Chile and Allende on this day in 1970

On this day in 1970, my father and a couple of Chilean friends were following the presidential election on short wave radio.    I am talking the days when we didn’t have internet or cheap long distance calls.   My father was listening to the Spanish version of The Voice of America.

In the end, Salvador Allende was elected president in a 3-way contest:

Allende’s election in 1970 was his third attempt at the presidency.
In 1958, and again in 1964, Allende had run on a socialist/communist platform. In both elections, the United States government (as well as U.S. businesses such as International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), which had significant investments in Chile) worked to defeat Allende by sending millions of dollars of assistance to his political opponents.
In 1970, the United States again worked for Allende’s defeat, but he finished first out of the four candidates. However, since he had garnered less than 40 percent of the popular vote, the final decision had to be made by the Chilean congress.
The United States worked feverishly to derail Allende’s selection but the election was upheld on October 24, 1970.
Allende immediately confirmed the worst fears of U.S. officials when he extended diplomatic recognition to North Vietnam, North Korea, and Cuba, and also began to take action to nationalize the holdings of U.S. corporations in Chile, notably ITT and Kennecott Copper.

Allende’s presidency was controversial from the start.   Chile went into political crisis that eventually led to General Pinochet overthrowing President Allende in 1973.    (I wrote about Chile’s 9-11 here)

Chile is doing quite well today, as we discussed with Carlos A Roncal in 2014.

In fact, the right had a big day in regional elections yesterday.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

2016: I will vote to protect the unborn

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not support Mr. Trump.

I was hoping that we’d nominate one of our extremely successful governors, from Bush to Kasich to Walker to Perry.  In Texas, I eventually voted for Rubio because all of those others were out and he was the most electable.

Let me say this.   My first vote was in 1976 when I proudly voted for President Ford.   Since that first vote, I have proudly supported each one of our nominees even when they were not my first choice such as Mr. Dole in 1996.

Since early summer, I have been struggling with a real dilemma.  However, we must think of the larger picture and voting for Donald Trump makes a lot more sense than electing Hillary Clinton by supporting another option.

In other words, someone will nominate Justices to the Supreme Court and I’d rather have Mr. Trump do that.

No one has dissected Mrs. Clinton better than Dr. Charles Krauthammer this week:

The soullessness of this campaign — all ambition and entitlement — emerges almost poignantly in the emails, especially when aides keep asking what the campaign is about.

In one largely overlooked passage, Clinton complains that her speechwriters have not given her any overall theme or rationale. Isn’t that the candidate’s job?

Asked one of her aides, Joel Benenson: “Do we have any sense from her what she believes or wants her core message to be?”

It’s that emptiness at the core that makes every policy and position negotiable and politically calculable.

Hence the embarrassing about-face on the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the popular winds swung decisively against free trade.

A Trump presidency, with VP Pence, a GOP Senate and House, could actually produce some important domestic results.

They could repeal Obama Care and actually replace it with something that puts the patient and doctor in control.

They could finally tackle tax reform, something that most of us have been calling for.

Last, but not least, a President Trump could be persuaded by Speaker Ryan to take a serious look at entitlements.

On free trade, I am not expecting much because tearing up trade agreements is a lot more complicated than everyone realizes.  I just hope that Trump’s supporters understand that.

On immigration, I do not really believe that a President Trump will get Mexico to pay for the wall or deport millions.  However, they may do something about sanctuary cities and respecting our immigration laws.

On foreign policy, it will be hell no matter who walks into the Oval Office.  President Obama is leaving such a mess in the Middle East that it won’t be pretty, from Syria to Iran.

My point is that there is hope with a Trump presidency to get some things done.

On the other side, there is no hope for governing if Mrs. Clinton wins.  There are also going to be some huge battles in the Democrat aisle because the left and Mrs. Clinton are not going to enjoy each other at all. The left is not a happy bunch these days as Politico wrote.

Yes I am voting for Mr. Trump, the lesser of the two evils this time around.

In the end, I will sleep comfortably knowing that I voted to protect the unborn this time around.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

My mother needs to teach in our colleges


(My new American Thinker post)

This is so crazy that I am speechless.   It appears that our young people, known as millennials these days, are completely ignorant of communism.   Let me show you this from Market Watch:

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, citing survey results released on Monday, blames widespread ignorance for the relatively positive views millennials have toward socialism and communism.

Of the 2,300 Americans polled by YouGov, 80% of baby boomers and 91% of the elderly agree with the statement that “communism was and still is a problem” in the world today. Millennials?  Only 55%.

The insanity continues with many millennials believing that President George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin.   Incredibly, Stalin was known as “The butcher of Ukraine” to many Russians who actually know the history of the 20th century.

What an indictment of our educational system. What are we teaching our young people about an ideology that killed millions of people in the 20th century?

It is also further proof that our schools are too caught up in political correctness, or even moral equivalency. It is one thing to teach history, such as the Soviet revolution or Mao’s Long March or the Cuban Missile Crisis, but it’s quite another to compare Lenin to George Washington.

In other words, there are good and bad guys in history. And there is nothing wrong with millennials hearing that we are the good guys and the communists are not. It is our absence to say these things that has a bunch of millennials confused about the real history.

My mother, who came here from Cuba with my late father, is furious to hear that millennials are so ignorant.   She has offered to tutor them for free with real human stories about communism.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

A nice birthday gift if you can get it



And the hits just keep on coming, as those Top 40 jingles used to tell us.

We learned that President Clinton was given a wonderful birthday gift years ago:

According to the newly released WikiLeaks emails, Bill Clinton, the husband of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, received a birthday present from the Islamic country of Qatar in 2011 of $1 million.

“[Qatar] Would like to see WJC ‘for five minutes’ in NYC, to present $1 million check that Qatar promised for WJC’s birthday in 2011,” Ami Desai, director of foreign policy for the Clinton Foundation, wrote in 2012.

Let’s assume that Qatar was just giving the former president a birthday gift. In other words, let’s assume further that the wonderful people of Qatar just wanted to show their support for the former president and all of the wonderful things that he did for the world.

Or maybe his assistance in bringing the World Cup?

My question is this: do we want former presidents getting birthday gifts of this size? More importantly, do we want an ex-president, married to the current Secretary of State and future candidate for president, to be getting a gift like this? And shouldn’t gifts like these be made public? Did President Obama know that such a gift was made? Did that check go into a joint account or some account that benefits Mrs. Clinton as well?

As with everything Clinton, it raises ethical questions and transparency issues. It reminds us again that the Clintons love to navigate in secret until they are caught.

It also raises the question of what Qatar was expecting from Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. Maybe nothing, but the secrecy of this gift makes me wonder.

For the record, I am not opposed to countries honoring our ex presidents by naming schools or airports after them. I don’t even mind if they make a contribution to a charity of the president’s choice, such as to recognize the wonderful work that President and Mrs. Carter have done with Habitat for Humanity.

Again, this gift was made in secret and that’s wrong because we are talking about a former president married to the Secretary of State.

It stinks, like everything Clinton!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Unprecedented “media coup d’etat” against Trump

As the readers of Babalu may remember, I was not a fan of Donald Trump in the primaries.   I was hoping for a governor, from Gov Bush of Florida to Gov Walker of Wisconsin to Gov Kasich of Ohio to our own Gov Perry of Texas.    Later, I voted for Senator Rubio in Texas because I saw him as the one most electable candidate after so many had dropped out.

My point is that I am not a Trump fan.    Nevertheless, Mr Trump is correct about the way that the media is treating his campaign.

Some of you may have heard about Barry Casselman’s post: A Media Coup D’Etat?

It was mentioned by Newt Gingrich at Fox News and ABC News

It is something that we should all read and here it is:

What we are now witnessing in the 2016 U.S. presidentialelection is an unprecedented media coup d’etat as many ofthe combined media forces (but not all of its members) are attempting to determine the next president before the voting takes place.

I want to make clear that I have not endorsed either HillaryClinton or Donald Trump, and that I have criticized each ofthem on occasions when I thought it was fair and appropriate.I found Mr. Trump’s  recently released video tape comments to be crude and unacceptable, and I found some of Mrs. Clinton’s comments in the release of texts from her speeches to be inappropriate and seriously wrong-headed.

Those are only my opinions, and I know they are not shared in many cases by partisans of each candidate. Nonetheless, I don’t feel it is my job or prerogative to tell my readers how to vote in this election.

Unfortunately, many newspapers, magazines, major and cableTV and radio networks are  choosing to take part in an attemptto influence the outcome of the election way beyond what Ithink are the acceptable standards of the media’s role in apresidential election. To be fair, it is not only the liberal media,but some in the conservative media as well who have joinedinto this endeavor.

This has taken the forms of days and weeks of one-sidedpress coverage (I distinguish that from editorial opinion), hoursof relentless and repetitious broadcasts of the most salacious material about Mr. Trump while downplaying equally serious material from Mrs, Clinton’s hitherto unpublished speeches and e-mails, obviously biased moderators of the TV debates so far, and generally one-sided coverage of the campaign itselfonce the primary/caucus season was concluded, Before that,the media clearly overplayed its coverage of Mr. Trump, and did so mostly uncritically, giving him an unfair advantage against his Republican nomination opponents.

I make a distinction between opinion writing and reportingjournalism. It is understood that some are writing with a partisan point of view. My attention here is directed to thosewho presume to be addressing their readers and audienceswithout unfair bias.

Media bias is nothing new. Polling of reporters show that anoverwhelming majority of them are liberals and Democrats. (Decades ago, it should be noted, most in the media were conservatives and Republicans.) Balanced coverage is perhaps an unrealistic expectation, but the behavior of so many mediainstitutions in 2016 goes beyond mere bias. The front page is not the editorial page. No wonder all polls of public attitudes show trust in the media to be so low.

It is understandable that much of Donald Trump’s manner, andmany of his words, turn off media and establishment elites inboth parties. It is fair to criticize him for his lapses. But HillaryClinton also speaks controversially and has made egregiousmistakes. To try to pretend that she does not have equally lowcredibility is unjustifiable.
Fortunately, the final say in an election rests with the voters.Donald Trump might well lose on November 8 because he wasnot able to persuade enough voters that he should be president.Perhaps he will make a comeback. It is not up to the media, however, to try to predetermine that result by bullying the public into their own way of thinking.
For whatever reason history has presented the Americanelectorate with two such flawed nominees, it is up to the votersto sort this dilemma out on their own.

In the interest of full disclosure, Barry has been on my show often.   He joined me last week to discuss the presidential race and this post.    Listen here!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

‘Disco Duck’ and 1976 want their foreign policy back


(My new American Thinker post)

Let’s go back to October 1976.  The # 1 song in the country was “Disco Duck“.

On a more serious note, the USSR and Cuba were working together to attack the U.S. in Africa and Central America.

It sure feels like 1976 all over again and I am not talking about dancing ducks.

I mean that Russia, the one we used to call the USSR, is now down in Cuba talking to Raul Castro, the one who is running the island after his brother Fidel had to step aside for health reasons.

We learned this week that the Russians are coming back to Cuba. To be fair, Russia is not going to subsidize Cuba the way that the USSR did from 1962 to 1992. At the same time, Russia is looking for an anti-U.S. angle and they found one in Cuba.

This is from Sputnk News via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Speaking to the paper, Vladimir Karjakin, a professor at the Military University of the Russian Defense Ministry of Defense, suggested that reopening the Lourdes SIGINT facility would significantly improve Russian radio intelligence, whose effectiveness is low compared to that of the U.S.

“In its own time, the intelligence center at Lourdes kept virtually the entire Western Hemisphere in its view, monitoring the U.S. at a depth of several thousand kilometers,” the retired Air Force colonel recalled.

We are not suggesting that this is 1962 when the USSR put missiles in the island. It sure looks like the 1970s when Cuba and the USSR worked together to hurt U.S. interests.

So why didn’t we warn Castro and Cuba? Why didn’t we say that the embassy and trade deals would be cancelled if the Russians discussed opening the intelligence center at Lourdes?

I guess that President Obama really wanted to make that Cuba deal. Just like he really wanted to make that Iran deal.

From Cuba to Iran and now Obama Care, the question is the same: How does this help the people of the U.S.? It doesn’t but that’s for # 45 to worry about.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Obama helping the Castro regime, again


(My new American Thinker post)

You will soon be able to bring Cuban cigars back to the U.S.

Cheers for Cuban cigars.  I will always remember my father’s stories of visiting his bank clients in the cigar business.  They were some of the hardest-working entrepreneurs in old Cuba.  They sold cigars like H Upman, Partagas, and others that your grandfather probably remembers.

Thumbs down for a U.S. administration participating in the merchandising of products made by workers not allowed to join a labor union.

Remember that all of those Cuban cigars were once rolled by Cubans who worked for private companies and were free to join a union.  All of those companies were also confiscated from the men and women who built them.

Maybe this is why Democrat senator Menendez expressed his outrage about the administration’s latest moves:

Once again, the Administration has it wrong about what’s right for the people of Cuba. Today, the Administration has announced new regulations that blatantly violate the laws of the United States in a legacy-attempt to further normalize relations with Cuba in the next 100 days, supposedly to benefit businesses, but the only beneficiaries of the Administration’s legacy-largesse are the Castros themselves.

Since the announcement of the change in American policy toward Cuba nearly two years ago, the Castro regime has only grown stronger. It has continued its policies of repression, has continued to jail the Ladies in White, has continued to suppress the freedom of expression, and the promotion of anything resembling democracy.

Today’s regulatory economic changes from the White House not only benefit state-owned Cuban businesses and bolster the coffers of the Castro regime, but mark a profound shift away from our own commitment to the rule of law and the processes of democracy as we have always known them.

The new regulations simply and blatantly violate both the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 and the Cuban Liberty and the Libertad Act of 1996, which codified the embargo against Cuba, and indicate that the United States government will now actively ‘authorize contracts and violations currently prohibited by the embargo.

Yes, it’s the law of the land.  It’s a law based on two important principles: respect for property law and concern for the human rights of the Cubans on the island.

Am I the only person who believes that the U.S. should stand for property rights and human rights?

In the meantime, think about it the next time you light up a Cuban cigar.  Maybe your conscience will drive you to get one from Jamaica or the Dominican Republic.  Those two countries are not perfect, but at least their workers are allowed to form unions.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

1975: Big day for Luis Tiant

We remember Luis Tiant’s career because he won 229 games in the majors.   He also led the AL in ERA in 1968 and 1972.

Today, we recalled that he pitched a brilliant 6-0 shutout against Cincinnati in game 1 of the 1975 World Series.    He did it against a lineup that included Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, fellow Cuban Tony Perez, David Concepcion, George Foster and a few others.   They were called The Big Red Machine for a reason!

Tiant came back and won game 4 with a complete game that featured 163 pitches!   He started game 6, after a few days of rain, but did not get a decision.  That was the game where Carlton Fisk hit the HR in the bottom of the 12th.

We remember the man they called “El Tiante” and his brilliant pitching on this day in 1975.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Solzhenitsyn 1970: Remember when The Nobel Peace Prize went to people who earned it?


In 2009, Pres BO was awarded The Nobel Peace Prize.  It is still one of the biggest “jokes” in recent memory.    We just learned that President Santos of Colombia got the latest one for working on a peace deal with FARC.

At the same time, this is the same group that gave former Pres Carter and VP Gore a similar prize.  The Carter prize could be defended because of his legitimate work in Central American elections in the early 1990s.  The Gore prize was pure PC nonsense about global warming.

The question is:  What are the judges drinking when they awarded Pres BO the Nobel?  It can not be reality!  Perhaps it was “Obamamania” with a teaspoon of “hope and change”.

The Nobel Peace Prize used to be a serious award.

We remember how Alexander Solzhenitsyn was give the prize back in 1970:

“The best-known living Russian writer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, wins the Nobel Prize for literature.

Born in 1918 in the Soviet Union, Solzhenitsyn was a leading writer and critic of Soviet internal oppression.

Arrested in 1945 for criticizing the Stalin regime, he served eight years in Russian prisons and labor camps.

Upon his release in 1953 he was sent into “internal exile” in Asiatic Russia. After Stalin’s death, Solzhenitsyn was released from his exile and began writing in earnest.

His first publication, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1963), appeared in the somewhat less repressive atmosphere of Nikita Khrushchev’s regime (1955-1964).

The book was widely read in both Russia and the West, and its harsh criticisms of Stalinist repression provided a dramatic insight into the Soviet system.

Eventually, however, Soviet officials clamped down on Solzhenitsyn and other Russian artists, and henceforth his works had to be secreted out of Russia in order to be published.

These works included Cancer Ward (1968) and the massive three-volume The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956(1973-1978).

The Soviet government further demonstrated its displeasure over Solzhenitsyn’s writings by preventing him from personally accepting his Nobel Prize in 1970.

In 1974, he was expelled from the Soviet Union for treason, and he moved to the United States. Although celebrated as a symbol of anticommunist resistance, Solzhenitsyn was also extremely critical of many aspects of American society; particularly what he termed its incessant materialism. He returned to Russia in 1994.
Solzhenitsyn died of heart failure in Moscow on August 3, 2008. He was 89.”

Solzhenitsyn was a great man, writer and hero.  He was willing to write books in a country that did not tolerate dissent.  He was tough and willing to stand up to the Soviet thugs in the Kremlin.

He was exactly the kind of man for a Nobel Peace Prize.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

1960: Nixon and Kennedy talk Cuba in the debates


We are watching another two presidential candidates debate in 2016.   Let’s go back to 1960 and remember how Cuba was discussed in that debate between Senator Kennedy and VP Nixon.

In the second debate (October 7, 1960), Cuba became a very hot topic, as we remember from this transcript:

“The reporters are: Paul Niven of CBS, Edward P. Morgan of ABC, Alvin Spivak of United Press International, and Harold R. Levy of Newsday.

Now the first question is from Mr. Niven and is for Vice President Nixon.

MR. NIVEN: Mr. Vice President, Senator Kennedy said last night that the Administration must take responsibility for the loss of Cuba. Would you compare the validity of that statement with the validity of your own statements in previous campaigns that the Truman Administration was responsible for the loss of China to the Communists?

MR. NIXON: Well first of all, I don’t agree with Senator Kennedy that Cuba is lost and certainly China was lost when this Administration came into power in 1953. As I look at Cuba today, I believe that we are following the right course, a course which is difficult but a course which under the circumstance is the only proper one which will see that the Cuban people get a chance to realize their aspirations of progress through freedom and that they get that with our cooperation with the other organi- of the states in the Organization of American States. Now Senator Kennedy has made some very strong criticisms of my part – or alleged part – in what has happened in Cuba. He points to the fact that I visited Cuba while Mr. Batista was in power there. I can only point out that if we are going to judge the Administrations in terms of our attitude toward dictators, we’re glad to have a comparison with the previous administration. There were eleven dictators in South America and in Central America when we came in, in 1953. Today there are only three left including the one in Cuba. We think that’s pretty good progress. Senator Kennedy also indicated with regard to Cuba that he thought that I had made a mistake when I was in Cuba in not calling for free elections in that country. Now I’m very surprised that Senator Kennedy, who is on the Foreign Relations Committee, would have made such a statement as this kind. As a matter of fact in his book, The Strategy for Peace, he took the right position. And that position is that the United States has a treaty – a treaty with all of the Organization of American States – which prohibits us from interfering in the internal affairs of any other state and prohibits them as well. For me to have made such a statement would been in direct uh – opposition to that treaty. Now with regard to Cuba, let me make one thing clear. There isn’t any question but that we will defend our rights there. There isn’t any question but that we will defend Guantanamo if it’s attacked. There also isn’t any question but that the free people of Cuba – the people who want to be free – are going to be supported and that they will attain their freedom. No, Cuba is not lost, and I don’t think this kind of defeatist talk by Senator Kennedy helps the situation one bit.

MR. McGEE: Senator Kennedy, would you care to comment?

MR. KENNEDY: In the first place I’ve never suggested that Cuba was lost except for the present. In my speech last night I indicated that I thought that Cuba one day again would be free. Where I’ve been critical of the Administration’s policy, and where I criticized Mr. Nixon, was because in his press conference in Havana in 1955, he praised the competence and stability of the bicta- bict- Batista dictatorship – that dictatorship had killed over twenty thousand Cubans in seven years. Secondly, I did not criticize him for not calling for free elections. What I criticized was the failure of the Administration to use its great influence to persuade the Cuban government to hold free elections, particularly in 1957 and 1958. Thirdly, Arthur Gardner, a Republican Ambassador, Earl Smith, a Republican Ambassador, in succession – both have indicated in the past six weeks that they reported to Washington that Castro was a Marxist, that Raul Castro was a Communist, and that they got no effective results. Instead our aid continued to Batista, which was ineffective; we never were on the side of freedom; we never used our influence when we could have used it most effectively – and today Cuba is lost for freedom. I hope some day it will rise; but I don’t think it will rise if we continue the same policies toward Cuba that we did in recent years, and in fact towards all of Latin America – when we’ve almost ignored the needs of Latin America; we’ve beamed not a single Voice of America program in Spanish to all of Latin America in the last eight years, except for the three months of the Hungarian uh – revolution.”

My father, like many other Cubans, followed this debate with incredible interest.  It was clear by the fall of 1960 that Castro was not going to hold elections or follow up on all of those promises about “pluralism”.

Cubans in the island, and those preparing outside for the liberation of Cuba, must have been very impressed by the comments that they heard in this debate.  It’s obvious that both candidates in 1960 communicated their concern about the communist dictatorship consolidating in the island.

Sadly, it all fell apart 6 months later at The Bay of Pigs!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Happy # 73 to Jose Cardenal

We remember Jose Cardenal, a pretty good outfielder born in Matanzas, Cuba on this day in 1943.

Cardenal broke with the Giants in 1963 at age 19.   He played with the Angels, Indians, Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Phillies, Mets and retired with the Royals.

His best years were with the Chicago Cubs 1972-77.   He had a 296 batting average and a .363 On Base Pct in 6 seasons.   Jose became a real fan favorite at Wrigley Field in the 1970’s, as we can see in this cover of Baseball Digest.

Cardenal retired with a .275 career average and 1,913 hits.  He made it to The World Series with Kansas City in 1980.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.