Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Dark Corner

   Is it "here we go again"?  Have the monsters who've been silent for about a decade decided that the urge for terrorism was too strong to ignore?  Was this act the first of what may be more until Miami once again has more bombings than the Middle East as it did one year during the 1970's?  Will the guilty be found?  Who will cooperate?  Who won't?  These are important questions that may only be answered in time.

   Given that we are in a war on terror, surely the people who did this must be against us since they obviously aren't with us.  Ask the former President Bush who put it in those terms as he stated that the U.S. would search every dark corner of the globe for terrorists.  There seems to be a dark corner in South Florida that needs to have some light shined upon it.

   We know that there are individuals walking freely down the streets of Miami who have openly said that these types of acts are legitimate.  We know that Luis Posada Carriles sleeps like a baby and has no regrets, even though he has said (although his lawyers now advise him against talking about it anymore) that he has been involved in violent acts of a similar nature.  He is considered one of the masterminds of the most infamous acts of terror in our hemisphere.

   Let's say for a moment that President Obama is true to his word and really favors increased engagement between Cubans and Americans.  Would an attack on a business that helps facilitate his policy be offensive enough to him that he would want law enforcement to get to the bottom of this?  I would think so.  The fire could have been an attempt to intimidate those who are seeking more exchanges with the island.  It could also be an act of desperation on the part of some folks who feel that they have been losing ground in the battle of public opinion as more and more people feel that a change to the wrong-headed policy the U.S. has to change.  Either way, burning down offices is definitely the act of someone who should be brought before the law and dealt with accordingly.  They are dangerous and shouldn't be free to wander among the peaceful public.

   This act cannot be ignored and it seems like it isn't.  The press reported that the FBI and ATF were on the scene including a counter-terrorism agent.  They will have their hands full.  There are plenty of people in Miami who they may want to talk to and look into.  They can even question those who have heralded some of the most violent people as patriots, like the deceased Orlando Bosch.  Even some congress people, both former and present, have relationships with same of those who have advocated violence, like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz Balart brothers.

   This could be a turning point, more powerful then the Elian Gonzalez incident when the American public got to see how incredibly illogical some elements in Miami actually are.  Not only are there people willing to keep a boy away from his father like they were involved in some sort of imagined chess match against Fidel Castro, but there are people willing to blow up and burn down businesses right here in our cities simply because they feel like they can.  Too many years have gone by and too many criminals have been ignored and this is what happens.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Miami Herald Smells Itself

   The Miami Herald's editorial board decided to refer to an invitation for Cuba to attend the next Summit of the Americas as inviting a skunk to the party.  Of course, the stench of a skunk is that which the Herald's editorial board gives off.  It is consistently anti-Cuba in almost every line it writes.  It twists reality into its own desired form of fiction and chooses to ignore the obvious.  What's interesting is the poll it has on the web page asking if Cuba should be invited to the next summit and 55% responded "yes".  People can still think despite the Herald's stench.

   "The failure of presidents attending the Summit of the Americas to issue a final declaration because they could not agree on whether to invite Cuba to the next meeting represents a disappointing breakdown of the consensus..."  An interesting beginning to the opinion piece.  The Herald makes it seem as if the people at the summit just couldn't come up with a unified statement about Cuba's possible future attendance.  But what actually happened is that only the United States and Canada opposed Cuba's attendance.  All others agreed that Cuba should be present, some going as far as saying this would be the last summit of its kind if Cuba were not to be invited to the next. 

   "This failure calls into question the very nature of the OAS. How can a coalition of countries ostensibly devoted to promoting and strengthening democracy invite Cuba to a meeting of like-minded countries?"  What the Herald fails to remember, or cares to include, is that the OAS voted in 2009 to lift Cuba's suspension which began in 1962.  Besides that fact, Cuba has repeatedly explained that it has no interest in re-joining the OAS.  The Cuban government has stated that if invited, it would likely attend the Summit of the Americas.  Is not democracy the expression of will of the majority?  If so, then the U.S. and Canada, by refusing to accept the will of the participants, are showing their disdain for any "democratic" process which is not under their control.  Yes, that is the mark of hypocrites, not supporters of democracy.  But that scent of hypocrisy is masked by the skunkish stench that the Miami Herald exudes.

   Since it is clear that the U.S. policy towards Cuba is one that lack in both credibility and support among the nations of the summit, Washington (and Canada) find themselves more isolated than ever before.  The Herald pointed out correctly that the issue of decriminalization of drugs also became an issue that was difficult for Washington to handle at the summit.  Of course the stench from the Herald permeated the way in which it described the issue.  The Herald claims that the legalization of drugs was what certain participants were pushing.  A different approach to the way the failed War on Drugs is a bit more accurate.  Cuba recently stated that legalizing drugs would be irresponsible and the U.S. State Department also gave Cuba a lot of praise in it annual International Narcotics Strategy Report.  Hey, why not have Washington allow an invitation for needs more allies on this issue!

   "If nothing else, the Cartagena summit gave Washington an agenda for the next such meeting. It’s not scheduled to take place until 2015, but it’s not too early to start planning for it."  The Herald smelled itself for so long that it finished its opinion with this line.  The skunk of a news outlet doesn't realize that others have already began planning.  They may not have another summit if they are ignored and Cuba isn't invited.  Start planning Washington.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ozzie...You're Out! (Not Really)

   Ozzie Guillen got caught in a pickle.  His quotes about Fidel Castro from a Time magazine article got him in trouble.  Of course, he's protected by free speech, but he happens to find himself in Miami.  He failed to parrot the hard line denunciations of Castro, and although he really didn't say he was a supporter of him, he said enough to make some new enemies in South Florida and they want to destroy him.

   Ozzie Guillen won't be destroyed. Probably his new enemies will not be satisfied by anything he said after the comments he made about Castro. But after all, he is a baseball personality and not a politician, so what he does for his team may in the end be more important than his comments (he is known for making outlandish comments anyway).

   The unfortunate thing is that the Marlins have a fear of a increasingly smaller part of the Miami population. It has been shown in surveys that the younger generation and newer arrivals don't have such an extreme position on the issue.  Probably the best example is his own player, Gaby Sanchez, whose father is from Cuba and himself born here.who said "He looked very sincere to me. We just have to move forward and keep going. We've just got to go out there and play baseball and have another good game against the Phillies and win."

   This is baseball! These are baseball people not politicians. The political groups live for these types of situations and although, in Miami, they blurred the lines between baseball and Cuba politics, it still is only baseball. 

   Play ball.  (And end the embargo)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Where To Begin? (Simple)

I'll keep it short and sweet due to a lack of time...

This is my response to Fabiola Santiago's attempt to diminish the Pope's visit to Cuba.

"Where do we begin?" asks Fabiola Santiago. That's a good question. But to answer it, one must be serious in their search for an answer.

A good place to start would be asking if those who were rescued at sea had visas from the U.S. or have they ever applied for visas? And if they had, then the next question is how many were denied visas from the same country that would welcome them after they decided to not go through the normal immigration process and would simply consider them "political refugees" simply to perpetuate the idea of repression.

Another place we can begin is considering to stick with the fact that those who decided to go to Spain after being released from jail sentences in Cuba, did not have to go. They could have stayed in Cuba as did some of the ex-prisoners. Not only did the man who committed suicide choose to go to Spain, but apparently, and unfortunately, he discovered that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

We can begin by not only imagining that the 50+ year old embargo either doesn't exist or is about to force Cuba to change into what Washington and Miami wants it to, but by asking what are the effects of the chosen policy on the lives in Cuba. And what unnecessary hardships do the people face thanks to the far reaching policies of the embargo, the Torriceli Act, and the Helms-Burton Act?

If a person chooses to ask the questions so often avoided yet so obviously vital, then that person may end up like the catholic quoted in this article, questioning her faith. Why? Because those who choose not to acknowledge the situation as it really is, are actually the ones who are still adrift in the turbulent waters of the politics of Cuba, Miami style.

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