Tag Archives: Che Guevara

Castro Criticizes Obama’s Fashion Choices

Originally posted at American Thinker blog

In the style section of online community Mamás Latinas, author Irina Gonzalez was all atwitter about Barack Obama’s fashion statement scheduled to be made at the mid-April Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. Seems the President has commissioned Colombian designer Edgar Gomez Estevez to supply him with a full wardrobe of “very different and special” shirts called guayaberas.

Estevez explained how Obama’s request demands a labor of love. And from the sound of things the shirts are slated to be an eclectic blend of international diversity.  The 100% natural linen fibers originate in Normandy, France.  They then go to Ireland and Poland.  According to Estevez, “Making a guayabera is not something that can be delegated. All of the embroidery is done by hand. I cut the piece and the borders, and single mothers finish the details by hand, and then we tailor the custom shirt together.”

The Mamás Latinas feel that President Obama wearing a guayabera shows his support for the Latino community. But there’s one person who’s not all that impressed with Barack Obama’s attempt at sartorial diversity, and that’s former Cuban president Fidel Castro, a man usually dressed in either military fatigues or a tracksuit. And here’s why.

There is strong evidence that the lightweight Caribbean guayabera had its origins in Cuba. One Cuban legend says it was “created by a poor countryside seamstress sewing large patch-pockets onto her husband’s shirts so he could carry guava fruit from the field.”

At the request of Canada and the US, the Summit of the Americas, which hosts leaders from all across the Americas, banned communist Cuba from attending. And Obama chooses to wear traditional Cuban garb? In other words, Barack Obama, just for fun, might as well be wearing an ostentatious sombrero to a gathering he wouldn’t attend if Mexicans were invited.

The insensitive absurdity that the Mamás Latinas failed to notice was picked up on by the 85-year-old Fidel Castro and articulated in a letter published in the “Reflections” section of Cuba’s state-run newspaper Granma, where he criticized both Canada and the US, but spent much of the allotted column space addressing the Obama/guayabera controversy.

In his article, Castro argued that the shirts Obama will be wearing are Cuban, not Colombian or Mexican in origin, as some believe.  Fidel claimed “this Caribbean shirt comes from the shores of the Yayabo River in Cuba, so they were initially called yayaberas.”

Clearly miffed at Cuba’s exclusion from the summit, Castro wrote: “The funny thing, dear readers, is that Cuba is forbidden from this meeting, but the guayabera, no. Who can keep from laughing?”

Wearing Cuban garb to a summit he requested that Cuba be excluded from indicates that the President is totally clueless, either purposely attempting to aggravate Fidel Castro or feeling a little guilty about prohibiting the Republic of Cuba from attending the gathering, which confirms once and for all that Barack Obama’s guavas are in the wrong pockets after all.

Yet, despite the awkwardness of the clothing controversy, all is not lost. Barack Obama is not only a Latino fashion plate; he’s also on the cusp of a budding singing career. Recognizing the President’s vocal gift, the smitten Mamás Latinas have some advice for President Obama to win even more affection from the Latino community, and have recommended “5 songs President Obama should sing to woo the Latino vote.”

So, if at any point Obama wants to mend fences with our Cuban neighbor, he can start by admitting his Colombian-made guayaberas originated in Cuba. Then he can take the advice of the Mamás Latinas and serenade the former Cuban President with a few bars from the Buena Vista Social Club’s ode to Che Guevara, Hasta Siempre Commandante.

Life Lessons from Chávez’s Cancer

Originally posted at American Thinker

On many levels, thanks to Venezuelan president Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, Americans are in the midst of a teachable moment.  If President of the United States Barack Obama pays attention, maybe he can learn a thing or two from the experiences of a man whose politics mirrors his own.

Just last summer, Hugo Chávez revealed that “Cuban doctors had removed a cancerous tumor from his abdominal region.”  The socialist, totalitarian tyrant has had three operations in less than one year and recently spent time receiving treatment in Cuba, a country other than the one whose health care system imprisons the 29 million people he leads.

Unlike their leader, if Venezuelans get sick, they don’t have the luxury of choosing the quality and quantity of treatment.  Statistics show that only 4% of the Venezuelan population is aged 65 or older — for the 4%, that’s indicative of good genes, not good medicine.  At 57 years old, apparently Mr. Chávez is part of the unfortunate 96% because as it stands, it appears unlikely that he’ll see his 58th birthday.

Like all mortal flesh, Hugo Chávez is desperate to survive…so much so that rather than receive treatment in Venezuela — a country that, thanks to him, provides shoddy “free” health care to its citizens — the socialist leader is availing himself of Fidel Castro’s high-quality medical services, where, for lack of ambulances, people are sometimes transported to the hospital in wheelbarrows.

Venezuela’s “youthful state government has criticized Chávez for choosing to be treated abroad, saying it sends a bad message to ordinary Venezuelans if he does not trust local doctors.”  But why should he?  Does anyone recall Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams circumventing the Canadian health care system and coming to the U.S. for open-heart surgery?

It was just last year, after being treated in Cuba, when Hugo Chávez expressed that the goal of Venezuelan government to provide a free and comprehensive health care system to ensure the “lives” and “happiness” of the Venezuelan people.  He reminded his country’s citizens that “this is what the socialist motherland is about.”

Failing to find a remedy for his cancer in Cuba, rather than receiving treatment at home, Chávez now heads toward Brazil, which is a hint that in the “socialist motherland … [the] free and comprehensive healthcare system” must be pretty darn scary.

Thus, the share-the-wealth crowd should pay heed.  All those here in America who think they’ll be getting something of value for nothing may one day find it costly after all.  Just like in Venezuela, it will be too late to change things if one day Barack Obama chooses to go elsewhere for medical care rather than chance his survival on the shoddy medical system he’s imposed on everyone else.

Chávez’s opponent in the upcoming October election, right-wing rival 39-year-old Henrique Capriles Radonski, in a recent interview expressed the opinion the ailing leader, also known as Esteban de Jesús, believes he cannot lose the election, because “[Chávez] believes he is God.”

Riddled with cancer, Esteban de Jesús is finding out that he’s not God and appears to slowly be grasping the reality that “[a]ll men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.”  And despite the best that Cuban medicine has to offer, Hugo Chávez’s grass is apparently withering.

Even still, Henrique Capriles refrains from expressing his opinion about the president’s health.  However, what he does take issue with is Chávez’s belief that “Jesus must have been a fellow leftist radical,” a view similar to that of President Barack Obama.  Something America’s self-proclaimed Christian president, baptized by Reverend Jeremiah Wright should also take to heart is Caprile’s assertion that “Christ was neither socialist nor capitalist.”  And, contrary to Democrat opinion, He does not hail from Chicago.

Nonetheless, Chávez may not fully realize it just yet, but the inescapable principle of sowing and reaping is a harsh one.  Arinda Cuellar, 65, a Capriles supporter, said of Mr. Chávez that “this man has me suffocated…we have nothing. There has to be a change.”

The reality is that over the years, Hugo Chávez has made all kinds of promises he failed to deliver on to the destitute people of Venezuela.  Now, after having “faith that his cancer would not return after his first two operations last year — which removed a baseball sized tumor from his pelvis,” it’s his own expectations that are not being realized.

Appearing at a church service in his hometown of Barinas, Venezuela, humbled by the frailty of his own mortal frame, Chávez, whom some call the “mastermind of mimesis,” seemed as confused as ever.

The Venezuelan despot “cried and his voice broke as he eulogized Jesus, revolutionary fighter Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and South American South American independence hero Simon Bolivar.”  Chávez’s skewed mixture was as odd as Barack Obama choosing one day to cite the trio of Jesus, Black Panther founder Huey Newton, and General GeorgeWashington of the Continental Army.

Standing underneath an image of the crucifix — because, unlike Barack Obama, ironically Chávez chooses to display religious icons when speaking — the Venezuelan president compared his sickness and suffering with the suffering of Christ, and prayed out loud, “Give me your crown, Jesus. Give me your cross, your thorns so that I may bleed. But give me life, because I have more to do for this country and these people. Do not take me yet.”

Publicly begging God for a level of mercy, he failed to extend to the violent, impoverished nation he leads, Hugo Chávez professed that “[t]oday, I have more faith than yesterday. Life has been a hurricane … but a couple of years ago my life began to become not my own anymore.”

Whoa, now that’s a switch!  Control freak El Commandante now finds himself at the mercy of a force he cannot command, with an outcome that will surely be determined by a power greater than his own.

Chávez’s ongoing battle with illness shows that dictators forcefully promote socialized health care until it’s their own lives hanging in the balance, at which point, rather than take a pain pill, they seek medical help elsewhere.  But mainly, watching Dictator Hugo Chávez struggle with his mortality reminds us that even tyrants eventually find out what it feels like to be forced to surrender control of their lives.

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