Breaking the status quo

Author Archives: William Vidal

Whether a person should be defined by the friends they keep is open to debate. Whether Carlos Eire has lost whatever literary faculty he had when he wrote the luminous National Book Award-winning “Waiting For Snow In Havana” is not. Read this dreck of an obituary and ask yourself, would Mario Vargas Llosa pen something this unabashedly paltry on his worst day?

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dies: Can Fidel be far behind?

By Carlos Eire, on April 17, 2014, at 9:50 pm


Fidel’s chum Gabo kicks the bucket

Ding dong the cretin’s dead.  Estiró la pata, as Cubans used to say.

He was a great novelist, but a despicable human being.

Anyone who counts Fidel Castro as a close friend has to be a moral monster, a degenerate, and among the most despicable of human beings.

In addition to being Fidel’s pal, Gabo also gave us “Lateeen-ohs” a reputation for being nonsensical and less than rational.  His so-called “magical realism” pegged us all as totally out of touch with reality, and tagged us as noble savages — endearing, perhaps, but also annoyingly savage and inferior to rational North Americans and Europeans.

Good riddance.  Too bad he didn’t have a suicide pact with his friend Fidel and the little brother who is now running the Castro Kingdom.

And here is what the New York Times had to say.  See below. Notice that — as always — this equally despicable newspaper applies the label “right wing dictator” to Augusto Pinochet, but fails to mention that Fidel Castro falls into the same category on the left.

Here’s a question for the obituary editor at the New York Times: if Gabo had loved Pinochet would you even be mentioning his passing?   Or what if he had admired Hitler?

Bastards. Cabrones.  And do they care that Christ died for their sins?


Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose “One Hundred Years of Solitude” established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City. He was 87.

Cristóbal Pera, his former editor at Random House, confirmed the death. Mr. García Márquez learned he had lymphatic cancer in 1999, and a brother said in 2012 that he had developed senile dementia.

Mr. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers — Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them — who were embraced both by critics and by a mass audience.

“Each new work of his is received by expectant critics and readers as an event of world importance,” the Swedish Academy of Letters said in awarding him the Nobel…

….Like many Latin American intellectuals and artists, Mr. García Márquez felt impelled to speak out on the political issues of his day. He viewed the world from a left-wing perspective, bitterly opposing Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the right-wing Chilean dictator, and unswervingly supporting Fidel Castro in Cuba. Mr. Castro became such a close friend that Mr. García Márquez showed him drafts of his unpublished books.

Continue reading HERE, if you can stand to do so.

Here’s some fresh reinforcement for the ol’ “embargo only gives the Castros an excuse for their failures” argument:

Havana (CNN) – Cuban officials have accused the U.S. government of bizarre plots over the years, such as trying to kill Fidel Castro with exploding cigars. On Wednesday, they said Washington is using a new weapon against the island: spam.

“It’s overloading the networks, which creates bad service and affects our customers,” said Daniel Ramos Fernandez, chief of security operations at the Cuban government-run telecommunications company ETECSA.

At a news conference Wednesday, Cuban officials said text messaging platforms run by the U.S. government threatened to overwhelm Cuba’s creaky communications system and violated international conventions against junk messages.

The spam, officials claim, comes in the form of a barrage of unwanted text messages, some political in nature.

So USAID paid “tens of thousands of dollars” for a program that it couldn’t sustain because it violated our own embargo, and all it got in return was zero civil unrest and a PR victory for the Cubans.

Now as the Cubans update their telecoms infrastructure to provide home and mobile internet access, they can blame any and all interruptions or delays on covert US spamming platforms aimed at toppling the regime.

Yep, sounds like our Cuba policy alright. Says who it ain’t working?

Third Rail? What Third Rail?

March 14th, 2014 | Posted by William Vidal in Cuba policy | Hard-line hijinks | US Politics - (1 Comments)

Hardliners made a whole lot of hullabaloo a few weeks ago when Charlie Crist unequivocally came out against the embargo. “Political suicide!” they hollered. Yet the numbers paint a drastically different picture. From Marc Caputo’s Sunday story on Florida’s gubernatorial race for The Miami Herald:

But many of Scott’s fellow Republicans were paying attention to a different set of numbers: a raft of poll data-points that make the GOP queasy because it shows Democrat Charlie Crist has broad support across Florida right now. The highlights:

• 34 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, according to one business interest’s statewide survey. This margin is 12 points greater than Democrat Alex Sink’s in the 2010 governor’s race. If she had earned Crist’s poll numbers in just these two counties, Sink would have won.

• 10 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in another business interest’s statewide poll.

• 8 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in two other business interests’ statewide polls.

• 7 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in a fourth business interest’s statewide poll.

• 6 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in a poll of Republican-controlled state House districts across Florida.

• 4 percentage points — the margin Crist beats Scott by in North Florida, a Republican stronghold. The number is well within the poll’s error margin. But it’s a cumulative 17-point shift in favor of Democrats compared to 2010, and Sink would have won the governor’s race with this North Florida margin.

• 2 percentage points — the margin Scott beats Crist by in a poll of Republican-controlled state Senate districts in North Florida. Again, it’s within the error margin. But again: If Sink had had this margin, she probably would have won the governor’s race.

• 1 percentage point — the margin Crist beats Scott by overall in that poll of Republican-controlled state Senate districts. The poll was paid for by the Republican Party of Florida.

Crist also has a better image than Scott overall, with 48 percent having a favorable impression of the Democrat and 39 percent an unfavorable impression in these Republican-held seats.

Put another way: Crist has a favorability index of +9.

Scott’s index: only +1.

36 flippin’ percentage points in Miami-Dade!  If this doesn’t shatter the myth that the embargo is the third rail of Florida politics, nothing can.

On the Futility of Sanctions

March 10th, 2014 | Posted by William Vidal in Cuba policy - (0 Comments)

From “The Futility of Sanctions on Russia“, by conservative columnist, Steve Chapman:

Economic sanctions exert a perennial appeal during geopolitical crises because they spill no blood and cost little money, at least compared to the toll of war. These virtues are enough to make everyone forget that they rarely accomplish anything beyond allowing our leaders to posture.

A revealing example is the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba, which was imposed in 1960 with the goal of driving Fidel Castro’s communist government from power. The boycott is still in place, more than a half-century later, and so is the regime.


Experts on the subject are divided into two groups: those who think sanctions usually fail and those who think they almost always fail. Gary Hufbauer, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, says sanctions have been effective in about 30 percent of the cases they’ve been used. But he doubts the steps taken by Obama — what he calls “light” sanctions — will make any difference in Ukraine.

“The success rates for symbolic or ‘light’ sanctions, for sanctions against autocratic governments, and for sanctions seeking territorial concessions are lower,” he said by email. For anyone hoping to get the Russians out of Crimea, he said, “these findings are not auspicious.”

Pessimists are even gloomier. University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape calculates that sanctions have worked less than 5 percent of the time. The intractable obstacle, he has written, is that modern governments are “willing to endure considerable punishment rather than abandon what are seen as the interests of the nation.”


I don’t really need to comment much on this one. Check out Mario Diaz-Balart’s bravura — and entirely unconvincing — performance defending the embargo in an interview with the New York Times. Lil’ bro gets stuck in a sad and inarticulately endless loop of “Hurt the regime/help the dissidents” that reveals just how bankrupt and out of touch he is on Cuba policy.

It is highly recommended reading. You might be tempted to shrug it off as more of the same ol’ tired B.S. from the Diaz-Balarts (and it is), but you’ve never seen one of them come completely unhinged in such a spectacular fashion.



In a rousing speech on the Senate floor yesterday, Rubio argued that embargoes against repressive societies are futile and that targeted sanctions may hold more promise. Too bad he wasn’t talking about Cuba.

On embargoes:

“We don’t have an embargo against Venezuela,” he said. “They have a shortage of toilet paper and tooth paste. Why? Because they are incompetent. Because communism doesn’t work. They look more and more like Cuba economically and politically every single day.”

On targeted sanctions:

Over the next few days, Rubio said, he’d propose sanctions “we should be pursuing against the individuals responsible for these atrocities [in Venezuela].”

And then he went on to defend the Cuban embargo.

If only the Senator could explain why his policy views apply to Venezuela but not Cuba?

Ileana and Menendez:
Protests in Venezuela? SANCTIONS
Protests in Ukraine? SANCTIONS!
Cuba has sanctions? MORE SANCTIONS!!!
I stubbed my toe against a stupid table. SANCTIONS! SANCTIONS! WE LIVE FOR SANCTIONS!!!!
At least with Ukraine they finally learned that targeted sanctions make more sense. So that’s progress for ya’, America.
Speaking of targeted sanctions, it looks like that’s what the UN will use as punishment against individuals and enterprises in Cuba and North Korea for violating its weapons embargo on the Asian country.

Cuba, a Real Threat to the United States. Like For Real.

February 17th, 2014 | Posted by William Vidal in WTF? - (0 Comments)

For no discernible reason other than to back up their yella’belly horseturd of a pro-embargo editorial (which sorta kinda says that maybe Cuba policy should be reviewed, but only a little bit), The Miami Herald just published a Pulitzer-worthy exposé about a Cuban spy station that still sends messages to their spooks in U.S., proving just how much of a threat those evil Cubans pose to the national security of the United States:

Sixteen years after the arrests in Miami of five Cuban spies who got their secret orders by short wave transmissions, Havana is still using a system that fell out of favor in the cloak-and-dagger world with the end of the Cold War.

There are many more modern and efficient ways of communicating secrets by using satellites, burst transmissions, one-time emails and other means, said Chris Simmons, a retired Pentagon counter-intelligence officer who specialized on Cuban affairs.

“But these Cuban transmissions may be for old spies, dinosaurs who have been listening to (short wave) for so long, long term agents, that they are comfortable with it and don’t want or need a change,” Simmons added.

Smolinski says he laughs when he talks about the [Cuban] Atención station because it was infamous as one of the worst-run spy stations in the spook world. Its transmissions often started late, its signal drifted across frequencies and a buzz would make the messages unintelligible, he said.

The station once mistakenly broadcast part of a regular Radio Havana program, a no-no for a spy station trying to conceal its country’s identity, Smolinski said. In another broadcast, a rooster could be clearly heard in the background.

“I guess most things there don’t run very well,” he chuckled.

The only thing the Cuban government does right is pick its enemies.

7 Reasons The Nonsensical Cuba Embargo Has Got To Go

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by William Vidal in Cuba policy - (0 Comments)

The Huffington Post lays out the entire argument for lifting the embargo in seven paragraphs with big colorful pictures, and sums it all up with this simple truth:

The policy, first partially implemented in 1960, has survived 11 U.S. presidents with nothing to show. Give it a rest.

This guy. Yesterday, pro-embargo lobbyist Mauricio Claver Carone threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Atlantic Council poll – ”its a push poll, they polled the wrong people, its biased, its ‘sloppy and shameless’, it was conducted by ignoramuses, it gets everything wrong” — that is of course, until he finds one morsel of data he likey and now trumps it as CONCLUSIVE PROOF that Americans still support current US policy to Cuba. That’s it! I’m done! Make sure to tip your waitress!

See our comments after Maury’s revelation.

What the Media Ignored: Americans Support Cuba Policy

at 9:36 AM Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Scouring through news stories about the Arsht Center’s Flake-Leahypoll, not a single media organization mentioned a key take-away:That Americans support U.S. policy toward Cuba.U.S. policy toward Cuba, as codified into law by the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act (LIBERTAD), sets forth a host of democratic and human rights preconditions for the lifting of sanctions and the normalization of relations.Despite the pollster’s targeting low-information individuals and manipulating samples from the general population, when informed about the Castro regime’s human rights abuses, Americans favored keeping current U.S. policy — and reject further engagement — by a 50-43 margin.

In other words, no matter how hard pollsters push, when Americans are informed about the democratic and human rights conditions in U.S. law, they clearly favor current U.S. policy toward Cuba.The more Americans learn about Castro’s human rights abuses, the more they favor current U.S. policy.

OTS Comment: as we mentioned in our takedown yesterday of Mauricio’s desperate jihad against the Atlantic Council’s Cuba poll:

Mauricio’s claim that support for engagement declines is not accurate.  When the question about human rights abuses is asked in a vacuum by itself, a majority of respondents do regard the regime’s human rights record as reason to keep the current policy in place.  However, after hearing all statements both in support and against changing U.S. policy towards Cuba, there is no decline in the original proportion of Americans who favor normalizing or engaging with Cuba: 55 percent

Again Mauricio, Americans get the Castro’s are bad people. You know this because last week you posted a link to a recent CNN poll that found that “Fidel Castro is the most disliked foreign tyrant among Americans.”  They just disagree with you on how the US should respond to the Castros’ rule over Cuba. The entire world disagrees with you.

This is why hardliners try so hard to silence other voices. They were attacking this poll a two weeks before the results were even published. They attack Adrienne Arsht, Fanjul, Crist and anyone else who offered a position different from their own. And they do so because they know that once Americans receive the full picture — one they’ve heard all arguments pro and against normalization — they still support normalization with Cuba. It’s the same reason why they don’t want people to travel to the island. Because they know that once people see the reality of Cuba with their own eyes, they return convinced that the embargo has done nothing to to end the Castro regime or help the Cuban people.

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