Deadbeat update: Iran gives King Raul a break in debt payments

 

What’s a little debt forgiveness in exchange for missile bases?

Yet another nation owed money by the Castro Kingdom has agreed to “restructure” that deadbeat nation’s debt.

That debt amounts to 50 million euros (roughly 56 million dollars).

This is but one of the many items sorted out when Iranian despot Hassan Rouhanni and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Castrogonia recently.

Add this one to a very, very long list of similar “restructuring” deals offered to King Raul and his merry men.

And also add this to the list of enemies of the U.S.A. that are tightening their relationship with King Raul in response to the Normalization Circus.

Yes, yes, this is the size of the nuclear warheads we’ll deliver to King Raul….

From Global Trade Review:

Iran and Cuba have signed an agreement to restructure Cuba’s debt to Iran.

The agreement was signed on September 20 by Iran’s export credit agency Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI), the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) and Banco Exterior de Cuba.

According to EGFI’s deputy CEO Arash Shahraini, Banco Exterior de Cuba will start repaying the outstanding loan next month, and has with the agreement committed to settle the full loan by 2019.

“The debt relates to a credit line extended to Cuba 10 years ago to import goods and services from Iran,” he tells GTR.

The credit, he says, was given to public entities in Cuba, mainly in the agriculture, equipment and medicine sectors. The loan was backed by the Cuban government’s sovereign guarantee and EGFI covered the repayment.

EGFI would not reveal the amount of Cuba’s debt to Iran, but according to the Iranian news site the Financial Tribune, Cuba has a remaining debt of about €43mn to Iran, €50mn with interest.

The agreement to restructure Cuba’s loan forms part of a wider strategy to strengthen ties between the two countries. Last week Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made an official visit to Havana, where he met with Cuba’s President Raul Castro and former president and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

continue reading HERE

say “adios” to your shekels, Rouhani, and hello to your missile bases….

Surprise! CNN reports bad news from Venenozuela

Socialist utopia

Aaaah.  The wonders of socialism.

Venezuelans are now feeling the same pinch Cubans began to feel 57 years ago.

Who’s to blame for this awful pinch, otherwise known as the collapse of civilization?

Easy question to answer.

You can blame Castro-style redistributionist anti-free market economic policies, the aim of which is to create a total government monopoly and to keep the people searching for basics all day long, every day of their lives.

In other words, socialism/communism, known here in the United States as “progressive” liberalism, or sometimes as “social justice.”

 

From the Castro News Network (CNN)

Venezuela crisis: I flew to U.S. to buy toilet paper

Carmen Mendoza came to New York to visit her daughter Anabella — and also to buy toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, beans, corn flour, tuna fish, mayonnaise and aspirin.

Mendoza, 66, can’t find these basic goods in her home country: Venezuela.

Venezuela’s deep economic recession has spiraled into a humanitarian crisis. Venezuelans are suffering through severe food and medical shortages while crime skyrockets and massive protests call for President Nicolas Maduro to resign.

in New York with her daughter and realizes she’s lost a sense of what normalcy means. In Venezuela, she lived without toilet paper for a month in July, using paper napkins instead.

Just half a block away from her daughter’s Brooklyn apartment, a new Whole Foods (WFM) recently opened and Anabella told her mom check it out. Mendoza fought back tears when she saw fully stocked food shelves and lush vegetables and fruits, a rare sight in Venezuela today.

“My eyes got wet,” Mendoza says, becoming emotional recounting the Whole Foods visit. In Venezuela, “You are so happy when you find something as basic as milk.”

Related: Venezuela food crisis deepens as shipments plummet

She isn’t alone. About half a million Venezuelans visited the United States last year. Increasingly, Venezuelans living in the U.S. say their friends and family who can afford it are coming to America to buy basics.

Continue reading HERE

Vamos bien!

Newsweek uncovers Trump’s secret attempts to strike business deals with Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro

newsweek-trump-castro-connection-cover

Documents uncovered by Newsweek reveal that back in 1998, Donald Trump violated U.S. law by spending $68,000 to fly consultants down to Cuba to meet with officials of the Castro dictatorship in an apparent effort to lay the groundwork for future business deals with the apartheid regime. Perhaps as startling as this revelation is that a mere 10 months later, Trump launched his 2000 presidential election campaign at the Cuban American National Foundation in Miami where in his speech, he swore he would never do business on the island or spend any money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was toppled from power. Naturally, Trump made no mention or disclosure at that time that just a few months earlier, he had a team of his people in Havana trying to make business deals with the Castro regime.

This revelation can be bad news for the Trump campaign since it will not sit well with conservative Republican Cuban-American voters who staunchly support sanctions against Cuba’s dictatorship. It also comes on the heels of a Bloomberg report this past July that revealed Trump was sending employees to Cuba to scout golf course locations and business opportunities just last year. Furthermore, this latest news will likely enforce the perception amongst his detractors in the Republican party that the GOP nominee for president continually and consistently flips his position on major issues to serve his needs at that particular moment.

The only positive aspect for the cause of a free Cuba this bombshell revelation offers is that for the next news cycle (or perhaps even longer if Trump and his surrogates respond by digging themselves deeper into the hole as they usually do), the Clinton campaign and Democrats will be anti-Castro and staunch supporters of the embargo against Cuba’s repressive apartheid dictatorship.

By Kurt Eichenwald in Newsweek:

Donald Trump’s company violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba

A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.

Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without U.S. government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation. Once the business consultants traveled to the island and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers with Trump’s company—then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts—how to make it appear legal by linking it after-the-fact to a charitable effort.

The payment by Trump Hotels came just before the New York business mogul launched his first bid for the White House, seeking the nomination of the Reform Party. On his first day of the campaign, he traveled to Miami where he spoke to a group of Cuban-Americans, a critical voting bloc in the swing state. Trump vowed to maintain the embargo and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power.

He did not disclose that, seven months earlier, Trump Hotels already had reimbursed its consultants for the money they spent on their secret business trip to Havana.

[…]

Prior to the Cuban trip, several European companies reached out to Trump about potentially investing together on the island through Trump Hotels, according to the former Trump executive. At the time, a bipartisan group of senators, three former Secretaries of State and other former officials were urging then-President Bill Clinton to review America’s Cuba policy, in hopes of eventually ending the decades-long embargo.

The goal of the Cuba trip, the former Trump executive said, was to give Trump’s company a foothold should Washington loosen or lift the trade restrictions. While in Cuba, the Trump representatives met with government officials, bankers and other business leaders to explore possible opportunities for the casino company. The former executive said Trump had participated in discussions about the Cuba trip and knew it had taken place.

The fact that Seven Arrows spent the money and then received reimbursement from Trump Hotels does not mitigate any potential corporate liability for violating the Cuban embargo. “The money that the Trump company paid to the consultant is money that a Cuban national has an interest in and was spent on an understanding it would be reimbursed,’’ Richard Matheny, chair of Goodwin’s national security and foreign trade regulation group said, based on a description of the events by Newsweek. “That would be illegal. If OFAC discovered this and found there was evidence of willful misconduct, they could have made a referral to the Department of Justice.”

Read all about this sordid affair HERE.

Shocking! Yuuuge! Trumpinator has business ties to Castro Kingdom!

No surprise for Babalu readers.  No shock. We’ve been covering this story for a while.

We’ve even predicted that if he wins the presidential election, the Trumpinator will probably open  a chain of hotels and casinos in Castrogonia.

But now that the Clintonoids have suddenly seen the potential damage this story could inflict on the Trumpinator, the story is about to get a lot more attention.

It seems that the Trumpinator might speak with a forked tongue.

Oh, my!

From Newsmax:

Newsweek plans to release a story Thursday morning that Donald Trump did business illegally with Fidel Castro’s Cuba even while calling on the embargo on U.S. trade with the island nation to continue as he sought the Reform Party’s 2000 presidential nomination, MSNBC reports.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported what she said were exclusive paragraphs from the story, and writer Kurt Eichenwald backed up the veracity of her claims on Twitter.

According to MSNBC, Eichenwald will report:

“A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal. That’s according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.”

Eichenwald writes that documents reveal Trump’s company spent at least $68,000 in 1998 for company executives to visit Cuba at a time when spending “even a penny in Cuba was prohibited without government approval.”

The company, with Trump’s knowledge, ran the money through consulting firm Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation, according to the story.

“Once the business consultants traveled to Cuba and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers in Trump’s company, then called Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, on how to make the venture appear legal by linking it after the fact to a charitable effort,” according to Newsweek.
The payment was made just before Trump – now the GOP nominee for president – made his first run at the White House by seeking the Reform Party nomination.

Thrilled

“On his first day of that campaign, he traveled to Miami where he spoke to a group of Cuban Americans, a critical voting bloc in the swing state of Florida,” Newsweek reports.

“Trump vowed to maintain the embargo and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power. He did not disclose that seven months earlier Trump Hotels already had spent money sending consultants on the secret trip to conduct business in Havana.”

MSNBC uncovered CSPAN footage of that speech, in which Trump told the group:

“As you know, and the people in this room know better than anyone, putting money and investing money in Cuba right now doesn’t go to the people of Cuba; it goes into the pockets of Fidel Castro. He’s a murderer, he’s a killer, he’s a bad guy in every respect, and frankly, the embargo against Cuba must stand if for no other reason than if it does stand he will come down.”

 

Advising The Donald For His Next Debates

tax-returns

 

Crooked Hillary hammered The Donald on Monday’s debate by demanding that he should turn over his latest tax returns. I would have responded by striking a deal with her where I  would acquiesce to her demand after she turned over the text of all the speeches that she gave to the Wall Street crew. And, then, when she was off-balanced, I would have followed up by telling her — you want me to submit my latest tax returns, well, I e-mailed them to your private server. Now, go find them!

Reports from Cuba: The regime unleashes repression all over the island

Via Diario de Cuba:

cuba-repression-state-security-dogs

The regime unleashes repression all over the island

Havana – The Cuban regime launched a massive crackdown on the offices of the Legal Information Center (Cubalex), headed up by attorney Laritza Diversent, according to information received by DIARIO DE CUBA, just hours after the European Commission formally proposed that the EU countries support the political cooperation and dialogue agreement with Havana, which would supersede the Common Position, in force since 1996.

Sources close to Diversent said that police forces raided the headquarters and accused the entire Cubalex team of “economic crimes”.

At 10 am in the morning two police cars arrived, along with 20 agents in plain clothes, and a lady in a white coat who claimed to be a doctor. They waited for the entire CUBALEX team to be inside the building before commencing the operation.

They broke in through the garage door with a crowbar, and used a jimmy to access the kitchen, confiscating all their technological resources, computers, memories and hard drives – even those for personal use.

A week of intense repression

The week saw a wave of repression let loose across the Island against many opposition and civil society organizations.

On Thursday the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) reported the arrest of 23 activists and the imprisonment of one of its members, who would mark “political prisoner number 43” from the organization.

On Tuesday, 20 September, police officers and State Security agents prevented a dozen young  dissidents from completing visa processes at the Spanish consulate in Havana to travel to Madrid to take a training course at the Instituto Atlántico.

That same day, the spokesman for Cuba’s Independent Trade Union Coalition, Iván Hernández Carrillo, reported that the political police had deployed a large force to break up a meeting of several trade unionists seeking to fuse the Island’s three main labor organizations.

On Sunday, 18 September, repression was also perpetrated against the Ladies in White: 27 women were arrested in Havana, along with several activists with the #TodosMarchamos (We All March) campaign on the 71st Sunday of the constant persecution of the organization’s marches.

Another group of women was also harassed on Tuesday, when State Security deployed forces near a house in which they were to hold a meeting, while keeping the participants trapped in their own homes.

Read more

Twenty Cuban “migrants” die at sea

One act in the Normalization Circus has ended tragically.

Twenty Cubans who dared to flee from the Castro Kingdom have lost their lives at sea.

Maybe Diana Nyad should have donned her rubber mask and joined the fruitless search for their corpses.

From United Press International:

Coast Guard ends search for 20 missing Cuban migrants
The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for 20 Cuban migrants reported missing after their boat capsized last week.

Three people, found on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys, reported they were among 23 people aboard a boat that left Cuba on Sept. 20 and overturned the following day while traveling to the United States. The bodies of three of the remaining 20 people aboard were located in Islamorada, in the upper Florida Keys, and another body was found on Big Munson Island. Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies recovered another body from Ramrod Key, in the lower Florida Keys, and an investigation is underway to determine if the person was part of the group.

The Coast Guard search, which covered over 9,306 square miles, employed aircraft and several ships. It was suspended late Tuesday.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aided the rescue effort.

Why Cuban-Americans are voting differently this presidential election

Dr. Jose Azel in PanAm Post:

Why Cuban-Americans Are Voting Differently this Presidential Election

cuban-voting-azel-panampost

Historically, the Cuban-American community has been considered a political monolith, voting mostly in support of the Republican Party, at least at the national level. To the extent that this has been true, it has been most applicable to the early exile community we now call the historicos.

The origins of this early exile support for the Republican Party can be reasonably traced to U.S. foreign policy, and to President Eisenhower’s robust anti-communist posture. Eisenhower and his Republican Party’s anti-Castro stance were followed by the cannibalization of the Bay of Pigs invasion plans under the Democratic leadership of President Kennedy and the resulting failure of the invasion.

This visible foreign policy dichotomy set the stage for the political voting path of the early exiles as they became American citizens. The topic of U.S.-Cuba policy then became of foremost importance for the new Cuban-American voters.

In time, most of the historicos began embracing the domestic policy tenets of the Republican Party of limited government, strong national defense, state rights and individual responsibility. Historicos also developed an aversion for socialist-like policies of any kind. For the most part, the offspring’s of the historicos made their parents’ anti-socialism their own, perpetuating the monolithic image of the Cuban-American electorate.

The arrival of later exile communities, raised under the Castro regime and imbued with socialist ideology began eroding the uniform political composition of the Cuban-American community at large. But the historicos remained committed Republicans — until this year.

This year, all presidential candidates favor a continuation of the U.S.-Cuba policy advanced by President Obama. Their philosophical underpinnings and tone may differ, but all the candidates support the rapprochement with the Cuban regime. For historicos Cuban-Americans, this signaled that one of their main issues was not at play in the 2016 election.

This year, three historicos Cuban-American friends — let’s call them Miguel, Rogelio, and José — will vote differently for the first time. As far back as I can remember, these friends have always supported Republican candidates in the presidential elections. They are emblematic of the historicos’ generation. Their votes this election cycle may not necessarily be enthusiastic, but Rogelio will vote for Republican Donald Trump, Miguel will vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, and José will vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. The three amigos will go their own way politically. The Republican Party failed them.

Continue reading HERE.

Latrine crisis update: Kerry and Maduro hold fruitless meeting in Colombia

Maduro and Kerry

Yes, the U.S. Secretary of State met with Venenozuela’s Castro-controlled despot yesterday.

And — as any idiot could predict — nothing happened, other than the voicing of meaningless concerns and phony grievances.

Secretary Kerry, a.k.a. Herman Munster, expressed his vague Obamaesque objections to the way in which Maduro is handling Venenozuela and giving socialism a bad reputation.

Despot Maduro, a.k.a. Gomez Addams, complained that capitalist imperialists are preventing him from creating a socialist utopia.

You’ve got to admit that the resemblance between Maduro and Gomez is undeniable, as is that between Kerry and Herman…

Only a blind person could fail to see that…. Just add a few pounds to Gomez and turn Herman’s hair from black to gray.

tumblr_n77y55ao501rdyskgo1_500
Kerry and Maduro doppelgängers

So, this meeting of these two 1960’s television ghoulish star doppelgängers yielded little to report on, without a laugh track, and without the presence of Grandpa and Uncle Fester or Colombian middle-aged bombshell Sofia Vergara, who vaguely resembles both Morticia Addams and Lilly Munster.

Meanwhile the real monsters, King Raul and older brother Nosferatu, continue to rake in the money, and the papal blessings, and to strike anti-American deals with visiting foreign despots.

Sympathy for Nosferatu

From Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday, the first formal encounter between the two since Kerry became the top U.S. diplomat.

The two sat down together after a ceremony in the Colombian city of Cartagena to mark the signing of a peace agreement to end that country’s civil war.

“(Kerry) spoke of our concern about the economic and political challenges that have affected millions of Venezuelans, and he urged President Maduro to work constructively with opposition leaders to address these challenges,” said State Department Spokesman John Kirby.

Kerry and Maduro also agreed to continue bilateral discussions that began in recent months, Kirby said.

Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the meeting.

Continue reading HERE

Fidel’s hairless doppelgänger
Colombian inexplicably excluded from Kerry-Maduro meeting
Vague resemblance

Obama sends one last gift to apartheid Castro regime, nominates ambassador to Cuba

Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Jeffrey DeLaurentis

In what appears to be a parting gesture of affection towards the apartheid Castro dictatorship on his way out of the White House, President Obama nominated an ambassador to Cuba yesterday. Obama is quite aware that opposition in the Senate to his policy of embracing the apartheid Castro regime will likely ensure the nomination goes nowhere. Nevertheless, that did not deter him from one last gesture of surrender and appeasement towards Cuba’s murderously repressive dictatorship.

Via Western Journalism:

Obama Likely To Face Opposition After Nominating Cuban Ambassador

President Obama nominated Jeffrey DeLaurentis Tuesday to serve as the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba in more than 50 years.

DeLaurentis has already been serving as the senior U.S. diplomat in Havana while Obama worked on restoring relations with the Communist island. Technically, he already has the rank of ambassador, but the post must still be confirmed by the Senate.

“Jeff’s leadership has been vital throughout the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, and the appointment of an ambassador is a common sense step forward toward a more normal and productive relationship between our two countries,” Obama said. “There is no public servant better suited to improve our ability to engage the Cuban people and advance U.S. interests in Cuba than Jeff.”

The decision will undoubtedly face strong opposition from a Republican-controlled Senate.

Cuban-American Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas have been very vocal in their criticism of opening relations with Cuba, arguing the country and its leader have done nothing to earn American engagement.

Both senators have stated they would block any ambassador appointed by Obama.

“A U.S. ambassador is not going to influence the Cuban government, which is a dictatorial, closed regime,” Rubio said during a phone interview with Politico in July.

Continue reading HERE.

Reports from Cuba: They married us to a lie…

By Rebeca Monzo in Translating Cuba:

They Married Us to a Lie…

bahc3aca-de-la-habana

It is a sign of lack of civility and decorum on the part of the Cuban regime to blame to the so-called US blockade for the shortages and difficulties, whose real cause is the inability and mismanagement of the economy, wealth and and riches of our country, by the leadership of the island. It is extremely well-known that they have “thrown everyone overboard,” dedicating their efforts and money to propaganda and proselytizing abroad, to present a completely untrue image of the internal situation.

When the Soviet “pipelines” were open to Cuba, in the media here, especially on television, there was an abundance of caricatures and ads where a popular character mocked the blockade, throwing all kinds of taunts at.

Why now this exhausting campaign against the blockade, that exceeds all limits of popular assimilation and acceptance? Why not have the civility and honesty to recognize the inability to lead and the squandering of the income obtained from the government’s share of the family remittances from the United States and the huge business established by the government to “rent out” doctors and professionals to other countries, which bring juicy dividends to the regime and from which our doctors and specialists receive only a pittance?

In the face of this so-called “solidarity” it is the people who suffer the consequences of the lack of medically qualified professionals and specialists remaining in Cuba, in schools and hospitals. “Candle in the street, darkness in the house,” as the popular saying goes. That is, we put on a big show for the outside, while we lack everything at home.

They married us to a lie… and forced us to live with it all these years.

 Translated by Jim