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From the Editor

The forgetful Ketchup Queen and Cuba Libre

by Judi McLeod

October 15, 2004

a string should be tied around Teresa Heinz Kerry's finger. That's an old wives' remedy for the memory lapses of a wannabe First Lady, who prescribes gin-soaked raisins for the pain of arthritis.

..."You get some gin and get some white raisins--and only white raisins--and soak them in gin for two weeks," Heinz Kerry told a Reno audience last week. "Then eat nine of the raisins a day."

The daddy of the Ketchup Queen was a sawbones. But while doctors may get away with their fabled "take an aspirin and call me in the morning" line, arthritis victims should take medical advice dispensed by the senator's wife with the proverbial grain of salt.

Who knows which ingredient for the gin recipe Heinz Kerry may have forgotten?

a week after the drunken raisin caper, Senator John Kerry's wife forgot what a nation remembers most about its First Lady Laura Bush.

"Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job--I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things," Heinz Kerry told USa Today.

While Presidential candidate John Kerry flip-flops, wife Tessie may have flipped--period.

From 1968to 1977, Laura Bush worked as a teacher and librarian in government schools in Texas.

"I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a schoolteacher and librarian, and there couldn't be a more important job than teaching our children," Heinz Kerry backpedaled, when reminded that Laura Bush was indeed a working woman.

Which brings me to the puzzling outcome of Tessie's Cuba Libre. Tessie's Cuba Libre is a cover story I wrote in July about the Tides Foundation donating money to the Institute for Global Communications (IGC), whose Toronto-based Canadian affiliate used an underwater cable link from Havana to Sprint in the United States, to connect Fidel Castro's Cuba to the World Internet.

The Institute for Global Communications made no bones about where they got their money.

The Heinz endowments, two foundations with combined assets of more than $1 billion, have donated $8 million to the Tides Foundation and Center since 1994, but the foundations insist all the money they gave away went to projects in Pennsylvania.

Guess they'd say the same thing about ICG servicing 17 United Nations offices, which also happened and not in Pennsylvania.

In any case, my hopes were riding high when Miami-Dade Republican congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen held a press conference, laying it on the line that the Tides Foundation "services or funds radical and anti-american groups", including Cuba's Interests Section.

The Democrats went ballistic. a legion of attache-carrying lawyers suddenly blotted the media landscape. Both the Heinz Endowments and the Tides group were soon off the mark, categorically denouncing the link-to-Cuba accusation.

"Claims that money from the Heinz Endowments granted to Tide Center projects has gone to support Internet connection to Cuba or any other project or organization related to Cuba are entirely false," Christopher Herrera, spokesman for the Tides Foundation, said in a press release.

You might say that being in downtown Toronto, both Nirv, (the ICG Canadian affiliate) and Canada Free Press are miles away from Bush country. But Kerry campaign worker, Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez blamed the Cuba Libre story on the president!

"This is incredible that the Bush campaign has stooped so low and talked these three Cuban congressional members into telling straight-out lies," Martinez blustered.

Days before the congressmen press conference, Florida based television reporters who had picked up the CFP story, were shocked when someone in the Kerry campaign, complained about their story's original source: "Not Canada Free Press, not Canada Free Press, they're crazy and right-wing," lamented the campaign spokesperson.

Tessie's Cuba Libre withered on the vine and I spent the rest of the summer and fall wondering how one of Teresa Heinz Kerry's pet charities got away with connecting communist Cuba to the Internet.

Naive me, I thought connecting Cuba to the Internet when there's an american embargo in place would be reasonable grounds for treason.

But IGC completed the job in 1991. Maybe the forgetful Ketchup Queen simply forgot.

Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on, Drudge Report,, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]

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