Why the embargo on Cuba and the Cuban Adjustment Act are still needed

John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Why the Embargo on Cuba and the Cuban Adjustment Act are still needed

“La ‘crisis’ no es en Costa Rica, alli son 4000 que ya escaparon de la tirania. La ‘crisis’ es en Cuba, donde son millones queriendo escapar del comunismo.” Tony Diaz Sanchez, November 27, 2015

Cubans at the Ecuadorian embassy in Havana, Cuba (Photo: 14yMedio)

International news today is reporting on the manufactured Cuban migrant crisis in Central America while ignoring the underlying crisis in Cuba. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that this has happened and those familiar with the situation in Cuba understand the real crisis. Exiled Cuban opposition leader Tony Diaz Sanchez, of the Christian Liberation movement and a former prisoner of conscience explained it well above in Spanish: “The ‘crisis is not in Costa Rica, there are 4,000 who have already escaped the tyranny. The ‘crisis’ is in Cuba where there are millions wanting to escape communism.”

It seems that many in the media are confusing the effects with the underlying cause and it is not only with the question of Cuban migration, but also with the sanctions placed on the Cuban dictatorship by the United States. The reason for the poor relations between the Castro regime and the United States is not because of the embargo but just the opposite. The reason for the embargo on the Castro regime is to safeguard U.S. taxpayers and not have them subsidize a dictatorship hostile to U.S. interests.

The Cuban embargo was first imposed on the Castro regime on  January 3, 1961 by President Eisenhower in response to the confiscation of U.S. properties and toughened by President Kennedy a short time later. The logic for economic sanctions was to raise the cost for the Castro regime to engage in subversion in the hemisphere. Unfortunately, the reason for the embargo still endures.

Cubans were fleeing the Castro regime prior to and following the embargo. However in 1965 the Lyndon Johnson Administration was faced with the Camarioca Boatlift, an migration crisis provoked by the Castro regime. Kelly M. Greenhill in her February 2002 paper, Engineered Migration as a Coercive Instrument, gave an analysis of what the Castro regime did and how the Johnson Administration responded that can be briefly summed up as follows.

Continue reading HERE.

Keep Cuban Adjustment Act, but clamp down on its abusers

U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) in The Miami Herald:

Keep the Cuban Adjustment Act, but clamp down on its abusers

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/rrqa77/picture47024890/ALTERNATES/FREE_320/curbelo-officialIn 1965, one year before signing the Cuban Adjustment Act into law, President Lyndon Johnson said, “I declare this afternoon to the people of Cuba that those who seek refuge here in America will find it. The dedication of America to our traditions as an asylum for the oppressed is going to be upheld.”

Clearly, the spirit of the Act was to assist Cubans who had to flee their homeland and could not return for fear of persecution.

However, unlike other immigrants seeking political asylum, Cubans can return home without jeopardizing their status. In no other instance are refugees or asylees allowed to return to the country they claim is persecuting them without fundamental political change in that country occurring first, or before becoming U.S. citizens.

This is an obvious inconsistency in the law, as several South Florida newspapers have repeatedly pointed out. Ignoring this flaw is detrimental to efforts to reform and preserve the law for those who truly fear for their safety and security in Cuba. Moreover, those who wrongfully take advantage of this law are abusing our country’s generosity and creating gross inequities in our immigration system. Economic immigrants from many other countries in our hemisphere who waited in line to come to the United States do not understand why Cubans, who openly admit they have come for economic opportunities, enjoy these privileges.

Reportedly, some Cubans qualify for public-assistance benefits in the United States and then move back to Cuba. Many of them receive more in benefits than retired Americans who have worked in this country for decades.

On Oct. 8, I met with senior White House staff involved in immigration and Cuba policy. I requested that meeting in a good-faith effort for cooperation to try to address abuses of the CAA and avoid a possible migrant crisis. The goal was to find common ground for a legislative solution.

While acknowledging the abuses, the officials echoed Secretary of State John Kerry’s words that the Obama administration, “has no plans whatsoever to alter the current migration policy.”

Continue reading HERE.

Dozens of dissidents arrested in Cuba as island’s Obama-backed regime unleashes another Sunday of violent repression


The Obama-backed apartheid Castro dictatorship in Cuba unleashed another Sunday of violent repression yesterday. As reports filter in from the heavily-censored island, Cuba’s Ladies in White organization is reporting as many as 70 dissidents were violently arrested yesterday. This marks the 32nd consecutive week of violence and oppression against peaceful dissidents and human rights activists in Cuba.

Reports from the island on yesterday’s repression have been even more scarce than usual this morning.  This lack of information is mostly due to the Castro regime cutting off the cell phone service of leading dissidents who participate in the weekly peaceful protest marches. One of the last messages to come out came from human rights activist Angel Moya, who sent out a tweet a little after 1:00 pm saying “They’re going to arrest us.”

Uncommon Sense has more coverage HERE.

Crazy Che: A film review

Jonathan Holland in The Hollywood Reporter:

Crazy Che’ (‘El Crazy Che’): Film Review

An Argentinian doc about an American double agent in the 80s and 90s.


At giddying speed, Crazy Che strips back,the life and times of Bill Gaede, a driven American who during the 80s and 90s dealt in industrial espionage: first for Cuba and the Soviet Union, and then for the U.S. Anyone who’s ever suspected that the spying game is just that — an elaborate way for certain kinds of driven people to keep themselves entertained — will find their suspicions confirmed by a documentary that’s just as fast and frenzied as its distinctive hero.

Digital surveillance may mean that the days of the good old, raincoat-wearing, fast-thinking spy, of which Gaede is definitely one, are numbered, which makes Crazy Che, with its 80s cassette tapes and handicams, a bit of a nostalgic homage too. Festivals should warm to a well-put together package with no pretentions other than to properly tell a good yarn.

The original intention of directors Iacouzzi and Chehebar — whose radically different last film was about a plague of Patagonian beavers — was to shoot a doc about Argentinean scientists working abroad. But when they came across the unlikely figure of Gaede – now a physics professor working in Germany, and working on his theory of the universe – they understandably changed their minds.

In his 20s, Gaede became seduced by the high ideals of Communism and Castro, and decided to supply them with technical information about integrated circuitry produced at the large Silicon Valley company where he worked. Rarely has the manufacture of microchips been filmed as excitingly as it is here.

He was invited to Cuba to meet Castro, but that never happened — instead, the poverty he saw in Havana disillusioned him with communism. Falling in with the likes of Jose ‘Pepe’ Cohen and Roland Sarraf Trujillo (recently released from jail following the Cuban thaw and referenced by President Obama himself in one of the film’s final sequences) Gaede did an about turn and started supplying classified Cuban info to the FBI with the aim of overthrowing his former hero Castro. Gaede doesn’t seem to care much who falls, but it all ended for him with 33 months in jail.

Continue reading HERE.

Reports from Cuba: The exodus is due to the lack of freedom

By Pedro Campos in Translating Cuba:

The Exodus Is Due To The Lack Of Freedom

The Red Cross helps Cubans stuck at the Costa Rica/Nicaragua border since last weekend.

14ymedio, Pedro Campos, Havana, 25 November 2015 — The current immigration crisis created by the presence of thousands of Cubans in Central America in transit to the United States has put the issue of human rights in Cuba back in the international arena, in particular the civil, political, social and economic rights of Cubans.

The government of General Raul Castro and a part of the international press emphasize the idea that it is a legal issue, related to the Cuban Adjustment Act. The Cuban government also links it to the maintenance of the blockade-embargo, which analysts say is an attempt to pressure the US government to repeal both laws.

However, it is not possible to hide, behind the Cuban exodus, the fundamental problem in Cuba: the dissatisfaction of hundreds of thousands of Cubans with the economic and political situation in our country, which remains essentially unchanged thanks to decisions taken by the government — which has been in power for more than half a century – in the name of socialism, which has never existed.

No, we Cubans are not starving, because really there is no generalized crisis of that type in Cuba. Although for many nutrition is precarious, the fundamental appetite Cubans have is for rights and freedoms, for democracy, because the “dictatorship” – supposedly of the proletariat – established in Cuba and always led in the same direction by the Communist Party, continues to insist on its political and economic model of monopolistic State capitalism; by its nature anti-democratic, exclusive and retrograde.

Despite the public discourse of an “opening,” in reality economic activity outside the State is constantly limited by laws, regulations and provisions at all levels and by high direct and indirect taxes. Autonomous work, or self-employment, continues to be restricted to a group of activities and cannot be exercised by professionals in medicine or law, for example. To establish a cooperative requires permission from the Council of State.

But above all, State monopolies in domestic and foreign trade and the limited access to international communications networks, hinder non-State economic activity.

But what most oppresses Cubans, along with the daily problems of housing, transportation or poor-quality food, is the repressive philosophy of the State that impedes the freedom of expression, of association and elections, which obstructs any democratic alternation in power of forces and figures different from the governmental clan, forces and figures that could bring another focus to politics and get the country out of the stagnation in which it finds itself.

This is definitely a massive and flagrant violation of the civil, political, economic and social rights of the Cuban people, by a government that has spent more than half a century in power, with the methods and mechanisms to guarantee its indefinite existence. And this is the real cause of the exodus and of the current crisis.

It is true that the internal problems of Cubans must be resolved by Cubans ourselves, but when these problems affect other nations it is logical that they would take action in the matter and try to influence events through international means established by multilateral institutions recognized by the States.

The Central American community has met to discuss the crisis, but it should go beyond the legal and border problems involved and evaluate it in its entirety. The Inter-American system should also take action on the issue and the United Nations itself should involve itself, because as long as there is no resolution to the internal problems in Cuba, the system imposed by this “eternal Government” is going to continue to generate regional tensions related to immigration, be it in Central America, South America or the Straits of Florida.

Some believe that the current immigration crisis caused by the presence of thousands of Cubans in Central America is a land version of the Rafter Crisis of 1994. Any attempt to put a plug in the Cuban exodus across the continent could lead to a situation like that one, if democratic changes that loosen tensions do not come to pass in Cuba

Happy Birthday Maestro Aurelio de la Vega


I recently had the very great pleasure of attending a Verdi Chorus concert dedicated to my friend, Maestro Aurelio de la Vega in honor of his milestone 90TH birthday. I can only describe this wonderful man as a gift, truly a treasure. It is an honor to know him.

A short biography via The Verdi Chorus:

Aurelio de la Vega – Composer and Musicologist

Aurelio de la Vega was born in La Habana, Cuba, on November 28, 1925 and became an American citizen in 1966. Since the early 60s he has been an important force in the United States and in the Latin American musical scene.
After studying with Ernst Toch in California (1947-1948) he occupied relevant positions in his native land (Dean, School of Music, University of Oriente; Adviser, National Institute of Culture; Vice-President, Havana Philharmonic Orchestra), toured the United States as lecturer (1952-1954) and settled in Los Angeles in 1959, where he has been very active as composer and lecturer. Other positions held include those of Past-President of the Cuban National Music Council (UNESCO), 1950-1956; Past-Treasurer of the Cuban Section of the Inter-American Music Association (Caracas), 1952-1959; Past-Second Vice-President of the Inter-American Music Center (Organization of American States, Washington, D.C.), 1952-1958; Past-President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Composers, U.S.A., 1964-1968; Past-Chairman of the West Coast Branch of the United States Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music, 1965-1972, and Visiting Professor of Music at the University of Rio de Janeiro (Fulbright Research Award, Washington-Rio de Janeiro), 1985. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Southern California during the summer of 1959. From 1959 to 1992 he was Professor of Music and Director of the Electronic Music Studio at California State University, Northridge. In 1971 he was awarded the Outstanding Professor Award of the entire California State University system. At present, he is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of said University, and is a Member of the Academy of Arts and Letters of Chile, and of the Brazilian Academy of Music.
He has lectured extensively in Cuba, the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, Spain, Argentina and Chile, mainly on contemporary music, on electronic music and on the art of Latin America. His list of compositions (many published and many commercially recorded, almost all commissioned works from 1962 on) include symphonic pieces, chamber music, solo piano, solo instruments with tape, song cycles, cantatas, ballet music, solo guitar and electronic music works. His compositions have been played by major orchestras, ensembles, important soloists and singers in numerous cities of Cuba, the United States, Europe, Israel, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, Puerto Rico and India. Many of his works have been commercially recorded on Panart, Orion, Avant, Crystal, Opus One, North/South Consonance, Labor, Vienna Modern Masters, Tapa, Centaur, Raptoria Caam, Musicians Showcase, and Universidade Río Grande do Sul Recordings (Brazil).
The recipient of numerous prizes, commissions, awards and distinctions, among them, Virginia Colliers Chamber Music Award (Washington, 1955), Andrew Mellon Fellowship (University of Pittsburg, 1963), Distinguished Professor Award (California State University, Northridge, 1974), Friedheim Award of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, 1978 and 1984), City of Los Angeles Commendation (Office of the Mayor,1978 and 1993), California State Senate Commendation (Sacramento, 1979), Creativity Award (California State University, Northridge, 1984 and 1991), Council of the City of Los Angeles Resolution Honoring Maestro Aurelio de la Vega (Los Angeles, 1995), Certificate of Recognition (City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, Los Angeles, 2000) and FACE (Facts About Cuban Exiles)Award (Miami, 2000). His Variación del Recuerdo (“Variation of the Remembrance”), for string orchestra (1999) received a Latin Grammy nomination in 2009. In 2010 he received the Warren Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cintas Foundation.
Commissioning of works include those extended by the Coolidge Foundation of the Library of Congress (Washington, 1962), the Third Inter-American Music Festival (Washington, 1963), the Third Caracas International Music Festival (Caracas, 1965), the Los Angeles philharmonic Orchestra (1977), the Klimt Foundation (Sidney, 1981), the American Chamber Symphony (Los Angeles, 1983), the University of California at San Diego (La Jolla, 1985), the Sociedad de Música de Cámara de Zaragoza (Zaragoza, 1987), the Buenos Aires Encounters of Contemporary Music (Buenos Aires, 1990), the Culver City Chamber Orchestra (Culver City, 1998), and the Moldenhauer Foundation of the Library of Congress (Washington, 2006), in addition to patrons, singers and instrumentalists.
He has received honors and decorations from various governments (Medal of the Order of Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País, Republican Cuba, 1956; Medal of the Order of Eloy Alfaro, Colombia, 1961; Medal of the Order of the Sun, Peru, 1969; Medal of the Order of Vicente Emilio Sojo, Venezuela, 1985) for his contributions to Latin American art music. He is also a well-known essayist on the pictorial art of Latin America.

Miami Dade College Professor Ricardo Pau-Llosa interviews Cuban Composer Aurelio de la Vega and filmmaker Camilo Vila. Mr. Vila produced and directed a documentary about the life of Aurelio de la Vega, Aurelio: Rebel With a Cause, available at Amazon.

Babalú has previously celebrated Doctor de la Vega, HERE, HERE, and in 2008, BabaluBlog Radio Hour was thrilled to host special guest Dr. Aurelio de la Vega.

Photo of the Day – Argentina’s classy leftists express their dismay over election defeat

This photograph perfectly illustrates the inherent class and dignity of the political left. Distraught and dismayed by their resounding defeat in the recent presidential election, leftists in Argentina held a protest in the classiest and most dignified manner the left knows how: They gathered together to urinate and defecate on the steps of the Buenos Aires Cathedral.

classy leftist in argentina

Stay classy, leftists, stay classy.

Armando Valladares: Faith in God helped him survive 22 years of torture in a Castro gulag

By Samuel Smith in The Christian Post:

Cuban Man Says He Relied on God to Survive 22 Years of Torture in Castro’s Gulag

Armando Valladares bound to a wheelchair inside of a Cuban prison.

A former Cuban prisoner of conscience who was imprisoned for opposing the Communist regime of Fidel Castro and used his own blood to write poetry throughout his 22-year detention will be honored as the 2016 recipient of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s highest honor.

Armando Valladares, a former Cuban government worker who was arrested in 1960 for refusing to put a sign at his desk stating “I’m with Fidel,” kept his faith in the Lord despite suffering from years of atrocious and torturous conditions during his detention.

Valladares, 78, who was released in 1982 thanks to the intercession of French President Francois Mitterand, suffered from relentless beatings, survived a number of hunger strikes that left him wheelchair-bound for years, spent eight years naked in solitary confinement in a mosquito-infested cell where guards often threw buckets of human waste on him.

During his imprisonment, Valladares wrote letters and poetry that his wife, Martha, smuggled out of Cuba and got published, which created an international outcry for his release and a global awareness for the persecution of Cuban prisoners of conscience.

Considering that he usually didn’t have anything to write with or on, he often used any little thing he could find to write his letters and poems. Valladares often salvaged cigarette paper to write on and even used his own blood to write with.

On Thursday, the Becket Fund announced that Valladares will be honored next May as the recipient of the organization’s Canterbury Medal, which is given to honor the “most distinguished religious leaders and advocates of religious liberty throughout the world.”

“Valladares personifies the fight for religious liberty. During the 22 years he spent in Castro’s gulags, he refused to give up his faith and in fact, it became the very core to help him survive,” Becket Fund Executive Director Kristina Arriaga told The Christian Post in a statement. “Since his release, he has defended countless others who have been denied their God-given right to live according to their own beliefs.”

After his release, Valladares resettled in the United States in 1986 and has devoted his life to defending human rights. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed Valladares to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Continue reading HERE.

Syria’s Assad and Cuba’s Castro: Nothing more than glorified terrorists

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Assad and Castro Are Simply Glorified Terrorists


Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, alongside Russia and Iran, has managed to outwit the international community (including some Republicans and Democrats in the United States) by using ISIS as a scapegoat to salvage his brutal dictatorship.

The fact remains ISIS must be defeated — plain and simple.

But Assad is no better than ISIS. Actually, Assad has even more blood on his hands than ISIS.

Estimates of people murdered by ISIS are around 10,000. Meanwhile, Assad has murdered over 250,000.

Before ISIS and al-Qaeda, the world’s most celebrated (Marxist and Islamic) terrorist was Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, infamously known as Carlos “the Jackal,” who is (ironically) serving two life sentences in France — one for the murder of three French counter-intelligence agents and another for a slate of bomb attacks in train stations that killed 11 and injured 150 people.

Carlos “the Jackal” was the Castro regime’s most celebrated pupil. He received his training at one of the Cuban intelligence services (“DGI”) training camps near Havana, where he learned guerrilla warfare, sabotage techniques and bomb-making.

Altogether, Carlos “the Jackal” has admitted to being responsible for over 100 attacks that resulted in some 2,000 deaths.

During the 2011 trial that resulted in his second life sentence, Carlos “the Jackal” was asked if he believed that he had made mistakes.

He replied that his crimes were minor. After all, “Fidel Castro has killed more people.”

He’s half right — Castro has easily murdered tens of thousands more, but that doesn’t make Carlos’ crimes “minor.”

Yet, this is the same terrorist regime that the Obama Administration is now unconditionally embracing. Moreover, it’s the same DGI that now controls the monopolies with whom the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other unscrupulous business lobbyists now want to do business with.

No amount of “whitewashing” will change that. Thus, let’s not lose perspective on either front.

Cuban-controlled dictatorship in Venezuela issuing passports and voter registrations to Syrians and Hezbollah

Despite President Obama’s unmerited and scandalous removal of Cuba’s dictatorship from the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, the apartheid Castro regime continues to aid and abet terrorism at home as well as in their Venezuelan colony.

Fausta has the report:

Venezuela issuing passports, voter registrations, to Hezbollah & Syrians

The alarm clock keeps ringing:

When you think of large scale Muslim immigration population explosions, most people think of Europe. Here are two items pertaining Muslims in Venezuela.

First item:

Back in 2003, Rahaman Alan Hazil Muhamaad, apparently from Syria, was arrested at London’s Gatwick Airport for carrying a grenade in his luggage. Now he turns up as a registered voter in Venezuela:

Hazil Muhammad Rahaman jailed terrorist in London, carried Venezuelan diplomatic passport, and votes in Aragua

Second item:

Venezuela Sold Immigration Documents to Hezbollah Terrorists. Frances Martel reports,

A Venezuelan diplomat in hiding is accusing the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro of selling visas, passports, and even falsified birth certificates out of its embassy in Baghdad to an estimated thousands of Middle Eastern citizens, including at least one confirmed Hezbollah terrorist.

A man identifying himself as Misael López Soto, advisor working out of the Venezuelan embassy in Baghdad, says in a video uploaded to YouTube Wednesday evening that he has had to flee his official position following multiple death threats, after attempting to alert the government in Caracas that its satellite in Baghdad had become a marketplace for falsified documents.

Continue reading HERE.

Cuban dissident leader Antonio Rodiles debates Cuba Now’s Ric Herrero on migrant crisis

rodiles herrero haza

For those of you who understand Spanish, enjoy this masterful debate performance by Cuban dissident leader Antonio Rodiles. Facing Ric Herrero from the group Cuba Now, which lobbies for Obama’s policy of engagement with Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship while ignoring the violent repression, Rodiles quickly and easily exposes their agenda.

H/T Todo el Mundo Habla

Reports from Cuba: Havana graffiti criticizes state phone company

14yMedio via Translating Cuba:

Havana Graffiti Criticizes State Phone Company

http://translatingcuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Grafiti-recargas-Etecsa-pintado-Habana_CYMIMA20151125_0001_16.jpgGraffiti in Havana: “Super offer? If I buy one banana they give me two. But I have to eat them in 1 hour. Loosen up Cubacel!”

Criticisms of the management of the Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA) have reached the walls of Havana. A nice graffiti criticizes the conditions attached to the latest international recharge promotions for cellphone customers. The drawing mocks the requirement that consumers use their balance in a short period of time.

“If I buy one banana they give me two. But I have to eat it in 1 hour,” muses a pensive chimpanzee painted on several walls in the capital. The complaint ends with a “Loosen up, Cubacel!” demanding that the cellphone network give better terms for its recharge offerings.

Between the 16th and 20th of November, the company launched an international promotion under the slogan: “A bonus on your recharge with 30 or 60.” Each prepaid customer whose phone was recharged from abroad (presumably on-line by family or friends) for 20 or 30 CUC during that period, received an additional bonus of 30 or 60 CUC respectively. However, the user had to use the balance before December 20th of this year.

Some customers of the prepaid service have considered the requirement an exorbitant condition and are demanding that the credits earned during a promotion should not expire over time.

As Cubans protest Ecuador’s new visa policy, news media suddenly decides to cover ‘protests’ in Cuba

A Cuban shows a passport and travel reservation during a protest in front of the Ecuadoran Embassy in Havana on Nov. 27, 2015. (Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images)

A couple of days ago Ecuador announced that beginning December 1st, it would require visas for Cubans who travel to that country. This supposedly created outrage among Cubans who had travel plans to Ecuador and sparked a spontaneous protest outside the Ecuadorean embassy in Havana.

However, we should all keep in mind that as a loyal subaltern of Cuba’s Castros, there is little doubt Ecuador’s Correa was either following orders handed down to him from Havana or at a minimum, he sought and received permission from the Cuban regime to make the policy change. With this dynamic firmly in place, one can reasonably conclude that this change in policy did not surprise the Castro government. Furthermore, it would neither be unthinkable to surmise that the protests that took place outside the Ecuadorean embassy in Havana were officially sanctioned by the Cuban dictatorship if not wholly organized by them for propaganda purposes.

Enter then the international news media to provide the Castro regime with some assistance. The same international news media that under strict instructions from the Cuban dictatorship, refuses to publish any significant coverage of the weekly protest marches that take place every Sunday in Cuba, which always result in violent beatings and arrests of hundreds of peaceful human rights activists. This year there have been over 6,000 violent arrests of peaceful dissidents in Cuba, but you would likely never know that if you got your Cuba news from the mainstream media.

Suddenly, however, they are very interested in this particular “protest” in Cuba. And all the top news outlets are covering this like protests are something you rarely see in Cuba:

The New York Times: Cubans Protest Stricter Rules for Traveling to Ecuador

Reuters: Cubans protest new Ecuador visa regulation

Associated Press: Hundreds gather in Cuba in frustration at Ecuador visa rule

The Washington Post: Cuba sees rare protest as migration tensions rise

Normally, this would raise an important question: Why is the news media suddenly reporting so extensively on protests in Cuba when for years they have virtually ignored the thousands of protests that have been carried out by activists on the island on a regular basis?

But then again, is it really a question when we all know the answer?

Cuba and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

By John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Cuba and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

“When our revolution is judged in future years, one of the matters on which we will be judged is the manner in which our society and our homeland solved the problems of women.” ~ Fidel Castro, November 30, 1974


November 25th has been set aside as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the Castro regime is attempting to use the date to white wash its dismal record and ongoing institutionalized violence against women in Cuba. Unfortunately some international organizations and non governmental organizations have looked the other way and given the Cuban government a pass on its systematic and regular violence against women. Below is a partial listing of documented instances where agents of the Cuban dictatorship have engaged in violence against Cuban women arranged by the most recent dates on top with a focus on cases where they were trying to exercise their fundamental rights.

Lady in White Daisy Cuello Basulto denounced that her 21 year old daughter was arrested, violently stripped and forced to urinate in front of police officers in a police station in Cotorro. The 21 year old was arrested along with her mom and other family on September 27, 2015 while on their way to attend the Sunday march of the Ladies in White. In the police station “she was humiliated,” although she refused to urinate in front of the agents, who constantly jeered at her, explained her mother in an interview with Radio República. The young woman was locked in a cell with a strong smell of hydrochloric acid and now suffers from a sore throat. She has a fever and feels very bad,” reported her mother.

On May 24, 2015 Sirley Ávila León was the victim of a machete attack

Sirley Ávila León, an ex-delegate of the People’s Assembly (Poder Popular) of Majibacoa who joined the democratic opposition after trying to keep a school open in her community. Official channels ignored her requests and when she went to the international media she was removed from office. Following escalating acts of repression by state security the mother of two, Sirley Ávila León, age 56, was gravely wounded in a machete attack on May 24, 2015 at 3:00pm by Osmany Carrión who had been “sent by state security thugs” and that the aggression “was politically motivated.” She suffered deep cuts to her neck and knees, lost her left hand and could still lose her right arm.

Continue reading HERE.