Castronoids busy signing zero-concession accords with Obamanoids

 

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King Raul’s minions are desperately trying to sign as many accords as possible with the lame duck occupant of the White House before his term in office expires.

The Castronoids and the Obamanoids have a strategy: tie as many knots as possible between the two regimes in order to make it hard for the Trumpinator to undo the effects of Normalization Circus.

This strategy may work, at least in part.

Take, for instance, the case of Obamacare, which the Trumpinator will not be able to undo in one fell swoop, but rather in increments.

Top Castronoid Josefina Vidal says she hopes that the Trumpinator will continue the Circus, but only under present conditions.

In other words, the Circus must go on without ANY concessions whatsoever from the Castro regime.

Speaking for all Cubans, Vidal said none of the “principles” that “all Cubans” believe in can be abandoned.

Yes, “principles” such as these: no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom of assembly, no elections, no private property, no free enterprise, no labor unions, etc….

Shakespearean wish of the day: A plague on both your houses!.

Top Castronoid Josefina Vidal
Top Castronoid Josefina Vidal

 

 

From Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters)

Cuba wants to sign accords with U.S. before Obama exit: officials

Cuba said on Wednesday it hoped to sign off on at least half a dozen agreements with the United States before businessman Donald Trump, who has threatened to derail detente between the former Cold War foes, becomes president on Jan. 20.

Cuban and U.S. officials held talks in Havana to discuss what more could be accomplished during President Barack Obama’s remaining weeks in office, agreeing to arrange more high-level visits and technical meetings.

The more Cuba and the United States deepen their detente, the more irreversible it will become, analysts said.

“At the moment we are negotiating 12 more (accords) with the aim to be able to conclude and sign a majority of them,” Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry’s director of U.S. affairs, told a news conference.

The accords would be in areas such as seismology and meteorology, she said, adding that Cuba and the United States had already signed a dozen accords in the two years since they agreed to normalize relations, ending decades of hostility.

They have also opened embassies, restored commercial flights and opened travel options.

But some fear all that is now at stake, given Republican Trump has said he would seek to reverse the opening unless Communist-ruled Cuba gives the United States what he calls a “better deal”.

Vidal declined to comment on Trump’s statements but said she hoped his administration would recognize that the detente had the backing of most Cubans and Americans.

“Cuba would hope the new U.S. government takes into account the results we have achieved… that are backed by the majority of the Cuban population (and) U.S. citizens,” she said.

Cuba was willing to continue improving relations but “within the respect of the existing differences and without having to make any kind of concession to the principles in which Cuba firmly believes,” Vidal added.

In Washington on Wednesday, U.S. lawmakers joined more than 100 Cuban entrepreneurs to urge Trump to continue the thaw.

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Once upon a time when US employers employed Cubans in Cuba

 

As Cuba moves away from Fidel to whatever happens next, we were recently reminded of a pre-Castro story that confirmed just how close the U.S. and the island used to be.       In other words, once upon a time there were US employers in Cuba taking very good care of their Cuban employees.

One of these employers built a town named  Hershey, Cuba:

The town dates to 1916, when Milton S. Hershey, the American chocolate baron, visited Cuba for the first time and decided to buy sugar plantations and mills on the island to supply his growing chocolate empire in Pennsylvania. On land east of Havana, he built a large sugar refinery and an adjoining village — a model town like his creation in Hershey, Pa. — to house his workers and their families.

He named the place Hershey.

The village would come to include about 160 homes — the most elegant made of stone, the more modest of wooden planks — built along a grid of streets and each with tidy yards and front porches in the style common in the growing suburbs of the United States. It also had a public school, a medical clinic, shops, a movie theater, a golf course, social clubs and a baseball stadium where a Hershey-sponsored team played its home games, residents said.

The factory became one of the most productive sugar refineries in the country, if not in all of Latin America, and the village was the envy of surrounding towns, which lacked the standard of living that Mr. Hershey bestowed on his namesake settlement.

This town was indeed very unique, but there were in fact many U.S. employers in pre-Castro Cuba who took very good care of their employees.

For example, my uncle was a draftsman for a U.S. company that operated in his town. He came out of school and was hired by the company.  He worked there for almost 10 years until this plant was expropriated in the early 1960s.

I don’t know whatever happened to my uncle’s employer but he clearly got a raw deal from the communists.  After all, all he ever did in Cuba was to obey the law, pay taxes, and create jobs.

Overall, the communists confiscated many other U.S. investments.   Sadly, the Obama administration did not demand a solution from Cuba and left many U.S. citizens hanging around wondering about the money that was stolen from them.

We will wait longer to see how these investors will be compensated.

It should be one of the issues that demands immediate attention from whatever the new Trump approach is for Cuba.

It did not get proper attention from the Obama administration.  It needs to be addressed so that real jobs can come back to Cuba.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Fidel may be dead, but Cuba’s proficient spies continue their work in the U.S.

Fidel Castro may be dead, but Cuba’s corrupt and criminal dictatorship remains a threat to the world and a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.

Sean Durns in The Hill:

Castro’s dead, but his spies live on

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Although Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died on Nov. 25, 2016, the influence of the intelligence services that he created lives on. Castro, who ruled Cuba with an iron fist for five decades, created a spy apparatus whose outsized impact has extended far from the shores of the Caribbean country.

Cuba did not have a professional foreign intelligence service before Castro seized power in 1959. Under Soviet auspices, it created one in 1961. Initially called the Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI), and later renamed the Direccion de Inteligencia (DI), Cuba’s most important intelligence agency began training its officers in Moscow in 1962. KGB tutelage proved of enormous value, both to the Castro regime and to the USSR.

The DGI quickly developed into an elite service. Brian Latell, a former CIA analyst, noted in his 2012 book Castro’s Secrets, “Many retired CIA officials stand in awe of how Cuba, a small island nation, could have built up such exceptional clandestine capabilities and run so many successful operations against American targets.” In Latell’s opinion, “Cuban intelligence…ran circles around both” the CIA and the FBI.

William Rosenau and Ralph Espach, both senior analysts at the Virginia-based think tank CNA concurred with Latell’s conclusion. Writing in The National Interest, both offered the judgment: “Cuban intelligence services are widely regarded as among the best in the world—a significant accomplishment, given the country’s meager financial and technological resources (“Cuba’s Spies Still Punch Above Their Weight,” Sept. 29, 2013).”

The basis for this claim seems sound.

Cuban intelligence successfully penetrated U.S. national security agencies both during the Cold War and in the years since.  Following his 1987 defection to the U.S., Florentino Aspillaga Lombard, a top official in Castro’s intelligence agencies, exposed dozens of Cuban double agents who had infiltrated various segments of American society, from the government to non-profit organizations. Many of the spies had been living in the U.S. for years.

In retaliation, Castro ordered at least two-failed assassination attempts on Aspillaga—both of them, Latell pointed out, involving people the former Cuban spy knew.

Another of the DI’s successful plants, Ana Belen Montes, spied on behalf of Cuba for sixteen years. Montes, an analyst with the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was sentenced to a 25-year prison term in October 2002.

[…]

More recently, Havana has worked to shore up the anti-American Chavez-Maduro regime in Venezuela and provided Iranian scientists and technicians with the technical know-how for developing and manufacturing large quantities of biological weapons.  In July 2013, a North Korean cargo vessel was seized in Panama with Cuban military equipment aboard.

Internally, Cuban intelligence has been crucial to Castro’s grip on power; assisting in the stifling of freedom of speech and religion, political expression and the imposition of a catastrophic economic system.

Despite his death, Fidel Castro’s repressive regime remains in place. And the spy force he created remains one of its most capable executors.

Read it all HERE.

In Castro’s Cuba, very little separates the sublime from the ridiculous

The photos of the soldiers pushing the broken down jeep carrying Fidel Castro’s ashes is just one of many things that happen in Castro’s Cuba that so effectively eliminate that space between the sublime and the ridiculous.

Eugenio Yanez in Diario de Cuba:

Nothing but a jeep separates the sublime from the ridiculous

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In Castro’s Cuba, a kind of Macondo in real time, anything can happen. For example, the jeep carrying Fidel Castro’s ashes can even broke down as it enters Santiago de Cuba, with the shrine’s solemn keepers having to get out of the vehicle and push.

Thus, the supposedly invincible Comandante (allegedly able to survive more than 600 assassination attempts plotted by the “imperialists,” according to the fanciful and implausible assertions of his toadies, who never presented any credible evidence of this, because they made it all up) was not even able to complete the Havana-Santiago route: upon entering “the cradle of the Revolution,” the Russian jeep carrying his sublime ashes broke down.

Naturally, the means of transport used for this operation could have easily failed at any time, due to its ever-questionable quality. And yet, this was the type of equipment the dictator imposed from the outset of his regime, insisting on bringing it from the Soviet Union and the “socialist camp,” spurning, even from before the embargo, vehicles and spare parts manufactured by “the empire” – though he personally always liked them, and actually used “capitalist” makes like Oldsmobile, Alfa Romeo and Mercedes Benz. The inefficient and symbolic Soviet armored Chaika that he sometimes used was only for show, to stay on the good side of his friends at the KGB.

In addition to the unreliability of the Russian vehicle used to transport the remains, the lack of training and competence by the country’s transport maintenance professionals was laid bare, as a breakdown was possible even when moving the ashes of the most-hallowed cadaver. What would have happened if the hypothetical “enemy aggression,” caricatured during the recently held Bastion 2016 military maneuvers, had been real? Would the “revolutionary” transport have been able to withstand a large-scale enemy attack when even the jeep carrying Fidel Castro’s ashes breaks down in the middle of the city, and has to be pushed? Was it really a jeep, or a wagon in disguise?

If something like this had happened in Africa or Central America people would he talking about underdevelopment, or the colonialism that fleeced the peoples of the Third World, or any other favorite theme of the violent left wielded to justify its own inefficiency and corruption.

But, for a country where, according to Raúl Castro, his late brother taught Cubans throughout his life that they could achieve anything they could imagine, it is embarrassing, even pathetic, that the late leader’s ashes could not even be carried to their resting place without the vehicle transporting them having mechanical problems.

Incidentally, the phrase “Yes, we can” (Sí, se puede) that Raúl Castro so incessantly repeated at the final funeral ceremony in Santiago de Cuba, with those on hand mechanically echoing him, like trained parrots, was the same as that used by President Barack Obama throughout his presidential campaign in 2008. One would expect genuine revolutionaries to be capable of coming up with some inspirational slogans without borrowing from “imperialist” leaders.

Continue reading HERE.

Fidel the monster who devoured his own minions: testimony from a dead Castronoid’s daughter

The author and her late father
The author and her late father

Fidel Castro was interested in only one thing: staying in power.

If he had to kill some men who had served him loyally so he could keep his crown, he simply ordered other sycophants to pull the trigger.

Anyone who came close to attaining popularity, anyone who showed the slightest admiration for someone else, anyone who looked at him the wrong way, anyone who disagreed with him was a threat.

And what better way is there of instilling fear than to kill those close to you, just to teach a lesson to those who remained close to you?

This essay by the daughter of a loyal Castronoid who was killed by Fidel lays out the brutal simplicity of Fidel’s ruthlessness.

Keep in mind as you read this essay that the man in question was a loyal Castronoid, a colonel in the dreaded Ministry of the Interior who dedicated his life to oppressing his fellow Cubans.

This man was no dissident.  He was a rabid Castronoid who simply rubbed Fidel the wrong way.

Good luck finding any mention of this story in any of Nosferatu’s obituaries, or in the messages of condolence penned by world leaders.

Justin Trudeau should be forced to read this essay over and over, a million times over, day after day, as fitting punishment for the “sorrow” he displayed for the monster Nosferatu.

The Maximum Leader then
The Maximum Leader then

From Translating Cuba

Fidel Castro Sent My Father to the Firing Squad; I Do Not Regret the Tyrant’s Death

14ymedio, Ileana de la Guardia,

Paris, 5 December 2016 – Dawn comes to Paris, this 26 November, the sun barely over the horizon. From the depths of my dreams I hear the phone ring. I don’t want to answer it. It is my husband who does so. His voice tells me:

“He died, he died, wake up! Fidel died!”

I murmur:

“Him again… he comes again to wake me from my dreams.”

Thus it was 27 years ago, when they announced the arrest of my father. And so, this call pursues me like a ghost. No, I don’t want to wake up, he doesn’t have that right.

Some hours later I get out of bed and from my window I can see the Eiffel Tower on the horizon, my symbol of freedom, of my freedom. Then the horrible memories return: the murder of my father, of course, and of all the others who paid with their lives for the blindness of the tyrant.

Is he really dead this time? There is no doubt. I feel relieved, as if freed from the persecution of a maleficent shadow.

The monster died in his bed, without even being bothered by his crimes. The funeral rites are already prepared. Nothing is left to chance. No one is going to spit on his ashes. And yet…

My father, Tony de la Guardia, departed at dawn on 13 July 1989. He didn’t have the luck to grow old, to know his grandchildren, he was a confidant of the tyrant. He had served in difficult military missions, at times secret ones.

On 12 June 1989 he was arrested by the political police. A month later, after a summary trial, which I will allow myself to call Stalinist, Fidel Castro ordered him shot without mercy. He had not betrayed anyone, nor cheated, nor stolen. He had only carried out the orders of Castro himself: “Find hard currency, by any means, to save Cuba from disaster.”

That day the world collapsed around me. I was young, not political, convinced that Fidel Castro — who at that time, like so many of my generation, I nicknamed El Congrejo, The Crab because with him everything was always backwards — taking into account the missions my father had served on, would pardon his life. It wasn’t like that.

At the same time as my father, Arnaldo Ochoa was shot. The great general of the Cuban Army, The Lion of Ethiopia as the Africans called him when he served on missions over there. Another two officials, Amado Padrón and Jorge Martínez, were also sent to the firing squad. My uncle, General Patricio de la Guardia, my father’s twin brother, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, “for failing to promptly denounce his brother,” as the text of the sentence prepared by the prosecutor states. Today he is in Cuba under house arrest.

All these men fell under suspicion because they felt a certain weakness for Gorbachev’s perestroika. Castro had no real proof, just doubts, from statements of discontent made somewhere, in some meeting of officers, at  some family gathering. He had to make an example. Stop this wave from spreading. Be ruthless. Exercise terror to perpetuate his kingdom… Forever.

Continue reading HERE

The Maximum Leader now
The Maximum Leader now

A vigil in Washington D.C. to honor the victims of Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro

As the funeral of Cuba’s brutal and vicious dictator was taking place and his sycophants on the island and throughout the world shed both real and fake tears, a vigil was held in Washington D.C. to honor the victims of the evil mass murderer, Fidel Castro.

Alice Lloyd in The Weekly Standard:

Light in the Shadow of Castro’s Funeral, A Vigil to Honor His Victims

voc-cuba-vigil-weeklystandardHours after Fidel Castro’s state funeral ended a national mourning in Cuba, a small but intent crowd gathered at the Victims of Communism Memorial in downtown Washington, D.C. Dissidents like Sirley Ávila León and advocates from Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation led mourners on a Sunday evening in remembering the Cuban dictator’s actual legacy—when it seemed few others would.

Hours after Fidel Castro’s state funeral ended a national mourning in Cuba, a small but intent crowd gathered at the Victims of Communism Memorial in downtown Washington, D.C. Dissidents like Sirley Ávila León and advocates from Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation led mourners on a Sunday evening in remembering the Cuban dictator’s actual legacy—when it seemed few others would.

The spirit of the vigil offset a dominant narrative, found in fawning eulogies from heads of state, that the murderous commandant was also a hero. Romantic tributes, in honoring Fidel Castro, dishonored his many victims.

Dr. Lee Edwards, who is also chairman of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, remembered by name Cuban martyrs to democracy, sacrifices obscured from their countrymen. “We’re here to remember Oswaldo Paya, and others like him, who suffered and died at the hands of communism,” Edwards said, lest we forget late activist who strove, unto his death, to defend his country against one-party rule.

“We’re also here to tell Raúl Castro and his police and his spies and his corrupt party that the day is coming when there will be a free Cuba—and that day will come sooner than they realize.” Dr. Edwards led us in a chant: Viva Cuba Libre!

But what will it take to free Cuba when the reality of her bondage is too often forgotten and ignored?

“A failure to learn from history,” said Marion Smith, Victims of Communism executive director, is what we face when a dead dictator comes to look like a martyr. “It’s perhaps never been more difficult to speak truth about what is happening in Cuba,” Smith said.

“And without that clear understanding, there can be no hope for a brighter and more just future for the people of Cuba.” In service to a fading hope for Cuba’s democratic future—renewed by Fidel Castro’s death but dampened by a global ruling class that lionized him—we remember those who continue to risk their lives for the island’s freedom.

Continue reading HERE.

Photos from the vigil can be seen HERE.

Fidel Castro: The homophobe who brutalized Cuba’s LGBT community

 

The glossy brochures and fancy internet travel site ads paint a picture of a veritable gay island paradise in Castro’s Cuba. For gay Cubans, however, the reality of life in Cuba as an LGBT person under the tyrannical shackles of the apartheid Castro regime has made Cuba a gay hell.

Deroy Murdock in National Review:

Fidel Castro: Homophobe

Castro is a hero to the international Left — but he brutalized gay Cubans for decades.

fidel-castros-homophobia-anti-gay-dictatorship-cuba-was-brutal-bThe curtain finally fell on one of Earth’s most vicious tormentors of gay people. The seemingly immortal Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died November 25 at age 90. Castro operated a giant Alcatraz from 1959 to 2008 before dynastically handing the jailhouse keys to his dauphin and brother, Raúl.

Often forgiving, sometimes glowing, encomia to Castro by such leftists as President Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada skate past Fidel’s epic homophobia. This is a massive oversight by liberals who call themselves the natural-born allies of gay people worldwide.

“We would never come to believe that a homosexual could embody the conditions and requirements of conduct that would enable us to consider him a true revolutionary, a true Communist militant,” Castro declared in 1965. “A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant Communist should be,” Castro added, as James Kirchick recalled in Sunday’s Daily Beast.

Castro started corralling gays that year, often through cruel lies.

“Many received false telegrams telling them they had been called for military service and should appear at a chosen location — where they would then be rounded into trains, trucks, and buses and sent to the camps with little food or water,” Benjamin Butterworth wrote this week at Great Britain’s PinkNews.com.

These Military Units to Aid Production or UMAPs, by their Spanish acronym, used forced labor to re-educate gays, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others deemed deficient in socialist fervor. Signs at these facilities announced: “Work will make you men.”

UMAP inmates, according to Butterworth, reported being “threatened with execution, stuffed with dirt in their mouths, buried in the ground up to their necks, and tied up naked outside in barbed wire without food or water until fainting.”

“It was a sweltering place without a bathroom,” Reinaldo Arenas, a gay Cuban author, wrote in his autobiography, Before Night Falls. “Gays were not treated like human beings, they were treated like beasts. They were the last ones to come out for meals, so we saw them walk by, and the most insignificant incident was an excuse to beat them mercilessly.”

Castro erected his own Gulag Archipelago of some 200 such UMAP camps before ending this program in 1968. But his state-sponsored homophobia raged on.

Former UMAP inmates were identified as such in their official records. This blocked them from workplaces and classrooms.

Continue reading HERE.

Obama’s message when he sends officials to Cuba for Fidel Castro’s funeral but skips Margaret Thatcher’s

Apparently, Barack Obama believes the funeral of apartheid dictator Fidel Castro is worthy of an official presence of high-ranking U.S. officials while the funeral for historic democratic leader Margaret Thatcher did not deserve any. If the president’s foreign policy message was not clear enough to everyone before, this should add some clarity.

Jarrett Stepman in The Daily Signal:

Obama Sent Top Official to Castro’s Funeral, but Not Thatcher’s. Why It Sends the Wrong Message.

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President Barack Obama sent high-level administration officials to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s funeral procession last week, a gesture of respect he did not offer for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

After Castro’s death, Obama released a statement saying: “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and the world around him.”

The carefully guarded words made no reference to the legacy of tyranny and destruction Castro left for the Cuban people, nor did it explain how much Castro’s communist ideology played a role in the half-century of humanitarian catastrophes during his regime.

As reported in Conservative Review, “Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser and one of the president’s closest aides,” was sent to attend Castro’s funeral service along with the U.S. ambassador to Cuba, Jeffrey DeLaurentis.

Rhodes became notorious this spring when he boasted of selling a “narrative” about the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal to journalists to push the president’s agenda through Congress.

He was also a key player in opening up relations between the U.S. and Cuba in 2015, ending a long-standing American policy to isolate the communist nation.

The Obama administration failed to send high-level members to Thatcher’s funeral in 2013, which many British saw as a “snub” of their famous leader. Nor was that  the first sharp elbow thrown at legendary British leaders by the Obama administration.

The words and actions of an administration, such as who a president chooses to send to a funeral, have a heightened influence on the global stage without the chief executive ever having to act officially.

As historian Richard Neustadt wrote, paraphrasing President Harry Truman, “presidential power is the power to persuade.” And as Neustadt noted, this power to persuade leads to the more tangible power to negotiate—perhaps the most important presidential role in foreign relations.

That the president seems so willing to symbolically and concretely abandon the “special relationship” the U.S. has had with Britain while going out of the way to tiptoe around the sore spots of the Cuban regime is a reversal of priorities for a nation that stood as a beacon for the free world.

Continue reading HERE.

Reports from Cuba: ‘El Sexto’ moved to a criminal prosecution center

14yMedio reports via Translating Cuba:

‘El Sexto’ Moved to a Criminal Prosecution Center

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The artist Danilo Maldonado, known as ‘El Sexto’ (The Sixth), was transferred Sunday from the police station at Zapata and C in Vedado to the Bivouac Calabazar criminal prosecution center in Havana. The graffiti artist’s mother, Maria Victoria Machado, visited him on Monday morning and told 14ymedio that the prosecution could keep him there for up to two months.

Machado’s meeting with her son only lasted 10 minutes, in which the artist was able to eat food brought from home, but still refused to eat food provided by the prison.

Machado said that the investigator in the case, Fernando Sanchez, informed her that her son could be held “up to 60 days in preventive detention.” The official explained that the detention would be extended “until the file is investigated.” Machado presented a petition for habeas corpus, with legal advice from the independent legal association Cubalex, and in particular from the attorney Laritza Diversent who leads that association.

El Sexto is accused of causing damage to state property, a crime “that does not exist in the Criminal Code,” Cubalex emphasized in an article published on its digital site. “Painting the walls or facades of a hotel constitutes a violation against public adornment. Inspectors of the communal system are entitled to impose, in these cases, a fine of 100 Cuban pesos (roughly $5 US),” says the article.

Shocking! Time Magazine ranks Castrogonia as one of top 5 worst dictatorships on earth

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Well, whaddaya know….

Ay, mami, que sorpresa !

A magazine that has consistently shilled for the Castro regime for six decades is now denouncing it as a dictatorship.

And…. horror of horrors…. it’s placing it at the top of a list that includes the autocracies of  North Korea, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Zimbabwe.

But…but… but…what about all the free health care and education?

Don’t those great programs cancel out a dictator’s human rights abuses?

Oye...pero que falta de respeto!
Oye…pero que falta de respeto!

For all the breathless headlines this year about historic change, Cuba remains a one-party state controlled by the same figures and power brokers—i.e. the military and the Communist Party old guard. In today’s Cuba, the majority of land and labor remains in the hands of the state; private ownership is limited; rationing continues; the media is state-run; the government continues to repress dissent. In fact, the most important change has been its opening with the U.S.—but that has more to do with the current economic crisis engulfing Venezuela, which had been Cuba’s benefactor after the fall of the Soviet Union. Now Venezuela can’t even afford to feed itself.

read the whole thing HERE

Top Five!  Thanks, Time, for ranking my dynasty as high as that of the Castros.
Top Five! Thanks, Time, for ranking my dynasty as high as that of the Castros.

After Trump’s election victory, Cuban regime officials are now ‘sh**ting themselves’

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It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch. And I am not referring only to officials of the Castro dictatorship, but also to their lackeys and supporters here in the U.S. After betraying the Cuban people both on the island and in exile, these “pro-engagement” Castro regime supporters now find themselves in quite a predicament. So much so that some of them are now speaking anonymously to avoid being associated with the Cuban dictatorship. Se están cagando, literally.

Patricia Mazzei and Nora Gamez Torres in The Miami Herald:

‘The Cubans are sh—— themselves’ over Trump

Alarmed by signs that its fragile relationship with the United States might fall apart under President-elect Donald Trump, the Cuban government is quietly reaching out to its contacts in the United States to determine how best to protect the communist regime’s tenuous diplomatic position.

The Cubans are trying to figure out who Trump is, what his real thinking about Cuba might be and how they might be heard by his fledgling administration.

Los cubanos están cagados,” — the Cubans are shitting themselves — said a businessman who regularly meets with Cuban government officials and told the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald they contacted him after Trump’s victory. “They have no communication channels to Trump.”

Among the sources who told the Herald that they’ve spoken to the Cuban government are middlemen and representatives of U.S. business and civic interests in Cuba. All requested anonymity for fear of appearing overly friendly with Cuba’s communist regime. The Cuban government did not respond to a request for comment sent to its embassy in Washington.

“We’ve told them they have to wait and see,” said an advocate of more U.S. engagement with Cuba who said Cubans want a better read of the political landscape under Trump. “It’s still too early.”

Cuban officials have telephoned and, in some cases, met in person with Americans closely involved with business or advocacy groups that support increasing ties between the two countries. The Americans have consistently told Cubans they need to hurry to complete pending commercial agreements with U.S. companies to further solidify the reestablished relations — and make it more difficult for a Trump administration to undo them.

The Cubans’ chief problem: The contacts they’ve spent years cultivating had the ear of President Barack Obama’s administration. No one close to Trump is — at least publicly — an advocate for their cause.

“They did not anticipate a President-elect Trump,” said Jorge Mas Santos, president of the Cuban American National Foundation in Miami.

Pro-engagement forces don’t have an in with Trump, either.

“I don’t think that there’s anyone inside at this point that presents the balanced view that needs to be presented,” said Mike Fernández, a Coral Gables healthcare executive and major Republican advocate for Obama’s Cuba opening. “Right now, I think the other side does have an upper hand.”

In contrast, Cuba hardliners have several voices close to Trump — including Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a former Indiana congressman.

Continue reading HERE.

UN Human Rights Council holds moment of silence in honor of Cuba’s dead apartheid dictator Fidel Castro

Just when you thought the United Nations could not get anymore despicable, this…

John Suarez reports in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

UN Human Rights Council’s moment of silence for Fidel Castro

“…[T]here arises a question as to whether those large, serious compromises do not have their origin and roots in precisely these tiny and very often more or less logical compromises.” – Vaclav Havel, October 12, 2009, Forum 2000 conference

Photo taken by Cuban Mission to the UN during moment of silence for Castro
Photo taken by Cuban Mission to the UN during moment of silence for Castro.

Six months ago I wrote a blog post on the existential crisis at the United Nations Human Rights Council that began from the start. “Ten years ago the United Nations Human Rights Council was founded on a small moral compromise that sacrificed human rights oversight in Belarus and Cuba in what U.N. officials called the dawn of a new era. Special rapporteurs with mandates to specifically monitor the human rights situation in those two countries were formally gotten rid of in 2007 and a code of conduct established that undermined the independence of all special rapporteurs.”

[…]

On December 5, 2016 delegates of the U.N. Human Rights Council opened a meeting in Geneva by standing silently after Venezuela’s delegation requested a minute of silence to “honor” the late Cuban tyrant Fidel Castro. Meanwhile now in Cuba those Cubans that refuse to mourn the dead dictator are being beaten down, jailed and threatened with 15 year prison terms for speaking out. At least 20 cases have been documented and two high profile examples stand out: the graffiti artist and the medical doctor both jailed for freely expressing themselves: Danilo Maldonado and Eduardo Cardet.

Let us recall that Fidel Castro, the Cuban tyrant, presided over extrajudicial executions of thousands of his countrymen, the destruction of Cuba, twice called for a nuclear first strike on the United States, sponsored terrorism across the world, collaborated with genocidal dictators who murdered millions in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Even more outrageous is that while the human rights body honors one of the great human rights violators of the Americas at the same time it ignores a human rights champion who passed away four days later the great nonviolent democrat and human rights defender Luis Alberto Monge Álvarez, former president of Costa Rica and one of the drafters of that great democracy’s constitution.

Read it all HERE.

Facebook video mocking Fidel Castro’s death lands dissident artist ‘El Sexto’ in prison

Practically anything a Cuban does can land them in a Castro gulag, and making fun of Fidel Castro’s death is definitely one of them. Especially when you start it by declaring this is the day “que se murió la yegua.”

Here is the video that got Cuban dissident artist Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado arrested and imprisoned:

Via Freedom House:

Cuba: Dissident Arrested for Facebook Video Mocking Fidel Castro

In response to Cuban authorities arresting the political dissident Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado, following Fidel Castro’s death, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Authorities arrested El Sexto for expressing his disagreement with the Cuban government in a creative and peaceful way — the arrest being an example of the government’s sustained effort to limit free speech,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin America programs. “Democratic governments and international civil society should press the government to release Danilo and end to its frequent arrests of those who attempt to speak freely.”

Background:

On November 26, 2016, Cuban graffiti artist and dissident Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado posted a video of himself on Facebook mocking Fidel Castro’s death. In the selfie-style video, shot near the hotel Habana Libre, Maldonado called Castro a “yegua” (mare) and called on the public to celebrate his death. He later spray-painted on a wall near the hotel. Danilo’s mother said he was beaten and dragged across the floor in a police station in San Agustin, Havana.

In 2014, Danilo was imprisoned for 10 months for planning to release two pigs with “Fidel” and “Raúl” written on them.

Cuba is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2016.

Read more

European Union rewards King Raul for increased repression

Federica Mogherini (EU) and Castronoid Bruno Rodriguez
Ministers Federica Mogherini (EU) and Bruno Rodriguez (Castro, Inc.)

The EU is about to give King Raul a colossal Christmas present: A new accord that lifts all sanctions and lends him all sorts of “support.”

The statement released by the EU is full of bureaucratic euphemisms that camouflage the real nature of the deal, but when all is said and done, what the new ” Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement” amounts to is this: The EU will now overlook King Raul’s human rights abuses.

Previously, the EU had slapped some mild sanctions on the Castro Kingdom in the hopes that King Raul would ease up on repression.

Despite a marked increase in repression on the island slave plantation, this new deal opens the door for more “trade” with the EU (in other words, more loans, more business deals with Castro, Inc., and more tourists).

Although the official claptrap below speaks of a “transition process” towards “modernisation” and “democracy and human rights” there is no mention of any measures that will require King Raul and his minions to improve their behavior or change their regressive and repressive policies.

"Modernisation"
“Modernisation”

From CTA Brussels Office Weblog:

On 6 December 2016, the Council decided to sign a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba. The Council also decided to provisionally apply parts of the agreement. The agreement will be transmitted to the European Parliament for its consent, in view of its conclusion.

It will be signed on 12 December 2016 at 9.30 by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, EU foreign ministers, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said: “We are truly at a turning point in the relations between the EU and Cuba. Together, we are moving towards a closer and more constructive partnership, one that reflects strong historic, economic and cultural ties that unite Europe and Cuba. Through the new agreement, the EU is ready to support Cuba’s process of economic and social modernisation, and I am looking forward to further advancing our bilateral relations.”

The political dialogue and cooperation agreement, the first ever agreement between the EU and Cuba, will constitute the new legal framework for EU-Cuba relations. It foresees an enhanced political dialogue, improved bilateral cooperation and the development of joint action in multilateral fora.

The agreement aims to support the transition process of the Cuban economy and society. It promotes dialogue and cooperation to encourage sustainable development, democracy and human rights, and find shared solutions to global challenges. The agreement comprises three main chapters on political dialogue, cooperation and sector policy dialogue as well as trade and trade cooperation.

derechoshumanos
“democracy and human rights”