Tag: Cuba

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President Biden may have made the worst foreign policy blunder of a generation (or two, or three) with how he directed America’s withdrawal from a NATO mission in Afghanistan. Still, there’s a good chance he’s blundering his way through other ongoing policy crises as well. After all, he’s been consistently wrong for 40 years. But […]

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Kristina Arriaga, president of Intrinsic, a strategic communications firm, and former vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Kristina shares her family’s experiences fleeing Castro’s communist regime in Cuba and other hardships, and how her background has shaped her commitment to religious liberty. They discuss the current political situation in Cuba, and the lessons American citizens, teachers, and students should learn about communism’s impact on human rights. She shares her work to advance religious freedom as former executive director of The Becket Fund, where she honored courageous Cuban political prisoner Armando Valladares and so many other human rights activists, and through her service on several noted international commissions. Finally, they discuss parallels Kristina highlighted in an October 2020 USA Today op-ed, between cancel culture in America and some of the features of communist Cuba, such as speech codes, political correctness, and social shaming. They delve into why cancel culture is so dangerous to the free exchange of ideas and a healthy civic life, and how parents, teachers, and professors can combat it.

Stories of the Week: The Biden administration is extending the moratorium on federal student loan payments and interest – originally scheduled to expire next month – through early 2022. But exactly who is eligible? The New York Times reports that 340,000 of the one million children who did not report for school during the pandemic were in kindergarten, with the sharpest declines in low-income neighborhoods.

The King of Stuff talks with Alberto de la Cruz, a Cuban American living in Miami and Managing Editor of the invaluable Babalú Blog. Alberto and his writers have tirelessly documented the uprising in Cuba that began Sunday, July 11, and continues throughout the island nation. He talks about how it began, what’s happening now, and what it will take for the decrepit Castro regime to finally fall.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. Today’s pick is the song that helped spark the uprising, “Patria y Vida” (“Homeland and Life”) by Cuban musicians on the island (Maykel Osorbo and El Funky) and in exile (Yotuel, Gente De Zona, and Descemer Bueno).

Socialist Birds of a Feather [with a new postscript]

 

BLM supports cop killerThe people’s protests against the socialist regime running Cuba prompted American socialists to flock to the defense of the Cuban Commies. Among these were the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), DSA’s superstar AOC, and Bernie Sanders. In so doing, they carried on the disgraceful precedent of the Congressional Black [except for Republicans] Caucus.

Go back to 2009, early in President Obama’s first term. The Congressional Black Caucus took a fact-finding junket to Cuba, where they not only fawned on Fidel but also ignored, covered up by their silence, the plight of black Afro-Cuban prisoners, jailed and abused by the much lighter-skinned regime leaders of European ancestry. The Congressional Black Caucus helped the racist Castro regime with their positive video appearances and quotes.

[T]he Stalinist regime that jailed and tortured the longest suffering black political prisoner in modern history (Eusebio Penalver) rolled out the red carpet for six gullible  members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus. All of these U.S. legislators met with “President” Raul Castro while a lucky three secured back-stage passes to meet Fidel himself.

Diminished President, Undiminished Ineptitude: The Biden Presidency in 4 Words

 

“Probe with bayonets. If you encounter steel, withdraw. If you encounter mush, continue.” — Attributed to Vladimir Lenin

Trepidation often occurs when a new US administration takes office. Nefarious totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, such as Iran, North Korea, and of course Communist China and Russia – often prod for weakness. But sometimes, crises take the form of opportunities.

Four martinis for the price of three today! First, Jim and Greg are thrilled to know their vision for Disney CTU is now a reality. They also cheer the Senate for passing legislation banning imports likely produced through slave labor in China’s Xinjiang Province. Then they hammer the Black Lives Matter Organization for defending the communist regime in Cuba, blaming the U.S. embargo for the misery there, and praising the Cuban government for giving asylum to an American cop killer. Finally, they react to the American Booksellers Association apologizing for including a “violent” book in its recent mailing – because it urges parents to be wary of the transgender movement.

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Communist China is crushing Hong Kong, threatening Taiwan, and trying to bully allies like Australia. Protesters are marching in Cuba in defiance of their communist government. With communist governments trying to flex their muscles and stepping up repression of their citizens, now is not the time to water down the President’s annual “captive nations” statement […]

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Jim & Greg cheer on the Cubans taking to the streets to demand their freedom, despite the very real threat of punishment from the government. They also shake their heads at a new Wall Street Journal report showing the massive amount of debt Master’s degree students are piling up and then not getting the lucrative jobs they dreamed about. And they get a kick out of Vice President Kamala Harris being reluctant to support voter ID requirements because she believes Americans in rural areas don’t have access to photocopiers.!

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer new polling showing that Cuban voters have swung dramatically back towards the Republican Party and strongly against the Obama-Biden approach to Cuba. Their jaws are also on the floor as New York voters want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stay in office by a fairly wide margin and continue to think he’s done a great job handling the pandemic –  except for the thousands of nursing home deaths.  And Jim unloads on the notion of European sophistication as 15 countries suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Luffing to Cuba: Michael Henry’s First “Non-Fiction” Book

 

I am not often at a loss for words, but in reading Michael Henry’s Luffing to Cuba, I find myself somewhat confounded. Part of that may be the Coda with which he finishes the book. Part is also the extreme changes to life we have experienced in the year since his adventure.

Michael Henry is a writer of many parts. Here on Ricochet he has often shared humorous fiction based on politics. They tend to be very light pieces. His fictional novels are mostly legal thrillers. They are serious in content, although there is often light banter between characters and light moments within the novels. I have commented before that his Willie Mitchell Banks character muddles through the stories rather than being the lantern-jawed tough guy who knows all the answers. Luffing to Cuba falls somewhere between the two while also being mostly non-fiction. Or perhaps I should say that it is non-fiction with flights of fancy interjected throughout. While in a way being of a piece and on the spectrum of his other writing, it has a very different feel, since the people and events are real.

A Photo Diary of My Trip to Cuba

 

Alas, this will be my last photo tour through Cuba. I suppose it’s fitting that I’d forgot to post this last chapter sooner considering that the entire series would have been published a few years ago…. had I not forgotten then. Better late than never I suppose! Below are the pictures of a day spent in the Escambray Mountains, near Trinidad. The region is probably most known for being the site of a long rebellion against Castro’s regime. Perhaps it will surprise you to hear that nobody mentioned that while I was there…

Oh, Yeah! Cuba (The Second-to-Last Part)

 

Whoops! I started the draft for my last post of Cuba at least a month ago, but I took so many photographs there (and liked them so much) that cutting away at the pictures was a serious task. I did my best, but even so, I’ll have to break the time my family spent in Sanctus Spiritus in half. Below are photographs of the road to, and city of, Trinidad; among Cuba’s loveliest locales.

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From the “Bahía de Cochinos,” we headed East toward Cienfuegos. The town is impressive, with the densest quarter of exquisitely preserved buildings I saw. I’m fairly certain that it was in the vicinity of Cienfuegos where our guide, Juan Carlos, brusquely pointed to a gate along a spares highway, and told us “back there is […]

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Oh, Yeah! Cuba. (Again)

 

The photographic tour of Cuba continues, heading south, to Playa Girón. To Americans, this is the infamous site where hundreds of Cubans were slaughtered after Castro’s forces met a weak militia that anticipated American support. I can’t say what the average Cuban thinks about the failed invasion, but their fates were sealed — Cuba was Castro’s.

Oh, Yeah! Cuba. (Part 1)

 

About three years ago I traveled to Cuba with my family. For a couple of reasons, I decided against writing a post about it. Perhaps one day I’ll do my best to convince you that Communism is not where it’s at.

I did, however, plan to put together some of my better photographs from the trip and let y’all have a look, but my computer crashed shortly after I returned and it has taken time to track the pictures down from my family. It takes a bit of time to transport pictures electronically — even if you’re not technologically-challenged like myself — and I thought you might prefer it if the collections are shorter, so I’ll break it up and see if y’all are interested.

Rob Long of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss President Trump’s last-minute decision to hold off on striking Iran. They also cover the intensifying Democratic presidential campaign, as Joe Biden and Cory Booker scuffle over race and Bernie Sanders explains why he’s now neck-and-neck with Elizabeth Warren in the polls. And they talk about the desperate poverty facing many Cubans as socialism fails yet again.

On Finishing The Gulag Archipelago

 

Earlier today I finished the final volume of The Gulag Archipelago. Whereas Mark Twain defines a work of great literature as “Something that everyone wants to have read but no one wants to read,” I still think I’d like to re-read this one. There’s very little I can do for the multitudes processed through the Soviet prison camps, but I can bear witness. To that and to the camps that are still maintained in North Korea, Cuba, and other dictatorships around the world.

Even if there weren’t such camps in existence today I’m far too pessimistic to believe “never again.” If anything, I hope to be the one in the camp rather than the one running it. To that end, here are some lessons I learned from the book to help survive the Gulag.

 

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Trump administration for considering a full closure of the U.S. embassy in Cuba in response to the bizarre sound wave assaults on U.S. diplomats in Havana and urge officials to follow through on the idea.  They also discuss the revelation that the London tube bomber was a teenage refugee just three years ago and why extreme vetting makes perfect sense.  And they get a kick out of College Park, Maryland, council members having to admit they actually didn’t vote to allow illegal immigrants to vote in local elections because they didn’t know their own charter.