A genuine people-to-people tour of Castrolandia leads to an incredible high school essay

exeter

Philips Exeter Academy is one of the oldest and most prestigious prep schools in the United States.  It costs as much as the most expensive university too.  And the students develop a work ethic that rivals that of the toughest Japanese school: classes from 7 a.m. to 5 pm, monday to friday, plus morning classes on saturday.   Everyone has to participate in a sport.  Classes are small.  Everyone gets a lot of attention.  Everyone is expected to have done the reading, too, and no one has a place to hide when put on the spot.  If you goof off, or break the rules, you get booted out.

After four years at this school, even the hardest of college schedules can seem like a vacation.

It’s also a place that plugs you into the stratosphere of networking from a very early age, and provides you with opportunities that many who live to be 100 never, ever get to experience.  Somehow, one of their students now writes for the Huffington Post.  And what he wrote will surprise you.  It should be assigned reading in every high school around the world.

From The Huffington Post

It’s Time For a Free Cuba

by Nicholas Storozynski, Philips Exeter Academy

In 1958, a senior from my high school named Robert Thurman was expelled for trying to join Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba. I traveled to Cuba this August to see for myself what the legacy of that revolution really is. Any visitor to Cuba can see that the Castro Revolution is a failure.

As a Polish-American, I’m proud that the solidarity movement in Poland helped end communism and bring democracy to Eastern Europe. But why does communism continue in Cuba? Former Solidarity leader and President of Poland Lech Walesa jokes that Americans don’t want change in Cuba because they like having “a Jurassic Park as a museum of Marxism Leninism.”

I met the Nobel Peace Prize winner in July when I was an intern at the Lech Walesa Institute in Warsaw. “We need to fight to ensure that Cubans have legal rights and freedom,” Walesa told me. The Institute has a program called “Solidarity with Cuba,” dedicated to the civil society in Cuba. The goal is for the Cuban people oppressed by the Castro to find solidarity the way that Eastern Europe gained its freedom.

Walesa’s staff briefed me on the situation in Havana, and I found an educational tour that allowed my father and I to enter Cuba legally. The Institute provided me with contact information for dissidents. The itinerary of our official tour was loaded with propaganda about the wonders of Cuba’s medical care and high literacy rate. We asked questions and learned that the medical equipment that does exist is decades old and grossly inadequate. Additionally, the country’s 99 percent literacy rate is a lot easier to come by when the nation considers a first to third grade reading level “literate.”

When we snuck away from the group to meet with regular Cubans, it was clear they were not as happy with the “revolution” as our guides would have had us believe.

Most people live in poverty. Censorship is so strict that Cubans are not allowed on the Internet, and few people are allowed to have cell phones.

People are discontent and organizing themselves to make that clear. A former Cuban Ambassador, Professor Gabriel Calaforra, for example, holds open meetings for young intellectuals to meet and talk at his apartment every Monday night.

While Raul Castro may have eased some regulations imposed on the Cuban people, Calaforra says the outlook for Cubans is bleak. Sure, some Cubans are interacting with foreigners and making connections, “but for the rest of the Cuban youth, the situation is getting worse and worse. They have been living for decades being told that they don’t have to worry for their future because the government will do something for them. In reality, nothing has been done for them,” Calaforra said.

That’s why people beg for money everywhere you go in Cuba. To Cubans, foreigners are “yumas.” There are two currencies in Cuba, the national peso, for Cubans and the convertible peso, or CUCs for “yumas” to buy items brought from Europe.

The Communist system and the U.S. embargo have nearly destroyed Cuba. Most buildings are crumbling and many don’t have windows or roofs. Even Fidel Castro admitted in an interview in 2010 that “the Cuban model doesn’t work for us anymore.”

As the trip went on my father and I kept sneaking away from the tour to meet with real Cubans. I met people my age who were happy to talk with an American. My three years of high school Spanish helped to communicate a lot, but I also found people who speak English. I enjoyed the famous son music of the Buena Vista social club, but I was more interested to hear music that appealed to people my age. I found a CD by an underground Cuban rap group called “I Los Aldeanos.” They rap about the problems and misery that Cubans face.

Amnesty International says that there are more than 70 political prisoners in Cuba. In 2003, their wives and mothers started a group called “Las Damas de Blanco,” The Ladies in White, to protest their
imprisonment. They attend a mass every Sunday dressed in white, and quietly march in white clothing in an act of passive resistance.

Walesa’s staff arranged for us to meet with the Berta Soler, the group’s leader, and three other members. Berta and the other damas told us of the regime’s oppression. We snuck a video camera into an apartment (I will post that interview on my web site).

What does the future hold for Cuba? I will document these issues on my web site until all Cubans are free.

Ay, mami, no quieren jugar conmigo! Oh mommy, they won’t play with me!

Castrolandia's largest privately-owned supermarket
Castrolandia's largest privately-owned supermarket

D’uh!  This is news?   Of course not, but at least some light is being shed on this issue.   Foreigners who would like to establish business ventures in Castrolandia find themselves unable to make the leap once they find out that the military junta who runs the place will not allow them to own or control whatever they create.  They are also driven insane by red tape, ever-shifting regulations, and eternal delays.

Imagine a child who brings his toys to some other kid’s house and is immediately told that those toys don’t belong to him any longer, and that all games played in that household can only follow the rules set by the kid who lives there.   Child after child goes to play there, and goes back home empty-handed, stripped of his toys, after losing every game due to the fact that the greedy playmate always changed the rules to his advantage.  After a while no one comes to play at that house.  And the kid who lives there complains loudly that he has no friends and no one to play with.

Welcome to Castrolandia

Castrolandia struggles with foreign investment, growth

Marc Frank
Reuters
3:23 p.m. CDT, September 7, 2012

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba’s failure to encourage more foreign investment is crippling its economic performance and putting its goal of sustainable growth in danger unless changes are made, local experts and diplomats said this week.

The communist island is in the midst of market-oriented reforms to its Soviet-style system that supposedly will make the island more investor friendly, but potential investors say the Cubans have not yet put out much of a welcoming mat.

The National Statistics Office said this week that investment by Cuba and its foreign partners was 4.3 billion pesos in 2011, just 100 million pesos more than the previous year.

The 2011 figure is equivalent to 15.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product, which is an improvement over recent years, but far below what the country needs, according to a local economist.

Omar Everleny, head of the University of Havana’s Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy, said earlier this year that Cuba had averaged investment, or what he called “gross fixed capital formation,” of just 13 percent in recent years, compared with an average of 23 percent in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Cuba needed to “sustain a higher rate of investment,” he said in a presentation at a closed door seminar, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Everleny argued that only foreign investment could close the gap, given the country’s longstanding financial difficulties.

“International experience shows that countries that have achieved significant growth and improvement of their infrastructure and standard of living have had investment rates of not less than 30 percent of the GDP, with significant support of direct foreign investment,” he said.

The Cuban economy grew 2.7 percent last year and 2.4 percent in 2010, lagging well behind the region.

continue reading here.

Aaaaaaay! No one wants to play!
Aaaaaaay! No one wants to play!

Oh no! Scientists now uncertain about Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Werner Heisenberg, 1901-1976
Werner Heisenberg, 1901-1976

Experiments challenge quantum uncertainty and raise questions about Cuba experts

Wait, this can’t be true.  Could the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle really be proven wrong?   What about the observer’s effect on what is being observed?   In 1927 Werner Heisenberg discovered that  human observers unavoidably influenced the location and velocity of small particles.  In other words, observation itself affects what is being observed.

Now we are being told Heisenberg could have goofed.   Ay.  If this is so, then how can we explain the existence of  Cuba experts?  They’ve been affecting what they observe for so long, bending the fabric of reality to fit their observations and expectations.  How have they pulled it off?   Maybe the Lexington Institute needs to fund some research into this conundrum rather than into Raul’s “reforms” in Castrolandia.

Quantum test pricks uncertainty

By Jason Palmer
Science and technology reporter, BBC News

Pioneering experiments have cast doubt on a founding idea of the branch of physics called quantum mechanics.

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is in part an embodiment of the idea that in the quantum world, the mere act of observing an event changes it.

But the idea had never been put to the test, and a team writing in Physical Review Letters says “weak measurements” prove the rule was never quite right.

That could play havoc with “uncrackable codes” of quantum cryptography.

Quantum mechanics has since its very inception raised a great many philosophical and metaphysical debates about the nature of nature itself.

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, as it came to be known later, started as an assertion that when trying to measure one aspect of a particle precisely, say its position, experimenters would necessarily “blur out” the precision in its speed.

That raised the spectre of a physical world whose nature was, beyond some fundamental level, unknowable.

Continue reading here after you put on your thinking cap (gorra de sabelotodo).

Cuba expert undergoing Heisenbergian examination
Cuba expert undergoing Heisenbergian examination

Yeah! Let’s ride our motorcycles through hell and laugh at the torments of the damned!

homer-bart-motorcycle

Another exciting people-to-people program to that exotic island full of “pulsating rhythms” and noble savages whose happy demeanor will “quickly have visitors seeing beyond politics.”

Added bonus: This article comes with an online poll, asking readers whether or not they are interested in traveling to Cuba.  Right now the “YES!” category stands at 88.46%, the “No” category at 11.54%.  It’s a landslide!  (probably only a few dozen votes, total)  So, take the chance to cast your vote.  Tell your friends and family about the poll, too.

USA Motorcycle Riders to Hit the Roads of Cuba

From U.S. Rider News

License to operate motorcycle tours of Cuba awarded to MotoDiscovery

MotoDiscovery, a Texas-based tour company known as a pioneer in cutting-edge adventure travel by motorcycle, has been granted a special license to operate tours to Cuba for US motorcycle touring enthusiasts. The license, (#CT-19070), issued by the US Department of Treasury through the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), reflects a recent and long-awaited development in US government foreign policy and finally makes motorcycle travel to Cuba a reality for US citizens previously denied the legal authority to explore Cuba on two wheels. Soon the sounds of motorcycle engines will be harmonizing with the pulsating rhythms of Cuba’s unmistakable musical beat. This is a dance that the adventurous USA motorcycle rider has been waiting for.

The license grants MotoDiscovery the authority to operate “people-to-people, non-academic educational exchange” programs to Cuba, with the rationale that U.S. travelers can become ambassadors for democratic change on the island through increased contact between the Cuban citizenry and their yanqui neighbors. A comprehensive selection of 15 day and 10 day tours are scheduled to begin November of 2012 and carrying through March of 2013.

“Cuba is a perfect complement to other MotoDiscovery destinations such as South America, the Middle East, Europe and the Indian sub- continent.” says MotoDiscovery founder Skip Mascorro, who for over thirty years has carved his niche in the world of motorcycle adventure travel, sharing riding destinations often known for difficulty of access and intrigue, not necessarily for mass tourism appeal. “Motorcycle touring to exotic locations provides a more active and participatory kind of travel experience. Unconventional travel destinations such as Cuba are far more rewarding when accomplished on a motorcycle,” adds Mascorro.

Pushing aside political controversies, “No matter what the policies of governments may be, at the ‘people to people’ level, there is this universal mutual respect, curiosity and an inherent desire to be welcoming. This is a human character we‘ve experienced in some of the most unlikely regions of the world and, to our pleasure, with people that can be wrongly perceived to be hostile,” claims Mascorro, who says that the gracious Cuban demeanor will quickly have visitors seeing beyond politics and experiencing a beautiful land and a fascinating culture inextricably tied to that of the USA.

continue reading here to raise your blood pressure and to take part in their poll

Look how exotic!  Vrooooom!
Look how exotic! Crumbling plaster! Communist icons! Vrooooom!

Hugo shoots for bubblin’ crude in Cuba

Jed Clampett: Chief inspiration for all Venezuelan/Cuban oil ventures
Jed Clampett: Chief inspiration for all Venezuelan/Cuban oil ventures

Venezuela confirms start-up of oil exploration off Cuba

Published September 05, 2012
From EFE via Fox News Lateeeeeeen-oh

State-owned oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, has started exploring for oil in deepwater areas off Cuba, Oil and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez said.

“It started and when we have the results, we’ll tell the country,” Ramirez said, without providing further details.

State-owned Cubapetroleo, or CUPET, said in early August that PDVSA would continue drilling in deepwater areas despite the fact that other foreign oil companies hit two dry holes.

Malaysia’s PC Gulf and Russia’s Gazpromneft found an “active petroleum system” during their turns at operating the Scarabeo 9 rig, making the discovery at a depth of 4,666 meters (15,298 feet) but failing to come up with significant ammounts of gas and petroleum in Cuba’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico, CUPET said.

Scarabeo 9 will be turned over “in the next few days” to PDVSA “so it can start drilling the Cabo de San Antonio 1 exploratory well” in the zone, CUPET said.
Spain’s Repsol failed to find oil while using the rig in May.

Cuba’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico is divided into 59 blocks, of which 22 are under contract to foreign oil companies.

The Cuban government estimates that the zone may hold 20 billion barrels of petroleum, while other estimates range from 5 billion barrels to 9 billion barrels. EFE

....and if they manage to find some, guess what's next?
....and if they manage to find some, guess what's next?

Imagine what would happen if this ignoramus were a Republican

beavis
Heh, heh, Butthead, do I look smart yet, dumb ass?

Imagine Beavis or Butthead in Congress.  Wait, you don’t have to imagine it at all.  We have several, even many, who could top the MTV brainiacs  when it comes to ignorance.

One such politician represents Brooklyn, New York.   She has been reelected three times.  And her district gave 90% of its votes to Barack Obama in 2008.

Does this bit of news prove  that there should be a test for all who seek public office?  Maybe something like the SAT, administered by the Educational Testing Service in Princeton? Perhaps with an emphasis on American history,  the basics of American government, and current world events, just for starters?  There would be no “failing” score.  Buffoons could still run for office with a score of zero.  But their scores would be revealed to the voting public.  Just a thought.

Another thought:  what if this congressperson mentioned below happened to be a Republican?  What kind of coverage do you think this story would get?

From the New York Daily News

Rep. Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn tells Stephen Colbert the Dutch enslaved blacks in Brooklyn in 1898

see the whole horrifying interview here.

“Some have called Brooklyn’s decision to become part of New York City ‘The Great Mistake of 1898,'” Colbert said. “If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?” “I would say to them, ‘Set me free,'” Clarke said.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) botched both American and Kings County history during an appearance on “The Colbert Report” Tuesday night.

The pol wrongly said that slavery in the United States existed under the Dutch as late as 1898 in Brooklyn.

“Some have called Brooklyn’s decision to become part of New York City ‘The Great Mistake of 1898,'” Colbert said. “If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?”

“I would say to them, ‘Set me free,'” Clarke said. Pressed by Colbert what she would be free from, the African-American congresswoman responded, “Slavery.”

“Slavery. Really? I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898,” Colbert said, giving Clarke a chance to step back from her remarks.

She didn’t.
“I’m pretty sure there was,” Clarke continued.

“It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898,” Colbert followed.

The lawmaker seemed to pause, saying “Uh.”

But Colbert kept going, asking, “Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?”

Still not finished, Clarke responded, “The Dutch.”

“Those sneaky Dutch bastards,” Colbert said.

Clarke responded, “Exactly.”

The Dutch left Brooklyn in the 1600s and slavery was abolished in New York State in 1827.

clarke6n-1-web

Guess who else is missing from the all-inclusive diversity fiesta in Charlotte?

hugo-chaves--644x362

Yes, he has his own election campaign to mind in Venezuela, but why isn’t he at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte?  He represents so much of what is held dear by the Democratic Party’s platform, you’d think they’d offer the guy a chance to put in a word for his friend Barack Obama.   After all, if diversity is such a great virtue, why not invite the president of a whole country to represent Hiss-panics rather than the mere mayor of some cow town in Texas?  And what could be better, and more fully representative of the acceptance of diversity than to have a Hiss-panic speaker who has no immigration papers and can’t even speak English?

Are they hypocrites, or are they simply clueless?  The guy gave free heating oil to poor people in Massachusetts, through the agency of a member of the Kennedy clan,.  Heavens to Murgatroyd.  Jesus H. Undocumented Christ.  As the ABC commentator said during the funeral of John Kennedy Junior, while his ashes were being dumped into the sea, “everything this family does is exquisite.”  Can’t they see that?   What the hell is wrong with those Democrats?

And… he is also a cancer survivor.  And…as if this were not enough, today he revealed that he is suffering from a bad cold that prevents him from getting a full night’s sleep.   Come on.  This guy represents the disabled too.   If they put God back in their platform despite all the thunderous booing, those Democrats can certainly issue Hugo a last-minute invitation.  He will surely bring the house down with his rhetoric, and the usual suspects in the media will proclaim that he “hit a grand slam,” just like the First Lady did last night.  Like the First Lady’s dress and the entire Kennedy clan (who are also curiously absent), Hugo will be proclaimed “exquisite.”

A remarkably candid and ugly portrait of Castrolandia’s elite

Two of Castrolandia's elites
Two of Castrolandia's elites

From The Atlantic, of all places:

Splendor Amid Poverty: Gallery Nights With Cuba’s Gilded Elite

A photographer’s inside look at the secret lives of Havana’s super-rich, just down the street from its many poor, are a reminder that this supposed communist paradise is anything but equal.

HAVANA, Cuba — On a recent, dark Havana night, the breeze blew the ocean spray over a crumbling sea wall along the city’s seaward road as New York photographer Michael Dweck took a seat across a dockside table from Alex Castro, one of Fidel’s sons. Alex is balding and solid; in Dweck’s photos, part of a larger project to document Cuba’s upper crust, the young, hulking Castro sits with his chin in his hands.

Dweck had arrived at the restaurant, a small open air patio with bare lightbulbs hung from buoys, after several wrong turns through the blackened streets of a western suburb. It was a private sort of place, the kind with no signs and several bolts on the front door, popular with “the family,” as the Castros are called around here.

“My father,” Alex told Dweck in an interview, “is an artist with words. Very good words.” He himself is not so verbose. Dweck hunched a little nervously as Alex flipped through a book of Dweck’s photos that captured Alex’s friends and family in various intimate arrangements. “It’s the first time he’s seen these,” Dweck told me. Waitresses brought out rounds of seared tuna, sushi, and ceviche between bottles of chilled white wine. Alex cruised through the pages, lingering on the shot of his brother’s ex-girlfriend posing semi-nude, flipping past the interview quoting him saying that in Cuba, “everyone can better themselves, even without financial resources.”

In the photos, models with martini glasses laugh in the back of an open convertible, women play mini-golf at the yacht club where Hemingway used to fish, the Castro boys smoke cigars. The glossy black and white images document Cuba’s most privileged — artists, musicians, models, and filmmakers — portraying lives of splendor in one of the poorest countries in the world. This was Dweck’s eighth visit to Cuba, this time for the opening of his show, Habana Libre, for which his shots of Havana’s elite were displayed at the Fototeca de Cuba Museum. Dweck is the first American photographer to have a solo exhibit in Cuba since the embargo began 52 years ago. “I’ve had the chance,” he said, “to see what most Americans, most Cubans for that matter, will never get a chance to see.”

continue reading here (article also contains several more photographs)

Che bling
Che bling

More delightful news from the DNC

jumah

From Frontpagemag.com:

Democrats Embrace Siraj Wahhaj: Supporter of Al Qaeda and Hamas


Posted by Laura L. Rubenfeld Bio ? on Aug 29th, 2012

The Democratic National Convention “kick off events” week will include its first ever “Jumah (Arabic for gathering) at the DNC” – three Islamic-centered events beginning with a Friday afternoon prayer and sermon, an evening Islamic banquet and an all-day Islamic festival.

Many of the individuals scheduled to speak during the DNC week have extremely spurious backgrounds, including, astonishingly, support for Al Qaeda and for the U.S. State Department-designated terrorist organization, Hamas.

The celebrity Imam or “Grand Imam” slated for the event is Imam Siraj Wahhaj (pictured on the top far-left of the picture above).

As this article will demonstrate, Wahhaj has a thirty-year, well-documented history of supporting terror and preaching religious and racial intolerance against Americans. For decades, Wahhaj has preached violence and insurrection against the U.S. with the goal of replacing the Constitution with shari’ah law, as the law of the land.

Here is Wahhaj in his own words:

“Islam is better than democracy- Allah will cause his deen [Islam as a complete way of life], Islam to prevail over every kind of system, and you know what? It will happen.” [i]

The following is a two-part profile on the man who will headline “Jumah at the Democratic National Convention.”

Read these mind-blowing statements from Wahhaj, and ask yourself, “How could the Democrats associate their party with such a man?”

“As long as you remember that if you get involved in politics, you have to be very careful that your leader is for Allah. You don’t get involved in politics because it’s the American thing to do. You get involved in politics because politics are a weapon to use in the cause of Islam.” [ii]

“If only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate. If we were united and strong, we would elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. Take my word, if eight million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.” [iii]

continue reading here

DNC to journalists: So, you’re not one of us? Have I got a hotel for you!

motel 2

From National Review

The Crack Hotels of the DNC
By John Fund
September 3, 2012 8:49 P.M.

The DNC shines the spotlight of the world stage on our Queen City. Delegates from all 50 states, 15,000 journalists, and more than 350 foreign leaders will experience Charlotte . . .

— Charlotte Business Journal, August 31, 2012

I can’t speak for the delegates or ther foreign dignitaries, but many of the journalists I have spoken with here are appalled at the accommodations in Charlotte to which they were assigned by the DNC. National Review was assigned to two Knights Inn properties. Everyone who saw them fled immediately across state lines to an available Marriott in South Carolina rather than stay there. As one of our political correspondents reported:

The Knights Inn was the worst hotel I have ever seen, and I’ve stayed in many bad motels in my life. Two guys were dealing drugs in the room next to me, and a prostitute was working out of the parking lot. And this was in the early afternoon. The room itself was dirty, full of other people’s stuff, etc.

I have never requested a hotel change in 3 years at NR. This was the first time I felt absolutely compelled.

It’s not as if the DNC couldn’t have figured out something was wrong with the properties. TripAdvisor had these recent comments on one of the Knights Inn properties: “wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy,” “scared to death,” and “pimps and prostitutes at night.”

Nor was National Review singled out. Staff members from Politico and the Hill abandoned their assigned hotels, too. Staffers from the Hill found refuge in a cheap Microtel and considered it a comparative oasis.

Tucker Carlson, editor of The Daily Caller, told me that the Quality Inn his staff was assigned to was “the worst hotel you can imagine.” TripAdvisor carried these recent reviews: “barely a Bates Motel,” “scary area and parking lot,” and “the worst.”

Some of the scarcity of good hotels is due to Charlotte’s relatively small size. It is the least populous city to host a national convention since the GOP held theirs in New Orleans in 1988, and the Big Easy had lots of hotels because of its popularity with tourists.

But there really is no excuse for anyone, especially women, to be assigned to hotels that are beyond dingy and in some cases clearly unsafe.

Democratic National Committee’s platform reveals dog whistle solidarity with Castrolandia

This blogger reacting to the DNC platform on Cuba
This blogger reacting to the DNC platform on Cuba

Here’s the Democratic National Committee (DNC) platform on Cuba. A flawed attempt at Orwellian doublethink. While employing language that seems to defend human rights, it reveals an opposite intention very transparently.

The entire statement is full of giveaways, but the key revelation comes at the end. “Going forward we will continue to support the Cuban people’s desire to freely determine their own future.” This is an almost exact parallel to the “sovereignty” propaganda spewed by Castrolandia’s rulers, and the European and American leftists who actually believe that the noble savages who inhabit the island prison  love their dictatorship and should not be forced to give it up.

Then there is the bit about reducing “the Cuban people’s dependence on the Cuban state.” This is an admission of this administration’s commitment to the dictatorship, and its long range plan to keep it afloat with foreign aid that comes not from the US government, but rather from Cubans who are too dumb to realize their complicity in this demonic plan.

Never mind the bit about “meaningful engagements” between tourists and Cubans:  we all know these serve only two purposes:  1. to indoctrinate the tourists, expose them to the wonders of collective government, and have them return home all fired up to support collectivism in the USA; 2. to pour more money into the pockets of the ministry of tourism.  But it is all couched in language that pretends that those being enlightened are the noble savages in Castrolandia.

Notice, too, that there is no mention of the dictatorship at all.  It is simply  “the Cuban  state.”   This is all about the  “Cuban people”– an abstraction dear to Kings Fidel and Raul, and to all communist tyrants everywhere.  No condemnations, no outrage over human rights abuses.

Talk about dog whistles.   (Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee).   Here you have one that we  Cubans can hear from ninety miles away, along with the would-be dictators who would love to turn the USA into a larger version of Castrolandia.

Nothing has made me so angry in a very long time. It has tapped the same spot in my brain that reacts to child molesters.

“Under President Obama we have undertaken the most significant efforts in decades to engage the Cuban people. We have focused on the importance of family ties between Cuban-Americans and their relatives still living under oppression. Because of the steps the President has taken, it is now possible for Cuban-Americans to visit and support their families in Cuba and to send remittances that reduce the Cuban people’s dependence on the Cuban state. We have taken additional steps to bolster Cuban civil society, expanding purposeful exchanges that bolster independent religious groups on the island and enhancing the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people. Going forward we will continue to support the Cuban people’s desire to freely determine their own future.”

anger

Ode to an empty chair that resembles its invisible occupant way too much

gehrywigglechair

O perfect chair.  Platonic chair of chairs.   The perfect empty Obama chair.   Tremenda plasta.    Plasta tremenda.  Emptiness and sheer waste all at once.  Absence and Void, voiding and absence.   Intelligible essence of  “O”.

The word  “plasta” has various meanings.   All of them apply to our current president.

Thanks, Clint, for the perfect metaphor.   Hope you see this, and that it makes your day.

Bilingual dictionary definition of “plasta”:

1. Masa blanda y espesa: el puré quedó hecho una plasta.

2. Excremento blando y redondeado: plasta de vaca.

3. Cosa aplastada: quería hacer un pastel,pero me salió una plasta.

4. Persona pesada: prefiero que no venga porque es un plasta.

5. Persona inútil: ese tipo hace todo mal, es tremenda plasta

Translation:

1. A soft and thick mass: the puree turned out a plasta

2. Soft and rounded excrement: cow plasta

3. Something squished: I wanted to bake a pie but it came out as a plasta

4. An unpleasant person: I’d be happier if he didn’t show up because he is such a plasta.

5. A useless person: That guy does everything poorly, he is a giant plasta

The only other chair that tops the one above is the full Obama version — the stool of stools:

wiggle stool2

And now for some news from Bizarro World

bizarro_world

The concept of Bizarro World was bequeathed to Western civilization by Superman comics.  In Bizarro world, everything is askew or backwards.

Here is a piece from a well-known real-life parallel of Bizarro World: the Russian newspaper Pravda.  If you had any doubts about the Cold War having really ended, or of Russia’s growing interest in its former colony of Castrolandia, just read this piece.   According to Pravda, there is a media campaign against the Castro regime.    And leading the way is the Miami Herald, along with American think tanks.  Yeah.  Like the Lexington Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Next thing you know, it will be the New York Times.   And what would Herbert Matthews have to say about this from his cubicle in the Bizarro hereafter?

From Pravda, Russia’s own MSNBC

Undeclared media war against Cuba in full swing
03.09.2012

The United States wage the undeclared media war against Cuba non-stop. At every opportunity, an order comes from the think tank team in major Western agencies and the media begins to unfold the news spotted with the words “dissident”, “opposition”, “insurgent”, “regime”, “democratic forces”, and the “international community.”

A clear example of this information war is a recently fabricated “desertion” to the U.S. of a daughter of the “architect” of Cuban reform and the tragic death in a car accident of the main “dissident” of the country. This war is a part of the ideological war launched by the intelligence of the U.S. and Europe through various NGOs and party structures in order to achieve the overthrow of the unwanted “regime of the Castro brothers.” A few days ago in the Western mass media information emerged about the daughter of Raul Castro’s likely successor, the deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of Cuba, Marino Murillo, fleeing to the U.S.

The mouthpiece of the information war, a Spanish-language newspaper El Nuevo Herald, reported that they were not able to contact Glenda Murillo Diaz, but, according to her boyfriend, she is seeking asylum because she is “dissatisfied with the course of the Castro regime.” The news was quickly replicated in the right context, including in the Russian media. Nobody even thought about the fact that the daughter of a state servant does not need to ask for political asylum as she can live abroad indefinitely and her freedom of movement and other freedoms are in no way limited, including in monetary terms.

Later, there was a single piece of news that the information about the fleeing from Cuba has not been confirmed by neither her relatives in Cuba nor the United States, but no one cared, because the goal was achieved – discredited member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba and the third person in the state.

Even more brazen campaign was launched in the western media upon a car accident resulting in the death of the “chief dissident”, leader of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) Osvaldo Paya. The accidental death was turned into a doing of the “evil dictatorship” and “communist military junta” that organized the murder of “the most outstanding figures of the political opposition against the totalitarian regime.” In an editorial the newspaper Granma stated that after July 22, the Western media published over 900 articles on the subject and there were about 120 thousand messages on social networks, where the tragedy was covered with similar vocabulary.

If you feel like giving yourself a migraine headache, continue reading here.

Racing in Bizarro World
Racing in Bizarro World

Yes, let’s open a chain of Pol Pot Killing Fields Bistros, Idi Amin Crocodile Cafés, and Third Reich Final Solution Spas

manchester bar
Revolucion De Cuba general manager Ronnie Timmermans, scum of the earth

Just when you thought that the human race could sink no lower, you run into a news story like this one, which brings you face to face with the bottomless abyss that most of us prefer never to acknowledge as very, very real.

Britons are stampeding into a chain of rum  bars named ” Revolución de Cuba” which boast of providing “authentic Cuban-style interiors, right down to the details, so that customers walking through the door are instantly transported to our glorious world of rum and Havana in its heyday.”  Its fourth establishment just opened in Manchester.

Yep.  There you have it.  Glorious indeed.  One would hope that the authenticity extends to “redistributing” whatever belongs to everyone who walks through the front door, and to providing a courtyard in the back where patrons who voice the slightest dissatisfaction with the establishment are quickly eliminated by a firing squad.  And let’s not forget the most important “authentic” element: forcing all who seek to leave the premises to swim their way out through a shark-filled pool.

Can’t wait to see this happy capitalist conglomerate open a  Blissful USSR Gulag Vodka Bar.   Or for a competitor to open a chain of Pinochet Hot Chile Cantinas.

From Manchester Evening News Business (UK)

A Manchester bar is being given a £1.4m makeover and will create 100 new jobs when it reopens in October.

Inventive Leisure, the Ashton under Lyne-based Revolution Vodka Bar operator, has taken over the former Squares bar in Peter Street which will reopen as a Cuban-themed venue called Revolucion De Cuba.

The flagship two storey site, which will be the largest of Inventive’s Cuban-inspired venues, will offer Latin American-inspired cuisine and live music, seven days a week.

Inventive Leisure has 67 venues across the UK, including the Revolution chain and a growing portfolio of Revolucion De Cuba venues.

Revolucion De Cuba in Manchester is the 4th standalone Revolucion De Cuba venue to open in the UK since the first bar opened in Sheffield last year.

The Manchester venue will also see the launch of Revolucion De Cuba’s first ever Rare Rum Store in its basement.

General manager Ronnie Timmermans said: “We’re confident that our stylish and fun Latin-inspired dining and rum experience offers something for everyone and will be well received by Manchester’s bar goers and diners.

“We’ve entirely transformed the venue with authentic Cuban-style interior, right down to the details, so that customers walking through the door are instantly transported to our glorious world of rum and Havana in its heyday.”

The venue, which was formally Squares, has been fully transformed with help from specialist interior designers, Julian Taylor Design, and fitters, Sanderson Ltd.

Revolucion De Cuba is currently recruiting for bartenders, waiters and waitresses.

Inventive achieved underlying pre-tax profits of £12.3m for the 12 months to June 30, 2011, up 16 per cent. Revenues were up 12 per cent from £84.5m to £95m.