Castro customs officials caught stealing items from American luggage

Castronoid airport thieves were caught red-handed (no pun intended), and filmed by American tourists.

And when the Eastern Airlines pilots complained, the Castronoid authorities responded by harassing and threatening the pilots and their passengers with imprisonment.

Once again, Obama’s “legacy” circus is unmasked as a cruel and dangerous joke.

Good luck finding any major news outlet that will pay attention to this story.

And good luck securing your valuables when you travel to Castrogonia, for the next president of the U.S.A. is going to try very hard to outdo her predecessor when it comes to establishing a Cuba policy “legacy.”

So, get ready for more concessions under Nihillary and expect an escalation in Castronoid shenanigans after she wins the upcoming presidential election by a landslide.

From Capitol Hill Cubans

How Obama’s Cuba Flights Jeopardize U.S. Security

For months, U.S. lawmakers have expressed serious concerns over the Obama Administration’s haste in restoring commercial flights to Cuba, despite the serious security risks they pose.

These security risks are explained here and here.

To distract from these risks, the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”) has misled Congress, while bipartisan delegations from the House Homeland Security and Transportation Committees have been denied visas by the Cuban regime to independently investigate.

As a result, the Cuban Airport Security Act of 2016 was introduced in the House and Senate, and recently marked-up by the House Homeland Security Committee.

This week, we have Exhibit A about why U.S. lawmakers and the American public are right to be concerned.

On October 15th, an Eastern Airlines charter flight at the gate in Havana Airport witnessed how Cuban Customs officials were rummaging and stealing merchandise from luggage being boarded onto a plane in the neighboring gate.

Passengers on the Eastern flight, which was preparing to depart from Havana to Miami, captured cell phone footage of these illicit activities. (Click here to watch or click image below) — courtesy of Diario de Cuba.)

The Eastern pilots denounced these illicit activities to the Havana Airport authorities.

But clearly, the Havana Airport authorities were part of the conspiracy. Rather than take corrective actions, they threatened the Eastern pilots who denounced the illicit activities, grounded the plane, sought to confiscate the cell phones with the evidence and tried to force the passengers to disembark.

The passengers feared they would be arrested by the Cuban authorities. However, the Eastern pilots told the passengers to remain on the plane, where they were protected by U.S. law.

Thanks to the wisdom of these Eastern pilots, the Cuban authorities eventually relented and after a 3-hour standoff allowed the plane to depart for Miami.

One of the main concerns posed by U.S. lawmakers is precisely that there are no independent airline or U.S. security personnel and Cuba’s airports. Everyone is an employee and subordinate of Castro’s regime. In other words, the Obama Administration is outsourcing U.S. flight security to the Castro regime.

This week’s events show how such utter lack of transparency and collusion clearly threaten U.S. security.

As Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin wisely wrote this month: “The security situation at Cuban airports is an open invitation for any bad actor who wishes to do harm to the United States to try to board a flight to the United States with whatever dangerous contraband they can carry. If that’s the price of Obama securing his Cuba legacy, it’s not worth it.

Add to this concern, corrupt Cuban Customs and airport officials that can do so.

It’s time Obama placed the security interests of the United States over his Cuba “legacy.”

Reports from Cuba: Speaking of human rights talks between the U.S. and Cuba

By Lilianne Ruiz in Translating Cuba:

Speaking of Human Rights Talks Between the US and Cuban Governments…

Cuban human rights activists at the Americas Summit in Panama. “Democracy is Respect”
Cuban human rights activists at the Americas Summit in Panama. “Democracy is Respect”

Cubans are a captive people. The first evidence of this is that the island’s government will not talk to dissident voices about human rights. It does it with the US government.

In the island’s 43,190 square miles, two completely opposite projects or visions of a nation coexist badly. The two visions of a nation speak different languages. One, theirs, defend its domination; the other, ours, the right to change in a peaceful and democratic way this state of affairs that is so unjust.

For the Cuban government, whose political model of supply is socialism, the language is one of intolerance, the rights of conquest on the social body. The discourse of sovereignty invoked by the regime is incompatible with respect for human rights.

Government propaganda blames material poverty on the American economic embargo. But doesn’t recognize that it itself is a political aberration, with the state erecting itself as the administrator of our human needs as if it was about an endowment of slaves, an infantilized family, a mass of poor people and failed citizens that cannot freely build their own destiny, because their rights to do so is not recognized by the state.

We, as dissident civil society, have a different vision of what we want our country to be. Without even having to agree, because we are very diverse, we want to resolve the issues that affect us and affect our children, like education, health, culture, the role of the state, through the exercise of our civil and political rights. We want to elect cultured leaders who willingly accept their limitations. We want a free economy, without state interference, because the socialist economy is a condition without which the current government could not exercise its tyranny over society.

To better understand us we could say that our spirit is more akin to the American Declaration of Independence than the Marxism they tried to indoctrinate us with in school. Precisely because the Cuban state-party-government  behaves with respect to society like, in their time, a metropolis did with respect to colonies. In its logic there are conquerers and conquered, which is the logic of a relation of forces and not the logic of politics, and does not recognize our rights and in this sense we are a captive nation.

But we’re not really conquered, because there is no chance that we will give up our dreams, that have withstood every kind of storm. Sooner or later dreams find a way to express themselves and end up coming to fruition in the world

We can say that the Castro regime is alien to us, deaf to our affections, because it ignores the spiritual dimension of a liberalizing longing. So the reasons that move the political changes in totalitarian dictatorships are not only political in nature, but above all spiritual.

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Obama has a message for Cuba’s brutally repressive apartheid dictatorship: Do whatever you want

The Editorial Board of The Washington Post:

Obama to the Castro regime: Do whatever you want


ON FRIDAY, President Obama unveiled a Presidential Decision Directive trumpeting further overtures to the Cuban government designed to make the thaw he announced on Dec. 17, 2014, “irreversible.” That would imply “regardless of results” — which so far have been paltry, at least in terms of freedom and prosperity for Cuba’s long-suffering people. Indeed, Cubans are “worse off now than how they imagined their future” when normalization began, opposition journalist Yoani Sanchez noted recently.

The Castro regime has arrested almost as many peaceful opponents so far this year (8,505) as it did in all of 2015 (8,616), according to the nongovernmental Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation. The ranks of the repressed include dissident lawyer Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo, who was thrown in prison Sept. 23. His law firm was also ransacked and documents were taken. Havana’s municipal government has just banned new licenses for private restaurants and instructed existing ones that it will start enforcing onerous taxes and regulations more tightly. It was, Reuters reported, “a new sign that Cuba’s Communist-run government is hesitant to further open up to private business in a country where it still controls most economic activity,” following similar retrenchment in agriculture and transportation last year.

The economy is stagnating due to the Castro regime’s perennial mismanagement and cutbacks in aid from Cuba’s chaotic patron, Venezuela. In July, Cuba’s economy minister warned that fuel consumption would have to be cut by nearly a third in the rest of the year, along with restrictions in state investments and imports. Cuba’s cash crunch helps explain why sales of U.S. goods (those permitted under long-standing humanitarian exceptions to the embargo) are running well below what they were before the thaw. Some 89,000 Cubans have fled to the United States since the policy began.

Havana’s response to Mr. Obama’s latest olive branch was to demand more concessions. Mr.?Obama’s directive “does not hide the purpose of promoting changes in the political, economic and social order,” top diplomat Josefina Vidal asserted. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Vidal led a large nationally televised rally at Havana University to protest the “genocidal” embargo, part of a broad anti-U.S. propaganda campaign timed to coincide with Mr.?Obama’s announcement.

An optimistic view of these developments would be that the administration’s strategy is working: Frightened by the prospect of freer business activity, and ideologically challenged in the absence of a Yanqui enemy, Cuba’s leaders must clamp down on the former and invent the latter — and round up the usual dissident suspects. That may be true; but recent events also show the tension between the president’s twin goals of doing business with the Cuban government as a legitimate equal and relieving the misery of the Cuban people, which is caused by their government. Even on the ideological defensive, the Cuban regime retains the capacity to resist change and to punish citizens who seek to bring it about.

We have never opposed a thaw in relations, only Mr. Obama’s decision — contrary to his earlier promise — to exclude from the process all those Cubans who have been bravely fighting for increased freedom. Now Mr. Obama is giving the regime a green light: No amount of repression can derail his policy. That is a strange and unfortunate message.

University students in Colombia take the initiative and paint over mural of mass murderer Che Guevara

Colombia takes yet another promising step away from being a part of Latrine America.

Julian Villabona Galarza in PanAm Post:

Colombian University Students Paint Over Controversial Che Guevara Mural

Before being painted over, the image used to look over the National University plaza.
Before being painted over, the image used to look over the National University plaza.

On the night of Tuesday, October 18, a group of students painted one of the most emblematic walls of the National University of Colombia.

A group of college students allegedly painted over the face of Che Guevara over night, possibly in response to university officials being indecisive about whether to paint over the image or not themselves.

The wall makes up the back of the Leon De Greiff Santander auditorium facing what is commonly referred to as the school’s “Che” plaza. The university was famous for having painted the image of the guerilla leader there in the 1980s.

A survey conducted through student email revealed that most people on campus did not agree with the presence of the image.

Che was one of the guerrillas more representative of the Cuban Revolution. Students critical of his image claimed the main square of the school should represent all students, not just those who share his ideology.

The  image was painted in the ’80s when a group of masked students removed the statue of Francisco de Paula Santander from the square, which until that date bore his name.

This is the second attempt to remove Che’s image. During the first time, a group of students broke the paint-rollers of those seeking to paint a different image over that of Che.

One of the students in an interview with the website Vice News said that they want to eliminate the image of “Che” and paint something that best represents the student community and the history of Colombia.

The painted image was released on Twitter by a councilman as a complaint. However, it has provoked many reactions from both those wanting to remove the image and those who want it to stay.

Cuba’s Castro dictatorship rejects U.S. aid for victims of Hurricane Matthew, but is happy to accept cash

Despite Obama turning his back on Cuba’s besieged dissidents and his complete surrender to the apartheid Castro dictatorship, the Cuban regime has refused to allow aid shipments for the victims of Hurricane Matthew. Instead, the Castros want the U.S. to continue sending cash to organizations in Cuba so they can purchase supplies from the regime at inflated prices.

That is what “Hope and Change” looks like in Obama’s Cuba.

Mimi Whitefield via In Cuba Today:

Rebuilding efforts underway in Eastern Cuba but U.S. hurricane aid rebuffed


For many residents of Baracoa, the Cuban city hit hardest by Hurricane Matthew, it could be a long time before life returns to normal.

Two weeks after the ferocious storm plowed across the eastern tip of the island, schools were back in session and construction materials and heavy equipment from Venezuela and Japan had started to arrive, helping Cuban government efforts to clear roads and restore electricity and communications systems. Cubana de Aviación also plans to resume flights to Baracoa Thursday.

But despite offers from U.S. charities to send food and other relief, shipments from the United States has been rebuffed thus far.

“The problem is the [Cuban] government is not allowing emergency relief to come in from the United States,” said the Rev. José Espino, a Hialeah priest who is helping coordinate Archdiocese of Miami relief efforts for the Diocese of Guantánamo-Baracoa.

The Miami archdiocese has asked for canned food, donations of rice and beans, cash and help with transporting goods to both Haiti and Cuba. Shipments already have been dispatched to Haiti, but none have gone out to Cuba.

Teams from Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services rode out the storm in towns on Haiti’s southwest peninsula and immediately after Matthew tore through began distributing pre-positioned supplies. But there hasn’t been a similar pipeline to Cuba. CRS says the “most likely scenario” is that it will provide funding to Caritas Cuba, the Catholic relief mission on the island, so that it can buy supplies in-country.

“The problem buying in the local market in Cuba is there is no wholesale and buying in quantity means there wouldn’t be supplies for other people in Cuba,” Espino said. “So the church is buying supplies little by little.”

Among the most immediate needs, according to CRS, are zinc sheeting to repair homes, mattresses, food, hygiene supplies, kitchen utensils and seed and tools to help farmers get back on their feet.

Espino said there’s plenty of willingness from the U.S. to help Cuba — including the offer of a 727 to fly in food — but the church in Cuba hasn’t been able to get permission to receive such supplies.

Instead, Espino said, the archdiocese has been helping with monetary donations that have been used to purchase food and supplies in Havana and other cities for distribution in the eastern Cuba communities ravaged by Matthew.

Continue reading HERE.

Reports from Cuba: Populism and demagoguery in Baracoa

Eugenio Yañez in Diario de Cuba:

Populism and Demagoguery in Baracoa


Cuba may be the only country in the world where its inhabitants, after losing their homes, furniture, electrical equipment, clothing, medicine, food and water, due to the destruction wrought by a giant hurricane, are “happy” because their leader pays them a visit. Not hopeful, comforted, or excited, but “happy.”

This, at least according to Granma, the propaganda instrument of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). After Raúl Castro visited the city of Baracoa, catastrophically destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, the “Decision of the Revolutionary Government” (whatever that means) was made public to finance, from the state budget, 50% of the costs of costs of materials to rebuild or repair homes destroyed totally or partially by the storm.

But at the prices the Government sells building materials, even when reduced by 50% they will still make unconscionable sums, and for products of dubious quality. Does the regime finance Cubans, or have Cubans been financing the “Revolutionary Government” for more than half a century?

Those who cannot afford to pay for materials in cash (the case of many Baracoa residents) will be able to receive low-interest loans to purchase them, but the problem persists. With the meager wages paid by the “revolutionary Government,” how long will the victims need in order to repay the loans, even with no interest?

Those who cannot aspire to obtain loans will need to apply for full or partial rebates or subsidies, to be drawn from the State budget. This does not even guarantee that they will be granted, but at least they will be able to harbor this hope for a time.

Supposedly what has been designed for the towns damaged in the province of Guantánamo is based on the experiences of Santiago de Cuba in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. What Castro’s press does not reveal, but what everyone knows, is that there are still unrepaired homes in that city, their inhabitants reduced to living in shelters, and that corruption, diversions of funds, theft and blackmail abound after four years of demagoguery and State paternalism, without resolving the victims’ most pressing problems.

There those who think that in situations of disaster conditions are ripe for spontaneous popular uprisings. But Castroism knows that just the opposite is the case: those who have lost everything do not think about rebelling, but surviving; and they know that the Government is their only option to get initial help, even it is scant and poor. They are not going to risk losing even more by backing any vague, diffuse or uncertain ventures.

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Canadian tourist vacationing in apartheid Cuba spends two weeks in Castro gulag for flying drone

When you choose a totalitarian state run by a brutally repressive apartheid dictatorship as your vacation destination, don’t be surprised when they throw in a couple of weeks in a gulag at no additional charge.

Via The Toronto Star:

Toronto man detained after flying drone in Cuban square

Chris Hughes says authorities believed he was a spy and kept him in a detention centre for nearly two weeks.


As Chris Hughes lay in the dark two-by-two-metre cell, with no electricity, a small hole in the wall for a window and just a hole in the ground for a toilet, he wondered if his wife Grace and three young children knew he was still alive.

“Nobody knew I was there,” he said. “I had disappeared. I thought, my family must think I’m dead.”

On Sept. 30, a few days before the Canadian man found himself in a Cuban detention centre, Hughes had flown a drone above the Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana.

A photographer with a media business in Toronto, Hughes said he had been travelling through the Americas, previously going to Panama and Colombia. He had brought a drone with him, which he used to shoot photos and videos. He said he did not have any issues using it the drone in other countries, and no problems bringing it in through Cuban customs on Sept. 28.

But two days later, the drone proved to be a significant problem.

Hughes said he and a Cuban friend and tour guide were questioned by police about the drone at the Plaza de la Revolucion, a historic square home to the Cuban administration. The pair was taken to a police station, where Hughes said they were interrogated for around 12 hours. He said he was brought to his rental apartment to pick up his clothes, and then brought to a detention centre, where he would remain for nearly two weeks — but never charged.

Global Affairs confirmed that consular officials at Canada’s embassy in Havana provided services to a detained Canadian citizen. “To protect the privacy of the individual concerned, further details on this case cannot be released,” Global Affairs spokesperson Austin Jean said in an email.

The Star reached out to the Policia Nacional Revolucionaria office near the plaza, but was referred to a Havana-based immigration office. A receptionist at that number told the Star police was “not to give any information by phone.” Another official advised the Star to submit requests through the Canadian Embassy in Cuba.

Hughes said he was held at what appeared to be an immigration detention centre and was again interviewed by Cuban authorities. Based on the questions, he believes Cuban authorities thought he was a spy.

After Hughes’ wife hadn’t heard from him in three days, she decided to alert the Canadian embassy. She said they were able to locate him after making contact with the family of his Cuban companion.

Continue reading HERE.

Real economic and political reforms in Cuba stifled by Obama’s policy of embracing dictatorship

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

As Predicted, Obama’s Policy Stifles ‘Reforms’ in Cuba

We have long argued how unilaterally lifting sanctions would stifle any real reforms in Cuba, for the Castro regime would solely focus on strengthening its state monopolies and the repression required to suppress change.

Six years ago, as a result of the imminent economic collapse of Venezuela, the Castro regime loosened some restrictions over Cuba’s ‘self-employed’ entrepreneurs, which led to a rapid increase in their ranks.

However, this all came to an end on December 17th, 2014, as the Obama Administration lavished the Castro dictatorship with a series of unilateral concessions, in the form of sanctions relief.

Since then, the number of Cuba’s ‘self-employed’ entrepreneurs has decreased and — as reported today — a crackdown on their activities has intensified.

If the Obama Administration truly sought to help these Cuban entrepreneurs — as it constantly purports — it needs to understand that the Castro regime never undertakes reforms out of desire (or good-will), but only out of necessity.

(Of course, this commitment seems doubtful, particularly in light of Obama’s latest round of regulatory changes, which solely benefit Castro’s state monopolies.)

As a matter of fact, in April 2014 — several months before Obama announced his new policy — we posed the question and predicted the unfortunate result.

Continue reading HERE.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan vows to maintain sanctions against Cuba’s brutally repressive apartheid dictatorship

Despite Obama’s unprecedented and extrajudicial efforts to prop up and support Cuba’s brutally repressive and criminally corrupt apartheid dictatorship, House Speaker Paul Ryan has vowed to maintain sanctions against the vile Castro regime.

Via The Miami Herald:

House Speaker Paul Ryan: We’re going to keep the embargo against Cuba


House Speaker Paul D. Ryan left little doubt about his current stance on the Obama administration’s warming ties with the Cuban government. He’s not a fan.

“The Castros continue to jail pro-democracy activists at a rate of hundreds per month, yet it is full steam ahead for the Obama administration’s efforts to appease this oppressive regime,” Ryan said in a statement Tuesday morning.

I fully intend to maintain our embargo on Cuba. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

It’s a bold statement by the speaker and indicating a leadership strong position against President Barack Obama’s rapprochement with Cuban and public campaign to lift the embargo. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, blasted the Obama administration’s latest round of regulatory changes meant to chip away at the U.S. embargo against Cuba and ease trade and travel with the island nation.

The strong rhetoric by Ryan on Cuba appears to be increasing. Ryan has spoken out more in recent years against what he’s called “appeasement” by the Obama administration. It’s a shift after being criticized for his earlier support for lifting the embargo. In 2002, he called the embargo a “failed policy,” but has said that his thinking has evolved as Florida members of Congress, such as Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen have helped him understand “just how brutal the Castro regime is, just how this president’s policy of appeasement is not working.”

Continue reading HERE.

Millennials woefully ignorant of history, believe Bush killed more people than Stalin

It would be unfair to just pin this on millennials since ignorance of the crimes committed by communism has been around for decades. But if you have ever wondered how a viciously repressive and murderous regime like the Castro dictatorship in Cuba has been able to not only survive for more than a half century but actually have its admirers, this provides a very good explanation.

Via The Daily Signal:

This Is the Percentage of Millennials Who Believe George W. Bush Killed More People Than Stalin


The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation released its first “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Towards Socialism” Monday. The survey showed a distinct generation gap regarding beliefs about socialism and communism between older and younger Americans.

For example, 80 percent of baby boomers and 91 percent of elderly Americans believe that communism was and still is a problem in the world today, while just 55 percent of millennials say the same.

Just 37 percent of millennials had a “very unfavorable” view of communism, compared to 57 percent of Americans overall. Close to half (45 percent) of Americans aged 16 to 20 said they would vote for a socialist, and 21 percent would vote for a communist.

When asked their opinion of capitalism, 64 percent of Americans over the age of 65 said they viewed it favorably, compared to just 42 percent of millennials.

The survey also revealed a general lack of historical knowledge, especially among young adults. According to the report, one-third (32 percent) of millennials believed that more people were killed under George W. Bush than under Joseph Stalin.

When millennial respondents were asked about their familiarity with various historical communist figures, 42 percent were unfamiliar with Mao Zedong, 40 percent with Che Guevara, and 33 percent with Vladimir Lenin—three notorious figures in communist regimes. Among millennials familiar with Lenin, 25 percent viewed him favorably.

“It is because of such widespread ignorance about communism that we formed the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which is dedicated to telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” said Lee Edwards, a distinguished fellow in conservative thought at The Heritage Foundation and co-founder of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an organization that seeks to “memorialize, educate, and document the grim history of communism around the world.”

“Ronald Reagan said that ‘freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,’” he added. “It is the solemn obligation of this generation to educate the rising generation about the manifold victims and crimes of the deadliest ism of the last 100 years—communism.”

The survey was conducted among 2,300 people, with a margin of error of 2.8 percent and a 95 percent level of confidence.

Reports from Cuba: ‘Periodismo de Barrio’ discovers harsh reality of repression against the press

14yMedio reports via Translating Cuba:

‘Periodismo De Barrio’ Discovers The Harsh Reality Of Repression Against The Press

The team of Periodismo de Barrio heading to Baracoa, Guantánamo. via Facebook
The team of Periodismo de Barrio heading to Baracoa, Guantánamo

In an editorial published Monday, the independent medium Periodosmo de Barrio (Neighborhood Journalism) distances itself from the ruling party to explain the circumstances of the arrest of its director, Elaine Diaz, and several members of her team while covering, last week, the damage left by the hurricane Matthew in Baracoa in Guantánamo province.

Entitled “Who Has The Right to Tell a Country’s Stories? All Its Citizens,” the article states that the arrests were illegal given that the team from “Periodismo de Barrio didn’t violate any law.” The editorial explains that the authorities referred to a supposed state of emergency in force in the east of the island because of the hurricane, but, “This last statement does not have the legal status required to declare a state of emergency under the Constitution.”

After noting that Cuban legislation does not limit the exercise of journalism in areas affected by natural disasters, the text highlights that, during the two days the reporters remained under arrest, “No charges were filed against us nor were any members of the Periodismo de Barrio team accused of crimes,” which apparently confirmed the lack of motives to detain them.

Despite this, the members of the team were searched and their belongings confiscated. In addition, the three women “were physically searched by an official to seek other technological means they could have hidden in their bodies, treatment given to pre-criminal cases.”

The Periodismo de Barrio team sees in these events an opportunity to reflect on the role of the press in Cuba and the denounce the “monopolization of information” by the state.

“It is not possible to tell the truth about Cuba from a single version, or from unanimous versions, which amount to one.” It blames monopolies for the lack of the pluralism society needs, saying, “TV channels, radio stations, print publications, publishers, changed ownership but were not socialized. Socializing is not nationalizing. There are not good and bad monopolies. All monopolization, realized by the State, by a person or a corporation, ends up curtailing freedoms.”

The editorial denounces that, “The State, for more than 50 years has avoided requiring reporters to think about the economic dimension of the activity they carry out thanks to financing their means of production,” and explains that Periodismo de Barrio faces economic problems, lacking support from the authorities.

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