Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ice thaws between Spain and Cuba


Euro News

30/09 18:32 CET

Spain and Cuba have taken a big step towards mending relations by signing a new partnership deal. Ties had been severed since 2003 when La Havana jailed 75 dissidents. The deal includes support for small businesses, the environment, and joint efforts in other countries such as Haiti.

"This is a move aimed at helping the poorest," said Spain's International Cooperation minister Leire Pajin. "We will cooperate where help is needed, regardless of where a citizen is from or his government." Spain is Cuba's third biggest trading partner at around 700,000 euros per year and a major investor in the island.

The European Union is split over Cuba, with Madrid's socialist government favouring more engagement, and other EU members keen to keep up pressure for political change. The Spanish foreign minister set the stage for the agreement with a visit in April - the first by an EU official since the crackdown on dissidents four years ago.
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Obama energizes crowds in New York

"There are those in this race for the presidency who are touting their experience working the system, but the problem is that the system isn’t working for us,” Mr. Obama said. “There are those who are saying you should be looking for someone who can play the game better, but the problem is that the game has been rigged. The time is too serious the stakes are too high to play the same game over and over again.”

Vishy Anand is the new world chess champion


The New Champion

In his last game he drew GM Peter Leko of Hungary. The Grand Master from India is the new undisputed world chess champion. He finished undefeated with nine points out of a possible 14.

___

JG: The following report and the picture are from the Official Website in Mexico City.

El gran maestro hindú Viswanathan Anand se coronó campeón mundial de ajedrez 2007, al hacer tablas con el gran maestro húngaro Peter Leko, en la décimo cuarta y última partida disputada en el Centro Histórico de Ciudad de México. En conferencia de medios, el nuevo monarca mundial dijo: "Pueden imaginar cómo me siento.
29 sept 07 037

El año pasado gané un torneo importante y esto es algo especial para mí. Quiero agradecer a mis amigos que me han ayudado mucho. Agradezco a mi esposa Aruna que ha hecho todo lo necesario para que yo pueda competir en las mejores condiciones. También agradezco a mi entrenador. Y sobre todo agradezco a México por su gran hospitalidad. En pocos sitios he visto tanta afición como aquí. Siempre me siento muy a gusto en México. En este instante recuerdo que Jorge Saggiante (Presidente del comité organizador del Campeonato Mundial 2007) me dijo que este sería un campeonato inolvidable.

Por su parte, el gran maestro húngaro Peter Leko, su rival de hoy, felicitó al nuevo campeón por su triunfo. Lo felicito porque se lo merece. La organización ha sido de primer nivel. Por mi parte, yo seguiré luchando por alcanzar el título.

Viswanathan Anand nació en Madrás, India, el 11de diciembre de 1969. Obtuvo el título de maestro internacional a los 16 años. En 1987 fue campeón mundial juvenil en el encuentro celebrado en Filipinas. Ese mismo año obtuvo el título de gran maestro. El año 2000 se coronó Campeón mundial por primera vez. Según el contrato firmado con la Federación Internacional de Ajedrez, FIDE, a fines del próximo año deberá refrendar su título ante el campeón saliente, el ruso Vladimir Kramnik.

Los otros resultados de la décimo cuarta y última ronda fueron: Peter Svidler 1, Alexander Grischuk 0; Alexander Morozevich 0.5, Boris Gelfand 0.5. Vladimir Kramnik 1, Levon Aronian 0.

La tabla final de posiciones quedó conformada de la siguiente manera:
1. Viswanathan Anand, con 9 puntos.
2. Vladimir Krmanik 8
3. Boris Gelfand 8
4. Peter Leko 7
5. Peter Svidler 6.5
6. Alexander Morozevich 6
7. Levon Aronian 6
8. Alexander Grischuk 5.5

En torno al nuevo monarca del ajedrez, la ex campeona mundial femenil, Sussan Polgar, declaró: "Vissy es un gran amigo mío desde hace muchos años. Él tiene una imagen muy agradable para el ajedrez. Merece ser Campeón porque hizo un torneo muy bueno, fue el mejor de todos y mereció ganar."
Por su parte, el gran maestro Miguel Illescas, ex campeón de su país, comentó: "Anand ha sido líder de este campeonato de principio a fin. Su juego ha sido el más dinámico y el más agresivo. Ha dado lo mejor de sí. Es un digno campeón mundial."

En cuanto a la organización de este campeonato, Jorge Saggiante, Presidente del comité organizador, declaró: "Se rebasaron las expectativas en lo deportivo. Los jugadores en su mayoría dieron una gran demostración de lucha y de talento. No obstante que hasta la última ronda las posiciones estaban prácticamente definidas, se continuó luchando hasta el último momento. Quiero dejar testimonio de que este Campeonato ha sido posible gracias al apoyo del Gobierno de la Ciudad de México y en particular del Instituto del Deporte del Distrito Federal."

Por último, cabe destacar que todas y cada una de las partidas de este Campeonato ha sido seguida en vivo y en directo por Internet. A la página oficial del evento, este día 29 de septiembre, durante las partidas de la última ronda, hubo 1, 139, 596 visitantes de 185 países. Entre las ciudades con más lectores destacan: Francfort, México DF, Madrid, Ámsterdam, Budapest, París, Montevideo, Londres, Moscú y Milán.

La ceremonia de clausura del Campeonato Mundial de ajedrez 2007, se celebrará este domingo a las 19 horas en el Palacio de Minería, ubicado en la calle Tacaba número 5, Centro Histórico.

Inside the Hispanic vote: Growing in numbers, growing in diversity

CNN

By Manav Tanneeru
CNN

Updated 1:35 p.m. EDT, Fri September 28, 2007

(CNN) -- As Democratic and Republican presidential candidates scour the country for votes during the 2008 campaign, they'll inevitably court the Hispanic community, a voting group growing rapidly in number and diversity.
art.univision.debate.gi.jpg

The Hispanic vote is neither homogenous nor loyal to one party. Though the current political moment seems to favor the Democratic Party, experts say that affinity should not be taken for granted.

The Hispanic community is the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, according to the U.S. census.

But its percentage of the electorate is lower than its numbers as a whole because of lower citizenship rates, less voter participation and a youthful demographic. Of the nation's more than 44 million people of Hispanic origin, about a third are too young to vote.

But all that's changing.

Before the midterm elections in 2006, the Pew Hispanic Center, a Washington-based think-tank, estimated more than 17 million Hispanics would be eligible to vote in that election. The number represented a 7 percent increase from 2004.

The Hispanic share of the U.S. electorate increased from 8.2 percent to 8.6 percent during the same period, Pew estimated.

That percentage may grow even more by 2008 as a result of citizenship drives, get-out-the-vote campaigns and the natural growth of the community.

Univision, the Spanish-language broadcast giant, has thrown its considerable weight behind a citizenship drive this year. "We feel that empowering our audience is good for Hispanics and the country," Univision President Ray Rodriguez told the Wall Street Journal in May 2007, adding that it was "a totally nonpartisan effort."

Organizations such as the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, or NALEO, are also mobilizing the vote.

"We have spearheaded a massive naturalization campaign and close to, I think, a million applications will have been submitted this fiscal year," said NALEO's executive director, Arturo Vargas.

The change in the electorate could play a significant role in possible swing states like Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Florida during the 2008 election. There's a reason the Democratic Party decided to hold its presidential convention in Denver, experts said.

"I don't think it's really registered with people just how influential the Latino vote can be in some of these state primaries," Vargas said.

The Hispanic vote has historically been aligned with the Democratic Party, an allegiance established during the administrations of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, said Harry Pachon of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute.

That political alignment was further cemented when Proposition 187 -- designed to deny health care, education and welfare benefits to illegal immigrants -- was pushed by Republicans and passed in California in 1994.

But the Republican Party, intent on gaining more Hispanic voters, made inroads during the early parts of this decade, culminating in the 2004 presidential campaign by President Bush. Exit polls showed he carried 40 to 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

"There are a lot of issues that Latinos agree with Republican philosophy," Pachon said, pointing to the GOP stances on entrepreneurship, fiscal policies, its appeal to Hispanic evangelicals and its policies toward Cuba.

But the heated immigration debate, when many congressional Republicans disagreed with President Bush over granting a path toward citizenship for many illegal immigrants, may erode those gains.

"The Republicans are really caught between a rock and a hard place," Pachon said.

They must balance the interests of a segment of their constituency that is very anti-immigrant with the interests of a "Latino voter that is affluent and middle class, who can theoretically be reached by Republican Party principles," he said.

It is little wonder then, that among Republican presidential candidates, only Arizona Sen. John McCain agreed to appear at an Univision debate scheduled for mid-September. The debate didn't happen. All but one of the Democratic contenders appeared for their debate.

Some Republican leaders said last week not participating in such debates could harm the party's standing with minority groups for the 2008 election and beyond.

"What are we going to do -- meet in a country club in the suburbs one day?" former congressman and GOP vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp told The Washington Post. "If we're going to be competitive with people of color, we've got to ask them for their vote."

"This [political environment] gives Democrats a huge advantage," Adam J. Segal, who heads the Hispanic Voter Project at Johns Hopkins University, said in an e-mail. He also runs the 2050 Group, a multicultural public relations firm based in Washington.

"They are likely to draw far more Hispanic votes than in 2004 and would gain at least a half-million vote advantage" under one of his group's more conservative scenarios, Segal said.

But the Hispanic community is diverse and voting interests are not homogenous, which imperils such predictions.

Hispanic immigrants originate from more than a dozen different countries, arrived in the U.S. through numerous immigration waves and have different perceptions of communal identity, Segal said.

For example, a Cuban-American may vote Republican because of the GOP's long-standing policies toward Cuba, whereas a Puerto Rican voter in New York City or a voter in a border state may be driven by different motives.

The culture of a state can also affect a Hispanic voter's behavior. A voter in Texas may be more conservative, whereas a voter with a similar background in California may be more liberal, Pachon said.

There may also be generational cleavages, Pachon said. A study he conducted with a colleague on the impact of religion on the Latino vote revealed differences between first-, second- and third-generation Hispanics. The first and third generations said religion was more important to them when compared to the second generation.

Additionally, despite the furor over immigration, that issue might not be the most important to Hispanic voters, NALEO's Vargas said. "If the election were held today, I think immigration would be a significant factor, but we're more than a year away from the election," he said.
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Based on a series of town hall meetings conducted in 2004 and conversations throughout this year, Vargas said education, the Iraq war, the economy and health care may take precedence over immigration.

"We need to distinguish issues that matter to the Latino community versus the issues that matter to Latino voters," he said. "Those are not the same."

Che wins another battle

Cuba’s daily Granma, under the byline of Héctor Arturo, has reported that the son of the Bolivian government official who murdered Che Guevara when he was captured, presented himself before the newspaper “El Deber” and asked to have a note published where he said that he was grateful to the Cuban doctors who had restored the sight of his elderly father who was suffering from cataracts. The operation took place in Bolivia under the program “Operation Miracle” of the Republic of Cuba.

The name of the official was Mario Terán. When he received the order from his bosses, he had to resort to alcohol to obtain courage and to be able to carry it through. He himself narrated to the news media later on how he shook like a leave before this man, who in that moment he saw as “big, very big.”

Che, wounded and unarmed, sat on the floor of the humble school, observed the man as he was vacillating and was fearful, and had all the courage that this assassin was lacking and opened his green olive shirt, bared his chest and screamed “Don’t shake any more and shoot here, because you are going to kill a man.”

Mario Terán was carrying out the orders of Generals René Barrientos and Alfredo Ovando, the White House and the CIA.

Now, Mario Terán did not have to pay a cent for the cataracts operation by Cuban doctors in a hospital donated by Cuba and inaugurated by President Evo Morales in Santa Cruz.

Four decades after Mario Terán tried to kill with his crime a dream and an idea, Che wins another battle. And he continues his struggle…

Cuba's Dayron Robles beats Liu to win men's 110m hurdles at Shanghai Golden Grand Prix


Dayron Robles of Cuba competes in the men's 110m hurdles during the Golden Grand Prix in Shanghai, Sept. 28, 2007. Robles won with a time of 13.01 seconds. (Xinhua/Liao Yujie)

China View

SHANGHAI, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Cuba's Dayron Robles led all the way to beat local hero Liu Xiang to win the men's 110m hurdles title at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix here on Friday.

Robles, who clocked a season best of 12.92 seconds in the Stuttgart Grand Prix Finals last week, clocked 13.01 seconds for the gold.

Liu, the reigning Olympic and world champion and world record holder, clocked 13.21 seconds to finish third.

American Anwar Moore took the silver in 13.20.

Former Olympic champion and multi-world champion Allen Johnson was fourth in 13.23.

Editor: Song Shutao

Friday, September 28, 2007

Two Good Stories

JG: Not much relevant news about Cuba right now. You should check two very good stories:

Hired Gun Fetish
By PAUL KRUGMAN - New York Times journalist
It is about the mercenaries of Blackwater and other "privatized" security forces in George W. Bush's Iraq fiasco.

Kucinich 'seriously thinking' about forcing vote on Cheney impeachment
By Nick Juliano - The Raw Story

GOP: THE ANTI-CHILDREN PARTY!

The president and the GOP have practically bankrupted the country with a war which has its foundation on a bunch of lies.

Now they want to do the same thing to our children.

Have they NO SHAME?

Right-wing GOP senator tries to demonize children's healthcare bill

U.S. Senator Michael D. Enzi,(R-Wy), one of the many reactionary right-wing GOP senators who serve in the United States Senate is trying to demonize the children's health care bill that passed yesterday in the United States Senate by a 67-29 vote. The senator said the following: "We shouldn't be laying the foundation for Castro-style health care."

Senator you are very ill informed. The fact of the matter is that ALL CHILDREN in Cuba have an excellent health care system. That is one of the great achievements of the Cuban Revolution. You and your party are so cheap and so greedy, that you would like to keep nine million American children without the proper health insurance.

George W. Bush has promised to veto the SCHIPS Health care bill. There are enough votes in the U.S. Senate to override his veto, but proponents of the bill are 25 votes short in the House to override the "Devil in Chief".

Respected Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa said: “This bill is not socialized medicine. Screaming ‘socialized medicine’ is like shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. It is intended to cause hysteria that diverts people from reading the bill, looking at the facts.”

Antonio Guerrero's Birthday


Tuesday, October 16 is the birthday of Cuban Five hero Antonio Guerrero. He was born in 1958. Please be sure and send him a birthday greeting!

His address is:
Antonio Guerrero
#58741-004
U.S.P. Florence
P.O. Box 7000
Florence CO 81226

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cuba to participate in Baseball Tournament

Radio Coco in Havana has reported that 27 baseball players who are part of the national baseball pre-selection have been elected to participate in a seven nations baseball tournament in Valencia, Venezuela. It will start next October 2 and will have the name of First Latin America and Caribbean League.

Paseo del Prado y Castillo del Morro



Photos courtesy of: Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ

Judge rules for Cuban father

The Houston Chronicle

Sept. 27, 2007, 10:47AM

By LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ AP Hispanic Affairs Writer

MIAMI — The father of a 5-year-old Cuban girl at the center of an international custody battle did not abandon her despite failing to contact her for months, a judge ruled Thursday.

The case now moves into a second phase in which Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen must rule whether the girl should live with her father, Cuban farmer Rafael Izquierdo, 32, or stay with her foster parents in Miami.

Complete story
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AFP: Cuban farmer clears major hurdle in international custody battle in Miami

Viet Nam to continue supplying rice to Cuba

Posted: 2007/09/27
From: Mathaba

Havana (VNA) – Viet Nam will continue to provide rice to Cuba under governmental and company contracts in 2008 with the same volume and conditions as in 2007, said a Vietnamese government official on September 26. At the 25th session of the Viet Nam-Cuba Joint Committee which opened in Havana on September 26, Construction Minister Nguyen Hong Quan, who is a co-President of the joint committee and co-chairman of the session, further informed that encouraged by the results of the project on household-based rice farming in Cuba, the Vietnamese Government decided to increase its financial assistance to the project’s third phase by ten fold.

Ricardo Cabrisas, Cuban Minister of Government, co-President of the joint committee and co-chairman of the session affirmed that the session would open a new period for expansion of bilateral economic relations.

On behalf of the Cuban people, Minister Ricardo Cabrisas thanked the Vietnamese Government for providing rice to Cuba.

Cuba's post-Soviet economic crisis actually great for their health

Edmonton Journal, Canada

Anthony Boadle, Reuters
Published: 3:08 am

Cubans remember the 1990s as a time of dire crisis and hunger, but researchers have found that the resulting population-wide weight loss helped reduce deaths from conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

A team from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Loyola University and Cienfuegos, Cuba, studied the crisis triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Cuban economy shrunk by 40 per cent in four years.

Fuel shortages meant Cubans had to give up cars and use Chinese-made bicycles to get around, while their calorie intake plummeted from an average 2,900 a day in 1988 to 1,863 in 1993.

The result was a decline in obesity, and also in the number of deaths attributed to diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, according to the study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Between 1997-2002, deaths caused by diabetes declined by 51 per cent, coronary heart disease mortality dropped 35 per cent and stroke mortality by 20 per cent.

Cubans are still traumatized by the hunger they lived through in the early 1990s, sometimes joking that stray animals vanished from the streets of Havana because people ate them.

To this day, food is the main topic of conversation for Cubans, even though their calorie consumption is back up to international levels and obesity is making a comeback.

In 1987, 30 per cent of Havana residents were classed as physically active. But by 1995, that figure had risen to 70 per cent due to the widespread use of bicycles and walking.

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JG: People who will defend their right to be free of foreign domination can never be starved into submission.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cuba to China, Delhi courts Left’s friends

The Telegraph, Calcutta, India

Thursday, September 27, 2007

K.P. NAYAR

New York, Sept. 26: The Left parties may not yet have stopped the Manmohan Singh government from operationalising the nuclear deal, but their demand is already prompting a leftward lurch in India’s foreign policy.

On the eve of the opening of the 62nd UN General Assembly here yesterday, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee met Felipe Perez Roque, the foreign minister of Cuba.

It has been at least 15 years since an Indian Prime Minister or a senior minister met any Cuban official in New York for a detailed review of bilateral relations.

The Americans make it clear that Cubans are unwelcome in New York though they are here for UN work. There were contacts between the Indians and the Cubans last year, but they were of a routine nature and dealt only with Cuba’s leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

However, this time Indian officials said Mukherjee “sought and received a briefing on the health of President Fidel Castro” from Roque.

The external affairs minister’s initiative in seeking a meeting with his Cuban counterpart is meant to signal that India is not abandoning its traditional friends in favour of Washington and is expected to please the Left.

Officials said India is going ahead with a decision, controversial in the US, to let ONGC Videsh, India’s public sector oil exploration firm, to drill for oil in Cuba’s economic exclusion zone in the Gulf of Mexico. A six-year agreement envisages ONGC Videsh exploring an area of 4,300sqkm in Cuban waters.

US companies are banned from economic activity in Cuba and Florida’s large anti-Castro brigade is lobbying in Washington to punish firms that drill in Cuban waters, alleging environmental damage.

But it is not as if Mukherjee has caved in to the Left on foreign policy. While attention in India has been focused in recent weeks on the activities of Anil Kakodkar, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna, Mukherjee has been quietly keeping the nuclear deal alive in New York.

In the last three days, the Indian external affairs minister met the foreign ministers of seven of the 34 countries represented on the IAEA’s board of governors.

The board has to eventually approve an additional protocol and a safeguards agreement with India before the nuclear deal can be operationalized.

Mukherjee had the most unlikely meetings here with the foreign ministers of countries such as Albania and Algeria only because they are on the IAEA board.

He also met the foreign ministers of Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Canada and China. All these countries are on the board of the UN nuclear watchdog.

Tomorrow, Mukherjee, along with the nuclear scientist and principal scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, R. Chidambaram, will meet US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in Washington. They are going there ostensibly for a conference on climate change at the initiative of US President George W. Bush.

Officials said if the Left parties criticised Mukherjee’s meetings here, his defence would be that he was not “negotiating” anything with IAEA board members, but merely “discussing” the situation.

Foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon is, meanwhile, meeting member states of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which has to change its rules for operationalisation of the nuclear deal.

Menon did not accompany Mukherjee last year for the UN General Assembly and it is presumed that his mandate this year is primarily to work on the 45 NSG countries.

Less preoccupation with the nuclear deal has also enabled Mukherjee to concentrate on India’s neighbourhood. He spent his first day here on Sunday meeting China’s foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, and attending a meeting co-chaired by the UN secretary-general and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

On Monday, Mukherjee, who is the leader of the Indian delegation to the UN General Assembly, met Rangin Spanta, the foreign minister of Afghanistan, and George Yeo, the foreign minister of Singapore.

Yesterday, he met Nepal’s foreign minister, Sahana Pradhan.

Mukherjee also met the foreign ministers of Russia, China and Brazil, as part of an initiative that groups Brazil, Russia, India and China or BRIC.

Cuba, hitting back at Bush, calls him reckless cop

Reuters

Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:20pm EDT

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque hit back at U.S. President George W. Bush on Wednesday, saying he was a reckless global cop who has put the world's security at risk.

A day after he stormed out of the U.N. General Assembly hall when Bush referred to ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro as a "cruel dictator" whose rule was coming to an end, Cuba's envoy said the U.S. president had no right to demand "regime change" in sovereign countries through war and sanctions.

"It was an embarrassing show, the delirium tremens of the world's policeman, the intoxication of imperial power, sprinkled with mediocrity and cynicism," he said of Bush's speech on Monday.

Bush scolded Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Myanmar and other states for trampling on their people's rights.

He said the United Nations must insist on free speech and elections in Cuba as the Communist-run country enters a period of transition after Castro handed power to his brother Raul on July 31, 2006.

Perez Roque said Bush had no right to talk about democracy because "he came to office through fraud and deceit" in the controversial 2000 elections.

"We would have been spared his presence yesterday and would have listened to President Al Gore talking about climate change and the risks to our species," the Cuban minister said.

Perez Roque blamed Bush for the death of 600,000 civilian in the Iraq war and said the U.S. president had no moral grounds to speak about human rights in other nations after authorizing the use of torture against prisoners in the Guantanamo naval base and Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail.

"He has been the most selfish and reckless politician we have ever seen," he said of Bush. "He should be held accountable to the world for his crimes."

Perez Roque began his statement speaking in the name of the 116 developing nations of the Non-Aligned Movement, which Cuba currently heads.

He said the greatest threat to world peace today was "the use of pretexts such as the war on terror" or the "much-trumpeted promotion of democracy" to attack countries labeled "rogue states" by a handful of developed countries.

CUBA Calls for End to Insensitivity, Irresponsibility and Deceit


www.indybay.org

Posted by F Espinoza
Wednesday Sep 26th, 2007 10:52 AM

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque spoke on Monday, September 24, at a UN high-level event on climate change in New York, United States. We offer here the full text of the Cuban diplomat's speech.

JG: Click on the top link to read the speech text.

100th Anniversary of the birth of Eduardo Chibas



Source: www.laradiomiami.com

Barack 'The Brave'

"Senator Barack Obama, who bravely opposed the launch of the war, has put forward an elaborate proposal for withdrawal that involves the United Nations and regional powers to create a unified government in Iraq. His plan, or something like it, is worth trying."
The Nation Magazine, October 8, 2007 issue.

War is not the answer
Friends Committee on National Legislation bumper sticker.

Vishy takes a commanding lead

India's Grand Master Viswanathan Anand at the start of his Round 11 game. Photo: Chess Base

Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan "Vishy" Anand took a commanding lead at the World Chess Championship being played in Mexico City. In a powerful and exciting game, he totally dominated his opponent, GM Alexander Morozevich of Russia. Vishy has now seven and a half points and he is the only player who has not lost a single game. Israel's GM Boris Gelfand is in second place with six points.

Vishy right now is playing an outstanding 88 points above his current 2792 ELO rating.

I predict that he will win the world's chess title and he will have a very long reign.

Cuba's MINREX Stament

Cuba's daily Granma has reported that Cuba's Ministry of External Relations (MINREX) has issued the following declaration:

The delegation of Cuba withdrew from the plenary deliberations of the General Assembly of the United Nations as a signal of profound rejection to the mediocre and arrogant speech of president Bush.

Bush is responsible for the murder of more than 600,000 civilians in Iraq, authorized the torture of prisoners at the Guantanamo Naval Base and the kidnapping of persons, clandestine air flights and secret jails. He is a criminal and does not have neither moral authority nor credibility to judge another country.

Cuba condemns and rejects every letter of his infamous diatribe.

Venezuela lends Cuba 100 million USD

Posted: 2007/09/26
From: Mathaba

Havana (VNA) - Venezuela has granted Cuba a 100 million USD loan to streamline its railroad network in an effort to reconstruct transportation infrastructure.

The deal was signed between Venezuelan Bank for Economic and Social Development (Bandes) and Cuba's Banco Exterior in Caracas on September 24.

The funding will be used to refit railways and signaling, and upgrade communications.

Cuban Minister of Transportation, Jorge Luis Sierra, said that the agreement will allow his country to increase the speed of trains from 40 to 100 kilometres per hour. It will also help increase capacity of transportation and rail fleet of Cuba, he added.

Chinese auto producer Yutong exports more buses to Cuba

People's Daily Online

08:03, September 26, 2007

Chinese auto maker Yutong Group Co. Ltd. has delivered 200 mass transit buses to Cuba, the first such China-made vehicles ever exported, a company spokesman said.

In accordance with a Sino-Cuban export agreement, Cuba will import 5,348 buses or coaches from Yutong, based Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, from 2007 to 2009.

The buses, with a value of 300 million yuan (37.5 million US dollars), will first be transported to Lianyungang, east China, from where they will be shipped to Cuba.

Yutong is a large enterprise group with bus making as the core business. It is also involved in auto parts and engineering machinery manufacturing, and property development. The group chalked up more than 10.14 billion yuan (1.27 billion US dollars) in total sales last year.

The company started to export coaches to Cuba in 2005 and by late 2006, it exported more than 1,200 coaches to the Caribbean nation. Yutong also exports coaches to other countries and regions in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

Source: Xinhua

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Eternal shame on George W. Bush

Today, the United States House of Representative passed by a vote of 265-159, to “expand a health care program for children in low-income families,” the Washington Post has reported. The vote “falls short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto.”

“The bill aims to insure more children in low-income families that cannot afford health insurance but earn too much to qualify for the Medicaid program for the poor.”

Whether it is protection for the working class, or providing health insurance for children, the “Decider in Chief” and his party are opposed to it.

SHAME ON HIM! We'll remember in November!

US-Cuba Conflict: Who threw the first stone?

By Angel Rodriguez Alvarez

AIN Special Service

It seems to many that all this began with Washington's response to the measures against US properties adopted after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959. First, we must make it clear that the White House began its hostilities against the island long before the approval of the first Agrarian Reform law in May of 1959. But there is much more. Before the triumph of the Rebel Army headed by Fidel Castro, the Eisenhower administration did all it could to stop the popular victory on the island. We must point out that the dispute between both sides has its origins over two centuries ago, when in 1767 President Benjamin Franklin expressed interest in the annexation of Cuba through negotiations with Spain. In 1805, Thomas Jefferson was more explicit when expressing: "In the case of war between Britain and Spain, the United States would take control of Cuba for strategic reasons to defend Louisiana and Florida."

Later these desires would take shape in the Ripe Fruit Doctrine, formulated in 1823 by the then US Secretary of State and later president John Quincy Adams who thought that later on the island would fall into the hands of the United States by means of gravity. Almost at the end of the 19th century, 1898, the words were put into practice. As a defensive response to the mysterious and suspicious blowing up of the vessel Maine in the Bay of Havana, the US intervened in the war that the Cuban people were carrying out against the already weakened Spanish army. After the Spanish defeat on December 1st, 1898, the occupying force signed the Treaty of Paris with Spain without any participation of the Cuban people. Madrid then resigned to its rights over the island and the United States occupied it as a so-called temporary measure. The Republic was born on May 20th, 1902, with the Platt Amendment, imposed by the US Congress in to the island's Constitution, by which the US would dispose of, among other prerogatives, the right to intervene in Cuba's internal affairs whenever it deemed necessary. In a letter addressed to Theodore Roosevelt dated October 28th, 1901, Leonard Wood recognized: "There is, of course, little or no independence left Cuba under the Platt Amendment. The only consistent thing to do now is to seek annexation." At that time, American big business controlled the sugar production, the principal and almost only source of national income for the island, owned the best lands, had their hands on the basic public services, as well as mines, banks, foreign trade and all of the island's economy. Cuba's total dependency on the US was such that in 1934, Washington took the luxury of abolishing the Plat Amendment. That control still lasted for 57 years, 1902-1959, without any setbacks.

On January 1st, 1959, the US embassy in Havana, in agreement with high ranking officials of the Batista dictatorship, attempted a coup to smother the triumph of the Revolution and stop the creation of a revolutionary government. During the early days of January 1959, dozens of assassins and thieves fled justice and were welcomed with open arms in Miami. None of them were returned to Cuba, nor was the 424 million dollars stolen from the public treasury by the Batista gang. On January 28th, 1959, barely four weeks after the victory, those fugitives would make public, without any hindrance, the creation of the first subversive organization against Cuba. During the first five months of that same year, the United States adopted the initial measures of its economic war: - In February they denied a modest credit requested by the National Bank to sustain the Cuban national currency affected by the stolen millions of dollars from the public treasury. -For the first time, in March, they reduced the sugar quota due to official pressure from the American Foreign Power; they cancelled a financing of 15 million dollars applied for by the national electric company. -US pressured Britain into stopping the sale of 15 planes and other weapons to the island.

-The Agriculture Department withdrew all officials that inspected the root vegetables, fruits and green vegetables for the US market from Cuba and prohibited the entry of mangos to the country. -The license to sell helicopters destined for Cuban agriculture was revoked.

-Considerably reduced the entry of US vessels to the island. On June 29th, 1960, months before the nationalization, in August and October of that year, the oil firms, Texaco, Esso and Shell were pressured by the White House not to supply oil, and prohibit the use of their refineries to process Soviet oil. Only two weeks later, on July 6th, Washington reduced the quota of Cuban sugar by 700,000 tons. On December 16th, the quota was totally abolished. An explanation of this early hostile conduct against the young Revolution can be found in the memoirs of the then President Eisenhower: "Just weeks after Castro entered Havana, we, the government, began to examine ways that would be effective to crush Castro." A confession that, in a way, reveals the proof.

Source: Cuba News Agency

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JG: in my opinion the quarrel is driven by typical Yankee imperialist greed. Cuba is a very valuable piece of real estate (stratigically located) and they would like to get their hands into it. Just the same way that the Iraq war was driven by the greed for the oil resources of Iraq.

Cuban delegation walks out to protest Bush UN speech

Monsters and Critics

Sep 25, 2007, 17:09 GMT

New York - The Cuban delegation walked out of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to protest US President George W Bush's call for freedom in Cuba after a transition of power from ailing leader Fidel Castro.

The Cuban delegation, led by the foreign minister, said in a statement that the walkout was a 'sign of profound rejection of the arrogant and mediocre statement by President Bush.'

'Bush is responsible for the murder of over 600,000 civilians in Iraq,' the statement said. 'He authorized the torture of prisoners at the Guantanamo Naval Base and the kidnapping of people, as well as clandestine flights and secret prisons.'

The statement called Bush a 'criminal with no moral authority or credibility to judge any other country.'

In his address, Bush said, 'the long rule (in Cuba) of a cruel dictator is nearing an end. The Cuban people are ready for their freedom.'

'And as a nation enters a period of transition, the UN must insist on free speech, free assembly, and ultimately, free and competitive elections,' Bush said.

Castro has been ill for more than a year and has handed power to his brother, Raul, on an interim basis.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

___

JG: Perez Roque did the right thing. The General Assembly will very soon tell the petulant U.S. president what is their opinion of U.S. Cuba policies, and the current occupant of the White House is not going to like it. To him, it is more important that he continue to fill the coffers of Halliburton and Blackwater in Iraq with our taxpayer's money.

Canadian: Cuba has a different system, but people are fair and honest

Tue, September 25, 2007

A Canadian businessman has published an interesting, fair, and unbiased article in the Toronto Sun. The article is titled "With capitalism on the rise in socialist Cuba, a Canadian businessman says now is the time for foreign firms to venture in." Making the Cuban system work better does not mean a return to the dog-eat-dog capitalism of the Batista era.

Here is the article:

By JOE WARMINGTON

HAVANA -- His phone rings and he answers in Spanish.

"Hola."

The call is from his hometown of Montreal. He switches to French.

"Bonjour."

When he hangs up the phone, the 53-year-old Canadian looks out over the Malecon and makes this comment. "There are lots of opportunities here. And I am a facilitator."

Now he's speaking in English.

Jean Galipeau is a man of many languages. And many talents.

He is one of the few Canadian business consultants in Havana bringing Canadian investment to socialist Cuba. But it's not just the languages that helps make it work for him. It's his knowledge and experience. "To be successful down here, you need two things," he said. "Patience and money."

You actually need a third.

"Contacts."

Galipeau is a man who has them. For a fixed daily fee, he works in association with the CIH (Centre International of Havana), putting company officials in touch with the people they need to meet in Cuba.

He has as many as seven companies exploring the market at the same time. The inquisitive business people are referred to him by the Montreal firm, Export Assistance Canada -- or referred to him by others.

Galipeau also acts as consultant in what he describes as the "transfer of technology" for the Group Cesigma, a firm specializing in environmental technologies under the ministry of science technology and environment.

"In Cuba it's all about contacts," he said. "You have to have persistence. You cannot do business with the Cubans by Internet or by telephone. You have to be present down here on a regular basis."

This is why Galipeau lives in Cuba. In fact, if you are looking for him, he is normally in a lounge in the Melia Cohiba Hotel with a phone by his side. "I have lived in the hotel for four years," he laughed. "It just makes more sense than living in a house. Everything I need is here."

He has been working on developing businesses in Cuba for nine years. Prior to that, he was an executive in the private security business. He sees his future here in Havana.

"I love it here," he said. "The people are great and if I want to go to the beach, I can get there for a $12 taxi ride."

The rest of the time he's working -- "seven days a week."

Contacts and meeting face to face are the only way to move the layers of bureaucracy. But it can be done and it has been done. There will be more done in the future.

"As Canadians, we have to be getting in here more now," he said. "We have to be ready and ahead of the Americans and everyone else should the day come when Cuba opens up more than it currently is. If it ever does, if you are not in, you will find it hard to get in."

Galipeau views a more open society -- possibly, in the next few years -- not only beneficial for foreign companies, but also for ordinary Cubans.

"I was talking a few years ago to a Cuban official who made the comment that we would not want to turn into a capitalist society in 24 hours like they did in Russia. It needs to be more progressive."

But with Acting President Raul Castro at the helm, there is a desire to speed up the progress.

"He has addressed that. He wants to improve the living conditions of its people, raise their salaries."

It takes capital to do that. Ventures and deals. Raul has made some with other countries in different sectors like tourism, mining and oil and gas -- and his government has many other projects on the table in other sectors like the sugar industry.

Drive around Cuba and you get a look at a poor country. Most workers earn a monthly income of $15 and receive government food rations of rice, beans and other products. Many cars are left over from the 1950s and the infrastructure is in decay.

Galipeau doesn't deny this but said it is also deceiving. There is more money here than people think, he added. In Cuba, there are more than 168,000 people who are millionaires in the Cuban peso. Transferred into the Canadian dollar that could mean a person is worth something close to $40,000 or $50,000. That is a lot of money here.

For business people in Canada, it starts with what they need here -- and that's lots. Paint, nails, hammers, glass, computers, clothing -- Cubans have a hunger for such items.

"Agriculture is a good sector," said Galipeau. "Fertilizer and farm equipment. Biotechnology is another."

The goal is to get products produced locally for domestic use and for export.

Canadian firms are needed to put up capital and provide technological know how. Cuba supplies the work force, the shop or building -- and the market.

But where such ventures were once embarked upon with Cuba owning 51% of a company, it is now called an association of co-production. "Today you are investing in Cuban companies," said Galipeau. "But the contract would be negotiated and they come out fair. There is profit to be made."

If Cuba was to open up similar to what is happening in China, those already doing business here would have an extreme edge. There are dozens of Canadian companies already taking that chance.

It does not work for everybody. Some companies never seem to get a partnership moving due -- very often -- to a lack of follow up. "It is getting better but it can take time," said Galipeau. "I recently got a contract for one company that took more than five years to get it done. When I called them, they were surprised. However I told them I had never stopped working on it."

Other deals have been formulated in mere months and this has been more his experience of late.

With each ministry having its own person that needs to sign off on a contract, it often comes down to the discretion of individuals. But, he said, once a deal is done with a Cuban, it is firm.

"They are good people to work with," said Galipeau. "It is a different system, but the people are fair and honest."

As the younger generation moves up, he said, you can see a thirst for moving faster. "Things are definitely improving, no question," he added. "I have been here for years and I have seen lately bars and cafes go up along the Malecon and other development. It is happening."

And it will continue to happen as things move forward. In the meantime Galipeau, who can be reached at Jgalipeau2006@gmail.com, looks at his phone and waits for it to ring. He speaks many languages but the one he speaks best is how to help Cuban and Canadian business people make money and work together.

New Link Debuts at Cuba Journal

Cuba Journal has started a 'Do Not Patronize' list.

It is composed of companies that support and/or try to enforce the genocidal embargo/blockade of Cuba.

I urge the readers of this blog not to purchase goods and/or services from these companies.

The link can be found on the right side column of this blog.

European Union tests waters with Cuba talks

Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:45am BST

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The European Union held informal exploratory talks with Cuba on Monday on resuming closer ties after years of tension over human rights issues, an EU diplomat said.

The foreign ministers of EU presidency holder Portugal and Slovenia, next in the EU chair, plus European Development Commissioner Louis Michel met Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

"It was an informal meeting authorized by the (EU) council to test the waters. No document was signed. The important thing was that the meeting happened at all," the diplomat said.

The 27-nation EU reached out to Cuba in June, inviting a Cuban delegation to Brussels to explore a thaw in ties on the condition that it agree to discuss human rights on the island.

Cuba's Foreign Ministry rebuffed the offer, saying talks could only happen when the EU lifts sanctions imposed in 2003.

Relations between Cuba and the EU soured that year after Brussels froze diplomatic contacts with Havana following the arrest of 75 Cuban dissidents in a crackdown. The EU eased restrictions on some lower-level contacts in 2005.

The EU diplomat said the ministers agreed to meet again early next year under Slovenian presidency ahead of a planned EU-Latin America summit.

They tried to identify issues for that meeting, including from the EU side human rights, governance reform and prisoners as well as trade facilitation, economic assistance and initiatives to help protect the Caribbean region from hurricanes and natural disasters, he said.

The EU has been divided on relations with Cuba, with former colonial power Spain leading advocates of engagement while the Czech Republic has spearheaded anti-communist opposition to closer ties on human rights grounds.

Cuba and Mexico Harmony Pact Predicted

Havana, Sep 24 (Prensa Latina) The leader of Mexico's Labor Party Alberto Anaya predicts an understanding between his country and Cuba to totally settle differences in bilateral relations.

Anaya, who is visiting Cuba at the invitation of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee, told Prensa Latina on Monday that neither the people nor the Mexican leftwing organizations have drifted apart from Cubans.

The island is always a motivation and attraction for revolutionaries, as a model in their struggles, so we expect everything that happened with previous Mexican presidents will be overcome.

The Labor Party leader affirmed there is much to do in today's Latin America and there cannot be estrangement between nations.

He explained that his visit to the island is to learn about this new stage of theCuban Revolution, and sent his warmest greetings to Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Monday, September 24, 2007

1963: Cuba and the Nuclear Risk

February 1963 Atlantic Monthly

By Walter Lippman

The closing years of the nineteenth century were also the closing years of the period of American isolation. The American doctrine of isolation was formulated by our first President: "The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible." For, he went on to say, "Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none or a very remote relation." This was the rule that we lived by with only a brief interlude, during the Wilson Administration, until well into the Second World War.

Today that original American doctrine has been reversed. Now we act on the principle that the vital interests of Europe are the vital interests of America. But in addition to this, there is something radically new in our situation. If there were not something radically new, we could devote all our resources to working out the economic and social and political connections of that greater community to which Europe and the Americas belong. But while we must develop this greater community, the time we live in calls for more than that, and our problems are of a different kind.

It is not only that isolation has ended. It is that we have begun to live in the first years of the nuclear age. Ours is an epoch when the rivalry of two great social orders includes a rivalry in nuclear arms. We were very conscious of that fact during the crisis over Cuba. For in Cuba there was, for the first time in history, the kind of grim and deadly confrontation which could have led to thermonuclear war.

As a scientific phenomenon, the nuclear age began in 1945 with the explosion of the first nuclear bomb. But in world relations the nuclear age really began about ten years later. Until nearly the end of the forties, the United States was the only nuclear power in the world. In 1949, the Soviet Union exploded a nuclear device. But it was not until the middle of the fifties that the Soviet Union began to have an armory of nuclear weapons. Beginning about 1955, the West had ceased to have a monopoly of nuclear weapons, and by the end of the 1950s, the Soviet Union had become a very formidable nuclear power.

Since 1955 there have existed in the world two rival and conflicting coalitions armed with nuclear weapons. They are in conflict at many points on the globe. They distrust profoundly each other's purposes.

The essential and novel fact in the contemporary conflict, which distinguishes it radically from the great conflicts of the past—as, for example, that between Islam and Christendom—is that the two coalitions possess nuclear weapons. These weapons differ from all other weapons, even those used as recently as the Second World War, in that they carry with them not only a greater quantity of violence but violence of a radically different order and kind.

In the wars of the prenuclear age, which ended with the bomb on Hiroshima, a victorious power was an organized state which could impose its terms on the vanquished. War damage, though great, was not irreparable, as we can see in the recovery of Europe and of the Soviet Union.

But after a full nuclear exchange, such as the United States and the Soviet Union are now capable of, there might well be over a hundred million dead. After the destruction of the great urban centers of the northern hemisphere, with the contamination of the earth, the water, and the air, there would be no such recovery as we have known after the two world wars of this century.

For all practical purposes, the devastation would be irreparable. The United States has the power to reduce Soviet society to a smoldering ruin, leaving the survivors shocked and starving and diseased. In an exchange of nuclear weapons, it is estimated coolly by our American experts that the Soviet Union could kill between thirty and seventy million Americans. I hesitate to say what would happen to Europe, whether or not it had a nuclear force of its own. But it is a fact that the Soviet Union has far more medium-range missiles capable of reaching Europe than it has long-range missiles capable of reaching the United States.

A war of that kind would be followed by a savage struggle for existence as people crawled out of their cellars, and all the democracies would have to be converted into military dictatorships in order to keep some semblance of order among the desperate survivors.

All that I have said has been said before. But it has not been said by men who have lived through an actual confrontation which could have produced such a catastrophe. If anyone wishes to understand the American position in the Cuban crisis and the American attitude toward military power in the world today, he must remember that responsible Americans do not dare to forget the reality of the nuclear age. I know some of these men. They live with these realities. For that reason, they do not find themselves in close sympathy with those Europeans who talk as if nuclear weapons were merely a bigger and better kind of artillery, and who think that the new weapons are subject to the same rules of warfare and of diplomacy as were the old.

Because nuclear weapons mean mutual suicide, the paramount rule of policy in this age is that, as between the nuclear powers, there can be no important change in the status quo brought about by the threat of force or by the use of force. Nuclear war cannot be used, as war has been used in the past, as an instrument of national policy. The Cuban affair has much to teach us about the nature of diplomacy in the nuclear age.

The United States has for some time possessed a marked superiority in nuclear weapons. This superiority was quite sufficient to deter the Soviet Union from using or from threatening to use nuclear weapons to enforce its purposes in Cuba. But our superiority was not sufficient to permit the United States to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons to enforce all of our own purposes in Cuba.

President Kennedy was able to prevail because, having the power to achieve a limited objective, he had the wisdom to narrow his objective to what he had the power to achieve.

Thus, he had the power to deter the Soviet Union from attempting to break the blockade by Soviet naval action and by the threat of Soviet nuclear missiles. But the President himself could not use America's nuclear power to bring about the overthrow of Castro and the liquidation of a Communist regime in Cuba.

It was manifestly unthinkable to use nuclear weapons against Cuba. They had no relevance to the Cuban problem. It would have been an incalculable risk to invade and occupy Cuba at the risk of retaliatory military action against Berlin, action which could have escalated into nuclear war. The President adopted limited objectives which could be achieved by limited means. He demanded the removal of the Soviet strategic missiles. He did not demand the removal of the Castro regime or even of the Cuban defensive missiles.

The President was able to achieve the objectives to which he limited himself. Soviet nuclear power was neutralized by American nuclear power, and in the Cuban area, the United States also had overwhelming land, sea, and air forces which were quite capable of destroying or capturing the Soviet missiles. The Soviet government had no conventional forces in the Caribbean area, and once its nuclear power was neutralized, it had no other force it could use.

This was, as I see it, the military rationale of the Cuban affair. But I hasten to add that, while the confrontation ended peaceably, it was possible that things might have got out of hand in Moscow or in Washington. There were rash men in both places. But for several reasons things did not get out of hand. First of all, Mr. Khrushchev and Mr. Kennedy have intimate knowledge of nuclear weapons, and they have a poignant personal realization of the meaning of nuclear war. For another reason, throughout the crisis, the two heads of government kept channels of personal and official communication open.

Finally, and decisively, the United States, which had overall nuclear superiority and conventional superiority around Cuba, was careful to avoid the ultimate catastrophic mistake of nuclear diplomacy, which would be to surround the adversary and to leave him no way to retreat.

Washington did not forget that while nuclear war would be suicidal lunacy, it is an ever-present possibility. Nuclear war will not be prevented by fear of nuclear war. For, however lunatic it might be to commit suicide, a great power, if it is cornered, if all the exits are barred, if it is forced to choose between suicide and unconditional surrender, is quite likely to go to war.

This is one of the facts of life in the middle of the twentieth century. It is as much a fact as the existence of the megaton bomb itself, and it is a fact which must be given weight in the calculation of national policy. It was kept constantly in mind in the calculation of our Cuban policy.

There is a line of intolerable provocation and humiliation beyond which popular and governmental reactions are likely to become uncontrollable. It is the business of the governments to find out where that line is, and to stay well back of it.

Those who do not understand the nature of war in the nuclear age, those who think that war today is what war was in the past regard these careful attempts of statesmen not to carry provocation beyond the tolerable limits as weakness and softness and appeasement.

The Chinese do not understand the nuclear age, and they charge the Russians with appeasement for drawing back in Cuba. There are a good many people in the West who do not understand the nuclear age, and they are forever charging us with appeasement because we do not brandish the nuclear bomb in all our controversies with the Soviet Union. But prudence in seeking not to drive your opponent into a corner is not weakness and softness and appeasement. It is sanity and common sense and a due regard for human life.

It has, I know, been said in Europe that the United States has always had a special interest in Cuba, and that therefore the firm stand of the President is no proof that the United States would be equally firm in, let us say, Berlin.

Our answer to these skeptics must begin, I think, by asking them to look at what the United States was actually firm about in Cuba. It was firm, as I have already pointed out, about the Soviet strategic weapons in Cuba, which, in the American view, were offensive because they were good only for a first strike. Had the missiles been put in place, they would have changed seriously the balance of nuclear power in the world.

The United States deployed its whole military power, nuclear and conventional, against such an alteration of the status quo. It would do the same, and for the same kind of reason, if the Soviet Union moved with military force against Berlin or against any other point which is critically important to the maintenance of the status quo in the balance of strategic power.

___

JG: Very good article. We are lucky that we had a statesman in the White House back then.

No consumerists malls in Cuba

JG: I am reproducing the following article so people will not be confused and will realize that the incident did not take place in the real Cuba, but just in some consumerist mall in far away New Zeland. There is very little crime in Cuba. They do not have the capitalist virus that makes people mug someone to acquire something of value.

Man mugged in Cuba Mall

Police are hunting a pair of "cowardly assailants" who robbed a young man in an area busy with Wellington drinkers and partygoers early on Saturday.

The 20-year-old victim withdrew cash at a machine on the corner of Cuba Mall and Dixon street about 1.30am.

He walked along Cuba Mall before two men wearing hoodies to cover their heads grabbed him from behind, pushed him against a window and demanded his wallet and mobile phone before pulling his watch off his wrist.

The man told police the watch was a family heirloom and therefore irreplaceable.

The assailants, both described as 25-years-old, 180cm with brown hair and wearing black hoodies, then walked back down Cuba Mall towards Dixon Street.

The victim was unhurt but shaken.

Detective Sergeant Damian Murphy said the attack happened at a time when a lot of people would have been in the area which has a number of bars nearby. Police are calling for anyone who witnessed anything to contact them.

CCTV footage of the area is being reviewed.

Hip Hop & the Cuban Revolution

Workers World

By Larry Hales
Published Sep 23, 2007 9:29 PM

Hip Hop culture is again being attacked by the major news outlets, which of late began with Don Imus, when his virulent racism was spotlighted after his hateful remarks against a college basketball team made up mostly of Black women. However, some capitalist news outlets appear to have embraced Hip Hop in revolutionary Cuba.

It’s not that this should be a confusing turn, not for those who’ve been in solidarity with the Cuban revolution. Nor should it be for people struggling against racism and oppression in the U.S.

When FIST, a revolutionary youth group, visited Cuba this July, the youth had an opportunity to meet with the head of the Cuban Rap Agency and several Cuban rap artists. The artists explained what the music means to them, how they first came in contact with Hip Hop culture, and how it is viewed by the revolution.

A New York Times article written last December entitled, “Cuba’s Rap Vanguard Reaches Beyond the Party Line,” attempts to assert that youth in Cuba are at odds with the revolutionary leadership and that these tensions are evident in the burgeoning Hip Hop culture there.

The writer claims that “many” of the five million people under the age of 30 question the system. It is not to suggest that Cubans are not critical. Perhaps the greatest criticism comes from Fidel, but criticism itself is not a bad thing. In an ever changing world there are always new questions and problems and healthy criticisms are part of deepening socialism, especially with the contradictions of a global capitalist market.

While many of the emerging leaders on the island were not alive during the revolutionary armed struggle, they came of age during one of the most difficult and challenging periods of the Cuban revolution. That period is known on the island as the Special Period, and the Cuban economy is just recovering from the effects.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba lost its largest trading partner. Eighty percent of Cuban trade was with the Soviet Union and the socialist camp in Eastern Europe.

While perhaps some can look at the counterrevolutionary reforms of Perestroika under Gorbachev as a warning sign, it was not expected that trade would stop immediately, but it did.

The U.S. and many in the imperialist West expected that the Cuban revolution would fail, but history and the resolve of the Cuban people were the best weapons to ensure that this did not happen.

The Cuban people experienced a significant reduction in caloric intake. Food had to be rationed. Temporary market reforms were put in place. Cuba promoted tourism on the island as its primary way of securing hard currency with which to trade on the international market.

Only a person who lived through it can truly attest to the difficulties, but regardless of the hardship, not one hospital or school closed. But neither did antagonism from the U.S. government cease.

It was during this period that Cubans began to really get exposed to Hip Hop culture. While rap music started being broadcast from Southern Florida in the late 1980s, it was in the 1990s—during the Special Period—when this culture and music began to take hold with youth on the island.

If one were to listen to this music from the late 1980s and early 1990s, known as the “Golden Age of Hip Hop,” what is clear is that the music was the pulse of oppressed Black and Latin@ youth, that the rhythms and the lyrics expressed the frustration and anger of youth living under the reactionary Reagan regime.

If the musical explosion that emanated from the South Bronx in the late 1970s was a manifestation of “a dream deferred,” then the evolution of the music to what it became in the late 1980s and early 1990s can best be described as the chain reaction in urban centers across the U.S.

Though Cuban youth may not have fully understood each and every word, the angry sentiment towards oppression is easily translated.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was felt hardest by underdeveloped nations. The Soviet Union, even with its many internal contradictions, was the buffer that held U.S. imperialism at bay and was supportive of liberation movements around the world.

The fact that Cuba was undergoing such a crisis as the Special Period, and that Hip Hop culture, rap music and its energy and break dancing, caught on during this time symbolizes the difficulty of the times and the draw of the culture.

Part 1 of a two part series.

The writer is a leader of FIST—Fight Imperialism, Stand Together—youth group and was a member of its delegation that traveled to Cuba in July.
Articles copyright 1995-2007 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

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Desenmascarando a los Promotores de la Guerra Racial en Cuba

Alberto N. Jones

Septiembre 18 del ano 2007

En el acto de inicio del curso escolar 1963-64 de la Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias de la Universidad de la Habana efectuado en la Quinta de los Molinos, al hacer uso de la palabra el Dr. Carlos Rafael Rodriguez expreso, que Cuba era un pais anemico en recursos naturales, por lo que el futuro de nuestro pais dependeria del masivo desarrollo de la materia gris de sus ciudadanos.

Aun cuando todos los presentes en ese acto solemne entendimos el mensaje, no fue hasta muchos anos despues, que captamos la magnitud, profundidad y la validez de ese planteamiento.

Al leer el articulo “El tema racial y la subversion anticubana” escrita por el Dr. Esteban Morales Dominguez, publicado en La Jiribilla, ano VI, Setiembre 8-14 del 2007, se capta en toda su extension, la vision e importancia de aquel discurso cuarenta y cuatro anos antes, sin el cual, el Dr. Morales no hubiera podido denunciar y desenmascarar a una jauria de negros, blancos y mestizos asalariados, residentes en los Estados Unidos, Cuba y el resto del mundo, que se han plegado y promueven la actividad anti-Cubana dirigida por el Departamento de Estado y la CIA, bajo la cuidadosa supervision del US-AID, fundaciones fantasmas, centros de estudios de Africa, America Latina y el Caribe, universidades y delincuentes de toda laya.

Podria haber sido en la decada de los 90, cuando los servicios de inteligencia de los Estados Unidos detectaron un cambio demografico importante en Cuba en favor de los negros, por lo que intensificaron sus esfuerzos por detectar, reclutar y entrenar a negros opuestos al gobierno con capacidades potenciales para ser formados como lideres anti-Castristas, dirigidos a este sector de la sociedad Cubana.

Miami a partir del ano 1959, se convirtio en el centro neuralgico de la contrarrevolucion Cubana. Esta ciudad es conocida ademas por su virulento racismo, segregacion y abuso, que ha diezmado a la comunidad Afro-Americana y ha explotado brutalmente a los emigrantes centro Americanos. Subitamente, a mediados de esa decada, se desata una intensa campana para situar a negros en cuantos cargos de direccion o de alta visibilidad que surgian en decenas de grupusculos contrarrevolucionarios y terroristas del sur de la Florida.

Este dramatico cambio de postura capto la atencion de muchos, ya que durante anos, el recien fallecido Agustin Tamargo y otros, acusaban abiertamente a los negros en Cuba, de ser la fuerza que sostenia al gobierno en el poder, por lo que ellos pidieron abiertamente en sus editoriales, Tres Dias de Licencia para ajustar cuentas con esos negros, cuando derrocaran al gobierno.

Convencidos de la imposibilidad de derrotar al gobierno de Cuba mediante invasiones mercenarias, la intervencion directa del gobierno de los Estados Unidos, el fracaso del diversionismo sistematico a traves de sus medios masivo comunicacion o su bloqueo fosilizado, encontraron un eslabon debil dentro de la sociedad Cubana, consistente en la marcada desigualdad social que afecta e intenta asolar a decenas de miles de negros en Cuba.

Uno de los primeros decretos de la Revolucion triunfante en el ano 1959, fue abolir todas las formas legales de discriminacion, abriendose las puertas de los centros asistenciales de salud, trabajo, recreacion y sobre todo educacion, para cientos de miles hombres y mujeres negros, lo que nos permitio al cabo de 40 anos, haber avanzado mas, que en los anteriores 450 anos de existencia del pais. Este extraordinario desarrollo social creo dentro de la comunidad negra, un codigo de lealtad silente hacia el gobierno, en el cual, cualquier acto de debilidad o intento de abandonar el pais, era visto como un acto de traicion.

Con el advenimiento del Periodo Especial, la dolarizacion de la economia, la formacion de empresas mixtas, corporaciones y el desarrollo del turismo, afloraron nuevamente manifestaciones de segregacion y racismo que se suponian erradicados del pais.

La falta casi absoluta de familiares y amigos negros en el exterior que pudieran ayudar con remesas y el empleo selectivo con la exclusion de negros en muchas areas con acceso a moneda convertible, contribuyo decisivamente a resquebrajar los valores morales dentro del seno de la familia negra, estimulando la emigracion, facilitando la aparicion del jineterismo, tolerancia de algunas manifestaciones de raterismo y otras expresiones de fragilidad social, sobre las que han tratado de capitalizar estos mercaderes del imperio, mediante el uso criminal de su negritud para sembrar la duda, estimular la frustracion, exacerbar los problemas existentes, a la vez que promueven en forma solapada, la opcion de rendirse, cambiar el curso y aceptar la transicion, como unica solucion viable de los problemas actuales.

Con ese proposito, estos lidercillos al servicio del Departamento de Estado, han formado en Cuba grupusculos identificados en forma pomposa, como sindicatos, bibliotecas o periodistas independientes, fanaticos en contra del aborto, mujeres vestidas de blanco, proselitismo religioso fundamentalistas, promocion de juegos electronicos deformantes y peliculas pornografica, tendientes todas a debilitar los principios morales y la integridad social.

Durante los ultimos 15 anos, hemos observado como este proyecto repulsivo se ha desarrollado con impunidad, simulando representar investigaciones academicas, derechos humanos, promocion de la libre empresa o actividad humanitaria. Organizan con regularidad ferias del libro, festival de cine, simposios, poseen emisoras de radio y TV a traves de los cuales, incitan y resaltan las deficiencias materiales existentes en Cuba e instigan la intolerancia y confrontacion racial, con miras a sentar las bases para re-editar la tragica masacre de 6000 negros en Cuba en el ano 1912.

Sin embargo, a poca distancia de sus guaridas, ya sea en Liberty City en Miami, Cabrina Greens en Chicago, Parramore en Orlando, Centro-Sur en Los Angeles, el Bronx en Nueva York, Newark, New Jersey, Camden, Filadelfia, pueblos del Caribe, Africa y barrios marginales de Europe, devorados por la masiva drogadiccion, hambruna, prostitucion y violencia, carecen de opinion o solucion.

Comprendiendo el peligro de sus acciones y los riesgos que se ciernen sobre nuestro pueblo, he participado en numerosos seminarios, conferencias y encuentros, publicado decenas de cartas al editor y en el internet, tomado parte en conversatorios en universidades, grupos pacifistas y congregaciones religiosas, para impugnar su vil conducta.

Los entes aludidos y desenmascarados por el Dr. Morales, no pueden alegar ignorancia ante la desgarradora historia del negro en este continente. Todos hacen gala de haber viajado y cursado altos estudios alrededor del mundo, lo que lamentablemente parece haber sido insuficiente para formar su conciencia de clase y amor patrio.

Cuba, lamentablemente ha cometido serios errores que han favorecido el trabajo de zapa, divisionista y anti-Cubano que estos asalariados, comprometidos con la destruccion de nuestro pais, promueven las 24 horas del dia.

Para corregir estos errores, Cuba no necesita nada similar a la Ley de Los Derechos Civiles de los Estados Unidos, que ha destruido los valores familiares de grandes sectores de la familia negra, acabado con la autoestima, pervertido a los jovenes, estimulado el sentido de dependencia y favorecido la delincuencia y la drogadiccion.

Los negros en Cuba, que han alcanzado un nivel educacional/tecnico/cientifico envidiable y superior a la mayoria de otros conglomerates de negros en el mundo, solo necesitan que se nivele el terreno de oportunidades y competencia. Los logros obtenidos y triunfos alcanzados hasta hoy, no debera ignorar el doble o triple esfuerzo que ello ha requerido, ya que el punto de partida en este maraton social, siempre estubo cientos de metros por detras de los demas competidores. Uniformar el punto de partida y mantener la meta en el mismo lugar para todos, pudiera ser quizas, el truinfo social mas grande de la Revolucion en el siglo XXI.

Algunos politologos y cientificos asumieron erroneamente, que los 50,000 estudiantes universitarios de Africa, Asia, America Latina y el Caribe que se han graduados en Cuba, o las decenas de millones de personas que han tenido acceso a consultorios medicos, cirugia, partos, ortopedia, rehabilitacion etc., o las decenas de miles personas que han sido provistos de agua potable en el tercer mundo, o la erradicacion de enfermedades endemicas, o las decenas de miles de personas salvados durante disastres naturales, o los miles de Cubanos que regaron su sangre o entregaron sus vidas luchando en contra de el Apartheid, por la independencia y soberania de numerosas naciones, constituiria la coraza moral capaz de enfrentar y demoler el infame barraje propagandistico anti-Cubano que han desplegado alrededor del mundo.

Error grave, al subestimar su habilidad, capacidad para presentar y diseminar sus mentiras en los lugares mas reconditos del mundo, que estan totalmente a merced de su programacion simplista, escapista, color rosa.

A pesar de esto, Cuba introdujo en la decado de los anos 60’s, radicales regulaciones sociales en favor de la mujer, la madre y esposa, situando a nuestro pais a la cabeza de todos los demas paises de nuestro hemisferio. Multiples reconocimientos otorgados por organismos internacionales confirman esta epopeya social, conocida en Cuba como una Revolucion dentro de la Revolucion.

Es por ello que, cualquiera que hayan podido ser los errores, fallas o limitaciones, Cuba no puede faltar o sucumbir!

Si Cuba dejara de existir, quien atenderia el dolor y las aspiraciones de 225 millones de hijos de Africa y los 600 millones de mestizos, viviendo en condiciones infrahumana, sin esperanzas en nuestro hemisferio.?

Que decir de la otra tercera parte de la humanidad, devorada por el hambre, enfermedades, desolacion, ignorancia y muerte, frente a poderosos gobiernos indolentes, responsables directo o indirecto de estos males, dispuestos siempre a derrochar sus recursos en medios de opresion y destruccion.

La extraordinaria contribucion que Cuba ha aportado al desarrollo social de la humanidad, no tiene antecedentes historicos, ni quien pudiera sustituirla. Si el enorme avance de la mujer en Cuba merecio ser descrita como Una Revolucion dentro de la Revolucion, como describira el mundo el proyecto que comience a enfrentar y revertir la desgracia que aflige a la tercera parte de la humanidad?

La magnitud y urgencia de esta calamidad, exije que cada uno de los paises y personas preocupadas con el futuro de la humanidad, aporten su contribucion moral y material, aunen fuerzas, coordinen acciones y sincronizen voluntades, a fin de detener esta injusta e innecesaria inmolacion social.

Por fortuna, Cuba puede contar hoy con el apoyo de otros paises, lo cual hace un tanto mas facil, agil y efectivo este masivo proceso de transformacion social. De igual manera, enormes recursos potenciales capaces de duplicar o triplicar el PNB de Cuba, han permanecido latente, sin explotar, que podrian complementar significativamente este plan, estrechando grandemente los vinculos fraternales entre las naciones del tercer mundo.

En manos de la direccion del gobierno de Cuba, su pueblo y cientos de organizaciones solidarias, humanitarias y pacifistas en todo el mundo esta la decision de aunar esfuerzos, unir los recursos materiales y coordinar las estrategias que propendan a un mayor y mejor aprovechamiento del enorme caudal de recursos tecnicos/profesionales existententes en el pais, lo que pudiera permitir la creacion de 500 pre-universitarios para estudiantes extranjeros, 50 escuelas de medicina/odontologia y otras 50 facultades de ciencia, humanidades, tecnologia, cultura y deportes, para asi, comenzar un proceso verdadero, real de erradicacion del lastre que arrastramos hace mas de 500 anos y el subproducto humano carente de principios que esto ha generado.

Descanse en paz Dr. Carlos Rafael Rodriguez. Su mensaje fue escuchado y comienza a cumplirse!

Alberto Jones, DVM, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cuban American Alliance Education Fund, a nonprofit [501(c)(3)] national network of Cuban Americans that educates the public at large on issues related to hardships resulting from current United States-Cuba relations. The Alliance is a vehicle for the development of mutually beneficial engagements which promote understanding and human compassion.

Florida Democrats might sue own party over seating of delegates

South Florida Sun Sentinel

State leaders upset delegates may be barred

BY JOE KOLLIN South Florida Sun-Sentinel
September 24, 2007

PEMBROKE PINES - Florida Democratic party leaders on Sunday dared their national party to disenfranchise millions of voters next summer when their delegates meet in Denver to nominate their candidate for president.

Their dare, they added, might be bolstered by a lawsuit contending that "four rogue states" are conspiring to violate the civil rights of minorities in Florida by getting the Democratic National Committee to ignore the results of Florida's Jan. 29 party primary.

"For God's sake, this is the state where the election was stolen from in 2000," state party Vice Chairman Luis Garcia said at a news conference held in Broward because it is the most heavily Democratic county in the state.

At stake are the 210 delegates that Florida Democrats plan to send to the Democratic National Convention in Colorado. The national party in August threatened not to seat those delegates unless Florida delays its primary at least a week so New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina can pick their nominees for president.

"Four rogue states took action against the state of Florida," said Sen. Steve Geller of Cooper City, the Senate's Democratic leader.

Florida Democrats said it wasn't their fault the date was set for Jan. 29; the Republican-controlled Legislature did it. But Democratic leaders said they ruled out other options, such as holding a Democratic-only primary, a caucus or a mail-in vote.

"We looked at other alternatives and some looked serious and some not so serious, but at the end of the day we came down to the primary on Jan. 29 as the only way to have a fair and independent election," said party Chairwoman Karen Thurman.

The problem, she said, is that municipalities throughout Florida moved their elections to Jan. 29 and the state set the same date for Floridians to vote on a constitutional amendment for a "super" homestead exemption. This was done because presidential primaries attract people to the polls and without Democratic candidates on the ballot, Democratic voters might not show up to vote on the other issues.

"So there are a lot of reasons we stand together today to say to voters of the state to vote on Jan. 29 and to be assured their vote will count," she said.

Thurman said the national party isn't likely to carry out its threat to ignore the delegates selected by Florida Democrats.

"I believe they have to seat Florida's delegates," she said. "Florida is part of the United States."

Added Geller: "There is no question that in Denver our delegates will be seated, no question about it."

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, agreed but wouldn't say why she is so sure the national party will be forced to let Florida's Democratic votes count.

Geller said it might take a lawsuit to force the party to seat Florida delegates. He predicted one will be filed contending that the national party, by ordering Florida to move the date, is violating the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965

The suit will be brought, he said, by a minority resident of Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough or Monroe County and contend that the four early voting states are "conspiring amongst each other to intimidate the presidential candidates, telling them that if they come down to Florida, they will be blackballed in the state."

According to Geller, the civil rights violation is that moving the primary date would force minority voters in the five counties to pay to see presidential candidates in person, something they could do for free if the candidates stumped in Florida for the scheduled Jan. 29 primary.

Because candidates would fear being blackballed, he said, their only appearances in Florida would be at fund-raisers open to those who pay. Without the fear of being blackballed, they would come to Florida and make traditional, free campaign appearances.

The suit would have to come from one of the five counties because they are being monitored by the U.S. Department of Justice for violations of minority voting rights.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'M HERE!

Fidel Castro Receives Angolan President


Cuba’s daily newspaper Juventud Rebelde has reported that President Fidel Castro received on Saturday the President of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos.

The meeting lasted one hour and 45 minutes. The Angolan head of state emphasized the importance of Cuba’s internationalist presence in Africa and the joint fight to preserve Angola’s independence.

Make Them Accountable

PROGENY OF GEPETTO

By David Podvin

In 1962, the Joint Chiefs Of Staff unanimously recommended that President Kennedy bomb a major American city to frame Fidel Castro and provide a pretext for conquering Cuba. It is one of history’s most amazing coincidences that four decades later New York City was bombed and Saddam Hussein was framed and Iraq was conquered… imagine the odds against the original military plan recurring with such precision. In any event, John Kennedy was a liberal Democratic president rather than a conservative professional soldier so he opted against bombing the American people. Joint Chiefs Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer then illegally attempted to destroy all evidence of the proposal so that he could deny it had ever been made, but the general was as inept as he was deceitful and some documentation survived.

During the Vietnam War, the American military again engaged in grotesque deceit. Commanding General William Westmoreland lied to Congress about the war’s progress, rhetorically transforming defeats into victories. The Pentagon routinely issued phony statistics and crafted false analyses that were designed to hoodwink the public. Following the needless deaths of fifty-eight thousand American soldiers and more than a million Vietnamese civilians the conflict finally ended, but the dishonesty of the armed forces did not. America’s military leaders lied about how many defenseless people were slaughtered during the Panama invasion. They even lied to their own afflicted soldiers about Gulf War Syndrome.

Despite conclusive historical evidence that the military has not earned a presumption of candor, liberals are being excoriated for doubting the congressional testimony of General David Petraeus. From the Republican perspective it does not matter that Petraeus is provably talking nonsense about American progress in Iraq – what matters is that liberals have no right to notice Petraeus is talking nonsense, and anyone who does notice is marginalized as being unpatriotic. Talk radio and Fox News and the rest of the Falangist commentariat feign outrage that a decorated military man is having his integrity questioned. Conservatives passionately argue that as a wounded war hero Petraeus is above reproach, but at the 2004 GOP convention these shameless hypocrites impugned wounded war hero John Kerry’s integrity by wearing Purple Heart-shaped band aids.

The contention that American military officers are somehow morally superior is absurd. General Nathan Bedford Forrest founded the Ku Klux Klan. During the Great Depression, General Douglas MacArthur ordered a homicidal attack against starving American World War I veterans who were begging for pensions. At the conclusion of World War II, General George Patton advocated annihilating the Soviet Union. General Curtis LeMay proposed unloading our nuclear arsenal upon North Vietnamese women and children. And then there was General Benedict Arnold.

These military leaders shared a common trait, but the trait was not integrity. They were all right wing nuts. According to a recent survey, ninety-seven percent of the military brass are registered Republicans, and like Lemnitzer many belong to the Doctor Strangelove wing of the party. The last two Democratic presidents experienced insubordination from the Pentagon because the military frequently prioritizes partisanship over patriotism.

There is also is the incomparable corruption of America’s self-styled super patriots. Generals and admirals routinely lobby on behalf of multi-billion dollar weapons systems, then leave the military and receive lucrative kickbacks from the manufacturers of those systems. In banana republics this illicit practice is known as “screwing the peasants”, but in the United States the peasants are discouraged from mentioning the phenomenon lest they be maligned as subversive.

In Animal Farm, George Orwell lampooned the mirage of Western egalitarianism by noting allegorically that while all animals are equal some are more equal than others. Orwell feared and despised the animals who were more equal, those beings to whom the rules do not apply. Dwight Eisenhower later dubbed these beings the “military/industrial complex”. Eisenhower feared and despised them, too. So did Abraham Lincoln, who spoke bitterly of dishonest generals and war profiteers.

Today, the power of the military/industrial complex stands at its zenith. Corporate America subsidizes both major political parties. Its mainstream media controls what most Americans learn, and therefore controls what most Americans think. Like all generals Petraeus is a functionary of the financial elite, so his critics are shouted down by the politicians and commentators who are also functionaries of the financial elite. American freedom of speech exists only as long as it does not threaten the ruling class, and the ruling class now possesses sixteen trillion dollars worth of Iraqi oil that it prefers not to relinquish. As a result, it is deemed traitorous to challenge the credibility of a transparently deceitful general who insists that national security dictates staying the corporate course.

Given the lay of the political landscape it would be vocational suicide if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama condemned soldierly mendacity. However, I am not an upwardly mobile Democratic politician and most likely neither are you, so let’s indulge in some forbidden truth.

General Petraeus committed perjury when he said that the war is going well. While he presented a dazzling array of meaningless statistics painstakingly compiled to distort reality, the relevant number remained unspoken. By the military’s own estimate, there are more terrorists in Iraq today than there were a year ago or two years ago or three years ago or before we invaded. That is a trend line slanting ominously towards defeat. There were fewer Nazis in 1945 than in 1941 because we were winning. There are more al-Qaeda now than in the past because we are losing. The Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu formalized the concept twenty-five hundred years ago: when the enemy is increasing in size, things are going badly. The teachings of Sun Tzu are West Point curriculum, so Petraeus knew that he was deceiving Congress with his upbeat testimony.

The general also lied when he said, “We have never given weapons to tribals. What we have done is applaud when they ask if they can point their guns at al-Qaeda.” This whopper represents the brazen deceit of someone who knows that being caught lying incurs no consequences. Petraeus had already acknowledged in June that he was arming Sunnis to combat al-Qaeda. Yet when testifying before Congress the general lied with supreme confidence, knowing that a huge Orwellian choir of sheep was massed to drown out anyone who challenged his deceptions.

Totalitarians consider the truth to be seditious. The truth is that the United States military lies frequently, and patriotism dictates acknowledging that truth. The alternative is to follow blindly as the progeny of Gepetto prosecute unnecessary corporate wars that damage our nation. Combating military lies with objective facts guarantees being accused of treason, but failure to do so guarantees being complicit with treason.