Posts Tagged ‘Bad Boys’
“I am leaving Cuba most disappointed and perplexed,” said former New Mexico Governor and recent Democratic diplomatic troubleshooter Bill Richardson from Havana’s Hotel Nacional last week. “After one week (in Cuba) I have exhausted all possibilities to visit Alan Gross. I have tried all channels. All I asked was a simple humanitarian gesture. And it was denied.”
Alan Gross is a U.S. citizens and a contractor for USAID jailed in Cuba since December 3rd, 2009. His crime was bringing cell-phone and internet equipment into Castro’s fiefdom to help Cuba’s tiny Jewish community communicate more freely with the outside world. For the record: pre-Castro Cuba boasted more phones and TVs per capita than most European countries. Today Castro’s fiefdom has fewer internet users per-capita than Uganda and fewer cell-phones than Papua New Guinea. The Stalinist regime is very vigilant in these matters.
According to the AP: “The case has crippled attempts to improve relations between Washington and Havana, and destroyed what had been a warm relationship between Richardson and Cuban leaders.”
“Step aside, you squares!” Richardson had always smirked. “I’m friends with the bad**ses!—with the hoods! They really, really, like me down there in Cuba. They think I’m cool! And let me into their little gang!” We all remember such people from high-school (and probably from long afterwards.) The Beach Boys knew the feeling: “My buddies and me are getting real well known.Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone. I get around.”
Well, Bill Richardson (and by inference, his Obama Administration handlers) “got left alone” by the bad boys alright—and during an entire week of knocking on diplomatic doors in Cuba. “Thrown under the bus,” Beltwayers might call it.
Shortly came the “he said, she said” regarding the trip. To wit:
She (Josefina Vidal, Castro regime spokesperson as related by the AP) said: “The release of U.S. citizen jailed in Cuba, Alan Gross, was never on the table during the preparations for his trip, which was made clear to Mr. Richardson as soon as he raised it.”
It WAS TOOOOO! whines Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos: “The Cubans are making flimsy excuses only after they personally invited Gov. Richardson to discuss the Alan Gross detention and only after they inexplicably stonewalled Governor Richardson.”
It WAS NOT! Answers Josefina Vidal: “His request to see the prisoner became impossible due to his slanderous statements to the press in which he described Gross as a ‘hostage’ of the Cuban government,”
It was TOOOOO! responded Gallegos: “Richardson first brought up Gross’ plight during an August 2010 visit to Havana in which he met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. The two spoke again about Gross the next month in New York on the sideline of the U.N. General Assembly. Then on June 20 of this year, Richardson got a call from Jorge Bolanos, Cuba’s top diplomat in Washington, who asked him to come over to the Cuban mission.”
It WAS NOT! “We explained to Mr. Richardson that Cuba is a sovereign country which does not accept blackmail, pressure or posturing.” (Josefina Vidal)
Last Tuesday President Obama told reporters: “Anything to get Mr. Gross free we will support, although Mr. Richardson does not represent the U.S. government in his actions there.” Then whoops!–the New York Times (no less!) reported that in fact Richardson would offer to remove Cuba from the U.S.
Once again this spring my daughter Regis and I were fortunate to spend two weeks hunting bears in Alaska with four Purple Heart recipients. As God would have it, three out of the four warriors were able to let the air out of some beautiful black bears and, thankfully, we got the majority of these hunts on film for our upcoming PETA petrifying TV show. Delicious.
Before splitting for Alaska and joining the best of the best for a black bear smack down, the Padrón Cigar Company in Miami gave my friend Oscar a box of cigars to bless our guests for putting their lives on the line for our freedom, families and flag. Muchas gracias to the Padrón Family. Rest assured, Señor Padrón, they welcomed and enjoyed the cigars immensely. The gentlemen who roasted these bad boys during the trip told me to tell you, “Thank you very much!” So, thank you very much.
I have long been a big fan of Padrón cigars. I love their entire lineup of smokes from the Family Reserve, to their top shelf 1926 series, to the 1964 anniversary edition, to their Padrón series, especially the 7000. I have never had a bad Padrón; their cigars have always rocked my world, and that’s why they will have a permanent place in my beautiful humidor.
Aside from Padrón’s generosity in giving cigars to our nation’s finest during our hunt and apart from being impressed time and time again with the quality of their smokes, I was also duly impressed by the story of how Padrón cigars came to be—especially in light of the fact of how many whiners in our nation have become giant, wet-diapered entitlement clowns. Not so with José Orlando Padrón. Check it out in José’s own words:
In 1962, I arrived in Miami, an unknown city in a foreign land. I had to start from zero. At first I received $60 monthly as government aid given to Cuban refugees. I was thirty-six years old, strong and in good health. Every time I cashed that check, I felt like a burden on the country that had taken me in. For many days, I looked for a job and did not find one. Every night, I went home and thought of the future. I was determined to do something so that I could support my family.
One day, Raul Fernandez, a friend who worked in the Cuban Refugee Office, asked if I had any carpentry skills. I said I did. He gave me a gift—a small hammer—which he asked me to put to good use. The hammer made me feel I had the necessary tool to become self-sufficient and not depend on government hand-out. During the days, I worked as a gardener. At night, I did carpentry work with the hammer.
My dream was to save enough money to open a factory to make great cigars, like the ones we used to smoke in Cuba.