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Posted:Apr 23, 2015 12:04 pm
Last Updated:Feb 15, 2020 9:06 am

First off I'm dyslexic. So if I don't proof read my posts or comments well enough you will likely see some of those silly mistakes that dyslexics make. Being dyslexic I read a bit slower then someone who isn't and sometimes I miss words or letters or switch them around into a different order. You would be amazed how much that can affect the meaning of a sentence. So if I make a comment that seems out of place or harsh I probably misread something or miss typed it as it seems dyslexia affects many areas of reading and writing including spelling and punctuation as well as composition (I'm always leaving out words or even entire sentences, oops). Leaving out a comma can change the meaning of a sentence or muddle it very well. As a rule I don't make negative comments intended to hurt someone unless of course they have insulted or offended me in some way. I do sometimes make sarcastic or ironic remarks usually for the purposes of humor or to play with words as I like to do that. So you may not see me making posts to my blog very often as it really is a pain in the ass to write something then try to edit it before I post it and have it make sense. Besides by the time I get done reading all the interesting blogs and making an occasional comment my brain is often tired and I've probably forgotten what I was going to say. It's a real pain when you are trying to write something and you can't recall the word you want to use. That happens with names also much to my embarrassment. Sometimes I can't recall my own name when I'm introducing myself, boy is that embarrassing, .

Those homophones are a bitch and are sometimes hard to notice when editing but seem to be apparent later when I re-read a post, lol.

My laugh at the way I pronounce words sometimes, which I don't mind laughter is good and I know I don't pronounce things right if I haven't used the word in speech a lot recently. I've always loved reading and have a very good vocabulary as far as understanding what a word means. I just have difficulty recalling them and pronouncing some of them on demand. The pick on me about my hand writing also which is understandable to me. My hand writing looks like an anonymous ransom note with a mix of printing (mostly) and cursive as well as my interpretations of the alphabet all crammed together and mixed in with random capitalized letters. I feel sorry for the people at the school when I have to write a note and don't take the time to try and make it legible . I love my Franklin speaking electronic dictionary, it sure beats the printed ones when I'm checking on the spelling of a word and it will even speak it for me.

I remember in the sixth grade taking the evaluation tests that they were doing in school at the time (about 1973) in Colorado. The teacher seemed surprised that I had a twelfth grade reading comprehension and vocabulary level on the test. I couldn't read out loud in class very well because the words jumped around and I couldn't read as fast as I could talk and I made those mistakes that dyslexics make. All and all a halting, jumbled up and not very smooth recital. But I did very well on the tests. I think it was all those years of reading that allowed me to be able to take the test well. It just took me longer to read the questions and finish the test, but years of reading had made it easier to not get frustrated at having to read the question over and over before I was confident that I understood it well. They had me reading to the first graders at one point in the sixth grade. I don't know if they thought it would help my ability to read out loud or what. I have to say reading simple story books and running my finger under the words wasn't as difficult as reading the other books in class but it was still a bit bumpy and out of order at times. But the enjoyed being read to.

So to all you snobs out there who think that just because someone mixes up their there's or two's or their writings are incoherent it may not be because they are stupid as dyslexia is a lot more common than you may think and is not at all related to intelligence though it is often misinterpreted that way (I understand, I do it too) . That is not to say that some people are not just lazy and sloppy with their writing though.

Below are some opinions, thoughts, ideas and even some pictures. Leave a comment if you would like too.
I feel so much better now...
Posted:Feb 26, 2020 11:12 pm
Last Updated:Feb 27, 2020 4:51 pm

Pence is in charge of the coronavirus.....

Since the Genius decided to raid the pandemic response team, including the top-level NSC member and get rid of them, taking the funds to for his "Wall" we are so much better off. I'm sure Pence can handle the situation so well. I'm sure he will know just what to do and how to do it. After all a half-wit moron politician is certainly better than a scientist or doctors and professors at planning the response to these kind of things. I'm sure the wall will keep those pesky viruses better than anything. So lets all hold hands now and pray together.... just don't breath.... or touch each other or....
Questions on the Recent debate?
Posted:Feb 25, 2020 7:58 pm
Last Updated:Feb 27, 2020 4:52 pm

Did you notice all the cheap shots?

Did you notice, how often, when Bernie was answering a question, The rude little dipshit Buttigieg would interrupt and try to talk over him and not just for a few words then stop respectfully but he continued on and on?

Have you noticed that they all attack Bernie on the "How are you going to pay for your medicare for all program?" Yet they all are saying their plans are... If you want medicare for all you can have it... yet they curiously don't say how they are going to pay for it?

What did you think about Bloomburg's cheap shot... from a billionaire yet... about the Russians are trying to help Bernie get elected?

What did you think about Warren's shot at Bloomburg about how he financed Republican Senators to get elected and tried to beat her by financing a republican opponent against her?

What do you think about this bullshit propaganda that Bernie can't help get Democrats on the down ticket elected?

Are you sick and tired of hearing Biden saying " I did this,... I did that... ?" Well at least he wasn't dropping Obama"s name so much tonight. His coattails must be getting kind of worn out.

Are you sick of listening to Klobuchar yet?

repost... Cuba and Castro
Posted:Feb 25, 2020 3:26 pm
Last Updated:Feb 28, 2020 12:26 am

This is a repost from a long while ago. I felt like people need to be educated as they have been spoon fed bogus information that doesn't represent the whole truth of the situation. In any given situation failing to take the whole picture into account is a failure to understand and often leads to misunderstandings. Just as taking a simple comment and twisting it out of shape into something more than what it is, is a misrepresentation of the situation. It is very easy to jump on the spoon fed band wagon and yell that communism or socialism is bad etc. etc. But failure to take into consideration what was going on in the Cuba that Castro grew up in and later took over and what happened when he asked for aid from the United States and then condemning Castro or anyone who said anything good about him is ignorant and stupid.

I think the revolution that Castro used to take over Cuba was a justifiable action given the circumstances.

Batista was worse then Castro was. Had the U.S. not been trying to get rid of Castro maybe things would have been different.

from historyofcuba.com/history/batista.htm


by Jerry A. Sierra

THE COVER OF TIME MAGAZINE (April 9 1952) showed a photo of Batista with a Cuban flag behind him, and the caption: "Cuba's Batista: he got past Democracy's sentries." Ironically, that was not the first time that Batista had bypassed the process of Democracy, with the full blessing and encouragement of its self-appointed guardians. Twenty years earlier Batista had become the strongman that would come to symbolize the heart and soul of Roosevelt's "Good Neighbor Policy."

Ruben Fulgencio Batista Zaldívar was born in Cuba's Oriente Province on January 16 1901. His parents, who lived and worked in a sugar plantation, were said to be of mixed race; Negro, white, Indian, and (it was popularly believed) Chinese. In 1921 he joined the army as a private, and in 1932 he became a military tribunal stenographer with the rank of sergeant.

The First Coup

In an uprising known as the "Revolt of the Sergeants," Batista took over the Cuban government on September 4, 1933. The coup overthrew the liberal government of Gerardo Machado, and marked the beginning of the army's influence as an organized force in the running of the government. It also signaled Batista's emergence as self-appointed chief of the armed forces, king-maker and favored U.S. strong man.

U.S. Ambassador Benjamin Sumner Welles, sent to Cuba in April of 1933 to mediate differences between the government and opposing political groups, found an ally in Batista. "You're the only individual in Cuba today who represents authority," he said to the recently self-appointed Chief of the Military. When Batista asked what the U.S. "wanted done for recognition," Welles replied, "I will lay down no specific terms; the matter of your government is a Cuban matter and it is for you to decide what you will do about it." To Batista, this was an invitation to rule.

On January 14 1934, Batista forced provisional president Ramón Grau San Martín to resign, and he appointed Carlos Mendieta to the presidency. Within five days, the U.S. recognized Cuba's new government.

For the next decade Batista ran the country from the background, using puppet presidents [Carlos Mendieta (1934-35), José A. Barnet (1935-36), Miguel Mariano Gómez (1936) and Federuco Laredo Brú (1936-40)] and having his way with the government, which continued a thirty-year tradition of corruption.

Batista was well liked by American interests, who feared Grau's liberal social and economic revolution and saw him as a stabilizing force with respect for American interests. It was in this time period that Batista formed a renowned friendship and business relationship with gangster Meyer Lansky that lasted over three decades.

Through Lansky, the mafia knew they had a friend in Cuba. Gangster Lucky Luciano, after being deported to Italy in 1946, went to Havana with a false passport. A summit at Havana's Hotel Nacional, with mobsters such as Frank Costello, Vito Genovese, Santo Trafficante Jr., Moe Dalitz and others, confirmed Luciano's authority over the U.S. mob, and coincided with Frank Sinatra's singing debut in Havana. It was here that Lansky gave permission to kill Bugsy Siegel for skimming construction money from the Flamingo in Las Vegas.

Many of Batista's enemies faced the same fate as the ambitious Siegel. One of his most bitter opponents, Antonio Guiteras (founder of the student group Jóven Cuba) was gunned down by government forces in 1935 while waiting for a boat in Matanzas province. Others just seemed to disappear into thin air.

Batista's chance to sit on the president's chair came in 1940. Supported by a coalition of political parties, and by the Communists, he defeated his old rival Grau San Martín in the first presidential election under a new Cuban constitution. During his presidency, trade relations with the U.S. increased, and a series of war taxes were imposed on the Cuban population. In 1944, Grau San Martín was elected president and Batista was forced to relinquish control.

While living luxuriously in Daytona Beach, Florida, Batista ran for and won a seat in the Cuban Senate in 1948. Four years later he was running for president, but a poll published in the December, 1951 issue of the popular magazine "Bohemia" showed him in last place.

The Second Coup

On March 10 1952, almost twenty years after the Revolt of the Sergeants, Batista took over the government once more, this time against elected Cuban president Carlos Prío Socorras. The coup took place three months before the upcoming elections that he was sure to lose. Also running in that election (for a different office) was a young, energetic lawyer named Fidel Castro. On March 27 Batista's government was formally recognized by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Shortly after this recognition, Batista declared that, although he was completely loyal to Cuba's constitution of 1940, constitutional guarantees would have to be temporarily suspended, as well as the right to strike. In April, writes Hugh Thomas in The Cuban Revolution, "Batista proclaimed a new constitutional code of 275 articles, claiming that the 'democratic and progressive essence' of the 1940 Constitution was preserved in the new law."

Batista opened the way for large-scale gambling in Havana, and he reorganized the Cuban state so that he and his political appointees could harvest the nation's riches. He announced that his government would match, dollar for dollar, any hotel investment over $1 million, which would include a casino license, and Lansky became the center of the entire Cuban gambling operation.

Under Batista, Cuba became profitable for American business and organized crime. Havana became the "Latin Las Vegas," a playground of choice for wealthy gamblers, and very little was said about democracy, or the rights of the average Cuban. Opposition was swiftly and violently crushed, and many began to fear the new government.

Just over a year after Batista's second coup, a small group of revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro attacked the Moncada Army Barracks in Santiago on July 26, 1953. The attack failed, and Batista sent General Martin Tamayo, the military commander of the district, a note ordering him to "kill ten rebels for every soldier killed" in the attack. This Presidential order was quickly dubbed the "ten-for-one" law. Tamayo carried out his order, murdering fifty-nine additional rebels (it would have taken 190 deaths to fulfill Batista's request).

Having easily defeated the rebellion, and with Castro and most of the others in jail or dead, business was back to normal in Cuba. Mafia boss Meyer Lansky turned Havana into an international drug port, and Cuban officials continued to get rich even after a few years in government. Nightly, the "bagman" for Batista's wife collected 10 percent of the profits at Trafficante's casinos; the Sans Souci, and the casinos in the hotels Sevilla-Biltmore, Commodoro, Deauville and Capri. Batista's take from the Lansky casinos, the Hotel Nacional, the Montmartre Club and others, is said to be 30 percent. That was aside from his fair share of Cuba's general funds that should have been going to education, public health and city maintenance.

For a price, Batista handed contracts to dozens of U.S. corporations for massive construction projects, such as the Havana-Varadero highway, the Rancho Boyeros airport, train lines, the power company and a strange plan to dig a canal across Cuba.

Due to popular unrest, and to appease his U.S. friends, Batista held a mock election in which he was the only legal candidate. He won, becoming president of Cuba in 1954. Cubans, however, had learned not to trust him, and were demanding new, legitimate elections.

The distinguished Colonel Cosme de la Torriente, a surviving veteran of the Cuban War of Independence, emerged in late 1955 to offer compromise. A series of meetings led by de la Torriente became known as "El Diálago Cívico" (the civic dialogue). Writes Hugh Thomas: "This Diálago Cívico represented what turned out to be the last hope for Cuban middle-class democracy, but Batista was far too strong and entrenched in his position to make any concessions."

Batista was so confident of his power that on May 15, 1955, he released Castro and the remaining survivors of the Moncada attack, hoping to dissuade some of his critics. Within weeks it was rumored that Batista's military police was looking to kill Castro, so the rebel went to Mexico to plan the revolution.

The Havana Post, expressing the attitude of the U.S. business community after a survey of the four years of Batista's second reign, alluded to the disappearance of gangsterism and said: 'All in all, the Batista regime has much to commend it." Hugh Thomas disagrees with that commentary. "In a way," Thomas writes, "Batista's golpe formalized gangsterism: the machine gun in the big car became the symbol not only of settling scores but of an approaching change of government."

By late 1955 student riots and anti-Batista demonstration had become frequent. These were dealt with in the violent manner his military police had come to represent. Students attempting to march from the University of Havana were stopped and beaten by the police, and student leader José A. Echeverría had to be hospitalized. Another popular student leader was killed on December 10, leading to a funeral that became a gigantic political protest with a 5-minute nationwide work stoppage.

Instead of loosening his grip, Batista suspended constitutional guarantees and established tighter censorship of the media. His military police would patrol the streets and pick up anyone suspected of insurrection. By the end of 1955 they had grown more prone to violent acts of brutality and torture, with no fear of legal repercussions.

In March of 1956 Batista refused to consider a proposal calling for elections by the end of the year. He was confident that he could defeat any revolutionary attempt from the many factions who opposed him.

Batista continued to rule with his usually confident iron fist, even after the landing of the Granma in December of 1956 (which brought the Castro brothers back to Cuba along with Che Guevara and marked the beginning of the armed conflict).

end of quote.

I wonder how anyone might feel about the U.S. and the capitalist from there after growing up in that environment?

from historyofcuba.com/topics/cold-war/fidel-castro

The Many Attempted Assassinations of Fidel Castro
During Fidel Castro's tenure as President of Cuba, he survived an estimated 638 attempts on his life - and that's just from the CIA.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro (1926-2016) established the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere after leading an overthrow of the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959. He ruled over Cuba for nearly five decades, until handing off power to his younger brother Raúl in 2008. During that time, Castro’s regime was successful in reducing illiteracy, stamping out racism and improving public health care, but was widely criticized for stifling economic and political freedoms. Castro’s Cuba also had a highly antagonistic relationship with the United States–most notably resulting in the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The two nations officially normalized relations in July 2015, ending a trade embargo that had been in place since 1960, when U.S.-owned businesses in Cuba were nationalized without compensation. Castro died on November 25, 2016, at 90.
end quote.

from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidel_Castro

Youth: 1926–1947
Castro was born out of wedlock at his father's farm on August 13, 1926. His father, Ángel Castro y Argiz, was a migrant to Cuba from Galicia, Northwest Spain. He had become financially successful by growing sugar cane at Las Manacas farm in Birán, Oriente Province, and after the collapse of his first marriage, he took his household servant, Lina Ruz González - also of Spanish origin - as his mistress and later second wife; together they had seven , among them Fidel. Aged six, Castro was sent to live with his teacher in Santiago de Cuba, before being baptized into the Roman Catholic Church at the age of eight. Being baptized enabled Castro to attend the La Salle boarding school in Santiago, where he regularly misbehaved, so he was sent to the privately funded, Jesuit-run Dolores School in Santiago. In 1945 he transferred to the more prestigious Jesuit-run El Colegio de Belén in Havana. Although Castro took an interest in history, geography and debating at Belén, he did not excel academically, instead devoting much of his time to playing sports.

In 1945, Castro began studying law at the University of Havana. Admitting he was "politically illiterate", he became embroiled in student activism, and the violent gangsterismo culture within the university. Passionate about anti-imperialism and opposing U.S. intervention in the Caribbean, he unsuccessfully campaigned for the presidency of the Federation of University Students on a platform of "honesty, decency and justice". Castro became critical of the corruption and violence of President Ramón Grau's government, delivering a public speech on the subject in November 1946 that received coverage on the front page of several newspapers.

In 1947, Castro joined the Party of the Cuban People (Partido Ortodoxo), founded by veteran politician Eduardo Chibás. A charismatic figure, Chibás advocated social justice, honest government, and political freedom, while his party exposed corruption and demanded reform. Though Chibás came third in the 1948 general election, Castro remained committed to working on his behalf. Student violence escalated after Grau employed gang leaders as police officers, and Castro soon received a death threat urging him to leave the university; refusing, he began carrying a gun and surrounding himself with armed friends. In later years anti-Castro dissidents accused him of committing gang-related assassinations at the time, but these remain unproven.

Rebellion and Marxism: 1947–1950

In June 1947, Castro learned of a planned expedition to overthrow the right-wing military junta of Rafael Trujillo, a U.S. ally, in the Dominican Republic. Being President of the University Committee for Democracy in the Dominican Republic, Castro joined the expedition. The military force consisted of around 1,200 troops, mostly Cubans and exiled Dominicans, and they intended to sail from Cuba in July 1947. However, under U.S. pressure, Grau's government stopped the invasion, although Castro and many of his comrades evaded arrest. Returning to Havana, Castro took a leading role in student protests against the killing of a high school pupil by government bodyguards. The protests, accompanied by a crackdown on those considered communists, led to violent clashes between activists and police in February 1948, in which Castro was badly beaten. At this point his public speeches took on a distinctly leftist slant by condemning social and economic inequality in Cuba. In contrast, his former public criticisms had centered on condemning corruption and U.S. imperialism.

In April 1948, Castro traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, with a Cuban student group sponsored by President Juan Perón's Argentine government. There, the assassination of popular leftist leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala led to widespread rioting and clashes between the governing Conservatives – backed by the army – and leftist Liberals. Castro joined the Liberal cause by stealing guns from a police station, but subsequent police investigations concluded that he had not been involved in any killings.[25] Returning to Cuba, Castro became a prominent figure in protests against government attempts to raise bus fares. That year, he married Mirta Díaz Balart, a student from a wealthy family through whom he was exposed to the lifestyle of the Cuban elite. The relationship was a love match, disapproved of by both families, but Díaz Balart's father gave them tens of thousands of dollars to spend on a three-month New York City honeymoon.

That same year, Grau decided not to stand for re-election, which was instead won by his Partido Auténtico's new candidate, Carlos Prío Socarrás. Prío faced widespread protests when members of the MSR, now allied to the police force, assassinated Justo Fuentes, a socialist friend of Castro's. In response, Prío agreed to quell the gangs, but found them too powerful to control. Castro had moved further to the left, influenced by the Marxist writings of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin. He came to interpret Cuba's problems as an integral part of capitalist society, or the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie", rather than the failings of corrupt politicians, and adopted the Marxist view that meaningful political change could only be brought about by proletariat revolution. Visiting Havana's poorest neighborhoods, he became active in the student anti-racist campaign.

In September 1949, Mirta gave birth to a , Fidelito, so the couple moved to a larger Havana flat. Castro continued to put himself at risk, staying active in the city’s politics and joining the September 30 Movement, which contained within it both communists and members of the Partido Ortodoxo. The group’s purpose was to oppose the influence of the violent gangs within the university; despite his promises, Prío had failed to control the situation, instead offering many of their senior members jobs in government ministries. Castro volunteered to deliver a speech for the Movement on November 13, exposing the government’s secret deals with the gangs and identifying key members. Attracting the attention of the national press, the speech angered the gangs, and Castro fled into hiding, first in the countryside and then in the U.S. Returning to Havana several weeks later, Castro lay low and focused on his university studies, graduating as a Doctor of Law in September 1950.

Career in law and politics: 1950–1952

Castro co-founded a legal partnership that primarily catered for poor Cubans, although it proved a financial failure. Caring little for money or material goods, Castro failed to pay his bills; his furniture was repossessed and electricity cut off, distressing his wife. He took part in a high-school protest in Cienfuegos in November 1950, fighting with police in protest at the Education Ministry's ban on student associations; arrested and charged for violent conduct, the magistrate dismissed the charges. His hopes for Cuba still centered on Chibás and the Partido Ortodoxo, and he was present at Chibás' politically motivated suicide in 1951. Seeing himself as Chibás' heir, Castro wanted to run for Congress in the June 1952 elections, though senior Ortodoxo members feared his radical reputation and refused to nominate him. Instead he was nominated as a candidate for the House of Representatives by party members in Havana's poorest districts, and began campaigning. The Ortodoxo had considerable support and was predicted to do well in the election.

During his campaign, Castro met with General Fulgencio Batista, the former president who had returned to politics with the Unitary Action Party; although both opposing Prío's administration, their meeting never got beyond polite generalities. In March 1952, Batista seized power in a military coup, with Prío fleeing to Mexico. Declaring himself president, Batista cancelled the planned presidential elections, describing his new system as "disciplined democracy": Castro, like many others, considered it a one-man dictatorship. Batista moved to the right, solidifying ties with both the wealthy elite and the United States, severing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, suppressing trade unions and persecuting Cuban socialist groups. Intent on opposing Batista, Castro brought several legal cases against the government, but these came to nothing, and Castro began thinking of alternate ways to oust the regime.

The Movement and the Moncada Barracks attack: 1952–1953

Castro formed a group called "The Movement" which operated along a clandestine cell system, publishing underground newspaper El Acusador (The Accuser), while arming and training anti-Batista recruits. From July 1952 they went on a recruitment drive, gaining around 1,200 members in a year, the majority from Havana's poorer districts. Although a revolutionary socialist, Castro avoided an alliance with the communist PSP, fearing it would frighten away political moderates, but kept in contact with PSP members like his brother Raúl. Castro stockpiled weapons for a planned attack on the Moncada Barracks, a military garrison outside Santiago de Cuba, Oriente. Castro's militants intended to dress in army uniforms and arrive at the base on July 25, seizing control and raiding the armory before reinforcements arrived. Supplied with new weaponry, Castro intended to spark a revolution among Oriente's impoverished cane cutters and promote further uprisings. Castro's plan emulated those of the 19th-century Cuban independence fighters who had raided Spanish barracks; Castro saw himself as the heir to independence leader José Martí.

Castro gathered 165 revolutionaries for the mission, ordering his troops not to cause bloodshed unless they met armed resistance. The attack took place on July 26, 1953, but ran into trouble; 3 of the 16 cars that had set out from Santiago failed to get there. Reaching the barracks, the alarm was raised, with most of the rebels pinned down by machine gun fire. 4 were killed before Castro ordered a retreat. The rebels suffered 6 fatalities and 15 other casualties, whilst the army suffered 19 dead and 27 wounded. Meanwhile, some rebels took over a civilian hospital; subsequently stormed by government soldiers, the rebels were rounded up, tortured and 22 were executed without trial. Accompanied by 19 comrades, Castro set out for Gran Piedra in the rugged Sierra Maestra mountains several miles to the north, where they could establish a guerrilla base. Responding to the attack, Batista's government proclaimed martial law, ordering a violent crackdown on dissent, and imposing strict media censorship. The government broadcast misinformation about the event, claiming that the rebels were communists who had killed hospital patients, although news and photographs of the army's use of torture and summary executions in Oriente soon spread, causing widespread public and some governmental disapproval.

Over the following days, the rebels were rounded up; some were executed and others – including Castro – transported to a prison north of Santiago. Believing Castro incapable of planning the attack alone, the government accused Ortodoxo and PSP politicians of involvement, putting 122 defendants on trial on September 21 at the Palace of Justice, Santiago. Acting as his own defense counsel, Castro cited Martí as the intellectual author of the attack and convinced the 3 judges to overrule the army's decision to keep all defendants handcuffed in court, proceeding to argue that the charge with which they were accused – of "organizing an uprising of armed persons against the Constitutional Powers of the State" – was incorrect, for they had risen up against Batista, who had seized power in an unconstitutional manner. The trial embarrassed the army by revealing that they had tortured suspects, after which they tried unsuccessfully to prevent Castro from testifying any further, claiming he was too ill. The trial ended on October 5, with the acquittal of most defendants; 55 were sentenced to prison terms of between 7 months and 13 years. Castro was sentenced on October 16, during which he delivered a speech that would be printed under the title of History Will Absolve Me. Castro was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in the hospital wing of the Model Prison (Presidio Modelo), a relatively comfortable and modern institution on the Isla de Pinos.

Imprisonment and July 26 Movement: 1953–1955

Imprisoned with 25 comrades, Castro renamed his group the "26th of July Movement" (MR-26-7) in memory of the Moncada attack's date, and formed a school for prisoners. He read widely, enjoying the works of Marx, Lenin, and Martí but also reading books by Freud, Kant, Shakespeare, Munthe, Maugham and Dostoyevsky, analyzing them within a Marxist framework. Corresponding with supporters, he maintained control over the Movement and organized the publication of History Will Absolve Me. Initially permitted a relative amount of freedom within the prison, he was locked up in solitary confinement after inmates sang anti-Batista songs on a visit by the President in February 1954. Meanwhile, Castro's wife Mirta gained employment in the Ministry of the Interior, something he discovered through a radio announcement. Appalled, he raged that he would rather die "a thousand times" than "suffer impotently from such an insult". Both Fidel and Mirta initiated divorce proceedings, with Mirta taking custody of their Fidelito; this angered Castro, who did not want his growing up in a bourgeois environment.

In 1954, Batista's government held presidential elections, but no politician stood against him; the election was widely considered fraudulent. It had allowed some political opposition to be voiced, and Castro's supporters had agitated for an amnesty for the Moncada incident's perpetrators. Some politicians suggested an amnesty would be good publicity, and the Congress and Batista agreed. Backed by the U.S. and major corporations, Batista believed Castro to be no threat, and on May 15, 1955, the prisoners were released. Returning to Havana, Castro gave radio interviews and press conferences; the government closely monitored him, curtailing his activities. Now divorced, Castro had sexual affairs with two female supporters, Naty Revuelta and Maria Laborde, each conceiving him a . Setting about strengthening the MR-26-7, he established an 11-person National Directorate but retained autocratic control, with some dissenters labeling him a caudillo (dictator); he argued that a successful revolution could not be run by committee and required a strong leader.

In 1955, bombings and violent demonstrations led to a crackdown on dissent, with Castro and Raúl fleeing the country to evade arrest. Castro sent a letter to the press, declaring that he was "leaving Cuba because all doors of peaceful struggle have been closed to me ... As a follower of Martí, I believe the hour has come to take our rights and not beg for them, to fight instead of pleading for them." The Castros and several comrades traveled to Mexico, where Raúl befriended an Argentine doctor and Marxist-Leninist named Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who was working as a journalist and photographer for "Agencia Latina de Noticias". Fidel liked him, later describing him as "a more advanced revolutionary than I was". Castro also associated with the Spaniard Alberto Bayo, who agreed to teach Castro's rebels the necessary skills in guerrilla warfare. Requiring funding, Castro toured the U.S. in search of wealthy sympathizers, there being monitored by Batista's agents, who allegedly orchestrated a failed assassination attempt against him. Castro kept in contact with the MR-26-7 in Cuba, where they had gained a large support base in Oriente. Other militant anti-Batista groups had sprung up, primarily from the student movement; most notable was the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE), founded by José Antonio Echeverría. Antonio met with Castro in Mexico City, but Castro opposed the student's support for indiscriminate assassination.

After purchasing the decrepit yacht Granma, on November 25, 1956, Castro set sail from Tuxpan, Veracruz, with 81 armed revolutionaries. The 1,200-mile (1,900 km) crossing to Cuba was harsh, with food running low and many suffering seasickness. At some points, they had to bail water caused by a leak, and at another, a man fell overboard, delaying their journey. The plan had been for the crossing to take 5 days, and on the Granma's scheduled day of arrival, November 30, MR-26-7 members under Frank País led an armed uprising in Santiago and Manzanillo. However, the Granma's journey ultimately lasted 7 days, and with Castro and his men unable to provide reinforcements, País and his militants dispersed after two days of intermittent attacks.

Guerrilla war: 1956–1959

The Granma ran aground in a mangrove swamp at Playa Las Coloradas, close to Los Cayuelos, on December 2, 1956. Fleeing inland, its crew headed for the forested mountain range of Oriente's Sierra Maestra, being repeatedly attacked by Batista's troops. Upon arrival, Castro discovered that only 19 rebels had made it to their destination, the rest having been killed or captured. Setting up an encampment, the survivors included the Castros, Che Guevara, and Camilo Cienfuegos. They began launching raids on small army posts to obtain weaponry, and in January 1957 they overran the outpost at La Plata, treating any soldiers that they wounded but executing Chicho Osorio, the local mayoral (land company overseer), who was despised by the local peasants and who boasted of killing one of Castro's rebels. Osorio's execution aided the rebels in gaining the trust of locals, although they largely remained unenthusiastic and suspicious of the revolutionaries. As trust grew, some locals joined the rebels, although most new recruits came from urban areas. With volunteers boosting the rebel forces to over 200, in July 1957 Castro divided his army into three columns, commanded by himself, his brother, and Guevara. The MR-26-7 members operating in urban areas continued agitation, sending supplies to Castro, and on February 16, 1957 he met with other senior members to discuss tactics; here he met Celia Sánchez, who would become a close friend.

Across Cuba, anti-Batista groups carried out bombings and sabotage; police responded with mass arrests, torture, and extrajudicial executions. In March 1957, the DR launched a failed attack on the presidential palace, during which Antonio was shot dead. Frank País was also killed, leaving Castro the MR-26-7's unchallenged leader. Although Guevara and Raúl were well known for their Marxist-Leninist views, Castro hid his, hoping to gain the support of less radical revolutionaries. In 1957 he met with leading members of the Partido Ortodoxo, Raúl Chibás and Felipe Pazos, authoring the Sierra Maestra Manifesto, in which they demanded that a provisional civilian government be set up to implement moderate agrarian reform, industrialization, and a literacy campaign before holding multiparty elections. As Cuba's press was censored, Castro contacted foreign media to spread his message; he became a celebrity after being interviewed by Herbert Matthews, a journalist from The New York Times. Reporters from CBS and Paris Match soon followed.

Castro's guerrillas increased their attacks on military outposts, forcing the government to withdraw from the Sierra Maestra region, and by spring 1958, the rebels controlled a hospital, schools, a printing press, slaughterhouse, land-mine factory and a cigar-making factory. By 1958, Batista was under increasing pressure, a result of his military failures coupled with increasing domestic and foreign criticism surrounding his administration's press censorship, torture, and extrajudicial executions. Influenced by anti-Batista sentiment among their citizens, the U.S. government ceased supplying him with weaponry. The opposition called a general strike, accompanied by armed attacks from the MR-26-7. Beginning on April 9, it received strong support in central and eastern Cuba, but little elsewhere.

Batista responded with an all-out-attack, Operation Verano, in which the army aerially bombarded forested areas and villages suspected of aiding the militants, while 10,000 soldiers commanded by General Eulogio Cantillo surrounded the Sierra Maestra, driving north to the rebel encampments. Despite their numerical and technological superiority, the army had no experience with guerrilla warfare, and Castro halted their offensive using land mines and ambushes. Many of Batista's soldiers defected to Castro's rebels, who also benefited from local popular support. In the summer, the MR-26-7 went on the offensive, pushing the army out of the mountains, with Castro using his columns in a pincer movement to surround the main army concentration in Santiago. By November, Castro's forces controlled most of Oriente and Las Villas, and divided Cuba in two by closing major roads and rail lines, severely disadvantaging Batista.

Fearing Castro was a socialist, the U.S. instructed Cantillo to oust Batista. Cantillo secretly agreed to a ceasefire with Castro, promising that Batista would be tried as a war criminal; however, Batista was warned, and fled into exile with over US$300,000,000 on December 31, 1958. Cantillo entered Havana's Presidential Palace, proclaimed the Supreme Court judge Carlos Piedra to be President, and began appointing the new government. Furious, Castro ended the ceasefire, and ordered Cantillo's arrest by sympathetic figures in the army. Accompanying celebrations at news of Batista's downfall on January 1, 1959, Castro ordered the MR-26-7 to prevent widespread looting and vandalism. Cienfuegos and Guevara led their columns into Havana on January 2, while Castro entered Santiago and gave a speech invoking the wars of independence. Heading toward Havana, he greeted cheering crowds at every town, giving press conferences and interviews.

Provisional government: 1959

At Castro's command, the politically moderate lawyer Manuel Urrutia Lleó was proclaimed provisional president, with Castro erroneously announcing he had been selected by "popular election"; most of Urrutia's cabinet were MR-26-7 members. Entering Havana, Castro proclaimed himself Representative of the Rebel Armed Forces of the Presidency, setting up home and office in the penthouse of the Havana Hilton Hotel. Castro exercised a great deal of influence over Urrutia's regime, which was now ruling by decree. He ensured that the government implemented policies to cut corruption and fight illiteracy and that it attempted to remove Batistanos from positions of power by dismissing Congress and barring all those elected in the rigged elections of 1954 and 1958 from future office. He then pushed Urrutia to issue a temporary ban on political parties; he repeatedly said that they would eventually hold multiparty elections. Although repeatedly denying that he was a communist to the press, he began clandestinely meeting members of the Popular Socialist Party to discuss the creation of a socialist state.

In suppressing the revolution, Batista's government had killed thousands of Cubans; at the time, Castro and influential sectors of the press put the death toll at 20,000, although more recent estimates place it between 1000 and 4000. In response to popular uproar, which demanded that those responsible be brought to justice, Castro helped set up many trials, resulting in hundreds of executions. Although widely popular domestically, critics–in particular the U.S. press–argued that many were not fair trials. Castro responded that "revolutionary justice is not based on legal precepts, but on moral conviction". Acclaimed by many across Latin America, he traveled to Venezuela where he met with President-elect Rómulo Betancourt, unsuccessfully requesting a loan and a new deal for Venezuelan oil. Returning home, an argument between Castro and senior government figures broke out. He was infuriated that the government had left thousands unemployed by closing down casinos and brothels. As a result, Prime Minister José Miró Cardona resigned, going into exile in the U.S. and joining the anti-Castro movement.

Consolidating leadership: 1959–1960

On February 16, 1959, Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba. In April he visited the U.S. on a charm offensive where he met Vice President Richard Nixon, whom he instantly disliked. Proceeding to Canada, Trinidad, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, Castro attended an economic conference in Buenos Aires, unsuccessfully proposing a $30 billion U.S.-funded "Marshall Plan" for Latin America. In May 1959 Castro signed into law the First Agrarian Reform, setting a cap for landholdings to 993 acres (402 ha) per owner and prohibiting foreigners from obtaining Cuban land ownership. Around 200,000 peasants received title deeds as large land holdings were broken up; popular among the working class, it alienated the richer landowners. Castro appointed himself president of the National Tourist Industry, introducing unsuccessful measures to encourage African-American tourists to visit, advertising Cuba as a tropical paradise free of racial discrimination. Judges and politicians had their pay reduced while low-level civil servants saw theirs raised, and in March 1959, Castro declared rents for those who paid less than $100 a month halved.

Although refusing to categorize his regime as socialist and repeatedly denying being a communist, Castro appointed Marxists to senior government and military positions. Most notably, Che Guevara became Governor of the Central Bank and then Minister of Industries. Appalled, Air Force commander Pedro Luis Díaz Lanz defected to the U.S. Although President Urrutia denounced the defection, he expressed concern with the rising influence of Marxism. Angered, Castro in turn announced his resignation as Prime Minister, blaming Urrutia for complicating government with his "fevered anti-Communism". Over 500,000 Castro-supporters surrounded the Presidential Palace demanding Urrutia's resignation, which he submitted. On July 23, Castro resumed his Premiership and appointed Marxist Osvaldo Dorticós as President.

Castro's government emphasised social projects to improve Cuba's standard of living, often to the detriment of economic development. Major emphasis was placed on education, and during the first 30 months of Castro's government, more classrooms were opened than in the previous 30 years. The Cuban primary education system offered a work-study program, with half of the time spent in the classroom, and the other half in a productive activity. Health care was nationalized and expanded, with rural health centers and urban polyclinics opening up across the island to offer free medical aid. Universal vaccination against childhood diseases was implemented, and infant mortality rates were reduced dramatically. A third part of this social program was the improvement of infrastructure. Within the first six months of Castro's government, 600 miles of roads were built across the island, while $300 million was spent on water and sanitation projects. Over 800 houses were constructed every month in the early years of the administration in an effort to cut homelessness, while nurseries and day-care centers were opened for and other centers opened for the disabled and elderly.

Castro used radio and television to develop a "dialogue with the people", posing questions and making provocative statements. His regime remained popular with workers, peasants, and students, who constituted the majority of the country's population, while opposition came primarily from the middle class; thousands of doctors, engineers and other professionals emigrated to Florida in the U.S., causing an economic brain drain. Productivity decreased and the country's financial reserves were drained within two years. After conservative press expressed hostility towards the government, the pro-Castro printers' trade union disrupted editorial staff, and in January 1960 the government ordered them to publish a "clarification" written by the printers' union at the end of articles critical of the government. Castro's government arrested hundreds of counter-revolutionaries, many of whom were subjected to solitary confinement, rough treatment, and threatening behavior. Militant anti-Castro groups, funded by exiles, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Dominican government, undertook armed attacks and set up guerrilla bases in Cuba's mountains, leading to the six-year Escambray Rebellion.

By 1960, the Cold War raged between two superpowers: the United States, a capitalist liberal democracy, and the Soviet Union (USSR), a Marxist-Leninist socialist state ruled by the Communist Party. Expressing contempt for the U.S., Castro shared the ideological views of the USSR, establishing relations with several Marxist-Leninist states. Meeting with Soviet First Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan, Castro agreed to provide the USSR with sugar, fruit, fibers, and hides, in return for crude oil, fertilizers, industrial goods, and a $100 million loan. Cuba's government ordered the country's refineries – then controlled by the U.S. corporations Shell, Esso and Standard Oil – to process Soviet oil, but under U.S. pressure, they refused. Castro responded by expropriating and nationalizing the refineries. Retaliating, the U.S. cancelled its import of Cuban sugar, provoking Castro to nationalize most U.S.-owned assets on the island, including banks and sugar mills.

Relations between Cuba and the U.S. were further strained following the explosion of a French vessel, the Le Coubre, in Havana harbor in March 1960. The ship carried weapons purchased from Belgium, the cause of the explosion was never determined, but Castro publicly insinuated that the U.S. government were guilty of sabotage. He ended this speech with "¡Patria o Muerte!" ("Fatherland or Death"), a proclamation that he made much use of in ensuing years. Inspired by their earlier success with the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état, in March 1960, U.S. President Eisenhower authorized the CIA to overthrow Castro's government. He provided them with a budget of $13 million and permitted them to ally with the Mafia, who were aggrieved that Castro's government closed down their brothel and casino businesses in Cuba. On October 13, 1960, the U.S. prohibited the majority of exports to Cuba, initiating an economic embargo. In retaliation, the National Institute for Agrarian Reform INRA took control of 383 private-run businesses on October 14, and on October 25 a further 166 U.S. companies operating in Cuba had their premises seized and nationalized. On December 16, the U.S. ended its import quota of Cuban sugar, the country's primary export.

In September 1960, Castro flew to New York City for the General Assembly of the United Nations. Staying at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, he met with journalists and anti-establishment figures like Malcolm X. He also met Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, with the two publicly condemning the poverty and racism faced by Americans in areas like Harlem. Relations between Castro and Khrushchev were warm; they led the applause to one another's speeches at the General Assembly. Subsequently visited by Polish First Secretary Władysław Gomułka, Bulgarian Chairman Todor Zhivkov, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Indian Premier Jawaharlal Nehru, Castro also received an evening's reception from the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

Back in Cuba, Castro feared a U.S.-backed coup; in 1959 his regime spent $120 million on Soviet, French, and Belgian weaponry and by early 1960 had doubled the size of Cuba's armed forces. Fearing counter-revolutionary elements in the army, the government created a People's Militia to arm citizens favorable to the revolution, training at least 50,000 civilians in combat techniques. In September 1960, they created the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), a nationwide civilian organization which implemented neighborhood spying to detect counter-revolutionary activities as well as organizing health and education campaigns, becoming a conduit for public complaints. By 1970, a third of the population would be involved in the CDR, and this would come to rise to 80%. Castro proclaimed the new administration a direct democracy, in which Cubans could assemble at demonstrations to express their democratic will. As a result, he rejected the need for elections, claiming that representative democratic systems served the interests of socio-economic elites. U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter announced that Cuba was adopting the Soviet model of rule, with a one-party state, government control of trade unions, suppression of civil liberties, and the absence of freedom of speech and press.
end quote.

"We are not executing innocent people or political opponents. We are executing murderers and they deserve it."

— Castro's response to his critics regarding the mass executions, 1959

"Marxism taught me what society was. I was like a blindfolded man in a forest, who doesn't even know where north or south is. If you don't eventually come to truly understand the history of the class struggle, or at least have a clear idea that society is divided between the rich and the poor, and that some people subjugate and exploit other people, you're lost in a forest, not knowing anything."

— Fidel Castro on discovering Marxism, 2009

Did you notice all the hands that helped make Castro? Did you see how things might have gone otherwise had the U.S. not done some of the things it did? Do you wonder how things might have turned out had things been handled differently?
Has your...
Posted:Feb 25, 2020 12:52 pm
Last Updated:Feb 27, 2020 4:53 pm

Asshole ever whistled?

You can feel free expand on your answers in the coments.
Was it just a tone?
or was it a tune?
Funny isn't it....
Posted:Feb 25, 2020 10:31 am
Last Updated:Feb 26, 2020 10:02 am

Bloomburg is saying all this stuff about him being better than Trump because Trump is so divisive etc. and so into attacking people etc. and yet he is now saying that the Democrats should all be attacking Bernie while he is attacking him himself.

Now I'm not saying that the candidates shouldn't be pointing out differences with each others standing but you should also not be misleading people with what are outright lies either. Bloomburg is taking on Trumps methods of spouting blatant lies and or misleading facts knowing full well that they will get attention and media coverage, not mention he is blasting these lies out over the airwaves in his paid for advertisements, knowing full well that the average Joe or Josephine won't do their homework and look up the actual facts. Hmmm, what candidate do you see that actually speaks in truths rather than misleading blurbs and lies? Bernie is the only one who has been strait with the people for decades. Though I have say Warren would be right beside him or just behind him on speaking truths. The rest are talking out their lying asses. You do remember Bloomburg's refusal give consent releasing people on those Non-Disclosure (NDA) Agreements? Hmmm, he seemed very caught at that moment with Warren. He was really thinking in his mind about what was in those documents and situations and just how revealing they would be about who he is in this #metoo time, you could see it in his eyes and face. The lies he is spreading about Bernie being in with the NRA are such ridiculous and absurd lies as to be libelous. I would like to see him sued over it as that is what it takes to stop these outright lies in politics.

This hogwash that the corporate establishment Democrat's are promoting that Bernie couldn't be elected is pure bullshit and the type of scare tactics that the Republicans use..
1 comment
Odd isn't it...
Posted:Feb 23, 2020 7:20 am
Last Updated:Feb 25, 2020 9:24 am

How the Democrats are all vote the nominee no matter who it is... meanwhile they are putting out all this Bernie the Socialist can't win against Trump propaganda through the media and even some of their more vocal loud mouths. They want the Bernie supporters to promise to vote whom ever wins the nomination even while they are saying the nominee must have a more than 50% lead or the super delegates will be the ones deciding. I wonder If Bernie comes in to the convention with a significant lead over the others will the super delegates somehow decide to see to it that someone else gets their votes? Will they decide to throw the nomination to the establishment candidate instead of Bernie even though the people have clearly spoken their choice? Because that's what I'm smelling on the wind.
More criminals pardoned...
Posted:Feb 19, 2020 1:30 pm
Last Updated:Feb 23, 2020 7:02 am

Wish I could say it was some deserving people but it doesn't seem be the case. The criminal in chief seems like pardon friends and associates. It's pretty sad when you think the power of the pardon should be removed from the president.
The new sweat shops operated by the richest man in the world
Posted:Feb 15, 2020 2:41 pm
Last Updated:Feb 15, 2020 2:41 pm

Amazon is gaining a reputation as a sweat shop operation where the workers are treated poorly and are getting injured on the job trying to keep up with the demanding pace of the work and only recently are getting more reasonable wages since Bernie shamed Bezos into paying them a $15.00 minimum wage.

A pretty shameful reputation for the richest man in the world. Seems like we are heading back in time to when the worker had no rights and was used and abused only to be thrown away and replaced by the next person desperate for a job to earn enough to eat and maybe find a place to live and survive.

Seems like Amazon should be paying taxes on its profits just like the rest of us doesn't it? No wonder the Washington Post has typically negative articles on Bernie.

So what does it take...
Posted:Feb 14, 2020 7:27 pm
Last Updated:Feb 19, 2020 12:37 pm

to convict a crooked president?

If the Democrats had obtained a video showing Tyrump handing a briefcase full of cash to Putin and Putin saying "it's about time you paid me and my people for winning your election for you" would that be enough?

If the "perfect phone call" had been recorded and it clearly had the spoken words from Tyrumps own lips saying "either you publicly announce an investigation of Biden and his or I will indefinitely hold this military aid that would keep the Russians at bay saving your countries soldiers lives." "oh and don't forget to tell everyone that you felt no pressure... or else.." Would that be enough?

I doubt even that level of evidence that would show such a clear and present danger to Americas security would have been enough to move the corrupt Republipigs to action against their Tyrant leader.

So the Republipigs have now given the Tyrant Tyrump the go ahead to do as he wants as there will be no repercussions to anything he so chooses to do from this point on. The corrupt Republipigs are going ahead with the persecution of the very people who have been trying to expose the corruption and bring the criminals and traitors to justice.

So now Tyrump is openly flaunting his control and influence over the Department of Justice. Meanwhile Barr, Tyrumps personally chosen partner in injustice and corruption of the DOJ comes on TV to say how he is finding it so hard to do his job because of Tyrumps tweeting. Would you believe that people like Barr prefer not to have the spot light shinning on them when they are doing their deeds. But of course he had actually chosen to see about reducing Stones sentence before Tyrump tweeted about it so publicly. Well I actually believe him... I'm sure that he and Tyrump had already discussed it prior to Tyrump having tweeted it out. One thing about lawyers... they have a way of lying without actually telling a lie if you know what I mean. If a lawyer is talking you have to be very carefully to consider what they didn't say as well as what they actually said.

Tyrump and the Republipigs are trying to tease the Democrats into action it seems by doing more atrocious violations of justice and decency. They know that if they succeed in baiting the Democrats into another impeachment of Tyrump they will be forcing the senators that are running for the presidency to come in off the campaign trail, to sit in the Senate while they play up lies and deceptions of how good and innocent Tyrump is, all while leaving the field open to the candidates with the worst chances of winning come November.

I'm just waiting to see how the establishment Democrats and the DNC chose to proceed as they have just as much to gain in their desires about the outcome of this election by pulling the Senators out away from the campaign trail as do the Republicans. One thing is for certain if the DNC (establishment Democrats) starts to pull their dirty tricks again they will be dooming this election to a Tyrump win.
Tryump praises his crooked cohorts in press conference.
Posted:Feb 6, 2020 10:19 am
Last Updated:Feb 6, 2020 10:30 am

Did you listen to Tyrumps press conference where he had endless praise for all his crooked cohorts today?

Numerous lies and mis-truths spewed from his lying lips as usual. Was it The first Bush who said how do you know when xxx is lying... Because his lips are moving.

Well remember the people he singled out for praise today as they are the ones who have been shamelessly assisting and enabling Tyrump.

Of course he had nothing good to say about Romney, the only Republican that had the courage to stand and speak the truth yesterday.

Poor Tyrump he was treated so unfairly.

Spreading his conspiracy theories from his pulpet.

His assembled crowd clapping at the idiots remarks as his ego demands.

What a sad state of affairs the U.S. government leadership is in.

Lets not forget the grade school level vicious attacks against anyone who isn't kissing his fat ugly ass (an example).
I don't know that man...
Posted:Jan 25, 2020 2:40 pm
Last Updated:Feb 4, 2020 3:48 pm

Trumps world is falling apart.

1 comment

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