Saturday, September 29, 2012

Smartest POTUS, On The Cuba Issue

Excerpt from:

White House Diary, by Jimmy Carter. First Edition Hardcover, signed by President Carter at San Francisco, California, on October 26, 2010, at Book Passage. 

A Christmas gift from my eldest son who commented about the former Democratic President: “He was very nice.”

Page 393:

February 18, 1980:

“Our emissaries to Cuba reported startling frankness in an eleven-hour discussion with Castro. He described his problems with the Soviet Union, his loss of leadership position in NAM [nonaligned movement] because of his subservience to the Soviets, his desire to pull out of Ethiopia now and Angola later; his involvement in the revolutionary movements in Central America but his aversion to sending weapons or military capabilities to the area; and so forth. He's deeply hurt by our embargo and wants better relations with us, but can't abandon the Soviets, who have supported his revolution unequivocally.”

Throughout my term in office (and now), I thought it advisable to have normal diplomatic relations with Cuba, stop the embargo, and terminate all travel and trade restrictions. We made some progress with free travel, the release by Castro of hundreds of political prisoners, and the opening of “interest section” (not embassies) in Havana and Washington. Castro's injection of Cuban troops into African trouble spots, promotion of revolution in the hemisphere, and dumping of criminals and other undesirables into Florida made it difficult to make additional progress.


POTUS = President of the United States

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cuba TV: Dissident Faked Hunger Strike

September 26, 2012

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban state TV accused the dissident Martha Beatriz Roque of “faking” her recent eight-day hunger strike held to demand the release of an imprisoned opposition member, reported DPA on Tuesday night.

The broadcast accused the international media of spreading “lies” and the US government of instigating Roque’s “feigned hunger strike.” The accusation was the first information given by the Cuban media on the hunger strike that supposedly involved 29 dissidents and began on September 10.

The strike ended on September 18, after Roque learned that the authorities had told the family of the prisoner, Jorge Vázquez Chaviano, that he would soon be released.

Cuban TV said as many as 13 of hunger strikers were fakers. “The strategy of the hunger strikes was used by Martha Beatriz to attract international media attention,” said the state television, which showed alleged evidence of how the dissident secretly received food through a window of her home in Havana.

Roque, a 67-year-old economist, was previously jailed in the “Black Spring” round up of 75 dissidents in 2003.

Activists Orlando Zapata (2010) and Wilman Villar (2012) died in separate hunger strikes in recent years on the island. Also the opponent Guillermo Fariñas, the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2010, has repeatedly resorted to hunger strikes in protests against the government, recalled DPA.

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JG: For those of you who do not know who Martha Beatriz Roque really is, I will tell you that at one time she publicly called for an invasion of Cuba by U.S. Marines. That will tell you who she is working for.

The so-called "dissidents" inside Cuba are in reality cuatro gatos who have been always directed and financed by the U.S. government. Remember the Bay of Pigs? They have no support among the Cuban people.

Cuba Has Been Placed in Pool A for the 2013 World Baseball Classic

Pool A, which will play in Fukuoka, Japan, currently features two-time champion Japan, Cuba and China.

Taichung will host Pool B, consisting of Korea, Australia and the Netherlands. Pool C, to compete in San Juan, has Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The U.S. will compete in Pool D in Phoenix, along with Mexico and Italy. The fourth country for each pool will be announced in November.

Source: MLB: International venues set for 2013 Classic.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Cuba says ending U.S. embargo would help both countries

By Jeff Franks

HAVANA

Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:52pm EDT

HAVANA (Reuters) - Both the United States and Cuba would benefit if Washington would lift its longstanding trade embargo against the island, but U.S. President Barack Obama has toughened the sanctions since taking office in 2009, a top Cuban official said on Thursday.

The embargo, fully in place since 1962, has done $108 billion in damage to the Cuba economy, but also has violated the constitutional rights of Americans and made a market of 11 million people off limits to U.S. companies, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told reporters.

"The blockade is, without doubt, the principal cause of the economic problems of our country and the essential obstacle for (our) development," he said, using Cuba's term for the embargo.

"The blockade provokes suffering, shortages, difficulties that reach each Cuban family, each Cuban child," Rodriguez said.

He spoke at a press conference that Cuba stages each year ahead of what has become an annual vote in the United Nations on a resolution condemning the embargo. The vote is expected to take place next month.

Last year, 186 countries voted for the resolution, while only the United States and Israel supported the embargo, Rodriguez said.

Lifting the embargo would improve the image of the United States around the world, he said, adding that it would also end what he called a "massive, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights."

That violation includes restrictions on U.S. travel to the island that require most Americans to get U.S. government permission to visit and a ban on most U.S. companies doing business in Cuba, he said.

"The prohibition of travel for Americans is an atrocity from the constitutional point of view," Rodriguez said.

Cuba has its own limits on travel that make it difficult for most of its citizens to leave the country for any destination.
Rodriguez said the elimination of the embargo would provide a much-needed tonic for the sluggish U.S. economy.

"In a moment of economic crisis, lifting the blockade would contribute to the United States a totally new market of 11 million people. It would generate employment and end the situation in which American companies cannot compete in Cuba," he said.

Obama, who said early in his presidency that he wanted to recast long-hostile U.S.-Cuba relations, has been a disappointment to the Cuban government, which expected him to do more to dismantle the embargo.

Spain Beats Israel 9-7 and Qualifies for the 2013 World Baseball Classic

Friday, September 21, 2012

LIVE: Right Now: Spain vs Israel in WBC 2013 Qualifier

Live: Spain Vs Israel

Israel won the game 4-2

The US Blockade on Cuba to Be at the UN Debates




Thursday, 20 September 2012 15:09
By Pedro Paneque Ruiz / Radio Cadena Agramonte.


The crime and senseless of the US blockade on Cuba will be again a theme of discussion and vote at the UN General Assembly on October. Then the representative of the westernmost island nation of the Caribbean will read the draft resolution “Necessity to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America on Cuba”.   

Today when Cuba submitted the document, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez termed as a genocide this US policy which has been in force for over 50 years, and said that “this is a siege that has hindered to have access to raw materials, foodstuff and medicines, what has been forbidden by humanitarian conventions even in wartime”.

The damage that this economic, commercial and financial blockade has caused to the Cuban people –considering the depreciation of the US dollar against gold on the international market- is estimated at over $ a trillion.

However, following a more conservative calculus it reaches $ 108 billions.

In spite of having failed in their goals, the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States on Cuba is still the main hurdle so that our country can develop itself properly.

This stubborn policy which only causes “suffering, shortages and difficulties to each household, child, woman or elderly person” raises many questions. 

As I and millions of Cubans concern, I have suffered the consequences of this siege around Cuba, firstly when in the 1970’s I couldn’t have access to a proper ocular prosthesis when lost one eye.

Fortunately, and owing to the will to resist of all Cubans this kind of prosthesis is made in our country and are given with no fee to those who need it.

As once again the Cuban document denounces, the siege built by Washington is a  flagrant and systematic human right violation, as well as the main obstacle for the socio-economic development of this Caribbean nation.

Nobody can forget, and the Cuban Foreign Minister recalls that on October, 2011, 186 nations supported Cuba’s resolution and only two countries (the United States of America and Israel) voted no, Bruno Rodriguez believes that the result of the upcoming voting will be similar.

René Portocarrero Art

Cabeza de Mujer Ornamentada
(Ornamented Head of a Woman)

René Portocarrero (born in La Habana, 24 February 1912; died La Habana, 27 April 1985) was a Cuban artist recognized internationally for his achievements.

He began his artistic education at the San Alejandro academy, but left early and is hence considered 'self taught'. He put on his first exhibition in 1934, at the Havana Lyceum, beginning a long and fruitful career which included a 1937 collaboration with Mariano Rodríguez and work as a 'free studies' teacher of painting and sculpture. After travels in Haiti, Europe and the United States he gave his first show to an overseas audience at Julien Levy gallery in New York City in 1945.

In 1950 he worked with Wilfredo Lam, Mariano, Martinez Pedro and Amelia Palaez in the village of Santiago de Las Vegas. In 1961 he had meetings with Fidel Castro in the Jose Marti National Library where they discussed culture.
René received lessons in painting from Nicolás Guillén Landrián. In 1977 he worked for the Japan Women's Association. In 1979 he worked for UNESCO and AIAP.

Remembering My First Cuba Postage Stamp

Year of Issue: 1948

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

October 12: Odlanier Solis vs Leif Larsen


Wikipedia: Leif Larsen

By Marcus Richardson, East Side Boxing: 

Former 2004 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist for Cuba Odlanier Solis (18-1, 12 KO’s) will be fighting 37-year-old unbeaten Norwegian heavyweight Leif Larsen (16-0, 13 KO’s) on October 12th at the Madrid Arena, in Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid, Spain in a scheduled 10 round bout. The 6’4″ Larsen played professional football with the Buffalo Bills from 2000 to 2001. He’s been a pro boxer since 2003, but failed to fight 2008 and 2009.

Before he faces Larsen, Solis, 32, has an eight round fight scheduled on September 14th against Erkan Teper (8-0, 6 KO”s) at the Tabea-Areal, Halle an der Saale, Sachsen, Germany. This will be Solis’ second tune-up fight after tearing up his right knee in a 1st round knockout loss to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in March of last year.

Monday, September 17, 2012

How Two Batistiano Millionaires,The Fanjul Brothers, Manipulate the Price of Sugar in the USA


Read the article: Big Sugar's Subsidies Raise Prices by Amy Green, of The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting @ The Ledger.

The Fanjul brothers were born in Cuba. Before the Socialist Revolution their family were huge supporters of the dictatorship of General Fulgencio Batista. The U.S. government always supported that kind of “democracy” which is still trying unsuccessfully, 52 years later, to return to the island.

U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio in the state of Florida, and also the Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow, are huge recipients of contributions from the Fanjul family business interests.

I will bet money that you will never hear Obama or Romney say that they are in favor of eliminating the huge subsidies that the U.S. government gives to these two capitalist millionaires.

In the USA, the Democrats and the Republicans will never tell you that the biggest government welfare program is the subsidies for millionaires and billionaires like the Fanjul brothers. They do not need the extra taxpayer dough. They already have enough.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Obama & Hillary Focus Their Hate on Tours to Cuba

American Tour Operators condemn US Obstacles to travel to Cuba

Several US travel agencies have reported bureaucratic obstacles implemented by the US government to renew their licenses and prevent them from organizing tours and trips to Cuba, suffering for over half a century from US economic, commercial and financial blockade and embargo.

Havana, Cuba / NationalTurk – The travel agencies and tour operators mentioned that in the past few months in 2012, delays in processing the travel and tour organization permits have taken longer, causing cancellation of flights to Cuba, layoffs and financial losses.

Bob Guild, Vice President of Marazul Charters Inc which organized exchanges and charter flights to Cuba, says : ‘ Everything is almost paralyzed since July 1st.’

Last May, the US Treasury Department tighten its thorough supervision of visits to the Communist Island of Cuba and declared that a violation of restrictions would mean 65,000 USD fines and even the suspension of travel agency licenses.

David Harvell from the New York-based Cuban Studies Center expresses : ‘ Basically we have to argue that each minute of each day constitutes a person-to-person contact, which is the only type of contact allowed under current regulations.’

Cuba travel : Harder than ever

His Cuba travel organization had to suspend six already scheduled trips to Cuba due to the application to renew the agency license is still incomplete and it has hundreds of pages.

The Cuba tour operators regard these obstacles as a response to the agreement reached by the White House with Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who is known for his extremist positions against Havana administration, to impose more strict control to their companies, more revision of itineraries and the program in general.

On this regard, Tom Popper, Director of Insight Cuba, states that for this reason his company had to lay off 22 employees, losing millions of dollars, and more than 150 scheduled trips to Cuba are likely to be cancelled in the next year because the authorization by US offices he needs is not available yet.

US Treasury Department’s spokespersons confirmed to press organizations that these regulation measures ban recreational excursions and tourist-related financial transactions related with Cuba.

Those measures apply to US citizens with no family link with Cubans and from now on those applying for licenses must explain why they need to meet with high ranking Cuban officials.

The blockade against Cuba has meant over 957 billion USD in overall damage and losses and is in violation of the UN Charter and international law.

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JG: Do not patronize Barack Obama with your vote on November 6th.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Remembering The Cuban Five

Jamaica, West Indies, The Gleaner

Letter to the Editor

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The month of September marks important dates in the history of neighbouring states, Cuba and the United States.

For our sister nation Cuba, September 12 marks the 14th anniversary since five of its sons, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerro, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, internationally known as the Cuban Five, have been incarcerated in the US for fighting terrorism directed at their country that was hatched on US soil.

While the tragic events of September 11, 2001 cost almost 3,000 lives, the aftermath of a US-prosecuted War on Terror has caused death and destruction as far afield as Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, to name a few.

Our planet has not been the same.

LESSONS UNLEARNT

One would have thought, therefore, that a logical alliance would have been forged between these two sovereign states, given their experience with terrorism.

Instead, successive US administrations have sought to undermine and criminalise with inordinately long sentences (Gerardo Hernandez receiving two life sentences and 15 years) five Cuban patriots for trying to protect their country from terrorist activities originating in Miami, resulting in loss of life and millions in damage to the infrastructure and economy of Cuba.

To add insult to injury and a major slap in the face of human-rights advocates, the US government has consistently denied the visitation rights for the wives of the Cuban Five on the specious grounds in one case that she was a 'threat' to the national security of that country.

Let us join the efforts of Colonel Lawrence Wilkinson, chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell between 2002-2005; former US President Jimmy Carter; Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winner for The Colour Purple; as well as millions across the world, in condemning the unjust imprisonment of the Cuban Five.
President Barack Obama, the eyes of the world are watching you.

TREVOR G. BROWN

trevorgbrown@hotmail

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JG: I add my voice to that of Mr. Brown.

Message to Barack Obama: Negotiation is a TWO WAY STREET!

Cuba Says Ready to Negotiate Gross Fate


Foreign Ministry official Josefina Vidal also rejects allegations by the wife of 63-year-old Maryland native Alan Gross that her husband's health is failing after more than 2 1/2 years in custody.

Vidal says in a statement to The Associated Press that "Mr. Gross's health continues to be normal and he exercises regularly." Vidal issued the message on Wednesday.

U.S. officials say privately that President Raul Castro's government has made it increasingly clear it wants to exchange Gross for five Cuban agents sentenced to long jail terms in the United States.

Washington rejects such a swap.

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JG: Allan Gross knew what he was getting into. He committed crimes against Cuban sovereignty.

Obama and Hillary should stop whining!

Cuba: 1871: First Postal Card of the Island

Issued By Colonial Spain
King Alfonso XII

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cuba's Antillean Flasher

Antillean Flasher (Astraptes xagua)
Source:

1895-1898: Cuba in Arms Against Colonialist Spain: The Postal Issues


I was looking for the images of the postal issues of the Insurrectionist Government of the Cuban Mambises in their war of independence against Spain in the period of 1895-1898.

I found what I was looking for. Go to page 21 of the PDF file in the above link and you will be able to see the great photos.

It is a great study from a philatelic perspective. No author is named.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Jimmy Carter: Cuba Relations Should Be Improved By Next President

BY JOSH LEDERMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Former President Jimmy Carter says anti-Castro leaders in Florida have a major and exaggerated influence on the presidential election in that battleground state.

Criticizing U.S. policy, Carter says he thinks most Cuban-Americans want open borders and an end to the trade embargo.

He says he hopes the next president will act forcefully to improve relations with Cuba, no matter who wins. But he says he prefers that President Barack Obama win re-election.
Carter is also calling for Cuba to be removed from the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terror. Cuba has been on that list since 1982.

Carter spoke to a meeting of Latin America's development bank in Washington. His comments came as Mitt Romney's campaign is working to link Obama to unpopular aspects of Carter's legacy.

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JG: Good to hear a sane voice in the Democratic Party. Did you hear that Mr. President? Do not ignore the combined voices of 187 nations. LIFT THE CUBA EMBARGO!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

On Cuba, Obama’s Democratic Party Continues with Tired Capitalist Slogans

Barack Obama and his Democratic Party still do not get it! They continue reciting tired clichés from the U.S. capitalist ruling elites, i.e. Cubans are still living under oppression.

Cuba Journal will continue to oppose his Cuba policies until my tired heart gives out on me, or the muscles of my writing hand are stopped by painful cramps.

Below are the three paragraphs of the Capitalist Democratic Party of the United States, as reported by Havana Journal.

In the Americas, we see vibrant democracies in countries from Mexico to Brazil and Costa Rica to Chile. We have also seen historic peaceful transfers of power in places like El Salvador and Uruguay. Yet despite the region’s democratic progress, stark inequalities in political and economic power endure. We will continue to press for more transparent and accountable governance. And we will promote greater freedom in Cuba and Venezuela until all their citizens enjoy the universal rights they deserve.

Under President Obama, we have undertaken the most significant efforts in decades to engage the Cuban people. We have focused on the importance of the family ties between Cuban Americans and their relatives still living under oppression. Because of steps the President has taken, it is now possible for Cuban Americans to visit and support their families in Cuba, and to send remittances that reduce the Cuban people’s dependence on the Cuban state.

We have taken additional steps to bolster Cuban civil society, expanding purposeful exchanges that bolster independent religious groups on the island and enhancing the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people. Going forward we will continue to support the Cuban people’s desire to freely determine their own future.

On November 6 do not reward Barack Obama or Mitt Romney with your vote.

1962: Another Silly “Operation” of Uncle Sam After the Bay of Pigs Failed in April 1961

Air Force brigadier general Edward Lansdale was the “chief of operations” of “the Cuba Project” for Bobby Kennedy, the attorney general at the Justice Department, and the brother of President John F. Kennedy.

Lansdale came up with this idea to “eliminate” Fidel Castro:

A U.S. submarine was to surface off Havana in the middle of the night and fire star shells toward the shore. The shells would light up the nighttime sky. In the meantime, CIA agents would have spread the word that Fidel was the anti-Christ, and that the illumination was a harbinger of the Second Coming of Christ. Lansdale suggested that the operation be timed to coincide with All Soul's Day “to gain extra impact from Cuban superstitions.” CIA skeptics dubbed the scheme “Elimination by Illumination.”

Another pet Lansdale project was branding the Cuban resistance with the symbol “gusano libre.” But the public relations campaign was a flop. Imbued with pride and machismo, Cubans refused to identify with worms, free or not.

As told in: Page 12 of:

One Minute to Midnight : Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the brink of nuclear war.  By Michael Dobbs, Alfred A. Knopf, Random House, New York, 2008

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JG: Don't spend any money on this book. (I only paid 49 cents for the book (remainder mark), and I want my money back! Try to get a free copy at a public library.

The author does not know the difference between the Sierra Madre (California) and the Sierra Maestra (Cuba).

Operation Mongoose was the official name given by Uncle Sam to the Cuba Project. Another huge waste of taxpayer's money. 

Below is one example of the “super-good” English grammar used by the author in the book. Poor Shakespeare, he must be turning in his grave.

“His brain seemed to worked faster than anyone else's.” [page 69]

Does the Alfred A. Knopf publishing house have a great need for a competent proof-reader?