TALK & OPINIONS BY SILVIO CANTO JR.

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Archive for April 20th, 2016

New York the day after with Barry Casselman, The Prairie Editor

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Written by scantojr

April 20, 2016 at 11:00 pm

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Fidel’s “me muero pronto” speech

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(My new Babalu post)

We have not seen a lot of Fidel Castro since 2006.  Once in a while, he greets a foreign leader or shows his face at a rally.   This week, Fidel Castro spoke to the Communist Party and it sounded a lot like a man saying goodbye.   This is from The New York Times:

“Soon, I will be 90,” said Mr. Castro, 89, who spoke in a strong but rasping voice at the close of a four-day party congress in Havana, according to official press reports. Mr. Castro’s birthday is on Aug. 13.
“Our turn comes to us all,” added Mr. Castro, who made his longest public address in years clad in a blue track jacket, “but the ideas of Cuban communism will endure.”
While Mr. Castro seemed to take his leave on Tuesday, others in his cohort signaled their intentions to stay put. The Communist Party announced that Mr. Castro’s brother, President Raúl Castro, 84, and the president’s hard-line second-in-command, José Ramón Machado Ventura, 85, would continue to lead the party for at least part of another five-year term.
Their re-election indicates that despite a dramatic shift in relations with the United States and tentative economic changes, the leaders of the Castros’ generation are in no hurry to make room for new blood. It is a blow to younger Cubans who are eager for a more pluralistic system led by people closer to their own ages and unencumbered by socialist orthodoxies.
Cubans are leaving the island in record numbers, tired of waiting for change and worried that better relations with the United States, while creating new economic opportunities, will end the privileges that make it easier to migrate.

They don’t do instant polls in Cuba or put them on the Cuban version of Drudge.   However, my guess is that people in the hall were politely listening and most young people outside were tuned in to a Miami hip hop station.

Castro’s message was to call on Cubans to keep the faith.   However, the reality is that “la revolucion” is broke and desperately looking for US tourists to provide the cash flow to pay bills and keep Castro Inc going another year.

Castro will probably die soon, or so he told the country.  My good guess is that he never thought that a museum to him, and “la revolucion”, would be surrounded by a McDonalds, Office Depot and young Cubans texting non-revolutionary messages to each other.

Fidel Castro’s revolution failed miserably.   I remember today all of those executed or put in prisons for saying that “la revolucion” would fail!

Go die soon Fidel.    There is a very warm place waiting for you on the other side!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

 

Written by scantojr

April 20, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Impeachment commences in Brazil

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(My new American Thinker post)

It’s been a tough week for leftist President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil. The Chamber of Deputies voted to impeach her

Impeachment supporters netted 367 votes in the lower house of Congress, well above the 342 they needed.

The “no” camp took 137 votes, seven deputies abstained and two did not show for the ballot.

We move on to the Senate, or upper house, and let’s see what happens there.

Post-impeachment will be uncharted waters for Brazil. In other words, Latin America does not have a history of replacing leaders by impeachment. Instead, they get overthrown by the military or escape at midnight to avoid justice.

The street in Brazil is generally supportive of the impeachment vote in the House. However, the morning after will be a bit like the hangover, as reported by the New York Times:

As the outcome of the vote became clear, deputies in the lower house of Congress hooted, pumped their fists and hoisted onto their shoulders the man who had cast the pivotal vote.

One lawmaker, wearing a flag as a cape, fired a gun that shot confetti.

The unrestrained merriment was mirrored on the streets of cities across Brazil, where thousands of people celebrated what they hope will be the ouster of Ms. Rousseff on charges that she illegally used money from state-owned banks to hide a catastrophic budget deficit and bolster her chances of re-election.

But on Monday, Brazilians awoke to the sobering reality that the political and economic turmoil that has consumed their country, Latin America’s largest, for the past two years is far from over.

Inflation is running at 10 percent, unemployment is at a seven-year high and the economy is expected to contract by as much as 3.8 percent for a second year in a row.

A Zika epidemic is coursing through the northeast, and a cash-strapped local government in Rio de Janeiro is racing to prepare for the Summer Olympics. If the impeachment process moves forward as many experts predict, Brazilian televisions this August are likely to feature a split-screen spectacle of sporting events and their president on trial.

“We may be witnessing the end of Dilma but not the end of the Brazilian crisis,” Sylvio Costa, the founder of Congresso em Foco, an anticorruption watchdog group.

And the political paralysis that has hobbled the government is not likely to ease anytime soon. Ms. Rousseff will have to step down temporarily next month if the Senate votes by a simple majority to take on her impeachment trial, an outcome that many analysts say is all but assured.

So let me give you the quick story: a corrupt president is about to be replaced by an unpopular VP in a country where the economic train has jumped off the tracks!

Am I the only one who sees a few problems down the road?

In the interest of full disclosure, let me point out that I am not a supporter of the left in Brazil. They’ve screwed up the country so badly that it is really sad.

At the same time, this is a huge test for Brazil’s institutions. A peaceful transition will set an example in Brazil and for many other countries following the news, from Ecuador to Venezuela. A military intervention, specially if chaos breaks out, will also send a signal that this is the same Latin America that we all grew up reading about.

Let’s hope for the best but this is not going to be pretty.   

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.    We spoke about Brazil on Tuesday’s show:

 

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Written by scantojr

April 20, 2016 at 6:08 am

Posted in US-Brazil issues

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