Enjoy them while you can.

2010.11.08

There was a nice piece in the New York Times about the visit of the American Ballet Theater to Havana. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/arts/dance/08abt.html?ref=arts

It was the first time the company had been there since 1960, when the U.S. Embargo against Cuba went into effect. The piece talks about expanding cultural ties between our countries. Good luck with that. A slight loosening of the regulations under the Obama administration  has allowed several Cuban music groups to perform in the United States, and brought pianist Chu Chu Valdez and Buena Vista Social Club diva, Omara Portuondo on tours earlier this year. If you enjoy Cuban art and music, I strongly suggest you see them while you can. The dark days may be coming back.

With the Republican victory in last week’s elections, expect more of the anti-Cuban legislation which could limit Visas for musicians like Chu Chu and Omara. Their crime is that they return to Cuba every time they leave. Can you imagine, wanting to return to their homeland?  The radical Miami-Cubans can’t, as long as Raul or Fidel Castro remains in the government.  They insist if you leave Cuba, you must stay away until the Castro brothers are gone. Think about that. A foreign government telling the citizens of a sovereign country who can or cannot be their leader. It’s exactly what we do in the Helms-Burton Act, an internationally ridiculed piece of legislation  which serves to keep the embargo in place until WE get the government we want running Cuba.

With the expected move making Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the election of the equally radical exile Marco Rubio to the Senate, there is no telling what legislation these two will cook up to try once again to reverse the results of the Cuban Revolution.  It does not matter to them that they are taking away your rights as an American to freely visit a peaceful and friendly country.

Since you can’t go to Cuba and see her yourself, here’s Omara performing at the Club Las Vegas in Central Havana. Please be forewarned; there may be actual Socialists in the crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEgXKB8s_l0

Queen of Cuba?

2010.10.30

The Miami Herald has a piece about the election which shows what the future for Cuba policy would be if Republicans take over the House.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/10/28/v-fullstory/1895380/ros-lehtinens-role-could-grow.html#ixzz13mbw0ePb

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen R-Florida

Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is a shoe-in to win reelection, and if she does, a Republican victory nationally would put her in position to chair the House Foreign Affairs Committee. That would effectively put a hold on efforts to change the repressive policy against Cuba. Ros-Lehtinen is a Cuban-American, Bush family protégé, who will back the radical right wing agenda which led us into two unnecessary wars. Just what she could do to make our policy toward her former homeland any worse is hard to imagine, but you can be sure she’ll try. I mean, since we already have a law in the United States (The Helms –Burton Act), which says who can’t be the leader of Cuba (spoiler alert, it’s the Castro brothers), why can’t we pass one which declares who can?   I’m sure Ileana would love the job, and since she’s going to be in charge of all that legislation, maybe she can just get herself appointed Queen of Cuba.