Jerry Brown’s Cuba Trouble

First, Whitman’s trouble.  She unknowingly hired a maid who finally told her that she is undocumented though she came through an employment agency with all the required docs, which turned out to have been fraudulently produced or obtained.  Whitman fired her when the maid told her the truth.  Nothing wrong there.  The trouble is that she said they did not receive a notice from SS stating that the employee info do not match, when they apparently did receive it since  the husband had written a note on the notice for the maid to check it out.

People hire undocumented workers mainly for lower wages, but not in Whitman’s case. She went through a professional agency, and she paid more than good compensation at $23.00 per hour for her service.

The notice also says that you should not dismiss anyone because of this, and the government is lenient on what should be done to check the veracity of documents since employers are not document experts.

So that has caused quite a stir. You decide if this should cost her the election.

Jerry Brown’s trouble came to light yesterday. They call it his Cuba Trouble.  See below article.


Cuba expert Ann Louise Bardach reports that Jerry Brown violated U.S. sanction law during a trip to Cuba by using a CIA turncoat as a travel agent. Similar sanction violations were prosecuted extensively by George W. Bush. Plus: never before reported details of Brown’s mojito-fueled conversations with Fidel on topics from Elian Gonzalez’s future to Hugo Chavez’s role in Venezuela; Brown’s four-hour limo ride with Fidel; the double agent who booked Brown’s travel; and Brown’s later concerns about breaking the law

Jerry Brown has been asleep at the switch in the fight against welfare fraud and the abuse of taxpayer’s money. The LA Times has revealed that $69 million in welfare payments meant for impoverished families and children have been spent out-of-state in recent years at places like luxurious Hawaiian islands, Las Vegas casinos and cruise ships. This abuse of taxpayer dollars has happened right under Jerry Brown’s nose.

The following report was filed at the time when he took that trip in 2000.

Jerry Brown Taking Off For Cuba / Maybe he’ll be lucky and bump into Castro

July 22, 2000|By Chip Johnson

(07-22) 04:00 PST OAKLAND — 2000-07-22 04:00:00 PST OAKLAND — Sometime this week, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown may be a cause celebre in Havana, chomping on a cigar and rapping with Fidel Castro.

That’s usually what happens when well-known political figures visit the Cuban leader, who this week will celebrate the 47th anniversary of the start of la revolucion.

And while such a sit-down is not on Brown’s official itinerary — the stated purpose of his trip is to sign a sister-city agreement with Santiago, the birthplace of Castro’s revolution — the Cuban leader has a history of chatting with colorful political figures.

Outside Oakland, the former California governor and three-time presidential candidate is still seen, at 61, as a left-leaning politician with big-name recognition.

The weeklong trip, which begins today, picks up where Brown’s predecessor, Elihu Harris, left off by finally sealing the friendship agreement adopted by the City Council in 1994.

“The mayor is going to take credit for things we’ve been doing for years,” said one City Council member.

When he arrives in Havana, Brown and his entourage will play the roles of liberal U.S. officials on a cultural exchange to a misunderstood nation.

Brown, senior adviser Jacques Barzaghi and Assistant City Manager George Musgrove will walk a well-worn radical-chic path at a time when the U.S. government has eased travel restrictions, and a record number of Americans are visiting the island nation 90 miles off the Florida coast.

The “official” purpose of Brown’s weeklong trip:

“I’m going to Cuba in furtherance of a City Council resolution that calls for person-to-person diplomacy.

“I think it’s important to create a bridge of understanding and highlight the similarities between the two cities. It’s ridiculous that we are carrying on the remnants of U.S. Cold War policy,” the mayor said.

Brown and his entourage plan a two-day visit to Havana, the nation’s capital, that includes a tour of the city’s historic districts, learning about preservation efforts there and a meeting with the president of the Cuban National Assembly.

He will also visit the rural village of Las Guasimas for a discussion with students, farmers and craftsmen.

The group will then fly to the other side of the island for a three-day tour of Santiago, participating in a celebration on Wednesday to commemorate the city’s 485th birthday — along with the Castro revolution.

Brown will visit schools in Santiago and discuss literacy before signing a sister-city agreement. The parallel with his own struggle over the direction of Oakland’s public schools wasn’t lost on Brown.

“I’m going to visit military schools,” Brown joked, directing his comments at school board President Dan Siegel, who led the move to reject, for now, the mayor’s plan to establish a military school in Oakland. “They seem to have a rather structured program.

“Siegel probably supports military schools in Cuba,” Brown said, referring to the Free Speech Movement and 1960s anti-war protest leader. “Maybe I can find a reason to get him to support one here.”

Despite the loosening of travel restrictions, federal law limits the purpose of such visits to person-to-person meetings and cultural exchanges, but let’s be real.

Whether it’s a delegation led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D- Oakland, a Midwestern senator or a local mayor with a national reputation, these trips are political junkets designed to recast Cuba in the eyes of the American people and pressure federal legislators to remove the barriers thrown up when Cuba became a communist state in 1959.

It is also a pre-emptive entree to establish a business relationship when that happens.

When Lee’s delegation traveled to Cuba last year, it dined with Castro at the presidential palace for six hours, said City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, who was part of the delegation.

Castro held court and spoke frankly about the Monica Lewinsky scandal, former U.S. presidents and a lot more.

“I jokingly said, in Spanish, that we could learn more about America from him than we could at home,” De La Fuente said.

Castro replied with what sounded like a homespun metaphor for U.S. regional dominance.

“When you have a bald eagle on top of you, you should be able to count the feathers on his belly,” De La Fuente recalled Castro telling him.

If what foreign correspondents say about Castro is true, that he loves hobnobbing with American celebrities, then Brown will probably also get a meeting with the national leader, but he’s not allowed to say that.


Chip Johnson’s column appears in The Chronicle on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He can be reached at (510) 433-5984, by e-mail at or by writing The Chronicle at 483 Ninth St., Suite 100, Oakland, CA 94607.



About pnclaw

I am not a political activist, but I am paying attention to what's happening in our beloved country, especially for the sake of my grandchildren. I hope you are too.
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