Federal Sugar Subsidies Destroying Everglades – Pepe Fanjul Contributions To GOP – Brother Alfy Fanjul Contributes To Democrats! Real Reason US Stymies Cuba: SUGAR! Communism Is NOT The Reason USA Embargoes Cuba – It’s Just The EXCUSE! Foreign Policy As Bribery Via Lobbying Once Again – RI10 – Originally Published At Blog-City February 26, 2008 + RECENT UPDATES

 


 

The Mariel Boatlift was a mass movement of Cubans who departed from Cuba’s Mariel Harbor for the United States between April 15 and October 31, 1980.

 

The boatlift was precipitated by a sharp downturn in the Cuban economy, leading to simmering internal tensions on the island and a bid by up to 10,000 Cubans to gain asylum in the Peruvian embassy.

 

The Cuban government subsequently announced that anyone who wanted to leave could do so, and an impromptu exodus organized by Cuban-Americans with the agreement of Cuban President Fidel Castro was underway. The boatlift began to have negative political implications for U.S. President Jimmy Carter when it was discovered that a number of the exiles had been released from Cuban jails and mental health facilities. The exodus was ended by mutual agreement between the two governments in October 1980. By that time up to 125,000 Cubans had made the journey to Florida.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariel_boatlift

 

Tabacco: It would be disingenuous to blame the entire US Cuban Foreign Policy on the Fanjul family or the Mariel Boatlift. Let’s just attribute them together with the lion’s share of blame. Tabacco always attempts to be fair. I’ve had plans for an article about this “Dark Day” in American history (Mariel Boatlift). So I’m saving that for another day.

 

The above-article on Wikipedia is biased, deliberately secretive about those Mariel Boatpeople, who did not come directly from jail. They are CRIMINALS too! All those Cubans in Florida are Criminals against Humanity. They are Capitalists, who formerly ruled Cuba under Batista and in cahoots with the US Mafia. But because there is no difference, only a distinction, between US Capitalists and Cuban Capitalists, nobody dumps on the Mariel Boatpeople, except for the jailbirds, or American Capitalists with the exception of a few honest people such as this blog’s author. (I get so tired of blowing my own horn, so I omit my blog identity for once).


Federal Sugar Subsidy Helps Destroy Florida Everglades

10/24/99

*******************************

RELAYED TEXT STARTS HERE:

 

Title: Sour Deal: Federal Sugar Subsidy

Source: Charleston Gazette (South Carolina) letter to the editor

Status: Copyright 1999, contact source for permission to reprint

Date: October 24, 1999

Byline: Shireen I. Parsons

 

Every year, federal subsidies put billions of dollars into the pockets of sugar cane magnates. Flush with cash, they spend millions buying politicians and blunting reform efforts to halt the continuing destruction of the unique environment in the Florida Everglades.

 

In “The Sweet Hereafter”, in the November Harper’s, writer Paul Roberts documents the long-term costs of subsidizing sugar.

 

Three counties south of Lake Okeechobee produce more than half the nation’s sugar cane. Cane fields have destroyed the natural saw-grass marsh over an area the size of Rhode Island.

 

Every acre is irrigated and drained with a costly series of pumps, dams, dikes and canals. Tax dollars pay for it all.

 

Federal sugar programs keep domestic prices at least 50 percent above world market prices. Artificially high prices encourage sugar growing in what would otherwise be economically marginal swampland.

 

“Like Elvis or sex,” Roberts writes, “sugar is everywhere and in everything – our economy and politics, our language and demographic makeup, our physiology and mass psychology, and, of course, our diet”.

 

Roberts dates Florida’s sugar boom to the Cuban revolution. Shortly after Fidel Castro came to power, the United States embargoed sugar, cigars and everything else made in Cuba.

 

To replace lost imports, Florida’s sugar-cane acreage jumped tenfold by the mid-1960s.

 

The biggest victim was the Everglades. The annual breeding population of elegant wood storks dropped from 20,000 in 1960 to 1,800 today.

 

The endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow population dwindled from tens of thousands to 3,500. Biologists say this vanishing bird shows the declining health of the Everglades.

 

The key reforms are reducing phosphorus runoff from cane fields and restoring natural water flows.

 

But sugar cane cash still has the upper hand with politicians from both parties. Consider these facts:

 

In 1992, the Fanjul family, with vast holdings in Florida and the

Dominican Republic, began playing both sides of the political game.

Pepe Fanjul was vice chairman of the Bush-Quayle Finance Committee. Alfy Fanjul backed Clinton and Gore and hosted a $120,000 fund-raiser.

 

After Clinton won, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt came up with a plan to save the Everglades very similar to one created by Alfy

Fanjul. Taxpayers got to pay more than half the $700 million it would cost to filter pollutants from water flowing to the Everglades.

 

In 1996, sugar interests spent $25 million in an advertising campaign to successfully counter an environmental campaign run by Save Our Everglades.

 

In 1998, sugar interests in Florida spent $26 million on state political efforts from winning referendums to electing Republican Jeb Bush as governor.

 

Between 1990 and 1998, sugar interests spent $13 million on presidential and congressional races.

 

Today, domestic producers sell sugar at 22 cents a pound. Producers in most other nations get 8 cents. America’s artificial price prop adds $1.4 billion to the shopping bills of U.S. consumers each year.

 

People like the Fanjuls get the best of both worlds. Owning half of all sugar lands in the Dominican Republic, they raise sugar cheaply, import it, then sell at artificially high U.S. prices.

 

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., calls the federal sugar subsidy program “one of the most invidious, inefficient, Byzantine, special-interest, Depression-era federal programs”.

 

Vice President Al Gore’s plan to restore the Everglades over 20 years would cost taxpayers $8 billion. His program is backed by several environmental groups. But, Roberts point out, Gore’s bill does nothing to regulate or curtail the vast sugar fields that created the problem in the first place. And the Fanjuls keep raising money for the Democrats.

 

Maybe the obstacles are just too great. Unions back sugar because they fear thousands of jobs could go overseas. Politicians back sugar because they get paid so well. And, all the while, Americans are paying nearly three times too much for sugar.

 

Shireen I. Parsons

Christiansburg, Virginia

USA

 

“There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousand truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away”.

- Henry Ward Beecher

http://forests.org/archive/america/deelsour.htm

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What is the Everglades Trust?

A: A 501(c)(4) corporation of non-elected board appointees, created to ensure Everglades restoration is completed on time and on budget. The Everglades Trust is committed to defend America’s Everglades and hold polluters and lawmakers accountable.

 

Q: How will the Everglades be restored?

A: The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was approved in 2000. Made up of over 60 major components, the CERP is a $7.8 billion, thirty-year plan. The plan is designed to repair the ecosystem of the Everglades to the conditions in which it was in before Everglades drainage began to destroy the natural water flow.

 

Q. Have any of the more than 60 component projects been authorized?

A: Yes, in 2000, 4 pilot projects at a total cost of $69 million:

 

   1. Caloosahatchee River (C-43) Basin ASR

   2. Lake Belt In-Ground Reservoir Technology

   3. L-31 N Seepage Management

   4. Wastewater Reuse Technology

 

And 10 projects and the Adaptive Assessment and Monitoring Program at a cost of $1.1 billion:

 

   1. C-44 Basin Storage Reservoir

   2. EAA Storage Reservoirs–Phase 1

   3. Site 1 Impoundment

   4. WCAs 3A/3B Levee Seepage Management

   5. C-11 Impoundment and Stormwater Treatment Area

   6. C-9 Impoundment and Stormwater Treatment Area

   7. Taylor Creek/Nubbin Slough Storage and Treatment Area

   8. Raise and Bridge East Portion of Tamiami Trail/Fill Miami Canal within WCA3

   9. North New River Improvements

  10. C-111 Spreader Canal

 

Q: How many of the authorized projects have been completed or are underway?

A: None. Florida Big Sugar has been successful at delaying the Restoration at every juncture.

 

Q: Do sugar crops play a major role in American culture?

A: No. The crops play an exceptionally small role in agriculture. They are planted on less than one percent of the nation’s farms, and account for less than one percent of the planted acreage, and little more than one percent of total cash receipts from farming.

 

Q: Do sugar imports threaten the domestic sugar industry?

A: No. Sugar imports are declining, not increasing. When the Government’s sugar subsidy program was adopted in 1981, imports totaled over 5 million tons. Today, they are little more than one million tons because the program stimulated a tremendous increase in domestic production.

 

Q: Is the Federal Sugar Program needed to protect consumers from high sugar prices?

A: No. It is estimated that consumers pay an extra $2 Billion annually in higher food prices.

 

Q. Does the sugar subsidy program merely provide a “safety net” designed to protect sugar producers and processors from bankruptcy?

A: No. It’s not a “safety net,” it’s a “hammock.” The program guarantees a profit to even the most inefficient of producers, and provides a windfall to the efficient producers, many of whom are corporations.

 

Q: Do other commodities receive the same protection?

A: No. The price supports provided to sugar producers are far more generous than the supports for other food crops.

 

Q: Is it a true market price, if world sugar is dumped on the market?

A: Three of the largest exporters, Australia, Brazil, and Thailand, are able to expand production and exports at world prices without the aid of subsidies. The U.S. price of raw sugar is currently three times the world price.

 

Q: Is the sugar program a burden on taxpayers?

A: In 1984, Commodity Credit Corporation sales of forfeited sugar cost the taxpayers $83,000,000. The program forces the government to pay millions more for its purchase of sugar and sugar containing products. In 2000 the cost to taxpayers was $459 Million for the loan default-buy back program.

 

Q: How much of the sugar subsidy benefits go to Florida privately-owned corporations (Big Sugar)?

A: $130,000,000 to the Fanjuls (Flo-Sun Corporation) and $95,000,000 to the Mott Foundation (51% owner of U.S. Sugar Corporation) in 1996 dollars.

 

Q: I’ve heard the sugar industry employs 420,000 Americans. Is this true?

A: USDA and Census data indicates that the sugar industry only employs from 40,000 to 70,000 people nationwide. And many of these are seasonal laborers. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in the cane sugar refining and the food processing industries as a result of the subsidy program.

http://www.evergladestrust.org/faq.shtml


Tabacco: The Fanjuls are Skunks, not the only Skunks in this drama, but the Primary Sugar Skunks. But I felt it incumbent to say something about the Everglades besides “it is being destroyed”.

 

From this point forward, this Post becomes pedantic, tediously detailed Everglades Case Studies, interesting only to the most avid and intellectually gifted readers (UNTIL UPDATES AT END OF POST). Tabacco admits without shame that I publish it without benefit of having read it myself. But in good conscience, I felt that omitting it would deny those of you, who trust Tabacco to be not only truthful, but comprehensive, regardless how boring the text may be. But even Tabacco has his limits! So after that disclaimer, I give you:

 

TED Case Studies

 

Everglades and Trade

 

          CASE NUMBER:         106

          CASE MNEMONIC:      EVER

          CASE NAME:          Everglade Sugar Farms

 

A.        IDENTIFICATION

 

1.        The Issue

 

     The rich marshlands of southern Florida known as the

Everglades are in jeopardy.  The Everglades are half the size

they were in 1900 and many species that once called the

Everglades home are now extinct.  Over the last several decades,

major engineering projects have drained the area for agriculture

and residential development.  The sugar cane industry is one of

the largest contributors to this deterioration.  As a result, the

sugar cane industry has spent many years in court fighting

lawsuits.  However, in May, 1994, the Florida legislature passed

the Everglades Forever Act, which calls for a multi-million

dollar restoration plan over several decades.  The case also

depends on U.S. trade quotas that limit foreign sugar imports.

 

2.        Description

 

     In the early 20th century the Everglades were seen as a

troublesome swamp that would be better off drained and plugged

up.  After a series of hurricanes flooded the area and killed a

number people that is exactly what happened.  In 1948 the Army

Corps of Engineers created the Central and Southern Florida

Project for Flood Control and Other Purposes whose “mission was

to make the coast safe for development, the interior south of

Lake Okeechobee safe for farming, and areas like the park secure

for plants and animals.”

 

     The army divided the Everglades into four major reservoirs

including the Everglades Agricultural Area and the Everglades

National Park.  A system of levees and canals border these

reservoirs and control their water flow.  The problem with the

system is that the South Florida Water Management District, who

controls water flow in the everglades, releases water in the

wrong area at the wrong time.

 

     Environmentalists have challenged this project from its

inception.  In 1983, they found a sympathizer in Governor Bob

Graham.  When he came to office he launched the Save Our

Everglades Campaign with the purpose of restoring the Everglades

to its condition at the beginning of the century.  Many

organizations have joined the fight to save the everglades.  Over the years these groups have gone to battle several times with the major sugar companies in an attempt to save the Everglades.  The courts have had to decide what role the sugarcane industry should play in the restoration of the Everglades.  Early last year the Florida Supreme Court rejected a proposed penny-per-pound tax on raw sugar to fund the everglades restoration project.  The state did however reach an agreement with the sugar companies in May of 1994.  The agreement requires the sugar companies to pay at least $230 million for cleanup and to reduce the phosphorus runoff from their farms, but allows the industry to stay in business.

 

     The Everglades now has 440,000 acres of sugar cane and the

major sugar companies in Florida have of course resisted this

restoration effort.  They challenge the part of the plan that

requires them to pay for the cleanup of the polluted saw grass

marshes.  The fertilizers used in harvesting sugar cane contain

chemicals that are harmful to the Everglades eco-system.  The

farming of the sugarcane also causes phosphorus and nitrogen to

be released from the soil.  The nitrogen and phosphorus then flow

down stream from the agricultural areas, causing ecological

damage in the saw grass marshes.

 

     There are many native species that call the everglades home

that have been endangered by the nutrient runoff from the sugar

farms.  This includes animals like alligators, crocodiles,

panthers, turtles, and over 300 bird species of birds, notably,

the Everglades kite, short-tailed hawk, bald eagle, osprey,

peregrine falcon, wood ibis, roseate spoonbill, mangrove cuckoo,

and Cape-Sable sparrow.  The Everglades are also rich in plant

life, such as the lilypad, water shield, sawgrass, bald cypress,

and palmetto.  In the freshwater rivers that run through the saw

grass prairies there are many types of fish such as the large

mouth bass and bluegill.  However, because of the nutrient runoff

they are loaded with mercury, and therefore unfit for human

consumption.  The excess of nutrients has caused changes in

periphyton, the algal base of the Everglades marshes, and created

an eruption of cattails that are choking the live out of this

wildlife.   

 

3.        Related Cases

 

     LESOTHO case

     COCOA case

     COFFEE case

 

     Keyword Clusters        

 

     (1): Trade Product            = OIL

     (2): Bio-geography            = TROPical

     (3): Environmental Problem    = DEFORestation

 

4.        Draft Author:  Kimberly L. Mott

 

B.        LEGAL CLUSTER

 

5.        Discourse and Status: AGREE and COMPlete

 

     As was stated above there have been several court cases

involving the sugarcane industry’s role in the destruction of the

everglades and what should be done to restore its ecosystem.  The

discourse of this case is agreement.  One of the major sugar

companies, FLO-SUN Inc., agreed in January of last year to pay as

much as $100 million to finance the cleanup of the phosphorus

runoff from their farms.  the U.S. Sugar Corporation, the other

major producer in South Florida, declined to join the agreement.

However, as of January, 1994 the state reached an agreement with

the sugar growers requiring them to pay their part in the cleanup

effort.

 

6.        Forum and Scope: USA and UNILAteral

 

7.        Decision Breath: 1 (USA)

 

8.        Legal Standing: SUBLAW

 

     The legal standing of the case is sublaw because it involves

agreements in state law.  In May, 1994, the Florida Legislature

passed the Everglades Forever Act, which calls for a multimillion

dollar restoration plan over several decades.  About 40,000 acres

of man-made filtration marsh are scheduled to be constructed to

reduce the level of phosphorus in water flowing into conservation

areas and eventually into the Everglades National Park.  In the

future some of the acreage for the filtration marshes could be

taken from land currently in sugar cane production.

 

C.        GEOGRAPHIC Clusters

 

9.        Geographic Locations

 

     a.   Geographic Domain:  North America [NAMER]

     b.   Geographic Site:    Eastern North America [ENAMER]   

     c.   Geographic Impact:  USA

 

10.       Sub-National Factors: YES

 

     There are sub-national factors associated with this case

because it involves the State of Florida.

 

11.       Type of Habitat: TEMPerate

 

D.        TRADE Clusters

 

12.       Type of Measure: SUBSIDY

 

     In 1981, the U.S. Congress passed the Farm Bill establishing

a full system of sugar price supports.  Under the bill, the

government loans money to the sugar mills, accepting sugar in the

case of default.  It also set an artificial selling price for

sugar called the “market stabilization price.”  In 1982, Congress

established quotas and tariff levels on sugar to keep domestic

prices high in order to guarantee the industry against losses.

When prices dropped below the artificial MSP in 1985 the mills

forfeited the sugar in order to keep the loan money.  To avoid

any more expensive forfeitures the government now severely

restricts imports to keep sugar prices artificially high.

 

      The current import quota system allows entry at the rate of

0.625 cents per pound, except sugar from the Caribbean Basin

Initiative countries and the Generalized System of Preferences

countries, that enter duty free.  Any non-quota sugar entering

the U.S. for consumption is subject to a duty of 16 cents per

pound.  However, with the passage of the new GATT agreement, it

will be raised to 17 cents per pound in 1995 and then pushed down

to 14.45 cents per pound over 6 years.  Because of the sugar

program Americans are force to pay higher prices on virtually

every product that contains sugar.

 

13.       Direct vs. Indirect Impacts: INDirect

 

     The impact on trade is indirect because the laws being

implemented as a result of the case are environmental which have

an indirect effect on trade.

 

14.       Relation of Measure to Environmental Impact

 

     a.   Directly Related         : NO

     b.   Indirectly Related       : YES  SUGAR

     c.   Not Related              : NO

     d.   Process Related          : YES  HABITat Loss

 

     In this case there are no trade laws that have been created

because of the environmental problems in the case.  The laws that

were created are simply for restitution of damages caused by the

sugar industry to the ecosystem of the Everglades.

 

15.       Trade Product Identification: SUGAR (Raw)

 

16.       Economic Data

 

     Based on information reported in the 1990 Book of Vital

World Statistics and The 1994 Statistical Abstract of The United

States the sugar industry’s total output was 6,415 in 1988 and

there were a total of 1,655 people employed in the food industry

in 1993. Industry output in 1934 was 110.24 million metric tons

and employment totaled 18,000 workers in 1993.

 

17.       Impact of Measure on Trade Competitiveness: MEDium

 

     Because this case forces the sugar industry to pay for the

environmental problems it has created in the Everglades, the cost

for that restitution is then passed on to the consumer.  As was

mentioned above, because of the sugar program Americans are

forced to pay not just an extra 60 cents on every five-pound bag

of sugar but higher prices on almost every product that contains

sugar.

 

18.       Industry Sector: FOOD

 

19.       Exporters and Importers:  USA and MANY

 

     The following information is based on data from the 1992 FAO

Yearbook and The 1994 USDA Sugar and Sweetener Situation and

Outlook Report.  For fiscal 1995, the regional distribution of

sugar deliveries is expected to be the strongest in the North-

Central States because of the high concentration of industrial

users such as the confectionery, bakery, and cereal industries in

these states.  Sugar deliveries to the North-Central States

totaled 2.98 million tons in fiscal 1994 and deliveries to the

South totaled 2.55 million tons.

 

     The United States exported 242.9 thousand metric tons of

sugar in 1993/94.   U.S. refiners export domestic sugar under the

reexport program and deferring the import of raw sugar to 1996,

due to spreads between nearby and distant futures prices.  This

is reducing the availability of sugar for the domestic market. In

comparison Cuba exported 3.20 million metric tons in 1993/94. 

 

     Cuba remains heavily dependent on sugar exports to generate

income to buy food, oil, consumer goods, and production inputs on

the world market.  While higher world prices can be expected to

generate improved per unit export revenue, lower export volume is

likely to dampen Cuba’s sugar export earnings potential in fiscal

1995.  The Russian Federation imported 3.15 million metric tons

in this period.  The principle source of imported raw sugar

continues to be Cuba, which supplied Russia with 1 million tons

of raw sugar in exchange for 2.5 million tons of oil.

 

E.        ENVIRONMENTAL Clusters

 

20.       Environmental Problem Type: HABITat Loss

 

     The sugar industry applies to both general habitat loss and

bio-diversity loss because the phosphorus run off from the

agricultural area destroys the general habitat of the Everglades

in turn causing bio-diversity loss.

 

21.       Name, Type, and Diversity of Species

 

     Land species, such as alligators, and air species, such as

birds, lose their feeding grounds because of phosphorus

destruction and die off.  Sea species loss includes stone crabs,

dolphins, sharks, and barracuda because the phosphorus runoff

eventually reaches Florida Bay, polluting it.  Sink problems

include accumulations phosphorus and nitrogen.

 

     Name:          Sugar

     Type:          Plant

     Diversity:     19,473 higher plants per 10,000 km/sw (USA)

 

22.       Impact and Effect: High and REGULatory

 

23.       Urgency and Lifetime: LOW and 100s of Years

 

     Many of these species could be gone by the year 2000 if

something is not done the change the current situation.

 

24.       Substitutes: SYNTHetic

 

     This case can apply to both the development of synthetic

alternatives such as NutraSweet and switching to like products

such as honey.  However, replacing sugar with substitutes would

hurt the industry and causes severe job loss.

 

F.        OTHER Factors

 

25.       Culture:  No 

 

26.       Trans-Boundary Issues: No 

 

27.       Rights; YES

 

     The sugar companies in Florida such as U.S. Sugar Corp. and

FLO-SUN Inc. hires considerable amounts of labor and some times

abuses them.1  U.S. Sugar was indicted for slavery in 1942 for

its treatment of African-American workers, so the company began

hiring Jamaican workers the following season.  The companies

turned to the West Indies because there is an inexhaustible

source of labor.  The sugar industry as a whole has been

employing Jamaican and other Caribbean cutters since 1944.  The

growers prefer Caribbean workers because they are able to export

them if labor disputes arise.  Men from the West Indies are

employed on a temporary basis for a few months during the

harvest.  The workers live in camps near the sugar fields in run

down barracks with no privacy.  The stalls in the bathrooms do

not even have doors.  Employers frequently cheat the workers on

their wages and force them to work in conditions near those of

slavery.

 

28.       Relevant Literature

 

Billington, Thomas H.  “The Unsweetened Truth About Sugar

     Subsidies.” Reader’s Digest  August, 1987: 51-54.

Binger, Al.  “Unintended Consequences.”  EPA Journal

July/August,

     1990: 44-45.

Carney, James.  “Last Gasp for the Everglades.”  Time

     September 26, 1989: 26-27.

Cushman, John H. Jr.  “Negotiations to Restore Everglades

     Collapse.”  The New York Times  December 17, 1993,

     A:32.

Cushman, John H. Jr.  “Everglades Clash Threatens Accords.”

     The New York Times  December 19, 1993, 1:31.

Cushman, John H. Jr.  “Growers Pushed to Help Everglades.”

     The New York Times  January 16, 1994, 1:18.

Derr, Mark.  “Redeeming the Everglades.”  Audubon

     September/October, 1993: 48+.

Douglas, Sue.  “Save The Everglades.”  Oceans, March,

     1985: 3-9.

Jackson, Jerry.  “Mexico Imports Pose Challenge; Trade Pact

     Threatens To Drive Many Farmers Out Of Business Florida

     Forecast.”  The Orlando Sentinel January 9, 1995

     (Lexis/Nexis).

Levison, Marc and Peter Katel.  “Not So Sweet in Sugar Land.”

     Newsweek October 14, 1991: 49.

Kriz, Margaret.  “Mending the Marsh.”  National Journal  March

     12, 1994: 588-593.

Noah, Timothy.  “Flo-Sun Negotiates Cleanup of Runoff From

     Everglades.”  Wall Street Journal  January 14, 1994, A:

     12.

                          References

 

1.   Timothy Noah,  “Flo-Sun Negotiates Cleanup of Runoff From

Everglades,”  Wall Street Journal, January 14, 1994, A:12.

http://www.american.edu/TED/ever.htm

 

 

2015 UPDATES


Tabacco’s Original Post at Blog-City, published February 26, 2008, was No. 146 on All-Time List with 3,887 Hits!

 

The Title has been edited to reflect events since 2008. From this point on all Text is additional to the Original.

 

 

REMEMBER ELIAN GONZALEZ?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eli%C3%A1n_Gonz%C3%A1lez_affair

 

Tabacco: Eventually US Courts ruled Elian had to return to his Father in Cuba. At the time I admit I wanted the boy to stay in America where he could have a ‘Good Life’!

 

Today, I am not at all certain that Americans have ‘Good Lives’! Possessions and Conveniences? Definitely! But if that is the Sum Total of a Good Existence, then somebody here is terribly Confused! We live in a Capitalist Oz, without Democracy, without Truths, without Virtues, without Ethics, and without any Future worth living.

 

Those mistaken Foreigners, who yearn to come to these shores, have no idea! They – if they get to live here – will trade Humanity for Capitalism. And that is a Trade they will lose and rue!

 

Americans are deliberately UNDEREDUCATED because an EDUCATED HIGH SCHOOL GRAD would NOT be HAPPY working at McDonald’s, Burger King or IHOP until the age of RETIREMENT!

 

Today I inquired of the male cashier at Pathmark on Deer Park Avenue, “How much is 7 times 9?” He didn’t know! The Cash Register has all the brains – the Cashiers have all the iPhones!

 

Elian Then & Now:


http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=elian+gonzalez+today&id=783EE04E39D2A9EE31876A6C60ECB884016A15E1&FORM=IQFRBA

{{{To increase the size of ALL IMAGES, Click once on that Image! To return to this Text, Click Backwards Pointing Arrow at Top-Left! (<) }}}

 

REMEMBER MARIEL BOATLIFT?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariel_boatlift

 

REMEMBER CUBAN REVOLUTION?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Revolution

 

Background and causes

Fulgencio Batista, who had served as the elected President of Cuba from 1940 to 1944, became President for the second time in March 1952, after seizing power in a military coup and cancelling the 1952 elections.[11] Although Batista had been a relative progressive during his first term,[12] in the 1950s he proved far more dictatorial and indifferent to popular concerns.

 

 

[13] While Cuba remained plagued by high unemployment and limited water infrastructure,[14] Batista antagonized the population by forming lucrative links to organized crime and allowing American companies to dominate the Cuban economy.[14][15][16]

 

 

During his first term as President, Batista had been supported by the Communist Party of Cuba,[12] but during his second term he became strongly anti-communist, gaining him political support and military aid from the United States.[14][17] Batista developed a powerful security infrastructure to silence political opponents. In the months following the March 1952 coup, Fidel Castro, then a young lawyer and activist, petitioned for the overthrow of Batista, whom he accused of corruption and tyranny. However, Castro’s constitutional arguments were rejected by the Cuban courts.[18] After deciding that the Cuban regime could not be replaced through legal means, Castro resolved to launch an armed revolution. To this end, he and his brother Raúl founded a paramilitary organization known as “The Movement”, stockpiling weapons and recruiting around 1,200 followers from Havana’s disgruntled working class by the end of 1952.[19]

 

 

 

REMEMBER ‘THE GODFATHER II’?

 


http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/movie/The+Godfather+II/pg/3

 


http://www.quotes.net/mquote/37385

 

Tabacco: Obviously The Godfather is a Hollywood film. However we all know there is an historical basis for major parts of the film. Michael Corleone’s (Al Pacino) trip to Cuba during the Revolution, while fictional, nevertheless incorporates actual events to make the film more authentic. And in fact the Rebels did win!

 

 

 

REMEMBER USA CUBAN EMBARGO?

 


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargo_against_Cuba

 

 

 

 

2015 OBAMA NORMALIZES CUBAN-

-

AMERICAN RELATIONS

 

Tabacco: Finally we arrive at 2015 and the current American President giving a Speech in which he plans to Normalize Relations with Communist Socialist Cuba!

 

And do you know why Obama is planning such a thing (if and only if the Republicans will allow him to do it of course)? Because all these decades of Blockade, Embargo, Bay Of Pigs Invasion, JFK’s eyeball-to-eyeball Confrontation with Nikita Khrushchev over Russian Nukes in Cuba, Denial of Cuba’s Right to Trade, absconding with Cuba’s super Athletes, Assassination attempts, CIA Spying & Infiltration have all come to naught! We are no closer to removing the Castros and Communism and Socialism from Cuba today than we were in the 1960s.

 

IT’S ABOUT TIME!

 

With regard to the LACK OF FREEDOM in CUBA, there is a Reason! That Reason is the United States! If Cubans were permitted to do as they will, the US would have Spies throughout Cuba, Fidel would probably have been assassinated decades ago, Cuba would have no baseball players of note, and the CIA would undermine the Cuban government in every possible manner – from inside Cuba!

 

That’s the Reason Cubans are denied certain Basic Freedoms: the United States of America!

 

Did I mention that Cubans don’t pay Rent, Utilities and other Essentials that we in America pay without thinking about! And did I mention that Cuba trains poor American Blacks to be MEDICAL DOCTORS – FREE OF CHARGE!

 

You won’t hear that Fact on the 6 o’clock News! These poor people would never see the inside of a School of Medicine in America – even if they could get the required LOAN$ totaling Hundred$ of Thousand$ of Dollar$!

 

Full text of Obama remarks on Cuba

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/michael-mayo-blog/sfl-obama-cuba-speech-20141217-story.html#page=1

 

By Michael Mayo

Sun Sentinel Columnist

December 17, 2014, 1:39PM

 

Full text of President Obama’s remarks on U.S.-Cuba relations, delivered at 12:01 p.m. today from the White House Cabinet Room:

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon.  Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.

 

In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.  Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people, and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas.

 

There’s a complicated history between the United States and Cuba.  I was born in 1961 –- just over two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, and just a few months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, which tried to overthrow his regime. Over the next several decades, the relationship between our countries played out against the backdrop of the Cold War, and America’s steadfast opposition to communism.  We are separated by just over 90 miles. But year after year, an ideological and economic barrier hardened between our two countries.

 

Meanwhile, the Cuban exile community in the United States made enormous contributions to our country –- in politics and business, culture and sports.  Like immigrants before, Cubans helped remake America, even as they felt a painful yearning for the land and families they left behind.  All of this bound America and Cuba in a unique relationship, at once family and foe.

 

Proudly, the United States has supported democracy and human rights in Cuba through these five decades. We have done so primarily through policies that aimed to isolate the island, preventing the most basic travel and commerce that Americans can enjoy anyplace else.  And though this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions, no other nation joins us in imposing these sanctions, and it has had little effect beyond providing the Cuban government with a rationale for restrictions on its people.  Today, Cuba is still governed by the Castros and the Communist Party that came to power half a century ago.

 

Neither the American, nor Cuban people are well served by a rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.  Consider that for more than 35 years, we’ve had relations with China –- a far larger country also governed by a Communist Party.  Nearly two decades ago, we reestablished relations with Vietnam, where we fought a war that claimed more Americans than any Cold War confrontation.

 

That’s why -– when I came into office -– I promised to re-examine our Cuba policy.  As a start, we lifted restrictions for Cuban Americans to travel and send remittances to their families in Cuba.  These changes, once controversial, now seem obvious. Cuban Americans have been reunited with their families, and are the best possible ambassadors for our values.  And through these exchanges, a younger generation of Cuban Americans has increasingly questioned an approach that does more to keep Cuba closed off from an interconnected world.

 

While I have been prepared to take additional steps for some time, a major obstacle stood in our way –- the wrongful imprisonment, in Cuba, of a U.S. citizen and USAID sub-contractor Alan Gross for five years.  Over many months, my administration has held discussions with the Cuban government about Alan’s case, and other aspects of our relationship.  His Holiness Pope Francis issued a personal appeal to me, and to Cuba’s President Raul Castro, urging us to resolve Alan’s case, and to address Cuba’s interest in the release of three Cuban agents who have been jailed in the United States for over 15 years.

 

Today, Alan returned home –- reunited with his family at long last.  Alan was released by the Cuban government on humanitarian grounds.  Separately, in exchange for the three Cuban agents, Cuba today released one of the most important intelligence agents that the United States has ever had in Cuba, and who has been imprisoned for nearly two decades.  This man, whose sacrifice has been known to only a few, provided America with the information that allowed us to arrest the network of Cuban agents that included the men transferred to Cuba today, as well as other spies in the United States.  This man is now safely on our shores. 

 

Having recovered these two men who sacrificed for our country, I’m now taking steps to place the interests of the people of both countries at the heart of our policy.

 

First, I’ve instructed Secretary Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to reestablish diplomatic relations that have been severed since January of 1961.  Going forward, the United States will reestablish an embassy in Havana, and high-ranking officials will visit Cuba.

 

Where we can advance shared interests, we will -– on issues like health, migration, counterterrorism, drug trafficking and disaster response.  Indeed, we’ve seen the benefits of cooperation between our countries before.  It was a Cuban, Carlos Finlay, who discovered that mosquitoes carry yellow fever; his work helped Walter Reed fight it.  Cuba has sent hundreds of health care workers to Africa to fight Ebola, and I believe American and Cuban health care workers should work side by side to stop the spread of this deadly disease.

 

Now, where we disagree, we will raise those differences directly -– as we will continue to do on issues related to democracy and human rights in Cuba.  But I believe that we can do more to support the Cuban people and promote our values through engagement.  After all, these 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked.  It’s time for a new approach.

 

Second, I’ve instructed Secretary Kerry to review Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.  This review will be guided by the facts and the law.  Terrorism has changed in the last several decades.  At a time when we are focused on threats from al Qaeda to ISIL, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces the use of terrorism should not face this sanction.

 

Third, we are taking steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba.  This is fundamentally about freedom and openness, and also expresses my belief in the power of people-to-people engagement.  With the changes I’m announcing today, it will be easier for Americans to travel to Cuba, and Americans will be able to use American credit and debit cards on the island.  Nobody represents America’s values better than the American people, and I believe this contact will ultimately do more to empower the Cuban people.

 

I also believe that more resources should be able to reach the Cuban people.  So we’re significantly increasing the amount of money that can be sent to Cuba, and removing limits on remittances that support humanitarian projects, the Cuban people, and the emerging Cuban private sector.

 

I believe that American businesses should not be put at a disadvantage, and that increased commerce is good for Americans and for Cubans.  So we will facilitate authorized transactions between the United States and Cuba.  U.S. financial institutions will be allowed to open accounts at Cuban financial institutions.  And it will be easier for U.S. exporters to sell goods in Cuba.

 

I believe in the free flow of information.  Unfortunately, our sanctions on Cuba have denied Cubans access to technology that has empowered individuals around the globe. (Tabacco: Have you ever in your life heard such BS! There was nothing “Unfortunate” about it! It was done DELIBERATELY & WITH MALICE AFORETHOUGHT! But you cannot expect Obama to come face-to-face with Reality and admit the USA was in the WRONG from the GIT-GO.) 

 

So I’ve authorized increased telecommunications connections between the United States and Cuba.  Businesses will be able to sell goods that enable Cubans to communicate with the United States and other countries. 

 

These are the steps that I can take as President to change this policy.  The embargo that’s been imposed for decades is now codified in legislation.  As these changes unfold, I look forward to engaging Congress in an honest and serious debate about lifting the embargo. 

 

Yesterday, I spoke with Raul Castro to finalize Alan Gross’s release and the exchange of prisoners, and to describe how we will move forward.  I made clear my strong belief that Cuban society is constrained by restrictions on its citizens.  In addition to the return of Alan Gross and the release of our intelligence agent, we welcome Cuba’s decision to release a substantial number of prisoners whose cases were directly raised with the Cuban government by my team.  We welcome Cuba’s decision to provide more access to the Internet for its citizens, and to continue increasing engagement with international institutions like the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross that promote universal values.

 

But I’m under no illusion about the continued barriers to freedom that remain for ordinary Cubans.  The United States believes that no Cubans should face harassment or arrest or beatings simply because they’re exercising a universal right to have their voices heard, and we will continue to support civil society there.  While Cuba has made reforms to gradually open up its economy, we continue to believe that Cuban workers should be free to form unions, just as their citizens should be free to participate in the political process.

 

Moreover, given Cuba’s history, I expect it will continue to pursue foreign policies that will at times be sharply at odds with American interests.  I do not expect the changes I am announcing today to bring about a transformation of Cuban society overnight.  But I am convinced that through a policy of engagement, we can more effectively stand up for our values and help the Cuban people help themselves as they move into the 21st century.

 

To those who oppose the steps I’m announcing today, let me say that I respect your passion and share your commitment to liberty and democracy.  The question is how we uphold that commitment.  I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result.  Moreover, it does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse.  Even if that worked -– and it hasn’t for 50 years –- we know from hard-earned experience that countries are more likely to enjoy lasting transformation if their people are not subjected to chaos.  We are calling on Cuba to unleash the potential of 11 million Cubans by ending unnecessary restrictions on their political, social, and economic activities.  In that spirit, we should not allow U.S. sanctions to add to the burden of Cuban citizens that we seek to help.

 

To the Cuban people, America extends a hand of friendship.  Some of you have looked to us as a source of hope, and we will continue to shine a light of freedom.  Others have seen us as a former colonizer intent on controlling your future.  José Martí once said, “Liberty is the right of every man to be honest.”  Today, I am being honest with you.  We can never erase the history between us, but we believe that you should be empowered to live with dignity and self-determination.  Cubans have a saying about daily life:  “No es facil” –- it’s not easy.  Today, the United States wants to be a partner in making the lives of ordinary Cubans a little bit easier, more free, more prosperous.

(Tabacco: America made the lives of Cubans a lot harder, a lot less free, a lot less prosperous in the first place! Obama speaks with a ‘FORKED TONGUE’!)

 

To those who have supported these measures, I thank you for being partners in our efforts.  In particular, I want to thank His Holiness Pope Francis, whose moral example shows us the importance of pursuing the world as it should be, rather than simply settling for the world as it is; the government of Canada, which hosted our discussions with the Cuban government; and a bipartisan group of congressmen who have worked tirelessly for Alan Gross’s release, and for a new approach to advancing our interests and values in Cuba.

 

Finally, our shift in policy towards Cuba comes at a moment of renewed leadership in the Americas.  This April, we are prepared to have Cuba join the other nations of the hemisphere at the Summit of the Americas.  But we will insist that civil society join us so that citizens, not just leaders, are shaping our future.  And I call on all of my fellow leaders to give meaning to the commitment to democracy and human rights at the heart of the Inter-American Charter.  Let us leave behind the legacy of both colonization and communism, the tyranny of drug cartels, dictators and sham elections.  A future of greater peace, security and democratic development is possible if we work together — not to maintain power, not to secure vested interest, but instead to advance the dreams of our citizens.

 

My fellow Americans, the city of Miami is only 200 miles or so from Havana.  Countless thousands of Cubans have come to Miami — on planes and makeshift rafts; some with little but the shirt on their back and hope in their hearts.  Today, Miami is often referred to as the capital of Latin America.  But it is also a profoundly American city -– a place that reminds us that ideals matter more than the color of our skin, or the circumstances of our birth; a demonstration of what the Cuban people can achieve, and the openness of the United States to our family to the South.  Todos somos Americanos.

 

Change is hard –- in our own lives, and in the lives of nations.  And change is even harder when we carry the heavy weight of history on our shoulders.  But today we are making these changes because it is the right thing to do.  Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past so as to reach for a better future –- for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world.

 

Thank you.  God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel

 

Tabacco: If you note significant differences between the Parallel Universe Obama & Democans + Republicrats inhabit and the Reality based Universe, in which Tabacco resides, you are Correct! You are NOT Insane, and neither am I! It is the Democrat and the Republican Politicians – and their Sheep – who are certifiably Insane!

 

Did I forget to include the Mainstream Media in the Democan/Republicrat Parallel Universe? Please forgive that omission! 

 

It seems they lied to us once again! Our Democrats and our Republicans told us we blockaded and embargoed Cuba because the Cubans were COMMUNISTS! And Communists, as we all know, are not only Socialists, but also Pariahs!

 

As I have pointed out many times before,

 

 

Tabacco’s Economic Vs. Political Axiom

 

Communism” is a POLITICAL SYSTEM JUST LIKE DEMOCRACY IS, NOT an ECONOMIC SYSTEM!

 

CAPITALISM & SOCIALISM ARE

ECONOMIC SYSTEMS!

 

 

The Proof? China, our Bankers and our Manufacturers, are still RED! But China is now Communist Capitalist! So the Political System is not the Differential – it was merely the Excuse!

 

Cuba, conversely, is and was since the Revolution, both Communist and Socialist!

 

Analysis: When China was Communist and Socialist, America didn’t like them either! Since China has become Communist and Capitalist, that has all changed! The Chinese Reds now own America – with our blessings!

 

OBVIOUSLY the Differential is SOCIALISM, NOT COMMUNISM! But the Democans & Republicrats of the 1950s and the 21st century could/can NOT say that! So they blamed their actions on Cuba being Communist! Now we know better!

 

It was NEVER about POLITICS; it was ALWAYS ABOUT ECONOMICS!

 

The True Motivations for why we have treated Communist Cubans the way we have treated them are:

 

A – Sugar Capitalism Lobbying in the USA

 

B – Cuba’s association with the Socialist USSR

 

C – Cuba’s own Socialism

(Cuba being less than 100 miles off Florida’s coast,

a successful Socialist country is the last thing

American Capitalists want to see there)

 

 

The Excuses used to justify those Treatments of Cuba:

 

D – Cuba’s Communist Government

 

AND those CUBAN AMERICANS in Florida are mostly CRIMINALS! I don’t just mean those formerly in Cuba’s Criminal System!

 

I refer to those CAPITALIST EXPLOITATIONISTS, who cavorted with American Mafioso along with Batista, while taking advantage of fellow Cubans without Cuban or American Political or American Mafia connections.

 

When those Cubans in Florida complain about Cuba not having DEMOCRACY, they really mean Cuba no longer has the FREEDOM to EXPLOIT UNCONNECTED CUBANS! That’s NOT DEMOCRACY! That’s another “..ocracy”!

 

TAKE YOUR PICK!

 

Aristocracy

Autocracy

Kakistocracy

Kleptocracy

Krytocracy

Monocracy

Plutocracy

Stratocracy

 

Q&A: WHICH PHOTO DEPICTS ACTUAL CUCARACHAS?

A) 

B) 

DON’T FORGET TO CLICK ON ALL IMAGES TO ENLARGE!


Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.

 

 

If Tabacco is talking about a subject that nobody else is discussing, it means that subject is more, not less important, and the Powers-That-Be are deliberately avoiding that Issue. To presume otherwise completely defeats my purpose in blogging.

 

 

Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!

 

In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.


T.A.B.A.C.C.O.  (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People

 

 

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TABACCO’S RULES OF ENGAGEMENT! Most Comments Here Don’t Get Published. This Post Is Not Aimed At Those Charlatans; It is Intended To Edify My Veto Stance To The Intellectually Honest Readers Among You.

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This entry was posted in Bush, class war, compromise, Democrats, deregulation, disaster capitalism, GOP, hypocrisy, illicit drugs, knowledge is power, Obama, outsourcing, political ping pong, Politics, Republicans, socialism4richcapitalism4poor, sophistry, takebackamerica, warpeace. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Federal Sugar Subsidies Destroying Everglades – Pepe Fanjul Contributions To GOP – Brother Alfy Fanjul Contributes To Democrats! Real Reason US Stymies Cuba: SUGAR! Communism Is NOT The Reason USA Embargoes Cuba – It’s Just The EXCUSE! Foreign Policy As Bribery Via Lobbying Once Again – RI10 – Originally Published At Blog-City February 26, 2008 + RECENT UPDATES

  1. admin says:

    Is the USA still frothing at the mouth?

    When Fidel Castro released Prisoners and Mental Patients to flee to the US in Mariel Boatlift, he put one over on Uncle Sam! I don’t think Sam has ever forgiven Fidel for outsmarting him!

    Add one more Reason for USA’s Cuban Embargo! Just never forget that ‘Communism’ was NEVER a Valid Reason – merely an EXCUSE OF CONVENIENCE!

    Tabacco

  2. admin says:

    MORE FUEL FOR AMERICA’S CUBAN EMBARGO FIRE!

    Obama to Remove Cuba from List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

    President Obama has told Congress he will remove Cuba from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, clearing a main obstacle to restoring diplomatic relations with Havana. Obama’s move came just days after he and Cuban President Raúl Castro sat down at a summit in Panama for the first meeting of its kind in half a century. Cuba was placed on the terrorism list in 1982 at a time when Havana was supporting liberation struggles in Africa and Latin America. Once Cuba is officially removed from the list in 45 days, Iran, Sudan and Syria will be the only countries remaining.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2015/4/15/headlines#4152

    TABACCO:
    “Cuba was placed on the terrorism list in 1982 at a time when Havana was supporting liberation struggles in Africa and Latin America.”

    Did you read that line the first time around? Do you get the implications? Cuba supported LIBERATION STRUGGLES in AFRICA and LATIN AMERICA and were thereby PUNISHED for supporting DEMOCRACY??? What’s going on here? Cuba acting as democracy promoters and USA acting as Lip Service promoters?

    We sell armaments to Dictators and punish countries, which support democracy?

    Remember this Democracy Now! Headline! It tells you all you need to know about the “self-promotion” and “false propaganda” of the USA! America talks with a FORKED TONGUE and always has since the INDIAN WARS!

    It’s about time Americans knew the Truths about OURSELVES!

    Tabacco

  3. admin says:

    POURING MORE FUEL ON THE EMBARGO FIRE!

    AMY GOODMAN: Cuba was placed on the terrorism list in 1982 at a time when Havana was supporting liberation struggles in Africa and Latin America. In his letter to Congress, President Obama wrote the Cuban government, quote, “has not provided any support for international terrorism,” quote, in the past six months, and has, quote, “provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future,” unquote. Once Cuba is officially removed from the list in 45 days, Iran, Sudan and Syria will become the only countries on the list.

    Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s top diplomat responsible for dealing with the U.S., said, quote, “The Cuban government recognized the fair decision made by the president of the United States to eliminate Cuba from a list that it never should have been included on, especially considering our country has been the victim of hundreds of acts of terrorism that have cost 3,478 lives and maimed 2,099 citizens,” she said.

    For decades, the United States has supported anti-Castro militants who have carried out airline bombings, assassinations, attacks on hotels. In 1976, militants blew up a Cubana Airlines flight, killing all 73 people on board. The mastermind of the attack was a CIA operative named Luis Posada Carriles, who’s still living in Florida.

    While Cuba is being removed from the terrorism list, the trade embargo remains in effect. Since 1962, companies have been banned from doing business with Cuba.

    To talk more about the thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations, we go directly to Havana, Cuba, where we’re joined by the former Cuban diplomat, Carlos Alzugaray Treto. He served as ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, and head of the Cuban Mission to the European Union. He’s also taught at the University of Havana and serves on the editorial board of Temas, a leading journal of social sciences and the humanities.

    We welcome you to Democracy Now! Can you start off by talking about the announcement that Cuba will be taken off the U.S. terrorism list? What is your response?

    CARLOS ALZUGARAY TRETO: Amy, thank you for having me. I think this is a major step by President Obama. I think it is probably the major step in concrete acts that he has taken since he announced his decision, together with President Raúl Castro, to normalize the relation. We can say that this is a first step to normal relations, taking Cuba out of a list where Cuba shouldn’t have been, never. I mean, in 1982, when Cuba was included in the list, it was a Reagan administration searching for some kind of excuse to attack Cuba. As a matter of fact, Secretary of State Alexander Haig said at the time that they wanted to go to the sources. Now we know he told President Reagan in private, “Give me the order, Mr. President, and I will turn Cuba into a parking lot.”
    http://www.democracynow.org/2015/4/15/obama_to_remove_cuba_from_terror

    Republished by Tabacco

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