Vote For Babalu!

Come on Babalu readers, do it! Go vote here now. It’s close, we need you, and yes, I admit it, I am shameless in my advocacy. Val is the King of Spades. So go vote, let’s put our island without a bearded dictator on the map!

Hunger Illegal?

In what appears to be yet another downturn in the ever escalating race for the total destruction of Cuba, castro is launching a clampdown on the “dishonest new rich”.

Continuing last month’s thugery at gas stations, he is mobilizing an army of young Cubans to stamp out rampant “theft” he claims is hobbling Cuba’s state-run economy.

Translation-the smallest of free enterprise tolerated in Cuba, such as paladares, small home based restaurants, have allowed some Cubans to make a little extra money, money outside fidels control. I guess he just can’t stand anyone in Cuba going to bed on a full stomach.

Castro said hard currency stores could be targeted next in the drive to stop stolen goods and also subsidized medicines being sold on the black market.

“In this battle against vice, nobody will be spared,” Castro warned on Thursday night in a speech to Havana University students.

He indicated that Cuba might revalue its currency again, a step taken in April that reduced the purchasing power of Cubans who receive cash from relatives the United States.

Oh yeah, those dollars coming from the U.S. Got to stop those dirty Yankee dollars from infiltrating his pure communist state. We can’t have Cubans acquiring anything that isn’t bestowed on them by their benevolent murdering dictator.

I’m waiting for the speech where castro announces a “volunteers for starvation” program. The last surviving member of a family gets an exit visa to the U.S.

From Yahoo News, read the whole article here.

castro’s legacy

Here’s another benefit castro has bestowed on the Cuban people, this, directly from the tyrant’s la Revoluci?n, multiplied by millions.

From the St. Petersburg Times
Cuban torture victim sues estate for $10M
The woman also names Fidel Castro, his brother and Cuba in the suit against the nurse who she says tortured her in Havana.

ALEXANDRA ZAYAS
Published November 16, 2005

TAMPA – The torture happened decades ago in Cuba, but Belkis Ferro says she still feels the anguish.

She still sees the face of the man she calls the devil, who she says tortured her in a psychiatric hospital for political prisoners in Havana.

Now, even though Eriberto Mederos is dead and Ferro lives in Tampa, she’s taking his estate to court for $10-million. She and her attorney, Edgar J. Guzman, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Mederos and some high-profile co-defendants, including Fidel Castro and Cuba.

In Spanish, she recalled her first act against Castro’s government. She was 7, and she was handed a red scarf to wear as part of the “pioneer” uniform that kids wore to support the revolution. Her father had been affiliated with Fulgencio Batista’s government before the 1959 overthrow, and her grandmother had warned her never to wear the uniform.

She took off the scarf and stomped on it. To punish her, teachers made her kneel on rocks until she bled.

“Since then, I grew in hatred toward Castro’s government, because they isolated me from the other children,” Ferro said.

She witnessed families removed from their homes and firing squads executing people who spoke out against Castro’s dictatorship. Her family was persecuted because it didn’t support Castro.

One day when she was 16, she said, she got into a confrontation with neighbors who were calling her grandmother names.

“I got furious. I told them horrendous things,” she said.

She was jailed, then taken to a farm to plant tobacco. One hot day, Ferro said, she began uprooting tobacco plants, tearing them to shreds. They dragged Ferro away, she said, locked her in a truck and drove off.

“When they opened the door and I saw what it was, I was horrified,” she said of the military psychiatric hospital in Havana known as Mazorra. “There wasn’t a Cuban in Cuba who wasn’t terrified of that hospital.”

It was there that she met Mederos.

Details of the hospital are contained in the lawsuit: The floors and rooms were stained with human fecal matter, and the stench was nauseating. Ferro compared the emaciated patients to women she’d seen in Holocaust films.

“I’d hear women scream every morning,” Ferro said.

One day, she learned why.

She was taken to a room with 10 to 12 iron beds, where patients – fellow political prisoners – were strapped down by their hands and feet, foaming and bleeding from the mouth, she said.

“I tried to get away,” she said. “I bit them. I kicked them.”

The last thing she remembered from that day was the two electrodes moving toward her temples. She said she awoke with no memory of the experience, but the bed was soiled, her tooth was chipped, and she had electrode burns on her skin.

The next form of torture was worse than the electroshock, Ferro said. She was injected with insulin three times a day, even though she was not diabetic. She drifted in and out of consciousness and was forced to drink 10 to 12 glasses of sugar water at a time.

This happened about three times a week over a span of several months, the lawsuit alleges. It alleges that the torture tactics were administered under Mederos’ supervision.

Ferro was eventually transferred out of the hospital and back to jail, where she remained until the Mariel Boatlift in 1980, when she left Cuba and moved to Arkansas and later to Tampa.

In the subsequent years, Ferro said, she was psychologically and physically “disabled” by the torture and unable to work. The lawsuit lists distress, anxiety, fear, apprehension, disease and the loss of bodily function as symptoms.

Five years ago, when she was watching the news, she saw Mederos again – on television, in the United States. He’d moved to the United States in 1980 and become a citizen in 1993, concealing his role in Mazorra.

But when a torture victim, who also moved to the United States, ran into Mederos while visiting an aunt in a Hialeah nursing home – where Mederos was a nurse – his cover was blown.

Congress members called for the revocation of his citizenship, and a jury – after hearing from Ferro and others – found him guilty in August 2002 of misrepresenting and concealing facts on his citizenship application.

On Aug. 23, 2002, the day a hearing was to determine when Mederos, 79, would report to prison, he died of prostate cancer.

It took three more years for Ferro to file a civil suit because she was still scared of Cuba’s reach in the United States. But after Nilo Jerez, another torture victim living in Miami, filed a similar suit earlier this year seeking $50-million from Cuba, Ferro followed his lead.

On Tuesday, she filed suit in Hillsborough County Circuit Court against Fidel Castro, his brother Raul Castro and Cuba. Also named in the suit are the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, El Ministerio Del Interior and the personal representative of Mederos’ estate.

The latter, listed as an unknown “John Doe” for now, may be the key to a payout if the suit succeeds against a country that doesn’t recognize U.S. law.

Ferro’s Tampa attorney acknowledged that Castro won’t send a check if he loses. What Guzman wants, however, is $10-million that Cuba is said to have wired Mederos earlier this decade, about the same time the former nurse stood trial in Miami. It’s not known if the money was sent to assist Mederos in his defense, but Guzman said it was passed on to his relatives.

If that fails, Guzman said, he hopes to get enough judgments on Ferro’s behalf to persuade the U.S. government to release what remains of $162-million in Cuban assets that the United States froze here when relations between the two countries soured.

First, Guzman and Ferro will need to show judges that they notified Castro and the Cuban government of the suit. The United States does not have diplomatic relations with Cuba or an embassy, so Guzman will try to make contact through Venezuelan or Spanish embassies, he said.

Ferro said she’s not only fighting for herself but also for all the victims of torture.

“How many Mederoses could be walking free in this country, and nothing has or ever will happen to them?” she asked.

Confiscated Computers

Remember last summers Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba and those computers that were confiscated by U.S. agents? Remember how confident they were that the computers would be returned?

Were you wondering what happened to those computers?

Me too, so I called Ellen Bernstein here at Pastors for Peace and asked her.

Good news, to date their lawyer has been unable to obtain the computers release, in spite of weekly vigils by the “Caravanistas”, the petitioning, the phone calls, and all those press releases dutifully published by the MSM.

Ellen informed me that in response to their inquiries are they are told it’s in the hands of this office or that office, she gets the impression they are stalling, when clearly the holdup is because of Bush’s crackdown on Cuba, part of his get tough policy.

The group is preparing to move into the next faze of this campaign which will focus on getting their congressional supporters to apply more pressure. Two elected officials from out here on the left coast she suggested I contact are …surprise, surprise, Diane Watson and Maxine Waters.

Please support the Bush Administrations stand against these castro supporting anti-American communists.

Contacts:

Cuba desk at the State Department 202-647-9273

Jayson Ahern, at Customs. 202-344-1620

Michael Turner, at the Commerce Department 202-482-1208 ext. 3

Call your Senators as well as your Representative.
(Congressional switchboard: 202-225-3121)

Family Life in Cuba

Remember Elian Gonzalez and all the chest pounding about how he belonged back in Cuba with his family? All those editorials about the sanctity of family?

Is this what they had in mind?

From NetforCuba

SANTA CLARA, CUBA

TWO TEACHERS PUNISHED FOR MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIP WITH DISSIDENT

A Communist Party official ordered the public chastisement of a school teacher who refused to leave her husband, a government opponent and former political prisoner. Maip? P?rez Naranjo refused to attend an October 14 meeting of teachers of the Silvio Flietas school at which director Osmayda Zacar?as criticized her for consorting with a dissident, her husband, Guillermo P?rez Yera, provincial delegate of the Pedro Luis Boitel Civic Resistance Movement.

A fellow teacher and childhood friend, Idalmis Rojas Aguilar, who went to the defense of P?rez Naranjo, was later transferred to a remote school for three years of “rehabilitation.” The meeting of teachers had been ordered by the local Communist Party secretary, named Maria Victoria, after she failed to convince P?rez Naranjo to leave her husband. “My wife refused to be blackmailed,” said P?rez Yera. “She does not allow work issues to affect interfere with family life.”

Gathering in Support of Tyranny

So-called peace activists gathered in Cuba Monday for a conference aimed at creating a global organization against military bases operating in countries ? particularly the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The conference was organized by the U.N. praised World Peace Council, the brainchild of Joseph Stalin, who used the organization as a front for his campaign to defeat the U.S. under the guise of peace and disarmament.

Orlando Fundora, the leader of castro?s Cuban Movement for Peace, said U.S. military bases caused ?environmental and ideological depravations throughout Latin America?. ?Humanity and the planet have never been as threatened and assailed as they are now,? he said.

So here are these liars, these defilers of humanity gathering once again to denounce the United States, with all her democratic values, including the right of free speech that gives these groups license to spread their hate in America. Here they are in castro?s gulag, busy creating yet another anti-democratic, anti-American organization while no doubt enjoying all the finest tourist facilities that Cuba has to offer. Facilities that real Cubans suffering under castro?s apartheid regime are not allowed to visit.

They want to close the Guantanamo Naval Base. Cubans risk their lives crossing castro?s minefields to reach Guantanamo, hoping to gain asylum from the communist dictators tyranny.

These groups are supported by the U.N., by Pastors for Peace, etc., etc., etc.

How can anyone stand it?

Read the whole story here at Pravda.