Fixing faulty arguments…

I read a column by Miguel Bretos that was published in Today’s Herald with great interest. Bretos is a Cuban-American and a historian at the National Portrait Gallery. In the column Bretos explains where he has been ideologically and how upon his naturalization he immediately identified with Republicans and their strong stance against communism and fidel castro. But he goes on to explain how, while Cuba was a defining issue early on in his life as a U.S. citizen and voter, today Cuba is a moot point and, thus being free of it, he identifies with the Democratic Party on a whole host of issues like Iraq, the environment, stem cell research and “the degradation of our civil liberties.”

To prove his point he goes through the timeline of presidents and simplifies the entire issue surrounding Cuba into the following:

The GOP has successfully pimped the Cuban vote for years. The Castro regime’s survival actually guarantees the automatic delivery — year in and year out — of the bulk of a crucial ethnic vote in a crucial electoral state. The issue for the party is not fixing Fidel at all, but rather how to make up for his absence. He will be missed.

Will Mr. Bretos seems to be quite an accomplished historian but his column doesn’t seem to reflect any wisdom he may have acquired in that line of work. Simply put, this is more of the same wishful thinking we’ve been hearing from Democrats like Joe Garcia. These are people that want us to believe against evidence to the contrary that with regards to Cuba it doesn’t matter which party controls the White House or the Congress.

It hardly needs to be pointed out that Democratic administrations have been a disaster for the U.S. vis-a-vis Cuba. Kennedy: Bay of Pigs, Missile Crisis; Carter: Angola, Mariel; Clinton: Elian and the Brothers to the Rescue shoot-down.

Republican administrations may not have removed Castro from power but they definitely have taken a stronger stance and kept pressure on Castro. Maybe you don’t agree with the embargo, that’s fine but to say that “Reagan did next to nothing about Cuba.” as Bretos does is to tell a lie. If I remember correctly the only time U.S. troops officially fought against Castro’s Cuba was in Grenada under Reagan’s direction. One has to ask oneself what would Carter or Mondale have done? I think it’s pretty clear that they would have done nothing. And Reagan even put his own presidency at risk to aid the Contras that were fighting the Cuban-supported Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

Today, with the resurgence of leftist movements in Latin America, it’s important not to underestimate the destabilizing force that is Castro’s Cuba, which is currently banking billions of Venezuelan petrodollars. If you don’t like President Bush’s conservative stance on domestic issues or if you don’t like the Iraq war, fine, don’t vote Republican, but don’t ignore the very history that you are supposed to be an expert in.

One last note. Mr. Bretos mentions that what really irks him is the president’s stance on stem cell research. According to Breto, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he abhors abortion but “will not suffer demagogues who turn potentially life-saving research into a crass political ploy or, worse if sincerely held, the expression of an obtuse personal ideology.” So Mr. Bretos, you apparently have a problem with the destruction of unborn embryos until they can benefit you. A principled stand if ever I saw one. The only thing preventing a full-scale industry of embryo creation for the purposes of destroying them is the veto of the President and the support of those of us that agree with him.

-Henry “Conductor” Gomez

9 thoughts on “Fixing faulty arguments…”

  1. In politics, typically, it’s a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. Neither side is likely to be completely satisfactory, and certainly not perfect. There are always trade-offs and compromises. It just comes down to what each voter’s priorities are.

    Bretos makes it quite clear that, for personal reasons, the stem-cell research issue is a very big priority for him, and he’s going to vote accordingly, as he’s entitled to do. However, I can’t help feeling he’s also rationalizing away some lingering discomfort over voting Democrat, given that party’s abysmal record on the Cuba issue. The Republicans may be opportunists, but the Democrats are repugnant.

  2. Agreed re: Reps and Dems. The dems have never, as a party, cared for the interests of our community.

    And great point, Henry, about the guy’s inconsistent views on abortion/stem cells. If you’re going to take a position, be prepared to hold that position, all the way.

  3. Henry, you are right. Miguel Bretos is a liar. He omitted mentioning in his article his activism on behalf of the Castro regime and in favor of lifting the embargo as far back as 1974, when he exhibited Cuban Communist films in Oberlin College.
    In 1976, the Castro propaganda organ “Areito” magazine published a proclamation by “Cristianos Cubanos Pro Justicia y Libertad” praising the “institutional stability of the Cuban Revolution,” advocating a “dialogue” with Castro and ending the embargo.
    Bretos was a member of that group and signed their document along with Cuban DGI intelligence agent Lourdes Casal and other pro-Castro activists.
    Bretos was unmasked in 1986 in the Cuban exile tabloid “La Cronica”
    Henry calls Bretos an “accomplished historian” but shows that during the last 30 years as a historian, he has only published four obscure works and co-authored only one book with a university press. Hardly the work of an “accomplished” historian.
    His former wife Conchita gained notoriety when she ran an unsuccessful campaign for a Miami political post years ago. That was when the song “¿Qué será lo que quiere el negro?” was in vogue. I’m sure that Bretos is very familiar with that tune.

  4. holy crap. im glad im on delacova’s side. the herald digs these arrepentidos up as their mouthpieces to make the rest of us look like closed minded reactionary nut cases. thats what they do.

  5. Great Post Conductor!

    So Mr. Bretos states:
    “The GOP has successfully pimped the Cuban vote for years.”

    In other words … he decided to change “pimps” … we all know that Democrats have successfully done the same with the African-American vote for years and are attempting to do the same with the Hispanic vote.
    What happened to principles?

    I wish you well 🙂 Melek

    “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize you control your own destiny.”

  6. El Nuevo Herald del 29 de agosto de 1993, página 1, indica que Conchy Bretos aspiró a comisionada del condado Dade por el partido Demócrata y perdió la elección.

    El Herald la citó diciendo: “Si un mujer quería hacerse un aborto, ¿quién era el gobierno para decirle que no? Si una pareja homosexual quería adoptar un hijo, ¿qué tenía de malo?”

    Conchy Bretos denunció al exilio cubano diciendo: “Ese es uno de los problemas que siempre he tenido con Miami, es esa mentalidad opresiva.”

    El Herald indica que Bretos fue acusada de recibir dinero para su campaña de la esposa de un abogado que representaba al gobierno cubano.

    Durante un debate de campaña en la WQBA, el Herald indica que una turba de cubanos exiliados le gritaron a Conchy Bretos: “¡Comunista! ¡Comunista!”

    El día que Conchy Bretos perdió la elección, Pilar, la hija de Miguel, expresó el sentimiento de la familia Bretos hacia el exilio cubano: “Hijos de puta. No puedo soportar esta estrechez mental. Regreso a Massachusetts.” [El Nuevo Herald, septiembre 6, 1993, pagina 8]

  7. Mr. Bretos does another disservice by perpetuating the myth that the President has put some sort of ban on stem cell research. There’s no ban! Any company can research any sort of stem cells they want to. Mr. Bush just prevents gov’t funding/public money from going to embryonic stem cell research. Mr. Breto accuses, but who is the one really turning it into a “crass political ploy?” (an ignorant one at that)

  8. I regret that I apparently gave Mr. Bretos too much credit in my previous comment. I was not aware of his rather significant history that was not mentioned in his Herald piece. I wonder how and why the Herald picks certain people and not others to write opinion pieces. Surely they knew about his background, or should have.

  9. The interesting thing about embryonic cell research is that all the advances due to sten cell have been on adult stem cell, none on embryonic. In fact there is research now that claims that there are problems with doing any research on embryonic stem cell because the results just do not work.

    Keep pointing out the lies of these people and keep voting for the men and women who work for you rather than against you.

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