BRINGING UNITY TO THE UNITED STATES

I was moved by a Facebook post from a friend this week where she reached out to her friends’ better angels and asked them to look after each other in today’s environment, instead of tearing each other down.   I’m sure that her motives were well-intentioned, but her aspiration is unrealistic.

And here is the reason why.  It is today’s Democrats who have divided the country like never before.  When you have a group that talks from both sides of their mouths, it loses credibility with the masses.

Following are several examples to illustrate the point above.

Joe Biden mirrored my friend’s dream when he gave his inauguration speech on January 20, 2021.  In fact, he signed a proclamation designating January 20th as “National Day of Unity.”   On this momentous day, Biden told the Nation that “today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together … For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.  No Progress, only exhausting outrage.”

After a very contentious 2020 election, Biden had the right goal in mind by trying to bring the country together.  He was on the right track.  The problem is that he did not mean what his mouth enunciated.

Just a few hours after his inauguration at the steps of the Capitol, Biden signed fifteen executive orders by announcing his intent to undo the policies of his predecessor, President Donald J. Trump.  Key among these executive orders was one to stop the construction of The Wall along the southern border, which in fact gave the green light to the drug cartel to launch an invasion of illegal immigrants to our country.   Obviously, Biden had a very different definition of the word “unity,” just like he had a different definition of the word “recession.” 

Moreover, Democratic Senators Obama, Biden, Schumer, and Clinton voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006 to build a wall across certain sections of the U.S.-Mexico border.  Biden’s 2021 executive order to defund the building of the wall shows that he put politics ahead of the good of the country.

Then, you have Democrats who believe that they hold a monopoly on righteousness, and Republicans are the anti-Christ. 

Peter Navarro, a former adviser to President Trump, was put in leg irons by FBI agents on contempt of Congress charges in June of 2022 for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6 incident.  But, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder under former President Obama was never arrested after he was held in contempt of Congress in June of 2012 related to the Operation Fast and Furious – an investigation launched after two guns related to the operation were found at the scene of a Border Patrol agent’s fatal shooting. 

Michelle Obama tried to motivate her fellow Democrats to uphold their moral character by saying at the 2016 Democratic National Convention: “When they go low, we go high” – in reference to detractors of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.  But her husband’s former attorney general, Eric Holder, told a crowd in October 2018 that he disagreed with Michelle’s good intentional plea.  Instead, he rephrased her quote by saying: “When they go low, we kick ‘em.  That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.”  When the Democratic Party issues two conflicting messages by such high-profile individuals, the masses are right to question their motivation.

Another example of the Democrats’ modus operandi of “Do as I say, not as I do” pertains to California Governor Gavin Newson.  After lecturing his constituents about wearing face masks and not gathering in large crowds to curtail the spread of COVID, Newson was seen at the high-end French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley without wearing a face mask.

Democrats have been quite vocal recently about the implementation of policies to defund the police.  But Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO) allocated nearly $400,000 of campaign funds into private security services while maintaining her “defund the police” calls.

Despite holding a congressional hearing in the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives for the January 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol, no hearing has been ordered to look into the property damage associated with the summer 2020 riots in Democrat-run cities in Democrat-governed states.  While four people died on January 6 (all were Trump supporters – three of natural causes and one shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer), the 2020 riots resulted in at least 19 deaths – most of them African Americans – and over $1 billion in property damage.  Do you see a double-standard?!!!

One of the main differences between Democrats and Republicans nowadays is that the former believe that a person’s purpose in life is to serve the government, while the latter believe that the government’s role is to serve its citizens. 

The Republican’s view of government is enshrined in our founding documents and the Judeo-Christian traditions.  Our Declaration of Independence stipulates that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  In other words, these rights were God-given before the creation of the government.  The only reason for creating governments was to safeguard these God-given rights.  “Self-evident” was an acknowledgement that these rights were a matter of faith and Judeo-Christian traditions.

On the other hand, Democrats insist on doing away of with God from the public square and replacing Him with total allegiance to the government – and not just any government, but one controlled by them. 

This is a view that all totalitarian governments share in common.  For example, the late Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro said in a 1961 speech to the writers and intellectuals: “Within the revolution, everything. Against the revolution, nothing.” This subjugation of men and women’s destinies to the government was also shared by the Nazis who subordinated them to a race and the Communists in Russia and China who demanded complete loyalty to the Communist Party.

The immediate effect of these policies was the dehumanization of the human race.  Men and women were no longer free — the government controlled by Democrats became their god. 

A nation cannot survive if its moral foundations are rejected. If the voters cannot exercise their right to vote based on their own perception of right and wrong and instead are forced to vote for what Democratic politicians demand of them and the propaganda spread by the fake-news media outlets, they can vote themselves out of democracy and their own freedoms in no time at all. 

The only way that unity can be restored in the United States and the democracy preserved is for Americans to place God in a prominent place in their lives and in their government.  The other way leads to the enslavement of our Nation.

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN?

The main reason for my parents deciding to emigrate to the United States was when the Communist Cuban authorities passed an edict requiring parents to send their children to public schools — with prison time authorized for noncompliance. 

The government authorities had closed all private and religious schools with the goal of having a monopoly on the molding of the children’s minds with a Marxist ideology.  To them, there could not be any challenges from any deities to the supremacy of the Cuban Communist Party.

This edict ran counter to my parents’ moral and religious values, and they did not vacillate in their decision to fight back by deciding that it was time to make the United States their home.

According to the Bible (Gen. 1:28), in the beginning of the world creation, He blessed Adam and Eve and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Before getting married, I was foolish enough to tell my future wife that I did not want to have any children after getting married.  I did not think that I had the training to be a good father – as if there ever was a training manual for such a purpose!  The priest who married us (Father Yiyo Maderal) offered me one those “come to Jesus moments” by reminding me of the Biblical obligations for marriage and gave me an ultimatum: no children = no Catholic marriage.  Given my religious upbringing, I complied.

But with procreation comes another requirement: the main responsibility for the education of the children falls on the parents – not on the State.  This right to educate is an inalienable right that comes from the Creator.  The State can’t take it away! By trying to do so, the State behaves as a god – and no man nor woman is equipped to play such role.

Parents may delegate the right to educate their children to teachers – but the teachers can only supplement, not replace the responsibility of the parents.  With this in mind, the teachers always act on the parents’ behalf, never on the State’s behalf.  The State’s role is the improve the efficiency of the teachers to protect that Nation’s traditions and to impart knowledge objectively. To make the teachers the servants of the State, as the Communist Government officials did in Cuba, is to make them the enemies of tradition, culture, and the nuclear family.

When dealing with parents who insist on delegating the responsibility for educating their children entirely to the teachers, they are conveniently forgetting their duty to start the education process before the children’s first day in school.  And even when they are in school, they ignore the basic fact that children spend the majority of their time in a home environment. 

One of the main challenges that society faces today is that the majority of schools think that education is limited to imparting knowledge.  They fail to understand that this is only half of the equation.  Training the mind has to be supplemented with molding the character into recognizing right from wrong.  This failure has led to classrooms where misbehaved students have the upper hand, and teachers are relegated to victims.  In this environment, learning becomes impossible — as survival of the fittest becomes the modus operandi.  Failure to respect authority figures in school makes them ill-equipped to deal later in life with law-enforcement figures.

The progressives, those in the woke crowd, have preached that crime is the result of ignorance, and that by increasing school budgets to dispel ignorance via education, we could abolish crime.   This falls into another one of those delusional ideas from this gang. 

With all the massive funds that local, state, and federal agencies spend on education, crime remains a problem in the United States.  According to the 2021 World Prison Population List, the U.S. had the highest prisoner rate in the world, with 639 prisoners per 100,000 of the national population.  Moreover, there were more than 2M prisoners in the U.S. in 2021. 

Never before in the history of mankind has there been so much information available in different social-media portals.  Never before in the history has there been so much ignorance of right and wrong.  Never before has there been so much scientific information available.  Never before has science been used for the destruction of human life!

One of the conclusions that one can draw from this challenge is that reason without a moral compass can serve both good and evil purposes. 

The schools and teachers cannot bear the blame for this malfunction of the education process.  Parents bear the bulk of the blame.

More nurseries, better playgrounds, healthier diets, improved baby formulas lessen the effect but not the root cause of this challenge. Make no mistake about it, behind every delinquent child, there is always a delinquent parent. 

Parents have to choose about the wisdom of having two incomes in their households or spend more quality time educating their children – especially during their formative years.  Delegating this task to others will generate a void that will be filled by unscrupulous teachers or by undesirable members of society.  A few extra dollars earned now could turn into super expensive bills later in rehabilitation centers for treating children who, by not recognizing right from wrong, took the road that turned them into enemies of society!

The choice is yours, parents and country: educate properly now or suffer the consequences later!

SAVING OUR COUNTRY FROM THE ELITES

The United States is suffering a grave illness lately – not one caused by COVID-19.  It is a self-made virus that entails our reliance on the opinions of the elites. 

These elites are the ones who refuse to accept absolute standards of right and wrong.  To them, good and evil becomes an exercise in relativism.  God and religions are related to myths and fantasies and replaced by scientific knowledge.

Therefore, the hope for the survival of Western civilization lies with the masses, with average Americans who can differentiate good from evil, fair from unfair, and secular from the godly.

If the prophet Isaiah were alive today, he would say: “Woe to those that call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20).

Something is wrong when university professors are more interested in inciting their students to obliterate the traditions and history of our country than in teaching them the good, the bad, and the ugly of our ancestors in an objective manner. 

I’ve had my share of experiences with these elites, and I was not impressed by them or their logic. 

They were the ones who denied me promotions to the Senior Executive Service because they thought that my speaking the English language with a slight accent translated into my thinking with the same accent. 

They are the same ones who told Asian Americans that they spoke English so well after finding out that they were U.S. born.  The comment shows there was an expectation of the way someone spoke based on how that person looked!

They were the ones who selected applicants for directors of civil rights offices with law degrees over those with no law degrees but with tons of real- life experience in civil rights.

They were the ones who asked me whether I had returned to visit Communist Cuba upon finding out that I was Cuban American without stopping to think why my family had left Cuba as political refugees.

They are the ones who think that a graduate from any Ivy League university is better qualified than a graduate from less prestigious universities.

They are the ones who think that if you are a Hispanic or an African American who managed to graduate from any Ivy League university, you did so because of an affirmative action program.

These elites have played their foolish delusional games for so long that another minority group wants to join their private club.  The Students for Fair Admissions has filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) alleging the unfair admission practices against Asian Americans by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (a public Ivy school), and which the SCOTUS will hear in 2023.  Asian Americans in this lawsuit think that an Ivy League degree offers them the golden keys to enter the pantheon of America’s power brokers.

Nothing is further from the truth.  The elites are not the ones who will keep the United States safe for democracy. They are not the ones who will Take America Back from the socialist polices of today’s Democrats.

Almighty God has always chosen simple people to carry out his plans and prophesies.  And there is a reason for this.  The simple people have much better judgment about complex matters than the elites with all their fancy titles.

He picked a humble young Jewish woman to bring his Son to redeem the world. 

At least seven of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen.

And what about when Jesus went back to Jerusalem during the Feast of the Tabernacles and preached at the temple.  The Jews who heard him were amazed at his erudition and asked: “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” (John 7:15).

Similarly, the Virgin Mary did not select the elites to carry her messages.  She picked three shepherds children near the town of Fatima, Portugal in 1917 and a 14 year-old daughter of a miller from the town of Lourdes, France in 1853.

The judgements made by the masses are superior because they base them on the moral teachings of the Bible rather than in Einstein’s theory of relativity or Darwin’s theory of evolution.  Even worse, they rely at times on their own pseudo-science – like they claim that Math is racist because it’s a “white thing.” They know wrong when they see it, and there is no scientific theory that could masquerade evil.

It is precisely the “it depends” ideology to assess evil that shows its unreliability.  Because the elites refuse to engage in absolutes, they treat some dictators as pariahs and others as partners.  For example, it doesn’t make any sense for the U.S. Government to criticize former Cuban Dictator Fulgencio Batista and former dictator of Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza and engage as partners current dictators like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Communist China’s Xi Jinping. 

To the masses, dictators should be treated as the world’s pariahs.  To the elites, there is a difference between right-wing dictators and left-wing dictators – the latter being much better than the former. 

To the masses, evil is real.  It’s in our hearts – not just in dictatorships.  And they recognize that the only way to vanquish the evil forces in the world is by turning towards our Creator, God. 

It is useless, as the elites preach, to find redemption in the secular world because its laws are man-made and no man is infallible.

In the secular world, there is never peace and stability.  In it, the capitalist is at war with the proletariat, the proletariat with the capitalist, the rich with the poor, the poor with the rich, the Whites with the minorities, the minorities with the White, the disabled with the able-bodied, the able-bodied with the disabled, the Republicans with the Democrats, and the Democrats with the Republicans. 

It is the fear of God that emanates wisdom, and love of your fellow men and women that replaces fear. It is only by turning to God that the human race will find peace and stability.

But when pointing our sights to God, we must start the process of atonement by fearing justice for our injustices and consequences for our moral depravities.  We must repent for our sins.

Sometimes, wars are a consequence of our sins.  The Old Testament has several passages describing multiple invasions of Israel because of the sin of idolatry.  The killing of the unborn is a heinous crime that goes against God’s plans.  No human can play God and remain unpunished.

Finally, by recognizing the evil in the world, we are more adept at valuing the goodness in it. 

To save our nation from the forces of evil, we must rely more on the wisdom of the masses and less on the ignorance of the elites!  

DEMOCRATS’ FAILURE TO DELIVER FOR MINORITIES AND WOMEN 

When I look at the crisis emanating from illegal aliens trying to cross our southern border, I wonder whether the Biden-Harris Administration is guilty of sheer incompetence or of having a hidden agenda.   

The number of illegal encounters handled by border security agents has reached over 2 million since Biden reached the Oval Office, and the seizure of deadly fentanyl has increased by 134 percent from FY 2020 to FY 2021.  These disasters were triggered partly by stopping the construction of the wall that President Trump had authorized, and that had proved so successful in stemming the flow of these caravans.   

You would think that Biden would uphold the oath of office to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” But he’s done the complete opposite and, thus, placed Americans at great risks.   

Rather than beefing up the regulations to send back illegals quickly to their countries of origin, deportations have fallen by 68% from FY 2020 to FY 2021.  Moreover, Biden and his team have refused to test illegals for COVID-19 at the southern border, while approving strict test requirements for Americans.  He embraces an “Illegals First/Americans Last” policy.  

Naming Kamala Harris as border czar to handle the border crisis has been a disaster – which accounts for her dismal 37.1% approval rating as of July 15, 2022 (even worse than Biden’s 39% approval rating).  

So, what gives?  

To answer this question, I’ll do a quick review of Marxist theories – which are much in vogue with progressive Democrats and “Woke” Americans.  

When Karl Marx developed his Marxist vision of the world, he saw a battle between the rich, the bourgeoise, and the poor.  But looked from the perspective of the early 20th century, his vision was not catching on.  Other than in Russia, capitalism was stronger than ever in most advanced nations.  

This is when Italian Marxist Philosopher Antonio Gramsci updated Marx’s theories by introducing the “cultural Marxism” principles that divided the world between the oppressor and the culturally oppressed.   

The Left in the United States embraced Gramsci’s theory of victimhood and pointed their guns at “white males.”  Hegel and Marx’s political slogan of “workers of the world unite!” was transformed into “victims of the world, unite!”  

While the Left in the United States is concentrating its efforts in our country, this is a worldwide movement to bring down the Western, Judeo-Christian civilization.   

So, to answer the question at the beginning of this article, I’ve decided to turn our attention to statistics – and not just any statistics, but those compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.  

Considering that the Left considers “white males” as the “Great Satans” of American society, I wanted to find out how many of these were in the U.S. population.  Since I could only find the aggregate number of “whites” in the U.S. population in the Census statistics, I turned to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Annual Report on the Federal Workforce for Fiscal Year 2019” — the latest available. The catch is that I had to use Civilian Labor Force data rather than data from the U.S. Population.   

Following is what I found.  

Males: 51.86%           Females: 48.14% 

White Males: 38.33%           White Females: 34.03% 

Non-White Males: 13.53%   Non-White Females: 14.11% 

Non-white males and non-white females needed to fill a 10.69% gap to equal the white-male percentage in the Civilian Labor Force.  Representation in the labor force can be equated with power that can be wielded to make the white males into the victims of society – considering that the Left opines that most vote for Republicans whom they view as the party that favors the oppressors rather than minorities and women.   

They conveniently ignore the fact that it was a Republican President (Lincoln) who issued the Emancipation Proclamation and another one, President George H. W. Bush, who signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

So where are the Democrats going to get 10.69% voters that they need?  

The first thought that comes to mind is from Hispanics – who already make up 18.9% of the U.S. population and represent the largest minority group.  But according to a Quinnipiac University poll released in June 2022, only 24% of Hispanics support the job that Biden is doing.   

Hispanics who came to the U.S. as political refugees from communist regimes like the Cuban-Americans and those who came as legal immigrants do so to get a job to support their families, to make a better life for themselves than the ones that they left behind.  Their values are conservative.  They venerate the nuclear family and their Catholic upbringing.  They come to the United States to build it up; not to tear it down.  And they are firm believers in capitalism, freedom, and democracy.  The majority of these Hispanics vote for Republicans and take umbrage when Democrats like Jill Biden demeans their identities by calling them “tacos.”   

And regarding improving the lot of Hispanics, Biden has relied on symbols rather than on deliverables.  For example, he has a bust of Hispanic civil rights and labor rights leader Cesar Chavez in the Oval Office.  But Biden ignores the fact that Chavez was an ardent critic of illegal immigration because of the damage that it did to the wages and jobs of union workers in the U.S. Biden may fool those who are unfamiliar with the story of this iconic Hispanic leader, but Hispanics know the real deal! If he were alive, rather than chanting “Si Se Puede!” or “Yes We Can!” — Chavez would be chanting “No Se Debe!” or “No We Shouldn’t” to illegal immigration.

Out of desperation, Democrats have to come up with a Plan B.  And it entails turning a blind eye to illegals crossing our southern border and enacting laws to grant them U.S. citizenship in the near future.  But even if they succeeded, they ignore the fact that after they become U.S. citizens, Hispanics would recognize that illegals trigger high unemployment and lower wages in the labor market.  These Hispanics would eventually vote for Republicans after they got the most from the Democrats.  

Democrats would next turn their attention to white women.  They will peddle abortion as a bait to get them on board.  But let’s get real! How many of these white women do you think are going to vote for a party that insists on turning their white-male husbands into the enemy of society? Moreover, how many white women do you think are going to vote for a party that wants to indoctrinate their children with the nefarious “critical race theory” curriculum that makes all white people into oppressors?  

Look no further than the election of Glenn Youngkin to the governorship of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2021 as a Republican.  He ran against a Democratic incumbent, Terry McAuliffe, who brought the power team of the Democratic Party to campaign for him – Obama, Kamala, Stacey Abrams, Joe and Jill Biden.  And he still fell short! 

And to disprove the false narrative that Republicans are insensitive to the needs of minorities and women, Governor Youngkin brought along a Lieutenant Governor and an Attorney General who made history in Virginia – Winsome Sears as the firm woman of color to serve in a statewide office and Jason Miyares as the first Cuban-American to serve as attorney general.  

Similarly, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis selected Jeanette M. Nuñez as Florida’s First Cuban-American lieutenant governor in 2018.   

And to move forward to 2022, who can forget the election of Republican Mayra Flores to the House seat for Texas’ 34th Congressional District.  She made history as the first Mexican-born woman elected to the U.S. Congress.  

Minorities are finding out that Republicans don’t just preach the civil-rights gospel.  They embrace it by bringing them into an American Big Tent that welcomes them!”  

While there is plenty of incompetence in the way that Biden and Kamala are handling the crisis at the southern border, it is obvious that they have a hidden agenda by embracing open-border policies.  But just like this hidden agenda failed to deliver the goods for them in Virginia, it is bound to fail again in 2022 and 2024.

MI TRAYECTORIA EN LLEGAR A SER UN ESTADOUNIDENSE

No es raro que las personas que llegan a los Estados Unidos de diferentes países pasen por un doloroso proceso de aculturación.  El tiempo que toma se basa en las experiencias individuales y, por supuesto, en el tipo de personalidad de cada uno: lleva más tiempo para los introvertidos.  Teniendo en cuenta que viví este proceso, lo describiré desde mi propio origen cubano. 

Llegué al área de Washington, DC en 1966 con grandes expectativas, pero lo que encontré fue totalmente diferente.  Había dejado un país comunista donde todas las necesidades básicas estaban racionadas.  Esperaba que los estadounidenses se vistieran a la moda y defendieran la libertad en todo el mundo.  En cambio, tuve que interactuar con jóvenes que se enorgullecían de su ropa andrajosa y falta de higiene, y que participaron en manifestaciones masivas contra la guerra de Vietnam, una confrontación contra un régimen comunista.  Teniendo en cuenta que mi familia tomó la difícil decisión de abandonar su país y huir de un régimen comunista, mis instintos me convirtieron en un firme partidario de las fuerzas que luchaban por la libertad y la democracia en Vietnam.

Mi primera cita con una chica estadounidense me dejó totalmente desencantado.  Mientras que yo creía que las parejas debían permanecer juntas cuando tenían citas, ella no creía que hubiera nada de malo en fraternizar con otros hombres en la pista de baile.  Para ella, el príncipe azul ideal era aquel que medía más de seis pies.  En consecuencia, el hispano promedio no cumpliría con sus calificaciones mínimas y no avanzaría a la etapa de entrevista para logra una segunda oportunidad.  Encontré extraño que las apariencias importaran más que la sustancia, y ahora entiendo la razón de la alta tasa de divorcios. 

Además, mientras hacía un esfuerzo monumental por aprender el idioma inglés, mis amigos se burlaban de mi acento.  Considerando que la mayoría de los estadounidenses no tenían problema en aceptar un acento británico o francés, llegué a la conclusión de que su animosidad estaba reservada para el acento hispano porque muchos lo asociaban con el tercer mundo.  El resultado final de todo este trauma fue congregarme con los cubanos y abrazar la cultura cubana más de lo que lo había hecho cuando vivía en Cuba. 

Pero congregarse con los cubanoamericanos solo provocó un duro despertar.  La mayoría de este grupo había salido de Cuba cinco o seis años antes que yo.  Sus habilidades en inglés eran mejores y la mayoría había tratado de asimilarse completamente a la cultura estadounidense.  En lugar de acercarse a mí como uno de los suyos, menospreciaron mis habilidades lingüísticas y los patrones de comportamiento cubanos.  Aún más pernicioso y dañino para mi estado emocional fue la degradación del valor de mi familia porque no coincidía con las carteras financieras de sus familias en ese momento.  No importa que fuera imposible subir la escalera promocional de la América corporativa en tan poco tiempo.  Mi desencanto con este grupo llegó a su punto máximo cuando no me invitaron a una fiesta patrocinada por una organización católica porque sus organizadores pertenecían a la ola de cubanoamericanos de 1960/61.  Me sorprendió que las decisiones se tomaran sobre la membresía del clan y las fechas de salida, en lugar de la fe religiosa, la amistad o la mera autoestima de uno.  También aprendí una lección importante que se me había escapado por completo cuando vivía en Cuba: que una de las razones por las que la Revolución de Castro llegó al poder fue por las tontas y sin sentido distinciones de clase que se basaron principalmente en el nepotismo y que impidieron el establecimiento de una meritocracia.  Para construir las bases de una Cuba mejor tendríamos que dar cabida a los ideales de tolerancia, empatía, mérito e igualdad de oportunidades para todos.  Llegué a la conclusión de que la mayoría en este grupo no estaba lista para abrazar mis ideales para una Cuba inclusiva en el futuro. 

Mirando el comportamiento anormal de algunos cubanoamericanos desde el punto de vista de hoy, puedo entenderlos mejor.  Sin darse cuenta de que ser bicultural y bilingüe eran atributos positivos en el mercado laboral, la mayoría optó por borrar cualquier rastro de la herencia cubana que habían heredado de su patria o de sus familias.  Después de invertir cinco o seis años en esta trayectoria, se negaron a darle una oportunidad a los refugiados cubanos recién llegados.  Para ellos, estos cubanos eran parte del pasado que habían reprimido.  Muchos de estos cubanoamericanos se convirtieron en seguidores en lugar de líderes en sus últimos años, en detrimento de sus carreras.  Estos son los mismos hispanos engreídos que alcanzan los niveles más altos en la jerarquía federal y niegan asistencia a otros hispanos que están tratando de lograr el mismo hito.  Su respuesta típica es: “Lo hice por mi cuenta, tú deberías hacer lo mismo”. 

Y, sin embargo, otra posible explicación del comportamiento aberrante de este grupo de cubanoamericanos era que esperaban que yo me convirtiera en un duplicado exacto de ellos y que parara de quejarme. Naturalmente, esto mostró una enorme falta de empatía, ya que era imposible para un recién llegado dominar el idioma inglés en tan poco tiempo o abrazar una cultura tan diferente.  La ayuda que necesitaba era que ellos bajaran a mi nivel, a los sentimientos de desesperanza que estaba sintiendo en ese momento, y que me animaran a encontrar formas de como alcanzar el sueño americano. 

Pronto aprendí que había un mundo más diverso afuera.  Conocí bolivianos, ecuatorianos, puertorriqueños, mexicanos, argentinos, etc. Todos compartiamos nuestra herencia hispana y nuestro idioma español.  Estuve expuesto a diferentes bailes, una multitud de expresiones idiomáticas y comida fantástica.  Para mi gran sorpresa, algunos de mis amigos hispanos no compartían mis mismos puntos de vista anticomunistas.  De hecho, algunos pensaron que Fidel, El Che y Ho Chi Minh eran visionarios que habían mejorado las condiciones de vida de los proletarios de sus países.  Algunos incluso usaban camisetas del Che como una declaración de moda o como una señal de protesta contra el “Imperio Estadounidense”.  Me di cuenta de que era hora de expandir mi red de amigos y seguir adelante. 

Si bien mi inglés había mejorado significativamente, todavía tenía un largo camino por recorrer.  Me acerqué a personas nacidas en el extranjero porque me di cuenta de que también estaban experimentando las mismas dificultades en este país.  Esto creó un gran vínculo de comprensión entre nosotros, pero amplió la división con los estadounidenses.  Celebramos y honramos las diferencias culturales de los demás: cuanto más étnicas, mejor.  Esta luna de miel duró mucho tiempo, hasta que me di cuenta de que había diferencias cruciales entre nosotros.  Por ejemplo, todo el concepto de matrimonios arreglados de antemano me resultaba incomprensible.  Descubrir que los musulmanes no comían lechón ni consumían bebidas alcohólicas me hizo darme cuenta de lo incómodos que se sentirían con la cocina cubana o las veladas cubanas, donde celebrar con Cuba Libres hechos con auténtico Ron Bacardí cubano-americano y con lechón asado, arroz y frijoles negros eran la norma. 

Y es precisamente en este momento cuando sentí una experiencia religiosa al darme cuenta del poder que ejercían el grupo mayoritario de la población. Para lograr mis metas y aspiraciones en la escuela, el trabajo y la política, tenía que acercarme a la cultura dominante.  Siendo mayoría, controlaban las estructuras de poder en el país.  Si quería salir adelante, tenía que bailar mambo con ellos. 

Además, ocurrió un cambio importante en mi vida.  Mi hijo Stephen nació en Fairfax, Virginia, y me di cuenta de que pasaría el resto de mi vida en los Estados Unidos.  Si alguna vez volviera a vivir en una Cuba Libre, tendría que pasar por el mismo doloroso proceso de aculturación que pasé cuando llegué a los Estados Unidos.  Yo no estaba dispuesto a hacerlo, lo que me dejaba con la única opción de vacacionar en una Habana que volviera a ser libre. 

Abracé la cultura estadounidense, manteniendo mis raíces cubanas.  Me di cuenta del valor de formar coaliciones para efectuar el cambio.  La única forma de evitar una tiranía de la mayoría era actuando a través de coaliciones.  Me convertí en miembro de coaliciones hispano/afroamericanas e hispano/caucásicas (blancas).  Los problemas que merecían soluciones se volvieron más importantes que el estatus de ser minoría.  Si bien todavía hablo con un ligero acento, predico que no pienso con uno.  Les digo a los reclutadores que es más importante en una meritocracia observar las habilidades de los solicitantes que sus acentos.  Tomando en cuenta que los Estados Unidos opera en una economía global, ser bilingüe y bicultural son activos muy buscados. 

De la misma manera, me siento más seguro de mí mismo y soy capaz de reconocer que hay gente buena y gente mala en cada grupo.  Ahora depende de mí ser más selectivo con aquellos con quienes quiero asociarme. 

Compartir ideologías similares, valores, normas culturales judeocristianas son las fuerzas impulsoras que utilizo cuando selecciono amigos.  Por ejemplo, estaría traicionando mis ideales de democracia si apoyara organizaciones marxistas como Black Lives Matter — después de que Patrisse Cullors, una de sus fundadoras, reconoció abiertamente que ella y sus compañeros organizadores eran “marxistas capacitados”.  Estoy en contra de todo lo que huela a socialismo, comunismo y marxismo.  Prefiero apoyar “Black Beans Matter” – para mostrar mi solidaridad con el CEO de Goya Foods, Robert Unanue – después de que la izquierda radical llamara por un boicot a su empresa debido a su apoyo público al Presidente Trump.  De manera similar, mi fuerte creencia en la ley y el orden y Blue Lives Matter me llevó a estar en contra de ANTIFA, una organización terrorista que abraza la anarquía. 

Y, sin embargo, si bien reconozco que soy un híbrido de dos culturas, la cubana y la estadounidense, y soy mejor persona por eso, tengo que ser fiel a mí mismo y reconocer que he sobrevivido a esta trayectoria debido a mi fundamento moral de mi juventud.  Cuando yo vivía de niño en La Habana, fueron mis padres, mis abuelos, mi niñera, mis instructores religiosos y sacerdotes, mis maestros de escuela privada quienes me enseñaron a vivir una vida virtuosa.  Fueron ellos quienes me inculcaron la importancia de los valores fundamentales y el desarrollo del carácter. 

Cuando mis padres temían por sus vidas después de que los comunistas tomaron el poder en 1959, nos mantuvimos unidos como una sola familia.  Todo lo que nos rodeaba dejó de ser importante excepto el uno al otro.  Cuando salimos de Cuba sin nada más que la ropa que llevábamos puesta, enfrentamos la adversidad con valentía porque no había nadie que nos cubriera las espaldas.  Aprendí el idioma inglés por inmersión completa.  No había programas de inglés como segundo idioma en ese entonces, solo un diccionario de español-inglés y quemar el aceite de medianoche.  Cuando mis padres necesitaron que mi hermana y yo los ayudáramos a traducir documentos del inglés al español, los ayudamos con mucho gusto.  Toda nuestra existencia giraba en torno a nuestra familia. 

Cuando se trataba de ganarme la vida, comencé a trabajar poco después de llegar al área metropolitana de Washington, DC.  Yo era repartidor de periódicos, lavaplatos, mesero, burócrata del gobierno.  Ningún trabajo, siempre que fuera honesto, era demasiado degradante para mí.  Pagué mi propio automóvil y las matrículas universitarias y de escuela de posgrado, y, cuando la vida se volvió demasiado difícil de soportar, fue mi familia inmediata quien me brindó esa empatía adicional y la fuerza para continuar. 

Lo logré, y todos los inmigrantes “legales” y refugiados políticos en este país tienen las mismas oportunidades de forjarse un futuro mejor.  Estoy agradecido por todas las bendiciones que este país me ha brindado, y uso mi pluma prolíficamente para decirles a otros que no hay otro país en el mundo que brinde mejores oportunidades para lograr sus sueños. 

Y, sin embargo, me preocupa lo desconectados que están la mayoría de nuestros jóvenes hoy en día por conocer la historia de su país.  Están más apegados a los aparatos electrónicos que llevan consigo que a lo que hace grande a su país: una ciudad brillante sobre una colina.  Me pregunto sobre su voluntad de luchar para preservar lo que tienen, cuando no tienen idea de los sacrificios que sus antepasados ​​hicieron por ellos.  Me preocupo cuando me doy cuenta de que la mayoría de nuestras escuelas, colegios y universidades se han transformado en campos de adoctrinamiento antiestadounidense. 

Y cuando miro el estado disfuncional de la estructura familiar, entiendo por qué hay tanta violencia últimamente.  Cuando veo la gran cantidad de familias sin una figura paterna, me doy cuenta de por qué tantos de nuestros hijos tienen problemas para interactuar con las fuerzas del orden.  Y vuelvo a desear que hubiera más madres y padres que enseñaran a sus hijos cómo la supervivencia de la familia nuclear es la mejor manera de mantener a Estados Unidos grande. 

A lo largo de mi viaje de aculturación, he aprendido a abrazar la filosofía expuesta por una de las figuras principales del movimiento literario español conocido como la Generación del 98: Antonio Machado.

Él dijo célebremente “Caminante, tus pasos son el camino, y nada más. Caminante, no hay camino, el camino se hace al caminar, al caminar se hace el camino, y al mirar atrás se ve el camino que nunca se recorrerá de nuevo. Caminante, no hay camino, sólo estelas sobre el mar.”

Si bien el proceso de aculturación ha sido traumático, soy un mejor ciudadano de mi país adoptivo y un mejor ciudadano del mundo.

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA – FRIEND OR FOE?

British statesman Sir Winston Churchill once declared that “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” 

I agree with that capitalism, unlike any other economic system in the world, has lifted billions of people out of poverty and provided much hope to the downtrodden.   

But I’m also familiar with Vladimir Lenin’s quotation that “the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

Who’s right and who’s wrong?

They are both right!

Unfettered capitalism in the twenty-first century remains a threat to the nationalist sentiments of all nations – even for those socialist countries that have embraced an out-of-wedlock affair with capitalist forces.

What has changed the status quo for capitalism is the rise of the People’s Republic of China on the world stage. The General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping has not been shy about announcing his goal of world domination. But this has not acted as a deterrent to U.S. businesses that are more concerned with tapping a 1.4 billion consumer market than protecting the well-being of their own country.  It is time that U.S. politicians stop fooling themselves with calling China our competitor in the global market.  China is the enemy and has to be treated as such!

U.S. politicians, presidents, and businessmen attempted to justify their economic engagement with China by arguing that China would thrive by exposing itself to the market economies of the world, which would generate a powerful middle class and a civil society that would bring about democracy.  All of these men and women proved to be wrong by drinking the tranquilizing drug of deluding themselves.

Communist governments throughout history have put in place effective propaganda bureaus to masquerade the atrocities they carry out. They paint a false picture to the world community of having a workers’ paradise where the government takes cares of all its citizens according to their needs. This image is destroyed immediately when you ask the following question: if communist countries were such heaven, why are so many citizens from these countries anxious to emigrate to Western countries? Ah, now they realize the big lie! Moreover, all you have to do to get a grip on the lies is to see what these communist countries call themselves: People’s Republic of China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (for North Korea), German Democratic Republic (for the former East Germany), and Republic of Cuba. All of these countries are not republics by any stretch of the imagination, and their people are certainly not in charge of their destinies! The Communist Party in these nations reigns supreme over their people!

Under all communist regimes – whether in China, Russia, North Korea, or Cuba – the Communist Party is omnipotent.  It follows that citizens serve as raw material for the survival of the state government, and all religions and their gods are banned.  Therefore, communism aims to eliminate all class distinctions by making almost all of its citizens poor – except the elites who are the members of the communist parties. 

The lack of concern for human life was evident when the Chinese authorities rolled out its tanks in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 and massacred at least 10,000 people – mainly students who were calling for democracy, free speech, and a free press in China. 

And the human rights violations have not subsided in China.  2020 was an appalling year for China that revealed massive crackdowns on dissent in Hong Kong and Tibet, repression of Muslim Uighurs, and attempts to cover up the COVID-19 outbreak.

After all the war crimes that Putin has committed against the Ukrainian people and that the world audiences have watched on TV and social media platforms, the United Nations General Assembly voted on April 7, 2022, to suspend Russia from its membership in the U.N. Human Rights Council. Among the countries who voted against this resolution were China, Cuba, and Iran — all countries with similar human-rights violations.

During the first week of April of 2022, Shanghai – a city with approximately 26 million people – has reported more than 20,000 COVID cases every day.  The immediate and harsh response by members of the Chinese Communist Party has been to impose a strict lockdown of the city, and all residents have been ordered to stay at home.  Considering the lack of supplies, residents of the city have been looting emergency supply centers due to shortages of food and drinks.  There are videos available where Shanghai residents can be heard screaming from their apartments.  Once again, the Chinese officials are more concerned with containment of the virus than supplying the basic necessities to its citizens. Do you think that these Chinese officials treat the citizens from other countries better than its own? I don’t think so!

While China has a socialist market economy, make no mistake about it – the Communist Party rules supreme.  While the Chinese government authorities do allow a handful of billionaires, these “selected few” cannot forget who’s their daddy. This became quite obvious to Jack Ma – a Chinese billionaire and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate.  After he gave a speech in 2020 in Shanghai where he criticized Chinese regulators for stifling innovation, the valuation of his companies declined by nearly 50%, and he was forced to sell South China Morning Post (a Hong Kong-based daily).  As punishment, Chinese regulators issued a $2.8 billion fine on Alibaba for abusing its “dominant market position.” Ma has been seen in public only twice since October 2020 – fueling speculation as to his whereabouts.  Obviously, Ma got too big for his britches, and the Chinese Communist Party members lowered the hammer on him.

After reaping record profits, most U.S. businesses have decided to manufacture almost everything in China because the labor cost is much lower.  This was not the brightest ideas as evinced by the supply-chain breakdowns triggered by the COVID-19 virus. An economic model that relied on multiple suppliers, perhaps more expensive, would have worked better.  It’s time to bring the manufacturing capacity back to the U.S.

Everyone remembers the stress felt by most Americans during the COVID epidemic when 90% of pharmaceutical products — including antibiotics — were made in China.  An article in Xinhua, one of the mouthpieces of the Chinese Communist Party, suggested that China could have imposed pharmaceutical export controls — which would have caused a spike of COVID cases and deaths in the U.S.  If Americans were oblivious to the danger that China represented to the survival of the United States, this should have provided a wake-up call.

Tech giant Microsoft announced the withdrawal of its LinkedIn social media service in 2021 from China — that previously included a social feed and the ability to share posts and articles.  LinkedIn had launched its operation in China in 2014, which at one point reached 54 million users. But the Chinese government started pursuing recently a policy of pushing tech firms out of the news business.  This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the communist practice of always controlling the message disseminated to its citizens.  In China, there can only be one fake-news media outlet – one controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Many of us view what happened to LinkedIn as poetic justice for their past delusions.  To ingratiate itself with Chinese government officials in the past, LinkedIn employees censored posts and accounts that they thought might have offended Beijing.  For example, my LinkedIn account – with over 7,000 followers – was permanently cancelled because I referred to the COVID-19 as the “Chinese” virus.  I would have gladly switched the designation to the “Chinese Communist Party” virus – if I had been given a prior warning.

I want to be clear that when discussing the top enemy of the United States, I’m referring to the members of the Chinese Communist Party, its General Secretary Xi Jinping, and all the Chinese people who support them. I have nothing against those Chinese people who are against the oppression that the Chinese Communist Party subjects them to on a daily basis. They are the victims, and I express my total solidarity with them.

The top leaders of BlackRock – the biggest asset management company in the world – required American businesses to focus not just on the bottom line, but also on environmental and social concerns.  But when it came to China, Larry Fink (BlackRock’s CEO) did not want to alienate the Chinese officials.  In a recent interview, Fink said the following: “I would qualify the Chinese leadership as one of the best leadership teams in the world.” Obviously, Fink was sending a hidden message to Chinese officials not to expect any criticism on human rights or social issues from him.  Profits came ahead of repression.

All Americans must recognize and treat China as an adversary.  China has launched a campaign of economic espionage and infiltration of American institutions. It has undertaken a rapid buildup of nuclear and conventional forces that pose a threat to Taiwan.  And it maintains a disinformation machine that seeks aims to undermine the U.S. all over the world – like its willingness to shift the blame for the spread of the COVID-19 virus to a U.S. military laboratory.  This flies in the face of Chinese officials not allowing American scientists to visit the central Chinese city of Wuhan to investigate the origins of the virus. If there was nothing to hide, why did the Chinese government officials behave in this way?!!!

So, what’s America to do?

U.S. consumers must purchase “made in the U.S.” products rather than those with the “made in China” label – even when the U.S. products have a higher price tag.  It is not only the patriotic duty for Americans, but we all know the challenges faced when purchasing products with the lowest price tags.

The U.S. Government must bolster alliances in Asia – as this is a fertile region for countries that fear China’s encroachment on their sovereignty – especially countries like the Philippines and Vietnam that have sparred in the past with China over contested claims in the South China Sea. 

Rather than taking a reactive posture, the U.S. Government should approve massive arms sales to Taiwan.  And these arm sales must be carried NOW — not when China has launched an invasion of this island. China has not hidden its plans to bring Taiwan to its fold.  A lot more lives could have been saved if the U.S. had sold more military hardware to Ukraine before “war criminal” Putin launched his invasion.

The U.S. Government should hit China with sanctions for its human rights abuses and trade practices. 

The U.S. Government must continue to demand the World Trade Organization to switch the “developing country” designation of China with a “developed country” one.  China is a “developed country,” and it should not receive the special and differential treatment on trade that are reserved for “developing countries.”

Most importantly, the U.S. Government must demand reparations from China for the COVID-19 outbreak.  As of March 31, 2022, there were 80,019,128 confirmed cases of COVID in the U.S., and 978,648 deaths.  Keep mind that we have lost more Americans due to COVID than the approximately 58,220 military casualties in the Vietnam War.

The U.S. Government must complete building of The Wall and require Chinese President Xi Jinping from exporting fentanyl across the Southern border. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 107,000 Americans died as a result of drug overdose in the 12-month period ending in November 2021, and 66% of overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl. China manufactures fentanyl, while banks and the Mexican drug cartels get rich by selling these synthetic opioids at the expense of Americans. These deaths are meaningless to members of the Chinese Communist Party who consider communist ideology supreme over the sanctity of human life.

U.S. consumers must punish with their pocketbooks those U.S. companies and sport teams and athletes who overlook the unfair trade policies and human rights abuses of the Chinese authorities. 

The U.S. Government must enforce evenly across party lines the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) – which requires Americans acting on behalf of foreign governments or entities to register and describe their work to the U.S. Department of Justice. Over the span of fourteen months, the CEFC China Energy paid $4.8 million to entities controlled by Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden. Neither of them had registered with the U.S. Department of Justice as required by FARA. Americans expect U.S. Attorney General Garland to name a special counsel to investigate this matter.

The U.S. Government must ban lobbying on behalf of Chinese military and intelligence-linked companies.  Far too many former U.S. politicians and ambassadors are making a fortune by lobbying the Washington powerbrokers on behalf of Chinese companies.  This must stop!

Similarly, ban Chinese military- and intelligence-linked companies from trading in American stock exchanges.

Put a stop to research by American universities, investors, and corporations with Chinese military and intelligence projects. According to the College Foreign Gift and Contract Report database indicates that China awarded $120 million in contracts to U.S. universities in 2021 – something that most American parents are unaware of.  Make no mistake about it – China enters into these agreements to spread its propaganda and to keep an eye on its dissenters.

Media outlets need to ask questions about links to China when interviewing Wall Street heads and Silicon Valley giants rather than holding adoring interviews with them and ignoring their past anti-American and pro-China statements.

Engagement with China should be replaced with a reciprocity policy.  If the Washington Times newspaper is banned in China, the Chinese Communist Party should be prohibited from owning newspapers in the U.S.  If Amazon is restricted in the Chinese markets, Alibaba should also be restricted in the U.S. If U.S. universities, nonprofits, and religious organizations are closely monitored in China, Confucius Institutes and Chinese Student and Scholars Associations must be closely monitored or banned in the U.S.

Elect U.S. congressmen(women) who would enact or support legislation to stop China from buying U.S. farmlands.

Never allow Communist China Party members to dictate to U.S. politicians whether they can visit Taiwan or not.

In conclusion, bullies consistently demand the unequal application of rules.  Bullies are well aware that others back down in the face of aggression, so they capitalize on these fears to their advantage. The worst mistake that one can make when facing a bully is to reach an unhealthy compromise to prevent a confrontation.  The only way to stop bullies and get their attention is to stand up to them. 

The time is now to remove the wool over our eyes and treat China as the enemy!

IF GIVEN A CHANCE, WOMEN CAN HANG, TOO!

I take very seriously the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saying, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Having said this, I considered what Harvard President Larry Summers said about women in the sciences to be totally inaccurate. Ergo, I wrote the following Letter to the Editor, which the Washington Times published on January 30, 2005. Mr. Summers resigned as Harvard’s president on February 21, 2006, in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty. Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust became the first woman to serve as Harvard’s president from July 2007 to the present.

Following is the letter:

“Suzanne Fields is outraged at the negative reaction caused by the remarks made by Harvard President Lawrence Summers regarding the scarcity of women in scientific and engineering positions. (“Seeking Diversity at Harvard, “ Op-Ed, Monday). Mr. Summers attributed this underrepresentation to women having lesser innate abilities than men in the fields.

For Ms. Fields to feel sorry for Mr. Summers’ behavior is to be out of touch with the discriminatory practices that have been prevalent in the history of this country. It was not too long ago than the norm in most households was for the husband to be the breadwinner, and the wife to be the housekeeper. Naturally, the molding of women to play secondary roles started during the normative years of childhood. While Ms. Fields indicated that Mr. Summers just tried to be provocative by examining the data compiled by those who study these topics, she doesn’t seem to realize that most of the studies were conducted by men.

Most of us are aware of the pernicious inclination of some people to explain group differences by relying on scientific studies. For example, differences in SAT scores between black and white Americans have been attributed to genetics. Is Ms. Fields willing to believe these unscientific conclusions? Or, better still, is she willing to accept the proposition that because white men have been the sole occupants of the White House, this disparity must be based on the genetic inferiority of other Americans?

Addressing the usual nature v. nurture arguments for gender differences has nothing to do with the outrage expressed at Mr. Summers’ remarks. Instead, it is based on the fact that Mr. Summers was out of line in making these remarks. First, he is a trained economist, not a scientist. Second, as president of Harvard, he has to be more careful about what he says because his target audience is much wider than scientists. Third, though there are scientific studies supporting his position, other studies reach the opposite conclusion. Finally, Mr. Summers is not qualified to speak about the discriminatory treatment that women of this country have suffered.

If Mr. Summers expects to last as Harvard president, he has better take a remedial sensitivity course soon.”

IN PURSUIT OF PERFECTION?!!

There are so many people out there looking for Prince Charming, for the right selectee, for the best writing sample, for the best me. Perfection is a goal that we all strive for. We might get close to it, but it is unattainable.

So, why waste so much time and resources looking for something that is elusive? Because we delude ourselves that we ourselves are perfect. Hubris is at play with this mindset.

Let me ask you how many times you have turned in a writing assignment at school or at work, and got it back with a zillion corrections – some grammatically correct, while others mere stylistic preferences. And when you made the requested corrections, how many times did you get the original draft with more corrections? And when you made these, you got your draft back with the language that you used in your original draft. There is insecurity and a low self-esteem by those practicing this behavior. You’ve heard of the popular saying of “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” And, yet, this exercise in futility goes on every day in the federal bureaucracy – all to the detriment of excellence, and the demoralization of employees.

And how many times have you been at job interviews where you answered every question asked, submitted a stellar application package, dressed to impress, and only got turned down without an offer? This scenario should resonate heavily with minority and women applicants. Isn’t it true that selecting officials have to take a leap of faith when selecting an applicant for a vacant job – after they reviewed the application package and conducted a 45-minute job interview? Often, this ideal candidate looks very much like the selecting official, and he/she is the one who gets the job offer. And, often, this ideal candidate turns out not to be the best candidate. And the minority candidate never received the promotion because the selecting official wrongfully thought that speaking with an accent was the equivalent of thinking with an accent.  And the female applicant was kept down because to many selecting officials wearing a skirt meant not being cerebral and being too emotional.

Looking back when I was in the federal workforce, there was a deathly virus around that propelled many employees to seek self-fulfillment and happiness by securing a Senior Executive Service (SES) position.  There was no consideration given to one’s qualifications, to the potential disruption of quality of life, to the well-being of family members.  There are many examples of many unqualified applicants who slept themselves to the top and blocked the promotion of many with the best qualifications.  To them, an SES position equaled ultimate success which had to be secured “by all means necessary.”  But this ultimate success was self-centered and led many to broken marriages, addictions, and even suicides. 

These selfish and delusional employees would have benefited greatly by the advice offered by that the mid-19th century philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” The magic formula is to find a balance.  Indeed, a balance between your professional life and the difference that you can make in others’ lives or your own life by remedying those parts of yourself that need improvement.  A myopic sense of your self-worth ignores the key existential question that all of us will ask ourselves at one time or another – What is the purpose for my being here? Why me, and not someone more talented than I am? What is my contribution to life?

These selfish and delusional employees don’t realize that what really matters is not what they expect from life, but rather what life expects from them. The challenge becomes what they do and how they react to the growth-opportunities that life throws at their feet.

And how many times have you or one of your friends looked for a Prince Charming or a Dulcinea? And, here, a quote by American singer and actress Cher is on point “When you stop trying to find the right man and start becoming the right woman, the right man will find his way to you.” And, some go on and marry that someone whom they think is the embodiment of perfection, only to be disillusioned. And their remedy for the error is to try change the person to mirror the ideal mate. This arrogance leads to a disastrous end – as adults are incapable of making major changes to their personalities. We might even turn out attention to the Biblical passage in 1 Samuel 16:7 for help: “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” In other words, stop looking for perfection in material possessions and transitory traits, and look at those things that really matter!

So often, you find individuals with wonderful significant others who emphasize the 10% that they don’t like while ignoring the 90% that is great. Who in his/her right mind makes it a point to find the ideal person that he/she had in mind?!!! They don’t make such persons! While I’m the first one to say that no one should ignore our standards when looking for a partner, I think it is realistic to lower our demands. For example, our partner may be a wonderful and caring parent but not a good handyman. Or, he/she may be lots of fun to have around, but you can’t stomach being around his/her family. What to do to restore the balance? If he’s not a handyman, there are plenty of contractors to do the work for you. If you can’t stomach his family, limit the times that you get together. If his family is out-of-state, stay in a hotel when attending reunions.

In all the above examples, the solution is for everyone to acquire a bit of humility by accepting the fact that no one is perfect. The sooner that they come to this realization, the sooner that they will enjoy what a wonderful world this could be.

I leave you with a wonderful poem by Nobel Prize–winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. The poem addresses the need for everyone to take responsibility for his/her mistakes, and do something to improve himself/herself. Rather than blame everyone and everything for their imperfections, the road to recovery is to take ownership of one’s flaws. This is a much healthier process than trying to look for Mr. or Ms. Perfect.

Don’t blame anyone,

never complain of anyone or anything

Because basically you have made

of your life what you wanted.

Accept the difficulties of edifying yourself

And the worth of starting to correct your character.

The triumph of the true man

arises from the ashes of his mistakes.

Never complain of your loneliness or your luck.

Face it with courage and accept it.

Somehow, they are the result of your acts and

It shows that you’ll always win.

Don’t feel frustrated by your own failures,

And don’t unload them to someone else.

Accept yourself now

or you’ll go on justifying yourself like a child.

Remember that any time is good to start

And that no time is so good to give up.

Don’t forget that the cause

of your present is your past,

As the cause of your future

will be your present.

Learn from the brave, from the strong,

From who doesn’t accept situations

From who will live in spite of everything.

Think less of your problems

and more of your work.

Learn to arise from your pain,

And to be greater than

the greatest of your obstacles.

Look at the mirror of yourself

and you’ll be free and strong

And you’ll stop being

a puppet of circumstances.

And, here is the Spanish version:

NO CULPES A NADIE

No culpes a nadie, nunca te quejes de nada ni de nadie porque fundamentalmente Tu has hecho tu vida.

Acepta la responsabilidad de edificarte a ti mismo y el valor de acusarte en el fracaso para volver a empezar, corrigiéndote.

El triunfo del verdadero hombre surge de las cenizas del error. Nunca te quejes del ambiente o de los que te rodean, hay quienes en tu mismo ambiente supieron vencer, las circunstancias son buenas o malas según la voluntad o fortaleza de tu corazón.

No te quejes de tu pobreza, de tu soledad o de tu suerte, enfrenta con valor y acepta que de una u otra manera son el resultado de tus actos y la prueba que has de ganar.

No te amargues con tu propio fracaso ni se lo cargues a otro, acéptate ahora o seguirás justificándote como un niño, recuerda que cualquier momento es bueno para comenzar y que ninguno es tan terrible para claudicar.

Deja ya de engañarte, eres la causa de ti mismo, de tu necesidad, de tu fracaso.

Si Tú has sido el ignorante, el irresponsable, Tú únicamente Tú, nadie pudo haberlo sido por ti.

No olvides que la causa de tu presente es tu pasado, como la causa de tu futuro es tu presente.

Aprende de los fuertes, de los audaces, imita a los violentos, a los enérgicos, a los vencedores, a quienes no aceptan situaciones, a quienes vencieron a pesar de todo.

Piensa menos en tus problemas y mas en tu trabajo y tus problemas sin alimento morirán Aprende a nacer del dolor y a ser mas grande, que es el mas grande de los obstáculos.

Mírate en el espejo de ti mismo. Comienza a ser sincero contigo mismo reconociéndote por tu valor, por tu voluntad y por tu debilidad para justificarte.

Recuerda que dentro de ti hay una fuerza que todo puede hacerlo, reconociéndote a ti mismo, mas libre y fuerte, y dejaras de ser un títere de las circunstancias, porque Tu mismo eres el destino y nadie puede sustituirte en la construcción de tu destino.

Levántate y mira por las montañas y respira la luz del amanecer. Tu eres parte de la fuerza de la vida. Nunca pienses en la suerte, porque la suerte es el pretexto de los fracasados.

AUTHENTICITY OF LEADERS

We are all familiar with the differences between management and leadership. While both serve an organization well, the leader brings about change more rapidly. This is because managers get their authority by being selected for their positions, while leaders gather followers through their own choice.

Managers rule by policies, rules, and regulations, whereas leaders rely on their own intuition. Thus, managers approach problem-solving from a perspective that relies on the way things have been done in the past, while leaders think outside the box.

With companies competing in a global economy, it is essential that they have a cadre of employees who expand their business practices away from just the American way of doing of business. Even the Federal Government must embrace new ways of doing business with an increasingly diverse U.S. population, as the 2010 Census has shown. Leaders are best suited for these roles.

However, in order for leaders to succeed, they have to be viewed by their followers as authentic. Some people think that this is something that one is born with, when, in reality, it is something that is given to the leader by his or her followers.

Authenticity deals with what others see in you. Authentic leaders are closely grounded to their origins and core values. They know where they come from, what they stand for, and where they are going. They are proud of their countries of origin or geographic regions, while embracing the societal and business norms where they operate.

Naturally, a true leader has to be careful not to lose his/her authenticity when presenting different faces to different people. Not an easy task, but one that is mandatory. Thus, if a leader is reared in a Christian household, he/she must be careful when addressing audiences from non-Christian backgrounds.

This does not require the leader to be fraudulent; it means that the leader must be adept at showing different facets of his/her personality to different interest groups. To do otherwise would result in the leader being able to recruit followers only with whom he/she shares some common attributes.

To show different aspects of a leader’s personality is achievable because authenticity reflects the leader’s inner self, not his/her talent for playacting – as practiced by most politicians.

Authenticity also requires leaders to have the courage to fight the conformity expected from monoculture organizations. Therefore, followers must be reassured constantly that the leader is not going to sell them to the highest bidder. They must know that the leader will be passionate about doing what is right, not what is popular or politically expedient.

All this talk about authenticity reminds me of a traumatic experience that I encountered when I left Cuba in 1966. Upon my arrival to Washington, DC, I was concerned about my poor English-speaking skills, as they could adversely impact my ability to obtain the American Dream.

Thus, I was thrilled when I met other Cubans who had come to the DC area five years earlier. While I was expecting acceptance by these Cubans, I generally encountered rejection. Most of these Cubans laughed at my thick Cuban accent, at the way I was dressed, even at my hairstyle. They did not want to mingle with Cubans like me because they viewed success as complete assimilation to the American model – not realizing that you could succeed by embracing both cultures.

I ran into some of these Cubans twenty years later and was shocked by their demeanor. Now, they wanted to be more Cuban than the Cuban founding fathers. Their obsession with everything Cuban was indicative that they wanted to make up for lost time. In a very short time, the ideal prototype changed from being the American model to the Cuban model.

Like all converts, these Cubans came across as lacking authenticity. Sadly, they did not get many people or employees to follow them. Others viewed their disregard for their roots as an inability to respect and value other diverse cultures – a serious liability in today’s heterogeneous marketplace and work environment.

And, finally, many of us saw House Speaker John Boehner tell ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer on November 8, 2012, that he would not make it his mission to repeal the Affordable Care Act after President Obama was re-elected to a second term. Speaker Boehner stated that “it’s pretty clear … that Obamacare is the law of the land.” Yet, Speaker Boehner succumbed to the whims of some House Republicans on September 30, 2013, to force a government shutdown if the Affordable Care Act was not defunded. So, he allowed the first government shutdown in seventeen years, furloughed 800,000 civil servants, exposed the Nation to a potential terrorist attack because some House Republicans wanted to ignore what was, by Boehner’s own admission, the law of the land. Such reckless behavior illustrates that these elected politicians lack authenticity and are opportunists. Authentic leaders keep their promises – especially those made on national television just eleven months ago.

COMING TO GRIPS WITH MY CATHOLIC FAITH

Before moving to the Tampa Area in Florida in 2014, I had taken a leave of absence from attending Sunday Mass in Virginia.  My hope was that the homilies that presiding priests and deacons gave would be a source of spiritual inspiration to carry me through the week.  

With very few exceptions, the homilies were a big disappointment.  The majority of these dealt with events that transpired hundredths of years ago and which lacked relevance or connectivity with events that were happening in today’s world.  And there is so much happening in today’s world to prepare great homilies!

Among the reasons for this disconnect, in my opinion, is the unwillingness by Church leaders to alienate parishioners and influential political leaders by affirming key religious dogmas.  In other words, financial contributions deposited at collection baskets replace the purpose of the homily: to draw out the meaning of the passages in Scripture by making them relevant to people’s current lives.

When I moved to the Tampa Area, I hoped that things would be different.  They weren’t. 

During one of the first Sunday Masses that I attended at the church closest to me (in Trinity, Pasco County), the Deacon gave a homily where he explained the meaning of the word “transubstantiation” — the conversion of the substance of the Eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ at consecration – by comparing it to another word used in the vernacular, “transgenderism” — a term that includes the many ways that people’s gender identities can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth. The Church recognizes that every human person is created in the image and likeness of God, male or female (Gen. 1:26-27). Thus, the Deacon was making a comparison that was incompatible with the Church’s teachings.

The next challenge came in October of 2021.  Upon reading the Sunday bulletin, I discovered that October was designated as “Respect Life Month” and the first Sunday would be observed as “Respect Life Sunday.” It went on to say that “as Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning of life to its end, and at every point in between.”

To get a head start, I sent an e-mail to the bishop in St. Petersburg in late September urging him to require all the priests under his jurisdiction to address the sanctity of life and the abomination of abortion at the Sunday homilies in October.  The Bishop never replied to my e-mail with a plan of action, and my parish priest never brought up in his homilies what the Catholic Church was celebrating in October – Life!

With this “don’t worry/be happy” policy in effect at most Catholic churches, it is not difficult to predict that they will fail miserably to attract and retain parishioners who believe in the true tenets of the Bible and the Catholic doctrines.  The downward slide in church attendance is already happening.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Two valiant priests took it upon themselves to give magnificent homilies recently that enriched the faith of their parishioners – Father James Altman from St. James the Less Catholic Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Father William Kosco from St. Henry’s Church, in Buckeye, Arizona.

Father Altman gained national attention in 2020 by releasing a video where he stated that Catholics who vote for Democratic candidates cannot go to heaven.  He said that “there will be 60 million aborted babies standing at the gates of heaven barring your Democrat entrance.” Amen!

For stating the plain truth, La Crosse Bishop William Callahan ordered Father Altman to resign his parish – which he has led since 2017 — for “ineffective leadership,” and which motivated him to file a Vatican appeal against his canonical removal. Catholics from all over the U.S. donated over $700,000 for his canonical defense and personal needs. Catholics do recognize a leader when they are in the presence of one!

Father Kosco also released a video, which has gone viral, of one of his homilies in 2021 stating that “we’ve just elected a Catholic president who is diametrically opposed to all of the basic moral principles that are proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church.” He indicated that Biden not only contradicts his faith due to his stance on abortion, but also in his support of “this gender silliness.” When asked a rhetorical question about “how in the world did this happen,” he answered because of the “cowardice” by most Catholic bishops.  So far, Father Kosco has been allowed by his bishop to continue with his preaching. Let’s hope that this support continues.  

But it is unfair to blame the bishops and the priests for the sad state of affairs in today’s Catholic Church.  The church official who has been most derelict in upholding the Church’s doctrines is none other than Pope Francis – who got elected to this position on March 13, 2013, after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. I prefer to call this Pope “El Papa Che” because of his Argentine ethnicity and his embrace of the socialist ideology of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

El Papa Che is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, the first Hispanic, and the first from outside Europe since Gregory III – a Syrian who reigned in the 8th century.  A lot of firsts that become meaningless after considering that El Papa Che holds globalist and socialist views that run counter to most Catholic principles.

After returning from World Youth Day in 2013 at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, El Papa Che placed two souvenirs from this trip – a beach ball and a sports jersey — on the altar at the Vatican, right next to the Tabernacle! That’s right, this Pope placed two profane items on the altar of one of the most important churches of all Christendom, and next to the Tabernacle – where the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar is kept. This was not a good omen of things to come for a pope that had just been selected as the head of the worldwide Catholic Church.

In July 2015, El Papa Che accepted from then Bolivian President Evo Morales a crucifix displaying Jesus nailed to a hammer and sickle – both prominent symbols of Marxism. To make things even worse, the Pope accepted this gift from a man (Morales) wearing a picture of Che Guevara on his jacket – a murderer responsible for the killing of innocent victims in Cuba in the name of communism. When some in the media tried to justify the Pope’s behavior by claiming that he had been taken by surprise, he responded: “I understand this work.  For me it wasn’t an offense.” He knew what he was doing!

But there was more to follow from this trip to Bolivia.  Quoting a fourth century bishop, El Papa Che characterized the unfettered pursuit of money as the “dung of the devil.”  During a speech in Paraguay in 2015, he expanded on his remarks in Bolivia by urging political and business leaders “not to yield to an economic model which is idolatrous, which needs to sacrifice human lives on the altar of money and profit.” El Papa Cha showed his true “red” colors by putting down capitalism and advocating for the redistribution of wealth to the poor. 

It should not come as a surprise that with El Papa Che’s Marxist ideology, he would butt heads with President Trump. Back in February 2016, the Pope said that Republican presidential candidate Trump was not “a good Christian” and that “a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” He continued his preaching to Catholics by admonishing them that “in encountering the diversity of foreigners, migrants and refugees, and in the intercultural dialogue that can emerge from this encounter, we have an opportunity to grow as Church and to enrich one another.” The Pope showed his globalist and open-border bona fides, which explains why he disagreed with the robust nationalistic views of President Trump.  Notice that the Pope made no distinction between “legal” and “illegal” immigrants.  To him, they are all children of God that should be allowed entry into the United States without the need to enforce immigration laws.

When asked in 2018 and 2021 for his views on the Ten Commandments, El Papa Che declared that “I observe them, but not as absolutes.” The Pope ignores the obvious – why would God give Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai in stone tablets if for no other reason that they never be changed! Indeed, the Pope’s remarks contradict the proscription of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (entry number 2072) that states; “the Ten Commandments are fundamentally immutable, and they oblige always and everywhere.  No one can dispense from them.” Not even El Papa Che!

In October of 2019, El Papa Che did the unthinkable again! He attended an idolatrous worship of the pagan goddess Pachamama (Mother Earth) and blessed this wooden image in the Vatican Gardens and Saint Peter’s Basilica. El Papa Che ignored the prescriptions of the First Commandment: “I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange gods before me.”

By divinizing Pachamama and the earth, El Papa Che contradicted the Church doctrine that always considered man as the king of corporeal creation.  Gen. 1:28 makes it quite clear: “And God blessed them [Adam and Eve] by saying: increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes, of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.” The Pope repeatedly presents man in his documents and speeches not as the master of nature, but as the servant of nature – which suits his climate-change advocacy.

During the summer of 2021, the United States Conference of Bishops went ahead with a plan that could deny communion to public figures who support abortion. By a vote of 168 to 55, they drew up a report on the meaning of the Eucharist – which will be put up for a final vote of the bishops in November of 2021, with two-thirds approval needed for adoption.  Of course, the Vatican would need to approve any action by the bishops. 

But, hold on! Not so fast! El Papa Che made an announcement in September 2021 by warning the bishops that “the problem is not theological, it’s pastoral.” But what’s more theological that the Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”? Oh, I forgot that El Papa Che does not believe that the Ten Commandments are “absolutes.” The Pope went on to explain that when defending a principle, some bishops act in a way “that is not pastoral” and “enter the political sphere.”

The problem is that El Papa Che has not always led by example.  In fact, he’s transformed himself into a politician on many occasions.  Former President Obama stated in December of 2014 that “Pope Francis personally issued an appeal to him and then Cuban President Raul Castro” to encourage the United States and Cuba to pursue a closer relationship, and, then, hosted the U.S. and Cuban delegations in the Vatican to advance this initiative.  El Papa Che was not acting as the Vicar of Christ, but as a politician in this instance.

And when El Papa Che visited Communist Cuba in 2015, he only met with the President Raul Castro and even with former Dictator Fidel Castro.  But he chose not to anger the Cuban head of state by not meeting with the human-rights dissidents who had challenged the entrenched poverty, hunger, and lack of liberties that the Cuban Communist Party had subjected the Cuban population for decades.  Again, El Papa Che forgot to follow his own advice to leave politics aside and act in a pastoral way.

El Papa Che met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Vatican in October 2021, and will meet with Biden at the end of the month.  Pelosi supports abortion rights, and Biden dropped his support of the Hyde Amendment during the 2020 Democratic primary – the law that blocks the use of federal funds for most abortions.  Most recently, Biden stated that the Texas law that bans abortions after as early as six weeks into pregnancy is “almost un-American” and an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights” as guaranteed by the Roe v. Wade decision.  Again, where is El Papa Che’s pastoral v. political admonition?!!! Moreover, the Pope ignores the advice that Jesus gave to differentiate between the spiritual and material worlds: “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” Obviously, El Papa Che aims to be both, a politician and a religious leader – not what Jesus wanted!

Archbishop Cordileone, whose eccelesial territory includes Pelosi’s congressional district, noted that in the 1960s, prominent Catholic segregationists were excommunicated by then-Archbishop Joseph Rummel of New Orleans for refusing to take a stand against racial integration.

“Rummel recognized that prominent, high-profile public advocacy for racism was scandalous: It violated core Catholic teachings and basic principles of justice, and also led others to sin,” said Archbishop Cordileone.The same, he said, is true of prominent Catholics who support abortion rights.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone showed immense courage and respect for Catholic doctrine by banning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in May of 2022 from receiving Holy Communion because of her support for abortion rights.  The Archbishop acted in accordance with Canon 915 in the 1983 Code of Canon Law of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church that forbids “the administration of Holy Communion to those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared or who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin.” Abortion is a serious sin.  It negates the right to life to an unborn person. But when Speaker Pelosi met with El Papa Che in June of 2022, he defied Archbishop Cordileone order by giving her Communion. But he didn’t stop there.  To get his point across about how displeased he was with Cordileone, he denied him a promotion to cardinal and named a progressive, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, in his place.

We live in a world where Catholics are under constant attack.  We might as well get ready for an upcoming fight with the “woke” crowd in the U.S when they attempt to replace the “Merry Christmas” greeting with a “Merry Holidays” one. 

In the United States, we have an administration that is populated by socialist Democrats who want to replace God with a secular government.

In the Vatican, we have a Pope who holds globalists, anti-capitalist, and socialist views. 

We have bishops who ask priests who are preaching the Catholic doctrines to step down from the priesthood. 

I often ask myself the question: “Quo Vadis” or “Where Am I Going” with my Catholic faith?

Yes, I have considered changing religion and joining the Protestant faith.  But I come from a family with deep roots in the Catholic faith – even with a distant relationship to the mystic St. Teresa of Avila. I got most of my values from my Catholic education.  Unlike the Protestant faith, I believe that bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ after they’ve been consecrated by a priest, and I pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

As you can see, there are many priests, bishops, cardinals, and past popes (John Paul II comes to mind) who are wonderful keepers of the Catholic “traditions” and Biblical teachings. When it comes time to criticize the bad apples or suggest the reformation of antiquated and ineffective policies — like celibacy — who better to do this than Catholics? Running away is not the answer. Speaking up to bring change, this must be the goal of all Catholics.

At the end of the day, I choose to remain a Catholic.  I choose to attend Mass to receive Holy Communion.  I choose to pray to my God, the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Mary, and all the Saints – and leave aside all the aberrant popes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and priests who besmirch the teachings of the Catholic faith and traditions.