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.

We remember Nando Parrado who survived a plane crash in 1972


Nando Parrado was born Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1947.  

In 1972, Nando was one of the passengers on a flight that crashed in The Andes.   He was travelling with a rugby team on the way to a tournament.

Nando survived and the story became a book as well as a movie.     You can get the movie HERE.

It's an amazing story!




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.


Happy # 85 Herb Alpert


Image result for herb alpert images
We say happy birthday to Herb Alpert, who was born in Los Angeles on this day in 1935.

In the early 1960's, Herb Alpert hit the charts with The Tijuana Brass.

His career included number one hits & many albums that charted on Billboard. They also won 8 Grammy's and sold 70 million albums around the world.

Alpert is also the only artist to hit # 1 with an instrumental "Rise" in 1979 and as a vocalist with “This guy's in love with you" in 1968.

Not bad for a guy whose first hit was called "The lonely bull"!


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


1889: The Eiffel Tower opened to the public


The legendary Eiffel Tower of Paris opened to the public on this day in 1889.   It is one of the many landmarks of this great city.    

We remember Paul Mauriat, one of the great French pianists, and a # 1 song in Billboard USA:



Happy # 86 Shirley Jones

Image result for shirley jones partridge family images

We say happy birthday to Shirley Jones who was born in Pennsylvania on this day in 1934.   

She appeared in lots of films, from "Oklahoma" to "The music man".    


I guess that most of us remember her as the mom in "The Partridge Family":


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.

March 30, 1981: Reagan shot on this day

On March 30 1981, I was having lunch in Mexico City with a British friend and the phone rang. It was my mother calling from Dallas. She said that Pres. Reagan had been shot.
Reagan nearly died. He was clearly affected by the shooting, physically and emotionally.
Looking back, we remember some great Reagan lines:
“Honey, I forgot to duck” (The President’s words to the First Lady)
”Please tell me you’re Republicans.” (The President greets the surgeons)
Reagan survived and went on to have two very successful terms.
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.






We remember Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)


Image result for vincent van gogh images
Vincent van Gogh was born in The Netherlands on this day in 1853.   He died in 1890.

For some time, I've been meaning to watch this movie.    

Kirk Douglas was amazing as Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch painter, 
and nominated for best actor. 

Anthony Quinn was also great:





1867: Alaska and Seward’s Folly

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We remember President Andrew Johnson because he succeeded President Lincoln and was impeached and not convicted in 1868
 
Yet, he made a decision in 1867 that impacted the 20th century in ways that no one could have imagined.  It may have been as consequential as The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 that doubled the size of the nation.
 
Back in March 1867, Secretary of State Seward signed a treaty with Russia and purchased Alaska for $7 million.  
 
It was actually a huge bargain but that’s not what they thought back then.
 
So they called it “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s icebox”.
 
The critics were tough on President Andrew Johnson, too.  They called it his “polar bear garden.”
 
Less than a 100 years later, or 1959, Alaska became a state and nobody is calling the purchase a folly anymore.
 
Can you imagine Soviet missiles pointing at the US from north in Alaska? Or more oil fields in the hands of Putin today?
 
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Alaska 1867: "Seward's Folly" by Melissa Whitcraft.......... https://t.co/ESALB39n65 via @amazon


Happy # 75 Eric Clapton


Image result for eric clapton images
Eric Clapton is one of the best "rock guitarists" ever!    He was born on this day in 1945.

Clapton's career goes back to The Yardbirds, Cream, and his own solo work.

My favorite Clapton guitar performance is "White Room" recorded by Cream, i.e. Clapton, Ginger Baker & Jack Bruce. 

According to Songfacts, Eric Clapton used a Wah-Wah pedal on his guitar.  It was great:

March 30, 1981 when Pres. Reagan was shot!

Image result for reagan shot newspaper images
On March 30 1981, I was having lunch in Mexico City with a British friend and the phone rang. It was my mother calling from Dallas. She said that Pres. Reagan had been shot.
Reagan nearly died. He was clearly affected by the shooting, physically and emotionally.
Looking back, we remember some great Reagan lines:
“Honey, I forgot to duck” (The President’s words to the First Lady)
”Please tell me you’re Republicans.” (The President greets the surgeons)
Reagan survived and went on to have two very successful terms.
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.








Happy birthday Eric Clapton....




December 2012: Let's talk a little tango with Georgina & Oscar


CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN:

Let's talk a little tango with Georgina & Oscar 11/29 by Silvio Canto Jr | Current Events Podcasts:

Guests: Leslie Eastman joins me for a chat with Georgina Vargas and Oscar Mandagaran. They are a lovely tango couple from Argentina:





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.

We remember those who served in Vietnam, 1961-73

Today We Celebrate Vietnam Veterans Day - Welcome Home Brothers ...
On this day in 1973, US troops left Vietnam.  

It ended a war that began when President Kennedy sent some advisers, was later escalated under President Johnson to 500,000 troops and finally ended by President Nixon.  

As you may know, the parties signed a cease fire in January 1973.   It followed the "famous Christmas bombing" when President Nixon forced the communists to sign the agreement.  We called it "Operation Linebacker" and it was effective.  The bombing missions were so good that the communists were shortly begging to a paper to sign.

Twenty-seven months later, the North walked into Saigon, and we’ve known it as Ho Chi Minh City ever since.

Did it have to turn out that way?    

President Nixon did not think so.  He wrote about it in No More Vietnams, a book that gets better with age.  The point is that we choose to win wars or lose them, the latter of which we did in Vietnam.  To win would not have required a single soldier – just a few B-52s to remind the North that we meant to enforce the ceasefire.  We should remember that North Vietnam was devastated in 1973.

The tragedy of Vietnam is that the USSR could not believe that we let South Vietnam collapse in 1975, as Stephen J. Morris wrote on the 30th anniversary of the disintegration of Saigon:
If the United States had provided that level of support in 1975, when South Vietnam collapsed in the face of another North Vietnamese offensive, the outcome might have been at least the same as in 1972. 
But intense lobbying of Congress by the antiwar movement, especially in the context of the Watergate scandal, helped to drive cutbacks of American aid in 1974. 
Combined with the impact of the world oil crisis and inflation of 1973-74, the results were devastating for the south. 
As the triumphant North Vietnamese commander, Gen. Van Tien Dung, wrote later, President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam was forced to fight “a poor man’s war.”
Even Hanoi’s main patron, the Soviet Union, was convinced that a North Vietnamese military victory was highly unlikely. 
Evidence from Soviet Communist Party archives suggests that, until 1974, Soviet military intelligence analysts and diplomats never believed that the North Vietnamese would be victorious on the battlefield. Only political and diplomatic efforts could succeed. 
Moscow thought that the South Vietnamese government was strong enough to defend itself with a continuation of American logistical support. 
The former Soviet chargĂ© d’affaires in Hanoi during the 1970’s told me in Moscow in late 1993 that if one looked at the balance of forces, one could not predict that the South would be defeated. 
Until 1975, Moscow was not only impressed by American military power and political will, it also clearly had no desire to go to war with the United States over Vietnam. 
But after 1975, Soviet fear of the United States dissipated.
No kidding that fear of the U.S. dissipated.  

The post-Vietnam years contributed to the perception that the U.S. was weak and unwilling to defend its interests.  From Nicaragua to Iran to the Soviets in Afghanistan and Cuban troops in Africa, it was a time of U.S. weakness.  

Thankfully, it ended with the Reagan presidency.

Yes, there were many mistakes in Vietnam, from using the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to send 500,000 soldiers to war to not fighting to win. 

I believe that the biggest mistake was not preserving our gains, or a South Vietnam that would have looked a lot like South Korea today.

Again, it could have turned out very different, especially for the many who served in Vietnam.  They won the battles, and the politicians lost the peace.


P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  This is President Nixon's book and for some of the young people who don't remember:


Happy # 76 Denny McLain

Image result for denny mclain images
We remember Denny McLain who was born in Chicago on this day in 1944.  

Denny broke with Detroit in 1963.    

He became a regular in the starting rotation in 1965 and won 108 games over 5 years, including 31-6 in 1968 and 24-9 in 1969.     

McLain won The Cy Young Award in 1968 and shared it with Mike Cuellar in 1969.  

His career fell apart in 1970 after some gambling allegations and was out of baseball in 1972 at age 28.
McClain won 131 games.

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







We remember Cardinal Mindszenty (1892-1975)


Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty was born on this day in 1892 and died in 1975.  

Along with Pope John Paul II, the late Cardinal is one of my Catholic and anti-communist heroes.
Both men stood up to Hitler and the Soviet Union, the two great evils of the 20th century.
Back in 1949, the new communist Hungary regime convicted him of treason and life imprisonment. 

He was released in 1956 by the reformist government and granted asylum at the US Embassy in Budapest.   

Unfortunately, Warsaw Pact tanks crushed the reforms and The Cardinal was force to stay in the embassy grounds until 1971.   

He was eventually released for poor health and died in the Vienna in 1975.   His remains were returned to Hungary in 1991.
Cardinal Mindszenty’s life was just amazing.  

The Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation continues to be a great source of information about defending the unborn and many family issues.
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


Happy # 80 Astrud Gilberto



We remember Senator Eugene McCarthy (1916-2005)


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Senator Eugene McCarthy was born in Minnesota on this day in 1916. He died in 2005.

My first memory of Senator McCarthy was 1968, or the year that he shocked the Democrats by doing so well against President Johnson in New Hampshire.

He ran again in 1972 but it was all over by then. McCarthy was "a one-issue" candidate and Vietnam was not a concern in 1972 now that most of the troops were out or coming home.

Some people tried to compare Governor Howard Dean in 2004 to Senator McCarthy.  Not really. I think that McCarthy had more class!

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




The amazing Cy Young was born on this day in 1867



The amazing Cy Young was born on this day in 1867.  

Young won 511 games, completed 749 with a 2.63 ERA.   


One of his better seasons was 1892:  36-12 with a 1.93 ERA, 453 innings pitched and 48 complete games!


Of course, his name is now synonymous with great pitching.   The Cy Young Award is given each year to the best pitcher in the AL and NL.

P.S.  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.

1950: Gregory Peck and Joan Collins in "The Bravados"

FRAGMAN The Bravados 1958 - YouTube
Gregory Peck and a very young Joan Collins are the two key players in this rather good western, "The Bravados" from 1950.

Peck is Jim Douglass, a man chasing the four outlaws who killed his wife.   Collins plays Josefa Velarde, a woman he met five years before and now runs her father's ranch.

The rest is up to you: Watch it because you will love the film's intensity.   

And Joan Collins looks beautiful!



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