Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Obama Saves Cuba and I Am Not Smart Enough

Last night on the 6:00 pm NBC News, I heard Brian Williams mention that the Obama administration was easing restrictions on Cuba in defiance to the George Bush restrictions on Cuba. My ears immediately picked up.

First I thought it was Kennedy that imposed the restrictions on Cuba, but then I realized that each president must impose restrictions as deemed necessary. I did some research on the web and found out that “Last May, former President George W. Bush announced a new policy that people living in the United States could include cell phones in gift parcels sent to Cubans. At the time, Bush aides said that U.S. residents could pay for the cell service attached to phones they send.

Sending money to senior government officials and Communist Party members remains prohibited under Obama's new policy. Restrictions imposed by the Bush administration had limited Cuban travel by Americans to just two weeks every three years. Visits also were confined to immediate family members.”

You really have to be smarter than me to watch the news with clarity. So if President Obama reduces restriction on Cuba in defiance of the Bush administration, we see that he has opened up the possibility of communications with Cuba by use of cell phones that are not supplied and paid for by the Cuban family members living here in the states. Telecommunications can now broadcast and send satellite signals into Cuba if Cuba allows it. Now I get it!

The second point is made that Cuban Americans can now travel more often then the imposed restrictions of the Bush administration. See, under the Bush administration they were only allowed (restricted) to travel just two weeks every three years and travel was confined to immediate family members. So I guess before President Bush’s restrictions on travel were much more open and unlimited?

I just don’t remember a time before President Bush’s administration where we could travel unlimited to Cuba, but I guess it must have been.

There also were comments made on TV that only America is restricting trade to Cuba while the rest of the world is not. I had to laugh because immediately they showed a scene in Cuba with old cars traveling the roads (which were not heavily traveled) with less than modern and unkempt building in the background to show us the positive affect that the rest of the world has had on Cuba.

I was also watching C Span last night and was honored to view the first bi-lingual Presidential Press Conference. I was confused here as well when I heard Dan Restrepo answer a question, that was asked in English, in Spanish. I recognized the person who asked the question was Hispanic but her command of the English language as well as her diction was perfect. Previously I had no idea she was Hispanic when she asked the question. I actually got a little upset. I was not able to understand the answer listening to my President’s Press Conference. I know I am to blame since I don’t understand Spanish and I should. Additionally the answer was not provided in English by sub captioning below the screen and no one translated the answer into English later. See this is where I was not smart enough to watch the news and keep informed. I found out today that Restrepo was giving the answer in Spanish for the benefit of those watching C-Span in Cuba. Now that makes much more sense to me. I was not aware that C-Span was broadcast to Cuba (because I thought there were restrictions from the Bush Administration) and I was not aware that the Cubans must watch C-Span while not understanding a word of English, but for this one question answered in Spanish it must have been crystal clear.

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