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Archive for the ‘Cuban history’ Category

August 7, 1960: Castro banned all religious TV and radio broadcasts in Cuba

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On this day in 1960, Fidel Castro banned all religious TV and radio broadcasts.   It was a reaction to The Catholic Church condemning the rise of communism in Cuba.

Not much later, the Catholic schools were closed and I remember that.   Our beloved Maristas in was closed and some of the clergy expelled.    I lived through all of that.

Years later, I learned that the school grounds became Villa Maristas, or the place where political prisoners like Armando Valladares were tortured.

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

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August 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm

July 26, 1953 & the legacy of Moncada: a communist dictatorship, thousands executed, a country destroyed….check out my post about Cuba

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July 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm

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July 26, 1953 turned out to be an ugly day for Cuba

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Today, I will attend a major league baseball game with a couple of my sons.  I will also remember my late father and call my mother on the phone.   I always think of them whenever there is a Cuban anniversary, specially one as horrible as July 26, 1953.

64 years ago today, Fidel Castro and his followers attacked the Moncada Barracks in east Cuba.

In fact, the attack was a disaster since more than 60 of the 185 rebels involved were killed. Castro and the survivors escaped and were eventually discovered and captured.

Castro was tried in the fall of 1953 and sentenced up to fifteen years in prison.  He had it all later released in a book.

While he was being held at the prison in Isla de Pinos, he wrote letters and continued to plot Batista’s overthrow.  He also enjoyed prison benefits later denied to the men and women that he executed or locked up.

After having served less than two years, he was released in May 1955 due to a general amnesty.  My guess is that Batista regretted that amnesty to the end of his life.

Castro left Cuba and went to Mexico, met Che and the rest is the history that we are all too familiar with.

Today, Cuba is under a dictatorship. Thousands have been executed. Others have died leaving the country.

Many others are sitting in political prisons.

The Castro regime never allowed anyone a fair trial, free election or had a general amnesty.

In short, Castro devastated a beautiful country and a prosperous island.

What are Cuba’s political prisons like?  Read Armando Valladares “Against all Hope”.  You will learn all you need to know about the legacy of July 26.

In retrospect, July 26 turned out to be a very bad day for Cuba.

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


Written by scantojr

July 26, 2017 at 6:36 am

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Andy Garcia’s “The lost city” was a great movie

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Let me issue a disclaimer.   I am not a movie critic.  Frankly, I don’t watch movies with a critical eye but rather to be entertained.  

In recent years, I enjoyed “Gods and Generals” because I love anything about the US Civil War.  

March of the Penguins” was well done.  

I liked “The Rookie” because it is such an uplifting story.  

I walk the line” was fun and informational about Johnny Cash.

The Lost City” tells a story that most Cuban exiles can relate to.  This is not a pro-Batista movie or presents Cuba as a pre-Castro paradise.

This is a movie about the betrayal of Cuba by Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra.

This is about the young men who died to restore the 1940 Constitution rather than impose a communist dictator.

This is about the Cuban middle class who stood up to Batista.

This is about Fidel Castro canceling elections and bringing the Soviets into Cuba.

This is about Che Guevarra’s firing squads.

I was there but too young to remember most of it. 

Yet, our home in the US was always full of Cuban stories.  My parents always reminded us of what we left behind.

I won’t spoil it but the movie is about a family caught up in the turmoil of 1958-61.

Want more? Watch the movie!

The music is spectacular. The choreography of old Havana is stunning. Close your eyes and you will feel back in the elegance of La Habana.

You need to watch or download “The Lost City” by Andy Garcia.

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

Written by scantojr

July 23, 2017 at 7:30 am

Growing up Cuban in the US and hearing about May 20, 1902

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My grandmother had a neat life.  She was born in Cuba (1892) when it was still a Spanish colony.   We would often sit around and hear her stories of Cuba, from the celebrations of May 20, 1902, to hurricanes to many other anecdotes of the island.    She left Cuba and died in the US in 1984.

Today, Cuba celebrates another anniversary of that independence day that my grandmother celebrated as a  little girl.  However, there is little to celebrate in Cuba under communism.

The Castro government will put on a show today and celebrate independence day.   However, I am sure that most Cubans won’t really feel it until this corrupt dictatorship passes on.

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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May 20, 2017 at 11:00 pm

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Cuba: The “Escambray guerillas” story with Enrique Encinosa, journalist in Miami

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April 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm

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The life and times of Jose Marti with Professor Alfred Lopez

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GUESTS: Jorge Ponce, Cuban American writer and contributor to Babalu Blog, joins me for a chat with Professor Alfred Lopez about his new book, ‘Jose Marti, a revolutionary life’……….the book is in English and offers many Cuban Americans an opportunity to read about Marti…….. as the book tells us ‘….Beyond his accomplishments as a revolutionary and political thinker, Martí was a giant of Latin American letters, whose poetry, essays, and journalism still rank among the most important works of the region’. We believe that the book is a must for your Cuban history library………. Click the link below to listen:

Source: The life and times of Jose Marti with Professor Alfred Lopez 05/19 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts

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January 28, 2017 at 1:30 pm

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