Tuesday July 28: A look at US-Cuba talks with Jorge Ponce & Alain Castillo..click to listen…. http://t.co/Hqb0jTQMQ8
— Silvio Canto, Jr. (@SCantojr) July 28, 2015
A little baseball history to distract us from the horrific stories coming out of Cuba.
On July 23, 1960, 3 Cubans playing for the Washington Senators made baseball history. They were involved in the only Cuban to Cuban to Cuban triple play. I’m sure that it is the only “all latino” triple play too. I couldn’t find any other example of 3 latinos turning a triple play.
The 3 players were pitcher Pedro Ramos, shortstop Jose Valdivielso and first baseman Julio Becquer. Whitey Herzog, future manager with the Kansas City Royals and St Louis Cardinals, hit the ball back to Ramos, who went to first and then second.
A little more about the game. The Senators became the Minnesota Twins in 1961. The Kansas City A’s moved to Oakland in 1968.
Ramos won 117 games but pitched for very bad teams. I wrote a post about him earlier when he turned 80. Becquer had a fine glove but hit only .244 with the Senators and later the Twins. Valdivielso hit .219 and was primarily a part-time player.
Another Cuban, Camilo Pascual, watched the proceedings from the dugout.
My thanks to Fernando Hernandez, author of “The Cubans” for bringing this to my attention. By the way, his book is full of stories of Cubans in the US, from Celia Cruz to Desi Arnaz to lots of other less known Cubans who left their footprints.
Guests: Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, editor of Fausta’s Blog………the impact of commodity prices on Latin America currencies…….the latest on El Chapo in Mexico……..Puerto Rico, default and the impact on the US economy………the decline of the Venezuela economy………..and other stories from the front pages of Latin America………and we look at the controversy over the Planned Parenthood videos…….
Click to listen:
Alain Castillo is a young man in Texas…….he was born in Florida and now lives in Texas….he wrote this letter to show his disapproval of Presiddent Obama’s approach toward Cuba.
Open Letter to President Obama regarding the opening of embassies, bilateral relations
By Alain Castillo
Mr. President, I write to you as a Millennial, who like others, didn’t get hired in their college dream job after graduation and who has loan debt to payoff. I also write to you as a former supporter who believed (and voted) for you in 2008. Lastly, I also write to you as a non-elitist, humble man of Cuban heritage. In other words, I fit the criteria to have your attention.
This week, I write to you to show disdain, disagreement, dissent and disapproval for your “new” Cuban policy, especially the opening of the US and Cuban embassies in each country this week.
Before I begin, I would like to share some history about my background. Mr. President, my mother and father’s lives were of humble background in Cuba. Both of them grew up poor in Cuba, –my mother growing up in a farm and my father in a poor town. My father had dreamed of becoming a General for the Constitutional Republic of Cuba; a loyal soldier just like my grandfather.
Yet, in 1959, all of their lives would change as a secret communist revolution took over Cuba socially, economically and politically. I can write on-and-on over this, but one simple truth has remained since that time: NOTHING HAS CHANGED FOR THE BETTERMENT OF CUBANS.
Neither my mother nor father benefitted from the “Hope and Change” forced upon them by the Castro regime so they packed their bags with only a suitcase full of clothes and they looked forward to real “hope and change” that awaited them in the land of the free, over 30 years ago.
After your Dec. 17, 2014 announcement stating that your State Department team would spearhead the effort to normalize relations with Cuba, there have been many opinions where the pros and cons have been expressed by members of the Cuban exile community, Congress, academia, media outlets, human rights groups, dissidents and pro-Cuban government lobbyist groups, such as the Cuban Study Group.
So far, as of July 2015, just as in 1959, NOTHING HAS CHANGED FOR THE BETTERMENT OF CUBANS.
There have been so many arrests since the December 2014 announcement that the Cuban government is labeling prisoners as “common criminals.”
Mr. President, I have spent a lot of time considering the best things to say in response to this action by your administration in an effort to not be redundant because so far everything, but the kitchen sink, has been discussed. I do not want to argue against your character nor where your heart is since it will not be futile or necessary.
What I will argue is for common sense.
To be honest, the “re-opening of the US and Cuban embassies” really is an upgrade of government facilities of both countries. This is more symbolic than anything, but it has been described by your critics, such as author Humberto Fontova, to be questioned on its legal basis. This view has even given more fuel to the fire of others’ opinions overall that “you choose the laws that will be enforced.”
In his article, “Is Diplomatic Recognition of Cuba Even Legal?”, Fontova shared that the Cuban Liberty and Solidarity Act of 1996, Section 201 (13) declares that any easing of a diplomatic relationship with Cuba relies on the fact that “there exists a democratically elected government in Cuba.”
Next, Section. 201 (13) states that “The satisfactory resolution of property claims by a Cuban Government recognized by the United States remains an essential condition for the full resumption of economic and diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.”
US law clearly shows that this move is not only pre-mature, but un-American. I ask this question: What precedent will this new move take for future US administrations? How will we treat Cuba after the Obama era? What if a new President declares this move illegal?
Overall, this move only further legitimizes the Cuban revolutionary government and does not honor the Cuban people at all. Not only that, it will cause more problems.
For example, will Cubans be able to ask for asylum upon entering US sovereign soil or will they be pushed away? What were the agreements made between the two parties that gave a go ahead for this move? Will Cuban government officials be given a chance to freely travel to the US to continue harassing members of the Cuban American exile community?
What comes next as dangerous is the actual normalization of relations with Cuba. Mr. President, as a forbearer of “Hope and Change” you have negotiated with a government that has US blood on their hands where their families of the Brothers to the Rescue pilots never received any justice.
The only thing this move has caused is many headaches, beatings and blood spilled in Cuban streets. Mr. President, as a matter of respect, I implore you to stand with the grassroots Cuban dissident movement to force real “Hope and Change” on the island. Do not back down from these egotistical maniacs, but stand up for the Cuban people.
It’s good to hear from young Cuban Americans like Alain…….
We remember 3-time batting champ Tony Oliva. He won batting titles in 1964, 1965 and 1971. Unfortunately, injuries cut short his career in the 1970s.
He finished his career with a .304 average, 1917 hits, 220 Hrs & 947 Rbi.
What if he had played 2,500 games rather than 1,676?
The answer is 3,000 hits and probably one or two more batting titles.
One of the greatest Cuban players in major league history!
Guest: Fausta Rodriguez-Wertz, editor of Fausta’s Blog, joins me for a look at the latest in US-Latin America stories……..the biggest story is “El Chapo”, the cartel leader who escaped from a maximum security prison near Mexico City…..it is a terrible blow to Mexico and President Pena-Nieto……Pope Francis in Latin America………scandals in Brazil……….the Iran deal and Latin America…..click to listen:
Guest: Jorge Ponce, Cuban American writer and contributor to Babalu Blog…..joins me for an update on US-Cuba talks…..we will look at the opening of embassies and opposition to naming an Ambassador in the US Senate…….a word about The Cuban Adjustment Act 50 years later….Click to listen: