An Escape from Fidel Castro-The Guy Bernie Said “Transformed Cuba”

During the last Democratic debate in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders mentioned the word “Judgment” a number of times.  He is very right that good judgment is an extremely important quality in a President. However, he seems to have avoided the importance of Intent in the mind of a President. So, I thought it would be an appropriate time to discuss both Bernie Sanders’ judgment and rightfully question his intent.

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Charismatic calling for Revolution

History is riddled with lessons on how we should beware of charismatic potential leaders.  This is particularly the case when they call for “Revolution” of “The People”.  Gratefully, our forefathers had the good sense to give us a Democratic Republic with three branches of government to ensure that the “Revolutions” recorded by history can never occur in America. But still, every now and then, a charismatic person appears and promises a world he can never deliver, while thinking of his heroes. We have one in our presence today. As you can see in my previous post, “Bernie We Hardly Know Thee, But What We Know Is Horrible,” Bernie has many heroes in his mind. The Sandinistas and Ortega were “Impressive” to him. He visited Nicaragua to attend the Seventh Anniversary of The Revolution. He honeymooned in the USSR and sought out a “Sister City” to crown upon his return to Vermont. Today, the Communist and Marxist parties of the USA are thrilled to see him running for President.

Bernie also despised JFK. He said JFK “Made me sick”. The reason Bernie despised JFK had to do with one of his heroes: Fidel Castro. Bernie declared that Castro “Transformed Cuba”. Bernie was right. Castro sure did transform Cuba. Oh yes, indeed he did. Castro was just one more example of how easily Socialism “For The People” can evolve into Fascism under a “Charismatic” leader.

Our member “FLVoter” has taken the time to tell us a very important story. It’s the story of how a 4-year-old child and her family escaped Castro’s “Transformed Cuba”. As I read her essay, I could read between all the lines. I know you will feel the same way. It’s a cautionary tale that leads us to wonder about the man who likes to denigrate the judgment of others while his own is rather suspect.

I would like to thank FLVoter and her mother, with whom she collaborated. This couldn’t possibly have been easy to talk about or to write:

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The following is an essay by Member FLVvoter:

In 1967 my family consisting of two small children under the age of six, my grandmother and my mother and father left Cuba via the Freedom Flights to the United States. The process to leave Cuba began almost two years prior to our departure. The Cuban Government made emigration as difficult as possible. If you were going to emigrate you could not be employed from the moment you gave notice of your intent to leave to the moment you left. At the time you left you had to have the same amount of money in the bank that you had at the time you gave your notice to leave otherwise you were not allowed to leave. If it were not for my grandfather, we could have never left. It must have been incredibly difficult for my grandfather believing that he would never see his only son again, but knowing that life in Castro’s Cuba was impossible, to help us during those two years that it took the Cuban Government to allow our departure.

So what would push my family to leave everything behind, family, friends, culture and go to the great unknown United States? How many people today could leave behind the warmth of family and the familiarity of your homeland knowing that you could never return? It was a risk, but the greater risk was staying in Cuba. Life without freedom had made Cuba unbearable. Just stop and think, could you live your life not knowing if you would wake up in your bed the next morning, or if someone you loved and cared about just disappeared? Any life in a foreign country was better than how we were living in Cuba.

Prior to 1957 Cuba was a fairly international city, with a thriving business population and robust tourism. At that time the Cuban currency and the US currency were just about equivalent. Tourism was huge since Cuba boasted the most beautiful beaches in the world. Bautista was the current dictator, who overthrew the elected Cuban President, Carlos Prio Socorras in 1952. By 1957 Fidel Castro was already in Cuba fighting to overthrow Bautista and by New Year Eve 1958 Bautista and his cronies abandoned Cuba to Fidel Castro.

One of Bernie's Heroes

One of Bernie’s Heroes

At first the majority of the population was happy with Fidel Castro since Bautista was a dictator and who wants to live under a dictatorship? Castro promised a way back to democracy with his pledge of free and open elections. However, those free and open elections never materialized. Instead he chose to prosecute any and all people that he deemed part of the Baustista Government. Castro rid himself of the military leaders after mock trials and executed them publicly. And by publicly I mean televised. As you can imagine many people were horrified, who wants to see mock trials and public executions, with the favored method of execution being firing squads. After the initial outrage, Castro stopped the public executions and instead continued his reign of terror in private. Yes, hard to imagine, but mom and dad lived this way until we were able to leave. Just imagine a friend, a neighbor, a family member or you could just disappear overnight never to be heard from again. And of course let’s not forget Castro’s executioner Che Guevara who took particular pleasure in earning his nickname the Butcher of the La Cabana (a Cuban prison where political prisoners were held be they man, woman or child). Some members of my mother’s family had first hand experience of this prison. Many times prisoners were marched out thinking that they were going to die by firing squad only have the bullets fired above their heads. Or other times they would just be killed. Torture was an everyday occurrence, so death was not the worst thing that could happen.. For those not in prison but desperately searching for loved ones that had disappeared, there was no relief. You must assume the worst.
While I am no fan of guns and support gun control, it is important to note that one of the first things Castro did was to collect all privately owned firearms. In the beginning it was voluntary but if Castro’s police found you with a firearm you went to prison, no trial, no appeal, just prison.

After the Castro Revolution food became scarce, grocery shelves were empty, staples such as toilet paper, diapers, and shoes could not be found. There were no aspirins or any pharmaceuticals available. If some missing item did miraculously appear the lines were incredibly long with no guarantee of actually being able to buy anything. At Christmas, toys were scarce. My father waited in a line for two days in order to buy three toys for my brother and me. Yes, even though just about everything was scarce, nothing was free. Even in Communist Cuba there is no free ride. The first time my parents saw a US grocery store after being without food and staples for so long they were just overwhelmed. They had not seen so much since before Castro and to this day my mother still hordes food.

As to the day to day life in Castro’s Cuba the Communist Party assigned block leaders that oversaw each block. Those block leaders reported to others, so that the Communist Party always knew what you were doing. The block leaders had the right to search your belongings including anything coming in or out of your house. There was no privacy. When my parents gave the Cuban Government notice to leave, everybody in the neighborhood knew they were leaving even though they told no one.

My mother related to me so much more about how drastically life changed for us in Cuba after Castro. Eventually my grandfather’s clinic (where I was born) was confiscated. My grandmother risked her life just to obtain food via the black market that she would share with family and neighbors since if it was discovered that you had more than your rations would allow you would be imprisoned. So much to tell but I think by now you understand the desperation that we felt.

So how did Castro transform Cuba? Easy. He destroyed the economy, democracy, the judicial system, and personal freedom. In short he transformed Cuba from the jewel of the Caribbean to a third world country that enslaved its people.

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Uppity Note: I asked FLVoter if I could include the following email comment, just as a reminder to all of us that, no matter how bleak things look sometimes, we are very lucky to be in the USA.

This the first time my family has spoken in any detail about what it was like.  Throughout the years we always heard stories but no one cohesive account.  I ended up speaking to my mom for hours yesterday.  Like most Cubans of that era, we fully integrated into the US and kept our experiences private.  I do appreciate the anonymity of the FLVoter name since my family is still not 100% comfortable discussing our experiences in Cuba we still have some family left there and I would imagine that it will not go well for them if someone spoke out against the Cuban government.  Maybe paranoia to some people, but this is just part of the Cuban experience.

Survive And Advance !

The following is an Essay by Member William

That was a phrase used by former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano, when talking about the “one loss and out” NCAA basketball tournament. His point was that it didn’t matter how you won, how close it was, the mistakes you may have made in a game; all that mattered was winning somehow, and getting to the next round. This phrase became so famous in sports, because he and his team rode it to an almost unfathomable national championship in 1983. They kept squeaking out wins, and suddenly they were in the title game against a much better team, but they won that in the last second, and that was the national title.

Now, of course a presidential campaign is not “one loss and you’re out,” though the media will often try to make it look that way for candidates they don’t want to win. But that’s sort of how I felt about the very close Hillary win in the Iowa caucuses. We won, barely, but we won. Winning by even a few thousand votes is infinitely better than having lost by a similar amount. A win is a win. It heartens her supporters, who worked so hard in Iowa. It goes in the books as a win. And of course she got seven more delegates than did Sanders. So all in all, a rewarding night.And as we all know, delegates are what matters. In some sense, the Democratic primary set-up is an illusion. The DNC has it arranged so that no state is winner-take-all, and delegates are apportioned and divided up as the results come in. Actually, the so-called “Superdelegates” have the real power. And Hillary has about 300 more of those than Sanders does. So in terms of delegate count, Hillary is already in very strong shape. The media conveniently ignores that fact, in favor of their “horse race” narrative, which they believe sells viewing tickets for them. Of course Hillary needs to win primaries, and she will. She will have a real struggle in New Hampshire, which of course is contiguous to Vermont, and where the homogenous and often maverick voters often go for the underdog. Does anyone remember who won the New Hampshire primary in 1992? Try to guess before you see the answer! And Gary Hart won it in 1980, which didn’t do him any good when the bigger state primaries rolled around. Okay, the winner in 1992 was Paul Tsongas.

After New Hampshire, we have a much more favorable primary schedule. South Carolina, Nevada, and then soon after, Super Tuesday. We can take nothing for granted, but Hillary should do very well in those. Sanders will not go away; he’s got support from the Howard Dean wing of the party, and that group is always loud and vocal and virtually intransigent. And Sanders never concedes anything. I just hope that he will be decent enough to finally gracefully concede and support Hillary if it is apparent that she will win the nomination. But at this point, his supporters will continue with their all-out battle; and we have to maintain all our efforts, support–monetary and otherwise–and enthusiasm.

Last night, we heard that Sanders’ campaign was considering suing all sorts of people and entities. Microsoft, perhaps. They wanted a recreation of the caucus in 90 or so caucus sites, the all-time “do-over.” I am afraid that this is an extension of Sanders’ temperament, which apparently is to never concede anything, to turn everything into a battle; to threaten lawsuits left and right. This is not helpful to the Democratic Party in general. I do remember the eras where the conventions had floor fights about a party platform plank or rule. Are we going to see a series of massive floor fights because the Sanders people will never concede a defeat?

We will see how this continues to play out. It is interesting that in 2008, despite obvious massive rule-breaking at the caucuses by the Obama people; despite the DNC rigging the whole thing in favor of Obama, to the extent that he was given many delegates in a state where he was not on the ballot; and where some delegates which Hillary won were summarily given to him, Hillary and her campaign did not sue anyone. She put the party and the country ahead of herself. I was very disappointed that she did not sue, and fight at the convention, but that is not how she thinks or acts. She always sees the larger picture, and wants to do what the thinks is the right thing for the American people.

I will tell you that I feel rather happy about the Iowa results, which could have been better, but certainly could have been a lot worse. This is Hillary’s first ever win in a caucus. Caucuses are not good things, and they skew in favor of the more extreme candidates, particularly in states with homogeneous voting demographics. So winning Iowa was not an easy task, but Hillary did win there, in all important respects. And so all of us dedicated Hillary supporters came out winners, in the first of a long and grueling campagn which Hillary is prepared for, and for which we all must be as well.

And try not to let the media upset you too much. I know that they upset me, to the extent that I virtually never turn on the cable news networks. These people think that their own gloss on events is more important than the events themselves, and the obvious conclusions which people can draw from them. And either they are too stupid or too biased (take your pick as to which it is) to see it fairly and reasonably. No matter what the media might say, Hillary winning the Iowa caucus is a plus for her. It is hardly her strongest state, hardly her best situation. She didn’t win one single caucus in 2008, though she won most of the major primaries. But she won this caucus, making her 1-0 in caucus/primary results thus far! On to New Hampshire and beyond!

Iowa Caucus 2016

It’s Iowa caucus day! Hooray, hooray! We’ve been waiting for this since

So, WTF is a caucus and why does Iowa get to go first and aren’t you glad there are no corn dogs in February?

In case you don’t know this

At a caucus, members of a political party meet in person at an appointed time and location to discuss the candidates and debate their merits. The voting for candidates happens either by raising hands or by separating into groups, with the votes being counted manually by counting the number of supporters of each candidate.

If you really want to know more about Caucuses and Primaries…

Why is Iowa first? It’s a long story, but basically because in 1968, Democrats proved that they really don’t know how to behave. So the power went to the states. Iowa has a convoluted sequence of events that makes it take forever, so they have to go first. They also passed a law requiring that their caucus to be held at least 8 days before any other caucus or primary and no later than the fourth Monday of February. Read this for a decent synopsis.

On to what’s really important: getting our gal elected. If you live in Iowa and you don’t know how to caucus (seriously?), check out this nifty video put out by the Hillary campaign on how to caucus for Hillary in 3 easy steps:

The rest of us in the other 49 states will be following along. I’m following the Iowa Starting Line feeds. These people are always on the ball (and they endorsed Hillary):

Actually, it’s in the evening and doesn’t roll all day long like elections (something you might want to try, Iowa), so we’re not technically “following along.”

If it sounds like I don’t like Iowa, that’s not true. I just don’t like caucuses because they are undemocratic. They are particularly bad for Hillary.

  • No absentee ballots. The disabled, elderly, infirm cannot participate.
  • No secret ballots. Yes, people have gotten harassed, their cars keyed, eggs thrown at their house, fired, and mistreated by spouses for caucusing for Hillary.
  • It’s on a school night. Single mothers, shift workers, and anyone who can’t get out for a few hours on a winter night can’t play.

But they have to remain a caucus and not a primary or else they cannot be first in the nation. And their economy needs them to be first more than it needs Ethanol.

Winning the Iowa caucus doesn’t mean you won. You have to beat expectations or be a surprise. Then you’ve really won. Or so the pundits say.

Quite a lot of HRC Super Volunteers have been in Iowa all weekend. They’ve been going there regularly to canvass since the corn dog fair (I know it has a real name and I don’t feel like looking it up). Hillary has an exceptional ground game in Iowa. Problem is, the other guy has Move On and all the other FireBagger groups who have an incredibly aggressive game.

May the best woman win!

Breaking!! There’s A Shortage!

Yes, Breaking News!!! There’s a shortage in this country! Something must be done. Stat!

What’s that you say? Food? Water? Energy? No, no! It’s much, much worse than that! Brace yourselves……there’s a shortage of Grumpy, old white males running for president!

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Shock! Horror! Say it isn’t so! The humanity! What WILL we do???  I know, I’m surprised too.

Fear not, fellow citizens. One man. One brave, courageous man is stepping up to the plate. Michael Bloomberg. Yes, you read that right, Michael Bloomberg will save us. During a crisis of epic proportion! To combat an inexplicable and historic shortage of ego and testosterone. Michael Bloomberg will make the supreme sacrifice.

Washington (CNN) Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seriously considering a possible independent presidential run and is looking at making a decision sometime in March, two sources familiar with Bloomberg’s thinking told CNN on Saturday.

 

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But we have a strong, intelligent and experienced Democratic candidate already running you say? Sec. Hillary Clinton!

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Tsk, tsk, she is just a mere woman, meant for running the ground games and doing all the hard work of getting grumpy old men elected. Plus, she can make sandwiches and get coffee for everyone too!

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So now add Mr. Bloomberg to the small but mighty list of potential grumpy, white male presidents of these here United States of America.

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His Entitleship Sanders of Hanolee aka:  “Puff”

 

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His Entitleship Trump of the Immigrants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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His Entitleship ‘Owhatshisname

 

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His Dynastyship Jeb “the smart one”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lord of the Bridges Chrispy Cream

 

 

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Lord in Waiting, Joe of CreditCardLand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest easy America. Tuck your children safely into their beds tonight. The White Male Privilege lives on!

 

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Make me a sammich woman!

I now return you to your regular programming……

 

 

Hey! I found the perfect song for Bernie’s next Sandernista Ad !

UnicornPoop

Unicorn Poop.

I’m sure most of  Bernie’s followers in All-White Fraternity Dude Nation know about and “Love That Rascal Puff” – as well as his bloc of 14 year-olds on Twitter. And they all LOVE LOVE LOVE the thought of living in the late 60s-Early 70s. Why, one of them tweeted that they are going to make Congress do whatever Bernie says by marching on DC  and campuses just like in the 60s. They’re gonna get them their free unicorn that craps gold nuggets or else!

Selfishly, the girls on campuses would catch a break if they did go on a massive march somewhere, as the campus rape rate will go way down. Otherwise, the girls, whom they respect as equals of course,  can come along and make the sandwiches.

Of course, nobody told my Sandernista tweeters who long for those Old Days about those National Guard people who showed up and ruined all the fun in the 60s with those big guns and powerful water hoses, but nevermind.  I did mention Kent State at one point, but I got this strange silence, the equivalent of a blank stare, I guess.

I did mention that our government has three branches for Checks and Balances, but they seem to think that’s no problem either, Bernie is just going to go around them.

All Righty then.

one-of-the-1-billion-unicorn-ceos-just-told-me-yes-its-a-bubble

Unicorn Selfie

If this isn’t the Twinkles Up OWS crowd that raped girls in their free LL Bean tents in between tossing paper airplanes at Wall Street, and who packed up and left their camp site the minute it wasn’t summertime any longer, then I’m Cleopatra.

If these aren’t the same lazy-assed OWS  freeloaders who complained when those Homeless freeloaders showed  up to eat their freeloaded food, then I can grow pineapples in New York. My only regret is not betting money that, when they said they would be back in the Spring, they wouldn’t.

The Revolution will begin again as soon as the weather is warm. As soon as my smart phone gets cracked, I’m Outta Here.

Ok then. Onto Bernie’s next ad model:

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