Trips Abroad Bring Nothing But Trouble

Grind for March 29th, 2019
FIRST SIP:
“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.”

– Groucho Marx.



Say What?!

The Headline

Royal visit to Cuba sparks criticism

The Grind

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Havana, Cuba on Sunday as part of a four-day visit intended to showcase a “growing bilateral relationship with the UK.”

The trip, which is the first official visit to the island by members of the British royal family, comes amid international criticism regarding Cuba’s role in the political crisis in Venezuela.

“Our friends in the US, the many Cubans in Florida, will rightly be perplexed at the sight of the British royal family making a visit…at a time when these despicable acts are taking place,” says MP Andrew Lewer, adding that the decision to visit Cuba was made by the Foreign Office, not by the royal family.

The Details

Military and intelligence officials in Cuba have continued to work with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro despite the international recognition of National Assembly Leader Juan Guaido as acting president.

“Why would the British government want to recognize Juan Guaido as the new president of Venezuela when we all know the Castro regime is the one propping up Maduro,” wrote Florida Senator Rick Scott in a letter to Prime Minister May, “Then at the same time have the Prince, who has unbelievable worldwide influence, go prop up the regime?”

President Trump last month described Maduro as ‘not a Venezuelan patriot but a Cuban puppet.’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took it a step further, saying, “No nation has done more to sustain the death and daily misery of ordinary Venezuelans…than the communists in Havana.”



Bad News

The Headline

US envoy visits China, describes “war on faith”

The Grind

White House officials are reportedly “very concerned” about religious persecution in China.

“It seems that the Chinese government is at war with faith. It’s a war they will not win,” said US envoy for religious freedom Sam Brownback. “The Chinese Communist Party must hear the cry of its people for religious freedom.”

China’s long history of curtailing religion has intensified greatly under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, who in 2017 described a plan to Sinicize (make more Chinese) all religions by incorporating socialist values.

In September 2018, Beijing reached a deal with the Vatican giving it the ability to nominate and approve future Catholic bishops.

The Details

Last August, the UN released a report accusing the Chinese government of detaining up to 1 million Uighur Muslims in camps in the Xinjiang province.

The Chinese government initially denied the existence of the camps and then in January passed a law to legitimize them. The shocking policy, which seeks to make Islam more compatible with socialist society, describes the camps as “vocational education” facilities designed to wipe out terrorism and help minor criminals get back into the workforce.

According to former inmates, the camps are brainwashing centers where detainees are forced to undergo torture, political indoctrination, and forced labor.

Rather than solving an extremism crisis as China claims, “they are creating one,” warns Brownback.

At the start of a recent trip to Hong Kong and Taiwan, Brownback described China’s surveillance techniques as a method of persecution and warned that China could sell its tech to “other authoritarian regimes.”

He also spoke about the widespread persecution of faith in China, but declined to share details about a possible response from the Trump Administration.

“Honestly, if the US doesn’t stand up, there’s not hardly anybody else in the world that will,” he said.




GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… A teen in Michigan built a working nuclear reactor. He taught himself how to build it as a weekend hobby project in his basement from ages 15-17 for $3500.