Cuba Gooding Quotes

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Fiction has been maligned for centuries as being "false," "untrue," yet good fiction provides more truth about the world, about life, and even about the reader, than can be found in non-fiction.
Clark Zlotchew
A little crazy is good
Chris Hilton (Caliente)
You can't get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That's all you need to know about communism.
P.J. O'Rourke (Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice, and Alcohol-Free Beer)
I miss you more than Michael Bay missed the mark When he made Pearl Harbor. I miss you more than that movie missed the point And that's an awful lot, girl. And now, now you've gone away And all I'm trying to say, is: Pearl Harbor sucked and I miss you. I need you like Ben Affleck needs acting school He was terrible in that film. I need you like Cuba Gooding needed a bigger part He's way better than Ben Affleck. And now, all I can think about is your smile and that shitty movie, too. Pearl Harbor sucked and I miss you. Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies? I guess Pearl Harbor sucked just a little bit more than I miss you.
Trey Parker
Columbus's real achievement was managing to cross the ocean successfully in both directions. Though an accomplished enough mariner, he was not terribly good at a great deal else, especially geography, the skill that would seem most vital in an explorer. It would be hard to name any figure in history who has achieved more lasting fame with less competence. He spent large parts of eight years bouncing around Caribbean islands and coastal South America convinced that he was in the heart of the Orient and that Japan and China were at the edge of every sunset. He never worked out that Cuba is an island and never once set foot on, or even suspected the existence of, the landmass to the north that everyone thinks he discovered: the United States.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
[W]e understood perfectly that the life of a single human being is worth millions of times more than all the property of the richest man on earth. . . . [The revolution] demands they understand that pride in serving our fellow man is much more important than a good income; that the people's gratitude is much more permanent, much more lasting than all the gold one can accumulate.
Ernesto Che Guevara
The Leftist worldview sees society’s and the world’s great battle as between rich and poor rather than between good and evil. Equality therefore trumps morality. This is what produces the morally confused liberal elites who venerated a Cuban tyranny with its egalitarian society over a free, decent, and prosperous America that has greater inequality.
Dennis Prager (Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph)
Here in Cuba death can be a temporary matter.
Paul Vidich (The Good Assassin)
to the American power elite one of the longest lasting and most essential foreign policy goals has been preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model. This was the essence of the Cold War. Cuba and Chile were two examples of several such societies in the socialist camp which the United States did its best to crush.
William Blum (America's Deadliest Export: Democracy The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else)
So if the ending of apartheid is now universally agreed to be a good thing, and Cuba played such a central role, how is it still possible to have such differing views of Castro and Mandela and of Cuba and South Africa? The short answer is that the mainstream media has been so successful in distorting basic historical facts that many are so blinded by Cold War hangovers that they are entirely incapable of critical thought, but the other answer is rather more Machiavellian. The reality is that apartheid did not die, and thus the reason so many white conservatives now love Mandela is essentially that he let their cronies "get away with it". The hypocritical worship of black freedom fighters once they are no longer seen to pose a danger or are safely dead - Martin Luther King might be the best example of this - is one of the key ways of maintaining a liberal veneer over what in reality is brutal intent.
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
No one played devil’s advocate, a figure that every group needs to avoid foolish or even disastrous decisions like this. It was reminiscent of President John Kennedy’s “disastrous” decision to invade Cuba in the Bay of Pigs fiasco.11
Philip G. Zimbardo (The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil)
Open the old cigar-box .....let me consider anew..... Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you? A million surplus Maggies are willing 'o bear the yoke; And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a Smoke. Light me another Cuba..... I hold to my first-sworn vows, If Maggie will have no rival, I'll have no Maggie for spouse!
Rudyard Kipling
Tis good to be sad and say nothing!” - When these words of Shakespeare caught my attention, I confess I felt an echo, a delicious echo.
Machado de Assis (The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas)
Nine Negro boys in Alabama were on trial for their lives when I got back from Cuba and Haiti. The famous Scottsboro "rape" case was in full session. I visited those boys in the death house at Kilby Prison, and I wrote many poems about them. One of those poems was: CHRIST IN ALABAMA Christ is a Nigger, Beaten and black-- O, bare your back. Mary is His Mother-- Mammy of the South, Silence your mouth. God's His Father-- White Master above, Grant us your love. Most holy bastard Of the bleeding mouth: Nigger Christ On the cross of the South.
Langston Hughes (Good Morning, Revolution: Uncollected Social Protest Writings)
The truth is always so very complicated. I'm supposed to say people rarely surprise me, that I've become so good at reading them that I can predict their actions and all that nonsense, but that's not true at all. People are constantly surprising me. The world is not so black-and-white... there is a great deal of gray.
Chanel Cleeton (When We Left Cuba (The Perez Family, #2))
Then I pondered the fact that tight boots are one of the best bits of good fortune on earth, because by making one's feet hurt they give occasion to the pleasure of taking them off. Punish your feet, wretch, then unpunish them and there you have cheap happiness, at the mercy of shoemakers and worthy of Epicurus.’’ The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas- Machado de Asis
Machado de Assis
And now, in Madrid, Spain's besieged capital, I've met wide-awake Negroes from various parts of the world--New York, our Middle West, the French West Indies, Cuba, Africa--some stationed here, others on leave from their battalions--all of them here because they know that if Fascism creeps across Spain, across Europe, and then across the world, there will be no place left for intelligent young Negroes at all. In fact, no decent place for any Negroes--because Fascism preaches the creed of Nordic supremacy and a world for whites alone.
Langston Hughes (Good Morning, Revolution: Uncollected Social Protest Writings)
To be ridiculously sweeping: baby boomers and their offspring have shifted emphasis from the communal to the individual, from the future to the present, from virtue to personal satisfaction. Increasingly secular, we pledge allegiance to lowercase gods of our private devising. We are concerned with leading less a good life than the good life. In contrast to our predecessors, we seldom ask ourselves whether we serve a greater social purpose; we are more likely to ask ourselves if we are happy. We shun self-sacrifice and duty as the soft spots of suckers. We give little thought to the perpetuation of lineage, culture or nation; we take our heritage for granted. We are ahistorical. We measure the value of our lives within the brackets of our own births and deaths, and we’re not especially bothered by what happens once we’re dead. As we age—oh, so reluctantly!—we are apt to look back on our pasts and question not did I serve family, God and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but with whether they were interesting and fun. If that package sounds like one big moral step backward, the Be Here Now mentality that has converted from sixties catchphrase to entrenched gestalt has its upsides. There has to be some value in living for today, since at any given time today is all you’ve got. We justly cherish characters capable of living “in the moment.”…We admire go-getters determined to pack their lives with as much various experience as time and money provide, who never stop learning, engaging, and savoring what every day offers—in contrast to the dour killjoys who are bitter and begrudging in the ceaseless fulfillment of obligation. For the role of humble server, helpmate, and facilitator no longer to constitute the sole model of womanhood surely represents progress for which I am personally grateful. Furthermore, prosperity may naturally lead any well-off citizenry to the final frontier: the self, whose borders are as narrow or infinite as we make them. Yet the biggest social casualty of Be Here Now is children, who have converted from requirement to option, like heated seats for your car. In deciding what in times past never used to be a choice, we don’t consider the importance of raising another generation of our own people, however we might choose to define them. The question is whether kids will make us happy.
Lionel Shriver
Imagine a man between thirty-eight and forty, tall, slim, and pale. His clothes, except for their style, looked as if they'd escaped from the Babylonian captivity. The hat was a contemporary of one of Gessler's. Imagine now a frock coat broader than the needs of his frame--or, literally, that person's bones. The fringe had disappeared some time ago, of the eight original buttons, three were left. The brown drill trousers had two strong knee patches, while the cuffs had been chewed by the heels of boots that bore no pity or polish. About his neck the ends of a tie of two faded colors floated, gripping a week-old collar. I think he was also wearing a dark silk vest, torn in places and unbuttoned. "I'll bet you don't know me, my good Dr. Cubas," he said. "I can't recall..." "I'm Borba, Quincas Borba.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
We Negroes of America are tired of a world divided superficially on the basis of blood and color, but in reality on the basis of poverty and power—the rich over the poor, no matter what their color. We Negroes of America are tired of a world in which it is possible for any group of people to say to another: "You have no right to happiness, or freedom, or the joy of life." We are tired of a world where forever we work for someone else and the profits are not ours. We are tired of a world where, when we raise our voices against oppression, we are immediately jailed, intimidated, beaten, sometimes lynched. Nicolás GuiIlén has been in prison in Cuba, Jacques Roumain, in Haiti, Angelo Herndon in the United States. Today a letter comes from the great Indian writer, Raj Anand, saying that he cannot be with us here in Paris because the British police in England have taken his passport from him. I say, we darker peoples of the earth are tired of a world in which things like that can happen.
Langston Hughes (Good Morning, Revolution: Uncollected Social Protest Writings)
To be ridiculously sweeping: baby boomers and their offspring have shifted emphasis from the communal to the individual, from the future to the present, from virtue to personal satisfaction. Increasingly secular, we pledge allegiance to lowercase gods of our private devising. We are concerned with leading less a good life than the good life. In contrast to our predecessors, we seldom ask ourselves whether we serve a greater social purpose; we are more likely to ask ourselves if we are happy. We shun self-sacrifice and duty as the soft spots of suckers. We give little thought to the perpetuation of lineage, culture, or nation; we take our heritage for granted. We are ahistorical. We measure the value of our lives within the brackets of our own births and deaths, and we’re not especially bothered with what happens once we’re dead. As we age—oh, so reluctantly!—we are apt to look back on our pasts and question not did I serve family, God, and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but with whether they were interesting and fun.
Meghan Daum (Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids)
Doremus, reading the authors he had concealed in the horsehair sofa—the gallant Communist, Karl Billinger, the gallant anti-Communist, Tchernavin, and the gallant neutral, Lorant—began to see something like a biology of dictatorships, all dictatorships. The universal apprehension, the timorous denials of faith, the same methods of arrest—sudden pounding on the door late at night, the squad of police pushing in, the blows, the search, the obscene oaths at the frightened women, the third degree by young snipe of officials, the accompanying blows and then the formal beatings, when the prisoner is forced to count the strokes until he faints, the leprous beds and the sour stew, guards jokingly shooting round and round a prisoner who believes he is being executed, the waiting in solitude to know what will happen, till men go mad and hang themselves—Thus had things gone in Germany, exactly thus in Soviet Russia, in Italy and Hungary and Poland, Spain and Cuba and Japan and China. Not very different had it been under the blessings of liberty and fraternity in the French Revolution. All dictators followed the same routine of torture, as if they had all read the same manual of sadistic etiquette. And now, in the humorous, friendly, happy-go-lucky land of Mark Twain, Doremus saw the homicidal maniacs having just as good a time as they had had in central Europe.
Sinclair Lewis (It Can't Happen Here)
Eight Bells: Robert J. Kane ‘55D died June 3, 2017, in Palm Harbor, Florida. He came to MMA by way of Boston College. Bob or “Killer,” as he was affectionately known, was an independent and eccentric soul, enjoying the freedom of life. After a career at sea as an Officer in the U.S. Navy and in the Merchant Marine he retired to an adventurous single life living with his two dogs in a mobile home, which had originally been a “Yellow School Bus.” He loved watching the races at Daytona, Florida, telling stories about his interesting deeds about flying groceries to exotic Caribbean Islands, and misdeeds with mysterious ladies he had known. For years he spent his summers touring Canada and his winters appreciating the more temperate weather at Fort De Soto in St. Petersburg, Florida…. Enjoying life in the shadow of the Sunshine Bridge, Bob had an artistic flare, a positive attitude and a quick sense of humor. Not having a family, few people were aware that he became crippled by a hip replacement operation gone bad at the Bay Pines VA Hospital. His condition became so bad that he could hardly get around, but he remained in good spirits until he suffered a totally debilitating stroke. For the past 6 years Bob spent his time at various Florida Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes and Palliative Care Hospitals. His end came when he finally wound up as a terminal patient at the Hospice Facility in Palm Harbor, Florida. Bob was 86 years old when he passed. He will be missed….
Hank Bracker
Cuba has nine official National Public Holidays January 1st - Liberation Day & New Year’s Liberation Day is also called “Triunfo de la Revolucion.” This day celebrates the removal of dictator Batista from power and the start of Fidel Castro’s power. January 2nd - Victory of the Armed Forces A holiday commemorating its revolution’s history. Good Friday Good Friday became a national holiday following the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. The first Good Friday recognized as a holiday was in 2014, according to Granma, the Official Body Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba. May 1st - International Labour Day Called “Dia de los Trabajadores,” Havana-Guide.com noted there are many celebrations this holiday, including “speeches on the ‘Plaza de la Revolucion’ celebrating the work force and the Communist party.” July 25th till 27th - Commemmoration of the Assault to Moncada/National Rebellion Day This three-day long holiday remembers the 1953 capture and exile of Fidel Castro, according to VisitarCuba. This happened near Santiago in the Moncada army barracks. This week is also celebrated with carnivals in Santiago as the saint day of St. James (Santiago). October 19th - Independence Day, “Dia de la Independencia” Independence Day celebrates the early independence of Cuba in 1868, when Carlos Manuel Cespedes freed his slaves and began the War of Independence against Spain, according to Travel Cuba. December 25, 2017 - Christmas, “Natividad” Christmas has only recently been re-established as a holiday due to Pope John Paul’s visit in 1998.
Hank Bracker
Most countries that make great economic and social progress are not democracies. South Korea moved from Level 1 to Level 3 faster than any country had ever done (without finding oil), all the time as a military dictatorship. Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth in 2016, nine of them score low on democracy. Anyone who claims that democracy is a necessity for economic growth and health improvements will risk getting contradicted by reality. It’s better to argue for democracy as a goal in itself instead of as a superior means to other goals we like. There is no single measure—not GDP per capita, not child mortality (as in Cuba), not individual freedom (as in the United States), not even democracy—whose improvement will guarantee improvements in all the others. There is no single indicator through which we can measure the progress of a nation. Reality is just more complicated than that. The world cannot be understood without numbers, nor through numbers alone. A country cannot function without a government, but the government cannot solve every problem. Neither the public sector nor the private sector is always the answer. No single measure of a good society can drive every other aspect of its development. It’s not either/or. It’s both and it’s case-by-case. Factfulness Factfulness is … recognizing that a single perspective can limit your imagination, and remembering that it is better to look at problems from many angles to get a more accurate understanding and find practical solutions. To control the single perspective instinct, get a toolbox, not a hammer.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
Gray froze as Miss Turner emerged from the hold. For weeks, she’d plagued him-by day, he suffered glimpses of her beauty; by night, he was haunted by memories of her touch. And just when he thought he’d finally wrangled his desire into submission, today she’d ruined everything. She’d gone and changed her dress. Gone was that serge shroud, that forbidding thundercloud of a garment that had loomed in his peripheral vision for weeks. Today, she wore a cap-sleeved frock of sprigged muslin. She stepped onto the deck, smiling face tilted to the wind. A flower opening to greet the sun. She bobbed on her toes, as though resisting the urge to make a girlish twirl. The pale, sheer fabric of her dress billowed and swelled in the breeze, pulling the undulating contour of calf, thigh, hip into relief. Gray thought she just might be the loveliest creature he’d ever seen. Therefore, he knew he ought to look away. He did, for a moment. He made an honest attempt to scan the horizon for clouds. He checked the hour on his pocket watch, wound the small knob one, two, three, four times. He wiped a bit of salt spray from its glass face. He thought of England. And France, and Cuba, and Spain. He remembered his brother, his sister, and his singularly ugly Aunt Rosamond, on whom he hadn’t clapped eyes in decades. And all this Herculean effort resulting in nothing but a fine sheen of sweat on his brow and precisely thirty seconds’ delay in the inevitable. He looked at her again. Desire swept through his body with starling intensity. And beneath that hot surge of lust, a deeper emotion swelled. It wasn’t something Gray wished to examine. He preferred to let it sink back into the murky depths of his being. An unnamed creature of the deep, let for a more intrepid adventurer to catalog. Instead, he examined Miss Turner’s new frock. The fabric was of fine quality, the sprig pattern evenly stamped, without variations in shape or hue. The dressmaker had taken great pains to match the pattern at the seams. The sleeves of the frock fit perfectly square with her shoulders, in a moment of calm, the skirt’s single flounce lapped the laces of her boots. Unlike that gray serge abomination, this dress was expensive, and it had been fashioned for her alone. But it no longer fit. As she turned, Gray noted how the neckline gaped slightly, and the column of her skirt that ought to have skimmed the swell of her hip instead caught on nothing but air. He frowned. And in that instant, she turned to face him. Their gazes caught and held. Her own smile faded to a quizzical expression. And because Gray didn’t know how to answer the unspoken question in her eyes, and because he hated the fact that he’d banished the giddy delight from her face, he gave her a curt nod and a churlish, “Good morning.” And then he walked away.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Weston, having been born in Chicago, was raised with typical, well-grounded, mid-western values. On his 16th birthday, his father gave him a Kodak camera with which he started what would become his lifetime vocation. During the summer of 1908, Weston met Flora May Chandler, a schoolteacher who was seven years older than he was. The following year the couple married and in time they had four sons. Weston and his family moved to Southern California and opened a portrait studio on Brand Boulevard, in the artsy section of Glendale, California, called Tropico. His artistic skills soon became apparent and he became well known for his portraits of famous people, such as Carl Sandburg and Max Eastman. In the autumn of 1913, hearing of his work, Margrethe Mather, a photographer from Los Angeles, came to his studio, where Weston asked her to be his studio assistant. It didn’t take long before the two developed a passionate, intimate relationship. Both Weston and Mather became active in the growing bohemian cultural scene in Los Angeles. She was extremely outgoing and artistic in a most flamboyant way. Her bohemian sexual values were new to Weston’s conventional thinking, but Mather excited him and presented him with a new outlook that he found enticing. Mather was beautiful, and being bisexual and having been a high-class prostitute, was delightfully worldly. Mather's uninhibited lifestyle became irresistible to Weston and her photography took him into a new and exciting art form. As Mather worked and overtly played with him, she presented a lifestyle that was in stark contrast to Weston’s conventional home life, and he soon came to see his wife Flora as a person with whom he had little in common. Weston expanded his horizons but tried to keep his affairs with other women a secret. As he immersed himself further into nude photography, it became more difficult to hide his new lifestyle from his wife. Flora became suspicious about this secret life, but apparently suffered in silence. One of the first of many women who agreed to model nude for Weston was Tina Modotti. Although Mather remained with Weston, Tina soon became his primary model and remained so for the next several years. There was an instant attraction between Tina Modotti, Mather and Edward Weston, and although he remained married, Tina became his student, model and lover. Richey soon became aware of the affair, but it didn’t seem to bother him, as they all continued to remain good friends. The relationship Tina had with Weston could definitely be considered “cheating,” since knowledge of the affair was withheld as much as possible from his wife Flora May. Perhaps his wife knew and condoned this new promiscuous relationship, since she had also endured the intense liaison with Margrethe Mather. Tina, Mather and Weston continued working together until Tina and Weston suddenly left for Mexico in 1923. As a group, they were all a part of the cozy, artsy, bohemian society of Los Angeles, which was where they were introduced to the then-fashionable, communistic philosophy.
Hank Bracker
Anna Chapman was born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko, in Volgograd, formally Stalingrad, Russia, an important Russian industrial city. During the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, the city became famous for its resistance against the German Army. As a matter of personal history, I had an uncle, by marriage that was killed in this battle. Many historians consider the battle of Stalingrad the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Anna earned her master's degree in economics in Moscow. Her father at the time was employed by the Soviet embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, where he allegedly was a senior KGB agent. After her marriage to Alex Chapman, Anna became a British subject and held a British passport. For a time Alex and Anna lived in London where among other places, she worked for Barclays Bank. In 2009 Anna Chapman left her husband and London, and moved to New York City, living at 20 Exchange Place, in the Wall Street area of downtown Manhattan. In 2009, after a slow start, she enlarged her real-estate business, having as many as 50 employees. Chapman, using her real name worked in the Russian “Illegals Program,” a group of sleeper agents, when an undercover FBI agent, in a New York coffee shop, offered to get her a fake passport, which she accepted. On her father’s advice she handed the passport over to the NYPD, however it still led to her arrest. Ten Russian agents including Anna Chapman were arrested, after having been observed for years, on charges which included money laundering and suspicion of spying for Russia. This led to the largest prisoner swap between the United States and Russia since 1986. On July 8, 2010 the swap was completed at the Vienna International Airport. Five days later the British Home Office revoked Anna’s citizenship preventing her return to England. In December of 2010 Anna Chapman reappeared when she was appointed to the public council of the Young Guard of United Russia, where she was involved in the education of young people. The following month Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World and in June of 2011 she was appointed as editor of Venture Business News magazine. In 2012, the FBI released information that Anna Chapman attempted to snare a senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, in what was termed a “Honey Trap.” After the 2008 financial meltdown, sources suggest that Anna may have targeted the dapper Peter Orzag, who was divorced in 2006 and served as Special Assistant to the President, for Economic Policy. Between 2007 and 2010 he was involved in the drafting of the federal budget for the Obama Administration and may have been an appealing target to the FSB, the Russian Intelligence Agency. During Orzag’s time as a federal employee, he frequently came to New York City, where associating with Anna could have been a natural fit, considering her financial and economics background. Coincidently, Orzag resigned from his federal position the same month that Chapman was arrested. Following this, Orzag took a job at Citigroup as Vice President of Global Banking. In 2009, he fathered a child with his former girlfriend, Claire Milonas, the daughter of Greek shipping executive, Spiros Milonas, chairman and President of Ionian Management Inc. In September of 2010, Orzag married Bianna Golodryga, the popular news and finance anchor at Yahoo and a contributor to MSNBC's Morning Joe. She also had co-anchored the weekend edition of ABC's Good Morning America. Not surprisingly Bianna was born in in Moldova, Soviet Union, and in 1980, her family moved to Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a degree in Russian/East European & Eurasian studies and has a minor in economics. They have two children. Yes, she is fluent in Russian! Presently Orszag is a banker and economist, and a Vice Chairman of investment banking and Managing Director at Lazard.
Hank Bracker
Flea markets are also now legal in Cuba, and a petty trade in cast-off clothing and household goods takes place. Twelve years ago it was unthinkable for anyone to buy or sell anything in the open, for buying and selling were symptoms of bourgeois individualism and contrary to Fidel’s socialist vision, in which everything is to be rationed—rationally, as it were—according to need. (In practice, of course, this meant rationing according to what there was, which was not much.)
Theodore Dalrymple (Our Culture, What's Left Of It)
Sir George Somers, an experienced mariner, was put in charge of the fleet. Roughly sixty years of age, Somers, from the town of Lyme on England’s southwest coast, had a resume that included service under Essex, Sir Francis Drake, and the privateering Sir John Hawkins.30 A member of parliament, he was an accomplished mariner and navigator. His second in command as master of the fleet’s flagship was Captain Christopher Newport, whose maritime pedigree was every bit as impressive as Somers’s. About forty-nine years of age in 1609, Newport had gone to sea as a young man, sailing to South America and the Caribbean as a privateer. In 1590, when he was about thirty years of age, Newport had been in a sea battle with two Spanish treasure ships off the coast of Cuba. In that battle, Newport lost his right arm but persevered. For the next thirteen years, he was an active Caribbean privateer and was a leading participant in the capture, in 1592, of the Spanish treasure ship the Madre de Dios, a prize that carried about half a million pounds in gems, spices, silks, and other goods. Newport’s long experience as a privateer helped him establish strong links with English merchants. He was also known to King James I, having presented the monarch with two live crocodiles and a wild boar following one of his New World voyages. In 1606, he was named commander of the first Virginia expedition and sailed as captain of the Susan Constant, flagship of the first Virginia fleet.31 By the time he was named sailing master of the flagship of the 1609 fleet, he had made three crossings between England and Jamestown.
Kieran Doherty (Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown)
You said taxi drivers earn more than doctors,” Natalie said.   “Yes this is correct. Tourism in Cuba is a priority now with over eight million visitors per year, mainly from the United Kingdom, Canada and Spain. As I was saying because the taxi drivers are directly linked with tourism they receive, very often, generous tips from tourists. Most Cuban people in the tourist industry are paid in CUC’s and as you know CUC’s are on par in value with the U.S dollar. Most consumer goods in Cuba are sold in CUC’s. So as you can imagine ordinary Cubans will do anything they can to get their hands on them.
Julian Noyce (Drake's Gold (Peter Dennis #3))
hand doesn’t hurt either.   If only the rest of the world could take notice and live as a Cuban, life might not seem all that bad.  From a perspective of a Cuban, all is well, all is rich, all is good.  Put a smile on your face and keep living, do what you have to do, but stay alive, be alive and celebrate each day.  Viva la Cuba!
Dagny Taggart (Cuba: For Tourists! - The Traveler's Guide to Make The Most Out of Your Trip to Cuba - Where to Go, Eat, Sleep & Party)
Harriet had lost count of the times she’d read a note Eben Pulsifer had sent her: “I so much enjoyed the time we spent together. You sparkled with brilliance, the best company I’ve had for months. As unlikely as it seems, I believe we can form a friendship.” She asked herself what she knew about him. They were the same age; he was divorced. Very ambitious, he wanted to be president of the university, but that was a second choice, after other avenues closed to him. It didn’t seem that he was so crude that he wanted her friendship to secure her vote. Did he actually like her? Did she like him? She called Pulsifer: “I’ve read your note. Thanks. It’s flattering. If we keep on seeing each other, either I’ll have to resign from the search committee – or you’ll have to stop dreaming of being president of the school.” “How about if I set you up for the job instead? ” Pulsifer asked. “Don’t think about it. That’s the poorest joke I’ve heard in months.” “Thank you,” Pulsifer said. “I needed to know what you think. Everyone wants what’s best. But not everyone sees all the problems. Russian missiles in Cuba, tests of nuclear weapons. Sensitive people are frightened, especially young ones. Why bother to do our best if the world is about to get blown up? Why don’t we worship idols? That might do some good. Or live for a good time?” “It sounds like you’re running for essayist-at-large,” Harriet said. Pulsifer’s voice deepened. “What happens if weapons fall into irresponsible hands? We need to develop a new kind of person – smart, flexible, sturdy – who can live with the fears that run through mass society and help others overcome them.” “How do you propose to build this new kind of person?” “I’m not sure yet,” Pulsifer admitted. “A president knows how to do things not just point to problems.” They talked on, hardly aware of undercurrents in their conversation. They’d had a brief romance as undergraduates, then went separate ways. Old feelings revived, potentially deeper, but new romance seemed unlikely, so different were they from one another. “What do you say to dinner tonight?” Pulsifer asked. “I was thinking about seeing Macbeth again.” “Let’s do both,” Pulsifer offered. Maybe he really does want a friend, Harriet thought. Like a sophomore all at sea.
Richard French (Surveys)
From the Bridge” by Captain Hank Bracker Appreciation! Appreciation…. One of the nicer things we can get or give is appreciation. It makes what we do worthwhile! It inspires us to work harder, do better and above all, makes us feel better about ourselves. I feel appreciated when someone says thank you…. It’s as simple as that! Of course it’s also nice to receive an award for something I wrote. I recently won two awards for The Exciting Story of Cuba and it made my day! It felt even better to share the moment with my crew because they deserved it and I certainly appreciate them and their contribution, for the effort I got credit for. It’s really very nice when we appreciate people for what they have done for us and remember that it is better to give than receive. Now here is an existential thought that I’ll run past you. You might have heard the ancient chestnut.… “Does a tree make a noise when it falls in a forest with no one around to hear it?” The answer is debatable, with no definitive answer that everyone accepts. Now let’s take this thought one step further by contemplating life itself. Is there really anything, if there is no one to appreciate it? Could this account for our existence? Do we really have to exist at this time and place, within this sphere of infinity, to appreciate everything we are aware of including the universe? To me it’s an interesting thought, since philosophically “I am!” More interesting is that so are you and everyone else. Without us, would there be universe? And if so, would it make any difference, because there would be no one to know. What makes the difference is that we are here and we know that we are here! Therefore, we can appreciate it! I’m not a philosopher. I’m really just another “id” that is contemplating my existence, but what I want to impart is the importance of sharing this existence with others by appreciating them. The English poet John Donne said, “No man is an Island.” I guess the original content is found in prose, not poetry; however it’s the thought that counts. Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytical theory of personality states that, “The id is the personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy that works to satisfy basic urges, needs and desires.” Now the way I see it, is that the reason that we are here is to appreciate each other and our wondrous surroundings. I might even take things a step further by getting religion into the mix. If we are made in our creator’s image, could that mean that our creator, like us, desires the appreciation of his creation and we are here to appreciate what he, or she, has created? The way we as a people are polarized causes me to wonder, if we are not all acting like a bunch of spoiled brats. Has our generation been so spoiled that we all insist on getting things our way, without understanding that we are interdependent. Seeing as how we all inhabit this one planet, and that everything we possess, need, aspire to and love, is right here on this rock floating in space; we should take stock and care for each other and, above all, appreciate what we have, as well as each other. So much from me…. I’ve been busy trying to get Suppressed I Rise – Revised Edition and Seawater One…. Going To Sea!, published before the holidays. It’s been a long time in coming, but I’m hoping that with just a little extra effort, these books will be available at your favorite book dealer in time to find a place under your Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush. That’s right! Just look at your calendar and you’ll see its October and that the holidays are almost here again! Take care, appreciate each other and have a good week. It’s later than you think….
Hank Bracker
From the Bridge” by Captain Hank Bracker Behind “The Exciting Story of Cuba” It was on a rainy evening in January of 2013, after Captain Hank and his wife Ursula returned by ship from a cruise in the Mediterranean, that Captain Hank was pondering on how to market his book, Seawater One. Some years prior he had published the book “Suppressed I Rise.” But lacking a good marketing plan the book floundered. Locally it was well received and the newspapers gave it great reviews, but Ursula was battling allergies and, unfortunately, the timing was off, as was the economy. Captain Hank has the ability to see sunshine when it’s raining and he’s not one easily deterred. Perhaps the timing was off for a novel or a textbook, like the Scramble Book he wrote years before computers made the scene. The history of West Africa was an option, however such a book would have limited public interest and besides, he had written a section regarding this topic for the second Seawater book. No, what he was embarking on would have to be steeped in history and be intertwined with true-life adventures that people could identify with. Out of the blue, his friend Jorge suggested that he write about Cuba. “You were there prior to the Revolution when Fidel Castro was in jail,” he ventured. Laughing, Captain Hank told a story of Mardi Gras in Havana. “Half of the Miami Police Department was there and the Coca-Cola cost more than the rum. Havana was one hell of a place!” Hank said. “I’ll tell you what I could do. I could write a pamphlet about the history of the island. It doesn’t have to be very long… 25 to 30 pages would do it.” His idea was to test the waters for public interest and then later add it to his book Seawater One. Writing is a passion surpassed only by his love for telling stories. It is true that Captain Hank had visited Cuba prior to the Revolution, but back then he was interested more in the beauty of the Latino girls than the history or politics of the country. “You don’t have to be Greek to appreciate Greek history,” Hank once said. “History is not owned solely by historians. It is a part of everyone’s heritage.” And so it was that he started to write about Cuba. When asked about why he wasn’t footnoting his work, he replied that the pamphlet, which grew into a book over 600 pages long, was a book for the people. “I’m not writing this to be a history book or an academic paper. I’m writing this book, so that by knowing Cuba’s past, people would understand it’s present.” He added that unless you lived it, you got it from somewhere else anyway, and footnoting just identifies where it came from. Aside from having been a ship’s captain and harbor pilot, Captain Hank was a high school math and science teacher and was once awarded the status of “Teacher of the Month” by the Connecticut State Board of Education. He has done extensive graduate work, was a union leader and the attendance officer at a vocational technical school. He was also an officer in the Naval Reserve and an officer in the U.S. Army for a total of over 40 years. He once said that “Life is to be lived,” and he certainly has. Active with Military Intelligence he returned to Europe, and when I asked what he did there, he jokingly said that if he had told me he would have to kill me. The Exciting Story of Cuba has the exhilaration of a novel. It is packed full of interesting details and, with the normalizing of the United States and Cuba, it belongs on everyone’s bookshelf, or at least in the bathroom if that’s where you do your reading. Captain Hank is not someone you can hold down and after having read a Proof Copy I know that it will be universally received as the book to go to, if you want to know anything about Cuba! Excerpts from a conversation with Chief Warrant Officer Peter Rommel, USA Retired, Military Intelligence Corps, Winter of 2014.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
Early Trans-Atlantic Voyages "Since Columbus’ discovery of the islands in the Caribbean, the number of Spanish ships that ventured west across the Atlantic had consistently increased. For reasons of safety in numbers, the ships usually made the transit in convoys, carrying nobility, public servants and conquistadors on the larger galleons that had a crew of 180 to 200. On these ships a total of 40 to 50 passengers had their own cabins amidships. These ships carried paintings, finished furniture, fabric and, of course, gold on the return trip. The smaller vessels including the popular caravels had a crew of only 30, but carried as many people as they could fit in the cargo holds. Normally they would carry about 100 lesser public servants, soldiers, and settlers, along with farm animals and equipment, seeds, plant cuttings and diverse manufactured goods.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
From the Bridge” The Importance of History Not all that many years ago the Importance of history would have been a “no brainer!” People understood that there was very little new under the sun, and history was a good barometer to the future. “Those that fail to heed history are doomed to repeat it, “was an adage frequently heard. It gave us a perspective by which to stabilize our bearings and allowed us to find one of the few ways by which we could understand who we are. The myth that George Washington, not being able to lie, admitted to chopping down his father’s favorite cherry tree helped us create a moral compass. Abraham Lincoln’s moniker “Honest Abe,” took root when he worked as a young store clerk in New Salem, IL. The name stuck before he became a lawyer or a politician. His writings show that he valued honesty and in 1859 when he ran for the presidency the nickname became his campaign slogan. However, apparently ”Honest Abe” did lie about whether he was negotiating with the South to end the war and also knowingly concealed some of the most lethal weapons ever devised during the Civil War." These however, were very minor infractions when compared to what we are now expected to believe from our politicians. Since World War II the pace of life has moved faster than ever and may actually have overrun our ability to understand the significance and value of our own honesty. We no longer turn to our past for guidance regarding the future; rather we look into our future in terms of what we want and how we will get it. We have developed to the point that we are much smarter than our ancestors and no longer need their morality and guidance. What we don’t know we frequently fabricate and in most cases, no one picks up on it and if they do, it really doesn’t seem to matter. In short the past has become outdated, obsolete and therefore has become largely irrelevant to us. Being less informed about our past is not the result of a lack of information or education, but of ambivalence and indifference. Perhaps history belongs to the ages but not to us. To a great extent we as a people really do not believe that history matters very much, if at all. My quote “History is not owned solely by historians. It is part of everyone’s heritage,” was written for the opening page of my award winning book “The Exciting Story of Cuba.” Not only is it the anchor holding our Ship of State firmly secure, it is the root of our very being. Yes, history is important. In centuries past this statement would have been self-evident. Our predecessors devoted much time and effort in teaching their children history and it helped provide the foundation to understanding who they were. It provided them a reference whereby they could set their own life’s goals. However society has, to a great extent, turned its back on the past. We now live in an era where the present is most important and our future is being built on shifting sand. We, as a people are presently engaged in a struggle for economic survival and choose to think of ourselves in terms of where wind and tide is taking us, rather than where we came from. We can no longer identify with our ancestors, thus they are no longer relevant. Their lives were so different from our own that they no longer can shed any light on our experience or existence. Therefore, in the minds of many of us, the past no longer has the value it once had nor do we give it the credence it deserves. As in war, the truth is the first victim; however this casualty threatens the very fabric of our being. When fact and fiction are interchanged to satisfy the moment, the bedrock of history in undermined. When we depend on the truth to structure our future, it is vital that it be based on truthful history and the honesty of those who write it. It is a crime without penalty when our politicians tell us lies. In fact they are often shamefully rewarded; encouraging them to become even more blatant in the lies they tell.
Hank Bracker
Opening European Trade with Asia Marco Polo was an Italian merchant whose travels introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China. In the 13th century the traditional trade route leading to China was overland, traveling through the Middle East from the countries of Europe. Marco Polo established this trade route but it required ships to carry the heavy loads of silks and spices. Returning to Italy after 24 he found Venice at war with Genoa. In 1299, after having been imprisoned, his cell-mate recorded his experiences in the book “The Travels of Marco Polo.” Upon his release he became a wealthy merchant, married, and had three children. He died in 1324 and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Venice. Henry the Navigator charted the course from Portugal to the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa and is given credit for having started the Age of Discoveries. During the first half of the 15th century he explored the coast of West Africa and the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, in search of better routes to Asia. Five years after Columbus discovered the West Indies, Vasco da Gama rounded the southern point of Africa and discovered a sea route to India. In 1497, on his first voyage he opened European trade with Asia by an ocean route. Because of the immense distance around Africa, this passage became the longest sea voyage made at the time.
Hank Bracker
A Signal” Stealing an Election For a second time, Batista made a bid for the presidency of Cuba. Losing in the opinion polls, Batista, with military support and a still loyal labor force backing him, overthrew the legitimate government. On March 10, 1952, Batista forced President Carlos Prío Socarrás out of office, blatantly taking the seat of the presidency for himself and declaring himself the Provisional President. Shortly after the coup, the United States government officially accepted Batista as an ally, and officially recognized his new régime. Although he made many promises, Batista did not continue the progressive social policies of his first term as President of Cuba. Instead, he quickly turned democratic Cuba into a “Police State.” According to some perhaps questionable reports, Batista was accused of murdering 20,000 Cubans during the following seven years, thereby destroying individual liberty for the people. The Eisenhower Administration, influenced by “Special Interest Groups,” sent aid to his régime. To a great extent, it was American politics that enabled Batista, who had come to power illegally, to get financial support for his “Reign of Terror.” Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista, hailing him as a strong ally and a good friend to America!
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
It was to be the longest flight I had ever made in my young life and one of the most interesting. Having always been interested in the magic of aviation I knew that the DC-6B, I boarded was an approximately 75 seat, trans-ocean, Pan Am Clipper. It would also be the last long distance propeller driven commercial airliner. The only difference between it and the DC-6A was that it didn’t have a large cargo door in its side, and it was also approximately 5 feet longer than the DC-6A. 1955 was a good year and people felt relatively safe with Dwight D. Eisenhower in the White House. “I like Ike” had been his political motto since before he assumed office on January 20, 1953, even many Democrats held him in high esteem for his military service and winning the war in Europe. Eisenhower obtained a truce in Korea and worked diligently trying to ease the tensions of the Cold War. He did however fail to win over Georgy Malenkov, or Nikolai Bulganin who succeeded him, as Premier of the Soviet Union in February of 1955. As a moderate Conservative he left America, as the strongest and most productive nation in the world, but unfortunately because of his lack of diplomacy and love of golf, failed to prevent Cuba from slipping into the communist camp. WFLA inaugurated its broadcasting in the Tampa Bay area on February 14, 1955. The most popular music was referred to as good music, and although big bands were at their zenith in 1942, by 1947 and music critics will tell you that their time had passed. However, Benny Goodman was only 46 in 1955, Tommy Dorsey was 49 and Count Basie was 51. So, in many sheltered quarters they were still in vogue and perhaps always will be. I for one had my Hi-Fidelity 33 1/3 rpm multi stacked record player and a stash of vinyl long play recordings shipped to Africa. For me time stood still as I listened and entertained my friends. Some years later I met Harry James at the Crystal Ballroom in Disneyland. Those were the days…. Big on the scene was “Rhythm in Blues,” an offshoot of widespread African-American music, that had its beginnings in the ‘40s. It would soon become the window that Rock and Roll would come crashing through.
Hank Bracker
The infamous Fray Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres, who had sniveled around the Royal Court wanting to become a favorite of the pious Queen Isabella, was appointed Governor of the Indies, replacing Francisco de Bobadilla, the man who had been responsible for sending Columbus from Hispaniola, back to Spain in irons. Prior to his appointment Fray Nicolás de Ovando had been a Spanish soldier, coming from a noble family, and was a Knight of the Order of Alcántara. On February 13, 1502, Fray Nicolás sailed from Spain with a record breaking fleet of thirty ships. Since Columbus’ discovery of the islands in the Caribbean, the number of Spanish ships that ventured west across the Atlantic had consistently increased. For reasons of safety in numbers, the ships usually made the transit in convoys, carrying nobility, public servants and conquistadors on the larger galleons that had a crew of 180 to 200. On these ships a total of 40 to 50 passengers had their own cabins midship. These ships carried paintings, finished furniture, fabric and, of course, gold on the return trip. The smaller vessels including the popular caravels had a crew of only 30, but carried as many people as they could fit in the cargo holds. Normally they would carry about 100 lesser public servants, soldiers, and settlers, along with farm animals and equipment, seeds, plant cuttings and diverse manufactured goods. For those that went before, European goods reminded them of home and were in great demand. Normally the ships would sail south along the sandy coast of the Sahara until they reached the Canary Islands, where they would stop for potable water and provisions before heading west with the trade winds. Even on a good voyage, they could count on burying a third of these adventurous at sea. Life was harsh and six to eight weeks out of sight of land, always took its toll! In all it is estimated that 30,500 colonists made that treacherous voyage over time. Most of them had been intentionally selected to promote Spanish interests and culture in the New World. Queen Isabella wanted to introduce Christianity into the West Indies, improve the islands economically and proliferate the Spanish and Christian influences in the region.
Hank Bracker
For some politics has become a battle ground that allows them to vent their frustrations, while at the same time hide behind the anonymity of the social media. For others it has become a weapon to overwhelm their opponents by the weight of the number of comments sent to the originator of the blog or article. Fair or not, this method of cyber warfare works and could possibly change the course of history. A continuance of this cyber activity is still not totally understood by most bloggers, but certainly can be threatening and intimidating. Recently we have witnessed where foreign countries become involved in the attempt to rig elections by altering the mind set of those receiving overwhelming amounts of mostly altered news. This is certainly presently true in France. In Pakistan a student was murdered by his fellow students, simply because he had a difference of opinion. Art has become a victim of this form of attack, being accused of being a financial drain on the country’s economy whereas it, in all of its forms, is a stabilizer of civilization. Helping and feeding those less fortunate then ourselves also stabilizes a good society. On the opposite side of this topic a destabilizing activity is war, which cost us much more, however it does get us to alter our focus. It is the threat of nuclear annihilation that really gets our attention and may even eventually offer job opportunities to the survivors. I feel certain that the opposing sides of these issues are already marshaling their forces and stand fast to their beliefs. You would think that funding for the arts should be non-political, however I have found it to be a hot button issue, whereas going to war is accepted by an overwhelming majority of people, even before we attempt peaceful diplomatic negotiations. Building a wall separating us from Mexico is a great idea that is embraced by many who still believe that Mexico will eventually pay for it, but our “Affordable Health Care” must be thrown out! What will give our people more bang for the buck? An improved health care Bill or a Beautiful Wall? I’ve heard that Medicare and Social Security are things we can no longer afford, but it’s the same people who still believe that we can afford a nuclear war. These are issues that we can and should address, however I’ll just get back to my books and deal with the pro or anti Castro activists, or neo-Nazis, or whoever else wants to make a political statement. My next book “Seawater One….” will have some sex in it…. Perhaps we can all agree that, that’s a good thing or perhaps not.
Hank Bracker
The United States quietly began exporting food to Cuba in 2001, following the devastating hurricane Michelle. In 2000, President Clinton authorized the sale of certain humanitarian products and the United States is again the island's primary food supplier. Annual food sales to Cuba peaked at $710 million in 2008. The Latin American Working Group coordinates relief efforts with Cuba in times of need. There has been a lengthy history binding the two countries, which should not be forgotten. American corporate abuses on the island nation is one of the overwhelming factors deterring Cuba from stabilizing affairs with the United States and the fact that Cuba’s government is a dictatorial, communistic régime stands in the way of the United States opening negotiations with them. Guantánamo Naval Base has been held for a long period of time, perhaps too long, and for questionable reasons, whereas Cuba has incarcerated people for political reasons, including some Americans, for far too long. Families have been divided and animosities have continued. Special interest groups, including a very vocal Cuban population in South Florida, continue to block the U.S. Government from initiating reasonable legislature regarding U.S. interests in Cuba, while many other countries carry on normal relations with the country. What is happening now is a reversal and counterproductive. It would seem that now should be a good time for the U.S. and Cuba to become reasonably good neighbors again….
Hank Bracker
The 1950s would be seen simultaneously as Cuba’s best and worst years. The country’s irresistible sensual pleasures were on full display, but it also became clear that the overripe fruit was due to burst. The good life would succumb to ills that had gone untreated for too long. There were Cubans skilled enough to lead their country through those difficult years, and there were Cuban enterprises, such as Bacardi, with the outlook and the resources to help. But they were too few in number or too weak to make a lasting difference, and the Cuba that entered the 1950s did not make it to the decade’s end.
Tom Gjelten (Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba)
The major failing was that during the last years of the Batista régime, Cuba became extremely corrupt. Havana became America’s adult playground and tourists were bringing in the “Yankee Dollar.” Construction companies with the right connections were busy building new gambling casinos and hotels. Girly shows, prostitution and gaming became widespread and people in the service industry made a good income. Those people that were involved in politics or supported Batista’s rise in wealth were raking in money beyond their wildest imagination. While the good times rolled, in the Sierra Maestra Mountains things were fermenting and the revolutionaries were gaining strength. Young people throughout the island were becoming actively involved. Older people, tired of the corruption and decadence, silently supported Fidel Castro. They may not have known what was in store for them, but they did know that Batista and his followers had hijacked their country, and they were willing to back the fresh wind blowing down from the mountains. As the revolution heated up, the Policía Nacional and Batista’s spy network headed by the Military Intelligence Service, Servicio de Inteligencia Militar, resorted to torture and executions. The newspapers always cited that the bodies found alongside remote roads, railroad tracks or ditches, were shot by unknown persons. The bombs that were heard exploding at night reminded people that these were not normal times. Political enemies of the régime were rounded up and taken to police detention centers located around Havana. Special tribunals, Tribunales de Urgencia, were set up to deal with these prisoners. Since these jails were under the control of the local police, there was little or no accountability. Notorious police precincts such as the ones commanded by Captains Ventura and Carratalá prided themselves on the torturous pain they could inflict, using extremely imaginative methods. Most Cubans feared the police and it seemed that everyone knew of someone who had fallen into their clutches, many of whom were later found dead.
Hank Bracker
you, students of the world, should never forget that behind technology there is always someone controlling it; and that someone is society. You can either be for or against that society. There are those in the world who think that exploitation is good and there are those who think it is bad and must be ended. And even when there is no discussion of politics, a political being can­ not renounce this inherent aspect of the human condition. Never forget that technology is a weapon. If you feel the world is not as perfect as it should be, then you must struggle to put the weapon of technology at the service of society. You must rescue society before that can be accomplished, so that technology ben­efits the greatest number of human beings possible, so that we can build the society of tomorrow-whatever name you choose to give it-the society we dream of
Ernesto Che Guevara
In 1898 the USA declared war on Spain, routed its military and gained control of Cuba, with Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines thrown in for good measure. They would all come in useful, but Guam in particular is a vital strategic asset and Cuba a strategic threat if controlled by a major power.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
No matter how good the message may be, it will be useless unless it is done well (Interview in A Contemporary Cuba Reader, 2000)
Nancy Morejón
Sandecker picked out a cigar from a humidor on the bedside table and lit it. Even though the trade embargo with Cuba had been lifted in 1985, he still preferred the milder flavor and looser wrap of a Honduras over the Havana. He always felt that a good cigar kept the world at bay.
Clive Cussler (Night Probe! (Dirk Pitt, #6))
Martí wrote with special feeling about violence in the United States—against immigrants, labor leaders, Native and African Americans. In 1892, for instance, he described the public lynching of a Black man accused of offending a white woman: “The ladies waved their handkerchiefs, the men waved their hats. Mrs. Jewell [the man’s accuser] reached the tree [where the man was tied], lit a match, twice touched the lit match to the [petroleum-soaked] jacket of the black man, who did not speak, and the black man went up in flames, in the presence of five thousand souls.”5 In an American republic whose institutions he admired, this happened—not the work of one political leader, or a single villain, but of five thousand men and women who went to church, voted for their town council members, kissed their children good night, and watched a man be burned alive.
Ada Ferrer (Cuba: An American History)
The book must suffice in itself: if it please you, excellent reader, I shall be rewarded for my labor; if it please you not, I shall reward you with a snap of my fingers, and good riddance to you." - BRAZ CUBAS
Zack Kopp
The book must suffice in itself: if it please you, excellent reader, I shall be rewarded for my labor; if it please you not, I shall reward you with a snap of my fingers, and good riddance to you. -BRAZ CUBAS
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas / Oração aos Moços / Palavras à Juventude)
direction, and you really know how to get things done. The American people are fortunate that you’ve chosen to serve us in your current capacity. Gator speaks incessantly about seeking employment elsewhere, but I think it’s just talk. He loves this line of work, and we have a lot of fun together at DIA. We share a common view of our world. But remember, Gator: You can’t expect to find a spy under every rock or behind every tree. You simply have to believe that a spy is there, somewhere, and that if you look under every rock and behind every tree, you will eventually find him. I expect Gator to remain welded to my hip for another decade or so. Ana Montes will serve her time productively, I am sure. Knowing Ana, she’ll be running the place before too long. I understand that she remains unrepentant about providing information to the Cubans. She still believes that she did the right, just, and moral thing in supporting them, and I suspect that she will hold that view for the rest of her life. That’s fine. At least she’s no longer in a position to cause the rest of us any harm. Ana Montes is now incarcerated near Fort Worth, Texas. Ana’s boyfriend, Bill, has had a rough time of it. He requested and received permission to remain in contact with Ana after her arrest, up until she was convicted. He sensed, understandably, that she needed his support during an emotional time in her life. But he made clear to me, during one of several meetings on the subject, that his support for Ana would end if and when she was convicted of the crime. Bill was as good as his word. Part of him feels sorry for Ana, but he can never understand or condone what she did. He is torn, but Bill is moving forward with his life without her. As for me, I continue to march. There are some among my peers in this business who take exception to my having published a book about my experience on the job. It goes against their grain. Some may even avoid working with me in the future, for fear that their actions and words will end up in a book somewhere or because they feel that I’ve crossed an ethical line by publishing this story. I understand. So be it. I remain firmly focused on my mission. I am not a writer. I am a counterintelligence investigator. And my job is to detect and investigate espionage and suspected espionage within the Defense Intelligence Agency. I’ve performed that job for almost two decades now, and I expect to continue
Scott W. Carmichael (True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba's Master Spy)
In eerily similar fashion, Hernán Cortés and his conquering Spanish army fled from Cuba and landed on the east coast of Mexico on Good Friday, 1519. Perhaps because of that auspicious date, Cortés named his first colonial settlement the City of the True Cross (Veracruz).
Robin M. Jensen (The Cross: History, Art, and Controversy)
Demonstrating for peace to promote war was nothing new. Totalitarianism always requires a tangible enemy. To the ancient Greeks, a holocaust was simply a burnt sacrifice. Khrushchev wanted to go down in history as the Soviet leader who exported communism to the American continent. In 1959 he was able to install the Castro brothers in Havana and soon my foreign intelligence service became involved in helping Cuba's new communist rulers to export revolution throughout South America. At that point it did not work. In the 1950s and 1960s most Latin Americans were poor, religious peasants who had accepted the status quo. A black version of liberation theology began growing in a few radical-leftist black churches in the US where Marxist thought is predicated on a system pf oppressor class ( white ) versus victim class ( black ) and it sees just one solution: the destruction of the enemy. In the 1950s UNESCO was perceived by many as a platform for communists to attack the West and the KGB used it to place agents around the world. Che Guevara's diaries, with an introduction by Fidel Castro, were produced by the Kremlin's dezinformatsiya machine. Changing minds is what Soviet communism was all about. Khrushchev's political necrophagy ( = blaming and condemning one's predecessor in office. It is a dangerous game. It hurts the country's national pride and it usually turns against its own user ) evolved from the Soviet tradition of sanctifying the supreme ruler. Although the communists publicly proclaimed the decisive role of the people in history, the Kremlin and its KGB believed that only the leader counted. Change the public image of the leader and you change history, I heard over and over from Khrushchev's lips. Khrushchev was certainly the most controversial Soviet to reign in the Kremlin. He unmasked Stalin's crimes, but he made political assassination a main instrument of his own foreign policy; he authored a policy of peaceful coexistence with the West but he pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war; he repaired Moscow's relationships with Yugoslavia's Tito, but he destroyed the unity of the communist world. His close association with Stalin's killings made him aware of what political crime could accomplish and gave him a taste for the simple criminal solution. His total ignorance about the civilized world, together with his irrational hatred of the "bourgeoisie" and his propensity to offend people, made him believe that disinformation and threats were the most efficient and dignified way for a Soviet leader to deal with "bourgeois" governments. As that very clever master of deception Yuri Andropov once told me, if a good piece of disinformation is repeated over and over, after a while it will take on a life of its own and will, all by itself, generate a horde or unwitting but passionate advocates. When I was working for Ceausescu, I always tried to find a way to help him reach a decision on his own, rather than telling him directly what I thought he should do about something. That way both of us were happy. From our KGB advisors, I had learned that the best way to ut over a deception was to let the target see something for himself, with his own eyes. By 1999, President Yeltsin's ill-conceived privatization had enabled a small clique of predatory insiders to plunder Russia's most valuable assets. The corruption generated by this widespread looting penetrated every corner of the country and it eventually created a Mafia-style economic system that threatened the stability of Russia itself. During the old Cold War, the KGB was a state within a state. In Putin's time, the KGB now rechristened FSB, is the state. The Soviet Union had one KGB officer for every 428 citizens. In 2004, Putin's Russia had one FSB officer for every 297 citizens.
Ion Mihai Pacepa (Disinformation)
José Martí is recognized as the George Washington of Cuba or perhaps better yet, as the Simon Bolivar, the liberator of South America. He was born in Havana on January 28, 1853, to Spanish parents. His mother, Leonor Pérez Cabrera, was a native of the Canary Islands and his father, Mariano Martí Navarro, came from Valencia. Families were big then, and it was not long before José had seven sisters. While still very young his parents took him to Spain, but it was just two years later that they returned to Santa Clara where his father worked as a prison guard. His parents enrolled José at a local public school. In September of 1867, Martí signed up at the Escuela Profesional de Pintura y Escultura de La Habana, an art school for painting and sculpture in Havana. Instead of pursuing art as a career, Martí felt that his real talents were as a writer and poet. By the early age of 16, he had already contributed poems and articles to the local newspapers. In 1865 after hearing the news of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, he was inspired to seek freedom for the slaves in his country, and to achieve Cuban independence from Spain. In 1868, Cuban landowners started fighting in what came to be known as the Ten Years’ War. Even at this early age, Martí had definite opinions regarding political affairs, and wrote papers and editorials in support of the rebels. His good intentions backfired and he was convicted of treason. After confessing, he was sentenced to serve six years at hard labor. His parents did what they could to have their son freed but failed, even though at the age of sixteen he was still considered a minor. In prison, Martí’s legs were tightly shackled causing him to become sick with severe lacerations on his ankles. Two years later at the age of eighteen, he was released and sent to Spain where he continued his studies. Because of complications stemming from his time in prison, he had to undergo two surgical operations to correct the damage done to his legs by the shackles. End of part 1.
Hank Bracker
At fourteen years of age, Fidel wrote a letter to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt conveying his pleasure at Roosevelt’s re-election. He continued the letter by asking President Roosevelt for a green ten-dollar bill since he had never seen one before. He ended the letter with, “Thank you very much. Good-bye. Your friend, Fidel Castro.” Perhaps things in Cuba would be different today had Fidel received a written reply and a green ten-dollar bill from President Franklin D....
Hank Bracker
We want an abundant society with a different kind of man," the Cubans said. In other words, people will not work for money-they will not have to sell their hard work to somebody else. They will work for the good of the land, for the good of all the people. (1969)
Enriqueta Vasquez (Enriqueta Vasquez and the Chicano Movement: Writings from El Grito del Norte (Hispanic Civil Rights (Paperback)) (Spanish Edition))
When the friar answered that the good ones did, Hatuey at once answered that he preferred hell, “so as not to be where Spaniards were.
Ada Ferrer (Cuba: An American History)
The book must suffice in itself: if it please you, excellent reader, I shall be rewarded for my labor; if it please you not, I shall reward you with a snap of my fingers, and good riddance to you.' - BRAZ CUBAS
Machado de Assis
Day an' night they set in a room with a checker-board on th' end iv a flour bar'l, an' study problems iv th' navy. At night Mack dhrops in. 'Well, boys,' says he, 'how goes th' battle?' he says. 'Gloryous,' says th' Sthrateejy Board. 'Two more moves, an' we'll be in th' king row.' 'Ah,' says Mack, 'this is too good to be thrue,' he says. 'In but a few brief minyits th' dhrinks'll be on Spain,' he says. 'Have ye anny plans f'r Sampson's fleet?' he says. 'Where is it?' says th' Sthrateejy Board. 'I dinnaw,' says Mack. 'Good,' says th' Sthrateejy Board. 'Where's th' Spanish fleet?' says they. 'Bombardin' Boston, at Cadiz, in San June de Matzoon, sighted near th' gas-house be our special correspondint, copyright, 1898, be Mike O'Toole.' 'A sthrong position,' says th' Sthrateejy Board. 'Undoubtedly, th' fleet is headed south to attack and seize Armour's glue facthory. Ordher Sampson to sail north as fast as he can, an' lay in a supply iv ice. Th' summer's comin' on. Insthruct Schley to put on all steam, an' thin put it off again, an' call us up be telephone. R-rush eighty-three millyon throops an' four mules to Tampa, to Mobile, to Chickenmaha, to Coney Island, to Ireland, to th' divvle, an' r-rush thim back again. Don't r-rush thim. Ordher Sampson to pick up th' cable at Lincoln Par-rk, an' run into th' bar-rn. Is th' balloon corpse r-ready? It is? Thin don't sind it up. Sind it up. Have th' Mulligan Gyards co-op'rate with Gomez, an' tell him to cut away his whiskers. They've got tangled in th' riggin'. We need yellow-fever throops. Have ye anny yellow fever in th' house? Give it to twinty thousand three hundherd men, an' sind thim afther Gov'nor Tanner. Teddy Rosenfelt's r-rough r-riders ar-re downstairs, havin' their uniforms pressed. Ordher thim to th' goluf links at wanst. They must be no indecision. Where's Richard Harding Davis? On th' bridge iv the New York? Tur-rn th' bridge. Seize Gin'ral Miles' uniform. We must strengthen th' gold resarve. Where's th' Gussie? Runnin' off to Cuba with wan hundherd men an' ar-rms, iv coorse. Oh, war is a dhreadful thing. It's ye'er move, Claude,' says th' Sthrateejy Board. "An
Finley Peter Dunne (Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War)
His book For Whom the Bell Tolls was an instant success in the summer of 1940, and afforded him the means to live in style at his villa outside of Havana with his new wife Mary Welsh, whom he married in 1946. It was during this period that he started getting headaches and gaining weight, frequently becoming depressed. Being able to shake off his problems, he wrote a series of books on the Land, Air and Sea, and later wrote The Old Man and the Sea for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in May 1954. Hemingway on a trip to Africa where he barely survived two successive airplane crashes. Returning to Cuba, Ernest worked reshaping the recovered work and wrote his memoir, A Moveable Feast. He also finished True at First Light and The Garden of Eden. Being security conscious, he stored his works in a safe deposit box at a bank in Havana. His home Finca Vigía had become a hub for friends and even visiting tourists. It was reliably disclosed to me that he frequently enjoyed swinger’s parties and orgies at his Cuban home. In Spain after divorcing Frank Sinatra Hemingway introduced Ava Gardner to many of the bullfighters he knew and in a free for all, she seduced many of hotter ones. After Ava Gardner’s affair with the famous Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín crashed, she came to Cuba and stayed at Finca Vigía, where she had what was termed to be a poignant relationship with Ernest. Ava Gardner swam nude in the pool, located down the slope from the Hemingway house, after which he told his staff that the water was not to be emptied. An intimate friendship grew between Hemingway’s forth and second wife, Mary and Pauline. Pauline often came to Finca Vigia, in the early 1950s, and likewise Mary made the crossing of the Florida Straits, back to Key West several times. The ex-wife and the current wife enjoyed gossiping about their prior husbands and lovers and had choice words regarding Ernest. In 1959, Hemingway was in Cuba during the revolution, and was delighted that Batista, who owned the nearby property, that later became the location of the dismal Pan Americana Housing Development, was overthrown. He shared the love of fishing with Fidel Castro and remained on good terms with him. Reading the tea leaves, he decided to leave Cuba after hearing that Fidel wanted to nationalize the properties owned by Americans and other foreign nationals. In the summer of 1960, while working on a manuscript for Life magazine, Hemingway developed dementia becoming disorganized and confused. His eyesight had been failing and he became despondent and depressed. On July 25, 1960, he and his wife Mary left Cuba for the last time. He never retrieved his books or the manuscripts that he left in the bank vault. Following the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban government took ownership of his home and the works he left behind, including an estimated 5,000 books from his personal library. After years of neglect, his home, which was designed by the Spanish architect Miguel Pascual y Baguer in 1886, has now been largely restored as the Hemingway Museum. The museum, overlooking San Francisco de Paula, as well as the Straits of Florida in the distance, houses much of his work as well as his boat housed near his pool.
Hank Bracker
Castro’s revolution, with all of its supposedly good intentions, put a stop to the growth of Havana. Of course it put an end to the Mafia controlling the casinos and entertainment, but for them it was a minor setback. They just packed their bags and went to Las Vegas where they expanded and developed “The Strip!” Batista and his followers fled Cuba for the Dominican Republic, Europe and South Florida. Many Cubans lost everything they had but others fled taking their wealth with them. The upheaval in 1959 marked the beginning of austerity for this former freewheeling city. The communistic de-privatization of all businesses, along with the embargo imposed by the United States, created a serious decline in Havana’s economy. The constant pressure to nationalize, as well as the severe crackdown by the régime to keep people in line, curtailed growth and placed an enormous hardship on the Cuban people. Since the Castro Revolution, the people of Havana have been severely affected, because of the absence of commerce with its former trading partner, the United States, located only 90 miles to the north. In all Havana has taken a severe toll economically, with its dilapidated houses, and the pre-1959 cars on the streets of the city being a testimony to the bygone era. It is only now that with the hope of normalization between the governments of Cuba and the United States that perhaps the people will benefit. For the greatest part, the Port of Havana has also been bypassed, chiefly due to the restrictions placed on them by the United States. However, the Cuban government is now attempting a comeback by attracting tourism from Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, Latin America, Asia and Europe. The city of Havana has renovated the Sierra Maestra Cruise Port, but only very few cruise companies consider Havana a port of call. Slowly, German and British ships started to arrive, including the Fred Olsen Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line. Technically Real Estate Brokers and Automobile Dealers are illegal in Cuba, although real-estate offices and car dealerships are blatantly open for business. The buying and selling of real estate and cars, which was forbidden for many years, can now be done because of some changes brought about by Raúl Castro, but only by full-time residents of Cuba. However, gray market sales are thriving through the use of friends and family as proxies.
Hank Bracker
Having been a Ship’s Captain, a Naval Officer a Mathematics & Science Teacher, most people would believe that my primary interests would be directed towards the sciences. On the other hand, those that know me to be an author interested in history, may believe me to be interested in the arts. University degrees usually fall into the general category of Art or Science. It’s as if we have to pick sides and back one or the other team…. With my degree in Marine Science I am often divided and pigeon holed into this specific discipline or area of interest. One way or the other, this holds true for most of us but is this really true for any of us. As a father I can certainly do other things. Being a navigator doesn’t preclude me from driving a car. Hopefully this article does more than just introduce Cuban Art and in addition gives us all good reason to be accepted as more than a “Johnny One Note.“ My quote that “History is not owned solely by historians. It is a part of everyone’s heritage” hopefully opens doors allowing that we be defined as a sum of all our parts, not just a solitary or prominent one. As it happens, I believe that “Just as science feeds our intellect, art feeds our soul.” For the years that Cuba was under Spanish rule, the island was a direct reflection of Spanish culture. Cuba was thought of as an extension of Spain's empire in the Americas, with Havana and Santiago de Cuba being as Spanish as any city in Spain. Although the early Renaissance concentrated on the arts of Ancient Greece and Rome, it spread to Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries. The new interest in literature and art that Europe experienced quickly spread to Cuba in the years following the colonization of the island. Following their counterparts in Europe, Cuban Professionals, Government Administrators and Merchants demonstrated an interest in supporting the arts. In the 16th century painters and sculptors from Spain painted and decorated the Catholic churches and public buildings in Cuba and by the mid-18th century locally born artists continued this work. During the early part of the 20th century Cuban artists such as Salvador Dali, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso introduced modern classicism and surrealism to Europe. Cuban artist Wilfred Lam can be credited for bringing this artistic style to Cuba. Another Cuban born painter of that era, Federico Beltran Masses, known to be a master of colorization as well as a painter of seductive images of women, sometimes made obvious artistic references to the tropical settings of his childhood. As Cuban art evolved it encompassed the cultural blend of African, European and American features, thereby producing its own unique character. One of the best known works of Cuban art, of this period, is La Gitana Tropical, painted in 1929, by Víctor Manuel. After the 1959 Cuban Revolution, during the early 1960’s, government agencies such as the Commission of Revolutionary Orientation had posters produced for propaganda purposes. Although many of them showed Soviet design features, some still contained hints of the earlier Cuban style for more colorful designs. Towards the end of the 1960’s, a new Cuban art style came into its own. A generation of artists including Félix Beltran, Raul Martinez, Rene Mederos and Alfredo Rostgaard created vibrantly powerful and intense works which remained distinctively Cuban. Though still commissioned by the State to produce propaganda posters, these artists were accepted on the world stage for their individualistic artistic flair and graphic design. After bringing the various and distinct symbols of the island into their work, present day Cuban artists presented their work at the Volumen Uno Exhibit in Havana. Some of these artists were Jose Bedia, Juan Francisco Elso, Lucy Lippard, Ana Mendieta and Tomas Sanchezare. Their intention was to make a nationalistic statement as to who they were without being concerned over the possibility of government rep
Hank Bracker
On Thursday, February 19, 2015, two months after the United States and Cuba announced a willingness to re-establish normal diplomacy, after over 5 decades of hostile relations, the United States House Minority leader and eight fellow Democratic Party lawmakers went to Havana to meet with the Cuban Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel. On February 27th, Cuban Foreign Ministry Director for North America, Josefina Vidal, and her delegation met at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Although most Cubans and many Americans have a positive view towards improving diplomatic relations, there are conservative legislators in both the U.S. House and Senate that have not joined in the promotion and necessary détente and good will in easing the normalization of relations between the two countries. On May 29, 2015, by Executive Order, President Obama took a first step by removing Cuba from the list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism.” Since then President Trump has been determined to overturn most of what has been passed by the former administration. On June 16, 2017 President Trump moved to reverse many of President Obama’s policies towards Cuba. According to the CATO Institute the alleged justification for this reversal is that it will pressure the Cuban government to make concessions on human rights and political policies towards the Island Nation. Apparently Trump’s new restrictions will impose limits on travel and how U.S. Companies will be able to do business in Cuba. Although the final say regarding the normalization between the two countries is in the hands of politicians representing their various constituencies. The United States has long worked and traded with other Communist nations. Recently additional pressure has been applied by corporations that, quite frankly, are fed up with the slowness of the process. The idea that everything hinges on the fact Cuba is a Communist country, run by a dictatorship, does not take into account the plight of the individual Cuban citizens. The United States may wish for a different government; however it is up to Cuba to decide what form of government they will eventually have.
Hank Bracker
The image of Che Guevara adorn the walls of students’ bedrooms and T-shirts the world over. Looking out over the head of the viewer he cuts a Christ-like figure. In fact, he was a murdering racist psychopath. A direct descendent of the last viceroy of Peru, he hated Black people and American Indians almost as much as gringos. Only pure-blooded Spaniards were good enough for him – despite his Irish blood He happily shot his own men in the back of the head for minor infractions. In Havana he summarily executed so many allies as well as enemies in the football stadium, Taliban-style, Fidel Castro had to beg him to stop. He helped establish labour camps in Cuba. A Stalinist, he backed the bloody suppression of the Hungarian Uprising An Argentinian, he played host to dictator Juan Perón. A hardline Communist, he back-channelled with President Kennedy. During the Cuban missile crisis he urged a pre-emptive strike against the US, though America’s retaliation would have wiped Cuba from the map. “The Cuban people are willing to sacrifice themselves,” he said. Did anyone ask them? He alienated the Cubans, the Russians and the Chinese in turn. The people of the Congo are suffering from his bungled intervention to this day. The Communist Party in Bolivia did not want him there. Nor did any of the other Communist parties in the surrounding countries. When he was captured, the only people that tried to rescue him were the CIA. Still, he takes a great photograph.
Nigel Cawthorne (Che Guevara: The Last Conquistador)
made slavery legal. They called their nation the Confederate States. A major reason the Southern States decided to secede from the Union was because they felt they were being economically taken advantage of by the Northern States. The Southerners were mostly agricultural planters while the Northerners came from a more industrialized society. The Southerners wanted to sell their goods (such as cotton,rice, tobacco and sugar) directly to the Europeans and thereby hold on to a bigger share of the profit. But the Northerners served as the middlemen; the biggest banks were located in the Northern States and thus the Northerners were able to provide the loans and investments. Economic independence of the Southern States would have impoverished the North, just as the abolition of slavery would have impoverished the Southern States. Lincoln therefore wanted to preserve the Union among other things. The Southerners, avowed racists, moreover wanted to massively expand the slave territory by including all the territory located to the south of the Rio Grande and including Cuba as well. J.A. Rogers
Aylmer Von Fleischer (The Abraham Lincoln Deception: The President Who Never Set Slaves Free And Did Not Want Blacks in America)
In 1925, Gerardo Machado defeated the conservative Mario García Menocal by an overwhelming majority, becoming Cuba's 5th president. A colleague of Alfredo Zayas, he was also a popular Liberal Party member, and a General during the Cuban War of Independence. General Machado was best known for rustling cattle from the Spanish Imperial Army’s livestock herd, with the good intention of feeding the poor during the revolution. This brazen act of kindness won him a great deal of support among the people. As President, he undertook many popular public projects, including the construction of a highway running the entire length of Cuba. During the beginning of his career as president, he had the National Capitol, as well as other government buildings, constructed in Havana. At first, he did much to modernize and industrialize the mostly agrarian nation. Benito Mussolini and his march on Rome impressed Machado. He admired Mussolini for demanding that liberal King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy elevate the Fascists to power, instead of the Socialists. Although Mussolini originally started his political career as a Socialist, with power and wealth he became a staunch anti-communist. When he was elected as the 27th Prime Minister, he turned Italy into a Totalitarian State. Machado’s ambitions and admiration of Mussolini caused him to emulate the dictator and to misread the importance of his own office. Becoming a “legend in his own mind,” he overreached and started down a slope that led to his administration’s failure and earned him the hatred of the Cuban people. From the very beginning, he fought with the labor leaders and anarchists for control of the labor unions, which represented the workers in the sugar industry. This brought him into a serious conflict with the plantation owners who were mostly wealthy Cuban families and Americans. Keeping the cost of labor down became a priority for the Sugar Barons, and Machado used patriotism as a tool to keep the workers in line. His dictatorial, arrogant ways created unrest within the labor force, as well as with the politically active university students.
Hank Bracker
Buena en la cama,” he had heard men say about women: how good they were in bed. It was a phrase that came with a knowing look but never any details. You were supposed to understand, but he didn’t. The peasant girl he told Clare about had done nothing but lie in silence beneath him. Good in bed meant wild, he thought. It meant that the woman had no inhibitions—and that was Clare. He loved this but it scared him.
John Thorndike (King Robin)
In 1960, the United States and the Soviet Union were locked into an idealistically-driven Cold War, pitting the Capitalistic West against the Communistic East. Cuba, unable to be self-sufficient, had to pick a side. With the United States putting economic pressure onto the relatively small country, Castro did the only thing his pride would allow. Voicing disdain for his neighbor to the north, Castro proclaimed that his ideological views paralleled those of the USSR. Meeting with the Soviet Premier Anastas Mikoyan, Castro agreed to provide the USSR with food and sugar, in return for a monetary infusion amounting to a $100 million loan, as well as industrial goods, crude oil and fertilizers. Castro’s first public admission that his revolution was socialistic was during his speech honoring the people killed in the air strikes of April 15, 1961, during the Bay of Pigs operation. The Cuban government then took over all the banks, except two Canadian ones.
Hank Bracker