The Castro Regime and doing business in Cuba

(My new American Thinker post)

Last December, many welcomed President Obama’s opening to Cuba as an opportunity to bring prosperity to the island. It went something like this: American tourists will spend money in Cuba and freedom will blossom. The other version went like this: our past approach has not worked so let’s try something new. Another one went like this: Cubans will talk to Americans and demand multiparty elections and a free press.

Sorry, but U.S.-Cuba relations have not worked out as planned or dreamed. There are two big reasons. The first reason is that the Castro regime is not about to relax political control. On the contrary, there has been a rise in repression and more and more dissidents find it difficult to express themselves. The second reason is that the Castro regime wants to keep control of the cash flow. This is from Fox News Latino:

The Cuban government, Lee said, still clearly “prefers to channel all business opportunities to state-run enterprises.”

And why not?  The Obama approach has been completely one sided. The U.S. gives up everything and Cuba gives nothing. The Castro brothers have concluded that they will ask and Obama will provide. So far so good for the dictatorship.

The Cuban government needs these state enterprises under the Castro Inc. holding company. It allows the Castro brothers to get wealthy, it keeps property ownership from the Cuban people and turns the island into a Spanish speaking Vietnam with good baseball players.

Mauricio Tamargo, an attorney, wrote recently about Cuban finances,or better put, the Castro family finances:

Forbes Magazine used to list both Castro brothers on its list of the top 100 richest people in the world. Forbes later removed the Castro brothers from the “Top 100” after the Cuban government objected, indicating those Swiss bank accounts in both Fidel and Raul’s names are held by the Castro brothers on “behalf of the Cuban people.”

Again, why should the Cuban government want to give up control of the economy? “Fidelismo” has been very good for the family bank accounts, the gang that surrounds and protects the dictator and all of those state enterprises that collect dollars and pay Cubans in worthless pesos.

The Obama administration moved too fast and never demanded concessions from a cash starved dictator about to lose his energy subsidy from Venezuela. We had all of the cards and could have done more for the Cuban people. Instead, the Obama team pleased the left wing college professors in U.S. universities and threw the Cuban people under the bus.

Prosperity coming to Cuba? It won’t happen until there is a regime change.

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

Planned Parenthood videos? How about abortions in Cuba?

As we watch the latest Planned Parenthood video, we are reminded of a few realities about abortion in Cuba.

According to Anthony Lobaido, abortion has created a demographic crisis in the island:

“According the Cuban government statistics, 60.2 percent of all pregnancies on the island end in abortion.

This is the highest number of any nation in the Western Hemisphere. Other attempts at an empirical analysis of Cuban abortion show 130,000 live births with just less than 85,000 abortions in a typical year. (South Korea has the lowest birthrate in the industrialized world, due to the government wishing to boost GDP figures, gendercide against females and the fact that abortion is a money maker for Korean hospitals.)

Under Soviet communism, the average Russian woman might have had as many as 13 abortions in her lifetime.

In Cuba, abortions, like funerals, are actually funded by the government. (“The abortion is the baby’s funeral,” many Cubans say.) Those who have opposed abortion in Cuba have been mercilessly beat up by the state intelligence apparatus.”

We are reminded that Dr Oscar Elias Biscet got in trouble for refusing to perform a chemical abortion.

As we watch these horrific videos, we think of the thousands of Cuban babies aborted over the years!



The all-Cuban triple play in baseball




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.