Surprise! Governor Cuomo’s Cuba trade mission yields big zero for New York.

fuhgedabouditt…gehdaouttaheeah!

New Yorkers seem very surprised by the news that the Castro regime isn’t buying any of their products despite their governor’s flashy efforts to drum up business with the bankrupt apartheid communist hell-hole.

Gee-whiz, Mildred, what could have gone wrong?

After all, governor Cuomo went on a trade mission to Cuba last year.  He spent a whole day there, followed everywhere by journalists, posing for photos in antique cars.

And…and… The New York Times promised this trip would not only create all kinds of business deals, but also bring more freedom to Cubans.

Why haven’t Cubans jumped at the chance to improve their lives, now that relations with the U.S. have been normalized?

Why doesn’t Raul Castro want to buy stuff from New York?  Doesn’t he know that his people need stuff, like food and medicines?

And why hasn’t President Castro budged on the issue of human rights?  The New York Times said he would!  And so did President Obama!

Jumpin’ Jehosophat! Gee, Mildred…. This is so incomprehensible! It’s like…like…a Twilight Zone episode, for cripes’ sakes!

trade missionary

From WGRZ.com

Exports lacking one year after Cuomo trip

It was one year ago today that Governor Cuomo was in Cuba for a visit, and you paid for it to the tune of $200,000.

The U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council is calling out the Governor.

“It was a $200,000 24 hour visit to Cuba for a photo op,” says U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council President John Kavulich.

Kavulich contacted representatives of the seven New York-based companies that went on the trip to see how they’ve benefited one year later.

“None of the companies have reported any solid exports or service activities since last year. One company that was involved with agriculture wasn’t able to get anywhere. Sought the help from Governor Cuomo’s staff, didn’t get anywhere,” said Kavulich.

That company, according to Kavulich, is Cayuga Milk Ingredients. He says Chobani Greek Yogurt, Pfizer, and Regeneron also reported no exports to Cuba. And his research found Infor just has an agreement to sell software in Cuba. MasterCard is awaiting some legal clarifications. And Jet Blue has applied to start direct U.S. flights to Cuba and is waiting for a decision.

Continue reading HERE (includes video)

Have I got a deal for you!

White House changes its tune on Cuban-American musician

Vindicated

It looks as if the White House was shamed into re-inviting Paquito D’Rivera.

First Carnival Cruise Lines, now the White House.

Wow.  Two strikes in a row for the Castro regime.  How exceedingly rare.

These sudden back-to-back turn-arounds are shocking.

If only this were to create a trend…. what if?….what if?… what if Castrogonia were to suddenly receive the South Africa treatment?

Naahhh….fuggedabouditt…. this is just a fluke.

White House re-invites Paquito D’Rivera, claims his dis-invitation was due to an “error.”

14-time Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Paquito D’Rivera has been re-invited to the White House’s International Jazz Day celebration after penning a letter objecting to being rejected for the celebration, a move he considered political retribution for his stance against the Cuban communist regime.

D’Rivera wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama last week explaining his situation: The prestigious Thelonius Monk Institute had invited him to perform at the White House – a venue he had played in before – and shortly after receiving the call, he was told by the White House that he was not allowed to attend after “not passing the vetting process.” He was given no reason for his rejection.

The Cuban-American musician then penned the letter: The only logical reason he could think of for not being allowed to perform at the event was his history of anti-communist, pro-freedom political statements, staunchly opposed to the continued reign of the violent Raúl Castro regime….

A week after writing the letter, D’Rivera was informed that he is once again invited to attend the event, and he will do so. “I received a call in my office informing me that there was no veto to my participation and that it had all been an error, so I will be there,” D’Rivera told Telemundo on Wednesday. He said he believed that Cuban government officials had intervened and attempted to have him kicked off the list.

The event will take place on April 29, and include legends like Aretha Franklin, Buddy Guy, Sting, and the Cuba-based artist Chucho Valdés. The Obama White House became the first in decades to host a Castro-friendly Cuban act in October, when Buena Vista Social Club performed there.

D’Rivera has been publicly critical of President Obama’s approach to the Castro government. In an interview in February, he described the normalization process as “cosmetic” and lamented that only minor improvements for Cuba’s wealthy may come out of the President’s diplomacy. “Maybe now, some people, some elites, have the chance to go play with American musicians, like Wynton Marsalis going and playing there… [Cubans] have an opportunity to see a couple of American musicians down there, but that doesn’t change much,” he told the Miami New Times.

Read the whole story HERE

Communist Party guarantees King Raul his crown and throne until 2021

Party on, dudes!

Raul Castro’s Clever Masterstroke

So, do you really believe that King Raul is going to relinquish his throne in 2018 and hand over all of his power to some successor?

The press of the free world certainly thinks so.  Good luck finding any article that calls this assumption into question.

Well…. as usual, King Raul always leaves out a very important footnote when he promises to abdicate in 2018.

That footnote made a brief but significant appearance at this week’s 7th Congress of the Communist Party.

At this Congress, King Raul insisted on ratifying the central significance of Article 5 of the Communist Party’s Constitution, which is Cuba’s de facto and de jure constitution.

Article 5 reads: “The Communist Party of Cuba, which follows the ideologies of Jose Marti and Marxism-Leninism, is the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, the supreme directing authority of the State and society, and it shapes and directs all communal efforts toward the lofty goals of the establishment of socialism and of progress toward a communist society.”  (“El Partido Comunista de Cuba, martiano y marxista-leninista, vanguardia organizada de la nación cubana, es la fuerza dirigente superior de la sociedad y del Estado, que organiza y orienta los esfuerzos comunes hacia los altos fines de la construcción del socialismo y el avance hacia la sociedad comunista.”)

Quite a mouthful, yes.  And very carefully worded.  Notice please, the phrasing of this sentence, which spells out the essential role of the Cuban Communist Party: “la fuerza dirigente superior de la sociedad y del Estado” (the supreme directing authority of the State and society).

What does this mean?  As Orlando Freire Santana points out in Diario de Cuba,  Article 5 guarantees that the leader of the Communist Party is the ultimate authority in Cuba, above all other State officials, including the country’s president.

Currently, King Raul holds the three top posts in Cuba: he is the leader of the Communist Party, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and President of Cuba.  In other words, he holds all power.

Since the Communist Party has just confirmed his post as its leader until 2021 –despite new age limits it imposed on subsequent leaders — Article 5 guarantees that Raul will be de jure and de facto “the supreme directing authority of the State and society.”

So, forget about all the smoke and mirrors surrounding the 2018 abdication date.

King Raul will keep his crown and throne until at least 2021.  As proven by his brothers Ramon and Fidel, these Castro boys don’t die until they are at least 90 or so.  And an uncle of theirs lived past 100.

Clever old monsters

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, back in Brasilia: Dilma Rouseff plays sexism card

 

Update on the saga of Dizzy Dilma, soon-to-be-impeached president of the supermodel-rich Latrine colossus of Brazil.

Dilma Rouseff,  an ardent Castro lover, is defending herself by casting blame for all her legal and political woes on others.

First and foremost, she is accusing her vice-president Michel Temer of staging a coup through parliamentary chicanery because– as she sees it — he is unable to attract enough votes to become president through an election.

In addition, she is also playing the sexism card.

Brazil’s leading export

“There is an element of prejudice against women mixed in this impeachment,” she said yesterday at a press conference with foreign journalists.  “Some of these attacks against me would never take place against a male president,” she added.

Yeah.  Viva la Revolucion, Dilma.  Maybe Raul and his new kiss-ass lackey Meester Obama can help you out, or maybe some of your supermodels, including the one who broke up Mick Jagger’s marriage.

Want the whole story? Go HERE to ABC Spain  (warning: Cuida’o, hegemonic Castilian dialect needed).

Bésame, bésame mucho….

Normalization trophy found on beach in northern Florida

Normalization flotsam

It’s just a bunch of stuff that can float, tightly bound together.

And someone just found it on a beach near Jacksonville, in the extreme north end of Florida, not too far from the border with the state of Georgia.

Some of the plastic bottles in this bundle of junk have labels of Cuban origin.

So, what is this?

Chances are that this tightly-bound trash is all that’s left of a Cuban raft that disintegrated out at sea.

Where are the Cuban  “migrants”?  Probably dead.  All signs point to one sad possibility: The “migrants” who assembled all this buoyant stuff in the hopes of escaping from slavery have joined innumerable thousands of their fellow countrymen in the largest mass grave in the Western hemisphere.

Someone should send half of this bundle of unfulfilled dreams to the current occupant of the White House and the other half to Diana Nyad.

And someone should send the rubber chancleta (flip-flop) embedded in this trophy of Normalization and hopelessness to King Raul.

Aaah, if only someone at the receiving end of such a package could then force King Raul to wear the flip-flop around his neck for the rest of his sorry days on earth.

Normalization: Best friends forever

From Actionnewsjax.com:

Possible part of Cuban refugee raft washes up in Ponte Vedra Beach

A local mother and daughter believe they found part of a Cuban refugee raft washed up in Ponte Vedra Beach.

It’s a mass of foam, plastic water bottles and even a rubber flip-flop.

The bottles have Cuban labels.

“Anything in their mind they deemed could float was thrown in, whether it was a personal artifact or something that was picked up as trash,” said Tobi Myers-Browning, who found the debris in high tide at the Guana Reserve.

“Tee-Boo-Ron”: Official mascot of the Normalization Circus

She and her daughter took a pledge to do daily beach cleanups together for a year. That’s how they stumbled upon the debris Monday.

“Wow, somebody could’ve come across on this and there’s no way to track to see if any of these people made it,” said Myers-Browning.

She called the Coast Guard. A local spokesman tells Action News Jax he is aware of the debris, but can’t confirm it’s from Cuba.

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve tells Action News Jax they plan to haul it off the beach on Wednesday so the plastic bottles don’t make their way back into the ocean.

Whole story HERE (includes video)

Collateral damage of Normalization Circus

Fidel delivers his own eulogy at Communist Party Congress

A monster facing his own extinction, babbling away….clapping for himself

Given how many awful dictators Latrine America has produced, it takes a really special dictator to claim the number one spot as worst dictator of all time.

Fidel has no competition.  No one else comes close.

Today, as the monstrous megalomaniac sociopath addressed the Communist Party Congress in Havana, he delivered an auto-eulogy, announcing his imminent death and praising himself and his reign of terror.

What else could one expect from the Coma-Andante?

So predictable.  So true to form.  So utterly disgusting and unjust.

The monster should have been addressing a court of law today, not an auditorium full of ass-kissing henchmen.

He will never stand trial for his crimes.  He will die in his comfortable bed, with the air-conditioning on, surrounded by his top concubine, his equally loathsome brother, and his privileged progeny.

Oh, well….  ultimately, the only justice that matters is that which meted out when monsters shuffle off their mortal coil, as Hamlet would say.

From Granma Lite (Associated Press), via Daily Mail:

Is Fidel Castro on the way out? Cuba’s revolutionary leader, 89, says he will die soon as he bids farewell to the Communist congress

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro delivered a valedictory speech Tuesday to the Communist Party that he put in power a half-century ago, telling party members he will soon die and exhorting them to help his ideas survive.

‘I’ll be 90 years old soon,’ Castro said in his most extensive public appearance in years, adding: ‘Soon I’ll be like all the others.’

He went on: ‘The time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban Communists will remain as proof on this planet that if they are worked at with fervor and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we need to fight without a truce to obtain them.’

Castro spoke as the government announced that his brother Raul will retain the Cuban Communist Party’s highest post alongside his hardline second-in-command.

Continue reading HERE.

And… if you’re feeling sadomasochistic…. you can listen to the whole auto-eulogy HERE (in Fidelese Spanish, of course), or watch a brief video clip HERE.

Or… if you need some cleansing after contemplating all this  — a “despojo”— go HERE  and read Psalm 73.

Henchmen applaud the auto-eulogy

 

Surprise: Castro regime denies involvement in drug trafficking

The evidence: “honey” and “molasses”

If this were a reasonable world –ha, good luck with that — much more attention would be paid to the drug shipment from Cuba just intercepted in Panama.

But, nooooooooooooo, that’s not important.

And, as usual, as they did when they were caught shipping armaments to North Korea, the Castro regime is denying that there were sending drugs anywhere, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

They never do anything wrong. Nooooooooo.

I never do anything wrong…lo juromal rayo me parta….just ask this guy

From ShanghaiDaily.com

Cuba dismisses report on drug container shipped from island

Cuba’s General Customs Office dismissed a dispatch from the Spanish news agency EFE about the presence of drugs in a container from the island as baseless, the office said in a news release Monday.

“On April 14, the news agency EFE published a dispatch reporting the seizure at the Port of Colon in Panama of 401 kilograms of cocaine inside a container shipped at the Cuban port of Mariel with Belgium as the final destination,” said the release published on the official NTV news.

Cuba’s General Customs Office said “it can categorically assure that the container CLHU 387265-2 was not carrying drugs in its structure or in the metal tanks inside carrying honey, so the news reported by the EFE agency lacks any foundation.”

The denial is based on a review of radiological images as well as procedures for the inspection of containers, said the news release.

A good dose of myth-bashing: Cuba sucks, big time

The cost of “free” education and health care

From Reason.com

Cuba’s Literacy Rate, Life Expectancy Nothing to Lionize

by Marian Tupy

Recently, I had a conversation with an American acquaintance, who bemoaned the lack of “free” education and healthcare in the United States. “Even Cuba,” he continued with a non-sequitur, “has higher literacy and life expectancy [than America].” In case you wonder what circles I happen to move in, recall that even President Obama recently waxed lyrical about Cuba’s education and healthcare.

To quote the sage of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, “I said this to President Castro in Cuba. I said, look, you’ve made great progress in educating young people. Every child in Cuba gets a basic education—that’s a huge improvement from where it was. Medical care—the life expectancy of Cubans is equivalent to the United States, despite it being a very poor country, because they have access to health care. That’s a huge achievement. They should be congratulated.”

The left has a long history of lionizing Cuba’s education and health, while ignoring or downplaying the island’s poverty and dictatorship. Underlying all conversations that I have had with American leftists about Cuba has been an implicit acceptance of a tradeoff between freedom and “free stuff.” “Yes, Cuba is not a democracy,” the argument usually goes, “but at least they have free education and healthcare. And, we don’t!” The casual way in which the left glosses over Cuba’s dictatorship is all the more remarkable considering that here at home the left is hypersensitive to voting rights and the supposed attempts by the political right to disenfranchise America’s minorities.

free health care

And that got me thinking, what is the relationship between literacy and life expectancy on the one hand, and democracy and dictatorship on the other hand? In 2012, the last year for which Human Progress has data on Cuban literacy, 40 out of 73 countries and territories surveyed by UNESCO had literacy rates among adults higher than 90 percent.  With 99.75 percent, Cuba came in second place—after Azerbaijan. According to Freedom House, out of the 40 countries and territories in the top decile, 35 percent were politically free, 35 percent were partly free and 27.5 percent were unfree (the rest had no Freedom House score).

The contrast between free and unfree countries is much starker when it comes to life expectancy. In 2014, out of 198 countries and territories surveyed by the World Bank, 35 had a life expectancy over 80 years. With 79.39 years, Cuba was not one of them. It ranked in the 38th place globally. With 78.94 years, the United States came in 43rdplace. Thus, while Cuba has edged out the United States, it is not in any way remarkable by global standards. In fact, out of the 35 countries and territories with life expectancy over 80 years, 83 percent were free and 6 percent were partly free (the rest had no Freedom House score). Not one unfree country had a life expectancy over 80 years!

What are we to make of this? It may well be that a literate population is relatively highly valued by both dictatorial and democratic government. When newspapers are tightly controlled by the government, having the populace read the government propaganda seem like a good thing. But, when it comes to life expectancy—an excellent proxy for the standard of living in general and health of the populace in particular—dictatorships can’t hold a candle to democracies.

free “education”

Why the Normalization Circus won’t link Cubans to the internet

Cuba’s fake Google: Meaningless sign on the wall, useless laptops

“It’s not a technical problem. It’s a political one.”

Google has come to Cuba, but the internet is still off limits for 95% of the population, due to the repressive policies of the Castro regime.

So observes Mike Elgan in the perceptive essay below.

Further proof — as if any more is needed — that the Castro regime won’t allow any real change in Cuba.

From Computer World:

Why even Google can’t connect Cuba

Reports say Google intends to help wire Cuba and bring the island into the 21st century. But that’s not going to happen.

When President Obama said in Havana last month that Google would be working to improve Internet access in Cuba, I wondered what Google might do in Cuba that other companies could not.

Today, Cuba is an Internet desert where only 5% of trusted elites are allowed to have (slow dial-up) Internet connections at home, and a paltry 400,000 people access the Internet through sidewalk Wi-Fi hotspots. These hotspots have existed for only a year or so. Also, some 2.5 million Cubans have government-created email accounts, but no Web access.

I spent a month in Cuba until last week, and I was there when the president spoke. I’m here to report that those government Wi-Fi hotspots are rare, slow and expensive. While in Cuba, my wife, son and I spent about $300 on Wi-Fi. In a country where the average wage ranges from $15 to $30 per month, connecting is a massive financial burden available only to a lucky minority with private businesses or generous relatives in Miami.

And this is why I think the possibilities of what Google might accomplish in Cuba are misunderstood.

It’s not as if Cuba would have ubiquitous, affordable and fast Internet access if it just had the money or expertise to make it happen. The problem is that Cuba is a totalitarian Communist dictatorship.

The outrageous price charged for Wi-Fi in Cuba can’t possibly reflect the cost of providing the service. The price is really a way to restrict greater freedom of information to those who benefit from the Cuban system.specific Wi-Fi card is associated with a specific person.

The Cuban government allows people to run privately owned small hotels, called casas particulares, and small home restaurants, called paladares. The owners of these small businesses would love to provide their guests with Wi-Fi, but the Cuban government doesn’t allow it. Nor does it allow state-owned restaurants, bars and cafes to provide Wi-Fi.

Google is connected to the global Internet through satellite networks. Cuba is connected to the Internet by an undersea fiber-optic cable that runs between the island and Venezuela. The cable was completed in 2011, and it existed as a “darknet” connection for two years before suddenly going online in 2013.

So here’s the problem with Google as the solution: The Cuban government uses high prices and draconian laws to prevent the majority of Cubans from having any access to the Internet at all. The government actively prevents access as a matter of policy. It’s not a technical problem. It’s a political one.

In other words, Cuba doesn’t need Google to provide hotspots. If the Cuban government allowed hotspots, Cubans would provide them.

Continue reading HERE

Internet Nazi: No connection for you!
Internet Nazi: No connection for you!

 

Castro regime blasts Obama’s “attack,” calls U.S. an “enemy”

Resistance to change you can believe in: NO SE PUEDE

While the press of the free world continues to praise the Normalization Circus and the “changes” it has occasioned in Cuba, King Raul and the knights of his red table are doubling down on their efforts to prevent any real change from taking place.

If this were a reasonable world, the current occupant of the White House would be subjected to endless ridicule, along with his Normalization Circus.

King Raul and his Foreign Minister have just made it clear: no change, no change, no change, not now, not tomorrow, not ever.

Young whippersnapper Bruno Rodriguez: “go to Hell, Obama”

From Democracy Digest:

Cuba minister calls Obama trip ‘an attack’ as Communists defend ideology

U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Communist-led Cuba was an “attack” on its history and culture aimed at misleading a new business class, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Monday, the latest sign of anger after the ground-breaking trip last month, Reuters reports:

“In this visit, there was a deep attack on our ideas, our history, our culture and our symbols,” Rodriguez said at the Communist Party congress.

Cuban leaders have hardened their language against the United States since Obama became the first U.S. president to visit the island in 88 years, with Fidel Castro accusing him of sweet-talking the people.

President Raul Castro referred to the United States as “the enemy” in the opening speech of the party congress over the weekend and told Cubans to be alert to U.S. attempts to weaken the revolution….The congress, held every five years, must make decisions about the future of Cuba’s elderly leadership and the progress of market-style economic reforms adopted in 2011 that allowed more small businesses.

“The harsh rhetorical push-back by the ideological wing of the Communist Party suggests their heightened sense of vulnerability,” said Richard Feinberg, a former national security adviser to U.S. President Bill Clinton.

“The key function of the congress is a message that the Obama visit has not changed anything. To reduce expectations,” said Bert Hoffman, a Latin American expert at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies:

Castro reiterated the party’s commitment to the reforms which he said should be implemented faster. But he said Cuba was not moving towards capitalism, citing China and Vietnam as models while emphasizing that social ownership and cooperatives were mostly preferable to private property.

He celebrated Cuba’s growing number of self-employed people but cautioned that the US was seeking to turn them into a opposition force. Obama spent hours talking to small business people and entrepreneurs during his Havana visit.

“We are not naive, and we are aware of powerful external forces that aspire to, as they say, ‘empower’ non-state actors to generate agents of change and finish off the revolution by other means,” Castro said.

Continue reading HERE

Human Rights Foundation defends dissident Cuban doctor

Dr. Eduardo Herrera Duran

From the Human Rights Foundation:

HRF to Castro regime: Stop Harassing Dissident Doctor

Human Rights Foundation (HRF) strongly condemns the continued harassment of Cuban doctor and journalist Eduardo Herrera Duran. In March, Herrera — a surgeon at the Calixto García University Hospital in Havana and a deputy editor for the Hablemos Press independent news agency — was barred from leaving the country to attend a human rights conference in the Czech Republic. Herrera was unable to board his plane after state agents stopped him at the airport and claimed that he needed further authorization to travel.

“In 2012, Cuba began to allow some dissidents to travel abroad, but this new rule seldom applies to medical doctors who disagree with the government. Journalists, dissidents, and activists like Herrera often find themselves helpless when the authorities, targeting them for their work, prevent them from leaving the country,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. “Doctor Herrera is clearly being targeted for his role in condemning the farceof Cuba’s ‘significant achievements’ in areas like health care,” said Halvorssen.

In December, the Cuban government reinstated a travel permit requirement for health professionals. In violation of their fundamental right to freedom of movement, medical specialists are now required to obtain permission from health ministry officials in order to leave the country. Herrera requested the travel permit two months in advance of his departure and was never informed that the officials had arbitrarily rejected his request. In a phone call yesterday, Herrera informed HRF that he has once again filed a travel permit request to attend HRF’s Oslo Freedom Forum in May.

HRF is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

View this release on the HRF website here.

Human rights? Who cares? We have magnificent health care.

Turn-around on apartheid cruise to Castrogonia: Carnival now accepting Cuban-American passengers

1c3e287

One must assume that all the negative publicity generated by the apartheid cruise to Castrogonia has caused the weasels at Carnival Cruise Lines to change their tune.

It seems that they are now refusing to cave in to the Castro regime.  Lo and behold, they have decided to include Cuban-American passengers after all.

So, one of the most ironic acts in the Normalization Circus now assumes an added dimension of irony: the controversial cruise may be delayed because of this turn-around decision.

Hypocritical Cuban “exiles” who want to travel to their homeland on a cruise ship are now causing a delay for their would-be fellow travelers , that is, to all the other other morally-bankrupt voyeuristic Americans who want to go slumming in the trendy Jurassic Park of Communism, otherwise known as the Castro Kingdom.

Uh-oh, wait for the backlash on this one… Damn Cubans, such a nuisance, always causing trouble.

Let’s wait for the Oliphant cartoon on this peculiar turn of events….

no complaints about this discrimination

From Examiner.com

Carnival to book Cuban Americans on Cuba trip, may delay departure

After a firestorm of criticism, the threat of boycotts, a federal civil rights lawsuit, ACLU involvement, and potential port side demonstrations, Carnival Cruise Line announced Monday that it would now accept booking for those passengers who were born in Cuba but to this point are banned by Cuban policy from entering the island’s ports by sea. Carnival, which operates the Cuba cruise franchise under the Fathom Travel brand, declared they would not sail on their scheduled departure date of May 1st until the issue with the Cuban government is resolved. Here are excerpts from the PR Wire release:

“Carnival Corporation today announced that the company is continuing discussions with Cuba to allow cruise ships to operate in the same manner as current air charter operations, which transport Cuba-born individuals to and from Cuba.”

“Carnival Corporation also announced that it is accepting bookings on its 10th and newest brand, Fathom, from all travelers to Cuba, regardless of their country of origin, and is looking forward to its historic inaugural voyage to Cuba on May 1, 2016. While optimistic that Cuba will treat travelers with Fathom the same as air charters today, should that decision by Cuba be delayed past May 1, Carnival Corporation will delay the start of its voyages to Cuba accordingly.”

“Carnival Corporation continues active discussions with Cuba, asking that travel on Fathom be on a level playing field with air charter travel to Cuba and remains confident its discussions with Cuba will result in a positive outcome for everyone who wants to travel to Cuba, including those who are Cuba-born.”

“Fathom has updated its reservations process and all travelers can book its cruises to Cuba, including Cuban-born individuals, in anticipation of Cuba allowing travel on a similar basis as they would if they were traveling by air.”

Cuba has maintained a policy of not allowing those born in Cuba to return to the island via boat or ship a policy that has roots in the 1960’s, after the Bay of Pigs Invasion, when Cuban exiles frequently attempted to land anti-Castro operatives and arms in attempts to overthrow the Communist Government. The ban affects Cuban born citizens of all countries, not just the United States.

Miami travel agents are now faced with booking or rebooking Cuban Americans who were denied reservations but without a rock solid date for the first-ever cruise waiting for a policy change from the Cubans. “A much better approach,” one agent told Examiner. com.

No cruise for you, lady!

Another violent sunday in Castrogonia: Report from Diario de Cuba

Berta Soler

More “normalization,” Castro style.

This is what King Raul Castro and his beloved Communist Party want to keep in place indefinitely, with no end in sight.

Senkiu beri moch, meester Obama, mil gracias:

from Diario de Cuba

Dissidents injured by State Security agents

Ladies in White  Berta Soler and Mailén González González were injured on Sunday April 17 when those taking part in a #TodosMarchamos public protest.

Mailén González reported to DIARIO DE CUBA that state security agents sprained her foot and that Berta Soler sustained a severe blow to the head when she was pushed to the ground.

“When we began to shout ‘Libertad’ (Freedom), as usual,  Berta was pushed to by some state security officers and she fell backwards.  When she hit the ground, her head suffered a severe blow and she began to shake, like she was having convulsions.”

Mailén González said: “Aliuska Gómez and I rushed to her because we thought she had been gravely injured, but state security guards prevented us from getting near.  They were trying to lift her off the ground, but we were worried that moving her roughly [after a serious head injury] might worsen her condition.”

“A plainclothes officer from state security tripped me and pushed me down, and as I fell, it felt as if my left foot was breaking.  It began to swell immediately and soon after that I couldn’t even walk,”  added Mailén González.

When the bus carrying the arrested dissidents arrived at the Tarara police station,  Mailén González was unable to get out of her seat due to the pain in her foot.  She was taken to a clinic for x-rays, but the doctors would only convey information to state security agents rather than directly to her.   She was eventually informed that she had a “third degree sprain.”

At the time that González spoke to DIARIO DE CUBA, some of the dissidents were still under arrest, including the Berta Soler,  Antonio Rodiles, Claudio Fuentes, and Ángel Moya.

normalization

 

 

Another violent sunday in Cuba: report from Marti Noticias

Dissidents arrested on sunday April 17

From Marti Noticias:

Raul Castro’s repressive machinery has intensified its efforts to prevent the Ladies in White from leaving their homes to join the #TodosMarchamos protests.

Police detained one group of Ladies in White and other dissidents when they emerged from their meeting place in the Lawton neighborhood of Havana.  Despite such repressive tactics, about sixteen Ladies and dissidents from other neighborhoods managed to reach St. Rita Church and to meet in Gandhi Park.

Dissident Ailer González reported to  Marti Noticias that other opposition activists were arrested in the town of Holguín.  Listen to her report HERE (in Spanish)

For the past two sundays, plain-clothed operatives of the Castro regime have surrounded the homes of dissidents to prevent them from gathering in public.

state security agents disguised as civilians keep an eye on dissidents in Lawton, Saturday April 16

Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White said that they decided to emerge from their headquarters despite all of the state security agents outside because they wanted to express their rights and because “one’s home is not a jail cell.” ( “la casa no es calabozo”)

This is the fiftieth sunday in a row that the Castro regime has harassed, beaten, and arrested dissidents.

Normalization update: Cubans keep fleeing in record numbers

Ah, the wonders of Normalization!

Three cheers for the circus!

From Granma Lite (Associated Press) via Trump Turbo (Fox News):

More than 3 dozen Cuban migrants caught at sea

Nearly 40 Cuban migrants are being repatriated to Cuba after being caught at sea by U.S. Coast Guard officials.

The 39 migrants, who were first captured Monday aboard a rustic vessel in waters northwest of Havana, were returned Saturday to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, the Coast Guard reported.

Cubans are increasingly leaving their island amid fears they might lose a special status that gives Cubans automatic residency in the United States if they reach U.S. soil and in the wake of normalized diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District in Miami estimates that 3,140 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

Viva el circo!