THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Fidel Castro’s Communist Utopia
He turned a developing Cuba into an impoverished prison.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Fidel Castro’s Communist Utopia
He turned a developing Cuba into an impoverished prison.
Last week, Pope Francis hosted a Vatican summit on global warming where one of his cardinals called for a “full conversion of hearts and minds” to the fight against the “almost unfathomable” effects of fossil fuels on the environment. The pope will soon issue an encyclical on the subject, which—according to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon—will “convey to the world that protecting our environment is an urgent moral imperative and a sacred duty for all people of faith and people of conscience.”
This came shortly after the pope’s seeming endorsement of the proto-Iran deal, saying, “In hope we entrust to the merciful Lord the framework recently agreed to in Lausanne, that it may be a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.”
Late last year, President Obama thanked Pope Francis for his role in the Castro-lifeline Cuba deal; according to a “senior administration official” quoted in Time, “Pope Francis personally issued an appeal in a letter that he sent to President Obama and to President Raul Castro . . . encouraging the United States and Cuba to pursue a closer friendship.”
Each of these forays (and others) into pontifical progressivism has disappointed conservatives, many of whom have been Francis enthusiasts. Each has gotten ample media attention. Another worrying papal maneuver, however, was mostly overlooked.
Last December, not long after the Cuba deal, the pope declined to meet with the Dalai Lama. Tibet’s spiritual leader-in-exile was visiting Rome and had requested an audience; the papal spokesman said the request was denied in light of the “delicate situation” of the Vatican’s relationship with China and China’s with Tibet. (more…)
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: Being outcasts made Raúl and Fidel Castro feel disrespected. So they pressured much of the rest of the region to say that if Cuba were again left out, they would boycott the event. In December Mr. Obama folded.
It was a sign of how bad things are in the Americas. Authoritarian governments now rule in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia. All employ, to varying degrees, at least some elements of the Cuban model in which the executive consolidates power, civil society is suppressed, and due process is passe.
Elections are rigged. Rulers expropriate at will. Media outlets that dare to differ from the party line face legal burdens that can wipe them out.
Democratic institutions in Brazil and Chile remain intact, but the socialist leaders in both countries are great admirers of the Castros and wouldn’t dream of offending their hard-left constituencies. Colombia is compromised by its peace talks in Havana with FARC narco-terrorists.
When President Obama travels to Panama for the 7th Summit of the Americas later this week, expect to be inundated with platitudes about the blossoming of democracy in the region. Don’t believe it. Repression is on the march in the Americas, and U.S. ambivalence is part of the problem.
In the White House’s lack of moral clarity, the region’s bullies smell weakness. One result is that a Caribbean backwater run by gangster brothers now has the upper hand in setting the regional agenda. (more…)
VIDEO – SENATOR MARCO RUBIO RRESPONDS TO IGNORANCE ABOUT COMMUNIST REGIMES
It has been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was cut down on the streets of Dallas by rifle shots fired by Lee Harvey Oswald, a self-described Marxist, defector to the Soviet Union, and admirer of Fidel Castro. The evidence condemning Oswald was overwhelming.
The bullets that killed President Kennedy were fired from his rifle, which was found in the warehouse where he worked and where he was seen moments before the shooting. Witnesses on the street saw a man firing shots from a window in that building and immediately summoned police to provide a description. Forty-five minutes later a policeman stopped Oswald in another section of the city to question him about the shooting. Oswald killed him with four quick shots from his pistol as the policeman stepped from his squad car. He then fled to a nearby movie theater where he was captured (still carrying the pistol).
Yet opinion polls suggest that 75% of American adults believe that JFK was the victim of a conspiracy. Most of the popular books published on the murder have argued for one or another conspiracy theory, with the CIA, FBI, organized crime or right-wing businessmen cast as the villains. Why does the Kennedy assassination still provoke so much controversy?
A large part of the answer can be found in the social and political climate of the early 1960s. Immediately after the assassination, leading journalists and political figures insisted that the president was a victim of a “climate of hate” in Dallas and across the nation seeded by racial bigots, the Ku Klux Klan, fundamentalist ministers and anticommunist zealots. These people had been responsible for acts of violence across the South against blacks and civil-rights workers in the months and years leading up to Nov. 22, 1963. It made sense to think that the same forces must have been behind the attack on Kennedy.
The first article of Bill Ayers ( Weather Underground) praising the New York Democratic mayoral candidate, Bill DeBlasio leads into the second article of how DeBlasio supported Nicaragua’s Sandinista military government in the 1980’s. The third article regards DeBlasio’s position on New York City’s charter schools. If you have friends who will be voting in this New York mayoral race, please share this information to them. Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Notable & Quotable
Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers praises New York Democratic mayoral candidate Bill DeBlasio.
Oct. 17, 2013
Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers talks to New York magazine about New York Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, Oct. 15:
Q: What should NYC voters make of de Blasio’s time in Nicaragua [with the Sandanistas]?
A: They should say that he stood up for humanity. He stood up for human rights against the blind imperial monster. That was the right thing to do then and it’s the right thing to do now. . . .
Q: What about education reform? Are de Blasio’s ideas about universal pre-kindergarten viable?
A: In a decent and humane society, universal preschool education would be a given and so would family leave for all parents, not just mothers. The fact that he at least leans away from the billionaire agenda of privatizing the public space is a terrific thing.
THE WALL STREET JOURNALBill de Blasio, From Managua to ManhattanOctober 7, 2013Nicaragua’s Marxist regime was an inspiration to New York’s leading mayoral candidate
The recent revelation that New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio supported Nicaragua’s Sandinista military government in the 1980s is a reminder of the high cost Latin America pays for being the playground of the American left. It should also further enlighten New Yorkers as to the politics of the man who is the front runner in the race.The ideas of the hard left don’t sell very well in the U.S., so collectivists take them south of the Rio Grande where they believe the ground is more fertile. Their arrogant paternalism ignores the rights of the people they pretend to redeem.
By 1988, when Mr. de Blasio went to Nicaragua to do social work in support of the Marxist revolutionary cause, the Sandinistas had been running the country for almost a decade. Their brutality was well-documented. Mr. de Blasio, who also did fundraising for supporters of the military government, either didn’t know about Sandinista repression or he didn’t care. (more…)
A Bleak View of America From the Wilderness of Zinn
Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the U.S.” is a left-wing view. It shouldn’t be the only one students read.
Regarding David J. Bobb’s “Howard Zinn and the Art of Anti-Americanism” (op-ed, Aug. 13): News flash! Howard Zinn was a socialist and his books are leftist. Since when are educated people, including students, not supposed to read stuff that they may not or even should not agree with? Young people of all political persuasions should read “The Communist Manifesto,” “Mein Kampf,” “The Conscience of a Conservative” and “God and Man at Yale.” How else can we expect students to develop the capacity to think and reason critically?
Left-wing and right-wing dictatorships censor and control what people are allowed to read because that is the most effective way to prevent the ability to question or even think about questioning the government. David Bobb’s opinion piece would have delighted Zinn himself, for it gives credence to the fact that the “paranoid style” in American politics is still alive and well.
Allan A Bloom
Zinn’s acceptance of accolades from the university “owned” by one of history’s worst serial human-rights abusers is interesting. It would have been refreshing if Zinn, after being awarded his doctorate at the University of Havana, had decided to stay in Cuba and write a revisionist (i.e., truthful) history of Fidel Castro’s Marxist regime and its effect on the Cuban people, and what Marxism had “accomplished” in Cuba. Perhaps languishing in a Cuban prison with real political dissenters for a few years would have helped Zinn appreciate the “beastly” American system, with all its faults, somewhat more favorably.
Zinn obviously chose the more comfortable decision to criticize the U.S., where his free speech wasn’t punishable by imprisonment, and his philosophy would be feted by our current crop of movers and shakers. Typical.
Richard T. Groff Jr.
How long can a successful nation long endure an endless diatribe of self-hate, coming from an intelligent, committed, yet misery-loving minority, which has ironically succeeded in achieving an active following of equally committed elites, particularly among academia, the media and Hollywood? How long will the good, the brave and productive of this country be willing to sit quietly and watch the damage being done in the false narrative of social justice, before they say: “Enough”?
Sarasota, Fla. (more…)
In 2007, early in the improbable presidential candidacy of Barack Obama, the young first-term senator began a series of foreign-policy speeches that seemed too general to provide a guide to what he might do if elected. Aside from making it clear he was not George W. Bush and would get out of Iraq, the rest read like liberal boilerplate: “We have seen the consequences of a foreign policy based on a flawed ideology….The conventional thinking today is just as entrenched as it was in 2002….This is the conventional thinking that has turned against the war, but not against the habits that got us into the war in the first place.” In 2008, he visited Berlin and told an enraptured crowd: “Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for president, but as a citizen—a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world…the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together.”
In Obama’s fifth year as president, it is increasingly clear these vague phrases were not mere rhetoric. They did, in fact, accurately reflect Obama’s thinking about America’s role in the world and foreshadow the goals of the foreign policy he has been implementing and will be pursuing for three more years. Obama’s foreign policy is strangely self-centered, focused on himself and the United States rather than on the conduct and needs of the nations the United States allies with, engages with, or must confront. It is a foreign policy structured not to influence events in Russia or China or Africa or the Middle East but to serve as a bulwark “against the habits” of American activism and global leadership. It was his purpose to change those habits, and to inculcate new habits—ones in which, in every matter of foreign policy except for the pursuit of al-Qaeda, the United States restrains itself.
In the beginning came “engagement.” In his first State of the Union speech in February 2009, Obama told us that “in words and deeds, we are showing the world that a new era of engagement has begun.” A few days later he delivered a speech about the Iraq war and said again that “we are launching a new era of engagement with the world.” There would now be “comprehensive American engagement across the region.” In his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly, in September 2009, he repeated the phrase: “We must embrace a new era of engagement based on mutual interests and mutual respect….We have sought, in word and deed, a new era of engagement with the world.” (more…)
December 4, 2012
Last week the Obama administration proposed a modest expansion of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in its first concessions on offshore production since last year’s Deepwater Horizon spill. The five-year plan would, however, keep Atlantic and Pacific sites off-limits in order to avoid a controversial decision before the 2012 election.
As we continue our endless debate on whether we should have more Outer Continental Shelf development and where, all our neighbors have chosen to proceed. Cuba, Mexico, the Bahamas, Canada and Russia are all moving ahead on offshore development adjacent to our borders.
Each of those nations has weighed the economic benefits of offshore production against the potential environmental risks. All five have decided it is in their best interest to proceed. This means two things for our nation.
First, we fail to boost our offshore production at our own expense. America’s neighbors are not drilling for fun or for sport; they’ve chosen to proceed to create new jobs, generate new revenues, and increase the energy supply and prosperity of their citizens. (more…)