Fridays “special series”: TYRANTS, “Fidel Castro, the Enemy of the People, Pt.1”

Fidel Castro: el lento ocaso del comandante y su revolución - Infobae

I lived in Miami for many years and most of my friends were Cubans. These Cubans were the original founders of what is known as the “Cuban Exile”, as these were not immigrants coming to find work in America, they were driven out of their country by the communists headed by the dictator Fidel Castro. These Cubans arrived by air-plane to Miami with visa waivers, with sponsors, everything legal. They had to leave Cuba because the communist regime had taken everything they owned away. They had to flee their country because their country had been taken over by a rogue leader who imposed tyranny upon them.

On the second day of December of 1961 Fidel Castro declared himself a Marxist-Leninist. Immediately the take-over of the country began. The regime nationalised all private property as well as all businesses belonging to Cubans or to foreign entities. The attack upon those not willing to submit to the communists began with a frenzy. Summary trials were held in the streets and in the plazas of Havana. They generally went like this: If someone accused a person of being a counter-revolutionary, they were guilty. They had the right to plead for mercy. They ended up in prison or in front of the firing squad.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who was one of Castro’s foreign “comandantes”, executed hundreds of Cubans simply because they opposed communism. This Argentine was a mass murderer, a psychopath who eventually clashed with his overlord, Fidel and was ejected from Cuba never to return. He was ultimately adjudicated by freedom troops in Bolivia in 1967.

Bolivia marks capture, execution of 'Che' Guevara 40 years ago ...
(Guevara in Bolivia, 1967)

CUBA BEFORE THE FALL

BEFORE the revolution was hijacked and stolen by Castro and converting the country to communism, Cuba ranked fifth in the hemisphere in per capita income, third in life expectancy, second in per capita ownership of automobiles and telephones, first in the number of television sets per inhabitant. The literacy rate, 76%, was the fourth highest in Latin America. Cuba ranked 11th in the world in the number of doctors per capita. Many private clinics and hospitals provided services for the poor. Cuba’s income distribution compared favorably with that of other Latin American societies. A thriving middle class held the promise of prosperity and social mobility.

Cuba Antes De Castro: La Realidad. - YouTube

During the 1950’s Havana was listed among the five most beautiful cities in the world, which were listed as Paris, London, New York, Buenos Aires and Havana. Now it is a disaster. It reflects more than sixty years of communism. Beautiful mansions which thrived until 1959, are now falling down on a daily basis and many times killing folk living inside. The nicest mansions, and there were many, were taken over by the government or handed out to socialist governments to be converted into consulates or embassies.

Las mansiones señoriales en Cuba, un anzuelo para la inversión ...

Communism has only brought death and destruction to Cuba. The population is not reflected in those propaganda films showing happy-go-lucky people dancing and playing music in the streets. I have been there…I took two trips to Cuba in 2015 and 2016…and I saw how when the cameras are turned off and the tourists passed by, these itinerant musicians just sit and smoke their cigarettes with a look of sadness and despair.

Boris luis Bordon on Twitter: "Cuba antes de 1959 y la cuba de hoy ...
(before and after)

Cubans are not allowed many things in their own country. For example if one manages to go spend a week-end at a resort…if they have relatives in the US or Europe that have sent them either dollars or euros…they can basically enjoy most everything, but they are not allowed to go on a tour boat that circles the bay, or to rent a jet-ski. The reason? The regime does not want them on any vessel that is motorised because they just may decide to sail it to Miami…

mansiones de cuba - Google Search | Cuba pictures, Havana cuba ...
(beautiful mansions in Havana stolen from their rightful owners by the communists)

I will end this first part…which is an overview…with a personal anecdote. I stayed at a “casa particular”, which is Cuba’s version of the Airbnb that was located in a very nice suburb of the city of Cienfuegos. (of course, all these houses were built in the early 1950’s way before the communist take-over). One night I was awaked by the sounds of dozens of people talking and shouting outside. It was four in the morning. I looked outside and I saw many people walking towards the corner. They were wide awake, animated and talking loudly and I wondered what was going on. The next morning I asked the house owner and she told me it was because the potato truck had arrived and the people were lining up to be able to buy their share. By sunrise the truck had left and I walked by the “agro” (the grocery store for Cubans) and there was not a potato to be seen…

For part two we will explore the way the regime has treated gays, lesbians, intellectuals and all those it sees as unfit and unwanted…

Please let me know what you think of this new series. It is limited, to a certain extent but being that news from Cuba is always oncoming, it can last a few chapters…

I think it is important that the truth about Cuba, about communism, be told. Cuba spends much time and money on propaganda, especially in Latin America and Europe. Presently they are convincing many United States citizens to travel to Cuba. They present their view of history, which is a lie. I have researched and will express the truth about their dictatorship and about the murders committed by the tyrants, Fidel first and then his brother Raul…

THANKS!

Remember 1982? A musical photo montage video…

One of the most important things that happened was that in the United States they built and dedicated the Vietnam Veterans Memorial…another was that in Spain the FIFA World Cup was played and Italia became football champions of the world!

I hope you like the short video photo montage and if you did, please hit that like button and subscribe to my channel, I will greatly appreciate it!

(Please don’t forget to like and to subscribe, thank you!)

CHEERS!

It’s the Middle of the Week! Thursdays Middle of the Week Classic Rock Songs: “Conquistador”, Procol Harum…

PROCOL HARUM (with Robin Trower,) c. 1967. Best Songs: Whiter ...

Of course we all know the classic of classics by Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. But many may not have known, or remembered, another great song they released in 1972, which had actually been recorded and released in their 1967 album, titled Procol Harum. The version here is from the 1972 album Procol Harum Live: In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Always loved this song, as well as always being fascinated by this band. They played some tremendous rock, great guitars, great vocals but they play with symphony orchestras! Wow! For me, back in those High School years, it was “far out”!

Procol harum - conquistador / all this and more - Vendido en Venta ...

Here are the lyrics, they are quite interesting and worth a read-through before listening to the song…

Conquistador your stallion stands in need of company
And like some angel’s haloed brow
You reek of purity
I see your armour-plated breast has long since lost its sheen
And in your death mask face
There are no signs which can be seen
And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind
Conquistador a vulture sits upon your silver shield
And in your rusty scabbard now
The sand has taken seed

And though your jewel-encrusted blade has not been plundered still
The sea has washed across your face
And taken of its fill
And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind
Conquistador there is no time
I must pay my respect
And though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret
And as the gloom begins to fall
I see there is no aureole
And though you came with sword held high
You did not conquer, only die
And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

As a Spaniard, of course anything that had to do with our “Conquistadores” interests me. This song apparently is the story of a dead conquistador that washed up on a beach, the narrator found the body and though he at first accuses the dead soldier of having reeked of “purity”, and wants to jeer at him, in the end he finds pity for the lonely death of this man, so far from home, sees no aureole and realises that although he came hoping something to find he leaves knowing there is “no maze to unwind”, and the conquistador didn’t conquer, only die.

Procol Harum - "Memorial Drive" - Live 1971 - YouTube

A bit of the old tales, as Procol Harum likes to tell. They also had great songs dedicated to sailors and the sea, mostly with a theme of hopelessness and of destruction and end of things, like “Salty Dog” and “Whaling Stories”. Both are great songs from the same album…

“Conquistador” was Procol Harum’s second highest charting single, coming in at #16. It has also been included in Dave Thompson’s 1000 Songs that Rock Your World. The song was written by Keith Reid, (lyrics), and Gary Brooker, (music), who also did the vocals.

Procol Harum | Musica, Simones, Vida

This song is part of my High School memories from the United States. I fell in love with that powerful music, those symphonic chords, those intense horns and the despair in Brooker’s voice as he tells the tale of the dead Conquistador.

Procol Harum was formed in 1967. They are a British band and the grandpappys of “progressive rock”. The success of “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, number one in the UK on 08 JUN 1967 and stayed in the number one position for six weeks. “A Whiter Shade of Pale” was named as UK’s best pop single of the years between 1952 and 1977, a triumph the song shared with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.​

What in bloody hell does the name Procol Harum mean? Here is what Gary Brooker had to say: (first he says the name came from their manager who telephoned and told them the name, I don’t know about the cat, maybe it was the manager’s cat, in any event, here is what he said:

But in Latin, the cat’s name was ‘Procul’ with a ‘u’ and ‘Harun’ with an ‘n’ on the end, ‘Beyond these things’ in Latin. We got round to saying that Procol Harum in fact meant ‘Beyond these things’, which was a nice coincidence: at least it didn’t mean, ‘I’m going to town to buy a cow’ or something.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this selection and that perhaps…to some of me older mates…it brings some memories of those years. I hope they were happy ones. I know they were for me.

Thank you and please do not forget to like and to follow, re-blog if you really liked it, and as always, I ask for your comments, for your opinions. Do you like this series? If there is support I will continue with great songs from the classic rock era, so let’s talk about it.

Cheers!

Miercoles de arte (poema): Te Mira, te toca…

(imagen propiedad de FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

El mas pequeño,

e insignificante

pedazo de persona

entre un millón,

te mira

y te toca en ese instante

lo mas profundo de tu corazón.

Te sabe detallar los pensamientos,

entiende lo que buscas ocultar,

te mastica,

traga un poco,

y los restos

los vomita sobre el mar…

C.2020, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 29 de julio de 2020, Valencia

Miercoles de Arte…pintor cubano Wilfredo Lam

Picasso_Lam_Vallauris_1954_vignette
(Wilfredo Lam con Picasso, Vallauris, 1954)

Lo que siempre me ha gustado de este pintor es que sus cuadros tienen un gran parecido a Picasso, a esos tiempos de principio de Siglo XX…

Cuenca en los cuadros que el pintor cubano Wifredo Lam realizó en ...

Aunque sus colores no son tan brillantes, considerando que lo mas probable era que optaba por la sutileza, se nota que usaba el color de forma abstracta para darle significado y profundidad a sus lienzos.

Nació el 8 de diciembre, 1902 en Sagua la Grande, Cuba. Hijo de Lam-Yam, de Cantón, China, y de Ana Serafina Castilla, descendiente mestiza de familias originarias de África y España.

Cuenca en los cuadros que el pintor cubano Wifredo Lam realizó en ...

En 1916 se va para La Habana y se inscribe en la Escuela Profesional de Pintura y Escultura, la Academia de San Alejandro. Estudia hasta 1923. Durante este período hace varias exposiciones en el Salón de Bellas Artes. Se consagra como pintor. Recibe una beca en 1923 para estudiar en Europa y se va a España con apenas 21 años.

En Madrid estudia a los grandes maestros de la pintura española, como Velázquez y Goya. Las obras de Bosch y de Bruegel el Viejo le llaman la atención. Les fascinan las correlaciones entre el arte occidental y el arte dicho “primitivo”.

Pintor cubano Wilfredo Lam (con imágenes) | Producción artística ...

En 1938 se traslada a París y se encuentra con Picasso, en la calle des Grands-Augustins. Picasso lo presenta como su nuevo “primo” a sus amigos como Braque, Matisse, Miró, Léger, Eluard, Leiris, Tzara, Kahnweiler, y Zervos. Lam tiene su primera encuentra exposición en París en 1939.

wilfredo lam arte y pintura primigenia cubana. Una visión ...

Su estilo evoluciona a partir de 1947, cuando comienza a combinar el arte de Oceanía con el arte africano y a los que le suma elementos esotéricos. Su trabajo se hace internacional, con publicaciones en revistas prestigiosas tales como VVV, Instead, ArtNews y View, y con exposiciones en los Estados Unidos, Haití, Cuba, Francia, Suecia, Inglaterra, México, Moscú y Praga.

Ha recibido muchos reconocimientos incluyendo el Guggenheim Award y sus obras se encuentran el los principales museos del mundo.

Lam murió en París el 11 de septiembre de 1982 y está enterrado en su ciudad natal de Sagua la Grande, Cuba.

Wilfredo Lam en EL PAÍS

En fin creo que us gran representante del arte de Cuba y no creo que le hizo juego al dictador Castro…

Gracias…

Tuesdays Tunes: “It’s My Job” by Jimmy Buffet

Jimmy Buffett lives on the "Flip Side" with first new album in ...

The song “It’s My Job” holds special memories for me. I remember buying the LP, Coconut Telegraph and taking it to my parents house and playing it and my mother, who never made any comments about the type of music I listened to, came over and said what a nice song that was. She couldn’t understand the lyrics as she didn’t speak English, but she loved the rhythm. At the time she was already very sick with a degenerative disease that would ultimately take her life in a few short years, and it made my day. It made me feel so happy to have been able to give her senses a little relaxation coming from this great song. I’ll never forget that moment.

The song was written by Mac MacAnally a singer-songwriter that Buffet took an interest in. It was the lead single from Coconut Telegraph, Jimmy’s tenth album, released in 1981.

Jimmy Buffett - It's My Job (1980, Vinyl) | Discogs

The message is simple and beautiful. Take pride in your job, it is what you do, and though it may not define you, it is a task or a service that you are performing and it reflects upon you. I love that idea because no matter what a man or a woman does, as long as it is honest, it is honourable. An honest job never degrades. Some people think they can only be happy with a great job that they love, that pays well, that offers wonderful conditions and benefits. But there are all kinds of jobs that must be done and if you are performing one of those more humble jobs, then take pride and make it a great one!

After all a humble man is a great man in the eyes of God. Did not Jesus say that to be the greatest one among all one must be the one who serves? I am pretty sure the phrase is wrong but you get the idea…

I chose to promote the video that Jimmy Buffet made in solidarity with the Freedom Fighter Outdoor association because they are amazing and do a great job for America’s heroes when they return home injured. There is the original version from the album, of course, but this version is very good…

Here are the words. In its simplicity, straightforward style, a great life lesson is explained and great advise is proffered.

In the middle of late last night I was sittin’ on a curb
I didn’t know what about but I was feeling quite disturbed
A street sweeper came whistlin’ by
He was bouncin’ every step
It seemed strange how good he felt
So I asked him while he swept

He said “It’s my job to be cleaning up this mess
And that’s enough reason to go for me
It’s my job to be better than the rest
And that makes the day for me”

Got an uncle who owns a bank he’s a self made millionaire
He never had anyone to love never had no one to care
He always to seemed kind of sad to me
So I asked him why that was
And he told me it’s because in my contract there’s a clause

That says “It’s my job to worried half to death
And that’s the thing people respect in me
It’s a job but without it I’d be less
Than what I expect from me”

I’ve been lazy most all of my life
Writing songs and sleeping late
Any manual labor I’ve done purely by mistake
If street sweepers can smile then
I’ve got no right to feel upset
But sometimes I still forget

Till the lights go on and the stage is set
And the song hits home and you feel that sweat

It’s my job to be different than the rest
and that’s enough reason to go for me
It’s my job to be better than the best
and that’s a tough break for me
It’s my job to be cleaning up this mess
and that’s enough reason to go for me
It’s my job to be better than the best
and that makes the day for me

Mac McAnally - Wikipedia
(With MacMacAnally)

I thank you for your visit, for your time and if you have liked this entry, please let me know, please like, follow the blog if you haven’t already and if you really want to spread the word, then re-blog the post. As usual, I ask for your comments. I think that as artists, musicians or lovers of art and music, we should converse about our taste, our ideas and the things we like or dislike. A good exchange of ideas is stimulating and leads to more and more creativity. Of course, we are all civilised here and it shows in our comments.

CHEERS!