Sunday, May 31, 2015

FIFA is just another ugly "4-letter word"

(My new American Thinker post)

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I am not a "fútbol" fan.  I check in every four years and catch a little bit of the World Cup (or "mundial"), but that's about it.   

Of course, I admire the athletes.  I concede that there is tremendous passion for the game, from Uruguay to Ghana to England.  Without question, fútbol is the world's #1 sport!

Of course, you don't have to be a "futbol" fan to understand FIFA.   

Bob Dylan wrote a song called "Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word."  Change "love" for "FIFA," and you get the idea.

The straw that broke the camel's back is apparently the preparations for the 2022 Cup, and lots more according to this analysis:
In 2010, FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, which led to reports of vote buying, but that’s not a focus of this particular investigation.   This is a federal case, and the indictment deals chiefly with alleged fraud and corruption in North and South America. Until now, FIFA has deflected widespread corruption allegations by finding and suspending scapegoats, rather than acknowledging any problems at an institutional level.
FIFA is another unaccountable international organization that uses something noble, such as fútbol, to fill the pockets of a few, as Nick Zaiac wrote:
Politicians promise voters many benefits from mega-events, yet few ever materialize in the long run. They unequivocally are not net positives for the economy, as boosters say. They often lead to costly investments in unnecessary infrastructure that sees minimal use after the crowds leave. Cities are left with piles of debt, and white-elephant facilities that go unused. While there have been exceptions to this, the normal result trends negative, not positive.
Just remember Brazil and all of that debt, those empty facilities and unfulfilled promises.  Yes, some benefited from the 2014 World Cup, but it was not the people of Brazil.  It was FIFA opportunists and the politicians in Brazil.

Here is all you need to know about FIFA.  There is an empty fútbol stadium in a small town that does not even have a team.  The facility has not been used since the World Cup.  It has been turned into a bus parking lot – a $200-million lot, thank you very much.

In the meantime, the people march because the schools are lousy and the electricity rates keep going up.  Wonder how many schools could have been improved with $200 million...

It's time for FIFA to go.  I'm not exactly sure what you'd replace FIFA with, but anything would be an improvement.  

You can start by having more transparency in how business is done, from selecting countries to the building of new facilities.

FIFA is just another four-letter word.

P.S. You can hear my show (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter.


Tags: FIFA 2015  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

The life and times of Jose Marti with Professor Alfredo Lopez....




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Saturday, May 30, 2015

“Cubano” Chi Chi Gonzalez wins his major league debut in Texas

It's always a pleasure to watch Cubans or Cuban Americans excel in major league baseball.    On Saturday night, a young Cuban American from Florida was "fantastico" in his debut:    

ChiChi Gonzalez had an ideal Major League debut Saturday at Globe Life Park, holding the Red Sox hitless through the first five innings and eventually getting the win in the Rangers' 8-0 victory.   

Gonzalez, a first-round pick in 2013, went 5 2/3 innings, allowing only two hits and no runs to a Boston lineup that never got going."
Alexander Gonzalez was born and raised in Boynton Beach, FL.    His parents were born in Cuba.   He said on the post game radio show that his "abuelo" gave him the nickname of "Chi Chi" when he was a baby.
By the way, his parents, and lots of family members, were at the game.
Gonzalez will turn 23 this year and has been a highly rated prospect in the Rangers organization.
Congratulations to young Chi Chi for a great job.  We've been anticipating his major league career for a couple of years.   We repeat that he is here to stay.

Tags: Chi Chi Gonzalez, Texas Rangers  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

0.7%: A very bad number for economic growth

(My new American Thinker post)  

Another bad winter rains on the Obama parade, according to the AP:
The U.S. economy went into reverse in the first three months of this year as a severe winter and a widening trade deficit took a harsher toll than initially thought.The overall economy as measured by the gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the January-March period, the Commerce Department reported Friday.The revised figure, weaker than the government's initial estimate of a meager 0.2 percent growth rate, reflects a bigger trade gap and slower consumer spending. It marked the first decline since a 2.1 percent contraction in the first three months of 2014, a slump that was also blamed on winter weather.
The good news is that the analysts are predicting a better economy now that spring is here. Of course, we remind you that they underestimated the last quarter. So could they be wrong again?
Beyond winters, maybe someone should ask a few questions about this Obama economy:  

1) We recently celebrated the 6th anniversary of that $800 billion stimulus that was supposed to stimulate the economy after what they called the Great Recession.   Don't you remember hearing about the "stimulus", actually called  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act?      

A year ago, The Wall Street Journal did a 5-year anniversary review and found this:  
The legacy is a slow-growth economy: Growth over the last 18 quarters has averaged just 2.4% -- pretty shoddy compared to better than 4% growth during the Reagan recovery in the 1980s and almost 4% in the 1990s recovery.    
Anniversary # 6 is no better than anniversary # 5! It must be those winters again!  

2) Where are the jobs in minority districts? From Baltimore to Ferguson to Detroit to Chicago, black youth unemployment is a huge problem.    

These minority districts are exhibit A of the failure of liberalism, a failure that no one in the Democrat party has the courage to point out or even challenge.

Overall, another bad quarter. We hear that the winter is responsible for this and there may be some truth to that.   

At the same time, it was pretty cold in the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush winters and I don't remember such lousy growth.

So maybe we should stop blaming winter and hold President Obama accountable. We are after all in year 7 of his presidency.

P.S. You can hear my show (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter



Tags:  US GDP 2015  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

A look back at some of my American Thinker posts


We looked back at some of my American Thinker posts from the past week..........where is the diversity in the Democrat party: is any Democrat challenging liberalism?........pre-election violence in Mexico......problems with Obama Care deductibles.......media bias and perceptions that the media is pro-Obama and now pro-Clinton.......US-Cuba talks look a like a one way street favoring Cuba......the US economy takes another step backward.......  Click to listen:


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Tags: US economy, Obama Care deductibles, any Democrat challenging the results of liberalism, Media bias and the 2016 elections, election violence in Mexico To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Democrats could use a Rand Paul

(My new American Thinker post)

To say the least, I have a lot of honest disagreements with Rand Paul, such as his latest statement that hawks in our party created ISIS.  His opposition to the Patriot Act sounds a bit theoretical to me.

On the other hand, I like his ideas on the economy and his willingness to make us think about this or that.

I am not opposed to having such a figure on our stage.

Frankly, the Democrats could use someone like Rand Paul, or a candidate who challenges the party elites and positions.  You have to go back to Senator Lieberman in 2004 to find a major Democrat who was willing to disagree with the party on major issues, such as the Iraq War back then.

What if we had a Democrat presidential candidate who would say stuff like this?

Hey guys, the intentions were good, but the welfare state is not working.  Just look around!

Hey guys, Baltimore is about lawlessness, not racism.

Hey guys, it's the absence of fathers, not the presence of police officers.

Hey guys, President Obama blew it by leaving Iraq without a military force to secure the gains made by our wonderful troops.

Hey guys, didn't we hate it when President Nixon allegedly used the IRS against his enemies?  So why aren't we screaming now about allegations that President Obama did the same thing?

Hey guys, do we really think that Americans who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman are bigots?  Or that their businesses have to be shut down?  

Hey guys, have you checked the state of the party in year 7 of the Obama administration?  How many governorships and state legislatures do we hold these days?

Hey guys, is it really that bad to let voters decide what the definition of marriage is?  It worked in Ireland.

Like businesses or groups, parties need intense internal debates about direction and ideas.

We are having it on the GOP side.  They are not having it on the Democrat side.  The Democrats need a Rand Paul.

P.S. You can hear my show (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter.


Tags: Democrats 2016  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Ramadi, Iran, Iraq, US-China & other national security stories of the week


Guest:  Barry Jacobsen, military historian and blogger........Leslie Eastman, political activist and contributor to Legal Insurrection.......we will discuss the fall of Ramadi in Iraq.....ISIS and Iran...."no fly zones" in South China Sea......Russia and Ukraine....the drought in California and its political and economic impact.............Click to listen:


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Tags: Iran in Iraq, the fall of Ramadi, US-Iraq issues, US-China, US-Russia, Russia and Ukraine, the drought in California  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy birthday John Fogerty



We salute John Fogerty born on this day in 1941......lead vocalist and guitarist of CCR, one of the biggest bands in the history of rock........their songs are heard everyday on radio stations all over the world...



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A little pre‐election violencia in Mexico

(My new American Thinker post)

It's interesting how Mexico has changed.   

Back in the 1980s, I recall a national yawn before, during, and after election day.  Mexicans were required to vote, but nobody talked much about it.  I remember asking questions and sharing impressions about the candidates with Mexican friends.  I also recall a collective "who cares?"  They were more interested in U.S. elections than their own elections!

That was then, and this is now.

The good news is that Mexicans are talking and sharing lots of opinions.   

The bad news is that the situation is getting a little violent, according to news reports:
Mexico will hold midterm elections June 7 for numerous state governors, mayors and congressional members. But violence in many regions has threatened the vote. Candidates have been slain, others have said they are too afraid to campaign, and election officials have said they cannot set up ballot stations in some states because of dangers.
The panorama stands in marked contrast to what the Peña Nieto government has sought to portray, saying that the homicide rate has declined. Those statistics remain in dispute, and rates for other crimes, like kidnapping and extortion, are still high.
Where is this situation headed?  It is not getting better at all, according to another news report:
José Antonio Crespo, a political analyst for Mexico’s Center for Economic Research and Instruction, said, “That’s the way Mexican elections are nowadays,” referring to the targeting of candidates.
“In the majority of cases it is connected to drug cartels, organized crime,” Crespo said. “That just reveals what we already knew, that this problem has gotten beyond the control of the Mexican government.” 

On paper, President Peña-Nieto's approach was understandable, because the army is exhausted.   There are no easy answers, but President Peña-Nieto sought to downplay the military's role in the fight against the cartels.  He tried to improve the police corps and put the troops back in the barracks.


On the other hand, reality has shown President Peña-Nieto that using the military was the best option for two reasons.  

First, the military is well-armed and can match cartel weapons.  

Second, the military is less likely to get corrupted than the local police.

There are no pretty choices.  This is not going to be the last election marred by unrest.  The situation does seem to be getting very violent south of the border.

P.S. You can hear my show (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter.


Tags: Pre-election violence in Mexico  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

US-Latin America stories of the week


Guest:  Fausta Rodriguez-Wertz, editor of Fausta's Blog, joins me for a look at US-Latin America stories of the week......we will discuss the latest legal setback for President Obama's executive order..........what impact will it have in Central America?  The latest from Mexico's upcoming mid-term elections........Chile and the president's problems......Argentina and Mr Nisman......Venezuela and allegations of drugs......Colombia and FARC......US-Cuba talks.......and an update from Jorge Ponce about the death of a new book about Fidel Castro.......Click to listen:


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Be careful about calling a law The Affordable Health Care Act

(My new American Thinker post)

By design or default, Justice Roberts may have done all of us a great favor.   In other words, his vote saying that the law was constitutional has given us all a chance to live under it.

What if Obama Care had been declared unconstitutional?   We would have spent the last 3 years hearing that those 5 Reagan-Bush-Bush justices killed affordable health care for all.

The latest is that the law is not very affordable, as Rich Lowry wrote today:
"The problem is that the deductibles on many Americans' health insurance policies have shot up so high that as a practical matter they can't afford care. If a couple had a deductible of, say, $500 in the past, and it's now $3,000, that couple has to spend a lot of money out-of-pocket before reaping the benefits of coverage. And the higher the deductible, the more likely a person is going to skip some sort of needed treatment or medicine because he or she can't afford the up-front costs."About a quarter of all non-elderly Americans with private insurance coverage do not have sufficient liquid assets to pay even a mid-range deductible, which at today's rates would be $1,200 for single coverage and $2,400 for family coverage," the Wall Street Journal reported in March.So now, many of the same groups that agitated for Obamacare are agitating for new government spending or tighter controls on the insurance industry and businesses to "solve" the problem. But perhaps the first question to ask is: How did those deductibles get so high in the first place?The answer is Obamacare."
Obama Care's authors failed Common Sense 101.

First, you can't mess with one-sixth of our GDP without unintended consequences.  Our health care system is a complex state by state reality that has developed over decades.

Second, people like choices, and I mean liberals too.  It is silly to force 50-something couples to pay for maternity leave.

Third, the authors also failed actuarial reality.   The pool is older and sick.    A little "sticker shock" may be coming true.

The tragedy is that it didn't have to happen.   We didn't have to wreck our excellent health care system to help those who can't afford premiums, in transition between jobs or with a preexisting condition.   

We had solutions on the table for those problems.   Unfortunately, we took the "political route" and now face the economic consequences.

Repeal Obama Care and replace it with a market oriented solution that actually understands our health care needs.   

Even better that, let the states figure it out.

P.S. You can hear my show  ( CantoTalk  ) or  follow me on Twitter   .

Tags: Obama Care and costs  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

A look at the 2015 Texas Rangers


Guest:  David Busby, good friend and Dallas sports fan, joins me for a look at the 2015 Texas Rangers..........the team is playing a lot better............the addition of Josh Hamilton to a line up that already includes Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre.........the pitchers on the DL and expected return to the roster..........

Click to listen:


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Tags: 2015 Texas Rangers  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Do editors care that the public thinks that their coverage is biased?

(My new American Thinker post)

The latest Rasmussen poll is rather remarkable, specially if you are an editor and want readers to believe your work. It shows that the public clearly sees media bias:
Fifty-nine percent (59%) think that coverage will be slanted instead, with 36% who say most reporters will try to help Hillary Clinton during the campaign and 23% who say they will try to hurt her bid for the White House instead. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.
The numbers have been consistent:
Three months before the 2012 presidential election, 74% of voters said most reporters when covering a political campaign try to help the candidate they want to win, consistent with surveying for several years prior to that. 
Fifty-one percent (51%) expected most reporters would try to help President Obama at that time, while only nine percent (9%) thought they would be biased in favor of his GOP opponent Mitt Romney. 
These findings were nearly identical to those just before Election Day in November 2008. 
At that time, 51% felt most reporters had tried to help Obama win the presidency, while only seven percent (7%) thought they had tried to help Republican candidate John McCain.
Frankly, I'd be furious if I was a newspaper or TV news editor, specially one who is trying to be fair.   

At the same time, can you blame the public for thinking that the media is in the tank for Obama?   

I agree with Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda, that this kind of bias can swing an election. (51% in the Rasmussen poll thought that the media tried to help Obama.)

Going forward, it seems to me that the media needs to do a couple of things:

1) Have more diversity in the newsroom. How can you have a serious discussion of news coverage when everyone loves Obama and hates Bush? Diversity would help!  

2) Go out and talk to real people!   

Talk to a small business owner about the real world impact of raising the minimum wage, for example.

Talk to minority parents with kids stuck in Chicago and DC's public schools or the same ones that the Obama family didn't send their kids to.

Talk to the millions of Americans who go to church every Sunday and write about their devotion to faith.

Finally, the editors must be aware of something else. 

People do not have to buy a newspaper or magazine that they think is bias. 

People have choices and many are choosing to read something that they find more reliable and truthful. Newspaper circulation is down and I don't think that it's all about the internet or that people don't like to read anymore. I think that "media bias" is a factor in this drop in circulation.  

The media will never be 100% objective but it should aim for fairness. The recent encounter between Senator Ted Cruz and a TV reporter confirms that the media has a long way to go.

P.S. You can hear my show  (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter.



Tags: Media bias and elections  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Harvey Haddix pitches 12 perfect innings but loses in the 13th

This is what happened on this day in 1959:


"Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves, only to lose the game on a two-run double by Braves’ first baseman Joe Adcock in the 13th inning. 

It was the first time a pitcher threw more than nine perfect innings in major league history.......

Haddix took the mound in the 13th inning after retiring 36 Braves in a row, nine more than usually required for a perfect game. 

The fleet-footed second baseman Felix Mantillia came to bat first. He hit a grounder to Pirate third baseman Don Hoak, who threw the ball across the diamond and into the dirt near first baseman Rocky Nelson. 

 Mantillia was safe, and the perfect game was over, though the no-hitter remained intact. 

The next batter, Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews, sacrificed Mantillia to second base. 

Then Hank Aaron, who was leading the National League in batting, came to the plate. Haddix intentionally walked the future career home run king on four pitches. 

Adcock was up next, and he hit a drive that just cleared the fence in right-center field. 

In their jubilation over the win, the Braves became muddled on the base paths, and Adcock passed Aaron between second and third base. 

The umpire Frank Dascoli called Adcock out, changing his three-run homer to a two-run double after several minutes of deliberation."


It was the greatest pitching performance ever but he lost the game.






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A look at US-Cuba talks plus Elian Gonzalez


Guest:  Alain Castillo, young Cuban American, joins me for a chat about US-Cuba talks plus the emergence of Elian Gonzalez, the young boy found floating off the Florida coast in 1999......we remember that Elian's mother drowned so that she could bring her son to the US..........Click to listen:


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Tags: US-Cuba talks, Elian Gonzalez 1999 and 2015  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The week in review with Bill Katz, editor of Urgent Agenda..




Tags: Iraq, ISIS, Ramadi, Iran, Clinton 2016, Clinton vs Rubio, media bias  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

1935: Babe Ruth hits his last homerun


Babe Ruth left baseball in style, on this day in 1935:
On May 25, 1935, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Babe Ruth hits his 714th home run, a record for career home runs that would stand for almost 40 years.  This was one of Ruth’s last games, and the last home run of his career.   Ruth went four for four on the day, hitting three home runs and driving in six runs.
Ruth had been sold to the Boston Braves the year before and retired shortly after this home run.  He died in 1948 from cancer.



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Memorial Day 2015: I remember my late friend Nathan Aguirre

(My new American Thinker post)

Like most of you, I will enjoy a day off, a cheeseburger and Josh Hamilton rejoining the Rangers today. 

At the same time, I will take the time to remember the real reason for this day off.


Mackubin Thomas Owens is an associate dean of academics and professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College in Newport, and is the editor of Orbis. He is a Marine infantry veteran of Vietnam.


Let me recommend that you read  Mystic Chords of Memory:
"This weekend, we mark the 140th anniversary of the first official observation of the holiday we now call Memorial Day, as established by General John A. Logan’s “General Order No. 11” of the Grand Army of the Republic dated 5 May, 1868.
This order reads in part:
“The 30th day of May 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers and otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
Logan’s order served to ratify a practice that was already widespread, both in the North and the South, in the years immediately following the Civil War.
Alas, for many Americans today, Memorial Day has come to signify nothing more than another three-day weekend, a mere excuse for a weekend cook-out.
Such an observance of Memorial Day obscures even the vestiges of its intended meaning: a solemn time, serving both as catharsis for those who fought and survived, and to ensure that those who follow will not forget the sacrifice of those who died that the American Republic and the principles that sustain it, might live."
I am not knocking anyone for cooking outdoors or sitting at the pool. At the same time, take a minute and remember those who served and gave their lives.


In my case, I will remember a young man named Nathan Aguirre who died in Iraq. 

I know Nathan's parents. His dad and I are church ushers. His mom is a beautiful person who is now working with other families who've lost sons in Iraq.


Nathan Aguirre is a real hero. Remember him and his parents today!

P.S. You can hear my show  ( CantoTalk  ) or  follow me on Twitter   .

Tags: Iraq War, Memorial Day  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY


WE REMEMBER THEIR SACRIFICE......MEMORIAL DAY 2015



Tags: Happy Memorial Day 2015  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

US-Cuba talks: It looks like a one way street to me

(My new American Thinker post)


We keep hearing that the US and Cuba are making progress on the so called talks.   I guess that it depends on what the meaning "negotiations" or "progress" is.

So far, we've agreed to sit down with the Castro regime.  This is huge because every previous administration, from Kennedy to GW Bush, refused to meet unless certain conditions were met beforehand.

We've removed them from the terrorist list.  This is huge, specially since a couple of ships with illegal weapons have been discovered going to Cuba recently.

Which US demands has Cuba agreed to?   The answer is "nada" or nothing, as reported by Capitol Hill Cubans:
"The road to establishing diplomatic relations has been a unilateral gift bag for the Castro regime.
Castro asks, Obama delivers.

  • Ease sanctions -- check.
  • Prisoner swap -- check.
  • Remove Cuba from state-sponsors of terrorism list -- check.
  • Find Castro a U.S. bank to process payments -- check.
  • Seek to "change" U.S. democracy programs -- check.
  • Skirt U.S. law in the process -- check.
And what has Castro done?
Nada."
It's infuriating and I don't mean it  as a Cuban American who had a family member in one of Castro's political prisons for 14 years without a trial.

I am angry because we had all of the cards, specially now that Venezuela can no longer subsidize the Castro regime with oil.   Venezuela can't anymore.   Raul Castro is on his knees, without the Caracas subsidy and no country willing to offer them credit anymore.

We didn't have to make a deal for Allan Gross or send back spies sitting in US prisons.    We could have said put Gross on a plane to Miami and we'll call you later.

We could have demanded the unconditional delivery of Joanne Chesimard, the woman who killed a New Jersey state trooper.   From President Reagan to President GW Bush we stopped talking whenever Castro refused to release her.   The Obama team keeps talking despite Cuba saying that this issue is off the table.    Sorry but why are we still at the table?

Unfortunately, we've allowed Raul Castro to rant about the embargo and Guantanamo.   In the past, US presidents hung up the phone when Raul or Fidel ranted like that.  Today, we listen to them, as if they are legitimate grievances that we should be sensitive to.

We remind you that this is the same administration negotiating a deal with Iran, a country far more consequential to our national security than Cuba.    

The Obama administration can't negotiate a tough deal with Cuba.   What makes me confident that they can do it with Iran?

P.S. You can hear my show  ( CantoTalk  ) or  follow me on Twitter   .

Tags: US-Cuba talks 2015  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

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