New Librarian of Congress and Cuban-Americans

Carla Hayden, shown in 2015, was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday to head the Library of Congress. Hayden is the longtime leader of Baltimore's library system

On July 13, 2016, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Dr. Hayden as the next Librarian of Congress.

Dr. Carla Hayden, president of the American Library Association (ALA) from 2003-2004, refused to support an amendment to the section of the final report on the proceedings of the ALA’s mid-winter meeting to help free ten librarians that Fidel Castro had imprisoned for making available such documents as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and George Orwell’s 1984.

It is noticeable that Dr. Hayden was a vocal opponent to the Patriot Act during her tenure as ALA president, leading a battle for the protections of library users’ privacy. She objected to the special permissions contained in Section 215 of that law, which granted the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI the power to access library user records. Dr. Hayden often disagreed publicly with then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft over the language of the law.

It is ironic that Dr. Hayden would not side with the ten Cuban librarians who were locked up by Fidel for circulating access to information to the Cuban people.

See:  http://www.villagevoice.com/news/the-abandoned-librarians-6408599

Candidate Marco Rubio Is The One

March 15, 2016 is a big day for Floridians. They will have a chance to vote for the GOP nominee. They will have an opportunity to vote for a native son with Cuban-American roots. Floridians will be able to vote for a candidate who cherishes democracy and capitalism for his country and other countries throughout the world. That candidate is U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. For Cuban-Americans in particular, Marco Rubio is “lo mejor de lo nuestro” (the best that we have to offer).

Marco Rubio is the one who can unite the Republican Party to defeat Candidate Hillary Clinton.  Rubio is the one who wears his Cuban-American heritage on his sleeve everywhere that he campaigns — not just when he is in Cuban Mecca Miami.  Rubio is the one who took the fight to “The Donald” to show him that his disparaging remarks have negative consequences.

I’ve penned two op-eds recently where I make the case for why Candidate Marco Rubio is what our country needs to retain its exceptionalism and to open the doors of opportunity to those who have been left behind.

See: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cuban-american-enamored-freedom-democracy-jorge-ponce?trk=prof-post and, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/donald-trump-bernie-sanders-two-sides-same-drug-jorge-ponce?trk=prof-post

Cuban-Americans and Mexican-Americans? Two Wings of the Same Bird?

Hispanic Heritage Month

In interviews conducted by the Washington Post in wedding chapels and casinos … Mexicans who make up so much of the workforce said it would be far more meaningful to elect the first Mexican American president than the first Latino. Many said they would vote for a non-Latino over a Cuban American. In two days of interviews, not a single Mexican said he or she supported Rubio or Cruz.

Which brings me to the point of questioning the viability of the term “Hispanic/Latino” by the Federal Government. Specifically, if a Mexican-American gets a supervisory position in the federal sector, and he/she gets to choose between a Mexican-American and a Cuban-American applicant with the appropriate qualifications, will he/she choose a Mexican-American or a Cuban-American? Most of us understand that the idea of applicants having “equal qualifications” is impossible.

To read the Washington Post article, click on https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/01/10/32d20f8e-b4bc-11e5-a842-0feb51d1d124_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_daily202

Agreeing with Che Guevara? What Has This World Come To?!!!

http://www.newyorker.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Demick-Shopping-in-Cuba-690x460-1452296926.jpg

It is not often that you’ll see me agree with a Che Guevara saying. After reading the article below, I agree with Che that “no se vive de esfuerzos, sino de resultados (one does not measure success by the efforts, but by the results). The Cuban Revolution under Fidel and Raul Castro has turned out to be “La Gran Estafa” (a big rip-off) for the Cuban people.

Read the New Yorker article HERE.

Yoani Sánchez — A Bridge Through Dialogue

Following is a magnificent interview conducted in Berlin, Germany in 2003, by Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez. While I disagree with Yoani when it comes to the lifting of the U.S. embargo, I respect her daily fight against the repression in Communist Cuba. She cited a famous saying by Cuban Founding Father José Martí: “Subir montañas, hermana a los hombres.” [Fighting for a just cause triggers the brotherhood of mankind]. Her cause – fighting for the restoration of freedom and democracy to Cuba – is my cause as well. She describes herself as bridge through dialogue. While you may not agree with each other through dialogue, it opens a window of understanding to the other side. Many people have asked me why I write so much, and I’m glad that Yoani used the same logic to respond: writing is a catharsis for my being a citizen of the world.

To listen to the interview, click on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbo03RidoD0

Pachanga in the White House

President Obama’s 2015 National Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation addresses the contributions that “America’s Hispanic community” has made to our country. Therefore, one must ask why the President has opted to host Communist Cuba’s Buena Vista Social Club at a White House function tonight. One can draw only one conclusion, the President prefers to embrace Cubans from a Communist country rather that freedom-loving Cuban-Americans from the United States.

But the President can’t help himself. In the 2015 proclamation, he brags as one of his accomplishments the fact that “we are expanding the cultural, economic, and familial ties that so many Hispanic Americans share with Latin America by entering a new chapter of engagement and cooperation with Cuba.” Once again, the President shows no respect for freedom-loving Cuban-Americans.
And now you have an inkling as to why I dislike President Obama so much!

To read the 2015 White House proclamation, click on https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/15/presidential-proclamation-national-hispanic-heritage-month-2015

Pope Francis, Dorothy Day, and Che Guevara

Pope Francis

Bombarded by the 24-hour news cycle on the Popemania, I was moved to listen to Pope Francis’ address to a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress on September 24, 2015.

Having said this, I must admit that I was not favorably inclined to listen to this Pope for his failure to rise to the occasion during his Cuban visit. He refused to meet with the Ladies in White and with other human-rights activists who have been fighting the oppression of the Castro regimes and religious persecution. He invoked “reconciliation” to the Cuban people — ignoring the fact that what they need is FREEDOM. The Pope’s demeanor in Communist Cuba was not that of a man of courage. His continued criticism of capitalism and his silence on communism show his biases and his preferred ideology.

When asked why he had not met with human-rights dissidents during his stay in Cuba, Pope Francis responded that “”It was very clear I was not holding private audiences in the nunciature — not even with other heads of state.” And, yet, Pope Francis did meet with Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, DC.  This provides more evidence where Pope Francis’ loyalties are – definitely not with democratic forces.

There are signs that Pope Francis offered us to let us know where his sympathies are.  By meeting with Fidel Castro, the Pope gave a pass to the former Cuban dictator who closed all Catholic schools and universities, as well as expelled 131 priests, brothers, and a bishop on a freighter bound for Spain in 1961.  According to the church’s statistics, the number of priests in Cuba decreased from 723 in 1960 to 220 in 1965. By reaching out to Fidel, Pope Francis betrayed the sacrifices of many Catholic youngsters who died at the hands of firing squads at La Cabaña prison to shouts of “Viva Cristo Rey.” Pope Francis sided with the key enemy of the Catholic Church in Cuba.

And here is yet another clue as to why I don’t trust Pope Francis. When he visited Bolivia, he accepted as a gift a Marxist crucifix from President Evo Morales — one shaped with the Communist hammer and sickle. It was Karl Marx who called religion the opium of the masses. Religion and communism are incompatible with each other, and, yet, Pope Francis said that he was not offended by Evo’s gesture. You see, Pope Francis remembers to talk about “politics” only when he is away from totalitarian-run countries. To him, the enemy of the people is capitalism, not communism!

Getting back to Pope Francis’ speech to Congress, I was glad when he mentioned leading civil-rights champions in our Nation’s history, like former President Abraham Lincoln and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Both of these were Americans whom I have always admired.

But then, the Pope threw me a curve ball when he mentioned Dorothy Day. At first, I thought that the Pope’s lack of proficiency with the English language had triggered a mispronunciation of a famous American. I was certain that the Pope meant to recognize the popular actress of the 1950s and 1960s Doris Day. She was a favorite of mine, too.

On second thought, I thought that Doris Days did not belong next to the names of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., unless, she had done some momentous acts in our history that I was unfamiliar with. So, I went back and checked Doris Day’ biography, and I could not find any. Her fame was mainly in the film industry.

My first clue that helped me to solve my dilemma came when I heard that U.S. Senator and self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders had left the House chamber beaming because the Pope had cited an American Catholic whom Sanders had plenty of praise of. The Senator indicated that the name “Dorothy Day has not been used in the United States Congress terrible often.” Sanders went on to say that “She was a valiant fighter for workers, was very strong in her belief for social justice, and I think it was extraordinary that he cited her as one of the most important people in recent American history. This would be one of the very, very few times that somebody as radical as Dorothy Day was mentioned.”

Now that I had the correct name, I did a bit of research on Dorothy Day. And I came up with one of Day’s famous saying during the 1970s:

“The two words [anarchist-pacifist] should go together, especially at this time when more and more people, even priests, are turning to violence, and are finding their heroes in Camillo Torres among the priests, and Che Guevara among laymen. The attraction is strong, because both men literally laid down their lives for their brothers. “Greater love hath no man than this.””

And, now, I am more convinced than ever as to why I admired Pope John II. Regarding Pope Francis, I am not a fan. Anyone who mentioned an American who looked up to Che Guevara cannot be a friend of mine or of freedom-loving Cuban-Americans.

Pope Francis and President Obama

Pope Francis Evo Morales

According to the Wall Street Journal — “Vatican disputes White House guest list for papal visit,” by Francis X. Rocca: “On the eve of Pope Francis’s arrival in the U.S., the Vatican has taken offense at the Obama administration’s decision to invite to the pope’s welcome ceremony transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and an activist nun who leads a group criticized by the Vatican for its silence on abortion and euthanasia…According to a senior Vatican official, the Holy See worries that any photos of the pope with these guests at the White House welcoming ceremony next Wednesday could be interpreted as an endorsement of their activities.”

Where was the Vatican rage when Bolivian President Evo Morales gave him an image of the crucified Christ featuring the Communist hammer and sickle?

Now that Pope Francis has become a buddy of President Obama, he’s finding out that worst thing anyone can do is become a friend of the President. Obama is kinder and gentler with his enemies than with his friends.

Cuban-American Poet in Havana on August 14th

Marti Quote

The Obama administration asked Richard Blanco, the son of Cuban immigrants, to write a poem for the reopening of the U.S. Embassy in “La Obama,” Cuba, on August 14th, 2015. Blanco, who read his poem “One Today” at President Obama’s second inauguration, indicated that this second request “was the hardest and easiest poem I have had to write.”

It is shameful that Blanco has allowed himself to be manipulated by the Obama administration. Perhaps, Blanco is more interested in himself than in the plight of the Cuban people. Indeed, it is ironic that Secretary Kerry refused to invite Cuban dissidents to the official flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. embassy. It is the Cuban dissidents who deserve to read their poems at this official ceremony.

Blanco should be reminded of the words of Cuban Founding Father José Martí regarding visiting an enslaved Cuba:

“To set foot in the house of the oppressor is to justify the oppression. As long as a people have not conquered its rights, he/she who visits the house of those who trample on his/her rights to party and have a good time is an enemy of the people. “

If President Obama’s goal was to bring the Cuban and the Cuban-American closer together, he has failed miserably. Blanco’s actions have set them apart.

See: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2015/08/13/son-cuban-exiles-says-reciting-poem-at-embassy-opening-is-his-easiest-yet/

Some Pedro Paners’ Nonsensical Views on Communist Cuba

Between 1960 and 1962, Cuban parents sent approximately 14,000 children unaccompanied to the United States to rid them of the Communist indoctrination in Communist Cuba. Many were relocated to live with relatives, while others were placed in foster homes and orphanages. Some were reunited with their parents later, while some never saw their parents again. This is what I call making the ultimate sacrifice by these parents for their kids to live in a free society!

To me, it is inconceivable that some of these Pedro Pan kids nowadays have positive views of the Cuban dictators. It is inconceivable to me that some of them even have favorable views of the Obama/Castro opening. Like my friends in Santo Suarez would say, ¡Le zumba el mango!

While this is a right granted to all in a democracy, I place my trust and admiration in Pedro Paners like Willy Chirino who is still faithful to his parents’ ideals of returning only to a Cuba Libre.

This Cuban-American Is Not On My Team

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Tuesday said it will no longer require incoming U.S. citizens to pledge that they will ‘bear arms on behalf of the United States’ or ‘perform noncombatant service’ in the Armed Forces as part of the naturalization process. Those lines are in the Oath of Allegiance that people recite as they become U.S. citizens. But USCIS said people ‘may’ be able to exclude those phrases for reasons related to religion or if they have a conscientious objection.”

I think that patriotic Americans should contact their congressmen(women) to insist that President Obama fire the agency’s director, Leon Rodriguez, over the apparent change. Rodriguez is a Cuban-American who does not have my vote.

Rodriguez was born in 1962 in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Cuban immigrants. When he was four years old, Rodriguez moved with his parents to Miami, where they ran a business. He attended Brown University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1984. Rodriguez received his J.D. from Boston College in 1988.