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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 17, 2005 / 8 Iyar, 5765

Rafael Diaz-Balart's long fight for Cuba

By Kathryn Lopez


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | He could be your grampy.

That's the image many Westerners have of Fidel Castro. Oliver Stone has called the dictator "one of the Earth's wisest people." Other media moguls, actors and intellectuals have traveled to Havana to pay homage and make small talk about cigars.

Hollywood's affection for Fidel makes him as chic as a Che Guevara T-shirt (a hot item with the U.S. college set). Che, by the way, despite his current "Motorcycle Diaries" stud-icon status, was Castro's executioner in the younger days of the Castro regime — a thug who would do the despot's dirty work.

But don't try to sell that harmless-old-revolutionary spin to a Cuban. Fidel Castro is no cuddly papa to those who know his brutality all too well. A recent Freedom House tally declared Cuba's government as one of the most repressive on the planet.

As Florida Republican congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart once said, "For the life of me, I just don't know how Castro can seem cute after 40 years of torturing people." Castro not only tortures and executes, he also holds a special disdain for blacks and gays, which is why much of Cuba's dissident movement is black.

Diaz-Balart's father, Rafael, who died earlier this month at age 79, knew well the repressive reality of Castro's Cuba. He went from being a close friend of Castro in their younger days to becoming one of the tyrant's political headaches. Rafael's legacy includes not one, but two sons in U.S. Congress.

The late Rafael was, for a time, Fidel Castro's brother-in-law, when his sister Mirta Diaz-Balart married the dictator in the days before he seized power. Once Castro's best friend — Rafael introduced the couple (talk about regrets) — the marriage lasted only two years, during which Rafael's sister Mirta bore Castro his first son. But the Diaz-Balarts would all fall out of favor, and by the time Castro was in charge, the Diaz-Balart family was as good as dead on Cuban soil.

Rafael, as majority leader of the Cuban house of representatives in 1955, opposed amnesty for a jailed Castro, predicting "mourning, pain, bloodshed and misery" for the Cuban people if Castro was released.

The Diaz-Balarts were out of the country when Castro took over and after Castro burned their house to the ground they never returned, getting that message loud and clear. Living in Florida, Rafael was a leader of the Castro opposition, and taught his sons to love freedom through word and deed.

The commitment runs so deep in the Diaz-Balart blood that speaking of their Cuba and other tyrannies, like China, Lincoln said in a 2003 interview with the National Review: "I feel almost embarrassed for the human race that we just sit here and accept regimes like that."

As members of Congress (Lincoln was elected in 1992, Mario in 2002), the sons have helped form a new bipartisan, bicameral Cuba Democracy Caucus in Congress, "to promote discussion and proactive policymaking in order to hasten Cuba's transition, Cuba's change to a free and democratic society."

So far, eight senators and 17 congressmen from 10 states have signed up. On the top of their to-do list is reaching out to Cuba's pro-democracy movement, strengthening its independent media, and opposing U.S. legislation that would ease trade and tourism embargos on the authoritarian regime.

As the United States has stepped up efforts to penetrate beyond our station at Guantanamo Bay, pamphlets including translations of President Bush's second inaugural address have been making the rounds in Cuba. In January, Bush said, "Democratic reformers facing repression, prison or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country."

It's a tough fight, but not without its hopes. In recent years, even old allies have called Castro, his stubborn stranglehold on power and bloodthirsty crackdowns on dissenters "pathetic." A former Spanish prime minister, once an ally, said in 2003, "He is now like Franco when he was dying."

There have been many reports of the wives, mothers, daughters and sisters of Cuban political prisoners in Cuba standing in public to protest the second-year anniversary of the imprisonment of 71 prisoners of conscience — mostly journalists who were thrown in jail for not toeing the government line and delivering the canned Castro message.

Illeana Rodriguez Saludes, the wife of a photographer sentenced to 27 years in prison, told reporters: "I will not be silenced. If I were I might as well be dead." Castro acolytes try to shout them down whenever they gather to protest, but the women will not pipe down, mercifully. There are believed to be some 300 prisoners of conscience in prison in Cuba, locked up on vague charges like "dangerousness" and "disseminating enemy propaganda."

Lincoln recently said of his father, "His death constitutes another reason to continue the fight for Cuba's freedom, which was the ideal of his life, and of so many Cubans who have died longing for free Cuba."

The Rafael Lincoln Diaz-Balart legacy, both in the United States and in his homeland, will see to it that that message of freedom spreads in Castro's twilight.

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