Monday, January 31, 2011

A very funny Google Add seen today on the Internet!


Luis Posada Carriles
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Opposition movement calls for one "million people demonstration" on Tuesday in a bid to topple president Hosni Mubarak.

Al Jazeera

Last Modified: 31 Jan 2011 11:21 GMT

Egyptian protesters have called for a massive demonstration on Tuesday in a bid to force out president Hosni Mubarak from power.

The so-called April 6 Movement said it plans to have more than a million people on the streets of the capital Cairo, as anti-government sentiment reaches a fever pitch.

Several hundred demonstrators remained camped out in Tahrir Square in central Cairo overnight, defying a curfew that has been extended by the army.

Thousands were back on the square by mid-day on Monday, chanting anti-government slogans. This as heavy military presence was seen in many parts of the capital.

One of Al Jazeera's correspondents said the military's attempts to block access to the square on Monday by closing roads was not working as more people were arriving in a steady stream.

"Protesters say they'll stay in this square for as long as Mubarak stays in power," she said.

Protesters seem unfazed by Mubarak's pledge to institute economic and political reforms. Our correspondent said people feel that such pledges "are too little, too late".

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Turmoil in Egypt

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution posible" JFK

Lets meet at this Cuba pool and have a Mojito!

Source: Cuba en Fotos

Washington's addiction to tyrants

Socialist Worker

January 29, 2011 2:06 am CST

Thanks to Wikileaks for the full sordid details of Washington's relationship with Mubarak. When it comes to a choice between democracy and human rights on the one hand, and U.S. imperial hegemony on the other, it's no contest. --PG

Update: More on the U.S. role from the excellent Middle East Report.
Revolution is in the air but US sticks to same old script
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

January 29, 2011

Washington appears addicted to propping up tyrants, writes Paul McGeough.

Events in the Middle East are moving too fast for the Obama administration to think it can get away with Plan A and Plan B reaction strategies according to the regimes or leaders it wants to keep in and out of power.

Consider the response of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to Hezbollah tightening its grip on power in Lebanon this week - Washington might have to pull its funding worth hundreds of millions for Lebanon, her office warned.

But as democracy demonstrators were confronted by thousands of baton-wielding policemen in the streets in Cairo, there was no mention of pulling the $US2 billion-plus cheque that Washington writes for the octogenarian President, Hosni Mubarak, each year.

Instead, a rhetorical nugget that Mubarak's mouthpieces would use in their defence - “our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable” and then some namby-pamby words about how Mubarak was “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people”.

That response came on Wednesday - more thugs in and out of uniform in the streets, more tear-gas and 860 more young Egyptians banged up in prison because, Oliver-like, they had the audacity to stand in the streets and to ask for more. Such is stability.

Undaunted, Clinton tried again on Wednesday, when she called on the Egyptian authorities to cease blocking the communications on which the demonstrators relied. But on Thursday the Twitter and Facebook websites were inaccessible and mobile-phone users in Cairo said that it was difficult or impossible to sent text messages.

Clinton uttered the “stability” line early in the week - before the seriousness of what is unfolding in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria came in to focus. Consider how it might be interpreted by ordinary Egyptians - the human rights of 80 million people have been trampled for 30 years but what the US Secretary of State is most concerned about is the stability of the state.

And, even as the focus sharpened, the administration refused to tell the truth about the despot upon whom Washington relies - “Egypt is a strong ally,” the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, replied when asked if the administration still supported Mubarak.

And, in a week in which the Middle East's historic self-started wave of democracy protests came to a head, Barack Obama might have used his State of the Union address to cheer along all the protesters; and perhaps to warn all the leaders, country by country, of the fate that awaits them.

Instead he confined his specific remarks to Tunisia, saying: “The United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia and supports the democratic aspirations of all people.” So, in a region of 333 million people, where to varying degrees a good 325 million are under the heel of unelected leaders, the US President addressed only little Tunisia.

The lame excuse offered to reporters was that Cairo erupted late in the drafting process of the speech but that last “aspirations of all people” phrase was a recognition that “what happens in Tunisia resonates around the world”.

By current American thinking it would never do to have Islamists in power in the Palestinian Occupied Territories or in Lebanon and therefore they heed every despot's warning that the Islamists are waiting in the wings across North Africa and the Middle East.

But lost in the lunge to protect US strategic and commercial interests by propping up the region's dictator class is any realisation that that support is what leaves the youth of the region under-educated and under-employed and, thereby, ripe for the picking by Islamist and other underground movements.

In Tunisia the revolutionaries are still searching for a leader who can articulate their demands. And this week a leader flew in to Cairo - searching for a revolution. That was the former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, whose return to Egypt underscores a challenge brought on across the region as much by the local community as the international community - the grooming of those who might form a half-decent opposition.

Tracing an arc through Obama's approach to the Middle East, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies professor Fouad Ajami described the President's foreign policy pragmatism as “a break of faith with democracy”.

Alluding to the suppression of demonstrations in Tehran after the contested 2009 presidential election, he wrote in Lebanon's Daily Star: “American diplomacy was not likely to alter the raw balance of power between the regime and its democratic oppositionists. But the timidity of American power and the refusal of the Obama administration to embrace the cause of the opposition must be reckoned one of American foreign policy's great moral embarrassments.”

The Mubarak machine's contempt for popular aspirations and whatever the US might think of them was on full display yesterday when Safwat el-Sherif, the head of the ruling National Democratic Party, feigned obliviousness to the reality of political power in Egypt as he lectured the protesters - “democracy has its rules and process - the minority does not force its will on the majority”.

Abdel Moneim Said, a stooge government-appointed publisher, echoed Hillary Clinton's midweek “stability” comment when he told reporters: “I can't think of anybody that I know that has any concern about the stability of the regime.”

Finding the right policy mix to influence events without being accused of interfering is a fine balance that some observers have concluded eludes the Obama administration.

“It's about identifying the US too closely with these changes and thereby undermining them; and not finding ways to nurture them enough,” Aaron David Miller, of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, told The New York Times.

Meanwhile, observers on the ground in the region shake their heads. “People want moral support,” said Shadi Hamid, of the Brookings Doha Centre. “They want to hear words of encouragement - right now they don't have that. They feel the world doesn't care and is working against them.”

His point seems to be this: it is time Washington thought in terms of investing in people in the region, not in dictators.

Related article: Dead-Enders on the Potomac

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What Hillary and Obama are not telling you about Egypt and Mubarak

Chanting protesters stand on an overrun tank in the centre of Cairo

"For 30 years, following the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat, there has been a state of emergency that allowed police to do whatever they wanted. Torture was endemic, brutality commonplace and there was a ban on more than five people gathering without permission."


JG: If you have studied history, you will already know that Mubarak is the type of regime that the U.S. loves. He is not any different than the Sha in Iran, Batista in Cuba, Somoza in Nicaragua, Diem in South Vietnam, Marcos in the Philippines, or Ben Ali in Tunisia.

When the people explode, no one can contain them.

Cuba's 2011 Baseball All Stars Game will be dedicated to Conrado Marrero's 100th birthday

The 2011 edition of Cuba's Baseball All Stars Game will be played on February 5th or 6th in the city of Cienfuegos.

40 of Cuba's best baseball players will play with two teams: the Occidentales (West) vs the Orientales (East).

Conrado Marrero, who played with the Washington Senators in MLB, and who is celebrating his 100th birthday in 2011, will be the honored guest, and the game will be dedicated to him.

Dice Fariñas...

Coming up in October: Guadalajara 2011, the XVI Pan-American Games

Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu leads all players in Cuba's 50th National Baseball Series

His stats, as of yesterday, are:

Games: 38

Batting Average: .438

Slugging Percentage: 1.082

Home Runs: 23

Total Bases: 132

Runs Batted in: 58

Friday, January 28, 2011

Live Feed from Egypt

Caption: Get out, Mubarak! Saudi Arabia is waiting for you

Thousands defy curfew orders in Egypt.

Egypt supporters rally worldwide

Goodbye, Lennon: Remembering The John Lennon Museum

Many great pictures in this excellent post by A Modern Girl.

OFAC issues new Cuba "regulations"

OFAC, the misnamed Office of Foreign Assets Control, which does not control any "assets" inside Cuba other than the mercenaries which the U.S. directs and pays to try to destabilize and/or try to bring down the legitimate government chosen by the Cuban people, has issued new "regulations" with a preface that contains the usual propaganda garbage of American capitalism.

It is now comedy time, boys an girls:

"OFAC is now amending the Regulations to implement certain policy changes announced by the President on January 14, 2011, to continue efforts to reach out to the Cuban people in support of their desire to freely determine their country’s future."

If you want to read their dribble, click here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Peter C. Bjarkman: A Brief History of Cuban League Revolutionary Baseball

Another outstanding narrative about Cuban Baseball from the best historian of the sport in the island.

Click here to go to the article of

FBI informant: "Santiago Alvarez went aboard the Santrina to Isla Mujeres to pick up Posada Carriles and then brought him to Miami"

The trial of Luis Posada Carriles in El Paso, Texas, turned deadly against him yesterday. Gilberto Abascal, an FBI informer who had infiltrated the ranks of anti-Cuba gusanos in Miami, testified that Santiago Alvarez and his friends went to Isla Mujeres in Mexico, with the specific purpose of picking up Luis Posada Carrieles to take him to Miami, Florida.

After the Santrina headed for Mimi and arrived there, the boat went upstream the Miami River, and a speed boat picked up Luis Posada Carriles and took him to a Miami restaurant. The chief of police of Miami was having dinner at the restaurant.

Yet to testify against Posada is Ann Louise Bardach, who published an interview with Posada Carriles in the New York Times where the terrorist took credit for for the Havana hotel bombings of 1997.

Yoani Sanchez, quarter million dollar woman created by the U.S.

Yoani Sanchez: Dissident Blogger Behind Generación Y

Tracey Eaton

Pulitzer Center, Havana

As one Cuban official sees it, she's the quarter-million dollar woman, a creation of foreign interests determined to topple the socialist government.

Yoani Sanchez became an enemy of the state in Cuba soon after her meteoric rise as creator of the blog Generación Y.

Her blog gets millions of hits every month and readers routinely leave 2,000 or more comments for each of her short posts about life in Cuba. Supporters translate her blog into over a dozen languages, an effort, some Cuban officials suggest, that is financed by people intent on regime change in Cuba.

Sanchez makes it clear that, yes, she wants change. And yes, she has foreign friends and supporters, most of whom she does not know and has not met. But she scoffs at accusations that she is somehow a creation of Uncle Sam or any other foreign government.

And she believes that it has been healthy that the U.S. government has lowered its profile in Cuba since the election of Barack Obama.

On July 7, the Roman Catholic Church announced that Cuban officials planned to free 52 political prisoners. U.S. officials had been pushing for the prisoners' release since they were jailed in 2003. But it was the Catholic Church that mediated the deal. Some Cuban dissidents believe American officials contributed toward the dissidents' release at some level behind the scenes, but if that's true, the U.S. role wasn't evident.

Sanchez said staying out of the spotlight is the best thing U.S. officials could have done. She believes international opinion is important as civic activists try to build a new, more democratic society in Cuba but the U.S. government does not need to tell Cubans what do to.

"We know how to do it," Sanchez said. "Citizens can win this battle."

According to her, pro-democracy activists need continued international support and protection, and supporters need to help ensure that Cuba's pro-democracy fight stays in the public eye through international forums.

Sanchez began her blog three years ago. She writes scathing commentaries about life in Cuba. She criticizes the lack of basic freedom on the island. And she calls on Cuban authorities to lift restrictions on Internet use on the island.

Pro-democracy activists see her as a hero and she's received international prizes for her blog.

A senior Cuban official who spoke on condition of anonymity said he cannot understand how Sanchez rose so quickly without financial support from abroad. "I calculate that Operation Yoani Sanchez costs around a quarter-million dollars per year," he said. "Her blogs are translated into 17 languages. They take up more bandwidth than the rest of the Internet users in the entire country of Cuba." The official said he doesn't believe the U.S. government is financing Sanchez' blog directly. The money, he contends, flows in a covert manner to other groups and individuals who support the blogger.

Rosa C. Baez, who runs a pro-government blog called La Polilla Cubana, agrees. She calls Sanchez "an invention." "I can't believe anybody would pay attention to her," she said from her second-floor apartment in the town of Villa Panamericana, east of Havana. "All those people have been bought."

Sanchez, of Havana, has repeatedly denied getting any support from the U.S. government. She said most of the support that pro-democracy Cuban bloggers receive is "personal and private."

She said Cuban security agents have harassed her and her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, ever since she began her blog. In response, she has pursued some agents on the street, photographed them and posted the pictures on her blog. "If I'm transparent, they should learn how to show their face, too," she said. "It's a process of getting naked in public."

The blogger's strategy has evolved during the past three years. She increasingly uses Twitter to spread the latest news about dissidents and political prisoners and often gets out the news faster than international wire services. She was the first to report, for instance, that Guillermo Fariñas had ended his hunger strike after 134 days.

Sanchez got that scoop directly from Fariñas on July 8 as he lay in a hospital bed in the central city of Santa Clara as foreign reporters stood outside wondering what was going on.

"I consider myself a reporter on the run," Sanchez said. "It's fallen to me to be a pioneer."

In 2009, Columbia University named Sanchez as one of four recipients of that year's Maria Moors Cabot award, the oldest honor in international journalism.

"I've gotten many prizes," Sanchez said, "but the biggest prize is when citizens tell me, 'I read you. I follow you.' No news agencies report that."

As for the future, Sanchez said she will continue pressing for economic and political reforms in Cuba. She believes that the prisoner release showed that the socialist government is vulnerable. "The country is in a complete economic crisis," she said, and pro-democracy activists should step up the pressure on the government.

Some analysts expect that perhaps Raul Castro will announce economic reforms on July 26. That is the 57th anniversary of the start of the Cuban revolution when Fidel Castro and his followers attacked the Moncada barracks in the eastern town of Santiago de Cuba.

Other people believes Cuban officials may announce new measures on Aug. 1 when the Cuban parliament is scheduled to meet. And they say Fidel Castro, 83, may even make another appearance in the coming days.

Sanchez said she's not sure what's going to happen. She's skeptical any big reforms will be announced. But she wonders if the transition to the post-Castro era has already begun. Maybe, she said, she's so close to the epicenter of it all that she doesn't realize that this is it.

Maybe historians will look back and consider 2010 as the year of the transition. Just maybe, Sanchez said, "we are witnessing moments of change, but don't realize it."


JG: The case of Yoani Sanchez is a manifestation of how the United Stats government tries to undermine countries around the world who dare not to kiss the ass of Uncle Sam. For Cuban standards, the quarter million dollar that she has received as "prizes" for her stinking work make her a millionaire in Cuban pesos.

She may be an important stooge for the imperialists and the feminazis at the Huffington Post, but inside Cuba she is a left zero. People do not pay any attention to her idiocies because they know who is paying her.

She is also very lucky that the Cuban government does not throw her sorry ass in jail.

Put her in a plane and send her to Miami, which is where she belongs!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A demonstrator with a very clear message

Los Angeles homeowners facing foreclosure
are arrested outside Chase Bank

U.S. hypocritical on treatment of China versus Cuba

Las Vegas Sun

Letter to the Editor:

John Esperian, Las Vegas

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 | 2 a.m.

Will someone please explain the justification for the total hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy regarding China?

Perhaps someone from the Tea Party — which advocates less and less government intrusion in the lives of American citizens — can help explain the red carpet treatment of China’s communist President Hu Jintao and the concurrent 50-year-long embargo of “communist” Cuba, designed originally to bring down Fidel Castro?

If the answer is absence of human rights, have we forgotten that this is the Tiananmen Square China that leads the world in repressive governmental policies? Or could it be simple Economics 101: Cuba has 11 million people, while China has more than a billion — making for great market potential? The cynical answer is, of course, that Miami Cubans, who despise Castro, vote in a powerful bloc, influencing both local and national elections.

Continuing to open the doors to China, for commerce and dialogue, as Richard Nixon initiated years ago, is good for everyone, so why not do the same for the island nation 90 miles off the coast of Florida?

"Stand Up, President Obama!"

Does Barack Obama has what it takes? I doubt it!

The Lesser of Two Evils

In the United States we have a one party state. The party is the Capitalist Party. It has two branches, the Democrats and the Republicans, or like Ralph Nader liked to say, Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

In Brazil, a truly vibrant and working democracy, you have eighteen political parties. Their people elected the candidate of the Workers Party, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva to the presidency, twice. In the United States there is no Workers Party, so no matter who you vote for, the capitalists are going to, and will screw you in the end.

A person who belongs to the working class and votes for the candidates of the Capitalist Party is a person who is voting against his best self interests.

But then, there are elections when voting for the lesser of two evils is a necessity. 2008 was such a year. After the disaster of George W. Bush, it was no surprised that the people turned to Barack Obama.

But Obama has been a big disappointment. He has promoted the interests of the big corporations and the super rich.

If the Republicans are dumb enough to nominate a Sarah Palin, who is totally unqualified for the Oval Office, Obama will win again. Things will not change.

I wish that Bernie Sanders would run as an independent. I could then vote for a candidate that I really believe in.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Is José Dariel Abreu the new Energizer Bunny of Cuban Baseball?

José Dariel Abreu

Monday is a rest day in Cuban Baseball. Here are the latest statistics for José Dariel Abreu, as of Sunday, January 23, 2011.

Games: 35

Batting Average: .459

Slugging: 1.018

Home Runs: 19

Total Bases: 113

RBI's: 52

My question: Is the best from him yet to come? I think so!

Luis Posada Carriles goes on the Miami radio to ask for money

The Miami Herald has reported the following:

Luis Posada Carriles, meanwhile, went on Miami's Radio Mambi Monday morning, telling program host Armando Perez Roura, that he ``has hope in God's justice'' and ``we feel good'' as the trial goes into its third week.

Asked what Cuban exiles could do for him, Posada replied with an indirect plea for donations to his defense. ``The experts cost money, the travel tickets, the hotels,'' he said.

U.S. prosecutors present important evidence against Luis Posada Carriles in his trial

Photo from Cubadebate: From left to right, terrorists Santiago Alvarez, Osvaldo Mitat and José Hilario Pujol, together with the boat Santrina, which illegally introduced Luis Posada Carriles into the United States, in 2005. (Roberto Koltun/ El Nuevo Herald).

Cuban website Cubadebate reports that "during the trial against Luis Posada Carriles, where he is charged with being a liar and which is being held in El Paso, Texas, U.S. prosecutors put on the stand a witness that is supposed to demonstrate that he lied about how he entered the United Sates in 2005."

"Gilberto Abascal, undercover agent for the FBI, and a member of the crew of the Santrina, will testify about the entry of Luis Posada Carriles into the United Sates in March 2005 aboard that ship, property of Santiago Álvarez Fernández Magriñá, and not like the terrorist had alleged to the the U.S. immigration officials. Posada had told the agents that he entered the United States between Matamoros (Mexico) and Brownville (Texas)."

(With information, from El Paso, from attorney José Pertierra, with whom Cubadete talked by phone.)

Additional report:

Associated Press: Informant : Posada lied about how he got into US

Troglodyte Vern Buchanan throws a temper tantrum

"I am going to tell my mommy," says one of the most reactionary and dumb GOP U.S. Representative.

The mouthpiece of the American empire, The Wall Street Journal, reports the following:

Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan has introduced a bill that may block Spanish oil giant Repsol YPF SA's (REP) plan to drill for oil in Cuban waters some 50 miles off the Florida coast, a press release sent by his Washington, D.C., office late Friday shows.

Buchanan, a Republican member of the House of Representatives, said the proposed bill, if approved, would allow the U.S. Interior Secretary to deny leases to companies that do business with nations facing U.S. trade sanctions, like Cuba. This constitutes a direct threat to Repsol, as the company has been active exploring for oil in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in recent years and owns stakes in rigs off Texas and Louisiana.

Buchanan said he expects Repsol to scrap its plans to drill in Cuban waters if his legislation is passed, noting such plans represent a danger to Florida waters as experts believe Cuba would have no means to deal with an oil spill similar to that suffered by BP PLC (BP) in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

He cited the cancellation of Repsol's plans to build a gas development plant in Iran, in recent years, due to U.S. diplomatic pressure.

"Cuba's plan to drill for oil in its sovereign waters off the Florida Keys poses a serious threat to our tourism industry and our environment," Buchanan said. "It would take just three days for oil to reach Florida's beaches if a spill occurred at the site."

A spokesman for Repsol couldn't immediately comment on the issue.

-By David Roman, Dow Jones Newswires, +34 91 395 8127;

Carlsen defeats Nakamura at Wijk aan Zee

Norwegian Grand Master Magnus Carlsen defeated American Grand Master Hikaro Nakamura at the prestigious Wijk aan Zee chess tournament.

Click here to replay the game.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Staffers for Oregon's lonely Gang of 66 member are quiting

David Wu, who represents Oregon's First Congressional District is very similar to Debbie 'Dubya' Wasserman-Schultz. He is one of those politicians who pretends to be a "progressive" when the reality is that they are only interested in money.

He is, like Debbie Dubya, fanatically anti-communist. He was born in Taiwan.

Oregon Live reports that his staffers are bailing out on him. That says a lot about his character.

The Gang of 66 is down to 36 members after being hit very hard on the November 2010 Congressional Election.

Click here to read the article.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Another superb article by Peter C. Bjarkman: Milestone Performances from a First Half-Century of National Series History

Click here to go to the article at

Venezuela-Cuba undersea cable link work starts

People stand on a breakwater, with a Venezuelan flag, left, and a Cuban flag, as a specialized ship rolls out a fiber-optic cable, suspended from buoys, off La Guaira, Venezuelan coast, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011. The cable is expected to reach Cuba in February and be operational in July.

22 January 2011 Last updated at 17:25 ET

BBC News

Work has begun on laying an underwater fibre-optic cable to link Venezuela and Cuba.

It will stretch 1,600km (1,000m) and considerably improve telephone and internet services to Cuba, which currently relies on a costly and slow internet connection via satellite.

The new connection is expected to increase data capacity 3,000 times.

The cable, laid by French company Alcatel-Lucent, is expected to be operational in July.

In a televised ceremony, divers attached the cable to the seabed to the applause of Cuban and Venezuelan officials.

Cuban officials praised the cable for breaking the country's "historic dependence [on the United States] in the sphere of telecommunications".

And Venezuelan Minister for Science and Technology Ricardo Menendez was heard shouting "Venezuela's breaking the embargo!".

Doc: Giffords heard cheers leaving Ariz., smiled

(AP) – 5 hours ago

HOUSTON (AP) — Gabrielle Giffords is under intensive care at Texas Medical Center after a flawless trip from Arizona, where throngs of well-wishers gave her a farewell that brought a tearful smile from the congresswoman.



JG: Against the forces of hate, the whole world is answering with L-O-V-E.

The wolf is not wearing a Grandma costume

The executive order of President H. Barack Obama of January 14th has been commented and analyzed ad infinitum by hundreds, if not thousands, of pundits, talking heads and miscellaneous experts.

Of all the commentary, the one that was really close to giving the people a very good idea of what Obama is doing is the one by Jesús Arboleya Cervera published in Progreso Weekly.

He makes two very good points:

1) the wolf [a.k.a Barack H. Obama] doesn't even attempt to disguise himself as Grandma.

2) the measures [have] a subversive and interventionist meaning that, while possibly a welcome critical correction of conservative politics, becomes a new provocation, seeking to please the right with a counterrevolutionary act of faith.

The "hope and change guy" has been a huge disappointment on the Cuba issue. Being a 100% bona-fide hyper-capitalist, he continues with the vitriol and hatred toward Cuba of his ten predecessors.

The only ones that are happy are the monopolist promoters of travel to Cuba. Monopoly means high prices. Cuba is not an very affordable place to travel to right now. In America, everything is a business!

On the positive side, you can go to a great baseball game in Havana for three Cuban CUC'c, which will only set you back $3.24 American dollars. During the MLB playoffs in October the Tampa Bay Rays asked me to pay $46.00 for a bleacher seat. Bloody and greedy capitalist wolves!

Cuba's Heroic Battalion 339 and how it stopped the advance of CIA mercenaries at the Bay of Pigs

Luis Carlos Clemente is 84 years now.
He was 34 when he led the troops of the 339th Batallion.

The story of the Bay of Pigs is well known. Shortly after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1st, 1959, the CIA started recruiting mercenaries in Miami. Most of them were criminals and supporters of General Fulgencio Batista, the U.S. supported puppet who had ruled the island with an iron fist since March 10, 1952. As his butchers tortured and murdered thousands of Cubans, the U.S. government never complained about human rights abuses in the island.

Below you will find the story published today by Juventud Rebelde titled How My Battalion Stopped the Advance of the Aggressor.

It is the story of Luis Carlos Clemente (Oriente), the leader of the second company of Battalion 339, who, together with his soldiers, were the first Cuban troops to face the Miami mercenaries who landed at Playa Girón on April 17th, 1961.

Here is my translation of the first three paragraphs of the article, followed by the full Spanish text.

“The men of battalion 339 fought alone on April 17, 1961, the opening day of the imperialist aggression at Playa Girón, until those responsible for the militias and the battallions that would follow entered to support us, to continue the fight and to defeat the enemy.”

“The people of the 339th were the first to confront the mercenaries. We held the enemy's advance until about eleven o'clock, the morning of the 17th.”

“The role of its 528 members was very valuable, because if the enemy had not found that resistance, the attackers would have acted on the basis of their idea of capturing two positions and advancing through two roads, one leading to Havana and the other to Cienfuegos.”

Note: Cuba will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first defeat of Yankee imperialism in the Americas this coming April 17.

Full text

Mi Batallón contuvo el avance del agresor

Luis Carlos Clemente (Oriente), jefe de la segunda compañía del Batallón 339, comparte pasajes gloriosos de la epopeya victoriosa de Girón

Julio Martínez Molina
21 de Enero del 2011 21:18:54 CDT

CIENFUEGOS.— «Los hombres del Batallón 339 combatimos solos el 17 de abril de 1961, día del inicio de la agresión imperialista por Playa Girón, hasta que entraron los responsables de milicias y los siguientes batallones para apoyarnos, continuar la pelea y vencer al enemigo.

«La gente del 339 fuimos los primeros en enfrentar a los mercenarios. Estuvimos aguantando el avance del enemigo hasta aproximadamente las once de la mañana del 17.

«El papel de sus 528 integrantes resultó muy valioso, pues de no haber encontrado esa resistencia, los atacantes habrían obrado sobre la base de su idea de avanzar por dos posiciones: tomar un camino con rumbo a La Habana y otro hacia Cienfuegos.

«Pero al encontrar tal freno, se desconciertan. Ellos no conocen el volumen de fuego que tienen los nuestros, armamentos, número de hombres. Se contienen y da tiempo para la movilización general en el país y que otros batallones pudieran arribar a los escenarios de combate, ya con mejor armamento y condiciones para la batalla.

«Las armas del 339 eran de infantería; o sea que no resultaban efectivas para luchar contra tanques, cañones, morteros, bazucas y todo el dispositivo bélico más desarrollado del agresor.

«Aunque parezca inmodesto de mi parte decirlo por haber sido el jefe de una de sus compañías, la memoria histórica reconoce que existió un derroche tremendo de valentía en el 339. Jamás nos falló la firmeza, ni nos faltó la decisión de que el enemigo no podía pasar.

«Nuestro mando nos arengaba: el agresor no puede tomar ni un punto, no nos puede dominar ni un minuto. Y la exhortación rindió efecto, porque cumplimos el objetivo».

Quien narra estos hechos para Juventud Rebelde es Luis Carlos Clemente Carradero (conocido por todos como Oriente, por su procedencia geográfica), quien en los momentos de la agresión cumplía 34 años.

«Tuve seis muertos y once heridos entre la gente a mi mando. Los aviones pasaban con matrícula nacional (decían FAR Cuba) para engañarnos. El enemigo, sucio en sus tácticas de combate, utilizó todas las argucias posibles».

Curtido en el combate

A sus 84 años, hoy Oriente es uno de los miembros ilustres de la Asociación de Combatientes de la Revolución Cubana (ACRC) de Cienfuegos.

Nunca retrocedió ante ninguna tarea. Recibió la alborada de enero con júbilo y defendió desde sus inicios los ideales propugnados por el Gobierno revolucionario.

Inspiración de las nuevas generaciones, ha entregado todo por la obra y fue paradigma de arrojo y ejemplo de fidelidad a la Patria en las arenas de Playa Girón.

La invasión lo sorprende recién bajado del Escambray, donde intervino de forma activa en el teatro de operaciones de la lucha contra bandidos. «El 2 de abril del 61 descendimos de las montañas y entregamos las armas en La Campana, para presentarnos el 8 en el Aeropuerto de Cienfuegos. El 9 y el 10 fueron formados los batallones y yo resulté designado como jefe de la segunda compañía del 339, con 126 hombres bajo mi mando. El 10 en la noche salimos con rumbo desconocido.

«Tomamos dirección a Aguada de Pasajeros, hacíamos cálculos, pero en realidad no sabíamos hacia dónde nos dirigíamos. Llegamos al central Australia a las cinco de la mañana del 11. Ordenaron que formáramos allí bajo las indicaciones de Julián Morejón, segundo al mando del 339.

«Comenzamos a adiestrarnos en el manejo de las armas, pues no eran las mismas del Escambray. Nos dieron fusiles M-52 y otras armas; tomé una metralleta plegable M-25. No llevábamos muchas municiones y la cantidad de balas disponibles entre los efectivos no era mucha. Oscilaban de 40 a 300, en dependencia del arma.

«Yo tenía 90 tiros, y además un revólver 45 de seis disparos. Eso es lo que teníamos para fajarnos contra lo que se presentara. En realidad fue una pelea técnicamente dispareja, pero la ganamos.

«Mi compañía quedó dividida en cuatro pelotones. Pasaron los días. Escuchamos con indignación los ataques a aeropuertos cubanos. Ya la cosa se estaba poniendo bien dura y tomamos nuestras medidas: dividimos en dos partes al 339 y nos desplazamos hacia distintas posiciones, según las órdenes emitidas.

«En la madrugada del 17 se experimentaba en la tropa ese sentimiento que las personas sienten cuando están a punto de algo grande. Los vigías comunicaron que distinguieron señales cercanas a la costa; y dieron el parte de que una lancha a motor rondaba por la zona.

«Tiene lugar un tiroteo entre la lancha y ellos. Llamaron entonces urgentemente a un par de compañías, y fuimos para allá. La plana mayor nos ordenó montarnos en dos rastras de cargar azúcar del central Australia.

«Se me orientó además por la jefatura que montara atrás, en algo, al pelotón de apoyo. Y me pongo tan dichoso que me encuentro el camión que hace la limpieza del ingenio: un Ford del 48. No encontré las llaves, pero lo arranqué con los cables, subí a la gente y emprendí la marcha.

«Al lado mío iba mi segundo al mando, Nicolás Reyes Abreus, y pegado a la puerta Plácido Roque, el sargento mayor de compañía del batallón. Tomamos la carretera a la mayor velocidad que podía alcanzar el cacharro aquel.

«Accedimos a los límites de la zona de conflicto y nos paran: “Compañeros, no pasen para allá, que están atacando Playa Larga”. Cuando llego a Pálpite, la gente del lugar, con escopetas y armas improvisadas, quiere también montar en el camión, pero no se los permití.

«Los mandé a hacer barricadas y a que no pasara nadie por allí. No tenía idea de la magnitud del ataque, creía que era un buchito de gente y que con nosotros bastaba.

«En la madrugada del 17 distribuí los hombres según el tipo de arma y emití la orden: “Nadie puede tirar si yo no lo hago”. Aquello era una boca de lobo, pero si mirabas hacia el mar veías siluetas en movimiento.

«Nos dan el alto. El enemigo, en acto de manipulación, nos gritó que nos entregáramos, que habían atacado las seis provincias para liberarnos del comunismo; que ellos eran hermanos de nosotros, que no tenían nada contra nosotros, que Fidel se había exiliado en México. Que nos entregáramos, pues a nadie le pasaría nada.

«Les respondí que somos el 339 de Cienfuegos. Me contestan que ellos forman parte del Ejército de Liberación. Y entonces nuestra respuesta ya no es verbal. Les mandé 40 tiros de la metralleta; cuando se me encasquilló boté ese peine, saqué otro y le zumbé diez disparos, como también lo hicieron mis compañeros.

«La balacera cesó cuando ellos aguantaron sus proyectiles. Se decían contraseñas, Águila, Negra, Pájaro…, pero nosotros percibíamos que tenían cierta confusión.

«No obstante, comenzaron a lanzarnos proyectiles con morteros y bazucas. En estos primeros episodios mi soldado Luis Tellería fue herido en una pierna. Luego me ordenaron redistribuirnos y repartir el personal cada diez metros. En la oscuridad aquella no resultó muy fácil, pero la encomienda fue cumplida. Luchamos y resistimos».

Cada mañana recuerdo Girón

«Después, me mandaron con mi gente a tomar Soplillar e impedir el aterrizaje de los aviones enemigos, obstaculizando la pista del sitio. La llenamos de bolos de madera, y en la boca del camino preparamos emboscadas.

«Arribó entonces el comandante René de los Santos, con un pelotón proveniente de Matanzas. No tenían mapa ni conocían la zona. Me preguntaron cómo salir a Playa Larga, a Girón. Con un palito en el suelo les mostré. René me ordenó que dejara a un compañero al frente y los apoyara.

«Fui destinado a ir delante para hacer señales cada cien metros, a fin de que ellos continuaran el avance en dependencia de la presencia enemiga.

«En ese instante pasó una caravana de mercenarios rumbo a Girón, luego de huir de Playa Larga. Se le abrió fuego. En la mañana del 19 vi al entonces capitán José Ramón Fernández, quien se encontró con Fidel.

«Se divisaron fragatas enemigas y se ordenó preparar dos baterías de cañones para tirarles pegado a la proa a las embarcaciones, no a darles, porque eran embarcaciones norteamericanas. Un tanque Sherman fue destruido.

«El 19 dimos bastante fuego pa’l monte y empezaron a salir los agresores como hormigas de un hormiguero que cogió candela.

«Ese día de la derrota definitiva fue glorioso. Ver perder a aquella gente, sin ideología, ni ideales, ni valores, fue una lección histórica porque es vital tener una conciencia política, que debe quedarles a las nuevas generaciones.

«Entre la fila de mercenarios se encontraba un joven negro. Fidel se le acercó y le dijo: “Negro, cará, a ustedes que les echan los perros y tú vienes con esta gente”. Y el hombre agachó la cabeza.

«Ha pasado medio siglo, pero cada mañana recuerdo Girón. Constituyó un pasaje luminoso de una historia cargada de sacrificio, lucha y entereza, que debemos tener presente siempre».

Friday, January 21, 2011

US Federal Assistant Attorney Refused to Press Criminal Charges against Posada Carriles

US Federal Assistant Attorney Caroline Heck-Miller ”the one that carried out the prosecution process in Miami, Florida, against the five Cuban antiterrorists unjustly imprisoned in the United States since 1998” refused to press criminal charges against international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

According to Granma newspaper, during the resumption of the trial against Posada Carriles in El Paso, Texas, Miami-based Homeland Security lawyer Gina Garret-Jackson admitted that, in spite of a request by the Department of Homeland Security, Heck-Miller refused to press charges against the international and self-confessed terrorist.

Answering to questions by Posada's attorney, Garret-Jackson ”who led the case of Posada's asylum in 2005” said that she personally asked Heck-Miller to press criminal charges before going ahead with his asylum request at that time.

"I asked Heck-Miller to consider a criminal process against Posada. However, she showed no interest and I didn't ask her anymore", she said.

Heck-Miller was the US Attorney that insisted on taking the case of the Cuban Five to trial and she refused to take it away from Miami. She also played a key role in their receiving harsh and unjust sentences for defending Cuba from terrorist attacks organized and carried out from the United States, like those planned by Posada Carriles.

Source: Escambray


In Florianópolis (Brasil), a school of samba (carnaval group), with more than 2,500 persons, will parade in honor of Revolutionary Cuba.

The theme will be: Cuba Si, in the name of truth!

Robson Luiz Ceron
Blog Solidários.
Associação José Martí de Santa Catarina, Brasil

Source: Cuba Te Llama

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cuba Postage Stamps - The Battle of Santa Clara

See also:
The Final Nail on Batista's Coffin: The Battle of Santa Clara

The Genius of Pablo Picasso

Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso, in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Republican government commissioned Pablo Picasso to create a large mural for the Spanish display at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in 1937 at the Paris International Exposition.

Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace. On completion Guernica was displayed around the world in a brief tour, becoming famous and widely acclaimed. This tour helped bring the Spanish Civil War to the world's attention.

José Dariel Abreu leads Cuba's 50th National Baseball Series in the Triple Crown statistics

Photo: Juan Moreno

Jose Dariel's current stats in his pursuit of the Triple Crown in Cuba's 50th National Baseball Series are as follow:

Batting Average: .446
Home Runs: 15
RBI's: 45

Only two Cubans have ever captured the Triple Crown: Orestes Kindelán did it in the 1988-1989 season: .402 batting average, 24 home runs, 58 RBI's. Omar Linares did it in the Serie Selectiva of 1992: .398 batting average, 23 home runs and 58 RBI's.

He also has a good chance of being Cuba's third member of the elite 100/30 Club. 30 or more home runs and 100 or more RBI's.

Source: Juventud Rebelde, Luis López Viera, January 19, 2011.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two new developments in the Luis Posada Carriles trial in El Paso, Texas

Item 1: A journalist,[Ann Louise Bardach], who was given a painting by accused anti-Castro terrorist Luis Posada Carriles must produce it at Posada's trial, a U.S. judge says.

Item 2: Jury hears tapes of ex-CIA operative in English.

Please note, that the above photograph of Luis Posada Carriles is from the U.S. Army. It states: Second Liutenant, Luis C. Posada Carriles. Rearguard Echelon, 2506 Brigade.

Brigade 2506 was the name given by the CIA to the Miami mercenaries employed by the United States government in their failed invasion at the Bay of Pigs, Cuba.

Here is the American Dream in 2009

A homeless encampment known as Tent City, in Sacramento, California, in 2009. Since the 1970s, real wages stopped growing and the gap between rich and poor expanded as the US economy slowed down after decades of growth. Photograph: Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The myth of 'American exceptionalism' implodes

Until the 1970s, US capitalism shared its spoils with American workers. But since 2008, it has made them pay for its failures

Richard Wolff, Tuesday 18 January 2011 13.00 GM

JG: He does an excellent job in his analysis about what went wrong with the so-called American Dream.

Click here to go to the article.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Graphic: MATT WUERKER / Politico

Press Democrat

GUEST OPINION: End the embargo of Cuba


Published: Monday, January 17, 2011 at 4:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 17, 2011 at 4:28 p.m.

I recently returned from a trip to Cuba with 20 students from Sonoma and Marin counties, many from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sonoma State University. While Americans may visit Cuba, it is illegal to send money to the Cuban government, which controls 85 percent of the economy. Therefore, we traveled on a special trading license issued by the Treasury Department.

Barack Obama is the 11th American president to enforce the embargo against Cuba, clearly a failed policy since the Revolution and its leaders are not only alive but still in control. Last year, the U.N. General Assembly condemned the U.S. embargo as an illegal blockade by a 187-2 vote. Rather than isolating Cuba, the embargo has isolated us.

Today, the embargo has no justification, since we maintain cordial relations with much more repressive governments in Asia and the Middle East. Cuba is not a threat to anyone, and its leaders have shown that they want to cooperate in the struggle against terrorism.

For 50 years, Cuba has been the target of terrorists, many of them trained by the CIA, and we are still using a piece of Cuban territory, Guantanamo, to house foreign terrorists captured in other countries.

The United States is also sheltering several Cuban-Americans who allegedly plotted and carried out the bombing of a Cuban airplane, killing 76 civilians, as well as planting bombs in Cuban hotels to discourage tourism and attempting to kill President Fidel Castro in Panama.

During our visit, we learned about an international campaign to free five Cubans serving long sentences in U.S. federal prisons for spying. After they were convicted in Miami, they were transferred to separate prisons, where they have been kept in solitary and denied visits by family and attorneys. Though they have admitted to spying on anti-Cuban terrorists in Florida, because of their attacks on Cuba and its leaders, “the Cuban Five” are viewed as patriotic soldiers performing their duty in the war against terrorism and are revered as national heroes.

Although Cuba provides free medical care and has clinics with a doctor in every neighborhood, and all Cubans receive a free education through a doctorate, there are obvious scarcities in this state-controlled economy. Some of them, like new cancer treatments developed by U.S. pharmaceutical companies, are either not available or have to be purchased through third parties, increasing their cost.

While some of the shortages are caused by mismanagement, others are the result of the embargo and the current global recession. Fewer tourists are coming from Canada and Europe, the major source of hard currency as well as employment for many Cubans. While Cuban leaders blame the embargo for their mistakes, Cuban families are the real victims of our embargo.

Aware of these shortages, our group brought nonprescription drugs, art materials, and school supplies, which we donated at a medical clinic, a senior center and an elementary school. We also visited an urban organic garden project, a community mural project and a priest of Santeria, a religion blending Christianity and African religions. We were always greeted warmly and treated to live performances of Cuban music, from rumba to traditional to rap.

While there is no question that the government of Cuba, now in the hands of Fidel's brother Raul, is a dictatorship that censors expression and arrests dissenters, there are signs of an economic opening, offering more opportunities for free enterprise and investment, and Cuba has recently released scores of political prisoners.

In Haiti, American and Cuban doctors worked together after the earthquake, while U.S. cargo planes fly over Cuba to deliver supplies to Haiti. We also share a concern about offshore oil drilling in the Caribbean, especially since new deposits have been discovered off the north coast of Cuba, less than 90 miles from Florida beaches. Given our current recession, Cuba also offers a potential market for exports beyond food and medicines.

Since Obama has lifted travel restrictions for Cuban-Americans, he should also lift them for all Americans. It is time for Obama to exercise his constitutional authority end the embargo and normalize relations with Cuba.

Tear down that wall, President Obama!

Tony White of Santa Rosa is a retired Sonoma State University history professor.


JG: Hear! Hear!

Statement of Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On January 14, 2011, the United States Government announced new measures on Cuba. Although we have to wait for the publication of the regulations to understand their true meaning, according to preliminary information released by the Press Office of the White House, the measures consist of:

• Authorizing the travel of U.S. citizens to Cuba for academic, educational, cultural and religious purposes.

• Allowing Americans to send remittances to Cuban citizens in limited quantities.

• Authorize U.S. international airports to request permission to operate direct charter flights to Cuba under certain conditions.

The adoption of these measures is the result of efforts made by large sectors of the American society that for years have overwhelmingly claimed the lifting of the genocidal blockade against Cuba and the elimination of the absurd travel ban to our country.

This is also the expression of the failure of United States policy against Cuba and that it is looking for new ways to achieve its historical goals of domination of our people.

Although the measures are positive, they remain well below those just demands, have a very limited scope and do not change the policy against Cuba.

The White House announcement is limited, essentially, to restoring some of the provisions that were in force in the nineties under the Clinton administration, and were eliminated by George W. Bush since 2003.

The measures benefit only certain categories of Americans and do not restore the right to travel to Cuba of all American citizens, who will remain the only ones in the world who can not visit our country freely.

These measures confirm that there is no will to change the policy of blockade and destabilization against Cuba. When announcing them, United States Government officials made it clear that the blockade will remain intact and that they intend to use the new measures to strengthen the instruments of subversion and interference in Cuba’s internal affairs. This confirms the Foreign Affairs Ministry statement on January 13.

Cuba has always favored exchanges with the American people, its universities, and academic, scientific and religious institutions. All the obstacles to visits by Americans to Cuba have always been, and are still today on the United States government side.

If there is a real interest in expanding and facilitating contacts between our peoples, the United States should lift the blockade and eliminate the prohibition that makes Cuba the only country that Americans cannot travel to.

Havana, January 16, 2011



JG: There are positive elements in Obama's executive order. But overall, his administration remains committed to continuing the U.S. policy of aggression toward Cuba which was started by Dwight D. Eisenhower and continued, to disastrous results, by John F. Kennedy. The continuing atmosphere of hate and violence in the United States is manifested by still supporting and enforcing the genocidal blockade/embargo toward the Republic of Cuba. The Caribbean island is not a threat to the United States, and I am sure wishes to live in peace with its northern neighbor.

It is time for the United States to put an end to its arrogance.

It is time for the United States to accept the October 26th resolution of the United Nations General Assembly which condemned the American embargo of Cuba by a vote of 187-2.

It is time for the United States to realize that Cuba is a free and sovereign country, which will never accept dictates and impositions from a foreign power.

Barack H. Obama continues to be a huge disappointment on the Cuba issue. I urge the readers of Cuba Journal to withhold their votes and support in his reelection campaign of 2012.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Is the Cuba embargo the holy sacrament of the Yankee imperialists?

Insanity is continuing to do the same crazy thing over and over again!

Richard Nixon, did not loose face when he recognized the People's Republic of China as the legitimate government of mainland China.

Why is it so hard for Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama to recognize that the Cuba embargo is a stinking corpse? Because they are politicians that can not face reality!

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Cuba's Top Baseball Player: José Dariel Abreu

Photo: Jaun Moreno

As of Sunday, José Dariel has played in 29 games. He has a .915 slugging percentage, a .372 batting average, 14 homers, 86 total bases and 43 RBI's. His team, the Ciefuegos Elephants, leads the Western Division of Cuba's 50th National Baseball Series.

Will he become Cuba's third 100/30 man? Only two Cuban baseball players have done it: Alexei Bell and Alfredo Despaigne.


Is the Facebook bubble beginning to deflate?

1:43 p.m. | Updated

Just over a week after Goldman Sachs offered its most prized clients a chance to invest in Facebook, the firm rescinded the opportunity from clients in the United States because of worries that the deal would run afoul of securities regulators.

The withdrawal of the offer — which valued Facebook at $50 billion — is a major embarrassment for Goldman, which had marketed the investment to its wealthiest clients, including corporate magnates and directors of the nation’s largest companies.

Cosmetic changes only

January 17, 2011.

The new regulations issued by Barack H. Obama, via executive order on Friday, are only cosmetic changes that do not really change the central point of U.S. policy toward Cuba. Obama's con game of “a new beginning with Cuba” continues.

The Cuba embargo remains intact, in direct defiance of the United Nations General Assembly vote of 187-2 condemning it and asking that if be terminated. Only the Zionists supported the empire.

The distinguished British magazine, The Economist, called the Cuba embargo “a spectacular exercise in futility.”

How the U.S. government employed state terrorism against Cuba during the Clinton administration in 1997

The Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) is not an independent U.S. organization. It was created by the administration of president Ronald Reagan, shortly after 1980, to try to overthrow the Cuban government.

In 1997, during the administration of Bill Clinton, the United States government unleashed a campaign of state terrorism against Cuba. The terrorist campaign was assigned by the CIA to CANF. That organization contracted with Luis Posada Carriles to carry out a bombing campaign against Cuban hotels in Havana on that year.

Today, under the administration of Barack H. Obama, that international terrorist continues to receive refuge and protection by the United States government. It has never condemned the activities of its terrorist agent, and currently it is conducting a federal trial against that monster for only being a liar.

The hypocrisy of the United States government, when it states that it fights and is against terrorist activities is all too apparent. When the terrorism is conducted by Al Qaeda it is bad. When it is conducted by the United States government it is good.

Three days ago, in its popular TV Round Table program, Cuba exposed the actions of the United States government in directing and conducting terrorist activities against Cuba. To read the Spanish transcript of the program click here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Obama continues to fail to live up to expectations

January 16, 2011

On Friday, Barack Obama issued an executive order about new Cuba regulations that, after very close examination, continues the series of weak and timid measures that fail to recognize what is it that is really wrong with U.S. policy toward Cuba: leaving intact the U.S. blockade/embargo of Cuba.

Apparently to Barack Obama, the vote of last October 26th at the United Nations, which by a tally of 187-3 condemned the U.S. blockade/embargo of Cuba is not very important to him. Ignoring the U.N vote is not going to make the worldwide condemnation of the U.S. go away.

People to people exchanges do not amount to a hill of beans. Barack Obama has, with this executive order, started his 2012 presidential campaign by trying to attract votes among the Cuban-American community of Florida. And he knows very well that the right-wingers of Miami have very, very, deep pockets. He is a typical capitalist politician: he will do anything to get reelected.

Being able to fly to Havana from Tampa is very nice. We will no longer have to put up with surly Cuban-American right-wingers at Miami International Airport. People in Tampa are more civilized than in Miami.

The travel to Cuba environment will be continued to be dominated by a few capitalist travel monopolies which charge huge sums of money for travel to Cuba, when on the opposite side there is huge competition to travel to the Dominican Republic with very low fares. Cuban airlines will still not be able to fly to the United States, and Cuban products like its excellent rum and cigars will still be prohibited from entering the United States.

Obama is not really interested in being a good neighbor. He wants to go back to the corrupt democracy that existed in Cuba before 1959, when Cuba was a colony of the United States. Yankee imperialists can not stomach a Cuba that is free and sovereign. They are innately evil and perverse.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Obama's famous 'new beginning' with Cuba continues to be a huge fraud. The Cuba embargo remains intact. I hope that the Cuban people and government continue resisting “The Emperor of the World.”

He fooled me once. He will not fool me in 2012, as long as he continues promoting and enforcing that infamous monstrosity called the Helms-Burton Act. Lift the embargo and join the community of civilized nations.

Writing-in 'None of the Above' for President and U.S. Senator, here I come!

The New York Times Glamorizes Guns

Sunday, January 16, 2011

No wonder why massacres continue in the Unites States. A capitalist is a guy who will do anything to make a fast buck. He/she never stops to think about the morality or the ethics of what he/she is doing. The New York Times is such a capitalist outfit. They glamorize guns, despite the recent massacre in Tucson, Arizona, which is the most racist state in continental USA.

Gun nuts in Florida are at it again:

In wake of Arizona shooting rampage,
Florida gun bill proposes 'open carry'

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cuba calls relaxed rules blow to US conservatives

Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:30pm IST

HAVANA (Reuters) - Steps by U.S. President Barack Obama to relax restrictions on Cuba are not a major change in policy, but do mark a defeat for those who want a hard line on the island's leadership, a Cuban government website said.

Obama issued an executive order on Friday loosening limits on U.S. travel and money remittances to the communist-led Caribbean nation, extending his efforts to reach out to its people.

In the first reaction from Cuba's government, the website said the move showed many people in the United States favor a softening of Washington's decades-old trade embargo and policy of isolation toward the island.

It called the easing of restrictions a blow for the new chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Cuban-born Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

"The decision is the first defeat for Ros-Lehtinen, who assumed her post in Congress promising to harden policies against the island," the website said in an article posted late on Friday.

Cubadebate is often used by Cuba's former president Fidel Castro to publish editorial columns.

"While the measures leave the blockade intact and do not substantially change Washington's policies, they do reflect a consensus among wide sectors of the North American people in favor of a change in policy," the website said.

On Friday, Ros-Lehtinen condemned the easing of regulations, saying the move will "not help the Cuban people free themselves from the tyranny that engulfs them."

The measures restore rules in place before the Bush administration and stop short of lifting a ban on tourist travel by Americans to the island of 11 million people.

The White House says the steps are aimed at developing "people-to-people" contacts by allowing more travel for college professors and students, artists and church groups. The regulatory changes also allow all U.S. international airports to apply to service licensed charter flights to Cuba.

In addition, they allow any U.S. person to send remittances (up to $500 a quarter) to non-family members in Cuba to support private economic activity, with the limitation that they cannot go to senior Cuban government officials or top members of the ruling Communist Party.

(Reporting by Nelson Acosta, writing by Frank Jack Daniel, editing by Anthony Boadle)

Tampa Bay area Cuban-Americans react to new travel rules to Cuba

Click here to go to the article by WTSP Channel 10 News.

The talking points of the supporters of General Fulgencio Batista in Miami and New Jersey

U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-18)

Statement on Administration's Announced Changes to Cuba Regulations

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement on today's announcement by the administration to ease regulations regarding travel and remittances to Cuba:

"Loosening these regulations will not help foster a pro-democracy environment in Cuba. These changes will not aid in ushering in respect for human rights. And they certainly will not help the Cuban people free themselves from the tyranny that engulfs them.

These changes undermine U.S. foreign policy and security objectives and will bring economic benefits to the Cuban regime."


U.S. Rep. David Rivera (R-FL-25)

Statement from Congressman Rivera on Administration’s Changes to Cuba Travel Policy

Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Member Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) made the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the administration to ease regulations on travel and remittances to Cuba:

“This loosening of regulations is a unilateral concession that does nothing to solve the fundamental problems on the island. Instead of seeking change and improvements from the Cuban dictatorship in regards to human rights and free and open democratic elections before entering into any kind of compromise, this policy sends a message that the Cuban dictatorship does not have to improve before being rewarded by the United States.

“This policy will not lead to a better quality of life for the Cuban people or help grant them the freedoms that they so desperately need and want, it only serves to enrich the Cuban dictatorship. “


U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Comments on Administration's Announced Changes to Cuba Regulations

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio issued the following statement on today's Obama Administration announcement to ease regulations regarding travel and remittances to Cuba:

"I strongly oppose any new changes that weaken U.S. policy towards Cuba. I was opposed to the changes that have already been made by this Administration and I oppose these new changes. I believe that what does need to change are the Cuban regime's repressive policies towards the independent press and labor unions, its imprisonment of political prisoners and constant harassment of citizens with dissenting views, and its refusal to allow free multi-party elections. It is unthinkable that the administration would enable the enrichment of a Cuban regime that routinely violates the basic human rights and dignity of its people."


U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Menendez Statement on Changes to Cuba Travel, Remittances Policy

Newark, NJ – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the Obama administration today announced changes to policy to Cuba travel and remittances policy:

"I am deeply disappointed by President Obama's decision today to extend an economic life line to the Castro regime. This gift to the Castro brothers will provide the regime with the additional resources it needs to sustain its failing economy, while ordinary Cubans continue to struggle under the weight of more than fifty years of economic and political oppression.

The decision to permit additional travel to the island and allow nearly unlimited resources to flow to the regime is bad policy and will only serve to prolong the repression of the Cuban people. These changes, purportedly taken in hope of advancing a democratic opening on the island, ignore the reality that it is not U.S. policy, but Cuban policy, that is responsible for the Castros' political and economic tyranny. This opening will do no more to advance political freedom in Cuba then our economic engagement with China has done for political dissidents in that nation. You can't buy political reform.

The fact that the Administration offered this concession to the regime despite their continued imprisonment of an American citizen is simply outrageous. Unless new efforts are undertaken to limit the impact of these policy changes, the sole result will be to enrich the Castro regime and enhance the political and economic impoverishment of the Cuban people."


JG: Where are the Diaz Balart brothers hiding?

Reactions to easing travel to Cuba

JG: It is a very good and commendable thing to make it possible for more Americans to travel to Cuba, so president Barack Obama should be applauded for the new measures that he announced yesterday. But why is it so hard for him to admit that the Cuba embargo is a huge failure? Cuba's government is not perfect, but who are we to go into other countries to tell them what kind of system they should have?

Why can't Barack Obama accept the 187-3 vote against the U.S. embargo of Cuba at the United Nations General Assembly? Cuba is not a threat to the U.S. What is the U.S. government so afraid of?

The fact of the matter is that in U.S. politics money talks, and too many politicians in the Democratic and Republican parties are still enamored to the big cash of the Miami Fulgencio Batista supporters.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cuban Foreign Ministry: We Will Not Tolerate US Interference in Cuba’s Domestic Affairs

Cuban News Agency

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 14 (ACN) The Cuban Foreign Ministry (MINREX) described as an open provocation a meeting of senior officials from the US State Department with a group of Cuban mercenaries in Havana during their visit for a new round of migration talks between Cuba and the United States last Wednesday.

In an official statement published on Friday in its website, MINREX also describes the meeting as a “flagrant violation of the principles and international norms that govern relations among states and an offense to the Cuban people that have faced the hostile policy and blockade of the Government of the United States for more than 50 years.”

“The head of the US delegation, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the State Department, Roberta Jacobson, accompanied by Julissa Reynoso, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America, the Caribbean and Cuba; Peter Brennan, head of the Office of Cuban Affairs; and Jonathan Farrar, head of the US Interests Section in Havana, attended the meeting with the group of mercenaries, whose activities against the Cuban constitutional order are ordered and financed by the Government of the United States,” the text reads.

The statement notes that, prior to the round of migration talks, MINREX voiced its rejection of any attempt by the US representatives to use this official visit to carry out offensive or disrespectful activities in Cuba.

“This action once again reaffirms that there are no changes in the US Government’s policy of subversion and interference in Cuba’s domestic affairs and that its priority continues to be to encourage internal counterrevolution and to foster destabilization activities, while it reinforces its economic, financial and trade blockade,” the note continues.

Finally, MINREX expresses the Cuban government’s willingness “to dialogue with the US government about any topics on respectful and equal terms, without detriment to the independence, sovereignty and self-determination of our country.”

“We will not tolerate any interference by the United States in Cuba’s domestic affairs and we will use all available legal and political mechanisms to face it,” the statement concludes.

White House Press Release on Cuba

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 14, 2011
Reaching Out to the Cuban People

Today, President Obama has directed the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security to take a series of steps to continue efforts to reach out to the Cuban people in support of their desire to freely determine their country’s future.

The President has directed that changes be made to regulations and policies governing: (1) purposeful travel; (2) non-family remittances; and (3) U.S. airports supporting licensed charter flights to and from Cuba. These measures will increase people-to-people contact; support civil society in Cuba; enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people; and help promote their independence from Cuban authorities.

The President believes these actions, combined with the continuation of the embargo, are important steps in reaching the widely shared goal of a Cuba that respects the basic rights of all its citizens. These steps build upon the President’s April 2009 actions to help reunite divided Cuban families; to facilitate greater telecommunications with the Cuban people; and to increase humanitarian flows to Cuba.

The directed changes described below will be enacted through modifications to existing Cuban Assets Control and Customs and Border Protection regulations and policies and will take effect upon publication of modified regulations in the Federal Register within 2 weeks.

Purposeful Travel. To enhance contact with the Cuban people and support civil society through purposeful travel, including religious, cultural, and educational travel, the President has directed that regulations and policies governing purposeful travel be modified to:

· Allow religious organizations to sponsor religious travel to Cuba under a general license.

· Facilitate educational exchanges by: allowing accredited institutions of higher education to sponsor travel to Cuba for course work for academic credit under a general license; allowing students to participate through academic institutions other than their own; and facilitating instructor support to include support from adjunct and part-time staff.

· Restore specific licensing of educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program under the auspices of an organization that sponsors and organizes people-to-people programs.

· Modify requirements for licensing academic exchanges to require that the proposed course of study be accepted for academic credit toward their undergraduate or graduate degree (rather than regulating the length of the academic exchange in Cuba).

· Allow specifically licensed academic institutions to sponsor or cosponsor academic seminars, conferences, and workshops related to Cuba and allow faculty, staff, and students to attend.

· Allow specific licensing to organize or conduct non-academic clinics and workshops in Cuba for the Cuban people.

· Allow specific licensing for a greater scope of journalistic activities.

Remittances. To help expand the economic independence of the Cuban people and to support a more vibrant Cuban civil society, the President has directed the regulations governing non-family remittances be modified to:

· Restore a general license category for any U.S. person to send remittances (up to $500 per quarter) to non-family members in Cuba to support private economic activity, among other purposes, subject to the limitation that they cannot be provided to senior Cuban government officials or senior members of the Cuban Communist Party.

· Create a general license for remittances to religious institutions in Cuba in support of religious activities.

No change will be made to the general license for family remittances.

U.S. Airports. To better serve those who seek to visit family in Cuba and engage in other licensed purposeful travel, the President has directed that regulations governing the eligibility of U.S. airports to serve as points of embarkation and return for licensed flights to Cuba be modified to:

· Allow all U.S. international airports to apply to provide services to licensed charters, provided such airports have adequate customs and immigration capabilities and a licensed travel service provider has expressed an interest in providing service to and from Cuba from that airport.

The modifications will not change the designation of airports in Cuba that are eligible to send or receive licensed charter flights to and from the United States.