Tag Archives: Cuba

Marco Rubio RNC Speech

Florida Senator Marco Rubio delivers his RNC speech

Remarks prepared by the Republican National Convention

In 1980, I watched my first Republican Convention with my grandfather.

He was born to a farming family in rural Cuba. Childhood polio left him permanently disabled.

Because he couldn’t work the farm, his family sent him to school, and he became the only one in the family who could read.

As a boy, I would sit on our porch and listen to his stories about history, politics and baseball while he puffed on one of his three daily Padron cigars.

I don’t recall everything we talked about, but the one thing I remember, is the one thing he wanted me to never forget. The dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve.

But because I was an American, there was no limit to how far I could go.

For those of us who were born and raised in this country, it’s easy to forget how special America is. But my grandfather understood how different America is from the rest of world.

Tonight, you’ll hear from another man who understands what makes America exceptional.

Mitt Romney knows America’s prosperity didn’t happen because our government simply spent more. It happened because our people used their own money to open a business.

And when they succeed, they hire more people, who then invest or spend their money in the economy, helping others start a business and create jobs.

Mitt Romney’s success in business is well known. But he’s more than that.

He’s a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. A generous member of his community and church.

Everywhere he’s been, he’s volunteered his time and talent to make things better for those around him.

We are blessed that soon, he will be the President of the United States.

Our problem with President Obama isn’t that he’s a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband, and a good father … and thanks to lots of practice, a pretty good golfer.

Our problem is he’s a bad President.

The new slogan for the President’s campaign is “Forward”.

A government that spends one trillion dollars more than it takes in.

An 800 billion dollar stimulus that created more debt than jobs.

A government intervention into healthcare paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare.

Scores of new rules and regulations.

These ideas don’t move us “Forward”, they take us “Backwards.”

These are old, big government ideas.

Ideas that people come to America to get away from.

Ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world, instead of helping the world become more like America.

Under Barack Obama, the only “Change” is that “Hope” has been hard to find.

Now millions of Americans are insecure about their future. But instead of inspiring us by reminding us of what makes us special, he divides us against each other.

He tells Americans they’re worse off because others are better off. That people got rich by making others poor.

Hope and Change has become Divide and Conquer.

No matter how you feel about President Obama, this election is about your future, not his. And it’s not simply a choice between a democrat and a republican.

It’s a choice about what kind of country we want America to be.

We should remember what made us special. For most of history almost everyone was poor. Power and wealth belonged to only a few.

Your rights were whatever your rulers allowed you to have. Your future was determined by your past.

If your parents were poor, so would you be. If you were born without opportunities, so were your children.

But America was founded on the principle that every person has God-given rights.

That power belongs to the people.

That government exists to protect our rights and serve our interests.

That we shouldn’t be trapped in the circumstances of our birth. That we should be free to go as far as our talents and work can take us.

We’re united not by a common race or ethnicity. We’re bound together by common values.

That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have.

We’ve never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government.

Our national motto “In God we Trust” reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.

And, we’ve always understood the scriptural admonition that “for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.”

We are a blessed people. And we have honored those blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional America.

I know that for so many of you, these last few years have tested your faith in the promise of America.

Maybe you are at an age when you thought you would be entering retirement. But instead, because your savings and investments are wiped out, you have to go back to work.

Maybe, after years of hard work, this was the time you expected to be your prime earning years. But instead, you’ve been laid off, and your house is worth less than your mortgage.

Maybe you did everything you where told you needed to do to get ahead.

You studied hard and finished school. But now, you owe thousands of dollars in student loans. You can’t find a job in your field. And you’ve moved back in with your parents.

You want to believe we’re still that place where anything is possible. But things just don’t seem to be getting better. And you are starting to wonder if things will ever be the same again.

Yes, we live in a troubled time. But the story of those who came before us, reminds us that America has always been about new beginnings.

If we are willing to do for our children, what our parents did for us, life in America can be better than it has ever been.

My mother was one of seven girls, whose parents went to bed hungry so their children wouldn’t. My father lost his mother when he was nine. He left school, and went to work for the next seventy years.

They emigrated to America with little more than the hope of a better life.

My Dad was a bartender. My Mom was a cashier, a maid, and a stock clerk at K-Mart. They never made it big. They were never rich.

And yet they were successful. Because just a few decades removed from hopelessness, they made possible for us all the things that had been impossible for them.

Many nights I heard my father’s keys jingling at the door as he came home after another 16-hour day. Many mornings, I woke up just as my mother got home from the overnight shift at K-Mart.

When you’re young, the meaning of these moments escapes you. But now, as my own children get older, I understand it better.

My Dad used to tell us: “En este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos” “In this country, you will be able to accomplish all the things we never could.”

A few years ago during a speech, I noticed a bartender behind a portable bar at the back of the ballroom. I remembered my father who had worked so long as a banquet bartender.

He was grateful for the work he had, but that’s not the life he wanted for us.

He stood behind a bar in the back of the room all those years, so one day I could stand behind a podium in the front of a room.

That journey, from behind that bar to behind this podium, goes to the essence of the American miracle… that we’re exceptional not because we have more rich people here.

We’re special because dreams that are impossible anywhere else, come true here.

That’s not just my story. That’s our story. It’s the story of your mother who struggled to give you what she never had.

It’s the story of your father who worked two jobs so doors closed for him would open for you.

The story of that teacher or that coach who taught you the lessons that shaped who you are today.

And it’s the story of a man who was born into an uncertain future in a foreign country. His family came to America to escape revolution.

They struggled through poverty and the great depression. And yet he rose to be an admired businessman, and public servant.

And in November, his son, Mitt Romney, will be elected President of the United States.

We are all just a generation or two removed from someone who made our future the purpose of their lives.

America, is the story of everyday people, who did extraordinary things. A story woven deep into the fabric of our society.

Their stories may never be famous, but in the lives they lived, you find the living essence of America’s greatness.

To make sure America is still a place where tomorrow is always better than yesterday, that is what our politics should be about.

And that is what we are deciding in this election.

Do we want our children to inherit our hopes and dreams, or do we want them to inherit our problems?

If we succeed in changing the direction of our country, our children and grandchildren, will be the most prosperous generation ever, and their achievements will astonish the world.

The story of our time will be written by Americans who haven’t yet been born.

Let’s make sure they write that we did our part.

That we chose more freedom instead of more government.

We chose the principles of our founding to solve the challenges of our time.

We chose Mitt Romney to lead our nation.

And because we did, the American Miracle lived on for another generation to inherit.

 

How Many Foreign Governments are Drilling for Oil, Gas in the U.S. ?

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he has no idea how many foreigners are extracting American gas and oil, while answering questions at a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing held on Nov. 16, 2011.

During the hearing, Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) told Salazar that his staff has asked two divisions of Salazar’s Interior Dept., the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, (BOEM) for a list of foreign energy companies that own leases in the U.S.

Continuing a pattern of Obama administration appointees blatantly ignoring Congressional requests for information, Salazar and company refused or were unable to supply the information. The Secretary of the Interior of the United States of America appeared quite uninformed during this hearing on such things as how many foreign governments are drilling for oil and gas on American lands and offshore in American waters. The following are part of the hearing’s question and answer session with Mr. Salazar:

Rep Rivera: “It’s my understanding, in order for a foreign government owned company to operate in the U.S. and bid on leases in the U.S., they must first be incorporated in the United States. Is that correct?

Ken Salazar: : “I don’t know the answer that question.”

RIVERA: “OK. Well, recently, my staff contacted the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Land Management to try to get a list of all foreign government-owned companies that have leases in the United States. And they were surprised to learn that the government doesn’t keep a database of what companies are foreign government-owned. The foreign government-owned companies are just mixed in with the regular privately owned companies. So I believe it’ll be useful to at least be able to track these companies and what government owns them. Could you help me with that, get that information? “

SALAZAR: We will. And let me ask, for the record, Abbey or Beaudreau have any information on that question?

(UNKNOWN): It is correct that, in order to obtain a federal OCS lease, a company needs to be registered in the United States through the relevant State Department.

So federal energy leases must be registered with the State Dept., yet no one seems capable of telling Rep. Rivera how many foreign governments and companies are drilling for oil and gas in the U.S. They are either totally incompetent, or simply refusing to tell Americans the truth, take your pick there. Then the issues of Spain’s drilling for oil in Cuban waters 70 miles off of our coast came up.

Rep Rivera: A few months ago, I believe in June, you were in Spain and spoke to Repsol officials regarding their proposed drilling plans in Cuban waters. Is that correct, Mr. Secretary?

Salazar: That is correct.

Rivera: And in that meeting or any other meeting you’ve had with Repsol officials, did you — a topic come up or reiterate United States policy on doing business with state sponsors of terrorism or have any discussions to discourage their actions in Cuba?

Salazar: ( As he attempts to dodge the question) You know, our focus, Congressman Rivera, has been to make sure that we do everything within the legal boundaries that we can operate in to protect the environment and the people of the United States.

Rivera: So I would — I would that to mean more of a cooperative effort to make sure and protect the people of the United States, which is important, to make sure and do every possible measure to do that. But you’re telling me nothing was ever done by you to discourage their participation in collaborating with a state sponsor of terrorism in those offshore oil-drilling efforts. ( emphasis mine)

Salazar: We do not have authority over other countries on what they do with respect to their…
(CROSSTALK)
Rivera: I understand. I know you can’t stop them, but do you ever try to discourage?
Salazar: Our program, Congressman Rivera, has to been to make sure that we do everything we can within our legal power.
Rivera: OK. Well, let’s talk about the…
Salazar: … environment of the United States. ( still trying to deflect the real question asked)
Rivera: Let’s talk about the legal power. In terms of in terms of the — did you ever up bring up having the Bureau of Industry and Security also be allowed to inspect the rate (ph) to ensure that the Export Administration Act and the Export Administration Regulations 10 percent de minimum U.S. content rule were being respected, speaking of legal authority? Had that issue ever come up?
Salazar: You know, Congressman Rivera, this is an issue where the State Department and other agencies have the lead. And we are participating because of our expertise. But I do know whether those conversations took place, and I don’t have an answer to your question.
Rivera: OK, well, recently colleagues of mine here, along with Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sent a letter to the president regarding this issue. Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I’d like to ask that that letter be submitted for the record.
Chairman Hastings: Without objection, it’ll be part of the record.
Rivera: Thank you.
I think it’s of great concern by the lack of effort in this administration — administration-wide, whether it be your agency, State Department or anyone else, that no effort has been made to previous a state sponsor of terrorism to drill approximately 60-70 miles off of Florida’s coast and providing economic aid and comfort to the dying Castro dictatorship.
And I hope that, in the future, the administration will do everything to make sure that companies comply with sanctions that apply to businesses that do cooperate with sponsors of state terrorism, by perhaps, in your — in your agency, withdrawing leases on federal lands and waters.
That could be a start to certainly send a signal that that — that this type of activity is certainly frowned upon, collaborating with terrorist regimes.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I’d like to draw attention with my colleagues, to legislation I have introduced with Congresswoman Ros- Lehtinen and Congressman Diaz-Balart and Representative Sires, the Foreign Oil Spill Liability Act, that would apply the same oil pollution act responsibilities and liabilities and Clean Water Act penalties that a domestic responsibility party would face to a foreign responsible party for a spill that pollutes U.S. waters and beaches.
The penalty, the liabilities would be triple. Currently, the burden is much lower on foreign spillers, forcing the American taxpayer to cover the cleanup costs, and members can contact my office if they wish more information on that legislation.
That’s all I have. Thank you, Mr. Secretary

Mr Salazar implemented a moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico( upon Obama’s orders) which stopped drilling and exploration  in June of 2010. Many rigs pulled out of the Gulf, possibly never to return. At the same time the Obama administration gave Brazil 2 billion taxpayer dollars to further their own oil drilling.  Ken Salazar went on another taxpayer funded junket to Spain to give his approval for Respol to drill 70 miles off the coast of America for a state sponsor of terrorism, Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

Thank you Rep. Rivera for demanding the truth about just how many foreign governments and corporations are now drilling for oil and gas in America and her territorial waters. It is nothing short of ludicrous that the Secretary of the Interior supposedly does not know this information, or just refuses to comply with congressional requests for the data. We the people have the right to know just who is being allowed to extract our own oil and gas, and why foreign governments and corporations are now taking precedence over American companies in our very own energy sector. China has the monopoly on the solar panel industry and now it seems like our government wants to allow foreigners to attain a larger share of the world’s oil and gas reserves, including those right here in America. ( The price of gasoline has risen another 20% since last week, just in time for the heavy travel season of Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years.)
2012 just can’t get here fast enough!
Footnote: For a complete list of foreign companies drilling in just the Gulf region alone, see this fact-sheet, from virginia.edu. Major oil Companies Operating in the Gulf Region.

I was thinking…. Canary in the coal mine

I was thinking….. Sometimes it’s a good thing,  sometimes I just don’t know…

I have been fortunate in my life to grow up and live in foreign countries; and in that I have perspective many of my friends and family members  have never had, nor ever will.  It was no accident I decided to come to America (just as many have before me, many have since and many others yet, still dream of).

Those of us fortunate to have made it to this Country, know why we are here; although not perfect, this is the most sought after place on earth; for its freedom, for its opportunities, for its  generosity, for its way of life not paralleled by any other country in the World.

I doubt people clamor to move to Venezuela, or Cuba or France for the political governance of those countries… there is a reason for that… most of us know  it intuitively, we are not looking to be subservient to our representatives…. but those of us who have seen it first hand are America’s Canary in the coal mine.

I never remember a point in my lifetime, here or in any other country that  I can think of, where the air was so poisoned that family members, neighbors, friends can so easily be at odds with one another as much as since President Barack Obama has been elected.  No matter how much discourse there was during the 8 yrs of his predecessor George W. Bush, you never felt this constant assault and bad aura that permeates every thing we do or see in our daily lives!  In the course of calling ordinary citizens terrorists or other disparaging terms, the very Government we have elected to represent us is dividing us, marginalizing some, elevating others, seeping into our consciousness little by little.

It’s not politics… it’s destructive!!!

There are people who want to burry their hands in the sand to avoid dealing with it, which is exactly what promotes this abuse of Government power and name calling of those who dissent (we have seen this show before); we are living in dangerous times, and no, this is not just hyperbole, you can feel it!

But at the end of the day, I want to be part of the people who tried to do something about it; I don’t want to look back and say….

We could tell it wasn’t right…
We could tell it didn’t feel right…
We could tell it didn’t smell right….
We could tell it didn’t look right…

But we failed to do the RIGHT thing… and worse… We were afraid to even talk bout it!!!!!!!    My take is, Speak now or forever be silent!!!

I don’t know why… but I know I need to do something….

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.  Ronald Reagan Address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, (30 March 1961)

Hugo Chavez ‘Not Dead’ – Questions Remain on Health

hugo chavez

Chavez has been out of sight for several weeks and is allegedly recovering in Cuba following a June 10, surgery. According to his closest friends and allies, Hugo Chavez is still alive and the Venezuelan president is firmly in control of the country.

His brother Adan said he had just returned from Cuba and that Hugo was recovering “satisfactorily”. Venezuela’s vice-foreign minister Temir Porras tweeted, “President Chavez is recovering well from his surgery. His enemies should stop dreaming and his friends should stop worrying”.

Some speculate that the President is simply taking a respite to recharge before the 2012 election. But, unconfirmed claims of Chavez’ current health have ranged from dealing with prostate cancer to him having died from a massive heart attack. And now his continued silence and absence have triggered a wave of concern in Venezuela over possible succession concerns.

Under the Venezuelan constitution, Vice President Jaua would become President if Chavez cannot return to power, but many argue that Chavez has become larger than life and cannot be replaced by anyone. “Chávez has made it difficult for anyone to rise to that level where they can be seen as a replacement.”, said Daniel Kerner, a Latin American analyst.

If Hugo dies or is otherwise unable to resume his Presidency, a power vacuum will undoubtedly ensue. The military, the oil industry and native Venezuelan groups may all vie for power in a Hugo-less nation.