General Escalante was Wrong About “The Yankee Comandante”
In his book The Secret War: CIA Covert Operations Against Cuba 1959-62 (Ocean Press, 1995), General Fabián Escalante, former chief and current historian of the Castro State Security, asserted that as early as in February 1959, the CIA representative Gerard Droller, a.k.a. Frank Bender, had agents in Cuba conspiring against Castro, “among them William Morgan.”
William Alexander Morgan (1928-61) was an American guerrilla fighter against Cuban dictator Batista in the Escambray Mountains, who was quickly promoted to major, baptized as “The Yanqui Comandante” by legendary New York Times´ reporter Herbert Matthews, praised as “the kind of American that Cuba needs” by Fidel Castro himself, and awarded with the Cuban citizenship like the Argentinean major Che Guevara.
Escalante’s assertion turns implausible due to a significant detail that has been neglected even in the most recent (2012) deep report on Morgan by David Grann for The New Yorker. Among the historical documents (1958–1960) on Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume VI treasures an editorial note (Document 348) about the Trujillo Conspiracy — a coup organized by Cuban exiles in the Dominican Republic during the summer of 1959—which refers to U.S. Ambassador Philip Bonsal giving to Cuban Foreign Secretary Raúl Roa “the gist of the [FBI] report” on Morgan as “the leader of a group planning to assassinate Fidel Castro.”
On August 2, 1959, the Department of State transmitted its telegram 150 to the American Embassy in Havana containing “the substance” of the FBI report. The next day, Ambassador Bonsal sent his telegram 294 to Washington reporting back he has given the news to Roa, “who expressed appreciation for the information and said it would be conveyed to President [Osvaldo] Dorticós and to Castro.”
Apart from furnishing some biographical information on Morgan and deeming him “thoroughly irresponsible and unprincipled,” Bonsal commented that “even an unsuccessful attempt on Castro’s life would be a serious threat to the safety of Americans in Cuba.”
On August 4, Roa told Bonsal by phone the FBI information had been conveyed to President Dorticós, who was “highly alarmed.” Bonsal stressed that the U.S. Government “had no opinion as to the report’s veracity” and it might be intended “to attempt to sow dissension and suspicion.” (Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Havana Embassy Files: FRC 68 A 1814).
This Bonsal-Roa exchange does not refute the spread version that Morgan had originally been part of the Trujillo Conspiracy and switched sides when he realized the plot was about to be discovered. But the fact that Bonsal gave Morgan away to Castro put General Escalante in a delicate spot as historian.
Jorge Michel, an Oregon State University student who is going on a "people-to-dictatorship," Castro propaganda adventure to Cuba, expresses his excitement over the trip: Obviously, Jorge realizes it will be sooner rather than later when Cuba is released from the yoke of tyranny and goes on to lose all its romantic charm...
"I’ve romanticized it, to be completely honest. I think it’s going to be awesome to go down there and just get to see a country that's lost in time."
The history behind an absurd court ruling that Gen. Rios Montt is guilty of genocide.
By now even casual readers of Latin American news know that a Guatemalan court has ruled Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt guilty of genocide against the Ixil Indians during the 16 months from March 1982 to August 1983 that he was the country's head of state. More difficult to learn from ubiquitous press reports is how far the narrative used to convict the 86-year-old Mr. Ríos Montt departs from reality.
The 36-year war between communist guerrillas and the Guatemalan state that ended with peace agreements in 1996 was bloody and torturous. Both sides committed atrocities. Thousands died. Indians and mixed-race Guatemalans living in rural areas experienced the brunt of the violence.
Yet the claim that the Guatemalan state, led by the general, engaged in genocide—that is, an attempt to destroy totally or partially the Ixil people or displace them—is not supported by the facts. On the contrary, a serious reading of the history suggests that the general bested the guerrillas by empowering those Indians who did not want anything to do with the upper-middle-class ideas of revolution that were being foisted on them. The trial of Mr. Ríos Montt, 30 years after the fact, is more a score-settling exercise by the international left than a search for truth and justice.
Some years back I interviewed a Guatemalan who had infiltrated the rebels during the conflict. He described their military strategy copied from the Viet Cong: It relied on embedding guerrillas among isolated populations, spreading indoctrination, enlisting young teenagers as soldiers, and forcing entire communities to get on board with the collectivist struggle. In areas of the country where the state had no presence, like the Ixil Triangle, that wasn't hard to do.
These rural regions became havens from which terrorists planned, prepared and executed attacks on the rest of the country. By 1982, having watched Nicaragua fall to the Sandinistas a few years earlier, the guerrillas thought they were close to victory. Then Mr. Ríos Montt came on the scene.
In his meticulously researched two volume book "Guatemala, The Silenced History 1944-1989" (Fondo de Cultura Economicó, 2007, Spanish only), Francisco Marroquin University historian Carlos Sabino cites a key Ríos Montt counterinsurgency document known as Victoria 82. He writes that "the military strategy set as principle objectives 'to deny the subversives access to the civilian population,' to reclaim those [who had joined the] guerrilla 'where possible' and 'to eliminate subversives who did not want to disarm.'"
The tragedy was that the guerrilla strategy had brought the war to the Ixil lands in order to use the civilians. When the army, bent on rooting out the terror, followed, the population was forced to take sides or be caught in the crossfire. That's why so many died.
Twenty-five miles due south of Salt Lake City, a massive construction project is nearing completion. The heavily secured site belongs to the National Security Agency.
"The spy center" -- that's what some of the locals like Jasmine Widmer, who works at Bluffdale's sandwich shop, told our Fox News team as part of an eight month investigation into data collection and privacy rights that will be broadcast Sunday at 9 p.m. ET called "Fox News Reporting: Your Secrets Out.”
The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence community that will have a major focus on cyber security. The agency will neither confirm nor deny specifics. Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. (Just one zettabyte is the equivalent of about 62 billion stacked iPhones 5's-- that stretches past the moon.
One man we hoped would answer our questions, the current director of the NSA General Keith Alexander, declined Fox News's requests to sit down for an interview, so we stopped by the offices of a Washington think tank, where Alexander was speaking at a cyber security event last year.
Asked if the Utah Data Center would hold the data of American citizens, Alexander said, "No...we don't hold data on U.S. citizens," adding that the NSA staff "take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation."
I don't for a minute believe that anyone in our government is overtly concerned about our "civil liberties and privacy", and I believe that they can excuse gathering information on us based on a simple equation... if we've done nothing wrong then we have nothing to worry about.
Then again, there are enough laws written where we can all be found guilty of breaking one, or several laws, on any given day, so they can always excuse surveillance on anyone on any given day.
One last thing...
The FOX News article closes on a chilling note:
Because the Utah Data Center is a "secure facility" and you cannot go inside without the needed security clearances, Fox News rented a helicopter and took to the skies, where the depth and breadth of the Utah Center were stunning.
The aerial video footage is exclusive to the Fox News investigation and posted here. Two weeks after our filming, the helicopter pilot reported to our Fox News team that he had been visited by the FBI on a "national security matter."
The pilot said, according to the FBI agents, that the NSA had taken photos of the helicopter once it made several flyovers. These photos allowed the NSA to identify the make and manufacturer of the helicopter in California who, in turn, told the NSA who operates it in the Salt Lake City area.
The FBI wanted to know if we had the proper air space clearances to flyover the site, which the Fox News team did. Satisfied that the pilot was not flying "terrorists" over the site, the questioning concluded. While the pilot passed along the Fox News contact information, there was no further inquiries.
Binney said the helicopter incident "showed the capability of the U.S. government to use information to trace people, their relationship to others and to raise suspicions about their activities and intentions."
They will soon be able to record the fact that you read this.
Come to think of it, they probably know I'm writing it.
Today is the anniversary of Cuba's independence from Spain. Unfortunately, it is also another year Cubans on the island and all over the world are forced to celebrate this independence while their country remains under the tyrannical yoke of the Castro dictatorship.
Nevertheless, Cuba was once free on a day like today and it will eventually be free once again on a day like today. That is why the Castro dictatorship so fears this day.
Nothing scares the Castro regime like Cuban Independence Day
Monday, May 20, ought to be a great day in Cuba, the 111th anniversary of the nation's independence from the United States. Intead, it's just another day for the Castro dictatorship to target its opposition for repression.
That was made clear this past Monday, May 13, when police in the town of Banes, in Holguin province, rounded up three activists with the Popular Christian Democratic Movement (MDPC) -- Daniel Mesa Castillo, Arnaldo Espósito Zaldívar and Reinaldo Rivera Hanswih. Officers raided their homes and took them to a local police station where they were held for more than eight hours, according to a report from Hablemos Press.
"The detained activists were subjected to separate interrogations, and threatened with because of their activism, and warned not to undertake any activity on May 20, which commemorates the anniversary of the birth of the Republic of Cuba," said Frank Martínez Ochoa, spokesman for the MDPC.
Before they were release, police gave the activists formal warnings, which they refused to sign.
Independence Day makes the Castro regime nervous because it represents the liberty that the Castro regime, and the dictatorships before it, have worked so hard to stamp out for decades. The only answer it has for those seeking freedom for Cuba, is only more repression, if only to ensure its continued and sorry survival.
Lady in White not allowed to assist Mass so far in 2013 (Audio)
Each Sunday, police forces are deployed throughout the municipality of Antilla, in Holguin province, with the mission of carrying out an arrest. It’s not about a citizen who robs stores, or who breaks into homes or who kills or harasses other citizens. No. It has to do with a Lady in White: Mildred Noemi Sanchez Infante. The police cordons are also activated when there are other civic activities taking place, just like the monthly encounter which the Ladies in white carry out. The harassment has been so severe that the mentioned activist has not been able to assist Sunday Mass in 2013 so far to pray for the freedom of all political prisoners as all these women do throughout the island.
Sanchez Infante was arrested at around 5 AM this past Friday, May 17th, as she was trying to travel from Antilla to the city of Holguin to participate in the monthly meeting held by the Ladies in White in that province. The main agent in charge of the arrest was Yosvany Reyes Maltrapa.
“Agent Maltrapa twisted my left arm and with his other hand he punched my mouth“, explained Mildred. The activist was kept in a dungeon of a police unit until a couple of minutes past 10 AM, after the meeting had come to an end.
Cuba Nostalgia allows for a stroll down memory lane
On the last day of Cuba Nostalgia’s quinceañera party, Carlos Rosario played dominoes with his son Enzo, Librada Caballero salsaed to Willy Chirino tunes, and Joe and Maria Elena Chambrot tried to find the addresses of their childhood homes on a gigantic floor map.
For the thousands of people who attended the three-day stroll down memory lane, the 15th annual tribute to pre-Castro Cuba at the Miami-Dade Fair Expo Center was a way of reliving happy childhoods and showing off their Cuban roots to children raised on this side of the Florida Straits.
“I came because I’m very nationalistic,” Enzo Rosario, 20, said Sunday. “I want to see a Cuba before revolutionary times.”
Enzo arrived in Miami from Cuba to join his father three years ago. He is now a seminarian at St. John Vianney, and Cuba Nostalgia, he adds, “helps me understand a Cuba before it was destroyed.”
Though Carlos Rosario has visited his family on the island several times, the Miami businessman likes to scout out the displays of Cuban art and the replicas of island landmarks at the fair.
“In my case, I don’t feel nostalgia like some others may feel who haven’t gone back to Cuba,” he says. “I come here because I’m proud of being Cuban and I want to show it.”
Across the way, a band played the kind of music that Librada Caballero, 66, couldn’t resist. As her family and other onlookers watched, she shook and shimmied, lost in her own world. Caballero came to the fair with her husband because, after 40 years of exile, “this brings me happiness. It always helps to remember.”
She stopped to catch her breath and dab her eyes. “Oh, my lovely Cuba. My lovely, lovely Cuba.”
Every year the Cuban and Venezuelan Embassies in Oslo organize a protest outside the Oslo Freedom Forum. This year, after embassy persons put up the posters but before the protesters arrived John Lubbock was able to snap some pictures. Mario Vargas Llosa, Obama, a "Facebook" dollar (Peter Thiel?) and yours truly at the head of the tree and even depicted as British intelligence. Not one word, however, about the 55-year Castro dictatorship. These delusional and sad individuals were protesting an event that featured human rights defenders from Angola to Zimbabwe (!)
Our good friend and fellow Babalú intransigent is with us today selling advanced copies of his new book, "The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro."
From the book's cover:
Fidel Castro jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror. He murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans during his first six. Alone among world leaders, Castro came to within inches of igniting a global nuclear holocaust.
But you would never guess any of that from reading the mainstream American media....
Q; What do you get when you cross Rodney Dangerfield and Reese Witherspoon?
A: Attorney General Eric Holder!
Do you know I am the AG?
I get no respect!
Apparently, being asked direct questions about the discharge of his duties while an elected public servant is an affront to Holder's idea that he, and the members of this administration, are entitled to their sense of entitlement.