A Look at Cuba — and the Harm Trump has Done

In 2011, when Raúl Castro cautiously allowed Cubans to start their own small businesses, Ms. Limonta became one of Cuba’s first legal capitalists.

Eventually, with help from a church-sponsored business incubator, she created her own company, rented space for a workshop, hired seamstresses and started turning out clothing of her own design. When President Barack Obama visited Havana in 2016 to see for himself how Cuba was responding to the opening he had set in motion, Ms. Limonta was among the Cuban entrepreneurs who met with him.

But the good times didn’t last. The Trump administration undid much of the Obama opening, tightening the screws on Cuba and promising a quick end to the Castro regime. As American tourists stayed away, Cuba made life more difficult for fledgling capitalists like Ms. Limonta and her son Oscar, who had his own design business. Despite the increasing hardships, she hoped that the arrival in 2018 of a Cuban president who was not named Castro, and of a new constitution a year later, would persuade him to stay in Cuba.

It didn’t. Late in 2018 he joined the tidal wave of young people fleeing Cuba. So did two cousins and their mother, Ms. Limonta’s twin sister, Esperanza.

…To expect that if only things get bad enough, Cubans will rise up, when they are struggling just to stand, is not just unrealistic. It is cruel.

NY Times

Europe is abandoning Trump on the world stage as it turns away from the US toward China

  • Recent polling suggests Europeans are turning away from the US under Trump’s leadership.
  • Public opinion toward America has declined in major European countries since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Seventy-six percent of Germans in a new poll said their view of America had deteriorated since the start of the crisis.
  • Roughly equal numbers of Germans in the poll favored maintaining close relationships with China and the US over the other.
  • One poll last week found that just 2% of French people trusted Trump to provide world leadership.
  • China is exerting growing political, diplomatic, and financial power across Europe.

Business Insider

Pompeo for President in 2024? – His Hometown Newspaper Writes About “One Bold Hustle”

Secretary of Defense and Trump suckup Mike Pompeo has been profligately spending taxpayer money. He has had aides (on taxpayer payroll) walk his dog, collect his dry cleaning, and probably more. He has hosted dinners (“Madison” dinners he called them) where the rich and powerful were invited … and encouraged to contribute money to Pompeo.

The Kansas City Star writes:

Even in a town built on a swamp, this is one bold hustle by the former congressman from Wichita, who is still regarded as an automatic frontrunner if he decided to make a late jump — yes, even if pushed — into this year’s U.S. Senate race in Kansas. Do we really have no standards?

Trump Has Crippled the CDC — It’s About Him and His Re-Election Effort

‘We’ve been muzzled’: CDC sources say White House putting politics ahead of science.

A senior official inside the CDC told CNN that the agency also alerted the White House to the virus’s rapid spread across Europe, but that “the White House was extremely focused on China and not wanting to anger Europe … even though that’s where most of our cases were originally coming from.”

“The CDC … were part of the mistakes with the early problems with testing, and it seemed like after that, they weren’t trusted as much,” said James Curran, dean of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a former CDC official. But, he added, “there’s no place in the world that has more epidemiologists and scientists studying respiratory infections. … We need them now.”


#ChinaChinaChina – A military contractors’ report circulating on Capitol Hill claims to have evidence that COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese lab. It’s filled with information that’s just plain wrong.

A shocking report suggesting that the coronavirus was “release[d from] the Wuhan Institute of Virology” in China is now circulating in U.S. military and intelligence circles and on Capitol Hill. But there’s a critical flaw in the report, a Daily Beast analysis reveals: Some of its most seemingly persuasive evidence is false—provably false.

The Daily Beast

Inspectors General Fired by Trump

Trump corruption does not tolerate oversight. Fired thus far:

IG Steve Linick (State Dept.)

Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi A. Grimm (HHS)

Acting Inspector General Glenn Fine (Defense Department)

intelligence committee watchdog Michael Atkinson


Trump Takes Aim at a Watergate Reform: The Independent Inspector General

NY Times

#ChinaChinaChina Propaganda by Republicans Could Result in Serious Consequences for the United States

Republicans have been engaged in a propaganda attack against China regarding the coronavirus, working to lay blame on China and divert attention, and blame, from the moron in the White House.

It could backfire.

China is extremely dissatisfied with the abuse of litigation by the US against China over the COVID-19 epidemic, and is considering punitive countermeasures against US individuals, entities and state officials, such as Missouri’s attorney general Eric Schmitt, who filed a lawsuit against China,  seeking compensation for the coronavirus pandemic, sources close to the matter told the Global Times exclusively. At least four US Congress members, including Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton, and two entities will be put on China’s sanctions list, analysts said. 

China won’t just strike back symbolically, but will impose countermeasures that will make them feel the pain, analysts said. 

Some US lawmakers and state governors as well as attorneys who are also GOP hawks have filed lawsuits against China, alleging that the Chinese government mishandled the epidemic and it caused severe economic consequences in the US.

“While the Chinese government makes adjustments to business relations between China and states like Missouri or Mississippi, local economies would likely be under pressure, or special interests of certain officials might be affected,” Diao [Daming, a US studies expert at the Renmin University of China in Beijing] said.

Missouri, together with other states like Michigan, South Carolina and Texas, had taken measures to make it easier for Chinese investment to come in and boost local job growth years ago. For example, in 2013, one week before Chinese company Shuanghui purchased Smithfield Foods, the Missouri legislature amended a law clearing the way for approval.

Hong Lei, then Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, said in a speech in 2017 that Chinese companies invested more than $1.1 billion in Missouri, creating 4,500 jobs.

Global Times

“China China China” – Republicans Double Down on China Blame Game

Republicans (the cult of Trump) are proposing harsh measures against China, blaming it and the World Health Organization for trying to keep the coronavirus outbreak in China a secret.

According to the BND [German intelligence service]: ‘On January 21, China’s leader Xi Jinping asked WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to hold back information about a human-to-human transmission and to delay a pandemic warning.

The WHO released a statement shortly after the publication of the shock claims, calling them ‘unfounded and untrue’.

‘Dr Tedros and President Xi did not speak on January  21 and they have never spoken by phone. Such inaccurate reports distract and detract from WHO’s and the world’s efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic,’ the statement read. 

It continued: ‘China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus on January 20 [prior to the alleged phone conversation].

‘The WHO publicly declared on January 22 that “data collected … suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan.”‘

Daily Mail

Proof of Lies (by the U.S.):
The WHO issued a global warning on January 30.
“It’s only the sixth time the WHO has declared a global health emergency.”

What was Trump doing?