Hugo Chavez: The Source of His Power
What I learned from meeting Hugo Chavez.
Cuba defined Chávez's career as much as Venezuela did
Fidel Castro's Cuba defined Hugo Chavez's life as much as Chavez's own Venezuela did.
Mitt Romney has long avoided explicitly calling President Obama a socialist, but desperate times call for desperate measures—and that includes another dubious ad, this one linking Obama with a triumvirate of famous socialists. "Who supports Barack Obama?" asks the Spanish-language released this week in Florida. The question is followed by clips of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez saying he’d vote for Obama if he lived in the U.S. and of Mariela Castro, Fidel Castro’s niece, saying she would vote for Obama, too.
Nothing gets journalists chattering like a debate about themselves, so I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that my post yesterday about the fixation many news outlets have with being first attracted some notice. Nearly everyone who contacted me about the piece did so to say “Amen!” Except for the poor souls whose job it is to produce micro-scoops on a daily or hourly basis.
If Marco Rubio is chosen as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential candidate, as many have speculated, we’ll soon learn a lot more about the Florida Senator and young Republican superstar. But we’re also likely to continue hearing about another part of Rubio’s past: whether his family are Cuban exiles or not.
When Pope Benedict XVI travelled to Cuba two weeks ago, he was acting within a long tradition. Popes, after all, are not only spiritual leaders, they are representatives of the oldest continuous absolute monarchy in the world, which traces back to the Apostle Peter two millennia ago: The Holy See has been engaging in diplomacy far longer than any modern state has been in existence.
Today, the Miami Marlins suspended their manager, Ozzie Guillen, after he blurted out to TIME Magazine that he loves Fidel Castro. Guillen’s remark would have been bizarre and unpopular just about anywhere in the country, but it’s especially controversial in Miami, where local politicians are already calling for him to resign. Where does opinion on Castro stand today? According to a 2008 Gallup poll, Castro’s approval rating in the U.S. is 5 percent.
Marco Rubio is under contract to write a memoir, due out at the peak of election season next fall. The cynic might take this as just another sign that the Florida senator with matinee idol looks is angling for the number-two slot on the Republican ticket next year.
The big question left hanging after the one-day storm over Marco Rubio's embellishments of his parents' departure from Cuba to Florida was whether the revelations would have any lingering impact on his chances for being the GOP vice presidential pick next summer. Well, we can safely say that Rubio has avoided much damage from the storm if we keep seeing the revelations framed like this: Then last week, the senator sparred with news organizations over reports suggesting Mr. Rubio had embellished the story of his family's emigration from Cuba.
Marco Rubio just put out a sharply-worded rebuttal to today's talker, the Washington Post's disclosure that the senator's parents left Cuba for Florida in 1956, two and a half years before Fidel Castro seized power -- contradicting Rubio, who often left the impression (including on his own Web site) that they were part of the wave of exiles that fled Castro. In his rebuttal for Politico ("exclusive!"), Rubio writes: If The Washington Post wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, I accept that.