Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cuban-American senator vows to block Peterson's Cuba travel bill

www.minnpost.com

By Derek Wallbank | Published Wed, Jun 30 2010 2:42 pm

WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Menendez, a Cuban-American lawmaker from New Jersey, has vowed to filibuster a bill that would end the travel ban to Cuba and increase agricultural exports to that country if the measure makes it to the Senate floor.

The measure is moving in the House, where it is being spearheaded by Rep. Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has sponsored a companion measure in the Senate, though it has stagnated in favor of moving Peterson's bill.

Peterson's bill is being marked up today in the Agriculture Committee, where it is expected to be approved. The measure is likely to clear the House if and when it's put up for a vote.

But Menendez has vowed to try and stop the bill if it reaches the upper chamber.

"I oppose and will filibuster any attempt to pass the bill in the Senate," Menendez said in a scorching statement released this afternoon.

"The big corporate interests behind this bill couldn't care less about whether the Cuban people are free or not — they only care about padding their profits by opening up a new market. The very fact that a travel bill is going through an agriculture committee makes one wonder why agriculture interests even care about travel to Cuba, unless it is to generate money for the Castro regime to buy agricultural goods."

In fact, the bill would be a boon for agriculture, generating millions for Minnesota's agricultural industry.

Minnesota currently exports about $60 million annually in agricultural products to Cuba, and U.S. exports make up about 30 percent of Cuba's agricultural exports. A 2007 International Trade Commission report said that number could rise to between 50 and 67 percent if current restrictions were eased, as Peterson's bill aims.

Peterson, during a March hearing on the topic, dismissed an embargo in place since 1960 (supported by Menendez and others) as ineffective and harmful to U.S. interests.

"America’s current policies have failed to achieve their stated goal and instead they have hand-delivered an export market in our own backyard to the Brazilians, the Europeans and our other competitors around the world," he said. "It’s time we ask ourselves why we have in place policies that simply do not work and that only harm U.S. interests."

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JG: I am never surprised by what this piece of scum, (a.k.a. Robert Menendez) has to say. New Jersey is totally controlled by organized gambling and organized crime, who are still shedding crocodile tears over the "investments" which they lost in Havana on January First, 1959. The American Mafia used to be Italo-American. Now they are Cuban-American.

U.S. House panel votes to lift Cuba travel ban

By MARY CLARE JALONICK (AP) – 17 minutes ago

WASHINGTON — A congressional committee has voted to lift the ban on American travel to Cuba.

The House Agriculture Committee voted 25-20 Wednesday to allow travel to the island and expand U.S. food exports there.

Similar measures have died in the House or Senate in recent years. Farm-state members of Congress have long supported expanding export opportunities to the island, but opponents say lifting the ban could prop up Cuba's weakened government.

A State Department spokesman would not say if the Obama administration will support the legislation. President Barack Obama has relaxed restrictions on family travel to Cuba but has said he will not support lifting general sanctions until the Cuban government improves human rights and political freedoms.

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JG: Did Barack Obama promise Miami gusana Gloria Estefan to oppose any relaxation of the Cuba embargo after he told her at her mansion: "Show me the money"? How much did she give him? One Million Dollars?

U.S. Agriculture Committee aproves H.R. 4645 by 25 votes in favor and 20 votes in opposition

H.R. 4645 is headed for the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

At approximately 4:42 p.m., give or take a few minutes, H.R. 4645, a bill titled the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act was passed by the Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, by a vote of 25 in favor and 20 opposed. It heads now to an uncertain future in the floor of the U.S. House, where right-wing forces of the Democratic Party, the notorious and infamous Gang of 66, will do everything they can, with hard and cold cash, to defeat the bill introduced by Peterson and Moran.

It was sad to hear some Representatives defend the "property rights" of General Fulgencio Batista supporters, who now live in ignominy in Miami, Florida.

Another Representative told the people assembled in the committee room, that the days of Fidel and Raul Castro were numbered, and he did it with a straight face. Since November 18, 1961, the day that I arrived in the States, I have heard the Miami mercenaries and commandos tell the world that it was just a matter of weeks or months for the "Castro Dictatorship" to come tumbling down. How little do they know the Cuban people!

More analysis and reports as they are published, and I will do that in a separate post.

Agriculture Committee Hearing on H.R. 4645: Live on the Internet at 2:00 p.m.

The U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee will stream a live video and audio of the mark-up hearing on H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, today at 2:00 p.m.

Go to the main index page and then go down to the line which says:

Live audio and video access to all public hearings and business meetings held by the House Agriculture Committee will be streamed on-line here.

Click on the word here, and then on the following page click on:

Video Connection to Hearing Room (1300 Longworth HOB)

US lawmaker sees panel voting to end Cuba travel ban

Reuters

Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:41pm GMT

WASHINGTON June 29 - A congressional panel is poised to take the first step toward ending a decades-old U.S. ban on travel to Cuba and removing other hurdles to food sales to the Caribbean island, a senior lawmaker said on Tuesday.

"This bill has been needed for a long time," House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson said in a statement ahead of committee action on Wednesday.

The bipartisan bill that Peterson helped craft with Representative Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, enjoys broad support from U.S. farm and business groups that favor ending the nearly 50-year-old U.S. embargo on communist-led Cuba.

The bill is expected to clear the committee and be sent to the full House, where it will face strong resistance from conservative lawmakers and Cuban-Americans who oppose any step to ease restrictions on trade and travel with Cuba until a democratic government is in power in Havana.

Proposals to lift the ban have floundered in Congress over the last decade due to concerns about human rights abuses in the one-party state built from Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution.

President Barack Obama has taken some steps to improve relations with Havana, such as allowing unlimited family travel and remittances and greater telecommunications links.

But Washington says the Cuban government has failed to reciprocate, making it politically difficult for the White House to move further in easing the Cold War-era embargo.

Cuban officials have encouraged recent U.S. trade delegations visiting Havana to work for abolish the travel ban because the arrival of more American tourists would give the government more money to buy U.S. goods.

Business groups mounted a lobbying effort on Tuesday to ensure Peterson would have enough votes in the committee to approve the bill without any changes.

"Enabling Americans to travel to Cuba and expand already legal export operations is an important first step to reforming U.S. policy toward Cuba," Bruce Josten, top lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a letter to lawmakers.

Congress exempted farm sales from the long-standing U.S. embargo on Cuba in 2000 so long as Havana paid for the goods in cash and money transfers were handled by a third-country bank.

The administration of former President George W. Bush angered many farm-state lawmakers by interpreting the cash payment rule in a narrow way as payment before shipment.

Even so, U.S. farm exports to Cuba reached a record $710 million in 2008, before dropping to $528 million in 2009.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; editing by Anthony Boadle)

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JG: Let us hope that common sense prevails and that the first peaceful step in improving US-Cuba relations takes place today in the Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, under Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Republican ranking member Jerry Moran from Kansas. We are likely to get more from Cuba if we use a little bit of honey instead of continuing the heavy doses of vinegar dished out from Washington D.C. and Miami.

I was reading recently, in the Washington Post, a very interesting article about Taiwan-China economic and political relations. The Taiwanese have what the Miami extremists lack: intelligence and pragmatism. The right wing forces of Chiang Kai Shek were defeated by the revolutionary socialist forces of Mao Tse Tung. The vanquished retreated to Taiwan. But after many many years they realized that they were not a big influence in mainland China. A process of rapprochement and friendship started. Today, there is friendship between Taiwan and China, where hatred used to be the norm.

Cubans living in Miami should be doing what the Taiwanese are doing, investing in la madre patria!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

U.S. right-wingers launch a full fledged frontal attack against H.R. 4645

Peace is an idea and a policy which conservatives and right wingers in the United States will never embrace. They are people, who like the Nazis in the 1930's, are full of hate toward those they disagree with.

Tomorrow, the Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 4645, a bill introduced by Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Jerry Moran (R-KS). It seeks to reform our failed Cuba policies.

Because the United States is living in an era which is marked by intense hate, (witness what is happening in Arizona), I have great doubts about the passage of H.R. 4645 in the full floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. But I hope that I am wrong. Hope is the last thing that a person losses.

Yesterday and today the right wingers have launched a huge frontal attack on H.R. 4645. Mary Anastasia O'Brady of the Wall Street Journal wrote an article that is full of the Yankee imperialists favorite talking points about Cuba. That was followed by an article by Maurice Claver-Carone, the director of the Miami-based US-Cuba Democracy PAC, which has the mission of purchasing the votes of corrupt politicians in Congress in exchange for legal bribes that they euphemistically call “campaign contributions.” Last, but not least, was an article by baby-faced Republican Tom Rooney. More of the same crap.

Money talks in a hyper-capitalist system like the one that the United States has. Who knows how much money is changing hands to influence the defeat of H.R. 4645?

One thing is sure, Cuba will continue to defend its sovereignty and independence. The times of U.S. supported puppets, which the Miami extremists want to return to the island, will never return. Short of a full U.S. military invasion of Cuba, the U.S. government will have to accept Cuba the way it is.

Monday, June 28, 2010

An open email to Mary Anastasia O'Grady of The Wall Street Journal

Madam:

Your article in today's Wall Stree Journal titled Why Lift the Travel Ban to Cuba Now? is the typical propaganda of the mouthpiece of American hyper-capitalism, which by the way, is a system that is not working very well right now.

Insanity has been defined by a learned person as continuing to do the same thing and expecting to get a different result.

The Cuba embargo is a huge policy failure carried out by eleven U.S. presidents. It has not accomplished its original objective of overthrowing Cuba's native brand of Socialism. To begin with, the U.S. has no right to tell the Cuban people what kind of system they are supposed to have. Secondly, the Cuba embargo has been condemned by every civilized country in the world by a vote 184-3 at the United Nations General Assembly, where the U.S. has no veto power. Only genocidal Israel voted with their paymasters, and also major "world power" Palau.

The Cuban people will continue to defend their sovereignty and national independence. They will not accept any impositions or mandates from Bush, Obama, or the US. Congress.

Passing H.R. 4645 is a step in the right direction toward restoring FDR's Good Neighbor policy.

In the meantime, please continue banging your head against the wall. You will accomplish NOTHING!

Jorge Gonzalez
Publisher and Editor
Cuba Journal

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Silvia Wilhem: Majority of Americans support Cuba travel

Letters to the editor of the Miami Herald

Re the June 20 Open letter to CNBC by members of the Pedro Pan group: I am a Pedro Pan interviewed for the documentary and would like to point out:

• First, I never said or implied that I spoke on behalf of any organization. Neither did anyone else featured in this documentary. It would be ludicrous to pretend to speak on behalf of 14,000 people. Nevertheless, we all have the inalienable right to speak for ourselves.

• Second, with regard to their statement of my ``open advocacy of the Cuban government's agenda regarding the unconditional lifting of the U.S. embargo and travel restrictions to Cuba,'' I must point out that a recent Ipsos poll taken April 23-27 finds that 67 percent of all Americans want the right to travel to Cuba, and 72 percent of respondents said it would have a positive impact on the island.

According to a Bendixen and Associates poll taken April 14-16, 2009, 67 percent of Cuban and Cuban-American adults support the lifting of travel restrictions for all Americans.

In other words, my opinion is not an isolated one. My advocacy on behalf of opening travel is a position supported by the majority of citizens of the United States. Indeed, my advocacy is on their behalf.

• Third, this month, 74 Cuban dissidents, including many of the island's most well-known human-rights advocates, sent a letter to the U.S. Congress asking it to pass legislation (HR 4645) that would end restrictions on travel to Cuba. They also joined the advocates for a change in policy, for they are well aware how counterproductive the status quo is to their efforts.

I echo CNBC's desire that this documentary continue to foment discussion and open a respectful debate in our community, which is one of the fundamental elements of democracy. Let's continue to debate these issues, but stop personal attacks that so damage the image of our community and thwart the democratic process.

SILVIA WILHELM, Miami

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JG: I commiserate with Silvia's predicament. Hardly a week goes by that I do not get a digital visit at Cuba Journal from one of the anonymous Miami ultra-right-wing fanatics who accuse me of being a communist and/or a Castro agent. I laugh it off and hit the reject button faster than they can say 'Down with Cuba'. What a bunch of childish idiots!

I too was victim of CIA's operation Pedro Pan. My family was totally fooled.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CUBA BILL ALERT! Agriculture Committee could vote on H.R. 4645 on Thursday

Global Exchange reports that the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee may vote on H.R. 4645, The Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, on July 1. Their website story has the date, incorrectly probably, as June 1, 2010.

If your Congressman serves on that committee, get in touch with him/her by phone next week and ask them to support this important piece of legislation.

Fifty Years of Failed Cuba Policy is Enough!

The Havana Note: Time for Decisive Change on Cuba

Other websites report that the vote will take place on Wednesday, June 30, 2010.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cuba is elected Vice-President of U.N. Human Rights Council

Cuban daily Granma reported yesterday that Cuba was elected, by acclamation, as Vice President of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

To read the report, in Spanish, click here.

Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club to Play U.S., Europe

ABC News

By Esteban Israel

June 21, 2010

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club will make its first appearance in the United States since 2003, with concerts this week in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles before heading off to Europe, a band spokesman said on Monday.

The Cuban band will be the latest of Cuba's entertainment exports to the United States as cultural contacts between Cuba and the United States thaw under President Barack Obama.

Trombonist and band director Jesus "Aguaje" Ramos said the group was looking forward to playing again for American fans, who embraced the band despite many years of hostile U.S.-Cuban relations.

"For us, it's beautiful, because we left behind a public interested in Cuban music -- a public loyal to son, to danzon, to bolero," he said, referring to the group's musical styles.

The band of aging Cuban musical legends was rescued from oblivion by U.S. musician Ry Cooder, who went to Havana in 1996 to produce what became their self-titled Grammy Award-winning album, "Buena Vista Social Club."

A 1999 documentary by the same name, directed by Germany's Wim Wenders, was nominated for an Academy Award.

In the intervening years, some of the best-known members of the group have died, including singers Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Pio Leiva, pianist Ruben Gonzalez and bass player Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez.

Others still alive, including singer Omara Portuondo and percussionist Amadito Valdes, will not be on the tour.

Original members laudist Barbarito Torres, trumpeter Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabal and guitarist Manuel Galban are still with the band and will perform.

The U.S. play dates include June 24 at Prospect Park in the New York City borough of Brooklyn; June 26 at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago; and June 27 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

The band then goes to Europe, where it will play 25 concerts.

(Editing by Jeff Franks and Todd Eastham)

A spade of Damocles hanging over our heads

Alberto N. Jones
June 22, 2010

The United States, world pariah Israel and Palau, which is a politically unimportant country and near impossible to find on a world map, are the only three countries in the world still supporting the failed, mean spirited embargo imposed on Cuba by president Dwight Eisenhower in 1960, before President Barack Obama was born.

Although the United Nations, the Catholic Church and every reputable institution in the world have decried and demanded the end of this monstrosity for the past twenty years, the United States has obstinately ignored such pleas, choosing a confrontational path that benefits no one.

Not even the monumental environmental disaster which is taking place in the gulf of Mexico and has yet to hit the coast of Florida and devastate our state, has sounded the alarm at the highest level of the US administration of a similar incubating risk, much closer to south Florida, when Cuba begins next year its offshore exploration drilling, in search of billions of gallons of crude oil.

Ordinary people know that it is through collaboration, agreement and understanding, that it will be possible to deal with these and other occurring natural disasters, not through brute force, coercion or threats.

President Barack Obama whom we have supported and trusted that his higher intellect would have enabled him to overcome the crude, fourth-grader policies of his predecessor, has so far, yielded his authority and decisions in this field to members of his cabinet, who are highly influenced by the powerful US-Cuba Democracy PAC, which is headquartered in Miami and is a rabidly right-wing and anti-Cuba.

Sadly, if this irrational policy is not changed and a similar disaster would occur closer to home, it may be too late or there may be no interlocutor on the other end to take our call, all of which have been created in part by our ultra-right wing friends, who are totally incapable otherwise, of helping in such a life and death catastrophe.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monsignor Mamberti: Meeting with Raul Castro Positive

Escambray

by ACN — last modified Jun 21, 2010 02:25 PM

The Vatican’s Foreign Minister, Monsignor Dominique Mamberti said a meeting with President Raul Castro on Sunday afternoon was very positive.

Speaking to reporters at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, where he was seen off by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Maberti thanked Cuba’s hospitality during his pastoral and official visit to the island.

“I want to thank the Cuban government and the Catholic Church for their warm welcome and hospitality during this unforgettable visit to Cuba”, said Mamberti.

Minutes earlier, the Vatican’s official had met with Raul Castro after visiting the former Convent of Our Lady of Bethlehem, which now hosts a project of social assistance led by the Office of the Havana Historian.

A good post at 'Along the Malecon'

I am a big fan of Tracey Eaton at 'Along the Malecon'.

Do not miss his Hillary Clinton's Cuba strategy could backfire.

As I am sure you have deducted by now, I am not a big fan of either Bill or Hillary. Obama's first big mistake was to put Hillary at the State Department. She is giving the President bad advice on the Cuba issue.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Wicked Witch from Foggy Bottom calls for the release of a U.S. spy held in Cuba

Yankee imperialists no longer have the necessary honesty or decency to call their covert agents in other countries what they really are: agents and spies. Now, the spinners in the White House and the State Department simply call them contractors. Long live privatization of the spooks!

You may put lipstick on a pig, but that does not change the fact that he/she is still a pig.

In Iraq, the imperialist Blackwater contractors worked for and were paid by Uncle Sam while butchering the Iraqi people.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama sent a Virginia contractor to Cuba, a guy by the name of Allan Gross. His mission, when he decided to accept it, was to destabilize and subvert the government freely chosen by the Cuban people.

He entered the country with a tourist visa. Once there, he proceeded to distribute communications paraphernalia to the mercenaries who work for Uncle Sam inside Cuba. He was apprehended by the authorities and has been held in jail since last December. You pay the consequences when you violate Cuba's sovereignty.

Now the Wicked Witch from Foggy Bottom is shedding crocodile tears for 'Mission Impossible' Secret Agent Allan Gross. I say, keep him in jail. He is getting what he deserves.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cuba braces to contend with BP oil spill

Havana calls in Venezuelan experts to combat potential environmental disaster as tarballs spotted off island's coast

* Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
* guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 16 June 2010 17.37 BST

Cuba is steadying itself for an ecological and tourism crisis as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill appears to be heading towards its pristine northern coast.

Authorities are preparing coastal communities to respond to the first sign of black slicks and have brought in Venezuelan experts to advise on damage limitation.

Patches of oil were reportedly spotted 100 miles north-west of the island, prompting concern that gulf currents will add Cuba to the list of casualties from the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.

Should oil reach Cuba it will be the latest twist to decades of toxic diplomatic relations between Havana and Washington.

"In Cuba, we have had small spills involving tankers on our coasts, but we've never had to confront anything of this magnitude," General Ramon Espinosa, vice-minister of the armed forces, told reporters at a government meeting on natural disaster preparedness.

"Nonetheless we are documenting and studying. We are preparing with everything in our power." It would be a disaster for Cuba if the spill hit, he added.

A relative lack of economic development has kept the north Cuban coast – just 90 miles from Florida – a haven for manatees, migratory sea turtles and sharks. White sand beaches are an important draw for tourists who provide an economic lifeline to the island.

Ramon Pardo, head of Cuban civil defence, said Havana was taking all precautions. "The preparation of the coast, vigilance, creating all necessary conditions, preparing the people who live on the coasts that could be impacted."

Officials said Cuba would rely on expertise from Venezuela, an ally that has long experience of offshore oil drilling and its environmental consequences, but that it was also willing to talk to the US. Analysts said "oil diplomacy" could gift Washington and Havana a rare chance to co-operate but details remain sketchy.

The BP spill may give Cubans pause over plans to develop northern offshore deposits estimated at 5bn barrels of oil and 10tn cubic feet of natural gas. The Spanish company Repsol YPF is due to drill exploration wells later this year or early in 2011.

U.S. rice leaders to travel to Cuba

By Leigh Kreimeier

Stuttgart Daily Leader

Posted Jun 17, 2010 @ 10:25 AM

DeWitt — Members of the USA Rice Federation will be traveling to Havana next week to assess the potential rice market in Cuba. USA Rice Merchants’ Association Chairman Brian King, of Ritter Grain Services in Marked Tree will lead the delegation.

"Our goal with this trip is to start the dialogue with Cuban trade officials about the potential for future U.S. rice purchases and reiterate our support for legislation currently in Congress that would remove barriers to U.S. agricultural trade with Cuba," King said.

The group will hold talks with trade officials from Cuba's import agency ALIMPORT, the ministries of agriculture, foreign trade and foreign affairs, and meet with other rice industry businesses.

In addition to King, the group will include members of the U.S. rice industry from Arkansas and a Louisiana-based journalist. The Arkansas delegation members are William Carwell and Randy and Joseph McNeil of Poinsett Rice and Grain in Cherry Valley, Ronald Miller of Bayou Grain in Wilmot, Gerald Morris of Farmers Granery in Pocahontas and Paul Whittingham of Ritter Grain Services in Harrisburg. Journalist Don Molino of the Louisiana Agri-News Network will also accompany the group.

Cuba imports about 600,000 metric tons of rice annually, mostly from Vietnam because of price considerations and favorable credit terms. U.S. policy requires Cuba to pay in advance for agricultural shipments.

USA Rice has been the leading advocate supporting legislation in Congress to remove the cash payment in advance requirement and allow expanded U.S. agricultural trade and travel with Cuba.

A bill currently under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, would return the current "payment of cash in advance" stipulation to terms as intended by Congress and would eliminate the need for Cuba to go through third-country banks to pay for agricultural products from the United States. The bill would also remove restrictions on U.S. citizen travel to Cuba.

Eliminating the travel restrictions on U.S. citizens will have a direct and beneficial impact on U.S. agricultural sales — particularly rice. Cuba was once the largest export market for U.S. rice, however, the country has imported just 10,991 metric tons of U.S rice in the past five years because of price considerations and the payment in advance requirement.

Cuba rejects U.S. defamation on person trafficking

Granma International

Havana. June 15, 2010

• Statement by Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, director of the
North America Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba


CUBA categorically rejects as false and disrespectful the allegations of the Department of State report on the trafficking of persons and the implausible inclusion of Cuba in the worst of its categories.

This shameful defamation profoundly offends the Cuban people. There is no sexual trafficking of minors in Cuba, but an exemplary performance in terms of the protection of children, young people and women. Cuba does not qualify either as a country of origin, or of transit or of destination in relation to this scourge. Legislation and measures adopted in this sphere place us among the countries of the region with the most advanced regulations and mechanisms for the prevention and combating of person trafficking.

This can only be explained by the desperate need on the part of the government of the United States to justify, with any pretext whatsoever, the persistence of its cruel blockade policy, overwhelmingly rejected by the international community.

Miami right-wing gusanos send an insulting letter to Agricultural Committee Chairman Collin Peterson

The Miami gusanos are very worried. They are very afraid that H.R. 4645 will be marked up and proceed to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for debate and consideration.

A website by the name of www.docstoc.com (I never heard of them before), has published a letter which they claim comes from the Miami anti-Cuba activists. The website claims that the letter was sent to the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee, Collin Peterson.

The letter contains the usual anti-Cuba garbage and the tone is highly insulting.

If you wish to see the avowed letter, click here.

Update - 07/19/2010

JG: The worries of the Miami gusanos became a reality on June 30, 2010. By a vote of 25 in favor and 20 voting nay, the Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives marked-up H.R. 4645 and referred it to the House floor with a positive recommendation. Could it be that a limited peace between the U.S. and Cuba will be accomplished in 2010?

US contractor held for "grave" crimes in Cuba: official

June 16, 2010

(AFP)

HAVANA — A US contractor arrested in December remains under investigation on charges [that he] committed "grave" crimes in support of "subversive" US policies, Cuba's foreign minister said Wednesday.

Alan Gross, 60, "is being held for violating Cuban laws and committing grave offenses in our country at the service of the subversive policy of the government of the United States against Cuba," said Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

US officials say that Gross worked for a non-government organization contracted by the State Department to supply computer and communications material to civil society groups on the island.

Cuba believes he is a spy.

Gross "is currently under investigation, he has a guaranteed defense, has received permanent consular assistance and has had communication with his relatives," Rodriguez said.

Cuba however has not said if it has pressed formal charges against Gross.

US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said that as of June 2 US officials have been granted access to Gross five times.

Gross's case is being handled "in strict accordance with the Cuban penal code," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez spoke at a press conference along with visiting Vatican Foreign Minister Monsignor Dominique Mamberti.

Cuba insists that Gross is a spy who had sophisticated communications equipment for dissidents in the Americas' only one-party Communist regime.

The US company that employed the contractor, Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), has denied the espionage charges.

Gross was arrested December 5, reportedly while distributing cell phones, laptops and other communications equipment.

Washington has called for Gross' immediate and unconditional release.

The United States and Cuba have not had formal diplomatic ties since 1961, though Washington is represented by a US interest section in Havana.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Official: US lacks moral authority to judge Cuba

By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ (AP)

HAVANA — A top Cuban official criticized Washington's decision to applaud the release of an ill political prisoner, saying it has no moral authority to judge the communist-run island.

Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry's North American affairs office, told The Associated Press late Tuesday that "Cuba doesn't recognize any authority by the State Department or its spokesman to pass judgments on internal matters."

She added that "moreover, the United States doesn't have moral authority to give lessons to anyone."

Vidal Ferreiro's comments came a day after U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the U.S. views the Saturday release of Ariel Sigler as "a positive development."

"We hope that this will lead to the release of additional prisoners of conscience," Crowley told reporters in Washington. He added, "We certainly respect the positive role played by ... those working for the improved treatment of released political prisoners, including the Catholic Church."

Sigler, 44, who is paralyzed from the waist down, was freed on medical grounds. One of 75 activists arrested in 2003 during a crackdown by Cuban authorities, he had been serving a 25-year sentence for treason.

Crowley's comment was the most positive yet by a U.S. official since Cuba began making a series of human rights concessions following talks between the communist government and the Roman Catholic church.

Under an agreement ironed out with church leaders, 12 prisoners of conscience have been transferred to jails closer to their homes in recent weeks. The moves came ahead of a visit to Cuba that began Tuesday night by the Vatican's foreign minister, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

Cuba had not publicly acknowledged Sigler's release or the transfer of the dozen prisoners, and Vidal Ferreiro only broke the silence to scold the U.S.

"The United States commits acts of torture, has an illegal detention center in Guantanamo," Vidal Ferreiro told The AP by telephone, referring to the U.S. Navy base on Cuba's eastern tip.

She said Washington "keeps political prisoners in its prisons, like the case of five Cuban antiterrorists," referring to the so-called "Cuban Five," a ring of men convicting of spying in the United States, which Havana maintains was only keeping watch on violent anti-Castro groups.

Cuba's Catholic church has suddenly burst on the scene as a powerful political voice.

In May, Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega negotiated an end to a ban on marches by a group known as the Ladies in White, which is made up of the wives and mothers of some of the dissidents jailed in 2003.

The cardinal and another church leader later met with Raul Castro, leading to the agreement on prisoners.

Human rights officials say Cuba holds 180 political prisoners. Havana says opposition activists and dissidents are a mix of common criminals and agitators paid and manipulated by Washington.

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JG: Josefina is 100% correct. When Batista and his henchmen were butchering Cubans all over the island (1952-1958), the United States never went to any human rights organization to ask that he be condemned. HIPOCRICY, THY NAME IS UNITED STATES!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Barack Obama continues the 'insanity' of his predecessors

The policy steps that Barack Obama has taken toward Cuba are rather weak and timid. This guy still believes that he can tell the Cuban people how to conduct their own internal affairs. When will he realize that Cubans do not want a return of American capitalism to the island? Obama has basiclly continued the polices of George W. Bush. He continues the Cuba embargo/blockade. He knows very well that the policy is deeply rooted in failure. As long as the U.S. continues with their agresive policies, nothing much will change. Only when they adopt 'live and let live' things may change.

Below is an article published in the Huffington Post:

Now Is the Time to Change U.S. Cuba Policy

By Robert Cramer

For half a century, United States policy toward Cuba has been aimed at isolating and defeating the regime. That policy has demonstrably failed. Fidel Castro and his successor Raul Castro, have outlasted presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and almost two years of the Obama Administration.

The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting to get a different result. By that definition, the policy of attempting to isolate Cuba is -- to put it charitably -- daft.

This failed approach to Cuba was originally justified as part of the Cold War policy of "containment" of the Soviet Union. That policy has now outlasted the Soviet Union by two decades.

A shooting war in Vietnam in which almost 50,000 Americans were killed has come and gone. Vietnam is now a reliable U.S. trading partner and favorite tourist destination, but the policy of isolating Cuba -- with which we have never had a violent conflict -- remains.

Richard Nixon long ago made peace with China which, though still an officially Communist country, is now one of our most crucial trading partners and holds much of our country's debt. But our policy of isolating relatively tiny Cuba -- just 90 miles from our shore -- continues.

Of course one of the reasons for the failure of this ancient policy is that it was long ago abandoned by every other country in the world. Canadians vacation at Cuban resorts. South Americans sell Cuban agricultural products. Our European allies all have friendly relations, but our policy of isolating Cuba persists.

The only real accomplishment of U.S. policy toward Cuba has been to restrict the rights of U.S. citizens. Current policy prevents ordinary Americans from traveling to Cuba. It is the only place on earth to which our own government prevents us from traveling. It is the freedom of Americans that is being abridged -- and we should be just as outraged by that limitation on our freedom as we are by a gag order on our freedom of speech or an abridgment of our freedom of religion.

What is particularly galling is that this restriction on our freedom has also helped limit the opening of Cuban society that is its alleged rationale. Want to open up Cuban society? Then engage them in travel and trade. Invite their students to the United States and encourage our students to study in their universities. Encourage cultural exchanges, baseball games, soccer tournaments.

In other words, the restriction on American travel to Cuba not only limits our freedom -- it actually prevents the presumed goal of our policy -- to open up Cuba. That's just plain dumb.

Of course, the same goes for our economic "boycott" which does not so much prevent Cuba from getting the things its needs (though it definitely makes the lives of ordinary Cubans more difficult), as it prevents American companies and farmers from selling them American products.

Members of Congress spend hours of time on the House and Senate floors extolling the priority of creating American jobs and promoting the sale of American products, and then prevent the sales of those products to a customer that would be ready and willing to buy. The result? Other countries sell Cuba the same products and benefit by the creation of jobs in their countries rather than the United States.

And to top things off, U.S. policy towards Cuba has been a major sore point with other countries in Latin America, who view it as a vestige of Yankee paternalism toward the entire region. And it is used by those who want to harm America as another piece of anti-American propaganda.

The proximate political reason for this patently ridiculous policy is the large Cuban American voter block in southern Florida. Many Cuban Americans emigrated here immediately after the Cuban Revolution half a century ago and were virulently anti-Castro.

But as the years have gone by, the attitudes of the Cuban American population have fundamentally changed. Polls now show that now 67% percent of Cuban Americans support allowing all Americans to travel to Cuba (Bendixen poll: Conducted April 14-16, 2009 - Cuban Americans only). Even among Cuban Americans, it's no longer good politics to favor a travel ban to Cuba. Yet the old guard hardliners continue to intimidate many politicians - not the least because Florida is almost always a swing state in Presidential elections.

To be sure, there have been some modest modifications in American policy. American farmers have been allowed to sell product to Cuba for some time - though on much less favorable terms than their international competitors. Some educational travel is allowed - but only with a special license from the Federal Government.

President Obama has vowed to change our policy toward Cuba. Not long after he took office he allowed freedom of travel to Cuba for Americans of Cuban descent - a move that was wildly popular among Cuban Americans.

Within the next several weeks Congressman Collin Peterson, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, will mark up legislation in his committee that will allow farmers to sell agricultural products to Cuba on much more favorable terms - and allow Americans of all sorts to travel there.

A broad coalition of groups supports the bill ranging from major farm organizations to organizations that focus on American policy toward Latin America. The measure has bi-partisan support, support from advocacy groups aligned with both sides of the aisle, the Catholic Church and most major human rights organizations.

You'd think that would be enough to guarantee passage, but the hard line Cuban American lobby has created a PAC that is spreading contributions aimed at dissuading Members from supporting a measure that is so obviously good public policy.

One of their arguments is that persistent Cuban human rights abuses should not be "rewarded" by this kind of measure. Of course no one really believes that Cuba is a "threat" to American national security. And most human rights groups believe that the best way to address human rights issues there is to open up Cuban society and culture.

Just last week, seventy-four of Cuba's most politically prominent dissidents - including Miriam Leiva, the well-known blogger Yoani Sanchez, and the hunger striker Guillermo Farinas - signed a letter to the U.S. Congress asking them to support legislation to legalize travel to Cuba and increase sales of U.S. food. They wrote in part:

We share the opinion that the isolation of the people of Cuba benefits the most inflexible interests of its government, while any opening serves to inform and empower the Cuban people and helps to further strengthen our civil society.....

The supportive presence of American citizens, their direct help, and the many opportunities for exchange, used effectively and in the desired direction, would not be an abandonment of Cuban civil society but rather a force to strengthen it. Similarly, to further facilitate the sale of agricultural products would help alleviate the food shortages we now suffer.

If the core of the Cuban dissident movement is in favor of allowing travel to Cuba, who in their right mind could argue that it would "reward" repression in Cuba?

Just as important, of course, it is ridiculous for the United States to tie our policy to what the Cubans do. Our policy should be based on what is good for the people of the United States, and those goals include eliminating the current pointless restrictions on our own citizens' right to travel, allowing our companies to sell products to Cuba, benefiting from the jobs that increased exports provide - as well as answering the call of Cuban dissidents to open up Cuban society.

And it's just plain hypocritical to make the argument that we shouldn't trade with Cuba when we trade massively with countries like Saudi Arabia and China that certainly don't win anyone's annual human rights award.

Finally, polls show that most Americans - Democrats, Independents and Republicans -- support the elimination of government restrictions on travel to Cuba as well as restrictions on the American sales to the island.

President Obama is expected to sign the Peterson bill if it is passed. Hopefully Congress will give him the opportunity to reset our relationship with Cuba and create a policy that finally works to maximize American interests.

Robert Creamer is a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of the recent book: "Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win," available on amazon.com.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

US, Cuba to hold immigration talks next week

By PAUL HAVEN (AP)

HAVANA — The United States and Cuba have agreed to hold immigration talks in Washington within days, a U.S. official said Saturday, the first since a similar meeting in Havana in February.

The talks scheduled for Friday are intended to monitor adherence to a 16-year-old agreement under which the United States issues 20,000 visas to Cubans a year, though in the past the sides have used the meeting to delve into more contentious issues.

More...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cuban dissidents tell US to drop travel ban

BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/latin_america/10290492.stm)

Page last updated at 01:54 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 02:54 UK

A group of well-known Cuban dissidents has urged the US Congress to pass legislation which would allow American citizens to travel to Cuba freely.

American nationals are currently not allowed to spend money in Cuba without securing special permission.

In an open letter, the 74 dissidents said Cuba's isolation played into the hands of what they called Havana's most inflexible interests.

Cuba has been under a wide-ranging US embargo since 1960.

The letter supports a proposal brought by Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson which would bar the US president from banning travel to Cuba or blocking transactions required to make such trips.

Among the signatories are Cuba's well-known blogger Yoani Sanchez, Elizardo Sanchez, the head of Cuba's most prominent human rights group, and Guillermo Farinas, a journalist who has been on hunger strike for three months demanding the release of the country's most seriously ill political prisoners.

The BBC's Michael Voss in Havana says it is the first time that so many Cuban dissidents have joined forces in supporting a single piece of US legislation.

Mr Peterson's bill must pass the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture before it can go to a vote by the full House.

Similar proposals to ease travel restrictions have in the past died in the committee stage, never even making it to the House or the Senate.

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JG: What the so-called Cuban dissidents forgot to do was to send their letter to the Gang of 66, a group of corrupt right wing Democrats, who in 2007 collected more than $300,000.00 from the US-Cuba Democracy PAC -- headquartered in Miami -- in exchange for their votes to derail two votes in the House which sought to reform our failed Cuba policies.

Cuba willing to dialogue with European Union on equal basis

Granma International

PARIS, June 10.—Cuba today reiterated its disposition to maintain a dialogue with the European Union (EU) on a basis on reciprocity, sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs, reported Prensa Latina.

At a meeting here between Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez and his Spanish counterpart Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Cuban minister once again expressed his regret over the EU’s Common Position.

"We reject the European Union’s interfering and unilateral Common Position toward our country, which constitutes the principal obstacle to the full normalization of relations," specified Rodríguez.

In response to an invitation from the European side, this morning the Cuban foreign minister held a ministerial meeting with the EU troika, continuing the process initiated in October 2008 in Paris.

According to an official note from the Cuban delegation, during the meeting, the community bloc expressed its interest in increasing cooperation with the island and the establishment of a contractual framework between the two parties.

Rodríguez affirmed Cuba’s disposition to negotiate a bilateral relations framework with the EU including political links, trade and cooperation.

The diplomat also expressed Cuba’s desire to maintain respectful links that, evidently, would require the EU to recognize and treat Cuba on an equal basis, taking into consideration respect for the sovereignty of states.

Also taking part in the meeting, besides Moratinos as the rotating president for Spain, were representatives of the European Commission and the General Secretary of the EU Council.

Translated by Granma International

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JG: Talks YES, dictates and impositions NO.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Report: China, Cuba more peaceful than US

Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Cuba and China are more peaceful than the United States, according to a report published Thursday.

The global peace index, prepared by the Sydney, Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace, says the world in general is becoming a more violent place. The report says nearly two-thirds of the countries it ranks every year have become more violent since 2007.

Iraq is the most violent nation in the world, the report says, followed by Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan, Israel, Georgia, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Beacons of peace are New Zealand — which tops the index — Iceland, Japan, Austria, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Finland and Sweden.

The United States ranks 85th, below Cuba and China and just ahead of Angola.

The idea for the index came from Steve Killelea, an Australian entrepreneur who wanted to identify what makes a peaceful country. He asked the Economist Intelligence Unit, which is affiliated with the Economist news magazine, to look at a range of variables, from levels of homicides per 100,000 people — which drags down America and boosts Denmark — to corruption and access to primary education.

The survey also looks at levels of crime, social unrest and military spending.

World peace would save the global economy $7 trillion a year, the report says. Becoming more peaceful translates into economic gains, the report claims, because less money needs to be spent on security and can be invested instead to make the country more prosperous.

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JG: No surprise here. Since the election of Reagan and Clinton, the United States practically has killed its own economy by exporting its manufacturing base to cheap labor countries. Today, the United States promotes war outside its own borders and finacial scams at home. The U.S. has a current account deficit, a trade deficit and a huge fiscal deficit. We are the greatest debtor country in the world. That is a formula for disaster and continuing economic decline.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Cuba: Government Plans to Split Havana Province

The New York Times

By REUTERS
Published: June 8, 2010

Cuba plans to split the province of Havana into two provinces in an effort to make local government more efficient, the state-run news media said Tuesday. The division would cut travel distances for provincial employees, make services more accessible and add local political clout by giving each province its own capital, according to Granma, the newspaper of the Communist Party. The plan for the two provinces, to be called Mayabeque and Artemisa, requires approval by the national Parliament and appears to be part of President Raúl Castro’s drive to improve productivity, according to Granma.

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Greatest and Perfect Capitalist Scam

Nouriel Roubini, an economist who undeservedly has been given the title of 'Doctor Doom' by the capitalist elites who run the G-7 capitalist countries (USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada) has written a good book, (Crisis Economics, Penguin Press, 2010) which is an excellent historical narrative record of the greatest economic and financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

This latest creative “accomplishment” of savage capitalism was a huge scam from beginning to end. It had not been done before. It was not created by socialists or communists. It was brought to the masses by capitalists. The reason for this Mother of All Economic and Financial Crisis is the extreme greed of the financial capitalist elites who govern the G7 countries.

Because of this huge capitalist scam millions lost their jobs and their homes. The global economy collapsed into what is being called The Great Recession, while the banks and Wall Street collected at the same time astronomical fees and profits with their criminal activities. HURRAY FOR CAPITALISM! Gordon Gekko would have been proud.

Roubini's book is an easy to read book. It has language which is easily understood and is devoid of much of the jargon which economists use. An average layman will understand it easily.

One of the faults that I see in the book is that it only devotes two pages to capitalist greed (pages 31-32 and page 269). Greed and their derived scams are the gasoline which moves the engine of global capitalism.

Another area where Roubini fails is in thinking that capitalism can be “reformed.” That is an impossibility since capitalism -- though an improvement over feudalism -- is primarily a criminal and corrupt economic and political enterprise. It will eventually be replaced too by something better.

A third area where Roubini fails is when he devotes considerable space in his book to what he calls “financial innovations.” We all saw what were the results of those innovations implemented by the capitalist bankers and by Wall Street. They were not innovations. They were very well planned and designed criminals scams. Only a civil judicial action has been brought against one of the many architects of this scam, Goldman Sachs. It should have been a criminal indictment. Capitalist crooks belong behind bars. Instead, Goldman Sachs has rewarded the destructive behavior of their “innovators” with huge bonuses. Crime does pay well in capitalist USA.

Roubini lays much of the blame of what happened with the housing bubble on Alan Greenspan, as well he should. The 'destroy regulations' mentality of Reagan and Clinton is also partly to blame. But the main culprit was the U.S. Federal Reserve, with their 'easy money near zero percent' interest rates. The Federal Reserve works to promote the economic interests and agenda of big capitalist banks and Wall Street, who were the two main perpetrators of this huge capitalist scam. The Federal Reserve does not defend the interests of America's working class, who were the main victims of this huge economic catastrophe.

Some areas in Roubuni's book are excellent, like the paragraph were he writes that “It is also necessary to limit the lobbying power of financial firms. That is obviously a tall order. Politicians batten on the financial sector for the simple reason articulated by bank robber Willie Sutton: because “that's where the money is.” ... “Financial firms funnel massive amounts of money toward [capitalist parties] candidates -- $311 million on 2008 alone.” I will go further: The candidates of the Republican and Democratic parties are the whores of the financial establishment and also of the Miami anti-Cuba fascists.

The Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Congress bailed out the criminals in the big banks and in Wall Street when the shit hit the fan late in 2008. The so-called “average” American got the shaft and taxpayer money was utilized to bail out the criminals. HOORAY FOR CAPITALISM!

Thank Alan Greenspan, Ben Barnanke and Hank Paulson for our $13 trillion dollars public debt today.

You do not need to be a super-brain to realize that every succeeding 'economic crisis' of capitalism keeps getting bigger and bigger. 1907, 1929, 2007-08. What will they think of next to screw the people?

In this latest economic crisis the motto of the scamers was: “If you build it -- securitized mortgages and credit default swaps -- the suckers will come!

Why are Americans so gullible?

I give Nouriel Roubini's book three point eight stars out of a possible five.

Cuba Asks for Date for Closure of Illegal Prison in Guantanamo Bay

Periodico 26

Havana, June 5, (RHC).- The delegation of Cuba to the United Nations Human Rights Council, asked a for Special Rapporteur on the closing date of the illegal detention and torture center at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

On behalf of Cuba's representation in Geneva, Juan Antonio Quintanilla participated in interactive discussions on topics related to human rights, terrorism, and the independence of judges and lawyers.

Quintanilla asked for precise information about the closing date of the detention center at the naval base at Guantanamo, a Cuban territory illegally occupied by the United States for over a century.

Quintanilla also asked whether there will be compensation to the victims of the arbitrary detention and torture center at the U.S. Naval Air base whose closure is one of many broken promises of U.S. President Barack Obama.

He also inquired about the impunity enjoyed in Europe by the accomplices of the illegal flights of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, which flew people to other countries be tortured.

Speaking at the chapter on the independence of judges and lawyers, the Cuban diplomat said his country wants to be included in the analysis of the impact of some factors in the impartial work of courts.

He cited the manipulation of public opinion through the press, which he said, together with the politically-motivated conduct of revenge of the authorities in Washington, are present in the case of five Cuban antiterrorist fighters, unjustly imprisoned in U.S. territory.

He said that after nearly 12 years of unjust imprisonment, the Cuban Five, as they are known internationally, continue to provide the world an example of unwavering strength and faith in justice. Cuba urges the international community to provide the broadest possible support for their early release.

Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and René Gonzalez were arrested in 1998 and tried by a Miami court that sentenced them for having monitored anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based in Florida.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Luis Posada Carriles: Impunity…until when?

Cuban News Agency

By Marcos Alfonso

Deception, fears, shamelessness…everything can be used to describe the once again suspension of the trial of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. The date is now set for January 11th, 2011.

The funny part is not the suspension, but the charges of lying and illegal entry into the United States in 2005. They must be joking!

If the World Guinness Book of Records had a space dedicated to evil people and assassins, Posada Carriles, would surely head the list.

The bombing of a Cubana airliner off the coast of Barbados on October 6th, 1976 killing all 73 innocent people on board is enough. But judge Kathleen Cardone, from El Paso, Texas now said that the new date is “definitive and will not be delayed any further”, referring to the different postponement of Posada’s trial.

It seems as though there is a hidden, skilful and powerful person protecting the old criminal.

Last May 31st, barely 4 days ago, young Italian tourist Fabio di Celmo would have celebrated his 45th birthday, but Posada Carriles did not want it that way. On September 4th, 1997, the young Italian tourist was killed by a bomb that was placed at the Copacabana Hotel by mercenaries paid by Posada Carriles. Other tourist installations were also targeted with several bombs, among them, the Melia Cohiba, Capri, Nacional and the famous Bodeguita del Medio Restaurant all located in the Cuban capital.

The objective was to scare tourists from visiting the island no matter how many people lost their lives.

In 1998, in an exclusive New York Times interview, Posada Carriles, bragged as he did with the bombing of the Cubana airliner, of being the intellectual author of the bombings in Havana, whose objective was to terrorize tourists from visiting Cuba.

Cuban authorities had offered its US counterparts evidence on the tragic incidences. However, the trial against the terrorist will be for lying and illegal entry, not for multiple assassinations as expected.

The maximum authorities to the north, (read Barack Obama), has full knowledge that Luis Posada Carriles is also a fugitive of Venezuelan justice with 73 charges of assassination (each one of the victims of the Cubana airliner)…But, what a coincidence! The terrorist escaped from prison.

Washington based Cuban American attorney, Jose Pertierra, who represents the Venezuelan government, has handed Posada Carriles´ extensive criminal record to US authorities in the extradition request and the response as been as though nothing has happened. Money seems to be involved in this case. But the number of deaths or their families and loved ones do not have a price.

There is barely 125 days left for October 6th, in which the 34th anniversary of the horrendous crime over Barbados will be commemorated and the 13th anniversary of the death of Italian Fabio di Celmo. What has happened?

Luis Posada Carriles has been walking the streets of Miami as well as other parts of the world. But, not even with his death will he pay for the atrocities committed against the Cuban people and humanity.

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A report from Juventud Rebelde.

Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Stand Trial January 2011

Cuban-born and self-confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who has a long record of bloody acts of terrorism, is finally scheduled to stand trial on January 11, 2011 in the United States, after several years of deferral

Email: digital@juventudrebelde.cu
2010-06-03 | 15:44:40 EST

EL PASO, Texas, June 2.— Cuban-born and self-confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who has a long record of bloody acts of terrorism, is finally scheduled to stand trial on January 11, 2011 in the United States, after several years of deferral.

Texas-based judge Kathleen Cardone announced the new date of the trial, and assured it would not be put off again, according to reports by the El Paso Times newspaper published in the Cubadebate online magazine.

Inexplicably, US authorities are only prosecuting Posada for giving false testimony regarding his illegal entry to the US in 2005 and for committing immigration fraud. They seem to be ignoring the avalanche of evidence that points to Posada as the mastermind behind a series of fatal bombing attacks against Cuba, including the 1976 midair bombing of Cubana Airlines Fight 455, which killed all 73 passengers on board, including the Cuban national fencing team.

The representative for the Venezuelan government in the Posada case, José Pertierra, said Venezuela continues to call on the US government to extradite Posada to stand trial for crimes committed in that country. He added that there is plenty of evidence linking Posada with a string of hotel bombings in Havana in 1997, resulting in the death of Italian tourist Fabio di Celmo, which will be analyzed Wednesday during the pre-trial hearing.

Posada was allegedly exempted from attending the pre-hearing trial because he is on the list of people banned from flying in the United Sates, and because of his poor state of health.

“Despite overwhelming evidence, US courts continue to refuse to judge Posada for murder and terrorism, only charging him with minor offences,” said Pertierra, while urging US authorities to hand Posada over to Venezuelan authorities.

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El Paso Times report

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JG: The fact that the Barack Obama lets this farce continue shows how dishonest his administration is. A guy who is an international terrorist is being tried for violating immigration laws. Hey, the CIA, Bush and Obama have to protect their "good" terrorists.

Cuba Journal Translation: Why did Cuba shutdown the two planes of Brothers to the Rescue in 1996?

The original Spanish article article was posted on
June 1, 2010
.

By Adonis Subit Lamí, Gaceta de Jagua

May 17, 2010.


On February 24, 1996, Cuba's Air Force shutdown, on its territorial waters, two Cessna pirate airplanes, who flew from Oppaloka Airport in the state of Florida, USA. They were flying over Cuba's airspace. The two airplanes fell between five and eight miles north of Baracoa Beach, west of the City of Havana. The pilots belonged to the organization “Brothers to the Rescue.”

The day of the shoot-down, just after the three planes took off from Oppaloka Airport in Florida, the air traffic controller at the airport radioed Jose Basulto, the president of Bothers to the Rescue, and told him: “Good luck.” Basulto's response was: “We are going to need it.” The question is: “Why does a a pilot with 30 years of air experience and holder of a professional air pilot license would need luck on that day?”

The president and founder of “Brothers to the Rescue” has a long history with Cuba, which dates back to 40 years ago, when he was an operative of the C.I.A. The agency infiltrated him into Cuba in the late fifties and and the early sixties to foment armed insurrections. After those actions he participated in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. He returned to the United States. Later, he returned to Cuba during the sixties, when he participated in an air attack with a cannon against a hotel. There were people inside the hotel. He has admitted all of this and is proud of all of this.

Basulto was involved in the manufacture of home-made bombs which would be dropped over Cuba to injure people, and he has admitted all of this to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. These are facts which can be found in documents.

The objectives of Brothers to the Rescue since 1994 is to engage in acts of provocation against the government of Cuba. They would file flight plans which said that they would be looking for sea rafters, but they would not follow those plans. They would fly toward Cuba, penetrating its air space one and more times, something which is totally illegal, violating international laws, Cuban laws and the regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration [of the United States].

They dropped, over Cuba from their planes, propaganda leaflets which would incite the population to take arms against Fidel Castro. They dropped a great quantity of leaflets, flying very close to the roofs, over highly populated areas.

The Cuban government obviously was very alarmed over these activities. When it showed serenity, it never shutdown the violators when they started their activities. Various diplomatic notes [to the U.S. government] show that the government of Cuba told the U.S.: “You have to stop that man. You can not allow him to fly over Havana, over Guantanamo, and over other provinces, and let him drop leaflets, and allow him to do what he is doing. That is dangerous, it is against all our regulations, that is prohibited, you have to stop him.”

What did the U.S. do? Amazingly, they did absolutely nothing, and everything got worse on July 13, 1995. That was the day when a big flotilla [from South Florida] went towards Cuba to protest against the Cuban government. “Brothers to the Rescue” announced that they were going to send an air squadron of their planes to fly over Havana and surrounding populated areas. At that moment Cuba said: “Observe, we have to take very strong measures.”

Basulto and his planes flied over Havana at low altitude, violating the rules of air traffic. It is not only the risk of a collision, also there was the problem that they interrupted the radio frequencies in Havana, they utilized the frequencies of the air traffic controllers, to talk all kinds of political things, like “I am a free Cuban, my brothers,” and all kinds of nonsense, which divert the attention of the air traffic controllers, who are directing the jumbo jets, and must know their altitude, their routes, etc.

The Cubans sent to the Federal Aviation Administration notes of warning about Basulto and the pilots of “Brothers to the Rescue,” so they would not violate any more Cuba's air space, which is limited to the 12 miles outside Cuba. They were told that they were prohibited from coming down and flying over Havana. To do that is something dangerous. We advised them that if they did that, they ran the risk of being shot down.

What did Basulto do? He ignored the warnings; he came down and he took his squadron of planes. Special centers of command were established in Miami and Havana, and all commercial airplanes were advised to synchronize to different frequencies on that day in order not to obstruct communications due to Basulto's interference. They had to take appropriate measures.

What is surprising about the incident of July 13th is that it has been recorded in video. They had an NBC video camera and reporters inside their planes, and they filmed everything. They flied over the rooftops of Havana, over a refinery, which greatly worried the Cubans, because of previous incidents of machine-gun strafing against hotels and things.

The video shows Basulto playing a cat and mouse game with Cuban MIG's over Havana. In the video you can see the planes go down and they throw things out the window, propaganda. That day calm was shown. No one was shot-down.

A 30 minute transcription of the conversation of Basulto with the Havana air traffic controllers reveal that they could not guarantee his security, that the Cuban Air Force was in the area and that they could shoot him down. Again, they repeat: we can not guarantee your security. What did Basulto do? He ignored them completely. He flew over Havana when they returned to the United States and he triumphantly appeared in the 6 o'clock news. He was vaingloriously about how he had penetrated Havana, and how the [the U.S. government] did nothing. He was making fun in Cuba's noses; it came to be a humiliation.

In those moments, Cuba sent a very clear diplomatic note to the U.S. Department of State, and it was personally delivered to Basulto. The public announcement published on the 8th of August, 1995 said: “The State Department warns that the entry of Cuban territorial waters or its air space, without previous authorization of the Cuban government, could be conductive to being arrested and subjected to Cuban laws.”

Because Cuba had previously issued this alert, they warned any foreign vessel that it could be sunk and any airplanes could be shot down. The State Department took this announcement seriously, except Jose Basulto, who led four men to their tragic deaths.

Now, what happened after July 13th? Although there was a video of Basulto involved in this provocative activity of overflying the capital of a foreign country, nothing happened. His license was not suspended. They permitted him to continue to fly. Therefore, what happened was that he continued with his attitude and continued with the non-authorized flights. They were missions of provocation.

On January 9 and 13th he flies over Cuba and throws 500,000 leaflets, and after this action he went to Radio Martí, [a propaganda outfit of the U.S. government] and bragged about how he had violated Cuba's airspace, and the radio commentator ridiculed the Cubans, because even though they had a MIG in the air, they could not respond to the activity. A taunt in Cuba's face.

On February 24th, 1996, the day of the shutdown, Basulto and other planes flew to challenge again the Cuban government, to provoke then and to mount a show. That was their intent.

The State Department contacted the FAA the day before the shutdown and sent them the following communique: “... it is probable that “Brothers to the Rescue” will try a non-authorized flight inside Cuba's airspace, as an act of defiance of the Cuban government...”. At the end, the State Department “also indicated that the Cuban government will be less tolerant with non-authorized flights on their scene, at that moment”.

They knew, all knew, that the shutdown would take place. It was known to the FAA and to the State Department. In Cuba, they knew it, and Basulto knew it also. He was warned by the FAA and the State Department. If you continue to press, this could happen, and that is exactly what happened. On that day Basulto did not follow the flight plan. He submitted a false flight plan. He left Oppalocka and went straight to the interior center of Florida, and later on he exited the Everglades by the Thousand Island area, headed south, ascended to the west and headed for Cuba.

On that day, over Havana, there was an area called mud-9. This zone was restricted, it was activated, and the Cuban government had issued a notams communique which was sent to the Oppalocka Airport, from where the planes had gone airborne. This notams said that there would be military exercises in that area on the 24, 25, 26, and 27 of February; stay outside of that area. Military maneuvers would take place, and land to air missiles would be launched.

When Mr. Basulto crossed the 24th parallel, he entered area mud-9 and right behind him the other planes. The air traffic controller from Havana spoke with Basulto and told him: “you are running a risk”, to which Basulto responded: “ I know the danger, I am a free Cuban, and will do what a free Cuban would do, but I am warned of the risk and of the danger”. He said, “We face danger every time we run this mission”. He knew clearly what he was doing. It is not like the U.S. government tried to portray, that he was merely looking for sea rafters in international waters. That is what they allege, but that is not what happened.

In any way, they entered that zone, and the evidence shows that no sane pilot would fly inside a military zone which had been activated, except Basulto and the other two planes, because they were involved in a mission of provocation.

What happened after this? All the world agrees with one thing, the experts, the radar technicians, and it is that the planes were inside Cuba's airspace, which triggered the alert that the Cubans would shut down any planes which penetrated its space. And they were shut down.

On the first few days of June 1996, the Council of the International Organization of Civil Aviation (OACI) convened, in Montreal, Canada, a work session to analyze the report of the commission which was in charge of investigating what had happened.

The United States did not achieve its purpose of passing a motion condemning Cuba for the shut down of the pirate planes.

The OACI document, approved by consensus, reaffirms the right that every State has of taking measures to prohibit the use by civil airplanes registered on its territory with ends that are incompatible with the International Civil Aviation Agreement.

The reference is an implicit censure of the United States government's responsibility in the activities of groups which reside in its territory who are implicated in violations of the Cuba's airspace. Also it turns down the attempt to blame Cuba for the consequences of that action which was done with full recognition of cause by the organization Brothers to the Rescue.

Five years and a few months later, on September 11, 2001, North Americans would suffer on their own flesh the devastating effects of civil aircrafts which overflew their own air space. A tragedy which the whole world lamented.

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JG: Basulto = Basura. He did not have the necessary cojones to face the Cuban Air Force on February 26, 1996. He abandoned his “buddies” to a certain death. A typical Miami captain spider.

Eighteen Firms Join Georgia Governor's Cuba Mission

GlobalAtlanta.com

Trevor Williams

Atlanta - 06.04.10

Eighteen companies will join Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue on June 6-8 business mission aimed at boosting the state's exports to Cuba.

The trip's 43 participants will include representatives from shipping, telecommunications and lumber companies, as well as exporters of poultry, pecans and bread.

A nearly 50-year-old U.S. embargo prohibits American companies from selling to Cuba, but it was relaxed in 2000 to exclude agricultural products, medicines, medical supplies and telecommunications products.

Georgia is among the leading states capitalizing on this change. In the first five months of 2010, exports to Cuba were up 141 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a release by the governor's office. Poultry accounted for about half the value of the $42.5 million worth of Georgia products sold to Cuba last year. Other top exports include soybeans, pork, sausage and margarine.

During the trip to Havana, Mr. Perdue will lead a meeting with Alimport, the Cuban government company tasked with purchasing agricultural products from overseas suppliers. Along with a few state legislators, Mr. Perdue will be joined by leaders from state-wide organizations including the Georgia Poultry Foundation, Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Dairy Farmer, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agriculture, among others.

“Our intent with this mission is to develop relationships that can bring more business for our companies and for the state,” Mr. Perdue said in a release.

By promoting Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the governor also hopes to present Georgia as a gateway to the U.S. for Cuban visitors. Although Americans are in most cases legally forbidden to travel to Cuba, President Obama last year relaxed most restrictions on Cubans visiting relatives in the U.S.

For the past decade, Georgia delegations have frequented the communist-led island nation, which in some places sits less than 100 miles from the Florida coast. State legislators last visited Cuba in November 2009.

State legislators to join the June 6-8 trip include Sen. Don Balfour, Sen. Tommie Williams and Rep. Terry England.

Participating companies include Flowers Foods Inc., Beadles Lumber Co., Balfour Lumber Co., Visions Telecom Inc., Claxton Poultry Corp., Register International Inc., South Georgia Pecan Co. and others.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Fidel Castro claims Obama lives in fantasy world

By WILL WEISSERT (AP)

HAVANA — Fidel Castro speculated Wednesday that a nuclear strike on Iran might help President Barack Obama win a second term in the White House and also suggested the United States could attack North Korea.

The column published by Cuban state media floated the idea that a nuclear attack on Iran — perhaps even without U.S. authorization — might help Obama win re-election in 2012.

More...

Suport for H.R. 4645 grows

April 12, 2010

The Honorable Collin Peterson
Chairman
Committee on Agriculture
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We write as leaders and mission directors of U.S. Christian communions, their agencies, and ecumenical organizations in the United States to express to you and your committee our support for H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, the legislation you have sponsored with Congressman Moran and more than 40 of your House colleagues. With you, we believe that this legislation will help to break down travel and trade barriers. In addition to supporting our work with Cuban churches, it will also provide new sources of nutrition, economic activity, and support for the Cuban people.

For decades the U.S. policy toward Cuba has had adverse consequences for the Cuban people and has violated important freedoms of U.S. citizens. It has failed in its stated objective to bring about major change in the Cuban political system. The hostility between the two governments has harmed relationships between our two peoples, including among people of faith. This has impoverished our knowledge of each other as people, denied the mutual benefits that full and free travel and exchange can bring, and disrupted the close historical bonds between many of our churches.

As churches and religious institutions with a long history of close relationships with churches in Cuba, we have keenly experienced the impact of the travel ban on our work and on the lives of the Cuba people to whom we relate. U.S. churches, mission agencies and ecumenical organizations at the national and regional levels have had their religious activities severely impeded by the travel restrictions, which have reduced their ability to send religious delegations to Cuba and severely diminished our capacity to accompany and support our Cuban church partners.

Cuban churches are growing rapidly, presenting new opportunities for U.S. churches and ecumenical institutions to relate to and support their Cuban brothers and sisters in Christ. Current restrictions on travel to Cuba are unfair and inappropriate and restrain religious freedom. This is a critical time to open wide the doors to allow greater people-to-people engagement of all kinds and at all levels between the two countries. We must not miss this opportunity!

We believe that now is the time to reform U.S. policy toward Cuba in ways that benefit all the people of Cuba and the United States. We urge you, the Agriculture Committee, and the Congress to give favorable consideration to H.R. 4645 without amendment so that the travel and food sales reforms remain intact. We hope that we can work with you to advance the mutual interests of the U.S. and Cuban people.

Yours sincerely,
Bishop John F. White
Ecumenical and Urban Affairs Officer
African Methodist Episcopal Church

The Reverend Dr. A. Roy Medley
General Secretary
American Baptist Churches USA

The Reverend Dr. José Norat Rodríguez
Area Director for Iberoamerica and
the Caribbean
American Baptist Churches

The Reverend Raul Ruiz
Spanish American Baptist Church
of Union City
Union City, NJ

The Reverend Gerard Dykstra
Executive Director
Christian Reformed Church
in North America

Gary J. Bekker
Director
Christian Reformed World Missions

The Reverend Luis Pellecer
Latin America Regional Director
Christian Reformed World Missions

The Reverend John L. McCullough
Executive Director and CEO
Church World Service

The Reverend Raquel Rodriguez
Director for Latin America and the
Caribbean
Global Mission
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Alexander D. Baumgarten
Director of Government Relations
The Episcopal Church

The Reverend Felix Ortiz-Cotto
Executive, Latin America and the Caribbean /
Ejecutivo, América Latina y el Caribe
Global Ministries of the Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ) and United Church of
Christ/ Ministerios Globales

The Reverend Dr. Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary
National Council of Churches

The Reverend Hunter Farrell
Director, World Mission
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Sara Pottschmidt Lisherness
Director, Compassion, Peace and
Justice Ministry
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

The Reverend Brenda Girton Mitchell
Ecumenical Officer
Progressive National Baptist Convention

James E. Winkler
General Secretary
General Board of Church and Society
United Methodist Church

Thomas G. Kemper
General Secretary
General Board of Global Ministries
United Methodist Church

The Reverend Jorge L F Domingues,
Deputy General Secretary
Mission and Evangelism, General Board
of Global Ministries
United Methodist Church

The Reverend Edgar Avitia Legarda,
Executive Secretary
Latin American and the Caribbean,
General Board of Global Ministries
United Methodist Church

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sends letter of support for H.R. 4645

[This letter was sent to the Members of the House Agriculture Committee and other members as identified.]

March 8, 2010

Dear Representative:

As chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) I write to express support for H.R. 4645, a bill which removes obstacles to legal sales of United States agricultural commodities to Cuba and ends restrictions on all Americans traveling to Cuba. Our Conference of Bishops supports both objectives of this legislation as ways to advance the goal of increasing engagement with the people of Cuba. We urge you to support this important piece of legislation.

The USCCB has for many years consistently called for relaxing the sanctions against Cuba. These policies have largely failed to promote greater freedom, democracy and respect for human rights in Cuba. At the same time, our nation’s counterproductive policies have unnecessarily alienated many other countries in the hemisphere. Improving the lives of the Cuban people and encouraging democracy and human rights in Cuba will best be advanced through more, rather than less, contact between the Cuban and American people. Removing the barriers to agricultural exports to Cuba, and thus deepening the trade relationship, is one step toward this goal.

While our Conference welcomed the Administration’s lifting of travel restrictions for Cuban Americans, ongoing restrictions on the ability of other Americans to travel to Cuba, even when accompanying their Cuban American relatives, remain objectionable. No one should be prevented from supporting a spouse in visiting a dying relative or attending a family funeral simply because he or she is not Cuban American. We welcome H.R. 4645 because it lifts all restrictions on travel by all U.S. citizens to Cuba.

Thank you for your consideration of support for H.R. 4645, The Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act.

Sincerely yours,
Most Reverend Howard J. Hubbard
Bishop of Albany
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace

¿Por qué derribó Cuba dos aviones norteamericanos de Hermanos al Rescate?


Gaceta de Jagua

Publicado por Adonis Subit Lamí

17 Mayo 2010

El 24 de febrero de 1996 la Fuerza Aérea de Cuba derribó en sus aguas territoriales dos aviones piratas tipo Cessna, procedentes del aeropuerto de Oppaloka, en el Estado norteamericano de La Florida, mientras sobrevolaban el espacio aéreo. Las naves cayeron a distancias entre cinco y ocho millas al norte de Playa Baracoa, al oeste de la Ciudad de La Habana. Los pilotos pertenecían a la organización "Hermanos al Rescate"

El día del derribo, justo después que los tres aviones despegaran desde el aeropuerto de Oppa Locka, el controlador de la torre del aeropuerto se dirigió a José Basulto, presidente de Hermanos al Rescate, y dijo: “buena suerte.” y la respuesta de Mr. Basulto fue: “la necesitaremos.” la pregunta es: ¿por qué un piloto de 30 años de experiencia y una licencia profesional y miles y miles de horas en el aire necesita suerte ese día?

El presidente y fundador de “Hermanos al Rescate” tiene una larga relación con Cuba que data de 40 años atrás desde el tiempo que él era un operativo de la CIA que había sido introducido clandestinamente en Cuba a finales de los años 50 y principio de los 60, para crear algunas insurrecciones armadas. Después de eso participó en la fallida invasión a Bahía de Cochinos. Retornó a Estados Unidos pero regresó otra vez en los 60 a Cuba y llevó a cabo un ataque con un cañón a un hotel, y voló el hotel con algunas personas adentro. Él ha admitido estas cosas y está orgulloso de todo esto.

Basulto estuvo involucrado en la confección de artefactos caseros que serían dejados caer sobre Cuba para dañar personas y él le ha admitido esto al Buró Federal de Investigaciones. Consta en actas.

El objetivo de Hermanos al Rescate desde 1994 es provocar al gobierno de Cuba. Llenaban planes de vuelo diciendo que iban a buscar balseros, pero no seguían los planes de vuelo. Ellos volaban hacia Cuba, penetrando su espacio aéreo una y otra vez, lo que es totalmente ilegal, violando las leyes internacionales, las leyes cubanas y las reglas de la Administración Federal de Aviación.

Dejaron caer propaganda desde los aviones, incitando a la población a sublevarse contra Fidel Castro. Dejaron caer abundantes panfletos, volando a la altura de los tejados, sobre áreas muy pobladas.

El gobierno cubano estaba obviamente alarmado por estas actividades. Cuba mostró serenidad, jamás se derribó a los violadores cuando comenzaron sus actividades. Varias notas diplomáticas muestran que el gobierno de Cuba dijo a EE.UU. “Ustedes tienen que parar a este hombre. No pueden dejarlo volar sobre La Habana, sobre Guantánamo y sobre las provincias y dejar caer panfletos y hacer lo que está haciendo. Eso es peligroso, eso está contra todas nuestras reglas, eso está prohibido, tienen que pararlo.”

¿Qué hizo EE.UU.? Asombrosamente ellos no hicieron absolutamente nada y todo vino a empeorar el 13 de julio de 1995. Fue el día de una gran flotilla que fue hacia Cuba a protestarle al gobierno. “Hermanos al Rescate” anunció que iban a salir con una escuadrilla de sus aviones y sobrevolar La Habana y áreas pobladas en los alrededores. En ese momento Cuba dijo: observen, nosotros tenemos que tomar muy fuertes medidas.

Basulto y sus aviones volaban sobre La Habana a baja altura, incumpliendo con las reglas de tráfico aéreo. No es solamente el riesgo de colisión, también está el problema de que interrumpieron las frecuencias de radio de La Habana, utilizaron las frecuencias de control de trafico aéreo, para hablar todo tipo de cosas políticas, como “soy un cubano libre, mis hermanos”, y toda clase de tonterías, que desvían la atención de los controladores del tráfico aéreo, que están dirigiendo a los jumbos y deben conocer su altitud, sus rutas etc.

Los cubanos enviaron a la Administración de Aviación Federal notas de advertencia sobre Basulto y los pilotos de “Hermanos al Rescate”, para que no violaran más el espacio aéreo cubano, que está en el límite de las 12 millas fuera de cuba. Que le prohíban bajar allá y volar sobre La Habana. Hacer eso es algo peligroso. Les advirtieron que de hacerlo, corrían el riesgo de ser derribados.

¿Que hizo Basulto? Ignorarlos por completo, bajó y llevó a su escuadrilla de aviones. Se establecieron centros de mando especiales en Miami y en La Habana y les dijeron a todos los aviones comerciales que sintonizaran frecuencias diferentes ese día, para que no fueran interferidas sus comunicaciones por la interferencia de Basulto. Tuvieron que tomar medidas.

Lo sorprendente del incidente del 13 de julio es que está grabado en video. Ellos tenían una cámara de video de la NBC y reporteros dentro de sus aviones, y filmaron todo. Volaron a la altura de los techos, sobre La Habana, sobre la refinería, lo cual preocupó grandemente a los cubanos, dados los antecedentes de disparos con ametralladoras contra hoteles y otras cosas.

El video muestra a Basulto jugando al ratón y al gato con los MIGs sobre La Habana. En el video se le puede ver bajar y lanzar cosas por la ventanilla, propaganda. Ese día se mostró serenidad. No se derribó a nadie.

Una transcripción de 30 minutos de conversación de Basulto con los controladores del tráfico aéreo de La Habana revela como le comunicaban que no le garantizaban su seguridad, que la fuerza aérea cubana estaba sobre el área y que podían derribarlo. Le vuelven a repetir, no podemos garantizar su seguridad. ¿Qué hizo Basulto? Los ignoró completamente, sobrevoló La Habana cuando regresaba a EE.UU. y apareció triunfalmente en las noticias de las 6 en punto. Se vanaglorió de la forma en que entró en La Habana y no le hicieron nada. Se estaba burlando en las narices de los cubanos; ya era una humillación.

En esos momentos Cuba envió un claro aviso al Departamento de Estado, y fue personalmente entregada a Basulto. Dice el anuncio público del Departamento de Estado de EE.UU., agosto 8 de 1995: ” el Departamento de Estado avisa que la entrada en aguas territoriales cubanas o a su espacio aéreo, sin previa autorización del gobierno cubano, puede conducir a ser arrestado y sujeto a las leyes cubanas.”

En un anuncio público del 14 de julio de 1995, un día después de la flotilla, el gobierno cubano expresó su firme determinación de tomar la acción necesaria para defender la soberanía del territorio cubano y evitar las incursiones no autorizadas del espacio aéreo y las aguas cubanas.

Debido a que ellos habían dado esta alerta antes, se previene y alerta a cualquier embarcación extranjera de que puede ser hundida y cualquier aeronave derribada. El Departamento de Estado tomó este anuncio seriamente. Todos tomaron en serio este anuncio, excepto José Basulto, quien dirigió a 4 hombres a sus trágicas muertes.

Ahora, ¿qué sucedió después del 13 de julio?. Aunque había un video del Sr. Basulto envuelto en esta actividad provocativa de sobrevolar la capital de un país extranjero, nada sucedió. No le retiraron su licencia. Le permitieron continuar volando. Por tanto, lo que pasó fue que él mantuvo su actitud y continuó realizando estos vuelos no autorizados. Eran sólo misiones de provocación.

En enero 9 y 13 de 1996 vuela sobre Cuba y lanza 500 mil proclamas y después que Basulto realiza este viaje va a Radio Martí, y allí fanfarroneó sobre como violó otra vez el espacio aéreo cubano y el comentarista ridiculizó a los cubanos porque a pesar de que despegaron un MIG, no pudieron responderles a ellos. Otra burla en la cara de Cuba.

El 24 de febrero de 1996, día del derribo, Basulto y los otros aviones volaron para desafiar al gobierno cubano nuevamente, provocarlos y hacer un show. Esto es lo que ellos se proponían.

El Departamento de Estado contactó a la FAA el día antes del derribo y le envió el siguiente comunicado: “…es probable que los “Hermanos al Rescate” intenten un vuelo no autorizado dentro del espacio aéreo cubano, en desafío al gobierno de cuba…”. Al final, el Departamento de Estado “también indica que el gobierno cubano será menos tolerante con los vuelos no autorizados en su escenario, en este momento”.

Ellos sabían, todos sabían, que el derribo se produciría. Lo sabían en la FAA, en el Departamento de Estado, en Cuba lo sabían y Basulto lo sabía también. Él fue advertido por la FAA y el Departamento de Estado. Si usted sigue presionando esto podría ocurrir, y eso fue exactamente lo que sucedió. Aquel día el Sr. Basulto no siguió el plan de vuelo. Lleno un plan falso. Salió de Opa-Locka y fue recto al interior de la Florida y luego salió de los Everglades por el área de Thousand Island, cayo al sur, subió al oeste e hizo un patrón hacia La Habana.

Aquel día, justo sobre La Habana, hay un área llamada mud-9. Esa zona estaba restringida, estaba activada y el gobierno cubano había emitido una comunicación notams, que fue cursada al aeropuerto de Opa-Locka, de donde ellos despegaron. Este notams decía que habrían ejercicios militares en esa área los días 24, 25, 26, y 27 de febrero, manténgase fuera de esta área. Se desarrollarían maniobras militares y lanzamiento de misiles tierra aire.

Cuando el Sr. Basulto pasó el paralelo 24 entró en el área mud-9 y justo detrás de él los otros aviones. El controlador de tráfico aéreo de La Habana habló con Basulto y le dijo: “está corriendo un riesgo”, a lo que Basulto respondió: “conozco el peligro, soy un cubano libre y haré lo que hace un cubano libre, pero estoy prevenido del riesgo y el peligro”. Él dijo, “nosotros estamos en peligro cada vez que hacemos esta misión”. El sabía claramente lo que estaba haciendo. No es como el gobierno norteamericano ha tratado de presentarlo, como el derribo de unas personas que estaban tratando de buscar balseros en aguas internacionales. Eso es lo que alegan, pero no es lo que ocurrió.

De cualquier manera, ellos entraron en esta zona y la evidencia muestra que ningún piloto cuerdo volaría dentro de una zona militar activada, excepto Basulto y aquellos otros dos aviones, porque estaban en una misión de provocación.

¿Qué sucedió después de eso? Todo el mundo concuerda en una cosa, el gobierno, los expertos, técnicos de radar, y es que los aviones estaban dentro del espacio aéreo cubano, invocando la alerta de que los cubanos derribarían cualquier avión que penetrara en su espacio. Y fueron derribados.

En los primeros días de junio de 1996 el Consejo de la Organización de la Aviación Civil Internacional (OACI) efectuó en Montreal una sesión de trabajo para analizar el informe de la comisión encargada de investigar los hechos.

Estados Unidos no logró su propósito de imponer un acuerdo de condena contra Cuba por el derribo de los aviones piratas.

El documento de la OACI, aprobado por consenso, reafirma el principio de que cada Estado debe tomar medidas para prohibir el uso de aeronaves civiles matriculadas en su territorio con fines incompatibles con el Convenio de Aviación Civil Internacional.

La referencia es una censura implícita a la responsabilidad del gobierno norteamericano en la actividad de grupos con sede en su país e implicados en la violación del espacio aéreo de la Isla. También desestima inculpar a Cuba por las consecuencias de esa acción realizada con pleno conocimiento de causa por la organización Hermanos al Rescate.

Cinco años y unos meses después, el 11 de septiembre de 2001, los norteamericanos sufrieron en carne propia los efectos devastadores de aeronaves civiles sobrevolando su propio espacio aéreo. Toda una tragedia que lamentó el mundo entero.

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JG: Basulto and his 'compinches' of Brothers to the Rescue got what they deserved: PLOMO!

After this necesary shutdown, pharisee Bill Clinton prostituted himself and jumped in bed
with super-racist Jesse Helms and signed into law the anti-Cuba "Helms-Burton Act." What a trio of super scum!

Basulto put his tail between his legs and fled north.