Paul Giorgio: The Handshake Heard Around the World
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
There was some speculation that the President was just being polite, because Castro was sitting there with the other platform dignitaries and the President thought it was only polite to shake his hand as he was shaking other hands. This rationale is comical at best. Having done Advance for the President and Having done the opening of the UN General Assembly, I can tell you that many hours of thinking at the White House and the State Department goes into what the President will do and how to avoid this exact situation.
It's time for a change
I believe that the handshake was deliberate and long overdue. Cuba is one of the few counties in the world that we don’t have diplomatic relations with, North Korea being another. At least we were in a real war with the Koreans.
It is time we end the ridiculous boycott of Cuba and establish diplomatic relations with them. It is time we tell those crazy Cuban Republicans in Miami to start thinking in terms of 2014 and not 1959. The original Cuban refugees, who settled in Miami in 1959, mostly were part of Cuban Dictator Fulgenicio Batista repressive regime or the very wealthy who profited from it. So when Fidel Castro who led the revolution from 1949 to 1959 took control, they fled rather than face prison or death. A Great many of these families fled to Miami, where they have been affecting politics since their arrival.
It is also time that we stop allowing the right wing Cuban Repupulicans to effect American politics and American foreign policy.
What has Castro and the Cuban people done to America? Castro did nationalize American companies when he took control. These included sugar, Banana and Casino interests. That was 54 years ago. In fact most foreign policy experts agree that the boycott of Cuba has helped keep Castro in power. Instead of having to take responsibility for the failure of communism, Castro simply blames the United States for Cuba’s economic woes.
The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that it cost $1.2 Billion a year to the US economy because of the boycott. That is on top of all our other expenses associated with it such as Radio Marti. Add in the cost of our base at Guantanamo Bay and the expenses become significantly higher.
A win-win for the US and Cuba
As I write this Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Vietnam. We have trade agreements with China and Russia, Germany and Japan are vital allies of ours. All of them at one time or another has been an enemy of this country yet we have full diplomatic relations and full economic relations with each of them.
The President needs to tell the right wing Cuban American Republicans who control the politics of Dade County Florida, that enough is enough.
It is time to end the 50 year economic blockade of Cuba. In the long run it will help the people of Cuba who have suffered enough and it ultimately will be a boon to American business.
Paul Giorgio is a longtime Democratic Party Activist who has worked on numerous campaigns. He was a Lead Advance Person for President Clinton & Vice President Gore. He was Deputy Director of Special Events for President Clinton’s first Inauguration. He has been elected a delegate to numerous Democratic National Conventions and recently served as one of President Obama’s representatives on the Platform Committee. In 2013 he was chosen as a Presidential Elector. He is the President of Pagio, Inc., publishers of Pulse Magazine, Vitality Magazine and Worcester Medicine.
Related Slideshow: New England Communities With the Most Political Clout 2013
The Sunlight Foundation, in conjunction with Azavea, released data maps this week showing political contribution dollars to federal elections dating back to 1990 -- by county.
GoLocal takes a look at the counties in New England that had the highest per-capita contributions in the 2012 election cycle -- and talked with experts about what that meant for those areas in New Engand, as well as the candidates.
24. Cheshire County, NH
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $9.88
Total contributions: $759,209
Cheshire is one of the five original counties in New Hampshire and was founded in 1771. The highest point in Cheshire County is located at the top of Mount Monadnock, which was made famous by the poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
21. Hampshire County, MA
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $10.41
Total contributions: $1,664,077
Hampshire County has a total area of 545 square miles and is located in the middle of Massachusetts. Hampshire County is also the only county to be surrounded in all directions by other Massachusetts counties.
20. Barnstable County, MA
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $10.90
Total contributions: $2,348,541
Barnstable County was founded in 1685 and has three national protected areas. Cape Cod National Seashore is the most famous protected area within Barnstable County and brings in a high amount of tourists every year.
19. Berkshire County, MA
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $12.49
Total contributions: $1,624,400
Berkshire County is located on the western side of Massachusetts and borders three different neighboring states. Originally the Mahican Native American Tribe inhabited Berkshire County up until the English settlers arrived and bought the land in 1724.
18. Essex County, MA
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $13.22
Total contributions: $9,991,201
Essex is located in the northeastern part of Massachusetts and contains towns such as Salem, Lynn, and Andover. Essex was founded in 1643 and because of Essex historical background, the whole county has been designated as the Essex National Heritage Area.
15. Addison County, VT
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $15.49
Total contributions: $569,299
Located on the west side of Vermont, Addison County has a total area of 808 square miles. Addison's largest town is Middlebury, where the Community College of Vermont and Middlebury College are located.
11. Bristol County, RI
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $20.91
Total contributions: $1,027,472
Bristol County has a population of 49,144 and is the third smallest county in the United States. Bristol County was originally apart of Massachusetts, but was transferred to Rhode Island in 1746.
10. Grafton County, NH
Contributions, per capita, 2012 :$20.95
Total contributions: $1,868,739
With a population of 89,181, Grafton County is the second largest county in New Hampshire. Home of New Hampshire’s only national forest, White Mountain National Forest takes up about half of Grafton’s total area
7. Middlesex County, MA
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $32.81
Total contributions: $50,432,154
Middlesex County has a population of 1,503,085 and has been ranked as the most populous county in New England. The county government was abolished in 1997, but the county boundaries still exists for court jurisdictions and other administrative purposes.
6. Nantucket County, MA
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $33.41
Total contributions: $344,021
Nantucket County consists of a couple of small islands and is a major tourist destination in Massachusetts. Normally Nantucket has a population of 10,298, but during the summer months the population can reach up to 50,000.
4. Dukes County, MA
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $36.32
Total contributions: $618,960
Consisting of Martha’s Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands, Dukes County is one of Massachusetts’ top vacation spots. Originally Dukes County was apart New York, however it was transferred to Massachusetts on October 7, 1691.
3. Suffolk County, MA
Contributions, per capita, 2012: $40.73
Total contributions: $30,323,537
Suffolk County has a population of 744,426 and contains Massachusetts’s largest city, Boston. Although Suffolk’s county government was abolished in the late 1900’s, it still remains as a geographic area.
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