Rubio-Clinton Skirmish on Cuba

Senator Marcos Rubio. Photo:

A preview of what might be to come in 2016

HAVANA TIMES – Sen. Marco Rubio harshly criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday, after she revealed in her memoirs that she had recommended to President Barack Obama to end the economic embargo on Cuba, reported dpa news.

While Cuba policy is usually a non-issue in US presidential election campaigns (except in Florida) the possibility that Clinton and Rubio could end up facing each other in the 2016 elections might make the embargo a national topic of debate.

“Now we see how far Secretary Clinton came to undermine the defenders of democracy in Cuba to try to help the Castro regime get more dollars with which to continue their repression,” Rubio said.

The Florida senator considered it “astonishing” that Hillary Clinton wrote in her memoirs that the embargo on the island, enacted in 1960 by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower against the government of Fidel Castro, has impeded progress of the US policy agenda in Latin America.

“The truth is that this administration has no coherent agenda for Latin America,” said Rubio, who said that the only agenda that Obama has in the region is “alienating our allies and allowing our adversaries to ruthlessly trample the democratic aspirations of their peoples.”

The Republican senator added, “the disasters we see today in the foreign policy of President Obama are the fruits of the seeds planted by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.”

“No surprise here,” said Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen the diehard anti-Castro advocate, on her Twitter account, after some of the contents of the memoirs of the former first lady were revealed.

Cover of the soon to be released memoirs of Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton advised Obama to end the half century plus economic embargo on Cuba saying it has only given Fidel and Raul Castro an excuse not to make democratic reforms and “someone to blame for the economic problems of Cuba,” according to extracts from her memoirs leaked to the press.

The former head of US diplomacy explains in her autobiography that she urged Obama to reconsider the embargo because “is not achieving its objectives” and “is obstructing the scope of our agenda in Latin America.”

Hillary Clinton’s autobiography, entitled “Hard Choices,” will be released on June 10 in the United States, but some US media obtained a copy and revealed some details, including her controversial statements on the Cuba embargo.

Her memoirs are being examined closely by the US press, even more so because the former first lady is considered one of the favorites to be the Democratic candidate in the 2016 election.

For his part, Marcos Rubio is one of several potential candidates for the Republican nomination.

84 thoughts on “Rubio-Clinton Skirmish on Cuba

  • Again, you have the sequence of events wrong.

    February, 1960: Cuba signed a cultural exchange deal with the USSR, along with a side agreement to sell sugar in exchange for Russian oil.

    June, 1960: Two US (& 1 UK) owned refineries refused to process the Russian oil. Cuba nationalizes the refineries.

    July, 1960: Cuba nationalizes all US owned properties in Cuba. Two days later, the US cuts off 95% of Cuban sugar exports to the US. The USSR announce they will buy all of the Cuban sugar, in exchange for more oil, and secretly, for military assistance.

    In the back-and-forth of events, one can see a steadily escalating confrontation between the US & Cuba, which was eventually to culminate in the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. In retrospect, we know that Castro had anticipated the hamfisted US response to the Revolution and he carefully calibrated his actions to simultaneously antagonize the Americans while drawing in the USSR for economic and military assistance.

  • the embargo was imposed when US owned refineries were told not to process oil coming from the soviet bloc. we quickly ended sugar subsidies and tried to sink the cuban economy as we later did with chile under allende. fortunately cuba had another option.

  • Like other previous Presidents who had indicated a desire to lift the embargo once they get into office and read the full intelligence file on the Castros, the next president will drop any notion of lifting the embargo.

  • Several US presidents have indeed called for democracy and human rights in the Middle East, China, North Korea, Burma, Belarus and other despotic states. The US is not in a state of hostility with Saudi Arabia. However, the US was instrumental in eliminating the dictatorships of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The Syrian dictatorship of Bashir Al-Assad, a good friend and ally of the Castros, is currently butchering the Strian people for having the temerity of calling for democracy.

    Apologists do the Castro dictatorship are not defenders of democracy and stand on shakey ground when attacking the US for inconsistancy.

  • The “special period”, in reality the return of Cuba to its real economy without subsidies, happened when the Soviet Union fell. Openings in tourism, investment, private business (casa particulares, paladares, ..), the dollarization of the import economy of Cuba and the permission to receive remittances kept the regime afloat with a horrendous cost to the people. It was when Chavez stepped in with his aid that Castro could take back some of the reforms and survive. Take a course in economics.
    The Cuban 5 are the ringleaders of a vile spy ring. No more no less. For at least three years the regime denied they were connected to Cuba. the whole lie about the “5” is just a big propaganda lie.
    As far as the extra-judicial killing of 4 pilots goes: a MIG can easily chase away an unarmed plane that had no bad intent. In fact: the were shot down over international waters flying away from Cuba. No need to shoot them down.

  • It is not yet clear that they have decided how to undo that mistake. The have not allowed a return of free enterprise, they license self-employed workers to operate small businesses, but the people do no own the business. And the State taxes them to death.

  • China is just as corrupt as it has always been, but with a single party dictatorship exercising complete press & media censorship, the people hear only what the State wants them to hear. Big money controls politics in China as it does everywhere.

    Yet again, you present the false dichotomy of a limited choice between a single party dictatorship or a corrupt multi-party system. The extent of corruption is always relative. Who about a very low-corruption multi-party system, such as Denmark or Norway are known for? Or even the minor corruption Canada has is tolerable, if regrettable. But at lest the media exposes it and the police arrest the culprits. The point is, without a free press and the rule of law, corruption will flourish, as it does in China today.

  • US investment in Cuba began before the Cuban War of Independence. I deplore the Platt Amendment, but I’m not sure how the expansions of US investment can be said to have taken over “under the Platt Amendment. Even after the Plat Amendment was repudiated in 1933, US investment continued to grow.

    You got the sequence of events wrong: first Fidel turned to the Soviets, then he seized US assets and only then did the US impose the embargo.

  • I DON’T believe that the Castros have “learned from that mistake”. Had they learned they would have reformed the system sooner. Instead, these reforms were born of necessity not choice. Therefore, as soon as their backs come off the wall as it did when their nursemaid Hugo Chavez “saved the day” in the early 90’s, they will unravel these reforms and quickly return to complete State ownership.

  • It is impossible to answer that question. The Chinese have so many resources to throw at production challenges. Logic says that more freedom is always a good thing, at least in the long run.

  • I agree the CDR is a corrupted organization. I made friends with an owner of a casa particular in ciengfuegos who told me he paid $20 a month or more to the head of his CDR so he would be given a good report. This man works hard and still laments the take over of his small grocery business in 1968 when Castro outlawed free enterprise. It appears that Cuba has learned from that mistake and sees how China and Vietnam are developing with private sector investment.

  • Could China have advanced economically as quickly as it had if there had been a multiparty regionally oriented system of corrupt politicians lining their pockets on the backs of chinese peasants as under chang kai chek? i think not. The World Bank has asserted that 300 million Chinese have been brought out of poverty under the reforms started by Deng Chao Ping. Now the leadership is turning to anti corruption. Unfortunately our democracy is increasingly being controlled by big money interests buying elections.

  • It was under the Platt Amendment that US big money interests took over much of the Cuban economy. Castro ended that domination when he came to power but we quickly imposed sanctions and he turned to the Soviets.

  • To be consistent is Rubio advocating an embargo on Saudi Arabia and the other oil rich states of the Gulf?

  • of course we should try to encourage democracy in cuba but we can no longer dictate to the world. we insist on cuban democracy but are perfectly content with family autorcratic rule in saudi arabia and the gulf states. we have no more right to dictate a political system in cuba than we do in the arab oil rich countries. we brought so called democracy to iraq and now it is on the verge of civil war and is an ally of iran. that is what we achieved for our expense in human capital and over a trillion dollars in war costs.

  • Hillary is for ending the embargo and will likely be the next president.

  • the special period happened before chavez came to power. and the cuban five was here to infiltrate terrorist groups. dont you know about the bombing of hotels in havana and the downing of the havana civilian aircraft off of barbados? clinton took a hard line on cuba after the brothers to the rescue plane was shot down. dont you know that any unauthorized aircraft approaching washington dc would also be shot down? the rest of the world allows travel and trade with cuba and so should we as we do with china and vietnam. to classify cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism is a bold faced political lie. the old line cubans in miami will never get back the property they exploited for so long in cuba under batista and the other US puppets. in my travels to cuba most people told me that the castro period has gone on long enough but that ending the embargo would help the cuban people.

  • Two election cycles do not a trend make. Obama won his second term by the smallest margin of any 2nd term election. The pendulum will swing back and forth for decades to come. Since the end of WWII, the US has had 9 terms of Democrats in the White House and 10 terms of Republicans. Basically an even split.

    Governors Jindal, Martinez and Haley are proof that a growing number of non-white voters are going Republican and more importantly, that Republican voters are less racially driven than you imagine.

    Recall that not too long ago, the majority of African Americans voted for the party of Abraham Lincoln. The Democrats were seen as the Party of old racist white men. Demography changes over time. Don’t believe anybody who talks of permanent majorities for any given party.

  • I am looking at reality. The impact of the trade sanctions were mitigated by the successive Soviet and Venezuelan subsidies. If Chavez had not stepped in change in Cuba would have gone a lot faster. one has to look at the historical context when analyzing events. You are the kind of guy that destroys crops because of drought 10 minutes before it starts to rain.
    The regime indeed survived the special period thanks to Chavez. That was an unexpected event. The problems of Maduro today are a fact. That can remove the factor that prevented Oppenheimers predictions from coming true.

    Note that most dissidents oppose and end to the sanctions. Recent letters have shown so.

    To help Cubans we should send help to the people and deny the regime the means of oppression. You advocate the opposite.
    Hostages should never be traded for spies. that spied on military installations, US companies, US NGO’s and people resident in the US.
    You support a “cave in” to the Castros to save the regime.

  • The terror of forty years only? What are you saying, that the first 15 years of Fidel’s rule over Cuba were just fine? Things only started to get bad in 1974?

    Raul desperately wants the embargo to end. The regime calls daily for the embargo to end. It makes no sense therefore to argue that lifting the embargo will threaten the Castro dictatorship.

  • Many US supported dictatorships? How many exactly? You’ve been posting comments here for some time, perhaps it’s time you read a history of Cuba. Your comments lack a grounding in basic historical facts.

    For example, you might even learn this interesting fact:

    “In 1940, Cuba conducted free and fair national elections.[77][78] Fulgencio Batista, endorsed by Communists,[79] won the election. Communists attacked the anti-Batista opposition, branding Ramón Grau San Martín and other candidates as “fascists”, “reactionaries”, and “Trotskyists”.[79]The relatively progressivist 1940 Constitution was adopted by the Batista administration.[77][78] The constitution denied Batista the possibility to run consecutively in the 1944 election.”

    After the US withdrew from Cuba in 1902 and before the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Cuba was a Constitutional Republic, which is to say a democracy under the rule of law. It was far from perfect, and frequently the rule of law was obstructed and interrupted by US interventions and by Cuban dictators like Machado & Batista. But it was the Revolution which brought Fidel Castro to power which permanently terminated democracy, and the rule of law, in Cuba.

    During the uprising against Batista, as the head of Movimiento 26 de Julio, Fidel Castro pledged to restore democracy and uphold the Cuban Constitution of 1940. He broke this promise, and indeed, in 1964 he admitted it was his intention all along to impose a Marxist-Lenininst style “Communist” dictatorship in Cuba. The Castro lead dictatorship has outlasted the US backed dictatorships many times over.

  • Come on Griffin, your examples, while valid are the exceptions to the rule. The average registered Republican voter is an old white guy and the average candidate is an old white guy. Last year, there were more non-white than white babies born in the US. That means that in 17 years, there will be the possibility of registering more non-white voters than white voters. As long as Republicans continue to fail to develop a message that appeals to people of all colors and all income brackets, the likelihood of regaining the Presidency gets slimmer at every election cycle.

  • Food and medicine are exempt from the US embargo. No one blames the Cuban people for the disaster wrought by the Castros. You are in no position to assess my needs. Chill on the name-calling.

  • Those are the intentions of some Americans, such as Hillary Clinton, Alfy Fanjul, Jeff Flake and others who advocate lifting the embargo. Oh! I guess that would include you & ronbobel777 in that list of anti-democratic, pro-regime “Cuba boosters”.

    Senator Rubio advocates maintaining the embargo until Cuba becomes a democracy and the Castros are out of power.

  • Very well stated.
    That last sentence accurately reflects the outcome of U.S.G. desired and imposed changes in Cuba.

  • Please tell us when there was a democracy in Cuba .
    I seem to be unable to find any references to anything other than a republic ever existing in Cuba aside from the many U.S. supported dictatorships.
    Perhaps you had best first look up the definition of democracy.

  • Yes doctor.
    Starve the patient, bleed the patient and then blame him for being sick.
    Those Cuban babies and kids and elderly don’t need all that food and other necessities denied them by your immoral war on them.
    You need a taste of your own medicine you heartless a-hole.
    You give imperialists a bad name.

  • Hillary’s comments on Cuba came only after she met with her friend Alfy Fanjul after he returned from his visit to Cuba to talk with the Castro regime about the fabulous investment possibilities in Cuba.

    If supporting human rights and democracy in Cuba is “fanatical”, then call me a fanatic for sure.

  • Mia Love is an African-American woman running for congress in the “party of rich old white men” as you call it. In the last election, which she lost to a Democrat, she was subjected to torrent of abusive racial and sexual comments from Democratic supporters. I think she would find your narrow views on who is racist to be rather offensive.

    Most polls show Hillary beating various GOP candidates by percentages in the 50 to 58 range, while a few show her losing by a few points. Hardly stratospheric. She will be 67 next year, rather senior for most modern presidential candidates, and she has never been physically robust. Her health has been mentioned, therefore it’s an issue.

    Let’s note the large numbers of extremely wealthy people who back the Democratic party, such as George Soros, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, & John Corzine to name but a few. The phrase “rich old white men” accurately describes leading Democratic Party politicians such as John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, Mark Warner, Jared Polis, Richard Blumenthal…. I could go on, but you get the picture. I could add Nancy Pelosi & Dianne Feinstein to broaden the scope to include “rich old white women”.

    By the way, from her term as Secretary of State, can you name any foreign policy achievement or success Hillary was responsible for?

  • Moses, I surely agree with you here. Griffin is so far off to the right that he makes Sarah Palin seem like a moderate politician. Sarah has trouble with maps and Griffin is one more of those instant one-visit experts on Cuba. I guess he beats Rubio though, who would be afraid to have even a quick look to verify his hell on earth vision of Cuba. I’m no great fan of Hillary but her after the fact statements on Cuba policy sure make sense compared to the fanatical approach of people like Rubio and our friend Griffin.

  • Griffin, your conservative bias has blinded you to the cost of the failure of the conservative House to pass comprehensive Immigration Reform. On that basis alone the Latin American community alone will overwhelmingly reject the Republican candidate. I hope the Republican strategy is to focus on Clinton’s “baggage”. The party of NO will find that not having a positive plan to put people to work in good jobs will work against them. I can’t wait for the same old anti-gay marriage, anti-immigrant, anti-minimum wage hike platform surfaces. Check out recent party registration numbers. Also consider that Presidential elections fall along racial and gender lines. Even if Hillary doesn’t run, any old Dem with a heartbeat can beat a Tea Party-influenced Reep in a national election. I have no doubt the party of “rich old white men” will likely say something to offend somebody at sometime. Remember Romney and his gaffes? Finally, check out Hillary’s polling. She is in the stratosphere. Your comment regarding Clinton’s health is unfounded.

  • Again with the perverted logic that since life is not perfect in the US, the Castros should be given a free pass. No one should claim that our system is unflawed. Winston Churchill said of democracy, “Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

  • Quite right. End the 55 years of failure that is the legacy of the Castro dictatorship and return democracy to Cuba!

  • Vietnam and China remain totalitarian dictatorships. The material standard of living has improved for some people, but there is no democracy or respect for human rights.

    It’s good of you to spell out so clearly what you want for Cuba:

    No democracy, no human rights, an ongoing dictatorship, and plenty of money-making opportunities for US capitalists.

  • Just an ordinary conservative, but not a member of any party. I support freedom, democracy and free enterprise together with an affordable social welfare system. I don’t think Sarah Palin would do well in an election here. But who knows what will happen in our next federal election? The leader of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, is a fan of Fidel Castro. He’s a dim-witted puppet, but he has nice hair and he might even win the election.

  • Typical of Castro apologists, you twist facts and denigrate Cuban exiles, especially those who regret their early support for rebellion Fidel. Like may Cubans, Raphael Cruz believed Fidel’s lies when he declared he was not a Communist and that promised to restore democracy to Cuba.

    Ted’s father, Rafael Cruz, was born in 1939 in Matanzas, Cuba. He fought for Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution when he was 14 years old, but like most Cubans he didn’t know Castro was a Communist. He suffered beatings and imprisonment for protesting the oppressive regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista. He fled Cuba in 1957 at the age of 18, landing in Austin, Texas. A few years later he became a staunch critic of Castro when the rebel leader took control and began seizing private property and suppressing dissent. His younger sister fought in the counter-revolution and was tortured by the new regime. He remained regretful for his early support of Castro, and emphatically conveyed this remorse to his young son over the following years.

  • Ask Alan Gross about bringing in technology equipment. Your comment is idealistic. No way the current regime would allow expats to openly financially support opposition groups.

  • Using a carnival joke to besmirch the intelligence of all of the American people sounds like more than a stab at only the US government. But if you want to deny what you wrote, just say you are sorry. I forgive you.

  • I don’t watch FOX News. I vote Democrat. I am not only well-versed on the representative-style nature of Castro elections, my eyewitness experience affords me an enhanced perspective over the “read only” that you can, at best, claim to have. Cubans are given a one-page resume on the candidates running for local office. No speeches, no debates, no in-depth Vanity Fair interviews. If they don’t vote, a CDR representative knocks on their door to “remind” them to vote. This is same organization that has influence over promotions at work, admission to university and God knows what else. If there are three positions open, there will only be three candidates. If you vote for ‘none of the above’ by defacing the ballot it is as if you didn’t vote. By the book, the Castros claim that a new slate of candidates will be presented. Don’t believe the hype. There is no independent reporting of how many ballots were defaced so not surprisingly there has never been a reason to offer a new slate of candidates. Even if there were, they would be cut from the same cloth as the previous slate. Do yourself a favor. Since you are too cheap to travel to Cuba, talk to a Cuban here in the US about Cuban elections. Its a joke.

  • Ron wrote,

    “Restrictions on expression are gradually being lifted as evidenced by the blogs and foreign travels of people like Yaoni Sanchez.”

    Not really. The organization Reporters Without Borders compiles an annual survey of press freedom around the world. In 2012, Cuba ranked 167th out of 179 countries. In 2013, Cuba slipped 4 points to 171st place. In 2014, Cuba has moved up 1 point to 170th place, out of 180 countries.

    Only Laos, Sudan, Iran, Vietnam, China, Somalia, Syria, Turkmenistan, North Korea & Eritrea are worse than Cuba for press freedom.

    Wait a minute? What are Vietnam & China doing on that list? You pro-Castro apologists are always saying how lifting the embargo will improve conditions is Cuba, just like it has for Vietnam & China. So much for that argument! Human rights and democracy are still absent from those countries.

  • If the medicine hasnt worked for over 50 years it is time to change the prescription.

  • The human zoo remark comes from Marco Rubio. The real human zoos are the strip clubs where American men view naked women. Cuban people have dignity and are among the best educated in the Americas.

  • I have been to Cuba several times and observed the things I stated. My main complaint about Cuba has been the restriction on private enterprise and that is now changing. The more we engage with Cuba the quicker the change will take place. China and Vietnam have adopted policies which encourage private enterprise and millions have moved out of poverty. The same can happen in Cuba.

  • You are saying much the same thing as has been said for the last 50 years. I remember the Oppenheimer book “The Last Days of Castro” during the special period. The regime survived it and now is as strong as ever because it is accepting increased private enterprise and allowing its citizens, including dissidents like Yaoni Sanchez, to travel abroad. To help the Cuban people we should end the embargo and allow Americans to travel to and trade with Cuba freely. The rest of the world is doing this and it is time to take our head out of the sand. We should also trade Allan Gross for the remaining of the Cuban five who were here to inflltrate terrorist groups bombing Havana hotels.

  • Mr. Jeffery DeLaurentis takes over as the new head of USINT/HAV in July. His appointment signals a change coming in US/Cuba policy. Get ready for some summer excitement! His return to Havana is going to be a welcomed change from all previous Section Heads.

  • And Ted Cruz father left Cuba before Castro came to power though news reports from Texas now say he left Castro’s Cuba.

  • The appointment of Jeffery DeLaurentis as the new head of the USINT signals a change is in the works. Hello!

  • The Mujahedin did it for us. The Afghan wars brought down Russia and ruined our economy and all our Capitalist President could say was “Mission Accomplished!”

  • Griffin, are you a member of a Canadian Tea Party? Maybe the US will loan you Sarah Palin to run for PM.

  • Ain’s going to happen. She has way to much baggage, is in poor health, and Obama’s colossal incompetence has just about burnt the Democratic Party to the ground.

  • Either deliberately or in ignorance, you are repeating a couple of lies about Senator Rubio.

    He never said the statement about global warming which you “quoted” above. What he actually said was the following:

    “I think all science deserves skepticism. Denial is a loaded term. That’s a term used to smear people, for example, who deny the holocaust existed or denied other things of that nature, I’ve never denied that there is a climate change. The question is: Is man-made activity causing the changes in the climate? I understand, politically, the issue easier to write as ‘he either supports it or he doesn’t. He either believes it or he doesn’t.’ But these are complex issues. Even the science on this has evolved over the past 20 years. I haven’t done the studies. I can tell you what scientists say,”

    “Scientists have concluded, in their opinion, that because we have produced more carbon into the atmosphere in the last 150 years, that’s the reason why, in their opinion, the earth’s trendlines are warming. What they can’t answer to me is: Well why has that stopped over the last 16 years?”

    The second lie is what you wrote about how Rubio’s family came to the US. He wrote about how his father, Mario Rubio, who had joined a student protested against the Batista regime in 1956 and then fled to Florida to escape Batista’s police. After Castro seized power, Mario Rubio heard what many Cubans in Florida had heard, that things were now better and that Fidel had promised to restore democracy in Cuba. So he & his wife returned to Cuba for a few months in 1961, only to find that the situation was in fact getting much worse. They saw what hundreds of thousands of Cubans had discovered: that Castro was imposing a Communist dictatorship on the island. It was then that Mario Rubio moved back to Florida.

    The second lie is part of the standard Castro regime smear campaign against all Cuba exiles, the “gusanos” who left Cuba rather than live under Fidel’s Marxist dictatorship. Their aim is to delegitimize the Cuban-American exile community. This smear campaign is particularly hypocritical, given how many of those exiles had actually joined the fight against Batista and helped Fidel gain power, only to flee when he betrayed his promise to restore democracy to Cuba. More so now that Raul Castro is openly begging the gusanos to come back to Cuba and bring their money to help keep the regime well funded.

  • The report failed to mention that Hillary Clinton only asked President Obama to lift the embargo after she met with her friends and campaign supporters Alfy Fanjul and Paul Cejas. The two Cuban American businessmen had just returned from a trip to Cuba to discuss a variety of investment opportunities with the Castro regime. They ignored the Cuban dissidents & pro-democracy opposition, the vast majority of whom oppose lifting the embargo.

    The anti-embargo crowd try to make the flimsy argument that they are concerned only about the welfare of the Cuban people. They claim that increasing investment and exchanges between Cuba & the US is the best way to bring political change to Cuba. Yet we can see that those who call for the lifting of the US embargo on Cuba are really interested in only one thing: making money. They are quite willing to do business with the Castro regime. The Castro regime does not see lifting the embargo as a threat to their power. They see it as the means to regime survival.

  • Oh Moses,
    We’ve discussed this before.
    I may be 70 years old but my memory is far better than your selective memory.
    It is impossible to hate an entire country.
    It is not only an idiotic thing to say, it is a way to aim a false accusation at someone because you cannot debate the issues of imperialism .
    What is hated are the immoral and criminal actions of the G-O-V-E-R-N-M-E-N-T of the USA and of course you know this.
    This “you hate America ” bullshit
    is your way of committing a “hit and run” except I have caught up to you and are beating the intellectual daylights out of your truly and deeply moronic post.
    I am perfectly willing to repeat this response as many times as you care to forget the last flogging you got when you tried this puerile, right-wing trash ..
    My support of Cuba is based upon my hatred of imperialism and the murderous policies of the government which are supported by people like you.

  • Based on what you wrote in your original post and since you did not answer the specific question about how the Cuban president is elected , I’ll assume the usual, that you are both uninformed and disinformed about the process.
    Google up “Pretender” by Paul Street which is his latest article and see just how similar Obama is to Rubio, Paul or any other rightie .
    Being present when an election is going on in any country does not give much insight into its processes, laws or structure to the casual observer.
    The book ” Democracy In Cuba: The 1997-1998 Elections ” details the structure , purposes and workings of Poder Popular” and is a valuable primer on the subject I use for reference.
    I readily admit that PP is presently dysfunctional but fully expect it to be reformed once and IF Cuba is allowed a normal existence by the government of the U.S.
    Based on our past exchanges I would seriously doubt you know more about the subjects we cover than I do .
    Were it the case that you are more knowledgeable than I on the subjects we discuss, you’d be constantly shooting holes in the facts I present rather than it being the other way around.
    Your problem is that your research, reading and opinions are basically limited to only those sources that give your already formed and erroneous views support.
    It is a truism that right wingers do not look very long at anything that contradicts those already formed opinions.
    For instance, almost 100% of Fox News viewers do not look at any other news shows. This statistic ties in with also recent studies that show that those on the far right do not accept facts that run in direct opposition to their beliefs and will block out those facts and retreat ever deeper into their erroneous beliefs.
    Recognize yourself here ?

  • Second generation Cuban immigrants like any second generation immigrants do not usually share the passion for the causes of their parents for what they left there.
    In the U.S. the SG Cubans are caught up with their jobs and their day-to-day struggles to survive just as are most young native-born U.S.. citizens.
    Although certainly more informed (or disinformed) than are most non-Cuban descendant young people about Cuba, they naturally have lost interest in things that do not directly affect their lives.
    You are sadly mistaken if you think the U.S. will drop its counter-revolutionary activities even after both Castro brothers have died .
    Even you, Moses, maintain that Fidel remains effectively in power even though he retired some six years ago and you folks are desperate to maintain some reason for the embargo short of admitting that it is to prevent self-determination and socialism. and not to establish democratic processes. so maintaining that Fidel and Raul will always be actively behind all Cuban policies will likely be your position for the indefinite future.
    For you Moses: Your boy Obama got a nice write-up at ZNet yesterday. You might want to Google up “Pretender” by Paul Street and read what the left ( not liberals, not progressives but THE left ) thinks about this (socialist ) president.
    I would defy anyone to point out in this lengthy article where the left has any similarity in positions with the center-right Obama.
    If you listen to the corporate media including NPR and CNN, you would come away with the thought that Obama is liberal/left/progressive when this article will clearly show that he is further to the right than either Bush or his ( “please lie to me” ) followers.

  • Most Cubans want to keep the pressure up. This is – to use a football term – the time when the Castro are reduced to a “hail Mary” to try to get some trade with the US as the subsidies from Venezuela are about to end.
    You don’t step out of a marathon in the last mile: the sanctions will now bite and truly start hurting the elite that up to now enjoyed the good life on the Soviet / Venezuelan dollar.

  • You make an offensive slur against Cubans when you use the phrase “Miami mafia”. The purpose of that slur is to denigrate and delegitimise the Cubans who left Cuba rather than live under Castro’s tyranny. These Cubans never worked for the mafia. Most of them were ordinary middle-class people who objected to the Communist take-over of their country. These people lost their jobs, their businesses and their homes when they were stolen by the Revolution.

    You would be bitter too if you supported a revolution which promised a return to democracy only to see that revolution turn into a totalitarian hell because of Fidel’s lies.

  • What is it with you socialists and digging? Wasn’t it Khrushchev who said “We will bury you”. So how did that work out?

  • Re-read your first sentence and admit to yourself that you hate the US and the “American people”. Everybody else already know this. Your feigned support for Cuba is really a false front for your intense hatred of your native country. That is if you really are an American.

  • Back in high school, there was a hit song by a Brit named Nick Lowe called “Cruel to be Kind”. Check it out on YouTube. The best medicine for a sick patient sometimes doesn’t feel so good at first but in the end they feel better.

  • Your criticism that Obama is the same as Rand Paul or Marco Rubio is ludicrous. We could go down a list of issues where their positions are polar opposites. From the perspective of wacko extremists, these differences may appear meaningless but to tens of millions of Americans these differences are dramatic. I have been in Cuba during a national election. I know better than you how their electoral system allegedly works.

  • Hillary will win if only because ” No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people” .
    Any Secretary Of State that serves is in charge of a department of the government that is charged with presenting the murderous imperial U.S. foreign policy as doing good in the world.
    She is the face of imperialism and essentially lies about the horrors U.S. imperial policies inflict upon millions in the world and which have gone on for well over 100 years.

  • Do you have any idea at all of how Poder Popular works when it comes to electing the president of Cuba ?
    Any idea at all ?
    If so why did you write what you did ?
    You should know that there is no direct election by the people of the president under Poder Popular were you at all up on things.
    Don’t forget that in the U.S. the two candidates for president in every election are pre-selected by the very wealthy individuals and mega-corporations . They decide who will best serve THEIR interests and pass those choices on to the respective committees of the Dems and Reps which are ALWAYS offers they can’t refuse.
    So there is little difference between a totalitarian choosing of Raul in Cuba and an Obama or Bush in the USA.
    In the end neither the Cuban nor the US electorate chooses the candidates.
    Marco Rubio?
    Oh yeah, the guy who can’t decide whether or not the carbon-dioxide caused global warming is anthropogenic or not ?
    You should love the guy.
    You both have serious denial problems when it comes to reality.

  • You claim to love the Cubans but urge the stiffening of the embargo which impoverishes their lives.
    You can’t even see or understand your own hypocrisy.
    Cubans have to conserve and reuse as much as they do, in large part, because of the U.S. economic war on the Cuban population .
    Something for you to learn.

  • If the U.S. War On All The People Of Cuba ( the embargo) that has been waged since 1960 were NOT effective, the government of the USA would have dropped it decades ago.
    The fact is that it works well to make every day a lot more difficult for Cubans right across the island.
    Most people either have no clue about the reasons for the WOATPOC or, if indoctrinated and really stupid and unable to learn from actual history , think the embargo is for the purpose of forcing democratic reform on the GOC .
    The stated reason, the reason clearly stated at the outset of the embargo by those who put it into effect in Washington D.C. was to make life so difficult for all Cubans that they would willingly throw over their revolution and revert to capitalism .
    That war on the lives of all Cubans is working very well and the counter-revolutionaries never fail to do three things:
    1. Point out how dreadful living conditions are in Cuba
    2. Blame it all on “the Castro(s) regime
    3. Never , EVER mention the U.S. embargo or say it doesn’t really work.
    All these people who deny the effects of the U.S. embargo have an agenda to meet and must blame the “Castros” regardless of the facts .
    All these people have the absolutely baseless belief that the USA is about doing good in the world and either are ignorant of U.S. foreign policy history objectives which are the same as they were in 1918 .
    or have chosen to deny the historic record.

  • While I do not doubt that your personal anecdotal experience is valid, the evidence that there has been some huge shift from pro-embargo to anti-embargo sentiments overall is not supported by valid and independent surveys. While there have been shifts in other beliefs, these shifts have been far more subtle and directed at domestic policy. For example, Obama garnered 49% of the Cuban-American vote in 2012. This is the highest ever penetration by a Democrat into the Cuban vote. On the specific issue of the embargo the waters get very muddy. It would appear that younger Cubans want to have unrestricted travel and support bilateral engagement but do not support lifting sanctions without concessions made by the Castros toward more freedom for Cubans. Here is a link worth reading:

  • I accompanied 3 Cuban American young women to Cuba in 2012, they loved! They understand what is going on and support the end of the embargo. BTW, vote Democrat.

  • The question that needs to be asked is who really is controlling the strings within the Cuban dictatorship. Raul isn’t as suave and cunning as Fidel and I would venture to say not as intelligent. I don’t have much faith in our so called intelligence operations as these brilliant souls had Fidel Castro dead several years ago. In
    fact, every year they tout how he won’t see December 31st.
    We need to end the embargo and allow all US Citizens the right to travel AND openly spend money. That includes financially supporting opposition and or groups in Cuba who favor reconciliation with ex-pat’s. There would be no need for subversive means via our government when ordinary citizens
    could bring all the technology necessary to expedite a new and much improved Cuba. Tear down that wall and the end of the horror that has been perpetrated for over forty years will begin.

  • I used to think the same thing when pro-Castro lackeys would write such things. But there are those who visit Cuba and see only what they want to see. I hate when yumas leave saying how “charming” the old buildings are or how “cool” all the old American cars seem. I pull my hair out when they praise Cubans for how much they “reuse” things or how Cubans must “support” their government since they vote in such huge numbers. These are the type of tourists who treat Cuba like some sort of human zoo. They claim to admire Cubans but really its just well-dressed pity.

  • Younger Cubans may be less anti-Castro but they are far less organized and political. They are also far more accustomed to the very individual freedoms that their cousins in Cuba have been denied. It is a mistake to think that millennial Cubans will sit idly by and allow the last vestiges of the Castro regime to continue to run roughshod over Cuban nationals. You are correct when you say that they don’t care but that is only because they don’t know what the f*ck is really going on in Cuba. When they actually see a repudiation rally or when it is one of their aunts who is a Ladies in White who has been beaten and arrested, these same young Cubans are just as fired up as their grandparents. The embargo does seem old school and antiquated but so do the Castros. I think it is time both of these relics to go away.

  • Marco Rubio is a Closet, Weasel Toucher.

  • I have the shovels.

  • This will become a moot point if Rubio continues to make statements like his recent one “there is no scientific evidence that global warming is real”

    He has already been called down and had to rewrite this bio about his family fleeing Cuba after Castro took over when all the public documents showed they actually left Cuba long before the Revolution.

    I am a native Floridian and he is one of our senators, but his words are beginning to have about as much credibility as Granma.

  • I am no fan of Marco Rubio. But your comments about Cuba make me wonder, have you ever been there? Police cracking down on prostitutes? no drug gangs? no street urchins? restrictions on expression being gradually lifted? No way! Not in the Cuba where I frequently spend time.

  • If there was any part of my “spin” otherwise known as the truth that was inaccurate, I am sure you would have let me know. So far so good.

  • I agree

  • The “spin” of Moses

  • Fidel Castro, were he to write it himself, could not have expressed his views more definitively than you have done in your comment. Do you also support the Castros harassment, arrest and detention of tens of Ladies in White each weekend as they march from Sunday worship service? I suppose you also agree with the regime having arrested more than 1100 dissidents in May for the heinous crime of disagreeing with the dictatorship. I am no Rubio fan but at least he is willing put his name on the ballot and let the people decide if they want him to represent them or not. The Castros have never done even that.

  • We’ll see who is laughing after she is sworn in on the third Monday in January of 2017 as the first woman President of the United States.

  • Rubio is in some sense a born again Cuban and like a windmill follows the trends. I guess he does not know that the younger generation of Cubans who are larger than the old bitter members of the Miami mafia are not obsessed with Cuba. In fact, are visiting Cuba and re-connecting with their parents homeland even when their parents object. The embargo is dead politically in the world, what it needs is some courageous politician to help bury it. Contact is better than isolation…

  • What a pathetic creature Mrs Clinton has turned out to be. All things to all men, (with the exception of Hubby Bill). Try as she may, she will never be in charge of the trigger happy nation. As for the ludicrous embargo, doesn’t the US of A realise that the world is laughing at them? What would Hillary do about all the Yanks who visit Cuba via Canada or Mexico do?
    Keep going Hillary, we need another laugh similar to the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

  • “Now we see how far Secretary Clinton came to undermine the defenders of democracy in Cuba to try to help the Castro regime get more dollars with which to continue their repression,” Rubio said.
    The above is an excerpted quote from the article.
    It repeats the lie that the United States is all about establishing democracy in Cuba and omits mention of the FACT that the U.S .G. policies vis a vis Cuba are the same as they were in 80 (that’s EIGHTY) post- WWII U.S.G. interventions around the world which was to suppress democratic or nationalist movements.
    All these interventions are listed and factually backed in William Blum’s ” Rogue State: A Guide To the World’s Only Superpower.”
    All this repeated to say that Marco Rubio is either a liar or an incredibly ignorant person of Cuban extraction.
    That said Hillary Clinton ranks right up there with Madeline Albright as a true believer in imperial murder and the difference between Rubio and Clinton is really too small to matter on the Cuban issue. Clinton will still wholeheartedly pursue the U.S. War OF Terror against any person , place or country that dares oppose U.S. hegemony and continue the U.S.’s now eternal war against blowback .
    It is a fool’s errand to try to draw much distinction between the policies the two will follow .
    The history clearly shows that as with the Vietnam intervention , those imperial missions will be faithfully carried out regardless of which of the two Tweedledee and Tweedledum parties occupy power in Washington D.C. and the ongoing effort to cripple and/or destroy the Cuban revolution will continue unabated.
    That there is much difference in the big picture strategies of the Democrats and Republicans is nothing but a necessary illusion maintained to keep the electorate thinking they have a real choice .
    IMO, this article is a part of maintaining that illusion.

  • The embargo on Cuba hasnt worked and we are one of only a few countries in the world who have such a policy. American citizens can travel to and trade with China and Vietnam so why not Cuba other than the fact that the old line Miami Cubans dictate our policy.? We should support Cuba’s move for more private enterprise and allow our citizens to travel there freely. As the US moves toward Asia it is being excluded from newly formed regional bodies in Latin America as the OAS becomes irrelevant. Rubio makes claims about Cuba without ever having been there. He says prostitution is rampant but the truth is that the police crack down hard on jinateras seen with foreign men. I have seen this on numerous occasions. Cuba has no strip clubs, massage parlors, drug gangs or casinos and all children attend school until at least the age of 16. There are no street urchins as there are all over other Latin American cities. Restrictions on expression are gradually being lifted as evidenced by the blogs and foreign travels of people like Yaoni Sanchez. Rubio should concern himself with cleaning up Miami if he is so preoccupied about vice and should recommend trading Allan Gross for the remaining three of the Cuban five. We should recognize that the five infiltrated terrorist groups in Miami who were responsible for bombing Havana hotels. We should also recognize that Carriles still goes free even though he planned the bombing of a civilian airliner killing 75 Cuban citizens.

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