Obama’s failed Cuba policy a sorry legacy

Cuban-American’s continue to voice opposition to Obama’s failed Cuba policy.

“Numerous Cuban activists have been murdered by the regime during Obama’s tenure in office. However, the systematic butchery taking place in Cuba had no visible effect on Obama.”

By Daisy B. Peñaloz inThe Bakersfield Californian:

Community Voices: Obama’s Cuba legacy is a sorry one

Daisy B. Peñaloza
Daisy B. Peñaloza

Former President Obama’s revocation of the “wet foot/dry foot” policy would have been a welcome change were it not for the fact that he violated yet another U.S. law — the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act — in the process.

“Wet foot/dry foot,” the brainchild of the Clinton administration, was a 1995 amendment to the Cuban Adjustment Act that sought to accomplish two objectives: Pacify the Castro dictatorship and discourage the hazardous migration of Cuban rafters crossing the Florida Straits. The ill-conceived measure did not achieve the desired effect. Thousands of Cubans continued to migrate undeterred by the risks.

After Obama’s normalization with the dictatorship on Dec. 17, 2014, Cubans realized that the U.S. government, instead of promoting freedom, was now collaborating with a corrupt regime in the pursuit of profit. Human rights had ceased to be a priority. Hope was extinguished for many Cubans. Consequently, another mass exodus ensued, propelling an estimated 100,000 Cubans to the United States in just two years.

The intent of the Cuban Adjustment Act was to facilitate the entry of political refugees into U.S. society without the customary required visa. Cuba remains a suffocating totalitarian police state. Its citizens, deprived of liberty and agency, are incessantly persecuted, imprisoned and murdered. Obama’s normalization did nothing to erase that fact.

Absent “wet foot/dry foot,” the Cuban Adjustment Act once again became whole, and all its inherent legal powers were restored and enabled. In typical fashion, Obama, through executive order and without congressional approval, violated the CAA by declaring Cuban refugees without visas inadmissible. Expressing concern for Middle Eastern refugees, while rejecting victims of totalitarianism 105 miles from U.S. shores, smacks of hypocrisy.

The repeal of the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, which gave U.S. sanctuary to trafficked and exploited Cuban doctors, was another casualty of Obama’s unhealthy obsession with the Castro brothers. Living in squalor, Cuban medical personnel — the majority of their wages garnished by the regime — were reduced to slave labor in host nations. Obama’s dictatorial executive orders, rather than inspiring confidence, further weakened and undermined our republic and the ability to succor victims of human trafficking.

Callous indifference to the suffering of Cuba’s political prisoners, pro-democracy groups, dissidents and exiles will be Obama’s most sorrowful and grievous legacy. During the escalation of repression in Cuba and abroad, the Obama administration remained mute and unresponsive.

Ironically, the Castros’ tactics of censorship surfaced at a Washington, D.C., press conference acknowledging the opening of the Cuban embassy. On that occasion, Cuban activist Rosa María Payá, daughter of murdered dissident Oswaldo Payá, was threatened by a State Department spokesperson with expulsion if she asked a question or commented.

Obama’s myriad of unlawful concessions to the dictatorship, without any meaningful reciprocation, have exacted a human cost. The Ladies in White are routinely beaten and arrested. They are subjected to 24-hour surveillance and hounded by organized mobs. “I will never forget what they did to me,” said Aliuska Gómez, recalling the day she was arbitrarily detained, stripped, and thrown naked into a filthy prison cell, prior to Obama’s official visit to Cuba. Hoping to keep a school destined for closure open, Sirley Ávila León appealed to Cuban officials without success. For her efforts, she was attacked with a machete by a Castro thug who severed her hand and inflicted serious wounds to the rest of her body.

Numerous Cuban activists have been murdered by the regime during Obama’s tenure in office. However, the systematic butchery taking place in Cuba had no visible effect on Obama. Although unlikely given its populist leanings, the Trump administration should uphold current U.S. laws such as the Helms-Burton Act and the Cuban Adjustment Act until the Castro regime abides by its requirements. Government leaders must send a clear, unequivocal message to global allies that the United States still values freedom, justice and respect for human rights.

Political refugees fleeing Cuban totalitarianism merit the protections of the Cuban Adjustment Act and should not be returned to Cuba. Lacking legitimacy and concrete, positive results, Obama’s Cuba policy has failed. It is not too late to make things right.

Daisy B. Peñaloza of Bakersfield is a preschool teacher. She left communist Cuba on a 1967 Freedom Flight.

Open letter to Irish President Higgins

 

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Originally posted in Notes From the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Dear President Higgins,

Mr. President I have followed your visit to Cuba with great interest upon learning that human rights would be part of the dialogue during your stay. Only to be disappointed by what appeared in the press and your past praise for Fidel Castro. Cuba has suffered under a totalitarian communist dictatorship for 58 years. The Castro regime has demonstrated over that time a complete disdain for human rights including conditioning both access to healthcare and education to loyalty for the dictatorship.

Dr. Eduardo Cardet
Dr. Eduardo Cardet

I would hope that in your continuing conversations with General Raul Castro that you request that physician, family man, Christian Democrat and Amnesty International designated prisoner of conscience Eduardo Cardet Concepción be freed. Even outside of political considerations both education and healthcare leave a lot to be desired in Cuba despite the government propaganda.

I would also hope that you raise the plight of 24 year old David Mauri Cardoso, a student expelled from the University of Cienfuegos in Cuba a few days ago after he honestly answered politically loaded questions in what was supposed to be a Spanish literature exam.

David Mauri Cardoso
David Mauri Cardoso

Next week February 24th marks 21 years since the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down when two civilian planes were blown out of international airspace by Cuban MiGs on Fidel Castros and General Raul Castro’s orders in an act of state terrorism. Four men were killed and two of them were friends of mine and the day still resonates with me.

There are thousands of other cases of extrajudicial executions carried out by the Cuban dictatorship. They still go on and within that context to claim that the Castro dictatorship has a “commitment” to human rights falsely legitimizes the regime while ignoring the victims.

Please speak up for David and Edward they can still be helped.

Sincerely,

John Suarez

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A look at religious life in oppressed Cuba

For decades, religious expression in Cuba was suppressed, Christmas banned. In 1991, atheism as a prerequisite for communist party membership was lifted, although one could argue that this new tolerance of religious practice was for political reasons.

Castro’s War on Religion:

“From the moment that Castro took hold in January 1959, churches were in trouble. The regime quickly launched a propaganda campaign against the faithful, describing Catholics as “social scum.” By the late 1960s, Christmas was banned on the island. Churches were shut down. Priests and their parishioners were silenced, arrested or placed under tight surveillance, with every word of every service or homily monitored by government church-watchers infiltrating the pews. Any criticism, especially of the Marxist regime, was very dangerous. One could not be a member of the Communist Party in Cuba (the only party legally permitted, including for any government jobs) without professing a belief in atheism.”

Today, religious faith of various denominations is practiced in Cuba, but not freely, as religious oppression is a fact of life in modern Cuba.

Christian Solidarity World Wide:

The Untold Cuba

Everyday life in the face of oppression

Paradise beaches, colourful streets, beautiful architecture and classic cars cruising the capital’s streets. This, for many, is Cuba.
But tucked away on this Caribbean island are hundreds of untold stories.

Stories of ordinary people building lives, families, careers and church communities – in the stark reality of repression under Cuba’s communist government. From their lives come stories of threats of eviction, harassment, imprisonment, beatings and unfair criminal charges.

This is the untold Cuba…

In the countryside. Photo: Carlos Lamelas/CSW
In the countryside. Photo: Carlos Lamelas/CSW

You’ll find Rafael and Maria’s house nestled in a rural part of Cuba’s countryside. In fact, it’s so rural they have no internet connection. One afternoon as these two church leaders were listening to a sermon on DVD, security agents came to their home and arrested them.

They were imprisoned for two days with no visitors and were fined around £125.

The reason? They were taking part in ‘forbidden activities’ – listening to a sermon on DVD – during the period of mourning for Fidel Castro. People who know the couple believe that the government was just looking for an opportunity to bring a case against them.

 A church service. Photo: CSW

A church service. Photo: CSW

When Berta [leader of dissident group Las Damas De Blanco] leaves her house on a Sunday morning, she’s one of thousands of women who do so wondering if they’ll reach their destination. Every week women linked to the Ladies in White – a group of peaceful protesters – are arrested to stop them going to church.

They’re often violently detained, interrogated, and in some cases are beaten.

Berta was arrested when she tried to go to a midweek Mass just before Christmas. The state security agents told her, “[Government agents] will not let you nor any Lady in White attend Mass on any day.” For Berta, and hundreds of other women like her, their arrest doesn’t just stop them from attending church services but isolates them from their church community.

 Reverend Yiorvis Bravos Denis and family holding a sign which reads ‘Stop eviction in Cuba’.

Reverend Yiorvis Bravos Denis and family holding a sign which reads ‘Stop eviction in Cuba’.

Yiorvis is carrying on the work his uncle passed onto him – leading one of the fastest-growing Protestant networks of churches in Cuba. With that work comes ownership of the family home – which also happens to be the headquarters of the movement.

Three years ago Yiorvis and his family were threatened with eviction, and the government nullified ownership of his home.

Unless Yiorvis asked for permission to do any church activities, paid rent to the government and acknowledged the government as the actual owner of the property, he would lose his church and family home. Yiorvis stood his ground. Since then, he’s been threatened with eviction again, prevented from travelling outside Cuba and been accused of being in debt to the government for unpaid rent.

 Catholic Church in Baracoa. Photo: CSW

Catholic Church in Baracoa. Photo: CSW

Juan Carlos faces an impossible choice: stop leading your church or go to prison. He’s just been ordered to leave his job as church leader and find work for the state. If he doesn’t comply, he faces a prison sentence.

No escape. Photo: Carlos Lamelas, CSW.
No escape. Photo: Carlos Lamelas, CSW.

The man who took many of these photos, Carlos Lamelas, was imprisoned for four months on false human trafficking charges. He’s a church leader as well as a talented photographer, and the Cuba he captures is one of beauty, colour and vibrancy.

It’s the Cuba he loves and the Cuba we must protect.

For Rafael, Maria, Berta and Juan Carlos, this is their home. But sadly, it’s a home that falls short in giving its citizens the rights they are owed.

And as long as this continues, their stories must be heard.

Continue reading HERE.

Trump is right that many do not believe the media

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We’ve heard a lot about the media’s problems.    However, the media’s credibility problems did not begin today.  The Gallup polls about the media tell you the same story over the last few years:

2004: Media Credibility Reaches Lowest Point in Three Decades

2015: Americans’ Trust in Media Remains at Historical Low

2016: Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low

Love him or hate him, President Trump was correct when he told the media this week that the people do not believe them.  In fact, they trust him a bit more, according to another poll.

Polls aside, anecdotal evidence confirms that the public does not really trust the media.  Have you met anybody who thinks the media are truthful?  Have you really?

The media have themselves to blame here, and it really goes back to 2008 when they jumped on the Obama bandwagon.  It was like watching a bunch of teen girls at a Donny Osmond concert.

Yes, the media bias got Senator Obama elected and President Obama re-elected. The media got their man but lost a significant chunk of the nation watching reporters too eager to accept whatever story the White House was peddling.

Will the media get their credibility back?

I don’t know but they can start by bringing a little bit more fairness to their coverage.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

 

Surprise! Venezuela now ranks as the poorest nation in the Americas

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From ABC Spain:

In 2016 Venezuela became the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, sinking below Haiti and Cuba, according to new statistics released by  la Encuesta Nacional de Condiciones de Vida (Encovi).

According to these statistics, 82% of Venezuelan households are poor.

This is where Bolivarian socialism has led a nation with one of the world’s largest oil reserves.

Were it not for the Chavez-Maduro dynasty, Venezuela could be rivaling Dubai or Kuwait in wealth and per capita income.

But all that potential wealth has been tossed down the toilet, so to speak.

And who designed that toilet for Latrine America?  You know who.  And you also know where that toilet was manufactured.

Long live the Revolution!

Whole story HERE in Spanish

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Santa Mierda!

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Photo of the Day: Irish bigot very happy in Havana

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The high temperature in Havana was 87 degrees yesterday.

Why does the Irish president look so happy in his dark wool suit ?

Because he’s on “holiday”… slumming in Castrogonia…. trying to look “tropical”… meeting his idol King Raul…. and this photo has won the hearts of many back in Ireland.

Clueless? Hopelessly bigoted? Racist?  Or hypocritical?

Take your pick.

Enjoy your holiday, President Higgins
Enjoy your holiday, President Higgins
Welcome to Castrogonia, President Higgins!
Welcome to Castrogonia, President Higgins!

 

Center for a Free Cuba Press Release on U.S. Cuba Policy

The Center for a Free Cuba charges that “Obama bureaucrats are still running US Cuba policy”


Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION Press Contact: Frank Calzon
February 17, 2017 (202) 427-3875

OBAMA BUREAUCRATS STILL RUNNING CUBA POLICY

In an urgent letter sent to five congressmen and three senators, which is circulating on Capitol Hill this afternoon, the Center for a Free Cuba charges that “Obama bureaucrats are still running US Cuba policy,” despite President Donald Trump’s commitment on reciprocity as the basis for relations between Washington and Havana.

The letter says that Miguel Fraga, the first secretary of General Raul Castro’s embassy in Washington, will visit Montana State University next week to orchestrate support for the Cuban regime, but that no American diplomats have been invited to speak at Cuban universities on the island.

Indeed, in a troublesome indication of the still dictatorial nature of the Cuban government, David Mauri Cardoso a 22 year old university student was just expelled from the University of Cienfuegos. His “crime?” Referring to Fidel Castro as a dictator in a Spanish literature test in which a political question had been included.

The letter, signed by Frank Calzon, executive director of Center for a Free Cuba was sent to Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and congressmen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Mario Diaz Balart (R—FL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Chris Smith (R-NJ).

While Mr. Fraga visits Montana, Amnesty International continues to circulate a petition to General Raul Castro asking for the immediate release of Dr. Eduardo Cardet, a physician, a Christian Democrat, and prisoner of conscience unjustly imprisoned for defending human rights and civil liberties in Cuba.

Copies of the letter. Amnesty International Urgent Action Appeal and Mr. Fraga’s Montana schedule were included with the letter.

El largarto cubano invades Brazil

Apparently even the lizards want out. The Anolis Porcatus, a Cuban lizard has been found in Brazil. Scientists there seem alarmed, finding the lizards thriving and reproducing in several locations. Well of course they’re successful in exile, they’re Cuban. There are several possible ways in which they made the long journey, however I’d like to think they hitched a ride courtesy Odebrecht, so finally some native Cubans other than the Castro’s and their henchmen benefit from that vile deal.

Loosely translated from CubaNet:

Invasion of a Cuban lizard species detected in Brazil

The authorities consider the presence of the invasive species as predatory and potentially harmful

Lagarto cubano (Diario Las Américas)
Lagarto cubano (Diario Las Américas)

RIO DE JANEIRO-a species of lizard of Cuban origin of endemic of the Antilles was identified in some municipalities on the coast of the Brazilian State of São Paulo, in an invasion attributed to maritime trade that can threaten the ecological balance in the region in the southeast of Brazil.

It’s the Anolis Porcatus, a Green Lizard of up to 20 centimeters, which feeds on small insects and that, despite its West Indian origin, had also been denounced as an invader in the State of Florida (United States).

The presence of the predatory and invasive species in Brazil is regarded as potentially harmful to the Brazilian fauna since it competes for the same food with local species.

Continue reading in Spanish, HERE.

Reports from Cuba: The Spirit Of The Executions Still Haunts La Cabaña

By Tania Diaz Castro in Translating Cuba:

The Spirit Of The Executions Still Haunts La Cabaña

az Castro Execution in La Cabaña (photo taken from The Nuevo Herald)
Execution in La Cabaña (photo taken from The Nuevo Herald)

Cubanet, Tania Diaz castro, 14 February 2017 — Nelson Rodríguez Leiva, 26, was shot in La Fortaleza de la Cabaña in 1971, along with his dearest friend, Angelito de Jesús Rabí, 17.

Also in the same place, but a century earlier, the poet Juan Clemente Zenea was shot.

It did not help Nelson that, in 1960 he had been a teacher in the Literacy Campaign in the mountains of Oriente, or that in 1964 he already had an excellent book of stories published by Virgilio Piñera, in Ediciones R, or that his mother Ada Leiva wrote a letter to Fidel Castro asking for clemency for her son, or that another book of Nelson’s poems was pending publication.

Just a few days ago El Nuevo Herald in Miami published an extensive report about the exposition of the writer Juan Abreu, with one hundred portraits of those executed by the Castro regime, painted by him, and presented at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

Perhaps Nelson’s face was there.

Abreu received the respect and admiration of former political prisoners such as Pedro Corso, director of the Cuban Institute of Historical Memory Against Totalitarianism, and the poet Angel Cuadra, who said that Abreu’s Exposition “… is like making history talk through the faces, to rescue them and give them new life.” He would have also received the support of the writer Reinaldo Arenas, a dear friend, who lamentably died in New York and who always remembered his friend Nelson.

It’s about, said Abreu, “… not conventional portraits, but an approach to the faces, so often blurred, conserved in old photos.”

Abreu’s project is a history of the Cuban regime, today in the hands of Raul Castro, who wants to erase, above all, those days when this place was used for executions after summary trials, to make examples or simply for revenge or fear of a fierce opposition that arose among all the political opponents condemned to death. Bringing it to the European Parliament must be considered a victory.

The number of five thousand individuals shot dead hangs like a Sword of Damocles over Cuba. The spirit of all these who faced the firing squad hangs over La Cabana Fortress, no matter how many parties are held there, no matter who much fun and excitement and hullabaloo there is, no matter how many books are sold at the book fair that the executioner government hold every year, for a people who are so busy just trying to survive that they don’t have time to read.

In this fortress, with a history as dark as the dictatorship itself, the Book Fair is celebrated, strategic project of Fidel Castro to clean the blood off their graves, cells, bars and walls, as if history could be made to disappear.

The two young writers, Nelson and Angelito, were tied up there, their eyes closed, so as not to see the rifles of the night, close together, as they asked to die.

Not long ago, someone who knew them, told me that Nelson was very romantic, that he wept with the melodies of The Beatles, and even resembled a bit James Dean, the American actor of the fifties and that Angelito, converted Into his noble page, had the face of a child.

Through the sad streets of La Cabaña Fortress, where Nelson and his friend walked towards death, today walk the “grateful” who ignore this story. They are looking for a book to read. Not precisely Nelson’s book of stories, The Gift, or those pages smeared with tears that someone picked up from an empty dungeon.

A portion of Juan Abreu’s faces (PanAm Post)
A portion of Juan Abreu’s faces (PanAm Post)

Marco Rubio holds hearing on human rights issues

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Senator Marco Rubio has released videos of a hearing he held in Washington recently.

Rubio solicited testimony from Danilo Maldonado (El Sexto), recently freed from prison in Castrogonia, and also from Russian dissident and world chess champion Garry Kasparov, and Dr. Halah Eldoseri from Saudi Arabia.

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El Sexto

Press release from Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, chaired a hearing Thursday with prominent human rights activists and experts.

Mr. Garry Kasparov, a Russian activist living in exile in America; Dr. Halah Eldoseri, a Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist; and Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado Machado, a Cuban artist, testified about the oppression they’ve experienced under the governments of their respective home countries and the critical role the United States has to play in safeguarding the fundamental human rights of all people.

Partial transcripts and links to videos of the hearing’s key moments and Rubio’s opening statement are below.

VIDEO: Key exchange with Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado Machado

RUBIO: After the president visited Cuba and left, what was government – the Castro government’s reaction to the people who met with him? Did you notice a change in their behavior after he left? Did they become more repressive after the fact?

EL SEXTO: No, repression has increased.

kasparov
Kasparov

VIDEO: Key exchange with Garry Kasparov

RUBIO: What would the impact be on our credibility, on America’s standing in the world and quite frankly our national security but in particular I want you to opine on our credibility and our standing in the world as a nation who promotes democracy and liberty and the rights of all people, what would it do to our standing if despite all of these things that we now know we somehow enter a geopolitical deal with Moscow in which we are willing to overlook all these things and sovereignty of nations like Ukraine in exchange for their supposed cooperation in Syria. What would the impact be on America’s standing in the world if we going into a deal with a criminal like this?

KASPAROV: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I agree with everything that you said about Vladimir Putin and his regime. I think it’s important to emphasize that the United States of America and Putin’s Russia – let me emphasize Putin’s Russia – have no common values, no common ground, and no common interests.

Dr. Al-Doseri
Dr. Al-Doseri

VIDEO: Key exchange with Dr. Halah Al-Doseri

VIDEO: In opening statement, Rubio makes the case for U.S. leadership in support of democracy and human rights

Cubans: The migrants that liberals love to deport

President Barack Obama laughs during the beginning of the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner, Friday, June 19, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Gotcha!

Look at this number:  680 Cuban migrants denied asylum and returned to their island prison in the past eight weeks.

This includes two Cuban women who arrived in the U.S. via Europe, but were sent packing yesterday.

Various news outlets said they were “the first to be deported” since Obama’s January executive order, but this is simply not true.  Call it “fake news” if you wish.

Today’s AP report exposes that lie.  So do other reports, official and unofficial.  Deportations of Cubans began immediately after Obama revoked the wet foot- dry foot policy.

Where’s the outrage?  Where are the demonstrations?

Yesterday, the Associated Press falsely reported that the Trumpinator was about to use the National Guard to round up migrants, and even though the news was  proven to be”fake”almost immediately,  the usual subjects went ballistic, and are still raging.

Aaaaaah.  But all those other migrants they care about aren’t Cuban.

Cubans are different.  Yes, Mildred, they all deserve to be sent back, even those that have been living in the U.S. since the 1930’s.

Nothing new here, of course.  But it’s always a shock to see the hypocritical double standard and the bigotry so clearly exposed.

I’m reminded of the audience member in Westport, Connecticut, who shouted at me “You people are ruining this country!  It’s because of you people that everything has gone wrong here!  Why don’t you shut up and go back where you came from!”

Ironically, this elderly gentleman was a Holocaust survivor.

It also reminds me of a colleague here at my institution to whom I was first introduced about twelve or thirteen years ago.

After being introduced, the first words out of his mouth were: “Oh, another member of the Cuban mafia?”

This colleague is revered in liberal political circles and holds one of the most prestigious chairs at Yale.

Hatred of Cubans runs deep in the veins of most liberals, for our “villainy” is part of their creed, an essential dogma, and it’s transmitted much like a virus, much like anti-Semitism.

And this virus can infect even those who should know better than to call for anyone’s expulsion or extermination.

From Granma Lite (Associated Press), via the Los Angeles Times:

Oliphant on Cuba

 

680 Cubans returned home since end of ‘wet foot, dry foot’

About 680 Cubans have been returned to the island from various countries since then-President Barack Obama ended a longstanding immigration policy that allowed any Cuban who made it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident, state television reported.

Cuba’s government had long sought the repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which it said encouraged Cubans to risk dangerous voyages and drained the country of professionals. The Jan. 12 decision by Washington to end it followed months of negotiations focused in part on getting Havana to agree to take back people who had arrived in the U.S.

Cuban state television said late Friday that the returnees came from countries including the United States, Mexico and the Bahamas, and were sent back to the island between Jan. 12 and Feb. 17. It did not break down which countries the 680 were sent back from.

The report said the final two returnees arrived from the United States on Friday “on the first charter flight especially destined for an operation of this type.”

Florida’s El Nuevo Herald newspaper reported that the two women were deemed “inadmissible” for entry to the United States and placed on a morning flight to Havana.

Wilfredo Allen, an attorney for one of the women, says they had arrived at Miami International Airport with European passports. The women requested asylum and were detained.

The repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy was Obama’s final move before leaving office in the rapprochement with the communist-run country that he and Cuban President Castro began in December 2014. The surprise decision left hundreds of Cubans stranded in transit in South and Central America.

Before he assumed the presidency on Jan. 20, Donald Trump criticized the detente between the U.S. and Cuba, tweeting that he might “terminate” it.

 

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“Clean sheets” not the embargo is the reason tourists go somewhere else

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Our friend Carlos Eire alerted us to the article about tourism problems in Cuba.

Let me tell you about a Dallas couple that just went to Cuba.    They were curious and took a trip to see the island.   We spoke recently about it and the trip was not really what they expected.   In other words, Cuba lacks the infrastructure that Cancun, Jamaica and other places have.

Not a shock, frankly.

Cuba is not ready to handle U.S. tourists who are accustomed to better facilities in Cancun or Jamaica or the Dominican Republic. After all, who wants to go on vacation to an island with 1959 infrastructure? Cuba’s communist system spent a lot of money on the military, prisons and telling gullible U.S. college professors about their health care programs. Unfortunately, they did little to improve such basics as water pipelines, the electricity grid or having hotels with clean sheets.

There is another reason. Cuba is competing with countries that have been marketing to U.S. tourists for decades.

It all reminds me of a conversation I had with an older couple years ago. They went to Varadero, Cuba for their honeymoon. The lady said that Cuba was a popular honeymoon destination back in the 1950s. Back then, the hotels were private and well run, the restaurants were first class and hygiene was not a problem.

Cuba today is not that way. It won’t be that way for a long time. So don’t expect a lot of Americans to go to Cuba.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Irish President in Cuba to talk about human rights…. sort of… no…. not really…

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The King and the visiting Leprechaun

Irish President Michael Higgins is visiting Castrogonia, sucking up to his living idol –King Raul — and offering praise for his dead idols, Fidel and Che.

The Irish press says he is there to discuss “human rights” issues.

What they mean is that he is bringing up issues that interest the the “LGBT community worldwide.”

Of course, everyone knows that for leftists, this is the only area of human existence to which the concept of “human rights” applies.

Never mind the following human rights repressed in Castrogonia: freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, free elections, freedom of religion, freedom of collective bargaining, a free market, and the freedom to own property, and so on…

No.  Whether or not gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people are respected, that is what really matters.

Yes indeed.  Viva Che, the partly-Irish sociopath who loathed sexual “deviants” and imprisoned and tortured them. Viva Fidel, who hated and persecuted all such “deviants” too.  Viva King Raul, who is rumored to be the same sort of “deviant” and has long attempted to hide his sexual orientation by persecuting anyone like himself.

Aye, mate.  Viva the so-called Revolution.

And let’s have a sumptuous dinner at the former Presidential Palace, now known as the Palace of the Revolution, and let’s eat and drink all sorts of stuff that’s unavailable to 99 percent of Cubans!

Twisted bastard.  Cretin.  Bigot.  Evil Leprechaun.  Such horseshit.

You have to admit, anyone who thinks that the Castro brothers and Che were good for the Cuban people has to be a bigot who regards Cubans as sub-human idiots.

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A wee bit of idolatry at the Plaza of the Revolution

From the moronic Irish Examiner:

Human rights and history fills President Higgins first day in Cuba

A potent mix of human rights, civil liberties, culture and history strongly dominated President Michael D Higgins’s four-day official visit to Cuba this week.

The trip marked the first time an Irish head of state visited Cuba while in office. The fact that it comes during a particularly turbulent time in world affairs, and during Cuba’s historic transition from a relatively isolated state to one cautiously opening itself up to globalisation, appeared all the more appealing to the president.

“Michael D” as he was affectionately referred to by those who had come to join in the carefully co-ordinated programme, is widely known to follow keenly, politics and culture of Latin and South America, the evolution of which he told the audience during his speech at the opening of the Irish in Latin America exhibition, is “close to my heart”.

On Wednesday, he spent four hours with his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, including a bilateral meeting and a dinner at the Palace de la Revolucion. No agenda was set. A range of regional, national and global issues was discussed, including opportunities for greater Irish-Cuban trade and cultural links, as well as enhancing Cuba’s ties with the EU. Another matter close to the president’s heart is the rights of members of the LGBT community worldwide; which he said that he addressed with the Cuban leader.

The links between Ireland and Cuba were strongly portrayed through the two countries’ shared history of revolution, literature and freedom. The rebellious zeal of Cuban hero Ernesto Che Guevara Lynch was directly attributed to his descendants of the tribes of Galway. His father is once said to have commented: “In my son’s veins flowed the blood of Irish rebels.”

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Rogelio Sierra Díaz (D), Viceministro de Relaciones Exteriores (Minrex), junto a Michael D. Higgins (C), Presidente de Irlanda, durante la ceremonia de colocación de una ofrenda floral al Héroe Nacional de Cuba, José Martí, en La Habana el 15 de febrero de 2017. ACN FOTO/Abel PADRÓN PADILLA/sdl

 

Caught on video, police brutality in Havana

A young man in Havana beaten for not carrying his id. Please share this, expose the brutality of the police state in Cuba.

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