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 Departamento de Estado. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Departamento de Estado. Mostrar todas las entradas

lunes, junio 09, 2014

Is there a bigger story behind the Bergdahl exchange?


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viernes, diciembre 13, 2013

EEUU condena represión en Cuba en el día de los DDHH

http://www.martinoticias.com/media/video/30163.html
El Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos emitió este jueves un comunicado en el que rechaza las “duras prácticas del gobierno cubano para impedir que la sociedad civil cubana realizara su reconocimiento al Día de los Derechos Humanos.

“El 10 y 11 de diciembre, las autoridades cubanas detuvieron violentamente a decenas de académicos cubanos independientes, periodistas y representantes de la sociedad civil, incluidas las Damas de Blanco y activistas de la Unión Patriótica de Cuba”.

La nota de prensa firmada por Marie Harf, portavoz del Departamento de Estado, recalca que Estados Unidos espera con interés “el día en que todos los cubanos, independientemente de la opinión política, pueda expresarse libremente y sin temor a sufrir hostigamiento o violencia física por parte de su gobierno”.

Arnaldo y su Talismán en el asedio a los activistas de Estado de Sats.
Arnaldo y su Talismán en el asedio a los activistas de Estado de Sats
Por otra parte, los congresistas cubanoamericanos Mario Díaz Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Albio Sires y Joe García, pidieron al Departamento de Estado que impida la entrada a Estados Unidos de artistas como Arnaldo y su Talismán, que han participado en actos de represión contra los activistas y opositores cubanos.

Arnaldo estuvo entre los músicos que alentaron el asedio contra los activistas del Encuentro Internacional de Derechos Humanos. También ha revelado que planea viajar a Estados Unidos como parte de un intercambio cultural.

“La Administración de Obama no debe permitir que estos cómplices de la dictadura asesina de Castro entren en los Estados Unidos”, indicó Díaz-Balart en la petición, basada en una proclama del presidente Obama mediante la cual se ordena la “Suspensión de Entrada como inmigrantes y no inmigrantes de las personas que participan en violaciones de los derechos humanos, del derecho Humanitario y otros abusos".

http://www.martinoticias.com/media/photogallery/30180.html

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miércoles, noviembre 27, 2013

Estados Unidos sanciona a una petrolera suiza por hacer negocios en Cuba e Irán

El Departamento de Justicia estadounidense anunció este martes un acuerdo con la compañía de servicios petroleros suiza Weatherford International Ltd. por valor de 252 millones de dólares, en compensación por violación de las sanciones impuestas por Estados Unidos a Cuba, Irán y Sudán.
La compañía reconoció haber violado varias normas antisobornos de la Ley de Prácticas Corruptas en el Extranjero (FCPA, en inglés) y los controles de exportaciones en el marco de la Ley de Comercio con el Enemigo (TWEA, en inglés), informa EFE.
"Este caso demuestra que vagos controles y un ambiente de cumplimiento anémico pueden impulsar la corrupción y el fraude por varias subsidiarias de la compañía alrededor del mundo", afirmó Mythili Raman, fiscal general adjunta de la División Criminal de la agencia federal.
Raman precisó que, "aunque las amplias labores de remedio y sus esfuerzos para mejorar las funciones de control son signos positivos, la corrupta conducta de Weatherford y sus subsidiarias permitió a la compañía ganar millones de dólares de beneficios ilegales, por lo que ahora están pagando un significativo precio".
Dentro del total de la sanción se incluyen 100 millones de dólares con el Departamento del Tesoro, la mayor a una empresa no financiera, por llevar a cabo negocios en países a los que Estados Unidos aplica restricciones como Irán, Siria, Cuba o Sudán.
Según el documento, Weatherford y sus subsidiarias realizaron servicios petroleros y exportaron tecnologías indirectamente a Irán entre 2003 y 2007.
Asimismo, entre 2005 y 2008, la compañía, que cotiza en la Bolsa de Wall Street, sostuvo amplios negocios, incluidos equipos petroleros, "en los que el Gobierno de Cuba o ciudadanos cubanos sancionados tenían un interés".

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martes, octubre 29, 2013

La Buena Voluntad del embajador Godard: Remesas de EEUU a Cuba sumana $2,000 millones

y como el embajador godard que no es adivino hasta lo que se, puede afirmar que las remesas en efectivo sobrepasaron los 2 mil millones y no los 4 o 5 mil millones. alguien de western union le da la informacion o algun emerito de pittsburgh o ICCAS la estima? alguien registra lo que va de bolsillo a bolsillo y en especie, legalmente y de contrabando? 
la buena voluntad del sr. embajador es coherente con el decursar de los acontecimientos convergentes que se precipitan. 
------------------------------
Las remesas familiares a Cuba desde Estados Unidos sumaron más de dos mil millones de dólares el pasado año, afirmó hoy el embajador Ronald D.Godard, del Departamento de Estado para Asuntos Hemisféricos.

"Deseo dejar bien claro que Estados Unidos es en realidad amigo del pueblo cubano. Esto fue posible gracias a decisiones en la política exterior estadounidense", subrayó Godard al hablar ante la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas en Nueva York.

“En el 2012, Estados Unidos fue el suministrador principal de alimentos y exportó casi 465 millones de dólares, en productos agrícolas, en instrumentos médicos, medicinas, y artículos humanitarios, a Cuba. De acuerdo al propio gobierno cubano, Estados Unidos es uno de los principales socios comerciales de Cuba", agregó el embajador.

Godard hizo esa afirmaciones durante la sesión del organismo mundial que aprobó por 22 años consecutivos, una resolución presentanda por Cuba, pidiendo el fin del  embargo comercial de Estados Unidos.

La resolución fue aprobada por 188 votos a favor, dos en contra (Estados Unidos e Israel) y tres abstenciones (Micronesia, Palau y las Islas Marshall).

Además de la importancia de las remesas y el comercio con Cuba, a pesar del embargo, Estados Unidos se convirtió en el sexto país emisor de turistas a Cuba, con la llegada a la isla de 98,050 viajeros en 2012, según datos oficiales divulgados en La Habana por la Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas e Información (ONEI).

El flujo de viajeros estadounidenses a Cuba se duplicó en los últimos seis años de acuerdo a las cifras publicadas por la ONEI en el capítulo de turismo del Anuario Estadístico de Cuba 2012. El número de turistas estadounidenses ha tenido un incremento progresivo, desde que en 2007 llegaron a la isla 40,521.

La cifra de turistas estadounidenses a Cuba, que no son de origen cubano, dio un salto de 25,000 viajeros el pasado año, colocando a Estados Unidos en el sexto lugar, precedido de Canadá, Inglaterra y Alemania, y tan sólo a pocos miles de viajeros de Italia y Francia.

Estados Unidos superó a Argentina, Rusia, España y México, por ese orden en el número de viajeros a Cuba, según datos de la ONEI. Las cifras sobre visitantes estadounidenses no incluyen a los cubanos y cubanoamericanos que viajan a la isla para visitar a sus familiares.

Las visitas de los cubanoamericanos también han aumentado desde que en 2009 el gobierno de Washington flexibilizó sus viajes y en 2012 sumaron 475,936 viajeros.

Aunque el embargo económico prohíbe el turismo comercial a Cuba, el presidente Barack Obama flexibilizó en enero de 2011 algunas regulaciones, permitiendo visitas por motivos académicos, religiosos, culturales o deportivos, bajo una política que Washington denomina "promoción del contacto persona a persona”.

La Oficina de Control de Bienes Extranjeros (OFAC) del Departamento del Tesoro, es la encargada de otorgar las licencias a los ciudadanos estadounidenses para esos viajes a Cuba.

El pasado mes de junio la OFAC publicó la más reciente lista de proveedores autorizados de servicios de transporte, viaje, y envíos de remesas a Cuba. La lista revela un aumento significativo de las agencias con licencia para realizar vuelos fletados a la isla. Este año la cifra de charteadoras aumentó a 31 agencias, superando las 12 autorizadas en el 2011.

En consonancia con ese aumento, Miami se convirtió este verano en la ciudad con mayor cantidad de vuelos a Cuba, superando a las ciudades canadienses de Toronto y Montreal, según una reciente investigación de la organización The Havana Consulting Group.

Un monitoreo sobre los vuelos a Cuba desde Estados Unidos, efectuado por esa firma desde el 17 de junio al 17 de julio reveló que en ese período se registraron 332 vuelos con siete destinos diferentes en el territorio cubano. La ciudad que acogió mayor cantidad de vuelos fue La Habana, con 230, seguida de Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Holguín y Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba y Manzanillo.

Los vuelos fueron realizados por seis aerolíneas, con aviones con capacidad de 150 asientos. La que mayor cantidad de vuelos fue Skyking, World Atlantic y American Airlines.

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viernes, octubre 25, 2013

Ladies in White Leader Meets Senior State Department Officials

From the U.S. Department of State:

Today, Thursday, October 24th, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman met with the Damas de Blanco spokesperson Berta Soler to discuss the human rights situation in Cuba. The Under Secretary praised Ms. Soler for her leadership, and shared the Department’s deep concern over the Cuban Government’s continued suppression of peaceful activities carried out by Damas de Blanco and other independent civil society groups. The Under Secretary expressed solidarity with Damas de Blanco member Sonia Garro Alfonso, who continues to suffer reprisals for her advocacy on behalf of political prisoners and the Afro-Cuban community.



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U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power Meets Rosa Maria Paya

In The Washington Post:

US envoy to UN meets with Cuban dissident’s daughter, presses for investigation into his death

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power says she met with the daughter of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya and discussed the need for an investigation into his death.

Power has been advocating for an investigation into Paya’s death since taking up her post as ambassador to the United Nations in August. One of her first acts as ambassador was to ask Cuba’s foreign minister during a rare encounter at the U.N. for an investigation.

Power said in a tweet Tuesday that she spoke with Rosa Maria Paya about “the need for an international/independent investigation” into her father’s death.

Cuba’s government said Paya died in a car crash in July 2012 but his family insists the crash was not an accident and has pressed for an international investigation.
Spoke w/@RosaMariaPaya about her father's dream of a democratic Cuba & the need for an international/independent investigation of his death.
— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) October 22, 2013
Today @AmbassadorPower met with @RosaMariaPaya, daughter of Oswaldo Paya. pic.twitter.com/azJZRBi8Zf
— Erin Pelton (@erin_pelton) October 22, 2013

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miércoles, junio 19, 2013

State Dept. Unsure if Taliban Still Considered Terrorists

State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she was "not sure" whether the Taliban is designated as a terrorist organization when a reporter pressed her on negotiations between the United States and the Islamist group during Tuesday's press briefing. 

These talks come on the heels of the Taliban opening offices in Qatar, allegedly to aid the Afghan government's progress toward stability without a U.S. presence. 
The international coalition recently gave primary responsibility for Afghanistan's security to the country's army and police. Now the Taliban have opened offices in Qatar to facilitate talks for a political solution.
From the Associated Press:
In a major breakthrough, the Taliban and the U.S. announced Tuesday that they will hold formal talks on finding a political solution to ending nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan but President Barack Obama warned the process won't be quick or easy.
The comments came on a day in which Afghan forces took the lead from the U.S.-led NATO coalition for security nationwide, marking a turning point for American and NATO military forces, which will now move entirely into a supporting role. It also opened the way for the full withdrawal of most foreign troops in 18 months
After months of delays, the Taliban opened a political office in the Qatari capital of Doha, paving the way for talks to begin. The decision was a reversal of months of failed efforts to start peace talks while Taliban militants intensified a campaign targeting urban centers and government installations.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has halted these talks with the United States "to protest the way the Americans are reaching out to the Taliban in efforts to find a political solution to the war." Karzai expressed his disappointment with the U.S. government for holding direct talks with the Taliban before bringing Afghan officials into the negotiations.
When reminded that the Taliban was once labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S., Psaki said that she was "not sure how they’re defined at this particular moment." 

QUESTION: I’m going to carry on with what Matt’s question is about – negotiating, the legality of it. I mean, in the eyes of the U.S., is Taliban a terrorist group?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I’m not sure how they’re defined at this particular moment.
QUESTION: Yeah.
MS. PSAKI: But the important thing here is that we’ve long said that moving toward a reconciliation process, of which they are a key part – the President has said this, the Secretary has said this – is an important part of moving towards a more stable Afghanistan. That’s why we support these efforts. That’s why we’ve been so engaged, why the Secretary has been so engaged, at every level of the government.
Psaki made this statement within hours of a Taliban attack that killed four American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.
From the Associated Press:
The Taliban claimed responsibility Wednesday for an attack in Afghanistan that killed four American troops just hours after the insurgent group announced it would hold talks with the U.S. on finding a political solution to ending the nearly 12-year war in the country.
The deadly attack underscores the challenges ahead in trying to end the violence roiling Afghanistan through peace negotiations in Qatar with militants still fighting on the ground.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the insurgents fired two rockets into the Bagram Air Base outside the Afghan capital, Kabul, late on Tuesday. American officials confirmed the base had come under attack by indirect fire -- likely a mortar or rocket -- and that four U.S. troops were killed.


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miércoles, junio 12, 2013

O'Reilly: Another day, another scandal


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martes, junio 11, 2013

CBS: State Dept. Covered Up Investigations into Sexual Misconduct

breitbart

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viernes, mayo 31, 2013

State Department: Havana Provides Safe Haven to US Fugitives

By Juan O. Tamayo, jtamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com
Cuba is harboring and supporting U.S. fugitives but may be trying to distance itself from two dozen members of a Basque terrorist group who live on the island, according to the State Department’s annual Country Report on Terrorism released Thursday.
The report for 2012 is totally separate from the department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, which now includes Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan and subjects those nations to a special set of U.S. economic and other sanctions.
Advocates of keeping or removing Cuba from the list awaited the 2012 report with special interest because of media reports earlier this year, flatly denied by the State Department, that Secretary of State John Kerry would take Havana off the list.
The Cuba section of the 2012 report appeared to be similar to the section in 2011, with both noting that Havana authorities are continuing to harbor fugitives wanted in the United States and supporting them with housing, ration books and medical care.
One such fugitive is Joanne Chesimard, on the FBI’s “most wanted terrorist” list since 2005. A Black Panther who was convicted in the 1973 murder of New Jersey State Trooper, she escaped from prison in 1979 and turned up in Havana in 1984. The FBI hiked the reward offered for her capture to $2 million in April.
“There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups,” the 2012 report said, in wording almost exactly the same as in the 2011 report.
Both reports also noted “suggestions” that Havana has tried to distance itself from members of Spain’s Basque Homeland and Liberty (ETA), classified by Washington as a terrorist group, who live in Cuba by “not providing services, including travel documents, to some of them.”
The 2012 version adds that two dozen ETA members are living in Cuba.
Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also classified as a terror group, received refuge in Cuba in past years, according to the latest version. The 2011 report noted that FARC members had received medical assistance. The FARC and Colombian government are currently holding peace talks in Havana.
Both reports also noted that the U.S. Financial Actions Task Force has identified Cuba as having “strategic … deficiencies” in the fight against terrorism financing and money laundering. The latest report adds that Cuba has now joined a regional body designed for that purpose.
Cuba has been on the separate U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1982. Havana also is on a separate U.S. government list, with Venezuela and others, of countries that are not “cooperating fully with United States antiterrorism efforts.”
To remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors, the White House is required to notify the U.S. Congress that Cuba has not engaged in terrorism for some time and promised not to do so again.

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miércoles, mayo 15, 2013

White House releases additional documents related to Benghazi response

 
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Read on firstread >>
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jueves, mayo 09, 2013

Is This The Reasion Why The White House Will Not Release The Benghazi Emails?

War News Updates
Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Jones told Libya's president one day after the Benghazi attack that Islamic terrorists had killed the U.S. Ambassador and reduced the compound to a burnt-out shell
Secret Email Reveals Top Official Told Libya's U.S. Abmassador That Terrorists Were Behind Benghazi Attack - Four Days BEFORE U.S. Ambassador To UN Said It Was A Spontaneous Attack -- Daily Mail

Sept. 11: Terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya
Sept. 12: State Dept. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs tells Libya's President that Ansar al-Sharia was responsible
Sept. 13: CIA writes candid talking points for members of Congress
Sept. 15: White House deputies edit the talking points, removing all references to Islamic terrorism
Sept. 16: UN Ambassador Susan Rice, in five television interviews, blames the attack on a spontaneous mob angered by an anti-Islam YouTube video

A top State Department appointee told Libya's ambassador to the United States one day after the military-style assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that the terror group Ansar al-Shariah was responsible.

But four days later, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations said on television that it was the product of a spontaneous protest.

During a fiery and emotional congressional hearing on the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Rep. Trey Gowdy read aloud from an email dated Sept. 12, 2012 to senior State Department officers, from Elizabeth Jones, the acting Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

Read more >>

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Boehner calls for release of Benghazi emails as pressure grows on administration


Pressure on the Obama administration to release more information about the Benghazi attack grew Thursday, as House Speaker John Boehner demanded officials turn over emails pertaining to the controversial "talking points" and another top Republican appealed for more whistle-blowers to come forward.
On the heels of a dramatic hearing where three whistle-blowers testified, Fox News has learned that former Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday, on the Hill for a meeting with House Republicans, also told lawmakers: "I think Hillary (Clinton) should be subpoenaed if necessary."
The comments and developments signal that Republicans will continue to press for answers on the deadly Sept. 11 attack. Despite arguments from Democrats that the hearing was not nearly as shocking as Republicans made it out to be, GOP lawmakers said it raised troubling questions that need to be investigated.
"The truth shouldn't be hidden from the American people behind a White House firewall," Boehner said Thursday. "Four Americans lost their lives in this terrorist attack. Congress will continue to investigate this issue, using all of the resources at our disposal."
Boehner specifically urged the Obama administration to make public a set of internal emails that some lawmakers had been able to review but not keep.
One of the emails apparently showed a top State Department official saying a group affiliated with Islamic terrorists was responsible for the strike. Separate emails, though, allegedly depict the White House and State Department pressing lower-level officials to remove references to terrorism in talking points about the attacks.
Based on those talking points, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice would go on five Sunday talk shows shortly after the attacks to claim they were triggered by protests over an anti-Islam film. Top officials would later claim the flawed assessment was based on the best intelligence at the time, but the testimony from whistle-blowers Wednesday indicated that those on the ground knew the attack was terrorism.
"The YouTube video was a non-event in Libya," Greg Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified Wednesday.
After the hearing, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa said he will continue to seek whistle-blowers to "come forward."
"Candidly, as quickly as possible, we simply want to have the whistleblowers that are still out there, in fact witnesses that are still out there to come forward, tell us their story. We will get it out and we will close up this investigation," he told Fox News.
Issa, R-Calif., is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which held the hearing.
The wide-ranging and dramatic testimony Wednesday raised several fresh questions about the attack. Witnesses questioned why security had not been tightened in Benghazi in the months leading up to the assault and why U.S. military assets did not respond sooner that night, with one alleging a military team was not given permission to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi the next morning.
Further, they raised serious concerns about the administration's initial decision to describe the attack as a protest gone awry despite evidence on the ground to the contrary.
In startling testimony, Hicks also claimed the State Department retaliated against him after he raised questions about that decision. He claimed that Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Jones delivered a "blistering critique" of his management style after he criticized Rice's initial claim that the attack was tied to anger over an anti-Islam film. He also claimed that he was counseled to avoid personally discussing the attack with Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz and was "effectively demoted" to a desk officer in the end.
Issa, in a written statement after Wednesday's hearing, called the alleged retaliation and intimidation "perhaps most troubling."
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., top Democrat on the committee, vowed to protect the whistle-blowers while criticizing his Republican colleagues for allegedly trying to politicize the tragedy. He claimed afterward that the testimony only served to undercut Republican allegations.
"What should have been a bipartisan investigation involving our national security was another sorry example of Republicans promising explosive new facts but delivering only a press spectacle," he said in a statement.
The committee may move to hear testimony next from at least one leader of the State Department's internal review of the Benghazi attack. Though the leaders, former Joints Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, apparently declined to testify, Pickering told MSNBC on Wednesday that he is willing to speak.
Issa spokesman Frederick Hill on Thursday noted the "change of heart" -- but also said neither Pickering nor the administration has contacted the committee about possible testimony.
Several claims from Wednesday's hearing could open up new lines of inquiry on the attack and its aftermath. Among them, Hicks claimed that Rice's faulty claims about the nature of the attack hurt the FBI investigation.
Hicks argued that Rice's comments so insulted the Libyan president -- since they contradicted his Sept. 16 claims that the attack was premeditated -- that it slowed the FBI's investigation.
"President Magariaf was insulted in front of his own people, in front of the world. His credibility was reduced," Hicks said, adding that the president was apparently "still steamed" two weeks later.
This bad blood, he claimed, contributed to the FBI team being stuck in Tripoli for about 17-18 days.
"I definitely believe that it negatively affected our ability to get the FBI team quickly to Benghazi," he said, adding that the U.S. could not even get the Libyans to secure the crime scene during that time.

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sábado, mayo 04, 2013

The State Department on Mariela Castro's visa

www.voanoticias.com
From the U.S. State Department's Daily Press Briefing with spokesperson Patrick Ventrell:

QUESTION: One directly has to – relates to travel restrictions. And that is, have you gotten this letter from three members of Congress – Representative Ros-Lehtinen, Representative Sires, and Representative Diaz-Balart about Castro’s – about Ms. Castro’s visa?

MR. VENTRELL: I’ll have to check on that, Matt. I wasn’t aware of that this morning.

QUESTION: Okay, well, regardless, the letter sent to Secretary Kerry was just sent, I think, this morning. So I’m not surprised you don’t have it. But perhaps you are able to answer some of the questions that they have --

MR. VENTRELL: I’ll do my best.

QUESTION: One is, why – these are questions that they asked: Why is the State Department ignoring current U.S. law by continuing to provide visas to Cuban Communist Party operatives such as Mariela Castro?

MR. VENTRELL: I do have a little bit of information about this. And again, what I said about adjudicating visas based on U.S. laws is something that we absolutely do. While we can’t discuss the individual – specific details of individual cases, under Presidential Proclamation 5377 and other applicable requirements, those are all duly considered and strictly followed in adjudicating visa applications submitted by Cuban nationals. Each visa request is reviewed on a case by case basis, including with our agency partners, and there’s no blanket ban on issuing visas to Cuban Government officials.

QUESTION: Okay. Number two: Given the fact that the United States must preclude any travel outside of a 25 mile radius – New York – for Cuban operatives – and I understand she was given a visa to go to New York to attend some kind of UN meeting – why did Mariela Castro get permission to go outside that 25 mile radius and attend this conference in Philadelphia?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, I can’t speak about specific cases. You’re right, Matt, that for certain countries at the UN, there are specific restrictions about officials who have come from that country who are going just for UN business in terms of traveling outside that radius, but those can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

QUESTION: So if the – and not – and again, not specifically about this case, which you say you can’t talk about specifically, but if permission was granted, it would – to go outside that radius, it would have been because there was some kind of compelling reason for that person to do so? Is that correct?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, they have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

QUESTION: All right. And then the last one is – it’s a question about reciprocity --

MR. VENTRELL: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- and whether U.S. diplomats in Cuba are given the – are freed or the restrictions on their travel have been either removed or eased in any way.

MR. VENTRELL: I’m not aware that they’ve been eased. There certainly are restrictions on our people, and at times, from time to time in the past, we’ve had frustrations or problems with travel, even sometimes for routine consular matters. But I’d have to check in terms of the very recent past.

QUESTION: All right. But you don’t know of any specific reciprocity for – in exchange for the Mariela Castro (inaudible)?

MR. VENTRELL: Not in this specific case, but reciprocity is something that is one of our principal concerns and something that does govern how we look at this.

QUESTION: Okay. And when you do answer – when you do get this letter, when the Secretary does get this letter, and presumably there will go – be a response --

MR. VENTRELL: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- do you know if the Department is able to say more to members of Congress than you are allowed to say from the podium?

MR. VENTRELL: I think there are some waivers to visa confidentiality for members of Congress, and I think that they’ll be able to answer in more detail in terms of how this specific presidential – again, let me read it to you again. It’s --

QUESTION: Yeah, no, they cite it --

MR. VENTRELL: Okay.

QUESTION: -- 5377, Section 1, all right.

MR. VENTRELL: Yeah. So I imagine in the letter we’ll be able to get into more detail.

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martes, abril 30, 2013

Another State Department Concession to the Castro Family: Mariela exemption

Last week, the State Department decided to deny permission to Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela, to travel to Philadelphia to attend an LGBT conference.

Today, it reconsidered and an official told CNN that, "the restriction on her visa has been lifted."

In doing so, the State Department has (yet again) made an exemption for the Cuban dictator's daughter from Presidential Proclamation 5377, which denies visas to Cuban nationals affiliated with that country's totalitarian regime.

Mariela is not only the daughter of Cuba's dictator, but she is a member of his regime's National Assembly, a spokesperson for its repression against democracy activists (whom she refers to as "despicable parasites") and a defender of the arbitrary taking of American hostage Alan Gross.

Moreover, this throws (yet another) bucket of cold water on President Obama's Presidential Proclamation 8697 of August 2011, which sought to "close the gap" in granting visas to foreign nationals affiliated with human rights violators -- and singling-out "prolonged arbitrary detentions" as a main violation.

Mariela's father, is one of the world's worst offenders of such detentions.

Just this weekend, dozens of members of the Ladies in White pro-democracy group were savagely beaten and arrested for their peaceful  advocacy.

Despite this, the Castro family gets rewarded with another U.S. visit.

Let's be clear on another point:  Mariela Castro does not support "LGBT rights."

She doesn't support the right of any Cuban -- gay or straight -- to exercise their fundamental human rights.

To claim that Mariela Castro supports the rights of LGBTs, while she supports violating the fundamental rights of all Cubans, is nonsensical. 

Why doesn't Mariela allow the recognition of independent LGBT groups on the island?  

Or any independent group for that matter?

To continue rewarding the Castro family, while they continue brutalizing men, women and children (of all sexual preferences) is insulting and demoralizing to all those courageously clamoring for freedom

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viernes, febrero 22, 2013

US State Department: No Current Plans to Remove Cuba From Terrorism List‏

www.itsmachas.com
again for now. in politics it is not what you see.
------------------------------
From today's State Department Daily Press Briefing with Spokesperson Victoria Nuland:

QUESTION: There are reports today that Secretary Kerry is in discussions on possibly removing Cuba from the state sponsor terror list. Can you comment on that?

MS. NULAND: I saw that report. Let me say firmly here it is incorrect. This Department has no current plans to remove Cuba from the state sponsor of terrorism list.

QUESTION: And why not?

MS. NULAND: We review this every year, and at the current moment we – when the last review was done in 2012, we didn’t see cause to remove them. We’ll obviously look at it again this year, but as I said, we don’t have any plans at the moment.

QUESTION: Sorry, really quick, can you just give a little bit more of an explanation of what exactly are the – what makes a country – I mean, what are the specifications for a country being on the state sponsor of terror?

MS. NULAND: Well, we’ve talked about this before here. There’s a limit to what I can get into because it takes me into intelligence. But we do – we are required to look at these lists every year and to judge countries individually against the standards in the legislation. And we did that in 2012. We’ll obviously have to do it again in 2013.

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miércoles, diciembre 26, 2012

State Department official who 'resigned' after Libya findings reportedly staying on payroll

foxnews

Eric Boswell, the former assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, and Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security. (AP)
A State Department security chief who was said to have resigned last week after the release of a scathing report about security lapses at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in the run-up to the terror attack that killed four Americans reportedly is still on the department's payroll.
The New York Post reports that Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, has not resigned from the department, as a State Department spokeswoman indicated Dec. 19. Boswell is instead just "switching desks," according to the report.
Three other State Department officials, including Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, were placed on administrative leave after the release of the report. However, according to the Post they are expected to return.
The State Department-ordered investigation of the attack found that "systemic failures" had left the consulate facility in Libya inadequately protected.
The report, which was presented to Congress by an independent review board on Dec. 18, also concluded that no protest preceded the attack, despite earlier claims made by the Obama administration.
The State Department responded to the New York Post's questions about the employment status of Boswell and other officials by reissuing an earlier statement confirming Boswell's decision to resign.
More on NYPost.com >>

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lunes, junio 04, 2012

State Gave Mariela Castro VIP Treatment

In case you still have any doubt that the State Department knew exactly what it was doing in exempting Cuban dictator Raul Castro's daughter from the visa ban for senior regime officials, just take a look at the picture below.

Those are State Department Diplomatic Security (DS) special agents flanking her.

In addition to protecting the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, DS special agents are also assigned to protect cabinet-level foreign dignitaries who visit the United States.

Thus, Mariela Castro was not merely a sexologist going to a conference in San Francisco.

And State knew that.


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domingo, junio 03, 2012

State Department Press Briefing on Mariela Castro and Alan Gross


Special Briefing
Michael A. Hammer
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
June 1, 2012
Extract:
QUESTION: Did she [Mariela Castro] meet with a member of the administration, and second is there some progress in the matter of Alan Gross. The Secretary met with [Judy] Gross this week. Is there anything to report in this regard?
MR. HAMMER: First, no one from the administration met with Mariela Castro. Second, the issue of Alan Gross is something we consider every day here. The State Department is very concerned about his health and situation. Secretary Clinton, as you mentioned, met with his wife, Judy Gross, and continues to urge the Cuban authorities, well, to release him immediately. It is a very unfair case, and even for humanitarian reasons they should allow Alan Gross to come to visit his 90 year-old mother, who is ill, just as René González was allowed to go to Havana in a similar humanitarian case. We will continue to insist. I really cannot understand why the Cuban regime does not allow Alan Gross to have his freedom. But at least it should allow a humanitarian release, given the seriousness of the illness of his mother, who is very old.
QUESTION: And the United States has always argued that this is a case that cannot be compared with the other case. Now you say that, it should now be with Gross just like it was for Rene. Isn’t this comparison just like that made by Havana?
MR. HAMMER: No, the only thing similar is that here, our judicial authorities gave humanitarian permission in a similar situation in the case of Rene Gonzalez, who had a relative who was also very sick. There are very different circumstances under which the Cuban spies were imprisoned here than for Alan Gross, who actually was working in an appropriate manner in Cuba. Therefore the cases are very different, but they are similar in that there sometimes are circumstances where you want to see that you can provide a way out for someone for humanitarian reasons; and one would like to see the same kind of understanding by the Cuban authorities. But let me be clear, Alan Gross should not be imprisoned. He has been unfairly imprisoned for more than two years and five months. In this case, he should be released immediately, and that is what we believe. But if they are not ready to do that now, at least in this case they should grant a humanitarian visit.

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lunes, enero 23, 2012

State Department Adds Insult to Death

Capitol Hill Cubans



On Friday, The White House released a non-political statement of condolence for the death of Cuban prisoner of conscience Wilmar Villar Mendoza.

That was appropriate.

But it was insulting for the State Department to follow-up with this political statement:

"We will continue to support, in the words of the president, ‘pockets of freedom’ in Cuba through Cuban American family visits and remittances, purposeful travel, and humanitarian assistance to dissidents and their families."

How has the Obama Administration's travel and remittance policy created "pockets of freedom"?

To the contrary, it has more than doubled the Castro regime's hard currency reserves (as confirmed by the Bank for International Settlements), which is currently bankrolling the worst wave of repression in 30 years (since President Jimmy Carter had a similar policy).

How did the Obama Administration's policy help Wilman Villar Menodza, Laura Pollan or Orlando Zapata Tamayo?

To the contrary, it never mentioned them once by name until after their tragic deaths.

How have the Obama Administration's new "purposeful" travel regulations helped Cuba's courageous pro-democracy leaders?

To the contrary, the trips being approved by State (and pre-approved by the Cuban dictatorship) are focused on salsa dancing, baseball games, cigar factories and visits with the Castro family, the Ministry of Tourism, the repressive Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) and other regime entities.

We challenge State and Treasury to show us just one approved "people-to-people" itinerary that includes visits with the Ladies in White, the Cuban Patriotic Union or any of the numerous pro-democracy groups across the island.

They don't exist. Why?

Because the Obama Administration's "people-to-people" travel category is not aimed at supporting these courageous pro-democracy activists. It is aimed at creating greater understanding with their oppressors, the Castro regime.

Otherwise, there would have been no need for a new "people-to-people" travel category, for anyone who wants to travel to Cuba to support pro-democracy activists could do so under the long-standing travel category of "Support for the Cuban People" (aimed at helping human rights groups, pro-democracy activists and civil society).

To add even further insult, State and Treasury's requirements for travel under the "Support of the Cuban People" are more stringent than those under Obama's "people-to-people" tours led by the Castro regime.

That's right, the Obama Administration's policy makes it more burdensome to travel to Cuba to help pro-democracy activists than to travel on a "people-to-people" tour hosted by the Castro regime.

That is a fact.

It is the same absurd rationale that has led the Administration to exchange letters with Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei, while democracy activist filled the streets, and that originally led them to send envoys to come to terms with the "reformer" Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The result?

Emboldened regimes that have resorted to greater violence without any consequence.

Enough is enough.

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"Hablame"

"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

(el-alto-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

Seguidores

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]

Liborio

Liborio
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

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

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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