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  • Gallardo: Asombra, your enlightened words are always a pleasure to read. However, I have long concluded that USA is indeed responsible...

  • asombra: Carlos, the monkeys are hideous. The top one reminds me of Woody Allen, and the paired ones remind me of Mia Farrow. Yikes.

  • asombra: “If the desired ultimate result is truly the democratization of our nation…” Sorry, but that is NOT the goal...

  • asombra: It never ceases to strike me how these two bastards who were NEVER real soldiers and NEVER risked their own necks spent DECADES...

  • asombra: Such classy people, our dictators. As classy as they look.

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realclearworld

Ben Stein: Obama’s Cuba policy is pay-off for his Castro-loving leftist buddies

Via Fox News:

Ben Stein: Normalizing relations with Cuba is Obama ‘paying off his Castro-loving lefty buddies’

Ben Stein (Fox News - Screencap)

Appearing on the Fox Business Network’s Cavuto on Business, political commentator and former game-show host Ben Stein dismissed the economic implications of normalizing relations with Cuba, calling it a “payoff” from President Obama to his “old lefty buddies.”

Asked by host Neil Cavuto what the US stands to gain by normalizing relations with the embargoed island nation, Stein responded by saying it was just Obama making good on a promise to his “buddies” from back in his “community organizer days.”

“This is a payoff to Obama’s old lefty buddies, who’ve always loved Castro,” Stein replied. “The whole thing has no economic significance to us. It’s just a way of saying to his old lefty buddies, from long long ago community organizer days, ‘See I kept my promise to you, I’m going to be easy on Castro, make friends with Cuba, you can count on me. I’m still in there with the venceremos brigade.’ ”

Stein went on to call renewing relations with Cuba after 54 years, “unbelievable.”

Fox Business Network correspondent Charlie Gasparino joined in by spreading the attack to the New York City Council and Congress, while calling the current mayor: “Comrade Bill de Blasio.”

“If you listen to certain members of the New York City Council, or maybe even our wonderful mayor, Comrade Bill de Blasio, and even members  of Congress,” he claimed. “There’s a whole contingent of lefties that think Cuba is good because they provide socialized medicine, and a few other perks, for comp in chicken exchange totalitarianism, and they want us to appease anything they do.”

Watch the video below, uploaded by Crooks & Liars:

Money talks, B*llshit walks (on looming tourism “boom!” to Cuba…what boom?” investors ask)

godfather-part-ii

As frequently mentioned hereabouts, you almost can't fit any more tourists into Cuba. The place has long been almost maxed-out in this regard. 3 million tourists last year, for instance...Castro's military the biggest hotel owners in the hemisphere, for instance...In the Caribbean only the Dominican Republic gets more tourists.

And Dominican tourism officials (unlike Cuba "experts") actually know the score on this issue. To wit:

"When contacted by Bloomberg, officials at the Dominican Tourism Ministry cited comments by Minister Francisco Javier Garcia in December, when he said that competition from Cuba is "nothing new" since the country has competed against its neighbor for tourists from Europe and Canada for decades.

Bond investors have also shrugged off the (U.S.) detente. Dominican dollar bonds have returned 13 percent since the Obama-Castro announcement Dec. 17, compared with a 6 percent gain for emerging markets, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s EMBIG index."

How Tourism Foments Repression 101: This is what happens in Cuba as foreign tourists frolic

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Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

How Tourism Foments Repression 101

This week's re-introduction of legislation fomenting tourism travel to Cuba is a good opportunity to remind people how this enterprise foments repression in totalitarian states; particularly in Cuba, where it's one of the Castro dictatorship's top sources of income.

Watch below (or click here) for a short video from the International Society for Human Rights called "Tourist Paradise," which explains it interactively:

Obama’s ‘Hope-in-Change’ in Cuba: Human rights activist beaten and arrested by Castro State Security

So... tell us again how Obama's policy of appeasement and complete capitulation to Cuba's repressive apartheid regime is supposed to help Cubans gain freedom and respect for human rights.

Via Uncommon Sense:

Hope in change | Cuban police arrest, beat activist in Havana

Leudis Reyes tambien golpeadoLeudi Reyes Cusa

Leudi Reyes Cusa's name probably will never come up with American and Cuban officials face each other across the negotiating table, but what happened to him last is important for what it says about the situation on the ground across the island.

Reyes, an activist with the Orlando Zapata Hardline Front, was beaten and arrested by Cuban police near his workplace in Havana, according to a report from Hablemos Press.

The beatings continued even after he was handcuffed, according to Reyes' wife.

Reyes is currently being held at the Havana detention center known as VIVAC.

Hablemos Press has more details.

Reports from Cuba: Do Obama’s measures promote democratic change on the Island?

By Antonio Rodiles in Diario de Cuba via Translating Cuba:

Do Obama’s measures promote democratic change on the Island?

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-05ZaarzPywA/UKZwXO0es4I/AAAAAAAAAKc/T1XW0MrQZ3I/s1600/antoniorodiles.jpgDiario de Cuba, Antonio G. Rodiles, Havana, 28 January 2015 — The recent visits to Havana by American legislators and by Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, have reawakened controversy over the transparency in the process of political dialogue between the Obama administration and the Castro regime. So far, the aim of furthering a previously determined plan has been evident, as well as raising the profile of those political actors who support and conform to this policy.

Indispensable voices from the opposition movement have been conspicuously absent from the meetings held. Equally apparent was the reluctance to have a balance of opinions in these contacts.

On multiple occasions, in support of the new policy, the Obama administration has posited the premise that the Cuban people should be the ones who guide the process of change on the Island. This pronouncement implicitly seeks approval for the new measures and opens the door to strong criticisms of those of us who reject the unconditionality — and the notable lack of transparency and consensus — that have characterized the start of this process.

This premise, presented simplistically and with an added dose of false nationalism, tries to label those of us who demand firm commitments to the advancement of democracy and human rights,as individuals who are incapable of assuming our political responsibilities — stuck in the past or wanting foreign governments to come in and make the needed changes. The administration’s theory is curiously parallel to the old idea of “national sovereignty” employed by the regime for so many years and echoed as a part of the arguments of the self-declared “loyal” opposition.

Do Obama’s measures promote the Cuban people’s empowerment, insofar as their civil and political rights are concerned? Can the opposition generate a broad social compact, given the degrees of control, repression and impunity with which the regime operates? Are there guarantees that the new measures will generate a Cuban entrepreneurial class in the medium term? Can Cuban society move toward a Rule of Law, given the atomization, evasion and corruption in which the vast majority of Cubans live?

If we are realists, the answers are obvious. The current Cuba only functions through corruption and patronage. We lack the legal framework that permits the empowerment of the people in any aspect. There cannot exist any broad and extensive leadership by Cuban democrats and entrepreneurs as long as the regime can maintain these high levels of repression and social control without paying a large political price. And a peaceful transition to full democracy requires such leadership.

Peaceful and sufficiently ordered transitions of despotic regimes to democracies have occurred under intense international pressure coupled with an effective internal push. Political results have emerged when these regimes sense that their permanence in power is impossible and they start to fear that a total social collapse will put them in disadvantageous or dangerous situations.

The continued presence of the political heirs as a part of the new system is one of the flashpoints in any transition. Experience also shows that, in the majority of cases, this continued presence brings with it an inheritance of corruption and a web of influences, and that it ultimately hijacks the genuine interests in building full democracies. To allow a transfer of power to the heirs correlates to perpetuating the poverty of the Cuban people, and sacrificing the future of our nation in the medium and long terms.

The dialogue conducted by the current American administration has not achieved even the release of all political prisoners and the annulment of their sentences. Many of the freed prisoners were released conditionally and not to full liberty. Such is the case of the 12 prisoners from the wave of repression of 2003, released in 2010, who decided to remain in Cuba and who now find themselves on parole and prohibited from traveling outside the country. This dialogue also has not managed to prevent further imprisonments and waves of arrests, such as the ones that occurred at the end of 2014 and start of the new year.

To insist on the idea that Cubans don’t understand fundamental rights and that only basic necessities are their priority demonstrates ignorance of our reality and gives a biased view of our genuine democratic aspirations. Freedoms don’t need to be explained; even when they have not been experienced, the human being can recognize them. We Cubans are not the exception.

A probable failure of this political process would be very harmful for all concerned, but most of all for the Cuban people. The Obama administration should combine effective pressure on the regime with the consensual work of a large group of democratic actors from within the Island and in exile. If the desired ultimate result is truly the democratization of our nation, a change of direction is needed.

Translated by Alicia Barraqué Ellison

“Pero que tipo MAS DESCARA’O! este Carlos Eire!” (say The Stones)

experts

"Any of you blokes missed Carlos' new hit "Gimme Gitmo,"--CHECK IT OUT!!!"

carlos23

 

Cuba’s Castros give Obama more demands for ‘normalization’ of relations

Garrincha in Yahoo Noticias:

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"And tell him the other stuff..."

"And another thing, Obama; if you want relations with Cuba, Michelle has to record a salsa dance song and Kerry has to appear in the TV show 'Ugly Betty'!"

Coincidence of the week: A tale of two zoos, three monkeys, and three dictators

Pootie_Poo_Looks_Like

From The People's Cube:

Russian zoo names baby monkey after President Putin

MOSCOW - A peculiar bald monkey, born at the Moscow Zoo during the successful annexation of Crimea and invasion into Ukraine, has been named after Russia's enormously popular president, Vladimir Putin. The baby baboon that some believe brought luck to the Kremlin, will now be known simply as "Pootie-Poo."

Since the monkey was born, Putin's approval rating has remained at 86% without any signs of decline, according to zoo officials. "There's not a politician on earth who can maintain 86% support indefinitely - except our Russian president," says Zoo spokeswoman, Luyda Yedova.

Yedova believes it is due to the luck brought by the bald monkey that the Russian consumers still aren't holding Putin responsible for any of the negative consequences of his Ukraine policy. On the contrary - in spite of the falling ruble and the catastrophic depletion of the country's budget, Putin has become even more politically powerful now than at any other time in the past decade and a half.

Zoo officials say naming the monkey after Putin was "an overwhelming favorite" among many zoo patrons who were sending in name suggestions through the zoo's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Continue reading HERE

From Babalu -- HYPER- EXCLUSIVE

Cuban exile zoo names baby monkeys after Raul and Fidel Castro

MIAMI -- Two monkeys born at noon on December 17 at the Babalu Zoo in Hialeah have been named after the two dictators who have ruled Cuba since 1959.

The monkeys were born at exactly the same time that the current occupant of the U.S.  White House and the current dictator of Cuba announced their historic decision to stage totally useless normalization talks between their two nations.

Zoo officials report that the two monkeys have received so much abuse from visitors -- who yell insults and hurl  laxatives and Santeria hexes into their cage --  that they have been removed to a secret location in the Everglades.

A zookeeper who prefers to remain anonymous revealed that the Babalu Zoo has entered negotiations with the White House, where great interest has been shown for adopting the two monkeys as pets and where a nice sustainable habitat is being built for them in the Oval Office.

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raulcastro8

Barack Obama’s ‘Homer Simpson’ strategy to deal with Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship

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In his remarks at an event titled "The Cuban Moment" at New York University, Cuban American NYU professor and author Enrique del Risco describes how Obama's approach to dealing with Cuba's vile and repressive Castro dictatorship reminds him of Homer Simpson.

Via Enrisco:

The Cuban Moment

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9q5N3QaLzS8/VMnMXelqTnI/AAAAAAAAFYI/hckxBT-5KBQ/s1600/cuban%2Bmoment.jpgI must confess that when I read the news about the normalization of relations between United States and Cuba it reminded me of an episode from the Simpsons. The one in which Mr. Burns and Homer escape to Cuba with a trillion dollar note just about the same time Fidel Castro finds out that his regime is on the verge of bankruptcy and he has to resign. When Mr. Burns and Homer are brought to Castro’s presence the Comandante asks them to let him see the note. Although Mr. Burns has doubts, Homer encourages him saying “Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the president of Cuba”. Of course, Castro doesn’t give back the bill, and in the next scene Mr. Burns and Homer are crossing the Florida Strait in a raft.

It seemed to me that on December 17th, the president of the United States was playing Homer Simpson’s part. This is not because I’m a supporter of the embargo because I am not. I just think that in taking this bold step, Mr. Obama has been as naïve as Homer Simpson. When he outlined his position, Obama seemed confident that the normalization of relations with Cuba and the free circulation of American tourists would do what half a century of a more aggressive approach failed to produce.

Many people think that Obama gave too much for almost nothing: a diplomatic victory and three healthy spies for to a poor guy with some teeth missing. He has shown too much confidence in the good will of Cuba’s leadership and in America’s influence on Cuba’s society. Obama seems to ignore that Cuba is neither as isolated nor under so much ideological control as 30 years ago. He might not be aware either that Raul Castro’s pragmatism points to the switch from a socialist to a capitalist dictatorship.

While Obama sees the normalization of Cuba-US relations as a radically new event, for the Cuban government it is only the next lifesaver that will allow them to survive for five or ten more years, just as the European investments of the 90s did, or the Venezuelan oil of the last 15 years. One of the reasons Castro’s regime is the longest dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere is that it has adapted to every single challenge of the last 56 years, changing many things except its stance against anything that endangers its almost absolute control over Cubans.

Continue reading HERE.

Surprise! Hugo Chavez died three months before his death was announced

download

It's been a rumor for a while, so it's not a real surprise to hear that Chavez's death was hidden from the public.

But this time the rumor is being confirmed by a somewhat credible source:  recent turncoat Leamsy Salazar -- former security chief for Venezuela's top dogs.

ABC Spain published several articles on this charade as it was taking place in late 2012 - early 2013, and Babalu passed on the information.

If it's true -- and there is no good reason for thinking it's not -- this revelation may spur further speculation about Coma-Andante Fidel Castro's current invisible state of being /non-being.

Lying is considered a great virtue among these sociopaths, and the bigger the lie, the more virtuous they feel.

To them, concealing the death of Fidel would be a brilliant, praiseworthy, and extremely useful strategy.

Even though he is no longer in charge, Fidel remains a key mythological and psychological linchpin of the repressive Castro regime.

Raul and his minions have 11.5 million reasons for concealing the death of  the former King and Maximum Tyrant.

Art-Basel_Fidel_Castro

From Breitbart:

VENEZUELAN SECURITY HEAD: CHÁVEZ DIED MONTHS BEFORE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

The former head of security for Venezuela’s Second in Command has defected to the United States, accused his old boss of running an international drug cartel, and now claims that deceased dictator Hugo Chávez Frías died months before the official announcement of his death, hidden from the public eye by current Venezuelan leaders who used his name to pass legislation convenient for them under Chávez’s name.

Leamsy Salazar is the highest ranking military official in the history of Venezuela to defect. Before taking on the position of leading security personally for Diosdado Cabello, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly and second-in-command in the nation’s Socialist Party, he served as the head of security for Hugo Chávez. In this position, he reportedly told U.S. officials, he witnessed how the current government in Venezuela hid the news of Chávez’s death from the public for months.

According to Guillermo Cochez, an ex-ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Salazar told U.S. officials that Chávez died in December 2012 — not March 2013 — this week, after he was confirmed to have arrived in the United States to work on an indictment in the New York Southern District Court against Cabello.

Continue reading HERE.

Ten cuida'o que no te caiga el cadaver encima.... (Be careful, don't let the corpse fall on your head)

Ahi viene Fidel en paracaidas. Ten cuida'o que no te caiga el cadaver encima....
(Here comes Fidel in a parachute. Be careful, don't let the corpse land on your head)

Why American tourists will never bring democracy to Cuba

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The pernicious myth that somehow American tourists vacationing in Cuba's regime-owned resorts and restaurants and pumping billions into the apartheid dictatorship's coffers will cause democracy to miraculously appear on the island is debunked for the 6,792,135th time.

The University of Miami's Dr. Jaime Suchlicki:

American Tourists Won’t Bring Democracy to Cuba
  • Over the past decades hundred of thousands of Canadian, European and Latin American tourists have visited the island. Cuba is not more democratic today. If anything, Cuba is more totalitarian, with the state and its control apparatus having been strengthened as a result of the influx of tourist dollars.
  • The assumption that tourism or trade will lead to economic and political change is not borne out by serious studies. In Eastern Europe, communism collapsed a decade after tourism peaked. No study of Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union claims that tourism, trade or investments had anything to do with the end of communism.
  • The repeated statement that the embargo is the cause of Cuba’s economic problems is hollow. The reasons for the economic misery of the Cubans are a failed political and economic system. Like the communist systems of Eastern Europe, Cuba’s system does not function, stifles initiative and productivity and destroys human freedom and dignity.
  • As occurred in the mid-1990s, an infusion of American tourist dollars will provide the regime with a further disincentive to adopt deeper economic reforms. Cuba’s limited economic reforms were enacted in the early 1990s, when the island’s economic contraction was at its worst. These reforms were rescinded by Castro as soon as the economy stabilized.
  • The assumption that the Cuban leadership would allow U.S. tourists or businesses to subvert the revolution and influence internal developments is at best naïve.
  • American tourists will have limited contact with Cubans. Most Cuban resorts are built in isolated areas, are off limits to the average Cuban, and are controlled by Cuba’s efficient security apparatus. Most Americans don’t speak Spanish, and are not interested in visiting the island to subvert its regime. Law 88 enacted in 1999 prohibits Cubans from receiving publications from tourists. Penalties include jail terms.
  • Money from American tourists would flow into businesses owned by the Castro government thus strengthening state enterprises. The tourist industry is controlled by the military and General Raul Castro.
  • While providing the Castro government with much needed dollars, the economic impact of tourism on the Cuban population would be limited. Dollars will trickle down to the Cuban poor in only small quantities, while state and foreign enterprises will benefit most.
  • Tourist dollars would be spent on products, i.e., rum, tobacco, etc., produced by state enterprises, and tourists would stay in hotels owned partially or wholly by the Cuban government. The principal airline shuffling tourists around the island, Gaviota, is owned and operated by the Cuban military.
  • Once American tourists begin to visit Cuba, Castro would restrict travel by Cuban-Americans. For the Castro regime, Cuban-Americans represent a far more subversive group because of their ability to speak to friends and relatives.
  • Lifting the travel ban without major concessions from Cuba would send the wrong message “to the enemies of the United States”: that a foreign leader can seize U.S. properties without compensation; allow the use of his territory for the introduction of nuclear missiles aimed at the United Sates; espouse terrorism and anti-U.S. causes throughout the world; and eventually the United States will “forget and forgive,” and reward him with tourism, investments and economic aid.
  • Since the Ford/Carter era, U.S. policy toward Latin America has emphasized democracy, human rights and constitutional government. Under President Reagan the U.S. intervened in Grenada, under President Bush, Sr. the U.S. intervened in Panama and under President Clinton the U.S. landed marines in Haiti, all to restore democracy to those countries. Military intervention is not necessarily a policy toward Cuba. The U.S. has prevented military coups in the region and supported the will of the people in free elections. While this U.S. policy has not been uniformly applied throughout the world, it is U.S. policy in the region. Cuba is part of Latin America. A normalization of relations with a military dictatorship in Cuba will send the wrong message to the rest of the continent.
  • Ending the travel ban and the embargo unilaterally does not guarantee that the Castro brothers will change their hostile policies against the U.S. or provide more freedoms and respect for human rights to the Cuban people.
  • Supporting regimes and dictators that violate human rights and abuse their population is an ill-advised policy that rewards and encourages further abuses.
  • A large influx of American tourists into Cuba would have a dislocating effect on the economies of smaller Caribbean islands and even Florida.
  • If the travel ban is lifted without preconditions, Americans and Cuban-Americans could take their small boats from Florida and visit the island. Thousands of boats would be returning to Florida after visiting Cuba with illegal Cuban migrants and goods, complicating security and migration issues in South Florida.
  • If the travel ban is lifted unilaterally now by the U.S., what will the U.S. government have to negotiate with a future regime in Cuba and to encourage changes in the island? Lifting the ban could be an important bargaining chip with a future regime willing to provide concessions in the area of political and economic freedoms.
  • The travel ban and the embargo should be lifted as a result of negotiations between the U.S. and a Cuban government willing to provide meaningful and irreversible political and economic concessions or when there is a democratic government in place in the island.

Gimme Gitmo: New lyrics for classic song

3323_the_rolling_stones

Babalu Exclusive: Lyrics to "Gimme Shelter" changed to reflect Raul Castro's new demands, Rolling Stones asked to premiere new version

(Yeah, 'cause we know the four blokes read Babalu all the time, faithfully, especially now that The Sun has dropped its page three photos)

Mick, Keith, Charlie, Ronnie, get yer ya-ya's out and sing this song for us exiles on Main Street.

We changed your "Gimme Shelter" just a bit,  just a bit.  So perfect, now, you'd make a grown man cry.

Can you hear us knockin'? Be our knights in shining armor, come to our emotional rescue.

We can't get no satisfaction.  Hey hey hey, that's what we say.

The whip's come down .

We've been drowned, washed up, an' left for dead.

We've been stumbling on our feet, shuffling through the street, people askin', t'ch, t'ch, t'ch, "What's the matter with you boys?"

Don't wanna be Raul 'n Obama's beasts of burden.

Start us up.  Our eyes dilate, our lips go green.

Hey hey hey.

Ooo, who, who.

GIMME GITMO!

GIMME, GIMME GITMO!

Gimme Gitmo

Oh, Obama’s offering
Me a deal today
If I don’t take advantage
Oh, yeah, I’m gonna rue the day.

More, askin’, more’s the way to play
It’s just the way I play
More, demandin’ that’s my way
It’s just the way I play

Ooh, my demands are sweepin’
His pretty smile away
Burns like red hot pincers
To see me have my way

Re’parations, bud, that’s my way
It’s just the way I play
More, demandin’ that’s my way
It’s just the way I play

Extortion, murder!
It’s just the way I play
It’s just the way I play

Blackmail, murder!
It’s just the way I play
It’s just the way I play

Exaction, murder!
It’s just the way I play
It’s just the way I play

Negotiation’s threat’ning
His legacy away
Gimme, gimme Gitmo
Or I’m gonna step away

More, demandin’ that’s my way
It’s just the way I play
It’s just the way I play
It’s just the way I play
It’s just the way I play
I tell you love, sister, it's just the way I play
It’s just the way I play
It’s just the way I play
It’s just the way I play
It’s just the way I play
Way I play, way I play

obama-crying

 

“But I thought we had an embargo???…And I always hear that if we lifted it…???”

peter_falk_columbo_2

"In sum, the proof is long in: Record tourism and foreign investment into Cuba = record repression for the Cuban people. Plainly observable proof blew the “libertarian” pipe-dream to smithereens years ago. Alas, these dogmatists never bothered to poke their nose from behind their books on economic theory to observe the real world.

Every shred of observable evidence proves that travel to Cuba and business with its Stalinist mafia enriches and entrenches these KGB-trained, heavily-armed and terror-sponsoring custodians of Cuba’s economy. Thus they remain the most highly motivated guardians of Cuba’s Stalinist and terror-sponsoring status quo.

For anyone genuinely interested in the matter, proof of the so-called embargo’s success is as obvious as proof of Obama’s perfidy in everything from Benghazi to health care. Indeed, it clobbers you on the head. To wit: Getting these sanctions lifted has been the Stalinist, mass-murdering, war-mongering, terror-sponsoring, U.S.-hating, kleptocratic Castro regime’s overriding obsession for half a century.

Actually think about it for a second: If Castro “secretly favors the embargo, because it gives him an excuse … blah … blah” (as Rand Paul bloviates), then why did every one of Castro’s secret agents campaign secretly and obsessively against the embargo while working as secret agents?"

Our friends at World Net Daily help clear-up a few items that be-fuddle almost everyone who resides more than a few centimeters outside the Miami-Dade border.

Reports from Cuba: ‘I Live Happy Because I Live Without Fear’

14yMedio in Translating Cuba:

“I Live Happy Because I Live Without Fear”

El Sexto tells of his incarceration in the Valle Grande prison

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Map of the 4H Company in prison hand drawn by Danilo Maldonado, ‘El Sexto’

Danilo Maldonado, the graffiti artist known as El Sexto, finished a month in prison this January 25. He was arrested while riding in a taxi whose trunk was carrying two live pigs. The animals were painted green and each bore a name written on his side. On one could be read Fidel and on the other, Raul.

The artist’s intention was to release them in Central Park in order to recreate a rural tradition in which one tries to catch pigs with the added difficulty that their bodies are smeared with grease. His frustrated performance art was entitled Animal Farm, in Memoriam.

The light blue Lada that was transporting him was intercepted by three Revolutionary National Police patrol cars. The agents took away the identity cards of Danilo and the vehicle’s driver and took them to the Infanta and Manglar Station. Two days later, they transferred the artist to the Zapata and C unit where a prosecutor told him that he would be taken to trial. He stayed in those dungeons seven days until he was transferred to the central police station of Vivac de Calabazar, where he spent another seven days.

It happened that Vivac was the destination for dozens of arrestees accused of trying to participate in the performance announced by performance artist Tania Bruguera in the Plaza of the Revolution last December 30, which was interpreted by authorities as a counter-revolutionary provocation. Some of those arrested, who learned of his presence at the place, shouted, among other slogans, “Freedom for El Sexto.”

From the Valle Grande prison, where he is now, Danilo has sent us some jail anecdotes and a couple of drawings.

The Tank

When I arrived at Valle Grande they took blood samples for the lab, shaved my head and beard. They also photographed me. During my stay in Vivac, they had diagnosed me with pneumonia, for which reason I was carrying antibiotics with me, but they took them from me and have not seen fit to return them to me so far, nor has a doctor listened to my chest to find out if I am the same, better or worse than when I arrived here. To make matters worse, I am surrounded by smokers who do not care at all that I am sick and asthmatic.

I am in Company Four. They call this place “the tank,” and there are all kinds of people. I met four dissidents from Alturas de la Lisa. Yorlay Perez, Yusel Perez, Santiago Perez and Hanoy.

Fidelito

One day a boy came into the tank who said he knew me from the park and that he followed my work on the streets. This swarthy young man of small stature surprised me when he took off his pullover revealing on his back a tattoo of the face of Fidel Castro. I explained to him that I am an opponent of the Castro regime and that the gentleman he wore engraved on his skin was the one responsible for me being a prisoner.

He responded that he had no family and that he was a “son of the fatherland,” for which reason Fidel had given him a home, and that was not happening anywhere else in the world. I told him that was true, that if he had been born in another country no one would have given him a home, but maybe he could have sought it for himself and that really he owed nothing to Fidel. I told him of the case of Amaury Pacheco, who with a family of six children was harassed into an eviction from an abandoned house in the Alamar suburb, where they had gone so far as to refuse him water and electric service.

Later I found out through another boy, whom I met in Vedado, that it was said that he was with State Security and that he always had a pistol under his shirt. His acquaintances nicknamed him the Hoarse One, but I called him Fidelito.

This son of the fatherland was prisoner for falsification of documents, something he had done in order to leave the country. In a single night he tried to hang himself twice.

Continue reading Reports from Cuba: ‘I Live Happy Because I Live Without Fear’

Here comes the future of Cuba…

Santana in El Nuevo Herald:

http://www.elnuevoherald.com/opinion-es/caricaturas/ro568/picture8528060/ALTERNATES/FREE_960/percart0129