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The Calgary Eye Opener
Friday, October 23, 2020
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Full-time Eye Opener reporter assigned to Cuba
Local preachers ran him and his Eye Opener newspapers out of Wetaskiwin and, in turn, Strathcona and High River for "expressing contrary opinions, drinking and hootin' and yellin'and generally disturbing' the Gospel". He arrived in Calgary and the paper became The Calgary Eye Opener in 1904

30-Mar-07 - The Calgary Eye Opener has appointed a full-time-top-secret correspondent exclusively assigned to the Island of Cuba.

Anyone possessed of an iota of conventional wisdom knows that Cuba is a Godless, freedomless Communist dictatorship; that, at every turn, Cuba frustrates God's plan to turn the earth into a bastion of free enterprise; that Cuba is bereft of fundamental common decency and the rule of law. Why shouldn't a soul be able to believe the Roman Catholic Church; the mafia; the heirs, executors and assigns of the pre Castro Fulgencio Batista regime; the executors and successors of the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands) who, with the help of the family Bush, raped and pillaged Cuba for 60 years; the heirs and assigns of Mr. Bebe Rubozo, good friend of Richard Nixon. But some souls won't believe - notably, David Suzuki and the Ghost of Pierre Trudeau and his heir presumptive, and one Arnold August - Suzuki, the Trudeaus and August praise the island republic as the most democratic country in the world.

"Is the truth somewhere in between," suspected The Eye Opener.

Our editor flew to Cuba on March 1 - not to the Hawaii-like tourist trap of Varadero Beach nor to the haunts of Ernest Hemingway but to the out-of-the-way hinterland of Cuba's south central coast at Cienfuegos. The Editor, in addition to being, at 143 years, somewhat long-of-tooth, has never succeeded in mastering any language but a pidgin English known as the Scottish Brogue. He nevertheless enrolled as a beginning student of Spanish at the Faro Luna intensive language school located in a former Communist Party luxury spa looking south onto the wine red Caribbean Sea. Our editor's inability to learn to speak foreign languages forced the professors at Faro Luna to assign him to the lowest possible student category in the program - he was the only student in that class - the school's top professora, Professora Raquel Rodriguez Garcia was given the Sysipusian job of teaching him. The professors of Pharo Luna teach their students more than Espanol Cubano (anyone who can master fast-talking-wise-cracking Cuban Spanish can speak Spanish anywhere) ... they act as expert guides to farms, theatres and plazas in and around Cienfuegos and to all things Cuban - historical, social, political and economic.

Despite a vicious 50-year American embargo, Cuban women are the world's most stylish - remember the World War II British - everyone admired their grit and their survival through six years of U-Boat enforced isolation - but the Brits survived by becoming grimier and greyer - by 1945 England resembled, in appearance, George Orwell's vision of 1984. Not the Cubans - Cubans have been isolated for near on 50 years - their beauty shops and cosmetic stores are the busiest places in the country. Colourful tasteful clothes emerge from God knows where. And sexy music and jazz. Every Cuban male has a short neat haircut - none have heavy Mediterranean-style stubbles - all are neat, spiffy dressers. Cuban barbers are the world's best. By developing a a fine medical system and training fine doctors - in exchange for 50,000 barrels a day of Venezuelan oil , Cuba has exported doctors and their health care system to Venezuela. For Alberta oil, the Cubans should export doctors and barbers.

There are many fascinating stories in Cuba. Among them:

  • The CIA's 612 fumble-bumed-failed plots to assassinate el jefe, Comandante Presidente Fidel Castro
  • The great alfabetizacion campaign of 1961 - how 100,000 Cuban school children (including Professora Raquel), taught Cuba's illiterate peasantry, to read - in one year, Raquel and her comrades virtually wiped out the illiteracy of 23% per cent of Cuba's population.
  • How, for 50 years, Cuba's auto mechanics have maintained thousands of 1950s American cars in almost mint condition.
  • How Cuban guerillas would most surely destroy any invading Yankee army.
  • How democratic is Cuba?
  • How Cuba has withstood a 48 year embargo of its sugar exports and its oil supply.
  • The world of Cuban cigars.
  • A health system more effective and infinitely more efficient than Canada's
  • What is Castro to Cuba - his health - what will happen when he dies?
  • Cubans' sense of nationalism.
  • Cuba's ongoing struggle, against the forces of Latin machismo, for sexual equality.
  • The rising storm - how the survival of Cuba will affect the rest of Latin America.

The Eye Opener has therefore hired a full-time-secret-undercover reporter in Cuba. His name is Scoopo Cinco.

  • For more on Cuba - CLICK HERE
  • For more on Richard Nixon's (boy?)friend Bebe Rebozo - CLICK HERE
  • For more on studying at the Faro Luna language school - CLICK HERE
  • For more about Cienfuegos and district - CLICK HERE
  • About United Fruit - Chiquita Brands - CLICK HERE
  • Have a look at Cuba - A Concise History for Travellers - details CLICK HERE
  • For more on Fidel Castro (born exactly 70 years after the Senator) - CLICK HERE
  • For more on the mafia's reign in Cuba - CLICK HERE
  • For Arnold August's book Democracy in Cuba: The Elections of 1997-98 we have some concerns about this book but CLICK HERE anyway
Reader Opinions on this story
To go to the main story Full-time Eye Opener reporter assigned to Cuba CLICK HERE warns of brain-washing by Cuba and Michael Moore - cites Fred Thompson I hope that you haven't been too indoctrinated about the Cuban Health situation . As usual, there are two sides to every story. Google into Fred Thompson on Health Care in Cuba...comments on Michael Moore Film... From a reader who likes to explore lots of opinions on the subject of what things are told to visitors on their visits to Cuba.
To go to the main story Full-time Eye Opener reporter assigned to Cuba CLICK HERE el doctor Che praises Cuban professors I enjoyed the report and hope that it will be good publicity for those very excellent cuban teachers
To go to the main story Full-time Eye Opener reporter assigned to Cuba CLICK HERE Geoff Wood says China miracle wouldn't be possible without Mao As far as thoughts on Cuba are concerned, I must say I've long had a hankering to go down there to have a look at it ( before it all starts to change when Castro dies and Hillary gets into the White House). Old Havana, and all those old cars - not to mention the ladies. On Cuba's situation, well somewhere in-between as you say. Castro would have done quite a bit better ( although not great - short on resources) without that embargo in place. Not crazy about the socialism route but there's an argument for it ( for awhile) to kickstart Latin America after the background they've had. Get the people educated & involved - economic growth ought to come ( I've got China in mind - wouldn't have been posible there without what Mao did). I could talk about Chavez & Venezuela too - but we'll leave that till next time.

Better get off the soap box. Careful with the Easter celebrations at the Long Bar.

To go to the main story Full-time Eye Opener reporter assigned to Cuba CLICK HERE The Miramichi Kid wants biting criticism published - NOW In my youth (many, many decades ago) I subscribed to Science and Mechanics, Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, and Popular Science. In every case I read all editions thoroughly from cover-to-cover and eventually chose not to re-subscribe because the magazines' eventual changes-of-editor brought changes-of-direction and every one of the magazines moved from "How To ..."?-to- "This is What's New ..."? If I'd wanted to know just "What's New" I'd have subscribed to the US Patent Office listings. The?first copy of my new Popular Mechanics subscription arrived today, and I've just finished its first reading. It might interest you to know that one of Popular Mechanic's sections that most-interests me is called "Letters. What do you think?"?I suspect that "Letters ..." interests me because (1) the writers actually have read the magazine's articles carefully enough to form an opinion, (2) the writers' thought-out opinions tend to make me think more than the original articles did, and (3) they serve to keep the editors in line by screaming outrage whenever what is in print starts to sound like Bush-esque propaganda!? One can only hope that your reporter(s) are able to appreciate this subscriber's grumpy-old-man tongue-in-cheek comments as (1) proof that someone out here is reading your newsletter's articles with enough concentration/consideration/comprehension to be able to critique them, and (2) being good enough to put in print and therefore qualify me for 20% of your profits! Or does one have to be in agreement with the Eye Opener's opinions to be printed??I suppose you could always refuse to renew my subscription ...
To go to the main story Full-time Eye Opener reporter assigned to Cuba CLICK HERE The Miramichi Kid complains of short hair kudos This is a complaint from Miramichi, New Brunswick, regarding your most recent edition. How many people in the entire world " ... remember the World War II British," what are the names of the two or three antediluvian fogies who think " Cuban women are the world's most stylish," and in what category are they most stylish? Calligraphy? Paddling to Florida? This reader has always questioned the statements of religious spokespersons like Jesse Jackson and the Pope---as well as those of all self-appointed "experts" (especially those in the media)---because those folks assume their position gives them credibility, and their babblings rarely have any substantiation or validity. Following my lifelong beliefs and personal style, I wish to express my vehement objection to your narrow-minded reporter's antiquated opinions such as: "Every Cuban male has a short neat haircut - none have heavy Mediterranean-style stubbles - all are neat, spiffy dressers." What an insult to the poor Cuban males who don't know any better. Everybody who is anybody knows that only the dated and insecure (including this writer's phony maternal grandmother) believe that having the same hairstyle as everyone else, showering and shaving twice a day, and wearing the same boring penguin costumes every day makes the MAN. In the western world Albert Einstein, David Suzuki, Bill Gates, Peewee Herman, and millions of other immensely successful/influential people have done well without playing the "look-and-dress-like-me" game of the wannabees. And of course the rest of the world has been too busy with its own fashions (turbans, dreadlocks, Afros, parkas, coolie hats, robes, suicide belts, burkas, etc.) to play this game. And "... the Brits survived by becoming grimier and greyer." What a joke! How the hell else should they look after that little German runt---always with a short neat haircut, always well-shaved, and always fashionably-attired in uniform---dumped hundreds of bombs on them day-after-day-after-day? In parting (to go snow-shoeing before yesterday's snow melts away), if it's so damed good in Cuba, why are so many Cubans willing to risk almost-certain-death paddling their way out of there? Oh, happy Easter.