Archive for the ‘Carlos Eire’ Category

Francis and what’s missing

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Before I start, I must clarify a point: For Catholic believers, the Pope is most definitely NOT supposed to be infallible at all times. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, as promulgated by Pope John Paul II, specifically and narrowly defines when and to what the doctrine of infallibility applies.

However, the mistaken belief that a pope’s infallibility applies all the time in all instances can and has been been, and will continue to be, exploited for political purposes – sometimes by the pope themselves.

Add to that a “likable guy” in the office of Pope, and you get full-blitz.

Right now we have two instances:
1. The Pope’s photo-ops with the Castros, When Francis Came to Cuba:

When four dissidents somehow managed to get close to Pope Francis, despite the efforts of church and state to keep all such Cubans away from him, they were quickly attacked by plain-clothed state security agents and whisked away to prison. Has Pope Francis denounced these injustices, which amount to religious persecution? Has he voiced concern over the compliance of his bishops in this persecution? No. Not a word. His silence is deafening.

Now in the U.S., Francis remains silent on government’s shut down of the Catholic Church’s adoption program in Boston. Likewise, this is puzzling news:

Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop to visit the Little Sisters of the PoorWednesday, a move that Vatican officials said was intended to send a message of support in the nuns’ battle against Obamacare.

Why a quiet message of support? Why not make it out front, direct, as part of the official schedule?

2. An emphasis on global warming/climate change alarmism, which, as Roger Kimball points out,

It’s long been clear that environmentalism is the new religion for leftists. You can never be Green enough, comrade, and the ideology of climate change provides an unending rationale for economic redistribution.

Francis deplored capitalism in his encyclical Laudato Si’ (while saying “we need a conversation which includes everyone,” uninvited Philippe de Larminat for his climate skepticism), asserting

Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods.

By “the distribution of goods” Francis means “transfer of wealth,” one of the tenets of the environmentalist creed.

When speaking to Congress this morning, Francis repeated many of his environmental points from Laudato Si’as expected.

One thing was missing:
While referring to “We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners” – an invitation to welcome more immigrants – he made no mention of the hundreds of thousands of Christians martyred and slaughtered for their faith by Islamists. Of all the omissions, this one is the most disturbing of all.

These omissions bring to my mind the Anglican General Confession, We have left undone those things which we ought to have done;
And we have done those things which we ought not to have done.

I am not a deep thinker, so to end this post I go back to Carlos Eire, who is. He ended his article,

For now, all we Cuban Catholics can do is acknowledge the fact that the first pope, Saint Peter, made many, many mistakes, and that none of his successors have been infallible when it comes to politics. And we can take comfort in praying along with an innumerable throng of Christians who stretch all the way back to first century: Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

What many of his new political friends mainly seek is to have the pope “moralize” their politics. Indeed.

Update 2:
Ben Shapiro dissects the speech.

Cuba: Francis won’t talk to Congress about embargo

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Today’s headline: Pope Francis Won’t Push for More Cuba Trade Easing in Speech to Congress. He doesn’t plan to raise the question of the U.S. embargo in his Congressional address this week So far, so good, until you read this (emphasis added),

WASHINGTON— Pope Francis doesn’t plan to raise the question of the U.S. embargo against Cuba during his address to Congress this week and said he declined to meet with dissidents during his visit to Cuba as part of a general policy against private meetings during the visit.

Say, again?

As Carlos Eire says, One must admit, this papal circus will go down in history as one of the most significant triumphs of the Castro regime, and as a memorable moment in the annals of American journalism.

Pedro Pan exhibit and panel coming up

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

The Cuban Children’s Exodus
June 26, 2015 – January 17, 2016

In partnership with Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc., the organization that connects the children of the Pedro Pan exodus and preserves its artifacts and memories, HistoryMiami museum opens its doors to the exhibition documenting the emotional journey these children – and their families – underwent to escape indoctrination.

The exhibition not only displays the artifacts but also tells the story of how these families came to make this life-changing decision and what became of the children. Using video testimonials, private letters, journals and photographs, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey from Cuba to Miami and beyond; giving visitors a glimpse of the children’s past and the camps they lived in once they reached the United States.

I learned from Carlos Eire that he’ll be a panelist:

September 19, 2:00pm


101 West Flagler Street

Miami, FL 33130


Dr. José Azel, senior scholar at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami and the author of the book Mañana in Cuba. Arrived to the United States in 1961; age 13.

Elena Muller Garcia, director of Parish Social Ministry in Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach. Arrived to the United States in 1962; age 13.

Dr. Carlos Eire, T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University and author of the award winning books Waiting for Snow in Havana and Learning to Die in Miami. Arrived to the United States in 1962; age 11.

Antonio “Tony” Argiz, chairman and CEO of MBAF, one of the top 40 accounting firms in the nation, and immediate past chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Arrived to the United States in 1961; age 9.

Moderator: Dr. Victor A. Triay, Cuban American historian and author of Fleeing Castro: Operation Pedro Pan and the Cuban Children’s Program and Bay of Pigs: An Oral History of Brigade 2506.

Register online or call 305-375-1492 for more information.


Two books that don’t exist for the NYT

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Sins of omission: Two books that don’t exist for the NYT.

Read my article here.

The off-the-sponsors-of-terror-list Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 1st, 2015

LatinAmerThe week’s big news: Pres. Obama removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terror, as part of a deal brokered by the Vatican, in exchange for which Cuba had to do nothing.

The top headlines in the hemisphere: FIFA corruption; as expected, its re-elected president blames the U.S. and England.

Cristina’s not running: ‘CFK will not be candidate in the upcoming elections’ . . . maybe.

Re: Nisman, Calls on prosecutor Fein to hurry probe into Nisman’s deathJudge: investigate Lagomarsino

‘Meteorite thieves’ held by policePolice in Argentina arrest four men who appear to have been trying to steal more than a tonne of meteorites in the northern province of Chaco.

China mulls air route to Bahamas

“Refugio de corruptos”

Former Petrobras Executive Sentenced to Five Years
Nestor Cerveró, Petrobras’ former director of international operations, was convicted of money laundering and sentenced to five years in prison.

Brazil Dangles Leniency to Spur Energy Industry
Brazil’s government is preparing to offer U.S.-like leniency deals to several private companies linked to the Petrobras corruption scandal to lessen its drag on the nation’s economy

How the Cayman Islands Became a FIFA Power

When a government spies on its citizens: lessons from Chile

Colombia’s peace process
Bullet proof
Despite an escalation of violence, the talks continue

One reason for the talks’ resilience is that both sides are used to negotiating during bouts of violence, which did not end even during the quietest periods. Military action by the FARC fell by 85% during its ceasefire and civilian deaths fell by 73%, according to the Conflict Analysis Resource Centre (CERAC), a think-tank in Bogotá. Even so, CERAC recorded 21 attacks by the FARC (and suspects it was responsible for another 75). Mr Santos has staked his reputation on concluding a peace agreement (by the end of this year, he hopes). For the FARC, the alternative to peace is further pounding by the armed forces; it no longer hopes for victory.

Farc peace negotiator killed in Colombia bombingPedro Nel Daza Martínez, the Farc leader better known as “Jairo Martínez”, had returned from peace talks in Havana when he was killed by a government bombing raid

Public opinion and pessimism in Colombia’s peace talks

Raul Castro Meets with Leaders of Mexican Left

Voluntary Corporate Code of Conduct for Cuba Needed

Interamerican Human Rights Commission asked to intervene on behalf of besieged Cuban pastor

On Cuba’s Removal From the State-Sponsors of Terrorism List

Carlos Eire writes on how “they hate it so much when we refuse to be the caricatures they want us to be:” Okay, that’s it. Se acabó la pachanga. The party’s over. Time to say “Hell is my homeland.”

Legal Limbo over for Haitian Descendants in Dominican RepublicCritics Fear Many Still Fall through the Cracks

Bye-bye, dollarization: Ecuador Moves Toward Electronic Currency

Ecuador’s Monetary Council has published a resolution making it mandatory for private and public banks to deal with transactions in electronic currency.

Depending on their size, banks will have between 120 and 360 days to register as Macro Agents of the electronic currency system in the central bank.

The resolution reiterated that the central bank is the only entity authorized to issue electronic currency, and that the electronic currency must be backed up by liquid assets of the central bank.

Tax Me, I’m Ecuadorian
Taking More from Inheritances Will Depress Salaries, Impoverish Middle Class

How gang violence is spreading fear in El Salvador

Accused Clinton Donation Solicitation Used For Haiti Projects

The money will be used for “undetermined” projects in Haiti.

Yeah, right.

U.S. Soccer Probe Brings Adulation From AbroadUnexpectedly, the FBI’s case is garnering plaudits even in regions like Latin America that are traditionally suspicious of Washington’s motives

Mexico Shelves Key Part of Education OverhaulThe Mexican government suspended its planned teacher evaluations that were a cornerstone of the country’s education overhaul, in a decision ahead of midterm elections that dissident teacher groups threatened to boycott.

Major US Banks Closing Border Branches to Fight Money Laundering

A fearless Mexican-American cook routinely travels 2,000 miles, driving through a drug war and slipping out of kidnappers’ fingers, all in the name of a decent mole poblano for her New York customers.
Inexplicably, they let her go.

Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragua

Global Migrants Brave Panama’s Vipers, Bats, Bandits to Reach U.S.
Africans, Asians, Cubans cross the treacherous jungle of the Darien Gap

Peru planning to dam Amazon’s main source and displace 1000s
Over 20 hydroelectric projects proposed for the main trunk of the River Maranon would have devastating impacts

Fat lot of good that’s going to do: Puerto Rico Governor Signs Law Raising Sales Tax to 11.5 Pct. To cover its $1.2 billion in debt service due this year from sales tax alone, it would have to raise over $10 trillion in sales – absurd.

June brides: Ex-Guantanamo Prisoners to Marry Uruguayan Women

Abd al Hadi Omar Mahmoud Faraj [a.k.a. Abd al Hadi Faraj], 40, from Syria and Tunisian Abdul Bin Mohammed Ourgy [a.k.a. Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy], 50, will marry Muslim women at a mosque in Montevideo.

Venezuelans March in Caracas to Demand Release of Jailed Opposition Leaders

Diosdado is now reading members of NGOs Provea and Public Forum emails on TV.

#SOSVenezuela: Venezuelans, Cubans, others protest for freedom, democracy in Venezuela #30M

Leopoldo Lopez shows us what a selfie should be all about

The week’s posts and podcast:
Cuba: Willfull blindness

Masplaining and the shrinking violets

This just in: Cuba off sponsors of terror list

Latin America: Breitbart news report on Iranian expansion in our hemisphere

Brazil: The WaPo’s evangelical Frank Underwood

Is Venezuela dollarizing

Argentina: #FIFAarrests in 22 tweets

Cuba: Is China rebuilding Cuba’s ports?

The era of moral imbecility

Brazil: Beam him up, Scotti

Mexico: The independent El Bronco

Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez’s jail video

Note to all Latin Americans: Being a populist socialist won’t save you from ISIS

US-Latin America stories of the week

Just what the world needs: Eau de Hugo! UPDATED

Friday, September 26th, 2014


I guess Raul’s not getting a cut,
Insólito escándalo en Cuba: Raúl Castro prohibió los perfumes “Ernesto” y “Hugo” [Incredible scandal in Cuba: Raúl Castro forbids “Ernesto” and “Hugo” perfume]

Earlier post:

No, not the German designer, the Venezuelan dictator:
“Eau de Revolution”: Cuba scents honor Che, Chavez

Cuba’s biggest producer of natural products has come up with a pair of colognes for the discerning supporter of international socialism who wants something more than just the iconic “Che” T-shirt.

A woodsy and refreshing citric scent with notes of talcum powder called “Ernesto” honors guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara. For those seeking something softer and fruitier, there’s a blend with hints of mango and papaya called “Hugo,” for the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

“Cuba’s biggest producer of natural products” ought to produce some soap and shampoo that the locals could afford, but I digress.

I can’t imagine why death would smell like “a woodsy and refreshing citric scent with notes of talcum powder” in the bottles of Che stink, but the fruitier Chavez ought to have some notes of sulfur, in honor of Hugo Chavez’s 2006 appearance at the UN and his 2009 Copenhagen speech, where he went heavy on the sulfur. In 2006 he said George W. Bush smelled of it, and by 2009 it was Barack Obama’s turn.

The sulfur scent can be easily replicated – back when I was a kid, you could buy this, and what could be more suitable for the “discerning supporter of international socialism”?

Tip of the hat to the esteemed Carlos Eire, who finds the news completely nauseating,

Creating a line of perfumes that honors dead tyrants and sociopaths is the last thing that would have ever crossed my mind, but I’m no genius and am only 1/16th French.

Clearly neither Carlos nor I are “discerning supporters of international socialism.”

My late uncle Ernesto, were he still alive, would surely have made several off-color jokes about Che stinking of a “woodsy and refreshing citric scent with notes of talcum powder.” I’ll leave that to the reader’s imagination.

NOTE: If anyone has a clip of the Pinky and the Brain Calvin Brain Subjugation ad, I’d love to post it!

Maduro goes to the South Bronx

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Carlos Eire tells us that Maduro visits Chavistas and Useful Idiots in the South Bronx

Apparently, Maduro found plenty of admirers, both among the natives and the Birkenstock-sandal-Mother Jones-and-Subaru crowd, most of whom seem to revere him as the current incarnation of the spirit of Hugo Chavez.

That, and an influx in millions of dollars in Venezuelan charity and free heating oil; Communists don’t live on Birkenstocks(*) alone.

In a dazzling display of smart diplomacy, the U.S. is copacetic,
Maduro recalls Chávez with trip to South Bronx as country makes bid for U.N. security council seat

Maduro, a year and a half into his term, arrived in New York with unanimous backing from Latin America and Caribbean nations to represent the region on the council beginning next year. The U.S. is uneasy with the nomination but says it has no plans to try to derail the bid, as it did in 2006.
. . .
Venezuela is expected to defend U.S.’ archenemies if it wins a seat on the council.

(*) Disclosure: I own Birkenstocks, too. Comfortable when you need them, and owned by capitalists.

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.

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.

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:


Colombia: When El Dorado is the gateway to freedom

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

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?


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!

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:

Linked to by Carlos. Thank you!