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News :: Human Rights : International : Media : Politics : War and Militarism
BUSH-McCAIN, Losing Florida?
by posted by F Espinoza
28 Oct 2008
It is a pool of corruption that is lapping too close to the Bush family, from Watergate to the criminal drugs-for-arms in Central America, to the assassination of President Kennedy. Bush and McCain could lose Florida especially if the Democrats can uncover that pool...
BUSH-McCAIN, Losing Florida?
CANDIDATE McCain is not the only Republican politician who is taking a distance from President Bush, in the wake of public opinion.
The most unexpected evidence of the growing opposition to Bush is in Florida, the base of the Miami mafia that boasts of having snatched the election away from Gore in 2000; even its unconditional trio of terror in Congress is now taking their distance from the president, following the example of the Mas Santos group.
Representatives of the three Republican congress members in the Miami area — Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the two Díaz-Balart brothers — said on Wednesday, October 8 that they did not know about Bush’s visit (to the Cuban mafia in Coral Gables) until an article about it was published in the Miami Herald, and that they had "previous engagements that prevented them from attending."
The statement and their significant and unusual absence caused surprise, because it was a meeting with Bush that they would never have dared to miss before. In particular, a meeting focused on raising money for Republican congressional candidates in danger of losing the elections.
It is precisely at this time that the trio is facing aggressive challenges in their re-election, because the Democrats are trying to link Republican candidates, one and all, with Bush’s unpopularity, as Lesley Clark commented in the Miami Herald. Only 25% of people in the United States say that the president is doing a good job. For that reason, when Joes García pointed out to Lincoln Díaz-Balart that previously he did not vote for two Bush initiatives, now he dares to say that he is not afraid to do so.
Some surveys are already reflecting a slight advantage for Obama in this southern state, the setting for the fraud that gave Bush the presidency in 2000. That is one "merit" attributed to the Miami mafia that has ratcheted up its quota of power in the country.
The contest in Florida for the U.S. House of Representatives has changed a lot since then. The Díaz-Balarts have a 2-5 point advantage over Raúl Martínez and Joe García. On the other hand, Ros-Lehtinen is enjoying a 10-point lead.
The Miami Herald opportunistically recommends Martinez for District 21 and Mario Díaz-Balart in 25, although it admits that the Democrats have registered more new voters there than the Republicans. The two Democrats, Joe Garcia and Raúl Martinez, believe that the trio of congress members opened the door to being beaten in 2004, when they convinced the president to further restrict possibilities of Cubans resident in the United States helping their families with remittances or traveling to the island.
"They did not calculate how the community would look at this decision, and that gave us an opportunity, for the first time, to compete with the Republicans, who are losing more votes every day," Garcia said. Some studies give Garcia and Martinez an advantage over the Díaz-Balart brothers in votes by Cuban-born voters. And Obama over McCain.
On October 5, a Florida newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel — less associated with the Cuban extremists in Florida — noted that economic issues could be decisive ones in the elections.
THE CHURCH DIFFERS WITH BUSH
One example of the climate of public opinion was given by Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Madariaga, president of Caritas International and archbishop of Tegucigalpa when, in a virtual response to the Bush campaign on supposed charitable aid to Cuba in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, he said: "We should not forget that an inhumane blockade exists; blockades are completely unjust because they hurt the poorest population. In this case, there are many difficulties because of the fact that Cuba is an island. Aid can only arrive by plane from the United States, where shipping services are very expensive, or by ship, but the shipping companies do not want to transport the aid for fear of legal reprisals," the cardinal said.
Since the hurricanes’ passing, Pope Benedict XVI has been calling for aid. Anticipating the difficulties that the blockade causes Cuba, he said, "The Lord would want, at least in these circumstances, for solidarity and fraternity to prevail over any other reason." Joseph Ratzinger, like his papal predecessor, is a decided critic of the harsh measures Washington has taken against the Cuban people. But the Bush government again refused, on October 10, to at least temporarily lift restrictions on sending aid to the island.
JEB, A LONG RECORD OF DIRTY BUSINESS
The president said in Miami that his brother Jeb Bush was the first link in his family’s connection with the Cuban-American ultra-right, thus trying to cover up that it was his father who initiated them when he was the case officer of Cuban terrorist agents in the early 60s.
Although Jeb has his "merits" as, in the early 1980s, Jeb and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen helped her husband, Lehtinen, to easily win the election for district attorney by blackmailing the mayor of Hialeah, Raúl Martínez, forcing him to withdraw his candidacy. Martinez is now facing Lincoln Díaz-Balart in the elections.
The unexpected reference to Jeb was striking. Since July 18 of this year, a series of articles in the Miami Herald — which, coincidentally were not published in its Spanish-language sister newspaper, El Nuevo Herald — reported on the wave of racketeering, identity theft, mortgage fraud and money-laundering in Florida, possible because, for eight years, from January 1999 to January 2007, the Florida state government — headed that entire time by the U.S. president’s brother — approved licenses for 10,529 real-estate agents with criminal records, 4,605 of them for serious crimes, according to revelations made in the investigative series, which did not mention that all of this occurred under Jeb Bush’s mandate as governor of Florida. The reports also failed to mention that in Jeb Bush’s first business, in 1982, the beginning of his personal fortune was a banking and mortgage company.
However, they did disclose that, despite repeated requests by leaders of the industry to investigate this fraud, Florida authorities refused. Robert Parke, director of the Miami-Dade police, accused the 15 members of the group of having swindled more than $20 million from various local banks in fake mortgages. Practically coinciding with this scandal, Florida Common Cause, which analyzes ethics in politics, announced that it was investigating Jeb Bush because, when he was governor, he approved the return of $181,000 in taxes paid by an Orlando banking company, CNL Holdings, an affiliate of CNL Bankshares Inc. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the bank later added the governor to its board of directors.
After his two terms as governor of Florida, Jeb Bush renewed the real estate broker’s license he had held since 1982, when he worked as a real estate agent with Cuban-American millionaire Armando Codina and José I. Juncadella. In 1980, Jeb went from Houston, Texas to Florida and met Codina, who got rich — like so many Cubans in Florida — in the business of speculation on the construction of housing and other buildings with mortgage credits, with the help of politicians. Codina "gave" him one of the companies, and that’s where Jeb stayed.
Journalist and Writer Ann Louise Bardach, in her book “Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana”, says that according to her investigations, in 1984, when Jeb was chairman of the Florida Republican Party, he became close buddies with Camilo Padreda, a former official with the bloodthirsty Army intelligence services of the dictator Fulgencio Batista, and was a member of the Bureau to Repress Communist Activities, the notorious BRAC, organized in Cuba by CIA director Allen Dulles. Padreda fled the island when the dictatorship was overthrown, and his espionage agency connections helped him to become head of finances for the Party, together with Jeb. With the help of Jeb Bush, he got rich speculating on the financial and real estate markets. He soon learned that the best opportunities in that business are obtained through connections with corrupt politicians.
From the 1970s, Padreda was a partner with Guillermo Hernández Cartaya in Jefferson Savings & Loan of Texas. Hernández Cartaya was "distinguished" for being a member of the CORU, a terrorist coalition created by Orlando Bosch and associated with George Bush Sr. In 1982, Padreda and Guillermo Hernández Cartaya were charged by a federal jury of stealing more than $500,000 from Jefferson S&L, money-laundering and trafficking in drugs and weapons.
The charges were dropped when the CIA stated that Cartaya was working for it. In effect, he had participated in the organization of the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba for the CIA.
Padreda was later found guilty of defrauding the Department of Housing and Urban Development of millions of dollars.
In 1985, Jeb Bush became associated with Miguel Recarey, who participated with the CIA in attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro and helped the Nicaraguan Contras — supported by his father, Reagan’s vice president, with weapons for drugs — to receive medical treatment in Miami, financed by the federal health care program Medicare. Recarey embezzled $100 million from Medicare and was able to leave the country before his trial. He is still considered a fugitive of justice.
Recarey, who ran the International Medical Centers (IMC), paid Jeb Bush $75,000 to be his consultant on real estate matters.
Another of Jeb’s more notorious feats was that of being an intermediary with his father to win the release of Orlando Bosch, convicted of more than 30 murders, according to prosecutors, and the mid-flight explosion of a Cuban airliner in 1976 over Barbados, along with his alter ego, Luis Posada Carrilles.
FLORIDA LEADS MORTGAGE FRAUD IN THE USA
According to the Herald, Florida holds first place in the country for real estate fraud. Eight percent of all loans in the country are made there; however, almost 18% of them are considered to be suspicious.
The Spanish-language newspaper Diario de Las Américas published an article saying that a review of the program for low-income housing in Miami found several serious problems. The report said that the director of the Miami Housing Department, Bárbara Gómez, a Cuban-American, was giving out contracts in the style of Jeb Bush’s men, without examining the projects themselves or giving any opportunities to other contractors. For their part, the companies receiving the contracts were not issuing bills or receipts on their work. But they were paying for it nevertheless.
This sordid story is an important part — for those implicated — of the start of a process that, together with the war in Iraq and other sins of the Bush family, are threatening to take the world economy into a crisis even worse that the one in 1929.
At this time, when almost everybody is repudiating Bush’s crimes, and even the Díaz Balart-Lehtinen trio is keeping their distance — as is Governor Christ, who left Jeb in Florida — it would not be strange for President Bush’s reference to his brother to be aimed at transferring onto him some of his responsibility for the terrorism and the fraud committed by right-wing Cuban-American extremists.
It is a pool of corruption that is lapping too close to the Bush family, from Watergate to the criminal drugs-for-arms in Central America, to the assassination of President Kennedy. Bush and McCain could lose Florida especially if the Democrats can uncover that pool.
- “Economic illiteracy”, by Fidel Castro:
- UN Votes on US Blockade of Cuba:
- Special “The US blockade of Cuba”:
- Statement on the renewal of cooperation between the European Commission and the Republic of Cuba:
- The internal side of solidarity aid:
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