Archive for the ‘Carlos Eire’ Category

Carlos Eire’s Capt. Louis Renault moment

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Actor Claude Rains in Casablanca, playing Capt. Louis Renault,

National Book Award winner Carlos Eire, writing at Babalu,

Venezuela has been withholding funds from all airlines that service the country. How do they do it? The money paid by passengers has to go into a government account. Then that account never dispenses the funds to the airlines.

All told, they have siphoned over 4 billion dollars in this way. And the airlines are now waking up and demanding their money.

Officials in Caracastan have offered to pay a very small fraction of the money owed, and to do so in installments, over several years.

In the meantime, they are demanding that the airlines keep flying in and out of their country under the same arrangement, with the money from the passengers being funneled through a government account that never pays out.

The International Air Transport Association is shocked, shocked by this Castronoid behavior!

…. And in Caracastan, the negotiators are shocked, shocked that the IATA is crying foul!

I wonder if charter flight carrier GECA Airlines, owned by German Ferrer, son of high-ranking chavistas German Dario Ferrer and Luisa Ortega Diaz had any trouble collecting. Read more about the Ferrers in Chavistas en el Imperio.

Related:
Unfortunately, A Bleak Future For Venezuelans.

how can the Government pay its debts, when all of its operating (Not liquid, operating!) international reserves are not enough to pay the debt with the airlines?

Ecuador: Rafael Correa at Yale UPDATED

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Rafael Correa wants your money. Carlos Eire reports:

He demanded the “hegemonic” industrialized nations pay Ecuador and all other nations with rain forests for the oxygen produced by the trees in those forests. I let out a chuckle. Much to my surprise no one else laughed.

He also demanded that Ecuador be paid for all of the petroleum that he refuses to extract from its soil in order to keep the rain forest pristine. Not drilling for oil costs Ecuador billions of dollars, he complained. Some clapped enthusiastically.

And he demanded that the “hegemonic” industrialized nations pay fines to the non-industrialized nations as recompense for the air pollution caused by their industries and vehicles. More applause.

Even more applause greeted his proposal to abolish intellectual property and patents. No one should charge for what they invent, and perhaps not even for what they manufacture, he argued.

He called these proposals “a new distribution of labor” and railed against the present “world order” as unjust and “immoral.”

Maybe I ought to demand that Ecuador pay me for the oxygen produced by the trees in my yard, and for not fracking on my property, for the sakes of “a new distribution of labor” or something.

UPDATE:
The Five questions for President Correa that Dr. Eire was not allowed to ask.

4. Mr. President, it is common knowledge that Ecuador wants to return to international financial markets to borrow money again following its 2008 default. Yet you yourself have publicly attacked bond holders, calling them “true monsters.” Outside institutions tend to think that the rule of law and protection for investors is weak in Ecuador. So what is the case you make for investing in Ecuador today?

You can watch the whole lecture here (the YouTube starts right away) below the fold:

(more…)

Colombia: When El Dorado is the gateway to freedom

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Note:
All links except Carlos Eire‘s are in Spanish.

Like something out of The Terminal (video in Spanish):

Six Cubans Ask for Asylum in Colombia, Remain in Airport Limbo

Their names are Ángel, Briam, Edualdo, Greisy, Yoanker and Nayip, and they say in unison: “Nosotros no nos vamos para Cuba, queremos quedarnos en Bogotá” (We won’t return to Cuba, we want to stay in Bogotá).

All six –one woman and six men — are under the age of 41, as their Castro era names attest, and they have been asking for asylum since the first of the year.

The would-be refugees have been camping out in the airport, refusing to move, rejecting all offers to fly them back to Castrogonia. The Colombian government, in turn, has refused them asylum, and now the United Nations is getting involved.

How they got into this predicament is still being figured out. And no one seems to know how it will be resolved.

They claim that they left Castrogonia for Ecuador with all of the right papers, but were refused entry. After arguing their case for six days at the airport in Ecuador, they were sent back to the Castro Kingdom via Colombia, but when they reached the Bogotá airport they refused to board their flight back to the slave plantation.

Five other Cubans returned to Havana.

The Colombian government declined asylum since the Cubans had not filed a formal application while they remained at El Dorado airport in Bogota (link in Spanish – my translation, please link & credit me if you use it):

The Ministry’s statement said that the refugees’ intention to seek asylum, which they have expressed through the media, “can not be processed” since Colombian law directly prohibits it when it involves foreigners in international transit zones. “According to the law, they haven’t entered national territory,” it explained.

According to the statement, “Colombian Immigration has had no access to their passports” since they are in the international transit zone.

When I first read about this, my question was, is there a Colombian immigration lawyer who would be willing to take their case (most likely on a pro bono basis)? If they have legal representation, would they be able to apply for asylum?

Yes.

This morning Colombian daily El Universal reports that Colombian Immigration has granted the six Cubans safe-conduct for five working days so they can file a formal asylum request through the Foreign Relations Ministry. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is filing the application and transferred them to a shelter.

There may be a happy ending to this story!

Related:
Jaime Bayly interviewed Andrés Carrión, the Cuban dissident who hollered “Down with Communism” during Pope Benedict’s 2012 visit to Cuba (in Spanish), which highlights the importance of garnering international attention:

UPDATE:
Linked to by Carlos. Thank you!

The Triple Package stirs the pot

Monday, January 6th, 2014


Amy Chua (better known as the Tiger Mom) has a new book, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America

Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success. A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control—these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success. The Triple Package is open to anyone. America itself was once a Triple Package culture. It’s been losing that edge for a long time now. Even as headlines proclaim the death of upward mobility in America, the truth is that the oldfashioned American Dream is very much alive—butsome groups have a cultural edge, which enables them to take advantage of opportunity far more than others.
•   Americans are taught that everyone is equal, that no group is superior to another. But remarkably, all of America’s most successful groups believe (even if they don’t say so aloud) that they’re exceptional, chosen, superior in some way.
•   Americans are taught that self-esteem—feeling good about yourself—is the key to a successful life. But in all of America’s most successful groups, people tend to feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves.
•   America today spreads a message of immediate gratification, living for the moment. But all of America’s most successful groups cultivate heightened discipline and impulse control.
But the Triple Package has a dark underside too. Each of its elements carries distinctive pathologies; when taken to an extreme, they can have truly toxic effects. Should people strive for the Triple Package? Should America? Ultimately, the authors conclude that the Triple Package is a ladder that should be climbed and then kicked away, drawing on its power but breaking free from its constraints.

Apparently this makes her racist.

Ponder that for a moment. A minority woman (who’s a professor at Yale) writes a book saying that a superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control which goes hand-in-hand with great self-discipline compel people to better themselves, and, not only is this news, it makes her racist:
Tiger Mom accused of being a ‘full-blown racist’ as her new book names the eight ‘superior’ races and religions that make better parents
Tiger Mom Amy Chua has penned a new parenting guide called ‘The Triple Package’ which lays out a controversial theory for success in modern America
Declares there to be only eight successful and superior groups of people in the United States
Includes the Chinese are one of these groupings along with Indians and Jewish to name two others

Published in the new book, ‘The Triple Package’, that she has written with her Jewish husband Jed Rubenfeld, Chua names the eight groupings that are exceptional in no particular order – and unsurprisingly, the Chinese are one of the top dogs.

The other seven are Jewish, Indian, Iranian, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles and Mormons.

I would add that any parent anywhere in the world who motivates and guides their child to accomplish their potential through hard work, patience and perseverance is superior to a parent who does not.

Another Yale professor, Carlos Eire, a self-made man if ever there was one, writes about his experience:

Cuban exiles are among the eight groups identified by my colleague.

Perhaps identifying us as “superior” will end up causing her additional trouble.  We are, after all, sowrong about everything, so thoroughly despicable, and so worthy of being herded into boats and shipped back to where we came from.

I could be wrong about this, but I think that there is no other group of immigrants or subculture other than Cuban exiles that is so open to criticism, denigration, or open hatred or ridicule.

Imagine anyone publicly denigrating any of the other seven groups singled out by Amy Chua: Jews, Chinese, Iranians, Indians, Lebanese, Nigerians, or even Mormons.

As someone at one of my public lectures said a few years ago: “You people are ruining this country… It’s because of you people that our country is in so much trouble…Why don’t you all just shut up or go back to Cuba!”

Liberals’ expectations of Latinos/Hispanics are such that Carlos’s experience is not unique. The phrase they throw at me (since I have no qualms to point out that I’m a US citizen from birth, upon hearing you people), is “You don’t even look Puerto Rican!”

Racism, indeed.

Jessie Jackson heads to Colombia anyway

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

As mentioned earlier, Jessie Jackson wants to mediate the release of American Kevin Scott Sutay, even when Colombia’s president doesn’t want him to:
Colombia’s Santos Won’t Authorize Jesse Jackson Role in Kidnap Case
Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos said he won’t authorize a plan by Marxist rebels to have civil-rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson help facilitate the release of a U.S. war veteran they kidnapped
. Worth remembering:

During the peace process, there is no cease-fire deal so the violence continues. In one of the deadliest strikes in years, the FARC killed 19 soldiers in two attacks on July 20, Colombia’s Independence Day.

Jackson says he’s heading to Colombia anyway:

Jackson said he still intends to travel to Colombia in the coming days in hopes of working out an agreement.

“The American is free, but he cannot be retrieved, so he indeed is not free,” Jackson said. “He’s no longer being held by FARC. He’s being held by a lack of access.”

Jackson spoke those words wshile in Cuba, where he was denied access to another American, Alan Gross.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson ended a four-day visit to Cuba on Monday without getting to visit a U.S. government development subcontractor who is serving a 15-year sentence in the Caribbean nation.

The civil rights activist said he had requested access to Alan Gross of Maryland, but island authorities told him it couldn’t be arranged in time.

Carlos Eire translates the subtext, and asks questions:

In other words: Jesse Jackson was denied the chance to trade Alan Gross for the four imprisoned spies who are known as the “Cuban Five.” He also failed to have any impact on negotiations between the government of Colombia and the FARC terrorists. And these failures are being reported as something unexpected.

What these crack reporters fail to cover is perhaps more significant than what they report. Above all, they fail to raise essential questions: Who appointed Jesse Jackson to the role of mediator? Who is paying for his trip?

And one more question: Who will be paying for the trip to Colombia?

Cuba: A grim anniversary

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Today is the 60th anniversary of Fidel Castro’s attack of the Moncada army barracks. Venezuela’s tinpot dictator Nicolas Maduro, along with Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Uruguay’s Jose Mujica and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega are celebrating in Havana.

Carlos Eire, however, is shedding light on what it really means:
A brief and personal history of 100 years of Cuban history

I cannot possibly cut and paste his heartbreaking post. You must read it in full. Click on the photo for the full article:

While you’re at it, buy his books.

And,
Over the years, I have been asked why do I feel such affinity for the plight of the Cubans. It’s simple: If my Spanish grandparents had decided to move to Cuba instead of Puerto Rico, that would have been my story, too.

image-1

There but for the grace of God, go I.

Cuba: Civility, schmivility

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The NYTimes has an opinion article, For Cuba, a Harsh Self-Assessment that deplores the decline in “gentility and respect”, echoing Raul Castro’s “get off my lawn” speech of two weeks ago. The article doesn’t question Raul’s premise,

“I have the bitter sensation that we are a society that is ever better educated, but not necessarily more enlightened,” Mr. Castro said.

Ever better educated? You mean like the doctors sent to Brazil and the Jamaican nurses, which were rejected because they don’t meet basic job requirements?

All through the article, the message is that the golden age of Communism brought free healthcare and education back when “a state salary was enough to live on without needing to pilfer.” Of course, Fidel Castro himself repeated incessantly that under him, Cubans are “the most cultured people in the world,” even the prostitutes, while redoing the excellent, definitive Don Quijote de la Mancha 4th Centenary edition by the Real Academia Española. Fidel had Hugo Chavez abridge it, remove the essay “Una novela para el siglo XXI” by long-time foe Mario Vargas Llosa, and replaced that essay with a short preface by José Saramago, a much friendlier Communist. The Communist regime can’t have “the most cultured people in the world” exposed to an essay which essence is that Don Quijote’s a free men’s novel.

Blame the Americans? Oh yeah,

Cuba sets great store by its cultural prestige. After the 1959 revolution, the government set out to purge the decadence that made Havana a magnet for Americans, among others. The state started a national literacy campaign, offered free education to all and established rigorous sports, ballet and music programs.

Because, you know, the Americans are the ones attracted to the decadence. Unlike, of course, the Canadian and Spanish pervs who go today to Havana for the sex trade.

The article posts a photo of shirtless men slaughtering a pig on a sidewalk, under the most unsanitary conditions,

with the caption (emphasis added)

A pig being slaughtered in a tourist area of old Havana is seen as a sign of a loss of civility.

when in fact it is emblematic of the decay of Cuban culture under Communism. Carlos Erie, who lived in Cuba and remembers, lets it rip,

Proof positive of the ignorance and prejudice that govern the thinking of those who write and publish such poison is evident in the photo above. The caption under the photo is the one used by the NYT. Notice, please, that slaughtering a pig on the street is merely “seen” as a “sign” of loss of civility. It’s not really a loss, but is merely “seen” as such by some Cubans. And, notice, that the act itself is not “seen” as a loss of civility, but as a mere “sign” — which means, of course, that it’s not just the behavior that is open to interpretation, but also the act of passing judgment on it. Notice, too, that the slaughtering is described as taking place in a “tourist” area of Old Havana. One must assume that it would be perfectly alright in some other area where tourists don’t dare to go, and that this is something Cubans have been doing for centuries in their own benighted slums. It is also assumed that this is somehow normal for Cubans: to go shirtless in “tourist” areas. Savages.

The Times will never disappoint you . . . if all you expect them to do is echo Raul’s propaganda.


Tonight’s podcast: Socialism in Latin America

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

at 8:00 PM Eastern, in Silvio Canto’s podcast with Carlos Eire and Michael Krakow, talking about Socialism in Latin America with Dr Carlos Eire.

Listen live or at your convenience.

Related: Ever wonder why 21st century socialism is winning so many hearts and minds in Latrine America?

Venezuela: The lifeline, the triple currency

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

First, the triple currency:
Carlos Eire posts on how Maduro Institutionalizes Cuban-Style Economic Chaos in Caracastan

The Venezuelan currency — the Bolivar — has now been assigned three different values by Maduro’s economic ministers.

The official name for this institutionalized chaos is “Sistema Complementario de Divisas (Sicad)”.

This new “Sicad” system in Caracastan is much more than an open display of the Castronoid obsessios with acronyms for destructive and repressive government programs: it’s an acknowledgment of the existence of a black market. Under “Sicad” the Bolivar will have three distinct exchange rates. Right now, depending on what kind of financial transaction one is making, the Bolivar will be worth 10 cents on a US Dollar, or 6.3 cents on a US Dollar, or 3 cents on a US Dollar. The lowest of these three values is the real value of the Bolivar, for that is the value pegged to the black market, which is euphemistically referred to as the “parallel” market.

The purpose is to obscure the devalued currency’s worth so no one knows its worth.

Spain’s ABC has much more (in Spanish) on the 3-card Monty; the also point out that Argentina’s got the official and the black market rates. Clarín (in Spanish) has more on Argentina’s double currency.

And the lifeline,
Venezuela gets a lifeline from the United States

One government, however, has chosen to toss Mr. Maduro a lifeline: the United States. Last week Secretary of State John F. Kerry took time to meet Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua on the sidelines of an Organization of American States meeting, then announced that the Obama administration would like to “find a new way forward” with the Maduro administration and “quickly move to the appointment of ambassadors.” Mr. Kerry even thanked Mr. Maduro for “taking steps toward this encounter” — words that the state-run media trumpeted.

What did Mr. Maduro do to earn this assistance from Mr. Kerry? Since Mr. Chávez’s death in March, the Venezuelan leader has repeatedly used the United States as a foil. He expelled two U.S. military attaches posted at the embassy in Caracas, claiming that they were trying to destabilize the country; he claimed the CIA was provoking violence in order to justify an invasion; and he called President Obama “the big boss of the devils.” A U.S. filmmaker, Timothy Tracy, was arrested and charged with plotting against the government — a ludicrous allegation that was backed with no evidence. Though Mr. Tracy was put on a plane to Miami on the day of the Kerry-Jaua encounter, Mr. Kerry agreed to the meeting before that gesture.

As I mentioned last week, the Tracy kidnapping worked.


Lady in White met Pope in white

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Cuban dissident Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, was able to exchange greetings with Pope Francis yesterday at the end of a general audience held in St. Peter’s Square

Soler handed the pope two letters from the wives of political prisoners, according to the French news agency AFP. Soler later told the media that the pope had given her a blessing and asked her to continue her fight.

Carlos Eire points out that

It may seem like an insignificant encounter to some, but this is a big deal, and the rulers of the Castro Kingdom will gnash their teeth when they see this photo. The Cuban flag draped between the two figures in white will be a great irritant to the tyrants, because they refuse to accept the fact that Cuba belongs to all Cubans, not just to their slave-drivers and those slaves who agree to submit to the lash. .

So, even though this was a brief encounter, it delivers a potent message.

It’s definitely an improvement over the prior pope’s refusal to meet them while he was in Cuba.