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realclearworld

Reports from Cuba: Birds of ill omen

By Eliecer Avila in Translating Cuba:

Birds of Ill Omen

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A topic that is raised for discussion these days is the obsolete argument that some official voices never stop repeating at every opportunity they have to strain relations between Cuba and the United States or rather between Cuba and the Outside World. I am referring to the supposed “need” of implementing “appropriate measures designed to avoid the penetration that the enemy hopes to make into Cuban society.”

Just a few days ago, in the context of the first National Workshop on Computing and Cyber-Security held in Havana, with the physical or virtual presence of thousands of computer engineers, really absurd speeches were heard that, far from inviting the use of emerging opportunities to propel development, called for “being on guard” in the face of new “maneuvers” by the enemy to “penetrate” Cuban society.

I would like for some of these birds of ill omen really to explain, with what does the United States want to penetrate us? Or at least, with what negative thing? Maybe a virus? For that there are anti-viruses. With information about our own reality? We, the people, are screaming for that on our own.

With capitalist propaganda? Our youth do not need it, they already think about the world and conceive their aspirations in the same way as do the youth of New York, sometimes even a little more capitalistic than those. With TV series, soap operas, shows? That is what the Cuban family watches every night, just a week behind. With vice and prostitution? Please, those are fields of enormous potential for replacing imports.

The more I think about it, I do not really find the harmful impact about which these things of which gentlemen speak. Could it be rather that they are preparing the terrain in order to justify the excessive and paranoid control that is planned for the future Cuban web surfer?

I believe that the old scheme of being able to try to survive at all costs, defending its privilege of being the only one that can “penetrate” the minds, every day, 24 hours a day, of all Cubans and many others out there. . .

The reality is that we do not need the Cuban government to “protect” us from any external influence. We are millions of Cuba adults responsible enough to make own decisions in the physical world as well as in the virtual one, who want for our country the same access to the Internet that is widespread on the planet. With all its risks and infinite possibilities.

Do not defend us anymore; no one has asked you to.

Translated by MLK

Do Younger Cuban-Americans Think Differently Than Their Parents on Cuba?

Art Linares

There are many out there in fantasy land who justify the Obama/Castro Accord of December 17, 2014, by saying that a majority of Americans – and they put special emphasis on the younger members of the Cuban-American community – support the opening. 

Well, here is a speech by the Cuban-American Connecticut State Senator Art Linares (Republican) on his feelings and aspirations for the homeland of his parents and grandparents. He makes Cuban-Americans and freedom-loving Americans very proud. 

Linares dispels the lies propagated by most media outlets whose main interest is propaganda. When it comes to the restoration of freedom and democracy to Communist Cuba, the majority of the Cuban-American community is of one-mind. This is self-evident not only in the election of Cuban-American congressmen who embrace a hardline on Cuban matters, but in the many Cuban-American households who teach their children that there is price to be paid for democracy. 

Linares succeeded ten-term Democratic State Senator Eileen Daily for the 33rd Senate District, and, thus, became the first Republican to hold this seat since 1992.  At age 26, he is one of the youngest state senators in Connecticut history. He co-founded a commercial solar energy company, Greenskies, while majoring in entrepreneurship at the University of Tampa. Middletown-based Greenskies recently scored a $30 million contract to install solar panels at 27 Wal-Mart stores in Massachusetts. 

To listen to State Senator Linares’ speech, click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ngf9XVyjKk&feature=youtu.be

 

Cuba’s Castros eat well in Venezuela

By Jorge Cruz:

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"I love the taste of students"

Is another Paris Hilton porno video in the works? (Inquiring minds want to know–but Castro’s secret-police ain’t telling!)

paris2

"It was devastating because that was someone I was with for a few years. I don't think I'll ever be able to fully trust any man again after that." (Paris Hilton reacting to the release of her famous sex video-- now available in home video!--after her attempted blackmailing. (Interview with the Daily Telegraph, July, 2014.)

paris4IOC President Rogge and Cuba's head of armed forces Castro attend inauguration of sports congress in Havana

So this week Paris Hilton is visiting the fiefdom of thoroughly trustworthy men (the Castro brothers!) And cavorting with a fully trustworthy man (Fidel Castro's son!)

paris3paris-hilton-fidel-antonio-castro
"You ougtha be in pictures, baby!" Fidelito Castro to an apparently charmed Paris Hilton in Havana last night. (Amigos, if any of ya'll detect any mistrust in Paris's eyes, you're much more perceptive than I am.)

Question: In the world today what's the most likely place for a celebrity to be secretly filmed expressly for an attempted blackmailing? "HAVANA, BABY!"..... Oh well, at least she'll be filmed by the absolute best in the business. No more of that cheesy, grainy amateur stuff.

"My job was to bug their hotel rooms," says high-ranking Cuban intelligence defector Delfin Fernandez. "With both cameras and listening devices. Most people have no idea they are being watched while they are in Cuba. But their personal activities are filmed under orders from Castro himself."

"When the celebrity visitors arrived at the hotels Nacional, Meliá Habana and Meliá Cohiba," says Fernandez, "we already had their rooms completely bugged with sophisticated taping equipment, . "But not just the rooms, we'd also follow the visitors around, sometimes we covered them 24 hours a day. They had no idea we were tailing them."

Famous Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar was a special target for this bugging but nothing of value came of it for Castro. "Everybody already knows I'm a maricon!" Almodovar laughed at Castro's blackmailers. "So go right ahead! Knock yourselves out!"

"Fidel Castro is a special connoisseur of these tapings and videos." Fernandez says. "Especially of the really famous. And not even his closest "friends" are safe from this bugging. The best example is his longtime Castro "friend" Nobel prize novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In what appeared as a touching act of generosity and friendship, Castro gave his friend "Gabo" his very own (stolen) mansion in Havana "We had remodeled it right before, " remembers the Intelligence honcho, Fernandez "and we installed more cables for bugging devices than for the normal electrical appliances. We taped EVERYTHING! Fidel doesn't trust ANYONE."

Castro's top intelligence people would gather for the screenings of these tapes almost like Hollywood types for an upcoming movie. "Hummmm, these scenes are more scandalous than anything in any of her movies!" Fernandez recalls a top intelligence officer chortling while watching the nighttime cavortings of a famous Spanish actress. "Now, it really seems to me, companeros," the Castro intimate chortled as he looked around the room, "that this senora should be making more respectful comments about our regime, right?"

"But famous Americans are the priority objectives of Castro's intelligence." says Fernandez. "When word came down that models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss were coming to Cuba the order was a routine one: 24 hour a day vigilance. Then we got a PRIORITY alert, " recalls Fernandez, "because there was a rumor that they would be sharing a room with Leonardo Di Caprio. The rumor set off a flurry of activity and we set up the most sophisticated devices we had."

"The American actor Jack Nicholson was another celebrity who was bugged and taped THROUGHLY during his stay in the hotel Meliá Cohiba," states Fernandez, the man in charge of the bugging.

Turns out, however, that at least one visiting dignitary foiled Castro's intelligence. On his visit to Cuba in 1998, Pope John Paul's assistants discovered and removed several bugging devices from his Holiness' hotel room.

beck 3
"You simply can't MAKE this sh*t up!"

A new U.S.-Cuba policy: Did Cuba win?

By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo:

OLPL in “A New U.S.-Cuba Policy: Did Cuba Win?”

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Fifty-plus years of US diplomatic stalemate and economic sanctions have failed to bring freedom to the Cuban people because they were not designed to bring freedom to the Cuban people, but to penalize a regime that started by sequestering Cuban sovereignty by violent and anti-democratic procedures (reestablishment of death penalty, radical hatred speech, citizen apartheid), by the illegalization of civil society and all forms of property (both private and public, including the press), and by tyrannizing every institutional power into a despotic State, plus the militarization of the nation to the point of demanding a nuclear attack against the United States from Cuban territory.

The 50-plus years to come of US diplomatic relations and capitalist engagement with Cuba can neither guarantee the advance of fundamental freedoms in my country, nor our liberation from the successive Castro generations, because a market economy is not a redemptive formula and it has already been implemented by authoritarian systems as a tool for tyrannical control of all basic rights. And this is a wicked word that President Obama, Pope Francis and General Castro have secretly agreed to postpone: the rights of the Cuban people.

As the pro-democracy leader Oswaldo Payá stated many times until he was extrajudicially executed in Cuba on July 22nd 2012: Why not the recognition of all our rights now? What is good for Americans since the 18th century is still not good enough for Cubans in the 21st century?

Is this about US interference, as in the hegemonic past times when the capitol of DC was the capital of the continent? Or this is only about insulting the intellectual capacity of my people, wise enough to escape in a pedestrian’s plebiscite in search for a real “normalization” of their lives far from an abnormal socialism?

Democracies seem guilty of their duty to foster democracy worldwide, but Castroism has been more than proud to Castrify democratic countries (Venezuela is the most tragic example today), as the recently liberated 5 Cuban spies in US have declared when ordered as National Heroes back on the Island: we are ready to commit our crimes again if we are ordered to do so. Sic semper tyrannis.

Why not the effective solidarity and the pressure of the international community, so that the legal claims that have already mobilized tens of thousands of Cubans be respected by our non-elected authorities? Why not take advantage of these US-Cuba negotiations to seat in the same table the historical gerontocracy with the alternative civil leaders, after we have risked so much to conquer freedom of speech and to raise awareness on human rights violations and the anthropological damage in Cuba?

In moral terms, the unpopularity of US policies given the popularity of the Cuban Revolution worldwide should be less important than the unpopularity of the retrograde regime within the Island, if a true transition is to take place in Cuba today. Unless, of course, advancing American interests in the Western Hemisphere now means advancing American interests in Western Union.

Did Cuba win?

Continue reading A new U.S.-Cuba policy: Did Cuba win?

Cuba’s Castros ban U.S. lawmakers from entering Venezuela

You don't actually think Cuba's puppet dictator in their colony of Venezuela had any say in this, do you?

Via The Miami Herald's Naked Politics Blog:

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Venezuela bans 'terrorists' Marco Rubio, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Miami Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen have been banned from traveling to Venezuela.

President Nicolás Maduroannounced Saturday that his government has created an "anti-terrorist list headed by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, ex-CIA chief George Tenet, ultra right-wing Congressman Bob Menendez, by Marco Rubio, by the she-wolf Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, by Mario Diaz-Balart."

"The won't be able to come to Venezuela for being terrorists!" Maduro told raucous supporters in a speech. "Out of here, terrorists!"

All will be unable to obtain travel visas to the country. Maduro also unveiled the visa program for U.S. citizens Saturday, along with restrictions on U.S. diplomats. Menendez is a Democratic senator from New Jersey.

Nicaragua, a Venezuelan ally, said in December that it would ban Rubio and Ros-Lehtinen, both Republicans, from the Central American country to protest U.S. sanctions on members of the Venezuelan government. Rubio took to the Senate floor Friday to push for full implementation of the law, signed by President Obama in December.

Diaz-Balart, who is also a Republican, and Ros-Lehtinen took to Twitter on Saturday to characterize Venezuela's decision as an honor.

Continue reading HERE.

Paris Hilton and Conan O’Brien do Havana! ( Welcome to Babalu’s new “Week-End Update!”

week-end update

Amigos! Welcome to the premier of Babalu's spanking new "Week-End Update!" Even at its prime (and with all that cocaine) the crackerjack Saturday Night Night writing team never brainstormed anything half as hilarious as what the Babalu team finds in the news about Cuba almost daily.

But all too often we laugh alone! So to let our many, many friends outside the Cuban-American informational ghetto in on our jokes this feature will always include a (very) brief footnote so we can all laugh together!

This week we'll start with Conan O'Brien, who cannot get over (!!!) how "completely alone" (utterly free from from surveilance, apparently) he was left while filming his tourism infomercial for the Castro regime last week! (all quotes are genuine.)

conan-cuba2

"I was shocked," said O'Brien, "by how much we were left completely alone!"

Footnote: "My job was to bug their hotel rooms," revealed high-ranking Cuban intelligence defector Delfin Fernandez. "Famous Americans are the priority objectives of Castro's intelligence. When the celebrity visitors arrived at the hotels we already had their rooms completely bugged with sophisticated taping equipment."

Now we move on to Paris Hilton partying hearty with Fidel Castro's son in Havana this week-end:

hilton

"Cuba BABY!...Loving Havana!..There's some beautiful architecture here in Cuba!"

Footnote: Yes some of it was the Havana Hilton STOLEN by Castro at Soviet gunpoint from your great Grandfather Conrad Hilton, BABY!

Our friends at Townhall--as is so often the case--hop on an airhead celebrity issue hot in the news to educate folks who live outside the high walls of the Cuban-American informational ghetto.

Along with an estimated 637,000 people from the U.S. recently, Paris Hilton and Conan O’Brien somehow squeaked through the cracks of the diabolical U.S. “blockade” of Cuba for a visit to Havana. (Btw, in the 1950’ws when Cuba was a “U.S. tourist playground!” an average 200,000 Americans visited Cuba annually.)

From the Associated Press this week:

“Having seen a long-ago tape of (Jack Paar's) historic visit just months into the regime of Fidel Castro, (Conan) O'Brien said, "We've got to go - right away!"

"It wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be," said "Conan" executive producer Jeff Ross, who reached a production liaison in Havana. "He said, 'Just come. We'll get you an invitation from the Cuban government. You'll have the run of the place.'"

The 10-member troupe went in mid-February and spent several days in the Cuban capital.

"I was shocked," said O'Brien, "by how much we were left completely alone."

Oh! To be a fly on the wall of Castro’s secret police headquarters—with ear-protection of course, otherwise the roar of laughter and snorting, the cackling and gasping, the convulsed midriffs could easily be distracting.

“My job was to bug their hotel rooms," revealed high-ranking Cuban intelligence defector Delfin Fernandez. "With both cameras and listening devices. Most people have no idea they are being watched while they are in Cuba. But their personal activities are filmed under orders from Castro himself….famous Americans are the priority objectives of Castro's intelligence."...."When the celebrity visitors arrived at the hotels Nacional, Meliá Habana and Meliá Cohiba," continues Fernandez, "we already had their rooms completely bugged with sophisticated taping equipment. But not just the rooms, we'd also follow the visitors around, sometimes we covered them 24 hours a day. They had no idea we were tailing them."

“Cuba Baby!...Loving old Havana!” Paris Hilton posted on Social media this week.

Reports from Cuba: Cuba: Medical Impotence

By Miriam Celaya in Translating Cuba:

Cuba: Medical Impotence

While the government exports thousands of doctors, old diseases are coming back, such as dengue fever, tuberculosis, whooping cough, chikungunya, and cholera, and new exotic diseases are appearing that had never before been seen on the Island.

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Cubanet, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 18 February 2015 – For a few days, Maritza thought that her four-year-old son’s persistent cough was due to a combination of a cold and his chronic allergies. The crisis had started with a fever and a few episodes of hacking cough, and had escalated over the next couple of days, even though he was no longer running a fever. The pediatrician’s diagnosis confirmed Maritza’s suspicions: Alain was suffering from a viral infection, so they would follow the normal treatment in cases like his: they would watch him, give him plenty of liquids, expectorants and antihistamines

But after two weeks, his coughing got so much stronger and frequent that Maritza ended up having to go to Pediatric Hospital at Centro Habana so that her son – already cyanotic and having respiratory spasms — could be treated with oxygen. Almost by happenstance, an experienced doctor who heard the child cough took an interest in the case, and, after a more detailed examination, made her diagnosis as whooping cough, a disease Maritza had never heard of and against which – at least in theory — all Cuban children are protected, thanks to subsidized national health system vaccination programs. Furthermore, according to official statistical records, whooping cough (pertussis) was eradicated from Cuba many years ago.

Thanks to that doctor’s providential presence, Alain was treated with the appropriate antibiotics and, following the advice of the doctor, Maritza asked a relative who resides abroad for an emergency shipment of a medication that does not exist in Cuba, pertussis suppositories, used in the treatment to lessen the child’s coughing crisis.

Alain is recovering now, but his convalescence may take up to three months or more. Maritza has overcome her anxiety, but wonders how many children will be in the same predicament, considering that this highly infectious disease is circulating around the Island, and health authorities have not sounded the alarm. In fact, she recently found out that in the past several years the incidence of whooping cough has been on the rise, not only among children, but also among adults.

The lack of information in the official media results in the population not having a clear perception of the risk, and turns Article 50 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba into meaningless babble. The article establishes the right of all Cubans to medical care and health protection, and points to the State as guarantor of that right.

Turning back the clock

Dengue fever, tuberculosis, whooping cough, chikungunya*, cholera … With the reappearance of old diseases, the introduction of others that did not exist on the Island and the lack of effective drugs, it would seem that Cuba has regressed to the nineteenth century. However, the Cuban national health system remains a prestigious benchmark for international agencies, particularly since lending Cuban medical services abroad has become the most important source of the government’s capital income and a powerful political tool, given that it allows displaying as example of solidarity and altruism what is actually a poorly disguised form of modern slavery.

So, while the government exports the service of tens of thousands of medical professionals at the expense of a loss of attention to Cubans, and the exposure of the Cuban population to multiple imported diseases, the institutional bureaucracy of international organizations congratulates itself on being able to count on a whole army of doctors mobilized by the regime to deal with epidemics and other pathologies. The government of any moderately democratic nation would never be able to recruit doctors as if they were mercenaries.

The truth is that Cuba currently has two opposing systems: one of “health”, which only exists in theory and today is a sad imitation of what it once was; and the other of “unhealth”, much more efficient, endorsed in a completely dismal hospital and services infrastructure, and in the continuing incursion of exotic diseases, imported by our doctors from the most infected corners of the globe, since, upon their return home to Cuba, the practice of a rigorous quarantine plan and infection risk control is not followed.

All this in a nation that, in the late 50s of the last century, stood out among the top in terms of health care at the regional and global levels, with a respectable hospital network in addition to membership clinics, emergency clinics, maternity hospitals and other health services, both free and private.

At this rate, it is likely that, when the Castro regime finally ends, we may have to request emergency services from the World Health Organization itself and from the International Red Cross in order to address Cubans’ health crisis, as occurred during the US occupation after the 1898 War of Independence, which created the basis for what would become, during the Republic, one of the most enviable health systems of its time.

*A viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes.

Translated by Norma Whiting

The Castro revolution’s new and inspired architecture in Cuba

Lauzán:

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Video: Cuba debate at the McCain Institute

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

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Video: Cuba Debate at the McCain Institute

Yesterday, the McCain Institute for International Leadership hosted a policy debate entitled, “A New U.S.-Cuba Policy: Did Cuba Win?

The debate teams were composed of:

Julia Sweig, formerly of the Council on Foreign Relations
Jodi Bond, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

vs.

Mauricio Claver-Carone, Cuba Democracy Advocates
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, Cuban blogger

Watch the entire debate below:

Quote of the Day – The struggle to make sure Cuba’s slaves are well fed and stylishly dressed

By former Cuban political prisoner Juan Amador on Facebook (my translation):

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"There are those whose only concern is that the slaves in Cuba are well fed and interesting to look at; forget about liberty or rights. Their only goal is to ensure the shackles are comfortable on the slaves. Their struggle is to make certain the slaves are healthy and stylishly dressed."

“But if we changed the onerous terms–we could sell Cuba a LOT more!” (says the Farm Lobby)

haneyhaney5
Best expose' ever written on the swinishness of the farm lobby--(written by a CATO INST. Senior Fellow!)

Any and all who follow the Cuba embargo issue find the refrain making up title of this post everywhere--usually issuing from a farm-state legislator, a farm-state governor, or a farmer. To wit:

"American farmers say the main barrier to sales to Cuba is a U.S. government ban on providing credit to the island. That wouldn't change under reforms Obama proposed last month."

For the benefit of our many, many friends outside the Cuban-American informational ghetto: Those "onerous terms" simply stipulate that Castro PAY for the billions in agricultural products he gets from the U.S.

Same as with you and me, amigos, if our credit rating sucks big-time, our vendors demand we pay CASH for their merchandise. Well, since Castro's Cuba is (per-capitawise) the world's most notorious deadbeat--the U.S. government (thanks to legislation promoted by the much-reviled Cuban-American lobby) imposes those "onerous terms" when that deadbeat, chiseler and thief wishes to buy agricultural products from us.

stossel57

"Shouldn't YOU guys ("libertarians? A CATO Inst. fellow? Champions of the U.S. taxpayer?")--of ALL people!-- be wary of the farm lobby?!! Why on earth are you in bed with them on this issue?!"

We actually ended the show on that fairly chummy note.  A tiny snippet seen here.

So what the farm lobby is in in effect saying is that if we didn't demand that Castro actually...you know--pay us, we could actually "sell" him a lot more!

Well guess what? If Cabelas, Academy and Bass Pro Shops changed their terms (didn't require that I actually, you know--pay them--(though I do manage to pay them on credit)-- they could "sell"  ME a lot more stuff!

(Pero que tipo mas DESCARA'O! y PESA'O(!!!)--que BOFE!--este Fontova! Hace un post como si fuera algo IMPORTANTISSIMO del "embargo"!  Y resulta que es solamente para colocar sus fotos come El: GRAN CAZADOR!--GRAN PESCADOR!...

Hope and Change in Obama’s Cuba: Apartheid Castro regime violently arrests 30 dissidents on eve of talks with U.S.

It is obvious that President Obama's policy of Hope and Change in Cuba has been a boon for the apartheid regime of the Castro brothers. For the island's dissidents and human rights activists, not so much.

Via Uncommon Sense:

Cuban police attack UNPACU activists in Palma Soriano; as many as 30 arrested

UNPACU bandera

On the eve of the second round of negotiations between American and Cuban diplomats, Cuban police Thursday attacked activists with the Patriotic Union of Cuba, the largest opposition group in the country, gathered in a home in the town of Palma Soriano. As many as 30 activists were beaten and detained, according to reports via Twitter.

Continue reading HERE.

Dr Ilena Johnson Paugh, author & economist….and her book “Communism 2.0″

GUEST:  Dr Ilena Johnson Paugh, author & economist....she has written a new book called "Communism 2.0", a look at communism in Romania 25 years later.....why is communism (or socialism) popular again with young people?   what are the lessons for the US?  how are Europe's economic problems, such as the financial crisis in Greece or unemployment in Spain, driving some people to the slogans of socialism?  we will also look at the Keystone Pipeline veto and recent enrollment figures for Obama Care....click to listen:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cantotalk/2015/02/27/communism-20-a-new-book-by-ileana-johnson-economist-and-author

 

‘President Rodriguez’ on the way to the White House?

(My new American Thinker post)

"Yes, let's hope that a "President Rodriguez" walks into The Oval Office someday soon.  Let's further hope that he does two things that President Obama has not...."

click to read:

http://cantotalk.blogspot.com/2015/02/president-rodriguez-on-way-to-white.html