Saturday, October 31, 2015

Starting the Iraq War that ended

Secretary Carter has a tough job these days. 
First, he has to explain our Middle East policy to a very skeptical Congress.    
Second, he must say that we're going back to the region by playing word games about "boots on the ground", "combat" etc. This is from Kevin Sullivan:
"As the Obama administration holds to the increasingly dubious claim that U.S. troops are not engaged in combat against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the Pentagon is withholding details about its wounded that would give key insights into the kind of fight American troops are facing in Iraq.
"Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter repeatedly said the U.S. is in the region to ‘combat ISIS' but stopped short of saying the troops themselves are engaged in combat, even after senators repeatedly asked for clarity. Rather, Carter said Wheeler died in combat, in an isolated incident, while performing heroic acts."
Some U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are leery, however, of a protracted, poorly defined mission in Iraq. "I think they are way beyond their legal authority right now," U.S. Senator Tim Kaine told Al-Monitor, referring to the White House. "I think it's time for Congress to get into this."
Congress will press carefully on the matter though, so as not to appear as stifling the president in the fight against a jihadist army that most Americans increasingly agree must be defeated, even if iteventually requires ground troops.
The Obama administration is in a very tough spot here. On one hand, they claimed that they ended the war and left Iraq successfully. On the other hand, the bad guys didn't get the memo or hear President Obama's speech. 
How do you tell the "yes we can" screamers that the 2011 decision to leave Iraq was all about politics rather than national security?  How do you get Democrats in the Congress to go along with this? What will Secretary Clinton say? Will she support it or pander to the left by criticizing the administration?  
Worst of all, we will likely lose soldiers in this new effort in Iraq or Syria. We will take casualties because President Obama could not look beyond the silly promise that he'd end the wars.
The Obama foreign policy is dangerous and a disgrace.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

National security stories of the week with Barry Jacobsen

Guest:  Barry Jacobsen, military historian and blogger, joins us for a look at national security this week...........Russian jets get very close to the USS Reagan, a very provocative act to say the least...........there is talk that the US is preparing to send troops back to Iraq.......Russian military action continues in Syria.........Iran sends warships into the Atlantic ocean..........another Iranian-Amerian is arrested in Iran........US-China tensions over the islands in the China Sea...........

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Tags: Iraq, Iran, Russia in the Middle East  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Memo to Mrs Clinton: It will be different in 2016!

Hooray for the GOP candidates for sticking together and fighting back arrogant moderators. It was a great to watch and necessary for the base to know that the days of being nice and gentile are over. We are  not going to play games anymore with Democrats dressed up as reporters.
The CNBC debate is also a message to Hillary Clinton.   
In other words, the GOP candidate in 2016 is not going to turn his (or her) cheek when she plays the gender card or whatever other distraction they come up. Furthermore, the 2016 nominee is not going to sit back and watch a CNN moderator bail out a Democrat as happened in 2012 over Benghazi.
With all due respect to Senator McCain (a war hero) and Governor Romney (a great businessman), this GOP group plans to be assertive and challenge reporters when they ask biased questions.
The CNBC moderators were so bad that even Bill Maher beat them up: “Oh my god did I just hear Ted Cruz say something awesome that I agree with? Yes. The media is even stupider than the pols. Who’s on first?” Stuart Rothenberg piled on: “Wow. CNBC is really blowing it tonight.”
There was so much the moderators could have focused on.  
For example, the news about the economy is horrible. The 3rd quarter grew at 1.5%. Why didn’t CNBC focus on that terrible number and ask some questions about economic programs? I was hoping to hear about that. Wasn’t the theme of the debate “Your vote your money” or something like that? Isn’t CNBC supposed to be a business news network?
Also, what about the economic impact of having Russia take over the Middle East? How will that impact oil prices?
What about the impact of regulations?  
Or the economic state of black America in the 7th year of our first black president? What about the lousy living conditions in our inner cities run by the Democrat Party? Does any candidate have a plan to revive the inner cities after 50 years of Democrat rule?
Instead, we got questions about a company that Dr Carson was associated with, another stupid question about a Trump bankruptcy, a condescending statement to Senator Rubio about his personal finances, and even the NFL fantasy league.
It begs the question: Who did these moderators clear the questions with? Did they do any editorial analysis of their questions? Are these people at CNBC that out of touch with reality?
We can do punditry about who won or lost.  We can start the debate about who gets out or stays in.    
It’s clear to me that the GOP sent out a message last night: They plan to fight and challenge Hillary Clinton’s record, from her ownership of the Obama foreign policy to the Clinton Foundation and the bad economy. And they are not going to sit back and take media bias anymore!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A great night for “los cubanos”

The GOP debate will be remembered for two things:
the arrogant moderators, specially John Harwood who should have told the audience that he is in the tank for the Democrats; and,
the amazing performance of Senator Rubio and Senator Cruz.
Before I go, let me add that Governor Christie also had a good night.  Frankly, all of the candidates did well but the two Cuban Americans brought their A-game to the stage.
Senator Rubio once again demonstrated that he is very good on his feet and prepares himself for the “gotcha” questions.  Rubio knew that the moderators would bring up the Sun Sentinel editorial and had a response ready.
Senator Cruz set the tone with an attack on the moderators.  His remarks united the candidates and showed the GOP that you don’t have to take crap from people who are Democrats dressed up as journalists.  It was “….an ‘Encyclopedic Example of Liberal Media Bias“!
Great night for the GOP and specially a couple of “cubanos” who made us proud.

Tags: Cruz 2016, Rubio 2016, 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!

Extra PC madness in our schools

Let’s look at a couple of stories that speak volumes about the PC madness and its hold on our public schools.
A 12-year-old California honors student violated his school’s dress code for wearing a patriotic T-shirt administrators claim is “gang related,” Fox 40 reported Tuesday.
Dustin Cole, a student at Yuba Gardens Intermediate school in Olivehurst, arrived home last week wearing the T-shirt his mom had bought him inside out, according to the station.
The shirt included a red star with the number 31, or a reference to California being the 31st state.  A school district spokesman said the star is often associated with a gang.
Well, so what?  These are a bunch of cowards in the school district who would rather pick a fight with the U.S. flag than with the gangs.
Over in Katy, Texas, a 7th-grader failed her assignment because she believes in God:
A seventh-grade assignment in a Texas school district asked students to deny the existence of God, a student said.
The Katy Independent School District has since apologized and the principal of West Memorial Junior High School determined the assignment wasn’t necessary for students.
But the assignment still didn’t sit well with one student.
Jordan Wooley said she answered the question “there is a God” in two ways.
“I said it was fact or opinion,” she said, adding she answered that way because “based on my religion and based on what I think and believe, I do not think it was a common place assertion.”
Jordan said her reading teacher said both her answers were wrong and that she had to admit God wasn’t real.
“It was really confusing to me at first because I didn’t really know what to do, so the first thing I did was tell my mom,” Jordan said.
Her mom, Chantel Wooley, couldn’t believe it.
“That a kid was literally graded against her faith in God in a classroom,” said Wooley who questioned who would want that to be known.
Jordan testified at the Katy school district’s Board of Education meeting Monday night.
What kind of assignment is this for a 7th-grader?  We are talking about a 12-year-old girl and a teacher who should know better than to bring issues like that into the classroom.
Like the shirt story referenced first, this is PC madness.  It’s the reason why so many parents are dropping out of the public schools and looking for alternatives, from homeschooling to private schools.  
These two incidents also make the case for school choice, or giving the parents the opportunity to choose their schools rather than stay stuck in this monopoly called the public school system.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Elections in Argentina and US-Latin America stories of the week

Guest: Fausta Rodriguez-Wertz, the editor of Fausta's Blog.......We will look at the elections in Argentina.....the opposition candidate surprised everyone by forcing a runoff scheduled for Nov 22.......there is great disillusionment with corruption. the bad economy and crony capitalism.........we will also hear about the elections in Colombia............Jimmy Morales wins in Guatemala by a landslide......the hurricane in Mexico..............Central Americans continue to be deported from Mexico.........

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Tags: Elections in Argentina, elections in Colombia, elections in Guatemala, Mexico immigration policy  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Two big problems for our next president

Our next president – let’s call him or her #45 – will have to undo two major Obama legacy items:
1) Obamacare.  As The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, the program will have to be reviewed because of insufficient enrollees and rising loss ratios.  In other words, the numbers don’t add up.
2) The retreat from the Middle East, aka leading from behind.  We’ve learned over the last six years that getting out may win a few cheers at the “yes we can” rally.  At the same time, the disengagement has had a lot of unintended consequences, from an assertive Putin to China building islands and a lot of confusion from allies like Israel.
We read that U.S. troops are moving closer to Syria and Iraq, according to The Washington Post:
President Obama’s most senior national security advisers have recommended measures that would move U.S. troops closer to the front lines in Iraq and Syria, officials said, a sign of mounting White House dissatisfaction with progress against the Islamic State and a renewed Pentagon push to expand military involvement in long-running conflicts overseas.
The debate over the proposed steps, which would for the first time position a limited number of Special Operations forces on the ground in Syria and put U.S. advisers closer to the firefights in Iraq, comes as Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter presses the military to deliver new options for greater military involvement in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
The changes would represent a significant escalation of the American role in Iraq and Syria. They still require formal approval from Obama, who could make a decision as soon as this week and could decide not to alter the current course, said U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions are still ongoing. It’s unclear how many additional troops would be required to implement the changes being considered by the president, but the number for now is likely to be relatively small, these officials said.
My guess is that President Obama will do everything possible to push all of these tough calls to #45.  At the same time, don’t be surprised if President Obama doesn’t have the luxury of running out the clock.  The Middle East may not wait for #45!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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

The GOP debate, the World Series and a few other thoughts.

We look at the GOP debate and the challenges for the candidates..........why will we see 11 people on the stage.......when is the party leadership going to cut this down to 5-6?   The 2015 World Series starts should go 7 games, or the first week of November.........US Navy ships and China's islands...........we read that President Obama is placing US troops closer to Syria and Iraq........

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Tags: GOP debate, World Series 2015, Middle East, Obama Care  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Obama about ready to start the Iraq "don't call it a war" again!

They will do everything possible not to call it a "war" but we are heading back to Iraq, as my friend Ed Morrissey reports:
"Remember how Barack Obama ended the war in Iraq?
Apparently news has belatedly reached the White House that not only has the war not ended, but their strategy to defeat ISIS has just as much connection to reality as their earlier assessment."

Frankly, I'm not opposed to sending ground troops to push back ISIS.   It has to be done, specially given the vacuum that our so called "smart diplomacy" has left in the region.

I can't wait for President Obama to explain this one to "the yes we can" screamers who bought into the nonsense that leaders could end wars with a speech.   I'm anxious to hear what Secretary Clinton will say about the decision.

Here is the sad part.   We will lose US troops in this military action.  We will suffer casualties because of a commander in chief who irresponsibly left the region to keep a silly campaign promise.

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

Kansas City in 7 games

The New York Mets visit Kansas City to start the 2015 World Series tonight.  This is a series that should go 7 games because these two teams are really good.

The Royals have the experience of losing to San Francisco in 2014.  The Mets beat the Dodgers and swept the Cubs.

In the end, KC will win in 7 games.    The KC bullpen is second to none and they can score runs in the clutch.   NY will display their young pitching as well.

It will be a good series to watch, specially for those of us who saw our team get eliminated in earlier rounds.

KC will win in 7 games.  

Tags: World Series 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 ‘Golazo’ in Argentina

In soccer, a “golazo” is a superhuman goal, sort of like the soccer version of the Willie Mays catch from the 1954 World Series. I always think of Pele when I think of a “golazo”.
They had the political equivalent of a “golazo” down in Argentina. The opposition candidate shocked the experts by forcing a runoff.  
This is from Pan Am Post:
After six hours of radio silence, Argentina’s election authorities finally unveiled the results of the presidential vote, shocking the nation.
All pre-election polls predicted that President Cristina Kirchner’s chosen successor, Daniel Scioli, would secure a close first-round victory, but reality is a cruel mistress.
Conservative rival Mauricio Macri came in with a surprisingly strong performance to win almost 34.5 percent of the vote, while Scioli finished with 37 percent. The 2-point difference forces a runoff scheduled for November 22 that will determine the next president of Argentina.
This scenario was unthinkable even a few weeks ago, and Scioli may have suffered a significant blow to his campaign with this result. Since the very beginning of the race, Scioli has been the favorite to win it all, partly encouraged by the state-run media apparatus.
However, the governor of the vast province of Buenos Aires — a Peronist stronghold, which has been ruled by his party for the last 28 years — couldn’t even secure victory on his own turf, and this may ultimately cost him in the runoff.
The runoff will be hard because the government will use public resources to win. However, the possibility of a conservative victory has to be taken seriously.   
Let me add a couple of thoughts about this shocking election:
1) Argentina is just the latest place where pollsters got it wrong; and,   
2) the results confirm that there is a middle-class revolt in Latin America. It has to do with the perfect storm of heavy taxation, an  abusive bureaucracy disconnected from the people, lousy public services and too much crony capitalism.   
We are seeing it in Brazil and now in Argentina. 
P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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

Guest:  Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda, joins us for a review of the week's top stories.......Secretary Clinton at the Benghazi hearings....the concensus is that she did well but will some of her statements come back to haunt her?   Mrs Clinton is once again looking inevitable for the nomination but there is plenty of time left.......the GOP has another debate...........why are 11 candidates going to be on stage?   the countdown to Iowa has begun......we are less than 100 days from people voting.......some new reports about Obama Care confirm serious enrollment issues..........the Middle East continues to be a problem for President Obama and definitely it will be a problem for the next president.......and other stories....................Click to listen:

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Tags: Clinton and Benghazi, Iowa 2016, GOP 2016, Obama Care enrollment problems, Middle East,  US Navy and China islands  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Anyone surprised that Obama Care has an 'enrollment' problem?

What happens when premiums and deductibles are too high? My experience is that people take a chance and pay health care costs out of their own pockets.
Such is the latest episode of Obama Care, according to this story in the New York Times:
When Billy Sewell began offering health insurance this year to 600 service workers at the Golden Corral restaurants that he owns, he wondered nervously how many would buy it. Adding hundreds of employees to his plan would cost him more than $1 million — a hit he wasn’t sure his low-margin business could afford.
His actual costs, though, turned out to be far smaller than he had feared. So far, only two people have signed up.
“We offered, and they didn’t take it,” he said.
Evidence is growing that his experience is not unusual. The Affordable Care Act’semployer mandate, which requires employers with more than 50 full-time workers to offer most of their employees insurance or face financial penalties, was one of the law’s most controversial provisions. Business owners and industry groups fiercely protested the change, and some companies cut workers’ hours to reduce the number of employees who would be eligible.
But 10 months after the first phase of the mandate took effect, covering companies with 100 or more workers, many business owners say they are finding very few employees willing to buy the health insurance that they are now compelled to offer. The trend is especially pronounced among smaller and midsize businesses in fields filled with low-wage hourly workers, like restaurants, retailing and hospitality. (Companies with 50 to 99 workers are not required to comply with the mandate until next year.)
ObamaCare is in trouble for lots of reasons. Let me add a couple of thoughts:
1)  The Obama administration never understood the insurance marketplace. There were many high deductible options before ObamaCare. I bought one of those plans about 15 years ago. It was a version of catastrophic coverage and self insurance. My point is that a lot of uninsured people were uninsured because they chose to not because of a lack of insurance options.
2) Many low income people are used to showing up at the emergency room. They know that coverage and treatment will be provided.  So why buy health insurance?
Indeed, many uninsured are now covered by ObamaCare. Most of them through an expansion of Medicaid, or something that we already had in place before Congress pushed through this monstrosity of a law.
At some point, ObamaCare will hit the wall, the wall of reality that many of us talked about a few years ago. It’s hard to see how anyone can claim that ObamaCare has worked as created.  
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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ObamaCare's enrollment problems plus more on the Benghazi hearings

Guest:  Frank Burke, author and businessman.....we will look at recent stories about Obama Care's enrollment problems, such as many workers refusing to sign up for the program........they reject high premiums and much longer can this program survive before some major corrections?   Also, we will hear Frank's impressions of the Benghazi hearings....

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

Sunday, October 25, 2015

She got the media, but what about the military moms?

Based on the headlines, Secretary Clinton won most of the media vote.  They are ecstatic at the networks that nobody watches and at the newspapers facing circulation problems.  Some reporters haven't had this much joy since the night that Obama was elected.
In other words, the meme is that the lady came, and the GOP didn't lay a glove on her.  End of story, and let's move on to income inequality!
Not so fast.  Once again, the mainstream media may not be seeing or hearing what many of us saw or heard.  There goes that disconnect again! 
As the father of a young man who served in the U.S. Army (2010-2014), I found Secretary Clinton's response very troubling.  I'm referring to Rep. Jordan pulling out the emails that she sent to Chelsea or a head of state in the region.  I'm talking about the emails where she confirms that Benghazi was a terrorist attack and not some response to a video made in the U.S.
Andrew McCarthy reminds us of that day at Andrews Air Force base:
"We've seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with." 
Those words, depraved words, were spoken by then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton, with President Obama by her side, on September 14, 2012. This was at Joint Base Andrews, during the most sacred of rites: the return of the remains of Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, all slain in the line of duty in Benghazi.
Why lie to a mother or widow standing next to her loved one's casket?  Why not say that we don't know and need to do more research?  Of course, we know why she said it.  They had to cover for the Obama re-election message that al-Qaeda was on the run, Osama was dead, and the U.S. is out of Iraq.
Put yourself in the place of a military mother or wife this morning.  What could they be thinking?
Military moms and wives are a very tight-knit group of women who sacrifice so much for their country.  Sometimes their sons or husbands don't come back, but you don't see them complaining.
How is this issue going to play at military bases or just across the nation?  It is not going to play well, and it will continue to be an issue for now and into 2016.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

How can you have a serious inquiry with one party in the tank for the witness?

Over the next few days, we will read that Secretary Clinton survived the hearings. And they are right!  She was calm and rather cynical as well.  To be honest, I was not expecting the political equivalent of Foreman knocking out Frazier. Nevertheless, the inquiry was necessary.
Let me add two things to this debate.
First, I agree with KT McFarland:
She didn't mean to, but she showed us a glimpse into her soul.
It was chilling.
We now know that when Secretary Clinton met the plane carrying the bodies of the four Americans who died at Benghazi that the Obama administration had intially lied about what happened.
She stood over the flag-draped coffins of four dead Americans knowing that the first narrative blamed their deaths on an Internet video, which caused a demonstration outside the consulate to turn into a deadly attack, when she already knew the truth.
She looked into the eyes of the families of the fallen heroes knowing all about that. 
She always knew they died from a planned terrorist attack from an Al Qaeda-like group. That's what she told her family and foreign leaders according to newly released emails.
So why support the false narrative at the start? Because the Obama administration had an election to win eight weeks later, and a terrorist attack that killed four Americans didn't fit into that plan.
President Obama asked voters to reelect him because he had killed Usama bin Laden. Al Qaeda was on the ropes. Qaddafi was dead and the Libyan war a success. The wave of war was a receding. President George W. Bush's War on Terror was over because Obama and Clinton had won it.
A terrorist attack that killed Americans at Benghazi did not fit into that campaign narrative, so it had to be retold and spun into a different story. It wasn't radical Islamist terrorists, but a spontaneous demonstration that got out of control in reaction to an obscure Internet video.
Yes, the woman is all about winning an election, or in this case helping President Obama win his reelection.  It all goes to the character question.  She will change positions or even tell a lie if that is needed to play the party line.
My second observation is that the Democrats are no longer a serious political party. From the beginning, Rep. Cummings was reading talking points that could have been written by the Clinton campaign. He was followed by Rep Hackworth, who was suddenly interested in Defense Department quarterly reviews. She was followed by Rep. Sanchez, the poster girl for why drawing up ethnic districts results in the election of incompetent Democrats with very little substance.
Are the Democrats telling us that they are okay with Secretary Clinton making up the video story?  Or having Sidney Blumenthal around when the Obama White House had forbidden his involvement in government business?  Or refusing to process requests for more security?
It was pathetic to watch Democrat after Democrat play the party line without regard for facts or truth.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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A look at the Benghazi hearings with Richard Baehr of American Thinker

Guest:  Richard Baehr, Chief Political Correspondent of American Thinker, joins me for a look at the Benghazi hearings...........partisanship was can you have a serious inquiry when the Democrats are in the tank for the witness?   The GOP asked tough questions but the Democrats were utterly irresponsible........what does it say about the US Congress and the upcoming presidential election......

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Obama gets closer to Castro and Castro gets closer to Putin and Assad

(My new American Thinker post)

Who would have believed this on the day that President Obama reversed our policy toward Cuba? It looks like Raul Castro is now Assad's big buddy, a relationship that has confounded all of the Cuba experts who thought that "hope and change" was the key to change the island's gangsters.

According to Capitoll Hill Cubans, the Cuba-Syria relationship is more than a handshake:

For those -- wittingly or unwittingly -- asleep at the wheel, here's a look back at Castro's ties with Assad and Putin within the past year (of Obama's extended hand) alone:

  •   Major event in Damascus hosted by the Syria-Cuba Friendship Association at the Regional Leadership of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries (September 2015).
  •  Russian intelligence ship, Yantar, targeted a U.S. nuclear missile submarine base and underwater transit routes off the eastern seaboard, as it headed for safe-harbor in Cuba. Throughout the year, the Castro regime has continued to host and harbor Russian spy ships tasked with monitoring sensitive U.S. defense networks (September 2015).
  •  A group of senior Syrian regime officials, led by the Secretary General of Assad's Baathist Party, Hilal al-Hilal, traveled to Havana to visit with the Castro regime. Al-Hilal stressed how the current U.S.-Cuba negotiations have taught Assad's regime "to continue resisting in our war, in the same manner as the Cubans have triumphed in their war against imperialism" (May 2015).
  •  As Russia restores military-industrial cooperation with Cuba, it may soon reopen the Lourdes signal intelligence center near Havana, announced a senior member of the State Duma Security Committee (May 2015).
  •  Cuban dictator Raul Castro visited his "dear friend Putin" in Moscow (May 2015).
  •  "We intend to continue cooperation in supplying the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces with modern weapons and military hardware," Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting in Moscow with Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Cuba Ricardo Cabrisas (April 2015).
  •  A Russian spy ship, The Viktor Leonov, returned to the Port of Havana during a visit by European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. Her visit to Cuba also "coincided" with a visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. "I am absolutely convinced that nothing threatens our close, partner and strategic relations with Cuba. We see no signs that someday everything will be different," Lavrov stated (April 2015).
  •  A Russian spy ship docked in central Havana on the eve of a visit to Cuba by the first U.S. delegation for "normalization" talks. The Viktor Leonov, an armed intelligence-gathering vessel that monitors US communications, arrived at a passenger cruise terminal in full public view for what a Russian embassy official called a “friendly” three-day stay (January 2015).
  •  Assad's terrorist allies, Hezbollah, celebrated Obama's new policy towards Cuba. “The achievements of Cuba, which was firm on its principles, is a lesson for all people of the world who are suffering from American hegemony,” Hezbollah official Ammar Moussawi said after a meeting with the Cuban ambassador to Lebanon (December 2014).
  •  Cuba led an effort (along with Algeria, China, Russia and Venezuela) to protect Syria's Bashar al-Assad from a U.N. human rights inquiry for crimes against humanity (September 2014).

It's possible that Castro and Assad would have developed this relationship with or without the U.S. embassy in Cuba. After all, Fidel and Raul Castro have had friends in low places for quite some time.

At the same time, why didn't President Obama warn Raul Castro that restoration of relations was subject to some behaviorial changes? We remember how President Ford and Secretary Kissinger ended talks with Cuba when Castro sent 25,000 troops to Angola.

We say it again. U.S.-Cuba talks under President Obama have been a one way street in favor of Havana.  How can anyone deny that today?

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