Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Venezuela with Miguel Henrique Otero, President & Editor of La Nacional

Venezuela with Miguel Henrique Otero, President & Editor of La Nacional 03/31 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics:

Guest: Miguel Henrique Otero President & Editor of La Nacional in Venezuela....We will discuss the Trump Administration's decision to name President Maduro and others in drug trafficking and money laundering....plus CoronaVirus information in Venezuela ........and other stories.........click to listen:

Tuesday’s video: We were supposed to have baseball today.....

Rangers Release Updated Globe Life Field Renderings | Ballpark Digest

Tuesday’s video:
We were supposed to have baseball today.....
click to watch:

The USNS Comfort projects U.S. strength and humanity

U.S. Navy Hospital Ship 'Comfort' Deploys for Latin America and ...
A few hours ago, one of my sons showed me a photo of the USNS Comfort navigating into New York Harbor.
It was a stunning photo.  The ship is huge and projects U.S. strength and our humanity.
Later, I shared the photo with a friends overseas and they were stunned.  The questions went like this:  How many of those ships does the U.S. have to how much do they cost to operate?
The ship is in New York and soon will become a major hospital.  
This is from the New York Post:   
Dispatched Saturday by President Trump from Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, the craft arrived at Manhattan’s Pier 90 at 10:42 a.m., as helicopters hovered above and a few dozen onlookers braved social-distancing regulations to catch a glimpse.
The vessel has a capacity of 1,000 beds, sorely needed as the contagion continues to strain the capacities of brick-and-mortar facilities.
“#NYPD Harbor and Aviation escort the @USNavy USNS Comfort as it enters New York Harbor,” the department’s Special Operations division wrote in a tweet, along with a video of the mammoth hospital ship cutting through an overcast Monday morning.
It reminds me of what my mother used to say when we arrived in the U.S.  She would often say: “Que grande es este pais” or loosely translated, how great is this country.
The world is watching this ship and very impressed with our ability to face a crisis with every resource available, including two hospital ships!
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

2016 post: A town named Hershey in pre‐Castro Cuba

As Cuba moves away from Fidel to whatever happens next, we were recently reminded of a pre-Castro town that confirmed just how close the U.S. and the island used to be.    
The town is Hershey, Cuba:
The town dates to 1916, when Milton S. Hershey, the American chocolate baron, visited Cuba for the first time and decided to buy sugar plantations and mills on the island to supply his growing chocolate empire in Pennsylvania. On land east of Havana, he built a large sugar refinery and an adjoining village — a model town like his creation in Hershey, Pa. — to house his workers and their families.
He named the place Hershey.
The village would come to include about 160 homes — the most elegant made of stone, the more modest of wooden planks — built along a grid of streets and each with tidy yards and front porches in the style common in the growing suburbs of the United States. It also had a public school, a medical clinic, shops, a movie theater, a golf course, social clubs and a baseball stadium where a Hershey-sponsored team played its home games, residents said.
The factory became one of the most productive sugar refineries in the country, if not in all of Latin America, and the village was the envy of surrounding towns, which lacked the standard of living that Mr. Hershey bestowed on his namesake settlement.
This town was unique, but there were in fact U.S. employers in pre-Castro Cuba who took very good care of their employees.
For example, my uncle was a draftsman for a U.S. company that operated in his town. He came out of school and was hired by the company. He worked there for almost 10 years until this plant was expropriated in the early 1960s. I don’t know whatever happened to my uncle’s employer but he clearly got a raw deal from the communists. After all, all he ever did in Cuba was to obey the law, pay taxes, and create jobs.
Mr. Hershey died in 1948 and the town became another sugar refinery community in Cuba. It was actually a very profitable and efficient sugar refinery.    
Overall, the communists confiscated many other U.S. investments. Sadly, the Obama administration did not demand a solution from Cuba and left many U.S. citizens hanging around wondering about the money that was stolen from them.    
It is estimated that these investments are valued at $7 billion in today’s dollars:
What’s often forgotten, though, is that the embargo was actually triggered by something concrete: an enormous pile of American assets that Castro seized in the process of nationalizing the Cuban economy. Some of these assets were the vacation homes and bank accounts of wealthy individuals. But the lion’s share of the confiscated property — originally valued at $1.8 billion, which at 6 percent simple interest translates to nearly $7 billion today — was sugar factories, mines, oil refineries, and other business operations belonging to American corporations, among them the Coca-Cola Co., Exxon, and the First National Bank of Boston. A 2009 article in the Inter-American Law Review described Castro’s nationalization of US assets as the “largest uncompensated taking of American property by a foreign government in history.”
Today, the nearly 6,000 property claims filed in the wake of the Cuban revolution almost never come up as a significant sticking point in discussions of a prospective Cuban-American thaw. But they remain active — and more to the point, the federal law that lays out the conditions of a possible reconciliation with Cuba, the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, says they have to be resolved. According to that statute, said Michael Kelly, a professor of international law at Creighton University in Nebraska, settling the certified property claims “is one of the first dominos that has to fall in a whole series of dominos for the embargo to be lifted.”
We will wait longer to see how these investors will be compensated. It should be one of the issues that demands immediate attention from whatever the new Trump approach is for Cuba. It did not get proper attention from the Obama administration.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Baseball had a rich history in pre-Castro Cuba

Pre-Castro Cuban baseball was a gem.  

My parents tell me stories of the Habana-Almendares rivalry or those great tournaments known as "La serie del Caribe".

Obviously, there are great Cuban players today.  Nevertheless, it's fun to read about that rich history of Cuban baseball in "The pride of Havana".... 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Another 30 days and remembering President Reagan 1981.......and other stories.........

The latest from Venezuela with Miguel Henrique Otero, journalist 03/30 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics:

Another 30 days and remembering President Reagan 1981.......and other stories..............click to listen:

Monday’s video: People are taking care of people plus hospital ships in...

VA Opening Hospital Beds to Non-Veterans In Hard-Hit New York City ...

Monday’s video:
People are taking care of people plus hospital ships in NY & LA.....
click to watch:

From ‘Pater Noster’ to streaming the mass

1967, Pope Paul VI Catholic Church Vatican | Historic Images
As a boy in Cuba, I remember the Latin Mass and all of those Latin phrases that we would repeat during the ceremony.  My late father was actually an altar boy during his Jesuit School days in Cuba so he used to tease us with Latin phrases, such as:
Priest: Dominus Vobiscum.
May the Lord be with you.
Congregation:  Et cum spiritu tuo.
And with your Spirit.
Priest:  Oremus.
Let us pray.
In 1965, or shortly after we landed in the U.S., Vatican Two changed things and the mass was now in the local language.  
It was a good move because I don’t remember anyone who spoke Latin.  All I remember was people looking at the altar and hoping that they’d keep up with the priest.
Well, Vatican Two made a lot of changes but I don’t think anyone saw the day that the mass would be “streamed” to parishioners sitting in front of a computer.
Here we are:  Facebook meet the new Catholic Church, or something like that dependending on what network you watched your mass on.
How did it go?  It was different but worth the time.  I will answer “yes” whenever St. Peter does the checklist up in heaven.
Can you guess what the priest was thinking?   Well, maybe he was saying something like this:
Here is the church, and here is the steeple; 
Father says Mass, but where are the people?
We will survive, the country and the church.   
It makes me lucky to say:  I’ve been to mass in Latin, Spanish, English and now “on stream.”  Wonder what my hilarious grandmother would say to that ?
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

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

The week in review with Bill Katz the editor of Urgent Agenda 03/29 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics:

Guest: Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda.......The Coronavirus story continues.....New York City is the center of attention......Biden or Cuomo....Vietnam 1973....President Reagan 1981..and other stories....
click to listen:

New Yorker stay home

Best Internet Plans & Providers in Rhode Island | WhistleOut
You can’t make this up.
Well, truth is stranger than fiction, as someone said.
Let’s check out what Rhode Island is up to:
On Saturday, the National Guard will help them conduct house-to-house searches to find people who traveled from New York and demand 14 days of self-quarantine.“Right now we have a pinpointed risk,” Governor Gina Raimondo said.  “That risk is called New York City.”New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., on Friday reporting a total of 44,000 cases.Rhode Island has just over 200, and it has begun an aggressive campaign to keep the virus out and New Yorkers contained, over objections from civil liberties advocates.Raimondo, a Democrat, said she had consulted lawyers and said while she couldn’t close the border, she felt confident she could enforce a quarantine.
Honestly, I understand what they are doing. They don’t want New Yorkers to bring the coronavirus to what some call “Little Rhody” and others “The Ocean West.”
I wonder what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and MSNBC will say about all of this!
On a more serious note, it is a sign of the times and how suddenly borders, and who comes into your state, are a major concern.
I wonder if Governor Raimondo will turn over any illegal aliens to ICE…
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

The NY Times in a cartoon

Over the years, we've had our problems with The New York Times.   This cartoon nails it!

Check out our recent podcasts:

A book about our parents and grandparent

My book "Cubanos in Wisconsin" was published in 2013.    

I've been asked a lot of good questions and shared some nice conversations with friends about the book.  

My original objectives for writing this book were two fold:

1) Say "thanks" to my parents for a job well done.  In other words, it took a lot of courage to leave their homeland and start anew.  Our parents did it and we should say "gracias" at every opportunity; and.

2) Introduce my sons to our family past, i.e. how did we get to the US?  Or, why do they have a Cuban father?  What do all of those "black and white pictures" on their grandparents' wall mean?  Who is that fellow named Jose Marti?   

As I wrote the book, it became clear that I had a 3rd objective:  We need to start a conversation between the old and the new, or the ones who came here years ago and the ones born in this wonderful nation that embraced us.

So get the book, read it and sit down with your grandparents.  Your "abuela" will cook the food you love and your "abuelos" will make you very proud with some amazing stories!

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The situation in New York City and Paris with Michael & Rosine

The situation in New York City and Paris with Michael & Rosine 03/28 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics:

Guests: Michael Prada and Rosine Ghawji, conservative activists.....we will discuss the Corona Virus situation in New York City and France...and other stories.......click to listen:

Cuomo looks good for now

Cuomo Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock
Can you blame the Democrats?  They had 20 characters running for president a year ago.  The debates turned into an argument about who could go further to the left.  

In the end, former Vice President Joe Biden survived and now a lot of Democrats cringe every time he goes on TV.

Enter Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York.

Let’s be fair and recognize that Gov. Cuomo is facing a major health crisis and I wish him the very best.  

Nevertheless, a lot of those “cringing” Democrats want Gov. Cuomo to get in.  They enjoy watching him answering questions and being in charge, the alpha male missing in the party.

Will it happen?   My guess is ‘no’ but I also didn’t think tMr. Trump would be nominated in 2016.

What would Gov, Cuomo bring to the voters?  His record may not play well in the heartland, as Professor Jacobson wrote:    

Anyone who is familiar with Andrew Cuomo knows how horrible a national candidate he would be. He will play well in liberal circles and big cities, but he’s been poison in much of the nation. His SAFE Act gun control legislation has led to a revolt by all but one upstate county and is deeply unpopular outside downstate. He banned fracking, allowing the Southern Tier of upstate New York to crumble while areas across the border in Pennsylvania to thrive. He forced through one of the most aggressive and abusive pro-abortion laws. 

Yes, I can’t wait for Catholic bishops to talk about that abortion law that they were cheering about in Albany.

Once again, we wish Gov. Cuomo the best in dealing with a horrific situation.  Eventually, the virus will pass and this week’s “flavor” won’t taste that good.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

"Cubanos in Wisconsin" a Spanish review

We are thrilled to report that a review of "Cubanos in Wisconsin" is now available in Spanish.   We are so happy and we hope that the entire book will be translated sometime soon:

Friday, March 27, 2020

We will discuss the Corona Virus situation in New York City

We will discuss the Corona Virus situation in New York City with Michael Prada 03/27 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics:

We will discuss the Corona Virus situation in New York City.........and other stories.......
click to listen:

Friday’s video: Lots of Democrats talking Cuomo 2020.....

Triage time: Gov. Cuomo and President Trump get creative in ...

Friday’s video:
Lots of Democrats talking Cuomo 2020.....
click to watch:

Don’t blame the embargo for shortages in Cuba

Food Shortages in Cuba Are Raising Fears of a New Economic Crisis ...
It did not take long for the Cuban regime to bring up the embargo in the context of the coronavirus.  This is from an NBC News report:    
The island faces chronic shortages in basic goods that have worsened with the Trump administration’s tightening of the embargo, citing Cuba’s human rights record and its support for Venezuela’s government. Long lines and crowds outside stores are a normal way of life here.
Soap and detergent are difficult to find right now in ration stores, which are those that sell by the “libreta” or ration book. But they are available in dollar stores for those who can afford it.
Well, here we go again.  Let’s end the embargo and Cuban socialism will finally work after 60 years.
Yes, it’s true that President Trump tightened the embargo by actually enforcing it.  But it wasn’t only Trump: after all, The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 connected lifting the embargo with improvements in human rights in Cuba.   
The shortages of food and medical supplies have nothing to do with the embargo.  My mother can tell you about standing in line for hours hoping to get her milk ration for the week.  My mother did not have to do that in pre-communist Cuba.
So lifting the embargo will only give the regime a political victory.  The shelves will still be empty the next day.
It’s about socialism, not the embargo.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Cuban-American, Dancing On The Hyphen by Amarilys Gacio Rassler

Image result for amarilys cuban american on the hyphen
The Cuban American experience is very unique.  Like Amarilys, I am part of that generation that came here as kids, grew up in the US and has been going back and forth between two neat cultures.

In this book, you will meet Amarilys' family, grandfather, her love of cooking and our Cuban American story.

I should add that Amarilys was a "Pedro Pan" kid, or one of the 14,000 unaccompanied children who came to the US in the early 1960s.  She connected with her parents a few years later.

This is a great book for a long weekend, specially if you are looking for something uplifting in this rather negative world.

Please check out this book.   Here is the link to get it!

 You will enjoy it a lot:

A word about Anthony Lewis (1927-2013)

We remember Anthony Lewis, who was born on this day in 1927.   He died in 2013.

Like many conservatives, I did not agree a lot with Anthony Lewis.  

Nevertheless, I will say that Mr. Lewis was a great writer.

My favorite was "Gideon's trumpet", a book that Mr Lewis wrote about the landmark case of James Earl Gideon's fight for the right to legal counsel:

It is a very good book:


Happy # 30 to TV Marti

On this day in 1990, TV Marti began broadcating to Cuba.

On balance, TV Marti has done a good job bringing news to the Cuban people. It followed Radio Marti that went on the air in 1985. We congratulate all of our Cuban friends in the US for making the broadcasts possible.

I don't know if TV Marti reaches as many Cubans in the island as Radio Marti does. My guess is that more Cubans have access to a radio than TV, specially given the blackouts. At least, that's what I've heard from Cubans who've left the island recently!

Nevertheless, happy birthday to TV Marti!

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Trump and going back to work plus Cuomo and Mexico Venezuela & Cuba

Trump and going back to work plus Cuomo and Mexico Venezuela & Cuba 03/26 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics:

President Trump talks about returning to work.......Draft Cuomo movement is growing....Mexico is confused with President Lopez-Obrador's reaction to CoronaVirus.........Cuba blaming the embargo again.....DOJ going after Maduro in Venezuela........Happy # 76 Diana Ross..........other stories.........click to listen:

Thursday’s video: DOJ goes after Maduro.....

Image result for maduro venezuela images

Thursday’s video:
DOJ goes after Maduro.....
click to watch:

Is anyone saying happy birthday to Obamacare?

Image result for obama care 2010 images
It’s all been about coronavirus lately.  Nevertheless, I’ve never seen an anniversary pass with so little fanfare.  
Who remembered ObamaCare just turned 10? 
I think that Speaker Nancy Pelosi did say something about it but it got lost when she tried to include all of those things in the economic package.
Time flies indeed and it was on this week back in 2010 that President Obama signed the the Affordable Health Care Act.  
This is what he said:
The bill I’m signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see,” Mr. Obama said, adding, “Today we are affirming that essential truth, a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself, that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations.
Well, I don’t know about scaling our aspirations, but premiums and healthcare delivery are another story.
The biggest problem is that the Affordable Health Care Act turned to be unaffordable.   Just speak with someone who’s tried to buy a policy.
I’m sure there is someone out there who got health insurance he didn’t have before.  However, it all came at the cost of disruptions to our health care system.
ObamaCare at #10!  Not exactly the kind of reception that VP Biden expected.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Camelot: Myth or reality with Leslie Eastman & Barry Jacobsen

We spoke with Barry Jacobsen and Leslie Eastman about the story of Camelot.  

This Leslie's post:

"In it, we will be comparing the Myth and Legend of Camelot to what is actually known about 5th and 6th century Britain via written and archeological records. Some of the topics to be covered.

  • Was there a King Arthur who ruled Britain?
  • Who exactly were the “Knights of the Round Table”?
  • Was there a Queen Guinevere, and if she existed, would she have been involved with Sir Lancelot?
  • Was Merlin real or fantasy?
  • How did Arthur die?"
Click here for the show:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Congress votes and what did Lt Governor Patrick say plus more

The Congress votes and what did Lt Governor Patrick say plus more 03/25 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics:

Guest: George Rodriguez, South Texas conservative.......We will discuss President Trump's response to the Corona Cirus plus Lt Governor Patrick's comments......the stimulus bill.......Aretha Franklin 1942-2016.......and more stories.......click to listen:

Wednesday’s video: President Trump is looking ahead and that’s a good ...

Image result for president trump virus press conference images

Wednesday’s video:
President Trump is looking ahead and that’s a good thing.....
click to watch:

Stop saying that Tester and Manchin are moderates

Image result for manchin tester images
Senator Joe Manchin represents super-red West Virginia but he can’t stand up to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Senator Jon Tester represents Montana, but he votes like he is an automatic “yes” for anything liberal that comes to the Senate floor.
Both men voted with their party to kill the Senate bill.  
Why?  I am not sure about Tester, but Manchin said that he wanted to see more hospitals.
The bill did not die for lack of money to hospitals or support for workers or businesses.  Instead, it was a laundry list of liberal ideas that Nancy Pelosi and Democrats did not pass when they had majorities.
This is a list of some of the items that Pelosi proposed:   
“…..mandatory diversity reports on corporate boards, requiring same-day voter registration in all 50 states, a bailout of the U.S. Postal Service, establishing a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and new environmental regulations for airlines.”
Do you believe this?  
I expect anything from Pelosi, especially after she cracked over impeachment and let the left force it on the country.
At the same time, I expected more from the so-called “moderates” from Montana and West Virginia.  
Moral of the story: they run as moderates but they follow the party line when they land in Washington.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

1977: Another president tried to work with Cuba

On this day in 1977, recently inaugurated President Carter decided to look for an opening with Cuba. 
In other words, today we remember another president who tried but could not change Cuba.
After a few years, President Carter unplugged the talks and walked away. Castro reacted by being Castro, or a leader who never negotiated in good faith.
Fidel Castro is not around anymore but his brother is. Beware of negotiating with a communist dictator, his little brother or the puppet president.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The CoronaVirus in Europe with Luca Bocci, journalist

The CoronaVirus in Europe with Luca Bocci, journalist 03/24 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics:

Guest: Luca Bocci, activist and journalist, joins us from Europe to talk about the CoronaVirus .... and other stories....click to listen:

Tuesday’s video: Democrats playing politics.....

Image result for us capitol images

Tuesday’s video:
Democrats playing politics.....
click to watch:

What is the President of Mexico thinking?

Image result for mexico coronavirus images
A Mexican friend texted me with a reaction to President Andres Lopez-Obrador’s casual attitude about the coronavirus.   He was a bit critical, to say the least.
What’s AMLO, as his supporters call him, thinking?  What does he know that we don’t know?
This is from Time:     
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his government have said a shutdown of the country would disproportionately hurt poor people and also be a psychological weight on all Mexicans. 
They say there is no reason to impose major restrictions before health officials deem them necessary — a moment they are expecting in late March, based on the virus’ pattern elsewhere and the Feb. 27 date of Mexico’s first confirmed case.The approach is worrying many experts.
Well, late March is almost here.
So far, my Mexican friend said, the government has a three-part strategy:   Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and avoid people who are coughing.
Others say that President Lopez-Obrador is afraid of a deep recession, specially at a time when the economy is shrinking.  He feels that a lockdown, like that of the U.S., could tip the economy, with massive unemployment and social chaos.
How bad was the pre-corona economy?  One answer may be that Credit Suisse is projecting that the economy will shrink by 4%.
In the meantime, a lot of Mexicans can’t figure out why their country is the only one in the region with such a lackadaisical altitude toward the nasty virus.
Maybe President Lopez Obrador is picking his poison.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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