Is Cuba's Varadero Beach the Most Beautiful and Best Beach in the Whole World...or is it just the Second Most Beautiful and Second Best Beach in the Whole World??? For sure, Varadero has often been listed the World's Best and Most Beautiful Beach in the Whole World. But TripAdvisor, the world's top Travel Site in its new 2022 listing, rates Varadero Beach #2 in the Whole World. Further west in the Caribbean #1 according to TripAdvisor is Providenciales Beach. In 2002 the top U. S. beach is #13, Hapuna Beach in Hawaii. The top 2002 beach in Florida is #14, Siesta Beach.
    Varadero in Cuba is also flush with some of the best 5-star hotels in the Caribbean...and is served by two nearby international airports plus Marti International in Havana.
    These two Canadian children are getting ready to go snorkeling in Varadero Beach's pristine and uniquely clear-blue waters. Except for the six-decade-old U. S. Embargo/blockade of Revolutionary Cuba, Americans also would be able to enjoy Varadero.
    As you can see in the above map, Varadero Beach is due south of Florida-USA...a nice one-hour drive on the coastline from Havana, a drive I have taken. Except for the lucrative embargo driven by Little Havana Cubans in Miami for the past six decades, it is believed that Varadero Beach would have more tourists than Florida's rich beaches. Is, uh, that one reason Miami Cubans love the Blockade?



Cuba As February-2022 Ends


    Today is February 27th, the next-to-last day of the second month of the tumultuous year of 2022. This photo today by notable Cuban photojournalist Roberto Suarez shows a rather busy Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. Trying desperately to survive the tightened six-decade-old U. S. Blockade as well as the COVID-19 Pandemic, Cuba remains determined to somehow continue as the Caribbean's largest and most targeted sovereign island nation.
    Today -- Feb. 27-2022 -- a massive protest against the U. S. Blockade of Cuba took place in Miami, the nearby Cubanized Counter Revolutionary bastion that has, since 1959, been the prime instigator and the prime benefactor of the endless U. S. Embargo/Blockade of Cuba. Millions of Americans, and billions of people around the world, consider the Blockade to now being comprised of genocide against Cuban families on the island, especially since President Trump, followed surprisingly by President Biden, has sharply tightened the endlessly cruel, but lucrative, Blockade. The protest shown above in Miami today was led by two fierce and indefatigable Americans -- the ubiquitous Cuban-American professor from Seattle, Carlos Lazo, and the fierce and indefatigable American journalist, Media Benjamin.
    Of course, the mainstream media will not mention this huge Counter Blockade Protest in Miami today. And that's typical, and not because the bigger headlines correctly are reserved this weekend for the massive Russian-Ukrainian War.
    For sure, one of the most nagging facets about the 6-decade-old+ U. S. Blockade of Cuba is the fact that a few people in Miami and in Congress and in the White House have dictated the pain, the narratives, and the lucrative economic & political rewards from the superpower United States blockading the Cuban people on their island for so long. Incredibly, within the bowels of the U. S. Democracy it doesn't matter that most Americans, most Cuban-Americans, and most people in the World {as repeatedly voiced at the UN} oppose the Blockade!!! What does matter, it seems, is how the Blockade profits and/or empowers already rich and powerful Cuban-Americans in Miami!!!
      For sure, if you are Maria Salazar from Miami & from the U. S. Congress, you can go on national television any hour of the day and tell the nation how perfect the Cubans in Little Havana/Miami are and how terrible Cubans in Havana/Cuba are. And, of course..."There is no Embargo against Cuba."

On the other hand, if you are Maria Finlay and you are a non-dissident who lives in Havana, the U. S. media pretends you don't exist and don't matter. But this Maria has opinions too!! She says, "I, my children, and my parents have lived in the binds of the U. S. embargo all of our lives. But now both Trump and Biden have enlarged it into a genocidal blockade. If the powerful U. S. can get away with that as far as the American people and the people around the world are concerned, perhaps the Americans, overall, are in worse straits than we are. At least we have something to fight for...sovereignty!!"



Blockade Saddens Most Cubans the Most


     The popular Cuban photographer Roberto Suarez posted this photo on Facebook today -- Feb. 25th-2022. It shows Cubans on a dock watching a huge ship arrive in Havana Bay.
     Meanwhile, like citizens all around the world, Cubans on the island are keenly watching the now bloody and ongoing Russia-Ukraine War that is roiling Europe...and the world.
    Meanwhile, Cuba's famed anti-Cuba dissident journalist Yoani Sanchez today posted her typical anti-Cuba notice on Facebook, and elsewhere, about Cuba's "support for Russia" in the Russia-Ukraine War. From her apartment in Havana Yoani Sanchez publishes her well-funded anti-Cuba 14Y Medio digital newspaper all around the world daily.
    Of course, Yoani Sanchez -- the most famed anti-Cuban dissident in Cuba -- is a dear friend of U. S. Senators Rubio & Menendez, the two most powerful anti-Cuban dissidents in the United States.
    And meanwhile today -- Feb. 25-2022 -- Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel -- was in the far eastern tip of the island in the town of Guantanamo, near the U.S.-occupied Guantanamo Bay and its ubiquitous U. S. military base/prison.
    While in Guantanamo, President Diaz-Canel -- Cuba's former Education Minister -- spent much time with schoolchildren. He asked the girl on his right what you are happy about. She said, "I am happy about my family, my school, and my country." He then asked her what she might be sad about. She said, "The American blockade and the pandemic makes me sad."
    In Guantanamo today, as usual, President Diaz-Canel asked for Cubans to tell him what it is on their minds...especially everyday citizens as well as local officials.
     From Havana in the west to Guantanamo in the east, the saddest thing in the minds of most Cubans is the U. S. blockade, which began as an economic embargo 60 years ago -- in February of 1962. While designed to starve and overthrow the island's Revolutionary government, in February of 2022 it is now considered "genocidal" to most Cubans and "the largest/longest blockade in history ever imposed by any large nation against any small nation."
     At the end of February 2022 Cuba remains the largest island nation in the Caribbean and it's right on the USA's southern doorstep. With normal relations with the United States...as President Obama envisioned in 2016...Cuba would soon become the most prosperous Caribbean nation...and one of the USA's best Trade Partners. Of course.............
    .........those who benefit from embargoing/blockading Cuba will prevail, so even if the vast majority disagree, they will continue to PREVAIL for another six decades or so.


AGAIN: Cuba Is A Cold War pawn!!


    Once again in these closing days of February-2022, little Cuba has been thrust deeply into the U.S.-Russia Cold War,  this time because of the Hot War now being waged in Europe by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

     As always in the U. S. the vast and lucrative Little Havana/Miami-fueled anti-Cuba Cottage Industry uses any excuse to toss more gas on the flames of the U.S.-Cuba conundrum, which strife means more money and more power for benefactors in Miami, Newark, and Washington. The Miami Herald in the top-left above and, in the lower-left, the Washsington Post, owned by the ultra-rich Jeff Bezos who is the step-son of a notable Cuba-born American, are typical biased current headlines tightly tying Cuba to this latest conflict.
     But little Cuba, a mere 90 miles from the southern tip of Florida, has always been historically viewed as a Piggybank by rich and politically powerful Americans...especially since 1898 when the U. S. won the easy Spanish-American War in Cuba; especially from 1952-1959 when the U.S.-backed the Mafia-riddled Batista dictatorship, and since 1959 when the Cuban Revolution remarkably booted the Batistianos, Mafiosi, and the American businessmen off the Caribbean's largest and most luscious island nation!!
     The London-based BBC News and other media giants are reporting live around the world on the "bloody" Russian-Ukraine War in Europe.
   Surprisingly, the President of the Russian Duma/Parliament Viocheslav Volodin in these crucial hours of the bloody Russian-Ukraine War was meeting with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana. As shown above, they held a well-attended news conference that was carried on Cuban newscasts. Diaz-Canel was very polite to Volodin but suggested "some diplomatic solution to the Ukraine problem."
     Because of being coveted by world powers since Columbus discovered it in 1492 and proclaimed in his diary that "It is the most beautiful land these eyes have seen," Cuba has been involved in bloody defensive wars, revolutionary wars, and in world wars, not to mention the Cold War that has pitted the superpower USA against other world powers. So, being forced to punch far above its size on the World Globe has long been Cuba's fate.


Cuban Leader On His 'Dictatorship'!!


    Contrary to what Americans are told, most Cubans on the island are quite fond of their leader, whom they know well from his days as the island's very popular Minister of Education.
    This paragraph, I believe, is one of President Miguel Diaz-Canel's most interesting quotes. The first sentence says: "They call us a tyranny or dictatorship." I...uh...will permit you to translate the other sentences. But I think we can agree that the "they" he refers to is the United States government.


A BIRTHDAY for Cuba's Friend


    This weekend -- on Feb. 19th-2022 -- was the 69th birthday for Cristina Elisabell Fernandez de Kirchner, one of Cuba's dearest friends. She was First Lady of Argentina when her husband Nester Kirchner was President and she herself was President from 2007 till 2015. Moreover, she has now been Vice President of Argentina since 2019, so she remains a powerful figure in Latin America!!
     Needless to say, Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel lavishly wished Cristina Fernandez a HAPPY BIRTHDAY this weekend. She remains both a powerful political figure in the important nation of Argentina...and she remains Cuba's dear friend.
     Before, during, and after her 8 years as President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez regularly visited Fidel Castro and stayed in his Havana home.
     As Fidel Castro became sick with old age prior to his death at age 90 on November 25th in 2016 in Havana, Cristina Fernandez still often flew to Havana to have talks with the revolutionary icon and his fiercely devoted wife Dalia Soto del Valle.
Fidel & Cristina


Starving Cuba Grandmothers!!

 Havana's Fault or Miami's Fault??

    I have been to both Havana in Cuba, to Little Havana in Miami, and I've spent many years {long-ago} as a radio-television anchor in local markets in the United States. Especially since 2004 when the Little Havana-aligned George W. Bush administration reluctantly allowed me to visit Cuba on a research assignment, I have been convinced of one thing: The triumph of the Cuban Revolution in January of 1959 over the U.S.-backed and Mafia-backed Batista dictatorship has, incredibly, changed the United States even more than it has CHANGED CUBA. The success of the U. S. experiment in democracy, as Thomas Jefferson so astutely predicted in 1776, primarily depended on a VIABLE and TRUSTWORTHY news media. If he were alive today, I believe Thomas Jefferson would be shedding tears about a respected poll, Gallup's, revealing that only 7 percent of Americans now trust the mainstream U. S. media" and, alarmingly, above that number those who "ONLY TRUST the U. S. media ONLY a little bit" is also amazingly low. Can a Democracy survive and be viable indefinitely with such numbers? Especially since January of 1959, I believe the U. S. media's dishonest and propaganda-filled coverage of U.S.-Cuban Relations epitomizes the drastic decline in the manner in which Americans trust the U. S. media, something that should be a hallmark of a great Democracy. Yet, there remain a few honest and superb U. S. journalists and in yesterday's Cubaninsider I reported how Richard Stradling at the Raleigh News & Observer actually has just penned an honest and brave article even though it provided a POSITIVE IMAGE of Revolutionary Cuba, which is rare in the U. S. Incredibly, another honest and superb journalist still working in the mainstream U. S. media is Andrea Rodriguez, the Associated Press's correspondent in Havana who lives with the Cuban people and understands their foibles, nuances, joys, and struggles. She is incredible because she is honest & fair.
  When the AP's Andrea Rodriguez reports from Cuba, Americans can trust her journalism whether or not it reveals negative or positive details regarding daily life on the island. Today -- on Feb. 17-2022 -- Andrea's article, because the AP's articles are published in newspapers across the U. S., is one that Americans should carefully read while ignoring the plethora of daily anti-Cuba articles that only present the lucrative Little Havana propaganda that has saturated America's "Journalism" since January of 1959. Thus, like Richard Stradling in Raleigh with the News & Observer, Andrea Rodriguez is a rare & precious jewel if you search for honest U. S. journalism, especially regarding the largest nation in the nearby Caribbean...where the U. S. actions against its people shapes negative views of both the U. S. and Democracy among millions...even billions...of people around the world.
     Above is the headline and sub-headline of the AP article today -- Feb. 17-2022 -- by an honest journalist, Andrea Rodriguez. Note the sub-headline: "Grocery shopping has become an increasingly costly and arduous struggle for many people in Cuba." As usual, Andrea Rodriguez is honestly reporting on current struggles of Cubans on the island who arduously are trying to get adequate food and other necessities. Note that Andrea is not telling you that the fault is Havana's or Little Havana's...Cuba's or the USA's!! She is just telling you honest facts and allowing her readers to decide for themselves. That's what great, honest journalists do. Except for a few journalists such as Richard in Raleigh or Andrea in Havana, U. S. journalists are obliged to tell Americans how great Batista's Cuba in the 1950s was...you know, the regime that permitted rich Americans and Mafiosi to greedily and cruelly partake in the spoils...while repeatedly TELLING Americans that Revolutionary Cuba since 1959 has been and is the worst REGIME IN HISTORY, daily propaganda that hasn't yet recaptured the island for Little Havana but that has made a lot of Miami Cubans rich & powerful while legally using the power of the U. S. to starve, deprive, and make miserable Havana Cubans, as has been the incredible three prime purposes of the U. S. Embargo since February of 1962...although, of course, the FIRST PRIME PURPOSE is to enrich & empower Miami Cubans. In that regard, in today's AP article from Havana Andrea Rodriguez tells us about and names a 65-year-old grandmother in Havana who is trying to keep her family from starving in February of 2022.
    As a fair-minded journalist for the USA's AP in Cuba, Andrea Rodriguez observes and lives with everyday Cubans, and she reports fairly on them and the Cuban government. That is what the rest of the U. S. media should do...but doesn't do.
    Whether she is observing the trials and tribulations of the 65-year-old grandmother or quoting Marcia Ochoa -- "It's impossible to maintain my family on my salary" -- the AP's honest journalist in Havana, Andrea Rodriguez, tells the truth...as shown above today -- Feb. 17-2022 -- as even ABC News, which republished Andrea's article, acknowledged.
    But, as mentioned earlier, an honest journalist like Andrea Rodriguez is the rarity in mainstream U. S. journalism today. And that is why rich and powerful Little Havana/Miami politicians can go on the mainstream media and national television any hour of any hour and say things such as, "There is NO EMBARGO on Cuba." That is a shameful lie that shames Cuban grandmothers and mothers on the island, such as the two that the honest Andrea Rodriguez quoted today for the AP in Havana. But even more shameful, I believe, is how much shame the endless and unchecked lies that endlessly permeate most of the U. S. media regarding U.S.-Cuban Relations proliferates unchecked, such as internationally renowned cruelties such as the lucrative but salacious lies about...the shameful and endless EMBARGO!!!

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 ...