Circles Robinson Online

My Photo
Location: Havana, Cuba

is a blog to give a fresh angle on a fascinating and beautiful Caribbean Island country that, despite being relatively small and with only 11 million people, has been a major player in American and world politics for a half century. I also suggest you try

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cuba Makes First Cut Towards WBC Team

by Circles Robinson

Cuba will field a team loaded with talent that mixes veteran players with young prospects in the World Baseball Classic, which begins with the Asian teams playing March 3 in Japan and concludes in San Diego on March 20.

The island’s preliminary roster of 60 players was reduced Monday to 35, announced Carlos Rodriguez, president of the Cuban Baseball Federation, on The Round Table TV and radio program.

The cut came after Cuba completed a three game sweep last week of the Nicaraguan national team 8-2, 9-3 and 13-0 and the millions of passionate fans could get a glimpse at the preparedness of their team.

By Thursday March 2, Cuba must present its final 30-man team that plays its first WBC game on March 8 against Panama in Puerto Rico, followed by Holland on the 9th and Group C favorite Puerto Rico on the 10th.

The average age of the players making the first cut is 28.

The 16 pitchers competing to make the final team include six left-handers Adiel Palma, Norberto Gonzalez, Yosvani Perez, Yulieski Gonzalez, Maikel Folch and Yosvani Fonseca.

The right-handers are Pedro Luis Lazo, Vicyohandri Odelin, Yadel Marti, Jonder Martinez, Ormari Romero, Luis Miguel Rodriguez, Luis Borroto, Yunieski Maya, Yadier Pedroso and Deinys Suarez.

The catchers are Ariel Pestano, Roger Machado, Eriel Sanchez and Vladimir Garcia.

The eight infielders led by Eduardo Paret, Michel Enriquez and Yulieski Gourriel also include Juan Carlos Moreno, Rudy Reyes, Yorelvis Charles, Joan Carlos Pedroso and Ariel Borrero.

The preliminary team includes seven outfielders: Frederich Cepeda, Osmani Urrutia, Carlos Tabares, Alexei Ramirez, Yoandry Garlobo, Leslie Anderson and Yoennis Cespedes.

Manager Higinio Velez and head coach Benito Comacho told the nationwide TV audience that the players on the Olympic and World Cup champion Cuban team are highly motivated and in excellent shape for the tough competition promised in the World Baseball Classic.

The final 30-man Cuban team is scheduled to play tune-up games against Havana’s popular Industriales team on Friday and Saturday.

Cuba Awaits Return of Guantanamo Bay

by Circles Robinson

Cuba is patiently waiting for justice to prevail and thus recover one of its most important bays and 17 kilometers of coastline.

Since 1903, the United States has occupied 117.6 km2 of Cuban territory against the will of the Cuban people, through the Platt Amendment, a US law imposed on the first Cuban Constitution. The one-sided treaty gave the US the territory for an unspecified period “until they need it.”

While the pre-revolution governments with a subservient US stance, refrained from protesting the occupation, ever since 1959 Cuba has firmly demanded that the Pentagon leave its territory.

The issue is so cut and dry that a preschooler could understand what’s right and wrong, but ten successive US administrations have barefacedly ignored the fact that their military facility is not welcome.

Now that the US Naval Base has also turned into a camp for prisoners without legal rights and where torture is routinely practiced to extract information, the eyes of the world have focused on what analysts call a showcase of the hypocrisy of US foreign policy.

Besides its unwanted presence and use as an offshore prison camp to sidestep US justice, the Naval Base is also becoming an environmental nightmare. Peter Lawlor of the Guantanamo Naval Media Center notes in the February 24 edition of the base newspaper The Guantanamo Bay Gazette: “An increase of hazardous materials is turning up at the base landfill.” These include “batteries, aerosol cans, cleaning solvents, paint, tires and televisions.”

Fred Burns, Environmental Director for the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, told the Gazette: “Essentially what we’re doing is creating a problem 10, 20, 50 years from now.”

Environmental degradation of what was a pristine Cuban bay is nothing new. According to the Cuban Foreign Ministry, US military exercises have caused ecological damage to the surrounding areas, and highly dangerous nuclear submarines have been used in the past.

The Pentagon bills the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay as having a “unique posture in the Western Hemisphere in that it is the oldest US base outside the continental United States, and the only one in a country that does not enjoy an open political relationship with the United States.”

Just like the US blockade imposed on Cuba nearly a half century ago, and condemned by nearly every country on earth, the United States occupation of Cuban territory at Guantanamo remains a shameful legacy that neither Republicans nor their Democrat partners have so far wanted to rectify.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cuba Defeats Nicaragua 8-3 in WBC Tune-up

Cuba and Nicaragua were locked in a closely fought baseball game Thursday evening until the seventh inning when the explosive Cuban offensive scored four times to take a decisive 8-3 lead.

The two teams played the first of a three game tune-up series in Havana; Cuba in preparation for the World Baseball Classic (March 3-20) and Nicaragua for the Central American Games March 3-16).

Vicyonhandri Odelin started for the Cubans but had trouble keeping his pitches down and was knocked out of the box with back to back doubles in the third inning.

Yadel Marti came on in spectacular fashion, and although he gave up a hit that allowed Nicaragua to go ahead 3-2, he then retired the next 10 batters, setting the stage for the island’s hitters to break through with the go ahead run in the sixth and the icing in the seventh.

A solo homerun by Alexei Ramirez in the fourth against Nicaraguan starting pitcher Aristides Sevilla had tied the score.

Sevilla, who went 5.1 innings, was applauded for his effort by the Cuban fans when he was replaced by Julio Raudez, after Cuba went ahead 4-3 on a single by Ariel Borrero and a double by Ariel Pestano.

Raudez got out of the sixth without further damage, however, in the seventh, the Cuban team pounded him for four runs led by doubles by Michel Enriquez, Rudy Reyes and Joan Carlos Pedroso.

Yadier Pedroso pitched the final two scoreless innings for Cuba to preserve the victory.

The play of the game came in the second inning when Nicaragua’s third baseman Jorge Luis Avellan fielded a blazing one-hopper by Eduardo Paret that looked like extra bases. Avellan touched third and threw hard to first for a double play.

In all, the Cuban team pounded out 13 hits to Nicaragua’s seven. The three game series continues on Friday and Saturday. Thursday’s game was televised on both Cuban and Nicaraguan TV.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Condoleezza is Hot and Bothered over Venezuela

By Circles Robinson

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denounced Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Thursday for opposing the Bush administration’s mounting aggression against Iran.

Rice also accuses Venezuela of promoting a Latin American unity that could affect US corporate interests.

The secretary of state upped the ante in the verbal war against Chavez by sharply criticizing Venezuela for opposing taking Iran to the UN Security Council over its small-scale nuclear energy program, similar to the large-scale ones that generate electricity in the United States, European and several Asian countries.

The Bush administration also accuses Chavez of interfering in the US plan for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is based on a widely recognized lopsided playing field called the Free Trade Area of the Americas and fertile territory for brain drain, cheap labor and natural resources and even landing baseball stars.

In her latest diatribe, Rice accused Chavez of being linked to the ongoing political crisis in Nicaragua where President Enrique Bolanos, a docile US ally, is in his last year of office.

Previously the US has accused Chavez of riling up people to vote against defeated US backed candidates in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela itself and most recently Bolivia, where indigenous leader Evo Morales won a landslide victory in December.

Sec. Rice goes on to describe Chavez as “a negative force” adding “I think its fair to say that one of the biggest problems we face are the policies of Venezuela, which are attempting to influence neighbors away from democratic processes.”

Political analysts noted surprise that the Bush administration has yet to blame Chavez for the dismal showing of its candidates Henry Baker and Leslie Manigat in the Haitian presidential elections won last week by Rene Preval. “Maybe with their mind on Iran and oil it’s escaped them,” said one pundit in Havana.

If the conservative candidate in Peru, Lourdes Flores, is unable to win the April 9 elections, or Vicente Fox’s party loses the Mexican general elections on July 2, Chavez will surely be to blame, according to US State Department reasoning.

The Bush administration believes that one of the greatest dangers to the region is what it terms the “evil axis” of Venezuela and Cuba, determined to disregard market logic by focusing on social needs like education and healthcare throughout the continent.

Rice claims it is urgent to present ''a united front against some of the things that Venezuela gets involved in,'' reported Pablo Bachelet of the Miami Herald.

Another sore spot for the current US government is Venezuela’s providing cheap oil –by way of its CITGO Corporation-- to the poor of several eastern US States. Washington considers it unfair to undercut its corporate giants, credited with fueling the nation’s economic growth figures with their rising profits.

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld lashed out at Chavez –equating him to Hitler-- for having easily won the August 2004 recall referendum and the December, 2005 legislative elections with multi-national observers praising both processes. Washington also blames Chavez for the failure of the April 2002 US backed coup in Venezuela that attempted to put a junta favorable to White House interests in power.

With President Bush calling any friend of his many enemies also his foe, Venezuela will be keeping close tabs on the Pentagon’s next maneuvers.

The US Congress has already announced an effort to invade Venezuelan private and public airwaves with TV and radio broadcasts aimed at destabilizing the country, similar to its Radio and TV Marti beamed against Cuba.

Declassified government documents also show that over the last six years the US has funded its National Endowment for Democracy, US-AID, its more secretive Office for Transition Initiatives, and other groups to try and build an internal opposition capable of toppling the Chavez government and installing leaders who “understand” US interests.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cuba Amateurs Face Millionaires in World Baseball Classic

By Circles Robinson

The best baseball players that money can buy and a small group that play for the sport of it will face off starting March 3rd in the World Baseball Classic.

US Major League Baseball has always called its national championship the World Series, believing its ability to purchase the finest from each country has made it the unquestioned king. However, since many MLB players will be playing with the teams of their native countries in the Classic, the US team’s superiority is not totally guaranteed.

The biggest question mark of the event is the underdog Cuban team, fresh off victories in the 2005 Baseball World Cup and the 2004 Athens Olympics, but against weaker competition. Over the years some of Cuba’s best have been lured by fat contracts to play in MLB but none of those players will be playing for the island, which prefers to continue its tradition of amateur-only sports.

"Cuba will play well, even though they have stolen many of our good players," President Fidel Castro said recently.

Organized by MLB and its Players Association, the Classic has pitching rules tailored to the liking of US baseball team owners and venues geared to help the US team redeem its country’s poor showings in other international baseball events.

For its US corporate sponsors, the World Baseball Classic is like any other commercial endeavor. Tickets, the majority already sold for the opening rounds, run from $12.50 to over $100 per game and advertising revenues will add to the profits. Hotel rooms run from $175 to $475 per night. All teams except Cuba will take home a percentage of the revenues. The island offered to donate any funds to victims of hurricane Katrina.

Sixteen teams play the first round in four pools between March 3-10 with the top two teams in each group moving on to the quarter finals. The only team that could play all its qualifying rounds, semi-finals and finals to a home crowd is the USA, a significant advantage.

A team must win at least six of eight games to be crowned the winner, two of three games in each of the first two rounds to qualify for the semifinals, a must win in the single-elimination semis, followed by a win in the one game finals.

While baseball analysts alert that anything can happen in such a short series, the first round where the top two teams qualify is unlikely to produce any surprises.

Group A, probably the most competitive of the pools, pits favored Japan, playing at home against rivals Taipei and Korea, all considered among the top 10 teams in the tournament. Their other rival China is ranked among the weakest.

Pool B, the least competitive, pits the heavily favored United States team at home, with Canada and Mexico battling for the second qualifying position, and South Africa along for the ride.

Pool C, is expected to be a match between favored Puerto Rico playing at home, with a slate of well-paid MLB players and Cuba, which will field an all amateur squad similar to its Olympic and World Cup Champion teams. The other rivals, The Netherlands and Panama are given little chance to qualify for the second round.

Pool D, to be played in Orlando, Florida, is considered a foregone conclusion with the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, both loaded with top paid MLB players qualifying and Italy and Australia doing the best they can.

Therefore, the second round will most likely include Japan and either Korea or Taipei from Pool A, the United States, and Canada or Mexico from Pool B, in one group, with Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela in the other.

Those in London and Las Vegas who take legal wagers on such sporting events predict that the semifinals will be between the United States and Japan in one match and Venezuela and the Dominican Republic in the other. They also consider it most likely that the finals will be played between the United States and the Dominican Republic because they have the most major leaguers on their squads.

To accommodate the worries of Major League Baseball team owners that their star pitchers could get hurt before the MLB season opens in April, the WBC rules limit pitchers to 65 throws in the first round, 80 in the quarterfinals and 95 in the semifinals and finals. Pitchers throwing more than 50 pitches are obliged to take 4 days rest before pitching again.

Relief pitchers cannot work consecutive games if they exceed 30 pitches and cannot appear in a third straight game independent of how few pitches they threw in the other two.

These rules are considered to the detriment of the teams with less depth in their pitching and who would have otherwise used their best whenever ready and needed.

In the amended tournament rules, the 16 teams’ provisional 60-man rosters must be reduced down to 30 at least five days before their first game. The list must include at least 13 pitchers and 3 catchers.

Cuba has suspended its national league play from February 13 to March 23 to allow the provisional roster players to train for the Classic.

The last time Cuba played against a Major League team was back in 1999 when it split a two game series with the Baltimore Orioles, losing 3-2 in an 11-inning thriller in Havana and winning easily 12-6 in Baltimore.

Cuba Book Fair Moves to Provinces

By Circles Robinson

The Havana portion of Cuba’s annual International Book Fair came to a close on a cold, rainy and windy Sunday that, nevertheless, didn’t keep book lovers from turning out in droves.

The closing day featured popular Spanish singer-songwriter Joaquin Sabina presenting his book of poems entitled “Ciento Volando de Catorce.” Sabina told Cuban TV he was glad to be in Havana to visit friends and present his book. He also signed autographs for his many fans.

Now the fair moves to the other Cuban provinces beginning with western Pinar del Rio. According to the organizers, some 300,000 copies of 200 titles will be available to Pinar readers.

Thirty-four venues throughout the island are set to pick up where Havana left off and host the literature feast that continues through March 5.

Venezuela is this year’s special guest and numerous authors and publishing houses from the South American nation are on hand. Over the weekend, it was announced that Argentina will be the featured guest in the 2007 edition.

“Working for a cultural integration of Latin America and the Caribbean is a far-reaching strategic task,” said Cuban Culture Minister Abel Prieto upon welcoming Argentina as next year’s Country of Honor.

Cubans are avid readers and once again the International Book Fair proved to be the island’s most popular yearly event, bringing out entire families to purchase literature at heavily subsidized prices.

The Havana venue was the Morro-Cabana Fortress, once a symbol of foreign colonization and now an ample and romantic setting for cultural events overlooking Havana’s famous Malecon seafront.

Probably the only downside to this year’s fair was the absence of many US writers and intellectuals who wanted to attend but were prohibited by the hardened US government’s blockade on Cuba, an archaic policy that dates back to the early 1960s.

Novelist Barbara Kingsolver wrote that while her government forbids her from traveling to Cuba she still hopes “to touch Cuban soil” in the future. Nonetheless, she expressed her satisfaction that her novel The Poisonwood Bible was published in Cuba. “Literature is a bridge between peoples that can’t be broken by war, embargos, or any other type of rigid methods that governments use to force a group of people to agree with another,” stated the author.

Just this year the United Nations voted 182-4 condemning the blockade, but that hasn’t budged a president who in part owes his election victory to rightwing Cuban-American groups in Florida that oppose any contacts with the island.

In fact, the Bush administration has stepped up prosecution of US citizens caught having visited their Caribbean neighbor.

Heavy fines and continuous harassment by Federal Authorities are part of the travesty faced by religious people visiting their Cuban counterparts, people on bicycle tours, volunteers with social projects and just plain individuals wanting to see for themselves.

For Cuban-Americans, visiting a sick family member or friend is not reason enough to visit Cuba according the US government.

Several bookstores and the Pabellon Cuba exhibition center will continue to sell the fair’s many titles in the capital while the literary conferences, lectures, poetry readings, book presentations and children’s activities move across the island.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Bush State of the Union Uncensored

By Circles Robinson

The following are the key issues from the uncensored version of President Bush’s State of the Union address on February 1, reportedly found on a floppy by an employee of the White House. The polished final text of the State of the Union address, which followed an estimated 25 revisions, is available at:

Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, members of the Supreme Court and diplomatic corps, distinguished guests and fellow legal citizens:

Each time I am invited to this rostrum, I am humbled by the privilege that my last name has given me, and mindful of the history we have seen together. We have gathered under this Capitol dome in moments of national mourning and to make others pay for it. We have served America through one of the most consequential periods of our history – my war on terrorism – and it has been an honor to make the world see that our military might has seconded our God given manifest destiny to guide the fate of the planet.

In a system with our two good old parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But those debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and since in the end we eat off the same plate, there’s no reason for anger.

In this decisive year, we will make decisions that will determine both the future and the character of our country. We can choose our enemies from a list carefully designed by our intelligence super agency and then sit back and relax on our ranches and golf courses while our heroic soldiers do their thing. The alternative would be peace and that’s neither in the cards nor in our interests. We can choose to build our prosperity by imposing our goodwill on the world economy or we can sit back and shut ourselves off from corporate trade and so much opportunity. You decide.


Abroad, our nation is committed to a historic, long term goal – we seek to cut down all that stands in our way. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of America depends on it.

On September 11th, 2001 we found that problems originating in our pansy foreign policy could bring murder and destruction to our country.

Dictatorships, like the ones we have supported around the world, feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction, like ours, to maintain their grip on power. Democracies, like the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan today, replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against evil.

Every step each country can take toward alignment with the United States makes our country a safer place to raise our precious children. Therefore we will do everything possible to make new friends.

Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of US dominance is the great story of our time. We are writing a new chapter in the story of self-government – with women lining up to vote in Afghanistan and millions of Iraqis braving the carnage to take part in elections and not be branded insurgents. Even in Saudi Arabia, our great national and family ally, the topic of women’s suffrage is on the agenda for the 21st century.

At the start of 2006, more than half the people of our world live in nations that recognize and respect our strength. And we haven’t forgotten the other half – in places like Iran, Syria, Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba – who require that awareness as well.

No one can deny the success of our system, but some men are foolish enough to rage and fight against it. And one of the main sources of reaction and opposition is those who follow the Muslim faith – that fails to recognize our Christian God as the lord supreme and instead wish terror and death upon America.


Terrorist like bin Laden are bad. Freedom fighters like our boys in Iraq are good. All of us must take this seriously.

The terrorists are trying to take away our weapon of fear. They seek to impose a heartless system of their totalitarian control throughout the Middle East, and think they have the right to have the same technology that allowed us to fabricate the weapons of mass destruction that we have stockpiled for over 60 years. Ladies and gentlemen, their real aim is to seize our oil in Iraq and use it to blackmail America and its allies.

Lacking the military strength to challenge us directly, the terrorists in the Middle East have chosen the weapon of fear, which we have used time and time again in our neighboring Latin American countries. When they murder innocent people lining up to join the US-Iraqi police force or place a roadside bomb that kills our soldiers, they hope these horrors will break our will, allowing them to take back a country that is now ours. But they have miscalculated: We love oil, and will fight to keep it.

In a time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our interests and retreating within our borders. If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would liberate their own country and others. Then they would move the battlefield to our shores.

There is no peace in retreat. And there is no bonanza in retreat.

We remain on the offensive against all countries and movements that dare question our superiority and God given rights. We have captured, tortured or killed many of their leaders—and for the others, their day will come.


And we are on the offensive in Iraq, with a clear plan to cement the victory I declared in my “Mission Accomplished” speech from the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003.

First, we are helping Iraqis build a government that only excludes Sunnis and others that oppose the presence of our peacekeeping forces.

We are in this fight to win, and those of us that have stock in the great US oil companies and its weapons industry are already winning.

Second we are continuing the reconstruction effort that has generated billions of uncontrolled profits for some of our finest corporations. Ask Dick Cheney, who has been keeping close tabs. We are also helping the Iraqis learn our style of creative accounting and how to build a modern economy dependent on the US. These are only a few of the benefits freedom is bringing to the Iraqis.

Third, we are striking those that oppose our presence while we train Iraqi forces that are increasingly surviving the enemy attacks. Iraqis are showing their courage to take the only jobs available and risk their lives for a paycheck signed in the USA. We are proud of these allies of freedom.

Our work in Iraq is difficult, but profitable. The brutality of our enemies has not stopped the remarkable profits our corporations have reaped since the invasion.

In just short of three years, Iraq has gone from totalitarian peace to democratic war, from Saddam sovereignty to dependence on us. They have a new constitution we helped draft and held national elections that we supervised. This is progress in anyone’s book. At the same time our coalition has been relentless in eliminating those that oppose such achievements. We have cleared out insurgent strongholds almost as fast as they spring up.

I am confident in our plan for victory, I am confident in the will of the Iraqi people, I am confident in the skill and spirit of our military. Fellow citizens, we are in this fight to win, and even though it has drawn out a little, we are clearly winning and our interests are safeguarded.

Our coalition has learned from experience in Iraq. We have adjusted our military tactics and changed our approach to reconstruction, converting it to “virtual reconstruction” where the dollars flow but the cement never gets mixed. Along the way, we have benefited from responsible criticism and counsel offered by members of Congress of both parties that when push comes to shove have always supported the war. In the coming year, I will continue to reach out and seek the advice of those congress people who see the patriotic call to vote more billions for our democracy building efforts.

Yet there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism like that of Cindy Sheehan, who doesn’t think other US soldiers or Iraqi citizens should die in the name of oil and geopolitical strategies. Thank God she was arrested earlier today and not allowed to stain the floor of our sacred chamber with her whimpering over her dead son.

With so much in the balance, those of us in public office --independent of how we got there-- have a duty to speak with candor. A sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq would abandon our oil wells and sentence the Iraqis who have sided with us over their own country to death and prison.

Members of Congress: however we feel about the decision and debates of the past, our nation has only one option: We must keep our word to those that generously sponsored our election campaigns and crush anybody that stands in the way of their profits.


Our men and women in uniform are risking their lives –in order to have the possibility to go to university. They know what it is like to fight house-to-house in a maze of streets full of civilians, to wear heavy gear in the desert heat, to see a comrade killed by a roadside bomb. But those who know the costs also know the stakes.

As we honor our brave troops, fighting for a salary and hope for a chance to study, let us never forget the sacrifices of America’s military families.


Our offensive against terror involves more than military action. Ultimately, the only way to defeat those who oppose our world leadership is by offering the hopeful alternative of regime change. In that light the United States supports democratic reform across the Middle East be it by force or at the ballot box.

Freedom to choose from products made by US corporations is real democracy and the only light at the end of the tunnel. Poor Iran is a nation now held hostage by a small elite that dares to isolate the people from McDonalds, Coke and Hollywood soaps, symbols of our advanced civilization.

The Iranian government is defying the world with its desire to make rational use of its oil resources and develop a nuclear energy program like the US, Britain, France, Russia, Canada, Japan, and dozens of countries that see nuclear power as an alternative.

And tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America will respect you as long as you make the choices for your country that we approve. We respect your right to choose your own future as long as our interests are preserved. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends of an Iran that is free and democratic.


To overcome dangers in the world, we must also take the offensive by encouraging economic progress that benefits not only us, but also trickles down to some people in other countries.

I urge members of Congress to serve the interests of America by showing the compassion of America.

We show compassion abroad because Americans believe in the God-given dignity and worth of a villager with HIV/AIDS, an infant with Malaria or a young girl sold into the porno racket. If they only had money they could by their medicine from our licensed distributors or escape undignified employment. We must at least offer our kind words of compassion to those overwhelmed by poverty and all its consequences.


Our country must also remain on the offensive against terrorism here at home. The enemy has not lost the desire or capability to attack us.

I have authorized a widespread surveillance program to aggressively pursue opposition to my government at home as well as abroad. Fortunately this nation has superb professionals in law enforcement, intelligence, the military and homeland security. You can watch them on the many TV programs designed to give a good name to the man with a badge or the soldier with an automatic weapon. These men and women are dedicating their lives to spying on those who dare oppose our policies and they deserve our support and our thanks. So I ask you to reauthorize the Patriot Act.

Previous presidents have used the same methods I have. Lyndon Johnson, a democrat who had the courage to escalate the war against Vietnam, knew that those who opposed the war and worst yet, those who were calling for system change in America, needed to be kept watch over and eliminated when possible. Richard Nixon, that great president known for his foreign policy achievements, rightfully ordered our Democratic Party friends bugged in order to emulate his 1950s mentor, our party’s hero Joseph McCarthy.

If there are people inside our country who are talking with my enemies, we want to know about it – because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again.


My generation is in a long war against a determined enemy – a war that will be fought by presidents of both parties, who will need steady bipartisan support from the Congress. And tonight I ask for your continued blank check. Together, let us protect our country, support the men and women who hope to return alive and lead this world toward a military democracy.


Here at home, America has a great opportunity: We will build the prosperity of our country with the natural resources and free market labor of others.

Thanks to our world leadership, our economy is healthy and vigorous and growing faster than other major industrialized nations. Even in the face of higher energy prices and natural disasters the American people continue to consume at an enviable rate.

Americans should not fear our economic future because of our huge debt. Our economy is so tied to other nations that its collapse would mean the collapse of everyone, something nobody will allow to happen. Nonetheless we cannot afford to be complacent. In a dynamic world economy, we are seeing new competitors like China and India.

Protectionists want to escape this competition, pretending that we can keep our high standard of living by walling off the country from Mexico, kind of like how our friends the Israelis are walling out the Palestinians. Others say that the government needs to take a larger role in directing the economy, centralizing more power in Washington and increasing taxes. I believe just the opposite.

We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy – but let me tell you that this economy could not function without those working for minimum wage or lower. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction – toward a stagnant and second-rate economy.

Tonight I will set out a better path – an agenda for a nation that competes with confidence do to the rules stacked in our favor. Americans should not fear our economic future, because we intend to shape it.

America is stronger when its wealthy citizens have more money to spend. When you, the Congress, passed my 880 billion dollar tax reduction bill you gave corporate America an incredible boost. That tax relief is set to expire in the next few years and you will be asked again to help the rich so they can provide charity for our poor.

Another problem we must address is Social Security. The post WW2 baby-boom generation will put unprecedented strains on the federal government which should have the right to go back on its commitments in the national interest. By 2030, spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone will be almost 60 percent of the entire federal budget. With another 25 percent or more going to military spending that won’t leave much else for other areas like education or roads. It’s either raise taxes, which the Bible opposes, or cut social spending, a tough but necessary decision.

We need to put aside partisan politics, work together, and get this problem solved.


Keeping America competitive requires us to open more markets for all that Americans makes and move more jobs to where lower salaries can make our products more competitive. We need to get people to buy American. With open markets and a lopsided playing field that benefits our exports and protects us from certain Third World imports like farm products, we can win.

We must have a rational, humane guest worker program that rejects amnesty for those that have been in the US for years or decades working at low wage jobs. After all they aren’t citizens and shouldn’t be entitled to our people’s God given rights.

For all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of health care. One way is make sure illegal immigrants go without health services and instead focus on helping citizens buy private insurance policies.

And because lawsuits are driving many good doctors out of practice – leaving women in nearly 1,500 American counties without a single OB-GYN—I ask the Congress to pass medical liability reform this year.


Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.

The best way to break this addiction is through nuclear technology, which we can develop peacefully and deny our Third World enemies from having. We already have 104 operating nuclear power plants and should invest billions in developing more. This will not affect our flourishing nuclear arms industry which will continue at its own pace.

By applying the talent and technology of America and skirting international accords like the unfair Kyoto Treaty, we can dramatically improve our energy situation without totally destroying the environment and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.


We need to encourage our children to take more math and science and cutback on history and the humanities, areas of little importance in the business world. The following are my education reform proposals:

First: Double federal spending to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years

Second: I propose to make permanent the tax credits for research and development that are helping our private sector make healthy profits with any new technologies. With more research in both the public and private sectors, the quality of life for some Americans will improve and ensure that our corporations and their directors will lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come.

Third: We need to encourage more children to take more math and science and less history and the humanities so that we can be more competitive abroad. We have made a good start in the early grades where many previously excluded children are now in the classroom and test scores are up around the country.

Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers, to lead advanced placement courses in math and science while also bringing 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms. The only catch is that for now there is no money for the program since we are stretched a little thin in bringing democracy to the Middle East.

Nevertheless, if we ensure that a segment of America’s children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.


America is a great force for freedom and prosperity. It is also a magnet. Our ability to promote brain-drain from other countries, obtain cheap natural resources to fuel our industries and obtain free market labor at home and abroad is part of our greatness.

In recent years, America is also a safer place to live. Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s since we redefined violence to only include murder and theft of private property. Welfare cases have dropped drastically because we’ve made it harder to get such assistance. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent because we stopped calling marijuana a narcotic for statistical but not criminal purposes. There are fewer legal abortions in America than any time in the last three decades after several bombings of clinics scared away those who believe women should have such a right. The number of teen moms has also dropped to an all-time low under my administration as we lowered the age of what is considered a teen to 11 to 15 year olds.

Government has played a role. Wise policies such as welfare reform, drug education and preaching abstinence and adoption have made a difference in the character of our country. And everyone here tonight, Democrat or Republican, has played a role in it all and should be proud.

Yet many Americans, especially parents, still have deep concerns about the direction of our culture, and the health of our most basic institutions. They are concerned about unethical conduct by public officials and are discouraged by activist courts that try to redefine what the Bible calls marriage.

Through my appointments to the Supreme Court I am trying to create a legacy that will turn the clock back to a time when everyone knew who was wearing the pants and where everyone’s place was in society.


Today marks the official retirement of a very special American. For 24 years of faithful service to our nation, the United States is grateful to Justice Sandra Day O’Conner.

Human life is a gift from our creator – and that gift should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit all abortions not done in a private clinic and paid for at a premium price. I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit human cloning in all its forms, except of course when strategically beneficial, or the buying, selling or patenting human embryos.

A hopeful society expects elected officials to uphold the public trust. Honorable people in both parties are working on reforms to strengthen ethical standards in Washington. The recent scandals involving several key Republicans are overshadowed by the fact that the Democrats are not any holier. Let us shake hands and continue forward.


While some say we were a little slow to react to hurricane Katrina, nobody can deny that we’ve spent money in the aftermath. So far the federal government has committed 85 billion to the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. We are still removing debris, repairing highways, and building stronger levees. We are providing business loans and temporary housing assistance. Some of the same corporations that are making a killing in Iraq have also accepted to help in New Orleans.

Yet as we meet these immediate needs, we must also address deeper challenges that existed before the storm arrived. In New Orleans, like many places across the nation, millions of our fellow citizens, mostly black or Hispanic by chance, have felt excluded from a system that has been so good to others of us. The answer is not only temporary subsistence, but schools that teach every child and job skills that bring upward mobility and more opportunities to own a home and start a business. Special attention should also be made to the army recruitment possibilities among those displaced from the flooding.

More than a million Americans live with the HIV virus and half of all AIDS cases occur among African-Americans for a number of reasons I won’t touch on today.

I ask Congress to reform and reauthorize the Ryan White Act and provide new funding to states, so we end the long waiting lists for AIDS patients to receive their medication in America.


Fellow citizens, we have been called to leadership in a period of consequence. We have entered a great ideological conflict we did nothing to invite. We see great changes in science and commerce that will influence all our lives. And sometimes it can seem that history is turning in a wide arc, toward an unknown shore that makes us do more to defend our interests.

Today, having come far in our own historical journey to greatness, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish the job?

Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage. Like Americans before us, we will show that courage and we will prevail.

We will lead freedom's advance. We will compete and excel in the global economy at all costs. We will redefine the moral commitments of this land. And so we move forward -- optimistic about our country, faithful to its cause, and confident of victories to come.

Thank you, God bless you, God bless America and may God save the world.

George W. Bush

Business Logo design
Hit Counter