Cuba Navigates Trump

With Cuban Migrants in Limbo!!
{Updated: Tuesday, August 1st, 2017} 
       The photo above is courtesy of Bob Owen/San Antonio Express-News. It shows Mexican soldiers talking with some of the 1,355 Cuban migrants being held in detention centers in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, right across the Rio Grande River from Laredo, Texas. For decades Cubans were granted special privileges under the Wet Foot-Dry Foot law that gave Cubans and only Cubans instant legal residence the moment their front-foot touched U. S. soil, and that major privilege for Cubans was quickly followed with special financial and citizenship rewards. But former President Obama halted Wet Foot-Dry Foot as one of his primary efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. Many Cubans and Cuban-Americans expected current President Trump to reverse most of the Obama overtures -- especially Wet Foot-Dry Foot. But, at least till now, Trump has not done so. This means Cubans are basically being treated for the first time in decades like other migrants although, for sure, they still receive more benefits -- such as free legal representation and stronger support in the U. S. Congress -- than migrants from all other countries around the world.
      The powerful U. S. Congressman from Minnesota, Kieth Ellison, recently made a very brave comment. Now the Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, he said: "Countries like Cuba or Canada or Russia or a lot of places in the world spend half of what we spend per capita and they get better health outcome than we do." The quotation came amidst the Congressional turmoil surrounding attempts to pass a health-care bill that will benefit beleaguered American citizens at affordable prices and not just enrich the already filthy rich pharmaceutical giants that can hire as many Washington lobbyists as they need to maintain the status quo. But by singling out "Cuba" first in such a positive light, Congressman Ellison NOT unexpectedly has been excoriated and lavishly berated by the powerful Cuban-American Counter-Revolutionary media and political stalwarts who are accustomed to never-EVER being challenged.
        Born in Havana in 1954 during the Batista-Mafia dictatorship, Humberto Fontova has devoted countless adult hours in America as a prolific writer and orator fiercely denouncing anything remotely indicating a positive fact related to Revolutionary Cuba while implying that the overthrown-in-Cuba-&-resurrected-in-the-U.S Batistianos were Mother Teresa-like angels. Thus, Fontova was quick to assail Congressman Ellison's health-care comment in a scathing article July 29th on the Townhall website.
     Since 1959 the unflappable legions of anti-Castro counter-revolutionary Cuban-Americans, such as Humberto Fontova, have generally had free-reign in political circles and in the media to denounce Revolutionary Cuba in any fashion they choose without any fear of being contradicted, regardless of how ridiculous. If, for example, you check Fontova's bio on Wikipedia, you'll note this documented quotation from Robert D. Chapman: "Fontova often presents pictures of Cuba that never happened." Robert D. Chapman, by the way, was the Cuban expert at the CIA when that ultra-powerful U. S. government entity was determined to execute a regime change in Cuba but apparently got tired of being misled by Fontova. As historians well know, the CIA and the Cuban-exiles assured President Kennedy prior to the Bay of Pigs attack that the Cuban people would turn against Castro once they knew the bombs from U. S. warplanes were falling on Cuba. But none did while over 400,000 just in and around Havana, far more than were needed, were eager to fight against a Batistiano return. To this day, Americans, including Presidents, are often misled about Revolutionary Cuba having little support from everyday Cubans.  
       Many Cuban-Americans like Humberto Fontova have profited immensely in the United States since 1959 with rants and raves against Revolutionary Cuba. But Fontova's July 29th Townhall tirade against Congressman Keith Ellison merely mentioning Cuba in a positive light also included other Cuban comments that Fontova needed to debunk, such as:
                   PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA in March, 2016: "The United States recognizes the progress that Cuba has made as a nation, such as its enormous achievements in education and health care."
                    FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER in 2002: "Castro brought superb systems of heathcare and education to his people."
                BARBARA WALTERS of ABC-News: "Castro has brought great healthcare to his country."
                     MORGAN NEIL of CNN: "Cuba could serve as a model for healthcare reform in the United States."
                     RAY SUAREZ of PBS: "One of Cuba's greatest prides is its healthcare system."
       By about a 99-to-1 ratio it seems, the U. S. media since 1959 has saturated the airways and printed pages with counter-revolutionary vitriol from Cuban-American extremists and their sycophants as opposed to the viewpoints of most Cuban-Americans who actually favor normalizing relations with Revolutionary Cuba.
        Revolutionary Cuba has existed since the January-1959 day depicted above. Considering its enemies -- the Batistianos, the Mafiosi, America, etc.  -- it was not expected to exist very long.
  But Revolutionary Cuba has survived against all odds.
        The Carlos LaTuff Editorial Cartoon above heralds the fact that Revolutionary Cuba has survived the longest and cruelest economic embargo ever imposed...from 1962 till today...by a large country against a small country. LaTuff's prancing little Cuban girl has many friends.
UN nations oppose the Embargo 191-to-Zero.
        One basic reason for the survival of Revolutionary Cuba against overwhelming odds is the sheer fact that its totally free and excellent educational and health systems -- from Day One -- replaced the Batista regime's total lack of concern for the welfare of the majority Cuban peasants. 
Typical peasant children in Batista's Cuba.
Typical children in Revolutionary Cuba in 2017.
        The most amazing thing about Revolutionary Cuba's survival is not such things as its historic defense against America's Bay of Pigs air-land-and-sea military attack in April of 1961. Instead, surviving the alliance...from 1959 till today...of the ultra-powerful Bush dynasty with the most vicious Cuban-born counter-revolutionary powerhouses constitutes the Revolution's most adroit Houdini act. That is particularly so because Bush-connected Cuban-Americans were actually able to dictate a myriad of laws and policies designed, one after the other, to destroy Revolutionary Cuba once and for all. That Bush-Cuban alliance tightly tied not only the CIA but the Pentagon, the White House, the U. S. Treasury, and the U. S. Congress into decades-long no-holds-barred efforts from the shores of the world's superpower in concerted schemes, legal and otherwise, to undermine, overturn and/or destroy Revolutionary Cuba.
      But Cuba's superstar broadcast journalist Cristina Escobar very boldly says: "Cuba's fate is up to Cubans on the island, not Cubans in Miami and Washington."
         Its unique journey takes Revolutionary Cuba on July 31st of 2017 smack-dab into the jaws of an unlikely and unpredictable U. S. Commander-in-Chief the world is getting to know as President Trump. Cuba got to know him most poignantly when he went to Little Havana in Miami and stood gluttonously before a huge Brigade 2506 Assault banner and promised surviving Cuban Bay of Pigs militants that he would essentially reverse their disastrous CIA-planned and U.S.-backed attack on Revolutionary Cuba. More than six months into his first year as President and Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Trump hasn't expanded on that promise BUT Cuba fully realizes that it might be just ONE 6:00 A. M. TWEET from happening.




Cuba's Economic Plans

Focus on New Partners!
       The major project shown above by this Alexandre Meneghini photo and the next two reveals Cuba's plans to engage new foreign partners in an effort to boost its economy as some traditional partners, namely Venezuela, are facing their own cataclysmic economic and political problems. Major state-aligned companies in Cuba and Singapore have signed a 51-49 percent deal to open a $300 million mine in Pinar del Rio province just southwest of Havana. As you can see via this photo, work is already well underway on the mine that is expected to produce 100,000 tons of Zinc and 50,000 tons of lead concentrate annually.
        The Pinar del Rio Zinc and Lead mine is already employing many Cubans such as those above and Reuters reports that at full capacity more than 500 Cubans will be hired to work the ultra-modern mine.
       This Zinc and Lead mine that Cuba and Singapore is constructing in Pinar del Rio province was encouraged, at least partially, by a conclusion rendered by the U. S. Geological Survey, which confirmed that Cuba has "untapped potential in minerals other than nickel." For years nickel has been one of Cuba's prime exports but the decline in recent years in global prices for that mineral has hurt the island's economy. Cuba in 2017 is still on pace to produce 54,500 tons of nickel and cobalt but now it is forging ahead, along with Singapore, on two minerals -- Zinc and Lead -- Cuba has never produced before.
       This map shows the location of Pinar del Rio province on the very northwestern tip of Cuba just southwest of Havana. The uniquely beautiful Vinales Valley in Pinar del Rio has long been famed for its tobacco production and now the Pinar del Rio minerals might soon be even more profitable than cigars.
A tobacco field in Vinales Valley, Pinar del Rio.
      On the short drive from Havana to Pinar del Rio, Cubans, tourists, and foreign business partners such as the Singaporeans will see billboards reminding everyone of the "genocidal" blockade-embargo imposed on Cuba by America from 1962 till today...and beyond. Somehow, the island has survived such long-standing impediments and has remained fiercely and pugnaciously independent since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution over the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship in 1959. The $300 million mine now being constructed in Pinar del Rio with the cooperation of Singapore is just one of many projects with foreign, non-U. S. entities that Cuba hopes will not only sustain but very sharply boost its struggling economy.
        The Cuban dynamo largely responsible for driving and reviving the island's economy with fresh foreign friends is Ana Maria Machado. She is shown above making inroads with a top Vietnamese official.
         As the above photo illustrates, if you are a big-time foreign business-person wanting to invest in Cuba, you need to talk to Ana Maria Machado. She has superb ideas and the power to finalize deals.
      The 86-year-old Cuban President Raul Castro will step down on or before February 24, 2018, and there are many on the island who would like to see Ana Maria Machado as Revolutionary Cuba's first non-Castro leader. She is one of Cuba's Big Five Ministers right behind President Raul Castro but not as well known as First Minister Miguel Diaz-Canel and Second Minister Jose Ramon Machado Ventura {the last of the rebel icons who fought with the Castros in the war}. President Ana Maria Machado might be a long-shot but she has huge support among everyday Cubans and, reportedly, is being championed by TWO of Raul Castro's very influential daughters -- the social-minded Mariela and the business-minded Deborah. With the support of most Cubans as well as Mariela and Deborah, Ana is a force on the island -- a force for good!!
President Ana Maria Machado?
It sure has a nice ring to it!! 
The 14 Cuban provinces.
      Meanwhile, in the USA the politics in Washington are unceasingly chaotic and the mainstream U. S. media has primarily turned into anti-Trump political propaganda machines advocating a coup-like overthrow of the controversial Trump presidency. SO, super-great Editorial Cartoonists like Daryl Cagle are just about the only U. S. sources providing fair and unbiased news in America these days. For example, Cagle's brilliant pen this week, with a remarkable economy of words, fully updated America on the latest monumental crisis in Washington, the one that indeed could end Mr. Trump's presidency.
       This is the graphic Daryl Cagle masterpiece that eerily updates the current most sensational Trump-related dilemma in Washington. It shows President Trump about to stick a 10th dagger into the back of his own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.
       Stupidly, cruelly and famously, Trump began attacking Jeff Sessions first with his primary tool -- Tweets. But he continued the insanity in front of microphones and cameras. Despite a myriad of problems, Trump still has a solid core of about 35% of Americans that support him, warding off his legions of political and media opponents. But that 35% supports Sessions even more than Trump and if Trump fires or forces Sessions to quit as Attorney General, Trump's White House days will probably be numbered. Not only is Sessions, by all accounts, doing a good job as AG, but as a highly respected long-time U. S. Senator, Sessions was the first major American to bravely support Trump's candidacy at a time almost no one gave the billionaire non-politician a chance to be President, and without that backing from Sessions it would not have happened. So, with that backdrop, revisit Daryl Cagle's cartoon of Trump stabbing Sessions in the back repeatedly with dagger-like Tweets and even vocal comments. And then you'll know how tenuous Trump's hold on the presidency is.   


Cuba in Real Time

Depicting Everyday Cubans
       The photo above shows the Cuban flag flying high this week -- July 26, 2017 -- right behind a July 26 flag. Each July 26th since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 Cuba has celebrated that day as its National Day of Rebellion. It refers to July 26 in 1953 when 120 lightly armed rebels, led by a young lawyer named Fidel Castro, mounted an ill-fated attack on Dictator Batista's heavily armed Moncada Army Barracks. It was disaster for the rebels but it marked the start of what turned out to be a popular uprising and revolutionary war that overthrew the U.S.-backed and Mafia-backed Batista dictatorship. Over a half-century later, remarkably, Revolutionary Cuba still survives even though, also remarkably, it has had to withstand constant counter-revolutionary efforts from transplanted Batistianos and Mafiosi in nearby America.
      All across Cuba attentive crowds like this respectfully listened to speakers -- mostly non-government individuals -- touting the Day of Rebellion celebrations.
       This photo taken in Real Time also reflects the rhythms and pulses of today's Cuba. It shows young and talented broadcast journalist Rosy Amaro Perez interviewing a Cuban lady about how she feels about celebrating the National Day of Rebellion on July 26-2017 all these many decades after the 1953 rebellion.
       This photo shows Rosy Amaro Perez back in her television studio while the interviews she had gotten earlier on July 26th were being edited for airtime. Highly educated and well-trained broadcasters like Rosy work for state radio and television outlets and are excellent journalists who fairly report the news on their island. Contrary to what Americans are told, journalist like Rosy are far more inclined to side with everyday Cubans than with the government when disputes or complaints arise. On the other hand, Rosy is typical among the all-important young-adult generation of Cubans who strongly love their island and its hard-earned sovereignty. Thus, like the government itself, Rosy and most of the young-adults in Cuba are quick to sense hints of domestic dissidents supported or encouraged by foreign factions, especially rich and powerful counter-revolutionaries in both Miami and Washington, D. C.
       Despite her ubiquity as a broadcaster and her influence as a leader of Cuba's young-adult generation, Rosy Amaro Perez considers herself an everyday Cuban. She is a happily married wife and mother. The photo above reflects the renowned camaraderie of Cubans, including the well-educated and healthy young-adults who will predicate the island's future. The above meal was prepared by Rosy and her beautiful daughter and shared with two of Rosy's young adult friends. In my opinion, as long as Cubans on the island like Rosy represent the current and future heartbeat of Cuba, the island will survive...come hell or high water... despite Miami extremists.
    Rosy Amaro Perez is emblematic of what makes the island so special, so pugnacious, and so intriguing. In monitoring Rosy to ascertain the rhythms and pulses of today's Cuba, if I detect any hints that her zest for life and for her beloved island is fading, it will, I think, be far more indicative of the Revolution's demise than anything the counter-revolutionaries in Miami and Washington may be up to.
       This photo this week, by the way, is courtesy of Rosy Amaro Perez. It's a nighttime depiction of a safe, peaceful street in beautiful Pinar del Rio on the outskirts of Havana. Note the relatively modern cars parked in front of a popular nightspot.
      Pinar del Rio Province, shown above in redis located southwest of Havana and just an easy ride from the capital city. Astute tourists know all about Pinar del Rio.
This is Pinar del Rio's Vinales Valley.
     Many tourists consider Vinales Valley in Pinar del Rio Province to be one of the planet's most beautiful, unique and enchanting valleys...and for very good reasons.
The best tobacco is grown in Vinales Valley.
         And by the way, the photo of the modern tobacco field in Vinales Valley reminds me of the very historic AP photo and caption depicted above. Yes, "beginning in January of 1960" precisely one year after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, "CIA planes from Florida" began attacking Cuban sugar cane and tobacco fields "with napalm-type bombs." Such gutless undemocratic viciousness showed zero concern for innocent everyday Cubans working those fields and zero concern for the U. S. democracy. Yet, because of a gutless and unpatriotic generation of Americans -- unlike the Greatest Generation that helped win World War II -- various forms of undemocratic viciousness has continued from January of 1960 till July of 2017 against Revolutionary Cuba. Of course, with Batistianos dictating the Cuban narrative in the U. S., Americans are not supposed to judge or study this historic AP photo-caption.
A Vinales Valley waterfall.
Hotel Islazul in Pinar del Rio.
     Americans since 1959 have been relentlessly bombarded with anti-Cuban Revolution propaganda by the likes of Jose Diaz-Balart. He is a powerful counter-revolutionary propagandist and also a high-profile news anchor on the Telemundo, MSNBC, and NBC television networks. His father Rafael was one of the top Ministers in Cuba's Batista dictatorship and then one of the richest and most militant counter-revolutionaries in Florida beginning in 1959. So, to this day Americans are supposed to ignore or mock positive and topical updates on Cubans like Rosy Amaro Perez or Cuban tourist attractions like Vinales Valley in Pinar del Rio while also pretending that historic photos that depict cowardly and terrorist acts against innocents Cubans from U. S. soil in Florida have never happened. But, of course, anything that someone like Jose Diaz-Balart says about Cuba is supposed to be taken as the gospel truth.
     And so...Americans, inundated with anti-Cuban lies from anti-Cuban propagandists, are not supposed to comprehend the propaganda depicted above on national television. On the left is anchor Jose Diaz-Balart interviewing his brother Mario Diaz-Balart. They are the sons of one of the most powerful Ministers in the Batista dictatorship in Cuba and, like their father, they are fiercely rich and powerful counter-revolutionary zealots -- Jose as a high-profile television anchor and Mario as a member of the U. S. Congress from Miami who firmly believes that only counter-revolutionary Cubans like him should dictate America's Cuban policies. So, hey America!! If you missed the above interview by Jose of his brother Mario, you should try to Google it up again so you can get further updated on anti-Cuban propaganda.
       Cuba's top broadcast journalist is anchor Cristina Escobar. On both Cuban and American soil and airways she has stated: "Cuban journalists have more freedom to tell the truth about the U. S. than U. S. journalists have to tell the truth about Cuba." and "Cuba's fate is up to Cubans on the island, not Cubans in Miami and Washington." Unpropagandized and patriotic Americans, I believe, need the freedom and the wherewithal to be able to fairly judge whether Cristina Escobar or Jose Diaz-Balart is more truthful and honorable...not for Cuba's sake but for America's safe.

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