Tabacco: All Americans should be suspicious whenever Politicians begin to sound like Lawyers or Preachers! This is particularly true of Republican Politicians, who almost always make Accusations without ever supplying Authentication or the Other Side of the Story!
I now give you New Jersey’s Governor, Republican Chris Christie, on the subject of American-Cuban Relations and his EXCUSE for Status Quo: JoAnne Chesimard! I leave it to you to decipher Christie’s Hypocrisy, Sophistry, Lies and Half-Truths! He’s a Politician – a Republican Politician at that – so you know those facets of deceit will present themselves whenever and whatever he speaks.
(Edited by Tabacco for Brevity and Focus)
AMY GOODMAN: Can you comment on the comments made about the pope by New Jersey governor and Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie? Christie is Catholic, but, speaking to CNN, he said he disagrees with the pope on the U.S.-Cuba relationship.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE: I just think the pope was wrong. And so, the fact is that his infallibility is on religious matters, not on political ones. And the fact is that, for me, I just believe that when you have a government that is harboring fugitives, murdering fugitives, like JoAnne Chesimard who murdered a state policeman in New Jersey in cold blood, was broken out of prison and has been harbored for the last 40-plus years by a Cuban government that has paid her and held her up as a hero, that this president could extend diplomatic relations with that country without getting her returned, so that she can serve the prison sentence that she was sentenced to by a jury of her peers in New Jersey, is outrageous. And so, I just happen to disagree with the pope on this one.
AMY GOODMAN: That is Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey. You are at Seton Hall University. You’re the head of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, you’re the dean of it. Seton Hall in East Orange, New Jersey. Your response to Governor Christie?
ANDREA BARTOLI: So, the governor, Christie, is right: The pope is infallible only on matters of faith and when he speaks ex cathedra. So that point is very clear. But the question is: ‘Should we keep countries frozen in a 50-years relationship that doesn’t go anywhere?’
The fugitive that Governor Christie mentioned is not in New Jersey, and is not going to be in New Jersey anytime soon if the policy of the U.S. remains the same. So, the result of that policy is that justice, according to New Jersey law, was definitely not served. Do we have a chance that that justice will be served if there is an agreement between the U.S. and Cuba? I would say that is certainly much higher. So, in a world of probability, I would say that actually the pope is right, in a sense that even the justice that Governor Christie is claiming will actually be probably better served by a collaboration between the government of Cuba and the government of the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about his trip to the United States and the significance of this, and the priest he will be sanctifying here when he first comes to Washington, D.C.
ANDREA BARTOLI: So, Junípero Serra is clearly an interesting presence in the U.S. He was a Spanish-speaking missionary, and his memory is very fond in certain quarters, but he’s also debated. And I think it’s important for people to realize that the debate within the Catholic Church has been around for quite some times. We celebrated a few years ago 500 years of the Montesinos homilies, you know, these famous words in which this Dominican friar was condemning the Spanish conquistadores to—against, you know, their oppression of the natives. And Las Casas and the others clearly put that emphasis into play. So the Catholic Church has been thinking this contradiction for quite some times. And interestingly enough, the Jesuits themselves found in Latin America a very interesting history of experimenting with politics that the European monarchy couldn’t accept. So I think that what we are seeing here is the long end of a long history. And the Catholic Church has been around for quite some times.
AMY GOODMAN: Pope Francis’s decision to canonize Father Serra has drawn a strong protest from many Native Americans. They accuse—they say that in the 18th century the Franciscan missionary was brutal, imposing conversion to Catholicism. This is Corine Fairbanks, director of the Southern California chapter of the American Indian Movement, or AIM.
CORINE FAIRBANKS: I think that Serra was, you know, an accomplice and co-conspirator to rape, land theft, torture, murder. I think that he’s just as bad as Hitler. I mean, some people might not understand the comparison, but he was a man with a vision and kept nothing—nothing—in the way of making that vision happen, didn’t care how many thousands of people that he hurt. He had a vision, he had a plan, he executed it.
AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Andrea Bartoli, your response? Interestingly, the pope has condemned colonialism, has apologized to indigenous and Native American people.
ANDREA BARTOLI: Yeah, exactly! So, this is a very interesting challenge for the Catholic Church more than anyone else, you know, of being a presence in human history for more than 2,000 years. And so, clearly, you have contradictions in acts that were wrong and for which the church has apologized. The pope himself, especially John Paul II, started this expression of contrition. But I also think that it’s important to realize how the debates within the church were well alive at that time and are still alive, and also how the political realities of that moment—you know, the secular forces were pushing for even further oppression and discrimination. So I think that the choices that we make today are clearly making the world as we live it, but it’s important to realize that the ways in which we remember is also counting.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go back to Dr. Carlos Alzugaray Treto in Havana, in Cuba, and ask you about Assata Shakur, who Governor Christie was talking about. Assata Shakur, who was known—who was born as JoAnne Chesimard [married name was Chesimard] was convicted May 2nd, 1973, of killing of a New Jersey state trooper during a shootout that left one of her fellow activists dead on the New Jersey Turnpike. She was shot twice by the New Jersey police during the incident. In ’79, she managed to escape from jail. She later fled to Cuba. And she has long proclaimed her innocence, but said she could not get a fair trial in the United States. Is it possible that her exile is threatened under this rapprochement, Dr. Treto?
CARLOS ALZUGARAY TRETO: The Cuban government has been very clear on this issue. They have insisted again and again that JoAnne Chesimard, or Assata Shakur, is a political exile, is considered a political exile by the Cuban government. Of course, Governor Christie, it’s only normal that he would have that opinion, but I would invite him to think about these things, because, I mean, if we are going to stop the normalization process because of these kinds of issues, the Cuban government can say, “Why doesn’t the United States extradite to Cuba Luis Posada Carriles, whose case is even worse, even than the one that Christie describes about Assata Shakur?”
Luis Posada Carriles is a terrorist, and he has confessed to major crimes. He’s not—he was tried and convicted in Venezuela, tried and convicted in Panama, but in Panama he was pardoned by the influence of the right-wing Cuban Americans. And he is in the United States, and the United States hasn’t processed him for his terrorist activities, even though the—in internal documents, it is recognized that he’s a violent terrorist. And he’s not extradited. Now, the Cuban government could say, “Well, I am not going to talk to the American government until they extradite Posada Carriles.” They don’t say that, because the logical thing is for these issues to be debated diplomatically and to be talked about diplomatically. It’s a reality, unfortunately. It’s a reality of our long conflict. But Cuba stands on its position that she is a political—she came to Cuba asking for political asylum, and she was given political asylum by the Cuban government.
Tabacco: Lies of Omission are still LIES! If you are Guilty of an Abomination for doing something we shall refer to as (A), then if I commit the same Abomination (A), I too am just as Guilty – that Aphorism applies everywhere on Earth except in the minds of Politicians!
As far as Popes are concerned, it appears to me that they are NOT INFALLIBLE on either Secular or Non-Secular Matters! Christie’s PANDERING falls on Tabacco’s ‘Deaf Ear’!
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.
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