CONTRA EL PINGALISMO CASTRISTA/ "Se que no existe el consuelo que no existe la anhelada tierrra de mis suenos ni la desgarrada vision de nuestros heroes. Pero te seguimos buscando, patria,..." - Reinaldo Arenas

Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Cuba-Obama. Mostrar todas las entradas
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sábado, diciembre 20, 2014

Miami Protesters: 'It's not the time' for more Cuba ties

Read at WSVN-TV >>


Line By Line: Every Empty Promise in Obama's Cuba Speech

President Obama announced sweeping changes to the United States’ approach to diplomacy with Cuba yesterday, in a statement broadcast simultaneously with a speech by President Raúl Castro in which he declared the changes a step towards “prosperous and sustainable socialism.”

Many on both sides of the aisle are expecting President Obama’s policies to bring about significant improvements in the lives of average Cubans– and, were President Obama’s promises to ring true, this might well be the case. However, the President is promising the Cuban people something that, without the Castro government yielding to any demands, is simply impossible. Below, a line-by-line analysis of every inaccurate statement and unfulfillable promise in President Obama’s speech yesterday that he does not have the power to fulfill, and for which there is no evidence that the Castro regime will help.
“Proudly, the United States has supported democracy and human rights in Cuba through these five decades. We have done so primarily through policies that aimed to isolate the island, preventing the most basic travel and commerce that Americans can enjoy anyplace else. And though this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions… it has had little effect beyond providing the Cuban government with a rationale for restrictions on its people.”
The idea that the embargo has not had any effect on the Cuban government’s ability to function is a hugely flawed one, based almost entirely on the fact that it has failed to dethrone the Castro brothers. It ignores the ambitions for international influence that led Cuba to send soldiers to fight in far-off wars in Africa– most prominently in Angola, where an estimated 10,000 Cubans died fighting for communism– and advisors to Venezuela. Thanks in large part to Cuba’s influence, Venezuela’s socialist government has turned an OPEC nation into a place where products such as oil, eggs, and even water are either rationed or bought on the black market. Had the Castros enjoyed an influx of millions from the American tourism industry, it is feasible that dangerous ties to even more distant nations like Iran and China could have been strengthened, threatening American interests.
While the embargo failed to create regime change, it certainly has not “had little effect” on the Castros.
“As a start, we lifted restrictions for Cuban Americans to travel and send remittances to their families in Cuba. These changes, once controversial, now seem obvious. Cuban Americans have been reunited with their families, and are the best possible ambassadors for our values.”
It is true that the United States has eased its restrictions on travel to Cuba. It is not true that restrictions no longer exist. In September, the Cuban government applied more restrictions on travel by family into Cuba, possibly in response to the US government easing its own restrictions, which significantly limit the amount of necessary goods that enter the country. It does not limit tourism or how much a foreigner without family on the island can bring to the country, but those with known relatives in Cuba will have their goods confiscated if they bring too much underwear or shampoo for their families in their luggage.
This is not so much a lie on the President’s part as it is misdirection. It blames the American government solely for any distance between Cuban Americans and their families, when the Castro regime made very clear this year that it will work diligently to keep those family ties broken. And as this current deal demanded nothing of the Castro regime but the release of Alan Gross and an unnamed U.S. agent, there is no guarantee that any of these reforms will have an effect.
“Where we can advance shared interests, we will -– on issues like health, migration, counterterrorism, drug trafficking and disaster response.”
America has no shared interests in any of these fields. For America, health is a humanitarian mission, one into which the government pours billions of dollars internationally. For Cuba, health is an $8 million a year slave trade (doctors are paid only a “living stipend” when they are forced to leave the country for medical work, which hardly pays for food and shelter). Similarly, migrating out of Cuba is a near impossibility. Restrictions have grown so much in 2014 that Florida is seeing the highest influx of exiles braving the 90 miles on rafts since the 1994 balsero exile. While America leads the international war on terror, Cuba provides safe harbor for the leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the biggest non-jihadist terrorist group in the world– which is also one of the largest drug trafficking operations on earth. And so on.
“I’ve instructed Secretary Kerry to review Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism… at a time when we are focused on threats from al Qaeda to ISIL, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces the use of terrorism should not face this sanction.”
It is complete misdirection to imply that, because Cuba does not have openly known ties to jihadist groups, it is not supporting terrorism internationally. As mentioned above, the Castro regime has been indispensable to the FARC.
“So we will facilitate authorized transactions between the United States and Cuba. U.S. financial institutions will be allowed to open accounts at Cuban financial institutions. And it will be easier for U.S. exporters to sell goods in Cuba.”
There is no way for President Obama to guarantee that “it will be easier for U.S. exporters to sell goods in Cuba” without the cooperation of the Cuban government. There is no indication that President Obama demanded and received the cooperation of the Cuban government. While it is true that, now, U.S. exporters may attempt to do business in Cuba without having to worry about American sanctions, there is no guarantee that the Cuban government will not punish them, or expropriate their inventories on the island as they did in 1959.
Unfortunately, our sanctions on Cuba have denied Cubans access to technology that has empowered individuals around the globe. So I’ve authorized increased telecommunications connections between the United States and Cuba. Businesses will be able to sell goods that enable Cubans to communicate with the United States and other countries.”
Without Raúl Castro’s approval, businesses will not be able to sell anything on the island. Yes, this new policy means businesses will not face legal action in the United States for trying to sell these items, but there is no guarantee they will not face retribution from the communist government.
José Martí once said, “Liberty is the right of every man to be honest.”
José Martí actually said: “Libertad es el derecho que todo hombre tiene a ser honrado, y a pensar y a hablar sin hipocresía”– “Liberty is the right that all men have to be honest, and to think and speak without hypocrisy.” Wonder why President Obama left that out?
Much of the rest of President Obama’s rhetoric that does not directly address the reforms– his homage to Miami as “a profoundly American city,” his call to “leave behind the legacy of both colonization and communism, the tyranny of drug cartels, dictators and sham elections”– rings disingenuous given how little the Castro regime has had to sacrifice in order to attract the piggy bank that is American tourism, if he chooses to allow it. But most disturbing are the details that he provided on how America will approach this nearby enemy, and how little it appears the United States will actually do to empower a viable opposition movement in Cuba, or even protect American companies who dare do business on the island from any future expropriation.


A Day in Infamy - Barack Obama’s Cuban Pact

For the most part of the Cuban-American community residing in Miami, Florida, the day of Wednesday, December 17th, 2014, will—more likely than not—go down in their history books as a day in infamy, much the same as did December 7th, 1941, for all Americans. The former, when Barack Obama announced the U.S. restoring full relations with Cuba, including the opening of an embassy in the island—a bold move aimed at ending over 50 years of hostility between the two countries—the latter when the Royal Empire of Japan attacked the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
While, for the average American, it would seem almost impossible to establish any kind relevancy whatsoever between these two dates, for the average Cuban-American, it is precisely the opposite. The reasons are simple and unpretentious. First of all, Americans have been, and are for the most part, highly uninformed regarding their own country’s affairs, let alone being familiar with an insignificant little island of the Caribbean, even when this island is located a mere 93 miles south from the southernmost tip of the U.S., in Key West, Florida.
I would dare say that, to most Americans, other than an elite group of Washington politicians, perhaps, Cuba is a foreign word - an alien term of sorts. Little do most Americans realize that this irrelevant and unbeknownst island-nation, has, in fact, had a magnanimous sway in global politics and geo-political affairs throughout the years. Such was this island country’s relevancy in global politics back in October 1962, when Cuba stood at center stage, playing [the] leading role in the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis as the world came to a stand still while the United States and Russia traded threats over Soviet ballistic missiles deployed in the “irrelevant” Caribbean island - a tense and overwrought moment, which escalated as close as the world has ever come to a full scale nuclear war.
Notwithstanding the presumable ignorance now presiding over this unheard of island nation, I shall then proceed to cite some of the issues which qualify my contemptuous conclusion on Obama’s bold move to renew political ties with the communist Caribbean island as nothing short of a treasonous and antithetical assault on democracy; a travesty and desecration to the otherwise most basic principles of righteousness on which our country, the United States of America, was founded.  A betrayal to the American legacy, hence the relevancy to the Pearl Harbor attack comparison—a conjecture, mind you, which I shall dare try to demonstrate by quickly reviewing the history preceding Obama’s treachery, albeit daringly constricted by the size of this dissertation.
As a matter of record, in the years prior to the communist revolution takeover on December 31st, New Years’ eve of 1958-59, led by Fidel Castro and his dirty band of revolutionary militia men, the Republic of Cuba, in spite of a tumultuous history of corroded political leaders teetering the legitimacy of its political system, the island did enjoy a most enviable leadership position amongst all countries in Latin-American, comprised, namely, of 26 nation-states bound by the Romance languages of Spanish and Portuguese.
Some of Cuba’s leading statistics compared to other Latin American nations and/or the world just prior the advent of the communist revolution in 1958, were as follows:
  • 3rd most-stable economy in Latin America with highest gold reserves, slightly behind Venezuela and Brazil.
  • Lowest inflation rate [1.4%].
  • 4th in world in income earned by blue-collar workers.
  • 3rd in red-meat production per capita.
  • 1st in the production of mineral cobalt in the world.
  • 3rd in caloric consumption.
  • 3rd in the highest per-capital telephone ownership.
  • 3rd in the highest per-capital automobile ownership.
  • 2nd in the highest per-capital radio ownership.
  • 1st televisions per household.
  • 3rd in most radio-stations.
  • 3rd in T.V. networks.
  • 2nd in movie theaters per capita.
  • 2nd in number of physicians per capita.
  • Lowest index of infant mortality in all Latin America.
  • 4th lowest per capita index of illiteracy.
  • Highest percentage of public debt earmarked for education.
  • 5th in per capita colleges and universities attending students.
  • In 1959, the Cuban monetary unit, the “peso” was par with the U.S. dollar - at times slightly higher.
  • Highest number of movie-theaters in the world.
Now, to suggest that any of these statistics would have been possible were it not for the prosperous relationship that had once existed between the U.S. and Cuba preceding Castro’s takeover would be, if nothing else, a preposterous lie at that. After the takeover, simply put, communism managed to set back light years the once flourishing Caribbean paradise island, turning the latter into a ghostly status of its past glories.
Cuba, the once-affluent island, was soon to become but a faded version of its joyous past. The nation’s once thriving economy and proud statistics would soon turn into sorrowful epitomes of human deprivation of the most basic necessities, including but not limited to the pursuit of freedom and happiness. The island’s once picturesque promenades and harbors would soon become the stage of escapade outlets for thousands of freedom-seeking Cubans, daringly leaving the island in home-made rafts, willing, if you will, to perish in crossing the Florida Straits in their quest for freedom; a preferred alternative to the oppression of the Castro regime. Statistical accounting of the Cuban prominence before Castro would soon turn into grief-stricken statistics of the regime’s genocidal prominence; statistics, which, as much sparse and imprecise as could be expected under a reign of oversight and repression by Castro’s tyrannical regime, would still claim a death toll in the hundreds of thousands of innocent men and women who perished between 1959 and 1987[1], exclusively as a result of their political conviction; all dying while bravely daring to challenge a system now sanctioned of by none other than U.S.‘s impostor president Barack Obama.
Besides the home-made rafts, desperation for leaving the island incited Cubans on using all sorts of cunningly constructed crafts, including but not limited to, inflatable tubes used in truck-tires - needless to say, a less-than-safe artifact for crossing the dangerous currents in the Straits of Florida.
The escalating death toll of Cubans crossing the Straits paved the way for the founding of Brothers to the Rescue - a good-willed missionary group of Miami-based pilots, touched by the death of a fifteen-year-old Gregorio Perez Ricardo, who had perished from severe dehydration while fleeing from Castro’s communist island on a raft. The group,Brothers to the Rescue, described itself as a humanitarian organization aiming to assist and rescue raft refugees emigrating from Cuba and to “support the efforts of the Cuban people to free themselves from dictatorship through the use of active nonviolence”[2].
On February 24th, 1996, two of the Brothers to the Rescue Cessna Skymasters were shot down by a Cuban Air Force MiG-29UB, while a second jet fighter, a MiG-23, orbited nearby. Killed in the shoot downs were pilots Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales. A third plane, flown by Brothers to the Rescue leader Jose Basulto, was able to escape unharmed. In the days that followed, the controversy over the shoot-down grew steadily over the merciless killing of civilian U.S. air-pilots by trained pilots of the Cuban Air Force, while the victims flew in international air-space.
The shoot-down incident also led to widespread condemnation of Cuba back in the day, and was instrumental on the outcome of the trial of the “Cuban Five” consisting of five Cuban intelligence officers arrested in September 1998 and later convicted in Miami of conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, acting as an agent of a foreign government, and other illegal activities in the United States. The trial of the Cuban Five” on espionage and conspiracy charges resulted in convictions and long-term prison sentences for the five Cuban agents who, for one, had been known to spy on the Brothers to the Rescue missions.
In May, 2012, the Obama administration, in the same old spirit of deceit that has forever characterized this impostor president, deceivingly declined a “spy swap” proposed by the Cuban authorities, in exchange for the release of U.S., contractor Allan Phillip Gross, imprisoned in Cuba for allegedly providing equipment to Cuban Jews striving to have internet access. While leading public opinion to believing that such a sullied swap would never take place only seven month back, the swap did take place on December 17th, 2014, whereby Gross and Rolando Sarraf, a Cuban who had worked as an agent for American intelligence imprisoned in Cuba 20 years back, were exchanged for the last three remaining prisoners of the “Cuban Five”, as two others members of this hideous group had been released earlier.
My dear fellow Americans, one more time, Barack Hussein Obama utilizes the noble office and power bestowed upon him as president of the United States of America, to desecrate the most basic values inherent to our democracy; the most basic principles that stand for what United States is all about. As far as I am concerned, by shaking the hands and making any agreement with the Castro brothers, two of the most renowned assassins in the world, Barack Obama is, one more time, shamelessly and brazenly admitting his willingness to share in and be a part of the thousands of deaths attributable to the Castro brothers and to communism itself. Obama’s hands are as bloody today as the Castro brothers’ are. Obama’s announcement of a renewed relation with Cuba and the Castro brothers, is proof, one more time, of the man’s avatar communist incline, and long history of Marxist devotion - a pious advocate of the Saul Alinsky model. Barack Obama’s agreement with Cuba on December 17th , 2014, shall make him, in my estimation, as responsible as the Castro’s brothers for the thousands of deaths suffered by young Cuban men and women who perished while crossing the Florida Straits in search of freedom. Obama’s daring hypocrisy shall, I hope, serve only as an everlasting reminder to the American public of this man’s evil political nature. The lifeless remains of all the Cuban martyrs who perished in the pursuit of freedom, I hope, shall only serve as a friendly remembrance to all us that communism, that poisonous system responsible for the death of over 100 million people throughout the history of the world, is alive and well in the United States of America - dangerously so represented, of all people, in the persona of Barack Hussein Obama.
Throughout the past few days I have mournfully listened to the many arguments made by media folk and otherwise, presumably astute political contributors from both sides of the aisle, claiming the president did not get enough in exchange for what he gave up in his trade with Cuba. It was an unbalanced or uneven exchange, they claimed. To all those making this argument, I say hogwash to all of you as I politely remind you that there are no agreements whatsoever, bar none, which can be construed as good or positive when you are dealing with communists or communism, as in the end you will always be on the losing end, regardless. Obama’s trade was no exception, and it is time for me to remind all good people in this country to realize that we are in for the greatest revelation of our lives if we, for a moment, think of this man as anything other than a miserable diehard communist ideologue whom a majority of Americans elected as our president twice in a row. Shame on all of us and prayers for the end of this ugly chapter in American history.
As a Cuban-born immigrant who came into this great country at age 14 in 1960, also fleeing from communism, I do consider Obama’s renewed relations with the communist island and look upon it as one of the most despicable political acts I have ever been a witness to. As a naturalized citizen of this great country which we call the United States of America, I can only forewarn you of the inherent evils of Barack Obama and his administration. As an immigrant and citizen of the U.S., both, I shall forever, reminisce of December 17th, 2014 as I do on December 7th, 1941, both - “a day in infamy”,  as I truly hope that, for the simple and straight-forward reasons stated above, you will too. May God save us all and may God save the United States of America.
[1] “Cuba”: The Human Cost of Social Revolutions.
[2] ^ Jump up to: a b Website of Brothers to the Rescue - Background and information

Cuba and now America under dictatorship

Just as Fidel Castro became Cuba’s dictator when he and his guerrillas triumphantly entered Havana on January 7, 1959, President Barack Obama became America’s dictator on Dec. 17, 2014.
Swaggering into Havana dressed in army fatigues with his signature cigar, Castro claimed the island as his own.  Like a thief making off with a nation in the middle of the night, Obama waiting until Congress was out of town, opened America to a Communist totalitarian state.
Obama’s dictatorship is one that patently ignores countless thousands of Cuban prisoners, some of them who have been in some of the worst jails in the western hemisphere for decades and comes as a knife in the heart for the loved ones of the so many Cubans already tortured and murdered.
Thousands who fled for their lives from the Castro brothers, losing everything they had won’t be sleeping tonight in Miami.
Swapping a single hostage for spies found guilty by American juries and jailed for killing Americans is how Obama began the ‘re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba’ for the first time in more than half a century.
Obama and his administration boast it is business.  But they are not now, and never will be,  doing business with the bread-and-butter Cuban people, but with the ice-hearted Communist Cuban government, which jails, tortures and murders its own people and which has been doing so ever since Castro seized power as dictator.
With nothing to legalize it on paper, and with no one even talking about it, there is no onus on Cuba to back off its shameful record on human rights. Yet Obama spouts ‘isolation has not worked’ since the Castros’ communist regime hasn’t softened its position since JFK was president.
“We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result,” is the propaganda stated on a White House ‘fact sheet’.  ‘It does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse.”
It was never the Cuban people but their government under a crushing Communist system pushing Cuba toward collapse.  Just as Obama blames the American people for everything he personally sees wrong with America, is he now expanding his destructive Fundamental Transformation of America to Cuba, which sits only 90 miles off the coast of Florida?
Just as Obama last May released five generals back to the Taliban for the outrageous swap of AWOL American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, Obama swapped three spies for the release of American aid worker Alan Gross, who arrived back in the U.S. today after five years in captivity.
Gross was released along with an unnamed U.S. ‘intelligence asset’ in exchange for three Cuban spies held by America—including one serving two life sentences related to the downing of two airplanes in 1996. (Daily Mail, Dec. 17, 2014)
Town Hall, Canada Free Press (CFP) columnist Humberto Fontova, who was earlier on the Mark Levin Radio Show, told CFP last evening that according to the FBI’s affidavit, the 26 charges against the convicted Castro-spies included:
  • Gathering intelligence against the Boca Chica Air Naval Station in Key West, the McDill Air Force Base in Tampa and the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Homestead, Fla.;
  • Compiling the names, home addresses and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers, along with those of hundreds of officers stationed at Boca Chica. •Infiltrating the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command;
  • Sending letter bombs to Cuban-Americans;
  • Spying on McDill Air Force Base, the U.S. armed forces’ worldwide headquarters for fighting “low-intensity” conflicts;
  • Locating entry points into Florida for smuggling explosives.
“These spies also infiltrated the Cuban exile group Brothers to the Rescue, who flew unarmed planes to rescue Cuban rafters in the Florida straits, also known as “the cemetery without crosses,” said Fontova.  “The estimates of the number of Cubans dying horribly in the “cemetery without crosses” run from 50-85,000. Brothers to The Rescue risked their  lives almost daily, flying over the straits, alerting and guiding the Coast Guard to any balseros, and saving thousands of these desperate people from joining that terrible tally. (Prior to Castroism, by the way, Cuba was swamped with more immigrants per-capita than the U.S., including during the Ellis Island years.) So you can imagine how the Cuban exodus embarrasses the Castroites, including those in the U.S.
“By February of 1996, Brothers to The Rescue had flown 1,800 of these humanitarian missions and helped rescue 4,200 men, women and children. That month Danny Glover’s and Pete Seeger’s cause célèbre’ passed to Castro the flight plan for one of the Brothers’ humanitarian flights over the Cemetery Without Crosses.
With this info in hand, Castro’s Top Guns jumped into their MIGs, took off and valiantly blasted apart (in international air space) the lumbering and utterly defenseless Cessnas. “Four members of the humanitarian flights were thus murdered in cold blood by communists.
“Three of these murdered men were U.S. citizens, the other a legal U.S. resident.”
Obama’s Open for Business Cuban initiative ignores the fact that his own administration lists Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.
“..Second, I’ve instructed Secretary Kerry to review Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” he said today.  “This review will be guided by the facts and the law. Terrorism has changed in the last several decades. At a time when we are focused on threats from al Qaeda to ISIL, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces the use of terrorism should not face this sanction.”
Today’s announcement followed more than a year of secret talks between the U.S. and Cuba.
Creepier still, those secret talks did not take place on American soil, but in another country—Canada.
The fix was already in because as Obama was speaking, Cuban President Raul Castro was addressing his own nation from Havana.  Obama and Castro had spoken by phone for more than 45 minutes Tuesday.
The New Year worry for a watching world is if Obama can open up channels for drastic policy changes in Cuba without the knowledge of the American population and Congress, when will he do the same for Iran?


Saving Comrade Castro

Erik Ravelo
The Soviet Union did not have to fall. If Carter had won a second term and Mondale had succeeded him, the Communist dictatorship might have received the outside help it needed to survive.
And we would still be living under the shadow of the Cold War.
Carter couldn’t save the Soviet Union, but he did his best to save Castro, visiting Fidel and Raul in Cuba where the second worst president in American history described his meeting with Castro as a greeting among “old friends”.
Raul Castro called Carter “the best of all U.S. presidents”.
Obama’s dirty deal with Raul will make the worst president in American history, Castro’s new best friend.
Carter couldn’t save Castro, but Obama did. This was not a prisoner exchange. This was a Communist bailout.
Obama boasted that he would increase the flow of money to Cuba from businesses, from bank accounts and from trade. When he said, “We’re significantly increasing the amount of money that can be sent to Cuba”, that was his real mission statement.
The Castro regime is on its last legs. Its sponsors in Moscow and Caracas are going bankrupt due to failing energy prices. The last hope of the Butcher of Havana was a bailout from Washington D.C.

Obama has protected the Castros from regime change as if Communist dictators are an endangered species

And that’s exactly what Obama gave him.
Obama has protected the Castros from regime change as if Communist dictators are an endangered species.
From the beginning, Obama put his foreign policy at the disposal of Havana when he backed Honduran leftist thug Manuel Zelaya’s attempt to shred its Constitution over the protests of the country’s Congress and Supreme Court. And its military, which refused to obey his illegal orders.
Obama’s support for an elected dictator in Honduras should have warned Americans that their newly elected leader viewed men like Zelaya favorably and constitutions and the separation of powers between the branches of government unfavorably. It also showcased his agenda for Latin America.
His embrace of Raul Castro brings that agenda out into the open even if he still insists in wrapping it in dishonest claims about “freedom” and “openness” while bailing out a Communist dictatorship.

Obama opening lie: “The United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.”

Obama began his Castro speech with a lie, declaring, “The United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.”
The Cuban people have no relationship with the United States because they have no free elections and no say in how they are governed. The only Cubans who have a relationship with the United States fled here on rafts.
Obama did not make his dirty deal with the Cuban people. He made it in a marathon phone call with the Cuban dictator. When Obama claims that his deal with Raul Castro represents a new relationship with the people of Cuba, he is endorsing a Communist dictatorship as the legitimate representative of the Cuban people.
This is a retroactive endorsement of the Castro regime and its entire history of mass murder and political terror. Obama is not trying to “open up” Cuba as he claimed. He likes Cuba just the way it is; Communist and closed.
Obama did not consult the Cuban people, just as he did not consult the American people. He disregarded the embargo, Congress, the Constitution and the freedom of the Cuban people.

Obama chose to stand with Raul Castro and his Communist dictatorship

His dictatorial disregard of the embargo, which can only be eliminated by Congress, in order to support a dictatorship, is a disturbing reminder that the road he is walking down leads to a miserable tyranny. Cuban-American senators from both parties have been unanimous in condemning the move. These senators are the closest thing to Cuban elected officials. But Obama disregarded Senator Menendez, a man of his own party, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz.
Instead Obama chose to stand with Raul Castro and his Communist dictatorship.
Obama tried to whitewash his crime by exploiting Alan Gross, a USAID contractor who was imprisoned and abused by the Castro regime, as if the release of an American hostage justified helping the men holding him hostage stay in power. And the media, which was reprinting Castro’s propaganda claiming that Gross’ imprisonment was justified, is busy now pretending that it cares about his release.
He had similarly tried to whitewash his Taliban amnesty by using Bergdahl and his parents as cover. If a deal is struck with Iran, the release of Robert Levinson, Saeed Abedini or Amir Hekmati will almost certainly be used to divert attention from the fact that their own government has collaborated with the thugs and terrorists who took them hostage.
Even though Obama criticized European countries for paying financial ransoms to ISIS, his own ransom paid to the Castros is worth countless billions. And the blood money pouring out of American banks into the Castro regime will encourage other dictatorships to take Americans hostage as leverage for obtaining concessions from the United States. Americans abroad will suffer for Obama’s dirty deal.
No European country recognized ISIS in exchange for the release of hostages. Only Obama was willing to go that far with Cuba, not only opening diplomatic and economic relations, but promising to remove the Communist dictatorship from the list of state sponsors of terror despite the fact that the last State Department review found that Cuba continued to support the leftist narco-terrorists of FARC.
FARC had taken its own American hostages who were starved and beaten, tortured and abused.
Now Obama has given in to the demand of a state sponsor of terror to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in exchange for releasing a hostage.
Obama has sent a message to Iran that the best way to secure a deal is by wrapping it in an American hostage. He has told ISIS that we do negotiate with terrorists. And he has once again demonstrated that his vaunted “smart power” is nothing more than appeasement wrapped in excuses and lies.
But Obama did not act to help Alan Gross. He did not even act because he genuinely thought that diplomatic relations would open up Cuba. In his speech, Obama used the claim commonly put forward by Castro apologists that the very fact that the Castros were still in power proved that sanctions had failed. Yet the lack of sanctions against Cuba by the rest of the world certainly did not usher in the new spirit of openness that Obama is promising. Rewarding dictators with cash never frees a nation. This was not about saving Alan Gross. It was about saving Raul Castro.
Obama and Castro are both weakened leaders of the left. Like the Castros, Obama has lost international influence and his own people have turned on him. The only thing he has left is unilateral rule.
If Obama saw something of his own hopes and aspirations to engage in a populist transformation of the United States in Manuel Zelaya or Hugo Chavez, his horizons have narrowed down to those of Raul Castro. His ability to remake the world has vanished and the American people are revolting against his collectivization efforts. They want open health care markets, free speech and honest government.

No matter how often Obama claims to be “on the right side of history”, the Castros are a living reminder that to be on the left is to be on the wrong side of history.

Obama can no longer remake the Middle East, he certainly can’t bring the Soviet Union back from the dead, but he could still bail out Raul Castro and maintain Communist rule in Cuba.
No matter how often Obama claims to be “on the right side of history”, the Castros are a living reminder that to be on the left is to be on the wrong side of history.
Obama did not want to see the “Berlin Wall” fall in Havana on his watch. After watching his own grip on the United States collapse, he did not want to see the left fail again.
We can never know how history might have been different if Carter had gotten a second term or if Mondale had replaced Reagan. But Obama’s deal with Castro reminds us that the end of the USSR was not inevitable. It happened because we stood up against the tyrants in the Kremlin and their useful idiots in the White House.
A good man like Reagan could make a difference by bringing down the USSR. A bad man like Obama can make a difference by keeping Cuba Communist.
This article originally appeared as Obama’s Bailout for Communist Dictators at Front Page Magazine.


Ricardo Zúñiga, el negociador de Obama con Raul Castro

el hondureño ricardo zúñiga de madre norteamerica y un oficial del ejercito hondureño, es un asesor especial del presidente Barack Obama y director para Latinoamérica en el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de la Casa Blanca. su tia paterna fue ministra en el gobierno del presidente ricardo maduro. mas aqui >>
Voz de América


La Casa Blanca abre en su sitio web una sección sobre Cuba

Ver Aqui >>
O en

El tabacon de Obama

Se cuenta que la víspera de firmar el embargo contra los Castro, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, quien fumaba puros, pidió a su secretario de prensa, Pierre Salinger –también cigar aficionado–, que le comprara 1.200 Petit Upmann, su marca favorita de habanos.
Salinger relató años después que una vez que el Presidente comprobó que su abasto de tabacos cubanos se había renovado con 1.200 puros "sonrió y abrió un cajón de su escritorio. Tomó un gran papel y lo firmó inmediatamente. Era el decreto que prohibía todos los productos cubanos en nuestro país. Los puros cubanos eran a partir de ese momento ilegales en nuestro país".
Esta semana el presidente Obama, tras anunciar su decisión de restablecer las relaciones con Cuba, recibió con agrado el regalo de un puro habano de la marca Montecristo.
Fue en la fiesta de Janucá celebrada en la Casa Blanca el mismo miércoles en que hizo el histórico anuncio, cuando uno de los invitados, John Berzner, le ofreció como regalo un puro habano.
"Tuve la distinción única de regalar al Presidente deEstados Unidos uno de los mejores puros de Cuba, de la serie de Montecristo, en la Casa Blanca después de la ceremonia en la que se encendió una menora", explicó John Berzner a ABC News.
El Presidente anunció un aumento en la cantidad de bienes cubanos que los estadounidenses podrán traer de Cuba incluyendo el tabaco.
Los residentes en Estados Unidos podrán importar $400 en bienes, de los cuales no más de 100 pueden ser productos de tabaco y alcohol combinados.


viernes, diciembre 19, 2014

La verdadera razón del acuerdo entre Obama y Raúl Castro - Humor

El Pichy Films


La cláusula secreta del pacto Obama-Castro
Como tantos otros acuerdos concebidos y sellados en conciliábulos ocultos, el pacto de Barack Obama con Raúl Castro tiene cláusulas secretas. Si los resultados anunciados ayer en Washington y La Habana provocaron la indignación de muchos, parece que lo que se avecina es peor. Mucho peor.
En los altos círculos militares de Estados Unidos se alistan ya los trámites, sotto voce, de la puesta en práctica de una de las partes ocultas del pacto Obama-Castro. No se trata ya de intercambios de prisioneros ni de temas de comercio e inmigración.
Algunos temen, por ejemplo, que la Ley de Ajuste Cubano peligre. Otros, más a la derecha, creen que Washington podría aprovechar para conseguir la extradición a Estados Unidos de algunos delincuentes asilados en la isla, como Joanne Chesimard, buscada por el asesinato de un policía en Nueva Jersey, y el puertorriqueño Víctor Manuel Gerena, buscado por el asalto de un transporte blindado de Wells Fargo. Pero por ahí no vienen los tiros.
Parece que en su afán de dar hasta el fondillo a los Castro, y de paso cumplir una vieja promesa de campaña suya, Obama se dispone, en un plazo no especificado, quizás durante la visita que se propone hacer a La Habana, a entregar la Base Naval de Guantánamo al gobierno cubano. Mataría, así, dos pájaros de un tiro: congraciarse con sus nuevos amigos, y clausurar la prisión para yihadistas que allí funciona, con el pretexto de que la base ya no estaría bajo jurisdicción norteamericana.
¿Tiene potestad nuestro dadivoso mandatario para hacer semejante concesión? Pasando revista al Tratado Cubano Norteamericano de 1903, suscrito por el presidente cubano Tomás Estrada Palma y el presidente estadounidense Theodore Roosevelt, no resulta claro si su anulación requeriría la aprobación del Congreso.
El tratado en cuestión fue firmado a perpetuidad, lo que significa que sólo podría rescindirse con la aprobación de ambos gobiernos, y a lo que parece, al cabo de todos estos años, Barack Obama resultaría el único mandatario estadounidense capaz de semejante disparate, con tal de cumplir su pendeja agenda política.
Quizás incluso los Castro estarían dispuestos, a cambio, de entregar a EEUU a Chesimard, Gerena y las decenas de otros estadounidenses prófugos que se hallan en la isla. Quién sabe. Habiendo considerables sumas de recompensa ofrecidas por ellos, y conociendo la avidez castrista de divisas, no sería de sorprender que los arrojaran por la borda. El botín de la base, un viejo reclamo de los Castro, serviría de justificación.
Me pregunto qué podrán decir cuando eso suceda el montón de sesudos que nos gastamos en el exilio, que aplauden las medidas de Obama y hasta ven una “transición” en el horizonte. ¿Será que nos van a decir que ya era hora de entregar esa vieja base? Y por cierto, ¿qué van a decir nuestros presuntos líderes?
Nada me extrañaría ya.


Obama Acting Like a Valet — Working for Communists, Terrorists, Lip-Syncersshes

So this is what foreign policy by Beyonce looks like.
It’s been two years since the sultry and suave music power couple of Beyonce and Jay-Z were publicly humiliated across the globe after they realized it’s not “cool” to visit countries like Cuba run by totalitarian regimes that sponsor terrorism, steal private property, jail people for no reason, and freely make critics disappear without a trace.
No, it’s not “cool” to travel to places like Cuba, financially support the regime’s tourism industry and pose in a massive ad campaign broadcast to the ends of the earth showing the world’s most beautiful couple enjoying all the tiny streets and bright colors and spicy foods of Cuba, as presented to you by one of the world’s nastiest and most brutal totalitarian governments.
So Bey Bey and Jay-Z complained to their buddy, President Obama, who shares their embarrassment over America and this rigid unwillingness to be totally cool with Cuba. Totally cool with communist totalitarianism.
C’mon, dude! Lighten up! That communism stuff is so old, man.
It reminded Mr. Obama of his Choom Gang days back in Hawaii shooting hoops, being lazy and smoking reefer all day. I mean, Cuba is an island, too, man. Uh, isn’t it?
So, now that Mr. Obama literally has nothing more to lose, he flushes down the toilet five decades of rare principled diplomacy where America stood with the unjustly jailed, the tortured, and families of the dead against an evil authoritarian tyrannical regime.
And what is it about this guy and releasing terrorists? Is it their methods or their ideology that makes him want to free all these beasts?
And the infatuation with communism?
The callow ignorance and communism illiteracy in this country today is staggering, especially among young people. But when did “liberal” come to mean “stupid?” When did liberals quit learning history? Have they really forgotten the millions upon millions of victims around the world who have been brutalized under these totalitarian regimes?
Truly, President Obama is on the march — against America. The people have turned on him. So he has turned on us. Full tilt. He has nothing to lose. And he aims to punish us all for his loss of popularity and the evaporation of his credibility.
That is why he now puts the interests of illegal foreigners ahead of legal Americans. He puts the interests of terrorists ahead of law abiding, freedom-loving citizens. The interests of communists ahead of free market entrepreneurs.
And so he sits down for an interview with People Magazine to complain that America is still so racist that he once walked out of a restaurant only to be mistaken for a valet.
Well, you know, if you don’t want to be mistaken for a valet, stop acting like a valet. Especially a valet working for terrorists, communists, and really terrible songstresses who can only sing the National Anthem if they lip-synch it.


jueves, diciembre 18, 2014

Every big question you have about the U.S. opening to Cuba, answered

So by now I’m sure you’re aware that the Obama administration and Cuba’s communist regime have pledged to restore diplomatic ties through a variety of means, which include jointly pissing off the 2016 GOP presidential candidates an exchange of prisoners, a relaxation of some import controls and travel restrictions, and an upgrade of interest sections to embassies. The lifting of the full embargo will require an act of Congress, but it looks like that conversation will start to take place.
Since this includes a tentative lifting of some economic sanctions, and since I know a little something about sanctions, I thought I’d provide a friendly question-and-answer session about What All This Means.
Will a warming of Cuban-American ties mean that the oppressive Cuban regime will move towards democratization and improved human rights? Nah, probably not all that much. Let’s be clear about this. Generally speaking, neither negative economic statecraft (sanctions) nor positive economic statecraft (inducements) works terribly well at changing the nature of a hostile regime. And Cuba is still a hostile regime. Raul Castro embraced the opening Wednesday while still “acknowledging our profound differences, particularly on issues related to national sovereignty, democracy, human rights and foreign policy.” So there are still pretty elevated expectations of future conflict between Washington and Havana.
The increase in remittances can give ordinary Cuban citizens an alternative supply of economic resources, and that might weaken Cuban state control. That said, the statistical evidence suggests that a surge in remittances will extend the Cuban government’s ability to survive, not hasten its demise.
The Cuban government, if it’s smart, will try to direct any benefits from economic opening to its most vital supporters. Cuba experts seem to agree that this is likely to happen. So no, this won’t trigger significantly better odds in the way of regime change.
Whoa, it sounds like the United States isn’t getting much from this?! Why should the U.S. agree to any kind of opening? Because while the benefits of catalytic carrots are not all that great, the status quo policy was worse. Way worse.
It’s not like 50 years of economic sanctions altered Cuba’s regime. Sure, Cuba’s chief economic patron Venezuela is ailing right now, but Cuba endured far worse when the USSR disintegrated and the Special Period started. So anyone who tells you that the sanctions just needed more a little time to work is flat-out delusional. After more than a half-century, they were never going to work.
By switching course, the United States reaps a few benefits. First, the odds of orderly liberalization and democratization in Cuba have increased. Not by a lot — maybe from 2 percent to 10 percent. But that’s still an improvement. Even if full-blown regime transition doesn’t happen, economic liberalization does make a society somewhat more free. Today’s Post editorial points to Vietnam as the worst-case outcome for the Cuba policy. But Vietnam now has a considerably more liberal climate than before the US opening, so I don’t think that’s the best example.
Second, as my Washington Post colleagues Erik Voeten and Ishaan Tharoor have already observed, U.S. policy on Cuba has been, literally, isolationist — as in, it isolates the United States. Unlike other cases (see below), there is zero multilateral support for sanctioning Cuba — quite the opposite, in fact. Improving ties with Havana ameliorates a long-standing source of friction between the United States and Latin America. That’s called “good diplomacy.”
Third, when you consider the mammoth size of the United States and Cuba’s proximity, the only parallel economic relationship that comes to mind is China-Taiwan — if Taiwan were a lot poorer. If trade, tourism and investment takes off between the two countries, Cuba will quickly become the more asymmetrically dependent actor, no matter how hard the Cuban government tries to resist. This won’t make it much easier for the United States to affect regime change — but it will nudge Cuba towards a less confrontational foreign policy.
Finally, warming ties with Cuba can signal to allies and adversaries that the U.S. can cut deals with enduring rivals. The more that say, Iran, becomes convinced that the United States is not hell-bent on regime change, the more comfortable the government will be to strike a nuclear deal. Similarly, if such a deal does not come to pass, allies and observers will find it harder to claim that the United States was never prepared to cut such a deal — because they can point to Cuba.
Isn’t this hypocritical? Doesn’t this weaken U.S. policy on human rights? This akin to the point that my colleague Chuck Lane makes. He argued that despite its utter futility, there were virtues to the Cuba embargo policy:
It put the United States firmly on record that it would have as little as possible to do with a regime whose misdeeds have included… sponsoring violent guerrilla groups… harboring fugitives from U.S. justice and — last but certainly not least — systematically trampling its citizens’ most basic rights.
How to put this gently… the moment the United States slaps a full embargo on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Chuck will have a point. Until then, however, I think it’s safe it say that there are multiple means beyond a full embargo through which the U.S. can nudge a country towards better treatment of its citizens.It’s not like this policy change will alter the State Department’s human rights assessment of Cuba all that much.
So if we’re opening up to Cuba, why aren’t we opening up to North Korea too?
I can’t believe I really have to write these paragraphs, but here goes: North Korea poses a serious security risk far beyond its human rights debacle. Its nuclear program makes the country a clear threat to key U.S. treaty allies. One goal of the sanctions against North Korea is to force Pyongyang to the negotiating table, but another goal is simple containment, to weaken its capabilities. In implementing this sanctions policy, the United States has the strong support of every other country in the region. One can pretty much say the same thing about Iran, except that country’s government seems interested in negotiating a way out of its current conundrum.
The Cuban government remains a problem for the Cuban people. It no longer poses a serious security threat to the rest of Latin America, nor does it serve as a forward operating base for any great power rival. The U.S. has exactly zero regional support for the continuance of the embargo. Oh, and Cuba does not have a nuclear weapons program.
The new regulations will allow Americans to bring back $100 in Cuban cigars and rum. Are Cuban cigars really all that and a bag of chips?
If the embargo gets lifted, won’t a lot of tacky American commerce totally spoil Cuba? Won’t that make the country, like, kind of tacky?  Yes, you’re totally right. Can you imagine those poor Cubans, suddenly being besieged with a welter of consumer choice? Man, that sounds like an aesthetic nightmare. So if you think this way, I strongly encourage you to move immediately to Pyongyang, where you’ll never have to worry about this kind of awful stuff ever again.


Las empresas españolas que se beneficiarán del acuerdo entre Cuba y EEUU

El sector turístico español, uno de los que cuenta con mayores intereses en Cuba, ve con buenos ojos el restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas entre EE.UU. y Cuba, ya que implicará una relajación de los límites comerciales o de viajes.
Meliá Hotels International es la cadena española que cuenta con más establecimientos en Cuba, hasta 27 hoteles, con una oferta total de 13.000 habitaciones. Entre ellos, destacan nueve en Varadero, cuatro en Cayo Coco, cuatro en Cayo Santa María y tres en La Habana.
La hotelera de la familia Escarrer, fue la primera española en llegar a la isla, cuyo desembarco no estuvo exento de dificultades por la ley Helms-Burton. En 2015, celebrará precisamente sus 25 años en el país caribeño, donde cuenta con un nuevo proyecto que verá la luz el próximo año.
Este primer paso dado por Estados Unidos y Cuba para normalizar sus relaciones beneficiará a Meliá y al resto de hoteleras españolas por la eventual llegada de turistas estadounidenses, una noticia que ha animado la cotización de sus acciones en la Bolsa.
Le sigue la cadena Iberostar con un total de diez establecimientos, entre los que destacan cuatro en Varadero, tres en Cayo Coco y uno en La Habana; la cadena Roc, con tres hoteles, y Barceló, que dispone actualmente de dos establecimientos en Varadero.
La división hotelera del grupo Globalia, Be Live, cuenta con dos establecimientos en Cuba, ambos en Varadero. Además, su aerolínea Air Europa opera un vuelo diario entre Madrid y La Habana, ruta que Iberia, inmersa en su plan de reestructuración, dejó de operar el año pasado por no considerarla rentable.
El grupo hotelero Blue Bay también tiene dos hoteles en Varadero, al igual que la hotelera H10, que cuenta con dos establecimientos, uno en La Habana y otro en Varadero, mientras que Hotusa dispone de un establecimiento en Cayo Santa Maria, al igual que la cadena Valentí, con un hotel. También NH cuenta con un establecimiento en La Habana.
Occidental Hoteles & Resorts, controlada por el BBVA y por Pontegadea, brazo inversor de Amancio Ortega desde 2007, ha decidido no renovar los contratos de gestión de los cuatro hoteles que opera actualmente en Cuba y que vencen en diciembre de este año.
Esta cadena opera actualmente en régimen de gestión dos hoteles en La Habana, un complejo en Varadero, y otro en Cayo Guillermo, de los que ha decidido salir pues el peso de Cuba en su actividad no supera el 1%.
Riu Hotels & Resorts también llegó a un acuerdo con el propietario del hotel Riu Playa Turquesa, el Grupo de Turismo Gaviota, para finalizar el pasado mes de noviembre el contrato de gestión del hotel Riu Playa Turquesa, ubicado en Holguín, Cuba, que operaba desde mayo de 2012, aunque mantiene otro hotel en Varadero.
Espera alcanzar los 3 millones de turistas
Cuba alcanzó los 2,8 millones de turistas el pasado año, con Canadá como principal mercado emisor --más de un millón de turistas--, seguido de Reino Unido y Alemania y con Francia, Italia y España como mercados al alza. En 2014, prevé alcanzar los 3 millones de turistas, según datos del Ministerio de Turismo cubano.
El turismo es la segunda actividad económica de la isla, con un volumen de 1.832 millones de euros anuales, después de la venta de servicios médicos, que reporta unos 4.400 millones de euros.
En la actualidad, la isla tiene 335 hoteles, con una capacidad total de alojamiento de 58.434 habitaciones, de las que el 65% se clasifican en instalaciones de cuatro y cinco estrellas. El 71% de esas habitaciones están dedicadas al turismo de 'sol y playa', mientras 23% al de ciudad y 2% al de naturaleza.

Inversión extranjera

La filosofía de Cuba respecto a la inversión extranjera no es la habitual en otros países. Se habla de "autorizaciones a la inversión extranjera" circunscritas a la aprobación puntual de las mismas y siempre en función de las necesidades e intereses del país, y no de un sistema de aplicación de "incentivos a la inversión extranjera". Por ello, no existen incentivos generales a la entrada de empresas extranjeras en el país.
No obstante, la Ley de Inversión extranjera permite exenciones fiscales y arancelarias temporales, así como regímenes especiales para algunas inversiones siempre que exista interés gubernamental. En cualquier caso, todo está sujeto a la negociación entre las partes y no se prevén especiales incentivos sectoriales, según el ICEX.


Could Obama’s Cuba Policy Help Democrats in 2016? - WSJ

President Barack Obama greets Cuban President Raul Castro before giving his speech at the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg in December 2013.
By Carol E. Lee
One of the less immediate, but potentially significant, impacts of President Barack Obama‘s decision to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba is a possible expansion of the Democratic Party.
Much in the way President Ronald Reagan helped solidify Cuban-Americans as a reliable Republican voting bloc by taking a hard stance against the Castro regime in the 1980s, Mr. Obama’s softening of U.S.-Cuba relations could generate a new crop of Democratic supporters.
To be sure, Mr. Obama’s policy changes angered many older Cuban-Americans, who have been reliable Republican voters. But younger Cuban-Americans are likely to largely support Mr. Obama’s moves. And they will be increasingly significant in future elections as the number of first- and second-generation Cuban-Americans decreases.
As a candidate in 2008, Mr. Obama was keenly aware of the political trend that showed a change in views among Cuban-Americans, who have for decades influenced the outcome of presidential elections because of their concentration in the country’s largest battleground state of Florida.
Polls and studies showed that younger generations, who have no recollection of a Cuba led by anyone other than the Castro regime, were far more open to easing the U.S. embargo and accessing their home country. That’s why in 2008 Mr. Obama stood in the same Miami auditorium where Mr. Reagan gave his famous “Cuba Si, Castro No” speech and declared his support for easing the embargo.
Mr. Reagan’s anti-Castro rhetoric during the height of the Cold War energized Cuban-American voters who had been seeking a change on the island since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion under President John F. Kennedy.
In 2008, Mr. Obama’s stance was seen as a risk.
While the overall number of Cuban-American voters across the country is small, they have had a significant effect on American politics and U.S. policy toward the island nation.
Republicans had for decades won over Florida’s Cuban-American population with a hard-line stance on the embargo. Democratic candidates took the same position, for fear of alienating a critical voting bloc.
But Mr. Obama determined he would never be able to out-hard line the hard-line Republicans and banked on a future shift among Cuban-Americans in favor of diplomatic relations with Cuba.
In both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, Mr. Obama won Florida, receiving 51% and 50% of the vote, respectively. The Cuban vote in the state was split in 2012, with 49% supporting Mr. Obama and 47% supporting Republican candidate Mitt Romney, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of exit poll data.
The percentage of Cubans identifying with the Republican Party has fallen nationwide. Less than half, or 47%, of Cubans who are registered to vote now identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, down from the 64% who said the same about the GOP a decade ago, according to 2013 Pew survey data.
Mr. Obama’s gamble may yet help his party. A Florida International University poll conducted between February and May this year found that 68% of Cubans in Florida’s Miami-Dade County favor re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba–with 90% of younger respondents “very strongly” backing the policy shift. And 52% of the respondents opposed continuing the embargo–with a higher percentage, 62%, of those age 18 to 29 opposed.
When announcing the policy change from the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Obama urged Congress to lift the embargo: “These are the steps that I can take as president to change this policy. The embargo that’s been imposed for decades is now codified in legislation.”
That puts U.S. Cuba policy front and center in the next presidential race and makes Congress the epicenter for a fierce debate.


Obama's Announcement: Issues of Credibility, Geo-Political Vision and Executive Overreach

President Barack Obama has just announced a series of changes to Cuba policy, pursuant to a deal with dictator Raul Castro for the release American hostage, Alan Gross.

These policy changes are in addition to a prisoner exchange, in which three Cuban spies imprisoned in the United States have also been released.

(Please see our statement regarding the prisoner exchange here.)

These policy changes raise serious questions regarding the President's credibility and geo-political vision. They also represent an abuse of his executive authority under U.S. law.

As regards credibility --

Just last year, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee:

"[The Castro regime] has been attempting to trade Alan Gross for the five spies that are in prison here in the US, and we've refused to do that because there's no equivalency."

Yet, that -- in fact -- is what the Obama Administration has done today.

As regards geo-political vision --

President Obama has placed democracy in the Western Hemisphere on the chopping bloc.

In his remarks at noon, Obama cited China and Vietnam as examples of why the United States should normalize relations with Cuba.

So what exactly is the model that Obama seeks for Cuba?

Is it the "China model" whereby U.S. business helps to build the most lucrative dictatorship in human history?

A "Vietnam model" of state capitalism under an iron-fisted rule?

"Burma model" whereby reforms achieved through pressure are rolled back as soon as sanctions are lifted?

Raul Castro, Nicolas Maduro and their puppets revel in such models. But none should have a place -- geographically or politically -- in the Western Hemisphere.

In this hemisphere, every nation (except Cuba) made a commitment to representative democracy in 2001.

Today's announcement sends a message to the Western Hemisphere's wanna-be authoritarians that the U.S. now (once again) views such models as acceptable in the Americas.

Globally, it has sent a blueprint to the other nations on the U.S.'s state-sponsors of terrorism list (Iran, Sudan and Syria) of how to have that designation removed -- take an American hostage.

As regards executive powers --

U.S. policy towards Cuba was codified into law under the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996, and the Trade Sanctions Reform Act of 2000.

The policy changes announced by the President are an overreach of his executive powers under the law.

For example, the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (§910(b) of P.L. 106-387, Title IX), codified the ban on tourist activities, which are defined as any activity not expressly authorized in the 12 categories of travel set forth in the regulations. It further specified, "as such regulations were in effect on June 1, 2000."

Obama's announcement to issue a general license for all twelve categories of authorized travel exceed these regulations, as they were "in effect on June 1, 2000."

Moreover, the official legislative history of the law clarifies that the President has power to tighten economic sanctions, but not to ease them beyond the baseline set on March 1, 1996.

It reads:

"The conference substitute (subsection (102(h)) codifies the 'economic embargo of Cuba' as defined in section 4.  It is the intent of the committee of the conference that all economic sanctions in force on March 1, 1996 , shall remain in effect until they are either suspended or terminated pursuant to the authorities provided in section 204 of this Act (requiring a Presidential determination that a democratic transition is underway in Cuba).  It is not the intent of this section to prohibit executive branch agencies from amending existing regulations to tighten economic sanctions on Cuba or to implement the provisions of this act."

The banking and credit card portions of Obama's announcement exceed economic sanctions, as they were "in force on March 1, 1996."

Finally, under the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, there is a direct prohibition on "investment in domestic telecommunications services." Moreover, that an "investment" in the domestic telecommunications network within Cuba "includes the contribution (including by donation) of funds or anything of value to or for, and the making of loans to or for, such network."

It remains to be seen whether the telecommunications portion of Obama's announcement abides by this direct prohibition.

These are issues that the U.S. Congress should carefully look into.


WaPo: Obama Gives Castro an Undeserved Bailout

From The Washington Post's Editorial Board:

Obama gives the Castro regime in Cuba an undeserved bailout

In recent months, the outlook for the Castro regime in Cuba was growing steadily darker. The modest reforms it adopted in recent years to improve abysmal economic conditions had stalled, due to the regime’s refusal to allow Cubans greater freedoms. Worse, the accelerating economic collapse of Venezuela meant that the huge subsidies that have kept the Castros afloat for the past decade were in peril. A growing number of Cubans were demanding basic human rights, such as freedom of speech and assembly.

On Wednesday, the Castros suddenly obtained a comprehensive bailout — from the Obama administration. President Obama granted the regime everything on its wish list that was within his power to grant; a full lifting of the trade embargo requires congressional action. Full diplomatic relations will be established, Cuba’s place on the list of terrorism sponsors reviewed and restrictions lifted on U.S. investment and most travel to Cuba. That liberalization will provide Havana with a fresh source of desperately needed hard currency and eliminate U.S. leverage for political reforms.

As part of the bargain, Havana released Alan Gross, a U.S. Agency for International Development contractor who was unjustly imprisoned five years ago for trying to help Cuban Jews. Also freed was an unidentified U.S. intelligence agent in Cuba — as were three Cuban spies who had been convicted of operations in Florida that led to Cuba’s 1996 shootdown of a plane carrying anti-Castro activists. While Mr. Obama sought to portray Mr. Gross’s release as unrelated to the spy swap, there can be no question that Cuba’s hard-line intelligence apparatus obtained exactly what it sought when it made Mr. Gross a de facto hostage.

No wonder Yoani Sánchez, Cuba’s leading dissident blogger, concluded Wednesday that “Castroism has won” and predicted that for weeks Cubans will have to endure proclamations by the government that it is the “winner of its ultimate battle.”

Mr. Obama argued that his sweeping change of policy was overdue because the strategy of isolating the Communist regime “has had little effect.” In fact, Cuba has been marginalized in the Americas for decades, and the regime has been deprived of financial resources it could have used to spread its malignant influence in the region, as Venezuela has done. That the embargo has not succeeded in destroying communism does not explain why all sanctions should be lifted without any meaningful political concessions by Cuba.

U.S. officials said the regime agreed to release 53 political prisoners and allow more access to the Internet. But Raúl Castro promised four years ago to release all political prisoners, so the White House has purchased the same horse already sold to the Vatican and Spain.

The administration says its move will transform relations with Latin America, but that is naive. Countries that previously demanded an end to U.S. sanctions on Cuba will not now look to Havana for reforms; instead, they will press the Obama administration not to sanction Venezuela. Mr. Obama says normalizing relations will allow the United States to be more effective in promoting political change in Cuba. That is contrary to U.S. experience with Communist regimes such as Vietnam, where normalization has led to no improvements on human rights in two decades. Moreover, nothing in Mr. Obama’s record of lukewarm and inconstant support for democratic change across the globe can give Ms. Sánchez and her fellow freedom fighters confidence in this promise.

The Vietnam outcome is what the Castros are counting on: a flood of U.S. tourists and business investment that will allow the regime to maintain its totalitarian system indefinitely. Mr. Obama may claim that he has dismantled a 50-year-old failed policy; what he has really done is give a 50-year-old failed regime a new lease on life.


Cuba's Rulers Get What They Want

By Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe:

The Cuban people keep waiting

After five years in a Cuban dungeon, American contractor Alan Gross is finally free, his release part of a deal to restore full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. But there will be no freedom for the many thousands of Cuban citizens locked in the Castros’ prisons — not even after a US embassy is reopened in Havana.

The United States has always had diplomatic ties with nasty regimes. So in one sense, President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he intends to normalize relations with Cuba merely adds another to the list. But Cuba isn’t just another dictatorship.

For one thing, it is the only remaining totalitarian state in the Western Hemisphere — one where “officials employ a range of tactics to punish dissent and instill fear in the public,” as Human Rights Watch recently summarized conditions on the island, “including beatings, public acts of shaming, termination of employment, and threats of long-term imprisonment.” There is no freedom of speech or religion in Cuba, no due process of law, no right to criticize the government. Nor is there any right to leave, which is why so many Cubans have lost their lives at sea, drowning in desperate attempts to escape.

Moreover, the Cuban regime is one of the few with which Washington severed ties on a fundamental matter of principle, having first welcomed its accession to power. The United States initially supported the Castros’ overthrow of General Fulgencio Batista and swiftly recognized the new government in 1959. It wasn’t until 1961 that President Eisenhower cut diplomatic relations with Havana — and that was only after Castro had seized private property and nationalized (read: stole) billions of dollars’ worth of assets belonging to US companies in Cuba. More than half a century later, that massive larceny is still unrepaid.

As a candidate for president, Obama vowed that his policy toward Cuba would “be guided by one word: Libertad.” But in Cuba, as in virtually every other region of the world touched by Obama’s foreign policy since 2009, liberty has made no gains. Easing trade sanctions has mostly entrenched Cuba’s rulers, who control the island’s economy; easing them further will likely entrench them even more.

The president’s announcement was filled with warm-and-fuzzy rhetoric about the Cuban people’s right to “live with dignity and self-determination” and how the United States has “proudly . . . supported democracy and human rights in Cuba.” But nothing about this normalization reflects the least concession on Cuba’s part. There is no indication of a coming improvement in human rights. No release of unjustly imprisoned dissidents. No end to censorship or one-party Communist control.

The Castros are getting something they have long desired. As for their millions of beleaguered subjects, still unfree and impoverished: They’ll have to wait for another day.

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"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño


le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

Los Aldeanos: "El Socialismo en Tiempos del Colera: Toda Una Nación"


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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva


Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]


A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan


Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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