King Raul’s bodyguard grandson promoted to key post

Guayabera royalty: Newly promoted Crab (far left), with Abuelito and Pipo

Oh, the benefits of being the king’s grandson!

The king has been using his corpulent grandson as a bodyguard for a while, so that he could sacrifice himself and take any bullets intended for the royal body.

But now “El Cangrejo” (the crab) has been given a big promotion.

Who will be the new bodyguard, now that the Crab is moving up?

Maybe Papa Che will send King Raul a few Swiss Guards?

From Translating Cuba:

General Francis is Out of the Game and Raul’s Grandson Ascends

by Juan Juan Almeida

The most powerful of all the Cuban generals, Division General Humberto Omar Francis Pardo, was replaced in his job as Head of the General Direction of Personal Security (DGSP).

The position is now filled by Raúl Guillermo Rodríguez Castro, who is known by various nicknames, like “The Crab,” “Grandson-in-Chief,” Raulito” and even “The Arnol-mal,” this last one from his frenetic addiction to steroids and exercise.

Abuelito y su Cangrejito

Before creating the Commission of Defense and National Security, which Colonel Alejandro Castro Espín directs today, the Direction of Personal Security was the invisible apparatus with the most power on the island. Under this nomenclature, like the current “Commission,” ministries, institutions and all the MININT (Ministry of the Interior) divisions were subordinated.

“After a long period of stress, and multiple disagreements, Francis suffered a cerebral stroke. He was admitted to the hospital but now is at home,” said a family member of the dismissed General.

The DGSP, intended to protect the force of the myth, the fiscal and moral integrity of Fidel Castro and the rest of the so-called leaders of the first level, has succeeded in amassing more cash than some armies.

The DSP relies on a section of the transport police in order to review the fastest road or route for moving the leader. It has a film group, with experts in the art of photography, where they touch up the images of the “untouchables.” Another section is dedicated to documentation and migration matters and also functions as a trip coordinator; an anti-attack brigade consists of snipers and experts in every type of explosive; and a medical department, in addition to having a clinic for everything, has a fixed allocation of doctors, nurses, radiologists, physical therapists, laboratory technicians and other health workers.

Pope, King, and Crab

They have a division of technology and telephone, workshops, diving masters, gymnasiums, coordinators; a very effective counterintelligence service that, in coordination with other State agencies, looks for, manages and controls all the information of that brotherhood, the family circles and friendships; a department of international relations that coordinates with other secret services the visits to Cuba of people of interest and personalities (friends or not), whether they are presidents, governors, heads of State, members of Congress, religious leaders, etc.; a purchasing group in charge of pleasing even the most bizarre tastes; a department that checks the news that should or should not be released about the Cuban leaders; and a unit to contract service staff (maids) who later work in the houses of those chosen.

With this new appointment, Raúl Castro, in addition to putting his grandson in a key post, captures a vital space reserved uniquely to Fidel, to control even the most insignificant thing, like the ruling class’s privacy in their homes. This method can have a possible boomerang effect, because it also assures the rejection from a good part of a strategic force that, older and in the military, were always faithful to General Francis.

Continue reading HERE

Cangrejito y Abuelito

Castro colony of Caracastan has its hunger strikers too

Guillermo Fariñas is but one of many hunger strikers who have taken on the corrupt and abusive Castro regime.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Castro colony of Caracastan has also had its hunger strikers, and that some have taken their protest to the bitter end.

Here is one such hunger striker, who could be regarded as a victim of exported Castroism.

Franklin Brito: A Martyr for Liberty and Human Rights in Venezuela

“I’ve learned of the death of hunger striker Franklin Brito. It appears that Hugo Chavez now has his own Orlando Zapata” – Yoani Sanchez,August 31, 2010 on twitter

Hunger strikes are the ultimate recourse in the arsenal of non-violent resistance, and over the years around the world it has succeeded at times but in places like Cuba, Ireland, and six years ago in Venezuela a human being died on hunger strike.

In Cuba the names of Pedro Luis Boitel, Orlando Zapata Tamayo andWilman Villar Mendoza are remembered as is Bobby Sands of Northern Ireland (who the Cuban dictatorship built a memorial to in Cuba) and on August 30, 2010 Venezuela’s Franklin Brito joined this select grouping that demonstrated the ultimate price when engaging in a hunger strike.

Franklin Brito was a farmer and a biologist whose land wasexpropriated by Hugo Chavez in 2000 according to CNN. Other news agencies place the date of expropriation anywhere between 2003 and2004. He exhausted every recourse and was driven to the final option:the hunger strike in 2005.  A chronicle of Brito’s odyssey is available in Spanish on Wikipedia. In the video below taken three months prior to his death the hunger striker describes his condition and his struggle for justice:

Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article XXIII of the American Declaration states: “Every person has a right to own such private property as meets the essential needs of decent living and helps to maintain the dignity of the individual and of the home.”

When Franklin Brito’s family said that he stood for “the struggle of the Venezuelan people for property rights, access to justice, for living in freedom,” they were simply stating the facts of the matter. In the video below taken on November 19, 2009 Franklin Brito declares that:

“I am not doing this strike for something material or because persons have behaved badly towards me – that one could say are corrupt. I am doing this strike for dignity and justice. I believe that these are the greatest values that a human being should have.”

Continue reading HERE in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter

 

Colin Kaepernick throws another interception

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(My new American Thinker post)

The whole Kaepernick anthem affair confirms two things:

1) He is no longer making headlines by throwing TD’s; and worse,

2) He does not have a clue of what repression really is.

My friend Humberto Fontova told me about Kaepernick holding a press conference wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Fidel Castro. It explained everything that I needed to know about this clown named CK who can’t play QB anymore.

Furthermore, it also proved that Kaepernick does not even understand what is going on in U.S. cities, especially as it relates to the minorities that he is suddenly so worried about. Maybe he should get out of his mansion and spend a few days living in the inner city.

As Heather McDonald pointed out:

Blacks are killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. To cite more data on this point: in 2013, blacks made up 42 percent of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only about 13 percent of the nation’s population.

Less than one-third of all homicides by police involve black victims. Moreover, there is a huge, unacknowledged measure of support for the police in the inner city: “They’re due respect because they put their lives every day on the line to protect and serve. I hope they don’t back off from policing,” a woman told me on the Staten Island street where Eric Garner was killed. (This was two nights before Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were assassinated in Brooklyn.)

It ain’t happening, Colin. You are reading our society’s problems as poorly as you do the defenses intercepting your passes or the receivers that you are constantly overthrowing!

Here is the worst part: His message of black victimology was unchallenged. No one in the Congressional Black Caucus stood up and called Collin out.    No one in the Democrat Party defended the police from the outrageous lies that Kaepernick said.

In the meantime, Chicago has recorded 487 homicides and more than 2,800 people shot so far this year. My guess is that the people in those communities are happy to see “the blue team”!

At the end of the day, who cares whether Kaepernick salutes the national anthem. Let him sit down! However, he has no right to attack the integrity of our police officers or pretend to be enlightened by wearing a Fidel Castro T-shirt!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Fariñas asks for Cuban-American doctor from New Jersey

The hunger strike of  Guillermo Fariñas has taken a new turn after he requested to be cared for by a Cuban-American doctor from New Jersey.

Doctor Roque is also a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and serves as mayor of the one-time Cuban exile enclave of West New York, New Jersey.

Roque said in an interview with the Voice of America: “Fariñas doesn’t trust what the Castro regime’s doctors are doing.”

Dr. Roque added that it will be extremely difficult for Fariñas to survive this hunger strike if he doesn’t start eating soon.

Dr. Felix Roque

Fariñas has already been hydrated intravenously four times at a local hospital after losing consciousness, but has not been allowed to remain at the hospital.

According to Fariñas, the doctors who have treated him are under orders not to admit him into that hospital. “It’s the Health Ministry that is determining my fate,” he said, adding that he thinks that the Castro regime has given orders to let him die, and that that is why they keep sending him back home without medical care.

Does any of this make sense?  His hunger strike?  The intravenous hydrations? The denial of medical care?  The request for a Cuban-American doctor?

No, of course not.  This is lunacy, turned into Kabuki theater.

But, then, one must keep in mind that there are few other governments on earth as insanely nonsensical as that of the Castro dynasty, and few other people as desperate as Cubans who realize the hopelessness of their condition.

Will the Castro regime allow Roque to care for Fariñas?   Don’t bet on it.

Whole story HERE at Marti Noticias, in Spanish

 

Ay! Maduro says his love for Iran is boundless

Zarif and Maduro: Anti-American laugh fest

Ever- jovial Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif is in Caracastan, to strengthen ties with the Maduro dictatorship.

Having just visited Maduro’s colonial masters in Havana, Zarif is ready to have more good laughs with the Bolivarian Revolutionaries of Caracas.

Those involved in this affair say that the visit is mostly about oil prices.  Yeah. Sure.

Yes, this is how we hope to snap the U.S. in two, crack!

From Fox News Lateeeeeeeeeen-oh

High-profile meeting between Venezuela and Iran should set off alarm bells, experts say

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro made room in his high-pressure agenda to receive Iran’s foreign minister over the weekend, and he made sure the meeting was broadcast on national TV.

Maduro gave Mohammad Javad Zarif a warm welcome in the Presidential Palace of Miraflores. They shook hands as they announced an alliance to stabilize oil prices.

“We continue to build common ground and a new consensus on stabilizing oil markets, strengthening industries, strengthening OPEC, to strengthen the closeness and alliance with the production countries of OPEC,” said Maduro as he greeted Zarif, the highest-ranking Iranian official that has visited Venezuela since 2013.

Political analysts here say the encounter was a political show aimed in part at irritating the United States, repeatedly pointed at by the socialist government as conspirator to overturn the regime. A partnership between the two countries is sure to infuriate Washington because it shows Iran’s influence in Latin America, the U.S.’ neighbor, is growing.

“I’ve visited Iran more than 20 times, I deeply know the good nature, the good, deep spirit of the Iranian people and I love it. I love Iran as much as I love our Commander Chavez,” Maduro said during the visit. He then announced the appointment of a new ambassador to the Islamic nation, Gen. Jesus Gonzalez Gonzalez, and proclaimed the start of a “new stage” in the countries’ relationship.

“We are going to create a new dynamism in Venezuela-Iran relations,” he said, announcing the creation of a special commission to follow up on their bilateral deals.

Continue reading HERE

Yes, my visit to Venezuela is about oil, yes, yes, yes…

Castro regime condemned by international human rights organization

The World Organization Against Torture has issued a detailed report on human right abuses in Cuba.

Its recent Cuba briefing seeks to lay bare “the pattern of repression against social protest that has been unfolding since April 2016, especially against the Ladies in White movement and the pro-human rights defenders associated with the #TodosMarchamos campaign.”

The report is long, and in Spanish, and should be distributed to everyone boarding a plane or cruise ship on the way to Cuba.

Of course, only about one out of a thousand people handed this document would read it.  So it goes

You can find it HERE.

U.S. blamed for creating Cuban “migrant” crisis

Cuban migrants in Panama

Ay!  Some Latrine nations are not very happy about the flood of Cuban migrants that they’ve had to handle since the opening of the  Normalization Circus.

Of course, the nations complaining about this migration crisis blame the U.S. rather than the Castro regime.

Never mind the repression and poverty caused by the Castro dynasty.  It’s the “Cold War” policies of the U.S. that are causing this problem.

To some extent, these nine nations are partly correct: the “wet foot/dry foot” policy is out of step with the Normalization Circus.

But to lay all the blame for the crisis on the U.S. is to ignore the most obvious root cause of the problem.

Naturally, none of the Lateeeeeeen-oh nations who blame the U.S. would dare to blame the Castro dynasty for anything.

root cause

From Global Research

Nine Latin American Countries Slam US for Creating Migrant Crisis

The United States’ “wet-foot, dry-foot” rule is prompting a humanitarian crisis, foreign ministers from Ecuador and elsewhere say.

Nine Latin America foreign ministers sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Monday accusing the United States of fomenting a migration crisis in the region through its Cold War-era immigration policies for Cuban migrants, arguing that President Barack Obama’s failure to change the law despite the recent thaw in relations with his counterpart Raul Castro has adversely impacted the region.

In the letter, the ministers argue that the 1966 U.S. immigration policy toward Cubans known as the Cuban Adjustment Act has “encouraged a disorderly, irregular and unsafe flow of Cubans” through various countries of Latin America on route to the United States and has contributed to a migration and humanitarian crisis in the region.

“Cuban citizens risk their lives, on a daily basis, seeking to reach the United States,” the letter continues. “These people, often facing situations of extreme vulnerability, fall victim to mafias dedicated to people trafficking, sexual exploitation and violence.”

Ecuador and Colombia initially spearheaded the letter, which was signed by seven other countries from South and Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru.

“The fact that nine foreign ministers have signed this letter shows the strength of the sentiment in Latin America that United States policy is creating a migration crisis in our region,” said Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Guillaume Long in a press conference in Quito Monday. “It’s time for the U.S. to change its outdated immigration policies toward Cubans, because they are undermining regular and safe migration in our continent.”

Continue reading HERE

Cuban migrants in Costa Rica

Cuba apartheid story of the week: rental boats for tourists only

boats for tourists

The Castro regime has denied Cubans any access to boats for over five decades.

Only those Cubans with very special status are allowed on boats.

So, how about this new act in the apartheid tent of the Normalization Circus: the Castro regime will allow tourists to rent boats in Cuba.

Ironic: Cubans in record numbers are fleeing from oppressive Castrogonia on flimsy vessels –often homemade — but tourists will soon be flocking there for some boating.

“boat” for Cubans

Some business in Florida is handling this latest apartheid enterprise.  Its chief marketing officer has a Lateeeeeen-oh name.  Could he be a Cuban?  Sure, why not.  He wouldn’t be the first Cuban to profit from the oppression of his own people.

Of course, Castro, Inc., will be pocketing its lion’s share of the profits.

Will Yo-Yo “refugee” Cubans who return to Cuba be allowed to rent boats too?

Time will tell.

From Boatsetter:

Boatsetter will be providing boat rentals and on-the-water experiences for researchers, government officials and vacationers wanting to visit Cuba. The team of experts from the boat rental community includes boat owners and captains who know the Southern waterways, Cuban hotspots and what needs to be done before setting sail.

Boatsetter is offering to walk customers through the process of filling out the right paperwork to finding the right yacht. Boating enthusiasts who are looking for Cuba boat rentals for education, professional research, religious activities, journalism, official U.S. business or have family on the island, have many boat rental options available in Miami and Key West.

“Boatsetter provides a way to connect travelers to destinations and experiences through boat-sharing and rentals where people can taste the life of luxury without having to own a boat capable of traveling from Miami or Key West to Cuba,” said Pablo Vidal Arean, CMO of Boatsetter.com. “Boatsetter’s industry leading boat rental service provides vacationers and locals interested in enjoying the boating lifestyle with easy and affordable access to the water.”

Boatsetter Cuba services include assistance with obtaining visas and adhering to the strict list of guidelines for eligible travel. Boatsetter recommends reserving boat rentals with a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain and before getting underway, to have all boaters file a float plan with a family member or friend, have all of the proper and required safety equipment, wear their life jackets and never operate a vessel under the influence of alcohol or another substance.

Colin Kaepernick wears t-shirt idolizing Fidel Castro (who craved to nuke his country and who jailed and tortured the most black political prisoners in the modern history of the Western Hemisphere)

kaepernick2

Below please see close-ups of some of the pictures on the T-shirt Colin Kaepernick wore during the press conference where he  denounced his homeland as racist and where he proclaimed: “I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.” 

We’re guessing his t-shirt statement wasn’t satiric. Instead we’re guessing that –owing much to modern American education–this black American athlete is (unwittingly) hailing the man who jailed and tortured the largest number of black political prisoners in the modern history of the Western hemisphere and who craved–and came within a hair of– nuking the nation that has made Kaepernick a multi-MULTI-millionaire.

fusilamiento3black-prisoner

Above please note the race of the Castroite firing squad and it’s commander –as compared to the race of their (untried) victim. Usually liberals condemn  such things as “lynchings!”

castromad-gifstrangelovegif2

“Of course I knew the missiles were nuclear- armed,” responded Fidel Castro to Robert McNamara during a meeting in 1992. “That’s precisely why I urged Khrushchev to launch them. And of course Cuba would have been utterly destroyed in the exchange.

chelaughgif4San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) reacts while on the sidelines while playing the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter of their NFL game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. San Francisco defeated Atlanta 17-16. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

“The Negro is indolent and lazy, and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent.” (Che Guevara)

Che-beckgif3Chevideo-main

“Le RRRONCA!”

“Humberto Fontova is a gifted polemicist who pulls no punches. A great service for liberty, justice and truth.” (The Weekly Standard  on Fidel; Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant.)

The inside story of the fall of the Soviet Union

A very interesting read.

Via the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

Fall of the Soviet Union—The Inside Story

ussr tanks moscow

The fall of the Soviet Union and end of communism in Russia caught the world by surprise twenty years ago. In a  Q&A, Ambassador James F. Collins, the most senior American diplomat in Russia at the time, describes how the United States responded as history unfolded and reflects on the personal diplomacy between the Cold War foes as an August  1991 coup ultimately led to the breakup of the Soviet Union in December.

How did the United States first react to the August coup and sudden implosion of the Soviet Union?

Three minutes after seven in the morning on August 19, I got a phone call from Ed Salazar, one of my political officers, asking if I had been listening to the radio. The radio had just broadcast the news that Mikhail Gorbachev had given up his office as president of the Soviet Union to Gennady Yanayev and that they had formed a committee on what they called an “extraordinary situation” and that Mr. Gorbachev was at rest in his dacha down in Foros in the Crimea.

Everybody assumed this meant they were trying to remove Gorbachev. This was the middle of the night in Washington, and so I suppose the initial government reaction from the United States was that of the embassy. Our own initial reaction was a degree of shock, because no one frankly expected this. There was also a degree of uncertainty about just what was going on because the announcement was made and nothing happened for a couple of hours. There were no military personnel to be seen—nobody showed up for a couple of hours. There were no tanks on the streets until later that morning. So nobody quite understood what was going on except what was on the radio and the fact that they had been making these announcements.

At the embassy, we gathered and tried to make sense of this. I pulled together all of the key members of my staff and we made one decision: at least until instructed otherwise, we would not recognize in any form—by our actions or by our statements—any change in the status of the Russian government. In other words, we wouldn’t recognize what the people who were saying they were in charge were proclaiming. And that we would have nothing to do with them except for the protection of American citizens and the safety and security of American citizens and property.

So that was where we were. We called everyone in Washington as they started to wake up and nobody said we were wrong. As the day wore on and events unfolded, we felt at the embassy that it was wise for the United States government to take no action other than what we’d done as it wasn’t at all clear where this was going to go. By this time, it was clear that Boris Yeltsin had not been captured and he was taking a position on the events which was in essence that they amounted to an unconstitutional act and that as President of the Russian Federation he does not recognize the change.

There was something of a standoff that began this whole process over the next two days of watching the people in Moscow, the Russian White House, and the people around Mr. Yeltsin setting up barricades, defying the authorities, challenging the authorities to act against them, and so forth.

What was it like inside the U.S. Embassy?

The embassy was a very different thing from what it is today. At that time, the American embassy had no Russian employees; the total staff was 254 people. It was very much a Cold War institution and there was a high degree of concern about the security of the embassy. This didn’t mean physical security, but mostly whether intelligence could be gathered without information leaking out or if we could control our environment.

So when the coup came in 1991, there were relatively few of us. We were physically about 200 yards from the building in which Mr. Yeltsin set up his headquarters. During the coup, we ended up inside the barricades that were erected to protect the White House. There was one way out through an ally that one could almost get a vehicle through. And in that sense, we were very much a part of one side of what was going on. We were not off in any remote way.

Continue reading HERE.

Reports from Cuba: An enslaved people

Pedro Armando Junco in Translating Cuba:

An Enslaved People

Entrada-Fidel-Castro-Habana-Archivo_CYMIMA20160519_0007_16

14ymedio, Pedro Armando Junco, Camagüey, 24 August 2016 – The level of enslavement of a people is determined by the sum of freedoms that are restricted. Slavery and freedom are two ends of a scale that, as one side slants downward from the weight of the load on its side, its counterpart rises.

I explained this to a high school student some days ago when he asked me if I agreed with the opinion of his grandfather, who told him that the Cuban people are suffering a modern form of slavery.

It took me a few minutes to answer his question. With teenagers and children one has to be extremely cautious when offering insights, and even more so when they ask questions based on the admiration and respect they have for us. What we express to them can become a dogmatic axiom for their lives. Children are intelligent and think for themselves and then seek out an adult who, for them, has their own opinion.

To dodge his query I answered with another questions;

“What is the basis for your opinion of the condition of a modern slave.”

“Many characteristics, prof (high school students call everyone who teaches them ‘prof’).

“For example?”

“The slaves of previous centuries suffered punishments that today wouldn’t work: shackles, whips, mutilation… But my grandfather says that we Cubans have lost rights that we enjoyed before the triumph of the Revolution and this is called modern slavery.”

The young man’s grandfather had informed him that in January of 1959 more than 90% of Cubans were fidelistas – Fidel loyalists – and that people put signs on their doors saying, “Fidel, this is your home,” and that apparently the Maximum Leader took the offer seriously: he banned the sale of homes and confiscated more from everyone who kept things in their own names than from the rest. This he called “Urban Reform.”

Then he did the same thing with the haciendas and he called that Agrarian Reform. He confiscated the businesses, from the huge corporation to the last little mom-and-pop stands that supported thousands of proletarian families, stretching out their meager earnings. His grandfather had told him all this with a wry smile, saying that even the combs and scissors of the barbers did not escape confiscation. He didn’t know what to call this.

Possession of firearms was prohibited. Anyone who rebelled was shot or imprisoned. The labor unions were nationalized and the right to strike eliminated. The intellectuals were told “within the Revolution everyone and against the Revolution nothing,” leaving the concept ambiguous, but in a clear warning to those who tried to present personal arguments in publications and artistic works of any kind. The Cuban people, as a whole, were left stripped of their basic rights: without possessions, without arms and without the ability to show their discontent. The great ideologues of tyranny, especially Stalin, were always convinced that miserable people were not capable of rebellion.

Read more

Obama administration swears it will not swap Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes

The Obama administration swears it will not release convicted Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes. However, keep in mind this is the same administration who swears that the swapping of American hostage Alan Gross for Cuban spies jailed in the U.S. was not a prisoner swap and that the $400-million ransom payment to Iran to release U.S. citizens held hostage was not a ransom payment.

Nora Gamez Torres via In Cuba Today:

U.S. rules out swap of jailed Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes

ana belen montes mugshot

The Obama administration “has no intention” of releasing or swapping jailed Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes, according to a letter sent by the U.S. Department of State to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Aug. 19 letter, obtained by el Nuevo Herald, followed a number of news reports pointing to the possibility of freeing Montes — a top Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analyst on Cuban affairs who is serving a 25-year prison sentence — in exchange for Cuba handing over American fugitive Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard.

The letter, addressed to committee chairman U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., says the State Department “want(s) to assure you that the United States government has no intention of releasing or exchanging Montes.”

Nunes had written to Obama on July 12 urging the president not to release or swap Montes, calling her “one of the most brazen traitors in U.S. history.” The State Department wrote that it was “responding on the president’s behalf.”

Montes, one of the top foreign spies captured in recent years, authored some of the key U.S. intelligence assessments on Cuba. She was arrested in 2001 and was sentenced in 2002 after she pleaded guilty to spying for Cuba throughout her 16 years at the DIA.

“Montes was — and remains — unrepentant. She betrayed the public trust, the security of the United States and her oath to support and defend the constitution while remaining loyal to the Castro brothers in Havana,” Nunes wrote. “Ana Belen Montes richly deserved her 25-year prison sentence, and must serve every day of it.”

Montes, who is of Puerto Rican descent, declared in a 2015 interview with the blog Cayo Hueso, which supports the Cuban government, that she has not changed. “I will not be silenced. My commitment to the island cannot be ignored,” she was quoted as saying.

Nunes’ letter noted that because of her senior post at DIA, Montes has compromised every single U.S. intelligence collection program that targeted Cuba, revealed the identity of four covert U.S. intelligence agents who traveled to Cuba and provided Havana with information that could have wound up in the hands of other U.S. enemies.

“In short, Montes was one of the most damaging spies in the annals of American intelligence,” the committee chairman wrote.

The State Department replied that it “shared” Nunes’ concerns “regarding national security and the importance of safeguarding classified information. The department is dedicated to taking all possible steps to protect against and to prevent the unauthorized release of classified information.”

Nunes’ letter to Obama followed a round of news reports about a possible swap of Montes for Shakur, a member of the former Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army who is wanted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper. She lives in Cuba as a political refugee.

Continue reading HERE.

Hunger strikes in Castro’s Cuba: A half century of valiant, fruitless protest

No news on Guillermo Fariñas this morning.

In case you’ve been wondering why anyone would undertake such a horrific form of self-immolation, knowing that it will most probably be fruitless, consider this: political prisoners in Cuba have been carrying out hunger strikes since the 1960’s, and many of them have died.

If you would like to know more about this topic, José Antonio Albertini has published a book ,Cuba y castrismo: Huelgas de hambre en el presidio político, that traces the history of hunger-striking political prisoners in Cuba.

To make a long and very sad story short: Sometimes the hunger strikes bring small changes in the Castro prison system, but, for the most part, those changes are pitifully small.

Even worse, the hunger strikers attract very little or no attention at all outside of the Cuban community.

Here is a list of some of the best-known hunger strikers who have died as a result of their fasting:

From Marti Noticias:

Roberto López Chávez, age 25, died on 12/11/1966 at Isla de Pinos prison.  He was jailed in 1961, at the age of 20.  Began his hunger strike after being savagely beaten by a guard.  Denied water by the guards as punishment for his hunger strike, he died in his cell without medical attention after a guard urinated in his mouth.

Luis Álvarez Ríos, age 31 años, died on 8/9/1967 at Castillo del Príncipe prison in Havana.  He was serving a 20-year sentence for “counterrevolutionary” activities. He and other political prisoners began a hunger strike to protest their incarceration alongside criminal inmates.  After eleven days, prison authorities agreed to negotiate and he and the others ceased their hunger strike, but after eating his first meal he died without medical attention.

Francisco Aguirre Vidarrueta, died in September 1967 at Castillo del Príncipe prison in Havana.  He was protesting the use of the same color uniform for political prisoners and common criminals.

Carmelo Cuadra Hernández, died on 7/29/1969 in a Havana prison while on hunger strike, without medical attention.

Pedro Luis Boitel,  age 34 años, died on  5/25/1972 at Castillo del Príncipe prison in Havana. His ten year sentence repeatedly extended because of his protests against the cruelty of the Castro prison system, he was tortured and abused by guards during his hunger strike and died on the 53rd day without medical assistance.  His agonizing death is described in detail by Armando Valladares in Against All Hope.

Boitel

 

Olegario Charlot Spileta, died on 1/15/1973 at Boniato prison in  Santiago de Cuba, while on hunger strike, without medical attention.

Enrique García Cuevas, died on 5/23/1973 at the provincial prison of  Pretensado, Las Villas. Began his hunger strike to protest forced labor and the inhumane treatment of prisoners.  Died on the 25th day of his hunger strike without medical attention.

Reinaldo Cordero Izquierdo, died on 5/21/1975 at a prison in Pinar del Río.  Began his hunger strike to protest the arbitrary extension of his ten year sentence.  He died without medical attention.

José Barrios Pedré, died on 9/22/1977 at Las Pretensado prison, Las Villas.

Santiago Roche Valle, died on  9/8/1985 at Kilo 7 prison, Camagüey.

Nicolás González Regueiro, died 9/16/1992 at Manacas prison, Las Villas.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo, age 42 años, died on 2/23/2010, on the 82nd day of his hunger strike, which he began to protest the beatings and torture to which he had been subjected.  He was denied water for the final 18 days and died without medical attention.

Wilman Villar Mendoza, age 31, died on 1/13/2012 at Juan Bruno Zayas hospital, Santiago de Cuba, after a 50-day hunger strike.

In addition, here is a partial list of well-known political prisoners who have survived prolonged hunger strikes:

Huber Matos Benítez, Roberto Martín Pérez, Amado Jesús Rodríguez Fernández, José Antonio (Tony) Lamas de la Torre, Reinaldo Aquit Manrique, Ernesto Díaz Rodríguez, Mario Chanes de Armas, Ángel De Fana Serrano, Eddie Artze Molina, Rigoberto Acosta Díaz, María Amalia Fernández del Cueto, Olga Morgan y Maritza Lugo Fernández.

Marti Noticias has more details, HERE, in Spanish.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo

Another Sunday of repression in Cuba: U.S.-backed regime viciously beats and drags Ladies in White through the streets

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It was another violent and repressive Sunday in Cuba as State Security agents of the U.S.-backed apartheid Castro dictatorship viciously beat defenseless Ladies in White and dragged them through the streets. The women were arrested to prevent them from participating in their weekly Sunday march to church services where they peacefully and silently protest the Cuban regime and demand the release of political prisoners.

Diario de Cuba has the report (my translation):

Regime State Security agents drag and beat four Ladies in White outside the group’s headquarters

Activist Daisy Artiles del Sol reported to DIARIO DE CUBA that this Sunday, State Security agents of the regime dragged and beat four Ladies in White outside the headquarters of the all-woman movement in Havana.

Few of them were able to reach the headquarters where since Wednesday, State Security had set up a massive operation to prevent them from participating in the #TodosMarchamos (We All March) campaign.

“I arrived at 1:20 PM on Wednesday and right after that, they closed everything down,” said Artiles.

The agents “do a shift change every eight or nine hours, they’re on every corner. People who live on the block are required to show identification, they are searched, vehicles are forced to detour,” she added.

Artiles said that in spite of their reduced numbers, the Ladies in White took to the streets like they do every Sunday.

“Four or five policemen dragged through the streets and beat them,” she said.

Those arrested were Aliuska Gómez, Lismeyris Quintana, Danaisi Muñoz, and Mailén González.

She added that other women were arrested trying to reach the headquarters or as they left their own homes.

Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.