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Reports from Cuba: Who is behind the mirror?

By Luz Escobar in Translating Cuba:

Who is behind the mirror?

Portal-blogs-Reflejos_CYMIMA20150319_0007_13

On Wednesday, with great fanfare, the digital site “Reflections” was launched as part of the Cuban Youth Computer and Electronics Club’s Cuba Va (Cuba Goes) project. On its homepage you can read that this is the first Cuban blogging platform, although DesdeCuba.com, a blog portal, was launched eight years ago and, despite being blocked on the Cuban server, offers content generated in Cuba, where the majority of its authors live.

According to Kirenia Fagundo Garcia, who serves as senior specialist on Reflections, “there are no restrictions on the topics discussed on the blogs and users interested in the service,” on this platform. Each blog has only 250 megabytes allocated to post texts, photos, videos and sound, although Fagundo has made clear that it is planned to increase the initial capacity.

Despite the commitment to freedom announced by the portal, “the only condition is that the bloggers divulge the truth about Cuba, without offenses, disrespect or denigration.” Thus, several questions immediately arise: Who gave the Youth Computer Club the power to determine what is “the truth about Cuba”? Who is behind this project? Who is funding it? What institution, undoubtedly State or Party, will approve the content to be published?

To test the limits of the new platform, this daily has created a new blog on the service, under the title 14ymedio, with the purpose of bringing the contents of our digital portal to Cuban readers on servers on the Island. The process was easy, although to create a new site we had to provide the number of the user’s State-issued ID card, undoubtedly a surprise.

Moreover, the portal has several technical deficiencies, frequent error messages and agonizing slowness. Obviously it has been opened without having done sufficient technical tests to check its operation. The site 14ymedio.cubava.cu has been activated and the content manager that works with the entire platform is WordPress. However, it has been impossible, so far, to publish our first text. Technical Problems?

In the coming days we will test whether the new blogging platform is as plural as announced, or nothing more than one more simple mirror of the official discourse.

Cuba waits for you

Lauzán:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-r8RXRoMexuE/VRFTB_x3JzI/AAAAAAAAiws/mTAMPm-lIMM/s1600/lauzan-plaza1.jpg

Grumpy old men – but of course

A guest post by Asombra:

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I introduced the José Martí biography by Alfred López to this blog. I now regret opening that Pandora's box, not to say can of worms, and the ensuing unpleasantness. Me ha hecho quedar mal, y me ha hecho sentir peor. Nobody needs this, least of all Cuba, already paralyzed with "issues." I suppose I might have known better. I consciously avoided a knee-jerk response to Humberto Fontova’s “revelation” posted here on March 18th, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

I did not know López wrote for HuffPo, though that seems fitting enough--the title of his piece certainly does, not to mention the accompanying photo, apparently picked to convey an all-too-obvious message and affirm a stereotype dear to liberal media. If this piece had come from a non-Cuban, particularly a usual suspect, I could have easily overlooked it, since I've run across the same thing numerous times from such a source, and surely will again. The author, however, is of Cuban extraction, which puts the matter in a very different context.

I introduced his book here in good faith, and after objections were raised to questionable associates and scholarly shortcomings, I tried to remain objective, giving the benefit of the doubt to wait till I’d read the book before judging further, even attempting to mitigate negative commentary. I genuinely wanted this to turn out for the good, otherwise I would never have bothered in the first place. I have little time for reading an entire book on any topic, let alone reading it critically with pen in hand with a view towards reviewing it (and I intended to go considerably beyond Ann Louise Bardach’s WaPo review). I only decided to commit that kind of time and effort because of the book's subject and potential relevance.

Between my initial post on March 6th and the appearance of the López piece on his HuffPo blog on March 18th, only one commenter here, Professor Antonio de la Cova (a historian) could be said to have “excoriated” the book or its author, yet López stated that several commenters had done so. In clear opposition to de la Cova, Jorge Ponce, who had read the book, issued a post on March 15th strongly recommending it, and began an ongoing argument with de la Cova’s comments. He even went so far as to contact López as his supporter, which he had done by March 17th, and he had also left a 5-star review on the book’s Amazon page on March 15th (as I expect he told López, who may have seen the review already). Before the HuffPo piece came out, only de la Cova, who had closely read the parts of the book posted online at Amazon but not the rest, had said he would not get the book to read it whole. However, López stated, referring to the discussion here, that “no one involved has actually read the book, and several declare proudly that they have no intention of doing so.” He did not mention his champion Jorge Ponce at all, presumably because that did not fit his narrative.

That narrative portrays grumpy, old-school Cuban denizens of a tiny cyber-outpost trashing a book they had not read. It so happens that said outpost, despite its highly specialized focus on Cuba matters, has been publishing daily for over a decade, during which time it has received over 8.5 million unique visits, approximately 740K per year. I do not know the numbers for López’s blog, on which he seems to post once or twice a month, but even with the great advantage of being under the HuffPo umbrella (as opposed to standing alone like Babalú), I doubt his traffic is especially impressive. But I digress, even if the “tiny” bit was a cheap shot.

The narrative implicitly identifies or links Babalú with that favorite bête noire of liberal media and academia, first-generation Cuban exiles, the generation of López’s parents, for which he trots out the standard litany of pejorative terms: hardline, right-wing, noisy, angry, and given to “politics of division and hate.” In other words, in Clinton-speak, “those people” (a variant of “that woman”). It’s all rather prosaic and unimaginative, of course, but while López teaches literature, he’s not obliged to practice it — though presumably Obama’s Inaugural Poet could have done better. However, the fact is practically all the people behind Babalú and its “regulars” are from López’s own generation if not younger (not that we were likely to get a break on that account).

Apparently not content to paint us like the crotchety old farts Pat Oliphant (an old fart himself) wanted to send back to Cuba in his vile 2007 cartoon, or perhaps due to a penchant for over-dramatizing, López brings in violent events from last century, back to the 1970s, to illustrate how bad “those people” could get (even though the vast majority of them were never involved in any such violence). He did, however, have the grace to admit that none of this had much to do with his book or its reception. He reports an uneventful appearance at the Miami Book Fair in 2014, and a “delightful” and profitable presentation at a leading Miami bookstore last month, despite a number of those dreaded older exiles/potential terrorists in attendance. But then, Babalú happened.

Continue reading Grumpy old men – but of course

“Race card Durbin”

 

“Normalization” reminder of the day: Cuban dissidents beaten, stripped naked

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While the Castronoid nobility engage in talks with the U.S., E.U. and Russia, Cuban dissidents are being handled very roughly by their knights.

Here are some facts you are not likely to find in news articles about these "historic" negotiations.

Jacobson

U.S. negotiator Roberta Jacobson and Duchess Josefina Vidal, Castronoid negotiator

From ABC Spain &  Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional (Ccdhrn).

* In February 2015 at least 492 dissidents were arrested.

* In addition to stepping up arrests, Castronoid police also increased the brutality of their attacks, especially against women.

*  A pregnant member of the Ladies in White -- Eralisis Frometa Polanco -- was beaten so severely that she suffered a miscarriage.

* On February 22nd, the Ladies in White where ambushed and severely beaten at the entrance to the Fifth Avenue tunnel.

* In the eastern provinces of the island, it has now become customary to strip naked those who are arrested.  Women are routinely stripped by male police in the presence of their fellow male officers.

* Many of the dissidents have their shoes taken away and are then released in locations miles away from their homes, shoeless.  Their shoes are never returned.

* In addition to beatings, and arrests, dissidents have been subjected to constant harassment, and 12 of them have had their homes vandalized.

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Iranian-Americans join Cuban-Americans under the Obama Bus

By our good friend Banafsheh Zand in American Thinker:

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Obama Throws Iranian-Americans under the Bus

The Khomeinist regime has time and time again ‘promised’ to abide by agreements similar to what’s on offer now from the Obama administration. Various U.S. administrations, EU conciliators, et al. have reached out to Tehran over the years, yet the undeniable fact is that they have not and will not make a standing deal. Because, as those of us who have followed the every move of that regime since 1979 can specifically pointout, the first thing the Islamic Republic of Iran did after it took over in 1979 was to announce to the world through its constitution its “hope that this century will witness the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others” and delegated the export of its revolution to the globe to the Revolutionary Guard and Hizb’allah.

As nuclear negotiator during Mohammad Khatami’s presidency in 1998-2006, Hassan Rouhani boasted about how he lulled his non-Iranian counterparts into a false sense of calm. At the time, during all the nuclear negotiations, Iran played nice and acted more cooperatively with the international community, fully intending not to live up to its side of the bargain. And in April of 2006, the proof was unveiled, when Rouhani was caught on tape,during a speech at the Assembly of Clerics, bragging about how he, and hence Iran, was able to complete the installation of equipment for conversion of yellowcake -- a key stage in the nuclear fuel process -- at its Isfahan plant, while European diplomats (DeVillepin of France, Jack Straw of UK, and Joschka Fischer of Germany) bought into the big lie. "From the outset," he said, "the Americans kept telling the Europeans, 'The Iranians are lying and deceiving you and they have not told you everything.' The Europeans used to respond, 'We trust them!'"

The Khomeinist modus operandi, and in general, the Mullah culture, is built on making agreements with those who are not ‘insiders’ while they have their fingers crossed behind their backs. And Obama is the latest of the international politicos whom they have coming and going. What’s interesting is that the number of times that they have done this and gotten away with it should be a lesson for this administration, but Mr. Obama and company are so certain of their particular brand of exceptionalism that they find reality an inconvenience.

It was clear to many Iranian-Americans back then that President Obama would go to any length to appease Tehran, and he surely has. Now, rather than be held accountable for their 36 years of heinous acts of terror, Mr. Obama is bribing the tyrants of Iran by taking them and their Lebanese puppet militant arm, Hizb’allah, off the terrorist list.

On Monday, March 16th, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Khomeinist regime foreign minister Javad Zarif in Lausanne, Switzerland, to talk about an nth deal, Ahmad Shaheed, the U.N. Special Rapporteur was giving his report on the situation of Human Rights in Iran to the Security Council.

The ongoing crimes against humanity and human rights violations of the regime has been thoroughly documented. Since 1979, along with the thousands of Iranians that the Islamic regime were sending to their deaths every year, inside the country, during the 1990s they targeted the opposition outside the country. Many Iranians living outside Iran (specifically in Europe) have been assassinated at the hands of agents of the Mullahgarchy. While the governments of those European countries knew all about it, and in some cases caught the assassins, rather than bring them to justice the Europeans quietly handed them back to Tehran, so that it does not upset all those cheap oil deals. Conservative estimates of these assassinations have the numbers close to two hundred but the actual murders that were not officially documented are said to be closer to 500.

Continue reading HERE.

On Obama’s Cuba deal, Reuters euphemistically refers to lies, hypocrisy, and secrecy as ‘outmaneuvering’

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

How Obama Cut a Cuba Deal: Lies, Hypocrisy and Secrecy

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This week, Reuters took a retrospective view of the process leading up to President Obama's December 17th agreement with Cuban dictator Raul Castro.

It's entitled, "How Obama outmaneuvered hardliners and cut a Cuba deal."

The title gets it half-right -- Obama did indeed cut a Cuba deal, but it was Obama who was (sadly) outmaneuvered by Castro.

Let's begin with the overall premise, which Reuters overlooks:

In December 2009, the Castro regime took an American hostage, development worker Alan Gross, whom it wanted exchanged for five Cuban spies convicted by U.S. federal courts, including one serving a life-sentence for murder conspiracy. Castro had also demanded a series of policy concessions.

That began a long process of how Obama could conduct such a trade (in fact), while denying it (in rhetoric) -- or of how Castro's ransom demand could be sugar-coated (no pun intended) with the least political impact to Obama himself.

It was done through lies, hypocrisy and secrecy.

1. Lie to the Cuban-American community. In one paragraph, Reuters purports that Obama "took advantage of a generational shift that greatly reduced the political risk" in announcing his Cuba deal. Yet, in the following paragraph, it recognizes how it wasn't until after his re-election (2012) that Obama instructed aides to make Cuba a priority and "see how far we could push the envelope." And it wasn't until after the very last midterm election (2014) of his presidency, which saw Florida anti-embargo gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist lose and U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) go down with him, that Obama announced his Cuba deal. Oh, and of course, only after waiting methodically for Congress to leave for the holidays.

Instead, here's what Obama had told Cuban-Americans during the 2008 election: "I will maintain the embargo. It provides us with the leverage to present the regime with a clear choice: if you take significant steps toward democracy, beginning with the freeing of all political prisoners, we will take steps to begin normalizing relations."

Meanwhile, during the 2012 election, the Obama campaign exploited how Republican nominee Mitt Romney's VP pick, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), had previously voted in Congress to lift the embargo: “That did their ticket a lot of harm with Cubans and allowed us to at least get a hearing with them about many other economic issues,” an Obama campaign official admitted to The Financial Times.

So much for political bravado.

2. Lie to Congress and the families of murdered Americans. For years, the Obama Administration told Congress and the families of the American victims of the imprisoned Cuban spies, that there would not be a prisoner swap for Alan Gross. It wasn't until months into the negotiations that Rolando Sarraff, a U.S. agent imprisoned in Cuba since 1995, suddenly dawned upon them. As Reuters itself states, with Sarraff, "the White House could claim it was a true 'spy swap,' giving it political cover." In other words, it could lie.

If you remain unconvinced on this point, click here to watch an exchange between U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson at a recent House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. Then judge for yourself.

So much for justice.

3. Hypocritically use the Pope's "moral influence." Reuters reveals how Obama, together with U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), decided to solicit (and maneuver) Pope Francis' intervention, in order to use his "moral influence" as a shield from criticism by Cuban-American lawmakers.

Yet, these are the same people who are now holding up anti-sex trafficking legislation in the Senate because they want the victim's fund in the bill to also pay for abortions.

Of course, we all know where Pope Francis stands on this. But suddenly, he is of little consequence.

So much for "moral influence."

4. Hide the details from Congress and the American people. Reuters claims that "Obama at first froze out the State Department in part due to concern that 'vested interests' there were bent on perpetuating a confrontational approach." That's funny. The State Department's bureaucracy would have been Obama's most willing accomplice in cutting this deal.

The reason why Obama kept this negotiation within The White House -- and had his speechwriter lead the team -- is to not be accountable to Congress or the American people. It would extend executive privilege upon those White House officials not to have to testify before Congress and answer questions to the American people. Meanwhile, the State Department could claim "ignorance" about the process and details.

So much for transparency.

European Union sends envoy to seal Cuba’s doom

EU negotiator meets with Count Bruno, chief Castronoid negotiator

EU negotiator meets with Count Bruno, chief Castronoid negotiator

It's a bona-fide three-ring circus of doom.

Wow.  The Castronoid hierarchy hasn't been this busy since they staged the Elian Gonzalez circus.

In the first ring of the circus of doom: the United States of America.   In the second ring: the European Union.  In the third ring: Russia.

Never mind the other rings behind the curtain: Iran, North Korea. China, Hamas, FARC, etc.  Pay no attention to them, they have nothing to do with the circus of doom.

And never mind Venezuela: it  has no role to play, seen or unseen, since it is already a province of Castrogonia.

threeringcircus

Ultra-white fat cat Castronoid oligarchs are making multiple deals with all the alacrity and dexterity required of any expert  prestidigitator or illusionist.

David Blaine, eat your heart out.  And you too, David Copperfield, and Penn and Teller, etc, including the very dead Great Houdini....  The Castronoid negotiators make all of you look like rank amateurs.

And those Americans and Europeans making deals with the Castronoids seem to be acting as astutely as dupes from Podunk Hollow, West Virginia, when confronted by a shell-game on the sidewalks of New York City.

Of course, the Russians know exactly who they're dealing with, and what the deals mean for them.

If you ever harbored any foolish hope of seeing a free Cuba in your lifetime -- even with a proper dose of suspicion -- forget about it.

The island is doomed.  Doomed.  Doomed.  Doomed.  Say it over and over, and spell it out: d-o-o-m-e-d.

Fuhgeddaboutdit.  Get used to the fact that Cuba has as much of a chance of being free as a snowball has of remaining intact in a lava flow.

Kiss Cuba goodbye forever.  Adios.  Vale, per omnia saeculae saeculorum.

Ultra-white Castronoid negotiating team in talks with U.S.  ... Hey, wait a minute, I thought the island's population was 70% black.... and racism had been abolished....

Ultra-white Castronoid negotiating team in talks with U.S. ... Hey, wait a minute, I thought the island's population was 70% black.... and racism had been abolished....

From The Economic Times:

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini starts Cuba visit

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrived in Cuba for crucial talks aimed at normalizing ties between the European Union and the communist island state.

The visit comes as previously icy relations between Cuba and the West are thawing, following the dramatic rapprochement between Havana and Washington in the last few months.

Mogherini will meet Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez during the two-day visit which "comes at a crucial time" for negotiations between the two sides, her office said yesterday ahead of her arrival, which was confirmed by a source close to the EU in Cuba.

The EU and Cuba held a third round of talks between chief negotiators at the beginning of March aimed at tackling sensitive human rights issues and finalizing an agreement "on political dialogue and cooperation."

Besides meeting Rodriguez today, Mogherini is due to meet other Cuban government officials as well as the archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, and civil society representatives.

No meeting with President Raul Castro has been announced. Separately, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was also expected Tuesday in Havana.

Russian Prince Lavrov and Count Bruno of Castrogonia

Russian Prince Lavrov and Count Bruno of Castrogonia

Polls of Cuban-Americans vs votes of Cuban-Americans (how to square them?)

nutty-professorjerrylewis1

"The Florida Senate is sending President Barack Obama a message that it opposes his decision to renew diplomatic relations with Cuba. The chamber voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to send a three-page letter to Obama and Congress that it is in"profound disagreement" with the decision in December to restore relations with the communist nation."

The Florida Senate acted almost unanimously in sending the letter mentioned above. Presumably the Florida senate is elected, presumably by Floridians. Florida is home to almost 80 per cent of Cuban-Americans.

Now here's what the mainstream media says:

Washington Post headline Dec. 18, 2014:

"Most Cuban Americans favor diplomatic relations with Cuba"...among Cuban Americans surveyed by the Cuban Research Institute in its annual poll on the question, “a large majority” favored diplomatic relations. Support is strongest among younger Cuban Americans, 18-t0-29, 90 percent of whom favor normalization. In fact, the poll found, “support for re-establishing diplomatic ties maintains a solid majority among all groups to age 70.”

From US News & World Report: "

"Rubio's Position on Cuba May Clash With Florida Voters; Even Cuban Americans in Miami are at odds with Marco Rubio's hardline position. The 43-year-old freshman Cuban senator is swimming against the trend of public opinion on the issue, even in his home state and even among his fellow Cubans Americans. Polls conducted by ABC and CNN last week show upwards of 60 percent of Americans nationwide favor reestablishing ties with the island 90 miles from U.S. soil. But what’s more is that even a larger number of Cuban Americans in Miami-Dade County, where Rubio is from, seek stronger ties with the country ruled for more than four decades by the Castro brothers. "

From Boston Globe, Dec 19, 2014:

"Recent polls not only show that a majority of Americans favor normalizing relations but also that a majority of Cuban-Americans in South Florida agree."

From Foreign Policy magazine:

"Florida International University in Miami, which has been polling Cuban-Americans since 1991, reported in a recent poll of Cuban-Americans that 68% favor restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba. (Among younger respondents, it was 90%.)"

(The list of similar headlines and stories is much longer and includes almost the entire mainstream media.)

I note that the poll cited by the gleeful and gloating mainstream media issues from the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, former home of convicted Cuban spies Elsa and Carlos Alvarez and accused Castro spies Lisandro Perez and Marifeli Perez-Stable.

Hey, Jerry? Might FIU's Cuba Research Center have an agenda other than pure academic research?

jerrylewis2

Reports from Cuba: Internet in Cuba, I’ll believe it when I see it

By Jeovany Jimenez Vega in Translating Cuba:

Internet in Cuba, I’ll believe it when I see it

“If you want to free a country, give it the internet.” Wael Gonium

A vice president who gives an assurance that the country “… is committed to social information” but who then automatically sees it as being led by the communist party, and who sees it as “…a key weapon for the revolutionaries to get participation in the social project we desire“: who at the same time emphasises that “… everyone’s right to the internet presupposes the duty to use it properly and in accordance with the law, and also presupposes the responsibility to be vigilant about the defence of the country and its integrity“, and a Deputy Minister of Communications assuring us that along with the economic development of this sector there must also be running in parallel the “political and ideological strengthening of the society,” are indications that we will not see anything different anytime soon after the recent Information and Biosecurity workshop ends.

The underhand warning which indicates the presence in the front row of Col. Alejandro Castro — implied candidate to inherit the family throne — and the silence whenever the subject turns to his father, President Raúl Castro; Comandante Ramiro Valdés’ permanent position in charge of the Ministry of Communications — twice ex-Minister of the Interior, the most rancid relic from Cuba’s historic establishment and the chief implementer of current repressive methods — all reciting together the same refried speech and the repeated ignoring by the Cuban government of the latest offers of the US telecommunication companies for when the embargo controls are relaxed, are factors which make us think that nothing is about to change in Cuba in relation to the internet, and that we are only starting a new chapter in this soap opera of demagogy and cynicism.

The Cuban-in-the-street can’t see it any other way, living under a government which, up to now, has charged him a quarter of his monthly basic salary for every hour on the internet; for him, every word heard at the end of the workshop referred to continues to smell of bad omens, sounds like more of the same, especially when we bear in mind that this shameless tariff is not for any high quality high-speed service, in the comfort of our homes, as you might expect, but which they have characterised in the worst way, only available in cyber rooms of the dual-monopoly ETECSA-SEGURIDAD DEL ESTADO, and, because of that limited to their opening hours, at a 2 Mb/second speed, and using PCs with restricted copy-paste and often with disabled USB connections, with all keystrokes tracked and with more than one “problematic” page blocked. In fact, nothing you wouldn’t expect from a government which recently created a brand-new Cyberspace Security Centre, presumably intended to become a virtual equivalent to the notorious Section 22 of its police policy.

Meanwhile, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, I repress my swearwords every time I stop in front of a cyber room’s poster offering me three hours of internet for a dollar!, in a country with an average monthly salary of about $500, a country which is also third world, but which offers free wi-fi in many public places, including bus stations, in restaurants and malls, where internet and TV satellite dishes are a common urban sight even in the poorest neighbourhoods. There couldn’t be a more obvious contrast between this reality and what we Cubans have to live with in Cuba.

All the above confirms for me every day more strongly my ongoing conviction that information control will be the last card in the deck that the Cuban dictatorship is going to give up. Nothing will have changed in Cuba for so long as all Cubans don’t have open unconditional uncensored access to the internet from our homes. This is such an obvious truth, and would represent such a decisive step forward toward the real opening-up of Cuban society, that only on that day will I believe that change has started. It’s as simple as that.

Translated by GH

Foreign tourists in Cuba…

Santana in El Nuevo Herald:

http://www.elnuevoherald.com/opinion-es/caricaturas/gmm515/picture16127684/ALTERNATES/FREE_960/percart0324

"Hurry up and take the picture before the background collapses!"

As U.S. ties with Cuba’s apartheid regime improve, human rights situation on the island worsens

Via the PanAm Post:

Activists Warn Cuba’s Human Rights Wane as US Ties Improve

Campaigners Report Wave of Arrests to Inter-American Court

Human-rights violations against Cuban opposition activists “have continued and increased” since the United States and Cuba began diplomatic talks in December, campaigners from the Caribbean island claimed on Thursday.

Sara Martha Fonseca of the Ladies in White opposition group and the Cuban Democratic Directorate’s John Suárez and Janisset Rivero presented their complaints at an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) hearing in Washington on March 19.

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The Cuban Democratic Directorate’s Janisset River claimed abuses “have grown expontentially” since US-Cuba talks began. (IACHR)

“It is important that human-rights organizations like this one understand that the rights situation in Cuba will worsen,” Rivero argued, “because negotiations between the Obama administration and the [Castro] regime are unidirectional and give legitimacy and strength to the repressive regime.”

“As the regime’s support increases, repression will also surge,” the activist claimed, saying that Washington should throw its weight behind the “civic movement” rather than bolstering the government of Cuban President Raúl Castro.

“We don’t want to see Cuba becoming China. We don’t think that foreign investment and cosmetic reforms will bring Cuba the freedom that it deserves,” Rivero added. “There have been 56 years of dictatorship. There must first be freedom to allow openness for the rest of society.”

Rivero also said that during the 18 months of “secret” negotiations between Washington and Havana, aggressions against Cuban opposition “have grown exponentially,” with hundreds of arrests taking place within the first half of March alone.

Of particular concern for the Cuban activists is a “pre-criminal” law which has allowed the government to imprison many prior to any offense being committed, allegedly to silence their “social discontent.”

IACHR commissioner Tracy Robinson in turn emphasized that the specialized agency of the Organization of American States (OAS) had already expressed “concern” over the human-rights situation in Cuba.

Robinson, a commissioner for Jamaica and the IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, added that Cuba had been asked to “take advantage” of the normalization of ties with Washington to make human-rights concessions, and to make use of IACHR resources and norms.

‘White Hispanic’: Presidential announcement of Cuban American senator Ted Cruz exposes the left’s inherent racism

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Via Instapundit:


POPEHAT ON NPR’S TED CRUZ RACISM: “First time I ever heard NPR use the term ‘White Hispanic’ was George Zimmerman. Second time today. Never for Castro, who’s white as snow.”

The “White Hispanic” thing is a case of dog-whistle othering, telling people that the target is outside the protection of the Democrats’ racial coalition and thus can be freely attacked. By engaging in such signalling, NPR is also signalling that it’s a full-blown part of the Democratic Party apparat, though that’s not really news.

Pro-democracy in leader Cuba pens an open letter to the island’s apartheid dictator

By Antonio Rodiles via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Raul Castro, You Fear Being Unmasked

Open Letter to Raul Castro by Cuban democracy leader, Antonio Rodiles:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JSiN7eOivr0/U4mMh0lHOnI/AAAAAAABCow/wRIVMXRGh7s/s1600/AntonioRodilesretrato.jpgYour speech at the extraordinary ALBA summit reconfirms that you and your group are going to try to hold onto power at all costs. It doesn’t matter if the Cuban people are sunk in misery and desperation, it doesn’t matter if your children continue to escape this disaster, you people intend to remain and to demolish everything.

Your speech said that Cuban “civil society” will unmask the mercenaries and their bosses, I again remind you, your brother and your group are the greatest traitors and anti-Cubans and your spokespeople and repressors are the real mercenaries.

You have imprisoned, executed, expelled, punished, harassed and humiliated great Cubans, you and your brother will go down in history as the worst sons of this land.

If you are so sure of your pathetic spokespeople, why do you block an important group of Cubans who want to travel to Panama? Why impose limits on our freedom of movement? Why have you cancelled passports? If you and your band weren't so sinister, your false discourse would be laughable.

You won’t allow ex-prisoners from the Group of 75 to travel, people like: Ángel Juan Moya, Arnaldo Ramos Lauzarique, Eduardo Díaz Fleitas, Félix Navarro, Héctor Fernando Maseda, Iván Hernández Carrillo, Jorge Olivera, Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello, José Daniel Ferrer, Oscar Elías Bicet. And artists like: Ailer González Mena and Tania Bruguera. And activists like: Egberto Escobedo, Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco and Antonio G. Rodiles, among others.

You fear being face to face with worthy Cubans, you tremble at the mere thought that you will hear sharp and direct truths face-to-face. You and your brother, you are nothing more than dark dictators whom we will manage to throw out so that our people, once and for all, can live in freedom, peace and prosperity.

Antonio G. Rodiles, 17 March 2015

 

‘Populismo’ is Killing Brazil

"Latin America should know by now that "populismo" does not create prosperity. It just drives investors to other more attractive places, like Chile next door. 

It also creates a bloated state, "crony capitalism" and the corruption that comes with it.

It's time for real change to come to Brazil. Frankly, all that they have to do is look next door to Chile!"

You can read the post here:  

http://cantotalk.blogspot.com/2015/03/populismo-is-killing-brazil.html