Thursday, November 23, 2017

True Rhythms of Cuba

Chronicled by great Photos!!
{UPDATED FOR: Friday, Nov. 24th, 2016}
      The photo above, and all the photos in this essay unless otherwise noted, were taken by one of the world's very best photographers -- Roberto Suarez. To comprehend the rhythms & pulses of the fascinating, beguiling, beautiful, and often misunderstood island of Cuba, I believe Roberto Suarez's photos are essential.
This is Roberto Saurez. 
     This photo shows Roberto Suarez rowing with friends on the Toa River near Baracoa, Cuba. Roberto's Cuban photos are the products of a great photographer and one who knows the island intimately. Two of his favorite subjects are talented and influential young broadcast journalists -- Cristina Escobar and Rosy Amaro Perez.
    Speaking Spanish or English, Cristina Escobar is an absolutely brilliant television news anchor in Cuba and in the region. In fact, she is a part of U.S.-Cuban history as the only Cuban to ask questions at a White House news conference in Washington. She has also spoken eloquently about U.S.-Cuban relations and broadcast journalism at three U. S. universities. Her fans included Andrea Mitchell, the veteran Chief Foreign Correspondent for America's NBC News. For her college thesis, Cristina astutely predicted the impact U. S. President Barack Obama would have on Cuba, tagged with a caveat about when and if a Republican president replaced the Democratic Obama. Respected for her talent and her comments, Cristina is responsible for perhaps the two most pertinent statements related to current U.S.-Cuban relations: {1} "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 {2} "Cuba's fate is up to Cubans on the island, not Cubans in Miami and Washington." Americans who dispute those two comments because Cristina is a Cuban on the island are not interested in both sides of a tumultuous two-sided story.
     The healthy and well-educated young-adult generation of Cubans on the island are extremely influential now and becoming more so after the Nov. 25-2016 death at age 90 of revolutionary icon Fidel Castro and prior to the Feb.-2018 retirement of Raul Castro as Cuba's President. Young adults like the ones shown above will likely predicate the island's future above and beyond what the richer and more powerful Cubans in Miami and Washington have in store for the much-coveted island. This is a Roberto Suarez photo. Second from the right is Cristina Escobar, the sensational young-adult broadcast journalist that Cubans admire...and with ample reasons.
     Right behind break-through superstar broadcast journalist Cristina Escobar came another wave of superbly talented, well-educated Cuban journalists and anchors, led by Rosy Amaro Perez. She too has a massive following on the island. On April 16th Rosy watched the live telecast of President Trump's speech in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood in which, raucously applauded by the hardest of the Counter Revolutionary hard-line Cuban exiles, he excoriated Revolutionary Cuba. Then Rosy posted this comment on her Facebook page: "The Cuba President Trump described is not the Cuba I know. And I've lived here all my life." Almost immediately, Cristina Escobar replied, "May I quote you?" The Cuban narrative in the United States since 1959 has almost exclusively been dictated by remnants of the ousted Batista-Mafia dictatorship or their self-serving sycophants such as the Bush dynasty. So today...Trump and Miami's U. S. Senator Marco Rubio primarily dictate America's Cuban narrative, and their lies are slanted toward justifying the unjustifiable -- the U. S. embargo of Cuba that was first imposed in 1962 to starve, deprive, and make miserable the lives of Cubans on the island to induce them to rise up and overthrow their Revolutionary government. Since 1962 the embargo...Cuba calls it a blockade...has remained in place to fulfill its originally stated goal. Obama has been the only U. S. President with the guts and patriotism to slice into that travesty but the current Trump presidency has essentially anointed Rubio as America's latest Batista-like American dictator of Cuba. So, intelligent Americans need to decide whether Trump-Rubio are more truthful about Cuba than two highly respected Cubans on the island -- namely, Cristina Escobar and Rosy Amaro Perez.
      This is a Roberto Suarez photo that helps define Cuba's rhythms & pulses. Of course, one of Roberto's favorite subjects is Rosy Amaro Perez. He spotted her at a concert this week and, with a devilishly beguiling grin, she spotted him spotting her.
     Also at this week's concert, Roberto Suarez took this photo of Yanet Perez Moya who was sitting beside her dear friend Rosy Amaro Perez. At concerts, baseball games, and many other fun & work activities, Yanet and Rosy are usually side-by-side. And like Rosy, the beautiful Yanet is an awesomely skilled broadcast journalist. The two young women co-anchor a very popular television newscast on the island.
Rosy & Yanet co-anchoring.
     This gorgeous photo shows the two co-anchors -- Rosy Amaro Perez and Yanet Perez Moya -- at a baseball game. Sandwiched between them is Rosy's Mariana.

Mariana and her squeezable friend Diego.

Roberto thinks Rosy is very photogenic.

 And so do other photographers.
     Yuliat Danay Acosta took this classic photo of Rosy and her lookalike daughter Mariana in their classy lookalike dresses.

Roberto's pensive Rosy & inquisitive Yanet.

Roberto's "Joy of Selfie" photo.

Roberto Suarez's caption for this photo was:

"Havana is full of cats."

        Roberto captures a Cuban, Lissett Izquierdo Ferrer, finding something very amusing on her Smart Phone. Like most great photographers, Cuba's Roberto Suarez gravitates toward exquisite beauty and, as he defines the rhythms & pulses of Cuba, there is much to be found on his cozy Caribbean island.
     But for every beautiful and joyful photo that Roberto Suarez takes in Cuba, there are sad ones like this too. These are Cubans begging...praying...for vile Americans and Cubans in the United States to stop punishing them, reminding the Superpower United States that its embargo-blockade is the longest and cruelest embargo-blockade ever imposed by a powerful nation against a weaker nation. Great photographers make great statements with their photos. I believe Cuba's Roberto Suarez is making a great statement with this sad but pertinent photo.
    The image above is also credited to Roberto Suarez. He uses it to tell a truth, like the truths his photos of Cuba and its people tell. This truth, of course, resonates in near unanimity worldwide -- in fact, in 2016 the blockade was condemned 191-to-ZERO at the United Nations. Yet, in these closing days of 2017 the American people are still programmed to accept the lies from Trump & Rubio that not only support and justify the genocidal intent of the embargo-blockade but supposedly justify their ongoing efforts to strengthen it. And so, for what it's worth, I'll close with the photo below that Roberto Suarez took this month as he chronicled the rhythms & pulses of everyday Cubans.  
      OF COURSE, any accurate appraisal of the rhythms & pulses of EVERYDAY life in Cuba must include the EVERYDAY struggles of EVERYDAY Cubans. The island's world-class photographer, Roberto Suarez. took this photo this month in rural Cuba. It shows a schoolboy and his older friend hitch-hiking. As I discovered when I was in Cuba, NEVER will a Cuban driving a car or truck fail to stop to pick up Cuban hitch-hikers. Also note in this photo the adult Cubans back in the shade that is being provided by a make-shift wooden hut to protect themselves from the hot tropical sun. That roadside hut is where those Cubans try to sell fruit or vegetables to passers-by. Anxious to meet EVERYDAY Cubans, I asked my driver Jose to stop AT EVERY such chat and to purchase things like bananas. To his credit, Roberto Suarez added this caption to this photo: "The U. S. blockade is aimed at the people of Cuba." Back in America since 1959, LIARS like Donald Trump and Marco Rubio claim the embargo-blockade is to "punish the Castros." And self-serving LIARS like Trump & Rubio, who have never been to Cuba, are still getting away with such lies because intimidated or cowardly or unpatriotic Americans LET them get away with it. "The U. S. blockade is aimed at the people of Cuba," so says a great photographer who lives on the island and chronicles the lives...and the pulses and rhythms...of Cubans.
     Cubans still fondly remember the visit from U. S. President Obama in March of 2016. And well they should. He was the first U. S. president to visit the island since Herbert Hoover arrived in 1928 on a warship to stress the U. S. dominance of the island since America's victory in the 1898 Spanish-American War. Cuba's startling revolutionary victory over the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship on Jan. 1-1959 established Cuba as a sovereign nation, a status it has pugnaciously maintained although remnants of the Batista-Mafia reign who fled to the U. S. have tried on a daily basis for over half-a-century to regain control of the island...usually with the backing of the nearby World Superpower. Since 1959 only Obama's 8 years as U. S. President -- 2009 till 2017 -- provided Cuba a respite from assaults from the USA.
     On his very historic visit to Cuba in March of 2016, President Obama went on island-wide television to sincerely make the above promise to the Cuban people: "Cuba does not need to fear a threat from the United States." But the U. S. has a two-party political system -- Democrats and Republicans. A small band of Counter Revolutionary extremists -- headquartered in Miami's Little Havana section -- dictate the Republican Party's Cuban policies. On Jan. 20-2017 the Democrat Obama was succeeded by the Republican President Donald Trump.
     President Donald Trump has essentially anointed two Counter Revolutionary U. S. Congressmen from Miami -- Marco Rubio and Mario Diaz-Balart -- America's new co-dictators of Cuba, similar to the Batista-Lansky dictatorship on the island from 1952 till 1959. But, at least at the moment, Rubio & Diaz-Balart are based in Washington and Little Havana, NOT IN HAVANA. Cuba tenuously & truly hopes to keep it that way.

No comments:

cubaninsider: "The Country That Raped Me" (A True Story)

cubaninsider: "The Country That Raped Me" (A True Story) : Note : This particular essay on  Ana Margarita Martinez  was first ...