Venezuela: “The Moment Is Now”

My prayers are with these people fighting for freedom – and willing to lay down their life for it.

Several firefights have broken out in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas with opposition leader Juan Guaido calling for a military uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido’s call came Tuesday morning in a three-minute video declaring the uprising as the “final phase” of his plan to oust Maduro, according to CBS News. This comes Guaido has turned the garrison of La Carlota air base to his cause.

“The moment is now,” he said, referring to the moment as “Operation Liberty,” according to The Washington Post. Formerly detained activist Leopoldo Lopez also appeared in the video after being freed on Tuesday, as well as armed soldiers and armored vehicles….

(DAILY CALLER)

If the above video (sounds of gunfire) doesn’t show the seriousness of the situation, this video surely will (GRAPHIC):

THE DAILY CALLER notes it was only 10-years ago private ownership of guns was banned:

Venezuela banned private citizens from owning guns seven years ago, leaving firearms solely in the hands of the army and the police. Now, as the country’s opposition attempts to oust the oppressive Maduro regime from power, it is a decision some have come to regret.

[….]

In 2013, just 37 weapons were handed over voluntarily. More than 12,500 were confiscated by force.

Maduro ramped up the program in 2014, expending more than $47 million to enforce the ban. His tactics included “grandiose displays of public weapons demolitions in the town square,” according to Fox News.

Citizens who disobey the ban face 20 years in prison.

“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” Javier Vanegas, a Venezuelan teacher exiled in Ecuador, told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”

He added, “Venezuelans evolved to always hope that our government would be non-tyrannical, non-violator of human rights, and would always have a good enough control of criminality.”

Omar Adolfo Zares Sanchez, a lawyer and politician, suggested citizens could have combated the Maduro regime much sooner if they had access to guns….

RELATED: MSNBC reporter Kerry Sanders unwittingly made the American case for the Second Amendment during a report Tuesday on the political upheaval in Venezuela. (WASHINGTON FREE BEACON)

This Guy Is My Hero!

Info via YOUNG CONSERVATIVES:

…He was later identified as Daniel Llorente. This isn’t the first time that Llorente has waved the American flag in the face of the government. He met the first American cruise ship that came to the island last year.

Llorente greeted the ship waving an American flag and shouting “Yes we can!”, the famous slogan of President Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. The government organized a rabble to berate Llorente with racial epithets, and Llorente responded by asserting his freedom.

“I use whatever flag I want because I am free. I am not a hypocrite, not like all the Cubans marching yesterday [the 2016 May Day march] — all those Cubans are hypocrites,” he told his detractors. He went on to praise the U.S. flag as the “pride of the Americans” and assert, “I don’t fear the government.”

Llorente was beaten after that incident too, but still came out in defiance of the government yesterday.

The government which usually refuses to comment on any such incidents, actually did comment, calling him an “annexationist” and claimed he had a criminal record for “armed robbery.”

Yes, he did rob them of their complete power in that one moment.

We salute you, Mr. Llorente, and thank you for being an example for us all.

No Analogy Needed For This Failure of Socialism

BREITBART notes the following:

The Russian-made jeep carrying the ashes of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro broke down in the middle of his funeral procession on Saturday, forcing soldiers to push the vehicle until it could be repaired.

Nearly every major news website buried the news, though it was perfectly symbolic of the Cuban regime’s economic failures, and those of socialism in general.

Fox News reported:

  • The breakdown of the jeep in the midst of adoring crowds chanting “Long live Fidel!” was symbolic of the dual nature of Castro’s Cuba. While his legacy inspires fierce adulation by many of the nation’s citizens, others continue to grumble about Cuba’s autocratic government, inefficient bureaucracy and stagnant economy.

I just want to note that a man who had 900-million dollars, was brought to his final resting spot by a crappy Russian jeep the broke down. And those guys pushing their leaders ashes — by hand — is the best visual of the failure of socialism. (NEWSBUSTERS) Conan O’Brien mocked the moment, making the obvious comparison to the problems of communism:

  • “Here’s a weird story: On Saturday, the hearse carrying Fidel Castro’s remains broke down and had to be pushed. The hearse was being driven Cuba’s minister of metaphors.” 

Dennis Prager Discusses Fidel Castro’s Death

  • “Viva Fidel! Viva Che!” (Two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Jesse Jackson, bellowed while arm in arm with Fidel Castro himself in 1984.)
  • “Fidel Castro is very shy and sensitive, I frankly like him and regard him as a friend.” (Democratic presidential candidate, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, and “Conscience of the Democratic party,” George Mc Govern.)
  • “Fidel Castro first and foremost is and always has been a committed egalitarian. He wanted a system that provided the basic needs to all Cuba has superb systems of health care and universal education…We greeted each other as old friends.”  (Former President of the United States and official “Elder Statesman” of the Democratic party, Jimmy Carter.)
  • “Fidel Castro is old-fashioned, courtly–even paternal, a thoroughly fascinating figure!” (NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.)
  • “Fidel Castro could have been Cuba’s Elvis!” (Dan Rather)
  • “Castro’s personal magnetism is still powerful, his presence is still commanding. Cuba has very high literacy, and Castro has brought great health care to his country.” (Barbara Walters.)
  • “Fidel Castro is one helluva guy!” (CNN founder Ted Turner.)

(See More Below)

Here is the WALL STREET JOURNAL article Prager is reading from:

Fidel Castro’s legacy of 57 years in power is best understood by the fates of two groups of his countrymen—those who remained in Cuba and suffered impoverishment and dictatorship, and those who were lucky or brave enough to flee to America to make their way in freedom. No progressive nostalgia after his death Friday at age 90 should disguise this murderous and tragic record.

Castro took power on New Year’s Day in 1959 serenaded by the Western media for toppling dictator Fulgencio Batista and promising democracy. He soon revealed that his goal was to impose Communist rule. He exiled clergy, took over Catholic schools and expropriated businesses. Firing squads and dungeons eliminated rivals and dissenters.

The terror produced a mass exodus. An April 1961 attempt by the CIA and a small force of expatriate Cubans to overthrow Castro was crushed at the Bay of Pigs in a fiasco for the Kennedy Administration. Castro aligned himself with the Soviet Union, and their 1962 attempt to establish a Soviet missile base on Cuba nearly led to nuclear war. The crisis was averted after President Kennedy sent warships to intercept the missiles, but the Soviets extracted a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba again.

The Cuba that Castro inherited was developing but relatively prosperous. It ranked third in Latin America in doctors and dentists and daily calorie consumption per capita. Its infant-mortality rate was the lowest in the region and the 13th lowest in the world. Cubans were among the most literate Latins and had a vibrant civic life with private professional, commercial, religious and charitable organizations.

Castro destroyed all that. He ruined agriculture by imposing collective farms, making Cuba dependent first on the Soviets and later on oil from Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela. In the past half century Cuba’s export growth has been less than Haiti’s, and now even doctors are scarce because so many are sent abroad to earn foreign currency. Hospitals lack sheets and aspirin. The average monthly income is $20 and government food rations are inadequate.

All the while Fidel and his brother Raúl sought to spread their Communist revolution throughout the world, especially in Latin America. They backed the FARC in Colombia, the Shining Path in Peru and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Their propaganda about peasant egalitarian movements beguiled thousands of Westerners, from celebrities likeSean Penn and Danny Glover to Secretary of State John Kerry, who on a visit to Havana called the U.S. and Cuba “prisoners of history.” The prisoners are in Cuban jails.

On this score, President Obama’s morally antiseptic statement Saturday on Castro is an insult to his victims. “We know that this moment fills Cubans—in Cuba and in the United States—with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation,” Mr. Obama said. “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.” Donald Trump, by contrast, called Castro a “dictator” and expressed hope for a “free Cuba.”

Mr. Obama’s 2014 decision to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations has provided new business opportunities for the regime but has yielded nothing in additional freedom. Americans can now travel and make limited investment in Cuba but hard-currency wages for workers are confiscated by the government in return for nearly worthless pesos. In 2006 Forbes estimated Fidel’s net worth, based on his control of “a web of state-owned companies,” at $900 million.

[….]

Castro’s Cuba exists today as a reminder of the worst of the 20th century when dictators invoked socialist ideals to hammer human beings into nails for the state. Too many Western fellow-travelers indulged its fantasies as long as they didn’t have to live there. Perhaps the influence of Cuba’s exiles will be able, over time, to reseed the message of liberty on the island. But freedom starts by seeing clearly the human suffering that Fidel Castro wrought.

(Read more at WSJ Opinion)

Here are some Cuban-Americans Hearing the News of Fidel’s death (descriptions are via BREITBART):

Ninety-three-year-old Pablo Suarez, her husband, tells AmericaTeVe that Flora had made the decision to flee communist Cuba. “She said at night, ‘We’re going tonight,’” he recalls. “I said, ‘You’re crazy.’ ‘Well, if you’re not going, I’m taking the kids.”

Her family purchased the flag more than 20 years ago to celebrate Castro’s death.

Another video surfacing on social media shows an unnamed older Cuban gentleman as his children tell him that Fidel Castro has died. They tease him with good news from Cuba, to which he replies, “Good news from Cuba? I never expect any good news from Cuba.”

“It’s not freedom, but it’s something good: Fidel died,” a relative tells him.

In disbelief, the man tells her, “Fidel has died before,” before letting it sink in. He added, “He should have died 56 years ago”

Here is a Cuban refugee who has alzheimers being told Fidel Castro is dead…

Flora Suarez left Cuba in 1965 with her husband and children, never to return. Now 85 years old, Suarez suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, her family told the Miami-based AmericaTeVe. She does not remember her children’s names, but she understood when her daughter told her that Fidel Castro had died.

“I have the best news in the world for you. … What is this? It’s the flag,” her daughter says in the video, wrapping her in a large Cuban flag. “Fidel fell. He fell. … The day is here”


Another great article found over at FAITH WIRE:

Fidel Castro jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror. He murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans during his first six.

Fidel Castro shattered — through mass-executions, mass-jailings, mass larceny and exile — virtually every family on the island of Cuba. Many opponents of the Castro regime qualify as the longest-suffering political prisoners in modern history, having suffered prison camps, forced labor and torture chambers for a period three times as long in Fidel Castro’s Gulag as Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s Gulag.

Fidel Castro and Che Guevara beat ISIS to the game by over half a century. As early as January 1959 they were filming their murders for the media-shock value.

Fidel Castro also came closest of anyone in history to (wantonly) starting a worldwide nuclear war.

In the above process Fidel Castro converted a highly-civilized nation with a higher standard of living than much of Europe and swamped with immigrants into a slum/sewer ravaged by tropical diseases and with  the highest suicide rate in the Western hemisphere.

Over TWENTY TIMES as many people (and counting) have died trying to escape Castro’s Cuba as died trying to escape East Germany. Yet prior to Castroism Cuba received more immigrants per-capita than almost any nation on earth—more than the U.S. did including the Ellis Island years, in fact.

Fidel Castro helped train and fund practically every terror group on earth, from the Weathermen to Puerto Rico’s Macheteros, from Argentina’s Montoneros, to Colombia’s FARC, from the Black Panthers to the IRA and from the PLO to AL Fatah.

Would anyone guess any of the above from reading or listening to the mainstream media recently?

[….]

But prior to the big news this week-end many of those same celebrants could be found with itchy noses and red-rimmed eyes ambling amidst long rows of white crosses in Miami’s Cuban Memorial.  It’s a mini-Arlington cemetery of sorts, in honor of Fidel Castro’s murder victims.

The tombs are symbolic, however. Most of the bodies still lie in mass graves dug by bulldozers on the orders of the man whose family President Obama just consoled with an official note of condolence.

Some of those future celebrants were often found kneeling at the Cuban Memorial, others walking slowly, looking for a name. You might remember a similar scene from the opening frames of “Saving Private Ryan.” Many clutched rosaries. Many of the ladies would be pressing their faces into the breast of a young relative who drove them there, a relative who wrapped his arms around her spastically heaving shoulders.

Try as he might not to cry himself, this relative usually found that the sobs wracking his mother, grandmother or aunt were contagious. Yet he was often too young to remember the young face of his martyred father, grandfather, uncle, cousin -or even aunt, mother grandmother– the name they just recognized on the white cross.

Fusilado” (firing squad execution) it says below the name– one word, but for most visitors to the Cuban Memorial a word loaded with traumatizing flashbacks.

On Christmas Eve 1961, Juana Diaz Figueroa spat in the face of the Castroite executioners who were binding and gagging her. They’d found her guilty of feeding and hiding “bandits.” (Castro and Che’s term for Cuban peasants who took up arms to fight their theft of their land to create Stalinist kolkhozes.) Farm collectivization was no more voluntary in Cuba than in the Ukraine. And Cuba’s kulaks had guns–at first anyway. Then the Kennedy-Khrushchev pact left them defenseless against Soviet tanks, helicopters and flame-throwers. When the blast from Castro’s firing squad demolished Juana Diaz’ face and torso, she was six months pregnant.

Rigoberto Hernandez was 17 when Castro’s prison guards dragged him from his jail cell, jerked his head back to gag him and started dragging him to the stake. Little “Rigo” pleaded his innocence to the very bloody end. But his pleas were garbled and difficult to understand. His struggles while being gagged and bound to the stake were also awkward. The boy had been a janitor in a Havana high school and was mentally retarded. His single mother had pleaded his case with hysterical sobs. She had begged, beseeched and finally proven to his “prosecutors” that it was a case of mistaken identity. Her only son, a boy in such a condition, couldn’t possibly have been “a CIA agent planting bombs.”

Fuego!” and the firing squad volley riddled Rigo’s little bent body as he moaned and struggled awkwardly against his bounds, blindfold and gag. “We executive from Revolutionary conviction!” sneered the man whose peaceful death in bed President Obama seems to mourn.

Carlos Machado was 15 years old in 1963 when the bullets from the firing squad shattered his body. His twin brother and father collapsed beside Carlos from the same volley. All had resisted Castro’s theft of their humble family farm.

According to the scholars and researchers at the Cuba Archive, the Castro regime’s total death toll–from torture, prison beatings, firing squads, machine gunning of escapees, drownings, etc.–approaches 100,000. Cuba’s population in 1960 was 6.4 million. According to the human rights group Freedom House, 500,000 Cubans (young and old, male and female) have passed through Castro’s prison and forced-labor camps. This puts Fidel Castro political incarceration rate right up there with his hero Stalin’s.

It’s not enough that liberals refuse to acknowledge any justification for these Miami celebrations. No, on top of that here’s the type of thing the celebrants are accustomed to hearing from the media and famous Democrats:

  • “Viva Fidel! Viva Che!” (Two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Jesse Jackson, bellowed while arm in arm with Fidel Castro himself in 1984.)
  • “Fidel Castro is very shy and sensitive, I frankly like him and regard him as a friend.” (Democratic presidential candidate, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, and “Conscience of the Democratic party,” George Mc Govern.)
  • “Fidel Castro first and foremost is and always has been a committed egalitarian. He wanted a system that provided the basic needs to all Cuba has superb systems of health care and universal education…We greeted each other as old friends.”  (Former President of the United States and official “Elder Statesman” of the Democratic party, Jimmy Carter.)
  • “Fidel Castro is old-fashioned, courtly–even paternal, a thoroughly fascinating figure!” (NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.)
  • “Fidel Castro could have been Cuba’s Elvis!” (Dan Rather)
  • “Castro’s personal magnetism is still powerful, his presence is still commanding. Cuba has very high literacy, and Castro has brought great health care to his country.” (Barbara Walters.)
  • “Fidel Castro is one helluva guy!” (CNN founder Ted Turner.)

(Read It All)

Great Point by Matt Welch and Cuba’s Literacy Rate

This is a great point by Matt Welch… what is the point of being able to read if it is against the law to read most books, like, 1984? Here is a comment from my posting the below audio on my LiveLeak account:

  • Hey… Cuba’s a free country… Cubans are free to read anything they want as long as it’s Castro’s autobiography or the Communist Manifesto.

Yep.

Matt Welch in his article, “Cuba’s Literacy Rate, Life Expectancy Nothing to Lionize,” makes another great point:

…And that got me thinking, what is the relationship between literacy and life expectancy on the one hand, and democracy and dictatorship on the other hand? In 2012, the last year for which Human Progress has data on Cuban literacy, 40 out of 73 countries and territories surveyed by UNESCO had literacy rates among adults higher than 90 percent. With 99.75 percent, Cuba came in second place—after Azerbaijan. According to Freedom House, out of the 40 countries and territories in the top decile, 35 percent were politically free, 35 percent were partly free and 27.5 percent were unfree (the rest had no Freedom House score).

The contrast between free and unfree countries is much starker when it comes to life expectancy. In 2014, out of 198 countries and territories surveyed by the World Bank, 35 had a life expectancy over 80 years. With 79.39 years, Cuba was not one of them. It ranked in the 38th place globally. With 78.94 years, the United States came in 43rd place. Thus, while Cuba has edged out the United States, it is not in any way remarkable by global standards. In fact, out of the 35 countries and territories with life expectancy over 80 years, 83 percent were free and 6 percent were partly free (the rest had no Freedom House score). Not one unfree country had a life expectancy over 80 years!

What are we to make of this? It may well be that a literate population is relatively highly valued by both dictatorial and democratic government. When newspapers are tightly controlled by the government, having the populace read the government propaganda seem like a good thing. But when it comes to life expectancy—an excellent proxy for the standard of living in general and health of the populace in particular—dictatorships can’t hold a candle to democracies.

Have fun reading these materials meant to brainwash (click to enlarge):

A Democrat Hero Dies (Trump v. Obama)

Via the White House:

Statement by the President on the Passing of Fidel Castro

At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.

For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends – bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity. This engagement includes the contributions of Cuban Americans, who have done so much for our country and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba.

Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.

President-elect Donald Trump’s statement that was just sent out (Gateway Pundit):

President-Elect Donald J. Trump Statement

“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.

“While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.

“Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”

One should read the rest of this post below over at GAY PATRIOT:

….Fidel Castro is dead at ninety. Far too long, if you ask me. Castro was a brutal, Socialist, dictator who consigned millions of his people to life in an oppressive, impoverished gulag where they enjoyed no civil liberties and no human rights. He sent troops around the world to commit atrocities against civilians; imprisoned, tortured, and murdered political opponents (or any critics of his regime), sponsored terrorism, and… oh yeah.. sent gay Cubans to concentration camps.

And to the Democrat left, he was a hero.

Bernie Sanders was a huge fan of Fidel Castro, praising him for having “educated their kids, gave their kids healthcare, totally transformed the society.” Bernie Sanders also said that he thought Cuban style bread lines were pretty neat (Reminder: Half the Democrat Party voted for this guy). New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, for example, spent his summer break from college helping Fidel Castro spread communism in Nicaragua. (John Kerry and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey also counted themselves as allies of Nicaragua’s Castro-style Sandinista dictatorship). Democrats of the Congressional Black Caucus  traveled to Cuba in 2009 and returned with gushing praise for the murderous, bloodthirsty autocrat. An NPR reporter described a kiss from Castro’s brother as though it were a Holy experience. Hollywood leftists including Harry Belafonte, Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover, Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg, Charlize Theron, and, of course, Michael Moore have heaped praise on the dictator. Most recently, NFL socialist douchebag Colin Kaepernick appeared in Miami wearing a Castro T-shirt. Beyonce and Jay-Z honeymooned on Castro’s island gulag. (Canada’s Prime Minister and the Leader of Britain’s Labour Party are also in mourning, the latter referring to the Marxist dictator as “a champion of social justice.”)

Goes to show what the left actually means by “social justice,” (i.e. labor camps for opponents of socialism).

And of course, Castro’s mass-murdering, racist thug Che Guevara is a fashion icon on the left.

[…..]

BTW: Castro died with a Net Worth of close to a billion dollars….

Here is a very long presentation by Humberto Fontova on the medias obsession with this racist mass-murderor. The uploader on YouTube included this as part of the description to the video:

  • “Propaganda is the heart of our struggle. We must never abandon propaganda.” (Fidel Castro, 1955.)
  • “Much more valuable than recruits for our guerrilla force were American media recruits to export our propaganda.” (Che Guevara, 1959.)
  • For over half a century you’ve been conned by the media, academia and Hollywood. Come learn how badly.

More posts on the matter:

Here is a portion of PART DEUX of Gay Patriots posts on Castro:

Here are the facts about the left’s favorite commie:

  1. Castro was an old-world communist dictator who hated individual freedom & maintained power by oppressing & terrorizing his own people.
  2. Castro murdered those who disagreed with him.
  3. Castro ran concentration camps & filled them with “undesirables,” including dissidents, homosexuals, AIDS victims, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Afro-Cuban priests & others declared “unfit” for the moral Cuban revolution.
  4. Castro personally asked the U.S.S.R to nuke the United States.
  5. Che Guevara, a Castro cabinet member, said if the nukes were under Cuban control, they would have launched them “into the very heart of the United States….the victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!”
  6. In 1996, Castro shot down American civilian aircraft, killing 3 Americans.
  7. Life for an average Cuban was hell under Castro. Restricted religious freedom, healthcare, food, movement, technology, transportation & regular forced separations of families.
  8. Castro’s own daughter & sister fled his rule.
  9. Castro banned all music by the Beatles in 1964.
  10. On an island nation, owning or riding on a boat was illegal under the Castro regime.

Colin Kaepernick ~ Alex Boone | Tomi Lahren (Plus, Islam?)

Former U.S. Rep. ALLEN WEST had a Scripture to recommend to Kaepernick.

I would recommend a simple scripture from the wise King Solomon for Mr. Kaepernick, Proverbs 17:28 (NIV): “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues,”

Or, as the old folks down South would say, “best for a stupid person to keep their mouth shut and not open it and let everyone know they are.”

I will give more context to Alex Boone’s comments after the video:

This story is making more sense as we get a few days behind it. THE DAILY CALLER notes a recent change in Kaepernick’s worldview that is driving this support for a racist, black nationalist political movement [Black Lives Matter]:

A recent report indicates that Colin Kaepernick’s Muslim girlfriend Nessa Diab was behind his decision to not stand during the national anthem.

The report from sports gossip blog Terez Owens states, “As the entire world knows by now, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem in Friday’s pre-season game against Green Bay because he was protesting ‘black oppression’ in the United States. We’re now hearing that it was actually his girlfriend Nessa’s idea for Colin to protest. Colin and his girlfriend, Nessa Diab, an MTV DJ, are still planning an Islamic-style wedding.”

SNOPES as well, while saying his full conversion is false… notes the following, “…but all of these reports stemmed back to an anonymous tip posted by the sports gossip site Terez Owens in July 2015″:

  • Now we’re hearing he’s transitioning to become a Muslim, according to people close to the player. We received this in our tipbox, Colin’s girlfriend, Hot 97 DJ Nessa, introduced him to the teachings of Islam, and he’s ready to embrace it fully. Our tipster tells us Kaep and Nessa are going to have a traditional Muslim wedding. Colin seems to be all over the place lately.

So let’s have Miss Lahren have her say and then see if we can’t find anything on DJ Nessa, shall we?

This is the basic line so far:

  • There are some facts about Colin Kaepernick that you should know. 1) He recently converted to Islam, 2) His girlfriend,  DJ Nessa Diab, is a prominent activist in Black Lives Matter and is Muslim. She is also a fan of the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. (Uncle Sam’S Misguided Children)

We will build up to Nessa’s background, but first, she has posted a couple of things I would say also influenced Colin. For instance:

And in the recent press conference by Colin discussing his not standing up for the National Anthem, he was wearing this “pro-Cuba/pro-Castro” shirt on:kaepernick2-1

BABALÚ BLOG has some excellent commentary on the shirt:

We’re guessing his t-shirt statement wasn’t satiric. Instead we’re guessing that –owing much to modern American education–this black American athlete is (unwittingly) hailing the man who jailed and tortured the largest number of black political prisoners in the modern history of the Western hemisphere and who craved–and came within a hair of– nuking the nation that has made Kaepernick a multi-MULTI-millionaire.

[…..]

“The Negro is indolent and lazy, and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent.” (Che Guevara)

THE WEEKLY STANDARD continues with the bottom line for Colin:

…However, there was one startling display of ignorance by Kaepernick that makes me think he’s not the best person to listen to on the topic of racial injustice. I’m referring to his attire at the press conference: a Malcolm X hat, and though it’s difficult to make out, his T-shirt is of photos commemorating Malcolm X meeting Fidel Castro.

One can revisit the great civil rights debate over using violence as a means to an end; suffice to say, America’s better off that Martin Luther King, Jr. and his commitment to nonviolence, not Malcolm X and his “by any means necessary” approach, won the day. And this divide is only highlighted by Castro’s harboring of a bunch of American cop killers, such as Assata Shakur and Eldridge Cleaver, who claim their unconscionable and murderous actions were done in the name of “racial justice”.

The biggest problem here is that Kaepernick is seemingly unaware of Castro’s legacy. Aside from Castro dragooning and executing Christians and gays, Castro’s record on racial justice is decidedly not “woke”, as the Internet likes to say. While Cuba’s legacy of racism predates Castro, it’s safe to say overt racism against individuals of African ancestry there remains far more pronounced than it is in the United States. In fact, racism is kind of an unstated official policy: “State-posts, government jobs, or positions in the tourism industry are often allocated on the basis of skin color. Take a look at the top office holders in Cuba. See any black faces there? No,” Mediaite’s AJ Delgado wrote.

Earlier this year, as the White House was normalizing relations with Cuba, the New York Timesdeclared “Cuba Says It Has Solved Racism. Obama Isn’t So Sure.” Obama even addressed the topic of Cuban racism explicitly during his historic visit. But there’s no evidence Obama used his leverage to extract any meaningful reforms to address the issue.

The fact remains that the Cuban government doesn’t deal with racism, because to talk openly about it would be to admit that Cuba’s not the socialist paradise it’s cracked up to be. But don’t take my word for it—Cuban editor Roberto Zurbano wrote an illuminating article about Cuban racism that was translated and published in the New York Times three years ago:

Racism in Cuba has been concealed and reinforced in part because it isn’t talked about. The government hasn’t allowed racial prejudice to be debated or confronted politically or culturally, often pretending instead as though it didn’t exist. Before 1990, black Cubans suffered a paralysis of economic mobility while, paradoxically, the government decreed the end of racism in speeches and publications. To question the extent of racial progress was tantamount to a counterrevolutionary act. This made it almost impossible to point out the obvious: racism is alive and well.

As a result of a critical article about Cuban racism being published in an American newspaper, Zurbano lost his job at the state-sponsored Casa de las Americas cultural center. Colin Kaepernick, on the other hand, appears to be in no danger of losing his decadent, capitalist, multimillion-dollar paycheck for speaking out against his government.

UNCLE SAM’S MISGUIDED CHILDREN notes the above in a powerful and personal way:kaepernick mom and dad white ppl

….Mr. Kaepernick, you have no clue what Oppression feels like. I know exactly what it feels like. I can tell you as a communist survivor who almost saw his family sent to prison because of bringing a drawing of the birth of Christ and telling my 1st grade kids about Jesus.

I remember clearly watching my father being beaten by Castro henchmen right in front of my grandma’s house… all because we were coming to America.

I remember having only a glass of sugar with water because no one would hire my father or mother for fear they would receive the same discrimination.

I understand you embrace communist/socialist ideas, yet I do not see you giving away all of your millions of dollars to charity. And if you hate it here so much, why aren’t you fleeing to North Korea or Cuba?

You are a new Moslem convert who supports an ideology that has kept women oppressed for thousands of years, without even the right to vote or participate in any leadership role without permission of their father or husband.

You talk about ‘oppression’ from the white men, yet your own white parents have given you a college education  and life of  “white privilege.”

History shows that blacks sold blacks into slavery.  Today, the ‘human trade’ as they call it now is predominantly run by Moslem Arabs: the diamond slavery is a huge example.

It shows that no matter how many millions you have, you can still be a slave in your own plantation.

Nessa has been heavily influenced by contact with the Middle-East dues to her fathers job, as San Jose’s paper THE MERCURY NEWS notes:Pig Skin

  • She was born in Southern California, but frequently moved between the U.S. and Middle East growing up, thanks to her father’s job.

STARCASM enlightens us further:

Nessa’s full name is Nessa Diab and she is originally from Southern California. As a child she moved back and forth from California to the Middle East because of her father’s job, and it was during this time that she first began writing songs. “Here is the thing, I was a young girl fearing for my life-I wore gas masks to school,” Nessa said of being present during the Gulf War. “I heard war sirens constantly and I knew at this point I had to break out of this lifestyle.”

I have spent hours looking for her father and why he would be in-n-out of the Middle-East. I contacted a couple fellow bloggers to help in the endeavor. But the connection with radical Islam and the Black Lives Matter movement and their anti-Semitism is unmistakable, CONSERVATIVE TREE-HOUSE:

  • In the social justice arena, there is no daylight between the various BLM activism groups, and activist Islam.   They are interwoven amid every controversial eruption over the past six years.  We have tried to draw attention to it numerous times, but many don’t fully grasp the scope of the relationship between radical Islam and Black Lives Matter.  It’s a symbiosis, a complete synergy in activism and intent.

Keep in mind some key questions remain about Colin and his girlfriend. Was her father connected to radical Islam in some way (say, the Muslim Brotherhood)? What was his job? Maybe she is an elSisi fan? Does she have connections to the Nation of Islam (NOI) or the Nation of Gods and Earths (5%’ers)?

Surely this will be continued!

Newsroom’s Anti-America Scene Bitch Slapped!

  • This television tirade would be of no matter had it stayed in the dystopic universe that is Hollywood, but alas, the [I]nternet has pushed the statement across borders and time. The temptation to go line by line and deconstruct this outburst will be resisted, and would do little but add credence to the inanity. It is, naturally, what is not said that is more important, more enlightening, and more reasonable. (U.S. News & World Report)

(See more at Louder with Crowder)

A thorough slap down and rebuttal to Jeff Daniels’ viral anti-America Newsroom scene, in which he claims that America is not the greatest country in the world. Here are a few examples of the “bait-n-switch” associated with the Newsroom rant:

TWO QUICK EXAMPLES

“Seventh in literacy”

The CIA’s World Factbook has literacy estimates for the nations of the world.  Wikipedia presents those statistics in a form that allows for easy interpretation.  The literacy estimates actually put the U.S. back in the pack numerically, but taking ties into account allows for putting the U.S. at No. 7.  The nations in the top 40 are all pretty close, well above 95 percent literate.  Andorra, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg all report 100 percent literacy.

In other words, we are statistically tied for the front spot. Here is another great example:

“Twenty-second in science”

McAvoy’s speech offers few clues about what measure backed this claim.  Scimago Lab ranks the U.S. a clear No. 1 in peer-reviewed science publishing.  A study released in 2010 dealing with 15-year-old students from 65 nations placed the U.S. at No. 22 in scholastic science achievement.

SAT2015bench

We are, as a country, leading the way in science for the world. Now, I agree that public schools are part of the problem, as the stat used for the Newsroom rant suggests. And just as a note, many “independent” schools that are in the top percentile are not “religious” strictly, but are the fruition of religious people in the community following a classical educational (Trivium) philosophy from the Middle-Ages via the Catholic Church. So, for instance, Trinity Classical Academy in our valley is following a Trivium model founded by religious people… but the school would not be considered “religious” like a baptist school.

But when these independent or even “Baptist” students take their SATs, they do well abover the public school child, often times with less money spent per pupil. In fact, a direct correlation can be made since the founding of the Dept of Education… and it is as more money is spent on education in the public arena, the worse the outcome. Again, to be clear, money is not the issue. ANother myth is that we spend more on the military than education… also not true. It is philosophy.

STARTING POINTS

The right approach

Statistically judging the greatest nation ought to involve looking for a nation that ranks consistently high in favorable categories and consistently low in unfavorable categories, with each category weighted as to relative importance.  Important categories might include the size of the economy, worker productivity, quality of the education system, contributions to scientific research, charitable contributions, economic freedom and median income.

The U.S. ranks highly in each of those categories, even ones mentioned by McAvoy.  And the U.S. ranks No. 1 in another category that speaks to the U.S. standing among the nations:  net migration.  More people come to the U.S. than to any other country.

We won’t seek to make the case that the U.S. is the greatest nation in the world.  But McAvoy said, among other things, that no evidence supports the claim that the U.S. is the greatest nation in the world.  To the contrary, the U.S. consistently ranks high in desirable national statistics and consistently low in undesirable ones.  One can easily make a reasonable case for ranking the United States No. 1.

(Zebra Fact Check)

TWO MORE QUICK EXAMPLES

Here are a couple of “Deconstructions” via In the Margins:

Assertion #2: “We lead the world in only three categories. Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults to believe angels are real, and defense spending.”

False. The U.S. leads the world in a number of categories. Here are a few:

  1. GDP. The U.S. has the largest economy in the world.
  2. Military capability. As McAvoy points out, the U.S. spends a lot of money on its military. What he fails to mention is that those dollars haven’t been completed wasted, and that the country does possess considerable military might. One can easily argue that this isn’t a measure of a nation’s greatness (it’s obviously not on Zack’s list of criteria) but this isn’t what McAvoy is claiming. He’s asserting that the U.S. is only number one in those categories he lists. Now, if Sorkin wanted us to look upon McAvoy as a moron, it would be fine for the character to make a claim that’s so obviously false, but this doesn’t seem to be the intent.
  3. Nobel laureates. The U.S. has the greatest number of Nobel laureates by far (350). Only a few countries mage to break the 100 mark.
  4. Number of patents. At nearly 160,000, the U.S. leads the pack. It has almost as many patents as the #2 and #3 countries (Japan and Germany) put together.
  5. Number of immigrants. At 46 million, the U.S. has almost four times as many foreign-born citizens as the next country on the list (Russia).
  6. Number of Olympic medals. The U.S. has twice as many (about 2700) as the runner-up (Russia).
  7. Foreign aid donations. The U.S. gives $24 billion, almost twice as much as the runner-up (the UK).

Assertion #4: We No Longer Explore the Universe

This part of McAvoy’s rant is perhaps the most nonsensical. The character seems to hearkening to the day when millions of Americans spent the evening glued to their TV sets, watching U.S. astronauts set foot on terrain never before traversed by humankind. While it’s true that those days are gone—for the time being, anyway—the country continues to explore the universe as aggressively as ever. A few examples:

  1. Mars. Of the nine successful Mars missions this century, seven were launched by the U.S. Several are ongoing.
  2. The Solar System. The NEAR spacecraft explored the asteroid Eros. The Cassini-Huygens mission has performed over one hundred flybys of Saturn and Titan, returning specular photos and massive amounts of data.
  3. The Universe. The James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble’s successor, will be able to observe the formation of the first galaxies.

The fact that the general public knows little of these accomplishments makes them no less remarkable, and the notion of McAvoy being ignorant of them—given the manner in which the character is otherwise portrayed—simply makes no sense.

I partly agree with this one in the sense that our current administration has changed the philosophy of NASA:

…One of the more notorious of the administration’s outreach attempts was the failed NASA-Muslim outreach initiative. In July of 2010, NASA chief Charles Bolden said in an interview with Al-Jazeera,  

“When I became the NASA administrator, (President Obama) charged me with three things. One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering.”

Former NASA chief Michael Griffin, who headed the space agency during George W. Bush’s second term, called the Muslim outreach initiative a “perversion” of the mission of NASA:

“NASA was chartered by the 1958 Space Act to develop the arts and sciences of flight in the atmosphere and in space and to go where those technologies will allow us to go,” Griffin said. “That’s what NASA does for the country. It is a perversion of NASA’s purpose to conduct activities in order to make the Muslim world feel good about its contributions to science and mathematics.”…

(Truth Revolt)

And really this circles back around to public education as well. Since the teachers unions and the Dept. of Education are increasingly worried about aspects of education that have more to do with art and social engineering rather than reading, writing, math, science, of course they will fall from scholastic grace.

STATS IN MOVIE SICKO

This is nothing new mind you… this “bait-n-switch.” For instance in Michael Moore’s Sicko he talked up Cuba’s infant mortality rate as better than most countries in the world and attributed that [laughably] to their great health care. But here we notice some number fudging:

…Although Cuba claims to have low infant mortality rates, doctors have said the data is misleading because when there might be indications of problems with the fetus, there is a widespread practice of forced abortions.

Julio Alfonso said, “We personally used to do 70 to 80 abortions a day.” Yanet Sanchez, a Cuban exile, said she was simply told to submit to an abortion. “They told me I should end the pregnancy,” said Sanchez. “It was my very first pregnancy. I wanted to have the child.”

Other doctors have said that if a child dies a few hours after birth, they don’t count it as ever having lived, which ultimately makes infant mortality in Cuba look better than that of the United States…

(ABC News)

The same can be said of dental care.

WAR ON THE POOR?

This small statement by Restoring Liberty on the poverty example from the Newsroom rant is another example of how the “War-on-Poverty” is a sort of “War-on-the-Poor,” like the minimum wage is:

…“War on Poor People,” that’s what we have? If so, blame the class warfare and welfare state created by those that Sorkin supports and adores as heroes on the left.  You want to start a “War on Poverty,” then deregulate, and reduce the tax burden on those doing the work and those starting the businesses that employ people.  Make a competitive environment for business, instead of casting them as the enemy, and you will have jobs and prosperity, and sense of self worth instilled in your citizenry.

You don’t “fight” poverty anyway, you increase prosperity…

Yep, that is a distinction leftist Democrats do not get:

(Above video) Larry Elder gets the Lo-Down of where we stand after we spent 22-trilion on fighting poverty from Robert Rector, a leading authority on poverty, welfare programs and immigration in America for three decades, is The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow in domestic policy. See his article on this.

WAGE GAPS

I will end with another example of how gender equality at the World Economic Forum is misused to make a political point rather than a factual point:

The “Global Index of Peace” works in similar fashion to the Global Gender Gap Study sponsored by the World Economic Forum. Professor, scholar, and feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers explains where such endeavors go wrong:

We can see that the idea that women are payed less than men (.76-cents for every man’s dollar) is a false stat misused by the like of Hollywood AND Democrats.

Leftist Ideals Exemplified ~ Cuba vs. North Carolina

Description of the above audio: Worst President Ever

Andrew dissects Obama’s insane interaction with Raoul Castro;

and discusses how a culture of narcissism weakens capitalism

  • New York’s Democratic governor banned state travel to North Carolina this week, citing its residents’ supposed lack of equal protection under the law, weeks after he announced efforts to facilitate travel from New York to Cuba, which is ruled by a repressive communist dictatorship that routinely imprisons political dissenters. (Washington Free Beacon)

Gay Patriot opines well:

The left-wing Governor of New York is banning state employees from traveling to North Carolina, on the basis that barring biological males from using the women’s bathroom is the worst violation of Human Rights in the History of Everything.

On the other hand, traveling to the Communist Island Gulag of Cuba is something he supports and encourages.

[….]

I guess the difference is that northeastern leftists prefer Communists to Southern Christians; [you see,] they understand Communists.

Allen West links to this article at Mental Recession:

…Symbolism aside, this is the same Democrat Governor who recently traveled to Cuba to establish trade relations with a country notorious for their poor civil and human rights record.

Cuba has no anti-discrimination laws currently regarding the provisions of goods and services. None. They have no anti-discrimination laws regarding hate speech against particular groups. But they do have a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage.

Yet Cuomo seems perfectly fine with that.

North Carolina’s alleged intolerance – Bad. Cuba’s proven intolerance – *shrug*…

“The Last Communist City” ~ A City-Journal Article (Updated)

Before the WONDERFUL article…

…one should also consider C-SPANs interview “Book Discussion on Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant” ~ the discussing Cuba, Fidel, Che Guevara, and their “useful idiots,” is Humberto Fontova. His Amazon.com page has three books on Cuba available. Here is the truncated video interview:

  • Inside the BookTV Bus, Humberto Fontova was interviewed about his book Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant, published by Regnery Publishing. He spoke about the media’s affixation with the Cuban dictator. Mr. Fontova also discussed political prisoners and a decline in health care.

I want to say, firstly, our of all the politically/culturally minded journals I subscribe to, The City Journal is by far the best, if one were to subscribe to one journal, this would be it. Here are a few excerpts from the article, “The Last Communist City: A visit to the dystopian Havana that tourists never see

…Marxists have ruled Cuba for more than a half-century now. Fidel Castro, Argentine guerrilla Che Guevara, and their 26th of July Movement forced Fulgencio Batista from power in 1959 and replaced his standard-issue authoritarian regime with a Communist one. The revolutionaries promised liberal democracy, but Castro secured absolute power and flattened the country with a Marxist-Leninist battering ram. The objectives were total equality and the abolition of money; the methods were total surveillance and political prisons. The state slogan, then and now, is “socialism or death.”

Cuba was one of the world’s richest countries before Castro destroyed it—and the wealth wasn’t just in the hands of a tiny elite. “Contrary to the myth spread by the revolution,” wrote Alfred Cuzan, a professor of political science at the University of West Florida, “Cuba’s wealth before 1959 was not the purview of a privileged few. . . . Cuban society was as much of a middle-class society as Argentina and Chile.” In 1958, Cuba had a higher per-capita income than much of Europe. “More Americans lived in Cuba prior to Castro than Cubans lived in the United States,” Cuban exile Humberto Fontova, author of a series of books about Castro and Guevara, tells me. “This was at a time when Cubans were perfectly free to leave the country with all their property. In the 1940s and 1950s, my parents could get a visa for the United States just by asking. They visited the United States and voluntarily returned to Cuba. More Cubans vacationed in the U.S. in 1955 than Americans vacationed in Cuba. Americans considered Cuba a tourist playground, but even more Cubans considered the U.S. a tourist playground.” Havana was home to a lot of that prosperity, as is evident in the extraordinary classical European architecture that still fills the city. Poor nations do not—cannot—build such grand or elegant cities.

But rather than raise the poor up, Castro and Guevara shoved the rich and the middle class down. The result was collapse. “Between 1960 and 1976,” Cuzan says, “Cuba’s per capita GNP in constant dollars declined at an average annual rate of almost half a percent. The country thus has the tragic distinction of being the only one in Latin America to have experienced a drop in living standards over the period.”

Communism destroyed Cuba’s prosperity, but the country experienced unprecedented pain and deprivation when Moscow cut off its subsidies after the fall of the Soviet Union. Journalist and longtime Cuba resident Mark Frank writes vividly about this period in his book Cuban Revelations. “The lights were off more than they were on, and so too was the water. . . . Food was scarce and other consumer goods almost nonexistent. . . . Doctors set broken bones without anesthesia. . . . Worm dung was the only fertilizer.” He quotes a nurse who tells him that Cubans “used to make hamburgers out of grapefruit rinds and banana peels; we cleaned with lime and bitter orange and used the black powder in batteries for hair dye and makeup.” “It was a haunting time,” Frank wrote, “that still sends shivers down Cubans’ collective spines.”…

Some equate Cuba to Iraq or Afghanistan. The author of the article, after being told this by a fellow travelor responded to this in the article:

I visited Iraq seven times during the war and didn’t have the heart to tell her that Baghdad, while ugly and dangerous, is vastly freer and more prosperous these days than Havana. Anyway, Iraq is precisely the kind of country with which Castro wants you to compare Cuba. It’s the wrong comparison. So are impoverished Third World countries like Guatemala and Haiti. Cuba isn’t a developing country; it’s a once-developed country destroyed by its own government. Havana was a magnificent Western city once. It should be compared not with Baghdad, Kabul, Guatemala City, or Port-au-Prince but with formerly Communist Budapest, Prague, or Berlin. Havana’s history mirrors theirs, after all.

[….]

…As for the free health care, patients have to bring their own medicine, their own bedsheets, and even their own iodine to the hospital. Most of these items are available only on the illegal black market, moreover, and must be paid for in hard currency—and sometimes they’re not available at all. Cuba has sent so many doctors abroad—especially to Venezuela, in exchange for oil—that the island is now facing a personnel shortage. “I don’t want to say there are no doctors left,” says an American man who married a Cuban woman and has been back dozens of times, “but the island is now almost empty. I saw a banner once, hanging from somebody’s balcony, that said, DO I NEED TO GO TO VENEZUELA FOR MY HEADACHE?

Housing is free, too, but so what? Americans can get houses in abandoned parts of Detroit for only $500—which makes them practically free—but no one wants to live in a crumbling house in a gone-to-the-weeds neighborhood. I saw adequate housing in the Cuban countryside, but almost everyone in Havana lives in a Detroit-style wreck, with caved-in roofs, peeling paint, and doors hanging on their hinges at odd angles.

Education is free, and the country is effectively 100 percent literate, thanks to Castro’s campaign to teach rural people to read shortly after he took power. But the regime has yet to make a persuasive argument that a totalitarian police state was required to get the literacy rate from 80 percent to 100 percent. After all, almost every other country in the Western Hemisphere managed the same feat at the same time, without the brutal repression.

Cuba is short of everything but air and sunshine. In her book, Sánchez describes an astonishing appearance by Raúl Castro on television, during which he boasted that the economy was doing so well now that everyone could drink milk. “To me,” Sánchez wrote, “someone who grew up on a gulp of orange-peel tea, the news seemed incredible.” She never thought she’d see the day. “I believed we would put a man on the moon, take first place among all nations in the upcoming Olympics, or discover a vaccine for AIDS before we would put the forgotten morning café con leche, coffee with milk, within reach of every person on this island.” And yet Raúl’s promise of milk for all was deleted from the transcription of the speech in Granma, the Communist Party newspaper. He went too far: there was not enough milk to ensure that everyone got some.

Even things as simple as cooking oil and soap are black-market goods. Individuals who, by some illegal means or another, manage to acquire such desirables will stand on street corners and whisper “cooking oil” or “sugar” to passersby, and then sell the product on the sly out of their living room. If they’re caught, both sellers and buyers will be arrested, of course, but the authorities can’t put the entire country in jail. “Everyone cheats,” says Eire. “One must in order to survive. The verb Ωto steal≈ has almost vanished from usage. Breaking the rules is necessary. Resolví mi problema, which means ‘I solved my problem,’ is the Cuban way of referring to stealing or cheating or selling on the black market.”

Cuba has two economies now: the national Communist economy for the majority; and a quasi-capitalist one for foreigners and the elite…

[….]

…The Floridita bar in downtown Havana was one of Ernest Hemingway’s hangouts when he lived there (from 1940 until 1960, the year after Castro came to power). He was in the Floridita all the time—and, in a way, he still is. There’s a statue of him sitting on his favorite bar stool, grinning at today’s patrons. The décor is exactly the same, but there’s a big difference: everyone in the bar these days is a tourist. Cubans aren’t strictly banned any more, but a single bottle of beer costs a week’s salary. No one would blow his dismal paycheck on that.

If he were still around, Hemingway would be stunned to see what has happened to his old haunt. Cubans certainly aren’t happy about it, but the tourists are another story—especially the world’s remaining Marxoid fellow travelers, who show up in Havana by the planeload. Such people are clearly unteachable. I got into an argument with one at the Floridita when I pointed out that none of the patrons were Cuban. “There are places in the United States that some can’t afford,” she retorted. Sure, but come on. Not even the poorest Americans have to pay a week’s wage for a beer…

[….]

…An advertisement in my hotel claimed that the Sierra Maestra restaurant on the top floor is “probably” the best in Havana. I had saved the Sierra Maestra for my last night and rode the elevator up to the 25th floor. I had my first and only steak on the island and washed it down with Chilean red wine. The tiny bill set me back no more than having a pizza delivered at home would, but the total nevertheless exceeded an entire month’s local salary. Not surprisingly, I ate alone. Every other table was empty. The staff waited on me as if I were the president of some faraway minor republic.

I stared at the city below out the window as I sipped my red wine. Havana looked like a glittering metropolis in the dark. Night washed away the rot and the grime and revealed nothing but city lights. It occurred to me that Havana will look mostly the same—at night, anyway—after it is liberated from the tyrannical imbeciles who govern it now. I tried to pretend that I was looking out on a Cuba that was already free and that the tables around me were occupied—by local people, not foreigners—but the fantasy faded fast. I was all alone at the top of Cuba’s Elysium and yearning for home—where capitalism’s inequalities are not so jagged and stark.

You Should READ It All!

ReasonTV:

John Stossle & Daily Beast:

Cuban’s in L.A. Fighting Castro:

Sen. Marco Rubion on Jay-Z:

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