Communism in Cuba: Fidel may be dead, but the Castros continue to loot, plunder, and destroy Cuba

John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

The Current State of Communism in Cuba: Between a rock and a hard place

Fidel Castro is dead but the Castro dynasty continues plundering Cuba and preaching communism for thee but not for me.

Past is Prologue
Communism arrived in Cuba covertly in 1959, was implanted through lies, killing and terror, openly declared in 1961 and today continues destroying the island nation while enriching a communist elite.  The full extent of the numbers killed in Cuba remains unknown but there is anecdotal and documentary evidence of mass graves. Summary and extrajudicial executions were widespread and well documented, especially in the 1960s. As was the case in Ethiopia, Ukraine, China and elsewhere farmers in Cuba’s countryside bore the brunt of the terror between 1960-66 in the Escambray.

Executed in Santiago de Cuba by the Castro regime in 1959

To discuss the current state of communism in Cuba necessitates to place it in context. Communism is a totalitarian political ideology that over the past century beginning with the Soviet Union in 1917 has caused the death of over a 100 million human beings and ruined countless more lives.  Wherever it has been tried in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America it has failed causing great hardship. This is also true for Cuba.

Hannah Arendt understood that “the terrible originality of totalitarianism isn’t due to the entrance of a new ‘idea’ into the world, but to the fact that their actions break with all our traditions; they have literally pulverized our categories of political thinking and criteria of moral judgement.” This applies to communist totalitarianism.

The immorality of communism
Nevertheless communists continue to have new opportunities to apply this model on other people.  Which raises the obvious question of why?  Other political systems have their highs and lows, moments of decadence or decline which creates an opportunity for new actors. But this does not explain how communists continue to be returned to power instead of theirs. This is because all too often history is rewritten and lies are passed off as truth. Morality and truth are both made subservient to achieving power at all costs and this is explicitly the communist way.

Continue reading HERE.

Ecuador’s Correa takes page out of Cuba’s playbook, goes after press for exposing fraudulent election

Ecuador’s wannabe dictator Rafael Correa may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he can follow simple instructions from Havana. Unable to quash the evidence pointing to the massive voter fraud that handed his handpicked candidate the presidency back in February, he is now going after members of the press who refuse to bury the story and ignore the fraud. It is a classic tactic of repression and censorship that Correa’s mentors, the Castros, have employed for decades. If it worked for them, the Castros no doubt believe it will work for Correa.

Karina Martin in PanAm Post:

Inter American Press Association Denounces Persecution of Ecuador Media over Election Coverage

The Inter American Press Association spoke out against political persecution of Ecuador’s media by President Rafael Correa’s adminsitration.

“We are dealing with an unusual case in which Ecuador’s gag law is being used to punish the media,” IAPA President Matt Sanders said. “What we are seeing is the media’s right to their freedom of editorial criteria being systematically violated.”

The complaint took place following the Ecuadorian president’s public accusations that several local media outlets were not publishing news that he considered of public interest given the country’s recent elections.

According to Correa, seven media outlets did not publish an article that was published by an Argentine newspaper, which accused opposition presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso of owning offshore companies and other financial irregularities.

“Once again the gag law is used as a cover to meddle in the contents and editorial criteria of the media,” said President of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock.

“If it were up to Correa’s government, the Ecuadorian media would report everything that is published in the world in their favor and silence what is criticized, in order to avoid encouraging democratic destabilization.”

“We are facing a government that has created a weapon of censorship — the worst that has been created in the democratic stage of Latin America — to systematically violate freedom of the press.”

Sources: La República; La Opción.

Nearly 50 Ladies in White violently arrested as Cuba’s State Security lays 3-day siege on headquarters

Ladies in White headquarters in Havana under siege by State Security for 3 days. Photo: Angel Moya

This past weekend, the headquarters of the peaceful Cuban opposition group the Ladies in White was under siege for three days by Cuban State Security agents of the apartheid Castro regime. The siege of the organization’s headquarters in Havana began on Thursday and continued through Sunday to prevent the activists from peacefully marching on the 98th Sunday of the #TodosMarchamos (we all march) campaign in protest of the Cuban dictatorship. Despite the large operation mounted to keep them contained, the activists still attempted their march. By the end of the day on Sunday, nearly 50 Ladies in White had been violently arrested by State Security.

Diario de Cuba has the report (my translation):

Ladies in White headquarters under siege for more than three days and nearly fifty women arrested

According to sources in the dissidence, State Security agents and police arrested nearly 50 Ladies in White in different parts of the country: 20 women in Havana; 11 in Matanzas; one in Ciego de Avila; 13 in Palma Soriano; and one in Guantanamo.Furthermore, regime operatives laid siege to the headquarters of the all-women group in Havana for more than 72 hours.

“Since Thursday the 20th, the Department of State Security and the National Revolutionary Police had the headquarters under sieve to prevent Ladies in White from entering and to attack those of us inside who are trying to exercise our right to peaceful protest on Sunday,” denounced the leader of the Ladies in White, Berta Soler, before being arrested herself.

“The arrest was violent. Paramilitary personnel and members of the State Security brigades dragged Berta Soler down the pavement as well as Ladies in White Deisy Artiles and Cecilia Guerra. Activists Angel Moya and Oscar Sanchez Magan were also taken away in choke-holds,” said Lady in White, Aliuska Gomez Garcia.

Moreover, she denounced how she and Lady in White Sodrelis Turruella were “victims of an act of repudiation that lasted more than 30 minutes where they were insulted with racial epithets and violent persecution.”

Another five Ladies in White were able to publicly protest on the streets of Havana, according to Gomez.

“They were in Arroyo Naranjo and started their protest around midday, shouting slogans and protesting on the street for nearly an hour before they were violently arrested,” said Gomez.

“It has now been 98 Sundays of repression by the Department of State Security against the #TodosMarchamos campaign for the release of political prisoners,” said Soler earlier that afternoon.

Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.

Reports from Cuba: When your ally’s beards are on fire

By Miriam Celaya in Cubanet via Translating Cuba:

When Your Ally’s Beards are on Fire

According to an old adage, when you see you neighbor’s beard on fire, go soak your own*. The maxim should be applied to the elderly Cuban dictator, especially if we take into account that the erratic performance of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is largely attributed to the bad advice he received from the founders of the Castro dynasty, in addition to the deficient or lacking mental capacity of the absurd southern leader.

It is disastrous that, while Venezuela is experiencing the worst political crisis of the last 20 years, most Cubans on the Island are not only lacking in information but – even worse — are being subjected to a real bombardment of misinformation by the government’s press monopoly.

As a result of decades of lies and “secrecy” — which journalist Reinaldo Escobar has defined as “the euphemism that disguises what is in reality a policy of censorship of the press” — and the requirements of the struggle for daily survival in a country marked by shortages and poverty in perpetuity, common Cubans live alienated from reality and are apathetic to any political scenario, whether inside or outside Cuba.

In fact, the shortage of information in the official Cuban media about what is happening in Venezuela is truly extraordinary, even though its government is the closest ally to the Palace of the Revolution. The presence of tens of thousands of Cuban professionals delivering their services to Venezuela should be sufficient reason for relatives and the population as a whole to be duly warned about the growing political tensions and clashes that are taking place between the government of Nicolás Maduro and his Chávez phalanges, on the one hand, and the opposition sectors supported by thousands of Venezuelans who are fed up with the regime on the other.

But if most Cubans may care very little about the fate of Venezuelans, for which the lengthy meddling of the Cuban dictatorship has so much responsibility, they should, at least, worry about the fate of their countrymen, volunteer slaves in Venezuela, where violence, growing poverty and political polarization make them potential victims of circumstances that, after all, are alien to them.

Who doubts that a possible situation of social unrest and chaos would constitute a colossal danger for the Cuban “missionaries” of health and other fronts of the Castro-Chávez alliance who remain in Venezuela? Does the Cuban General-President have any contingency plans to protect them? Or will he launch them as cannon fodder to defend the autocratic system with totalitarian aspirations that the Castro regime has sown in Venezuela? Will we be witness to a second Grenada, like that of the late Maurice Bishop, where in 1983 Castro the First ordered unassuming Cuban construction workers to offer themselves up against US marines in a sacrifice as irrational as it was absolutely useless?

Venezuela is now a time bomb where the population is satiated with more gloom and the outrages of government than even opposition parties and leaders, a place where the citizens are playing all their cards in street demonstrations. And, while tensions and violence of the “collectives” and police forces are increasing, and the government’s repression against the demonstrators, torture against detainees and arrests against journalists attempting to cover the truth of events are also on the increase, the Castro regime, accessory to Venezuelan suffering and perverse to the marrow, remains silent.

Read more

Apartheid Castro regime launches new propaganda TV channel to bring Cuba ‘more revolution’

Economically and socially, Cuba is in deep trouble. As the apartheid Castro regime strikes deals with foreign entities to enrich itself further, Cubans are forced to live in misery and poverty as slaves of the Cuban dictatorship. There is no respect for human rights on the island and the Cuban dictatorship routinely oppresses, jails, and murders dissidents and their family members.

Cuba has a fever, and according to the apartheid Castro regime, the only prescription is more revolution!

Via the BBC:

Cuba’s slick TV channel that supports ‘more revolution’

Slick new graphics, drum and bass theme music and young presenters: at least in its presentation, Cuba’s latest state television channel is a break with the past.

Called Canal Caribe, it is an attempt to stand out from the stiffly presented, heavily scripted newscasts that have aired on state TV for decades.

The channel is trying out different formats. They include live link-ups with international correspondents via Skype and the use of social media sites like Twitter – simple devices that are common on most other news channels but new for Cuban TV.

The channel’s news director, Ovidio Cabrera, showed me around the station.

As one of the founders of another left-wing Latin American news service, the Venezuelan-funded Telesur, he says this new venture will be unique in Cuba because it will run outside the fixed midday and early-evening slots.

“The key difference is that this will be a news and information channel that’s on air for 18 hours a day,” says Mr Cabrera.

“And the vast majority of our coverage, around two-thirds, will be live.”

‘More revolution’

A live, round-the-clock television news channel might not sound particularly innovative, but in Cuba such changes happen slowly.

The state-run newspaper and mouthpiece of the Cuban Communist Party, Granma, has barely changed its typeface in 50 years of revolution.

The question is whether editorially Canal Caribe will be any different from other channels on the Communist-run island and if criticism will be broadcast.

“This is a channel for more revolution,” says Mr Cabrera, immediately squashing any suggestion that Canal Caribe will be anything less than 100% pro-government.

Continue reading HERE.

Obama’s normalization with Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship has made repression worse on the island

Obama’s normalization of relations with Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship was applauded all over the world. Everyone was apparently so thrilled with Obama’s embrace of the Castro regime that they completely missed the irony that America’s first black president had become the first American president to embrace and support Cuba’s racist apartheid regime.

But as the world celebrated Obama’s normalization circus, it was the Cuban people who were paying the price. The stated goal of normalizing relations was to make life better for Cubans and in some respects, that goal was achieved for Cubans whose last name is Castro. However, for the 11-million+ enslaved Cubans who are not named Castro or part of the regime, all they got from the normalization circus was more terror, more violence, and more repression.

Karina Martin in PanAm Post:

Cuba’s Ladies in White Claim Normalization Made Repression Worse

The Cuban opposition group Ladies in White has spoken out again about increased repression against political dissidents on the island.

In Miami, Florida this week, the group spoke about the current political situation, which they claim is worsening.

“We ask the international community to tell the Castro regime to stop repression in Cuba,” the Lady in White member Maria Elena Alpízar said.

According to the organization, the issue has intensified following cooling relations with the United States in December 2014, and President Barack Obama’s approach to opening up the island.

“We gave a report (to the Organization of American States) with all the human rights violations that have been committed against us over the past 95 Sundays,” she said, claiming there has been some form of repression every weekend.

Meanwhile, Leticia Ramos Herreria, another member of the group, asked that the international community step up its oversight of the island.

“Look at Cuba. What is happening on the island is hard to handle,” Ramos said. “We have Ladies in White in prison, transferred to prisons in other provinces, our children are being imprisoned to weaken the movement. Unfortunately, what is happening in Cuba, is very hard.”

The group believes the Cuban government is out to “destroy” the organization.

“By arresting Ladies in White, high ranking officials in the regime have let us know that we already cease to exist,” Ramos said, “that we can’t continue on Cuban streets, that we must come to an end.”

Despite repression by the Cuban regime, the group said it will continue to be active on the streets and not relinquich its demand for the freeing of political prisoners.

“Let it be very clear to the regime that we are willing to go to jail if necessary,” Ramos said, “because we are not going to give up our fight … We will continue, no matter what.”

Sources: Cubanet; El Nuevo Herald.

Cuba’s Venezuela: ‘When the dictatorship took my son’

Here is a chilling tale of the fear and terror suffered by a Venezuelan mother whose son has been arrested by the dictatorship. It is tale that has been and continues to be repeated throughout Venezuela, and one very familiar to Cuban mothers. For more than five decades, Cuban mothers have experienced the very same terror and far worse as their sons and daughters become targets of Cuban State Security.

Through its puppet dictator Nicolas Maduro, the Castro regime is calling the shots in Venezuela and carrying out the same violent repression it practices in Cuba. They are using the same playbook they use in Cuba to ultimately turn Venezuela into a Castro colony.

Gaby Miller in Caracas Chronicles:

When the Dictatorship Took My Son

For every Venezuelan detained during protests, there is a suffering family facing fear, uncertainty, and dizzying legal requirements to free a loved one. All of this is by design.

Alejandro had been in jail for more than a week before he told his mom, Marta, about the torture: the electric shocks, the beatings, the hours being forced to listen to Chávez promising “gas del bueno” on a loop.

For a divorced mother of two, that was hard to hear. But it wasn’t the worst moment of this saga. No. The worst was right at the beginning, when she didn’t know where he was: “that was the worst, it was horrible.”

Marta and Alejandro —not their real names— have been through an awful lot this month. Alejandro was detained in Caracas on April 6th. He’d been at the rally to ask for the dismissal of the seven judges of the Supreme Tribunal’s Constitutional Chamber. He’s now been in detention for 17 days in a cell at the anti-terrorism division in the Cicpc.

“He told me that he wasn’t going to the rally. At about 8:30 p.m. that day I took a shower and I was pretty calm. I thought he was out with his friends”, she recalled.

But within a few seconds, Marta’s world fell apart. A niece called to ask about Alejandro. Before she could answer, she had to hang up because a neighbor was at her door —also asking about him. Surely a coincidence?

“A friend of my neighbor works with Alejandro and she was worried because he hadn’t been heard from since 3 p.m., during the rally. It was close to 9 p.m. That’s when I started to get worried”, she told me.

Fear seized her body. Her hands trembled; she couldn’t feel her legs and her mind betrayed her. Her mind raced through the worst scenarios, each more horrible than the one before, she even remembered the news of the body of a young man that had been found earlier that day.

“It’s horrible, horrible”, Marta told me with a strong voice that cracked from time to time.

She called his phone and it went straight to voicemail. Marta suddenly remembered that he always leaves his Facebook account open, so she sat down on his computer. As soon as she logged on, she saw a ton of friends had written to him: “I’m so glad you are here, we were worried”, someone wrote on the chat. She opened his profile to explain that it was her, using Alejandro’s account to look for him. Right away, the messages flooded in.

“Fuerza,” they said “we are with you”.

Alone in the middle of the apartment the two of them share, Marta tried to calm herself. “I was still thinking that maybe he was partying with some friends or with his dad”.

Her mind was flooded with questions: What to do? Who to call? How to know who was with him at the rally? “I didn’t know where he was or with whom…I didn’t know anything,” she remembered desperately.

While she was still trying to think what to do next, her phone rang. It was a lawyer for Foro Penal. He said his organization helps guide the families of youth detained in demonstrations.

Marta told him the particulars about Alejandro and waited ten minutes, which felt like a lifetime. A new call.

“Your son is in El Helecoide”, the lawyer said. The secret police headquarters. One of her fears was confirmed. Alejandro was among the many young men who were detained by the National Guard. Her world fell apart. She knew where the Helicoide was, but she had no idea how to get there. And what should she say when she got there? Marta realized she was definitely in no state to drive.

Continue reading HERE.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow peddles ‘Fake News’ on Venezuela, blames protests on Trump

“Fake News” is nothing new to Cubans. The cause of freedom in Cuba has been victimized and attacked by fake news for decades. Beginning even before dictator Fidel Castro took power with the fake news reporting of New York Times reporter and Castro sycophant Herbert Matthews, we have suffered through six decades of the media peddling lies and fabrications about Cuba.

Fake News has been and continues to be the weapon of choice for leftist propagandists. So as the “socialist paradise” of Venezuela implodes and exposes once again the misery and death that socialism inevitably always produces, the leftist media (but I repeat myself) kicks the fake news machine into high gear.

Enter Fake News huckster extraordinaire Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Unable to continue ignoring the massive protests taking place in Venezuela and the violence and murders carried out by Cuba’s puppet dictatorship, Maddow attempted to spin the horror and terror in Venezuela with some fake news. According to her, the Venezuelan people are not protesting the violently repressive dictatorship or the triple-digit inflation or the destruction of democracy or the lack of food and toilet paper in their country. No, instead Maddow claims that the protests in Venezuela are the Venezuelan people expressing their rage against Trump.

Max Radwin in PanAm Post:

The Rachel Maddow Show’s Fake News on Venezuela

Venezuelans swarmed the streets this week in protest of a brutal dictator who has led the country into a humanitarian crisis without food or medicine, freedom of speech or democratic government.

They were certainly not protesting Donald Trump, despite what MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow may tell you.

Maddow tried to claim on her show Thursday night that the streets of Venezuela had exploded with protests and marches in response to recent news surrounding a subsidiary of a major Venezuelan oil company that donated half a million dollars to the Trump campaign.

Seriously? It’s pretty clear the citizens of Venezuela had other priorities, like making sure their children do not die of hunger or illnesses.

April 19 marked 207 years of Venezuelan independence from Spanish colonialism, and with that date in mind, both the political opposition and President Nicolás Maduro planned rallies that ultimately clashed and, the next day, saw military force used against unarmed citizens.

Yet the banner caption running on MSNBC read, “Unrest In Venezuela Over Trump Donations” — what many following the events in Venezuela criticized as sloppy reporting to the point of fake news.

No argument there.

Continue reading HERE.

Reports from Cuba: Ex-Minister: Cuba earns $11.5 billion from export of professional services

14yMedio reports via Translating Cuba:

Ex-Minister: Cuba Earns $11.5 Billion From Export of Professional Services

Cuban professional services abroad are the main source of foreign exchange for the government and represent an estimated 11.543 billion dollars annually, according to an article published in the official press by the island’s former Minister of the Economy, José Luis Rodríguez.

Most of the income comes from the more than 50,000 healthcare professionals who work in some sixty countries around the world, nearly half of whom are doctors and specialists in different branches of medicine.

The recently published Health Statistics Yearbook 2016 reveals that Cuban professionals are in 24 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, in almost three dozen African countries, and in the Middle East, East Asia and the Pacific. In Europe they are present in Russia and Portugal.

In 2014, the Cuban government said that the country obtained 8.2 billion dollars for the provision of health services abroad, a figure that would have declined after the fall in oil prices and the crisis in Venezuela. It also maintains other cooperation programs from which it receives dividends, such as the export of professionals in education, technicians, engineers and athletes.

Venezuela is the main market for Cuban professionals. In the health sector alone it is estimated that more than 28,000 Cuban professionals remain in that country as a part of the agreements that the government of Hugo Chaves and his successor, Nicolás Maduro, pay for with oil.

According to Maduro, Venezuela has invested more than 250 billion dollars in health agreements between both nations since 1999. More than 124,000 Cuban professionals in that sector have worked in Venezuela, said the president.

The second country in terms of numbers of Cuban professionals is Brazil, which since the beginning of the More Doctors program, in 2013, has contracted through the Pan American Health Organization for 11,400 Cuban professionals.

Following the ousting of President Dilma Rousseff, Cuba renegotiated the contract and gained a 9% increase in the salaries of professionals. The country also renewed the contract for the island’s professionals for three more years. However, the thousands of Cubans who have contracted marriages with Brazilians to obtain permanent residence, and the more than 1,600 who are in the process of validating their credentials in Brazil and separating themselves from the guardianship of Havana, have caused Cuba to suspend the sending of new doctors to Brazil to avoid desertions.

The Cuban government, through the Cuban Medical Services Dealer, offers workers on the island, whose salary is around $40 a month, some benefits and better remuneration if they will agree to go on the missions. In no case do the professionals negotiate their contracts directly with the employer, which is why the Cuban authorities keep between 50 and 75% of the income.

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A ‘March of Silence for the Fallen’ today in Venezuela in honor of those murdered by the dictatorship

A silent march in honor of those murdered by Venezuela’s puppet dictatorship is taking place in that country today.

John Suarez has the report in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

March of Silence for the Fallen: Remembering the Maduro regime’s victims

Silent marches and vigils for Maduro’s victims in Venezuela

The Maduro regime is killing young Venezuelans in order to provoke a violent response for the opposition. It is a trap for the opposition as was seen in Syria. A civic movement abandoning nonviolence and fighting the regime militarily is taking the fight to ground where the dictatorship has the advantage. Rather than falling into the trap, nonviolent opposition is organizing a nonviolent silent march later today to remember those killed and demand justice.

Mobilizing millions of Venezuelans to nonviolently resist the Maduro dictatorship has a better chance of forcing a democratic transition and the ouster of the regime. The alternative would be civil war and the odds are it would lead to the permanence of the Maduro regime with the aide of Cuban soldiers and intelligence assets.

Paola Ramírez and Carlos Moreno both shot in the head on April 19, 2017 in Venezuela.

Shooting young Venezuelans in the head to terrorize demonstrators and provoke a response has been a Maduro regime tactic since at least February 2014.

Beginning on February 12, 2014 regime agents shot Bassil Alejandro Dacosta, age 24 in the head. One of the young students who carried Bassil off after he was shot was Robert Redman, age 28, who reported later that day over twitter: “Today I was hit with a rock in the back, a helmet in my nose. I swallowed tear-gas, Carried the kid who died, and what did you do?” That same day he was also gunned down by Maduro’s colectivos, working in concert with his security forces, and murdered. The killings continued.

Continue reading HERE.

Video of the Day – Castro mob sings racist song to Afro Cuban leader of Cuba’s Ladies in White

Berta Soler is an “ape,” according to the apartheid Castro regime.

One of the so-called achievements of the Cuban revolution that has for decades enthralled academia and the American left is the dubious claim that the Castro dictatorship has eliminated racism in Cuba. The reality, however, is the complete opposite. Cuba under the apartheid Castro regime is one of the most racist countries in the world ruthlessly ruled by the European descent, lily-white Castro clan. Nevertheless, while Havana’s slave masters get a pass from the left, Cuba’s Afro Cubans are left to continue suffering racism and bigotry in complete obscurity.

The video below offers a perfect example of the rampant racism in Cuba. Outside the headquarters of the human rights activist group the Ladies in White, a mob organized by Cuban State Security gathered to sing a song to Berta Soler, the group’s leader. Soler is black, an Afro Cuban, and that prompted the group to sing this line to her:

” . . . Berta has no mother because an ape gave birth to her”

Welcome to Castro’s apartheid Cuba where Afro Cubans are referred to as apes: