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".... 

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