The thorny problem of Cuba, 90 miles from the U.S. coast, refuses to go away. Like it or not, President Bush, like his predecessors, will have to deal with the inherited, persistent problem of the communist Caribbean nation.
It has been said that Fidel Castro's health is not what it has been in the past, that he has been ill. He looks stiff and morose and smiles little. Indeed, the years seem to be taking a toll on the Maximum Leader. It has been rumored even that the U.S. is postponing the impolitic and ill-advised question of lifting the embargo for Castro's successor.
Faustino Oramas (1911-2007), known as "El Guayabero de Cuba," was a composer, singer, troubadour, and Cuban national treasure from Holguín, Oriente, Cuba. This little tribute contains the lyrics to his son "Ritmo Suave." The son, which gained popularity in Cuba in the 1930s, "combines the narrative Spanish canción and Spanish guitar with African rhythms," usually drums and other percussion instruments. The modern salsa is derived from the son.
With all the issues surrounding President Barack Obama's call for normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, the "spy" swap and the "mysteriously" pregnant lady in Cuba, there is a real and disturbing mystery that the American media has shamefully ignored.
In the noted biography, Flawed Patriot (2006) by former CIA agent and author Bayard Stockton, CIA legend Bill Harvey, was introduced to President John F. Kennedy as "America's James Bond."(1) Harvey was indeed a charismatic legend in the CIA, but two other, almost equally unknown American heroes, could also vie for the title. One of them is Feliz Rodríguez Mendigutía, the indomitable subject of the book, Shadow Warrior, who, among his many other accomplishments, helped track and capture Che Guevara in the jungles of Bolivia in 1967.(2)
A book published last year by Brian Latell, a professor, scholar, and retired CIA officer who had been active in foreign intelligence for 35 years, has not received the attention it deserves. The book, Castro's Secrets — The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine (2012) relies extensively on information provided by half a dozen Cuban defectors and several retired CIA officers.
At ninety-eight pages, The JFK Assassination Diary: My Search For Answers to the Mystery of the Century by Edward Jay Epstein is a slim tome, and like most of Epstein's books, it is worth the enthralling read and worth every bit of the price. The tome, clear and concise, is an essential narrative and puzzle-solver for all scholars of JFK and the avid readers of the disturbing assassination.
In his book, After Fidel — The Inside Story of Castro's Regime and Cuba's Next Leader, author Brian Latell, a National Intelligence Officer (1990-1994) and the top analyst for Cuba and Latin America for all the U.S intelligence agencies, describes in persuasive detail the personal relationship between Fidel and Raúl Castro. At the time this book was written, Raúl Castro was the anointed successor to the Maximum Leader.
KGB — The Secret Work of the Soviet Secret Agents by John Barron (Reader's Digest Press, 1974) is a classic KGB espionage saga set during the Cold War!
This is a seminal book and monumental work on the history, the (then) current methods, organization, goals, of Soviet espionage — i.e., KGB foreign intelligence with its First Chief Directorate — and internal security operations — i.e., the Second Chief Directorate.(1)
Passport to Assassination: The Never-Before-Told Story of Lee Harvey Oswald by the KGB Colonel Who Knew Him by Oleg Nechiporenko is a disappointing book for an intriguing subject!
In the book, Castro's Secrets — The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine (2012), author Brian Latell, a professor, scholar, and retired CIA officer who had been active in foreign intelligence for 35 years, relies extensively on information provided by half a dozen Cuban defectors and several retired CIA officers.
Ninety miles from our southern border, one of the world's wealthiest men (worth $1.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine) lives like a king, while his subjects, the Cuban people, live in abject poverty, facing chronic shortages of even the most basic commodities such as food, medicine, clothing and housing, writes Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D., in his newly released book, Cuba in Revolution – Escape From a Lost Paradise.(1)
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?
Most of us who enjoy reading books concerning our world, especially those dealing with acts of courage arising from human tragedy, find a few works that have a lasting effect on our lives, not just because of the subject, but because of the way in which it is presented. Few writers can fill the reader with an overwhelming sense of emotion that normally only comes with first hand experience. I found this in Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago and Armando Valladares' Against all Hope.
El tema político cubano sigue en el tapete casi a diario, ya que hay más de dos millones de exiliados sólo en el territorio de los Estados Unidos...y la situación política del "Verde Caimán -- Cuba -- no se soluciona y ni siquiera se estabiliza.
Los testimonios de aquéllos que huyeron del horror "comunista" -- fachada política de un Tirano que la buscó para encubrir sus ambiciones -- aparecen con cierta frecuencia en forma de historias en los periódicos, revistas y en libros.
The vicious regime of Fidel Castro has for more than 40 years trampled on individual rights in Cuba, but the details of his seizure of power and subsequent Stalinist rule remain surprisingly little known in the United States. Within weeks of the September 11 terrorist attacks, everyone was hearing about the atrocities of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but year after year, Castro and his henchmen torture and kill Cubans who seek elemental human freedoms with virtually no attention from the media. Most Americans remain blissfully ignorant.
An Evening with Dr. Faria
Last week a friend and I went to Coral Gables, Florida to see Dr. Miguel A. Faria, Jr. discuss Cuba in Revolution: Escape from a Lost Paradise. This important book combines autobiography with meticulous analysis, a chronicle of totalitarianism and the exile compelled by it.
Fldel Castro has been the absolute ruler of Cuba for forty-two years, which brings him to the status of the longest ruling Marxist tyrant and most complete living villain in the world.
The Politics of Psychiatry in Revolutionary Cuba by Charles J. Brown and Armando M. Lago,(1) the subject of this issue's Editor's Corner, only came to my attention because its documentation value was mentioned in two special issues of The New American magazine chronicling the Elián González saga,(2,3) the story of the six-year-old Cuban boy who had been a point of contention between the Cuban-American community in Miami who wanted him to stay in American freedom, on the one hand, and the U.S.
By now, most people are aware of the tragedy involving Elián González, the six-year-old Cuban boy who was found floating in an inner tube off Hollywood, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day, 1999. Elián had left Cuba on November 22 on a small boat in the company of his mother, common-law stepfather, and a group of eleven others in search of freedom. The group encountered mechanical difficulty during the crossing and all but three in the group drowned, including Elián's mother. Elián was taken to a hospital following his rescue.
On the Frontiers of Science
"A few weeks ago, Governor George Bush delayed the execution of a Texas inmate so that DNA evidence could be reviewed. That review backfired, providing additional evidence that the inmate was, indeed, guilty. University of Utah Professor Paul G. Cassell had this observation about all the death-penalty yada-yada:
I just read the article, "Castro's 'Doctor Diplomacy,' " published in the November/December 2000 issue of the Medical Sentinel. Congratulations and thank you for prioritizing the subject of Cuba's health care in your publication, and for exposing, through this article, the fraudulent claims Cuba makes about its system and its alleged "medical achievements."
When the West Nile virus first emerged in the U.S as the cause of the encephalitis outbreak in New York, it was considered an epidemiological mystery. The discovery made by an alert veterinarian in the Bronx Zoo, Tracey McNamara, baffled the CDC because that virus had never been present in the Western Hemisphere.
There are many academic studies, articles and books in public records exposing Castro's long term involvement with bacteriological and chemical weapons. The information has been presented in public forums. The U.S. media has been invited but they systematically choose to be absent. Perhaps so that by being absent they can claim, "but I didn't know." This information will also clash with the heavily orchestrated campaign to present Castro as non-threatening in order to normalize relations with Cuba. This collaboration of the U.S.
What Happened to Civil Defense?
"Some time during the first Bush administration, America completely scrapped any vestige of its fledgling civil defense structure. It had eroded badly during President Carter's administration, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took over as the lead agency for civil defense.
Thirty-six years ago after a harrowing ordeal at sea, Miguel A. Faria, Jr., escaped from Cuba with his father and found a new home in the United States. Cuba's loss was America's gain. A consummate historian, Dr. Faria here applies himself with gusto, using a treasure-trove of inside information to tell his personal odyssey and to reveal the true story of the Cuban Revolution and its sell-out to communism. Especially noteworthy are the unknown stories of the Cuban patriots who fought Castro's communist regime.
The U.S. owes a great debt of gratitude to the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who after ten years of painstaking intelligence work finally led to the location in Pakistan and death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011.
April 17, 2011 commemorates the 50th anniversary of America’s disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
During 1960, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower watched with trepidation the establishment of an authoritarian regime in Cuba unfriendly to the United States, only 90 miles from American shores, virtually in America’s own backyard.
Much of the recent discussion among both Democrat and Republican members of Congress regarding the need to lift the travel ban and end the U.S. embargo of Cuba has revolved around the possibility of selling millions of dollars in agricultural products to Cuba. These politicians conveniently forget that the Castro brothers are dictators of the old, unreformed Stalinist variety, who have, in fact, devastated and desolated a once beautiful and prosperous island.
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.