In on ear, out the other

MADRID, Spain (AP) – Lawmakers from Spain, Italy and Germany urged their governments on Saturday take to a tougher line with Cuba after the communist government expelled a number of Europeans ahead of an opposition rally in Havana.
Spanish officials demanded that Cuba explain why two Spanish politicians were told to leave the country and a third threatened with expulsion before the rare opposition demonstration, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

Two former Spanish senators, Isabel San Baldomero and Rosa Lopez Garnica, were expelled, as were lawmakers from Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic.

Arnold Vaatz, a German lawmaker who was expelled from Cuba on Friday, called for the European Union to take a stronger stand against Cuba.

“With its decision to lift (diplomatic) sanctions against Cuba, the European Union has made itself the accomplice of Fidel Castro’s government,” Vaatz was quoted as saying by the Leipziger Volkszeitung daily.

Six Poles – three journalists, a human rights worker and two students – and an Italian journalist also were ordered to leave the country. Spain said a deputy for the regional Catalan Convergence and Unity party also was threatened with expulsion and was at the Havana airport Saturday.

The diverse dissident groups debated pro-democracy projects on Saturday, the second and final day of the meeting.

“We are satisfied that each and every one of us has fulfilled our duty to our nation,” said Martha Beatriz Roque, a former political prisoner and lead organizer of the Assembly for the Promotion of Civil Society.

About 200 people were on hand – a little more than half of them delegates – when the general assembly opened Friday in the back yard of another lead organizer and veteran dissident, Felix Bonne. With the absence of diplomats and other guests, the crowd was smaller Saturday, closer to about 100.

Many were surprised the government allowed the meeting to take place. Cuban authorities refer to the dissidents as “mercenaries” and “counterrevolutionaries.”

The two former senators from Spain told reporters on their return that they went to Cuba for a vacation, not for the rally.

Spanish Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar called the expulsions “a disagreeable and serious incident.”

Cuba’s ambassador to Madrid was called in Friday to discuss the matter, but sent his second-in-command instead, a ministry spokesman said.

The Cuban embassy in Madrid declined to comment.

Italy’s foreign minister, Gianfranco Fini, also summoned the Cuban ambassador.

Vaatz, the German lawmaker who had planned to attend the dissident assembly in Havana, complained that the Europeans had agreed to Cuba’s wish that they break off contacts with dissidents, ensuring that their plight went unnoticed.

“That was what I wanted to break through, and it succeeded,” Vaatz said.

In Rome, a senior official in Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition urged the government to get tougher with Cuba.

“We need to do it in spite of economic interests that might suggest a more conciliatory attitude,” Gustavo Selva, the head of a parliamentary foreign affairs commission and a member of the National Alliance government party, was quoted as saying by Italy’s ANSA news agency. “There’s no negotiating over freedom.”

Mariano Rajoy, leader of Spain’s opposition Popular Party, criticized the government’s handling of Cuba.

“Where is it written that the Spanish prime minister must make himself popular with a tyrant as he yet again proved yesterday, like Fidel Castro, or with someone who’s unbalanced, like the president of Venezuela?” he said.

Associated Press writer Andrew Rodriguez contributed to this report from Havana, Cuba.

AP-ES-05-21-05 1653EDT

Colaboraci?n de Cuca Ca?izares – Lila

10 thoughts on “In on ear, out the other”

  1. Val,

    It was a pleasure meeting you tonight at Cuba Nostalgia. Your doing the world a great service with your blog. Keep up the kickass work.

    -Henry “Fishfan” Gomez

  2. ?QUE MIERDA! ?IMBECILES E HIJOS DE LA GRAN P^TA! In this historic effort to re-establish freedom in Cuba, these countries now want re-establish relations with the cause and source of the problem????? Are they friggin’ nuts??????????

    (Val: Good work man… wish I were there…)

  3. I think it is a totally wrong and dramatic strategy to impose an embargo to get Castro out. This does NOT work. If the Cuban community in the US comes to sense, they should realise that after lifting sanctions, Cuba will be a capitalist paradise IN A YEAR. Or will they let the people of Cuba wait for the American investments until Fidel?s death?

    The example of China has made clear that it is better to do business with the criminals at the top, in order to let trade their citizens, so their will come an entrepeneurial class, who is powerfull to overthrow the criminals.

  4. Pieter, interesting your blog.

    Don’t you think that cagastro is the one stiffling entrepreneurship in Cuba since owning productive enterprises is forbidden by Cuban Law?
    If Cubans were able to produce and trade they would be economically powerful to rid themselves off cagastro.

    And that’s precisely why that forbidding law was created, to make cagastro’s rule indestructible. There’s no international embargo. Sorry to break the news to you. Cuba trades with 192 countries. US embargo never forbade the sale of medicine or food to Cuba. It is a cash in advance, cash only, no credit line policy, and since cagastro is not paying his debts with Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania or Latin America I think that it’s not such failure to force him not to scam the American taxpayer off his monies.

    For your information, the US agrobusiness is one of the biggest trading partners of Cuba, and the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t lag that far behind.

    Read about cagastro being a sworn enemy of the US and the American people, how did he wanted to wipe US with terrorism and nuclear bombings when Osama was still in diapers and sucking his pacifier, using the Soviet Empire as his proxy.
    Now think, why do we have to pay to keep him in power?

    By the way, before cagastro Cuban agriculture and cattle farming were not only self sufficient, Cuba exported food and other goods. And received European immigration.

    Now, Cuba is in ruins, and people risk their lives to escape a serial killer with omnipowers. He, cagastro, destroyed Cuba. Only cagastro my friend, with the help of his commie and socialist allies.
    Take care

  5. Pieter,
    The Chinese business and entrepeneurial class only has economic powers that have not made a dent on the iron grip of the Chinese communist party. The Chinese government has paid back by sending spies, stealing technology secrets and unleashing a wave of illegal immigrants to the US and Latin America. Besides, the Chinese government trades openly and at a very increasing rate with cagastro and el mico chavez from Venezuela, effectively collaborating with the enslaving of those two people. Look at the amount of control that China has over the Canal Zone in Panama. I thought that Carter gave it to the Panamanian government to be a patrimony of the population, not to be given it away to the Chinese for peanuts (pun intended) Or maybe he preferred the Chinese government to the American Government? Possible.
    Now, a reason why they didn’t have an embargo in China: A market of one billion people and a place where they can produce everything at a fraction of a cost of the production in Europe or the US. Believe me, there was not any altruistic reason for not having it. The Chinese people are quite repressed, maybe you have heard of torture to the members of the Falun Gong sect or about the harvesting of organs to be sold in the international black market of body parts. Do you know where they get them from? Dissenters. Or criminals. Or members of an underground church. The method is simple: one bullet in the back of the neck, then all the vital organs and blood are harvested from the body and the non embargoed government of China pockets some money!
    Tibet is a whole captive country… Ask the Dalai Lama what does he think about not embargoing China and about of that empowerment that China has received!
    They didn’t have an embargo on Hitler or Stalin, remember? They unleashed the WWII on Europe with the ensuing destruction. I wish they had had an embargo on those two criminals at their time.
    In Cuba, when cagastro had all the monies he could dream of from the Soviet Empire, he didn’t use them to do anything for the advancement of the Cuban people. Repression was at unknown heights, rationing was started at those times and the shooting squads were working non stop. Besides cagastro bled the country of resources and men by sending an invading army to Africa (several interventions, the most important in Angola from 1975 to 1991, and to Ethiopia, plus irregular guerrillas in some other countries) and was busy exporting the “revolution” to Latin America. Good thing that che huevara was caught. Bad thing he was killed, so the international left got an iconic hero in the process. He was such a lowly scumbag whose place would have been in prison surrounded by his own murderous kind.
    So, Pieter, that’s what he did with the money that Moscow gave me, that by the way, is less than what the Americans gave to Europe as the Marshall plan. Imagine, more than two Marshall plans and a half, to a population of 10 million (then) to a small country the size of Italy. But that country is still in the hands of a Mussolini impersonator and used the money exactly in the same way Mussolini would have: repression, control, restriction of movements by the population, racism and colonialistic wars in Africa all in the name of the working class.
    I think that with my two comments I am giving you enough food for thought and a picture that will awake your curiosity for the real situation that Cuba lives and for the identity of the real enemy of the Cuban people: Mr. cagastro himself.

  6. Cleppe,

    Your simple-minded approach won’t work. If Castro currently trades with EVERY OTHER COUNTRY in the world and it hasn’t done one thing to democratize Cuba, what makes you think US trade will?

    If anything it’s the other way around. South Africa is proof that when countries unite to end oppressive regimes it can be done. Other countries should be joining the US in its sanctions against Cuba. Such organizations as Amnesty International, Reporters without Borders, and the UN Human rights commission have all condemned Castro and his “government”. These aren’t organizations that have any particular love for the US.

    Cuba and China are two very different animals. For one thing China is a country with 100 times the population of Cuba. Almost 1/4 of the world’s population. Cuba is a country that, if other countries joined the US in the embargo, would be on it’s way to democracy within a year.

    Your’s living proof as to the wisdom in the saying…

    “Better to keep your youth shut and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.”

  7. To Pieter Cleppe
    I?m am SO tired of repeating the same shit over and over again every time some innocent or misinformed soul comes up with this WONDEROUS solution to a 46 year old problem.
    Like “Shit, I just invented humidity”
    You came to this insightful observation when ? 1 , 2 , 3 years ago ?

    We have been at this for 46. Any advise we get from people like you (and I do respect your opinion) is total naivet? as far as who KaSStro is.

    So here we go again:
    There is NO embargo. Castro can buy what he wants when he wants from everyplace in the world that will give him credit, since few countries do, he is fucked.

    The USA will sell him ALL the food and medicine he wants CASH UP FRONT. I as an American citizen do not want to bail out a company that goes belly up by overextending credit Cuba.

    Vietnam became a prosperous country EVEN within a Communist framework AND with REAL USA embargo so, it is NOT the embargo or lack of embargo is the ability of the Beast ruling the island to rule it with any sense of fiscal responsibility. By the way , while Ho ?chi-min was alive the place was a shithole.

    About these “foreign investments” of which you speak?
    Have you any idea how many Europeans have lost their shirts because they invested 20 , 40 million in some Cuban venture just to be set up with a kilo of Cocaine and 2 under age girls thrown in jail and get their business confiscated.?
    “Capitalist paradise??? you ARE funny . THAT exactly is what Castro detests. You been listening to Cuban news lately? He had accepted a very restricted form of entrepreneurial capitalism for a few years which on a fit of senile paroxysm he withdrew and made illegal just a few months ago.
    Do you know that in Cuba the penalty for owning your own cow, killing it and then selling it is greater than if you killed a man.?

    Foreign investors are loosing money in the millions just on the out chance that the MAXIMUS SOB will kick the bucket and they will have already a beach head in Cuba.
    The Melia chain has a 70% vacancy rate in their hotels, but they can afford it ?cause they are THE MELIA CHAIN.
    The SAVING grace of China was that (as per agreement) they did NOT touch the financial model of Hong Kong after they took over .
    That model ? which is capitalism at its very best , MUSHROOMED out of control and invaded what was the ?new territories?, The Chinese kept moving the border between Capitalism & Communism back , and further back until they said ,,?Oh hell okay NEC , JVC , SONY , come build your plants here.
    Do you for a second think this would?ve happened with Mao in power?
    And that is the CRUX of our problem. Castro IS alive and the least of his worries is that the Cuban people eat or not , his obsession, his reason detra is NOT to see a flourishing Cuba, but to see a burning USA.

    Now let?s see how THAT fits into your equation.

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