Senator Lehay taking Godfather II way too seriousl……click to read…….http://t.co/aMThKEBhHd
— Silvio Canto, Jr. (@SCantojr) July 30, 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…….
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:
My friend Jerry Brewer is the C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern Virginia. He recently sat down with Pedro Riera Escalante……………
click to read the interview:
Guests: Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, editor of Fausta’s Blog…..plus Jerry Brewer, C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern Virginia……….we will discuss Jerry’s interview with a dissident about the US-Cuba talks, the latest from Venezuela, Colombia & FARC and other Latin America stories……..click to listen:
According to news reports, the U.S. and Cuba will be opening embassies later this month. We even heard a rumor that President Obama may travel to Havana to cut the ribbon.
Will Joanne attend the ribbon cutting ceremony?
We are talking about Joanne Chesimard, a fugitive from U.S. law enjoying life in the tropics as a special guest of the Castros:
It was a murder on the New Jersey Turnpike – stunning violence near the New Brunswick exit.
Now, decades after Black Liberation Army leader Joanne Chesimard was sentenced for the 1973 killing of a state trooper, escaped prison, and surfaced in Cuba in 1984, she is first and foremost among the estimated 70 American fugitives harbored there whose apparent flouting of U.S. law is fuel for critics of recent efforts to restore U.S.-Cuba relations.
In December, 54 years after America severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, Presidents Obama and Raul Castro proposed a renewal of ties.
“We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring [Chesimard] back,” said New Jersey State Police Col. Rick Fuentes, “and stand by the reward” for her capture.
However, the Cuban government has not been making any concessions, from repression of dissidents to opening up Cuba’s economy.
In fact, The Washington Post points out that repression is getting worse in Cuba:
Since December, there have been more than 3,000 political detentions in Cuba, including 641 in May and 220 on Sunday alone, according to dissident sources. Most were accompanied by beatings; at least 20 detainees required medical treatment in May. After Cuba was invited for the first time to the Summit of the Americas in Panama, regime thugs attacked the civil society activists who also showed up.
I guess that the “hope and change” memo did not get to Raúl Castro. Or maybe Raúl understood that “yes we can” meant that he could go on like before.
The Chesimard issue is a disgrace.
President Obama should tell Raúl Castro that talks will be put on hold until Chesimard is on a plane to New Jersey.
He should also say that the U.S. is not paying reparations or giving up Guantánamo, as the Castro thugs are demanding publicly.
Am I the only one who would love to see a little spine from the U.S. delegation? It’s a joke to watch the U.S. get pushed around by a dictator on his knees now that Venezuela can’t subsidize him anymore.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.
The moment has arrived. We heard a few minuts ago that Cuba and the US will be opening embassies, although it may be a bit more complicated than President Obama thinks.
What did we get from Cuba? NADA!
What is Cuba getting? MUCHOS DOLARES!
As we speak, there are fugitives from US law in Cuba, such as Joanne Chesimard who killed a New Jersey state trooper and hiding under Castro’s protection.
“Zero” from President Obama about the thousands of US citizens who had their property stolen by the Castro regime. It adds up to $ 7 billion!
This is an outrage. President Obama has shown no regard for the Cuban people and specially the dissidents.
What a travesty.
“President Barack Obama chose to make the decision with little explanation or acknowledgement of the true suffering of the Cuban people, suffering due to the rueful policies and acts of the oppressive Castro brother’s unwavering allegiance to their ongoing Communist doctrine.
Although no relevant concessions were made by the Cuban dictatorial regime for President Obama’s personal generosity, the Obama administration was quick to pronounce the actions as something that “would help human rights almost automatically.”
We read in the media daily about the repression in Cuba, a fact that the Obama administration has chosen to ignore.
Who is thinking about the Cuban people? Not the Obama administration!
By Elizabeth Llorente at Fox News Latino:
Cuban dissident, hunger strike survivor, to receive Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom
A Cuban dissident who has won numerous awards for his longtime efforts – including 23 hunger strikes, some of them near-fatal – to bring democratic changes to his homeland is expected to receive the 2015 Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom on Friday.
Guillermo Fariñas will join the ranks of past recipients such as Pope John Paul II and William F. Buckley, Jr.
Fariñas, who counts among his awards the European Union’s 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, said in a telephone interview from his home in Havana that each honor is important to him because it sparks a renewed urgency to fight for human rights.
“Every distinction is a reflection of support, a new source of pressure to keep pushing for liberty,” he told Fox News Latino. “It’s another source of motivation for me.”
The award is given by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a U.S-based non-profit educational organization that was established by Congress.
Besides Farinas, who will receive the award at a ceremony in Washington D.C., a Medal of Freedom also will be given to Russian journalist Alexandr Podrabinek, according to a press release by the foundation.
“It is our honor and privilege to present this award to Guillermo Fariñas Hernández and Alexandr Podrabinek,” said Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, in a statement.
“These two men come from different places, but share a tireless devotion to ensuring that future generations will live in a world free from the horrors of communism,” Smith said. “With this award, we honor their courage and their continued commitment to the fight for basic human rights.”
Fariñas has served a total of 11 years in Cuban jails as a political prisoner. He staged hunger strikes while in jail, sometimes imperiling his health.
Podrabinek also was arrested in the former Soviet Union for his political dissidence, and was exiled to Siberia at one point for five years. Today he continues to fight oppression by the government of Vladimir Putin.
Fariñas said that little has changed in Cuba under President Raul Castro, who, with President Barack Obama, is working on restoring diplomatic relations between the longtime adversaries.
“They still try to quash political opposition,” he said. “The change is only really economic, not political. Cuba has lost Venezuela as a lifeline, so in desperation it has turned to the United States, which until now was its sworn enemy.”
Elizabeth Llorente can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on https://twitter.com/Liz_Llorente
Guest: Fausta Rodriguez-Wertz, editor of Fausta’s Blog, joins me for a look at US-Latin America stories of the week……we will discuss the latest legal setback for President Obama’s executive order……….what impact will it have in Central America? The latest from Mexico’s upcoming mid-term elections……..Chile and the president’s problems……Argentina and Mr Nisman……Venezuela and allegations of drugs……Colombia and FARC……US-Cuba talks…….
and Jorge Ponce will joins us to talk about the death of the author of Fidel Castro’s “Double life”………click to listen:
Guest: Alain Castillo, young Cuban American, joins me for a chat about US-Cuba talks plus the emergence of Elian Gonzalez, the young boy found floating off the Florida coast in 1999……we remember that Elian’s mother drowned so that she could bring her son to the US……….Click to listen: