Cuba

Cuban Acoustic Attack


cjones08142017

This week, the State Department informed us in a mumbly whisper that an “incident” had occurred on an island.

At first, everyone freaked out that Donald Trump had finally shit-talked North Korea to crap a nuke on Guam. But, wrong island. The island the State department was being cagey about is Cuba.

The State department issued a statement that something happened in Cuba that they’re referring to as “incidents” that affected people health-wise and in retaliation, they ordered two Cubans to leave the U.S. Uh, what now? Can you tell us more? They were like, sure. These “incidents,” so yeah, they happened in Cuba and like, they’re bad and, uh, so they hurt people, and we were like, uh-uh, no you didn’t, so we expelled some of their people. Thanks for coming.

The State department has resembled a morgue since the Trump infestation began. They stopped the daily press briefings, Rex Tillerson is napping half the time, and the staff is smaller than the one given to Jared Kushner. But, we finally got some more info.

Apparently, American diplomats were targeted by a covert sonic device that they couldn’t hear, yet gave them severe hearing loss, which was initially referred to as an “acoustic attack?”

That kind of thing exists? There’s a contraption out there that’s silent yet can deafen you as if you were standing next to the speakers at a Metallica concert? That sounds like the sort of shit Ian Fleming would create for some Sebastian Gorka-looking super villain. But, no. It’s real.

And what sort of “acoustic attack?” If we’re talking Nirvana Unplugged, well I’d be like, “thanks, Raul.” I can listen to that album all day.  But, it wasn’t something awesome like the greatest acoustic album of all time. It was bad, like a Jason Mraz CD stuck in your car stereo that you have to eventually jimmy out with a screwdriver and fuck everything up.

Cuba claims they’re innocent, and they’d never conduct these sorts of shady shenanigans on diplomats. All they do is innocently follow our diplomats around 24/7 and try to listen to everything they say. And maybe Cuba is innocent. Word is, a third nation may be the culprit. Now, which nation out there does bad things? Oh yeah. Russia.

If Russia is to blame, we’ll get angry, expel a diplomat, shake our finger, and do it all over the objections of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump will tell Russia, “thank you.” If nothing else, those diplomats won’t have to hear North Korea’s bombs dropping, or any more Trump speeches. Maybe we should all go to Cuba.

Creative note: I really don’t like Nickelback. I asked a friend to give me her opinion on which lyrics to use, and she wasn’t any help as she didn’t listen to Nickelback. I considered asking on social media, but then I’d have a full two days of fuckers dropping Nickelback lyrics on me. So, I went with “how you remind me,” which I think has to be the most obvious tune of theirs and you couldn’t avoid hearing that song in the early 2000s. You’ll be comforted to know that I did have to look up these lyrics. I had an idea how they went, but wasn’t entirely sure.

I’m still not confident these lyrics will be the most recognized, but I am confident Nickelback is the worst band for just about everyone in the world…except the type of people who put ketchup on hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Right, Karen?

Last year, these idiot I didn’t want to know would blast Audioslave outside my window all. day. long. He was the kind of guy I disliked so much that I didn’t even want to take the time to complain to him. I thought it’d be easier to just kill him (I didn’t). Now, Audioslave is a good band, but this fucker only played three of their songs, again and again. And, since he was a poser-loser type, they were radio hit singles. Nothing cool and obscure buried deep on an album or a b-side.

All that really sucked for me because when Chris Cornell died, I still couldn’t listen to Audioslave.

So yeah, we should do that to Cuba. Or Russia.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print. All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

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Hypocrisy With One Hand


cjones06212017

Congressman and Miami Republican Cuban-American Mario Diaz-Balart said “You will never see this president doing the wave with a ruthless dictator at a baseball game,” as a comparison between Trump and Obama’s policies toward Cuba. While we may never see Trump doing the wave with a ruthless dictator, we have seen him do a sword dance with one.

The United States has always been hypocritical with its policy toward Cuba. From the 1950s to the 90s, we used Cuba’s association the Soviet Union as one of our reasons not to engage with the island nation diplomatically, despite our having diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

We cite Cuba’s oppression of dissidents, political parties, a free press, and a lack of free elections, while we carried on willy-nilly with the Soviet Union, China, and even Saddam Hussein’s Iraq until he invaded Kuwait. Today we don’t have a problem with monarchies in the Persian Gulf region, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are both governed by Sharia Law (fun stuff like beheading, stoning, flogging, etc). While we discourage American tourists from visiting Cuba, we’re happy to send them to a land where they can literally have their heads chopped off.

While Trump was getting jiggy in Saudi Arabia, his sycophants were praising the fact there weren’t any protests against him there, where protests are outlawed. But hey, let’s give Cuba another lecture on allowing dissent.

And sure, Cuba isn’t an island paradise but like most things in reality, it’s not entirely good, bad, black, or white. While Cuba has a horrid human rights record, they also have a highly educated society with advanced healthcare for all.

Obama’s opening of relations with Cuba was far from perfect. Trump promised to roll back our diplomacy toward Cuba, and what he did Friday didn’t exactly do all of that. We still have an embassy there. Americans can still travel to Cuba, but with restrictions. Cuban-Americans can still send cash to relatives in Cuba. The nation remains off the list of state sponsors of terror.

The biggest change in policy is that Americans who travel to Cuba can not stay in a hotel, eat in a restaurant, or see a show that is majority owned by the government. They can only give their business to privately-owned enterprises and they must remain a part of tour groups. To maintain compliance, Americans must provide receipts of their expenses and diaries (dear diary, this sucked) to the U.S. Treasury Department. I’m not sure what the punishment will be if they disobey. Maybe they’ll be sent to Saudi Arabia for flogging.

Basically, if you want to travel to Cuba the easiest way will be on a cruise ship which will prevent you from actually seeing Cuba.

One big non-change is Obama’s policy to Cuban refugees. For decades, we had a “wet foot/dry foot” policy toward Cuban refugees. The policy allowed undocumented Cuban migrants who reached dry land to stay in the U.S. as legal residents. If you survived the ocean, dehydration, sunburn, heatstroke, the U.S. Coast Guard, and sharks, to reach a Florida beach, you could stay. Obama eliminated that policy and Trump hasn’t changed it (keeping with his policy of not liking brown people entering our nation).

Republicans cater to Cuban-Americans in Florida as they tend to vote heavily for the GOP. While Trump lost Miami-Dade County to Hillary Clinton by nearly 30%, he received almost 334,000 votes in the county, nearly all from Cuban-American Republicans, who account for 72 percent of the GOP rolls in Miami-Dade. Trump barely won Florida by 1.2%. For that, he can thank Cuban-Americans. Their reward is more talk than promises kept by Trump. Being that they are Trump-voting Republicans, they will fall for it.

The same Trump supporters who cheer his new policy toward the tyrants in Cuba also applaud his sword dance with Arab monarchies that deny women the right to vote and drive. While the King of Saudi Arabia holds Trump’s hand, Trump supporters ignore those he cuts off.

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Hasta La Vista, Fidel


cjones11282016

A lot of people are saying “F you, 2016” as they’re upset at the number of celebrity deaths this year. I don’t get that. Famous people die every year. Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, George Harrison, Jeff MacNelly, and Herblock didn’t die in 2016. But I too would like to tell 2016 that it can go suck a long one but not because it killed Prince and Carol Brady. 2016 gave us Donald Trump. Did you vote for Trump? Did you vote third party? If you did you can go suck a long one too.

But for everyone who laments how this year took out a great famous person well it just took out Fidel Castro. People in Miami are filling the street to celebrate which apparently involves driving around in circles while honking your horn. The media is trying to find out the cause of death for the 90-year-old former dictator. I’d say cause of death is he was 90.

Castro inspires passion in people. Many hate him and cite his destruction of Cuba’s economy, his allowing the Soviet Union to place nuclear missiles on his island and point them at the U.S., his one party rule, his state ownership of everything, and his imprisoning political opponents. Others cite his love for the Cuban people and the equality, healthcare, and education he brought to his people. I see a mixed bag that leans more toward the negative side. I think socialism can be a good thing if implemented correctly (we’re a socialist system now). Communism is not socialism. Communism is a proven failure.

How will this impact our relationship with Cuba? Ultimately the future of Cuba lies with Cuba. President Obama normalized relations with Cuba and president-elect Trump has promised to reverse those. But Trump is a proven flake, a liar, and he’s already tried to violate the trade embargo in the past. So I expect U.S. golf courses in Cuba soon enough. I would hate to see us piss on their culture by putting McDonald’s and Quiznos all over the island.

I thought about how I would cartoon on Castro. I could go with something that makes a profound statement or go with what a lot of my editors would want. There’s gonna be a lot of cigar cartoons. I decided to take the quick route to give my editors something they want, fast, and that they could get it out there quickly if they choose to do so. I drew this really quick. I spent five hours on last night’s cartoon and about 20 minutes on this one. So sue me.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Obama Goes To Cuba


cjones03212016

For the first time in 88 years a U.S. president has stepped foot on Cuban soil. This has a lot of American politicians upset, and not just Republicans.

Critics are opposed to normalizing relations with the Communist island nation. They point out its atrocious human rights record, the dictatorship, the lack of freedom. They’re right that Cuba needs to correct itself and provide more openness and freedom to her people. But they’re wrong that the embargo needs to continue.

Right now the embargo does continue. Obama has used executive orders to open the American embassy and diplomacy with Havana. It will take Congress to end the embargo. But if there’s one thing that’s proven is that the embargo does not work. It’s kinda like that war on drugs.

We have normalized relations with countries we don’t agree with. Hell, we’re shipping jobs to Vietnam. We left over 50,000 dead Americans in that country yet today you probably have something in your home made by juvenile Communist Asian fingers. So why not talk to Cuba? It’s because Cuba is 90 miles off the Florida coast and Florida is really important in presidential elections. That’s the only real reason politicians oppose talking to Cuba. They don’t want to lose Florida in a presidential race. But even Florida is changing.

Don’t expect Cuba to become South Beach over night if the embargo is lifted. The government still demands 51% ownership of any business. I can’t see any American businessman liking that arrangement when they can’t even rely on the plumbing, so don’t go to Havana and expect to purchase a Big Mac anytime soon.

Most citizens in Cuba won’t see any change for a long time. The majority of the population is rural, but most development that comes to Cuba lands in Havana. The citizens are also very wary of the United States. While they do want more freedom they don’t want Starbucks, The Gap, and Kardashians though they might go for more WiFi and really good hardware and auto parts stores. Cubans appear to want our freedom to speak out but not our crass commercialism. They view Americans as too materialistic. I do too. We’re all about the stuff. The want for stuff helped bring down the Berlin Wall but it’s not going to build a bridge from Miami to Havana.

In the year 2000 I was invited to visit Cuba with a delegation of American cartoonists. My employer at the time refused to foot the bill. Instead they sent our editor and an assistant to Moscow. Jerks. I’m still bitter about that.

I mentioned before that I try to avoid drawing people watching TV. How about people staring at a TV that’s not broadcasting? I almost had the family watching a flat screen until I realized that flat screens probably aren’t too prevalent in Cuba. I did a little research and there are flat screens in Cuba. But just like their automobiles, it seems most people do have very old television sets, so I went that way.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

 

Needing Teeth


cjones12192014

Alan Gross was incarcerated in Cuba since 2009. He was released today. His health suffered while he was in a Cuban prison and he lost some teeth. I wouldn’t make fun of him needing teeth except he made fun of it. It’s not his fault. I hope, and I’m sure he will, regain his health along with a new set of choppers.

Yes, the embargo needs to be lifted. Can anyone point out how it’s worked over the past 50 years, through eight U.S. presidents? We have normalized relations with Cuba and China who are other communist nations. The difference is that Cuba is off the coast of Florida which is a swing state full of Cubans against the embargo, or they were. Opinion, even among Cubans in Florida, is swinging away from wanting to continue the failed embargo.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio said today that Obama is the worst negotiator in his lifetime. He might want to pick a day where Obama hasn’t freed an American citizen from a Cuban prison for humanitarian reasons.