Some video clips are now available on YouTube of Rosa Maria Paya and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo being harassed by U.S. State Department official John Kirby, who sought to prevent them from asking any questions at the press conference held by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, at the U.S. State Department in Washington DC, on Monday July 20 2015. Rosa Maria Paya and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo were told that they would be expelled from the event if they dared to speak up or ask questions.
One can only assume that such a directive came straight from Minister Rodriguez Parrilla or his minions, but chances are that it could have come straight from John Kerry or his underlings, or perhaps directly from the current occupant of the White House or his acolytes.
Wisconsin is chock full of wide-eyed fervent liberals, but its governor is not one of them.
Yesterday, Scott Walker — one of the many Republican candidates for the presidency of the U.S. — exposed the Cuba policies of the current occupant of the White House for what they are: a total disaster.
If you are sick and tired of hearing and reading about the opening of the improved (but not really new) Castro spy nest in Washington D.C., you might find Walker’s words refreshing.
From The Daily Caller:
Scott Walker Slams Obama For Reopening The Cuban Embassy
Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Scott Walker slammed President Barack Obama Monday for allowing the Cuban government to reopen its embassy in Washington, D.C.
“Today, the Castro regime is opening its embassy in the United States,” Walker said in a statement. “Much like with Iran, desperation for a deal has led President Obama to give up much in exchange for almost nothing.”
“The president has handed Cuba a financial lifeline through increased U.S. tourism and investment that will sustain the Castro regime and its oppression for decades to come,” Walker noted. “Meanwhile, the so-called normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba will do nothing to advance American interests or the interests of the Cuban people.”
“A president who believes in American leadership and negotiates from a position of strength would use our leverage to advance U.S. interests and gain greater freedoms for the Cuban people,” Walker concluded. “Unfortunately, President Obama refuses to do that.”
To Embrace Cuba’s Regime, State Department Doesn’t Have to Behave Like It
It’s tough to say which was more repulsive yesterday:
Castro regime officials raising the flag at the Cuban Embassy amid cheers of “Viva Fidel!”?
Or the U.S. State Department telling Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of murdered democracy leader Oswaldo Paya, that if she asked any questions at the press conference with Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, she would be forcefully removed?
Is that the “example” the U.S. seeks to set?
Tweet from Rosa Maria Paya: Sr. Kirby me pide no hacer preguntas hoy en conferencia d prensa d @JohnKerry, o usarían la fuerza para sacarme #Cuba [State Department spokesperson John] asks me not to ask any questions today at press conference with John Kerry, or they would use force to remove me].
ADS305.com has a longer report in Spanish, which reveals the following details:
Rosa Maria Paya said: “I didn’t expect to receive the same coercive warning from the State Department that I received from [Castro] State Security at the Panama City airport.”
She brought along a letter from her mother that calls for an independent inquiry into the death of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero. Unable to deliver the letter to anyone at the new Cuban “embassy”, she passed on the letter to the State Department official who threatened to expel her, hoping he would pass it on to Secretary of State John Kerry. The official made her promise not to “make a scene” in exchange. Rosa Maria told him she didn’t have to make any promises to anyone.
The news conference was totally rigged. Only four pre-programmed questions were allowed, and those who got to ask these questions had microphones in their hands even before the so-called press conference began.
“Be nice, please. Pretty please: play fair and show some respect for freedom and human rights.”
So says a letter sent to Castro puppet Nicolás Maduro by a somewhat impressive but absolutely lame cohort of finger-wagging politicians.
ABC Spain reports that former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar and 26 other ex-presidents from Spanish-speaking countries have affixed their signatures on a letter sent to Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro. ABC also reports that copies of this letter have been sent to Pope Francis, to the current occupant of the White House, to the general secretary of the Organization of American States, and a few other political leaders.
The letter asks Maduro to ensure that the upcoming December 6 legislative elections are “free, just, and impartial” and conducted in “an atmosphere of confidence and total transparency.” The letter also states that it is “absolutely necessary” for international observers to monitor the election process, and all those who signed the letter offer to personally take part as observers.
In addition, the letter asks Maduro to free all political prisoners and to cease his harassment of dissidents and the news media.
Thus far, the only response from Maduro’s “Bolivarian” regime has been to pass a law that prohibits several opposition leaders — including Daniel Ceballos, Enzo Scarano y María Corina Machado— from running for office in those upcoming elections.
In sum, the 27 ex-presidents are engaging in futile grandstanding. Their demands, reasonable as they are, carry no stick or carrot. The prose has a beauty of its own, but every word is hollow.
What is the point of asking Maduro to free his enemies and to respect freedom of expression when his lord and master in Havana is being amply rewarded for doing just the opposite?
And why is it that these ex-presidents show so much concern for democracy in Venezuela when they show absolutely none for freedom in Cuba? Why didn’t they send the same letter to Raul Castro?
So… what are you waiting for, ex-leaders of the Ibero-American world? If it’s not too much trouble, please ask Raul Castro to be nice. Pretty please. And be sure to send a copy of your letter to Pope Francis and the current occupant of the White House. And please, please, make your request as politely as possible.
For the ABC report, go HERE (in the hegemonic Castellano dialect). For an article from La Vanguardia that lists all 27 ex-presidents, go HERE (also in Castellano).
A Richer Iran Will Target the Americas Last October police in Lima found detonators and TNT in the home of a Hezbollah operative.
In the foreword to the 2014 book “Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America,” former Colombian Defense Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez wrote that Venezuela’s “ ‘axis of unity’ with Iran embodies Latin America’s growing distance” from the U.S. “This is not to distract from the many conflicts the U.S. is engaging in the Middle East or elsewhere,” she noted. But she wanted “to remind our northern neighbors of the kind of disengagement in Latin America that led to a nuclear standoff in 1962.”
Now the Obama administration has agreed to phase out many economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for its promises to disable parts of its nuclear program. The deal provides for winding down international restrictions on trade and investment with Iran. It is also expected to gradually liberate more than $100 billion in Iranian assets frozen by the U.S. and other countries.
This means that even if the agreement prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, it will make the world less safe. Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, admitted as much last Wednesday when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked if “support [for] international terrorism” might be one use for the liberated assets. “In fact,” Ms. Rice said, “we should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.”
And not only in the Mideast. One likely destination for some of that money will be the Islamic Republic’s military, ideological and terrorist activities in the U.S. backyard. As Joseph Humire, executive director of the Washington-based Center for a Secure Free Society, put it to me last week, “if Iran gets access to the global financial system, they’re going to double down in Latin America.”
Iran has targeted Latin America since the mid-1980s by establishing mosques and cultural centers to spread the revolution. An arm of Hezbollah, Iran’s Islamic fundamentalist proxy, took responsibility for the 1992 terrorist attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires. Argentine prosecutors named Iran as the mastermind behind the 1994 terrorist attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in the same city.
Iran has “observer” status in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, a coalition of pro-Castro governments in the hemisphere launched during the Venezuelan presidency of Hugo Chávez. ALBA’s members include Cuba, six other Caribbean countries, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. The alliance relationships with Iran mean Iranian and Hezbollah operatives now move about the Americas easily. A 2014 paper published by Mr. Humire’s center notes that intelligence officials in the region believe Tarek El Aissami, Venezuela’s interior minister from 2008-12, provided new identities to 173 Middle Easterners.
In 2013 Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor who was investigating the AMIA case, released a 500-page report about the extensive Iranian terrorism network in the hemisphere. One of his more chilling findings was that the foiled 2007 plot to blow up New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport was an Iranian operation, run by a Guyanese recruit. In January Nisman was found in his Buenos Aires apartment with a bullet through his head.
One argument for lifting the sanctions is that Iranians are suffering economically. But their hardships have done nothing to diminish the Islamic Republic’s Latin American adventures.
Iranian investment in the region is not about securing food or economic growth but rather about meeting strategic goals. There is solid evidence that since 2007 Iran has invested in uranium exploration—presumably tied to its nuclear interests—in Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador. The Iranian military has at least one joint venture with Venezuela, located in the state of Aragua, where Mr. El Aissami is now governor.
Propaganda is an Iranian priority. HispanTV, launched in 2011, is a Spanish-language channel run by Iran. It has partnership agreements with state-run television in a number of ALBA countries. In his 2014 book, “Remote Control,” the respected Bolivian journalist Raúl Peñaranda alleged that Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad donated $3 million to President Evo Morales to finance and equip Bolivia’s state-owned television station Abya Yala.
Gen. Douglas Fraser , former head of the United States Southern Command, testified to Congress three years ago that Iran was backing at least 36 Shiite Islamic cultural centers in Central America, the Caribbean and South America. This year Gen. John Kelly, who now runs Southern Command, testified that there are more than 80.
Last October a Hezbollah operative was arrested in Lima on suspicion of plotting terrorism in Peru. Press reports said that police discovered detonators and TNT in his home, and evidence that he may have been scouting out the Jorge Chávez International Airport for a possible attack.
President Obama is boasting that his deal is Reaganesque. But Reagan did not abandon Latin America to enemies of liberty.
Yesterday, it was reported that Gerardo Hernandez — one of the “Cuban Five” spies freed by the current occupant of the White House– boasted:
We are going to have diplomatic relations with the United States without having ceded one iota.
Given the fact that the Castro regime is openly boasting about not changing any of its repressive policies as part of the “normalization” circus, a report released yesterday should turn heads.
But, of course, that report is not going to make any difference whatsoever. The circus is in full swing, and no one can stop it, especially because it has a papal blessing.
Once again, as always, the Castro Kingdom ranks at the bottom of the list when it comes to freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Cuba is in the most oppressive category (Very Serious Situation/black), ranked #169 out of 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index, with a score of 70.21. This is just one place below Yemen, and only 8 places above North Korea.
Something to keep in mind about this list: Reporters Without Borders leans heavily to the left. It has a long-standing record of barring the United States from the top tier of its list. This year it ranks the U.S.A. at #49, and the reasons behind this low ranking speak volumes about the standards of RWB:
In the United States, 2014 was marked by judicial harassment of New York Times investigative reporter James Risen in connection with the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer charged under the Espionage Act with giving him classified information. US journalists are still not protected by a federal shield law that would guarantee their right not to name their sources or reveal other confidential information about their work. Meanwhile, at least 15 journalists were arbitrarily arrested during clashes between police and demonstrators protesting against black teenager Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
When a left-leaning U.S.-bashing organization bashes the Castro regime– an “experiment” beloved by the left and seldom criticized — then you know something must be awfully wrong with that regime.
In case you’re wondering where Latrine America as a whole ranks in comparison to Castrogonia and the rest of the world, here’s how those rankings sort out:
Only one Latrine nation ranks in the top 20 (Good/white): Costa Rica, at # 16. Only two rank in the next category (Satisfactory/yellow). Nine rank in the third category (Noticeable Problems/orange). Five rank in the fourth category (Difficult Situation/red).
Freedom of information is extremely limited in Cuba, which is ranked lower in the index than any other country in the Americas.
The government tolerates no independent press. Internet access is restricted and tightly controlled. The authorities continue to cite the US embargo as the reason for the low Internet penetration but the activation of Cuba’s ALBA-1 fibre-optic cable with Venezuela proves that it has more to do with a political desire to control the Internet.
In addition to the lack of media pluralism, outspoken journalists and bloggers are still subjected to threats, smears, arrest and arbitrary detention.
Ay! How many mistakes will these folks keep making as the “normalization” circus hits town?
Never mind all the concessions already made to the Castro regime, and all the concessions still to be made.
The U.S. State department seems to think that the flag of the Republic of Cuba — which ceased to exist in 1959 — is still the flag of the nation incorrectly called “Cuba” by its present illegitimate rulers.
Huge mistake. The flag with the star in a red triangle, three blue stripes and two white stripes is not at all the flag of Castrogonia, the island enslaved by the Castro regime.
Here is the correct flag. And this is the flag that should be hoisted in Washington D.C., at the Castro “embassy” and at the State Department:
Do not desecrate the flag of the Republic of Cuba, please, you who are currently in charge of the U.S. government. Hang up this flag instead.
Footnote: The Latin motto “Orbis non sufficit”, which was employed by Spain’s King Philip II (1527-1598), sums up the Castro Kingdom’s ethos: “The World is not Enough”. Colloquial translation: Gimme, gimme, gimme, nothing is ever enough, we want it all.” Serious thought was given to adding the motto of Philip II’s father, Emperor Charles V: “Plus Ultra,” which means “push the boundaries”, or “aim for the whole enchilada,” but traditional decorum required the flag committee to stick to the principle of only one motto per national flag.
From USA Today:
Cuban flag to be raised in Washington
The Cuban flag will rise in Washington, D.C., for the first time in five decades on Monday in the latest step toward normalized relations between the two countries.
The flag-raising will be part of a daylong series of events commemorating the opening of a full Cuban embassy in Washington. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, who led a series of negotiations with the Cubans to reach the historic agreement, is scheduled to be at the building, about two miles from the White House. Since 1977, the building has served as a Cuban “interests section,” where officials process visas and conduct basic consular services.
Later in the day, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to host a joint press conference with Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez at the U.S. State Department, where the Cuban flag will be added to the collection of flags from countries that have formal relations with the United States. The two first met in Panama during the Summit of the Americas in April, where they worked on normalizing relations and reopening the embassies.
Cuban Communist Party Tells Google No Thanks on Free WiFi
The second secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 85, responded with a thanks but no thanks to Google’s recent offer to install WiFi antennas throughout Cuba for free.
“Everyone knows why there isn’t more Internet access in Cuba, because it is costly. There are some who want to give it to us for free, but they don’t do it so that the Cuban people can communicate, Instead their objective is to penetrate us and do ideological work to achieve a new conquest. We must have Internet, but in our way, knowing that the imperialists intend to use it as a way to destroy the Revolution,” he said in an extensive interview with Juventud Rebelde newspaper.
Cuba Shuns Google, Exposes Anti-Sanctions Lobbyist’s Lies
Here’s a fun fact:
Did you know that the U.S.-based Sprint Corporation provided Cuba with its first Internet connection in 1996?
What? How could that be?
The Castro regime and its anti-sanctions lobbyists have “assured” us that the only reason there’s barely any Internet connectivity in Cuba is because of the embargo.
Thus, they insist the Congress must allow U.S. companies to pump of billions of dollars directly into Castro’s telecom monopoly, Etecsa, so that the Cuban people can (purportedly) have Internet.
(And so the Cuban regime can exercise even greater control, monitoring and censorship.)
You know — similar to the billions that Telecom Italia pumped into Etecsa from 1995-2011, or that France’s Alcatel did from 2011-2012.
Those billions were surely a boon to the Castro regime, but they obviously didn’t provide Internet access to the Cuban people — let alone uncensored access.
Now Google has offered to provide WiFi access to Cuba — for free.
Kudos to Google.
But, of course, that offer was rejected.
After all, why would the Castro regime allow free uncensored Internet access in Cuba — which nothing in U.S. law prohibits — when its U.S. lobbyists are working overtime to provide Etecsa billions of dollars to limit, control and censor access.
(Some Obama Administration officials also like to play along with this charade.)You know — like in China (read here), where foreign companies hand the regime all of the data, censorship and control, for the sake of a profit.
If Google wants to really help the Cuban people — it should circumvent the Castro regime and provide free access anyway. It has all the tools to do so.
The State Department’s latest undeserved concession to the Castro regime has some critics.
And the critics are getting some attention.
But don’t expect to find any such coverage in any of the mainstream news media.
This concession on human trafficking is a necessary component of the “normalization” circus, which is beloved by all those who control the major news outlets.
Critics outraged over plans to upgrade Cuba’s status in human trafficking report
Opponents of President Obama’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba are now further outraged over reports that the State Department is poised to remove the island nation from the list of worst offenders when it comes to human trafficking and forced labor.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a prominent member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said a 2014 State Department report on human trafficking said child prostitution and child sex tourism runs rampant in Cuba, and that children as young as 13 the most vulnerable.
The Florida Republican also charged that the Castro regime not only fails to prevent sex trafficking of adults and children, but it actively “supports and sponsors” the sex tourism industry “in order to reap the financial benefits.” She said these are among the reasons why State needs to leave Cuba on the list.
“If true, this upgrade in Cuba’s status in the annual report is nothing short of appeasement and it is a disgrace unbecoming of an administration that claims to hold human rights as one of its top priorities,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “The Obama administration has chosen to once again discard the hard facts to continue the president’s legacy shopping.”
Reality is beginning to resemble the surreal situation in Twilight Zone’s classic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” episode. (Click on caption above to refresh your memory, or to see it for the first time).
Like the character played by William Shattner, we Cuban exiles see a very real monster that no one else can see.
Her’s the latest twist in the nightmare’s plot:
If the current occupant of the White House were to receive grades for his performance, then he would probably earn an A plus in consistency and an F in ethics.
Under the guidance of The Betrayer-in-Chief, The U.S. State Department has once again removed Cuba from a list of sanction-worthy nations in order to ensure that his “historic” rapprochement is accepted by the Castro regime.
Raul Castro is calling all the shots — just as the Iranian mullahs have done — and the end result is the same in both cases: total capitulation by the U.S. to reprehensible rulers who trample on human rights.
Here’s why the White House Occupant’s consistency earns high grades: he is determined to make “peace” with all of the thugs in the world by purely cosmetic means. Without any indication of change in their behavior, or any demands that they change it, all of these awful regimes are simply reclassified as “friends” rather than “enemies,” with stunning consistency.
And what is behind such a colossally stupid policy?
Well…. maybe only the late Rod Serling can put it into words:
Oddly enough, Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters) seems to understand all this for what it really is –a farce — and, for once, it places some serious invisible question marks over all the “facts.”
U.S. poised to upgrade Cuba in annual human trafficking report
The United States is set to remove Cuba from the bottom tier on its list of worst human trafficking centers, U.S. sources said, in what will be another step in the historic rapprochement between the former Cold War foes.
The upgrade would lift Cuba to the so-called “Tier 2 Watch List” from Tier 3, where it has languished for 12 years due to allegations of sex trafficking and what U.S. authorities have previously described as “coerced labor with Cuban government work missions abroad.”
The upgrade was contained in a draft report that could be modified by the time of publication, expected this month, said a Congressional aide with knowledge of the report. A second source confirmed the upgrade. The sources requested anonymity.
They attributed the upgrade to better cooperation between Washington and Havana on human trafficking issues and better treatment of victims, but they declined to provide specifics before the State Department publishes the annual Trafficking in Persons report.
The report, which tracks “modern slavery” such as forced labor and the sex trade, is usually released in June but has been delayed this year.
The State Department declined to confirm the upgrade. “Given that the report is not yet finalized, we will not comment on any specific findings,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.The State Department declined to confirm the upgrade. “Given that the report is not yet finalized, we will not comment on any specific findings,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.
The thawing with Cuba is part of President Barack Obama’s efforts to reshape American diplomatic relationships with some countries previously seen as enemies, as underlined by Tuesday’s deal to limit Iran’s nuclear ability in return for the lifting of some sanctions and the 2012 opening up to longtime pariah Myanmar.
Trafficking in Persons report includes four categories: Tier 1 for nations that meet minimum U.S. standards; Tier 2 for those that are making significant efforts to do so; Tier 2 “Watch List” for those that deserve special scrutiny; and Tier 3 for countries that fail to fully comply with the minimum U.S. standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.
Tier 3 countries may face sanctions, including the loss of U.S. aid and U.S. support for World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans, until major overhauls are introduced. Last year there were 23 countries on Tier 3, including North Korea, Syria, Iran and Cuba.
So, now that he has escaped from the courtroom twice, unharmed, but still unable to re-enter French politics, DSK will be working for two of the most successful pimps in human history, Fidel and Raul. Is there anyone else who can claim having turned an entire nation into a brothel and everyone in that nation into some sort of prostitute?
Finally, some news concerning the Castro Kingdom that make some sense….. and, as a bonus, it’s a sexy story too.
Perhaps Raul and Fidel can put in a good word on DSK’s behalf at the Vatican and he’ll get to handle their wealth while he hooks up with Silvio Berlusconi’s whores.
DSK rides comeback trail — through Cuba Fresh from his acquittal on pimping charges, the former IMF head is now consulting for Castro and others.
Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn wants to make a comeback on the international stage but not in France, where he has still not forgiven one-time political allies for turning on him during his legal troubles, sources told POLITICO.
Instead of trying to reheat his political career in his home country, Strauss-Kahn is living full-time in Morocco and has set his sights on Cuba, where he is due to advise the Communist government of President Raul Castro on how to handle its brand-new business relationship with the United States, according to French officials.
The choice to advise Havana, which comes after lucrative speechwriting gigs, a consulting job with the Serbian government and a failed business venture, is a far cry from Strauss-Kahn’s former role at the heights of international finance and politics during his tenures as France’s finance minister and IMF chief. At the Fund, he oversaw the first bailout of Greece in 2010.
His new gig will bring him into the company of ex-Cuban president Fidel Castro, who congratulated Greece for its “courage” against “external aggression” in a video message posted on July 6, a week before Athens accepted a deal with its creditors laden with tough concessions….
The National Review has published a brilliant essay that examines the leftist leanings of the current Vicar of Christ.
Why Pope Francis Is Keeping His Hammer-and-Sickle Crucifix
By Dennis Prager
Last week the Marxist quasi-dictator of Bolivia, Evo Morales, presented Pope Francis with a gift — a carved wooden hammer-and-sickle cross on which the figure of Christ is crucified.
The Vatican announced that the pope had not been informed in advance about the gift. And some commentators said that photos of the pope and Morales show that the pope was actually offended. That was a false — probably wishful — interpretation. The pope himself later announced that he was keeping the hammer-and-sickle crucifix and taking it home, saying, “I understand this work. For me it wasn’t an offense.” And “Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi . . . said he personally wasn’t offended by Morales’ gift” (the Guardian).
The pope’s acceptance of Morales’s gift — along with his attacks on capitalism during his Latin American tour — further confirms one of the most troubling moral developments of our time: The Roman Catholic Church is currently led by a man whose social, political, and economic views have been shaped by leftism more than by any other religious or moral system.
It also reconfirms what is probably the single most important development one needs to understand in order to make sense of the contemporary world: The most dynamic religion of the past hundred years has been leftism, not Christianity, not Islam, not any other traditional religion. Indeed, regarding traditional religions, leftism has influenced them — particularly Christianity and Judaism — far more than they have influenced the Left. Mainstream Protestant Christianity, much of Catholicism (especially in Latin America, where Pope Francis lived his whole life before becoming pope), and most of non-Orthodox Judaism have become essentially liberal/Left movements with religious (and in the case of Judaism, ethnic) identity.
In terms of evil committed, what is the difference between the hammer and sickle and the swastika? Would the pope receive, let alone keep, a Fascist, racist, or Nazi sculpture with a crucified Christ on it? Of course not. Yet the hammer and sickle represents more human suffering than all of them combined. The number of people enslaved and murdered under the hammer and sickle dwarfs the number of people enslaved and murdered by any other doctrine in history. To make things worse, Pope Francis received this gift from a man (Morales) wearing a picture of Che Guevara on his jacket. Is that, too, not worthy of condemnation by the Vatican? Che Guevara devoted his life to undermining human liberty, and to killing innocents in the name of Communism.
Lord have mercy. How long can this go on without any response from Washington, Brussels, Ottowa, or the Vatican?
Forever, apparently, or until each and every dissident in Cuba has been irreparably maimed or killed.
Jesus H. Scourged and Crucified Christ, what will it take?
And how long will your Vicar in Rome keep smiling at these monsters who trample these men and women with impunity?
As one of the longest of all Psalms says, rescue us from the oppression of evil people, look upon us with love, for rivers of tears gush from our eyes (Ps. 119: 134-136).
The location of these arrests is just three short blocks from my former home in Havana. I played in that park as a boy, and almost blew off my hand with a firecracker right there. I used to attend Mass at St. Rita’s, and often tried to climb the giant trees in that park, which were slightly less massive back then.
And, by the way, this so-called Ghandi Park was known back then as “El Parque de los Ahorcados” (The park of those who hung themselves). Apparently, many Cubans with broken hearts put an end to their lives there, on those sturdy branches. (Never let it be said that Cubans shrink from extreme measures).
How different from today. No jilted lovers hang lifeless from those trees any longer, presumably, because it’s as hard to bemoan love gone wrong as it is to find rope or hope for the future. But, if the Castro regime could really have its way, it would gleefully hang all the dissidents right there.
Cuba often seems like some other dimension to me, but today, for good reason, the enormity and reality of this gross injustice has pierced me like some demonic transverberation.
S.O.S. from Cuba: Massive roundup of dissidents in Havana
Dozens of Ladies in White and other activists of the Cuban Resistance were arrested yesterday by the Castro regime after attending Mass at the church of St. Rita in Havana and participating in a civic act at Ghandi Park in the same city. Ailer Maria González, wife of dissident Antonio Rodiles (who was savagely beaten last week), reported via telephone to the Directorio Democrático Cubano that about 80 Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) and more than 30 dissidents from other organizations were detained before they could stage a peaceful protest march, following the event at Ghandi Park.
“ A few minutes after we concluded our event at the park, government vehicles closed off all traffic, their sirens wailing, as has happened every Sunday when we reach Third Avenue and 28th Street, and then all activists were restrained and arrested — including all the women — and taken in police vans and on buses to the jails at “Vivac” and “Tarará”, said Ailer Maria González .
Those arrested include the Damas de Blanco, activists Orlando Zapata Tamayo (Frente OZT): Angel Egberto Escobedo Morales, Jorge Luís García Pérez “Antunez” , Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, and ex-prisoner of conscience Ciro Alexis Casanova Pérez, and Yaite Cruz Sosa, as well as activists from the Movimiento Opositores Por Una Nueva República (Movement of oppositionists for a New Republic), artist Tania Bruguera, and the son of one of the Damas de Blanco, and activists from other organizations who had joined them.
The Directorio Democrático Cubano demands the immediate release of all those arrested, along with all other Cuban political prisoners, and it calls on the international community and all human rights advocates to join in solidarity with these men and women, and to hold the regime of Raul Castro and its repressive agents responsible for whatever may hapen to the Damas de Blanco and all activists from the Cuban Resistance.
For the Nuevo Herald’s account of these events, go HERE (in Spanish)