Mike Gonzalez in The Daily Signal:
Cuban Dissident to Congressional Black Caucus: Stop Helping the Dictatorship
Cuban dissident Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera personifies courage. The petite Afro-Cuban dissident has suffered beatings, imprisonment and sexual harassment at the hands of Raul Castro’s goons in Cuba. And yet she was in Washington Wednesdaycalling for world support for the Cuban people, knowing full well that, as she said, “I will pay for this once I go back.”
The president of Cuba’s Rosa Parks Civil Rights Movement had a clear message for the Congressional Black Caucus, which has always shown a strange soft side for the 55-year communist dictatorship of the Castro brothers: quit giving comfort to Cuba’s racist leadership.
“They should look closely at Cuba’s Council of State, and see how many black Cubans they find there,” Perez said at a small meeting with journalists, think tankers and former diplomats.
And of course, she’s right. A quick glance at the pictures of Cuba’s top government body on their own website reveals that only eight out of 31 are black, and there’s only one black Cuban in the top echelon constituted by seven vice presidents and President Raul Castro.
While racial figures are hard to come by, mainly because Castro’s own figures distort the island’s ethnic makeup (its latest claim that the black population was 10 percent and the white population 65 percent is risible), visitors report that the population that is black or mixed is now a majority. The Economist put it this way in 2008: “Mr Castro’s Cuba is a sad place. Although the population is now mainly black or mulatto and young, its rulers form a mainly white gerontocracy.”
This white gerontocracy oppresses black dissidents with fury. “Around 75 percent of the people in prison are black,” said Perez. “Black Cubans have no rights.”
Perez would like to meet with members of the CBC while she’s here in Washington to explain to them Cuba’s realities. She’s not holding her breath, however. Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.,, Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., and Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., all CBC members, were in Cuba in May, but refused to meet Perez.
“While I was languishing in prison, they paraded around Havana. My sister tried to deliver a petition asking them to come and visit me. They didn’t even accept it,” said Perez, who’s married to Cuba’s best known dissident, Jorge Luís García Perez, known as Antúnez and also as Cuba’s Nelson Mandela. Jorge Perez also constantly suffers imprisonment and beatings at the hands of the regime.
Perez would also like to have an audience with Michelle Obama while here, but she told me that she would not meet with her husband, President Barack Obama. “If it were up to him the embargo would already have been lifted,” she said.
On this Perez is very clear: the moves Obama has made since he took office to have a rapprochement with Cuba’s dictators will end as well as the Russian “reset.” “Lifting the embargo would be dreadful for the Cuban people,” as it would legitimize Cuba’s lawless government, warns Perez. Rather than try to lift the embargo, Obama should “be concerned with the plight of the Cuban people, with the opposition. He’s blinded by the regime!”
Continue reading HERE.
Every night on the 1950's Cuban radio show "La tremenda corte" the character of Tres Patines would cry out "A la reja!" (Goin' behind bars!) .
Tres Patines knew he was guilty as hell and that he deserved imprisonment, and even though he always argued for his innocence, he only did so to irk the judge.
Cristina Fernandez Kirchner should join Tres Patines behind bars, but she won't.
Instead, she'll cry out "We're broke! And it's not my fault!" And she will blame her country's default on "capitalist vultures."
The sad truth is that her socialist policies and those of her late husband and predecessor in the Pink House have wrecked a once prosperous nation, which once welcomed hordes of opportunity-starved European immigrants.
She is an avatar of the Latrine American spirit, and --sadly -- not the only one.
Queen of Latrines, your throne reeks of Castrolatry, and your subjects should toss you in the river, with an inner-tube "rustic vessel" so you can "migrate" to Castrogonia.
But they won't, of course.
Instead, they'll just keep going down the tubes, and thank you for it.
Oye, espera, fotografo de mierda... nos hace falta otra bruja chancletera pa'l conjunto!
From the masters of the stiff upper lip at the BBC:
Argentina has defaulted on its debt - for the second time in 13 years - after last-minute talks in New York with a group of bond-holders ended in failure.
So-called "vulture fund" investors were demanding a full pay-out of $1.3bn (£766m) on bonds they hold.
Argentina has said it cannot afford to do so, and has accused them of using its debt problems to make a big profit.
A US judge had set a deadline of 04:00 GMT on Thursday for a deal. The crisis stems from Argentina's 2001 default.
Late on Wednesday evening, Argentina's Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said the investors had rejected the government's latest offer.
"Unfortunately, no agreement was reached and the Republic of Argentina will imminently be in default," Daniel Pollack, the court-appointed mediator in the case, said in a statement on Wednesday evening....
...."The full consequences of default are not predictable, but they certainly are not positive," Mr Pollack said.
Speaking at a news conference in New York, Mr Kicillof said Argentina would not do anything illegal.
The investors, also known as "hold-outs", are US hedge funds that bought debt cheaply after Argentina's economic crisis.
They never agreed to the restructuring accepted by the majority of bond-holders.
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has described as vultures the minority bond-holders - including Aurelius Capital Management and NML Capital.
She accuses them of taking advantage of Argentina's debt problems to make large profits.
Whole story HERE
No worries, Cristina: I eat vultures and send leftovers in dog bag to Obama.
Juan Tamayo in The Miami Herald:
Independent Cuban journalists in Miami for training
The independent journalists are learning how to use smart phones and social media to do their work.
The nine independent Cuban journalists said that authorities have detained them a total of more than 400 times, usually for reporting news that the Cuban government tries to hide from the island nation’s 11 million people.
One said he uses eight home printers to publish his newsletter, but only two are currently working because ink cartridges are so expensive. Another said he boldly delivers his newsletter to his local Communist Party and government authorities.
They are part of a group of 12 independent Cuban journalists in Miami for three weeks of training on multimedia journalism and the use of smart phones to add quality photos and videos to their reporting. On Wednesday, the nine visited El Nuevo Herald.
With the Cuban government controlling all mass media, including newspapers, television and radio stations, independent or dissident journalists are technically working illegally and are regularly detained and harassed by State Security officers.
Among the nine were a dentist, a man who studied law, a nurse, a chemist, a former worker at a printing plant and even a former lieutenant colonel in the Interior Ministry, in charge of domestic security.
They publish newsletters on paper or digital memories such as USB flash drives, or send their reports to webpages based abroad, where island residents can read them. Supporters also can send the reports back to Cuba on flash drives, CDs and DVDs.
Roberto de Jesus Guerra, 35, said he spent three years in prison and has been detained more than 180 times for his work as founder and director of the Hablemos Press news agency in Havana, which focuses on denouncing government abuses.
The agency also prints 400-600 copies of a newsletter with four to eight pages twice a month, and distributes them around Havana. Three of his contributors also have spent time in prison, added Guerra, who said he milked cows before turning to journalism.
Raul Luis Risco Perez said he served as a lieutenant colonel in the Interior Ministry and fought in Angola before joining the opposition Alianza Democrática in Pinar del Rio province. He has been briefly detained about 200 times, Risco said.
His newsletter focuses more on “social journalism,” he said, and he delivers it to Communist Party and government officials in the province to show that he is working above-board, if illegally.
Cuba’s government has alleged that all such programs are designed to undermine its communist system and branded dissidents as “mercenaries” hired to attack the Castro revolution.
Surreal enough for you yet, NBC ???.... or should we up the dose ????
Via The Devil's Excrement:
And One More Thing…On The Carvajal Affair
So, The Netherlands invoked an article nobody had referred to in the whole affair, to release Hugo Carvajal on Sunday evening. Basically what the Netherlands said was that Art. 13 of the Vienna Convention allows for a Consul named but not accepted to temporarily assume his or her duties. Thus, according to this, Carvajal’s arrest was valid and his release was valid.
It was somewhat sneaky of the Dutch to release Carvajal on a Sunday, without going to the Judge that originally said Carvajal did not have immunity. You would have thought that in a country with Law and Order, the proper procedure and place would have been to go to Court on Monday and request Carvajal’s release.
Most likely, the Dutch Government did not want the US to show up in Court on Monday with the extradition papers, creating a conflict. The Prosecutor in Aruba had said that the extradition was now just a formality and the US just had to provide the required documentation for it to take place.
Clearly, everyone applied pressure, but the weak link did not turn out to be Aruba as I suggested on my first post, but rather The Netherlands, as reportedly even Russia played a role, exchanging concessions on the Ucraine plane for helping release Carvajal. No matter what anyone says or how this is interpreted, it was a severe blow to the US, who would have loved to get Carvajal onshore. The indictments are a doozy, they are sealed indictments in Miami and New York, accusing Carvajal in Miami of helping drug dealers and in the Carvajal Indictment Southern District of NY of :
This is not aiding or helping, this is coordinating the transportation of “only” 5.6 Tons of cocaine to the US, quite a strong accusation, charged by the Grand Jury, no?
Meanwhile, Carvajal is welcomed in Venezuela as a hero and there are few mentions of the fact that The Netherlands declared him persona non grata. What is true according to reports is that Carvajal had been going to Aruba for months and unlikely that he was going to act as a Consul. We will never know what he was doing there, but one can suspect.
The most likely threat by Maduro on the Dutch? That Venezuela would withdraw from the Isla refinery in Aruba. The Netherlands already spends more money that it wants on the ABC islands to have to spend even more.
This story likely ends here for now. Carvajal and his buddies will likely stay away from jurisdictions with a US extradition treaty for quite a long time.
And, of course, no more Disney for you, high ranking Chavistas!
By Yoani Sanchez:
Days to Turn Off the TV
There are days when it’s better not to turn on the TV. Right now, just pushing a button can dump us in an avalanche of official propaganda for the birthdays of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. From July 28 to August 13, the boring national programming will be filled with the cult of personality, ideological kitsch and political sentimentality. Children’s choirs will sing to the “Eternal Commander,” people who barely saw them pass by on the street will share anecdotes, and endless biographical scenes will bombard us from all sides.
“Right now the news has no news,” complained a neighbor who wants to know what is happening in the world and can’t see anything but processions of red and olive green. I felt the same today with the first news of the day. An hour after it started I couldn’t extract the least national or international information, only praise for the “immortal warrior of the race of Bolivar,” and the “wise guerrilla who loved him like a son.” I tend to have little patience with this overdose of flattery, so I turned off the TV and began calling several friends so they could tell me what was going on here and there. At least we have “Lip Radio”!
The ruling party continues to confront the distribution of information, serials and movies in the so-called “combos” or “packets.” However, it makes no real changes in its television programming to attract young people. Instead, the small screen becomes a loudspeaker for slogans and boring material that viewers find annoying and reject. Thus, they can never regain the ground they have lost to illegal satellite dishes, content copied onto USB sticks, and hard disks full of documentaries. If they continue with the ideological excesses of recent days, official TV will, very soon, become a monologue that few listen to.
Lt. Col. Chris Simmos (Ret.) in Cuba Confidential:
Cuba-Russia Propaganda Returns to Cold War Roots
Cuban agent José Manuel Collera
Last week, the blog “Cuba Inside the World” posted a feature titled “Ex CIA double agent to RT: US AID is a front for U.S. intelligence.” However, upon reading the story, one learns that the “ex CIA agent” is none other than admitted Cuban state security agent, José Manuel Collera. So, what we actually have is a Cuban spy making false accusations against the US and using Moscow’s propagandists to spread the story. How very ……unimaginative.
It reminds me of a Cold War joke a good friend once told me. It goes something like this:
A race was scheduled in Moscow between a U.S.-built Ford and a Russian-built Lada. Predictably, the Ford won. The next day, “Pravda” – the official newspaper of the (then) Soviet Communist Party – proudly reported that the Lada came in second place and the Ford finished next-to-last.
For all the usual twisted reasons, several news services are once again featuring Hillary Clinton's views on the "Embargo."
Ever notice how "news" of this sort get constant attention?
Ever notice how none of these news outlets pay attention to Cuban dissidents who don't want the "Embargo" lifted and instead call for stiffer sanctions against the Castro regime?
Ever notice that those who blame everything on the embargo , claiming that "it has propped up the Castros," claim that the Castros blame everything on the embargo?
Ever notice that only Cuban exiles seem to notice all this?
Of course you have.
It's one of the most disturbing facts that you live with, day in, day out, and which you fear may someday push you over the edge and into an insane asylum.
From The Daily Beast
Hillary: End the Embargo!
In an interview with Fusion on Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton announced that she supports an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba.
“I think it has propped up the Castros because they can blame everything on the embargo,” she told host Jorge Ramos.
“You don’t have freedom of speech, you don’t have freedom of expression, you’re still having political prisoners, everything is blamed on the embargo.”
She said she would like to see the U.S. “move toward normalizing relations eventually” and that it’s something both she and the president supported. When Ramos asked her if she wanted a “Nixon moment” by going to Cuba, Clinton responded, “You know, some day I’d like to go to Cuba. I would , yes.”
Via Capitol Hill Cubans:
Was Raul's Son-in-Law Involved in Cuba-North Korea Arms Trafficking?
Lopez-Callejas is second to the right, next to Raul Castro, receiving a briefing on the new Port of Mariel facility.
In March 2014, the U.N.'s Panel of Experts released a detailed report ("POE Report") of the Chong Chon Gang incident, which provided details of the illegal arms smuggling operation between Cuba and North Korea.
The POE Report highlighted the military cooperation between Cuban and North Korean officials; explained the techniques used for international sanctions evasion; provided a detailed list of the weapons and weapons systems onboard; revealed the "secret" instructions given to the ship's captain; the comprehensive, planned strategy to conceal the nature of the cargo; and exposed Cuba's false claims and subsequent cover-up attempts.
The one section not released in the POE Report was the "confidential annex" containing the list of Cuban and North Korean officials, and entities, involved.
A month before the POE Report was released, it was leaked that there would be at least two sanction designations related to the Chong Chon Gang incident.
Moreover, that China and Russia had been opposed to the POE Report being made public.
However, yesterday the U.N. Security Council's Sanctions Committee only blacklisted one entity, Ocean Maritime Management Company, Ltd., the operator/manager of the Chong Chon Gang.
The "confidential annex" should also be made public and the U.N.'s Panel of Experts should release a list of all suspected Cuban and North Korean officials, and entities, involved in the shipment.
According to The Miami Herald:
"One of the Cubans allegedly involved is Brig. Gen. Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, in charge of several military enterprises and the port of Mariel, where the weapons were loaded on the freighter. He’s also a son-in-law of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro."
If so, General Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas should be sanctioned.
Note that, according to the POE Report, the Cuban regime refused to cooperate with the U.N.'s Panel of Experts -- citing confidentiality clauses in its business arrangements with Pyongyang.
How's that for shady?
Via The Miami Herald's Naked Politics Blog:
South Florida reps meet with wife of prominent Cuban dissident who describes beatings, arrests
Five members of the U.S. House of Representatives, -- including four from Florida – met with the wife of Cuban dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez, who described the ongoing, systemic repression she and her husband have suffered.
Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera is a human rights activist who has suffered threats, beatings and harassment at the hands of Cuban authorities because of her efforts, according to Rep. Joe Garcia, a Democrat from Miami who said he was “truly inspired by this couple’s untiring commitment to the Cuban people and their courage and bravery in the face of continuing abuses by the Cuban regime.”
Also at the meeting late Tuesday afternoon: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R, Miami), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R, Miami), Curt Clawson (R, Bonita Springs) and Rep. Albio Sires, a Democrat from New Jersey.
In a meeting with the House members and a short talk with reporters afterward, Pérez Aguilera described the arrests and ransacking of their home earlier this year. They took everything –- “They even took our family pictures,” she said through a translator.
She plans to meet with Senate officials on Wednesday.
The Herald recently described the couple’s story and the U.S. State Department’s reaction to it.
I give up.
Really, truly, verily, the time has come to face the truth.
Human beings are only slightly rational.
We can outperform our chimpanzee cousins in some areas of endeavor, but our species still has a long way to go before it can be considered fully rational.
That would be a Darwinian perspective on our predicament.
Here is a non-Darwinian and very ancient Christian perspective:
1 Peter 5:8 = "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
Yes, this news story is also conclusive proof that The Father of Lies never sleeps.
Arial, Times New Roman ... and now the 'Hugo Chavez' font
(Reuters) - Supporters of Venezuela's late socialist leader Hugo Chavez on Monday unveiled yet another novel way of keeping his memory alive - a font for typing in "El Comandante's" handwriting style.
The distinctive 'ChavezPro' font was launched by a group of young "anti-imperialists" to coincide with nationwide commemorations of the 60th anniversary of his birth.
Chavez's bold scrawl became famous to Venezuelans as he used to spend hours on national TV writing and drawing on boards and papers to explain policies, develop ideas and sign deals.
His signature, in red for socialist, adorns T-shirts, baseball caps and the walls of buildings around the nation.
The new font can be downloaded for free from the "Creative Trench" group's web site (www.trincheracreativa.com).
They used letters written by Chavez while he was in jail for a failed 1992 coup attempt to digitalize his handwriting.
"The best present!" enthused one 'Chavista' via Twitter. "The typography of the giant!"
Government opponents roll their eyes at the deification of Chavez, and his ubiquitous presence in public life. They see it as a cover for the failings of his successor Nicolas Maduro who was elected after Chavez died of cancer last year.
Continue reading HERE.
From the offices of U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL):
United Nations Security Council Failure to Hold Cuban Officials Accountable for Their Role in Illegal Chong Chon Gang Arms Shipment is Spineless
Ambassador Power Must Initiate Process for Designation and Submit Names for Inclusion
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement on the failure of the UN Security Council to hold Cuban officials accountable for their role in the illegal Chong Chon Gang arms shipment despite overwhelming evidence that Cuba assisted North Korea in an attempt to circumvent several UN Security Council resolutions. Ros-Lehtinen urged U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power to work to ensure that Cuban officials are designated sanctions violators. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“It’s unacceptable that even as the UN Security Council sanctioned the North Korean firm that operated the vessel carrying illegal arms from Cuba, it failed to similarly hold the Cuban regime accountable for its role in this flagrant violation of UN sanctions. The Panel of Experts responsible for investigating this violation, as well as Ambassador Power, have made clear that Cuba had an integral role in this transgression. But mere words of condemnation are not enough. The Obama administration should be proactive and submit all known Cuban entities involved in this incident to be designated as violators of several Security Council resolutions and it must work to garner support from other Council members for this inclusion. The illegal Chong Chon Gang arms shipment is yet another example of the threat the Cuban regime poses not just to us and our national security, but to global security.”
To read the letter, please click here
NOTE: Last week, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, joined by Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), wrote to Ambassador Power urging her to submit for designation the names of Cuban regime and military officials connected to the Chong Chon Gang incident. Ros-Lehtinen and Díaz-Balart were joined by Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Sean Duffy (R-WI).
As if we needed yet another example of how the United Nations is not only an ineffective and irrelevant international body, but completely and totally corrupt as well.
Via The Miami Herald:
Cuba escapes UN sanctions in North Korean weapons transport scheme
But it puts a North Korea ship-operating company on its sanctions list.
The United Nations has sanctioned a North Korean shipping company but spared Cuban entities in connection with a Cuban weapons shipment seized aboard a Pyongyang-bound freighter in violation of a U.N. arms embargo.
Ocean Maritime Management Company, Ltd., a North Korean company that managed the freighter Chong Chon Gang when it was seized in Panama last summer, was added Monday to the list of violators of the embargo.
The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) committee that enforces the embargo said the company “played a key role in arranging the shipment of concealed cargo of arms and related materiel from Cuba.” Inclusion in the list carries banking and travel sanctions.
But the committee did not add to the list any of the Cuban enterprises or individuals involved in the shipment of 240 tons of Cuban MiG jet engines, anti-aircraft missile systems and munitions found aboard the Chong Chon Gang.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said in a statement that there were “irrefutable facts that clearly prove Cuba and (North Korea’s) intentions to violate sanctions by employing highly sophisticated deception and obfuscation techniques.”
“The United States remains concerned about attempts by North Korea to circumvent international sanctions, and strongly condemns any efforts by nations such as Cuba to assist in the illegal evasion” of the arms embargo, Power added.
Powell did not explain why no Cuban entities were added to the sanctions list, and her press office did not reply to El Nuevo Herald’s requests for comment.
Latin American diplomats at the U.N. had predicted earlier this year that Cuba would escape sanctions because Russia and China, which have vetoes on the Security Council , are close allies of Cuba.
Continue reading HERE.