RFK Jr. Throws Dead Kennedys Under the Obama-Cuba Bus


The title of the piece is “We have so much to learn from Cuba”.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. opens his latest op-ed, this one regarding the Obama administration’s diplomacy-warming of a U.S.-Cuba relationship by embargo change, by putting blame on two of his own relatives…

In early December, President Barack Obama announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than five decades of a misguided policy which my uncle, John F. Kennedy, and my father, Robert F. Kennedy, had been responsible for enforcing after the U.S. embargo against the country was first implemented in October 1960 by the Eisenhower administration.

RFK Jr., I guess, thinks shaking his head and finger at his father and uncle, AND pointing out his privileged visit to the island, solidifies his views that the embargo is broken and must be scrapped, or something. He manages to basically scold the Castro regime for being bad communists.

However, his belief is the U.S. embargo was behind the Cuban government’s reasoning and justification for treating Cuba’s people like starving prisoners and keeping the country’s economy down. Yeah, we made them do it.

It is almost beyond irony that the very same politicians who argued that we should punish Castro for curtailing human rights and mistreating prisoners in Cuban jails elsewhere contend that the United States is justified in mistreating our own prisoners in Cuban jails.

Imagine a U.S. president faced, as Castro was, with over 400 assassination attempts, thousands of episodes of foreign-sponsored sabotage directed at our nation’s people, factories and bridges, a foreign-sponsored invasion and fifty years of economic warfare that has effectively deprived our citizens of basic necessities and strangled our economy.

No, what’s ironic, Bobby Jr., is the conspiracy theory of Castro’s alleged involvement in your POTUS Uncle JFK’s assassination. But, eh…

The Cuban leadership has pointed to the embargo with abundant justification as the reason for economic deprivation in Cuba.

The embargo allows the regime to portray the United States as a bully and itself as the personification of courage, standing up to threats, intimidation and economic warfare by history’s greatest military superpower.

It perpetually reminds the proud Cuban people that our powerful nation, which has staged invasions of their island and plotted for decades to assassinate their leaders and sabotaged their industry, continues an aggressive campaign to ruin their economy.

Yeah, he said that. The same-old same-old claptrap that has been heard for years. Sort of flies in the face(s) of half a century of countless Cubans climbing into dangerous, leaky rafts to sail deadly shark-infested waters to get here to the great Satan … Doesn’t it?

Oh, and I found this one priceless…

Unlike other Caribbean islands where poverty means starvation, all Cubans receive a monthly food ration book that provides for their basic necessities.

But you read and judge.

A week ago A.J. Delgado wrote, “Arguing with idiots about #Cuba”, where she counters many of the anti-embargo talking points liberals, such as RFK Jr., are constantly regurgitating. The fact is Barack Obama’s new age plan for changing diplomacy with Cuba is yet another one of his foreign policy decisions granting trust where trust is not deserved … and is already evident.

“Oye compay, que semana”: We talk Cuba with Jorge Ponce!

Jorge Ponce and I looked back at this big “semana” of Cuba news.

It started with the handshake, talk of Dr Gross, calls for lifting the embargo, to more of Alberto’s posts about human rights violations in the island.

Even Elian made the news this week.  Wonder if someone told Elian that his mother died to bring him to the US?

It was quite a week!  We spoke with Jorge Ponce about it.

Listen here:



“La injusticia del Sr Gross”: Another wife wants her husband released from Cuba’s prisons!

As I wrote recently on American Thinker, who is protecting US citizens abroad these days?    North Korea, Iran and Cuba are the 3 countries holding US citizens for bogus reasons.

The case of Allan Gross is simply appalling.      What is this man guilty of?   Nothing!!!!!

He has been “left behind” as The Washington Post reminded us:

“The fourth Thanksgiving. The fourth Hanukkah. This is a hard season for Judy Gross, even harder for her husband, Alan, who on Tuesday began his fifth year of captivity in a Cuban prison.

Eleven more years stretch ahead on the sentence for Gross, who spends 23 hours a day in his cell. Gross, now 64, was convicted of “acts against the .?.?. territorial integrity of the state” — bringing cellphones, personal computers and networking devices to help connect Cuba’s tiny Jewish population to the Internet.”

There is something wrong with a US government that allows rogue states like Cuba to hold US citizens without cause.

The word for the Castro dictatorship is “barbaric”.

The word for the Obama administration is weak!

P.S. Follow me on Twitter!


The day that Fidel Castro said: “Yo soy un Marxista Leninista”!

We will celebrate tomorrow that day in 1961 that Fidel Castro made it official:

“”I am a Marxist-Leninist and shall be one until the end of my life.”

He went on to state that, “Marxism or scientific socialism has become the revolutionary movement of the working class.”

He also noted that communism would be the dominant force in Cuban politics:

“There cannot be three or four movements.””

And that was it!

It happened about 7 months after The Bay of Pigs and confirmed that Castro would rule Cuba as a dictator.  It ended any hopes of a multiparty election or restoration of the freedoms that the regime had eliminated by executive decree.

I should add that people were thrown in jail or executed in 1959-61 for calling Castro “un comunista”.

None of those people were ever released after Castro confirmed that he was “un communista”.


Marc Masferrer and Cuba getting a seat in the UN Human Rights Council

As you may know, Cuba will now have a seat in the UN Human Rights Council:

“China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria won seats Tuesday on the U.N. Human Rights Council, riling independent human rights groups who said their election undermined the rights watchdog’s credibility.

The General Assembly elected 14 new members to the 47-seat Geneva-based council, which can shine a spotlight on rights abuses by adopting resolutions — when it chooses to do so.

It also has dozens of special monitors watching problem countries and major issues ranging from executions to drone strikes.”

This is a travesty but what else do you expect from the UN?  I can’t wait for Cuba to pass judgement on a member country that puts dissidents in jail or harasses citizens marching for freedom.    Let’s see how Cuba votes when that issue comes before the council.

Again, this is a travesty and an insult to our intelligence.

Marc Masferrer has been at the forefront of this battle.   Please check out interview with Marc.

Here is the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cantotalk/2013/11/13/todays-message


Lack Of Civil Liberties For Afro-Cubans In Cuba Today

Fall 2013

My good friend Silvio Canto asked me yesterday to do a radio show on the hunger strike of Cuban dissident “El Critico del Arte,” and on the letter published in the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson in support of the Afro-Cuban dissidents in Cuba.

My first reaction to Silvio’s request was total surprise. In the past, Silvio has asked me to be on his radio show when I have written an op-ed that gets published in babalublog. This time around, I had not written one. So, I concocted a thousand excuses as to why I should not accept his invitation – I only had less than 24 hours to prepare, I had all kinds of chores and errands to take care of on Saturday, I had to rake the leaves, perhaps I would still be in bed by 10:00 AM, and on and on.

But this got me thinking about how often we would like to go back in time and imagine how things would have turned out if we could change certain variables. For example, I’ve wondered at how my life would have turned out if I had grown up in Cuba, rather than in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. And, I engaged in all kinds of permutations about the “what if’s”, and, yes, my life would have turned out completely different in each of these scenarios.

The problem is that even if I could turn back the clock, no situation would be exactly the same. Each moment in time is linear; not cyclical. The Cuba that I kept going back to in my imagination was the Cuba BC (Before Castro) – and, this Cuba would never be again. As the late Cuban-American comedian Alvarez Guedes said during an interview, the Cuba that he knew doesn’t exist anymore.

We are so worried about achieving perfection in our lives, that we fail miserably to embrace the deep message embedded in Julio Iglesias’ song “La vida se hace siempre de momentos / de cosas que no sueles valorar / y luego cuando pierdes / cuando al fin te has dado cuenta / el tiempo no te deja regresar.” In essence, life is all about enjoying those special moments.

Rather than worrying about the “what may have been,” we should appreciate the “what is”. Live life to the fullest, as every moment is what it is supposed to be. Only when we realize this, will we be able to achieve fullness in our lives – with no regrets.

So, after finishing my musings, I e-mailed Silvio last night to tell him that I would be happy to be on his radio show this morning.
I realized how lucky I was to live in a free country where I could speak my mind about the abuses that go on daily in Communist Cuba. I felt fortunate to give a helping hand to my friend Silvio, and to “El Critico del Arte” with the hope that he would be released from prison soon. I was happy that after I had complained in a previous op-ed about the presence of a double standard from some members of the Congressional Black Caucus with respect to the lack of civil liberties in Communist Cuba, at last we could see the light at the end of the tunnel by having U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson (D-Fla., 24th district) speak out against the lack of freedoms of Afro-Cubans. And, at last, we had President Barack Obama meet in Miami yesterday with Cuban dissidents Dr. Guillermo Fariñas and Berta Soler to discuss the steps that need to be taken to have a Free Cuba again.

There is no better time to make a difference than right now!

To read my previous op-ed about measuring the moral compass of the Congressional Black Caucus, click on http://babalublog.com/2010/04/04/measuring-the-moral-compass-of-the-congressional-black-caucus/


To listen to the radio interview, click on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cantotalk/2013/11/09/todays-message

Watching a documentary about Hungary ’56 reminded me of our Cuban experience

We Cubans have a special place in our hearts for anyone who stood up to communism.

A few days ago, I had a chance to see a documentary about Hungary 1956.  It was the the story of Soviet tanks crushing the democratic aspirations of the people of Hungary.

It made me think of Cuba:  the refugees, unaccompanied children sent to freedom, people being processed at camps and the freedom that we found in the US or other lands.

I wrote a post at American Thinker today remembering November 1956:

“It was a long time ago but the bravery of the Hungarian people is worth remembering.

I am a strong believer in reminding the younger generation that freedom is not cheap. In fact, many have paid the ultimate price to fight for it.

Many Hungarians did this month in 1956!

Before Prague 1968 or Poland 1980, there was Hungary, one of the great chapters of human valor of the 20th century.”

We salute the brave people of Hungary and how they fought for freedom 57 years ago:

A few thoughts about Che

Our friend Humberto Fontova posted a great story about Che.

I loved that he referred to Che as a “….cowardly, murdering swine….”

Thumbs up to Humberto for one of the very best descriptions that I’ve ever heard of that swine named Che!

I sent my sons, nieces and other young friends a copy of the post.

I told them to read it and challenge the next person who comes into their college circles wearing a Che shirt.   Within seconds, one of my very pretty nieces wrote back:

“Luckily I haven’t seen any Che hipsters.  They know better than to wear those shirts around me….”

Thank God for a niece like that!

Humberto’s post also reminded me of my uncle’s encounter with Che in 1959.  My uncle passed away in 2008 and was a great source of information and stories about those early days of what was called “la revolucion”.  He was an architect in Cuba and attended The University of Havana in the turbulent 1950’s.  He was there and recalls the lively debates about the future of Cuba in the classrooms of the university.

My uncle said that he felt very pessimistic about Cuba when he met Che in the early days.

His words were like this:

“I knew that we were in deep trouble when I saw Che waving a pistol and bragging about himself.”

Tio Pepe’s words stayed with me and I think of them whenever Che comes into the conversation.

Let me paraphrase Humberto:  Che met justice that day in Bolivia.

Yes he did!

We are grateful to those Bolivian peasants who turned him in.  They saw the same charlatan in Che that my uncle did in the early days of “la revolucion”.

My message is blunt:  Anyone who wears a Che shirt is stupid, ignorant or a swine like Che!

The Ladies in White win the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent


The 2013 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent Awarded to Ali Ferzat, Park Sang Hak, and the Ladies in White

NEW YORK (May 3, 2012)- The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) today announced the recipients of the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent. The 2013 laureates are: Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, North Korean democracy activist Park Sang Hak, and Cuban civil society group the Ladies in White—represented by their leader Berta Soler. They will be honored at a ceremony during the 2013 Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway on May 15.

An initiative of New York-based HRF, the Havel Prize for Creative Dissent was founded with the enthusiastic endorsement of Dagmar Havlová, widow of the late poet, playwright, and statesman Václav Havel. The inaugural laureates were Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Saudi women’s rights advocate Manal al-Sharif, and Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ali Ferzat is a Syrian political cartoonist known for his satirical caricatures. Ferzat’s cartoons became increasingly critical of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the brutality of the regime’s crackdown. In 2011, masked gunmen detained Ferzat and broke both of his hands and his fingers, a clear message of intimidation and retaliation for his work. Ferzat recovered from the attack and continues to produce political cartoons.

Park Sang Hak, a North Korean defector and human rights activist, has worked for the democratization of his homeland since a daring escape in 1999. He is the chairman of Fighters for a Free North Korea, an organization that uses helium balloons to transmit human rights and pro-democracy literature, DVDs, USB drives, and transistor radios from South Korea into North Korea.

The Ladies in White (“Las Damas de Blanco”) is a Cuban civil society organization founded by the wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters of political prisoners jailed during the Castro regime’s “Black Spring” crackdown in 2003. “Las Damas de Blanco” wear white to symbolize their commitment to non-violence. Despite repeated arrests and beatings by Cuban authorities, the group marches every Sunday in Havana to protest the lack of human rights under the Castro dictatorship. Berta Soler has led the group since the death of founder Laura Pollán in 2011. Soler will accept the award on the group’s behalf.

The three Havel Prize laureates will receive an artist’s representation of the “Goddess of Democracy,” the iconic statue erected by Chinese student leaders during the Tiananmen Square protests of June, 1989. Each sculpture embodies the spirit and literal reality of creative dissent at its finest, representing the struggle of truth and beauty against brute power. The Havel Prize laureates will also share a prize of 350,000 Norwegian Kroner.

The Havel Prize is funded jointly by grants from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation and the Thiel Foundation. The Brin Wojcicki Foundation was established by Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, and his wife Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe, a leading personal genetics company. The Thiel Foundation, established and funded by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, defends and promotes freedom in all its dimensions: political, personal, and economic. Vaclav Havel was chairman of HRF from 2009 until his death in December of 2011.

The Havel Prize ceremony will be broadcast live online at www.oslofreedomforum.com beginning at 4:00pm Central European Time on Wednesday, May 15. The event will take place at Oslo’s Christiania Theater. Registration is open to the public—email secretariat@havelprize.org for more information.

New Cuba Sage: “I done turned Havana into Atlanta”


Last week it was the tale of two black women in Cuba. This week it’s the tale of two rappers.

Well, that was fast, huh? You wrote a real good rap song, real good rap song, Jay-Z.

It’s all about his trip to Cuba and his transforming and enlightening experiences there. Must’ve wrote it on the flight back to the USA. I guess Jay-Z got some eye-opening educating in that whole “Cuba education exchange” trip he and his wife made last week. And now he’s a big Cuba expert educating the rest of us on the truth. Some real prolific observations down in those lyrics

Rapper Jay-Z released a new track Thursday in which he boasts about his recent trip to Cuba with superstar Beyoncé and says that President Barack Obama told him he’d get him “impeached.”

“I done turned Havana into Atlanta,” Jay-Z raps in “Open Letter,” which he released Thursday. “[…] Boy from the hood, I got White House clearance… Politicians never did s—- for me except lie to me, distort history… They wanna give me jail time and a fine. Fine, let me commit a real crime.”

He later raps: “Hear the freedom in my speech… Obama said, ‘Chill you gonna get me impeached. You don’t need this s—- anyway, chill with me on the beach.’”

“I’m in Cuba, I love Cubans. This communist talk is so confusing,” Jay-Z raps on the track, which is produced by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz and goes on to reference the Bob Dylan song “Idiot Wind.” “[…] ‘Idiot Wind,’ the Bob Dylan of rap music. You’re an idiot, baby, you should’ve become a student. Oh, you gonna learn today.”

I guess Jay-Z is feeling some political dissident pressure after the trip … or something.

It’s just too damn bad Cuban dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga had to misbehave and diss the castro government in his lyrics or he could be listening to the new fantastic release Jay-Z will be making lots of money off of. Ain’t no radio or internet in castro’s prisons, Angel. Hell, brother, ya coulda been chillin’ on the beach with Jay-Z. But no-o-o-o-o…

A man of honor

There are few men and women who will risk everything to be free. Vladimir Bukovsky, Soviet dissident, who turned 70 last Sunday, is one of those. Our own brothers and sisters in Cuba who oppose tyranny, living or killed by the regime are our modern day Bukovskys, Solzhenitzyns, Sakharovs, and Sharanskys in Cuba. We need many more of them.

Vladimir Bukovsky does not like to be called a politician, preferring to be known as a neurophysiologist, writer or, at the very least, civic activist. In truth, he never engaged in politics: he merely realized, at an early age, that he could not reconcile himself to live quietly with a criminal and mendacious regime that sought to make millions of people its silent accomplices. Bukovsky’s protest was a moral one. “We did not play politics, we did not draft programs for the ‘people’s liberation,’” he recalls in his memoirs, To Build a Castle (a must-read for anyone interested in Russian history). “Our only weapon was glasnost (openness). Not propaganda, but glasnost, so that no one could say ‘I did not know.’ The rest is a matter for each person’s conscience.”

“I did not know” was a popular answer among members of the older generation when asked by the youngsters of the 1950s about Stalin’s times. The public condemnation of Stalinist crimes at the 1956 Communist Party congress and (almost immediately) the brutal suppression of the Hungarian revolution, which showed that the nature of the regime has not changed, were formative events for Bukovsky. His protest activity began literally during his school days: he joined a clandestine anti-Soviet group and published an underground satirical journal. In response, he was expelled from school, summoned to a dressing-down by the Moscow City Communist Party Committee, and barred from studying at university (he nevertheless won admission to Moscow State University, only to be discovered and expelled a year later.)

Vladimir Bukovsky is one of the founders of the Soviet dissident movement, which was born in the fall of 1960 on Moscow’s Mayakovsky Square. There, a group of yet-unknown young activists, poets, and actors (including Yuri Galanskov, Eduard Kuznetsov, Vladimir Osipov, Ilya Bokshtein, and Vsevolod Abdulov) held public readings of banned poetry – Akhmatova, Pasternak, Mandelshtam, Tsvetaeva. They also read from their own works and the works of their contemporaries, which would soon be disseminated as samizdat (literally “self-publications,” the clandestine reproduction and distribution of banned literature). Samizdat, too, was born on Mayakovsky Square. The authorities responded in their usual manner: with dispersals of the meetings by bulldozers and snow ploughs; provocations by Komsomol (Young Communist League) operatives; beatings and arrests. Yet the “seditious” meetings continued in the heart of the Soviet capital for almost two years […]

Remembering Laura Pollan and the Ladies in White

Laura, in her own words on why the Ladies in White are out on the street, “We cannot allow our men, our families to be destroyed. We cannot allow them to die in prison.”

I will always remember Laura Pollan. This inspiring lady, wife, mother, and teacher, never imagined that she would become a political activist. In 2003, her husband, journalist Hector Maseda Gutierrez, along with 74 others were rounded up and arrested in what became known as the Cuban Black Spring, La Primavera Negra. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for “counter revolutionary” activities. As she struggled to find information on her husband she met other women relatives of the 74; their meetings were the beginning of the Ladies in White. Their quiet dignity, marching to make sure that their men would not be forgotten, standing up against increasing threats and violent repression, how could you not be inspired by these brave women standing alone against the power of the state armed only with gladiolas?

The murderous Castro regime has many ways to rid themselves of unwanted dissidents, murder by neglect, auto accidents, and perhaps injection. Many unanswered questions remain surrounding the death of Laura Pollan. If there was nothing to hide, why did they arrest Hablamos Press journalist Rios Otero?

Human Rights Foundation YouTube:

The valiant Las Damas de Blanco, Laura Pollan’s brave Ladies in White, led by Berta Solar, continue their mission without her, in spite of increasing violent repression against them. Today, October 14, is the anniversary of Laura’s death, please remember her.

Imprisoned Ladies in White Sonia Garro Receiving Death Threats

Prayers for Sonia Garro’s health and safety

Sonia Garro, a female pro-democracy activist and member of the Ladies in White, was imprisoned on March 18th of this year.

According to Garro’s sister, she has been receiving numerous death threats at the women’s prison of “El Guatao”, where she remains incarcerated without charges or trial.

She was originally arrested in the wave of repression against dissidents prior to Pope Benedict XVI’s trip.

Castro’s secret police stormed her home, shot her in the leg with rubber bullets and dragged her away.

More “reform” you can’t believe in.