Saturday, December 1, 2018

Mexican Weekend for Cuba

In Trump Era Cuba Needs Friends!!
{UPDATED: Sunday, December 2nd, 2018}
     In Havana this first weekend in December, 2018, Cuban doctors continued to return from their assignments in Brazil after that powerful Latin American nation, recently Cuba's dear friend, elected a far-right, militarist President named Jair Bolsonaro. The photo above shows some of the 202 Cuban doctors who returned to Cuba on the 13th flight from Brazil. Some 8,300 Cuban medical personnel have been booted out of Cuba after diligently serving only the poorest Brazilian areas for the past five years, and many of them have been offered asylum in Brazil, the U. S., or U.S.-friendly nations. A right-wing, military-style government in Brazil that aligns with the Trump administration in Washington is the last thing Cuba needs as it adjusts to a post-Castro leader.
     Brazil remains Latin America's dominant country and it's new right-wing, military-style government is a threat to Cuba. In fact, the U. S. journalist most attuned to U.S.-Cuban affairs, Tracey Eaton, opined this past week that he "would not be surprised" if the United States launched an attack on Cuba "from Brazil." The last military assault by the U. S. against Cuba was the April-1961 Bay of Pigs attack that was launched from Nicaragua when the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship ruled that nation. So Eaton's prediction is eerily reminiscent of the Bay of Pigs and in 2018 the Trump-Rubio-Bolton faction in Washington apparently believes this generation of proselytized Americans will stomach whatever they plan for the island of Cuba. And Cuba understands that.
    Meanwhile, a ray of sunshine for Cuba burst forth in Mexico City this weekend. On Saturday, Dec. 1-2018, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was inaugurated as Mexico's new President. In an emotional speech the left-leaning Lopez Obrador stressed his allegiance to Mexico's children, youth, seniors, and all indigenous people...and he vowed to assail the corruption that so mightily favors the rich at the expense of the poor.
      And speaking of indigenous Latin American friends, in Mexico Saturday Cuba's new President Miguel Diaz-Canel wrapped his arms around the embattled, Cuba-friendly Presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia. Politically, their Western Hemisphere is being reconfigured.
First four photos courtesy: Leticia Martinez Hernandes.
     In the past couple of weeks Cuba's new President Miguel Diaz-Canel has traveled to...France, China, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, England, and now Mexico. The photo above shows Diaz-Canel's arrival in Mexico City for Saturday's inauguration of Mexico's new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The Trump presidency in the U. S. has convinced Diaz-Canel that Marco Rubio, John Bolton, and Mauricio Claver-Carone have been authorized by Trump to overthrow Cuba's Revolutionary government. Diaz-Canel thus is seeking new friends and trying to "re-polish" he says...old friends.

     In Mexico, Cuban President Diaz-Canel and his wife Lis huddled with very friendly Cuban and Mexican diplomats.

    A charmer in Mexico this weekend, President Diaz-Canel will need to be very charming to survive, with help from friends, the Trump era in the nearby United States. 

    To survive the USA's new hegemonic ambitions, Cuba's Diaz-Canel, as in Mexico this weekend, hopes to be honored with many more red carpet-honor guard salutes in important capital cities.

     This Manuel Velaquez/Getty Images photo profiles Mexico's news President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is also known just by the acronym AMLO. December 1st, 2018 was inauguration day for Lopez Obrador as Mexico's President. He had lost two precious elections, one of whom he says was stolen from him. But this time Lopez Obrador won his election handily and his party even has a strong super-majority...better than the Chamber of Deputies that is comprised of 32 Mexican Governors. Over the years since 1959, Revolutionary Cuba has depended on the friendships of Canada on the northern U. S. border, and Mexico on the southern U. S. border. When Cuba's Diaz-Canel this week spoke of his need to "re-polish" old friendships he was referring especially to Mexico and Canada.

    The Desmond Boylan/Associated Press photo above shows the Canadian embassy in Havana. This week another Canadian diplomat suffered from ailments similar to those that have affected other U. S. and Canadian personnel working in Cuba's capital. The two-year-old "mysterious attacks" have been tied to sonic, microwave, etc., assaults but, after endless and massive investigations, remain "mysterious." Yet, of course, the Trump administration continues to use the illnesses to further hurt Cuba while also urging Canada to do the same. The U. S. has used the attacks, for example, to warn tourists not to visit the island, knowing tourism is vital to the Cuban economy. Canadians dominate tourism to Cuba and the Trump administration is urging Canada to also warn its citizens to stop visiting Cuba. Meanwhile, Cuban President a force on Twitter like Trump...makes this rather salient point: "The last thing we would want to do is hurt tourism. The last thing we would want to do is harm our friendships with nations like Canada. The last thing we would want to do is to give the United States, the world superpower, an excuse to attack our island. With all that in mind, anyone concerned with the mystery of the sonic...or whatever...attacks should first have the integrity to ask...who are they hurting and who are they helping? I say they are hurting Cuba and helping Cuba's enemies in Miami and Washington. And those who will not ask that question are playing directly into the hands of the culprits."
     And, oh, YES!! Cuban President Diaz-Canel uses his Twitter account to rebuke the Trump-Rubio-Bolton assaults on Cuba but, as above, Diaz-Canel also often Tweets about other aspects of his job as the island's new leader. In the above Tweet, Diaz-Canel announced his appointment of Miriam Nicado as the first female head of the University of Havana in its 290 years of existence {not counting, of course, the time when Dictator Batista closed the University while his goons were gunning down all the student leaders, such as Jose Echeverria, who were believed to be supporting the Revolution that Batista kept assuring his friends in Washington was "no threat" to his...and their...rule of the island}. Also, Diaz-Canel was born after the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959, and he is Cuba's former Education Minister, not a former guerrilla fighting rebel.
    This is Miriam Nicado, President Diaz-Canel's choice as the new leader at the University of Havana.
     And this, by the way, was Jose Antonio Echeverria. I give you his whole name just in case you want to Google his role in the Cuban Revolution. Jose was one of the many student leaders at the University of Havana that Dictator Batista gruesomely murdered but there were still so many anti-Batista students that Batista closed the University of Havana entirely.
    The historic photo above is a part of the Jose Antonio Echeverria legend as documented by famed Cuban historian Pedro Alvarez Tabio. On January 4th, 1959, two tired but victorious rebels -- Fidel Castro and Celia Sanchez -- stopped off in the city of Cienfuegos on their way to Havana to take charge of the Cuban government. Celia told Fidel, "We are so tired but we must take time to go by and see Jose's Mother."
    And so, though extremely tired and very anxious to get to Havana, Fidel Castro and Celia Sanchez on Jan. 4-1959 were driven to the home of Jose Antonio Echeverria's mother. They discussed her martyred son, actually got some sleep, and had breakfast the next morning with Mrs. Echeverria. According to Tabio, Celia's last words to Jose's mother were, "I sent word to you that we would avenge Jose's murder or we would all die trying. We kept that promise but I am not happy that Batista and those around him have fled, with their loot, to safe havens."

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