30 April 2007
The regime is openly harassing and threatening brave dissidents that stand up to a totalitarian government almost in complete anonymity.
Castro’s spokes-thing informs the world that he’s “back in charge” prompting every analyst to speculate that the much touted and anticipated “reforms” that Raul the pragmatic was ready to introduce have been put on ice.
The spokes-thing also decries that as he takes his country to the abyss, he will squander its natural resources and wealth to finance Leftist regimes.
BUT who wants to hear all that doom and gloom, the Associated Parrots have a story full of a fluffy white substance to keep their handlers happy. No, not the snow thing again:
Uncle Ben Goes to Havana.
"This step forward ... is not an affront to the EU in general and the German presidency in particular,""I am convinced that we (the EU members) will adopt agreements where it will be clear that the EU as an organisation is willing to support change" on the island, Steinmeier said.
"It is possible that the young generations of Cuban politicians, who have had access to power, will move the country towards opening. There are some signs in this direction," he added.
29 April 2007
Speaking at the Miami Dade College’s graduation in the Miami suburb of Kendall, Bushito said that Cubans were dreaming of a better life:
"Unfortunately, those dreams are stifled by a cruel dictatorship that denies all freedom in the name of a dark and discredited ideology," Bush said, noting that any people at the graduation had roots in Cuba, which is just 90 miles (140 km) from Florida.
"Some of you still have loved ones who live in Cuba and wait for the day when the light of liberty will shine upon them again," Bush said. "That day is nearing."
The president does have to power to help at least some Cubans realize that dream of freedom. Unfortunately, his administration has chosen to do the opposite. He has continued the policy of “repatriating” Cubans in search of freedom by returning fleeing Cubans caught at sea back to their totalitarian nightmare. Under the Bush administration, Cubans seeking freedom have been water cannoned, pepper sprayed and even shot at by the US Coast Guard in desperate and inhumane attempts to prevent these refugees from totalitarian communist oppression from reaching the shore and being allowed to stay under the wet foot/dry foot policy.
To add insult to injury Mr. Bush , who owes his presidency to approximately 537 café drinking, cigar smoking , domino playing “viejos” in Little Havana and to the then Cuban American Mayor of Miami-Dade county, Alex Penelas, who did not allow the vote “interpretation” circus that occurred in Broward and Palm beach to take place in Miami-Dade, called for immigration reforms.:
"Our current immigration system is in need of reform. We need a system where our laws are respected," Bush said. "We need a system that meets the legitimate needs of our economy. And we need a system that treats people with dignity and helps newcomers assimilate into our society."
Call me crazy, but rescinding the wet foot/dry foot policy, would go a long way, at least partially, to achieving these two stated goals.
I don’t understand why the Cuban American congressfolk in attendance weren’t screaming from the bleachers for Mr. Bush to stop the wet foot / dry foot policy and adhere to the Cuban Adjustment Act as it is written, I know I would have.
28 April 2007
It’s the world’s oldest profession and it goes on all over the world.
The world is full of places where poor, uneducated girls are forced to sell themselves to support their families.
Back in the Fifties when Castro took control of Cuba, one of his stated goals was to rid the island’s image as the America’s brothel.
Cuba is no different now. In fact, “sex tourism” is one of Cuba’s major attractions.
Since Cuba is a totalitarian country, everything in its command economy is run by the government. Wages are set by the government as are all prices. The regime controls what you can and can’t afford. They are the market; both supply and demand.
In need of hard currency, the regime now depends on tourism as its number one industry. Keeping the employees wages ridiculously low, allows them maximize their profits at the expense of the exploited Cuban worker.
Their control over wages also has the added bonus of forcing young women (and men) to prostitute themselves to foreigners to make ends meet, and thus attracting more tourist interested in sex.
Only in Cuba it’s not just the dirt poor peasant girls that resort to the world’s oldest profession, it’s also the educated professionals.
We’ve gone form bad to worse.
El Comandante himself seemed to cynically brag about the highly educated and healthy prostitutes in Cuba during a speech to the National Assembly in 1992:
...” We can say that they are highly educated hookers and quite healthy, because we are the country with the lowest number of AIDS cases."
This Cuban tragedy is poignantly illustrated by Reuter’s Catherine Bremer in WITNESS: Dollars can still buy love in Cuba describing, in disgusting detail, the exploitative relationship between a Sixty-something Sicilian and a young Cuban student.
ISLE OF YOUTH, Cuba (Reuters) - Grease dribbling through his fingers, the Italian gobbles up two fried lobsters while the girl, young enough to be his granddaughter, picks at some rice and waits.
Facing them, I picture his chubby hands on this pretty 20-year-old mulatta and think about the thin wall between their bedroom and the one I've just rented in this Cuban family home.
On the sleepy Isle of Youth off Cuba's south coast, the Italian calls his girlfriend. She flounces out, a cinnamon-hued goddess in a tight "Italia" T-shirt and tiny pink shorts, and flashes me a smile.
Draped in gold jewelry, she is halfway through a law degree, but her yuma has brought her family more wealth in a few visits than several years on a Cuban lawyer's wage would.
"In my country you'd have a boyfriend like Brad Pitt," I joke. She giggles. The Italian slaps her thigh.
Enough. Don’t let it ruin your weekend. But read it Here.
27 April 2007
That was one of our nursery rhymes…
May 1st, the communist high holy day.
And Cuba’s official “Press” Agency informs us that:
Over 900 union leaders from 52 countries of the world have confirmed attendance
at the Cuban May Day celebration, the local press reported on Friday. (local press?, they must mean the government)
For Cuba to host "union leaders" is absurd. Cuba outlaws unions and its only worker’s organization,the CTC, is controlled by the same regime that employs all Cubans. Cuba's CTC exist as another layer of the regime's repression and exploitation of the Cuban worker.
It is inconcievable that 900 serious union leaders from 52 countries that don’t recognize that by attending the Cuban May Day celebration they are helping to repress and exploit the Cuban worker.
This article in The Nation tells us what happens in Castro’s Media Ski Slopes:
Marie Sanz, Agence France-Presse's correspondent for four years in Havana….says
the Cuban government may prefer neophytes--she calls them "starry-eyed reporters"—
"The Cubans should never be underestimated in this propaganda war," she said. "They know what the foreign press wants and how it works. They play hardball." (ice balls! Ouch!).
Recently, the Cuban Regime politely asked 3 reporters to remove themselves and their laptops from the slopes. One of these reporters was Gary Marx. As a skier, Marx, blazed his own trails and did not ski with the rest of the pack. That got Mr. Marx noticed by the ski police:
Marx was called into the Cuban International Press Center (CPI) and told his five-year stint as a correspondent in Cuba had come to an end. "The bottom line was basically this," Marx told me. "[CPI director José Luis Ponce] said to me, 'This is nothing personal, this is business. Our overseas image is very important to us. We weighed your positive stories against your negative stories. There are too many negative stories. We think we can do better with someone else.'"
But why would reporters willingly ski the trails marked by the regime and try not to ruin all the fresh snow? Marx has a theory(no, not THAT theory, wrong Marx):
'If you want to be here for the big day when Fidel goes and witness whatever transition takes place, you better be careful.'
There are Four US news organizations with skiers on mount Cuba: CNN and the AP, as well as two Tribune Company newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. (Marx works for the Chicago Tribune). CNN, is of course, infamous for “skewing” its reporting from Iraq so that it would be allowed to keep its news bureau there. The AP’s role in reporting from Havana seems more like the role of spokespersons since they tend to repeat exactly the regime’s official “snow job” as facts with few critical comments. I have taken to call them the Associated Parrots.
Ironically, Anita “Snow” (AP) often writes “fluffy” snow stories from whatever slope she’s told to ski on.
26 April 2007
Adjmi, now 70, turned up in Miami on Wednesday, a thin man shackled and handcuffed -- a prisoner and no longer a fugitive after the Cuban government put
him on a plane and sent him home to finally begin serving his U.S. sentence.
The releases come ahead of a high-level meeting between Cuba and Spain at which Havana will seek the permanent end of EU sanctions. The six freed men are Lazaro Alonso Roman, Manuel Perez Soria, Elio Enrique Chavez Ramon, Jose Diaz Silva, Emilio Leyva Perez and Dulian Ramirez Ballester.
While buoyed by the releases, opposition groups in Havana warned against over-interpreting their significance, noting that most had served their full terms.
25 April 2007
During a two-day meeting of the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba (ICDC) in Berlin, Havel advocated for Human Rights in Cuba.
Havel Created the ICDC whose members include former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar and Nobel Literature Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa from Peru.
The comments were addressed at the European Union which, in Havel’s opinion, lags behind the US in promoting Democracy and human rights world-wide.:
"Europe should catch up with the United States in its effort at human rights,"
Havel , like the Czech Republic he used to lead and other ext-communist EU member countries “ are among the major critics of the Cuban regime and refuse to cooperate with it while some western countries are more accommodating towards the regime of Fidel Castro”.
On the other side of the coin, sits Spain, whose Zapatero government is working towards bringing the EU’s position closer to their own policy of cooperating with and propping up the struggling Cuban regime for stability’s (profits') sake.
A few days after being realeased from Castro's Jail , the dissident vows to continue his struggle for dignity, democracy and human rights.
"I am not thinking about leaving Cuba”, I am not going to question those who have done it, but that will not be my way", affirmed Antúnez, he said he feels "firmer, more decided, because of the change that is taking place in the people". "I will learn new forms to struggle", he added, convinced that "the risk of jail for the opponents is latent". "I don’t want to return [ to jail ], but if I had to, my silence is not going it to be bought buy anything or anybody", he added.
24 April 2007
Yes, the Sunshine State is in the grips of another attack, this time in Tallahassee, our State Capital, geographically, the armpit of the State.
Last month, the US spent God knows how much in taxpayer dollars to conduct a multi-agency drill to prepare for and prevent the mass migration that is feared when Fidel Castro dies. The exercise was called “Vigilant Sentry” and right in the middle of the thing a bunch of Cubans showed up in Halouver Beach, undaunted and undetected.
This must have set off the Panic Alarm so……
Florida lawmakers joined emergency planners and policy wonks Tuesday in contemplating what the eventual death of Fidel Castro would mean to Florida.
Federal Agencies predict that Florida’s idyllic way of life is at stake with as many as …gasp… 8,000 to 10,000 Cuban refugees could make it to South Florida after Castro dies. News Alert: That’s the amount of visas the US gives away every year! And, where do they think these Cubans wind up? Oshkosh?
But analysts at the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies estimate that it could be 500,000. 500,000! That’s 4.5% of Cuba’s population. Even if you could cram 5,000 Cubans on the world’s biggest cruise liners, that would be like 100 cruise liners full of people. At 25 per boat, that would be something like 20,000 boats.
With these dire predictions, Florida’s politicians can only come up with ONE solution:
Support a free and democratic Cuba so Cubans wouldn’t have a need to abandon their country?
But plans to offset that migration center on helping Cuba help Cubans -- by developing more jobs and a better economy in the communist country.
YES! You read that right. Pay off the Castros so that they don’t send their huddled masses yearning to be free over here to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave because we don't freaking want them!
"Many analysts believe the real Cuban change will not happen in Havana," said Jorge Pinon, a senior research associate at the institute. "It will happen in Washington."
Among plans the institute is exploring is the conversion of Cuba's sugar cane fields into ethanol-producing facilities. Such a transition could provide 212,000 jobs for Cubans, Pinon said..
And that troubled some of the South Florida lawmakers attending Tuesday's policy briefing.
"How is the U.S. going to give preferential treatment to a country that does not have democracy?" challenged Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami.
Maria Elvira Salazar interviewed the opinionated rocker by phone on Polos Opuestos.
During the Interview they put up a picture of Gorki wearing a shirt with a huge football sized number "59".
Underneath the 59 it said “El Año del Error”. He made the shirt himself.
They also played his infamous “Comandante” song.
Maria Elvira Salazar was actually speechless. (!)
When asked if he wasn’t afraid to be sent to prison, Gorki answered, and I’m paraphrasing, that the whole island is a giant prison it would just change the size of the cell.
He also said that one had to stand up and denounce the system as a matter of dignity.
23 April 2007
"Everyday is Winding Skid mark, I hope she doesn't wear a thong and a white dress. But then again, she probably thinks her shit is colorless and odorless"
What the hell does that mean?!?
OK. So after the first cup of coffee, I read about Sheryl Crow's comments.
Now what many of you don't know is that I'm a closet tree hugger and that I have more than a passing interest in toilet paper since for most of my childhood, toilet paper was a luxury I had to live without.
I have and idea, Sheryl makes CD's for a living, right. Let's talk about the carbon footprint of a CD:
This is hard to follow and swallow:
The footprint for a CD starts with the extraction of the oil used to make the plastic. HUGE
Then there's the manufacturing process for the plastic which is horribly non-eco friendly. (and smelly)
Then there's the whole burning of the CD and its packaging in paper and more plastic and that freaking tape thing that makes it impossible to open a stupid CD without breaking the dammed thing, but I digress..
Then there's the transport of the CD to the store.
And the marketing of the CD. Poor Sheryl flying hither and dither leaving skid marks all over the place to promote the CD.
Wait, and there's the long term effect of the CD's disposal.
I mean she's single handedly destroying the Earth.
If we really want to save the Planet, we should set a huge world-wide music sharing system where only one person has to buy a CD and the rest of us can just "borrow" it.
I know that the recording artists just play music for the love of it anyway so they wont mind that the Earth and not their pocket will be a greener place.
Unless you get permission from Fidel there are only two other ways of the island, escape or death.
The Cuban family has been separated by Fidel.
Those of us who left Cuba did so because we chose not having a country over having a master.
Cubans are not allowed to travel anywhere, have cell phones, computers and land lines are impossible to get.
These calamities are all the result of the regime's policies.
Today we're reminded that :
Since 2004, the U.S. embargo against Cuba, or el bloqueo, as Cubans call it, has prohibited Cuban-Americans from visiting immediate family on the island more than once every three years.
For a culture that typically reveres cousins, aunts and grandparents alongside parents and siblings, the separation and the restrictions have strained the extended Cuban family unit, said Rosemarie Skaine, author of The Cuban Family: Custom and Change in an Era of Hardship.
This may be true , but just once I'd like to read somebody put the blame square on the shoulders of the one man who has caused all this.
22 April 2007
Which just means you get to suffer the totalitarian oppression a little while longer.
Given the “shortages and hardships” that Cubans suffer, this is baffling. So, the answer must be the result of regime’s generous benevolence. Free healthcare and stress free living in a climatic paradise.
You guys that spend your whole day hating Castro for shooting you uncle Jose or for confiscating your parent’s home and or business just don’t understand or appreciate the stress free living that the revolution ushered in.
Totalitarian governments make all your decisions for you. No need to stress out about where to work, what to eat, what to wear or even what to think. It’s all taken care of.
No need to stress about your neighbors being better off than you because everybody is pretty much equally miserable.
There’s no stressing about what to get your kids for their birthday or Los Reyes Magos. They don’t expect anything.
And that is really the biggest gift Fidel and his revolution has bestowed on our Island Paradise. They have taken away the stress of the future. The future has been cancelled by decree. No need to stress about whether things will be better tomorrow because you know they won’t. Tomorrow will be just as crappy or crappier than today. There’s nothing you can do about it. No need to stress. No expectations.
21 April 2007
20 April 2007
"To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."
In the latest episode in the Vitral magazine saga, the Bishop of Pinar del Río, Jorge Enrique Serpa Pérez, now says that the magazine will come back, but it will not have the same “aggressive” editorial tone that it had before.
Originally, they had said that the reason given for the suspension of publishing was lack of resources. Now the story is changing.
Especially since the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation offered to underwrite the publication.
I was getting ready to write another fire and brimstone “sermon” as to the utter hypocrisy of a church that refuses to confront and speak up against an evil atheistic tyranny. As a matter of fact I wrote it. Then, I thought of Father Grogan. Father Grogan was one of my political science professors. He was a Jesuit. He instilled in me a deep sense of indignation about social injustice.
“Surely”, I said to Fr. Grogan. “It is the Church’s duty to stand up to social injustice”, “Not doing so makes it complicit” (Jesuits are big on sins of omission)
Fr. Grogan smiled and I remembered sneaking around to the back of a church in old Havana to get my newborn cousin baptized and a scared priest nervously looking over his shoulder, risking it all to perform the sacrament.
Not everyone is a Biscet. Not everyone is a Fariñas, Not everyone is a Martha Beatriz Roque. Not everybody is a hero willing to stand up and martyr themselves for the truth. Not everybody is a saint. Especially not me.
Whether the Bishop lied, buckled, blinked, put his tail between his legs, whatever the reason, it’s irrelevant. The real culprit here is the regime. A regime so vile, that it evens puts pressure on, threatens or blackmails the Church.
A regime so evil and hateful that it puts even those that are doing God's work, while looking over their shoulders in fear, in a position where doing the right thing could very well mean Martyrdom.
How dare they?!?! ... As Father Grogan would say...
Enter Germany who is currently holds the European Union’s rotating chair. According to Dr. Ricardo Bofill in El Diario De Las Americas, Germany “inspired” by PM Merkel, who knows all too well the suffering of the Cuban people under Castro’s totalitarian regime since she he hails from the old East Germany, has been taking the lead in Geneva to oppose Castro’s human rights abuses and is expected to continue that role in the EU.
This is much welcomed news since the European Union will begin analyzing its common position on Cuba on Monday. Spain, acting as Castro’s representative, is expected to push towards a “critical dialogue” policy. Hopefully with Berlin on board, the Czech and Polish view that the EU should actively work towards a democratic transition on the island will prevail.
19 April 2007
Last Month, he wrote an article in the Miami Herald about the recent allegations that Cuba had an offensive WMD program.
I took exeption to his assumptions on this blog.
Mr. Peters was kind enough to stop by and leave a comment which refutes my assumptions:
Guys, I just saw your March 21 post about an article I wrote. With all due respect, I think you missed some of my points.Obviously Cuba was a major security problem during the Cold War.Given Cuba’s capability in pharmaceuticals and basic science, no one can doubt Cuba’s capability to carry out a chemical or biological weapons program.Whether Cuba has such a program is another matter altogether. What I pointed out in the article is that even after the defector Ortega gave his account, U.S. intelligence agencies downgraded their assessment and said unanimously that it was “unclear whether Cuba has an active offensive biological warfare effort now, or even had one in the past.”If you check, I think you misstate what the defector said. He alleges that in 1992 he saw a facility where agents are being developed for military purposes. If he used the term “weaponized,” which implies delivery systems and a different stage of development, please point out where he did so.Your assertion that I take Ana Montes at her word is ridiculous. Read the article again; the English version is below. What I point out is that the 1998 Pentagon report that everyone criticizes because of her involvement, has never been modified or updated. If Cuba posed more than a “negligible” threat, don’t you think that in six years of the Bush Administration, where no one is bashful when it comes to talking about Cuban misconduct, there would have been some kind of report to the contrary?You know that Cubans who reach U.S. territory – whether by boat or by showing up at a U.S.-Mexico border crossing – are admitted routinely, thousands each year. There are humanitarian reasons for this policy, and one can debate whether it makes sense in terms of our overall immigration policy. But my point regarding security is this: Is it conceivable that the Bush Administration would continue this policy, post-9/11, if it believed that Cuba represented a terrorism threat?I was not taking a dig at Bush regarding North Korea and Iran. I support the idea of using diplomacy to try to solve those cases, even though there’s no guarantee that diplomacy will work. The lack of diplomacy with Cuba tells us that the Administration probably sees no threat.Outside of those who see all the intelligence (and, who knows, maybe not even there) there are no experts. But those of us on the outside can take clues from our own government, which does not have a casual attitude toward national security issues.There’s a lot here that’s like the Sherlock Holmes story with the dog that did not bark. The U.S. government’s silence and inaction, especially under this Administration, is a good indication of its assessment of the Cuban threat. My bet is that to them, the number one national security threat from Cuba is potential mass migration. That, at least, is the only case where there’s visible U.S. preparation.
In answering the reporter’s question, Solana said that the European Union will be meeting next week to try to reach a common position on Cuba. The Union’s Council will analyze the possibility of arriving at a common position based on Cuba’s current political climate.
After Cuba jailed 75 dissidents in what is now called “the Black Spring” in March of 2003, the European Union adopted a more hard line towards the Castro regime. When the Zapatero government took over Spain, Spain shifted its policy towards the Castro regime and the EU eased its own position.
Currently, the ex-communist bloc nations which have been joining the EU, have been pushing the Eu to adopt a pro active position on Cuba in which the EU would work towards achieving the democratization of the only totalitarian government in the Americas.
While in Mexico, Solana told the Universal that he would like to see a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba as soon as possible.
Solana added that the EU would work with Mexico or any other country willing to work towards a process of democratic transition in Cuba.
Next week will be an interesting week in Brussels with the Spanish fighting to keep the Castro regime in power and the Czech Republic pushing to try to bring about a democratic transition to Cuba.
Profits vs. Freedom
18 April 2007
It has given the opposition party in Spain, Partido Popular, plenty of ammunition against the ruling Socialist party. In a news conference Mariano Rajoy of the PP, expressed his displeasure at the Zapatero government’s expressed support of the “new” regime in Havana saying that the move was myopic and that it had alienated Spain form the freedom and democracy loving people of Cuba.
What did Rajoy mean by myopic? Well, he added that Spain could not afford to loose the love and respect of the Cuban people that someday soon would be the masters of their own destiny. He’s right Cubans have long memories, lots of pride and are loyal to a fault. How do you say Buh-Bye, Melia? P’al Carajo?
Rajoy also added that his party is against the succession currently taking place in Cuba and that they supported a transition to democracy.
Meanwhile, the Zapatero government is getting a little heat from a certain world power. In a Luxembourg press conference, reporters, asked Moratinos about being called to task by the US State Department as to why he ignored dissident calls for a meeting, Moratinos responded that Spain had been in touch with American diplomats before, during and after his trip to Havana. I would guess especially after, since Trinidad Jiménez, Spanish Secretary of State for Latin America, will be traveling to Washington to personally esplain to Thomas Shannon the purpose, scope and result of the now infamous Moratinos trip to Havana.
Trini has a lotta esplainin to do.
17 April 2007
Cuban refugees escaped from the Fairbanks Detention Centre and took their protests to the streets of George Town.After forcing a gate at the facility, the 29-strong group marched into town at around 11:00 am on Saturday morning. Shouting, “No Cuba, No Castro!” and displaying placards, they paraded along Harbor Drive, reaching the beginning of North Church Street before agreeing to turn back.
… As the protesters made their way back, they stopped and spoke to some of the tourists, striving to ensure their complaints reached an international audience.
Also notable is that the Cayman Net News refers to the Cubans as “refugees” while the American MSM, taking their cue from Castro, refers to Cubans that are prevented by the US government from reaching the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave as "Migrants."
Sob some more here, but be proud of your brethren who behaved with dignity and showed the rest of the world that even after a fifty year campaign to destroy Cuba’s humanity, civility is and will be possible in a free and democratic Cuba.
The Contra Revolución has been very critical of the Zapatero government’s policy of “critical dialogue”. This foreign policy is designed to maintain the status quo and line the pockets of Spanish companies like Melia and the Cuban regime at the expense of the Cuban people. It also props up the regime and its apartheid tourist policy,
The complicity with which the Spanish Socialists display in their betrayal of the Cuban people to prop up Fidel Castro’s tyranny is not new. This attitude of treating Cuban citizens as anthropologically inferior species less deserving of the rights and freedom that all Spaniards enjoy today is a total betrayal of what the ideals that classical European Christian Socialism is supposed to espouse.
Nineteen years ago this week, back in 1988, when the United States was trying to get the UN to look into Cuba’s human rights record, Spain was again complicit in the betrayal of the Cuban people, Armando Valladares, an “graduate” of Castro’s political prison system, was then the chairman of the United State’s delegation to the UN’s Geneva Commission on Human rights. He tells a story of how the Spanish delegation to the UN would undermine any efforts to pass a resolution to get an international body to look into Cuba’s human rights abuses by trying to weaken it and by leaking the secret negotiations to the press. It got so bad, that Valladares had to meet with the delegates from countries that were serious about defending human rights world-wide in secret, without the Spanish delegate’s knowledge. What made this even more immoral is that the Spanish government of the then socialist Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez was publicly in favor of the resolution.
Felipe Gonzalez Socialist Government’s love of the tyranny was so tremendous, that it thoroughly embarrassed itself in an international forum when it was revealed that it was blatantly lying about what it knew regarding the violation of human rights in Cuba.
The Madrid daily ABC got hold of an official, confidential report on human rights in Cuba prepared for the Spanish government by Spaniards, which report concluded, to use language more economically than the UN, that there are no human rights in Cuba. But such is the fraternal feeling of Socialist Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez for Castro … that the government managed to suppress the report's circulation. Spain was left pretending to be unaware of the state of human liberties in Cuba, and was therefore determined to vote against the U.S. resolution.
Spain, under the socialist Zapatero, is continuing the Spanish Socialist tradition of working for the Cuban tyranny in the name of Socialism. Only now, they are more like Colonialists trying to regain the lost jewel in their tarnished Colonial crown.
Spain will now try to do the same that it did 19 years ago in Geneva in Brussels when it attempts to derail the EU’s common position on Cuba. It is going to claim that its policy of “critical dialogue” with the Cuban regime works better than sanctions and isolation favored by the defenders of democracy and human rights in Europe such as the Czechs and the Poles.
Because, they are living back in the days of Mercantilism and Colonialism. They are afraid that once Cuba is free and Democratic, the big bad USA that sent them packing 110 years ago will do the same again. They don’t understand the creation of wealth and competition in the free market system allows for everyone to have a return on their investments if they give the customer what they want. In their blind greed they rather have a limited Cuban tourist market to themselves, rather than share an unlimited tourist market with other resort investors.
But, Cuba will regain its freedom and it’s not going to be the big, bad, USA that sends these immoral exploiters and opportunists back under the Rock of Gibraltar.
16 April 2007
The dissidents inside Cuba have always been somewhat unorganized and fractioned, much to the delight of our common enemy, the Regime.
All that is changing. A new day has dawned. There is now a new attitude of cooperation and solidarity, much to the dismay of our common enemy, the Regime.
There is an alternative to Tyranny. It is simple. It is a one word alternative:
The following text for distribution is a document that demonstrates the real unity of the opposition, its maturity, and its sense of patriotism and responsibility that all of us should support. This takes apart any speculation regarding the disunity that serves as a pretext for many to discourage solidarity and support for the Cuban opposition and the people of Cuba, which as the document states, “have a right to all their rights.”
All nations and governments, as well as citizens and organizations, should attend to and respond to this call for solidarity. We call on all Cuban associations and citizens inside and outside Cuba to support this call and make it theirs, because this declaration of unity is for all Cubans, and is a sign of organic unity, which is so important for the Cuban nation in its aspirations for democracy, freedom, reconciliation, and sovereignty.We Cubans who individually or as a part of peaceful groups defend and promote Human Rights, reconciliation and peaceful changes towards the democracy, want to proclaim our unity for freedom.
We know that the people of Cuba and all those who in the world support democracy for Cuba, wish, with good will, that all of the peaceful democratic Cuban opposition be united, since this unity is a necessity in order to advance the changes that the people want and need. Our unity must symbolize the goals of peace, justice, reconciliation and freedom that we want to reach.
The unity for freedom exists between us, but it does not necessarily express itself in a pact, or in the formation of an alliance structured into a monolithic block. Those of us who incorporate the peaceful democratic position will work responsibly toward the formation of a unitary block, if the circumstances deem that this step is necessary and the most suitable for achieving the changes towards democracy in Cuba, which is our objective and reason for being part of the Cuban opposition.
With this message we want to confirm the unity between us, a unity that stems from the alternative that we have taken towards the freedom of Cuba and that is expressed:1. In our common objectives: to achieve the respect of all Human Rights for all Cubans and democracy, reconciliation, social justice, freedom and sovereignty for our people.2. In our demand for the immediate and unconditional liberation of all those imprisoned unjustly for defending, promoting or peacefully exercising universally recognized Human Rights.3. In using and promoting peaceful means to achieve these objectives among all Cubans.4. In human solidarity, cooperation and respect for the diversity of initiatives, positions, working styles and projects within a frame of pluralism that allows for the participation of all citizens.United in solidarity with these principles, we proclaim:
- That achieving changes in our society is a task corresponding to Cubans and only Cubans, to define and decide freely and democratically the future of Cuba, as an independent and sovereign country, without foreign interventions.- That the solidarity of the peoples and governments of the world with the respect for Human Rights and with democratic changes in Cuba, would be the real demonstration of respect and support for the self-determination and sovereignty of the Cuban people.~- That we do not accept that the recognition and respect for the rights of Cubans, in law and in practice, be conditional to the international situation, or to the state of relations of Cuba with other states, or to arrangements or agreements with other governments.- That our radical demand for respect for Human Rights and democratic changes, motivates and supports itself solely on the fact that Cubans have a right to all the rights of all human beings.
Endorsement of the document at this time:Oswaldo Paya Sardinas
Julia Cecilia Delgado (Partido Liberal Cubano)
Marta Beatriz Roque
Rene Gomez Manzano
Not only did the Spanish Foreign Minister slight the Cuban dissidents, it seems that he worked up a deal with the Cuban regime to maintain the status quo. As Moratinos was leaving Cuba, he and Cuban Foreign Minister Roque said they had ” agreed to explore regular bilateral talks that could include a discussion of human rights.” Even before Moratinos got on his plane Perez Roque crowed that there were no political prisoners in Cuba, only mercenaries.
Now, a group of “dissidents”, or is it mercenaries?, have created a new coalition calling itself the Dialogue for Rights Coalition. These are some of the dissidents that did meet with Moratino’s designee in a meeting in the Spanish embassy.
The Dialogue for Rights Coalition will work towards:
the creation of a human rights commission in the National Assembly
eliminate the death penalty
distribute copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
win the release of political prisoners
Among the dissidents who will now, along with Spain be providing cover to the Cuban regime by giving the appearance that there is tolerance and dialogue with dissenters are Manuel Cuesta Morua, Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo and Fernando Sánchez López.
What will be effect of this be and why am I writing it here , other than there’s very little else going on?
This Spain sponsored “coalition” will give cover to the Spanish government to avoid its complicity in exploiting the Cuban people by keeping the regime propped up. Spain will now be able to claim that it put pressure on the Cuban government to address the human rights grievances of the Cuban dissidence. Spain will be able to claim at the EU’s headquarters in Brussels that its policy of “critical dialogue” is in fact more effective than the heavy handed trade sanctions and isolation proposed by the real democratically minded governments of Europe like the Czech Republic.
It will also give cover to the Cuban regime by providing it with a “ready made” dissidence that it can point to as THE legitimate dissidence that is working within the system. The other (legitimate) dissidence, the regime will claim, is nothing more than a group of CIA paid mercenaries who want to tear down the revolution so that Cuba can be annexed by “the empire”.
THAT is their end game.
15 April 2007
Filmmaker Michael Moore's production company took ailing Ground Zero responders to Cuba in a stunt aimed at showing that the U.S. health-care system is inferior to Fidel Castro's socialized medicine, according to several sources with knowledge of the trip.
The trip was to be filmed as part of the controversial director's latest documentary, "Sicko," an attack on American drug companies and HMOs that Moore hopes to debut at the Cannes Film Festival next month.
14 April 2007
Associated Press (parrots)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday said his close friend and ally Fidel Castro has ``almost totally recovered'' from his illness, and Cuba's foreign minister said the ailing leader is getting stronger every day.
“Almost totally recovered is the very reliable information that I keep receiving,'' Chavez said. ``The reports that I have and that keep arriving speak of _ and not only the reports but his own notes, his voice on the telephone ... a doctor would say real recovery.''
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Roque, traveling in Vietnam, said Castro had improved steadily.
``President Fidel Castro is recovering very well”
So where is he?
The Associated Parrots never questions any statement form Cuba or Chavez and accept these statements from known liars and propagandists as verified undeniable facts, something they would never do with an American or British government source, for example.
They don’t tell you that back in December of last year when the Bolivarian Macaw, Chavez, was squawking that Castro was so well that he was walking the valleys and fields of Cuba at night , the old man was literally at death’s door.
If Mr. Egomaniac is in that good of a shape, he would have dragged himself in front of a TV camera long ago.
The fact of the matter is that all rumors indicate that Castro, as a result of the effects of all the anesthesia administered to him in the many operations which were performed on him, has never really regained full control of his faculties and emotions.
Until he addresses the Cuban people LIVE, we have to assume that this is all smoke and mirrors, lies and propaganda. In other words, take it from the source.
13 April 2007
The Cuban Catholic church's magazine Vitral, long a unique outlet for critical commentary and analysis on Cuba, has announced it will cease publication ''for lack of resources.'
“Church activists said the decision was taken under government pressure.”
''Because of the sharpness of its position toward the political power and its commitment to civil society, Vitral had become a dangerous stone that worried both conservatives in the church and hardliners in government,'' said one of the activists, who asked to remain anonymous because of fears of retribution.
On Easter Sunday, we found out from Havana that the Cuban Catholic Church is not interested in standing up and pointing out the human rights abuses of the Cuban regime, but rather “dialogue”. You can only have one master the Lord or the Devil. The Cuban Catholic Church has obviously chosen to be complicit with the devil because of its silence in Cuba.
Even the Vatican has been historically silent and non-confrontational with the Castro regime.
Go back to 1960-1961. The Church basically retreated when Castro started to nationalize its properties and expel its priests.
While discussing this with a Cuban exile with connections to the old Cuban Church, I was told that the silent complicity of the Church with Castro might be due to a deal where the church was allowed to ship its priceless Cuban religious treasures back to Rome. Castro apparently told them that if they would be allowed to keep their riches if they didn’t oppose them, otherwise all the Island’s religious treasures would be used to finance the revolution.
12 April 2007
Job was a pious man and God allowed Satan to inflict all sorts of calamities on Job to test his faith. Job never wavered. Neither has Biscet. God had as much faith in Job as Job had in God.
Through all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that Castro and his goons have inflicted on Biscet, his faith in God has not wavered, but grown, and neither has his faith in a free and democratic Cuba.
Freedom has as much faith in Biscet as Biscet has in Freedom.
Like everything else the bogus Cuban revolution has attempted in its 48 year reign of terror , the succession of power laid out by the ex-dictator and current op ed. writer for Granma flies in the face of logic. Believing that any government lead by the new collegiate leadership in Havana has any legitimacy or staying power takes as much blind faith as believing all the lies and propaganda that the regime has been fabricating since it usurped power. That’s why we get almost daily stories from the true believers in the MSM touting Raul’s smooth “transition” and Fidel’s final victory.
Aside from reality, truth and history, the regime has many obstacles to overcome in order for it to assure its survival.
At the 'Cuba after Castro' at the World Affairs Forum hels at the University of Connecticut, these challenges were analyzed and discussed by Cuban expert Susan Purcell.
The generation that brought in the revolution and set out to systematically destroy Cuban society is now pushing 80. Even if Raul were to successfully take the reigns of power, “Raul could die before Fidel," said Susan Purcell, who is director for the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami.
Then here’s the “wildcards”:
The Cuban military may not remain loyal to the Castros' regime;
The youth of the country, aware of the consumerism in the United States, may want to open the country to Adidas and iPods and other popular brand names not sold in Cuba because of the trade embargo imposed by the U.S. in 1962. That desire to buy, which dovetails with the American companies' desire to sell to whomever they can, might spell trouble for any successor to the Castro brother.
"The youth is clearly the problem that the next leader is going to have to face," she said.
Those are very real challenges but there’s also less tangible but equally frustrating factors for the Cuban Youth:
How about freedom? The youth in Cuba wants to be free to do whatever the youth of other countries do.
There’s also the apartheid system that makes Cubans second or third class citizens in their own country.
According to Purcell, the real transition in Cuba will begin when the Castros are both gone.
What we have now is an illegitimate dictatorship trying to hold on to power through lies and oppression.
11 April 2007
In an e-mailed release, the Coast Guard reported that a cutter intercepted 10 Cubans on a "rustic" vessel – usually a homemade boat or raft -- 65 miles south of Key West on April 5.
That same day, another cutter interdicted five more Cubans from a vessel 11 miles south of the Marquesas.
On April 7, cutters located 20 Cuban migrants on a suspected go-fast boat 30 miles south of Cabo San Antonio, Cuba, and the cutter
On April 8, a cutter located 23 migrants aboard another go-fast boat, this time 47 miles south of Key West
... and in keeping wit the Police theme......
Set Them Free..............
If you love somebody, set them free
If it's a mirror you want,
just look into my eyes
Or a whipping boy,
someone to despise
Or a prisoner in the dark
Tied up in chains you just can't see
Or a beast in a gilded cage
That's all some people ever want to be
If you love somebody, set them free
You can't control an independent heart
Can't tear the one you love apart
Forever conditioned to believe that we can't live
We can't live here and be happy with less
So many riches, so many souls
Everything we see we want to possess................
set them free
The Police Invited to Play Cuba
The Police may be giving their Cuban fans a free show this Christmas.
The super rock group, which recently reunited for a sell-out world tour, has received an invitation from the Cuban government to perform there in December.
Sting and his wife Trudie Styler were in Cuba in December of last year. Sting started his Havana vacation staying in a comfortable Havana Hotel, offering the apartheid tourist experience,
but quickly moved to more intimate accommodations. Immediately, musicians started showing up every night, sources said, wanting to meet and jam with Sting.
"They were overwhelmed by the Cuban culture and the arts and the musicality," a source said.---
"The people were very generous to them with their time."
".....And this one goes out to all Cubans from their Comandante"
and then breaks out into "I'll be Watching You"
In the third op ed. piece in three weeks, Castro attacks Bush for “releasing a monster” (Posada Carriles).
In reality, the Federal government has persecuted Posada Carriles and overzealously prosecuted him and his alleged accomplices.
Castro just doesn’t understand how the rule of law works. Never has never will. He seems to think that prosecutions charges and sentences are decided by the ruler of a particular country, not by the laws of the land. He equates justice to the capricious whims of the man in charge, not the legal system.
Is it any wonder then, that the US refuses to turn over Posada Carriles to such a system of government to face “justice”
The myth of the twice acquitted Posada Carriles continues to be recounted however by a press that is more interested in pushing its agenda by editorializing and excluding some pertinent but inconvenient facts:
Posada Carriles, who was trained by the CIA in explosives before the failed 1962 Bay of Pigs invasion against Castro, is wanted in Venezuela on charges he planned the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. He was detained in Caracas in 1976, but fled prison in 1985 disguised as a priest.
He has been a political problem for the Bush administration because his past activities are viewed as terrorism by his opponents, but he is a hero to many in the politically powerful Cuban exile community in the United States.
I knew it had to be our fault.......
10 April 2007
US Intelligence has gone from being a joke to an oxymoron in the post 9/11 world.
Recent “intelligence” on Cuba and its ailing ex-dictator seems to have missed the mark.
Given the publishing of “True Believer”, the US /Cuba spy game is getting a little attention of late.
From most accounts, it seems the US is on the short end of the spy stick.
This article from McClatchy’s Bachalet explores the subject:
As Fidel Castro appears to be growing more active, and U.S. reports that he has cancer increasingly seem off the mark, Cuba watchers are questioning just how much American spies know about what's happening on the island.
Washington, as a result, is now largely ignorant of what is happening within the inner circles in Havana as Cuba undergoes a transfer of power from Castro to his brother Raul, according to several people familiar with U.S. intelligence on the island.
The U.S. intelligence community's current assessment is that Castro is more ill than Havana is admitting, and that change in Cuba is unlikely in the near term, though a power struggle is possible further down the road.
Not surprisingly, the article lays a large part of the blame on the lack of an American presence in Havana brought about by the economic sanctions on Cuba and its tightening by George W. Bush:
The Bush administration's policy is to curtail all contacts with the Cuban government to a minimum, further isolating U.S. diplomats in Cuba.
"They are on the outside," said Phil Peters, a Cuba watcher at the conservative Lexington Institute in Virginia.
While I agree that Washington probably has no clue about what’s going on within the high echelons of the Cuban government, the lower layers of the government bureaucracy are a gold mine of information.
These lower level government bureaucrats and military officers are in the same boat as everybody else on the island. Cuba is a place rife with corruption at all levels. Individuals that have no qualm about skimming from the government or taking a bribe from a foreign investor or taking a bribe to let a human smuggler ferry some Cubans to freedom, will not think twice about providing information to anyone with a fistful of dollars.
You don’t even have to have ”intelligence” to know that the Cuban nomenklatura is all working on a “plan B” which they may have to institute if it goes downhill when Castro finally dies. We all know the Castro family is looking for homes in Latin America and Europe.
09 April 2007
According to today’s mandatory fluff:
what was possibly once the most generous pension system in Latin America now struggles to sustain its oldest citizens.
In Cuba the retirement age is 55 for women and 60 for men.
Retirees receive a pension of approximately $7 a month. Like everyone else in Cuba, retirees cannot survive on this, so they are forced to find ways of ” resolving” their daily needs.
Every ordinary citizen in Cuba has to struggle to sustain himself, but lets not beat the skeleton of a long dead horse.
An excerpt describing the plight of the retired:
"The poorest, most vulnerable group in Cuban society are pensioners," said economist and University of Pittsburgh professor emeritus Carmelo Mesa-Lago, co-author of the 2004 book Cuba's Aborted Reform.
Now, throughout Havana, retired scientists and teachers dot the streets - driving cabs, hawking newspapers, guarding parked cars for tourists in front of the lush Parque Central.
Those payments were part of what's considered the most generous and costliest ension system in Latin America, Mesa-Lago said.By the end of the 1980s, the plan implemented by Fidel Castro's revolution covered more than 90 percent of the labor force. Most workers don't pay into the system, and state businesses pay only a 12 percent payroll tax toward social security pensions.
(I’d like "economist", Mesa-Lago, to explain the generosity in being taxed at something like 96% of your wages so that the government can provide equal misery for everyone, but like I said , that horse has long since died)
Ironically, the generation of Cubans that just entered retirement age, are the ones who were just starting their work life around the time that Castro came to power in 1959.
These are the folks that were asked (forced) to work, sacrifice and volunteer to build an egalitarian Utopia were everyone’s needs would be met by society. They are now finding out that after all that sacrificing and doing without, they’re being cast aside to fend for themselves.
Get more depressed here
It may very well be that Cuba’s pension system is sooooo broke, that even its own architect, now 80 and recovering form a near fatal state secret illness, may not be able to retire and live in the same lifestyle he has been accustomed to. This octogenarian is now being forced to write op ed. pieces for the very newspaper that he once owned in order to “resolver”.
08 April 2007
Among those who believe that “dialogue” with Cuba’s communist regime is the solution is Cuba’s Catholic Church.
Like Spain, the Catholic Church on the Island is apparently opposed to any efforts, whether they be internal or external, to free the Cuban people from their captivity:
Havana Archbishop Jaime Ortega also said that the Catholic Church would "never" support nor "scarcely accept" a foreign intervention in the island.
In a recent interview to Spanish newspaper "El Pais", Ortega also set on "dialogue", indicating that "pressure leads to nowhere".
What? The Church’s role is not to “go” anywhere. It is to firmly stand for what is right and just. There is no compromising with God. If the Church is so vehemently opposed to foreign intervention, why didn’t it speak out during the Soviet “occupation” or why does it remain silent in light of the current Venezuelan economic and political intervention?
WE miss you, John Paul II. YOU were not afraid to pressure; on the contrary you did the pressuring.
But, there is hope for Cuba’s religious rebirth this Easter Sunday even if it doesn’t come from the Church. Although not officially celebrated, Holy Week commemorations were very visible this year in Cuba with over 30 processions in 5 of the 11 Archdioceses in Cuba. In Havana, hundreds participated in a solemn Viacrusis through the streets of old Havana.
One of my greatest disappointments came when John Paul II visited Cuba and there were no immediately discernable changes in Cuba as had been the case in Poland and ultimately in the Eastern Bloc.
But maybe almost 10 years after the Pope’s visit to Cuba his message of freedom and faith have begun to take root, where it counts, in the hearts of Cubans. His message of “Be not Afraid” is exactly what the people of Cuba need right now. Even if their religious leaders are hiding behind the tabernacle waving a white flag and surrendering the host, the Ladies in White continue to attend mass every Sunday and march in silence and ALONE.
The Cuban Catholic Church’s acceptance of the human rights abuses and oppression in Cuba through its policy of looking the other way and “dialoguing” with the regime is nothing more than an embarrassing and cowardly complicity with evil. Evil must be confronted. It is a sin of omission not to do so.
I pray that Arbishop Ortega realizes that :
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.