December 20, 2014 By Obie Usategui
For the most part of the Cuban-American community residing in Miami, Florida, the day of Wednesday, December 17th, 2014, will—more likely than not—go down in their history books as a day in infamy, much the same as did December 7th, 1941, for all Americans. The former, when Barack Obama announced the U.S. restoring full relations with Cuba, including the opening of an embassy in the island—a bold move aimed at ending over 50 years of hostility between the two countries—the latter when the Royal Empire of Japan attacked the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
While, for the average American, it would seem almost impossible to establish any kind relevancy whatsoever between these two dates, for the average Cuban-American, it is precisely the opposite. The reasons are simple and unpretentious. First of all, Americans have been, and are for the most part, highly uninformed regarding their own country’s affairs, let alone being familiar with an insignificant little island of the Caribbean, even when this island is located a mere 93 miles south from the southernmost tip of the U.S., in Key West, Florida.
I would dare say that, to most Americans, other than an elite group of Washington politicians, perhaps, Cuba is a foreign word – an alien term of sorts. Little do most Americans realize that this irrelevant and unbeknownst island-nation, has, in fact, had a magnanimous sway in global politics and geo-political affairs throughout the years. Such was this island country’s relevancy in global politics back in October 1962, when Cuba stood at center stage, playing [the] leading role in the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis as the world came to a stand still while the United States and Russia traded threats over Soviet ballistic missiles deployed in the “irrelevant” Caribbean island – a tense and overwrought moment, which escalated as close as the world has ever come to a full scale nuclear war.
Notwithstanding the presumable ignorance now presiding over this unheard of island nation, I shall then proceed to cite some of the issues which qualify my contemptuous conclusion on Obama’s bold move to renew political ties with the communist Caribbean island as nothing short of a treasonous and antithetical assault on democracy; a travesty and desecration to the otherwise most basic principles of righteousness on which our country, the United States of America, was founded. A betrayal to the American legacy, hence the relevancy to the Pearl Harbor attack comparison—a conjecture, mind you, which I shall dare try to demonstrate by quickly reviewing the history preceding Obama’s treachery, albeit daringly constricted by the size of this dissertation.
As a matter of record, in the years prior to the communist revolution takeover on December 31st, New Years’ eve of 1958-59, led by Fidel Castro and his dirty band of revolutionary militia men, the Republic of Cuba, in spite of a tumultuous history of corroded political leaders teetering the legitimacy of its political system, the island did enjoy a most enviable leadership position amongst all countries in Latin-American, comprised, namely, of 26 nation-states bound by the Romance languages of Spanish and Portuguese.
Some of Cuba’s leading statistics compared to other Latin American nations and/or the world just prior the advent of the communist revolution in 1958, were as follows:
– 3rd most-stable economy in Latin America with highest gold reserves, slightly behind Venezuela and Brazil.
– Lowest inflation rate [1.4%].
– 4th in world in income earned by blue-collar workers.
– 3rd in red-meat production per capita.
– 1st in the production of mineral cobalt in the world.
– 3rd in caloric consumption.
– 3rd in the highest per-capital telephone ownership.
– 3rd in the highest per-capital automobile ownership.
– 2nd in the highest per-capital radio ownership.
– 1st televisions per household.
– 3rd in most radio-stations.
– 3rd in T.V. networks.
– 2nd in movie theaters per capita.
– 2nd in number of physicians per capita.
– Lowest index of infant mortality in all Latin America.
– 4th lowest per capita index of illiteracy.
– Highest percentage of public debt earmarked for education.
– 5th in per capita colleges and universities attending students.
– In 1959, the Cuban monetary unit, the “peso” was par with the U.S. dollar – at times slightly higher.
– Highest number of movie-theaters in the world.
Now, to suggest that any of these statistics would have been possible were it not for the prosperous relationship that had once existed between the U.S. and Cuba preceding Castro’s takeover would be, if nothing else, a preposterous lie at that. After the takeover, simply put, communism managed to set back light years the once flourishing Caribbean paradise island, turning the latter into a ghostly status of its past glories.
Cuba, the once-affluent island, was soon to become but a faded version of its joyous past. The nation’s once thriving economy and proud statistics would soon turn into sorrowful epitomes of human deprivation of the most basic necessities, including but not limited to the pursuit of freedom and happiness. The island’s once picturesque promenades and harbors would soon become the stage of escapade outlets for thousands of freedom-seeking Cubans, daringly leaving the island in home-made rafts, willing, if you will, to perish in crossing the Florida Straits in their quest for freedom; a preferred alternative to the oppression of the Castro regime. Statistical accounting of the Cuban prominence before Castro would soon turn into grief-stricken statistics of the regime’s genocidal prominence; statistics, which, as much sparse and imprecise as could be expected under a reign of oversight and repression by Castro’s tyrannical regime, would still claim a death toll in the hundreds of thousands of innocent men and women who perished between 1959 and 1987, exclusively as a result of their political conviction; all dying while bravely daring to challenge a system now sanctioned of by none other than U.S.‘s impostor president Barack Obama.
Besides the home-made rafts, desperation for leaving the island incited Cubans on using all sorts of cunningly constructed crafts, including but not limited to, inflatable tubes used in truck-tires – needless to say, a less-than-safe artifact for crossing the dangerous currents in the Straits of Florida.
The escalating death toll of Cubans crossing the Straits paved the way for the founding of Brothers to the Rescue – a good-willed missionary group of Miami-based pilots, touched by the death of a fifteen-year-old Gregorio Perez Ricardo, who had perished from severe dehydration while fleeing from Castro’s communist island on a raft. The group,Brothers to the Rescue, described itself as a humanitarian organization aiming to assist and rescue raft refugees emigrating from Cuba and to “support the efforts of the Cuban people to free themselves from dictatorship through the use of active nonviolence”.
On February 24th, 1996, two of the Brothers to the Rescue Cessna Skymasters were shot down by a Cuban Air Force MiG-29UB, while a second jet fighter, a MiG-23, orbited nearby. Killed in the shoot downs were pilots Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario de la Pe√±a, and Pablo Morales. A third plane, flown by Brothers to the Rescue leader Jose Basulto, was able to escape unharmed. In the days that followed, the controversy over the shoot-down grew steadily over the merciless killing of civilian U.S. air-pilots by trained pilots of the Cuban Air Force, while the victims flew in international air-space.
The shoot-down incident also led to widespread condemnation of Cuba back in the day, and was instrumental on the outcome of the trial of the “Cuban Five” consisting of five Cuban intelligence officers arrested in September 1998 and later convicted in Miami of conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, acting as an agent of a foreign government, and other illegal activities in the United States. The trial of the ”Cuban Five” on espionage and conspiracy charges resulted in convictions and long-term prison sentences for the five Cuban agents who, for one, had been known to spy on the Brothers to the Rescue missions.
In May, 2012, the Obama administration, in the same old spirit of deceit that has forever characterized this impostor president, deceivingly declined a “spy swap” proposed by the Cuban authorities, in exchange for the release of U.S., contractor Allan Phillip Gross, imprisoned in Cuba for allegedly providing equipment to Cuban Jews striving to have internet access. While leading public opinion to believing that such a sullied swap would never take place only seven month back, the swap did take place on December 17th, 2014, whereby Gross and Rolando Sarraf, a Cuban who had worked as an agent for American intelligence imprisoned in Cuba 20 years back, were exchanged for the last three remaining prisoners of the “Cuban Five”, as two others members of this hideous group had been released earlier.
My dear fellow Americans, one more time, Barack Hussein Obama utilizes the noble office and power bestowed upon him as president of the United States of America, to desecrate the most basic values inherent to our democracy; the most basic principles that stand for what United States is all about. As far as I am concerned, by shaking the hands and making any agreement with the Castro brothers, two of the most renowned assassins in the world, Barack Obama is, one more time, shamelessly and brazenly admitting his willingness to share in and be a part of the thousands of deaths attributable to the Castro brothers and to communism itself. Obama’s hands are as bloody today as the Castro brothers’ are. Obama’s announcement of a renewed relation with Cuba and the Castro brothers, is proof, one more time, of the man’s avatar communist incline, and long history of Marxist devotion – a pious advocate of the Saul Alinsky model.
Barack Obama’s agreement with Cuba on December 17th , 2014, shall make him, in my estimation, as responsible as the Castro’s brothers for the thousands of deaths suffered by young Cuban men and women who perished while crossing the Florida Straits in search of freedom. Obama’s daring hypocrisy shall, I hope, serve only as an everlasting reminder to the American public of this man’s evil political nature. The lifeless remains of all the Cuban martyrs who perished in the pursuit of freedom, I hope, shall only serve as a friendly remembrance to all us that communism, that poisonous system responsible for the death of over 100 million people throughout the history of the world, is alive and well in the United States of America – dangerously so represented, of all people, in the persona of Barack Hussein Obama.
Throughout the past few days I have mournfully listened to the many arguments made by media folk and otherwise, presumably astute political contributors from both sides of the aisle, claiming the president did not get enough in exchange for what he gave up in his trade with Cuba. It was an unbalanced or uneven exchange, they claimed. To all those making this argument, I say hogwash to all of you as I politely remind you that there are no agreements whatsoever, bar none, which can be construed as good or positive when you are dealing with communists or communism, as in the end you will always be on the losing end, regardless. Obama’s trade was no exception, and it is time for me to remind all good people in this country to realize that we are in for the greatest revelation of our lives if we, for a moment, think of this man as anything other than a miserable diehard communist ideologue whom a majority of Americans elected as our president twice in a row. Shame on all of us and prayers for the end of this ugly chapter in American history.
As a Cuban-born immigrant who came into this great country at age 14 in 1960, also fleeing from communism, I do consider Obama’s renewed relations with the communist island and look upon it as one of the most despicable political acts I have ever been a witness to. As a naturalized citizen of this great country which we call the United States of America, I can only forewarn you of the inherent evils of Barack Obama and his administration. As an immigrant and citizen of the U.S., both, I shall forever, reminisce of December 17th, 2014 as I do on December 7th, 1941, both – “a day in infamy”, as I truly hope that, for the simple and straight-forward reasons stated above, you will too. May God save us all and may God save the United States of America.
 “Cuba”: The Human Cost of Social Revolutions.
 ^ Jump up to: a b Website of Brothers to the Rescue – Background and information
Obie Usategui runs AFCV-Americans For Conservative Values. Obie is also the author of The Beginning of the End—“The transition to Communism in our own United states has come peacefully, ironically, via democratically-sanctioned elections”
Raul Castro: Cuba Will Not Abandon Communism
December 20, 2014
HAVANA (AP) — Cuban President Raul Castro sent a blunt message to Washington Saturday as the White House works to reverse a half-century of hostility between the U.S. and Cuba: Don’t expect detente to do away with the communist system.
Castro’s speech to Cuba’s National Assembly was a sharp counterpoint to the message U.S. President Barack Obama gave in his year-end news conference the day before. Obama reiterated that by engaging directly with the Cuban people, Americans are more likely to encourage reform in Cuba’s one-party system and centrally planned economy.
“We must not expect that in order for relations with the United States to improve, Cuba will abandon the ideas that it has struggled for,” Castro said.
Also appearing before parliament, shaking their fists in victory, were three convicted spies just released from long U.S. prison terms. The last imprisoned members of the “Cuban Five” spy ring were freed this week in a sweeping deal that included American contractor Alan Gross and a Cuban who had spied for the U.S., both released from their cells in Cuba as a first step toward the restoration of full diplomatic ties and a loosening of U.S. trade and travel restrictions.
While the 83-year-old Castro spoke in Havana, other Cubans of his generation were leading a protest in Miami against plans to normalize relations with the Castro government. About 200 people showed up, most of them older Cuban exiles.
“The Cuban resistance will continue both on the island and in exile to do everything and continue the struggle until Cuba is truly free and democratic once again,” said Sylvia Iriondo, an activist with Mothers Against Repression.
Castro also expressed gratitude to Obama during his speech, calling it a “just decision” to release the men who spied on anti-Castro exile groups in South Florida in the 1990s and have long been regarded as heroes in Cuba. Seated behind the three and their families was Elian Gonzalez, the young Cuban rafter at the center of a bitter custody battle in 2000 between relatives in Miami and his father in Cuba.
The president closed with a shout of “Viva Fidel!” in reference to his older brother, who has not been seen nor heard from since the historic development was announced on Wednesday, provoking speculation about his health and whereabouts.
The executive orders Obama announced Wednesday can clear the way for limited exports to Cuba and freer travel by specific categories of Americans such as academics and artists, but he acknowledged his need to work with Congress to end the decades-old embargo Cuba blames for the dire condition of its infrastructure and economy.
Castro reminded Cubans that the embargo remains in place, particularly limits on international financial transactions that Cuba accuses of blocking its access to credit and international investment.
“An important step has been taken, but the essential thing remains, the end of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, which has grown in recent years particularly in terms of financial transactions,” he said.
Castro confirmed he would attend the Summit of Americas in Panama in April, where he is expected to have further discussions with Obama.
His address to the National Assembly follows surprise announcements by both presidents Wednesday that Cuba and the U.S. will reopen embassies and exchange ambassadors for the first time in more than 50 years.
The agreement included the exchange of the three prisoners, convicted in 2001, for a Cuban who had been imprisoned on the island for nearly 20 years for spying on behalf of the CIA. Gross had been held in Cuba for five years for illegally importing restricted communications equipment. Two members of the Cuban Five, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, already had been released by the U.S. As part of the exchange, Cuba also released 53 other prisoners.
Late Friday, Cuban state television showed four of the Cuban Five celebrating their reunion by singing together during a private party in Havana.
Their release angered the protesters in Miami. Two women held up a sign saying “Obama’s message to Castro: Imprison Americans and get 3 spies and an embassy.”
Most of the estimated 2 million Cubans living in the United States are in Florida. Thousands marched and more than 350 were arrested in 2000 after U.S. agents seized the young Gonzalez and returned him to Cuba to resolve an international custody dispute. When Fidel Castro ceded power to his brother in 2006, hundreds celebrated in the streets of Little Havana, and more recently, Cuban-born singer Gloria Estefan led tens of thousands in support of Havana’s Ladies in White dissidents.
By comparison, Wednesday’s spontaneous protests and Saturday’s planned demonstration in Miami’s Jose Marti park were sparsely attended.
“I think there are a lot of people sitting on the sidelines, tired,” said Andy Gomez, a Cuba expert and retired University of Miami professor.
Contributors include E. Eduardo Castillo and Anne-Marie Garcia in Havana and Christine Armario and Rachel La Corte in Miami.