It was a pro-Castro communist who killed President Kennedy

As a kid in our last year in Cuba, I watched with my dad Fidel Castro on TV  talk about the Kennedy assassination.  I don’t remember what he said but my dad told me later that Castro was nervous.  I guess that he felt that President Johnson would use the assassination to correct the mistake at The Bay of Pigs.

Over time, I’ve heard all of the conspiracy theories, watched a few documentaries and even that idiotic Oliver Stone JFK movie that came out 20 years ago.

Can we finally call it?  President JFK was killed by a crazy guy who was hanging around with communists and supporting the Castro dictatorship in Cuba.

Yes, there were angry right-wingers in Dallas.  Some of them behaved poorly.  However, do you think that one of these groups would have “contracted” a head case like Oswald to kill anybody?.  My guess is that most of these right wing groups would have given Oswald a bloody lip if they ever had a chance to run into him.

This week, James Piereson put the nail in all of the conspiracies, especially the nonsense that right wingers in Dallas or the “let’s get into Vietnam” military industrial complex.

Mr Piereson tells us about Oswald, the communist who killed the president of the US:

“The facts are that President Kennedy was a martyr in the Cold War struggle against communism. The assassin was a communist and not a bigot or a right-winger. Oswald defected from the U.S. to the Soviet Union in 1959, vowing when he did so that he could no longer live under a capitalist system. He returned to the U.S. with his Russian wife in 1962, disappointed with life under Soviet communism but without giving up his Marxist beliefs or his hatred of the U.S. By 1963, Oswald had transferred his political allegiance to Castro’s communist regime in Cuba.

In April 1963, Oswald attempted to shoot Edwin Walker, a retired U.S. Army general, as he sat at a desk in his dining room. Walker was the head of the Dallas chapter of the John Birch Society and a figure then in the news because of his opposition to school integration and his demand that the Castro regime be overthrown. The rifle Oswald used in the attempt at Walker’s life was the one he used to shoot Kennedy.

Dallas police would not identify Oswald as Walker’s would-be assassin until after the assassination of Kennedy, but Oswald, fearful that he would be identified for the Walker shooting, fled Dallas for New Orleans. In June 1963 he established a local chapter of Fair Play for Cuba, a national organization dedicated to gaining diplomatic recognition for Castro’s regime. Oswald was filmed by a local television station in New Orleans circulating leaflets on behalf of the Castro government and was jailed briefly following a street altercation with anti-Castro Cubans. Soon thereafter he appeared on a local television program to debate U.S. policy toward Cuba.

In late September, Oswald left New Orleans to travel to Mexico City in pursuit of a visa that would permit him to travel to Cuba and then to the Soviet Union. As documented in the Warren Commission Report, he took along a dossier of news clippings on his pro-Castro activities to establish his revolutionary bona fides with personnel at the Cuban and Soviet embassies in the city.

Oswald returned to Dallas empty-handed after being told that his application would take months to process. He was still waiting on his application six weeks later when he read that President Kennedy’s forthcoming visit to Texas would include a motorcade through downtown Dallas and past the building where he worked.

The assassin’s motives for shooting Kennedy were undoubtedly linked to a wish to interfere with the president’s campaign to overthrow Castro’s government. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy pledged to abandon efforts to overthrow Castro’s regime by force. But the war of words between the two governments continued, and so did clandestine plots by the Kennedy administration to eliminate Castro by assassination.”

Last, but not least, I have spoken to Cubans living in New Orleans in 1962-63 who got into heated arguments with Oswald over Cuba.  They will attest to the fact that Oswald was a “Castro loving communist,” or exactly the kind of jerk who would kill the president of the US.

So leave Dallas alone.  We did not kill JFK.  The bloody communist did it!

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

The Gettysburg Address: Just 272 words


(My new American Thinker post)

We used to memorize things back in our Catholic school days.   

As a kid in Cuba, my late great Uncle Joaquin, a judge, law professor and the biggest fan of Lincoln in the planet, used to impress us with his memorization of The Gettysburg Address. He would recite every line and tell us what it all meant to him.

President Lincoln delivered the greatest American speech on this day in 1863:

“Using just 272 words, Lincoln articulated the meaning of the Civil War for a public that had grown weary of the conflict.

For some time, Lincoln had been planning to make a public statement on the significance of the war and the struggle against slavery.

In early November, he received an invitation to speak at the dedication of part of the Gettysburg battlefield, which was being transformed into a cemetery for the soldiers who had died in battle there from July 1 to July 3, 1863.”

The speech was very quick, very quick by modern standard. He spoke for a few minutes but the impact was huge.     

Here is the Gettysburg Address:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground.

The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Looking back, this address was shorter than most but significant like few ever said. It explained the whole reason for preserving the Union. It explained a big part of what it means to be an American. It should live in our hearts and minds as we celebrate the 153rd anniversary of this day.

And of course, I remember my late great Uncle getting all inspired to recite the speech.

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

Spanish Translation of “Basket of Deplorables”


My good friend Silvio Canto, who has a radio show in Dallas, Texas, asked me tonight what would be the Spanish translation for “basket of deplorables.” It did not take but one second to come up with a reply. It would be “un montón de guaricandillas.” This is why I founded, when I lived in the DC area, the Guarincandilla Social Club — and we just founded a Sarasota chapter recently.

1865: Abraham Lincoln shot



Sadly, President Lincoln was killed at Ford’s Theater on this day in 1865.

Everything about Lincoln reminds me of my late great uncle, Joaquin Ramos.  He was my grandmother’s younger brother and a very well educated man who was an attorney, law professor and even served as a district judge.

He also had this bookcase full of history books.   I’m sure that he read all of them.

It was Tio Joaquin, as we called him, who told me about President Lincoln when I was a little boy in Cuba.  So I always think of him whenever anything about Lincoln is in the news.

Obama and human rights in Argentina & Cuba

President Obama was in Cuba and Argentina this week.

We understand that Argentina suffered through a period of human rights abuses.   We get it and the people of that country have every right and reason to go back and investigate it.

President Obama mentioned it in a press conference.   He offered to declassify some documents about the role that the US may have played in that period.

Don’t you wish that he had been that vocal in Cuba?   Or discuss publicly the island’s human rights record and the numbers of Cubans missing or who died crossing The Florida Straits to freedom?

President Obama walked with President Macri by a monument to remember the 20,000 victims, of which 10,000 are still considered missing.

Argentina is a nation of 41 million people, or four times bigger than Cuba.   They claim 20,000 victims!

How many victims in Cuba?    executions?  political prisons?  drowning leaving in a raft?

Over the years, I’ve consistently criticized human rights abuses, whether they came from the right or the left.

For example, I applauded Mr Pinochet’s economic reforms in Chile but was critical of some of the human rights violations that came with it.

It’s a shame that President Obama did it in Argentina and not Cuba.    It makes you wonder why he went to Cuba in the first place!

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

Time to choose: The trip or the the dissidents?

The White House continues to say that President Obama will select the dissidents.     However, he is still scheduled to go, as we see in news reports.

Does President Obama really want to choose the dissidents’ list?    He can draw up a list and make it a condition for the trip.

Is President Obama really serious about dissidents in the island?    Is he willing to walk away from the trip?

The time for choosing is here.

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

February 22: Remembering George Washington



A couple of  years ago, I wrote this post about George Washington’s birthday or February 22, 1732.    You can see the full post here.

My late great-uncle, or Tio Joaquin as we called him, was one of those men who got to live a lot of the history that we’ve read.

He was born in the 1890s or when Cuban was still a Spanish colony. The US and Spain got into a war in 1898 and Cuba finally achieved its independence in 1902.   Unlike most of Latin America that became independent in the first 30 years of the 19th century, Cuba remained the last Spanish outpost in the New World until the end of the century.

He remembers the day that Cuba became an independent country. He lived through the Great Depression or when the price of sugar collapsed in the 1930s. He saw the Machado dictatorship that followed the economic turmoil, the Batista uprising, the establishment of a republic in 1940 and communist takeover of 1959.

He saw it all and died in Cuba in the 1980s. He chose not to leave because he didn’t want to be a burden to his nephews (my father and two uncles) starting a new life in the US.  He used to say that the communist were not going to convert old folks like him and Aunt Clara.

He was a huge fan of US history, specially Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

He told me something that I will never forget. Let me paraphrase it for you:

“The US was very lucky to have a man of Washington’s character at every turn of the young nation’s history. He earned the respect of the rebels with his integrity. He was the man trusted by those colonists embarking on a constitutional experiment. And he knew when to leave when his two terms were up. Did you ever hear of a man walk away from a position of power? He could have been president for life but he left.”

It was a history lesson that I did not quite understand as a kid in Cuba.

I understand it today as we celebrate the man’s life on his birthday.

A Babalu PSA: Rabies Alert

Ted Cruz Declares His Candidacy for President
Ted Cruz Declares His Candidacy for President

So finally the Miami Herald mentioned Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy in the main page of their online edition.(!)

(I wouldn’t know about the print edition because I confess I haven’t looked at that fish wrap since April of 2000.)

And it goes something like this:

A Cuban, a Canadian, a white supremacist and a Chihuahua with rabies walk into a bar and the bartender says: “What will it be, Mr. Cruz?” … Then, he turns around and tells all the white trash in the bar to run for the hills.

It came in the form of a cautionary opinion hit piece by Andres  Oppenheimer warning Republicans, because you see, the well being of the Republican party is his primary concern, bless his heart, that if you sleep with dogs , you wake up with fleas. As we all know, it’s in the Miami Herald’s rich journalistic tradition to look out for the Republican party and to denigrate Cubans using canine metaphors.

Here’s the money quote: (emphasis mine)

The Canadian-born son of a Cuban father and a U.S.-born mother, Cruz — a first-term Republican senator from Texas — is one of the most rabid critics of President Obama’s executive action to regularize the legal status of up to 5 million undocumented immigrants, most of them Hispanic.

So, how does this newspaper stuff work anyway? Does the Herald call Oppenheimer and ask him to write an opinion piece on Cruz because he’s Latino Hispanic a Spic and Oppenheimer is also a Latino Hispanic a Spic and he can get away with saying he’s “rabid” without the risk of being called racist? Or is it that Cruz’s candidacy isn’t important enough to get an opinion hit piece by a real opinion journalist?

I mean there are so many more pressing issues going on for this niche Latino Hispanic  Spic commentator to expound upon. There’s the food shortages and long lines for essentials in Venezuela, the anti-government demonstration and unrest in Brazil,  the scandalous and suspicious  suicide  murder government hit of Alberto Misman in his own birthplace, Argentina, lots of stuff. But…I guess warning the Republican Party about evils that can befall it by associating with such a “rabid” Cuban-American trumps all these very Latino issues.

Oh well, like they say…you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…

Here’s my cautionary opinion hit piece: If you’re Cuban, please don’t buy the Miami Herald. If you need to wrap your fish or line your bird cage that badly, do it with one of those free real estate magazine things they give way at Publix. Or ask for paper and not plastic and use cartucho, por favor.

1994 and a few lessons from lifting the Vietnam trade embargo

It was 21 years ago today that President Clinton and the US Congress lifted the Vietnam trade embargo:

“President Clinton lifted the embargo primarily to encourage cooperative efforts between the U.S. and Vietnam to discover the fate of American prisoners of war (POWs) and missing in action (MIA) who had remained unaccounted for after the war.

He also believed that improved business relations between the U.S. and Vietnam would benefit the economies of both nations.”

It’s a mixed record on the MIAs and terrible on the economy.

Vietnam is still a very poor country.   It is a basically a destination for large companies looking for very cheap labor.  “Made in Vietnam” means something made by a poor soul earning nothing while some party leader “wines & dines” with a foreign CEO!

Vietnam’s human rights record is dismal, as reported by the US State Department:

“The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is an authoritarian state ruled by a single party,the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), led by General Secretary Nguyen PhuTrong, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and President Truong Tan Sang. The most recent National Assembly elections, held in 2011, were neither free nor fair.

Authorities maintained effective control over the security forces. Security forces committed human rights abuses.

The most significant human rights problems in the country continued to be severe
government restrictions on citizens’ political rights, particularly their right to
change their government; increased measures to limit citizens’ civil liberties; and
corruption in the judicial system and police.

Specific human rights abuses included continued police mistreatment of suspects
during arrest and detention, including the use of lethal force as well as austere
prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention for political activities; and denial
of the right to a fair and expeditious trial.

Political influence, endemic corruption, and inefficiency continued to distort the judicial system significantly.

The government limited freedoms of speech and press and suppressed dissent;
increasingly restricted internet freedom; reportedly continued to be involved in
attacks against websites containing criticism; maintained surveillance of dissidents;
and continued to limit privacy rights and freedoms of assembly, association, and

How do you say “Comite de la Defensa de la Revolucion” in Vietnamese?

The Vietnam experience confirms one thing.  You won’t bring freedom or prosperity as long as you maintain a communist party elite running the country or doing business with foreign investors.

Lifting the Vietnam embargo was great for the few in power in that country.   It has not helped or been very helpful for the people in that enslaved country.

Let’s remember that when we hear that “tourists” and “dollars” are going to help the people of Cuba.