Short honeymoon for the Latin American left

Am I happy that Latin America elected leftists? Of course not, but it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Down in Chile, leftist President Gabriel Boric is struggling in the polls.  He is learning that changing a constitution is complicated, especially if your message is divisive and economically risky.   

Over in Colombia, newly sworn in leftist President Gustavo Petro will soon to face reality as well, such as slow economic growth rates, high levels of corruption, entrenched inequality, inadequate health and education services, and poor infrastructure. Add to this a faltering peace process with former insurgents and a history of bad relations with Venezuela and it will get ugly fast .

Yes. honeymoons are turning out to be short for the Latin American left:     

The experience of Petro’s ideological soulmates in Chile, Peru, and Argentina offer useful lessons. 

The first is to avoid interpreting their recent electoral success as a triumph of socialism or an invitation to repeat the failed state-centric economic policies of the early 2000s. Instead of voting for fresh ideas, Latin Americans have been voting against incumbent governments.

Most of the region’s sitting presidents were conservatives, so a change of guard inevitably means a shift left, a trend which began with Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s victory in Mexico in 2018. 

Reasons for discontent abound: living standards are falling, the state is failing to deliver, and the best opportunities are too often reserved for a privileged few. The pandemic exacerbated social tensions.

As a result, presidential honeymoons are short and expectations almost impossibly high. The perils for new leaders are obvious: the presidents of Chile and Peru have seen their approval ratings collapse in a matter of months because they disappointed impatient voters. 

In Argentina, the incumbents facing a drubbing at the polls next year are on the left. 

Voters care about results, not ideology.

Yes, governing is tough specially when the elected leaders misread public sentiments.    It turns out that Latin American voters were angry at incumbents, particularly after the pandemic.  The left exploited the anger and promised a lot — a lot that they can’t deliver.  And now the honeymoons are over and the voters are angry with the left for failing to deliver, such as in Peru, Chile, and Argentina.

How long will President Petro’s honeymoon last?  Not long, especially if he listens to the “three amigos” in Lima, Santiago, and Buenos Aires.

P.S.:  Check out  my videos  and posts.

(My new American Thinker post)

Senator Marco Rubio on FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid: ‘This is what happens in places like Nicaragua’

From our Bureau of Creeping Latrinism with some assistance from our Cubanization of the U.S. Bureau

Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio is no fan of Donald Trump, who constantly insulted him during the 2016 Republican primaries and has often treated him shabbily. Nonetheless, the Florida politician once mocked as “Little Marco” by Trump, is denouncing yesterday’s FBI raid on Trump’s Florida home.

Marco Rubio knows what the slippery slope of Cubanization looks like. He has denounced it in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and other Latrine semi-colonies of Castrogonia. And now he is denouncing it right here, in the U.S.A.

Lord have mercy. The senator’s assessment of this unprecedented raid is as perceptive as it is prophetic. An undemocratic Latrine American sort of slippery slope lies ahead. Let’s see how far Jar-Jar Biden and his minions are willing to slide down towards Latrinism or Latrinity or whatever else one can call the state of being or becoming a Leftist Latin American dystopia.

Read more

Images of the day: Cuban advertising before and after the Castro dynasty destroyed the country

From our Bureau of Lethal Nostalgia

In 1957, when Tres Fotutos was in first grade, he never saw this ad, and he wasn’t able to sample the product being peddled. But the good Christian Brothers at La Salle de Miramar did warn him to avert his gaze from such images, and to abstain from alcoholic beverages, lest he risk ending up in Purgatory for millennia, or maybe even in Hell for eternity.

A vanished world, for sure, in all respects. Replaced by something truly hellish.

The ad
The real thing

The replacement

Over 400 Cuban political prisoners report serious health problems

Félix Navarro and July 11 protesters

From our Bureau of Socialist Compassion and Social Justice with some help from our Bureau of Socialist Healthcare in Dungeons

Ay! No surprise here, but the news is still very disturbing. While some imprisoned prominent dissidents such as Felix Navarro get some attention from Cuba’s independent journalists, the vast majority of their fellow prisoners are ignored.

Here is one attempt to remedy the imbalance being made by one dissident association. Unfortunately, this report can do nothing to improve the real situation faced by prisoners.

In Havana province alone, there are 211 July 11 protesters behind bars. In Matanzas, near the oil depot fire, the number is 83.

Map of prisons holding July 11 protesters, with number of prisoners in each location

Loosely translated from Cubanos Por El Mundo

The Justice 11J working group expressed concern about the health status of 439 July 11 protesters (11J) who remain behind bars, specifically from the provinces of Artemisa, Havana, Matanzas and Mayabeque.

Through a statement issued on social networks, Justice 11J indicated that this concern has increased after the great fire that is still active at the Matanzas Supertanker Base.

“We remember that prisons across the country were already overcrowded and unsanitary. Possible evacuation scenarios, although urgent, could trigger even more damage to people’s health, if the pertinent measures are not taken,” the working group specified.

Justice 11J highlights the case of the political prisoner Félix Navarro, 69 years old, who is isolated in the infirmary of the Agüica prison, in Colón, Matanzas, because he tested positive for COVID-19.

The working group indicated that it was generally concerned about the health and physical integrity of all Cuban political prisoners held in different prisons of the Castro regime.

continue reading HERE in Spanish

Protests against power blackouts keep spreading throughout Cuba

From our Socialist Light and Power Bureau

As the Matanzas fire continues to rage and the power plant next to the inferno is shut down, Castro, Inc. keeps announcing crippling power blackouts throughout the island.

Experts acknowledge that this problem has no immediate solution due to the obsolescence of Cuba’s power plants and the magnitude of their disrepair. Basically, until new power plants can be built, the blackouts will continue.

Below is an account of protests in Holguin, one of the many cities where protests have been held.

Loosely translated from Cubanos Por El Mundo

Cubans in the city of Holguín took to the streets once again to protest against the blackouts that affect them every night and during the day as well.

Through social networks they have published images and videos in which a group of Antilleans are seen shouting slogans against the regime and phrases such as: “Turn on the current, pinga”, [Cuban expletive for male genitalia] “Hey, police, pinga”, “we can’t stand it anymore more”, among other expressions.

In the videos, which are seen more clearly than on other occasions, a group of people can be seen demonstrating peacefully in the streets, some families with children, and others watching and recording the situation.

Cubans have not stopped demanding their rights and the restoration of electricity. Since June they have carried out nightly protests against the blackouts and the shortages that affect the entire country, of medicines, food and other services.

Many young Cubans who are tired of living in misery and without a vision of a future for themselves and their families participate in these peaceful protests.

Cuban oil depot fire intensifies, inferno still out of control

From our Bureau of Socialist Disaster Management

Four days after a bolt of lightning started a fire at the Matanzas bay oil depot, the raging inferno keeps intensifying, spewing toxic smoke over a very wide area. Thousands have been evacuated and the city of Matanzas has been turned into a ghost town.

Meanwhile, fears about toxic rain and other environmental hazards hang over everyone under the colossal smoke cloud. Many of the injured are still hospitalized and the remains of missing firefighters who are presumed dead have yet to be found.

The only bit of potentially good news is that a firefighting ship from Mexico has arrived.

For a full day-by-day rundown on the disaster go HERE for several articles in Spanish

Smoke over Matanzas

Loosely translated from Periódico Cubano

Four tanks are currently affected by the fire, one of which was emptied before the flames reached it. (Collage: Irene Pérez-Cubadebate)

The fire at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, which started last Friday, August 5, continues out of control and, unfortunately, its intensity has increased in recent hours.

“It has taken a greater magnitude, four tanks of 50,000 (cubic meters) each are already compromised,” said Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Ávalos Jorge, Second Chief of the National Extinction Department of the Cuban Fire Department, at a press conference.

He explained that what happened “has been a chain reaction since the first tank burned and exploded at dawn on Saturday.” At this time, firefighters and other forces are focused on terminal 321, where the tanks for clear products (gasoline) are located, to prevent the flames from spreading further.

Ávalos Jorge indicated “it is impossible to make an exact calculation of how long the work will take. It can take days.” He specified that “the fire is developing in a very complicated situation, taking into account the high temperatures and the air that has hit us a lot, since it favors it and develops it in a superior way, and that has meant that we cannot do more. actions with better results.

On the other hand, the lieutenant colonel said that the ‘Antonio Guiteras’ Thermoelectric Power Plant “is not in danger from the fire.” “We are taking, in any case, all the measures, and for the moment there is no need to worry about that very important unit,” he added.

continue reading HERE in Spanish

Walking home and listening to “beisbol” on the radio

Back in the early days of “el exilio”, we lived in Wisconsin and would listen to afternoon baseball. It was Chicago Cubs baseball over WGN radio, a powerful signal that came in loud and clear. We would listen to the games walking home from school, or at the baseball practice or in the car radio with our parents. Afternoon baseball and the Cubs happened because Wrigley Field did not have lights. It led my mother to say: “Que raro no tienen luces”.

The lights were finally turned on August 8, 1988, or 34 years ago today. By the way, Cuban Rafael Palmeiro was playing left field for the Cubs that night.

As I recall, the game was rained out, but the lights went on before the summer showers came.

It all started at 6:05 P.M.., when 91-year-old Cubs fan Harry Grossman began the countdown. “Three…two…one…let there be lights!”

Grossman pressed a button, and light towers were on. Wonder if Mr. Grossman was around for the 2016 World Series title? Hopefully yes, but I don’t know for sure. Millions around the country were probably caught up in the whole thing.

For years, Cubs fans were raised on day baseball. It was charming, especially for kids off from school. One of my first summer memories in the U.S. was walking to a park and seeing this older couple listening to the Cubs on their front porch. As I recall, the lady was keeping score because she was holding a book and a pencil.

During my time in Mexico, one of my neighbors had an early version of a satellite antenna, and we would often light up the grill and catch the Cubs on TV.

It made afternoon rush-hour traffic a bit interesting listening to WGN radio and driving home. It brought morning baseball to West Coast fans. It allowed the players to play ball and have dinner with their families.

Eventually, economics caught up with the Cubs. It’s hard to play daytime baseball when TV viewership is crucial to pro sports. It was fun while it lasted.

P.S.  Check out  my videos  and posts.

Statistic of the Day: Cuba has over 1,000 political prisoners

From our Bureau of Socialist Tolerance, Social Justice, Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

The numbers speak for themselves. Data collected by Prisoners Defenders

From August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022, a total of 1,251 political prisoners have suffered political imprisonment in Cuba. All of them are tortured, as demonstrated by the detailed study of 101 random cases denounced by Prisoners Defenders before the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) and the public reproaches of the CAT after the complaints from civil society, which materialized in its subsequent May report on the situation of torture in Cuba. The report of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, this past June, also confirmed that numerous boys and girls have been arrested and sentenced to very harsh sentences for exercising their freedom of demonstration and “association”.

At this specific moment, with data closing as of July 31, 2022, the list of political prisoners in Cuba contains a total of 1,002 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience suffering judicial sentences, as well as provisions limiting their freedom by the prosecutors without any judicial supervision, in flagrant violation of international law and due process.

Prisoners Defenders has been able to verify a list of 1,002 political prisoners as of 07/31/2022 (VER). Of the 1,002 political prisoners, the following are still serving sentences or precautionary measures:

32 boys and 6 girls, 38 minors in total.
4 girls and 22 boys, 26 minors, have already been sentenced, 16 of them for “Sedition”, to an average sentence of 5 years in prison, after the “reductions” in the appeal and cassation processes.
171 demonstrators, including 16 girls and boys, have already been sentenced for “Sedition”.
697 sentenced prisoners of conscience are still on the list with sentences between 1 and 25 years.
Other political prisoners carry sentences of 30 years and up to life imprisonment (12 of them)
At least 122 women (including those of the trans gender) still have political and conscientious orders and sentences

Continue reading HERE in Spanish

Images of the Day: Want to buy a vacation home in Cuba? How about this fixer-upper?

From our Bureau of Socialist Real Estate Bargains

Hey! Don’t pass up this opportunity. After 63 years, seven months, and eight days of socialist totalitarianism, this Cuban pictured below is ready to seek greener pastures. And he is selling his magnificent house and his Chinese bicycle or simply trading them for a one-way plane ticket to Nicaragua.

Such a deal. This perfect vacation cottage give a whole new meaning to the woke buzzword “equity.”

Picture yourself shirtless and barefoot, enjoying the soft tropical breezes on this shady porch as you sip mow-hee-toes and day-kee-rees. And just imagine what a view you will have of toxic plumes of black smoke if your local oil depot happens to catch on fire, just like the one in Matanzas. Epic, man, truly epic. Socialism is the future!

You know, without socialism that noble savage would be homeless!