Venezuela, Cuba may be Designated as Terror States

from the Washington Free Beacon:

GOP Senators to Venezuelan Generals: ‘You Have a Decision to Make’

Key Republicans on Capitol Hill are warning the Maduro government in Venezuela, as well as Cuba, that they could be officially designated as state sponsors of terrorism, a status that carries the harshest of U.S. sanctions.

The Trump administration—at the same lawmakers’ urging—is also weighing new sanctions on Cuban generals and other officials, as well an even harsher action: ending a waiver, known as Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which has been in effect since 1996, according to several government officials. read more

Podcast – Muslims in Egypt Blame Violence on Cartoons and Video Games – Communist Cuba is Now the Coolest Place on Earth – Mt St Helens is Recharging

Yes, Muslim leaders and academics in Egypt believe they have found the source of jihad. No it’s not the teachings of radical clerics – it’s the cartoon Tom and Jerry and violent video games that have been driving young men to shoot others and blow them up.

For the liberal elites and the beautiful people in Hollywood, music and the fashion industry, the Communist Island of Cuba is evidently the place to see and be seen – more to be seen. Communist Cuba is cool, assuming you know nothing about it.

It seems Mt St Helens is recharging. Scientists are detecting tiny earthquakes deep below ground – an indication the mountain is slowly coming back to life. There’s nothing to worry yet, but it is again just a matter of time. read more

Cuban Normalization Is Business As Usual

by: the Common Constitutionalist

We all remember earlier this year when we heard that Obama was reaching out to Cuba – starting talks to normalize relations and lifting trade and travel restrictions.

At first blush most thought this was rather odd, but just maybe our government knew more of the Cuban situation then did we. Just maybe, with the passing of the leadership torch from Fidel to his brother Raul, things would be different. Maybe Cuba has seen the folly of communist rule and is ready to lead its people into the 21st century – to become good neighbors and partners with the United States.

Maybe it is true that America and Cuba could start anew, which Obama himself called “a new beginning.”

At an April meeting in Panama, Obama addressed leaders of various nations from Central and South America, including Cuba, where he exclaimed : “I believe our governments together have an obligation to uphold the universal freedoms and rights of all our citizens. The voices of our citizens must be heard. I just want to make very clear that when we speak out on something like human rights, it’s not because we think we are perfect but it is because we think the idea of not jailing people if they disagree with you is the right idea.”

In an effort to let the past be the past, Obama said that “the United States will not be imprisoned by the past – we’re looking to the future. I’m not interested in having battles that frankly started before I was born.” read more

Podcast – Scott Walker – Think Progress – The Cuban Embassy

Today I discuss the possible presidential candidacy of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker vs his state legislature’s desire to pass right-to-work – Four things Think Progress touts as Obama victories, despite predictions to the contrary – and did you know we already have an Embassy in Cuba? read more

Cuba: the 54th State

by: the Common Constitutionalist

By now, we all know that Obama is going to normalize relations with Cuba. He plans to reopen and Embassy there for starters. I’m sure there are plenty of vacant buildings in Havana that the United States could renovate at very little cost, but what do you bet we will build, from the ground up, a veritable palace to house our ambassador in his or her staff, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more.

You may get a sense that I am dead set against this move to become bosom buddies with a brutal totalitarian regime. Well, you’d be correct. I want nothing to do with it, until they throw off the yoke of communism. Then we can talk.

But you may say, the construction will employ Cuban workers. They will be paid a great wage relative to what they most likely currently make. That will be great for them, right?

Now, you don’t actually think that the Castro regime will allow the workers to make more than the prevailing wage and if they do, that worker will see little if any of it, do you? These are communists. That’s why Obama loves them. Everything belongs to the state.

Construction workers being paid $30 per hour while the rest of the island is making $30 per month. Yeah – that’s going to happen. Oh, some will get rich – just not the citizens.

As an aside: Isn’t it fascinating that Obama hates our police but is in love with the idea of a police state. He and his hard left ideologue brethren speak out against, protest and march against the American police state but embrace it elsewhere around the globe. It’s funny that Obama and Holder can rail against injustice and brutality here but seem not to mind the gulags and political prisons in communist Cuba.

So why do it now? After all, the Castro’s won’t be there forever. Fidel may already be dead and Raul is as viejo como suciedad (old as dirt – a little Spanish lingo). Defenders of Obama’s lunatic maneuver say, why not start now and get a foot hold in the country, so when the Castro regime is gone, we’ll already be there. Plus, it will only benefit the Cuban people to have that American free market presence there. read more

Kim Goes Hollywood

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Or should I say, Kim goes off on Hollywood.Kim

I remember my children asking me a while back why North Korea has become the go-to enemy on TV, etc. I told them at the time that North Korea was a safe and easy target to use as an international bad guy. Nobody really liked them. Their leader was a bad guy and pretty much unprotected by any politically correct blanket. Up until now, although it hasn’t been confirmed, North Korea did not appear to care about being the villain.

How things have changed. Hollywood has evidently stepped over a red line that the North Korean leader, that pygmy Kim Jong-un drew. I guess he doesn’t see the humor of a fake assassination attempt in a dopey movie. The left should have known better. It’s not like this is “The Assassination of George W. Bush, A Love Story” (available at Amazon.com for about $50, and no I’m not going to link to it) or anything.

All kidding aside though – I guess Hollywood now understands that when the leader of a nation draws a red line, you’d best take it seriously, except if that line is drawn in the sands of Syria. Then it’s just a joke. Get it?

So now that North Korea is off limits, where can Hollywood turn? read more

Starring in Cuban Tourism Commercial

Is Jay-Z “Lazy, Drunk and Stinky?” Let’s Ask His T-shirt Icon, Che Guevara

 

“The Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities and drink, the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent…The Negro has maintained his racial purity by his well known habit of avoiding baths.”

Che Guevara wrote these lines in his famous “Motorcycle Diaries.” But you will search Robert Redford’s famous movie based on the book in utter vain for their mention. Redford, this muscular champion of “artistic freedom,” by the way, meekly acquiesced in screening The Motorcycle Diaries for Che’s widow (who heads Cuba’s Che Guevara Studies Center) and Fidel Castro for their approval before release.

“N**ger!” taunted my jailers between tortures,” reported the world’s longest suffering black political prisoner about his suffering. “We pulled you down from the trees and cut off your tail!” laughed my torturers. For months I was naked in a 6 x 4 foot cell. That’s four feet high, so you couldn’t stand. But I felt a great freedom inside myself. I refused to commit spiritual suicide.”

That wasn’t Nelson Mandela.  No, the prisoner was a black Cuban named Eusebio Peñalver, whose incarceration and torture at the hands of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara’s Stalinist regime stretched to 29 years, surpassing Nelson Mandela’s record in time behind bars and probably quintupling the horrors suffered by Mandela during this period.

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Assassination Attempt

AP: Lined pages with a doodle of the Liberty Bell  and a CIA document outlining a Mafia-connected plan to assassinate Fidel Castro  for $150,000 are among thousands of Robert F. Kennedy documents made public on Thursday.

The National Archives and Records  Administration and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston released  some 2,700 pages of documents Kennedy compiled as attorney general from 1961 to 1964, offering a glimpse into Cold War decision-making.

Though the documents, released just shy of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, don’t rewrite Cold War  history, they do provide insight into the personal thoughts of the era’s key figures, historians say.

Band of brothersBand of brothers: U.S. President John F. Kennedy, right,  confers with his brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy at the White House  on Oct. 1, 1962 during the buildup of military tensions between the U.S. and the  Soviet Union, that became the Cuban missile crisis later that month
RevolutionaryRevolutionary: Cuban leader Fidel Castro (at a speech on  October 22, 1962, during the Cold War Cuban Missile Crisis) was described as  ‘not very stable … touchy, impatient and rash,’ in a CIA profile that was  recently released

Robert Kennedy advised John F. Kennedy during the Bay of Pigs invasion and the missile crisis, key moments during his brother’s  presidency.

His title as attorney general ‘disguised his real position, which was the closest adviser to the president and the president’s confidant and the person the president trusted most,’ said  journalist and historian Michael Dobbs, who blogs for Foreign Policy.

‘That’s the interesting point of this, that  he kind of reflects his brother’s thinking.’

The seven boxes of newly released material  include telegrams, reports, meeting transcripts and handwritten notes by Kennedy, some with doodles and quotes in the margins.

‘It gives you a sort of insight into what was  on his mind, what he doodled,’ Dobbs said. ‘It’s interesting from a human perspective.’

Cold WarCold War: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and President  John F. Kennedy met on June 3, 1961 during their summit meetings in Vienna  before the Soviet began to build bases in Cuba to launch nuclear missiles

One page, sandwiched between lined pages of  notes on the Bay of Pigs invasion, includes a sketch of the Liberty Bell with a  summarized quote from a Polish World War II memorial in Italy.

‘We the Soldiers of Poland for your liberty and ours give our souls to god, our bodies to Italy and our hearts to Poland,’  Kennedy wrote in pencil.

The 1961 botched invasion sought to oust communists with the help of anti-Castro Cuban exiles and veiled U.S. support.  More than 100 members of the CIA-sponsored invasion team were killed and many  were captured by Cuban forces.

One CIA document offers a profile of Castro:  It calls him intelligent but ‘not very stable’ and ‘touchy, impatient and  rash.’

A case for actionA case for action: A U.S. official shows aerial  photographs of one of the Cuban medium-range missile bases, taken October 1962,  to the members of the United Nations Security Council
LaunchLaunch: This newspaper map (from October 1962 during the  Cuban Missile Crisis) shows the distances from Cuba of various cities on the  North American Continent

Another outlines plans to assassinate Castro,  including a 1964 plan with connections to the Mafia.

The mob and ‘patriotic Cuban exiles’  eventually settled on a payment of $100,000 for assassinating Castro, $20,000  for his brother Raul and $20,000 for revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, plus  $2,500 for expenses.

Another prominent thread throughout the documents is the 13-day crisis over Soviet missiles in Cuba.

On one white page from a meeting on Oct. 16,  1962, the first day of the crisis, Kennedy wrote out two columns: proponents of a blockade against Cuba and supporters of a military strike.

‘It’s interesting to see in his handwriting who’s on which side,’ Dobbs said.

The blockade won out.

The materials are available online and at the Boston library. Some are still classified and aren’t available.

The documents’ release is important to  historians, said University of Maine history professor Nathan  Godfried.

‘This is the raw materials we use in order to  reconstruct the past,’ he said. ‘The more documents from different perspectives  give us a clearer sense of what happened.’