Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. If you don't feel particularly thankful this year, go to the bookstore and buy Dr. Miguel A. Faria, Jr.'s insightful and autobiographical book, Cuba in Revolution: Escape from a Lost Paradise. You will become educated about Cuba, you will learn about America, and you will become very thankful.
Faria, now a retired neurosurgeon and naturalized American citizen, was just 13 when his father, also a physician, decided their time had run out in Fidel Castro's new revolutionary Cuba. The book opens with their highly readable clandestine escape, and later develops their circuitous route to the United States.
If your only exposure to Castro's Cuba is today's high-school textbooks or television news, be prepared for a different picture of the revolution and its human toll. Faria's family helped to topple Batista, only to find their own lives in danger not long after. Faria complements his own direct knowledge by revealing some little-known history leading up to and through the revolution.
Interwoven with this narrative are the major elements of American relations with Cuba: the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile...
Open Letter to Georges M. Halpern, M.D., Ph.D., Academy for International Medical Study (AIMS), Great Neck, N.Y.. Dear Dr. Halpern: Thank you for your repeated entreaties to accompany you in your "AIMS Brings You Cuba!" adventure. You should know that as a pragmatic decision to obtain hard cash, American physicians are welcomed in communist (fascist) Cuba, but Fidel Castro does not allow freedom-loving Cuban-Americans to participate in those indoctrinating cultural/medical exchanges. Nevertheless, I would like to give you some suggestions for your upcoming trip to Cuba.
While you are in the Caribbean prison, which is what Cuba has become, you and some of your fellow participants should independently rent a taxi (probably driven by an M.D. or professor who is forced to do so for pressing economic reasons, despite his exalted education) to see for yourselves the real, dire situation in Cuba, rather than wearing the rose-colored glasses provided to naive tourists and fellow travelers of the communist dictatorship.
Before you go on your exchange trip to communist Cuba, you should surf the Internet and read some of the articles that have been published and posted in...
The Center for International Policy has a very curious speaker in Wayne Smith, Chief of Mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba appointed by Jimmy Carter. He proudly describes himself as a close friend of Fidel Castro.
Less than two months into his presidency, on March 15, 1977, Carter called for normalization of relations with Castro's Cuba. He opened the US Interests Section in Havana and put Wayne Smith in charge. (This according to a declassified White House document as stated in the U.S. Cuba Policy Report, Vol. 9, No. 5, pg. 5.)
Turning his back on Castro's crimes and blatant human rights violations, Smith began a relationship with Castro, palling around with him in his Jeep. Since leaving his official post in 1982, he has become one of the most vociferous defenders and apologists of Castro and his regime.
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Wayne Smith ran an unsuccessful campaign to have Cuba removed from the State Department's list of terrorist nations in spite of the evidence supporting its inclusion.(1) His promotion and ardent defense of a terrorist designated country - the number one enemy of the U.S. in the Americas - raises...
Victor Dreke and the Real Story of the Escambray Wars
On Nov. 13, 2002, Victor Dreke, a Cuban Communist Party official, and a man accused of committing war crimes during the Escambray wars of the early 1960s in Cuba, spoke at a North Miami forum hosted by Florida International University.
According to the Miami Herald, although there were protests outside the ballroom where the forum was held and a handful of Cuban exiles within shouted asesino! ("assassin"), the majority of the crowd offered a standing ovation to the communist official!
But the affair does not end there.
Incredibly, Dreke's special visa allows him to stay in the U.S. through the end of this month, touring the country sharing his "historic experiences" and promoting his book, From the Escambray to Congo: In the Whirlwind of the Cuban Revolution, published last year in both English and Spanish by Pathfinder Press. Could you imagine exiled writers such as Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Mea Cuba), Enrique Encinosa (Cuba en Guerra) or Juan Clark (Cuba: Mito y Realidad) touring Cuba and promoting their books in the very belly of the totalitarian beast?
Who is Comandante...
Let me respectfully point out some major weaknesses in Doug Bandow's article on Cuba ("Washington's Inadvertent Support for Cuban Communism," Ideas on Liberty, July 2002). Bandow, a writer whom I admire and whose books and commentaries I have always enjoyed, was misled by the likes of Ricardo Alarcon, a devious man characterized as a dog that barks only while under the protection of his master. Once Fidel Castro is gone, so will his lapdog Alarcon be gone. Elizardo Sanchez is a socialist, who before serving time lived in expropriated property and wants his brand of collectivism for Cuba. Sanchez and his state-controlled band of dissidents are the only opposition tolerated in Cuba. The real opposition, like Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet or Marta Beatriz Roque, is either in jail or under house arrest, unable to meet freely with journalists such as Bandow.
Cuba has been bankrupt since 1986 and has defaulted on all foreign loans. Castro owes European bankers $12 billion; Cuba's debt to Russia is estimated to be over $20 billion. Instead, Fidel asserts Russia owes him for capitulating to capitalism! Neither private property rights nor the sanctity of contracts is recognized in Cuba...
Investigative journalist and U.N. expert William F. Jasper published another exposé of the United Nations last year, a book that is yet to receive the attention it deserves: "The United Nations Exposed." (1) Since Oct. 24 is "United Nations Day" in the U.S., it's worthwhile to bring this informative and well-researched book to the attention of readers who may not be acquainted with the abominable record of the power-seeking, supranational organization.
In "The United Nations Exposed," Jasper goes beyond his earlier book, "Global Tyranny: Step-by-Step," (2) but there is enough continuity flowing mellifluously from one book to the other to be easily digested by Americans who seek to know more about the "United Nations Day" that has been placed on our calendars on a par with Presidents Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Enumerated are the U.N. proposals that stealthily and dangerously erode the sovereignty of the United States and our ability to act decisively when our freedom and national security are threatened. Consider a few of the many ominous proposals:
1. The 1998 International Criminal Court (ICC) that went into effect this year and threatens the...
Once again, the gun control lobby, headed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly Handgun Control, Inc.) and the nebulous Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and incarnated in Congress in the person of Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is using the ghastly acts of madmen or fanatic terrorists, this time a cowardly sniper, to call for further gun control measures to disarm law-abiding Americans.
This time the false panacea is "ballistic fingerprinting," which, purportedly, would have "solved this crime after the first shooting."
First, "ballistic fingerprinting" is a misnomer, because unlike unique human characteristics, such as fingerprints, DNA, retinal topography and other biometric data, ballistic markings change for example, with repeated firing of the handgun or rifle as in hunting or sports shooting. The markings in the barrel of the gun will be obliterated from repeated firings, making "ballistic fingerprints" impossible.
Second, with a premeditated murder or terrorist shooting, as in the aforementioned case of the Washington, D.C.-area sniper, the markings on the bullet or cartridge casing could be altered by the culprit...
Turning back to more traditional formats, the following book sits at the top of our list precisely because I was tempted not to read it, and you might be, too. The Cuban Revolution is 40-year-old ancient history, after all. Everyone knows Fidel Castro is a long-in-the-tooth Communist who holds his country in a death-grip of tyranny and enforced poverty---the only thing Communism has ever produced anywhere. But come on---he grows more endearing with the passage of time, doesn't he, kind of like a crazy old uncle who promises to behave himself if we'll allow him out on Sunday afternoons?
Miguel A. Faria, Jr., is a medical doctor who was lucky enough to have been spirited out of that island nation by his father---also a physician---36 years ago. But these Cuban emigres all grow a bit tedious, don't they? Isn't it time for Castro and the U.S. to kiss and make up?
Well, here's a flash---Miguel Faria is not just "some embittered Cuban emigre." Author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine and Medical Warrior---Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine, this Cuban-American physician and medical-journal editor has made courageous professional sacrifices all over again in this...
El Dr. Miguel A. Faría, Jr., neurocirujano retirado de Macon, ex profesor clínico de Cirugía (Neurocirugía) en la Escuela de Medicina de la Universidad de Mercer y crítico de la investigación sobre armas llevada a cabo por investigadores del gobierno sobre la salud, desde la década de 1990, ha sido nombrado a la Comisión de Revisión de los "Grants" para investigar las Lesiones de los Centros para el Control de las Enfermedades y su Prevención (Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Comenzará a cumplir su periodo inmediatamente a pesar de que se alega tiene fuerte oposición de varios funcionarios de la CDC. El Secretario de Salud y Servicios Humanos(HHS) Tommy G. Thompson, quien nombró al Dr. Faría, defendió su nominación e hizo alusión a la Carta Constitutiva de la Comisión que tiene que "asegurarse que las diversas perspectivas de los líderes en la prevención de las lesions y su control sean consideradas al planear, establecer, implementar y evaluar el programa de investigación en general de lesiones".
Dr. Faría fue uno de los tres médicos que en 1996 atestiguaron ante la Subcomisión de Asignaciones de la...
In Part I of this essay, we discussed the secret epidemic of dengue fever, the Cuban gulag and other aspects of Cuban medicine leading to a poor state of health in that Caribbean island, based on Dr. Dessy Mendoza Rivero's book "¡Dengue! La Epidemia Secreta de Fidel Castro" (in Spanish only).
Cuba's health care system is a disaster for both patients and physicians. Because of the meager salaries paid Cuban physicians, on the average 400 pesos per month (equivalent to $20 U.S.!), many doctors quit the profession and seek jobs in the only industry that offers any chance for economic opportunity and access to dollars the Cuban tourism industry. Doctors can be found driving dilapidated taxis, acting as tour guides, or even working in the paladares (family inns) as meseros (waiters) or cooks.
Those who choose to remain in the medical profession suffer long hours of work and lamentable working conditions. This is particularly true for female physicians who, despite the "liberation" of the Revolution, are not only working mothers but also the spouse who shoulders the lion's share of domestic chores in a persistently machismo-oriented society.