“El comite”: Spying on the Cuban people since 1960

Image result for repression in cuba cartoons

The Castro regime celebrated another anniversary of the CDR, or the infamous “Committees for the Defense of the Revolution”.

The CDRs were part of the police state in Cuba.  It was a block by block spy network.  It was neighbor “snitching” on other neighbors.

Julio Cesar Alvarez recently posted about the CDRs.  It reminded many of us just how bad it really was:

“The creation of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution in Cuba was a Machiavellian political monstrosity, conceived to reveal and suppress all forms of opposition to the nascent Communist dictatorship.“

We will establish a system of Revolutionary collective surveillance, and everyone will know who lives in the block, what those who live in the block do, what relations they had with the tyranny [of the Batista regime], where they work, who they meet, and what activities they get involved in.”    Those were the words of Fidel Castro, spoken on September 28, 1960. “

It was one of the worst chapters of the regime’s story.

We were lucky because we left.  Many were not so lucky.  They stayed and endured the repression.

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

Author Gabriel Garcia-Marquez loved Castro more than the Cuban people

(My new American Thinker post)

By any measurement, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez was a literary giant.  He wrote some wonderful books and was hailed as one of the all time greats of Spanish literature.

We definitely agree with many of the compliments and obituaries, such as this one from CBC:

“Garcia Marquez, who died Thursday at age 87, was eulogized in a brief ceremony Monday evening in the dramatic art deco lobby by the presidents of both Mexico and Colombia, two countries linked by the writer through his birth, life, heritage and career.
Though he was born in Colombia, Garcia Marquez lived in Mexico for decades and wrote some of his best-known works here, including One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

My biggest problem is that Garcia-Marquez was just a bit too fond of Fidel Castro, the longest running dictatorship in the Americas.  He never called for elections in Cuba and was just a bit too quick to repeat the dictatorship’s talking points, such as blaming the US embargo for the economic problems.

Didn’t Mr Garcia-Marquez know that Colombia, his native country, and Mexico, his adopted nation, do business with Cuba? Again, the problem is not the US embargo but the failed socialist and communist policies that turned Cuba into an impoverished island, the same one that had to reschedule its debts over and over!

Sadly, Mr Garcia-Marquez is part of a Latin American left that has always loved Castro a lot more than the Cuban people.  They love having “rum and cola” with Castro and overlook the plight of the political prisons or the lack of freedoms.

Didn’t Mr Garcia-Marquez know that Castro puts people in jails for writing against his regime?  Was he that misinformed about Cuba?

Over the years, I’ve gotten into many debates with Latin American leftists over Cuba.

I’ve come to the conclusion that many of these leftists hate the US so much that they are willing to support any one as long as he is “anti-Yankee”!

RIP Mr Gabriel Garcia-Marquez.   Shame on you for embracing of Fidel Castro.

P. S. You can hear my discussion about Garcia-Marquez with Cuban-American author Victor Triay plus young Colombia conservative Michael Prada & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

Dear President Obama: Why won’t you say something about Dr Gross in Cuba?

My new American Thinker post about Dr Gross in Cuba is here:

“We’ve been following the incredible story of a US citizen sitting in a Cuban jail for no reason at all.

We are not suggesting that the US invade Cuba and rescue Dr Gross but a little anger from President Obama may persuade the Castro regime that we don’t like what they are doing.

We certainly should not be talking at all with the Cuban regime or shaking Raul Castro’s hand at a funeral.

This week, we learned that Dr Gross has opted for a “hunger strike” to get some attention from that fellow in  the Oval Office who keeps going from one fundraiser to another…..”

Please check it out:

“Dr Gross is being held on bogus grounds.  The Cuban government is hoping that the Obama administration will crack and “swap” Cuban spies for a decent man who is not a spy.  And let’s not forget that Dr Gross is 63 and in frail health!

It would be nice if President Obama would say something loudly about this case, such as we are canceling remittances and flights to Cuba until Dr Gross is released.  It would be even better if President Obama or VP Biden would go to the OAS and speak bluntly about this atrocity.

Again, no one is calling for US Marines to liberate Dr Gross but a little anger would show that President Obama has something else in his mind but fundraisers and peddling untruths about “equal pay for women.””

 

“Cuba’s American Hostage”, a new post from Fausta Wertz!

Let me say “muy bien” to Fausta Wertz, the editor of Fausta’s Blog, for her coverage of Dr Gross in Cuba.

This is her latest op-ed and it is good:

In June, 2001, Cuban spies Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González (known as the Cuban Five or the Miami Five) were convicted of 26 federal charges, including conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, and acting as agents of a foreign government. The Communist regime acknowledges that the men are intelligence agents, but were spying on the Cuban exile community and not the U.S. government. Over the years, they have filed appeals and have become fixtures of the Cuban propaganda machine. René González was released on October 7, 2011, and Fernando González was released on February 27, 2014.

Hernández, Guerrero and Labañino are still serving their life sentences, and the Cuban government continues to push for their release. Some 130 celebrities have asked for their release.

In December 2009, Alan P. Gross was arrested while in Cuba working as a U.S. government subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for bringing satellite phones and computer equipment to members of Cuba’s small Jewish community. He was held in jail, and, in March, 2011 was convicted for “acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state”.

What does “acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state” means? It means that, in Cuba, attempting to provide access to the internet is a crime.

Here’s a list of questions explaining his descent into hell.

Jimmy Carter met with Gross in 2011, Jesse Jackson was denied access in 2013.

Last year Mary O’Grady of the Wall Street Journal spelled out Gross’ situation: Cuba Admits Gross Is a Pawn

In other words, Mr. Gross is a negotiating chip. Ms. Vidal would not say what Cuba wants in exchange for letting him go, but the release of several Cuban intelligence officers convicted in 2001 of spying on the U.S. is likely on the list.

The U.S. government has clearly stated that it will not swap the 3 spies for Gross. The USAID office apparently has made no effort towards Gross’ release.

Gross, 63, has lost over 100lbs and has a large lump growing on his back, which under the “excellent free healthcare” Cubans endure are considered “chronic illnesses that are typical of his age.”

His situation is desperate: yesterday USA Today reported that Gross has started a hunger strike.

 

What’s wrong with undermining a tyranny?

Earlier today, I added my thoughts to The Washington Post editorial that Alberto de la Cruz commented on.

These are some of the points that I made:

“There is nothing wrong with the US trying “undermine tyranny,” such as the one in Cuba.

Have people forgotten that Cuba is still a communist dictatorship?

Or that the Castro regime is an enemy of the US?

Or that they are holding a US citizen on some bogus charges of espionage?”

Cheers for the person who started this plan to undermine the Castro regime.   Glad to see that someone in the Obama administration has a clue about the reality of the world!

The full article can be read here.

P.S.  We learned today that Dr. Gross, the US citizen in a Cuban jail, will go on a hunger strike to protest his unjust incarceration.    I guess that just confirms that there is a real tyranny down in Cuba!

 

Cuba today with Joao Cerqueira (author) & Orestes Matacena (filmmaker)

Joao Cerqueira is from Portugal and the author of “The Tragedy of Fidel Castro”, a satire about the Cuban dictator.  Joao took an interest in Cuba years ago and now recognizes that it is a corrupt dictatorship.  This is a view that you don’t often get in the US media.

Orestes Matachena is a Cuban-American filmmaker and a good friend of Babalu.

Please listen and hear Joao talk about Cuba.

 

“Los jovenes” are the face of the anti-Maduro movement

My new American Thinker post about young people and Venezuela:

“Over the last month, I’ve seen pictures and videos about the demonstrations in Venezuela.  I am really impressed by the young people, from students to professionals to parents with small children.

Just saw the story of Juan Requesens, a student who is the middle of the uprising in Caracas.

Juan is 24 and the focus of a recent story by The Washington Post:

“After nearly a month of anti-government protests and street clashes, the one figure who may be capable of guiding Venezuela out of its crisis is a bearded, disheveled 24-year-old who lives with his parents.

Juan Requesens, a student leader, has leapt in recent weeks from campus politics to the swirling center of Venezuela’s worst unrest in a decade. A talent for public speaking has driven his rise, but perhaps just as appealing is that he is not one of the well-established opposition politicians Venezuelans already know.

In the past week, President Nicolás Maduro has repeatedly invited him to “peace” talks, but Requesens refuses, insisting that Maduro free jailed protesters and meet other preconditions first. Venezuela’s interior minister is publicly pressuring Requesens to go to the western state of Tachira, where the protests first erupted and barricades are blocking deliveries of food, to get students there to stand down.

Even opposition politicians have begun deferring to Requesens, saying they, too, will not meet with Maduro until the students go first.”

What drives young people like Juan?  After all, Juan was born in the early days of Chavizmo.  He does not remember the pre-Chavez days.  He has spent his entire life living in the Venezuela that Chavez’ policies created.

Why the disconnect with Chavez or Maduro?  Why are the children of the revolution turning against the revolution?

The answer is freedom and the economic shortages now a daily grind all over the nation.

Check out the faces of demonstrators in Caracas.  You will see lots of young people like Juan!  It makes me optimistic that the young are not buying the class warfare and crony capitalism that Chavez left Venezuela with.”

 

Maduro cracking heads and Obama “en otro planeta”

My new American Thinker post today discussed the growing government crackdown in Venezuela…..here is a portion of it:

“Mr Maduro is banking on two things:

1)  The shameful indifference of so many other Latin American countries. The latest player in this shameful game of indifference is the president of Chile who said in a press conference that Chile will not support “….any movement that violently wants to topple a democratically elected government.”

Are you kidding me President Bachelet? With all due respect, are you insane?

How can any democratically elected leader refer to President Maduro as the product of an election?

Please don’t insult our intellegence!

2) The even more shameful silence from the Obama administration.

It’s hard to believe that the man who once said that “we are the change we’ve been waiting for” is quietly watching a government crack protesters’ heads without a loud protest.

Where is the United States? I guess that we are playing golf or telling young people to cancel their cell phones and buy Obama Care.

So Mr Maduro continues to crack heads and call for a further dialogue.

How can you speak with people who are dead, injured or bleeding from your violent treatment?

They will continue cracking heads in Venezuela until the world screams “Enough”.

The first government to scream should be the US!

We need to lead but maybe leadership is not in style these days!”

 

“Oye compay, que semana”: We talk Cuba with Jorge Ponce!

Jorge Ponce and I looked back at this big “semana” of Cuba news.

It started with the handshake, talk of Dr Gross, calls for lifting the embargo, to more of Alberto’s posts about human rights violations in the island.

Even Elian made the news this week.  Wonder if someone told Elian that his mother died to bring him to the US?

It was quite a week!  We spoke with Jorge Ponce about it.

Listen here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cantotalk/2013/12/14/us-cuba-issues-the-embargo-handshake-and-the-status-of-mr-gross