To Know Cuba, Visit Cuba

Or You Won't Know Cuba!!
{Saturday, April 1st, 2017}
       This photo shows Economics Professor Patrick Gourley and his students at the University of New Haven in Connecticut on their 8-day visit to Cuba this month of March, 2017. Educational tours are one legal means Americans can visit the island but for decades everyday Americans have been the only people in the world without the freedom to visit Cuba. That, of course, is to appease a handful of two generations of the most extreme counter-revolutionaries who reside in the U. S. after the Cuban Revolution in 1959 ousted the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship. A few extremists easily mandating such laws in the U. S. Congress command a 191-to-0 condemnation in the United Nations but two generations of Americans meekly accept them, which results in meek acceptance of allowing a small but rich and powerful cabal of Cuban-American exiles to dictate the U. S. Cuban narrative and U. S. Cuban congressional laws.
         Thus, the opinions from Americans who actually visit Cuba are always pertinent. The New Haven Register in a long article written by Mark Zaretsky featured these reactions from Professor Gourley and his entourage after their eight days in Cuba:
             "I really just thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience;" "Cuba has changed more in the past two years than it did in the previous 50;" "For the first time people are allowed to open their own business;" "Hands-on experience reveals that;" "The people, they seemed very modern. They all had cellphones. But I think I saw only one iPhone;" "I was surprised by the number of private businesses that were there;" "I think financially they've very excited to see the trade embargo loosening;" "I met a woman who owned a farm and wished they had a Home Depot. She talked about how frustrated she was that she had a successful business and had money, but the things that they need weren't available in the country;" "The most amazing impression I got from the place was just how pure it was;" "You didn't expect the people to be so happy;" "You can get a free Ph.D. Education and health care are free and people are given vouchers good for food;" "Buildings...still had bullet holes from when they shot at Batista;" etc. {Very interesting, huh?}.
        Professor Patrick Gourley's last comment was: "The one thing for people to know is...just go to Cuba! It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a country that's just dramatically shifting." Of course, for decades the Batistiano-Mafiosi hardliners booted out of Cuba by the revolution have their reasons for wanting to continue dictating the Cuban narrative and Cuban laws in the United States and I assume their three prime reasons are the same old standbys: revenge, money, and power.
       With America's mainstream media having evolved and dissolved into propaganda machines as opposed to news sources, it seems most Americans actually get their real news these days from Facebook. I'm not much for social media...except for posting baseball comments and beautiful bird photos. But in occasionally doing that, I noticed that a young Cuban woman named Rosy Amaro Perez is engaged in doing a lot of worthy projects on behalf of Cubans on the island who are so unfairly besieged by a handful of rich and powerful Cuban-Americans. I used one sentence to congratulate Rosy on one such project and within minutes her Facebook reply was: "Thanks. But my English is not too good." Her English is fine...and so are her projects on her embargoed island. 
     A typical young Cuban woman, Rosy Amaro Perez is beautiful, healthy and well educated. She is married and she and her husband have a gorgeous daughter. Rosy's enthusiasm for life and for doing worthwhile things is contagious, as reflected by her Facebook renderings. She has no animosity toward Americans and Americans should not allow a few others in a nearby foreign nation to endlessly punish Rosy and her young family. With a mainstream U. S. media that is nothing more or nothing less than anti-Cuban propaganda machines, the only way to know Cubans like Rosy is to visit Cuba, but a few Cuban exiles for decades have enacted U. S. laws that make everyday Americans the only people in the world without the freedom to visit Cuba. So, Facebook is the logical means to know Cuba by knowing decent, worthy, everyday Cubans like Rosy. With Batistiano extremists in the U. S. controlling the U. S. Cuban narrative and U. S. laws, Americans are not supposed to know Rosy or her young family or....the many decent and worthy projects she is involved in.
      The above map of Cuba was used March 30-2017 by the Mississippi Business Journal to illustrate an article about Mississippi business executives who have returned home after visiting the long-embargoed nearby island. All those executives as well as officials at both of the deep-water Mississippi ports -- Gulfport and Pascagoula -- are anxious to engage in commerce with Cuba...if and when America's Cuban policy is not dictated by a handful of very revengeful first-and-now-second-generational Batistianos.
        Gulf Coast Produce, a major Mississippi business, is owned by Cristi and Mike Alise. Just back from Cuba, Mike says, "Cuba is buying rice from Vietnam. It's incredible. Cubans like building relationships. I want to go back and get out to the farms and see what they're growing and do some fact-finding. I've done that for years with Panama and Colombia. Trade with Cuba is exciting for Mississippi." Yes, Mike. Many other business people in your state and other states feel the same way. But remember...Panama and Colombia never had Mafia-backed and U.S.-backed brutal dictatorships that were overthrown only to regroup first in Miami and then in Washington. Therefore, you and many other Americans like you are in the same undemocratic boat, which has been the case for six decades now...while the rest of the world, as indicated by the 191-to-0 vote in the UN condemning America's Cuban policy, wonders WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
     History and even quick Google searches reveal that the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship HAPPENED on Cuban soil in 1952 and the U.S.-backed Batistiano-Mafiosi resettlement HAS HAPPENED on United States soil since January of 1959. Of course, if some serious, unbiased student of U.S.-Cuban history has a better explanation, be sure to let Mike and Christi Alise in Mississippi know.


Fidel's Sister Dies

Three of 7 Siblings Still Live
{Thursday, March 30th, 2017}
        On Sunday, March 27th in Havana, Augustina Castro died at age 78. Born in Biran in the old province of Oriente, she was the youngest daughter of Angel and Lina Ruz Castro. With Augustina's passing, now only 3 of the 7 Castro siblings are still alive and they are 85-year-old Raul, the Cuban President; 83-year-old Juanita who lives in Miami; and 82-year-old Emma who lives in Mexico after marrying a Mexican.
       This photo shows Augustina on the left and Emma on the right when they were in Miami recruiting money and moral support at the outset of the Cuban Revolution that was led by Celia Sanchez and the brothers Fidel and Raul. Prior to her death Sunday in Havana, Augustina had asked to be cremated. Emma flew from Mexico City to attend funeral rites for her younger sister. Also, Augustina's two sons Silvio and Angel, who live in Orlando, were in Havana this week to honor their beloved mother.
       This photo shows the three Castro brothers -- Raul, Ramon, and Fidel -- in the back row with their four sisters and their mother Lina, who is in the middle of the front row wearing glasses. Augustina is standing between Raul and Ramon. The photo was taken the day Emma, sitting to the right of her mother, got married. It is also known that the 7 siblings had a half-brother named Martin who still lives a very quiet life as a farmer in southern Cuba where he had often been visited by the oldest Castro brother Ramon.
Fidel's oldest sister Angela was born in 1923.
Always fiercely loyal to Fidel, Angela died in 2012.
        This, I believe, is one of the most interesting of all the Fidel Castro family photos. It was taken in 1940. The back row shows the 14-year-old Fidel on the left with his favorite sister Angela in the middle and his oldest brother Ramon on the right. In the front row sitting down is Fidel's younger brother Raul on the left, Lidia Castro Argota in the center and Fidel's younger sister Juanita, the one who defected to Miami in 1964, on the right. But it is Lidia who makes this photo so pertinent. She was Fidel's beloved half-sister. This 1940 photo was taken in Santiago de Cuba at Lidia's home, which the teenage Fidel made it a point to visit often. He worshiped Lidia. From 1953 till 1956 he wrote sweet letters to her, seeking and receiving her "necessary approval and understanding" for the revolutionary life that was by then absorbing him. It is my opinion that Lidia is the only person on the planet that could have talked Fidel out of waging war against the Batista dictatorship, and she chose not to do so. Lidia was Angel Castro's daughter by his first wife Maria Argota. Angel didn't officially marry Fidel's mother Lina until after their third child, Fidel, was born. Because of Angel's extreme wealth and his contract with the infamous U. S. company United Fruit, Fidel was never close to his father Angel, who died in 1956. But his love and admiration for Lidia was both worshipful and historical. She died at age 77 in 1991, meaning she was 26 when the above photo was taken in 1940. 
       This is the 14-year-old Fidel on that 1940 visit to Lidia Castro Argota's home in Santiago de Cuba. It is believed that his beloved half-sister, Lidia, took this photo herself. She was the biggest influence in Fidel's formative teenage years. Later, when he was Cuba's Athlete of the Year he gave his trophy to Lidia; and later, when he declared war against the Batista dictatorship in July of 1953 it was Lidia whose "necessary approval and understanding" he sought and needed. Lidia's influence on Fidel Castro, the Cuban Revolution and Revolutionary Cuba was huge. Her husband, Dr. Narciso Montero, died of Hodgkin's Disease in 1945. Fidel was a big eater and Lidia often fixed his favorite dish -- eggs, fruit and gelatin. 
        This photo shows the Castro brothers. Now at age 85 Raul is Cuba's President. Fidel at 90 and Ramon at 91 both died in 2016. Ramon supported his brothers but was more interested in farming than politics.
      Of Fidel Castro's six siblings, only Juanita defected to South Florida and denounced the revolution but to this day her reasonings are clouded and debatable. The photo above shows Juanita at the front of an anti-Fidel march in New York City in 1979 to protest Fidel's appearance at the United Nations. But the Miami-New York circles that she defected to included revengeful CIA-backed Cubans fiercely anti-Castro. Note the expression on Juanita's face and how tightly her arms are being gripped by two stern individuals.
After defecting to Miami, this is Juanita in 1969. 
       This photo shows Juanita with Fidel in 1959 shortly after his victorious Cuban Revolution had made him an international sensation for overthrowing the U.S. and Mafia-backed Batista dictatorship. In 1963 Juanita and her six siblings attended the funeral of their mother Lina. It was 1964 that Juanita defected to South Florida where she has remained to this day but, at age 83, she admits she has never been fully accepted by Castro hardliners. According to the New York Times, one reason Juanita left Cuba in 1964 was because, at a bowling alley, pro-Fidel Cubans berated her for smoking Chesterfields, a popular U.S. cigarette. But she has acknowledged working for the CIA against Fidel in both Cuba and the U. S.
     On November 28th, 2016, Frances Robles interviewed Juanita for the New York Times in Coral Gables three days after Fidel had died at age 90 in Havana. The hour-plus interview is available on YouTube and in it she was much harsher against Donald Trump than Fidel. She said she had called her sister Enma in Mexico to discuss Fidel's passing and that she got "no joy" related to his death. She also expressed bitter disdain about the wild street celebrations in Miami that broke out as soon as Fidel's death, which occurred late at night on Nov. 28-2016, was announced. She told Ms. Robles, "That reaction hurts." 
       For years Juanita operated a very successful Drug Store in Miami-Coral Gables. She opened her pharmacy, called "Mini Price," in 1973 and sold it for a huge profit in 2006 to the pharmaceutical giant CVS. To abide in the Miami area, she had to denounce Fidel and his revolution to the highest degree, but reports abound that her defection was more about economics than politics. In Cuba, it is known that Fidel loved but only modestly took care of his closest relatives and that included his only daughter Alina who defected to Miami and got rich as an anti-Fidel writer, broadcaster and orator. Fidel's 8 sons and all of his six siblings and ten children except sister Juanita and daughter Alina remained loyal to him. Fidel also had six half-siblings: Lidia, Pedro Emilio, Manuel, Antonia, Georgina and the little-known Martin.
       Juanita Castro wrote a book -- "Fidel & Raul: My Brothers" -- but her hour-plus video interview with Frances Robles on Nov. 28-2016 was much more revealing and up-to-date about how she truly rationalizes her brothers, the revolution, and living since 1964 on the outskirts of one of her brothers' richest, most indelible, and most controversial creations -- the anti-Castro bastion know as Little Havana in Miami.
        Juanita Castro back in November did not return to Cuba to participate in the funeral ceremonies surrounding the death of her older brother Fidel nor was she in Cuba this week after the passing of her younger sister Augustina. But perhaps as much as anyone else, Juanita epitomizes the everlasting pros and cons of Fidel Castro and his famed Cuban Revolution, especially how those two historic and topical entities so drastically changed and still deeply affect the world's superpower, the United States. While Fidel's daughter Alina apparently defected to Miami for financial reasons, it seems Juanita's defection to Miami was two-fold -- financial and political, both of which apparently reflect her secretive CIA ties.
     This AFP/Getty Images photo was taken in 2003 at the tomb of Castro matriarch Lina Ruz in Biran, Holguin in southeast Cuba. The three visitors this particular day were her son Ramon and her daughters Augustina and Enma. Ramon died at age 91 in 2016; Augustina died at age 71 in March-2017; and Emma at age 82 still lives in Mexico and flew to Havana this week to attend funeral services for Augustina.
      This photo shows Lina Ruz and Angel Castro. Before they married, she was a maid and he was a rich rancher who owned or controlled about 34,000 acres of prime Cuban land. Lina and Angel had 7 children together -- Ramon, Fidel, Raul, Juanita, Angela, Augustina, and Enma. Angel had been married previously and the Lina-Angel siblings had at least six half-siblings: Lidia, Pedro Emilio, Manuel, Antonia, Georgina, and the lesser known Martin. Angel Castro's wife prior to marrying Lina Ruz was Maria Luisa Argota.
       Angel Castro was so rich that he had his own railroad outside Biran in Oriente Province to take his products to market. As shown above, on Sundays Angel often took his children...his hijos...for joy rides.


How Cuba Defines America

Regionally and Globally!!
      As its logo states, World Net Daily.com was the "digital Pioneer in Independent online news" and after twenty years it remains one of the most popular news sources in the world. One of its current articles, in my opinion, explains why the Caribbean island of Cuba says more about the superpower United States than it says about Cuba. In fact, Cuba says more about the United States than any other country in the world -- including its best friend, Mother Country England,  and including mighty nations America has fought wars against in the past century, such as China, Japan, and Vietnam. And even including the colossal nation, the Soviet Union-Russia, that ended up as America's much-needed ally to defeat the Germany-Japan-Italy axis in World War II. If you disagree with this conclusion, then I ask you to explain the current 191-to-0 condemnation in the United Nations of America's Cuban policy. In explaining your disagreement, you need to name at least one other topic in this entire world that could possibly get a unanimous opinion.
          So why in the world does little Cuba say more about the United States than it says about Cuba and why does Cuba say more about the United States than any other nation in the world says about it?
      The Chairman of the Washington-based Religious Freedom Coalition, William J. Murray, is the author of seven best-selling books, none of which I've ever read. But I did read his insightful new article on WND.com. The article is entitled: "FIDEL'S LEGACY: ON CUBA, SANCTIONS AND REALLY SMART TOUR GUIDES. Here is the first paragraph of that article:
                  "Almost every adult in Cuba has a college education, provided at no cost. The result of this level of education for all became evident to me when my wife and I recently took an evening tour of Havana. Our tour guide, Susanna, was a lawyer fluent in Spanish, German and English. Her income as a lawyer...is less than $25 a month. As a tour guide she may receive twice that in tips in one day."
           In that first paragraph Mr. Murray tells basic facts that Americans are not supposed to know because, for going on six decades, Americans have gotten their Cuban information almost exclusively from two generations of Batistiano-Mafiosi factions that Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution booted off the island on January 1, 1959 -- kicking most of the fleeing leaders to their new haven of Little Havana in Miami, Florida. From there, after hooking up with the Bush dynasty and stretching their tentacles to the U. S. Congress, the Batistiano-Mafiosi leaders have had no problem controlling both U. S. laws and the U. S. narrative regarding Cuba. The right-wing thugs in the 1950s Eisenhower administration that sicced the Mafia and America's greediest businessmen on Cuba in 1952 were still around to support the Batistiano-Mafiosi exiles on U. S. soil beginning in 1959. Also, as far back as the 1950s...not just the 1980s as many believe...the Bush dynasty's unholy alliances with the Batistiano-Mafiosi exiles have shamed America and democracy in manners nothing else in America's proud history has ever shamed it. That latter fact is evident from the current 191-to-0 denunciation of America's Cuban policy in the UN and confirmed by William J. Murray's aforementioned WND.com article.
            And speaking of Mr. Murray, his article has other interesting tidbits, such as: "Cuba has their version of Obamacare in Spades..." And he audaciously predicted that the United States embrace of Cuba "will never happen" like the warm U. S. economic embraces of China and Vietnam have happened. That astute observation is, of course, based on the fact that neither Communist China nor Communist Vietnam ever overthrew a brutal, thieving U.S.-backed dictatorship that fled to U. S. soil where it was instantly and strongly embraced just as it had been on Cuban soil. Therefore, with tons of ill-gotten Cuban loot, those exiles easily overpowered South Florida citizens, South Florida politics and the South Florida media.
       The reason William J. Murray and his wife this month got to visit Cuba and judge it for themselves also relates to the basic fact that little Cuba says more about superpower America than it says about Cuba. Mr. Murray got to visit Cuba only because he is a renowned author-journalist. For decades, everyday Americans have been the only people in the world without the freedom to visit Cuba. That unique lack of freedom, of course, is dictated by the Batistiano-Mafiosi dictate of America's Cuban policy, a policy that dictates a Batistiano-crafted Cuban narrative as opposed to Americans being permitted to judge it for themselves. Such dictations also helped dictate that current 191-to-0 United Nations condemnation of America's Cuban policy. But, amazingly, for over half-a-century, pusillanimous and unpatriotic Americans have meekly accepted such dictations without a whimper, unlike prior Americans would have reacted.
        One of William J. Murray's seven best-selling books is entitled "MY LIFE WITHOUT GOD." He was, you see, reared an atheist before becoming very religious and founding the Religious Freedom Coalition.
               Madalyn Murray O'Hair was William J. Murray's mother. Until she was assassinated in San Antonio on September 29, 1995, Miss O'Hair was America's most famous atheist. Other than those basic facts, I am unfamiliar with Mr. Murray and his mother. But Mr. Murray's visit and his up-close views of Cuba serve as reminders that in a non-Batistiano defined democratic nation, all Americans, like all other people in the world, deserve the freedom, should they so desire, to visit the nearby sovereign, independent nation of Cuba that was neither sovereign nor independent when the Batistianos so brutally ruled it. And based on that history, it apparently wouldn't be sovereign or independent if and when they recapture it as they fiercely try to dictate America's Cuban policy and America's Cuban narrative to serve their own dictates.
        In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, at least the truth about U.S.-Cuban history should be permitted, even if that history includes the U.S. support of the Batista-Mafia dictatorship of Cuba from 1952 till 1959, a brutal and thieving dictatorship that spawned the victorious Cuban Revolution.
     Since 1959 Revolutionary Cuba has encountered an air-land-and-sea military attack, repetitious terrorist and assassination attempts, and the longest and cruelest economic embargo ever imposed by a powerful nation against a weak nation...all to whet the revenge, economic and political appetites of a handful of Cuban-exile hardliners although most of the two million Cuban-Americans even in the Miami area oppose such gruesome undemocratic stupidity. In that milieu, the UN 191-to-0 vote condemns America's Cuban policy and great political cartoonists like Carlos LaTuff regularly mock America on behalf of the feisty little island of Cuba, as LaTuff's famed gem depicted above indicates and as it now resonates worldwide.
         Meanwhile...little sovereign, independent Cuba still dominates the Caribbean Sea even as the ubiquitous U. S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay still reminds the world of America's long-standing imperialist designs on the luscious island and even as the Batistiano-ruled Miami area still defies two million moderate Cuban-Americans and only sends anti-Castro extremists to the U. S. Congress, extremists who couldn't care less about how America's Cuban policy mocks America's democracy. Thus...perhaps the U. S., which didn't bring democracy to Cuba when it had the chance from 1898 after the Spanish-American War till the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, now needs to remind Miami that it is a democracy, not a Banana Republic. Just reminding Cuba every day since 1959 that it must have only a United States-approved...meaning only a Batistiano-approved...government hasn't worked out to well, has it? At least, Carlos LaTuff's feisty little Cuban girl doesn't think so and neither do many other decent Cubans.




Trump Pressured to Bury Cuba

Miami Extremists at Work!
This collage is courtesy of: patdollard.com.
     Many people are surprised that current U. S. President Donald Trump has yet to keep his dire promises to Miami extremists to erase the historic positive advances crafted by Cuban President Raul Castro and former U. S. President Barack Obama
       Twice prior to taking office on Jan. 20-2017 Trump -- desperately seeking Florida's crucial 29 electoral votes -- went to Miami to promise the anti-Cuban extremists that he would do their bidding, which means helping them recapture Cuba.
    Trump even stood before a huge Brigade 2506 banner in Miami and promised elderly Cuban-American survivors of the April-1961 Bay of Pigs attack that he would make up for their colossal defeat suffered during the CIA-directed military attack that was supposed to have recaptured Cuba long, long ago.
       With Donald Trump in the White House to align with the Republican-control of the United States Congress and the November 25th-2016 death at age 90 of their most pugnacious antagonist Fidel Castro, the Miami extremists believed their fervent quest to recapture Cuba would finally become a stark reality rather quickly in 2017. But President and Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump has yet to return the island to the Miami hardliners, perhaps because of his more pressing problems such as his alleged Russian ties and his promise to overturn Obama's healthcare program in favor of one that will enhance the bulging bank accounts of America's wealthiest and greediest individuals.
        But this week the Miami Herald and one of Miami's anti-Cuba Cuban-American zealots in the malleable United States Congress, Mario Diaz-Balart, jumped on the torrid health-care battle as a nuclear missile-type weapon against Cuba. The Miami Herald blared this vapid conclusion in a major article: "The showdown in Congress over House Republicans' heathcare bill might have nothing to do with Raul Castro -- if it weren't for Miami. The vote on the American Health Care Act is so razor tight that House GOP leaders and the White House are leaning hard on every shaky Republican for their support." Unfortunately, Mario Diaz-Balart and the other members of Congress from Miami have votes and can leverage them in a manner that has worked for decades -- Hey, you support my plans to recapture Cuba and I'll support your Bridge to Nowhere or this week your Healthcare Bill. That's the way much of the anti-Cuban laws have been enacted in Congress with Miami zealots teaming with controversial right-wingers such as Jesse Helms, Dan Burton, Robert Torricelli, etc. The Miami Herald article indicated that this tried-and-true ploy is in play again this week courtesy of Mario Diaz-Balart and his cohorts.
      Of course, the sane and decent Democracy-loving Americans -- such as James Williams -- cringe when unprincipled, self-serving anti-Cuban zealots enact and expand a Cuban policy that currently and correctly gets a 191-to-0 condemnation in the United Nations. Reacting this week to Congressman Diaz-Balart's latest shameless ploy, James Williams released this exact statement: "Mr. Diaz-Balart is playing politics with his constituents' healthcare in order to settle a family feud. Our U.S.-Cuba policy should be guided by what's in the best interest of the American and Cuban people, not one congressman's agenda." No one, of course, can dispute those words by James Williams but America's great shame is that generations of Americans since the 1950s have not had the guts, intelligence or patriotism to inject themselves into the U. S. Cuban policy that rightfully gets that unanimous international denunciation. FOR EXAMPLE, timid and proselytized Americans are not supposed to comprehend what a decent American like James Williams means when he says Diaz-Balart is trying "to settle a family feud" by hiding behind the skirts of the superpower United States and the sheer gutlessness of American citizens. For what it's worth, here's what James Williams meant by "feud." 
     History registers the fact that in January of 1959 the leaders of the Batista-Mafia dictatorship in Cuba fled the Cuban Revolution only to quickly regroup -- especially in Miami and South Florida. That included the three powerful men depicted above shown attending a political rally in Batista's Cuba. Flanked by the infamous and very notorious Masferrer brothers is a key Minister in Batista's dictatorship -- Rafael Diaz-Balart, the man with the holstered pistol.
      Soon, Rafael Diaz-Balart -- shown above in the middle of this Washington Post photo -- emerged as one of the richest and most powerful anti-Castro zealots in Miami and South Florida. His generation of Cuban exiles to the United States didn't recapture Cuba and neither has the second generation -- as epitomized by Rafael's four sons who are flanking him in this photo. Two of those sons, starting with Havana-born Lincoln who is standing just to the right of his father, reached the United States Congress from Miami. One other son, the one on the far right, is a wealthy banker and another son, the one just to Rafael's left, is a major news anchor for the left-wing NBC-TV network. And on the far right is Mario, the Diaz-Balart son that James Williams says is so fervently this week in the U. S. Congress "trying to settle a family feud" by, as always, slapping pusillanimous Americans and their democracy in the face with the Diaz-Balarts' decades-old anti-Castro "agenda." By permitting this to happen decade-after-decade, the endless streams of dollars this has cost American taxpayers is not the issue. The cost to the United States democracy and to the American image all around the world IS the most imposing issue.
     When Havana-born counter-revolutionary zealots like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen can use her Miami and Bush dynasty ties to be entrenched in the United States Congress since 1989, totally innocent Cubans on the island have a problem. But that's how America's Cuban policy is crafted...you know, the Cuban policy denounced 191-to-0 by that international vote in the United Nations. And let's face it, that policy is even more of a problem for the United States of America than it is for the Caribbean island and its 11 million decent, everyday citizens.
        This idyllic photo by Casey Strong shows a totally innocent Cuban mother feeding pigeons as her totally innocent little girl poses sweetly for the camera. If a handful of self-serving Cuban-American zealots, supported by the sheer cowardice of the majority of Americans, have their way, this little girl will continue to be punished all her life in the name of a "family feud" -- such as the Diaz-Balarts vs. the Castros -- that U. S. taxpayers and the American democracy have already paid dear and exorbitant prices to maintain. This little girl's mother has been punished all her life for the same diabolical and gutless reasons that now target this precious little girl, with the stink-bombs being fired relentlessly from rich sanctuaries -- Miami, Washington, New Jersey, Texas, etc. -- in the richest and most powerful nation in the history of the world, a nation that emerged from World War II in 1945 known for its uniquely benevolent democracy. But tell this Cuban mother today, and in a few years tell this little Cuban girl, all about America's benevolent democracy.


The 2-Sided Cuba Conundrum

It's Not A One-sided Deal!
    The island of Cuba has produced more than its share of legends, and Alicia Alonso is clearly one of the most legendary. She was born in 1921 in Havana and, at age 96, she is spending all this week -- till Sunday, March 26th, 2017 -- in Costa Rica. It is taking the nation of Costa Rica and the University of Costa Rica an entire week to honor the beloved Cuban legend. Both Costa Rica and its top university, as they are showering her with awards and plaudits, have repeatedly pointed out this fact: "Her legacy is clearly incomparable." It surely is. What Costa Rica is doing this week reminds me that the Batista-Mafia dictatorship in Cuba from 1952 till 1959 and Revolutionary Cuba from 1959 till today BOTH SAY A LOT MORE ABOUT THE UNITED STATES THAN THEY WILL EVER SAY ABOUT CUBA. You see, Americans are not supposed to know about the legend of Alicia Alonso because, if they did, such knowledge might conflict sharply with the one-sided Cuban narrative in the United States that has, since 1959, been dictated by remnants of the ousted Batista-Mafia dictatorship that fled the revolution for safe havens in America -- namely Miami, Newark and the United States Congress ensconced in Washington.
     Nevertheless, the legend of Alicia Alonso is one Americans have every right to know...in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. She was an extraordinary ballet performer in Cuba by age 11. At age 16 she married Fernando Alonso, who recognized her unique talent and took her to New York City to exploit it. It was in New York that Alicia gave birth to her only child, Laura. When she was 19 and showing signs of becoming the world's best ballerina, an eye ailment rendered her partially blind for the rest of her life, yet she reached and passed her goals as she became the world's best Prima Ballerina Assoluta. Her superstar status was crowned in 1943 when she danced "Giselle" and became enshrined forever with such incomparable performances as "Carmen." In 1948 Alicia returned to Cuba but commuted often to New York City. In 1952 when the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship first began robbing the island blind while brutalizing its everyday citizens, Alicia began dancing around the world -- Paris, London, Naples, Moscow, Prague, Milan, Monte Carlo, etc. She was delighted when she learned that Cuban mothers backed by do-or-die guerrilla fighters and fearless recruiters such as Celia Sanchez had mounted a revolution against Batista, a brutal dictator backed by the Mafia and America. In 1959 she was back in Cuba to celebrate the amazing triumph of the Cuban Revolution.
        In 1959 the pig-tailed Alicia Alonso got a surprise visitor to her Havana apartment. His name was Fidel Castro, whom she...and the rest of the world...then knew as the famed leader of the victorious Cuban Revolution. To her additional surprise, Fidel offered Alicia $200,000 in upfront money if she would start a dance school and call it The National Ballet of Cuba. He also promised that he would "make sure it was kept funded." She accepted the offer and soon began scouring the island in search of talented Cuban children, as young as five, that she could bring to Havana and try to mold into world-class ballet performers. As she scoured the island, Alicia took note of over 120,000 Cuban volunteers that were "everywhere" trying to teach the illiterate Cubans to read and write as well as provide heath and hygienic care because the Batista-Mafia dictatorship had only been concerned with raping and robbing the island without any concern for the welfare of the majority peasants. Alicia's recruitment and tender care of potential ballet stars...from 1959 till today...has made her renowned as the greatest ballet instructor of all time. Many of her top recruits defected to become multi-millionaires as stars of other ballet companies, with each departure leaving her with bittersweet emotions. Also, witnessing the educational and health care the nascent revolutionary government was providing across the island to the majority peasants increased Alicia's devotion to the revolution while also expanding her bitter hatred of the Batista rule that preceded it.
       Alicia discovered that Fidel not only provided the $200,000 for her dance school in 1959, he also kept his promise that it remained funded, come hell or high water, till the day he died at age 90 on November 25, 2016. She would later say, "Fidel was good for me, for Cuba's children and mothers, not only in comparison to Batista but in comparison to anyone, especially considering that the forces he defeated regrouped nearby and, still backed by a superpower, forever tried to kill him or overthrow him in order to regain an island they didn't deserve." Also, Alicia has revealed that when Fidel Castro knocked on her door in 1959, it was only the second time he had surprised her. He had sent her a message about her future dance school in 1958 while he was still trying to overthrow Batista. Wikipedia explains that surprise with these words: "Alonso has since described receiving a message from Castro in 1958 sent from the Sierra Maestra inviting her to head the company upon the triumph of the July 26th movement." Her second surprise, that knock on her door in 1959, merely lived up to his audacious 1958 message that even she thought was "just a tad premature."
       To understand the legend of the now 96-year-old Alicia Alonso and to comprehend why Costa Rica all this week is showering honors upon her, Americans need to understand and comprehend the above photo. Permit me to help. The photo was taken on July 1, 1964. Alicia, like most true Cubans, resents the American theft in 1903 and the continuous occupation of Guantanamo Bay, especially after the U. S. installed a lavish Naval Base on the lush port. The photo above shows Alicia on July 1-1964 dressed in army fatigues and giving a free dance performance for soldiers of the Cuban Frontier Guards who were stationed on the very outside edge of Guantanamo Bay. The naval base heightened Alicia's outrage over Guantanamo Bay, as does the now infamous prison installed by the George W. Bush presidency on the prized Cuban land.
           And so, the legend of 96-year-old Alicia Alonso and her famed Ballet Nacional de Cuba exists and will persist despite the fact that in the nearby superpower United States the Cuban narrative and Cuban policy are largely dictated by generational remnants of the 1950s Batista-Mafia dictatorship. As she is exalted for her "clearly incomparable legacy" in Costa Rica all this week, Alicia Alonso is abundantly aware that the world supports her views of her beloved island and the revolution that changed it for forever. In San Jose, Costa Rica this week, she said, "I thank to the heavens the unanimous support of Cuba as voted on by Costa Rica and the other 190 voting nations. My Cuba, like all sovereign nations, deserves the right and the breathing room to create its own present and its own future." As she spoke those words, it is apparent that Alicia Alonso is aware that Americans are supposed to believe that her Cuba deserved...Batista, the Mafia, the Bay of Pigs attack, the embargo, hotel and coastal terrorist attacks, the bombing into the ocean of Cubana Flight 455, and unceasing laws in the U. S. Congress designed to overthrow Revolutionary Cuba while also enriching and empowering the elite group of Cuban-Americans and their sycophants who seek revenge against the revolution spawned by the unspeakable excesses of the long-ago Batista-Mafia dictatorship. Alicia Alonso embodies this truth: The best Cuban-born women didn't end up entrenched in the U. S. Congress from Miami since 1989 or entrenched as the Editor of the counter-revolutionary Miami Herald. 
Her legend will live forever.
And by the way:
      This is a happy, healthy, well-educated young Cuban named Aymara Massiel Matos. On her Twitter page, she can't hide her enthusiasm for her government job and her entrepreneurial or governmental future. She said the other day her office was "invaded" by a class of young Cuban students who wanted to be just like her, and the eager students asked a lot of questions.
     This girl was one of the students who "invaded" Aymara's office and wanted her picture taken sitting at Aymara's desk. Left to its own sovereign devices, Cuba probably has a future. The two up-to-date photos directly above would probably remind 96-year-old Alicia Alonso why she so adamantly prefers Revolutionary Cuba over Batista's Cuba, don't you think?

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