Beltway Insider: Fidel Castro Dies; Obama's Cuban Legacy; Trump Blasts Recount; Bird Flu; Medalists

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President Obama recently awarded twenty-one Presidential Medals of Freedom to a vast spectrum of society showing that through numbers, or entertainment, or athletics, or the B+ student, working together we can all improve our world, one advancement, one step forward.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, remained at 56% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased by two percentage points to 40%.

Fidel Castro Dies

Fidel Castro, the Communist President of Cuba, has died. After five decades of rule and limited ruling power over the last ten years Castro succumbed to natural causes November 25, 2016. He was 90.

His brother, Raul, 85, whom the ailing leader promoted to Party Chief, President, Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief in 2006 assumed full control of the Cuban nation, 90 miles from the Miami coast.

In 2013 Cuba's Parliament elected Raul Castro to his second term. He announced he would not seek re-election in 2018. Until then the transfer of power and the continuation of a Castro platform remains intact.

Cuban Missile Crisis - Defining a Generation

A die hard communist Fidel Castro was a consternation to the United States government and particular a young President John F. Kennedy who, like any elected leader, was dealt the Cuban Missile crisis by nature of the position and as a young Castro decided it was within his rule and reign to join forces with the Soviet Union and allow Russian military to congregate 90 miles off the coast of the United States and build a blockade in the western hemisphere.

In response and under the leadership of the President and then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and the President's brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, along with a strategic group of Intelligence and defense officers the decision was to create a blockade, to have the Soviet's Stand Down so to speak, and not advancement any closer to the Western Hemisphere.

The crisis was three days were the nation was on edge as the erratic and firebrand communist leader Castro, fueled by the former President of Russia Nikita Khrushchev, and not unlike the territorial  advancements of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Khrushchev was willing to push the boundaries of the young president and his team and wait.

The game of chess ended with an agreement: Russian would never invade the Western Hemisphere; The United States would never invade Cuba nor support any other country that may attempt to invade Cuba. If the United States agreed than there would be no need for Russian military or armaments and the Russians agreed to leave the Western Hemisphere.

The crisis was over. Kennedy was heralded as a man of steel, grit, able to handle the Russians and the Cubans. Many have said, they never felt more like an American than on that day. It was the a defining moment for a generation.

President Obama's Cuban Legacy

For five decades Cuban Americas have looked over the Miami coastline, where the Latin flavor is strong and the music and culture of the homeland for so many rings in the air.  Where the music beats into the soul and the steam from the hot summer nights rises off the domino tables.

For so many the longing to see family and friends those still in Cuba was only a dream, an impossible dream and then in March 2016 the Obama Administration announced he would be reestablishing domestic relationships with the island nation and with that that impossible dream would soon become a reality.

A Tale of Two Cities

The street of Miami were filled with jubilation as Cubans in Little Havana took to the streets celebrating Fidel Castro's death of Fidel Castro and believing the it will usher in a new era of human rights and change. Cuban's in Havana, 90 miles south of Miami, remained watchful, one would venture to say hopeful, and as taught over the years, retrained with the showing of political emotion.

As Raul Castro has been a driving force in the global arena for more than a decade as Prime Minister and the other titles parliament has given him, the odds are that Raul will follow the path of gently separating, or quiet modernization, from the entanglements of communism. 

The doors to Cuba remain open with flights to the island nation from Miami and other hubs around the world. Cuba, with it vivid colors, vibrant culture, driven by a love for freedom, family and yes even the American automobile, the Cuban people are welcoming as tourism springs up around their homeland.

The doors of the nation are open. Here's hoping we never see another time of mass migration, of sacrifice, of boat people tempting the fates trying to cross the Florida Straits seeking political asylum. 

Heals Fifty Year Old Wounds – From the Beltway Insider  (21 March 2016) Coverage Of President Obama and Raul Castro on Reestablishing Diplomatic Relations.

 

President Obama, since the lifting of diplomatic sanctions that have been in place since the Kennedy Administration, began his first day in communist country debating with Cuba's President Raul Castro, on a variety of humanitarian issues.

 

Presidents Obama and Castro held a joint press conference in which the topic of political prisoners or those subject to arbitrary detention was posed.

 

The elderly President Castro issued a strong rebuttal, "Give me the list of political prisoners and I will release them immediately.  Just mention a list.  What political prisoners?  Give me a name or names.  After this meeting is over, you can give me a list of political prisoners.  And if we have those political prisoners, they will be released before tonight ends."

 

"This trip as continuing the process that accelerated on December 17th with the announcement that the U.S. and Cuba would begin to normalize relations of taking steps to improve the lives of the Cuban people, to open up additional opportunities for engagement between Americans and Cubans, and to build a bilateral relationship in which we're able to cooperate on a range of issues with the Cuban government, as we are very clear about areas of continued disagreement, including our strong support for human rights," said Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications.

 

The lifting of sanctions, an olive branch to the closest communist nation, 90 miles off the Florida coast, is meant as a first step to bring together the estrangements of two nations and allow the citizens of the United States access to family, homeland and friends and allow governments to develop economic trade and cultural exchanges.

 

"We have given the first steps, many for being the first steps.  And we must continue giving these steps.  And I'm sure that we will be able to coexist peacefully in an environment of mutual cooperation as we are doing already in many fields for the benefit of both countries and with the benefit of other countries as we have already done -- in Haiti, with the cholera and in Africa with the Ebola.  That is the future of mankind if we want to save the humans species.  The level of water grows and the island may become smaller," Cuban President Raul Castro said.

Beltway Insider: Obama/Biden Assure Foreign Leaders; U.K./Brexit; Putin Gains Support; Facebook Squeezed; Gwen Ifill

Trump Blasts Recount Taking To Twitter to Defend His Crown

President Elect Donald Trump has lambasted the challenges made by Green Party candidate Jill Stein as she has called for a recall in Wisconsin finally breaking and returning to his pre-election win antics and slamming those who attempt to challenge his position and argument with scare tactics and sophomoric rhetoric.

Throughout the campaign season then Republican candidate Donald Trump, at every campaign stop, explained to his constituents, "It's a rigged election," and he was right. He and his team spelled it out every day and every stop. Was it rigged, yes. Not by the opposition it was rigged in his favor. He said it and lived it.  He explained every day to every person who would hear him.

Today, as President-elect Trump took to Twitter and again attacking the recount as if he were fighting off an impeachment. His newest theory in the world of Trump revolves around the loss of the popular vote, as he reverts to megalomaniac, he states without evidence "millions of illegals voted" and cost him the popular vote as well.

President elect Trump has always used the media, when it was in his favor he surfed the good tidings and public relations value and when it was bad, lambasted for yellow journalism. He has placed his self in a glass bowl and under a microscope. Every action and unfortunately reaction will be part and parcel of his new position.

Popular Vote to Date

Democratic Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has retained a 48.2% lead with 64,654,445 million votes to President Elect Donald Trump's 46.5% and 62,418,792 million votes.  Her lead in the popular votes extends to 2,235,653 votes and continues to grow.

Clinton Campaign Joins Wisconsin Recount along with Green Party Candidate Jill Stein

A lawyer for the Clinton/Kaine Campaign has sated they will be participating in the Wisconsin recount initiated by Green Party Candidate Jill Stein. Mrs. Clinton has yet to speak directly on the recount or any other aspect of the election. Recounts have been called for Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Her legal team did indicate they would be participating to ensure the fairness of all the parties involved.

Election Fraud Complaint Filed Over Four Precincts in Wisconsin

An Election Fraud complaint was filed with the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Saturday afternoon regarding four separate precincts located within Outagamie County, WI. According to local reports, there were four precincts in Hortonville, Cicero, Bear Creek, and Grand Chute, where it was reported that more people had voted in the presidential race, than had voted overall.

"When you have not one, but four separate precincts reporting that more people voted for president than voted overall, that should not be treated as clerical error, but rather as a coordinated attempt to commit widespread election fraud," said Scott Dworkin, Senior Adviser to the Coalition. "The Wisconsin Elections Commission should not look into just these precincts, but into every other precinct in the state where there was a discrepancy," Dworkin added.

Human error has been the major source in the discrepancies. With more than 134 million voters casting ballots and poll workers ranging from 18 to 80 years of age and possibly older, the chances for human error greatly increase with volume of voters, poll worker fatigue (most reported working from opening to close without a break) and unintentional error.

The Democratic Coalition Against Trump filed the Election Fraud complaint to urge the Wisconsin Elections Commission to look into these precincts to investigate this vote padding as intentional fraud, as opposed to a clerical error, which was attributed by local officials to human error, added over 1,000 votes to Donald Trump which were then taken away when the official election results were posted.

Bird Flu Strikes Netherlands; Asthma Thunderstorm in Australia

The Netherlands are in a race against time in an effort to stop the spread of the Bird Flu across Europe they have culled nearly 190,000 ducks from six separate farms.  Reports of the Avian flu outbreak have been reported in Denmark, Finland, Germany, and Sweden.

Australia Asthma Thunderstorm Kills Four

A rare and deadly asthmatic reaction triggered from weather related elements have hit Australia's second largest city with what is known as an Asthma Thunderstorm which churns up the dry grass with heavy winds and like a dust cloud sweeps across cities.

In this case the lethal storm, stirred by dry hot drought summers, and heavy wind driven raining seasons, struck in the Victoria with such intensity that in "a four hour period more than 1900 calls or one every four to five seconds" as reported in fox6now.com.

Essentially the dry grass enters through the nasal passages and drops into the lungs making breathing increasingly difficult. Even the most healthy are at risk.

President Medal of Freedom Recipients

President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the following:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Athlete; Elouise Cobell (posthumous), Native American Leader; Ellen Degeneres, Comedian; Robert DeNiro, Actor;  Richard Garwin, Polymath Physicist; Bill and Melinda Gates, Technology, Philanthropist; Frank Gehry, Architect; Margaret H. Hamilton, Software Developer; Tom Hanks, Actor; Grace Hopper (Posthumous) Software Coding specialist before it existed; Michael Jordan, Athlete; Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Designer;  Lorne Michaels, SNL Producer; Newt Minow; Attorney; Eduardo Padron, President of Miami Dade College; Robert Redford, Actor; Diana Ross, Singer;  Vin Scully, voice of the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers; Bruce Springsteen, Singer; Cicely Tyson, Actress;

For more information on President Barack Obama: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com,

Source on 2016 Popular Vote: Cookpolitcal.com

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