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realclearworld

Fidel’s reanimation

Garrincha in Yahoo Noticias:

Caricaturas Garrincha Ucrania Castro Putin Cuba

"The Malaysian airliner was shot down by Ukraine!"

"Hello, Putin? Ever since you forgave 90% of our debt, he has really come back to life."

Rumors of Mariela Castro’s death surface, then quickly prove false

WITCH UNDER HOUSE

Add this one to the long, long list of moments when Cubans have briefly received news of a death in the dragons' den, that is, the Castro royal  family.

Today, for a very brief instant, it seemed that Queen of drag queens Mariela Castro was one of the passengers on the doomed Algerian flight that disappeared over the Sahara desert.

Some who heard the news began to sing the "Ding Dong" song, along with the Munchkins of Munchkin Land ..you know, that song..... But their singing stopped very quickly.

The Lollipop Guild expresses its disappointment

The Lollipop Guild expresses its disappointment

From ABC News:

An earlier report cited the Facebook page of the Ouagadougou airport identifying one of the passengers as Mariela Castro, the niece of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. ABC News has confirmed that she was not on that flight.

From El Nuevo Dia:

"Estoy vivita y coleando, feliz y saludable (...) sinceramente no entiendo cuál es el show", dijo riendo la sobrina de Fidel Castro en un contacto con el canal Telesur desde La Habana.

("I am alive and kicking, happy and healthy...and I don't really understand what all the fuss is about," said Fidel Castro's niece in Havana, smiling, in an exchange with the television network Telesur.")

God Save the Queen

God Save the Queen

The Nation’s sympathy for communism

Anne Hobson has more commentary on The Nation magazine's so-called report on Cuba where it morphs itself into a Sunday magazine insert of Granma.

Via the American Spectator:

The Nation’s Sympathy for Communism

Everyone's favorite far-left rag writes mash notes to the Castros.

The communist apologists over at the Nation, the self-described “flagship of the left,” have outdone themselves. The liberal rag, notorious for its long record of useful idiocy in the service of tin-pot dictators and tyrants, has once again fallen in love with Castro's Cuba. You would think it was the sixties all over again.

A self-congratulatory article about the Nation's educational staff trip to Cuba sets a dangerous precedent by commending the Cuban government for its political and economic advancements. But the Castro regime is just as guilty of crimes against humanity as it was four decades ago. Just because the island is showing feints at “progress” does not make the regime worthy of praise.

Last week, Cuba renewed its ties with Russia—Big Brother’s Big Brother. Putin forgave 90 percent of Cuba’s debt, amounting to $32 billion. There are also reports, and denials, that Russia has agreed to fund the Lourdes electronic eavesdropping base in Cuba.

The Nation article points to the following as an example of positive government-induced change: the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education “is considering legalizing same-sex marriage, subsidizing sex-change operations, and banning sexual discrimination at the workplace.” Firstly, it is not government’s obligation to subsidize a sex-change operation. Furthermore, the fact that one person—center director Mariela Castro, President Raul Castro’s daughter—is deciding the policies according to her whims, and her whims alone, is itself a frightening fact of communism.

he Nation goes on to claim:

Cuba’s infant-mortality rate is lower than ours, for example, and in indicators like Uneven Economic Development, Poverty, and Economic Decline, the separation between Cuba and the United States is narrower than you might imagine.

There are many things wrong with this statement. First, Cuba’s infant-mortality rate is known to be a government-fabricated lie. The real rate is 34 percent higher than in the U.S. Castro’s regime pays doctors to manipulate the statistics.

Second, economic indicators of third-world countries mirroring economic indicators of first-world countries are not surprising. Normal statistical distributions are exactly that—normal. We may have a similar proportion of people under the poverty line. But our poverty line represents a standard of living notably higher than what's available to much of the Cuban middle class. And standard of living is what matters. Most Cubans are embarrassed to welcome foreigners into their houses because of how little they have. A desk fan costs a month’s worth of wages. One-room homes contain wooden lofts to create more space for sleeping.

Continue reading HERE.

Shalom Mother- &^%$#!: Israeli businessman rages against Western liberal blindness

Reach-of-Hamas-rockets

It's a level of rage that most Cuban exiles can identify with.

Been there, felt that.   Most of us know what it feels like to be perceived as the bad guys and to see our tormentors portrayed as the good guys.

We know what it feels like when others say "preposterous, disgusting and very untrue things."

Sin mas palabras (without further elaboration):

From The Times of Israel

Shalom Motherf****r

by Eitan Chitayat

(The author is  the founder of natie.com, a global agency that specializes in branding, animation, storytelling, and design)

I don’t know how to write this without sounding like the kind of person I’m about to sound like, but sometimes you’ve just got to write it like you feel it. And I feel this. I un-friended a ‘friend’ from Facebook the other day

To be honest, he wasn’t really a friend. He was a professional aquaintance and one whose talent I respect. But that’s it.

I un-friended him because he crossed a line.

I don’t mind that he didn’t write to ask how we’re doing here in Israel. People have their lives and we’re not the center of the world.

No. He started posting videos and images that reek of anti-semitism and an anti-Israel bias the likes of which are posted by people who clearly hate my country.

And i saw these posts.

A video by an English elected official who spewed such anti-Israel rhetoric that it was borderline hatred.

And a post that apparently Robert De Niro made claiming we’re an apartheid state. (we’re not – and that was another spreading of an untruth).

He crossed a line on a day – the other day – that 13 regular Israeli fathers, sons or brothers here were killed defending my country. Men drawn into a war they did not want to fight, but fought to protect their families, friends, and country – and to protect ME. A war others will continue to fight because to not fight it means we will perish. I don’t mean that we will lose our country, but as you can see by the turmoil around us in the Middle East (that has nothing to do with us) we will lose our lives.

He crossed a line following 10 days in which we, the citizens of Israel, have been bombarded the length of the 10 hour drive north to south of our country, and two our drive east to west of our country (that’s the size of Israel) with missiles intended to murder Israelis, no matter what gender, what age, what profession and what religion they follow. (We have over a million Israeli-Arabs living here within our borders as citizens with full rights).

And as I write, coming home from a day of work and having put my son to bed in his crib, we are still being bombarded.

He crossed another line after he saw that I unfriended him when he wrote an email to me saying that it’s ‘…funny to be de-friended for posting a statement from an elected official. As a Jew you should realize that mass murder is never justified’. (His identity will remain hidden, of course).

First of all, don’t give me that ‘as a Jew’ crap. I don’t need to be a Jew to realise that mass murder isn’t justified. I need to be a decent human being.

Secondly, I don’t give a damn that he was an elected official – he said some preposterous, disgusting and very untrue things – and history is full of misguided elected officals.

And third, we’re mass murderers? My country accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire twice and Hamas keeps firing away. They aim rockets at civilians while we go at great lengths to avoid civilians actually calling them in their areas and dropping warning charges, to give innocents a chance to escape. That’s unprecedented in warfare history. We leave Gaza for a chance at peace 9 years ago and for 9 years we got rockets, hate education, underground tunnels built with the purpose of entering Israeli territory so radicals can murder and kidnap Jews? This is what we get for leaving Gaza unilaterally 9 years ago. And we’re mass murderers?

No – fool. Ours is not the behavior of mass murderers....

..... Know this: when someone tries to end my life, IT IS PERSONAL.

And if you’re adding fuel to the fire by posting crap that in some small way will contribute to my demise, then again - un-friend me now.

Because you can have the hatred, the twisted, the sick and evil and be a part of that – or you can have me. But you can’t have both.

Shalom, motherf****r.

Read the whole thing  HERE  

The Nation magazine visits Castro’s Cuba, falls madly in love with the apartheid dictatorship

Of course, love has many good aspects such as happiness and fulfillment. However, in the hands of humans, love can have its dark side as well, such as shameful complicity and blindness.

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

The Nation Goes to Cuba -- Says "Viva Castro!"

Last month, the far-left magazine The Nation, led a "people-to-people" trip to Cuba and returned enchanted by their "interlocutors" -- who just happened to all be Castro regime officials.

The Nation's editor is New York City heiress Katrina vanden Heuvel, who recently penned a column in The Washington Post about the trip, where she unwittingly admitted all of her talking points came from senior Castro regime officials (and intelligence agents).

This week, The Nation published a report of its trip findings.

Highlighted among its findings were various "erroneous assumptions" (or as vanden Heuvel calls them, "worn out fallacies") that their "interlocutors" claim people in the U.S. have about Cuba.

Among these "erroneous assumptions" are such gems as:

-- The military is the key institution in Cuba.

-- Dissent is prohibited and punished.

-- Political opposition groups are the democratic alternative in Cuba.

-- As long as one party remains in power, no democratization is possible.

-- Most youth want to leave Cuba.

-- Average monthly income in Cuba is $20.00

-- Cuban émigrés are exiles.

In case you feel stunned or confused in disbelief -- you're not -- they seriously claim none of the above are true.

Needless to say, The Nation didn't challenge, question or counter any of these "erroneous assumptions."

To the contrary, it proudly seeks to "debunk some of these worn out fallacies that some Americans still believe in."

The Nation's absurdity speaks for itself.

However, can the Obama Administration explain how this propaganda trip benefits the Cuban people or helps "promote their independence from Cuban authorities," as was the President's stated policy purpose for the "people-to-people" travel category?

Communism at work: Give up your car

Our good friend Fausta Wertz at Da Tech Guy Blog:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8WmoD47wW2o/TWA67lNMuuI/AAAAAAABdiY/LZ8lBM7ciQE/s1600/1957_Ford.jpg
Communism at work: Give up your car

Communism is all about control. Nothing the individual does can be allowed;  everything is done for the purpose of consolidating power around the ruling elite and no one else.

Of course, things like guns and automobiles are anathema to the Communist. Both grant the individual a degree of independence and self-reliance that can actively be used against the whims of the powerful.

I’ll leave the discussion on guns for another time. Let’s talk about cars now.

Cars would not have been possible without capitalism: Competition, creativity, invention, technology, artistry, craftsmanship, all are brought together from free enterprise creating the monetary means to develop, purchase, deliver – and, for the consumer – buy the car.

Cars speak of freedom: freedom of movement, freedom of choice, freedom to hit the road when you best feel like it, freedom to buy, lease, keep, sell, or trade up your car.

Cars speak of individualism: You can personalize your car, or not, as you best see fit.

No wonder Communists hate having the hoi-polloi own cars.

Real Communists want to be the only ones in the cars, not the great unwashed tying up traffic and polluting the air. For decades we’ve been subjected to hogwash about “Cuba’s classic, beautiful cars,” i.e., the remaining 1950s jalopies the Cuban populace must make do with since, a. the Communists keep people poor, and b. the country’s broke. The useful idiots praising the jalopies can admire classic vintage cars any time they want from the comfort of their prosperous societies (since none of them actually have to scrounge in Havana for parts with which they may keep their own jalopies running), while simultaneously ignoring that Fidel Castro owned dozens of limos, some of which are now being used as taxis in Havana. To add insult to injury, one of the articles talking about Fidel’s old limos says,

The new fleet will give tourists a quirky and lighthearted look at Cuba’s history.

I leave it to you, gentle reader to decide whether half a century of misery in the island-prison deserves “a quirky and lighthearted look.”

Continue reading HERE.

Chinese dictator strikes deals with Cuban dictator

Fidel: “Ñoooo... pero mira que dificil es meterle la mano en el bolsillo a este chino....”

Fidel: “Ñoooo... pero mira que dificil es meterle la mano en el bolsillo a este billonario chino....” (Damn, it's so hard to pick this Chinese billionaire's pockets!)

Xi's own Latrine-Palooza takes him to Castrogonia

Well, here it is at last: a flurry of official reports and staged photos to document the visit of Chinese dictator Xi to the nation formerly known as Cuba.

The incredible shrinking dictator, Fidel Castro, welcomed Xi at his palatial villa just outside Havana.  One Cuban exile emailed me this comment, which deserves some kind of prize for its Spanish prose style (no English translation can really do it justice):

"observen el nuevo tamaño de la Bestia, agarrandose del chino Xi, quién en realidad no es tan alto, y la cara de escarabajo suplicante con la que mira al Mandarin. Un verdadero festín para los ojos de quienes sabemos cuanta maldad ha salido de tan despreciable engendro."

translation: "Notice the new size of The Beast, as he clings to the Chinese Xi, who isn't really all that tall, and notice the way in which he looks at the Mandarin with the face of a pleading scarab.  This is a veritable feast for the eyes, for those of us who know how much evil has flowed forth from this despicable monster."

Amen.............

But the visit to Fidel was cosmetic, or-- as is now in fashion, a question of "optics." Multi-billionaire dictator Xi was really there to visit the de facto King of Castrogonia, not his quasi-mummified brother.  Of course, Raul could not control his impulse to bark orders at the photographers, even as the cameras clicked.

Raul: "Oye... no dejes que este chino se vaya sin perdonarnos la deuda, carajo...."

Raul: "Oye... no dejes que este chino tramposo vuelva a su pais antes de que nos perdone las deudas, carajo...."  (Hey, don't let this Chinese swindler go home before he forgives our debt, damn it....)

From the BBC's expert journalists, who once again display their unique talent in devising understated and very tasteful euphemisms for leftist dictators

Chinese media emphasize Cuba ties

State-run Xinhua news agency reports that Mr Xi visited Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro at his residence on Tuesday.

"The two exchanged views on bilateral ties, international affairs and other issues of common concern in an intimate and friendly atmosphere," says the report.

The Beijing Times notes that besides "visiting old friends", Mr Xi also discussed economic co-operation with his counterpart Raul Castro in areas including trade, agriculture, biotechnology and education.

The China Central Television adds that Mr Xi's trip to Cuba is "more about business than politics" as China is seeking to expand investment in the country.

Zhang Tuo, China's ambassador to Cuba, tells the CCTV that the Mr Xi's visit will "open a new phase in bilateral ties".

"Cuba paid great importance to President Xi's visit with an unprecedented reception. Both China and Cuba are expecting Mr Xi's visit to translate the two countries' good political relations into fruitful achievements in various fields," he says.

The Global Times' Chinese edition says Cubans are "hoping that China will help the country to lift the US economic embargo", which was imposed in the 1960s against the Cuban Communist regime.

A Xinhua commentary urges the US to "rethink its Cuba policy". Calling for Washington to lift its sanctions, the article points out that China has been a "rising key foreign investor in Cuba" and has granted economic assistance to the country.

"Instead of being an obstacle on Cuba's path of development, the United States should join China and other countries to become Cuba's constructive partner," it says.

Continue reading HERE.

Reports from Cuba’s Venezuela: The ’4′ that matters

By Juan Cristobal Nagel in Caracas Chronicles:

The "4" that matters
https://caracaschronicles.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/xijinping.jpeg

This is made from granite that you paid for

The official press in Venezuela is full of details on the state visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. As part of his Caracas tour, agreements will be signed, swords will be passed around, sashes will be worn, tombs will be visited, oil will be traded, and a full-blown one-directional slobber-fest will take place. But the only thing, the only number that matters … is a “4.”

No, not the “4? in the sign above Chávez’s tomb. Rather, it’s the $4 billion China has allegedly pledged to contribute to the China-Venezuela fund.

With parliamentary elections coming next year and the economy increasingly under stress, the Venezuelan state needs fresh funds. Thankfully, the Chinese are here ready to provide it, presumably in exchange for future shipments of oil they will surely get with a heavy discount off the market price.

Few details will emerge, but really, that is all this visit is about.

Reports from Cuba: Cuba’s All-So-Kind Economy Czar

By Erasmo Calzadilla in Havana Times:

Cuba’s All-So-Kind Economy Czar

Marino Murillo, the so-called “reforms Czar”, has always struck me as a contemptuous person. The arrogance with which he speaks before those who allegedly represent the people, the self-confidence with which he addresses the thorny issues no one before him has been able to solve, and his body language, place him somewhere between a domineering public official and a neighborhood butcher.

These elements of body language, together with the concrete content of his pronouncements, make it seem as though Murillo does not appear before parliament to account for his actions but to threaten and scold the public, inform them at best.

I did however notice a certain change in his demeanor in his most recent public appearances: a distant melancholy in his eyes, an almost unnoticeable stammering, there where there was once resolve, less vigorous hand movements…

There were subtle signs of fatigue and doubt, signs that less sensitive spirits may not have noticed. The fact is that, in these appearances, his spiels did not make my blood boil.

Today, however, he once again set me off.

After referring to the re-establishment of a single currency monetary system and other labor-related provisions that would be implemented in the coming new stage of the reform process, the Czar said:

“These tasks are all the more complex because of the commitment towards the people we have. In other parts of the world, these things can be done much more easily.”

The phrases that Murillo often lets out reveal the real state of Cuba’s power relations and the way in which the governing class interprets the social contract.

In the Czar’s worldview, Cuba’s political stage is set up as follows:

On the one side, we have the people, not the real people but the people presupposed by the Party Guidelines: an innocent people, as helpless as a small child that tells the leaders its problems so that they can solve them.

On the other side of the equation we have the leaders: a group of know-it-all technocrats and responsible patriarchs who know what to do to solve the said problems, provided people work hard and remain disciplined.

If the technocrats wanted (this is the best part) they could solve social problems through unpopular measures, as their super-evil counterparts do in the rest of the world, but their commitment towards the people prevents them from going so far.

Ultimately, I am grateful for such unsubtle politicians, for politicians who think like foremen and bare themselves and call a spade a spade from time to time. I am confident such insolent remarks will someday end up angering Cubans and awakening their civic pride, their dormant dignity and their political awareness. If it happened to me, why can’t it happen to others?

China goes fishing in Cuba’s Venezuela

Santana in El Nuevo Herald:

Cuba’s Ladies in White: How would you feel if you were innocent but still thrown in jail each Sunday?

Miranda Fuertes in Eye On Cuba:

How would you feel if you were innocent but still thrown in jail each Sunday?

Ladies in White

As a result of the Ladies in White movement continuing to be a target of Cuban state authorities, the Czech NGO People in Need would like to bring greater  public attention to two cases of Ladies in White members who have been forced to contend with constant repression over the last two years.

Keila Ramos Suarez is 28 years old. She has been detained and assaulted 15 times between March 2013 and April 2014.

Due to the fact that her family doesn’t agree with the political opinions she holds, she has been repressed to an even greater extent. She has been thrown out of her house and left to live on the street. Furthermore, her son has been taken away from her by state authorities on account of her dissident activities. She has regularly been arrested before the weekly Ladies in White marches held on Sundays or been given orders that prevent her from participating in the Mass.

Maria Teresa Gracias Rojas is 48 years old. She has been detained and assaulted 39 times between January 2013 and March 2014.

The state police organized a so called search of her house during which all of her belongings were destroyed; she was assaulted, and subjected to acts of repudiation and intimidation. She has been under constant surveillance, including having a police patrol car permanently parked in front of her house. She has been prevented from participating in the Ladies in White marches almost every Sunday during this time span. The police usually arrest her either just outside of her residence or in front of the local church. We would like to stress the gravity of the fact that she happened to be assaulted directly by the priest as well. Her situation has been made all the more difficult due to her daughter’s health problems for which she hasn’t been receiving any help.

The scripts and tactics the authorities use are almost always the same:

One of them is to detain members of the Ladies in White before the Sunday Mass, so that they cannot participate in their weekly protest by taking part in their common walk to the church. They are brought to the local police station for several hours where they are placed under constant psychological and physical distress: the police agents have been beating, humiliating and threatening to jail them for years, while also openly threatening to harm their families if they don’t stop their dissident activities. The Ladies in White protest every Sunday dressed in white, as a symbol of peace, in order to demand freedom for the their relatives who are jailed dissidents, as well as on behalf of all other political prisoners.

The other tactic is to organize public acts of repudiation against them in order to cause them distress, while also intimidating and frightening them.  Usually small groups of people are brought to the dissidents’ residence who then shout insults at them, throw stones at their houses and threaten them.

Why have these brave women kept on fighting their battle despite the pressure they find themselves under? Their answer is simple and clear: they want change and freedom for their loved ones and the people of Cuba.

Continue reading HERE.

Family of murdered opposition leader Oswaldo Paya launches new plebiscite effort in Cuba

Nora Gamez Torres in The Miami Herald:

Payá family launches new effort for plebiscite in Cuba

On the second anniversary of the death of Cuban opposition leader Oswaldo Payá, his daughter, Rosa María Payá, announced Tuesday that the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) he founded is preparing a campaign to demand a plebiscite on the island’s future.

Rosa Maria Payá said that the plebiscite, based on her father’s Varela Project, would include “one single question: Do you want to participate in free and multi-party elections?”

The Varela Project gathered more than 10,000 signatures on a petition seeking a new electoral law and demanding the right to freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of association, among other measures.

The signatures were rejected by the legislative National Assembly in 2002 but later that year Payá won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Conscience, the most prestigious prize awarded by the European Union.

His daughter told El Nuevo Herald on Tuesday that since the Varela Project remains alive, “it is not necessary to collect more signatures. More than double the number required already have been handed in, even though the National Assembly has not responded to the demand.

“But the Varela Project is a citizens’ effort. Our intention with this (new) campaign is to mobilize citizens to demand their rights,” she added. “There can be no transition in Cuba unless first there’s a recognition of civil rights, of freedom of expression, of freedom of association to carry out the change we want.”

The activist added that her family, which now lives in South Florida, is also preparing a new request to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a branch of the Organization of American States, for an independent investigation of her father’s controversial death.

According to the official version of the Cuban government, Payá and MCL activist Harold Cepero died when the driver of their vehicle, Angel Carromero, lost control near the eastern city of Bayamo and crashed into a tree on July 22, 2012.

Carromero, a member of the youth wing of Spain’s Popular Party, was tried in Cuba and sentenced to four years in prison for vehicular homicide and is now serving his sentence in Spain, free but under probation. The other passenger in the car, Jens Aaron Modig, a member of the youth wing of Sweden’s Christian Democratic Party, was allowed to leave Cuba shortly after the crash.

The Payá family and Carromero have repeatedly insisted that the car carrying the two Cubans and two Europeans was rammed from behind and forced off the road by another vehicle that had been following them.

Cuba: Castro State Security threatens supporters of slain dissident Oswaldo Paya with machete attack

Via Uncommon Sense:

Castro police threaten supporters of Oswaldo Paya with machete attack

Imgres

Oswaldo Paya fought his fight for a free, just and democratic Cuba with a commitment to non-violence and his faith in and love for the Cuban people.

The Castro brothers defend their decripit regime with threats of butchery.

Paya was dedicated to a peaceful transition in Cuba. It is a commitment that his followers in the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) he founded, on the island and in exile, have carried on, much to the chagrin of the Castro dictatorship that murdered him and MCL activist Harold Cepero on July 22, 2012.

In a preemptive strike, Cuban State Security last week warned MCL activists in Santiago de Cuba, according to the MCL website, that they were barred from paying tribute today to Paya and Cepero at the site where they were killed in a traffic crash that Paya's family and supporters believe was orchestrated by the regime.

And if they ignore the order, police told the activists that "farmers in that zone are armed with machetes and there could be deaths that would be the responsibility of those who were warned," MCL said.

Violence, actual and threatened alike, against the Cuban people has been a staple of the Castro regime for more than 55 years.

Paya rejected that legacy, and instead demonstrated a profound faith in the ability of the Cuban people to determine their own destiny. That was an anathema to the dictatorship, so it had him killed.

Obviously, they still fear him.

Voters should know Miami-Dade Judicial Candidate’s link to Cuba business ventures

There are numerous races to fill vacancies for Circuit Court Judge on the upcoming August 26th Primary ballot in Miami-Dade County One particular judicial candidate has been aggressively campaigning for the Cuban-American vote throughout Miami-Dade, Martin Zilber. Mr. Zilber’s campaign signs have been prominently placed in the Cuban-American community throughout the county and he is often photographed with leaders of the Cuban-American community. That’s why it most ironic and truly brazen that Mr. Zilber sits on the Advisory Board for none other than the The America’s Group Cuba Business Enterprise, an entity that publicly promotes its many service for clients seeking business opportunities in Cuba, including: “to identify and develop real estate opportunities for social interest housing and in the tourist and resort sectors. Identify strategic investment opportunities in foreign companies already doing business in Cuba. Arrange trips and person to person meetings with the government and potential joint venture partners.” The logical question is if Mr. Zilber shares with Cuban-American voters at the “comedores” and along the campaign trail his views and business ventures related to Cuba.

Mr. Zilber sits on the Advisory Board of the Cuba Enterprise project with the infamous Kirby Jones, known Castro apologist and regular Havana visitor. Washington Post journalist described Kirby Jones the following way: "Jones is described by Newsweek as having better contacts in Cuba than any other American “ and by The New York Times as ' the man to see about business in Cuba.' Mr. Jones once described the community as the “highly combustible fuel of Cuban exiles.”

Mr. Zilber has every right to be part of a group that seeks business opportunities with a dictatorship like the Castro regime, but if he is running for public office in Miami-Dade County, the voters have a right to know his involvement in such an enterprise. It’s one thing to have a different policy view but it’s quite another to be directly affiliated with an entity seeking business opportunities with a government that disregards human rights and commits atrocities against the Cuban people, many who now reside in the community that Mr. Zilber is seeking support from. Mr. Zilber is free to pursue business ventures with the likes of the Castro brothers but the Cuban-American community and those who believe in solidarity should know more about his background before voting or supporting him for Circuit Court Judge. If Mr. Zilber is willing to engage with the likes of a terrorist state to provide clients with business opportunities perhaps him sitting on the bench to impart justice is not in the best interest of Miami-Dade County voters. Ultimately, the voters should decide, but at the very least, voters should know the company that a judicial candidate keeps and the type of business interests he pursues.

More on Russia’s reopened spy base in Cuba

Via the Business Insider:

Everything We Know About The Huge Spy Base In Cuba That Russia Is Reopening

Screen Shot 2014 07 21 at 8.20.08 AM

Moscow and Havana have agreed to reopen a Cold War-era signals intelligence (SIGINT) base in Lourdes, Cuba.

An agreement was reached during Putin's visit to Cuba last week to reopen the base, Russia business daily Kommersant reported last week. That was confirmed by a Russian security source who told Reuters: "A framework agreement has been agreed."

The base was set up in 1964 after the Cuban missile crisis had brought the U.S. and Soviet Union close to confrontation over Moscow's proposal to place nuclear weapons on Cuban soil.

Havana shut it down in 2001 because of financial issues and American pressure.

Located south of Cuba's capital Havana and just 150 miles from the U.S. coast, the base left many parts of the U.S. vulnerable to Soviet communication intercepts, including exchanges between Florida space centers and U.S. spacecraft.

Here's what a Congressional report from 2000 said about the facility:

  • The Secretary of Defense formally expressed concerns to Congress regarding the espionage complex at Lourdes, Cuba, and its use as a base for intelligence directed against the United States.
  • The Secretary of Defense, referring to a 1998 Defense Intelligence Agency assessment, reported that the Russian Federation leased the Lourdes facility for an estimated $100 million to $300 million a year.
  • It has been reported that the Lourdes facility was the largest such complex operated by the Russian Federation and its intelligence service outside the region of the former Soviet Union.

Continue reading HERE.