Thad Cochran spent four days in Cuba this week for these two reasons: {1} To finally challenge the Batistiano-directed Cuban policies in the U. S. Congress; and {2} to ascertain if he should tell President Trump not to end President Obama's sane Cuban overtures. Senator Cochran's state of Mississippi is already the U. S. leader in doing business with Cuba and is the main supplier of the main product -- frozen chicken -- purchased by the island. {Mississippi chicken farmers love their Senator}.
        There was a time back in the 1960s and 1970s that supporters of Thad Cochran were labeled right-wingers or even racists. But in 2017 the Thad Cochran supporters depicted above are not labeled anything other than progressive Americans. And like most Americans and most Cuban-Americans, they are tired of a handful of hardline Cuban Americans -- through two generations now -- dictating an American Cuban policy that rightfully gets a 191-to-0 denunciation in the United Nations. Senator Thad Cochran's four days in Cuba this week reflects perhaps the most serious challenge to the American Batistianos in many decades.
      With President Trump's powerful supporter -- U. S. Senator Thad Cochran from Mississippi -- gleefully looking on, Mississippi signed a huge commercial agreement with Cuba in Havana this week -- Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, 2017. The Mississippi ports of Pascagoula and Gulfport eagerly signed the deal with Cuba anticipating future commerce that will benefit the state and the island nation. Only Senator Cochran's dear friend, President Trump, can erase the impact of that agreement. That Trump decision is pending.
      The 79-year-old Senator Thad Cochran was the only Republican in the congressional delegation that visited Cuba this week, but the Democrats, of course, included the equally brave Senator Patrick Leahy from Vermont. Senator Leahy is shown above taking photos of the media at a news conference in Havana on one of his many visits to the Cuban capital. The Congressmen visiting Cuba this week included:
 ***Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi.
***Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
***Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado.
***Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico.
***Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts.
       Born in Minnesota 61-years-ago, Heidi Heitkamp is now a highly regarded U. S. Senator from North Dakota. A moderate Democrat, Senator Heitkamp has introduced a Senate bill providing for The Expansion of Agricultural Exports to Cuba. Her bill eliminates the Batistiano-imposed prohibition against financing exports to Cuba. It is a bipartisan bill that includes powerful Republicans like Mississippi's Thad Cochran.
       Born in Louisiana 66-years-old, John Boozman is now a U. S. Senator from Arkansas. Influenced by Thad Cochran, Senator Boozman is among the growing number of Republicans in the U. S. Congress no longer afraid of the power and intimidation of the Cuban-American hardliners when it comes to America's Cuban policy. Senator Boozman readily co-sponsored Senator Heitkamp's pro-Cuban agricultural bill.
      Born in Miami 50-years-ago, Kathy Castor has represented Florida's Tampa-St. Petersburg area in the U. S. Congress since 2007. With unmatched and uncommon guts and decency, Congresswoman Kathy Castor has long fought for a decent U. S. policy regarding Cuba, and its' a fight she has waged from FLORIDA.
        In the U. S. House of Representatives Kathy Castor currently has a bill calling for the end of the embargo against Cuba. Although born in Miami and representing Tampa in the U. S. Congress, Kathy Castor is brave enough to stress two points: {1} The embargo against Cuba has shamed the U. S. and democracy since 1962; and {2} To appease a handful of revengeful and self-serving Cuban-Americans, the U. S. embargo against Cuba unfairly and grossly harms totally innocent Cubans and totally innocent Americans.
      Born in Indiana 55-years-ago, Tom Emmer represents Minnesota in the U. S. Congress. A staunch Republican, he co-sponsors Kathy Castor's non-partisan bill aimed at ending the embargo against Cuba.
       Both as a former Minnesota lawyer/lobbyist and now as a brave Republican member of the United States Congress from Minnesota, Tom Emmer has always advocated a decent, pro-American policy towards Cuba. His bravery, and that of other aforementioned members of Congress, probably surprises many Americans because the incompetent and intimidated mainstream U. S. media normally only serves as a forum for anti-Cuban extremists when it comes to Cuban "news" that is actually anti-Cuban propaganda.
       As far as network television "news" in the United States is concerned, only anti-Cuban extremists like U. S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart from Miami are afforded unlimited airtime for rants such as the ranting depicted above when President Obama was lambasted as "an Appeaser-in-Chief". And when any of the four Diaz-Balart brothers are ranting on television, never do the networks have the guts or the integrity to mention that they are the four sons of Rafael Diaz-Balart -- the former key Minister in Cuba's Batista dictatorship who became one of Florida's richest and most powerful anti-Cuban powerbrokers.
        This Washington Post photo shows former Batista Minister Rafael Diaz-Balart in the center flanked by his four sons, all of whom inherited their ultra-rich and ultra-powerful anti-Castro extremism that from 1959 till this day has dominated Congress, the U. S. media and both the Cuban political and economic spheres that so glowingly punctuate Miami. The Diaz-Balart son on the far left is a powerful banker. The Diaz-Balart sons second from the left and on the far right have both represented Miami in the United States Congress. And the Diaz-Balart son second from the right is a very powerful anti-Castro U. S. television anchor.
       The Diaz-Balart television connection is Jose Diaz-Balart and he is a prime anchor for NBC in English and Telemundo in Spanish. NBC and Telemundo have the highest rated American and Hispanic network "news" programs in America. It's a shame neither has the guts or the integrity to disclose Jose's Batistiano connections when he tells America all about how terrible Revolutionary Cuba IS while implying how fantastically nice Batista's Cuba WAS. So, both in the U. S. Congress and in the U. S. media, the Diaz-Balarts are synonymous with America's saturation of underhanded and undisclosed propaganda related to Cuba. 
And by the way:
       Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon has been denied entry to Cuba. The photo is courtesy of Reuters. Calderon planned to headline an anti-Cuban rally organized for Wednesday of this week by The Latin American Network of Youth for Democracy. He was the Bush-aligned President of Mexico from 2006 till 2012 and is still a pillar of Mexico's right-wing National Action Party. Note: Cuba, still a sovereign nation, apparently felt it had enough foreign anti-Cuban right-wingers on the island without allowing Calderon to join them.
      Cuba's Minister of North American Affairs, Josefina Vidal, is also the island's primary defender. She once said, "I do not want anyone to shoot Cuba in the foot and I don't want Cuba to shoot itself in the foot." With that brilliant and logical rationale from a Cuban of Vidal's significance, you can understand why Felipe Calderon was not allowed to fly from Mexico to Cuba yesterday.
She's very protective of Cuba's feet. 

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 ...