Columbus Day: The story of the guy who was looking for India and discovered “El Indio Hatuey”!

Another year and 25 reasons to remember Columbus, or Colon as we say in Spanish.

One of those reasons is that he set foot in Cuba:

“Columbus and his crew pressed on, landing in Cuba on Oct. 28 and then turning southward—away from Florida and the land of the future United States—and arriving in Hispaniola (Haiti) on December 6. He posted 39 men in a stockade they built, using parts of the Santa Maria as materials after the ship ran aground. Then, with the small stockade built, Columbus and his two remaining ships headed back for Spain in January 1493.”

Another reason to remember Columbus is that he managed to keep restless sailors sailing despite no sign of land:

“By October 10, the men sailing with Columbus had not landed anywhere, and had “lost all patience and complained about the length of the voyage,” the logbook says. However, Columbus was able to calm the men with promises of profit and reminders that they had come too far to turn back.”

Another reason to remember him is that he traveled from Cuba to Venezuela but he was hoping to end up in India:

“The third voyage to the New World left in May 1498 and consisted of six ships. On this third voyage, Columbus focused on finding a strait from Cuba to India, and stopped in Trinidad and Venezuela.

“By August 15, he knew by the great torrents of fresh water flowing into the Gulf of Paria that he had discovered another continent—’another world,'” theEncyclopedia Britannica entry states.”

The best reason to remember Columbus is that he died not knowing that we’d be taking about his discovery of The New World 521 years later:

“If Columbus discovered America, he himself didn’t know. Until his death he claimed to have landed in Asia, even though most navigators knew he didn’t.”

Another Columbus Day and another day to remember the guy who landed in Cuba by accident!

He was looking for a path to India and made “El indio Hatuey” a Cuban icon!



A good book for your children (and “nietos if you have any)

Cubans are such great story tellers.  I guess that’s because we have so many good stories to tell!

Why is that?  What makes Cubans such good storytellers?

Maybe it’s our Spanish heritage or something about the island that just brings out the “storyteller” in all of us.

My friend Fernando Hernandez just published a book about Cubans in the US.

It is a wonderful collection of stories about Cubans, like you & me, who settled in the US and made something out of ourselves:

“In this new book the reader will discover how in 1930 a Havana bandleader traveled to New York City, recorded a million-copy hit that kicked-started a Cuban music craze throughout the United States.

Science fiction lovers will learn that a Cuban-American was the writer, producer, and story editor of many Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes. An author born in 1865 in Brooklyn, New York of Cuban origin began his career at age 12, becoming a prolific boys’ fiction writer earning the nickname the American Jules Verne.

History buffs will enjoy reading about three sisters who became Confederate spies during the Civil War, and thanks to their bravery, a Union warship was captured.

New Yorkers and those who visit the Big Apple will read of the work of a structural engineer, born in Havana of immigrant Lithuanian Jews, who was known as “Mr. New York” for his engineering of the city’s skyscrapers, including the 70-story Trump World Tower.

Read about a surgeon who in 2012 led a team of 150 doctors, nurses, and others in Maryland in the most extensive face transplant surgery ever performed in the world.

The book also profiles those who serve the less fortunate, including the co-founder of Florida’s largest free clinic serving migrant workers, the working poor, the sick, and families who fall between the cracks of America’s social system.

This is a book that transcends ethnic, national, racial, gender and religious barriers and bears witness to what Cubans, both political refugees and immigrants, have accomplished in a country where liberty and freedom abound.

This is the story of the Cuban-Americans, and the footprints they have left on their path across the United States.”

What’s the best part of the book?  They are all real CUBANS!    Everyone of these stories is about a CUBANO who beat the odds in the US.

This is a fun book.  It is inspirational.  Some stories will make you laugh, like “las cubanitas” in the US Civil War, and others will touch your heart.

Here is an idea:  Give this book to your kids or grandchildren if you have any.  Tell them that this is what Cuban heritage is all about.

Last, but not least, Fernando has quite a story too.  He was one of the 14,000 Pedro Pan children who came to the US in the early 1960’s.

Get the book!

Check my interview with Fernando!


“Las 5 mentiras de” ObamaCare

Step back for a minute and think of this scenario.

Imagine a private sector company releasing a new product or service based on so much faulty information?

Imagine story after story of potential customers not able to enroll because of computer errors?

What would happen to the executives of that company?  At the very least, they’d be fired by the CEO after the owners or shareholders rioted at the company headquarters.

What about the customers?  They’d be lining up for one gigantic class action lawsuit!

What about the media?  They’d be running 24/7 stories of another company taking advantage of customers.

What about the Democrats?  They’d be calling for new regulations or an investigation.  They’d bring the executives of the company to a congressional hearing for explanations.

Obama Care is more than “computer glitches”.  It is a massive scam based on promises that will never be kept.

Scott Johnson of Power Line is one of my favorite pundits and today’s post is right on target:

“Deception #1: universal coverage

Deception #2: no new taxes on the middle class

Deception #3: annual premium savings of $2,500

Deception #4: no increase in the deficit

Deception #5: you can keep your plan if you like it”

There is something very wrong in this picture.

We were promised that “everyone would be covered”, “no new taxes except for those on the evil rich”, affordable premiums, no impact in the deficit and that you could keep your current plan.

None of that is true.   “Mentira”, “mentira” and more “mentiras”

And did I tell you that the computer system cost $634 million?

By the way, who got that contract?    Did they happen to make a nice contribution to the Obama campaign?

P.S. Catch my chat with Henry Louis Gomez here.


ObamaCare is starting to look like “la zafra de 10 millones”!

My mother said this about Obama in 2008:  “Este tipo habla mucho….como Fidel”.

I guess that Cuban mothers know best!

Our mothers have a good eye for charlatans, don’t they?

In 1970, Fidel Castro, the self appointed “experto de todo” in Cuba, challenged Cubans to a “zafra de 10 millones”:

“Workers were exhorted to participate in this gargantuan effort through a massive propaganda campaign.  All means of communication were devoted to the dissemination of the official rallying cry: “The Ten Millions Go” (Los Diez Millones Van).

A popular music group achieved almost immediate fame, echoing the government’s slogan by identifying themselves as Los Van Van.

The government controlled media, mass organizations, schools, and work centers were used to convince the population that the harvest represented another battle. The nation was encouraged to win this battle through discipline, sacrifice, and self-denial.

Yet, the miscalculations, mismanagement, censorship, emphasis on moral incentives, massive mobilization of unskilled workers to the cane fields and lack of sober planning led to the failure of this inordinate effort.

It is estimated that at the end of the 1970 harvest more than one million people had worked in the cutting, loading and transporting of the sugar cane.

The concentration of all resources and energies into achieving a ten million-ton sugar harvest also had adverse effects in other production sectors of the economy, with the exception of rice, fish, and eggs.   Economic dependence upon the Soviet Union increased.

The cutting and milling of planted sugar cane that should have been reserved compromised the success of the 1971 harvest.  In 1971 domestic consumption of sugar per capita was rationed to two pounds a month in order to meet export obligations.

Turning the harvest into the sole objective of every productive center, agency and mass organization, in the end, promoted the disorganization of the entire society.

It also contributed to further consolidate the on-going militarization process.  The total social and economic cost caused by the 1970 harvest may never be properly measured.

Although the goal was not achieved (the 1970 harvest only reached 7,558,569 tons) the harvest occupied the lives of the Cuban people for an entire year and passed into history under the name of “The Ten Million Ton Sugar Harvest”.

“La zafra” failed because “los azucareros”, the people who had managed Cuba’s very successful sugar industry for decades, were in Miami, in prison or not listened to.

We are learning today that ObamaCare is one gigantic mess.  Once again, we see that no one listened to those who knew a thing or two about health care or designing software.

CBS has an amazing report about the computer problems behind ObamaCare. The best part of the report is an interview with a software consultant who said that “he’d be embarrassed” to put out something like this.

Watch the video here:

The amazing thing is that The White House was aware of these problems but nevertheless went ahead with the release date.

Industry experts warned The White House that the computer was not ready, much like sugar industry experts warned Castro that a “10 million harvest” would not work.

My guess is that the Obama administration is 24/7 political enterprise devoid of any economic reality or critical input.

They didn’t listen to reason or people who warned several times that ObamaCare was not ready for prime time, lunch time, morning time, weekend time or any other time!

Like Castro and the “zafra de 10 millones”, Obama did not listen to the people who were warning him about the problems.

Like Castro and “la zafra”, Obama put ideology over common sense in the pursuit of a goal.

Castro never got his “zafra de 10 millones” but his irresponsible pursuit of the goal wrecked the Cuban economy and increased the island’s dependency on the USSR.

Wonder if ObamaCare will meet the same fate?  Wonder what damage this mindless pursuit of ObamaCare will have on our economy today and tomorrow?  We already know that it has had been a job wrecker so far. should call Che an “incompetent revolutionary”!

Let me thank Carlos Eire, Jorge Ponce, Alberto de la Cruz & Humberto Fontova for posting about the end of Che on this day in 1967.

It’s good for the young people to read these posts and get the truth about Che.

The myth of Che is alive and well.

Check out how covered the events of this day: Professional revolutionary “Che” Guevara is executed in Bolivia

“Despite Che’s death more than 30 years ago, his face is still familiar to millions around the world, adorning T-shirts, key chains, and posters. He is also a constant presence in Cuba, with his image painted on walls and buildings around the nation. Many compelling films have been made about the life of Che, including the 2004 Oscar-winning film The Motorcycle Diaries.”

Professional revolutionary means what?

By any “professional standard”,  Che was a complete failure.

His Bolivian experience failed miserably

He died a frustrated man.  He was saved by a left wing machine determined to turn a failure into a professional revolutionary, or a symbol of something that he never was.

Che never stood for justice, human rights or freedom.  He stood for the exact opposite.

In the end, it was the peasants he was trying to convert who turned him in. These peasants were not in the mood for “liberation messages” from a white guy who spoke with an Argentine accent.

“No Che Day” is a great day for those of us who know the truth and love freedom!


More ‘Caracas blues’ and ‘fake fights’ with the US

Let me share this post about Venezuela that I published over at American Thinker.

As you may know, the US and Venezuela have been expelling diplomats:

“Late Tuesday, the State Department said it was expelling Venezuelan charge d’affaires Calixto Ortega Rios and Second Secretary Monica Alejandra Sanchez Morales at the Washington embassy and Consul Marisol Gutierrez de Almeida at the Houston consulate. It gave them 48 hours to leave the U.S., the same time frame set by Venezuela for the U.S. envoys.

“It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government has again decided to expel U.S. diplomatic officials based on groundless allegations, which require reciprocal action. It is counterproductive to the interests of both our countries,” the State Department said.

Maduro said earlier Tuesday that socialist-led Venezuela will not have cordial relations with the United States as long as U.S. diplomats continue what he alleges are attempts to destabilize his country.

Speaking from the government palace, Maduro said that “while the government of the United States does not understand that it has to respect our country’s sovereignty there will be simply be no cordial relations nor cordial communication.”

“The day that the government of President (Barack) Obama rectifies the situation we will establish new points of contact to discuss common issues,” said Maduro, the hand-picked successor to late President Hugo Chavez.  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the allegations were related to the U.S. Embassy workers’ travel to Bolivar state, which is home to troubled state-owned foundries and Venezuela’s main hydroelectric plant.  “They were there conducting normal diplomatic engagement, as we’ve said in the past and should come as no surprise,” Psaki said.”

Of course, this is all a big distraction.  President Maduro is trying to stir a little nationalism to distract people from a collapsing economy, from mass shortages, and a devalued currency.

We did hear from friends in Venezuela that the diplomats were not happy with President Maduro creating this little “problem” at this time. They wanted to stay in the US. One of these diplomats apparently got into a huge shouting match with President Maduro.

It has to be the baseball playoffs. Maybe they had tickets to watch their countryman Miguel Cabrera swing the bat.

In the meantime, Venezuela keeps deteriorating on a second by second basis.

P.S. You can hear my chat with Comandante Cazorla, an opposition leader here

“Tapate la boca, Correa”: We don’t have to buy broccoli from you!

President Correa of Ecuador can not get away with saying this:

“Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said that American exceptionalism is reminiscent of Nazism “before and during World War II.”
“Does not this remind you of the Nazis’ rhetoric before and during World War II? They considered themselves the chosen race, the superior race, etc. Such words and ideas pose extreme danger,” Correa told RT Spanish. Correa referred to President Barack Obama’s statement that “America is exceptional” because it stands up for the world’s interests not just its own.
However, Correa said that the U.S. has and will continue to violate international law.”

Outrageous. You can’t allow someone to get away with a statement like that without some consequences.

We buy lots of broccoli, and other agricultural products from Ecuador.

Therefore, I call on the US to officially start looking for broccoli somewhere else.

Ecuador won’t have any trouble selling its oil.   However, what other country is going to buy the $166 million in “cut flowers”, vegetables and tuna?

We import $9 billion from Ecuador!

I guarantee you that the US will have no trouble buying these goods from other countries.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of Mr Correa’s Latin American neighbors would gladly replace Ecuador!

Some will say that the people of Ecuador should not be punished for their president’s stupid rhetoric.

You can say the same things about the businesses that move goods and services both ways in this trading relationship.

At the same time, you can’t allow a demagogue to comapre the US to Nazi Germany. You can’t!

Why didn’t Pres Obama address the nation about the military action in Africa?

Looking for President Obama!

Maybe I got spoiled watching presidents from Nixon to GW Bush. I really want our president to go on TV and tell us about military operations and their objectives.  We deserve it, specially those of us with sons in the military.

Over the weekend, the Navy Seals attacked terrorist targets in Africa.

Again, where was President Obama? Why didn’t he make a brief statement on TV?

Perhaps President Obama does not want to talk about the new war developing in Africa.

This is not the Al Qaeda that we heard about during the 2012 campaign:

 “The Administration has seemed reluctant to act forcefully against al Qaeda in Africa lest it undermine President Obama’s claim that the terror network is defeated. The raids are a tacit admission that Mr. Obama has been overselling victory, but we’re nonetheless glad to see the U.S. going back on offense.”

Al Qaeda is alive and well. It’s time for President Obama to admit it publicly and tell us that we are back on offense.

We need to be on offense against terrorists.

I hope that we are taking these latest captured terrorists to GITMO for a little Q&A.   No Miranda rights!


Mama Hugo’s sick puppies and their troubled currencies

Thumbs up to Fausta’s Blog for bringing this to our attention.

We got more news today that “Chavez’ babies” are sick and very sick.  Please get rid of those Venezuelan bolivares and Argentina pesos in your wallet.

Cristina’s “peso” and Hugo’s “bolivar” are in big trouble, the inevitable consequences of mismanagement and corruption!

Argentina and Venezuela are facing major currency pressures:

Venezuela: While the crises in the Middle East are easing, the troubles in Venezuela are far from over. The black market exchange rate for the Venezuelan bolivar has fallen from 44.03 per U.S. dollar on September 24th to 40.92 on September 30th. This represents an appreciation of 7.6% over the last week.  The implied annual inflation rate as of September 30th sits at 255%, down from a local high of 292% on September 17th. The ConocoPhillips dispute, a massive blackout, and worsening shortages caused by price controls have ravaged the Venezuelans’ confidence in the bolivar over the month of September.

Although the bolivar has rebounded modestly in recent weeks, this simply indicates that the economic outlook in Venezuela is only slightly less miserable than it was in mid-September. The economy is still on a slippery slope and economic expectations continue to be weighed down by the fragile political atmosphere, worsening shortages, and the ever-present specter of political violence. An inflation rate of 255% is nothing to celebrate.

Argentina: The black market exchange rate for the Argentine peso has held steady at around 9.5 per U.S. dollar since September 25th, with a 9.55 exchange rate on September 30th. That represents a 2.9% decrease in the value of the currency from the September 22nd rate of 9.27. The implied annual inflation rate as of September 30th sits at 54%, a decrease from the rate of 49% on September 22nd.””

On the medical front, President Cristina Fernandez will be spending the next month in the hospital.    She is suffering from a “brain haematoma:.  She may want to stay in the hospital a lot more than a month after she gets a currency report.

Over in Caracas, President Maduro is running a “crumbling economy” and hearing that he’s bankrupted the country.

Another bad report card for Chavez’ disciples!

Chavez’s revolution is now a misery and a disaster.


“2 Cubanitos” remember growing up Cuban in the US!

We love reminiscing about our experiences of growing up Cuban in the US.

We were all inspired years ago when our friend Carlos Eire wrote his Pedro Pan memoirs.    I think that Carlos’ work reminded all of us that there was a Cuban past to be discussed and stories to be shared.

Furthermore, we all have parents who made great sacrifices to come here and start anew.     I can assure you that sharing these Cuban stories has made me appreciate my parents very much.  I appreciate their sacrifices, or what they were willing to do so that their kids could grow up in freedom rather than the communist tyranny in Cuba.

Check out my chat with Jorge Ponce, a contributor to Babalu and good friend.

Jorge has posted often here about his Cuban American experience.

He recently posted “The trials and tribulations of becoming an American“:

“I soon learned that there was a more diverse world out there.  I met Bolivians, Ecuadorians, Puerto Ricans, Argentineans, etc.  We all shared our Hispanic heritage and our Spanish language.  I was exposed to different dances, variations of idiomatic expressions, and fantastic food.  To my great surprise, some of my Hispanic friends did not share my same anti-communist views.  In fact, some thought that Fidel, El Che, and Ho Chi Minh were visionaries who had improved the standards of living of the proletariats in their countries.  Some even wore Che T-Shirts as a fashion statement or as a sign of protest against the “American Empire.” I realized that it was time to expand my network of friends.”

In contrast to Jorge, I grew up in Wisconsin and there were no Cubans or Latin Americans in my circles.

My “trials and tribulations” were simple:  “Ingles o no comes”!

I spent most of my early years in the US hearing about Cuba from my parents.  We had no friends from Latin America in school or neighborhood.  In fact, it was a “thrill” when my father, now working at a bank, would bring home a colleague from Chile or Colombia.  It was rare but enjoyable.

Let me say it again:  Share your Cuban stories with your kids.  Tell them about your Cuban past.  It will make you very proud of being Cuban American.

Please enjoy my chat with Jorge this weekend:

Listen in now at

“El bobo de la yuca” will let some other “bobo” sign up for ObamaCare

Beny More’s legendary Bobo de la Yuca “se quiere casar” but won’t be signing up anytime soon for ObamaCare.

According to news reports, Obama Care is off to a rather difficult start.    In fact, The Washington Post is literally looking for someone in a nation of 300 million people who has enrolled:

“If you have purchased health coverage on the federal government’s new Obamacare marketplace, about a dozen or so reporters would like to speak with you. We promise we won’t take up too much of your time!

We just need to find you first.

The federal government has said that somewhere out in this vast country of 313 million people, where 48 million lack insurance coverage, someone has managed to sign up for health insurance on the federally-run marketplaces. As of yet, we haven’t tracked this person – or these people – down.

This is not for lack of effort. Reporters here at The Washington Post and at other publications have been on the hunt for this mythical creature.”

Dios mio!  Didn’t we hear that everybody was just ready to sign up and get their affordable care?

According to other news reports, it is more like a “trickle rather than a wave“.

Apparently, one fellow did show up and posted on his page that he enrolled.

His name is Chad, a young man, or precisely the kind of new member that Obama Care will desperately need to pay the “higher premiums” to support the older participants.

What’s wrong with Chad?  Nothing, unless you think that being a volunteer for Organizing for America makes him a typical young man in the US.

Good for Chad!   However, the problem with ObamaCare is that there are millions of “Chads” & “Chad-ettes” who are not enrolling.

They are not buying online because ObamaCare is going to be very expensive rather than the affordable option that they heard about at the “yes we can” rally.

The Affordable Health Care Act is not affordable, as many are learning.

Also, ObamaCare: one size fleeces all!   The beauty of a private insurance market is that you have choices.  The nightmare of ObamaCare is that you are stuck in plans designed by congressional staffers.  It was eventually passed by representatives and senators who did not read what they voted for.

Have you signed up?  Call the aforementioned Washington Post!  They will put you on their front page!

We know that “El bobo de la yuca  se va casar y invita todo el munco a la capital”.

He plans to let some other “bobo” sign up for Obama Care!


“Jovenes hispanos sin palanca” will pay very high ObamaCare premiums!

There are two problems with Obama Care.

The first one is that the law is full of waivers and exceptions.  Worse than that, these changes to the law were done by executive order rather than Congress.     This is a law that does not apply equally to all, unless you got “palanca” and received one of those waivers and exceptions.

It’s all about “palanca” with the Obama administration.   Can you say Solyndra?

The second problem is that Obama Care is based on young people paying higher premiums.    This is going to be a huge burden for Hispanics, a younger segment of the population.

My friend Israel Ortega, editor of and distinguished member of The Heritage Foundation, crunched a few numbers in his recent post:

“Here’s something you won’t hear from the Hispanic media, the mainstream media, or the White House: Among the many terrible side effects of Obamacare is its adverse effects on Hispanics.

This stems from the fact that the Hispanic population is one of the youngest, in addition to Obamacare’s impact on the wholesale and retail industry, which employs many Hispanic Americans.

Wholesale and retail will be hit especially hard by Obamacare, because, as one consultant noted, “employers not currently offering coverage to all employees working at least 30 hours a week may be more inclined to change their workforce strategy so that fewer employees meet that threshold.”

But don’t expect a press release on this hard truth, considering that the national unemployment rate for Hispanics is higher than the national average at almost 10 percent. Ignore the man behind the curtain who reminds you that retailers and hospitals are laying off workers and dropping coverage for part-time employees. Pay no attention to exemptions for labor unions and Members of Congress or the fact that a Senator from the President’s own party described Obamacare as a “train wreck.”

What’s more, considering that 65 percent of Hispanics are millennials, they can expect to pay more to cover costs for wealthier Americans. Rates will likely increase by an average of 169 percent for the young, while older people will pay about 22 percent less, according to Generation Opportunity, a national organization committed to promoting liberty to young Americans.”

There you have it!    Younger Hispanics will carry the burden of ObamaCare.  They will be required to sign up, pay the higher premiums and scream “si se puede” at the next “5 de Mayo” rally.

Wonder if they are going to scream “si se puede” when they hear about the premiums?

Some young Hispanos “tienen suerte” or they work for an employer who got a waiver   They will watch as the rest of their neighbors  come under ObamaCare.

Their neighbors will ask:  “Why doesn’t ObamaCare apply to you”?

The answer is:  “Mi patron tiene palanca”.

The young hispanics “que no tienen palanca” will call 1-800-318-2596.    I just hope that the “glitches” are not “glitching” anymore and that they don’t check what those phone digits translate to!

P.S. Check my chat with Horace Cooper of Project 21 about the impact of ObamaCare on minorities.