Fidel Castro

Trump Reversal Of Cuban Policy Of Obama A Massive Blunder And Sign Of Total Hypocrisy!

Donald Trump is continuing his mission of destroying the Obama legacy in every way possible.

So now, in Miami, and to appease Marco Rubio and the Diaz Balarts (one of whom is a Congressman), he has reversed Barack Obama’s policy of ending the embargo on Cuba, which failed for 57 years.

So now it will be more difficult for Americans to travel to Cuba, and business dealings designed to open up Cuban society after six decades of isolation will be curbed.

Ironically, this massive blunder and sign of total hypocrisy comes after the death of Fidel Castro, and the planned retirement of Raul Castro early in 2018.

This is precisely the time to work to open up Cuba, but the effect will be more Russian and Chinese intervention in economic terms in the island nation.

And to think we almost went to war in 1962 over Russian intervention in Cuba, and now we are promoting it by our narrow minded, outdated policy toward the Cuban regime.

Having isolated them for nearly six decades did NOT make Cuba a democracy, and doing that now will not help to democratize Cuba as much as interaction and influence.

We have people who condemn Cuba’s government because of violation of human rights, and in that, we all concur, BUT somehow, we have dealings and business with many nations that systematically violate human rights, including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines, and innumerable others.

But an island 90 miles from the Florida Keys is too full of sin, apparently, that we spite ourselves, and deny Cuban Americans free access to their relatives and heritage in their home nation, all because of extremist right wing Cubans in America who have no concern about human rights, but only about their desire to take back property confiscated at the time of the Cuban Revolution.

Yes, that is an outrage, but after six decades, and looking at victims of despotic governments elsewhere, the only reason for such intransigence by our government toward Cuba is because of the political significance of Florida in the Congress and in Presidential elections.

Why, for instance, do we say nothing about violations of human rights on a much wider scale, and instead embrace such a brutal government as Saudi Arabia, from where the September 11 hijackers came from?

How does Cuba affect national security, when Russia and Saudi Arabia and China in particular do so, and yet we treat them as nations we are willing to work with?

Giant Historical Figure Fidel Castro Dies, A Transformative Figure, With Great Negative Impact On The World!

Fidel Castro of Cuba, the most significant figure in Latin America in the 20th Century, and one of the most vicious dictators of modern times, passed away at age 90 on Friday.

He left behind a legacy of a brutal dictatorship, which while making some improvements in health care and education, took away any semblance of civil liberties and civil rights, and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered dissidents in great numbers over more than a half century of rule.

Castro was the longest lasting leader of modern times, with only Queen Elizabeth II of England having come to office about seven years before Castro took over the capital of Cuba, Havana, on New Years Day 1959.

Who would have thought that someone who came to power on the island of Cuba, which had been a playground for wealthy Americans, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, at a time when this author was in high school, would last in power for a half century, and then be replaced by his younger brother, Raul Castro, a decade ago, and still rules?

Castro became the dire enemy of the Unites States, and Cuban exiles fleeing to Florida in 1959-1960 and again in 1980 (the Mariel Boat Lift) and constant escapes since then, have affected the history and politics of Florida and the Republican Party, with Cuban Americans flocking to support of the party after John F. Kennedy failed in his attempt to remove Castro from power in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in April 1961. This made Cuban Americans the one Hispanic group that would refuse to support the Democratic Party, as many Cuban Americans saw JFK as a Communist for failing to succeed to remove Castro. This led to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War years, as Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s leader, formed an alliance with Castro, who had declared himself a Communist, and installed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world closer to the danger of a nuclear war than any other event in history before or since. Only with the cool headed leadership of JFK was nuclear war averted.

Castro was a maniacal figure, who also abused the rights of gays and lesbians in Cuba, and initiated aggression overseas by supporting national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, and the people of Cuba suffered economically under his five decade rule. Few more influential and significant dictators have existed, and those he is often compared with–including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini–only lasted 25, 12 and 21 years compared to his 47 plus years.

The question is how Cuba will evolve now, with brother Raul Castro, age 85, having said he will leave power in February 2018, only 14 months away, and also how Donald Trump will react to the death of Fidel Castro, after Barack Obama had begun new relations with Cuba in 2015.

February 9, 1950 And Now: The Ugly “Red Scare” Revived!

On this day in 1950, Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy came to notice when he accused the Truman Administration of being “soft on Communism”.    This  began a nearly five year rampage of accusations against government officials, college professors, journalists, actors, and many ordinary citizens, that they were either “pinkos” or were actually Communists who had undermined the nation in favor of the interests of the Soviet Union and Communism.

Many politicians and others joined the crowd of attacks, and many others in and out of government were terrified, and kept silent, as people’s lives were ruined.  This had begun even before McCarthy became infamous, and the film TRUMBO well portrays what happened to Hollywood writers in the later 1940s, and the role of actor John Wayne, actor Ronald Reagan, and Congressman Richard Nixon, among others, in that “witch hunt”.

This is a day to recall, because it is clear that we are witnessing the beginning of attacks on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic Socialist, who just became a member of the Democratic Party this past year, and is now, contending for the Democratic Presidential nomination seriously. Bernie Sanders is no danger in any sense, but he is now facing vicious attacks beginning, and they will not stop as long as he has a serious chance to be the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016.

Donald Trump has called Sanders a “Communist”, and if Sanders becomes more of a serious contender beyond his expected win in New Hampshire, then we will see a slew of such attacks by Republicans and the right wing, making Sanders out to be Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, and Fidel Castro, all wrapped in a 74 years old Senator, who is the longest serving Independent in all of American history!

This is very disturbing, and all good people MUST, whether they support or oppose Bernie Sanders, fight against a new “McCarthyism”, as to have a new period of a Red Scare is simply intolerable, and it must be exposed for the evil that it is!

Rand Paul Attacks On Bernie Sanders As Future Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, And Pol Pot Is Outrageous And Preposterous!

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has not been doing well in polls, fund raising, or in the two Republican Presidential debates held so far.

As a result of his failures, and the complete disaster that his libertarianism represents to any intelligent person, Paul has gone on the attack against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is doing very well in public opinion polls, particularly among millennials, despite his “Democratic Socialist” advocacy.

Paul has said that Sanders would bring dictatorship and a mass genocide to the world, similar to Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Mao Tse Tung of China, and Pol Pot of Cambodia, a totally outrageous and preposterous assertion.

One would think that Bernie Sanders is somehow dangerous, when he is not one bit dangerous, while Rand Paul’s vacant libertarian Ayn Rand philosophy of selfishness, greed, and lack of concern for the poor and disabled is the true sickness and evil in political discourse!

Paul is doing what Donald Trump is doing, asserting that Socialism in the American variety is the same as Comunism, as the Soviet Union, Communist China, and Fidel Castro’s Cuba, demonstrating that neither Paul nor Trump have a clue as to the massive differences between American Socialism and Communism, as practiced in totalitarian dictatorships.

The fact that Sanders is advocating Scandinavian style Socialism (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), and that the New Deal of FDR, the Great Society of LBJ, and Barack Obama’s reforms represent similar ideals and goals is made out to be something to panic over, when we have been living with “Socialism” for a century, and not many Americans, even those who say they hate Socialism, are about to give up the benefits and successes of the New Deal and Great Society, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, labor reforms, consumer reforms, and environmental reforms!

To label Sanders a dangerous Communist reminds us of the Joseph McCarthy era, already being started on right wing talk radio and Fox News Channel, and the American people should not allow themselves to be subjected to such hysteria and mass panic, when there is not an iota of truth to the allegations of the right wing, and the libertarians, led by a failing Presidential candidate, Rand Paul!

Presidents And Difficult Diplomacy: TR, FDR, Truman, JFK, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Obama

Presidents have to deal with recalcitrant nations in diplomacy, including nations that are our adversaries.

The key is to promote agreements, with the ability to verify and hold nations accountable, under international agreement. It is not an issue of trust, as many nations see other nations as rivals, but rather the ability to come to agreements with the understanding that violations can lead to a confrontational situation if they are not kept.

Presidents have regularly taken bold steps in diplomacy with other nations, whereby they suffered from strong criticism as being naive and weak, but history tells us they actually demonstrated courage and principle, that international agreements could be upheld if both sides wish to avoid military confrontation.

So we have President Theodore Roosevelt negotiating agreements with a newly ambitious Japan after the Russo-Japanese War.

So we have President Franklin D. Roosevelt deciding to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union after 16 years of non recognition.

So we have President Harry Truman deciding to recognize Israel, and in so doing, alienating Arab nations in the Middle East.

So we have President John F. Kennedy agreeing to the Nuclear Best Ban Treaty in 1963 with the Soviet Union, and it is still in effect today. This came after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which many believed the result would not be obeyed by the Soviet Union, but they did precisely what was required under the settlement.

So we have President Richard Nixon, who made arms limitation agreements (SALT I) with the Soviet Union, and opened the door to contacts with the People’s Republic of China, both moves that are now hailed, although criticized at the time.

SO we have President Jimmy Carter accomplishing something no one would have believed, an agreement between Israel and Egypt, and mutual recognition, in what became known as the Camp David Accords. Additionally, Carter decided to recognize the Communist government in China as being China, rather than Taiwan.

So we have President Ronald Reagan, after calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire”, negotiate arms agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev.

So we have President Bill Clinton bringing about peace between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, an event that seemed impossible of achievement, known as the Good Friday Agreements of 1998. He also established diplomatic relations with Vietnam, a generation after the end of the divisive war in Vietnam was lost.

So now we have President Barack Obama negotiating an agreement to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons, with five other nations engaged in the process, and to prevent war, while guaranteeing the security of Israel and Arab nations. Like all the others, it is a gamble, as no one can be sure of Iran’s ultimate actions, but it has worked out in all of the other cases. He also has established diplomatic relations with the government of Fidel and Raul Castro in Cuba.

And yet, nothing is a panacea, as Russia and China still present a challenge, but progress was made to avoid war, and that is happening again now, with the understanding that if the agreement is broken, war is always an ultimate alternative!

Serious Republican Presidential Contenders: Part II—The Importance Of Florida And Ohio

We have, so far, examined 13 of the 16 Republican Presidential contenders, most of whom could be considered a “Clown Bus”!

Only four of the 16 are serious contenders, and so far we have looked at Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, who President Obama would like to see as the nominee of the opposition party, as he believes Walker’s terrible economic record, his anti labor stance, and his dramatic attack on the University of Wisconsin budget, along with the connection to the Koch Brothers, would make him easy to defeat.

And then there are the three remaining contenders, from crucial swing states Florida and Ohio, so arguably the three best primed to have a real chance to win the Presidency.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother and son of two earlier Presidents named Bush, comes across as more moderate, more mainstream than just about any other contender, but he had a mixed record as Florida Governor, and has been out of office for ten years by 2016, and last ran 14 years ago by 2016. He is, certainly, seen as a man among boys, but he also is too close to the neoconservatives who took us into endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also exhaustion at having a third President Bush, after the disastrous Presidency of his brother, George W. Bush.

Then we have the youthful, good looking, charismatic Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is Cuban American, but much more appealing and less extreme than fellow Cuban American Ted Cruz of Texas. But Rubio has come across often as not too bright; has distorted the story of his parents leaving Cuba to make it seem as if it happened under Fidel Castro, when it happened two years earlier; has come across as having no guts on immigration reform; and has had issues with his finances and his connections with Norman Bramam, a South Florida auto dealer and billionaire. Some see him as the equivalent of a Republican Barack Obama or John F. Kennedy, but that is pure illusion.

And then we have the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, who had 18 years in the House of Representatives, and was House Budget Committee Chairman, and has accepted Medicaid under ObamaCare as Governor of Ohio since 2011. He is very personable, engaging, and experienced, including recently, in a way that no other GOP contender can match him. And he comes from the crucial swing state of Ohio, more crucial than Florida, another swing state. And why is Ohio more important than Ohio? The answer is that every single Republican President from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush has won Ohio, so it is an essential state on the road to victory.

While all three of the above are serious contenders for the White House, it is clear that John Kasich would be the strongest, most competitive nominee imaginable, similar to what Jon Huntsman was in 2012. But that is precisely why the Republicans, almost certainly, will NOT select Kasich.

In any case, the Republican Party is on the road to defeat for the White House, and Donald Trump only further complicates that whole situation.

The Republican “Appeal” To Hispanics/Latinos Of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz: Greatly Exaggerated!

A lot of propaganda is going around stating that Republicans have a real chance to gain the backing of Hispanics/Latinos in the 2016 Presidential race! Really?

The Republican Party has done everything possible to alienate Hispanics/Latinos, including opposition to the DREAM Act; unwillingness to change immigration policy; insulting statements about Hispanics/Latinos from many Tea Party elements; and hostile policies toward issues that matter to Hispanics/Latinos in states, such as Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina.

So the argument goes that Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush, can, somehow, win the vote of Hispanics/Latinos because, after all, George W. was able to do so, and also, Jeb’s wife is Mexican-American, and Jeb speaks good Spanish.

Also, it is said that Marco Rubio, who speaks fluent Spanish, can appeal to Hispanics/Latinos; and that Ted Cruz, who does not speak Spanish, can also do so, simply because they are both Hispanics, of Cuban ancestry.

This assumption is totally false, as more than 70 percent of Hispanics-Latinos voted for Barack Obama in 2012, and neither George W. Bush nor John McCain could gain more than 40 percent of their vote, and both George W. and McCain were supportive of, and sympathetic to Hispanic/Latino issues.

What has the GOP done since 2008 to appeal to Hispanics/Latinos? Absolutely nothing, and the assumption, somehow, that the Republicans can, somehow, transform reality, is based on the false assumption that Rubio and Cruz, being Cubans, can appeal to Mexican-Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, and to other Hispanic/Latino groups from other nations of Latin America.

Only Cubans, who are about 3.7 percent of all Hispanics/Latinos have consistently voted Republican, and even their percentage voting Republican has changed over the 55 years since Fidel Castro came to power, with younger Cuban-Americans starting to wander from the commitment to Republicans that their grandparents and parents have had.

Mexican Americans, numbering about 64 percent of all Hispanics/Latinos, have never cared about the Republican Party, and neither have Puerto Rican Americans, who number about 9.4 percent, nor 3.8 percent who are from El Salvador, or 3.1 percent who are from the Dominican Republic, or any of the other smaller numbers of people from other nations in Latin America.

Presidents And Dictatorships: Double Standard Of Critics Of Obama Change Of Cuban Policy

Presidents of the United States deal with reality, not what they might wish was so.

America has had diplomatic relations with all sorts of terrible people who govern the world’s nations over time.

Latin American dictatorships, including those of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba; Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic; the Duvalier dynasty, father and son, in Haiti; Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua; and military dictatorships in all of the South American nations at different times, have been accepted by American Presidents.

Our Presidents have dealt with Asian dictatorships, including China beginning with Richard Nixon; and with Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, South Korea for decades, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the former Soviet Republics, now independent, but almost all of them dictatorships.

We have dealt with the Arab nations of the Middle East and with Iran under the Shah, despite their harsh dictatorships.

We have had dealings with African dictatorships of all stripes, including South Africa under Apartheid; and the brutal governments of much of the continent.

Somehow, Cuba has been seen differently, when the governments of many of the world’s nations has been far worse in their oppression than Fidel and Raul Castro.

This is not saying that Fidel and Raul Castro cannot, rightfully, be condemned for their human rights violations, but if human rights was the guide, we would not have any diplomatic relations or trade with 80 percent of the world!

When Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and the two Presidents Bush have embraced, and even endorsed, dictators, it was always seen as no big deal, but when Barack Obama opens up to Cuba after 54 years, it is perceived as a crime of massive proportions, while we willingly accepted the previous harsh dictatorship in Cuba of Batista and his henchmen!

Hypocrisy anyone?

Republican Split On Obama’s Cuban Initiative Will Cause Turmoil In GOP Presidential Race

President Barack Obama’s decision to change policy toward Cuba is already stirring up controversy in the Republican Party Presidential race.

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona went along on the trip to Cuba to bring back Alan Gross and an American spy in exchange for three Cuban spies, and he has long believed that the 54 year old policy of isolation of Cuba has been wrong, and needed to be revisited.

But Flake is not running for President, so he is a rare standout for his views on Cuba in the Republican Party, although his actions and words insure a tough race for reelection, when he comes up in 2018.

But the big news is that Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a full fledged Presidential aspirant, has taken the same stand, just as his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, took on Cuba for many years, making him a pariah in the Republican Party.

Rand Paul has come under bitter attack by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, two rivals of his for the nomination, and both Cuban Americans. And others in Republican leadership have also joined in the attack, including Jeb Bush.

The question is whether Rand Paul has forfeited any chance to be the GOP Presidential nominee by his decision to back Barack Obama on this initiative.

It will, most certainly, stir up the race, and make future attitudes and policies toward Cuba a key issue in the Republican Presidential primaries, as it is likely that the critics of Obama’s changed policy will promise to restore the isolationist policy that has been in existence for a half century, were any of them to become President.

Ironically, though, by 2017, we will be nearing the end of the Castro brothers in power, as Raul Castro has said he will retire in 2018, when he is 87, and Fidel Castro is 92. So the end is near for this two brother dominance of the future of Cuba!

Obama Supported By Chambers Of Commerce, Catholic Church, Public Opinion Polls, And Many Others, On Cuban Policy

President Obama has taken a gigantic step in changing Cuban policy, and his initiative will overcome the opposition of Cuban American Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, along with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and many other Republicans and some Democrats, other than Menendez.

This Cuban initiative was promoted by Canada’s Conservative government; Pope Francis; Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona; and many other rational people who knew that the policy against Fidel and Raul Castro, beginning under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and lasting through what is now eleven Presidencies, was having no real effect on the Cuban government, and harming its citizens. The Chambers of Commerce and the Catholic Church in America have also endorsed the change in policy. And, interestingly, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has also backed the Obama policy as rational and reasonable, which it most certainly is! And public opinion polls show about 60 percent support a change in Cuban policy.

Yes, the Castros have been horrific on human rights, but we have have relations with many oppressive governments, which are more than half the nations in the world. These have included Communist governments, as in China and Vietnam, for instance; but also numerous right wing dictatorships in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East over the decades.

If we can deal with Vietnam, where 58,000 Americans died, then we can deal with Cuba a half century after the Cuban Missile Crisis!

Either we accept that fact, that it is time to change a Cuban policy which has never worked, or we need to cut off relations with most of the nations in the world, and live in isolation, and our own “dream world” of reality!