Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Statements of Cuba's Minister of Foreign Relations

"The most serious and dangerous aspect about this new situation is uncertainty about the real capacity of current authorities in Washington to overcome political and ideological currents that, under the previous administration, threatened the world."

"The neoconservative forces that took George Bush to the presidency ... have very quickly regrouped and still have the reins of power and considerable influence, contrary to the announced change."

"the American fascist right, represented by (former Vice President Dick) Cheney, openly supports and sustains the [military] coup [in Honduras]."

"The world reacted with profound optimism to the change in government in Washington," Rodriguez said. But he added Obama's words, including promises to make changes in several U.S. policies, do not "coincide with reality".

"The detention and torture center at Guantanamo Naval Base, which usurps part of Cuban territory, has not been shut down. The occupation troops in Iraq have not been withdrawn. The war in Afghanistan is expanding," he said.

EMBARGO "REMAINS INTACT"

Regarding Cuba, Rodriguez said Obama had taken "positive" steps" by allowing Cuban Americans to travel and send money freely to the communist-ruled island.

He added U.S.-initiated talks with Havana on migration and on the possible reinstatement of direct postal service between the long-time foes had been "respectful and fruitful."

But he said many other issues had not been addressed, above all the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, which the Cuban government blames for most of its economic problems.

Rodriguez said Obama had acted "contrary to what all the American public opinion polls reflect" when he signed two weeks ago a yearly renewal of the act that imposes the embargo.

"The crucial thing is that the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba remains intact," he said.

Rodriguez said the U.S. embargo would never achieve its goal. "Those who try to put an end to the revolution and bend the will of the Cuban people are suffering from delusions," he said.

Source: Reuters

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JG: Cuba's Minister of Foreign Relations is absolutely right in his appraisal of the Obama administration. Obama is 100% capitalist, and therefore seeks the destruction of Cuba's Socialist system. When he talks about bringing "liberty" to Cuba he continues with the failed policies of his ten predecessors. and shows his total ignorance of Cuban history. Obama would like, if he could, turn Cuba into another garish temple of imperialist decadence like Cancun, Mexico, or turn Cuba into another docile and submissive Puerto Rico.

Those of us who were hoping for "audacious hope" from Barack Obama have reached the conclusion that he is merely following in the footsteps of one the the most corrupt and immoral of U.S. Presidents: Bill Clinton.

With his "me too" policies, which mimic those of George W. Bush, we now know that Barack H. Obama is not a person worthy of trust. I will never vote for him again. He got elected because people voted for the "lesser of two evils" when they compared him to John McCain.

Cuba is wasting its time when it sits at the table with functionaries of the Obama administration. He is not a friend of Cuba. He is the enemy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Has Cuban baseball entered a period of slow decline?

A silver medal in the final game of the 2009 Baseball World Cup is nothing to be ashamed of for Cuba. 22 countries competed in this prestigious event.

But if you look at Cuba's perforamce since 2007, it is very obvious that they are not executing the necessary key plays that are needed to obtain the coveted gold medal. Very week hitting by key players has contributed to Cuba's steady decline. Three errors committed on Sunday contributted to the sad loss. Winning against Spain, Great Britain and South Africa does not mean that Cuba has what it takes to defeat the nation which invented the sport.

Cuba is not concentrating on the fundamentals of the game. They have to stop thinkig that they can win the gold medal merely because they are simply Cuba. Right now they are playing very poor baseball.

Below is a link to an article published in Cuba in the non-official press:

Havana Times article about the World Cup.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

U.S.A. defeats Cuba 10-5

U.S.A. retained the Baseball World Cup championship crown by defeating Cuba by the score of 10-5 in the final game of the 2009 Baseball World Cup.

Norge Luis Vera was the loosing pitcher for Cuba.

Box Score

Saturday, September 26, 2009

For all the marbles!

Cuba advanced to the championship game of the XXXVIII Baseball World Cup by defeating Canada 5-1 yesterday. Cuba will be the visiting team and U.S.A. will be the home team. The championship game will be played at Stadio Steno Borghese, Nettuno, Italy, on Sunday.

The winning pitcher in Cuba's win over the Canadians was Yulieski "My Cousin" Gonzalez, who went eight innings and struck out ten batters and gave four bases on balls. He only allowed two hits and one earned run. His record at the tournament is now 3-0.

Alfredo Despaigne collected his tenth home run of the tournament.

GO CUBA!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Semifinals: U.S.A. defeats Cuba 5-3

In a semifinal game at the XXVIII Baseball World Cup, the United States defeated Cuba by the score of 5-3.

Lucas Herrel, who came to pitch for the Americans in the second inning gave an outstanding performance: he pitched four complete innings and did not alow a single Cuban to score a run. He dominated Cuba totally. The Cuban bats fell silent.

U.S.A. has qualified for the final championship game as the home team. It is yet to be decided who the visitor team will be. If Cuba ends up in first place of Group 1, then it will face its nemesis again.

Maikel Folch was the losing pitcher for Cuba. He has two wins and one loss.

Cuba will play Canada tomorrow. They are both 4-2.

Box score and play by play.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Semifinals: Cuba defeats Chinese Taipei 8-0

Cuba continues doing well as it had an "easy" game against Taiwan at the 2009 Baseball World Cup. It obtained another victory. Final score: 8-0.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez obtained his third consecutive victory for the Cubans in the tournament. He has three wins and no losses.

Alfredo Despaigen connected two more home runs. He now leads all the batters in the tournament with nine round-trippers.

Box score and play by play.

Tomorrow's game will not be an easy game for the criollos. Cuba will go against the nation which invented the game: U.S.A. It should be a very exciting and interesting game.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Semifinals: Cuba defeats Austrailia 2-1

In its first semifinal World Cup game of Group 1, the criollos defeated the Aussies 2-1.

Norge Luis Vera was the winning pitcher for Cuba. He obtained his third consecutive victory. He has not lost a single game. Vera went 6.2 innings and struck out seven Australians and gave out two bases on balls. Olympian Pedro Luis Lazo obtained his third save in the XXXVIII edition of the games. He went 2.1 innings, struck out four and did not give any free passes to first.

Alfredo Despaigne connected his seventh home run of the games. He is super hot.

In other results of the semifinals, USA defeated Venezuela 6-3 and The Netherlands defeated Chinese Taipei 11-2.

Box score and play by play.

Cuba will play Chinese Taipei tomorrow and USA will play against Puerto Rico.

Stay tuned!

Hondura's Military Gorillas Strike Back

The BBC has reported that "Honduras military forces loyal to the coup d'etat have surrounded the embassy of Brazil" where the legitimate constitutional president of the Honduras people, Manuel Zelaya, is currently residing."

The coup leader, General Vazquez, is a graduate of the infamous "School of the Americas" who some people have called the "School of Assassins" or "School of Coups." It is located in Fort Benning, Georgia, USA.

It is very apparent to all sane people that the administration of Barack Obama approved and supported the coup d'etat by General Vazquez, who is a dutiful pupil of the imperialist desires and policies of Uncle Sam. Like FDR would have said: "General Vazquez may be an S.O.B., but he is OUR S.O.B."

The BBC further reports that "the Brazilian embassy's lights, water and phones have been cut off and the only contact is by cellphone," according to Brazilian news media. The military gorillas are further demanding that "Mr Zelaya give himself up to face trial."

This is a clear violation of normal diplomatic protocol. What will Brazil do? The grounds of the embassy of Brazil in Honduras are the sovereign territory of Brazil. Will Lula do a Jimmy Carter and look the other way? This is what happened in Iran, when the American embassy was occupied.

In the meantime, Hillary Clinton's State Department has said that what the military did in Honduras "is a coup, but not a military coup." Next week she will probably claim that the Honduran boy scouts carried out the coup. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are trying to justify the unjustifiable.

SHAME ON THEM!

Monday, September 21, 2009

President Manuel Zelaya returns to Honduras

The deposed president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, returned to his country on Monday, reports The New York Times.

In an interview with CNN’s Spanish-language service, Mr. Zelaya said he was in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa.

Cuba advances to the semifinals at the 2009 World Baseball Cup

Eight countries advanced to the semifinals of the 2009 World Baseball Cup.

A triple tie for first place occurred in Group 1. The Netherlands, Puerto Rico and Cuba shared the same record of 2-1 in round two. Tie break rules were utilized and Cuba ended up in seed number three, so the composition of Group 1 is as follow: The Netherlands, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Venezuela is the other qualifier for this group, and will be seeded #4.

In Group 2, U.S.A., Australia, Canada and Chinese Taipei qualified for the semifinals.

Cuba will play Australia tomorrow in the third phase of the tournament. They will play in Grosseto, Italy.

Because U.S.A. and The Netherlands are the top seeds, they definitely will have an advantage.

My fearless forecast: Cuba will defeat U.S.A. in the title game, but do not underestimate the Americans.

Friday, September 18, 2009

U.N. General Assebly to vote on the Cuba embargo

The United Nations General Assembly, for the 18th consecutive time, will vote on a resolution presented by Cuba, which will seek to condemn the genocidal Cuba embargo/blockade imposed by the United States on the Caribbean island. The vote is scheduled for October 28.

Last year the vote against the United States was overwhelmingly one sided . The embargo/blockade was condemned by a vote of 185-3. Only the Zionists and Palau voted with Uncle Sam.

The imperialist arrogance of the United States is never ending. They can never accept the fact that on January First, 1959, the puppet which they supported in Cuba, General Fulgencio Batista, was unceremoniously kicked out of the country by the revolutionary masses of the Cuban people. They would like to turn the clock back to when the American ambassador, together with the American Mob, ruled Havana and the rest of the island.

At the present time, we have the 11th consecutive President of the U.S., Barack Obama, continue to ignore the writing on the wall and the wishes of the world: only the Washington, D.C. imperialists and the Miami gusanos support the embargo. The community of nations has condemned it 17 times in a row. A pure display of ARROGANCE on the part of the U.S. government.

Second Round: Cuba defeats Spain 10-0

The winning pitcher for Cuba was Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. The criollos connected eleven hits, including homers by Gourriel and Pestano.

Cuba now has seven consecutive victories and no defeats. It plays today against Puerto Rico.

Box Score and Play by Play.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Second Round: Cuba defeats Venezuela 10-0

Based on the outstanding pitching of Norge Luis Vera, Cuba defeated Venezuela by the socre of 10-0. Vera went seven innings and struck out ten and allwoed only one bases on balls.

Cuba remains undefeated. It has six straight victories and will play Spain today.

Box Score and Play by Play

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cuba chides Obama over U.S. trade embargo

Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:05pm EDT

By Nelson Acosta

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba chided U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday for not doing more to end the long-standing U.S. trade embargo against the island despite his public promise to seek improved ties.

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Obama, though "well-intentioned," was missing a "historic opportunity" to transform relations that turned hostile soon after Fidel Castro took power in a 1959 revolution.

"Americans voted for him because he promised to make changes. Where is the change in the blockade of Cuba? There is no change," Rodriguez told reporters.

The White House this week confirmed that Obama had signed an order extending for another year the law used to impose the trade embargo, which has been in place against the communist-ruled island since 1962.

The one-year extensions have been renewed by U.S. presidents since the 1970s, but embargo opponents had hoped Obama, who said earlier this year he wanted to "recast" U.S.-Cuba relations, would let it lapse.

In one slight relaxation of the embargo, Obama has lifted restrictions on travel and cash transfers to Cuba by Cuban Americans, and he has moved to reopen dialogue with the Cuban government that predecessor George W. Bush shut down.

But Obama also has said the embargo will be maintained until Cuba improves its human rights and frees political detainees.

Rodriguez acknowledged that under Obama "there is less aggression" from the United States toward Cuba, but he said he should do more to dismantle the embargo by using his executive powers.

Complete elimination of the embargo would require an act of the U.S. Congress.

In one sign of greater contact between the two ideological foes, Cuban and U.S. officials are set to hold talks in Havana on Thursday on the possible resumption of long-suspended direct postal service between the two nations.

CUBA SAYS EMBARGO COST IT $223 BILLION

Rodriguez put the blame for Cuba's ongoing economic woes squarely on the embargo, saying it was the "primary obstacle to development" and had cost the country $223 billion over the years.

He said the embargo prevents Cuba from getting much-needed medicines, medical equipment and other humanitarian goods. Critics of the Cuban government say mismanagement and the centralized socialist system are behind the island's problems.

Rodriguez said Cuba will present to the United Nations General Assembly on October 28 what has become an annual resolution condemning the embargo.

Last year, 185 nations voted for the anti-embargo resolution and only three, including the United States, voted against.

Despite his complaints about the U.S. sanctions, Rodriguez insisted they would not prevent Cuba from moving forward.

"The Cuban revolution is solid and unbeatable, with or without the blockade," he said.

(Additional reporting by Esteban Israel; writing by Jeff Franks; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Kieran Murray)

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JG: When Barack Obama promised during his campaign to make changes in the Cuba embargo, and then issued an order on Tuesday continuing it, someone needs to stand up and yell: YOU LIE!

Cuba bids farewell to Juan Almeida


Cuban President, Raul Castro, and other military officers salute during the internment of Hero of the Revolution, Juan Ameida.





The funeral cortège goes by the Moncada Barracks, where the Cuban Revolution started on July 26, 1953. Almeida took part in that historical event.

Cuba to ask US to end trade embargo

JG: Barack Obama is a very dishonest and power-hungry politician. I will not be fooled twice. Never again will I vote for him as long as he continues the Cuba embargo. The arrogance of U.S. Presidents is never ending. Like the British, French and Spanish empires, American imperialism will be one day relegated to the garbage can of history.

(AFP) – 18 hours ago

HAVANA — Cuba said Tuesday it will ask the United States to lift its 47 year-old trade embargo on the island at the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting.

The move came a day after US President Barack Obama extended for one year the Trading with the Enemy Act, which bans exchanges with any nation considered a threat and serves as a basis for the trade embargo aimed at Cuba.

The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will release Wednesday a report on the effects of the embargo that will be delivered later this month at the General Assembly meeting.

The General Assembly has condemned the US trade embargo on Cuba 17 times. In 2008, the resolution had 185 votes in favor.

The US Treasury on September 3 eased restrictions on travel and money transfers to Cuba, five months after Obama announced the measures in a bid to improve ties with the communist island.

The changes focus on visits to the island by Cubans living in the United States, remittances by Cuban-Americans to their relatives and telecommunications, but continues to ban travel by most Americans to the island.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Change you can believe in" turns into "More of the same crap" as Obama extends Cuba embargo for another year

It is official folks! The guy that offered us so much "Audacious Hope" has been shown to be nothing more than a typical self-serving politician.

He is following in the footsteps of Bill Clinton: phony as a three dollar bill.

It is also official on my part: I hereby pledge not vote for Barack Obama in 2012. I urge you to do the same.

Obama renews Cuba trade embargo

By Michael Voss

BBC News, Havana

US President Barack Obama has extended the 47-year-old trade embargo against Cuba for another year.

In a statement, Mr Obama said that it was in the US national interest to extend the Trading With The Enemy Act which covers the trade embargo.

It is largely a symbolic step because the final decision rests with Congress.

Under legislation from 1996, the Helms-Burton Act, the embargo can only be lifted when Cuba is deemed to have begun a democratic transition.

Cuba has been under a financial, trade and travel ban since 1962 - one of the last surviving remnants of the Cold War.

Critics see it as a missed opportunity to signal a further willingness to ease relations between the two countries.

Mr Obama has lifted some of the restrictions allowing Cuban-Americans to visit relatives whenever they want and send money home.

The two sides are once again holding direct talks on immigration and later this week US officials travel to Cuba to discuss resuming direct mail services.

The Cuban authorities have described these changes as little more than a cosmetic coat of paint, but the US administration continues to demand that Cuba must first show signs of reform before lifting the embargo.

Second Round: Cuba defeats Nicaragua 4-1

In the second round at the 2009 World Baseball Cup, Cuba defeated Nicaragua by the score of 4-1. Yulieski Gonzalez was the starting pitcher for Cuba. He went 5.2 innings and struck out five, without giving any bases on balls. Olympian Pedro Luis Lazo came in as a relief pitcher and went three innings. He struck out six and gave no bases and balls.

Cuba remains undefeated in the tournament. Cuba plays Venezuela tomorrow.

Box Score and Play by Play.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cuban revolutionary hero buried in eastern Cuba

September 14, 2009

AP

HAVANA — The remains of Cuban revolutionary hero Juan Almeida Bosque will be buried in a mausoleum for rebel fighters in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, the government announced Monday.

Almeida, who fought alongside former President Fidel Castro in the 1959 revolution and was one of several Cuban vice presidents, died Friday of a heart attack at the age of 82. Cuba held an official day of mourning on Sunday, and tens of thousands lined up at the capital's Revolution Square to pay their respects.

A motorcade containing Almeida's remains will depart the military airport in the eastern city of Santiago, 535 miles (860 kilometers) southeast of Havana, on Tuesday, the state-run Granma newspaper reported. It said thousands are expected to turn out to witness the somber procession.

Almeida's body will be buried the same day in a mausoleum on a hill known as La Esperanza — "The Hope" — where 40 other fighters from the revolution have also been laid to rest.

The sad and sorry performance of the right wingers

What it is happening in the current debate about reforming our health care system is very sad and sometimes funny.

The right wing forces in the United States are VERY, VERY AFRAID, that the United States Congress will do the correct thing and pass historical and ground breaking legislation which will grant health care coverage and benefits to close to 50 million uninsured Americans.

They are running around with their heads up their collective arses and yelling: “The sky is falling down!” “Socialism is coming to America!” “We have to prevent sending grandma and grandpa to face government death panels!

All I can say is: WHAT A BUNCH OF ASSHOLES!

These right wingers would not know what Socialism really is, if it was staring them in their faces. They are ignorant and they do not have the necessary intelligence to read and comprehend Karl Marx.

What we need to do is extend two system that work, Medicare and Medicaid, to cover ALL AMERICANS. Any so-called “reform” which leaves the insurance and pharmaceutical companies in the driver's seat will be a continuation of the huge scam and fraud that is being perpetuated on the American public.

All Americans must be given health care benefits and coverage. Put a permanent stop to the insurance companies denying health care coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

If Canada, Great Britain, France and Cuba can do it, so can we. Affordable health care for all should cover everyone and not just only the wealthy few.

Do not listen to the idiots, who are being led astray by Palin, Limbaugh and the Fox Network, who are propagating tall tales based on FEAR AND SMEAR.

Health care for all! WE WANT IT NOW!

Second Round: Cuba defeats Great Britain 6-0

At the second round of the 2009 World Baseball Cup, Freddy Aasiel pitched nine complete innings and obtained the fourth consecutive victory for Cuba in this year's edition of the world competition of 22 countries.

Freddy faced 33 batters and did not allow a run. He struck out nine in the same number of innings.

Cuba is part of Group F in the second round. The other nations in this group are: Puerto Rico, Netherlands, Venezuela, South Korea, Nicaragua, Spain and Great Britain.

Group G of the second round is composed of: United States, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Australia, Italy, Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands Antilles.

Cuba will play Nicaragua today.

Box Score and Play by Play.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New regulations for sending parcels to Cuba

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-21402.htm

[Federal Register: September 8, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 172)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 45985-45990]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08se09-7]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Bureau of Industry and Security

15 CFR Parts 736, 740 and 746

[Docket No. 090414648-9652-01]
RIN 0694-AE60


Cuba: Revisions to Gift Parcel and Baggage Restrictions, Creation
of License Exception for Donated Consumer Communications Devices and
Expansion of Licensing Policy Regarding Telecommunications

AGENCY: Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This rule revises two existing License Exceptions concerning
exports and reexports of gift parcels to Cuba and of personal baggage
taken by individuals leaving the United States for travel to Cuba. It
also creates a new License Exception authorizing the export and
reexport to Cuba of certain donated consumer communications devices,
including certain computers and software, mobile phones, and satellite
receivers. Finally, this rule revises the scope of existing licensing
policy regarding certain telecommunications links including satellite
radio and satellite television services. These actions are among those
directed by the President on April 13, 2009 to enhance the free flow of
information to and from Cuba and to promote contacts between Americans
and their relatives who reside in Cuba as a means of encouraging
positive change in Cuba and are consistent with the ongoing support the
United States has provided to individuals and nongovernmental
organizations that support democracy-building efforts in Cuba. These
actions do not suspend or terminate the United States embargo of Cuba.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective September 3, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Although there is no comment period for this final rule, BIS
welcomes any comments from the public on the amendments made by this
rule. Comments may be submitted by e-mail directly to BIS at
publiccomments@bis.doc.gov (please refer to RIN 0694-AE60 in the
subject line); or by delivery to Regulatory Policy Division, Office of
Exporter Services, Bureau of Industry and Security, Room H2705, U.S.
Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20230. Comments on the information collection contained
in this rule should also be sent to Jasmeet Seehra, Office of
Management and Budget (OMB), by e-mail to jseehra@omb.eop.gov, or by
fax to (202) 395-7285. Refer to RIN 0694-AE60 in all comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anthony Christino, Foreign Policy
Division, Office of Nonproliferation and Treaty Compliance at (202)
482-4252.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The United States maintains a comprehensive embargo on trade with
Cuba. Pursuant to that embargo, all items that are subject to the
Export Administration Regulations (EAR) require a license for export or
reexport to Cuba unless authorized by a License Exception. BIS
administers export and reexport restrictions on Cuba consistent with
the goals of the embargo and with relevant legislation, including the
Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (LIBERTAD).
Accordingly, BIS may issue specific or general authorizations for
limited types of transactions that support the goals of United States
policy while the embargo remains in effect.
On April 13, 2009, the President directed the Secretary of the
Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the
Secretary of State, to take certain actions to enhance the free flow of
information to and from Cuba and to promote contacts between Americans
and their relatives who reside in Cuba as a means of encouraging
positive change in Cuba. In doing so, the President noted the United
States policy of promoting democracy and human rights in Cuba and
stated that ``measures that decrease dependency of the Cuban people on
the Castro regime and that promote contact between Cuban-Americans and
their relatives in Cuba are means to encourage positive change in
Cuba.'' The policy of promoting human rights and democracy in Cuba has
long been reflected in legislation. LIBERTAD's

[[Page 45986]]

purpose, in part, is to help the Cuban people regain their freedom and
prosperity. In addition, even before LIBERTAD, the Cuban Democracy Act
of 1992 reflected Congressional support for assistance to encourage
democracy in Cuba, stating that the U.S. Government may provide
assistance, through appropriate nongovernmental organizations, for the
support of individuals and organizations to promote nonviolent
democratic change in Cuba.
This rule implements the portions of the President's directive that
relate to the regulations of the Department of Commerce by changing the
existing License Exceptions ``Gift Parcels and Humanitarian Donations
(GFT)'' and ``Baggage (BAG),'' creating a new License Exception
``Consumer Communications Devices (CCD)'' and revising the scope of
licensing policy applicable to certain telecommunications links and
satellite radio and satellite television services.
The changes made by this rule are intended to update, consistent
with LIBERTAD and other relevant legislation, certain provisions of the
United States embargo of Cuba to: (i) Address the impact of economic
and technological changes that have taken place in recent years; and
(ii) ensure that the embargo continues to support the goals of
promoting democracy in Cuba and providing support for the Cuban people.
None of the changes made by this rule suspend or terminate the United
States embargo of Cuba.

Specific Changes Implemented by This Rule

Changes to License Exception Gift Parcels and Humanitarian Donations
(GFT)

License Exception Gift Parcels and Humanitarian Donations (GFT)
(Sec. 740.12 of the EAR) generally authorizes, among other things,
exports and reexports of gift parcels by an individual (donor)
addressed to an individual or to a religious, educational or charitable
organization (donee) for the use of the donee or the donee's immediate
family. Prior to the publication of this rule, items eligible for
export or reexport to Cuba in gift parcels were limited to food
(including vitamins); medicines; medical supplies and devices
(including hospital supplies and equipment for the handicapped);
receive-only radio equipment for reception of commercial/civil AM/FM
and short wave publicly available frequency bands, and batteries for
such equipment; and mobile phones covered by Export Control
Classification Numbers (ECCNs) 5A991 or 5A992, software for those
phones covered by ECCN 5D992, and batteries, memory cards, chargers and
other accessories for such mobile phones. Additionally, the License
Exception restricted recipients in Cuba to identified family members of
the donor (grandparents, parents, siblings, children and
grandchildren). Except for gift parcels of food, the License Exception
restricted a donor to sending only one gift parcel per month to the
same household in Cuba. The License Exception also limited the combined
total domestic retail value of all items other than food included in a
gift parcel to $400.
This rule revises License Exception GFT to add clothing, personal
hygiene items, seeds, veterinary medicines and supplies, fishing
equipment and supplies, soap-making equipment, and non-sensitive items
normally sent as gifts between individuals as items eligible for export
or reexport to Cuba in gift parcels. The rule largely retains the
restriction that precludes items listed in specific entries on the
Commerce Control List. However, the rule does allow inclusion of
consumer communications devices controlled by ECCNs 4A994, 4D994,
5A991, 5A992, 5D991, and 5D992. These devices, which are described in
more detail in the discussion of the new License Exception for consumer
communications devices below, are widely available consumer products,
such as personal computers, that facilitate communications.
This rule also revises License Exception GFT to remove requirements
that the donee be a member of the immediate family of the donor and
that only one gift parcel per month be sent to the same household in
Cuba. As revised, License Exception GFT authorizes a donor to send one
gift parcel per month to any individual (other than certain Cuban
Government or Cuban Communist Party officials) or to a charitable,
educational, or religious organization in Cuba that is not administered
or controlled by the Cuban government. For example, hospitals or
schools administered or controlled by the Cuban Government are not
eligible recipients under this License Exception. Further, this rule
revises the License Exception to increase the combined total domestic
retail value of all items included in a gift parcel from $400 to $800.

Changes to License Exception Baggage (BAG)

Prior to publication of this rule, and since 2004, the terms of
License Exception BAG imposed a 44-pound weight limit on the personal
baggage of most travelers from the United States to Cuba. This rule
removes that limit. This change implements the President's directive to
lift weight restrictions on accompanied baggage.
This rule does not remove or relax any other restrictions that
apply to License Exception BAG. The regulations continue to require
that individuals leaving the United States temporarily (i.e.,
traveling) must bring back items exported or reexported under this
License Exception unless they consume the items abroad or are otherwise
authorized to dispose of them under the EAR.

Donated Consumer Communications Devices, Computers and Software

Prior to publication of this rule, with the exception of certain
items authorized by License Exception GFT, the export or reexport to
Cuba of donated consumer communications devices required an individual
validated license.
This rule creates a narrowly tailored License Exception Consumer
Communications Devices (CCD) to authorize the export and reexport to
Cuba of donated consumer communications devices that are necessary to
provide efficient and adequate telecommunications services between the
United States and Cuba. In generally authorizing the export or reexport
of donated consumer communication devices to Cuba through a new License
Exception, this rule strengthens the United States' commitment to the
support of individuals and organizations to promote nonviolent
democratic change in Cuba, consistent with the goals of LIBERTAD and
the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, and recognizes that recent changes in
communications technology have facilitated the widespread dissemination
of information and personal communications in ways that have become
increasingly essential for democratic movements across the world. This
rule is also consistent with the President's goal, as stated in his
April 13 memorandum, to promote contacts between Americans and their
relatives who reside in Cuba as a means of encouraging positive change
in Cuba.
New License Exception CCD authorizes the export or reexport of
specific commodities and software that are widely available for retail
purchase and that are commonly used to exchange information and
facilitate interpersonal communications. However, consistent with 22
U.S.C. 6005(a), this new License Exception does not authorize U.S.-
owned or controlled entities in third countries to

[[Page 45987]]

engage in reexports of foreign produced commodities to Cuba for which
no license would be issued by the Treasury Department pursuant to 31
CFR 515.559. This License Exception is valid only for exports or
reexports to Cuba. The commodities and software exported or reexported
under this License Exception must be donated, but the License Exception
provides no limits on value or frequency of shipments. Eligible end-
users for items exported or reexported pursuant to this License
Exception are individuals in Cuba other than designated Cuban
Government and Communist Party officials, and also independent non-
governmental organizations in Cuba. As is the case with exports or
reexports under License Exception GFT, exports or reexports under
License Exception CCD may not be made to organizations administered or
controlled by the Cuban Government.
The items authorized for export or reexport under the new License
Exception are commodities and software (except ``encryption source
code'') related to basic personal communications devices that are
widely available for retail purchase in the United States. These items
include: Mobile phones, including cellular and satellite telephones;
subscriber information module (SIM) cards; personal digital assistants;
laptop and desktop computers and peripherals such as monitors, graphics
accelerator cards, data storage devices and media such as disk drives,
flash drives, writable compact disks and floppy disks, keyboards, mice,
and printers including commodities possessing IEEE 802.15.1
``Bluetooth'' wireless personal area networking (WPAN) capability;
Internet connectivity devices including those possessing IEEE 802.11
``Wi-Fi'' and IEEE 802.16 ``WiMax'' wireless capabilities; satellite-
based television and radio receivers; digital music and video players
and recorders; personal two-way radios; digital cameras and memory
cards therefor; and batteries, chargers, carrying cases and similar
accessories for the equipment authorized by this rule. This rule also
authorizes the export and reexport of basic software for laptop and
desktop computers such as: Computer operating systems and software
(except ``encryption source code'') that enable activities such as word
processing, producing spread sheets, producing graphics presentations,
sending and receiving e-mail, Web browsing or developing relational
databases. When applicable, the rule describes these items as they are
classified on the Commerce Control List:
Computers classified under ECCN 4A994.b or designated
EAR99 that do not exceed an adjusted peak performance of 0.02 weighted
teraflops;
Disk drives and solid state storage equipment classified
as ECCN 5A992 or designated EAR99;
Input/output control units (other than industrial
controllers designed for chemical processing) designated EAR99;
Graphics accelerators and graphics coprocessors designated
EAR99;
Monitors classified under ECCN 5A992 or designated EAR99;
Printers classified under ECCN 5A992 or designated EAR99;
Modems classified under ECCNs 5A991.b.2 or 5A992 or
designated EAR99;
Network access controllers and communications channel
controllers classified under ECCN 5A991.b.4 or designated EAR99;
Keyboards, mice and similar devices designated EAR99;
Mobile phones, including cellular and satellite
telephones, personal digital assistants, and subscriber information
module (SIM) cards and similar devices classified under ECCNs 5A992 or
5A991 or designated EAR99;
Memory devices classified under ECCN 5A992 or designated
EAR99;
``Information security'' equipment, ``software'' (except
``encryption source code'') and peripherals classified under ECCNs
5A992 or 5D992 or designated EAR99;
Digital cameras and memory cards classified under ECCN
5A992 or designated EAR99;
Television and radio receivers classified under ECCN 5A992
or designated EAR99;
Recording devices classified under ECCN 5A992 or
designated EAR99;
Batteries, chargers, carrying cases, and accessories for
the equipment described above that are designated EAR99; and
``Software'' (except ``encryption source code'')
classified under ECCNs 4D994, 5D991 or 5D992 or designated EAR99 to be
used for equipment described above.
This change implements the President's directive to authorize,
consistent with national security concerns, the export or reexport to
Cuba of donated personal communications devices through a license
exception.

Revised Scope of Licensing Policy Regarding Telecommunications

Prior to publication of this rule, Sec. 746.2(b)(2) of the EAR
stated that export of ``Telecommunications commodities may be
authorized on a case-by-case basis, provided the commodities are part
of an FCC-approved project and are necessary to provide efficient and
adequate telecommunications between the United Sates and Cuba.''
This rule revises the text of Sec. 746.2(b)(2) of the EAR to
ensure that the licensing policy allows for case-by-case review of
exports or reexports of all items necessary to provide efficient and
adequate telecommunications links, including satellite radio and
satellite television, between the United States and Cuba consistent
with the President's April 13, 2009 directive. The scope of items
eligible for export or reexport now includes any item (commodity,
technology, or software) necessary to provide efficient and adequate
telecommunications links between the United States and Cuba, including
links established through third countries, and including links to
provide satellite radio or satellite television services to Cuba. In
making this change, BIS notes that the establishment of links through
third countries may be necessary to establish efficient and adequate
links between the United States and Cuba. These changes are consistent
with the goal of enhancing communications to promote democracy in Cuba.

Technical and Conforming Changes

Although individual gift parcels may be eligible for export
pursuant to License Exception GFT, as set forth in Sec. 740.12(a) of
the EAR, consolidated shipments of multiple gift parcels are not
eligible for export under this License Exception. BIS has issued a
number of licenses to parties authorizing them to export consolidated
shipments of gift parcels to Cuba. As part of this rule, BIS is
amending General Order No. 4, found in Supplement No. 1 to part 736 of
the EAR, to authorize such license holders to export consolidated
shipments of all gift parcels that are eligible for License Exception
GFT as of the effective date of this rule. This modification is
appropriate because some previously-issued licenses for consolidated
shipments limit the eligible commodities and software, eligible
recipients, or limits on frequency or dollar value based on the
restrictions of License Exception GFT in place at the time the
consolidation license was issued. The amended General Order does not,
however, increase the total value of exports permitted under, or extend
the expiration date of, any license. Amending the General Order to
modify existing licenses in such a manner will facilitate
implementation of the policy underlying this rule by

[[Page 45988]]

allowing consolidators to include all gift parcels consistent with the
provisions of License Exception GFT in their consolidated shipments
immediately rather than having to wait until they obtain a new license.
Consolidators will still need to apply for new licenses when their
existing licenses have been completely used or have expired.
Section 740.2(a)(6) of the EAR precludes use of any License
Exception to export or reexport to Cuba unless the License Exception is
listed in the License Exception paragraph pertaining to Cuba in part
746. This rule revises Sec. 746.2(a)(1) to list the new ``Consumer
Communications Devices'' License Exception that this rule creates.

Change to Prohibitions Applying to Gift Parcels Generally

Although not related to the President's April 13, 2009 directive,
this rule also makes ineligible for inclusion in gift parcels to any
destination items listed on the Commerce Control List with ``encryption
items'' (EI) as a reason for control. BIS is making this change because
of the sensitivity of such items. Items controlled for EI reasons
employ sophisticated encryption techniques and have not been designated
as ``mass market'' items by the United States Government. Such items
are not eligible for export or reexport under License Exception GFT
because they are not normally exchanged between individuals as gifts.
However, because of the potential use of items controlled for EI
reasons by persons abroad to harm U.S. national security, foreign
policy and law enforcement interests, BIS is adding EI as a reason for
control that explicitly precludes use of License Exception GFT to any
destination. The other reasons for control that trigger this preclusion
are national security, nuclear nonproliferation, chemical and
biological weapons and missile technology.

Rulemaking Requirements

1. This rule has been determined to be a significant rule under
Executive Order 12866.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty
for failure to comply with a collection of information, subject to the
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that collection of
information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget
Control Number. This rule involves a collection of information that has
been approved by OMB under control number 0694-0088, which carries a
burden hour estimate of 58 minutes to prepare and submit form BIS-748P.
Miscellaneous and recordkeeping activities account for 12 minutes per
submission. BIS believes that this rule will make no material change to
the number of submissions or to the burden imposed by this collection.
3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications
as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.
4. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.
553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, the opportunity for
public participation, and a delay in effective date, are inapplicable
because this regulation involves a military or foreign affairs function
of the United States (See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). Further, no other law
requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for
public comment be given for this rule. Because a notice of proposed
rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be
given for this rule under 5 U.S.C. 553, or by any other law, the
requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)
are not applicable.

List of Subjects

15 CFR Part 736

Exports.

15 CFR Part 740

Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Reporting and
recordkeeping requirements.

15 CFR Part 746

Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

0
Accordingly, the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR chapter VII,
subchapter C) are amended as follows:

PART 736--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 736 is revised to read as follows:

Authority: 50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.;
22 U.S.C. 2151 note; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p.
950; E.O. 13020, 61 FR 54079, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp. p. 219; E.O. 13026,
61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3
CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13338, 69 FR 26751, May 13, 2004;
Notice of August 13, 2009, 74 FR 41325 (August 14, 2009); Notice of
November 10, 2008, 73 FR 67097 (November 12, 2008).


0
2. General Order Number 4 of Supplement No. 1 to Part 736 is amended by
revising the introductory text and by revising paragraph (b) to read as
follows:

Supplement No. 1 to Part 736--General Orders

* * * * *
General Order No. 4 of June 13, 2008, as amended on September 3,
2009, amending existing licenses for exports of consolidated gift
parcels to Cuba due to changes in License Exception GFT.
* * * * *
(b) Notwithstanding any statements to the contrary on the
license itself, licenses authorizing the export to Cuba of
consolidated gift parcels described in paragraph (a) of this order
that are valid on September 3, 2009 authorize the export of
consolidated shipments to Cuba of gift parcels that comply with the
requirements of License Exception GFT found in Sec. 740.12(a) of
the EAR as of September 3, 2009.
* * * * *

PART 740--[AMENDED]

0
3. The authority citation for part 740 is revised to read as follows:

Authority: 50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.;
22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp.,
p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice
of August 13, 2009, 74 FR 41325 (August 14, 2009).


0
4. Section 740.12 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(2)(i),
(a)(2)(iii), (a)(2)(iv) and (a)(2)(v) to read as follows:


Sec. 740.12 Gift parcels and humanitarian donations.

(a) * * *
(2) * * *
(i) Item limitations.
(A) Prohibited items.
(1) For Cuba no items listed on the Commerce Control List other
than items listed in Sec. 740.19(b) of the EAR may be included in a
gift parcel.
(2) For all destinations, no items controlled for chemical and
biological weapons (CB), missile technology (MT), national security
(NS), nuclear proliferation (NP) or encryption items (EI) reasons on
the Commerce Control List (Supplement no. 1 to part 774 of the EAR) may
be included in a gift parcel.
(3) Items prohibited for destinations in Country Group D:1 or E:2.
For destinations in Country Group D:1 or E:2, military wearing apparel
may not be included in a gift parcel regardless of whether all
distinctive U.S. military insignia, buttons, and other markings are
removed.
(4) Gold bullion, gold taels, and gold bars are prohibited as are
items intended for resale or reexport.
(B) Eligible items. For all destinations, eligible items are food
(including vitamins); medicines, medical supplies and devices
(including hospital supplies and equipment and equipment for the
handicapped); receive-only radio

[[Page 45989]]

equipment for reception of commercial/civil AM/FM and short wave
publicly available frequency bands, and batteries for such equipment;
clothing; personal hygiene items; seeds; veterinary medicines and
supplies; fishing equipment and supplies; soap-making equipment; as
well as all other items of a type normally sent as gifts between
individuals (including items listed in Sec. 740.19(b) of the EAR)
except for those items prohibited in paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) of this
section. Items in gift parcels must be in quantities normally given as
gifts between individuals.
Example to paragraph (a)(2)(i)(B) of this section. A watch or piece
of jewelry is normally sent as a gift. However, multiple watches,
either in one package or in subsequent shipments, would not qualify for
such gift parcels because the quantity would exceed that normally given
between individuals. Similarly, a sewing machine or bicycle within the
value limit of this License Exception may be an appropriate gift.
However, subsequent shipments of the same item to the same donee would
not be a gift normally given between individuals.
* * * * *
(iii) Frequency.
(A) Except for gift parcels of food to Cuba, not more than one gift
parcel may be sent from the same donor to the same donee in any one
calendar month.
(B) There is no frequency limit on gift parcels of food to Cuba.
(C) Parties seeking authorization to exceed the frequency limit due
to compelling humanitarian concerns (e.g., for certain gifts of
medicine) should submit a license application in accordance with
Sec. Sec. 748.1, 748.4 and 748.6 of the EAR to BIS with complete
justification.
(iv) Value. The combined total domestic retail value of all
commodities and software in a single gift parcel may not exceed $800.
This limit does not apply to food sent in a gift parcel to Cuba.
(v) Ineligible recipients.
(A) No gift parcel may be sent to any of the following officials of
the Cuban Government: ministers and vice-ministers; members of the
Council of State; members of the Council of Ministers; members and
employees of the National Assembly of People's Power; members of any
provincial assembly; local sector chiefs of the Committees for the
Defense of the Revolution; Director Generals and sub-Director Generals
and higher of all Cuban ministries and state agencies; employees of the
Ministry of the Interior (MININT); employees of the Ministry of Defense
(MINFAR); secretaries and first secretaries of the Confederation of
Labor of Cuba (CTC) and its component unions; chief editors, editors
and deputy editors of Cuban state-run media organizations and programs,
including newspapers, television, and radio; or members and employees
of the Supreme Court (Tribuno Supremo Nacional).
(B) No gift parcel may be sent to any of the following officials or
members of the Cuban Communist Party: members of the Politburo; the
Central Committee; Department Heads of the Central Committee; employees
of the Central Committee; and the secretaries and first secretaries of
provincial Party central committees.
(C) No gift parcel may be sent to organizations administered or
controlled by the Cuban Government or the Cuban Communist Party.
* * * * *


Sec. 740.14 [Amended]

0
4. Section 740.14 is amended by:
0
a. removing ``(h)'' from the last sentence of paragraph (b)(4)
introductory text and adding ``(g)'' in its place:
0
b. removing paragraph (g); and
0
c. redesignating paragraph (h) as paragraph (g).
0
5. A new Sec. 740.19 is added to read as follows:


Sec. 740.19 Consumer Communications Devices (CCD).

(a) Authorization. This License Exception authorizes the export or
reexport of commodities and software described in paragraph (b) to Cuba
subject to the conditions in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.
This section does not authorize U.S.-owned or -controlled entities in
third countries to engage in reexports of foreign produced commodities
to Cuba for which no license would be issued by the Treasury Department
pursuant to 31 CFR 515.559. Cuba is the only eligible destination under
this License Exception.
(b) Eligible Commodities and Software. Commodities and software
eligible for export or reexport under this section are:
(1) Computers designated EAR99 or classified under Export Control
Classification Number (ECCN) 4A994.b that do not exceed an adjusted
peak performance of 0.02 weighted teraflops;
(2) Disk drives and solid state storage equipment classified under
ECCN 5A992 or designated EAR99;
(3) Input/output control units (other than industrial controllers
designed for chemical processing) designated EAR99;
(4) Graphics accelerators and graphics coprocessors designated
EAR99;
(5) Monitors classified under ECCN 5A992 or designated EAR99;
(6) Printers classified under ECCN 5A992 or designated EAR99;
(7) Modems classified under ECCNs 5A991.b.2, or 5A992 or designated
EAR99;
(8) Network access controllers and communications channel
controllers classified under ECCN 5A991.b.4 or designated EAR99;
(9) Keyboards, mice and similar devices designated EAR99;
(10) Mobile phones, including cellular and satellite telephones,
personal digital assistants, and subscriber information module (SIM)
cards and similar devices classified under ECCNs 5A992 or 5A991 or
designated EAR99;
(11) Memory devices classified under ECCN 5A992 or designated
EAR99;
(12) ``Information security'' equipment, ``software'' (except
``encryption source code'') and peripherals classified under ECCNs
5A992 or 5D992 or designated EAR99;
(13) Digital cameras and memory cards classified under ECCN 5A992
or designated EAR99;
(14) Television and radio receivers classified under ECCN 5A992 or
designated EAR99;
(15) Recording devices classified under ECCN 5A992 or designated
EAR99;
(16) Batteries, chargers, carrying cases and accessories for the
equipment described in this paragraph that are designated EAR99; and
(17) ``Software'' (except ``encryption source code'') classified
under ECCNs 4D994, 5D991 or 5D992 or designated EAR99 to be used for
equipment described in this paragraph (b).
(c) Donation Requirement. This License Exception authorizes the
export or reexport of eligible commodities and software that will be
donated by the exporter or reexporter to an eligible end-user or to
eligible end-users free of charge. The payment by an end-user of any
handling charges arising within the importing country or any charges
levied by the government of the importing country shall not be
considered a charge for purposes of this paragraph.
(d) Eligible End-users--(1) Organizations. This License Exception
may be used to export or reexport eligible commodities and software to
and for the use of independent non-governmental organizations. The
Cuban Government or the Cuban Communist Party and organizations they
administer or control are not eligible end-users.
(2) Individuals. This License Exception may be used to export
eligible commodities and software to and for the use of individuals
other than the

[[Page 45990]]

following officials of the Cuban Government and Cuban Communist Party:
(i) Ineligible Cuban Government Officials. Ministers and vice-
ministers; members of the Council of State; members of the Council of
Ministers; members and employees of the National Assembly of People's
Power; members of any provincial assembly; local sector chiefs of the
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution; Director Generals and
sub-Director Generals and higher of all Cuban ministries and state
agencies; employees of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT); employees
of the Ministry of Defense (MINFAR); secretaries and first secretaries
of the Confederation of Labor of Cuba (CTC) and its component unions;
chief editors, editors and deputy editors of Cuban state-run media
organizations and programs, including newspapers, television, and
radio; or members and employees of the Supreme Court (Tribuno Supremo
Nacional).
(ii) Ineligible Cuban Communist Party Officials. Members of the
Politburo; the Central Committee; Department Heads of the Central
Committee; employees of the Central Committee; and the secretaries and
first secretaries of provincial Party central committees.

PART 746--[AMENDED]

0
6. The authority citation for part 746 is revised to read as follows:

Authority: 50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.;
22 U.S.C. 287c; Sec. 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; 22 U.S.C.
6004; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 12854, 58 FR
36587, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 614; E.O. 12918, 59 FR 28205, 3 CFR,
1994 Comp., p. 899; E.O. 13222, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783;
Presidential Determination 2003-23 of May 7, 2003, 68 FR 26459, May
16, 2003; Presidential Determination 2007-7 of December 7, 2006, 72
FR 1899 (January 16, 2007); Notice of August 13, 2009, 74 FR 41325
(August 14, 2009).


0
7. Section 746.2, is amended by adding a paragraph (a)(1)(xiii) and by
revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:


Sec. 746.2 Cuba.

(a) * * *
(1) * * *
(xiii) Commodities and software authorized under License Exception
Consumer Communications Devices (CCD) (see Sec. 740.19 of the EAR).
* * * * *
(b) * * *
(2) Items may be authorized for export or reexport to Cuba on a
case-by-case basis, provided the items are necessary to provide
efficient and adequate telecommunications links between the United
States and Cuba, including links established through third countries,
and including the provision of satellite radio or satellite television
services to Cuba.
* * * * *

Dated: September 1, 2009.
Matthew S. Borman,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
[FR Doc. E9-21402 Filed 9-3-09; 4:15 pm]

Encabeza Raúl Castro homenaje a Juan Almeida


Juan Almeida

Granma

Actualizado 9:30 a.m. hora local

El General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, encabezó esta mañana el homenaje que rinde el pueblo cubano al fallecido Comandante de la Revolución Juan Almeida Bosque en el Memorial José Martí de la Plaza de la Revolución.

Miembros del Buró Político del Partido Comunista de Cuba, de su Comité Central, y otros altos dirigentes cubanos, visiblemente emocionados, depositaron flores ante una foto del Héroe de la República de Cuba, rodeada de ofrendas florales y ante la cual se muestran numerosas condecoraciones recibidas durante su trayectoria revolucionaria.

Una primera guardia de honor rindieron altos jefes militares: los Generales de Cuerpo de Ejército Julio Casas Regueiro, Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, Leopoldo Cintra Frías y Álvaro López Miera, a quienes siguieron otros oficiales de las Fuerzas Armadas.

Duelo Oficial

El Consejo de Estado de la República de Cuba ha decretado Duelo Oficial con motivo del fallecimiento del Comandante de la Revolución Juan Almeida Bosque, desde las 8 de la mañana hasta las 8 de la noche del domingo 13 de septiembre, día en que nuestro pueblo le rendirá merecido homenaje.

Mientras esté vigente el Duelo Oficial, la bandera nacional será izada a media asta en los edificios públicos y establecimientos militares.

Thousands pay respects to Cuban revolutionary hero

By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ (AP)

HAVANA — Tens of thousands of Cubans lined up Sunday to pay their respects to Juan Almeida Bosque, a vice president and hero of the country's 1959 revolution whose death at the age of 82 further thinned the ranks of this communist-run country's old-guard leaders.

President Raul Castro led the ceremony at Havana's Revolution Square, somberly placing a pink rose in front of a large photograph of Almeida. Flags flew at half-staff throughout the country.

There was no sign of Castro's older brother, former leader Fidel Castro, who has not been seen in public since turning over power to his brother in 2006.

Raul Castro did not speak at the ceremony, but other Cubans filing past hailed Almeida as a great and simple man.

"We have lost a party stalwart," said Manuel Perez, a 59-year-old laborer. "He was a man of great importance in the revolutionary fight."

Osmar Orozco, a 61-year-old retiree, added that Almeida's loyalty to Fidel Castro and the revolution was "without limit."

"That is why all Cubans could not fail to be here on this day," he said, wiping back tears.

Lines of thousands formed early and snaked through Revolution Square on Sunday. Some bowed before Almeida's photograph, while military men and veterans saluted. Many more Cubans were expected to attend smaller memorials throughout the country.

Almeida, one of just three surviving rebel leaders who still bore the title "Commander of the Revolution," died Friday of a heart attack.

He was the first of Cuba's revolutionary giants to pass away since Raul Castro's wife, Vilma Espin, died in June 2007, and his death was a sudden if not unexpected reminder that all of the country's aging leaders are facing the inevitable march of time.

Most are in their late 70s and early 80s, including the Castro brothers, and it is not at all clear who would replace them. The few young leaders who have emerged over the years have not lasted long before falling out of favor.

Almeida was a member of Cuba's ruling elite, sitting on the Communist Party's politburo and serving as a vice president on the Council of State, the country's supreme governing body. He cut back on activities in December 2003, citing heart problems.

Almeida met Fidel Castro in 1952 at the University of Havana, where both were studying law, and he had been at Castro's side ever since, through his imprisonment on the Isla de la Juventud, exile in Mexico and return to Cuba aboard the American yacht "Granma" in 1956 to launch the revolution.

Almeida, the Castro brothers and Argentine-born Ernesto "Che" Guevara were among only 16 rebels who survived the landing, in which most of the rebels were killed by government troops.

"No one here gives up!" Almeida shouted to Guevara at the time, giving the Cuban revolution one of its most lasting slogans and ensuring his place in Cuban communist history. As a guerrilla leader, Almeida later headed his own front of military operations in eastern Cuba.

Associated Press Writer Paul Haven contributed to this report.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Juan Almeida dead at 82

Revolutionary Commander Juan Almeida, who was a member of the crew of the Granma when it landed in Oriente Province, Cuba, died at the age of 82. Cause of death was a heart attack.

Together with Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Camilo Cienfuego and Ernesto "Che" Guevara and others, Almeida was an untiring revolutionary leader who devoted many years of his life to the defeat of the Yankee supported dictatorship of General Fulgencio Batista.

Below is the announcement in Granma.

Falleció el Comandante de la Revolución Juan Almeida Bosque

Con profundo dolor, la Dirección del Partido y del Estado comunica a nuestro pueblo que el Comandante de la Revolución Juan Almeida Bosque, miembro del Buró Político y Vicepresidente del Consejo de Estado, falleció en esta capital a las 11:30 de la noche de ayer 11 de septiembre, como consecuencia de un paro cardio-respiratorio.

El compañero Almeida nació en la capital del país, el 17 de febrero de 1927. En medio de las privaciones de un hogar humilde y numeroso, con sus padres como guía se formó en los más altos valores patrióticos y aprendió en la misma vida que la lucha es el único camino de los pobres para conquistar sus derechos escamoteados.

Tan pronto se produjo el golpe de Estado en 1952, se sumó a la lucha contra la tiranía vinculándose con el compañero Fidel. Era un obrero albañil hasta el asalto al cuartel Moncada en 1953, y el segundo de doce hermanos que ayudó al padre a mantener a su numerosa familia.

En los 57 años transcurridos desde entonces, el Comandante Almeida estuvo siempre en la primera línea de combate junto al Jefe de la Revolución, valiente, decidido y fiel hasta las últimas consecuencias.

Fue la actitud invariable del asaltante del Moncada, del prisionero político en Isla de Pinos, del revolucionario exiliado en México, del expedicionario del Granma, donde fue uno de los tres jefes de pelotones; del oficial en los días fundadores del Ejército Rebelde, que recibió dos heridas en el combate de El Uvero; del Comandante del Tercer Frente Guerrillero, y del jefe militar y dirigente revolucionario con numerosas y elevadas responsabilidades, luego del triunfo del Primero de Enero de 1959.

Integró el Buró Político del Comité Central del Partido desde su fundación en 1965, responsabilidad en que fue ratificado en todos sus Congresos. Resultó electo Diputado a la Asamblea Nacional y Vicepresidente del Consejo de Estado, desde la primera legislatura de nuestro Parlamento.

Su especial sensibilidad humana y artística hizo posible el difícil reto de simultanear su intensa, responsable y fecunda labor como dirigente revolucionario, con una valiosa y prolija obra artística, la cual incluye más de 300 canciones y una docena de libros que constituyen un invaluable aporte al conocimiento de nuestra historia.

Asumió con particular amor y entrega la tarea de presidir la Asociación de Combatientes de la Revolución Cubana. Consagró sus últimas energías a garantizar que la organización fuera un sólido y efectivo baluarte de la Patria.

El nombre del Comandante de la Revolución Juan Almeida Bosque permanecerá por siempre en el corazón y la mente de sus compatriotas, como paradigma de firmeza revolucionaria, sólidas convicciones, valentía, patriotismo y compromiso con el pueblo.

Por sus muchos y relevantes méritos recibió múltiples condecoraciones y órdenes nacionales e internacionales, entre los que destaca el Título Honorífico de Héroe de la República de Cuba y la Orden Máximo Gómez de primer grado, otorgados el 27 de febrero de 1998, en ocasión del aniversario 40 de su ascenso a Comandante en la Sierra Maestra.

Atendiendo a su voluntad, los restos mortales del compañero Juan Almeida Bosque no serán expuestos. Serán inhumados con honores militares, en fecha que se anunciará posteriormente, en el Mausoleo del III Frente Oriental Mario Muñoz Monroy, del que fue fundador y su único jefe, donde reposan los restos de los heroicos combatientes de ese aguerrido Frente.

El domingo 13, entre las 8 de la mañana y las 8 de la noche en que será decretado Duelo Oficial, nuestro pueblo podrá rendir homenaje de reconocimiento y cariño a su memoria en el Memorial José Martí de esta capital que fue su cuna, y en el Salón de los Vitrales, en la base del monumento a Antonio Maceo de Santiago de Cuba —ciudad heroica a la cual amó entrañablemente, donde combatió a las fuerzas de la tiranía y posteriormente trabajó al frente del Partido, como Delegado del Buró Político en la antigua provincia de Oriente—, así como en las capitales de todas las provincias, incluyendo la Isla de la Juventud donde guardó prisión, tras el asalto al cuartel Moncada.

BURÓ POLÍTICO DEL COMITÉ CENTRAL DEL PARTIDO

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JG: Compañero Juan Almeida, PRESENTE!

Cuba defeats Spain 5-4

Cuba defeated Spain by the score of 5-4 in its third game of Group B at the 2009 World Baseball Cup.

Maikel Folch was the starting pitcher for Cuba. He went 4.2 innings. The closer and winning poitcher was Vladimir Garcia. He went 3.0 innings. Cuba connected 13 hits and Peraza homered.

Cuba has advanced to the second round of the World Cup. Other countries which have also advanced at this time are: Mexico, Australia, Canada, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Japan, Venezuela, U.S.A.

Box Score and Play by Play

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cuba defeats South Africa 10-5

In their second game at the 2009 World Baseball Cup, Cuba defeated South Africa today by the score of 10-5. The game was played in Barcelona, Spain.

The winning pitcher for Cuba was Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez who pitched 5.2 innings and obtained 13 strikeouts.

Oliveras, Enriquez, Gourriel, Cepeda, Despaigne and Pestano homered for the Cuban team.

Cuba will play Spain tomorrow.

With their 2-0 record, Cuba has qualified for the second round of the 2009 World Baseball Cup.

Box Score and Play by Play

Cuba-China bilateral relations are excellent

Radio Nuevitas

HAVANA, (ACN) The VP of the Cuban Council of Ministers, Ricardo Cabrisas, and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Wang Qishan, highlighted on Wednesday the excellent state of relations between the two countries and the prospects of further strengthening bilateral cooperation.

During a meeting in Beijing, the Chinese capital, both sides praised the development of trade and economic links over recent years, which have also been favored by a close dialogue between both nations’ governments and Communist parties.

According to Prensa Latina news agency, Cabrisas and his host exchanged opinions about the economic situation in both countries and about other aspects of international interest.

Referring to the increase of high-level contacts between Havana and Beijing, they recalled the positive results of a recent visit to the Caribbean nation of Wu Bangguo, President of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People’s Congress of China.

The meeting with Wang Qishan closed Wednesday’s agenda for Ricardo Cabrisas, who is in Beijing heading the Cuban delegation to the 22nd Session of the Cuba-China Intergovernmental Commission for Trade and Economic Relations that was inaugurated yesterday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cuba defeats Puerto Rico 10-0 in World Cup game

In its first game of Group B at the 2009 World Baseball Cup, Cuba defeated Puerto Rico by the score of 10-0.

Box Score & Play by Play

Granma's coverage of the game (In Spanish)

Granma's Special Website for the 2009 Baseball World Cup (In Spanish)

PCJF: Journalists covering Cuba were on U.S. payroll

PCJF lawsuit against BBG seeks key documents on covert domestic propaganda operation.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) filed a lawsuit on Sept. 9, 2009 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Broadcasting Board of Directors (BBG) because it has "unlawfully failed to disclose specific U.S. government-paid contracts with journalists" who published materials that were negative to Cuba and prejudicial to the case of the Cuban Five.

This lawsuit comes at a critical time. People in the United States and throughout the hemisphere want a real change in U.S.-Cuban relations. They want an end to the 60-year-long blockade; an end to the covert operations and terrorism against Cuba; an end to the lies, misinformation and media manipulation.

Background to the PCJF lawsuit

The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, under the Freedom of Information Act, submitted a request on Jan. 23, 2009 to the BBG seeking public disclosure of the BBG's funding of journalists including specifically identified contracts between the BBG and these journalists. The government is unlawfully refusing to produce these documents.

The BBG is prohibited by law from funding domestic propaganda and attempting to influence U.S. opinion, yet it has apparently been funding journalists who place stories in domestic media outlets.

Beginning soon after the arrest of the Cuban Five on September 12, 1998, and continuing through the trial, the Miami media played a major role in creating a hostile atmosphere in the city through newspaper, television and radio.

It has since emerged that many of the journalists in Miami who claimed to be independent reporters were being paid by the United States government, through the Office of Cuba Broadcasting and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversee U.S.-sponsored Radio and TV Martí.

If the U.S. government was, as it appears, funding journalists who wrote or promoted incendiary and false stories about Cuba or the Cuban 5, it would raise serious issues of government misconduct and deprivation of the right to a fair trial. Such stories would likely influence and taint both the jury pool and the seated jury while the U.S. was simultaneously prosecuting the Five.

A growing movement exists in the United States to normalize relations with Cuba. We can live together as neighbors. It is essential, as we go forward, that the government disclose to the U.S. public documents and information that shed light on government policy.

The public is lawfully entitled to these documents especially those that reveal that the government, through the BBG, may have illegally engaged in the conduct of domestic propaganda.

NOTE: The above information was received from the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition by email.
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JG: I am never surprised by legal or illegal attempts of subversion against Cuba by the United States government.

Florida's 2010 U.S. Senate Election

November 2010 is more than one year in the future, but some Florida politicians are already hard at work campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat which was last held by Mel Martinez.

To the best of my knowledge, three Floridians have declared their intention to seek the federal office of U.S. Senator from Florida: Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio, both Republicans, and Kendrick Meek, Democrat. More could announce their candidacies in the future.

If you feel as strongly as I do about the Cuba issue and you are in favor of removing the strangle-hold which South Florida right-wingers have had on anything related to Cuba, then I urge you to NOT VOTE in favor of Marco Rubio or Kendrick Meek in their respective party primary elections. They are at the service and do the bidding and support the Miami-Dade anti-Cuba crowd.

At the present time, I do not know where our popular Governor Charlie Crist stands in regards to the Cuba issue, so I can not express an opinion about him, but I hope that Governor Crist belongs to the Chuck Hagel / Richard Lugar branch of the Republican Party.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

How Did Capitalist Economists Get It So Wrong?

New York Times Article

A very lengthy article, eight parts, but it had to be lengthy because there were many things that he wanted to discuss.

Krugman is a 100% capitalist economist. The current economic crisis was created by typical capitalist greed. "Happy times are here again, keep on buying homes at ever escalating prices." When the capitalist greed bubble burst, 6.7 million workers lost their jobs. Now capitalist banks do not want to lend money to anyone.

His conclusion hit the mark: "When it comes to the all-too-human problem of recessions and depressions, economists need to abandon the neat but wrong solution of assuming that everyone is rational and markets work perfectly."

Capitalist markets DO NOT work perfectly because the guiding principle is greed.

Cuba should reject "talks" with Miami gusanos

The Miami Herald reports that New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson, is advocating "talks" between the Cuban government and what he calls "leaders" of the Miami Cuban exiles.

Cuba should reject that.

Cuba should hold talks with the government of the United States, if those talks are held in a manner which respect Cuba's sovereignty and national independence.

Do not hold talks with the monkeys; hold talks only with the master who holds the chains of and finances the terrorist activities of the monkeys.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court to consider the "Vamos a Cuba" case

The Torch, a printed newsletter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reports in their Summer 2009 issue that the United States Supreme Court will consider, in late September, the controversial Vamos a Cuba case.

A band of right wing Cuban exiles in Miami-Dade, Florida, appointed themselves as modern day book burners and forced the Miami-Dade School District to remove from its library shelves a book with the title Vamos a Cuba, which portrays the normal lives of children in Cuba.

I guess that they can not accept the fact and the reality of being given a kick in their butts by the Cuban people on January First, 1959. They now live their lives based on hate pronouncements, threats and acts of intimidation.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Miami-Dade School District because of First Amendment implications of removing a book from school libraries based on political objections to the content of the book.

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JG: I hope that the U,.S. Supreme upholds First Amendment rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. If it was up to those fanatical and extremist right wingers in Miami-Dade they would ban every book about Cuba's Socialist System.

These idiots have been living in the United States for fifty years, and have yet to learn to respect printed opinions which do not agree with their narrow mindedness.

Cuba will play Puerto Rico in its first game of the 2009 World Baseball Cup

Cuba will play Puerto Rico in Group B on Thursday in Barcelona, Spain, at the 2009 World Baseball Cup. 22 countries will play in European venues.

Wikipedia Website

Official Website

Philips, another company at the service of Yankee imperialism

The double betrayal of Philips

THE United States owns the most patents in the world. It has stolen scientists from every country, developed or developing, who are undertaking research in a myriad of spheres, from the production of weapons of mass destruction to medicines and medical equipment. For that reason, the economic and technological blockade is not something that merely serves as a pretext for blaming the empire for our own difficulties.

Public healthcare is one of the most advanced fields in our country, despite the fact that the United States stole close to 50% of the doctors who had graduated from the only university in Cuba, a figure in excess of 5,000, many of whom lacked employment.

In that area, one of the most beautiful pages of international cooperation on the part of the Cuban Revolution was written, initiated thanks to a group of doctors who were sent to the recently-independent Algeria almost half a century ago. That policy has not ended, and in that highly humane field our country enjoys universal recognition.

No one supposes that it has been an easy task. The United States has done everything possible to prevent it from happening. During the time that has passed, it has made maximum efforts to sabotage it. It applied against Cuba all possible variants of its criminal economic blockade which, later on, in virtue of the Helms-Burton Act, acquired an extraterritorial nature during the administration of Bill Clinton.

When the socialist bloc collapsed and, months later, its principal bastion the Soviet Union disintegrated, Cuba decided to keep on fighting. By then, our people had acquired a high level of awareness and political culture.

In 1992, Hugo Chávez led a military uprising against the bourgeois oligarchic government of the Punto Fijo pact that had pillaged Bolívar’s homeland for more than three decades. He suffered imprisonment, just as we did. He visited Cuba in 1994 and years later, with the full support of his people, he assumed the presidency and initiated the Bolivarian Revolution.

The Venezuelan people, like that of Cuba, soon had to confront the hostility of the United States, which planned the fascist coup d’état in 2002 that was defeated by the people and revolutionary military personnel. Months later, came the oil coup, creating the most difficult moment and one in which, once again, the leader, the people and the Venezuelan military were outstanding. Chávez and Venezuela offered us total solidarity in the midst of the Special Period and we have given them ours.

At that time, our country had no less than 60,000 specialized doctors, more than 150,000 experienced teachers and a people who had written brilliant internationalist pages. After the oil coup, the river of our cooperative workers in education and healthcare programs began to flow, and they cooperated with the Bolivarian Revolution in one of the most profound and rapid social programs undertaken in any Third World country.

I cite these precedents because they are indispensable when it come to judging the treachery of imperialism and comprehending the issue that I am tackling today: the abandonment and betrayal of Cuba and Venezuela by what was a well-known and relatively prestigious European multinational: the Dutch transnational Philips, which specializes in the manufacture of medical equipment.

I wrote a Reflection on this subject two years ago – July 14, 2007 – but I did not want to mention that company by name. I still held out the hope that the situation would be rectified.

We had cooperated with the Venezuelan people in order to create one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Tens of thousands of specialized doctors and other Cuban healthcare professional had lent their services there. President During one of his visits to Cuba, Hugo Chávez, satisfied with the work of the first contingents who traveled to Venezuela to work within Barrio Adentro – the program aimed at providing healthcare services in the country’s poorest urban and rural areas – asked us to create a program that could benefit every sector of Venezuelan society, working class, middle class or the rich. This led to the emergence of the Advanced Technology Diagnosis Centers; these would complement the task of the 600 Comprehensive Diagnosis Centers which, like polyclinics with a wide range of services, with their laboratories and equipment, would support the Barrio Adentro doctors’ offices. A significant number of rehabilitation centers would assume the humane task of attending to any patient with physical or learning disabilities.

In virtue of this request from the president, we acquired the relevant equipment for 27 Advanced Technology Diagnosis Centers distributed throughout the 24 states of Venezuela, three of which possess two each because of the size of their populations.

It is standard practice for us to always purchase medical equipment from the most prestigious and advanced companies at world level. We even try to ensure the participation of at least two of the most specialized companies in the supply of the most complex equipment.

In this way, the most sophisticated and costly medical imaging equipment, such as multi-slice computed tomography (CT), nuclear magnetic resonance, diagnostic ultrasound and other similar machines were purchased from the German firm Siemens and the Dutch company Philips. Neither of the two produces all of the equipment but they do manufacture some of the most complex and sophisticated equipment. Both are in competition with each other in terms of quality and price. We acquired diagnostic equipment from the two companies for Venezuela and for Cuba, where we were developing a similar plan for medical services that had received very few resources in the most difficult years of the Special Period.

For more than 10 different specialties, we acquired equipment from the two companies for services in the two countries. I will not mention those of the German firm Siemens, which met its commitments. I will confine myself to Philips; this company supplied equipment for 12 specialties sharing the provision of the most important and costly items with the other company: 15 40-slice CT machines, 28 0.23 Tesla Nuclear Magnetic Resonance machines, eight tele-command stations for Urology, 37 3D diagnostic ultrasound machines, two neurological angiograms, two cardiology angiograms, two polygraphs, one double-headed gamma camera, three single-head gamma camera, 250 mobile X-ray machines, 1,200 non-invasive monitors and 2,000 cardioversion monitors.

In total, 3,553 machines at a value of $72,762,694.

I personally participated in negotiations with these two companies for these purchases.

The prices discussed for each piece of equipment implied significant price reductions, given the quantity – the items for both Cuba and Venezuela together - and the fact that they were to be paid for in cash. It would not be possible to urgently acquire the goods as required, particularly in that country, given the accumulated needs of the poorest sectors of its total population, which numbered 27 million people at that time.

The most complex equipment were destined for the Advanced Technology Centers, the less sophisticated and plentiful items for the Barrio Adentro Diagnosis Centers, although they were not the only ones to use this equipment. Almost all of them were purchased at the beginning of 2006.

I became seriously ill at the end of July of that year. Philips supplied items until the end of 2006. In 2007, it stopped completely: not a single item was supplied.

In March of that year, a Cuban delegation was sent to Brazil where the Philips headquarters for Latin America – the branch that negotiated with Cuba – is located. They began to explain their difficulties. The Bush government had requested detailed information on equipment supplied to Cuba by their company, alleging that some of them contained programs and, occasionally, components bearing a yanki patent, and Philips provided the information requested on the purchases made by Cuba and Venezuela. There had never been any problem with that before.

The director of Philips in Brazil textually informed the Cuban delegation: "There is brutal intransigence on the part of the U.S. government in relation to regulations regarding equipment and the request for permits with respect to Cuba.

"I know that the problem is affecting the Comandante’s plan. Our organization is being affected and threatened. All our organizations are very scared." He immediately reiterated: "They are very scared."

Finally, they added that they wished to cooperate and find solutions.

In mid-July 2007, in a so-called White House Conference on the Americas, Bush, the secretary of state, and other U.S. government leaders "talked nineteen to the dozen" according to an AP report, on issues of education and healthcare. It seemed unreal. They were promising to distribute healthcare services throughout Latin America.

They placed special emphasis on the Confort, a former aircraft carrier converted into the "biggest hospital boat in the world," according to the report, which was to visit each country in this hemisphere south of the United States for 10 days at a time. That was their healthcare program. What they did not say at the time, was that, in Venezuela, they were sabotaging the most serious healthcare program ever proposed for a Third World country.

Despite the coincidence of the timing, at that moment I did not wish to directly tackle the Philips problem. The company had promised to resolve the problem the following March. I still held out the hope that it could be rectified.

I limited myself to writing in that very Reflection: "The problem is that the United States cannot do what Cuba is doing. On the contrary, it is brutally pressuring the manufacturing companies of the excellent medical equipment that is being supplied to our country to prevent them from replacing certain computer programs or providing some spare parts that are under U.S. patents. I could cite concrete cases and the names of the companies. It is repugnant…"

Despite Philips’ solemn promise to Cuba, the rest of 2007 passed by, as well as the whole of 2008 and half of 2009 without a single piece of equipment arriving from that company.

In June 2009, after paying a fine of 100,000 euros to the Barack Obama government, not so distant from the practices of his illustrious predecessor, Philips deigned to communicate that it was about to provide equipment for Cuba.

On the other hand, nobody has recompensed the Cuban people, or the Venezuelan patients of our doctors in the Barrio Adentro program and those attending the Advanced Technology Diagnostic Centers for the human damages that have occurred.

As is logical, we have not acquired a single piece of equipment from Philips since the last purchase in early 2006.

On the other hand, we have cooperated with Venezuela in purchasing medical equipment worth hundreds of millions of dollars for its national healthcare network, with a wide range of sophisticated state of cutting-edge equipment from other prestigious European and also Japanese companies. I wanted to believe that that company would make an effort to meet its commitment.

Venezuela now possesses modern equipment in its public hospital network; the richest private clinics will only have been able to acquire some of them. Now, all the rest will depend on the country’s efficiency in its services. The Venezuelan president is seriously interested in achieving this objective. I believe that it will do so very well if it mitigates the Venezuelan custom of purchasing U.S. medical equipment, not on account of its quality – which is very good although with less demanding regulations than those of Europe – but because of what lies at the heart of the policy of this country, capable of blocking the supply of equipment as it did with Cuba.

Of course, we have dispatched to the Venezuelan Diagnosis Centers, the Advanced Technology Centers and others where our doctors are in attendance, equipment of known international makes such as Siemens, Carl Zeiss, Drager, SMS, Schwind, Topcon, Nihon Kohden, Olympus and other European and Japanese companies, some of which were founded more than 100 years ago.

Now that Bolívar’s homeland, which Martí asked to serve, is more threatened than ever by imperialism, the organization, work and efficiency of our efforts must be greater than ever; not just in the healthcare sector, but in all the fields of our cooperation.

Fidel Castro Ruz

September 6, 2009

7.17 p.m.

(Taken from CubaDebate)
Translated by Granma International