Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cuba vs. Cuban-Americans

Six Tumultuous Decades!
       As a superb American journalist and author, Tom Englehardt this second week in April-2017 did something that very few U. S. journalists-authors have either the guts or the integrity to do. He explained how totally innocent Cubans on the island have suffered for six decades because a handful of Cuban exiles from the overthrown Batista-Mafia dictatorship have been allowed to dictate America's Cuban narrative and America's Cuban policies since 1959, resulting in the current anti-U.S./pro-Cuba vote of 191-to-0 in the United Nations. Americans have been propagandized to ignore that anti-American unanimity.
     This week in The Huffington Post a major article, penned by Tom Englehardt, was entitled: "Washington Has A Cuba Problem." The sub-title is: "For Almost 60 Years, Washington Has Lavished On A Modest-sized, Improvished Island Nation." In the main body of the article, Tom Englehardt wrote: "I'm talking, of course, about Cuba, which the United States has embargoed since 1959, as it hasn't North Korea or any other country on the planet." Tom Englehardt, of course, clearly understands that neither North Korea nor any other country allowed a brutal and overthrown U.S.-backed dictatorship to immediately and eternally regroup on U. S. soil and -- while lavishly hiding behind the skirts of superpower America -- engage in an endless and unsavory effort to recapture Cuba while enriching and empowering themselves. All the while, as the nations of the world condemn the atrocity with  that searing 191-to-0 vote in the United Nations, the mainstream U. S. media is too gutless and the majority of Americans are too unpatriotic to give a damn -- with rare exceptions such as Tom Englehardt, of course.
      The following six photos are courtesy of Sanne Derks/Al Jazeera. This elderly Cuban couple live in the Cuban village of Valle de los Ingenis. The water tanks are now common life-savers to areas of Cuba suffering from the most devastating drought on the island in over a century. The natural calamity is exacerbated by the Batistiano-dictated U. S. embargo of the island that, from 1962 until today, constitutes the longest and cruelest economic embargo ever imposed by a powerful nation against a weak nation.
      Because the United States embargo punishes Cuba and also punishes or discourages international banks and other nations willing to engage in commerce with the island, the Cuba government has major problems replacing aging infrastructure such as the out-dated water pumps shown in the above photo.
    Cubans like this man try to fill water buckets like these.
       The Cuban government uses water trucks like this one to try to alleviate the drought-embargo shortages, but the enormous problems are often overwhelming for the government and the people.
       This Cuban woman in Vinales Valley spends her days and much of her nights trying to use her available non-cooking and non-bathing water to wash her family's clothes and her neighbor's clothes. As her neighbor observes, she does it with a smile because it is her life and the lives of many other Cubans.
      This Cuban man is using his horse-drawn wagon, which is outfitted with rubber tires, to deliver water from a tank to needy Cubans. Most of the two million Cuban-Americans even in South Florida favored former President Barack Obama's courageous efforts to help decent Cubans like this man and eleven million other Cubans on the island like him. UNFORTUNATELY, such caring and moderate Cuban-Americans don't seem to be eligible to get elected to the U. S. Congress where a handful of extremists Cuban-American rule the roost, not to mention the Cuban narrative and the Cuban policies in the United States.
        Havana-born Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has represented Miami and anti-Castro zealotry in the United States Congress since 1989. A regular parade of similarly minded, mostly unchecked Cuban-Americans from South Florida have followed her to Washington, almost everyone of them tightly allied with the Bush dynasty.
       Jeb Bush's pathway to two terms as Florida's governor was paved in 1989 when he was Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's Campaign Manager for the seat in the U. S. Congress she has held for all the years since.
    Cuban-Americans like Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, shown here with Orlando Bosch, can use the mainstream U. S. media 24-hours-a-day to vilify and excoriate the Cuban Revolution and never have to worry about being quizzed about her numerous extremely controversial Cuban-exile associations. 
       Like South Florida's politics, it seems only the most visceral anti-Castro Cuban-Americans are eligible to be elected to the United States Congress despite polls that show most Cuban-Americans, including those in Miami, favored President Obama's bravery and decency in trying to ease instead of proliferate problems for millions of innocent Cubans on the vulnerable island. There are 535 members of the U. S. Congress but apparently it takes only a handful of extremist Cuban-Americans -- allied with a few right-wingers such as Jesse Helms, Dan Burton, and Robert Torricelli -- to enact devastating anti-Cuban laws...such as the Helms-Burton Act and the Torricelli Bill. This second week of April-2017 in Congress, for example, Ros-Lehtinen is leading the enactment for something called the "Nica Act" and at last check she had the signatures of support from 14 fellow Republicans and 10 Democrats. The "Nica Act" seems designed to prevent Nicaragua from getting loans from the IDB, World Bank and IMF. Why Nicaragua?
       The President of Nicaragua is Danny Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo is Nicaragua's Vice President. They strongly support Cuba. So, there's your answer to Congress's "Nica Act" question.
       This photo was taken in 1985 by Mark Reinstein for ZUMA. It shows Danny Ortega and Rosario Murillo at a news conference. They got married in 1979 after falling in love when they teamed up and fought side-by-side as Sandinista guerrilla fighters to overthrow the United States-backed Somoza dictatorship, which was fiercely anti-Castro and fiercely opposed to all revolutionary-types inspired by the Cuban Revolution, which had reconfigured Latin America when it overthrew the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship in 1959.
       Like other democratically elected Latin American leaders inspired by the Cuban Revolution, Nicaraguan President Danny Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo have spent everyone of their adult years -- as guerrilla fighters and as politicians -- idolizing Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. The photo above, I believe, explains why the "Nica Act" -- designed to punish Nicaragua -- is working its way through the United States Congress in April, 2017. Americans, of course, are not supposed to know what a "Nica Act" is nor are they supposed to wonder why or if it will harm millions of innocent Nicaraguans.

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