Hallandale Beach Blog - A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden.
In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

'Cuba si! Castro no!' But now, it's "Cuba si, Fidel Castro no more!" Observations on a day that so many people in South Florida thought might never come in their lifetimes

I grew-up in South Florida in the 1970's hearing people say one thing more than anything else that ever made an impression on ever-observant me.

It was a phrase that many people said with conviction, borne of bitter and heartbreaking personal experience -of having their or their family's life torn upside-down.
Or ruined.

But for others, like many Democrats and liberal politicians or news reporters I came to personally know in 1970's and 1980's Miami while involved with Dade County and national Democratic Party officials and campaigns at a very high ;level, it was said it out of cautious political expediency. 
The unspoken reason was clear - they knew they MUST at all times be sensitive to the concerns of so many people concentrated in one area who felt this particular pain and sentiment so deeply in their heart and their head, lest those pols become eviscerated come election-time.
That phrase, of course, was 'Cuba si! Castro no!' 

But now, today, it's "Cuba si, Castro no more!"

But this morning's news about the death of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro came far too late for so many childhood friends of mine's parents and grandparents, too late for so many of my own former teachers, coaches, teammates, employers, barbers, auto mechanics, and neighbors in North Miami Beach I knew, admired and was influenced by in ways large and small.

People who desperately hoped, no prayed, that a day like today would someday come while they were still alive and could, perhaps, get at least one last chance to return to visit or live in the land of their birth, with some measure of happiness and satisfaction. 
But to no avail.
The Communist tyrant Fidel Castro and his bureaucracy of fear and destruction always lived to fight and rule for another day, another year.

Another year of not being able to walk the streets, sidewalks, neighborhoods, beaches or open spaces of their youth, ones that they could still so clearly see in their heads when they closed their eyes, but which, increasingly, may've only existed as memories, never to be seen again in person.

And today was a fateful day that my own father never saw before he died almost five years ago this Christmas, who worked for so long with so many wonderful Cuban-born men and women I came to know, trust and respect over the years since my family first moved to Miami in August of 1968.

People who, while brave on the outside, always deeply felt a hole in their soul that people not in their unique situation could never hope to fully understand or explain away.
As so many told me in their own words, how can it be a "phantom pain" when you know that Cuba is still there, so close by?

Yes, it's that geographic proximity that burned, that element that made even recounting happy memories back in Cuba soon turn into tears.

How many hundreds and hundreds of times have I witnessed that?
Too, too many.... 

: Fidel Castro is dead https://t.co/dK2h8YLgX3">https://t.co/dK2h8YLgX3</p>— Lizette Alvarez (@LizetteNYT) https://twitter.com/LizetteNYT/status/802717605446504449">November 27, 2016

https://t.co/vRmOLOq8qv">pic.twitter.com/vRmOLOq8qv</a>— James Taranto (@jamestaranto) https://twitter.com/jamestaranto/status/802696943558426624">November 27, 2016

https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cubans?src=hash">#Cubans react to death of Fidel Castro in streets of Little Havana. https://twitter.com/hashtag/FidelCastro?src=hash">#FidelCastro https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cuba?src=hash">#Cuba</a> https://twitter.com/hashtag/Miami?src=hash">#Miami https://t.co/ma7CcxKgH3">https://t.co/ma7CcxKgH3</p>— MaryAnn Martinez (@maryannreports) https://twitter.com/maryannreports/status/802520357794181120">November 26, 2016

https://t.co/n5XRSH9QOj">pic.twitter.com/n5XRSH9QOj</a>— Kyra Gurney (@KyraGurney) https://twitter.com/KyraGurney/status/802556887132729345">November 26, 2016

</p>— Jennine Capó Crucet (@crucet) https://twitter.com/crucet/status/802639249250091008">November 26, 2016

SVT (Sveriges Television) Sweden

De firar Castros bortgång

Carina Bergfeldt, USA-korrespondent på plats i Little Havana, Miami, Florida
Publicerad:26 november 2016 12.00
Uppdaterad:26 november 2016 12.27

kl 18 och kl 19.30. https://t.co/w5mcZkUj8w">pic.twitter.com/w5mcZkUj8w</a>— Carina Bergfeldt (@carinabergfeldt) https://twitter.com/carinabergfeldt/status/802542046816780288">November 26, 2016

: New admin + the world must seize this opportunity 2 redouble their commitment 2 the people of https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cuba?src=hash">#Cuba</a> https://t.co/Ydw9N02oyI">https://t.co/Ydw9N02oyI</p>— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) https://twitter.com/RosLehtinen/status/802657042594865154">November 26, 2016

used MIG-29 combat pilots to kill unarmed civilians https://twitter.com/hashtag/Brotherstotherescue?src=hash">#Brotherstotherescue back in 1996. https://twitter.com/hashtag/cuba?src=hash">#cuba</a>— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/802547948043108352">November 26, 2016

https://t.co/Tm0JoCcT3P">pic.twitter.com/Tm0JoCcT3P</a>— Casey Michel (@cjcmichel) https://twitter.com/cjcmichel/status/802525988076650496">November 26, 2016

</p>— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) https://twitter.com/hbbtruth/status/802468735483310081">November 26, 2016

</p>— Doug Hanks (@doug_hanks) https://twitter.com/doug_hanks/status/802567527276642305">November 26, 2016

https://t.co/9gAebeawTn">https://t.co/9gAebeawTn</p>— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) https://twitter.com/SalenaZito/status/802345096427503617">November 26, 2016

https://t.co/X38h2C4ZLu">https://t.co/X38h2C4ZLu</p>— George Bennett (@gbennettpost) https://twitter.com/gbennettpost/status/802498245037420545">November 26, 2016

. He looked old then, I'm surprised he lasted so long. Evil man, good riddance.— Richard Brookhiser (@RBrookhiser) https://twitter.com/RBrookhiser/status/802538215106351104">November 26, 2016

... https://twitter.com/JanHelin">@JanHelin&mdash; HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) https://twitter.com/hbbtruth/status/802477270195720192">November 26, 2016

</p>— MariaElena Fernandez (@writerchica) https://twitter.com/writerchica/status/802402837321789440">November 26, 2016

https://twitter.com/hashtag/Welcome?src=hash">#Welcome, Carina! Head to https://twitter.com/VersaillesMiami">@VersaillesMiami, interview https://twitter.com/GlennaOn10">@GlennaOn10. Can explain it all in a way https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sweden?src=hash">#Sweden understands. :-)— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) https://twitter.com/hbbtruth/status/802466372710232064">November 26, 2016

https://twitter.com/JanHelin">@JanHelin The scene in https://twitter.com/hashtag/Miami?src=hash">#Miami LIVE as it celebrates the death of the Cuban tyrant, https://twitter.com/hashtag/FidelCastro?src=hash">#FidelCastro: https://t.co/AeQhgmrQHi">https://t.co/AeQhgmrQHi</p>— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) https://twitter.com/hbbtruth/status/802409924827475968">November 26, 2016
https://twitter.com/GlennaOn10">@GlennaOn10 https://twitter.com/WPLGLocal10">@WPLGLocal10 Or was it https://twitter.com/hashtag/Miami?src=hash">#Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado? Tired... not used to pulling all-niters any more! :-)— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) https://twitter.com/hbbtruth/status/802459773048332288">November 26, 2016

is capturing outside https://twitter.com/VersaillesMiami">@VersaillesMiami live on https://twitter.com/WPLGLocal10">@WPLGLocal10 right now is truly compelling https://t.co/GDaFSqZXVn">https://t.co/GDaFSqZXVn</p>— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) https://twitter.com/BillyCorben/status/802433125775212544">November 26, 2016

</p>— MariaElena Fernandez (@writerchica) https://twitter.com/writerchica/status/802391476185350144">November 26, 2016

People outside of https://twitter.com/hashtag/SoFL?src=hash">#SoFL</a> might think you are exaggerating via pots & pans theme. Nope! We know it's the truth!  :-)— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) https://twitter.com/hbbtruth/status/802393190380736512">November 26, 2016

</p>— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) https://twitter.com/hbbtruth/status/802460197952307201">November 26, 2016

</p>— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) https://twitter.com/hbbtruth/status/802461624011542528">November 26, 2016

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#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio looks like, up close, plus the Amazon area of Brazil that Esther grew up near in Manaus, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

A floresta Amazônica tem um papel fundamental no equilíbrio do clima na Terra e, portanto, na vida de cada um de nós. Nos últimos anos a proteção diminuiu e o desmatamento aumentou drasticamente. E o que já era ruim, pode ficar ainda pior. Se as medidas que o governo vem tomando não forem vetadas, nosso futuro estará ameaçado. Diga NÃO à diminuição da proteção da Floresta do Jamanxim! Diga NÃO à exploração de minério no coração da floresta! #TodosPelaAmazônia #342Amazonia #TodosPelaAmazonia Assine a petição: link na bio. ������✨���� The Amazon Rainforest plays a key role in balancing the climate on the Earth and therefore in each of our lives. In recent years, protection has decreased and deforestation has increased sharply. And what was already bad can get even worse. If the measures that the government has been taking are not vetoed, our future will be threatened. Say NO to the reduction of the Jamanxim Forest´s protection! Say NO to ore mining in the heart of the Forest! #togetherfortheAmazon

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on