29 February 2008

He's NOT In Charge

So this Cuban, (me), is sitting at the bar having a cold Killian's Irish Red draft and a song comes over the muzak pipes.

It’s “I’m not in love” by 10CC’s-interesting story of how the band got its name, by the way.

Just then, an e-mail comes in on the phone. That unmistakable and irresistible alert. At first he tries to be cool. He’s off duty. Castro can wait a few hours. He takes a sip, but the suspense is killing him. He takes another sip. He’s powerless to resist the urge to read the email, and defeated, he looks at the phone. Between the dim light and the over the hill eyesight, he can hardly see the tiny print. He stretches his arm. And just as he runs out of arm…he can read… “Castro says Raul’s in Charge” pfft. Maybe if they say enough times..you know…the ol’if you tell a big lie enough times thing …

“I’m not in love, I’m not in love”…the guy is singing….

Yes, just like in the song….

And so the Cuban does what he usually does, he changes the lyrics around to fit the circumstances….

I'm not in charge, so don't forget it
It's just a transition we’re going through
And just because I said I quit
Don't get me wrong, don't think you've got it made
I'm not in charge, no-no
(It's because...)

I like to see you, but then again
That doesn't mean you mean that much to me
So if I relect, don't make a fuss
Don't tell your friends about the two of us
I'm not in charge, no-no
(It's because...)

(Be quiet, big boys don't cry)
(Big boys don't cry)
(Big boys don't cry)
(Big boys don't cry)
(Big boys don't cry)
(Big boys don't cry)
(Big boys don't cry)

They keep my picture upon the wall
It hides a nasty stain that's lyin' there
So don't you ask me to take it down
I know you know it doesn't mean that much to me
I'm not in charge, no-no
(It's because...)

Ooh, you'll wait a long time for me
Ooh, you'll wait a long time

Ooh, you'll wait a long time for me…to die

I'm not in charge
I'm not in charge

28 February 2008

Marti and Bertone

This guy, this Prince, came from the land of Machiavelli to the land of Marti and smiling, he left the enslaved Cubans just the way he found them- between the devil and the deep turquoise sea. Wait, No. He actually left them worse off than he found them. He left them bleeding from a vicious stab in the back.

But that’s alright, we‘re used to bleeding from back stabbings by now. After a while, they don’t hurt, they just make you stronger and more determined.

Qué importa que tu puñal
Se me clave en el riñón?
¡Tengo mis versos, que son
Más fuertes que tu puñal!
¿Qué importa que este dolor
Seque el mar, y nuble el cielo?
El verso, dulce consuelo,
Nace alado del dolor

This is a man from the land of Mussolini, a land that once supplied all the Popes, until the Church figured out that they were all too good at heading the words of their most famous philosopher and his dogma of ruthlessness with a smile.
But we are the Children of Marti from where the palms grow and someday, hopefully soon, we will offer Bertone a rose that he can press in his princely bible of deceit-with a smile.

Cultivo una rosa blanca
en junio como enero
para el amigo sincero
que me da su mano franca.
Y para el cruel que me arranca
el corazón con que vivo,
cardo ni ortiga cultivo;
cultivo la rosa blanca.

27 February 2008

The Beatification Of Raúl

It has already started.

Raúl is being beatified, the first step to the same Sainthood which his older half-brother, Saint Fidelis the Anti-Yankee, achieved.

Fidel, achieved Sainthood by being the proverbial thorn on the side of the United States, for his stubbornness, and for the unwavering commitment to his totalitarian principles that allowed him to survive 10 American presidents. He is also credited with the miracles of free education and healthcare and for driving the snakes from Cuba to little Havana where they still hiss, loudly, between domino games and fixing elections, at the very mention of his name. He’s the patron saint of executioners, terrorists, drug traffickers, organized crime made men, the excommunicated, bastards, liars and self loathing Americans.

Though Raúl shares some of Fidel’s qualities, his path to sainthood is a divergent one. One that will take him in the exact opposite direction, but still move left-I don’t get it myself, but I left the Cult of the Absurd a long time ago and I’m not up on its dialectic err... I mean catechism.

Saint Raúl the Pragmatic’s saintly qualities lie in his ability listen to criticism, to be practical, flexible and drink an Italian Cardinal under the table-behind closed doors.

Here is a small testimony from one of the faithful on Raúl’s saintly ways from the Cult of the Absurd’s official news organization, The New York Times:

HAVANA, Cuba - In his first state reception as Cuba's president, Raúl Castro met Tuesday with the secretary of state of the Vatican, a traditional enemy of communism and a critic of Cuba's record on human rights.

Castro's decision to begin his tenure by meeting the Vatican's top diplomat, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a possible go-between with the United States and Europe, reflects his practical, no-nonsense style as well as his willingness to put ideology aside to
achieve his goals.

WOW. He’s well on his way. Now all they have to do is fabricate, err… I mean document two miracles and he’s in.

Maybe be it’s me, because I’m a heretic who left the coven err… I mean Church, but putting ideology – principles- aside, to achieve one’s goals is exactly what the heretics and hissing snakes despise about the Cult of the Absurd. It’s that whole the ends justify the means thing. It doesn’t mater what you do in order to achieve your miracles, what’s important is achieving them. Like St. Fidelis, he achieved “free” education and healthcare-sans toilet paper- but at what price?

These saints in the Cult of the Absurd will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal-absolute power. They don’t care about the consequences or about who suffers. All that matters is perpetuating the rule of the Cult of the Absurd and its atheist inquisition. If it means shaking hands and lying to a Cardinal, so be it.

It’s up to the faithful scribes in the press to spread the gospel of the absurd and tell the world about the acts of the Cuban saints to attract more converts to the Cult of the Absurd.
Be on the lookout for the upcomming miracles of Saint Raúl the Pragmatic.

26 February 2008

Waiting For A Meteor

They say that the dinosaurs who once ruled the Earth were wiped out when a meteor hit causing a cloud of dust and a global cooling that did away with the cold blood reptiles.

That’s what we need now in Havana, a meteor and a cloud of dust to rid the island of the dinosaurs that rule it.

Everybody’s head was left spinning on Sunday when Raul chose the “sunshine boys” to help him “reform”.

These guys other than being ancient have one thing in common, loyalty.

And it makes a certain amount of sense. Raul is in a position where he doesn’t need a young successor waiting in the wings to take over and throw him under the camello at the first opportunity. He needs to consolidate his power with men that he can trust to do whatever he says, without questions or agendas of their own. Let’s face it, Raul’s a very dim star. In order for him to shine, he needs to be surrounded by dimmer stars.

The problem, for Raul, with his choice is that now the younger generations in the nomenklatura realize that if they want power, they’re going to have to wrestle it from Raul because he’s not going to share.

And, eventually, they will. That is the way of the world.

Unless a meteor hits.

25 February 2008

A Country For Old Men

Last night in Tinseltown they handed out the Oscars.

This morning, I find out that the big winner was “No Country For Old Men”. I just had to shake my head and laugh. It made me think of Cuba. And the newly selected powers that be. The newly selected geriatric change agents.

This morning in the Herald, they describe “No Country For Old Men” as “the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel that uses a botched drug deal as a metaphor for the fateful consequences to a society that forgets the value of a human life”.

Irony, for me, is only eclipsed by sarcasm.

Extremely ironic, I was thinking, that in a night where a film titled “No Country For Old Men” about the “fateful consequences to a society that forgets the value of a human life”, a bunch Old Men, some of them in the military uniforms of their glory days, who look like they are on their way to VFW parade, get selected to usher in a new era to a society which has forgotten the value of human life because of the selfish and violent actions of their youth:


Then, this old guy in a baseball cap and driving the mandatory Buick Century, going 30 in a 45, decides to stop traffic so he can do who knows what. I finally get by him and look into his car, ready to tell him what he’s going to die from and where he’s going to go afterward, and I see this bewildered elderly gentleman, around 80, who’s obviously totally and cluelessly lost-just like Cuba.

24 February 2008

Como El Cangrejo

One step Sideways and Five Steps back. Always going backwards in Castrolandia. The Devolution continuing its backslide into oblivion:

Contrary to expectations that the top leadership would incorporate economic reformers, the assembly instead chose old timers and hard-liners to fill top spots in the Council of State.

In a session filled with pomp and accolades for an iconic leader still so ill he cast an absentee ballot, the 597 Assembly members present also selected other members of the Council of State -- including old guard hardliner José Ramón Machado Ventura as the Council's No. 2.

The other four vice presidents were members of the old-guard, including several historic figures of the revolution, including Juan Almeida Bosque, 80, a former revolutionary leader; Interior Minister Abeldardo Colomoe Ibarra, 68; Esteban Lazo Hernandez, 63, a longtime Communist Party leader, and Gen. Julio Casas Regueiro, 71, who was Raúl Castro's No. 2 at the Defense Ministry.

The move to pack the council's leadership with aging members of the old guard was announced while Castro stressed that the number assembly members under the age of 30 had increased from 23 to 36.

Vice President Carlos Lage, who many observers thought could even be tapped for the presidency, did not move up to a higher position.

By tomorrow, though, this ridiculous course of events will be sugar coated, white-washed and repackaged by the regime and its amen chorus in the MSM and it will somehow be spun in to some kind of courageous act that will change the course of the revolution, Cuban history and will have historical repercussions for all the planet.

Mark my words...

23 February 2008

El Blog Del Compañero Fidel

It was a running joke in the Cuban American-Anti-Castro blogosphere that fidel had gone from “Commander in Chief” to “Blogger in Chief” since his “reflexiones” pretty much mirrored the rantings and raving common in most blogs-not this one. I’m so not like that.

Now that the Blogger in chief has “resigned” his “Commander in Chief”, it necessitated a name change to his blog. Now they call his blog “Reflections of Comrade Fidel”.

Very funny.

And now, the International press is catching on to Fidel’s new blogging career. Here’s a few paragraphs of a Moisés Naím article from the UK’s TimesOnline

About a year ago Fidel Castro started blogging. Every week or so he posted his “Reflections of the Commander in Chief”. While not strictly a blog, in his internet musings “El Comandante” does what bloggers do: he comments on the news, chastises enemies (Bush, Aznar), extols friends (Hugo!) or rambles on subjects he cares about (sport and politics).

On Tuesday his most recent post, which as usual was also published in Granma, Cuba's leading newspaper, was a bit different: “I will neither aspire to nor will I accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire to nor will I accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief”, Castro wrote. Not many bloggers make history with their early morning postings. Moreover, in this history-making post El Comandante did reassure his readers that while he was relinquishing power they should not worry: he was keeping his blog. He would just change its name to “Reflections of El Compañero Fidel”.

Naim is concerned that the “transition” in Cuba may wind up leaving Cuba reseambling more like Albania than the Bahamas:

It is therefore safe to assume that if the post-Castro regime suddenly implodes, Cuba will end up looking more like Albania than the Bahamas. Instead of a massive flow of foreign investment into Cuba, America will get a massive inflow of refugees escaping a chaotic nation that no longer can or will stop them from fleeing abroad. Domestic politics will be unstable and nasty, with the Cuban exile community from America adding to their complexity.

A kindda “the glass is half empty” kindda guy, if you ask me. Why would we want to look like the Bahamas. Japan is more like it.

22 February 2008

Denials & A Shocker

The Brazilian Government of Lula da Silva is denying that Raul Castro asked for Brazil’s help in Cuba’s transition into a more open government as reported by the 'Folha de Sao Paulo'.

In an even bigger shocker, the same newspaper is quoting the German Marxist Heinz Dieterich who coined the term “21st Century Socialism” as saying that the last East German prime minister, Hans Modrow, is Havana at Fidel Castro’s invitation, discussing that country’s transition that lead to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and eventual German unification. According to Herr Dieterich Modrow “is in Cuba right now holding confidential conversations” “to help in a transition process towards a more open regime”

Dietrerich who’s naive enough to still believe that any century socialism can offer actual solutions to real world problems, is sure that Mudrow is telling the Castro brothers that "without the people’s participation and without reforms, historic socialism cannot survive nowadays.”

It is more likely that Raul is trying to understand the East German “mistakes” that imploded that communist country so that he doesn’t repeat them and Cuba and can continue his tyrannical rule unabated. But, I’m biased because communism has killed 100,000,000 million people and it has never worked anywhere it has been tried and because it has always been forced down people’s throat.

21 February 2008

The Brazilian Connection

In January of 2007, last year, six months after Fidel Castro had to temporarily relinquish power due to a “state secret” illness, I noticed that the Brazilian press and Government started to take a more anti-Chavez-Castro tone.

At the time, I found those developments surprising, to say the least, since Brazil’s President, Lula, was a left leaning, Fidel worshiping “worker’s party” member-all very red flags in Gusanolandia.

The first hint that Lula, unlike his Venezuelan counterpart Chavez, was more of a pragmatic socialist committed to democratic ideals, came on Januay 9, 2007 when Brazil’s new ambassador to the US, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, let it be known that “Brazil's good relations with the U.S. and Cuba could help bring a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba if ailing President Fidel Castro dies”:

"Cuba is geographically close and also an important country in the region, with which we have fairly close relations these days. I consider Brazil could possibly play a role in the search for a transition to democracy that could be more calm and without possible turbulence," Patriota said Monday in his first published interview as ambassador.

Given my usual cynicism about politicians and their motives, I surmised that if Lula had “volunteered” to help the USA out, there had to be something in it for him-or Brazil- a much coveted permanent seat at the UN Security Council:

Patriota said Brazil also would continue to push for a permanent seat on the United Nation's Security Council, a goal that has long been a cornerstone of Silva's foreign policy.

The very next day, Brazilian paper O Globo, criticized Hugo Chavez:

"The president is increasingly willing to turn Venezuela into a new Cuba,"

"Chávez heads at full speed for a totalitarian state,"

"risk that Chávez could make Mercosur to lose moral strength."

… and this was even before Chavez’s failed attempts at creating a constitutional dictatorship were even announced.

Two days later, sources in Brazil leaked-Brazilians are about as good as Cubans at keeping secrets- that a meeting between Lula da Silva and Bush was being planned.

On March 10, the meeting, more like a love-fest, between President Bush and President da Silva took place when 43, made a whirlwind tour of Latin America. Brazil and the US marked the trip, by signing a mega-ethanol deal derided by the left and Castro at the time.

Clearly, the US was hoping to counterbalance Hugo Chavez’s influence in Latin America by propping up the Brazilian democracy and showcasing it as a democratic alternative to Chavez’s authoritarian XXI century Socialism.

My hopes of Brazilian help in negotiating an eventual Cuban transition into a pluralistic society where dashed when the Brazilian government hunted down and returned two of Castro’s runaway boxing slaves back to Cuba in August of 07. It really began to look like I had totally misread the Brazilian tea leaves and that I should retire from fortunetelling altogether earlier this year when President da Silva visited Cuba and his friend Fidel, bringing with him a Billion Dollar gift.

But, lo and behold! This morning I find that the Brazilian connection may be back in business and that it’s not only the US who is looking towards the land of Pele to counterbalance Chavez “Bolivarian Revolution”, but maybe even Raul Castro as well.

According to the Brazilian newspaper, "Folha de Sao Paulo", Raul Castro asked Lula da Silva for help when Lula met with him in Havana. The newspaper claims that high sources in the Brazilian government confirm that Raul asked Brazil's help to “accelerate the political and economic transition” in the island.

Supposedly Raul told Lula that Brazil would “be a more convenient partner than Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela” and asked Lula to work to get the American government to dismantle the economic embargo. Da Silva supposedly told Raul that “economic advances have to be accompanied by greater political opening” The article claims that Aids to Lula who traveled with him to Havana, claim that Lula urged Raul that he make concessions in the human rights arena, to show that he’s interested in a real transition and not just in the Chinese model where free enterprise co-exists with authoritarian communist party rule.

Since it has long been rumored and alluded to by American intelligence sources that Raul isn’t a fan of Chavez, it would make sense for him to try to find alternative sources of “capital” –ironic that a Marxist is in search of capital- to finance a transitioning economy. It would also make more sense to seek partners that aren’t interested in annexing Cuba as Chavez is. Then again, this story can be a tropical Taliban payback for the UCI video that made a fool out of Alarcon last week that is trying to drive a wedge between Raul and his petro-daddy, Hugo.

20 February 2008



Controversial documentary filmmaker Michael Moore says that Fidel Castro would be a "ratings grabber" at Sunday night's Academy Awards show.

Please, Please listen to Yucko, bring the Corpse to the Oscars. You can do one of those little montages of Weekend at Bernies, The Mummy, Tales from the Crypt and Night of the Living Deadtator..ok I made that last one up. It would bring down the house. After all he IS Hollywood's favorite tyrant.

19 February 2008

Yawn Over Miami

As the Sun rose over the Northernmost City in Latin America, Mayami, the cameras and microphones were all at the usual places waiting for the exiles.

But as the TV reporters reported live, there was only dead air as most Cuban Exiles in Miami collectively Yawned.

“Please! Someone come down to the Versailles, Por Favor” they seemed to plead desperately looking for someone to interview. “The Cameras are here”. “Come down” “this is your chance to get on TV!” “We’ll interview all and put the most inarticulate, ridiculous and ignorant comments on the news” “Bring the pots and bang them”

But, there weren’t too many takers.

The Sun-Sentinel’s disappointment:

At Versailles, the popular Cuban coffee shop on Little Havana's Calle Ocho, reaction early Tuesday morning was marked by excited journalists outnumbering the Cuban exiles they sought to interview.

The Washington Post was also looking for celebrations and labeled the reactions in Miami as “muted”:

MIAMI, Feb. 19--Outside the Versailles Restaurant, the traditional gathering place for this city's Cuban immigrants, the news that Fidel Castro was ceding power gave rise to the predictable clutch of demonstrators Tuesday morning.
But there were no massive street celebrations like the ones that have erupted in the past over news and rumors regarding Castro's illness. Indeed, with control over the island already shifted to Castro's brother, Raul Castro, the reaction to the long-anticipated end of Castro's reign was muted.

(Notice that at WaPo, we’re Immigrants, not exiles.)

They did happen to find someone in Miami, at FIU of course, that managed to totally distort and give the wrong reason for the collective Cuban exile yawn:

Dario Moreno, a Florida International University professor who studies Cuban politics. "People haven't seen any signs of change in Cuban policy or increased democratization. The muted response shows that frustration and disappointment that people are feeling." "People haven't seen any signs of change in Cuban policy or increased democratization.

Ummm, no. We’re not frustrated or disappointed, We’re realistic. The muted response is due to the fact, as Senator Menedez explains, that nothing has changed.

"This is not the cause for celebration that some would believe. This does not represent the replacement of totalitarianism with democracy. Instead, it is the replacement of one dictator with another. ... What this move does perhaps present is a moment of hope."


You Can't Fire Me ...

... I Quit!

Faced with the prospect of being replaced as President by his little half brother on Sunday, the Cuban "leader" has decided to call it quits.

I can't wait to see who's the new #2. Or what tittle Fidel will get, dictat,,,err I mean leader emeritus? Or what will happen to Alarcon.

What is certain is that henceforth he's blog's name is changing from "Reflections of the Comandante" to "Reflections of Comrade Fidel"...pffftttt.....

They shoot horses don't they?

18 February 2008

The Other Moncada Map

In 1955, when Cuba’s “fearless leader”-not dictator- was released from prison by the then “dictator” Fulgencio Batista, he drew a map for a journalist friend, Bernardo Viera Trejo, to explain what happened in the ill conceived and failed attempt on the Moncada Barracks.

This was on July 26, 1953. Now, the hand drawn is being auctioned and it's big news.

As with everything else with Cuba’s “leader”, it’s a piece of rewritten history.

I happened to come across the real Moncada Attack Map, drawn by the future Cuban “leader” right before the attack itself.

You may note that the map is in English- and no, I didn’t get it from Dan Rather. It just so happens that Fidel wrote the map in English for security reasons.

Here’s a copy of the map, giving us all a glimpse of the future Cuban “leader’s” bravery, strategic vision and awesome artistic ability.

15 February 2008

Two Fisted Reader

Last week, Cuba watchers were watching the UCI video in which some Cuban University students took on Ricardo Alarcon and some of Fidel Castro’s sacred cows, Tourist Apartheid, the schizophrenic Cuban currency and restrictions on travel. By the time the smoke from the propaganda bomb cleared, two things were apparent, one, change is not only expected-it is coming. Maybe just some cosmetic changes, but they have built the expectations so high, that they have to do something. Two- it will probably start at the top. Buh-Bye, Ricardo. And Raul was off the International Book Fair.

At the Book Fair, Raul made it clear that he’s too busy governing and making decisions to read books:

"I've got little time to read books. I'll die with hundreds of books I've got waiting there for me to read some day ... but for now, lots of (official) papers”
His Semi-Retired older half brother, however, lamented last moth:

"I barely have enough time to write, now that I have more time to read and meditate about what I see,"

A clear signal here as to who’s calling the shots.

Raul, not wanting to appear uncouth, did confess that he reads:

"There they are waiting. Sometimes I read two at a time,"

A two fisted reader! Wow!

And what kind of books interest the Junior, two fisted reader from Oriente?

Was there ever any doubt?

14 February 2008


Daniel Ortega-Communist Leader of Nicaragua's Sandinistas and currently elected Nicaraguan President On Barack Obama.:

"It's not to say that there is already a revolution under way in the U.S. ... but yes, they are laying the foundations for a revolutionary change,"

Some of Daniel's other friends...

He can sure pick 'em...poor Obama

13 February 2008

Eliecer's Wild Ride

Eliecer Ávila Cicilia wasn’t arrested. I know it because Anita Snow told me.

I don’t know what I was thinking. Sometimes I don’t trust what the “official” Cuban media claims. It must be that my strong anti-Castro bias and my past experiences cloud my mind. One minute I’m reading…
Local dissidents, quoting secondhand sources, reported that Avila had been picked up by police in his native city of Puerto Padre over the weekend, sparking sporadic news reports Monday in Spain and Miami that he had been detained.

Avila said he went home to be with his family while he had his wisdom teeth pulled, and fellow student leaders from a satellite campus of his university gave him a ride back to the capital - about 430 miles away - so he could deal with the aftermath of the international airing of the tape.

The next…..

I remember the nock on the door. Thunderous. Forceful. My grandmother jumped up from the wicker and wood couch clutching her grey and white cotton dress right above her bosom. She looked out the window, in her tippy-toes, to see who was out there. She turned, white as a ghost, eyes wide and full of terror and whispered –actually, more like mouthed “milicianos” to my mom. My mom ran over to the door and opened it. Shaking.

Two men in the dreaded “verde olivo” of my youth stood outside. They wanted to see my dad. Now!

The old man, actually much younger than I am now, stepped out into the porch. They talked outside while we waited just inside the door. I held my mom’s trembling hand. He turned back, opened the door and said “I’ll be right back” “I have to go clear something up.” Then, he went for a ride.

Fast forward a few decades. Eliecer Ávila Cicilia gets a call. They tell him not to leave his house. They come to get him the next day. They came to give him a ride. An offer he couldn’t refuse, leaving his family in a helpless, panicked anguish, not knowing whether they will ever see their loved one again just like I experienced all those years ago.

The regime says they didn’t arrest Eliecer. But, that is just a technicality in a totalitarian country where no one is free. It’s not as if Eliecer could refuse the “ride” he was offered by the son of one of the regime’s vice-presidents to clear this matter up. Or like he could refuse taping the video they wanted him to tape any more than my old man could refuse to accompany the “milicianos” down to the station.

It’s not as if there’s an objective press willing to investigate what were the circumstances of Eliecer’s ride. You have an “official” state press and a complicit foreign press of parrots who don’t like to ruffle feathers.
So the truth is what the liars say it is-he wasn’t arrested. He’s not free. He still has to obey. He still lives in a concentration camp that he can’t leave –not even to see where Che Guevara “fell”-see that’s the "truth" in Cuba-what the liars says it is. They say Che fell. In combat - not captured. But, Eliecer wasn’t arrested and put in a smaller cell, he’s allowed to roam the concentration camp, the larger cell, as long as he does what he’s told. That's the truth.

12 February 2008

Stalinesque Theater On Cuban TV-Updated

The Cuban Communist regime’s propaganda propeller is spinning in high gear.

The two students, Eliecer Ávila Cicilia and Rafael Alejandro Hernández, on the UCI video who where, like Raul asked, speaking out on the inefficiencies in Cuba’s command economy appeared, as guests of the regime, on Cuban Debate Website, to clarify their statements, re-emphasize their revolutionary commitment and claim victimhood. Penultimos Dias has the Stalinesque Theather Production here.

From the beginning, I believed this to be a propaganda ploy by the regime to make it seem that they encouraged and listened to the complaints of the Cuban people. The regime had already made it known that solving the two tier currency problem was on their radar screen and I had heard rumors that hey were contemplating changes to travel and hotel access. These policies, as well as the so called “unified vote” are the brain children of Fidel.

The “leaked” video would, I surmised, serve four purposes. One. It would show the world that there really is a debate taking place in all levels of Cuban society. Two. It would legitimize the upcoming changes-tentatively set for March-by making it seem that these are the changes that the Cuban people really, really want. Three. Show Raul to be an open-minded pragmatic reformer who listens to will of the people. Four. Get rid of Alarcon.

After yesterday’s events I’m not so sure anymore.

Last night’s mea-culpas, rushed to the internet, reek of panicked damage control. And bad damage control at that. The students that participated in the video where all too aware of the sensation that the video had caused on the internet and in the international press that they have no access to. One even mentioned the petition started by Ernesto Hernández Busto from P.D. calling for the release of Eliecer Ávila Cicilia. (Ávila’s mother had reportedly said that her son was taken away by government officials and she feared for him).Very well informed students in a country where information is embargoed or very well prepped?

The original video was probably meant for an audience outside of the island. But with today’s technology, it spread inside the island, through radio bemba, like a wildfire. And that is why they dragged these kids out to clarify their original positions on another video and hail Fidel. It’s all very 70 years ago; very Stalinesque. Everyone has seen this movie a few times and nobody is buying the scripted mea culpas.

The only serious question, (no, not suicide), is who leaked this video out. If it wasn’t Raul or the reformers trying to justify their reforms and thwart the Talibanic Fidelistas, and it was really leaked by students forcing the regime into a damage control televised presentation, then, like I said yesterday, somebody put a fork in the revolution because it is done. They have lost control.
In the original post, I assumed that Cuba Debate was a TV program, not a Website. Me Culpa. It was an honest yet inexcusable mistake on my part which kindda blows my conspiracy theory outta the water, but that's what happens when you assume....

11 February 2008

Coronation By The Elite

I keep hearing about these mythical Democrats called super-delegates who can vote for whomever they want and who answer to no one. There are 795 super-delegates. They represent 20% of all the delegates seated at the Democratic convention. 20%! One fifth of all the delegates who have no obligation to vote the way their home state constituency did. Free Agents.

One of the ways that Modern Post-Vietnam Liberal dogma manifests itself in American society is through political correctness. Political correctness dictates that there should be no winners or losers, that no one is really wrong, competition is wrong and that all opinions are equally important. This necessitates, however, the existence of a group of people to decide what’s correct and what isn’t. Because of this, an elite is needed.

And this is how the Democratic party got itself in the mess it’s in heading for a “train wreck”.

They developed a primary system based on political correctness, in which every candidate wins some delegates – no real losers, but no real winners. Nothing like the cut-throat-(and speaking of cut throats, did you see the video of the Florida Panthers Hockey Player that got his throat cut with an ice skate? Unreal!), competitive primaries across the isle. Because of this, we have a situation where we have no winner. Ms. Clinton, pretty much won the same states as McCain yet she’s trailing because of the proportional way in which delegates are apportioned.

And now, it seems that because of this sound-good, politically correct primary system where no one really loses the selection of the Democratic candidate for president of the United States will be decided by the Party’s Super Elite-the Super–Delegates-who will most likely coronate Hillary Clinton making all the primaries and caucuses that the registered Democrats all across this country participated in, a monumental waste of time and a farce.

And we all laughed when Raul Castro, cynically declared elections in the US not too different from the one party “elections” in Cuba. They don’t seem to be at the democratic party. Pathetic.

The Fifth Man

Today, in the Sun-Sentinel, Ray Sanchez writes about three of Fidel’s possible replacements in his Cuba Notebook. But I have to admit, I was a bit confused.(nothing new).

Sanchez mentions Raúl, Alarcón , Perez Roque and Lage as the replacements. Four.(?).

He also makes it sound as if it’s actually the newly elected 614 member assembly which makes the decisions. I don’t know about that-actually I do. It’s the omnipotent totalitarian dictator that selects the assembly, not the other way around. He compares “choosing” a Cuban president it to the election of a Pope. But the infallible “Pope” isn’t dead and though we have seen smoke coming out of the chimney, it hasn’t been black which means he’s still alive, drooling and in charge.(Five?)

Again, the theory that Raul may like to be the power behind the throne is floated. This move has definite advantages to the Castros especially since the US “Intelligence” has recently indicated that it expects,( hopes, even), the Raul Castro regime to remain in power unless it makes mistakes-defined in the same text as unleashing a mass exodus towards Florida.

Cuba “experts”-folks who read the tea leaves in a way that best supports their personal agenda$-all weigh in on the “candidates” and on the “selection process”.

Here’s Wayne Smith’s opinion on Alarcón:

"Alarcón is the most experienced and I think he will certainly have a very senior role but he's up there also," said Wayne Smith, director of the Cuba program at the Center for International Policy, a Washington research organization. "By the time Raúl moves aside, Alarcón may be too old."

I guess Wayne didn’t see the tape that was “anonymously” “leaked” to the BBC last week in which Alarcón humiliated himself by showing that he can’t debate his way out of a paper bag. This tape was either filmed and released by the regime as both a hit piece on Alarcón and to signal his imminent non-selection as Assembly President and some cosmetic changes that they’ve already decided on or somebody needs to stick a fork in the revolution because it’s done.

Ultimately, Sanchez reaches the conclusion I concur with on the “next” Cuban President:

But he (Fidel) didn't withdraw his name from the list of Communist Party candidates for the National Assembly, either. Which puts him in line for the presidency. Again.

08 February 2008

From Her Cold Dead Fingers....

I don’t like to talk about US politics or personal matters on this blog since this blog is dedicated to Cuba.

I have unconventional political views and even more bizarre personal views. Put it this way, if I were rich, I’d be eccentric. As it stands now, I border on obnoxious and crazy-Cuban.

But some things just infuriate me, so, if you came here for Cuba related items, please forgive me this one indulgence.

Earlier this week I got wind of a South Florida homegrown movement to hand Hillary Clinton the nomination by using the unseated Florida delegates if Mr. Obama got too close.

And just as I had been warned the movement is afoot and out in the open to do just that.

The Clinton machine is now warning of an “impending train wreck” if the democratic delegate isn’t “selected” tout suite. And of course, Hillary is volunteering to throw Barack under the train to prevent the wreck. She’s so, so, so unselfish.

From Florida’s Senior Senator and former rocket man, Ben err Bill Nelson:

“Here is the coming train wreck,” Nelson said. “If one of our two leading candidates does not get a majority by the time that all the primaries and caucuses are over … then we go into a period during June, July and all the way to the end of August at the National Democratic Convention, a period of enormous uncertainty and turmoil.”

Nelson seen here, next to Hillary, in a photo from my private collection is a Clinton backer and part of the gang of Hillary supporters trying to put the fix in and screw Obama.

This Dem-scheme started before the Florida primary, festered in Broward and Palm Beach counties for a few days, made its way to Tallahassee, where got their ducks in a row at the State Democratic Party and has now moved to DC. And now includes something called “Super Delegates”(very democratic) and the Puerto Rican delegates-owned by Hill and Bill.

Now, screaming Howard Dean who wants the destructive duo’s claws out of Donkey-Kingdom forever, is saying “not so fast”:

Dean has suggested that Florida and Michigan hold caucuses to select delegates,

But…(there’s always a but………)

but Nelson, who has endorsed Clinton, said “you can’t undo an election with caucuses.”

The Clintons will not go quietly or gracefully into the night. They will try to steal the nomination from Obama. The rest of the party, who now sees a chance to declare independence from the Clintons will fight for what’s right and fair with her minions. They’ll lose, and there will be Hill to pay!

The Senator from Florida says is a train wreck, it’s going to be World War III and they are going to have to pry the nomination from the Clinton’s cold ,dead fingers.

The Cost of Castro’s “Free” Education

Those of us who have been subjected to Castro’s “free” education can attest to the dysfunction of an educational system whose primary purpose is to brainwash and mass produce Che’s new men. Thankfully, all they manage to mass produce is cynics with highly developed BS detectors.

One of the things that always makes me grimace when I hear the Cuba’s “free” education mantra as a justification for the Cuban people’s slavery is knowing that schoolchildren in Cuba are viewed as assets to be exploited in order to achieve revolutionary goals. Whether it be demonstrations, “volunteer” work, field (farm) work or mobilizations, Castro uses “his” children to help achieve his maniacal purposes.

And like everything else in Cuba, the educational system is subject to Castro’s whims and schemes.

One such scheme, which I guess came about because of a shortage of teachers, is the PGI or “Integral General Professors” in which teenagers receive an eight month training and are sent out to teach in primary and secondary classrooms throughout the island often teaching students only slightly younger than themselves.

According to this el Nuevo Herald article, this recipe for disaster served up a dish of tragedy when a 17 year old teacher lost his cool and hit a 12 year old student with a chair, (described by the author as a “silletazo”), killing him.

There are an estimated 50,000 “emerging” teenage teachers spread throughout the island according to the article. They live in shelters, away from their families, and are paid with food and meager wages-surprise!-another Castroite scheme to exploit Cuba’s youth.

So next time you hear the mantra of Fidel’s “free education” think of 12 year old Daniel Castañeda Alayo and his 17 year teacher, Rolando, just two victims of Castro’s “free” education system.

07 February 2008

¿Por Que No Te Alineas?

The Cuban regime, which can’t even provide toilet paper for its citizens after nearly 50 years of “revolutionizing”-or is it de-evolutionizing?, has this scam going in which it claims to be the leader of the Non-Aligned Nations. That term, of course, refers to the cold war when Castro used to claim that he was not aligned to the USSR. Maybe he was right. Alignment suggest a certain equality in the relationship. Cuba was really owned by the old USSR with the generous subsidies the old Super-Power paid the Soviet boot-licking Fidel.

As leader of NAM, the Cuban government, ever the Anti-Semetics, tried to pass a resolution at the UN to condemn Israel for the “humanitarian crisis” in the Gaza strip. In their eyes, all the trouble in the Middle East are due to the Jewish problem-you know, the only free country in the area.

That prompted the Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman to quip:

"As the late [UN ambassador and NY senator] Patrick Moyniham once said, what indeed is the Non-Aligned Movement non-aligned about? Is it even relevant today?"

Hehehe, Moynihan!

I wonder what the response of the Cuban regime would be if a bunch of us exiles who wanted back our property, stolen from us by Fidel, would lob rockets at Havana, day and night from the Isle of Pines?

Obviously, the Cuban regime is aligned to an absurd and corrupt ideology.

06 February 2008

The Story of My Disfranchisement or How To Screw Obama UDATED

Way back last year, the Florida legislature, in its infinite legislative wisdom, decided to change the date of the Florida primary to Jan 29, before Super Fat Tuesday, because by the time we Floridians got to vote it was pretty much all over but the crying.

The National Democratic Party didn’t like what the Republican controlled legislature did, took a hissy fit and decided Not to seat the delegates from Florida at the National Convention. The Democratic Candidates pledged not to campaign here. Voting in the Florida primary, for registered Democrats such as myself, meant absolutely nothing …say it again, nothing! I did not bother voting for any of the three candidates, Clinton, Obama, or Edwards for this reason.

It turned out, however, that the legislature, actually had a point, by the time the votes that didn’t count were counted, Edwards was outta the race. Quitter. And Ms. Rodhan-Clinton was in Davie celebrating her “victory”. As an aside-A friend actually called me from her “victory” party and held the phone up so I could hear the yelling. I didn’t know where he was calling from. I told my life partner, “It’s so and so and it sounds like he’s in hell being tortured by a bunch of screaming demons”.

It turns out, that even though Hillary didn’t campaign here in South Florida, she had many, many supporters, some would say minions, who not only voted for her but quietly put out the word to go vote for her early and often.

So here we are, a week later and Ms. Rodham-Clinton and Mr. Obama are virtually tied in the delegate count. If nothing changes in this demographic stalemate, we could very well wind up in a situation where neither candidate knocks the other out in the remaining contests and with neither candidate garnering enough votes to win the nomination outright. This is where I think the Florida and Michigan non-delegates that Hillary won are going to come into play. Her minions are already laying the groundwork to count the votes they agreed not to count to perhaps give Hillary the delegates that will put her over the top and give her the nomination, control of the convention and screw Obama. And if you think this can’t happen, you don’t know the Clinton's Democratic Party.


Here is the first public glimpse of the behind the scenes machinations designed to screw the Illinois Senator. Crafty Clintons.

Scary "Intelligence"

Pablo Bachelet has an article in yesterday’s Miami Herald about the Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell's annual threat assessment report presented Tuesday before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Basically, the “intelligence” they referred to, at least when it comes to Cuba and Venezuela, seems to come straight from newspapers. These guys are scary.

The big revelation is that Hugo Chavez is a threat…duh.

As far as Cuba, Bachalet had 2 interesting tidbits in there:

The report also addresses the widely reported -- but not publicly acknowledged -- differences between Raúl Castro and Chávez. The ''sidelining of Fidel Castro in favor of his brother Raúl may lead to a period of adjustment in Venezuela's relations with Cuba,'' McConnell states.

No mention of the two, maybe three, different factions within the high levels of the Cuban government all jockeying for position for when Fidel kicks the proverbial bucket.

It also highlights that the US policy towards Cuba seems to be driven by the fear that at some point, thousands of the Cuban huddled masses, yearning to be free, will jump into the Florida straights in anything that floats and head north:

''Policy missteps or the mishandling of a crisis by the leadership,'' McConnell said, ``could lead to political instability in Cuba raising the risk of mass migration.''

Maybe it’s me, but it seems that the US is rooting for Raul here, hoping that he and his thugs don’t take any “missteps” or “mishandle” any crisis to prevent the feared mass exodus.

Cuba is one big crisis. No food, no shelter, no transportation all wrapped a suffocating repression. Make no mistake, when McConell says ''Policy missteps or the mishandling of a crisis by the leadership,'' he means Raul losing his oppressive control over the population, he means the Cubans taking to the streets, he means the chaos and instability from which a new Cuba will rise.

04 February 2008

Big Blue Comes Through!


Population is still only 1 at perfectville. Congratulations Dolfans.

I wish I was in Jersey today.

01 February 2008

Castro Bros, Inc.

Yesterday, I was ranting that it seemed the press was trying to package a story about the Cuban election that was more suspenseful, more interesting and even a bit more soap opera-ish than the sad and ugly truth of misery and lack of freedom that people don’t want to hear anymore-too much of a downer.

After generations of the Enquirer and Springer, we like our news sexy and entertaining.

I philosophized that the latest “story” out of Cuba was an attempt to do just that by turning the Cuban election results into a “sibling rivalry”

As if on cue form the Houston Chronicle……

The younger son also rises

What happens when the cute baby of the family, such as Eli Manning, takes the
spotlight from his older brother?

Cain didn't like it when little brother Abel got extra attention from God. According to the Bible, Cain killed his younger brother.

Of course we don't believe superstar quarterback Peyton Manning will harm baby brother Eli, whose team made it to the Super Bowl while Peyton's Colts were defeated in the playoffs. Peyton has been praising Eli all week and talking up his skills as quarterback of the New York Giants.

There are plenty of brother duos coexisting without bloodshed. See Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, Aaron and Nick Carter, Dennis and Randy Quaid, or Raul and Fidel Castro.

See, this reporter took the tired old story of Peyton and Eli quarterbacking brothers and connected it to biblical fratricide, show biz rivalries, Hemingway and even dictators. Cute.

The problem with this approach to journalism, other than it whitewashes the truth, is that it humanizes the blood thirsty Castro brothers and puts them in the same category as harmless boy banders, actors and football players. And I don't mean the story in the Houston Chronicle, I mean the "reporting" on the Cuban "elections".

It’s fun to read a story about Peyton and Eli not being Cain an Abel during Superbowl week in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. But, when you read a story about how Raul got more votes than Fidel based in an uncontested election from the official newspaper of the only party in the elections, it’s a huge stretch. And it makes it sound like Cuba is a normal place where brothers are free to compete and rival each other.