Monday, December 31, 2012

El General Huyó al Amanecer (The General Ran Away at Dawn)


Cuba celebrates tomorrow the 54th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, which was led by Fidel Castro Rúz and a group of very courageous people. You probably already know the names: Raúl, Ché, Camilo, Almeida and many more.

On January 31st, 1958, Cuban dictator General Fulgencio Batista knew that he could not stay any longer at the presidential palace in Havana, or at the Columbia Military Barracks, outside of the capital. He realized promptly that he was doomed, and what was surely next for him. If he stayed in the island, he would have to stand, with his back against a wall, facing a firing squad of the soon-to-be-victorious Revolutionary Army of the 26th of July Movement. He abandoned the island early at dawn on the following day, the start of the new year, 1959.  

Cuba's horrible nightmare was finally over!

At the end, the U.S. government abandoned their favorite puppet and dictator, a poorly educated mestizo who rose to power by murdering his political opponents. The American government had supported him very strongly since his coup d'etat on March 10, 1952. Millions of U.S. taxpayers dollars had been wasted propping-up a doomed Fascist who faced the wrath of the people. Dictators like Batista and Somoza were the favorite “democrats” that the American government loved to support in the mid 20th century.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

USA: A Very Sick Country Today

The United States is a very, very sick country today.

Here is what Atlantic Wire says CNN has reported:

"A decreasing number of American gun owners own two-thirds of the nation's guns and as many as one-third of the guns on the planet."

What can we expect next?

You can expect never to see an article in the U.S. mainstream media blaming the greed of American capitalists in the perpetual business of selling guns to all kinds of people. Huge profits is the only thing that a capitalist cares about.

You can also expect, that overnight, dozens if not hundreds of new businesses will pop up asking you to donate money to “help” the victims of this horrible tragedy. Hucksters will pocket that money.

In one excellent movie (The Great Debaters) about the small Willey College debating team in the 1930's, the radical debate coach had a very important exercise about the following theme:

RESOLVED: THAT CAPITALISM IS AN IMMORAL SYSTEM.

Cuba Journal's Uncle Sam Says Series


Photo: Mother Jones

Uncle Sam's Says #1. The First Commandment of my Organized Religion is: '”Thou shall love money above everything else.”

Uncle Sam's Says #2: Remember, the American Dream does not guarantee a roof over the heads of the suckers that believe in my greedy capitalism.

Uncle Sam's Says #3: The Second Commandment shall be “Adore only millionaires and billionaires, for they shall get extremely low tax rates.”

Uncle Sam's Says #4: Only capitalist millionaires and billionaires are worthy of being admitted to Heaven.

Come back later to this post to peruse new sayings, or better yet, send us new “Uncle Sam's Says” words of wisdom to be included in this series. Let us know if you want to use your real name (must have big cojones) or if you want to use a pseudonym.

Cuba Denounces Strengthening of U.S. Blockade

Havana, Dec 20 (Prensa Latina) Cuba denounced today the strengthening of the United States (U.S.) blockade against this country and the extraterritorial nature of its policy, rejected by the vast majority of the international community. A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX), published today by the newspaper Granma, recalls that on December 11 the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department announced the imposition of a fine of 375 million dollars against the Bank HSBC Holdings (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation).

The reason to punish the financial institution, based in London, is the alleged violation of U.S. unilateral sanctions against several countries, including Cuba.

Similarly, on December 12, OFAC, responsible for implementing the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, announced the implementation of another fine, for 8 634 571 dollars to the Japanese bank Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, for the same reason.

The MINREX note warns that the application of these unfair and illegal penalties shows that the U.S. policy of persecution to financial and trade transactions against Cuba and against those who hold a legitimate relationship with the island under international law, not only has not changed, but has toughened.

The statement also denounce the extraterritorial application, to entities from third countries, of the provisions of the blockade against Cuba, that take place within a month of the UN General Assembly claim again, almost unanimously, to put an end to this cruel policy, rejected worldwide and, increasingly, by large segments of American society.

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JG: What a FRAUD Barack Obama is!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why Washington Won’t Admit The Cuban Embargo Has Failed

December 19, 2012


Posted by Kevin Webb @ Atlanta Black Star

It has been 53 years since the United States established its embargo on Cuba, with no end in sight. Political analysts and economists agree that America’s hard-nosed policy towards Cuba has become more of a tradition than a foreign policy objective. Both Americans and Cubans continue to be punished for diplomatic quarrels that are generation old, even as avenues for trade and commerce have developed around the blockade. If the goal of the embargo was to liberate Cuba from the Castro brothers’ communist rule, it has failed decisively.

Continuing the embargo defies logic, appealing to history rather than present day reality. It has gone on for so long that there is no political benefit for America to suddenly stand down on the issue, something that Washington officials aren’t quick to admit.

“Cuba doesn’t matter anymore now,” Ted Piccone, a former National Security Council official and now deputy director for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution told Politico. “There’s no political incentive” to change the policy — even though the arguments for changing it are rife. Despite ample provocation, the U.S. doesn’t impose similar embargoes on other authoritarian states.”

In recent years, Cuban citizens have been granted new freedoms under the communist government, particularly since Raul Castro gained power from his brother Fidel. While U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was quoted as saying the embargo would not end until “Cuba is free,” America willingly supports oppressive governments across the globe, allowing other countries to forgo sanctions on Iranian oil, and sending billions in aid to Egypt.

For the 23rd consecutive year, the United Nations has voted to condemn the United States embargo on Cuba, with 188 countries voting in opposition. Prior to the vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said that the embargo had cost the Cuban economy $108 billion. Cold War politics are extinct, but it appears to be little more than stubbornness that keeps the embargo alive.

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JG: George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama will be treaded by world historians in the future as average U.S. presidents that were not very intelligent in dealing with the Cuba issue. Hate and fanaticism motivates them. They both deserve our condemnation and repudiation.

Cuba Journal says that both #43 and #44 will go down in history as very hypocritical.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How Democrats and Republicans Plan to Screw U.S. Seniors

JG: The Democrats and Republicans will continue to protect capitalist millionaires and billionaires.

House Democratic leaders soften opposition to Social Security cuts

By Mike Lillis - 12/18/12 02:06 PM ET (The Hill)

House Democratic leaders have softened their blanket opposition to Social Security cuts in a "fiscal cliff" package despite anger from rank-and-file members of their conference.

JG: The Democratic and Republican parties have unveiled their new slogan for 2013: "We are capitalists! WE SCREW YOU BETTER!

All those who voted for Barack Obama should accept the label of "Biggest Suckers in the World."




Monday, December 17, 2012

Fidel and Raul Nominated to Cuba's Parliament

Nominan a Fidel y Raúl como candidatos a diputados

Agencia Cubana de Noticias

La Habana.- (AIN) - El Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro y el General de Ejército Raúl Castro, presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, fueron nominados este domingo candidatos a diputados a la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular por los municipios de Santiago de Cuba y Segundo Frente respectivamente.

El líder histórico de la Revolución Cubana fue nominado por el Distrito Electoral número siete de la Ciudad Héroe.

Translation: Cuba's Commander In Chief, Fidel Castro and his brother, Raúl Castro, General of the Army and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, were nominated this Sunday as deputies candidates to the National Assembly of People's Power from their respective municipalities, Santiago de Cuba and Second Front.

The historical leader of the Cuban Revolution was nominated by Electoral District Number Seven of the Heroic City.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Norwegian Oil Rig Arrives Off the Coast of Cuba for Exploration

ABC News has reported the following:

HAVANA December 15, 2012 (AP)

Cuban authorities say a Norwegian-owned platform has arrived in waters off the island's north-central coast for exploratory drilling by Russian oil company Zarubezhneft.

State-run Cubapetroleo says the Songa Mercur rig has been inspected and is capable of drilling as safely as possible and with minimum environmental risk. The well project is given as 21,300 feet (6,500 meters) deep and is expected to take six months.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Petition to Support the Saving American Democracy Amendment

Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court decision in a case called Citizens United vs. FEC.
 
The Saving American Democracy Amendment states that:
  • Corporations are not persons with constitutional rights equal to real people.
  • Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.
  • Corporations may not make campaign contributions or any election expenditures.
  • Congress and states have the power to regulate campaign finances.







CLICK HERE

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cuba Grooms an Excellent Future Leader

Granma reported today that Cuba's foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, has been elected to the very important Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba.

He is energetic and very capable of asssuming more responsibilities as part of the next generation of Cuba's political leaders.

Here is what Raul Castro had to say:

"We have bright young people whom we must guide and we should pass through to them the knowledge that we have gained in the many years of our Revolution."

Raul presented the proposal to elect Bruno Rodriguez Parilla to the Polit Bureu of the party.

This is a very good choice, in my opinion. Bruno has always been at the forefront in the battle to defend Cub'a national sovereignty and independence. Excellent decision.

Raul's proposal was aproved unanismously by the meeting of the Fifth Plenum of the Communist Party of Cuba.

To read the report of the capitalist press in the United States, click here to go to the ABC News report.



Even Right-Wing Organizations Want the Cuba Blockade Lifted

The rats are abandoning ship! The capitalists are beginning to realize that they are losing a lot of money by not trading with Cuba. If we trade with China and Vietnam, why not Cuba? The answer lays in the pure arrogance of Yankee imperialism.

What will happen in the immediate future is anyone's guess. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are 100% capitalists and both are certified Cuba haters.

But the world has condemned the Obama administration's continuation of the Cuba blockade by a vote of 188-3. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

In the 1930's the whole world repudiated the Nazis. The Yankee imperialists are getting a spoon full of the same medicine. They fully deserve it.

When a right-wing organization like The National Interest calls for an end of the Cuba blockade, it is a double confirmation of what we are saying.

BON VOYAGE RODENTS!

Letter to a Would Be Cuban Rafter


Dear Cuban brother:

Do not be a fool. Do not become the food for the sharks in the strait between Cuba and Florida.

American capitalism does not have anything to offer to you other than exploitation and suffering.

In 1961, when I came to the U.S., the country had good manufacturing-based jobs that payed a living wage. The American capitalists have exported those jobs to Mexico, China and other low-wage paying countries that pay as low as 21 cents an hour. The American worker received a royal screwing from the capitalists who are in charge of the so-called “American Dream.”

The American Dream now exists only for capitalist millionaires, billionaires or those making above a quarter of a million dollars. Those three groups have murdered a very imaginative dream that only existed in the fertile minds of your would be capitalist exploiters.

Hundreds like you have come to Florida and have returned to Cuba when they realized that they had been deceived. You may make a lot of money if you decide to join the bands of organized criminals that roam the state. But then, in the end those human sharks would end up eating you too, like the ones in the Florida strait.

Do not listen to the siren song of capitalism which is being sung in the island by unscrupulous and mercenary people like Yoany Sánchez, Coco Fariñas and others. Be strong and repudiate them, like the rest of the people in Cuba do. The Cuban people know who those apátridas work for.

Cuban socialism may not be perfect, but you have to stay and help it become better with any needed and people-supported reforms.

Your friend,

Jorge R. Gonzalez

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Raul Castro Receives Hugo Chavez in Havana


Granma reported that Raul Castro, Army General and President of the Couuncil of State and Ministers, received the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who annnouced publicly his return to Cuba to continue his medical treatment

Reuters Canada also reported that Chavez underwent surgery today in Havana.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Background of "En Eso Llegó Fidel"

Revolutionary Songs

Background

When the Cuban Revolution began, Castro and his "26th of July Movement" enjoyed broad support as they agitated against Fulgencio Batista, the corrupt American-backed dictator of Cuba. Cuban artists of the day captured the enthusiasm and optimism of the early days of the revolution through song, painting, and poetry, which allowed them to convey the emotion of the revolutionary spirit in ways that simple prose could not.

Carlos Puebla--a Cuban singer, guitarist, and composer--was one such artist. A strong supporter of Fidel Castro, Puebla shared Castro's disdain for Batista as well as his concern for the welfare of the Cuban working class. Puebla's political leanings and support for Castro eventually earned him the nickname "El Cantor de la Revolución," or "The Singer of the Revolution."

Puebla wrote En Eso Llegó Fidel ("And then Fidel Arrived") in 1959, following the overthrow of Batista's government. With anthem and marching rhythms, "En Eso Llegó Fidel" casts Fidel as a mythical savior as each stanza juxtaposes the corrupt past of the Batista regime with the redemptive moment "when Fidel arrived." The widespread popularity of this song and of Carlos Puebla's music more generally is testimony to the symbolic power of the Cuban Revolution in the early revolutionary imagination of Latin Americans.

Source: Primary Source - Educating for Global Understanding

U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects CIA's Motion to Squash Lawsuit on Bay of Pigs History

The Houston, a supply ship for the CIA's invasion force, 
was sunk by Cuban T-33s on the morning of April 17, 1961 (CIA photo)

The National Security Archives @ George Washington University

National Security Archive Freedom of Information Case to Receive Full Hearing

CIA and Justice Department Argued That Release of Draft History Would "Confuse the Public"

Posted - December 7, 2012

For more information contact:
Tom Blanton or Nate Jones- 202/994-7000 or foiadesk@gwu.edu

Washington, D.C., December 7, 2012 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday rejected the CIA's attempt to shortcut the National Security Archive's lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the last still-secret history of the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.

With the ruling, the Archive has moved a step closer to compelling openness for the only remaining unreleased volume of a draft history of the Bay of Pigs operation, written by a CIA staff historian in the 1980s. One volume of the five-volume history reached the public through the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board's action in the 1990s; and the Archive filed its FOIA lawsuit for the remaining volumes in April 2011, on the 50 th anniversary of the failed CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba.

The CIA released three volumes as a result of the FOIA lawsuit, but withheld the final volume by invoking a statutory exemption to the FOIA that protects "predecisional" and "deliberative" agency documents. Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court sided with the CIA, explaining that the Agency could withhold this "predecisional" draft because it "does not want to discourage disagreement… among its historians."

The Archive appealed to the D.C. Circuit, and the CIA then filed a motion for summary affirmance - in effect asking the court to decide in its favor without full briefing or oral argument. In opposing the CIA's motion, the Archive received strong support from more than a dozen organizations representing tens of thousands of historians, archivists, political scientists, educators and researchers around the world, who warned that the CIA's position could create a "chilling effect on access to historical materials."

On Thursday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the CIA's motion, agreeing with the Archive and its supporters that the case merits the court's full onsideration, and set a briefing schedule through March 2013 for the lawsuit to continue.

"The CIA told the courts that a decades-old draft history should stay secret because it would 'confuse the public' and make CIA historians less candid," remarked Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive. "In fact, that policy would put off limits half of what's in our country's National Archives, and the only confused people would be government itself, unable to learn from its own mistakes because the history was locked under Maxwell Smart's Cone of Silence."

Allon Kedem and Cliff Sloan of the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom represent the Archive in this case as part of the firm's pro bono publico commitment. Veteran FOIA litigator David Sobel represented the Archive in the first stages of the case and won the release of three volumes of the history. The director of the Archive's Cuba Documentation Project, Peter Kornbluh, wrote and filed the original Freedom of Information Act request in the case.

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JG: My congratulations to The National Security Archives at George Washington University for this very important victory against the perfidy of the Central Intelligence Agency.

More related postings can be accessed directly at the National Securiy Archives. Click here.

Cuba's Gift to the World

Cuba's gift to the world is an excellent socialist health care system that is based on love and solidarity and not capitalist greed. Cuba does love people. In contrast, the U.S. has the most expensive health care system of any developed country in our planet, one that is controlled by corporate behemoths.

Cuba has sent their dedicated and humanitarian doctors to the four corners of the world. They lovingly have assisted countries that have been afflicted by horrible natural disasters.

When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the then current emperor, George W. Bush, rejected Cuba's offer of medical help. Thousands of Americans died.

When you go see your doctor in the much promoted “American Dream” they will demand a prompt $150.00 dollars payment for probably a 15 minute visit. If you do not have that amount, you could be left to die.

There are dedicated doctors in the U.S. that treat poor people for very little or no money, but you can probably count those doctors using the fingers of your hands. On average, capitalist greed reigns supreme in any health care service provided in the U.S.

Cuba Journal Celebrates its 7th Anniversary Today



We want to thank the thousands of visitors who have visited the pages of Cuba Journal. It is very gratifying to see so many flags on the right column of the blog.

No matter who occupies the White House, George W. Bush or Barack H. Obama, we will continue battling those who do not have the necessary intelligence to realize that the Cuba embargo is a huge failure. It has not accomplished its purpose.

Do not give up. When you are discouraged, think 188-3. The whole world is with us and demands that the blockade needs to be lifted.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Coming Up on Monday: "Cuba's Gift to the World"

I am experiencing technical difficulties with my PC. Hopefully, I will be back to normal on Monday. In the meantime, you may want to read an excellent article by Don Fitz.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, Condemns Cuba Blockade


Translation by Cuba Journal
 
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

By Iris de Armas Padrino - Granma

Havana — Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General, condemned yesterday in this capital the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the government of his country against Cuba since more than five decades ago.

At the second session of the International Health Convention, which is meeting at the Conventions Palace with the participation of more than one thousand delegates from 45 nations, Clark highlighted the impact and solidarity of the Cuban public health in the world, despite that genocidal U.S. policy.

In his keynote address at the scientific meeting, the American jurist noted the medical cooperation of the Caribbean nation in dissimilar countries where it was needed.

Cuban health professionals are striving to provide services to other people, and have been present to save lives, often in appalling conditions, he said.

He also said that Cuba has trained more than 15,000 doctors of various nations, including the United States, which he described as invaluable aid for those Cuban doctors have humanistic feelings and work with their hearts.

Dr. José Luis Di Fabio, Island representative on the Pan-American and World Health Organization, praised the support of the Caribbean island in the international arena in the area of teachning undergraduates and graduates with a high scientific level and the efficient work of the doctors in the villages where they have lent their solidarity contribution.
 
Another aspect analyzed in the second day of the forum was the progress of triangular cooperation between Brazil, Haiti and Cuba, and also highlighted the assistance of young medical graduates from Venezuela at the Latin American School of Medicine, who have participated in situations of disasters in Haiti. (AIN)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Frankenfish: How American Capitalists Are Genetically Modifying Salmon to Generate Millions of Dollars in Extra Profits

A genetically engineered atlantic salmon (background) sits next to a naturally occurring atlantic salmon of the same age.
Last night ABC News had a terrifying and sickening report about the ever growing desire by American capitalists to make more and more money.

They are creating what has been called a Frankenfish. According to the report, the salmon is genetically modified in a laboratory. It will not be labeled as such when you purchase it in a food supermarket.

What will they think of next to feed capitalism's never ending and ever growing greed?

Will there be millions of suckers who will purchase and eat this Frankenfish?
P.T. Barnum was right!
 
ABC News:

U.S. likely to approve

Genetically Modified 'Frankenfish'

One Of The Young Beauties of Cuba's La Colmenita


Cuban Grand Master Lenier Dominguez Ends With Win in Chess Grand Prix

CubaSi.cu

Wednesday, 05 December 2012, 15:09
 
Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez won over American Gata Kamsky today and lifted his follower’s spirits who were dissatisfied his performance at the Chess Grand Prix in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Dominguez won in 33 moves of a Closed version of the Spanish opening, in which he took advantage of his rival´s indecisions for his first victory during the eleventh and final round of the event.

A combined attack of the queen, two rooks and a bishop for central lines and the king flank gave Leinier the success, thus he reached four points and got away from the bottom of the table, then occupied by his victim.

Kamsky conceded his fifth lost and finished with 3.5 points, far from the 6.5 that allowed Russians Alexander Morozevich and Sergey Karjakin and Chinese Hao Wang to dominate the tournament.

The first one only got a draw against his compatriot Peter Svidler, while Karjakin beat Ukrainian Ruslan Ponomariov in the longest match of this round, and Wang did the same versus Azeri Shakriyar Mamedyarov.

The standings are not differentiated by tiebreaker, by the rules of the tournament, which will take another four phases in 2013, so the three of them are considered winners and accumulate the same amount of points for the final standings.

Mamedyarov´s defeat was extremely costly, because he was first until yesterday and ended up sharing the places of 3 to 5 with Italian Fabiano Caruana and local Rustam Kasimdzhanov, all with six points.

Caruana agreed peace with Hungarian Peter Leko and Kasimdzhanov did the same with Israeli Boris Gelfand.

Leko, Svidler and Ponomariov finished with 5.5, ahead of Gelfand with 4.5, who was a step before Leinier (4) and Kamsky (3.5).

This was the second stage of a circuit that began last September in London, where Gelfand and Mamedyarov were the leaders and Leinier and Kasimdzhanov were tied positions 9-10.

Although only 12 players compete in each stop, there is a roster of 18 invited players whom should participate at least four times each one to set the ratings for the candidates´ tournament to the world crown.

Cuba issues stern rebuke to US, accusing it of lying about imprisoned American’s health

HAVANA — Cuba accused the United States of lying about the health and conditions of confinement of a jailed American government subcontractor, and pushed back Wednesday against claims by the man’s family that his 15-year sentence is arbitrary and a violation of his human rights.

Josefina Vidal, the top Cuba diplomat for North American affairs, also said it was unrealistic to expect Cuba to free Maryland resident Alan Gross “unilaterally” — a clear demand for U.S. concessions in the case of five Cuban intelligence agents sentenced in Florida to long jail terms.

The U.S. government “is directly responsible for the situation that led to the detention and judgment and trial of Mr. Alan Gross so we have to sit down together, to look together for a solution to this case,” she said.

Vidal said Cuba has repeatedly made its terms known to U.S. officials and has not gotten a response. Diplomats and the White House have flatly ruled out a prisoner swap, at least in public comments.

Gross told a U.S. rabbi who visited him last week at a military hospital where he is being held that he does not want to be linked to the intelligence agents’ cases since he does not believe he committed espionage. But he added that he does desire better U.S.-Cuba ties and freedom for all “political prisoners.”

Gross’ champions say Cuba’s insistence on an exchange amounts to holding the 63-year-old hostage. The case has chilled already frosty relations between the two nations.

Gross was setting up wireless Internet connections for Cuba’s Jewish community as a subcontractor for USAID, the US government agency in charge of foreign economic development, when he was arrested in December 2009. The project he was working on was part of a $40 million-a-year program to promote democracy.

U.S. officials have portrayed the work as purely humanitarian. But Gross was violating Cuban law by doing work for USAID in the country, since under Cuban law such activities must be authorized. Gross’ wife acknowledged in a recent lawsuit against the U.S. government and her husband’s employer that he knew the work he was doing was risky, and other documents show he took steps to conceal his activities.

Gross, who was overweight before his arrest, has lost 105 pounds in custody and suffers from a number of ailments. Earlier this year, he developed a mass behind his right shoulder. His lawyers have called on Cuba to allow an independent doctor of his choosing to examine him.

Vidal reiterated that a team of Cuban doctors performed a biopsy and found no evidence the growth was cancerous. She hinted that Cuba would release more tests if the accusations by U.S. political and diplomatic officials continue.

“The U.S. government is lying once again to the public, saying that Mr. Gross has cancer and does not receive adequate medical care,” she said. “These lies have not stopped, even after the results of the biopsy conducted on the lesion on his back were delivered to his family and U.S. authorities.”

Gross’s lawyer has complained about Cuba’s decision to disclose medical tests that are normally confidential.

A resolution demanding Gross’ release was introduced in the U.S. Senate this week and was expected to pass as early as Wednesday.

On Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney reiterated Washington’s demand that Cuba release Gross, or at least allow him to travel to the United States to visit his elderly mother, who was diagnosed with inoperable cancer.
Vidal repeated Cuba’s position that such a trip was not in the offing.

Recently, Gross’ wife Judy filed a $60 million lawsuit against the U.S. government and the company that hired him, alleging they did not train him properly or make him aware of the risks he was running in Cuba.

Gross’ lawyer has also appealed to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in an effort to add to international pressure on Havana in the case.
Vidal on Wednesday said Cuba had delivered a written response to the U.N. body in which it argued that Gross’ incarceration was hardly arbitrary.

“Mr. Gross violated Cuban law by committing acts that constitute serious crimes which are severely punishable in most countries, including the U.S.,” she said.

Paul Haven on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/paulhaven

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JG: The U.S. is responsible for the actual situation of Allan Gross, something that Barack "Pinocchio" Obama refuses to acknowledge. Calling a U.S. covert agent a sub-contractor does not change the fact that Mr. Gross violated Cuban law. The Caribbean island is no longer a U.S. colony. You reap what you sow, Mr. President. Get it through your empty head that Cuba will not genuflect before you.

What is next? You are going to send another "sub-contractor" to set up Internet connections for the Chinese community in the very large Chinatown in Havana?

That U.S. Representative that called you a liar should be given a  medal!

You may have been re-elected but you are not GOD.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Media With Conscience: It's Time to End the War against Cuba


Tuesday, 04 December 2012 09:56

When is enough enough? The U.S. military and the CIA have waged war on Cuba for more than 50 years. After a half-century of invasions, assassination attempts, terrorist attacks, and a cruel and inhumane economic embargo, it’s time to bring the entire sordid policy toward Cuba to an end. Not only has it failed to accomplish its purported end — the ouster of the Castro regime and its replacement by a pro-U.S. dictatorship — it has also played a major role in the economic misery of the Cuban people. The U.S. government’s war on Cuba has also constituted a grave infringement on the fundamental rights and freedoms of the American people.

Keep in mind that neither the Cuban people nor their government has ever attacked or invaded the United States or engaged in acts of terrorism against the United States. It’s always been the other way around. It’s been the U.S. government — i.e., the national-security state, specifically the Pentagon and the CIA — that has always been the aggressor in the decades-long conflict with Cuba.

What has been the justification for U.S. aggression against Cuba? From the beginning, it’s been that Cuban leader Fidel Castro is a communist and a socialist. And so what? Under what moral or legal authority does the U.S. government target a foreign leader for assassination or a foreign country for invasion or terrorism owing simply to the ideological perspective of that country’s leaders?

The warped values that have come with the U.S. national-security state’s war on Cuba are well-reflected in the criminal conviction of the Cuban Five, a group of Cuban agents who came to the United States to ferret out acts of U.S. terrorism that were being planned for Cuba. For that, they were convicted in U.S. federal court of being “spies” and given long jail sentences.

You see, in the eyes of U.S. officials, a country that is targeted for regime change by the U.S. national-security state is supposed to passively accept its fate at the hands of the U.S. Empire. It’s not supposed to resist a U.S. military invasion of its land, as Cuban forces did at the Bay of Pigs. It’s not supposed to avoid assassination attempts at the hands of the CIA-Mafia partnership that was trying to murder Castro. It’s not supposed to try to ferret out terrorist attacks on Cuban businesses and industries.

To resist the U.S. Empire’s attempts at regime change is considered a criminal act. That’s why those five Cubans were punished even though they were doing nothing more than trying to defensively protect their country from U.S. terrorism.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials continue to bray about Cuba’s jailing of American Alan Gross, who was caught distributing satellite telephones to Cuban citizens in violation of Cuban law. He’s now serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba. U.S. officials are hopping mad over that, pointing out that it’s legal to distribute satellite telephones in other countries, an obviously irrelevant point given that Gross did it in Cuba, where it’s illegal. More important, Gross was being funded by the U.S. government, whose goal continues to be regime change in Cuba.

The irony is that when one considers Cuban socialism, the fundamentals aren’t really much different in principle from those embraced by American statists. Consider the two socialist programs that Fidel Castro is most proud of: free public schooling and free government-provided healthcare in Cuba.

Now, ask yourself: What American liberal opposes free public schooling and free government-provided healthcare? Answer: None. Not one single American statist, liberal or conservative, favors the repeal of public schooling or the repeal of Medicare and Medicaid. It’s only we libertarians who favor the immediate repeal of these two major socialist programs, along with all the others.

Moreover, if you compare the judicial system established by the Pentagon on its side of Cuba, you’ll immediately notice the remarkable similarities with Cuba’s communist judicial system: military tribunals, no trial by jury, torture of prisoners, indefinite incarceration without trial, no right to speedy trial, no right to confront witnesses, presumption of guilt, secret proceedings, and abuse of criminal-defense attorneys.

What Castro did was carry statist economic principles to their logical conclusion. While President Franklin Roosevelt, for example, nationalized gold, converting Americans who were caught owning what had been the official money of the American people for more than 100 years into felons, Castro nationalized everything.

While American statists favor taxing the rich and giving the money to the poor, Castro went all the way and just took all the wealth from the rich, including their big mansions, and redistributed it to the poor.

While American statists favor the concept of a government-managed economy, Castro embraced the principle to the full extent through strict government control over all economic activity.

That’s why Cubans have always been on the verge of starvation — not just because of the embargo but also because they were being squeezed at the other end by all that socialism.

This commonality of beliefs between American and Cuban statists is best manifested by the mindsets of Cuban-American members of Congress, who are the most steadfast opponents of lifting the half-century-old embargo against Cuba. The truth is that their beef with Castro is personal, not ideological. Their commitment to statism is as ardent as Castro’s. They don’t want genuine freedom, as libertarians do, they just want to see Castro replaced by their own statist dictator — a pro-U.S. statist dictator, like the pro-U.S. Cuban dictator who preceded Castro, Fulgencio Batista.

After all, those Cuban-American members of Congress who insist on the continuation of the embargo are imposing the same type of economic control on us — the American people — that Castro imposes on his people. The embargo is an infringement on the economic liberty of Americans, not Cubans. It’s Americans who are strictly prohibited from traveling to Cuba and spending money there. If they’re caught violating the law, they are subject to fines and imprisonment — by the U.S. government, the government that purports to stand for “free enterprise.”

It’s time to end this idiocy. It’s time to end the U.S. national-security state’s war against Cuba. No more regime-change operations. No more assassination attempts. No more invasions. No more terrorist attacks. No more embargo. Leave Americans free to travel to Cuba, spend money there, and interact with the Cuban people. Free the Cuban Five and permit them to return home. There is no better time than now.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Bloomberg Publishes "News" About Cuba That Appears To Be Old Stuff

This post is for those individuals who are bilingual. In other words, you must be able to read English and Spanish.

Today, with a masthead dated 12-04-2012 Bloomberg publishes "news" about Cuba that appear to be old stuff.

American capitalists always love to publish "news" about Cuba, that in their opinion, denigrate or attack Cuba. That makes them very happy, old fools that they are.

I am going to reproduce both articles. First the one from Granma on November 30, 2012:

La Habana, viernes 30 de noviembre de 2012. Año 16 / Número 331

CULTURA

Ni la vulgaridad ni la mediocridad podrán mellar la riqueza de la música cubana

Orlando Vistel Columbié, presidente del Instituto Cubano de la Música (ICM), define conceptos de la política de promoción y difusión y anuncia las medidas adoptadas por el organismo para enfrentar ciertos fenómenos que laceran la sensibilidad popular

PEDRO DE LA HOZ
pedro.hg@granma.cip.cu

"Ni la vulgaridad, ni la mediocridad podrán mellar la riqueza de la música cubana; para ello trabajamos coordinadamente desde las instituciones culturales con todos los factores que intervienen en la promoción, difusión y uso social de las producciones musicales".

Fotos: Yander ZamoraOrlando Vistel Columbié, presidente del Instituto Cubano de la Música.
 
Así se expresó Orlando Vistel Columbié, presidente del Instituto Cubano de la Música (ICM), al abordar, en entrevista exclusiva con Granma, ciertos fenómenos que laceran la sensibilidad popular, atentan contra la ética ciudadana y desvirtúan la verdadera imagen de la creación artística.

"Tenemos plena conciencia, y en consecuencia actuamos, de la altísima sensibilidad de la mayoría de nuestro pueblo cuando advierte que se le quieren homogeneizar en patrones ajenos, que vulneran los más elementales principios de la ética", afirmó. "No podemos olvidar —precisó— que en nuestra población se registran elevados niveles de instrucción y una cultura acumulada a lo largo de más de medio siglo de empeños educacionales y culturales".

¿Pudiera caracterizar esos fenómenos contraproducentes y transgresores?
"Nos referimos a entregas seudoartísticas, que para nada tienen que ver con nuestra política cultural ni con la ética de nuestra sociedad, ni con la tradición picaresca, ni con nuestro sentido del humor, ni con la amplísima diversidad estética que asumimos.

El Instituto Cubano de la Música tiene un compromiso con promover los auténticos valores de nuestra producción sonora. 

"Por un lado textos agresivos, sexualmente explícitos, obscenos, que tergiversan la sensualidad consustancial a la mujer cubana, proyectándola como grotescos objetos sexuales en un entorno gestual aún más grotesco. Todo ello en soportes musicales cuestionables o de ínfima calidad, donde impera el facilismo y la falta de rigor formal, que algunos justifican bajo el pretexto de una pretendida búsqueda de contemporaneidad mediante la ruptura de códigos dogmáticos y elitistas, que impiden la comunicación con el gran público.

"Puedo asegurarte que la tradición musical cubana nada tiene que ver con códigos obsoletos ni elitistas, todo lo contrario, nuestra música ha gozado de la oportuna contemporaneidad que le aporta nuestra siempre renovadora identidad cultural, identidad que nada tiene que ver con lo banal, lo chapucero, ni lo grotesco, y sí es reflejo del constante crecimiento de los niveles de instrucción y la cultura de nuestra población.

"Esos fenómenos contraproducentes y transgresores como tú le has llamado, constituyen, además, una muestra de subestimación a la capacidad de apreciación de nuestro pueblo y una grave ofensa a su sensibilidad.

"Existe lamentablemente un sector del público que estimula esas expresiones, que van más allá de la música y tienen que ver con actitudes marginales visibles en ciertas zonas de nuestra realidad y, peor aún, con intermediarios, falsos promotores y funcionarios administrativos que no solo conviven, sino lucran con tales manifestaciones".

Para ser precisos, ¿estamos hablando del reguetón y de algunos reguetoneros?
"No se trata exclusivamente del reguetón. Expresiones vulgares, banales y mediocres se registran en otras prácticas musicales. De modo que no debemos particularizar en un género. Pero no es menos cierto que en el reguetón esto es mucho más notorio".

¿De qué manera se ha venido propiciando esa distorsión? ¿Cómo encara la institución este problema?
"Debemos aclarar que el problema se da en dos instancias. Una, la de individuos que de un modo u otro, se han instalado en el sector profesional; ingresan formando parte de un colectivo artístico con determinado repertorio y perfil, que luego abandonan para presentarse como si fueran ellos mismos un nuevo colectivo artístico. Otra, la de quienes al margen de las instituciones responsabilizadas con la ejecución de la política musical, copan espacios en varios segmentos de la programación y la difusión, contando, al igual que los primeros, con la anuencia de personas que debían velar desde sus responsabilidades para que esto no suceda.

"El ICM y su sistema de instituciones ha adoptado medidas, que van desde la descalificación profesional de aquellos que violen la ética en sus presentaciones hasta la aplicación de severas sanciones a quienes desde las instituciones, propician o permiten estas prácticas. Estamos enfrascados en un proceso de depuración de los catálogos artísticos de nuestras entidades, que va encaminado a erradicar cualquier práctica que por su contenido se aparte de la legitimidad de la cultura popular cubana. Pero ello no basta: nos empeñamos en consolidar formas prácticas para lograr que en los espacios recreativos y turísticos, y por supuesto, en la radio y la televisión, haya una presencia representativa de lo mejor de los catálogos de nuestras instituciones.

"Será de gran ayuda la instrumentación de una norma jurídica, en la que ya estamos trabajando, que deberá regir los usos públicos de la música, en un espectro que cubra los medios de difusión, las programaciones recreativas, las fiestas populares, y la ambientación sonora de lugares públicos. Obviamente, cada quien es libre de escuchar en su privacidad la música que desee, pero esa libertad no incluye el derecho de reproducirla y difundirla en restoranes y cafeterías estatales o particulares, ómnibus para el transporte de pasajeros y espacios públicos en general.

"Las instituciones culturales y los Consejos de la Administración en las provincias y los municipios cuentan con la autoridad y el deber de velar por la correcta aplicación de la política cultural. Pero insisto: las medidas administrativas y jurídicas no son efectivas por sí mismas si no van acompañadas por una labor de orientación, esclarecimiento y convencimiento acerca de los valores que debemos promover"
.
¿Alguien pudiera pensar que existe una crisis de calidad en la música cubana?
"¡Para nada! Ni de calidad ni de cantidad. Contamos con un privilegiado sistema de enseñanza artística a lo largo del país de donde surgen anualmente decenas de talentos formados con mucho rigor, con un movimiento profesional que abarca los más variados estilos y modos de realización sonora, con un movimiento coral formidable, con orquestas y solistas de primer nivel, con portadores de tradiciones que preservan y transmiten valores ancestrales. Del son y la salsa al jazz y de la canción y la rumba a las formas sinfónicas y de cámara se multiplican nuestros exponentes y no pocos de ellos cuentan con gran reconocimiento internacional. Esa es la verdad de la música y de los músicos cubanos".

"La necesidad de poner coto a expresiones vulgares y hacer cumplir por nuestra parte lo que aprobamos en la Primera Conferencia Nacional del Partido —el Objetivo número 61 es explícito al definir el trabajo orientado a la erradicación de manifestaciones de chabacanería y mal gusto que atenten contra la dignidad de las personas y la sensibilidad de la población— obedece a nuestra responsabilidad de revelar y promover jerarquizadamente en todos los espacios posibles los auténticos valores de nuestra producción musical, en viva interacción con lo más connotado del arte a escala internacional, como expresión de la vocación de universalidad que siempre nos ha caracterizado".

As you can see the original Cuban article was rather long.

Here, next, is the garbage that Booomberg published today:

Reggaeton Banned in Cuba as Castro Cracks Down on Music
Cuba’s government is banning reggaeton music from radio and T.V. as Raul Castro’s administration cracks down on “vulgar” songs in the island nation, government newspaper Granma reported on its website,

The Cultural Ministry’s music institute will levy severe sanctions or ban musicians including reggaeton artists whose lyrics are deemed sexually explicit or demeaning to women, Granma said, citing the institute’s president, Orlando Vistel Columbie.

“Neither vulgarity nor mediocrity will be able to tarnish the richness of Cuban music,” Vistel said in an interview posted online today by the Communist Party paper. “Obviously, people can listen to what they want privately. But, that freedom doesn’t include the right to reproduce and disseminate that music.”

A blend of styles including Jamaican dance-hall, hip hop and electronic music, reggaeton has been mainstream for almost a decade and is popular in dance clubs from Chile to New York. Cuban authorities last year denounced as obscene the reggaeton song El Chupi Chupi by local artist Osmani Garcia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Woods in Santiago at rwoods13@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net.

[end of Bloomberg garbage]

I have said it before and I will say it again:

American capitalist hate Cuba and Cubans as much as Adolph Hitler hated the Jews in Germany. American capitalists, like Hitler, ALWAYS have to have a convenient scapegoat for all the fools that read their garbage.

Who Appointed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as Emperor and Empress of the World?


The case can be made that the United States is a country which entered in 2001 an irreversible downslope spiral of political, economic and moral decay.

Today, we see the U.S. sending unmanned drones to sow death and destruction in the four corners of the world. Their leaders do not have the necessary cojones to put their troops on the ground, because they know that, as happened in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, their people would repudiate them.

The case can also be made that both George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama have trampled the constitution of the United States with their undeclared military adventures. Our supreme document is very clear: only Congress has the power to declare war. Dubbya's and the Hope Guy's military adventures are unconstitutional.

The ruling capitalist Democratic and Republican Parties keep going from bad to worse. When will it all end?

They created the so-called fiscal cliff and now they want the American people to be the next Thelma and Louise. What a way to run a country!

In the 1960's the U.S. had a pair of leaders that made a lot of enemies. We all know how they ended up. Will history repeat itself? I hope not.

If you look at both the Cuba and Middle East issues, we see the two biggest warmongers of the world, the United States and Israel, being repudiated by the community of countries. By a vote of 188-3 at the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Yankee empire was thoroughly rebuffed for continuing their genocidal Cuba blockade. In the same manner, and by a vote of 138-9, the world repudiated Zionist Israel for their policy of continuing to steal lands that belong to the Palestinian people.

There is plenty of available evidence to take war criminals before the International Court of Justice. The list contains Dubbya and the Hope Guy in the U.S. and Netanyahu, Barak and Liberman in the Zionist entity.

The Holy Roman empire and Napoleon's, the Spanish, British, Portuguese and Dutch empires no longer exist.

Is the United States shooting itself on the foot? It richly deserves the contempt that is receiving from the civilized peoples of the world.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Fidel Meets Tricky Dicky

Photo: Keystone / Getty Images

Cuba says economy grew 3.1 percent in 2012; below expectations, but beats last year’s figure

By Associated Press

Updated: Monday, December 3, 10:07 AM

HAVANA — Cuba says it will finish the year with 3.1 percent economic growth, lower than expected but higher than in 2011. 

Authorities had previously projected growth of 3.4 percent.

Cuba’s economy expanded 2.7 percent last year. That also fell short of the 3 percent predicted.

Economy Minister Adel Yzquierdo told a meeting of the Council of Ministers that this year’s shortfall is primarily due to missed targets in the construction sector.

He forecast growth of 3.7 percent for 2013.

Yzquierdo’s comments were reported Monday in the Communist Party newspaper Granma.

Source: The Washington Post

In Spanish, as published in Page 2 of Granma today:

El vicepresidente del Consejo de Ministros Adel Yzquierdo Rodríguez, al informar sobre la ejecución de la economía durante este año, consideró que ha mantenido un comportamiento favorable al proseguirse el crecimiento en correspondencia con el esfuerzo que realiza el país para atenuar las dificultades derivadas de la crisis económica mundial, del bloqueo impuesto por el gobierno de los Estados Unidos, el incremento del precio de los alimentos en el mercado internacional, así como de las propias insuficiencias del modelo económico cubano, todo lo cual constituye un freno para el desarrollo de las fuerzas productivas.

El también titular de Economía y Planificación explicó que para el 2012 se pronostica un crecimiento del Producto Interno Bruto a precios constantes de 3.1 %, inferior al 3.4 % previsto.

Este año —precisó—, se prevé no alanzar el incremento planificado debido fundamentalmente a la actividad de construcción que incumple su plan.

Close But No Cigar!

According to Blogger, Cuba Journal reached an important milestone a few days ago:

Nov 27, 2012
Pageviews: 1,940
 
We are a small not-for-profit blog. I do it because I love Cuba. It is a lot of work, and I am not complaining.
 
One day, I hope it is soon, we will get to 2,000 page views.
 
On Monday, December 10, we will celebrate our seventh birthday.
 
Thanks to all.
 
Peace, Love and Happiness. 

Allan Gross' Wife Presses Barack Obama About Her Husband

A private for-profit Cuba blog reports the following:

The wife of jailed US contractor [JG: he was a covert U.S. agent sent by the current federal administration to try to destabilize Cuba] Alan Gross on Friday urged President Barack Obama to send a top-level envoy  to Cuba to negotiate his release, three years after his arrest.

"I urge President Obama to make my husband's case a top priority," Judy Gross said at a news conference held to mark the third anniversary of her husband's arrest on the Caribbean island state.

"I urge him to privately have an honest and open discussion with the Cubans and to do whatever is necessary to secure Alan's release."

JG: Allan Gross deserves what he got, 15 years in jail, for violating the Cuban law which protects its sovereignty.]