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Neo-cons still fuming over leftist Latin American governments

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Speaking from the floor of the Senate earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) gave a spirited retort to recent, glowing comments his colleague U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) made about his recent trip to Cuba.

The prairie populist from Cumming, Iowa who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee recently spent a week in the communist island nation and found their public health-care system to be “quite remarkable.”

Public health campaigns, Harkin said, have led to reduced numbers of Cubans who smoke and their hospitals, he said, have a low infection rate.

And while he acknowledged that Cuba is a poor country, “they have a lower child mortality rate than ours” and “their life expectancy is now greater than ours.”

Naturally outraged at Harkin’s rosy report to D.C. reporters, Rubio, a Cuban-American who sees wisdom in our continued blockade of Cuba, took to the Senate floor and offered a withering attack on Harkin and his simple-minded embrace of good health care and neighborliness.

“It sounded like he had a wonderful trip,” Rubio said, his voice dripping with contempt. “Visiting what he described as a ‘real paradise.’”

Rubio, though, questioned whether his fellow senator was aware that the nation’s infant-mortality rate reports are compiled by the Cuban government, which makes them immediately suspect in Rubio’s mind.

“Totalitarian, communist regimes don’t have the best history of accurately reporting things,” Rubio said.

Rubio countered Harkin’s positive report by picking apart various issues from censored reading material to a “three-tiered” medical care system in Castro’s Cuba.

Rubio, now on a roll, unsurprisingly calls socialist Venezuela – now fighting fascist forces seeking a right-wing coup d’etat – “a puppet of Havana” because Venezuela is completely “infiltrated with agents from Havana.”

Rubio and fellow neo-conservatives in Florida and elsewhere have long sought a right-wing, U.S.-friendly puppet government in both Cuba and Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America. These guys don’t give up easily.

Oh, and don't forget our call that the U.S. government ends the embargo against Cuba.

We see in a recent piece at The Constantine Report that The Washington Post is once again allowing scandal-ridden Iran-Contra figures from the 1980’s, like Elliott Abrams, a spooky figure straight out of the Reagan White House and their secret war against the Nicaraguan Sandinistas.

As writer Hector Perla notes: “(Abrams) faced multiple felony counts for his role in lying to Congress to cover up the illegal funding of the Contras, but escaped justice by pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of withholding material information from Congress.”

So, with Rubio and Abrams both lashing out at leftist governments in Latin America, it would seem that some of the Cold War rhetoric of the Reagan era lives on.

With Abrams, he “slanders” both Manuel Zelaya, the democratically-elected president of Honduras as well as Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the current vice-president of El Salvador in the Post piece. Abrams was doing what he could to help prop up – from afar – the right-wing ARENA party agains the FMLN there in El Salvador.

And while Abrams tries to make ties to these current Latin American leaders to illicit drug trafficking, when you point a finger, three fingers point back at you.

As you may recall, when Iran-Contra criminal Oliver North was campaigning for Senate in 1994 in Virginia, uncomfortable questions came up about his role in “contra ties to drug dealers.” Back then, Elliott Abrams had denied links to drug traffickers, despite a report a few years later revealing that “the Reagan Administration had collaborated with suspected drug traffickers while managing the secret contra war.”

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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