30 November 2006

La Primera Flecha

Pobre Fidel. Aunque todos los funcionarios cubanos nos aseguraron por cuatro meses que Castro volvería a tomar el mando “pronto”, ahora la familia no quiere dejarlo salir a celebrar su cumpleaños. Y es mas, es probable que nunca vuelva a tomar las riendas del poder.

Y quien nos informa de estos acontecimientos? Raul? Dalia? Fidelito? Otro de sus Hijos?

NO. Fue su sobrina, Hija de Raul. Mariela Castro Espin.

La nueva Princesa. Hija del Nuevo Rey, y la Antigua Reina, Vilma.

Via Reuters, en INGLES

Via Reuters, en Castellano

More Pressure , Some Recognition

In another brave and bold move by dissidents, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas has asked the Council of Human Rights at the UN to ask Cuba’s communist regime to free all political prisoners.

Payá also urged all non-governmental organizations and all civil societies of members status to the UN’s Council for Human Rights to put pressure on the UN to force the Cuban regime to free all prisoners of conscience that haven’t committed acts of violence against people or property.

Payá is timing his petition to coincide with the year’s last session of the UN’s council of Human Rights which meets in Geneva.

His petition calls for the immediate ceasing of all harassment, detention, processing and jailing of dissidents.

Hardly a day goes by now that we don't get a cominication from dissidents inside Cuba who continue to risk their freedom and lives to put pressure on Cuba's tolitarian regime to democratize society. These brave and defiant acts , however go unreported for the most part. We get alot of stories about Castro's health and the upcoming "mother of all parades" instead.

Today, however, is a different day finally some acknowledgement of the brave acts of civil dissobedience committed everyday by Cubans of every walk of life.

From Today's Herald (maybe Varela should have protested years ago!?!?)

From candlelight vigils to hunger strikes and even a mountain hike, Fidel Castro opponents logged more than 3,300 acts of civil disobedience in Cuba last year, nearly twice the number of the year before, according to a report to be released Thursday.

As Castro's government continues a campaign of reprisals against dissidents that began with a wave of arrests three years ago, members of the opposition movement say more people are speaking up and joining up


The central province of Villa Clara appears to be a hotbed of political opposition, logging far more protests than any other province. Even though nearly all of the island's internationally known dissident activists live in Havana, only 11 percent of last year's civil disobedience took place there.


_25 hunger strikes were held by prisoners.

_The Ladies in White, the group of female relatives of the 75 political prisoners picked up in the 2003 sweep, held 182 different protests.

_The 3,322 acts logged in 2005 - including 2,613 vigils - represent an 85 percent increase over the 1,805 acts of civil disobedience in 2004

More and Better Written at Uncommon Sense

29 November 2006

Ha! it was 639 Ways!

This gem form Cuba's Ministry of Tall Tales, Prensa Latina:

638 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro

London, Nov 29 (Prensa Latina) The man whom the CIA has tried to despatch with everything from a bacteria-infected hankie to an aerosol filled with LSD, is still around and should be blowing out the 80 candles on his cake on December 2, writes the Guardian newspaper.

Reviewing the film shown by British TV Channel Four Tuesday evening about the US government's 638 failed plots to kill Fidel Castro, the Guardian UK says it comes at a timely moment.

At a time when US government officials speculate about the Cuban leader´s health situation, this film deals on the attempts on the life of Fidel Castro, either directly organized by the CIA or their many proxies, registered by retired general Fabian Escalante in his book 638 Maneras de Matar a Castro (638 Ways to Kill Castro).

The film could hardly come at a better time as the world is being asked to take a stance against terrorism and western horror is expressed at the assassination of political leaders.

Dollan Cannell, the film's director, says that the plots seem to have failed through a mixture of incompetence, chance and bad timing. "The CIA had to do it without being blamed for it," says Cannell. "There had to be no smoking gun." No mention is made, however, of the efficient work of Cuban intelligence that foiled those attempts.

Castro has now seen off no fewer than eight American presidents, many of whom, Cannell believes, must have sanctioned the various attempted hits. "We can be 100 per cent sure that Eisenhower and Kennedy signed off on them," says Cannell.

"And I think you could say that probably also Johnson and Nixon agreed to them. Jimmy Carter told us when we met him during the making of the film that he did not," said Cannell.

Two of the chief anti-Castro plotters agreed to participate in the film: Orlando Bosch, weakened by a stroke, and Luis Posada, who is currently wanted in both Cuba and Venezuela in connection with the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner.

The film director and producer agree there is no shame about being involved in the plots amongst the exile community. They (the would-be assassins) are pretty much regarded as heroes. And there are still people who are only embarrassed that they didn't succeed."

Cannell says that the most striking aspect of the film for him is that a country, which is now so outspoken about its opposition to terrorism, should have been involved for so long in so many plans to kill a foreign head of state: "what shrieks at you is the double standard."

The film was shown just a few days before the planned celebrations in Havana for Castro's 80th birthday, which was postponed from this summer when he fell ill.

638 times! OK, that's 47 years. That's 13.57 attempts per year. One a month and two in December.

The film omits the one method that finally did the Tyrant in. They made him obsolete. They ignored him. Being a zero to the left , or zero of the left, was too much for his ego to bare. The stress caused by not being able to indulge in his obsession of being David to the Goliath to the North caused him to fall apart.

First, the Spice Girls Break Up ...and Now This!

Sad News:

Fidel Castro "Mascot of the Revolution" too ill to attend his own Party:

"It's my party and I'll DIE if I want to"

HAVANA (Reuters) - Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Tuesday that he was not well enough to attend the opening of several days of events celebrating his 80th birthday.
"I'm not in medical condition to be there," Castro said in a statement read by a presenter to thousands of supporters from dozens of countries at the start of a gala in Havana's Karl Marx theater that was to mark the opening of the celebrations. His birthday was August 13 but he postponed celebrations after undergoing emergency surgery that forced him to hand over power temporarily to his brother Raul in late July.

In Other Sad Entertainment News:

The hugely popular children's group The Wiggles is expected this week to announce the departure of its lead singer because of a serious illness, media reports said Wednesday.
The Australian supergroup has reportedly scheduled a press conference for thursday in the western
city of Perth to make a "major announcement relating to members of the group," according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian associated Press and the online edition of Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The reports said the group was likely to announce the departure of the "Yellow Wiggle,"
Greg Page, who has been frequently absent from touring since undergoing a double hernia operation in December.

The 34-year-old known for his bright yellow T-shirt has been undergoing medical treatment since June after experiencing fainting spells and lethargy, the reports said. calls to the group's publicist were not immediately returned Wednesday.

The Miracle Island

Cuba is the only country in the world today that meets the criteria for sustainable development, according to a report from the World Wildlife Federation. The WWF released a report on Oct. 24 showing that humans are using up natural resources faster than nature can replenish or renew them.

Havana, Nov 27 (ACN) The Cuban economy has grown 12.5 percent so far this year, with promising prospects for 2007, said Cuban Economy Minister José Luis Rodriguez in the eastern Cuban city of Bayamo on Sunday.

What a miracle. It’s the miracle island. 12.5% growth rate and nothing to show for it. NOTHING. No pollution. No ecological footprint. No food. No running water. No Toilet Parer. Just misery, poverty and repression.

Nothingness Perfected

28 November 2006


In spite of the continued oppression from the Cuban communist regime, the dissidents inside the island continue to valiantly put pressure on the regime and on the international community to end Cuba’s human right abuses.

As a tie in to the World Non-Violence Day which was celebrated on November 25 at the United Nations, “Arco Progresista Cubano” and the “Coalición Diálogo Pro Derechos” which are grouping of dissident organizations inside Cuba, are launching an initiative to start and celebrate a “Day to Respect Dissent”


The head of Arco Progresista, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, said that “violence has intolerance as an answer” and that they had been working against the violence orchestrated by the Cuban government against dissidents for more that a year.

They are also collecting signatures to support a document entitled "Urgent Action Against Violence" which focuses on the abuse of women and children, street conflicts and the acts of repudiation that are inflicted on the defenders of human rights in Cuba.

27 November 2006

Varela out on bail


Ex El Nuevo Herald Cartoonist José Varela, had had enough of the discrimination and anti Cuban - American agenda at the Miami Herald, so in an act of civil disobedience he staged a sit-in at the paper; even comparing himself to Rosa Parks. Varela, insisted that he was taking his drastic actions to bring to light the anti Cuban-American agenda at the Miami Herald and defend the honor of the Cuban Exile community.

The authorities did not take kindly to Mr.Verela's actions and he was summarily thrown in the slammer.

This morning, though, as a thank you for risking his freedom to defend our collective honor, two local D.J.'s Enrique Santos and Joe Ferrero of Zol 95.7, decided to raise his bail money. They did so by selling one of Varela's cartoons for $10.95 each. They raised the whole amount, $ 7, 500, in five hours.

Enrique and Joe are the two jodedores that gained notoriety for prank calling Fidel Castro and making a fool out of him. The cartoon they sold is based on this incident:


26 November 2006

The Humanity of a Gameboy

Manuel Vazquez Hugs his wife Yolanda and his Gameboy recipient son.
Watch the news or read the newspaper and you’ll notice lots of human interest stories from the media; The personal side of the story, if you will.

A few weeks ago, The Miami Herald, having spent two years investigating the nefarious connection between the white house(s) and the Cuban Exile community, published it’s “expose” of the waste that existed in programs designed to get aid to dissidents inside Cuba. The Inhumane side of Cuban-Exiles.

In The Miami Herald’s undeclared, continuing covert war against the Cuban community there is no human interest, for we are rabid Chihuahuas. They use turncoat double agents like Corral and Menedez to fight behind enemy lines and proclaim our hypocrisy and intransigent inhumanity.

The Nuevo Herald , however, continues to print stories expressing views and information which are noticeably absent from the Miami Herald, revealing the bias and the widening gulf between the Miami Herald's editors and the Cuban - American community.

I have translated the following editorial from the Nuevo Herald. The Miami Herald would never print anything like this in English because it would undermine its anti Cuban-Exile agenda with the English speaking public. Please forgive my poor attempt at translation. If you are fluent in Spanish, read the original.

Two Gameboys for Gabriel

Dr. Paulina raised the scalpel . Her hand sure. Wise. Firm. Behind the windows in the operating room, intrusive gazes. The cuban political police watched. They had been punctual, unmasked. They wanted everyone to know that they were there. Yolanda glanced at them in disgust. Dr. Paulina didn’t allow herself to be distracted by them. It was, perhaps, the first time that the neurosurgeon had been observed by non-experts. Who knows if it reminded her of the severe, impassable scrutiny of her old professors when she was just a student? She paid them no mind. Nothing disturbed her concentration. Serene. Her pulse steady.

A child, barely nine years old waited for her to extricate a lymphoma that was putting pressure on his medulla. She had cared for him over the years. She knew everything about the kid. She could not fail. She could not fail that woman that wringed her hands and prayed for her only child in the next room. She couldn’t fail that man that languished in a punishment cell at the Boniato jail while the boy called out to him just seconds before sinking into the deepness of the anesthesia.

The cut was exact. Long. Deep. It would take twenty eight stitches to suture it.

“Daddy, your friends sent me a Gameboy” he said when he went to visit me a few months later.

He was fitted in a tight corset made of iron and straps. His gait was unsure. Dr. Paulina had prohibited him from making quick movements, exercising and using his strength. He wasn’t as loose as he was when we ran along the coast of Alamar to see would be first to the beach. He didn’t have the same elastic agility with which he used to hug me. An invisible corset, tighter still, had just been fitted around my throat.

It was the first toy that my son had ever gotten that I hadn’t bought him. It was the first toy that he would have to kill the boredom of not being able to roughhouse with the other boys. He would make Super Mario jump while he laid bored on his bed sheets. It was the toy from some uncles he had never met. It was the toy that he would use for the first time without first getting a kiss from me. Without us investigating it together. A feeling of thankfulness and rage engulfed my

“Who?”, I asked Yolanda

“The people from Acción Democrática”

I thought of Juan Carlos, of Guillermo, of Osvaldo de Céspedes. I smiled.

On the next visit, now in Winter, the corset remained as did the Gameboy.

“Daddy, they sent one to Christian and Alejandro”, he said as he bounced on my knee.

“Of Course, They deserve one also”

“They haven’t had an operation”

“No, but they have a great wound. Christian’s wound is that he can’t play with
Osvaldo Alsonso, his dad. Alejandro’s wound is that he can’t play with Hector
Maseda, his grandfather.”

“It’s true”, he said and remained silent.

Yolanda started to fill me in on all the scuttlebutt. She had to keep her voice down, almost inaudible. Just three paces from us the guards watched and listened. She told me about the family. She explained to me about the strength of the Ladies in White. She gave me details about the other prisoners that were dispersed among all of the Island’s jails. She detailed the benefit concert that Willy Chirino had given to help us. She told me of the strong support of the Plantados in Miami, that the Cuban American National Foundation wasn’t far behind; that some women who went everywhere dressed in black had started an organization named M.A.R. for Cuba, were lionesses that fought for us all over the world and that Frank Hernandez Trujillo sent me “these vitamins”.

“To see if you restore yourself a little, and this coat, that’s not pretty or expensive, but it will keep you from being cold in that damn cell”, she said

And I thought that I wasn’t alone, that my family wasn’t deserted. I thought in the books that Re Oculto sent me. I thought in Rolando Cartaya’s efforts to have my voice be heard on Radio Martí, even though I had been condemned to loneliness and muteness. I thought of the writers and journalists that fight for us. And that was when Gabriel brought me back from musings.

“Daddy then I deserve two”, he said.

“Two what?”

“Two Gameboys”


“One for the operation and one for the wound that I have because you’re imprisoned.”

25 November 2006

Perdoname, Oscar

I've had such a busy weekend, eating, drinking, family, shopping, putting up Christams lights, watching football, drinking. I didn't feel like taking the time out to keep up with blogging.

Then I found this, right after the Maryland-Wake Forest Game:

From the Sun - Sentinel:

Havana · Independent journalist Oscar Mario González said he was quietly whisked away from one of Havana's most notorious prisons Monday for a meeting with state security agents.

"We hope we never have to detain you again," González, quoted one of the officers as saying. "You're an old man. You're sick. We advise you to stay home, stay calm and stop writing."

"I don´t plan to stop writing," he said. "I'm a journalist. I'm committed to my work."

González said he planned to start writing again after regaining his health. "I will be a journalist until the day I die," he said. "It is the most noble profession."

He appeared frail, his speech punctuated with a chronic cough. The euphoria of his release on Monday has given way to sadness, he said, "for those to remain behind bars."

"It is lamentable that decent and honorable men who express their ideas as independent journalists must go to prison," he said. "They are, for the most part, forgotten. That is the lesson of my incarceration."

and I felt ashamed.

Razon tenia El Guinero

De la Prensa Latina:

La Habana, 25 nov (PL) El reordenamiento laboral y el incremento de la eficiencia productiva emprendida hoy en este país fue destacada por José Ramón Machado Ventura, miembro del Buró Político del Partido Comunista de Cuba.

El alto dirigente político resaltó durante una visita a la central provincia de Cienfuegos el esfuerzo de los sindicatos por elevar la educación económica de los trabajadores y rescatar la disciplina laboral.

Razon tenia El Guinero.

Contra Castro y Bush UPDATE

En un breve comunicado, Marta Beatriz Roque, de la Asamblea para Promover la Sociedad Civil; Gisela Delgado, del movimiento las Damas de Blanco; Elizardo Sánchez, de la Comisión Cubana Pro Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional; y Vladimiro Roca, portavoz de Todos Unidos pidieron este viernes a Estados Unidos a que elimine las restricciones al envío de ayuda y los viajes a Cuba, por considerar que no contribuyen a la estrategia de la oposición interna.

La petición señala que los fondos destinados por los EUA para ayudar a las organizaciones de oposición al régimen comunista han sido ineficientes como ha sido señalado por el Miami Heráld. Y el mismo gobierno norteamericano.

Los afirmantes cubanos añadieron que la eliminación de restricciones al envió de ayuda y viajes a Cuba seria una manera mas eficaz de hacer que la ayuda llegue a los grupos opositores para que ellos puedan avanzar los esfuerzos en pos de la libertad económica, política y social en Cuba.


Se le iria el tiro por la culata a Corrales?

24 November 2006


In Cuba they are preparing for “The Parade”. Everyday there’s some kind of story about the blessed parade. Rehersals. The Castro watch. Raul’s “coronation”. Soviet Style Spin as the oppression grows.

Across the puddle in Florida, they are preparing to protect Florida from Cuban Exile's reaction to Castro's death. From today’s Sun-Sentinel:

When Fidel Castro ceded power to his brother Raul last summer and crowds in Miami-Dade hit the streets in celebration, one group of people hit the phones.

The Cuban leader was ill, and because he disappeared from public view, some people thought he was dead. Members of a humanitarian task force coordinating a local response kept in touch by phone and waited for a "trigger point," such as the activation of Miami-Dade's
Emergency Operations Center, to launch their efforts.

That never happened, and things returned to normal after photos and video footage showed Castro was still alive.

But the response in
South Florida pointed to progress.

"If this had happened five years ago, there was no mechanism for all these entities to be in the loop with each other," said Eric Driggs, executive director of the South Florida Humanitarian Network for
Cuba, a group of community organizations, universities and government agencies.

Led by the American Red Cross of Greater Miami & The Keys and the
University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, the network is preparing for a major event in Cuba that could set off a mass migration to South Florida or affect the region in some other way.

Although organizers say they do not know what those events will be, Fidel Castro's recent illness and speculation by
U.S. officials that his condition is terminal mean the network could soon be put into action.

"What happens [in
Cuba] is so important to people here in South Florida. We just need to be prepared for whatever may happen," said Sam Tidwell, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Miami & The Keys.

Local, state and federal government agencies have long had plans in case turmoil in
Cuba spills over to the United States. The South Florida Humanitarian Network is prepared to provide services to refugees, organize the collection of donations, provide family reunification services and disseminate information to the community.

In its "Recommendations for Community Preparedness," released in May, the network outlined possible scenarios and its role in calming any chaos.

Rest of the Article Here. Light Holiday reading free from freaking parade updates.

Missing from all the scenarios in the article, was any organization to guide us Exiles to properly celebrate when the day comes. I’ve done some research on Cuban celebratory practices and have not found the guidelines for banging on pots. I believe that back in July when people started celebrating Fidel’s ceding of power, some Cubans in
Miami, “jumped the spoon” and prematurely started banging on pots. The ensuing spectacle embarrassed and upset some in the non-Cuban community. Maybe they can set up another organization with a plan to guide celebrations in Miami in a more civilized and politically correct way.

Cuba’s Government Unique in Latin America:

According to The Economist’s “The World in 2007” Cuba leads Latin America in repression.

Yes, that free indoctrination they call education and all that free healthcare comes at a very expensive price.

Cuba is ranked 124 out of 165 countries as it relates to bourgeois measurements like electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.

Cuba was ranked dead last among Latin American countries, in fact it is the only authoritarian country in Latin America. Yet another triumph for the Cuban Revolution!

With King Raul the benevolent and pragmatic succeeding his older brother King Fidel the Windbag and perhaps opening up the country for economic reform and instituting a Tropical Chinese Model, there’s a chance that Cuba’s ranking will change in the near future.

China was ranked 139. Viet Nam who has recently embraced free-market reforms a-la China ranked 145. So you see, with the Chinese Model, Cuba can easily move up the ranks of the authoritarian block.

23 November 2006

On Thanksgiving, A Prayer and a Tear

Thanksgiving is not a Cuban holiday. But, of all the American customs it is probably the easiest one that my family adapted to because it involves a family get-together.

Our Cuban thanksgivings are just like American ones, Family, Food, Football (Cuban-Americans LOVE football ) and Fun.

The food may change a little. My family tried really hard to have Guanajo, like my mom calls it, but it’s marinated with Mojo. Chorizo in the stuffing. Sometimes the mashed potatoes get replaced with Congris, sometimes the Yams get replaced with Yuca. After dinner there’s probably some dancing.

But the important part, Giving Thanks, is very special to us. We, the ones who live here, have a lot to be thankful for. We are first and foremost thankful for our freedom. We are thankful for having been given refuge in this land that gives thanks.

In every happy celebration, though, right in the middle of the food and fun you’ll always catch this Cuban quietly staring into space for a few seconds, maybe sighing and shaking his head. That little haunting feeling always hits.

A Thanksgiving Tradition

Those of us whose Exile brought us to the New York Metropolitan area, will probably be familiar with the tradition of listening to Alice's Restaurant every Thanksgiving Day at noon sharp on 102.7.

Those who don't know about this song , it's like 20 minutes long. This version is the 30th year anniversary edition.

As God is my Witness, I thought Turkeys could fly.

22 November 2006

Costa Rica Dice Presente

Add Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Costa Rican President, Oscar Arias to the loud chorus of voices condemning the succession of Raul to fill the throne vacated by his older brother, Fidel Castro Ruz.

The American ambassador to Nicaragua , Mark Langdale, praised the Costa Rican President as being the bravest Latin American voice in denouncing the current events in Cuba.

In an interview with the Costa Rican Newspaper, Extra, Langdale describes Arias as a champion of Democracy and human rights that worries about mankind and not war.

Langsdale added that the US shares Aria’s concerns about the need for democratization in Cuba.

21 November 2006

Jugando A Los Soldaditos

Joven Cubana juega a los soldaditos en la Habana en preparación para el gran desfile que se llevara a cabo el Dos de Diciembre en conmemoración del cumpleaños del ex- dictador, y actual “mascota de la revolución” Fidel Castro y el atascamiento del yate Granma en un pantano Oriental hace 50 años.

Tremendo fusil que tiene la muchacha.¿no?

Spain's Policy of Critical Dialogue

As Castro wastes away in a Havana hospital room, reportedly with a bible in hand and presumably looking for loopholes, he keeps losing the support of his fair weather European fans.

Even the socialist Zapatero government has joined in criticizing the communist regime. The European Union is divided in its approach to Castro’s Cuba. The Eastern European countries, formally under the Soviet yoke, and led by Prague understand that the only way to bring about political change in Cuba is through economic pressure. These countries which usually include Germany tend to side with the United States on trade sanctions and limitations as a means to pressure Havana into addressing its human rights issues and move towards democratization. The United States has refused to allow Cuba access to its capital and its markets until it stops oppressing the Cuban people and promoting instability in Latin America. Old Europe if you will, led by Madrid, prefers to do business with Havana while suggesting political reform by maintaining a “critical political dialogue”.(and lining their pockets at the expense of exploited Cuban workers)

With Fidel Castro Ruz on his death bead looking for divine redemption, these countries who had no qualms in entering into joint ventures with the Cuban regime, are now looking to get into the “right” side of history by offering up some empty rhetoric. Spanish Hotel companies, for example, pay the Havana regime for labor at its tourist resorts. The regime then turns around and pays its workers only 4% of what the foreign firm pays the Cuban government and pockets the difference. One can talk about democracy and human rights ad nauseaum, but entering into such agreements where one knows that Cubans are being exploited and treated as indentured servants is morally reprehensible and only perpetuates the injustice. That’s some socialist government: profits at the expense of worker exploitation.

That having been said , Spain , however, continues to put rhetorical pressure on the Cuban regime to democratize which has lead to friction between Havana and Madrid.

Spain’s socialist Secretary of State for Latin America, Trinidad Jiménez, has said at a Madrid news conference that Madrid’s political dialogue with Havana continues but that the interchange is sometimes “critical”. She didn’t say who does the criticizing but added that all that Spain wants for Cuba is all that comes with democratic freedom, elections, respect for fundamental human rights, and socio-economic development. She didn’t mention profits.

Jiménez was on the receiving end of a “critical political” exchange last year when as the then main foreign policy figure for the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party, she condemned the acts of repudiation that the regime ordered on a prominent dissident. She also added that Spain’s socialist government only wanted Cuba to have democracy. Those statements earned her the ire of Castro himself who publicly repudiated Ms. Jiménez.

Spain also received another critical political exchange recently the secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, Robert Menard, was presented with the Fourth Antonio Asencio prize for journalism by King Juan Carlos of Spain

At the awards ceremony Menard took up the plight of 24 journalists jailed in Cuba. He praised Spain for denouncing the murders of journalists in Colombia and Mexico, but complained that Spain has remained complacent with the repressive Cuban dictatorship.

The European Union seems to be taking the formerly feared Castro’s impending trip to Hades as an opportunity to push for reform in Cuba. Fair Weather Fans jumping on the funeral wagon.This is most welcomed.

20 November 2006

On Self Loathing "Latinas"

Another month , another canine reference to Cubans in the Miami Herald. This time a little more subtle.

Anybody with a brain has long suspected these anti-Castro schemes are little more than slush funds to reward the loyal and pacify the rabid. Unfortunately, they've also helped subsidize intransigence by keeping it well-clothed and fed.

An editorial gem courtesy of the Castro haters hater, Ana Menendez, and the pages of that Racist Rag and bird-cage liner extraordinaire, The Miami Herald, with some words of wisdom about the measly $5 mil a year the government has been wasting to help Cuban dissidents on the island.

You know Ana. Everyone one knows someone like that. A self loathing “Latina”. Arrepentida. Ashamed of her own people.

Think about this: These folks that are jumping up and down with their dropped jaws and pointed fingers at the fact that some child in Cuba might have gotten a Nintendo game , wouldn’t bat an eyelash if the same government spent twice that to save a couple of beached dolphins in the keys. That’s the way they are.

To Ana and Oscar:

When are you gonna come down?
When are you going to land?
You should have stayed on the farm
You should have listened to your old man
You know they won’t hold you forever
They didn't sign up with you
You’re just a present for their friends to open
too young to be singing the blues
So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
can't plant you in their penthouse
you'll go back to your palms
Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh someday you'll decide the future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road
What do you think you'll do then?
I bet that'll shoot down your plane
It'll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again
Maybe they'll get a replacement
There's plenty like you to be found
Mongrels who ain't got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

19 November 2006

Una Esperanza

I had a few of these this weekend. My friend kept calling them a Cuba Libre. I called them a Esperanza. My wife called me a drunk.

More Joanna

18 November 2006

$55 Million in Ammunition

Here we go.

The day after Oscar Corral’s article, “two year’s worth of crack investigative reporting”, hit the stands, a report by the Government Accountability Office confirmed what the Herald published. The government is inefficient. I couldn’t find how long it took the GAO to conduct its investigation.

Two congressmen,

Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass and Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz who have spent countless sleepless hours worrying about the government’s waste of taxpayer dollars asked for the GAO to conduct a study and spend some more taxpayer dollars to review the policy of materially aiding Cuban dissidents inside Cuba.

The funds totaled $5.5 million a year over ten years.

These two congressmen’s goal is to ultimately stop the series of economic sanctions that the US has against the Castro Regime commonly referred to as the Cuban Embargo. They have no problem using tax-payer dollars to get ammunition to use against the Bush administration and its policies, but they do have a problem with using tax payer dollars to help foster liberty and democracy to Cuba by throwing a few scraps to the Cuban dissidents. Go figure.

Congressman Delahunt is in line to take over the chairmanship of the House International Relations oversight and investigation subcommittee when the democratic-controlled congress convenes in Jan of 2007. Get ready for more expensive hearings on the embargo.

Meanwhile, back on the island, prominent Cuban dissidents deny having received any funds from Uncle Sam. Martha Beatriz Roque, Havana’s iron lady, told the French Press Agency that they do get medicines, books, radios and other material goods. She added that she didn’t see any dissidents dressed luxuriously.

Another prominent dissident, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, of the “coalición Arco Progresista” told the EFE agency that it wouldn’t be “counterproductive” for dissidents on the island to accept money from Uncle Sam because it gives the communist Cuban government ammunition to say that the dissidents are merely paid mercenaries.

According to the AP, USAID, the governmental agency that distributes the funds “provided 385,000 pounds of medicine, food and clothing, more than 23,000 shortwave radios and millions of books, newsletters and other informational material.”

Most of the alleged waste comes in delivering the assistance to the recipients in Cuba.

Delahunt is not really interested in fixing the wasteful practices but in changing the US policy towards Cuba. "This really cries for a more thorough review of policy as opposed to just simply focusing on the findings and looking at it as an auditing problem." He is quoted.

Unfortunately, people with disagreements with the US’s Cuban foreign policy focus many of the attack on the Cuban exiles whom they see as enemies because they have what they perceive to be a “hard line” or “extreme” view of Cuban policy. The embargo opponents blame the political pressure of “those people down in Miami” for maintaining the embargo. Please! And all we can squeeze out of these politicians is a measly $5.5 mil a year? Never do these individuals acknowledge that the easiest and least painful way for these problems to go away is for the Cuban government to give its people basic civil liberties. In blaming the US and the Cuban exiles for the American imposed sanctions, they side with Castro by becoming his amen chorus.

We can disagree on the sanctions and their effectiveness. But we should never use the inefficiency of our democratic government as ammunition against those who risk their lives by standing up to a repressive and brutal dictatorship. In the process of acquiring that political ammunition you give the real enemy, Castro, ammunition to use against the defenseless victims of his tyranny.

17 November 2006

T. G. I. Girl Friday

Joanna Garcia Cuban American Actress

If The Ladies Can't Go To Europe.....

Those who come to the Contra Revolución know that I find Cuban women fascinating. Cuban women are a fiery mixture of beauty, charm, will and determination. I make no excuses for my admiration, love and respect for Cuban women especially when they dress in white and carry a gladiolus. Please indulge me once more:

Fidel Castro’s once shiny image in Europe continues to tarnish. The ailing ex-Cuban dictator, once cause célèbre for European socialists and leftists is being unmasked as the repressive tyrant that he really is. European support for Cuba’s dissidents continues to grow in the European Union’s parliament, especially as more former Warsaw Pact countries join Free-Europe.

In the latest boost for Cuba’s growing opposition, the European Union’s Parliament has decided to send a delegation to Cuba to present the Ladies in White with their Sajarov Prize for Conscience of Freedom. The European Union’s legislative body made its decision to make the award presentation in Havana to the mothers and wives of jailed Cuban dissidents known as the Ladies in White because Cuba’s communist regime would not give the members of the organization to travel to Strasburg to receive their award.

Before setting a date for the three – member delegation’s visit, the parliament will ask the European Union’s Council to make the necessary efforts to ensure that the delegation will be received by the Cuban authorities.

The Sarajov prize is awarded to organizations or individuals who distinguish themselves in the struggle for freedom of conscience, human rights and democracy.

The Ladies in White are comprised of the wives and mothers of Cuban dissidents and prisoners of conscience whose only crimes were to want freedom for their wives, daughters and mothers. The brave women, quietly and with dignity bear witness to the injustices committed against the men in their family and all the people of Cuba every week as they march, dressed in white and in silence down Havana’s 5th avenue holding a gladiolus and their heads up high.

16 November 2006

Worker's Paradise

Marxism ushered in the promise of the worker’s paradise where the means of production would all be collectivized and held in common by all workers.

Ironically, rather than a worker’s paradise, everywhere that Marxism has been tried, it only brought about the exploitation and subjugation of the worker.

Never has an industrialized country turned to collectivism as Marx foresaw the evolution of modern economic societies. On the contrary, Marxism, with a few exemptions in Latin America where Marxists were elected , took roots in poor countries where Marxist governments were violently ushered in through wars and revolutions.

Cuba was perhaps the most developed country to have Marxism thrust upon it. The results of the Marxist economic models have been devastating to the once prosperous island nation.

Cuban workers are paid an average of $10 a month and must subsist on rations sold to them by their employer and jailer, the communist government of Fidel Castro.

There is only one employer in Cuba. Cubans are treated like indentured servants and any political move considered counter-revolutionary will result in loss of employment. Cuban workers are farmed out to foreign companies. In a recent case, three Cubans are suing a Curacao ship repair company, claiming that they were shipped to Curacao by the Cuban government, held as slaves and forced to work for THREE AND A HALF CENTS an hour.

Cuba workers are also forced to perform “voluntary labor” and attend political rallies. Those that refuse risk losing their jobs.

Cuban medical professionals are shipped all over the world in exchange for goods and hard currency while their families are held hostage back home. The Bush administration has eased restrictions to let these Doctors and other medical professionals escape their indentured servitude and emmigrate to the US, but its still not an easy process as they are hunted down and captured by Cuban Agents

There is only one labor union in Cuba, the government controlled CTC. Before the 1959 revolution Cuba had a higher percentage of unionized workers than their American counterparts. Some brave Cubans have tried to start independent labor unions but their efforts have only met with violence and repression.

In a Nuevo Herald piece on Monday, Carl Gresham, president of the National Foundation for Democracy, laments that the international labor union movement has done so little to support the Cuban workers.

Mr. Gresham points out that out of the many millions of foreign investments in Cuba, only pennies out of every dollar wind up in the hands of the Cuban workers. To illustrate the exploitation of the Cuban workers by the totalitarian regime, Gresham brought up that only 4% of the foreign investment goes towards wages while the Cuban government keeps the other 96%.

Gresham is also quoted as saying that dissent in the island is growing at many levels and that it appears that the Cuban people are starting to work towards social changes with growing international support.

He added though that there is little attention being paid to the plight of the Cuban worker by international worker’s movement.

Now that the veil of lies is being lifted from Cuba, the rest of the world is starting to realize that the Cuban Worker’s Paradise was an illusion created by the regime’s propagandist smoke and mirrors. In truth, the Cuban worker is brutally exploited by the very institution that is supposed to protect it from exploitation.

15 November 2006

Castro Dead?

The guy at the Botanica refused to sacrifice a chicken to see what the "santos" would tell him about Castro's health. So we asked an Astrologer:

Castro's Astrological Chart on Aug 4, 2006:

Spooky Stuff:

Will he survive? For a while, yes. For how long? His significator is the Moon, one of the luminaries (lights). Both luminaries, the Sun and the Moon, are in fixed signs - indicating good stamina, but applying by a conflictual aspect to Neptune - the infection is draining him out of energy. Besides, the Sun is also conjunct Saturn - so the end of the rope is not far. I'm not good at timing but this looks like he still has several months to go.
The Whole reading here

14 November 2006

Oscar Corral Wiener

Oscar is back tauting the Miami Chihuahuas again.

In the Miami Herald, Oscar "investigates" the funds that the Federal Government has spent trying to promote change in the captive island for the last ten years. The amount comes to $55.5 Million or 5.5 Million a year. gasp!

According to Corral's sources, the money was wasted by the Clinton and Bush administrations to court favor with the Cuban-American voters in Florida.

The article goes on to list all the different things that the money was squandered on, ad nauseum.

Perhaps Corral can do one of his crack investigative stories on how much money the Cuban community contributed in taxes to the US treasury in the last 10 years and figure out the percentage of the 55.5 is to the tax amount. Chump Change.

I personally think that spending 5.5 mil a year to annoy Castro is peanuts and that the reason it hasn't worked is because of the government's involvement and because not enough is being spent.

I also take a certain amount of pride in knowing that the Cuban Community has learned to navigate the American political system and has become an issue driven voting block that needs to be reckonned with , not pandered and ignored like other ethnic groups.

Cubans, rather than having our hands out for a government handout , we are advocating for freedom, democracy , free markets and the American way for those that don't have it. Maybe thats what bugs Corral and his masters at the Herald.

Proof of Castro's Death

La Contra Revolución can now offer unequivocal proof of Castro’s death.

Fidel Castro, the Cuban Revolutionary failure was killed in a freak cigar smoking /car accident in 1965. Fidel dropped his lit cigar on his Russian –made polyester fatigues while driving his jeep in the outskirts of Guanabacoa, Cuba. Ablaze and in excruciating pain the tyrant lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a Royal Palm where he suffered mortal injuries.

Leaders in the Cuban exile community in Miami with the help of the CIA, replaced Castro with a double who happens to be his third cousin from Spain, Pepe Castro, They did this because of the almighty buck. By 1965 Miami was already a growing Cuban-American city. Had the Cubans in the island found out Castro died, they would have stopped risking their lives in the shark infested waters of the Florida straights to reach Miami and wear chintzy gold chains, polyester guayaberas, smoke cheap cigars and drink bad rum. This would have caused the Cuban Exiles, now called the Miami Mafia to loose all their customers for the aforementioned goods.

Clues of Castro’s death can be found in many places, among them, the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cover which shows a group of mourners standing in front of a freshly dug grave. Around the "grave", there are several symbols, including a doll with a cracked head that represents Castro’s fatal injury; a toy car on one knee and a bloody left-handed driving glove (Fidel is left-handed). Within the flowers comprising the guitar shape, the word "Raul" followed by a question mark can be seen. Lastly, Fidel appears to be the tallest in this picture but in real life he is not the tallest, suggesting that the person in the picture is not really him.

Castro is the only person holding a wooden instrument, representing his coffin, and the instrument is the only one that is black, representing death. The instrument is a cor anglais, the only instrument shown on the cover which is not used in a marching band. Fidel's "true" instrument would have been the Colt 45, which is sitting unused at feet of the wax figure of Ringo. Fidel is the only person with a hand over his heart, a religious symbol for blessing the dead. There is also an open hand immediately above Fidel’s head. In some cultures this represents that the person is dead or about to die.

13 November 2006

World-Wide Support for Cuban Dissidents Grows

Two Spanish lawmakers, Guillermo Mariscal Anaya of the Popular Party and Carlos Salvador Armendariz, of the People’s Union of Navarro, met with The Ladies in White this Sunday in Havana. The legislators were there on unofficial visits.

They met with the Ladies, who are mothers and wives of jailed Cuban dissidents after their weekly march. The Ladies in White walk in silence and holding white gladiolius along Havana’s 5th avenue on the way to Mass in St Rita's church . The weekly act of civil disobedience is a call for the release of jailed Cuban dissidents.

The Ladies, who were awarded the Andrei Sajarov Freedom of Conscience award by the European Union’s Parliament in 2005, thanked the two Spanish lawmakers for their moral support and informed them of the plight of their jailed husbands and sons.

Support for Cuban dissidents has been pouring in from all over the world:

  • Human right abuses and journalistic repression in Cuba were criticized for the first time by 51 Nations lead by Australia at the UN just last week while debating a resolution to condemn the series of economic sanctions referred to as “The US Embargo”.
  • The Interamerican Commission for Human Rights recommended that Cuba’s communist regime free its prisoners of conscience and compensate the family members of three cubans that were executed for trying to escape the island in a hijacked vessel and that the Cuban regime introduce constitutional reforms to guarantee an independent judiciary.
  • Four Latin American ex-presidents, Patricio Aylwin, from Chile; Armando Calderón, from El Salvador; Luis Alberto Lacalle, from Uruguay; y Luis Alberto Monge, from Costa Rica, pledged solidarity with the Cuban people and regret that the communist government of Cuba has not adhered to an agreement it signed in 1996 in the Viña del Mar declaration that guarantees democracy, freedom and human rights.
  • The Vice President of the European Union’s parliament, Edward McMillan, also visited with the Ladies in White recently.

Cuba’s totalitarian government usually resorts to Orwellian doublespeak to defend itself against the charges of human rights violations; mainly they blame the American Capitalistic Empire for everything. This tired strategy seems to be losing considerable steam lately, especially in Europe.