Guess when this Cuba story was written

I can’t think of any other narrow topic propaganda that has been recycled so much and for so long than what you hear and read about Cuba.

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

When Was This Cuba Story Written?, Pt. 2

The following article could have been written this week — and some variant of it probably was — by a journalist speculating about the “unprecedented” opportunities Obama has created for telecom in Cuba; how it will “promote freedom” in Cuba; and the “impediment” of the embargo.

Yet, none of the above is true.

So when was this story actually written?

From The Orlando Sentinel:

Let Cuba Hear The Voice Of Freedom – Pick Up The Phone And Call

One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies . . .

”Hola, this is from Norte America, George Washington country, land of the free.”

”Que?”

”We’re having arroz con pollo today, fried plantains, salad with all the fixings and a beautiful flan eggcustard for dessert. You could have such a wonderful meal, too. But first, you must get rid of Fidel.”

Click.

* * *

One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies . . .

”Hola, this is from Norte America, land of opportunity. Today we are honoring Cuban patriot Jose Marti by serving a roast pig, black beans and rice, and a special pineapple bread that’s out of this world. Plus, a mango shake. You should try it. We would love to share. But first, you must get rid of Fidel.”

Click.

* * *

One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies . . .

”Viva Cuba Libre! This is los Estados Unidos. We are thinking of you as we sit down to a picadillo dinner. Nothing fancy – it’s a weekday. We’re using ground sirloin. It’s only about $3 a pound. What does it cost in Cuba? We heard ground beef goes for $25 in the black market – if you can find it. You don’t have to pay those prices, you know, chico. When are you going to get rid of Fidel?”

Click.

* * *

It has been three days since phone service between the United States and Cuba was made easier by direct-dialing capability offered by AT&T Corp. and rival MCI. Another four long-distance phone companies also have plans to make the direct-dial service available.

Continue reading and find out when HERE.

Reports from Cuba: Demagoguery: A cardinal sign of the Cuban “Revolution”

By Jeovany Vega in Translating Cuba:

Demagoguery: A Cardinal Sign of the Cuban “Revolution”

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I want you POOR, fanatic, worshipful and grateful

A few weeks ago we were amusing ourselves with news reports about the vacation tour of Prince Tony Castro. Apparently, tired of playing golf in a country where 99.99% of the natives have never set foot on a golf course, the only Cuban participant in the latest Ernest Hemingway Fishing Tournament (and, coincidentally, its only winner) decided to hop over to the opulent hotels of Turkey. None of this would be especially notable if Tony were the heir to the throne of the Sultan of Brunei; but he is no more and no less the son of the most vertically anti-capitalist personage of the second half of the 20th century: the feudal lord Fidel Castro.

By now, however, nothing should surprise us, because demagoguery was always the most cardinal sign of Fidelism from its first moments of existence. This same dictator took it upon himself to practice it whenever he could, raising it to the level of an Olympic sport. Fidel’s ambivalent posture in those first days of the Revolution, making assurances that he was not a communist–only to later shed his skin when circumstances were propitious–is established historical fact. But besides this facet inherent to his high politics, in the personal sphere, also, Fidel always maintained a double life, until time and the public confessions of various high-ranking officials, disenchanted with the Bearded One’s lechery, revealed the truth.

Thus we learned that this gentleman always had multiple lovers. Then I remembered how an uncle of mine, a principled militant communist, and honest (whom I remember on more than one occasion asking my mother for some change so that he could buy cigarettes at the Artemisa Coppelia that he himself managed) was expelled from the Party for the unpardonable sin of having a lover.

A little more recently, following the death of Antonio Gades, we would find out that the Iberian artist was the baptismal godfather of the children of Raúl Castro himself. Then we would recall then how for decades, Party membership was denied to thousands of sympathizers of the regime precisely because of their religious beliefs–and even much worse, how thousands of workers were harassed, and how the future of tens of thousands of young people was truncated as they were expelled from their university studies for not having denied their faith.

Now we know that the feudal lord was a consummate connoisseur of wines and expensive cheeses, and we also learn about all those mini-palaces, yachts, foreign vacations, children sent to European boarding schools, and private hunting preserves for the exclusive use of the olive-green oligarchs–or rather, about a long saga of bourgeois privileges that for decades the big shots enjoyed on the backs of my people.

We should in no way be surprised now that the dandy Tony Castro should treat himself to a little getaway, renting a “humble” yacht worthy of Bill Gates, and pay thousands of dollars in luxury hotel stays for hismelf and his entourage. After all, the boy is only doing what he saw his elders do.

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The D.C. Ivory Tower that threw Cuba under the bus

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo in PanAm Post:

The DC Ivory Tower That Threw Cuba under the Bus

Cubanologist “Change” Is Unalterable Fraud

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The leaders of the free world, who prefer to maintain the status quo rather than venture into uncharted territory, have already given its blessing Cuba’s plan of succession.

Everything had to be thought of for us poor, unfortunate, incompetent Cubans. US academia conceived our national destiny — up to the very last detail — beginning in the early 1990s, a quarter of a century ago. While this proposition should have been left in the past for archeologists to discover, it has now become a future fossil of our nation in disarray.

Indeed, “Cuba” as a topic is pondered upon with greater clarity from a distance, within Georgetown University, for example, rather than at the University of Havana. In 1993, a scholar from Georgetown, the intellectual heart of Washington, DC, drew the sketch of Cuba’s transition from Marxist totalitarianism to state capitalism. This was a direct flight from dictatorship to dictocracy, without a single layover in democracy. Poor unruly Cubans, we would not know what to do with freedom!

You can still see this for yourselves on Amazon; the title is Cuba in Transition, Options for U.S. Policy by Gillian Gunn, who was the director of the Caribbean Project at Georgetown University at the time. She was later accused by Chris Simmons of having been a spy for the Castro regime, which she denied, calling the idea “preposterous.”

In any case, Uncle Sam’s logic couldn’t be more discriminatory: why have yet another third-world subdemocracy in the US hyper-imperial democracy’s backyard? To find more corruption in Latin American administrations and even more violence among Continental Caribbeans? To add yet another failed constitutional state to the love-hate relationship? Weren’t Cubans already acquiescently accustomed to decades of tyrannical discipline?

Ever since the yankee military invasion in 1898, it is evident that we poor Cubans — with our pseudo-republics and local super-revolutions — don’t deserve much more from the United States. Yes, “todos somos Americanos” (we are all Americans), as Barack Obama stated in his elementary-level Spanish at the White House in December. However, “some of us are more American than others,” as George Orwell would have probably said if he had heard this statement himself.

The truth of the matter is that what would be found intolerable by any given US citizen all of a sudden should be tolerated by 12 million Cubans on the island and the other 3 million living in exile around the globe: Castroism must be the criterion for truth; the revolution is an infallible source of the right to perpetuity of power; our sovereignty does not depend on the participation by the people but rather the participation of a corporate-military elite.

And this is the extremely dangerous message being sent from Washington, DC, to the rest of the hemisphere: pecking order is pragmatically imposed above any historic injustice and immoral system. Rights are the private property of those who remain in power (this is why in the Cuban constitution the Communist Party’s monopoly in politics is still enshrined with impunity).

The migratory apartheid, imposed on one fourth of the Cuban people who cannot reside permanently in their own country, is a factor which ensures regional stability. And much worse: Cuban cadavers lack international prestige. Which is why the UN officials are unconcerned about the children assassinated in the Florida straits on order from Havana. It’s also why the mortal attempt on Oswaldo Payá‘s life in July of 2012 did not cause a break in the secret diplomatic pact among Cuba, the United States, and the European Union: because far beyond ideological labels, power always supports power.

And this is also an extremely dangerous message for Washington, DC, since it retains its antipodes as allies. The US democracy is guilt-ridden and cowers from promoting democratization. They are abandoning victims to fend for themselves, and instead hugging their aggressor.

Continue reading HERE.

 

Quote of the Day – U.S. interests not served by one-sided deal with anti-American tyranny 90 miles away

Sen. Marco Rubio on the Pope, Cuba, and Obama’s one-sided deal with the apartheid Castro regime.

Via Cleveland.com:

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“The pope has a different job than I do. The pope’s job is to be the spiritual leader of the Catholic church, and to always call us to unity and brotherly love, and I understand that… But I’m a U.S. senator, and my job is to serve the national interests of the United States. I do not believe it is in the national interest of the United States to have a one-sided agreement with an anti-American, communist tyranny 90 miles from our shores.”

As human rights situation in Cuba worsens, imprisoned dissident artist El Sexto begins hunger strike

John Suarez has more coverage of the worsening human rights situation in Cuba after Obama’s surrender to the apartheid Castro dictatorship and the hunger strike by imprisoned Cuban dissident artist El Sexto.

Via Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Cuban artist initiates hunger strike after 8 months jailed without a trial

#FreeElSexto

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“El Sexto” jailed for 8 months without trial and now on hunger strike

Cuban performance artist, Danilo Maldonado “El Sexto”, has been arbitrarily detained since December 25, 2014 for attempting to carry out a performance art piece.  Two weeks ago he had been told that he would be released on August 24, 2015. The day came and went and on the eighth month of his detention without trial “El Sexto” initiated a hunger strike at Valle Grande prison in Havana.

The rapper Maikel Oksobo “El Dkano”was sentenced on January 28, 2015 to a year in prison for “pre-criminal social dangerousness” and is currently serving out this unjust sentence.

The human rights situation in Cuba continues to deteriorate and their is a correlation with the new Cuba policy that through its actions send a clear message to the dictatorship that trade not human rights is the new priority. 674 detentions were documented in the month of July 2015 alone. On August 21, 2015 two young activists, Jordys Manuel Dosil Fong (age 30) and Reinier Rodriguez Mendoza (age37) were subjected to a political show trial in Cuba and sentenced to prison for “pre-criminal social dangerousness.” Jordys Manuel was sentenced to three years in prison and Renier was sentenced to two years in prison.

Continue reading HERE.

Blame it on the weather: Is extreme drought behind the Castro regime’s recent creative approach to diplomacy?

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Forget the demise of Venezuela: It seems that the weather could  be a major  driving force behind Castrogonia’s recent diplomatic maneuvers.

Yeah.  It doesn’t take much to push that disastrous island nation over the edge, and towards creative solutions that don’t involve giving in a millimeter to its enemies or granting freedom to Cubans.

First came the collapse of the Soviet sugar daddy, which forced Castrogonia into luring European and Canadian capitalists to create its apartheid tourist industry.

Then came the collapse of the Venezuelan sugar daddy, which forced Castrogonia into creating phony “private” enterprises that could shrink the black market and bring in tax revenue.

Now comes the collapse of the environment.

The island of Cuba is in the throes of an epic drought.  And this disaster is making it import more food than ever.

That’s a fact, not rumor, or an opinion.

The solution?  Castro logic leads to a simple solution: Blow kisses to the Yanquis and get them to end the “embargo”!  Yeah.  Let’s get those suckers in the U.S. to sell us food on credit!

Pay it back? Naaah. Are you kidding? Fuhgeddabouddit.  No me jodas.  We never pay what we owe.  We produce nothing and have no way of paying anyone anything.

But those dumb-ass American farmers and their lobbyists will send us the food we need for free!

And their lame-ass president will claim a great “historic” legacy for himself as part of this demonic bargain!

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From Philippines News Agency | Xinhua:

Cuba’s agriculture threatened by worst Caribbean drought in 115 years

Cuba’s agriculture is being threatened by the worst drought to hit the Caribbean in over a century, jeopardizing plans for the island to achieve its long-desired food independence.

The government is currently spending around $2 billion to import 80 percent of the food needed to meet the demands of its 11.2 million inhabitants, with President Raul Castro calling on Cubans to produce everything that could be harvested in the country.

Since 2008, Castro’s administration has delivered over one million hectares of state-owned unused land to more than 70,000 new farmers while easing rules and regulations for the granting of bank credits and for the free trade of food.

However, these plans are now at risk from a severe drought currently afflicting the entire Caribbean Basin. Considered to be the worst drought in the region in 115 years, it is particularly hard in Cuba.

The lack of rainfall in Cuba which may worsen in the coming months has damaged thousands of hectares of sugar cane and vegetable crops, among others. It has also forced authorities to supply water to over a million people.

Continue reading about this natural disaster HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE… or just google “Cuba drought 2015”

Pope Francis meets Cuban President Raul Castro at the Vatican

 

Cuban dissidents rally in Puerto Rico for real change: Cuba activists declare civil liberties ‘non-negotiable’

Belen Marty in PanAm Post:

Cuban Dissidents Rally in Puerto Rico for Real Change

Undeterred by Embassy Pleasantries, Activists Declare Civil Liberties Non-Negotiable

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Some 200 Cubans met in Puerto Rico to establish a common strategy to achieve democracy on the island.

Following the opening of the US embassy in Havana, Cuban dissidents both on and off the island gathered to discuss what’s next for the democratic opposition.

On Thursday, August 13, the United Cubans of Puerto Rico hosted the first National Cuban Meeting, “Uniting Two Shores,” in San Juan, Puerto Rico. More than 200 dissidents from 23 organizations based in Cuba, and 32 abroad, attended the two-day affair.

In the end, the workshop’s participants agreed to push forth a binding plebiscite to bring free, fair, and plural elections to the island.

During the meeting, organizers randomly appointed participants to different working tables, and each table then chose a representative to share strategies on how to effectively restore individual rights and democracy in Cuba.

Attendees agreed unanimously that to ensure freedom for the Cuban people, and the rule of law, certain basic principles would not be negotiable: freedom for political prisoners; the repeal of all legislation that restricts freedom of speech, association, assembly, and religion; and the legalization of all political parties to allow free and multi-party elections.

Once they reached common ground, coordinators agreed to begin work on a non-violent campaign to demand the plebiscite, and to “educate and train pro-democracy leaders in civil-disobedience tactics.”

They also agreed to work toward ending internet restrictions in Cuba, and to find a way to provide dissidents on the island with the technological tools necessary to organize and disseminate the action plan. Furthermore, participants appointed a commission to monitor these goals and publish a progress report within six months.

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, a member of Cuba Decides, told the PanAm Post that his organization’s recommendation for a plebiscite ended up being one of the principal proposals to come out of the meeting.

“We want a new framework in which the government dares, for the first time, to ask the public a question of order. The questions for the plebiscite have not yet been decided, but they could be: ‘Raul Castro, yes or no?’ or ‘communists, yes or no?’” Pardo Lazo said.

Continue reading HERE.

Tales from the normalization circus: Dissident artist “El Sexto” goes on hunger strike in prison

El Sexto
El Sexto

From Marti Noticias (my abridgment and translation):

Cuban graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado, known as “El Sexto”, who has been locked away in Valle Grande prison in Havana for over 8 months, has just told his mother that he is initiating a hunger strike to protest his incarceration.

Prison authorities had promised El Sexto’s family that he would be freed on August 24th.  When family members went to the Valle Grande prison, to pick him up,  they waited fruitlessly for several hours only to be told by an agent from the Office of Attention to Citizens that the prison had not received any order to release El Sexto.

“Danilo and all of his family are being subjected to psychological torture.  The authorities are all liars, and they are trampling (pisoteando) the Cuban people,” said El Sexto’s mother. “They abuse us all continually.”

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El Sexto has yet to be charged with a crime and no trial date has ever been announced.

He was imprisoned eight months ago for painting the names “Fidel” and “Raul” on two pigs.

“The Voice Project” web site has launched a “Free Sexto” campaign.  Go here  for that.

So much for the normalization circus, which many ignorant people are calling “the thaw.”

El Sexto is only one of many Cubans arrested and jailed for purely political reasons AFTER the Obamazo of December 17.

A few days ago, on August 21, 2015, a kangaroo court convicted  two young activists Jordys Manuel Dosil Fong (age 30) and Reinier Rodriguez Mendoza (age37) of “pre-criminal social dangerousness”  and sentenced them to long prison terms, merely for posing a potential threat to the Castro regime. Jordys Manuel was received a three-year sentence and Renier a two-year sentence.

Dissident artists and musicians staged an underground protest concert last week for “El Sexto” that was attended by his friends and family, despite harassment and intimidation from the Castronoid authorities.

Click the image below to watch that concert.

 

Reports from Cuba: The cost of steak in Cuba

By Alberto Mendez in Translating Cuba:

The Cost of a Steak in Cuba

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Remains of a freshly slaughtered cow

Cubanet, Alberto Mendez Castello, Las Tunas, 21 August 2015 — “The crime of theft and slaughter of cattle continues at high levels in Puerto Padre,” the official press reported in July.

The prosecutor Jose Luis Pupo Rueda said in an interview broadcast on the radio that, beyond the lack of control of the cattle and poor supervision of both state and private herds, a factor that encourages the theft of cattle is the existence of “a market because of the meat situation.”

What the prosecutor called “the meat situation” is the total absence of beef in stores or its supply under the state monopoly at prohibitive prices.

One kilogram of minced beef, with 10% fat, costs 5.05 convertible pesos (over $5.00 US), or 126.25 “Cuban” pesos (CUP), i.e., almost half the 260 peso monthly pension of a retired worker.

In the informal market, meat from stolen cattle or those “lifted” from state slaughterhouses is much cheaper and of better quality. It costs 25 CUP a pound.

“And if you have old people or children in your house and have nothing to feed them, you buy meat without asking where the cow came from,” a woman confessed to this reporter. She has elderly parents and two little grandchildren in her care.

“I do not blame them [the illegal butchers] or hate them, the real culprit is the State with its laws,” said a cattle rancher who has lost thousands of pesos at the hands of cattle rustlers said. “They stole three mares from me, a breeding stallion, two bulls and I don’t even know how many cows, but this is a dance I’ve had to dance with the worst people,” he said with a farmer’s philosophy.

By Resolution Number 329, and according to the rules set forth by the Institute of Agrarian Reform on October 1, 1962, the Cuban government established full control over the trade of beef, the slaughter of cattle and the disposition of their flesh, limited only to the State.

In Cuba the slaughter of cattle and meat sales between private parties became a crime “against the national economy,” initially punishable by two to five years in prison.

As those sanctions did not stop the continuous theft of cattle, they were increased to the range of four to ten years in prison for those who slaughter the animals; while selling, transporting or in any way trading in beef can lead to sentences of between three and eight years in prison. A person buying such meat can go to prison for from three months to one year.

To give an idea of ??how much slaughtering livestock is punished in Cuba, note that the penalty of ten years imprisonment that judges can impose in such cases is less than the courts are empowered to apply the crime of murder. “He who kills another, shall be punished by imprisonment from seven to fifteen years,” says Article 261 of the Criminal Code.

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Get your “calmantes” (tranquilizers) ready! Papal visit to Castro Kingdom is just a few days away….

Pope Francis Meets President Of Cuba Raul Castro

,,,, And here is the busy schedule for Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ, which includes a “courtesy visit” with monster Raul Castro and none at all with dissidents

Saturday, Sept. 19

— 10:15 a.m. (4:15 a.m. Eastern), Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport for Havana.

4:05 p.m. Arrival ceremony at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport. Speech by pope.

Sunday, Sept. 20 (Havana)

9 a.m. Mass in Havana’s Revolution Square. Homily by pope. Recitation of the Angelus.

4 p.m. Courtesy visit with Cuba’s President Raul Castro in Havana’s Palace of the Revolution.

5:15 p.m. Celebration of vespers with priests, religious and seminarians in Havana’s cathedral. Homily by pope.

6:30 p.m. Greeting to young people at the Father Felix Varela cultural center in Havana. Remarks by pope.

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Perfect backdrop for papal mass in Havana

Monday, Sept. 21 (Havana, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, El Cobre)

8 a.m. Departure by air for Holguin, Cuba.

9:20 a.m. Arrival at Holguin’s Frank Pais International Airport.

10:30 a.m. Mass in Holguin’s Revolution Square. Homily by pope.

3:45 p.m. Blessing of the city of Holguin from Cross Hill (Loma de la Cruz).

4:40 p.m. Departure by air for Santiago de Cuba.

5:30 p.m. Arrival at Santiago de Cuba’s Antonio Maceo International Airport.

7 p.m. Meeting with bishops at the seminary of St. Basil the Great in El Cobre.

7:45 p.m. Prayer to Our Lady of Charity with bishops and the papal entourage in the Minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre.

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Tuesday, Sept. 22 (El Cobre, Santiago de Cuba, Washington DC)

8 a.m. Mass in the Minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. Homily by pope.

11 a.m. Meeting with families in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption in Santiago de Cuba. Speech by pope. Blessing of the city from the outside of the cathedral.

12:15 p.m. Farewell ceremony at Santiago de Cuba’s International Airport.

12:30 p.m. Departure for Washington DC, USA.

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SOURCE: Florida Catholic, Miami Archidiocese, www.thefloridacatholic.org,

Back in 2011 Univision tried blackmailing Marco Rubio–Trump shows proper response to Univision

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“Hasta la vista, Jorge!”(Donald Trump)

As reported here at Babalu, back in 2011 Univison tried blackmailing Marco Rubio, repeatedly harassing his sister, running stories about his brother-in-law, planting camera trucks outside his sister’s home, etc. The arrogant swinishness by Univison towards Marco Rubio was the talk of Cuban-Americans at the time.

But a few months later Senator Rubio granted an interview to Jorge Ramos, who essentially insulted him on camera.

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A few months after the interview, when Senator Rubio was preparing to deliver the GOP’s bi-lingual response to Pres. Obama’s State of the Union address, Angelica Artiles, executive assistant to Univision’s vice president of news, posted the following on Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos’s Facebook page: “Oh. wow, the loser is going to speak after our President. Anything to get publicity.” She also referred to Rubio as “Marquito,” a “token slave boy,” and a “turd.”

Bloomberg summarized the Rubio-Univison feud here.

Trump has a much better approach to Univision: LOS MANDO PAL CARAJO!–y LOS BOTO A PATADAS!!!!

Ya think Univison would consider a blackmail stunt on Trump?…Go ahead, Univision. Make Trump’s Day!

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“Le RRRONCA!!!”

Cuba’s ‘free’ WiFi internet access turns out to be not so free

What a surprise from a brutally repressive and racist dictatorship that has enslaved more than 11-million people. But since the apartheid Castro regime touts the same racist and oppressive leftist principles that enthralls the international media, and on top of that now has the Obama “seal of approval,” the lack of freedom on the island is all good.

Or as the old saying goes, you have to crack a few skulls (11 million in Cuba if you dare to count), to make a Marxist omelet.

Via Vice’s Motherboard:

The Internet Dealers of Cuba

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[…]

Over the last several months, Cuba’s authoritarian government has been installing wifi hotspots in carefully monitored plazas around the country, making high-speed internet access outside of high-priced hotels designed for foreign dignitaries and European tourists possible for the first time in the island’s history. These hotspots have become a symbol of Cuba’s newfound openness as the United States and Cuba begin to play ball again—the supposed result of the Castro brothers, in their old age, becoming a bit more moderate.

The hotspots have allowed Skyping families to reconnect for the first time in years, and let young Cubans open their first Facebook accounts, see their first memes, and finally learn about how the world outside their island sees them. The communist regime has said this is progress for a country in which roughly 5 percent of people have access to the internet, according to Freedom House, a human rights nonprofit.

Cuba’s government puts the number at 25 percent, but that number refers to the number of people who are able to access Cuba’s intranet, not the open web. In speaking with hundreds of Cubans, it’s obvious the 25 percent number isn’t remotely close to being accurate—I didn’t meet one single Cuban who had internet access in their homes during the three weeks I was there. Throughout the course of this week, we’ll be running a series of stories looking at the different ways Cubans spread information, both online and off.

It’s true the hotspots are better than nothing, but, in many ways, they shouldn’t even be looked at as a symbolic opening of Cuba’s notoriously closed government.

“35 wireless hotspots. That’s nothing in a country of 11 million people. Could you imagine if in Manhattan you could only access the internet at 35 hotspots? That’s insane,” Jose Luis Martinez, communications director at the Miami-based Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, told me. “They’re all censored and monitored and controlled by the government, so it’s not that significant of an opening at all.”

Like nearly everything else in Cuba, all internet access on the island is wholly controlled by the communist government. Whether you are accessing the “public” wifi through a hotspot, connecting in a hotel, or using one of the handful of government-owned computer labs, you must use a scratch card issued by the Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA), which is also the only cell phone and telephone company on the island.

ETECSA was formerly a collaboration between the Cuban government and Telecom Italia, but became wholly owned by the Cuban government in 2011, when Telecom Italia sold its stake back to Cuba. ETECSA is now tasked with installing and operating the wifi hotspots, selling cell phone and landline plans (there is no mobile internet in Cuba), selling internet scratch cards directly to users, operating a small number of computer labs (some of which have internet access), and managing a Cuba-only set of email addresses.

Read the entire article HERE.

President Obama’s foreign policy in Cuba and elsewhere: The road to hell is paved with good intentions

By Frank Calzon in UPI:

President Obama’s good intentions and bad outcomes

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President Obama was not looking to start an arms race in the Middle East when he negotiated an accord with Iran. Obama said he wanted to stop Tehran’s manufacturing of nuclear weapons. But in light of what they considered a bad agreement and afraid to rely on Washington’s assurances, if Tehran were to threaten them, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates have begun looking for weapons to deter the Ayatollah’s ambitions.

The accord negotiated by the U.S., Russia, France, and Tehran offers little but a hope that Iran will not have a nuclear weapon in 15 years. But here is what we do know: It provides Tehran trillions of dollars, that Iran, the most important financier of terrorist groups, will share with the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Obama also says he had good intentions when he said that Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad had to go. When that didn’t work, Obama made a threat on American television; if Assad would crossed a red line by using chemical weapons against his own people, the U.S. would act. When Damascus gassed, according to Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, “hundreds of children,” the President failed to act, and the Syrian strongman was emboldened. The unintended consequence has been an estimate of 330,000 dead and 4,013,292 Syrian refugees.

The U.S. accord with Havana is not better. The President, in search of a personal legacy, wanted to normalize relations with Havana. He gave in to Havana’s blackmail in order to free an American hostage by releasing four convicted Cuban spies from American prisons, one of whom played a part in the murder of three Americans and a U.S. resident in international airspace by Cuban warplanes under the command of Cuba’s then-Minister of the Armed Forces, General Raul Castro. Obama received in exchange an American hostage languishing in a Cuban jail for the crime of distributing computers among Havana’s Jewish community.

Mr. Obama ordered removing Havana from the list of countries supporters of terrorism while American terrorists continue to enjoy the regime’s hospitality.

And because Cuba’s tourist industry is controlled by the military, American tourists are now bringing to Cuba’s security forces millions of dollars.

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