Why do America's left-wing politicians have such affinity for Fidel Castro? Is he really such a
great role model? Is Cuba the great socialist utopia that liberal Democrats want the U.S. to be?
No, Cuba is just one of many dictatorships with which
Barack H. Obama is too friendly.
Subtopic: Elian Gonzalez
Related topic: The Guantanamo Bay Prison
Is About to Visit Cuba. He Should Know It Hasn't Changed. There are only 90 miles of ocean between the
longest dictatorship in the Americas and the longest uninterrupted democracy. These waters are filled with tears for the
disappearance of thousands of Cuban rafters who fled the Castro government and its miseries; this is a narrow sea that divided
for many years families, friends and lovers. Cuba has not changed. Fidel Castro ousted a dictatorship only to
establish his own. He seized power violently: robbing, expropriating and executing Cubans. The world must not
forget it. Not once did he call for open elections. He took over the media, transforming it into a big public
relations machine for the state, and he expropriated all forms of private property during the '60s.
[is] Rationing Eggs, Rice and Soap. Socialism works. If you doubt that, stop by North Korea, Venezuela or
Cuba. After helping reduce Venezuela to the brink of famine, Cuba is rationing basic foodstuffs.
to widen food rationing as supply crisis bites. The Cuban government will widen the wholesale rationing of
staple food items and other basic products in the face of a grave supply crisis, Commerce Minister Betsy Diaz Velazquez said
Friday [5/10/2019]. She said some items, such as chicken, would be limited to a fixed amount per purchase or per
customer. Other items, including eggs, rice, beans and sausages, would only be available to buy with a ration card, and
would be limited to a maximum monthly amount.
cancels annual 'Conga Against Homophobia' parade. Cuban gay rights activists denounced the government's
decision to cancel this year's parade against homophobia, accusing it of snatching away their main platform at a key moment
as the Caribbean nation is set to debate legalizing same-sex marriage. The state-run National Center for Sex Education
(CENESEX), which has spearheaded advances in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in recent years, announced
on Monday it would not hold its 12th annual conga.
Maduro was preparing to flee to Cuba but was stopped by Russia, Pompeo says. Venezuelan leader Nicolás
Maduro was prepared to leave the country Tuesday [4/30/2019] and seek asylum in Cuba but was stopped by Russia, U.S. officials
said. "We've watched throughout the day, it's been a long time since anyone's seen Maduro," Pompeo told CNN.
"He had an airplane on the tarmac, he was ready to leave this morning as we understand it and the Russians indicated he
should stay." Pompeo said Maduro had been planning to travel to Havana.
goes for a twofer: Knocking Cuba's socialist dictatorship out along with Venezuela's. Cuba, the socialist
police state so adored by Obama administration twerps like Ben Rhodes, is finding itself in the line of fire for its brutal
grip on Venezuela. President Trump has vowed to make the socialist dictatorship pay by threatening Cuba with 'full and
complete' sanctions, which is exactly what it deserves.
threatens Cuba with 'full and complete' embargo, 'highest-level sanctions,' citing Venezuela role. As Venezuela
plunged into a dramatic televised scene of chaos and violence on Tuesday, President Trump warned he would impose a "full and
complete embargo" and sanctions on Cuba if its troops do not cease operations in the ravaged South American nation.
National Security Adviser John Bolton alleged earlier Tuesday that Cuban troops were keeping Maduro in power in Caracas.
"It's a very delicate moment," Bolton said, adding that "all options" remained on the table — including,
potentially, a U.S. military intervention. "The president wants to see a peaceful transfer of power."
Arrests Pastor, Wife During Holy Week for Promoting Homeschooling. The communist government of Cuba once again
arrested Pastor Ramón Rigal and wife Ayda Expósito on Wednesday [4/17/2019] shortly before they had planned to
leave the country. Rigal and his wife are at the forefront of an Evangelical movement against allowing the regime to
educate their children. The organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) confirmed the arrests Thursday but did
not provide details on what prompted them, according to the Spain-based Diario de Cuba.
Bolton Honors the Bay of Pigs Freedom-Fighters, Who Obama Apologized For. "It is an honor to address you all
(The Bay of Pigs Veterans Association) today. I am delighted to be here in Miami among such brave and distinguished
company. Our nation and this region are forever in debt to you." (John Bolton, April 17, 2019, the 58th Anniversary
Of the Bay of Pigs freedom-fight.) "I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things (the Bay of Pigs
freedom-fight) that happened when I was three months old... We are not dug into policies that were formulated before I was
born." (An abject President Obama groveling to Communist/drug-trafficking/ terror-sponsors Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez
and Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas in 2009 during his famous "apology tour.") But one craven, sniveling apology
to the terror-sponsoring mass-murderers whose lifelong craving was to nuke his country wasn't enough for President Obama.
Visits Cuba to Learn about "Economic Development" and "Quality of Life". The Democrat mayor and a retinue of
associated New Orleans city officials spent all of last week in Havana, Cuba [...] In a way, however, the visit seems
appropriate. After all, the rulers of one place drove out practically all productive residents with punitive socialist
policies that converted a once charming and prosperous place into a huge slum except for a few tourism enclaves. The
other place is named Cuba. From Stalinist Cuba Democrat Cantrell dutifully performed all the traditional Democrat
rituals mandatory for such visits, primarily hailing Cuba's glorious "healthcare and education!"
ousts its dictator, Cuba experiences a sugar-daddy shortage. Algeria's longtime socialist strongman, Abdelaziz
Bouteflika, got thrown out of power this week, following 20 years of what even he admits was failed rule. He got thrown
out the way they all pretty much do, given the predictable-as-sunrise failure of socialism. He was hardly the worst of
them; he just seems to have gotten too old to stay a strongman. Fine and dandy. What's cool, though, is that
Bouteflika's exit creates some problems — big problems — for the Castro dictatorship over in Cuba.
Bouteflika was one of their longtime candymen, sending funds to prop up the otherwise unsustainable regime through his
employment of the Castroite Cuban doctors program, which brought the regime big cash.
would need to spend $2 billion a year for oil if Venezuela stops deliveries. Cuba would have to spend nearly $2
billion a year to meet its domestic oil needs if Venezuela's National Assembly and interim president Juan Guaidó manage
to stop deliveries to the Caribbean island. "Cuba's demand for oil is about 130,000 barrels per day, and Cuba produces
about 50,000 barrels per day, which means a deficit of about 80,000 barrels per day," said Jorge Piñón, director of
the Latin American Energy Program at the University of Texas at Austin.
administration allows first lawsuits against Cuba for US property seized during Castro's revolution. The Trump
administration is taking a historic step against the Cuban military and intelligence services controlling that country and
propping up Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro, the State Department announced Monday. For the first time, U.S.
citizens will be able to sue some entities whose businesses are built on property seized from them in the aftermath of Fidel
Castro's 1959 Communist revolution. Title III of the Libertad Act, also known as the Helms-Burton Act, authorized such
lawsuits but has been suspended by successive presidents every six months since it passed in 1996.
Sounds like a cover story:
attacks' at US embassy in Cuba may have just been crickets. The sonic attacks that afflicted diplomats at the
US Embassy in Cuba could have just been the work of crickets, according to a report Sunday [1/6/2019]. The embassy in
Havana cut its staff in half in 2017 after dozens of people complained of headaches, nausea and other ailments from hearing
mysterious, penetrating high-pitched noises — believed to be an acoustic weapon — possibly from the
Russians. But a fresh analysis of an audio recording made by US personnel in Cuba revealed that the source of the
piercing din is the song of the Indies short-tailed cricket, known as Anurogryllus celerinictus, a study says.
The Editor says...
If this explanation had any merit, the deafening effects of these crickets would have been discovered long ago.
Cuba health mystery: Diplomats
had inner-ear damage early on. American diplomats affected by mysterious health incidents in Cuba showed damage
in the inner ear shortly after they complained of weird noises and sensations, according to their earliest medical exams,
publicized Wednesday [12/12/2018].
Cuba Has Detained Half a Million Dissidents, Still Starving Prisoners to Death. Cuba continues to employ
starvation and dehydration as a mechanism to break political prisoners physically and mentally, Breitbart News learned from a
former political prisoner on Friday [12/7/2018]. The practice of starving detainees and limiting their access to water
remains "a systematic and official practice," Luis Zúñiga, a former political prisoner, declared during an event on
human rights in Cuba hosted by the Organization of American States (OAS).
U.S. Should Do More to Hold Cuba Accountable for Sonic 'Attacks'. Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said the
United States should find additional ways to punish Cuba after the Canadian government confirmed that one of their diplomats
assigned to Havana developed the same mysterious health problems that nearly two dozen U.S. personnel and other Canadian
diplomats experienced. Canada's government on Thursday [11/29/2018] announced it is reviewing its diplomatic presence
in Cuba after confirming that the staff member was affected. Medical tests showed that the person suffered from the
same health issues that had affected a dozen other Canadian personnel, spouses, and their children, officials said.
diplomats allowed to leave Cuba after another employee falls ill. Canadian diplomats stationed in Cuba are
being allowed to return home after another employee mysteriously fell ill. Eight employees and five children have
reported unexplained symptoms including headaches, dizziness and trouble concentrating. American diplomats in Havana
have also fallen ill with the ailments.
Rhodes now looking like Castro's biggest dupe. The New Yorker this week has an amazingly good investigative
piece by Adam Entous and Jon Lee Anderson titled 'The Havana Syndrome,' exploring every aspect and angle of the sonic or
electromagnetic attacks on U.S. diplomats and CIA officers last year in Cuba. I read the 10,000-word piece, and was
struck by all of its amazingly well-reported angles and insights, as well as its superb sourcing, which included interviews
with the diplomats who were actually targeted, and accounts from Obama administration officials, such as Ben Rhodes, who led
the Cuba normalization efforts. What really happened. Was it real? How did it come to be? Who did
it? And how did it connect to the Obama administration's ill-considered opening with Cuba?
First: Barack Obama Says Florida Democrats Will Help Make Cuba Great Again. Former President Barack Obama
urged Florida voters on Friday to support Democrats to improve the lives of Cuban citizens. "We need to get back to
politics that's for the Cuban people, make their lives better," Obama said during a rally in Miami, Florida. "That's
change." The former president criticized President Trump for rolling back his efforts to open up communist Cuba during
his 2016 visit with Raul Castro.
meeting with Cuba's appointed president comes with a $50 million loan for weapons. The Russian government has
granted Cuba a $50 million loan to buy Russian military equipment, just days before Cuba's handpicked President Miguel
Díaz-Canel is scheduled to meet with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The arms deal is to be signed during a series of
meetings of the Cuba-Russia Intergovernmental Commission that started Monday, according to the Russian newspaper
Kommersant. The newspaper quoted sources as saying that the talks would focus on the sale of armored vehicles,
helicopters and small arms as well as replacement parts for battle tanks.
attacks on US embassy staffers in Cuba, China came from microwave weapon. It appears that researchers have
finally solved the mystery of how embassy staffers in Cuba and China became suddenly ill with symptoms of brain injury.
What was thought to be some kind of "sonic" weapon turns out to have been weaponized microwave radiation.
Clears State Dept of Wrongdoing in Cuba Sonic Attacks. The State Department on Thursday [8/30/2018] formally
cleared Obama and Trump administration officials from any wrongdoing in the lead-up and response to the still-unexplained
sonic attacks in Cuba that harmed the health of at least 25 U.S. personnel, although it cited some problems with
security staffing vacancies and communications "challenges." After delivering the official report to Congress, the
agency released a "fact sheet" to the press on the Accountability Review Board's (ARB) findings and recommendations.
The ARB process, which Congress established, investigates what happened and issues recommendations aimed at preventing future
Cuban-Americans Visit the Mother Country. Most Cuban-Americans from the Historic Exile (those who left between
1959 and 1979) traveling to communist Cuba do so for one primary reason. Out of nostalgic feelings, they go back to
search for the way things were — which, of course, is delusional, because the Castro Brothers turned one the most
successful and advanced countries in Latin America into a totalitarian hellhole with a failed socialist economic model after
gaining power in 1959. The house where their parents once lived is most likely occupied by strangers who may not want
to let them inside. After Cuban-Americans emigrated to the United States or elsewhere, Cuban authorities confiscated
their homes without providing them any compensation and, in the majority of cases, turned them over at greatly subsidized
prices to Cubans who stayed behind. So there is a great fear shared by these Cubans that the Cuban-American visitors
are there to reclaim their former homes. Even if they let them in, they do so with great reservations and never let
their guard down.
Ocasio-Cortez's Mentor Bernie Sanders: Castro Educated Cuban Kids, Gave Them Healthcare. In 1958 (the year prior to
the "glorious" revolution), Cuba ranked 13th from the top, worldwide with the lowest infant-mortality rate. This meant that
robustly capitalist and immigrant-swamped pre-Castro Cuba had the 13th lowest infant-mortality rate in the world. This put
her not only at the top in Latin America but atop most of Western Europe, ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria,
Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Today all of these countries leave Communist Cuba in the dust, with much lower infant mortality rates.
Today Cuba is ravaged by diseases that had been long-eradicated in pre-Castro Cuba (Dengue, Cholera, for a few examples.) And of Cuba's
"doctors" fortunate enough to escape their indentured servitude to the Castro-Family-Plantation, the overwhelmingly majority flunk the exam
given in the U.S. for licensing as doctor's assistants. And even plummeting from 13th (Capitalist) to 49th (Communist), Cuba's
"impressive" infant mortality rate is kept artificially low by Communist chicanery with statistics and by an appalling abortion rate of
0.71 abortions per live birth. This is the hemisphere's highest, by far. Any Cuban pregnancy that even hints at
trouble gets "terminated."
scientist sentenced to one year in prison for 'disrespecting' government authority. Cuban biologist Ariel Ruiz
Urquiola wanted to start an eco-friendly project on his farm in Viñales, a mountainous region west of Havana. But
now those plans are on hold because he was sentenced to one year in prison for "disrespecting" officials. The alleged
crime? He called a Forest Ranger a "rural guard." "We will appeal, but it's already clear they want to take away
our farm. We will fight tooth and nail," said Ruiz Urquiola's sister, Omara Ruiz Urquiola.
Don't Trust Cuban
Health Care Statistics. We've long been told that Cuba's health care system is one of the greatest in the
world. In spite of the fact that health usually correlates with wealth in national statistics, we're assured that
Cuba's obvious poverty is offset, at least in part, by amazingly low infant mortality rates and life expectancy. But in
a new short article for the journal Health Policy and Planning, Gilbert Berdine, Vincent Geloso, and Benjamin Powell examine
some of the ways that the data is being manipulated in Cuba to ensure better-looking health statistics. For example, on
the matter of infant mortality, doctors have been known to redefine dead infants as dead fetuses.
pulls 2 more from Cuba amid new potential health cases. The United States has pulled two more of its workers
out of Cuba and are testing them for possible brain injury, three U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Friday [6/8/2018],
amid concerns they may have been affected by the mysterious health incidents harming U.S. diplomats in Cuba and China.
blow to Cuban tourism. A few years ago, I was in Mexico for Christmas and met a man who flew commercial
flights. He told me that many Mexicans refuse to work for "Cubana," the once private airline and now another state
company. He said Cuba is not up to date on maintenance. Just yesterday, a Canadian friend, who is familiar with
Cuba, told me it's the end of tourism. "What foreigner is going to fly on a Cuban domestic flight?" he said. We
don't want to politicize a terrible tragedy, and we pray for the families. Nevertheless, there is a legitimate
question: can Cuba maintain commercial flights? The answer is, not well enough to get on a plane.
Cuba, the great American tourism boom goes bust. As U.S.-Cuba relations warmed in recent years, Matilde Portela,
an Airbnb host, reveled in the flood of American tourists. An aspiring business executive at age 73, she quickly
learned the art of niche marketing — adorning her home with two American flags and laying out back copies of the New Yorker
magazine. "We had so many Americans coming that we didn't know where to put them," Portela said. But Cuba's Great
American Tourism Boom has turned to bust.
Lawmakers: State Dept Facilitating 'Propaganda' Show. Several Cuban-American lawmakers are decrying a State Department
decision to grant visas to a troupe of Castro-backed Cuban artists who are scheduled to appear at the Kennedy Center. They are also
asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to consider denying the visas before the two-week festival begins on May 8. It runs through
June 3. Many of the artists who are scheduled to appear at the festival, "Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World,"
are apologists for the Castro regime, making the show an extension of the Cuban government's propaganda machine, the lawmakers argue.
Fake news with bells on. In fact, what's happening as Cuban "President" (dictator) Raul Castro "steps down" in
favor of Cuban "President" (eunuch and puppet) Miguel Diaz-Canel is about what happened when Korean "President" Kim Jong-il
stepped down in favor of his son Kim Jong-un — except that Korea's Kim Jong-il actually kicked the bucket before his son fully
took over the reins of the mass-murdering, terror-sponsoring, nuke-rattling regime. In fact, much of the vital day-to-day
functions of the Stalinist regime will remain in the hands of Raul Castro's son Alejandro Castro-Espin, a KGB-trained colonel
in Cuba's secret police and a fanatical Stalinist.
Be Misled by the Media, Cuba Isn't Changing. After the nominal change in Cuba's leadership, the New York
Times managed to come out with the most New York Times headline ever: "More Black Officials in Power in Cuba
as Leadership Changes." The Los Angeles Times demanded that as Castro era "ends" in Cuba, so should the U.S.
embargo. NPR followed hopefully, and Buzzfeed provided a romanticized photo spread. Reading such
affectionate and hopeful portrayals might make one want to believe that Cuba really is currently undergoing a transformation
that will define its future. I hate to shatter that optimism, but Cuba isn't changing, and American policymakers and
media really shouldn't be so naïve and optimistic about it.
Recognize Cuba's Next Leader as Legitimate, Florida GOPs Urge Trump. Florida Republicans are urging President
Trump to not recognize the next strongman in Cuba as legitimate after Raul Castro steps down on April 19. Castro, 86,
announced in December that he would resign due to health issues. He first became acting president in 2006 when his brother
Fidel was ailing. National Assembly of People's Power elections will be held this Sunday, and those lawmakers will pick
the next president of Cuba.
Study Offers Simple Explanation
For 'Sonic Attacks' That Injured 24 American Diplomats In Cuba. A new report offers a simple and compelling
explanation for what may have caused the "sonic attacks" in Havana, Cuba, that left 24 U.S. embassy workers and their
families with neurological damage. American diplomats reported in September 2017 that they and their spouses were
subjected to agonizing sounds while staying in a Havana hotel. The victims were left with "brain abnormalities,"
including "hearing, vision balance and memory damage," according to The Associated Press. The initial reaction was that
Cuba was responsible for the mysterious sounds. U.S. officials believed Cuba utilized a "covert sonic weapon" against
the American diplomats, The Washington Post reported.
row over mysterious sickness affecting US diplomats in Cuba. When a mystery illness rippled through the US
embassy in Cuba in late 2016, the diplomatic fallout was rapid. The US slashed the number of people at its Havana
mission and expelled 15 Cuban diplomats after at least 24 American staff and family reported a mix of headaches, dizziness,
eyesight, hearing, sleep and concentration problems. Many of the affected diplomats said their illness came on after
they heard strange noises in their homes or hotel rooms. Some reported that the sounds — which ranged from
grinding to cicada-like to the buffeting caused by an open car window — appeared to be directed at them, and that
their symptoms abated when they moved to another room.
findings on U.S. diplomats' health problems in Cuba: real but still a mystery. Two University of Pennsylvania
researchers who examined diplomatic personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Havana confirm they suffered brain injuries, but said
the cases weren't accompanied by head trauma as would have been expected. There are still no indications of what may
have caused the diplomats' mysterious symptoms. The report, published Wednesday [2/14/2018] in The Journal of American
Medical Association, said the unique circumstances of the patients "raise concern about a new mechanism for possible acquired
brain injury from an exposure of unknown origin."
Healthcare in communist Cuba: The bold lie sold
by Fidel Castro that everyone believes. Since 2010[,] 64 hospitals have been closed, the country has lost a
third of its hospitalization capacity, patients give gifts to doctors and dentists to receive treatment, many surgeries are
not performed due to a lack of surgeons, or that necessary to operate; doctors are abandoning their profession to sell
crafts, or become drivers; epidemics of all kinds are on the rise, and the lack of medication aggravates or leads to the death
of patients. This is not the start of a story about a country in sub-Saharan Africa, but rather a "medical powerhouse,"
as Castroism portrayed Cuba to the world, an achievement purportedly resulting from its Marxist-Leninist revolution.
Democrats Boycott Trump's SOTU Over His 'Racism, Sexism and Bigotry,' But Swoon Over Racist/Mass-murdering
Stalinists! Lest we forget: these black U.S. lawmakers are raving about a regime that jailed political
prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin, and executed more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three
years in power than Hitler executed (out of a population of 70 million) in the Reich's first six. [...] Barely four years ago
the Castroites murdered black human rights activist Orlando Zapata-Tamayo. This black Cuban had endured an 83-day hunger
strike seeking (vainly, as usual) to alert the world to the Castro regime's cowardly Stalinism and racism. Finally a series
of savage beatings by his Communist jailers finished him off. Naturally, the U.S. media was no more revelatory of his death
than they'd been of his jailing or hunger strike.
American travelers to Cuba report symptoms similar to those suffered by diplomats. Nineteen American citizens
have reported symptoms similar to those suffered by U.S. diplomats who had been identified as victims of alleged attacks in
Cuba. "Since September 29, the Department of State has been contacted by 19 U.S. citizens who reported experiencing
symptoms similar to those listed in the Travel Warning after visiting Cuba," a spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau
of Western Hemisphere Affairs told the Miami Herald in an email.
reality of public health in Cuba. First of all, to be properly treated in any hospital, you have to have a
friend who is a doctor or a friend who is very close to the doctor you are going to see, in addition to bringing a gift —
something already established — to be able to enter the office at all, without asking where the end of the line is and
to "set a good precedent." The journey to be seen in the normal way is long and tedious: first you must go to the
family doctor, where you are probably seen by a student, or a recent graduate without experience. They will ask you
questions and fill out paperwork, without listening or paying attention, and will give you a referral to go to the polyclinic
you are assigned to, where there are always long waiting lines and you will almost never find a specialist, so you will need
to return constantly until there is one, as they work in hospitals and from time to time come to the polyclinics to practice.
Should Return Cuba to Terror List, Experts Say. President Trump should further unwind President Obama's
directives on Cuba and once again designate the communist nation as a state sponsor of terrorism, a panel of Cuban and
diplomatic experts told Congress last week. The panel included Cuban-born U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela under George
H.W. Bush Otto Reich, Heritage Foundation analyst Ana Quintana and the Cuban Studies Institute's Jaime Suchlicki.
Quintana argued that Cuba never met the standard to be removed from the State Department list in the first place.
Knows Truth About Sonic Attacks, Rubio Says After Flake Dismissal. There is no doubt that the Cuban government conducted
or was aware of the 2017 sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats in Havana, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said today [1/9/2018], a few days after
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) defended the regime against blame. At least 24 American diplomats or their family members were
injured in separate incidents [last] year, and investigators have pointed to the use of sophisticated acoustic-attack gear.
Injuries and symptoms included concussions, hearing loss and dizziness. Officials testified before Congress that some Americans
were treated for traumatic brain injuries and concussions.
White House's lavish gifts from foreign friends revealed. Federal documents released on Wednesday [1/10/2018]
revealed the gifts during Obama's final two years in office included more than $2,000 worth of cigars, rum and other famous
consumer products from the Cuban government. Cuba gave the gifts after Obama attempted to ease tensions with the
communist regime, a measure that included the easing of the U.S. ban on imported Cuban liquor and tobacco. The
documents released by the State Department's Protocol Office revealed that Castro gave Obama 205 cigars of an unnamed brand,
a humidor and cigar cutter along with the bottle of rum in 2015. The tobacco and liquor were accompanied by a carved wooden
bust of Abraham Lincoln.
reveal Canada called U.S. diplomats in Havana targets of "acoustic attacks" months before U.S. acknowledged them. Newly
disclosed declassified documents from Global Affairs Canada obtained by CBS News reveal Canadian officials were calling incidents affecting
American diplomats in Havana, Cuba, "attacks" as far back as April 26 — months before the U.S. State Department first publicly
acknowledged them as such. In a May 26 internal email update on the situation — that also affected Canadian
personnel — a Canadian foreign service officer wrote: "Starting in late November and lasting until April 21,
U.S. diplomats posted to Havana have been a target of acoustic attacks." Canadian victims reported symptoms including "headaches,
dizziness, nausea, hearing loss, nosebleeds, cognitive functions including loss of short term memory," similar to those of at least
24 Americans in Havana suffered.
a show of extreme force, Cuba's Castro dictatorship beats and arrests dissident artists. At least six Cuban
dissident artists were violently arrested yesterday as they tried to attend an event at an independent art gallery.
Witnesses say Cuban State Security used extreme force during the arrests, sending a large amount of agents and vehicles to
detain the artists. Most of them were later released. Among the artists arrested and later released were Tania
Bruguera, Iris Ruiz, Adonis Milan, Amaury Pacheco, and Yanelis Nuñez. Dissident artists Lia Villares and Luis
Manuel Otero, however, remain imprisoned. Both are part of the CubaDecide organization calling for free and fair
elections in Cuba. The artists were attending a presentation of British playwright Sarah Kane's Psychosis.
The venue, however, was surrounded by Cuban State Security agents.
jerks like to visit places like apartheid Cuba. We have all seen them on Instagram, from the Kardashians to
just regular foks: Americans enjoying a lasciviously lavish vacation in apartheid Cuba. The island slave
plantation where 11-million Cubans have been held captive by the same totalitarian dictatorship for nearly 60 years is an
irresistible allure to them. They love to see how people struggling to survive in a closed society will so eagerly and
happily dance and sing for them for just a couple of bucks. They adore how the Castro dictatorship has trapped Cuba in
a 1950s time capsule. They are thrilled to watch old American cars rumble past dilapidated buildings down potholed
streets, none of which have been maintained or repaired since 1958. Of course, none of them actually stay in these parts
of Cuba. They come for the day to take pictures of the human animals in their natural surroundings like they were
visiting a zoo and thank God they are so much more superior to these quaint yet wild natives. When they are done, they
board their air-conditioned tour buses and head back to their all-inclusive resorts and five-star hotels to enjoy meals and
drinks that will cost more than what an average Cuban makes in an entire year.
human rights that are missing in Cuba. Until a few years ago the concept "human rights" was frowned upon by
Cuba's ruling party. The mere mention of these two words together automatically labeled a citizen as on the opposing
side and there was no lack of acts of repudiation against dissidents in which slogans were shouted in the style of "Down with
human rights!" Over time, the island's government understood that it was better — and less scandalous —
to adopt not only the language alluding to this concept but also the commemorations around December 10, the day that
celebrates the United Nation's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the last decade, the authorities
have filled the official media and the squares of the country with slogans alluding to all the rights allegedly enjoyed by
Cubans. In those avalanches of benefits the collective rights are always mentioned, while the individual ones are ignored.
more things 'change' in Cuba, the more they remain the same. When Cuban dictator Raul Castro was handed the
reins of power in 2006 by his brother Fidel, we were told by the "Cuba Experts" that Raul would lead the communist nation
into an era of substantial economic and political reforms. More than a decade later and a year after the death of
Fidel, all we have seen are a few "reforms" that are nothing more than cosmetic. Essentially, Cuba remains a
totalitarian hellhole with no civil liberties, no respect for the rule of law, no real free enterprise, and a state-run
economy under the complete control of the military. Those same "Cuba Experts" are now telling us that when Raul "resigns"
from his post early next year, we will begin to see major economic and political reforms on the island. For the Cuban
people, however, these "Cuba Expert" predictions have about as much chance of becoming reality as their prior predictions.
Going on in Cuba? US Embassy Workers Found to Have Brain Abnormalities. Brain abnormalities have been
found in the U.S. diplomats who were victims of suspected attacks at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, according to a new
report. Doctors discovered that white matter in the brains of Embassy workers had "developed changes," The Associated
Press reported. White matter allows different areas of the brain to communicate. At least 24 U.S. Embassy
officials in Cuba had reported hearing loud, grating noises before experiencing ear issues, hearing loss, dizziness,
headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping. Some victims knew immediately that the attack was
affecting their bodies, while some developed physical symptoms within 24 hours.
For those of you who had any doubt...
is frightening new evidence to suggest the Cuban sonic attacks are real. Mysterious "sonic" attacks targeting
American diplomats in Cuba are so unlike anything State Department and FBI officials have ever seen that the Cuban
government's claim that the high-pitched whirring sounds reported by U.S. Embassy staff are just cicadas seems almost
plausible. Doctors treating victims of the attacks, though, have now found visible, perceptible damage to patients'
brains, marking the first solid evidence that the sophisticated weapon described by embassy staff is entirely real, The
Associated Press reports. The futuristic attacks began last fall when U.S. diplomats abruptly started to lose their
hearing. Eventually, at least 24 people reported symptoms including "mild traumatic brain injury, permanent
hearing loss, loss of balance, severe headaches, and brain swelling," The New York Times reports, adding that "the
FBI has been unable to duplicate the effects the diplomats have experienced in a lab." The United States pulled
approximately 60 percent of its staff off the island as a safety precaution.
year in Cuba after the death of dictator Fidel Castro. Raúl is president because that's what Fidel
decided. He may have seemed a mediocre person to Fidel, without savvy and without charisma, but he was absolutely
loyal, a virtue that paranoid people value far above all the others, so Fidel fabricated a biography for him to turn him into
his shield bearer. He dragged him into the revolution. Made him commander. Made him defense minister.
Made him vice president, and finally bequeathed to him the power, initiating the Castro dynasty.
Exiles Recount 'Sonic' Torture by Castro Regime. A group of Cuban exiles and former political prisoners
gathered on Capitol Hill to recount human rights abuses that they and their relatives suffered at the hands of the Fidel
Castro regime. In a hearing Wednesday [11/15/2017] organized by Freedom House and the Justice Cuba International
Commission, survivors told gripping stories about friends and family who were imprisoned, tortured, and killed for resisting
communist rule in Havana.
Communism arrived in Cuba. Communist activity began in Cuba in 1923 and the first communist party was
established in 1925 by Moscow trained members of the Third International (Comintern). This Cuban communist party underwent a
rapid Stalinization and assumed the policy advanced by the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1934 following the "Communist
International's Third Period line, an ultra-left policy imposed by Moscow that required Communists to direct their main
attacks at social democrats, who were denounced as 'social -fascists.'" Cuba did not have an organized social democratic
party but did have populists students and nationalist groups that were resisting the Machado dictatorship. Gerardo
Machado, a brigadier general in the war of independence and later a businessman was elected president of Cuba in 1924 but
seized power over all political parties in 1927 and became Cuba's first dictator. At a critical moment in the struggle
against Machado when populists and students called for a general strike, it was the communists who broke the strike and
sought an accommodation with the Cuban tyrant. It made the communist party extremely unpopular in Cuba.
Cleaning up the asylum
mess left by Obama. Days before President Obama left office, he removed asylum protections from Cubans who
reach US soil in a desperate attempt to flee their oppressive country. This was a strange contrast from the rest of the
administration's efforts, which seemed to support granting asylum to any individual who enters the US by illegal means.
Now, the Trump Administration is left with the job of cleaning up the confusion and fraud the Obama Administration
propelled. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is taking a leading role in combatting asylum fraud, alongside Trump's
efforts to limit the number of asylum seekers entering the country. This is not because these men do not want these
people in our country, but because the system was expanded so significantly under the Obama Administration, agencies can no
longer handle the load and maintain security.
travel ban: Castro dictatorship bans dissidents and independent journalists from international travel.
The regime in Cuba prevented independent journalist and writer Víctor Manuel Domínguez from leaving the country for
the second time this year. The journalist was planning to travel to Brussels for an event on foreign investment in
Cuba, when he was told he could not leave the country due to a "State Security order." "They say that in Cuba you can
travel freely if you aren't under investigation for any crime. I've committed no crime, but am being kept here because
they say that I'm a counterrevolutionary," Domínguez, who had previously been denied from leaving the country on
July 15, said.
Obama should apologize for Cuba. So far, 22 American diplomats and their family members have been harmed in
unexplained attacks in Cuba — the country Barack Obama assured was our new bestie, maybe even more so than
Iran. Obama needs to apologize. His personal crusade to restore relations with the communist country was
misplaced at best, a national security threat at worst. Americans are suffering for his progressive hogwash. A
new recording has surfaced that seems to link high-pitched, cricket-like sounds from Havana to the sickening of U.S. Embassy
workers. Not all of these workers actually reported hearing the sound. But investigators are following a trail of
possible sonic weaponry.
Cuban Affair: Nelson DeMille Exposes the Communist Paradise. The Cuban Affair by bestselling
author Nelson DeMille is a realistic portrayal within an action-packed story. DeMille participated in a Yale
University-affiliated educational tour that provided him with an insider look at Cuba, including the culture and
history. Drawing from this experience, he has created a novel surrounding accurately portrayed facts. Newt
Gingrich's 1984 description of the Democrats can apply today: "Every time a communist movement takes power, Democratic
congressmen say it will be fair, progressive, enlightened ... and give the benefit of doubt to Marxist regimes." This became
evident when President Obama visited Cuba and did the wave during a baseball game, making it appear that this is a fun-loving Caribbean
island. Yet DeMille shows the direct opposite: overwhelming poverty, a police state, and a violator of human rights.
recording emerges of high-pitched 'sonic weapon' linked to attacks on US Embassy workers in Cuba. The first
public recording of high-pitched, cricket-like sounds out of Havana could be linked to the attacks on U.S. Embassy workers,
according to a new report. The recording, first released by the Associated Press on Thursday [10/12/2017], is reportedly
one of several from Havana that first led investigators to believe a sonic weapon was involved. Of Americans affected in
Cuba, not all of them reportedly heard the sounds. But some who did said, while not identical, that the recording was
relatively consistent with what they heard.
Doctors Revolt: 'You Get Tired of Being a Slave'. In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors
working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government,
demanding to be released from what one judge called a "form of slave labor." Thousands of Cuban doctors work abroad under
contracts with the Cuban authorities. Countries like Brazil pay the island's Communist government millions of dollars
every month to provide the medical services, effectively making the doctors Cuba's most valuable export. But the
doctors get a small cut of that money, and a growing number of them in Brazil have begun to rebel. In the last year, at
least 150 Cuban doctors have filed lawsuits in Brazilian courts to challenge the arrangement, demanding to be treated as
independent contractors who earn full salaries, not agents of the Cuban state.
to kick out two-thirds of Cuba's diplomatic corps from the US after attacks on Americans: Report. The
Trump administration will expel almost two-thirds of Cuba's diplomatic corps in the U.S. after a series of mysterious "sonic"
attacks that have affected at least 25 American personnel in Havana, according to a report. "Cuba is not upholding its
commitments of the Vienna convention, of protecting diplomats," a U.S. official told McClatchy. The State Department
has not censured Cuba over the acoustic attacks by the still unknown device or weapon, per the news organization. But
it has withdrawn many of its own staff from the country and issued a travel warning after receiving several complaints of
hearing loss and "cognitive issues" from diplomats and their families.
'doesn't believe Cuba is responsible' for mysterious sonic attacks on American diplomats in Havana. The Trump
administration does not believe Cuba is responsible for a series of mysterious 'sonic' attacks against US embassy staff and
their relatives in Havana, it was learned on Tuesday [9/26/2017]. 'No one believes that the Cubans are responsible,'
a source familiar with the investigation told McClatchy on Tuesday. 'All of the evidence points that they're not.'
There is no word yet as to who the Americans believe is responsible for the attacks.
The Editor says...
If the government doesn't think Cuba was responsible for the sonic attacks, why was most of Cuba's diplomatic corps expelled?
plans to rent 102 Cuban slave doctors from Castro, Inc.. Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's 93-year-old dictator, has
been a chief client of Castro, Inc. ever since he assumed power in 1980. And Castro, Inc. cranks out "doctors" from its
lousy medical schools faster than bullets from a machine gun. In fact, it seems that its supply of slave doctors is
nearly infinite, given how many of them are constantly being shipped abroad. Could it be that the production rate of
slave doctors is higher than that of any other commodity manufactured or grown in Cuba?
Cuba, many Hurricane Irma victims are asking themselves, where is the government? [Scroll down] More than
100 families have lost their homes — poorly constructed houses, many of little more than zinc and wood. But
the television report from this town has offered no information about future plans for storm victims, where they will sleep,
what they will eat, how they will rebuild their homes. There also was no footage of cleaning or food distribution
efforts. And potable water remains in short supply.
Hurricane Irma be the death of the Castroite regime? The angry protests are starting. Cuba was slammed by
Hurricane Irma and Cubans have been protesting the failure of the government to give them any assistance after tens of
thousands of them lost their shambling homes and all their meager possessions and threw them out on the streets of the
already decayed, crumbling capital city. It didn't take much to blow that shambling rattrap of a city over -- and
Irma was a monster.
Attacks in Havana: An Act of War? These are the established facts: since late 2016 and continuing into
2017 some 19 U.S. embassy personnel while in the U.S. embassy in Havana (the capital of Cuba) have reported serious medical
injuries due to (sonic or electromagnetic?) attacks. These injuries range from some permanent loss of hearing to brain
trauma rising to the level of concussion. These attacks have also caused similar injuries to Canadian embassy employees
(it is unreported as to both when these attacks occurred and whether the Canadians were in the U.S. Embassy when they were
subject to these attacks). These attacks have occurred since President Obama's decision to both lift sanctions against
and normalize relations with Communist Cuba.
Dept.: 16 U.S. Embassy Personnel in Cuba Injured by Sonic Device Attack. The State Department confirmed today
that at least 16 U.S. Embassy employees in Cuba suffered symptoms from an attack with a sonic device. Press secretary
Heather Nauert told reporters that all of the U.S. government employees "have been provided medical treatment in the United
States as well as in Cuba." "We take this situation extremely seriously," she said. "We are trying to provide them
the help, the medical care, the treatment, and the support that they need and the support that they deserve." Nauert
said "the incidents are no longer occurring."
least 16 Americans affected by 'incidents' in Cuba. Mysterious "incidents" caused physical symptoms in at least
16 Americans linked to the US embassy in Cuba, the State Department said on Thursday, in what media reports have described as
an "acoustic attack." The State Department earlier this month said Americans serving at the US embassy in Havana had
experienced physical symptoms caused by unspecified "incidents" starting as far back as late 2016. A US government
official said in August that several colleagues at the US embassy in Havana were evacuated back to the United States for hearing
problems and other symptoms. Some subsequently got hearing aids, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
U.S. diplomats in Cuba diagnosed with serious health conditions, medical records show. According to medical
records reviewed exclusively by CBS News, a U.S. doctor who evaluated American and Canadian diplomats working in Havana
diagnosed them with conditions as serious as mild traumatic brain injury, and with likely damage to the central nervous
system. The diplomats complained about symptoms ranging from hearing loss and nausea to headaches and balance disorders
after the State Department said "incidents" began affecting them beginning in late 2016. A source familiar with these
incidents says officials are investigating whether the diplomats were targets of a type of sonic attack directed at their
homes, which were provided by the Cuban government. The source says reports of more attacks affecting U.S. embassy
workers on the island continue.
Hiding Key Details of Mystery Attacks on American Diplomats in Cuba. The number of U.S. government personnel
targeted by a mysterious illness in Cuba last year is greater than the Trump administration has publicly acknowledged,
according to multiple U.S. officials who told the Washington Free Beacon the Obama administration may have misled
Congress about the full scope and nature of the attack. U.S. officials disclosed earlier this month that six Americans
were struck by a mystery illness believed to be caused by a covert sonic device in what many think was a clandestine
operation targeting U.S. personnel stationed in the communist country. The number of Americans impacted is greater than
previously disclosed, according to multiple U.S. officials who told the Free Beacon that those suffering from symptoms
of sonic damage appears to be more than 10.
assault on US diplomats proves the foolishness of Obama's outreach. 'Sometimes we allow ourselves to be trapped
by a certain way of doing things," President Barack Obama said back on July 1, 2015. But re-opening the US Embassy in Cuba
would show "we don't have to be imprisoned by the past." Well, it's now obvious that Cuba's government has no desire to break
with the past: Several American diplomats (and at least one Canadian) have come home from Havana after losing their
hearing — victims of a sonic device placed in or near their Cuban residences.
Wants Answers About Diplomats' Illnesses in Cuba Last Year. Key House and Senate Committees, as well as
individual lawmakers, want to know why they were caught flat-footed by media reports of incidents in Cuba late last year that
left a group of U.S. diplomats ill and reportedly suffering from hearing loss attributed to covert sonic devices. The
members have requested a classified State Department briefing, and one is scheduled for Monday for committee staffers only
because members of Congress are on their August recess, according to a Congressional aide. The lawmakers want to know
why the Trump administration has waited so long to publicly say anything about the incidents in Cuba, which the State
Department has acknowledged first began at the end of last year, and why the Obama administration also remained silent about
it. Trump in late May expelled two Cuban diplomats from the Cuban embassy in Washington in response to the incidents
against the U.S. diplomats in Havana.
hearing loss of US diplomats in Cuba blamed on 'covert sonic device' planted in earshot of their homes. The two-year-old restored US
diplomatic relationship with Cuba was roiled Wednesday by what US officials say was a string of bizarre incidents that left a group of American
diplomats in Havana with severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device. In retaliation for the hearing loss incidents the US State
Department has expelled two Cuban diplomats from the US over safety concerns of American officials and launched an investigation. Officials
familiar with the probe said investigators were looking into the possibilities that the incidents were carried out by a third country such as
Russia, possibly operating without the knowledge of Cuba's formal chain of command.
600 political arrests in Cuba during July, more than 3,000 for the year. American tourists have joined the
millions of other foreign tourists flooding apartheid Cuba this year with their cash and their radical notions of freedom and
liberty. According to President Obama and proponents of lifting sanctions against the corrupt and brutally repressive
Castro regime, this was supposed to make the Cuban dictatorship a kinder and gentler dictatorship. Well, I think
we have all seen how well that plan has worked out.
wake of Venezuela horror, it's time to stick it to Cuba. Like the totalitarian pros they are, it didn't take
long for Venezuela's socialist Chavista dictatorship to start rounding up opponents. The Chavista goon squads swooped
down on two leading opposition figures, Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, with a knock on the door and spirited the men off
to parts unknown in a SEBIN (Venezuelan secret police) van. It was a familiar tactic for an experienced totalitarian
state, not amateur hour for a newly minted dictatorship armed with a sham referendum to justify itself and just getting its
feet wet. This points to what is really going on in that socialist hellhole, now that Sunday's [7/30/2017] referendum,
which would have you believe that Venezuelans voted themselves willingly into Cuba-style slavery, is over.
horror story about Canadian tourists trapped in Castro, Inc.'s medical system. They went there to have fun, but their
7-year-old son got sick and ended up in one of Castro, Inc.'s "wonderful" and "free" hospitals. Most Canadians probably find
it heartbreaking to think of what this family is going through — and it IS heartbreaking — but, normally,
they don't stop to think that every Cuban lives in this kind of hell, day in, day out, with no options of any kind.
Ladies in White arrested in Cuba in another Sunday of violent repression by Castro regime. Yesterday [7/9/2017]
was the 107th Sunday of the #TodosMarchamos (we all march) campaign where the opposition group the Ladies in White and other
human rights activists come together in a peaceful protest march calling for the release of political prisoners.
Unfortunately, like the 106 previous Sundays, the peaceful dissidents were met with violent repression. By the end of
the day, around 50 Ladies in White had been violently arrested by State Security thugs of the apartheid Castro
regime's crimes against humanity: Food scarcity. There is a long list of crimes against humanity
committed on the Cuban people by the vicious and murderous Castro dictatorship. Not only do they murder, imprison,
torture, and enslave, they starve the people as well.
Reimposition Of Sanctions Will Hurt Cuba's Communists. President Trump is putting the pressure back on Cuba's
odious communist regime, and they don't like it a bit, with Cuba complaining once again about U.S. intervention. But
Trump really isn't meddling; he's merely undoing President Obama's awful mistake of giving Cuba's Castro regime everything it
wanted, while getting nothing in return.
Cuba speech resonates with history. President Trump on Friday reset American and global expectations for
communist Cuba. He boldly promised that communist Cuba, like East Germany, would one day be free. He envisioned
the 60-year yoke of communist oppression, murder and unrepentant violation of all moral norms, ending. In Miami's
"Little Havana," the president reframed American foreign policy in terms that Ronald Reagan, Helmut Kohl and Margaret
Thatcher would appreciate. He was clear, convincing and eloquent. He defended individual liberty, human rights
and the sensibilities of all the long-suffering Cubans and Cuban Americans. He spoke not of things political, but of
things timeless and universal. He spoke to all Americans, and to those well beyond America.
Trump Cuba. President Trump is set to travel
today to Miami to begin reversing President Obama's moves toward normal relations with Cuba. This is already being denounced by the liberal
press. The Boston Globe reckons there will be "no winners, only losers, if Trump moves away from engagement with Cuba" and suggests that the
"only constituency that wants to reverse course is the very small group of diehard, older Cuban-Americans, the Miami anti-Castristas, whom Trump
credits for his victory in Florida last November." Then again, too, there's also Congress.
rolls back Obama admin's Cuba policy: 'Will not be silent in the face of communist oppression'. President Trump
announced a dramatic reversal Friday [6/16/2017] of the Obama administration's Cuba policy, restoring restrictions on U.S. travel to the
island and new prohibitions on financial transactions that benefit the communist regime's military. "We will not be silent in the
face of communist oppression any longer," Mr. Trump said in Miami. "I am moving immediately to cancel the completely one-sided
deal with Cuba." He declared that the new policy will continue to promote prosperity for the Cuban people while cracking down on
human-rights abuses by the government in Havana.
deal rollback: Trump says he's nixing Obama's 'one-sided' pact. President Trump, speaking at a Miami
theater associated with Cuban exiles, announced Friday he is nixing his predecessor's "one-sided deal" with the Communist
nation — moving to restrict individual travel to the island, crack down on the flow of U.S. cash to the Cuban
military and demand key reforms in Havana. While stopping short of a full reversal, Trump said he would challenge Cuba
to come back to the table with a new agreement. "Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's
completely one-sided deal with Cuba," Trump told a cheering crowd.
shun Castro's Cuba like a bad smell. To hear Ben Rhodes, the mastermind of President Obama's opening to the
Cuban regime, tell it, Americans are just pining to go to Cuba. [...] The facts on the ground tell a different story.
As Rhodes touts trips to Cuba's communist military dictatorship as somehow something in the line of 'freedom' in his new
'narrative, airline carriers are fleeing the island hellhole, for one and tourists are bailing out.
Rhodes shills up a glowing 'narrative' for Castrocare. Having slid into irrelevance, President Obama's "Mind
Meld" Ben Rhodes has gotten busy touting the virtues of President Obama's one-way U.S. rapprochement with communist Cuba,
which he was largely behind. On Twitter, Rhodes has started a series of tweets endorsing Castroite propaganda about the
wonders of Cuba's medical care system, and how amazingly advanced it supposedly is, citing a new Miami Herald piece
that repeats hoary propaganda claims about an overtouted lung cancer vaccine called CIMAvax which had been praised as a
panacea previously in 2015 and 2016 during Rhodes' narrative blitz at the time, and still hasn't gotten much traction.
Trump Poised to Reverse Obama's Cuba Policies. President Trump is set to roll back a series of policies former
President Obama put in place toward Cuba, according to a report from the Daily Caller. The changes regarding the
policies will be announced in a June speech in Miami, the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council said in the report.
Set To Roll Back Obama's Cuba Policies Photo of Alex Pfeiffer. President Donald Trump is set to announce a
rollback of former President Barack Obama's policies toward Cuba, The Daily Caller has learned. Two sources told TheDC
that the development is due to the behind-the-scenes efforts of Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Democratic New
Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and Republican Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. This information coming from an
anti-embargo group, which spoke on the condition of anonymity, was confirmed Sunday by John Kavulich of the nonpartisan
U.S. — Cuba Trade and Economic Council.
Dad sent to
prison for homeschooling his kids. A homeschooling father who sought to give his children the best education
available, by pulling them out of the politicized state schools in Cuba and teaching them at home, has been ordered to spend
a year under house arrest. The sentence was announced by a Cuban court for pastor Ramón Rigal and his wife, Adya,
according to the Home School Legal Defense Association. In a report by HSLDA Director of Global Outreach Mike Donnelly,
Rigas said authorities used his three-hour trial this week as a platform for denouncing alternatives to government-controlled
Ladies in White and a foreign journalist arrested in Cuba during another Sunday of violent repression. Reports
from Cuba indicate that 30 Ladies in White were violently arrested yesterday [4/9/2017] by Cuban State Security forces as
they attempted to attend church services and carry out their weekly peaceful protest march. It is also being reported
that a foreign journalist who was attempting to record the Castro regime's weekly violence was also arrested and taken away
by State Security.
At Miami college founded by Cubans exiled
under communism, officials shut down pro-capitalism club. After granting the pro-capitalism club Turning Point
USA tabling rights on campus last fall, administrators at St. Thomas University — founded in 1961 by
Augustinians expelled from Cuba by the communist Castro dictatorship — have revoked that permission. In an
email obtained by The College Fix, Carmen Brown, an administrator at the Miami-based Catholic university, recently wrote to
the club's field director Driena Sixto that the organization's "foul language" does not align with the school's Catholic
principles, thus they are prohibited from promoting their cause on campus.
not Muslim nations, has the highest rate of U.S. visa refusals. Notwithstanding the unhinged hysterics of the
American left over President Trump's so-called "Muslim ban," the facts show that Cubans fare worse than Muslims when it comes
to being awarded visas to enter the U.S. By an almost 10-point margin over the second spot, Cuba sits atop the list of
countries with the highest refusal rate for U.S. visas. Of course, the left will not utter a word of protest over this
because only an insane person would want to leave the Castro-communist paradise of Cuba.
Airlines Flee Castro's Island Hellhole. Today [3/16/2017], JetBlue has cut back its flights "to better match demand."
And in the last few days, it has been joined by two other airliners, Silver and Frontier, fleeing for their lives like Marielitos.
They all said demand isn't what they expected. This is a fancy way of saying what's really going on: Cuba is a tourist hellhole.
The service stinks, the amenities are gross, the place is thick with thieves and woman-gropers, the cost is high, and the alternatives are out
there. In fact, the Caribbean is loaded with pleasant, accommodating destinations well worth a tourist's dollar for a vacation.
Taking a vacation at a communist military-run resort really falls more into the Gulag category.
Brit condemned to Castro's dungeon. When I first came to Cuba in 1997, the country was bankrupt. There
was no food. The whole country felt and smelt like a pair of tramp's trousers. To save his wonky world, President
Fidel Castro (who handed power to his brother Raul in 2008) gambled by opening his country to the Pandora's box of tourism
and allowing direct foreign investment. Which is where I came in with two left feet and our life savings to
invest. My wife Sarah and I, with our four children, went to Cuba because we saw an opportunity to escape our
conventional, suburban middle-class lives to have the kind of family experience you cannot buy. It was work that first
took us there. I had been introduced to a client who needed an architect — and decided to stay. For
years, while I helped build multi-million- pound projects like the golf and real estate development Bellomonte in Playas del
Este Havana, we lived the dream. But then the rules changed. Foreigners could no longer rent private houses so we
had to move to a posh suburb with diplomats and other big cheese foreigners. Castro's regime began a purge on the same
people who had been invited in to help build the economy. The company I worked for and my boss were caught up in
something far bigger than me.
airlines already calling it quits in Cuba. Two U.S. airlines are pulling out of Cuba, ending service to the
nation only about six months after regular passenger flights resumed for the first time in nearly 50 years. Silver
Airways is dropping all nine of its planned routes to the nation by April 22. And low-cost carrier Frontier will
do the same, dropping its Miami-Havana route on June 4. In doing so, both Frontier and Silver — a small
regional carrier — blamed overcapacity on the recently allowed service between the nations.
the Castro dictatorship, the death tally in Cuba continues to rise. No amount of "normalization" or willful
blindness will bring back those who have been murdered by Cuba's apartheid dictatorship or heal the wounds and scars of its
victims. For two years U.S. policy has coddled and supported the brutally repressive Castro regime and all the Cuban
people have gotten out of it is more misery, more pain, and more death.
Forgotten Treachery of Obama's State Department. Twenty times as many people (men, women, children) have died
trying to escape Castro's Cuba as died trying to escape East Germany.
Christians": The Real Refugee Protest Agenda. The President of the United States announced that refugees
fleeing persecution by a totalitarian regime would be deported. It did not matter that they had risked their lives to
come here. They would be sent back. No leftist lawyers crammed airports. No protesters chanted at
terminals. No celebrities offered sanctimonious lectures about "who we are". No one dared to call the lying
thug behind it un-American. Because his last name was Obama and the refugees were Cubans fleeing socialism.
Returns 91 Cubans Who Had Hoped to Reach US. Mexico has returned to Cuba the first contingent of Cuban migrants
since former U.S. president Barack Obama decided Thursday to end a U.S. policy of granting residency to Cubans who arrive on
Obama Expects Trump
to Respect New Migration Pact with Cuba. Part of President Barack Obama's motivation in ending a practice that
gave undocumented Cuban migrants who reached US soil the right to remain appears to have been a desire to discourage Donald
Trump from reversing the process of normalization with Cuba.
making changes to Cuban immigration policy. President Barack Obama announced Thursday he is ending a
longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident.
Hails End to Special US Immigration Policy for Cubans. Ordinary Cubans worried Friday [1/13/2017] about the economic
problems that could be caused for some people by the sudden end to a once-easy pathway to life in the United States, saying many
people who already left the island to take advantage of the earlier American immigration policy could wind up back home with
nothing. President Barack Obama on Thursday ended the possibility of automatic legal residency for any Cuban who
touches U.S. soil. Those people who were in the middle of trips to get to the United States could be the biggest
losers, some Cubans said. "There are people who have sold houses, renounced everything, and today they are in limbo,"
said Leonardo Serrano, a 47-year-old who works for a firm that operates with private and government investment. "They
won't be able to get there, and when they return they won't have anything."
Obama to scrap 'wet foot, dry foot' immigration policy. One of Barack Obama's final acts as president will be to end the
'wet foot, dry foot' policy that granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the US without visas. The Obama administration announced
it is doing away with the immigration policy effective immediately in a statement on Thursday night [1/12/2017]. 'Today, the
United States is taking important steps forward to normalize relations with Cuba and to bring greater consistency to our immigration
policy,' Obama said in the statement.
Castro's Spies: How Obama is exposing U.S. defense information to the world's worst intelligence traffickers. The
deepest and most damaging penetration of the U.S. Defense Department by an enemy agent in modern history was pulled off by a spy working
for the Castro regime. Problem is, the mainstream media treasures their Havana bureaus. So they always strive to avoid any
stories that might unduly upset the Stalinist apparatchiks who make these "news" (i.e. propaganda) bureaus possible. "Cuba as tourist
hot-spot!" "The magnanimity of the Castroites as health-care providers!" "The wickedness of the (so-called) U.S. embargo!"
"Obama's wisdom and courage in (unconstitutionally) loopholing the embargo half to death!" These themes pretty much sum up the
MSM's "reporting" on Cuba. But in a rare hiccup of honesty (or an oversight) CNN itself admits to some very important Cuba-sponsored
unpleasantness, about which most Americans remain ignorant.
Trump crackdown looms for Cuba as repression continues after Obama outreach. President Obama's historic move to
normalize relations with Cuba hasn't slowed repression by the Castro regime, and the incoming Trump administration is likely
to take a tougher stand on restricting tourism, recovering stolen U.S. assets and demanding human rights reforms by Havana,
analysts say. In the two years since Mr. Obama announced a thaw in the United States' half-century policy of
isolating the island nation, the administration has paved the way for increased engagement, approving such measures as daily
commercial flights, direct mail service, cruise ship ports of call and the reopenings of long-shuttered embassies in
Washington and Havana.
of Cuban migrants surges after Fidel's death: 136 intercepted in 4 days. In the last four days, 136 Cubans
trying to reach the country illegally were intercepted in the Strait of Florida, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
The migrants received food, water and medical care before being repatriated to Cabañas Bay. They were intercepted
in 8 different operations, the agency said. The Coast Guard indicated that so far in December 541 Cubans have
attempted to enter the United States by sea. Under the so-called federal "wet foot, dry foot policy," Cubans who reach
U.S. soil are generally allowed to stay, while those intercepted at sea are usually repatriated to Cuba.
new tech partner in Cuba blocks email accounts of the Ladies in White. Google is very proud of its new
partnership with Cuba's ETECSA, the apartheid Castro dictatorship's telecom monopoly that has complete control over the
internet on the island. They must therefore be very proud that their new tech partners are using all this new
technology to continue censorship and the blocking of the free flow of information to and from the island.
Why the Left Cried When Fidel
Died. To understand why leftists, especially of the Western variety, are weeping upon Castro's death, it is first crucial to grasp the
underlying foundation of the progressives' belief system. The leftist is a believer in a political faith, a faith that envisions a classless
utopia of perfect equality and "social justice." This faith is interlinked with the leftist's revulsion of his own democratic-capitalist host society,
which he sees as oppressive and unjust — and which he seeks to destroy. And it is upon the ashes of this intended destruction that the leftist
hopes to build, with his other self-appointed social redeemers, the secular socialist paradise.
Surge in Tourism Keeps Food Off Residents' Plates. The changes in Cuba in recent years have often hinted at a
new era of possibilities: a slowly opening economy, warming relations with the United States after decades of isolation, a
flood of tourists meant to lift the fortunes of Cubans long marooned on the outskirts of modern prosperity. But the
record arrival of nearly 3.5 million visitors to Cuba last year has caused a surging demand for food, causing ripple
effects that are upsetting the very promise of Fidel Castro's Cuba.
Once, The Laugh Was On Fidel Castro. There was plenty of reason to laugh at the breakdown of Fidel Castro's
funeral car as it made its way from Havana to Santiago. It's always funny when someone known as "el maximo lider" gets
cut down a peg — with a mundane car breakdown at his supposedly exalting memorial moment. What's more,
Castro had left his country in shambles, creating a metaphor of sorts with the broken-down — or out of
gas — Cuban economy matching the state of his funeral car.
'fear reprisals' if they don't show grief over Castro's death, dissidents say. The official picture is one of
collective mourning by masses of people over the loss of the founder of modern Cuba. Immediately after President
Raúl Castro announced the death of his older brother, Fidel, last Friday evening, the music in Havana stopped
playing. Discos and movie theaters emptied out and closed temporarily. Bars and restaurants were told to severely
restrict the sale of alcohol. Hundreds of thousands of Fidelistas braved the Caribbean sun to pay homage in Revolution
Square. On Sunday, stone-faced students stood on the steps leading to the University of Havana, acting as a silent
honor guard for the former dictator, carrying banners with slogans and guarding a temporary monument at his alma mater.
Carrying Fidel Castro Ashes Breaks Down Mid-Funeral. The Russian-made jeep carrying the ashes of the late Cuban
dictator Fidel Castro broke down in the middle of his funeral procession on Saturday [12/3/2016], forcing soldiers to push
the vehicle until it could be repaired. Nearly every major news website buried the news, though it was perfectly
symbolic of the Cuban regime's economic failures, and those of socialism in general.
get hysterical over the 'alt-right' but we are living in their 'alt-left' world. There is no alt-left.
They are not alternative. Their mainstream is radical and out of the American mainstream on almost everything.
This was quite obvious as liberals bemoaned the death of Fidel Castro, a man his own daughter called "a tyrant." The
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. summed up years of devotion, recalling how, "the oppressed the world over joined Castro's cause
of fighting for freedom & liberation." Some liberals distanced themselves from that love affair, though many have embraced
left-wing dictators from Stalin to Chavez.
liberal romance with Fidel Castro. The death of Fidel Castro, a mass murderer masquerading as a "president,"
exposed the bizarre romance liberals have with tyrants. Many world leaders expressed condolences to the Cuban people
upon the death of their so-called leader, a man who oversaw the murder of tens of thousands, imprisoned political opponents,
gays, anyone who challenged Castro's status quo. There is no religious freedom in Cuba — there was room for
only one god and that was Fidel. There was no free press, of course, no personal freedom, only fear. The actual number
of those killed by the Castro brothers and their murderous associate Che Guevara can never be known only because of the number of
disappeared opponents, gays, academics and the educated.
Castro's Mass Murder by the Numbers. Fidel Castro shed blood on a scale unimaginable in American terms.
His butchers executed perhaps 15,000 prisoners, according to academic estimates cited by Wikipedia: [...] That was in a
country of 7 million. In per capita terms, that's the equivalent of about 680,000 executions in the United States of
America with our population of 318 million. What's 680,000? The entire population of Denver or Seattle. Imagine
taking every man, woman, and child of a major American city and murdering them. That's the scale of Fidel Castro's crimes.
sends nondelegation delegation to Castro services. President Obama is sending two senior officials to represent
the United States at a service on Tuesday for the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro. But don't call it an official
delegation, the White House insisted.
Defender: He Was 'A Symbol For People Seeking Freedom, Opportunity'. A history professor from a western
New York college clashed with Tucker Carlson over the merits of late dictator Fidel Castro's decades-long rule in Cuba.
Rene de la Pedraja told Carlson that much of the anger professed by Cuba toward the United States stems from assassination
attempts on Castro stretching back to 1959. De la Pedraja, a professor at Canisius College in Buffalo, said Castro was
often a "symbol throughout the world for people who are seeking freedom or seeking opportunity."
Worshiping At Castro's
Shrine. Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was always a figure who embodied the political ideology of uber-liberals.
For the American left — whether young or old — it was always supremely cool and non-conformist to espouse
solidarity with Castro's revolution. He was a hero to the counter-culture enthusiasts of the 1960s and a best-selling lefty
author like Norman Mailer much as he is to the counter-reality Millennials who now populate our colleges and universities —
perhaps only Chinese butcher Mao Zedong attracted more visceral adoration from American leftists — but of course he
killed more people. As his weekend death so well illustrated, Castro continues to cast a long political shadow over the
House sending two officials to Castro funeral. The White House is sending two representatives to the funeral of
Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, the White House said on Tuesday [11/29/2016]. "There's a formal process" involved in naming a
higher-level presidential delegation, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters. "That will not be taking place this time,
but the United States will be represented at the event."
Western Dupes and Castro. Fidel Castro was a remarkably lucky dictator. Unlike many —
Romania's Ceausescu and Libya's Qaddafi come to mind — he wasn't executed by his own people and instead died in
bed at age 90. During the Cuban missile crisis, he wrung a secret promise from the U.S. that it would never invade
Cuba. He then survived dozens of assassination attempts by the Kennedy administration until a Castro sympathizer named
Lee Harvey Oswald put a stop to them and to the life of President Kennedy in 1963. Castro ruled for another 45 years after
that, until his retirement in 2008, persecuting dissidents, jailing gays, and murdering opponents. Even after he turned power
over to his brother Raul, Fidel continued to be feted and admired by world leaders. Few dictators could have collected the
kind of respectful foreign tributes that poured in from Western countries after his death last Friday.
Trudeau A Baby-Faced Commie Apologist Unmasked. Mourning the death of repressive dictator Fidel Castro, Trudeau
hailed his longtime family friend as a "larger than life leader" who "served his people for almost half a century." Actually,
El Comandante ruled with an iron fist and firing squads — serving himself to all of the island's land, private businesses
and media, along with his own private yacht, private island, 20 homes, fleet of Mercedes limos and bevy of mistresses.
Trudeau's ridiculous mash note to the "legendary revolutionary and orator" caused the social media backlash of the year.
Ellison Reflects on Castro's Legacy as 'Mixed Bag'. Congressman Keith Ellison, a Democrat running for DNC
chair, weighed in on the legacy of Fidel Castro in an interview today, referring to it as a "mixed bag." On SiriusXM's The
Karen Hunter Show today, Ellison said that while Castro engaged in "harsh dictatorial tactics," he also stood up "for peace
and freedom in Africa." He talked about what Castro did to battle apartheid and pointed to a few different things that
showed, as Ellison argued, "If you look at his legacy you have to say that he confronted people with a lot of power on behalf
of people that didn't have any."
Latest Shrug of the Shoulders. We finally have an Obama doctrine. It is the 223 words of the White House
statement on the death of Fidel Castro. It is blank of moral judgment, empty of indignation, blind to injustice,
dismissive of history and indifferent to injury. A dictator has died and Barack Obama sent him off with lazy weasel
words: "History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him."
History will also record Obama's failure to condemn. Fidel Castro was a killer. He came to power in a revolution and
so violence was probably inescapable. But he followed it with mass executions — the guilty, the innocent, it
hardly mattered. He imposed a totalitarian system on Cuba even harsher and more homicidal than the one that preceded
it. He persecuted homosexuals, dissidents, critical writers and journalists. He would not tolerate a free press
and his own political party was the only one permitted. In the end, he ruined his country's economy while at the same
time exporting terrorism. Venezuela today is a quasi-police state run with the invaluable assistance of Cubans.
Dictator Castro Finally Dies at 90. According to the journalist and filmmaker Saul Landau, Castro was "a man
who has been steeped in democracy ... a humble man." Other commentators fell over themselves to reaffirm this message.
[...] The truth is rather more grisly and requires a stomach strong in a different sense: not to withstand the hypocritical
sentimentalities of intellectual fellow-travelers but to witness the murderous and soul-blighting frenzy of totalitarian
tyranny: the wholesale torture, imprisonment, forced labor, and murder of countless thousands whose only crime was expressing
a desire for freedom. A partial but fully documented listing of the Castros' crimes against humanity is collected at a
web site appropriately called "Castro's Greatest Atrocities and Crimes." Be sitting down when you inspect its report.
Socialism And Death. In the fall of 1962, Fidel Castro urged his Soviet allies to wipe out the United
States. The Butcher of Havana told Khrushchev to "to eliminate this danger forever". By that he meant destroying the
United States of America in a nuclear assault. "However harsh and terrible the solution, there would be no other," he
reasoned. The Soviet leader replied warning of a "war of extermination" with "millions of deaths". He called Castro's
proposal, the "start of a thermonuclear world war". Khrushchev flinched from an orgy of death that would have wiped out
most of the US, the USSR and Cuba. Castro did not. He was willing to see the world die rather than yield power.
Now the dictator who liked to shout, "Socialism or Death" is dead and out of power.
Trump threatens to undo Obama's deal as Castro's death resets U.S.-Cuba relations. Donald Trump will undo the
Obama administration's historic diplomatic reset with Havana unless the Cuban government moves swiftly to address human
rights abuses and loosen restrictions on freedom of speech and religion on the communist island, the incoming president's
chief of staff says. With Fidel Castro's death fresh in the headlines, Reince Priebus, former chairman of the
Republican National Committee, said Sunday that Mr. Trump will keep an open mind about future relations with Cuba but
demand major changes before embracing the detente set in motion by the outgoing White House.
Nuclear War. In my post about Fidel Castro's death I wrote: "It has never been clear to me whether Castro
asked the Soviets for missiles or whether the Soviets initiated the idea and Castro agreed (as the New York Times says)."
But wherever that idea originated, the evidence is that Castro advocated striking the U.S. with Soviet nukes. In other
words, he called for thermonuclear war.
Mourns Castro Who Wanted to Murder 100 Million Americans. [#1] Obama, as usual, manages to turn Castro's death
into a tribute to himself. [#2] He offers prayers for a Communist butcher notorious for targeting the clergy[.]
[#3] He evasively praises the crimes of a Communist monster while couching it in vague terminology such as History will
record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him."
College Students' Responses When Asked to Compare Castro to Trump. College students in the nation's capital
thought it was a "tough question" whether former Cuban President Fidel Castro or American President-elect Donald Trump is
more favorable. [Video clip] Many students could not give a clear answer whether they thought Castro, the
Cuban dictator who died last week, or Trump was a better leader.
The Left Loves Totalitarians Like Fidel Castro. Progressives' and leftists' outpouring of praise for Fidel
Castro at his death was to be expected, although it has been more fulsome, tone-deaf, and cloying than I expected. For
just a few examples see President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki
Moon. Rational and moral people, however, will rightly ask, "How would anyone aware of Castro's more than 50 years of
human rights abuses mourn the death of a tyrant who was both an intellectual and moral idiot, much less praise his legacy?"
lawmakers blast Obama's Castro statement. Republican members of Congress from Florida panned President Barack
Obama's response to the death of Cuban President Fidel Castro, attacking it as an inadequate response to the demise of a
dictator who victimized so many of their constituents. Castro's death was met with celebrations in the streets of
Miami, where Cuban refugees and their families make up a large percentage of the population. The jubilation felt by
many Cuban-Americans was a sharp contrast to the statement issues by the president, which offered condolences to Castro's
family and did not directly mention his human rights abuses or the victims of his Communist regime.
Castro's Utopian Hellhole.
Born to wealth and privilege and educated in exclusive private schools — which seems to be the case with
all communist fanatics I've ever heard of or have had the supreme displeasure to know in my personal life —
the bearded revolutionary finally gave up the ghost on Friday at age 90. Despite the fact that he was a murderous,
dissent-squashing, and presumably very smelly tyrant who turned his nation into the sort of drab, flea-bitten torture chamber
that all socialist republics eventually become, he was eulogized up the yin-yang by liberal Western politicians and the
establishment leftist press, because they really are all that stupid.
Truths Await Telling Of Castro's Crimes Ere Cuba Is Finally Free. How I dread the mental image of sharks eating
people escaping the island in flimsy rafts and of so many drowning or dying of dehydration in awful ordeals or of the
hundreds of brave young men who faced the firing squad, many crying "Long live a free Cuba" or "Long live Christ the King."
I thought of the political prisoners who spent decades in Castro's dungeons and of dozens still there for any ridiculous
variation of "economic crime," such as having a bag of cement to fix their home or simply not having a job ("pre-criminal
dangerousness"). Also I reflected on the Baptist minister who just chose a sorrowful exile to protect his family and of
the Catholic priest who might soon have to flee to save his own life, of the Ladies in White beaten each Sunday simply for
marching peacefully to advocate for political prisoners, and of the blind lawyer struggling to document atrocities despite so
many obstacles. And I thought of Cubans today, standing in lines to eat whatever is dispensed from an insufficient
ration book, of making a salary of less than $25 a month and unable to find aspirin at a clinic, and of so many young people
trapped in a life of hopelessness.
Liberal Hollywood Elites Who Normalized Communist Dictator Fidel Castro. Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has died
at the age of 90. Through the years, a long list of Hollywood elites have been bewitched by Castro, despite his Communist
regime's imprisonment of political opponents, homosexuals, and journalists. Actors like Jack Nicholson and Danny Glover,
and Hollywood directors from Steven Spielberg to Oliver Stone, have accepted invitations to the tiny Caribbean island and have
showered Castro with praise.
Truth about Fidel and Raul. Two decades of "Castro-is-dead" rumors are finally at an end. And the race is
on to see which world leader can most fulsomely praise Fidel Castro's legacy, while delicately averting their eyes from his
less savory characteristics. Two duly elected leaders of democracies who should know better, Canadian prime minister
Justin Trudeau and American president Barack Obama, are leading the way. Mr. Trudeau praised Castro as a
"legendary revolutionary and orator" who "made significant improvements to the education and health care of his island
nation." Mr. Obama offered his "condolences" to the Cuban people, and blandly suggested that "history will
record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure." Now, he added, we can "look to the future."
Fidel Castro's life of luxury and ladies while country starved. With his shaggy beard and rumpled, olive-drab
fatigues, Fidel Castro presented himself to the world as a modest man of the people. At times, he claimed he made just
900 pesos ($43) a month and lived in a "fisherman's hut" somewhere on the beach. But Castro's public image was a
carefully crafted myth, more fiction than fact. "While his people suffered, Fidel Castro lived in comfort —
keeping everything, including his eight children, his many mistresses, even his wife, a secret," wrote Juan Reinaldo Sanchez,
Castro's longtime bodyguard.
U.S. Media's Decades of Cheering Castro's Communism. While every other country in the Western Hemisphere moved
towards democracy, Cuba remained a one-party state under dictator Fidel Castro, who held power without free elections from
1959 until health problems forced him to step aside in 2006. Castro's communist regime executed hundreds of political
opponents and drove tens of thousands more into exile; hundreds of dissidents today languish in Cuban prisons. The U.S.
State Department, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch all listed Castro's Cuba as among the worst violators of human
rights on the planet, while the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the harassment and imprisonment of journalists.
Carter remembers Fidel Castro 'fondly'. Former President Jimmy Carter had kind words for Cuban dictator Fidel
Castro, who died Friday, saying in a statement he and his wife "remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of
his country." Castro, who was 90, was long a scourge of the U.S. who brought the Cold War to America's doorstep.
But he and Carter, a Georgia native, had warmer relations. Carter took a step to normalize relations between the two
nations during his presidency, and the two shared several visits, including a 2011 journey where Castro called Carter a
Fidel Castro May Be Dead, But Tyranny Remains In Cuba.
Late Friday evening, Cuban state media reported the death of their former leader, Fidel Castro, at age 90. Some will mourn
his passing or even glorify his life. But for many others, not even his death will fill the void caused by his
life. For over five decades, Cubans suffered under the tyranny of Fidel and then his brother Raul, now 85. They watched
the regime destroy a country and export the same perverted model of social justice throughout the developing world. My
grandfather would often tell us of how he would hide indoors while Fidel's firing squads would slaughter innocent people nearby.
A very hot place awaits
Fidel. He promised elections but kept delaying them. They never happened. He denied that he was communist and
locked up people like my dad's cousin for publicly saying so. A bit later, he declared himself a communist but did not
release those who called him one. In the end, he leaves a poor island with very little hope. He leaves political prisons,
families crushed, and empty store shelves.
Hail Castro's Achievements, 'George Washington,' 'Folk Hero to Most of Us'. Fidel Castro, who died late Friday
night, was a tyrant who oppressed Cubans and brought misery to many for several decades and while much of the breaking news
coverage emphasized that reality, journalists on ABC, CNN and MSNBC — matching how too much of the media
approached Castro for decades — couldn't resist crediting him for supposed great advancements in education,
literacy and health care. On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell insisted in a stock bio that Castro "gave his people better health
care and education." Appearing live by phone, she soon trumpted how Castro "will be revered" for "education and social
services and medical care to all of his people."
Obama's and Trump's Statements on the Death of Castro Couldn't Be Any More Different. As is so often the case
with the left-wing press and President Obama, it's often what is not said that is the most revealing.
to Cuba's brutal Big Brother. One of the most brutal dictators in modern history has just died. Oddly
enough, some will mourn his passing, and many an obituary will praise him. Millions of Cubans who have been waiting
impatiently for this moment for more than half a century will simply ponder his crimes and recall the pain and suffering he caused.
Fidel cruelly imposed an
emotional trauma on generations of Cubans. The emotional trauma that Fidel and Raul Castro have cruelly imposed on generations of
Cubans and their children cannot be easily explained. Families have been torn apart. Dreams have been quashed. Thousands of
friends and family members have been killed in prison, shot in front of a firing squad, or drowned at sea seeking freedom. Several hundred
patriotic young Cubans, seeking to depose Fidel, were instead killed or wounded at the Bay of Pigs; 1200 more were imprisoned before being freed
for ransom. Fidel Castro's messianic dreams of being the world's revolutionary leader didn't stop at Cuba's shores. He trained
hundreds of PLO and PFLP terrorists and other assassins to wreak havoc in the Middle East and against Western democracies. He tried to
bring his communist revolution to Latin American and other Caribbean countries. He sent Cuban troops to intervene in Angola and
propped up a failing Soviet-led regime.
Latin Perishes At Last. The apologists might have consulted the various Amnesty International reports, which
hardly capture the full picture. With no apology to Francois Hollande, Fidel Castro allowed the Soviet Union to impose
complete domination of Cuba. That helped Fidel Castro drive a prosperous nation to sub-Haiti levels of poverty.
His repression was such that Cubans flee at the first opportunity, leaving everything behind, at great risk to their own
lives. That is why the Straits of Florida have become a graveyard without crosses. The social justice crowd might
have a look at Orlando Jimenez-Leal's documentary 8A, which captures Castro's show-trial of General Arnaldo Ochoa and
other officers. Their government lawyers pleaded with the court that their clients must receive the death penalty, duly
carried out with no appeal.
death spurs drink specials galore as Cuban-American restaurants celebrate occasion. With Fidel Castro's passing
Friday evening [11/25/2016] prompting impromptu parties on the streets of Miami, area establishments have announced plans to
continue commemorating the dictator's death with a slew of drink specials being offered in celebration. Bars and
restaurants throughout Miami, the city with the largest Cuban population in all of the United States, offered discounted
cocktails and other deals on Saturday as news of Castro's passing continued to garner enthusiastic responses among area expats.
Cuban Castaway Elian Gonzalez Remembers Fidel Castro as a Father Figure-Turned-Friend. Elian Gonzalez, the
Cuban castaway boy rescued off the coast of Florida in 1999 by a pair of sport fishermen, spoke fondly of Fidel Castro on
Saturday, describing the late former Cuban leader as a father figure who became a friend. Gonzalez, then
five-years-old, was found floating on an inner tube after his mother and other Cubans died while trying to escape communist
Cuba for the U.S., where he had relatives. Interestingly, he was found on November 25, 1999 — exactly
16 years prior to the day of Castro's death.
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro
dies at age 90. Longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the bearded, cigar-smoking Communist revolutionary who infuriated the United
States, inspired both loyalty and loathing from his countrymen and maintained an iron grip on Cuban politics for almost 50 years, died
Friday [11/25/2016]. He was 90.
Obama Whitewashes Castro's
Tyranny in "Carefully-Worded" Statement. President Obama and the Mainstream Media are mourning the death of Cuban dictator Fidel
Castro — whitewashing his crimes against the Cuban people while comparing him to George Washington. "We know that this moment fills
Cubans — in Cuba and in the United States — with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the
course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure
on the people and world around him," the president said in a statement. [...] It is absolutely sickening to watch the White House and the
Mainstream Media mourn the loss of their beloved Castro — a ruthless dictator who was the personification of evil. Sen. Marco
Rubio was enraged by President Obama's half-hearted attempt to whitewash Castro's atrocities.
drive lost Florida for Clinton. The evidence is mounting that President Obama's overzealous defense of his
"opening Cuba" gambit cost Hillary Clinton the state of Florida. That misstep could end up wiping out most of the
president's carefully curated "legacy" achievements. For the president and his young Deputy National Security Adviser
Ben Rhodes, the establishment of diplomatic relations with one of the world's last communist dictatorships became something
they weirdly defended from any criticism. Even the smallest amendment that watered down coddling the Castros drew
fulminating threats of vetoes from the White House. Then in late October, President Obama went for broke and decided to
stick a bigger needle in his opponents' eye. He lifted limits on the import of cigars and rum, and then ordered our
ambassador to the United Nations to abstain from a vote condemning the US economic embargo on Cuba.
the one about all the business opportunities in Cuba? There is a Cuban expression that sort goes like this: "No
puedes tapar el sol con un dedo". It literally means that you can't cover the sun with your thumb. In other words, you can't
avoid reality in the long run. Well, reality is all over the new Obama plan to open up Cuba. The original plan was that
U.S. companies would rush in, exploit markets, freedom would explode and that every Cuban would add Obama's birthday to the calendar
of Catholic saints, i,e Santo BO! Like ObamaCare, the Iran nuclear deal, or ending Mideast wars, the plan is not working out
Cuba to Share Critical U.S. Intel With Iranian Spies. A little noticed Obama administration directive on Cuba,
released Oct. 14, instructed the U.S. director of national intelligence to assist and cooperate with Cuba's intelligence
services. The directive has raised red flags on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers are concerned that Cuba will pass
along critical U.S. intelligence to the Iranians, who have made moves in recent years to extend their influence in the
communist country and other Latin American countries hostile to the United States.
officials and Communist Party members can now get U.S. remittances and more. With little fanfare, the U.S.
government recently amended regulations to allow Cuban government officials and members of the Communist Party to benefit
from the softening of sanctions, including receiving cash remittances and other perks. The new beneficiaries include
members of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT), the Central Committee of the Communist Party (PCC) and other branches
of the Cuban government. The change is part of the new round of regulations announced last week by the Obama administration.
Obama secretly sharing intel with Castros. President Obama quietly changed American policy to allow intelligence sharing
with the Castro regime last week, a Senate Republican has learned. The change was made under the auspices of the Treasury Department,
which announced that it would loosen rules pertaining to how much merchandise American travelers could bring back from Cuba. But the
new regulation has much broader applications, according to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, because they change the rules that define which
Cuban officials face travel restrictions and other bans on entering into contracts with Americans.
Obama's 'Normalization,' The Castros' Cuba Is As Repressive As Ever. It's now been almost two years since
President Obama began easing relations with Cuba to make "the lives of ordinary Cubans a little bit easier, more free, more
prosperous." How's that working out? No so well, it seems.
restaurants prove successful, so Cuban government cracks down on them. Cuba's private restaurants, better known
as "paladares" (palates), are being watched closely these days by the Castro government, which has temporarily suspended the
concession of licenses because of alleged rule violations in a booming sector that perfectly represents the island's new
economy. "There has been powerful growth in a very short time and for the government, it's gotten out of hand," the
owner of a famous Havana restaurant told EFE, adding that like other eatery owners he awaits a feared inspection by the
authorities sometime during the coming weeks.
Opened the Door for Castro's Spies. By the time he leaves office in three months, Obama will have substantially
re-normalized relations with the Castro regime. Obama has pressed forward over the opposition of many Cuban-Americans
and human rights groups, who note that Washington's gifts to Havana have not been reciprocated with greater respect for
democracy and the rule of law in Cuba, as many had anticipated. In the words of Amnesty International, "Despite
increasingly open diplomatic relations, severe restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and movement continued.
Thousands of cases of harassment of government critics and arbitrary arrests and detentions were reported."
lifts all restrictions on Cuban rum, cigars. The Obama administration announced Friday [10/14/2016] a new round
of executive actions designed to increase trade and travel with the communist island. And this is the one many
Americans have been waiting for — no more restrictions on the island's famed rum and cigars. Under the new
rules, travelers can purchase unlimited quantities of Cuban rum and cigars in any country where they are sold so long as they
are for personal consumption. Sorry American couch potatoes: You can't order Cuban rum and cigars online and have
them shipped to your home.
threatens to undo Obama's diplomacy with Cuba unless Castro grants 'religious and political freedom' and releases 'political
prisoners'. Donald Trump played to Cuban-American sentiments Friday night [9/16/2016] in Miami, saying he would
reverse all of President Barack Obama's executive actions normalizing relations with the Castro regime — unless
the oppressive government in Havana dramatically changes its approach to human rights and political freedom. Trump, the
Republican nominee for president, pledged that if he wins the White House he is 'going to stand with the Cuban people in
their fight against communist oppression.'
invasion: Immigration highest ever, deportations lowest. Illegal border crossings by Cubans has surpassed
last year's record at the same time deportations are at an all-time low, a poisonous formula that is making the United States
a huge "magnet" for even higher levels of immigration from the communist island, according to a new report. Cuban immigration
has hit 46,635, breaching last year's ceiling of 43,154, according to the authoritative Center for Immigration Studies.
Official Admits No Federal Air Marshals Are Allowed on Non-Chartered US-Cuba Commercial Flights. At a House Homeland
Security Committee hearing Wednesday [9/14/2016], a top Transportation Security Administration official admitted that federal
air marshals are not currently allowed on non-chartered commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba, despite reports to the
contrary. Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) questioned Dr. Huban Gowardia, deputy administrator for the Transportation
Security Administration, about a draft agreement between the TSA and the Cuban government which would allow federal air
marshals on commercial flights.
The Ugly Truth
Of Leftist "Heroes". [Scroll down to Ernesto "Che" Guevara] Although his iconic picture is widespread,
especially on college campuses, most people have no idea what he did. He helped Castro take over Cuba, and fought for
Communism in the Congo and Bolivia. While in Cuba, he lived in a palatial house and gleefully executed hundreds or
perhaps thousands of political prisoners.
James Patterson: In Cuba 'Everybody Gets Fed, Everybody Gets Health Care, Everybody Gets Educated'.
Best-selling author James Patterson thinks that, unlike Cuba, America is unable to "take care of the basics" —
education, health care, and food. Patterson wrote and hosts a new documentary, "Murder of a Small Town," that looks at
two rural communities in Florida, Pahokee and Belle Glade. The towns have been abandoned by industry, are violent,
poverty-stricken and offer a contrast to Palm Beach and other affluent coastal communities to the east.
to provide cellphone roaming, other services for tourists in Cuba. The Dallas-based telecommunications giant on
Monday [8/29/2016] announced the agreement with the state telecommunications company, Etecsa.
The Dark Reality of Cuba.
Behind the tourist facade, the real hell of Castro's Cuba that Cuban's live in.
Earlier this year President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. The
trip came one year after the two nations moved to re-establish diplomatic relations. Congress is considering steps that
would ease restrictions on Americans traveling to the island nation. However, what you might not know is an astonishing
number of Cubans have been surging into the U.S. They're taking advantage of a law that allows them to stay in the country
if they get one foot on American soil. That law is a relic from the Cold War and one that some want to change.
of Cuban Migrants in the United States. Over the last couple of months, thousands of Cuban migrants were
transferred from Central America to Mexico. And once at the U.S.-Mexico border, under the current interpretation of the
Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) and the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that grows out of it, Cubans without visas are waved into the
United States and are given legal status and full access to welfare programs. During a recent trip to Laredo, Texas, my
colleague Jessica Vaughan and I learned that this new wave of Cubans has been building for several years. The number of
new annual arrivals nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015, and is roughly six times higher now than it was in 2009, which marked
the most recent low point.
approves flights to Havana from 10 American cities, via 8 airlines. The U.S. Department of Transportation on
Thursday approved commercial flights to Havana from 10 American cities. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined
the department's awarding of tentative approval for eight U.S. airlines to begin the flights from 10 U.S. cities this fall.
thrives in communist Cuba. As Cuban salsa beats pulsate along Obispo Street in the oldest section of this
Caribbean capital, bearded men raise their hands to their ears and face east toward Mecca. They whisper in union
"Allahu akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic). They recite verses of the Koran. They bend down and place their head, knees
and hands on Oriental rugs. Together, they represent a thriving group of Islamic followers in the most unlikely of
places: communist Cuba.
Cuban migrants climbed isn't 'dry land,' judge rules. The lighthouse that a group of Cuban migrants scaled in
an attempt to reach the United States isn't "dry land," a federal judge ruled Tuesday [6/28/2016]. The decision means
24 migrants who've been detained for more than a month on a U.S. Coast Guard cutter will be processed for repatriation back
to Cuba, the agency said in a statement.
Cubans rush through Texas, immigration policy questioned. As the morning light seeps into the chapel of an
immigrant shelter here just blocks north of the U.S.-Mexico border, a man sleeps undisturbed on a cot, wrapped in a
comforter. The chapel doesn't normally serve as a bedroom, but for months the rest of the rooms at the Annunciation
House shelter have been full. From February to May, about 4,000 Cubans crossed over the Rio Grande River into Texas'
westernmost city. After making their way to shelters and churches, many have been sleeping in crowded, makeshift
quarters on bunk beds, cots, couches and pews.
armed Cuban migrants tasered on Florida beach. [Scroll down] Authorities said that five of them were
transported to the hospital. The others were taken later to be checked out before being turned over to U.S. Border
Patrol. It's unclear if the migrants will be able to stay in the U.S. under the "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" policy, or if they
will be returned to Cuba.
migrants detained after landing on packed Florida beach. Nearly a dozen Cuban migrants landed ashore with a
rickety raft in broad daylight Saturday as beachgoers near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., watched and cheered on the weathered
travelers. The migrants — nine men and one woman — landed on the sandy shore at Dania Beach,
where local and federal authorities were waiting for them after the 200 mile journey from the communist country.
Cuba denies visas for House lawmakers.
Cuba is refusing to approve visa applications for members of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, according to the committee's chairman.
Members were hoping to leave on Friday afternoon [6/24/2016] to examine lagging security in the country's airports, which are set to begin making flights
to the U.S. this year. The lawmakers were forced to cancel when their applications were denied that morning. "We wanted to look at their airport
security ... because TSA has been backchanneling to us that it's not adequate," said Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas. "So I attempted to go
down there to just look at them, there were five of us, and they denied our visas."
in Ecuador turn to Mexican Embassy for help in reaching United States. Scores of Cubans are camped out in front
of Mexico's embassy in Ecuador, appealing for help in reaching the United States.
HHS Signs Cooperation Deal with Castro Regime Because "Cuba Has Made Significant Contributions to Health and
Science". In 1958 Cuba had the 13th lowest infant-mortality on earth — ahead of France, Belgium,
West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Castro's Cuba, on the other hand, is ravaged by
diseases long-eradicated in Cuba (Dengue, Cholera) and of her "doctors" fortunate enough to escape, the overwhelmingly
majority flunk the exam given in the U.S. for licensing as doctor's assistants."
Touts Cuba Relations While It Still Appears on U.S Terrorist List Alongside Al Qaeda, Hamas. Before Obama
"normalized" relations and lifted economic sanctions, Cuba for decades appeared on the State Department's list of nation's
that sponsor terrorism. Its longtime communist regime is renowned for committing atrocious human rights violations and
openly offering refuge to criminals on the run from U.S. justice. Among them is a Black Liberation Army leader on the
FBI's most wanted list after a prison escape following a conviction for murdering a New Jersey State Trooper. More
recently, Medicare fraud ringleaders have escaped to Cuba after fleecing the U.S. government out of tens of millions of
dollars. Nevertheless, in 2014 Obama announced he was charting a new course in Cuba by "normalizing relations with a
country just 90 miles off our coast."
Growing Numbers of Cuban Migrants in the
United States. It has not always been standard policy to admit Cubans via parole. Officials we spoke to explained that
prior to the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), Cubans who presented themselves at the land port of entry
were not allowed to enter immediately, but were sent to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to make their asylum claim. Following the
implementation of the 1996 act, which established Expedited Removal as a form of deportation processing, they were processed as Expedited
Removal/Credible Fear (ER/CF) cases, meaning that they would be taken into custody and detained until their asylum claim/fear claim could be
reviewed. In those days, the government did not operate under the assumption that all Cubans have a credible fear of return or persecution,
as is the case today. Cubans were questioned closely about their personal history, and often were determined to be economic migrants and thus
unqualified to receive asylum or parole. Those who failed to establish a credible fear of return were not permitted to enter the United States.
Gives Kitchen Sink Away to Vietnam. [Scroll down] I don't think we should be giving away the kitchen sink without ensuring the dishes are
clean. Why not demand these communist countries, with whom we are "normalizing" relations, improve their human rights record. Unless, we are, as
Raul Castro dictated to Obama, guilty of worse violations — after all Obama just stood there and allowed Castro to rant about the United States.
Hmm, perhaps Obama could have brought attention to the fact that Cubans are showing up on our shores, not the reverse.
open border to 4,000 Cubans, interviewed just 1 hour before release. U.S. Border Patrol officials are opening
up the Texas border to let 4,000 Cubans in, taking about an hour to interview them and check their criminal background,
before letting them enter the United States on their own where most will stay for life. Aware that Panama had airlifted
nearly 250 of 4,000 Cubans to the Mexican border near El Paso, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said it stands
ready to process the new immigrants with speed, in fact faster it takes many Americans to get a drivers license or buy a gun.
Panama to close Colombia border
to halt Cuba migrants. President Juan Carlos Varela said the decision was necessary as Costa Rica and Nicaragua
had recently closed their borders to Cubans heading north. Panama has also agreed to transfer more than 3,500 Cubans
hoping to reach the US to a town in northern Mexico. President Varela said the flights to Mexico could last two to
Cuba cruise returns to the United States with suspected norovirus outbreak on board after 14 passengers fall ill. Carnival Corporation's Fathom
Line ship Adonia left Miami for Havana with just over 700 passengers on board on May 1. The ship returned to Miami a week later — around
6.30am on Sunday — but during the cruise's journey, there were reports that several passengers had fallen ill.
man arrested for waving American flag as first US cruise ship arrives. Before we get too excited about the tide
of change in Cuba we should probably consider the case of Daniel Llorente. When the first U.S. cruise ship in the
living memory of most of us arrived in Castroland, Daniel was pretty enthusiastic. In fact, he was down on the docks
waving an American flag. Some of his fellow observers expressed concern over this overt display of pro-American unity
sentiments, but Mr. Llorente was not dismayed. He said, "I'm not scared of talking. I'm not scared of the
government." As it turns out, that really didn't work out very well.
cruise from a US port in decades leaves Miami for Cuba. Passengers have set sail from Miami on a historic
cruise to Cuba, the first in decades to depart from a U.S. seaport for the communist island nation.
the Cuban balloon. There's an old Russian proverb that if you spit in the face of a weakling he will give
thanks for the rain. This should be a Cuban proverb, to describe Barack Obama's not such an excellent adventure to
Havana. Raul Castro, the Cuban president, did everything short of expectoration to make the American president grovel
for the regime's affections. The irony, obvious to everyone, is that the Castro brothers and their regime are on the
ropes. Bankruptcy is too kind a word for the Cuban economy. The iconic sugar industry is all but destroyed, with
abandoned cropland, rusting refineries and clumsy marketing.
So are the Iranians, but that's another story.
Castros Are Getting Everything They Want From Obama. The White House decision to disinvite a Grammy-award
winning jazz legend who is a strong defender of democracy in Cuba was nothing short of contemptible. The fact that it
has now embarrassingly backtracked and re-invited him proves it had acted like corporations that are only too happy to ignore
human rights violations in exchange for future profits with Cuba until public pressure gets too intense. In other
words, engagement with the Castros is not changing them, as promised, it's changing us — as many of us
predicted. It bears repeating it: The Castros, like all dictators, are bacterial. You touch them and you
become contaminated. We are diminishing ourselves, and for what? The Castros have rendered Cuba a pauperized
state, with no money.
'Hate Boat' to Havana Heralds the Shape of Things to Come. On Monday [4/18/2016], Carnival finally appeared to
have noticed that it was in the middle of a PR fiasco with its "Hate Boat" to Havana cruises that did not permit Cuban-born
Americans aboard. After a weekend of withering criticism, the company announced that it will "delay" the trips if the
Castro regime refuses to change its policies banning such people from arriving by sea. Carnival's position until today
has been that it was merely following a Castro rule that bars people born in Cuba from arriving on the island of their birth
by sea (dictatorships have such whimsical rules). Even Secretary of State John Kerry, a champion of President Obama's
engagement of the communist dictatorship, thought Carnival was on shaky ground.
Obama! Cuban Activist Living in USA for Nearly Half a Century Ordered Deported. Odd how after slavishly
licking the boots of the Cuban dictator that Obama finally gets around to actually deporting someone. [...] We have millions
of people here illegally, many of them criminals, yet now it's a priority to deport this man?
Caught Red-Handed' as Cuban Ship Busted Transporting Massive Cocaine Shipment. Nearly 900 pounds of cocaine was
found Thursday on a Cuban ship in Panama that was headed for Belgium. A U.S. Representative from Florida says the
Castro regime has been caught drug trafficking red-handed.
kilos of cocaine found on Cuban ship; Diaz-Balart: Castro regime 'caught red-handed'. Panamanian
authorities seized 401 kilos, about 882 pounds, of cocaine on a ship headed to Belgium from Cuba on Thursday [4/14/2016].
The cocaine was found camouflaged among tanks of cane-sugar syrup, according to the country's National Police (PN), part of operation
Caña Brava. The PN did not elaborate further on the raid. Despite the lack of details available, U.S. Rep. Mario
Diaz-Balart (R-Florida) fired off a press release blaming the Cuban government and the Castro regime for trafficking cocaine.
Intercepts Major Drug Shipment From Cuba. The Panamanian authorities have intercepted over 401 kilos of cocaine
in a shipment from Cuba en route to Belgium. The cocaine was found in a container camouflaged by molasses tanks.
Details are forthcoming of this interdiction at the Colon Free Trade Zone, which has been dubbed by intelligence officials as
"Operation Fiery Cane" ("Caña Brava"). It's important to note that the interception — also by the
Panamanian authorities — of 240 tons of illegal weapons from Cuba to North Korea in 2013 was originally under
suspicion of a drug shipment.
symbols politicians use. Though every world leader is doubtless conscious of the signals that visual props
around them subconsciously convey, the handlers responsible for shaping the image of the US president have taken things to
another level. Take President Obama's recent trip to Cuba — the first such visit by a US president in
88 years. Obama's short trek 90 miles from the US to its Caribbean neighbour in March 2016 was his boldest step
yet in advancing his controversial agenda to reset diplomatic relations between the two nations. But it was a painting by
a Cuban artist that stole the show. Among the more awkward events on Obama's Cuban itinerary was a meeting with a group
of political dissidents, many of whom fear the thawing of relations between Washington and Havana will only embolden the
repressive tendencies of Cuban president Raúl Castro by legitimising his regime. Enter Michel Mirabal, a
contemporary Cuban artist whose sprawling painting My New Friend provided the striking backdrop to the meeting.
The Editor says...
While Cuba is about 90 miles from the Florida Keys, Mr. Obama flew at least 1,135 miles in
each direction to get from Washington DC to Havana.
Cuba Jailed 498 Dissidents
During Obama's Visit. Obama's so-called historic visit led to almost 500 dissidents being jailed during his Cuba trip.
state media goes after our first black president. President Teddy Roosevelt once told a campaign audience that weakness invites
contempt. Let's just say that those words apply to our new friend Raúl Castro, who keeps going out of his way to show the world that
it was President Obama, not he, who really wanted to do the wave at the baseball game. First, Raúl Castro skipped President Obama's
arrival. [...] Second, Raúl Castro watched the president of the U.S. praise his education and health care system. Incredibly, President
Obama read the regime's talking points from A to Z. What was the point of President Obama doing this? Third, Fidel Castro
jumped into the act and wrote an op-ed in the state media blasting President Obama.
State Media: 'Negro' Obama 'Incited Rebellion and Disorder'. The Havana Tribune, a state-controlled
Cuban newspaper, has added insult to injury following Fidel Castro's scathing criticism of President Barack Obama upon his
departure from the island. In an editorial, the title of which refers to President Obama as "negro," an opinion columnist
has accused him of "inciting rebellion." The article is titled "Negro, ¿Tu Eres Sueco?" which roughly translates to
"Black Man, Are You Dumb?"
Gross upset by Bernie Sanders' praise of Cuban government. Alan Gross is not feeling the Bern. The former
aid worker who spent who spent over four years behind bars in Cuba said he can't tolerate Democratic president candidate and
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' praise for some of the Cuban government's accomplishments. Sanders was one of three
senators who visited Gross while he was in a Cuban prison after being accused of being a spy and also helped to secure the
aid worker's eventual release. Gross, who was jailed in 2009, was eventually released in December 2014.
John Kerry's New Terror Treason.
Stop by your local post office and you might just see a poster of Rodrigo "Timochenko" Londono hanging next to the Most Wanted posters of bank robbers
and fugitives. The State Department is offering a $5 million reward for information about the Communist terrorist leader. But all the
State Department had to do was ask Secretary of State Kerry. Obama did the wave with the Cuban dictator and Kerry met with Timochenko, the leader
of FARC, a Marxist terrorist organization that appears on his own department's list of foreign terrorist organizations a little above Al Qaeda.
Timochenko is a Communist who was trained at the USSR's infamous Patrice Lumumba University. The State Department accuses him of ordering the
kidnapping of Americans and responsibility for much of the cocaine that is smuggled into the United States. But none of that bothered Kerry who
accepted a signed copy of a memoir by the terror group's former leader which was addressed to "Senor" Kerry.
After Obama's Visit, Castro Regime
Steps Up Repression in Cuba. The week after after US President Barack Obama's visit, things in Cuba have returned to normal.
More than 150 activists were arrested on Saturday [3/26/2016] in demonstrations demanding the release of political prisoners. José
Daniel Ferrer, who leads Cuba's Unión Patriótica, an NGO, said most of the 138 protesters arrested belong to his organization, which
is based in Santiago de Cuba. It is in this particular city and the eastern part of the island where most protesters have been detained.
Kissing The Cuban Snake, Much To His Surprise, Obama Gets Bit. It was all so choreographed. President Obama's "historic"
trip to Cuba was prepped and re-prepped so that nothing would go off with a glitch. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes
jetted into Havana for the preparations; and, depending on the news report, Secretary of State John Kerry might have made an appearance
there, too. President Obama spouted his treacly niceties, drew his moral equivalences and blended it all out with a sea of banalities
about "the future" in a not-so-disguised effort to create his own Nixon In China legacy thing. Never mind that dissidents were being
beaten by Cuban security organs and that "President" Raul Castro offered no concessions toward human rights. Obama's was laser-focused
on sending the message of "fun" for the trip. As a major terror attack engulfed Brussels, Obama did the "wave" with the Cuban dictator.
Unacceptable Love Affair With Communism. Many of us warned about Obama's Marxist sympathies before he was first
elected president, and we've repeatedly pointed it out during his presidency. Obama was raised and mentored by communists
and spent many years engaged in community organizing (radical leftist activism). He established himself as the most liberal
member of the Senate. Yet our warnings were met with cries of extremism, irrationality and, of course, racism. I wonder what
these scolds would say now. After playing his fiddle in Cuba and paying homage to the romanticized Marxist Castro regime
while Belgium was burning, Obama spoke to a group of young people in Argentina. He told them, essentially, that there isn't
much difference between capitalism and socialism and that they "should be practical." He said: "You don't have to worry
about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works." He praised
President Raul Castro in Cuba for his country's universal health care and quality education. Please don't tell me you find
that hard to believe, either.
Castro says Obama's 'syrupy words' were enough to cause a heart attack. President Obama's "syrupy" words about
brotherhood and shared history, and his call to leave behind the enmity of the past, were enough to give Cubans "a heart
attack," former president Fidel Castro said Monday in his first public response to Obama's visit to Cuba last week. "We
don't need any gifts from the empire," Castro wrote in a scathing article, addressed to "Brother Obama" and published in Granma,
the Cuban Communist Party newspaper.
The Apology Tour of Our
Next President. In Havana recently, President Obama talked of the similarities between Cuba and the United
States, as if a constitutional republic of some 240 years and a thuggish and murderous communist dictatorship were kindred
souls. [...] Obama also missed the irony that, while he had just warmed up to a present-day Cuban dictatorship with blood on
its hands, he then blamed his distant predecessors for warming up to a long-gone Argentine dictatorship with blood on its
hands. Argentine General Galtieri and his predecessors, who may have overseen the killing of some 20,000, are long dead;
Raul Castro, who may have the blood of about the same number on his hands, is very much alive — and in the
back-slapping company of President Obama.
Here's What Fidel Castro
Had to Say About Obama's Historic Cuba Visit. Retired leader Fidel Castro accused U.S. President Barack Obama
of sweet-talking the Cuban people during his visit to the island last week and ignoring the accomplishments of Communist
rule, in an opinion piece carried by all state-run media on Monday [3/28/2016]. Obama's visit was aimed at consolidating
a detente between the once intractable Cold War enemies and the U.S. president said in a speech to the Cuban people that it
was time for both nations to put the past behind them and face the future "as friends and as neighbors and as family, together."
Castro to Obama: We Don't Need Your 'Presents'. Fidel Castro responded Monday [3/28/2016] to President Barack
Obama's historic trip to Cuba with a long, bristling letter recounting the history of U.S. aggression against Cuba, writing
that "we don't need the empire to give us any presents."
Surrenders to Colombia's FARC Terrorists in Cuba. Secretary of State John Kerry met last week in Havana, Cuba with the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which is listed by the State Department as a terror organization and widely recognized
as the deadliest and largest Marxist terror group in the world. The Obama administration is encouraging the Colombian government
to negotiate with FARC. Thus far, the Cuban-sponsored talks have yielded little but one-way concessions to terror.
"Apology Tour" Comes Full Circle. At the beginning of his presidency, Barack Obama traveled to Cairo, Europe
and the United Nations to "apologize" for past American actions and attitudes, which he claimed helped create divisions
between countries. [...] Mitt Romney and other critics quickly dubbed these and similar remarks his "apology tour." With
the president's visit to Havana, Cuba, that tour has come full circle. In response to a question about Cuba's human rights
policies during a joint news conference, Cuban President Raul Castro criticized the United States for what he asserted was
America's violation of human rights.
Inglorious Speech. President Obama's so-called "remarks to the Cuban people" — delivered in Havana
and broadcast throughout Cuba on Tuesday the 22nd of March 2016 — were not in the least surprising or remarkable.
It was a classic example of Obamaspeak: a complex, interwoven tapestry of vague platitudes, potentially inspiring anecdotes,
artificial myths, and outright lies, laced with several references to himself and a few strands of actual truth. Nonetheless,
the speech was somewhat memorable, for two reasons, both of which relate to context.
Mr. President, 1776 Wasn't Anything Like Castro's 1959 Putsch. In his Tuesday [3/22/2016] address to the Cuban
people, Obama declared that the communist takeover that led to the Castros' 57-year dictatorship was a "liberation movement,"
same as America's 1776 revolution. Obama's well-known for his false equivalencies, but this one stands out for its idiocy.
"Here's my message to the Cuban government and the Cuban people," Obama said. "The ideals that are the starting point for
every revolution, America's revolution, Cuba's revolution, the liberation movements around the world, these ideals find their
truest expression, I believe, in democracy." It must have drawn a stifled horse-laugh from Cuban military dictator Raul Castro.
Legacy Will Be Marked by His Silence on Human Rights in Cuba. The president's decision to visit Cuba was a great mistake from
the start. Back in 2015, long before his trip was announced, President Barack Obama stated that he would only travel to Cuba if he saw
"some progress in the liberty and freedom". But like his red-line of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, such assurance was clearly
just another one of the president's "red-lines", and Gen. Raul Castro knew it. Since the thaw began, the Cuban government has doubled
down on its repressive tactics, with political and religious persecution levels increasing drastically.
the Obama-Che Photo Was Even Worse Than It Looked. One of the first places I visited on a government-sanctioned
"educational" tour to Cuba several years back was the Plaza de la Revolucion, a hideous expanse of concrete at the
center of Havana that makes, say, Tiananmen Square look positively charming. It was there that President Obama was featured
in that now-infamous photo in front of a giant mural of Che Guevara. It was unfortunate that the president lent his
imprimatur to Guevara, a totalitarian who was responsible for the death of thousands. But, in some ways, the photo-op was
even worse than it looked. Because as we learned on our tour, the building that Guevara's face adorns is home to the Cuban
Ministry of the Interior. Unlike our own Ministry of the Interior, Cuba's is not charged with innocuous tasks like
protecting endangered waterfowl. Rather, it operates the National Revolutionary Police, which, in addition to keeping
law and order on the streets, harasses and arrests dissidents, and suppresses "counter-revolutionary" activities. In
other words, it's Cuba's version of the Stasi.
tourists seek preserved Cuba — and Cubans seek change. American Sue Pemberton rushed to Havana to
experience authentic Cuba before the communist island gets swamped by capitalism. The only problem: millions of
other foreigners had exactly the same idea. Already booming tourism is set to explode in the wake of President Barack Obama's
visit to Havana on Sunday, when he'll bury an almost six decades-long conflict that left Cuba the last major undeveloped market
in the Caribbean. So Pemberton, 63, joined a tour to "see it before it changes."
family vacations in Cuba at same time as Obamas. Even on vacation, Michael Nutter can't escape the political
circus. The former Philadelphia mayor and his wife, Lisa, were in Cuba visiting their daughter this week at the same time
that President Barack Obama and his family visited the island nation on a historic diplomatic, and apparently recreational,
mission. The timing was mere coincidence, Nutter said in an interview Wednesday evening as he waited on a layover at
Miami International Airport. The Nutters, he added, planned their vacation first.
The Day Freedom Died in Cuba.
In 1959, Fidel Castro and his communist henchmen put a bullet through the head of freedom. Proclaiming the era of equality,
they threw dissidents in jail or shot them, cracked down on free speech, closed their markets and seized private property.
Thousands of Cubans fled to the liberty of the United States. Over the decades, hundreds of thousands of Cubans left the island
any way they could. Learned men floated battered cars 90 miles toward Florida in the hope that they would reach land;
young women smuggled their babies into rickety old boats in the desperate desire to escape perennial servitude.
dismissive 'wave' to the Obamas. The president of the world's most powerful country, who refuses to identify
ISIS by their own name, and who did 'the wave' with Cuba's communist president, is the one and the same who made no mention
at all about the nine Cubans who drowned in waves trying to make it to Florida while he was on the way to the country they
gave their very lives to escape. That the Obama family get away with masquerading as defenders of the world poor is an
insult to human intelligence. The self-styled Obama blue-bloods actually flaunt their riches — paid for
from the public purse — as touring royalty.
words': Cubans applaud Obama visit, but see little change. After the heady excitement of seeing President
Barack Obama shatter decades of US-Cuba hostility, Cubans woke up on Wednesday wondering how much will really change on the
Cuba's Revolution, Like America's, Was a 'Liberation Movement'. President Obama told the Cuban people this
morning [3/22/2016] the Communist revolution that brought the Castros to power was a "liberation movement," just like
America's own revolution. [...] "There's still enormous problems in our society," Obama said of America. "But democracy is
the way that we solve them. That's how we got health care for more of our people. That's how we made enormous gains in
women's rights and gay rights."
Obama Currently on 'Ideological Holiday Trip in Cuba While the World Burns'. Fox News contributor, frequent Special Report panelist, and
syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer was given his own segment on Tuesday night's [3/22/2016] Fox News Channel (FNC) show in light of the Islamic
terror attacks in Brussels and he used his airtime to berate President Obama for his "ideological holiday trip" to communist Cuba "while the world
burns." Further, he chalked the President's Cuba trip in light of the Brussels attacks to the latest illustration of the disconnect between "the
real world" and Obama's "fantasy world he inhabits where Cuba is of some geopolitical significance."
in Cuba: "I have come to bury the last remnant of the Cold War". President Obama spoke directly to the Cuban people in a Tuesday
morning [3/22/2016] address in Havana, saying he was there to "extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people." "I have come here to
bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas," Obama said, to applause.
US, Cuba 'Are Like Two Brothers Who've Been Estranged for Many Years'. President Barack Obama compared the
relationship between the United States and Cuba to that of estranged brothers in a speech in Havana, Cuba, on Tuesday
[3/22/2016]. "In many ways, the United States and Cuba are like two brothers who've been estranged for many years even as
we share the same blood," Obama said, adding that he made it clear to Cuban dictator Raul Castro "that the United States has
neither the capacity nor the intention to impose change on Cuba."
open hand, the clenched fist. President Obama's open hand to the Castro brothers in Havana has been met with a clenched
fist. Only the naifs at the White House could have been surprised. Cubans protesting the most repressive regime in the
history of the Western Hemisphere have been beaten and abused in answer to the visit of the president, and on camera. Several
thousand Cubans were thrown in jail on the eve of Mr. Obama's arrival, and Raul Castro added a pointed snub of protocol when he would
not meet Mr. Obama at the airport.
false promise of a new day in Cuba. President Obama spoke of a "new day" in Cuba Monday, but he chose to ignore the tragic and
oppressive past decades of the old Castro regime. A "new day" in Cuba cannot be achieved when the old tyrannical guard still maintains
absolute power over its subjugated people. On his historic trip to the island Obama talked about engagement with the Cuban people, but
the Cuban government only allows for strict engagement on their terms and with those who strictly follow and support their communist ideology
and its repressive military. The president's utopian mentality fails to align itself with the realities of a system and government that
has suffocated the freedoms of the Cuban people for decades.
Watch Sues Department of Defense for Records on American POWs Held Captive in Cuba. Judicial Watch announced
today [3/22/2016] that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense to obtain
records about American prisoners of war (POWs) who may have been held captive by Cuban government or military forces on the
island of Cuba.
flaps Obama's limp wrist. The arrest of more than 50 anti-regime protestors just before President Obama landed
in Cuba underscores the fact that the Castro regime is a tyranny. It does not tolerate dissent. This reality was also
written all over the face of dictator Raul Castro in his press conference with Obama on Monday [3/21/2016], when he scolded reporters
for asking unscripted questions in public. He's clearly not accustomed to such things — why should be he be, he
and his brother Fidel got rid of them more than half a century ago — and will probably not become so any time soon.
under fire for 'going to baseball games with the Castros' while Brussels burns. Republicans are already criticizing President
Obama for staying put in Cuba instead of coming home or flying to Belgium in the wake of the terrorist attacks this morning in Brussels.
All three GOP presidential candidates condemned the president's moves this morning [3/22/2016]. 'President Obama is spending his time
going to baseball games with the Castros,' said Sen. Ted Cruz, who is running for the Republican nomination for president, according to reporting
from ABC News' Rick Klein.
Also posted in the long list of
Obama's bad decisions.
Worship of Communist Cuba comes during Holy Week 2016. President Barack Hussein Obama hit his lifetime apex yesterday by
publicly groveling to the communist leader of Cuba. Openly swearing allegiance to Cuba's 57-year-long communist manifesto, he
publicly agreed with Raúl Castro that America is the most hateful member in what they both hope is a dying capitalist world;
the nation most responsible for the grinding poverty in Communism's only North American outpost.
dissidents arrested before Obama meeting. President Obama on Tuesday [3/22/2016] met with more than a dozen political
dissidents in Cuba, including some who were arrested just before their historic meeting. Some dissidents who were able to attend
the meeting reported being harassed by Cuban secret police on Monday as they traveled to a silent protest. That happened just
hours after President Raul Castro denied that the communist nation holds any political prisoners.
Obama ignores calls to cut short Cuban trip and attends baseball game. President Obama was all smiles this
afternoon as he watched an exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national baseball team — just
hours after ISIS terrorists killed at least 34 people in Brussels. Settling down with wife Michelle, daughters Sasha and
Malia and Cuban dictator Raul Castro, Obama appeared carefree as he enjoyed the game — ignoring calls to cut short his historic
trip to return to Washington and lead the response. Indeed, despite criticism that he only devoted one minute of his speech
earlier in the day to the Belgian atrocities, Obama took the time to give a somewhat surreal 15-minute interview to ESPN about the
threat posed by ISIS — keeping his $500 shades on throughout the spot.
Chicken Little fascism. For 55 years, since stridently anti-communist Democrat JFK and the 1960s Cuban Missile
Crisis, when the Soviets tried to place nuclear missiles on the island (removed after a successful U.S. naval blockade),
America's relations with Cuba have been in a Cold War deep-freeze. This week as another part of his paper tiger legacy
(like his failed Hillary Clinton Russian "reset" or his Middle East-destabilizing ISIS-flourishing U.S. troop withdraw[al] from
Iraq), Mr. Obama is the first U.S. president to visit this present-day slave state since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. [...] As usual,
the oft-vacationing Mr. Obama will enjoy himself with his extended Cuban-background "selfie" celebration, but the human rights
abuses continue unchanged. (This reality is further echoed by presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who detailed that nine refugees
drowned over the weekend in a futile attempt to escape the same hellhole the obliviously smug Mr. Obama so blithely tours.)
We Ready for Reality after the Brussels Terror Attacks? [Scroll down] Meanwhile, the current president is in
Havana, posing in front of a mural of Che Guevara (a man who put his own friends in front of firing squads. Doesn't Obama
know? I'm afraid he does) and agreeing with Raul Castro that America has an income inequality problem. Doesn't Obama know
that the great "revolutionary" Fidel is a billionaire? How's that for income inequality in a horribly impoverished country?
I have been to Cuba, and except for the elites, every single citizen is in misery and being watched by the secret police.
Diaz-Balart: Obama's Cuba Trip a 'Quasi-Religious Pilgrimage' to a 'Totalitarian Dictatorship'. Cuban-American
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) criticized President Barack Obama's ongoing trip to Cuba, saying it "looks less of a foreign
policy trip and more of a quasi-religious pilgrimage to the only totalitarian dictatorship, anti-American dictatorship in
this hemisphere." Speaking on Fox News on Sunday [3/20/2016], Diaz-Balart also said, "it is, frankly, a tragic and a
disgusting, and a horrific day for the United States, and frankly for the entire world."
Imbecile Meets His Communist Heroes. This revolting spectacle in Cuba is yet another reminder we've got an
enemy in the White House.
becomes the first President to set foot in Cuba for Nine Decades. The Obamas' tour of Old Havana was nearly a
washout on Sunday evening as a deluge of rain came down minutes after they landed in Cuba for an historic three-day visit to
the communist country. The first family pressed on, despite the stormy skies, strolling through the Plaza des Armas as
they huddled under umbrellas and made their way to the Museo de la Ciudad, the museum of Cuba's capital city, and on to
Havana Cathedral. President Obama's family — particularly his daughter Sasha — looked less than pleased as they
perched underneath their blue and black umbrellas.
Refugees Flocking to Texas Border. The same week President Obama makes the first trip to Cuba by an American
president in almost 90 years, The Rolling Stones will play a free concert in Havana — the first open-air show
there by a British rock band. But changing times in the Communist country haven't stopped tens of thousands from fleeing
the island and saying gimme shelter to American immigration officials at Texas land ports.
to BO: I've got a few minutes Monday morning for you! Raul Castro did not greet President Obama and his family at the Havana airport
on Sunday afternoon [3/20/2016]. [...] Castro made a couple of points about President Obama and the U.S.-Cuba relationship by staying home on Sunday
afternoon: [#1] He does not respect Obama; and, [#2] It was Obama, not Castro, who was desperate to make this trip happen.
American President Should [Care] What Raul Castro Thinks About Us. Scarcely hours before President Obama landed
in Havana, Cuban authorities arrested members of The Ladies in White, a prominent dissident group whose husbands are in jail
for speaking out against the Communist regime. At the very same press conference where Obama welcomed the Cuban dictator's
commentary on our shortcomings, Castro denied the very existence of political prisoners in Cuba: ["]What
political prisoners? Give me a name, or names, or after this meeting is over you can give me a list of political prisoners
and if we have those political prisoners they will be released before tonight ends.["]
A Pretty Humiliating
Day to Be an American. [Scroll down] But to watch him stand there today in Cuba, next to a doddering, pompous
communist dictator going out of his way repeatedly to insult Obama and the United States, and in response mustering little more
than a weak, "You know, I actually welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels we're falling short,"
it is painfully clear that our president is a man long past caring about public humiliation. Before a televised press
conference in Havana, Raul Castro harangued Obama about the continuing American "blockade" of Cuba, its "illegal" occupation
of Guantanamo Bay, seemed to accuse the president of being friendly to "destabilization" in Venezuela, and implied that his own
family's corrupt ownership of an entire country was justified because, unlike in America, "We find it inconceivable that a
government does not defend and ensure the right to health care, any patient, social security, food provision and development,
equal pay, and the rights of children." Welcome to Cuba, Mr. President!
for America's Sins in Cuba. [Scroll down] It is an island once rich in the faith, only to be annihilated by
Fidel and Raul Castro and their war on religion. "Heaven... right here in front of me," was how Thomas Merton, the
atheist-communist who became a devout Catholic monk, once described pre-Castro's Cuba. [...] That was the wondrous, pious
Cuba the Castro brothers destroyed. And it is the Castro boys that Barack Obama, product of a pro-communist/pro-Castro
mother and father and a literal Communist Party USA mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, is eager to embrace — and to
forgive. Really, I'm sure that in his heart of hearts, Barack agrees with the Castros that America is the side that
needs to be forgiven. America is the aggressor, the sinner that stands in need of reparation.
under Obama hates America.
Dozens of protesters arrested
as Obama lands in Cuba for 'historic visit'. Cuban authorities have arrested more than 50 anti-government
protesters just hours before Barack Obama's plane touched down in Cuba, marring the beginning of a rare three-day visit to
the island nation — the first for a US president in almost 90 years. Joined by his wife Michelle Obama and
daughters Malia and Sasha on board Air Force One, US President Barack Obama arrived at Havana's airport late Sunday afternoon.
He was greeted by some of the Cuban top officials, including Cuba's foreign minister and US ambassador, while an official meeting
with President Raul Castro is set to take place later during the extraordinary three-day visit.
prisoners in Cuba? 8,000 in last year. On Sunday, Obama touched down in Havana, becoming the first sitting U.S.
president to visit Cuba since 1928. On Monday [3/21/2016], Obama drew controversy by standing at attention in Revolution Square in front
of a giant mural of murderous Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. He later held a joint press conference with Cuban dictator Raul Castro,
who blasted the U.S. for its record on race and poverty, demanded the return of the Guantanamo Bay naval base and insisted Cuba held no
political prisoners. Obama has asserted for months that normalizing relations with Cuba is a better way to effect human rights
changes, rather than continuing a policy of isolation. But one of the leading voices against communism says Obama is simply giving
cover to the Castros.
Castro Is Out of Sight as Obama Visits Cuba. For years, Cuban exiles in the United States dreamed that the island's
longtime dictator would drop dead one day, ushering a transformational era of greater freedoms on the island and reconciliation among
its citizens on both sides of the Florida straits. Fidel Castro remains alive. Yet, as President Obama visits the island,
transfixing Cubans and resetting their expectations about the future, Mr. Castro is tucked away, out of sight and largely out of mind.
A once towering figure in hemispheric politics is gradually fading into irrelevance.
Poses in Front of Che Guevara Image in Cuba's Revolution Square. During his presidential visit to Cuba,
President Obama posed for photographers in front of an image of notorious Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. Obama stood
with members of the American delegation to Cuba after laying a wreath at the Jose Marti monument in Revolution Square. The
square also features an image Camilo Cienfuegos, another revolutionary who fought with Fidel Castro.
Obama Bows, Castro Shows Nothing But Contempt. Amid fanfare and Spring Break-style selfies, President Obama's
"history-making" visit to communist Cuba is no proud moment for America. If anything, it's the opposite, with Cuba's
dictatorship showing open contempt for the U.S.
police break up protest ahead of Obama's visit. Cuban police forcibly broke up a pro-democracy demonstration and
arrested several dozen activists on Sunday [3/20/2016], just hours before Barack Obama was to arrive in Havana as the first US
president to visit Cuba in almost 90 years. The protesters, from the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) and other
opposition groups, were bundled into buses and police vans after a shouting match with pro-Castro supporters during their
usual weekly demonstration near the Santa Rita church. "My son and his wife are in jail now. They all are. The
police were very violent," Glavys Fernández, the mother of leading opposition figure Antonio Rodiles, told the Guardian.
"It's the same every week. The oppression is very high."
In Cuba, Obama Will Legitimize the
Corrupt and Ignore the Oppressed. Communist Havana has always been a magnet for the radical chic of the left, drawn like moths to the
flame of this western outpost of totalitarian Communism. Back in the 1960s, the visitors included Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael, while
Che Guevara himself received Jean-Paul Sartre. Now this scene will include a president of the United States. On Sunday, President Barack
Obama, a retinue of celebrities in tow, is expected to arrive in the Cuban capital to hang out with Raul Castro and his henchmen, all of which will
be breathlessly documented by the media mavens along for the ride.
Derelict In Failing To Call For Regime Change In Cuba. Ahead of his "historic" trip to communist Cuba, President Obama has
made it clear he won't be calling for regime change in the 57-year totalitarian dictatorship. So the trip will be little more than
a U.S. endorsement of a detested military police state.
attacked for failing to reveal if he will publicly criticize Cuba and the Castros for harboring American criminals. His historic
trip to Cuba might be underway but President Obama has been slammed for refusing to say whether he would talking to Cuban officials over the
harboring of American fugitives. Several US criminal have fled the US and headed for Cuba to find refuge where they are allowed to live
free lives. Among them are convicted killer Joanne Chesimard, who broke out of jail in New Jersey and fled to Cuba after she was found
guilty of shooting dead state trooper Werner Foerster in 1973.
Dept. Reports Major Human Rights Abuses by Cuba's Communist Regime. President Obama's visit to Cuba includes a
meeting with Communist dictator Raul Castro as well as a meeting with Cuban dissidents, and administration officials have
said human rights will be on the table during Obama's time on the island. But according to the State Department's Country
Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014, Cuba is an "authoritarian state" responsible for ongoing human rights abuses.
Welcomes Castro's Criticism of America: 'I Personally Would Not Disagree'. "President Castro, I think, has
pointed out that in his view making sure that everybody is getting a decent education or health care, has basic security and
old age, that those things are human rights as well. I personally would not disagree with him," Obama said. [Video clip]
Says He Welcomes Castro's Criticism of the United States. In a joint press conference with Cuban dictator Raul
Castro in Havana, Cuba, on Monday [3/21/2016], President Barack Obama said he welcomes Castro's criticism of the U.S. "I actually
welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels that we're falling short, because I think we should not be
immune or afraid of criticism or discussion as well," Obama said.
demands U.S. give back Guantanamo, lift embargo. Cuban President Raul Castro told President Obama Monday [3/21/2016] that
the U.S. must return the Guantanamo Bay naval base and lift the embargo against Havana for the countries to fully normalize relations.
"The blockade stands as the most important obstacle to our economic development," Mr. Castro said as the two leaders emerged from a meeting
on Mr. Obama's historic trip to the island. He also said in order for the countries to move forward, "it will also be necessary" for
the U.S. to return Guantanamo, which is based on the eastern end of Cuba.
House mum on Obama dissidents meeting in Cuba. The White House won't yet say which political dissidents President Obama plans to
meet with during his upcoming historic visit to Cuba, or whether any of those dissidents include prisoners the Castro regime is holding.
Obama will arrive in Cuba on Sunday [3/20/2016], and with less than 48 hours before he leaves, the White House is putting off providing a
list of dissidents it invited for a meeting with Obama. Instead, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Friday [3/18/2016]
he hasn't seen the list, which the administration plans to release at an unspecified time over the next few days.
If Cuba is so wonderful, why do people risk their lives trying to escape?
9 Cuban migrants die
trying to reach US, 18 others rescued. Nine Cuban migrants died at sea and 18 others were rescued by a cruise ship after their 30-foot
boat was found about 130 miles from the Florida coast, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Rights Groups to Obama: We Never Imagined Democratic World Would Legitimize the Castros. President Obama's
outreach to communist-ruled Cuba risks "legitimizing the deeply entrenched Cuban regime," Cuban human rights and opposition
groups warned Wednesday, days before Obama is scheduled to become the first sitting president to visit the island nation in
almost 90 years. "We would never imagine that the democratic world would legitimize the Castros," the Forum for Rights
and Freedoms and the Resistance Assembly wrote in a letter to Obama. "These individuals have destroyed the well-being of
our nation. From firing squads and political assassinations to political imprisonment, thousands of Cubans inside and outside
the island have had their lives taken by the regime because of their advocacy of a Free Cuba."
Derelict In Failing To Call For Regime Change In Cuba. Sixteen months after President Obama's "historic" rapprochement
with the brutal communist military regime that took power even before Obama was born, the aim of a thaw has gone badly awry.
Obama stated he was normalizing relations to improve conditions for Cubans. He's instead achieved the exact opposite, with dissident
arrests up dramatically to 8,616 in the year following normalization. Mob beatings and harassment are back with a vengeance.
Business licenses fell by 10,000 in 2015, too, Mauricio Claver-Carone of Cuba Democracy Advocates told Congress this week.
Dem: 93,000 Cubans cross border, 'get to stay, quite honestly'. Some 93,000 Cubans have flooded across the border in the last
two years, 26,000 in the past six months, and are mostly given a pass to stay in the United States, according to a border Democratic House
member. Rep. Henry Cuellar, discussing immigration challenges at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing Thursday [3/17/2016],
urged the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to try to stop the flood before the Cubans reach the border.
ordering its dissidents to skip meeting with Obama. On the eve of President Obama's historic visit to Cuba,
authorities there are ordering dissidents invited to meet with the American leader to stay home instead, a leading human
rights activist said Saturday [3/19/2016]. Elizardo Sanchez, a Cuban anti-government activist who chronicles political detentions
month-to-month, said he and most of those invited planned to defy the government order. Sanchez, speaking by phone from Havana,
said U.S. officials were offering to help the activists get to the meeting with Obama, scheduled for Tuesday.
President Obama flies to Havana Sunday to cozy up to the Castros, he'll take off from a runway other than the Constitution.
He'll be violating the letter and the spirit of congressional statute, too. This is one of the underappreciated features of
Mr. Obama's effort to make Communist Cuba a central part of his legacy. Even against his record on Iran, it's hard to think
of a foreign policy adventure quite like it. On the one hand, the President is taking along corporate executives in an effort
to "kick start," as USA today puts it, a business relationship. On the other hand, trading with Cuba is embargoed by
Congress. It's not legal.
Cuba issues bristling editorial
ahead of Obama visit. Cuba said it would welcome President Barack Obama to Havana later this month, but the Communist government
had no intention of changing its policies in exchange for normal relations with the United States.
Cuba Trip Showing Signs Of Imploding. President Obama's "historic" trip to communist Cuba is showing signs of
falling apart. Far from the beisbol and mojitos junket that the president's PR team is selling, disputes are all over,
starting with which dissidents the regime will let the president see. It goes to show what a bad idea this was.
unrequited Cuban romance. Nothing is more embarrassing to watch than a suitor pursuing unrequited love. There's
no thrill in such romance. Every bouquet of long-stemmed roses and every box of candy Barack Obama sends to Havana is returned
with a demand for roses with longer stems and a bigger box of candy. Over the past year, President Obama has removed Cuba from
the list of state sponsors of terrorism, re-established diplomatic relations and opened an embassy in Havana, and now Mr. Obama
announces that he will be the first American president to visit Cuba in nearly 90 years.
cancels trip to Cuba amid haggling on human rights. The back and forth over human rights is another sign of how
prickly U.S.-Cuba relations remain despite the restoration of diplomatic ties, and the easing of many travel and trade
restrictions, over the last year. It also highlights a potential problem for Obama's planned overnight visit on
March 21, the first by a sitting president in nearly 90 years, to the former Cold War adversary.
Pays to Feed and Shelter Cuban Migrants Stranded in Costa Rica. The United States government has been paying to
feed and shelter thousands of Cubans trying to migrate to the United States, in what critics consider another sign of the
lopsided treatment provided to Cubans under American law. The Obama administration has tried hard to deter the crush of
migrants arriving from Central America in recent years. It has pressed Mexico to crack down on migrants passing through
its territory, while women and children who managed to cross the American border have been held in detention facilities.
special immigration status for Cubans. Honduran, Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees are arrested, detained and
deported if they fail to make the case — often without legal help in difficult-to-navigate
proceedings — that they have a "credible fear" of persecution if returned home. Some can, ensuring temporary
permission to stay as their cases are sorted out. Many cannot. But every fleeing Cuban who gets to this
country is put on a fast-track to legal residency, thanks to the decades-old Cuban Adjustment Act, last amended in 1996.
Havana Is Latin America's Detroit,
but Poorer. Before taking my trip to Havana, one thing that I was curious about was how a half-century of Communism had affected
the built fabric. While there are obvious disadvantages to economic stagnation, I figured that it would have at least created a
charming-looking city. There are, after all, a handful of US cities, and numerous European ones, that have resisted growth, modernization,
and the automobile, only to remain quaint and historic. But it didn't take even a 10-minute cab ride from the airport to realize that my
assumption about Havana had been naïve — even if it is still held by many of the city's blissfully incurious tourists.
In fact, very little about Havana has been "preserved." Instead, everything in the city is merely old, and because little gets produced,
nothing is replaced.
Havana, the City of Scarcity. While
exploring Havana's neighborhoods, the thing that jumped out was not the city's poverty (although there was plenty of that), but its scarcity.
Because Cuba's government does not value or comprehend mass production — namely not for agriculture — there are shortages of
everything. In the United States, we take for granted that any basic convenience is but a short drive away. But in Havana, running errands
isn't that simple. City residents have limited mobility: the bus system is cheap but unreliable, the newly-private taxi system is efficient
but costly, and for most Cubans, owning a bicycle — much less an automobile — requires years of savings. So they must
stick to neighborhood stores with minimal inventory, and even if they did all have cars, there would still be few outside options.
With Cuba Has Failed — Time For Something New. I trust that anyone that even glances at the fruits of Obama's 16-month
engagement with the Castro-Family-Crime-Syndicate (euphemized as "Cuba" by the media and the Obama administration) marvels. Because never
in the course of U.S. diplomacy has so much been surrendered by so many to so few for so little. Not a penny of the $7 billion
Castro stole at gunpoint from Americans (while torturing and murdering a few Americans who resisted) has been compensated — or
even acknowledged. Some of the FBI's most wanted terrorists still live like celebrities in Cuba. All this after Castro promptly
got his murdering (of Americans) terrorists back as a bonus to an economic lifeline from Obama — in the nick of time and much
of it at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.
looks to communist Cuba for lessons to improve literacy. The D.C. Public Schools System is looking to Cuba for
lessons to improve literacy in the nation's capital. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson have
toured several schools in Havana during a five-day visit to the communist-run island nation, which boasts a 99.8 percent
literacy rate. "Given Cuba's emphasis on a strong education, I know there's a lot we can learn from each other," Ms.
Bowser said Tuesday [2/23/2016] from Havana in a conference call with reporters. "There's a focus on teaching here
and making sure all citizens have access to high-quality teaching."
The Editor says...
Instead of concentrating on literacy per se, they should find out what happens to Cuban school kids who don't do their school work,
sleep in class, attack the teachers, cheat on tests with their cell phones, sell drugs on campus, and let their pants droop down to their knees.
When order and discipline is restored to American classrooms, literacy will approach 100 percent here, too.
Obama Will Not Visit Guantánamo Bay Troops on Cuba Trip. President Obama will not visit the troops stationed at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base
as part of his coming trip to Cuba. Mr. Obama has not once visited the base, which staffs thousands of U.S. service members, during his tenure as President.
He will, however, personally meet with Raul Castro and "various Cuban people," doing so from March 21-22. Ben Rhodes, the President's Deputy National
Security Advisor, discussed the President's coming trip, in which he will forgo American troops for the dictatorship in Havana.
Obama times Cuba visit to avoid Netanyahu? The
White House announced on Thursday [2/18/2016] that U.S. President Barack Obama will make history as he will be the first U.S. President to visit Cuba in
over 80 years. The state visit is a direct continuation of the Obama's historic achievement from last year when he initiated diplomatic relations
between the two countries. Diplomatic relations between the countries was severed 6 decades ago. The President announced the news via his
Twitter account on the same day. "14 months ago, I announced that we would begin normalizing relations with Cuba — and we've already
made significant progress," he tweeted. "Our flag flies over our Embassy in Havana once again. More Americans are traveling to Cuba than at
any time in the last 50 years." It is expected that Obama will meet with Cuban President Raul Castro, as well as various entrepreneurs and
VIPs of Cuban society.
Brothers The Only Beneficiaries In Obama Trip To Cuba. Announcing another historic "first," President Obama said he and the first lady
would visit communist Cuba to help improve the lot of the Cuban people. Last time he said that, when he normalized ties, the whip came down.
No regime has been showered with goodies the way the White House has heaped them onto the Castro brothers' 57-year military dictatorship. From
cash and trade, to the prestige of a costly U.S. presidential visit, the Castros have made out like bandits. The U.S. gets nothing in return.
President Obama Planning Trip to Cuba Within Next Month,
Sources Say. President Obama is planning a trip to Cuba some time next month, marking the first time in more than 80 years a sitting U.S. president
will visit the country, according to sources with knowledge of the plan. A National Security Council official plans to make the announcement tomorrow at the
White House briefing. The move comes roughly 15 months following the president's pledge with Raul Castro to reopen diplomatic channels following a prisoner
exchange and the humanitarian release of U.S. contractor Alan Gross in December 2014.
Thrilled by Obama's 'Historic Trip' to Cuba. The network morning shows on Thursday [2/18/2016] were beside themselves with glee over the White
House announcing President Obama would travel to Cuba in March. While all three broadcasts hailed the upcoming "historic trip," it was ABC's Good
Morning America that went the extra mile by proclaiming the President was more popular than singer Beyonce on the island nation. At the top of
GMA, fill-in co-host Amy Robach announced: "Breaking overnight, President Obama will travel to Cuba, the first president to visit in more
than 80 years. And the huge events in the works in Havana, from Major League Baseball to Beyonce."
Removed Cuba from Terrorist List After Hezbollah Opened Base on Island. A few years before the Obama
administration removed Cuba from the U.S. list of nations that sponsor terrorism Hezbollah established an operational base on
the communist island, according to intelligence received by Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. The
information comes straight from electronic mail released by the State Department over the weekend as part of ongoing
litigation from several groups, including Judicial Watch, and media outlets surrounding Clinton's use of a private server to
send and receive classified information as Secretary of State. This alarming information has been ignored by the mainstream
media, which served as the president's most vocal cheerleader when he established diplomatic ties with Cuba last summer.
After appearing for decades on the U.S. government's list of nations that sponsor terrorism, the Obama administration
officially removed it to lay the groundwork for a full renewal of diplomatic ties.
Simmers as Cubans Breeze Across U.S. Border. They are crossing the border here by the hundreds each day, approved to enter the
United States in a matter of hours. Part of a fast-rising influx of Cubans, they walk out to a Laredo street and are greeted by volunteers
from Cubanos en Libertad, or Cubans in Freedom, who help them arrange travel to their American destination — often Miami —
and start applying for work permits and federal benefits like food stamps and Medicaid, available by law to Cubans immediately after their
arrival. The friendly reception given the Cubans, an artifact of hostile relations with the Castro government, is a stark contrast
with the treatment of Central American families fleeing violence in their countries.
Two Flights with
236 Cubans Depart from Costa Rica for Mexico. Costa Rican authorities reported that two flights, each carrying
118 Cuban migrants, departed Wednesday [2/10/2016] for Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, as part of an operation to let them resume their
trek to the United States.
It's very hard to believe this was all just an accident.
U.S. missile inadvertently shipped to Cuba has been
returned. The Cuban government has returned a missing U.S. missile sent to Europe for training but inadvertently shipped to Cuba, a State Department
official said. "We can say, without speaking to specifics, that the inert training missile has been returned with the cooperation of the Cuban government,"
Mark Toner, the State Department's deputy spokesperson, told CNN on Saturday [2/13/2016]. "The department is restricted under federal law and regulations
from commenting on specific defense trade licensing cases and compliance matters, so we cannot provide further details." "The reestablishment of diplomatic
relations and the re-opening of our embassy in Havana allow us to engage with the Cuban government on issues of mutual interest," he added.
Made a Terrible Deal With Cuba, Too. The Washington Post editorial board documents the pathetic failure of the
Obama administration's Cuba policy under the bleak headline: "Failure In Cuba." Whether it is a failure, of course,
depends on what you think Obama was trying to achieve.
Thousands of Cuban Refugees
Crossing the Border. At least 7,000 Cuban refugees are expected to come to the border in the next coming days. The activity
at the Hidalgo International Bridge continues. For 40 years, Jose Angel Rodriguez has made his living driving a cab. He said he's
seeing more Cubans crossing the port of entry. "They get here every night, in the morning, and at night they get here. They go to
Laredo, too," Rodriguez said.
administration loosens Cuba embargo with new measures. The Obama administration is loosening the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba with a
new round of regulations allowing American companies to sell to Cuba on credit and export a potentially wide range of products to the Cuban
government for the first time, officials said Tuesday [1/26/2016].
8,000 Cubans headed to
U.S.. More than 8,000 Cubans who had been stranded in Central America for months have begun arriving in the U.S., according
to a statement from the Costa Rican government. The number of Cubans fleeing the country increased 78 percent from 24,278 in
2014 to 43,159 in FY 2015, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The jump was the result of Cubans who fear the
Obama administration might end its current "wet-foot, dry-foot" immigration policy, which allows any Cuban who reaches the U.S. the right
to stay and receive welfare benefits, after Obama "normalized" diplomatic relations between the two nations after a 50-year hiatus.
'New Cuban Missile Crisis' Mystery Deepens. A U.S. Hellfire anti-tank missile — a weapon launched
from Predator drones in anti-terrorism operations, among other uses — found its way into the hands of Cuba's
government in 2014. But the route it took, twice crossing the Atlantic, was less mysterious than the U.S. government's
public response to the discovery that front-line American military equipment made it to Havana — or beyond.
out of Costa Rica of Cuban migrants headed to U.S. begins. The first flight of Cuban migrants who were stranded in Costa Rica since
November took off from the country's Daniel Oduber airport in the northern city of Liberia late Tuesday night [1/12/2016] as part of a regional
agreement to overcome Nicaragua's refusal to let them through by land. As many as 8,000 Cubans trying to get to the U.S. have been in
makeshift refugee camps for two months in Costa Rica after a decision by Nicaragua to close its border to them.
10 Lies in Obama's State of the Union. [#10] "Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy,
setting us back in Latin America." And a year of appeasement has not promoted democracy, either. The Castros remain
firmly in power, and we are not helping the opposition. Worse, the Cuban regime continues to arrest thousands of political
dissidents, to cozy up to enemies like Iran and North Korea, and to carry out provocative acts — such as stealing
a U.S. Hellfire missile.
missile accidentally sent to Cuba on Air France. The Wall Street Journal broke the news that a US Hellfire missile sent to Europe for
training purposes was accidentally shipped to Cuba in 2014, "a loss of sensitive military technology that ranks among the worst-known incidents of
its kind." This is the missile we use every day to take out terrorist targets. The journal reports that "US officials worry that Cuba
could share the sensors and targeting technology inside it with nations like China, North Korea or Russia." Add to that list Iran, Hezbollah
and a long litany of other US enemies.
The Editor asks...
Was this really an accident, or an act of treason?
of Cubans flee Castro over fears US open-door policy will end but are now stuck in Central America. Thousands
of Cubans are caught in a new refugee crisis triggered by President Obama's moves towards ending the embargo on the country,
Daily Mail Online can reveal. As many as 8,000 are living in squalor in Costa Rica where their attempts to reach the
United States have stalled, with the central American country facing a growing humanitarian crisis over their presence.
The Cubans are trying to get to the US land border with Mexico, where they will be able to claim refugee status in America,
and a rapid path to citizenship. Thousands have fled the Communist country since Obama and Raul Castro last year ended
more than 60 years of frozen relations.
Presidential Trip, Or An Ego Trip, To Cuba? In search of a legacy and Latino votes for Democrats, the White
House says President Obama will likely visit Cuba this year. So far from this being about U.S. interests or even Cuban
liberty, it's just another ego trip.
Rahm Emanuel's Cuban Vacation. Leave
aside the obvious question, which is how on Earth could Emanuel have thought that the location of his family vacation would remain private in the
middle of controversy. Consider a second question, which is what did Emanuel fear in having the information disclosed? Is he ashamed
of traveling to Cuba? And did it ever occur to Emanuel, Emanuel's wife, the group of families the Emanuels regularly vacation with, or any
member of Emanuel's political and communications retinue that traveling to a Communist dictatorship while being accused of insufficient
attention to civil rights was, you know, maybe a bad idea?
Castro urges U.S. to end broadcasts aimed at Cuba amid diplomatic thaw. Cuban President Raúl Castro urged
the U.S. government Friday to halt radio and television broadcasts aimed at the island and other programs that Cuba considers
harmful while reiterating that he is interested in deepening the thaw in relations with the United States.
Obama Asks Congress
to Lift Embargo on Cuba. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the economic embargo imposed by the
United States on Cuba in 1962 is "the legacy of a failed policy," once again urging Congress to lift it on the first
anniversary of the launching of a process of rapprochement and bilateral normalization of relations. In a statement
issued on the anniversary of the policy shift, Obama also reiterated that "change" in Cuba will not occur "overnight" and
that full normalization of relations "will be a long journey."
Cuba Reach Understanding on Restoring Commercial Flights. The United States and Cuba are close to a deal on
restoring regularly scheduled commercial flights, Cuban and American officials said Wednesday on the eve of the anniversary
of detente between the Cold War foes. The diplomatic advance would help open the way for U.S. airlines to begin flying to
Cuba within months in what would likely be the biggest step toward tighter economic ties since the two countries began
normalizing relations last year. Officials on both sides said they had reached an understanding on key points and
hoped to reach a formal deal within hours or days.
Begins to Re-Imprison Political Dissidents 'Freed' Under Obama Deal. Cuba announced the release of this prisoners of conscience on
January 12, though the government did not give out a list of names. The prisoners were allegedly released gradually in the month before,
following President Obama's announcement that he would seek to warm relations between the United States and the rogue regime. Shortly after
the announcement, Fox News reported that two of the 53 dissidents had been arrested once again.
than 100 arrests in Cuba on U.N. Human Rights Day. The dissident group Ladies in White on Thursday [12/10/2015]
called for different opposition groups to join together in the "We're All Marching" initiative to stage a demonstration in
downtown Havana, but only four women and one man from that group were able to get there, EFE learned. Upon their arrival
at the planned site of the protest, the several dissidents shouted "Long live human rights" and "Freedom for the Cuban people,"
and they were immediately arrested by police as well as having insults such as "worms" and "mercenaries" hurled at them by
government supports on the scene.
Nicaragua Is All That Stands Between The U.S., Cuba And A Terrorist Mariel Rush. Most Americans don't know it,
but Cuba and its Latin American enablers are conspiring to create a ratline for unchecked immigration into the U.S. Only
Nicaragua is throwing a monkey wrench into the scheme. That would be wretched, far-left Nicaragua. In any normal nation,
leaders would be ashamed if large numbers of their nationals found the country they live in so unbearable, their only wish is to
leave. Not so Cuba. It lies about its colossal socialist failures and blames it all on Uncle Sam. Now there are
signs the communist country is encouraging great waves of Cubans to illegally migrate to America.
New wave of Cuban immigrants reaches U.S., but
through Texas, not Florida. The number of Cubans arriving at the southern border increased this year after President Obama and
Cuban President Raul Castro announced plans last December to normalize relations between the longtime adversaries — a move many
Cubans fear could mean the end of the special status that allows them to stay and work here legally if they reach U.S. soil.
Has Cuba Manufactured a Refugee
Crisis? Evidence of Havana's manipulation can clearly be seen in the magnitude of refugee flows. Cuba
is a totalitarian police state, where people are not even allowed to move from house to another without the government's
approval. So is it reasonable to believe that 2,000 Cubans got to Costa Rica without Castro's approval?
Si, Migrants No: Scrap The Cuban Adjustment Act. Cuban migration has skyrocketed on fears that the wet-foot,
dry-foot policy will end soon. Given that most Cubans these days are ferried migrants rather than actual exiles, it's time to
end it now or face another Mariel.
and Cuba in Trade Talks, for Ballplayers to Be Named Later. Getting from Cuba to the big leagues has never just
been about 450-foot home runs and 100-mile-an-hour fastballs. When the Mets' slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes decided
in 2011 that he wanted to leave his country to play baseball in the United States, he did what dozens of Cuban baseball players
have done since the Castro government came to power more than 50 years ago. Risking arrest as well as their lives, Mr.
Cespedes and 10 members of his family fled the island in the middle of the night on a small boat.
Cuba, an Abundance of Love but a Lack of Babies. By almost any metric, Cuba's demographics are in dire straits.
Since the 1970s, the birthrate has been in free fall, tilting population figures into decline, a problem much more common in rich,
industrialized nations, not poor ones.
says no flights to Cuba from N.J. until cop killer is extradited to U.S.. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants
the bistate agency that controls the state's airports to reject any efforts to launch flight service between Newark and Cuba
until a woman convicted of killing a state trooper is returned to the United States.
releases street artist jailed for painting pigs with names 'Fidel' and 'Raúl'. The Cuban street artist
known as El Sexto ("The Sixth") was freed Tuesday [10/20/2015] after spending 10 months behind bars for attempting to set
free in a public park two pigs painted with the names of the country's highest leaders.
in 1985: Castro 'Educated Their Kids, Gave Their Kids Health Care, Totally Transformed Society'. A video from
1985 shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) making favorable statements regarding Cuban dictator Fidel Castro when Sanders was
mayor of Burlington, Vermont. The statements took place during an Aug. 8, 1985 interview on the CCTV Center for
Media & Democracy's Channel 17/ Town Meeting Television, Chittenden County's local government access station. [Video clip]
Figure: Cuban Freedom And Trade Decline Since Obama's Opening To Cuba. In his Dec. 17 speech to the nation, the
president said: "We are taking steps to increase travel, commerce and the flow of information to and from Cuba. This is
fundamentally about freedom and openness and also expresses my belief in the power of people-to-people engagement. ... I believe this
contact will ultimately do more to empower the Cuban people." The result has been the opposite, with more repression of dissidents,
and the Castro regime cranking up the goon squads overtime to beat and jail dissidents. Some 6,000 arrests have been announced
since the opening, hardly a sign of a more open Cuba leading to a freer Cuba.
Marielitos For Medicaid. After years of touting the putting-people-first humanity of Cuba's communism, the
Castro regime has decided it's easier to outsource costs for its retirees to the U.S. When did the U.S. become Cuba's 401(k)?
retire to Florida — with help from U.S. taxpayers. More Cubans are coming to Florida in their golden
years to retire, able to tap U.S. government assistance even though they never lived or worked here. The number of Cubans
arriving over the age of 60 grew fivefold since 2010, according to state refugee data. At least 185 made the crossing in
their 80s or 90s. Unlike most other immigrants, Cubans qualify immediately for food stamps and Medicaid. If they are
over 65 with little or no income, they also can collect a monthly check of up to $733 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
the Cuban Hospitals that Castro Doesn't Want Tourists to See. By the time I climbed the steps of the emergency
room entrance in San Miguel, Havana, I could already tell that the supposed first-class health care provided in Cuba was a
myth. Hospitals in the island's capital are literally falling apart. Friends told me to dress "like a Cuban" and not to
speak while inside, since my Argentinean accent would give me away the moment I said hello. A member of the opposition Cuban
Patriotic Union (UNPACU) party came along to guide me in my journey to the core of communist-style medicine.
Dictator Castro Thanks U.S. With Insults And Grievances. After Obama showered Cuba with goodies, Raul Castro
has repaid him with insults, demands and grievances broadcast through the UN. Seems the Castro brothers know a fool when they see one.
Cuban Arrivals In U.S. Up 60%. More than
36,000 Cubans have arrived in the United States across the Mexican border and at Miami International Airport during the 2015 fiscal year,
which means a hike of 60 percent over the previous 12 months, Customs and Border Protection told EFE on Tuesday [9/29/2015].
From Oct. 1, 2014, to Aug. 31, 2015, a total of 36,497 Cubans arrived, while during the 2014 fiscal year there were 22,162.
Homeless Return to Cuba's Streets Following Pope Francis' Departure. Following the departure of Pope Francis,
the streets of eastern Holgu'n, Cuba, have been flooded with dozens of homeless people that residents say had "disappeared as
if by magic" in the week before the Pope's arrival. Independent journalist Yusnaby Pérez has published a report
from Holgu'n, where residents notes the city, typically home to a significant number of homeless beggars, was cleaned up
for the Pope's visit. Most of these homeless were taken away by state police, though there is no evidence of where they
were hidden until the Pope left the country.
Cuba's Castro Says U.S. Must Give Back
Guantanamo. The "long process of normalization of relations" between Havana and Washington will culminate when
the U.S. gives back Guantanamo and pays compensation for the effect of the 53-year-old economic embargo, Cuban President Raul
Castro said on Monday [9/28/2015]. "After 56 years of the Cuban people's heroic and selfless struggle, diplomatic
relations and the embassies in the respective capitals are re-established," he said in his first address to the UN General Assembly.
Francis appeases the Castros in repressive Cuba. The pope is spending four days in a country whose Communist
dictatorship has remained unrelenting in its repression of free speech, political dissent and other human rights despite a
warming of relations with the Vatican and the United States. Yet by the end of his third day, the pope had said or done
absolutely nothing that might discomfit his official hosts. Pope Francis met with 89-year-old Fidel Castro, who holds no
office in Cuba, but not with any members of the dissident community — in or outside of prison.
Francis' Subversive Visit To Cuba. The Castro regime showed its worst face on the arrival of Pope Francis in
Cuba, hauling out its goons and showing how risky this papal visit is to the Marxist dictatorship. Some 60 dissidents
were arrested and beaten across Cuba by security agents. Their crime? Wanting to attend Mass with the visiting
pontiff, who had reached out to them with formal invitations.
mulls abstention on Cuba embargo vote at UN. The Obama administration may allow the U.N. to condemn America's
economic embargo against Cuba without a fight, The Associated Press has learned, an unprecedented step that could increase
pressure on Congress to end the 54-year-old restrictions.
White House preparing new rules to weaken
Cuba embargo: sources. The White House is drafting sweeping regulations to further weaken the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba that
would ease restrictions on U.S. companies and make it safer for Americans to travel there, U.S. government sources said on Thursday [9/17/2015].
The regulations could be announced as soon as Friday [9/18/2015].
announces sweeping changes easing restrictions on business, travel to Cuba. The United States Departments Treasury and Commerce on
Friday [9/18/2015] issued new regulations further easing restrictions on Americans travelling to and doing business in Cuba. U.S. companies
will be able to open offices on the island and engage in joint business ventures there, while individuals with relatives in Cuba will have more
travel opportunities for people and the limit to the amount of money that can be sent people on the island are being eliminated. The new
rules, which go into effect on Monday, September 21st, are the latest steps taken by the White House and President Barack Obama to weaken
the U.S. trade embargo and normalize relations with the communist island.
Obama phones Cuban President
Castro. President Obama spoke by phone Friday with President Raul Castro of Cuba to discuss the "normalization" of
relations between the two countries ahead of Pope Francis's visits to Cuba and the U.S. Mr. Obama, who eased some trade and
travel restrictions with Cuba Friday, "underscored the importance of the United States and Cuba re-establishing diplomatic ties and
the reopening of embassies in our respective countries," the White House said.
Dissidents Denounce "Social Cleansing" in Cuba Ahead
of Papal Visit. The opposition Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission said Friday [9/18/2015] that the Cuban
government has rounded up thousands of beggars and indigents as part of a "social cleansing" operation ahead of Pope Francis's visit to
the island. The government, according to the commission, wants such people "out of sight of pilgrims, foreign journalists and
others visitors who will be in Cuba" during the papal visit that begins Saturday.
Obama speaks with Raul Castro as US eases travel restrictions with Cuba. The United States further eased restrictions on
business and travel with Cuba on Friday [9/18/2015], as it presses forward in rebuilding long-frozen relations with its former Cold War
foe. Two months after formally restoring diplomatic relations with Havana, the US made it easier for Americans to establish and
operate businesses in Cuba, removed remittance limits and widened travel opportunities to the Caribbean island nation.
Obama Urges U.S. Businessmen to Exert Pressure for Lifting
Cuba Embargo. U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday [9/16/2015] urged businessmen to pressure Congress to lift the Cuban
embargo, emphasizing the "significant economic opportunities" created by the process of normalizing bilateral relations. After delivering
a speech at the Business Roundtable Headquarters in Washington at which he responded to several questions from the audience, Obama also said
that the imminent visit of Pope Francis to Cuba will be "an opportunity" to broaden the "conversations" that are already occurring on the
Empty Barabbas Politics For The Pope. The communist regime's "pardon" of 3,522 inmates in its jails as a "humanitarian"
gesture ahead of Pope Francis' Sept. 19-22 visit to Cuba is getting to be a regular feature of such visits. When Pope
Benedict XVI visited in 2012, nearly 3,100 were let go from Castro's dungeons. When Pope John Paul II visited
in 1998, nearly 300 were released. Like a Roman prefect, Cuban generalissimo Raul Castro decides who stays jailed and who
goes free — at the flick of a hand. It's not about justice. It's about power.
Castros Has Made Cuban Regime More Vicious Than Ever. Hard to think of any time when it's ever been rosier for
the Castro brothers in their 56 years as absolute overlords of Cuba. In the rubble of their failed communist system,
President Obama has extended normal relations — and asked nothing in return. Pope Francis is paying a visit to
Cuba this month, complete with a mass to be held under the godlike image of bloodstained revolutionary Che Guevara. U.S.
congressional delegations — at least 20, notes the Capitol Hill Cubans blog — have been paying tribute
to the "achievements" of Castro's revolution and hobnobbing with Cuban officials, mojitos in hand. Tourists from the U.S.
are rolling in, too, legal or not, fattening the coffers of the Cuban military that runs the hotels.
congressman reports being beaten, arrested during 'Ladies in White' protest in Cuba. A right-wing Chilean
congressman just back from a private visit to Cuba complained Monday [9/7/2015] that he was beaten, handcuffed and held for
nearly three hours by Cuban authorities for participating in a peaceful demonstration by the Ladies in White dissident
organization in Havana. "Without any dialogue, a shock group of the Castro regime arrived; they proceeded to beat those
of us who were marching, without asking us for any identification and they arrested us," Felipe Kast told reporters at
Santiago's international airport.
Cuba's atheist Castro
brothers open doors to Church and popes. Baptized as Roman Catholics and educated by Jesuits, Fidel and Raul Castro
turned against the Church by declaring Cuba an atheist state, chasing out priests and shutting down religious schools after seizing
power in a 1959 revolution.
faces bumpy road before opening for U.S. tourists. After the American flag was raised over the reopened embassy
in Havana last month and the Obama administration's plans to significantly ease travel restrictions by the end of 2015, more
Americans are looking to see what they've been missing for more than half a century. "It's close, and you have obviously
the gorgeous beaches, but you also have history, you know, forts dating back to the 1600s but then all the recent history
that's so interesting as well," Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said.
father's killer roams free in Cuba, harbored by Mr. Obama's new friends. With much fanfare, the U.S. embassy in Havana
opened for the first time in 54 years. Instead of Kerry demanding Cuba returns fugitives from American justice, the Obama
administration unilaterally handed legitimacy and the hard currency of international acceptance to a regime that has sponsored terrorists
for half a century and even today harbors convicted terrorist fugitives including BLA cop killer Joanne Chesimard and William Morales.
Morales' Armed Forces for National Liberation (FALN) murdered my father Frank Connor.
Administration Plans to Sidestep Congress on Cuba Travel. Travel to Cuba could soon be nearly as easy as travel to any
other part of the world. The Obama administration plans to unilaterally ease the travel restrictions to Cuba, sources told ABC
News. The new measures would bypass limits on travel imposed by Congress by changing regulations at the executive level.
Bond Dead at 75; Radical Background Ignored by Media. While ignoring deep and decades-long communist sympathies, the
mainstream media used the death of Julian Bond (shown) to glorify a radical revolutionary, calling him a "hero," "gifted," "smart," a
"friend" of President Obama, "passionate," "eloquent," and a civil rights "champion." [...] If all those future generations have to
rely on for a complete and accurate picture of the life of Julian Bond are the musings and disinformation transmitted by the national
media, they will be ill-informed indeed. Missing from eulogies following his death was any mention of Bond's trips to Cuba to
celebrate the communist takeover in 1959, and then again in 2006, to confirm his initial suspicions.
Why Obama will open a US embassy in
Iran. On Aug. 14, in a ceremony replete with pomp and circumstance, Secretary of State John Kerry presided
over the formal re-opening of the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba. The occasion marked the culmination of nearly two years of
quiet diplomacy between the White House and the Castro regime. The initiative had been launched following Kerry's fall
2013 address before the Organization of the American States, in which he had announced with great fanfare that the "era of the
Monroe Doctrine is over." [...] But, in the eyes of the White House, it's an unreserved success.
Kerry in Cuba: More Interested in Cigars Than
Dissidents. Secretary of State Kerry traveled to Havana to raise the flag at the U.S. Embassy there last week. As has
been noted here in this blog and in many news articles and columns, no dissidents or human rights activists were invited to the ceremony.
It's fair to ask if that sends any kind of signal to the regime. The fear would be that it expresses a lack of interest in, or at least
a refusal to give much priority to, how the Castro regime treats those struggling peacefully for democracy and human rights in Cuba.
The Castro dynasty's favorite
American. [Scroll down] So this is why I say that Obama is the Castros' favorite American. He has made it
possible for the family, and Castro Inc., to stay in power. Not bad for Ral Castro, a man drowning last fall but now
firmly in control after the Obama lifeline.
In Cuba: 'I Feel Very Much At Home Here'. Friday [8/14/2015], at the U.S. embassy in Cuba flag-raising ceremony
celebrating the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, Secretary of State John Kerry said he felt "very much at home" in
the country ruled by the authoritarian Castro regime.
The U.S. Flag To Shut Out Cuba's Democrats. With the raising of the Stars and Stripes over a new embassy in
Havana — a regime second only to North Korea in totalitarian oppressiveness — the U.S. becomes merely
one of the herd, its leaders talking only to each other in the crony-like coziness of the world's ruling classes, with only
lip service paid to their purported values and the people they represent. [...] Kerry and his media toadies might have touted
Friday's [8/14/2015] embassy opening as a new era. But the flag raised was not Old Glory but the white flag of surrender.
Repression Pushed 24,000 to Risk Trip to U.S. in Eight Months. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is reporting that
23,978 Cuban refugees arrived in the United States between October 2014 and May 2015, with another 3,564 Cubans attempting
and failing to reach U.S. shores. Most of those arriving successfully crossed the southern border with Mexico or crossed the
straits of the Caribbean separating Florida from Cuba. The number of Cubans arriving in the past eight months is
significantly larger than the number that reached the United States throughout all of the 2014 fiscal year: 22,162.
Cuba, this is not your father's Democratic Party. The U.S. is back, or at least the U.S. flag is up at the new
embassy in Havana. By the way, I still have memories of the old U.S. Embassy. It was a very nice building on Malecón
Drive, the avenue around Havana Bay. As a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Cuba, and uniquely aware of the tragedy in the
island, I was open to negotiations with the Castro regime. In other words, I was open to a conversation — not
the monologue that has taken us to this post.
Fidel Castro to US: You owe us
millions. Fidel Castro marked his 89th birthday Thursday [8/13/2015] by insisting the United States
owes Cuba "many millions of dollars" because of the half-century-old American trade embargo.
Fidel Castro Wants Your
Money. Fidel Castro kicked off his long-sought U.S. embassy opening by announcing that we owe Cuba millions in
reparations. He's not interested in new relations; he's interested in our money.
who fled Cuba want back what was left behind. Lois and Roy Schechter's life in Cuba ended at gunpoint when
Fidel Castro's soldiers barred them from their 13,000-acre farm. That was the end of the farm. "They had taken it over,
they had nationalized it," said Lois. The communist government seized property from the wealthy including hundreds of
Americans. The Schechter's had been on the island for 60 years and lived in a 17 room home. It is now
in a guarded diplomatic enclave, and occupied by Chinese officials.
dissidents not invited to U.S. embassy flag ceremony in Havana. Cuban dissidents will not be invited to the
U.S. embassy flag-raising ceremony in Havana, which will be attended by representatives from both governments including
Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry's Cuba capitulation complete. So Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry will be in Havana this morning for
the raising of the Stars and Stripes over the newly reopened American embassy. The only way it could possibly be sweeter
for America's Gigolo would be if he were lowering the flag, followed by a hasty flight off the embassy roof with the U.S. ambassador
in a military helicopter. It's always been Liveshot's fondest dream to some day unconditionally surrender to a Third-World
Communist dictator — and now it's finally reality.
90 dissidents at protest march. Cuban security forces rounded up marchers —
about 50 with the Ladies in White dissident group and around 40 other activists, some wearing masks
with the image of US President Barack Obama, according to an AFP reporter.
Cuban City Suspends
Carnival amid Concerns about Dengue, Cholera. The eastern Cuban city of Holguin has
suspended its annual Carnival, scheduled for Aug. 20-23, in an effort to stop the spread of cholera
and dengue fever, official media said Thursday [8/6/2015]. The decision to suspend the celebration
comes from "the need to increase the hygiene and sanitary campaign to palliate the complex epidemiological
situation in the municipality," Ahora newspaper said, citing a source in the Holguin provincial parliament.
officials overruled experts to remove Cuba, others from human trafficking list. The
2015 U.S. report on human trafficking has come under fire amid allegations that senior State
Department officials ignored experts' recommendations and took Cuba and Malaysia off its blacklist
of countries failing to combat modern-day slavery. According to an investigation by the news
agency Reuters, U.S. government analysts that independently grade global efforts to fight human
trafficking were repeatedly overruled by senior State Department officials and also forced into inflating
assessments of 14 strategically important countries in this year's Trafficking in Persons report.
Obama's Cuban legacy. It's not enough that Washington has made a deal with a bankrupt Cuban regime,
throwing them a life line of support just when their last sugar daddy, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has gone to his
just reward and his heirs can no longer afford to give the Cubans oil. At the very moment he was concluding
a deal with President Obama, Raul Castro, the aging dictator-in-chief once removed, was throwing new political
prisoners in jail. We're not supposed to notice.
Cuba Emerges as Paradise
for Gay Tourism. As tourism flourishes in Cuba the island is emerging as a destination
for the LGBT community and a travel agency specializing in packages for those customers is already
in operation. Pioneering the business are the owners of Mi Cayito Cuba, a Web-based intermediary
between "gay-friendly Cuban private initiative and clients around the world," company director Alain
Castillo, a Cuban who lives in Madrid, told EFE. "The island has great potential as a space for
coexistence," said the 35-year-old entrepreneur who wants to contribute to "the visibility and improvement
of the LGBT collective" in the country.
Hillary Clinton to
Ask for Lifting of Embargo on Cuba. Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton
this week will ask Congress to lift the embargo on Cuba during a scheduled visit to South Florida,
where she will participate in two public events, her campaign office announced Wednesday [7/29/2015]
in a communique. The former secretary of state on Friday will urge the Republicans to abandon the
"failed policies of the past" during a speech at Florida International University in Miami, where the
country's largest Cuban community lives.
Cuba, Neither Bread Nor Freedom. Dissidents are still sent to jail, but they don't
spend as much time there. Instead they are released earlier and sent home to live under total
surveillance. It's an improvement, I guess, but the nature of the regime hasn't changed an iota.
It's not going to change as part of American-Cuban normalization, either. The US normalized relations
with Vietnam despite the lack of political freedom there, and it normalized relations with China back when
Mao was still in charge. Nothing bad happened to the United States because of it, and nothing bad will
happen to the United States as a result of normalizing relations with Cuba.
The Editor says...
Normalizing relations with Cuba isn't being done for the benefit of the United States, it is being done
for Cuba's benefit, by an America-hating socialist president. Even if it is true that "nothing
bad will happen" to us after lifting trade and travel restrictions — a dubious claim at
best — it isn't about us. It is about applying pressure to a ruthless dictator.
Why is Barack H. Obama so friendly with
in New Mexico hope diplomatic thaw ends cop killer's Cuban exile. Charlie Hill, now
65, is one of an estimated 70 U.S. fugitives who escaped American justice by fleeing to Cuba, and
Pete Kassetas, commander of the New Mexico State Police, says he is more than willing to fly him
back to face the music. Hill was one of three black militants who killed a state trooper in
1971, in a case similar to that of the better-known Joanne Chesimard.
White House meeting reveals Obama's plan to visit Cuba in 2016. A secretive White
House meeting on Cuba last week revealed that President Obama plans to visit the island nation early
next year, and also discussed the controversial idea of the Cuban government opening consular
offices in Miami. After hailing embassy openings in Washington and Havana last week, the White
House held an off-schedule, private meeting on Thursday with U.S. officials involved in the
administration's Cuba policy. Nearly 80 activist members of the Cuban-American community from
Florida and across the United States — mostly Democrats — were also there.
tones down anti-U.S. rhetoric on revolution's main holiday. Cuban leaders pledged to
keep socialism alive but toned down the anti-U.S. rhetoric at Cuba's first national holiday since
re-establishing diplomatic relations with the United States on July 20.
Senate panel votes to lift Cuba travel ban. A GOP-controlled Senate panel has voted to
lift a decades-long ban on travel to Cuba, giving a boost to President Barack Obama's moves to ease
travel restrictions and open up relations with the Castro-governed nation.
Mounts That Oswaldo Payá Was Assassinated by the Castros. The deaths of Cuban
dissidents Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero were no accident, according to an independent report
from the Human Rights Foundation (HRF). The political activists, both members of the Christian
Liberation Movement, died in a car crash in Cuba's eastern Granma province on July 22, 2012, under
controversial circumstances. HRF presented their report on Wednesday morning [7/22/2015] at
Georgetown University in Washington, DC, highlighting what they consider to be inaccuracies and
inconsistencies in the official government investigation.
for Fidel at the New York Times. The left's longtime moral-political blindness to
communist dictatorships never ceases to amaze, and few cases have been as consistently and wondrously
spectacular as the New York Times, from the likes of Walter Duranty apologizing for Stalin in
the 1930s to Herbert Matthews resurrecting Fidel Castro in the 1950s. As to the latter, the
Times has fronted for the Castro regime for a half-century and counting.
reports on Paya's death, suggests Cuban gov't murdered him. A report prepared by the
Human Rights Foundation and published Wednesday [7/22/2015] says that evidence gathered to date in the case
of Cuban dissident leader Oswaldo Paya "suggests" the "direct responsibility" of the Cuban government for
his death. The report, compiled by lawyers for the non-governmental human rights defense organization,
comes on the third anniversary of Paya's death in a car crash, an accident in which fellow dissident Harold
Cepero also died.
slam Castro's son for living it up on the Mediterranean while Cubans face 'extreme poverty'.
Cuban-American lawmakers this week criticized the Cuban government for subjecting many of its people to
starvation conditions on the island, while Fidel Castro's son Antonio gets to live the life of a playboy
during a vacation on the Mediterranean Sea. The lawmakers were reacting to recent reports that show
Antonio Castro hanging out with his friends on a yacht and in a posh hotel in Turkey.
Kerry to travel to Cuba on Aug. 14. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Havana on
August 14 to inaugurate the first United States embassy in Cuba in 54 years. "On August 14, it
will be my honor to raise the American flag at our Embassy in Havana, Cuba for 1st time in 56 years [...],"
Kerry tweeted Monday afternoon, shortly after the Cuban government raised its flag in front of the old Cuban
Interests Section in Washington, D.C.
Does The U.S. Get Out Of Obama's Restored Ties To Cuba? Nothing Good. At the open of
the Cuban embassy in Washington, Castroites crowed about their "victory" over the U.S. That's some
relationship President Obama has begun with the brutal regime. And guess what? It'll get worse.
Victory for Our People': Communist Icons Take over D.C. for Cuban Flag Raising. Former
ambassadors, murderous guerrilla icons, and even folk singers have descended upon Washington, D.C.
today [7/20/2015] to celebrate the raising of the Cuban flag over the newly-minted embassy of the
communist dictatorship in America. Cuban state media is treating the event, which has no analog
at the American embassy in Havana, as a victory over the American people.
U.S., Cuba restore
full diplomatic relations. More than a half century of Cold War and lingering enmity
came to an abrupt but quiet end on Monday [7/20/2015] as the United States and Cuba restored full
diplomatic relations. The new era began with little fanfare when an agreement between the two
nations to resume normal ties on July 20 came into force just after midnight Sunday, and the
diplomatic missions of each country were upgraded from interests sections to embassies.
to raise flag at US embassy in Cuba. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cuba on Aug. 14 to
raise the flag over the newly opened U.S. Embassy, according to CNN. The U.S. and Cuba restored full diplomatic
relations on Monday [7/20/2015], opening embassies that have been shuttered since 1961. Kerry's trip to Havana
will be the first for a U.S. secretary of State since 1945, CNN reported.
Flag Goes Up at State Department on Monday. The State Department will hang the Cuban flag in the
lobby of the State Department building on Monday in recognition of the imminent reopening of the communist nation's
embassy in Washington. [...] President Eisenhower had the Cuban embassy closed in January 1961 and severed
diplomatic relations with the communist government of Fidel Castro. President Obama announced in December
2014 that he is setting a "new course" with Cuba.
Arrested on Eve of Embassy Opening in Cuba. Just days away from the historic reopening
of the US embassy in Havana, the Cuban regime shows no sign of slowing down on the number of
human-rights activists they arrest. On Sunday, July 12, Cuban police detained at least
120 dissidents, including 40 members of the Ladies in White, while a protest in solidarity
took place in Miami. For 13 consecutive Sundays, Cuban authorities have arrested members of the
Ladies in White dissident group either before or after traditional mass at the Santa Rita church in Havana.
Joanne Chesimard killed a New Jersey state trooper named Werner Foerster during a traffic stop.
Though she received a life sentence, Chesimard fled to Cuba where she has been taking refuge from
the American legal system ever since. She joined Charlie Hill who, in 1971, killed a state trooper
in New Mexico then hijacked a plane to Cuba. These two cop killers join almost seventy other
American murderers, bank robbers, and others sought by the FBI who have taken up residence in Cuba
to avoid the American legal system. When Barack Obama struck a deal with Cuba, Cuba got everything
it wanted, but the United States did not get back a single felon.
IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn to advise Cuba on U.S. business relations. The job
search probably hasn't been easy for the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique
Strauss-Kahn, who resigned as managing director of the global financial organization in the wake of
a sexual assault scandal involving a New York City hotel maid. Despite having criminal charges
dropped against him and settling a civil suit out of court, and, in a separate incident, being
acquitted in France of "aggravated pimping" charges last month, Strauss-Kahn's name and reputation
aren't exactly spotless. And being the butt of lewd jokes never looks good on one's resumé.
Castro says he hopes Obama uses executive authority to ease embargo. Cuba's Raúl
Castro insisted Wednesday that "it's not possible to conceive of" normal relations with the United
States as long as the "blockade" of the island remains in place and said he hopes that President
Barack Obama uses "his executive authority" to dismantle aspects of the 53-year-old economic
embargo. "We hope that (Obama) continues using his executive authority to dismantle aspects of
this policy, which causes harm and privation to our people," said Castro at the close on Wednesday
[7/16/2015] of the ordinary plenary session of the National Assembly, local media reported.
and Change in Obama's Cuba: 563 violent political arrests in June. From January of
this year (less than two weeks after Obama's announcement in December the U.S. would unilaterally
surrender to the Castro regime's demands) to June, Cuba's totalitarian dictatorship has amassed
nearly 3,000 violent arrests of dissidents. And this past month — the same month Obama
announced he would restore diplomatic relations with the Castro dictatorship — Cuban
State Security tallied 563 brutal arrests of peaceful dissidents.
Cuba Is Now An American
Tragedy. Time Magazine is celebrating the Obama deal with Cuba on this month's cover and with
an article inside titled, "Welcome to Paradise." They call Cuba the New Cuba. They want us
to rediscover the "charm". This is the Cuba the propagandists want you to believe exists but it
doesn't. We aren't going to bat for them and now we are being sold a lie. It's one of the
biggest lies they've ever told. American people aren't getting the truth on this or much else.
as Many Cuban Rafters Flee While They Can. This month the US Coast Guard deported 38 Cuban rafters,
after they attempted to reach the Florida coast. But these unlucky ones pale in comparison to the 9,371 Cubans
who made it to US shores in the first quarter of 2015, as reported by US Customs and Border Protection.
This wave of new arrivals represents a 118 percent increase over the same period in 2014 — and
that does not include the many who made their way to Mexico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, or Honduras, among
other destinations. A shaky US policy regarding deportation may well be driving the surge.
Obama likes Castro because they both hate capitalism.
Silky Forked Tongue Of Praise For Greece. The Cuban tyrant's greeting ought to terrify
the Greeks, given his game for the past 50 years — a long record of default, deadbeatery
and corruption unmatched in the hemisphere on a per capita basis. Castro, remember, is a
totalitarian communist committed as "a revolutionary" to destroying the capitalist system. For all
the attention there has been on his long record of human rights violations, his efforts to make economic
warfare on the West and destroy the capitalist system is equally notable. What could be the basis
for Castro's gushing letter to the Greeks? His own record of attempting to create a "debtor's cartel"
to rise up against the Western powers, particularly the United States, and collectively default
on all the billions owed to its banks.
Times Loves How Communism Is Good For Cuba's Environment. Well, yeah, when people have
no money, live in 3rd world conditions, sure, that's great! [...] I have to wonder how many who
work at the NY Times will forgo their own trips to the beach, either down at the Jersey Shore or
along the Long Island coastline. Oh, and they forget about the deplorable environmental conditions
in other Communist countries, such as the Soviet Union and China. They also do not seem too
concerned over the environmental degradation caused by "green" companies like Solyndra.
Yorkers board first flight to Cuba in over 50 years. JetBlue started round-trip service from
JFK Airport to Cuba on Friday [7/3/2015] — the first major airline to offer a weekly connection
from the city since JFK, the president, restricted travel to the Caribbean island more than 50 years
ago. Ground staff celebrated the inaugural trip by flying a massive Cuban flag at JetBlue's terminal
Gate No. 21.
Mr. Obama's 'engagement,' Cuba continues its repression. In announcing the reopening
of the U.S. embassy in Havana, President Obama said "nobody expects Cuba to be transformed overnight"
by his policy of "engagement." That's just as well because in the first six months of Mr. Obama's
normalization of relations with the Communist regime, most indicators of human rights on the island have
moved in the wrong direction. Since December, there have been more than 3,000 political detentions
in Cuba, including 641 in May and 220 on Sunday [6/28/2015] alone, according to dissident sources.
Mr. President, Castroite Cuba Is Not What Change Looks Like. President Obama's much
hailed "normalization" of ties with Cuba is anything but normal. Cuba is a top violator of human
rights and the rule of law. Normal relations will just entrench the regime, not change it. With a
flurry of the usual cliches about going forward and not being "imprisoned by the past," President Obama hailed
his own decision to normalize relations with Castroite Cuba with his trademark "This is what change looks like!"
in a speech at the White House Wednesday [7/1/2015]. Problem is, it's one of the most inaccurate
statements he's ever made.
are we rewarding murderous dictators? For decades the American left has done its best
to convince us that Cuba is a benign, progressive paradise that just needs to be unshackled from our
tyranny. But the record is clear: The Castros are running a murderous dictatorship 90 miles
south of Key West that has exported violence around the world. Enter Barack Obama. Yesterday
[7/1/2015] he took to the White House Rose Garden to celebrate normalized relations with the most despotic
regime in the Western Hemisphere. It is meant to be his crowning foreign policy accomplishment,
which is appropriate, because it's every bit as ill-conceived as everything else Obama has done overseas.
announces opening of US Embassy in Cuba. President Obama formally announced on
Wednesday that the United States and Cuba have both agreed to open embassies in each other's
capitals following more than a half-century of hostilities between the two nations. "This is a
historic step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and people and
begin a new chapter with our neighbors in the Americas," Obama said. The U.S. Embassy in Havana
is scheduled to open on July 20, the Cuban Foreign Ministry said.
Cuba restoring diplomatic ties after 54 years. The United States and Cuba formally agreed on
Wednesday [7/1/2015] to restore diplomatic relations on July 20, setting up a trip to Havana by John
Kerry, who would become the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the country in 70 years.
The Editor says...
It wouldn't surprise me to learn someday that Mr. Kerry has already been there this year, working out the details of this deal.
Perry blasts Obama for reopening U.S., Cuba embassies. "The truth is that since the
Castro brothers assumed power in 1959, their policies have changed very little," Mr. Perry said.
"The Cuban people today are not any freer politically or economically, and President Obama has
failed to account for what the Castro regime has done in the last several years that warrants such
an enormous shift in a longstanding U.S. policy of economic embargo and diplomatic isolation.
"There is no indication that further normalization will do anything to actually liberate the Cuban
people or advance American interests," Perry said.
Demands Return Of Guantanamo, End Of US TV Broadcasts In Return For Diplomacy. While
President Obama described the embassy as "not merely symbolic" and a move representing the
liberation of the American people from "the past" in a speech this morning [7/1/2015], the Cuban
government issued a statement refusing to reestablish full diplomatic relations with the United
States until America gifted the territory of Guantánamo Bay to Cuba and ceased broadcasting
radio and television news reports into the island, which constitute the only way many Cubans have
of receiving trustworthy international news.
Blast Obama Restoring Relations With Castro's Cuba. Some Republican leaders are
sharply criticizing the Obama administration for establishing official diplomatic ties with Cuba,
the Caribbean island nation that has been under the control of Communist dictator Fidel Castro and
his brother Raul since 1959. A number of GOP presidential candidates and the speaker of the
House of Representatives have noted the continued oppression of the Cuban people under the Castros.
on his historic Cuba decision: 'This is what change looks like'. President Obama on
Wednesday [7/1/2015] announced a major step toward "diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba" by saying
the U.S. and Cuba would reopen embassies in each other's countries. "This is a historic step
forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and people and begin a new
chapter with our neighbors in the Americas," Obama said in a statement in the Rose Garden with Vice
President Joe Biden at his side.
Cuba to Announce Embassy Openings in Washington and Havana. United States and Cuban government officials will
announce on Wednesday [7/1/2015] that the two countries have reached an agreement to re-establish formal diplomatic relations
and open embassies in Washington and Havana, a senior administration official told ABC News. President Obama and
Secretary of State John Kerry are expected to make the news public tomorrow [7/1/2015].
Cuba has failed to expand
freedom. It is unfortunate that the discussion about U.S.-Cuba relations remains so
focused on the embargo. It obscures developments within Cuba and excludes considerations on what
should be done to free Cubans to choose their own destiny. Cubans aspire to live in a democracy
and with a free-enterprise economy that allows them to improve their lives. So far, the beneficiaries
of economic reforms beyond filling cigarette lighters, making paper flowers or working as a barber and such,
have been the military and their relatives.
An appalling indictment
of Fidel. For seventeen years, as Castro's chief bodyguard and trusted factotum, [Juan
Reinaldo Sÿnchez Crespo] was close to the Cuban throne. He witnessed and recorded sensitive
conversations, was ordered to compile obsessively detailed records of Fidel's activities,
coordinated his security and travel, vacationed with him, and accumulated a remarkably textured
understanding of the commander in chief. Sÿnchez worshipped Fidel, even after being
demoralized by the trial and execution of general Arnaldo Ochoa and three others in 1989. Yet in
1994 the faithful bodyguard was imprisoned. He says it was only because Castro no longer trusted him
after a brother fled Cuba on a raft to Miami. After two years in prison and ten unsuccessful
attempts to do the same, Sÿnchez boarded a smugglers' boat and fled.
frees hundreds of Cuban criminals because Havana won't take them back. Hundreds of
Cuban criminals are released onto the streets of the U.S. every year because that nation won't take
them back — even though the Obama administration is trying to broker a more open
relationship with the communist island nation. It's a quirk of immigration law known as "Zadvydas
cases," after a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that said the government cannot detain immigrants indefinitely
if their home countries won't take them back.
take U.S. journalism classes, risking harassment and even arrest. About 30 Cubans sit
in a conference room for several hours each week and learn the ABCs of journalism: how to craft a
news story, write a headline and check sources. To their government, however, they are taking
part in criminal activity.
Cuba thaw: a foreign policy or a smokescreen? President Obama's efforts to normalize
relations with the Castro dictatorship in Cuba — most recently seen in his administration's
decision to remove Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism — have obscured questions
over what should be done to help Cubans be free to choose their own destiny. Cubans aspire to live
in a democracy and within an economic system that would permit them — and not just those
associated with the military or the Castro family — to improve their lives by engaging in
economic activities independent from the government.
removed from state sponsors of terrorism list, State Department says. The U.S. State
Department announced Friday [5/29/2015] that it has officially removed Cuba from the list of state
sponsors of terror, a designation the country has had since 1982, as part of the continuing thaw in
relations between the two Cold War foes.
Median Wage in Cuba
Rises 24% to $24 a Month. The median wage for employees of state-run enterprises in
Cuba increased 24 percent in 2014 to 584 pesos ($24) a month, the steepest hike in years,
according to figures released Thursday [5/28/2015] by the National Bureau of Statistics and Information,
or ONEI. Last year's increase compares with rises of 1 percent and 2.4 percent,
respectively, in the two preceding years.
Twisted Definition Of Terrorism. The communists celebrated after President Obama
announced his decision to remove Cuba from the list of countries that support terrorism. Josefina
Vidal, head of the North American section of the Cuban Foreign Ministry and Havana's leader of the
current negotiations with the United States, praised the "just decision" and stated that "Cuba
condemns, rather than supports, terrorism."
Long Record On Terror, Lawlessness And Killing. The lifting of Cuba from the list of
nations that support terrorism was a farce that may well come back to the haunt the United States.
After all, the ruling Castro regime that benefits from it in the name of normal relations with the
U.S. and new access to World Bank loans is the same regime that once tried the first 9/11, aligning
itself with a terrorist group in 1962 to bomb New York subways under department stores on the day
after Thanksgiving to ensure maximum casualties. J. Edgar Hoover's FBI foiled it.
No Terror, Hear No Terror, Speak No Terror (Obama on Cuba). Today President Obama
further opened the financial floodgates from the U.S. to the world's most notorious deadbeat
nation — who is also a "State Sponsor of Terrorism." Quotation marks are now required
around the term "State-Sponsor of Terrorism" when referring to Cuba because just this morning, as
the 45 day notification period to Congress expired, President Obama officially removed Cuba from the
State Department's list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, where President Reagan had placed it in
1982. "Laughing all the way to the bank," hardly does justice to what the multi-billionaire
Castro family must be doing this week.
travel to Cuba booming after Obama switch. U.S. travel to Cuba is booming, despite an official ban on
tourist travel. The number of Americans visiting Cuba has risen dramatically — 36 percent —
in the first few months of 2015, including a big jump among those flying into the communist nation from third countries
like Mexico, The Associated Press reported Tuesday [5/26/2015].
would relish the opportunity to visit Cuba and Havana in particular". President Obama
is looking to travel to Cuba's capitol city of Havana before his tenure ends, White Press Secretary
Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday [5/21/2015], the same day a Florida bank announced that the
State Department has given them permission to make diplomatic transactions between the two nations.
is Castro's Cuba Suddenly Pro-Gay? "More than 1,000 gay, lesbian and transgender
Cubans marched through Havana on Saturday," reports Reuters, "proudly displaying their truest
selves." This once-unthinkable display in Cuba was no less than its eighth annual "March Against
Homophobia and Transphobia." This one took on extra special meaning for 20 couples who
"symbolically exchanged" wedding vows, even as same-sex marriage remains illegal in Cuba, but obviously
not for long. If this can happen under the dictatorial nose of despots Fidel and Raul Castro,
then it's already permissible.
Obama visit to Cuba 'not ruled out'. US President Barack Obama has no immediate plans
to visit Cuba but has not ruled out making such a trip "in the year to come," the White House said
Not Like Cuba. The truth is that Cuba today is the poorest country in the Americas,
poorer than Haiti. Its per-capita income is less than that of Honduras, the small Central American
country that has the world's highest murder rate. Cubans today would be suffering from mass
starvation if the country were not receiving upwards of $7 billion per year from their allies in
the Venezuelan government. Cuba manufactures nothing and produces nothing, except cigars and
small quantities of rum. Its once vaunted sugar industry, the world's largest before the communist
takeover, has been completely destroyed, to the extent that Cuba has become a net importer of sugar.
There is not even enough sugar produced in Cuba for its own meager, and rationed, domestic consumption.
least four Florida companies approved for ferry service to Cuba. For the first time in
five decades, the U.S. is allowing ferry service between Florida and Cuba. At least four
companies said they were notified Tuesday of approvals by the U.S. Treasury and Commerce
departments, the first since Washington imposed a trade embargo on Cuba. Licensed were Havana
Ferry Partners of Fort Lauderdale, Baja Ferries of Miami, United Caribbean Lines Florida of Greater
Orlando and Airline Brokers Co. of Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Sunday, Another 89 Political Arrests in Cuba. The Cuban Commission of Human Rights and
National Reconciliation reported on Monday [5/4/2015] that Cuban security forces made 338 politically motivated
arrests during April alone. While the figure is lower than that registered in March, April saw other
forms of political repression increase, especially against dissident group Ladies in White.
Fidel Castro's double life as a drug kingpin. [Scroll down] It was as if the sky
had fallen in on me. I realized that the man for whom I had long sacrificed my life, the Líder
whom I worshipped like a god and who counted more in my eyes than my own family, was caught up in
cocaine trafficking to such an extent that he was directing illegal operations like a real godfather.
The Comandante, with his talent for dissimulation, went back to work as if nothing was amiss. One
has to understand his logic. For him, drug trafficking was, above all, a weapon of revolutionary
struggle more than a means of making money.
Ros-Lehtinen says Republicans won't challenge removing Cuba from terror sponsors list.
Republican congressional leaders have admitted defeat in their effort to thwart President Barack
Obama's plan to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Florida Republican Rep.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen met with a number of her fellow lawmakers last week to strategize way to prevent
the de-listing of Cuba in a bill she planned to introduce this week, but the lawmaker was told that
Congress legally can't prevent the White House from removing Cuba from the list.
Big U.S. Firms to Visit Cuba with New
York Governor. Top executives from big U.S. firms such as MasterCard, pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer
and JetBlue airline will travel to Cuba on a trade mission headed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Monday visit,
which had been announced in January, will be the first of its kind since U.S. and Cuban authorities last December made public
their intention to normalize diplomatic relations between the two nations. The list of participants, announced Sunday
[4/19/2015] by Cuomo, also includes top officials from educational and research institutions and several politicians.
Campaign Logo And The Left's Love Affair With Communist Cuba. Hillary Clinton's logo has been taking its share
of lumps since she unveiled it Sunday [4/11/2015]. Some say it looks like a hospital sign. Or the Twin Towers. Or
just plain ugly. We can see that. But we'd agree with those who say it looks as though it was inspired by the
Cuban flag. Not just because of the visual similarities — the blue stripes and red arrows pointing
right — but because it doesn't take a big or surprising leap to make a connection between the two.
Says Cuba Doesn't Sponsor Terrorism. So What Are All These Hijackers and Bomb-Makers Doing There?
The White House says that Cuba has nothing to do with terrorism. But Havana is like a Star Wars
cantina of Cold War radicals — including some of the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists.
After Obama Removes Cuba from Terror Sponsor List, Terror Group Sponsored by Cuba Kills 10. Yesterday [4/14/2015],
President Barack Obama announced that the United States would be removing Cuba from the U.S. State Sponsors of Terror list as
part of his push to normalize relations with the communist dictatorship. But just hours later, a terror group long fostered
by Cuba — even today, the Castro brothers are harboring several wanted members of the group — murdered 10
Colombian soldiers and wounded 17 others in a terror attack on a military base.
Helping Barack Remember
History. Does anyone remember what it was that turned America hostile toward the tropical paradise
of Cuba? Our President tells us that "we're caught in a time warp, going back to the 1950s and gunboat
diplomacy, and 'Yanquis' and the Cold War." Yes, really, "gunboat diplomacy." That is how University
of Chicago adjunct law professors talk about American foreign policy. And he adds, "Sometimes those
controversies date back to before I was born." So, what got America so riled up over the Castro
brothers and Cuban communists even before Barack Obama was born? As I recall, it was a bipartisan hostility.
Obama Recommends Removing Cuba From Terrorism List. President Obama recommended today
[4/14/2015] that the United States government reverse its long-standing policy designating Cuba a
state sponsor of international terrorism. The White House issued a statement declaring the
administration's "intention to rescind Cuba's State Sponsor of Terrorism designation" several days
after the president returned from the Summit of the Americas in Panama where he met with heads of
state from across the region, including for the first time with Cuban President Raul Castro.
Obama removes Cuba from state sponsor of terror list.
President Barack Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House announced
Tuesday [4/14/2015], a key step in his bid to normalize relations between the two countries.
Raúl Castro says he'd like to visit Miami, then laughs. Cuban leader Raúl Castro
has no interest in visiting the White House but would like to come to Miami, according to a report
in a television station in Panama. Castro spoke to reporter Glenda Umaña, formerly of CNN
en Español, in a hallway at the Summit of the Americas over the weekend.
the US Got From Cuba Deal: Zilch. The issue with President Obama's glad-handing of Raul Castro
isn't the obvious trollishness of it, particularly toward older Cuban Americans, or his gauche attitude toward
making light of the crimes of the Cuban regime, or the fact that the president has embarked on this normalization
without the approval of Congress (Constitutions are so passé these days). Still, there's no reason
for President Obama to do buddy-buddy sitdowns with Raul Castro (we can trade with them, as we do with other
nations, without becoming BFFs) except to rub it in the face of his critics.
Castro tortured Americans. Cuban imprisonment and torture of American servicemen was
confirmed by surviving airmen who were repatriated in 1973. Even more disturbing and perhaps
more important was the transport of 17 of these men to Cuba for medical experiments in torture
techniques. Some were held in Havana's Los Maristas — a secret Cuban prison run
by Castro's intelligence service — while other Americans were sent to the Mazorra
[psychiatric] Hospital, where they functioned as human guinea pigs to develop improved methods
of inducing prisoners to cooperate and extract information through torture and drugs.
Dictator Meets Another: Obama Shares A Dinner Table With Castro. Turning the page on a half-century
of hostility, President Barack Obama signaled Thursday [4/9/2015] he will soon remove Cuba from the U.S. list of
state sponsors of terrorism, boosting hopes for improved ties as he prepared for a historic encounter with Cuban
President Raul Castro.
Thanks for the helpful tip, commie!
Foreign Minister Says Obama Should Bypass Congress on Embargo. Cuban Foreign Minister
Bruno Rodriguez told ABC news in an exclusive interview hours after the famous handshake between
Raul Castro and Barack Obama that the U.S. president should use executive action to remove parts
of the embargo immediately.
Obama Puts an
End to the Monroe Doctrine. President Obama officially closed a chapter in U.S.
history that has guided presidents since nearly beginning, indicating the United States will no
longer act to resist overseas influence in the Hemisphere. Obama, who spoke Friday [4/10/2015]
during a "civil society" forum in Panama City, Panama, disparaged past efforts by the United States
to forestall the spread of Communism in Latin America and suggested similar missions would no longer
be undertaken. "The days in which our agenda in this hemisphere so often presumed that the
United States could meddle with impunity, those days are past," Obama said.
Cuba's free pass on terrorism.
Sometime during this weekend's Summit of the Americas in Panama, President Obama is expected to
grant one of Cuban President Raul Castro's top demands and remove his country from the Unites
States' list of governments that sponsor terrorism. That, as Sen. Robert Menendez warns, not
only flies in the face of all evidence, but removes critical leverage in Washington's efforts to
bring scores of fugitive American terrorists to justice.
Castro shake hands as U.S., Cuba seek better ties. U.S. President Barack Obama met Cuban
President Raul Castro on Saturday in the highest-level talks between the two countries in nearly 60 years,
and the two men agreed to push ahead on improving relations after decades of hostility.
'Not interested' in fighting battles from 'before I was born'. President Obama on
Saturday told leaders of Latin American that he's "not interested in having battles that, frankly,
started before I was born." The remark came at a summit in Panama where leaders from countries in
North, Central and South America are meeting discuss a range of issues and where Obama is expected
to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro. Prior to comments from Obama, Ecuadorian President
Rafael Correa directed some criticism at the U.S. He said the embargo against Cuba, which was recently
loosened up to a large extent, is "illegal" and that Guantanamo Bay should be given back to the
holds historic meeting with Cuba's Castro, pledges to 'turn the page'. President Obama
held a historic formal meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro Saturday [4/11/2015], the first
between US and Cuban leaders in over half a century, pledging to 'turn the page' and develop a new
relationship between the two countries. The two leaders shook hands Friday at the start of the
summit and met Saturday [4/11/2015] on the sidelines of the a Panama City convention center.
Summit of Lies. As heads of state gather this week in Panama for the Summit of the
Americas, expect a celebration, a confrontation, and lots of lies. The gathering will be
celebrating the restoration of relations between the United States and Cuba. Barack Obama
and Raul Castro will shake hands, signaling the start of a new era for the two countries.
Trunk Monkeys. The dawn of U.S.-Cuba rapprochement has come with a dreary reminder of
what we're dealing with — as Cuban agents beat up dissidents at a hemispheric summit in
Panama, just as they do back home in Havana.
US State Dept 'advises lifting Cuba
from terror list'. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno
Rodriguez have held talks, in the highest level meeting between the two countries in more than half
a century. The two held closed-door discussions after arriving in Panama for a summit.
Meanwhile, the US state department has reportedly recommended that Cuba be removed from its list of
states said to sponsor terrorism. Such a move could pave the way for the two countries re-opening
Castro's tough demands raise doubts, but Obama remains optimistic for U.S.-Cuba relations. Twenty-four hours
before coming face to face with Cuban President Raul Castro, President Obama on Thursday [4/9/2015] continued to extend
an olive branch from Washington to Havana — but analysts say there are real questions about whether Mr. Castro
truly is interested in friendly relations with the U.S. At a town hall in Kingston, Jamaica — the
president's last stop before heading to the Summit of the Americas in Panama — Mr. Obama praised the
"extraordinary" Cuban people and said it's time for the two nations to put the Cold War behind them.
recommends removing Cuba from terrorism list. The State Department has sent a recommendation
to the White House that Cuba be removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List, paving the way for the
White House to announce its intent to de-list Cuba as early as Thursday [4/9/2015], two administration
officials tell CNN. In making the recommendation, the State Department has certified Cuba has not
provided support to terrorist groups within the last 6 months.
Finds Informed US Voters Dead Against Cuba Normalization. A survey by InterAmerican
Security Watch (ISW) challenges the notion that normalization with Cuba will enjoy popular support.
ISW acknowledges that right now a slim majority of US citizens agree with President Barack Obama's
move to restore diplomatic ties. Their findings, however, suggest that support evaporates as the
same individuals learn of the Castro regime's foreign-policy record and human-rights violations.
Obama to focus on
security in Jamaica. President Barack Obama arrived in Kingston, Jamaica, Wednesday night
[4/8/2015] on the first leg of a journey that will take him from an historic meeting with 48 leaders
of Caribbean nations in this teeming capital city to the Summit of the Americas in Panama and a likely
encounter with Cuba's Raul Castro.
U.S. Lawmaker Glad
That Cuba Will Attend Americas Summit. The presence of Cuba at the 7th Summit of the
Americas will allow progress to be made on other key matters for the hemisphere, Sen. Tim Kaine
(D-Va.), one of the U.S. legislators most involved in Latin America, told Efe in an interview.
Cuba has never attended the hemispheric gathering, which has been held since 1994, but that is a
situation that will change this weekend at the summit hosted by Panama.
Presence at Summit Violates Democratic Charter. Cuban President Raul Castro's expected
appearance this week at a regional summit for the Organization of American States (OAS) has alarmed
critics of his regime who say the autocratic leader's presence will undermine the group's professed
support for democratic values. Castro is slated to make his first appearance at the OAS' Summit
of the Americas on Friday [4/10/2015] and Saturday in Panama. The group's Inter-American Democratic
Charter, adopted in September 2001, states that members can be suspended if they take actions that undermine
democracy. Member states are also expected to conduct "free and fair electoral processes."
Says He Would Act Fast To Take Cuba Off Terrorism List. President Barack Obama said
Tuesday he would act fast to take Cuba off the list of terrorism-sponsoring countries once he gets a
State Department recommendation. "As soon as I get a recommendation, I'll be in a position to act
on it," Obama said in an interview with National Public Radio. In a March interview with Reuters
Obama had said he hoped to have an embassy open in Cuba by the time of the April 10-11 Summit of the
Americas later this week. There Obama will meet with Cuban president Raul Castro. Cuba has
made it clear that it will not move on certain negotiations until it is removed from the list.
finds rising exile support for Obama's Cuba policy. A poll of Cuban-Americans shows
support for the White House's new Cuba policy has risen in the three months since it was announced,
with 51 percent now [4/1/2015] in favor of closer engagement with Cuba, up from 44 percent in December.
Set for Historic Meeting Between Obama and Castro. The United States and Cuba are set
to mark an historic milestone next week with President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro poised
to share the stage at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Panama. It will be the first
scheduled meeting between leaders of the two countries in nearly 60 years.
Sanctions Venezuelan Officials, Moves Closer to Ally Cuba. President Barack Obama
imposed sanctions Monday on Venezuelan officials accused of violating the human rights of political
opponents, even as his administration seeks closer ties with Cuba, Venezuela's staunchest ally.
Obama's executive order places sanctions on seven Venezuelan government and military officials who
the administration says have undermined democracy in the country, overseen the abuse of anti-government
protesters, curtailed freedom of expression, or engaged in corrupt activities. The sanctioned
individuals include the head of Venezuela's intelligence service and former leaders of the country's
National Guard, or GNB.
Obama, Castro Has A Ship Of Fools. Castro is playing us for fools. Even though
tourism remains illegal for Americans in Cuba, it doesn't stop B-List celebrities from going to
Havana, partying hearty, snapping and posting selfies, popping flashbulbs, swigging mojitos and
buying cigars by the cartload, as Hilton's Instagram pictures showed. Communism-ravaged Cuba is
about as poor as Ethiopia or Zimbabwe. So it wasn't the locals partying down, but the communist
elites — such as Fidel's son, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, with whom Hilton and model Naomi
Campbell posed for selfies.
Cigar Makers Anticipate Big Bucks From US Travelers. Over six decades rolling premium
cigars with his small, wrinkled hands, Arnaldo Alfonso has taken pride in seeing his "habanos"
sampled by visiting heads of state and other dignitaries.
Say as Many as 200 Arrested in Cuba. Cuban dissidents say that more than 100
anti-government activists have been arrested and they are awaiting word Monday [2/23/2014] on how
many have been released.
and other Democrats meet with Cuban officials in Havana. U.S. Democratic leader Nancy
Pelosi, who is heading an official delegation of Democratic representatives visiting Havana, met
with Cuba's National Assembly vice president Ana María Mari Machado and other Cuban deputies, in the
first dialogue between members of congress and parliament, since diplomatic relations were restored
on Dec. 17. "During the meeting, we exchanged views about the actions taken by President Obama
and President Raúl Castro," Pelosi said in a statement issued Thursday [2/19/2015]. "We agreed
to continue our interparliamentary dialogue on areas of agreement and disagreement."
Guevara's Daughter Delighted with Obama's Cuba Policy. Che Guevara's daughter Aleida
is in Canada this week whooping up president Obama's opening to the Stalinist regime her father
co-founded, and saying he'd certainly approve. She's absolutely correct. Aside from her father,
few people knew from first-hand experience how easily U.S. officials can be snookered.
leads House delegation to Cuba. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is
leading a delegation to Cuba on Tuesday [2/17/2015] while Congress is out on recess. It is the
first official House delegation trip to Cuba since President Obama announced lifting certain
restrictions on Cuba in December.
Cuba to meet February 27; senators see path for end to embargo. The United States and Cuba
will hold a second round of talks in Washington nest week aimed at restoring diplomatic relations, the
State Department said on Tuesday [2/17/2015], as U.S. Democratic senators visiting Havana said there
may be enough support among Republicans to lift a trade embargo on Cuba.
strain that becomes AIDS in 3 years identified in Cuba. A strain of HIV that could
develop into AIDS before patients realize they are infected has been identified in Cuba. The
aggressive variant was seen in patients who developed AIDS within three years of contacting the
virus, according to a new study. It usually takes five to 10 years.
new HIV strain detected in Cuba. A new HIV strain in some patients in Cuba appears to be much more aggressive
and can develop into AIDS within three years of infection. Researchers said the progression happens so fast that treatment
with antiretroviral drugs may come too late.
Is Now Issuing Demands On U.S. — Well Done, Mr. Obama. Soon after President
Obama announced plans to normalize relations with Cuba, Sen. Marco Rubio called him the worst
negotiator since Jimmy Carter. Cuban officials are now proving Rubio right. As soon as
Obama made his announcement, it became clear he'd pretty much given up the store and gotten nothing
in return. Cuba didn't have to make any concessions on freedom of speech, democratic elections,
a market economy. It didn't have to turn over U.S. fugitives, including a convicted cop killer,
whom it's been protecting for years.
new Gitmo demands stir fierce debate. Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill declared Cuban
President Raul Castro's latest demands to return the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay back to Cuba dead on arrival,
but the move sparked a heated debate over the motivation behind Obama's new Cuban détente. Sen. Ted
Cruz, a Texas Republican and outspoken Cuban-American opponent of normalizing relations with Cuba, said Castro's
new insistence that America hand over Gitmo and lift the trade embargo entirely come as no surprise.
You Give a Dictator a Cookie... In a perfect exhibition of the chasm between the
power the Obama administration actually wields in foreign relations and the power the
administration thinks it wields: the current White House offered, virtually without
condition, the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba (a one-party dictatorship with a
gulag, which has been forced for decades to rely for survival on the largesse of America's enemies,
from the Soviet Union to Chavez's Venezuela) — and it is Raul Castro who is putting
conditions on the deal.
Senators to Obama: We're Totally with You on Cuba Policy. While senators such as Marco
Rubio (R-Fla.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) have vehemently opposed the Obama administration's
rapprochement and concessions toward Cuba, some Republicans have banded together to let President
Obama know that they have an eye on lifting the decades-old embargo.
wants Guantanamo Bay back. Cuban President Raul Castro demanded on Wednesday [1/28/2015] that the
United States return the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba and compensate
his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations. Castro told a summit of the
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States that Cuba and the U.S. are working toward full diplomatic relations
but "if these problems aren't resolved, this diplomatic rapprochement wouldn't make any sense."
Castro breaks his silence to say 'I don't trust the US nor have I exchanged a word with them'.
Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Monday appeared to lend his support to talks with the U.S. in his first
comments about his longtime adversary since both countries agreed last month to restore diplomatic ties.
But Castro, 88, stopped short of an enthusiastic endorsement of the rapprochement, announced on December 17
by his younger brother and Cuba's current president, Raul Castro, and President Obama. 'I don't trust the
policy of the United States nor have I had an exchange with them, but this does not mean ... a rejection of a
peaceful solution to conflicts or the dangers of war,' Fidel Castro said in a statement published on the website
of Cuba's Communist Party newspaper, Granma.
block Cuba's path to normalization. In the view of the United States, Cuba forfeited
the sovereign immunity that protects it from civil suits in U.S. courts when it embraced terrorist
groups in Latin America three decades ago. Since then, the Cuban government has racked up a bill
of more than $4 billion plus interest, accruing primarily to Floridians whose families —
according to court rulings in this state and New York — have suffered from Cuba's actions.
on the hot seat: Senators demand answers on U.S. fugitives in Cuba. A group of Senate
Republicans pressed Attorney General Eric H. Holder on Friday [1/23/2015] to explain the administration's policy
for U.S. fugitives in Cuba, including a convicted cop killer, following President Obama's announced normalization of
relations with the communist island nation. "As the nation's chief law enforcement officer, do you support the
normalization of relations with Cuba without the return of fugitives from justice for prosecution who have the blood
of Americans, including law enforcement officers on their hands?" said the three senators in a letter to Mr. Holder.
Pope Francis allows politics to distort the Christian faith. After the United States
agreed to restore relations with Cuba, a deal that included the involvement of the pontiff himself,
the Vatican's secretary of state emphasized Francis' ambitions for making the Holy See a bigger
player in international diplomacy. But it goes deeper than that. Politics and political
metaphors shape his view of the world.
official 'regrets' lawmakers weren't consulted on Cuba. Former deputy national security adviser
Tony Blinken told a congressional panel Wednesday [1/21/2015] that he "regrets" not consulting lawmakers more
during the White House negotiations last year to normalize relations with Cuba. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
pressed Blinken, who is now the deputy secretary of State, on comments he made in November asserting that White
House would consult Congress when changing its Cuba policy.
executive action spurs stampede of panicked freedom-seekers. Cuban refugees have been
surging toward Florida since President Obama's mid-December executive action on relations with
Havana, but neither the United States nor Cuba has made significant changes to policies governing
immigrants fleeing the communist dictatorship. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western
Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson will travel to Cuba Wednesday [1/22/2015] to open discussions
between the two countries.
York Gov. Cuomo to travel to Cuba. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly planning to head to Cuba
for a trade mission in the coming months. The trip would likely be the first by a major U.S. public official to
the communist nation, after the Obama administration began to relax embargo restrictions around the country.
of the 53 dissidents released by Cuba rearrested. In a move that has angered lawmakers
and activists in the United States, the Cuban government has rearrested two political prisoners from
the list of 53 whose release had been negotiated by the U.S. According to independent media
sources in Cuba, Ronaldo Reyes Rabanal and Luís Enrique Labrador — along with other
activists — were arrested while attending a meeting of the opposition group, Movement for
a New Republic. Lazara María Borrego Guzmán, a member of the Ladies in White opposition
movement, was also allegedly arrested during the meeting and Cuban officials allegedly broke her arm.
Despite deal with
Obama, Cuba still cracking down on dissidents. Nineteen-year-old twin brothers Bianco
and Diango Vargas Martin were turned out of a Cuban prison last week. They are two of 53 dissidents
released by the government of Raul Castro as part of an agreement with the Obama administration for "normalized"
relations between Washington and Havana.
Brings Knife to Gunfight with Castro. [Scroll down] In brief, the Alan Gross hostage-ploy
worked like a charm. Best of all, just as sugar-daddy Venezuela struggles to keep the sugar flowing (oil,
actually, 100,000 essentially free barrels daily to Cuba) Obama comes to the rescue. At least he's
consistent. Obama never claimed attraction to the bumpkin notion of American "exceptionalism."
set to ease Cuba sanctions Friday. The Obama administration announced sweeping measures Thursday [1/15/2015]
that will ease sanctions against Cuba, opening up the Communist-ruled country to expanded travel and trade by Americans.
The 54-year-old U.S. embargo on Cuba will remain in place, but the rules from the Commerce and Treasury departments that go
into effect Friday will allow more trade in the areas of agriculture and telecommunications. Although tourism by
Americans still is officially prohibited, the new regulations also will enable more U.S. residents to travel to the
island without first obtaining a license.
prisoner release overshadowed by a rumour of Fidel Castro's death. Human rights
activists welcomed an announcement on Friday that 38 political dissidents had been released. Any
euphoria was tempered, however, by concerns that they could be rounded up again at any moment, especially
if they resumed anti-government protests. It also appeared that most had been incarcerated for minor
offences while higher-profile detainees remained behind bars.
Rubio Schools CBS's Charlie Rose on Cuba. On Monday's [1/12/2015] CBS This Morning, as
Florida Senator Marco Rubio denounced President Obama's decision to reopen diplomatic relations with
Cuba, co-host Charlie Rose attempted to push liberal spin on the topic: "But what about the argument
that in fact — if in fact Cuba is opened up, it will change? Vietnam changed." Rubio
quickly shot him down: "It did not change politically. Nor has China, for that matter."
Free, But Questions Hang Over Cuba Deal. Cuban dissidents, their relatives and supporters said Friday [1/9/2015]
that the island's government this week has freed at least 38 people on a U.S. list of imprisoned opposition members.
denies Cuba resisting release of several prisoners on list. A White House official on Wednesday
[1/7/2015] denied that the Cuban government was resisting freeing some of the 53 people listed for release
as part of a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations on the grounds they had been linked to violence.
White House Unsure If Cuba Has Released 53 Political Prisoners as Promised. When
President Obama announced his plans to "normalize" relations between the United States and Cuba just
before Christmas, he did so with few pre-conditions. However, one the conditions of normalizing
relations with the communist country was for the Castro regime to release 53 political prisoners.
When asked about their release yesterday [1/5/2015], White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest could not say
for certain if that release had occurred and said the Cuban government would be working on their own timeline.
State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki gave a similar answer during her daily briefing yesterday.
Cuba Initiative Prompts New Fears of Gitmo Naval Base Giveaway. President Obama's
drive to normalize ties with communist Cuba is raising new concerns among security officials and
experts that the administration will give up the strategic naval base at Guantanamo Bay in deal with
Havana. White House, Pentagon, and State Department officials offered assurances that the Obama
administration currently does not plan to negotiate the return of the base, leased by the United
States since 1903.
Barry! Where are the 53 dissidents Cuba promised to release? Some low comedy yesterday
[1/5/2015] at the State Department press gaggle, as spokesperson Jen Psaki couldn't say whether Cuba
has released the 53 political prisoners it promised when it struck a deal to normalize relations.
Dept. Can't Explain Why Cuba Isn't Fulfilling Promises Made in Obama Deal. The Cuban
government hasn't exactly been a model for transparency the last half century. Included in his deal
with Cuba, Obama announced two weeks ago that the U.S. government had released three Cuban spies. The
lack of progress in freeing the Cuban political prisoners increases the scrutiny on that White House decision.
Jr: 'We have so much to learn from Cuba'. The scion of the man who was responsible for
the Cuban blockade is full of awe for the Cuban dictatorship. Sure, it's a dictatorship, but
other than that, it's just ducky, apparently.
regime, not Cubans, the big winners in U.S.-Havana deal. Any deal between the United
States and Cuba ought to aim at maximizing economic freedom, handing the communist regime only the
political benefits that are inevitable, and facilitating the growth of the still embryonic civil
society on the island. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama's "normalization" of relations with
Cuba will have only a tiny economic impact on the people and bring the Castro dictatorship political
and financial benefits.
Must Investigate Where the Media Fear to Tread. [Scroll down] These "solidarity movements and
committees" have been active on American soil for many years. I covered one of their conferences
last year at a Baptist church just a few blocks from the White House. It was orchestrated by the
Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C. and the Workers World Party, a Marxist-Leninist group.
It is time for hearings into these activities and their role in the change in Obama's Cuba policy.
If Cuba is given a full-fledged embassy in Washington, D.C., we can anticipate more spying and subversion
on American soil. Is that in America's national interest?
Latest Welfare Queens — the Castro Brothers. Most of you quickly figured
out how Obama's new amnesty plan creates more Democratic voters. Did you know his new Cuba policy
does too? To wit: First off, Obama did not "lift the Cuba embargo." Instead
he further loop holed it with executive orders, a process that started when he first took office.
The Helms-Burton Act of 1996, you see, codified some of the vital economic sanctions against Cuba into
U.S. law so a full and genuine "lifting of the embargo" requires a Congressional vote. But the
required votes to lift them are not there.
Castro foes not
ready to quit. Day after day for four months, Roberto Pizano was marched from inside a
prison to a pond holding human waste from a tuberculosis hospital nearby. As punishment for his
crimes against the revolution of Fidel Castro, Pizano was held face down until he nearly drowned.
Many died from this torture, Pizano said. For him, it was an introduction to the 18 years he would
spend in Cuban prisons. "I thought those who were executed were lucky," Pizano, 76, said through
an interpreter. "Nobody can conceive the evils we endured in those prisons."
for nothing in Cuba. Except for the United States, Cuba has had normal relations with
the rest of the world for decades. Tourists, trade, investment from Canada, France, Britain, Spain,
everywhere. An avalanche of nylons — and not an inch of movement in Cuba toward freedom.
In fact, one could argue that this influx of Western money has helped preserve the dictatorship, as just about
all the financial transactions go through the government, which takes for itself before any trickle-down crumbs
are allowed to reach the regime-indentured masses.
Thaw, American Base at Guantánamo Still Stings for Cubans. Despite the sudden
thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba, the base here remains a sore point for Cubans,
a deeply felt grievance that the Castros, first Fidel and now his brother Raúl, have long
pointed to as a stinging symbol of American imperialism. A senior State Department official in
Washington said that Cuban negotiators had raised their government's oft-repeated demand for the
return of the base during the secret talks that culminated in last month's surprise announcement
that the two countries would re-establish full diplomatic relations.
of U.S. Spy Released in Cuba Deal Are Unknown. Two weeks after the release of an imprisoned spy whom President
Obama called "one of the most important intelligence agents the United States has ever had in Cuba," the man's family is still
asking: Where is he?
Green madness, &c.
[Scroll down] Cellphones and laptops were illegal [in Cuba] until 2008. And even today, two years
later, very few people have them: The cost of those items is out of reach. An American tried to
alleviate this situation. He is Alan P. Gross, and he is now in a Cuban prison. Gross works
for a subcontractor of the U.S. Agency for International Development. He went to Cuba to distribute
cellphones and laptops to civil-society groups and to individuals. On December 4, he was at the
airport, about to leave the country. And the regime arrested him as a spy.
Obama eases travel, money
transfers for Cuban-Americans. Obama's wide-ranging order wipes out the restriction that
limited Cuban Americans to one trip every three years to the island. They can fly down as often as they
want. Also under the new policy, Cuban Americans can send unlimited amounts of money to relatives in
Cuba. The Bush policy limited these remittances to $1,200 a year.
Going to Cuba is okay but...
Calls for Limits on Tourism to Antarctica. The Obama administration is pushing to protect
Antarctica's fragile environment by imposing mandatory limits on the size of cruise ships sailing there
and the number of passengers they bring ashore.
administration stung by Cuban crackdown on dissidents, complicating detente. The Obama
administration has responded harshly to the Cuban government's arrest this week of political dissidents
planning a protest in downtown Havana, casting an uncomfortable shadow over the historic detente announced
just weeks before between the U.S. and the Castro regime. The State Department late Tuesday night [12/30/2014]
"strongly condemn[ed] the Cuban government's continued harassment and repeated use of arbitrary detention, at times
with violence, to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and intimidate citizens."
World's Democracy Campaigners, Obama's Cuba Move Means Crackdowns. President Obama
claimed his move to normalize relations with Cuba was a means of nudging the military dictatorship
toward democracy. He was wrong. The regime is cracking down on dissent harder than ever.
Cuba's reported arrest of 6 dissidents. Two weeks after the United States and Cuba
agreed to thaw decades of icy relations, the U.S. State Department blasted the Cuban government for
reportedly arresting at least six dissidents. There was no comment from Cuban authorities on
the arrests that were reported by other dissidents and the U.S. State Department.
So: Normalize Relations With Cuba, Import A Few Legions Of Doctors. If only there were
some handy location which happened to be chock-a-block with docs that would jump, say, a 90 mile
stretch of water just to see some patients. Such a place would have to be crankin' out the Marcus Welbys
to compensate for the U.S. physician shortfall, though: you'd need at least as many as can be found in Cuba.
Derangement Syndrome. Barack Obama has made a geopolitical irrelevancy suddenly relevant to
American presidential politics. For decades, Cuba has been instructive as a museum of two stark
failures: socialism and the U.S. embargo. [...] Some conservative criticisms of Obama's new Cuba
policy — which includes normalizing diplomatic and commercial relations, to the extent that
presidential action can — seem reflexive. They look symptomatic of Cold War nostalgia
and 1930s envy — yearnings for the moral clarity of the struggle with the totalitarians.
Cuba's regime, although totalitarian, no longer matters in international politics. As bankrupt
morally as it is economically, the regime is intellectually preposterous and an enticing model only
for people who want to live where there are lots of 1950s Chevrolets.
U.S. pays Alan Gross $3.2
million. A U.S. official told CBS News that the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) has made a $3.2 million payment to Alan Gross. Gross has a separate arrangement to
work out payment with his former employer Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) to settle legal costs
related to his imprisonment. He was working as a USAID subcontractor hired by DAI when he was
arrested and imprisoned by the Cuban government.
Signals That Extradition of US Fugitives May Be Off the Table. [Josefina] Vidal's
comments in a Monday [12/22/2014] interview were the clearest sign yet that Cuba has no intention of
extraditing America's most-wanted woman, Joanne Chesimard, following a historic detente announced by
last week by President Barack Obama and Raul Castro of Cuba.
Senate Republican leader McConnell opposes Obama on Cuba. Senate Republican leader
Mitch McConnell said on Monday [12/22/2014] he opposed President Barack Obama's move to normalize
relations with Cuba, and spoke of steps lawmakers could take to try to rein in the new policy.
to Cuba While It's Still 'Unspoiled', Eleanor Clift Exclaims. Paleo-lib columnist
Eleanor Clift was in fine fiddle on The McLaughlin Group yesterday [12/21/2014] and did not
disappoint when the conversation turned to Cuba. Clift served up what is arguably her most asinine
observation since she claimed that Ambassador Chris Stevens wasn't murdered in the September 2012
attack on the US consulate in Benghazi because he died of smoke inhalation from fire set ablaze
during the siege.
Reading the Small Print. Mark Lander of
the New York Times describes how president Obama has 'mastered the art of secret negotiations'. "What the Cuba, Iran and China talks
have in common — aside from their cloak-and-dagger allure — are a small team of negotiators, strict discipline and tight
control by the White House." A less charitable description might use the words "deceit", "amateurism" and "bad faith" to characterize
the White House's efforts.
Hillary Loves Castro.
Hillary Clinton was the main architect of the deal reached with Cuba and her advocacy toward opening
a new relationship with the Castro regime began almost immediately when she became secretary of
state, according to a report from Bloomberg's Josh Rogin. [...] Clinton immediately got behind the
deal when it was announced.
Cuba deal, why did Obama back down on political prisoners? Barack Obama has long believed United States Cuba
policy should change; he so when he first ran for president in 2008. Back then, though, Sen. Obama stressed that the
U.S. should hold Cuba to a number of stringent conditions before even beginning to normalize relations. The first of
those conditions was freedom for Cuba's political prisoners.
House Allowed Cuban Spy Convicted of Murder Conspiracy to Artificially Inseminate Wife. President
Obama announced last week that the White House would reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba, while demanding
of the communist nation no concessions. Opponents have objected that this negotiation would benefit the
Castro regime at the expense of the Cuban people, and that, in freeing the three remaining members of the
murderous 'Cuban Five' spy ring, President Obama was dishonoring the lives of U.S. citizens.
brothers bad, Castro brothers Boy Scouts. Liberals were in a near euphoric state on
Wednesday after President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba are on a path to normalizing
relations between the two nations, a move that will pave the way for a U.S. Embassy in Havana, and may
eventually lead to lifting a 50-year-old American trade embargo.
expect surge in Cuba tourism under Obama opening. As the U.S. and Cuba begin to normalize relations
for the first time in half a century, some Americans are already roaming the streets of Old Havana, attending dance
exhibitions and talks on architecture as they take part in scripted cultural tours that can cost more than a decent
used car back home.
tells Obama to demand return of cop killer Chesimard to start Cuba talks. New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie is urging President Obama to demand that Cuba return convicted police-killer
Joanne Chesimard before he proceeds with efforts to improve diplomatic relations with that country.
Chesimard was found guilty of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973 before escaping
from prison and fleeing to Cuba. The 67-year-old Chesimard has since been provided safe haven by
the Cuban government.
migrant missing after Cuban coast guard sinks boat. Cuba's Coast Guard sank a boat
carrying 32 Cubans who were trying to reach the Florida coast, according to a woman who survived and
whose husband is missing. Masiel González Castellano told reporters in a telephone conversation
from Matanzas, Cuba, that her husband, Leosbel Díaz Beoto, is missing after falling from the boat
that was repeatedly charged and hit by a boat manned by the Cuban Coast Guard.
Coast Guard sinks boat carrying 32 refugees who were trying to reach Florida. Survivor
says her husband went missing. The other occupants were shipped back to the island. Women
and children freed, men still in custody.
Cuba, Obama Had An Ace, And Played A Deuce. As the Castros rejoice at President Obama's move to normalize ties,
extend trade credits, take their country off the terror list and free its deadly spies, the queasy question remains:
What did the U.S. get in return?
to Castro: "Here I Come to Save the Day!" [E]very atom of evidence shows that the actual people of Cuba actually
want U.S. sanctions against the Stalinist regime that tortures them tightened. So perhaps President Obama should stop insulting
the intelligence of Cuba-watchers by claiming to speak and act on their behalf.
away the store to the Castros. After fifty-some years, and eight presidents later,
U.S. policy of relative isolationism towards Cuba all came to an end when President Barack Obama
declared a "new day" in U.S.-Cuba relations. The President's core message is that after fifty
years, our policies towards Cuba have not worked. The fundamental question is: worked to do what?
How about this: after fifty years of communism, Cuba is about to crumble, not because of anyone else's
policies; it has failed for the same reason most oppressive, freedom-depriving Communist regimes fail:
Communism does not work.
New Cuba Policy: Eating With Raul. The White House says Cuba's Raul Castro may soon
visit. If he does, it'll be an ugly blot on President Obama's record. Since when does
the U.S. welcome brutal military dictators into the people's house?
celebrate President Obama, Raul Castro's decision to normalize relations. Throughout Havana, Cubans sang the praises
Friday of President Obama and Raul Castro's decision to reestablish diplomatic ties, saying it would lead to a better life for all.
Human rights in spotlight
after US-Cuba deal. To many exiles and their allies, President Raul Castro is a brutal dictator who locks up dissenters
in gulag-like jails, snuffs out political discourse and condemns his people to socialist poverty.
bigger picture on Cuba. Some say the definition of insanity is continuing to do the
same thing and expect different results. So with that being said, some are applauding President
Obama's unilateral change in policy towards Cuba — by way of opening up diplomatic
relations. Now, we can debate the pros and cons, but the underlying problem I have with all of
this is why was this not discussed openly? Why was it that once again we surrendered three Cuban
spies with blood on their hands?
Extradition of Cop Killer from Cuba May Not Be in 'Best Interest' of Americans. Joanne
Chesimard was serving a life sentence for the execution-style murder of New Jersey State Trooper
Werner Foerster in 1973. She escaped from prison in 1979 and sufficed in Cuba in 1984, where she is
believed to still be living. Chesimard was put on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list last year.
A reward of up to $1 million is offered for information leading to her capture. The state is offering
additional money. Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said in a statement
that they "continue to work closely with the FBI towards the capture" of Chesimard.
10 Lies in Obama's Cuba Speech. President Barack Obama unveiled a new U.S. policy
toward Cuba on Wednesday as part of a deal that brought American Alan Gross home in exchange for
three convicted Cuban spies. As he has done so often in the past, Obama tried to channel the
perspective of America's enemies and critics, as if his job were to act as a neutral mediator
instead of defending U.S. interests and values.
Francis' Disturbing Cuban Manipulation. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced
that the United States would be changing its policy toward Cuba, opening a Havana embassy and
expanding travel. "Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American
and Cuban people and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas," President Obama explained.
The president negotiated the deal between the United States and Cuba over the course of 18 months.
Pope Francis apparently initiated the negotiations himself.
ties thaw, White House open to Castro visit. A US visit by Cuban President Raul Castro
is a possibility, the White House said, a day after he and US President Barack Obama announced a
historic bilateral rapprochement. With developments proceeding apace, a high-level US diplomat,
Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, revealed she will travel to Havana in late January
for the first direct talks to "begin the process of restoration of diplomatic relations."
Week Ever. [Scroll down] Wednesday also saw the Obama administration move to
normalize relations with the abnormal regime 90 miles south of the Florida Keys. The president
traded three Cubans jailed in America for one jailed American in Cuba. Unfortunately, 11 million
remain imprisoned on the island penitentiary.
Part of Keeping Cuba Isolated Has Not 'Worked'? The Obama talking point being repeated
by the administration's note-takers in the media is that it makes sense for the president to try a
different approach on Cuba because the policy of isolating the dictatorship has not "worked."
Naturally, what is meant by "worked" is not stated. I'm trying to figure out what exactly the
supposed flaw has been in the policy of isolating a brutal regime diplomatically and imposing a trade
embargo on it — one that is a lot more like a screen than a wall — in order
to pressure it to reform.
takes a whiff of a Cuban cigar at White House party. President Obama got a whiff of
Havana when a guest at a White House Hanukkah reception handed him a Cuban cigar.
Obama — who only hours earlier paved the way for normalizing relations with
Cuba — seemed amused by the still-embargoed tobacco, which was given to him
by a Colorado man at the Wednesday [12/17/2014] party.
A Dictator's Best Friend.
"It's a sad day for freedom," Marco Rubio told Bret Baier after President Obama announced he would
normalize relations with Cuba. Not a sad day, senator: a sad year. If there was a theme to 2014,
it was Obama's persistence in bailing out dictators and theocrats from political scrapes and economic hardships,
his tenacity in pursuit of engagement with America's adversaries no matter the cost to our strength, principles,
credibility, or alliances. In this president the thugs in Havana and Caracas, Damascus and Tehran, Moscow
and Naypyidaw and Beijing have no better friend. For these bullies, these evildoers, these millenarians
and sectarians, Barack Obama is more than a dupe. He is an insurance policy.
Throws Fidel a Rope. In JFK's metaphor, Obama traded a horse for a rabbit. We got
back Alan Gross before his Communist jailers killed him, along with an American spy, in exchange for
three members of a Cuban espionage ring. Had we left it at that, the deal would have been fine.
But Obama threw in an admission that all nine presidents before him pursued a "failed policy."
Calling for recognition of the Castro regime as the legitimate government of Cuba, Obama said,
"Isolation has not worked." "Not worked"? What is he talking about? Isolating Cuba
during the last 30 years of the Cold War helped bankrupt and bring down the Soviet Empire, which
had to carry Cuba on its back.
throws in the towel on Cuba. President Obama's announcement that he is reestablishing
diplomatic relations with Cuba is not a cause for celebration, and it is not a success for the
president. It is a gift for an enemy of the United States and American ideals. The United States
can do a lot more for Cuba than Cuba can do for the United States. And what has Cuba done to deserve
our recognition? The Castro brothers' control of the country has ensured that Cuba has been a
malignant actor in the region and elsewhere for decades, and that is not changing.
threaten to stop US embassy opening in Cuba. The backlash against a deal for the
United States to reopen its embassy in Havana and thaw its relations with Cuba is underway in
Florida, where Republicans are threatening to use their control of the Senate to sabotage the plans.
President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that he was ending America's five-decade policy of
isolating Cuba and that he hoped to reinstate full diplomatic relations with the communist island
"in the coming months". While the President's political opponents are unable to stop him from
formally restoring US ties with its communist neighbour, they can throw up practical hurdles to slow
down or even derail the détente.
Provides Economic Lifeline to Cuba. The Obama administration's normalization of
relations with Cuba has handed the Communist government an economic lifeline, critics say, just when
its traditional foreign patrons are suffering from their own domestic troubles. President Obama
announced on Wednesday that the United States would loosen travel and commercial restrictions on
Cuba as part of its efforts to reestablish diplomatic relations. The measures could provide some
initial relief to the country's largely state-controlled economy, which is afflicted by massive debts
and unemployment thought to be twice as high as the official rate of 4.3 percent in 2013. Obama
said in remarks that "50 years have shown that isolation has not worked" in displacing the regime of
Fidel Castro and his brother and current president, Raul.
becomes first President since JFK to (officially) savor a Cuban cigar after historic deal. Barack
Obama's historic peace-deal with Cuba after 50 years of cold war hostility was a breakthrough not to be
sniffed at. But that didn't stop the US president having a try, when he got close and personal to a
Cuban on Wednesday ... not a citizen, but a cigar. Significantly, it was the first time in 52 years
that a US president has officially savoured the Cuban delicacy since John F. Kennedy stockpiled a secret
stash of his favourite Havanas in the hours before he imposed a trade embargo on the Communist state in 1962.
If Obama Goes to Cuba For Golf, He Should Bring Back Cop Killer Joanne Chesimard. It
is rumored President Obama could be taking a trip to Cuba next year to golf. If the president ends
up going, Fox News' host, comedian and author Greg Gutfeld wants Obama to bring back cop killer
Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, upon his return to the United States. "Unlike
North Korea, Cuba is a jewel of the left because both adore marxist thugs. Those who failed at
life but excel at taking it. Do you think that occurred to our President?" Gutfeld said.
to Pocket 92% of Worker Salaries from Foreign Companies. Just one day before President
Obama announced sweeping changes that would allow potential American investment in Cuba, the Cuban
government apparently had begun preparing itself by announcing new measures that would allow Cubans
who work for foreign companies to keep only 8% of their salaries.
Talk About Obama's Imaginary 'Winning Streak'. [A]s you've no doubt have heard, Obama
has been on a roll since the midterms. After the president announced that he would restore a full
diplomatic relationship between Cuba and United States, Al Hunt claimed that no president in history
had ever "experienced as severe an election drubbing as Barack Obama did in November and followed it
with such a politically triumphant six weeks." (Gloria Borger just goes ahead and compares him to
Superman.) To be fair, there is a rather narrow sample size for that kind of declaration. But
what exactly does triumph looked like? The Cuba issue, while a good talker, probably isn't the kind
issue that most Americans are exceedingly concerned about. As we see how that shakes out, there are
other wins that exist only in the imagination.
adds Cuba to his list of sellouts. President Obama continues to embrace low-tier, go-it-alone executive
actions to pad the last two years of his mistake-filled, empty-agenda presidency in a hopeless hunt for a legacy.
His arrogant decision this week to re-establish diplomatic relations with communist Cuba is the latest example of a
president desperately searching for something do without having to deal with Congress.
to Obama's Cuba move: Tears of joy, cries of 'traitor'. A tale of two restaurants unfolded in
South Florida on Wednesday [12/17/2014]. In Miami's Little Havana, Versailles Restaurant hosted hard-line
Cuban exiles railing against President Obama's decision to establish full diplomatic ties with the Cuban
government. They waved placards and hurled insults bilingually, putting on the show they've been
rehearsing and staging for half a century.
Francis Is Credited With a crucial Role in U.S.-Cuba Agreement. Pope Francis had quite
a 78th birthday. The pontiff began Wednesday [12/17/2014] with prayers and a birthday celebration
with tango dancers near St. Peter's Square. His day ended with a historic diplomatic breakthrough
between Cuba and the United States — and the disclosure that the Argentine pope played a key
role as broker.
to Castro. Barack Obama apologized to Cuban president Raul Castro during their phone
conversation after the American commander in chief's opening remarks. Speaking to reporters at his
final White House press briefing of 2014 Friday afternoon, Obama gave more details about his phone call
with the communist leader of Cuba earlier this week before the announcement of a change in U.S. policy
on the Caribbean island nation.
warns Obama on Cuba: Good luck getting an ambassador confirmed or an embassy funded.
Watch the clip [in this article], in which Rubio holds nothing back. This issue is in his wheelhouse,
not only as a conservative Cuban-American pol from Florida but as a guy who's looking to distinguish himself
as the cream of the hawkish crop in 2016 if he runs for president. Just one question: Er, is
the GOP caucus prepared to go along with him? Superhawks like McCain, Graham, Tom Cotton, and Kelly
Ayotte will. Ted Cruz might feel obliged, just to make sure there's no one in the field next year
that's to his right on any issue that the base is paying attention to.
Obama, big zero! My cell phone has been going off for hours with messages and angry
conversations with fellow Cuban-Americans and conservatives in the U.S. I hear this question over
and over: what did the U.S. get out of this deal? The answer is nothing, unless you are one of
those who believes that the Castro regime is about to reform the economy, allow an independent media, and
hold multi-party elections.
For Jose Marti.
Let us take the moment of President Obama's betrayal of Free Cuba to step back a bit —
back to say, May 19, 1895. That's when the tribune of Cuba Libre, Jose Marti, was killed in combat
against the Spanish Royalists at the Battle of Dos Rios. His body was barely in the ground when he was
mocked by the New York Times as the "so-called President of the Cuban Republic."
Brothers Join Line of Anti-American Tyrants to Receive Obama's Largess. You knew this
was coming, right? You knew that, with all of the national elections that will take place during his
presidency behind him, Barack Obama would do everything in his power — broadly
defined — to assist the Castro regime. President Obama was a good friend to Mohammad
Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood's man in Egypt. He has made nice with the mullahs in Iran, bailing
their country out of serious economic woes under the pretense of slowing Iran's nuclear weapons program.
He "reset" relations with Russia on terms highly favorable to Putin and would have done more to help the
autocrat, as he promised to do after he gained "flexibility" following the 2012 election, had Putin not
set out to dismember Ukraine.
chic: Obama, with nothing to lose, embraces Cuba. 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.
stresses freedom of Gross from Cuba at Hanukka candlelighting ceremony. Presiding over the
White House Hanukka ceremony on Wednesday US President Barack Obama wasted no time connecting the 8-day
Jewish holiday to the historic Cuba policy changes he announced earlier in the day, which led to the
release of jailed Jewish-American Alan Gross. "I'm told that in the Jewish tradition one of the
great mitzvah's [sic] is 'pinion sabihin'," said Obama, "It describes the redemption, the freeing of captives.
And that's what were celebrating today because after being unjustly held for more than five years, Alan Gross is free."
concerns about Russia-Cuba ties preceded Obama's deal to dismantle sanctions. Months
before President Obama announced on Wednesday [12/17/2014] that he is seeking to do away with decades of U.S.
economic sanctions against the communist regime in Cuba, Russia concluded a security deal with Havana aimed at
bolstering intelligence and military ties to the island dictatorship. The Russia-Cuba agreement was
announced May 16 when a memorandum was signed in Moscow establishing a joint working group between
Russia's Security Council and the Cuban Commission for National Security and Defense.
We Send Alan Gross Back to Cuba? Why did President Obama engineer a prisoner swap with
Communist Cuba involving Alan Gross, an American citizen who badmouthed his own country mere hours
after he arrived back on U.S. soil? It turns out that a cabal of left-wing extremists helped to
make Gross's release happen.
Obama Didn't Tell The Whole Story About Cuba. Why did President Obama go for broke on
Cuba, announcing the United States would normalize relations with that repressive regime? The answer
appears in his statement to the nation. There, the president not only made clear that this change
has been on his bucket list for some time, but also that his knowledge of Cuba comes straight out of the
international Left's playbook. "When I came into office, I promised to re-examine our Cuba policy,"
Obama said, proving once again that last month's midterm shellacking seems to have had an odd effect on
our president. Rather than make him humble, rejection at the polls has liberated him to do all the
things he wants in his "legacy."
Castros Finally Hit the Jackpot. Candidate Barack Obama said that, as president, he
would talk to anti-American dictators without precondition. He didn't mention that he would also
give them historic policy concessions without precondition. His surprise unilateral change in the
U.S. posture toward the Castro dictatorship came without even the pretense of serious promises by
the Cubans to reform their kleptocratic, totalitarian rule.
could stop Obama's Cuba play. President Barack Obama's plan to normalize relations
with Cuba has hit a familiar roadblock: Republicans on Capitol Hill. Just hours after Obama
announced that a prisoner swap with the Cuban government for two Americans was the start of a new
relationship with the communist country, Republicans began informally kicking around ideas to stop
any changes to the U.S.-Cuba relationship. On the list: deny Obama funds to reopen an embassy in
Havana, stall the nomination of a potential ambassador, vote down a bill to open up travel more widely and
ignore requests from the White House to lift a decades-old embargo.
Secretly Pushed Cuba Deal for Years. From 2009 until her departure in early 2013, Clinton
and her top aides took the lead on the sometimes public, often private interactions with the Cuban government.
According to current and former White House and State Department officials and several Cuba policy experts who were
involved in the discussions, Clinton was also the top advocate inside the government for ending travel and trade
restrictions on Cuba and reversing 50 years of U.S. policy to isolate the Communist island nation.
Repeatedly, she pressed the White House to move faster and faced opposition from cautious high-ranking White
Hillary Loves Castro.
Hillary Clinton was the main architect of the deal reached with Cuba and her advocacy toward opening
a new relationship with the Castro regime began almost immediately when she became secretary of
state, according to a report from Bloomberg's Josh Rogin.
Cuban-American senators threaten to block Obama's Cuba shift. Barack Obama's move to
open relations with Cuba brought an official weather forecast from Havana's state news agency that
it would rain flower petals, but Cuban-Americans serving in the U.S. Senate unleashed a stormy tempest
on the White House Wednesday. The president made his shocking and historic announcement armed with
a new budget that seems to cement the State Department's ability to fund an embassy and pay salaries in
Havana. But while two Republicans threatened action when the new GOP-led Congress convenes, they
were led by a Democrat who has backed the White House on nearly everything for the last six years.
Earnest: 'I Wouldn't Rule Out a Visit From President Castro'. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
won't rule out a Washington visit by Cuban President Raul Castro, although he did dismiss the idea as a "hypothetical."
During the press briefing [12/18/2014], Earnest pointed out that President Obama had welcomed leaders from countries with
questionable human rights records such as China and Burma. "For that reason I would not rule out a visit from
President Castro," he concluded.
Rubio: Alan Gross Release Put 'A Price on the Head of Every American Abroad'. The release of Alan
Gross, the American contractor imprisoned in Cuba for more than five years, "set a price on the head of every
American abroad," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said in an interview today [12/17/2014]. "I would love for
there to be normal relations with Cuba, but for that to happen, Cuba has to be normal, and it's not. It
is a brutal dictatorship," Rubio, who is a Cuban-American, told ABC News' Jeff Zeleny. "Now dictatorships
know that if they take an American, they may be able to get unilateral policy concessions."
'Proud' of Obama on Cuba. Former President Jimmy Carter on Thursday praised President
Barack Obama's "political courage" in reestablishing relations with Cuba. "This is the kind of
thing that has been long overdue, and I'm very proud and grateful that President Obama has shown
such wisdom and also, I think, political courage in taking these long overdue steps," Carter told
MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Rangel On Cuba Deal: 'I've Never Been More Proud Of Being An American'. Democratic New
York Rep. Charlie Rangel said on MSNBC's "Ronan Farrow Daily" that in the aftermath of the
normalization of relations with Cuba, he has "never been more proud of being an American." Rangel,
who was in Havana for some reason, said the Cuban people were ecstatic. "This is a tremendous,
historic event, the people in Havana are dancing in the street with glee, there's always been a love
between the Cuban people and the American people, notwithstanding the problems our governments have had."
cigars among goods travelers get OK to import. Cigar-loving travelers won't have to
hide their Cubans in their luggage anymore. Tobacco products from Cuba are among the goods
allowed under new trade normalization rules that President Obama announced Wednesday. The eased
restrictions mean that approved travelers will be able to bring home $100 of cigars. (Not a cigar
smoker? You can bring back Cuban rum instead.)
the Bay of Pigs to the Baltimore Orioles, 50 years of U.S.-Cuba relations. Three
months after taking office in 2009, President Obama brought up Cuba at the Summit of the Americas.
"I know there is a longer journey that must be traveled to overcome decades of mistrust," he told the
crowd, which did not include any representatives from Cuba, "but there are critical steps we can take
toward a new day." In the five years since, long-standing restrictions on travel and trade have
been loosened and rhetoric has continued to focus on improving relations. This week, an American held
by Cuba for five years was brought home, and the White House announced plans to open an embassy in Havana.
Cuba decision hailed by Charlie Rangel in Havana. Rep. Charlie Rangel, New York Democrat, hailed
President Obama's announced plans Wednesday to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba while the congressman was
on the ground in Havana. Mr. Rangel said he was in the country with a medical association "to exchange
advancements that have been made" on treatment for diabetes.
Jarrett-Obama Administration Submits to Yet Another Slave State. The spin from Valerie
Jarrett's White House is that the pope supposedly had something to do with what progressives have
wanted to do for decades[.]
Castro Urges Obama To Use 'Executive Action' To Overrule Congress. In a speech held at
the same time as President Barack Obama's televised speech announcing a normalization of relations
with Cuba, Cuban dictator Raul Castro urged Obama to use "executive action" to bypass Congressional
policy on Cuba.
Cuba-U.S. thaw, will New Jersey get convicted cop killer back? News that the U.S. and
Cuba want to normalize diplomatic relations could also open the door for federal officials to
finally capture the first woman ever to be included on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists, law
enforcement officials said Wednesday [12/17/2014]. Joanne Chesimard was convicted in the shooting
death of a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 but later escaped from prison and fled to Cuba. In a statement
released Wednesday morning, the superintendent of the New Jersey State Police said any improvement in relations
between the two countries should improve the chance of her being returned to prison in the U.S.
visit Cuba. The White House on Wednesday said President Obama would have no
reservations about visiting Cuba following the resumption of diplomatic talks between his
administration and the Castro regime. "It is not unprecedented for us to go places and interact
with countries with whom we have a very fundamental difference of opinion about that country's
treatment of their citizens," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, highlighting Obama's
recent trip to the communist nation of China. "We engage those countries and we engage the
leadership of those countries and we do so for a variety of reasons, and often it serves our
national security interests to do so," he insisted.
Cuba Take: 'Is There No Tyrant in the World Obama Will Not Appease For Nothing?
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer lamented the Obama administration's decision to open
formal relations with Cuba on Wednesday, pegging it as part of a broader trend and wondering whether
there's any tyrannical or anti-American regime to whom he won't grant one-sided concessions. On
Fox News's Special Report, Krauthammer explained how even President Obama himself once understood
that the embargo against Cuba was designed as leverage to push Cuban democratization. "There was
not an ounce, there was not an inch, there was not a suggestion of an opening here," he said.
Lays into Obama's Cuba Moves: 'Worst Negotiator in Modern U.S. History'. Senator Marco
Rubio (R-FL) laid into President Barack Obama's impending normalization of relations between the
U.S. and Cuba on Fox News Wednesday morning [12/17/2014], saying Obama had traded away concessions for "symbolic
gestures," and that Obama was "the worst negotiator that we've had as president...maybe in the modern
history of the country." "My interest in Cuba has been the furthering of democracy and freedom,"
Rubio said. "Nothing the president will announce today will further that goal...It's part of long
record of coddling dictators and tyrants this administration has."
gives the Castro regime in Cuba an undeserved bailout. 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.
historic opening to Cuba: A hint of things to come with Iran? President Obama's decision to
reestablish full diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States for the first time since 1961
reflects the president's conviction — laid out in his first inaugural address — that
engagement with foreign adversaries is better than isolation. Mr. Obama's historic decision means that
two longtime antagonists — who have what the president himself described Wednesday as a "unique
history" — will establish embassies in each other's capital and exchange ambassadors. While
lifting the half-century-old US embargo on the Communist island would take an act of Congress, Mr. Obama
will go as far as legally permissible to ease travel and trade restrictions between the two countries and
get relations to "normal." "It's time for a new approach" with Cuba, Obama said in an Oval Office
televised statement. "These 50 years have shown that isolation does not work."
Responds: This is just another concession to a tyranny by Obama. Marco Rubio responded
to Obama's announcement on Cuba today calling it 'just another concession to a tyranny' and saying
it will do nothing but tighten the Cuban regime's grip on power for decades to come and significantly
set back the hopes and dreams of the Cuban people that they may live in freedom and democracy.
Smith reacts to Obama's Cuba decision, asks if U.S. will 'ruin' Havana. Fox News
anchor Shepard Smith reacted to news that the U.S. was restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba by
asking if American capitalism would "ruin" the nation with fast-food restaurants and home improvement
businesses. "You know, the fear that among anybody who's ever been there or cares at all about the
Cuban people as so many of us do — the last thing they need is a Taco Bell and a Lowe's.
You know, it's one big idea, and it all comes together and you wonder: Are we about to get up
in there and ruin that place?" the Fox personality said Wednesday [12/17/2014].
Hails 'Momentous Day' of Obama Opening U.S. Relations With Cuba. During an NBC News
Special Report on Wednesday, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams could barely contain his
excitement over President Obama announcing the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba: "A
momentous day, especially for those Americans old enough to remember the Cold War.
Obama Is Worst Negotiator Since Carter, Maybe in Modern US History. Senator Marco
Rubio (R., Fla.) slammed President Obama's decision to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba on
Wednesday, calling him "the worst negotiator" since Jimmy Carter. Rubio said Obama's notion that
opening trade relations with Cuba would lead to democratic reform was "absurd." "They're creating
no economic openings; there's no concessions on freedom of speech, no concessions on elections, no
concessions on the freedom to have alternative political parties, no concessions on ever having
elections or anything of that matter. What democratic concessions?" Rubio said.
Barely Mention Brutality of Castro Regime or Cuba Being Communist. Following the trend
set when news broke early Wednesday [12/17/2014], the major broadcast networks continued their
praising of the move by President Obama to seek normalized relations with Cuba on their Wednesday
night newscasts. Between the "big three" of ABC, CBS, and NBC, they made only a few, brief
mentions over the course of their 30-minute programs that Cuba was both a communist country and
brutal in the treatment of its own people (especially dissenters).
Offers Little Criticism for Obama's Cuba Move: It 'Helped Thaw a Cold War'. The
journalists of Good Morning America on Thursday [12/18/2014] cheered Barack Obama's efforts
to "help thaw a Cold War" and offered little in the way of criticism for the President's actions to
normalize relations with Cuba. Reporter Jim Avila hyped, "Well soon many more Americans will be able
to hop a plane to Havana, take a tour, even legally buy one of those famous cigars." The words
"human rights" were not uttered until the 8am hour.
Levin Brilliantly Exposes Obama's Blatant Undeniable Indisputable Hypocrisy On Cuba. Mark Levin gave a
brilliant monologue today on Obama seeking to normalize relations with Cuba, exposing the blatant hypocrisy in how Obama
deals with evil dictatorships versus how he deals with America.
Exchanges Castro's Killer For American Hostage. Communists are ecstatic. "The Cuban Five Are Free"
is a statement from the U.S. support network for the Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S. for various crimes,
including participating in a murder conspiracy. Obama essentially released the three remaining Cuban
spies in exchange for American Alan Gross, who had been held hostage by the Cuban regime for over five years.
Gross was a foreign aid worker imprisoned by the Castro regime for trying to help ordinary Cubans communicate with
the outside world. President Obama confirmed the role of Pope Francis, a vocal critic of Western-style
capitalism, in the deal. Once again, we are treated to a display of secret and deceptive government by
the Obama administration, in this case designed to bolster an anti-American regime. The announcement was
made after Congress adjourned for the legislative session.
frees American Alan Gross in three-for-one prisoner swap. President Barack Obama
announced Wednesday at the White House that the United States will move swiftly toward normalizing
diplomatic relations with the isolated communist country of Cuba, following more than a half-century
of icy stares. 'We will begin to normalize relations' between the U.S. and Cuba, he said. 'We
will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests.' Cuba
released American aid worker Alan Gross in the morning after five years in captivity, in a prisoner
exchange with Havana that started a day of unprecedented United States action that will include,
eventually, a lifting of America's cold-war trade embargo.
Win the Day. Frank Marshall Davis Would Be Proud Of Obama. Few could have predicted
that communist regimes would win the day on December 17, 2014. Communism was so twentieth century.
But Barack Obama, promising to fundamentally transform America, has done so. His mentor, communist
activist Frank Marshall Davis, would be proud of him. To reiterate my conclusion on Barack Obama's
world view and policy objectives: to make the world safer, the United States must be less safe.
To make the world more stable, the United States must be less stable. To make the world more prosperous,
the United States must be less prosperous. Assisting Barack Obama in this are the Washington technocrats,
bureaucrats, and numerous party apparatchiks of both parties who have decided America is in decline and
the decline should be managed instead of overcome.
livid over Cuba talks, call it appeasement. Republicans lawmakers reacted with outrage
Wednesday over the Obama administration's move to normalize relations with Cuba, with some casting
it as appeasement and the product of extortion by the communist Castro government. Sen. Marco
Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants and a likely 2016 presidential contender, was perhaps the most
ardent voice to denounce the administration. He and other Republicans promised to try to derail
the White House's efforts through their leverage in Congress, even as at least one GOP-leaning group,
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the news of improved ties with Cuba.
House: Pope Francis Played Key Role In Cuba Negotiations. Pope Francis and the Vatican
were involved in the negotiations with Cuba, according to a senior administration official who
briefed reporters on background. "Pope Francis personally issued an appeal thorough a letter that
he sent to President Obama and to President Raul Castro, calling on them to resolve the case of Alan
Gross and the cases of the three Cubans who have been imprisoned here in the United States and also
encouraging the United States and Cuba to pursue a closer relationship," the official noted.
More Money Should Be Sent To Cuba. As President Obama announced his dramatic changes
to US relations with Cuba, he explained to Americans that they'll be able to send more money to the
country in the future. "I also believe that more resources should be able to reach the Cuban
people," he said. "So we're significantly increasing the amount of money that can be sent to Cuba
and removing limits on remittences that support humanitarian projects, the Cuban people and the
emerging Cuban private sector," he said.
Cuba Deal Part Of Obama's 'Long Record Of Coddling Dictators And Tyrants'. Sen. Marco
Rubio (R-Florida) fiercely criticized President Barack Obama on Wednesday [12/17/2014] for moving to
ease US-Cuba relations. "It's absurd and it's part of a long record of coddling dictators and
tyrants that this administration has established," Rubio said in a Fox News interview. Rubio, a
potential presidential candidate in 2016, was reacting to the White House's decision to beginning
normalizing relations with the Cuban government following a prisoner swap between the two countries.
Excited to Be 'First Sec. of State in 60 Years to Visit Cuba'. The Secretary of State
praised President Barack Obama's announcement of the normalization of relations with Cuba, the
neighboring country under an embargo for over fifty years, in a statement Wednesday [12/17/2014].
[...] Kerry also noted that at Obama's request the State Department will review its designation of
Cuba as a terror state.
Obama — and Iran. And now, you turn on the TV and see the announcement
about the change in American policy in Cuba. Re-establishment of diplomatic relations. Lots of
changes in the embargo that will mean plenty more cash for the Castros. A change in the whole
American official position vis-à-vis Cuba. In exchange, the Castro brothers have pledged to let
53 political prisoners out, free one American spy, and free the American hostage Alan Gross. As to
real changes in the regime — changes in its foreign or domestic policies —
none. Zero. Zip. So, you conclude that in the long struggle between the United
States and the Castro regime since 1959, the Americans have finally blinked.
Bergdahl, now Gross — Obama [is the] 'worst negotiator' since Jimmy Carter.
First President Obama traded five Guantanamo terror detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, now he swapped
three Cuban spies for Alan Gross — moves that drew criticism slamming him as the 'worst
negotiator' as president since Jimmy Carter. Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, made the
declaration Wednesday in the wake of an announced deal that will free Mr. Gross, an American, from
imprisonment in Cuba in exchange for three Cubans convicted of espionage.
Havana Cubans Happy For Gross, Angry At Administration. News of Gross's release and
the administration's change to U.S. policy toward Cuba has swept through the streets of Little Havana.
Cuban-Americans have flocked Cafe Versailles, a political hotspot to trade opinions on the news.
Cuba seek to normalize relations after Alan Gross released. The Obama administration
is moving to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, after American Alan Gross was released from
the communist country Wednesday [12/17/2014] following five years in prison. Sources say President Obama plans
to announce the opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana and call on Congress to lift the long-standing embargo.
Senior administration officials said Obama spoke with Cuban leader Raul Castro for more than 45 minutes on
Tuesday, the first substantive presidential-level discussion between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961.
The Editor says...
Obama is building his legacy as a communist sympathizer and an enabler of petty tyrants and dictators.
Obama to announce major US-Cuba deal. US President Barack Obama does not have concrete
plans to visit Cuba after restoring diplomatic relations with Havana, but a White House spokesman
said on Wednesday he would not rule out a presidential visit. "If there is an opportunity for the
president to visit, I'm sure he wouldn't turn it down," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.
The Editor says...
If Cuba has a golf course, Obama will be there.
Handshake With Castro A Deal With The Devil. President Obama extended a hearty handshake to Cuba's iron-fisted dictator Raul
Castro just as the latter was beating up dissidents back home on the eve of Human Rights Day. No good will come of this.
to "Fantasy Island" — ACLU Style. Cuba remains the ACLU's "Fantasy Island,"
where — to hear them tell it — happy Marxist children play together in perfect
harmony, and the state makes sure its citizens are cared for from cradle to grave. At least
that's the glorious depiction in a book titled Vamos a Cuba ("Let's Visit Cuba") that the
ACLU wanted to keep on the bookshelves of a Florida school. The book makes the communist state
sound like a trip to DisneyWorld. But as it did on the TV show Fantasy Island, illusion
in Cuba quickly gives way to harsh reality.
Bill would drop travel
restrictions to Cuba. While most of the nation focused on the stimulus bill winding through Congress, nine
representatives introduced a bill calling for an end to the 46-year-old ban on travel to Cuba. The Freedom to Travel
to Cuba Act introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 4 would allow American citizens unrestricted travel
to Cuba for the first time since 1963.
Obama will use spring
summit to bring Cuba in from the cold. President Barack Obama is poised to offer an olive branch
to Cuba in an effort to repair the US's tattered reputation in Latin America. The White House has moved
to ease some travel and trade restrictions as a cautious first step towards better ties with Havana, raising
hopes of an eventual lifting of the four-decade-old economic embargo.
Heads Roll in Havana,
Baffling 'Cuba Experts'. The very week Obama proposed cozying up to Castro by dropping some
economic and travel sanctions, the biggest political shake-up in twenty years rattled Cuba's regime.
Last week Raul Castro purged almost twenty regime officials. The most prominent among the purged were
the youngest and most reform-minded (as these things are measured within a Stalinist regime), and they've all
been replaced by diehard Stalinist septuagenarians with military and secret police backgrounds.
Congressional Black Caucus
Smitten With Castro. Not since Ann Margaret's reaction to Conrad Birdie's kiss has anything been recorded
to match these U.S. legislators' reaction to these meetings. "He looked directly into my eyes!" gasped Rep. Laura
Richardson (D-Ca.) "and then he asked: how can we help President Obama? Fidel Castro really wants President
Obama to succeed." (no doubt!) "It was quite a moment to behold!" hyperventilated Rep. Barbara Lee. (D-CA)
"Fidel Castro was very engaging and very energetic." "He's one of the most amazing human beings I've ever met!" gushed
Urge the White House To Not Lift the Travel
Ban to Cuba. The Castro regime is one of the most brutal, ruthless and amoral regimes of our
time. While little mention of it is offered by the world media, due to their soft spot for murderers
and thugs everywhere, the cruelty it embodies is no less true. After all, the only time the media sees
fit to heap scorn on anyone is when conservatives enact policies that defend innocents against terror or
Castro happy with US
lawmakers. Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro described a meeting with US lawmakers in an opinion
article on Wednesday as "magnificent", and urged Washington to take the initiative to improve ties with Havana.
The communist island's long-time leader said the ball was now in President Barack Obama's court after a meeting
with three US lawmakers with the Congressional Black Caucus late on Tuesday [4/7/2009].
Useful Idiots Caucus.
"This is the dawning of a new day," exclaimed Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. "In my household I told Castro he is known as
the ultimate survivor." Funny how easy it is to survive when you don't hold elections. And when all of your
opponents wind up in prison or dead. And when even those who dare to whisper a word of dissent to your absolute rule
find themselves harassed, beaten, humiliated, and imprisoned. According to the Black Book of Communism, more than
100,000 Cubans have served time for political offenses in Cuba's equivalent of the Gulag Archipelago since Castro came
to power in 1959.
Lee's Cuban dream.
Fresh from a secretive trip to Havana to meet Raul and Fidel Castro, Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat, has
criticized U.S. Cuba policy as "based on antiquated Cold War-era thinking." If anyone's thinking toward the
communist state is stuck in the Cold War past, it is Ms. Lee's — and she is still on the wrong side.
Truth About Castro: The Lost
City not only is a loving tribute to Havana and Cuban art and music, it is also a loving tribute to
liberty, democracy and capitalism. Castro's regime is clearly portrayed as an evil dictatorship.
Fidel Castro's Dupes: In
Castro's Cuba, it is a crime to meet to discuss the economy, to write letters to
the government, to report on political developments, to speak to international
reporters, to advocate human rights, to visit friends or relatives outside your
local area of residence without government permission.
Carter Silent On Castro's
Crackdown: Jimmy Carter is the self-appointed globetrotter on behalf of human rights. But
when Carter friend Fidel Castro unleashed a brutal wave of repression recently, that included extradjudicial
executions, Carter's reaction was silence, followed by muted criticism, and finalized with a stinging criticism
of — the United States!
evil. [Che Guevara] continues to be a symbol of freedom and revolutionary fervour and purity
for people who can't read or think. Che was Fidel Castro's right-hand man. Despite the fact
leftie morons from Pierre Trudeau to Michael Moore venerate the Cuban totalitarian state, it is just a
prison masquerading as a nation.
Che was put in charge of turning Cuba into a modern industrial
nation. He failed miserably, thus consigning Cuba to a future as a colony of the Soviet Union,
exchanging sugar for fighter planes.
The Fantasies of Castro/Che Groupies vs. the
Facts. Facts matters little to diehard, teen-beat type Castro/Che fans. Many "document" their
rebuttals to my blasphemies with scenes from Godfather II, that famous documentary on pre-Castro Cuba. ... To
depict Havana streets on New Year's Eve 1958, Coppola cast more people than stampeded through a battle scene
in Braveheart. For what it's worth, Havana streets were deathly quiet that night.
Communist Cuba: 50 Years Of
Failure. New Year's Day marks 50 years of communist rule in Cuba. The Castro oligarchy
will trumpet its survival and celebrate. But the reality, up close, is that it's the longest-running
failure in the New World.
Filmmaker Brings Back Shocking Tale of Cuban
Prisons. Some are held captive in tiny, windowless cells; others are confined in over-crowded and
squalid dormitories. Most go without basic health care and food staples; a few undergo regular beatings.
All are denied basic religious freedoms, and none has been visited by members of the International Red Cross.
Such is life for "enemies of the state" imprisoned in Cuba.
Fidel Castro's Cuba: celebrating 50 years of progress, equality,
poverty and murder. Fidel Castro likes to boast of his country's 70,000 doctors, but admits "tens
of thousands" of them have been sent abroad. The last pre-Castro census (1953) recorded one doctor for
every 1,000 Cubans; today, outside the regime's showcase clinics for the nomenklatura and foreigners, patients
have to bring their own bedding, thread for sutures and even light-bulbs into the country's vermin-infested
for Congressional Black Caucus to Disband?. Last week, seven members of the Congressional Black
Caucus ... returned from a visit to Cuba where they met with the dictators of Cuba, Fidel and Raul Castro.
They were quite impressed with Fidel Castro, the longest reigning dictator in the world, the man who deprived
an entire generation of Cubans of the most fundamental human rights.
Now Open Cuba's Prisons.
President Obama's decision this week to ease some parts of the embargo against Cuba is being hailed as a
first step toward altering a U.S. policy that has prevailed for a half-century without unseating Fidel
Castro. We don't object, though it'd be nice if Mr. Obama also began speaking up against the Castro
Obama and Cuba:
President Barack Obama wants Havana to make the next move to improve U.S.-Cuba relations, saying Thursday that
he needs to see signs of changes on the island before he makes any more overtures. President Raul Castro
responded hours later that his government is willing to discuss any issue with Washington, as along as it's a
conversation between equals and Washington respects "the Cuban people's right to self-determination."
question for Democrats. [Scroll down] At a press conference on April 7, Illinois
Representative Bobby Rush extolled Raul Castro —a man with the blood of hundreds on his hands —for
his "sense of humor" and the way he "laughed at himself" and how "down-to-earth" and "kind" he was. Why, said
Rush, being with Castro "was almost like visiting an old friend." When a reporter asked about Cuba's human rights
record, Rush snapped that he was engaging in a "double standard" and called it "good business sense" not to let human
rights get in the way of increased trade.
The Congressional Black Caucus's recent trip to Cuba was utterly expected. That didn't make it any easier to stomach,
especially when Rep. Barbara Lee (D., People's Republic of Berkeley) described her meeting with mass-murderer Fidel Castro
as "quite a moment to behold." What exactly is wrong with her?
someone save the Congressional Black Caucus? Now there's nothing wrong with visiting Cuba and
nothing sacrosanct about America's economic embargo. But you can rationally question U.S. Cuba policy
without cozying up to Castro. The CBC did the latter — failing to meet with a single dissident on an
island with a record of making dissidents disappear and handing El Jefe his best press in years.
Arlen Specter, Castro's
Dupe. Sen. Arlen Specter has visited Cuba and met with Fidel Castro three times in the past
9 years, and seems quite proud of the record. His second visit was shortly after the 9/11 terrorist
attack, where Specter made a big show of presenting Fidel Castro with a FDNY cap. The Stalinist dictator
and pioneering terrorist responsible for the Hemisphere's first plane hijackings in 1958, who two months later
kidnapped 40 U.S. citizens from Guantanamo to use as human shields, and who twice came a hair from
incinerating New York City itself, smilingly donned the New York Fire Dept. cap.
Castro's Cult of Sycophants: Celebrities,
journalists, and other illuminati have long gushed with admiration for Cuba's communist despot.
New Dem. Finance Chief Dined With
Fidel Castro. Politico reported this morning that "Henry R. Muñoz III of San Antonio — an Obama
bundler and a national chairman of the Futuro Fund, a group of Latino leaders who raised money for the president's reelection —
is expected to be named DNC Finance Chair, the first Latino to hold the title." What's also interesting about Muñoz, though
Politico omitted this fact, is that he at least once dined with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Fidel, &c. I have written a fair amount about Fidel Castro, over the years, and a fair amount
about Jimmy Carter, too. Perhaps readers are sick of hearing about those men. Sometimes I get sick
of writing about them. But let me do so here, briefly: for the two men have come together, again.
Obama's charm offensive and the global jihad. In a
commencement address at Notre Dame, he declared that Americans had shed their "inordinate fear of communism."
In the months that followed, Carter slashed the defense budget, scrapped the B-1 bomber, welcomed the
Sandinista coup in Nicaragua, and launched diplomatic relations with Cuba's dictator, Fidel Castro. It
wasn't until the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 that Carter finally woke up to his naiveté.
Castro's friend. We've
discussed Jimmy Carter's legacy of friendship and warm support for the world's dictators many times already,
notably on Venezuela, but a return to Carter's Cuba legacy may be an even worse experience, because of an
unmistakable whiff of treason.
true legacy is a trail of blood. For decades, journalists and celebrities have showered Cuba's
despot with praise, extolling his virtues so extravagantly at times that if sycophancy were an Olympic sport,
they would have walked off with the gold. Norman Mailer, for example, proclaimed him "the first and
greatest hero to appear in the world since the Second World War."
Congressional Black Caucus
Smitten With Castro. Not since Ann Margaret's reaction to Conrad Birdie's kiss has anything been recorded
to match these U.S. legislators' reaction to these meetings. "He looked directly into my eyes!" gasped Rep. Laura
Richardson (D-Ca.) "and then he asked: how can we help President Obama? Fidel Castro really wants President
Obama to succeed." (no doubt!)
Fidel Castro praises Obama on climate
change. Barack Obama's call for action on climate change and his admission that rich nations have
a particular responsibility to lead has received strong praise from an unusual source — U.S. nemesis
Dictators: In Love with Obama. Does
anyone find it odd that so many evil dictators are head-over-heels in love with President Obama? Take Cuba's
Fidel Castro, for instance.
ObamaCare a Huge Hit — With
Fidel Castro!. Those who doubt that ObamaCare is an evil Communist scheme that will
destroy our way of life: Listen up to the words of the second most dedicated Marxist in our
Hemisphere. That would be Fidel Castro, the dried-up old Commie prune from Cuba, the only man
outside of Moscow more smitten with Marxism than our very own Barack Obama.
"I would vote for Obama!", Squeals Castro's daughter.
"If I were a U.S. citizen I'd vote for Obama for president," boasted Mariela Castro during her San Francisco conference this week.
"I think he is sincere, I think he speaks from the heart." To cheers and applause from the San Franciscan crowd Raul Castro's daughter also
proclaimed that, "what we want is the power of emancipation through socialism."
Obama wins coveted Castro endorsement.
Everyone else seems to be bailing on Barack Obama these days, but not the Castro regime. In a move that enraged Florida's Cuban expatriate
community, the Administration granted Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela Castro, a visa to spread Cuban Communist propaganda in the United States... because
she's supposedly an expert in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights.
Where Else are the Castro Spies? Last week, the
FBI arrested a well-born State Department intelligence analyst and his wife for conspiracy to commit espionage for the
Castro regime. ... "Tip of the iceberg" is an oft-used phrase by Cuba-watchers whenever a Castro spy gets nabbed. In
light of the motivations uncovered in Myers diary and the rampant Castrophilia among Beltway academic, media and Democratic
circles, who can doubt it?
Liberals in the news media love Fidel Castro
...and by "the news media" I mean the Cuban News Network, primarily.
CNN: 'Be nice to
Fidel'. So how does an American news giant tell its on air talent to handle Fidel Castro's
resignation? By glossing over the truth of the tyrant's reign and pimping "social progress" under his
brutal regime: In a memo to CNN anchors, CNN brass laid down the line that should be taken when talking
about the resignation.
The U.S. Media's Decades of Cheering
Castro's Communism: Castro's communist regime has executed hundreds of political opponents and
driven tens of thousands more into exile; hundreds of dissidents today languish in Cuban prisons. ... Yet
liberals in the U.S. media — who have rightly condemned such abuses when perpetrated by dictators
such as Chile's Augusto Pinochet — inexplicably remain enchanted with Castro and his socialist
revolution. For more than half a century, positive profiles of Castro have appeared in U.S. papers.
CBS Comes to Castro's Aid. CBS's
60 Minutes has run a segment on Elian Gonzalez, five years after the Clinton administration sent him back
to the communist prison island. He had come to America as a refugee, without his father, who was
back in Cuba and under pressure from the communist regime to demand him back. The Clinton
administration complied, seizing the little boy at the point of a gun. It made a mockery of
America's reputation as a free society open to refugees fleeing persecution.
The Castro News Network:
To many Cuban Americans, CNN is the "Castro News Network" - an organization that lends legitimacy to a
corrupt regime and sneers at the exile community in Miami.
The Dictator-Celebrity: Journalism is never more amoral than when dictators are
the mandatory "get" for a news puff piece. For the 40th anniversary of the Cuban Missile
Crisis, the network anchors were all scrambling to get an interview with Fidel Castro,
the dictator-celebrity. Which network superstar would get the first opportunity to reward
the communists for their exclusive by lauding the achievements of the glorious revolution?
CNN Runs "Propaganda" for
Castro: Cable News Network, the only American television news organization with a full-time
bureau in Cuba, has "allowed itself to become just another component of Fidel Castro's propaganda machine,"
instead of "exposing the totalitarian regime that runs Cuba," Media Research Center charged in a report
released Thursday [5/9/2002].
Enemy in the World. Castro's fiefdom wins the price "for most journalists jailed (by far!)
per-capita on earth. In fact, in total numbers jailed, Cuba (a nation of 11 million subjects) is
only slightly behind China (a nation of 1.4 BILLION!) According to the Paris-based (not
Miami — please note!) Reporters Without Borders, Cuba today holds 20 percent of the world's
jailed journalists. Imagine Castroite repression with China's population! Cuban "Law 88,"
passed in February 1999, cranked up the repression several notches, mandating up to 20 years in prison
for "providing information that could be useful to U.S. policy."
A few words about Elian Gonzalez
April 22, 2000, is a date that has been flushed down the news media memory hole. Imagine the surprise on Elian
Gonzalez's face someday when he gets access to an internet browser, looks up his own name, and finds out
that it wasn't just a dream after all!
Maniac Is Running Our Foreign Policy! (It's Not Trump). Judge Robart's veto of Trump's travel ban notwithstanding, there is not
the slightest question but that the president, in his sole discretion, can choose to admit or exclude any foreigners he likes, based on "the
interests of the United States." The Clinton administration used the executive branch's broad power over immigration to send a 6-year-old
boy back to a communist dictatorship. The courts were completely powerless to stop him. As explained by the federal appellate court
that ruled on Elian Gonzalez's asylum application: "It is the duty of the Congress and of the executive branch to exercise political will,"
and "in no context is the executive branch entitled to more deference than in the context of foreign affairs," which includes immigration.
Cuban Castaway Elian Gonzalez Remembers Fidel Castro as a Father Figure-Turned-Friend. Elian Gonzalez, the
Cuban castaway boy rescued off the coast of Florida in 1999 by a pair of sport fishermen, spoke fondly of Fidel Castro on
Saturday, describing the late former Cuban leader as a father figure who became a friend. Gonzalez, then
five-years-old, was found floating on an inner tube after his mother and other Cubans died while trying to escape communist
Cuba for the U.S., where he had relatives. Interestingly, he was found on November 25, 1999 — exactly
16 years prior to the day of Castro's death.
the Clintons Fooled America with Elian Gonzalez. Let the record show that most Americans approved of the
Clinton-Castro shanghaiing of Elian Gonzalez. A 60 Minutes "interview" of Elian's father Juan Miguel by Dan Rather
played a key role in this expert snookering of America. To wit: On the April 6th 2000 edition of 60 Minutes,
America saw a bewildered and heartsick father pleading to be allowed to have his motherless son accompany him back to Cuba,
his cherished homeland. Dan Rather (who hailed Fidel Castro as "Cuba's Elvis!") was interviewing Elian's "bereaved"
father. How could anyone possibly oppose his heartfelt plea? How could simple decency and common sense possibly
allow for anything else?
Gonzalez Travesty: Where Was Hillary? In November 1999, Elian's group pushed off in a shaky aluminum craft. It
was the best thing they could find in this surreal island without boats. Boats are banned by the communist regime. Like a
scene right out of Hollywood, a storm hit, waves began crashing, the motor failed, the escapees profusely bailed water, and Elian's
mom clutched her son as the boat sank. Elian was placed in some sort of inner tube before passing out from exhaustion.
Elian awoke to be spotted by two fishermen. He was brought safely to American shores, vindicating the sacrifice his mother
made. She literally gave her life for him. He was free at last. Or so he hoped.
Gonzalez: It's America's fault that my mother died. Elian Gonzalez, who made headlines
14 years ago when his mother died while journeying from Cuba to the United States —
sparking an international custody battle — said America was to blame for his loss.
"Just like her, many others have died attempting to go to the United States," he said, CNN reported.
"But it's the U.S. government's fault. Their unjust embargo provokes an internal and critical
economic situation in Cuba."
Gonzalez Wants to Come to the US. Elian Gonzalez would like to return to the United
States, he tells ABC News in an exclusive interview. "To the American people, first I say thank
you for the love they give me," Gonzalez said. "I want the time to give my love to American people."
Gonzalez was found floating off of Florida's coast in 1999, after the boat he was in with his mother capsized.
Gonzalez stayed with his uncle in Miami, but the 6-year-old boy soon found himself at the center of a tug of war
between Cuba and the United States over whether he should remain in this country or be returned to his father in Cuba.
After 10 Years, Revisiting the Elián González
Fiasco. Given all the genuinely weighty events of the intervening years, from 9/11 to the Iraq War and the election of our first
black President, it's hard to imagine that a decade ago I and so many other journalists, as well as millions of rapt readers and viewers around
the world, spent five months outside a modest house in Miami's Little Havana watching a six-year-old Cuban boy named Elián
González. His media code name, we can reveal now, was The Rabbit — as in, "The Rabbit's out!" — which jaded
television cameramen shouted whenever Elian stepped into the yard.
you think of Eric Holder, please remember Elian Gonzalez. As we count down Eric Holder's greatest hits, the
first image that comes to the mind of many Americans isn't that of Brian Terry, or of Black Panthers outside polling places,
but of a screaming child staring down the barrel of a rifle. On April 22, 2000, just before dawn, U.S federal
agents executed a full-blown raid on the home of five year old Elian Gonzalez, seizing the child and setting in motion
procedures to send Elian and his father back to Cuba.
Goodbye Eric Holder.
In a nation where there is a scarcity of good news, hearing Eric Holder give a farewell speech upon
his announcement that he will be leaving as the Attorney General was surely welcome in some circles.
I was never a fan of his because he was in my opinion always more of a politician than someone with
the responsibility to enforce the laws of the nation. I first took notice of Holder when, in the
pre-dawn hours of April 22, 2000, as the deputy attorney general serving under Janet Reno, he
oversaw the seizure of Elian Gonzalez, a seven-year-old whose mother had died in an effort to escape
Cuba and find sanctuary in the United States. Holder was doing what he had to do after a court ruled
that Gonzalez be returned to his father in Cuba, but I thought then and still do that Gonzalez should have
been allowed to remain with his U.S. relatives.
We Sent Back Elian.
The US government, which has refused to act decisively to control the horde of children entering the
US via Mexico from Central America (estimated to be nearly 60,000 from October 2013 to June 2014)
certainly had no compunctions about expelling a helpless child back to terrible conditions in the
case of Elian Gonzalez back in 1999 during the Clinton regime. In that case, the Feds were wrong
to send a child back to a communist dictatorship, where he lives today, a member of the Union of Young
Communists, propagandist for the regime, and personal "friend" of Fidel Castro. But at least the
government acted decisively, to put it mildly.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev — But You're Outta Here Elian Gonzalez. Thirteen years ago, a Stalinist regime that our State
Department condemns as an official "state-sponsor of terrorism" (Fidel Castro's) asked the U.S. government to deport a 7-year-old
immigrant named Elian Gonzalez. The U.S. Justice department snapped to attention and acted upon Fidel Castro's request.
Elian Gonzalez's family — as demonstrated for over a decade — is completely law-abiding. The Tsarnaev
brothers, on the other hand, pulled off what's being billed as "the most successful terrorist attack since 9/11," killing three
Americans, wounding 178 more and temporarily "shutting down" one of the richest, most dynamic, most sophisticated and
financially-vital cities in the Western hemisphere.
The Rise of the American
Police State. The increasingly antiterrorism-oriented police units have begun to regard
dissenting citizens, or even innocent and unsuspecting citizens, as the "enemy" in domestic "war zones." ... The
militarization of the police does not occur instantaneously, but is the cumulative result of each military tool
amassed, each protester silenced based on his political views, or each wrongful search that goes unchallenged.
A young boy serves a life
sentence. He's just a normal, average, typical 12-year-old boy. If the normal, average,
typical 12-year-old boy has the world's longest-reigning dictator drop by every year for his birthday,
that is. Elian Gonzalez was shipped into the waiting arms of Fidel Castro in 2000. The
delivery man was Bill Clinton, who used a SWAT team armed with submachine guns to assure everyone's compliance.
Elian Gonzalez joins Cuba's youth
Communists. The Cuban boy at the center of an international custody battle eight years ago has joined Cuba's
Young Communist Union. Elian Gonzalez said he will never let down ex-President Fidel Castro and his brother Raul
Castro, according to the Communist youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde.
Gonzalez back in news again. Here's a name I didn't think I'd hear again, but remember Elian Gonzalez, whose
story transfixed our nation eight years ago in an international custody fight between the U.S. and Cuba? Now comes the
news that the 14-year-old has joined Cuba's Young Communist Union, according to the Associated Press.
Janet Reno's Show of Force. How would you
respond to a 30 second warning at 5:00 AM? This is barely enough time to wake up and gather your wits in order
to deal with a threatening, armed contingent wearing body armor and banging at the door. Was this just
another way for the INS to paint the family as non-cooperative, giving them the excuse to use a battering ram
to break their way in?
Anita Dunn — Pots and Kettles.
On April 16, 2000, viewers of CBS' 60 Minutes saw Dan Rather interviewing Elian Gonzalez' father, Juan Miguel
Gonzalez. ... Here's what America didn't see: "Most of the questions Dan Rather was asking Elian's father during
that 60 Minutes interview were being handed to him by Gregory Craig," recalls Pedro Porro, who served as
Rather's in-studio translator during the taping of the famous interview.
A Decade of Defiance.
Let us give the last word about the gloriously diverse past decade of American law to an unlikely mouthpiece:
Lazaro Gonzales, Elian's effervescent uncle, who came into our lives nearly 10 years ago, at the start of the
21st Century. Told that Janet Reno's federal agents were on their way to his town outside Miami to seize young
Elian, Lazaro famously said he wouldn't hand over the kid. "Not in Opa Locka, not in any locka," Lazaro
declared, in Spanish no less, in an epic comment that was as funny as it was serious.
Now 16, Elian Gonzalez shown at
Cuba youth meeting. Cuba has released photos of one-time exile cause celebre Elian Gonzalez
wearing an olive-green military school uniform and attending a Young Communist Union congress.
of an Outrage. Castro's Stalinist regime just released pictures of 16-year-old Elian Gonzalez,
resplendent in the uniform of a Communist Party youth. The timing of the photo-release may coincide with
the 11th anniversary of Elian's shanghaiing from the U.S., which hits on the 22nd of this month.
Clinton in Miami compares Elian case to kidnapping. Former President Bill Clinton said
Saturday [4/17/2010] he had no regrets over sending Elian Gonzalez back to live with his father in Cuba,
and would order a federal raid on Little Havana all over again.
Eric Holder Earned his Spurs. [Scroll down] Then on Dec 5th, 1999, Castro clapped his
hands and his MSM minions snapped to attention. Within weeks Clinton's INS had turned its initial decision
on its head. Within months this same INS was kicking down Lazaro's door, pummeling camera men and elderly
ladies to the ground with jackboots and wrenching a screaming Elian from his legal custodians in a blaze of pepper
gas and machine guns. When asked for the legal authority for this, they brandished either a search warrant
to seize evidence that didn't exist (and would not have been hidden anyway) or an arrest warrant to seize
someone who no one claimed was a criminal or even a lawbreaker!
Gonzalez turns 18 in Cuba at a quiet celebration. Nearly twelve years have passed since he was
pulled from a closet by a masked machine gun wielding US agent. Now Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy who
survived a perilous raft journey that killed his mother and became a symbol of troubled relations between the
United States and Cuba, is an adult.
why you don't remember Elian Gonzalez. It was horrifying. I looked down at a little Easter
basket the inn hostess had made and I was reminded this was Easter day. The sky was dark where they were
broadcasting because in a shrewd move on the part of the U.S. military, the extraction of this child by brute
force happened at an hour when most Americans were asleep. You did not see this live. The news
coverage you saw of Elian Gonzalez being taken from his home were snippets narrated by calm news personnel
in clean suits who were not choking on tear gas.
Down the Second Amendment: The Connection between Fast and Furious and the Trayvon Martin Case. [Scroll down] Before
Fast and Furious, the AG was notorious for engineering last-minute pardons for Marc Rich, on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for the largest
tax fraud in history, and for sixteen members of FALN, the Puerto Rican terrorist group that killed several people in bombings in Chicago
and New York. But a more revealing accomplishment was his role as point man in the kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez. After applying
for a court order to seize the boy from his legal guardian, Holder went ahead with the operation without one, then baldly denied that Elian
was seized at gunpoint. Holder was not fazed by the fact that millions of people throughout the world had seen Alan Diaz's disturbing
II: The Sequel "Elian II," the sequel we hoped never to see, is what fathers'
groups are calling a Miami case that once again highlights our confusion about paternal rights
in child custody battles. This time, the dispute revolves around a 5-year-old Cuban girl,
her biological father in Cuba, her mentally unstable mother in the U.S., a passel of relatives,
therapists, guardians ad litem, activist attorneys and, finally, a wealthy, influential Cuban-American
Related topic: Obama fraternizes with dictators in other countries
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