A Cancerous Cuban in La Pequeña Habana

Many American voters who campaigned for 2016 Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders are hyperventilating and experiencing withdrawal symptoms with the election of President Donald J. Trump. As a self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie and his supporters have trouble adjusting to an administration that wants to “make America great again.” The failed socialist policies of redistribution of wealth and leading-from-behind foreign policies have been relegated to recycling centers throughout the country – where they rightfully belong. And there are many socialist sympathizers in foreign countries who fear the coming of Armageddon with President Trump in the Oval Office. Their dream of world-government run by the United Nations is over, and many can only find comfort in their socialist prophets like Ernesto Che Guevara.

Below, you’ll find a Cuban by the name of Michael Martínez from La Pequeña Habana in Miami who Sandra Peebles, a reporter from Univision 23, interviewed recently. He is wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FSLN) – a left-wing political party in El Salvador – and waving a Che Guevara flag to protest the alleged tyranny imposed by President Trump. Naturally, Martínez masquerades his Machiavellian intentions by advocating for the alleged plight of immigrants who have came to the United States illegally. He refers to Cuban-Americans who disagree with his assessment not as members of the “historic exile,” but as a members of “la gusanera de Miami” (nest of maggots from Miami, a pejorative for Cuban-Americans who embrace a hardline posture against Communist Cuba).”

Martínez passionately dislikes President Trump because he labels him as a tyrant and a fascist. He ignores the fact that these definitions are better suited for the Castro Brothers who have oppressed the Cuban population for over fifty-seven years. But when has the truth mattered to socialists, communist, and anarchists?

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akU5erWbDhI

Happy ‘Dia de los Reyes’


(My new American Thinker post)

Over the years, many of us celebrated January 6 as “El Día de los Reyes,” or the day the Three Wise Men visited the baby Jesus.  The story comes from the New Testament:

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

For centuries, children in Spain, France, and other countries with a strong Catholic influence got gifts from their families on this day.  It is one of the greatest traditions.  Spain brought this tradition to Latin America.

As a kid growing up in Cuba, I remember that this day became the equivalent of what Santa Claus is in the U.S.

For example, we would write letters to the three kings (we called them kings, not wise men) and request presents.  In fact, kids would write a letter to their favorite king.  A few days before Christmas, my father used to take our letter and promise to mail it.

On a commercial level, the retail stores would have displays of the three kings.  Kids would go with their parents and take pictures, the same way we do with Santa Claus.  I remember one place in Cuba that had real camels the kids could approach and touch.

On the night before, we went to bed early and waited for them to come by and drop off our presents.  We would leave grass and water for the camels.  Our mom would always leave a cake for the kings.  It was amazing to us how the camels and the kings always consumed everything.  It was even more remarkable to talk to the kids in the neighborhood and hear that the kings and camels ate everything they had left, too!

The kings even had a “repair service.”  One year, our little sister left her doll outside a week before, and it was delivered with a new dress and hair.

In Cuba, the tradition and Christmas were outlawed by the communist regime.  They were brought back in 1997 before Pope John Paul II visited the island.

Unfortunately, 30 years without Christmas gave us a generation that did not understand the holiday or the traditions I knew.

This beautiful tradition continues in much of Latin America, although Santa Claus has become a bigger part of the season.

In some countries, they share food with friends and neighbors, as we read from Carolina Moreno:

Reyes festivities come in different shapes and sizes across the globe from community parades to three-day celebrations at Disneyland.

In Mexico, thousands gather every year to taste a mile-long “Rosca de Reyes” (Kings’ Bread) while others simply make the holiday staple at home honoring the tradition to hide a baby jesus figurine within the bread — the person whose slice has the figurine must prepare tamales for everyone on the Day of the Candles on Feb. 2!

In our case, we usually share something with each other.  Years ago, my parents would always tell our sons that the kings paid a special visit to Texas and left them a gift.

Say “Feliz Día de los Reyes” to your Cuban friends today!  It will probably remind them of a great tradition we grew up with.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Down goes Colin: A tackle in the Miami-San Francisco game

(My new American Thinker post)

The saga of Colin Kaepernick continues.

On the field, he stinks. His 49ers are a disaster and I saw a lot of empty seats in a recent game in San Francisco.

A couple of years ago, he was a young quarterback with quite a future. Today, he looks like a guy who needs a change of scenery and total mental tuneup.

Off the field, Colin Kaepernick is even worse. He continues to speak and speak and make a total fool out of himself.

His remarks about Fidel Castro are no better than what PM Trudeau of Canada and Dr. Jill Stein said of the dictator’s death. This is a bit of Colin on Castro:

“I agree with the investment in education,” Kaepernick said. “I also agree with the investment in free universal health care, as well as the involvement with him in helping end apartheid in South Africa. I would hope that everyone believes those things are good things. Trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did is just not true.”

Memo to Colin: Cubans do not get to read what books they read in school. In other words, history class in Cuba’s schools represents the state’s views. And the health care system is so good that Castro brought in Spanish doctors to care for him.

The Colin story did have a happy turn in Miami last Sunday, as we read in the Miami Herald:

Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso gave the fans in Miami what they wanted Sunday, picking off Colin Kaepernick and making a jarring tackle on the 49ers’ quarterback that preserved a 31-24 Dolphins win.

After the game, Alonso, the son of a Cuban immigrant, acknowledged that Kaepernick had caused “bad blood” with comments the San Francisco player had made about Fidel Castro.

“Yeah, it matters,” Alonso said Sunday of Kaepernick’s words about Castro, which were made shortly before the former Cuban leader died Friday. The quarterback had appeared reluctant to condemn Castro and offered praise for his efforts in boosting Cuba’s “literacy rate.”

“Usually, I just try to play my game. But I did try to hit him,” Alonso told the Herald’s Armando Salguero, who was the reporter who grilled Kaepernick about Castro last week. Salguero, like Alonso’s father, was born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States.

With that father, Carlos Alonso, on hand after the game, the linebacker told Salguero, “You two saw what happened in Cuba firsthand. I didn’t. But I do have feelings about it.

“So there was some bad blood there for me with Kaepernick.”

“Muy bueno” Kiko. You did good!

When will the 49ers ownership show some backbone and release him? Colin is hurting the NFL brand and the team. Pro athletes always get in trouble when their political opinions make more headlines than their TD passes!

Better than that, why doesn’t Colin move to Cuba and offer his services to Raul Castro? Cuba has always needed Western fools to carry their water.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

My vote for Donald Trump explained


I’ve had some friends lately who have questioned my vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Others have felt let down and assumed the tenuous hold of my core principles. And one Mexican-American friend stated that I had ignored what The Donald had done to “his people.”

First, a little history about my trajectory. I was a Democrat in the past, and I voted for President Obama in the 2008 and the 2012 elections. When making my final decision on who to vote for in these elections, I thought that he would make a better president. I was totally wrong in my decisions. In retrospect, I now know that U.S. Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney would have been better choices for the top job in our nation.

Nevertheless, the turning point for my assessment of President Obama came on December 17, 2014. On this date, President Obama issued a statement to change the relationship between the United States and Communist Cuba. Subsequently, with a month left before Americans voted in the 2016 election, the President issued a directive lifting the $100 limit on the amount of cigars and bottles of rum that US travelers were allowed to bring back from Cuba, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers declined to oppose a U.N. resolution condemning the American trade embargo against Cuba. These were definitely not smart decisions if the President hoped to get Cuban-Americans to vote for Hillary. When I heard former U.S. Secretary of State and Presidential Candidate say that she supported “the President’s efforts to move the relationship forward [with Cuba],” there was no question in my mind who I would vote for. In the end, 30+ precincts in Miami-Dade County with the highest concentration of Cuban-American voters gave their vote to President-elect Donald Trump won by over 58%.

I do not view the fact that I was once a Democrat in the past as a character flaw or an act of opportunism. Former President Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat, too. I think that he would agree with me that we did not leave the Democratic Party, but, instead, the Democratic Party left us. Most voters have one or two non-negotiable issues before they exercise the right to vote. For some, it’s the right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. For others, it’s the right to have an abortion. For most Cuban-Americans, it’s the implementation of a U.S. foreign policy that embraces a hardline posture against Communist Cuba. In my opinion, President-Elect Trump’s views on this matter are better aligned with my own.

Read more

Gusano As A Badge of Honor


“Gusano” – which literally means a worm — is a pejorative term coined by government officials from Communist Cuba to refer to all of those Cubans who are not 100% in agreement with the Castro Brothers. After the announcement on November 26, 2016, of Fidel Castro’s death, it was revealed that his remains will be cremated. I guess that Fidel did not envision for his remains to be devoured by any gusanos.

Our first Thanksgiving in the US: ‘Why do we call a bird from Wisconsin a turkey’?


(My new American Thinker post)

First of all, let me say thanks for letting me post a few thoughts over the last year.

Let me say “muchas gracias” for my great family, parents and lots of good friends.

And now let me tell you about my first Thanksgiving in the US.

Like most immigrants, we learned about Thanksgiving when we got here.  I had heard of “The Lone Ranger,” “Mickey Mouse,” “Rin Tin Tin,” “Mickey Mantle,” New York Yankees, “Santa Claus” in Cuba but had no idea of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Nevertheless, it was the kind of holiday that Cuban “refugees” could easily relate to:

1) we like family meals;

2) we like telling stories; and best of all,

3) we had a lot to be thankful for.

Our family’s first Thanksgiving gave my dad “a day off” from those two jobs that he was working back then. It gave my cousins a chance to tell us all of those Mayflower and Pilgrim stories that they had learned the year before.

My uncle told us about The Mayflower Compact.  He said that it set the tone for the self government that would follow later. And we got to eat “turkey” and all of the other stuff that goes with it.  I had never eaten turkey before!

In the early evening, my mom and aunt were in the kitchen cleaning things up.  As we were putting the food and leftovers away, I said:   “No entiendo…..porque le dicen “turkey” a un pavo de Wisconsin”?   (“I don’t understand. Why do they call a bird from Wisconsin a turkey”?)

No one knew the answer but the “turkey from Wisconsin” was great!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

“Tri co tri”: Our first Halloween in the US many years ago


Another Halloween and another time to remember our first Halloween in the US.

We had been in the US about 6 weeks when Halloween came up on the calendar.

My Uncle Orlando and family explained what night was all about.  They told us to put on a costume, walk around and say “trick or treat”.

We followed his advice and got lots of candy.  Our mother came along to help our little sister who was dressed up as Cinderella.  My brother and I went as makeshift “vaqueros”.

It was a wonderful night.

My favorite part of Halloween was hearing my mother say “trick or treat”.   It sounded a lot like “tri co tri”.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Carlos and George


“He’s up in years.” Donald Rumsfeld, asked on MSNBC about George H.W. Bush voting for Clinton.

“They’ve done a head transplant on him, or he wants to become U.S. Ambassador to Communist Cuba, or he thinks he can reap big profit margins by trading with the Castro regime.” Jorge E. Ponce reacts to former U.S. Secretary of Commerce under Bush 43 saying that he will vote for Clinton.

Stolen Legacy and Celia Cruz


You got to be kidding?!!! Celia Cruz will be part of the new African-American Museum in Washington, DC. During her lifetime, Celia was proud of her Cuban heritage, of her Hispanic culture, of her Latin fans. She was a proud Latina, and her memories belong in a Latino museum!

See: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/entertainment/2016/09/15/dress-worn-by-celia-cruz-to-go-on-display-at-new-african-american-museum/

New Librarian of Congress and Cuban-Americans

Carla Hayden, shown in 2015, was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday to head the Library of Congress. Hayden is the longtime leader of Baltimore's library system

On July 13, 2016, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Dr. Hayden as the next Librarian of Congress.

Dr. Carla Hayden, president of the American Library Association (ALA) from 2003-2004, refused to support an amendment to the section of the final report on the proceedings of the ALA’s mid-winter meeting to help free ten librarians that Fidel Castro had imprisoned for making available such documents as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and George Orwell’s 1984.

It is noticeable that Dr. Hayden was a vocal opponent to the Patriot Act during her tenure as ALA president, leading a battle for the protections of library users’ privacy. She objected to the special permissions contained in Section 215 of that law, which granted the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI the power to access library user records. Dr. Hayden often disagreed publicly with then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft over the language of the law.

It is ironic that Dr. Hayden would not side with the ten Cuban librarians who were locked up by Fidel for circulating access to information to the Cuban people.

See:  http://www.villagevoice.com/news/the-abandoned-librarians-6408599

Happy # 240 to the USA

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…..’

We remember today these words made famous in 1776.    They are specially significant for those of us who were not born here, the many “cubanitos” like me who were brought here in the 1960s.

It is the most incredible message of individual freedom and self-government ever written.     Our thanks to those men for their courage and vision.

Happy # 240 to the USA.

July 2, 1964 and the day we left in Cuba


My brother Joaquin, little sister Lidia and that’s me to the right.  It was our last picture in Cuba.  My brother and I were holding baseball gloves and our sister was playing with little puppies.

Our father died last December. He always had something wise to say about the day that we left Cuba.   It will be different without him this year.

July 2, 1964 was a long time ago but it is incredible how much I remember of that day.

Years later, I wrote about it in “Cubanos in Wisconsin“.

We stayed at a hotel the night before because our home had been closed by the authorities after the “inventario” or inventory.

In other words, they checked each and everyone of our household belongings to make sure that we had not moved anything between “el telegrama” or our authorization to leave and the actual departure date.

This is what what totalitarian regimes do!   They have no respect for people, specially those who disagree with them.

As I recall, it was a nice July morning in Cuba.

We took a taxi to the airport and ended up in Mexico that night.

Between eating breakfast in Havana and going to sleep in Mexico City, our plane’s landing gear did not open until the pilot made one last attempt to land, a Mexican reporter spoke to my dad about the situation in Cuba and we got a taste of tacos in Mexico.

It was one of the longest days of my life!

I will never forget this day. I can still see the look in my parents’ face when the plane left Cuba.

Most of all, I will miss my father today because he always had something to add to my memories of that fateful day that changed my life.