The “military hero as coward” motif has a long tradition with Michael Moore. But his earlier oinkings in this regard–well before the release of “American Sniper”–were aimed at much safer targets.
“Wimps,” writes Moore in “Downsize This.” “These Cuban exiles, for all their chest-thumping and terrorism, are really just a bunch of wimps—that’s right: Wimps.”
In a manner that would instantly arouse and mobilize the politically–correct police (were it any minority group except overwhelmingly Republican Cuban-Americans) Moore was dissing Cuban-Americans in general but singling out the Bay of Pigs freedom-fighters for special spite and scorn....
“Florida’s Cubans” continues Michael Moore in his book “are responsible for sleaze in American politics. In every incident of national torment that has deflated our country for the past three decades…Cuban exiles are always present and involved.”
By the way, can you imagine someone writing, say: “New York Jews,” or “Detroit Blacks,” or “California Mexicans are responsible for sleaze in American politics,” and escaping the wrath of the usual watchdogs in these matters as did Michael Moore?
Our friends at The Blaze help disseminate a few items utterly unknown outside a few enclaves in Miami-Dade....
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced a bill on January 29, 2015, to lift the U.S. embargo. This proves that the enemies of restoring freedom and democracy to Cuba come from both sides of the aisle.
Low information voters are bad enough. But maybe low information presidents, pundits, and legislators contribute to the problem. To wit:
“In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you’re doing doesn’t work for fifty years, it’s time to try something new. (President Obama, Jan. 21, 2015.)
“The permanent (Cuba) embargo was imposed in 1962 in the hope of achieving, among other things, regime change. Well. Regime change — even significant regime modification — has not happened in Havana.” (Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor/analyst George Will, Dec. 24, 2014)
“In the end, I think opening up Cuba is probably a good idea. The 50-year embargo just hasn’t worked. If the goal is regime change, it sure doesn’t seem to be working.” (Congressman Rand Paul Dec. 18, 2014.)
Given the breadth of policy-making, policy-influencing and policy-brokering represented by the figures quoted above you’d hope that one might have prevailed upon their huge staffs to actually research the issue at hand.
They apparently did not. So here I’ll volunteer my services in hopes of raising the information level on this issue:
On January, 21, 1962 at Punta del Este Uruguay U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk gave a speech to the Organization of American States explaining the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba and recommending that the members join the U.S. in voting for these sanctions. In this speech there is not a single word–or even an inference–that regime-change was the embargo’s goal. “The United States objects to Cuba’s activities and policies in the international arena not its internal system or arrangements.”
Indeed, Secretary Rusk went out of his way to stress that regime-change was NOT the embargo’s goal. In brief, the U.S. was trying to contain Soviet-Cuban sponsored international terrorism:
Every terror group from the Weathermen to Puerto Rico’s Macheteros, from Argentina’s Montoneros, to Colombia’s FARC, from the Black Panthers to the IRA, and from the PLO to AL Fatah received training and funding from Castro.
Granted, while most were not immediately defeated they were certainly contained. Then for three decades the Soviet Union was forced to pump the equivalent of almost ten Marshall Plans into Cuba. This drain on her resources certainly helped bankrupt the Evil Empire.
OK, we’ve dealt with false premise No.1. But amazingly, this extremely wearisome embargo debate always starts from—not one–but two false premises. The second one asserts that the U.S. imposes on Cuba something properly definable as an “embargo,” even after Democratic Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama loopholed the original sanctions half to death with executive order after executive order... And, btw, WHY do the Castro brothers want the embargo lifted?
Well, according to all Cuba "experts" it’s because the Castro brothers (who have micro-managed a totalitarian fiefdom almost five times as long as did Hitler and over twice as long as did Stalin and Mao) are suicidal nincompoops."
Our friends at Frontpage Magazine help disseminate items well-known hereabout--but UTTERLY UNKNOWN almost everyplace else.
The current occupant of the White House claims that the "normalization" of relations with the Castro regime will bring about a resurgence of free enterprise on the island.
He's not alone. Nearly everyone who tries to defend the new U.S. policy of engagement with the Castro regime cites the "fact" that there are now private enterprises owned by Cubans and that these entrepreneurs are going to transform their nation as soon as the embargo is lifted and American tourists flood the island.
Take a look at this 68-year-old "cuentaproprista" (self-employed entrepreneur) who sets up shop every day on some convenient sidewalk on Belascoain Street in central Havana -- a street supposedly teeming with private businesses.
He sells used merchandise that he obtains by doing odd jobs in once-fancy neighborhoods where elites still live: Miramar, El Vedado, Playa. This is what he receives as payment from the privileged foreigners and oligarchs who employ him ad hoc to cut grass or trim shrubbery.
Excuse me, pardon the slip of the tongue: this isn't used merchandise; the proper term is previously-handled merchandise. (Can't say previously-owned because private property is taboo in the Castro Kingdom).
In the U.S. this is the kind of junk found in flea markets, yard sales, or Salvation Army stores. And from the looks of it, his inventory would be hard to sell, even in the poorest of American neighborhoods. This stuff might even be given away for free, and still be refused.
This is the kind of businessman the new engagement with the U.S. is going to turn into a freedom-demanding wealthy power broker.
And this is the kind of economic system that will catapult all Cubans into first-world status, with the help of American tourists, naturally.
Yes, you can bet on it. For sure. As Charlie Sheen was once fond of shouting: "Winning!"
Thanks to Martha Beatriz Roque for the photos and the story.
Here we go again.
Favoring the Castro regime and denigrating Cuban exiles seems to be a hard habit to break for the New York Times.
The addiction is evident, and so is the giddiness with which that newspaper enjoys this peculiar habit.
Unfortunately, there is no rehab for this addiction, and if there were, the NYT would be a prime candidate for perpetual relapses.
The only prescription for the NYT's bigotry fever seems to be more bigotry.
This time around, they recruited Ann Louise Bardach, one of the most virulent of pro-Castro anti-exile bigots, to write a special piece on one of the items on Raul Castro's list of demands.
Ann Louise Bardach
Although a reference to Dana Carvey's old SNL "Church Lady" skits was probably unintended, the title of her essay echoes one of the Church Lady's favorite sarcastic insults:
"Well, isn't that special?"
What makes this essay so special is the way in which it combines two of the favorite flavors of the day: the "normalization" issue with race-baiting.
Yes, race-baiting. Did you know that the chief reason we Cubans enjoy a preferential immigration status is the fact that most of us are white?
And --of course -- you must have already known that Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Robert Menendez are "privileged" white racists who love being unfair to dark-skinned Hispanic immigrants?
Yes, sir, yes ma'm. And get a load of the carefully-selected--perhaps specially commissioned--image used to illustrate this essay, which reinforces its race-baiting:
Wait a minute, Ann, wait a minute, NYT, aren't all Lateeeeen-oh's NOT white by definition?
What about all those forms we have to fill out with little boxes to check: White, Hispanic, Asian, African-American, Native American, Alaskan, Aleut, and so on? Don't those forms prove that "Hispanic" is a non-white race?
Oh well, we just can't win. On top of being white rather than "Hispanic" we Cuban exiles are also Republicans who constitute a "veritable crime syndicate."
As Jimmy Fallon might say on one of his Friday night Thank-you sessions:
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, NEW YORK TIMES, FOR PUTTING THE "BIG" IN "BIGOTRY."
Why Are Cubans So Special?
By Ann Louise Bardach
Every Cuban knows the “wet foot, dry foot” drill: Risk fleeing to the United States and get caught at sea, and you will be sent back to the island; but if you wangle just one toe onto dry land, you’re home free. From there, typically, it’s a fast track to permanent residency, and eligibility for all manner of benefits, from green cards to welfare, then citizenship — all compliments of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. Indeed, for almost a half century, Cubans have been the most privileged immigrants in the United States.
The repeal of this Cold War relic of immigration policy is long overdue. Last week, on the same day that the highest-level American diplomat in almost 40 years arrived in Cuba, the Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously voted to petition Congress to revise the act. Should the commission get its wish, the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, devised in 1995, would likely also be upended.
Most Americans are under the impression that the Republican Party is unequivocally opposed to amnesty for immigrants. In fact, it has long backed a blanket amnesty — but only for Cubans. For every other hopeful immigrant, the party’s message has been clear: “Deportations, deportations, deportations,” to quote Jorge Ramos, the Walter Cronkite of Spanish-language television. Why?
One answer is that the 2.1 million Cuban-Americans have been, until quite recently, a rock-solid Republican constituency. There is also a race and class issue. Unlike most of Central and Latin America, Cuba does not have a distinct indigenous population (the Spanish slaughtered almost all of the native Indians of the island). Hence those fleeing the Castro regime in the 1960s and ’70s were almost entirely white, educated and middle or upper class....
....There are...compelling reasons to end the Cuban Privilege. One of them is fairness. Are Cubans seeking a better way of life really more deserving than, say, refugees fleeing death squads or drug cartels?
Another is its enabling of a veritable crime syndicate....
Continue your exposure to this venom HERE. There are many, many more toxins to inhale in the rest of this piece.
Love that Niuyortain: it's so special! Obey its commands, Obamita, or else!
King Raul let it rip at the CELAC Summit in Costa Rica yesterday.
Emboldened by his recent total victory over the United States -- and apparently inspired by a rare combination of George Orwell's "1984" and the final scene in the film "White Heat"-- the Cuban monarch gave a long rambling speech full of Orwellian doublethink and newspeak that can be succinctly summarized with the seven last words shouted by the character Cody Jarrett: "Made it, Ma! Top o' the world!"
Yes, it was a brilliant performance. The Orwellian twist was most clearly evident in his opening remarks:
Our America has entered a new stage and advanced toward independence; sovereignty over our natural resources; integration and construction of a new world order; and, social justice and democracy of the people, by the people and for the people. There is a stronger commitment to justice and the rights of the peoples today than in any other historical period....
Touch of genius, one might say. Touch of genius.
As Orwell himself put it, "the purpose of newspeak is not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of totalitarianism, but to make all other modes of thought impossible."
The purpose of doublethink is the same as that of newspeak--to mold thought-- but requires "the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct." Doublethink is especially useful in the creation of thought-shaping slogans such as "War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery."
If you wish to learn more about newspeak, let George Orwell explain it to you HERE. If yo wish to know more about doublethink, let someone other than Orwell explain it to you HERE.
Enough of this hoity-toity stuff, which never provides fireworks.
The fireworks in King Raul's speech came from his expert imitation of Cody Jarrett, the sociopathic criminal played by Jimmy Cagney in the film "White Heat."
Like Jarrett, King Raul boasted that he was on "top o' the world". Unlike Jarrett, however, he chose not to blow himself up on the spot.
But he did blow up something, quite spectacularly: his "negotiations" with the United States.
So, though he didn't immolate himself at the podium in Costa Rica, his boasting and his cheeky list of demands did incinerate whatever chance the current occupant of the White House may have thought he had to make a "historic" change in U.S. foreign policy.
What a colossal explosion. Ka-Boooom!
Whether the current occupant of the White House or his representatives reply to the blast remains to be seen. While it is eminently clear that they would love to accede to all of King Raul's demands, it's not so clear that such capitulation will be allowed by the legislative branch of the U.S. government.
Here is King Raul's incendiary list of demands, at the end of which he urges the current occupant of the White House to act as a dictator:
....The re-establishment of diplomatic relations is the beginning of a process toward the normalization of bilateral relations, but this will not be possible while the blockade remains in effect; the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base is not returned; the radio and television broadcasts breaching international rules and regulations do not cease; and,adequate compensation is not paid to our people for the human and economic damages sustained.
It would not be ethical, fair or acceptable to ask Cuba anything in exchange. If these issues are not resolved, a diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the United States would not make sense.
It can neither be expected of Cuba to negotiate the abovementioned absolutely sovereign issues related to its internal affairs.
It was possible to advance in the recent negotiations because we treated each other with respect, and as equals. Future progress demands that this remains so.
We have followed with interest the announcement made by the President of the United States of some executive decisions aimed at modifying certain aspects concerning the implementation of the blockade.
The measures made public so far are very limited. The prohibition stands with regards to credits and the use of the dollar in our international financial transactions; the individual travels of Americans with license for so-called people-to-peopleexchanges are prevented and conditioned to subversive purposes; and maritime travels are also forbidden. Another standing prohibition, among many others, restricts the acquisition in third markets of equipment or technology with more than 10 percent of American input as well as the U.S. importation of goods containing Cuban raw materials.
President Barack Obama could use with determination his extensive executive powers to substantially modify the implementation of the blockade. This is something he can do even without Congressional approval.
When you throw the first punch in a fight, your chances of winning are enhanced. Nevertheless, you would be responsible for any collateral damage that you may have caused.
With the above in mind, Cuban Government officials threw the first punch when they confiscated the holdings of U.S. businesses shortly after Fidel rose to power in 1959 – which originally were valued at $1.8 billion, and which at 6 percent simple interest translates to nearly $7 billion in 2014.
Statements made in the U.S. media outlets indicating that the purpose of the U.S. embargo was regime change are nothing more that the Castro propaganda machine in full swing. Even President Obama has fallen victim to this propaganda by repeating the Castro mantra in his speeches.
You would think that any opening with Cuba would entail the compensation of the $7 billion owed to U.S. businesses. After all, if the President of the United States cannot look after its own citizens, then who will? Obama did not make these property claims a condition precedent to the normalization of diplomatic relations with the rogue, Castro regime. He should have!
President Obama is about to find out why it is not wise to negotiate with dictators from a position of weakness. There have been many Cuban-Americans who have criticized the President for the unilateral concessions made to the Cuban Government and with getting very little in return. They rightly have argued that the big winner in these negotiations has been Raul Castro.
Well, Dictator Raul Castro demanded the U.S. Government on January 28, 2015, for the return of Guantanamo Base. But, even more outrageous, Raul demanded that the U.S. Government compensate the Cuban Government for the losses caused by the U.S. embargo – which, according to a Cuban official on September 10, 2014, amounted to $1.1 trillion.
Delusional, right???!!! So, Raul wants to be rewarded for stealing from U.S. business owners. Indeed, these claims would be delusional to anyone with a logical mind!
President Obama’s reasoning for his Cuba opening was to enhance his legacy. With Raul’s demands announced today, I don’t think that the President would want to be remembered for this initiative. In fact, “History Will Not Absolve Obama” for putting his alleged interests over the interests of Americans.
My friend Jorge Ponce brought this to my attention in today's show.
Additionally, we just saw this from ABC:
"Cuban President Raul Castro demanded on Wednesday that the United States return the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations.
Castro told a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States that Cuba and the U.S. are working toward full diplomatic relations but "if these problems aren't resolved, this diplomatic rapprochement wouldn't make any sense.""
Of course, none of this is a shock to those of us who know about the Castros and their criminal enterprises.
Raul Castro smells a weak President Obama and he will push and push and push to get what he wants.
I do have a question for President Obama: What exactly did the US and Cuba delegations talk about for 18 months? Did it occur to anyone that maybe we should discuss outstanding issues like the investments of US citizens in Cuba or the fugitives of US law living in the island? What's the point of these talks?
As I mentioned earlier, the US team walked into these negotiations without a clue. Worse than that, they look naive doing business with a thug like Raul Castro.
By Dr. Jose Azel at the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies:
The Other Cuban Succession
The Cuban succession conjecture pastime began in earnest in 2006 when an aged and ailing Fidel Castro transferred power to his younger brother Raul. With General Castro now 83 years old, the speculation continues as to whom, in the younger generation of Cuban military officers and political apparatchiks, will succeed him.
In Cuba, the elderly Castros are seeking to perpetuate the power of the communist regime around a military-party-dynastic succession. It is a succession my colleague Dr. Pedro Roig has labeled as “a supreme manifestation of tragic insolence” that seeks to give continuity to the Marxist catastrophe recycling its offspring. It is a fragile succession of questionable legitimacy offering only freedomless lives. It is a succession that presumes that the also aging historical exiles will simply fade away.
They miscalculate; there is a less noticed Cuban succession taking place north of Havana that juxtaposes the one on the Island. It is the Cuban-American succession from first wave anti-Castro exiles to their American sons and daughters.
My generation - of the aging heroes of the urban resistance of the 1960’s, of the Bay of Pigs invasion, of the uprisings in the Escambray mountains, of the Pedro Pan exodus- is also transferring its 56 years old quest for a democratic Cuba to the next generation.
It is a generation in prime adulthood of U.S.-raised and educated professionals exceling in every field of human endeavor. By way of example, in the Washington political establishment, it is the generation typified by the new cohort of Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Representatives-elect Alex Mooney (R-WV) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL). Alongside Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Representatives Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) there will be eight Cuban-Americans serving in the 114th Congress.
Cuban-Americans make up less than ½ of 1 percent of the U.S. population, yet they make up 3 percent of the U.S. Senate and more that 1 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives. They speak for four states and both political parties. Even more remarkable is the fact that all Cuban-American representatives, regardless of party affiliation or state representation, speak with a single voice regarding Cuba and its future.
My generation may not have succeeded in ridding Cuba of the Castro regime, but in our unplanned succession we have succeeded admirably in transmitting love of country -for both the U.S. and Cuba- and democratic values to our sons and daughters. Ours is a vision of a democratic Cuba that they will continue to articulate, sometimes in broken Spanish, but eloquently and passionately.
Those inheriting our struggle, unlike their counterparts in Cuba, understand freedom as a state of being, and a state of consciousness. They apprehend the free flow of information, economic freedom, human rights, political liberty, transparency, freedom of speech, and empowerment of the individual as a way of life. Their freedom fighting tactics may differ from ours, but these are values they will not repudiate by embracing Cuba’s tyrannical collectivism.
We are passing the torch to a generation that understands instinctively that economic well-being is a consequence of freedom, and that to value freedom is an insightful philosophical and moral achievement. Also, in dramatic contrast with their counterparts in Cuba, it is a generation that has acquired the American ethos that public servants are not enlightened messianic emissaries.
It is a generation that grew up listening to our stories of a lost country and has learned from us the lessons of Pericles as he sought to inspire the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War: “Make up your minds that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.” Their love of freedom honors us.
*José Azel is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami. He is the author of the book, Mañana in Cuba.
John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:
Castro's criminal cocaine connection
Cuban dictatorship implicated in drug trafficking while Obama Administration shares drug intelligence with Castro Regime.
Partners in Crime: Manuel Noriega and Fidel Castro
High ranking Venezuelan defector is now in the United States and is currently serving as a key witness for the DEA and federal prosecutors. El Nuevo Herald is reporting that Salazar has identified Diosdado Cabello, head of Venezuela's National Assembly, as the leader of the infamous drug-trafficking organization, "Cartel de los Soles". Moreover, he's revealed Cuba's role in the Cartel's narco-trafficking operations, particularly regarding transshipment to the United States.
Wikileaks has revealed the United States and Cuba, since at least 2009 have been "cooperating" on drug trafficking. Even Fox News Latino has published favorable reporting on this relation ship as recently as January 12, 2015. Unfortunately, the experts cited in news reports regarding the drug problem in Cuba and the regime's relationship to the international drug trade bears no resemblance with reality. The State Department in its 2014 country report on Cuba repeats these claims.
The public discussion surrounding cooperating with the dictatorship on counter-narcotics efforts goes back 25 years. Representative Charlie Rangel on July 3, 1989 in a letter to The New York Times started to make the case for the United States and the Castro regime to cooperate to stop regional drug trafficking. First General Manuel Noriega, an authoritarian dictator, that the U.S. shared drug intelligence with to counter drug trafficking and "showered with letters of commendation and grateful thanks by the Drug Enforcement Agency in Washington" was not what U.S. officials claimed in their official reports. Secondly, high ranking Cuban military and intelligence officials had just been revealed to be smuggling large quantities of cocaine into the United States.
Continue reading HERE.
"Vale," Dad's voice came through a little shaky over the phone. "Are you very busy today? Your Mom is driving me crazy and I need some help."
Mom had been having serious bouts of dementia and Dad himself wasn't feeling all that great. "I'm not that busy today, Papi. I'll swing by around lunch time."
His voice perked up a bit. "Gracias, mijo."
It would be my very last telephone conversation with my father.
I finished up some paperwork, replied to a couple of emails and rescheduled my afternoon appointment. Now, in retrospect, I realize I should have been happy that Id get to spend an afternoon with Mom and Dad, but the truth is, I wasn't looking forward to it. Dad was in a lot of pain. His back and hips were causing him all kinds of hurt and he was very frail. It was difficult to see Dad, the big, strong ox, so weak, so thin, so helpless. Mom wasn't doing so well either and adding to that was the dementia, which had gotten progressively worse in recent months.
I called Dad back as I left the office. "Did you two already have lunch?"
Dad said he'd had a little something but Mom hadn't eaten. "Your Mom says she is going to cook. Chicharos."
It had been months if not years since mom had taken to the kitchen and while I welcomed a steaming bowl of Mom's chicharos, you never know how the food a person with dementia cooks will turn out. "I'll swing by the Latin Cafe," I told him. "pick up a couple media noches and for you a Latin 2000. It's like a Cuban sandwich but with chorizo."
"Ok,"he replied. "Sounds good." You could never have too much food, according to Dad.
When I got to Mom and Dad's, sandwiches in hand, Mom was in the front the front porch, staring out the window. "I thought you were your Dad," she said. "he still isnt back from work."
Mom thought Dad, who was sitting in his recliner watching tv, was Dad's Dad. "Your father left me with the old man," she told me. "And he looks ill."
Dad and I laughed through the sadness about it. "She's been like that since yesterday," he said. "Driving me nuts."
I broke out the sandwiches even though Dad said he wasnt all that hungry. I knew once he saw the chorizo, he'd eat. And he did. "Este sandwich esta empigau," he said. "Dont eat the other half. I want it for later."
Mom was tinkering around in the kitchen, searching in all the wrong places for everything she'd need to make the chicharos. She's lived in this house over thirty years, cooked 2 or 3 squares a day, every day and couldnt even remember where she her pots or pans, her spices, spoons or anything else.
For the very first time in my life, at the age of 49, I helped Mom cook chicharos. The very same chicharos she'd pour over my head when Id refuse to eat them as a kid.
Dad napped most of the day while I chased after Mom. She kept pacing back and forth, going out to the front porch, bitching and moaning that Dad was late from work and he wasnt answering his phone and he was supposed to be home already and what if something happened and maybe I should go look for him. To say that witnessing this, living this, is heartbreaking is an overwhelming understatement.
I could not imagine what it must have felt for my Dad to live through this. To see his wife of 60 years mentally deteriorate to such an extent and he not be able to do anything for her. Dad could barely stand, he could hardly walk and for a man like my father, who spent his life protecting and providing and caring for his family, it must have been relentlessly devastating. The weight of the world on his shoulders.
Mom returned from one of her forays to the porch and suddenly recognized Dad. "When did you get home," she asked. "we've all been waiting for you."
Luckily or as I like to think by design, the dementia had given mom a short reprieve in the late afternoon and she went and sat next to Dad. She cupped his face in her hands, combed his white whisps back behind his ears and kissed his big hands. I could tell Dad was fighting back the tears but for those fleeting moments, they were so happy to see each other again.
"Coso," Mom whispered to Dad. "I made you chicharos. Do you want a bowl?"
Dad said he thought she'd never asked. "the aroma was making me hungry."
I helped Mom find his tray, set it up and serve him a bowl of chicharos that Mom and I made. Dad savored every bite and asked for a little more. "Este potaje esta de competencia."
A couple hours later, Dad would have a pulmonary embolism, we would call 911 and Fire Rescue would take him to the ER.
He would never see his home again.