By Angel Santiesteban in Translating Cuba:
Opportunistic Foreigners Who Suck the Dictatorship’s Tit: Alessandra Riccio, the Most Castroite of All the Neapolitans
Alessandra Riccio, a Neapolitan who resides in Cuba, knew how to live, like so many leftist foreigners, from the benefits that the totalitarian regime offered them. I don’t know if she came to be one more of the secret collaborators of State Security, captured by Commander Manuel Pineiro “Red Beard,” of course, dead in suspicious circumstances at a time when that death was very convenient for the Castro brothers, because with his secrets as Fidel’s private scribe he could sink them before international justice.
What is certain is that the lady in question has written a book about her memories of Cuba, at least those that she can or they permit her to tell, because if she tells some others she would be catalogued as a traitor by those who helped her out for so many years on the island.Without seeing the book — really among the list of texts that I need to read, I don’t plan to give it space — I am sure that she did not tell, logical with her usual lack of honesty, that when she was a juror of the story genre in the “Casa de las Americas” prize in 1992, together with the Cuban and great writer Abilio Estevez, and the fabulous Argentine writer Luisa Valenzuela, State Security prohibited them from awarding my book “South: Latitude 13,” because of the heartbreaking stories of the internationalist Cubans in Africa.
She will not tell that they, as jurors, gave into those “extraliterary” demands because, according to Abilio, the political police officials told them that if they gave me they prize they would do me much harm. Coincidentally, an aide to Riccio told me that a little later she left Cuba disappointed and hurt for having seen herself “obliged to commit such injustice;” so much so, according to what they told me, that she had denied meeting me because of the shame that she felt because of her actions.
Abilio and Valnezuela, on the contrary, did decide to confront their guilt and tell me what happened. The first one explained to me what happened; then he did it with others, above all several years later on a trip to the Dominican Republic, when he told that shameful incident to several colleagues and editors, who corroborated their pain and shame because of that literary assassination.
For her part, on meeting me, Luisa Valenzuela was surprised by how young I was (I remember that she exclaimed that I was the same age as her daughter), and immediately proposed to take me to Argentina, a gesture that I appreciated although I refused.
For further embarrassment, last year, at the beginning of my incarceration, Riccio appears in a grisly list of “women against violence,” supporting the government’s injustice which sentenced me without evidence, in a biased trial where nothing that my lawyer did to demonstrate my innocence with five witnesses, videos, and documentary proof, which Riccio could have easily consulted on the internet, did any good.
But as in old times from the already mentioned Commander Red Beard, she prefers to attend swiftly to the call of the tyrant to shape her signature, as if it were not enough already to shoulder the weight of the shame of that other literary injustice that she had committed against my person and my literary career.
Now nostalgia has made her write a book remembering the authorized part that she can narrate, and the newspaper Granma has gotten a photo and a report about her love for Cuba (although I would dare to correct and change Cuba for dictatorship). Do not worry, Riccio, your role as bootlicker has suited you well, and the tyrant rewards you.
Lawton prison settlement. May 2014.
Follow the link to sign the petition for Amnesty International to declare Cuban dissident Angel Santiesteban a prisoner of conscience.
Translated by mlk.
Calderon de la Canoa in Guamá (my translation):
We are heroes
The general put in power at the whim
of the people, enthusiastically,
praises his own resistance
And when you think about that,
something flashes across the mind;
we are heroes, but only
because we have put up with them.
As expected the liberal media is rallying to the defense of liberal Democratic senator Robert Menendez against his (apparent) smearing by the conservative The Daily Caller.
The liberal media from Slate to the Washington Post to CNN to the Huffington Post are (quite justifiably) dumping all over the conservative The Daily Caller for apparently falling for a Castroite scam to damage Senator Menendez.
The liberal media report that Castro's agents apparently planted the story of his sexcapades with underage Dominican prostitutes in order to damage Menendez because of his strong support for and effective leadership in maintaining the Cuba embargo.
The liberal media from Slate to the Washington Post to the Huffington Post to CNN all oppose the Cuba embargo. Like Hillary Clinton they constantly call it Castro's "best friend," because it supposedly provides him an excuse for his economic failures and repression...blah...blah.
Then why was Castro's intelligence trying to smear the most powerful Congressional proponent of the embargo--of their 'best friend?' Shouldn't Castro's agents be planting stories about Rangel and Flake and Leahy and Mc Govern and other such embargo opponents?
If anybody notices any acknowledgement on the part of the liberal media that they can't have it both ways and/or that they are collectively under medication for schizophrenia please notify us here at Babalu.
Not only have the puppet regime operatives in Venezuela learned to use Cuba's Castro dictatorship propaganda, they have also learned from their overlords in Havana how to take that propaganda to extreme and ridiculous levels.
Alek Boyd in Infodio:
Plot to kill Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro becomes a farce
It was only a matter of time, really. For those that haven't been following the latest chavista announcement about a "plot to kill" Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, here's a video of the proceedings (there are many more):
Only a bunch a desperate, deranged imbeciles could have agreed to participate in such a pathetic charade. Trouble for Venezuela is, that the 10 desperate, deranged imbeciles who took part are precisely Venezuela's 10-most-powerful officials:
Numbers have been added to better identify each official.
1) Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela's Vice President, married to Rosa Virginia Chavez, Hugo Chavez's daughter.
2) Cilia Flores, Venezuela's First Lady.
3) Jorge Rodriguez, former head of National Electoral Council, former Vice President of Venezuela, current Mayor of Libertador (Caracas).
4) Diosdado Cabello, President of Venezuela's Congress.
5) Rafael Ramirez, CEO of PDVSA, Minister of Energy and Mines, Chief Economy Minister.
6) Delcy Rodriguez (Jorge's little sis), Venezuela's Minister of Information and Communications.
7) Carlos Osorio, President of CVG, Minister for Guayana State's Development, and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
8) Tareck el Aissami, Governor of Aragua state.
9) Francisco Ameliach, Governor of Carabobo state.
10) Miguel Rodriguez Torres, Minister of Interior.
Venezuela's Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Diaz, is not in the picture. She had a stellar participation in the farce nonetheless, by justifying Jorge Rodriguez's (a Mayor) possession of "evidence" (fabricated emails), that was part of an "ongoing investigation" led by intelligence police (SEBIN) and her office, that none of the accused had been made aware of. Ortega Diaz also issued an international warrant, sent to INTERPOL, to arrest Pedro Burelli. And not content with having been exposed as a mere instrument of illegal political persecution, Ortega Diaz decided that the best strategy was to double down, announcing further arrests. Kangaroo justice...
It is difficult, in all honesty, to find a plausible, reasonable, and logical explanation for this. For we are not talking about some plot, concocted by a couple of nobodies. No. What we have here is a group of people that control Venezuela. In absolute terms. Congress, judiciary, economy, finances, army, police forces, paramilitaries, diplomacy, elections, international trade, taxes, media, international relations... every aspect of the Venezuelan State is under this lot's thumbs. Maduro was not there (he was consulting with a bearded bird), but his wife was, and she is the one who runs the show.
So after inventing and fabricating the whole thing, they thought it'd be best for ALL OF THEM to sit in a forced nationwide broadcast, to level spurious accusations against individuals that oppose chavismo. Summons were issued, and arrest warrants. The entire force of the State was mobilized against a handful of opposition folks, whose only crime is to have refused to toe the line imposed from Havana.
But they should have known what was coming their way. Even such deranged people could have foreseen that it would take little to expose "this farcical ploy", in the words of Pedro Burelli, one of the accused. As it turns, Google quickly replied to a subpoena, and it has now been demonstrated that the emails that the alleged accused sent to one another do not exist, i.e. the whole ploy is a fabrication.
Continue reading HERE.
The photo below shows Cuban soldiers marching in the Venezuelan colonial government's official Independence Day parade in Caracas. You may be wondering why a country would have a foreign military force march in a parade marking their own independence, but that is not exactly the case. In reality, Venezuela is now a colony of the Castro regime. It is their property, and who is going to tell the Castro brothers their soldiers can't march on their own property?
We're reading how Nicolas Maduro's new Cuban advisor Orlando Borrego was Che Guevara's "friend." In fact, according to most of his former associates (the ones in exile, anyway) the psychotic Che Guevara was incapable of any relationship properly describable as friendship.
"Orlando Borrego has joined a task force, together with Planning Minister Ricardo Menéndez, Jesús Martínez and other coworkers to outline a set of plans including a total, profound revolution in public administration," said Venezuelan president Maduro on Tuesday on his show "En Contacto con Maduro."
Borrego, an economist graduated from Havana and Moscow universities, "was companion of Ernesto Che Guevara, there, in the battles of the revolution," Maduro said when introducing the Cuban advisor, AFP cited.
Well, it goes a bit further. Venezuela's new "Planning Advisor" was also among the chief "judges" appointed by Che during the La Cabana bloodbath in early 1959. Edwin Tetlow, Havana correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph, starting having second thoughts about the Revolution he hailed in his reporting after attending one of these "trials" where he noticed the death sentences posted on a board--before the trials had started.
"The whole procedure was sickening," wrote New York Times (no less!) correspondent, Ruby Hart Phillips, about a trial she attended in La Cabana in early 1959. "The defense attorney made absolutely no defense, instead he apologized to the court for defending the prisoner."
Point is, Borrego knows what it takes to get a full-fledged Stalinist regime firmly in the saddle. "No more Mr Nice Guy, Venezuelan opposition," seems like the new message from the colonial overlords in Havana.
Orlando Borrego was also among Jon Lee Anderson's chief collaborators for one of the Castro regime's most resounding propaganda victories: the publication of Anderson's Che; A Revolutionary Life, written while Anderson lived in Cuba. This propaganda tract later served as the script for The History Channel's program on Che Guevara, where we learn such items as:
* "Che Guevara's idealism will rarely be equaled."
* "Che Guevara never abused his power."
* "Che Guevara "was valiant until his last moment alive."
* "Che Guevara helped overthrow the "U.S.- BACKED" Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista."
* "At Che Guevara's orders around 50 men were executed. He studied the evidence in each case (of the "50" executions) with methodical care. The executed were all torturers and murderers of women and children."
“Borrego was a loyal functionary and as a person is a fine fellow, consecrated to the principles of the socialist revolution. He's incorruptible," Jon Lee Anderson himself just informed the BBC.
Che hagiographer and old friend of Orlando Borrego, Jon Lee Anderson, with a very excited new friend.
Another example of how Cuba's Castro-Communism continues its cancerous destruction of Latin America under the guise of 21st Century Socialism. Bolivia's government has just legalized child labor for children as young as 10 years old.
Via the AFP in The Telegraph:
Bolivia sanctions child labour as young as 10
Bolivian congress passes laws that allow 12-year-old children to be employed in full-time work for others, with 10-year-olds permitted to work if self-employed
Bolivian lawmakers have approved child workers as young as 10 years old, under a new law that lays out specific conditions for employing children.
Congress passed the measure by consensus on Wednesday, requiring employers to follow certain criteria to ensure the physical and mental health of employed children, and to prevent child exploitation.
"The age limit, as defined formally by the Code for Children and Adolescents, is 14 years old," Senator Adolfo Mendoza said after the enactment of the bill, which he co-sponsored.
But the new code allows exceptions, when specific legal criteria have been met, so that children may begin "working for others from age 12, which is allowed by international conventions, and self-employment from age 10."
The senator stressed that required factors include a voluntary decision from the child to work, consent from the parent or guardian and permission from the public ombudsman.
"The request is then filed with the Labor Ministry," Mr Mendoza said.
The previous code, which allowed no exceptions to the 14-year-old minimum, had prompted protests from critics who stressed that, in Bolivia, children must work from an early age out of necessity.
By reducing the legal limit, lawmakers hope to help eradicate extreme poverty from the South American country by 2025, said bill co-sponsor Deputy Javier Zavaleta.
"Extreme poverty is one of the causes, not the main one, of child labour," he told AFP.
"So our goal is to eliminate child labour by 2020. While it is ambitious, it is possible."
The measure also establishes policies for adopting children, care and education of children with physical disabilities, and a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail for violent infanticides.
It was sent to President Evo Morales to be signed into law.
Besieged Venezuelan journalist Rafael Osio Cabrices tells the tale of his and his family's escape from Cuba's Venezuela.
Via The Washington Post:
I escaped Venezuela for North America. Here’s how.
At the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas, my wife, 8-month-old daughter and I stopped to take photos of our feet. We were standing over a colorful, geometric mosaic made by the famous artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, a symbol of the modern and cosmopolitan Venezuela we loved and the Venezuela that Hugo Chávez and his followers have tried to destroy.
This has become a ritual among those leaving Venezuela. That day, my family walked onto an American Airlines flight with four bags of luggage and three things that were exceedingly precious in our home country: airplane tickets, an invitation to stay with my sister in Florida, and hope.
Until the moment the plane took off, we feared we might be in clear and present danger. We spent the last month seeking refuge in a makeshift panic room we created in our Caracas apartment. And even as we navigated the airport’s departure rituals, we didn’t know if we were leaving Venezuela forever or if we’d ever be able to leave the turmoil behind.
During the previous years, we said goodbye to a lot of friends who moved to Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Colombia and the United States. We wanted to stay, however. We were proud of the job we were doing as journalists, writing about the problems our country was facing and possible ways to solve them. We wanted to help our society to go back to the path to democracy, interrupted in 1998 by the return of army men to power, with the election of Chávez, a career military officer, who had failed to take over the government in a bloody putsch just six years before.
But the majority of our fellow Venezuelans had other plans. In 2009, when Chávez obtained the popular support to reform the constitution in order to rule forever, my wife and I accepted that we wouldn’t be able to live under an elected dictatorship, a government that also would be unable to stop the inflation and crime rates that now are among the highest in the world. As newspapers were being whittled down and journalists feared speaking against the regime, it became virtually impossible to do the work my wife and I were trained to do.
We made a list of places we could go. We put Canada first: We wanted stability and a legal way to immigrate, and that country offered to professionals like us a path that was easier and faster than the United States. We chose Montreal (because Quebec’s list of desired professions included journalists at that time), submitted our application in 2010, and studied French. The arrival of our daughter in July 2013 delayed the process. Months passed with no word from Citizenship and Migration Canada.
In December 2013, we made extra cash from a freelance job and decided to invest it in tickets to Miami. We needed to pick up some savings we had socked away in a U.S. bank and buy some essentials we’d need when we finally moved to Canada. But the meaning of that planned Florida trip changed as a result of a conflict between the government and international airlines – a conflict that turned our purchased tickets into precious gold.
This was the latest step in the Cuban-inspired Chavista effort to extinguish all private economic activity by asphyxiating the value of all money belonging to anyone but the state. After a decade of currency controls that forbid anyone other than the Central Bank from acquiring U.S. dollars, many foreign companies have stopped doing business in Venezuela. Hence, this year we have in Venezuela, among our long list of wants, no shampoo, no elevator parts, no cancer medicines. We’re in an undeclared state of default that’s cutting ties with the rest of the world. Now, foreign airlines are reducing or canceling their operations to and from Venezuela. They were tired of waiting for the almost $4 billion the government has to give them in exchange for the bolivars (essentially play money for a multinational company unable to exchange them on a free liquid market) they earned. With no dollars, the companies cannot pay services abroad or buy replacement parts.
Continue reading HERE.
Via Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:
20 years after the July 13, 1994 "13 de Marzo" Tugboat Massacre: Calls to Action
This page will be updated with new events to pay homage to the victims of the "13 de Marzo" tugboat that was attacked and sunk by agents of the Cuban State on July 13, 1994 causing the deaths of 37 men, women, and children. Twenty years later and those responsible have not been held accountable or the victims compensated in any way. Twenty years without justice. Twenty years of impunity.
Below the events are listed in the chronological order that they were made known to this blog:
"Lights of Liberty Flotilla in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Massacre of the "13 de Marzo" Tugboat Sinking
In the Florida Straits and in Miami the Democracy Movement
is organizing a flotilla on Saturday, July 12, 2014 called the "Lights of Liberty Flotilla in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Massacre of the "13 de Marzo" tugboat sinking that will leave Key West from the Key West City Bight Marina and go in front of Cuba on Saturday, July 12, 2014 to hold a ceremony in memory of the victims of the massacre and others murdered by Castroism and to launch powerful lights of freedom, which will be seen from Havana and other points of Cuba. Inside Cuba, members of the opposition and the Democracy Movement led in the island by Jose Diaz Silva and the people in general will draw near to the Malecon and other points on the coast with candles and flowerr to throw them into the sea and to see the "Lights of Freedom" launched by the flotilla.
For more information visit their facebook page or call 305-264-7200.
Twenty minutes of silence for 20 years without justice: Silent Vigil on July 13 at 3:00pm
The Free Cuba Foundation has made a global call for people of good will to hold a twenty minute moment of silence asking: "Please share and encourage friends wherever they are on July 13, 2014 at 3pm to join in a 20 minute moment of silence. Gather in a group or individually and take a photo at the end of the vigil holding up the above image calling for justice or whatever you have at hand."
For more information on activities in your area visit their facebook page or e-mail them.
Continue reading HERE.
The CIA has obtained credible evidence that links Cuban agents to an elaborate plot to smear Senator Bob Menendez, one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime, with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes. Sen. Menendez is asking the Justice Department to pursue the evidence trail regardless of the consequences. At the time that these allegations were made against the Senator, he was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Here is the question that I ask myself. Is it possible for Cuban agents to have made up a plot to cover up Fidel’s involvement in the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy?
To read the article, click HERE.
Sen. Robert Menendez seeks probe of alleged Cuban plot to smear him
Sen. Robert Menendez is asking the Justice Department to pursue evidence obtained by U.S. investigators that the Cuban government concocted an elaborate plot to smear him with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes, according to people familiar with the discussions.
In a letter sent to Justice Department officials, the senator’s attorney asserts that the plot was timed to derail the political rise of Menendez (D-N.J.), one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime. At the time, Menendez was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
According to a former U.S. official with firsthand knowledge of government intelligence, the CIA had obtained credible evidence, including Internet protocol addresses, linking Cuban agents to the prostitution claims and to efforts to plant the story in U.S. and Latin American media.
The alleged Cuba connection was laid out in an intelligence report provided last year to U.S. government officials and sent by secure cable to the FBI’s counterintelligence division, according to the former official and a second person with close ties to Menendez who had been briefed on the matter.
The intelligence information indicated that operatives from Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence helped create a fake tipster using the name “Pete Williams,” according to the former official. The tipster told FBI agents and others he had information about Menendez participating in poolside sex parties with underage prostitutes while vacationing at the Dominican Republic home of Salomon Melgen, a wealthy eye doctor, donor and friend of the senator.
Continue reading HERE.
Via The Devil's Excrement:
Lying As A Revolutionary Way Of Life In Venezuela
Lying has long been a way of life for Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution. The country is still unsure of when and where Hugo Chávez died, let alone what ailed him or what complications eventually killed him. He was reelected knowing his days were counted, but it did not matter, lying, cheating and ripping off the people and the country has been institutionalized as a way of perpetuating the leadership in power. Not the revolution, because the revolution has been dead for quite a while. Only the leadership matters.
By now, the lying is so blatant, that the Government and its representatives don’t even attempt to cover it up. They just simply don’t address those issues in which they are flagantrly caught cheating, deceiving and lying. They hope that their total control of traditional media will impede the exposure of the lies reaching their supporters. And they do get away with it.
The lying and deceiving seems to be accelerating with the total impunity that reigns in the country. Comptrollers don’t control, Prosecutors don’t prosecute, People’s Defenders don’t defend, Highest Courts are lowly beings, the Supreme Command of the revolution forges and presents evidence against its enemies.
As it accelerates we see more and more cases, where the lack of scruples and deception prevail. This week as I was in Caracas was no different, with too many cases which dramatize the decrepit morality of the failed Bolivarian revolution. To wit:
–The faking of emails and evidence presented by the supreme command of the revolution.
The top members of the revolution, including the President’s wife who happens to be a lawyer, appear on TV, acting as accusers and judges, presenting “evidence” of a conspiracy to get rid of Maduro. The evidence is quite flimsy in that the texts themselves are not as explicit as suggested. The Prosecutor accuses a few days later, despite the accused suggesting the emails are fake. Then, one of those accused gets an order for Google to turn over the content of his emails in the company’s servers. Google complies. The text of the email is not what was presented by the Supreme command, others are not even present in the servers. The Venezuelan Government, all the way to the very top, has fabricated evidence as well as violating due process, the right to defense and all that.
The Government does not even bother to deny any of it.
The Governor of Vargas State sets up a company to buy some equipment to purify air at Maiquetia airport with ozone. In order to pay for the equipment, a new tax of Bs. 127 has to be paid by each passenger. Never mind that this should be the domain of the Airport’s Administration and Institute. Never mind that Ozone has been shown to be harmful in air purification. Never mind that passengers are paying for a service that is not even in place yet. The system is implemented badly. The first day, the cash collected by the State is robbed after passengers have to wait in line a couple of hours.
Nobody explains, nobody apologizes, nobody answers the criticism.
Continue reading HERE.
By Angel Santiesteban in Translating Cuba:
Another Day Without His Children
Angel saying goodbye to his son in the police car taking him to prison
Today is the second Father’s Day that two teenagers will spend without their dad, like many; they will throw him a kiss through the bars of the Lawton prison settlement, if the strict vigilance that the dictator dedicated to Angel Santiesteban doesn’t prevent it.
Three guards and some officials, just for him, watch him constantly. This “common inmate” must be very important to make the Cuban people pay for such “guarding.” Every official costs more than a thousand pesos, and there are three trios taking it in turn over 24 hours, generation a cost of more than seven thousand pesos a month, plus the gasoline for their transportation, and that of the bosses who come daily to check in person how the guarding of Angel is going.
Also today, there are many dads who will miss the warm kiss of their children, from the capricious vengeance of a dictator who violently represses and imprisons all those who fight peacefully for freedom.
Ramón Muñoz, Alan Gross, Jorge Cervantes, just to mention some of the many political prisoners of the Castro dictatorship, will, like Angel, spend another day without their children and many of them will spend the day without their parents.
Raul Castro with his family
The dictator brothers will celebrate — with their children and grandchildren — gobbling and drinking with no limits everything forbidden to Cubans, while pretending to the world to be everything they aren’t, laughing at the thousands of families separated by the distance of exile for over half a century.
The mother of his child, along with the Political Police, managed to imprison him on false charges, all of which accusations were not proven, not the guilt of her ex-husband — she never proved that anything happened — rather her own guilt was proved because a false accusation is a crime and harms the reputation of another person. But the mother of his son didn’t manage to turn her son against his father; he is as attached to him as ever. Angel will receive the kiss that his son blows him from a distance, a kiss that will deservedly caress his heart, because for Angel Father’s Day is every day, and his children show how incredibly proud they are of him.
I lost my father many years ago and the best way I can honor him is to live the ethical teachings and principles he passed on to me. I know that he — wherever he is — is proud that I am doing what I’m doing for Angel.
Sign the petition for Amnesty International to declare Angel a prisoner of conscience.
It seems even some Chavistas are not happy about their country being taken over by Cuba's Castro dictatorship.