Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cuba digs out after Gustav's winds hit 212 mph

MSNBC

Homes destroyed and flooded, but no deaths; hurricane set wind record

MSNBC News Services
updated 2 hours, 28 minutes ago (6:35 p.m)

HAVANA - Cubans returned from shelters to find flooded homes and washed-out roads Sunday, but no deaths were reported after a monstrous Hurricane Gustav roared across the island and into the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico.

Gustav hit the Isla de la Juventud south of the Cuban mainland with screaming 140 mph winds that toppled telephone poles and fruit trees, shattered windows and leveled some homes.

Authorities evacuated 250,000 residents nationwide. In Pinar del Rio, the western tobacco-producing region, highways were blocked by fallen trees and downed power lines, and all public transportation ground to a halt.
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Officials measured gusts of 212 mph in the western town of Paso Real del San Diego — a new national record for maximum wind speed in a country often hit by major hurricanes, said Miguel Angel Hernandez of the Cuban Institute of Meteorology.

Like a bomb's 'blast wave'

A Cuban television reporter on the Isla de la Juventud said the storm had felt like "the blast wave from a bomb."

"Buildings without windows, without doors," he said. "Few trees remain standing."

Cuban Civil defense chief Ana Isa Delgado said there were "many people injured" on the Isla de la Juventud, an island of 87,000 people whose name means Isle of Youth. Nearly all of its roads were washed out, and some regions were heavily flooded.

"It's been very difficult here," she said on state television.

Gustav earlier killed 94 people by triggering floods and landslides in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Jamaica on Sunday raised Gustav’s death toll there to 10 from seven, and Haiti upped its count from 66 to 76.

But in Cuba, which has a strong reputation for evacuating ahead of hurricanes, none of the reported injuries were life-threatening.

Knee-deep water in places

In the Cuban fishing town of Batabano, 31 miles south of Havana, evacuees with children and dogs tow returned to their pastel-colored, wooden homes to find many surrounded by knee-deep water.

------

JG: Cubans should be VERY PROUD of the excellent performance of their government in protecting the lives of its citizens. Not a single death.

Voters question Palin qualifications

In a Gallup poll taken Friday, 39 percent said she is ready to serve as president if needed, 33 percent said she isn’t and 29 percent have no opinion.

That’s the lowest rating any running mate has had since then-Indiana Sen. Dan Quayle was selected in 1988 to join George H.W. Bush’s team.

JG: She is totally unqualified to step into the shoes of commander in chief. She has ZERO foreign policy experience.

Elected Honduran president denied visa to Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles

Cuba’s Periodico 26 reports that eight days after he assumed the presidency of Honduras in January 2006, the United States ambassador, Charles Ford, contacted President Jose Manuel Zelaya and asked for a visa for Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

The President of Honduras rejected the request, saying at the time that Posada Carriles was known worldwide due to his terrorist activities.

The criminal continues to receive, in Miami, the protection and refuge given to him by the government of the United States. A farce to try him for immigration violations is being put on by George W. Bush and his corrupt regime.

Cuba: No report of deaths as Gustav blasts through

AFP reported that “Hurricane Gustav swept into the Gulf of Mexico late Saturday after ravaging western Cuba, where it tore off roofs, flattened buildings and plunged communities into darkness.”

Cuban national television reported that the scene in Isle of Youth was one of devastation after the monster storm earlier ground its way across the low-lying island of fishing villages, factories and citrus farms.

Homes were under water, warehouses toppled, and roads washed away on the Isla of Youth, state television said, and though there were some injuries there were no immediate reports of deaths.

Gustav then slammed into mainland western Cuba near the town of Carraguao, 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Havana, and crossed towards the Gulf of Mexico, the Cuban weather service said.

Havana's more than two-million residents remained on alert and took precautions for heavy winds and rainfall.

Deadly Gustav Assaults Cuba

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cuba issues communique # 7. Pinar del Rio expects hit by Gustav


Cuba has issued special meteorological communique #7 regarding Hurricane Gustav.

As of 9:00 p.m. last night a phase of hurricane alarm exists for the western province of Pinar del Rio and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud.

The provinces of Havana, City of Havana and Matanzas remain under a hurricane alert.

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. According to the latest advisory #25A from the National Hurricane Center, Gustav has entered Pinar del Rio Province and is currently near Los Palacios and is about 65 miles west-southwest of Havana. It appears at this point that it may not hit the Cuban capital directly.

2:00 p.m. Gustav is now Category 4

National Hurricane Center: Public Advisory #24

New Orleans is being evacuated.

NBC News

HAVANA, Cuba - Gustav has grown to a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph winds, U.S. forecasters said Saturday, as the storm pummeled a Cuban province, threatened Havana and led to the evacuations of more than 240,000 Cubans.

Gustav swells to dangerous Cat 3 storm off Cuba


This image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Gustav taken at 6:55 a.m. EDT Saturday Aug. 30, 2008. Gustav swelled to a fearsome Category 3 hurricane early Saturday with winds of 115 mph as it approached western Cuba on a track to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast three years after Hurricane Katrina. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami called the storm "dangerous" and said it had reached the status of a major hurricane, the second one of this Atlantic season after Bertha in July. 5 a.m. EDT Saturday, Gustav's eye had left the Caymans behind and was about 255 miles east-southeast of the western tip of Cuba. It was moving northwest near 12 mph. (AP Photo/NOAA)

August 30, 2008, 11:30 a.m. EDT

August 30, 2008, 2:52 p.m. At 2 p.m. today The National Hurricane Center updated Gustav to a Category 4.

By WILL WEISSERT –

HAVANA (AP) — Gustav swelled to an increasingly fearsome Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph as it shrieked toward the heartland of Cuba's cigar industry Saturday on a track to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, three years after Hurricane Katrina.

The storm already has killed 78 people in the Caribbean and the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said it could become even stronger in the Gulf of Mexico before hitting the Katrina-battered U.S. coast.

Cuban state television announced that all buses and trains to and from Havana were suspended, as was ferry and air service to the Isla de Juventud, the outlying Cuban island-province next in Gustav's path.

Calls to the island were met with a recorded message saying lines were jammed due to excessive demand.

Stiff winds whipped intermittent rains across Havana, where police officers in blue and orange rain coats supervised workers removing stones, tree branches and other debris from the storied beachfront Malecon, as angry waves crashed against the sea wall below.

Yellow school buses lined up outside low-lying neighborhoods, ready to evacuate thousands of residents to shelters on higher ground.

Authorities announced they were prepared to "protect" the 20,000 tourists in Matanzas province, which includes the famous beach resort of Varadero.

Gustav rolled over the Cayman Islands Friday with fierce winds that tore down trees and power lines while destroying docks and tossing boats ashore on Little Cayman Island.

But there was little major damage and no deaths were reported. More than 1,100 people spent the night in government shelters.

Two people were knocked down by huge waves as they tried to take pictures of the storm on Little Cayman, but there were no other immediate reports of injuries, said Hemant Balgobin, disaster manager for the Red Cross in the British territory.

"The wind was a little nerve-wracking, the howling. But it turned out OK," said Meagan Call, who rode out the hurricane in her hotel room. She had come to George Town from the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica to assist U.S. citizens.

By early Saturday, Gustav had left the Caymans behind and was about 185 miles east of the western tip of Cuba and just 55 miles east-southeast of the Isla de Juventud. It was expected to be moving northwest near 14 mph.

Hurricane force winds extended out 60 miles in some places.

Haiti's Interior Ministry on Saturday raised the hurricane death toll there to 66 from 59. Gustav also killed eight people in the Dominican Republic and four in Jamaica.

Gustav could strike the U.S. Gulf coast anywhere from the Florida Panhandle to Texas, but forecasters said there was an increasing chance that New Orleans will get slammed by at least tropical-storm-force winds.

Residents began pouring out of the city along the highways and the government announced plans for broader evacuations. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it expects a "huge number" of Gulf Coast residents will be told to leave the region this weekend.

As much as 80 percent of the Gulf of Mexico's oil and gas production could be shut down as a precaution if Gustav enters as a major storm, weather research firm Planalytics predicted. Oil companies have already evacuated hundreds of workers from offshore platforms.

Retail gas prices rose Friday for the first time in 43 days as analysts warned that a direct hit on Gulf energy infrastructure could send pump prices hurtling toward $5 a gallon. Crude oil prices ended slightly lower in a volatile session as some traders feared supply disruptions and others bet the U.S. government will release supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Hanna was projected to curl westward into the Bahamas by early next week — and could eventually threaten Cuba. It had sustained winds near 50 mph early Saturday.

President Bush declared an emergency in Louisiana, a move that allows the federal government to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance in storm-affected areas.

What American Capitalism is giving us today

The downward spiral in which America finds itself today is accelerating: high inflation, high food prices, financial speculation in Wall Street, and huge numbers of Americans who are dying because their government could care less whether they live or die or whether they have affordable medical insurance.

Capitalism is responsible for all of this. The dicta of the plutocracy which rules us is “You are on you own, buddy,” “Everyone for himself” and “Screw or be screwed.”

They call this the American Dream. What a bunch of phonies they are!

Let’s see the picture presented by a respected magazine, The Economist of London, which has analyzed the current situation that the USA is in today:

“If Americans produced more of the oil and other commodities they consume, the benefits of higher prices would flow to American firms who could thus pay higher wages. But the benefits instead flow primarily to producers overseas. High inflation and low wage growth, painful as they are, are necessary for Americans to adjust to the fact that they are facing a “terms of trade” shock: relative to their trading partners, their standard of living must go down. A simple illustration of this is that the government’s price index of gross domestic product – what Americans produce – rose 2% in the year through the second quarter, a slowing from a year earlier. Prices of gross domestic purchases – what Americans buy – rose 3.4%, an acceleration.”

If people buy more than they produce they are ensuring a recipe for a future economic disaster on a national scale. The current credit crisis will accelerate in the coming months. We have seen the defaults in mortgage credit. Next we will be facing a huge collapse in credit card debt.

Our currency has been debased. National bankruptcy is just around the corner. It is a matter of time.

All of this was brought to you by the Capitalists who run the USA.

Another GOP mediocrity

Sarah Palin has been chosen to be McSame’s running mate.

She reminds me of other GOP mediocrities. Dan Quayle, who tried to equate himself to JFK, Michael Brown who did a heck of a job with Katrina, and Harriet Myers, a secretary nominated by ‘W’ to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Reports in the Internet say that she is being investigated for corruption.

She is cute. Is that a qualification for VP?

Newsweek: Why McCain's Veep Choice is Likely to Flop

Cuban Punk Scum fined $30

The right wing gusanos in Miami were hoping to create a new hero who they could use for their daily blah, blah, blah. Pero se cogieron el culo con la puerta.

A social misfit who lives in Cuba and who supposedly leads a band named “Pornography for Richard” was fined $30 for playing his “music” too loud.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A very poor choice

Sarah Palin, McCain’s choice for VP is a very poor pick. She is unknown, has practically zero experience and is totally unqualified to step into the shoes of being commander in chief.

She is a female Dan Quayle. Were McCain to beat Obama and die in office – remember he is 72 – Palin is totally unqualified to sit in the Oval Office.

Did he loose the election today? He showed very poor judgment.

Cuba: State of Alert

Cuba’s civil defense has placed the country in a state of alert as hurricane Gustav, a potentially dangerous category three, heads for western Cuba and could potentially threaten the capital.

But Cuba knows how to deal with hurricanes. It moves very quickly to protect its citizens.

News agencies have reported that Cuba's civil defense forces on Friday prepared evacuations, prothttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.bold.gifected buildings and mobilized medical and food teams for temporary shelters.

Cuban authorities said more than 60,000 people had been evacuated from at risk areas.

Granma International: Increased threat to Cuba

Barack Obama's Nomination Acceptance Speech

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No end to GOP whining! They will have reason to cry in November 4!

Tonight is a historical night. The 45th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. It is the night when one of the proudest sons of this nation, U.S. Senator Barack Obama, gives his acceptance speech at the National Convention of the Democratic Party in Denver, Colorado.

What is the response of the party which is no longer grand, but is certainly old?

Whine! Whine! Whine!

Since they do not have any constructive answers to the great problems facing the nation, they cry and whine. Tonight’s whine of the day it is the background columns at Invesco Field.

But the American voter, who is tired of the corruption in Washington, D.C., the obscene profits to Bush’s oil buddies, the wrecked economy of a once proud nation, are going to give the GOP real reason to whine in November 4, 2008, when they elect Barack Obama to the White House.

Time to let the Sunshine in, and time to dream again!

Club 100/30

Major League baseball season ends in September 28. At this point, it appears that the elite club of players with 100 or more RBI’s and 30 or more home runs may be small this year.

Only Ryan Howard (112/36) and Carlos Quentin (100/36) have entered the club as of today.

In 2007 there were 15 members and 2006 had 26.

Tropical storm Gustav could hit Jamaica and Louisiana


If this storm enters the gulf through the straits between Mexico and Cuba it would tend to intensify over the very warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and pose a huge threat to Louisiana. It appears right now that Cuba will get a lot of rain but avoid major damages. The goverment in the island knows how to protect its citizens

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What the GOP ‘war-is-a-good-business’ mongers don't want you to know

[Iran] "They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us,” U.S. Senator Barack Obama said in arguing for talks with Iran. “You know, Iran, they spend one-100th of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn’t stand a chance.”

The GOP, under John McSame, wants to have a little new war with Iran. He wants to do exactly the same thing that his twin brother did in Iraq. For the GOP war is a good business to invest in.

GOP fantasy dreams

The GOP continues to live in a dream world and fantasy land when it comes to Cuba. The part in their 2008 Platform where they cite Cuba is nothing but a rehash of the same old shit of the past 50 years:

“We call on the nation of Latin America and the Caribbean to join us in laying the groundwork for a democratic Cuba. Looking for the inevitable day of liberation, we support restrictions on trade with, and travel to, Cuba as a measure of solidarity with the political prisoners and all the oppressed Cuban people. We call for a dedicated platform for the transmissions of Radio and Television Marti into Cuba and, to prepare for the day when Cuba is free, we support the work of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. We affirm the principles of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1996, recognizing the rights of Cubans fleeing Communist tyranny, and support efforts to admit more of them trough a safe, legal, orderly process."

1) Not a single nation of Latin America and the Caribbean follows or respects Uncle Sam’s dreams about Cuba.
2) Cuban’s are not interested in USA’s money democracy. It is the brand practiced by Fulgencio Batista and it was rejected by the islanders.
3) The day of liberation in Cuba was January 1st. 1959. Unless the Yankee imperialists are willing to send their Marines to “liberate” Cuba in the same way they tried to liberate South Vietnam and Iraq , that liberation date will stay in the history books.
4) Restrictions on trade with Cuba, the failed embargo/blockade, were condemned by a 184-4 vote at the United Nations last year.
5) More than two million people visited Cuba last year.
6) Radio and Television Marti are: a) an insult to the memory of Cuba’s Apostle of Independence (“I have lived inside the monster and I know its entrails.”) b) A Department of Welfare, where the corrupt Miami gusanos get their monthly checks.
7) The Commission for a Free Cuba is the pet project of the apátridas Mel Martinez and Carlos Gutierrez.
8) The Cuban Adjustment Act is based on American racism. It sends back black Haitians. It admits white Cuban’s, no questions asked.

EXCELLENT!

HILLARY CLINTON: Speech to Denver Convention

Honduran President Greets Fidel and Raul Castro and Cuban People


HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 26 (ACN) Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales sent a message of greetings to the Cuban leader Fidel Castro, head of state Raul Castro and to the Cuban people in appreciation of the island's support for his country

After signing the admission documents that make Honduras a member of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), President Zelaya spoke to thousands of people who gathered in front of the Government Building in Tegucigalpa in support of their government's decision, reported Granma newspaper.

Zelaya Rosales noted that Honduras is an independent and sovereign nation that doesn't have to ask for permission from any country to join ALBA. He sent warm greetings to the leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, to President Raul Castro and to the Cuban people for their constant support.

Present at the signing ceremony was a Cuban delegation headed by Vice President Carlos Lage Davila, who also took the floor during the meeting and highlighted that ALBA has a solidarity and encouraging character.

The Cuban Vice President also met with Bolivian President Evo Morales and, before returning to the island, he met with a group of Cubans who are providing services in cooperation with Honduras, at the Cuban embassy.

Reuters: Left behind by the U.S., Honduras turns to Chavez

Matha Beatriz Roque represents those who want to destroy Cuba

I do not know where Martha Beatriz Roque gets the idea that she represents someone inside Cuba. She is a faithful pawn of the United States Interest Section in Havana. She represents a very tiny minority that does not have any influence or support inside the island. She dutifully receives the payments that Uncle Sam’s mules bring from the corrupt Batista crowd in Miami or the State Department in Washington, D.C.

Every country in the word has in their judicial system laws to prevent and put a stop to subversion directed by an extraneous and foreign power. Martha belongs behind bars.

She does not represent anyone inside Cuba other than herself and her dreams of grandeur. She works for those who would like to destroy Cuba, the Yankee imperialists. She represents those who dream every day of going back to the era when U.S. puppets ruled the island. You will fail Martha. The Cuban people will see to that.

You are a left zero Martha and the Cuban people know very well who you are working for and repudiate and reject you and those who pay your wages of treasonous sin.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

McCain's Mansions

Michelle Obama hit a grand slam last night

It was truly an outstanding speech. In my opinion, the best part was this: "And one day, they [Malia and Sasha] — and your sons and daughters — will tell their own children about what we did together in this election. They’ll tell them how this time, we listened to our hopes instead of our fears. How this time, we decided to stop doubting and to start dreaming.”

The GOP only offers 'fear and smear' and in many instances unadulterated racism. They are the party of the the filthy rich, which caters only to the filthy rich. The labor of working class Americans is what makes this country great. Not the bonds coupon clippers and the greed mongers and speculators in Wall Street.

This is a critical moment. Americans know how many houses they own: one. It is their home, not a speculative investment vehicle.

Let us invest in hope and not in fear. Let us invest in helping our families and our neighbors, and not in trying to defraud people with fraudulent "investment" schemes.

Don't invest in the GOP mud throwers.

Cuba welcomes Olympic sportsmen as heroes


Raul greets Cuban athletes who returned from the
Beijing Olympics

China View

2008-08-26 08:58:52

HAVANA, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Cuban sportsmen who competed at the Beijing Olympics were welcomed on Monday as heroes at their hometowns.

National TV broadcasted images of the welcoming to the judoka Yorandis Arencibia and long jumper Ibrahim Camejo, who both won bronze medals, in the municipalities of Amancio (east, province of Holguin) and in the island of Juventd, respectively.

Both athletes thanked the "warming" popular homage and they gave details about how difficult were the competitions in Beijing.

Former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro, in an article published on Monday by local press, said that the Cuban athletes who competed in Beijing 2008 have a great merit as representatives of the non-professional sport.

"Let's welcome out Olympic sportsmen in all the country. Let's hail their dignity and their merit. Let's do for them all what we can," Castro said and he added "For the honor, Gold Medal!"

During the Olympic Games of Beijing 2008, Cuba competed with 165 athletes in 16 sports; and it won 24 medals, among them two were gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze; Cuba finished at the 28th place of the general table.

Granma: Recibió Raúl a último grupo de deportistas olímpicos

Honduras joins ALBA

Honduras has joined the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, the initiative to integrate all the Latin American nations, which was launched a few years ago by the President of the Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

In the ceremony which took place yesterday in Tegucigalpa to mark the occasion, the President of Honduras, José Manuel Zelaya, declared that “We are armed with the ideas of liberty.”

The current members of Alba, in addition to Honduras, are: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Dominica.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fidel Castro's defense of taekwondo Cuban athlete is wrong

Fidel Castro published today in Granma one of his reflections. He does a great disservice to the Cuban nation by trying to defend and/or excuse the uncivilized and obnoxious behavior of the Cuban taekwondo athlete who high-kicked a referee in the head in the Beijing Olympics.

There is nothing honorable about that action. It is shameful and worthy of condemnation.

Sports contests are not political jousts. Athletes who misbehave must be promptly punished and repudiated. The lifetime banishment of the athlete is 100% correct.

Claudius and Sunny: New Budgies On The Block



Throwing Mud!

What is the secret weapon of the GOP in trying to defeat U.S. Senator Barack Obama? Throwing mud at him! This is a presidential election where the contrast and the choices are apparent to all.

Do American’s want a wealthy multimillionaire who owns seven homes to represent them and who will continue the disastrous economic policies of George W. Bush and his band of neocons? Or do they want a better future?

Do they want an arrogant war monger or do they want a man who will lift their spirits?

Do they want hope or do they want despair? Do they want change or do they want more of the same?

Do they want an America who will be respected and admired once again throughout the world or do they want more shame piled upon their country? Do they want more adventurism abroad or do they want to restore the American dream at home?

The choice is very clear!

Rising Hispanic vote shifts focus off Cuba


At Juan Pablo Duarte Park, Richard Charman, right, talks to fellow Dominicans about US Presidential candidate Barack Obama and the need for representation for residents of Allapattah. Left to right are Pedro Mojica, Justo Diaz, Juan Vidal, Andres Jeminez, Carlos Pagan. AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD

The Miami Herald

The potential political might of Florida's non-Cuban Hispanics is growing, and many of those communities are pushing for more influence.

Posted on Sun, Aug. 24, 2008

BY CASEY WOODS
cwoods@MiamiHerald.com

Carlos Pereira grinned widely as he stood in the outgoing tide of newly sworn-in citizens leaving a Miami naturalization ceremony. So far, he had registered 328 people, mostly from Latin American countries. Only 62 of them were from Cuba.

''This year is exceptional because there is so much diversity,'' said Pereira, a native of Honduras who heads the Miami-based Center for Immigrant Orientation. ``This change is exciting because it will bring a diversity to political power.''

The trend that Pereira sees in the voter registration trenches mirrors the one pollsters are seeing statewide: There is a new Hispanic majority in Florida, and it is not Cuban.

The trend that Pereira sees in the voter registration trenches mirrors the one pollsters are seeing statewide: There is a new Hispanic majority in Florida, and it is not Cuban.

According to numbers from the Democratic polling firm Bendixen and Associates, 44 percent of the state's 1.1 million Hispanic voters hail from the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and other Latin American countries -- slightly more than the Cubans, at 40 percent. In 2000, non-Cuban voters represented 19 percent of the Hispanic vote, Bendixen polling shows.

Hispanic Democrats also now outnumber Hispanic Republicans in Florida, making what had long been a relatively predictable voter population for politicians much more fluid.

''In order to survive here, candidates are going to have to keep the Cuban line, but also have to increasingly appeal to the non-Cuban Hispanics by catering to their issues,'' said Florida International University pollster Dario Moreno.

The newcomers, many of them just entering the U.S. political fray, are poised to exert unprecedented influence in this election year as the unquestioned dominance of the traditionally Republican Cuban voting block begins to wane.

''Over the last 10 years, there have been significant voter registration efforts targeting these groups, and we're seeing dividends of that at the ballot box,'' said Fernand Amandi of Bendixen & Associates, which recently signed on to do polling work for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. ``They are going to continue to assert themselves politically and to influence elections on local, state and national level for years to come.''

Despite their growing might in numbers, these other Hispanic voting communities are a political unknown. Although many are registering as Democrats, there are certain issues related to their homelands that may lead them to vote differently than their new voter registration cards suggest.

ISSUE OF FREE TRADE

One such issue is the free-trade agreement with Colombia -- supported by congressional Republicans and stalled by Democrats -- which is pushing many Colombian-American Democrats to question their party affiliation.

The non-Cuban Hispanic voters are in varying stages of local political organization. Many of them -- including Colombians, Venezuelans and Dominicans -- have organizations agitating for more political power.

The Dominican community has a sophisticated network of political operators strategically placed across the state, with phone banks that marshal 30 volunteers to call likely voters. They organize political caravans that wind through South Florida neighborhoods.

The problem, according to many local Dominican activists: Their energy is focused on the wrong elections.

Those highly developed political machines are dedicated to races on their island patria, not here in the United States. A group is setting out to change that with the creation of a new political organization called the U.S. Dominican Political Action Committee, or USDOPAC.

''If it's always the same people in power over and over, democracy dies,'' said Rosa Kasse, 59, president of the Hispanic Coalition and executive director of the political action committee. ``We believe fresh minds and fresh spirit will inject new power into the system.''

The political action committee's leadership includes a mix of Democrats like Kasse and Republicans. The organizers also invited local leaders of the Dominican political parties to be on the board to avoid a perceived alliance with any of them.

So far, they have backed a Dominican candidate's unsuccessful run for Miramar City Council and are organizing meetings with candidates.

The community registers Democrat by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, according to voter registration numbers the PAC requested from the Miami-Dade County Board of Elections from 2006, the most recent numbers available. Although many supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries, there is widespread support for Obama.

INSPIRED BY OBAMA

Richard Charman, a Dominican who became a U.S. citizen in 1985, had never been motivated to register to vote -- until now.

''I was inspired by Obama's personal story, his dedication and his interest in serving the communities of this nation,'' said Charman, 52.

After Charman registered on May 13, he created an online neighborhood group he calls Iam4OBAMA -- Neighbors of Allapattah to organize voters in his area. He has put his computer-consulting business on hold while he dedicates himself solely to Obama's campaign for president.

''I have changed my priorities because Obama is a one-time phenomenon, and that phenomenon is happening now,'' he said.

The Venhamer Clinic, in political terms, has led a lonely existence until recently. In its first five years of serving low-income residents, many of them Venezuelan, it received a visit from only one politician: a candidate for Doral mayor. After he was elected, he never returned.

In recent months, however, the clinic has become increasingly popular. Both U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a Republican, and his Democratic opponent, former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez, visited in June. Joe Garcia, the former Miami-Dade Democratic Party chairman who is running against U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, came by last month.

''The politicians are finding out now that we are a good group of voters, and they need us,'' said Ernesto Ackerman, one of the clinic's board members.

Ackerman heads another organization, the nonpartisan Independent Venezuelan American Citizens, or IVAC, that has organized a series of meetings between the congressional candidates and Venezuelan-American voters.

CRUCIAL VOTES

Their sudden popularity is a sign that in these congressional races, the non-Cuban Hispanic vote is crucial.

''The emergence of this vote has provided the opportunity for the Republican incumbents to be challenged,'' Amandi said.

The Venezuelan community has expanded rapidly in the past eight years, as successive waves of immigrants have fled the leftist policies of President Hugo Chávez. Their cause has been adopted by many Cubans, who see a shared enemy in Chávez, an ally and financial supporter of Cuba's Castro regime. Many Venezuelans have returned the affinity in local politics, leaning toward the Republican Party.

In the presidential election, even many Venezuelan Democrats are struggling with the Obama's candidacy. He has angered many Venezuelans by saying he would meet with hostile leaders, like Chávez.

Venezuelans also find his mantra of progressive change echoes messages that an idealistic Chávez used to get elected a decade ago.

'Chávez appeared with that one word `change,' and people didn't investigate him properly, and then we ended up with this disaster,'' said Kendall resident and IVAC board member Carmen Teresa Luengo. ``The majority of Venezuelans here relive that experience when they hear Obama.''

Republican presumptive nominee John McCain, Luengo said, is the clear choice.

''He is a man with great experience on the national security front, and we need that right now,'' she said.

Colombian Jeannette Varela, a Democrat, had her candidate in the Democratic primaries. Nearly 150 people, many of them well-known Colombian Democrats, came to her Star Island home for a fundraiser in support of Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

With Clinton's exit from the race, Varela feels bereft. Both McCain and Obama supporters have asked her to have fundraisers, but she hasn't committed to either candidate.

''We Colombians, Chileans, Argentinians and other Latin American groups all pay taxes and yet politically we don't have any representation,'' she said. ``We feel abandoned.''

Varela is a bellwether for a larger trend in the Colombian community.

Nearly 48 percent of Colombians register Democrat, according to polling done by a community political organization.

But many are deeply troubled by the party's blocking of the Colombian Free Trade Agreement.

The treaty has stalled in Congress because Democrats have raised concerns about its impact on American workers and human-rights violations in the South American country.

PERSONAL ASSURANCE

Both Obama and Clinton had raised the same objections, but Varela said Clinton had personally assured her that they could sit down after the election and discuss the treaty -- a commitment that gave her ''hope.'' She says she has not heard the same assurance from Obama.

''Everyone has noticed that the opposition to the agreement is just a political maneuver that the Democrats were doing just to hurt [President George] Bush,'' Varela said. ``I have strong Democrat convictions, but that doesn't mean I'm blind and don't see what's happening.''

Meanwhile, McCain has courted the Colombian community and those who support the free-trade agreement. He ran a radio advertisement in support of it. He also visited the South American nation last month.

IMPRESSED BY TRIP

''That trip was historic, because I can't remember any U.S. presidential candidate going to Latin America during the campaign,'' said Nelson Hincapie, also a local Democrat who is considering McCain. ``I'm on the fence about who to vote for, but I'm leaning toward McCain because of the free-trade issue. I have too many friends who depend on it.''

Despite McCain's draw for many Democrats, political activist Carlos Cabrera believes the fence-sitters will come around on the Democratic Party.

Colombians ''are just beginning the process with Obama. They will eventually back him, because the Democratic Party is the party of immigrants,'' he said.

U.S. Census numbers show that Colombians, who number more than 150,000 in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, are second only to Cubans in South Florida, both in population numbers and in their rate of naturalizations in the last decade.

Both McCain and Obama spent ample time on Colombia and Venezuela in Latin American policy speeches they gave in Miami in May.

''I am very optimistic about what is happening in terms of the diversity of South Florida politics,'' said McCain's South Florida campaign co-chairman, Fabio Andrade, who is the first non-Cuban Hispanic to hold that post for a Republican presidential candidate. ``Five years ago, the only issue national candidates talked about was Cuba.''

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JG: Good article! The right wing gusanos are doomed in Miami. Bye, Bye, Diaz Balart!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sad but proud

Despite the sad loss of Cuba in Beijing in the sport which is a national passion in the island, the criollos should be very proud of their Olympic delegation. The most beautiful land which human eyes have ever seen finished in twelfth place in total number of medals. No Latin American country finished above the Antillanos. However, we have to give a big round of applause to the Jamaica representation and their six gold medals. What a great neighbor Cuba has.

It does not cost to dream. Let’s just say what the Dodgers used to say: “Wait till next year.”

Dice K goes for ‘Sweet Sixteen’ today


August 24, 2008

Daisuke 'Dice K' Matsuzaka, the best pitcher ever against mighty Cuban baseball, goes for Sweet Sixteen today against the Blue Jays. He is 0-0 against the birds.

He defeated Cuba in the Athens Olympics and he defeated the criollos again in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.

Although I always root for Cuba, I admire Daisuke a lot. He is truly an outstanding pitcher.

His current career record in the major leagues is 30 wins and 14 losses, an ERA of 3.78 with 310 K’s.

This year, as of today, he is 15-2, an ERA of 2.77 and 109 K’s.

Good luck today!

The IOC gave the correct punishment, banishment for life

Angel Valodia Matos has brought shame to La Patria.

The punishment handed out by the International Olympic Committee is 100% correct. Behavior like this can not be tolerated. It is as bad, or worse, than using drugs.

I hope that the government of Cuba will take appropriate action.

Reuters: Cuban banned for referee kick

Saturday, August 23, 2008

South Korea gets baseball gold medal as they defeat Cuba 3-2


Ryu Hyunjin vs Cuba

Norberto Gonzalez started the game for Cuba. Since baseball was added to the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, Cuba has participated in every gold medal game and has three of them in the sport.

South Korea got on top right away. Lee Yongkyu connected a “Texas Leaguer” to center field. It should have been an easy out. Three Cuban players converged and the ball dropped among them. Lee Seungyop hit a home run and Korea had their first two runs.

Ryu Hyunjin started as a pitcher for the Koreans. Michel Enriquez hit a home run to left field and Cuba quickly got one run back.

In the next four innings Norberto was in total control and quickly retired all batters, but one Korean got to first base when Enriquez committed an error at third. A pitcher’s duel was in progress.

After four complete innings: South Korea 2, Cuba, 1.

Cuba came alive in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, Alfredo Despaigne connected a double. He would stay there and he failed to score. Hyunjin had two K’s in this inning and he also was pitching very well.

Pedro Luis Lazo relieved Norberto Gonzalez in the top of the sixth inning. He pitched five and two thirds inning. He pitched very well. Will the “Texas Leaguer” hit in the first doom Cuba’s chances for a gold medal?

The Koreans were threatening again. Norberto had allowed a base on balls, and Pedro Luis gave them another one. Men on first and second. The threat fizzled and the score remained 2-1 in favor of the Koreans.

Korea ‘Lucky Seventh’ inning: Jinman, hit to right field. Jongwook, base on balls. Hyunsoo, double to right field. One run scores. Men on second and third. Luis Miguel Rodriquez relieves Pedro Luis Lazo. He retires the last batter. It could have been a lot worse. Korea 3, Cuba, 1.

Cuba’s ‘Lucky Seventh’ inning: Alexei Bell, home run to left field. The margin is cut to one. Cuba will have two more chances on the eight and the ninth.

Even though Cuba is losing at this point, the island is very proud of their sons in Olympic baseball games: 40 victories and only four defeats. Excellent performance!

Cuba’s eighth inning: Pestano, hit to left field. Rolando Meriño comes in to bat for Paret, he flies out to the second baseman. Duvergel also flies out to right filed.

In their last chance in the ninth inning, Cuba’s started with a Hector Olivera hit to center field. Enriquez sacrificed and Olivera went to second. The tying run is now in scoring position. Cepeda receives a base on balls. Men on first and second. And now, here comes Alexei Bell. He gets a base on balls. Bases are full of Cubans. Yulieski Gurriel is next. He grounds into a double play. Game over.

Korea wins the gold medal and Cuba gets the silver. South Korea won nine consecutive games in Beijing. They have played good baseball all year long. They deserved to win.

Box Score

Granma: Ryu Hyunjin, el nombre de la derrota cubana en béisbol

Friday, August 22, 2008

The homes John McCain forgot that he owned!


Oh Mygawd! I Don't Remember!


The main house at McCain's Sedona ranch.


The building that holds the McCains 7,000 square foot condo.


The beach where the McCains own two condos.


The LaJolla, CA, condo that's been in Cindy Hensley's family for more than 30 years.


McCain's Arlington, VA, condo.


Meghan McCain relaxing in her Phoenix condo.

Source: The Raw Story

Boxing: The world catches up with Cuba

The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Alex Brown | August 23, 2008

NO MAN has so articulately conveyed the romance of Cuban boxing as Teofilo Stevenson, a three-time Olympic gold medallist and perhaps the country's greatest heavyweight.

Asked why he had turned down a multimillion-dollar approach from Don King to defect, turn professional and fight Mohammad Ali for the world title, Stevenson replied: "Why fight for $1 million when I can fight for 10 million Cubans?"

Stevenson's stirring summation of the spirit of Cuban boxing speaks of a glorious past when, after Fidel Castro's abolition of "corrupt and exploitative" professional sports in 1962, fighters toiled not for remuneration, but for the pride and prestige of their island nation. The results were stunning - 55 Olympic boxing medals, including 32 golds, since the 1972 Games - and even more so when it is considered Cuba boycotted the Los Angeles and Seoul Olympics.

Complete Article

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JG: Although the article starts well by quoting a Cuban world and Olympian boxing champion, Teofilo Stevenson, a man with a lot of dignity, who did not sell his soul for stinking Yankee dollars, it quickly evolves into the usual negativism of the capitalist press. A disappointing article. Will the capitalists ever stop hating Cuba? Of course not! Cuba is an example that a better world, not ruled by money, is possible.

Cuba wallops USA 10-2 in Olympic baseball and advances to the gold medal game.

Cuba did right everything they had to do. The challenge was: win and go to the fight for the gold medal or drop down to the bronze medal game. The pressure was ON!

Cuba started their semifinals game with their best pitcher, Norge Luis Vera, the star of the Avispas of Santiago de Cuba, the champion of the 47th National Baseball Series. Stephen Strasburg went to the mound for USA. Earlier, South Korea had defeated Japan 6-2 in their semifinal contest.

Cuba threatened in the bottom of the second inning with three hits, but was unable to score.

The criollos scored their first two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Duvergel connected a hit to left field. Olivera followed with a triple and Giorvis scored Cuba’s first run. In the throw to third, USA committed an error and Olivera scored. Cuba 2, USA 0.

The Americans got one run back in the top of the fourth. Consecutive hits by Barden and Schierholtz. A sac fly by Matt Brown scored USA’s first run.

Cuba countered very quickly. In their fourth inning, Alfredo Despaigne hit a home run to center field. Cuba 3, USA 1.

The Americans added one run in the top of the fifth. Cuba 3, USA 2.

Bottom of the fifth: Brian Duensing comes in to relieve Strasburg.

A double play by Cuba in the top of the six put an end to an American threat after Terry Tiffe connected a hit.

In the bottom of the six, Frederich “Reliable” Cepeda hit a homerun to left and the criollos had a two run advantage. Cuba 4, USA 2.

In the top of the seven, veteran Olympian Pedro Luis Lazo came in to relieve Vera, who pitched an outstanding game. He only allowed four hits.

In Cuba’s Lucky Seven, after two quick outs, Eduardo Paret received a base on four balls and then proceeded to steal second base. The threat fizzled when Duvergel struck out.

Pedro Luis quickly retired the three Americans he faced in the seventh innings, and the sons of Uncle Sam were down to their last three batters in the next inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, with Jeff Stevens on the mound for the Americans, Enriquez and Cepeda had consecutive hits. Alexei “100/30” Bell sends the ball out of the park. Cuba 7-2, and it looks like curtains for USA.

Blaine Neal comes in as a relief pitcher. Gourriel gets to first base on an error. Despaigne, hit to center field. Pestano hits a home run. Cuba 10, USA 2.

No cigar for the Americans in the top of the ninth inning.

Cuba collected 14 hits and USA could only come up with six. Norge Luis Vera was the winner for Cuba. Pedro Luis Lazo totally controlled the Americans in four innings of relief pitching. He earned his second save and also has a win in a previous game as a starter. Stephen Strasburg was the losing pitcher.

Cuba plays South Korea for all the marbles at 6:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow.

Box Score

Washington Post: Baseball: Cuba Beats U.S. 10-2

Granma: Cuba vapuleó a Estados Unidos y silenció a Johnson

11: 25 a.m. Xinhua reports the following:

Cuba's team manager Antonio Pacheco said at a post-match press conference that he hadn't expected his team to win over the United States with such a large margin.

"The U.S team is a strong one, and I didn't expect our team to win over such a large margin," he said. The team manager said the U.S. team has good pitchers and Cuba won the match as they had excellent offense in the competition.

At the same press conference, right field Alexei said he was satisfied with their performance, and were confident about the final match with South Korea.

"We did well today. We don't have much pressure and we will play the game well with South Korea tomorrow," said Alexei.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Towards a Fascist Dictatorship

Is the United States headed in the direction of a typical fascist ultra right wing dictatorship? It appears that way.

The top leaders of the U.S. are always talking about how much they favor “liberty” and “democracy.” Even Barack Obama does it.

But the truth is very different. Let me give you a very short list of all the outstanding “freedom and democracy” leaders the U.S. has either supported or kept in power: Fulgencio Batista, Cuba; Anastasio Somoza, Nicaragua; Rafael Trujillo, Dominican Republic; Francois Duvalier, Haiti; Roberto D’Abuison , El Salvador; Alfredo Stroessner, Paraguay; The Sha, Iran; Ngo Dim Diem, South Vietnam; Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan; Mobutu, The Congo; Marcos, The Philippines.

The New York Times reported today that “a Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion”

The Democratic Party will acquiesce. Have the Dems stopped Bush’s constant violation of our constitution? They would rather say “Me too!”

In the 1950’s the U.S. was hunting for communists under every bed. The Miami gusanos still do it every day. Today it is the “terrorists” that we are hunting for. You can expect many more Blackwaters in your future.

It is only a matter of time until the flame in the torch of the Statue of Liberty is completely turned off. The fascist dictatorship that will be imposed on the American sheep will make Hitler and Mussolini look like Boy Scouts.

A message from Ryan Skipper's family


This month, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released a report highlighting a spike in hate crimes against LGBT people in June and July of this year. This disturbing report reminds us that LGBT people continue to be targets of bias-motivated violence while the law continues to fail them. The law does not provide federal officials with the law enforcement tools that they need to prosecute these crimes for what they are -- bias-motivated hate crimes -- and it does not provide local law enforcement with the resources that they need to prosecute hate crimes at the state and local level.

Barack Obama has made strengthening and expanding the federal hate crimes law a priority.

· As a United States Senator, he co-sponsored the bill that would expand hate crimes protections to include crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill also would provide local law enforcement agencies with federal aid in fighting and prosecuting hate crimes.

· He cast the critical 60th vote that prevented the bill from being defeated by a Republican-sponsored filibuster. [2007 Senate Vote #350]

· He has pledged to continue his support for enacting these protections into law if elected President, promising earlier this year to “place the full weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes... on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” [New York Blade, 6/10/08]

· He has pledged to reinvigorate enforcement of all hate crime laws at the Department of Justice's Criminal Section. [www.barackobama.com]

While Barack Obama has been fighting to expand hate crimes protections, John McCain has been standing in the way. He has consistently stood in the way of the bill becoming law.

· He voted against the hate crimes bill in 2000. [2000 Senate Vote #136]

· He voted against the hate crimes bill in 2002. [2002 Senate Vote #147]

· He voted against the hate crimes bill in 2004. [2004 Senate Vote #114]

· In 2007, he was the only member of the Senate to not cast a vote at all on the bill. [2007 Senate Vote #350]

President Bush has threatened to veto hate crimes legislation, and John McCain is promising to yet again follow in his footsteps on an issue important to the LGBT community.

Last year, Damien Skipper lost his brother Ryan in a brutal hate crime. Ryan, just 25 years old, was beaten, stabbed and killed just because he was gay. Ryan’s family has since become forceful advocates for expanding the federal hate crimes law, and they support Senator Obama in large part because he is committed to passage of a federal hate crimes law.

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JG: VOTE NO ON FLORIDA'S HATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IN NOVEMBER!

Cuba's Dayron Robles wins Olympic hurdles gold medal


Dayron Robles
Photo: Granma

Cuba's Dayron Robles won the Olympic gold medal for the 110 meters with hurdles. His time was 12.94. Numero uno in the world.

John McCain says he does not know how many houses he owns!!!!!!

Is he senile or is he trying to fool American voters? I say he is a big fat liar.

He belongs to the same crowd as Senator Stevens: corrupt to the core. He simply does not tell the truth.

He would represent the interests of the filthy rich, and not of the average working class American.

A Washington Post report says that he owns seven houses.

Here are some excerpts:

"McCain owns at least seven different residences. That catalogue includes two homes in Phoenix -- one of which is a $4.66 million condominium -- and a $1.94 million vacation complex in Sedona."

"He also owns two condos in a Coronado, Calif., building -- worth $2.1 million and $2.7 million -- a $1 million beach flat in La Jolla, Calif., and an $847,800 condo in Arlington, Va."

He also said recently that if a person makes one to four million dollars a year that person is not rich.

Do you want this guy to be your president?

U.S.-Cuba baseball rivalry endures

OLYMPIC BASEBALL

After bearing Japan, 4-2, Team USA advances to the medal round and will play Cuba on Friday.

By Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 21, 2008

BEIJING -- The Cold War is over, even in sports.

Gone are the classic Olympic battles between the U.S. and Soviet Union in basketball and hockey and between the U.S. and East Germany in women's swimming.

However, one rivalry remains -- on the baseball diamond, where a U.S.-Cuba match up is often about more than just sports.

"The rivalry between Cuba and the U.S.A. is close to my heart," said Cuban Manager Antonio Pacheco, who played in many of the series' more memorable games during a long career as a standout second baseman for the island's national team. "This is a big ballgame. These are two teams with great quality."

And they'll meet again Friday in the semifinals of the Beijing Olympic baseball tournament after the U.S. edged Japan, 4-2, Wednesday in its final game of pool play, improving to 5-2 to earn the No. 3 seeding for the medal round. Cuba (6-1) is seeded second behind unbeaten South Korea (7-0), which plays Japan (4-3) for the other spot in the gold-medal game.

More...

National Youth Baseball Championships

Tourney to crown two champs out of more than 100,000 clubs.

The first National Baseball Youth Championships for under 10 year old teams and under 12 year old teams will be held from Aug. 21-24 at Gameday Baseball's First Tennessee Fields in Memphis, Tenn.

More that eight million kids have played in the sponsoring leagues.

Teams from Orlando and Miami, Florida will play in the championships games.

MLB Article

YouthMajors.com

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alexei Bell, Cuba’s only 100/30 baseball player ever, is interviewed by Sigfredo Barros

Granma

August 20, 2008, 2:30 p.m. EDT

Bell, leader of all batters

The Cannon from El Caney Bombards Beijing

By Sigfredo Barros, Special Correspondent

BEIJING. –
He broke the record for home runs [31] and RBI’s [111] [Cuba’s 47th National Baseball Series]. He is already famous for having a very special gift, the power of his wrists. But he never would have thought of winning the title of batting champion in the Olympic Games, with an extremely high average of .520. Nevertheless, he continues to be the same modest baseball player born in El Caney 24 years ago.

“I never think about records, with the Santiago de Cuba team or with Cuba’s national team. I simply go out to do it well to help my team. Before I arrived here I told myself that if I could bat against the pitching of a National Series, I could do it here in Beijing too. You see, I was not wrong. I did not think about getting the ball out [of the park,] but to hit it, to collide with it.”

You have done well all season long, in Cuba and outside of it. How can you explain such a high performance?

“I think that two factors came together, the physical and the mental. I train every day with the same dedication and the same interest. In addition, I have the support of my family, my wife, and my parents, who have given me the strength to carry on, even when things have not gone well for me. I have had two good trainers, physical conditioner Felipe Diez-Siré and Orestes Kindelán, who have helped me find the form and corrected my errors.”

Your batting system, is it always the same one?

“Basically, yes, I always try to sweep home and not do a long swing. I also make adjustments, because it is not the same thing facing a pitcher who throws 90 miles or more – in that case I stand in the rear of the box –, than one who bases his pitching on breaking balls, very difficult, because the batter always tends to go out front, and to take his hips and shoulders out before it is time. That helped me a lot in this competition, where one has to face pitchers who are very different.”

You are the third Cuban who has won a batting title, after Víctor Mesa and Pestano. Didn’t you feel pressure?

“Well, in the first place I found out that I was the top batter after the first two hits against China, when Higinio [Vélez] went to the press box and started to ask about the statistics. I knew that I was the leader in triples. But I did not feel pressure. I am used to it. I believe that a game against the Industriales at the Guillermón [Baseball Stadium], has as much pressure as a Cuba-USA. Don’t you believe?

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JG: Any errors in the translation are mine.

John McCain the patriot

John McCain is trying to sell you on two ideas: 1) that being shot down over Vietnam is qualification enough to be POTUS, 2) that he is a patriot.

You better look under the hood and kick the tires. McCain attended the same political school as Richard Nixon. He will say or do anything to get elected.

One of the founding fathers of the U.S., Samuel Adams, once said that "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Being a patriot is carried deep inside a person’s heart. Patriotism is not a lapel pin. It is not being an instant war monger when any crisis erupt. Very seldom do politicians send their sons and daughters to fight in a war.

John McCain is a tired old politician. He is not an honest person. Do you remember the Keating Five? Would you trust someone who was a prominent member of that “patriotic” group?

Can you trust another politician who goes down to Miami and drinks a cafecito Cubano with the ultra right wing Versailles Geriatric Commandos?

A McCain presidency would be a third term for George W. Bush. Is the United States of America better off today than it was eight years ago? Let’s see the record of the Republicans: 47 million Americans without health insurance, a President who vetoed CHIPS extension, illegal wiretaps, thousands of veterans sleeping on the streets, Americans loosing their homes, high food prices, Exxon-Mobil and the other oil companies laughing all the way to the bank while you pump $4.00 gas, corruption in high places in Washington, D.C., obscene profits for “contractors” in Iraq like Halliburton which got no-bid contracts from their buddy in the Oval Office.

If you buy the bill of goods that McSame is trying to sell you, then you deserve what you will get.

Vote for anyone except John McCain.

Cuba to play USA in Olympic baseball's semifinals game

USA defeated Japan 4-2 in eleven innings using the controversial new rule to end tied games.

It was an excellent game. It was tied 0-0 for ten innings.

The semifinals for Beijing's Olympic baseball are now set. South Korea will play Japan and USA will play Cuba. The winners of those two games will play for the Olympic gold medal.

Cuba's Yipsy Moreno captures silver medal in hammer throw


Radio Rebelde, transmitting through their Internet website, has just reported that Cuba's Yipsy Moreno has captured the silver medal in the hammer throw.

Congratulations Yipsy!

My paternal grandmother, from Valencia, Spain, was a Moreno.

Excellent performance by Cuban boxers in Beijing

Cuba sent ten boxers to the Beijing Olympics. They have fought 24 encounters.

22 wins, 2 losses. Deuces are wild!

Eight Cuban boxers have a chance to win a medal.

Way to go Cuba!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cuba vs China

Cuba has already qualified for the baseball semifinals.

11:06 p.m. After one and one third of an inning: Cuba 7, China 0.

11:19 p.m. After two complete innings: Cuba 9, China 0.

11:43 p.m. After three complete innings: Cuba 10, China 0.

It is very likely that this game will end after seven innings, because of the knockout rule. Yours truly is going to sleep. More in the morning.

Cuba won 17-1 in a game shortened to seven innings due to the knockout rule.

Giorvis Duvergel had the first Grand Salami in Olympics baseball history.

Cuba will play again in the semifinal on Friday at 6 a.m. EDT. Their opponent will be the winner of the game between Japan and USA.

Box Score

Pacheco: Vera will pitch on Friday (Article in Spanish)

No mercy on the diamond

AFP: No mercy as Cuba's Olympic baseball crushes China

A phrase that fits them extremely well

Today I was looking at different news outlets and/or blogs and something came to my memory.

It was the famous and disgraced vice-president of the U.S. during the Nixon reign, Spiro Agnew. The guy was a crook. He was indicted and had to resign in shame. But he coined a very famous phrase: “Nattering nabobs of negativism.”

This phrase fits to a T the daily statements coming from the mouths of the Miami gusanos. They hate Cuba and their leaders so much that they always look for anything to say which is negative.

A 15 year old missed opportunity, may repeat itself

Alberto N. Jones
August 19, 2008

Approximately 15 years ago, when Daytona Beach International Airport had recently opened its beautiful new building with only nominal international flights, I met with leaders of this enterprise and shared with them a novel idea which, had it been implemented, could have added an airline or two, created a number of jobs and substantially increased the number of passengers using this facility.

Travel between the United States and Cuba was at its peak with President Bill Clintonʼs People to People initiative. Tens of thousands of Cuban-Americans, academics, religious groups, students, sports exchange and many undercover tourists, traveled through third countries (Bahamas, Cancun, Jamaica, Canada etc.) or were forced through the obnoxious, grinding hours, tension-filled processing at Miami International Airport.

At the time, there was a weekly scheduled Dusseldorf-Daytona Beach LTU flight, which probably, could have added a leg to itʼs route and continue on to Havana, increasing its profitability. A few years later, LTU discontinued this flight and expanded their Havana connection.

By doing what was non-controversial and politically correct, we may have missed a unique opportunity for consolidating the airport stature in the region, by offering an exclusive product and begin building a bridge of friendship, in preparation for whatever the future may offer.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama, who by all acceptable measurements is leading in this contest, have denounced this absurd, useless, fifty year old embargo, which have achieved none of its stated objectives, except to inflict unspeakable pain on the innocent; have promised if elected, to immediately remove all travel and remittance restrictions imposed upon Cuban-Americans and others.

In wake of these public statements and only a few months away from these prognostications potentially becoming a reality, it is mind bungling to see our local government, business community and community activists, lethargic, immersed in a long summer dream, oblivious of the nightmare that lies ahead.

Many Caribbean islands and the Bahamas, are already taking steps to offset the negative impact that an expanded tourist industry in Cuba will inflict upon them. In the United States, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach will be directly impacted.

Conversely, 20 billions of dollars in goods and services that Cuba spends in Europe and Asia, could be a welcome development for our sagging and uncertain economy. Geography, culture, logic and mutual benefits, points to a thorough re-evaluation of our past actions. The train have not left the station, but the clock is ticking.

Cuba will face Japan or USA in Beijing’s baseball semifinals

South Korea and Cuba are number one and two in the baseball preliminaries at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Who will be number three and four depends on who wins the game between Japan and the USA.

Here are some Cuba statistics up to this point: second best in slugging percentage (.433), on base percentage (.366), and RBI’s (32). Fourth highest team batting average (.259) and the fourth lowest earned run average (2.83).

Cuba plays China tonight at 10:30 p.m. EDT. It is the last game of the preliminary phase. Thursday will be a rest day.

South Korea defeats Cuba 7-4

South Korea handed Cuba their first baseball defeat at the Beijing Olympics as it won 7-4 earlier today.

The Southeast Asia country is now the only undefeated team, with six consecutive victories.

Oh Seunghwan was the winning pitcher and Vicyohandry Odelin the looser.

Box Score

Monday, August 18, 2008

Peregrines Game Days

The Rutland Herald

August 18, 2008

By Bruce Edwards Herald Staff

PENALAVER, Cuba — There were high-fives, slaps on the back and congratulations spoken in two different languages.

In a game that's been dubbed the first Mango Cup Championship, the Twin State Peregrines, a Cuban youth team formed just a year ago in this small town east of Havana, came away with a 3-1 win over Los Santos.

Friday's game culminated a six-game series between the team of Vermont and New Hampshire all-stars and the Santos and their sister team, the Mangos.

The Peregrines finished the series at 4-2 but there was every indication that the 10-day trip to Cuba by the Peregrines — named after the migratory bird that winters in Cuba and nests along the Connecticut River valley in summer — was always more than kids getting together to play baseball. It was also about making friends and experiencing a different culture in a place few Americans can legally travel because of the nearly 50-year old trade and travel embargo imposed by the United States.

After the final out was recorded, the players, coaches and spectators hung out on the field surrounded by mango trees under the hot August sun. Players posed for photos, signed each other's jerseys and despite the language barrier were able to communicate with each other.

In a gesture of friendship, Peregrine player Cody McCusker of Thetford gave his fielder's glove to a Santos player.

The championship game played on the grounds of the Salesian convent drew a small but enthusiastic crowd, including 10 children from the Kids with Cancer Group.

Both teams received their share of cheers from the crowd. There were several impromptu speeches after the game that stressed the relationship that's developed over the past week. Cuban coach Jorge Rey expressed his gratitude to the American players and coaches calling them "brothers."

"It's everybody's success," Rey, outfitted in a Cincinnati Reds uniform, said through an interpreter. "Long life and peace and friendship is what we need."

Head coach Ted Levin, who came up with the idea for the special trip, echoed Rey's sentiments.

"We've made some friends and you guys have made some friends and I think we both came to realize we both love baseball," Levin said. "Win or lose these games have been a whole lot of fun."

In an apparent reference to the political climate between the two countries, Levin said it's his fervent hope "that may be by some stroke of good fortune you guys can come north to play us in Vermont and New Hampshire."

Playing in the August heat of Havana was a challenge for the Peregrine players and coaches and became an invisible opponent. They also had to adjust to slightly different rules — no stealing and no breaking balls — and a smaller strike zone. And with three mango trees in left field, there were some special ground rules as well.

As players, the Peregrines said they were impressed with the play of their opponents, especially their defensive skills.

For pitcher Evan Greenwald of Norwich it's an experience he'll always remember.

"I really had a great time here," said Greenwald, who pitched and beat the Santos on Wednesday. "It's one of the great experiences ever."

Getting to Cuba meant overcoming some formidable hurdles put down by the U.S. government. Levin, a nature writer who traveled to Cuba several years ago, was finally able to obtain a travel license from the U.S. Treasury Department this spring after a two-year effort.

The Treasury Department monitors and controls financial transactions between countries. A Florida congressman tried to derail the trip saying it was inappropriate for the team to travel to Cuba while human rights abuses exist under the Castro regime.

For the 14 players and six coaches it's been an extraordinary visit. While they spent most of the time playing ball, the team also experienced a bit of Cuban culture and history. Following Wednesday's 6-4 win over Los Santos, the team took its Havanatur chartered bus to Morro castle — a 16th century fortress overlooking the mouth of Havana harbor.

"I just like seeing the scenery and stuff and being around the water," said Jake Farnham of Hanover, N.H., as he stood atop the highest point of the castle with his teammates. "It's a beautiful country."

The team also spent some time cooling off in the pool at the Comodoro hotel at the edge of Havana. The pool and the air conditioned rooms were a welcome relief from the heat and humidity that's typical for this part of the world.

It was the heat that put some Peregrine players literally on their backs during the first doubleheader last Sunday, Levin said. But over the course of the week he said both players and coaches acclimated quickly to the dramatic change in climate. They also started playing the games early in the day.

"All the difference is playing the games at 9 instead of 11:30," said coach Rick Cawley of Corinth, whose son Andrew plays on the team.

The team was set to make its way home on Monday, although with Hurricane Fay looming, travel plans could possibly be up in the air.

Marian Cawley, the wife of coach Cawley, said she was told Sunday afternoon that whether or not the flight back to the U.S. would be canceled would in fact be a game-time decision.

"I think it's all up in the air right now … it sounds like we're going to know more (Monday)," she said.

On Thursday evening the team was the guest of honor at the Hotel Nacional in downtown Havana. The 1930s hotel, considered Cuba's crown jewel, overlooks the Malecon, the road that winds its way along the edge of the harbor.

Hosted by John Parke Wright IV, the Florida cattle broker who helped set up the sale of Vermont cows to Cuba three years ago, the reception and dinner was attended by several notable Cubans, including Ambassador Carlos Lechuga, Cuba's ambassador to the United Nations during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Speaking through an interpreter on the hotel's expansive veranda, Lechuga said, "I hope this will be one of the first steps toward having better relationships between the two peoples. Better relations between the United States and Cuba date back hundreds of years." Also in attendance was famed Cuban muscian Dom Pancho.

And while the U.S. and Cuba have no formal diplomatic relations, the U.S. Interests Section in Havana sent their deputy public affairs officer to the reception.

The team also had their photo taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photo journalist Stan Grossfeld of the Boston Globe. Grossfeld chronicled the team's travels since their arrival last week. Wright, whose family has long-standing business ties to Cuba, also has Vermont roots. He is a descendant of Peter Parker Wright, a well-known Shaftsbury figure in the 1700s. Wright was singled by the team for his help in setting up the games in Cuba providing logistical support and money.

The Salesian convent in Penalaver is about 40 minutes east of Havana. The nuns hosted the Santos and the Mangos as part of their mission to encourage sports participation — a belief put forth by the order's patron, Saint Don Bosco.

The mother superior threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday.

In his remarks following the championship game, Wright noted that Cuba beat the U.S. Olympic team in baseball the night before in Beijing while the Peregrines beat the Santos in their championship game.

"We have all winners," he said.

Contact Bruce Edwards at bruce.edwards@rutlandherald.com.

The following Twin State Peregrines made the trip to Cuba — Players — Joe Cravero, Hanover, N.H.

Jake Farnham, Hanover, N.H.

Sam Carey, Hanover, N.H.

Evan Greenwald, Norwich

Matt Perry, Thetford

Cody McCusker, Thetford

Cyrus Rothwell Ferraris, Norwich

Matt Bach-Lombardo, Thetford

Andrew Cawley, Corinth

Brandan Gray, Thetford

Ben Herndon-Miller, Norwich

Nathaniel Eastman, Fairlee

Jordan Levin, Thetford

Jesse Cutting, Lyme, N.H.

Coaches

Ted Levin, Thetford

John Carey, Hanover, H.H.

Brian Lombardo, Thetford

Steve Ferraris, Norwich

Joe Cravero Sr.,Hanover, N.H.

Rick Cawley, Corinth

The History of Cuba’s Radio Rebelde


Che and Fidel

Radio Rebelde was founded on February 24, 1958 by Guerilla Commander Ernesto Che Guevara at Altos de Conrado in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, in eastern Cuba. A week earlier the electric generator and the first radio equipment had arrived to “Pata de la Mesa,” Che's command post, where four comrades were to set up the clandestine station and get it on the air.

The first broadcast lasted 20 minutes. On that day the station didn't identify itself with the hair-raising “Aquí Radio Rebelde” that would become its trademark. The transmission began with the rebels' anthem, followed by a report on the battle of Pino del Agua and other actions of Che's column. Rebelde's first director, Capt. Luis Orlando Rodriguez, read an editorial on the founding of the radio station and the important events occurring that day in Cuban history.

“…The first time the station identified itself it went on the air with “…Aquí Radio Rebelde, the voice of the Sierra Maestra, transmitting for all Cuba on the 20 meter band at 5 and 9 pm daily… I'm station director Capt. Luis Orlando Rodríguez.”

The station would broadcast first-hand reports on the battles against the Batista Army including actions carried out by the urban underground movement. It would denounce the atrocities of the dictatorship; carry statements by rebel leaders and other messages to the general population.

“A guiding principle of our effort was to always communicate the truth, which gave us credibility,“ said founder Ricardo Martinez. About those early days, he recalls that Fidel Castro once suggested the idea of incorporating a musical space with Quinteto Rebelde, a group of young musicians that livened up country parties.

On May 1, 1958, the station was moved to La Plata where Fidel had his headquarters. After several location changes, by early December Radio Rebelde was broadcasting nearly around the clock. On December 31, 1958, with the dictatorship on the run, Commander Fidel Castro ordered the plant taken to Palma Soriano, near the city of Santiago de Cuba. On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro used the station to address the nation.

By the end of the war, each column had its own radio equipment—a total of 32 small rebel stations that linked together with Radio Rebelde for simultaneous transmissions, making up what came to be known as the Cadena de la Libertad, or Liberty Network.

During the 1973 celebrations for the 15th anniversary of the founding of Radio Rebelde, Fidel recalled the station's beginnings: “Radio Rebelde truly became our means of mass communication, to talk to the people, and it became a much listened to station. It was crucial for disseminating military information and played a key roll throughout the war…”

Radio Rebelde is presently located in the building of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT), at 258 23rd Street between L and M Streets, Vedado, in Havana. Post office box 6277, zip code 10600 Havana 6. Havana, Cuba. Telephone: (537) 832-8122 Fax: (537) 33-4270

The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, specializing in news programs. A considerable portion of its airtime is also dedicated to airing national and international sporting events. The rest of the programming is open and includes 6 live radio magazines.

Radio Rebelde has 891 kilowatts of broadcasting power with 44 transmitters that cover 98 percent of the island. It also operates on short wave on the 60-meter band at 5025 Mhz and on four FM frequencies at 92.1, 92.7, 96.7 and 102.9 on the radio dial. A total of 274 people work at Radio Rebelde. The station has correspondents in all cuban provinces, including the special municipality of the Isle of Youth.

AMPLITUD MODULADA (AM) : 670 Y 710 Kc
ONDA CORTA : Banda 31 m 9 600 Khz
Banda 49 m 6 140 Khz
FRECUENCIA MODULADA (FM) : 97,6 Mhz


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JG: Radio Rebelde is transmitting live, through the Internet, many of the events of the Beijing Olympics where Cuba participates. It will transmit tonight at 11:30 p.m. the baseball game of Cuba and South Korea.

Tropical Storm Fay enters Cuba via Zapata Peninsula in Matanzas

Havana. August 18, 2008

Granma International

AT dawn this morning Tropical Storm Fay entered Cuba via the Zapata Peninsula, in Matanzas province. Meteorological stations in this province located Fay’s center at 6:00 a.m. at 22.8 degrees latitude North and 80.8 degrees latitude West, in Colón municipality, according to Tropical Storm Alert No. 11 from the Institute of Meteorology.

It adds that Fay is currently moving in a northerly direction at about 25 km per hour. Its center is about to move into the sea in the vicinity of the city of Cárdenas, Matanzas.

It is maintaining winds of 85 km per hour, with a central pressure of 1,003 hectopascals. Fay is set to intensify rapidly in the Strait of Florida, where it could become a hurricane before touching land in Florida.

During the next few hours the showers and rain associated with Tropical Storm Fay will continue, principally affecting the provinces from Camagüey to Matanzas. These could be heavy and locally intense in some places, but will gradually diminish during the day.

Sea swells will persist on the south coast from Camagüey to Matanzas, and will spread to the northwestern coast. There is some probability of slight coastal flooding on the northwest coast, including Havana’s Malecón, as Fay’s center moves away through the Strait of Florida.

The note states that close attention should be paid to the development and evolution of Fay, especially from Cienfueogos to the two provinces of Havana.

Translated by Granma International