President Barack Obama
FLASHBACK! Here's what I wrote on December 3:
Please bear in mind that we had diplomatic relations with the Butcher of Baghdad for decades. To the best of my knowledge neither one of the Castro brothers ever hit an entire village of innocent people with poison gas. And when it comes to human rights, Cuba is a whole lot freer than Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan (two long-time - and current - allies of ours). You don't believe that? Where would you rather your sister live? Argument over."
When I imply that the embargo has "ended" I'm exaggerating a bit (Just a wee bit, mind you!). There are still many restrictions in place and it will probably be a bit of time before they're ironed out. This is merely a first step that should have been taken decades ago. Hats off to this president. The man is finally showing some serious moxie - and I like it! High time, too.
And now the clown car show begins. It's going to be oodles of fun watching the jackasses on the extreme right trying to mine this historic moment for political gold. Instead, all they'll come up with are rancid bricks. The interesting thing is that while they will scream bloody murder about it, and while you can count on them making this one of the main issues of the 2016 campaign, not one of them will make a serious effort to put the embargo back into place - even if the GOP takes back the White House in 2017 (which isn't going to happen by the way) normalized relations with Cuba are here to stay. Why? Because that's what the plutocracy wants. There's a shit load of cash to be made off of that island, and they have every intention of making it. To quote the legendary Zero Mostel from Mel Brooks' classic 1968 film, The Producers:
"AAAAAHHHHHH!! I WANT THAT MONEY!!!!"
Watch as the most highly connected Republican contributors start to make some serious financial investments in the nation of Cuba. Normalized relations with that country are the new reality, you'd better believe it.
So sit back and watch in glee as the right wing scream machine goes into perfect freakout mode. "Here is the proof", they'll whine, "that Barack HUSSEIN Obama ain't nothin' but a goddamn comm'nist!"
"But", a rational person will argue, "Richard Nixon normalized relations with China in 1972 and that event is now viewed by most historians as one of the high marks of his presidency."
"YEAH?", they'll counter, "Well there's a BIG DIFFERENCE Between Richard M. Nixon and Barack Obama!!!"
MEMO TO THE ANTI-CASTRO CROWD IN MIAMI:
You'll live. I'm not crazy about Fidel or his brother Raul either. But don't make such a deplorable stink as you did in 2000 when the Clinton administration did the correct thing by sending little Elian Gonzalez back to his father in Cuba - where he rightfully belonged. Your collective hissy fit in the wake of that affair cost Al Gore the state of Florida and, hence, the election. The result was eight years of George W. Bush. Do you remember how nicely that worked out for you? Simmer down.
Curiously, the always-unpredictable Rand Paul thinks that the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States is "probably a good idea". There's just about no political office in this country I would recommend Rand for, but you've got to admire his tendency to go against the flow of talking points put forward by the halfwits who control his party. Republican politicians with IQ's above room temperature are such a rarity nowadays. This guy should be treasured as an endangered species. Seriously.
As of this moment, only Americans with a constructive purpose can visit Cuba, but expect that to change within a year or so. A vacation in a communist country? For someone whose sense of humor is as warped as mine, the idea is positively irresistible.
I can't wait to go!
Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo kickin' out the jams at the Club Babablu.
A meditation from 12/17/14:
at my side
barely out of reach
a snow angel is glistening
on this gentle december morn
We love you, Miss Meghan, and we miss you
by Melladee Lydia Makelacy