Obama invites enemy spies to U.S. Military brainstorming sessions (this is NOT from The Twilight Zone!)

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Amigos, please read these short items carefully, including the dates. If you conclude that I MUST be plagiarzing from some episode of the Twilight Zone–if you conclude that this CANNOT POSSIBLY BE (!!!) the foreign policy of a man TWICE elected president of the Unites States….well, just follow the links and you’ll discover otherwise.

Testimony from General James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, Washington D.C.Feb 9, 2016:

“The threat from foreign intelligence entities…is persistent, complex, and evolving. Targeting and collection of US political, military, economic, and technical information by foreign intelligence services continues unabated. Russia and China pose the greatest threat, followed by Iran and Cuba…”

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Indeed, Gen. Clapper, Castro’s spies  are responsible for the deepest and most damaging penetration of the U.S. Defense Dept. in recent history. To wit:

In 2002 KGB-trained Cuban spy Gustavo Machin who worked in the “Cuban Interest Section” (embassy) in Washington D.C. was expelled from the U.S. in relation to the most damaging penetration of the U.S. Department of Defense in recent history. The convicted Cuban spy is named Ana Belen Montes, known as “Castro’s Queen Jewel” in the intelligence community. She was convicted of the same crimes as Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and today she serves a 25-year sentence in Federal prison.  Gustavo Machin was believed to be her accomplice in stealing U.S. military secrets for sale to the highest bidders among America’s enemies worldwide.  The only thing that saved Montes from frying in the electric chair like the Rosenbergs was a plea bargain. The only thing that saved Gustavo Machin from the same frying was his “diplomatic immunity.”

In 2001 members of a Castro spy ring known as the “Wasp Network,” were convicted in U.S. federal court. Some were sentenced to as much as two life sentences for conspiracy to commit murder. The FBI affidavit against them included:

*Gathering intelligence against the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Homestead, Fla.

* Compiling the names, home addresses and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers.

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Now, Gen. Clapper can you please explain this:

The U.S. military’s Southern Command just ( Jan. 26-29th) held an annual “Caribbean regional security conference” to which KGB-trained senior Cuban spy Gustavo Machin was kindly invited to participate.

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“Le RRRRRRRONCA!!!!!”

Cuba, a false realm of redemption

The Editorial Board of Diario de Cuba:

Cuba, a false realm of redemption

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Relations have been severed between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church for almost a millennium, but now their two leaders will meet at the José Martí Airport for talks.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana and the progress made in the standoff between the two countries, that stems back half a century, seems to have burnished Cuba’s fame as an ideal site for diplomatic meetings. The Colombian government and that country’s guerrillas have met there to negotiate, and the Pope and Eastern patriarch will also seek to overcome a millennium of disagreements on the island. Kirill is touring Latin America, while Francis will stop over in Havana on his way to Mexico.

General Raúl Castro, who appeared in the picture in which Juan Manuel Santos and “Timoshenko” shook hands, will be on hand to host and facilitate this new event. The repressor of national dialogue and any and all differences in his country, and the head of the Hemisphere’s sole dictatorship, will once again receive the Pope’s blessing.

During his visit in September 2015 Francis exhibited signs of complicity with the regime. Though provided proof and news of its repressive ways, he decided to look the other way. By choosing Havana for this momentous meeting, rather than Mexico or another Latin American country, His Holiness furnishes the dictator with even more legitimacy, bolstering his role as a conciliatory figure.

With papal consent, the historic summit between the churches will again establish Cuba as a false realm of redemption, in which foreign clashes dating back centuries can be overcome – but where it is forbidden to even suggest the commencement of such talks between the host country’s own people.

Obama’s arbitrary decision to award Cuba’s dictatorship a trademark they stole questioned by bipartisan group of lawmakers

Although the U.S. has yet to receive anything of value from Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship in return for the multitude of concessions President Obama has showered on island’s apartheid dictatorship, the White House continues to lavish the murderous and criminally corrupt Castro regime with gifts. And in this case, the gift actually belongs to someone else.

Via The Wall Street Journal:

Lawmakers Question U.S. Decision to Give Rum Trademark to Cuba

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BF-AK801_CUBANR_D_20160115200302.jpgA bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers said they are concerned about the Obama administration’s decision last month to award a trademark for Havana Club rum to the Cuban government.

In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Tuesday, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), along with 23 other lawmakers, said they feared granting the trademark could undermine protections for American intellectual property rights holders.

Of the Democrats who signed on, eight of 11 are from Florida. Ms. Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, hasn’t enthusiastically embraced Mr. Obama’s policy shift with Cuba. She has said previously that she is considering the policy shift and hopes Mr. Obama will use it to press Cuba to improve human rights.

“I’ve been firmly committed to protecting the intellectual property rights of American companies, and I was pleased to join this letter with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and many of my Florida colleagues,” she said in a separate statement, without singling out Cuba.

Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said the U.S. decision to grant the trademark to Cuba was “politically motivated” by the Obama administration’s move to normalize ties with Cuba.

“This original family’s factories and trademarks were confiscated by the Castro regime and the U.S. government should not take any action which would embolden any foreign entity that could confiscate U.S. trademarks and intellectual property,” she said.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control decided last month to grant a license to state-run Cubaexport to renew an expired trademark registration for Havana Club rum in a move that has reignited a decades long battle tension between Bacardi Ltd. and the Cuban government over the use of the Havana Club trademark in the U.S.

Read more

The party is on in Cuba

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University of Miami’s Dr. Jaime Suchlicki in the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies’ Cuba Focus:

The Party is On

The Cuban Communist Party will be holding its VII Party Congress in April, 2016. This comes amidst one of the worst economic conditions in half a century. Cuban export prices of nickel and sugar are at depression levels. Venezuela is reducing its exports of petroleum to the island. Tobacco growing is going thru a major crisis. Brazil and Venezuela seem less and less capable of paying for Cuban doctors, the most important export item of the Cuban economy. Cuba’s crumbling infrastructure requires billions to maintain and repair years of neglect. While tourism and remittances have increased significantly, they are not enough to deal with Cuba’s mounting economic problems and the growing impoverishment of its population.

These daunting problems will challenge an intransigent leadership unwilling to open and modernize the country. The Party, the leading force in the country, is a rubber stamp group supporting and approving the rulings of its Politburo. The 14 members of the Politburo (8 military and 6 civilians) led by General Raul Castro, is where the real power resides in Cuba. They are adamant about not opening the political process and continue to cling to a centralized planned economy, a model that failed in Eastern Europe and has failed in Cuba.

What to expect?

1. No political changes with continued repression.

2. The redefinition of the economic model along centralized planning with decentralized implementation.

3. The reduction in state subsidies and payrolls; minor steps allowing limited, private enterprises and more measures to attract foreign investment.

4. The retirement of older and the promotion of younger leaders that would guarantee a smooth and orderly succession once the original leadership disappears.

5. Two leaders, in particular, will be highlighted as guarantors of the continuity of the regime. General Alberto López-Callejas, General Raul Castro’s son-in-law and head of GAESA, the largest conglomerate of state businesses in the island, and Alejandro Castro Espin, Gen. Raul Castro’s son and currently a colonel in charge of coordinating the military and intelligence services in the country.

6. Gen. Raul Castro, which has promised to step down from Cuba’s presidency in 2018, most likely will be reelected as Secretary General of the Party, thus assuring that he will remain at the helm of the Party and the military; thus guaranteeing the continuity of the system. The appointed next president Miguel Díaz-Canel will be confirmed as a ceremonial figure.

The Cubans will watch in bewilderment and disappointment understanding that the tough times are not about to go away anytime soon. Disillusionment will increase as more people migrate.

Reports from Cuba: Castro regime censors blog calling Raul Castro responsible for UMAP

Diario de Cuba via Translating Cuba:

Castro Regime Censors Blog Calling Raul Castro Responsible For UMAP*

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A blog on sexual diversity, Proyecto Arcoiris (Rainbow Project), housed in the government-run blogging platform Reflections, has been censored by the regime after addressing UMAP and publishing a text attributing the responsibility for it to Raul Castro, according to the Global Voices international network of bloggers.

Those responsible for censorship alleged that the blog broke the rules for participation on the site and that the text “defamed the Revolution,” explained blog author Yasmine Silvia Portales Machado to Global Voices .

The censored paragraph from the Rainbow Project blog that refers to the Military Units to Aid to the Population (UMAP) is hosted here; but currently readers get a message that says “This site has been archived or suspended.”

The fragment is part of the text “Cuba’s Mariela Castro and Historical Reparations,” published in December in Havana Times by activist and member of the Rainbow Arc Jimmy Roque Martinez.

Roque called on the General Raul Castro to apologize and accept responsibility for the internment of homosexuals in the UMAP camps.

From his point of view, not accepting responsibility and not apologizing for such acts “are proof of the homophobia” of the current leaders of the island and a sign that they are not repentant.

In the article, the activist says the General and others who are “still alive” as “those maximally” responsible for the camps where dissidents, religious and gay people were defined.

“It’s been 50 years since the creation of UMAP said Roque and not a single official has apologized to the people.”

He also said that “the minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) from that time is now the country’s president,” referring to Raul Castro.

“It is now time for them to apologize for that act of penalization, exclusion and punishment to which they subjected thousands of homosexuals and Cubans with ‘improper conduct’,” said the activist.

Roque demanded that “those responsible, every single one of them, must recognize their error, and ask for a real apology directly to the victims and their families, as the only way of historical reparation.”

The state platform Reflections groups blogs written from the island and is the only one from the island that provides this service. It is managed by the Youth Computer and Electronics Clubs (JCCE), under the Ministry of Communications.

Reflections is accessible from abroad, although it is not possible to create a blog from outside the island, nor to manage it from abroad even if it was created in Cuba. Operating a blog on Reflections requires that the blogger access the blog from a JCCE site.

Obama Cuba policy ’empowers’ Castro henchman in charge of apartheid regime’s human trafficking operation

President Obama’s Hope and Change Cuba policy continues to “empower” Cubans. The problem is that the only Cubans getting empowered are the Castros and the minions they entrust with running their murderous and repressive dictatorship.

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Obama “Empowers” Castro Henchman on Human Trafficking

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Colonel Mario Mendez Mayedo

Under a veil of secrecy, the Obama Administration acknowledged that it recently held “technical meetings” with the Cuban regime on human trafficking.

The meetings took place from February 1-4 in Miami, Florida.

Yet, the State Department didn’t acknowledge the meetings until February 5 — and perhaps wouldn’t have done so if The Miami Herald hadn’t been tipped off and revealed it.

Perhaps the secrecy was partly due to the unsavory characters being flown in for the meetings — let alone their content.

The Cuban regime was represented by a nefarious henchman from Castro’s Ministry of the Interior (MININT) — Colonel Mario Mendez Mayedo.

The MININT is the organ of Castro’s domestic state security and secret police apparatus. It’s responsible for vigilance, espionage and political repression. It’s akin to the Soviet KGB or East German Stasi.

Specifically, Col. Mendez Mayedo is the head of the MININT’s Identification, Immigration and Foreigners department.

In this role, he is responsible for the national identity-card that keeps track of all Cubans, their whereabouts, networks and activities. He is also responsible for tracking the movement of all foreigners who visit Cuba.

(Isn’t it curious how just two days before Obama’s announcement on December 17th, 2014, the MININT announced a new system for Cubans who run “casa particulares” that immediately reports and identifies foreigners staying in their homes?)

The MININT spares no expense for the latest technology to monitor all Cubans, particularly their political activities. They also keep a watchful tab on every foreigner who visits the island. (Yes, even those who ingenuously believe they are not being watched.)

Col. Mendez Mayedo is also frequent traveler to Venezuela, where he oversaw the implementation of the passport and national-identity card system of the Chavez-Maduro regime for its domestic intelligence service (SEBIN).

Adding irony to insult is the fact that the Obama Administration would welcome this henchman to discuss “cooperation” in human trafficking.

Not only is the Castro regime one of the world’s worst perpetrators of state-sponsored human trafficking, but the Obama Administration remains under Congressional scrutiny after a Reuters investigation last year revealed that human-rights experts at the State Department concluded that trafficking conditions had not improved and Cuba did not deserve to be upgraded from a bottom Tier 3 ranking to Tier 2.

Continue reading HERE.

The International Bill of Human Rights and Cuba’s failure to ratify

Human rights do not exist in Cuba, but that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for many Americans, including the president.

John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

The International Bill of Human Rights and Cuba’s failure to ratify

Two important anniversaries

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2016 marks an important anniversary. Fifty years ago on December 16, 1966 two important human rights covenants were opened for signature: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that came into force on January 3, 1976 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that came into force on March 23, 1976. Together they are known as the International Bill of Human Rights. The Human Rights Action Center, founded by human rights pioneer Jack Healey in 2010 prepared the following video explaining the two covenants.

Eight years ago on February 28, 2008 the Cuban dictatorship signed both covenants. Less than a year later on January 28, 2009 representatives of the Cuban government extended an invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture that was never allowed by the regime.

Continue reading HERE.

Geandy Pavon’s photo exhibit ‘Cuban Americans’ opens in New York City

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Via The New York Times:

Cuban-American Exile Up North

Despite Chris Matthews’s dismissive characterization of Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as “two Cuban guys,” the fact that they placed first and third in the Iowa caucuses is a milestone in Cuban-American history. In the more than half-century since Cubans went into exile and remade their lives in the United States, they have transformed cities like Miami and attained success in business and industry.

Geandy Pavón, an artist who left Havana for this country in 1996, understands that image and its impact. “It’s like, ‘Look at what Cuba lost,’?” he said. “That’s true, but what interests me is to photograph other parts of Cuban-American life. The ideas people have about Cuban-Americans are stereotyped. It’s complicated to just sell the idea of a happy exile.”

For most of 2015, Mr. Pavón dwelled on the hyphen between Cuban and American, looking at the lives of more-or-less ordinary people, many of them living just across the Hudson River from New York in New Jersey. From meals to parties, or scenes of daily life to urban missionaries, he explored a world that is off the radar for many mainstream audiences. His exhibit “The Cuban-Americans” — and, yes, that is a nod to Robert Frank — opens today at the Cervantes Institute in New York.

Continue reading and view slideshow of the exhibit HERE.

What would Beny More say about two Cubans running for president of the US?

It is a matter of incredible pride.   Two sons of Cuban immigrants are now very serious candidates for president of the US.   In fact, one of them won the Iowa caucus and the other leads in general election polls.

Politics aside, it reminds me of that Beny More song that we played on my parents’ turntable:   “No hay tierra como la mia”

Reports from Cuba: Four questions for you, President Obama

Yuslier Saavedra in Translating Cuba:

Four Questions For You, President Obama

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14ymedio, Yuslier L. Saavedra, La Salud (Mayabeque Province), 8 February 2016 — Mr. President, I am a young Cuban woman who lives in Cuba and I do not want to leave. Exile hurts and I lack the courage to miss my homeland. I want to stay in Cuba and the reality of my people leaves me with many questions. I think it is up to Cubans alone – all of us without exception – to resolve our problems; peaceful change toward democracy is ours and is in us. I dream of a sovereign people, with self-determination because we have a voice, rights and freedom. I dream of an independent, democratic and sovereign Cuba, where there is a genuine Rule of Law and Democracy, the indispensable foundations for Cubans to be able to achieve prosperity and well-being.

You have said you want to help Cubans to improve our quality of life, which leads me to ask you some questions:

  • What has improved in Cubans’ quality of life since 17 December 2014?
  • You have called Raul Castro ‘president’; does this mean you consider him your counterpart?
  • Can a dictatorship turn itself into a democracy?
  • Do you believe that the dignity of the human person, as well as his or her well-being and quality of life starts with rights?

Thank you for your time.

Some election day humor: Christie’s new full-time occupation

Great Satire from Andy Borowitz in The New Yorker

Christie Quits Race to Focus on Tormenting Rubio

NEW HAMPSHIRE (Satire from The Borowitz Report)—In a stunning announcement on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that he was dropping out of the Presidential race to focus his energies on tormenting Florida Senator Marco Rubio full-time.

“At the end of the day, running for President was interfering with what I really love, which is making Marco Rubio’s life a living hell,” he said. “Now I can get up every morning and spend all day just doing that.”

Christie said that he had tired of fielding questions about ISIS, immigration, and the economy and having to find some contrived way of answering them with a scathing attack on Rubio. “Don’t get me wrong, I was great at it,” he said. “But it’ll be so much easier to just get out there and start tearing him apart with no pretext whatsoever.”

The New Jersey governor, who plans to bring his message of character assassination to all fifty states, did not indicate how he would finance this mission. “I’ll pay for it myself if I have to,” he said. “If, looking back on my life, I can say that I ground Marco Rubio into the dirt, I will die a happy man.”

Asked what his first stop would be after leaving the campaign trail, Christie said, “I want to reconnect with my family, hug my kids, and tell them what a douche Marco is.”

Beyonce’, The Black Panthers and Che Guevara

“Che Guevara is not dead! His ideas are with us! (Black Panther Party “Honorary Prime Minister” Stokely Carmichael, seen above-right lionizing Che Guevara in 1967.)

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“The Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities and drink, the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent. (That’s NOT David Duke–it’s Black Panther hero and icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara.)

“The Negro has maintained his racial purity by his well known habit of avoiding baths.”  (That’s NOT David Duke–it’s Black Panther hero and icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara.)

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“A great service for the cause of decency and human freedom. Deservedly puts Che Guevara in the ash-heap of history. Every American should read this book.” (David Horowitz on Exposing the Real Che Guevara.)

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“Le RRRONCA!!!”