The true legacy of Fidel Castro: A millionaire military dictator ruling Cuba in perpetuity

No amount of lies or propaganda touting nonexistent “advances” by Fidel Castro’s communist revolution in Cuba can change actual facts. Over his half-century reign of terror, this so-called hero of the poor amassed a huge fortune in the hundreds of millions from the sweat and blood of the enslaved Cuban people.

Dr. Hilda Molina in PanAm Post:

The Legacy of Fidel Castro: A Millionaire Military Caste in Perpetual Power

Fidel Castro, despite his socialist ideology, accumulated a massive fortune estimated at $900 million
Fidel Castro, despite his socialist ideology, accumulated a massive fortune estimated at $900 million.

Fidel Castro has died at 90 years of age. He ruled Cuba until his last breath. Since his false retirement, he continued to dominate Cuba’s political life. His brother Raúl never dared to make an important decision without consulting him. Fidel Castro passes on, leaving Cuba literally destroyed; and XXI Century Socialism, his dangerous creation,   has swept across much of Latin America.

I believe that he partially achieved his goals, but not all of them, since he had dreamed of dominating the world since adolescence. He destroyed, sowed hatred and subversion, led all the resentful the world; and thus achieved some of his essential aspirations: power, money, and the illusion of the true revolutionary who never really was.

And in this hour of reckoning, some observations on his legacy:

In 1958 Cuba welcomed with open arms people who emigrated from all continents and came to our beautiful island in search of a better life.

Today we are more than four million who make up the Cuban diaspora. Today we are more than four million Cubans who, far from the land that gave birth to us, try to survive spread throughout all regions of the world, while we remember our island with fond nostalgia.

In 1958 the intelligent and creative Cuban people dedicated their talents to create, to produce, to constantly improve, yearning to leave to its descendants a better Cuba.

Today Cubans are primarily occupied with basic survival, or finding a way to escape the nightmare that the country has suffered for more than half a century.

In 1958 the skilled hands of the Cubans, workers, peasants, professionals, and artists, worked diligently to produce prosperity and happiness.

Today, the Cuban people have been turned into beggars by the Castro dictatorship; we stand with our hands outstretched in a gesture of supplication, waiting for help that will be sent to us by some family member living abroad. And waiting to receive the gifts of foreigners, or suffer at the hands of unscrupulous tourists who amuse themselves at the expense of the humble Cuban people: when they distribute candy in the streets to the poor children of my country; when they seek sexual services from our children, adolescents, and young people; when they give hotel soap to the humble Cuban workers.

In 1958 the Cubans were prepared to die as Christian. Cubans planned to be buried next to the remains of our ancestors, on our dreamy island, that island of the generously fertile earth, that island of the whitest sands, that island of the bluest sky, and the most crystalline sea.

For almost fifty-eight years, thousands of Cubans have died like my mother, in distant countries that welcomed them as children, but far from the land that gave birth to them, and with the infinite longing for the homeland that Castro stole from them.

In 1958 Cubans were respected throughout the world.

Today, the international media, with few exceptions, and the free citizens of the civilized world, congratulate us when the fifty-year Castro dictatorship “gives” us the least bit of freedom. Like the supposed freedom to emigrated. They forget that we Cubans are legitimate children of the human family and as such we are entitled not to handouts or crumbs, but to all the rights and freedoms inherent to the human condition.

In 1958 the Cuban people were a people of faith, intelligence, generosity, forgiveness, and industriousness, devoted to their families and happy.

Today, almost fifty-eight years after the establishment of one of the longest and cruelest dictatorships in contemporary history, the Cuban people continue to suffer the dehumanizing effects of that dictatorship; violent rips and tears in the social fabric of society which ultimately is characterized by depersonalization: loss of self-esteem, horror, despair, disinterest, depletion, ethical moral and spiritual precariousness; the absence of ideals and a means for personal advancement.

Continue reading HERE.

Reports from Cuba: The golden dream of a prostitute

By Gladys Linares in Translating Cuba:

The Golden Dream of A Prostitute

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Cubanet, Gladys Linares, Havana, 5 December 2016 — I don’t remember exactly how much time had passed since I’d seen Cristina, but it must have been more than three years, because today, when I saw her at the home of a mutual friend and asked about her daughter, who had caused her so many headaches, she responded, very content, “She’s good, calm, married and has a son who is about to turn two.”

When Cristina turned 16 and was studying in high school, she started to change radically. At first she made up the story that she was studying with some classmates, and was late or that she slept over at some girlfriend’s house. And so, little by little, until she stopped showing up some night at all, although she continued in high school and some teachers said she was a good student.

Then she left school and started to disappear more often, sometimes even for a week. Desperate, her  mother went out looking for her and tried everything to discipline her, from persuasion to violence, but without results. According to a friend, the young woman said she didn’t continue her studies because even if she graduated she would not be able to meet her basic economic needs, and that what she needed was “a yuma [foreigner] to be able to live well.”

Among her clients was a Spaniard three times her age. This gentleman wanted to meet her mom and came to collect her at home. The girl ended up pregnant. The Spaniard repaired the house, which was in very bad conditions. When the child was born he married her and came by even more often. He took her to live in Spain for a time, but she couldn’t adapt. His family lived there, his kids, his grandkids — some of them older than she was — and she didn’t feel comfortable among them.

Then, he bought her a mansion in La Vibora, on Santa Catalina Avenue. It had land with fruit trees, a swimming pool, servants and it was peaceful. The Spaniard even bought a car for when he was in Cuba, and when her husband was gone she had a chauffeur.

Read more

Unmasking Fidel’s biggest and most widely-believed Big Lie

Free "education"
Free “education”

Question for Cuban exiles:

How many times have you been told by non-Cubans that Fidel can be praised for “teaching Cubans how to read” and for providing Cubans with “top-notch free health care”?

I don’t know about other exiles, but I think I lost count of such remarks when they hit the 1.5 million mark.

Getting billions of people around the world to believe his biggest Big Lie is perhaps Fidel’s greatest achievement.

Here, in the essay below, someone valiantly attempts to expose that biggest of Big Lies.

Free "top notch" health care
Free “top notch” health care

From Diario de Cuba:

Fidel’s best-sold myth
by Roberto Álvarez Quiñones

Free education and public health as the “genuine feat of the revolution” constitute, in my opinion, the best and most sophisticated (dual) myth that Fidel Castro has “sold” to Cubans and the world, among the many that he peddled in his time as a dictator, the longest in modern history.

These social services, at no cost to students and patients, constituted the crown jewel of Castro’s propaganda, due to the human sensitivity they transmitted and their great proselytizing power.

I say that they are the best-sold because the myth endures today, even though it lacks a foundation. And it is the most sophisticated because it is not totally false: from the 60s until 1991 education and public health services were expanded throughout the country.

The myth rests on a deception and a fact that is overlooked:

1) Fidel Castro led everyone to believe that this achievement was due to the communist system  implemented by he and Che Guevara, which he claimed was superior to the “bourgeois” socio-economic models in Latin America and the West.

2) For the past 25 years education and public health in Cuba have been a disaster.

The two key services did achieve remarkable levels … but this was thanks to subsidies from the Soviet Union, and despite the Cuban government’s irresponsible and erratic management of these financial resources. Therein lies the myth.

Due to his narcissism, and for the purpose of political and ideological propaganda, Fidel plowed much of the Soviet money into massive social investments out of proportion with the country’s economy and its degree of development, instead of dedicating it to the actual development of the nation, improving Cubans’ quality of life, and ensuring education and health services that would be indigenous and sustainable rather than based on Band-Aids.

Stating that social progress in Cuba was the product of the centrally- planned state economy was a massive sham. Cuba never would have achieved anything if it had depended on its own economy, the most unproductive and undercapitalized in the Americas. That is, Fidel took the credit while “Uncle Sasha” paid the bills, with aid of 4 to 6 billion dollars annually.

Continue reading HERE 

Esto es una gran falta de respeto !!!
Esto es una gran falta de respeto !!!
Free cremation services for all Maximum Leaders
Free cremation services for all Maximum Leaders

Castronoids busy signing zero-concession accords with Obamanoids

 

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King Raul’s minions are desperately trying to sign as many accords as possible with the lame duck occupant of the White House before his term in office expires.

The Castronoids and the Obamanoids have a strategy: tie as many knots as possible between the two regimes in order to make it hard for the Trumpinator to undo the effects of Normalization Circus.

This strategy may work, at least in part.

Take, for instance, the case of Obamacare, which the Trumpinator will not be able to undo in one fell swoop, but rather in increments.

Top Castronoid Josefina Vidal says she hopes that the Trumpinator will continue the Circus, but only under present conditions.

In other words, the Circus must go on without ANY concessions whatsoever from the Castro regime.

Speaking for all Cubans, Vidal said none of the “principles” that “all Cubans” believe in can be abandoned.

Yes, “principles” such as these: no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom of assembly, no elections, no private property, no free enterprise, no labor unions, etc….

Shakespearean wish of the day: A plague on both your houses!.

Top Castronoid Josefina Vidal
Top Castronoid Josefina Vidal

 

 

From Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters)

Cuba wants to sign accords with U.S. before Obama exit: officials

Cuba said on Wednesday it hoped to sign off on at least half a dozen agreements with the United States before businessman Donald Trump, who has threatened to derail detente between the former Cold War foes, becomes president on Jan. 20.

Cuban and U.S. officials held talks in Havana to discuss what more could be accomplished during President Barack Obama’s remaining weeks in office, agreeing to arrange more high-level visits and technical meetings.

The more Cuba and the United States deepen their detente, the more irreversible it will become, analysts said.

“At the moment we are negotiating 12 more (accords) with the aim to be able to conclude and sign a majority of them,” Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry’s director of U.S. affairs, told a news conference.

The accords would be in areas such as seismology and meteorology, she said, adding that Cuba and the United States had already signed a dozen accords in the two years since they agreed to normalize relations, ending decades of hostility.

They have also opened embassies, restored commercial flights and opened travel options.

But some fear all that is now at stake, given Republican Trump has said he would seek to reverse the opening unless Communist-ruled Cuba gives the United States what he calls a “better deal”.

Vidal declined to comment on Trump’s statements but said she hoped his administration would recognize that the detente had the backing of most Cubans and Americans.

“Cuba would hope the new U.S. government takes into account the results we have achieved… that are backed by the majority of the Cuban population (and) U.S. citizens,” she said.

Cuba was willing to continue improving relations but “within the respect of the existing differences and without having to make any kind of concession to the principles in which Cuba firmly believes,” Vidal added.

In Washington on Wednesday, U.S. lawmakers joined more than 100 Cuban entrepreneurs to urge Trump to continue the thaw.

giphy

Once upon a time when US employers employed Cubans in Cuba

 

As Cuba moves away from Fidel to whatever happens next, we were recently reminded of a pre-Castro story that confirmed just how close the U.S. and the island used to be.       In other words, once upon a time there were US employers in Cuba taking very good care of their Cuban employees.

One of these employers built a town named  Hershey, Cuba:

The town dates to 1916, when Milton S. Hershey, the American chocolate baron, visited Cuba for the first time and decided to buy sugar plantations and mills on the island to supply his growing chocolate empire in Pennsylvania. On land east of Havana, he built a large sugar refinery and an adjoining village — a model town like his creation in Hershey, Pa. — to house his workers and their families.

He named the place Hershey.

The village would come to include about 160 homes — the most elegant made of stone, the more modest of wooden planks — built along a grid of streets and each with tidy yards and front porches in the style common in the growing suburbs of the United States. It also had a public school, a medical clinic, shops, a movie theater, a golf course, social clubs and a baseball stadium where a Hershey-sponsored team played its home games, residents said.

The factory became one of the most productive sugar refineries in the country, if not in all of Latin America, and the village was the envy of surrounding towns, which lacked the standard of living that Mr. Hershey bestowed on his namesake settlement.

This town was indeed very unique, but there were in fact many U.S. employers in pre-Castro Cuba who took very good care of their employees.

For example, my uncle was a draftsman for a U.S. company that operated in his town. He came out of school and was hired by the company.  He worked there for almost 10 years until this plant was expropriated in the early 1960s.

I don’t know whatever happened to my uncle’s employer but he clearly got a raw deal from the communists.  After all, all he ever did in Cuba was to obey the law, pay taxes, and create jobs.

Overall, the communists confiscated many other U.S. investments.   Sadly, the Obama administration did not demand a solution from Cuba and left many U.S. citizens hanging around wondering about the money that was stolen from them.

We will wait longer to see how these investors will be compensated.

It should be one of the issues that demands immediate attention from whatever the new Trump approach is for Cuba.

It did not get proper attention from the Obama administration.  It needs to be addressed so that real jobs can come back to Cuba.

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

Fidel may be dead, but Cuba’s proficient spies continue their work in the U.S.

Fidel Castro may be dead, but Cuba’s corrupt and criminal dictatorship remains a threat to the world and a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.

Sean Durns in The Hill:

Castro’s dead, but his spies live on

castro-spies-the-hill

Although Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died on Nov. 25, 2016, the influence of the intelligence services that he created lives on. Castro, who ruled Cuba with an iron fist for five decades, created a spy apparatus whose outsized impact has extended far from the shores of the Caribbean country.

Cuba did not have a professional foreign intelligence service before Castro seized power in 1959. Under Soviet auspices, it created one in 1961. Initially called the Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI), and later renamed the Direccion de Inteligencia (DI), Cuba’s most important intelligence agency began training its officers in Moscow in 1962. KGB tutelage proved of enormous value, both to the Castro regime and to the USSR.

The DGI quickly developed into an elite service. Brian Latell, a former CIA analyst, noted in his 2012 book Castro’s Secrets, “Many retired CIA officials stand in awe of how Cuba, a small island nation, could have built up such exceptional clandestine capabilities and run so many successful operations against American targets.” In Latell’s opinion, “Cuban intelligence…ran circles around both” the CIA and the FBI.

William Rosenau and Ralph Espach, both senior analysts at the Virginia-based think tank CNA concurred with Latell’s conclusion. Writing in The National Interest, both offered the judgment: “Cuban intelligence services are widely regarded as among the best in the world—a significant accomplishment, given the country’s meager financial and technological resources (“Cuba’s Spies Still Punch Above Their Weight,” Sept. 29, 2013).”

The basis for this claim seems sound.

Cuban intelligence successfully penetrated U.S. national security agencies both during the Cold War and in the years since.  Following his 1987 defection to the U.S., Florentino Aspillaga Lombard, a top official in Castro’s intelligence agencies, exposed dozens of Cuban double agents who had infiltrated various segments of American society, from the government to non-profit organizations. Many of the spies had been living in the U.S. for years.

In retaliation, Castro ordered at least two-failed assassination attempts on Aspillaga—both of them, Latell pointed out, involving people the former Cuban spy knew.

Another of the DI’s successful plants, Ana Belen Montes, spied on behalf of Cuba for sixteen years. Montes, an analyst with the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was sentenced to a 25-year prison term in October 2002.

[…]

More recently, Havana has worked to shore up the anti-American Chavez-Maduro regime in Venezuela and provided Iranian scientists and technicians with the technical know-how for developing and manufacturing large quantities of biological weapons.  In July 2013, a North Korean cargo vessel was seized in Panama with Cuban military equipment aboard.

Internally, Cuban intelligence has been crucial to Castro’s grip on power; assisting in the stifling of freedom of speech and religion, political expression and the imposition of a catastrophic economic system.

Despite his death, Fidel Castro’s repressive regime remains in place. And the spy force he created remains one of its most capable executors.

Read it all HERE.

In Castro’s Cuba, very little separates the sublime from the ridiculous

The photos of the soldiers pushing the broken down jeep carrying Fidel Castro’s ashes is just one of many things that happen in Castro’s Cuba that so effectively eliminate that space between the sublime and the ridiculous.

Eugenio Yanez in Diario de Cuba:

Nothing but a jeep separates the sublime from the ridiculous

fidel-jeep-funeral-broken-down

In Castro’s Cuba, a kind of Macondo in real time, anything can happen. For example, the jeep carrying Fidel Castro’s ashes can even broke down as it enters Santiago de Cuba, with the shrine’s solemn keepers having to get out of the vehicle and push.

Thus, the supposedly invincible Comandante (allegedly able to survive more than 600 assassination attempts plotted by the “imperialists,” according to the fanciful and implausible assertions of his toadies, who never presented any credible evidence of this, because they made it all up) was not even able to complete the Havana-Santiago route: upon entering “the cradle of the Revolution,” the Russian jeep carrying his sublime ashes broke down.

Naturally, the means of transport used for this operation could have easily failed at any time, due to its ever-questionable quality. And yet, this was the type of equipment the dictator imposed from the outset of his regime, insisting on bringing it from the Soviet Union and the “socialist camp,” spurning, even from before the embargo, vehicles and spare parts manufactured by “the empire” – though he personally always liked them, and actually used “capitalist” makes like Oldsmobile, Alfa Romeo and Mercedes Benz. The inefficient and symbolic Soviet armored Chaika that he sometimes used was only for show, to stay on the good side of his friends at the KGB.

In addition to the unreliability of the Russian vehicle used to transport the remains, the lack of training and competence by the country’s transport maintenance professionals was laid bare, as a breakdown was possible even when moving the ashes of the most-hallowed cadaver. What would have happened if the hypothetical “enemy aggression,” caricatured during the recently held Bastion 2016 military maneuvers, had been real? Would the “revolutionary” transport have been able to withstand a large-scale enemy attack when even the jeep carrying Fidel Castro’s ashes breaks down in the middle of the city, and has to be pushed? Was it really a jeep, or a wagon in disguise?

If something like this had happened in Africa or Central America people would he talking about underdevelopment, or the colonialism that fleeced the peoples of the Third World, or any other favorite theme of the violent left wielded to justify its own inefficiency and corruption.

But, for a country where, according to Raúl Castro, his late brother taught Cubans throughout his life that they could achieve anything they could imagine, it is embarrassing, even pathetic, that the late leader’s ashes could not even be carried to their resting place without the vehicle transporting them having mechanical problems.

Incidentally, the phrase “Yes, we can” (Sí, se puede) that Raúl Castro so incessantly repeated at the final funeral ceremony in Santiago de Cuba, with those on hand mechanically echoing him, like trained parrots, was the same as that used by President Barack Obama throughout his presidential campaign in 2008. One would expect genuine revolutionaries to be capable of coming up with some inspirational slogans without borrowing from “imperialist” leaders.

Continue reading HERE.

Fidel the monster who devoured his own minions: testimony from a dead Castronoid’s daughter

The author and her late father
The author and her late father

Fidel Castro was interested in only one thing: staying in power.

If he had to kill some men who had served him loyally so he could keep his crown, he simply ordered other sycophants to pull the trigger.

Anyone who came close to attaining popularity, anyone who showed the slightest admiration for someone else, anyone who looked at him the wrong way, anyone who disagreed with him was a threat.

And what better way is there of instilling fear than to kill those close to you, just to teach a lesson to those who remained close to you?

This essay by the daughter of a loyal Castronoid who was killed by Fidel lays out the brutal simplicity of Fidel’s ruthlessness.

Keep in mind as you read this essay that the man in question was a loyal Castronoid, a colonel in the dreaded Ministry of the Interior who dedicated his life to oppressing his fellow Cubans.

This man was no dissident.  He was a rabid Castronoid who simply rubbed Fidel the wrong way.

Good luck finding any mention of this story in any of Nosferatu’s obituaries, or in the messages of condolence penned by world leaders.

Justin Trudeau should be forced to read this essay over and over, a million times over, day after day, as fitting punishment for the “sorrow” he displayed for the monster Nosferatu.

The Maximum Leader then
The Maximum Leader then

From Translating Cuba

Fidel Castro Sent My Father to the Firing Squad; I Do Not Regret the Tyrant’s Death

14ymedio, Ileana de la Guardia,

Paris, 5 December 2016 – Dawn comes to Paris, this 26 November, the sun barely over the horizon. From the depths of my dreams I hear the phone ring. I don’t want to answer it. It is my husband who does so. His voice tells me:

“He died, he died, wake up! Fidel died!”

I murmur:

“Him again… he comes again to wake me from my dreams.”

Thus it was 27 years ago, when they announced the arrest of my father. And so, this call pursues me like a ghost. No, I don’t want to wake up, he doesn’t have that right.

Some hours later I get out of bed and from my window I can see the Eiffel Tower on the horizon, my symbol of freedom, of my freedom. Then the horrible memories return: the murder of my father, of course, and of all the others who paid with their lives for the blindness of the tyrant.

Is he really dead this time? There is no doubt. I feel relieved, as if freed from the persecution of a maleficent shadow.

The monster died in his bed, without even being bothered by his crimes. The funeral rites are already prepared. Nothing is left to chance. No one is going to spit on his ashes. And yet…

My father, Tony de la Guardia, departed at dawn on 13 July 1989. He didn’t have the luck to grow old, to know his grandchildren, he was a confidant of the tyrant. He had served in difficult military missions, at times secret ones.

On 12 June 1989 he was arrested by the political police. A month later, after a summary trial, which I will allow myself to call Stalinist, Fidel Castro ordered him shot without mercy. He had not betrayed anyone, nor cheated, nor stolen. He had only carried out the orders of Castro himself: “Find hard currency, by any means, to save Cuba from disaster.”

That day the world collapsed around me. I was young, not political, convinced that Fidel Castro — who at that time, like so many of my generation, I nicknamed El Congrejo, The Crab because with him everything was always backwards — taking into account the missions my father had served on, would pardon his life. It wasn’t like that.

At the same time as my father, Arnaldo Ochoa was shot. The great general of the Cuban Army, The Lion of Ethiopia as the Africans called him when he served on missions over there. Another two officials, Amado Padrón and Jorge Martínez, were also sent to the firing squad. My uncle, General Patricio de la Guardia, my father’s twin brother, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, “for failing to promptly denounce his brother,” as the text of the sentence prepared by the prosecutor states. Today he is in Cuba under house arrest.

All these men fell under suspicion because they felt a certain weakness for Gorbachev’s perestroika. Castro had no real proof, just doubts, from statements of discontent made somewhere, in some meeting of officers, at  some family gathering. He had to make an example. Stop this wave from spreading. Be ruthless. Exercise terror to perpetuate his kingdom… Forever.

Continue reading HERE

The Maximum Leader now
The Maximum Leader now

A vigil in Washington D.C. to honor the victims of Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro

As the funeral of Cuba’s brutal and vicious dictator was taking place and his sycophants on the island and throughout the world shed both real and fake tears, a vigil was held in Washington D.C. to honor the victims of the evil mass murderer, Fidel Castro.

Alice Lloyd in The Weekly Standard:

Light in the Shadow of Castro’s Funeral, A Vigil to Honor His Victims

voc-cuba-vigil-weeklystandardHours after Fidel Castro’s state funeral ended a national mourning in Cuba, a small but intent crowd gathered at the Victims of Communism Memorial in downtown Washington, D.C. Dissidents like Sirley Ávila León and advocates from Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation led mourners on a Sunday evening in remembering the Cuban dictator’s actual legacy—when it seemed few others would.

Hours after Fidel Castro’s state funeral ended a national mourning in Cuba, a small but intent crowd gathered at the Victims of Communism Memorial in downtown Washington, D.C. Dissidents like Sirley Ávila León and advocates from Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation led mourners on a Sunday evening in remembering the Cuban dictator’s actual legacy—when it seemed few others would.

The spirit of the vigil offset a dominant narrative, found in fawning eulogies from heads of state, that the murderous commandant was also a hero. Romantic tributes, in honoring Fidel Castro, dishonored his many victims.

Dr. Lee Edwards, who is also chairman of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, remembered by name Cuban martyrs to democracy, sacrifices obscured from their countrymen. “We’re here to remember Oswaldo Paya, and others like him, who suffered and died at the hands of communism,” Edwards said, lest we forget late activist who strove, unto his death, to defend his country against one-party rule.

“We’re also here to tell Raúl Castro and his police and his spies and his corrupt party that the day is coming when there will be a free Cuba—and that day will come sooner than they realize.” Dr. Edwards led us in a chant: Viva Cuba Libre!

But what will it take to free Cuba when the reality of her bondage is too often forgotten and ignored?

“A failure to learn from history,” said Marion Smith, Victims of Communism executive director, is what we face when a dead dictator comes to look like a martyr. “It’s perhaps never been more difficult to speak truth about what is happening in Cuba,” Smith said.

“And without that clear understanding, there can be no hope for a brighter and more just future for the people of Cuba.” In service to a fading hope for Cuba’s democratic future—renewed by Fidel Castro’s death but dampened by a global ruling class that lionized him—we remember those who continue to risk their lives for the island’s freedom.

Continue reading HERE.

Photos from the vigil can be seen HERE.

Fidel Castro: The homophobe who brutalized Cuba’s LGBT community

 

The glossy brochures and fancy internet travel site ads paint a picture of a veritable gay island paradise in Castro’s Cuba. For gay Cubans, however, the reality of life in Cuba as an LGBT person under the tyrannical shackles of the apartheid Castro regime has made Cuba a gay hell.

Deroy Murdock in National Review:

Fidel Castro: Homophobe

Castro is a hero to the international Left — but he brutalized gay Cubans for decades.

fidel-castros-homophobia-anti-gay-dictatorship-cuba-was-brutal-bThe curtain finally fell on one of Earth’s most vicious tormentors of gay people. The seemingly immortal Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died November 25 at age 90. Castro operated a giant Alcatraz from 1959 to 2008 before dynastically handing the jailhouse keys to his dauphin and brother, Raúl.

Often forgiving, sometimes glowing, encomia to Castro by such leftists as President Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada skate past Fidel’s epic homophobia. This is a massive oversight by liberals who call themselves the natural-born allies of gay people worldwide.

“We would never come to believe that a homosexual could embody the conditions and requirements of conduct that would enable us to consider him a true revolutionary, a true Communist militant,” Castro declared in 1965. “A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant Communist should be,” Castro added, as James Kirchick recalled in Sunday’s Daily Beast.

Castro started corralling gays that year, often through cruel lies.

“Many received false telegrams telling them they had been called for military service and should appear at a chosen location — where they would then be rounded into trains, trucks, and buses and sent to the camps with little food or water,” Benjamin Butterworth wrote this week at Great Britain’s PinkNews.com.

These Military Units to Aid Production or UMAPs, by their Spanish acronym, used forced labor to re-educate gays, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others deemed deficient in socialist fervor. Signs at these facilities announced: “Work will make you men.”

UMAP inmates, according to Butterworth, reported being “threatened with execution, stuffed with dirt in their mouths, buried in the ground up to their necks, and tied up naked outside in barbed wire without food or water until fainting.”

“It was a sweltering place without a bathroom,” Reinaldo Arenas, a gay Cuban author, wrote in his autobiography, Before Night Falls. “Gays were not treated like human beings, they were treated like beasts. They were the last ones to come out for meals, so we saw them walk by, and the most insignificant incident was an excuse to beat them mercilessly.”

Castro erected his own Gulag Archipelago of some 200 such UMAP camps before ending this program in 1968. But his state-sponsored homophobia raged on.

Former UMAP inmates were identified as such in their official records. This blocked them from workplaces and classrooms.

Continue reading HERE.

Obama’s message when he sends officials to Cuba for Fidel Castro’s funeral but skips Margaret Thatcher’s

Apparently, Barack Obama believes the funeral of apartheid dictator Fidel Castro is worthy of an official presence of high-ranking U.S. officials while the funeral for historic democratic leader Margaret Thatcher did not deserve any. If the president’s foreign policy message was not clear enough to everyone before, this should add some clarity.

Jarrett Stepman in The Daily Signal:

Obama Sent Top Official to Castro’s Funeral, but Not Thatcher’s. Why It Sends the Wrong Message.

161206_castrothatcheredit-1250x650

President Barack Obama sent high-level administration officials to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s funeral procession last week, a gesture of respect he did not offer for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

After Castro’s death, Obama released a statement saying: “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and the world around him.”

The carefully guarded words made no reference to the legacy of tyranny and destruction Castro left for the Cuban people, nor did it explain how much Castro’s communist ideology played a role in the half-century of humanitarian catastrophes during his regime.

As reported in Conservative Review, “Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser and one of the president’s closest aides,” was sent to attend Castro’s funeral service along with the U.S. ambassador to Cuba, Jeffrey DeLaurentis.

Rhodes became notorious this spring when he boasted of selling a “narrative” about the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal to journalists to push the president’s agenda through Congress.

He was also a key player in opening up relations between the U.S. and Cuba in 2015, ending a long-standing American policy to isolate the communist nation.

The Obama administration failed to send high-level members to Thatcher’s funeral in 2013, which many British saw as a “snub” of their famous leader. Nor was that  the first sharp elbow thrown at legendary British leaders by the Obama administration.

The words and actions of an administration, such as who a president chooses to send to a funeral, have a heightened influence on the global stage without the chief executive ever having to act officially.

As historian Richard Neustadt wrote, paraphrasing President Harry Truman, “presidential power is the power to persuade.” And as Neustadt noted, this power to persuade leads to the more tangible power to negotiate—perhaps the most important presidential role in foreign relations.

That the president seems so willing to symbolically and concretely abandon the “special relationship” the U.S. has had with Britain while going out of the way to tiptoe around the sore spots of the Cuban regime is a reversal of priorities for a nation that stood as a beacon for the free world.

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Reports from Cuba: ‘El Sexto’ moved to a criminal prosecution center

14yMedio reports via Translating Cuba:

‘El Sexto’ Moved to a Criminal Prosecution Center

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The artist Danilo Maldonado, known as ‘El Sexto’ (The Sixth), was transferred Sunday from the police station at Zapata and C in Vedado to the Bivouac Calabazar criminal prosecution center in Havana. The graffiti artist’s mother, Maria Victoria Machado, visited him on Monday morning and told 14ymedio that the prosecution could keep him there for up to two months.

Machado’s meeting with her son only lasted 10 minutes, in which the artist was able to eat food brought from home, but still refused to eat food provided by the prison.

Machado said that the investigator in the case, Fernando Sanchez, informed her that her son could be held “up to 60 days in preventive detention.” The official explained that the detention would be extended “until the file is investigated.” Machado presented a petition for habeas corpus, with legal advice from the independent legal association Cubalex, and in particular from the attorney Laritza Diversent who leads that association.

El Sexto is accused of causing damage to state property, a crime “that does not exist in the Criminal Code,” Cubalex emphasized in an article published on its digital site. “Painting the walls or facades of a hotel constitutes a violation against public adornment. Inspectors of the communal system are entitled to impose, in these cases, a fine of 100 Cuban pesos (roughly $5 US),” says the article.