The past 10 days have seen three hysterical editorials from the New York Times pleading for a U.S. economic lifeline to the Castro brothers’ terror-sponsoring regime (i.e. to end the so-called embargo).
It’s the economy, stupid—-Venezuela’s that is. Those plummeting oil prices (20% in the past few months) are playing havoc with the Cuban colony’s already-rotten economy. Venezuelan subsidies to Cuba last year, mostly in the form of essentially free oil, were estimated to total $10 billion. That’s more than double what the Soviets used to send.
But Castro’s Venezuelan puppet Maduro is now on very shaky ground. The only thing keeping this pathetic satrap in power—besides the 30,000 or so Cuban military and security “advisors” essentially running Venezuela—are the bread and circuses that sitting on top of the world’s largest oil reserves allows the Venezuelan regime to put on for Venezuelans.
Now this oil-fueled largesse looks imperiled—and with it the subsidies to Venezuela’s colonial overlords in Havana. Hence the Castro brothers’ desperation for a rescue from U.S. tourists and taxpayers—and the SOS to their regime’s traditional agents-of-influence worldwide, among whom the New York Times features very prominently.
Our friends at Frontpage Magazine don't require a U.S. taxpayer botellita to disseminate relentlessly derogatory items about the Castro brothers' dictatorship.
Today is a rare day for Cubans: a saint's feast day that involves an Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba.
It's the feast day of St. Antonio Maria Claret, a 19th-century Spanish missionary priest who is known as the "spiritual father of Cuba."
Claret was born in Sallent, Catalonia, near Barcelona. Much to his surprise, however, he ended up serving as Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba from 1849 to 1857, a most turbulent time in the history of the island.
Claret's achievements in the diocese of Santiago were remarkable, but controversial. Slavery was still very much in place in Cuba, and his diocese had a very large African population. Spanish exploitation and racism were deeply entrenched, and so was rural poverty. Claret made it his mission to visit every parish in his diocese (an extremely rare thing for any Spanish-appointed bishop), to denounce concubinage and adultery (which were rampant), to establish trade or vocational schools for disadvantaged children and credit unions for the use of the poor. He brought missionary priests, monks, and nuns from Spain, visited jails and hospitals, defended the rights of workers to a decent living, and denounced racism.
Claret preached ceaselessly, improved the training of priests, promoted religious instruction, and engaged in constant pastoral work. Records show that he confirmed over 100,000 people and married over 9,000 couples.
Claret quickly became aware of the unique fertility of the Cuban soil and took an interest in developing new agricultural methods and in making the island less dependent on the cultivation of sugar and more independent of Spanish control. A proponent of crop diversification and of the creation of self-subsistent family farms, Claret soon ran into trouble. Much like present-day dissidents in Castrogonia who oppose the government's monopoly, Claret was vilified, ridiculed, harassed, physically abused, and targeted for murder. One potential assassin even managed to stab him.
Recalled to Spain against his wishes by Queen Isabela II, he spent his remaining years obediently serving as her confessor. When the Spanish monarchy was overthrown in 1868, he followed the queen into exile in France, where he died two years later at the age of 63.
Known for his prophetic statements, Claret once declared that Cuba would some day be ruled by a tyrant whose dictatorship would last for "more than forty years." He also predicted this dictator would die from internal bleeding.
His final words, inscribed on his tombstone, can certainly resonate with many Cubans today: "I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile."
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity, one of the first sites visited by St. Antonio Claret upon his arrival in Cuba
From Franciscan Media:
Saint Antonio Maria Claret
The "spiritual father of Cuba" was a missionary, religious founder, social reformer, queen’s chaplain, writer and publisher, archbishop and refugee. He was a Catalan Spaniard whose work took him to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Madrid, Paris and to the First Vatican Council.
In his spare time as weaver and designer in the textile mills of Barcelona, he learned Latin and printing: The future priest and publisher was preparing. Ordained at 28, he was prevented by ill health from entering religious life as a Carthusian or as a Jesuit, but went on to become one of Spain’s most popular preachers.
He spent 10 years giving popular missions and retreats, always placing great emphasis on the Eucharist and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her rosary, it was said, was never out of his hand. At 42, beginning with five young priests, he founded a religious institute of missionaries, known today as the Claretians.
He was appointed to head the much-neglected archdiocese of Santiago in Cuba. He began its reform by almost ceaseless preaching and hearing of confessions, and suffered bitter opposition mainly for opposing concubinage and giving instruction to black slaves. A hired assassin (whose release from prison Anthony had obtained) slashed open his face and wrist. Anthony succeeded in getting the would-be assassin’s death sentence commuted to a prison term. His solution for the misery of Cubans was family-owned farms producing a variety of foods for the family’s own needs and for the market. This invited the enmity of the vested interests who wanted everyone to work on a single cash crop—sugar. Besides all his religious writings are two books he wrote in Cuba: Reflections on Agriculture and Country Delights.
He was recalled to Spain for a job he did not relish—being chaplain for the queen. He went on three conditions: He would reside away from the palace, he would come only to hear the queen’s confession and instruct the children and he would be exempt from court functions. In the revolution of 1868, he fled with the queen’s party to Paris, where he preached to the Spanish colony.
All his life Anthony was interested in the Catholic press. He founded the Religious Publishing House, a major Catholic publishing venture in Spain, and wrote or published 200 books and pamphlets.
At Vatican I, where he was a staunch defender of the doctrine of infallibility, he won the admiration of his fellow bishops. Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore remarked of him, "There goes a true saint." At the age of 63, he died in exile near the border of Spain.
By Karel Becerra in Panam Post:
Naïve New York Times Fails to Recognize Cuba’s Real Enemy
If Economic Pressure Forces Reforms, Up the Pressure
A few days ago the New York Times asked for an end to the “embargo on Cuba.” However, they should have asked for an end to the embargo on Castro. Cubans have nothing to impound: no properties, no houses, no cars, no furniture not even intellectual property; everything belongs to the communist government.
This misunderstood contradiction means people such as the Times editorial board see a generous leader fighting against imperialism and a country “that has suffered enormously since Washington ended diplomatic relations in 1961.” Meanwhile, the Cuban people who know the truth see a civil society impoverished by a dictatorship in Cuba that has held power for over five decades.
Cubans who know better call for independence and democracy on José Martí’s 160th birthday. (CID Facebook)
The Times presents two main arguments: “shifting politics in the United States” and “changing policies in Cuba.” Therefore, they contend, it is now “politically feasible to re-establish formal diplomatic relations and dismantle the senseless embargo.”
The first argument is supported by a telephone survey of a sample of one thousand respondents in nation of 300 million citizens and a Cuban community of over one million. It lacks of scientific rigor and is meaningless.
The second argument falls flat after a mere glance at Cuba’s Official Gazette, where allowed private activities are nothing but “topping palms, fixing shoes, and selling plastic bags.” The Times adds that, as part of these reforms, it is now possible for Cubans to “sell properties like cars and houses,” although they fail to mention buying them. Even the Times knows it is impossible for a Cuban who fixes shoes or sells plastic bags to pay US$25,000 to buy a car.
However, the Times argues that “in recent years, a devastated economy has forced Cuba to make reforms.” Here begs the question: if the reforms have been forced on the government, they are not really open to a freer market, so why ask for an end to the embargo?
The Times‘ logic only holds if they can show that lifting the embargo would have a negative impact in the economy, since then Castro would be forced to make additional reforms.
The Times ignores the facts that shape the real world. Castro’s regime only reacts under pressure, from inside or from outside. The pseudo reforms in Cuba are nothing but “a process that has gained urgency with the economic crisis in Venezuela.” Yet, the Times editors ignore the interference of Castro in Venezuela, which has contributed to their sister nation’s economic crisis.
Continue reading HERE.
Fausta Wertz on Fausta's Blog:
Cuba: NYT goes Duranty on ebola
Walter Duranty, arguably the New York Times’s most [in]famous correspondent, earned his reputation as Stalin’s apologist. In keeping with this tradition, the NYT editorial board is touting Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola, actually parroting Cuba’s Communist propaganda (from the mouth of José Luis Di Fabio, the World Health Organization’s man in Havana), ignoring the fact that the embargo does not apply to medical supplies and equipment:
José Luis Di Fabio, the World Health Organization’s representative in Havana, said Cuban medics were uniquely suited for the mission because many had already worked in Africa. “Cuba has very competent medical professionals,” said Mr. Di Fabio, who is Uruguayan. Mr. Di Fabio said Cuba’s efforts to aid in health emergencies abroad are stymied by the embargo the United States imposes on the island, which struggles to acquire modern equipment and keep medical shelves adequately stocked.
In for a penny, in for a pound, the NYT rolls right along, exhorting the USA to
As a matter of good sense and compassion, the American military, which now has about 550 troops in West Africa, should commit to giving any sick Cuban access to the treatment center the Pentagon built in Monrovia and to assisting with evacuation.
Governments, China’s included, complain they simply don’t have enough experience with Ebola to send in large numbers: “This is a big challenge for our scientists,” said Qian Jun, team leader for the China Center for Disease Control Mobile Laboratory Team in Sierra Leone.
So the question is, Is Cuba Sending Unqualified Health Workers to West Africa?
Continue reading HERE.
Talk about bringing coals to Newcastle!
Other nations are now selling oil to Venezuela, the one nation on earth with the largest oil reserves.
The reason for this is that Venezuela is not able to produce enough light oil to mix with its very thick crude reserves.
This is a most unnerving sign for Emperor Raul Castro, who depends on his Venezuelan colony for a constant supply of oil and financial support.
Maduro's government claims this is merely a cost-saving move, and that importing lighter oil is cheaper than producing it.
The real story is that Venezuela's oil industry is now mirroring every industry in Castrogonia, its imperial overlord.
Total inefficiency and severe shortages are the ultimate result of 21st century socialism.
The Castro brothers have known this for over half a century, but have fooled most of the world into thinking that whatever has gone wrong in their kingdom has always been due to the nefarious so-called blockade imposed by the evil Americans.
They've also known that they would eventually suck all the blood out of their Venezuelan colony. But it seems that the draining process has moved much faster than they anticipated.
No worries. Sean Penn can always come to the rescue. He knows how to win votes for pro-Castro liberal politicians in U.S. elections.
Oye! Todo lo tuyo es mio!
From WLRN News
Venenozuela is now importing oil
Venezuela’s economic woes just won’t quit. Its currency recently hit an all-time low with black market traders. Now the South American country has to ration food – and, believe it or not, import oil.
Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. But it produces mostly thick, heavy crude that has to be mixed with lighter oil to make it usable. Problem is, Venezuela’s seriously mismanaged state-run oil industry isn’t pumping enough light crude. So this weekend the country will receive its first ever shipment of foreign oil: two million barrels from Algeria.
“It’s a sad commentary,” says Russell Dallen, head of the Venezuela-based securities firm Caracas Capital Markets. “You’ve got a country that has more oil than Saudi Arabia. And Saudi Arabia can easily produce 11 million barrels a day. Venezuela can’t even produce 3 million barrels a day."
That’s also bad news for Venezuela’s economic crisis. The country relies heavily on oil revenues. As global oil prices drop, shortages of basic goods are getting worse – and this week Venezuela even started a food-rationing program more reminiscent of Cuba. Possible debt default is another concern.
“At a hundred dollars a barrel, Venezuela couldn’t pay all its bills," says Dallen. "Now we’ve fallen to $80 a barrel, and the situation is deteriorating for the country.”
Some relief did come this week when China agreed to restructure a portion of Venezuela’s debt.
The next patron?
By Jeovany Jimenez Vega in Translating Cuba:
What Happens If Ebola Comes To Cuba?
The Ebola outbreak on the world epidemiological scene will obviously involve a huge challenge for every country that is reached by the current epidemic, already registered as the greatest in history and that in recent days has reached about 9000 confirmed cases — although experts say that figure is an undercount. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that the epidemic is not being confronted will all the political rigor that the moment demands on the part of the international community and also warned that if the situation is not brought under control in time, by 2015 it predicts an incidence of about a million and a half cases.
It is easy to conclude that arriving at this state of things the danger would only grow exponentially. We are confronting an extremely contagious illness of non-vectoral transmission, that can be spread person to person through the most subtle contact with any bodily fluid of an infected person — and that may be transmitted sexually to boot, given that the virus is isolated in semen until 90 days after recovery.
Although a first clinical trial for a vaccination has just been implemented, the reality is that for now the medical treatment protocols are in their infancy in the face of a disease that in previous outbreaks has reached a lethality of between 90% and 100% of cases and in the face of which one can only commit to treatments of its severe complications and to practice the usual measures for life support.
Today is raised before man a threat by one of the bad boys of virology, which demands the implementation of the most extreme biological containment measures, as well as the use of the most specialized and scrupulously trained personnel for its handling.
Such a scene places before us the most elemental question: what if Ebola breaks out in Cuba? This is not negligible, and it stopped being a remote possibility after the departure of a detachment of hundreds of Cuban professionals destined for the African countries flogged by the epidemic. Let’s remember the possibility that it was that route used by cholera to reappear in our country, imported from Haiti after an absence of 120 years, and not to mention the everlasting dengue fever.
The eruption of this most dangerous illness in Cuba could simply take on shades of tragedy. Beyond how dissipated may become the customs of the inhabitants of the alligator, I am inclined to fear by the experience of one who has seen too often the systematic use of recyclable material, the usual practice in Cuba, even when long ago the world definitively committed to the exclusive use of disposable material: the idea of treatment centers for these patients winding up recycling suits, gloves or other materials because it occurs to some pig-headed guy from the “higher level” that this would “guarantee” safety under such circumstances is terrifying.
In a country where too many times a doctor does not have in his office something as basic as running water and soap in order to wash his hands, it will be understood what the demand for costly minimal material demanded for handling patients with Ebola would involve, and if besides we take into account that the almost generality of our hospital infrastructure is not designed or prepared objectively for the containment of this kind of scourge, now we will be able to raise a prayer to the Virgin to save us from the trance.
On the other hand, let’s not forget how reticent the Cuban authorities have shown themselves to be about publicly reporting on the incidence of epidemics when one considers that this might risk the affluence of tourists or the successful conclusion of some relevant international event — the Cuban dengue fever mega-epidemic of 2006 is still an excellent example in that regard.
Continue reading Reports from Cuba: What happens if Ebola comes to Cuba?
Important news from Cuba you won't read about in the NYT's, or hear from the so-called "Cuba experts".
Via the Twitter accounts of John Suarez and Yris Perez Aguilera, we learn that Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Iván Fernández Depestre, who was arrested during a peaceful march in July 2013, and currently serving a three-year sentence solely for exercising his freedom of expression, has been brutally beaten.
Read more about Iván Fernández Depestre at Marc Masferrer's blog, Uncommon Sense.
Garrincha in Martí Noticias:
"Jeez, you people are always politicizing everything!"
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo in Translating Cuba:
Down With the Embargo, Long Live the Embargo
Graphics by El Sexto
The New York Times is not in favor or against the American embargo of the Cuban government. The New York Times is simply in favor of what in every circumstance is most convenient to the Castro regime.
So it was that the New York Times just published this recycled editorial where they ask for an end to the embargo for the 1959th time, even going beyond American law (they are like frogs in the Fidelista fable, demanding of the White Heron that governs at coups of presidential resolution.
So, in addition, the New York Times in a second act to its distracting editorial, opened its plural debate pages to the one thousand and 959 Cubanologists: and so dissolved all the attention to not speak of what is most important now (and has been for two years), Olympianically omitting the presence in the United States of the witness to a double State murder on the part of the Raul and Fidel regime.
In effect, Angel Carromero is in American territory. However, the last reference on the New York Times to this criminal case of the Castro regime was from last year. The complaint of the Payá-Acevedo family, the complicity of the Spanish judiciary and executive with this announced assassination, the violations and mockery of those uniformed in olive-green on the little Island of the Infamous: none of this is Newyorktimesable. They love only the embargo because they know it works like an engine of little lies.
And because of this I don’t have one ounce of respect for the great media. They are killing machines in exchange for majestic salaries. I prefer the tiny voices of the nobodies. The almost anonymous biographies of the redeemers and their blogs with zero commentaries in every post.
So they killed Harold Cepero and Oswaldo Payá, martyrs to a perverse country where a perpetual power stones you and manipulates you to death with impunity. The Cuban Interior Ministry killed them both on Sunday, 22 July 2012, like two nobodies who are now barely doubtful statistics for the Ph.D.-holding experts of the New York Times. In this Manhattan edifice, so chilling in its supposed transparency, I say: Fuck you, New York Times.
But, of course, the debate of our exile, historic or recently arrived, follows the rhyme of the New York Times. Some say: lift it… Other say: keep it… and the arguments in both cases were conceived decades ago by the genocidal hierarchs from Havana.
What is laughable about this debate between dinosaurs is that it keeps the commanderesque mummy of Fidel alive and kicking: the dictator makes us dance the motherfuckers’ conga every time his cadaverous cojones come out.
Hoooo weeeee! Hot diggetty dawg, what the blazes is goin' on over there in the Old World? Or as some of 'em might say: Was ist los?
Europeans are incensed over the marketing of coffee cream packets that contain an image of Adolf Hitler!
It's a "sick joke...absolutely evil and outrageous," said one German.
It's a "bizarre and outrageous piece of marketing," said one Swiss businessman.
The offensive cream packets were produced for a Swiss dairy company and distributed by Switzerland's largest supermarket chain.
There are so many levels of sick humor in this story that it is hard to list them all.
Let's just limit ourselves to the top two items: First, the fact that the Swiss remained neutral during World War II and gladly handled much of Hitler's loot; Second, the fact that none of these outraged Europeans object to products that feature images of Che Guevara.
Never mind the fact that Europeans love their apartheid vacations in Castrogonia, as well as the young cheap Cuban whores.
And let's gloss over the fact that the same dairy company issued a Mussolini creamer that evoked no response whatsoever. (Well, you know, those olive-skinned "Latins" love strong men as rulers and deserve them).
The double standard has just doubled down on itself. Time to stock up on those Che bongs, Europotheads!
"Dude, wo ist mein Che Wasserpfeife?" "Und wo ist meine schwarze kubanische Hure?" (Dude, where is my Che water pipe? And where is my black Cuban whore?)
Check out a small sampling of the Che products available everywhere throughout Europe, including Switzerland: (Or check out this online store)
From the undisputed king of tabloid journalism, The Daily Mail:
Bad taste? Outrage as Swiss coffee company uses picture of Hitler’s face on novelty milk lids
* Lids showing the faces of dictators were spotted in Graubunden and Aargau
* They were distributed by Switzerland's largest supermarket chain Migros
* Outside company had commissioned lids featuring vintage cigar labels
A Swiss coffee company has been forced to withdraw novelty milk lids featuring the image of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler after they were spotted by German businessmen in a city centre cafe.
Lids showing the faces of Hitler and Mussolini were spotted by a group Germans while having a coffee break in a cafe in the city of Coire, in the eastern Swiss region of Graubunden.
The plastic take-away packaging showing the fascist dictators' portraits inside a gold frame were distributed by Switzerland's largest supermarket chain Migros.
Christian Shuster, 47, from Germany, who was on a business trip in Switzerland said: 'Our Swiss colleagues took us down to the coffee shop and when the waitress brought them over we saw the face of Hitler staring up at us from one of the cream containers.
'I couldn't believe it and at first thought it was some sort of sick joke being played by my colleagues.
'But then we saw the other containers also had the face of Hitler on and some had Mussolini.
'This is just absolutely evil and outrageous.'
The cream lids were also found at a takeaway food kiosk in Switzerland's northern Aargau region.
Shocked customers complained in droves after being handed them with their takeaway coffees.
Kiosk owner Albert Erni, 33, said: 'To be honest, I hadn't even looked at them so when people started complaining I wasn't sure what they were talking about.
'But then I looked and, yes, was pretty shocked too.
'It seems like a very bizarre and distasteful piece of marketing.'
Continue reading this absolutely hilarious story HERE.
Just another among the many pesky facts that contradict the apartheid Castro dictatorship's propaganda narrative as disseminated by its American "Cuba Experts" and their all too willing media accomplices. So tell me again how sending millions of U.S. tourists to vacation in Cuba in one of the Castro mafia's hotels or resorts helps the enslaved Cuban people.
Via Capitol Hill Cubans:
Castro Mafia, Inc. CEO and President, Raul Castro.
Hotels Magazine: Cuban Military is Latin America's Largest Conglomerate
Hotels Magazine, a leading industry publication, has released its compilation of the world's 325 largest hotel companies and consortia.
The list is topped by the likes of the U.K's InterContinental Group (#1), the U.S.'s Hilton (#2) and Marriott (#3), and France's Accor (#6).
Meanwhile, the largest Latin America-based hotel conglomerate is Cuba's Grupo Turismo Gaviota (#55).
Think about this: Gaviota -- on its own -- is larger than any Mexican, Brazilian, Chilean, Argentinian, etc., hotel company.
Of course, Gaviota is owned by the Cuban military ("MINFAR"), through a conglomerate called GAESA (headed by Raul Castro's son-in-law, General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas).
Also appearing independently on the list are Cuba's Grupo Cubanacan (#171), Hoteles Islazul (#231), Grupo Hotelero Gran Caribe (#287).
These are all also owned by Cuba's MINFAR, through GAESA.
Thus, if calculated together, GAESA would be the 34th largest hotel company in the world -- ahead of the Walt Disney Company.
And that's just hotels. It doesn't include all of the other business sectors (retail, transportation, arms trafficking, etc.) under GAESA's direct control.
This is the sad legacy that millions of Canadian and European tourists have left Cuba over the last two decades.
Has it brought freedom to the Cuban people? Or prosperity? Quite the contrary.
Meanwhile, the Castro regime, along with its apologists, operatives and cohorts, lobby tirelessly for the U.S. to add millions of its tourists to this calculation.
That would surely place GAESA in the Top 10.