Jose Marti would say NO to shaking hands with the Castro regime


We remember that Jose Marti died on May 19, 1895.   It’s an important date for most Cubans.

How should we remember Jose Marti or live up to his ideals?

We can do two things.

First,  support Cuban bloggers, dissidents & “Las Damas”.   They are persecuted by the Castro dictatorship for posting their thoughts online or expressing them in public.   

Second, don’t legitimize the Castro brothers by treating them like elected leaders or representatives of the Cuban people.  They don’t deserve it.   The Cuban people have never selected this regime.   In fact, thousands have fled the regime over the years.

Sitting down with dictators like Fidel and Raul Castro?   Jose Marti would say no!   

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

Candidate Marco Rubio Is The One

March 15, 2016 is a big day for Floridians. They will have a chance to vote for the GOP nominee. They will have an opportunity to vote for a native son with Cuban-American roots. Floridians will be able to vote for a candidate who cherishes democracy and capitalism for his country and other countries throughout the world. That candidate is U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. For Cuban-Americans in particular, Marco Rubio is “lo mejor de lo nuestro” (the best that we have to offer).

Marco Rubio is the one who can unite the Republican Party to defeat Candidate Hillary Clinton.  Rubio is the one who wears his Cuban-American heritage on his sleeve everywhere that he campaigns — not just when he is in Cuban Mecca Miami.  Rubio is the one who took the fight to “The Donald” to show him that his disparaging remarks have negative consequences.

I’ve penned two op-eds recently where I make the case for why Candidate Marco Rubio is what our country needs to retain its exceptionalism and to open the doors of opportunity to those who have been left behind.

See: and,

What would Beny More say about two Cubans running for president of the US?

It is a matter of incredible pride.   Two sons of Cuban immigrants are now very serious candidates for president of the US.   In fact, one of them won the Iowa caucus and the other leads in general election polls.

Politics aside, it reminds me of that Beny More song that we played on my parents’ turntable:   “No hay tierra como la mia”

Angel Ruiz, Cuban American success story

 We always enjoy reading about Cuban American success stories. Let me tell you about my friend Angel Ruiz:

“In 1968, 12-year-old Angel Ruiz heard those words from his father, who had awakened him and his 8-year-old brother, Carlos, in the middle of the night as they slept on the floor of Cuba’s Havana Airport. The father told the boys that he and their mother were being taken away for searches they had to undergo as part of a program to get the family out of the country that Fidel Castro controlled. He added that he did not know exactly why they were being taken—or whether the boys would ever see them again.

Nearly five decades later, that 12-year-old boy now runs a large portion of the U.S. and Canada operations of Sweden-based Ericsson, one of the two biggest suppliers of hardware and software used in telecommunications networks of companies like Verizon and Dallas-based AT&T. (The other dominant player is Nokia.) Of Ericsson’s roughly 16,000 North American employees, 9,500 report to Ruiz, including most of the 3,600-plus people at the company’s North American headquarters in Plano. The 59-year-old leader, whose title is head of Ericsson Region North America, saw annual revenue for his piece of the company hit $8 billion in 2014—compared with $500 million when he took the helm in 2001. “

You can read the whole story here! It’s worth sharing with your friends.  Angel has met many challenges with courage and a wonderful personality.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve known Angel for many years. My brother, Angel and I spent a lot of hours listening to Alvarez-Guedes LPs and eating our mothers’ Cuban dishes.

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

Cuban-Americans and Mexican-Americans? Two Wings of the Same Bird?

Hispanic Heritage Month

In interviews conducted by the Washington Post in wedding chapels and casinos … Mexicans who make up so much of the workforce said it would be far more meaningful to elect the first Mexican American president than the first Latino. Many said they would vote for a non-Latino over a Cuban American. In two days of interviews, not a single Mexican said he or she supported Rubio or Cruz.

Which brings me to the point of questioning the viability of the term “Hispanic/Latino” by the Federal Government. Specifically, if a Mexican-American gets a supervisory position in the federal sector, and he/she gets to choose between a Mexican-American and a Cuban-American applicant with the appropriate qualifications, will he/she choose a Mexican-American or a Cuban-American? Most of us understand that the idea of applicants having “equal qualifications” is impossible.

To read the Washington Post article, click on

A word about my father: Silvio F Canto (1926-2015)


Allow me a minute to write a personal post.   This is my father with the 3 of us visiting my grandparents in Sagua La Grande circa 1959.

My father passed away on Monday night after a long year of medical issues.   He was 89.  We were fortunate to have him for 88 very healthy years until his problems began a year ago.

He was born in Sagua La Grande, Las Villas.   Along with his 2 brothers, he graduated from the Jesuit school there and eventually got into banking with Banco Continental Cuba.   He rose to be a very young assistant manager of the bank’s branch in Calle 23 in the Galiano section of La Habana.

All of that abruptly ended when the private banks were expropriated in 1961-62.

Along the way, he married my mom and the 3 of us came along.

We left Cuba in 1964 and found our way to a place called Wisconsin.

Most of all, he had those qualities of decency and honesty that so many Cuban men of that generation had.

I thank him for a lot of things, including the decision to stand up to communism.   He never supported what Castro did to Cuba.   He really loved Cuba and hated communism.

RIP Silvio F. Canto.

He always enjoyed Babalu and I’m sure will continue to do so from his special place in heaven.

Why all of the turkey posters? My first Thanksgiving in the U.S.


Back in 1941, President Roosevelt made it official:

Thanksgiving became an annual custom throughout New England in the 17th century, and in 1777 the Continental Congress declared the first national American Thanksgiving following the Patriot victory at Saratoga.

In 1789, President George Washington became the first president to proclaim a Thanksgiving holiday, when, at the request of Congress, he proclaimed November 26, a Tuesday, as a day of national thanksgiving for the U.S. Constitution.

However, it was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.

With a few deviations, Lincoln’s precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president–until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt’s declaration.

For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

In my case, I did not know a thing about Thanksgiving when our family settled in Wisconsin in the fall of 1964.  I began to detect that something was coming when the kids in school started putting “turkey posters” about the upcoming holiday.

Finally, Miss Jones, that wonderful 6th-grade teacher I was blessed with, sat me down and explained the story, from the ship crossing the ocean, to the landing at Plymouth Rock, to the terrible first winter and eventually a day to say thanks for everything.

It did not take long for me to get into the Thanksgiving mood.

Today, it’s my favorite American holiday for two reasons:

1) It demonstrates the role of faith in the early days of what would become the United States.

2) It confirms that this land was settled by self-reliant people who faced adversity and grew stronger.

As I told a friend years ago, you cannot understand American exceptionalism unless you get familiar with the Thanksgiving story.

P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.