[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: March 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Suburban Wildlife

Want to see a little more of nature but don't have the time to visit the Everglades on a regular basis?

Then do what I did recently. I put up a bird feeder in my backyard.

I'm fortunate enough that although I live in the suburbs, I get to see a decent share of birds, squirrels and other animals from the comforts of my air-conditioned family room. Since I put up the bird feeder on a branch of my Orange Jessamine tree which sits within view of my kitchen, the wildlife have been flocking to it.

So far, the only birds I've seen enjoying the bird food have been pigeons and bluejays. Perhaps I need to change the bird feed to see if I can attract a greater variety of our avian friends.

Here are some pics taken from the kitchen window:

Here's a picture of an unlikely visitor to the bird feeder, in sequence.

It took about 10 minutes for the squirrel to figure out how to get onto the bird feeder. Perseverance pays!

The kids absolutely love the frequent visitors to the bird feeder, and it definitely adds a nice, calming touch to the daily grind. I highly recommend everyone put up a bird house or feeder to the yard.

It's true what they say about the little things in life.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Update on Latest Custody Dispute

The Miami Herald gives us a few more details on the case involving the 4-year-old Miami girl, her mentally ill mother, and her father in Cuba who wants her back with him.

For example:
A year before a Miami woman at the center of an international child-custody dispute lost her two children to child-welfare investigators, she offered to give her daughter, then 2 years old, to a family friend in Texas ``as a gift.''

The mother, who immigrated to the United States in 2004, was living in Houston near a family friend from the small city of Cabaiguán in central Cuba. Faced with withering emotional problems, the woman asked the friend, Iraida González, to raise the toddler as her own daughter.

'She said, `I want to give her to you. You are a good person, a Christian,' '' González told The Miami Herald. ``She'll be better off with you.''

We also learn that the father is a fisherman and office worker in the town of Guayos.

Some more information on family relations:

The children's maternal grandmother in Cuba, Margarita Corrales, is torn: She says the girl's dad is an honest, hardworking man who has ''always been a good father.'' But the children are happy with their current family, she told The Miami Herald, and she would hate to see sister and brother split up.

''I put that in the hands of God. He knows more than me,'' Corrales said. ``I have faith that He will make the right decision.''

Corrales said she is grateful to the Gables family for caring for the kids. She said she talks to them regularly and has seen recent photos.


After an uncle in Miami declined to take the family in, González said, the mother arrived unannounced in Houston and began living with González and husband Francisco, both in their 60s.

The couple immediately fell in love with the two children: the bright, intelligent boy and the bubbly girl with reddish-blond hair and eyes that looked blue or green depending on what she wore.

The mother doted on the son but called the girl ''a bother,'' González said.

Sometimes, the son would call the González family's stonemasonry shop, crying that his mother had locked them all in the house, said worker Diana Rodas, who also taught the children Bible lessons at Agape Baptist Church.

González said the boy often spoke to his father in Cuba by phone. ''That boy adores his father,'' she said. She said the girl's father rarely called her.

So we know a bit more about the father, as well as the history of the relationship. However, we're still getting mixed signals as far as the father's ability to take care of his daughter. Based solely on what the Herald has reported, you can argue both sides of the father's fitness.

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring in South Florida

For those of you in South Florida, are you wondering what's the name of the tree that's currently in bloom with the big, yellow trumpet-like flowers.

It's the Yellow Tabebuia, native to the tropics but quite popular south of Lake Okeechobee. They're beautiful trees this time of year, but have shallow roots and go down even in tropical storm force winds, therefore plant with caution.

For more, check out this post from this blog's infancy.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Watch 'Em Folks

This link-filled post by Val today regarding Cuban spies juggled my memory on a couple of previous posts here: one fairly recent and another one that goes way back.

- Ana Menendez tries to justify spies' actions (and fails miserably).

- They've been warning us all along.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

No Elian Found Here

The Miami Herald story involving the 4-year-old Cuban girl taken under custody by the state of Florida has garnered a lot of reaction from the local blogosphere.

See the following posts here, here, here and here for more.

While similarities to the Elian saga exist, they are primarily superficial and once you start looking into the guts of the issue, it becomes immediately evident that this is a different case altogether.

I refer you to the initial Herald story as well as this one published today for the details, but I do have some thoughts of my own about this.

We have a mentally ill, abusive mother who's clearly unfit to take care of her children. We have a father in Cuba who wants her daughter back, but at the same time allegedly didn't take much action when the mother abused the girl back in Cuba, therefore raising legitimate concerns about his fitness as a parent.

The courts should obviously decide who's fit and unfit to take care of the child. More importantly, we need to hear from the father without interference from Cuba.

Is this possible? I have my doubts.

If we get to hear the father's story, and if his intentions are truly his own, then should we deny him his daughter? I don't think so. I know this won't sit well with many of my fellow Cuban-American bloggers whom I greatly admire, but hear me out for a second.

Believe me, the thought of anyone living under oppression turns my stomach. Personally speaking, I have seen how cousins of mine in Cuba suffer under the injustices of a society that only rewards those who walk the straight castro line. This is something that those who were adamant against Elian staying, regardless of the legitimate doubts that were raised, should pause and take note of.

But I do know something else: my cousins love their children and only want the best for them. They know that the best for them isn't in Cuba, but there's not much they can do about that. In the meantime, at least the kids have a place to sleep and a loving mother and father to take care of them.

Just as we shouldn't draw too many parallels to Elian, we shouldn't compare this to the Pedro Pan children of the 60s. Those parents voluntarily sent their children here in the early days of the revolution. They displayed great courage and strength. However, not everyone is the same.

Conceding one quick analogy to Elian: my big beef with that case was that we never got to hear Elian's father's true intentions. He was a puppet of the castro regime. Instead of insisting that we hear from the father and that he meet with his Miami relatives who only wanted the best for the boy, what we got was the United States (read: Clinton administration) caving in to Cuba without the slightest bit of concern for the facts to be played out.

This is why I sincerely hope that politics DO NOT get involved in this case, and that the Cuban-American community not get sucked in to the castroite trap of joining in the political circus.

How will the Cuban-American community react? We've learned (hopefully) our lessons from Elian seven years ago. I hope that we can focus on the facts of the case and not get drawn into a tit-for-tat with the Cuban regime. Let's let this be decided in the courts via due process, through OUR laws, not Cuba's.

So far, so good. I hope it stays that way.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Hurricane Season Not Too Far Away

South Floridians and other coastal-dwellers: Don't panic.


Check out this LiveScience.com article which puts hurricanes in perspective (WARNING: the article has NOT been endorsed by Al Gore as far as I know).

What are you all waiting for....go by buy your hurricane season supplies NOW! ;)


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Contrast in Class

Take a look at these two pictures.

This one shows members of castro's goon squad (courtesy of Babalu).

This one of the Ladies in White:

You know what they say...a picture is worth 1,000 words.

The Ladies in White's grace and dignity under constant and intense harassment is something that, quite frankly, some people on BOTH sides of the straits could use a bit more of.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Screaming Into A Vacuum

Much of the frustration Cuban-Americans feel comes as a result of a perceived lack of understanding, and perhaps even sympathy, from non-Cubans.

There are exceptions, of course. I don't want to generalize. But sometimes, it sure does seem that way.

I mean, who can deny that was castro has done to Cuba is just plain horrible? Who can deny a couple million Cubans abandoning their homeland? It's not like the rafts are heading in both directions.

The typical answer we get is that Cubans haven't played the PR game correctly, that we've let our emotions talk instead of reason. While I think we've allowed our enemies to win the PR battle, it still doesn't make sense to me. What are we supposed to do, play nice to the man that signed the death warrants for many of our relatives?

Even worse, the pro-castro elements within our community know our weaknesses and exploit them every chance they get.

Yes, we're loud. Yes, we're not afraid to speak our minds. Yes, we sometimes let our emotions get the best of us.

So what?! We're humans, right? Can't the facts speak for themselves?

It also doesn't help that the MSM is largely unsympathetic.

In fact, I'll take it a step further. They are the #1 reason so many Americans misunderstand Cuba. Is it because we tend to be outspoken and confident conservatives in a land where minorities are supposed to be subservient? To a large extent, yes.

This editorial, which happens to be from an English-language paper in the United Arab Emirates, underscores the frustration so many Cuban-Americans feel:
To his credit, Castro inspired Cubans; and the anti-American, anti-capitalist movements worldwide. His long innings in power showed his capacity to lead and the strength of the defence mechanisms that he built around him. And, truth be told: without the likes of Castro, the world would have been a more difficult place to live in.
I didn't make that up. What can I say in response, except to say that it goes against everything in my belief system. Sure, the MSM does throw occasional nuggets our way, but when pro-Che films win Oscars and castro-run Cuba earns a seat in the United Nations Human Rights Commission, I can only conclude that the world by and large just doesn't care when it comes to Cuba.

This frustration is shared by another Cuban-American, filmmaker Agustin Blazquez, who passionately describes his feelings in this piece which was posted on Babalu Blog back in January and deserves to be read again.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Anniversary of 'Black Spring'

On the 4th anniversary of Cuba's Primavera Negra (Black Spring) crackdown on independent journalists who broke Cuba's anti-free press laws, I present you with a picture of a protest held yesterday in Havana by the Damas en Blanco (Ladies in White).

Picture courtesy of Stefania.

Civil disobedience, Havana-style.

Cuba has released some of the original 75 arrested, but most remain in prison for merely speaking out against the regime. Those of you out there who are more indignant about U.S. policy towards Cuba than Cuba's own policies against its own people should reflect a little on the significance of this.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Cleaning House

Looks like Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Alvarez is using the brand new broom voters gave him back in January.

Alvarez Fires Three County Department Heads.

The outrage over the dismissals the Herald describes is coming from the usual suspects: County Commissioners and those who think that the firings are racially motivated.

My reaction to this: outstanding (to the firings, not the commissioners' reaction).

We voted Alvarez into office on a promise that an honest man would do his best to get rid of the incompetence and corruption in the county. We voted for the strong mayor proposal for those same reasons. Alvarez is beginning to fulfill the promises he made.

Obviously, he's as fed up with the bureaucracy as the citizens are. A bureaucracy in which poor work is rewarded with raises and new office furniture.

Of course, certain county commissioners don't share our feelings:

'I guess the bloodletting has started,'' said County Commissioner Dennis Moss, most certainly disturbed that the days of cronyism and incompetence are coming to an end.

Some commissioners are upset that Alvarez didn't notify them beforehand of his plans to fire the three individuals, as a courtesy. Perhaps they have a beef here.

In my opinion, the commissioners haven't exactly earned the right to be afforded that "courtesy". As a body (with the exception of about half of the commissioners), they are the embodiment of Miami-Dade County government: bloated, incompetent and occasionally corrupt. We didn't vote for the Alvarez strong-mayor proposal so that he could play footsie with the commissioners.

Good thing for some commissioners that Alvarez doesn't have firing power over them. Otherwise, their days would be numbered as well.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Nerve

This has already been posted at Babalu and Wall Street Cafe, but it's too juicy for me to pass up.

While the U.S. Presidential campaign heats up for the 2008 elections, another campaign is gearing up down south.

Down in Cuba, that is.

Don't try to laugh too hard.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Death Penalty for Couey

The death penalty is one of those issues that you feel strongly about one way or the other.

Me? I'm for the death penalty for horrific crimes, such as the one John Couey committed on poor little Jessica Lunsford. However, I can understand how anti-death penalty people feel. For me, this issue is actually more gray than black and white. There are legitimate questions as to whether the death penalty actually serves as a deterrent, as well as the moral issues involved. They make me pause and reconsider my pro-death penalty stance.

With all this being said, I don't remember a single criminal act shaking me to the core as much as this one has. During the trail here in Miami, when the graphic details of the crime were stated in court, I couldn't help but break into tears. It still haunts me at this moment. Thinking about the anguish that little girl went through, as a parent of two young girls it's excruciating to even imagine. How Jessica's father and family can carry on despite all they've been through, I don't know.

Check out this link for a clip on FOX News featuring an exchange between Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera. (WARNING: if any of the details of Jessica's murder deeply disturb you, you may want to consider not watching the clip).

Yes, Rivera gets graphic. In this case, it's appropriate in order to grasp the magnitude of this horrific incident.

I think this case is going to make many anti-death penalty folks think hard about making exceptions for beasts such as John Couey. It is the natural, guttural reaction to something so disgusting and gut-wrenching.

More importantly, however, it will hopefully encourage lawmakers nationwide to set much tougher mandatory sentences for first-time sexual offenders.

Perhaps, more than Couey's death, it is the result Jessica and her family would desire.

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Herald Headlines

A couple of recent stories in the Miami Herald have caught my attention, not necessarily because of the stories themselves, but because of the headlines used to grab the readers' attention.

Here's one of them:

- Traffic Can Make Visitors Wish They Weren't Here

According to the article, 19 percent of overnight visitors to Miami-Dade County listed traffic or overdevelopment as their main complaint about the area. In comparison, only 1 percent listed crime as the main concern.

Based on the article, I was expecting something closer to 50 percent. Big deal. We all know traffic is a big problem here, as do most of the visitors to this area. I mean, it's not like people come to Miami expected a few days of peace and tranquility away from the hustle and bustle. The survey results reflect that. Of course, to the Herald, it's always good to take a few good-natured shots at the area, even if it's over something that's meaningless in the overall scheme of things.

What headline would I have used?

Here it goes: Visitors Give Miami Good Reviews Despite Traffic Concerns.

I know what you're thinking. Nah, way too cheery and upbeat for the Herald.

Another story on Miami-Dade's efforts to go wireless in a few years had this headline:

- Hurdles Cloud Visions of Wireless County.

Let's see. The mayor is undertaking a project to offer wireless internet access to all of the county's 2.5 million residents. Is it going to be easy? Of course not. The Herald, masters of the obvious as long as it's negative, goes with the easy and pessimistic headline.

How about this one instead: Mayor Alvarez Unveils Ambitious County Wireless Project

Here's one more courtesy of Castro Death Watch:

- Miami Cool To Romney's Stance

As stated in the linked post at Castro Death Watch, the Cuban-Americans in attendance clapped and cheered practically everything Mitt Romney said. Perhaps the audience wasn't too crazy about his stance on illegal immigration. Should that be the focus, the headline of the story? It's not like Cuban-Americans worry too much about people being tough on illegal immigrants, and I seriously doubt that this issue ranks very high on C-A's list of top priorities. In fact, I would say that a good many C-As actually AGREE with Romney's tough stance on illegals.

But, no, the Herald takes the one potential negative and shines the light on it.

Here's my headline: Romney's Talks Tough on Cuba and Illegal Immigration.

More complete, more representative.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Diaz-Balart Supports Illegal Kids Education

Much is said about Cuban-Americans and their "lack of sympathy" for other immigrant groups. Even more is said about C-A politicians' perceived lack of sympathy, as well as their lack of support for non-C-As in their districts.

This article in the Herald should put some of these arguments to rest. Of course, since it was buried in page 5 of the metro section, very few people probably read it. It just isn't controversial enough, I guess.
Immigrants Chase American 'Dream Act'

By Casey Woods

Andres Garcia remembers a few things from his life before coming to Florida: the slow rhythm of his small Guatemalan hometown, and then his family's frightening trek across the desert to the United States.

Mostly, though, his memories are in Miami, where he has lived since he was 6.

Nonetheless, because he is an undocumented immigrant, he is not allowed to pay in-state tuition at state universities, which is far cheaper than out-of-state tuition. That leaves the college degree he dreams of out of reach.

''It's frustrating because I know I have the potential to be something better,'' Garcia said.

Monday, two Miami lawmakers joined with advocacy organizations Students Working for Equal Rights and the Florida Immigrant Coalition to urge passage of a bill in Congress that would help Garcia and others like him attend college and become legal residents.

The ''Dream Act'' would grant in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant students and permit those students, along with those serving in the military, to legally remain in the United States. There are several requirements, including one that stipulates the student must have arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and have lived in the country for at least five years.

''These are students who grew up here and in all likelihood know no other world, and English may be the only language they speak,'' said U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, R-Fla., who joined his brother, U.S. Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart, at the Florida International University School of Law to urge passage of the measure. ``Who does it benefit if they can't get an education?''

Passage won't be easy. Similar bills have languished in Congress over the years, with most Republicans opposed to any legislation that would provide benefits to those who broke the law in entering the country.

This year, however, may be different. Democrats control Congress and tend to support such a law. President Bush favors a guest-worker program and other proposals to allow illegal immigrants to earn legal residency.

Way back in 2005, I wrote a post supporting this effort. I still feel the same way.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

First Concert at Carnival Center (UPDATE)

Last night my wife and I went to the Carnival Center's Ziff Ballet Opera House for the American Ballet Theatre's performance of Tchaikovski's Swan Lake. Being our first visit to the new center, I was as anxious about seeing the place as the performance itself.

The Ballet Opera House is stunning. Very classy, from the polite and enthusiastic personnel who greeted us and showed us to our seats, to the hall itself, a grandiose European-looking opera house. I'm not going to give a detailed review of Swan Lake since I'm far from an expert on ballet, but I can say that the hall acoustics are tremendous. Even sitting in the 4th level balcony (the highest level), the orchestra's sound came through very clearly and resonant. It was worth the price of admission (more on this below) just for the music.

The place was practically full, even the balcony section.

The row aisles in the 4th level are a little narrow, and there's isn't a ton of leg room especially for those who are taller than 6 feet (I'm right at 6 feet). The lower sections are probably wider, but all in all it was no problem.

Recent letters to the editor to the Miami Herald have been critical of the Carnival Center, from the parking to the panhandlers outside to the ticket prices. I parked at Bayside for dinner and took the Metromover to the Omni station, and it was quicker than I thought it would be. There were several other riders who were going to the concert, so it was far from a desolate ride on the train. Therefore, I won't harshly criticize accessibility to the center based on my experience last night. The only panhandler I saw was at the train stations at Omni and Bayside.

This letter to the editor published today, other than being well-timed for this post, mentions some interesting observations which surprised me:

The American Ballet Theatre will perform Swan Lake this week at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts. Ticket prices are the highest I have ever seen in Miami for such a presentation.

The performance is at the Ziff Ballet Opera House. This hall has four balconies. The fourth tier is extremely high -- so high that the Florida Grand Opera reduced its least expensive tickets to only $8. The lowest price in Dade County Auditorium had been $19 dollars. But FGO realized that patrons would be unhappy sitting so far away and acted accordingly.

The Concert Association of Florida, on the other hand, is asking $45 for those same seats. That price is outrageous. I suspect that many of the people going to the ballet have no idea that they will see very little for their money. The association might as well put an ad in the paper suggesting that people bring binoculars.

Mr. Berman is talking about the same section we sat in last night. To be fair, we sat in the second row, so we weren't extremely high compared to the back of the section. Still, I looked back to see how many rows were in back of us, and I noticed that the rows are at a pretty steep angle. In other words, they go quite a bit higher than they go back. As a result, even the back balcony seats aren't too far from the stage in a horizontal sense. You are high, no doubt about that. Nevertheless, I was surprised at how close the stage was, despite our seat location.

Mr. Berman compares ticket prices to the Dade County Auditorium. I will admit, the prices for Swan Lake were high. However, he didn't mention that the prices for the balcony seats almost triple for weekend Florida Grand Opera performances (the $8 seats are weeknights only). An average rock concert by a big name act will run at least $50 in many cases, so comparatively speaking it's not that outrageously high.

Comparing ticket prices at the Carnival Center to those at the DCA is like comparing apples and oranges. I have attended quite a few performances at the DCA, from opera to symphony orchestras, and it is a serviceable but extremely average venue with a moldy aroma and an overall "old" look and feel to it. Sitting in the balcony at the DCA, as I have on several occasions, the music sounds somewhat muffled and far away. The DCA seats slope farther back than at the Carnival Center, so you really are farther away.

In other words, the exact opposite of the Carnival Center's Ballet Opera House. You are paying for the venue and all the advantages that it brings. I categorically disagree with Mr. Berman's statement that people will get little for their money.

And no, we didn't need binoculars from the second row of the top balcony.

All in all, South Floridians should be proud of the Carnival Center. It is a top-notch facility and one that should be supported.

UPDATE 1230 PM: Here's a long and detailed post from Alesh on the Carnival Center, along with plenty of pictures. Check out his picture of the top row of the Ballet Opera House about 2/3rds of the way down the page to get an idea of the worst seat in the house.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fariñas Physically Assaulted

Let's see how long it takes the MSM to jump on this story.

- Babalu
- Uncommon Sense

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

No Cows, No Warming

Heard an interesting report on the Glenn Beck radio program this morning while returning from a meeting. Beck quoted a Drudge Report story which indicates that consuming animal meat can be more harmful to the environment than driving cars and trucks.

The sources: The United Nations and PETA.

You read it correctly.

Normally I would hesitate to believe anything PETA says, and the UN isn't exactly high on my list of credible sources anymore. However, it's been widely known for a long time that cow "emissions" release carbon dioxide, i.e. greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere. Here's a report from the The Independent in the United Kingdom from December 2006 which highlights the UN report.

When PETA got a hold of this story, I'm sure they were doing cartwheels and high-fiving each other for days. Think about it: the perfect marriage of liberal global warming activism and lack of animal consumption. They won the lottery.

No, I'm not ready to jump on the PETA bandwagon, but this underscores the vast unknowns that exist in the area of greenhouse gases and the causes of global warming. It's also why the rantings of Al Gore, et. al., should be taken with a grain of salt.

Wonder if Al Gore and his climate crisis compadres are abstaining from meat?

Anyway, the guys at Babalu Radio want to discuss Global Warming on their show tonight, and I hope to call in and give my thoughts.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Educating on U.S. Cuba Policy

In light of last fall's victory by Democrats which enabled them to gain control of both House and Senate, a lot of discussion and media attention has taken place regarding the possible relaxing or total lifting of current U.S. sanctions on Cuba. Leading the pack have been Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Bill Delahunt (D-Massachusetts).

We haven't heard much from the other side of the debate, besides the South Florida Cuban-American delegation.

Nevertheless, there remains a significant pro-sanction contingent that goes beyond the South Florida C-As that is rarely reflected in the MSM. In today's Miami Herald, Pablo Bachelet describes the story and opinions of New Jersey Democratic Representative Albio Sires, a Cuban-American.

Rep. Albio Sires gets personal when he asks fellow lawmakers to reject efforts to ease economic sanctions against his native Cuba. ''I just tell them about my story,'' says the New Jersey Democrat.

Sires, who spent the first 11 years of his life in the town of Bejucal near Havana, tells them how, after Fidel Castro took over, English-language books were burned and he was forced to march in parades toting a Czech-made submachine gun.

Sires' goal is to use his personal experience as an educational tool to brief fellow members of Congress on why he feels the restrictions are needed.

Keep the sanctions in place until the Castro government makes significant political and human-rights reforms, Sires tells his fellow Congress members.

Sires is a freshman representative, one of the new wave of Democrats that buoyed hopes of an elimination of sanctions of Cuba amongst anti-restriction people.

No doubt that the presence of Sires is bad news for these folks.
Sires is the new kid on the block, a first-time lawmaker joining more seasoned veterans of Cuba-policy battles -- Miami Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario and Lincoln Díaz-Balart and Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Pembroke Pines -- in leading a campaign in the House to stay the course on Havana.

Mel Martinez, R-Fla., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., are carrying the load in the Senate. Sires holds the House seat once held by Menendez.

Sires and Wasserman Schultz, together with other pro-sanctions legislators, have drawn up lists of lawmakers and their positions on Cuba. Those who are new to the issue or undecided get a full briefing, with Sires focusing on the freshmen. Others who have voted against easing sanctions in the past are pulled aside for a brief chat to make sure their position hasn't changed.
Opponents are doing their best to pull the heartstrings of members,'' said Wasserman Schultz. While sharing those concerns, she said, ``we try to explain the complexity of the issue. . . . For most of my colleagues, it requires an education.

In the end, it's about educating and promoting a greater understand of the issues. This is something that bloggers such as myself have attempted to do, and our representatives are doing the same.

Rep. Sires adds this brief but dead-on statement:
I think we win once we tie it to the abuse of human rights, once we tie it to the freedom to express yourself, once we call for election, for the release of political prisoners on the island,'' Sires told The Miami Herald.


I don't know what Sires' chances of succeeding are, but it looks like the anti-sanction folks aren't going to win their side of the argument without a serious fight.

Read the entire article here.

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