Another totally one-sided deal with the Castro regime: Castronoid TV programs coming to the U.S.

Must-see TV

No this is not a late April Fool’s joke.

I wish it were.

Some cable industry knotheads here in the U.S. are all set to bombard Lateeeeen-oh tv screens with Castronoid programming, fed directly into American homes from Havana.

It’s hard to get outraged about every new act in the Normalization Circus, but this one should make blood boil in the veins of anyone familiar with the propaganda-driven content of all Castronoid “entertainment” –even  their most seemingly benign or banal shows — all of which are infused with politics.

Never mind the fact that practically everything produced in Castrogonia is crap to begin with, even worse than Mexican telenovelas or Sabado Gigante.

If this Normalization Circus weren’t a total farce, we’d be reading about American programming being made available to Cubans — other than TV and Radio Marti, which are not easy to access.

But, nooooooooooooooooo!  Sorry, Mildred, the entertainment in this circus flows only in one direction and the only party to benefit from it is the Castro dynasty.

Go to hell, DISH and DishLATEEEN-OH.  There’s a special place down there for folks like you.

From USA Today

Cuban TV programming to be broadcast in U.S.

Cuban programming is coming to U.S. airwaves thanks to DISH, the Colorado-based provider with 13.9 million TV subscribers. The company announced the launch of a new channel Thursday called CUBAMAX TV, which will carry entertainment programming created in Cuba featuring some of the island’s most famous celebrities. The channel will not feature any political or news programming, but instead will focus on comedies, children’s programming, music videos and telenovelas.

The channel’s operations will be in Miami, where producers will package shows from Cuba and distribute them to subscribers of DishLATINO.

“Connecting viewers with their heritage and culture is at the heart of the DishLATINO brand promise, and today marks an important milestone as we deliver movies and TV shows from Cuba that were previously unavailable,” Alfredo Rodriguez, vice president of DishLATINO, said in a statement. “With an estimated two million Cubans living in the U.S. and many others eager to learn about the island’s rich culture, we’re excited to provide a window into the arts and entertainment world of Cuba.”

Continue reading HERE

And you thought my show was bad…wait to you see Raul’s

Venezuela’s socialist paradise: some animals are more equal than others

Less equal

As is true in Castrogonia (in the real world) and in George Orwell’s Animal Farm (in fiction),  revolution has created a socialist dystopia in Venezuela.

The “revolutionaries” are the oligarchs who live well and exploit everyone else.

The “people” end up as lesser beings.

Socialism is NEVER about equality.  NEVER.

From the one and only Daily Mail:

‘Why shouldn’t we enjoy ourselves just because the country is burning?’ Super-rich Socialists quaff champagne in Venezuela country club while middle class mothers scavenge for scraps in the gutter… and even the DOGS are starving

Venezuela’s super-rich are enjoying lavish parties and gourmet cuisine, while middle-class people are forced to scavenge for food as the Socialist country’s economy collapses.

In the opulent Caracas Country Club, where membership costs an astonishing £77,000 – 458 times the average Venezuelan salary – glamorous women in cocktail dresses were seen relishing a banquet of beef and lobster, followed by a colourful selection of puddings.

Meanwhile, in the Petare slum a few miles away, home to 370,000 Venezuelans, ordinary middle-class people were rummaging in stinking piles of rubbish for rotten cabbage leaves, desiccated limes and scraps of fetid meat.

less equal

‘Those rich people are thieves. They are government cronies and they stole the country’s money,’ said Vanessa, 36, who earns £14 a month as an analyst at an electrics company.

‘They don’t want anything to change, or they would lose their high lifestyle.

‘Chávez pretended to be this big Socialist, but he was rich himself. He was a hypocrite. He was a f*****g liar. His legacy is people like me looking for food in the garbage.’

more equal

For 20 years, Venezuela’s economy was gradually destroyed by ‘Chavismo’, an authoritarian form of Socialism that wrecked the private sector with mass nationalisation and regulation.

Prices were controlled by the government – often set below the cost of production – and it was illegal to give employees the sack. Petrol was given away for 25p a gallon, and poor people were given free food and healthcare.

Billions disappeared from the economy due to cronyism, with Transparency International naming Venezuela one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Continue reading HERE  (and see more disturbing photos too)

less equal

Shocking! Germany will begin to discriminate against Muslim migrants

Multi-kulti marriage

What?

Discrimination?  In Germany?  What about multiculturalism and all that multi-kulti stuff?

Yes, Germans have truly lost their minds….

How could such intolerance ever be tolerated?  How can any nation be so insensitive?

Maybe this news story helps to explain why so many Germans flock to Castrogonia’s apartheid tourist resorts?

Multi-kulti sex tourism

Or does it help explain why Donald Trump — a white male of German ancestry — hates Mexicans?

Quick… find me a safe space…. as a Lateen-oh, I am thoroughly traumatized by this piece of news….

I’m thoroughly devastated and paralyzed by this macro-aggression, which came without the requisite trigger warnings….

Oh, the insanity!

From the king of tabloids, The Daily Mail:

Germany to scrap ‘cultural immunity’ and will no longer allow migrants to have multiple marriages or child brides

Germany will no longer allow migrants to have multiple wives or child brides, the justice minister has said.

Heiko Maas told German newspaper Bild that no one has the ‘right to place their cultural values or religious beliefs above our laws’.

There has been increased concern over polygamous marriages in the wake of a rise in the number of migrants arriving in Germany, many from Muslim countries.

While polygamy is already banned in Germany, many officials ‘turn a blind eye’ to migrants who arrive in the country with more than one wife, the newspaper reports.

This is also true of forced and underage marriages.

Mr Maas told the tabloid: ‘We need to look very carefully. Forced marriages, we can not tolerate, and certainly not when underage girls are involved.

He added: ‘Everyone must abide by rules and laws, whether they grew up here or are new. The law is equal for all.’

Continue reading HERE

We have no such problems here in my ultra-tolerant kingdom….

 

Venezuelan implosion worsens: food riots, killings, arrests

socialism

From Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters)

Hundreds arrested in Venezuela after latest unrest over food

Venezuelan security forces have arrested at least 400 people after the latest bout of looting and food riots in the crisis-hit OPEC member country, local officials said on Wednesday.

Another death was also reported in the state of Merida from unrest which is breaking out sporadically across the South American OPEC nation.

On Tuesday, violence engulfed the eastern Caribbean coastal town of Cumana as looters swarmed through dozens of shops and security forces struggled to maintain control.

There were unconfirmed reports on social media of several deaths in Cumana, which is the capital of Sucre state. But regional governor Luis Acuna from the ruling Socialist Party said those reported deaths were unrelated to the looting.

“There were only 400 people arrested and the deaths were not linked to the looting,” he told a local TV station, calling the looters vandals encouraged by right-wing politicians.

“I have no doubt they paid them, this was planned.”

Nelson Moreno, governor of Anzoategui state, which neighbors Sucre, said eight people were also arrested on Tuesday in “irregular” situations, a term that usually refers to looting.

With desperate crowds of people chanting “We want food!,” protests and melees at shops have spread across Venezuela in recent weeks, fueled by severe shortages.

continue reading HERE

Surprise: U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights cites Castro Kingdom for violations

High CommissionerZeid Ra’ad Al Husein

Ha! Fooled you.

Yes, the High Commissioner did include the Castro Kingdom in his list of complaints, but only for its low number of black government officials.

No other human rights violations by the Castro regime are mentioned.  None at all.

So, the High Commissioner is correct about one aspect of the Castronoid oligarchy: there are hardly any Afro-Cubans in top posts.

Castronoid oligarchy

But the figures he cites are so totally wrong as to make this complaint look ridiculous.  According to him, Afro-Cubans make up “well over ten percent” of the population.

Yes,  60% — the real figure —  is “well over ten percent”…. but….. why not cite the correct figure, which is shocking enough to make his complaint about “affirmative action policies” in the Castro Kingdom seem much more valid?

Aaaaah….. yes, how foolish to nitpick…. the Castro Kingdom is on the U.N. Human Rights Council… How could one forget!…. And the Castro regime’s phony census figures estimate Cuba’s black population at around 11%….

Never mind the percentage of leading Cuban dissidents who are of African descent or the actual number of them who are routinely abused and jailed.

Never mind all the other human rights abuses on the island slave plantation.

affirmative action

One should be surprised that even one half-assed complaint was included in the High Commissioner’s list.

Maybe there is a reason for calling the High Commissioner “high”?

“high” commissioner

Here is the relevant section of the High Commissioner’s very long list of complaints:

As the coordinator of the International Decade for People of African Descent, I am concerned about the continuing low political representation of Afro-descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean. There are around 150 million people of African descent in the region, amounting to about 30 percent of the population. They make up more than half the population of Brazil and well over ten percent of the population of Cuba, to take two examples. But their representation in high levels of government, including Ministerial Cabinets, is far lower.

Representation matters. This deficit of representation at the summit of power affects all of society: parliaments, workplaces in the public and the private sectors, schools, law courts, the media – all of them places in which the voices of Afro-descendants are given too little weight. The voices, the choices, the experiences and the faces of Afro-descendants need to be better reflected in government. I urge these and other States to take action to reflect the diversity of their population in decision making bodies, including consideration of affirmative action policies.

Will the lighthouse Cuban “migrants” get the chance to become refugee yo-yo’s ?

From CNN (Better known in the exile community as the Castro News Network)

Will Cubans who climbed lighthouse get to stay in U.S.?

The TV news helicopter footage showed scenes from a standoff.

A boatload of Cuban migrants scaled a 136-year-old lighthouse off the Florida Keys. The U.S. Coast Guard convinced them to come down.

Maria Elena Lopez played the video over and over, filled with relief — and questions. She spotted her son’s dark blue T-shirt. She watched him brush his hand across his face.
Is he OK? When was the last time he ate? When would she have a chance to see him again?

“Finally,” she thought to herself, “I will have him here with me.”

That was more than three weeks ago. And the mother and son are still hundreds of miles apart.

She’s at home in Jacksonville, Florida. Her son, Alexander Vergara Lopez, and the other 23 Cubans who climbed the American Shoal Lighthouse last month are now aboard a Coast Guard cutter, waiting for a federal judge to decide their fate.

The legal battle centers on a key question: Does the lighthouse count as “dry land”?

The judge’s ruling will determine whether the migrants can stay in the United States or whether authorities must send them back to Cuba.

The lighthouse the migrants climbed is about 6.5 miles south of Sugarloaf Key, some 15 miles east of Key West in the Florida island chain.

Continue reading HERE

If they get to stay and become yo-yo’s….

Frivolous question of the day: what do Cubans think of “piropos”?

A “piropo”  is a catcall of sorts: a sexually charged “compliment” made to a passing beauty.

In Cuban culture, piropos can be very aggressive, very poetic and full of double entendres.

In the U.S., anyone using a Cuban piropo would be accused of outright sexual harassment.   No doubt about it.

Cuban piropos always lose their true meaning in translation. Here are a few samples.

“Bonbón, camina por la sombra, que el sol derrite los chocolates.”  (Bon bon, walk in the shade, chocolates melt in the sun)

“Si cocinas como caminas, me como hasta los cacharros.” (If you cook like you walk, I’ll even eat the pots and pans.”

“Tu con tantas curvas, y yo sin frenos.” (You have so many curves, and I have no brakes).

“Le ronca al mango, mama, tu con tanta carne y yo pasando hambre.”  (How extreme, mama, you have so much meat, and I’m starving)

“Muñeca, por alguna casualidad ese pantalon es capitalista, porque llevas las masas oprimidas.” (Doll, by any chance are your pants capitalist?  They’re oppressing your masses) 

Someone in Havana recently asked Cuban men and women on the street for their opinion on the use of piropos.  Are they acceptable or not?

Below is a clip of the interview.

If nothing else, this clip provides a glimpse of the changes wrought in Cuba by 57 years of “free” Castronoid education.

Good luck understanding the mangled Spanish spoken by these Cubans.

 

Prize-winning Cuban writer arrested — again.

arrested

A new act made its debut yesterday in the carefully camouflaged tent at the edge of the Normalization Circus.

Aaaah…. this is one kind of act that is unpredictable, but will most likely continue its run.

And acts of this sort are never included in “Let’s-go-to-Cuba-before-it-changes” tourist promotions.

No.  Acts of this sort will continue as long as the Castronoids are in control, no matter what other changes take place…. like the introduction of credit cards.

Angel Santiesteban displays handiwork of Castro thugs in 2009

From 14yMedio via Translating Cuba:

Cuban Writer Angel Santiesteban Arrested

The writer Angel Santiesteban was arrested on Monday afternoon shortly after he left his home. The blogger is in a cell at the police station located at the corner of Zapata and C in the Plaza municipality, according to the information from the police offered by telephone.

Recently, Santiesteban received the Reinaldo Arenas Narrative Prize, awarded by the Club of Independent Writers of Cuba and he is now in what he called “a creative phase” that consumes all his time.

According to telephone calls made by family and friends to police authorities, Santiesteban was arrested because “they had tracked him” from the Isle of Youth.

The winner, also, of the Casa de las Américas Prize (2006) was on parole awaiting the outcome of an appeal for review of his case by the Ministry of Justice; he recently served several years in prison for “violation of domicile and injuries.” In the trial in that case, which was denounced as a process full of irregularities, he had been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

Since the appeal was filed for review of his case, Santiesteban has been arrested on several occasions, including for participating in the Sunday marches of the Ladies in White.

American credit card approved by Castro Kingdom for use in Cuba

Stonegate Bank President David Seleski and his magic Master Card

On your marks…get set…go !!!

On your next trip to Cuba, you can now take along a credit card.

Would anyone familiar with the cheating patterns of the Castro regime dare to issue a credit card for purchases in Cuba or to use it there?

The Castro regime is “waving” it’s usual 10% cut on dollar exchanges.

Hmmmmmm.  Very interesting…..  God only knows what the real deal is or how this will work.

Friendly advice: if you have any money in Stonegate Bank, maybe you should transfer it to some other bank.

And… friendly advice for Stonegate Bank president David Seleski: read THIS from Capitol Hill Cubans.  It seems that what you’re trying to do is illegal.

From Voice of America:

Florida Bank to Offer First Credit Cards for Use in Cuba

A small regional Florida bank is making history.

Stonegate Bank is issuing the first credit card that can be used in Cuba since Washington and Havana normalized relations.

“In the past, everyone’s had to use cash, which is difficult. … It’s dangerous. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense,” Stonegate CEO David Seleski said Tuesday in Havana. “By having a credit card now, people will be able to use corporate travel down here, just like any other country.”

The card will be a limited-edition MasterCard. Stonegate will issue only 1,000 cards initially. Each card will feature artwork by celebrated Cuban painter Michel Mirabal.

The Cuban government will waive the usual 10 percent penalty on dollar exchanges for those using the Stonegate cards.

Seleski said he hopes more U.S. banks will issue cards that can be used in Cuba to ease the burden on the new wave of travelers expected to visit the island in the future.

Most blatant hypocrisy of the year: King Raul denounces Orlando massacre

Wow! This one surely belongs in the Guiness Book of World Records!

Shamelessness has been redefined, Mildred!  And for Spanish-speaking folk, the word sinverguenza has been given a whole new dimension of meaning!

It takes cojones the size of watermelons for a mass murderer to excoriate a fellow mass murderer.  Yet, this is what King Raul Castro has just done.

The ruthless dictator who wept crocodile tears yesterday over the killings in Orlando is the very same sociopath responsible for countless deaths, including the cold-blooded murder of 37 men, women and children who were simply trying to flee from his dictatorship.

GOTCHA, SUCKER !!!

As if this “condemnation” of the Orlando massacre weren’t shameless enough, the very same dictator also “unequivocally” condemned “all acts of terrorism and hate” anywhere.

Wow! Such a bold display of hypocrisy from a man with a long history of stalwart support for terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Colombia’s FALN,  and of terror-sponsoring states such as Iran.

But what’s more remarkable: the fact that he had the gumption to make such statements, or the fact that the news media are taking them at face value, interpreting his words as genuine expressions of ethical good will?

Never mind the fact that the dictator is referred to as “president.”  That’s a very old problem, unfixable at this point in time.

The only other instance of such bold chicanery that comes to mind is fictional: the Martians in the film “Mars Attacks” who yell out “we come in peace” as they slaughter earthlings.

Wow!  King Raul has topped those fictional Martians, and the news media has once again helped him burnish his phony halo.

WE COME IN PEACE… WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS….

From Business Standard:

Cuba’s Raul Castro condemns Orlando mass shooting

Cuban President Raul Castro has condemned the Orlando mass shooting that left 50 people killed and 53 others injured, expressing solidarity with the families of the victims, the US people and government.

“The Cuban people and government express their condolences and solidarity with the families of the victims,” Xinhua news agency quoted Castro as saying in a message to US President Barack Obama.

The letter, published by Havana’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, is the first of its kind sent by Castro to Obama since the two nations re-established diplomatic relations in 2015.

“Cuba rejects and unequivocally condemns all acts of terrorism or hate anywhere, under any circumstances and whatever the motives may be,” Castro said.

Continue reading HERE if you can stand more babbling of this sort…

WE CONDEMN ALL ACTS OF HATE…..

Caracastan implosion update: Food riots turn deadly

Desperation is increasing as food runs out in the Castro colony of Caracastan, formerly known as Venezuela.

Rationing won’t solve this problem.  Neither will foreign aid.

And nothing will help the looters and rioters who are ending up dead, or their grieving families.

Nothing will begin to improve until the Bolivarian Revolution is scrapped and all the Chavistas and Castronoid “advisors” disappear.

And nothing will begin to improve in the Castro Kingdom until the Castro dynasty and its minions disappear.

Socialism at work

From Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters)

Venezuela lootings, food protests leave three dead in past week

A wave of lootings and food riots in crisis-hit Venezuela has left three people dead in the last week, authorities and a rights group said.

The state prosecutor’s office is investigating the deaths of a 21-year-old man in eastern Sucre state on Saturday, another 21-year-old man in the Caracas slum of Petare on Thursday, and a 42-year-old woman in the western state of Tachira last Monday.

All three were shot during chaotic protests and melees outside shops, which have become flashpoints for violence and looting amid scarcities of basics across the South American OPEC member country, according to local rights group Provea.

A policeman has been arrested over the Tachira death.

And a National Guard sergeant major was arrested for the shooting in Sucre, the prosecutor’s office said on Monday.

With basics such as flour and rice running short, crowds chanting “We want food!” are thronging supermarkets daily, presenting a major problem for the struggling leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro.

More than 10 incidents of looting are occurring daily, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a local monitoring group.

Continue reading HERE (includes video)

Vamos muy bien….requetebien

U.S. Department of Transportation announces lots and lots of commercial tourist flights to Castro Kingdom

Good morning historic exiles!

Good morning, historic exiles and Cuban dissidents!

Here’s a grapefruit in the face for you.  Enjoy your dess-ah-yoo-noh, or breakfast, or whatever you call it in your stinkin’ Little Havana.

Yeah, well, you knew this was coming.  No surprise here, really.

The Obama steamroller has crushed all opposition to its romancing of the Castro regime, and the final wedge that will break the so-called “embargo” has been driven into place.

Forget “people-to-people” tours on chartered flights.

Americans will soon be able to board flights that take them directly to apartheid tourist resorts.

And they will have 90 flights to choose from every single day.

Oh, yes, at first there will most probably be some pretense that these are still “people-to-people” encounters, but that won’t last for long.

The only real surprise in this news story is that Governor Cuomo of New York did not succeed in gaining his state a place on the list of cities with direct flights to Cuba.

He tried so hard, so, so hard to get the Big Apple on that list during his 24 hours in the Castro Kingdom — even posed for photos in some vintage 50’s cars —  but something didn’t work out.

Fuhgeddaboudditt

Ouch! Apparently the guv’nuh doesn’t have the appropriate clout, or the appropriate technique for slipping Ben Franklins under the table to the right people.

Party on, tourists.  Party on!  Come on down, spring break college kids!  Forget Florida, forget Cancun!

Feed the Party your dollars– the Castro Communist Party– while you party in the largest human zoo on earth.

Have fun feeling superior to the noble savages!

And you Cuban “exile” yo-yo’s who live outside of Miami… rejoice, rejoice!  You will soon be able to bring tons of stuff to the Castro Kingdom from other locations.

Superiority complex fulfilled

From Business Insider:

Five American cities will offer direct flights to Cuba

Thus far, the DOT has approved scheduled flights from Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Ft. Lauderdale, and Minneapolis/ St. Paul.

Frontier Airlines will be responsible for operating flights out of Chicago and Philadelphia. American Airlines will operate flights from Miami while Sun Country will be responsible for flights from Minneapolis/St. Paul.

JetBlue, Silver Airways, and Southwest will all operate flights to Cuba out of Ft. Lauderdale. Thus far, the six airlines have been approved to operate 90 scheduled daily flights to nine Cuban cities including Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Santiago de Cuba.

However, the DOT is not expected to finalize flight allocations to Havana until later this summer.

Over the past couple of years, companies around the country have organized charter flights to Cuba using American, JetBlue, and Sun Country aircraft. According to the DOT, those charter services will continue as before.

The DOT expects most of the airlines to begin scheduled operations to Cuba in the Fall or Winter of 2016.

Entire story HERE.

IMG_3802

Meanwhile back in Caracastan: Maduro finds Castronoid way of punishing his opponents

yes, we have no bananas

It seems that Nicolas Maduro’s Cuban bosses have come up with a new Castronoid plan for crushing the opposition.

And that plan amounts to no more or no less than starving the opposition.

A new directive from on high has now placed 70% of all food distribution in the government’s hands.  Households loyal to the so-called Bolivarian Revolution will receive monthly rations, while households known to harbor dissidents will receive nothing at all.

This distribution system follows the Castronoid model familiar to all Cubans: rations are distributed by local spying “committees” run by government supporters.  In Cuba they’re called Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (euphemistically called “neighborhood cultural centers” or other such nonsense by people-to-people tours).  In Venezuela they’re called Comités Locales de Abastecimiento y Producción (Local Committees for Food Distribution and Production).

This new food distribution plan will provide a kilo of noodles, a kilo of corn flour, a bag of powdered milk, and — “sometimes” (a veces) — a bag of rice and some vegetable oil, all at government-set fixed prices.

socialist survival rations

While such rationing might seem extreme to those unfamiliar with the wonders of socialism and communism, these meager rations — if delivered — could keep some Venezuelans from starving to death.  Naturally, another way of putting it is that those who don’t receive this guaranteed minimum run a real risk of starving to death.

Venezuela’s Local Committees are in charge of counting how many individuals live in each household, and in ensuring that the amount of food distributed matches the number of occupants.  Households that cooperate with the Bolivarian Revolution have their occupants carefully counted.  Households known to harbor dissidents or malcontents are marked as having “zero” occupants.

Yeah.  That’s socialism, baby.  Love it or die.

Whole story HERE in Spanish from ABC Spain.   For a different report in English, go HERE to Breitbart.

raul-castro-y-nicolas-maduro-moros

 

Derrumbe! Storm causes multiple building collapses in Havana

418 Villegas Street

If this were a just and rational world, the so-called people-to-people tours set up for American tourists would all include visits to collapsed buildings and other dwellings on the verge of collapse.

During such visits, American tourists could “dialogue” with the Cubans who live in constant fear of dying when their roof caves in, and perhaps also share stories about the difficulties involved in making any repairs.

Castro regime statistics — always inflated or deflated according to the regime’s propaganda needs — indicate that 39% of the housing stock in Cuba, is in poor condition or worse.  This means, of course, that the actual percentage must be a lot higher.

Heavy rains inevitably cause building collapses throughout the island slave plantation.

This past week was no exception, as a tropical storm swept through Castrogonia.

From Translating Cuba:

Rain Causes 17 Building Collapses in the “Wonder City”

The residents of 418 Villegas Street, in Old Havana, were unhurt after a building collapse at nine o’clock Wednesday morning. The collapse of the roof of the house on the first floor was one of the 17 partial and total building collapses that occurred in the Cuban capital, four of them in the historical district, as a result of the heavy rains of recent days.

With very few belongings salvaged from the rubble, residents of the place waited Wednesday afternoon for the authorities to address their situation. “We’ll sleep outside here, even though it’s raining, so that no one steals anything,” said a young resident of the property, who maintained the illusion that “some police officers to guard things” would arrive.

Leticia Ramirez, seven months pregnant and also a resident of the collapsed building, said that if something had happened “at six o’clock, when everyone was in the house, it would have ended in a tragedy.” She explained that the collapse “could have been avoided” because the three families affected by the collapse of part of the building had started “years ago” the process to obtain a bank loan to undertake repairs.

However, Ramirez says that the bureaucratic process to obtain permits to undertake the work in the Havana historical center took too long. “And in the end look what happened.” The woman enumerated all the problems, pointing to a pile of rubble that on Wednesday blocked the passage of cars and pedestrians.

Continue reading HERE

Wonder City

Miracle of the day: WaPo pays attention to the plight of Cuban dissidents

Oscar Elias Biscet

A deputy director of the Washington Post’s editorial page has dared to pop one of the balloons floated by the Normalization Circus.

Wonders never cease.

But will anyone pay attention?

Sunday ritual

Obama vs. the Dissidents

by Jackson Diehl

There are two ways dictatorships can end, says Óscar Elías Biscet. “One is a revolution of the superstructure, where the top changes itself. The other is a change from the bottom up,” like those that introduced democracy to Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and, most recently, Tunisia. Cuba’s leading dissidents are sure about their choice. “We want to build a a civic, nonviolent movement that will overturn this regime and bring democracy to Cuba,” says Biscet.

President Obama has bet on the other side. He has spent the past several years cultivating the regime of Raúl Castro, on the theory that normal diplomatic relations and increased commerce will lead, eventually, to greater freedom for Cubans. In announcing the opening, he went so far as to say that neither Cubans nor Americans should wish for the “collapse” of the Castro regime.

Last Wednesday, as Biscet arrived in Washington for the first time in his life, U.S. envoys from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department were meeting in Havana with Obama’s chosen interlocutors — regime security officials, including those from the notorious Interior Ministry, which oversees domestic repression. Biscet, who got to know the Interior Ministry well during the dozen years he spent as a political prisoner, was meanwhile explaining why Obama’s strategy is more likely to entrench than transform Cuban Communism.

“This was a great move for Castro,” said the 54-year-old doctor, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2007, while he was in prison. The rapprochement with the United States, he said, provided Cuba with a vital economic prop at a time when it was losing the support of imploding Venezuela. Meanwhile, “when people see Obama greeting Castro in the way that he did, it gives a totalitarian regime global legitimacy.”

Obama’s policy has had the effect of stranding the most pro-American, pro-democracy people in Cuba — the activists who have spent their lives fighting the system, at enormous personal cost. While the regime collects U.S. cooperation and dollars, repression of the opposition has sharply increased; according to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights, there were 6,075 political arrests during the first five months of this year, the highest number in decades.

Continue reading HERE