Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Please Help Katrina Victims!!

It is now time for you to do something…. Please donate money…..

Within a few hours their lives were devastated. Every item they owned had been swept away in a torrid wind, which not only shattered their homes, but their souls. From Mississippi, Alabama to Louisiana people hang out to the last shreds of what use to be their lives.

New Orleans’ flooded streets are filled with sewage. Many wade through the toxicated pool that use to be their neighborhoods, in order to save lives. Estimates expect that thousands have died. Many drowned in their own attics. Those who have made it to dry land wander the streets, with no direction, no water, no food, just panting in the smoldering heat.

Many wonder if New Orleans will be lost forever, or will it be a modern Atlantis, dipping into the ocean forever. 85 % of the city is under water. Even if the water is cleared, all those houses will have suffered severe water damage and will probably have to be destroyed. No one can even begin to truly understand what these people are going through. It is our time to help these people.

Babalu Blog is trying to organize people and donations and asking for support to help this ravaged people.

The American Red Cross
You can make a secure online contribution by visiting the Red Cross Online Donation Page.
1-800-HELP-NOW - (1-800-435-7669)

Catholic Charities –
online at Catholic Charities org.
(The official charity endorced by Babalu Blog - "Catholic Charities is the same organization responsible for assistance to many thousands of Cuban refugees arriving to the US throughout the years and is the official Babalú charitable organization. Let's give a little back" )

Salvation Army
online at Salvation Army USA.

FEMA listed the following agencies as needing cash to assist hurricane victims:

-- Operation Blessing, 800-436-6348.
-- America's Second Harvest, 800-344-8070.
-- Adventist Community Services, 800-381-7171.
-- Catholic Charities, USA, 703-549-1390.
-- Christian Disaster Response, 941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554.
-- Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 800-848-5818.
-- Church World Service, 800-297-1516.
-- Convoy of Hope, 417-823-8998.
-- Lutheran Disaster Response, 800-638-3522.
-- Mennonite Disaster Service, 717-859-2210.
-- Nazarene Disaster Response, 888-256-5886.
-- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, 800-872-3283.
-- Southern Baptist Convention -- Disaster Relief, 800-462-8657, ext. 6440.
-- United Methodist Committee on Relief. 800-554-8583.
The Network for Good is also accepting donations for hurricane Katrina relief.

For a complete list of charitable agencies recommended by FEMA, visit

Also read California Yankee for more

Thank you Babalu Blog for your detailed information and work on this matter

On another note, it is beyond me how countries can look at this disaster, the loss of life, property and humanity – and STILL ridicule the United States. Are they so full of hatred and human decency that they can not see past jealousy and see the average person who is suffering in their current personal hell. Some German newspapers, while talking about the tragedy, editorialized saying that it was fit that the US get hit by this storm as we are to blame for global warming!!

Foreigners are VERY VERY wrong thinking that everyone in the US is rich. Many people who are affected by the storm are the poor, those who didn’t have much to begin with. How many of those countries will provide money for this disaster which is currently being estimated over $25 billion!!.... they think that we have enough rich people here and other nations shouldn’t need to help… Goodness forbid they help us, though we have always gone to every countries rescue.

God bless our poor fellow Americans. May this survive this horrible ordeal.

God bless their souls, may they have the strength to continue on and support their neighbor

God bless those that are much more fortunate and may they give as much as possible to help these people.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Cuba Blames US for Deaths at Sea


Fidel Castro is blaming the US government for the death of 31 Cubans who died at sea trying to reach American soil. Cuban officials site the Cuban Adjustment Act, which gives Cubans practically automatic residency once they reach shore (due to the wet foot dry foot policy).... HOW RIDICULOUS IS THIS!! .... Castro oppresses his people, forces them to live in poverty, misery and constant fear, but its the US fault they died trying to reach freedom... Maybe if Cuba was a free and open society, as it claims to be, people won't be dying to leave.... All Cubans know the odds, only 1 in 3 make it to the US. Cuban know they will most likely die, but they risk their lives anyway. "Viva Cuba Libre, Viva Christo Rey"

VOA News - Cuba Blames US for Death of Migrants

Thursday, August 25, 2005

As Cuba loans doctors abroad, some patients object at home - The Boston Globe

article in the Boston globe... brings to light that while Castro is shipping doctors to Chavez, he is short changing the Cuban people and making the horrible medical situation even worse.... not a perfect article, but I am surprized a Boston newspaper even printed this...

As Cuba loans doctors abroad, some patients object at home - The Boston Globe

From The Black Informant : The indoctrination of the American Negro�Cuban style

Found this on Babalu Blog, thanks for brining it to light.... The Black Informant - The indoctrination of the American Negro-Cuban style

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

oh wait Jesse is going to fix it!

Jesse Jackson says he is going to Venezuela to smooth ties between the U.S. and Venezuela after the comments made by Pat Robertson on the "700 Club" denouncing the government of Hugo Chavez. -- Are you kidding me- Jess Jackson!!!

Of course the Venezuelan government jumped on any chance to hype up an Anti-Venezuela/ Anti- Chavez comment and try to put some weight on their allegations that the US government is trying to assassinate Chavez. Even though Robertson is a PRIVATE citizen, with NO official ties to the United States government, the Chavez administration, and some liberals, and over excited media, are trying to link Robertson's statements to the Bush administration. Secretary Rumsfeld all ready said the U.S. had no such plans, calling the statements “inappropriate.” Rumsfeled also said "Our department doesn't do that kind of thing. It's against the law," citing the executive order by President Ford making political assassination off-limits.
The Venezuela Vice President, Jose Vicente Rangel, said Venezuela was considering legal action against Robertson.(exactly for what??? Can the U.S. seek legal action for each time Chavez called for the end of the Bush administration?)

Still Jesse Jackson is asking President Bush to apologize to Venezula!... Even better, Jesse Jackson is going down to visit Chavez this weekend to personally fix the problem....What exactly is he going to do? Light up a Cuban cigar and talk about the last few trips and Cuba and how much fun they had???

Today on Fox, Jesse Jackson said he will talk to Chavez on "human rights and pro-democracy" .... B.S.... this man has no idea what he is talking about. Jesse Jackson has said about Fidel Castro he was "the most honest and courageous politician I've ever met." He also has stated "Viva Fidel! Viva Che!" ... If Jesse Jackson was really interested in human rights and pro-democracy he would denounce the Cuban government, ask for the release of all its political prisoners and ask for free and democratic elections, and he most defiantly would not support murderous dictators like Castro and Che... quick history lesson Mr. Jackson, one party politics does not mean a free and open democracy!!

Maybe Mr. Robertson went a little out there for some Americans (nothing any Cuban hasn't thought of a million times) by asking for the assassination of Chavez. But he is on target by stating that Venezuela would become "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."... Chavez is working with Fidel, a harbor of international terrorism.

Mr. Jackson stay out of this! You’re definition of human rights and democracy is clearly blurred. - U.S. & World - Robertson: I Didn't Say 'Kill' Chavez

The Crazies are back in town!

Unfortunately Cindy Sheehan has decided to make a repeat performance in Texas.... According to her blog - The Blog | Cindy Sheehan: Coming Back to Crawford - she feels she is doing this for her son. (read her blog and comments)I don’t doubt she is truly grieving for her son and is overwhelmed by his death. But I think that her grief is blinding her and allowing other forces to manipulate her and her mission… If you read some of the internal lefty blogs, they don’t want to use her, just her image, as she has come out as anti-Isreal and made some pretty radical statements in the past.

She states in her blog
"I came here two and a half weeks ago for one reason, to try and see the president and get an answer to a very simple question: What is the noble cause that he says my son died for? The answer to that question will not bring my son back. But it may stop more meaningless deaths. Because every death is now a meaningless one. And the vast majority of our country knows this."

With each word that comes out of her mouth, or from her fingertips, more and more I think Ms. Sheehan is allowing this to be more about politics and less about her son.... Meaningless deaths? I ask you to tell that to the girls who know go to to school, to the people who now have running water, for those who know the true meaning of voting and look forward to the future... Are things in Iraq ideal, of course not, but we are transforming a country..... the majority of men and women fighting in Operation Iraq Freedom know they are doing amazing things in that country....

Any doubt I had was forever changed when I received a note from a college friend who did 2 tours in Iraq. He was part of the first group to cross the euphrates river. He was stationed on top of humvee as the shooter. His letters depicted the putrid smell in the streets from the lack of pluming and running water or any type of waste handling. He didn't understand what they were fighting for, as the country was already in shambles even before the US put foot in the nation. But he said, "I fight for our freedom, and for their freedom, if i die here, i know i have given my life so another can experience the taste of freedom, just like our forefathers did for us."

I can happily say he is back home in Miami, and still supports the war and its efforts. He is pained he can't still be with his platoon. He came back after being shot. But thankfully he is fine with no major injuries.

God Bless our troops

31 Cuban migrants feared dead

It was is being called the deadliest migrant boating accident in years -- the Coast Guard is still looking for 31 missing Cubans in the Florida Straits. The exiles left Cuba on Aug. 10 backing the 10 passenger speedboat with 34 people. The boat capsized 30 minutes after living Cuba. Three Cubans - two women, one man - was rescued by an Antiguan merchant ship, 30 miles north of Matanzas, Cuba.

We pray for these brave souls! May the lord watch over them and their families....

It is beyond me how people don't understand, while Cubans die to leave others pay to go to this "paradise"..... If it really was so wonderful why are so many risking their lives to get out of hell!

As my boss would say, most people lack common sense!!! | 08/24/2005 | 31 Cuban migrants feared dead

Say it ain't so....

Today many of Washingtonians mourn the departure of a Capitol Hill landmark - Capitol Lounge. The happy hour favorite suffered serious damages due to a fire in the early morning hours.

A hazy layer of smoke covered the corner of 3rd and Pennsylvania, while many Capitol Hill folks pondered where would they go now?

The Lounge's manager, Simon, speculated the fire could have been started by the donut fryer. No reports of injuries.

UPDATE: New reports state the fire may have been caused by a cigarette dropped into a garbage can and left overnight. The left side of the bar is totally destroyed. The Right side has sustained pretty bad smoke damage. Yet the Cap Lounge will live again -- The owner had good insurance (yeah for planning ahead) and plan to re-open within two to three months.

tear, tear... so many good times at Cap Lounge.... we will miss you friend...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Boli-Nica : Is Chavez, Fidel's New Sugar Daddy???

Very interesting .... Boli-Nica On Bolivia, Nicaragua, Latin America and US Politics: Is Chavez, Fidel's New Sugar Daddy???

some people are so ignorant, read the comments too..

WT - Democrats fail to gain traction from Bush slip

Democrats fail to gain traction from Bush slip -The Washington Times, America's Newspaper:

The Washington Times published an article today stating, that even with the all the Democrats attacks on the President and the Administration (increasing terrorism violence, high gas prices and low approval ratings), the "Blue Team" still can't get any traction to use to their advantage for the upcoming election cycle. Though 18 months away, pollsters, politicos and government junkies are glaring at the numbers trying to figure out was is next.

Also in the article by Donal Lambro he highlights that Hispanics aren't "returning" to the Democratic party as they hoped.

"Mr. Greenberg found growing fissures among Hispanics on issues that could cut into the Democrats' vote next year.
'Social issues, like abortion and gay marriage, create a modest crosscurrent in the Hispanic community that contributed, perhaps marginally, to the erosion of the Hispanic vote' in the 2004 presidential election, he said.
Hispanics who voted Republican were 'slightly more pro-life and slightly more favorable to pro-life groups,' he said. His survey also found significant Hispanic opposition -- 34 percent -- to any new immigration. "

Thursday, August 18, 2005

World's Longest-Held POWs Freed

Today 404 Moroccan Prisoners of War arrived home. These POW's, the world's longest held POW's - some held for more then 2 decades, are the last of more than 2,400 held by Western Sahara's exiled Polisario Front.

These men share something with the Cuban people - hatred for Fidel Castro. The Cuban regime heavily assisted the Polisario, providing guns, money, training and logistical support. They allowed Castro to spread his global effort against the West and its allies.

This fight over the Western Sahara area, located in Northern African, began in 1975 when Spain withdrew as the colonial power. Morocco then reclaimed the area, historically part of the country. But then, the Soviet Union -- with help from Cuba, Libya and Algeria -- assisted a group of rebels, the Polisario Front, in hopes of making the area another Communist state. The Polisario Front got overwhelming assistance from Cuba, at the request of Algeria.

In true Cuban fashion these POW's were horribly tortured "witnessing summary executions of fellow soldiers; being forced to serve as involuntary blood donors to their captors; providing slave labor; undergoing routine physical interrogations; denial of adequate food, clothing, shelter and medical attention and absolutely no contact with their families – many thinking they were dead." Clearly they were taught my Cuban experts on torture and human rights violations.

Continuously from 1976 the Cubans trained the group in Cuba and in the Saharan territory, providing instruction in military actions against Morocco, providing education and indoctrination to thousands of Sahroui children who were separated from their parents for extended stays in Cuba; providing medical, educational and cultural assistance; and training officers to act as military leaders, and providing diplomatic support to the Polisario position in the international community.

Throughout the years of the war, from 1975 till September 1991, Morocco fought off Cuban naval ships, and war planes. Cuba was also actively engaged in an arms delivery program to the Polisario Front. Cuba continued their military support despite a United Nations sponsored cease fire.

Naturally the Polisario group denies any relationship with the Cuban government. Most likely, out of fear that it may cause political trouble with the U.S.A.. Yet on the other hand, Cuba speaks openly about their long time friendship and cooperation with the North African group.

Their working relationship is still very vibrant. As recent as 2003, the last know class of Polisario combatants graduated from military schools in Cuba. And even today, some 350 to 500 Sahraoui children (ages 9 – 11) are being trained in Cuba about communist ideology and anti-west propaganda, unescorted by their parents for extended periods of time, as long as 15 years and upwards.

There are many more atrocities, human rights violations and despicable behavior being perpetuated by the Polisario with heavy assistance from the Castro regime. None of which should shock Cuban-American too much, as we know what types of things the Castro government is capable of doing.

The long-awaited release of the prisoners is the product of an international effort, with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross; Fondation France Liberte; Les Jackson, executive director of American Ex- Prisoners of War; U.S. Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL); and U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

A few months ago a few of the freed POW’s visited the Washington area and visited Capitol Hill. They spread their story to anyone that would listen. They shared how they were ripped away at the prime of their lives. Some missing limbs, some feeling they had lost their souls, all willing to tell people about the realities they lived through.

More people must know that Castro does not stop in Cuba. He is a harbored of international terrorism and anything to destroy the west and its allies.

We must spread the story of these POWs in their honor and in honor of their Cuban brothers still suffering in Cuba’s jails. (QDTBA)

More informatio:
Morocco welcomes last POWs from Polisario camps

Moroccan American Center for Policy

Is Cindy Sheehan being used by the left?

Today Cindy Sheehan decided to leave the president's Texas Ranch. Unfortunately her mother has had a stroke and she is going to be at her side.

I can only imagine what this woman is going through. For days she has placed herself outside of the President's Crawford home asking to see the President for a second time to talk about the war. Her conviction for the cause must be great, as she sees the rest of her world crumble in front of her: her husband and childhood sweetheart is divorcing her, her surviving son has asked her to come home and the rest of her family came out stating they don't support her. Add to this her most recent personal tragedy.

The support for this mother has come like an avalanche groups like, Operation Pink and Michael Moore - desperate to have a real, pull-at-your-heart-strings figure to be the face of the anti-war movement. Hundreds of gathered with her…. Hundreds others have gathered against her.

For the last few weeks the media has played up, in its usual exaggerated way, the possibility of this mother leading a new Vietnam style Anti-War movement. Headlines have pushed saying like: the GOP should be scared and various editorials have come out about support or opposition for Sheehan. Her face has been everywhere. And the Bush haters of the world couldn’t be happier.

Part of me feels apprehensive to criticize a women going through so many tragedies, but I am also apprehensive to be tolerant of her radical positions. She has called the President the greatest terrorist. And sometimes has been so obsessed with the issue – updating her blog daily, doing various media interviews each day and making more statements outside the scope of the death of her son. It makes you wonder…… The possible death of her mother was too much and she has run to her side. I pray for her and her family that may find peace.

Clearly Cindy Sheehan has a lot of rage, hate and grief. But she must understand that not all people in her same position feel that way. She speaks for a few but not all of those effected by this war. I hope that she does not become a vechile for what many left extremist want – a huge anti-war movement – it would only destroy this country and more importantly destroy the men and women Ms. Sheehan says she is protecting. God Bless our soilders.

Also read Linda Chavez opinion on the entire situation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Best Cities For Singles

On a completly different note, DC was ranked one of the Best Citites For Singles... could have fooled me.... If any one knows of some nice single Latin boys, (my grandma would apprecaite a Cuban, but I do live in D.C.) please pass them along this way..... The Best Cities For Singles

From Cuba: Gov’t Opposition leaders continue to being harrased…

This Press Release was just issued about the latest attack on Cuban Opposition leaders…

Members of the Democratic Party 30 of November "Frank País" subjected to infamous pogroms.

(HAVANA/CUBA/August 16/ –
At least five members of the National Executive of the Democratic Party 30 of November "Frank País" suffered in front of their homes on Monday, which were organized by sympathizers of the Cuban regime, blocking off the the entrance to their homes and no one was allowed to leave or enter the house, declared Anaika Paneca Román in a telephone interview with the Information Bridge Cuba Miami.

Paneca Roman who is Vice President of Democratic Party 30 of November "Frank País", denounced that at dawn of the day in question a group of strangers congregated in front of her house launching a *pogrom, shouting that she was a worm at the service of the empire, they were threatening her and blocked off the entrance to her home and did not allow anyone to leave or enter the house. A few members of her party fooled the mob and managed to enter the house and accompanied her throughout the terrible ordeal that lasted until late hours of the night. A young man arrived in a show of solidarity and was brutally beaten by the mob and arrested by the political police.

Anaika Paneca Roman is the wife of the opponent Frank García Llerena, a member of the executive of the P-D-30N until last year when he was forced to take to the sea due to political persecution but was intercepted at sea, and is presently in a prison in the Bahamas waiting for a political asylum visa from a third country to avoid repatriation. Anaika and Frank have a 7 year old daughter who cried inconsolably all through the infamous pogrom for she is a traumatized little girl has endured years of unjust harassments, abuses and the imprisonment of her parents, as a result she is undergoing psychological treatment.

According to Anaika, parallel pogroms were being held in front of the homes of Raiza Martinez Llerena, Reinel Sánchez Calvo, Antonio Batista, Idalmis Balbuena Santos and Mirta Villanueva Almeida, all members of the National Executive of the Democratic Party 30 of November "Frank País".

Subsequently, Information Bridge Cuba-Miami was able to make telephone contact with Mirta Villanueva Almeida, Secretary of the Feminine Front of Democratic Party 30 of November "Frank País", and mother of Camilo Perez Villanueva – a founding member of the Political Presidio Pedro Luis Boitel who recently was forced to leave the Island due to political persecution- and she pointed out that a pogrom was being held in front of her house , there were around forty people, all of them older men and women, blocking her front door, shouting offensive words and threatening her. They were blocking her front door and did not allow any one to entered or leave the house.

Mirtha recognized several of her neighbors amongst the harassing mob, she felt such indignation because her neighbors did not take into consideration that she is a sick 70 year old woman and that living with her is her pregnant granddaughter and two small children, one is 3 and the other 13 who were crying in terror, so she opened the front door, shouting at them said that no one was going intimidate her and proceeded to hang the Cuban Flag upside down outside her front door in protest, then she went back inside her home.

Lastly, Villanueva informed us that they had to abort a meeting of the Democratic Party 30 of November "Frank País" programmed for that day in her home with the purpose of officially presenting the newly elected National Executive Directive of the above mentioned party.

*Pogrom, is a Russian term for government officially organized mobs, to persecute, psychologically harass and physically abuse minority political opponents in the streets and in their homes.

Reporting from Havana for the Information Bridge Cuba Miami Anaika Paneca Román, vice president of the Democratic Party 30 of November "Frank País", and Mirta Villanueva Almeida, secretary of the Feminine Front of the party in question. Given on the 15th day of August of 2005.

Time's influential Hispanics The 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America -- Page 1

The latest edition of Time Magazine unveils its’ list of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics. Sprinkling every arena of American life – from politics, arts, education – its showcases the Hispanic community is much a part of America as apple pie or Dulce de Leche ice cream.

I applaud TIME.Magainze’s work in recognizing Hispanics and their countless contribution to all sectors of American society.

We need more positive reinforcement and change the minds of people that all Hispanics/Latinos are not the cleaning ladies, landscapers and the day laborers they are use to seeing perpetuated in the media and in the daily lives.

Hispanics, just like all Americans come from all socio-economic backgrounds with all different levels of education, skill and achievement. A proud people with a rich culture, who are as different from the countries they come from.

I moved to D.C. two years ago from the pseudo Latin-American country known as Miami, Florida. It took me months to get over the culture shock – the people, the attitudes and their perceptions of me. I still get called “the foreign girl” by some of my rich ignorant neighbors who only hear my accent. (For goodness sakes I was born in the freaking U.S. and my family has been in the US since the 50s!!)

Growing up in Miami, you practically grow up in a bubble. You are raised in a city where the majority of the people are like you – Hispanic and fluent Spanish speakers. It can be seen as a double edged sword sometimes. I had positive role models everywhere: politicians, entrepreneurs, athletes, models, intellectuals, everything! (ok with a sprinkle of corruption, craziness and spy scares here and there… still positive) There was never a question if I was going to college, just which one. Both my parents went to college and stressed the importance of education and my self empowerment. My family did well before coming to the United States and I was often told stories of their successes. My parents always told me I could achieve anything I wanted to accomplish. ( I love my family!)

I really didn’t even understand the term “Hispanic/Latino” until I started traveling around the U.S. with high school programs.Suddenly I was getting comments of my accent, my culture, no one spoke Spanish, I couldn’t find a cortadito if my life depended on it, and people kept refereeing to me and “my people.” I had no freaking idea what was going on!!! Quickly I realized the meaning of “Hispanic/Latino” and what it meant in the rest of the U.S.A. I felt like I had to constantly prove to them how smart, educated, eloquent and fine mannered I was. It felt like reality came plummeting down on me like a huge ACME anvil in a Warner Brothers cartoon. I was the coyote, waiting for the inevitable. BOOM!!! The reality changed my life for the better.

Many years later when I moved to the nation’s capitol, I thought I would be ready for anything. Yet, still finding a good cortadito is hard (I just have a machine at home and work now) and the comments still tweak me the wrong way.

My first month in D.C. I was telling one of my co-worker that I was worried I would lose my Spanish speaking skills, as I didn’t use them as much anymore. He tied to reassure me that the area was full of Spanish speakers, “Don’t worry, there are so many people here you can speak Spanish to. Just talk to the cleaning staff. They are all Hispanic.” I tried to smile politely but it was a very real reality - that is what people think of Hispanics.

I guess I always understood what it was to be “Hispanic/Latino” but never considered it a sub-culture. To me I was just another American kid whose parents come from another country. Just like my friends with Italian parents or French parents or Chinese parents. I didn’t understand the big deal. I guess in a world where we constantly try to organize and classify things to understand them, it was a bid deal. People want to be able to box you and qualify you to make themselves feel better on how to deal with you.

Once in a while people would tell me they didn’t understand me because of my accent. I was in shock – first I didn’t even know I had an accent and second, if you think I am bad, you got to speak to my Tio Pepe!!! Por Dios, sometimes I don’t even understand him! Other moments it got so frustrating I started making elaborate stories of my origin, pretended not to speak English or just spoke Portuguese, a language I learned in college – anything to keep positive. At one point some lady refused to call me by my name and just called me Maria, as clearly, all Latina women have the same name. Yes sometimes it got really bad. But things eventually got better – in life they always do.

These days I feel I am no longer in shock and understand what is going on in American. Just like the Irish and Italian were bashed by American English society until they integrated into the culture, so is the path of our Latin American brethren. Time Magazine’s article only shows that our Spanish Speaking brother and sisters are becoming an integral part of all society and there is no way to turn back now.

Among my friend I still stand out. I’m the spicy Latin girl with the Miami style, surrounded by Northeasterners, bright hued popped collard polos and flip flops. My circle is laced with other DC Hispanics, mostly Cubans from Miami. We love the fact we can dance, cook and debate better then most of our “Anglo” friends. Many times we don’t even notice the difference – well except on a dance floor. I know part of the shock was just being away from Mami, Papi and Abuela, and part was just plain growing up. Now that I am comfortable again, I am almost “culture blind.”

Thank you TIME for pushing forward the positive influences of Hispanics in the U.S. I still laugh at Desi in “I Love Lucy” and love seeing the stars in an Oscar De La Renta or Carolina Herrera. I eat Kellogg’s in the morning because I know our current Secretary of State – Carlos Gutierrez - use to run the company. So many little things can be attributed to Hispanics in the country. Long live diversity and long live our complicated and cosmopolitan culture…

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Granma spwes more lies

Read this piece by Carlos Alberto Montaner. The Castro government and their cronies will stop at nothing to destroy people in, or outside the island Granma concocts false history

Granma defends Jim DeFede

What else can I say. The Granma, the Cuban government's official newspaper, is defending Jim DeFede... Check out Bablu Blog, great post ... Babalu Blog: Granma defends Jim DeFede

Online community aims to united Latinos, only gets half the point across

In a article published today in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel a new internet poltical advocacy group is spot lighted - Blue Latinos. , an organization created in April with about 9,000 members, was created by José Quiñonez. He came up with the idea for the web page after working on the 2004 Presidential election in South Florida for, the nation's largest liberal online advocacy group. (P.U.)

Not surprisingly the group gets its name, Blue Latino, from "Blue" representing the color associated with Democrats and the John Kerry states in the last presidential election.

According their web page, its focus is to challenge the misconceptions of Latinos and "To organize progressive Latinos online and harness energy and resources to move voters, particularly Latino voters, toward progressive issues and action."

Yet, I can’t help but be a bit cautious that Quiñonez may miss the point he is trying to obtain. His web page claims that they do not lean for one party or another. In fact on their page is an analysis on why the Democrats lost the Latino vote. (very good perceptions by the way.) Yet because of the name of the organization, the history of the creator and the underlying emphasis on why the Democrats lost this vital group and how to regain them – I am pushed to believe he is fractionizing the Latino community.

By politically dividing the Latino community between red/ blue or republican/democrat you loose the power of the Hispanic voice. The reason the Latino community was so heavily courted in the 2004 presidential election is because so many had no idea what way they were leaning.

What Mr. Quiñonez should do is keep the focus on pressing issues to the Latino community and support anyone who supports our cause. If you want to lean one way or another, that is ok, but hopefully he or the group will not block people out before they have a chance to help.

I am a very proud Republican, but if there is a democrat that supports the Cuban cause, I am going to support them. All hail Rep. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), and a many other Dems. During the last series of votes on Cuba policy they worked with the Diaz-Balarts, Ros-Lehtinen and many Republican members to obtain the first victory on the amendments in years.

Fractionizing the community does not service to the cause, other then alienate vital members of such community. We can all have our allegiances but party alliance should not be based on ethnic group but by a person's personal priorities.

I only hope Mr. Quiñonez is not like some Kerry supporters – still bitter with the loss, still annoyed that many in South Florida did not feel the need to vote democrat just because someone checked off “Latino” on their census.

On the web page it says: “Why is necessary? -- In five words: two thousand and four elections. --The 2004 presidential election may have been one of the most important in our lifetime. It was a battle between worldviews of those in 'Blue America' and those in 'Red America' and it set the political tone for our country, which will reverberate for generations to come. Given the significant electoral support for President Bush by Latinos, it is clear that the fight for the hearts and minds of Latino voters is the next battleground.”

We thankfully live in the U.S.A., this wonderfully free country, and vote for representatives of our government who support our most pressing issues. That is why so many Cubans and other South Florida Hispanics vote republican in South Florida. (and don’t even get me started on how I really think on Hispanics and political parties… also see past post “Que Viva Hialeah”)

Understandably the Republican Party isn’t perfect on Hispanic issues, but for that matter neither are the Democrats. Are there Republicans that are anti-immigration, yeah (a.k.a. Rep. Tancredo for example) but dozens of others, including Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Senator McCain, Rep. Flake (super YUCK on Cuba, but not bad on some other issues), are working for better policies.

Open up your eyes Mr. Quiñonez and do something for ALL Hispanics that can create a universal change. You claim that is an online organization for progressive Latinos, but do something really progressive, move past your own party lines and into the real subject matter- Hispanic Self Empowerment. You have a great idea but you have to expand your base. A great lesson you can learn from those darn Republicans.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Interview with Author Humberto Fontova

Great interview with Humberto Fontova, author of "Fide: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant."

I love this guy!!

Global Politician

Iran and Cuba to issue joint stamp

Iran and Cuba just announced they will issue a joint stamp in order to foster bilateral cooperation.

Though a stamp may appear to be a simple gesture to show collaboration, this latest show of cooperation is just another tie between these two nations. Theses countries have had worked closely since the 1980s and are both on the U.S.A.’s list of terrorist nations.

Not surprisingly Cuba called for the creation of trilateral ties between Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela.
Is anyone really surprised these countries are working together?

Goodness forbid that Castro do anything by himself these days without his sugar daddy and best friend Chavez. Just as Iran's new administration is appointing more hard liners and anti-west cabinet members, they align themselves with two of the worlds biggest opponents to the U.S.A. - Cuba and Venezuela. Iran and Cuba to issue joint stamp

What is next for these countries….. We must learn from the past to better understand the future.

In May 2001 Fidel Castro visited Iran and was greeted with the highest level of honor by the Islamic Republic. What followed the landmark visit was three days of talks on how to bolster ties between the nations, deal with the each countries US-imposed unilateral embargoes and general American bashing.

Before leaving the Iranian capital Castro and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Khatami, affirmed that the trip had been "very constructive." During a meeting with Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Castro, Khamenei proposed an "Irano-Cuban cooperation" against the United States.

"Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees. The US regime is very weak, and we are witnessing this weakness from close up," Castro affirmed.

Cindy Sheehan expands her political stand - refuses to pay taxes

Cindy Sheehan, the mother protesting outside of Bush's Crawford Ranch, is now expanding her position saying the US should pull out of Iraq and for Israel to get out of Palestine. Also she stated she won't pay takes unless her get her son back.. ... In a statement issued by her family last week, they worried she was using her son's legacy in order to promote her own political agenda. Her surviving son, who does support her in principle, has begged her to come home saying he needs her support at home. Yet Ms. Sheehan continues to wait outside the Texas ranch and criticizes the president and his policy.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Annoying people found everywhere

This weekend I went to a friend’s house for a BBQ. Thinking it would be just another lazy Saturday afternoon, trying to stay cool in the D.C.'s swamp heat, the day quickly changed to a heated political argument – about nothing else but Cuba.

Clearly my azabache black hair and Miami accent stand out among the blond preppy northeastern raised Smiths of the world that lace my circle of friends. I usually get the question “What country are you from?” Which I respond, “Miami.” That conversation quickly moves on to Cuba.

My interrogator usually tells me they think Cuba is so cool, or they make a silly comment if I can get them cigars, or even better, they tell me how someone in their family (or themselves) has gone to Cuba.

My usually positive demeanor turns sour, and I try to deter my passionate nature and tell them how I do not support any travel to Cuba and have never visited the island. I tell them I support the embargo and hate Fidel Castor. I also tell them how my grandfather was a political prisoner, a plantado, for 14 years in the communist island; his only crime was refusing the party.

Many times my interrogator is ignorant of the issues, and after a few words he/she realizes they don’t know anything about Cuba other then moments captured in a movie. Yet once in a while I get one of “those people” who feels the embargo is a stupid antiquated policy and that Cuba isn’t really that bad. Such was the case on Saturday.

As my blood begins to boil in the already sweltering summer heat, I try to keep my composure as this young man, probably about 22, tells he has gone to Cuba 3 times for cultural exchanges. How he studied architecture and believes the embargo only hurts the Cuban people. We debate in Spanish; he even speaks with a slight Cuban accent. For the next 30 minutes we go back and forth. My friends try to stop the conversation, as they have experienced this situation a few times and know how I get, but their efforts to get me to stop talking and start drinking beer with them are futile.

In the end his main argument was that the embargo has restricted products from the Cuban people and has restricted the freedoms of American’s to travel and share the views of democracy in the island. I citied the only embargo that exist in Cuba is the one imposed by Castro. I asked if he ever had a problem finding anything – of course not, he went to the tourist stores. I asked if he had to stand in line for food or waited in line in one of Castro's Cuban hospitals. No he hadn't, though he citied he knew the medical situation was not that great. But I did mention, he stayed in a Cuban hotel, a hotel Cubans can't go into, unless you work there or are a prostitute. I asked if he ventured around Cuba and saw it for what it was. He said he did architectural tours with a professor. I asked how many tourist do you see in Cuba – it is filled with people from all over the world, from democracies all over the world. I asked him, Are you so pompous to think the addition Americans are suddenly going to change things. I continued, Cubans know about America. They risk their lives every day to come to the U.S. In the end of the day the only reason you want the embargo to be lifted is not because of your concern for the Cuban people, but for your own selfish need to travel to a terrorist harboring state, which has an apartheid system, allows the largest ring of child prostitution and has hundreds of prisoners of consciousness.

Our debate ended with him walking away, rambling something about cultural exchanges were good, but he didn't know what else to say to me. Later that evening he apologized. By then everyone was annoyed by him and his persistence to debate with me, and so was I. But that is life in D.C. I don’t know if I changed his mind, but at least I made him think, hopefully for the better.

It’s amazing to me how many of “those people” I find in Washington. In clubs, hanging out with friends, even on a date (yuck!); but it never fails. I run into the Castro praising, Che lovers. I don’t mind the debate. Each time I run into “those people” my convictions grow stronger, my points become sharper and in turn my friends learn more about Cuba. Some times they even step in for me.

Though I was not born on the island, and my mother left when she was only 3 years old, Cuba is as much a part of me as breathing. And though the air may be a little toxic, we must keep breathing the fumes until Cuba is free. We will eventually all smell the sweet Caribbean breeze, and be able to arrogantly smile at “those people” but until then, we breath a little easier knowing we are doing our small part and wait for some air.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Que Viva Hialeah - Us Cuban are always "Right" - sometimes

Hialeah, Florida was ranked the 4th most conservative city in the country. 08/12/2005 Hialeah tallies fourth on 'right' stuff list

It still amazes me at times the political situation in Miami. It is a city with one of the largest social-economic gaps in the country; with a larger number of registered Democrats over Republicans, and yet manages to vote conservative on important issues. A city which votes for Republican Presidents and has three Republican members of Congress. No other large urban area can boast such statistics.

While working on the recent Bush campaign in Miami, I saw the fervor and dedication of my fellow Hispanic Republicans. Their passion for the party and our President was motivational and made the long hours all worth it.

In Washington D.C., Hispanic Republicans are as common as cold days in Miami. They exist, just not to many of them. Hispanic Democrats are boggled by the existence of Spanish speaking GOP-ers. Polls like this make my day.

Hispanics are a complicated group of people. We are not one race, or one unified culture. We are mixture of people from hundreds of background joined together by language and tradition.

The Hispanics in Miami come from countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezula, to name a few... Many of them came to the U.S. because their countries had leftist dictatorships - Fidelistas, Sandinistas, Chavistas. They left because they believed in freedom to choose their own destiny, hard work and an open market and society. They come together in Miami, joined by their common language, strong moral character and conservative nature to push forward. They have made the best of their situations and have made Miami a huge prosperous city.

Miami is equally divided with Conservatives and Liberals. The list didn't have Miami in the top 100 on either political side. Yet, no one can not deny, Miami is a city full of passion, hot blooded people and more opinions then drops of water in the ocean, we all seem to live in harmony. ... well sometimes......

UPDATED: ReadThe Cuban American Pundit's letter to the Editor published in The Miami New Times ---

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Soldier in Iraq records underground country hit - COUNTRY MUSIC -

Proud American soilder sings "American by God's Amazing Grace,"

Soldier in Iraq records underground country hit - COUNTRY MUSIC -

Fallen Soilder's family pleads: Please Stop, Cindy!

For the last few days Cindy Sheehan has been parked outside of President Bush’s Texas ranch, asking to see the President and for the Troops to come back from Iraq.

While I pray for her son and can only imagine her grief (no parent should have to outlive their child) I can not agree with her actions, and apparently neither does her family.

In a post on Drudge Report, Matt Drudge published a release from the family stating they did not agree with Cindy Sheehan’s actions and support the troops, the war and the President.

We can only imagine this mother’s grief, yet I can only help but wonder what her son must think. He voluntarily agreed to sign up for the military. He might not have a choice in going to Iraq but thousands of solders stationed in that war torn country believe in what they are doing and they know that a full pull out now would only spell disaster for the emerging democracy. Not only would it show weakness on the part of the U.S., destroy the few fibers of democracy that exists in the middle east, but it would also be a win for the terrorist, who will publicize the pull out as a victory for their side.

Thu Aug 11 2005 12:56:21 ET

The family of American soldier Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004, has broken its silence and spoken out against his mother Cindy Sheehan's anti-war vigil against George Bush held outside the president's Crawford, Texas ranch.

The following email was received by the DRUDGE REPORT from Cherie Quarterolo, Casey's aunt and godmother:

Our family has been so distressed by the recent activities of Cindy we are breaking our silence and we have collectively written a statement for release. Feel free to distribute it as you wish. Thanks � Cherie

In response to questions regarding the Cindy Sheehan/Crawford Texas issue: Sheehan Family Statement:

The Sheehan Family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the the expense of her son's good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect.


Casey Sheehan's grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.


Friday, August 05, 2005

Cuba's New Crack Down

The Miami Herald's editorial talks about the Cuban dissidents and Fidel's new crack down. This latest show of force my the tyrant should reassure us that the dissident movement is working. Everything coming out of the island these days is laced with a tremor in their voice. They know the end is coming soon and the people of Cuba are standing up, with force, against the regime...

The article is below, ... Couldn't said it better myself....

In addition, if you have not read Humberto Fontova's book "Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant" please do so, he highlights the many stupid ways Hollywood's left idealize Castro and Che.

From the Miami Herald's Editorial Aug. 5th.

Cuba's new crackdown

Once again, Cuba is detaining dissidents and charging them with crimes that don't exist in any free country on Earth.

Some might tire of hearing the same old news, as if jailing people for peacefully criticizing an abusive government is normal. We tire of the dictator who continues to violate the human rights of Cubans and yet is courted like a rock star in parts of this region.

René Gómez Manzano, Oscar Mario González and Julio César López deserve better. The three prominent Cuban dissidents were arrested before they even had a chance to make it to a pro-democracy protest. Now they are being prosecuted under the same law used to punish 75 peaceful dissidents with lengthy prison terms in 2003.

Media throughout the world took notice of that crackdown, and calls to release the political prisoners rained down on the Cuban regime. Last year, the regime released 14 of those 75 prisoners, and the European Union rewarded it by lifting sanctions it had imposed because of the crackdown. The regime, though, hasn't changed its stripes.

Now Messrs. Gómez, González and López are among the 15 activists detained in connection with two peaceful protests in July. Their charges allege that they were involved in causing a ''public disorder.'' In reality, pro-government mobs were the ones beating on the dissidents.
Mr. Gómez already has served three years in prison for co-writing The Homeland Belongs to Us All, a critique of Cuba's one-party rule. Mr. González is a respected independent journalist. Mr. López is a pro-democracy militant with an independent library. Their ideas are dangerous only to a regime built on repression and lies.

Once again, the world needs to take note and call for their release. Send a message to the Cuban regime from the Human Rights First website: http://www.humanrights/

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bush signs CAFTA-DR; Venezuela's Chavez says CAFTA 'perverse'

Today Bush signed CAFTA-DR.

For anyone still on the fence if CAFTA-DR is a good or bad idea, here is one more push for the “Pro” direction.

Venezuelan “President” Hugo Chavez called the trade agreement "perverse.” He claimed it would “hurt the Latin American nations.” … Shocker! … Chavez opposed to an agreement that would align various Latin nations with the U.S.A. and bolster democracy, economic opportunity and reform in those nations….

For the last four years the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic have been in talks with the United States over this trade deal. Anyone visiting Washington D.C. or Capitol Hill could see dozens of official delegations for Latin America swarming the halls trying to convince Members of Congress to vote for CAFTA. These countries want this trade agreement! They need this trade agreement!

CAFTA-DR eliminates trade barriers between the United States and the Latin American countries. The agreement will help these nations solidify their democratic principles, compete in the global market place, increase economic competitiveness, reduce poverty, increase trade, attract investments and help regional integration in a positive manner.

Chavez and Castro are opposed to this deal because it means these Latin American nations will not have to depend on the authoritarian populist propaganda they provide. Chavez/Castro attack CAFTA-DR because they want to undermine pro-American governments, and make nations more vulnerable to radical groups such as the FMLN in El Salvador and FSLN in Nicaragua. If these developing democracies fall into the hands of radicals Castro/Chavez can come in and “save” these nations. The agreement does exactly what the two commies don’t want to happen -- help insulate these vulnerable nations from the threat posed by Cuba and Venezuela and make them stronger democracies.

In addition, if the U.S. government had not make this deal a reality. If CAFTA-DR had failed in Congress, how does the U.S. government face these nations, continuously asking them for support and bringing nothing to the table? Countries, like El Salvador, have sent troops to Iraq and support the administration, all while facing great opposition in their home counties. The United States has to make the CAFTA-DR a reality, not only to increase our own trade with these nations, and support democracy around the world, but to be able to work with these nations in the future. By saying no to CAFTA-DR, you say no to Latin America…. the U.S. does not have that option….

Venezuela's Chavez says CAFTA 'perverse'

Monday, August 01, 2005

Cuban Gov't upset at Bush Transition Plan

Just like a grandparent shaken by the “youngsters” making funeral plans in front of them, the Cuban government is shaken by the U.S. government’s Cuba Transition Project. It’s a clear message to the Castro clan, and their cronies, that their reign will not last forever and the free world is ready.

The state department named Caleb McCarry to the post of Cuba transition coordinator. Working for eight years on the International Relations Committee and with the Cuban American Representatives - Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart – he has an unfaltering understanding of the Cuban reality. He has also close ties with Ambassador Roger Noriega, who he has worked with for many years on Latin American and Cuba issues.

McCarry, who is fluent in Spanish, is a great pick by the state department and was highly recommended by the Diaz-Balart camp. With $59 million in funding the commission’s main purpose is to support the Cuban civil society and empower them to foster democratic change in the island, as stated by Secretary Rice during the announcement at the State Department.

The Communist government is just scared of anything and everything coming from the “Yankee” government. As stated by Alarcaon, "This is proof that they are really following the plan. ... (McCarry) will coordinate everything the United States does to overthrow the revolution." ….. Well I Alarcon, for once I hope your right!!!!

article: International'>">International News Article

Cuba Transition Coordinator Caleb McCarry
US State Department Statement by Cuba Transition Coordinator Caleb McCarry
Treaty Room Washington, DC

Madam Secretary, thank you for your leadership on behalf of a free Cuba. I am honored that you have entrusted me with this opportunity to serve our country and the cause of freedom.
I want to also thank my friend and mentor, Roger Noriega, for his confidence in me. I thank the Members of Congress, my colleagues and friends, and all the representatives of the Cuban-American community for being here today.

Most of all, I want to thank my wife Nan, and our wonderful children, Will and Caroline, for their love and support.

The United States of America is and will always be the friend of the Cuban people. The report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba is an intelligent, generous and, above all, respectful offer and commitment of support to the Cuban people.
While the dictatorship formulates its plans to perpetuate itself in power in darkness, the Commission's report is a public document. It is not an imposition, but a comprehensive statement of what the United States is prepared to do to help the Cuban people secure the liberty and prosperity that are their right.

For 46 years, the dictatorship has willfully and cruelly divided the Cuban family. It will be Cubans brave souls on the island itself and from around the world who will determine the future of a free Cuba. It is the responsibility of the civilized world to act to see that the Cuban family is reunited under political and economic freedom.
Nuestro compromiso es ver el día cuando todos los cubanos del mundo, en gozo de plena libertad, podrán pronunciar desde cada rincón de la patria de Martí la frase que de labios de los Mambises nació: ¡Viva Cuba Libre!

Released on July 28, 2005