31 August 2006
10. you say "Que la force be with jou, acere."
9. you have to constantly tell the other Jedis "It's not a raft, it's an X-wing fighter!"
8. Darth Vader says to you "Socio, if only jou knew the power of el comunismo."
7. Your unpronounceable Jedi name is Acere Monina Santo-Antonio-Come Cable.
6. You have a bumpersticker on your X-wing with a picture of Cuba and the words: "No Castro, No Problem"
5. You pronounce Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, "Estar Woarz: Umpire Estrik-Ba!"
4. Your droid's name is "Arturito."
3. Darth Castro, Sith Master.
2. Darth Chavez, his apprentice.
1. Your other droid’s name is 13-PEO (trece PEO) and he keeps bitching, "Chico, esto no pasa en Cuba!"
When the Cuban government does something that benefits mankind, it makes news! Why is that? Because they are tyrannical barbarians, that's why. But... they have free health care and public education.
Want to get U.S. and Cuban governments talking? Just mention the weather
By Laura Wides-MunozAP Hispanic Affairs WriterAugust 31,
2006, 10:24 AM
MIAMI -- The U.S. and Cuban governments may avoid talking politics or religion, but as with every strained relationship, the weather is always safe ground.For decades, the two countries have quietly worked together to track tropical storms and hurricanes in hopes of saving their citizens' lives.Earlier this week, eight U.S. Air Force C-130 planes crossed into Cuban air space to track Tropical Storm Ernesto's wind speed, center and other information.In an unusual public acknowledgment Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center recognized the communist island for its
``Special thanks to the government of Cuba for permitting the recon aircraft (to) fly right up to their coastline to gather this critical weather data,'' senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart wrote in an advisory.Cuba has long pumped funds into meteorological research.
In 1900, Cuban meteorologists tried to warn U.S. weather officials of the danger of
a hurricane that was moving into the Gulf of Mexico. Their predictions were dismissed by Americans and the storm killed at least 8,000 people in Galveston,
Texas, according to Erik Larson, author of ``Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and
the Deadliest Hurricane in History.''
Read the rest here :
30 August 2006
ESTUDIO REVELA QUE200,000 ESPAÑOLES VIAJAN ANUALMENTE A CUBAPARA HACER"TURISMO SEXUAL"
Alrededor de 200.000 españoles, hombres y mujeres, viajan cada año a Cuba para hacer turismo sexual, según afirmó hoy el catedrático de Análisis Geográfico de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid Guillermo Morales Matos. Según el catedrático, el turismo heterosexual, que en el caso español se dirige básicamente hacia Cuba, República Dominicana y Brasil, mientras que los alemanes viajan expresamente a Bahía, mueve cifras globales poco significativas, pero mucho mayores que el turismo orientado a la pedofilia. Morales, que dirige en Laredo un seminario enmarcado en la programación de los cursos de verano de la Universidad de Cantabria, señaló que 'hay otro turismo hasta hace poco estigmatizado, como es el homosexual, que en estos momentos está siendo mimado por las agencias de viaje y los tour operadores de una forma soterrada, porque mueve a un sector de altísimo nivel adquisitivo y, en consecuencia, hacen políticas comerciales ex profeso para ellos'. En relación con el turismo pedófilo, indicó que Costa Rica, el último país que se ha incorporado a este mercado, recibe al año a 10.000 visitantes. Para Morales, este es el mercado 'más abyecto y todos tendemos a perseguirlo'. 'Es un turismo perverso que hay que combatir, sobre todo en los países que acogen este tipo de prácticas, como Tailandia y Birmania', añadió.
Terra ActualidadEuropa PressMadridEl Correo GallegoEspaña Infosearch:Máximo TomásDept. de InvestigacionesLa Nueva CubaAgosto 29, 2006
27 August 2006
Within my own school, because of my demeanor, name, political views, friends and musical tastes I wasn't considered Cuban enough. That is heart-piercing. Sometimes in discussions I was also labeled a commie by family. Equally as heart-piercing. In 1980, while helping to organize a benefit for the people at the Peruvian embassy in Cuba, I became convinced that because of our inability to get along with each other, that we would never succeed in 1. Getting the American public to take our position seriously or 2. topple castro's totalitarian tyranny, because we were our own worst enemies. Sadly, At the end of that day, Cuba sank into the Caribbean for me.
A few events, like the downing of the Brothers to the Rescue cessnas, castro's visit to the UN, and the Elian saga , however, proved that at least younger Cubans were becoming more media-savvy, inclusive and unified. Hope.
About two years ago, some guy was in the papers all bent out of shape because the Burlington Coat Factory had an add where they were advertising shirts with the likeness of an Argentine mass murderer. Apparently this guy had something called a "blog". I typed in the address. Oddly enough we once had a pekingnese named "babalu" . I found a place where this guy railed against castro (no caps!), communists and democrats (hard to defend my party these days) . Gotta love it! Add to my favorites. To the right of the posts there are links. WOW! More zany guys. Some of these guys are definitely into Led Zep. Another add to Favorites. One guy has pictures that actually made me cry that show the complete and utter devastation that have resulted from the revolting "revolution" that started over 50 years ago and has only accomplished death destruction and despair. He should really put a warning on his pics as they are very upsetting. But they provide the best ammunition possible when some well meaning American who gets all of their knowledge from the Today Show or 60 Minutes gives you the tired line about free healthcare and education (read indoctrination). Another add to Favorites.
All these sites, all different yet with an unmistakable and undeniable common theme that binds them: CUBA LIBRE.
To me and the thousands of Cubans that visit ALL these blogs MANY times a day, It doesn't matter who was born here or got the scoop first or who got more hits. What does matter is that EVERYONE is working towards the common goal: CUBA LIBRE. What matters is all the great information and comments and different points of view. These bloggers don't blog for their own health the blog for the readers. Readers like me. So to steal a page out of KILLKASTRO:
Here come old flattop he come grooving up slowly
He got joo-joo eyeball he one holy roller
He got hair down to his knee
Got to be a joker he just do what he please
He wear no shoeshine he got toe-jam football
He got monkey finger he shoot coca-cola
He say "I know you, you know me"
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free
Come together right now over me
He bag production he got walrus gumboot
He got Ono sideboard he one spinal cracker
He got feet down below his knee
Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease
Come together right now over me
He roller-coaster he got early warning
He got muddy water he one mojo filter
He say "One and one and one is three"
Got to be good-looking 'cause he's so hard to see
Come together right now over me
24 August 2006
Pluto Is No Longer A Planet
The International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of its planet status because it's too small.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Pluto has been stripped of its planet status. The International Astronomical Union made the decision today at a meeting in Prague.
Pluto's been a planet since it was discovered in 1930. Astronomers say their new guidelines for a "classic planet" boots the furthest rock from the sun out. They say Pluto is too small -- smaller even than the Earth's moon -- and it has an eccentric orbit.
The change is expected to cost millions for schools who will need to get updated textbooks with the new eight planet solar system included.
I came across the following article in a great Web Page : http://www.therealcuba.com/ about Elian.
My guess is that when the bearded one dies and Elian goes on Oprah, He will say "What were you thinking!?!"
Rethinking Elian Gonzalez
by Tony Zizza
With stories and photos of Fidel Castro's "personal health" bombarding us 24/7, I have given some second serious thought into my own involvement in the infamous Elian Gonzalez case. Once you hear the name "Elian", how can you ever forget this six year old boy and the media rampage that started in late 1999, and came full circle more than six years ago?
Looking back, I have come to realize that in my advocacy to advance the concept of fathers' rights, I forgot to understand that young Elian was the wrong boy and the wrong case to champion in the name of American fathers' rights. We can properly state over and over and over again that fathers, and subsequently their children, are victimized far more often in family courts across this country, than mothers are. This must stop. However, you don't start to bring media attention to a noble cause with the wrong case. I'm speaking for myself, and understand a million and one divorced fathers will come down on me. So be it.
Now, on the surface, there should not have even been a debate about returning Elian, once found floating on an inner tube in the Florida Straits, to his father. Elian's mother was deceased, and his biological father Juan Miguel Gonzalez was his last living parent. Here's the rub. Elian was not being returned to his father in Boston or Cleveland. He, a six year old boy with his whole life ahead of him, was being returned to a totalitarian regime. A Communist dictatorship that has been ruled by the same brutal man for almost a half century. For crying out loud! Personally, but without intending to do so, I was putting a social agenda above common sense and liberty. I regret this. Terribly. I should have known better.
You see, parental rights do not exist in Cuba because human rights do not exist. According to Richard Grenier, author of the April 14, 2000 worldnetdaily.com article, titled: "Holding Hands With Fidel", "The law on "parenting" under Cuba's present day totalitarian constitution affirms that a child's mother and father have some rights indeed, but "only so long as their influence does not go against the political objectives of the state." Children in Cuba, furthermore, are conscripted at a young age to serve in a kind of children's boot camp where the principles of the socialist state are thoroughly instilled. It is a form of youthful indoctrination previously employed by both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany."
I am at a lost for words for not realizing at the time of writing columns advocating for Elian to go back home with his father, that Elian was really going home to a monster by the name of Fidel Castro. The very term "fiercely" anti-Castro in reference to many of Elian's relatives now seems silly. What other way can a person who loves America address Castro? With appeasement? With sympathy? With awe? With treating a young boy like a small fish that according to Attorney General Janet Reno, "had to be returned to his father"? Perhaps Janet "Waco" Reno and Bill Clinton could have been stronger, and not caved in to Castro. Certainly, they have no earthly idea of how to act on the best interests of the child - when given an opportunity.
If Elian's father was not being used as a puppet by Castro (not in the interest of young Elian) - then why would he want Elian to live under Castro, rather than live under the American flag? Is this what a "good" parent does? Choose totalitarianism over democracy? Isn't this in and of itself, a form of child abuse? Also, why couldn't there be some form of shared custody worked out? Why couldn't Elian live here during the school year so he didn't have to be indoctrinated with Communism, and perhaps spend summers with his father in Cuba? The real question, however, and the ultimate solution, would have been for Elian's father to live with his son Elian - in America. No matter how you look at this case, there was some kind of alternative out there for Elian, rather than sending him back to Cuba where he now shares his birthdays with Fidel Castro. How sad. How wrong. How disgusting.
I don't understand why one of Elian's relatives could not apply for political asylum for him and our government could have made it stick. Elian Gonzalez deserved political asylum! The hearing on this in Atlanta in May of 2000 was a huge media event. As a fathers' rights activist, I kept thinking that the right thing to do was advocate for a boy to live with his father, no matter what. Again, I should have asked myself why was it such a stretch for his father and his family to come live in America. There were many questions about who really signed Elian's asylum papers, and is he old enough, but this is just a game of words.
The real issue at hand was, and is this: Does Elian deserve a chance to live in freedom or do fathers' rights and immigration law as constructed in America, mean he must live in a totalitarian regime - because this is where his father wants to live, and since Elian was only six years old at the time, only his biological father could sign political asylum papers? How can you call yourself a loving parent when you insist on a SWAT raid to pick your child up? Is that we call a Father of the Year in 2000? It's hard to even believe. If I believed in sleeping pills (aids) like Ambien, I'd take one so I could sleep at night.
I don't think anyone will ever forget that picture of Reno's boys in action doing the work of, well, a dictator named Castro. At that moment, we lost a piece of our soul. Ann Coulter was proven right once again by stating Elian Gonzalez was "the only immigrant liberals ever wanted to deport." Coulter writes further in "How To Talk To A Liberal" about the Elian Gonzalez case, "Elian Gonzalez was the only child liberals believed needed a father. Liberals believe that Elian's mother should have been able to abort Elian without input from the father, but that she could not give him freedom without the father's consent." The more I think about it, I believe Elian's father knew at some level where his son was going on that fateful November day. From what I understand, Elian's father knew the Miami relatives before all of this happened.
Again, no one is saying that fathers' rights to this day don't need to be better actualized and - enforced. It's just that the plight of American fathers was not the point in the Elian Gonzalez case. These days, you have to be careful what you align yourself with for what purpose, and what the consequences could be. Agenda isn't everything. Common sense is the most important currency we have to deal with each other. I made a mistake as a fathers' rights activist, (but being a fathers' rights activist in and of itself is certainly not a mistake), to try and say we were Juan Miguel Gonzalez, and he was one of us.
This doesn't hold water and is not truthful. It reminds me of the stark extremism that's out there when we talk about Andrea Yates murdering all five of her children. The issue was never justice for five murdered children (as it should have been), but rather, and only one of these two truths: Either a subjective mental illness is 100 percent to blame for the murders, or the drugs that Andrea took from time to time are 100 percent to blame. As far as agenda's go, I see some similarities between the media hoopla surrounding the Yates case and the Gonzalez case. It's not right. And when a CNN Talk Back Live survey stated the majority of Americans said Elian should be returned to his father, they should have been truthful and said: returned to his father, yes, but - under a totalitarian regime.
When I marched in Atlanta for Elian to be reunited with his father at the time of Elian's political asylum hearing on May 11, 2000, I thought that Elian's father's wishes were the only issue at hand. I thought like many fathers who were writing about Elian and his father. Archie Wortham wrote a piece for fathermag. com titled: "Elian Gonzalez: Fathers' Fight to be Important in America Continues." According to Wortham, "His father is the only one who should be making this decision. Yet, America is attempting to drive another stake in every man who is or happened to be a father. The boy should go home! A son needs his father." This is correct thinking for American fathers and their American children facing daily bias in American courts. It does not apply to a Communist tool like Elian's father, and an innocent child like Elian who now must shout "Fidel! Fidel!" during his youth, when instead, he could have lived in America.
When you punch "Elian Gonzalez" into an internet search engine, there are many articles and pictures to view. My heart sank when I checked out this web site: http://www.therealcuba.com/elian_gonzalez.htm Everyone had an opinion about this case, and charges of all sorts when back and forth between all the parties. Again, it was an unbelievable media circus, and I just didn't "get it" at the time. I thought I did. I really did. It did not even cross my heart or mind that it was a real possibility young Elian would have to live under a totalitarian regime that people try to escape from all the time. I didn't think that through. Now, I am. Back then, I should have asked myself: "How many times do we see people from America risking their lives in inner tubes to reach - Cuba?
No, this would have messed up my belief that the only issue at hand was that since Elian's mother was deceased, he must live with his father.
22 August 2006
this from yesterday's El Nuevo Herald:
BROTHERS TO THE RESCUE SHOOTDOWN Tape suggests Raúl Castro ordered Brothers shootdown.
A recording purportedly of Raúl Castro suggests he gave direct orders
for the shootdown of Brothers to the Rescue planes.
By WILFREDO CANCIO ISLAwcancio@elnuevo.com
Cuban Defense Minister Raúl Castro discussed plans for the 1996 shootdowns of two Brothers to the Rescue airplanes during a meeting with official journalists just weeks after the event, according to an audio tape obtained by El Nuevo Herald.
In the tape, a voice identified as Raúl's details the planning carried out during a
meeting of military officers around Jan. 13, 1996, the day Brothers aircraft
allegedly had overflown Havana to drop anti-government leaflets.
''I made it clear that [the decision to shoot] had to be decentralized if we wanted it to be effective, so we gave the power to five generals,'' the voice says. The Brothers
airplanes ``were going to escalate this, and we had no other recourse but to
make this decision.
''I told them [MiG pilots] to try to knock them down over
[Cuban] territory, but they [the Brothers aircraft] would enter Havana and go
away . . . Of course, with one of those missiles, air-to-air, what comes down is
a ball of fire that will fall on the city,'' the voice says. ``Well, knock them
down into the sea when they reappear. If not, consult with the people in
The two Brothers Cessna C-337 were shot down by MiGs Feb. 24,
killing Armando Alejandre, Carlos Costa, Mario de la Peña and Pablo Morales.
Brothers to the Rescue has denied any violations of Cuban airspace.
The 11-minute recording was taped during a June 21, 1996, conversation at a Cuban
Communist Party office in the eastern city of Holguín between Castro, government
officials and journalists from the government's Radio Rebelde network.
The authenticity of the recording could not be independently confirmed. A telephone
call Sunday to the Cuban diplomatic mission in Washington went
The recording was obtained by a Havana journalist who requested anonymity for his own security. Cubans in Miami who listened to it say they believe it is indeed Raúl's voice. The Holguín newspaper carried a report on Raúl's presence there the day after the meeting. The recording was delivered to El Nuevo Herald through Nueva Prensa Cubana, a Miami agency that represents several dissident journalists in Cuba.
On two occasions, the voice on the recording is heard warning the government
journalists to ``publish nothing about this.''
Cuban leader Fidel Castro told CBS News anchor Dan Rather in April of 1996 that he had given general orders that violations of Cuban airspace should be stopped, but that neither he nor Raúl had given the specific order for the Feb. 24 shootdown.
Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his younger brother three weeks ago after undergoing ''complicated'' intestinal surgery. He is reported to be recovering but has not been seen in public since although photos and a video have been
Cuba has long maintained that the Brothers' Cessna 337 planes were
shot down within its territorial waters. But an investigation by the United
Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization concluded they were well
outside Cuban waters. The tape does not specify the names of the five
generals empowered to order the shootdowns. In August 2003, federal prosecutors
in Miami indicted three Cuban officers for the attacks: Gen. Rubén Martínez
Puente, then head of the anti-aircraft command, and MiG pilot-brothers Alberto
Lorenzo and Francisco Pérez Pérez.
ON FULL ALERT
In the recording, the voice says that Cuban military forces were put on full alert after Brothers airplanes allegedly violated Cuban airspace on July 13, 1995.
'One MiG-23 got behind them . . . `I have him, I have him,' he said. 'Let him go,' he was ordered,'' says the voice, adding later that the order to stop the incursions
remained in force as of the Holguín meeting. ``The order stays.''
In the tape, the voice also says that just before the Holguín meeting the speaker
ordered the emergency landing of a plane carrying Fidel Castro from central Cuba
to Havana because air force radars had detected ''several'' suspicious marks in
''I ordered that the plane land in Varadero,'' the voice says. 'It was necessary to say that the order was mine. `Make it land in Varadero!' and [Fidel] told them to obey it.''
José Basulto, president of Brothers to the Rescue, and relatives of the dead pilots have long insisted on bringing Raúl Castro before U.S. justice for the shootdowns.
''This is the type of proof we have been seeking from day one as confirmation that the murder was premeditated,'' said Maggie Alejandre Khuly, sister of pilot Armando
Basulto, who was in another plane during the attacks, said the
tape ``points to Raúl Castro as the direct source of the decision to down the
airplanes . . . This is a record of the plans for the crime.''
16 August 2006
Suspect Arrested in JonBenet Ramsey Case
By CATHERINE TSAIAssociated Press WriterAugust 16, 2006, 7:54 PM EDT
BOULDER, Colo. -- A former schoolteacher was arrested Wednesday in Thailand in the slaying of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey -- a surprise breakthrough in a lurid, decade-old murder mystery that had cast a cloud of suspicion over her own parents. Federal officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the suspect as John Mark Karr, a 42-year-old American, and one law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Boulder police had tracked him down online. The Ramsey family's attorney in Atlanta pronounced the arrest vindication for JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey. Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer on June 24. "John and Patsy lived their lives knowing they were innocent, trying to raise a son despite the furor around them," Lin Wood said. "The story of this family is a story of courage, and story of an American injustice and tragedy that ultimately people will have to look back on and hopefully learn from." The attorney said the Ramseys learned about the suspect a least a month before Patsy Ramsey's death. "It's been a very long 10 years, and I'm just sorry Patsy isn't here for me to hug her neck," Wood said. Karr was a teacher who once lived in Conyers, Ga., according to Wood. The attorney said the Ramseys gave police information about Karr before he was identified as a suspect. Wood would not say how the Ramseys knew Karr. But JonBenet was born in Atlanta in 1990, and the Ramseys lived in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody for several years before moving to Colorado in 1991. A source close to the investigation said Karr confessed to elements of the crime. Also, a law enforcement source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the AP that Karr had been communicating periodically with somebody in Boulder who had been following the case and cooperating with law enforcement officials. District Attorney Mary Lacy said the arrest followed several months of work, but she said no details would be released until Thursday. Karr was being held in Bangkok on unrelated sex charges, authorities said. CBS reported he will be brought back to the United States this weekend. JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of the family's home in Boulder on Dec. 26, 1996. Patsy Ramsey reported finding a ransom note in the house demanding $118,000 for her daughter. The image of blonde-haired little JonBenet in a cowgirl costume and other beauty pageant outfits has haunted TV talk shows ever since, helping feed myriad theories about her killer, and the case became one of the most sensational unsolved murder cases in the nation. Over the years, some experts suggested that investigators had botched the case so thoroughly that it might never be solved. Investigators at one point said JonBenet's parents were under an "umbrella of suspicion" in the slaying. And some news accounts cast suspicion on JonBenet's older brother. But the Ramseys insisted an intruder killed their daughter, and no one was ever charged. In the months after the slaying, Patsy Ramsey went before the cameras, vigorously defending herself and her husband, chastising the media and blasting local law enforcement as incompetent. In a statement Wednesday, John Ramsey said: "Patsy was aware that authorities were close to making an arrest in the case, and had she lived to see this day, would no doubt have been as pleased as I am with today's development almost 10 years after our daughter's murder." The Ramseys moved back to Atlanta after their daughter's slaying. Wood lashed out at the frenzy that long surrounded the case, and he accused the media of "the most obscene false accusations." "I think the public's mind was so poisoned against this family that no one was able for too many years to look at the evidence," he said. Patsy Ramsey's sister, Pam Paugh, of Roswell, Ga., said the family was celebrating the news of the arrest. "We are elated. We are elated. If this is, in fact, the killer, then we have a very heinous killer off the streets to never harm another child," Paugh said. Lib Waters of Marietta, Ga., visited the gravesites of Patsy and JonBenet Ramsey in the Atlanta suburb immediately after hearing news reports about the arrest. Waters, who described herself as a longtime friend of the Ramsey family, taped a piece of notebook paper to JonBenet Ramsey's headstone that read: "Dearest Patsy, Justice has come for you and Jon. Rest in peace." In 2003, a federal judge in Atlanta concluded that the evidence she reviewed suggested an intruder killed JonBenet. That opinion came with the judge's decision to dismiss a libel and slander lawsuit against the Ramseys by a freelance journalist, whom the Ramseys had named as a suspect in their daughter's murder. The Boulder district attorney at the time said she agreed with the judge's declaration. "Today is additional vindication of the family," Wood said. Wood said he and the Ramseys "have been totally amazed and impressed with the professionalism of law enforcement" under Lacy's direction. Lacy became district attorney in 2001. Author Lawrence Schiller, who wrote the 1999 book "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town" about the case, said Wednesday he understood the man had been on a list of sexual offenders who were suspects for a long time. "There are a lot of facts about her actual death that the public does not know." Schiller said. "If he did confess to some facts of the murder, to reveal those facts of the case, that would finish the puzzle." Among the facts he said were not generally known was the murder weapon and what the killer did with it. Bob Grant, a former Adams County district attorney who worked on the case, said there was never enough evidence to convince him that any potential suspect could be successfully prosecuted. "I wasn't convinced it was an inside job, nor was I convinced it was an outside job," he said. "All the outside suspects were cleared after exhaustive investigation, and there were a whole lot of outside suspects." * __ Associated Press Writers Suzanne Gamboa and Lara Jakes Jordan in Washington contributed to this report.
15 August 2006
Chavez foe on the loose after jailbreak
Labor leader was convicted for
By Ian JamesThe Associated PressAugust 15, 2006
One of President Hugo Chavez's most threatening enemies is on the loose, and
many Venezuelans wonder what new plots he has in mind.Carlos Ortega, 60, escaped
from a military prison over the weekend, and troops and police were ordered to
guard ports, airports and embassies to prevent him from fleeing or seeking
asylum. But those who know Ortega think he might stay to revive anti-Chavez
protests before December's presidential elections."Carlos has always been a
fighting man," Edgar Zambrano, an opposition politician who recently visited him
in prison, said Monday. "I imagine if he decided to escape from prison, he's
doing it to stay in the country and, while in hiding, begin a frontal fight
against the regime."A union leader who led a crippling national strike against
Chavez and later became what many consider Venezuela's most prominent political
prisoner, Ortega slipped out of the Ramo Verde prison west of Caracas, where he
was serving a 16-year sentence for civil rebellion. Three convicted military
officers also escaped.Prison director Gustavo Busnego said 14 guards were being
interrogated, and investigators think some may have helped the men leave the
prison. He said guards reported the escape Sunday after checking one bunk and
finding only pillows under the sheet, arranged to look like a dozing
inmate.Zambrano's party, Democratic Action, released a typed letter, purportedly
written by Ortega from prison a week earlier. In it, he repeated a phrase he has
often used: "I know that we will soon see each other again -- and free."However,
he also said, "For now I am a political prisoner of a dictator who knows I am
dangerous in the streets and, therefore, I prefer to stay behind bars. That is
the best way of showing he fears me."Ortega wrote that voters should boycott the
presidential vote and called for street protests to "defend democracy." He
signed off saying, "We will see each other soon, friends!"Chavez has called
Ortega a criminal who has conspired against democracy with Venezuela's wealthy
elite.Ortega was convicted last December of civil rebellion and instigation to
commit illegal acts for his role in a 2002-03 general strike that aimed to
topple Chavez's government.The two-month strike virtually shut down oil
production in the world's No. 5 oil-exporting country and cost Venezuela an
estimated $7.5 billion, plunging the economy into recession. Chavez refused to
step down, and he regained control of the state oil industry by firing almost
half its work force.The government also has linked Ortega, the leader of the
million-member Venezuelan Workers Confederation, to an April 2002 coup that
briefly ousted Chavez before street protests helped restore him to power.Ortega
has eluded authorities before. He fled arrest and sought asylum in Costa Rica,
then chose to return to Venezuela in 2004, to "continue fighting this regime by
any means necessary."Ortega spent months in hiding before his arrest in March
2005 inside a Caracas bingo hall.Some of Ortega's allies, including his lawyer,
said his escape was justified because he was wrongly convicted by a biased
judicial system.But pro-Chavez union organizer Pedro Vargas called Ortega's
escape "part of the opposition's Plan B" to try to destabilize the government.
Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez theorized that the opposition could have
"sponsored this escape."The three military officers who disappeared with Ortega
include two brothers, Col. Jesus Faria and Col. Dario Faria, and their nephew,
Capt. Rafael Faria.Jesus and Rafael Faria were serving nine-year terms for
military rebellion after being linked to reputed Colombian paramilitaries
detained in 2004 for allegedly plotting to assassinate Chavez. Dario Faria was
arrested for theft in 2005 after a military assault rifle was found hidden in
his car's fender. All three maintained they were innocent.
Copyright © 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
I was watching the Maria Elvira’s show last night and she played the Castro-Chavez video.
It was nauseating.
I’ve always hated Castro and could never stand the sight of him, but this Chavez guy is right there with him. I couldn’t believe the crap coming out of his mouth. At least Fidel is polished and articulate . It was like a bad Saturday night live skit or Beavis and Butthead. I have to confess, I haven’t paid too much attention to Chavez and certainly never heard him in Spanish before since I never watch the Spanish news because I prefer English.
Then, Chavez gives Castro Bolivar’s dagger and cup! Who does he think he is?!?
That would be like W going over to see a sick Tony Blair and giving Blair George Washington’s pipe and saber. Those are Venezuela’s national treasures that belong to all Venezuelans, not trinkets he can give to his friends. The audacity !
So I am telling my partner about this guy and it dawns on me that all the crap that he was spewing was just a way to prove that the video was shot on Castro’s birthday. Like a little kid who is told by his parents to say something and he just goes through his little script.
14 August 2006
I'm no expert on photshopping, but that newspaper doesn't look right to me.
I asked a couple of teenagers. Who just laughed and pointed out all the reasons why they thought the pic was a fake.
But the biggest crock is that "absolved by history" bull. Once Castro is gone, and his legacy is finally exposed (again!) by objective anglos whose names don't end in a "Z" who didn't have a dog in the fight and they all let out a collective sigh while shaking their heads in feighned disbelief saying "we had no idea!" History will condemn him as well his maker.
Castro has no excuse for his evilness. He had the great fortune to recieve religious education from the jesuits. So he knows better. He chose to commit and serve evil, premeditatedly.
11 August 2006
From Fox News:
U.S. State Department Officials Believe Castro Has 'Serious' Health Problems
Friday , August 11, 2006
WASHINGTON — The prolonged disappearance of Fidel Castro from public view indicates that the Cuban president is confronting "serious" health problems, a senior State Department official said Friday.
Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, briefing reporters, also said he believes that Castro's attempt to turn over power to his brother, Raul, is doomed to fail.
"The transfer won't work," Shannon said. "Ultimately, there is no political figure inside of Cuba who matches Fidel Castro."
He added that the key to Cuba becoming a "reliable partner" in the international community is democracy.
The comments of Shannon, and those of State Department Cuba transition coordinator Caleb McCarry, were the most extensive by the administration since Castro, citing intestinal surgery, temporarily transferred power to Raul, the defense minister, on July 31.
Neither of two has been seen in public since, and official information on the Cuban president's health has been scant.
Shannon acknowledged that the administration does not know how serious Castro's condition is.
"We don't know what the level of recovery is," he said. "We're not in a position to know what the result is going to be."
Shannon seemed to brush aside Cuba's stated policy of reinstating Castro to full powers once he recovers.
He said Cuba may be at a point of "regime hardening" in an effort to ensure that the planned succession to Raul is not derailed. But he suggested that that strategy was unsustainable.
"When a supreme leader disappears from an authoritarian regime, the regime flounders," he said. "It doesn't have the direction that it requires."
When such a leader is incapacited or dead, "everybody else is frozen," he said. "It's very difficult for them (Cuban officials) to make public statements, not only about the wellbeing of Fidel Castro but also the wellbeing of the regime."
Shannon said it is imperative that the international community demonstrate a "clear show of solidarity" in support of a democratic transition in Cuba.
He welcomed a recent statement by former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Prize winner, asserting that Cubans deserve a chance to choose their own leaders after 47 years of one-party rule.
Cuban spokesmen have given optimistic accounts of Fidel Castro's progress in conquering his illness. But his closest ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said Thursday that the Cuban leader is in "a great battle for life." He also said he was confident that Castro would recover.
The United States spent $49 million last year on promoting a democratic transition and recently asked Congress for an additional $80 million.
If approved, McCarry said the funds will be spent on increasing the flow of independent information to Cuba as a means of countering the Cuban government's monopoly control over information flows.
Funds also will be spent on upgrading U.S. government radio and television stations tailored for Cuban audiences, he said.
In addition, the administration will work to permit Cubans to have uncensored access to the Internet and "to provide support for opening space for Cubans to define their own future," McCarry added
10 August 2006
Hugo Chavez: Fidel Castro in 'Great Battle for Life'
Thursday , August 10, 2006
MUNICIPIO INDEPENDENCIA, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez said Thursday his close friend and ally Fidel Castro is in a "great battle for life," but he also expressed optimism about the 79-year-old Cuban leader's recovery.
"From here, let's pray to God for Fidel and his recovery, and he's fighting a great battle," Chavez said in a televised speech from the eastern state of Anzoategui.
His statement was the most dire yet from a close Castro ally in describing the 79-year-old Cuban leader's condition.
Chavez said he had received a message from Castro on Wednesday "that filled me with more optimism, with more faith."
"Among other things Fidel told me ... 'I keep saying Chavez, God help Chavez and his friends,"' Chavez said.
"I wrote to him in my own handwriting last night, in the early morning, to send it with the messenger who was returning immediately: 'You are fighting a great battle every day, all these nights,"' Chavez said.
Castro said July 31 he was stepping aside temporarily, granting his powers to his brother Raul as head of the government and the Communist Party so he could recover from intestinal surgery.
Neither brother has been seen in public since then. Details of Castro's condition, his ailment and the surgical procedure he underwent are being treated as a "state secret."
Chavez said Thursday that in his letter to Castro, "I told him, 'Here we're with you every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every night of that great battle for life that you are fighting from your heart, from your soul."'
"It's a battle, and I know, Fidel, that we're going to win it, too. We are prevailing and we will prevail," Chavez said