TALK & OPINIONS BY SILVIO CANTO JR.

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Posts Tagged ‘Obama trip to Cuba

Is ““Negro, ¿tú eres sueco?” like calling Obama an “Oreo cookie”?

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April 1, 2016 at 8:00 am

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Obama trip to Cuba, the tango in Argentina, Brazil and other stories 

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Guests Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, editor of Fausta’s Blog…Alain Castillo, young Cuban American in Texas…….we will discuss President Obama’s trip to Cuba…….the Rolling Stones in Cuba……more repression in Cuba…….Fidel Castro’s column reacting to Obama…..the tango in Argentina and the reaction in the US……….Macri in Argentina…..the political crisis in Brazil, Trump and Mexico…..new cartels in Mexico…..Colombia and FARC….plus more stories

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Source: Obama trip to Cuba, the tango in Argentina, Brazil and other stories 03/30 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts

Written by scantojr

March 30, 2016 at 9:00 pm

A baseball game and lots of pain, too

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(My new American Thinker post)

It was great to hear “play ball” in Cuba and watch a baseball game.  I guess baseball is the ultimate painkiller, even if the pain is emotional and deep.

My father died a few months ago.  I wonder what he would think of President Obama embracing Raúl Castro.  I think he would have mixed emotions.  On one hand, he would be happy to see Cubans watch Evan Longoria and Jim Looney play baseball.  On the other hand, it would be hard for him to hear Raúl Castro, a man who was never elected to anything and executed many who disagreed with the communist regime, given the dignity of the title of President Castro.

Dan Le Batard spoke for many of us a day or so ago.  He did not go to Cuba.  He couldn’t do because of his parents:

My parents were put on planes as teenagers by their parents, not knowing if they’d ever see each other again. How desperate would you have to be to send your not-ready-for-the-real-world 16-year-old away to a foreign country without knowing if you’d ever be reunited? A lot of things have happened to Cuba since my parents fled it. But change doesn’t appear to be one of them.

The ocean between our countries is filled with the Cuban bodies that tell the story, lives literally thrown to the wind in desperation, hoping to reach America’s possibility-soaked shores on boats made of old tires and wood and poverty’s debris. No free press. No elections. No freedom. That’s the Cuba that still surrounds the baseball diamond where we play this game. That’s the Cuba people still get on makeshift boats to flee today.

My mother? All this happy news coverage has brought the bad memories back. She has some post-traumatic stress disorder from the communism. She feels it in her heart whenever she is shipping medicine to her brother stuck back in Cuba. She feels it in an esophagus that hasn’t worked right since she was put on that plane, the communism literally choking her a little bit with every breath she has taken since.

She had her phones tapped bAack home. She endured neighborhood spies coming into her home whenever they pleased. She attended services for students and intellectuals killed for fighting for elections and a Constitution. She was chased through the streets by police dragging chains for attending those services. Her brother was a political prisoner. Whenever she visited him, she wondered if the fresh blood on the firing-squad walls might be his. He spent almost 10 years in that prison for his politics. Why the hell would she trust any of that today?

Understand something please: My parents are exiles, not immigrants. It is an enormous difference. They didn’t come to this country looking for money. They left money behind and came here to risk poverty. They did so because they were exiled from a land they didn’t want to leave and still miss, a land they will not visit until this regime is ousted or they see real change that can be trusted.

Yes, the subject of Cuba always takes us back to our parents.  It’s because we look back and remember what that communist regime did to them – i.e. the prisons, torture, and many other things that most Americans would never understand.

And also because we remember what they did for us, the kids fortunate to grow up in freedom.

Some people say: doesn’t the U.S. have relations with other dictators?  I guess so, but those dictators didn’t hurt my parents or put a family member in a political prison.

In five years or so, Fidel and Raúl Castro will be gone and buried somewhere.  I understand that the U.S. has to be there to have a role in the inevitable transition from Castro-ism to whatever follows.

At the same time, I’d prefer to see President Obama demand a bit more from the regime.  It would have been a lot better if a baseball game would have featured a president of the U.S. sitting next to an elected president of Cuba.

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

 

Written by scantojr

March 23, 2016 at 6:16 am

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Obama trip to Cuba and reaction from Cuban Americans

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Guests:  Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, the editor of Fausta’s Blog, joins me for a look at President Obama in Cuba…..also joining us will be Jason Poblete, Cuban American attorney who represents US families suing the Cuban government over confiscated properties……also we will hear from Jorge Ponce, Cuban American writer……what does this trip mean for US-Cuba relations? the US embargo? human rights…..and general reaction to the trip….

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Source: Obama trip to Cuba and reaction from Cuban Americans 03/22 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts

Written by scantojr

March 22, 2016 at 1:00 pm

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Raul to BO: I’ve got a few minutes Monday morning for you!

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(My new American Thinker post)

Raul Castro did not greet President Obama and his family at the Havana airport on Sunday afternoon. For the record, President Gerardo Machado did meet President Coolidge duringt he presidential visit of 1928. He also met the Pope and other heads of state who have visited the island, such as President Hollande of France.   

In other words, Raul can get a ride to the airport if he really wants to go meet the visitor!

Castro made a couple of points about President Obama and the U.S.-Cuba relationship by staying home on Sunday afternoon:

1) He does not respect Obama; and,

2) It was Obama, not Castro, who was desperate to make this trip happen.

We’ve been asking a simple question for months: What’s the point of this trip? We got the answer on Sunday. It was President Obama who really wanted this.

Jeb Babbin got it right yesterday:

Obama will tour the Potemkin constructs of Havana, attend a baseball game with Raul Castro, and perhaps have his picture taken with one of the new posters slapped on walls all over Havana showing a picture of him with Raul Castro, smiling under the banner of “Bienvenidos a Cuba” — welcome to Cuba.

In the past seven years we’ve become too accustomed to Obama’s embrace of our enemies and shunning of our friends and allies. We’re accustomed to the lack of condemnation of his actions by leading Republicans. Obama’s trip to Cuba is an opportunity for those leaders — especially Cuban-American presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz — to begin breaking us out of this mindset.

If that’s too much, we have to ask why. 

Obama will love the adulation and all of those posters all over the town. He has not seen that kind of worship since he did the hope and change tour back in 2008 or visited Paris that summer.

Here is the problem: the posters will come down, the crowds will go back to their misery and Raul Castro’s regime will be emboldened by President Obama’s unwillingness to stand up for human rights.

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

Written by scantojr

March 22, 2016 at 7:02 am

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Reporters caught up in the “historic” aspect of Obama’s Cuba trip

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(My new American Thinker post)

Have you checked the media’s coverage of President Obama’s trip to Cuba? Many reporters seem invested in the “historic” nature of the trip, i.e. the first president since Calvin Coolidge to visit the island. It’s been treated like the “historic” first game at Wrigley Field between the White Sox and Cubs!

Why has it been so long since a U.S. president visited Cuba? The answer is that Cuba was hostile to U.S. interests since the early 1960s. It wasn’t that U.S. presidents did not want to go. It’s the exact opposite. It was Cuban policy toward the U.S. that kept presidents away. Cuba was not an ally of the U.S. Cuba was a thorn on the side of the U.S., from sending troops to Africa in the 1970s to supporting guerrillas in Central America in the 1980s.

The Boston Herald hit the right note:

This week President Obama made the world a safer place for those who used to worry about smuggling their Cuban cigars back from Canada or their favorite Cuban rum from the Bahamas (and, yes, you know who you are).

And from now on American tourists can feel free to enjoy their people-to-people “educational” exchanges on a beach outside Havana so long as they certify on a U.S. government form that indeed their trip was for educational purposes and not just tourism. (Does a comparative taste test of mojitos count?)

All of which would be amusing on the eve of Obama’s Sunday trip to Cuba, if it weren’t just another presidential end-run around a congressionally imposed trade embargo that Obama refuses to exert the political capital it would take to actually have repealed.

So instead he takes matters into his own hands, gets nothingin return from the Cuban government, makes a total muddle of U.S. policy (which, of course, could be reversed at any time by a future president) and once again mocks the Constitution.

Now we have maintained for years that the trade embargo with Cuba is simply bad policy. The Castro brothers have surely made a mess of their island’s economy all by themselves, but this way have managed to blame their woes on the United States for five decades. And while Raul Castro now continues to preside over a police state, his is not the only police state on the planet, plenty of which the United States does a brisk business with.

Yes, President Obama will make it possible for you to bring Cuban cigars into the U.S. The media may or not explain that many of those Cuban cigar trademarks or Cuban rum were once private companies stolen from Cuban families. Perhaps the reporters will do some background work and learn that the hotels they are staying in were once stolen from Cubans. Consider the story of the old Havana Hilton:

The Hilton corportaiton was not the owner of today’s Habana Libre hotel – it only managed it. The Havana Hilton was built with the money from the retirement savings of the Cuban Food Industry Workers’ Union. The money wasn’t stolen from those savings accounts: it was a legal business deal through which the union invested the money from the workers’ retirement quotas to build the hotel. Once in operation, as the property of the union, the establishment would generate more money for their pensions, under a management contract signed by the union and Hilton.

As such, the post-insurrectional State didn’t take the hotel from the “Americans” – it took it away from the Cuban union.

You probably won’t hear much about President Obama going around Congress on the embargo or these cases about property law in the courts. Instead, the media will tell you that the trip is so “historic”.  

From JFK to Bush-43, U.S. presidents resisted negotiations and demanded something from Cuba before signing off on reestablishing relations. They were right and Obama’s historic trip is wrong. 

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

 

Written by scantojr

March 21, 2016 at 6:09 am

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Quick reaction to “Hope and change” in Cuba

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Written by scantojr

March 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm

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