viernes, 22 de septiembre de 2017
We've been reading articles about the "acoustic" attacks on our diplomats in Havana. Reports are far from accurate and the administration account of the events is murky and vague. We know several of our folks in Cuba have suffered from loss of memory and permanent hearing damages and to make things even worse it seems that the Canadians sustained some damage of their own. The attacks occurred mostly under the Obama administration and we know that the comrade president would have done anything to salvage his "legacy"; but in all fairness the attacks continued under the Trump administration and the State Department seems at a loss on this one. When it comes to the Havana Junta for one reason or another both parties tread very cautiously. We could give both administrations the benefit of the doubt since Raul Castro went out of his way to deny any involvement in this nth episode of friction between the two governments. The Cuban chief thug reportedly gave our charge d'affaires assurances that he was not aware of any attacks.
So we are left with three possibilities:
1- A third party used Cuba as a theater for some sick experiment knowing that sooner or later the Americans would find out.
2- A rogue faction of the Cuban bureaucracy aimed at boycotting the resent rapprochement between the US and the Havana Junta. This could have a precedent in the capture of the Cuban ship full of used weapons directed to North Korea in the Panama Canal while the previous administration and Castro were frantically and secretly negotiating the re-establishment of diplomatic relations. That looked more like someone snitching from within the island than the result of our zealous intelligence work.
3- The regime carried out some intelligence experiment gone south.
Some may challenge the logic of Castro risking a breather in order to perform some stupid initiative. But we cannot judge the totalitarian regimes using "our" logic, our values and our interests. They come from a different perspective and will not necessarily react as we would; if they responded to our same logic dictatorships wouldn't exist in the first place.
My humble opinion: the regime is not as monolithic as we give them credit for; there might well be two or more factions sharp elbowing one another and comrade Raul may be much lonelier than we think.
lunes, 28 de agosto de 2017
Since 1959 hundreds of thousand of fellow Cubans fled our native island escaping from chaos and dictatorship. They basically ended up in Miami and New Jersey. Most of them thought the new arrangement would be temporary, but as the truth sank in and days became weeks, months and years they started to realize it was more difficult than they had hoped. America was friendly except for a few racist episodes: yes there is racism beyond black and white, but its language was extremely hostile; how could one place the adjectives before the nouns?, they wondered. Castro and his thugs had robbed them of every penny and it was difficult to start from scratch. Then, the American government came up with a plan to overthrow the newly installed Junta and the Cuban immigrants were pivotal in that plot. It had to look like a civil war, no official American meddling.
It was music to their ears; there was so much hatred and resentment among those whose dreams had been chattered and wealth been swindled. It was only fair after all to take back from the tyrant what he had stolen from the exiles.
A nine year old could have planned it better; not only was the military action clumsily orchestrated, but it was so loudly heralded that everybody knew when, where and how the invasion would take place. One could wonder if the whole thing had been sold to the enemy since the offset.
Our brethren had been assured that once they landed air support would be forthcoming; they were sure that the Kennedy administration would bomb the shit out of Castro and his barbudos hijos de puta. Suddenly, it all went south, no air support, the young president they had trusted so much washed his hands and left them stranded in the swamp; choice of death being a Cuban crocodile or a Czech machine gun, but death it was.
Then came the killing and the humiliation for those who survived, the public parade of defeat and the endless "me embarcaron".
As Cuban Americans do we have the option of demanding the immediate removal of all Kennedy's statues since he flagrantly betrayed us ?; the Brigade was not abandoned in 1800; it was served to a blood thirsty dictator on a silver platter less than sixty years ago.
jueves, 24 de agosto de 2017
Una polémica más en el exilio del sur de la Florida. El alcalde de la cuidad de Miami, Tomas Regalado, había entregado la llave de la cuidad a Gente de Zona, uno de estas numerosas agrupaciones que en lugar de ejecutar instrumentos musicales ejecutan nuestro sentido del arte colocándolo contra el paredón del mal gusto, de lo repetitivo y lo fácil. No me gustan ellos como no me gusta ningún reggetonero ni la superficialidad con que se enfrenta el arte hoy en día. Evidentemente estoy envejeciendo. Pero mis preferencias son irrelevantes porque no me propongo hacer una crítica al trabajo de ningún artista sino poner de relieve el modo infantil en que nosotros mismos nos complicamos la vida.
Es justo decir que eso de la entrega de llaves de las ciudades es una piñata que se usa para pagar viejos favores, apoyos y fidelidades; la llave en muchos casos se entrega a Juan para quedar bien con Pedro porque este último colaboró durante la campaña electoral y este metodo clientelista no fue inventado por Regalado; más aún, se maneja más o menos en el mismo modo en muchas ciudades de este mundo. Pero cuando se trata de la comunidad Cubano Americana se necesita ser en extremo cuidadoso. Yo personalmente jamás hubiera entregado la llave de la capital del exilio a NINGÚN personaje, cubano o no, que viviese en la isla, perdónenme pero considero que sea la política más sabia y prudente.
Pero bueno; allá fueron las llaves o la llave, no sé si le entregaron una a cada uno o si se trató de una única pieza; lo importante es que la ceremonia se efectuó sin más ni más y al poco tiempo explotó la inevitable bomba: el cangrejo; nieto del dictador heredero y controversial jefe de su escolta, se apareció con la travesura de subirse al escenario en una actuación del premiado conjunto y estos, como es lógico, lo dejaron hacer. Las protestas de este lado no se hicieron esperar y allá fue el alcalde a declarar que "a esa gente había que quitarle la llave..." es curioso que ahora ya no sean un pilar de la música contemporánea o ninguna de las sandeces que se dicen cuando un político desea justificar la entrega de llaves. No, ahora estos son "esa gente"; quiere decir que la llave de Miami se la entregan a cualquiera, o mejor dicho: a cualquier "gente". No nos parece imprudente, superficial y precipitado premiar a "gente" que no conocemos aunque sean de "zona"? o es que no nos preocupó el hecho de que vivieran en aquella "zona" árida y oscura donde contrariar a Su Merced puede significar la desaparición física?
Un cubano que vive entre dos aguas está obligado a "nadar y guardar la ropa"; el error está en haber premiado a compatriotas ambiguos e indefinidos y habría que preguntarse quién propuso la payasada y como fue que alguien con la experiencia de Regalado se dejó envolver tan fácil en una madeja sospechosa y complicada. De nuevo se nos prueba que las dudas, las medias tintas y los gestos huecos conducen solo a más confusión y caos. Debe servir esto de experiencia a nuestros políticos para que no regalen llaves como si fuesen Jolly Ranchers y a todos los cubano americanos nos debe hacer patente que siempre es necesario saber con qué "gente" tratamos y delimitar la "zona" en que deseamos movernos.
miércoles, 9 de agosto de 2017
Racism, bigotry, discrimination, the rejection to all that together with the interests of the powers that be triggered the process to put Barrack Hussein Obama in the White House. Some claimed America was not ready for a black president and I think that for different reasons they may have a point. My view is that America was not ready for a black president not because it hated the notion of a darker shade of skin leading the nation. The overwhelming majority of the American people favored that notion; what we were not prepared for was to deal with it once a black individual had been elected; thus, it took us both his two terms to adjust to the new reality until it was no longer new and no longer reality. In a few quarters the reaction to Obama's election was utterly racist, but for the most part a cowardly and philosophically dishonest paternalism prevailed. If we criticized the president we were racists, fascists, bigots and all sorts of negative things. BHO indeed got a free pass and his shortcomings and weaknesses were conveniently hidden by the biased mainstream media and a public opinion afflicted by a childish guilt complex. The presidency of the first African American Commander in Chief was marred by a surprisingly racist approach to the individual in question; never was he judged by objective minds since he was vilified by a few and blindly justified by most; people forgot that failing to see a wrong where there was one just because it involved a black person is as racist as or more racist than demonizing that person merely due to the color of his or her skin.
The ruling style of the previous administration was somewhat dictatorial; the president had his hounds and nothing got past them; contrary to what appears to have been a plague for the first 200 days of the current administration, there were very few leaks under Obama and if there were any a whole army of minions was ready to shield their boss. The press usually looked the other way and hardly ever pressed hard enough on the real issues. The fact that the Obama administration destroyed Libya; overthrew a confessed thug (who had accepted to disarm and was a wall of contention against ISIS) only to create the current chaos that prevails in that African nation and the press let him and Mrs Clinton get away with it is a disgrace.
During the last administration we witnessed horrible episodes of racism; the police shooting at black subjects without a valid reason; black thugs murdering police officers point blank, and all our mundane president did was to fan the flames and utter unfounded statements. Barrack Obama couldn't have made miracles; but he was in a unique position, being a widely popular president, to usher us all to an era of better racial relations and an honest, candid and productive conversation regarding race in our great nation. Another failure, another missed opportunity that the complicit press and the coward public opinion chose to ignore.
On top of that the Democrats underestimated the widespread discontent of average America; they didn't care to choose a decent candidate and went ahead with the mafioso pact between the Obamas and The Clintons. Joe and Jane were tired of waking up every morning only to face accusations of racism; they felt they were guilty by default simply because their skin wasn't dark enough and their eyes were blue or green. In eight years the extreme left had pushed the agenda of anti America, anti white, anti religion and anti patriotism beyond any rational limit; voting for Obama in 2008 was the effect of a cause: the persistence of racism and other prejudices in some sectors of our society; that effect in turn became the cause of yet another effect: the election of Donald J. Trump.
If America is to survive; and that's a big if, it must abandon this shifting from one extreme to the other; if every new president is to dismantle the work of his predecessor we are in deep trouble and after a few swings of the pendulum frustration and anger can lead us to fratricidal violence
We were never a people of extremes and if our elected officials don't care to be late to this most important appointment with history we must remind them who's boss.
sábado, 5 de agosto de 2017
The current notion that the arm struggle is illegal is a half truth; actually the use of violence has ALWAYS been illegal and anyone who seized power or even attempted to seize it by using force should have been imprisoned and condemned; however, up until the time when some extreme left regimes were fighting to change the status quo in their respective countries violence was viewed through a convenient veil of leniency; thus, it was a generally accepted opinion that Castro's rise to power in Cuba, albeit illegally attained, was somewhat the logical result of injustice and inequality; very few nations stopped to review the summary trials and the numerous firing squads; the world acted as thought those executed by the Cuban Caligula in a way deserved their fate.
At a certain point it all changed; all opposition leaders in Latin America rushed to label themselves as "peaceful" as if it were possible to find something peaceful in an antagonistic contradiction. The Havana Junta and their puppets in Caracas call terrorists all those who in any way do what they did some years ago.
He sad truth is that we the people have fallen hostage of the current rhetoric and we fail to realize that even the Bible allegedly justifies the use of violence against a tyrant. As the totalitarian regimes in the world repress their peoples we must swiftly take a few steps backward and aim at power "by any means necessary"; their words not ours.
domingo, 16 de julio de 2017
De la seccion MIRADA HACIA CUBA para los que me leen dentro de la isla
por Andres Alburquerque.
Sabio y viejo refrán que refleja la futilidad del esfuerzo humano cuando se desata en un caprichoso contracorriente solo para adelantar la agenda de unos pocos individuos en detrimento de la gran mayoría de sus semejantes. En el caso cubano la historia nos regala cientos de momentos en los que se puede aplicar esta sentencia. Deseo que los compatriotas de la isla me regalen un par de minutos para acompañarme en la siguiente reflexión ciudadana:
Entre las razones que justificaron la imposición por la vía armada de su persona, su grupo y en última instancia su régimen totalitario, impío y despiadado, Fidel Castro Ruz, quien afortunadamente ha dejado de importunarnos con su petulante presencia y su rancio verbo de articulación oxidada y quejumbrosa, nos enumeró un sinnúmero de calamidades:
1- Cuba era el destino del turismo americano que había convertido la isla en su exclusivo burdel.
2- La dependencia de la caña de azúcar nos hacía rehenes de los caprichos de la administración americana y se hacía necesario diversificar la agricultura en la isla.
3- A pesar de una campaña de alfabetización lanzada por Fulgencio Batista a finales de los años treinta; el campesinado permanecía ignorante y analfabeto.
4- A pesar de contar con una cabeza de ganado por habitante a la llegada del Caligula tropical al poder (éramos seis millones de cubanos y existían seis millones de cabezas) era necesario potenciar al máximo la productividad y repartir las tierras ociosas de modo que los latifundistas no entorpeciesen el desarrollo de nuestra agricultura.
5- Era necesario no solo convertirnos en autosuficientes en el sector agrícola sino lograr exportar algunos reglones más allá de la tradicional y voluble azúcar y sus derivados.
Todo esto y un cúmulo de razones más fueron lanzadas con una retórica tan violenta y traumática que implicó:
1- La división de la familia al punto de que los que quedamos en la isla rompimos todo tipo de nexo con los familiares emigrados y hasta los denigrábamos públicamente.
2- La ruptura casi total de la población con la religión católica e incluso con la afrocubana aunque en este último caso quedaron siempre los que se consultaban de madrugada.
3- Una campaña de demonizacion de todo lo americano desde la música hasta su modo de vida; de pronto nos convertimos en los sovieticos del Caribe y borramos de golpe todo un siglo de cercanía al vecino del norte; poco faltó para que disparásemos nieve artificial en los faraónicos desfiles militares donde mostrábamos orondos ese poderío milagroso que nos permitiría resistir un ataque directo convencional de Estados Unidos por el prolongado periodo de TREINTA Y SEIS HORAS.
Amigos míos: aunque nos parezca absurdo; sesenta años después:
1- No solo fue imposible diversificar la agricultura sino que hoy Cuba importa azúcar; mientras una gran porción de las otrora fértiles tierras están plagadas de marabú y permanecen improductivas.
2- La carne se convirtió en un artículo de lujo; cabría pensar que las vacas fueron fusiladas junto a todo vestigio de oposición al régimen.
3- La isla de Cuba hoy no es el burdel exclusivo de los americanos sino el promiscuo centro de sexo mundial que recibe vuelos charters europeos repletos de todo tipo de insatisfecho sexual que busque realizar las más elaboradas fantasías a cambio de unas bocanadas de humo "americano" o una cena decente; el único sector donde la Junta Militar que desgobierna la isla fue capaz de diversificar el mercado fue la prostitucion.
4- El régimen de La Habana gasta cuantiosas cifras y mueve todo tipo de chantaje con el objetivo de restablecer plenamente el comercio con Estados Unidos; a tal punto llega la paradoja que la propaganda oficial afirma que las simbólicas medidas del presidente Trump afectarán gravemente al cubano de a pie. Quiere decir que luego de sesenta años necesitamos más que nunca del poderoso y rapaz vecino del norte de quién tanto hemos despotricado todos estos años.
5- Una de las batallas más arduas se desarrolla en el campo de la importación de productos agrícolas de Estados Unidos; en particular el arroz. Puede el régimen explicar cómo es posible que luego de sesenta años de hostilidad y de propaganda adversa ahora tenga la desfachatez de decir a su pueblo que necesitan regresar al 1959?
Quienes se hacen estas preguntas en Cuba? Por qué en vez de viajar al extranjero a convencer al mundo de lo que ya conoce los intelectuales cubanos; sean opositores o no, permanecen en este silencio cómplice?
martes, 11 de julio de 2017
The west is known for its inveterate preference for kicking the can further down the road. Politicians are more concerned about their so called legacy, and of late about their handsomely paid speeches than about the future of their countries and the interests of the average people; as relief pitchers they have one mission and one mission only: to "kill" a couple of innings, the rest is irrelevant. That's how we got to where we are regarding the rogue state of North Korea; Clinton, Bush and Obama did little or nothing to avoid this disaster and now Mr Trump, who for many is the least qualified of our presidents, has been given the ball with no outs and the opposite team with all bases loaded. There's no need to draw any red lines since the Korean madman has already passed them all; he's capable of reaching the continental territory of the United States of America at least hypothetically. What are the options for our government?
1- Press all Chinese banks and institutions with any sort of ties with North Korea; which could in turn lead to an economic "war" with China, the communist nation that happens to be our major foreign creditor. Doesn't look too good.
2- Shipping back nuclear war heads to South Korea and convince Japan to request nuclear weapons. That could upset the balance between the old and the new guard of the Chinese nomenclature in favor of the latter which supposedly considers the embarrassing neighbor to be a pain rather than an asset. The actual shipping wouldn't have to take place; chances are that the mere request from Japan forces China to come back to its senses. But what if the old fellows in Beijing call our bluff and we end up arming Japan and thus triggering an arms race in the Pacific?
3- Delaying any measures against China's rigging of the market and manipulation of its currency for a few years in exchange for some help with North Korea; but just how much help would that buy us and how effective and enduring would such help be?
4- Carrying out a "surgical" attack on the madman's quarters eliminating him and his close aides. American spends billions of tax payer's dollars to supposedly develop our intelligence capabilities; we the people have tacitly given up on our privacy in order to be safe; it is time that the government shows us that our decision was the right one. If the most powerful nation on earth cannot get rid of Kim Jong Un without men on the ground then we have a problem. But even if we manage to neutralize the Korean dictator chances are the rest of the bureaucracy reacts in a destabilizing manner.
The notion of the Chinese persuading the North Koreans to give up their nuclear weapons is unrealistic; Kim only has to look at Libya to be ominously reminded that the West is not able to keep its word. Our record is so poor that only a fool would trust us.
This is one of those cases where all options are lousy options; but one thing is certain: a nuclear North Korea with ICBMs capable of reaching our west coast is a game changer and we must not hesitate to take harsh measures. Time's up and we can't kick the can any further because the road ends here.