What will happen in Cuba?


So it’s over. The longest embargo in the U.S. history and, quite probably, the most useless series of economical measures ever applied to a single country has finally come to an end. It took the combined efforts of a Pope, an American President like Barack Obama and an old communist warhorse to reach this moment. It’s maybe the last strain of the Cold War and the end of a struggle started back in 1959, when Cuba overthrow the Batista regime for a new government.

It will useful to know what really thinks the last leader of that era, Fidel Castro, about this moment. Or to know exactly how about were that secret talks in Canada and in Vatican, done in the last year or so.  What are the terms of this diplomatic treaty? What could be the future of Cuba? If this was a book by a spy-master, somebody like John le Carrè or Frederick Forsyth, you may see the shadows of three generations of spooks, along with dark crime lords and the tragic silhouette of the refugees.

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A request for legal pardon


Last Wednesday, September 11th, a former  CIA officer named Robert Seldon Lady (1) sent to the Italian President of the Republic, Mr. Giorgio Napolitano a formal request for legal pardon (2) for the consequences of an extraordinary rendition (3) operation held in Italy in the year 2003.

Mr. Lady, with more than twenty CIA agents and a number of Italian SISMI agents, was indicted  “in absentia” for the kidnapping of an Egyptian citizen, Mr. Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (usually called Abu Omar). Later he was sentenced with other american officers, still “in absentia”. It was a CIA operation, held with the active cooperation of elements of Italian secret services. Mr. Abu Omar (4) was taken away from Italy, detained, tortured and interrogated from CIA agents in Egypt who were looking for terrorist plots in Europe; the main idea was about him as a recruiter for an Al-Quaeda linked organization.

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Find the difference


We have to congratulate with John Kerry for a rare moment of truth between the federal administration of the USA and the public. The current Secretary of State was attending a hearing in the House of Representatives last Wednesday (September 4th, 2013) and answering a question admit loud and clear that foreign countries have offered to pay the bill for the military intervention in Syria.

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Round four, point for Obama

In this final TV debate, mostly dedicated to foreign policy, the upper hand goes straight for Obama. It’s well known that this is the weak side for Romney and the republican candidate has been caught many times in trouble, even giving his approvation to some of the president’s own choices.

Obama looks coherent, competent and influential fullfilling his role as commander in chief. His only mistake stands on the missed opportunity to nail his opponent down, the democrat candidate seems at a loss when it comes to draw the final punch.

Romney try harder, speaking about economics, to win back the confidence he needs to win the elections and uses every opportunity hw could find to score some good point. Once again Obama reacts well but almost missed the choice to draw away some pressure usign the many contradictions of his opponent.

The audience was huge and the first polls show good results for Obama, in the next few days more polls will tell if the democrats have closed the gap. Swinging states are always the strongest factor in the 2012 elections but some observer adds to the list states like North Carolina, raising the stakes for the november race.

My virtual money stays on Obama, still with a narrow margin of victory.

Round three goes to Obama

Third debate for the 2012 presidential campaign and a strong comeback for Barack Obama. For the democrats was the last chance to block the uprising efforts of Mitt Romney and the current president showed for good what means to be in charge.

Romney has been caught off guard a couple of times and slipped on the recent Libyan crisis, giving quite a bad image of himself. Confused on facts and figures, the republican candidate now has to find a way to put new wind in its sails in order to regain confidence.

Obama played this debate like a game of chess but failed to win a larger consensus. He acts like a good commander in chief but still miss the choice to crush his adversary under the weight of Romney’s own errors. He still looks too cold, too much upper class to stand as a real leader.

Now the things are going to be rough. In the next few days the polls will say how much Obama has recovered and how many states are still disputed. More and more money will be used for television spots and political ads, both contenders will focus primarly on Ohio and Florida.

Once again, my virtual money is on Obama. Still waiting to know what he will do in the next four years.

Round two goes to Ryan

The second TV debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan has been almost a draw. I’ve assigned the victory to Ryan for two reasons; first, his good reactions when Biden landed a couple of hard shots and for second, because he did understand when to remain silent. It’s never easy to be in full view, knowing that every word, every expression and every move will be debated and monitored by the press and the audience. Biden got far more experience in that kind of game and he used every bit of it to challenge Ryan, pushing hard on the economy and about the role of the USA in the world.

Biden got often over the voice of Ryan, forcing the impression of a mentor who correct an inexperienced youngster. That will work for the mature part of the audience, who are likely attracted by the VP figure, but can’t work for everybody. Ryan put up his “good guy face” and stand his ground, looking for an opportunity to strike back when it cames to the weakest spots for the democrats. That gives us a good match, maybe better than the first, with a better insight for important issues of this campaign.

Ryan has been more effective when it cames to economy, using his well known agenda for a lighter government and tax cuts. Nothing new, republicans used almost the same words since the ’80s, but the feeling I got from his speech is something more than a gut sensation. Paul Ryan is here to stay, no matter what happens in the 2012 campaign. If Romney wins he’s the natural for the 2020 campaign, if he loses he will try in 2016.  Of course Biden gives a different image, he’s on the sunset boulevard no matter who wins this year.

The polls will tell us what kind of impact this debate got over the consensus, my opinion is that there will be no significant shift.

My virtual money is still on Obama, for a victory with narrower margins. Wanna bet?

Round one goes to Romney

The first TV debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney has been quite interesting but a lot disappointing for democrats. Obama is not sized for this kind of political shows, we already know that from the past (remember the ’08 campaign against McCain?) but his global performance has been poor. Everybody knew about the main arguments of the evening. With Romney under stress fort the recent vote polls and the strong need to pull over his presidential campaign all he could do is attack, the harder the better. Obama and his campaign spin doctors got to know that as well.

So I wonder about the president’s attitude, about his apparent lack of preparation and his cautious way to approach the debate. With 50 millions of fellow citizens in front of their TV sets and a weak opponent for Obama yesterday there was the chance to crush the republicans for good. Romney has done well, giving a strong performance with an handful of arguments to be put in the field. After a long and bitter campaign for the republican nomination Mitt Romney now looks stronger than before, maybe readier than Obama to carry on this kind of confrontation.

A week from now we will have the second round, a good chance for Obama to recover the first defeat in this campaign. But a week could be a long time when a deluge of TV spots from the Romney’s side and a number of polls that will show some side effect of the first debate.  When it comes to TV debates the focus is on the candidates and not on the technical aspects of their proposals; Barack Obama already knows that and the (symbolic) slap on the face he get last evening will force him to do his best.

GM live, Osama dies”, this has to be the song for democrats next week. This presidency got strong points to show for the record and the tax question, eternal stand-out between republicans and democrats, is to be addressed against Romney, with the focus on his past as a capital-powered shark. Since 2008, starting with the fail of Lehman Brothers, the neo-libertarian theories has been proven wrong in the hardest way. Obama  got to show some spine about it and show for good his will to be the next president of the USA.

My virtual money is still on Obama, for a victory with narrow margins. Time will tell.