The Amazing 2017 Cold War Enemies!!
At the age of 87, legendary Cuban Armando Hart has died in Havana. From 1952, the year he graduated from the University of Havana Law School and the fateful year the Batista-Mafia dictatorship began its rule of Cuba, till this year Mr. Hart was vital to the Cuban Revolution and to Revolutionary Cuba. In 1952 he teamed with other rebel legends -- Fidel Castro, Celia Sanchez, Frank Pais, etc. -- to resist Batista and then to create the underground that spawned the Revolution. In Revolutionary Cuba beginning in 1959 Armando Hart was the Education Minister and Armando quickly organized 200,000 volunteers to go out across the island to educate Cuban children and adults that were illiterate because of total neglect from the Batista dictatorship. Throughout the rest of his life, Armando Hart remained a fierce supporter of the Cuban Revolution. The 2017 AP photo above shows Armando Hart in the center with Cuba's next President, Miguel Diaz-Canel, sitting to his right...a reminder that age is catching up to the remaining revolutionary legends and the dawn of a new leadership is imminent. But the legacies of the deceased legends -- Fidel Castro, Celia Sanchez, Che Guevara, Haydee Santamaria, now Armando Hart, etc. -- remain a necessary strength of today's Cuba as it prepares for an unsettled future.
Mr. Hart's Literary Brigade.
A Volunteer teaching a mother.
A Volunteer teaching a mother & father.
From the early days of the Batista dictatorship in 1952...and till the day he died on November 26, 2017...Armando Hart denounced the atrocities of the Batista dictatorship, the Mafia, and foreign imperialism of the United States of America.
As the above photo and caption reveals, Armando Hart was among the four University of Havana students on April 6th-1952 who carried a coffin with the Cuban constitution inside, symbolizing the tragedy brought to the island by the Batista-Mafia dictatorship. Fortunately, Armando was among the brave young Cubans who survived the death squads that Batista sent after them before he closed the University.
But most of the main anti-Batista student leaders at the University of Havana, such as Jose Echevarria shown above, were murdered by Batista's death squads.
The death of Armando Hart at age 87 revives memories of his legendary wife Haydee Santamaria. That's Haydee in the front followed by Celia Sanchez when they were fiercely determined guerrilla fighters and leaders in the Sierra Maestra. From the start to the finish, these two women factored into every key aspect of the war as fighters and recruiters. Without them, victory would likely not have happened.
Never-ever did Fidel Castro minimize the larger-than-life roles Celia and Haydee as well as Haydee's husband Armando Hart played in the historic Cuban Revolution.
This Ida Kar photo from the early 1960s in Revolutionary Cuba shows Haydee Santamaria getting a kiss from son Abel while Haydee's left arm cradles daughter Celia, who was named for Haydee's beloved soulmate Celia Sanchez.
Throughout her adult life Celia Hart Santamaria fiercely supported Revolutinary Cuba and was also a notable writer and author. She confirmed that her famed mother committed suicide in 1980 because of the death from cancer of Celia Sanchez.
This is Celia Hart's most notable book. Both of Haydee's and Armando's children -- Celia and her older brother Abel -- were killed in a car wreck in Havana on Sept. 7-2008 when they went out to assist other Cubans after a devastating hurricane.
Armando Hart has passed at age 87.
If you study the above photo, you may begin to comprehend how and why an island in the Caribbean...namely, Cuba...has been permitted since the 1950s to paint a negative image of the United States and Democracy far more than any other topic. In 1952, with no complaint from the American people, right-wing thugs in the Eisenhower administration teamed the U. S. democracy with the highest echelon of the Mafia -- Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Santo Trafficante Jr. -- to support the thieving, brutal Batista dictatorship in Cuba. In 1959, after the Cuban Revolution overthrew the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship, the Batistiano-Mafiosi regime quickly...and permanently, it seems...resurfaced on nearby U. S. soil with the Little Havana area of Miami becoming its new capital. With as much domination of South Florida as Batista ever had in Cuba, the permanent stain on the U. S. democracy occurred when self-serving sycophants, led by the Bush dynasty, extended the American Batistiano-Mafiosi brand to indelibly imprint itself on the once-pristine fabric of the formerly proud, sacrosanct, and very special U. S. government. The three Little Havana-Miami Cuban-Americans above -- Mario Diaz-Balart, Marco Rubio, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen -- seemingly believe they alone should make all of the decisions regarding Cuba in the 535-member U. S. Congress. Additionally, they seem to think that the majority of Cuban-Americans in South Florida -- over 2 million of them -- should not be allowed to blunt their anti-Cuban extremism even though most Cuban-Americans, even in Miami, desire normal relations with Cuba, not a half-century of extreme cruelty aimed at totally innocent everyday Cubans on the island. Incredibly, Diaz-Balart, Rubio, Ros-Lehtinen and their ilk have carte blanche clearance from the American people to "legally" punish innocent people in a weaker nation in the name of the American people who assist mightily with their lack of patriotism, their cowardice, and...of course...the still unending streams of their tax dollars.
America's easy victory in the 1898 Spanish-American War created the origins of today's Batistiano-Mafisoi/Cuban-exile influence on the United States government.
But to start a war the more powerful country needs a pretext. That was no problem in 1898 after the two giant U. S. newspaper publishers -- William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer -- had launched massive propaganda tirades targeting Spain's rule of Cuba and explaining relentlessly how the largest and most coveted Caribbean island was rightly America's to rule. So the pretext for war was rather simple. The warship USS Maine sailed from Key West, Florida to Cuba and it mysteriously exploded in Havana Harbor on Feb. 15-1898, killing 260 innocent U. S. sailors. Hearst, Pulitzer, and the extreme right-wingers in the U. S. government had their Pretext for War AND their Battle Cry: "REMEMBER THE MAINE!!" And history surely remembers it to this very day although the "mystery" concerning the USS Maine's explosion STILL lingers.
Indeed, Spain's dominance of Cuba had been lucrative for rich Spaniards but, after 1898, that would also be true for America's dominance of Cuba that also centered around rich Americans feasting on their new possession -- the largest and most prized Caribbean island. In 1903 the U. S. government took the plush Guantanamo Bay "in perpetuity" and made it into a military base...because it could. By the 1920s, as depicted above, the stage was set for the U. S. Mafia to tighten its fangs around the island and by 1933 the Mafia had fashioned a two-bit Army Sergeant, Fulgencio Batista, as the criminal empire's hand-picked Cuban dictator...with all the shots actually dictated by financial genius Meyer Lansky on behalf of the Mafia's all-time most powerful kingpin Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Study the three faces above -- Batista, Lansky, and Luciano. If indeed you take time to study those three faces you might wonder if the U. S. government could have chosen some better human beings as the American partners in the pillaging-brutalizing of Cuba.
While the U. S. Mafia's cruel piggy-bank domination in Cuba began in the 1920s, the most brutal period of the U.S.-backed Luciano-Lansky-Batista violence and thievery began in 1952 when Lansky on behalf of kingpin Luciano persuaded the lushly retired Batista to leave his luxurious life in Florida and return to Cuba as the Mafia's dictator. The three gangsters fully realized they would have the omnipotent support of the U. S. government merely by making sure rich Americans were allowed to partake in the rape and robbery of the supposedly helpless island. No U.S.-backed dictatorship could possibly be overthrown...right? Well, true...except for one particularly cruel nuance. While making Cuba their lucrative drug-gambling-prostitution headquarters, the Mob didn't even throw crumbs to the majority peasants. And to make sure the majority peasants accepted the situation, brutal murders of children supposedly embedded the necessary fear in the minds and hearts of the non-elite Cubans. But that trait turned out to be the biggest mistake the Mafia and the United States made on the island of Cuba. The murders of Cuban children inspired what history calls the Cuban Revolution, which overturned a U.S.-backed dictator.
While the Batista-Mafia leaders and rich American businessmen were feasting and hoarding tons of money in Cuba beginning in 1952, the majority peasants...as shown above...were mired in miserable poverty. Yet, the dire poverty of the non-elite Cubans was not what created the fires...or marches...that spawned the Cuban Revolution.
The murders of Cuban children inspired brave mothers to take to the streets to denounce the Batista-Mafia atrocities. These irate mothers spawned the revolution.
By the hot summer of 1953 the mother-marches were so massive the powerful Batista police and army forces couldn't quell them, not with reporters like the very sympathetic Herbert L. Matthews of the New York Times minutely covering and reporting on the events. The entire region, except for American citizens, reacted in horror regarding what was happening on the island but the mother-marches had created a revolution that only needed strong leaders, which surfaced immediately.
A young lawyer named Fidel Castro and a petite doctor's daughter named Celia Sanchez emerged in 1953 as the two rebel leaders most essential to both the initial formation and the eventual success of the Cuban Revolution. Although they communicated via the exchange of written notes even while he was imprisoned from July of 1953 till May of 1955 because of his failed Moncada Barracks attack, Fidel and Celia had never laid eyes on each other until he, as shown above, joined her guerrilla-fighting revolutionary unit in the Sierra Maestra Mountains and foothills of far eastern Cuba in December of 1956 after he returned from Mexico to rendezvous with her at a coastal spot she had chosen. But the old over-loaded yacht named Granma sank about 15 miles up the coast from where Celia waited with a force that could have protected them. Thus, only 17 of the 82 rebels on the yacht survived an ambush by Batista soldiers, but those survivors included Fidel, his brother Raul, Che Guevara, and Camilo Cienfuegos. And the rest is history, with Fidel and Celia deserving most of the credit for the monumental success of the Cuban Revolution. Of course, Celia famously gave most of the credit to others:The historic Celia Sanchez quotation depicted above was how she summarized her Cuban Revolution: "We rebels...get far too much credit for winning the Revolution. Our enemies deserve most of the credit, for being greedy cowards and idiots." Yes, Celia Sanchez was bitterly disappointed that the Batista-Mafia leaders dashed for their getaway airplanes, ships and boats when, on the last day of 1958, they got word that the key city of Santa Clara had fallen to Che Guevara-led rebels. For the rest of her life, till she died of cancer on Jan. 11-1980, Celia Sanchez acutely regretted the fact that the Batista-Mafia leaders didn't stay in Havana and fight the charging rebels. But four months later in April of 1959, desiring friendly relations with the United States and believing she could get it, Celia took Fidel on a 12-day peace visit to America.
In April of 1959, less than four months after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro was the regional and international rebel hero even in the United States. On that April-1959 U. S. visit, Fidel was overwhelmed with praise, including by the children sporting fake beards above. But there were some powerful jokers in the Eisenhower administration -- the Dulles brothers at the head of the CIA and the State Department, Vice President Richard Nixon, etc., etc. -- who quickly crushed Celia Sanchez's hopes for friendly relations with the United States.
Celia Sanchez took Fidel on the 12-day visit to the U. S. only after the U. S. State Department had assured her Fidel could meet with President Eisenhower to hopefully normalize relations between the two nations. But the State Department lied. It was Vice President Nixon who met with Fidel to warn the new Cuban leader that his revolution would be overthrown within weeks. That convinced Celia that Nixon was a crook, which the U. S. citizens didn't learn till Nixon was President in the 1970s.
This photo taken by Andrew St. George and copyrighted by Yale University shows Celia Sanchez in a New York hotel in April of 1959. When Fidel told her what Nixon had said, it was Celia's reaction, supported 100% by Fidel, that would best define U.S.-Cuban relations from April of 1959 till today. She was the Cuban catalyst.
Back on Cuban soil in April-1959, with her idol Fidel backing her up, Celia Sanchez began thinking about the only non-U. S. superpower -- the Soviet Union. But mostly, Nixon's prediction had put in her mind the Celia Doctrine: "The Batistianos will never regain control of Cuba as long as I live or as long as Fidel lives."
In all the decades since 1959, the Celia Doctrine has incredibly stood the test of time -- and even past the 2016 death of Fidel -- against the daily efforts of the regrouped Batistianos and the Superpower United States "to regain control of Cuba." And remember that documented Celia Sanchez quotation about her and the rebels getting "too much credit for winning the revolution" because "our enemies deserve most of the credit, for being greedy cowards and idiots." Like her doctrine, that quotation also has stood the test of time. AND OH YES!! One more Celia Sanchez quote that resonates today and one that remains very pertinent today:
The brilliant and insightful Celia Sanchez quotation above confirms that she fully realized that the Cuban narrative in the nearby Superpower United States would lie about the Cuban Revolution and Revolutionary Cuba. "We can make history but we still don't get to write it." That's true today too because President Trump's newly anointed American Dictator of Cuba, Marco Rubio, can dictate the cruel U. S. Cuban narrative in an era when both the mainstream U. S. media and most U. S. citizens are simply too afraid or too propagandized to challenge anything he says. But the Celia Sanchez legacy...and her quotations...still hang around to severely challenge him.
As long as the citizens of the United States allow a handful of extremist Cuban-American Counter Revolutionaries to dictate a Cuban policy that gets the United States condemned unanimously in the UN, those pusillanimous citizens should at least have the courage to question having a Batista/Luciano-like Cuban policy-maker dictate revengeful, self-serving, and extremely cruel policies that mostly harm 11.2 million innocent Cubans...not to mention America's international reputation. Rubio vs. the Celia Sanchez legacy appears like a billion-to-one deal considering he hides behind the skirts of the world's Superpower. But the billion-to-one favorites Batista and Luciano also hid behind similar skirts. The Celia Sanchez legacy is not the same as Celia Sanchez herself...but it's still something. And after all, Trump himself, before anointing Rubio America's new Cuban dictator, belittled Rubio to his face as, among other things, "Little Marco." NO ONE ever called the petite Celia "Little Celia."
And by the way:
Cuba's President of the National Electoral Commission, Alina Balseiro, announced on Nov. 27th-2018 that 7.3 million Cubans voted Sunday to elect delegates to the country's municipal assemblies. She said, "There were some heavy rains in the central and eastern areas but it did not deter many voters, and I didn't expect it would."
School children guarded the ballot boxes.
One of the island's most respected news outlets, Radio Rebelde, said, "The assembly elections are very important to Cubans, especially nearing the retirement of President Raul Castro. On Sunday there were a total of 24,000 polling stations."
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