Rosa María Payá: “Totalitarianism has not been broken in Cuba, we can not pretend it is”
Cuban opposition member Rosa María Payá said Monday ,in an interview with EFE, that the “totalitarianism” of the government led by Raul Castro “has not been broken” despite the open contact with the United States and the European Union (EU), and so she asked that these approaches be used to achieve “concrete progress.”
“Rapprochement with Cuba is very good, but it depends on how and how it is sold. It also has negative consequences, such as the rest of the world perceiving an internal process of openings toward democracy, and this has not occurred,” said Payá in the Norwegian capital, where she has come to participate in the Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF).
The dissident said that “totalitarianism has not been broken” despite the “legitimacy” with which it might have re-clothed itself after the visits of personalities such as US President Barack Obama, the high representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, Pope Francis or the Rolling Stones.
Payá, daughter of the prominent opposition leader Oswaldo Payá, who died in 2012 in a car crash which his daughter blames on the Cuban regime, believes that the international community has an “opportunity to pressure the regime for this change toward freedom.”
Payá criticized the “excuses that can be cynical, but are invoked as pragmatic” which are used as an argument to initiate dialogue with Cuba placing special attention on economic relations and relegating to the background demands for human rights and freedom.
“People say things like if we negotiated with China, why not with the Cuban regime. Under this line of thinking, why not with North Korea?” she said.
We regards to negotiations between Brussels and Havana, she considers it “worrying” that no light has been shined on the text that serves as a basis for contacts between the two parties and warned that it is not enough to simply include “a mention of human rights, because tyrannies have already learned to deal with these mentions.”
“The support has to be concrete, specific and on measurable issues. Not only speeches in support of democracy, of human rights,” she said, calling for support for the holding of a plebiscite on the island, access to communications media and information, and the release of political prisoners.
“Totalitarianism, which has not been broken, is broken when the ability to decide does not reside in the same group of generals. At that moment the transition will have begun, which won’t happen in a single day. We cannot pretend this is happening,” she said, in a message she directed to “the international community,” from whom she asked for “support.”
Why Cuban Agriculture Is Inefficient
The raindrops tinkle on the zinc roof of a greasy hut used to store sacks of fertilizer, agricultural tools, and the various ancient contraptions that are always be a nuisance to keep in the house.
Osvaldo, the sixty-five-year-old owner of a farm southeast of Havana, calmly takes a drag on a cigarette butt, scratches his head with his thick fingers, which look like twisted meat hooks, and asks his son, “Where the hell have you left the wrench to open the water pump?” Then, once the engine has been started, he runs through the rain back to the entrance of his house.
Before answering a question as to why Cuban agriculture is incapable of supplying people with enough food, he takes a swig of coffee and rocks back and forth in his iron chair. He then tells me:
“No point in beating about the bush. It’s the government’s fault that agriculture doesn’t work. I have lost count of the number of measures and strategies the agricultural directors have drawn up. The problem is that you can’t grow a crop sitting behind an office desk. Every piece of farmland is different. The amount of sweet potatoes or beef cannot be planned from an office in Havana.”
He continues unwrapping his opinions about the black hole in the nation’s agriculture. “The land is for the peasants. If the government wants to buy everfything that’s harvested, they need to pay a fair price for it. Now they have promised to pay properly, but two or three months down the line Acopio (Cuba’s state procurement and distribution agency) and other government departments start to fall behind on their payments. In my case, they owe me 20 to 30 thousand pesos. The Havana middlemen buy your entire harvest, in cash.”
Osvaldo is aware that shortages breed speculation. “But the government needs to get real. They sell everything at very high prices to individual farmers — fuel, seed, working clothes — and the agricultural equipment is of poor quality. Also, times have changed. Now, nobody wants to work on the land. Everyone is going to Havana or Miami. And when it comes to hiring workers to gather the harvest, you have to pay at least a hundred pesos a day. That drives up the cost of what you’ve harvested. If the government gave the land to the people who are working it, in Cuba, the food that they produced would be for export”.
When you speak to private farmers, people working in co-operatives or tenants, their opinions vary, but most of them believe that, to increase the harvests, you have to first create appropriate living and working conditions.
“I lost about a hundred pounds of bananas and sweet potatoes because Acopio couldn’t provide enough transport,” observes a farmer with a credit and service cooperative, who prefers to remain anonymous. “It’s a joke. They have some honest people but most of the officials there are corrupt.”
When Fidel Castro came to power in January 1959, he began applying countless forms of production management to Cuban agriculture, from huge state farms and cooperatives to land leases.
But harvests did not increase. Bureaucrats always come up with excuses to explain the shortfalls. They blame the unchecked greed of middlemen, hurricanes, rain or drought.
Ponder Image: Four Female Cuban Political Prisoners, Awaiting ‘Trial’
Four female Cuban dissidents arrested on April 15th, 2015, remain imprisoned and are awaiting trial for the “crime” of “disobedience.”
They are Yaquelin Heredia Morales, Marieta Martinez Aguilera, Xiomara de las Mercedes Cruz Miranda and Yunet Cairo Reigada.
These four dissidents were arrested pursuant to a peaceful protest held at Fraternity Park in Central Havana. They are members of The Ladies in White and the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU).
Ponder their image very carefully.
Why is the Castro regime so afraid of these peaceful female activists?
Moreover, where is the pressure from the international community that the Obama Administration promised upon its change of policy?
It seems the world if following Obama’s lead on these abuses — by remaining shamefully silent.
The way I see it there are only two explanations for President Obama’s disturbing fetish for communist dictatorships: Either he is dreadfully naïve or an insidious true believer. Neither bodes well for America and the cause of freedom for the oppressed throughout the world.
What Obama still doesn’t get about Communism
President Obama, standing in front of the American and Communist flags, announced in Hanoi this week that he’s ending the embargo that has for 50 years blocked US arms sales to Vietnam. The move, he said, would end a “lingering vestige of the Cold War.”
Between North Korea, Red China, Cuba and Vietnam, it’s a bit of a trick telling one lingering vestige from another. How about the lingering vestige of the Communist Party? When are we going to end that?
It’s not my intention here to re-litigate the Vietnam War. (In my opinion, history will vindicate the hawks and go hard on the Congress, where America’s hard-earned battlefield victory was given away in pursuit of an illusory peace.)
Yet it’s just bizarre that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry seem to think that our embargo was more of a problem than the Communism itself. Even if Red China is itching for a war in the South China Sea.
Arms to Vietnam have a certain logic. It’s like Winston Churchill saying, when the Nazis entered Stalin’s Russia, that if Hitler invaded Hell he’d at least make a favorable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.
In Southeast Asia the theory is that the Communists in China are more of a threat to American interests than the Communists in Vietnam, China’s traditional foe. Yet Obama is denying that the end of the arms embargo is linked to China.
It was, he insisted, based on “our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process of moving towards normalization with Vietnam.” But he has brushed aside all sorts of red flags about the nature of the regime.
Human Rights Watch sent him a letter nearly a month ago, warning of what he was dealing with in Vietnam’s Communist camarilla. It called Vietnam’s government “one of the most repressive in the world.”
It noted that expression, association and assembly are “extremely limited,” that the press is controlled and censored and that the Communist Party “controls all public institutions and uses them to maintain its hold on power.”
Human Rights Watch characterized the elections in Vietnam as “a form of political theater.” The president with whom Obama has been treating, Tran Dai Quang, it noted, is the thug who headed Vietnam’s “notorious Ministry of Public Security.”
In Hanoi this week, Obama insisted that any arms deals would have to meet the usual requirements, including human rights. But who believes him after the hash he made of the Iranian appeasement?
Obama doesn’t seem to grasp that the Communism is the human-rights violation. Speaking to students in Argentina two months ago, he brushed off the distinction between capitalism and Communism as “interesting intellectual arguments.”
“Just choose from what works,” Obama said. It was one of the most ridiculous comments of his presidency, given that if the century since the Bolshevik revolution has taught us anything, it’s that we know which one works.
Continue reading HERE.
Why Socialism Failed
Collectivism Is Based on Faulty Principles
Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.
In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.
A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.
In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!
Under socialism, incentives either play a minimal role or are ignored totally. A centrally planned economy without market prices or profits, where property is owned by the state, is a system without an effective incentive mechanism to direct economic activity. By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail. Socialism is based on the theory that incentives don’t matter!
In a radio debate several months ago with a Marxist professor from the University of Minnesota, I pointed out the obvious failures of socialism around the world in Cuba, Eastern Europe, and China. At the time of our debate, Haitian refugees were risking their lives trying to get to Florida in homemade boats. Why was it, I asked him, that people were fleeing Haiti and traveling almost 500 miles by ocean to get to the “evil capitalist empire” when they were only 50 miles from the “workers’ paradise” of Cuba?
The Marxist admitted that many “socialist” countries around the world were failing. However, according to him, the reason for failure is not that socialism is deficient, but that the socialist economies are not practicing “pure” socialism. The perfect version of socialism would work; it is just the imperfect socialism that doesn’t work. Marxists like to compare a theoretically perfect version of socialism with practical, imperfect capitalism which allows them to claim that socialism is superior to capitalism.
If perfection really were an available option, the choice of economic and political systems would be irrelevant. In a world with perfect beings and infinite abundance, any economic or political system–socialism, capitalism, fascism, or communism–would work perfectly.
However, the choice of economic and political institutions is crucial in an imperfect universe with imperfect beings and limited resources. In a world of scarcity it is essential for an economic system to be based on a clear incentive structure to promote economic efficiency. The real choice we face is between imperfect capitalism and imperfect socialism. Given that choice, the evidence of history overwhelmingly favors capitalism as the greatest wealth-producing economic system available.
Continue reading HERE.
In Search Of The Owner Of The City
14ymedio, Pedro Armando Junco, Camagüey, 21 May 2016 — Every city rests on the man who safeguards it. He can be called mayor, administrator or public official; ultimately the label is the least important. This is his charge, like the steward of the millionaire’s mansion. His obligation lies in the zeal with which he is able to optimize the performance of the city’s people. For this he counts on public economic resources and the necessary personnel.
He is, almost always—as he always should be—the ideal citizen. He is the man everyone knows, who knows everyone’s name and where they live, because, among his reasons for being, his priority is to be ready to hear the needs of the last inhabitant of the village at any time.
However, in Camagüey this citizen never shows his face, no one knows his name, or where he resides; and worse, when we assume who he is and where he is, it is impossible to address him and we can not establish a dialogue with him even through the press.
The certainty of not having been democratically elected lies in that nobody knows him. Despite his phantasmagoric existence, when he takes measures in search of “perfecting” the city, they are arbitrary and counterproductive. I have given this man the name: “The Owner of the City.”
Camagüey, despite its narrow winding streets due to its five hundred years of existence, was a city where it was easy to circulate. Dozens of traffic lights ordered the path of the cars, police officers took care of traffic violations, to the point that the least of its alleys was accessible to traffic, and both the sidewalks and the pavement were kept clean and in perfect state of repair. It is said that Camagüey once qualified as one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Above all, at any hour of the night or in the earliest hours of the morning, the citizenry enjoyed a high level of security.
The Camagüey of today is far from what it once was. The Owner of the City is pleased to close streets for the slightest reason. Martí Street, an important artery through the historic center and the main route to the east for the fire brigade, has been permanently blocked in front of Agramonte Park. An outdoor café has been placed in the street to serve international tourism, as the snacks sold there are priced in hard currency not attainable by ordinary Cubans.
Also to attract tourists, they have unearthed the rails that were sleeping under El Gallo Plazoleta, so that the visitors can see that there were once trams in the city, although the result has been too turn this into the most inconvenient and dangerous crossing—over those sharp steel strips—and on occasion bicycles and motorcycles come to grief there.
The parking lot at Merced Plaza—now called Workers Plaza—was dismantled and vintage benches have been placed around the central ceiba tree, so that those who visit us will have the most beautiful image of the place, although cars in the business center of the province now have to park on another street, under permanent guard. It seems, that the Owner of the City wants to convert Camagüey into a showcase for tourism, to the detriment of its permanent residents.
The most important streets in the center—Cisneros, Independencia and San Esteban—have been closed for many months under the pretext of repairing the abutting buildings, and Republica Street has been modified into a boulevard for pedestrians only, while San Martin Street is in such a state of disrepair that it is very difficult to travel on it, without anyone showing any interest in its restoration.
Everyone who knows this city could intuit that these being the exclusive thoroughfares of the historic center, its viability is reduced by nearly half and thus its potential, while intersecting streets are overburdened by traffic.
Why Do Hispanic Voters Prefer Big Government?
Eligible Hispanic Voters Will Reach a Record 27 Million This Election Cycle
Recent surveys by the Pew Research Center reveal that eligible Hispanic voters will reach a record 27.3 million this election cycle, an increase of over 19 percent since the 2012 election.
As a “category,” the Hispanic electorate will make up a record 11.9 percent of all US-eligible voters, nearly the same as black voters, who make up 12.4 of the electorate. Youth is a bigger defining characteristic of Hispanic-eligible voters than for any other group.
And though specific interest-group issues such as US immigration policy are often offered as the main drivers for the Hispanic vote, there is a more fundamental sociopolitical factor at play.
For the Hispanic population, the post-colonial experience of Latin America has created a vastly different understanding of the role of government than the one embraced by the US founding fathers.
According to the Pew Research Survey, “When it comes to the size of government, Hispanics are more likely than the general public to say they would rather have a bigger government providing more services than a smaller government with fewer services.”
But the difference is not small. Overall, 75 percent of Hispanics prefer bigger government, compared with only 41 percent of the general US public. Interestingly, Hispanic support for large government declines after more time immersed in American values.
For 81 percent of first-generation Hispanic immigrants, a bigger government is more desirable. For the second generation, the preference drops to 72 percent. By the third generation, only 58 percent prefer bigger government.
Hispanic preference for bigger government prevails regardless of party affiliation, and Hispanic Catholics are particularly supportive of a larger government. Overall, 56 percent of U.S. Hispanics either identify with the Democratic Party or are independent but lean democratic, while 21 percent identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. Parenthetically, Cubans are somewhat of a political anomaly. Cubans who are registered to vote are closely split in party affiliation: 47 percent identify with the GOP, while 44 percent tilt toward the Democrats.
Clearly, the political philosophies of classical liberalism that limit the role of government are not nearly as ingrained in Hispanic heritage as they are in the American sociopolitical historical discourse. Classical liberalism does not come naturally to Hispanics. To some degree, the Hispanic sociopolitical heritage undermines the pluralistic participation of Hispanics in the civil institutions of free societies.
Continue reading HERE.
There is no need to wonder what the EU is hiding. We know exactly what they are hiding: their complicity and support of a murderously repressive apartheid dictatorship.
The EU opposes publishing its agreement with Havana because it could ‘undermine’ its process of dialogue with the regime
The European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s diplomatic division, has refused to disclose to the “general public” the contents of the bilateral treaty signed on March 11 with the regime since, as indicated in a letter – to which DIARIO DE CUBA has had access – publishing it now “could undermine the process” and “harm relations between the EU and Cuba.”
The missive, dated 27 April, bears the signature of the head of the Parliamentary Affairs division of the EEAS, Gabriele Visentin, and is the answer to a request by Erik Jennische, Director of Latin American programs for Civil Rights Defenders, after he had requested access to the document publicly signed in Havana on March 11.
The document in question, “Political dialogue and cooperation agreement between Cuba and the European Union concluded on 11 March, 2016” is, according to Visentin, “provisional in nature and part of a negotiation that is still in progress.”
Invoking European regulations, the diplomat insists that the content of the text may not be published, either partially or totally.
The document was signed by the EEAS’s Secretary-General for Economic and Global Affairs, Christian Leffler, and Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno.
The document was signed in the presence of the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.
Erik Jennische told DIARIO DE CUBA that he believed that denying access to the agreement constitutes a violation of the EU’s “principle of transparency.” The activist also observed that it is a contradiction to state that the document is provisional when its negotiating teams signed it “in the public spotlight.”
Jennische expressed regret about the exception that the EU has granted the regime in Havana, and reported that he has already appealed this decision. “If the EU signed a similar agreement in a democratic country in Latin America, there would be no problems publishing the document.”
In this case, the activist believes that the regime in Havana is calling the shots. “Cuba says that it cannot be published, which means that the Cuban government is deciding what the EU and cannot do, excluding its own citizens from the debate.”
Continue reading HERE.
Another Sunday of repression against the peaceful Ladies in White took place in Cuba yesterday as State Security agents and mobs organized by the U.S.-backed Castro dictatorship carried out a violent “act of repudiation” against the human rights activists. The regime and its mob were successful in preventing the women from attending church services at the Santa Rita church. In order to attract the largest mob possible to surround the headquarters of the Ladies in White, the Castro dictatorship brought bands and clowns to make the violent attack look like a party.
Garish act of repudiation prevents the Ladies in White from marching
Members of the Rapid Response Brigades and police agents surrounded the group’s headquarters since the early morning hours of Sunday, preventing the activists from attending the first church service of the new Archbishop of Havana.
Cuban authorities prevented 31 Ladies in White from leaving the opposition movement’s headquarters in the Lawton neighborhood this Sunday. They were planning on attending the first service of Havana’s new Archbishop, Monsignor Juan de la Caridad Garcia Rodriguez.
Berta Soler told Martí Noticias that dozens of Rapid Response Brigade members, accompanied by police and State Security agents, surrounded the house in the early morning hours of Sunday to stop them from taking to the streets and marching.
“They are carrying out an act of repudiation. They have put on music, there is a band and clowns, and people are attacking us, throwing rocks into the house,” she said.
“Only three Ladies in White were able to make it to the cathedral,” she added.
Angel Moya, a former prisoners of conscience and husband of Berta Soler published photographs on Twitter documenting what happened in front of the opposition movement’s headquarters early that morning.
Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.
Contrary to what President Obama, the pro-Castro/pro-apartheid lobbyists here in the U.S., and the media would like to you believe, pumping millions or billions of U.S. dollars into the coffers of Cuba’s murderous apartheid dictatorship will do nothing to help the Cuban people.
Why Your Tourism Dollars Aren’t Helping Ordinary Cubans
The news out of Cuba lately is all glamor and glitz. Usher made a visit. A Carnival Cruise ship arrived packed with excitable tourists. French luxury goods maker Chanel turned a Havana boulevard into a fashion show runway featuring sparkling cocktail dresses and sequined black berets.
Next up: The Kardashians are filming their reality television show in Cuba. On the heels of President Obama’s historic visit last March, it might be easy to get the impression that this explosion of American attention is all part of Cuba’s speedy march toward modernization.
Let’s not fool ourselves. It’s one thing to reopen our embassy and allow limited tourism and investment. It’s quite another to expect these steps to quickly lead to transformation of what’s still, lest we forget, a one-party communist dictatorship 90 miles from Florida. Diplomatic normalization plus a celebrity patina does not equal real reform.
America’s true goals in Cuba are to restore democracy and bring the island back into the global economy. We aim to bury half a century of enmity and to seek resolution for thousands of people who lost their homes, their businesses and in many cases, their loved ones. Cruise ships and fashion shows are, at best, irrelevant.
It may seem exciting for American tourists to finally be able to ride a floating shopping mall right into Havana harbor. And many Americans yearn for throwback experiences like the Copacabana nightclub. But it’s a delusion to believe that throngs of tourists will in any way help to promote political freedom. Visiting Cuba may seem suddenly adventurous to Americans, but the island already received 3.5 million tourists last year, mainly from Europe and Canada.
For some, it may appear romantic or avant-garde to hold radical chic fashion shows among the crumbling buildings of Havana. But these spectacles will make no difference to the lives of the average Cuban. Chanel’s goods are not sold in Cuba and, even if they were, 70 percent of the population works for the government on an average salary of $25 per month.
The pop stars, fashionistas, and mass tourism could even be counterproductive by providing the regime with the false appearance of normalcy and a financial lifeline for a bankrupt system. Without the usual donations from Venezuela, the Cuban economy is today deeply reliant on tourism. This is happening just as some of the modest economic improvements are actually being reversed.
At a secretive Communist Party congress last month, the government backtracked on market reforms in food distribution and pricing. The state still owns nearly 80 percent of arable land and is forced to import most of the nation’s food. Inflation is reportedly getting worse, but no one really knows since basic data collection is not allowed. That’s precisely because the Cuban government hopes a normal relationship with the United States will boost their sagging economy, without touching its closed political system.
Continue reading HERE.
Cuba: Capitalism From Afar
Eight months haven’t been enough for the state-owned employer in the tourism sector to hire Yasmani, 23, a black guy nearly six feet talk who is perfecting his English in a private academy in Havana and who has wasted time and money learning the secrets of golf at a club south of the city.
Almost a year ago, on a night of drinking and reggaeton, Yasmani, with a degree in tourism, met a British businessman who wants to do business in Cuba in high class tourism.
“Do you know golf?” the man asked me. “I told him a remembered reading somewhere about Tiger Woods, little more. He said to try to learn the sport, with my command of English and the education I have, maybe I could get a job as a caddy,” said Yasmani, speaking from the doorway of his house.
The olive-green regime buried golf, labeling it aristocratic. One morning in 1961 Fidel Castro and Ernesto Guevara planned a round of golf at the old Havana Biltmore Country Club, with the intention of staging a parody of the golf parties in the United States were Eisenhower and Nixon played.
Five and a half decades later, Raul Castro, hand-picked by his brother, has among his master strategies the development of golf courses in the country in exclusive luxury resorts for tourists with checkbook balances ended in six zeros.
In Cuba, there aren’t even a hundred a people who play gold. The majority are the children of the Communist bourgeoisie officials bewitched by haute couture, the bon vivant, and consumer luxuries. While their fathers speak through tight lips about the proletariat, they pull out all the stops living like magnates from Wall Street.
But this doesn’t matter to Yasmini. “Some friends have told me that in one day working as a caddy you can stuff your pockets,”boasts the young man, still hopeful of being hired by the state company.
The criolla autocracy pays no attention to the voices of citizens who warn of the environmental risks and the ecological strategies of maintaining land that wastes a ton of water.
In 2013, the British company Esencia Hotels and Resorts and the Cuban company Palmares agreed to the creation of a joint venture, Havana Resort, for the development of golf courses. The Carbonera Club, with 18 holes, about 15 kilometers from Varadero and worth about 350 million dollars, was presented as the first initiative of this association, while similar projects are being negotiation with investments from China, Spain, Vietnam and Russia.
Guy Chartier, President of Wilton Properties, confirmed in February that the company plans to start a mega project with an investment of 1.4 billion dollars, in Jibacoa 60 kilometers east of Havana, to build buildings and a luxury hotel, surrounded by seven beaches, golf courses and tennis courts, an equestrian center and a ’village’ for artists.
A report by Humberto Corzo:
West Nile Virus utilized as Biological Weapon
The Castro regime started its biological program in 1982, and since then has done extensive research and development in the field of bioterrorism for military purposes. Since the early nineties the Castro regime has spent $3.5 billion in the development of facilities to be used in the “Bacteriological Warfare.” This research is conducted, among others, in the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), the most important one, created in 1986, Avenue 31, Cubanacán, Havana, at a cost of $150 million; the Finlay Institute, remodeled in 1994 at a cost of $10 million; the National Center of Bio-preparations (BIOCEN), inaugurated in February 1992, with a cost of $15 million; Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM) open in December of 1994, with a cost of $10 million; Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kourí (IPK), relocated in 1992 at a cost of $ 12 million.
The CIA suspects these facilities are used for developing biological weapons. Cuba has been classified by the State Department as a terrorist nation. The Castro regime hatred and hostility to the United States represents, without any doubt, a very serious threat due to the proximity of Cuba, just 90 miles from Key West.
In areas near the facilities of these centers have taken place epidemics of viral hepatitis, hemorrhagic conjunctivitis and hemorrhagic dengue. The biotechnological research centers are used as a smoke screen for the elaboration of biological weapons.
Fidel Castro, on January 28, 1998, in a threat of potential use of germ warfare against the U.S. said: “This lamb can never be devoured -not with planes nor smart bombs- because this lamb is smarter than you, and in its blood there is, and always will be, poison for you.”
Dr. Luis Roberto Hernandez, a Cuban entomologist who defected in 1995, in an interview to El Nuevo Herald on October 18, 1999, asserted that he worked in the Institute of Zoology where the laboratories for the Biological Front were established and that “those were laboratories to identify and produce viruses to be used in birds as ‘hosts’ for their dissemination.” According to Dr. Hernandez, the project continued at a farm outside Havana, where a vast nesting program had been established to study the routes and habits of migratory birds. In the article “Castro Weaponizes West Nile Virus,” published in Insight Magazine on September 16, 2002, Dr. Hernandez said: “We were instructed to look into viruses such as encephalitis which are highly resistant to insecticides. Military-intelligence officers running the labs ordered us to trap birds with migratory routes to the United States with the idea of releasing contaminated flocks which would be bitten by mosquitoes which, in turn, infect humans.”
These viruses are suitable for inoculating migratory birds that fly to the U.S. in the spring. Obviously it is possible to introduce biological agents like the West Nile Virus (WNV) into the U.S. by way of migratory birds that will transmit it to mosquitoes, and they will spread it to people, horses, and other mammals.
More than 60 mosquito species have been infected with West Nile virus
According to Carlos Wotzkow, former researcher and ornithologist at the Cuban Institute of Zoology, in exile in Switzerland since 1992, the migratory birds project was proposed by Castro himself and led to the creation of what was called the Biological Front: “An idea to undertake biological warfare against the United States territory through the introduction of viruses of infectious diseases inoculated in migratory birds.” Wotzkow mention that the Smithsonian Institution, along with the University of Pennsylvania, collaborated with Castro by providing funds and technology for the study of migratory birds.1
In 1988, the CIA released a report that warned of the dangers of a biological terrorist attack on the U.S. The report explained that such an assault, if launched by a country with sophisticated means, could go undetected and be erroneously attributed to natural causes. The report listed Cuba among a dozen of small countries suspected of possessing biological weapons.