Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Predicted Cuba Siege Begins

It Was An Easy Prediction!
{Updated for: Monday, October 2nd, 2017}
      As expected, the sonic-wave mystery has virtually shut down the U. S. embassy in Havana, hurting Cubans and Americans. Major U. S. news outlets, including ABC News, today -- Monday, October 2nd, 2017 -- are reporting a new angle: "Frightening attacks on U. S. personnel in Havana struck the heart of the American spy network in Cuba with intelligence operatives being the first and most severely affected victims, the Associated press has learned. It wasn't until U. S. spies, posted to the embassy under diplomatic cover...the U. S. earlier had described the 21 sonic-wave victims as diplomats..." Those words from ABC News on Oct. 2nd puts a new wrinkle into the still evolving mystery, but there will be many more nuances in the coming days.
Photo courtesy: Adalberto Roque/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
       As we begin October-2017, we just passed a very sad weekend for Cubans on the island and awakened Monday to the horrendous shooting massacre in Las Vegas. The New York Times used the above photo to illustrate an article written by Ernesto Londono entitled: "Cubans Alarmed at U. S. Embassy Withdrawal and Travel Warning." The article began with these words: "It was grim, unsettling news: the United States warned Americans not to travel to Cuba and ordered the withdrawal of more than half its diplomats in Havana. The announcement...dealt a harsh blow to Cubans who had hoped the nascent normalization of relations with the United States that began in late 2014 would usher in a period of economic growth and greater prosperity." The NY Times article stated: "Groups of Cubans opposed to improved relations -- be it exiles or hard-line Cubans on the island -- could be to blame."

        What the New York Times wrote about on Sept. 29-2017 I had precisely and very easily predicted back on January 20-2017 with an essay on Cubaninsider entitled: "Cuba: Awaiting A Siege." It was posted, as you can research via Google, the day Trump replaced Obama as President of the United States. I knew then, as others should have known, that the Batistiano-controlled Trump would reverse the sane Cuban overtures his very decent predecessor, Obama, had made. Thus, predicting a "siege" on Cuba back on Jan. 20-2017 was easy as pie. That "siege" officially began this first weekend of October-2017 as reported by the worldwide media, including the aforementioned NY Times article.
    The above photo by Nicolas LaChance shows the thriving "La Dandy Restaurant" in Havana. After peaceful overtures from Obama, at age 25 Yaylen Vilches opened "La Dandy" two years ago. It became one of Havana's most popular privately owned restaurants. Its success, Yaylen told Nicolas LaChance, "was a dream come true." But in this weekend's aforementioned NY Times article, the devastated Yaylen was quoted as saying, "They keep throwing up obstacles against us," referring to the actions announced Friday-Sept. 29th by the U. S. government.
   The photo above by Emily Michot for the Miami Herald shows Americans leaving the U. S. Embassy in Havana this week -- Friday, Sept. 29th, 2017. The Miami Herald article written by Nora Gamez Torres lavishly quoted Miami members of the United States Congress -- counter-revolutionaries Marco Rubio and Carlos Curbelo -- ranting that the United States should "do more" against Cuba. Of course, "doing more" according to Rubio, Curbelo, and the Miami Herald might entail nuking Cuba.

      My "siege" prediction back on Jan. 20-2017 was predicated by past U.S.-Cuban history, including the photo-caption above. It shows a very scared President Clinton staring up at powerful counter-revolutionary Cuban-American U. S. Senator Robert Menendez. It was the day in 1996 when the reluctant but scared Clinton was forced to sign the cruel Helms-Burton Act into law, a Batistiano-directed act written by high-priced lawyers working at the behest of the all-time richest and most-powerful counter-revolutionary Cuban, Jorge Mas Canosa. The Helms-Burton Act, which can only be altered by Congress, to this day codifies the most stringent punishments of Cubans on the island while also enriching and empowering a handful of the most strident counter-revolutionaries in Miami and in the U. S. Congress. Americans who disagree with that assessment are cowards and enablers who have permitted such miscreants to dictate a Cuban policy...epitomized by Helms-Burton...that currently gets the U. S. condemned by a 191-to-0 unanimity in the United Nations. Helms-Burton evolved in 1996 when counter-revolutionary Cubans were alarmed with the knowledge that President Clinton intended to normalize relations with Cuba. Brothers to the Rescue planes, directed by one of Miami's most ardent counter-revolutionaries, began to torment Cuban airspace, even over Havana. After unheeded warnings to the US and the UN, Cuba shot down two of those planes either in or near its territorial waters. The provocational/shoot-down forced Clinton to end his plans to normalize relations with Cuba and go in the opposite direction -- signing Helms-Burton. The scared and unhappy Clinton soulfully glancing up at entrenched Cuban-American U. S. Senator Robert Menendez in 1996 eerily has a nexus to today because Menendez is currently facing corruption and bribery federal charges related to his close ties to a multi-millionaire in Miami.

     Although the U. S. Congress consists of 535 members, the counter-revolutionary Cubans since 1959 have had no trouble getting the necessary few Congressmen -- such as Jesse Helms and Dan Burton -- to pass their self-serving legislation, such as the Helms-Burton Act that the rest of the world, by a 191-to-0 vote, condemns. Of course, like President Clinton in 1996, most Americans are too afraid to condemn it.

       Thus, the Helms-Burton saga in 1996 made it easy for me to predict back on January 20th, 2017, that a "siege" of Cuba was imminent. That "siege" started this first weekend of October-2017. The convenient provocation this time didn't involve Brothers to the Rescue planes. Instead it involves an equally convenient and very mysterious episode of U. S. diplomats in Havana being attacked by some sort of sonic waves that cause debilitating physical problems, such as loss of hearing.

      While counter-revolutionary zealots in the U. S. blame the Cuban government for the sonic-wave attacks against U. S. diplomats in Havana, not even the Trump administration -- after months of intense Cuba-assisted U. S. investigations in Havana -- blames Cuba. Not even Bush-connected anti-Cuba stalwarts like Michael Palmly blame the Cuban government, and Palmly is an expert on that subject. He was President Bush's anti-Cuban boss at the U. S. Interests Section in Havana from 2005 till 2008. Palmly knows the Cuban government is not so stupid as to purposely try to end the revolutionary rule of the island. Cuba has begged the U. S. FBI and CIA and even the Canadian government to help Cuba find the sonic-wave culprits. Palmly believes the perpetrator may be a single rogue Cuban on the island who opposes peaceful U.S.-Cuban relations. Palmly says, "There is a struggle for the soul of the Cuban Revolution. It's entirely possible there are rogue elements." He meant either Cubans on the island or Cubans, say, in Miami. The London-based BBC, which has excellent reporters on the island, seems to agree with Palmly. The BBC this week featured sonic-wave experts that explained how easy it would be for one rogue person to Google and then purchase an apparatus that he or she could use to inflict such damage at the U. S. embassy or in Cuban hotels or homes.
      To understand the Helms-Burton Act and terrorist-provoked actions by CIA-connected Cuban-exiles determined to overthrow the Cuban Revolution, Americans need to read the great author Ann Louise Bardach's classics such as "Without Fidel." Her website references her brilliant books, essays and articles. On July 12th, 1998, her article in the New York Times quoted Luis Posada Carriles, the all-time most famous Cuban-exile/CIA-connected terrorist, explaining why he bombed a hotel in Havana, which killed an Italian tourist. It was to deter tourism to Revolutionary Cuba.
     To this day, very proud of decades of deadly terrorism against Cuba, Luis Posada Carriles remains a heralded citizen of Miami. He was on the CIA payroll for years and presumably has a nice pension. At one time in that 1998 Ann Louise Bardach interview in the NY Times, Posada mentioned his role in the 1976 bombing of Cubana Flight 455 and even mentioned, in addition to the U. S. government, he was paid by the Bush-anointed richest and most powerful Cuban-exile Jorge Mas Canosa. But later Posada recanted those last two involvements but he has never recanted such things as his "collateral damage" from hotel bombings, etc., etc. 

        Cuba's top U. S. expert, veteran diplomat Josefina Vidal, told the NY Times in this weekend's scintillating article that the U. S. is unfairly punishing Cuba for the sonic attacks Cuba is trying to solve. She said, "It's a hasty decision that will affect the bilateral relations, specifically the cooperation in matters of mutual interest."

      It was Josefina Vidal who brilliantly represented Cuba in the touchy negotiations with the Obama administration that produced peaceful results in U.S.-Cuban relations that counter-revolutionaries, not surprisingly, are determined to scuttle. She told the NY Times this weekend, "Cuba, as the U. S. knows, was committed deeply to working with the top U. S. and Canadian experts to determine the cause of the terrible symptoms experienced by the American and Canadian diplomats." Clearly, Vidal believes that no one...except extremist counter-revolutionaries...could possibly maintain that Cuba's revolutionary government would try to sabotage its own government with "such asinine and cruel stupidity."

      But in 2017, with the Trump administration having replaced the Obama presidency, America's CUBA POLICY is largely in the hands of the U. S. counter-revolutionary U. S. Senator from Miami, Marco Rubio. That today is as dangerous to Cuba and to the U. S. democracy as 1996 was when America's CUBA POLICY scared President Clinton because it was then being dictated by counter-revolutionary Helms-Burton-orchestrator Jorge Mas Canosa. Today Rubio, falsely projected as a choirboy by the U. S. media, claims that punishing 11.2 million totally innocent Cubans on the island is necessary to punish "the Castros." Like President Clinton in 1996, most Americans today are too afraid to challenge Rubio and even too afraid to wonder why only counter-revolutionaries like Rubio keep getting elected from Miami to the U. S. Congress when the vast majority of Cuban-Americans even in Miami favor normal relations with Cuba. But Congressmen like Mr. Rubio primarily represent themselves, not the majority of people/Cuban-Americans in Miami. 

     Meanwhile, because of a handful of rich and powerful Cuban-Americans like Rubio, totally innocent Cubans every day of their entire lives are severely punished in the name of the United States of America. I'm speaking of Cubans like the ones shown above who recently endured hurricane ravaged streets in their capital city. All their lives, like their parents before them, they suffer, not just from natural calamities, but mostly from self-serving counter-revolutionaries hiding behind the might of superpower America because two generations of Americans have not had the guts or decency to challenge politicians such as Rubio, Helms, Burton, etc.

      Instead of hurting "the Castros," this is the type Cuban that Rubio hurts. Her name is Julia de la Rosa. Thanks to the decent overtures by President Obama, Julia created a thriving 10-room Bed & Breadfast business that includes a pool and a stunning view of Havana. She was scared when Trump {Rubio} replaced Obama and those fears surfaced for Julia this weekend as she told the NY Times and as she tearfully told Andrea Mitchell of NBC News a couple of months ago. She told the NY Times this weekend, "Preventing two countries that are so close to engage culturally is a crime. This doesn't just hurt us; they are hurting people in both countries." Of course, Americans are not supposed to pay attention to Julia's tears because they are required to support Rubio's vengeance against "the Castros."

        Thousands of private Cuban entrepreneurs thrived thanks to President Obama and the drastic changes Cuba made to accommodate Obama's wishes. But when Trump became the U. S. President, worried entrepreneurs composed a letter...the letter being displayed above...and took it to Washington. The letter, plus their statements, begged President Trump to "let us keep making livings for our families." But Republican President Trump, like Democratic President Clinton in 1996, is afraid of counter-revolutionaries like Rubio. So the sweet letter was doomed.

        A Cuban that understands Cuba is Harold Cardenas who authors the popular "La Joven Cuba" blog. He agrees with the popular opinion that some rogue, not the Cuban government, is behind the sonic-wave attacks on the diplomats in Cuba. This weekend's NY Times article used this exact quote from Harold Cardenas: "In Cuba there is a sector that considers improved relations with the United States a betrayal."

      And so, Cubans on the island are very sad this weekend, including Cristina Escobar. She is Cuba's superstar broadcast journalist and an influential leader of the all-important young-adult generation of Cubans. In Cuba and on U. S. soil she has made these two firm statements: "Cuba's fate is up to Cubans on the island" and "Cuban journalists have more freedom to tell the truth about the U. S. than U. S. journalists have to tell the truth about Cuba." So, she doesn't just blame counter-revolutionaries like Menendez and Rubio. She blames the U. S. media for lying about Cuba and about the likes of Menendez and Rubio. But most of all, she blames the American people for letting rogues dictate Cuban policies.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Why Cuba's Revolution Survives

Against ALL Odds!!!
{Updated: Friday, September 29th, 2017} 
     It is my belief that democracy-loving Americans should take time to study the photo depicted above, for this reason: Since January of 1959, when the Cuban Revolution defeated the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship, Americans have been lied to regarding why there was a revolution in Cuba in the first place and about why the world's greatest democracy allowed the leading remnants of the overthrown regime in Cuba to quickly re-establish their dictatorship on U. S. soil with undeserved and mostly unchecked dictation of America's Cuban policy from 1959 till today. In that milieu, Americans -- with the Batistiano-Mafiosi control of the Cuban narrative in the U. S. -- are shocked that Revolutionary Cuba has survived, against all odds, for all these decades. The photo above, I believe, explains why. From 1952, when the revolution started, till today there have been enough young-adult Cubans strongly supporting the Revolution and Revolutionary Cuba to counter the ultra-powerful counter-revolutionaries hiding behind the skirts of the nearby World Superpower. Representative of today's young-adult Cubans on the island who firmly support the Revolution, this photo defines why Revolutionary Cuba still exists. Their names, clockwise left-to-right, are: Rosy Amaro Perez, Jessica Blanco Sotolong, Barbara Caridad Farinas Rodriguez, Reynaldo Rodriguez Castillo, Yaritza Hernandez, Ramadan Arcos, and {standing} Yanet Perez Moya. Americans don't need to remember all those names but, just for America's sake, they should remember this photo.
     A brilliant and influential broadcast journalist, Rosy Amaro Perez epitomizes why young-adult Cubans can counter a second generation of vicious counter-revolutionaries in the U. S. -- such as Miami's U. S. Senator Marco Rubio who, as far as Cuba is concerned, is today President Trump's unchecked Commander-in-Chief. Back on April 16th, President Trump -- at the behest of Rubio -- went to Little Havana in Miami and sanctimoniously vilified Cuba in a cowardly speech that was televised live in the U. S. and in Cuba. Within minutes Rosy Amaro Perez had posted these words on her Facebook Page: "The Cuba that President Trump described is not the Cuba that I know. And I have lived here all my life." She is extremely smart, well educated, and firmly focused. As her quotation indicates, she resents a half-century of unchecked, propagandized lies about her Cuba that Americans have been saturated with since 1959. Rosy Amaro Perez today is a reminder of the long-ago words that Cuba's greatest revolutionary heroine, Celia Sanchez, used to described the Batistianos-Mafiosi that she had chased off the island...all the way to it turned out.
     Americans today, for reasons already stated, are not supposed to know about Celia Sanchez because the machismo U. S. counter-revolutionaries can't vilify the child-loving doctor's daughter so they had rather Americans not know about her historical importance. But those who believed she was the most vital cog in the Cuban Revolution included...Fidel Castro. And today the three top still-living Revolutionary experts in Cuba -- Marta Rojas, Roberto Salas, and Pedro Alvarez Tabio -- agree with Fidel regarding the significance of Celia Sanchez. Fittingly, her two historic quotations best define the Cuban Revolution and the counter-revolution in the United States: {1} "The Batistianos will never regain control of Cuba as long as I live or as long as Fidel lives." {Celia died of cancer at age 59 in Jan.-1980 and Fidel died of old age at 90 in Nov.-2016}. And {2} "We rebels get far too much credit for winning the revolution. Our enemies deserve most of the credit for being greedy cowards and idiots."
      And, yes, Celia Sanchez quotes that define the Cuban Revolution are registered in history by THE WOMAN PROJECT.ORG and other respected and brave organizations.
    Posters like the one above became ubiquitous in Cuba because Fidel Castro believed the two most important figures in the Cuban Revolution were Frank Pais and Celia Sanchez. Why? Because Frank and Celia started the revolution and devoted their lives to defending it. Batista put his two largest bounties on their precious heads. Because the bounty on Celia was never collected, the Revolution survived and triumphed. Cuba's top historian, Pedro Alvarez Tabio, correctly engraved that fact with these words: "If Batista had managed to kill Celia Sanchez anytime between 1953 and 1957 there would have been no viable Cuban Revolution, and no revolution for Fidel and Che to join." But the bounty on Frank was collected. He was captured at age 23 and brutally murdered, as was his 17-year-old brother Jesus.
     But the murder of Frank Pais back-fired on Batista's dictatorship and tremendously aided Celia Sanchez's all-important recruitment of vital rebels and supplies. As shown above, the hearse carrying the body of Frank Pais through the streets of Santiago de Cuba was bravely followed by thousands of Cubans who displayed their hatred of Batista and their renewed support for Celia Sanchez's "still viable" Cuban Revolution.
      But this is not to diminish the role in the Cuban Revolution played by its most famous player: Comandante Fidel Castro who is depicted above by Yet, perhaps Fidel's most significant contribution was his everlasting support of his soulmate, Celia Sanchez. In fact, after she died of cancer on Jan. 11-1980, in 2005 Marta Rojas, the greatest living expert on the Revolution and Revolutionary Cuba, told me: "Since Celia Sanchez died of cancer in 1980, Fidel has continued to rule Cuba only precisely as he believes Celia would want him to rule it."
      And of interest to some, reminds us that the Fidel Castro legacy should also register the fact that he was a "Great Lover" of women. The number is somewhat of a secret but he fathered at least 12 children, 9 boys and three girls.
     Yet, the one person that Fidel Castro worshiped was his eternal soulmate, Celia Sanchez. To not understand that fact, I believe, is to not understand Cuba today.
     An historian named Helen Yaffe understands both the Cuban Revolution and the Celia-Fidel nexus. Ms. Yaffe created the photo-montage shown above. It purposely shows Celia Sanchez standing much taller than Fidel Castro. It thus agrees with Fidel that the petite, 99-pound doctor's daughter stood above him and everyone else when it came to the most important players in the ongoing Cuban Revolution.
     The look back at history brings us around to today's reality as depicted above. The Miami Herald photo shows five fiercely powerful counter-revolutionaries in Miami attending a news conference promoting Miami's contribution to the U. S. Senate, MARCO RUBIO, as the next President of the United States. That eventuality, they apparently believe, would instantly AND FINALLY end the Cuban Revolution.
      During the very contentious 2016 presidential campaign, longshot Donald Trump and Miami's United States Senator Marco Rubio unmercifully mocked and vilified each other, till Trump eliminated Rubio and 15 other Republican candidates.
       But that mocking photo was then and the photo above is now. It shows Rubio sucking up to President Trump. Even before Rubio resumes his own presidential bid, he believes he can persuade President Trump to finally put an end to the Cuban Revolution. Since 1959 counter-revolutionaries from Miami are accustomed to saying anything about Cuba and assuming the American people must accept it. Rubio made it all to the way to the Senate from Miami claiming his parents escaped the tyranny of Castro's Cuba for the freedom of Miami. THEN it was pointed out that Rubio's parents actually escaped the tyranny of Batista's Cuba long before Americans ever heard of Fidel Castro. But U. S. lies about Cuba are still standard fare. In Cuba, to counter counter-revolutionaries like Rubio, the truth is a major weapon used by the all-important young-adult generation of pro-revolutionary Cubans.
       For example, very boldly on Cuban soil and U. S. soil, Cuba's brilliant young broadcast journalist, Cristina Escobar, has 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."
          And remember Rosy Amaro Perez? Don't forget her. She's another young, brilliant, and influential Cuban broadcast journalist. After watching the live broadcast of President Trump's vilification of Cuba while surrounded by the counter-revolutionary choir in Miami on April 16th, Rosy Amaro Perez posted this significant comment on her Facebook page: "The Cuba that President Trump described is not the Cuba I know. And I've lived here all my life." Shortly after posting those words on Facebook, there was this reply from Cristina Escobar: "May I quote you?"
         I think Americans, to be honest with themselves and true to democracy, should not just know the distorted quotations about Cuba, such as Rubio's, but also should get acquainted with the quotes from historic Cuban women like Celia Sanchez as well as modern Cuban women like, yes, Cristina Escobar and Rosy Amaro Perez.
And by the way:
       Study this photo. The three young-adult Cubans are Yesika Garcia, Yodani Maso Aguila, and Rosy Amaro Perez. The photo taken today illustrates why the Cuban Revolution has survived...against all odds. The latest leader of the counter-revolutionaries, Mr. Rubio, has a few advantages, such as...the U. S. military, the U. S. economy, the U. S. Congress, the U. S. CIA, and...perhaps most significantly...the apathy of the American people. But he still might not finish off Cuba's revolution.
And this photo might explain why that is so.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cuban-Puerto Rican Parallels

And One Glaring Difference!!
      The islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico are both stalwarts in the Caribbean Sea. But they have more than geography in common. After the Spanish American War in 1898, both Cuba and Puerto Rico came under the domination of the United States. And in this last week of Sept.-2017, both Cuba and Puerto Rico are still reeling and trying desperately to recover from the massive devastation left behind by Hurricane Irma.
      But beyond the similarities, Cuba and Puerto Rico are vastly different, as the above map illustrates. After the Spanish American War in 1898 Puerto Rico became a U. S. Territory, which it remains today. Cuba, on the other hand, treasured independence and sovereignty. It had fought two bloody but losing wars trying desperately to wrest itself from the yoke of Spain's imperialist empire. With Cuba the main prize, the U. S. followed up those two wars by easily defeating a weakened and over-extended Spain in 1898. No Cuban was on hand when the Treaty of Paris put Cuba under the U. S. boot, still without independence and sovereignty. The U. S. Platt Amendment quickly solidified that situation, resulting in "legal" U. S. troops controlling the island and even "in perpetuity" the occupation of plush Cuban land and waters to create a massive U. S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. Cuba then bided its time as a playpen and piggy bank for rich Americans till 1952 when right-wingers in the Eisenhower administration sicced the Mafia on Cuba in support of the brutal and thieving but U.S.-friendly Batista dictatorship. That quickly spawned a revolution that -- on the first day of January in 1959 -- shocked the world by defeating the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship. But within weeks the Batistiano-Mafiosi leaders had resurrected their dictatorship on U. S. soil, establishing Little Havana in Miami as their new capital. If the 1959 revolutionary triumph shocked the world, an even bigger shock has been the startling longevity of Revolutionary Cuba extending to this very day -- September 27th-2017 -- despite the massive and continuous daily efforts of the Batistianos, Mafiosi, and the U. S. government to overthrow the Cuban Revolution.
      In recent weeks the whole world has witnessed video proof of Hurricane Irma's deadly path of destruction that rampaged through the very vulnerable Caribbean Islands, including the sovereign nation of Cuba and the U. S. Territory of Puerto Rico.
       While some smaller islands in the eastern Caribbean were almost totally destroyed by Hurricane Irma, both Puerto Rico and Cuba suffered devastation that will take many months to heal...and total recoveries may never be possible. In fact, many of the 3.4 million Puerto Ricans -- all of whom are U. S. citizens -- are anxious to vacate their nation as a lost cause and permanently join millions of other Puerto Ricans in South Florida or New York. Puerto Rico, despite being a U. S Territory, was already bankrupt and unable to pay billions of dollars it owed to Wall Street banks and Hedge Fund billionaires. But Hurricane Irma also pointed out the tremendous advantages Puerto Rico has over Cuba. The Superpower U. S. government and military is obligated to come to Puerto Rico's aid; President Trump will visit Puerto Rico next week. Meanwhile, the U. S. government -- and specifically its embargo of Cuba that has been in effect since 1962 -- leaves Cuba pretty much fending for itself, with U. S. pressure even dissuading other nations from aiding Cuba because of the world's Superpower supporting the cruel, revengeful, and greedy appetites of a few hard-line Cuban-Americans. Instead of being targeted by a crippling embargo, Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Irma is being helped by the U. S. government and countless other sources, including multi-millionaire Puerto Ricans in America. Carlos Beltran, the Houston Astros baseball player, himself is sending two plane-loads of supplies to Puerto Rico. Rich celebrities Jennifer Lopez, her ex-husband Marc Anthony, and her current boyfriend Alex Rodriguez are arranging for millions-of-dollars of Puerto Rican aid. No such luck for Cuba although a plethora of Cuban baseball players are making up to $30 million-a-year in the U. S. Major Leagues.
      Hurricane Irma caused ten deaths in Cuba and destroyed thousands of homes and severely damaged thousands more. The photo above, taken for the Associated Press by Ramon Espinosa, shows a teenage Cuban on a street in Havana after he rescued the little girl and then took her to safety on a floating block of styrofoam.
      These Cubans, severely punished all their lives by the embargo and other U. S. cruelties, are punished all the more when calamities like Hurricane Irma pummel the island. The embargo shames America in the eyes of the world but its democracy also surprises the world by being unable or unwilling to correct it.
      So, the island nations of Puerto Rico and Cuba have much in common -- including the Spanish-American War of 1898, which was fought entirely on Cuban soil but had an outcome that put both islands under the vast umbrella of the nearby United States. Puerto Rico emerged meekly as a U. S. Territory that now has 3.4 U. S. citizens who are receiving massive support from the U. S. but desires and expects more after the devastation of Hurricane Irma. Cuba emerged pugnaciously in 1959, via an historic revolution, as a sovereign nation but one still coveted and still targeted by the rich, powerful, and revengeful revolutionary losers. Thus, today's vastly dissimilar recoveries from the ravages of Hurricane Irma reflect many historical and topical nuances, including the difference between being a U. S. Territory supported by America and a sovereign nation targeted by America. When you toss in the caveat of America being the world's economic and military superpower, you can comprehend the difference between the U. S. Territory and the very sovereign nation of Cuba.
      The Spanish-American War drastically reshaped and redefined the Caribbean islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico as well as the world's image of the United States.
But not as much as the Cuban Revolution:
The Revolutionary impact has exceeded the War.
And by the way:
      The photo above shows Collin Laverty, one of America's top experts on U.S.-Cuba relations, giving an updated report yesterday -- Sept. 26th, 2017 -- on Cuba's ongoing recovery from Hurricane Irma. Shown against a backdrop of the famed Hotel Nacional, he said, "Cuba took a real pounding from Hurricane Irma...but now, however, most areas of the capital and the other key cities that are frequented by foreign travelers are ready to receive visitors. Places open for business include Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Venales, and the cities of Camaguey and Holguin."

Monday, September 25, 2017

The U.S.-Cuban Tango

And Why It Matters!!
{Updated: Tuesday, September 26th, 2017}
       Relations between the United States and Cuba have been significant to the entire world almost as far back as 1492, and that was the year Columbus discovered both nations. That's a truly amazing fact, especially in modern times, because the U. S. is the world's economic and military superpower while Cuba is merely a nearby island in the Caribbean. But that conclusion is a fact nevertheless because the superpower since the 18th century has lavishly and often salaciously coveted the lush island.
      But incredibly, the unending David vs. Goliath tug-of-war between little Cuba and mighty America has, through the centuries, been an incredibly even tussle.
      Especially since 1959, the seminal year the Cuban Revolution shocked the entire world by becoming the first nation to overthrow a U.S.-backed dictatorship, the U.S.-Cuban Tango has had world-wide repercussions...starting with the realization that if little Cuba could shed a brutally corrupt U.S.-backed dictatorship, perhaps so could they. That unique fact became even more indelible in far-flung places like Africa and Iran but, more pointedly, throughout Latin America when little Cuba's reputation permeated and even dominated nations like Nicaragua, Chile, and Brazil. The AFP graphic above is highly important because it chronicles the U.S.-Cuban Tango from 1959 till today with little Cuba, amazingly, still a sovereign nation although the overthrown Batista-Mafia dictatorship in Cuba from 1959 till today has been retrenched in the U. S. fervently trying to use the readily available economic and military might of the United States to recapture the island. Since 1959, as the above graphic indicates, Barack Obama has been the only U. S. President with the guts and patriotism to seriously challenge the Batistiano-Mafiosi dictation of America's Cuban policies...and, when he was President, Obama not only visited the island to show respect for the targeted Cuban people but he also inflamed the dangerously biased Batistiano-Mafiosi leaders when he had friendly telephone and face-to-face talks with Cuban President Raul Castro, promising Cubans they did not need "to fear" America.   
     In that milieu, President Barack Obama defied the Batistiano-controlled U. S. Congress by bravely using Executive Powers from 2014 through 2016 to alter, change or end grossly undemocratic anti-Cuban laws mandated by Congress for decades. Obama reopened embassies in Havana and Washington for the first time since 1961; he eased the restriction whereby Americans had long been the only people in the world without the freedom to visit Cuba; he allowed U. S. businesses to do commerce with Cuba; he allowed U. S. travelers to Cuba to return with some Cuban products, including cigars and rum; and he ended some U. S. laws, such as the infamous Wet Foot/Dry Foot boondoggle, that grossly discriminated against everyone else while being designed to enrich and empower selected Cubans in the United States.
     America's Cuban policies have been selfishly dictated since 1959 by typical Mafiosi tactics -- such as terrorist hotel, airplane and car bombings that, for example, killed an Italian tourist that dared to visit Revolutionary Cuba; blew a child-laden Cuban civilian airplane into the ocean, murdering all on board; and silenced the top Cuban-American newsman in Miami after he had openly objected to such unchecked terrorism. While such things also to this day have kept the mainstream U. S. media from criticizing such terrorism, the brave President Obama, as the Steve Sack-Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial Cartoon above aptly describes, looked aghast at the age-old half-century of mayhem in the name of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!
    And that brief capsule of U.S.-Cuban relations brings us around to today's U.S.-Cuban Tango that features such things as CNN vs. Donald Trump. Yes, the Obama presidency by law could only last two terms covering 8 years. Obama was a decent, patriotic and brave President, a Democrat in a two-party system. It so happens that Obama was replaced by a Republican President, Donald Trump. It is universally agreed that the 70-year-old Trump, a multi-billionaire businessman and reality TV star, was not qualified to be President of the United States. Yet, enough Americans were so tired of what they considered an entrenched, bought-and-paid-for political establishment in Washington that they voted for Trump-the outsider non-politician as opposed to the only other choice, the Democrat's long-established and openly perceived bought-and-paid for candidate Mrs. Clinton, whose husband had been perceived as, among other things, bought-and-paid-for for two previous presidential terms. And so, with the unqualified President Trump in the White House, CNN and the rest of the left-wing U. S. media, instead of blaming themselves for making Trump the President and instead of waiting till the 2020 election to unseat him via the election process, have mounted an undisguised and relentless media coup to overturn the 2016 election of Trump. That conspiratorial coup also includes multi-billionaire giants such as MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, the New York Times and the Washington Post. In other words, it might succeed. In the meantime those media giants 24-hours a day -- in print, online and on the air -- use undisguised propaganda to paint Trump as, among other things, the meanest American in history and the biggest single threat to America, Democracy, and the entire World. I too oppose Trump but unlike his media enemies I respect America, Democracy, and the Office of President. Therefore, while Trump might well be the biggest current threat to Cuba,  I don't think Trump is the biggest threat to America, Democracy, and the World. I think Jeff Zucker is.
       For example, as of Monday, Sept. 25th, 2017, President Trump is losing a battle against the NFL, the pro football league worth many more billions than Trump is and more powerful than the U. S. government is. This is because Jeff Zucker and the other left-wing extremists who control the mainstream U. S. media are proving what a fantastic propaganda machine the media has become. If any of the first 44 U. S. presidents -- from Washington through Obama -- had criticized anyone or any entity for defaming or disrespecting the U. S. flag or the U. S. national anthem, both the U. S. media and the U. S. public would have applauded that President. But not today and not Donald Trump.
         Wealthy pro football players began kneeling during the playing of the United States national anthem showing utter disrespect for the country that make them rich and famous. It has now -- even at an NFL game played in London on September 24th-2017 -- become a nationwide politically correct phenomenon loudly spurred on by the mainstream media, especially when it's a firestorm denouncing President Trump.
           A sports anchor on ESPN, taking full advantage of her politically correct status, made widely heralded non-sports headlines by proclaiming Trump a "white racist," implying -- again socially and politically correctly -- that only white men are racist.
          A soon-to-be NBA billionaire who was born rich in the USA {because his dad was an NBA star} gets plaudits from the media for disrespecting President Donald Trump, the office of President, and the U. S. capitalist democracy that made him, from birth, super rich. Prior to unrelenting media-saturated propaganda orchestrated and promulgated by left-wing extremists like Jeff Zucker, disrespecting the flag, the national anthem and the office of President would surely not have been in vogue.
         In 2017, the first year of his presidency, Time Magazine named Trump its Person of the Year. But Time, like Jeff Zucker's CNN, is owned by the ultra-liberal Time-Warner. Being a liberal, I get Time delivered to my home each week. But, like Zucker's CNN, Time is an integral part of the media conspiracy to now oust Trump, which I believe should be left to democracy. The Time I received today -- dated "October 2, 2017" -- as always is strewn with anti-Trump and left-wing extremist articles. For example, on Page 21 a major article written by Belinda Luscombe has a large photo of a 45-year-old black woman. In bold lettering the sub-title is: "The University-bound Mother Who Killed Her Child Deserves Forgiveness." The mother had killed her 4-year-old son; she got out of prison two days before she began her quest for a Ph.D at New York University. It seems that "folks at Harvard" and other extreme left-wing entities had smoothed many paths for her. Any white mother who had beaten her 4-year-old son to death and buried him "in the woods" would not have been treated that way. But because such racism is now routine, extremists making up for gross pass injustices to one race by grossly discriminating against another the Time-Warner empire that includes Jeff Zucker is doing...may well be paving the way in the USA for a second Civil War or a second Revolution.
      In glorious years past, Donald Trump and Jeff Zucker were bosom buddies in the rarefied atmosphere of the rich, the famous, and the ultra-powerful in America.
      But it so happens that Donald Trump became President of the United States and Jeff Zucker became President of CNN with total say-so regarding CNN's news coverage and news personnel. Zucker is now the leader of the vast media conspiracy-coup designed to dethrone Trump long before his first four-year term is completed. While such a coup would probably help the Trump-targeted island of Cuba, I think it would have disastrous effects on America, Democracy, and the World. Therefore, without reservations and bowing to the enormity and ubiquity of the mainstream media as a propaganda force, I think at the moment Jeff Zucker, not Donald Trump, is the biggest threat to America, Democracy and the World.

       Even ultra-liberal and left-wing Harvard University, as with the graphic above, admits that the ultra-biased coverage by the mainstream United States media of the Trump presidency is grossly out-of-whack. The Harvard survey above indicates only the right-wing Fox Network has balanced coverage of Trump. In any such survey, even from extreme liberals, CNN would be the most biased or just tied with NBC.
      With NBC anchors like Rachel Maddow, that network is even more laughable than CNN, which indeed in its international coverage still has actual journalists. Maddow has the prime night-time hour on MSNBC and for well over a year she doesn't even pretend to cover the news. All she does, clearly with management's approval, is rant anti-Trump propaganda. and Maddow is clearly the smartest and most talented of all the NBC-MSNBC anchors, making anchors like the Mika-Joe "Morning Joe" duo resemble anti-Trump clowns as opposed to being broadcast journalists. Maddow, for all her talent, had miserable ratings until recently reaching up to 4 million regular viewers who are obviously all aboard the anti-Trump caravan or clown-show.
     As the highest profile anti-Trump anchor on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow also feels free to mock journalism, America and Democracy by using social media, as shown above, to even call for what appears to be the assassination of President Trump.
      The brilliant 2017 Editorial Cartoon in the Augusta Chronicle shown above flashed around the world because it accurately portrayed the extreme depths to which broadcast journalism in the United States has sunk. Note that Rachel Maddow on MSNBC's prime-time "news" program is blaring out and shamefully propagandizing about President Trump. Instead of covering news, even news involving the Most Powerful Man in the World, Maddow is depicted disrespecting America, journalism and her audience by raving about alleged Trump peccadilloes from long ago, including "Trump's overdue library books" and a classic Maddow "exclusive" about "Trump leaves his toilet seat up." THIS WOULD ALL BE LAUGHABLE EXCEPT FOR ONE THING: It reflects the depths to which broadcast journalism in America has sunk and in the modern age broadcast journalism can be an awesome propaganda tool. That combination is dangerous.
      Here's an actual photo, not an Editorial Cartoon. It shows Cuba's top Broadcast Journalist anchoring a news program on the island. Her name: Cristina Escobar. She is perhaps the most talented broadcast journalist in the Americas, which includes America and North America. She is bilingual, highly intelligent, and well educated. She is also an expert on U.S.-Cuban relations; her college thesis eerily predicted how U. S. president Obama would impact Cuba. AND she has famously and emphatically 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." I understand that Americans are programmed to dismiss that assertion just because it came from a Cuban on the island. But she firmly believes it and she has had the courage to state it in the U. S. capital of Washington, at two university speaking engagements in Alabama, and at a journalism seminar in California. In other words, she means Cuba or the U. S.
      As an anchor or as a panelist, Cristina Escobar's sheer independence puts her a notch or two above America's one-trick-ponies such as...Rachel, Mika, Poppy, etc.
     And as shown above, Cristina Escobar has made history on U. S. soil. She is the only Cuban journalist that has ever been allowed to ask questions at a White House News Conference. And in flawless English, she asked six excellent questions.
      The photo above was taken from a video interview of Cristina Escobar in Havana conducted by respected U. S. journalist Tracey Eaton. The video is available for viewing on YouTube and the Pulitzer website. Her most quoted comment in this video is: "Cuba's fate is up to Cubans on the island." The significance of that quote is two-fold: {1} She is a highly respected leader of the young-adult generation in Cuba that is determined to predicate the island's future; and {2} she has no intention of leaving the island...even for lucrative broadcast offers from both Miami and New York City.
And so:
USA's face of journalism.
Cuba's face of journalism.
They epitomize the U.S.-Cuban Tango.

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